Friday, 10 January 2020

Petition - Re-wild Hollingbury & Waterhall golf courses.

The leases of both golf courses expire in March 2020. The Tourism, Equalities and Culture Committee (TECC) will meet on 16 January 2020 to review tenders with a view to granting a 25 year lease. Extinction Rebellion Brighton urge TECC to take this unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ensure that the internationally endangered, wildlife-rich and diverse chalk grassland ecosystems of the two sites can re-generate and flourish, and that eco-friendly community food production and public health, wellbeing and recreational activities are promoted.

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Mary Clarke statue - Sculptor Chosen

Denise Dutton MRSS

Denise Dutton MRSS has been chosen to create the maquette for the statue of the suffragette Mary Clarke. The cost will be met from the grant of £10,000 donated by BHCC to kick-start this project. It is hoped to place the statue in or near the Royal Pavilion estate which was the scene 100 years ago of much suffragette campaigning.

The Mary Clarke Statue Appeal

Denise's extensive oeuvre includes a statue to the working-class suffragette Annie Kenny in Oldham. Annie became a leading figure in the Women's Social and Political Union and co-founded its first branch in London with Minnie Baldock.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

A Plaque to Sake Dean Mahomed

A plaque to Sake Dean Mahomed, the famous Brighton entrepreneur, now graces the portico of the Queens Hotel in Kings Road where, in the 19thC, he established his highly fashionable and successful Baths.

Davinder Dhillon; Cllr.Alexandra Phillips the Mayor of Brighton & Hove,
and Commander Nick May.
The project was led by the Davinder Dhillon, Deputy Lieutenant Sussex - Chairman of Chattri  Group, and funded by a public appeal and a generous contribution from Sussex Police.

Also with support from:
Dr Bert Williams MBE, Chairman of Black History Group.
Researcher - Duncan Cameron, Local historian.
Queens Hotel Manager - Michelle Doyle

A fascinating display about his life is currently on view in the Brighton Museum.

Sake Dean Mahomed

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Jack Selby's drive to Brighton (& back)

Passing Lowfield Heath at 20mph.

When James Selby was born, in 1844, the railways had begun to drive coaches off the road, but James was nevertheless destined to become one of the most famous professional coachmen of all time. His father was the proprietor of an hotel at Colney Hatch to which a large livery stable was attached, and this gave James an opportunity of indulging his favourite pastime of driving. 

While he was still in his twenties there was a coaching revival, and in 1870 he began his career as a coachman, driving the Tunbridge Wells coach. In 1888 Selby put his own coach, the Old Times, on the London - Brighton run. At the Ascot meeting of that year he was offered, and took, a bet of £1000 to £500 that the coach could not be driven to Brighton and back under eight hours—a bet that was to make his name famous in coaching history. 

On July 13, Selby started on his journey from the White Horse cellar in Piccadilly, giving the order to " let go " at ten o'clock precisely. He drove along Piccadilly, Grosvenor Place and Buckingham Palace Road and over the Chelsea suspension bridge, making the first change of horses at the Horse and Groom at Streatham at 10.28. This change took 47 seconds. 

At 10.45 he was passing West Croydon and maintained a speed of 13 miles an hour to the Windsor Castle, Purley Bottom, where another change took just over a minute. He reached Horley at 11.51, having driven at 20 miles an hour on part of this stage, and was at Crawley at 12.11, two minutes being lost when he was held up at a level-crossing. 

A fresh team was taken on at Peas Pottage, where he arrived at 12.23, the time for this change being 1 minute 2 seconds. Passing through Handcross, he reached Cuckfield at 12.53, changed in 68 seconds, reached Friars Oak at 1.17, changed horses in 1 minute, arrived at Patcham at 1.40, changed in 47 seconds, and was at the Ship at Brighton at 1.56. 

At the Old Ship the horses were merely turned round and he was on the return journey in a matter of minutes. With changes of horses varying from 50 seconds to 1 minute, Selby was back in Piccadilly at 5.50 p.m., where he was received with tremendous enthusiasm, for he had done the double journey with 10 minutes to spare. 

Jack died later the same year and the Old Times coach passed into the property of Mr. Bernard Mills, of circus fame.