IF THERE is something everyone in Sussex can agree on it is that there is no better place to be than the seaside.

Brighton’s beachfront may be quieter now the coronavirus pandemic has emptied our streets.

But for many it is still the place for fresh air and some perspective.

Whether as a fishing village, royal resort town, or bustling city, Brighton’s real centre has always been on the promenade as these fascinating pictures from 1936 show.

Taken from The Keep’s archives in Falmer, the photos depict a thriving seafront in motion.

In summer months beachgoers trundle down the promenade and enjoy donkey rides.

Even in colder weather daytrippers speed around in Hove’s boating lagoon.

The fantastic picture to the left shows the impressive co-ordination it took to build Hove’s sea defences.

But arguably the Thirties’ most significant addition to the seafront is shown in the photo on the right: the modern white flat block known as Embassy Court.

Similar-looking buildings are dotted around Hove nowadays and to some people it might look dated.

But when Embassy Court was finished by architect Wells Coates in 1935 it was a rare, revolutionary way of housing people.

Drawing its roots from Mr Coates’s “Isokon” block in London, the building had heating, constant hot water and partly-enclosed balconies.

Despite its similarities to Soviet architecture built for workers, the flats were aimed at a luxury market.

Embassy Court’s smooth front did not betray its striking angular staircases lying behind.

Many were fans of this new style. The Architects’ Journal said the building “thrilled one to the marrow”.

Brighton alderman Sir Herbert Carden was so taken with it he called for all seafront buildings from Hove to Kemp Town to be demolished and replaced with similar blocks.

“Embassy Court has shown us the way to build for the new age,” he once wrote.

“Along our waterfront new buildings such as this must come.”

Fortunately that did not happen.

The Keep, which is in Woollards Way, Brighton, is currently closed to visitors.

But you can order digital or paper copies of these photographs and others by calling 01273 482349 or visiting thekeep.info.