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Early 70s guest house

Regency Square
©Tony Mould

A ‘chintzy’ room

In the early 1970s, me and my wife took a few days off from our jobs at a psychiatric hospital in Surrey. We booked into a guest house, in Regency Square. We knocked on the door and a tall, rather pale, man poked his head out. He showed us up to our room, on the top floor. The room was chintzy but with a pleasant view out onto the square. We were give a key to our room, but not to the front door. That door was locked at 11pm. I’m not sure what happened if someone wanted to come back in at 12am.

Nylon and more nylon

Most of the fabric in the room seemed to be made of nylon. The carpet, the bed clothes, the curtains and so on. This was the material of the day and supplied, no doubt, by Brentford Nylons, a company that had cornered the market with their nylon products. We were happy with all this as most of our clothes were also made of nylon. Brentford Nylons was sold for a knock-down price, in 1995. We had all moved on from nylon. 

Fashionable colour scheme

There were, of course, no en suite arrangements. There was a sink in the corner of the room and a shared bathroom and toilet further down the hallway. There was no shower. The bath and the toilet suite were no doubt coloured olive green. This, yellow and a mid brown were popular shades for bathroom fittings. 

Great but silent breakfast

Breakfast was served in the basement. There were about three other pairs of customers there. No one spoke to each other. All you could hear was the clatter of cutlery on crockery. The food, though, was excellent, with the tall man presumably cooking; in fact, he seemed to do everything. 

A lovely stay

We very much enjoyed our stay and the guest house was close to both the sea and the centre of Brighton. I’m not sure that it would win any prizes today but it was reasonably priced and we had a pleasant room – despite all the nylon. 

Comments about this page

  • It’s such a shame that this lovely square sadly lost Abbotts Hotel in the 1960s, the symmetry of the the square has now gone with the construction of the brutal 60s concrete Abbotts apartment block. There have been many mistakes over the years that have blotted Brighton’s original Georgian and Victorian front line; Abbotts Apartments is up there with Bedford Towers, Kingswest, Brighton Centre, Jury’s Inn and the Ablemarle Apartments. 

    By Michael Brittain (05/10/2017)

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