Viva Lewes June 2015 Issue #105

VivaMagazines

105

VIVALEWES

Editorial

We’ve rolled up our trouser legs, donned a

knotted hanky and decamped to the seaside

for this issue. Well, we dip our toes in the

briny water anyway. Exploring our chosen

theme of water, we visit Newhaven to speak

to a boat builder, as well as one of only

three women crane drivers in the country

- currently working on the new University

Technical College. We also try the Coastal

Trail on a bike to visit some art, and winkle

out some local fish mongers to photograph.

But we don’t neglect water in our own

backyard – we look inside the pump room at

the Pells pool, discover a time when candelit

Venetian regattas were all the rage on the

Pells lake, and we delve into the fascinating

history of the Lewes Rowing Club.

patrick marber

We speak to him about his new footballthemed

play at the National Theatre

p25

utc harbourside

We look inside the new Tech College being

built in Newhaven

p83

VIVA DEADLINES

We plan the contents of each magazine six weeks

ahead of any given month, with a mid-month

advertising/copy deadline. Please send details of

planned events to events@vivalewes.com, and

for any advertising queries, contact advertising@

vivalewes.com, or call 01273 434567.

lewes chamber festival

We interview Catherine Manson about the music

the London Hadyn Quartet be performing

at this terrific event. p31


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the big splash issue

Contents

Bits and bobs

9-23. Starfish CD review,

Sussex Downs’ student

Bailey Langford Vox Pops,

My Newhaven with Brian

Newbury, Lewes Worthy is

Master and Commander author

Patrick O’Brian, Photo

of the Month by Darren

Coleshill

On this month

25. Interview. We speak to

Patrick Marber about his

new play The Red Lion

27. Interview. Joe Stilgoe at

Love Supreme

29. Classic Car Show

31. Southease Open Gardens

and Fête

33-35. Classical round-up.

Plus interview with Catherine

Manson

37-41. Art and About, with

the spotlight on Rebecca

Garland and Louise

Chavannes

43. We cycle the Coastal

Culture Trail, between three

seaside galleries

45-55. Listings. Films, talks,

gigs, and other diary dates

57-67. Free Time, listings

for the under-16s, we try

Branching Out Adventures

and fishing, plus Young

Photo of the Month

Food and drink

63-73. We review Erawan,

The Galley at Seaford Sailing

Club, Sea Cider, Ross

from Salt & Sea shares his

hot prawn salad recipe, and

the Nibbler has a chip on

her shoulder. Plus we try

making sushi

Features

75-79. The Way We Work.

Tracey Robinson’s portraits

of four fishmongers

81. Day in the Life of Vicky

Harvey, crane driver

82-83. Bricks and Mortar.

New University Technical

College in Newhaven

85. My Space. Phil Ransley

at the Pells pool

87. Getting out and about

on the water

89. Wildlife. House martin

90. North Street. We look

into flood defence plans

91. Lewes Swimming Club

92. Lewes Rowing Club

Columns

93-97. John Henty, David

Jarman and Mark Bridge

Business news

99. Trade Secrets. Gulet

Barefoot Cruises

101. Directory spotlight on

Sally Holder, plantswoman

Inside Left

114. Merman at a Venetian

Regatta on the Pells Lake

Photo by Rob Read


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this month’s cover art

With our theme of water, we felt Chris Arran

would be a great person to approach for a cover.

We asked him how he came up with this joyful image.

“I wanted this one to fit in nicely with the previous

Viva covers I’ve designed. I was going for a

summery colour scheme of sky blue as well as yellow,

for extra impact. With the theme, I pondered

creating a scene, someone diving in a pool for example.

But I’ve been doing a lot of collage work

recently, using books I pick up in old bookshops,

so I decided on a painted collage technique. The

paddling man perfectly depicts the British condition.

He’s dressed for autumn on a summer’s day.

The pretty woman with the retro floral swimming

cap looks really happy. He’s probably having just

as good a time, but he’s reserved about expressing

that. I grew up by the seaside on the Isle of Man. I

love it. It makes everyone feel special. And people

still love to roll up their trouser legs and paddle,

even when it’s cold. I did it last week with the kids.

I even love singing Sussex by the Sea! In terms of

my other work, I teach expressive and experimental

fashion illustration at the London College of

Fashion. I also teach illustration at Southampton

Solent University. chrisarran.com

Chris is holding a pop-up exhibition of both past

and new work at the Stable Gallery, downstairs at

Paddock Studios, on the weekend of 27/28.

the team

EDITOR: Emma Chaplin emma@vivalewes.com

STAFF WRITERS: Moya Crockett, moya@vivalewes.com, Steve Ramsey rambo@vivalewes.com

SUB-EDITOR: David Jarman

ART DIRECTOR: Katie Moorman katie@vivalewes.com

ADVERTISING: Sarah Hunnisett, Amanda Meynell advertising@vivalewes.com

EDITORIAL/ADMIN ASSISTANT: Isabella McCarthy Sommerville admin@vivamagazines.com

PUBLISHERS: Lizzie Lower, lizzie@vivalewes.com, Nick Williams nickwilliams@vivamagazines.com

directors: Alex Leith, Nick Williams, Lizzie Lower, Becky Ramsden

REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS: Jacky Adams, Michael Blencowe, Mark Bridge, Mark Greco, John

Henty, Mat Homewood, Paul Austin Kelly, Lewes Peasant, Rob Read, Ian Seccombe, Marcus Taylor

Viva Lewes is based at Pipe Passage, 151b High Street, Lewes, BN7 1XU, 01273 488882

Every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of our content. Viva Lewes magazine cannot be held responsible for any

omissions, errors or alterations. The views expressed by columnists do not necessarily represent the view of Viva Lewes.


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its and bobs

ian seccombe’s point of view

Construction of the east and west piers at Newhaven began in the 1630s. The current east pier is 320

metres long and its concrete lattice framework is designed to keep silt out of the harbour channel.

ghost pub #9 - The Dolphin Inn, St Nicholas Lane

The Dolphin Inn is understood to have been opened in the

mid-1700s by Thomas Sergison, whose family crest bore three

dolphins. When Henry Bridger leased the Dolphin in 1884, its

contents included a bar, a parlour, a clubroom (with a print of

Queen Victoria), a bagatelle room, skittle-alley and equipment

for cribbage, draughts and other games. George Beaumont

took over the tenancy in 1898, and although not an experienced

publican, his wife was described by his referee as ‘a very sharp

woman... well adapted for a landlady of a public house’! The

Dolphin was finally closed in 1957, and the building was taken

over by Charles and Kenneth Geering, builders of St Nicholas

Lane. The Geering family have long been connected with the

lane, and, in the 1860s, their ancestor John James Geering had

been landlord of the Dolphin. Words and photo Mat Homewood

9



Alistair had a far more creative approach to kitchen design than

anyone else we spoke to. The hand made and bespoke nature of the

kitchen showed through in the attention to detail and .

“The whole experience was stress-less and enjoyable and our new

kitchen has given us great pleasure ever since.”

MIKE PANTELI, LONDON


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Photo by Emma Chaplin

my newhaven

brian newbury

Are you local? I’ve been living in Iford since

1985, working in Newhaven the whole time. I

was brought up on a dairy farm in West Sussex,

where my grandfather was tenant farmer. I moved

to Burgess Hill to become a car mechanic in 1970,

then began work for Dronhaven Motors in this

very building. But, after the petrol crisis in 1975,

they ceased trading. I did a sideways step into

marine engineering, working for Metrec, as crew

on tugs and salvage work. In 1982 I started doing

welding repairs for the fishing fleet and in 1990

I took on John Robbins boat-building company,

and I’ve been here ever since. With three members

of staff I’ve built 55 steel boats: 48 fishing

boats – trawlers and cockle dredgers, two yachts

and five workboats. Our last boat was a steel yacht

for the opera singer Emily Turton, ‘Huskyan’, Orcadian

for ‘strong one’. It’s now in Orkney. I’m

retiring at the end of May.

What will retirement hold? I’ll get odd jobs

done at home and catch up with things I should

have been doing: shed mending and painting, and

decorating. I’ll take on some gardening jobs. I also

enjoy fishing and shooting, but just for the pot.

What have you most enjoyed about boat building?

The satisfaction of producing a working

craft for mainly owner/skippers. The really exciting

bit of boat building is forming the basic hull,

but the small details at the end get a bit tedious.

What’s your local? The Abergavenny Arms in

Rodmell. It’s cheered up in recent years. I like

their steak, and my wife Jan (who is also our company

secretary) likes their veggie stuff.

What’s your poison? Harvey’s Best.

What do you like about Iford? I love the Flower

Show (Saturday 11 July this year) – I’ve been entering

veg for the last 25 years. My onions were

Best in Show! I make cider too, and every autumn

we hold an Apple Festival in the village, pressing

local apples into juice.

What do you like about Newhaven? I love

Newhaven. I’ve been here a long time. I knew it

when it was a bustling port. Fifty fishing vessels

and regular cargo ships carrying meat and veg

from Argentina and the Canaries in the harbour.

Anything you don’t like? I’ve seen it change

over the years. They turned the town into a huge

roundabout when they put the ring road in. We

don’t even have a bank here now. Brighton dumps

its rubbish here via the incinerator, as well as their

sewage in Peacehaven.

How would you spend a perfect Sunday? A

nice trip to the pub with Jan. A bit of socialising

with friends. We both like cooking - I smoke my

own salmon. We also both like walking, anywhere

different really. Interview by Emma Chaplin

11


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its and bobs

spread the word

mongol rally

Plumpton College animal husbandry

instructor Russell Gates

and two friends Jo and Chris (a

team they’re calling 3 Fists In)

are taking part in the Mongol

Rally in July, which means driving 10,000 miles from

the South of England to Ulan-Ude, Siberia. They

will do this in a 1 litre Suzuki SJ (pictured), raising

funds for St Wilfrid’s Hospice, Surfers Against Sewage

and Cool Earth Action. See Virgin money giving

page if you want to support them.

album review: starfish

Catriona Dejean sent us this photo of herself taken

in Kyrgyzstan in March, when she was on holiday.

She’s in Bishkek, and a national celebration is taking

place around her. Catriona works for international

aid agency Tearfund. If you wish to support Tearfund’s

current efforts to support victims of the Nepal

earthquake, you can do so here: tearfund.org/en/latest/nepal_earthquake/

In music news: the latest compilation album by Starfish

Youth Music bands is out now. Recorded over

the course of one year at Starfish Studios with the

help of Project co-ordinators Iain Paxon and Steve

Franklin, the hour-long collection features twenty

original songs by young up-and-coming local bands

with fantastic names: Calpol Killed My Uncle,

Soother, Point Taken, Knight, Fine By Me, Monk

and Carpet on the Walls are just a few. Expect indie,

rock and acoustic tunes by musicians aged 11 to 17,

with male and female singers and instrumentalists

sharing the spotlight. Moya Crockett

The album can be purchased for £8 at Starfish Youth

Music, 1a Phoenix Works, North Street – or email

hello@starfish.co.uk if you’d like a copy posted to you.

town plaques #3: dr richard russell

On the wall of 78 High Street, close to St Martin’s Lane, is a Town

Council plaque commemorating Dr Richard Russell. Russell was born

in this house in 1687 and practised medicine there from 1725. In

1750, he wrote a dissertation in Latin expounding his theories on the

use of sea water on diseases of the glands. It was the first book to make

a connection between drinking and bathing in seawater and improvements

in health. Dr Russell recommended especially that people try

the water near Brighton, which he claimed was superior to all other.

He moved his practice there in 1753 and built a large house at the Old Steine which opened directly onto

the beach. He is thus regarded by many as the effective founder of Brighton as a bathing resort. He died

a wealthy man in 1759 and is buried in South Malling churchyard. Marcus Taylor

13


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photo of the month

park life

This lovely picture of Sheffield Park Gardens was taken by Darren Coleshill. Darren is a professional

blogger and enjoys photography. He and his family became National Trust members this year, and

thought they’d try somewhere new on the gloriously sunny May Bank Holiday Monday. “We were

debating between different properties to try. We live in Uckfield, and realised Sheffield Park is only

ten minutes’ drive away, so we thought we’d give that a go. We’d never visited it before so had no idea

what it was like, but we really liked it. It’s amazingly colourful.” Darren, his wife and two daughters,

aged seven and four, took a picnic with them. “My wife and I enjoyed the walk around the gardens

and found the trees full of blossom really beautiful, but if I’m honest, I think our girls liked the picnic

best of all, although they also really enjoyed seeing a swan on her nest and the bluebells.”

He continues, “I took a number of photographs as we walked around the lakes. Taking photos of

nature is something I love doing, so Sheffield Park was perfect for this. If only my garden was this

beautiful.”

We ask about this particular shot: “It was taken from one of the bridges, using my Olympus OM-D

EM10 whilst using the handrail as a support, because I left my tripod at home. It was shot at ISO200

1/400secs F/9 and touched up in editing using Snapseed.”

Please send your pics to photos@vivalewes.com. We’ll choose our favourite for this page, which wins the

photographer £20. Unless otherwise arranged we reserve the right to use all pictures in future issues of

Viva magazines.

15


its and bobs

lewes worthy: patrick o’brian

Really it’s surprising that anything is known about the Master and Commander-writer Patrick

O’Brian’s time in Lewes. He ‘guarded his private life zealously,’ his Times obituary noted. ‘Even to

friends he remained an enigma’. After WWII, he changed his name from Patrick Russ and developed

a partly fictional back-story. He managed to keep his real background secret, despite his growing

literary fame, until 1998 (he died in January 2000).

Thus, pretty much all of what I could find about his three years here was in the biography by his

stepson, Nikolai Tolstoy, who calls the period ‘idyllic… a happy interlude,’ in what was a ‘generally

wretched’ childhood. His mother died when he was three. His father, a doctor who was no good with

money, seems to have been a domineering-and-emotionally-distant type. Patrick only got to go to

school for four years. Three of those were spent at Lewes Grammar. He moved to the town with

his stepmother and two of his siblings in 1926, when he was 11 or 12. His father generally stayed in

London, which may have been a bonus. When off school, he liked wildlife-spotting by the Ouse, and

visiting Seaford beach or Brighton Aquarium. He was ‘captivated’ by Lewes’s ‘Georgian and Regency

elegance’, which, Tolstoy argues, surely influenced his subsequent ‘brilliant literary recreation of the

Georgian world’.

Despite O’Brian’s rejection of his own past, he revisited Lewes several times as an adult, and, very

unusually for him, ‘expressed nostalgia’ about the place. He even described one of these visits as ‘a

sentimental pilgrimage to Sussex’. Steve Ramsey

17


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its and bobs

book review: francesca and the mermaid by beryl kingston

Francesca and the Mermaid is by bestselling author Beryl Kingston. After seeing a

mermaid on holiday, South London office worker and frustrated artist Francesca

leaves her bullying lover and moves to Lewes. As Francesca grows in confidence

and happiness, her angry former partner schemes to ruin the new life she has

built. Beryl Kingston lives in Sussex, and obviously knows Lewes well: Francesca is

startled by house prices, roped into attending parties with women in floaty scarves,

buys her art supplies from a fictional version of TashTori and parks her car in the

Westgate car park. A good summer read. MC £7.99

LEWES RIVER TRADE IN NUMBERS

Lewes used to depend on the tidal Ouse for goods and employment.

