On Friday 10th May, Brighton’s favourite son, Peter James, will be here at Brighton Girls to launch his new book, ‘They Thought I was Dead’. We are hosting this event on behalf of the charity, Friends of Brighton & Hove Hospitals, which provides your first incentive to book tickets: BOOK HERE

There are several reasons why I jumped at the chance to host Peter James at the school. As a trustee of the charity, I am keen to share our school facilities to reach as many people as possible, but this event is also perfect for us. Firstly, Peter James, who is best known for his Inspector Grace series, has written 25 novels, but this will be the first one written from a female perspective – the thriller gives a voice to Grace’s wife, Sandy, and reveals all about her dramatic disappearance. Where better to launch this book than here at Brighton Girls? Secondly, whether you are a Peter James fan or not, as residents of this area, you will know how prominently Brighton & Hove features in his novels. DSI Roy Grace is one thing but, arguably, the central character is the city itself.  Peter James and Brighton Girls share an affection for the place we call home. 

Our relationship with the city is something we take very seriously, and something that makes our school unique. Located in the heart of Brighton & Hove (on the very street that, some say, falls mid-way between the two halves), we are uniquely placed; both physically rooted in our locality and culturally in tune with our setting. From the new building of the Royal Sussex Hospital, named after Dr Lousia Martindale (Brighton’s first female GP and an alumna of our school) to our long-established tradition of supporting local charities through the Guild, the school has played its part in shaping the city. 

Today, we find creative ways of enhancing this inextricable link with the city. We may be the only school in the country to have created our own blends of tea, and we did it in collaboration with one of Brighton’s most successful exports, Bird & Blend; at the Summer Garden party, we will enjoy ice cream infused with our school values from one of Brighton’s favourite gelateria, Boho Gelato. 

The relationship is, of course, reciprocal: just as the school has helped to shape the city, the city gives back in ever-more tangible ways. This year, our Sixth Form enterprise team founded Slice of Brighton, which brings recipes from our favourite Brighton & Hove restaurants direct to our homes in one glorious cookbook.  Clearly, the city’s energy and entrepreneurial spirit is starting to rub off on the next generation. Yesterday, Slice of Brighton scooped the ‘Best Financial Performance’ and got an honorary mention for social impact at the LEAD showcase event at the London School of Economics. We are so proud of the team; they were up against budding entrepreneurs from across the GDST, and they smashed it! 

Just as Peter James has written Brighton & Hove into his novels, as we approach the school’s 150th birthday, we are working to ensure that the school is part of the city’s story for generations to come.