The Old Neptune – the “Neppy” to its friends – is one of the few pubs in Britain actually on the beach. The first photo above dating from around 1900 shows Neptune and West Beach with Marine Terrace in background. The photo is not of the original building – it was destroyed in the 1897 floods. The current building replaced it, though lack of defences caused it to be flooded again in 1953.
The sea wall was built round it in 1955 and later again the landward wall was increased in height. You can see three distinct levels as the sea wall was built up.
The last time was in 2006 (third photo, above) when the beach was built up again. The whole beach is of man-made construction and if it were left to nature the shingle would be much lower.
If you look along the beach you will see a series of groynes that run out from the seawall. These play a vital role in beach protection.
The Old Neptune’s Beer Garden is the beach in front of it! This is an area where some of the most spectacular of the summer sunsets can be viewed.
During the 2012 London Olympic Games, the BBC’s website used a backdrop of the Old Neptune with an athlete running towards it… but not the hundreds of happy people enjoying their ‘sundowners’!
The second photograph shows Marine Terrace in the Victorian era. The woman in the photo is standing outside No.7. These cottages originally had the beach at their front doors before the sea wall was constructed.