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Dirty Weekend by Philip Dunn

Dirty Weekend

In the nineteenth century Brighton was often described as "raffish", meaning a place of lax morals. But the word carried a tolerant rather than censorious tone. In the coarser language of the twentieth century Brighton was the place for a "dirty weekend". Journalist and author, Keith Waterhouse, has put it like this: "The beautiful thing about Brighton is that you can buy your lover a pair of knickers at Victoria station and have them off again at the Grand Hotel in less than two hours." Whether many headed for the Grand is questionable.

(This same image of Brighton is portrayed in the film Under Suspicion (1992), starring Liam Neeson.)

Local artist Philip Dunn has been painting Brighton for more than three decades. In his beautifully-executed painting Dirty Weekend a middle aged couple wearing raincoats, umbrella in hand, walk grimly along the promenade in the rain. Behind them is the Palace Pier, also grim and wet. Clearly nothing romantic in mind, this is their dirty weekend.

It's true the sun does not always shine in Brighton.

Seagulls!!Urban Seagulls

Brighton has a large and growing urban seagull population, loved by many, loathed by many others.

The urban gulls breakfast on the city's black bin bags, which too many residents put out when they shouldn't. And the gulls don't clear the dishes away! To be fair cats and foxes also share part of the blame for ripping open rubbish bags. And residents in turn blame the city council for forever varying waste collection days around the times of bank holidays, so that they're never sure which day to leave their rubbish out for collection. There is also the tendency of the city's dustmen to strike quite often, in a way that is reminiscent of Sussex Univeristy students' tendency to organise an occupation of university buildings each autumn.

Seagulls can also be pretty aggressive in defence of their young if they imagine that they are threatened by a human passer-by. The parents swoop and cackle at the assumed assailant, who is often - as you might expect - taken completely by surprise.

But for good or ill, the seagull is an intrinsic part of life in Brighton. Sure, the local football team's nickname is The Seagulls.

There is more about Brighton's gulls - click here.

Sussex By The Sea

Brighton & Hove AlbionWell, we've had City by the Sea, and London by the Sea, so why not Sussex by the Sea.

Sussex by the Sea is a popular song from a bygone era. It was written in 1907 by William Ward-Higgs who lived near Bognor in West Sussex. Today it functions as an anthem for the counties of East and West Sussex, a military band tune, and the anthem of Brighton & Hove Albion, the local football team which draws supporters from both the city and the county.

During the First World War the Royal Sussex Regiment was billeted at the Goldstone, Albion's football stadium. During that time Sussex by the Sea was adopted as the regimental song, and around the same time it was adopted by the football team.

Sussex by the Sea

Now is the time for marching, 
Now let your hearts be gay, 
Hark to the merry bugles 
Sounding along our way. 
So let your voices ring my boys, 
And take the time from me, 
And I'll sing you a song as we march along, 
Of Sussex by the Sea! 

For Sussex by the Sea ! 
Oh Sussex, Sussex by the Sea ! 
Good old Sussex by the Sea ! 
You may tell them all that we stand or fall, 
For Sussex by the Sea 

We're the men from Sussex, 
Sussex by the Sea. 
We plough and sow and reap and mow, 
And useful men are we; 
And when you go to Sussex, 
Whoever you may be, 
You may tell them all that we stand or fall 
For Sussex by the Sea! 

Up in the morning early, 
Start at the break of day; 
March till the evening shadows 
Tell us it's time to stay. 
We're always moving on my boys, 
So take the time from me, 
And sing this song as we march along, Of Sussex by the Sea. 

Sometimes your feet are weary 
Sometimes the way is long, 
Sometimes the day is dreary, 
Sometimes the world goes wrong; 
But if you let your voices ring, 
Your care will fly away, 
So we'll sing a song as we march along, Of Sussex by the Sea.  Light is the love of a soldier, 
That's what the ladies say, 
Lightly he goes a wooing, 
Lightly he rides away. 
In love and war we always are 
As fair as fair can be, 
And a soldier boy is a lady's joy In Sussex by the Sea! 

Far o'er the seas we wander, 
Wide thro' the world we roam; 
Far from the kind hearts yonder, 
Far from our dear old home; 
But ne'er shall we forget my boys, 
And true we'll ever be 
To the girls so kind that we left behind 
In Sussex by the Sea 

The football fans have amended the fourth line of the chorus to read: And we're going up to win the cup.

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