Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Lavender Street; then & now

56 & 58 Lavender Street. On the corner of Warwick Street which no longer exists. Sept 1970 
The same area in Lavender Street today.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

St. Michael's Way

St. Michael is the name, chosen by travellers, that has been given to the city's first official travellers' site. Built over the last 2 years it has provided 12 new permanent pitches and 21 transit pitches at a cost of £70,000 per pitch, 74% of which was met by the Government. A significant proportion of that cost was probably absorbed in the expensive business of connecting up to the main drainage in Vale Avenue. This involved tunnelling under the A27. 

Transit pitches to the left; permanent to the right

Permanent pitches and community facilities.
Each permanent pitch consists of space for a static caravan and other vehicles, and an amenity block which includes a kitchen, bathroom and dayroom. The site also includes a management building for the council’s Traveller Liaison Team.

The pitches have all been allocated to Traveller families with a local connection  who will sign a lease, pay rent, council tax and other bills. Many of these previously occupied spaces on the transit site.

Transit pitches
The Council have a legal requirement to provide official sites for Gypsy and Traveller communities. They claim the freed-up transit pitches will help deal with unauthorised encampments in the city, as they can now request the police to use their powers under Section 62a to direct Travellers with the most need onto vacant pitches.

The site has only recently opened, so it is early days, but one wonders if it can possibly have any influence on the large number of summer travellers.  This influx is said to sometimes reach over 100 in number, many in expensive vehicles.  Will they be persuaded to move from free, comfortable, manicured, central parks, or the seafront, to the dull, northern outskirts? Presumably it all depends on the input of our over-stretched police force.

Friday, 12 August 2016

A new plaque for Harriot Mellon.

The new plaque reprises the exact wording of the one it replaces.
A single plaque can hardly do this remarkable woman justice. Born to travelling players she became an actress herself and at Duke Street Theatre attracted the attention of Thomas Coutts of royal bank fame. She later married him and when he died inherited his entire fortune including the bank. In 1827 she married the then 9th Duke of St. Albans and her Brighton property, 131 Kings Road, became known as St. Albans House. She died in 1837. 

The previous plaque placed on the building in the 1970s had become heavily weathered and, following a recent refurbishment of the Regency Restaurant and Beach Hotel, the owners, Emilio and Rovertos Savvides were keen to upgrade the plaque to the more prestiguous and eye-catching design in blue and white ceramic.

The plaque was unveiled by the present Duke of St. Albans in the presence of the Deputy Mayor, Cllr. Mo Marsh, and past Mayor, Mayoress and Aldermen.

L - R: Emilio Savvides; Roger Amerena; Deputy Mayor; Duchess of St. Albans; Duke of St.Albans.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Old St. Paul's

An evocative etching by G.H.Bly reproduced on a postcard in the collection of the Royal Pavilion & Museums. It is reminiscent of the London etchings of Gustave Doré.

The viewpoint appears to be looking east along Lower Russell Street towards West Street.

St. Paul's was built for fishermen and their families and opened in 1848.

1958 street map