So I came round this corner near my house on the hottest day of the year, carrying bags of shopping, with a trailing, tired, hot Alex at my side, and OH MY GOODNESS look at this shiny new bench where there wasn’t previously a bench at all!
So it seems likely this bench is part of the ongoing Brighton Station redevelopment, which features a number of rather lovely benches directly outside the station, down Queens Road, and here, on the corner of Surrey Street and Upper Gloucester Road (just round the corner from the Evening Star Pub, and opposite Grocer and Grain).
Just recently, this area was populated with fancy bike racks (oooh), and um… gritted? Still unsure about the logic behind that, it would be much nicer if it was paved, but I guess that’s more expensive, and maybe they’re expecting this tree to get MASSIVE and its roots to disrupt things…? I like to imagine, in 100 years time, that this bench is still there (unlikely?) and the tree trunk is way wider, and the whole area sheltered by a giant green leafy canopy.
Anyway, right now, this is a lovely bench in a weird setting. On the corner of an annoyingly busy and frustrating to cross road, with beautiful views of… um… a billboard. Like 5 feet in front of you. Huh.
I’ve also more than once seen a bunch of ‘youths’ having a sneaky spliff in the little alcove/entryway behind this billboard, so with the constant stream of buses and taxis and billboard view it’s definitely a super charming spot to sit (!)
Another potential catch is that, with a tree directly overhead, bird poops are an inevitability, in fact, there’s already a fair few over it, which is definitely a bit offputting, but that’s what happens when you put a bench under a tree I guess.
Anyway, meanness aside, the cash strapped council have invested money in some rather lovely benches, and you know what, screw the naysayers, it’s money well spent. The wood is a beautiful colour, and high quality. The construction is unusual (not sure how I feel about that boxed in black bit underneath, might be nicer if it just had legs?), but seems of a very high quality.
It’s only a couple of hundred metres from my house but I may again find myself flumping out here after carrying heavy things up a hill on a hot day, or sneaking some drinks over here from the nearby Evening Star when it’s too busy, as I’ve already seen a number of people doing. (Possibly not technically allowed?)
Comfort of bench: 7/10 Pretty high, although circular benches can never be entirely comfortable, because of the nature of having a curved backrest.
View from bench: See above. 1/10
Accessibility of bench: Thanks to the Brighton Station scheme, you’ve got dropped curbs and smooth pavements galore. Although I guess the grit immediately surrounding the bench could be a minor hindrance it wet weather, still 9/10
Adventure level: Lowwww. 1/10… 2 mins walk from Brighton train station, and directly on a whole bunch of bus routes.