Wednesday, 17 February 2010

The Seafront Railings

It is excellent news that the City Council has recognised the importance of the Victorian cast-iron work to the appearance of our world famous sea-front.  They are to devote £0.5M to restoration work with an ongoing maintenance budget of £100,000 per annum. One hopes this will be sufficient for the railings etc. to be treated something like the Forth Bridge and that this will ensure their long-term preservation. There must be some reservations as to whether £0.5M will be sufficient, especially if it is to cover the Madeira terraces, but at least it is a start and makes an encouraging change from past neglect.

However in the past few years some work has been done. At the Carousel steps entirely new railings have been installed with the proportions neatly adapted to bring them to regulation height.




Elsewhere long stretches are too low, probably due to raising of the pavement and will also need complete replacement.
  I hope the work includes the iron ornamentation on the West St. kiosk which looks to be in an advanced state of corrosion.

In Victorian times cast-iron was cheap, sturdy, and available locally from the several foundries in the North Laine. The seafront work must have provided livelihoods for many of Brighton's Victorian workers.

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