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The 'Grand Dame'

By Robin Tulley

A little tired and lacklustre after all these years

It’s witnessed so much laughter and the occasional tears

Four years in the building until its inauguration in1864

The good, bad and the mighty have passed through its door

Then, Brighton’s tallest building, far beyond compare

Built of York and Portland stone with Italianate style and flare

Boasting all ‘mode cons’ of the day and luxury at its best

Its fame soon spread and it was soon put to the test

Napoleon111, President Kennedy, Ronald Reagan too

Were among illustrious visitors to mention just a few

Prime Minister Harold Wilson held a cabinet meeting there

A favourite party conference venue in full media glare

Once horse drawn carriages deposited the gentry

Later ‘Roll’s’ and Bentleys made their elegant entry

In World War 11 the military entered its doors

They were billeted on all of its nine luxurious floors

In 1984 it became the focus of international fame

The IRA bombed it when Margaret Thatcher came

Unshaken, like a phoenix it rose from the ashes

Rebuilding took place and erased the ugly gashes

Reborn anew, in 1986 it once more opened its doors

It had survived that outrage and two World wars

Grand by name and grand by nature it still prevails today

An hotel of glitz and elegance, it will always remain that way

A Brighton icon adjacent to the crumbling West pier

Its majestic presence is what the city holds dear.

Robin Tulley


Published 'The Argus' 24th February 2012


This page was amended on 16/07/2012
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