Repeated references to “mediaeval terrorists” left mayor Alan Robins baffled at a question and answer session this afternoon (Thursday 3 February).
They came up a number of times as the mayor chaired a Brighton and Hove City Council meeting.
It’s true that Brighton was razed in a raid by the French in 1514 which could possibly be considered to be close to the end of the mediaeval age.
In fact, Brighton’s paucity of mediaeval buildings and heritage from that era is partly the result of the French raiding party burning the place to the ground.
Beacons locally were lit to warn against the threat of the Spanish Armada 74 years later – although the planned invasion in 1588 was more war than terrorism.
The most infamous terrorist attack, though, came with the bombing of the Grand hotel at the Conservative Party conference in 1984.
None of this was relevant as Councillor Robins explained for those trying to follow the meeting’s subtitles – as he was.
He said: “We’re not talking about mediaeval terrorists and I don’t know why it keeps saying we are.”
The mayor said, for the benefit of those watching a webcast of the meeting, with Hove Town Hall still closed to the public, that the questions were in fact about Brighton’s historic eastern seafront.
Councillors are keen to see work start on the restoration of the Victorian wrought-iron masterpiece that forms the backdrop to the finish of the annual London to Brighton veteran car run and numerous other events.
But instead, a row about lost revenue from Brighton’s premium parking charges appears to be holding up progress not on mediaeval terrorists – but the Madeira Terraces.