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28 September 2015


The Victorian Society (one of the charities that Persephone Books of course supports) recently announced a depressing top ten: endangered buildings in the UK. Novels, luckily, cannot disappear entirely, even if they are only to be found in the British Library. Buildings, however, often  vanish forever. This is Madeira Terraces on the Brighton seafront, built in the 1890s. It is said to be one of the longest cast-iron structures in the world. The council’s website says: ‘Engineers recently advised that the entire length of the structure should now be closed. The temporary fencing will be replaced with a more permanent anti-climb fence in the autumn or winter following the busy summer season.’ The words HS2 come to mind. We could repair every derelict building in Britain for the cost of getting a few businessmen to Birmingham twenty minutes more quickly.

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