Uniquely Brighton

While the rest of Brighton is jammed with cars and bikes, one local company is harking back to a more peaceful time with horse-drawn deliveries.

Every Sunday, Mary Walker and Andy Mither saddle up one of the four horses they keep in a field near Whitehawk and walk him over to Hanover – where they sell firewood door-to-door.

“It’s such a lovely service,”

says local resident Patrick Donohoe. “I get quite excited when I hear them clip-clopping down my road and always go out to have a chat and give the horse a carrot.”

Walker, of Carlisle Road, began the service after she was approached by the Green Centre on Manor Hill to run an old-fashioned, rag-andbone- style recycling collection around Whitehawk and the Bristol estate, funded by the city council.

She then met Mither, who had spent many years living with travellers in Ireland and was experienced in horse-drawn transport. He encouraged her to train the horses to pull a larger cart and suggested they might deliver wood to pay towards the keep of the horses.

“We both love horses and wanted to find a way to share that with other people,” says Walker, who has taught dozens of people to ride over the past ten years.

“Unless you’re a rider yourself, you often have very little contact with these lovely animals, especially in cities.”

The deliveries take the pair several hours – although Walker admits they make frequent stops to chat to residents or to drop in for a bite to eat at one of the area’s many pubs.

“It’s a big effort but it’s not about making money. We do it mainly because we love it.

People are so enthusiastic, the older generation particularly.

Many of them remember horse-drawn carts from their childhoods.”

The service has also been used as a mobile billboard to promote The Big Dig, an event run by the city’s Harvest food partnership, when Walker had to negotiate the narrow maze of The Lanes with her gypsy cob Buddy.

The pair have even been called upon to lead a funeral procession all the way through Brighton – “a wonderful thing to be a part of.”

*Look out for Hoofpower in Hanover between noon and 2pm every Sunday.

For more information, visit www.hoofpowerbrighton.com It’s too easy to become complacent about our surroundings. How often do we pause to really look around when hurrying to work or pounding the pavements on a Saturday?

Brighton arts and culture consultant Cara Courage aims to change that with the launch of a new photography project that asks everyone to take a closer look at their environment.

“My idea is to post a daily architectural image of Brighton online,” she explains.

“It could be heritage or contemporary, temporary or fleeting, but it must be one storey or more up.

“Look Up Brighton is about encouraging all of us to really notice what’s around us. We do it when we go somewhere as a tourist but not so much in the places we call home.

We gaze down on our way somewhere, thinking about everyday things.”

Make the effort to glance around once in a while and there are rich rewards, she says.

“There are faded shop signs, grand architecture, myriad odd windows and graffiti that makes you wonder how it got there.”

Her Facebook page for the project already features a magnificent phoenix, spotted on top of the Job Centre on West Street, a pair of unusual windows on a property in Circus Street, a lonely letter B (pictured centre) on the edge of a home in Zion Gardens and a bike, precariously positioned on the outside of a house in Portslade.

It is a tantalisingly curious look at the city’s history. Why is there an emblem of the Egyptian sun god Ra above the World’s End pub on London Road, for example? What was the original use of a building behind Churchill Square that features beautiful stained-glass of two women?

Courage intends to post a photograph every day this year and is asking for the public to help her out with new suggestions – she will then get on her bike to take the picture.

*For information about how to get involved with the project, visit www.caracourage.net

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