News

Re-building by the sea: post-war seaside architecture with Kathryn Ferry – October 17th 2024

Access to the coast was severely restricted during World War II and many resorts suffered bomb damage to key parts of their tourism infrastructure. This talk looks at the recovery period, as the pent-up demand for seaside holidays helped resorts bounce back and start building new visitor attractions that embodied the optimistic mood of the ... Read more
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The Academy of Punch & Judy

The Academy of Punch & Judy project launched recently at the West Pier Centre. Prof. Glyn Edwards Brighton’s Punch and Judy man and ‘Professor’ says, ‘The Academy is very much about spreading the word to see if we can identify any local talent who might want to take up the torch. Equally the Academy will ... Read more
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The End of the Pier

‘The End of the Pier’ Exhibition at the West Pier Centre from 4th July 2024. A nostalgic photographic journey. Tim Rudman FRPS ‘After being declared unsafe in 1975, the Victorian West Pier at Brighton was closed for twenty-five years. Cut off from land, it was abandoned to the elements, the pigeons and the sea birds ... Read more
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Socks and Sandals: Fashion faux-pas or political statement? – 19th September 2024

This talk examines a much-ridiculed aspect of British seaside dress. More than an unfashionable solution to the vagaries of the weather, however, wearing socks and sandals can be surprisingly radical. This talk charts their origins, their intersection with the history of socialism, and their association with local figures and events, from the Brighton-born poet Edward ... Read more
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Why are we obsessed with crime? – 15th August 2024

Crime fiction’s popularity shows no sign of waning. If anything, over the last decade it’s taken an even more central place on our bookshelves and TV screens. Local crime fiction author William Shaw, whose work is set in and around Dungeness, thinks he has an answer – and it’s probably not what you think. Willliam’s ... Read more
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Daniel Defoe’s tour of South East England 1724 – 18th July 2024

Daniel Defoe is known to all as the author of Robinson Crusoe, but he was much more than the country’s first novelist. In 1724 was published his ‘Whole tour of the island of Great Britain’ and this talk will look at his journey through SE England in particular, 300 years after the event.’ Geoffrey Mead ... 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 through a rich and colourful ... 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 structure. This film provides the ... 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’. David Fisher is the chair ... 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, attracting visitors from all over ... 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 his times, and his key ... Read more
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