Brighton Lives

Member Of The Week - Simon Batchelar

PLATF9RM is pleased to introduce Simon Batchelar, Digital Director at Pallant Digital, and part of Word Press experts, WP tasks.

Hi Simon! You run Pallant Digital, a web design and digital agency, and WP Tasks, a WordPress support company looking after Wordpress websites. WP Tasks is your newest venture, can you tell us about how this is developing?

Basically, we’re currently talking to individual’s who need help with their wordpress sites and websites, but we’re looking to talk to companies or agencies who are looking to grow their revenue. Because our service has unlimited updates, its easy for people to resell what we sell, so they can put a mark up on top, and their clients will never know we were their. We do all the work; they get all the credit.

It seems you’ve been very busy, how are you managing running both?

With a combination of apps and calendars. Trying to stick to what you’ve planned to do each day, and not get distracted by dogs and coffee. Stay on target.

As you’ve said yourself, big corporate digital agencies aren’t for you. What steared you toward this decision?

We grew to quite a big agency size in 2015, then we had to pivot the agency, which meant downsizing quite rapidly. It was quite hard, but we got we got back to what we love doing, rather than being seperated by running a big agency. It just wasn’t much fun. The way we do it now is how we love doing it, that’s why we started the business year ago. We got away from that when it was too big, now we’re having more fun, and we’re enjoying it more. Which is the main reason you run your own business, to have fun doing it.

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What drew you to PLATF9RM?

Being able to sit in a different place everyday. The worst bit about having a job that revolves around a computer, it means you have to have sit at a desk everyday. At least you can have a different desk everyday. Somedays I can be by the window, or other days go upstairs and focus.

What part of PLATF9RM are you most enjoying?

I enjoy being able to meet new people, and I think it’s cool to feel like being in a big company. In that, there’s lots of people here, Like you’ve snuck into someone else’s work place. But everyone’s doing lots of different things, so it’s interesting. Being a freelancer, it’s really appealing. It’s cool to share stuff with people, and talk to people, otherwise you’d be in your living room.

Is there anybody you’re interested in connecting with at PLATF9RM?

Basically just anybody that’s interested in building websites who wants to chat and moan about it, even if they’re not interested in specifically buying wordpress support. Because we’ve been building and fixing websites for 15 years, so we’ve done our fair share of the client cycle, “I’ve broken it, can you fix it”. It’s also fun to meet other web developers, and see how they’re doing it.

After a long week, how do you like to blow off steam?

I go paragliding. Or if the winds not right, more often than not, I ride my bike or go to the beach, depending how energetic i’m feeling.

We’re all guilty of shower singing from time-to-time, what’s your favourite shower anthem? Any reason why?

'Busy Earnin' by Jungle, got that huge sound of ‘lets do this’, embarrassingly high to do in public, but in the shower it’s always perfect.

Thanks Simon, we hope you continue to enjoy your time here at PLATF9RM!

9 Alternative Ways To Get Around Brighton

You might have a car but, this being the city of Caroline Lucas, there are many more environmentally friendly ways to traverse Brighton’s streets. Here’s 9 alternative ways to get around.

1. Swim!

Okay, fair dos. If you’re of sound mind, you’re not going anywhere near that grainy ocean expanse between October and April. But for six months of the year it links the whole city, from Hove Lawns to the Marina. You’ll just have to get someone to leave you a towel at the other end.

2. Volk’s Electric Railway

Volk’s Electric Railway is the oldest operating electric railway. Opened in 1883 under the eye of its inventor, Marcus Volk, it originally only ferried tourists between the old Chain Pier (destroyed in 1896) and the aquarium. Now it’ll ferry you up to the dizzy heights of Black Rock, with the cat-calls of tipsy hen-dos ringing in your ears.

3. Brighton Bikes

Since starting back in September 2017, BTN Bikeshare has been a huge success. Users of the bikes have collectively cycled over 500,000 miles and there are now 52 docking stations throughout the city. Whether you’re in Roedean or the depths of Southwick, there is no more efficient way to get across the city. We don’t need to tell you to remember your helmets, do we?
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4. Skateboard

Brighton’s skate culture is as long as its coastline, and many is the local who goes misty-eyed with sentimentality when recalling the halcyon days of youth at The Level. First air. First kisses. First cigarettes. First furtive touch of pale, speckled flesh. (Or is that just us?) There’s a thousand stories in those wheels, so we say keep them rolling.

