When you have been out and about in central Brighton, you might have seen this fascinating French vehicle.
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.
They paid to get gorgeous male models.
They paid a designer for the logo.
When you last walked by the Clock Tower at the junction of North Street and Queens Road, did you feel the shudder of walking through slums? No, of course not. But you were, indeed, walking on slums of days gone past.
Saturday 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.
Jane Birkin c1973
Au milieu des vagues
Accroupie les yeux vagues
La baigneuse de Brighton
A dans son derrière,
Pliées en zigzag,
Des photos quelques vagues
Souvenirs de Brighton
Et du bord de mer
Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, January 1920. Source: The British Newspaper Archive
Doesn’t this same advert sound so much more seductive in French?
Le Journal, December 1900. Source: gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Madame Annette, better known to friends and family as Annie Andrews, set up at 88 Kings Road in 1901 and carried on her couture business throughout WW1. Annie was a feisty lady. In 1916, she even pursued one customer for debt, and a major’s wife at that, as far as the High Court. Her business survived the early 1920s fashion for throwing away your corsets. Maison Annette finally closed in 1925.
Emojis of the day
The Keep archives in Moulescoomb hold many treasures. But perhaps none which reflect violence and political conflict as vividly as The Paris Commune Archive. Caroline Marchant-Wallis, University of Sussex Special Collections Supervisor at The Keep, has written this guide to the history of the Commune and to the collection. Continue reading
No, not an apology about the way I speak … just a nod to this cute little shop in St. Georges Road in Kemp Town.
Opened in the first years of the 21st century, the shop is flourishing. Leigh Jones, the present owner, stocks all sorts of French goodies such as enamel door signs, Durance brand toiletries as well as a range of French-themed tea-towels.
Browsers are welcome, but alas, despite being a Francophile, Leigh doesn’t speak French … yet!
This is the story of Ovingdean resident Sally White, who lived in Paris for three decades and was for many years a bouquiniste – the first foreign-born person to get a licence to sell books on the banks of the Seine. Continue reading
Source: The British Newspaper Archive
Journal des débats politiques 7 June 1831. Source: gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
[The steamers Eclipse and Talbot plying between Brighton and Dieppe belong to the General Steam Navigation Company. The company … not only asks for no fare but feeds the passengers during the crossing, and includes a bottle of Champagne.]
Too good to be true? Not if you were travelling in June 1831. The General Steam Navigation Company was anxious about serious competition from the Camilla and the Earl of Liverpool steamers, both based in Southampton. The author of the article predicted that l’une des deux entreprises ne peut tarder à crouler [it won’t be long until one of the companies goes under]. He then went on to warn: alors, les passagers futurs rebourseront les frais des galanteries faites aux passagers actuels [so future passengers will pay the cost of the perquisites afforded to today’s passengers].
BTW. Is any of the above true? Or is it a figment of the French imagination? An expression of French admiration / scorn of the English market economy? There is no trace of any such ‘bargain’ in the English newspapers of the time.