Friday, 21 April 2017

Road changes at the RSCH: 22 & 29 April

On Saturdays 22 and 29 of April the service road that leads to the County Hospital’s Multi-storey Car Park will be closed at its east end between 2pm and midnight. This is to allow preparations for a new building that will stand beside it. The road has to be dug up as part of these preparations.

Vehicles for the car park, the Children’s Hospital, the Millennium Wing, the Sussex Kidney Unit and the Thomas Kemp Tower should use Upper Abbey Road and Whitehawk Hill Road to enter and leave the hospital. These roads are on the west of the hospital. Please download this map to help reach the correct entrance.

RSCH site map showing alternate vehicle routes - 22 & 29 April

Vehicle access to the Emergency Department (A&E) will not be affected by the works.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Falmer Long Barn

The barn today

Restoration c.1948

Falmer Court Farm long barn is probably C16 in date and is listed grade II*. It is faced with flints with a half-hipped thatched roof and has two waggon entrances and 2 lunette windows on each side. Inside, the barn has tie-beams, crown-posts with braces and some queen posts.

It was re-thatched 70 years ago just after WW2. It seems probable that it is still the same thatch.


Monochromes from the RPM collections.

Stanmer Park restoration project

Following confirmation, in January, of a grant of £3.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and BIG Lottery Fund’s Parks for People scheme, this project will see around 20 hectares of the park’s landscape and listed buildings restored and given new life. The ambitious landscaping scheme will return the parkland close to the original 18th century design.

250 new trees will be planted, others will be relocated and groups of self-seeded trees removed.

The walled garden will be restored to become the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the newly-restored park. Dating from around 1727, the garden was originally used to grow food and plants for Stanmer House and currently houses the council’s plant nursery. Plans will see the whole area transformed to include a new garden centre, café and seating area alongside a formal garden with water feature. Plumpton College will lead on developing and managing the garden.

The Permaculture Trust’s orchard will be stocked with new apple trees.

A listed barn beside the walled garden will be restored and put back into use.

The original Green Drive will be recreated providing an attractive shared route for pedestrians and cyclists from the Lower Lodges through the parkland.

The Frankland Monument, erected in memory of MP Frederick Frankland in 1775 on the edge of the great wood is currently in poor condition and hidden from view. The scheme will see this listed monument restored.

Parking at the front of Stanmer House will be removed, creating a simple and open arrival area. Visitors will be encouraged to park at the Lower Lodges entrance and a new car park will be created on The Patchway for visitors to the walled garden, Stanmer House and village businesses.

A rainwater catcher built around 1870 to provide clean water for Stanmer House will be restored.

Work is due to start early in 2018 and be completed the following year.

See also:- Stanmer Park Heritage Lottery bid

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Bye, bye bowling . . .

The last bowling green in use summer 2016.
For many decades the summer scene in Preston park has been graced with the sight of white-clad bowls players on emerald, beautifully manicured greens. But now no more. Two greens went out of use several years ago and were turned into wildflower "meadows". Another went last year, the last has gone this and is already showing signs of neglect.

Now gradually returning to nature.

The Men's Bowling Pavilion
Consequently the Men's Pavilion, is now redundant in its original purpose. It is a nice little building that was once used as the back drop of one of the scenes in the film 'The First Gentleman' the story of a romance between the daughter of the Prince Regent and Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg. This was also filmed partly in the Royal Pavilion—the first film to be shot there.

The council will soon be putting the pavilion up for lease and a meeting is to be held to discuss the viability of the community acquiring that lease for the benefit of all. This is the only remaining building in the park that could be reserved for such use.

The meeting is on 3rd May at 7.30pm in the Men’s Bowls Pavilion.

