A communist Vietnamese leader could be used to bring more tourists to Newhaven.

The council is planning to put banners around the town publicising its links with famous figures with Ho Chi Minh perhaps the most surprising.

The military leader is said to have once worked on the Newhaven to Dieppe ferry as a pastry chef.

And the man they renamed Saigon after is not the only one from the annals of Newhaven’s history.

Another famous visitor was Edward Gibbon, who wrote part of his famous book The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire while staying with his uncle and aunt in Newhaven.

And Charles Allen, the man who infamously broke the bank at Monte Carlo, lived in Fort Road, though this was only after he had been thrown out of the now closed London and Paris Hotel for bad behaviour.

And King Louis Philippe of France landed at Newhaven in 1848 after losing his throne, an event re-enacted last year by the town’s historical society.

Faces and facts

The new soundbites, as they are being called by the council, will replace out-of-date banners in the town centre.

As well as links to famous people, other little-known facts could be used, such as the fact that the River Ouse flowed into the sea at Seaford until a big storm in 1579.

Town clerk Stephen Meah-Sims said: “We’re committed to sprucing up the town and making people more proud of it.”

The council has not yet decided which facts and phrases will be used.

Tony Helyar, the secretary of Newhaven Historical Society, welcomed the scheme, but added some of the stories may be more fiction than fact.

He said: “The Ho Chi Minh tale is a generally accepted story, but I’ve never been quite sure about it.”

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