Something unique

Photo of the Royal Pavilion

“What a delight! We are very lucky to have such a building in the town. The Prince Regent and his followers made Brighton fashionable. The original building was a fairly plain farmhouse which was converted into something unique – as can be seen from the photograph.”

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  • I worked in the admin office in the 1980s, when it was located at the north end of the building. There was a person working in the conservation dept with the same name as me, so when someone called asking for ‘Robin Page’ I had to ask ‘male or female?’ and they thought I was being funny. One of my jobs was to keep the shop stocked, and the stockrooms were a couple of sheds on the lawn. Shelves piled high with ‘Royal Pavilion’ chocolate bars, finger puppets, playing cards and all sorts of tat, not the expensive tat you can now buy! We used to wheel our grey plastic trolleys round the building, going in and out of secret doors, occasionally meeting the visitors as we crossed through the public areas. It felt just like being a servant, working ‘below stairs’! My boss was the long-suffering Peter Kernick, a lovely man with a fondness for old picture postcards. I remember him always taking his umbrella with him when crossing the Steine to get the bus home – all those starlings were a hazard before the storm took down the trees!

    By Robin Houghton (02/11/2005)

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