Montpelier & Clifton Hill Association Awards 2011

This year’s Montpelier & Clifton Hill Association (MCHA) awards ceremony was a most pleasant occasion – but something rather important was sadly missing.

The MCHA covers one of Brighton’s most desirable districts, the Montpelier & Clifton Hill Conservation Area between Western Road and Seven Dials. Each year, the Association is supposed to presents a blue plate to the winner of the awards’ residential category.

This year’s residential winners were Jon Sharpe and Angela Oliver for the complete renovation of their gleaming white detached Regency-style house at 3 Powis Villas. The work included total interior refurbishment along with a huge amount of exterior plastering using lime render. It is immediately apparent that every detail has been painstakingly researched, resulting in a well-deserved win.

The winner of the commercial category was HR Developments, a local firm run by Paul Hazeldine and Dave Roberts, for the restoration of 90 Montpelier Villas. I referred to this building as the ‘Scooby Doo House’ in my recent column on this delightful double-fronted structure. Partly due to its dreadful condition, but mainly due to its distinctive black porch, I always saw this detached building as a creepy house on a hill. With its new paintjob and tidy garden, it’s now not scary at all.

The runner-up in the residential category was Adam Jones whose house at 21 Clifton Hill was completely transformed by the removal of a most conspicuous Tudor-style façade. The result is a joy to behold. The runner-up in the commercial category was Ray Charmac for the return of a pair of semi-detached Italianate residences, 6 and 7 Powis Villas, to their original use as separate houses after a long spell as part of the Royal Alexandra Hospital estate.

The Chairman of the Regency Society, my friend Mary McKean, presented certificates to all of the winners at this year’s ceremony. But missing was the blue plate. In fact, a whole series of plates that are yet to be presented to deserving winners, dated from 2010 to 2020, are no longer in the possession of the Association. Well, the Association still has that of 2019 (not too useful in 2011!).

In a story that would be hard to make up, Roger Amerena, whose latest bankruptcy led to removal from the position of Chairman of the MCHA, is withholding the plates from the Association for reasons known only to himself. Court proceedings are being prepared – watch this space.