Brighton New England Quarter Photos

I don’t think we’re that good at recording the world we live in (photographs, sound) for future reference.

The first question that can arise from that is: is it important? I like to think yes without being able to provide particularly good reasons why.

In any case, I used to – and still – love to look at old photographs of the places I’ve lived and grew up in, found in local shops. museums and pubs.
Building which use to stand on New England Street
In was perhaps this that was the inspiration back in 2004 to take some photos of an area of Brighton that was about to the redeveloped. The area in question was next to the main station and contained various crumbling buildings from the last 150 years sticking out of the undergrowth.

It’s not just a bunch of buildings, both being knocked down and built, but a whole area where the characteristics are changing completely. For example, on the edge of the area is a Primary school, it used to be next to a busy main road and now – not be coincidence – next to a pedestrian area. They didn’t just pave the road, the whole area is different. Plus they would have had views of the Seven Dials area high up on a hill the other side of the station, now behind several different buildings. How can we show how this has changed for those who arrive in the future.

I’ve updated the ‘Brighton New England Quarter‘ pages, and added a new batch of photos.

It also has a new address (well two):

Nice and short:

There’s now a Google map with some of the key buildings on it (something I can’t believe it lacked until now), and the latest files have been uploaded to flickr (now pro!) and a local ‘Gallery 2‘ installation. Gallery 2 ensures I have a duplicate copy on the web which I have full control of, though the Gallery software and Dreamhost webservers are not the quickest in the world (I note that Gallery 3, in beta, is a complete rewrite). I added descriptive metadata to both but need to try and find a way to reduce double keying (perhaps by adding some in to Iphoto 09, just purchased).

The pages are now in Drupal. I’ve been looking for something to run in Drupal for a while, and these are some of the last static text file html pages which were an ideal candidate. My reservation about moving anything in to a CMS is that it may restrict what I can do on a page, e.g. adding embedded media, javascript or php. So far this hasn’t been a problem.

Dreamhost offer two kinds of ‘One Click Install’. Advanced, the most common, where the software/db is installed in to your area, so your free to amend/add themes/break/etc as you please. Drupal is only offered as a ‘Easy’ One Click Install. It’s hosted for you, you have admin access but can’t access the physical install. This means no worry for upgrades, but means I can’t add modules or themes. Which may be frustrating in the future. I could of course install it myself on my own site (I have full shell access) though that sounds like effort.

So now I’ve got some photos from before they started (well, annoyingly some buildings had already been knocked down before), to being built, to current day. Some plots are still waiting to be built on, including the plot next to the station for a 5 star hotel (original plans were for a massive – ugly – skyscraper). I was never organised enough to ensure I was taking photos from the exact same locations over time, but have taken so many that there should be a good number where there will be good before/during/after shots.

So, if interested, do take a look at the site and photos. Hopefully will be around long enough to of use to show our the area used to be.