From candelabra to tallow candles

Photo:Julia Wilde outside her house

Julia Wilde outside her house

Photo by Peter Crowhurst

Brighton & Hove Open Door 2008

By Julia Wilde, North Laine resident

Opening up my house in Foundry Street as part of the Brighton and Hove Open Door 2008 weekend was a wonderful experience. Two days before I had been in San Francisco on holiday and was not, quite frankly, looking forward to returning. Especially not to the incessant rain everyone kept telling me about. So it was absolutely delightful to come back, not only to warm sunshine but to an event focused on Foundry Street and to so much enthusiasm about my house! It made me realise how special this area of Brighton is and I feel very grateful to live here.

Now that the noisy Regent Foundry and the pungent smells from the various industries and knackers yards in the area have disappeared, it's a very convenient and pleasant place to live. My house has very small rooms and to think that two families were living here with 11 people in total - at one time, beggars belief. Especially with no lavatory or running water. All I can say is that they must have got along very well, at least I hope they did!

Not so ordinary homes

It was a joy to take visitors on a tour of my home and everyone was very appreciative. As one lady said, "It's much nicer to visit ordinary homes and imagine how life must have been for people like us in the past. You can visit palaces, but there are only so many golden candlesticks you can endure."

I would certainly encourage anyone considering opening up their house next year to do so. You will learn a great deal about your own home and the people who lived there before you. And you'll also gain a great deal of satisfaction from showing so many interested, appreciative and enthusiastic visitors around. It feels good to be part of such a warm, friendly and open community as the North Laine.

This page was added on 28/09/2008.

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