Monday, 17 April 2017

The Easter Monday Volunteer Review

Volunteers marching along the Marine Parade towards the Downs

THE VOLUNTEER REVIEW AT BRIGHTON.---Lord Clyde's report on the volunteer review and field-day at Brighton on Easter Monday was published on Thursday. He praises the excellence of the arrangements by which, together with the punctuality and order of the volunteers themselves, a force of 20,000 men was brought to the places of rendezvous and told off for drill and manoeuvre. The marching past was, he says, on the whole admirably performed. The manoeuvres which followed had no other object than to practise the volunteer brigades and battalions in changing position and working together in a large body. He speaks in highly eulogistic terms of the fine spirit of the volunteers, and says that the manner in which they were commanded and " the intelligent, ready way in which they obeyed the orders they received, proved how zealously both officers and men had applied themselves to the patriotic object that all have in view.".

Map of the 1871 manoeuvres from the RPM Image Store

Friday, 14 April 2017

Candidates sought for new RPM Cultural Trust

The Royal Pavilion & Museums (RPM) is recruiting trustees and a chair for its new cultural trust shadow board.

The city council currently manages the Royal Pavilion & Museums and is creating a charitable trust to manage its service operation and development in future. The trust is seen as a significant step towards the future aim of creating a dynamic, resilient cultural and heritage trust for the city, bringing together RPM and Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival in a single entity.

The shadow board will guide the inception of the new organisation and help shape its structure and governance as well as new ways of working.

BHCC is looking to create a diverse board and applications from all sections of the community are welcome.

Applicants should have an understanding and passion for heritage, museums and collections and their social role and purpose. Demonstrable experience or a professional qualification in a range of sectors, including culture, arts, heritage, legal, charity, finance, property or transformational change, will be relevant to the role.

For more details and recruitment pack please follow the link:

Find out more about Royal Pavilion & Museums' future management proposals.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Patcham Mill

The listed Patcham (or Waterhall) Mill has been beautifully restored over the last decade or so. It is good to know its future as a landmark is assured.

The most picturesque view of it would be from the south-west with the Green Ridge dewpond in the foreground. Unfortunately this view is ruined by an insensitively sited noticeboard.

Extract from My Brighton & Hove:- 
"Waterhall Mill is now more commonly known as Patcham Mill . A tower-mill built in 1884-5 for baker Joseph Harris, it was the last working windmill to be erected in Sussex and continued to grind corn until 1924; part of its machinery came from the old Preston Mill. It was sold for just £50 in 1928 and was converted into a house in 1936, but it was used by the Home Guard during the war before reverting to private use in 1950. The mill, which has a rendered tower forty feet tall, was completely modernised in 1975 with new sweeps, and is now a desirable residence and listed building."

Friday, 7 April 2017

Watch this space

The Pagoda Chinese restaurant.
When this converted Thames lighter in the Marina, was the Pagoda Chinese restaurant it had a pan-tiled pitched roof. After the restaurant closed last year the tiles, presumably of some value, were stripped off. It looked a sorry sight.

Now it has been given a new flat roof and other work appears to be in progress. 

A banner on the roof.
What it is going to be is anybody's guess.


Prinny's piano to return to Pavilion

The Royal Pavilion & Museums Foundation has supported the purchase of King George IV’s only surviving grand piano at auction.  The historic piece was secured after a successful bid of £62k was made using money from Art Fund, Arts Council England/Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund, The Leche Trust and the Royal Pavilion Foundation. The piano could be on display at the Royal Pavilion as early as the Easter weekend 2017.
The piano, commissioned for the Royal Pavilion by George IV in c.1821, was made by Thomas Tomkison and is the most celebrated of Tomkison’s surviving works. The maker’s flamboyant approach to case decoration is thought to have appealed to George’s Francophile and adventurous taste. The piano, described as an elegant, rosewood grand, is extravagantly decorated, inlaid with brass, gilt mouldings, and gilt turnbuckles and has elegantly carved legs.

At a cost of £236 5/- the piano was well over twice the cost of a standard top quality English grand piano at the time. Accounts reveal that Tomkison supplied other ‘extra elegant’ pianos to the Prince Regent, but no others are known to have survived.

