Tuesday, 16 May 2017

The East/West Divide

The old Free Butt Inn, Albion Street, looking very sad.

The Eagle, Gloucester Road, looking very lively.
Albion Street is situated at the north west corner of an area that was subjected to repeated slum clearances and redevelopment throughout the 20th.C. Many streets of 2 to 3 storey housing were demolished and replaced with the blocks of flats to be seen today. This area was situated in what was known as Hilly Laine. The rest of Hilly Laine survived and became a much sought-after area now known as Hanover. Hanover still supports many thriving pubs.

On the opposite side of the central valley North Laine also narrowly escaped demolition in the 60's thanks mainly to the efforts of BHCC Planning Director Ken Fines. This is now a lively mixed retail, commercial and residential area which is a favoured destination for both Brighton residents and visitors alike.

The current plans for the remodelling of Valley Gardens and its encircling road system has the aim of rendering the Valley Gardens more permeable to pedestrians west to east. and vice versa. Once completed perhaps some of the buzz of the west side will bleed into the east. It looks doubtful though that it will happen in time to save the Free Butt.

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