5. Join a Running Club

There’s an abundance of running clubs in town: RunBrighton, The Run Squad, and Brighton & Hove Running Club will all get you pounding the streets. You don’t even have to pay extra for the endorphins.

6. SUP Is The One

Stand-Up Paddle-boarding, is hands-down the most relaxing way to get around. Don’t believe us? Here’’s what PLATF9RM member Andy Broughton has to say about it:

“I love cruising through the still waters on my board on a calm day when the sea is like a milk pond, or trying to catch a wave at low tide as the sun sets. It’s about being in the moment and letting all those day-to-day thoughts and stresses slip away.”

7. Brighton Zipline

Depending on your attitude to heights, the Brighton Zip will either be the most exciting or the most godawful stupid way to travel 300 metres up Madeira Drive. For those who really revel in the odd replication of plummeting to certain death – or maybe just full body paralysis! – there’s also the Drop Zone, in which you free fall for 24 metres.

8. Parkour

If you’ve seen the guys practicing parkour next to the paddling pool in Hove, you’ll know parkour is seemingly a way to get super buff. Why not join them – please, please do some classes with The Urban Academy first – and in the same breath get around in a way that makes us mortal walkers seem like the timid, adrenaline-shy dullards we are.

9. Walking

Strap on those Air Force Ones and hit the tarmac, friend

Nine By Nine Are Supporting Upcoming Artists And We Love Them!

You might have noticed that PLATF9RM’s walls have been glowing a little more than usual. For the last two months we’ve been been showing prints from Nine By Nine and we love showcasing them.

Nine by Nine is a local company that releases nine limited edition prints per month for (very) affordable prices. Each print is a one-off, limited edition piece from one of the planet’s most exciting new artists. We are 1000% behind this concept. Artists need all possible help to get their work on walls and earning money. A company like Nine by Nine can be an invaluable pipeline for them

Nine by Nine was started this year by Corryn Boyes and Adam Oldfield. We sat down with them to get all info about their new business baby.

Hey guys! Can you tell us a little about how Nine by Nine started?

We moved house last October. We’d rented until then so had never had much art but we now wanted to find affordable art to put on our walls. There’s a lot of sites selling prints but we often found them samey and generic, and in huge 10,000 print runs. So we wanted to provide an alternative.


How limited are your prints?**

We only sell two sizes of each print and they’re 50 of each. We introduce nine new prints per month. The artists then get the spotlight for that month

Brighton must be a great town to find people. The town is full of illo nerds!

Absolutely. It’s one of the most creative cities in the UK.

And there’s loads of print shops!

Exactly. Places like Tidy Print are great.

Are you in cahoots or competition?

Ha. We check them out a lot but everyone has their own style so it’s not too competitive. We’ve all got a place in the ecosystem. I think we're trying to make art accessible at a price point that is a collector item at a good price. Ours are £40 or £60.

Universities must be a great breeding ground of talent for you?

Yes. We don't work with one particular university, but have worked with a number of graduate designers from Arts University Bournemouth. We're always on the lookout for young designers who have a great style and an ambition to get their work recognised.

Something like this must be so important, as it provides artists exposure whilst generating some income?

Definitely. it’s about creating a platform. The artists are creating great work but maybe don’t have that platform. We help with marketing and talk to influencers and people like PLATF9RM to promote the work itself.

Are there any local artists you’ve used that we should know about?

We’ve worked with Sam Williams, with more in the works to contribute in upcoming editions. But it’s not just local people we’ve used – we’ve use artists from Europe and South America

What’s the best way for aspiring artists to get on your radar?

We have a page on our website where artists can submit their portfolio and we welcome any artists!


Some of your typography pieces – like ‘Fear Less’ – are very striking and you can imagine on working other mediums. Do you foresee moving out of just prints?

For sure. T-shirts, stationary. Things like ‘Fear Less’ and the typography stuff could do really well and would be another way to get it out to people

Are they any prints that you really wish had sold better?

We’ve run some science fiction pieces which Adam really loves. We’re still trying to find their audience!

What is your current market?

Our audience is primarily women and we have a lot of young mums. We worked with some female influencers and mum bloggers so their followers started following us. We’ve got a very bespoke target audience at the moment but we’re trying to broaden out

So we need more guys to start buying and sharing your Nine by Nine prints?

Exactly! 90% of our sales come through Instagram so when people post about the pictures it really creates a buzz. One of our big ambitions is to widen the market. There’s so many amazing artists out there and they deserve to be discovered.

