Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Monday, 22 July 2013

Grant to restore the Pavilion Saloon.

James Tingle after Augustus Charles Pugin

A landmark project to conserve and restore the Royal Pavilion Saloon has received a significant boost, with grants of £100,000 from The Monument Trust, and £50,000 from the J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust. This means that the Royal Pavilion & Museums Foundation is now well on its way to achieving the project’s fundraising target. A public appeal is planned for this Autumn. The Saloon is the centrepiece of the Royal Pavilion. This project will fund vital conservation work, and recreate the Saloon’s dazzling decorative scheme in gold, silver and crimson.

Completed in 1823, King George IV wanted the Saloon to inspire a sense of amazement and awe in his visitors. The impact of this restoration will be that, once again, the Royal Pavilion’s 350,000 visitors per year will step into a room of breathtaking beauty, and experience a rich sense of its history.

The 1823 etching above with aquatint, printed in colours and hand coloured is in the Royal Collection having been bought by George V for £42 in 1928.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Cycle 'hub" for Brighton Station

Plans for a 3-storey Cycle Hub in Mangalore Way have been approved by the Planning Committee. (Application no. BH2012/03872). It will be built above the embankment shown in the photo above with a floor for secure cycle parking level with the Station concourse above. 420 extra cycle spaces will be created. 

On the top floor will be showers, changing rooms, a cafe and a north-facing terrace. Also at the north end will be stairs and a lift large enough to hold a bike or a wheelchair to give access to the station concourse from Mangalore Way. 

The application also mentions re-opening the staircase shown in the photo but it is not made clear where this will lead to.

Views before & after looking south at concourse level.
The Hub will also accommodate a cycle repair shop. Building equipment will be situated in a lower ground floor in the space created by the slope of the existing bank.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Football parking at the Racecourse

Plans have been agreed for land at Brighton Racecourse to offer park and ride facilities on a permanent basis to up to 700 cars for Brighton & Hove Albion FC matches and other outdoor events at the AMEX Stadium at Falmer.

The land has been used in this way for Albion games on a temporary basis for the last two years. The Council’s planning committee has stipulated that the park and ride should not take place when there is a race event or other large scale event happening at the racecourse.

This seems excellent news as far as the Racecourse is concerned. It is 230 years ago this month that the Duke of Cumberland, Marquess of Queensberry and Earl of Egremont organised the first meeting on Whitehawk Down. Over the ensuing years it has become an iconic Brighton asset and anything that improves its profitablility and prospects is welcome.

The benefits of this parking facility to the environment, traffic, residents however seems far less clear. What is thought to be its catchment area? Will cars be driven across Hove, Brighton to the Racecourse? Or from Whitehawk, Woodingdean, Peachehaven etc. only to retrace part of their route by bus. What was the point of locating the Stadium on a railway line and a dual carriageway bypass if the railway cannot cope and the Stadium has minimal parking available on site?

The chair of the council’s planning committee seems not to agree., Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, said: “This is a tried and tested solution that will really help fans and residents alike."

Sunday, 7 July 2013

A Biosphere for Brighton

From Adur to the Ouse. (Google Maps)

Around 150 square miles of Sussex countryside, coast and urban settlements could soon be declared a Biosphere Reserve recognising it as one of the world’s finest environments.

Over the past two years, a partnership of more than 30 groups, including local councils, educational establishments, businesses, conservation groups and voluntary organisations, have been working together to produce a Biosphere bid to UNESCO and an accompanying management strategy. Brighton & Hove City Council’s environment committee is now set to endorse the management strategy which will allow it to move forward with the application for Biosphere status.

The proposed Biosphere area lies between the River Adur and the River Ouse and includes the City of Brighton & Hove and the South Downs National Park here. It is home to a variety of rare wildlife habitats including chalk grassland, the National Elm collection, wetland and estuarine environments, shingle beaches, chalk cliffs and reefs.  The strategy is now on course to produce the first new UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the UK for 40 years.

The area is home to over 350,000 residents and attracts 12 million visitors each year. The strategy aims to raise awareness and inspire better care of the local countryside, coastal and urban environments in order to promote a balanced relationship between people and nature.

If agreed by all the partners, the application will be completed and submitted to UNESCO in September and a decision will be made by June/July next year. Brighton & Hove’s Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee meets on Tuesday, 9 July.

Further details:- Sussex on course for first new Biosphere Reserve

Saturday, 6 July 2013

The Burleighs - the distaff side.

The current exhibition  "Women Artists" in Brighton Museum Fine Art Gallery includes two paintings from the Burleigh family of 7 Wilbury Crescent, Hove.

'Washerwomen' by Averil (Mrs.) Burleigh

'Self-portrait with artist's parents' by Veronica Burleigh

7 Wilbury Crescent
They were truly local artists. Charles went to the Brighton School of Art, and apart from a period in Paris studying under Jacques-Emile Blanche, lived at 7 Wilbury Crescent for over 50 years until his death in 1956. Averil his wife had died in 1949. Veronica was still occupying no.7 up until 1966.

Daddy-long-legs railway video



The only known film of the railway in existence.

See also:- The Daddy Longlegs railway

Friday, 5 July 2013

Blue plaque to John Constable unveiled.


A blue plaque commemorating the artist John Constable was unveiled today by his great great grandson Richard Constable at 11 Sillwood Road, the house formerly known as 9 Mrs Sober’s Gardens.


Although Constable's correspondence address in Brighton, 9 Mrs Sober's Gardens, has long been known, the exact  location of the property has only reently been established by artist Peter Harrap and local journalist Shan Lancaster. An article in the Burlington Magazine April issue describes their research in detail. The street name, the  number and the facade of the little Regency house have all been altered but the internal layout is unchanged since 1823.

During his stays at Brighton Constable produced 150 paintings including the famous "Chain Pier", 1827, now in Tate Britain. Many of the other Brighton works went to galleries in Paris where he was especially admired, being awarded a medal by Charles X and a Gold medal at Lille.

John Harrap and Richard Constable

Mayor Cr.Denise Cobb and Richard Constable
Peter Harrap and his partner Natasha Kissell, who are both artists, now use
Constable's light-filled top floor painting room as their own studio.

In April- October 2017 in Brighton Museum  Peter Harrap will curate an exhibition "John Constable in Brighton" where it is hoped to have a large selection of the works that issued from the house.

Earlier post:- Rainstorm over the Sea

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Birds die in hotel netting.

Fine netting suspended between two wings of Hotel Metropole has resulted in the death of at last two birds. The suffering they endured during their prolonged demise is disturbing to contemplate. One wonders if guests in overlooking rooms slept soundly. 

Monday, 1 July 2013

Portslade poppies


I can never pass up the opportunity for an alliterative title.

70 years ago near here stood New England farmhouse. The name is preserved in a nearby street. Then, this was still solid 'Broomfield' country and that name is preserved in another nearby street. New England farm was occupied by Henry Broomfield, eldest son of Martin, who up until his retirement c.1900 occupied Portslade Farmhouse in the village. Half a mile to the south overlooking what is now Sainsburys a younger son Harold had a pig farm. This always seemed somewhat incongruous as Harold was very 'camp' and as charming and friendly as Henry was gruff and unwelcoming. Another branch of the Broomfield family occupied the Stonery, just north of the village and now demolished.

Looking towards Foredown Tower
See also: Portslade Village on the cusp of change.