When I was young, more than a few years ago, Brighton drew me like a moth to a flame.

I was born in the Medway Towns in Kent. I think I’m either a Man of Kent or a Kentish Man; I was never sure which but it had to do with the side of the river you were born on.

Wags used to say that if Kent was the Garden of England the Towns were the compost heap and, although I retain a vestigial affection for the place and the lifelong affliction of supporting Gillingham Football Club, they were mostly right.

In fact I lived in the worst of all the towns, Strood, which had absolutely nothing going for it except a terrible shopping mall in which we used to walk zombiefied.

At least Rochester had a lovely castle and cathedral overlooking the grey muddy river as it snaked its way to join the more illustrious Thames.

It even had a couple of pubs where live music could be heard and real girls sometimes gathered.

Folk night bizarrely attracted the prettiest, all posh with blonde ringlets, my memory insists, which is why we went religiously every Friday, and why I still sometimes find myself enjoying listening to a man with his finger in his ear singing about going down the mine or fishing for mackerel.

Music was our saviour from the pre online, X-box boredom of life, stuck as we were in an in-between generation where steering a hoop with a stick down a street seemed less a simple pleasure from the past than monumentally pointless, and where the future of moving life-like footballers around a screen less imaginable than a jaunt to Mars.

We nailed our Medway colours to our mast by following around a crazed local psychobilly band called The Milkshakes. Lead singer and full-time antagonist Billy Childish is still going strong by the way if you want to check him out.

Which is how we were able to pursue our other favourite hobby: getting the hell out of town in any way we could on meagre Saturday job cash.

Up to my late teens me and my friends, chiefly main head banger Mick Costello, would take the bus to anywhere out of Medway, usually following Billy and the boys on their never-ending tour of the dives and punchy pubs of the south east coast.

Margate, Ramsgate, Hastings, anywhere was preferable but most of all time and time again we came here, to Brighton.

We’d bring our hopelessly inadequate tent and camp on the cheap site at the racecourse with its fantastic views and head down the hill into town as soon as we could.

For excitement, escape and another world waited to gather us into its embrace.

Brighton became our spiritual home. It was a place where time stood still. We didn’t have parents and we were never bored. The town was exciting, edgy, funky, exotic, everything our home town wasn’t.

And when our own band were in town we took great pleasure in pogoing around as real fans, although in truth the rest of the audience of local hipsters affected an impressive insouciance for the music, as they still do today, and even less interest in the kids from Hicksville.

We’d blow our meagre resources on the first night, end up sitting on the beach in the small hours wondering what we were going to do with our lives and have to beg a lift home.

The memories of our secret weekend kept us going until the next time.

So now I’m here full-time I have that happy hybrid feeling of being here but never forgetting what it was like to escape to here, in other words not take it for granted.

I suspect that goes for half the population.

Sometimes I see 17-year-old me sitting on the beach with Mick wondering what would become of us.

I don’t know where he is these days but I suspect he would nod and, in his begrudging monosyllabic way, say I’d done OK.

The Argus:

For many of the above reasons I try to have The Argus celebrate as much about life here as possible.

Some on the end of our proper journalistic enquiries might disagree but there’s always plenty in the newspaper about our successes and our quirks.

Our Joy of Sussex series garnered thousands of votes for readers’ favourite landmark, icon or tradition in our county. Similar numbers vote in our business, youth and community awards.

So now we have our Brilliant Brighton supplements to add to the gaiety of the place.

I hope you enjoyed the first one in yesterday’s newspaper. The second part is next Wednesday.

Historian Kevin Newman has done a first class job in assembling fascinating nuggets on our history which makes us deliciously and uniquely odd. I hope you enjoy them.