In the nineteenth century Brighton was often described as "raffish",
meaning a place of lax morals. But the word carried a tolerant
rather than censorious tone. In the coarser language of the twentieth
century Brighton was the place for a "dirty weekend". Journalist and
author, Keith Waterhouse, has put it like this: "The beautiful
thing about Brighton is that you can buy your lover a pair of knickers
at Victoria station and have them off again at the Grand Hotel in less
than two hours." Whether many headed for the Grand is questionable.
(This same image of Brighton is portrayed in the film Under
Suspicion (1992), starring Liam Neeson.)
Local artist Philip Dunn has been painting
Brighton for more than three decades. In his beautifully-executed painting Dirty
Weekend a middle aged couple wearing raincoats,
umbrella in hand, walk grimly along the promenade in the rain. Behind
them is the Palace Pier, also grim and wet. Clearly nothing romantic
in mind, this is their dirty weekend.
It's true the sun does not always shine in Brighton.
Brighton has a large and growing urban seagull population, loved
by many, loathed by many others.
The urban gulls breakfast on the city's black bin bags, which too many
residents put out when they shouldn't. And the gulls don't clear the dishes
away! To be fair cats and foxes also share part of the blame for ripping
open rubbish bags. And residents in turn blame the city council for forever
varying waste collection days around the times of bank holidays, so that
they're never sure which day to leave their rubbish out for collection.
There is also the tendency of the city's dustmen to strike quite often,
in a way that is reminiscent of Sussex Univeristy students' tendency
to organise an occupation of university buildings each autumn.
Seagulls can also be pretty aggressive in defence of their young if they
imagine that they are threatened by a human passer-by. The parents swoop
and cackle at the assumed assailant, who is often - as you might expect
- taken completely by surprise.
But for good or ill, the seagull is an intrinsic part of life in Brighton.
Sure, the local football team's nickname is The Seagulls.
There is more about Brighton's gulls - click
Sussex By The Sea
we've had City by the Sea, and London by the Sea, so why not Sussex by
Sussex by the Sea is a popular song from a bygone era. It was
written in 1907 by William Ward-Higgs who lived near Bognor in West Sussex.
Today it functions as an anthem for the counties of East and West Sussex,
a military band tune, and the anthem of Brighton & Hove Albion, the local
football team which draws supporters from both the city and the county.
During the First World War the Royal Sussex Regiment was billeted at the
Goldstone, Albion's football stadium. During that time Sussex by the
Sea was adopted as the regimental song, and around the same time it
was adopted by the football team.
by the Sea
is the time for marching,
Now let your hearts be
Hark to the merry bugles
So let your voices ring my boys,
And take the time from me,
And I'll sing
you a song as we march along,
Of Sussex by the Sea!
Sussex by the Sea !
Oh Sussex, Sussex
by the Sea !
Good old Sussex
by the Sea !
You may tell them
all that we stand or fall,
For Sussex by the
the men from Sussex,
Sussex by the Sea.
plough and sow and reap and mow,
And useful men are we;
And when you go to
you may be,
You may tell them all
that we stand or fall
by the Sea!
in the morning early,
Start at the break
till the evening shadows
Tell us it's time to stay.
We're always moving
on my boys,
So take the time from
And sing this
song as we march along, Of Sussex by the Sea.
your feet are weary
Sometimes the way is long,
Sometimes the day is
Sometimes the world
But if you let your
Your care will fly
we'll sing a song as we march along, Of Sussex by the Sea.
is the love of a soldier,
That's what the ladies
Lightly he goes a wooing,
In love and war we always are
As fair as fair can be,
And a soldier
boy is a lady's joy In Sussex by the Sea!
o'er the seas we wander,
Wide thro' the world we
Far from the kind hearts yonder,
Far from our dear old home;
But ne'er shall we forget my boys,
And true we'll ever be
To the girls
so kind that we left behind
In Sussex by the Sea
The football fans have amended the fourth line of the chorus to read:
And we're going up to win the cup.