Fri 13 March 7.00 pm
Sue Berry: Brighton 1750-1820: the rise of England’s most famous resort.
Dr Berry gave the Friends an immensely interesting and entertaining talk on the development of Brighton from 1750 to 1820 despite the near arctic temperature in the church.
As well as outlining the political, social and physical factors which eventually gave rise to the Brighton we know today, she showed us fascinating images of cartoons, maps and drawings illustrating her points.
We learnt many aspects of the life in the Brighton in particular the popularity of sea bathing which became fashionable at the time, with the bathers and dippers entering the sea from bathing machines. The revealing qualities of dressing in muslin when wet led to telescopes for hire on the cliffs above the bathing beaches.
The planting of trees and shrubbery in fashionable resorts was needed to provide privacy particularly because the bathers had to drink up to two quarts of sea water each time they “dipped”, with unpredictable effects.
It was interesting that Brighton had a sandy beach until the Regency developers moved in and removed the sand for building, leaving the shingle beaches we all know and love (?) today.
Dr Berry delivered a real tour-de-force and left her audience greatly anticipating her next installment of fascinating history.