Always something going on

North Laine, Brighton
From a private collection

The thing I really like about Brighton is the North Laine shops. They’re different and individual, and run by independent retailers – they’re not part of any big chains. Some people have taken huge care on the front of their shops; they’ve made lovely mosaics or spectacular gates. Some of them have got lovely, arty sculptures and ornaments inside. There are lots of nice little shops like the bead shop.

It’s just a very nice atmosphere, especially in summer, with people sitting at restaurants and outside the Komedia. This summer, during the Festival, I saw some Japanese mime artists selling their evening performance. There’s always something going on.

The North Laine is the complete opposite to Churchill Square, and that part of Western Road where you’ve got all the big national chains. There’s something very impersonal about that. Britain and America have national chains that make the whole country look the same.

I went to Brighton Polytechnic in Grand Parade, back in the early 80s. I lived here for three years then, and now I live here again.

Comments about this page

  • Beware the North Laine is changing and in danger of losing its very special identity. How many chain stores are there now in the area? We already have Starbucks, Tescos, GBK, Carluccios, Pizza Express, Sainsburys. Everytime we patronise these places, we are contributing a little bit more to the destruction of what has been a very special area. Witness Jubilee St. What has this street got to do with the North Laine?

    By Peter Crowhurst (27/01/2008)

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