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  • Writer's pictureSim Elliott

25 Views of Worthing

I love Worthing; as a Brightonian I have visited Worthing 100s and 100s of times. Worthing has always been a little staid in comparison to its brash and raunchy neighbour. But Worthing has many charms: some gorgeous buildings, including Georgian Park Crescent; its art nouveau Dome Theatre (previously the The Kursaal, and then one of the earliest cinemas in the UK, opened in 1911; it's art deco constructions (it's pier, the Lido and the Conaught Theatre), and it's beautiful (to me) Grafton Street 1960s brutalist carpark; painted as a site-specific intervention in 2017 by "Paintshop". GRAFTON CAR PARK | Paintshop | Studio & Gallery | We make art work.

It's seafront is old-fashioned, but has everything you need for a traditional seaside break (now mostly day trips, although a few people used to still come for a weeks holiday to Worthing). I used to play in a band that did concerts of film and musical classics in the Lido, on Saturday afternoons in the summer; the children's rides were were not switched off when we played; and the train ride carried on peeping its whistle through such classics as our Guys and Doll medley and a suite from the Sound of Music. We all got a free ice cream (I used to have a 99) as well as the band being paid to perform.

However, economically Worthing has struggled in response to covid-19, partly because much of its economic activity comes from day tourism.

When I visited to take these photos (17.00-19.30, Saturday 10.04.21) it was cold and overcast, with outbreaks of drizzle. There seemed almost no-one on the streets, and no tourists; the shops are still closed as part of lockdown. There were many permanently closed shops, which had gone out of business.

The tide was very low, giving access to the sand and rocks beyond the pebbles, making it possible to photograph from underneath the pier, and photograph the seafront from about 600m south of the promenade from the beach. The low tide produced very wide and flat horizons - the land to east and west of Worthing is predominantly flat. The huge flat emptiness of the beaches, the cloudy skies, the cold and the damp, the absence of people and the closed shops, gave Worthing a glum feel. I hope Worthing recovers from covid-19; it is a wonderful place.


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