REGENCY - Issue 5

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Issue 5 - October 2008 FREE



Change your view of the world.

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Welcome to Dear Reader, Welcome to issue 5! This month we cover advice on redundancy with regard to your legal rights, take a wander down Meeting House Lane and find the best Indian restaurant in the Lanes (and maybe in Brighton too!), and bring you all the local goings on. As the only genuine community-driven magazine in the area we’re always delighted when new people want to contribute articles and letters, or just propose ideas for topics we should feature. Many have got involved already, but there’s always space for more ideas. Feel free to email us! Best wishes, Tony Davenport REGENCY Editor REGENCY Team Editor: Tony Davenport Features Editor: Celia Cowl-Smith Advertising: Vicki Davies & Jane Tennet Post: REGENCY, PO Box 5190, Brighton, BN50 9WP e-mail: Advertising: Printed by: Gemini Press


What’s On In October A selection of events to keep your diaries filled up Mon 6th - Sat 11th October Theatre Royal 7.45pm Thurs & Sat mats 2.30pm A brand new musical David Essex stars in ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR Set against the backdrop of a travelling funfair and packed with dazzling stunts. Box Office: 08700 606650 theatreroyal

9th October - 25th October At the Concert Hall, Pavilion Theatre and Corn Exchange MAGNERS PARAMOUNT COMEDY FESTIVAL with a host of well known comedians at the various venues. Box Office 01273 709709

Wednesday 15th October Moorlands Nr Crowborough Four acres set in lush forest deep in Ashdown Forest. Water garden with ponds, stream and river walk with grasses and bamboo. Rockery restored to origonal 1929 design. Being opened for charity Admission £4 Fri 17th - Sat 25th October Theatre Royal eves 7.30pm Thurs & Sat mats 2.30pm Royal Shakespeare Company’s brand new production of ROMEO AND JULIET This bold theatrical staging combines an ensemble of 30 actors and musicians with some of the most hot blooded poetry ever written! Box Office: 08700 606650 theatreroyal Saturday 18th October The Hanbury Club St Georges Road Kemptown SUPPER CLUB HARAMBI Harambi have been wowing audiences across the UK at venues like Ronni Scotts and The Rock Garden with their showmanship and the sheer energy of their stage show. Super supper menu. Tel 01273 605789


Saturday 18th October The Royal Pavilion 2 pm- 3.30pm FROM BASEMENT TO BOTTLE Visit the interior of the roof dome, the famous underground tunnel and other hidden places. To book 01273 292820 Tuesday 21st October South of England Showground Ardingly 10am - 4pm OCTOBER FAIR IN AID OF ELIZABETH FINN CARE 60 stalls selling excellent quality gifts, food and clothing in all price ranges. Cafe and creche. Sat 18th & Sun 19th October Concert Hall 8pm JIMMY CARR - JOKE TECHNICIAN appearing as part of the Magners Paramount Comedy Festival Box Office: 01273 709709 Tuesday 21st October Corn Exchange 7.30pm CLIVE JAMES Writer, broadcaster and British Institution, Clive James returns to the British Comedy Festival Box Office 01273 709709 Wednesday 22nd October Brighton Centre 6.30 pm ABBA THE SHOW This has been dubbed the most authentic Abba show to date and has had phenomenal success all around the world. Box Office: 0844 847 1515 Thursday 23rd October Chequer Mead Arts Centre East Grinstead SWAN LAKE Performed by the ever popular Vienna Festival Ballet. Lavish costumes, stunning scenery and international stars. Box Office 01342 302000 Saturday 25th October Royal Pavilion WHITE NIGHTS Enjoy the unique experience of the Royal Pavilion after hours with musical entertainment including performances from Brighton. Philharmonic Orchestra For information telephone 01273 292820

Sat 25th and Sun 26th October The Royal Pavilion Free with admission JANE AUSTIN - ‘A TRUTH UNIVERSALLY ACKNOWLEDGED’ What is it like to be young female and single in the town?Was it all soldiers, dancing and assemblies, or was Brighton truly disreputable? meet the characters tempted by fashionable Brighton. For information telephone 01273 292820 Friday 24th October The Komedia 8pm BRIGHTON JAZZ CLUB Booking Line :01273 647100 Sunday 26th October Pavilion Theatre 2pm and 4pm A GRIMM WORLD Crowned the Tim Burton of childrens theatre, director Gavin Robertson tells the story of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and how they encounter characters from their own beloved stories along the way. Enchanting funny and a dash of darkness Box office: 01273 709709 Sunday 26th October Concert Hall 2.45pm (doors open 1.15) BRIGHTON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA Schubert, Wagner, Tchaikovsky and Mozart are in today’s programme. Alice Farnham Conductor and David Cohen on Cello. Box Office 01273 709709 27th - 1st November Theatre Royal Eves 7.45pm Thurs & Sat mats 2.30pm THE CONCERT THEY NEVER GAVE The music of all the greats from the golden era of rock and roll with fantastic evocations of seven of pop’s greatest acts. Box Office: 08700 606650 theatreroyal Monday 27th October Concert Hall 10am - 4pm THEATRICAL MAKEUP IN A DAY Frighten yourself into the middle of next week which is of course Halloween! Learn how to create wounds and scars or simply make

yourself very old or very scary! Box Office: 01273 709709 £20 Wednesday 29th October The Hanbury Club 7pm St Georges Road Kemptown Johny Flynn and the Sussex Wit Foot stomping folky blues, sea shanties and classic Americana. Tel: 01273 605789 Thurs 30th October - 1st November Theatre Royal Thurs 10.30am Fri 10.30 and 1.30 Sat 10.30 pm & 12.30 Amazing half term treat THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA This much loved children’s story book is now brought vividly to life in a show packed with oodles of magic, sing a long songs and clumsy chaos. For children aged 3+ Box Office: 08700 606650 theatreroyal Thursday 30th and Friday 31st October 7.30 - 9pm Preston Manor HALLOWEEN GHOST TOUR Celebrate the spooky season by visiting Brighton’s most haunted house on this special Halloween costumed guided tour. £12 Friday 31st October Brighton Centre 7.30pm JONATHAN ANSELL Lead singer of G4 before they split last year and now staring in A NIGHT AT THE OPERA A glorious celebration of the most famous and best loved arias from the world’s favourite operas. Booking Office 0844 847 1515 Friday 31st October A MIDNIGHT HALLOWEEN GHOST WALK ON BEACHY HEAD! The gory ghost walk and stories takes approximately one and a half hours and are told by a professional actor. It’s a walk to remember for a lifetime provided you make it to the morning! Telephone 01732 862353 for bookings and further information.

Local News Local resident and REGENCY editor Tony Davenport casts his beady and cynical eye over recent events in our immediate area. Mass Ban On Estate Agents’ Boards The Brighton and Hove Council has approved a ban on the display of estate agents’ boards in key areas of the city.

He turned around to find a man holding a can of beer and a knife. Mr. Lindo was stabbed in the chest by the man before he ran off.

The areas affected by the ban are: The Avenues; Brunswick Town; Cliftonville; College; The Drive; East Cliff; Hove Station; West Hill; Montpelier and Clifton Hill; Willett Estate; Valley Gardens; Regency Square; Old Town; Kemp Town; and the North Laine.

Police are seeking a white male in his late teens or early 20s with short dark brown hair, about 6ft tall with a slim to medium build.

Estate agents have revealed that they are currently taking legal advice on the issue and plan to challenge the ban. Government approval is required for the proposal to now go ahead. It’s good to see the council taking more of an interest in conservation areas, but communal bins? Attractive and appropriate?! Amputee Stabbed Whilst Using Cashpoint An amputee was stabbed in the chest whilst using a cashpoint in Western Road. Chris Lindo, 38, was withdrawing money from the cashpoint when he had the impression that his pockets were being felt to see f they contained anything of value.

