Friday, 7 March 2014

Revolution, Phoebe & St Nicholas and Make Your Mind Up

"Revolution" :- This is Revolution, a bar located in West Street, Brighton, UK. According to their website REVOLUTION BRIGHTON the bar "boasts Brighton's biggest outside drinking area (other than the beach!)". A long time ago in the 80's it was a venue known as "Swifts" which is how I remember it. Down the side stairs (on the left) and under the bar there was a dark, dingy and somewhat grotty Rock / Goth night club called "Sister Rays" ... it was great! Apparently in 1882 the building was used as the offices and showrooms of the Brighton and Hove General Gas Company. The building also has connections to a couple of historical figures who were Samuel Johnson who wrote the first English dictionary in 1755 (1709-1784) and Fanny Burnley 'The Mother of English Fiction' (1752-1840).

"Phoebe & St Nicholas" :- One simple black and white image of a church that's simply chock full of history. First of all this is the Grade II listed Church of Saint Nicholas of Myra (known locally as St Nicholas church) and it's the oldest surviving building in Brighton and the original parish church of Brighton. An older church (mentioned in the Domesday Book) once stood on this site but the church you see in this image dates from the mid-14th century and is the only building to have survived a raid by French pirates in June 1514 who burned Brighthelmstone (Brighton's original name) to the ground. What really fascinates me is that during the 18th century both Dr. Johnson (who wrote the first English dictionary in 1755) and the Duke of Welllington (who defeated Napoleon) worshipped here. But there's more. To the right of the image you can clearly see a gravestone leaning slightly with a fence around it. That is the resting place and gravestone of Phoebe Hessel and her story is mind blowing. Phoebe fell in love with a soldier in 1728 and enlisted herself in the Fifth Foot Regiment so she could stay by his side. Several years later Phoebe confessed to the commanding officer's wife that she was not a man but a woman and was discharged after seventeen years service in the armed forces. You can read her full story here :- The legend of Phoebe Hessel

"Make Your Mind Up" :- It's quite a rare sight to catch a setting sun at the same time as a storm cloud opens and unleashes some serious rainfall. I was not only lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time but I also had an unobstructed view and had my camera with me! This was shot somewhere along the beach between the historical village of Ovingdean and the sprawling city Brighton on the south coast of England.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill