Brighton and Hove Commemorates Antarctic Pioneer

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The City of Brighton and Hove is to commemorate Edward Bransfield R.N. (1785-1852), the navigator and explorer who discovered Antarctica in 1820, by erecting a Blue Plaque on his former home in Brighton.  The ceremony will take place at 11 Clifton Road on Thursday 30th January 11.30am for 11.45am 2020 to mark the 200th anniversary, to the day, of Bransfield’s pioneering discovery which began the celebrated era of Antarctic exploration and later featured Captain Robert Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton. Everyone welcome.

Edward Bransfield lived in Clifton Road from 1847 to early 1851 and later moved to 61 London Road where he died on October 30, 1852 at the age of 67. He is buried in the Extra-Mural Cemetery, Brighton.

The Brighton and Hove Commemorative Plaque Panel has approved the Blue Plaque with the support of the Remembering Edward Bransfield Committee. The unveiling ceremony will be performed by the Deputy Mayor, Cllr. Alan Robins, with Rear Admiral Richard John Lippiett CB. CBE. DL in attendance.

Bransfield was born in County Cork, Ireland in 1785 and press-ganged into the Royal Navy in 1803 at the start of the Napoleonic Wars. Despite this modest start to his naval career, Bransfield rose through the ranks and became an accomplished Ship’s Master with special responsibility for navigation.

In 1819, while stationed in Valparaiso, Chile, Bransfield was ordered to investigate reports of uncharted islands seen by the merchant vessel, Williams. Under Bransfield’s command, Williams sailed alone into unknown waters and on January 30, 1820 made the first-ever sighting of the Antarctic mainland. The land forms part of the Antarctic Peninsula and was named Trinity Land. The waters he crossed now carry thousands of tourists to Antarctica and are known as the Bransfield Strait.

The Plaque Panel set up by Brighton & Hove City Council VisitBrighton in 2005 is the successor to schemes run originally by Brighton and Hove Corporations and the Regency Society. The first plaques in Brighton appeared in 1925 and the scheme is now believed one of the oldest initiatives for plaque installations in the world, apart from that in London.

The Remembering Edward Bransfield Committee is a voluntary group established to commemorate Bransfield and to erect a monument in his birthplace of Ballinacurra, Cork. After arranging support from international and Irish sources, the monument was unveiled on January 25, 2020.

Risk to Conservation Areas of LED lighting

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Around the country heritage lamps (above) are being replaced by modern LED lamps (below), even in some Conservation Areas.

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This may save councils money (some decades after paying for the enormous initial outlay of replacing so many lamps at several thousand pounds each in some cases) as LED lights are said to last longer (not yet proven) and use less power, but it is disastrous for heritage as they are wholly unsympathetic in light and style (though occasionally LED bulbs are inserted into heritage lamp fittings with less than acceptable results).

Aside from the sheer ugliness of modern LED lamp posts, LED bulbs emit a harsh and dazzling blue-tinted light which has been associated with health issues including migraines and blamed for interrupting sleep patterns in various areas where they have been installed. There have even been protests against them in many European cities including Glasgow and Rome.

Certainly you wouldn’t want to find LED lights on any postcards, advertising or tourist brochures as they are deeply unflattering to the streetscapes around them, possessing all the ‘charm of a shower unit.’  They could never replace architectural lighting either to showcase our greatest architectural gems.

Ultimately these lights need to go back to the drawing board until they can replicate the flattery of incandescent, halogen or soft sodium fittings which sit easily in heritage lamp standards, as LED are not fit for heritage or conservation area use. Nor can they be dimmed. Montpelier Road is a good example of how LED lights can destroy the look and special ambiance of a Conservation Area. A range of LED bulbs are said to be available but they are certainly not being procured for street lights if so. In fact we have only found examples intended for indoor domestic use.

Brighton and Hove Heritage Commission is against the use of LED street lights in Brighton and Hove and were pleased to see the recent letter from Graham Chainey in the Brighton Argus (reproduced below).

We hope this ridiculous EU directive will be abandoned post-Brexit.

It also turns out that long life bulbs have been possible, almost from the start of bulb manufacture. There has been a deliberate world cartel since 1924 to ensure built in obsolescence, a practice which continues today, irrespective of environmental concerns.

Petition against LED streetlights in Brighton and Hove here. Please sign.

LED lights letter

Have Your Say on Brighton and Hove City Plan Part 2

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As publicised in Brighton Argus this week, consultations have opened for Brighton and Hove City Plan Part 2, Please stand up for the retention of heritage, consideration of streetscape and provision of green spaces.

The dangers of ‘low cost’ housing are 1. It seldom exists. 2. It is often an excuse to build shoddy characterless boxes only designed to last around 50 years, which add nothing to our stunning location between the Downs and the Sea.

Consultation notes and portal here.  Ends 13th September 2018, so please ensure your comments are in BEFORE this date!

The Graffiti Scourge of Brighton and Hove

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In the past twelve months Brighton and Hove has become the victim of an epidemic of graffiti, artlessly and indiscriminately scrawled across every unguarded wall and render, or so it seems. No building is safe. Even security shutters are not safe. Property owners hardly dare put up scaffolding for fear of enabling access to these talentless vandals.
It is a well known fact that graffiti, if not removed immediately, quickly leads to even more graffiti which in turn leads to defacement of the whole neighbourhood, like a cancer, bringing the area down both aesthetically and economically as it increasingly resembles a ghetto. Our city already suffers from a large number of empty commercial premises and these are even less likely to be re-let if graffiti is allowed to proliferate.

We at Brighton and Hove Heritage Commission wholly condemn the criminal activity of graffiti and suggest Brighton and Hove City Council bring in the following measures as a matter of urgency:

1. Property owners to be compelled to remove or paint over graffiti within 7 working days of it being reported.
2. Compulsory fitting of scaffold alarms to all building works (inexpensive and also recommended for health and safety as well as security reasons).
3. Fines of up to £50,000 (or 5 years imprisonment) for anyone caught in the act of executing graffiti, to bring this into line with the council fines currently imposed for the improper disposal of bulky waste and fly tipping. Any monies collected could then form a fund to help recover council costs and offer compensation to victims of graffiti for costs incurred in its removal.

Brighton and Hove may be known as a liberal city, but this graffiti scourge is a blot on our landscape impinging on the quality of life and the built environment which cannot be tolerated.

Making Sure There’s No Need to Pine for Elms

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In a gale force south westerly on the 1st March at 2.00pm, Hon. Ald. Francis Tonks, past Mayor of Brighton and present President of the Brighton and Hove Heritage Commission, (also resident of  the Kemp Town Estate) carried out the ceremonial planting of a 10 year old pine tree in the Kemp Town Enclosure. He commented  “Despite the weather, it’s a pleasure to be here today, meeting the excellent gardeners who have made this possible, and planting this beautiful fir tree. I trust it will grow strong and provide a haven for wildlife for many years to come. The city needs its green lungs.”
Also present  from the official party were his wife, Mrs Jean Tonks, Jeremy Moulsdale, Head Gardener of the Enclosure and Roger Amerena, Heritage Commissioner of the Brighton and Hove Heritage Commission.
The tree, a sea and wind resistant “Pinus Thunbergii”, was grown from seed by Heritage Commission member Nigel Furness on the flat roof of his kitchen extension until too large when Nigel was happy to donate it the Kemp Town Enclosure, Lewes Crescent Garden. BHHC member, Graham Bedford, kindly assisted with transport from Hove to Kemp Town.
This event marks another step in the BHHC’s policy of promoting civic tree planting. For the Queen’s Jubilee £250 was given to the Rottingdean Preservation Society for a tree at the Grange, a further £250 was given to Hove Civic Society, Heritage Commission affiliates for street tree planting in York Avenue area.
Brighton and Hove is also one of the last refuges of the Dutch Elm tree in Britain, partly thanks to the Downs at the rear and the English channel to the south acting as barriers to the national blight of Dutch Elm disease. The Commission has therefore also been working closely with Neil Brothers and his arboriculture team at BHCC  to further the scheme of planting new disease resistant elms in Montpelier. Elms were planted last autumn in Montpelier Road, Windlesham Avenue, Windlesham Road and Montpelier Villas. In 2014 a “Sorbus” was placed  in Russell Square, thus completing the symmetrical planting pattern in that enclosure. Following planting during the hot summers Commission members water the young trees to make sure they survive, as can be seen from the eighteen planted in Montpelier Road. 

Great War Exhibition 7th – 31st December 2015 at Jubilee Library, Brighton



Brighton and Hove Heritage Commission is proud to sponsor a Great War exhibition featuring Brighton and Hove in World War I.

This will be to remember some of those from the city who took part:

The Receivers of the Victoria Cross Womens’ Movements

The Quakers

The Royal Sussex Regiment

The Indian Hospital

And more… 

7th -31st December daily between 10am-5pm (until 7pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays)

Admission free

Lord Kitchener