Brighton Beach 1985

Brighton reminded me of something out of a movie from the 50s. The pebbly beach there had the feel of another era.

I was posted to our London office in 1985. After almost a year without seeing the sea, I  longed to visit Brighton which was known as “London by the Sea”.

Since Victorian days, the beach was claimed to have therapeutic value and people flocked to it; the blue sky with the soft soothing murmurs of waves can cleanse your mind and even heal your soul.

Thanks to modern technology  which allows me to scan my slides taken in 1985. More than that, I am also able to convert my slides to sepia which do instill a nostalgic feel.

I was at the beach at the best of time. The sun was out, there were some white clouds hanging low in the blue sky. To make the picture even more surreal, the beach was almost deserted and, alone on the beach, a father was playing with  his little son with the Brighton Pier in the background and the waves kept crashing in.

Coming from a geography with many sandy subtropical beaches covered with fine white sand, it was rather difficult to reconciliate the British notion of dark pebbly beaches. Do you actually call this a beach?

Brighton Beach looks a lot different now, it is a lot more busy, noisy, full of funky cafes and restaurants. The Brighton Pier has also deteriorated and the West Pier was burnt down and disappeared. If you ask me, I rather prefer the Brighton as it was in 1985, or perhaps, Brighton in the Victorian ages.

I walked all the way out to the very end of the Brighton Pier while enjoying the fresh air and panoramic view of the harbour. I then walked past the marina and on the pebbles and shingles along the beach at the foothills of the white cliffs of Brighton. Though not as astounding as the White Cliffs of Dover, they looked awesome too.

After a  day on  the beach, I was tired, happy and less homesick; although, I must say, east or west, the beaches at home are the best!

13 thoughts on “Brighton Beach 1985

  1. Some of the world’s well-known pebble beaches such as in Nice and Cannes are really modern and cool. The sun-bathers there beat the beaches at home!

    • Great idea-we should start to lobby our Tourism office to advertise our nice sandy beaches, coral reefs and the sun-shine(dare I say shopping paradise as well). However, I don’t recall that the local beaches are promoted actively unlike Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
      I should think that the lobbying is suitable for a retiree.

    • Only recently, the HKSAR started to advertise HK as a place with great geological features in the coast line. Understand many Japanese tourists come to HK just for mountain walks too. I have seen some PRC tourists camping out near a reservoir site in the NT. There are so mnay things that the Tourism Board can do. Surely, we can be of assistance!

    • I also have fond memories of the beaches I visited in the UK in 1985 and 1997. Would have loved to see what London was like during the Olympics game. Thanks you for your comment! Michael

  2. Hi Michael! Thank you so much for your like! I like the way you write a lot and loved reading about Brighton as I would like to visit it sometime soon as well. Have a great day! Nina

  3. Found this post in your top posts list. It caught my eye as as a teenager and young man I visited Brighton several times in the ’70s and ’80s. Later in the ’90s I lived just a few miles north in Horsham, West Sussex and visited Brighton and the surrounding hills almost every weekend. You wrote a lovely reminiscence, accurate and with some good details. Brighton, perhaps in better days, although it is still a busy and popular town still.

    Your photo of the beach is a nice conversion from an old slide, a nice composition with the human figures in the centre. Although the sepia was suggestive of the Victorian age it appears a little pale and yellow in tone, when I am more used to slightly stronger, light brown tones. Perhaps it is just due to the software used to convert or your personal preference. It is just a thought, not to be overly critical, as your photography is very good. 🙂

    As for pebble beaches, it is questionable, even to many British people, if they really are a beach. Certainly they are uncomfortable to lie on all day in the sun, and hurt if you fall on them. We do have many beautiful sandy beaches, my favourites are in Bournemouth, Holkham and several in Scotland, but many of our popular tourist resorts have pebble beaches. Tropical beaches are hard to beat and for you nothing will compare to home – quite right too! 🙂

    • Brighton Beach is my favourite beach. I would like to re-visit it again some day. I am sure there are some good sandy beaches in the UK. The one I like is the Harlech beach in Wales. I still keep a surreal photo of this beach in early morning light. You have a great blog and I have started reading it. Many thanks for the kind comment!

  4. I saw your image of Brighton, it brings back many memories of past times. The yearly race from London to Brighton, by antique cars, sadly some never make the distance… But it is not the race, it is all about taking part.

    • I have mmany fond memories of Brighton. I hope the car race is still continuing. Did you take part in the race? Thank you for your perusal and the kind comment!

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