You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Portslade’ category.

serving you  up with a few more from woodies……

woodies

woodies

woodies

woodies

shoreham harbour

shoreham harbour

Advertisements
Untitled

Untitled

When Tamsin first moved to the Brighton area, she was taken on a car journey around Portslade purely to stare at some memorably ugly people. A few years later, the unusual stench of Tesco’s aisles led to her speculating about a local custom known as the Portslade Piss Festival. Now she is older and more self-aware she can see that this reflects on her more poorly than it does on Portslade. The time is right to set the record straight. The time is right to banish sneering and snobbery and to celebrate Portslade, too long seen as a lumpy winnit clinging onto the well-groomed poodle tail of Brighton and Hove. So one sunny day in October, the Lost Promenade hopped onto a bus and prepared to open their minds.

Portslade is in fact made up of two parts. Portslade Village and Portslade-By-Sea. The By-Sea part is the bit that smells of wee. The village is the opposite, nestling in a valley on the South Downs, it’s crammed with old flint buildings, a village green and a ruined Norman manor. We started our day there, at the massive Emmaus Second Hand Superstore, a treasure trove of bric-a-brac housed in a chapel, with “The White Cliffs of Dover” playing in the background. Nhung was tempted by a 1950s armchair and Tamsin by a mirrored dressing table, but as neither have any means of transport they had to leave them behind. Emmaus is surrounded by a beautiful garden, full of tunnels and walkways and spooky dead trees. At one point, Nhung and Tamsin thought they would never escape, their Blair Witch fears to the fore, as they passed the same bridge for the fourth time, with no exit in sight. But eventually they forced their way out through the crunchy autumn leaves and went in search of a tearoom.

Untitled

Untitled

If only serial killer Peter Tobin still lived here: he used to run an establishment called Ye Olde Tearoom, but now Portslade is tearoom-less. It turns out the village is really only one road, with nowhere to eat. “Where’s the villagey bit?” Nhung asked a passer-by, “Er, this is it”, she replied, a bit confused. So we made do with Space Raiders, sherbet dib dabs and Fry’s Peppermint Cream from the post office. Nhung also bought an almanac called “A Miscellany of This and That and Things Gone By”, which included articles entitled “Field and Fireside,” “Our Christian Heritage” and “Well Loved Programmes from the World of Wireless” (Wi-fi?). Imagine a sepia world in which there’s no sex and nobody’s foreign and you’re almost there.

Untitled

Untitled

Vaguely fortified, we set off to find Portslade’s real treasure, Foredown Tower, one of only two camera obscuras in the South of England. You have to walk through acres of suburban sprawl to get there, red brick boxes of resentment that gave Nhung the willies as they reminded her of Burgess Hill, where she grew up. Her mood wasn’t helped by Tamsin singing, “we haven’t got a clue WHAT to do”, from The Sweet’s “Blockbuster” over and over again and again.

But once we got there, it was worth it. You feel like a witch queen looking over your captured lands, as the image of the whole surrounding town and countryside appears magically on the lens. You twiddle it one way and there’s Worthing Pier, another way and there’s some bored looking sheep, and that way – oh look it’s a man pissing, move on please.

camera obscura

camera obscura

So Portslade Village, quite nice really and would be a good place to start a picnic from, as it’s right on the Downs. But this is the Lost Promenade, and the only bit that really counts is the bit by the coast. So we headed back towards Portslade-By-Sea and went shopping.

Portslade is great for charity shops, all much cheaper than in Brighton. The owner of one junk shop tantalised us with the knowledge that her friend owned a warehouse full of antique French bloomers. A morose man in another store wore a pink sweater with pictures of frogs on it and the slogan “Have a hoppy day”. We saw the same people from shop to shop, all taking the same route as us. There’s also a store called Golf Galore and a chip shop with a picture of the Turin Shroud in the window.

In ‘Mish and Mash’, a furniture clearance store, Terry, the proprietor unexpectedly turned out to be an old school friend of Nhung’s. He’s known her 25 years and was the first person to call her Nhungsta. We asked him what the oddest thing that had ever happened to him in Portslade was, and he boringly said “Running into you”, but his co-worker added, “You need to go into Hove for strange occurrences”. Nhung asked them to look out for a boudoir changing screen for her, and then as the light was failing rapidly, we hurried on.

We headed for the seafront, the industrial centre of Brighton and Hove. Ignoring the prohibitive signs, we wriggled through a gap in some railings to look at the rusty boats and slag heaps. Why are slag heaps called slag heaps we wondered? The light was going and we were hungry.

Untitled

Untitled

The crux of the day was burgers and “frings” (fries and onion rings) at Woodie’s Longboard Diner, a 50s-style surf-themed restaurant on the seafront. As the palm trees at the front waved in the sunset, for a moment Portslade turned into Palm Springs. We finished the day with a delicious milkshake each, toffee for Tamsin, pistachio for Nhung. Then stuffed to the tits, staggered to the bus stop. The Portslade Piss Festival may still happen every other Thursday, but for the rest of the fortnight, Portslade is proud.

woodies

woodies

Lost
A tearoom, as usual
Smell of urine
Nhung and Tamsin, for a bit, in Emmaus gardens

Found
Tweed pencil skirt
Multi-coloured flowery skirt
Beechams All-in-1 Flu Remedy
Tattered lace parasol
Red boat-neck jumper
White pleated skirt
Bow tie
Pink corset top
Red and white check knit top (Tamsin has the same one in black and white)
Box of Christmas cards with pictures of ice skaters
Evergreen Britain’s Lovely Little Green Quarterly: A Miscellany of This and That and Things Gone By
An old friend of Nhung’s

Untitled

Untitled

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 73 other followers

Twitter

Visitors

  • 66,159 hits