In 1810 there were 39 barges trading on the river, 10

upstream to Sheffield Bridge, and 39 downstream to Newhaven. A

plan to extend navigation upstream was completed by 1812, when

the river was navigable almost to Balcombe, 22 miles and 19 locks

above Lewes. Trade upstream ceased by 1868 through competition

with rail, though traffic on the 9.5 miles downstream to Newhaven

continued until the 1950s. Sarah Boughton


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A fabulous

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A grass-reared

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A selection of

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RIVERSIDE


its and bobs

sussex downs’ student bailey langford’s vox pop

What would name your boat?

“Bubblegum” Yaa

“Excalibur” Zak

“Lifeboat” Lucy and Felix

“SS Freedom” Katherine

“Jenny” George

“Star 1” Sandra

Blues on the Farm ticket competition

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Under 10s free. Email info@bigiam.

co.uk with ‘Viva Competition’ in the title

and your contact details.

Closing date Mon 15, winner to be

notified June 16. bluesonthefarm.co.uk

Photo by Chris Brown

21


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23


on this month: drama

The Red Lion

Patrick Marber’s new Lewes FC-inspired play

Photo by James Boyes

I meet Patrick Marber outside the National

Theatre, where his new play, The Red Lion, is to

open on June 3. He’s dressed in red and black.

This is purposefully apt. Patrick’s play is loosely

based on the three years he spent as a director of

Lewes Football Club.

We agree to lunch at the NT restaurant, where

I wonder: just how much is the play based in

reality?

There are three characters in it, I find out: a kit

man, a manager, and a promising young football

player. “For different reasons,” says Patrick, “both

the kit man and the manager want to manage

this player in different ways, and the play is about

the battle for the soul of this kid. This becomes a

bigger and more metaphorical conflict as the play

progresses.”

The kit man, he reveals, is very loosely based on

Steve Ibbitson, manager at the club immediately

before and after the 2009 constitution change, a

darling of the fans. “He’s the man behind the play,

the man I met and instinctively loved and wanted

to help save the club. I wouldn’t have got involved

if I hadn’t met Ibbo. He’s the source.”

And how about the manager? “In my time at

Lewes there were four or five different managers,

and there are bits of all of them in the character.”

Patrick’s called this character ‘Jimmy Kidd’ and

the process of ‘getting’ him took, it turns out, a

lot of soul searching. “The only way I was able

to write the part was to find the Jimmy Kidd in

myself. You have to love your baddies as well as

your goodies, you’ve got to have sympathy for

the devil. I could only believe in the character

once I’d admitted that I myself could be a liar, a

bullshitter and a desperado! Once I realised the

play was about myself, it became writable.”

Other board members can rest assured that

versions of them won’t appear in the play. “The

board exist like the Gods in a Greek tragedy.

They are referred to occasionally, but never seen.

Their judgement is immense. The board are

hated, but they hold the power. Which is probably

pretty much always the case in football.”

Patrick is most famous for his play Closer; he

adapted that into a screenplay which was made

into a successful movie. My final question, as we

drain our post-meal macchiatos, is this: is The Red

Lion ever likely to get the Hollywood treatment?

“No chance,” he says. “It’s a play about three guys

sitting in one room talking about non-League

football. It’s not very filmic.” Then, with a cheeky

glint in his eye: “But then again I never saw Closer

as a movie prospect. So you never know…”

Alex Leith

The Red Lion, National Theatre, Southbank,

London. Wed 3-Thurs 28 (£15-55) nationaltheatre.

org.uk

25


on next month: love supreme

Joe Stilgoe

On jazz and Neighbours

“I remember we were given some Starlight

Express roller skates. I used to gel my hair, slide

around the house on roller skates, crashing into

stuff, trying to sing. So maybe that was an early

ill-judged ambition, to be Greaseball, the rock ‘n’

roll diesel train.”

This is the jazz pianist and singer Joe Stilgoe,

whose father is Richard, the Starlight Express

lyricist. “I loved Starlight Express. I think it was ok

to love something my dad did that much, because

for a five year old, being in the middle of people

whizzing around on rollerskates…”

“I must have seen it about 30 times. It was a

happy memory, and maybe a bit of inspiration

to get up and perform.” Stilgoe has been playing

piano since he was five, and “once I’d worked out

the notes I could play anything,” which meant he

was often co-opted into entertaining at parties. At

school he played in “really terrible rock bands”.

But at that point he still hadn’t decided to pursue

it as a career.

“I don’t know what I wanted to do then; I was

sort of free of ambition and enjoyed everything

from sport to TV.” His fondness for the soap

Neighbours was such that he wanted “probably to

be in it, or at least have a job that could let me

watch it all day.”

He tried out “loads of rubbish jobs, like driving a

van for a wine merchant, and trying to get to the

delivery point as quickly as possible, and realising

I’d smashed half the cases of red wine. I realised

wine merchanting wasn’t for me.”

For a while, he wanted to be an estate agent.

“That lasted about six months, and I think it was

beaten out of me, I was told this wasn’t my actual

ambition. So I think music sort of gave me that

drip-drip inspiration and ambition, and then

when I was about 21 I just thought: ‘this is all I

can do, all I want to do.’

“You know some people say they have that

moment when they’re 12 and they see someone

performing and they know they’re going to be a

performer? I never really had that. It was all built

up from my parents, through the way we grew up

listening to music, and finally ending up at university

and meeting lots of people and thinking:

‘These are the same people as me; we can talk

about Neighbours, we can talk about weird music

that other people don’t like.’

“I suppose with all of those things, it’s all about

thinking that you’re a bit misplaced. ‘Have I been

born in the wrong era? Have I been put in the

wrong scene?’ Music is a great glue for bringing

people like that together. As I’m sure you know,

if you join a club for anything, you can suddenly

find like-minded people and not be overwhelmed

by the sense of being a Neighbours addict.”

Steve Ramsey

Joe Stilgoe appears at the Love Supreme Jazz Festival,

Glynde Place, Jul 3-5, lovesupremefestival.com

Photo by Carl Hyde

27


on this month: cars

The Sussex Classic & Sports Car Show

Motoring to Middle Farm

Photo by Glenn Butler

“Take a look at this”, says auctioneer Glenn

Butler, as we sit in the Wallis & Wallis auction

gallery. But I’m not looking at antiques. Instead

he opens his laptop to show me photos of his

‘Brooklands 280’ Ford Capri, one of 1,056 cars

produced in 1986 to mark the end of the coupé’s

production. Barely 200 are still running. Glenn’s

is even rarer: only three were made with automatic

transmission. This one-owner vehicle has

covered a mere 30,000 miles in its 29-year life,

with major restoration work helping to keep it in

nigh-on showroom condition. “I’d never restore a

car again”, Glenn laughs. “Never. There were bits

here, bits there… but when it goes back together

again, you start to get a buzz. It slowly comes

back to life.”

Glenn’s passion for cars made him an obvious

choice to set up the Sussex Classic & Sports Car

Show, a fund-raising event for charities supported

by Lewes Barbican Rotary Club. “The first show

we did, at Michelham Priory, had 75 cars. We

very quickly outgrew that venue.” Next came a

move to Bentley Wildfowl and Motor Museum,

where manager Barry Sutherland provided a

free site and even agreed to donate some of the

Sunday admission charge. “It was wow, wow, wow.

We couldn’t lose.” After Barry died from cancer

in 2012, the following year’s show took place as a

tribute to him, raising money for Macmillan Cancer

Support and the St Peter & St James Hospice.

So what exactly is the Rotary Club all about? “It’s

a group of like-minded people who get together

once a week to try and raise money for good

causes”, Glenn tells me. “It’s social, but at the

same time there is a serious side to it.” Lewes

Barbican is one of three Rotary clubs in the town.

Each has its own personality – Glenn describes

his club as “very relaxed” – with membership

open to anyone. Recently, they’ve provided

emergency assistance to earthquake victims in

Nepal via Nepalese Rotary Clubs. In addition,

Rotary International is working to eradicate polio

worldwide via immunisation. And local charities

are nominated every June by the club president.

That’s not the only change this month. The 2015

car show is moving to Middle Farm on the A27 at

Firle, where up to 200 vehicles are expected to be

on display. Yet despite this increase in size from

the show’s early days, the original ‘summer fête’

feeling remains. “It’s a gathering for like-minded

enthusiasts”, Glenn explains. “And there’s also the

farm stuff, the tea rooms, the cheese, meats, preserves,

lots of animals for youngsters to look at.

It’s a nice summer’s day out. Most importantly, all

the money from the public goes to charity. That’s

really what Rotary is all about.” Mark Bridge

The Sussex Classic & Sports Car Show, 10am-5pm,

Sun 14, Middle Farm. Admission £2.50 adults,

£1 children. Classic cars £5 per vehicle (includes

admission for 2 people).

29


VISIT ALFRISTON

COME AND ENJOY OUR VILLAGE

ENJOY OUR EVENTS.....

SUSSEX DAY Sun 14th June

FRENCH MARKET Sun 5th July

AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY FESTIVAL

Sat 29 - Mon 31st August

and visit our shops, galleries, pubs,

restaurants, hotels, clergy house (NT),

tea shops, mediaeval village, The Tye, beautiful countryside

and much, much more.....

visit www.alfriston-village.co.uk for more details


on this month: gardens

Southease Open Gardens Fête

Fixing the roof while the sun shines

What do you do when

your thousand-yearold

church needs a

new roof and there are

only 16 households in

the village to pay for

it? In Southease, they

thank the Lord that so

many of those houses

are beautiful and throw

open the gardens for

a party.

For those of us

squeezed into small

terraces and flats in

Lewes, the 10 minute

drive (or one train

stop) downstream to

Southease is literally a

breath of fresh air. In

the Domesday Book

it is listed as home to

46 villagers. Today,

according to the village

website, it has ‘approximately 50’. And you think

Lewes is resistant to change…

Southease’s position where the South Downs

Way crosses the River Ouse made it important

way back even beyond King Alfred’s day, but it

was Alfred’s great-grandson King Edgar who

founded the present church in 966 – the charter

is in the British Museum. Its round tower is one

of only three in Sussex and was added in the

12th century, as were the frescoes on the walls

that you can (just about) still make out today.

So it’s old, and the roof needs fixing at a cost

of £62,000, and the church – which doesn’t get

any money from the Church of England or the

Government – is on a fundraising drive. Enter

David de Mallet Morgan, churchwarden, who

found his faith, he tells me, as soon as he walked

into Southease Church several years ago. Now,

the retired local solicitor is an energetic force in

saving it: “This is our

turn to look after the

church. In the 10th

century it was their

turn and now in the

21st century it is our

turn.”

To fix the roof, David

has organised a programme

of events, the

highlight of which will

be the Open Gardens

Fête. “There will be six

gardens open. Some

are large, up to two

acres, while one is tiny.

Some are formal and

beautifully ordered,

another is a wonderful

mix of vegetables,

flowers and weeping

willows over the lake.

Then you have country

gardens that are very

different to anything you will see in Lewes.

Adrian Orchard, who ran the highly successful

chilli festival in the village, will be opening his

own, highly technical garden”.

As well as enjoying the gardens and quizzing the

owners, you can buy plants, with well-known

gardeners such as Jennie Maillard offering sage

advice. Anyone inspired can buy gardening

implements and other bric-a-brac. There’s a

barbecue too.

David wants lots of children to visit: “We are

having a quiz, where children will run around

finding answers to win a prize.”

Best of all, there will be that quintessential joy

of the English countryside in summer, cream

tea and cakes in a marquee on the village green.

Words and photo by Chris Nye

Saturday, Sunday, 13-14, 1-5pm, Southease. Entry:

£5 donation, small children free.

31


LEWES CHAMBER MUSIC

FESTIVAL

12th-14th JUNE 2015

Celebrating the music of Joseph Haydn

27th-29th JUNE

Iestyn Davies

and many others with...

London Haydn Quartet

Tom Poster

Philip Higham

Bengt Forsberg

DON’T MISS LEWES’ VERY OWN WEEKEND OF

WORLD-CLASS PERFORMANCES

TICKETS:

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PHILIP HIGHAM ・ THOMAS DUNFORD ・ TOM POSTER ・ JAMES BOYD

MICHAEL GUREVICH ・ IESTYN DAVIES ・ PIERRE DOUMENGE

MISHKA RUSHDIE MOMEN ・ BENGT FORSBERG ・ CATHERINE MANSON

TIM CRAWFORD ・ TOM HANKEY ・ JONATHAN MANSON ・ HANNAH SLOANE

BEATRICE Lewes Chamber PHILIPS Music ・ TIMOTHY Festival is a registered RIDOUT ・ charity THE LONDON in England HAYDN & Wales: QUARTET no.1151928


on this month: lewes chamber music festival

Catherine Manson

Hadyn seek

Catherine Manson,

leader of the

London Haydn

Quartet and the

Amsterdam Baroque

Orchestra,

has performed in

world-class venues.

She speaks

to us about

coming to the

Lewes Chamber

Festival.

Can you tell me

how the London Haydn Quartet was formed

and why? James Boyd (LHQ’s violist) and I met

30 years ago and discovered a common passion for

Haydn. Haydn’s 60-odd quartets are the greatest

masterpieces in the quartet repertory and yet

only a dozen are regularly played. We wanted to

redress the balance and play all of them. We are

now halfway through recording the complete set

on the Hyperion label.

Do you use period instruments, and if so,

why? The more we explored this music and its

language, the more we were drawn to the world

of period instruments. There is a real connection

between musical meaning and the way the sound

is produced and we find much more of a connection

with the music when it is allowed to inhabit

its own native sound world. Anyway, gut strings

were absolutely standard from the dawn of music

until the 1940s.

Do you think it’s true, as is often said, that

string quartets are a form of musical marriage?

There’s a kind of mystique about relationships in

quartets but it’s all less interesting than the music

itself! When four people come together to think

profoundly about works that are some of the

greatest contributions to humanity, it’s usually a

pretty intense scene. In LHQ the intensity is enhanced

by the fact that the cellist and I are brother

and sister so have

been lucky enough

to play and think

about this music

together for almost

all our lives.

Do you find

teaching makes

you a better

player? James

Boyd and I,

together with

cellist Robert Max,

run MusicWorks,

which presents chamber music courses for young

musicians and several of our former and present

students are playing at the festival this year.

On the courses we often play in the groups we

coach so we explore the music together with our

students rather than necessarily “teaching” them.

Great music is an unending source of fascination

so one is learning throughout one’s life.

