Hove – Saturday 28th December 2019

We were staying in Brighton for three nights between Christmas and New Year, and were lucky to have exceptionally good weather, so we decided to walk along the seafront to visit nearby Hove to have a late brunch before visiting the Waterstones.  Hove started life as a small fishing village on the south coast. It saw extensive growth in the 1880s and eventually spread far enough to join up with the larger Brighton.  In 1997 the two merged as part of local government reform to form the Borough of Brighton and Hove, but despite this merger the two areas have a distinctly different feel from each other.  Hove has a laidback and almost bohemian atmosphere.   The Waterstones here is located in a pedestrianised area with lots of shops and cafés, and is new to Hove, having opened in November. 

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Hove map 1

The Juggler statue

This statue, which is located outside Hove Town Hall, was created by the artist Helen Collis.  Sadly she passed away, but her husband presented the statue to the town in her honour.  The Town Hall opened in 1974 and is in the brutalist style.  It replaced an earlier, red-brick gothic style building which was damaged by a fire.

Below Clockwise from the left:  George Street, the location street of Waterstones, Hove Library, King’s Gardens (just four of Hove’s many, attractive, listed buildings).

(Accreditation for two of the above photos:

Hove library photo – and King’s Gardens photo both by Hassocks5489 – Own work, Public Domain)


Worthing – Friday 27th December 2019

Our next stop was the seaside town of Worthing, which was our destination for lunch on the way to Brighton, but unfortunately we had very little time to spend in the town.  Worthing is a very traditional south coast seaside resort with an award-winning Art Deco pier (which sadly we didn’t have time to visit) and the Regency town has some attractive architecture.  The Waterstones is located in a 1930s style building in the main shopping area.  It is a former Ottakars store, and like others has a mural by Chris Burke (his site appears to be down at the moment) behind the till.

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Worthing map

Worthing Pier

Currently reading:  Circe by Madeline Miller

Rustington – Friday 27th December 2019

Rustington is a small town in West Sussex situated on the coast.  It has a population of around 14,000 people and, according to Wikipedia, contains a conservation area with the largest number of pre-1850 listed buildings and 18th century flint cottages in the county.  Famous residents of the town include the artist Graham Sutherland, famous for the tapestry Christ in Glory in the Tetramorph in Coventry Cathedral and a portrait of Sir Winston Churchill (which Churchill hated!), and Sir Hubert Parry, who wrote the tune to the hymn Jerusalem – named Rustington after the town. The Waterstones is located in a modern building in the main shopping area. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to explore the town as we had to be in Worthing for lunch. 

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Rustington map

Currently listening to:  Thicker than Water (DCI Logan #2) by J D Kirk

Chiswick – Sunday 15th December 2019

We usually spend a weekend in London before Christmas.  We were due to meet up with friends in Stratford in East London on the Sunday but our plans changed so, as we were staying in Ealing, we decided to visit Chiswick.  It wasn’t an area we knew at all and we both thought it was very nice – it has a village feel about it with a good selection of shops and plenty of cafés and bars.  The Waterstones here is located in a modern building in the main shopping street.

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Chiswick map

Chiswick has been, and still is, a popular choice for the rich and famous – some of its best known residents, past and present, include the artist William Hogarth, poet W B Yeats, novelist E M Forster, musician Phil Colllins, actor Colin Firth and TV Presenters Ant & Dec!  There is a statue commemorating artist Hogarth, who lived in Chiswick for 15 years until his death in 1764.  Designed by Jim Mathieson it was unveiled by David Hockney and Ian Hislop in 2001.

William Hogarth Statue

The Thames at Chiswick

Currently reading: Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer

Derby – Saturday 5th October 2019

Our last stop on this trip was the city of Derby – the county town of Derbyshire and the site of the world’s first factory.  The county was considered to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.  The Waterstones here is located in a grand building called Babington Buildings, built in 1898 as a Boot and Shoe Emporium, and is set over three floors.  It is a beautiful building both outside and in.

Derby map

The ‘Knife Angel’

We were fortunate to be in Derby for two art installations at Derby Cathedral.  Outside was the National Monument Against Violence and Aggression sculpture, better known as the ‘Knife Angel’.  Made from more than 100,000 confiscated and amnestied blades, he stands over eight metres high and is dedicated to victims of knife crime.

The Museum of the Moon

Inside the cathedral was the Museum of the Moon by UK artist Luke Jerram.   The model of the moon, which was suspended from the ceiling, is seven metres high and at a scale of approximately 1:500,000.  Images of the moon’s surface from NASA cover the surface of the sculpture.  I was lucky to be able to view it as the cathedral was closing for a music event and they stopped people queuing about 15 minutes after I arrived! 

Nottingham – Friday 4th October 2019

Nottingham is a city in the East Midlands which is probably best known for its lace manufacturing and as the home of Robin Hood!  The city, along with Edinburgh, Exeter, Manchester and Norwich, was declared a UNESCO “City of Literature” in 2015 (I had no idea such a thing existed!) because of its connections to D H Lawrence, Alan Sillitoe and poet Lord Byron.  The Waterstones here is set over four floors in an attractive red-bricked Victorian building constructed around 1875 – I took LOTS of photos! 

Ground Floor

First Floor

Second Floor

Third Floor

Nottingham map

The statue of Robin Hood , together with some smaller statuettes of his ‘Band of Merry Men’, stands outside Nottingham castle.  It was created by sculptor James Woodford and gifted to the people of the city by a local businessman.  It was unveiled by the Queen (at the time the Princess Elizabeth) and Prince Philip in 1952. 

Nottingham is famous for its lace production, which was at it’s height in the 1800s but declined after lace fell somewhat out of favour after the First World War. The area known as the Lace Market is now a protected heritage site, and it’s easy to see why with such beautiful buildings as these.

West Bridgford – Friday 4th October 2019

After leaving Lincoln we headed south west towards our next destination of Derby.  Our first stop on the way there for breakfast was the small town of West Bridgford near Nottingham.  The town grew in size considerably after the First World War, having nearly doubled in population from 7,018 in 1901 to 13346 in 1921.  The Waterstones is located on the main shopping street – the building was originally an electrical store owned by a local family who sadly went into liquidation in 2016 after 101 years of trading.

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West Bridgford map

Bridgford Hall

Now a registry office and wedding venue, Bridgford Hall was built in 1768 by Mundy Musters who was ‘Lord of the Estates’ of the area.  It was initially rented out before being bought by Lewis Heymann, the son of the last tenant, a prominent lace manufacturer called Albert Heymann.  The Heymann family lived there until 1923 when the house and grounds were sold to the council and the park created on the land for permanent public use.  The Hall is now one of the most popular civil wedding venues in the county.