A FORMER council leader is calling for signposts to tell people when they are in Hove, actually.

Conservative Gary Peltzer Dunn, who led Hove Borough Council between 1987 and 1991, wants signs to distinguish the area from its larger Brighton counterpart.

On April 1, 1997, Brighton and Hove Borough Councils were merged to form Brighton and Hove City Council. The authority was then granted city status by the Queen in 2001.

Standing by the Peace Station at Hove Lawns, with his right foot in Hove and his left in Brighton, Cllr Peltzer Dunn said: “Hove didn’t really want to go into Brighton, but this was a government edict. Put it this way, in three days of coming together, the signposts saying you’re entering Hove were removed by the new authority.

“I rescued one of the signs that would have been taken down and I’ve got it in my back garden.”

The Argus: Cllr Peltzer Dunn points to where the sign used to be Cllr Peltzer Dunn points to where the sign used to be

The Peace Statue was unveiled on the boundaries of Brighton and Hove by public prescription in 1912, marking West Brighton and the Brunswick town estate.

The statue bears Brighton’s coat of arms on its eastern side and Hove’s on the west.

Cllr Peltzer Dunn, the ward councillor for Wish, said: “People who have lived here for a long time will know where Hove ends and Brighton begins and vice versa.

“But for visitors, why not have local signage which identifies local areas and helps to celebrate them?”

The divide between Hove-ites and their Brightonian counterparts is a long-running – and lighthearted – joke with the phrase “Hove, actually” a constant source of amusement. Few people may realise how long it has been going on – in fact even Winston Churchill could not resist the gag.

“I was nearly three years at school here in Brighton,” Mr Churchill said while receiving the Freedom of the Borough in Brighton Town Hall in November, 1947. “Or rather, in Hove,” he added to bursts of laughter.

The Argus: 'Hove, rather' Winston Churchill speaks to Brighton Town Hall - Credit British Pathe'Hove, rather' Winston Churchill speaks to Brighton Town Hall - Credit British Pathe

Cllr Peltzer Dunn said the phrase was adopted as a slogan and marketing ploy during his tenure as borough leader.

Heritage commissioner for Brighton and Hove Roger Amerena explained some differences between the areas.

He said: “You could distinguish the boundaries between Hove and Brighton from the architecture, by the colour of tarmac on the road and by the different style lamp standards.

“The colour of the seafront railings – Brighton was sea blue and Hove had offal green, which still exists.

“Licensing laws were different, public houses in Hove closed half an hour before Brighton. There was always a rush from 10.30pm until 11pm, last orders in Brighton and the Norfolk Gardens got a lot of business.”