Brighton’s Extraordinary Mystical Heritage Tour only partially lived up to its name. Our tour guide Lee liked to talk about stone circles, mandalas and somewhat ironically, the strange people he had met in the city. As part of the tour he told us about someone who thought they could time travel. This person had claimed to arrive at ‘another place’ with the apparatus of an electric toothbrush, a finger puppet and of course a mandala (a Buddhist and Hindu symbol). Lee then produced said items - sticking the mandala to the wall of a building and brandishing the puppet clothed electric toothbrush. He then asked us to focus and see if we felt ourselves moving to another place. When we replied in the negative he revealed that the person in the anecdote had the help of ‘some of these’ – shaking a small medicine bottle filled with coloured sweets.
There were nuggets of site specific information scattered across the tour. I now know the exact place the sex scene in Quadrophenia was shot, though from this point we somehow got onto mandalas again. I also know more about the pavilion than I did before and the location of the oldest building in Brighton, as well as some interesting related facts. Sadly the more relevant pieces of information were overtaken by our guides other interests. It was certainly unique and memorable, an experience I find more amusing in hindsight. Only in Brighton will you find your tour guide playing with a puppet and an electric toothbrush. So if you want an insight into the strange depths of the city and its inhabitants this is the one for you.