How do you feel about performing in Lewes?

The Lewes Chamber Music Festival is a very

special event. The performers are some of the

world’s most celebrated chamber musicians and

are all there because the opportunity to play great

music with like-minded people is something not

to be missed. The intimacy of the venues in Lewes

means that the audiences also feel very much like

participants and we all revel in the musical feast

together. Beatrice Philips chooses some of the

most creative programmes I have ever seen, juxtaposing

some of the most unusual combinations of

music - she’s like a great chef in her vision of how

unexpected combinations of ingredients can work

spectacularly well together.

Paul Austin Kelly

Sat 13, 6pm, John sub Castro, £14.

For more details of all events taking place during

the Lewes Chamber Festival, 12-14 June, at various

venues, leweschambermusicfestival.com

Photo by Giorgia Bertazzi

33


east sussex

BACH

c h o i r

the

fairy

Queen

Purcell

SUN 21 JUNE

St John sub Castro

Church, Lewes, 6.00pm

Tickets:£15, £10 Under 16s: free

Ring: 07759 878562

Lewes Information Centre

Web: www.bachchoir.org.uk

President: Sir John Tomlinson CBE

Celebrating

500 years

of English

Sacred Music

Including works by Sheppard,

Tallis, Parry and Harris

Director:

Sandy Chenery

Tickets

£10 in advance from our website

£12 on the door

Under 16s free

See www.esterhazychoir.org

for more details

Saturday 20 June 2015

7.30pm

St Anne’s Church, Western

Road, Lewes BN7 1RJ

Sunday 21 June 2015

3.00pm

Church of St John the Evangelist

Preston, Brighton BN1 6RB

Viva ad 94x66 june_Layout 1 14/05/2015 16:11 Page 1

Concerts

Sat. June 20 –

7pm

Louis

Schwizgebel

(piano)

BBC New Generation Artist

Mozart, Beethoven,

Schumann, Schubert

Sat. July 18 – 7pm

Esther Yoo (violin)

BBC New Generation Artist

Robert Koenig

(piano accompanist)

J.S.Bach, Beethoven,

Debussy, Glazunov,

Tchaikovsky

House open May/June &

August Bank Holiday.

2015

For tickets & information:

www.glyndeplace.co.uk Tel: 01273 858224

Photo : Marco Borggreve


on this month: music

Classical

Paul Austin Kelly’s round-up

We have an embarrassment of riches this month

with two chamber music festivals on the same

weekend: the Rathfinny Estate Festival and the

Lewes Chamber Music Festival. The former

features the London Conchord Ensemble, a

black tie ‘musical dégustation’ dinner, and a

concert with soprano Dame Felicity Lott, while

the latter celebrates the music of Haydn with

the London Haydn Quartet (see p33), as well as

recent works from composers Edmund Finnis

and Melanie Daiken.

Mezzo-soprano Sara Gourlay and pianist Nicholas

Houghton will perform works of Handel,

Gluck, Duparc and others.

Sun 7, 3pm, St Michael’s Church, free

Rathfinny Estate Chamber Music Festival Wine

tasting dinner and concert, Fri 12, 6pm, £175,

Piano four-hands tea recital, Sat 13, 3pm, £20, Gala

evening, Sat 13, 6pm, £60, Coffee concert, Sun 14,

11.15am, £15, Festival Finale, Sun 14, 3pm, £30

rathfinnyestate.com

Lewes Chamber Music Festival, Fri 12, 6.30pm,

St John sub Castro, £14, Fri 12, 10pm, Westgate

Chapel, £12, Sat 13, 11.30am, St Peter’s, Firle,

£14, Sat 13, 6pm, St John’s, £14, Sat 13, 9.45pm,

All Saints, £17, Sun 14, 11am, All Saints, £12, Sun

14, 2.30pm, All Saints, £14, Sun 14, 7pm, St John’s,

£14 leweschambermusicfestival.com

The Corelli Ensemble perform Vivaldi’s Four

Seasons featuring violinist Maeve Jenkinson.

Sun 14, 4pm, St Pancras church, £12,

corelliensemble.co.uk

Glynde Place Concert series continues with

rising star of the international piano scene

Louis Schwizgebel (pictured), a 2013 BBC New

Generation Artist. Sat 20, 7pm, Glynde Place,

£25, glynde.co.uk

Brighton Singers present songs of Vaughan

Williams, Copland and Matyas Seiber. Sat 20,

7.30pm, Court Gardens Farm, Ditchling, £10

Esterházy Chamber Choir offer a capella English

choral music conducted by Sandy Chenery.

Sat 20, 7.30pm, St Anne’s Church, £12

East Sussex Bach Choir perform Purcell’s The

Fairy Queen. Sun 21, 6pm, St John sub Castro,

£15/10, under 16s free

A-level students of the East Sussex Academy of

Music play a final concert together with orchestra,

choir and session bands. Wed 24, 7.30pm,

Town Hall, £6, £3

Bass-baritone Alex Roose and pianist David

Ollosson give a song recital, including Vaughan

Williams’s Five Mystical Songs. Thu 25, 1.10pm, St

Anne’s Church, free

East Sussex Community Chorus offer an evening

of opera choruses and solo ensembles featuring

Lynn Deacon, Niamh Kelly, Paul Austin

Kelly, Jozik Kotz with Carol Kelly, directed by

Nicholas Houghton. Sat 27, 6pm, Town Hall, £12

The Paddock Singers present an eclectic programme,

from Poppins to Pergolesi, featuring

his Stabat Mater. Sun, 28, 7pm, All Saint, £8

Photo by Marco Borggreve

35


Quentin Blake: Life Under

Water – A Hastings Celebration

2 July – 6 September

Jerwood Gallery, Rock-a-Nore Road

Hastings Old Town, TN34 3DW

jerwoodgallery.org

01424 728377

Also featuring...

Lowry by the Sea

11 June – 1 November

Rachel Howard: At Sea

18 July – 4 October

Quentin Blake, Life Under Water – A Hastings Celebration, 2015 © the artist.


on this month: art

Focus on:

What Falls Out

of the Moon

by Rebecca Garland

590mm X 840mm, £195

(limited edition Giclée prints)

How did this image come about? I

wanted to do something seasonal and

local, in terms of flora and fauna. It was

drawn in early summer, with fox gloves,

blossom and rattle grass. I wanted a

variety of shapes and forms and I like

drawing decorative patterns and animals.

There’s a rabbit skeleton and a goldfinch

- such a beautiful songbird, and so associated

with summer.

What’s the process? I pick a few things

to work on in my sketch book and pencil

out a rough composition on paper. I

then draw into it with black pen using

ideas from my sketchbook. Then I add

the colour.

How long did it take to create? Twohour

bursts in the evenings and around

childcare, over a couple of weeks or so.

What inspires you? All sorts: colour,

form, stories. Seeing little scenes, such

as flowers in the garden, or my daughter

Marcy’s toys left out in a certain way.

Where do you buy your materials?

Sometimes Tash Tori, sometimes Sussex

Stationers, but some bits I can only get

on-line, or in Brighton, like Copic markers

and Faber Castell crayons.

Tell us about your other work. A piece called The Rookery

will be in Artists United this year. I also do a lot of pet portraits

and am working on a portfolio of hand lettering.

How did you come to be involved in Artists United?

This is my second year. It was on my radar and I was asked to

take part. I think it’s a really strong event, involving two unlikely

partners, artists and football, in that lovely Lewes way.

What’s your favourite gallery? Manchester Art Gallery,

for reasons of nostalgia. It was one of the first ones I went to

when I was studying art.

If you had to hang one painting from your desert island

palm tree, what would it be? A Peter Messer painting we

have in the house or anything by W Heath Robinson, because

he’s exceptional. becgarland.com

Artists United, Foundry Gallery, North Street, Fri 26-Sun 28.

37


Beautiful art, affordable prices

Autumn by featured artist Chris Liddiard

Chalk Gallery

4 North Street

Lewes, BN7 2PA

Telephone 01273 474477

www.chalkgallerylewes.co.uk


on this month: art

art & about

This month be sure to

catch Reveal, the annual

showcase of the vibrant,

award-winning visual

arts department at Sussex

Downs College. The

Grand Opening is on Tue

16 from 6-8.30pm. The

show runs until Fri 3 July,

9.30am-4.30pm, Mon-Fri.

South East Open Studios

runs from Fri 5-Sun 21,

with over 300 artists in

various venues opening

their workplaces to the

public. A wide range of

work will be displayed,

including oil, watercolours,

ceramics, textiles and

metalwork. Full guide

available at seos-art.org

Gail Ginson Tait

Ellie Tew from Sussex Downs College

Art in Lewes

From Mon 8-Sun 28 the

featured artist at the Chalk Gallery

is Gail Gibson Tait, whose

paintings are influenced by her

work in garden design and by

changing light, detail and wildness

in land and seascapes.

Genesis, a new exhibition by

Julian Bell, is being held at St

Anne’s Galleries from Sat 20. A

series of 37 panel paintings in

oils will be on display, showing

a bold new interpretation of the

first 33 chapters of the Bible.

From Wed 24 at Pelham House

Lucinda Rendall is displaying a

series of paintings of fishermen,

fishmongers and chefs at work

in Catch of the Day, while Teresa

Winchester exhibits her striking,

fantasy-inspired lino prints

in An Unlikely Journey.

Further afield

A Radical View: William Gear as

Curator 1958-64 is now showing

at Towner. This Collection display

celebrates abstract painter Gear’s

time as Towner’s curator, where he

added to the diversity and modernity

of the permanent collection.

Fitting conveniently with Viva’s

water theme, the Jerwood Gallery

are hosting Lowry by the Sea, which

runs from Wed 10. The exhibition

reveals Lowry’s less well known sea

paintings, and explores the intense

relationship that he had with the sea.

And finally, Farley Farm Gallery in

Chiddingly have a new exhibition

of paintings by Mark Glassman,

entitled Beaches and Ruins. Mark’s

recent work includes a series of

paintings based on the lost village

of Tide Mills. Exhibition open

every Sunday throughout June

and July.

Lowry by the Sea

Be sure to catch Artists United at the Foundry Gallery this month, between Fri 26 and Sun 28, with the

Private View on Thu 25. Artists can still submit work until Fri 12, artistsunited2015@gmail.com.

39


artist profile

Louise Chavannes

Wave after Wave

What is it about watercolour that you love?

I love its complexity. I’m always struck by how

pigments react to each other, it’s like watching an

exciting chemical reaction.

What’s your favourite piece of kit? Paint in

the colour Manganese Blue. It mixes so well with

everything and has an almost luminous quality

about it. I love watching it push through all the

other colours.

What inspires you? Currently it’s the ocean. I

grew up in Northumberland, which has such an

evocative coastline, huge seas and great skies. I’m

a surfer and try to spend as much time in or by the

sea as possible. I’m inspired by my fear and affection

for the water.

How do you get into the zone before you

begin? I can’t begin painting until I visualise what

it is I want to create. So I often lie awake at night

planning. It means that when I come downstairs in

the morning I can execute what I’ve visualised.

Where can people see your work? I’ll be showing

my work in an exhibition entitled Wave after

Wave at the Hop Gallery from 6-18. You can also

see examples of my work on my website louisechavannes.com.

Isabella McCarthy Sommerville

The Hop Gallery is open Tue-Sat 11am-4.30pm,

Sun 12-4.30pm and closed Mon.

41


Best-selling local author

Beryl Kingston’s

latest book

Francesca and the Mermaid

is out now

£7.99 ● 978-1-910208-07-6

Francesca and her self-centred lover

are on a cruise, when Francesca sees a

mermaid. The sight of it swimming away

inspires her to change her life. She leaves

her lover and moves to Lewes, where she

embarks on a new career, using her skills

as a painter. But freedom brings problems

and she has much to learn.

Order your copy at: www.buriedriverpress.co.uk

Farley Farm House & gallery

Home of the Surrealists

Experience the extraordinary atmosphere of the Sussex home of the

Surrealists Lee Miller and Roland Penrose whose friends and guests

included Picasso, Max Ernst, Man Ray and Miró. We open to visitors on

Sundays offering 50 minute guided tours, inspiring exhibitions in our

gallery and a sculpture garden to explore.

Farley Farm House

Muddles Green, Chiddingly

East Sussex, BN8 6HW

Tel: 01825 872 856

www.farleyfarmhouse.co.uk

Open to visitors every Sunday from April - October 2015 from 10. 00 am - 3.30 pm


art

Coastal Culture Trail

On your bike

Bicycles and I have never really got along. As a

child, I couldn’t pedal two feet without swerving

ingloriously into a wall, and when I was sixteen I

disproved the adage that “you never forget how to

ride a bike” by doing just that. It is to my great

surprise, then, that I find myself agreeing to cycle

the Coastal Culture Trail.

The Coastal Culture Trail connects Towner in

Eastbourne, the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill,

and the Jerwood in Hastings, a distance of some

twenty miles. The idea is that travelling the Trail

allows you to explore and engage with the three

towns, and the Trail website is full of recommendations

of places to visit, eat and stay. Although it’s

not obligatory to cycle, sustainable travel between

the galleries is encouraged: you can even rent bicycles

from selected local bike shops and leave them

at other stops on the Trail.

It’s a sunny May morning when my bike and I set

off on the train to Eastbourne. First stop: Richard

Billingham’s eerie photographs of the English

countryside at Towner. The map on the Trail website

is basic, so after consulting Google Maps over

a coffee on the Towner terrace, I cycle down to the

seafront.

Although a cycle path runs along part of the beach,

much of the route to Bexhill is on busy roads. I

wouldn’t attempt this part of the journey with children.

The beach is pleasingly austere, and when

the road heads inland, the countryside is gorgeous:

fields of honey-coloured cows, purple flashes of

bluebells and UKIP signs.

At the De La Warr I head straight for the restaurant

and wolf down a mackerel salad. I’m an hour

behind schedule, but I make time for John Stezaker’s

dark, hypnotic Film Works exhibition, where

found images are projected at lightning-speed.

With an hour until the Jerwood closes, I hop back

on my bike (wincing slightly – a cushion might

have been a good idea) and pedal like the dickens

along the promenade cycle path, which runs all the

way to Hastings. I face my first hills in the cliffs

between Bexhill and St Leonards, but the view is so

lovely that I almost forget my aching thighs.

Thirty minutes later, I sail up to the Jerwood. I

love the look of the modernist, black-timber building,

squatting between boats on the beach, and the

temporary collection of Scottish paintings inside is

well worth a look. When the gallery closes, I stop

for some chips on the seafront before catching the

train back to Lewes.

The next time I travel the Trail, I think I’ll break it

into two trips. I enjoyed the luxury of going at my

own glacial pace, but I’d have liked more time in

the galleries and the chance to explore the towns.

Overall, though, I’ve never had a better time on

two wheels. Get on your bike and enjoy some

coastal culture – if I can do it, anyone can.

