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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Maison Annette

Bodice hand wanted

Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, January 1920. Source: The British Newspaper Archive

Doesn’t this same advert sound so much more seductive in French?

Bodice fitter 2 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.

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Pardon my French

Pardon my French - Copy - CopyNo, 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!

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Free champage for all passengers!

The Eclipse drawing

Source: The British Newspaper Archive

The Eclipse and the Talbot

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.

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Enora ♥ Brighton

It’s March 29th 2019.  Ok, we aren’t out of the EU yet, but … isn’t this sort of relationship we should be fostering from within the EU rather than from outside it? 

Enora“My name is Enora, I am a 20 years old French girl and I have been living in Brighton since November 2018. I studied Tourism in Paris and I graduated this summer. My qualification is an equivalent of a HND (Higher National Diploma) but in a dual training way: I was three days a week at work (in a museum) and two days at school. After my graduation I was not really sure if I wanted to continue my education or start working but I noticed a little bit before the end of my studies that my school had a partnership with the European programme Erasmus+. This programme gives opportunity to young adults to go abroad and gain an international work experience.

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Thomas Thornton’s Trip to France – 1802

Thomas Thornton - Copy

Frontispiece to ‘A Sporting Tour through Various Parts of France, in the Year 1802’ by Colonel Thomas Thornton

Colonel Thomas Thornton was a keen hunter.  To France he would go, to hunt and kill wolves, foxes, wild boar and virtually anything with wings.  To reach France for his hunting holiday, Colonel Thornton travelled from his home in Yorkshire to take ship at Brighton.  He was not impressed by the town: Continue reading