Patcham Place pictured in the snow. Built in the 16th.C the facade was later modified with the black mathematical tiles that can be seen today. It is said to be haunted by one of its owners Anthony Stapley who was one of the signatories to Charles I's death warrant. On the right of the photo is Patcham Fountain erected in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee.
Patcham Place is owned by the City Council and up until a year or two ago it had been used as a Youth Hostel since 1939. This shows in the condition of the interior of which very few original features remain. Situated as it is on the A23 on the outskirts of a famous holiday resort it would make an ideal headquarters for the new South Downs Park Authority, and the listed stables could be restored to provide extra space for a Visitor Centre and/or South Downs Museum.
Monday, 30 March 2009
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
At the other end of the scale to the cretinous "tagging", which regularly defaces City walls, we have graffiti of this high standard. While not decrying the artistry & effort involved in creating something like this, presumably with the owner's permission, I still don't like it. It is out of place. Old walls are interesting in their own right. There is something strangely satisfying about observing the effects of time and weathering on apparently inert brick, cement and stone. Old walls have character and lend atmosphere to the streetscape. They are a relief from, and contrast to, brash modernity which would be more the natural home for art like this.
Sunday, 22 March 2009
Terry Garoghan, Brighton's unofficial Mayor is a local gem. At the Dome last night he provided two hours of non-stop stand-up and tuneful mirth with a strictly local flavour covering localities as diverse as Blatchington Road and Bevendean. I'm sure I even heard Coldean get a mention. How does he do it! A great once a year treat, now in its 13th year but you can catch him again at the Komedia in May. I think I shall.
Thursday, 19 March 2009
In cases like this it would be good if the architect could be asked to revisit his creation and invited to interpret the building, and explain what message the critical observer should try to take from it. Otherwise we are entitled to believe that he cared nothing for the elegant, historic building it replaced, or that he was concerned at all for the intrusion of his design on to a world-famous seafront, or that he took any account of the scale & style of nearby listed Regency Square.
St. Mary Magdalene has one of those "off the peg" spires, like St. John's in Palmeira Square, which are now suffering badly from weathering.
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
Sunday, 15 March 2009
. . . is the title of a recent article in "The Freethinker", as always, a witty, scathing, sometimes scurrilous read. The magazine was first produced in 1881 for which the publisher, G W Foote, was sentenced to 12 months hard labour. It continues to be published by Brighton's Barry Duke.
Thursday, 12 March 2009
This site now lies under the "One Brighton" development at the junction of Stroudley Road and Fleet Street. Stroudley Road runs to the left of this photo, Fleet Street runs behind the building to the right.
Photo taken in March 2003.
Monday, 9 March 2009
This extravagant late-Victorian frontage (Grade II listed) in Ship Street was once complemented by an equally sumptuous interior - all polished wood, etched glass and mirrors. This was all removed in the 1980's when it became the Helsinki Bar, later O'Neill's as shown. Ironically it has now been returned to a vaguely Victorian style but with very little hint of the former opulence. The name "Seven Stars", first recorded in 1785, has now been readopted.
Saturday, 7 March 2009
This is a view through the georgian glass of one of the windows of the"bottle" looking roughly north-east. The "bottle" was the nickname given to the central, onion-shaped dome of the Royal Pavilion. It certainly is very similar in shape to those large glass bottles filled with coloured liquid that one still sees in chemists' windows. These may have been a more familiar sight in the early 19th. century.
The inside of the bottle is divided up into small rooms some even with a small fireplace (don't ask me where the smoke went) that were once used by visitor's servants. Access is via a spiral staircase on the south-west side and on the north-west side there was a dumb-waiter.
Thursday, 5 March 2009
. . . shame about the vandals.
This is the central art deco staircase in the Ocean Hotel, Saltdean. It spirals from top to bottom in a graceful swoop and one of its most remarkable features was the continuous handrail in solid brass. This photo was taken in 2005 but about 18 months later, shortly before the present developers took the premises over, some "Jack the lads" turned up with a lorry and ripped the handrail out. (Still lets give them the benefit of the doubt - perhaps they wanted to donate the scrap money to "Children in Need"!) Nearby residents saw it happening but assumed they "probably" had permission. The developers are committed to restoring period features but what's the betting the new handrail won't be in solid brass.
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
For me the high spot of the Festival is usually the "Promenade" event and this year seems likely to be no exception. The theatre company Hydrocracker are performing Joe Orton's "The Erpingham Camp" on the Palace Pier and the ticket price includes a fish & chip supper.
Several other items appeal including Handel's "Arianna in Creta", and an al fresco "Comedy of Errors" in St. Anns Well gardens; but one musn't book too much, there is all the free stuff to get round and The Fringe programme is yet to arrive.
Incidentally the free stuff includes several art installations by the Guest Artistic Director Anish Kapoor who also designed the programme cover I complained about in my earlier post. These installations are at various sites around the City including the Chattri and are definitely on my 'must see' list.
Monday, 2 March 2009
The B&HHS is 50 years old this year. It meets on the first Wednesday of every month at The Lord Nelson in Trafalgar St. Tomorrow's talk is entitled the "Future of Belief".
I've never managed to get to it before either due to forgetfulness, indolence or prior engagement but this time a friend is picking me up so I've absolutely no excuse. I'm looking forward to it.