Update from five minutes after this was posted: Please see penultimate paragraph for the update.
Update from two weeks after this was posted: Please see final cartoon and last paragraph.
There’s a popular cartoon series mocking the excesses of Brighton’s green loved up culture, called BN1. Created by Paul Stapleton, the cartoons are beautifully drawn and hit the spot very often on the version of Brighton now most well known: muesli eating, right on too old to be hippies but still trying too hard and the like. It’s been a bit of a hit on Facebook (here’s a link into that dreadful walled garden) is popular with both tourists and locals alike.
Now he’s brought out a board game. Despite being a true local, Mr Stapleton’s board game contains what appears to be a crass error. Can you spot it?
It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? There is no such place as the “South Laines” and there never was. There is the North Laine and there are The Lanes. Despite the phonetic similarity of these place names, a quick glance at the spelling reveals that they are completely different.
The only reason this distinction has been maintained is because us locals fiercely protect it. Incomers constantly muddle them up, until they are re-educated. We don’t mind, it’s our heritage. Perhaps Mr Stapleton doesn’t run his own Facebook page or didn’t actually make all of the board game, which looks like it is about to launch for the Christmas market? Perhaps the game itself has not yet gone into production because it apparently now being ‘game tested’. Presumably, that means played with? Let us hope that the necessary corrections can be made in the board game? One last time then, here goes with the explanation.
Most people know the North Laine as a series of streets containing 300 shops, 37 cafes, 22 pubs, 4 theatres, 2 museums, an award winning library and probably the best selection of small independent retailers on the South Coast. Lots of people also live there too, which people may care to remember when they next walk home singing and shouting. It is so-called because Laine is an old Sussex word for a certain sized area of land, lying at the base of the South Downs. I’ll not go into the history here, you can look that stuff up at the last link. Originally the land around the village Brighthelmstone (which the modern Brighton grew out of) had a West Laine, a North Laine and an East Laine. There never was any South Laine.
This is the area of twittens most popular with tourists for walking so slowly that they might as well just stand still, staring into jewellery shop windows and believing that they are experiencing something authentic. It’s also a great place to live, if you can afford it and don’t care about the prospect of rising sea levels. It is boundaried by West Street, North Street and East Street. When I was a small boy, just before Mr Stapleton was born, you could still see the remains of South Street at very low tide. These streets formed the outside edges of the village of Brighthelmstone, which caught the eye of a certain Dr Russell who went on to prescribe both immersion in and drinking sea water as a cure for a variety of ailments. The ensuing popularity of the place caught the eye of a certain prince, who brought a royal entourage with him and the rest is history. Ever since then, it’s been a history of promenading, posing and partying and getting your facts straight.
Update, from five minutes after this post was published: Mr Stapleton tells me that I am the third person to point out the problem to him today! He says the game is in ‘beta’ and that the error will be corrected.
Update, from two weeks after this post was published: Mr Stapleton has taken up arms on the matter. Arms, hands, fingers and cartoon colouring crayons. He’s created a whole little cartoon, showing himself charging around correcting the mistake at the cost of his social life… Hang on a minute… oh I get it, it’s not just him… it’s all of us!