Brighton Cross probably falls under a category of writing now called ‘psychogeography’ made famous by authors such as Will Self and Iain Sinclair. In 2004, I wrote London Cross, which describes a straight line walk from south to north across London. Since I couldn’t find a publisher, I decided to make it freely available on the internet. On moving to Brighton, in the spring of 2006, I wrote Brighton Cross simply for the pleasure of it.
Recording a slice of Brighton
For Brighton Cross I chose an east-west line (the 450 northing) that would take me through the centre of Brighton, starting at Woodingdean and finishing on the beach by Shoreham Harbour. My aim was simply to record a slice of Brighton, a random cross-section, at a particular moment, or moments, in time. It combines all kinds of information, whether about local history and stories, architecture and planning, street names and quirky notices, or companies and organisations.
Walked in sections
The walk was done in sections on different days, with a recorder in one hand and a map in the other. Back at home I researched the line of the walk with the help of, among others, Timothy Carder’s Encyclopaedia of Brighton; Judy Middleton’s Encyclopaedia of Hove and Portslade; My Brighton and Hove website; and street directories and local history books found at the Brighton History Centre.
You can visit my Brighton Cross website here.