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bits and pieces on Brighton and thee beyond…..

Archive for December, 2008


Posted by Sara on December 29, 2008

Here’s another great poem from our resident scribe, Dominic. This is our favourite so far.


If I had a lover in my life,

I wouldn’t feel like this,

Instead wrapped by amorous bliss,

Despite the trouble and strife,

If I knew what I wanted,

I’d grab it with both hands,

And issue my demands,

By which I’m haunted,

If I had the guts,

I could tell them all to hang,

And feel more of a man,

No ifs or bloody buts,

And if I had all these,

I needn’t write this out,

I’d never have a doubt,

Life would be a breeze.


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Merry Christmas

Posted by Sara on December 23, 2008

Seasons Greetings

Seasons Greetings

It’s a Christmas conundrum, that’s for sure – just what picture to use to commemorate our first festive season at Thee Nook? First choice was dressing up Thee Birds as Santa and Rudolf but then we decided, albeit very reluctantly, that that would be a tad cruel and demeaning to our feathered friends. So instead here’s our Christmas Cthulhu, woken from his slumbers to pose by the West Pier. We’ve also included some interesting links on strange sounds emanating from ocean depths for you to explore. Merry Christmas!




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Burning the Clocks 2008

Posted by Sara on December 22, 2008

Same Sky

Same Sky

Sunday 21st December – To celebrate the shortest day we head down to the lanes to catch the start of the Burning the Clocks. This is a very popular annual event in Brighton and features a fantastic array of handmade paper and willow lanterns that are paraded through the city and culminates in them all being burnt on the beach as part of a huge bonfire and firework display as a token to mark the end of the year.

This is the fifteenth year for the Burning of the clocks and it’s a special one for organizers Same Sky as it is their 21st birthday.

funny clock

funny clock

samba-manWe catch the beginning of the parade up near Ship street and, helped along by at least three samba bands and some great acrobatic dancers, we follow the procession as it slowly snakes its way through the narrow streets down to the beach. On the seafront off Madeira drive a huge clock shaped pyre beckons and there is much merriment and dancing around.

Those of us too slovenly to make a lantern this year aren’t left out as there are lots of nice men wheeling shopping trolleys full of fluorescent light sabers we can buy to wave around and look silly with.

elephants never forget

elephants never forget

This is a very popular event and with a crowd of 20 thousand in attendance we decide to chow on some hot chestnuts and wander back to watch the fireworks from the pier. Each lamp is hand made and as they are thrown into the fire the lantern bearers make wishes for the coming year. A firework display on the beach marks the end of the event. The perfect antidote to a consumer led Christmas and very magical way to greet the solstice.


happy solstice!!

happy solstice!!

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The Lanes Ghost Walk

Posted by Sara on December 21, 2008

Brighton Lanes Ghost Walk

sign113th December 2008 – It was on this damp and windy night we found ourselves outside the Druids Head pub in the lanes waiting for our host to lead us into the darker corners of Brighton’s past.The Ghost Walk of the Lanes runs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from May till December and starts prompt at 7.30pm.

Our guide was the splendiferously attired Rob Marks. Unfortunately our camera ‘mysteriously‘ failed on this excursion so we are unable to provide any decent photo’s of him decked out in all his Victorian finery accompanied by his macabre props. Instead you will just have to make do with a poster and some photos taken a few days later.

From the Druid’s head, reputed to be the most haunted pub in Brighton and built near a stone circle,town-hall we traversed to the Town Hall to learn of ghostly monks and gruesome murders. We were then led to Old Steine, an area of open land near the sea front dominated by a gloriously grotesque huge Victorian fountain. This is the favourite haunt of what must be one of the most horrifically mutilated ghosts to ever flutter around this earth – the poor old John Robinson, an 18th century adventurer whose eyes were burnt out with hot irons in Persia. Destitute and destined to a life left begging in Tehran he eventually made it back to his home town in Brighton only to die soon after. It is rumoured that those who see him never forget the sight of the Arabic looking man, with eyes “gouged out so deep the bone of his skull can be seen with maggots still eating away at the rotting flesh on his face”.

Those kindly folk in the 1800’s even had a ditty for him which goes:

“Don’t ye dally, darling dear, in Brighton‘s city clear

The ghost of old John Robinson is waiting for ye there.

If ye look into his face, you’ll end your days that night.

For he’ll steal your eyes from you to give a beggar sight.

Our next stop was Dr Brightons and then on to the Northern Lights, a very convivial Scandinavian bar haunted by an even friendlier ghost. We were led upstairs and, for the bargain price of £1, were each treated to a shot of ‘fishermen’s friend’ – a special beverage concocted in honour of the fisherman who now haunts the place. The warmth from the fire and the alcohol were a welcome break from the cold outside and it was with some reluctance we left Northern Lights to make our way back to the lanes, reputably Brighton’s most haunted quarter.


the bricked up doorway in the lanes

Twisting and turning through Black Lion and Meeting House Lanes we were regaled with tales of amorous ghosts and mysterious nuns haunting bricked up doorways and cottages dating back to the 1500’s. Our last stop was the Cricketer’s Arms pub, where Graham Greene wrote much of Brighton Rock, and once thought to have housed one of Britain’s most notorious murderers – Jack the Ripper. Robert D’onston is one of the prime suspects in the Ripper case and hospital records show he resided here back in 1888. On several occasions a pale man wearing a long black cloak has been spotted by the manager and the pub is said to be the site of poltergeist activity including bottles and glasses falling off shelves, slamming doors and the sound of footsteps climbing the stairs.

From there it was a short stroll back to the Druids Head for a well deserved drink at the end of the tour. Although we didn’t see any ghosts that evening we all found it great fun and a cracking way to learn about the history of the area. The walk itself covers a relatively short distance and lasts approximate 70 minutes. A bargain and definitely recommended.

**STOP PRESS** What great news to find out this event is still going strong in 2012! I have been sent a recent update by Rob Marks which reads – 

Join actor and master storyteller, Rob Marks, as the mysterious Silas the Ghost Hunter, for a 70 minute walk around Brighton’s most haunted quarter. Take in the history and the spine-chilling tales whilst visiting seven of the area’s most haunted sites. Silas and his fellow storytellers, Jasper and Ebenezer, perform in full Victorian attire complete with Gladstone bag, which holds a few surprises!

The show runs every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday from outside the Druid’s Head pub, Brighton Place (The Lanes). Seven nights a week throughout June, July and August!

Private bookings can be for any night of the week. £8 Adults, £4 Children, £5 Seniors & Students, Family Ticket £20 (2 adults, 2 children).

•     Name:Ghost Walk of the Lanes

•     City:Brighton

•     Telephone:01273 328927 / 07522 605524


Posted in Brighton Unexplained, Brighton Walks and Talks | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Train

Posted by Sara on December 18, 2008

Here is our latest slice of poetry pie, brought to you once again from the amazing Dominic. Particularly relevant for all you struggling this week with the new, completely rubbish timetabling changes to the Brighton trains from southern rail. A pox on them we say.

The train

On the 6:41,

No one utters a word,

It seems so absurd,

They’re all so glum,

Engrossed in their books,

They avoid others glares,

Though no one cares,

About how they look,

They all look so tired,

Yet their working like fools,

They should down their tools,

But then they’ll be fired,

I feel so alone,

An outsider in this,

Taciturn bliss,

Can’t wait to get home.


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Brown Sugar Cafe

Posted by Sara on December 13, 2008

04.12.2008 Brown Sugar Café, Western road, Brighton

bsugarIt’s Thursday, it’s pouring with rain and we’ve been meeting with managing agents and fellow freeholders all morning over painting the house. There’s only one thing for it – you guessed it – another fried feast beckons. This time we have chosen the rather charmingly named Brown Sugar Café on Western Road.

First impressions are good – solid wooden tables lined with antique church chairs lend the place a continental air while the back wall lined with band posters and a rather fabulous ship figurehead in the corner, with lots of freebie Brighton mags and fliers scattered about, provide some quaint studenty touches. There are a range of different breakfasts on offer, all attractively written up in chalk along the wall.

I had the vegetarian no.1. Two fried eggs, 1 sausage, bubble and squeak, beans, mushrooms, toast and coffee all for £4.95. D had the non veg option consisting of 1 egg, bacon, black pudding (instead of sausage), beans, tomato, fried potatoes, mushrooms, tea and toast – again for £4.95.

Veggie breakfast no1

Veggie breakfast no1

The food arrived quick on chunky white china and all in all was pretty good. The portions were good though I think I would have preferred fewer beans and the bubble and squeak didn’t really taste of much (but when does it ever). Loved the coffee and the eggs were cooked perfect. The fried potatoes were an interesting alternative to chips and I thought they were delicious. D said the bacon, which he is not normally a fan of, was particularly good. The sauce was a bit overly concentrated, a bit like ketchup cordial – so drive easy with it.

Breakfast no.1

Breakfast no.1

Service was friendly and Guns and Roses were playing in the background. Due to a damp, stressful morning neither of us was in the best of moods but breakfast at Brown Sugar café soon perked us up and all for under £10.

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Poetry Shelf

Posted by Sara on December 11, 2008

As purveyors of fine fiction, we at Thee Nook have decided to start a regular new poetry blog. This weeks poem is from our friend,the very talented Dominic. The photo’s his as well.

Goodbye cruel world:

I can’t take anymore,

I know I have no worth,

Nor offer any mirth,

I am now such a bore,

I won’t be number one,

No love comes my way,

No luck will ever stay,

I am now done,

I’ll leave this earth,

Take refuge in my grave,

Oblivion for the brave,

No more pitiless mirth,

It comes to pass,

The comfort of my death,

One more maddening breath,

And then my last.


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