Listed Buildings

Three tram shelters in Pavilion Parade

By Jennifer Drury

Designed by the Borough Engineer

A little different from most people's idea of a listed building, these tram shelters. c1926, were probably designed by the then Borough Engineer, David Edwards, who also designed the tram shelter and public toilets on Old Steine, which is now a cafe. The shelters have reinforced concrete walls and with metal columns and glazing bars. Each narrow, single-storey structure is rectangular in plan with apsidal ends; side to road open for access to buses; glazed on the pavement side.

Click on the photographs to open a large version in a new window

Photo:Tram shelter Pavilion Parade

Tram shelter Pavilion Parade

Photo by Tony Mould

Photo:Tram shelter Pavilion Parade

Tram shelter Pavilion Parade

Photo by Tony Mould


Photo:Tram shelter Pavilion Parade

Tram shelter Pavilion Parade

Photo by Tony Mould

Photo:The last Brighton tram

The last Brighton tram

Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection


Last tram ran in 1939

The increasing suburban development of the 1930s, combined with the lack of flexibility of the tramway system, prompted the corporation to opt for a new network of both trolley- and motor-buses. Tram routes were consequently withdrawn and replaced by buses from 26 April 1939 until the last Brighton tram ran from Upper Rock Gardens to the Old Steine at 2 a.m. on 1 September 1939, bringing to an end thirty-eight years of almost accident-free service. An estimated 52 million miles had been run, 629 million passengers carried, and a profit of £54,000 made by the Brighton trams.

This page was added on 08/11/2011.
Comments about this page

I can remember boarding a tram in the Old Steine sometime in 1939 with my grandmother who was 90 at the time. The tram shelter was on the side of the garden facing what was the YMCA and the lavatories, when under the tram shelter. One very serious tram accident did take place when one ran out of control down Elm Grove and crashed into the pub across the Lewes Road at the bottom of the hill. Not sure of the date or how many were injured - somebody will no doubt be able to fill in the details.

By Ken Ross (09/11/2011)

I remember these shelters well, having waited for buses there many a time and, dare I say it, had my first real kiss in one of them. Happy memories! I never realised they were that old though, I'd always assumed they were '50s or very early '60s!

By Geoff (10/11/2011)

I too remember these shelters well - used to wait for the 26 trolley back in the 50s. Glad they've been recognised architecturally - sort of a mixture of Art Deco and Bauhaus. They've lasted, as reinforced concrete structures that old are usually falling apart by now due to corrosion of the internal steel members and consequent flaking of the concrete shell. Long may they remain.

By Len Liechti (15/11/2011)

A simple but very effective design. At least you can see the buses coming when you are sheltering inside, which is more than could be said of some more recent designs. Surely these are situated in Old Steine though, with Pavilion Parade being slightly further north?

By Alan Hobden (22/11/2011)

Talking of trams... We are a group of enthusiasts working to restore the last surviving Brighton Tram "No 53". If anyone has photos, stories, perhaps bits of, in fact anything to do with Brighton trams, we would love to hear from you. The tram is on a farm locally and we have regular working parties to the tram. Transport could be arranged to those who may like to get their hands dirty or just to look at. Any more information that you require can be found on our website http://www.brightontram53.org.uk/ Thanks for looking. Kind regards.

By Tony Belcher (10/02/2012)

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.