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Kemptown Rag January 2018 / Issue 133 /

delivered to Kemptown homes and businesses every month


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Happy New Year to all Kemptown residents and business owners!!! We hope you had a lovely Christmas and found at least a bit of time to relax with family and friends and enjoy a little bit of a break. So another year is here and with it the dreaded New Year’s resolutions! I struggle to get out of January with mine still intact…I think probably the way to go is to actually make resolutions that are realistic and one can actually give oneself a fair chance of achieving! We have some exciting things planned for the publication this year with a bit of a shake-up planned which should benefit both advertisers and residents alike! I will leave it hanging there as a mystery for you to try and guess but all I can say is…watch this space!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!! The Kemptown Rag Team Cover picture: Man on a bike last minute Photography

Page 4 -5

Old Photo

Page 6

Volk’s Electric Railway

Page 7

Friends of St George’s Church

Page 9

Kemptown Arts Trail

Page 11

History from St Mary’s Church

Page 13

Local Issues column from Steve Parry

Page 14

Save Madeira Terrace Update

Page 15

Kemptown Memories

Page 16-17


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Publisher: Sussex Magazines 10 Hollingbury Road, Brighton BN1 7JA Printer: Gemini Press Distributors: Hove Leaflet Distribution The views expressed by individuals in any letter or article included at the discretion of the publishers are not necessarily the views of the Editor. Whilst every care has been taken in compiling this magazine and the statements contained herein are believed to be correct, the publishers of this publication will not hold themselves responsible for any inaccuracies. Inclusion of advertisers in this magazine is not necessarily a recommendation but we do hope they give a good quality service. No part of the publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior permission of the publishers and contributors We take complaints you make about our advertisers seriously. We have the following policy on this: First complaint about an advertiser is logged here in our offices, if we receive another complaint we write to the advertiser concerned and notify them we have had two complaints and if we receive another complaint we will no longer accept their adverts. If and when a third complaint arrives we will verify that all complaints received were genuine and inform the advertiser that we will no longer be promoting their business and inform them why.


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If you have any old photos of Kemptown that we could feature in the Rag please let us know or just email them to or if needed we can arrange getting them picked up scanned and returned safely to you.

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Great College Street Looking westwards from Abbey Road to College Place, around the First World War period. This street is much older than probably most people realise. Building commenced at the west end in the late 1850s and the street was almost completed by 1868. The outstanding building was that on the extreme right, on the corner of Abbey Road. This was Fair Lee Villa, owned and occupied by Councillor Henry Abbey. Thanks to the Regency Society for this image from their photographic archives, The James Gray Collection. You can see thousands of more historic pictures of Brighton and Hove at:

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An update on work at Volk’s Electric Railway...

Volk’s Electric Railway Restoration Work Nears Completion Work began in autumn 2016 after the council won a bid for money from the Heritage Lottery Fund, but was delayed by several months following the discovery of an old underground gas pipe. Work on the train sheds

will provide training space for volunteers as well as allowing visitors to view ongoing restoration work. Locomotive specialist Alan Keef from Herefordshire has been restoring three of the original carriages (numbers 4, 6 and 10) which will increase capacity on the railway. Dedicated volunteers from the Volk’s Electric Railway Association assist the railway’s small permanent staff. They hold volunteering days on Mondays. More information is available from the Volk’s Railway website - - or from the Volk’s Electric Railway Association:

The pipe, which had lain dormant for many years, was unearthed during demolition work. The discovery meant specialists from Southern Gas Networks were brought in to disconnect the pipe and make the area safe before work could resume. The new Aquarium station and visitor centre opened in October 2017. It was designed by Hove practice ABIR architects and funded with contributions from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Brighton & Hove City Council and Volk’s Electric Railway Association (VERA). The centre is free to access and features interactive exhibits to bring to life the story of inventor Magnus Volk and his pioneering railway. Exhibits include an original model of ‘Daddy Longlegs’, a display of tickets and the original dynamo that powered the railway in 1883. The railway opened (running from the Aquarium to Halfway station and back) during the halfterm holiday in October, over the weekend of the Veteran Car Run in November, and there was a Santa Express service during weekends in December. A full service is expected to be operational from Easter 2018. There will be a conservation workshop at the site of the former train sheds. This workshop To advertise e-mail or call 01273 551021

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News from a local group...

