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Shoreham Airshow

Brighton City Airport

No 21st century city, no international city, worthy of the name could not have its own airport, could it?

Well, funnily enough, Brighton has had joint ownership of an airport for a very long time - since the 1930s. The other partner is Worthing Council. The airport is at Shoreham By Sea, which is seven miles west on the coast at the mouth of the River Adur.

The airport once had its own aircraft company, Beagle Aircraft, which built small planes at Shoreham during the 1960s.

And for decades now there has been a major airshow at Shoreham held over a weekend in September.

The current official name of the airport has clearly been the subject of careful negotiation: Shoreham (Brighton City) Airport, Sussex. And as well as being an airport for recreational aircraft, it also now sports regular flights to the Channel Islands, and a summer schedule to Normandy.

So Brighton is the city and it has an airport at Shoreham.

Whatever, the airport with it pristine art deco terminal building, the town of Shoreham, and the surrounding estuarine countryside are all well worth a visit.

Click on the thumbnail for a larger image.

Lord Bassam of Brighton

Ever since the end of the 18th century when the Prince Regent decided to make Brighton his seaside home and Brighton became a fashionable resort for the nobility, many lords of the realm have come and gone.

Marlborough House on the west side of the Old Steine, which is currently being renovated, was once the Brighton residence of the Duke of Marlborough. Of course, the social status of the peerage has changed fundamentally since the Duke's day. But down the years Brighton has retained its association with their lordships.

I want to mention three. The actor, Lawrence Olivier who lived in Brighton was made a peer in 1970. And the founder of the Alliance Building Society and Labour councillor in Brighton, Lewis Cohen, was made a peer in 1951. More recently, Steve Bassam who was the leader of Brighton Council and then Brighton & Hove Council in the 1980s and 90s was made a Labour peer in 1997 and took up a ministerial position in Tony Blair's government.

So far as I can establish all three took Brighton as the territorial part of their titles.

The Chain Pier

Chain Pier Exit Brighton station, walk down Queens Road, pass the Clock Tower, and carry on down West Street to the seafront, and there on your left you will see Brighton Pier, thriving and busy, and on your right the burned out wreck of the West Pier, tragic yet well loved by many.

But there is a third pier in Brighton's history: the Chain Pier (1823 - 1896). The Chain Pier was Brighton's first. It was a kind of one-ended suspension bridge. Its formal name was The Royal Suspension Chain Pier. It consisted of four cast-iron towers, spaced 260 feet apart, standing on wooden piles. The shape of the towers was inspired by the Egyptian pylon.

Click on the thumbnail for a larger image.

For more on Brighton's piers, click here


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