Lectures and events 2016/17

Our lecture programme for 2016/17 is now completed. The programme for 2017/18 will be annouced later in the summer.

The London Churches of Nicholas Hawksmoor. 1 day coach tour. fully booked.                

22 April 2017.

  6 day coach tour.This is now fully booked. Read more and add your name to the waiting list
7 - 12 June 2017

Members' Summer Garden Party  in the Secret Garden  (further details to follow)                          
24 June 2017

About our lectures

Unless otherwise specified, lectures take place at 7pm on Wednesdays at City College, Pelham Street, Brighton. They are free apart from the Anthony Dale and Brighton Festival lectures.

We have adopted the Prince George as our preferred post-lecture watering hole, where you can talk to the speaker over a drink and meet the Society’s officers and trustees. Entrance is free to everyone and there is no longer a requirement to show your membership card. We'd be delighted if you gave us a donation to defray the considerable costs of the lecture series. City College offers full wheelchair access, good public transport connections and ample parking nearby. Read more...

Gift Aid and lecture admission

To qualify for Gift Aid – and keep membership fees down – we’re no longer charging non-members for admission to our lectures, apart from the Antony Dale annual lecture at the Pavilion, when every audience member must buy a ticket. Read more..

Related events - other societies
Sussex Archaelogical Society has an event in Lewes that may be of interest to RS members. The Age of Luxury: the Georgian Country House and its setting c1700-1820 in October.  

Recent Events

Nostalgia strikes the Moderns 

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

John Small lecture 2017 given by Dr Alan Powers
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.

Bringing old houses back to life: reflections on the National Trust 

Sir Simon Jenkins charmed a crowed Music Room at the National Pavilion with his delightful and entertaining Antony Dale lecture.

8 March 2017  Read more

From the shadows - the Architecture and Afterlife of Nicholas Hawksmoor

A packed house enjoyed Owen Hopkins well structured and interesting lecture about this somewhat neglected architect. 
8 February 2017  Read more 

Made in Brighton

Millimeter, Portslade based designers, entertained us with their unusual informal and informative session on their impressive work on 11 January 2017 Read more

The fascinating Story of Brighton Station

Jackie Marsh Hobbs entertained us on December 7 with anecdotes about Brighton station from its early days, when travellers between Brighton and Shoreham in third class stood in carriages with no roof (but luckily there were holes in the floor to let the rain out), and horse drawn carriages unable to get up the steep slope at the top of Trafalgar Street had their own entrance lower down which emerged between platforms 7 and 8 via a twisty underground passage (still there and now a repository for lost bicycles). A plan for the forty storey hotel in the 1970s nearly saw the Mocatta building demolished were it not for the successful efforts of conservations including RS member Selma Montford to get it listed in 1973.

There were wonderful pictures taken of and from the glorious sweeping trainshed roof and unusual images of the control room during the second World War under platform 6 and used until quite recently by staff. Surprises included the fact that there still is a rifle range in use underneath, and also beautiful tiled toilets with mosaic flooring, all now closed to the public.      

All around is fairy ground. Pleasure and the Regency Garden


 A delighted audience heard Timothy Mowl describe the fantasy world of the Regency garden in his beautifully illustrated lecture on November 16.  Read more

How high? 

Our discussion on the City's policies on tall buildings and development densities took place on 19 October with a packed house and many vitally important controversial issues raised.  Read more

Frank Matcham, theatre architect extraordinaire

Members were joined by Frank Matcham enthusiasts and Brighton Hippodrome supporters at a packed house for our first lecture of the 2016 series on 5 October. Read more

Tour to Downing College Cambridge

A weekend trip to Downing College Cambridge gave a group of members a unique opportunity to enjoy this unusual campus and visit the Masters Lodge with the Master himself. Other highlights included a lecture in a very modern 'Georgian' classical theatre, a concert on original instruments and a visit to Corpus Christi College. (This picture shows an exhibition of Ai Wei Wei tree sculptures in front of the college chapel). 

Read more

(image copyright Diana Dunn)

2016 Garden Party

This year's Garden Party was enjoyed by members and guests despite the occasional drop of rain, and the mayor used this occasion to pay tribute to our contribution to Brighton and Hove. Read more

Yorkshire tour, June 2016

On 1 June a group of members set out for Yorkshire to discover old and new buildings. Julian Arkell tells the story. Read more


'Past historic, future perfect': new buildings in historic settings

On 28th May, the Society's David Robson discussed the sensitivities of the built environment with Eric Parry and Richard Griffiths, who have recently completed projects in the College, and Peter Clegg, the architect responsible for the masterplan for the Royal Pavilion Estate in a Brighton Festival event. The discussion focused on new building in historic contexts and sensitive restoration.

The evening was hosted very generously by Brighton College. Before it began, tours were available to two recent Brighton College buildings designed by Richard Griffiths and Eric Parry. Each architect in turn shared their ideas about architecture and their work on particular local buildings. The audience were then invited to ask questions. There was a very lively discussion about the meaning and importance of architecture both locally and nationally.
It was a great success and a sell-out. We hope that in the future there will continue to be a regular Regency Society event in The Brighton Festival. 

Sussex Sculpture Tour

Alsion Minns reviews a great Regency Society day out in West Sussex on 23 April Read more.. 


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