Petanque in Brighton … and Hove

A southern French game similar to bowls but played, usually on a sand or gravel surface, with metal balls which are thrown toward the jack. (Oxford English Dictionary 2017)  Pronunciation:  Brit. /ˌpeɪˈtɒŋk/

Provençal pèd tanco «  pied fixé  » (au sol) (Le Grand Robert de la langue française 2001) [From the provençal “ped tanco” feet fixed to the ground.]

Le jeu de boules dénommé pétanque n’est pratiqué qu’à de petites distances, sans être assujetti à des règles précises.  (Nouveau Larousse universel 1948)*
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Where’s Brigthon?

Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF

1884
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.
Yours faithfully
A concerned Brightonian                                 

French Parliamentary Elections in Brighton 2017 (2)

Last month (May 2017), this stencilled message (The National Front shall never pass in Brighton) adorned the pavement around the Mercure Hotel on Brighton seafront. The hotel had just been used as the polling station for the French presidential election. Next Sunday (4 June) will see the same hotel used for the parliamentary elections for French nationals in Brighton and Hove. Continue reading

French Presidential Elections

French voters living in the United Kingdom came down firmly in favour of Emmanuel Macron as their next President.  The French community in Brighton and Hove did not buck the trend.

No official separate figures exist for the Brighton bureau de vote (polling station) held in the Mercure Hotel on Brighton seafront on 7 May 2017.  However, the Honorary Consul for Sussex, le commandant François Jean, is reassuring that the Brighton figures reflect those of the UK as a whole. Continue reading

French Parliamentary Elections in Brighton 2017 (1)

On the 4th June (premier tour) and the 18th June (deuxième tour), French voters in the Brighton area will converge on the Mercure Hotel to vote, not for their president, but for their M.P. (député).

In France, a constituency (circonscription) is formed of an area with about 125,000 registered electors.  French nationals who live overseas, do not have quite such a fair crack of the whip … but at least, since 2012, they can now vote for an M.P. of their own. Continue reading

‘Madame’ this and ‘Maison’ that (1)

(c) Suzanne Hinton

It is well known that all that glisters is not gold.  In Brighton, it is also common knowledge that all that is seems to be French is not French.  Here’s a case in point.

From 1926 until about 1956, 26 Western Road in Hove was ‘Maison Francis’.  Francis was Thomas Francis, hairdresser and ‘cosmetologist’ (according to Kelly’s Directory in 1931).  By 1956, perhaps things French had become less fashionable and ‘Maison Francis” was replaced by hairdresser “Lawrence of Mayfair.  Fortunately, the beautiful threshold mosaic still survives in 2017.

The French Honorary Consul (1)

Consul François Jean (left) and John Loveridge.
(c) Cercle Français de Brighton et Hove

Sunday 23 April 2017 will be an important days for French nationals in Brighton.  Under the aegis of the French Honorary Consul, Captain François Jean, they will be going to vote in the first round (premier tour) of the French presidential elections.  Their ballot boxes (urnes) will be at the Mercure Hotel in Brighton. Continue reading