Take a Cheeky Walk in Brighton!
Those incorrigible folk who produce the best selling Cheeky Guide To Brighton have come up with a new concept, a book of themed walks around the town and surrounding area called Cheeky Walks in Brighton & Sussex. Aiming to appeal to the casual trainer-clad stroller as well as the hardened hiker, there are walks in town and country on themes such as art, sex, football and death, plus rambles that re-trace the final steps of master criminals and suicidal novelists. Some walks feature special activities, such as a musical accompaniment around a ghost village or a night-time wander by the light of the moon. Here’s a sample for you to try from their tour of twittens (an ancient Sussex term for alleyway) titled…
Brighton’s Back Passages
1. Make your way to Morrisons supermarket at 5 St James’s Street. Go inside (yes, we’re starting a walk in a supermarket, contain your excitement) and take the lift on your right up to the car park.Walk through the car park down the exit road and find a tunnel-shaped covered alley on the right. This brings you out onto George Street. Go right. Immediately before the Queens Arms hang a right into a tiny twitten that bends round in a U shape back to the same street.
A deptutation of residents attempted to have the first of these two alleys permanently closed a few short years ago, and as part of the shocking evidence they showed the council a “toy hand-gun that had been found on the ground”.
2. Back on George Street, go right and then right again down St James’s Street. At the traffic lights cross the street and make for the fountain to your left. Once there and facing the sea, head diagonally right, crossing the road, and make for a building with a frontage of black mathematical tiles. Two buildings to the right is a three-storey brick building with red bands across it. Approach the front down a slope, creep along the left hand edge of this, and enter the ancient twitten of Pool Passage.
3. Reappearing at Pool Valley bus station, go right up the short pedestrianised street onto East Street. Cross it, head right and only a few yards away next to number 11 you will see a sign ‘To Little East Street’.
This is the alleyway in Quadrophenia where Jimmy and Steph get it on and usually has a wealth of Mod-related graffiti by a doorway (though the owner does come and paint over it most days).Fans have been known to re-enact the love scene here. If tempted, be aware that the chances of getting caught with your pants down are pretty high.
4. Emerge onto Little East Street, go straight over the road and up both sets of steps, continue across the left side of the square and enter the passage in the far left corner.
Following a bout of unseemly behavior, movement-activated lights and ambient music have been installed in this cut-through to calm the savage mobs who use it.
5. Turn right up Black Lion Street and enter the twitten between the Cricketers and Black Lion pubs.
The inveterate 18th century gambler Lord Barrymore lost a bet here when challenged to a race by the portly Mr Bullock, whose conditions were that he chose the course and be granted a ten yard start. Re-enact this event with a stout fellow walker and you’ll find out why Mr Bullock didn’t even have to break out of a slow trot.
6. Cross straight over the street at the end and dive into another alley, Ship Street Gardens. On exiting turn right onto Middle Street and follow the road around to the right, past the Victory Pub. Turn left onto Ship Street and mere yards on, slip down Lewis’s Buildings on your left.
Still visible under brick paving or concrete is the location of the central gutter that used to carry noxious effluent down to the main road. Just beyond the Duke’s Passage turning, look for the ancient swivelling iron frame nailed to the wall above your head. There used to be several of these frames containing mirrors that were used to direct daylight into the windows above, so that garment workers could see what the hell they were doing and avoid accidentally chopping off their arms in an automated mangle.