Today we shall hang bunting from the balustrade, blow up balloons on the beach, and parade along the pier. No more, for the present at least, must we respond to the call of, "Lance Hattatt, this way, please," which has become for so long now a part of our daily lives.
Nearly nine months ago we faced a long and uncertain uphill road. Diagnosed with a very rare form of leukaemia, the future looked bleak, at best. Now, only hours ago, weeks of treatment over, the prognosis is good: no cure but full remission.
|the facade of The Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton|
To The Royal Sussex County Hospital, and particularly to the Oncology/Haematology Department, we owe an enormous debt of gratitude. The level of care received has been exemplary, the professionalism from Consultant to cleaner beyond excellent. Brighton should be proud indeed of its medical services.
Built in 1828 The Royal Sussex County Hospital is distinguished on several counts. Designed by Charles Barry [1795 - 1860], later responsible for the Houses of Parliament, the original building, now woefully inadequate and disfigured, is named the Barry Building and is the frontage to much later C19 additions, including a Millennium Wing of 2000.
But the jewel in the crown must surely be the hospital Chapel where, each Sunday when in Brighton, we attend morning services.
|the interior of the Chapel in The Royal Sussex County Hospital|
Later than the Barry Building this appendix, for it is an awkward and precarious addition, is by the architect William Hallett and dates from 1856.
|the roof lantern in part|
Lit by a roof lantern the finely panelled walls glow with a seasoned warmth in the sunshine. Victorian stained glass reflects colour onto the marble chequered floor, whilst memorial tablets to former staff and patients recall a history of more than a hundred and fifty years.
|a stained glass window depicting Christ the Healer|
And now the hospital looks to a major rebuild at a projected cost of £400 million. Plans submitted to date will see the demolition of all of Barry's work as well as the Grade II listed Chapel. Protests at this act of vandalism are few, and largely go unheard.