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Archive - Friday, 2 April 2004
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New buses celebrate city's past
Sussex's first Labour MP is among the famous local names chosen to appear on the front of a new fleet of double-decker buses.
Dennis Hobden will join a host of figures, including the Prince Regent, Thomas Kemp, Martha Gunn, Max Miller and Rudyard Kipling whose names already appear on the front of Brighton and Hove Bus and Coach Company vehicles.
The latest batch of 18 buses, officially launched by transport minister Tony McNulty today, include pink vehicles on the number 1 Metro route, which runs between Mile Oak and Whitehawk.
Mr Hobden won the Brighton Kemptown seat in 1964 by seven votes after seven counts, and held the seat until 1970.
He also became Mayor of Brighton and was a leading member of the Labour group when it gained control of Brighton Borough Council in 1986.
Two other politicians are also honoured. George Humphrey, a former leader of the Labour group, was a pioneer in mental health reform.
Dorothy Stringer, who never missed a meeting of Brighton's education committee in half a century, was a freeman of the town. Dorothy Stringer School is named after her.
The latest round of names also includes three achievers from the world of sport, four from entertainment and music, two writers, two philanthropists as well as an engineer, an inventor, an academic and Sussex's first chief constable.
Roger French, the bus company's managing director, said: "Naming buses after worthy people has proved so popular that it's now a firm tradition for us to add more names each year as we introduce more buses into the city's fleet.
"The nominations must have made a significant contribution to the life of the local area during their lifetime and must have since died."
More than 100 buses in the company's 250-strong fleet are now named and a book is being published this summer featuring the background to each name.
The latest names include:
MARGARET BONDFIELD At the age of 14 Margaret worked at a draper's store in Western Road, Brighton. In 1923 she became one of the first women MPs. She joined the government in 1924, becoming minister of labour and the first woman to gain a place in the Cabinet.
OLIVER BULLEID One of the great designers of train locomotives, he was born in New Zealand in 1882. He designed the famous West Country, Battle of Britain and Merchant Navy class of trains for the Southern Railway.
IVY COMPTON-BURNETT The novelist spent her childhood in Hove, including 18 years in The Drive where there is a plaque to her. Her first novel, Dolores, appeared in 1911. She wrote 20 novels before her death in 1969.
CB COCHRAN One of the greatest showmen of the last century, CB Cochran was born in a house in Prestonville Road, Brighton, in 1872.
TOMMY COOK He scored more league goals than anyone else in Brighton and Hove Albion's history, netting 123 goals in only 209 appearances before going on to play for Bristol Rovers. He also played cricket for Sussex, scoring more than 20,000 runs and taking 80 wickets.
ERIC COURTNEY-KING The Brighton businessman became chairman of the Albion in the Sixties when the club was in a parlous position, helping to bring it round.
WILLIAM FRIESE-GREENE The great film pioneer invented a moving picture in 1887 to great acclaim and opened a number of studios, including one in Brighton. He is commemorated with two plaques in Middle Street, Brighton, and also in Worcester Villas, Hove.
LORD FULTON OF FALMER John Scott Fulton had a remarkable career in public life and is best known in Sussex for being the first vice-chancellor of the university at Falmer.
PATRICIA HARDING This well-known figure in the world of music was for 51 years a leading light in Brighton Orpheus Choir. She joined in 1948 after becoming head of music at Varndean Grammar School for Girls.
HARRY LEADER He was one of the best-known British bandleaders and songwriters before and after the last war. He began his professional career at the Regent Ballroom in Brighton and returned there as resident bandleader between 1959 and 1963.
BOBBY LEE Born in Canada, Bobby Lee became a superstar in Brighton where he played ice hockey both before and after the Second World War. He joined the Brighton Tigers, who played at the sports stadium in West Street.
IDA LUPINO A member of the famous theatrical family, known as The Royal Family of Greasepaint, Ida attended a school in Norman Road, Hove, and became a film director in 1949.
HENRY SOLOMON Appointed the first chief constable in Brighton in 1838, Solomon had a reputation, like his namesake, for wisdom. He was murdered in the police station at Brighton Town Hall by a man arrested for stealing a carpet from a shop in St James's Street.
ANGELA THIRKELL Many writers lived in Rottingdean, including Rudyard Kipling. Their exploits were tenderly recounted by one of their number, Angela Thirkell, in a book called Three Houses, published in 1931.
GRACE EYRE WOODHEAD This pioneer in mental health began her work at the end of the 19th Century. She started a scheme to arrange holiday homes in Brighton for London children who had special needs. It was almost unheard of in those days to take people with mental handicaps out of care and into the community. As a result of her work, the Guardianship Society was formed, which was renamed the Grace Eyre Foundation in 1988.