Saturday, 26 October 2013

Sic transit gloria mundi

Emily (six years old): "Grandma, I've been teaching Grandad to dance."

"That's nice, dear.  Is he any good?"

"No, he's rubbish."

That's the trouble with the youth of today: no respect for their elders and betters.


The old centre of Brighton, what used to be the fishing village of Brighthelmstone, is a warren of narrow alleyways known as The Lanes.  Fifty years ago this was an area of quirky shops, many of them junk shops masquerading as antique dealers.  It has since gone up-market and now there are real antique dealers, jewellers, boutiques and even art dealers.  The quirky shops have transferred to the area known as North Laine.  That is laine with an "i" and is singular.

The North Laine is the name of the area just to the north of the old village.  This was the name of the field where the villagers would take their sheep each day before bringing the animals back into the fold every evening.  (There is a lot more information on the Wiki site right here.)

There are a number of alleys (or twittens, to use the local word) in the North Laine, including one running from Bond Street.  This was known as Bond Street Lane.  Back at the end of 2011, or thereabouts, the Council put up a new street sign, but spelled the name "Bond Street Laine".  Those self-appointed guardians of Brighton's history and tradition, the Brighton Society, immediately asked the Council to replace the sign, spelling the word correctly.  Meanwhile, somebody took it on themselves to paint out the offending letter.

The Council refused to take steps to replace the sign, claiming that there was a lot of red tape involved in changing the name of the lane.  But the name hadn't changed: one of the Council employees had made a mistake when ordering the sign!  I bet if a sign had been put up spelling "Street" as "Strete" they would have very quickly done something. I have to say that, despite my somewhat snide remark about "self-appointed guardians", I agree with the Brighton Society over this.

My photograph was taken in February last year.  I must go back one day to see what the sign looks like now.

1 comment:

The Broad said...

Very funny introduction!

Haven't been to the lanes/laines in years -- but used to go quite regularly -- my husband has a stamp shop there he likes to frequent -- wonder if it's still there...