Names on the buses

807 Phoebe Hessel
412 Phoebe Hessel

Connections with Brighton and Hove : The story of Phoebe Hessel is one of the most remarkable in the whole of Brighton’s turbulent history. Born in Limehouse in 1713. She wanted to join the Army and had to pretend to be a man in order to do so. Her brave deceit was not found out for many years. Phoebe was at that time married to a solider called William Golding and enlisted to be with him when he served in the West Indies. When her husband was wounded and invalided out, Phoebe revealed her sex to the commanding officer and was discharged. Golding died and Phoebe married a William Hessel after moving to Brighton. He died when she was 80 but she was not finished yet. She received three guineas from the parish with which she bought a donkey and hawked fish and other goods. She became a character in Brighton and sold gingerbread and apples in Old Steine in 1800 when 87, and in 1808 received a pension from the Prince Regent of half a guinea a week (not a bad sum in those days). Blind and aged, she attended King George’s Coronation celebrations in 1821 but died the same year on 12 December. She lived to the remarkable age of 108 and is buried in the churchyard of St Nicholas in Dyke Road.

807 Dennis Trident - carried name since delivery in April 1999, name was spelt as Hessell until corrected in May 2001, originally on METRO Line 1 then METRO Line 7 from April 2004, repainted into new livery from October 2004. Metro 7 vinyls removed October 2007, name applied spelt incorrectly as Pheobe Hessel, amended to correct name 19 November 2007. Livery changed back to Metro 7 in July 2008. April 2011 name transferred to 412 Volvo Gemini.

Grave in churchyard of St Nicholas