Brighton Aquarium Old Postcard

APRIL 2024 TALK – BRIGHTON AQUARIUM

Jackie Marsh-Hobbs gave a very insightful and entertaining talk about the Brighton Aquarium which was conceived and designed by the architect Eugenius Birch.

Jackie Marsh Hobbs
Jackie Marsh Hobbs

The Aquarium opened in 1872 and proved very popular not just for viewing sea creatures but also as an entertainment centre incorporating a roof terrace, roller skating, café dining and a music conservatory. Its glass ceilings and cast iron metalwork were particularly unique at the time.

Owing to financial problems, the Aquarium was obtained by the Brighton Council in 1927 and extensive reconstruction was undertaken, destroying some of Birch’s original architecture. The elaborate and landmark clock tower was also replaced. In spite of a grand opening ceremony in 1929, the Aquarium failed to pay its way.

Brighton Aquarium Talk Slide
Brighton Aquarium Talk Slide

The Aquarium was requisitioned during World War II by the RAF. However, it became well known after the war for its Florida Rooms. These hosted music events with groups such as The Who and Elvis Costello making their debut. It was also home to the Montagu Motor Museum in the sixties.

In 1991, the Aquarium was bought by Sea Life who undertook a £1.5 million restoration and some of the original architecture can still be seen today.

Featured Image of Brighton Aquarium – Postcard, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Franklands Village Exhibition on 18 May 2024

During today’s meeting, members were also informed that Janie Bishop (née King) has organised an exhibition of photographs and memories of Franklands Village to mark the 90th anniversary of its opening. For information, Janie Bishop was born in Franklands Village and is an elderly resident.

The event will take place in Franklands Village Hall on Saturday 18 May and MSLHG members are welcome to attend.

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