Not all sweetness and light (1)

On Friday 23 August 1816, Captain Cheeseman, master of the Neptune packet boat, returned to Brighton.  He brough disturbing news for all his fellow mariners, for their passengers and for trade with France.  During the night of 19-20 August, Captain Thomas Partridge of the Nancy had been shot by French customs officers just outside the port of Dieppe.

Cotman V&A cdb01178-va-ss

Dieppe Harbour 1823 (John Sell Cotman) © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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First check your facts, M. Conty

In 1888, the 4th edition of Conty’s guide to London was rushed onto the streets of Paris so that any M. and Mme Dupont could venture safely across la Manche [the English Channel]. As part of their trip, Conty strongly recommends that they spend a day in Brighton.

Source: gallica.bnf.fr / BnF

Source: gallica.bnf.fr / BnF

[To leave London without having seen Brighton (pronounced Brahaictonne) and its splendid aquarium would, in our minds, make for an incomplete trip.

Let’s just note for the record that Brighton, the land of pretty English girls, is the Dieppe of England and that, on a sunny November day, it reminds us somewhat of our beautiful town of Nice.]

Is that what they call a back-handed compliment?

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The Queen’s favourite tipple

The Napoleonic Wars were long over.  The 1830 Revolution in France was done and dusted.  It was time for young Queen Victoria to visit the former enemy land.  It’s always good to be on congenial terms with your neighbours.  Early September 1843 was to mark the first visit of a reigning British monarch to France for over 300 years.  Louis-Philippe, King of the French, was at great pains to ensure that his guest would lack for nothing.  How did he go about ensuring comfort fit for a queen?

Victoria and Louis Philippe

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Bonjour Brighton

Was this the shortest-lived Brighton periodical, ever?  Edition #1 appeared in May 2007.  Was there ever a #2?

Bonjour Brighton better

The magazine was bilingual and covered topics such as Que visiter à Brighton [What to visit in Brighton]; Tu tires ou tu pointes [petanque enthusiasts will recognize the reference]; Quoi de neuf en France with all the latest news about the hit parade and the 2007 presidential elections.

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The French Revolution … in Brighton

When you have been out and about in central Brighton, you might have seen this fascinating French vehicle.UUI in Hampton Place

Arnold Rose and Judy Bow are co-owners of two such wonderful vans, UUI 8789 (a venerable 52 years old) and his partner, LUI 8785 who is a mere youngster at 41.

These little vehicles are Tardis-like and are hard workers.  The Citroën H-series van was originally intended as the workhorses of French farmers and more generally in French villages right up until they went out of production in 1981 … and well beyond.  A careful piece of astute bodywork and interior fitting and hey-presto!  Two mobile crêperies.

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The Children’s Republic of Brighton

yma_wf_039_27_001Saturday July 31, 1937.

Leaving Wembley at 8.15 am for Victoria Station, joining crowds of Woodcrafters there, taking our places in the 10am Woodcrafter’s Special, and we realise we are really on our way to the first International Children’s Camp held in this country.

Walking from Brighton Station to Ovingdean, the procession of boys and girls clad in green jerkins, waving flags and banners attracted a considerable amount of attention from the holiday makers at Brighton.  We found the campsite at Beacon Hill a very desirous place.

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