Brighton Town Hall - the future

The Curator speaks about the Constable Exhibition

Leader of the Council on Madeira Terraces

Friday, 31 March 2017

RSCH Helicopter deck gets £500,000 donation

Mr Robert Bertram, Chair of the charity the County Air Ambulance Trust, visited the Royal Sussex County Hospital yesterday. He presented a cheque for £500,000 to aid with the construction of the hospital’s new helideck, which is part of the 3Ts Redevelopment of the County Hospital. The helideck, which will open in the middle of 2018, is being constructed on the roof of the hospital’s existing Thomas Kemp Tower. This is the first of two donations from the charity that will give £1,000,000 in total towards meeting the cost of the facility. It will be used to fund the ongoing helideck works in the coming financial year.

 A new lift, exclusively for transferring patients between the helideck and the Emergency Department, will be built as part of the project. Currently air ambulances have to land in East Brighton Park and patients have to be transferred to the hospital by road.

The preparations for the construction of the helideck are nearing completion and the steel work to support the deck will start arriving on site in the next six weeks. The initial construction works will be at a low level and not visible from the ground, but by the latter part of the summer the support structure will be clearly visible above the roof line.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

A plaque to Edward Zeff

A plaque commemorating the WW2 Secret Agent Edward Zeff, has today been unveiled on Embassy Court, his post-war home. The plaque was first put on display to the public at a special ceremony in the Corn Exchange last November.

The arrival of the special guests including Zeff family members.

Introduction by the Mayor.

Address by Paul McCue, Military Historian, author of 'Brighton’s Secret Agents' and Edward Zeff’s biographer

Address by Paul Roberts representing Bluestorm Ltd, the freeholder.

Address and unveiling by Don Miller representing The Zeff family

The ceremony was concluded with the Last Post, a one minute silence and Reveille.

Zeff had an amazing wartime career. Despite having no experience of clandestine warfare, he volunteered for S.O.E. to work as a secret agent in enemy-held France in the dangerous role of radio operator.
Germans  were eventually hot on Zeff’s trail in Lyons, but it was only when he was trying to return to Britain that he was betrayed and captured as he was about to cross the Pyrenees into Spain. Badly tortured and interrogated in Paris, he nevertheless held firm - only to then be sent to Mauthausen concentration camp.
As a Jew and a British agent, his fate should have been doubly sealed, yet somehow this remarkable man managed to survive. He was awarded the MBE (Military) and, by the French, the Croix de Guerre.
Edward Zeff returned to Brighton to live at 94 Embassy Court with his wife, but subsequently returned to his tailoring business in Paris and died there in 1973.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Philip Webb in Hove (2)

A reader has kindly submitted some additional details from the book "Philip Webb" by Sheila Kirk.

In this book she describes the extension as having 2 shallow octagonal vaults each with roof lantern. This corresponds well with what is visible in the Google Earth view in the previous post.

The catalogue section of the book contains the following entry:-

Friday, 24 March 2017

Saltdean Lido looking like it

The Pool

The Lawn

The Children's Pool

Changing facilities under construction
Official opening 27th May.

Campaign against fly-tipping

A new campaign is underway reminding householders it is a criminal offence to dispose of household items in the street.

Brighton & Hove City Council has joined a national publicity drive by Keep Britain Tidy called Crime Not To Care (# CrimeNotToCare).

Last year the council recorded over 2,600 cases of fly-tipping, costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds to clear up. Nationwide there are around half a million cases a year.

The council’s Cityclean staff are aiming to highlight 100 flytips in Brighton & Hove. They are handing out leaflets reminding people that leaving large items out in the street is a criminal offence and advising how to dispose of things properly – including via council special collections.

Residents are being urged to check that anyone collecting their waste has the required licence.

CCTV cameras are now being moved around fly-tipping hotspots to catch offenders.

See also: Fly-tippers beware

Philip Webb in Hove?

Philip Speakman Webb (12 January 1831 – 17 April 1915) was the architect of William Morris's Red House in Bexleyheath and is sometimes called the Father of the Art & Craft movement in English architecture.

Webb is also said to be the designer of an extension to 23 Second Avenue, Hove.

