The Brighton and Hove French Circle prides itself on being one of oldest French Circles in the country. But was it really founded in 1915 as we have always claimed? Well, yes,
This little snippet seems to show that Antoine Désiré Joye, teacher of French and Pasteur of the French Protestant Church in Queensbury Mews (see blog of December 2016) was at the fountainhead of the Cercle Français. For 10/6d you could attend a course of 30 lectures on literature given by the man himself.
Source: The British Newspaper Archive
The French Circle still continues the tradition of providing a series of subscription lectures and talks throughout the winter months. Continue reading
Sarah Bernhardt aged 20 in 1884
On Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th June 1881, the ‘Divine Sarah’ trod the boards of the Theatre Royal Brighton. With a name like Bernhardt, can she justifiably be included as French? Continue reading
Blue plaques – not to show that someone famous lived in your house, but that you are a Francophile. One example from Kemp Town and three from a single street near Waitrose.
All photos (c) S. Hinton
Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
When a certain B.L. arrived in Brighton in 1866, he took a rather harsh look at the inhabitants of the town. His article was published in the weekly magazine “La Vie Parisienne”. B.L. starts his piece by satirising the drivers of the fly carriages before pillorying the street sellers, the urchins and finally the beggars in the street. But the main barb of his article is reserved for the bourgeoisie. Continue reading
Tucked away just off the seafront, you will find Petit Pois, a French restaurant run by David and his wife, Ivana. This is David’s story.
“I trained as a chef in France, mostly Michelin-starred restaurants: L’auberge de l’Eridan (Annecy 3*); le Domaine de Bournissac (Provence 1*) and Le Pastel (Toulouse 1*) After travelling in several countries, I decided to give it a go in England to discover a new lifestyle. And to improve my English. Continue reading
© Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
On Saturday 25 December 1915, the ‘Brighton Herald and Hove Chronicle’ published this small advertisement placed by the French Protestant Church in Queensbury Mews Brighton.
On the same days were several small adds from refugee French and Belgian citizens offering various forms of tuition.
On the Palace Pier, you could watch a highly interesting film illustrating the “Manufacture of Guns in France”. At the Florence Road Baptist Church, Captain G. M. Rice (Chaplain to HM Forces) was to give an account of his work in France. In an upstairs corridor of the Brighton Library you could go to view an exhibition of ‘war relics’ which included a large collection of the debris of the battlefield – German helmets, French kepis Turkish fezes (and) fragments of every kind of shell, whereas Estelle’s (The Dainty Blouse Shop) in Preston Street was advertising Dents celebrated French Kid gloves at a bargain price of 1/11¾ (one shilling and eleven pence three farthings – a snip at the price).
© The British Library Newspaper Archive
It is possible that Edward P. Prestwich was the first garage owner to sell Citroën cars in Brighton in 1921. The fascination with Citroën cars continues today as Francophile deuchiste (2CV enthusiast) John Loveridge of Rottingdean recounts: Continue reading
(c) Suzanne Hinton
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 1836, the Revue Anglo-Française was quite astonished to reveal this riveting fact:
Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Apparently, according to the Review, England was importing, via the ports of London and Brighton, no less than sixty-two million eggs annually. France was providing not less than fifty-five million of these eggs. The Review goes on rapidly to tot up how much revenue France was gleaning from England. At 42 centimes per dozen, that added up to 1,925,000 francs a year.
You can almost hear the author rubbing his hands in glee. Would he have wanted “England” to leave “Europe”?