Dr Richard Russell had the brilliant idea in the 18th century of persuading people that sea water could be good for them.

But there were other enterprising souls who felt that Brighton suffered through its lack of a traditional spa.

There was a small spa at St Ann’s Well Gardens in Hove with commendably pure water from a spring but this was felt to be too far away from the resort’s fashionable centre.

A German doctor called Frederick Struve had the notion of starting a more impressive spa in the open space later to be called Queen’s Park.

There were two disadvantages. One was that the new spa was almost as far distant as the modest building in Hove. The outer was that the water was pumped from a deep well in Brighton and was nothing special.

Undaunted, Dr Struve added chemicals that he said had been used in the great spas of his home country. Visitors could choose which one suited them.

He also said that any cure from sundry afflictions would be a slow business taking about a month– which meant more visits to his establishment.

Perhaps rather surprisingly, the medical profession generally had a high opinion of the spa. Dr William Kingsaid: “Dr Struve has introduced among us one of the greatest blessings which this country has known.”

De Struve did his best to make the spa imposing. It had an impressive classical façade and a pump room full of pillars and luxurious seats.

But it could not really compare with the magnificent spas of England such as Bath and Cheltenham let alone those in continental Europe.

Dr Struve still succeeded in getting the patronage of the King, by then William IV, and called his creation the Royal German Spa.

The King and Queen Adelaide made occasional visits to the spa much to the delight of the doctor and local residents.

Fashionable people attended in large numbers despite the deficiencies and it was a most successful business in the 1830s. It continued to operate until the 1880s.

Eventually patronage declined and when the Struve business merged with an English firm called Hooper, the Brighton site became a factory for bottling water.

Hooper Struve became one of Britain’s biggest soft drinks companies and production continued at Brighton until as late as 1963. Bottles made by the company are now collectors’ pieces.

Then the spa became derelict. At about this time, Brighton was losing many fine buildings including the nearby Attree Villa.

Residents in the Queen’s Park area made a stand against demolition and plans to put a casino on the site. The battle lasted for several years.

Eventually the old pump room was demolished because it was in an appalling state. But the pleasing classical façade was restored. The building was given a new lease of life as a nursery school.

The Royal Spa restoration started a change in attitude fromBrighton Council and after that very few historic buildings were demolished. Conservation seemed to benefit from its sparkle.