Fishermen were essentially the Aborigine’s of Brighton, then called Brighthelmstone, a small fishing town on the South Coast of England. At this time the beach was a mass of fisherman tending to their fishing nets and boats. There was a fish market on the beach and the fishermen worked right up to the Old Steine, where it was a common sight to see nets and lobster pots being mended.
Fishing was the dominant industry in Brighton. On the recommendation of his physicians, who considered sea water to ease his swollen glands, Prince Regent’s presence in Brighton brought prosperity to some of the local tradesmen, to the extent the once quiet fishing town became a playground for the rich and pampered. Following the building of the Pavillion, the railway was built in the 1840’s bringing large numbers of pleasure seekers to the town. The fashionable new inhabitants resented the fishermen working on their nets on The Steine.