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!

fin symbol

 

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.

fin symbol

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.

Continue reading

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

‘Madame’ this and ‘Maison’ that (2)

In 1951 this lovely lass was employed behind the counter of Maison Francis. Meet Christine Biffen.

Mum at work 1951 lower quality

(c) David Ransom

Good to see the range of French products on sale: Chanel, Worth and Innoxa.

Later, Christine went to work in a salon in Rottingdean and then she married Colin Ransom and became David’s mum.

In 2019, the beauty salon at 26 Western Road, Hove, paid tribute to its doorstep by changing its name to simply …

Maison former Maison Francis

Many thanks to David Ransom for information about and the photo of his mum.

fin symbol

 

J’♥ la France – the Hove way

♥ Since the 1920s, fewer and fewer buildings in Hove have borne French names – alas, many have been Anglicised, with two laudable exceptions.  Where did these names come from?  I’d love to know.

Normandy House 1 - Copy - Copy.JPGNormandy House, at 18 The Drive was first occupied in the early 1960s.

Who chose the name and why? 

Brittany Court 2In 1928, Brittany Road was no more than a building site, with several new houses under construction.  The following year, two of the houses were finished and had been given French names, St Brieuc and St Malo.  By 1930, one more Francophile owner had given his house an appropriate name, Bretagne and Britanny Court, recently completed at 134 New Church road, had its first occupants.

The boat looks somewhat like one of the ships that raided Brighton in 1514.  Did they come from Brittany?

Lorraine Court - Copy

Lorraine Court, at 61 Osborne Villas, was built in the late 1950s on land that had, until then, been the back gardens of houses in Medina Villas.  Not to be confused with Lorraine Court in Davigdor Road, Brighton. Could this be a tribute to General de Gaulle’s croix de Lorraine [cross of Lorraine], symbol for the Free French Forces during WW2?

Paris HouseThere is no mystery about the name of Paris House at 3 Wilbury Villas, just by the railway bridge. The building firm of H. J. Paris took over the premises early in the 1950s.  It was perhaps this company which built the modern, rather bland, brick block which stands there now.  The firm lasted into the 1980s, but has since disappeared from directories.  Not to be confused with The Paris House pub in Western Road, Hove.

And last but not least, the quirky Château Plage, needs no explanation.

Château Plage - Copy

fin symbol