Brighton & Hove Bus Names

What have Chris Eubank and the Prince Regent got in common? Well apart from dressing like dandies, they both have a bus named in their honour.

Paul Williams of Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company Ltd came up with the idea of naming their buses in 1999. Initially, the plan was to dedicate each bus to a famous local landmark but that soon changed to naming each one after someone who has made a considerable contribution to the area who is no longer alive. The scheme has since been extended to include the living, a dog (not living), a band (the Who), a football team (guess which) and many others.

Many will recognise the familiar names on buses such as Norman Cook, Des Lynam, Sir Winston Churchill and Prince Philip. Not as many will have heard of David Mocatta, the architect of Brighton Station or Eugenius Birch, the designer of the West Pier and the Aquarium. Schemes like this are great for raising awareness of the great historic characters behind our city. Those listed below, some not so well-known, are all commemorated on buses.

‘Thomas Kemp’ was the landowner and Member of Parliament behind the Kemp Town development. ‘Amon Wilds’ and ‘Charles Busby’ built much of Kemp Town along with Brunswick Town in what is now Hove. ‘Thomas Attree’ was the owner of Queen’s Park and a beautiful villa close by that has tragically been destroyed. ‘Sir Charles Barry’ was the architect of this villa along with St. Peter’s Church, St. Andrew’s Church, the Royal Sussex County Hospital and the Houses of Parliament, (where I now work).

The Royal Pavilion was of course built for the ‘Prince Regent’ and ‘Caroline of Brunswick’. ‘William IV’ and ‘Queen Adelaide’ also enjoyed its luxury. ‘John Nash’ was the architect of the Pavilion and ‘Dr Clifford Musgrave’ was the building’s director after the Second World War.

‘Sir Samuel Brown’ was the designer of the famous Chain Pier which was unfortunately destroyed by a storm in 1896. ‘Magnus Volk’ was an inventor and the man behind Volk’s Railway which runs past the spot in Kemp Town where the Chain Pier once connected to land.

‘Baron Goldsmid’, ‘Sir Charles Thomas-Stanford’, ‘Sir Richard Sackville’, ‘John Vallance’ and ‘Sir Herbert Carden’ were all wealthy landowners who have made considerable contributions to the city’s history.

I was considering becoming a train-spotter but perhaps bus-spotting is more my thing!