James Gray: These photographs [jgc_30_034 and 035] date from about 1906. The statue of Queen Victoria, presented by Alderman Sir John Blaker, is with us to this day, but what of the others? These were intended for the mansion in Park Lane, London, of Mr Barnato, the South African millionaire, but when this was bought by Sir Edward Sassoon, he removed the statues and presented them to Brighton.
James Gray: See caption for jgc_30_034 above . jgc_30_035
2020: The railings seen in the 1906 image were removed in the 1920s and some of the trees near Queen Victoria’s statue were uprooted in the October 1987 hurricane. The 2020 image was taken in July, just as phases 1 and 2 of the Valley Gardens redevelopment project were completed. This has changed the area from St Peter’s Church southwards to the end of Victoria Gardens to make it more appealing to residents and visitors.
James Gray: This and the next photograph [jgc_30_037] date from the early 1900s. jgc_30_036
2021: In the background on the right is the University of Brighton’s Grand Parade building, housing the School of Art. It was built for the former Brighton Polytechnic Faculty of Art and Design by Percy Billington, Brighton Borough Architect, and is dated 1967. See also caption for jgc_30_034. (Photographer: Jane Southern)
James Gray: This photograph is an unusual view from the north with Grand Parade on the left. It shows fairly clearly one of the statues from the Barnato Mansion. jgc_30_038
2020: The 1912 photo shows the statue which stood at the northern end of the southern section of Victoria Gardens, probably ‘Night’ represented by an aged warrior resting on his weapon. In the 2020 image the Mazda Electric Fountain, a gift to Brighton in 1930 from Thomson-Houston Ltd, stands on almost the same spot.
James Gray: No comment. jgc_30_039
James Gray: Known originally as the North Steine Enclosures, the gardens were in the hands of private trustees, until they passed into the control of the Corporation in 1897. They were laid out, planted and opened to the public. At the time of these photographs, about 1910, they were still enclosed by high fences and shrubberies. These were removed between 1921 and 1923, and the inner walks here shown became part of the general pavement. jgc_30_042 and jgc_30_043
2020: The James Gray images show the southern section of Victoria Gardens looking south. Marlborough Place is on the right and Grand Parade on the left.
James Gray: Looking south-westwards across the Gardens, from the site of the Mazda Fountain, to Marlborough Place and the King and Queen Hotel. The year is unknown, but through the trees overhead wires can be seen. These are most likely for the trolley-buses and not the trams, so the period would be the late 1940s or the 1950s. jgc_30_045
2021: The view today of the King and Queen public house (see also images on the Marlborough Place page) from the Mazda Electric Fountain (see jgc_30_038 above). (Photographer: Jane Southern)