The Friends of St George’s Church Perhaps you may have noticed our posters in Kemp Town shop windows, or clipped to railings, or flyers in cafés and bars, all promoting fund-raising events at St George’s Church. Some of you certainly have seen them and have joined us to hear a fascinating talk followed by a convivial supper – with a cash bar for drinks. It’s a great way to make new friends in the area and support a good cause – helping to repair and maintain our elegant and historic church, designed to sit in the very heart of Kemp Town. Since September 2016, we have run 10 events of our own and two more jointly with the Kemp Town Society. We are delighted because with every occasion we are taking another step towards our twin goals – providing quality social events for the local community (between 70 and 130 people come along each time), and raising money for the St George’s building fund. The total reached since we launched the Friends is almost £4,000, enabling essential repairs to be undertaken to the church’s historic clock.

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Brighton Hippodrome photo by David Fisher who is giving a talk on 15th February

With our events, we note that topics relating to the history of Brighton strike a chord, and that weekday evenings suit more people than Saturday evenings. So for 2018 we have already booked two dates. On Thursday 15th February, David Fisher will recount the history of the Brighton Hippodrome. On Thursday 14th June, Dr Sue Berry, in ‘Changing the old and building new’, will tell the remarkable story of the churches in Brighton in the period 1800-1914. Now, after 18 months, our small but dedicated committee of six people is appealing for volunteers to join us and help to run our programme for 2018. We are fizzing with ideas, but need new blood to help us bring them about, ideally people from the local community. Would you like to create a newsletter on-line? Organise publicity? Keep track of our finances? Run events in the afternoon? Plan coach outings (perhaps to Uppark, or to Standen)? Or perhaps you could join our team on the day. Come early to move furniture and create a dining room in the church. Then help us assemble sharing platters of excellent produce from local Kemp Town suppliers. Afterwards, stay to help clear up and restore the church to normal. Do keep in touch by joining our mailing list:

email: web: 75 Church Road, Hove, BN3 2BB Sally Richardson

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Would you like to take part in the Kemptown Arts Trail?

Calling Kemptown artists! The Brighton Festival in May is fast approaching, with the Artists Open Houses event becoming something of a highlight for many. Over 200 houses and studio spaces open their doors to the public in art trails spread far and wide across the city over the May weekends. Each area has its own local trail. The Kemptown Arts Trail stretches across Kemptown and Queen’s Park, from the iconic Royal Pavilion up through Queen’s Park Road, to artists’ studios and workshops around Lewes Crescent. Last year the Kemptown Arts Trail had 22 venues with over 120 exhibitors taking part and was the largest trail in Brighton and Hove. There’s a fascinating mix of homes, studios, shops, cafés and pubs which are transformed into Artists Open Houses, showing an incredible range of fine art, craft and design, with participation from community organisations too. The work on show includes sculpture, painting, print making,

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jewellery, glass, textiles and ceramics. It’s a long established popular event and it’s great fun to be part of, whether as an artist opening up your house or studio, or as a visitor following your local trail. The Kemptown Arts Trail is organised and promoted by the Kemptown Arts Association. With the generous help of local businesses we produce and distribute an illustrated brochure featuring photos and information on every Open House in this area. Last year each venue welcomed around 175 visitors a day, and it’s a chance for people to look at original art and buy direct from the artists. It’s just as much fun exploring all the fascinating work and the venues, so please get those dates in your diary and we’ll see you in May. It’s now time to register online as an Open House. If you are a local artist or maker then why not open up your own Open House and join us? Joining the Kemptown Arts Trail is a great way for both established artists and newcomers to show their work, so please do get in touch with us and we can guide you through the process and give you any support you need. Please feel free to contact us for friendly advice on becoming part of the biggest arts trail in Brighton. You can find more details on registration at and contact us at about being part of the Kemptown Arts Trail.

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Our regular local history article from Katherine Prior at St Mary’s Church...