Fortunately Mr. Lindo survived the assault, and was attended by paramedics at the scene. Free Cash For Heroin Addicts Why hang around cashpoints attempting to mug people when you can get £10 every time you give the authorities a ‘clear’ drug test result? Brighton and Hove Council, along with others in Sussex, are trailing a new initiative which rewards reformed addicts with store vouchers. My advice? Read the money saving tips in Regency. You can save a lot more, and not a needle in sight. Council ‘Zimbabwe’ Slur Labour East Brighton councillor Craig Turton is being reported to the Standards Board of England by Conservative councillor Brian

Oxley for comments he made in July following the cabinet’s decision not to allow residents to speak at their meeting regarding the Whitehawk ‘travellers’ site. He stated that “such dodgy anti-democratic practices have more in common with Zimbabwe than Brighton and Hove”. Of course Mr. Turton is very attuned to such behavior as an active member of the previous administration, which was ... how can I put this politely? Somewhat less than democratic? In fact whilst not fighting the good fight, Councillor Turton and his Labour colleague ex-Councillor Simon Battle (to name but two) spent their spare time registering fake names on the forums of the Argus website, then attacking residents who disagreed with the council decisions. Mr. Mugabe would be proud. Give him a call Craig - maybe he’s willing to offer you a power share! Signs Of The Times The headmaster of Fairlight Primary School in Hove has come up with a new way to communicate with pupils - sign language. (continued on page 7)


Dealing With Redundancy Zoe Lagadec of Mulberry’s Solicitors advises us on our legal rights With the collapse of Northern Rock building society followed recently by the leading global investment bank, Lehmans Brothers and the future of other key players in the financial world remaining precarious it is clear we are heading towards at best a period of readjustment and at worst recession, if not depression. Unsurprisingly, in this climate the latest Labour Market Outlook survey conducted by the CIPD indicates that redundancies are set to increase substantially in the next few months, with over a quarter of employers saying that they planned to start cutting jobs before October. Many readers therefore may be wise to take earlier advice on how redundancies should be carried out in order to comply with the law, whether they will be the ones making the redundancies or facing redundancy themselves. Redundancy is an often misused word. The legal definition can be found in statute and occurs in broadly three circumstances: firstly, where there is a closure of a business, second where the employee’s workplace closes, i.e. a branch of the business, and thirdly where there is a diminishing need for employees to do available work. The primary decision to make redundancies is not one the employment tribunal will look behind, it views this as a commercial issue not a legal one. What is capable of challenge however is the decision to select an individual employee for redundancy over and above another. In this connection some reasons will be considered automatically

unfair, for example reasons connected to pregnancy, trade union activities and the assertion of various rights. Other reasons, whilst not automatically unfair may nonetheless render the decision to select an employee unfair. For example, where the criteria used in the selection procedure is subjective or biased or where the employer used the process to give effect to a hidden agenda to dismiss specific individuals. Likewise, selection criteria may infringe discrimination law by indirectly discriminating against employees, most notably on the grounds of age or sex. Employers often link enhanced redundancy payments to length of service, which may put women and younger at a disadvantage.

consultation are likely to face challenges in the employment tribunals, which could prove extremely cost and to a business already facing financial difficulties could be fatal. Zoe Lagadec is a specialist employment solicitor and senior lecturer in employment law at Brighton University. She qualified in the City in 2001 and since then has developed her practice in all areas of employment law.

Even if the selection procedure is fair the consultation, and hence the dismissal, may still be considered unfair if inadequate consultation is provided or the employer fails to properly consider redeployment. The key therefore to ensuring that a redundancy exercise is carried out lawfully is in ensuring the process and procedure is fair. The first step is to start the consultation at an early stage, when the proposals to make redundancies are still in the formative stage and in good time for employees to participate in the consultation and if need to be look for alternative employment. If more than 20 people are being made redundant within a ninety day window the consultation must commence thirty days prior to the first dismissal taking effect. If more than 20 people are going the consultation period increases. Employers who ambush employees with redundancy notices without prior



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Local News (continued from page 5) The school, which headmaster Damien Jordan boasts, is the city’s most international school with 55 of its 311 pupils coming from 24 dierent countries. Mr Jordan said: “I need to be able to communicate in some form with all of the pupils and their families so I have been learning the basics in several dierent tongues and have been training in a sign language called Makaton, which has been designed for use in schools.â€? Here’s a crazy idea - why doesn’t he just speak to them in English?! After all we do live in England, and presumably that is one of the things they are there to learn? When I travel to France, I speak French, and I certainly wouldn’t expect teaching sta to be required to learn another language just for my child’s benefit. Roadworks Another month, another road dug up, or rather, several at once. Visitors to Churchill Square are now having to negotiate temporary traďŹƒc lights and machinery where previously they only had to avoid psychotic drivers of double decker buses (Brighton’s answer to American postal workers with guns). However, there is one glimmer of light: Southern Gas are replacing their pipes at the

same time, so there shouldn’t be any digging up of all the roads again for the foreseeable future.

numerous cases where people’s PIN numbers have been found out by means of criminals hiding cameras close to credit card terminals.

At last we can see some joined up thinking going on! House Prices Down House prices have fallen by their lowest amount since 2000, with properties values’ down by an average of £4,000 last month. Lanes Car Park Set For Overhaul The Brighton and Hove City Council-run car park in the Lanes is to get a £1 million makeover. Residents who took part in a 2005 consultation highlighted safety issues in the car park, and a general lack of maintenance. The council has said that £1.7 million of the £2 million required to address the problems of this car park and the London Road car park, which also scored poorly, will be borrowed, whilst the rest of the money will come from parking fines. Increase in ATM Crime Police are warning of an increase in ATM related crime around Brighton and Hove. If you use an ATM ensure that there is no one standing too close to you (and if they are don’t be afraid to politely ask them to move back!) and be sure to cover the keypad when you enter your PIN number. Also take care in shops when using credit cards with PIN numbers. There have been

REGENCY Winner Collects Prize Lisa Childs from Norfolk Terrace was presented with a beautiful hamper of delicacies from the Food for Chefs opposite the Corn Exchange. Lisa planned a “weekend of luxuryâ€? with visiting friends. Watch out for an absolutely FANTASTIC prize on oer next month! As we often say, it pays to be a regular REGENCY reader! REGENCY Street Search Winner Whilst we had numerous entries only one person managed to find all the streets hidden in the word search last month. Miss L. Beattie of Montpelier Terrace wins a bottle of wine. Congratulations!






The Royal Alex Scandal Continues CMPCA responds to statements REGENCY magazine didn’t even make In the last issue we brought to the attention of residents a serious conflict of interest with regard to Adam Jones, the chair of the local residents’ association, the Clifton Montpelier Powis Community Alliance (CMPCA). Even though we made absolutely no comment about the CMPCA as an organisation, and Mr. Jones has not contacted us regarding the article, it seems officers and a few committee members of the association are keen to protect him. The following document has been approved by the officers and a majority of the committee (although rejected outright by certain committee members), and was described as a response to the last issue of this magazine. It has not been sent to REGENCY magazine, and committee members who have asked who it has been produced for have not received replies from CMPCA officers. Statement from the Clifton Montpelier Powis Community Alliance’s Management Committee Inaccurate and misleading reports are being circulated about the CMPCA’s response to redevelopment of the former Royal Alex site and that of Adam Jones in particular. All the allegations were raised in June in a Management Committee meeting. Having heard both sides the committee rejected them and passed a vote of confidence in Adam, who remains our Chair and has our full support. REGENCY responds: In fact when the issue arose officers pushed for a vote of confidence in Adam Jones prior to any discussion of the issue. He did not, and does not enjoy “full support”. The views of doctors at the Montpelier Surgery are also being wrongly reported, and a link incorrectly drawn between the Royal Alex debate and the committee’s decision to close the website. The facts on all three issues are set out below. REGENCY responds: No comments by the doctors or their views were even included in the article. It can only be concluded that these officers are purposefully misreading the article. 1. “The plans include a piece of land . . . being given to Adam Jones……” True In July last year Taylor Wimpey, in order to preserve an original flint wall and straighten out one corner of their site, offered to transfer a small strip of land to the rear gardens of two adjoining houses in Clifton Hill, one being Adam’s, but Adam’s share of it is roughly 6’x10’. It has been included, with slight variations, in each of the three planning applications. REGENCY responds: It is strange that Mr. Jones, a university lecturer and school teacher, would


