Summer 1910. Cycling was all the rage. The Tour de France was in its 10th year. An up-and-coming bicycle company suddenly appeared on the French scene amongst the dozens, if not hundreds, of similar tiny companies. It was called Cycles Brighton. It seems to have had a very short but vigorous lifespan.Continue reading
One fine day in 1953, a Frenchman brought his five-year old son to Brighton. The father said Au revoir, gave the boy a peck on the cheek – at most – and then left him. In an old people’s home. These are the facts given at the beginning of Les Vieillards de Brighton [The Old Folk of Brighton] written by Gonzague Saint Bris and published in 2002.
The narration is set in the former French Convalescent Home in Kemp Town. However, the text shows that it is unlikely that Saint Bris knew the building well. It seems more likely that he saw the Convalescent Home once, perhaps only fleetingly, but was so impressed by it that he determined to set his novel in and around the building. There is little doubt that Les Vieillards de Brighton is a work of fiction, but an imaginative and absorbing one at that.
They paid to get gorgeous male models.
They paid a designer for the logo.
The buildings within Brighton (Cayeux-sur-mer, France) included several hotels as well as many homes and second residences. In 1901 the first purpose-built colonie de vacances [children’s holiday camp] in Brighton appeared. Continue reading
Brighton-lès-Pins [Brighton near the pines]; Brighton Plage; Cayeux-sur-mer-Brighton – call it what you will, there is a development called Brighton in the north-west of France.
Where in the north-west of France? Find St Valéry at the mouth of the River Somme. Follow the coastline round to the south and there it is, just two kilometres north of Cayeux-sur-mer. Continue reading
In 1862, Ernest Sazerac de Limagne published a collection of short stories called “Le Touriste au salon”. Some were fictional accounts of “getting away from it all” in France. Others were set in more exotic locations such as Switzerland, Scotland … and Brighton.
The name BRIGHTON seems to hold an enduring fascination for French artists in all disciplines. Here is a first example.
In 1891 Leopold Wenzel, the Italian-born Musical Director of the Empire Theatre in London, wrote the music for a ballet called “By the Sea”. This is the poster for that very same ballet when it transferred to the Olympia in Paris.
The new name did not seem to convince even the French critics that there was much of Brighton in this sparkling ballet … apart, perhaps, from the sparkle. Continue reading
Dear Monsieur Henry,
Whilst strolling in Paris last week, I noticed this advertisement for your excellent establishment. However, I would wish to draw your attention to the fact that, if you do indeed have a factory in Brighton as you state, you do not know our town well as you are clearly unable to spell its name correctly.
A concerned Brightonian