Walks and talks for the star-struck on White Night

Participants in two events involving the University of Sussex will be seeing local stars as part of Brighton’s White Night Festival (Saturday 24 October).

Local historian Geoffrey Mead, who teaches at the Centre for Community Engagement (CCE) at the University, will be conducting guided walks among Brighton’s historic nooks and crannies on the theme of fame and fortune.

Meanwhile, out-of-town adventurers can explore ancient history and the night sky at Hollingbury hillfort at an event organised by CCE as part of the Festival of Learning, which has its launch on White Night.

Brighton’s White Night Festival is a series of cultural events that take place during the night hours, opening up the city’s many cultural venues in new and unusual ways to new audiences. Brighton’s famous Pavilion music room will host magical music from Brighton Philharmonic, while films will be projected in the Prince Regent swimming pool for late-night dippers to enjoy. A host of other musical and visual treats are on offer from dusk till dawn at locations throughout the city.

The festival marks the end of British Summer Time and most events are free.

This year’s festival, Brighton’s second, takes the theme of fortune.

Geoffrey Mead’s Brighton – Fame & Fortune walking tour reflects on the rise and fall of Brighton’s wealth, fame and fortune down the ages, taking in areas such as the Royal Pavilion estate and the Old Steine area, and comparing them to the Carlton Hill and Edward St areas of Brighton, a traditional inner city poor district of bygone Brighton, which features in Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock.

Geoffrey, who was approached by Brighton and Hove Council to lead walks for the first White Night event last year, teaches on the Practical Archaeology course for CCE. He also supervises students on the Architecture and Landscape degree and is working on other degree programmes within the University’s School of Global Studies, focusing on 21st-century Brighton and Hove.

Geoffrey says: “Night walks give a different dimension to historical tours. Buildings look dramatic lit by street lamps, and cast into deep shadow, the present recedes and the flavour of earlier urban landscapes comes to the fore. I love promoting all aspects of my home city and these White Night events draw in old devotees of Brighton history plus new audiences.”

The two tours start at 10pm and midnight. Meet at Jubilee Square Information Point.

White Night also marks the launch of a Festival of Learning, which includes a novel introduction to ancient local history and archaeology, courtesy of CCE. The Hollingbury hillfort gathering offers opportunities for star-gazing and admiring the city panorama, as well as learning about our Bronze Age past, archaeology and the chance to pick up a few ancestral skills. Hot drinks, soup and music are also on offer for this outdoor event.

A free shuttle bus service will run between the University campus at Falmer and from the Corn Exchange and back between 6pm and 11pm (full details below).

White Night is led by Brighton & Hove Arts Commission working in partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council and supported by SEEDA and Arts Council England SE.

Notes for Editors


Celebrate the ancestors at Hollingbury Hillfort

6–11pm Soup, hot drinks, folk music, displays and information about archaeology, ancient crafts and wild food foraging;

6.30pm Ancient ‘Beating the Bounds’ ceremony;

6.30–9pm Guided tours around the fort where you can learn about your ancestors, discover the stars – and even do some singing;

10pm Closing ceremony, followed by music in the marquee

Getting there

Guided walks, to arrive at the site by 6pm

  • From Whitehawk Hill, with storyteller Pat Bowen – depart 4.30pm prompt from tall aerial mast near Manor Hill
  • From Moulsecoomb Wild Park – depart 5.15 prompt from bus stop, Lewes Rd
  • From University of Sussex – depart 5pm prompt from Gardner Arts Centre

Big Lemon Buses FREE hourly shuttle service

  • From the Corn Exchange at 5.30, 6.30, 7.30 8.30 and 9.30pm
  • From the Hillfort at 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11pm

For Geoffrey Mead’s tour see:  http://www.whitenightnuitblanche.com/brighton/past-fortune-present-tour/

For more information on White Night events see www.whitenightnuitblanche.com/brighton


Last updated: Friday, 23 October 2009