‘forget’ about this land swap when he completely denied its existence to the editor of this magazine. 2. “The value of the land is estimated at £35,000…” A matter of opinion!! Clearly TW think it is of no value to their development. The 60 square feet adjoining a walled rear garden has no external access. The TW drawing on the Council’s website does not show the boundary between the two houses that will receive land and is open to misunderstanding. REGENCY responds: A typical attempt to blur the issue. The valuation was produced by a professional in his field, and is based on the current division between the two properties. 3. “This offer . . . was dependent on the property’s demolition” False The land transfer has also been included in TW’s drawings for the conversion scheme of the existing building (which they claim is uneconomic). REGENCY responds: In fact the statement made by REGENCY is quite true. There is no planning application submitted for a redevelopment (as opposed to the demolition) of the Royal Alex building. The document referred to is just a rough design produced by Taylor Wimpey which is designed to show that it is supposedly financially unfeasible to preserve the original building. 4. “Adam Jones as Chair of CMPCA acted in his own interests to support the demolition proposals…” False The CMPCA objected to TW’s first two planning applications for demolition and a complete rebuild. Adam signed the letters (which were drafted by other committee members), and also entered his own personal objections. He has not taken any part in discussions of the current application which are being chaired by CMPCA’s Vice-Chair, John Riddington. REGENCY responds: Another completely fictionalised quotation, but it is certainly a conclusion that can be drawn. Had he rejected signing the document this may have come out even sooner than it did (Adam Jones kept this issue secret for nearly a year). 5. “The CMPCA website was closed [to prevent members reading committee minutes]….

False No Committee minutes have been placed on the existing privately-owned website since June 2007. Its other pages are also out of date. After previous complaints the committee voted in September to close the website and establish a replacement owned by the CMPCA. It will be up and running as soon as possible and include Committee minutes. REGENCY responds: Again, we did not make such a statement. We advised that people that they could have looked on the website and seen the original aims of the association but it had been ordered to be closed down. In fact the “previous complaints” were all instigated by the secretary of the association Philippa Sankey as a means to take control of every aspect of the association. One person making these ongoing complaints was forced to admit that they were “minor issues”, whilst other who complained failed to be able to detail any fault at all with the website. We will detail more about Mrs. Sankey and her actions in the next issue. 6. “The surgery will close in 2009 and there is no agreement from the NHS for the new one….” False These claims are also wrong and were made without consulting the doctors or the Primary Care Trust. The PCT and the surgery are pleased with the design, which has been improved in the current application to provide more daylight at the rear. Our community meeting on 16 September agreed that, in the interests of local residents, the CMPCA should continue its campaign to ensure a surgery is included in whatever development is approved by the Council’s planning committee. REGENCY responds: This information is based on conversations with the NHS Trust, and the repeated insistence by treasurer Peter Freeman about the ‘imminent’ closure of the surgery. CMPCA Management Committee 24 September 2008 REGENCY responds : This document was sent to committee members having been drafted by the officers Philippa Sankey, John Riddington, Adam Jones and Peter Freeman. They were told that the officers were “unwilling” to make any changes to it, and a response was required by the next day. It was supported by committee members Judy Bow, Pauline Messum, Aidan Lunn and Jane Gray. As this whole episode has sparked such a shameful display from CMPCA officers, it is probably time that residents are made aware of the truth of the association history, and how they operate. We’ll be including a full report in the next issue. Stay tuned!

Communal Bins Jason Kitcat, one of the two councillors for Regency ward, gives us his views on the bins I believe the proposal for communal bins that Brighton & Hove's Tory Administration waved through at their Cabinet Meeting recently is the wrong proposal being put forward in the wrong way. I'm not against communal bins on principle - but these ones in this way are not what our city needs. Their introduction follows a flawed consultation process which did not meet the Cabinet Office's code of practice for consultations -- which applies to local authorities as much as it does to ministers. The consultation was run for barely a month when the minimum time set down by the code is 12 weeks. The code requires consultations to be provided online but this one wasn't. A number of my constituents never received the consultation or saw only one for a building with multiple households. Allowing online responses could have helped remedy this. More fundamentally however the Conservative communal bins do not deal with the key challenges waste and street tidyness pose for our city. Of course I want to see cleaner streets - who doesn't? But I keep seeing and keep receiving photos of existing communal bins attracting mess, fly tipping, dumping and graffiti.

existing communal bins -- whenever I pass and look in I see lots of recyclables amidst the bin bags: cardboard, paper, glass, plastics. Surely it's human nature to go for the path of least resistance. If people don't have space to store rubbish in their flats then the same applies for recyclables. Yet the council expects residents to sit on recyclables for a week but chuck rubbish whenever they like into the big communal bins which are emptied six days a week. A 2004 University of Brighton study commissioned by the council examined the waste in the communal bins trial. The study found that 43% of the waste in the bins was recyclable (under the current, quite limited recycling scheme available) and a further 21% was food based waste. This was in an areas where weekly kerbside recycling was already in operation. So we know that 63% of the waste in the bins could be dealt with in alternative ways. We are told a new waste strategy is being developed to bolster our weak recycling levels. We have expanded recycling facilities coming online shortly that will be able to process a wider range of materials than ever before. So why rush the bins in before all this and risk taxpayer money on increasing landfill charges as recyclables are chucked out?

Crepes & Co

Binvelopes (the foldable containers to protect bin bags from attack by foxes and seagulls) were ruled out as being only a short term measure yet just a few weeks ago the use of binvelopes was expanded in the Hanover part of our city. How can they make sense there but not in Regency ward?

The beginning...

I also feel that the administration have not been sensitive in locating these bins. I have had correspondence from some residents extremely distressed by the thought of having smelly, noisy bins outside their homes possibly blocking their natural light. We have many streets in beautiful conservation areas that house a low density population which are clearly opposed to having these bins. The

council's conservation policy and local plan both clearly put a duty on the council to 'preserve or enhance the character or appearance' of our conservation areas and so we should allow opt-outs for the sake of our most beautiful streets and when residents clearly won't support the scheme. In summary, we have a proposal that is based on: • A flawed consultation, • doesn't deal with mess but attracts it, • isn't sensitive to conservation areas and won't allow opt-outs, • and rips the heart out of our recycling programme -- 63% of the waste in the communal bins could have been dealt with by recycling and composting. I would like to see a new plan which isn't rushed ahead of the waste strategy -- who heard of implementation before the strategy is written? Show me a plan which properly considers the human, conservation and environmental impacts of its proposals and I'll happily support it.

Crepes & Co Cllr Theobald claimed that his plans would have 'No negative impact on recycling' and so there would be no additional landfill tax liability. This flies in the face of the council's own studies.

At Crepes & Co w about crepes. Yes, we need cleaner streets. But we urgently need to recycle far more than we do today this was the wrong proposal in the wrong way.

