“ Address: 201 Kings Road / Arches The Lanes / Brighton / BN1 1NB / United Kingdom / 01273 723 064 „
Tucked away in the former fish market beneath an archway, in the midst of the lower promenade's raucous version of café society, the museum quietly celebrates older Brighton traditions.
The museum portrays Brighton's fishing community from the C18 to the recent past. It is particularly strong on C19 photographs, and a 1864 photograph of several dozen local seamen, fishermen and boatmen, all named, will delight family historians. Horizontal space is imaginatively divided to display a traditional fishing boat under the high, arched roof. A side room houses a special exhibition on Brighton's derelict West Pier and plans for its future.
The Brighton Fishing Museum is administered a trust, as is the surrounding Fishing Quarter. Entry is free. When I was there the museum was unmanned. Visitors seeking respite from the noisy conviviality and heat of the lower promenade wandered through the open doors to explore the cool, quiet space within. One young man, still carrying his open can of lager, stood next to me in front of a late Victorian photograph of three men posed beside their boats. "You've only got to look at their faces," he said, "to know they were hard men. You wouldn't cross them. I wonder what happened to them."
The Fishing Museum is about 300 yards west of Brighton's remaining pier, on the lower level of the promenade, and opens directly onto the beach. Don't eat beforehand. The surrounding Fishing Quarter offers traditional fish and shellfish comestibles, many locally caught - some that day - that you won't find elsewhere.