On the Brighton Pride Trains

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Saturday 1st September 2012 was the 20th anniversary of Pride in Brighton. As such, it made sense to join VisitEngland on a trip to experience it. On the Brighton Pride trains. Or behind a float in this case.

It all began by the Volks Electric Railway, which runs along part of Brighton beach and is the oldest electric railway in the world (as the sign says). The image is horrifically cropped because I neither have photoshop or know how to use it (yet) and there was an annoying sign in the foreground. Anyway…

We walked with Brighton & Hove City Council and their gay dog

The dog proved very popular with crowds along the way.

After a bit, we found the council’s float a little on the quiet side, so went to see what everyone else was up to.

The above was my favourite costume, but many others were excellent too…


This man was one of many dancers who, I felt, were the best, even though the hula hoop dancers were equally colourful. Mr. Blue Hoop made me laugh when he disappeared to Co-op halfway through to buy some booze.

Near the end of the procession, a beautiful angel appeared in a window. Even the mayor, who we’ll get to in a moment, noticed her. We bumped into her at Preston Park afterwards. She was quite shy and explained that it was her first Pride, but she may do the same next year. So look out for her.

When we reached Preston Park we met the Mayor of Brighton (& Hove, actually). I look a bit like a Teletubby in the picture. He gave us badges that said ‘I’ve met the Mayor of Brighton & Hove,’ so I gave him a #WeWillGather badge and told him all about the new site I had the idea for, wewillgather.co.uk.

He explained he has spent 40 years working in the voluntary sector, is a big person in the Green Party and has worked hard on behalf of Shelter amongst many other things. I was very impressed and look forward to talking to him further. Brighton & Hove are lucky.

Pride was a fantastic experience and I hope everybody had as good a time as I did. Thanks to the council for letting us walk with them, to Barefoot Wines who had the best freebies and allowed me to distribute some to the crowds along the way, and to VisitEngland for organising everything including a lovely dinner before our return, and to VisitBrighton for facilitating.

Sophie Collard on Google+