‘Great shame’ to see Worthing Denton Lounge name changed

Following our nostalgia story about James Gurney Denton, who left the vast bulk of his fortune to his beloved Worthing, readers have contacted us to express their thoughts.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 4:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 4:16 pm
The formerly named Denton Lounge

See the original piece, which referenced the change of the name of the Denton Lounge on the seafront, here

Letter from Alan Cross, Grafton Road, Worthing

I read with some sadness about the pointless and insensitive name change being forced upon the Denton Lounge on the north end of the pier in Worthing.

It’s probably called ‘rebranding’ by marketing people but in reality is nothing more than mindless tinkering – what is the reason for it?

The Denton lounge has gradually been stripped back to generic nothingness. It all started when they removed the beautiful red drapes that used to hang in there.

This not only ripped out the classic lounge character of the room but also took away the gentle acoustics of the space, making it another harsh, noisy glass box, just like every other contemporary cafe, devoid of any soul.

Now, to kill off any link to the man, whose generosity gave us this seaside gem in the first place, just smacks of ignorance.

Give the man his credit – show him our gratitude – and leave his name attached. What harm is there in keeping his name on it and what is gained by calling it something as banal as Pavilion Atrium – it doesn’t even roll off the tongue easily.

Try saying it out loud and you can see how clumsy and pompous the new name sounds. Both things I doubt a ‘gentle’ man like Mr Denton could ever be found guilty of.

Letter from Jenifer Chivers, Manor Road, Worthing

A friend has just forwarded me the article about James Denton – all so interesting (See Nostalgia this week & online).

It is a great shame the name has been changed – was it really necessary, and can it be changed back please?

A friend of mine visits me once or twice a year from Kent and she is so disappointed that the building seems to be closed now.

We sometimes went in for a meal or refreshments three or four times on a weekend visit! It was very enjoyable to be able to get a pre-show meal before attending an event at the Pavilion Theatre.

I also remember craft fairs being held there, which were very well attended.

I understand of course that at the moment all entertainments and restaurants are on hold, but she visited me 18 months ago, well before the pandemic and we could not get a meal in there and the snacks menu was very sparse and un-inviting.

I have been told that the whole site is now run by a trust, so can we be hopeful that when things can reopen again, this theatre and the ‘Denton Lounge’ will once again be returned to its former glory and command performances and events worthy of our town?

Jenifer Chivers

Manor Road, Worthing