Wednesday, 18 November 2015

If You Build It..., Tourist Trap and Portcullis

If You Build It... :- They'll complain. There was an act of parliament put in place in 1968 called the 'The Brighton Marina Act'. The act was constructed and worded in such a way that it would ensure the protection of the Grade 1 listed conservation area directly above and to the area of Kemptown and Roedean as a whole and ensure that nothing in the development could be built above the height of the cliffs. A clause was also added to the act to protect Brighton Corporation by allowing them to give consent for such things as railings, lamp posts or harbour lights above the cliff height if they were required to do so to enable Health and Safety Regulations being met. The wording was revised before the act was passed and the street furniture (i.e railings, lamp posts or harbour lights) were left out of the final draft. It was a fatal mistake to not list those things but to leave the height restirction clause in place. Recently the local council voted to to waiver that height restriction and the green light was given to Brunswick Developments to start building upwards at the famous marina. The shock to many is that one of the first things being built is a 40 storey tower block which will be the largest residential tower in the UK and another ten buildings (each comprising of many storeys) are also going to rise up. This will obviously change the skyline and scenery seen from the cliffs. It was also change the scenery and skyl;ine as seen from Brighton beach, its Pier and the new i360 (currently being built). In fact the towers will block out a lot of light at the Marina, they'll obliterate the sunset and will most certainly be visible from the seaside town of Worthing which is some 11 miles away.

Tourist Trap :- The shot was taken on the lower / beach level promenade on Brighton seafront. It's looking Northwards into the 'double barrelled' pedestrian subway tunnel that leads up and under the King's Road (A259) and brings you out at the bottom of Brighton's notorious West Street. Apparently it was built sometime after the First World War and to be honest it doesn't look like it's been touched since. Considering this is one of the main tourist routes to the beach from brighton Train Station it's in a terrible and ugly state. Paint is peeling off the walls, it smells like a public toilet and you get a dreadful sense of unease each and every time you enter it (from either end). To alleviate to drab look of the tunnel a couple of (old) photographs of Brighton have been placed (one on either side) at an angle high on the walls of the beach entrance / exit. They not only add to the dishevelled and run down look of the place but also go largely unnoticed due to their positioning and height. I have used this subway on the odd occasion but most of the time choose to take my chances trying to cross the busy main road up above as it's far safer!

Portcullis :- Bootham Bar is one of the old and ancient entrances / gates that allowed you to pass through the York's City Walls and into the City of York itself. The entire place was a fortress and heavily guarded. In fact there's been a gateway into York on this particular site since 71AD! Bootham Bar is a three storey stone tower that comprises of stonework from the 11th Century (the main archway) and a lot from the 14th Century when storeys were added to it along with the portcullis. The portcullis no longer works but is still housed within the tower which is accessible via old worn stone steps or by walking along the City Wall from Goodram Gate. In 1832 the tower was nearly demolished altogether but thankfully due to public outcry it was saved and in 1834 they began to repair it.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill