A fascinating walk around Brighton finding out where the men on the the newly discovered plaque on the wall of Fabrica, lived and worked before their active service in the Great War. A unique plaque in itself as it lists those that fought and returned as well as those lost in battle.
‘The walk was led by Dr Geoffrey Mead, an eminent local historian based at the University of Sussex, who delights in bringing the Brighton of the past alive. He is also heavily involved in the research behind the men on the plaques.
We learned about Brighton before the the Great War and both the rich and the poorer families who lived there. The fascination is in the detail, anecdotes about the businessmen, tradesmen and the people who worked in the vegetable and fruit market. The research he has done includes details of where many of the ‘The Boys’ had either lived or worked and we stop outside each one house and learn of their families circumstances. No doubt a book about it all will appear eventually!
Geoffrey does plenty of other walks in Sussex and all for modest donations to nature and wild life charities. This particular one was free but who would not donate to Fabrica today who set it up as part of a longer term project about those young men, many of whom died, but all recorded on the plaque.
My partner and I have been to the Somme several times over the years to find the graves of family members who died in the Great War. We used to make little films for people who were unable to take the trip. Last time I went with my late mother and we traced the route my grandfather’s regiment had taken. Fortunately he returned at the end of the war but had been gassed and suffered from shell shock and was in a hospital for over a year. The last man on the plaque died was on September 1st thoughts of just one last trip drifted into my mind.
Fabrica is a fantastic resource for Brighton with Art Exhibitions and events. What I like particularly is that many events are free and that they are keen to encourage the intermixing of people of all ages. As well as the Art Exhibitions, there are talks, a film club, arts and crafts. http://fabrica.org.uk/
Geoffey’s “Ambles and rambles.
“Walks programme Sept 2015-April 2016
All are ‘donations’ to local environmental groups
Distances and times approximate!
Most of the ‘Heritage Open Day’ event walks have taken place but here is the list of other interesting walks with Geoffrey.
He is also doing a walk as part of Shoreham’s Wordfest. Google them for details of events.
Sept 26th 10am New Shoreham. Town & river; port and beach.
Part of Shoreham Wordfest [£5 charge]
Meet St Mary de Haura church. TQ 215052 90 mins 2 miles
Oct 4th 10am A linear walk through Portslade to Southwick via the canal side.
An industrial dockside with plenty of local history and secluded corners
Meet Portslade station south side. TQ 265055 90 mins 2 miles
Nov 1st 2pm Stanmer & Standean
Quiet downland and windswept heights in the South Downs National Park.
Meet Stanmer Upper Lodges, Ditchling Road. TQ 324098 2 hours 4 miles
Dec 6th 10am Folkington scarpfoot.
Winter walk [mud!] along the foot of the South Downs
Meet Folkington church nr Polegate. TQ 559038 2 hours 4 miles
Jan 17th 10am Seaford town and beach.
An urban stroll through a ‘limb’ of the Cinque Ports.
Meet Seaford railway station. TV 482992 2 hours 4 miles
Feb 7th 10am Dallington; High Weald views.
Dallington sits on a high ridge in the heart of the High Weald; forests and streams, lanes and views
Meet Dallington church gate, The Street TQ 658192 3 hours 5 miles
March 6th 10am Dial Post. Low Weald mud!
The Low Weald at its springtime best; ancient farmsteads, Green Lanes and wild beasts!
Meet Dial Post village hall TQ 154194 3 hours 5 miles
April 17th 10am West Firle. Place, Park and pasture.
The parish of West Firle sits in the SDNP with a magnificent house, landscape park and rolling farmland.
Meet Firle village carpark. TQ 468075 2 hours 4 miles
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