People’s Republic of Brighton

To celebrate the first anniversary of Sussex Bylines’ inaugural issue, we asked some of our key contributors to write a short piece on the subject of “What Sussex Means to Me”. From memories of being a student at the newly built Sussex University in the sixties while living in shabby digs in Brighton, to the enduring ancient magic of bonfire night in Lewes, our writers have submitted a wonderfully eclectic mix of mini personal essays…

An electoral map of Sussex, entirely Tory blue except for Brighton with two red and one green patch
A map showing Sussex Parliamentary constituencies: an unbroken Tory blue apart from Brighton’s one green and two red patches: Brighton Pavillion (MP Caroline Lucas, Green Party) sandwiched between Hove (MP Peter Kyle, Labour) and Kemptown (MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Labour)

If you look at the electoral map of Britain, you’ll see an enclave of red and green on the south coast, a little progressive haven in a sea of Tory blue. That’s what drew me to Brighton in the first place, and I love living here, facing out to sea in a city that literally looks out beyond our borders.

Getting involved with the launch of Sussex Bylines* just confirmed that in those blue constituencies there are plenty of progressive people, silenced by our ridiculous electoral system but wanting to have their say. It’s great to see how Sussex Bylines has helped make this happen, and amazing how far it’s come in a year.

*Robert Ellson was Sussex Bylines’ first (founding) Editor-in-chief

Follow @SussexBylines on social media