Bookstock Event: Ghost Stories at The Grand, Brighton

What? Ghost Stories at The Grand Hotel with Rob Marks, author of The Ghosts of Brighton’s Lanes

When? Sunday 12th June 2011, 7pm

Where? The Grand Hotel, Kings Road, Brighton

Come along to the stunning candlelit Regency Room at The Grand Hotel for an evening of ghost stories with Rob Marks – actor, entertainer, storyteller and author of The Ghosts of Brighton’s Lanes.

For many years, Rob divided his time between teaching theatre studies and entertaining. For seven years he ran the popular ‘Ghost Cruise’ in York, which is reputed to be England’s most haunted city.

Always a big fan of Brighton, Rob moved to the city in 2008 after researching and scripting ‘The Ghost Walk of the Lanes’. A familiar face around the City, Rob performs the walk around Brighton’s most haunted quarter for eleven months of the year in the guise of the mysterious, yet endearing Victorian character, Silas the Ghost Walker.

Rob also writes regular features and reviews for the Brighton Visitor magazine and is an active member of the Brighton Tourism Alliance. Last year Rob’s book, The Ghosts of Brighton’s Lanes, was published. This modest tome elaborates on many of the haunted places, buildings and taverns in the Lanes and has proved a popular seller with locals and tourists alike.

Rob is now moving into performing in-house candlelit ghost nights, a Jack the Ripper night, Victorian days for primary school pupils and is currently working on a book of ghost stories from England’s most haunted cities…

Rob’s book, The Ghosts of Brighton’s Lanes will be available to buy on the evening.

All profits from this event will go to The Variety Club children’s charity.


Bookstock: the first ever Brighton Book Festival

(c) Sian Beeton

Along with a fantastic group of other Brighton-based book lovers, I’m very excited to be working on bringing to fruition the first ever Brighton Book Festival — ‘Bookstock’.

From Thursday 9th to Sunday 12th June 2011, we’ll be delivering a ton of book-themed events in venues throughout Brighton & Hove.

So why have we named it ‘Bookstock‘? Well, because we want to deliver a friendly, fun festival with a 60s Woodstock vibe, celebrating our love of the written word and bringing book lovers together to talk, listen and laugh. Our aim is to combine everything that’s wonderful about Brighton with all that people love about books.

The events already planned for Bookstock include quizzes, discussion groups and talks by authors covering children’s stories, arts and crafts, non-fiction, 21st century reading, poetry, ghost stories and much more.

We’ve got local authors including Claire Carpenter, Rob Marks and Isabel Losada coming along to entertain and impart their passion, enthusiasm and wisdom. As we confirm more events, we’ll add them to our events listing.

Want to get involved with Bookstock? Here’s how you can help out…

  • Volunteer – we need lots of help, from running individual events to general promotion
  • Sponsor Bookstock – we’ve got various sponsorship packages available at different levels
  • Come along to a Bookstock event… and tell your friends all about it!
  • Buy merchandise – mugs and badges coming soon…

Here’s what Ian Jones, our Overlord/Festival Director says:

The team behind Bookstock all have an amazing passion for reading, book discussions and for Brighton. At Bookstock, we want to see happy book people engaging with other happy book people and raising some money for worthwhile causes as well. You know that feeling that you get when you’ve had a really great conversation about a book? Your mind is just alive. If we can give more people the chance to have those experiences, and also meet others and find new books and authors… well that would be superb.

Visit our website at

Follow us on Twitter @btonbookfest

Qype: The Works in Brighton


What a great little place! For someone like me who has a penchant bordering on an obsession for both obscure and cheap books, this place is fantastic. I’ve found some great things in here: ‘The Cocktail Bible’, ‘The Green Composter’ (because I’m super green-fingered) and various recipe books for £1.99 each, hardback sketchbooks for £2.99, multicoloured gel pens for 99p, board games for under £5 and it’s an amazing place for completely random Christmas presents too.

They also have some distinctly odd things here though – my favourite being something along the lines of ‘The Top 100 Serial Killers’. Very morbid and rather disturbing, don’t you think? Especially as it had been dropped by someone next to a Disney Princess sticker-book…

Check out my review of The Works – I am Alice_Reeves – on Qype

Qype: The Friends Shop in Brighton

BrightonShoppingSecondhand Shops

Shopping in The Friends Shop is a distinctly odd and unique experience. Let’s just say it’s an acquired taste. For some people, a distinctly strange-smelling place full of jumbled up and chaotically scattered bric-a-brac of no discernible value is their idea of a nightmare. For people like me, this shop is an absolute treasure trove.

I have a serious addiction to second-hand books and here, you can pick any book you like up for the incredible price of 20p. Yes, that’s £0.20. True, they used to be 10p each, but I guess that’s inflation for you. You’ll find the books partly in a trolley out the front of the shop, partly in a huge bookcase at the back that’s bursting at the seams and partly in heaps on the floor. It’s a real rummaging mission, but I’ve found everything in here from a shorthand textbook, to Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’, to the latest chick-lit novels. Is there anywhere else you can get more bang for your buck? I think not.

It’s also a great place for odd little things like milk jugs, jewellery boxes and thimbles. Stuff that’s cute, but you never know you want until you see. It’s like rooting around in an old attic full of clutter – a little dirty and dusty, but immensely interesting. I’d steer clear of the clothing though… you really can’t be sure where it’s been. And you really don’t want to guess.

Check out my review of The Friends Shop – I am Alice_Reeves – on Qype