Judging by the Google Earth view there is certainly something out-of-the-ordinary about its appearance.

Nos 21 & 24 Second Avenue are both Grade II listed properties. 23 is unlisted.

Further information see: Philip Webb in Hove (2)

Thursday, 23 March 2017

BA i360 nominated for RIBA award

Funding boost for Royal Pavilion estate project.

The first phase of a major project to revitalise the Royal Pavilion Estate has been awarded £3m from the Coast to Capital Local Growth fund. The grant award will go towards a major refurbishment of the Grade 1 listed Brighton Dome Corn Exchange and Grade 2 listed Studio Theatre as the first phase of an ambitious heritage project at the Royal Pavilion Estate. 

Due for completion in late 2018, the transformation of the Corn Exchange (formerly the Prince Regent’s Riding house) will restore long-lost heritage features, provide increased seating capacity and an impressive new viewing gallery. Major improvements to the Studio Theatre (once a stables and supper room) will include balcony seating, new bar facilities a new artists' creation space and a café opening out onto a plaza at street level. 

The £3m grant joins funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England (ACE) and Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), along with money from the city council, charitable trusts and individual patrons. Together this ensures £19.3m of the £21m phase one project costs are now in place. Fundraising will continue throughout the build which will include ways to support the project digitally, a seat appeal and event activity.

The multi-layered project, which will be delivered in three phases over the next few years, aims to reunite the historic Estate created by George IV in the early 19th century to create a centre for heritage, culture and the performing arts which reflects the unique spirit of Brighton.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

A Brighton twitten

"Twitten is an old Sussex dialect word, used in both East and West Sussex, for small passageways leading between two buildings to courtyards, streets, or open areas behind. Its origins are not clear, it is suggested it may be a corruption of ‘betwixt’ and ‘between’. It is early 19th century and is perhaps related to the low German ‘twiete’, meaning an alley or a lane."
My Brighton & Hove

Collins Dictionary dates it somewhat earlier:-

Monday, 20 March 2017

How to park free in Brighton & Hove

Brighton's 19 parking zones
Assuming you don't want to park in the zone-free outskirts (at least 2 miles from the city centre) the simple answer is that any day of the week you should arrive after 8 o'clock in the evening and leave before 9 o'clock the next morning.

There are three types of parking bay:-
  • Permit holders only.
  • Pay & Display.
  • Shared Permit holders & Pay & Display.

In the all the following zones the same time restriction 9am to 8pm (the period when the casual parker risks a fine) applies to all 3 types of bay:-

 Zone A - Preston Park Station
 Zone C - Queen's Park
 Zone E - Preston Park Station(North)
 Zone F - Fiveways
 Zone G - Hollingbury Road/Ditchlinq Gardens
 Zone H - Kemp Town & Hospital
 Zone  J - Preston Circus
 Zone M - Brunswick & Adelaide
 Zone N - Central Hove
 Zone O - Goldsmid
 Zone Q - Prestonville
 Zone R - Westbourne (incl. Church Rd, Portland Rd and Poets Corner)
 Zone T - Hove Station
 Zone Y - Central Brighton (North)

This accounts for 14 of the City's zones. Of the remaining 5 zones the most significant is Zone W, Wish Road.

Zone W - Wish Road, Hove

Zone W
In Zone W the restrictions are less severe. Parking is free between 11o'clock in the morning and 7o'clock in the evening. Usefully this allows for daytime visits to the beach, Lagoon, or other leisure facilities along Hove seafront and the Portland Road shops.
Parking is also free overnight from 8pm to 10am.

The remaining zones:-

Zone B - Coldean and Zone D - Moulscoombe. Parking is only restricted on match/event days at the nearby Amex stadium. At all other times parking is free but it is a long way from the city centre albeit with a good bus service.

Zone U -  St Luke’s. Free parking 11am to 2pm and 3pm to 10am next day. Or in other words the only period you have to avoid is the one hour between 2pm & 3pm.

