Remembering the Great Kemp Town Pramrace in photographs.
Starting to make major inroads with the idea to exhibit photographs from my archive dating back to around 1979 – 1980 as part of the Brighton Photo Fringe in October and have spent some time in Kemp Town looking for suitable locations to show them. At the moment I have offers from five of the public houses that were originally participants in the Pram Race. I’ve also started to put together a map of the original circuit. My original idea was to maybe print the images onto newsprint and paste those around Kemp Town along the route the race would have originally taken. Whilst I haven’t ruled this idea out, I’m looking at other possibilities.
Update, the exhibition is now up at seven pubs in Kemp Town.
When I first started work on this exhibition I mistakenly thought that 1979 marked the start of the annual pram race event. In fact it started back in 1977 and ran through until 1989, a period of thirteen years. At the time these photographs were taken I was involved with a Community Arts project in Kemp Town and it seemed fitting to document local activities in the area.
Identifying pubs willing to be part of the exhibition trail was an interesting experience. Initially I met with little knowledge of the event , but gradually discovered people who did know, and they have been very forthcoming with their memories and memorabilia, helping me fill in the gaps in the history.
The pram race started at the hospital car park alongside the Eye Hospital in Eastern Road. The Audrey Emerton Building now stands on that site. The prams exited the car park going behind the outpatients department (now built upon), along Great College Street arriving at the first pub on the circuit, The Wellington, now The Ginger Dog, then continuing along Clarendon Place visiting The Black Horse, The Eastern and The Stag Inn (all no longer in existence). The prams then went out towards Upper St James Street , visiting The Crown, and The Lion (now The Sidewinder) in the years that they participated, before returning via The Hand in Hand and then back into the centre of Kemp Town. Next stop was The Burlington, now The Thomas Kemp, The Golden Cannon and The Barley Mow. On leaving the Mow the racers continued east, turning right into Paston Place, visiting The Bristol Arms before coming back up into St George’s Road, turning right again to The Hanbury Arms (now the Proud Cabaret) on the corner, then along to the penultimate pub on the circuit, The Somerset Arms, later The Dragon, now a café. The final stop was The Sudeley, now The Saint George’s Inn, in Sudeley Street, before returning along Sudeley Terrace to the finish line at the hospital car park. A total distance of around a mile.
I would very much like to collect stories, memories, photographs and any other items that recall the event. I can be contacted by email here
Now buy the book whilst stocks last. And a big thank you to Cafe Royal Books…..