Green Streets of Hanover

It is the warm, wet weather, or is austerity Brighton encouraging the council to go easy on the weedkilller? A combination of both probably, and the result is increasingly verdant and varied streets, being rapidly colonised by a rich diversity of plant life. There is strength in nature: it will take back the concrete at great pace when given the chance. This is a positive thing.

These pictures were taken on a short walk along two streets in Hanover. B&H Council – whatever it is you are not doing; please keep on not doing it!

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I Spy Hanover 2: Animals and Faces

A recent comment on a previous post has taken me back to the art on the streets of Hanover, and the quirks of our frontages.  The vague plan is to create a local ‘I spy’ walk around the area.  Until then, here are a few more examples:

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Imagining Hanover : Imagine a Hill

From Hilly Laine to Muesli Mountain the inclination to altitude has been a defining feature of the area.  It has good points: stunning view, walking workout to keep us trim, and such a climb does to an extent keep us local – especially toward the top where only those with a reason will generally venture.

It does cut us off a bit though.  Its hard on those not up to the climb.  It also keeps us in our cars…  Bringing the family shopping back up Southover is a bit daunting; it is tempting to hop in the car and off to Asda, or to  go online for the home delivery. Both options ‘work’ for the individual but are rubbish for the local shops down the hill that need our trade to keep going.

A flight of fancy becomes a flight of (moving) stairs…

A couple of years back someone advertised a free ‘shuttle’ service up the hill.  Don’t know what became of it specifically, but can guess generally.  Someone also once suggested a hoisting device for cyclists, but this is probably a bit too exclusive.

This is the way they do it in Barcelona; arriving at Gaudi’s inspiring Park Guell would make the climb well worth it, and this public street escalator is just a bonus.  Imagine one in Hanover – straight up Southover.

p.s. we do have a ‘bus’ but turning that into a viable option requires more imagination than there is room for in this post.

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I Spy Hanover

Hanover is a district of victorian terraces. Small, similar, constrained. Tightly squeezed; no front yard. Made of bungaroosh.

It could all be drab and colourless and all the same. But happily it’s not.  It’s not only the choice of colour, but also the additions and adornments.  Some features part of the original designs of the houses, to offer some individuality amongst general conformity; others added by past and present occupiers.

Every street has treasures: the images above a small selection of captures so far.


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Wind Power Tower!

Built in the 1830’s to the design of Charles Barry, who went on to design St Peters Church and the Houses of Parliament, the planned function of the Pepperpot Tower at Queens Park was to house a wind wheel which would draw water from a well below the structure and into a large holding tank beneath the Tower. From there it would be pumped into the nearby villas for use.

Did it ever run? Who knows.  Mains water arrived as the Tower was being built, so maybe not.  It has been a folly in search of a function ever since and this video, made by the Friends of the Pepperpot , gives a peep inside and up to the top.



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Lost in a carpark called Hanover

Parking in Hanover has now reached such straits that we might need a service to help owners find their cars again. Its not that folk here are extra forgetful or just too drunk… its that parking has become so pressured that it is usual to cruise around the area looking for a space in any one of the near identical streets which make up the neighbourhood, and especially if your car is shared between drivers passing on its location is vital

This flyer turned up on all of the cars in my street – not through the letterboxes – just on the cars. Expecting an internet based/GSM tracking system or suchlike, it is a nice surprise to see that the service is almost a piece of art; looks like a framed map to hang on the wall, with a little motif to place on the map representing your motor – low tech, quite like it.

From the high hills of Hanover you can see the minarets of the Royal Pavilion and you are in the closest free parking area to the city centre.  Having recently turned down a resident parking scheme proposal, the situation on the ground is primed to get even tighter as residents battle with commuters and second cars from other zones.

This was a real lost opportunity – instead of trying to create a green, sustainable and people friendly neighbourhood we have condemned our streets to being the biggest carpark in town. Car Locator, and its higher tech successors to assist in the battle for the spaces might be the shape of things to come.

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