A Stormy January in Brighton in 1877

Crowds gather on the Chain Pier during a storm; engraving after William Turner, 1825, courtesy of the British Art Center, Yale

Brighton’s history is punctuated by landmark winter storms. Behind the headlines lie some interesting stories. On Saturday, 13 January 1877, there was an accident during the demolition of the old chapel that stood on the site of the present St Mary’s Church. Two men were working on a large beam spanning the width of the chapel, when suddenly it gave way. One man fell to gallery level. The other, Mr Watts, plummeted 60 feet to the floor and sustained severe injuries. He survived, but it is unlikely he ever worked again. A newspaper cutting in the church’s archives suggests that, exposed to the weather, the beam had been

Open to all

St Mary’s is the parish church for the St James’s Street area. We welcome everyone of all faiths and none to enjoy this beautiful church, worship with us, or join in our free activities.

Main services Sun, 10 am - Sung Eucharist Tues, 6.30 pm - Said Eucharist Wed, 12.30 pm - Said Eucharist

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softened by recent heavy rainfall. Further research reveals that January 1877 was indeed wet and stormy. A few days after the accident at St Mary’s, two three-storey houses in nearby Rock Place simply fell down. Fortunately, they were vacant and no-one was injured. They were old buildings, facing the sea, and heavy rain was blamed for their collapse too. Elsewhere there was loss of life. On 15 January, Amos Lelliott, aged 32, was crushed to death by six tons of water-logged soil while digging for flint at Portslade. He was an experienced digger and his workmates said the flint pit looked stable, so no extra precautions had been taken. Edward Jones, visiting from London, was another, desperately unlucky storm victim. Late on Saturday, 7 January, amidst blinding rain and gales, word spread of a ship in trouble off the West Pier, the Ida from Glasgow. The Coast Guard rushed to the beach with their rockets to fire out a life-line to bring in the crew, which they safely did. But they were hemmed in by thousands of onlookers and, in the murky chaos, a second rocket shot off accidentally. Loaded with 12lb of explosive powder, it soared back towards the town and smashed into the legs of Mr Jones, who was standing at the bottom of West Street. He died of blood loss the following day. Other people reported near misses with the erratic missile, the shell of which ended up on the roof of Mr Shoesmith’s corn-store in West Street. It was a freak accident, but one that the coroner noted could have been avoided if the spare rocket had been positioned facing the sea. Indeed, regardless of the weather, all these accidents were avoidable. We may moan about ‘health and safety’, but today’s rules and codes are often based on bitter experience. Katherine Prior

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Our column on local issues from Steve Parry…

Priorities for 2018 This is probably the most difficult column to write during the whole year. Deadlines for editing and printing are much earlier due to the Xmas season and the mood of the community is totally different in December than January. I feel as though I must communicate priorities for 2018, but please excuse the “Bah Humbug” that dominates my thoughts as I write this piece. What I am saying is not new or profound but I feel it from the base of my spine. Those of you who are regulars to this column will know that I feel decent housing is central to meeting the needs of our community. In particular I welcome the emergence of the Brighton and Hove Housing Coalition ( that brings together community organisations and activists to transform our housing situation in Brighton and to reject those in national and local government who pay lip service to need and prioritise public relations and short term headlines over practical progress. As I write this I am so humbled by the efforts of volunteers and the contributions of our community to assist those who are on the streets. There appears to

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be recognition that “it could easily be me”. Suddenly around the end of November there is an upsurge in the number of offers of help, homelessness is on the front pages of newspapers and councils remarkably find dosh to open basic facilities. The facts that housing is being built that is not affordable (and not enough anyway), that rents are absurd, that social housing is being reduced rather than added to, that homes should be homes and not investments or commodities produced for profit, and that any civilized society should prioritise shelter, food, and education are ignored. The fantastic response of the people of Brighton and Hove to the needs of the homeless is to be The UK’s leading bath applauded but I hope that in 2018 this is not resurfacing, re-enamelling confined to the last five weeks of the year. &

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• Leaseholders are not exploited by freeholders including our City Council • Students are not used as scapegoats but are provided with decent accommodation. Happy New Year!! Steve Parry

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An update on the council’s crowdfunding campaign...

