Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Time and Tide, Brighton Front and Church Square

"Time and Tide" :- No, I didn't get wet feet. I wasn't in a boat either! I was actually standing on one of the old concrete breakwaters / groynes that help defend the beaches all along the Sussex coast. The shot was taken between the coastal villages of Ovingdean and Rottingdean just as the tide was beginning to roll back in. You can just see part of Rottingdean village in the gap in the chalk cliffs.

"Brighton Front" :- A shot of a section Brighton's seafront as seen from its notoriously pebbled beach. The buildings and architecture are an odd mixture of elegant Georgian and Victorian structures and more modern monstrosities from the 70's onwards. The large and very grand looking building to the leftof the image is the appropriately named "Grand Hotel". It was was designed by architect John Whichcord Jr. and was built in 1864. It was constructed for the "upper classes" visiting Brighton and to this day is still one of the most expensive hotels in the city. It was the first building outside of London to have a lift / elevator installed. It's also famous for being the hotel that that IRA tried to kill Margaret Thatcher in when they bombed it at 02:51am on the 12th October 1984. Next to that you can see the Brighton Center and Kings West complex. These two buildings jar against the grace and design of their next door neighbour the Grand Hotel. The Brighton Center was opened by prime minister James Callaghan on 19th September 1977 and can hold anything from 4,00 to 5,000 people depending on event and seating etc. Bing Crosby played his last ever concert at the Brighton Center on October 10, 1977 (he died just four days later on a golf course in Spain). Next to that with the odd looking "spikey" roof is the Kingswest Centre. It was designed by Russell Diplock and officially opened its doors to the public in 1965. It has been described as "the most unattractive building in the town" but I think a few buildings have since appeared in the city that are competing for that title. 'Kingswest' used to have bowling alleys and an ice rink but they have long since vanished. It now houses a rather grotty and overpriced multiplex cinema (complete with sticky carpets), a few pricey eateries and a couple of night clubs.

"Church Square" :- This is the cobbled lane next to the churchyard of St Mary’s Parish Church in the town of Rye in Sussex. I took the shot from this end to show off the ugly and barbaric architecture that someone thought fit to build nextdoor to an original surviving black and white Tudor house that you can just make out at the far end. Rye is packed with history. The layout and feel of the town is still very much medieval. This is where Henry VIII built his Coastal Artillery Fort and Queen Elizabeth I visited and stayed in Rye. The famous and notorious smugglers the "Hawkhurst Gang" were here and they drank in the Grade II listed "The Mermaid Inn" (built in 1420) and the Grade II listed "The Olde Bell Inn" (built in 1390), both inns are joined via a secret passage way. Needless to say it's often featured in films and used as locations by film crews.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill