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Brighton & Hove: The City By The Sea

Brighton was a town, but Brighton and Hove together are a city. Strange but true. The two towns grew up together and have been physically and geographically part of the one conurbation for over a century. In 1997 the two town councils merged to become the one Brighthton and Hove Council. Then in 2000 the new entity was awarded city status by the monarch. Most people talk of Brighton when they mean the whole conurbation, but strictly-speaking it is Brighton & Hove.

So Brighton is a two-town city!

Brighton is 'the City by the Sea' - the marketing phrase coined by the council took off and is widely used both inside and outside of the city.

The Place to Be

The place to be was the name of the campaign to achieve city status. It was chaired by Simon Fanshawe, local resident, journalist, stand-up comic, and front-runner for the title, Mr Brighton.

The campaign was a rolling succession of initiatives and events, designed to display the creative flare and drive of the community. One such was the 100 Faces of the New Millennium project, which sought out local residents, one born in each year of the twentieth century, to represent the community at the turn of the millennium.

Like "the city by the sea", the phrase "the place to be" has stuck and is widely used.

Brighton Rock

In the days when a holiday meant a trip to the seaside, a visit to Brighton involved the purchase of one or more sticks of rock - the hard,sugary sweet. Brighton rock was as famous as Brighton.

Then in 1938 Graham Greene published his novel, set in Brighton, called Brighton Rock, a novel whose central character is the small-time gangster, Pinkie. The success of the novel led to a film of the book in 1947, directed by John Boulting, and starring a young Richard Attenborough. The fame of the book and of the film added to the fame of Brighton.

Today, sticks of rock are somewhat out of fashion, rightly so from the perspective of dental care. But thanks to Greene the phrase Brighton Rock is still very much with us, and the novel and film belong to our cultural history.

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