Our in savoury Galett It happened on New Year’s Day 2004 Liz delicious, nutty fla Smith’s countr y kitchen in Les Eglises flou D’Argenteuil. We all sat con around the kitchen table car while Hugues whipped up lun Crepes & Co some d e l i c i o u s s a v o u r y Our savoury are made using TheGalettes beginning... whea delicious, nutty flavoured buckwheat ‘galettes Bretonnes’ and happened on New Year’s Day 2004 in Liz flour. ItʼsIt gluten free and contains and Smith’s countr y kitchen slow-burning carbs. Yippee! A new in Les Eglises crepes forD’Argenteuil. us to We feed all sat our lunch option for the wheat-intolerant, simp around the kitchen table pregnant and toddlers or those who while Hugues whipped up mix souls. The special Our simply like great food. some d e l i c i o u s s a v o u r y ‘galettes Bretonnes’ of cheesescrepes with hamand and as:for us to feed our Enjoy a wide variety of delicious souls. The special mix fillings,mushrooms both sweet and savoury. was divine of cheeses with ham and cream mushrooms was divine Comethe and visit us in and thecrepes sweet crepes oozed and sweet oozed bac Ship Street in the Lanes with chocolate. That rainy day in January the Crepes & Co idea withfirst chocolate. That rainy che was born. We hope you enjoy our authentic Breton style galettes and crepes as much as 9 first day in January we the mu do. Crepes & Co idea

The nub of the matter lies with recycling however. There is already a problem with the

Community Photographs: After the Food Fair Several residents have sent us photographs from around the area - if you would like one of yours considered for publication, then just drop us a line. The email address is, or you can send it to our postal address on page 3. We will keep them safe and return them afterwards if you wish.

We have a fabulous range of rugs from all around the globe including from India, Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. We have the largest variety in the whole of Sussex, arranged over 3 floors. We offer everything from traditional styles to the latest modern designs. Bespoke service offering sizes up to 15’ x 12’ available. 111-113 CHURCH ROAD, HOVE, EAST SUSSEX Telephone: 01273 721444


Tech Support Fed up with Microsoft and PCs? James Ogilvie of MacWorkshop tells of another path ... This month, I’d like to talk about “switching” and “switchers”. Switchers, as we Mac users call them, are people who have moved from a Windows PC to a Mac. Over the years, I’ve persuaded all of my family and most of my friends to switch. This should explain why they did, why you should, and why Mac users get accused of evangelising shamelessly about their computer of choice - as I’m about to do. For the purposes of this article, I’m going to focus on the differences between a Mac and a PC - you might have seen those Apple advertisements on TV, where “PC” is a machine using Windows. Unfortunately, the acronym “PC” is a little misleading - meaning “personal computer” - a Mac is also a personal computer, as is a machine using Linux (which I won’t be talking about here, as it’s a subject outside the remit of an article aimed at the majority of home computer users). Let’s get the big misconception out of the way - I often hear people say “I’d get one, but they’re so much more expensive than a PC!”. Granted, this used to be the case - but that argument just doesn’t hold water nowadays: Firstly, there is a wide range of Macs to choose from - you can buy a Mac Mini for £399, which will do everything most home users need. They are fantastic desktop machines - and will plug straight into your existing monitor, USB keyboard and mouse. Or you could decide to go for a laptop - you can buy a MacBook for £699. MacBooks are taking the educational world by storm at the moment - and NUS cardholders even get a discount. Secondly, it’s wise to consider what you get “out of the box” with a Mac - and what you don’t necessarily get with a Windows PC for the same money: Hardware - apart from generally being design masterpieces, all current Macs come with: Fast Intel processors; Built-in WiFi (802.11n - the fastest currently available); USB 2.0; Bluetooth 2.0 and FireWire - and all use the newer SATA hard drives. I won’t go into these technologies now, but suffice it to say they are the same

types and versions found in the most expensive Macs and Windows PCs. Software - all current Macs come with: Safari (the nicest web browser available for any system), iCal (full-featured calendaring), AddressBook (for your contacts), iChat (instant messaging), iTunes (to organise music and more), GarageBand (to compose your own music), iPhoto (to display and organise your photos), iMovie (to create home movies), iDVD (to burn those movies to disc and share them) and iWeb (to create your own websites). Also, Automator can automate pretty much any repetitive task for you. In addition, the tools built into Mac OS X allow you to do things like word processing (TextEdit), view PDF files and photos (Preview), view movie files and DVDs (QuickTime Player), send & receive email (Mail) - and many, many more. These are not “half-baked”, feature-restricted solutions designed to tempt you into buying an “un-crippled” full version - they are fullyfeatured, industry-standard tools that are a pleasure to use. Add iWork to the mix (£49, fully functional trial included with all new Macs) and you have Pages, Keynote and Numbers Apple’s answer to Word, Powerpoint and Excel. They’re fully compatible with documents written with Microsoft’s software and viceversa - plus they’re much nicer to use. The editor of Regency Magazine publishes the whole magazine in Pages. Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the differences between their operating systems. PCs generally come with Windows - the current version is Windows Vista (in myriad and bewildering versions). Macs come with Mac OS X (pronounced “oh-es-ten”, not “oh-es-ex”) - the current version is Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” (one version only). It is, quite simply, the most advanced and easy to use operating system in the world. And because it’s made by the same people who make the hardware, it’s seamlessly integrated - no drivers to mess about with, no system registry, no complications. Macs also come pre-installed with industry standard

drivers for literally thousands of printers. The whole package is such an intuitive pleasure to use that you’ll be up and running in no time. Other benefits of owning a Mac: Security - Macs are, quite rightly, famous for being incredibly resistant to viruses and other nasty bits of software. They are inherently more secure - and they prove this on a daily basis. Most Mac users have no antivirus software at all, because there’s simply no significant risk. The system firewall even comes pre-configured for you and can automatically adjust itself as needed, so there’s no messing about there either. Support - you’ll rarely need it. The hardware is reliable, the operating system is fast, secure and intuitive - and detailed, easy to follow documentation is built in. Windows - if you really, really want to, you can install Windows on your Intel Mac - and run it by itself, or within a window inside Mac OS X. Some “switchers” start off by doing this, but most then rapidly abandon their Windows applications for the Mac alternatives. Migration - if you buy a Mac from an Apple retail store, an “Apple Genius” will transfer all your files from your old computer for you. That said, it’s pretty easy to do it yourself. MobileMe - synchronise your email, contacts, calendars, documents, photos - your whole digital life - to an online “cloud” for secure access from anywhere, on any computer. These are just some of the reasons that Apple is currently growing it’s user base at ten times that of the PC industry in general, even as we slide into global recession. If you currently use Windows, you really should make your next computer a Mac - find out more at - (shameless plug coming up) my company, MacWorkshop, can of course assist and advise.


Frames in the Lanes Continuing our profile of independent shops in our area, we go in search of glasses Whatever your age, being told that you need to wear glasses is never welcome news, but since the deregulation of opticians in the 1980’s the choice of spectacles has never been greater. Long gone are the days when frames came in a few NHS shapes and sizes when style clearly did not enter the mindset of those responsible. In those bad old days unless you were financially well off, having to wear glasses could be really depressing, particularly if you were single and wanting to be at your most attractive, but how times have changed! Wearing glasses can now be very much an extension of your personality and when it comes to being stylish and fashionable, magazines including the latest issue of Vogue, are full of features highlighting the latest eye ware styles and their acclaimed designers. It was against this background that the new optical boutique ‘Frames in the Lanes’ was born following a chance meeting between Bernadette Fitzsimons and Freya Huntley . Freya already had great experience both as a technician and in dispensing and particularly enjoyed the interaction with customers from advising them on the best choice of lenses right through to the frames which would suit their face shape and even lifestyle. Bernadette on the other hand had been a successful business woman in London, running companies in the travel industry, but had decided to return to Brighton to invest her time and management expertise into an exciting new venture.