Save Madeira Terrace Campaign Reaches Its Target One Victorian seafront terrace, 128 days and £421,053 to raise.   Brighton & Hove’s Save Madeira Terrace crowdfunding campaign reached its goal one day early, with 2,162 backers and with £45,011 more than the intended target. Terrace fund was important for Brighton Seafront Regeneration and Soho House, as part of the future of the seafront. Over the last year we’ve been getting to know the local community. We’re looking forward to seeing the area returned to its former glory, with the iconic arches restored, so we can create something for the people of Brighton.” Niraj Dattani, Head of Partnerships at the council’s crowdfunding partner Spacehive, added: “The Save Madeira Terrace campaign has been the biggest campaign we’ve ever seen and it has been fantastic to see how it’s brought the city together. The campaign has generated civic pride on a huge scale.” The crowdfunding campaign attracted widespread support from local residents and businesses, and had backing from a range of celebrities including local superstar DJ Fatboy Slim, Chris Evans, Eddie Izzard, Steve Coogan, Charley Boorman and Damon Hill. Council Leader Warren Morgan, who initiated the crowdfunding campaign, said: “The suggestion to crowdfund came from residents following the rejection of the bid for a government grant earlier this year.  It was an ambitious idea and a step into the unknown, but the option to do nothing wasn’t something we were prepared to do.  Together with the city’s residents, businesses, VisitBrighton and heritage organisations, we’ve taken the first and crucial step in saving a valued part of our local heritage. “I will not stop praising Jax Atkins and her team of local volunteers, all the artists, shops, small traders and others who donated prizes, everyone who bought raffle tickets and the shops that sold them, raising an incredible £16,700+.  I want to say a huge thanks to all the companies which responded to our request to donate, and to the 2,000 residents, visitors and people who love Brighton & Hove and made individual donations.  It’s been a tense but exciting four month campaign but we’ve done it!” Soho House and Brighton Seafront Regeneration made the final pledge of £50k which took the fund over the line.  Nick Jones, Founder & CEO of Soho House, said:  “Helping with the Save Madeira To advertise e-mail or call 01273 551021

The council hope to see work on the first three arches start in the summer.

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Local resident Judith Burns shares more of her Kemptown memories...

Kemptown Memories with Judith Burns... Kemptown lost some characters in 2017, not least Tim and Paula Harward who owned Inside Out Designs, beside the Hand in Hand.

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Upper St James’s Street in the 1960s.

her husband Albert’s Hollywood film agency with him and then after he died. I always knew her as ‘Mrs Al P’. Al was agent to the stars including James Mason, Helen Mirren, Glynis Johns, Frank Finlay and Charlie Chaplin. When visiting Al, Chaplin always stayed in the Royal Crescent Hotel and years later its basement bar was renamed Chaplin’s. Mason, however, stayed with the Parkers in Wyndham Street and Enid had met him there. She also remembered David Essex visiting Frank Finlay at Wyndham House whilst they were working together in ‘Mutiny’. “Such a handsome boy,” she recalls. Kemptown had quite a few high-end eateries around St George’s Road that the stars adored, including a French restaurant in Bedford Street, the little Italian on Bristol Road (now an estate agent) and Joe’s Fish Bar (now Top to Toe) which was a splendid oyster bar. Film stars also frequented Dawn and Peter’s little tea shop at 34 Upper St James’s Street, which, in later life, became Inside Out Designs and there’s our six degrees of separation!

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One recollection that Enid has, which is evocative of the time, was strolling home to Wyndham Street one evening and seeing Hollywood actor Michael Wilding dancing in Upper St James’s Street outside Joe’s with his third wife, Susan Nell (his second having been Elizabeth Taylor). Now that’s a sight I wish I’d seen! Judith Burns runs the Kemptown Community Market. For 2018 dates, follow the market on: www.facebook. com/kemptowncommunitymarket.

