Thursday, 30 August 2012

Council puts fingers in its ears . . .

Yesterday at a Council Planning Meeting, Brighton Society member, architect Jeremy Mustoe, was refused the opportunity to present a three minute objection to the proposed new Dome signage.

The reason for not allowing him to speak was on the basis that ‘he did not live close to the Dome’, so his view could not be considered.

What he would have said, is now published,  and can be read on the Brighton Society website here.

See also:- New signage for Dome complex

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Station staircase may be reopened.

An earlier post this year "Brighton station gateway" bemoaned the blocking, some years ago, of the south-east staircase thus depriving the travelling public of a convenient exit to Trafalgar Street and the North Laine area.

Now, planning application BH2012/024054, filed earlier this month, proposes alterations throughout the station and the creation of new entrances. One of the drawings show what appears to be a fairly simple reconfiguration of the substation to re-establish access to the said staircase doorway.

Unfortunately we can not assume that this is a done deal even when it gets planning permission. It is apparently reliant on the cooperation of UK Power Networks and on sufficient funds being available at the end of the project plus no "viable 3rd party alternative". Not sure what this last means.

The application makes no mention of those originally responsible for the siting of the substation, or suggests that they should be put in the stocks and pelted with tomatoes.

The application also includes demolition of structures on concourse, realigned and expanded gate line, and alterations associated with creation of retail units, waiting room, travel centre, booking hall, relocated control room and extension of Rail Gourmet building.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Really useful signs . . .

Contrary to the impression Brighton Bits may have given in other posts; see:-
Down with Seafront & other signs
More Street clutter on the way
Green Ridge & Coney Woods
New signage for Dome Complex,
. . . not all the signs the Council erects or allows can be classified as redundant clutter.

These novel street maps on the seafront, aligned in the direction the reader is facing, are highly readable and must be a boon to visitors. They have been up a year or two I believe and so far are withstanding the elements and moronic 'tagging', or the like, very well.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

19 Old Steine

19 Old Steine on the corner of Steine St. acts as a 'bookend' to the terrace of regency houses on the right. These date from 1786 when they were known as South Parade. Most are listed, but no.19 in victorian Queen Anne style is not. The condition of its characteristic terracotta panelling is not good.

To the left of no.19 the view down Steine St. is attractively terminated by Steine Mansions 1899. This was designed  by the same architect, Clayton Botham, as the Seven Stars 1897 in Ship Street. And it shows. Steine Mansions is also unlisted.

See also 67 East Street

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The Drove Cottages, Patcham: then & now

Ladies Mile Road 2012

The Drove Cottages were built in 1815 for the poor of Patcham. This location would then have been rather isolated being a quarter of a mile from the village itself and with a steep hill in between.

Later in the 19th century, with the wealthy of Brighton moving to expensive properties in the Preston area, the Drove Road became part of a popular circular ride taking in Patcham, Stanmer, and back to Preston (or vice versa) and hence acquired the name Ladies Mile. It is actually slightly more than a mile between Patcham and the Ditchling Road at Old Boat Corner, and the present metalled section of the road is slightly less than a mile long.

Following the incorporation of Patcham in Greater Brighton in 1928 the developers moved in, and by the end of the 1930's the whole of the Ladies Mile estate had been developed. The cottages were heavily-restored and now seem almost part of a separate village with a pub, methodist church (in a converted barn), a parade of shops and a clock tower.  

The grassy bank on the right of the photos fronts allotments and appears to have been largely undisturbed, a relic of the original countryside.


If you like Macbeth, the current production by the Brighton Little Theatre is definitely worth seeing.  They made sense of the words, even the well-known ones (tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. . .).  It was well acted, although Macduff was a wee bit stolid.

They kept the set minimalist, always a good idea with Macbeth, which transcends time and place.  I liked the witches, and found the scene where MacDuff’s family gets murdered, quite moving, with the tiniest hint of potential sexual violence, which is not mentioned in the play but would have happened in reality.  They managed to convey sexual chemistry between Macbeth and Lady M earlier on, which tends to confirm my take on the Macduff family slaughter.

In the small theatre, there was a bit too much coming and going of the soldiers doing the battle at the end, e.g., one lot leaving the stage from the front and up the aisle, the opposing lot coming in the door at the back of the stage, and so on, which verged on the farcical.  However, I imagine this will be easier and more convincing to stage at Lewes Castle.
Review by Fleur Baladine
Performances at Lewes Castle at 7.30 pm, Wed 22nd August - Saturday 25th August.

Monday, 13 August 2012

End of a squat

An eviction in process this morning at 45 Grand Parade (the boarded-up property). It involved a trio of bailiffs and 4 police cars (3 out of sight).

No. 45 is not a listed building but 46 & 47 to the right are Grade II listed. No. 47 dates from 1840 and is attributed to Sir Charles Barry. The ground floor was remodelled, quite sensitively from the then existing shop-front, in 1990. It was the first home of the Brighton Grammar School.

Friday, 10 August 2012

The Brighton station clock . . .

. . . . . has gone, and is greatly missed. Not simply because it is a wonderful object in its own right, which it is; but because we all knew exactly where to look for it and absorb the time with the minimum of delay and visual difficulty. The alternative digital display on the electronic departure board is difficult to locate amongst all the other information provided; and, of course, a digital read-out provides no analogue indication of the time to train departure.

This Victorian clock dates from the days of the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway. One hopes it has just gone for maintenance and its return will not be long delayed.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

New signage for the Dome complex

The Dome entrance

Brighton Dome & Festival Ltd have submitted planning applications BH2012/01634 & 01635 for new signs on the  Church Street & New Road frontages. The object is to more clearly identify the different entrances to the four venues, The Dome, The Corn Exchange, the Pavilion Theatre (to be renamed the "Brighton Dome Studio") and the Booking Office.

At the Corn Exchange it is also proposed to remove the existing entrance canopy which was a later addition. The picture to the right is a visualisation of the new signs in position with the canopy removed

The Booking Office in New Road is to be painted black which will make it look rather like a funeral parlour. Perhaps not the best choice for the important focal point of an entertainment complex in a pleasure-orientated seaside city.

All the new signs feature a gratuitous oversized capital 'D'. As an eye-catching feature this would be acceptable if incorporated in the word 'Dome', but floating about as an entirely separate entity, it seems somewhat pretentious.

The planning applications also give details of new signs in similar style for the interior of the Dome, Corn Exchange and Dome Studio.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The London Road Coop - façade to be saved

A new scheme for old department store in London Road proposes a new structure behind the existing facade. A joint application between the Coop and Watkin Jones, which specialises exclusively in developing and managing student flats is expected to be submitted in August and the site ready for occupation in the 2013/14 academic year.

Earlier related posts:-