Monday, 1 October 2007

Brighton Clock

I've been knocking about in Brighton recently. I have to say I love it. Not just watching waves crashing up on the shingle whilst stuffing moules and Kir Royales down in early evening promenade bars, but the whole ambience that comes from that heady cocktail of architectural bon surprise and dodgy raffishness. Regency terraces, steep-laned Kemp Town. Graham Greene's Kolley Kibber hiding his card under teashop table cloths, Pinkie flicking open his knife in back floor apartments smelling of gas. As Keith Waterhouse said, Brighton always looks as if it's helping the police with their enquiries.

Running for an early morning train last week I looked up and just had to snap Brighton's station clock. Four 'Big Ben' style faces mark the minutes over the platforms with the gilded LBSCR letters reminding us that Brighton was once the terminus of the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway. What scenes must this clock have presided over. Racegoers in trilby's, murderers with torsos in cabin trunks. Laurence Olivier and Dora Bryan glancing up at it as they alight from the Brighton Belle. Always with the incessant cry of gulls over the ornate iron trainshed.

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