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© James Gray Collection, by kind permission of the Regency Society,

Paula’s moving funeral proved how so many Kemptown residents are intertwined, and catching up with artist Enid Hayes, a mainstay of Inside Out for years, she reminded me of people we’d known in common, regaling me with her memories of living in Wyndham Street with her artist and illustrator husband Jack, in what really was a Kemptown heyday, the 1950s and 1960s. Enid remembers its street sellers: the knife grinder, the fisherman and a trader whose call was, “Early morning gathered strawberries!” In the ‘90s I’d worked for some of Wyndham Street’s personalities; I made luggage labels for Frank Finlay (“I want proper brown ones, dear, tied with oldfashioned string!”) and typed letters for the legendary Mrs Al Parker. Enid was friends with Maggie Parker (née Johnston, the Australian actress), who helped run


Our gardening column by William Mills...

Greenfingers Winter is a time when most plants enjoy a period of rest from growing and fruiting and as they slow down new leaves are few and far between. It is important to recognise this dormant period and not make the mistake of disturbing them just because the lack of activity has caused their owners to become anxious. In order for plants to grow, ample light, warmth and moisture are needed, and although the latter two can be provided in a centrally heated house, without adequate light poor spindly growth will follow. As a result of this roots no longer take up water from the soil, and if the plant becomes waterlogged the risk of the roots going rotten increases and could cause plant failure. Therefore it is important to reduce watering in the winter to just keeping the compost moist - a good way to gauge this is to gently lift the pot as when it’s dry it will be much lighter. Plants always benefit from fresh air, and some advocate placing them outside on sunny winter

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sudden blast of cold air can often prove fatal even after just a few minutes of a dramatic change in their living conditions. With the lengthening of days we can become impatient for spring and must remember not to encourage a plant to start growing before it’s ready by application of fertiliser and warming its base. There are plenty of plants which flower early, and outdoors snowdrops and crocus are a joy to behold. The Christmas rose, or hellebore as it’s also known, traditionally flowers from November to March and will flourish outside even in freezing weather with a display of lovely petals. Commercially grown jasmine with their small, white, highly fragranced flowers against a dramatic backdrop of deep green leaves often are available in winter, and it must be remembered they prefer the outdoors once their flowering is over. The photograph is of an orchid readying itself with its delicate buds clearly thriving in early December sunshine. These fascinating plants can take ages to flower so it’s fun to build up a collection with the aim of having one in bloom at any one time. days, whereas others think it’s a mistake to disturb ones happily sleeping the winter away. There is a risk to plants from being left in a draught as a

See more on Twitter: gardening@greenfingers134 William Mills

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18 Bath Maintenance Services

Kitchen Facelifts


Dream Doors...............................................................2



Walder Construction...................................................19

Lee’s Locks................................................................10

Care Services


Homestead Senior Care.....................................10 & 14

The Dancing Vine........................................................3


Musical Classes

Brighton Counselling Rooms...........................................4

Musical Bumps...........................................................15


Little Notes..................................................................2

St Mary’s Church........................................................11



Deepdene Nursery.....................................................16


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Estate Agents

Brighton Piano Warehouse............................................9

Paul Bott & Co...............................................Back Cover



Jan Davies.................................................................18

Brighton Log Centre....................................................16


Football Club

Clarkes Of Brighton....................................................10

Whitehawk FC..........................................................18


Funeral directors


Sussex Funerals..........................................................17

Bella Vista...................................................................8


Sussex Blinds.............................................................19

Heating Services


The Central Heating Company.....................................12

Crosby & Woods..........................................................7 Diligent Law..............................................................12

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A posturally based body conditioning method which builds strength from within by targeting deep stabilising muscles

10 week beginner start 2018 from Beginner coursescourses in January Thursday JANUARY 11th 10 week beginner courses starting w/c 8th January Mondays 3pm Rottingdean Village Hall Mondays 7.15pm St Marys Church Hall Kemptown Thursdays 4.45pm and Fridays 6pm in Hanover Community Centre Saturdays 9am Kemptown Crypt Community Centre “Make that New Year resolution now! Book your place with Jan and commit to a longer, leaner, more supple, flexible and mobile body and banish those aches and pains” Prebeginner course special offer 1:1 1hr sessions £35 vs £45

Contact Jan now to reserve a place Jan has taught on the Brighter Outlook Programme supported by MacMillan for people living with, and recovering from cancer

Teaching Pilates since 2001

07904 187257 w w To advertise e-mail or call 01273 551021


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Kemptown Rag January 2018  
Kemptown Rag January 2018