In May 1990 in conjunction with the Lewis Cohen Urban Studies Centre at Brighton Polytechnic I arranged an exhibition of photos and architectural drawings to celebrate the Centenary of the official opening of the Lift, Shelter Hall and Terraces with support from Brighton Borough Council and James Longley and Company, the builders.
I had discovered the Lift when, with two small children, I was researching my idea for a leaflet for new parents and visitors to provide information on ‘Places to Take the Under Fives’*
My interest was in making available information that would be helpful and interesting on places which were free, or cost very little to use or enjoy: information which was not easily or generally available to the public. (No internet then!)
The Lift was, and still is, a much easier way of getting up and down from Marine Parade to Madeira Drive with a baby, buggy, and/or a toddler than using the steep flights of steps at either end of the Terraces. In addition, it was ideal for the elderly, disabled and wheelchair users, and there was the added bonus of public toilets in the Shelter Hall.
I found that many people, even Brightonians, did not realise the kiosk on Marine Parade was the entrance to the Lift, nor how useful it was, nor did they realise its historical importance as an integral part of the Victorian Madeira Drive seafront development.
With the 125th Anniversary of the opening of the Madeira Lift, Shelter Hall and Terrace I have turned my attention back to the task of publicising this fascinating, functional and forgotten gem, which is now in desperate need of support………..