Moya Crockett

coastalculturetrail.wordpress.com

43


JUNElistings

Sat 30 May- Sun 21 June

Lewes Hike and Bike Festival. Full programme

available at leweshikeandbike.co.uk

Tue 2

The Group. A club for single men and women

aged 45+. Walks, dinners, theatre, pub evenings,

holidays. Meets in a pub on the first Tuesday

evening every month, 8pm, thegroup.org.uk

Wed 3

Fri 5 & Sun 7

Film. Selma. (12A) Based on the 1965 Selma to

Montgomery voting rights marches. All Saints,

Fri 8pm, Sun 5pm, £5-£6.50, filmatallsaints.com

Sat 6

Jumbo jumble sale and café. Harveys Depot

by the station, 10.30am-2.30pm, 50p. In aid of

Cystic Fibrosis Trust and South Street Bonfire

Society.

Watercolour painting class. With tutor Alison

Cotton. Suitable for beginners, those with some

experience and seasoned painters. Coastguard

Cottages, Cuckmere Haven, 9.45am, £52 (includes

lunch and refreshments). 07773481492

learn-watercolours-outdoors.com

Sat 6 & Sun 7

Talk. New Herbaceous Perennials, by Lewis

Norman from Coblands Nurseries. Cliffe

Church Hall, 7.45pm, £3. 01273 474110

Film. Wild. (15) A biographical film about one

woman’s 1,100-mile solo hike, undertaken as a

way to recover from a recent catastrophe. All

Saints, Sat 5pm, Sun 7.30pm, £5-£6.50

filmatallsaints.com

Thur 4

Comedy at the Con!

Sol Bernstein, Frankie

Chalet and Romesh

Ranganathan take to

the stage, with MC

Neil Masters. Con

Club, 8pm, £7.50- £11.

Tickets 07582 408418,

wegottickets.com or Union Music.

Fri 5 & Sat 6

Film. Whiplash. (15) Written and directed

by Damien Chazelle, based on his experiences

in the Princeton High School Studio Band.

All Saints, Fri 5.45pm, Sat 7.30pm, £5-£6.50,

filmatallsaints.com

Sun 7

Guided tour. Quirky tour of the town with

historian Kevin Gordon. Meet at the Railway

Station, 2pm, £5. Tickets, Tourist Info or OTD.

Waterloo Bonfire Society Fête. Harveys beer

tent, live music, traditional fun fair, local stalls

and more. The Paddock, noon, free.

amanda@waterloobonfire.co.uk

45


junelistings (cont)

Mon 8

Talk. Art and Industrialists in Late Tsarist Russia,

by Professor Beryl Williams. This illustrated

lecture will focus on the role of merchants

in Moscow as philanthropists and art patrons.

Friends Meeting House, 7.15pm, £3.

Talk. A day, a year, a lifetime for a Monk at

Lewes Priory. A talk by Graham Mayhew,

based on his research for his recent book The

Monks of Saint Pancras. King’s Church Building,

7.30pm, £3/£2. leweshistory.org.uk

Sun 14

Fletching garden trail. Lunches, cakes and

refreshments available. Free parking all day.

11am-4pm, £6, children free. All proceeds benefit

Fletching Church of England Primary School.

Poetry. Creation. Readings by poets including

Jeremy Page and Ann Segrave. St Anne’s

Church, 3pm, free (donations welcome).

.

Sussex Day. Food stalls, crafts, morris dancers,

vintage fairground, guided walks and lots more.

Alfriston Tye, 12-4pm. alfriston-village.co.uk

Mon 15- Sat 20

Tue 9

Skittles Tournament. The Rotary Club’s annual

wooden-ball-down-skittle alley extravaganza,

raising funds for local charities. From

6pm in the Grange Gardens.

johnwburfoot@btinternet.com

Talk. Observing the 1980s: AIDS and Mass

Observation. The Keep, Falmer, 5.30pm, free

entry but booking essential. 01273 482349

Wed 10

Discussion Group.

Death Café. Coffee, cake

and conversation about

dying, death and the end

of life. Buttercup Café,

7-9pm, free (donations),

drop-in. cafe@livingwelldyingwell.net

Sat 13

Open morning. Annan School, Uckfield,

10am-12pm. 01825 841410

Tue 16

Talk. Travels with an author. Sussex author,

Richard Masefield, discusses the real journeys

behind those made by the characters of his

historical novels. Town Hall, 2.30pm, free.

Thu 18

Open Evening. Eastbourne College,

5-7.30pm. eastbournecollegeopenevening.co.uk

46


junelistings (cont)

Fri 19 & Sat 20

South Downs Beer and Cider Festival. Over

80 real ales, plus cider, perry and bottled beer.

Town Hall, Fri 11am-10.30pm, Sat 11am-6pm,

£4-£6.50, over 18s only. Tickets Harveys Brewery

Shop, Gardeners Arms and Brewers Arms.

Film. Trash. (15)

Brazilian-British

film about kids

who make a discovery

in a garbage

dump, then

find themselves

running from the

cops and trying

to right a terrible

wrong. All Saints, Fri 8pm, Sat 6pm, £5-£6.50,

filmatallsaints.com

Fri 19 & Sun 21

Film. Testament of Youth. (12A) A powerful

story of love, war and remembrance based on

the First World War memoir by Vera Brittain.

All Saints, Fri 5.30pm, Sun 7.15pm, £5-£6.50,

filmatallsaints.com

Sat 20 & Sun 21

Film. Ex Machina. (15) A young programmer is

selected to participate in a breakthrough experiment

in artificial intelligence. All Saints, Sat

8.15pm, Sun 5pm, £5-£6.50, filmatallsaints.com

Sun 21

Open air theatre. Twelfth Night, performed by

the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Bentley Wildfowl

and Motor Museum, 5pm, £15/£10, 01825

840573

Southover Open Gardens. 2.30-5pm. Entry is

by programme, £5/£3 from Tourist Info, Union

Music Store, St Pancras stores, The Swan and

The King’s Head. Also available on the door at 6

Grange Rd, where cream teas will be served.


ESTD

2015

CHANDLERSʼ WHARF

LEWES EAST SUSSEX

Launch Event at Pelham House Hotel, Lewes

Saturday 20th June • 10am to 5pm

A stunning collection of thirteen contemporary homes,

on the River Ouse in the historic County Town of Lewes

These stunning new riverside homes offer a combination of roof terraces, balconies,

garages, large lower floor hobby/work spaces and allocated parking.

Chandlers Wharf offers a range of 1 bed houses from 1,520 sq.ft

to 4 bed houses of up to 3,315 sq.ft.

Prices start from £695,000 up to £1,600,000

Ready

Winter

2015

Reserving

off-plan

now

For more information or to receive an invitation for the launch event please contact:

Helen Oakley Tel: 01273 487444 Email: helen@oakleyproperty.com Visit: oakleyproperty.com


Traditional Sussex Ales

delivered direct from the Brewery

Great beers, fine wines & souvenir gifts

from the brewery shop

Award winning Sussex ales

available in containers from

4-72 pints

DIRECT FROM THE BREWERY AT BREWERY PRICES

Open Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 5.30pm

Choice 8 year old

Scotch Whisky

exclusively blended

and bottled

for Harveys.

The ‘County Town’

branding was first

used over a

century ago.

Available from

the Brewery Shop

in Lewes or via

our website.

01273 480217

www.harveys.org.uk • shop@harveys.org.uk


junelistings (cont)

Fathers Day BBQ lunch at Shelleys Hotel.

Booking essential 01273 472361

Tue 23

Talk. Saving the Cheetah. An audio/visual

presentation by local photographers, Carole and

Paul Nicholson, on the work of the Cheetah

Conservation Fund. Plumpton Village Hall,

7.30pm, £5. 01273 891725

Thur 25

Story Cabaret. Little Fishes Objets d’art.

Coffeehouse Bar, 7.30pm, £3.50. Tickets from

eventbrite.co.uk

Sat 27

Summer Fair. Sideshows, curiosities, circus

skills, music, games and BBQ. Lewes New

School, 12-4pm. lewesnewschool.co.uk

Sun 28

Mad Hatter’s tea

party. Guests are

encouraged to dress

up, with a prize for

the best dressed. Pelham

House, 2.30pm,

£24.95/£12.50.

pelhamhouse.com or

01273 488600.

PUT IN YOUR DIARY

Fri 3- Sun 5 July. Love Supreme Jazz Festival.

Book your tickets: lovesupremefestival.com

THE

THURS - SAT

6.30 - 11.30pm

3 FISHER ST

www.facebook.com/LewesCoffeeHouse ASK

A LIVING WAGE EMPLOYER

LEWES HIGH STREET

BN7 2DG

now!

NEW

DRINKS

MENU

+

weekly drinks promotions

D. J. + nights

ROOM HIRE 07721 942 845


gig of the month

A big happy birthday to Tongue & Groove’s Midsummer

Madness party, which celebrates its tenth year at Pells

Pool this June. Legendary Lewes covers band Tongue &

Groove have raised over £25,000 for various local charities

over the last decade, and this year all proceeds from

the party will go to Starfish Music and a new Landport

and Malling Summer Play scheme. It promises to be a

fabulous summer night, with a beer tent, BBQ, fireworks

display and a dramatic finale from Tongue & Groove

frontman Phil Rhodes, aka ‘The Fox’: last year, he flew

across the pool on fire. Starfish bands kick off the day

at 5pm before the main event begins at 7.30pm. Tickets

available from the Pells kiosk, Si’s Sounds, and lewesyouththeatre.co.uk.

Pells Pool, Sat 20, 5pm, £6/ £3

Photo by James McCauley

june listings

Mon 1

Simon Savage, Dan Sheppard & Terry Seabrook.

Jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free

TUE 2

English dance tunes session. Folk. Bring instruments.

John Harvey Tavern, 8pm, free

THU 4

Alligator Swing. Gypsy swing. Pelham Arms,

8.30pm, free

FRI 5

Murphy’s Mob. Irish. Con Club, 8pm, free

SAT 6

The Naming of Things. Americana. Union

Music Store, 3pm, free

Night Before. We R Bob, Michael Baker and the

Whiskey Preachin’ Road Show. Bar & BBQ, in

support of Waterloo BS. Paddock, 5pm, free

Spinning Jennys. Resident DJs play eccentric

pop. Coffeehouse Bar, 7pm, free

Martin Carthy. Folk. Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £10

SUN 7

English dance tunes session. Folk. Bring

instruments. Lamb, 12pm, free

Kind of Blue. Acoustic. Con Club, 3pm, free

Open Mic. Elephant & Castle, 7pm, free

MON 8

Terry Seabrook piano trio, with Paul Whitten

and Peter Hill. Jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free

fri 12

Grean Day. Green Day tribute band. Con Club,

8pm, £5

SAT 13

Ruth Jacobs Band. Folk. Union Music Store,

3pm, free

Ska Toons. Ska jazz. Con Club, 8pm, free

Geoff Lakeman. Folk. Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £6

SUN 14

Mel Hayes. Acoustic. Con Club, 3pm, free

The Magic of the Musicals. Show tunes with

Ruthie Henshall, West End performers and

community choir. De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill,

7.30pm, £12/£25

MON 15

Nigel Price, Terry Seabrook & Alex Eberhard.

Jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free

FRI 19

Jellyhead. Rock covers. Con Club, 8pm, free

53


Tel 01273 477071 | 3 Bell Lane | Lewes | East Sussex | BN7 1JU

www.mayowynnebaxter.co.uk


gig guide (cont)

SAT 20

Charlie Dore & Julian Littman. Folk. Union

Music Store, 3pm, free

Popguns. Indie. Con Club, 8pm, £8/£4

Waterloo. Folk. Bring songs and tunes. Elephant

& Castle, 8pm, £3

SUN 21

Junior Starfish concert. St Marys Social Centre,

2pm, £5/£3

The Contenders. Con Club, 3pm, free

Senior Starfish concert. St Marys Social Centre,

6pm, £5/£3

MON 22

Organ trio with Andy Williams and Dave

Cottrell. Jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free

WED 24

Gregory Porter. Jazz. De La Warr Pavilion,

7.30pm, £35/£44

THU 25

Suede. Indie rock. De La Warr Pavilion, 7pm, £27

FRI 26

Father John Misty. Modern folk, from former

Fleet Foxes drummer Josh Tillman. De La Warr

Pavilion, 7pm, £14.50/£16.50

Ricardo Curbelo. Latin American. All Saints,

7.30pm, £8 Union Music Store/£10 OTD

Yiri Baa. African. Con Club, 8pm, £5

SAT 27

Hard Pressed. Folk. Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £6

SUN 28

Folk in the Chapel. Music from Will & Wolfie,

Hickory Signals and Guy Hayes. All proceeds to

the Oyster Project. Westgate Chapel, 2.30pm, £5

Lipstick & Beatniks. Acoustic duo. Con Club,

3pm, free

The Good Lovelies. Folk. Con Club, 8pm. £12

Union Music Store/£14 OTD

MON 29

Julian Nicholas, Terry Seabrook on piano, Nigel

Thomas on bass & Peter Hill on drums.

Jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free

JUN

5

12

13

19

20

26

28

MUSIC EVENINGS

@ The Con Club

MURPHY’S MOB

ONE OF WEST LONDONS FINEST IRISH BANDS

GREAN DAY

AUTHENTIC GREEN DAY TRIBUTE

SKA TOONS

ROCKING COLLISION OF SKA, FUNK & JAZZ

JELLYHEAD

HIGH ENERGY ROCK COVERS

POPGUNS

CATENARY WIRES & LOVEJOY

YIRI BAA

AFRICAN HIGH-LIFE AFROBEAT BAND

GOOD LOVELIES

A UNION MUSIC STORE PRESENTATION

SEE WEBSITE FOR DETAILS & ENTRY

JUN

7

14

21

28

Sundays

@ The Con Club

KIND OF BLUE

DYLAN TO PEYROUX - JAZZY, BLUESY LAID BACK TRIO

MEL HAYES

SOLO SESSION WITH VOCALIST OF AKA BAND

CONTENDERS UNPLUGGED

WITH HARDY SCHOELCH ON SAXOPHONE

LIPSTICK & BEATNIKS DUO

JAZZ. ROCKABILLY & BLUES

55


Kaleidoscope Summer School 2015 A6-flyer.indd 1 15/04/2015 21:09:02


under 16

FreeTIME

What’s on

Sun 7

Film. Night at the

Museum: Secret of

the Tomb. (PG) Latest

in the NATM series,

featuring one of

Robin Williams’ last

roles. Security guard

Larry Daley must

travel to London to

return the tablet of Ahkmenrah, an Egyptian

artefact which causes the exhibits to come to life,

before the magic disappears. All Saints, 3pm, £5-

£6.50, filmatallsaints.com

sun 14

Wishworks puppet show. Whispering Smith.

The story of a very shy creature whose search

for food gets him stuck up a tree. Christ Church,

3pm, £7. Suitable for ages 2-7. Only 40 tickets

available, which must be reserved in advance.

puppetsall@yahoo.co.uk

Sun 21

Film. Toy Story.

