Saturday 19 March 2011

West Street: then & now (2)

From left to right is: SSBrighton, opened 1934 as a swimming pool, converted to an ice rink the following year and closed in 1965; and, immediately before St. Pauls church, the Odeon cinema, opened in 1937 and closed in 1973.

The Odeon has been moved to Kingswest on the corner of West St./Kings Road, (out of the photo) and a large yellow-brick office building now occupies its site, opened 1992. It is strange that a street close to the seafront and given over largely to the entertainment industry was thought an appropriate location for offices. The SSBrighton was replaced in the 1990's by the new Russell Road and the Oak Hotel, now a Travelodge. Beyond St. Pauls the buildings are largely unchanged but in the distance are now over-topped by Queen Square House. There is still a bus stop in West Street but it is only served, from Thursday to Sunday, by late "Nightclubber" buses. 

The most noticeable change over the 50-60 years between the two photos is the ugly increase in street clutter, most of which serves no useful purpose whatsoever.


  1. Gosh, what a lovely view, yes you are so right, the street clutter we have now spoil things greatly.

  2. Wow. I would never have thought of West Street as a wide and relaxed thoroughfare.... The recent photo shows how traffic and the ensuing signage, routing paraphanalia and railings can completely divert from the blend of the architecture and the actual "sweep" of that road.
    Yes, I do know that cars are a necessary evil. If I had children or my mother was alive and living near me, I might even consider learning to drive. But I still feel so many people have cars,and additional cars, almost as accessories.
    I like the idea of the only busstop in an "entertainment parade" being for nightclubbers. I have never seen any sign of trouble at that stop late at night or in the early hours by the way. When I lived in London, I found nightbuses rather offputting. In Brighton, I've discovered almost a sense of camradarie on them.

  3. SS Brighton ,used to do an ice panto each year which was popular ,also home of the Brighton Tigers ,ice hockey team .
    I recall as a small child what a great place it was,it only closed due to the replacement by a wonderful rink ,in The Kingswest Centre ,which alas ,didn't last long (now Odeon Cinema Complex )


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