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Day trip to Brighton – Brighton Digital Festival

I am sitting in the noisy bustling of a apple green Southern train winging its way back to London Victoria, having just left Brighton Station where I spent the day today. The main purpose of my trip to Brighton today was to attend the annual Mini Maker Faire held at the Corn Exchange minutes from the beach.

What a day! Today has had the perfect weather, warm, bright, but with a cool breeze to keep things dry and manageable. I started with an 08:38 train from Herne Hill to Victoria, followed by the 09:06 fast train to Brighton. Upon arrival I meandered through the Laines, until I stumbled upon my destination, along side the Brighton Mini Maker Faire was the Brighton Food Festival and Brighton Digital Festival (which runs all month).

This Maker Faire was by far the best of the three (to date) that I have attended. Amoung the attractions were opertunities to learn new skills through short workshops. Learning to solder is a common feature of almost every Maker Faire however this one was right at the heart of the venue, well staffed and full of kids and adults wanting to learn. Outside there was a 5 minute introduction to MIG welding, which had a go at and was praised for my technique, although I am not quite sure what I did, to me it looked like a big mess.

Back inside there were a multitude of workshops from FIMO modelling, to pop-up card making. As I always say about museums and events like this, they are great but why does everything have to be about kids, can there not be something for adults like me who enjoy learning, every single one of the timetabled workshops was targeted at the under 16 age group which is a shame as I think there could be workshops for adults too.

By lunch time I was staving and so descended on the Brighton Food Festival just outside for a spot of lunch. I opted for a gooey vanilla, milk and white chocolate cookie, with homemade mushroom risotto and cheese burger, a odd but delectable combination! With lunch over and the Maker Faire throuroughly explored I headed for Brighton Pier for a walk  and the arcade.

I have been to Brighton before and everytime I couldn’t resists a spending a pound or two in the arcade, it reminds me of visits to K’s arcade, near my Grandmother’s house in Swanage, Dorset when I was younger. I blasted dozens of 2ps into the coin pusher, placed bets on the electronic horse races and scored dozens of shots playing basket ball (quite a workout if thats your thing).

After lunch I was pretty nackered from going to bed late the night before and the heavy lunch, I wondered over to the Churchill Square shopping center to see if I could meet a former colleague of mine at one of the stores there, however I found out he had recently had a baby and wasn’t at work often, after that I took a bus to the Toy and Model Museum however the entry fee was £4 and I had blown my money, instead I went for another wonder and eventually found a small park (square) and had a nap in the shade on a bench for an hour.

Finally I went back to the Corn Exchange and watched a few inspirational talks by the likes of Matt Webb, BERG and others.

Today was a fantastic day, I really wish there was a London Mini Maker Faire, why do we have a capital city with the governments famed tech city (silicon roundabout) and loads of venues, and an Olympics, but yet there are next to no design, or maker related events to interest me?

This makes me think perhaps I should look at the requirements for running my own Mini Maker Faire for London, what do people think?