Madeira Drive

Then and now photos

19th century view
This is how the site looked before the colonnade was built. These buildings formed part of the entrance to the Chain Pier, Brighton's oldest pier.  The sea-wall itself was completed in 1838. It cost about £100,000 and prisoners were used as labourers.

20th century view
The colonnade is little changed in this photo. The streetlamps on top of the colonnade were added in the 1930s and are still there today.  This is the place where vehicles arrive at the end of the London-Brighton car race.

21st century view
The sun terrace on top of a colonnade of shops was built in the late 1920s.  The steps down to the sea exist in all three photos. The round-fronted building on the upper road is also a survivor.

Photo:Can you help us date this photo?

Can you help us date this photo?

Photo:20th century view

20th century view

From the private collection of Bert Clayton

Photo:21st century  view

21st century view

Photograph by Tricia Leonard

This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page

This was the turnaround point for many pre-season runs for Whitehawk FC in the 1990's. We'd run from East Brighton Park to the Pier and back, doing various excercises on the beach and steps in both directions.

By Paul Hubbard (06/11/2006)

The 1st photo is from the 1920s as you can see the legs of the people not accustomed to wearing such things prior to this time. The hat types and hair style is that of the 1920s also.

By Candace Blaker (16/04/2008)

The top photo is definitely 1928 according to the book 'Brighton and Hove - then and now'.

By Becky Teate (10/11/2008)

I'm pretty sure that the was a lift up the cliff to Madeira Parade in the '20s picture. Possibly there in the 40's - 50's picture (going by the cars). On the opposite side of the road there were loads of coaches mostly taking folks on "mystery" tours. One I remember particularly as it was a Campbells coach with a fin at the back.

By John Snelling (19/11/2012)

The lift is still there John, much further along eastwards than the photo. Its still working in the summer, although currently shrouded in scaffolding for some maintenance!

By Peter Groves (20/11/2012)

Thank you Peter, you're quite right, it was much farther East. I also got wrong the coach company's name which should have read Campings Coaches. Don't suppose they're still about nowadays.

By John Snelling (21/11/2012)

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