Tim's One Photograph a Day

A Snapshot of Crawley History.

Brighton Road Crawley History.

Crawley History.

A Glimpse of History on the Brighton Road.

Another grotty day as far as the weather was concerned. I had to go to Crawley, so took the camera anyway, in the hope of finding something suitable. Initially, I had thought of taking a photograph of the original Crawley station platforms. Now disused, these are just to the immediate left (east) of the crossing in the photograph. The station was moved further east in the 1960s, when the original was deemed too small. Although the buildings were demolished, the platforms survive, but under threat.

However, looking at the street scene, I realised there was quite a bit of Crawley history here. Most obvious, of course, is the signal box. Dating back to 1876, it is Grade II listed. Now out of use, it is preserved and, on occasion, opened to the public.

The substantial building behind also caught my eye. At first, I thought it might have originally been a hotel connected with the railway, but the giveaway was the street name of the passage behind it: Bank Terrace. A second look confirms the bank-like styling. A bit of research into Crawley history pages does indeed reveal it was built in 1901 by the Capital and Counties Bank Ltd of Horsham. The site was formerly occupied by Fillery and Nightingale, Corn and Coal Merchants, Agricultural and Builders Merchents, Motor Engineer and Garage. They had their own private siding from the railway! The bank was taken over by Lloyds in 1918. It is now a firm of Notaries, and the building is know as Nightingale House.

The next building along in our brief tour of Crawley history is the former Imperial Cinema. Built in 1928 (replacing the Imperial Picture Theatre built 1911 on the same site but destroyed by fire on 4 August 1928), it was Crawley’s only cinema until 1938, when the Embassy was built. After the Second World War, the Imperial became an Auction Room. More recently, the former auditorium was gutted to become a car showroom. The fa├žade remains, but substantial building work is currently in progress.

Photograph Details

  • Taken: 31 Jan 2017
  • Camera: Canon 5D MkIII
  • Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm 1:2.8 L II USM
  • Focal Length 45mm
  • F/5
  • 1/160 Sec
  • ISO 400

2 thoughts on “A Snapshot of Crawley History.

  1. Bob

    I must go and have a look.Been avoiding Crawley like the plague for years but, of course, this is the Old Town. The new is ghastly.

    Bertie

  2. Bob

    I must go and have a look. Been avoiding Crawley like the plague for years but, of course, this is the Old Town. The new is ghastly.

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