When Max Miller was still unofficial King of the town and whelks were three shillings a pint
Brighton – a seaside resort with attractions for all ages. Younger visitors might buy a ticket to see Craig Douglas at the Essoldo Cinema and holiday makers with a DA hairstyle might opt for an espresso at the Whisky a Go Go Coffee Bar in Queen’s Square with Marty Wilde’s Sea of Love blaring from the jukebox. The more mature frequently opted for tea at the Lyon’s Corner House before a gentle stroll along the Palace Pier and the journey home aboard one of those new Bristol Lodekkas. And for anyone arriving by car, the parking seems almost surreally easy from a 2017 perspective.
On the left of the frame is the nose of a Morris Oxford Series II while the Fiat 600 would have been an uncommon sight; in 1959, more than 90 per cent of cars were locally made. At least the Ford 100E Prefect was familiar and the unitary body and independent front suspension were major sales features when it was launched in 1953. Its Austin A30 rival ahead was one of the best-handling small cars of the early 1950s.
Finally, we have an Austin A55 Cambridge MkII, the second of BMC’s 1.5-litre Pininfarinastyled line-up and a car that was only a few months old when this picture was taken. The Prefect and A30 already seem evocative of the recent past but the ‘Farina’s sharp lines both encapsulate the ‘Never Had It So Good’ ethos and anticipates the coming decade…