Monday, 10 September 2012

Brighton Rocks



And so to Brighton. Well, Hove, actually. Although you never really go to one without the other. We turned up on Hove Lawns at 8.30 in the morning, for a reason that I'm sure will be expounded upon soon by the inestimable Wartime Housewife. For the first time in years I was able to just relax and take it all in. Being so early meant the light was just right for snapping Nash & Georgie's Holiday Pavilion. And oh what light. This time of the year means the sun's lower, perfect for photographing all those extravagant terraces and squares by father and son architects Amon and Amon Henry Wilds, and for picking out the details in shop windows in The Lanes. I chatted to a bloke who was doing the music for a film on Cezanne (only in Brighton), and he was revisiting the town after having lived here for ten years or so. "You have to watch it", he said, "It gets very seductive". I know what he means. It's any number of towns for me. The Brighton of Graham Greene's novel and the 1947 film Brighton Rock still showing through, the Brighton of the Len Deighton-scripted film of Oh! What a Lovely War that one uses to put back the vandalised West Pier. Piper aquatints, Southdown buses. The air, the light, the people. And that so pertinent quotation by Keith Waterhouse: "Brighton always looks like it's helping the police with their enquiries".

6 comments:

Miss Rayne said...

It's true, very seductive, I lived there for 15 years - it was only meant to be 3 at uni, but.....
Now it's yearly visits to visit friends. If only it still looked like it does in Brighton Rock though.

Peter Ashley said...

Blimey, fifteen years. Of course much has changed since the original Brighton Rock days, (the new film relies heavily on Eastbourne), but as in all cities it's only a matter of scratching about a bit beneath the surface.

Anonymous said...

Know what we wonder?
We wonder if all that piano with Condoleeza Rice ever did melt the Queen.
Know what else?
We wonder if Collman's Mustard is anywhere near as tempting as Dijon's .
Collus and let us know.

Philip Wilkinson said...

What beautiful photographs. There is something rather saucy about Brighton - was it Horace Walpole who said that the pavilion looked as if the dome of St Paul's had 'gone down to Brighton and pupped'? Although the place has changed a lot, all those curvaceous bow windows remain to remind us of raffish goings-on within - during the regency and later.

Sue said...

I haven't been to Brighton in years, but I do have fond memories of a sort of Penny Arcade museum which I think was full of things salvaged from the pier.

Does anyone know if it's still there and, if not, what happened to it? The museum, that is. Not the pier.

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