Our Story

QueenSpark Books – 45 years of community publishing in Brighton

We were formed in 1972, as part of a grassroots campaign to convert the 1824 Royal Spa in Brighton’s Queen’s Park to a nursery school – instead of a planned casino.
The struggle succeeded, aided by the circulation of a street newspaper called QueenSpark, which provided information about the campaign and also the Sparchives column, focusing on a series of reminiscences of the area.

In the early years we published books documenting the lives of local people as part of a pioneering movement that highlighted working class lives, autobiography and writing through oral history recordings, diaries and workshops.

More recently, our books have included histories of the cinema and theatre in the city; accounts of some of the newer communities to arrive, photographic collections and autobiographies of Brighton and Hove residents. We have also been using the graphic novel as a form in which to explore and illuminate the history of Brighton. We have also produced a groundbreaking and important book documenting the lives and histories of Trans*gender people living in the city.

In 2017 we celebrate our 45th anniversary by looking back at aspects of Brighton in 1972.

Queenspark books

Timeline

February 2016

  • QueenSpark Books

First Book

The success of the campaign and popularity of the 'QueenSpark' newspaper inspired others to continue writing about life in Brighton [...]

  • QueenSpark Books

Personal Stories

Many of the early books written in the mid to late seventies were based on individual people’s memoirs of life [...]

  • QueenSpark Books

Political Themes

Published in 1983, Brighton on the Rocks was a more overtly political book than QueenSpark Books' previous publications. Intended as [...]

  • QueenSpark Books

Group Authorship

The publication of several anthologies during the late eighties and early nineties continued QueenSpark's Books' tradition of collaboration and group [...]

Urban Records

In 1988 QueenSpark published Backyard Brighton in association with the Lewis Cohen Urban Studies Centre. It included photographs, like this [...]

  • QueenSpark Books

Market Books

In 1991 a new generation of books known as Market Books were introduced to the QueenSpark Books collection. Market books [...]

  • Daring Hearts QueenSpark books lesbian gay queer LGBT

Community Focus

Alongside the Market books series, QueenSpark Books continued to produce its main collection, including the popular Daring Hearts in 1992. [...]

January 2016

Local landmarks

In the nineties personal memoirs featuring Brighton landmarks continued to be published. Examples include: 'Deckhand, West Pier' (1993) Arthur Thicket's [...]

Cultural Diversity

Since the turn of the century, QueenSpark Books' publications featured some of the different communities that have made Brighton & [...]

  • QueenSpark Books

The Millennium

The year 2000 was commemorated with the publication of a child’s-eye view of the Millennium, based on diaries and project [...]

Brighton Fiction and Graphic Novels

With the publication of 'Alt Future' in 2005, QueenSpark took a foray into fiction with a book featuring local people’s [...]

November 2012

  • QueenSpark Books

40th Anniversary Fundraiser

On 8 November 2012 QueenSpark Books celebrated its 40th anniversary with a fundraising event that reached its target towards the printing [...]