Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Elephants at the bottom of the Street

Thursday 13 July 1899 was a very special day in Brighton. 

Over excited children hadn't been able to sleep the night before and expectant adults lined the streets three deep. 

The circus was in town! 

There goes The Greatest Show On Earth

The lucky folk living in Temple Street could just stroll out of their houses and there it was, slowly going past the bottom of the road, making its lumbering, noisy, fantastic way along Western Road into town. 

This wasn't any old travelling amusement either – it was Barnum and Bailey's, the most famous circus in the world on its grand tour of Europe.

The American show was travelling around the country by railway that year and, as was the custom by then, on leaving its special train, it paraded through town to advertise that night's show. 

The crowds lapped it up. That year Barnum and Bailey's procession was three miles long and included a menagerie, exotic horsemen, dozens of elephants, clowns, acrobats, jugglers, an enthroned king and queen, a military band, 70 horses, untold sundry beasts and a collection of 'living human curiosities'. 

Here are two interesting old photos showing the southern end of Temple Street, looking west, as the procession rumbled by, and one shot taken from Bedford Square looking east.

   In the two photos featuring Temple Street there is no sign of Temple Bar on the corner, showing a shop called Pullars instead.

The third photo shows the less exotic back end of the parade. An omnibus is following on and many of the crowd are starting to walk behind it. You can see that all the houses on the north side of in Western Road, looking east, still have their gardens at this time, before they lost them in its gradual widening. The Council started to buy up houses on the north side in 1906 but it wasn't until 1935 that the final property came into line, all gardens were gone, and the widening could be completed.

Looks like it might have been a sunny July day judging by the parasol on the top of the omnibus

  Photographs thanks to the Regency Society and James Gray Collection

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Fighting against the closure of our Post Office

We're being told to use the Melville Road PO up the hill in Seven Dials

Our local Post Office branch at 22 Western Road is under threat. Is it already a done deal? The Post Office claim not, saying that a public consultation, which ends on 16 September 2015, will be taken seriously.

The Post office is a priceless asset in our area, and its closure would be a great loss. What can we do?

Sign the petition in local shops and online. Go to www.38degrees.org.uk and search for 'Brunswick'.

The petition says: “Brunswick Town in Hove is a densely populated area and the post office proposed for closure is at the centre of the community, is very well used and has won many awards.

“Post Office Limited states that alternative provision will be accessible to residents but this provision is a mile away up a hill.

“We worry about elderly and infirm residents being able to access the new ‘merged’ post office in Melville Road.

“Our Post Office in Brunswick Town provides an essential public service where people need it and we wholly oppose plans to close it.”

Fill in the consultation form. At a recent public meeting, the Post Office Representatives said this was key. They will take notice if we tell them how useful this branch is and how closing it will create problems for many of us. Go to www.postofficeviews.co.uk and enter branch code 010907

Write to Paula Vennells, CEO of Post Office Ltd.
Your letters and postcards can be taken into CITY BOOKS, next to the Post Office, or send to FREEPOST Your comments

Contact you local media and get busy on Twitter.

Spread the word and maybe our Post Office can be saved.