Archive for May 2016

Brighton Fringe Heritage Trails

On May 16 & 17 BHT Heritage delivered two guided history trails for the public during the Brighton Fringe Festival.

Heritage Trail 2016The trails, which were co-facilitated by two client reps, started at Brighton Town Hall where visitors learnt about the first legislation of 1349, and how society’s attitude towards homelessness and poverty was that it was the fault of the individual; a result of idleness and vice. The Heritage Officer also shared that this site was where the town’s first workhouse stood.

The trail then visited Pavilion Gardens, where a client rep spoke about the size of the town during the late 1700’s and drew attention to the close proximity of the workhouse to the future King’s seaside residence.

Next stop was Church Street, where visitors were told about the new purpose-built workhouse that was developed on Church Hill in 1822. From this location, the trail meandered through to the Old Slippers Baths and on to Cheltenham Place. The campaigns of Harry Cowley were discussed at this point, as well as the opening of a third workhouse on Race Hill, which converted to a hospital for wounded Indian soldiers during the First World War.

Heritage Trail 2016On its way to Kew Street the group took a breather on North Road and heard about the Labour government’s welfare reforms following the Second World War. Spring Gardens was also pointed out at this stage; the location of the first soup kitchen in Brighton in 1829.

From Kew Street the group looked across to Brighton General Hospital, the former Race Hill Workhouse, and learnt about how the casual ward became a resettlement unit which remained open until 1991.

The penultimate stop was at St Nicholas Churchyard, where the visitors were able to look across to the former site of Church Hill Workhouse.

At First Base the group learnt about the emergence of charities across the city during the 1960’s – 90’s, and about facilities offered at the day centre for people who are street homeless in Brighton and Hove today.

The trails were attended by 35 members of the public.

Stimulating walk and talk – gave me new insight


Brilliant tour explaining the history of homelessness in Brighton

Street Stories Launch

On Thursday 5 May 14 young writers from various schools across Brighton celebrated the launch of the Street Stories audio walk with an event by Mayor Lynda Hyde.

Street Stories LaunchThe young writers met at Jubilee Library and made their way to First Base Day Centre along the audio trail route, listening to their stories as they walked. They were greeted on their arrival by the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, friends of Little Green Pig and BHT Heritage, and the writers’ families.

The event was opened with a viewing of a film, funded by the Pride Social Fund, which featured the young writers reading some of their compositions. It also shared how the project grew out of a simple concept – addressing myths and misconceptions about homelessness – into a 30-minute audio trail through the city.

The Heritage Project Officer spoke briefly about how the collaboration came about and the great value of enabling the children to interview people with lived experience of homelessness. People who are street homeless in Brighton and Hove are so visible yet invisible at the same time; as a society we often objectify people who are rough sleeping. The project offered a valuable opportunity to address negative stereotypes at an early age.

Street Stories LaunchThe young writers then took part in a question and answer session about how the project came together and their favourite aspects, which included recording sound effects and viewing a range of headshots of people and guessing whether they had experienced street homelessness. One of the writers spoke about how she didn’t really think about homelessness before the project but that since finding out more about it she has shared what she’s learnt with her family.

Chris, who facilitates the writing group at First Base, said that he was amazed by the children’s imaginations and how that was captured in their writing.

To find out more about Street Stories please click here