It wasn’t the most inspiring day to be out clearing brambles and buddleia. The early morning forecast indicated heavy rain and even hail. Several of us wondered whether the planned ‘clear-up’ of The Greenway would go ahead.
But despite the rain, there must have been about fifteen of us at the Clarendon Centre just after midday ready to hack away at the overgrowth on The Greenway. We spanned a wide range of interested community groups, associations and agencies: LRSP and DRARA, Prestonville Community Association, St Luke’s Church, Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, Friends Centre, Church of Christ the King, Friends First and the city council. Our ward Councillors, Ian and Pete, were there too.
With loppers and secateurs, we managed to clear much of the vegetation along the wall and cut back the patch of stinging nettles taking over the grass by the path. The concrete wall revealed underneath the vegetation is not exactly beautiful but has potential for a make-over: a train-themed mural perhaps?
The Greenway is a walkway running from below the north end of Brighton Station along the line of the old lower goods yard track towards New England Road. It crosses the lower New England Road bridge, with steps leading down to the road just above the junction with New England Street. The characteristic columns which line it, seen in the photos here, were built to support the expansion of the Locomotive Works in the 1890s, when 12 locomotives a year were being built in Brighton and the Works had a staff of over 2000.
The Greenway is thus a monument to Brighton’s railway heritage, as well as a pedestrian trail into the centre of town for residents north of Preston Circus. It has the potential to be Brighton’s ‘Highline’. Today should be the first of a series of clear-ups to get The Greenway looking cared for, so that more people use it and enjoy it. There’s a consultation meeting on its future: come along to Clarendon Centre, Tuesday 11th November 7.30