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Talks & Events


Year of the Pier 2023

Welcome to Year of the Pier 2023! Since the early 1800s, piers have been a ‘must- have’ attraction at British seaside resorts.Throughout 2023  The National Piers Society  are celebrating that legacy and highlighting the vibrant state of the nation’s piers today. As well as promoting a programme of Year of … Read more

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Secrets of the Royal Pavilion – 29th February 2024

A Talk by Jackie Marsh-Hobbs on the Secrets of the Royal Pavilion The extraordinary story of George IV’s exotic Regency Palace, which despite its turbulent history has managed to survive and is now beautifully restored to its original 1823 splendour. One of the most famous and exotic buildings in Britain, … Read more

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Soaring over the West Pier: Drone Filming West Pier Ruins – 1st February 2024

In 2023 Sam Moore filmed the West Pier one early May morning in glorious sunshine and at an extreme low tide. Most of the structure was brilliantly lit and exposed to view. In the 157 years since the pier opened in 1866 110,000 tides have risen and fallen around the … Read more

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On the Back of a Postcard – 28th March 2024

How was Brighton experienced, historically, as a place for flirtation and attraction? As quiz shows used to say, answers were submitted on the back of postcards. Through a survey of Brighton Museum’s c.10,000 cards, this talk reveals suggestive glimpses of Edwardian assignations on pleasure gardens and piers, written in teasing … Read more

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Captain Camp and the Bottom Scratchers – 25th April 2024

Paul Farrington has swam in the sea by the Palace Pier nearly everyday since 2009. As a graphic designer he has always loved printed ephemera, old photographs, letterpress posters and films. In 2011, he applied for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to tell the story of Brighton Swimming Club … Read more

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The Extraordinary Life and Times of Thomas Kemp of Kemptown – 23rd May 2024

In 1823, local landowner Thomas Kemp conceived the idea of a magnificent new and fashionable estate east of Brighton that was to bear his name. Things did not go as well as he had hoped! Come and listen to a talk which tells the story of this fascinating man and … Read more

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What the Sixties did to/for Brighton – 27th June 2024

The sixties was a decade of enormous change: from tower blocks, traffic jams and Sussex University to supermarkets, alternative lifestyles and mods and rockers. This talk will draw on the wealth of photographic and other evidence to chart and perhaps explain the era of ‘You’ve never had it so good’. … Read more

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The next exhibition at the West Pier Centre is Contemporary Pier Posters by Nicky Thompson, which will also include a new image of the West Pier especially created for this exhibition. Nicky is a graphic designer, illustrator, lecturer and occasional fine artist and since 1994 he has owned and managed … Read more

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