Bottle Alley

Bottle Alley from Hastings Pier
Seen from Hastings Pier in 2002

Hastings' Bottle Alley in 2010
Seen from the west in 2010

This revolutionary double deck promenade was built in the early '30's by Sidney Little, Hastings' "Concrete King" it's half a mile long, stretching from the Pier to Warrior Square.  The rear walls of the lower deck are faced with glass from broken bottles and it wasn't long before some wag christened the covered lower promenade "Bottle Alley" It must be noted that Sidney Little was a pioneering recycler, his promenade extension utilised old tramway granite setts to face the walls that take the full force of the sea and the underground car parks were reinforced with old tram rails. Many of the groynes that stabilise the beach were faced with granite setts and lasted over 60 years. Now, incredibly, the council is talking about demolishing this unique feature of Hastings' seafront.

Hastings' Bottle Alley when new
Not long after opening, notice the long-gone St.Leonards Pier on the horizon (damaged during the war and finally dismantled in 1952)

Hastings' Bottle Alley
Two views along Bottle Alley

Bottle Alley Hastings
Seen from one of the bays that project beyond the promenade

Bottle Alley Hastings Bottle Alley Hastings
A closer look at the panels, there's half a mile of this. Concrete was cast onto the glass (which came from the corporation tip) to make slabs which then formed the rear wall. Bottle collectors can spot fragments from long-gone breweries etc. this one's from the perfectly named George Beer & Rigden brewery (Faversham 1922 - 1949)

Bottle Alley Hastings, Upper deck
A superb upper deck with Marine Court in the background

Bottle Alley in the 1930's
When the promenade was built there was provision to slide glazed shutters into the bays during inclement weather as this 1930's view shows.

Bottle Alley Window tracks 
now all that remains are the tracks that held the bottom of the shutters.

The colour 'photos were taken 23rd February 2002 with rain threatening.  (c) Ion Castro 2002

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