Zone Z - Central Brighton (South) Possibly as a hangover from earlier schemes different restrictions apply to different types of bay:-
  • Permit only and shared Permit only and Pay & Display bays: - Free parking from 8 o'clock in the evening to 9 o'clock the next morning.
  • Pay & Display bays:- Free parking 6 o'clock in the evening  to 9 o'clock the next day. (There are only a few of these). 
The northern boundary to Zone Z runs along the south sides of Temple Gardens, Clifton Road and Clifton Terrace.

Happy Hunting.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

29½ New Road

Dome Studio Theatre

Mr. & Mrs. Brown outside the Dome Cottage

The Dome Studio Theatre, formerly the Pavilion Theatre, stands on the site of a coachman's cottage and Mrs Fitzherbert's stables. The cottage was built for the Prince Regent circa 1806 when New Road was being created. From 1867 to 69 it was occupied by the Inspector of the Brighton Volunteer Fire Brigade, but not given the number 29½ until 1888 when the town's Inspector of Gas Meters, later Inspector of Public Lamps, was stationed there. By then the number 30 had already been allocated to a property at the south end of New Road.

The Inspector of Public Lamps was replaced in 1897 by Frederick William Brown, the Works Supervisor of the Pavilion Estate.  His daughter Miss Annie Brown continued in residence until its demolition in 1932.

In 1937 the present building started life as a Supper Room for the Corn Exchange with kitchen below. It was erected to plans by Robert Atkinson, the Art Deco architect who also designed the much-lamented Regent Cinema. Thankfully the future of his surviving Brighton creation looks secure. Work has recently started on an extensive renovation/remodelling which will see a new cafe/bar on the ground floor opened up to New Road and the Pavilion Gardens, and a viewing gallery into the Corn Exchange created behind the shops in New Road

New cafe/bar

Viewing gallery into Corn Exchange.
See also: 

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

A new milestone for the RSCH redevelopment

The 3Ts Redevelopment of the Royal Sussex County Hospital has passed another milestone this week. The move of the Radiopharmacy Team to the Hanbury Building has freed up the Nuclear Medicine Building. This is the  final area of the hospital required for the Stage 1 Building to go ahead.

The Stage 1 construction area takes up most of the south east quarter of the hospital site.

The buildings at the back of the construction area have already been removed and earthworks have started there. The Latilla and Jubilee buildings, the two largest structures at the front of the site will be deconstructed over the next two months. There will then be a clear view from the front of the construction site on the border with Eastern Road all the way back to the Thomas Kemp Tower and the Children’s Hospital that mark the northern boundary of the site.

The earthworks are preparing the site for the screw-piling that will start in the next few months. These are required to secure the sides of the site before excavation can begin. The entire Stage 1 area will have to be excavated to a depth of approximately two and half storeys so that the foundations of the building and the machinery required to run it can be put in place. It will also include an underground car park.  

The eleven storey Stage 1 Building is the larger of the two new buildings the redevelopment will provide. It will be the new main entrance to the hospital and house a mixture of outpatient, general inpatient and specialist inpatient services including Neurosciences, Intensive Care and the Stroke Unit.

Preparatory earth and foundation works for the building will continue into 2018. The building’s structure, much of which is being pre-constructed off site, will take approximately eighteen months to complete. The rest of the construction time into 2020 will be used for the specialist fit out of the building.

Further details.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Oxford Street car park is closed

Oxford Street car park is closed to the general public until mid-April due to construction work nearby. 10 spaces are being kept open for doctors who work at Oxford Street Medical Centre only. These spaces are not open to the public and will be enforced.

This car park is close to the London Road shopping area and The Level. There are disabled bays here and Blue Badge holders can park free of charge provided that their badge is displayed correctly.

The Marina - not all about housing . . .

Seemingly a long way from home the "Hebridean Explorer" has found it worthwhile to use Brighton Boatyard for some winter maintenance.

Locking through to the inner harbour 
Passing under the raised roadway, workboat assisted.

Entering the 60 tonne boat-lift

Boat-lift operator on station

Starting the lift

Moving off