Both Freya and Bernadette realised that residents in Brighton and Hove did not want to have to trail up to London in order to find the very latest frame designs, so from the outset they have been determined that they would be able to offer the widest possible style choice. Both have travelled to the large international optical fairs in Europe and further afield to personally select every frame from all over the world for their new boutique and the end result is dazzling! You can purchase frames from Chrome Hearts, who are based in Rodeo Drive USA, who consider their frames to be ‘eye jewellery’ and use sterling silver, hand crafted wood and the best acetate from Italy in their designs. Or look for the Australian Jono Hennessy’s collection, who specialises in frames designed in bamboo and various fabrics. If you really care about the planet, then look for the ranges made from recycled material which claim to be ‘the world’s first eco friendly glasses’ . Finally if you do really want to be nostalgic and enjoy the quirkiness of the much older vintage styles, then the range ‘Dead Mens Specs’ may be just what you are looking for! Though ‘Frames in the Lanes’ do have ranges priced up to £800, they start at a modest £99 and all their prices include the basic lenses too, so you can easily stick to your own budget but still have a fantastic choice of frames. Of course many favourite brands are also feaatured in store such as Ray-Ban, Versace, Gucci and many more.

This new optical boutique is bright and stylish and when it was designed Bernadette and Freya insisted on using local craftsmen to make all the shop’s fittings, including the beautifully lit display cabinets. They do of course offer a full professional optical and eye testing service and readers of Regency can currently enjoy a free sight test until 30th November - just take along your copy of the magazine to book this fantastic offer! At ‘Frames in the Lanes’ Freya and Bernadette are proud to be able to offer exclusive eye care in the heart of the Old Lanes giving residents a fantastic choice of frames from all over the world, together with an excellent and personalised optical service. So pop along for a chat and see for yourself just what they have to offer. You can find Frames in the Lanes at 12c Meeting House Lane and you can contact them on 01273 747769. They are open 7 days a week Mon - Fri 10am - 5.30pm and Sundays 12 - 4pm.

Eating Out In Regency This could be the best Indian in all Brighton! We visit the Chilli Pickle in the Lanes When at the age of 18, Alun Sperring the owner of the newly opened ‘The Chilli Pickle’ bistro, put away his school books at Brighton College for the last time with his life ahead of him, perhaps even he would have been rather impressed with what he did actually accomplish over the following 20 years! As a teenager he had a love of good food and cooking, but he also had the wander lust and it was this need to travel the world which actually started the journey that would lead him into fine dining cuisine. Europe was his first ‘stop’ and with his then modest culinary skills he managed to get work at the Intercontinental Hotel in Vienna and the famous Grand Hotel Kronenhof near St Moritz. By his current high standards, his role in the kitchens of these 5 star hotels was obviously extremely modest, but it gave him an insight into what was possible if he was really dedicated. Being a Brighton boy, the lure of the sea also played it’s part in Alun’s journey of culinary discovery and he was further amazed by the classical grandeur of the cuisine when working on board the famous Cunard ship QE2. Leaving the liner in Australia, he then journeyed across that huge continent which inevitably led him towards Asia and finally to India and Nepal. Obviously he needed to keep himself in funds, so for several months at a time he worked in a number of restaurants, all the time learning new skills but even more importantly discovering exciting cuisines and cultures. He had by now reached a maturity and such a high standard as a chef, that on returning to the UK he worked at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hyde Park. He was then attracted to the USA and became a food consultant which he enjoyed immensely, but when the opportunity was offered to him to return as a chef leading a brigade working for Michael Douglas at the Aerial Sands Resort in Bermuda, it was something which he could not resist. His future wife Dawn flew out to join him and soon learned all aspects of restaurant service and proved herself to be a ‘natural’ with diners. Though Alun was now highly accomplished in many different cuisines, he realised that it was

in India and Nepal, where he had travelled so extensively, that everything which he loved about good food came together. So he returned to London to work at the famous Indian ‘Cinnamon Club’ in Westminster and then spent three years out in Dubai at the iconic Madinat Jumeirah The Arabian Resort, which also gave him easy travel access to India where he spent as much time as possible giving him an even greater knowledge of the various regional cuisines throughout the country, including visiting Nepalese food festivals. By this time Alun and Dawn were married and hardly unsurprisingly they chose to spend an idilic honeymoon on a Keralan houseboat in India where Sabu the chef came into their lives. They were both so impressed with the food which he created for them that Alun offered Sabu a job with him back in Dubai. However like many expats before them, the lure of ‘home’ at last became just too great to resist and most importantly they also wanted to start a family so they finally returned to Brighton to establish ‘The Chilli Pickle’ together in the old Lanes. To their delight Sabu agreed to join them, together with another brilliant award winning Indian chef called Laxman, who completed a formidable kitchen trio. However the key ‘front of house’ and bistro management position is handled with charm and skill by Dawn who is an extremely hard working and equal business partner in the venture drawing on her own significant experience gained working overseas. From the start Alun and Dawn were determined that ‘The Chilli Pickle’ would be a unique Indian dining experience, including the searching out a range of speciality beers which would stand up to the intense flavours of the food. Amongst many others they found ‘Meantime India Pale Ale’ based on the original recipe and which was first brewed 150 years ago to be sent via the ships of East Indian Trading Company out to India to serve the Raj!

course the extensive menu of Indian and Nepalese cuisine that makes this newcomer to the Lanes such a pleasure to visit. Whether during the day you want to enjoy the wide range of “Street Food’ served in small and medium portions or the dinner menu with dishes like Sabu’s signature and seasonably available dish, ‘Coconut Pepper Crab, a recipe passed to him by his mother or Laxman’s Beef MoMos served with freshly made Tomato and Chilli Chutney and of course so many other unique dishes reflecting Alun’s own creative style. The restaurant kitchen has an authentic Tandoori oven which apart from other obvious delights ensures the most delicious supply of warm Indian breads Alun sources all his raw ingredients with great care, particularly his spices ready to be carefully blended, but also ensures that he buys organic and free range meats and poultry from local suppliers, including Sussex reared beef and Salt Marsh lamb, the latter so highly prized by leading chefs. The restaurant is light, modern and airy and the decor reflects a soft blend of colours which are subtle, yet still with a very obvious Indian style. Finally when I asked Alun to sum up for me what is was that he wanted to achieve with ‘The Chilli Pickle’, he answered simply and sincerely that everything in his restaurant would be authentic and of a consistently high standard down to the smallest detail, but above all the food would always be prepared and served with ‘passion and pride’. From my own eating experience at ‘The Chilli Pickle’, I couldn’t have summed it up better myself! You can find them at 42, Meeting House Lane and they are open every day with the exception of Tuesday. Contact on 01273 323824 or look at their website on

They also offer a extensive whole leaf ‘estate’ tea menu, all served in authentic Jing glass teapots and available at any time, but particularly delicious during the day with freshly cooked Indian sweetmeats. But it is of


Hot Money Saving Tips Reading REGENCY regularly saves you money each and every month! Many residents in Brighton either commute or regularly use the train and you can get a big 20% discount at nearly all the food franchises at all UK railway stations including Brighton and London by applying for the new BITE card at Outlets like Upper Crust, Delice de France, Burger King, A Piece of Cake and many more are all part of this scheme and any rail travellers can really save a lot of money by having a BITE card in their wallet, so apply without delay! It’s free! Don’t forget about the ORANGE Wednesday cinema promotion. If you already use Orange, simply text FILM to 241 on your phone and you will be sent a code which you then show to at the cinema box office to get your half price seats. Even if you don’t use Orange, you could still be a bit sneaky and simply sign up for a £1 Pay as you Go Orange sim card, slip in in your phone when you fancy a cheap night at the movies and enjoy the Wednesday promotion too! A way to get some free seats at Cineworld outlets

is with a Mastercard credit card. All you need to do is use your Mastercard to buy two or more cinema tickets before 31st October, keep your receipt, download your form at and post everything off including a self addressed stamped envelope and you will be sent a voucher to claim two free sets for use at a Cineworld cinema and valid Monday to Friday, but all applications must be received before 7th November If you are already a SKY customer you may not know about ‘Sky Perks’ which offer a wide range of ‘perks’ including family fun days and discounted hotel stays amongst others. Go to to find all the details. You can apply free to join the WH Smith Privilege Club which will immediately give you a £20 money off voucher to spend in store if you go to whsmithextra-privelage-club.aspx. Better still they will offer you a £10 voucher each month to spend on a range of special promotions.

