Names on the buses

458 Hewitt Cobb

Connections with Brighton and Hove : Hewitt Cobb (1764-1822) has gone down in history as the man who founded the Theatre Royal in Brighton more than two centuries ago. Originally he owned the Duke Street theatre in the early years of the 19th century but saw the advantages of having a larger building more centrally located in town opposite the Royal Pavilion. Accordingly Cobb, who was more interested in money than acting, opened the fine theatre in New Road in 1806 and the timing could not have been better. The Prince of Wales was then spending a lot of time in Brighton supervising improvements to the Pavilion and the building of stables nearby – now the Dome. He gave Cobb permission to call the new venture the Theatre Royal and it opened with Charles Kemble taking the title role in Hamlet. Cobb, a solicitor, had already forced partners into financial trouble at Duke Street by putting up the costs and now he did the same to John Brunton, his colleague in New Road. Brunton eventually had to sell his share in the theatre to Cobb and found the expense of hiring top names at Brighton too much for him. Among those who appeared at the theatre in its early days were Sarah Siddons, William Macready and Edmund Kean. The theatre is still thriving today after being given such a good start by Cobb.

458 Volvo Gemini - carried name since delivery in May 2013 on Route 5.