Thursday, 19 July 2012

How the hamlet of Hove changed its name

Or, Today's Trivia

It all started in the 1700s with Dr Russell of Lewes.  Until then, there was a sleepy little fishing village on the south coast of England called Brighthelmstone.  A mile or two to the west lay an even smaller village, just a hamlet really, called Hoove or sometimes Hove.

The good Dr Russell of Lewes came to the conclusion that bathing in sea water was good for one's health.  The nearest place on the coast to Lewes was Brighthelmstone and it was in that village that the doctor established a surgery.  Before long, people were flocking to Brighthelmstone and the sleepy fishing village had become a fashionable resort town.  The icing was put well and truly on the cake when the Prince Regent decided to build his seaside palace there.

By this time the name of the village had been abbreviated to Brighton and the town had spread westwards along the coast.  Hoove had decided it was really Hove and some building work had taken place there.  By the mid 19th century the towns of Brighton and Hove had become Siamese twins joined at the hip.  Unless one knew just where the boundary lay one could stray from Brighton into Hove and back again (or vice versa of course) without knowing.  Unless one was on the sea front.

You see, although the houses and shops may have looked the same, the residents of the two towns had completely different outlooks on life.  Brighton had become gaudy and was to become synonymous with dirty weekends and famous for trunk murders and race course gangs.  Hove, on the other hand, was sedate, quiet and rather posh and superior.  Not for Hove the razzamatazz of entertainment on the sea front.  Hove had simply the esplanade and the Lawns.  Brighton was the town whose name was known across the land, whereas few people had heard of Hove.  So, if a Hove resident was asked where he lived, he would generally answer, "Brighton" before qualifying his answer by saying, "Well, Hove actually".

And so Hove gradually became a town with a double-barrelled name: Hove Actually.


Toady we move south again for our picture, to the 17 Mile Drive on the Monterey peninsula of the California coast.  This is Fanshell Beach.


Suldog said...

Love the story. Reminds me of those times when MY WIFE asks me if I'm finished doing some task or other. I reply, "I'm done", and she says, "Oh. I thought you were Sullivan!"

OK, that's just a bad joke, but I felt like telling it. Sorry. Feel free to inflict me in a similar fashion.

Buck said...

The 17 Mile Drive can be spectacular given the right WX and light traffic. I remember taking my neighbor lady there back in the mid-80s and there were about 17 oohs and aahs from her for each mile.