We have the council’s Time for Worthing campaign, linked to the development plan, and a lot of media attention lately. The Daily Mirror newspaper told us recently that we do not need to travel to Bora Bora or the Matterhorn for one of the world’s top sunrise / sunsets, because we here in Worthing have been voted among world’s best. (Even if some of the media folks seem to think Beachy Head is somewhere in Worthing). We also have a Worthing drag-inspired designer about to appear on BBC 2’s Interior Design Masters and the show host, Alan Carr, encouraging people to visit us (once we’re safe and legal).
With all this celebration and glamour going on, we might be wise to pause for a moment and ask ourselves: what else goes on here? Who else is here? What other stories might there be?
We know Worthing isn’t all about sipping cocktails in bars with tasteful interior design and palm-tree lined sunset views.
Any identity that tries to forget its shadow side and focus only on public-consumption shiny bright positivity is heading for a fall.
Any project that sidelines or marginalises large parts of its people and spaces runs risks from irrelevance through to cruelty.
Here’s Joe Bunn, local writer, host, craft beer-reviewer, agit-prop champion of the DIY arts & culture scene, with a new project: The People’s Handbook for Worthing.
As the Bard of Worthing, Joe used to write the Bardic Trials column for Here & Now magazine, offering kindness, stories and a humour that encompassed all moods from whimsical to scary-absurdist. The Handbook promises to be interesting.
WoBy is not going to invite you to ‘get involved’; you live here, you already are involved. Write something about Worthing. Or send an image about it.
Migrant carehome worker walking home after a 12 hour shift in a Covid-lockdown care home, where relatives’ visits are banned and careworkers have become the only contact for residents?
Local shop window now transformed, while it offers an informal foodbank service via donated bank items?
Most popular spots for meeting hookups or for doing a bit of ad-hoc cruising?
You could do worse than sit with this project for 10 minutes and think about what kind of Worthing you know, and what might be missing from recent public images.