During my time at Mews Art Studio I enjoyed sharing the lovely studio with 10 other artists including painters, illustrators, printmakers and ceramicists. It’s a wonderfully inspiring place to work. In March 2015 I joined Shoreham Art Gallery Collective who run a beautiful gallery shop in Shoreham run by the artists.
Recently I had the fortune to connect with Paul Graville of Amgram Ltd who contacted me about a jewellery commission. Paul, who runs his small craft design and consultancy business in Shoreham, saw my jewellery at Shoreham Art Gallery whilst looking for a gift for his mother. On chatting with Helen, a ceramic artist at Mews Art Studio, who was on duty in the gallery that day, the connection between Paul and Mews Art Studio was revealed.
When I met up with Paul he filled me in on his family connection with Chapel Mews. He kindly bought along old photos to show me which you can see below.
Pre First World War
As you might expect, Chapel Mews was once a stables, pre First World War hiring out horses and carriages for the local well-to-do neighbourhood and owned by Mr Youles. I have also heard that there is a strong connection with ‘The Iron Duke’ pub opposite on Waterloo Street. Perhaps the Duke of Wellington, stabled his horse and carriage in Chapel Mews during his visits to Brighton?
Because so many horses were sadly sent to war and the use of cars as transport took over, operations in Chapel Mews changed in the 1920’s. Chapel Mews became a upmarket car parking and valet service. As the photo below shows, the staff look quite pleased with themselves to be looking after posh cars like this Rolls Royce. Mr Youles’ son Sam, had a strong interest in technology and engineering and radio. Many people visited but Marconi was a visitor at the house.
In the 1930’s, 1 Chapel Mews (where Mews Art Studio is based now) became home to Radio Relay. This was the first place that radio was relayed around Brighton. This is not to be confused with radio broadcasting. More about relayed radio here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_relay Paul’s godfather, Sam Youles, can be seen pictured below with other Radio Relay staff setting up the Radio Mast on St Andrew’s Church and he used to tell great stories about running the wires for the service around Brighton and Hove.
In the 1950’s, 1 Chapel Mews housed Marine Automatic Pilots, who made the first commercially available automatic pilots for yachtsmen. Pilots were made and fitted for boats all over the world. Paul tells me there was a big machining lathe where Kathy Laird’s workbench stands today. Sam Youles ran Marine Automatic Pilots and he housed in the mews all sorts of small start-up companies. Sam loved to see small companies develop and thrive and created the environment for that to happen.
Chapel Mews still contains small companies and creative enterprises including Mews Art Studios, software developers, Fun Learning toys for kids, a dental ceramics studio and many more. Long may it remain a creative hive.
I truly fascinating history, I hope you agree.
Thank you so much for the information and photos Paul Graville, www.amgram.co.uk
written by Elizabeth Anne Norris, Jewellery Designer, www.elizabethannenorris.co.uk