Tuesday, 31 July 2018

The East Street kiosk - update

The victorian Shelter Hall kiosk which was restored last year and rebuilt at the bottom of East Street has now been given a final and important decorative touch with the reinstatement  of the cast iron frieze below the guttering. Much of it must have needed recasting but fears that finances had run out were evidently unfounded.

See previous post for more photos:-
The East Street kiosk.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

The destruction of architectural history

This Edwardian terrace 114 to 117 London Road was built in 1904. It was a fine example of architectural style in transition away from the ornate decorative flourishes of the Victorian Age. Yet it still references the Art & Crafts style in the shallow rectangular bays surmounted by inset gables and the small-paned upper sashes of the windows.  

The builder was evidently proud of his work as he has left his  initials (JWP) high up on the gable ends in Francis Street & Oxford Streets. He should be proud as his work appears to have withstood 114 years without any structural deterioration.

In 1924 the ground floor of 114  & 115 was taken by the Midland Bank, later HSBC, and the frontages were maintained in their original condition, revealing red brickwork and contrasting cream plaster, for over 80 years. Some of this can still be seen in no.117.

In contrast nos.114 &115 have over the last year or two received a new paint 'job' every few weeks and each time with not the slightest regard to the architectural features. This has culminated in the visual cacophony shown above which seems almost to have as it main aim the obliteration of the architects vision.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Brighton surrealism

Oils paintings by Brighton resident Alberto Martinez currently on display at the Cube Gallery.

Alberto was born in Cuba in 1977 and took a Fine Art degree at the Academy of Fine Arts 'Oscar Fernandez Morera' in Cuba. He has been living in Brighton for over a decade.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Madeira Terraces turned down for Heritage Lottery Grant

The application for £5M funding, the maximum allowed,  submitted in March 2018 met the Heritage Lottery Fund's criteria but the Board of Trustees had to take decisions on more projects than the available budget would allow.

The council will now be talking urgently with Heritage Lottery Fund about a resubmission of the bid in August.

Decision makers noted the great heritage value of Madeira Terrace, and recognised the project’s considerable potential to support the wider regeneration of the area and bring economic benefit.  The grant would have allowed for the complete restoration of the first 60 of the 151 Madeira Terrace arches.  While this remains under discussion, the council will be moving ahead with the first three arches which were crowd funded in a successful city-backed campaign in 2017.

Griff Rhys Jones, President of the Victorian Society, who supported the council’s bid, said:  “It feels like a setback but these things take time.   This is a stage on the way and a good one.  We must not think it’s over.  It needs even more support.  We recognise there is more competition than ever out there and funds are dwindling. Lots of very successful and important conservation projects have not got there first time but they happened.  And few are more important than this.”

Community campaigner and raffle organiser Jax Atkins added: “It’s disappointing that HLF haven’t chosen to help with the terraces yet but we’re not giving up. There is such strong feeling in the community and so many people are determined to get the project underway.  We will not be waiting around.

“Our midsummer raffle on Saturday raised £9,000 and I’d like to thank everyone who bought tickets and donated prizes, we had over 800 in the end!  Every penny we raise sends a clear message to the council and to funding bodies that the people of Brighton are serious about saving Madeira Terrace so we can once again be proud of our beautiful heritage and the shop window of our city.”

Next steps for the Madeira Terrace project include appointing a design team and obtaining planning and listed building consent.  Work on the first three arches is expected to start towards the end of the year.

There are numerous ways to get involved:

  • By making a donation on line
  • By joining volunteers at the monthly community clean-ups – contact Jax Atkins. Madeira Terraces & Black Rock.
  • Buying a specially brewed Mabiera beer.  Local brewery, Brighton Bier, is donating 25% of its profits from the sale of Mabiera to the restoration fund.

If you have fundraising ideas, please contact us: Madeira.Terrace@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Queen's Park Improvements

BHCC and  Friends of Queen's Park are asking park goers to choose between two very different proposals to enhance the park.

One plan could see the pond improved with more planting and a ‘dipping platform’ created to enable visitors to interact with nature.

The second proposal would see the Quiet Garden improved with new paths opened up to reveal views to the pond, cascade and clock tower.

Both projects were identified in the Queen's Park Conservation Plan and the successful project will be funded with section 106 developer contributions,

Display boards summarising the Conservation Plan are currently on display in the park and there will be an opportunity to speak to council officers in the park on Saturday July 21st  from 1pm to 4pm.

See the consultation on the council website. It closes on August 6.