For most mariners, humanity and co-operation are far more important than old or even recent enmities. Despite the Napoleonic wars and the recent Battle of Waterloo, Captain Harry Blaber was the first to come to the rescue of a semi-armed French ship.
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
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
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?
“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.
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
In 1951 this lovely lass was employed behind the counter of Maison Francis. Meet Christine Biffen.
(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 …
Many thanks to David Ransom for information about and the photo of his mum.
Just six years ago, Peter Avis died in Brighton. He was cremated in Woodvale cemetery on 11 January 2013. He was an honorary citizen of Dieppe, so although his body is still in Brighton, his heart and soul have probably remained in the French town. And Peter Avis remains firmly in the heart of les Dieppois – the people of Dieppe.
Peter Avis (c) Unknown
William Balcombe was born in Rottingdean in 1777. On 18th October 1815, he received the fallen Emperor, Napoleon I into his home. Not in Rottingdean but on the bleak island of St Helena in the middle of the Atlantic. Not in a grand mansion but in his simple colonial villa, The Briars. And not even in the villa itself. Napoleon opted for an outbuilding. The great man did not want to inconvenience his gout-ridden host’s wife and children.
The Briars was perched on a little hill. This 1853 image does not show Napoleon’s tent (pavillon) attached to the main house. University of California Libraries
In 2014, the following announcement appeared in The Argus:
The Stage Thursday 20 April 1967 (c) British Newspaper Archive
The announcement is deceptively bland. It gives very little clue to the life of this charismatic man, chanteur and chef/owner of the Laughing Onion Restaurant in Kemp Town.
If you read no further, watch Stephen Matthew’s wonderful short video about Jean-Jacques
Jean-Jacques looked every bit the French pin-up ‘boy’ of the time and spent 18 months in the early 1960s performing in Britain. Continue reading