The Western Esplanade, Hove has its own special appeal to many residents which is entirely different from the razzmatazz of Brighton's lower promenade. Its informal atmosphere with fewer distractions from the sea, shingle and sky provides an ideal environment on a fine day for a leisurely stroll or jog.
Anticipatory pleasure was also provided by the approach to the seafront walk from Kingsway where on several of the paths, the sea, horizon, and sky is framed by tamarisk with the simple picture often completed by a passing boat. That was how it use to be before, a few years ago, the Council stuck up this obtrusive sign, blotting out a big chunk of the view.
Of course one NEVER sees anyone reading the sign, which is no surprise, since the amount of useful information provided is negligible. Most of it is in the tone of a bossy nanny. "Do not jump. Do not dive". The sea can be rough, the beach can be steep, don't go into deep water if you can't swim. - And does anyone really not know to dial 999 in an emergency, or to stay out of the sun if they don't want to get sunburned?
The Council has recently gone to some efforts to reduce the number of estate agents' signs in sensitive areas producing a vast improvement in the appearance of some historic neighbourhoods. It should also look to put its own house in order. There is surely a vast excess of unnecessary visual clutter in our urban environment, including traffic signs, that nobody takes any notice of whatsoever. I sometime think it should all be swept away so that we can start again with the really essential ones which, because of the lack of visual competition, would be all the more effective.