If you are looking for savings on clothes and love H&M outlets then go to and on the bottom right of the opening home page you will find details of how you can apply to get your 20% off voucher simply by joining their newsletter. If you are already a student or have one in the family, tell them about the “So you can’t boil an egg promotion?” being run by the Gourmet Burger Company with the Brighton branch in Jubilee Street. Simply go to their website and between 1st-31st October you can immediately download a money off voucher giving you either two salads or two gourmet burgers for the price of one and no reason why you cannot continue to download vouchers for future visits during the monthly promotion! OLD ORLEANS are currently offering ‘Two for one on sizzling farjitas’ at their branches (Brighton outlet in Ship Street) on Monday to Thursday and also for every adult meal purchased, children under 12 can eat free from the children's menu. Go to


12 noon – 5.00pm Over 45 Dishes £6.90 (£7.90 Fri & Sat)

EVENING BUFFET 5.00pm – 11.00pm Over 70 Dishes £12.90

SUNDAY BUFFET Bali Mussels - Mussels Pan Fried in Curry Paste, Lemongrass, Kaffir Leaves and Coconut

12 noon – 10pm Over 70 Dishes £8.90

65-75 West Street, Brighton, BN1 2RA t. 01273 746294 The Ultimate Oriental Buffet Restaurant


TOP CHEF Head Chef is Fernando Boticario has worked in top O r i e n t a l Restaurants in Norway and America before joining Wokmania in the UK. BEST FOOD We only use the best ingredients cooked fresh on the premises. Grade A chicken breast (or thigh meat in certain thai curries), topside beef and grade A pork. Our fresh garden produce is delivered daily from a top local supplier. NO MSG We do not use monosodium glutamate. to download your voucher. Another online club which you can join is for LA TASCA outlets, so go to their website on and on the top left you will see the link to join their club and be able to download a £5 voucher instantly which can then be used against a minimum spend of £10 with them. You will also find some fun games for children. The highest scorer each month can win a free meal. For all the tea drinkers out there TETLEY’S are running ‘Free fun for everyone’ offering free days out for a range of venues to suit the whole family. Register on their website and build up your points bank by purchasing special packs of Tetley tea.


Do you want to reach over 10,000 residents in the central Brighton area? Our advertising rates start from as little as £50 for a full colour panel ad. Call us on (01273) 671942 or email


Credit Card Crunch In these difficult financial times, make sure you get your money back from card companies Two ways to help you to get some of your own money back! I am sure that the majority of readers will already be aware of the controversy concerning the general overcharging of customers by the high street banks and which still awaits a final legal ruling. (I will keep you updated in a later issue). However what is less known is that in June 06 the Office of Fair Trading (Tel: 08454 04 05 06) also ruled that when it comes to credit cards, the high level of late payment charges (which are different from the charges for going over your agreed limit) levied by various companies were considered to have been excessive. Up to then charges could be as much as £35 even for being as little as 1p over with a late payment! The OFD felt that this should immediately be reduced to around £12 as a fairer reflection of the administration time involved. As these excessive late payment charges on credit cards are not part of the same legal case as the banks, you should consider taking the necessary steps to get your own late charges refunded, though you need to be aware of a few things before you start. Firstly some of these credit card companies rather peevishly have a habit of cancelling an account once they are forced to give customers refunds. If this happens, you will either have to pay off any outstanding balance with them and also get a new card from another company just to ensure that you are not left with a plastic hole in your wallet! However if you currently have a fairly good credit rating, you may not need to pay off your balance when switching, by moving to a new card offering 0% balance transfers. Two of the best around at the moment are Virgin, (Tel: 0800 096 9939) offering 15 months and a 2.98% fee on the transfer amount or HSBC (Tel: 0800 328 1278 ) offering 13 months with a 2.5% fee. Just make sure that the amount that you need to transfer across from your old card is covered by the credit limit offered on your new card.


Unfortunately if you have a really bad credit rating you could find it difficult, if not impossible to get another card or if you can, be able to get a reasonable credit limit to be able to transfer any outstanding balance. You therefore need to think very carefully as to whether applying for a refund is the best course of action in your personal circumstances. The good news is that because you are able to claim back over the last six years in England and Wales, if you are able to get yourself into a better financial position in the next few months, you could consider making your refund application at a later date. In order to start the procedure and particularly as it unlikely that you will have kept all your old statements, you first need to accurately establish the total amount that you have been overcharged. Write to your credit card company requesting that you are sent comprehensive details of all default charges for late payments over the last six years on your account. Refer to the fact that this is your legal right under the Data Protection Act 1998 and that you are entitled by law to ask them to give you this information in any readable format even if it is derived from microfiche. You will also need to include a cheque for £10 with your letter as the fee set by the OFD to cover this request. You also need to state that the requested information needs to be sent to you within 40 days as is their legal obligation under the Data Protection Act and add that if they fail to meet your requests, you will contact the Information Commissioner (Tel: 08456 303060) Hopefully you will receive the information within the required time,(otherwise contact the ICO as above)) then simply add up all the late payment charges but (remember not to include charges for going over your credit limit.) Once you have this information, write again to your credit card company to formally request a refund. Don’t be surprised if they respond initially by saying that your claim is not valid as it is ‘subject to a test legal case’ - this is unacceptable and untrue as this only applies to the banks and not credit card companies.

They may also try to say that their original terms and conditions had stated what their charges would be, so that they have acted correctly, but again this is simply another delaying tactic which you must refute. Obviously these companies want to try and do everything to avoid making refunds, but do not let yourself be put off and write again restating your case to show that you are absolutely determined to get your unfair charges back. Be assured that there have already been thousands of successful claimants. Some have simply asked for the difference between the OFT recommended amount of £12 rather than what you were actually charged i.e. up to £35 each time, and those refunds appear to have successfully progressed without being strung out for too long. On the other hand many have been really bloody minded and asked for the total late payment charges and have also threatened to go to the small claims court if they have been refused. However it does make sense before considering a small claims legal action to make contact with the Financial Ombudsman and to give them full details of your claim. It is then their job to try and arbitrate on your behalf by contacting the credit card company and discussing your case. The point is that by making this extra effort, you may just reach your goal of achieving that important refund. A company may of course come back with a reduced financial offer and then you would have to decide whether you are prepared to take it further or accept. If you make the decision to carry on and take the small claim court route, it is actually quite straightforward and all the details can be found on In reality very few credit card companies want to risk going to court with all the bad publicity just for the sake of paying back a few hundred pounds and do normally capitulate before you ever reach that stage. In any case in the small claims court where a claim is less than £5000 which obviously is well within the scope of the vast majority of any claim, no costs can be given, so any risk is restricted to the set fees of starting the claim, check the Moneyclaim website as above.

