With the majority of our 517 Brilliant Brighton businesses able to re-open again from Monday (12th April), we are shining a spotlight on the people behind the BID businesses who make our city centre such a wonderful place to be!
We caught up with Mark Hawkins of The Lanes Armoury (one of the largest, old established sources, of antique and vintage swords, arms, armour and military books in Europe) to hear more about their historic business.
Hi Mark! When did you open The Lanes Armoury?
Along with my brother, we have personally run a shop in The Lanes for 50 years (David with me for 40 years). Although, my family has run the business here for just over 100 years, since 1919/20. But, my (paternal) family have been trading in Brighton for almost 200 years. Apparently, my great, great grandfather and great, great, great uncles ran shellfish concessions on the seafront, long before the building of the Brighton Chain Pier, which interestingly, my great, great grandfather watched disappear forever below the waves in a great storm.
I think it fair to say our family may well be one of the longest still surviving original traders in Brighton, alongside the Gunn family.
That’s amazing! Tell us a little more about what you do…
We run an ancient, antique and vintage militaria/bookshop in The Lanes.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
We both love history, and trading around 360 days a year in artefacts that are almost entirely based around thousands of historical events, going back thousands years, it is affectively, to us, our dream profession.
What do you love most about Brighton?
It’s architectural beauty and its history over the past 200 years. Living and working in Brighton, for almost all of our lives, we have seen incredible changes, but our memories of the unique breed of characters and personalities that Brighton seems to attract, and one sees nowhere else in England in fact, will live on.
The Lanes Armoury will be re-opening on 12th April and Mark and David, look forward to welcoming you back!
Find The Lanes Armoury at 26 Meeting House Lane.
Phone: 01273 321357