City Insights

Old Police Cells Museum 10th anniversary

By Jennifer Drury

Photo:Councillor Brian Fitch welcomes Pat Drake
Photo:Pat Drake with Denise Patterson
Photo:Pat Drake with Vice President Phyllida Stewart-Roberts
Photo:Pat Drake with Juliet Smith
Photo:Pat Drake with President Peter Field
Photo:Pat Drake with Vice President Peter James
Photo:Old Police Cells Museum 10th anniversary
Photo:Old Police Cells Museum 10th anniversary

AGM and anniversary

This week a very happy group congregated in the Mayor's Parlour for the AGM and 10th anniversary celebration of the Old Police Cells Museum. The group included museum founder Pat Drake, the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Councillor Brian Fitch, the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Peter Field (Museum President), High Sheriff of East Sussex Juliet Smith, High Sheriff of West Sussex Denise Patterson, and museum Vice Presidents, award winning local author, Peter James and former Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Phyllida Stewart-Roberts.

History of the museum

The idea of the museum was originally conceived by the late Brighton Councillor John Drake, husband of the museum's founder and former Brighton councillor, Pat Drake. When she became Mayor, Pat adopted the idea as her mayoral project and the museum was opened on the 4th May 2005. You can read more about it here. Since then the museum has gone from strength to strength and is now a 'must see' visit for anyone interested in the history of the city.

Now a wedding venue

The museum is situated in the basement of Brighton Town Hall, and was Brighton Borough's main police station from 1830 to 1967. Apart from its spooky cells, one complete with a 'body', it has a plethora of police memorabilia and artefacts. It also houses the largest collection in the UK of truncheons and tipstaffs. And for anyone wanting a really quirky wedding venue, the museum now has a wedding licence.

Visit the Old Police Cells Museum website

This gallery was added by Jennifer Drury on 06/05/2015.
Comments about this page

In the mid 1960s, I worked in the Town Clerk's department at the Town Hall. A few of us went down into the basement to look at the cells. I was in one of them when I pulled the door behind me, not knowing that they locked when slammed. Looking back, I should have been more thoughtful. It took a long time to find a key for the cell and was a slightly scary time. During the hour of so that it took to get the key, I guess I had some time to reflect on one of the reasons why it is best to stay out of jail!

Editor's note: Love the comment Phillip. If you have other memories of Brighton you might like to share, please email me: jennifer@mybrightonandhove.org.uk

By Philip Burnard (06/05/2015)

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