Thursday, 29 October 2009

Pink Floyd star buys Hove Mansion

Pink Floyd star David Gilmour has bought this fine Grade II listed property on the corner of Medina Terrace and Kings Esplanade. Read full report by Andy Giles in the Argus.

Argus Reader Panel

I received this invitation from the Argus by email. At first glance it looks interesting, attractive even, but I wonder how it will work out in practice.

The Argus endeavour to become a vital part of the community is obviously the right commercial choice for them but it is also a considerable advantage to that community to have a local paper that produces relevant, accurate, editorial content.

In pursuit of these ends and notwithstanding the commercial angle, an Argus reader might be happy to freely give of their time and join this panel. The effort required certainly does not appear to be too onerous. Once registered one would  be contacted by email and asked to participate in the first questionnaire online.  A visual image of an editorial feature or advert would be shown, and  a series of related questions, to gather feedback, asked. All subsequent surveys would be carried out in the same way.

No pecuniary advantage accrues to the participant (apart from the chance of winning vouchers and "other prizes" but I suspect not many would be influenced by this). Even so I was sufficiently persuaded of the interest and value of such a survey to go to the final step and register. It was here that things started to go wrong. The survey is carried out by a research company called RAM (which confusingly doesn't recognise one's Argus login) and the entry form is long and intrusive. I am not naive. I realise that this is so that the research results can be classified according to socio-economic group to make them of maximum value, but as my mouse hovered over the buttons, I felt the willpower to complete the form draining away. I wonder how many others will feel like this and what peculiar kind of skewness it will add to the results?

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Royal Alexandra Hospital Site

Following the rejection of developer Wimpey's plans at a public inquiry the City Council has now embarked on a planning brief for this site: the aim being to assist the developer in preparing future planning applications and to avoid another costly failure.

As a first step the Council has put five possible options out for public consultation. These options range from demolition of all existing buildings, option 1, to the retention & refurbishment of all the old buildings, option 5. The number of residential units provided by these 2 options drop from 138 to 70 respectively.

Apart from option 1 all the other options call for retention of the quirky much-loved main building fronting on to Dyke Road but the whole site is of historical/architectural interest as, since its inception in 1880 it has been continually extended and adapted in the style of its time.

I am particularly fond of the 'Arts & Crafts' style, 1896 nurses home pictured above, with its castellated tower, stone mullions and timbered gable ends. Detached examples of this style are becoming increasingly rare in the City. From the conservation viewpoint Option 5 which retains all the old buildings is to be preferred, with Option 4, which retains the main cluster, including the nurses home, a close second.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

"The History of Brighton Suburbs"

a talk by Geoffrey Mead of Sussex University
in aid of the
Alzheimer's Society.
October 30th, 7.30 for 8pm in
Patcham Memorial Hall

Entrance £10 to include welcoming drink and Ploughman's Supper.

Friday, 16 October 2009

The A23 Cycle & Pedestrian Scheme

The A23 Cycle & Pedestrian Scheme is out for consultation and is already being criticised as being somewhat premature. There is an Argus report here. Car traffic in the Centre has to be reduced both to bring air pollution down and to prevent the whole City grinding to a horrendous halt on some sunny weekend in the very near future. Although it has its critics, one suggestion is for a park & ride scheme serving the A23 traffic. This would require the A23 bus lane which at present ends at Withdean Park to be extended out to the Mill Road roundabout. (Who knows where the car park will be now that the City is hemmed in by a National Park!) The critics argue that this would need any cycle lanes in this stretch to be completely revamped.

Moving from the general to the particular, what surprises me is that at Patcham Place and the Black Lion they have made no provision to divert the cycle lanes behind the bus stops. What is the cyclist supposed to do if there is a bus stopped in the cycle lane? Wobble out into the traffic? Wait behind the bus? Or get off and push his bike around on the pavement? Maybe the planners haven't even thought of this or prefer to ignore it. Certainly the stops aren't marked on the plans.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

City Singers sing for the Samaritans

Please support the local branch of the Samaritans whenever possible.
We live in an area that is particularly vulnerable to suicide, and the vibrancy of the City seems to increase for some their feelings of isolation and loneliness. In fact the number of people in distress who contact Brighton Sams increases yearly. They are well supported by the 150 volunteers who freely give of their time but the need for funds to cover the running costs of the Branch is never-ending.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

WEA Day School - "Top Architects"

I've been asked to publicise the following day school:-

"Top Architects from 17th to 20th Century". C3726965.
Tutor: Gerald Harvey.
Venue: Cornerstone Community Centre, Church Rd. Hove
Date: 14 November 09; 10.30am - 3.30pm
Cost: £17

Contact: Joy Wajzner, 433 Ditchling Road, BN1 6XB; Tel. 01273 503090

Friday, 2 October 2009

City Council selling old fingerposts

The ultimate memento of Brighton & Hove is now available. Brighton & Hove City Council is putting up new signs to replace some of the old metal ‘fingerpost’ signs and the council is now offering them for sale.
You can bid on eBay for one of many different sign posts which between them have directed residents & visitors to variety of destinations in the famous city from the Lanes to the Seafront to the Royal Pavilion.

All profits raised from the sales of these signs will be put back into the public purse and used to support on-going investment in Brighton & Hove.

Each sign contains 3 fingers with Museum / North Laine, The Lanes / Seafront, & Royal Pavilion / Theatres. The sign is sold as a complete item only (fingers plus post). They are very heavy and buyer collects.