Seacombe House at Seacliff Park, the largest mansion at Brighton, was designed by G.S. Kingston. It fell victim to the 1954 earthquake and was also demolished. However Kingston House built in 1839 by Kingston at Kingston Park has been preserved. Brighton House on King George Avenue at North Brighton was built around 1842. Originally named Providence House its name was later changed to Avenue House and then to Sunbeam House. This is now listed on both the South Australian Heritage Register and the National Heritage list.
Many of the original Inns and Hotels also had to make way for newer constructions. Among them St Leonard’s built in 1848, Brighton Inn built in 1849 and the Pier Hotel built in 1856. Some of the early churches at Glenelg and Brighton have survived the ravages of time although often altered or rebuilt. They include St Peter’s on Torrens Square built in 1851 and Our Lady of Victories, South Australia’s first Roman Catholic Church built in 1869.
Recreation and sport, which have changed dramatically during these 175 years is also documented with many photographs. Among these are buildings and facilities for sporting and sailing clubs, the baths, beaches and foreshores, Luna Park, Magic Mountain, esplanades and the jetties.
Both the Glenelg jetty and the one at Brighton have seen some remarkable changes during these years. The original jetty at Glenelg was 381 metres long. Its wooden lighthouse was destroyed by fire in 1873. In 1906 a three-storey pavilion and railway tracks were added to service coastal shipping. Last but not least an aquarium was built in 1929. All was destroyed during the 1948 storm. The present day jetty, much shorter, was opened on 3 May 1969.
The first Brighton jetty was completed in 1886. It too suffered damage from the elements, particularly during the storm of May 1994. Not to be outdone by Glenelg, a new concrete jetty, nearly two metres higher, was opened in June 1996. All of this is documented with superb black and white and colour photographs.
Through its use of old paintings and photographs, this well presented and attractive book shows the places as they were and as they are now, clearly portraying the history and development of the city during the last 175 years. The contrasts of the 19th century photographs and today’s landscape are just stunning.
Review by Nic Klaassen
Sea Change by Jim Blake and the Holdfast Bay History Centre includes a bibliography and Index and is available at $45.00 from Wakefield Press
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