Jubilee Clock Tower 122 Years Ago – Brighton’s Vintage Streets: North Street.
Take a look at this originally tiny vintage photo below, from 122 years ago in 1893, the photographer pointing due east on North Street:
Note the very old-looking spire on the right along the rooftops, and the view of the charming horses and carts plodding down the street. Someone appears to be crossing the street next to the clock tower without a care in the world.
The figure standing stationary in the middle of the road may be a policeman, judging by the extremely small dark cloak and tall hat – a world away from the busy traffic that darts down the street now.
Also, note the street light next to the Farmer’s shop may have been a gas lamp as electric lights were still being rolled out across the Brighton and Hove.
Now let’s have a look at what the same street looks like from roughly the same angle. Here’s what the image looks like from Google maps:
A few similarities: the clock tower itself looks completely the same, and note the white building structure on the right in the Google Maps image above, with its columns and triangular shape below its roof, then compare it with the vintage snap – it’s still there. Similarly, the structure of the building next to it (now Waterstones) seems to be the same – its grey hue is very convincing of this.
Now, what isn’t there? The spire we first noted is completely gone, probably due to the roads needing to be much wider than in the 1800s – the road to West Street looks gaping wide now, as does the crossroads next to the clock tower.
Similarly, the public path that wraps around the clock tower is gigantic, whereas previously it looks like it was shaved off to create a corner. The shops on the left of the clock tower were roughly the same size as those on the opposite side of the street, but now there are two huge megastores in their place.
Feature image from here.