‘Finally a second and even lesser known refund opportunity is for Mortgage Exit Redemption Fees’. Put simply, when you move from one mortgage supplier to another, as many have in the past few years or when you have paid off your mortgage completely, you will been charged this administration fee. However this is different from the ‘Early Redemption Charge’ which is levied when you have moved or redeemed your mortgage during a special deal fixed period like a reduced interest mortgage as these fees are not refundable. In January 2007 the regulator the FSA said that the mortgage companies had overcharged their customers because when their mortgage

agreements were first taken out (possibly several years ago) the exit redemption fees could have been as low as £60. However when a redemption request was made more recently, this was likely to have risen as high as £250 or £300.

On a personal note I am happy to report that my own experience 18 months ago was completely successful, when following a simple phone call to the Cheltenham and Gloucester Building Society, within the month I was sent a cheque for £140!

However following the FSA ruling, the evidence is that all the major lenders are cooperating fully and once requested to do so by a past customer, are normally making full refunds based on the difference between the original level of redemption fee compared with the higher level which was eventually charged.

Special Note: At the time of writing I have been as accurate as possible with the content but the information given should not be taken as being legal advice. It is rather a reflection on what appears to be the current situation for particular refunds on both credit cards and mortgages. In any case I would always advise that you check for updates on the various websites noted in the article.

“Last of the Summer” by Miriam Doyle


In July REGENCY magazine launched its own bid to save the art of the short story. We are delighted to report that we received numerous submissions from the community and will be publishing them over the coming issues. In this issue we present a short story from a local resident who lives in St. Michael’s Place, Rashid Karapiet.

“This Child” I stand with my feet in the water, the little waves lapping around my ankles, tears streaming down my cheeks, my arms held out before me, my hands grasping the child. I had wrenched him from the grip of the two boys who had not been aware of me till I was there, screaming at them to stop, beating them off the small body which they had been holding face down in the water. I had not known what in that moment was more important: to save the child or to hold the boys until someone came to take them. I had let them go, running frantically along the beach, and I had stooped to pick up the child. Water streamed from his mouth, his nostrils, his ears; his eyes were half-open; he hung limply in my hands, heavier than I expected. I had made clumsy attempts to revive him. I knew nothing of life-saving techniques. Then I had begun to shout for help: there must be someone within earshot. My voice had given out. I could not restrain my despair. I had held the child before me and wept. I did not notice the wind which blew from the sea and chilled me. I knew only that I held a dead child. I don't know how long I stand thus. I hear the sound of a police car or an ambulance approaching. When the sound reaches an almost unbearable climax, it stops and I hear the sound of doors closing and feet running towards me across the pebbles. Two young policemen take the child from my grasp, lay him gently down on the pebbles. One of them begins resuscitation, the other questions me. His manner is hostile. To my shocked state is

“ I am still shivering as we walk away from the water's edge, a small sad procession.” 18

added the further shock of the realisation that I am suspected. I answer the policeman's questions as coherently as I can, but panic is rising in me. I begin to shiver violently so that I become unable to speak clearly. The policemen look at each other. The one with the child shakes his head. The other says,'I'm afraid we'll have to take you in, sir.' My shock is not too great to register the 'Sir'. It must be my age. An ambulance arrives. A man and a young woman come running across the pebbles, holding blankets. The young woman bends and wraps the child in one of the blankets. She picks him up and begins to walk back towards the ambulance. The man holds out the other blanket to me. I say I don't need it but he insists. One of the policemen speaks into his walkie-talkie machine. I am still shivering as we walk away from the water's edge, a small sad procession. At the police station I am taken to an interview room and given a cup of tea. I am still shivering spasmodically. After a while a man in civilian clothes comes into the room and sits down opposite me. He is polite in his questioning. I tell him what happened. About my walk along the sea-front in the half light of the early winter evening. My first sight of the two boys, no more than ten or eleven years of age, with the young child between them. Of the child struggling as the two boys dragged him across the pebbles towards the water. Of my indecision at first and then my increasing fear. Of my thought that the little group must have been seen by people much nearer than I was. Of the couple who stopped to look and then moved on. Of the young man on a bicycle who also stopped and said something about 'Bloody kids' as he passed me. Of my rising disbelief and then the blinding conviction that I had to do something. Of my stumbling

descent from the promenade to the beach, my calling out, my limping progress across the pebbles since I was not suitably shod. Of my dragging the two boys off the child in the water and holding them briefly until I realised I could not do both things: rescue the child from the water where he lay face down, and hold the two boys. At this point my shivering becomes uncontrollable again. I pull the blanket from the ambulance tightly about me and start to sob. The detective, if such he is, is sympathetic. He asks if there is anyone he can contact for me. I think of Alex away in Birmingham, of Teddy and Sally on holiday in the Canaries, of Richard visiting his family in Australia. I have to shake my head. There is no one. The detective leaves the room. Slowly I become calmer. I try to remember the appearance of the two boys, their clothes, hair colour, build. I will be asked about these things. The half-light in which it had happened made remembering such details difficult, but the discipline of trying to remember helps me to recover, to push away the feel of the small, limp body, my desperation, my weeping. I remember Mrs. Champlain all those years ago at the clinic in Exeter saying in a very different context: It's your tenderness, your protectiveness of the unloved child you thought you were. Had I been holding that unloved child, dying in my helpless hands? The detective returns with another professional-looking man carrying a doctor's bag. He is the police doctor. I am questioned about my health, my work. I tell him about the heart attack six years ago, the occasional angina pains I continue to have, my generally good health. He says he'd like to examine me. He checks my pulse rate, my blood pressure,

listens to my chest with his stethoscope. Then he asks me to take down my trousers so that he can have a look 'down there'. I ask why. Just a routine check. Semen stains, that drab phrase with its pathetic connotations - they're looking for semen stains. What am I suspected of having done? Has the dead child been examined for semen stains? They have to do this, I reason, because there are men who have done to little boys what I am suspected of having done. I cannot clearly accommodate the thought. Nothing is found. Nothing is said. I am completely calm now. I hand back the blanket from the ambulance. I ask about the child. His mother has been taken to the hospital to identify him. She might at some point be brought to the police station.

The tea is brought in by a young constable who tries too hard not to look directly at me. I'm beginning to feel weary. I know the depression will come. I'm glad of any respite. The detective asks how I feel. I tell him of my fear of depression. He seems interested by this. I say my depressions are not clinical: they are simply part of my life, its insecurity, its loneliness. He asks if I would like to be alone for a while. I ask if I might have a cigarette. I gave up two months ago but the craving is very strong. He smiles and says he understands: he's trying to give up himself. He takes out a packet of Marlboro and gives me one. My hands are unsteady as I light it. I cough after the first two puffs. He leaves the packet and his lighter on the table before he goes out again.

The door of the interview room opens again and Father Graham comes in followed by the detective. Father Graham takes my hands in his. The detective looks even more relieved and he ventures a smile. Father Graham is re-assuring. This is all most unfortunate. It will undoubtedly be cleared up. He says he finds it outrageous that I should ever have been under suspicion. He had heard the news on the local radio station but had not for an instant connected the man helping the police with me of all people. I thank him for coming to the police station. I fight back a desire to weep again. From relief this time. I ask about Tom, my solicitor friend, who is also of Father Graham's congregation. Just in case, I say. Father Graham is adamant that it will not come to that.

I ask about the two boys. I describe them. I say I could probably identify them. The detective says they're following it up. His manner remains sympathetic. The doctor thanks me and I'm left alone again.. I think of the couple who stopped on the promenade to look down at the two boys and the child at the water's edge. I think of the young man on the bicycle and his comment 'Bloody kids' as he passed me. Will they be found? Will they remember?

I suddenly think of Father Graham. Why had he not occurred to me when the detective asked if there was anyone he could contact for me? Am I, after all, only a Sunday Christian? I have nothing against Father Graham. I get on with him very well. Do I want him to know of my plight? Why not? I have done nothing wrong, nothing to be ashamed of. The realisation pierces my mind: I have begun to feel guilty. If Father Graham comes, I almost feel I shall want to make my Confession. What will I confess? I am not responsible for the death of that child.

