Names on the buses

907 Patrick Hamilton

Connections with Brighton and Hove : Graham Greene, who knew the resort well, said that The West Pier by Patrick Hamilton was the best book ever written about Brighton, it was part of a series which, like Greene’s own Brighton Rock, perfectly caught the seedy and seamy side of Brighton before and after the Second World War. Hamilton spent his childhood in Hove, so knew the area well. He wrote several other books which had Brighton as a background. Born in Hassocks in 1904, he lived in Hove boarding houses because of his father’s financial problems and heavy drinking. He started writing in his twenties after a short career as an actor and his first success was the play Rope which is oftener still performed today. But Hamilton led a sad life. He was disfigured when run over by a car in the Twenties and he started to drink heavily when a young man. He achieved both fame and fortune through Rope and another successful play called Gaslight. They were also made into films. Hamilton also wrote a semi autobiographical trilogy called 20,000 Streets under the Sky in 1935. The best known of his novels is Hangover Square, written in 1941. It deals both with heavy drinking and the rise of Fascism. But for most Brightonians, the Gorse trilogy including The West Pier is his work of most interest. Hamilton’s output declined and faltered in the Fifties because of drink and he died in 1962 of liver failure.

907 Scania Omnidekka - carried name since delivery in September 2006 in Metro 25 livery. Metro 25 branding removed April 2007. Re-applied September 2007. Changed to Coaster 12 livery March 2008. Repainted into revised Coaster livery August 2011. Coaster branding removed February 2015. Bus sold in May 2018.

The West Pier book