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Sussex born and Sussex bred;
Strong in the arm but thick in the head.

Traditional rhyme

Well, I'm not "strong in the arm"... having finally got round to sorting out that Single Unified Login process, I am known here on Wikipedia and on Wikimedia Commons as Hassocks5489, but in the offline real world I'm Matt Davis, a railway-ticket-collecting, beer-liking, Brighton and Hove Albion-supporting, financial-services-sector-working bloke who, despite an alleged youthful appearance, is a very long way past 21. An insatiable appetite for research and writing, especially about the county of Sussex, has drawn me here more or less daily since 2006.

So the Hassocks bit...?[edit]

As well as being things you kneel on in church, Hassocks was (until 2012) my home village: a small community in the centre of Sussex, near Brighton and 43.5 miles (70.0 km) from London by rail. Which is the main reason for the village's existence: it developed around the station.

And the 5489?[edit]

No, it's not my birth date: that wouldn't be very sensible! The first article I ever wrote explains everything (well, tries to). Every railway station and other ticket issuing location on Britain's rail network is allocated a four-digit code—the National Location Code (NLC)—for accounting purposes and things like that. These codes appear on tickets, and therefore show exactly where a ticket was issued. Hassocks's NLC is ... 5489.

What about the signature?[edit]

Floreat Hova, indeed! This is on the façade of the former fire station in Hove Street.

Until September 2012, my talk page link was represented by (tickets please!). This referred to a little-known but extremely important Law of Journalism, which states that every newspaper article about railway tickets or the people who collect them must have a headline of either "Tickets Please!" or "Just the Ticket!" (exclamation marks are compulsory). Connoisseurs will note that the colour is as close as I could get to "Southern Region green" (as shown here).

To celebrate my 10-mile move from the semi-rural atmosphere of Hassocks to the elegant Victorian boulevards[citation needed] of Hove during September 2012, I changed that part of my signature to (Floreat Hova!) in a jolly magenta colour. Latin for "Let Hove flourish", this forthright and slightly bombastic phrase was the motto of the former Borough of Hove, which became part of the unitary authority (and now City) of Brighton and Hove in 1997. Browsing the internet or reading some of the books listed in the "Bibliography" section on my works-in-progress userpage will give some indication of how this apparently simple realignment of local government boundaries polarised opinion in this part of Sussex and continues to cause controversy years later!

Editing times[edit]

I have regular on-Wiki habits: during the working week, I will typically be browsing or editing for about an hour at lunchtime (UK time), and from about 6pm until about 11pm. On Saturdays I will usually be around from late morning onwards, and on Sundays from when I get back from church at around lunchtime (this one, by the way—and yes, I wrote the article. Now our new website is live, you can take a virtual tour of the interior!). Some weekends, of course, I will out taking yet more photos of listed buildings/churches/railway stations, or doing something in real life! I try to respond very promptly to Talk page messages, and will always place a Wikibreak template if I am not around for more than a couple of days.

Editing habits[edit]

My main areas of interest are:

I participate in a number of Wikiprojects to a extent; details on the Userboxes subpage.

Unrelated to Wikipedia, you can find me on Flickr as mentioned above (; and with my rail enthusiast hat on, I post to the RailUK Forums (, again as Hassocks5489.

I'm in print![edit]

Search for ISBN 0903209756, and you will find this ... The Future's Green and Orange: Exploring and Explaining Railway Tickets in the Post-Privatisation Era, written by me and published in 2013 by The Transport Ticket Society. It's my Presidential Address from my year as society President.

User Committed Identity[edit]

Committed identity: a59dae69fc7ea16d4186b9c430913a928b06ed2b1bea462100f27e7762130d7d6a294b38fdd6f68fc505d82d72b19f90c72eadaf8d13492109d4278245f81551 is an SHA-512 commitment to this user's real-life identity.