After a chilly, and at times, damp start to the week we finally had some beautiful weather and I got out for a long walk, wandering down from the central shopping area at Churchill Square to the beach, where the building work has started on the new tower to be built on the seafront in Hove, opposite the sad remains of the much loved West Pier. From there I walked along the seafront and beach to Brighton Pier (what those of a certain age remember as the Palace Pier, but that was in the days when Brighton was just a town and Hove was next door, actually). There were lots of visitors down on the seafront, enjoying the lovely sunshine, although as the photos show not too many on the beach itself.
I stopped off at the beautiful Fishing Museum between the two piers. It’s just a tiny place run by volunteers in one of the old arches at the back of the beach and open all year round with free entry. Every year in May they hold the Mackerel Fayre and The Blessing of the Nets.
Coming up as I write this is March 8th – International Women’s Day – and Brighton isn’t without its famous ladies over the centuries. We currently have the first Green MP, Caroline Lucas, representing Brighton Pavilion, but back in the time of King George IV we had Martha Gunn, and to quote the poem:
To Brighton came he,
Came George III’s son.
To be bathed in the sea,
By famed Martha Gunn.
(Old English rhyme, author unknown)
Although not born in the town, we also had Phoebe Hessel. Famed for dressing as a man to follow her young love into the army in the mid-1700s, she eventually ended up living in Brighton and is buried close to Martha Gunn in St Nicholas’ churchyard.
St Nicholas’ Church is the oldest building in Brighton – the oldest possibly because it’s built on a small hill almost outside what was the old fishing village of Brighton and when the French invaded and flattened the place in 1545, having just wrecked the Mary Rose in the Solent, it was the only building they left standing. Now over 900 years old, St Nicholas’ Church is still open to visitors and residents alike, with lunchtime recitals most Wednesdays in addition to the usual services and other activities expected of such a long-standing establishment.
Well, that’s it for now. See you next time – and meanwhile enjoy life wherever you are!