Letters to The Whistler

Dear Editors

Being a Hanoverian, I was lucky to come across your article on Aubrey Beardsley in the latest Whistler, and wanted to let you and your readers know that I quite regularly present Beardsley events.  At Brighton & Hove Museums our collections contain a few items relating to him including two original drawings, and although these can’t be on permanent display for conservation reasons I am able to show them occasionally as part of the Bite Size talk series at Brighton Museum.

The next Beardsley talk will take place on Tuesday 14 March at 12pm with free admission for residents:


During the annual Brighton & Hove Open Door heritage weekend I lead a guided tour around local sites relating to Beardsley’s early years in Brighton. The next BHOD weekend runs 7-10 September 2017 and, all being well, the Beardsley tour should take place on Sunday 10 September at 11am, see rth.org.uk/whats-on/open-door. I can also offer a ‘sit down’ version of the tour as a talk with slides.

I have been a Beardsley enthusiast for many years and it was he who ‘drew’ me to Brighton in the first place! I would recommend a visit to the Church of the Annunciation in Washington Street, where Beardsley worshipped, followed by a cup or glass of something at The Yellow Book café/bar on York Place, where I believe Beardsley’s spirit currently resides . . . !

For any further information, please contact me: alexialazou@yahoo.co.uk or 01273 698278.

Best wishes, Alexia Lazou

 Dear Editor

I read with interest that I am not the only person who feels their life is becoming blighted by Deliveroo (the main culprit) and other food delivery companies using Church Street as a rat run. It’s a noise nuisance and a genuine danger. Several times now I have tried to take my toddler from his child seat to a pram and had Deliveroo drivers speed inches past me. If Antony Oliver is interested in getting residents together to find a solution to this problem, he can count on my support.

Yours sincerely,

James Snodgrass, Crown Gardens

Dear Editor,

I have just read with interest, in your magazine The Whistler, the letter from “Alex, a West Hill resident” and the reply from Dr. Keith Sharpe regarding noise relating to the Caxton Arms in North Gardens. My immediate reaction is an urge to write to you stating that in my opinion the doctor is absolutely spot-on right and that the West Hill resident is missing the point by a country mile.

The argument is not about raucous bohemianism or debauchery within the walls of the Caxton and quite frankly I don’t think the majority of the residents of North Gardens could give a fig what happens behind the doors of this venerable establishment. The argument is solely about noise on the street outside the premises at times when most of the residents and their children are trying to get a night’s sleep prior to their working day the following morning. This strikes me as being a very reasonable argument.

The crux of the matter as I see it is the fact that the Caxton is allowed to stay open for one hour longer than similar establishments in the area and the fact that this attracts a number of semi-inebriated customers to what is, basically, a residential street at unacceptable hours of the morning. The smoking ban is also a  great  contributory factor meaning that revellers are not able to continue with their raucous bohemianism and debauchery (or whatever) within the premises and have to continue their noisy behaviour outside on the street. This was not the case in the days of the “luvvies” or subsequent managers and is a relatively recent phenomenon relating to the smoking ban.

Tell you what Alex, why don’t you allow The Whistler to print your full address so I can have the chance to bring half-a-dozen semi-inebriated mates round to your front door at 1 o’clock in the morning and then we can see how you like it?

Kind regards,

Paul, a resident of North Gardens

Dear Mr Gowans

As a long term resident of West Hill, I was rather upset to read your remarks with reference to “West Hill’s Character Statement” in the West Hill Watch column in the Dec/Jan issue.
Having lived in my house for almost 40 years and, despite the fact that I am one of the owners who have made so-called “inappropriate alterations” to the front elevation of their premises, using  double-glazed plastic windows and front door, etc, I have not, as yet, received any complaints from my neighbours with whom, I am happy to say, I am on very good terms. I consider myself very fortunate to live in the West Hill area and am surprised that The Whistler considered printing such an unfortunate article.

Yours faithfully,

A Resident

Dear Reader

We are sorry you were upset by Jim Gowans’ latest article, but in fact he was quoting from the West Hill Conservation Area Character Statement itself, which was written by council officers. This reviews all the buildings included in the West Hill Conservation area as they were in 2005. There are many references to “inappropriate” finishes,  “unfortunate” choices of uPVC, and “regrettable” features in the context of the history and character of the area. Worth quoting in full from the document, is the Article 4 direction:

“In order to halt the erosion of features such as sliding sash windows and traditional materials that was threatening to harm the special character of this conservation area, an additional planning control known as an Article 4 Direction was brought in. This requires owners to apply for planning permission to carry out works that were previously ‘permitted development’. This means that the alteration or replacement of all windows, doors, or roofs fronting a highway or open space, changes to front boundaries and the demolition or alteration of chimneys all need planning permission.”

The Editors


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