Sunday, August 18, 2019

A Day Trip to Brighton

I'll make mention of two matters before I begin this post properly. I always laugh when I think of a trip to Brighton because of Nana Norma's recounting in the claustrophobic and brilliant comedy The Royle Family. The late Liz Smith in the role Nana was sitting on the kitchen counter swinging her legs when someone mentioned Brighton. Nana said she knew someone who went to Brighton and he came back as a gay. It was very funny. This is not a clip of the scene but if you haven't seen the show, this clip will give you some idea.



The other thing to mention is that in 1984 British Prime Margaret Thatcher and her staff were staying at the Grand Hotel in Brighton for a Conservative Party conference when a bomb set by the IRA exploded. One politician and a few party apparatchiks were killed along with 31 people injured. It will become clear later why I mention this.

As usual it was the 422 bus to North Greenwich Station and then the Jubilee Line this time to London Bridge where we met Marie outside an upmarket toy shop. Trains to Brighton are frequent and we only had a few minutes to wait. The train was comfortable and sped along very nicely. It was a bit over an hour trip. The train also services Gatwick Airport and I was amazed at how far Gatwick is from London. 

I know these are awful photos but the electronic signs within the train were very useful. The train was not crowded.







OMG, what is Brighton Station roof like! The St Pancras Station set the standard.



We walked down Queens Road which becomes West Street. This I think this clock was somewhere along the way. Cro?




We turned right once we reached the seafront and there was the Grand Hotel. 


Isn't it very grand looking.



Oh, is this what is left of Brighton Pier?





It is an exaggeration to say Marie marched us into the Grand Hotel but she did ask us, and why not. The staff were all so smart and posh, the hotel guests and visitors not so much. No Madame, brunch in this area finished at 11.30, which was a pity as the area was at the front and overlooking the sea. 


We decided on lunch in a lounge area. Wow, silver service. Of late when travelling I leave the nasty business of money to R and just pay my share once home without question. I expect it is just as well in this case.


We thought we each ordered a modest amount of food, but it turned out not to be so. The servings were large.



I really like this not so good photo. Marie is smart, fit, a good conversationalist, but best of all the we have a laugh.


This viewing thing goes up and down. I expect it costs a bomb for a ticket. 


It is now down. I wonder what happened to the huge Brighton ferris wheel that former bloggers Jane and Lance Hattat complained about as it infringed on their view. Again, Cro might know.



I don't believe anyone should walk smartly along the Brighton seafront. It should be strolled, and that is what we did. So many places to eat.




 







John Gray of Wales volunteers for The Samaritans, kind of like our Life Line.


The slogan at the bottom amused me.


The Odeon looks better in this photo than it actually does. Demolish it.


A fountain in the Old Steine Gardens near the War Memorial.


Marie had a vague idea of the direction of The Royal Pavilion and found it.



Indian? Moorish? Maybe a bit of both.




While still a prince, it was built for King George IV, beginning in 1787 and completed in 1822. Queen Victoria did not like it and did not like Brighton. It was sold to Brighton authorities in 1850. Post WWII it was gradually restored and as well as being a tourist attraction with lovely gardens, is also a function venue for weddings etc.



We found a nice spot outdoors for a refreshing gin and tonic and yakked away. Not R nor I felt like walking back uphill to the station so we all used the nearby bus. The train journey back to London Bridge seemed faster than the trip to Brighton. 

None of us could finish our lunch. We asked for doggy bags. They were quite some doggy bags we were given and we stuffed them in our backpacks.


We were back at the hotel by 4.30. R collapsed on the bed. I woke him at 8.30 and he ate a slice of hotel pizza and drank a cup of tea and slept until 9.00 the next morning. He was clearly unwell. He never said but he did not feel well all day. In time he will forget feeling unwell on that day and will remember the otherwise great day when we visited Brighton.

The O2 with some illumination.

26 comments:

  1. Many thanks for taking us along.
    Loved the photos, but am blown away by the poshness of that doggy bag.
    And hope that R can forget how unwell he felt and remember the highlights of the day.

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    1. EC, who thought a boy from a dairy farm in Gippsland and the son of Geordie coal miner would lunch at The Grand. What life brings.

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  2. Brighton is a great plce I was fout times there. I remember the nice pier.

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    1. Ah well Gosia, do you remember the old pier?

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  3. I never watched "The Royles".

    You certainly do have an album full of great pics...a wonderful pictorial record of memories.

    Have yourself a great week, Andrew. :)

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  4. So much to see! What a great day. A pity R was not feeling well. If he is anything like me, the two memories (the day, and feeling lousy) will be inextricably entwined forever! Hopefully he is not wired like that.

    The slogan on the construction van - hilarious :)

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    1. Jenny, time will tell with R. I thought the slogan was very funny too.

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  5. Yes, the clock tower is about halfway between the station and the sea. One of our houses is about 200 yards from there, in a small, very quiet, hidden street. Only the postman knows it's there! The Grand is very grand. Looks like you had a good time.

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    1. We had a great day Cro. But wow, was it busy.

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  6. I think all seafronts should be slowly strolled, those who use esplanades for running and bike riding are missing so much. I'm glad you had a lovely time with Marie.

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    1. River, thanks for your endorsement about strolling.

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  7. Even though George Prince of Wales had the Royal Pavilion modestly built to get away from the onerous responsibilities facing him at home, it still cost a fortune. John Nash redesigned the Pavilion, so that is the only version I have ever seen, but the Islamic front is fantastic.

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    1. Hels, yes I read that. It is good that it is restored and maintained.

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  8. Looks like you had a great day out at Brighton. Is that Marie from 'After 60 the next ten"

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    1. Diane, indeed that is the same Marie.

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  9. I enjoyed reading your post. It brought back many memories from our time living in Sussex back in the early 1980s and it is great to see a familiar place as seen through the eyes of someone else!

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  10. I'm so enjoying your travels Andrew. So many 'interesting' architectural styles in Brighton. I remember the pebble beaches there, very ouchy on the feet ☺

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    1. Grace, we saw the pebble beach, small pebbles rather than large as I have seen elsewhere. They look painful to walk upon.

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  11. The Royal Pavilion looks beautiful. I enjoyed your trip and descriptions of Brighton.
    That doggy bag is quite something and loved the sign on the van too, very funny. Have a lovely Sunday Andrew.

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    1. Thanks Sami. Pleased you are enjoyed the travel tales.

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  12. I have never been to Brighton! Must change that.
    I absolutely love the doggie bag!

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    1. Jackie, I am pleased we had a back packs and did not have to pretentiously carry them around the streets.

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  13. Besides the pier Brighton never changes ! The first time I have been there was in 1999 when my son took diving lessons there and we came with him and visited the town. After that I often took the bus from Eastbourne where I stayed with my friends to Brighton. It's a nice city but I prefer Eastbourne to spend holidays it's more quiet !

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    1. Gattina, I didn't know Eastbourne where you used to go was close to Brighton. Brighton was rather manic.

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