April 2017

Why would a coach full of educated and erudite Regency Society members, sophisticated and with excellent taste head up to London to view “[mere] Gothic heaps of stone without form or order [which] meet with contempt from the best and worst tastes alike”?

...continue reading "From the Shadows: a tour of the London Churches of Nicholas Hawksmoor"

Nostlagia Strikes the Moderns: John Piper Brighton Aquatints. John Small lecture by Dr Alan Powers.

John Piper's Brighton Aquatints (1939) and their multiple meaning

April 2017

John Small lecture 2017 given by Dr Alan Powers

(This lecture followed the Regency Society Annual General Meeting)

 A month into the Second World War, a remarkable limited edition book was published: Brighton Aquatints by John Piper, a collection of twelve prints, with the artist's commentaries and a foreword by the 1890s relic: Lord Alfred Douglas.  It was a book of elegiac memory, a reconceptualisation of the potential of modern art to engage with place and history, and also a muted alarm call regarding threats to the historic fabric of the town.

This rarely-seen book, arguably Piper's finest printmaking effort, is being republished by the Mainstone Press with a contextual and bibliographic commentary by Alan Powers; there will be an accompanying display in Brighton Museum in September 2017.

Dr Alan Powers is an art historian specialising in mid twentieth century British art, architecture and design. He has published widely on this theme, including monographs on Edward Ardizzone (2016), Eric Ravilious (2013) and Serge Chernayeff (2001).  He teaches for New York University in London and the London School of Architecture.  He teaches a Summer School course for the Courtauld Institute Public Programmes on Emigrés and leads tours for ACE Cultural Tours.  Dr Powers is a former Chair of the Twentieth Century Society and is actively involved in the conservation of buildings.

Nick Tyson explains why we should all be worried at the scandalous state of this unique heritage asset, and why the Council and Historic England must intervene

April 2017

Marlborough House in the Old Steine in Brighton is often referred to as the second most important historic property in the city, after the Royal Pavilion. Built in the 1760s for Sam Shergold, the keeper of the local 'Castle Inn', the House was purchased in the 1780s by William Gerard Hamilton MP and shortly after this became the subject of architectural improvements by the renowned Scottish architect, Robert Adam.

...continue reading "More damage to Marlborough House"

April 2017

We’ve written before about the Council’s plan to create a new conference and events centre at Black Rock. They intend it to replace the Brighton Centre. We are aware that this has the potential to make major changes in our city and we are keen to know how this is progressing.

...continue reading "The latest (or lack of it) on the Waterfront Project"

April 2017

The Regency Society was broadly supportive of the first iteration of the Draft City Plan (City Plan Part 1). In particular the Society has supported the proposal, as set out in Section DA7 of the City Plan, to designate the area of land known as Toad’s Hole Valley  for mixed use with a predominance of housing.  Toad’s Hole Valley, it should be noted, is a triangular area of scrub-land with a gross area of 47 hectares that is bounded by the A27 by-pass and King George VI Avenue. ...continue reading "Toad’s Hole Valley Supplementary Planning Document"

March 2017

Sir Simon Jenkins, journalist, broadcaster and author, former editor of the Times and the London Evening Standard and campaigner for historic buildings is our current President. On 8 March he entertained a full Music Room at the Royal Pavilion at our Antony Dale lecture for 2017 on bringing old houses back to life. ...continue reading "Bringing the Music Room to life for an evening"

reflections on a 70 year relationship between the Royal Pavilion and the Regency Society

Brighton and Hove City Council has decided to set up a new Cultural Trust to run the Brighton Pavilion and Museums. The Council will continue to own the Pavilion and Museums but is setting up the Trust to manage it.

February 2017

The main reason is to create new funding avenues: a trust will be able to raise money in ways the Council cannot. Work on setting up the Trust is starting now with the appointment of a temporary board which will include councillors. A transition year to the permanent new Trust will begin in April next year. In April 2019 the transition will be complete and a new board will take over. All existing staff will be transferred in on their current terms and conditions. ...continue reading "A new future for the Royal Pavilion"

December 2016 update

We've written before about the Hyde Housing Association and its proposals for the site of the former Sackville Hotel. We've objected to a previous proposal for a 17 storey tower on this site. 

Hyde Housing is now preparing to submit a new planning application for the site and they presented their revised proposals at a public exhibition at the end of November.  They have appointed a new team of architects – HGP Architects from Fareham – and have conducted a number of consultative workshops with local residents.          ...continue reading "Hyde Housing and the Sackville Hotel site"