Last of all: Why do you think PLATF9RM and NXN are perfect partners?

Our fondness for the number 9 of course! We're both communities, bringing together creative talent and providing a podium for celebrating their work.

Keep up with nine x nine via Instagram,  Twitter and Facebook

Free The Nipple Organiser, Bee Nicholls, Interviewed: “Going Topless Is Exhilarating.”

Free The Nipple started in 2012, when documentary maker Lina Esco make a film of herself running topless through the streets of New York. Since then, the movement’s gathered pace across the world as women have marched topless to highlight one of society’s grossest double-standards: that men can bare their chests in public whilst women can’t. Just as pertinently, they march to say their bodies are not shameful and to reject the intense sexualisation of breasts perpetuated by an image-obsessed media and society.

Brighton has seen two Free The Nipple marches and is run by a dedicated, creative team of people that believe in the realness of the cause. This year it’s taking place on 7th July. It will start at Old Steine Gardens and make its joyful, glitter-strewn way down the seafront, before a party with local party starters Tramfrau keeps everyone bouncing (pun not intended) until dawn. The chief organizer dude is Bee Nicholls, so we got her on the phone to chat all things FTN.2018.

Hey Bee! What are your big hopes with Free The Nipple this year?

The noise we make is a lot louder online, as you’d probably expect. This is still important – it means people are having the debate – but I’d love to see the amount of people engaging online reflected in the turnout.

So the message is: get away from your screens and come down and support on the day?


For a lot of women, getting topless in public is still a pretty big hurdle to cross, isn’t it?

 All photos by Mickey F Photography

All photos by Mickey F Photography

100%. And it’s totally understandable. People still have massive hang-ups about topless women, even ones who are breastfeeding.The mental and physical image of a topless women is still so heavily sexualized it can be hugely uncomfortable.

Do you personally find going topless hard?

Definitely. I’m 27 and have been involved with Free The Nipple for three years but that’s 24 years where I’ve still grown up in this society and had these messages that my body is shameful. That it’s unsightly to see breasts. That if breasts don’t look a certain way they’re disgusting or somehow wrong. I am a product of that conditioning as much as anyone else and it’s not something that’s easy to shed. But going topless is exhilarating. To feel the fear and do it anyway.

Can people come support the march and not go topless?

Of course. It’s great just to get your support. Add your voice to the noise! It’s a very positive experience. People can come with families and kids and it’s a very wholesome experience; Free The Nipple isn’t about nudism or exhibitionism. it’s highlighting double-standards that exist across all levels of society. It’s about the fact that women and trans folk don’t yet have full autonomy over their own their bodies.

What was one of your biggest take-homes from last year’s march?

All the different types of people and bodies! The sizes. The shapes. The colours. The varieties.

There’s so much beauty in that variety and realising the way we are is fine. Just going along to the march reminds you that you’re fine. You’re normal.

What about guys. Are they welcome?

We try to make it really clear that the march is not predominantly for men and that the issues we’re promoting affect women and trans people. But men are very welcome to come and support. My boyfriend came and had a great time!

Have you had opposition to the march?

We’ve had trolls online. Last year, The Argus covered it and they were some really hilarious comments underneath. People saying stuff like, “Why don’t these women get jobs?” We’ve all got successful careers! But, on the other end, we had some blokes turn up and made an anti-march video and that had some really sinister comments underneath when it posted online. It all just highlights misogyny we’re fighting against. It’s the reason we have to do this.

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Is now the right time for a movement like Free The Nipple? People are more politicized than ever.

There’s a growing momentum of people standing up to injustice.  Taking part in a bit of fun and light-hearted activism can help people feel positive and it helps to deal with all the stressful and horrendous things that are going on around us. Feminist issues are gaining wider support which is great to see. We had a lot of men on the march and they’re good allies. It’s not easy for guys either! So much about masculinity is built around a normalized version of heterosexuality and it’s not necessarily guys’ fault that they act in a certain way. They should be given the chance to change.

Finally, what can we expect from the afterparty?

We partner with Tramfrau, and they put on amazing immersive club-nights. They’re a kind-of queer and intellectual alternative playground. It’s very arty. Very cool. It’s going to be at Rialto Theatre and is a space for everyone – straight, homosexual, trans, whatever – to act how they want. It’s going to be amazing!

We bet! Thanks Bee!

Keep up with Free The Nipple 2018 via Twitter and Facebook

And check our previous entries in our ‘We ❤️ Brighton Heroes’ series