(PG) Our love

affair with Pixar

Studios began 20

years ago when

they released this

groundbreaking

feature-length

computer animated

comedy. Bring your favourite toy for a chance to

win a prize. To infinity and beyond! All Saints,

3pm, special price £3 for kids, filmatallsaints.com

Young People’s

Art Competition,

Civic Society Friends of Lewes want to encourage

young people and their families to value

what makes our town such a fabulous one,

so they’re running an art competition with a

theme of A Special Place. Children are invited to

draw, paint, print or make a collage of a building

or place in Lewes they think is great, on an

A4 piece of paper – landscape orientation. To

enter you need to live in, or be at school in the

town. Prizes are £25 book tokens for winning

entries in each age group, 4-7 years, 8-11 years

and 12-18 years. Closing date September 11.

Enter via friends-of-lewes.org.uk, give your

picture and entry form to your school office, for

collection by the Friends of Lewes, or the Town

Hall, (“FOL Special Places Competition”).

St Marys

Sports Day

Hugh Coppin

has been Chair

of the St Marys

Sports Day

for the last 16

years, and is

finally stepping

down from the role. He provided us with this

brilliant photo of a past St Marys Sports Day.

This year the annual event, now in its 67th year,

takes place on Sat 27, 10-6pm, on Nevill Green.

It’s open to children from reception to year 8.

Entry forms will come through letterboxes on

the Nevill estate and surrounds as well as Nevill

Newsagency, and there will be visits from the

organisers to local primary schools as well.

stmaryssportsbn7@gmail.com

57


under 16 êêêê

young Photo of the month

This striking picture, entitled Under

Water, was sent to us by 13 year old

Priory student Martha Ashby. “My

mum loves crystals and I thought it

looked pretty in front of the blue,

cloudy sky. I took it in the evening, the

first day I got a new camera. I was playing

around with the focus, and thought

the blurred background was effective.”

Martha wins a £10 book token, kindly

donated by Bags of Books. Please email

photos to emma@vivalewes.com, with

your contact details.

Fishing with Mike Maynard

I had a lesson with Mike at one of the three lakes at Spring

Barn Farm. They have carp up to 18lb, also roach, bream and

perch. Because of the threat from predators, such as mink and

cormorants, they put up fake guards. We used live red maggots

as bait and put them on a barbless spade end hook. This

doesn’t hurt the fish. I caught three fish, the biggest was a 3.5lb

common carp. We let all the fish back into the pond. Next time

I would like to go river fishing.

I asked Mike some questions:

Where did you learn to fish? In Singapore when I was seven

or eight, sea fishing.

Who taught you? My father. He was in the RAF so we moved

around, Singapore, Africa, Holland, fishing in each country.

What do you like about fishing? It’s relaxing, but exciting too.

I love being in nature, seeing the wildlife… animals and birds by the river, seeing kingfishers.

Why do you teach other people? I have had so much pleasure from fishing I like seeing other people

experience it too. I especially like to teach disabled adults and young people too.

Interview by Luke Meynell, year 7 Priory student

Mike is a level two coarse fishing coach with the Angling Trust, and offers coaching free, but asks for donations

to the Red Cross children’s shop on Station Street. anglingtrust.co.uk 01273 470231, mjm.angling@gmail.com

59


freetime

êêêê

swimming lessons

Babies have a natural affinity for water, and water play

groups can help them retain that confidence. Wave Leisure,

at Lewes Leisure Centre and Ringmer Pool, run

sessions for babies as young as five months old and their

parent or guardian. In July, Pells Paddlers returns to Pells

Pool: these weekly “splash and play” sessions for under-5s

are a fun way of building water confidence, and entry is

only £2 per family. A new Water Babies programme, for

newborns and older, will be starting at the White Hart

later in the year. Kids can begin having formal swimming lessons at Lewes Leisure Centre and Ringmer

Pool from the age of four and a half. After completing the Wave Beginners course, it’s onwards through

11 levels – though you needn’t complete them all, of course. All child and baby lessons at Wave Leisure

are charged at £4.90 a pop. After a trial session, you can sign up for a 15-week block of lessons, payable

by direct debit. Elsewhere in town, Wet Wet Wet Swim School run lessons for beginners and intermediate

swimmers at GILES Leisure. It’s a small, heated hydropool, with a hoist for easy disabled access.

Classes run on Wed and Thurs afternoons, at £8.90 a lesson. Of course, swimming lessons aren’t just for

children. Wave Leisure run adult lessons at Lewes Leisure Centre on Monday evenings, and at Ringmer

on Tuesday nights. The benefits of learning to swim can be enormous, so why not give it a go? MC

For more information, see waveleisure.co.uk/swimschool; waterbabies.co.uk; pellspool.org.uk;

wetwetwetswimschool.co.uk.

Illustration by Joda, jonydaga.weebly.com

Early Years

and Reception

spaces for September 2015

Open Morning

Saturday 13th June 10-12 pm

For more information call 01825 841410

Independent Primary School and Kindergarten for 3 to 11 years

Annan School | Easons Green |Uckfield | East Sussex | TN22 5RE | www.annanschool.co.uk


êêêê freetime

Go wild in the country

On its first official day, this

father and son team headed

to Branching Out Adventures

at Bentley Wildfowl.

We were looking forward

to a half-day’s exertion and

exhilaration in a beautiful

setting. And we weren’t

disappointed.

Health and safety is important

in a venue like this,

and here it’s handled in a

low-key and encouraging

way, not overbearing or

intrusive. Indeed, as we’re

trussed up in snug-fitting

harnesses, learning how to use the trolleys

for zip wires, and shown how to keep metal

clips always attached to the super-tough steel

cable that runs the length of walks, we are well

looked after. The Branching Out team clearly

takes customer service seriously – from the café

to the high ropes – and all the staff are friendly

and supportive.

Training over, we head for the low ropes, 3-5

metres above ground, welcoming kids over six,

taller than 1.2m. A series of a dozen obstacles,

tackled one climber at a time, tested our head

for heights, upper-body strength, coordination

and determination. Some look simple and turn

out tricky, like the zigzag lolly sticks; others

look impossible, but turn out simple, such as

the nothing-to-hold-on-to bridge with as many

gaps as planks. There are mini-zip wires during

the course, and a good long one to finish.

After a stop for a drink and snack in the promising

café, stocked with locally-sourced tuck, we head

up to the high ropes. This course is both harder

and more elevated than its little brother, with our

favourite section the giant wind chimes and our

Photo by Sam Knowles

least favourite the rope loops.

A longer zip wire brings this

course – about 45 minutes,

like the low ropes – to an

end. Plenty more staff members

on the ground encourage

struggling dads through

trickier moments.

Next up is the ultimate zip

wire, a 30-second descent

from a high tree accessed by

climbing 7m up giant staples.

The excitement is rising.

And finally: the giant

swing. This ROCKS.

Shackled and bolted to a

metal bar, you’re winched as high as you dare.

We get to about 30 feet, pulled by a complex

series of pulleys. When you’re ready to go, you

pull a red cord and … whoooosh! The drop is

vertiginous, and we whoop and whistle through

the air, the adrenaline pumping round. We’ve

definitely saved the best till last.

Changing over metal clips between obstacles

can be tricky, but we soon learn it just requires

patience. We haven’t brought gloves or bought

them on site, and our hands are a bit sore by

the end; they are to be recommended. And

though there are rain showers during our visit,

we don’t get wet, protected as we are by the

foliage canopy.

Customer service: 10/10. Thrill-factor: 8.5/10

(giant swing: 10/10). Difficulty: 6 (Max), 8

(Sam). Sense of achievement: 9/10. Overall

experience: 9/10.

Max and Sam Knowles, aged 11 and 48.

Priced per activity, from £5 per child, up to

£10/12. Best to pre-book. Bentley, Halland.

branchingoutadventures.co.uk, 01825 280 250 /

0759 5043 353.

61


A great

British pub

with some

bistro oo la la

The Pelham arms

HigH Street • LeweS

Vintage Hot Swing with

AlligAtor Swing on

thursday 4th June, 8.30pm FrEE!

tasty lighter seasonal lunch menu

served weekdays including a

great value set menu option:

two courses £13 &

three courses £17

relaxed drinking & eating in

our bar or dining room, sunny

courtyard garden, children

friendly & dogs welcome

we can look after your special

occasion whether its full,

private hire or a family gathering

opening Hours

tuesday to thursday

Bar 12noon to 11pm &

Food 12noon to 2.30pm and 6 to 9.30pm

Friday & Saturday

Bar 12noon to Midnight &

Food 12noon to 2.30pm & 6 to 9.30pm

Sunday

Bar 12noon to 10.30pm & Food 12noon to 8pm

get in touch!

Tel. 01273 476149

Email. manager@thepelhamarms.co.uk

Twitter @PelhamArmsLewes

Facebook.com/pelhamarmslewes

Book online @ www.thepelhamarms.co.uk


food

Photos by Rob Read

Erawan

Beau Thai

When we visited friends in London in the 1990s,

their favourite place to take us was in Southampton

Way in Camberwell - a tiny front room Thai restaurant,

now long gone. I’d never tasted quite the same

flavours again, until Erawan popped up in Lewes.

This bistro and takeaway on Lansdown Place occupies

the site of a former Chinese takeaway, but

the interior is completely transformed. Wood-lined

walls, Thai décor and flowers on blocky wooden

tables, it’s a warm and welcoming space. It’s also

opened as a “bring your own”, so we pop into Symposium

next door and grab a nice bottle of Kentish

cider to go with our meal. Corkage is £5 for wine

(£2 for our large cider).

As we enter, the thing that strikes us most is the

smell of fresh jasmine, taking us back to an idyllic

Californian holiday, adding to the allure of the

place. We’ve quizzed friends who’ve already been,

and then also steer our own course as we study the

menu. As Erawan themselves say, they seek to

bring the “authentic savoury flavours” of Thai cooking

- combining sweet, spicy, salty and sour tastes.

Starters include satay, tempura, spring rolls, spare

ribs, dumplings… and we opt for fish cakes (£6.15)

and a lovely recommended concoction

called Gliow Grob (£5.50), crispy fried wontons

filled with a mixture of chicken and prawn.

The starters are beautifully presented, since Thai

food doesn’t just pay attention to how a dish tastes,

but how it looks as well. Erawan get this just right

with a clean modern style and traditional, delicatelycarved

vegetables. The dishes are so good, we share.

Between courses, some people drop in to collect

takeaway orders and some to sit in at one of the six

other tables. All seem as happy as us that Erawan

has arrived in Lewes. For the mains, there are soups

such as the classic hot and sour Tom Yum and noodle

dishes like Pad Thai. We’ve also been recommended

the Drunkard Noodles, but my tester is a Chicken

Thai Red Curry (£8.50), since that was my Southampton

Way standby, plus a bowl of sticky rice.

My partner chooses a richer Panang curry (£10.50),

with fish, cooked in coconut milk with lemon grass

and lime leaves. These are equally delicious and well

presented, and again happily shared.

Too replete for a full-blown pudding, we are won

over by the ice cream, a green tea for her and a sweet

Thai special for me. We leave clutching a takeaway

menu (prices slightly lower than eating in).

After our visit we Google the name Erawan and

discover it’s the Thai word for the revered mythic

elephant which carries the Hindu god Indra: an

important symbol in Thai culture and a fitting name

for this exemplary Thai restaurant.

Rob Read

Erawan, 34 Lansdown Place, 471999, erawan.co.uk.

Open evenings 6-10pm Tue-Sun, and lunchtimes

12noon-2.30pm Tue-Sat.

63


64

Photo by Rob Read


food

Tiger Prawn Salad with Spiced Syrup

Ross Pavey shows us how to dish up a quick but delicious

prawn and Parma ham salad, with a spicy wine syrup

Many know Ross Pavey from his time as chef at the superb Moonrakers in Alfriston, but he grew

up in Lewes. We visit him in his Seaford café/restaurant, Salt & Sea, where he shows us how to

cook a hot prawn salad. “I was born in Zimbabwe, which most people are aware is a difficult country

now, but it was back then too. My sister and I were driven to school by my mum, who had to

carry a gun on her lap. We moved to Lewes, and my folks still live on the Nevill. I went to Priory,

but I hated school. I became a landscape gardener, but hurt my back, so I fell into cooking – my

first job was in the kitchen at The Shelleys when Graham Cole was manager. My neighbour was

head chef. I also worked at Circa and the Long Room. I try to cook what’s local and in season, but

one thing that’s tricky is that local producers won’t always deliver. I sometimes put on curry or fish

nights here, and for one fish night, I created an elaborate dish involving tiger prawns and pancetta.

I decided to simplify the recipe to serve in my café, and this is what I came up with. You pre-cook

the prawns, so they’re warm, and you can make the spiced syrup dressing in advance.”

Spiced syrup recipe

Put 50g caster sugar, 75g soft brown sugar,

125ml red wine vinegar, 75ml port, 75ml red

wine, half a vanilla pod (seeds scraped out),

one star anise, a lime leaf (Pestle and Mortar

in the Needlemakers sell these, but if you can’t

get one, use the zest of a lime), four cardamom

pods, two white pepper corns, half tsp fennel

seeds, three cloves and one small cinnamon

stick in a pan, heat slowly, and reduce until a

light syrup has formed. Let this steep for 20

minutes then pass through a fine sieve.

Ingredients for one bowl of salad

Ten raw peeled tiger prawns (baked in an oven

at 200c, about five minutes until cooked – I buy

mine from Paul’s Plaice next door)

100g baby mixed leaf salad, about six brazil

nuts, roughly chopped, a handful of dried cranberries,

ten sun blushed tomatoes, three slices

of Parma ham. Salt and pepper (I use Maldon

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper).

Wash salad leaves, place on plate/shallow bowl,

place all the other ingredients in a separate

bowl and toss in a little oil (I use rapeseed oil)

and place on the salad leaves. Season, but not

much salt, as the ham is quite salty, then drizzle

over the cooled syrup (I use a lot!).

I also sometimes add a granny smith apple,

chopped up, and a handful of watercress to this

salad.” As told to Emma Chaplin.

Salt & Sea, 2 Dane Road, Seaford. Closed Sun-

Tues. 01323 872380

65


food

Seaford Sailing Club Café

Ciabatta by the sea

There’s a café on a quiet part of Seaford beach, near

Bishopstone Station but some distance from the town

centre. It has a minimal web presence, and it would

be easy enough to walk past without really registering

that it was a café. Neither my mum nor my uncle, both

long-time Seaford residents, had ever been. So, on the

way to the café, at Newhaven and Seaford Sailing Club,

one offputtingly-cold-and-windy Saturday lunchtime,

we joke about how empty it will be. Then we arrive and stop doing that joke, because there are twenty or so

people here. The Galley has the ambience of a clubhouse, as well as a full-on nautical theme. There are sails

on the ceiling, lifebelts on the walls, and pictures of a sea god and goddess on the toilet doors.

