Introduction – A Café under Threat


The café I have loved for more than twenty-five years is under threat. I joined the Friends of the Pavilion Gardens Café this year (2013) – an informal group created to support the café during what is essentially a time of crisis.This page is a story of change. The story is, currently, unfinished. If you read it regularly you can follow this unfolding story. It might end in the café being saved. It might end in the demolition of the café I love, as well as the patio on which it sits.

The café has a splendid history. You can read all about it here, as well as look at some pictures, and even take a peek at today’s menu.

This is not just a story of change. It’s a story that is an example of what is happening across many cities, towns and regions here in the UK. Part of it was beautifully captured in the television sitcom “Yes, Minister“, which showed us all, perhaps for the first time, how much of our lives are controlled and decided upon, not by elected ministers and councillors, but by unelected power-mongering civil servants. Part of the story is a very human one – about a local business, established for more than seventy years in the Royal Pavilion Gardens Brighton UK, being under threat, and not for the first time, from the schemes of visions of these very unelected souls. It’s also about the community that has grown alongside the cafe, at the western end of the Pavilion Gardens, over generations. Finally, part of the story is about how human beings, who may well be warm-hearted and kindly motived in their personal lives, can become part of the “machine”, victim to their own systems and roles that bring out their darkness, and create a gap between who they are at home and who they are at work.

I’m going to tell the story from the perspective of a change facilitator (my “day job”) and as a friend of the café I love. There’s an opportunity to comment at the bottom of each post in the diary. In my day job, being aware of one’s own subjective colouring in viewing and acting in situations in which one is involved, is vital to doing a good job. In this diary I’ll be regularly trying to ensure I tell the story in a way that isn’t spoiled by biases I am not aware of. However, I’m human and your comments will add needed objectivity to the account, as you are the onlookers, the readers of the tale.

I thank you for taking the time to read this story. I hope our café is saved.

Paul Levy

Brighton, UK 2013

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