Friday, June 18

Latest Bill: Revitalising the Arches east of the Pier

- May 2, 2017


A few weeks ago I reprinted my article from a few years back complaining about the under investment by the council over successive administrations in Kemptown. West of the Pier done up, east of the Pier, done over, you might say! It is appalling what has happened to the Arches east of the Pier and to those whose livelihoods depended on these structures.

I walked through Kensington Gardens yesterday and it’s great to see so many people living life as it should be lived. Between the piers is brilliant too. I think The Times must have a photographer on that beach as our crowded beach appears so often justifiably.

“It’s all very well complaining all the time Bill but the council will do it up eventually!” I know that’s true and that’s great. But everyone knows this will take years. So what about a very affordable temporary solution for 2018?

We’ve got the Zip Wire coming and already got Yellowwave and a new(ish) Volks Railway, so on the seaside let’s create a promenade strip, driving home that Brighton was Hollywood before Hollywood and increasingly is so again! It could be tents and a walkway like what went up for the Marathon or temporary buildings and achieved at very low cost!

Let’s get the Brighton artists to create this tourist attraction

It is little known but between 1895 and 1900 Brighton made 184 films which is 184 more than Hollywood made. Many of the films and much else besides has been collected over decades by Frank Gray and the Southern Screen Archive but how many people know this is all at Hove Museum? Let’s put it in prime position and give our visitors and residents a treat. 

The Volks Railway next summer could have extra stations named Brighton Rock, Quadrophenia, Alpha Papa, Carry On, and we could have platforms and temporary buildings holding memorabilia for all these amazing films that came from this bohemian city of ours. Let’s showcase too the best of contemporary Brighton filmmakers and artists like JAG gallery… Julianne herself had a lot to do with the archetypal Fatboy Slim record cover… yep the one we all know! 

And let’s get the Brighton artists to create this totally affordable tourist atrraction. Give them temporary galleries and visitors and they will sell their work even more than today, and these are world class artists. Let’s work together and let’s be transparent. That’s original in politics. That’s a progressive alliance. And when the Terraces are ready, the structures can go there. 

Over the next few years we should make 184 films too. I love too Adrian Morris’s idea for Arches at the bottom of St James Street welcoming everyone to our village like Chinatown in London. Kemptown is just as important as The Cultural Quarter. I’d like to see it as busy as Kensington Gardens and I’m sure it will be. But can we get on with it please?

@latestbrighton @latestbill

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