My mum and I each have a Sweet Potato and Melted Brie Ciabatta (£4.50), which we agree is very good.

The sweet potato is soft, the grilled cheese tasty and the bread nicely toasted. My uncle is happy enough

with his medium-rare Steak Ciabatta (£6.50), calling it “enjoyable” rather than excellent.

The bill, including two pints of Long Blonde and one juice, is under £25, which felt like great value. There

was one thing my dining companions couldn’t get over, though. One of the many coffee options is: ‘Just a

mug of instant, £1.’ “That would be a daring step in Lewes,” my uncle says. Steve Ramsey 01323 890077

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67


drink

Sea Cider

It goes down too easily

“We made our first batch back in January. I thought we’d

made enough to see us through the year, but we sold

out after nine weeks.” I’m with Matt Billing, brewer at

Goldstone Brewery in Ditchling, who has just launched

his own cider, Sea Cider Sussex. “I still use the same

methods I used when I was brewing cider at home, just

on a much larger scale.” His traditional recipe contains

apple juice, and not much else. “We use a little

champagne yeast to crisp it up slightly, but while a lot of

producers will sweeten the cider with water and sugar, I

sweeten mine with more apple juice. We have some of the best apples in the world here – you want to

be able to taste them.” And taste them you can. We crack open one of the last remaining bottles from

January’s pressing and it bubbles up into a thick froth as we pour it into the glasses. “This one actually

used to be still,” Matt explains: without the usual added sulphites, the cider carries on fermenting.

So while this variety was ‘medium’ when bottled, now it’s closer to ‘medium-dry’. And while it tastes

like a scrumpy – and smells a little of hay, which I always take to be a good sign – it retains the fresh

flavour of the apple juice. It’s refreshing and goes down a bit too easily. I’m glad I’m not the one driving.

Rebecca Cunningham

You can buy Sea Cider at Middle Farm near Firle. facebook.com/SeaCiders

Photo by Lizzie Lower

69


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food: the nibbler

Edible updates

Frying tonight

A lot of terrible punning has been employed

in the naming of chip shops. The Nibbler has

come across The Codfather, A Fish Called

Rhondda, Codrophenia – and perhaps the worst

of all – Frying Nemo. There are rituals around

them – for example, there’s a Lewes family who

buy fish and chips for tea every week before bell

ringing. For most people, it’s what you do on a

seaside holiday, eating them out of paper, ideally

on the beach, avoiding dive-bombing seagulls.

The Blue Dolphin in Hastings is great for this,

as is Trawler’s in Seaford. You can get fantastic

fish and chips in many Lewes pubs, but the three

chippies, South Street, The Friar and the new

Fish Bar, all have loyal fans. But what makes a

really good chip supper? The Nibbler’s father believed

that beef dripping gave chips a far superior

taste – but they absolutely must be piping hot.

Cold chips are devil’s fingers. The batter should

be crisp, the fish milky-fresh, ideally freshly

cooked. The Nibbler likes the whole lot soaked

in vinegar and sprinkled with unhealthy quantities

of salt. And, as for the question of ketchup,

mushy peas or curry sauce, she suspects we all

have strong feelings on the matter.

Food news. The Shelleys are holding a Fathers’

Day barbecue on Sunday 21. The Real Eating

Company have various offers: see their ad on

p68. And Pelham House have a Wimbledon

Special of strawberries and Pimm’s, to enjoy

whilst watching the tennis, from 29 June. Email

food news to thenibbler@vivalewes.com

Photo by Rob Read


food

Photos by Lizzie Lower

Make Your Own Sushi

Miso hungry

I’ll wager we’ve all got at least one obscure and exotic

condiment lurking at the back of the larder.

Purchased in a fit of Sunday supplement-induced

culinary zeal, its ‘best before’ date expired and any

recollection of how to use it a distant memory.

It’s wonderful then that there are the likes of David

and Nicola McCarthy, at Big Life Organics, to

light the way. I’m attending a ‘Make Your Own Sushi’

workshop in the perfectly formed demonstration

kitchen behind their shop in Haywards Heath.

The counter is busy with exotic-looking bottles

and packets. Some I recognize from the back of my

cupboard, others I’ve never heard of.

Over a cup of Kukicha tea Nicola introduces them.

There’s mirin, shoyu and dried shitaki mushrooms.

Tempeh, ponzu, wasabi and nori. Koya tofu, sweet

rice, brown rice, brown rice vinegar... the list goes

on. They’ve also got some reassuringly authentic

kit. Customary rolling mats, bamboo rice bowls and

deeply glazed, jewel-coloured dishes. David sharpens

wafer-thin knives on a whetstone; their bright

edges all the better to reveal the innards of each roll.

Nicola talks us through the preparation of the rice

– a balance of sweet rice and short grain brown

rice that is cooked at pressure for 45 minutes, rendering

it sticky and soft without the need to add

sugar. The McCarthy’s follow a macrobiotic diet

(for which Big Life is a hub of expertise and ingredients)

so the prepared fillings are all vegan

but interchangeable for more omnivorous appetites.

There are slivers of cucumber, red pepper,

blanched green beans, alfalfa sprouts, marinated

dried shitake mushrooms, glazed tempeh and tofu.

We learn the delicate art of flavour combinations

and - crucially - which of those exotic bottles to

reach for, when.

Nicola deftly demonstrates three types of sushi – a

large nori roll; substantial and ideal for travelling:

A more delicate version, great for kids or canapés:

And an inside-out roll – with (guess what?) the rice

on the outside. She expertly coats the nori with

just the right amount of seasoned rice, keeping the

edges pristine and rolling the filling in with a tight

tuck and the gentlest pressure. The result is immaculate.

Soon it’s our go and it’s huge fun. I’m

pretty impressed with my first effort – I’ve listened

well and my tight tuck has delivered a well-formed

roll. My glory is short-lived and my inside-out

‘roll’ is more of a flop. Luckily, those bamboohandled

knives cleave delicate millefiori slices, all of

which are entirely delicious and full of interesting

textures and complex Japanesey flavours. And what

of those condiments? Whilst they might be difficult

to pronounce, it turns out they are incredibly simple

to use and decidedly delicious when you know how.

Big Life Organics run frequent courses.

Lizzie Lower

Join their open day - and free miso soup demonstration

- on June 14. biglifeorganics.co.uk, 01444

628667, 112 South Road, Haywards Heath

73


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the way we work

Tracey Martin took these great portraits of fishmongers with their catch of

the day. The question she asked each of them: what’s your favourite fish?

facebook.com/traceymartinphotography.

Paul, Paul’s Plaice, Seaford

What’s your favourite fish? Turbot


the way we work

Dan Howes, Veasey & sons, Lewes Friday Food Market

What’s your favourite fish? A sea bass. Nice large fish with lovely thick flesh.


the way we work

Lisa Derrick, Bickerstaff ’s Newhaven,

What’s your favourite fish? Sea bass and whiting

77


the way we work

Lee Webster, Terry’s in the Riverside

What’s your favourite fish? Squid is beautiful, even though it’s not really a fish!

79


a day in the life of...

Photo by Carlotta Luke

A crane driver

Vicky Harvey tells us about her working day

The days are long. I live in Worthing, so I get up at

5am, leave the house at 6am, and arrive at work in

Newhaven at 7am.

I try to exercise a little when I first get up in the

morning because I’m sitting down all day.

I’m lucky to only have to travel about an hour to

work, as my home life is everything to me. Working

in the city used to mean earlier starts and very

late nights.

I don’t really eat breakfast (or lunch!), I just eat four

Belvita biscuits during the day, as they are packed

with good stuff. I don’t have cups of tea, instead I

take bottled water up the crane with me.

We all wear PPE (personal protective equipment).

It’s compulsory. Hard hat, gloves, goggles, high vis

jacket and safety boots. Once in the cab though, I

am not required to wear it. Just for climbing and

walking on site.

To start work, I climb up the multiple platforms of

the tower via ladders to the cab.

My jib is 7.5 tonne and 50 metres, and most lifts I

perform are the same - steel, shutters, beams, concrete

skips and rubbish skips, amongst other things.

Wind is the hardest challenge though as it likes to

push the jib and load in directions you don’t want it

to go. If it gets too windy though, we just stop until

it dies down.

I used to be a marketing manager, but after being

made redundant at the age of 30, I decided to make

a big change to my life. I applied to HTC (tower

crane and hoist company) to become an apprentice

tower crane operator. I went to the National Construction

College in Bircham Newton, Norfolk,

where I studied for three months for my NVQ2.

We learned to operate tower cranes, pedestrian-operated

cranes, crawler cranes on caterpillar tracks,

as well as learning the slinger/signaller roles (man

on the ground directing the lift and securing loads).

Since leaving college last October, I’ve worked on

big sites in London and all over. Jobs vary vastly on

timescale from a few months, to years.

In March this year I was fortunate to get a permanent

role working with Kier on the UTC@

harbourside (University Technical College) site in

Newhaven. It’s been fascinating watching the site

develop and it’s going really well. Working for Kier

has been fantastic as they support the fact that I’m

new to the industry and a woman. I’m one of only

three female tower crane operators in Britain.

I’ve been treated really well. The Newhaven townspeople

have been exceptionally welcoming, coming

over and waving. I’ll be sad to move to another job.

As for the notorious toilet question... there is no

loo. Polite response is: festival rules apply! Same for

men and women.

As told to Emma Chaplin

81


UTC Harbourside

Victorian marine workshops enter a new age

Beneath the giant red crane at Newhaven’s West

Quay, work is underway to develop the Victorian

marine and carpenters’ workshops into a 21st century

university technical college, UTC@harbourside.

In September the grade II listed workshops,

which have stood empty since the 1980s, will open

as a training ground for a new generation of scientists,

environmentalists and engineers.

Newhaven’s marine and carpenters’ workshops belonged

to the London, Brighton and South Coast

Railway company (LBSCR) formed in 1846. LB-

SCR invested heavily in Newhaven developing the

town, the port and investing in cross-channel ferry

services. The company ran a Newhaven to Dieppe

service in 1853 and established the key route for

passengers and freight from London to Paris.

LBSCR built the marine workshops in 1882 and

the carpenters’ workshops in 1885, enabling the

company to undertake heavy jobs for itself. The

marine workshops included a locomotive running

shed capable of accommodating sixteen engines,

a large turntable and machinery including: two

large traversing hydraulic lifting cranes; five lathes;

six drilling machines; punching and sheering machines;

four smith’s fires and apparatus for heating

rivets. The workshops repaired ships’ boilers and

engines until the early 1960s.

Photographs and records at Newhaven Museum

show that in the early 1900s around 100 staff

worked there repairing and refitting mainline

trains and the LBSCR fleet. In 1883 the wages

for an apprentice fitter, boilermaker, carpenter or

painter were 10 old pence per week, raised to 2

shillings per week for the year he finished.

In 1993 the marine workshops became grade II

listed buildings - nationally important and of special

interest. An interesting collection of original

fittings still survive. They include the two original

hand-operated cranes and their gantries, still in operation.

The design for the £12m UTC@harbourside, first

put forward in 2012, retains as many heritage features

as possible, including one of the gantry cranes,

cast iron columns and beams. The existing walls of

the marine workshops will remain and the skin of

a new building is being inserted inside, linked to

the carpenters’ workshops by a new three-storey

structure. Damaged windows will be replaced with

heritage windows in keeping with the building.

University technical colleges are governmentfunded

colleges that teach 14-18 year olds technical

and scientific subjects working with the local

business community and industry partners. UTC@

harbourside, the only UTC on the south east coast,

will specialise in the skills in demand from the region’s

growing marine engineering and environmental

technology sectors. There has been interest

from students in Newhaven, Lewes, Brighton, St

Leonards and Haywards Heath.

UTC@harbourside principal designate, Jonathan

Clarke says: “Engineering is a way to make a better

environment through developing cleaner and renewable

energy, making products less harmful, recyclable

and biodegradable, understanding the climate

better and protecting people where they live.”

Students will be able to enter in years 10 and 12

and study for GCSEs and A Levels alongside technical

qualifications such as the engineering BTEC

diploma. Studies based around real-life projects

designed in partnership with local employers and

using state-of-the-art facilities and equipment will

give students a head start in the jobs market or in

applying to university or for apprenticeships.

Matthew Hafernik, head of options and pathways

82


Bricks and

mortar

at Newhaven’s Seahaven Academy (formerly

Tideway) visited an open morning at UTC@

harbourside with students from the academy.

The students left ‘intrigued’ by what was on

offer and some have since applied.

Mr Hafernik says the college was an excellent

opportunity for a specific type of high-ability,

independent learner and thinks the college

could have a very positive impact on Newhaven

students and schools in the wider area. “The

college is offering a very specific set of courses

beneficial for anyone interested in this highprofile

career path, something nowhere else is

offering.”

He also thinks bringing in students from across

the region could benefit the town’s economy,

its shops, businesses and the wider community.

This is a view shared by Newhaven mayor

Judith Ost. She says: “UTC@harbourside is

putting Newhaven on the map and drawing in

students from across the region. It is providing

good links with universities and preparing

students to work in the new green technologies

such as the wind farm. It is a very welcome reuse

of the building.”

Could the workshops that marked such a development

for Newhaven in the 1800s and 1900s

once again steer the fortunes of the town and

its people? It is somehow fitting that the next

generation of engineering students on their

way to their computer-aided design and technology,

science and engineering labs will pass

reminders of the cutting edge technologies of

the apprentices of the 1900s. Emma Clothier

utc-harbourside.org

newhavenhistoricalsociety.org.uk

seahavenacademy.org.uk

Photo courtesy of Newhaven Museum

Photos by Carlotta Luke (www.carlottaluke.com/architecture-and-restoration/utecharbourside-renovation-project/)

83


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feature

my space

Phil Ransley, General Manager, Pells Pool

I’ve been at the Pells since 2003. I helped out,

then took over as manager in 2005. I’d worked at

indoor leisure centres around Sussex, and was fed

up with being inside.

I’m here from the first week of February. Before

the season starts mid-May, my job is all about

maintenance. It’s like the Forth Bridge – as soon as

you finish, you have to start again. I’m here almost

every day once we’re open.

There’s no average day, especially when it’s manic

at the height of summer. At night we sometimes

get kids jumping over the wall for a swim, petty

vandalism, or things being chucked in the pool, so

everything has to be checked and cleaned.

You can never predict what’s going to happen,

but we’ve never had any serious injuries. When I

took over as manager I tightened up the lifeguarding

policies – a bit boring, maybe, but a lot safer.

Photos by Rob Read

I leave the pool late if we’ve been hired out for

a party. We can host up to 650 people, but I’m

sure there’ll be more at our Midsummer Madness

Party on 20 June. Tickets are like gold dust, and

people find a way of getting in. This year, we’re

donating our half of the money raised to the Landport

and Malling Play Scheme.

