Brightoniana Book Review: Trimingham’s Brighton

Trimingham’s Brighton, Adam Trimingham, Pomegranate Press, 1999.

Fondly known as ‘The Sage of Sussex’, Adam Trimingham is as much a part of the Brighton and Hove scene as the clock tower. For more than 50 years he has has chronicled the area’s triumphs, disasters, shady characters, and superheroes, first for the Brighton and Hove Herald and then, for the Argus, establishing a relationship with the readers that has lasted to this day.

This collection is an insider’s guide to what makes the city tick.

Like all good reporters, Trimingham set out to find his way around the law courts, working out which solicitors and barristers could provide good copy and which were worth giving a wide berth. The courts in Edward Street were relatively new when he arrived and, as he points out, they were badly designed. An unprotected area from the entrance to the court from the cells gave defendants the chance to make a bolt for it which quite a few did. This was unfortunate from the law’s perspective but grist to the mill of a journo.

Trimingham recognised that covering council meetings in Brighton and Hove offered opportunities for lively copy not available to hacks on quieter patches. His pen portraits of characters such as George Lucraft, Brian Fitch and Stanley Theobald bring to colourful life issues which could strike many as parochial. He also demonstrates a keen eye for the street eccentrics such as the bald black man in a mini skirt, and the decidedly notorious figures in the shape of  landlord Nicholas Hoogstraten.

Trimingham writes: “There’s an amazing hard light in Brighton… it makes the town appear endlessly fascinating.” That fascination is well portrayed in this slim volume.

Available on Amazon.

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