1896: Seaside railway destroyed

Notes by John Blackwell, St Peter's area editor

"This view shows the destruction of the landing stage and waiting room of the 'Brighton & Rottingdean Seashore Electric Railway'. This railway was also known as the Daddy Longlegs and had been designed by Magnus Volk. The crowd are lining the Banjo Groyne. The double track on which the car ran can be clearly seen.

The ceremonial opening had taken place on the 28th November 1896, so the railway had only been operational for a few days when this disaster struck. Aware of the coming storm Magnus had ordered the car, named Pioneer, to be lashed to the landing stage at Rottingdean. However, it broke free, capsized, and was more or less destroyed. Amazingly the car was repaired, the landing stage at Kemp Town rebuilt, and the service restarted on 20th July 1897."

Photo:Wreckage after the great storm, 1896

Wreckage after the great storm, 1896

Image reproduced with permission from Brighton History Centre

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