After the season ends mid-September, I look

after the landscaping of the grounds. I finish in

November, then take all my holiday in lieu and

hibernate for a couple of months.

We’ve got a good bunch of staff that come back

every summer. They start working here when

they’re about sixteen and often stay until they’re

23 or 24. Some who work for me now used to

come in with their families when they were four,

five years old.

The Pells is nothing fancy. We just do what we

do, and do it well. It’s a challenging job, and it can

be stressful, but it’s rewarding. I’d rather work here

than anywhere else. As told to Moya Crockett

pellspool.org.uk

85


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fun on the water

Splish splash splosh

Ways of getting in, under and on the water

Whether you’re interested

in kayaking, shipwreck

diving, boating,

windsurfing, sea fishing,

or anything else,

there’ll be something

around Lewes for you.

The Kayak Coach

run guided river trips

through the Sussex

countryside, in kayaks,

canoes, and even standup

paddle boards.

These are pleasure

trips, rather than formal

kayaking lessons, but no previous experience

is necessary: coaches make sure that all paddlers

feel safe, confident and in control on the water.

The gentlest expedition is the Lewes to Hamsey

trip (£30 per person), suitable for kayakers aged

12 and over. Coaches also lead excursions from

Cuckmere Haven to Alfriston, and day trips from

Barcombe Mills to Isfield Weir (both £40 per person,

suitable for ages 14 and over). More intensive

kayaking courses are run from Cuckmere Haven,

with prices starting at £25 for a two-hour session

(thekayakcoach.com).

If you’d like a cheaper way of exploring the Ouse,

have younger children in tow, or don’t fancy getting

wet (an occupational hazard in a kayak), hire

a rowing boat from the Anchor Inn at Barcombe

and meander down to Fish Ladder Falls. Boat

hire is charged by the day or by the hour, at £6

per adult and £3 per child (anchorinnandboating.

co.uk). Alternatively, Knockhatch Adventure

Park in Hailsham has a boating lake, which visitors

can enjoy along with access to the whole park.

If you’d rather get some sea air in your lungs,

there are plenty of ways to get on the water along

the coast. Sussex Voyages run trips from Eastbourne

in RIBs, or Rigid Inflatable Boats, which

look like the offspring

of a speedboat

and an orange inflatable

dinghy. Their

most popular trip is

a one-hour guided

tour along the coast

to Beachy Head, but

they also run the

boldly-named ‘Powerboat

Adventures’:

a high-speed twentyminute

blast around

Eastbourne’s Bay,

aimed at adults and

children over ten. Prices range from £5 for an infant

to £25 for an adult, depending on the trip and

time (sussexvoyages.co.uk).

Channel Diving, based at the Marina, offer

ground and deep sea wreck fishing trips and diving

expeditions, and can also take up to twelve

people on sightseeing trips along the Brighton-

Eastbourne coastline (channeldiving.com). Of

course, dozens of charter boat companies operate

out of Brighton and Eastbourne, and the best one

for you will depend on what you’re after: a relaxing

cruise, a one-hour mackerel fishing trip, or a

nine-hour, call-me-Ishmael quest for conger eel?

Directory website boatdistrict.co.uk is a good way

of finding the best sea trip for you.

Sussex isn’t quite on a par with Cornwall when

it comes to water sports, but there are plenty of

places where you can give it a go. Hove Lagoon

offer sailing, wakeboarding, windsurfing and

stand-up paddleboarding courses for adults and

kids. Adults can also learn how to sail a yacht and

drive powerboats. Courses aren’t cheap – a kids’

Learn to Stand-Up Paddleboard course costs £80

– but are a great option for people who are serious

about learning a new water sport (lagoon.co.uk).

Moya Crockett, photo by Rob Read

87


TREKKING

TRAIL RUNNING

SKIING

CAMPING

SKIING

WALKING

HIKING


feature: wildlife

House Martins

The Building Blocks of Summer

My summer is built from screams, cries, chatters

and warbles. Walking around Lewes and the surrounding

countryside, I’m always soaking up the

sounds of migrant birds returning back home from

their winter, south of the Sahara. Each voice offers

a familiar reassurance to me. Only when everything

is back in its place can my summer begin.

One of the top tunes of my summer soundtrack is

the sweet, bubbling twitter of the house martin.

Shakespeare loved that sound too. To him they

were ‘the guest of summer’. From Macbeth’s castle

to cathedrals, country cottages and urban terraces,

these birds have historically been linked to our

homes. They’re as much of a feature of English

architecture as the clay, bricks and uPVC they

build their nests against.

House martins are surveyors, architects, bricklayers,

decorators and homeowners, rolled into one

19g two-tone ball of feathers. Give them a building

site of a vertical surface under an overhang and

they’ll get to work. Each lumpy half-dome home,

tucked snug under the eaves, is made of 1000 tiny

mouthfuls of muddy bricks carried from the edge

of a nearby puddle or stream. The birds construct

each nest over ten days, finally lining it with feathers.

They don’t always build a brand new nest; if

they find a fixer-upper they’ll renovate.

House martins are stereotypical builders. They

constantly communicate with chirpy chatter, call

down from the roof-tops and while they’re bent

over, they reveal their pale rump. This white builder’s

bum is a way of identifying the bird from that

other summer eaves-dweller, the swallow.

They’ve shared our homes throughout history,

but their numbers have suffered a massive decline

in England, with a worrying 18% nosedive over

the past decade. Aerial insect food and changing

weather patterns here, in Africa and on migration

routes in between have had an effect. This loss

should strike deep in the heart of every Sussex

resident because our county’s flag is made up of six

proud martlets. Martlet means ‘little martin’, but

this heraldic bird may also represent the swift, that

summer visitor whose numbers are also in decline.

This year we’re supporting the British Trust for

Ornithology’s national house martin survey to

count house martin nests, and a new group, the

Lewes Swift Supporters, has been established to

help keep our skies screaming. I know of house

martin nests near St John-sub-Castro and swift

nests near The Needlemakers, but are there any

more in Lewes or the surrounding villages? If you

see a house martin or swift nest – or are one of

the lucky people to share your home with these

incredible birds – please let me know the location.

Email me at michaelblencowe@sussexwt.org.uk

Michael Blencowe, Sussex Wildlife Trust

Illustration by Mark Greco

89


north street

Shelter from the storm

Flood protection for the proposed North Street Quarter

Building on a flood

plain is, by its very

nature, a risky business.

But it’s a risk worth

taking, according to

the latest Joint Core

Strategy prepared by

Lewes District Council

and the South Downs

National Park Authority.

In fact, it’s a risk

that’s been taken locally for many years, as the

victims of the November 1960 and October 2000

floods will attest.

The proposed ‘North Street Quarter’ development

by Lewes District Council and Santon North Street

has put flood protection back in the news. As well

as protecting their new houses and commercial

properties, the developers plan to protect existing

houses in the Talbot Terrace (Pells) area.

Paul Deane, a Lewes-based Chartered Civil

Engineer who’s previously worked in Flood Risk

Management for the Environment Agency, has

taken an in-depth look at Santon’s Flood Risk

Assessment. His comments, published on lewesphoenixrising.com,

conclude “the proposed flood

defences are broadly considered to be the best viable

solution for this location.” But not everyone’s

happy with the way those plans have progressed.

I talk to John Webber, a local resident and a member

of the Pells Residents working group. He says

Santon’s representatives assured him they would

defend the Pells area during the first phase of any

construction, yet their planning submission shows

these defences won’t be completed until phase 3.

Not only does the proposed development increase

the risk of flooding, he tells me, but it also means

the Pells defences wouldn’t be put in place if the

development stopped after phase 2. John’s not the

only person making these

claims, which I put to

Clive Wilding, Project

Director of Santon

North Street.

Clive describes the flood

defences as being “phased

in line with relocation

and development plans”,

noting that some businesses

could be relocated

from ‘phase 1’ – the part of the site due for imminent

redevelopment – to buildings in the ‘phase

2’ area, enabling these people to remain on-site

during the construction period. Apparently this

would avoid clearing the whole site to implement

all the flood defences in phase 1.

However, a potential compromise is now being

suggested. In a statement, Clive Wilding tells me

“following further discussions with Pells residents,

we are proposing to amend the planning application

to bring forward some of the Pells flood

defence work so that it is protected from the west

in phase 1 of the construction, this will protect

Pelham Terrace housing and will go part way to

assisting the area and will also allow the new landscaping

and planting to settle quickly.”

Although the changes could benefit homeowners,

they won’t protect the Pells Pool or the adjacent

park; Santon says this protection can’t be completed

“until our tenants in phase 3 are relocated

into a new completed phase 1”.

Whether this reassures local residents depends on

many factors, including an issue of trust: trust in

the developer, trust in the calculations, trust in the

construction. Those who remember the flooding

of fifteen years ago are understandably nervous.

Mark Bridge

northstreetqtr.co.uk

90


Community Group

Lewes Swimming Club

Come on in, the water’s fine!

The current incarnation

of Lewes Swimming

Club can trace

its history back to May

1975, when Maurice

Breese – the town’s

recently-appointed

mayor – suggested

setting up a number of

clubs for young people.

Former Olympic swimmer

Christine Parfect,

who’d recently moved

to the area, was in the right place at the right time.

She became the club’s coach, using her experience

to ensure the new club was affiliated with the

national governing body for swimming. “Maurice

was our president for years”, she tells me. “He was

a lovely man, quite the Lewes character.”

Despite its name, the Lewes Swimming Club’s first

sessions didn’t take place in town. “There was only

the Pells in Lewes at the time”, Christine explains.

“We started off at the old Devonshire Baths in

Eastbourne, which have long gone.” Today the

club meets at Lewes Leisure Centre, at Seaford

Head Pool, at Ringmer Swimming Pool and at

Seahaven Swim & Fitness Centre in Newhaven.

For more information, I talk to Tim Cole, who has

been a member since 2007. “I joined because of

my children, mainly my eldest son, Nick. He’s got

a through-knee amputation and found swimming

very therapeutic.” Nick soon discovered that he

was good enough to swim competitively, as evidenced

by a shelf full of trophies and a gold medal.

Not only has he represented England at disabled

swimming events, he’s competed against ablebodied

swimmers at club and county levels. “The

club was good for him and we became involved by

supporting him”, says Tim. “That’s how lots of our

volunteers start. They

bring their children, they

support them, and eventually

they get involved

with the club.”

Recently Lewes Swimming

Club has become

licensed, which means

any times set at club

championships will count

towards county events.

But there’s much more

to the club than winning,

as Tim points out. “We teach all ages, from four

upwards. Our aim is to improve the quality of

swimming. Some swimmers don’t want to be competitive;

they just want to come for fitness. Some

like the social side. And quite a few want to push

themselves. We cater for all abilities, really.”

“Everyone’s very supportive. There’s a good camaraderie,

definitely. And it’s a life-saving skill. There

aren’t many sports you can say that about.”

For a competitive sport, swimming is remarkably

sociable. Tim and Nick speak fondly of the

friendships they’ve made at the club, and Christine

Parfect tells me she still regularly meets her fellow

competitors from the 1956 and 1960 Olympics.

I can’t resist asking her about the gold medal she

won in Cardiff at the 1958 British Empire and

Commonwealth Games, as part of the 4x110 yard

Ladies Medley team. “That was a fantastic race.

Absolutely nail-biting.” Is her medal still on the

mantelpiece? “In the loft. But the world record

certificate is on the landing!”

Mark Bridge, photo by Tim Cole

For more details about Lewes Swimming Club,

telephone Caralynne Ledingham on 07503 018610

or Trixie Nisbet on 01273 582629

lewesswimmingclub.org

91


lewes in history

Lewes Rowing Club

The story behind 141 years on the river

Not much is known

about the formative

years of Lewes Rowing

Club, which celebrates

its 141st birthday this

month. Early records

were lost some time

ago, and nobody has

much hope of finding

them. However, LRC

members have a theory

about the club’s founding.

The Ouse had

been a trade route for barges since the eighteenth

century, but with the arrival of the railways, its

popularity as a means of cheap transport waned.

With the disappearance of heavy industrial

barges, the Ouse became a place for leisure. Lewes

Rowing Club was founded in June 1874, under the

presidency of William Nevill, the Earl of Lewes.

Archaeological records at Barbican House and the

Edward Reeves Photography archive have helped

to form a picture of LRC in its infancy. Early

meetings were held at the Lamb, and members

rowed in small skiffs with sails, or gigs for teams

of oarsmen. The club organised summer camps,

and photographs from the Reeves archive show

well-to-do gentlemen dressed in straw boaters,

sometimes with LRC badges pinned to their

blazers. Enthusiasm seems to have waxed and

waned throughout the early twentieth century,

likely influenced by the World Wars and the Great

Depression of the 1930s.

Not unusually, LRC was a male domain for much

of its existence. A newsletter from 1974, when the

club celebrated its centenary, describes the annual

summer barbecue: members did the cooking while

“wives and sweethearts organised themselves into

a serving squad.” In the eighties and nineties, LRC

gained a reputation for being difficult to join.

Brendon Parsons,

who served as club

secretary for a

decade before being

elected chairman in

May, says that this

closed-door culture

was down to the rise

of a new generation

of wealthy boat

owners. For LRC to

survive, its members

had to genuinely

care about the club’s history and future, rather

than just wanting somewhere to store their boat,

and the committee became highly selective about

who was allowed to join.

Today, this has changed. Although spaces are

limited, LRC is open to anyone over the age of

18 with a genuine interest in boating. Currently,

there are around 130 members from all kinds of

backgrounds – teachers, builders, artists, pilots,

carpenters – who share a commitment to keeping

the club alive. LRC barbecues still take place

every summer, and the skiffs have been replaced

by a mix of sailing yachts, motorboats, row boats,

canoes and kayaks.

Pinned up in the LRC clubhouse is an old poster

from 1910, advertising something called a “Venetian

regatta” on the Pells Pond. On July 19, LRC

is resurrecting the regatta alongside the raft race,

with boat races and a flotilla of vessels from the

club. “Nothing happens quickly at Lewes Rowing

Club,” says Parsons, “but we felt that after 105

years, it was time to have another party – and the

whole town is invited.” Moya Crockett

lewesrowingclub.co.uk. Thanks to Reeves for the

photo. Anyone interested in entering a raft for the

Lewes to Newhaven race on July 19 contact Matt

Craig via lewes-and-district.roundtable.co.uk.

92


column

Henty’s 20

John Henty recalls the joys of Eastbourne music hall

I suppose one way of

achieving a day by the

seaside in land-locked

Lewes would be to hire,

for that day, one of the

beach huts recently

established at the Dripping

Pan. You could

then pretend that the

pitch was the English

Channel - or perhaps

Mediterranean if you

have a vivid enough

imagination – local

seagulls could add to

the illusion and, as the

inevitable rain thunders

down onto the wooden

roof, you could eat the packed cheese sandwich

and maybe contemplate a paddle in one of the

puddles outside.

