Wednesday, 12 October 2016
Otherwise, however, what change there has been bodes well. A good deal of discreet and sensitive refurbishment has been achieved in the old town, new businesses are opening rather than old ones closing down, and there's a general sense that Dieppe is no longer a town in decline. At the same time, it retains its faded, crumbling-round-the-edges, fin-de-siècle charm, and the streets of the old town - especially the back streets - are very much as Walter Sickert would have known them (though the less said about the now hideous, once elegant Café Suisse the better).
Among the welcome signs of renewal was the pleasant surprise of the newly restored Maison Miffant (above) on Rue d' Ecosses. For many years this historic building - the oldest house in Dieppe, one of the few that survived the unfortunate Anglo-Dutch bombardment of 1694 - stood mouldering away, becoming increasingly dilapidated, and looking ever less likely to be saved. Now, though, it has been restored and refurbished, and divided into five apartments. Admittedly it now stands surrounded by a building site (presumably a deal was cut with the property developer), but at least it's standing, and in good shape to last a few more centuries.
Shadows on the Rock), and Dieppe now hosts an annual Canadian film festival, among other Canada-friendly events.
And this chap? He stands in an outbuilding of the castle/museum that looms over the town. We were a couple of weeks too late to catch an exhibition we'd already seen in Chichester - Sickert in Dieppe.