It doesn't. I am allowed to leave with Father Graham. The detective makes sure they have my address and telephone number so that they can get in touch should it be necessary. He also makes sure I have his name and number. Jut in case, he says. The media, says Father Graham. They are unpredictable.

The detective returns again. He asks me if I would like something to eat. I'm not hungry but I would like some more tea. He says he's sorry but they are going to have to keep me there for a little while longer. They are having difficulty finding the two boys and the witnesses I described. I ask him if he seriously thinks I killed the child. He says nothing. He goes to order the tea. When he returns he looks pre-occupied as though he is carrying out a task he does not like. He asks if I have a solicitor, just in case. In case what, I ask. In case they arrest me and lay formal charges. I want to feel outraged at the suggestion that I could murder by drowning a child of two. I say nothing. I wait for the shivering to return but there is only a numbness which covers everything. I want to ask if he thinks it preferable that I should have done nothing, allowed the two boys to finish what they were doing. I try to think of a solicitor. There's only Tom Patterson. I have no idea where he will be. I have no telephone number for him. They should be able to find him in the telephone directory. The detective asks me again about my work, whether I make a good living, whether I'm married. When I tell him I'm homosexual, he looks thoughtful and asks if I have a partner. I don't want to bring Richard into this. He's the closest I have to a partner. He doesn't live with me. The detective seems not to know how to follow up this line of questioning.

“ I ask about the child. His mother has been taken to the hospital to identify him.”

“ Dear God, let them find those boys. Let those witnesses come forward”

In the pub where he takes me for a drink, I recount what happened. I shiver slightly at the memory but I remain in control. Father Graham offers me a bed for the night at the Vicarage. He thinks I should not be alone tonight. He knows Richard is in Australia. I decide against his offer. need the comfort of familiarity.

Dear God, let them find those boys. Let those witnesses come forward. As always when I pray like this, I ask myself to what God my prayer is addressed. Like lying in bed on the verge of sleep, stretching my hands into the darkness and asking that Richard be protected. And as always there is no answer. It must be the residual habit of my Roman Catholic childhood and education.

When I get home, I look around my flat with a sense of homecoming after a long absence. prepare an omelette and some coffee. My hands are steady. I go to bed eventually and fall asleep immediately. My sleep is troubled by vivid dreams of my mother, decades ago, being angry with my six-year-old self for accidentally tearing her night-dress when she came to say good-night. I had hugged her more closely than she expected and when she had tried to disentangle herself, my hand had caught in the folds of the flimsy garment.

When the detective returns once again, I ask him to contact Father Graham. He seems surprised at first and then relieved. His cigarettes lie on the table in front of me. I am able to resist the desire to take another, I finish the cup of tea. My hands are steadier.

I am awakened by the sound of breaking glass, shocking, desolate. In the living-room, one of the windows is shattered. I walk through the pieces of glass to look out. There is no one to be seen. The telephone rings. I answer it. A voice I don't know pours out a stream of abuse.

The young constable comes in to take away the cup. I notice his dark curls, his hazel eyes, his friendly smile. I refuse more tea.

So soon?

Time passes. I seem to have lost track. I look at my watch. I calculate it's been about four hours since I handed the small limp body to those other two young policemen. My mind is clearer but somewhere on the edge of consciousness the black cloud of doubt still hovers. I begin to say aloud: I am not guilty. I have done no more than my civic duty. If they are unable to find the two boys or the couple or the young man on the bicycle, that is no more than an unfortunate circumstance which will be remedied.

I put the receiver down. After a few moments it rings again. This time I let it ring.

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Letters to the Editor Send your letters and comments to or by charmingly old-fashioned mail to REGENCY, P.O. Box 5190, Brighton BN50 9WP High Flyers I was very pleased indeed when I found out some time ago that the Council were no longer going to allow unregistered people to give out flyers in central Brighton which always ended up making such a mess. However though the situation has improved, there are now a growing number of people, particularly at weekends, not wearing any licence badges so assumably not entitled to be giving out information to passing pedestrians and yet are doing just that. This can only be happening because the whole system is not being ‘policed’ properly by the Council and if it is not sorted out soon, we shall be back to exactly where we were before. Our streets will once again be littered with all manner of flyers, together with the expense of their having to be cleared up which was surely what this new system was brought in to avoid? Tony, via email Licensing Issues I am at a complete loss to understand the thinking of the Licensing Committee at the town hall who appear to make it so easy for establishments like off licences or late opening grocers to be able to extend their

liqueur licences well into the early hours of the morning and not just at weekends but covering most weekdays as well.

More On Licensing Thank you for publishing the results of the survey on communal bins.

These businesses are often not situated in retail streets but in more residential areas and this must be a nightmare for those residents who I am also sure fought to stop these extensions being granted as they must create a real magnet for late drinkers with the potential for late night noise and general disruption.

I wrote a letter of protest to the Argus (who very kindly published my letter) and also to the councillors on your list about the proposed allocation and siting of unwanted communal bins in Upper North Street. Sadly, now, a further step has been taken towards the degradation of this street and to our 1830's listed terrace of 12 houses in particular.

Surely all the most recent research evidence points to the fact that alcoholism is now on a steep rise and quite recently figures have also shown a significant increase in hospital admissions due to drink and of even greater concern the fact that the majority are young people. I am in no way trying to be a kill joy as Brighton is rightly considered to be a vibrant place to live, visit and enjoy. However, surely common sense tells us that it just appears to be too easy for establishments all over this city to obtain a really late liqueur extension and in my opinion it’s is like throwing petrol on a fire and society as a whole will be the loser. Name and address withheld

On Friday morning, 5th August, the licensing panel of the Public Safety Committee passed an application for a licence to sell alcohol from 0800 to 2300 each day from premises, that formerly housed an antiques shop, virtually opposite the proposed site of one of the monstrous bins. This despite approximately 100 written protests via individual letters or by petition. ( It could have been worse , I suppose, as the licensee had intended to sell alcohol from 0700 to 0200.) There was a Police representative at the meeting who explained that Upper North Street was outside the Police special

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measures remit as there had never been any trouble here before!!! Recently a number of small, niche businesses have established themselves in the street - a tailor, a bridal shop, a vintage apparel and accessories shop, and an osteopath to open soon. The presence of this late opening off-licence will encourage binge drinkers to come from outside the area the presence of whom can only be detrimental to the environment of these respectable little enterprises. The shop owner says his store will be a general provisions store. If that is true, why then is it to be called THE WINE LODGE?

where there are communal bins which can range from old computers, chairs and once I even saw a fridge dumped, yet nobody ever seems to have been prosecuted so it continues to happen all the time!

Therefore in my opinion these horrible bins will continue to actually encourage fly tipping as well as taking away parking bays and I dread their arrival near me. Kate, Vernon Terrace

This establishment will be opposite our local public house, frequented by regulars who seldom cause trouble. It is not uncommon in Brighton for the trouble outside public houses to be caused not by the patrons but by youngsters who have been turned away and have fuelled themselves on cut price alcohol from the nearest off licence. The licencee of a public house is responsible for the behaviour of his patrons. The owner of a licensed shop has no such responsibility Margaret Leeds, Upper North Street Bin The Bins I would first of all like to thank Regency very much for printing the residents response details concerning the communal bins in the last issue as I had found it absolutely impossible to get any information from either the town hall or CityClean and as far as I know, the details you printed never appeared in the Argus either - so well done! Having lived in Vernon Terrace for quite a long time and always walking the same route into town each day to my place of work, I continue to be amazed at the council’s claim that all the streets without communal bins are strewn with litter. On the contrary I regularly see far more fly tipping

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