John Frederick Ginnett (1826 – 1892)

Zippo’s Circus arrives in Brighton on the 18 August but Victorian Brightonians would have been entertained by an equally famous circus troupe run by the Ginnett family. John Ginnett was born in 1826 in Lea, Essex, son of a Frenchman, … Continued

Albert Huggins Heppell – ‘Professor Cyril’ (1866-1912)

The Paddle Round the Pier contest takes place in July; an event of which ‘Professor Cyril’, the Edwardian bicycle diver, would surely have approved. Professor Cyril or the more prosaically named Arthur Huggins Heppell, spent six years in Brighton, riding … Continued

Lieutenant Colonel John Fawcett (1803-1878)

Lieutenant Colonel John Fawcett, first Mayor of Brighton, 1854. Before the creation of the Borough of Brighton by Incorporation on 19 January 1854 the town was led by Town Commissioners. Several attempts had been made to create a Borough prior to 1854; supporters … Continued

Mae West visit to Brighton 1948

On the 10 May 1948, screen siren Mae West took her seat at Brighton’s Theatre Royal for the European premiere of  ‘Ladies, Please!’ She co-wrote the play and was in town to attend its European premiere, bringing with her a … Continued

The Brightonian Cartoons

Back in the 1880s, Brighton’s newspapers were full of local celebrities. But in contrast to the performers and reality TV stars of today, these were clergymen, councillors and public servants. We have recently digitised the Brightonian Cartoons, a series of … Continued