Alternatively, you could do what I did very

recently at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre in

Eastbourne and join the British Music Hall Society’s

Day by the Sea. It was an all day celebration

of music hall and variety with music, comedy,

guest speakers and archive film footage.

There was a full house for this unique event,

with president Roy Hudd in sparkling form, and

the Hippodrome noisily recapturing its glory

days for me. You see just after the war, a couple

of weeks on the south coast was the Henty family

holiday destination of choice and we liked

Eastbourne. We stayed in B&B accommodation

in Nelson House. The beach was just across the

road and evening entertainment was excellent.

At the open air Redoubt bandstand we enjoyed

the concert party Fun in the Air, but for real

theatre, we made for the close-by Hippodrome

in Seaside Road and I still have the three penny

programme for one show

Fireman Smith Entertains.

The delightful comedian

Sandy Powell became

known as ‘Mr Eastbourne’

in the 1950s and a couple

of months back, a plaque

was unveiled to him at his

town centre home in Elms

Avenue. I never saw Sandy

appear in Eastbourne,

although many years later

I did interview him and

his wife, Kay, when they

starred in a summer show

on Brighton’s Palace Pier

in 1975. Sandy was one of

those rare showbiz people

– very much the same off the stage as when appearing

on it. He was approachable, affable and

totally unassuming.

In fact he was very much like the chubby character

(Sir Cumference) used in our illustration

this month. Yes – it’s unmistakeably Sir Harry

Secombe. I spotted this original piece of framed

cartoon work at the most recent Ardingly antiques

fair. It was on an outside stall together with

another framed illustration of Sir Harry and I was

chuffed to acquire both for our Viva Score (£20).

The Goons, of course, were favourites of mine

and I was privileged to work last year with Harry’s

dynamic daughter, Jenny, who will be shown our

exciting finds. I’ll let you know her reaction!

The next Gorringes Fine Arts sale in North

Street, 24, 25 June, 10am. Monday auctions in

Garden Street, 1, 8, 15, 22, 29. General items

10.30am. Tuesday markets, Town Hall, 2, 9, 16,

23, 30. 9-2pm. Ardingly, 23, 24, £5 admission on

Wednesday. Wallis & Wallis, West Street, Arms

and militaria, 9 June. 10am.

93


column

David Jarman

Crossing the channel from Brighton

It was not until 1847

that the completion

of the railway link

to Newhaven by the

London, Brighton

and South Coast

Railway enabled the

town to become the

only English port

for the Dieppe sea

crossing. Before then,

Brighton was the

usual embarkation

point for Dieppe, with Shoreham being used as an

alternative if the weather was particularly stormy.

Two men, remarkable in very different ways,

wrote accounts of the Brighton crossing. In his

autobiography, Benjamin Robert Haydon recalls

the journey to France that he made in the company

of his fellow-painter, David Wilkie, at the

end of May 1814, barely a month after Napoleon’s

abdication. Their ultimate destination was not

Dieppe but Paris or, as Haydon puts it in his

characteristically fruity style, ‘that bloody and

ferocious capital, in which refinement and filth,

murder and revolution, blasphemy and heroism,

vice and virtue, alternately reigned triumphant.’

At eighteen hours, the crossing was short for

the time (Cotman’s first painting expedition

to Dieppe, in 1817, took all of forty-two hours)

which was, perhaps, just as well. The cabin was

full of French officers returning home, who

found the spectacle of Wilkie’s red nightcap, and

his unavailing attempts to ward off seasickness by

barricading himself in his berth, sources of much

boisterous merriment.

Haydon marvelled at the contrast between

Brighton – ‘gay, gambling, dissipated, the elegant

residence of an accomplished Prince, with its

beautiful women and light hussars’ – and Dieppe

– ‘dark, old, snuffy and picturesque, with its

brigand-like soldiers, its Sibylline fish-fags, its

pretty grisettes, and its screaming and chattering

boatmen.’ Whereas

the houses at

Brighton ‘present

their windows to

the ocean to let in

its freshness and

welcome its roar’,

Dieppe ‘turns her

back on the sea, as

if in sullen disgust

at the sight of an

element on which

her country has

always been beaten.’

My other traveller’s account is supplied by a man

described by Haydon as ‘a singular compound…

of malice, candour, cowardice, genius, purity,

vice, democracy and conceit’. This is the great

writer William Hazlitt. On 1 September 1824, he

left for Dieppe from the Chain Pier, which had

opened in Brighton the year before. This was the

first stage of a Journey through France and Italy,

the account of which would appear as a series of

articles in the Morning Chronicle.

Hazlitt, like Haydon before him, enjoyed ‘a fine

passage’. His ‘pleasant and unobtrusive’ fellowpassengers

included ‘an English General, proud

of his bad French’, ‘a new-married couple who

grew uxorious from the effects of sea-sickness,

and took refuge from the qualms of the disorder

in paroxysms of tenderness’, and ‘a Member of

Parliament, delighted to escape from “late hours

and bad company”’. Some solace there for Norman

Baker, perhaps.

Brighton did not please Hazlitt, who seemed to

feel that the best thing about the place was visiting

Londoners. His greatest scorn was reserved

for the Pavilion – ‘anything more fantastical, with

a greater dearth of invention, was never seen’. But

the sighting of a Frenchman, ‘playing and singing

to a guitar’, cheered Hazlitt up and reminded him

that he would soon be shot of ‘the land of Sundayschools

and spinning-jennies.’

94


column

Norman Baker

Back on civvy street

This will be my last Viva Lewes column, as I

make the transition from public figure to private

individual.

I want first to thank the literally hundreds of

local people who have sent me emails, letters,

cards, even gifts since I lost my parliamentary

seat on May 7th. Their generous and supportive

comments have been overwhelming and

very touching.

I have always known that Lewes is essentially a

Conservative seat, held by them uninterrupted

between 1874 and 1997. For the Lib Dems to

win and hold it we have needed three elements to

work together: a natural Liberal vote, a personal

vote and a tactical vote. That is a fragile combination,

and if any of the three decline significantly,

then the seat is lost.

More than ever Britain needs a Liberal voice,

and I am delighted that in the week since the

election, more than 10,000 new members have

joined the party.

I am immensely grateful to all my team for the

huge commitment they put in and am only sorry

I could not hold the seat for them. For my part,

however, I have no regrets at all, as a councillor

for 16 years, council leader for six, an MP for 18

years and a Minister for four and a half.

I have enjoyed myself as the Member of Parliament

for the Lewes constituency and I hope I have done

my best for the constituents in this area.

Thank you and goodbye.

Lewesmobile.communications

Our brand new

mobile-friendly

website arrives

01/06/15

52 High Street, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 1XE

01273 473400


column

East of Earwig

Mark Bridge studies seasonal sport in Ringmer

The phone rings. It’s mum. There’s a low level of

exasperation in her voice, which makes me wonder

whether she’s been visiting the garden centre that

can’t make a decent cappuccino. But this isn’t the

problem. “I’ve been putting Vaseline on the pole”,

she announces. “It’s not slippery enough.” I’m

pretty certain mum doesn’t have a part-time job

cleaning the fire station. I’m reasonably confident

she’s not adopted a new way of keeping fit. I don’t

remember seeing any so-called Gentleman’s Club

within walking distance of the family home. The

awkward pause prompts my mother to explain.

“Squirrels have been climbing up the bird feeder”,

she tells me. “I can’t have them stealing all the

bird food.”

As a result, mum’s garden is designed to be a

rodent assault course. Bird feeders are mounted

on greased poles or suspended from springy wires,

with food hidden in double-layer cages under

a metal dome. I’m not convinced by all this. I

reckon there’s a possibility that mum is inadvertently

training the next generation of squirrels to

be ninja-smart. It’s certainly a sporting challenge

for all concerned. I’ll be studying their progress

with interest.

Mind you, we’ve already had our share of genuine

local sporting challenges this year. Although

Rooks supporters are breathing a sigh of relief

at the end of an occasionally stomach-churning

football season, it’s been a disappointing time for

the faithful at Ringmer FC’s Caburn ground. A

troubled season ended with a disastrous 8-0 defeat

that left the first team heading for a drop into

Division 2 of the Sussex County Football League.

Well, that’s where they would be if the Sussex

County Football League still existed. Instead,

from the end of May, it’s been transformed into

the Southern Combination Football League. I’d

be prepared to argue that it’s not relegation if

you’re starting the next season in a brand-new

league. Pioneers, not victims.

And some of our local footballers are still playing.

In fact, many of the youngest are preparing for a

major tournament. It happens during the weekend

of Sat 13 and Sun 14, it’s hosted by the Ringmer

Rovers Junior Football Club and it takes place on

the well-appointed sports field of Ringmer Community

College. Hundreds of visitors are expected

for what’s now the eighth annual Summer Football

Festival. I’m told there will be tea, coffee, cake,

ice creams and a barbecue... so everyone wins, I

reckon. Alternatively, if you like outdoor sport but

football’s not really your game, Ringmer Cricket

Club has an assortment of teams catering for

various ages and abilities. Better still, the club’s

picturesque home on the village green is enhanced

by a pavilion that contains a bar. On a sunny

afternoon, there’s every chance I can be persuaded

to enjoy a pint on their balcony. In pole position,

you might say.

97


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trade secrets

Gary Blount

Gulet-Barefoot-Cruises

Tell us about yourself. I’m Lewes-based, and, by

profession, an aircraft interior design engineer.

How did you came to be running Gulet Barefoot

Cruises? Lady Sovereign was my first boat.

Then I got married and had children, so I sold it to

buy a house! The kids grew up, and, after a ten year

search, I found a traditional gulet in Marmaris in

December 2013. I bought and renovated it, named

her Lady Sovereign II, and now organise cruises.

Where do you go? Along the Turkish coast, east

towards Fethiye, or west towards Datça, stopping

in some of the most beautiful bays that are only

accessible by boat. We also have a route around the

Greek Dodecanese islands.

Describe the facilities. Seven double cabins, all

en suite with air conditioning - although most

people end up sleeping on deck. It’s so beautiful,

under the stars. There’s a lounge with bar, galley

and storeroom. The crew cabin is separate. The

outdoor space has a shaded aft deck for lounging

and alfresco dining, plus there’s a large sun deck.

Guests can swim, snorkel, canoe and fish from the

boat. We have a dinghy too, so you can water ski.

What’s your favourite part of being at sea? The

freedom. The clear turquoise water. Moving such a

vessel with just the wind. It’s a beautiful feeling.

Tell us about the yoga. Certain cruises include an

instructor, who offers two yoga sessions a day on

the sun deck. Mats and blocks are provided, and we

don’t charge extra for the yoga.

Can people sail it themselves, or is it only

rented with crew? Only with crew - a minimum

of three. Altay the captain, the chef and a sailor,

sometimes plus two more in high season. We are

happy for guests to be as hands-on as they wish.

Who cooks? The chef, Tui. He’s superb. It’s a

major part of the whole holiday.

What sort of food? Turkish. He’ll do a barbecue,

cook fish twice a week. And if you charter the

whole boat, you can choose your own menu.

Is Lady Sovereign II only available to hire as a

whole, or can people book a cabin? You can just

book a cabin.

What happens if the sea is choppy? On the

Turkish routes, we just pull into a cove/bay until

the storm passes. That’s harder on the Greek

route. But it doesn’t happen often.

How much does it cost? Whole boat charter is

£8,094 all inclusive, per week for up to 14 people in

June (apart from one meal, when I give the chef the

night off and guests go for a meal ashore). Flights

to Dalaman/Rhodes are not included, but budget

airlines operate on these routes.

Interview by Emma Chaplin

For more details of prices and booking, see

gulet-barefoot-cruises.com, or call 07710 466981.

99


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DIRECTORY

Please note that though we aim to only take advertising from reputable businesses, we cannot guarantee

the quality of any work undertaken, and accept no responsibility or liability for any issues arising.

To advertise in Viva Lewes please call 01273 434567 or email advertising@vivalewes.com

LEWES

Directory Spotlight: Sally Holder, plantswoman

Plants are my passion, and to

come up with new combinations is

extremely exciting.

I began working as a jobbing

gardener in 1995 after taking numerous

courses, mainly at Plumpton

College. I’ve found that the best

knowledge comes from hands-on experience.

These days I offer a tailor-made service of preparation,

planning, and specialised maintenance.

My clients are very much involved in choosing how

they would like their garden to develop. Most have

an idea of shape and colour, but have yet to put

names to what they’re after. Visits to nurseries work

well, we pull out suitable plants they like and put

these alongside plants we know are already in their

garden - especially inspiring for foliage combinations.

It’s intense yet quick, gets somewhere, and

works for remaining within budget.

I was fortunate to grow up surrounded

by wonderful art (my father

was an art dealer). It left a deep

impression. We had an amazing

garden, with a beautiful cave-like

interior weeping beech. My own

garden is a changing and on-going experiment of

plants I may not necessary like but definitely find,

at this moment anyway, interesting. Combinations

are the obvious keys to the personalisation of any

garden, whether formal or more naturalised.

The majority of my lovely clients are in Lewes

with chalk soil, as well as some outside the town,

where it rapidly changes to clay-based soil. Gardens

are magical. What I wish to achieve for people is that

they use their garden with feelings of joy and relaxation.

07833 171656, 01273 400599

101


home

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home

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105


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107


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health and Well being

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109


Health & Well being

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iva Lewes 45highx62wide.indd 1 16/11/2010 20:45


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Andrew Wells_Viva Lewes_AW.indd 1 25/06/2012 09:05

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lake larks

This Reeves photo is from 1900, and is entitled ‘Vinall’s Boat, Mr G side view’. It’s taken from beside

the Pells rec, looking across the main island where the pond turns a corner. Money donated for schemes

to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 led to the creation of the Recreation Ground –

which we gather was Lewes’ first public park. The Pells was a key leisure area for the town, the lake used

for boating, the islands planted with flowers. The brick wall we can see behind the attractively coiffed

merman is the New School, then the Pells school. This was probably one of a number of ‘Venetian’ fêtes

held on the ‘Pells Lake’, featuring pageants with floats, organised by Lewes Rowing Club. These took

place on summer evenings; hundreds of candles in jars were hung on the islands, surrounding trees and

floats themselves. It must have been magical. Lewes Town Band played, and there was a competition for

the best-decorated boat. Two things of current interest – one is that the islands on the Pells, which have

become increasingly overgrown over the years, have recently been trimmed back. This is part of scheme

to improve the habitat and water quality – reducing for example the green algae bloom. The ducks

certainly seem to like it – they now stand in sunshine on the islands rather than the outside of the pond,

and we were assured that there were no nests disturbed. The other interesting news is that the Rowing

Club are helping organise the 40th annual Raft Race to Newhaven, along with the Lewes Round Table.

This is due to take place on 19 July, with a 70s theme, as part of a big Regatta on the Ouse the Rowing

Club are organising. Rather excitingly, for the first time, the Raft Race route will go through the town.

Thanks to Reeves for permission to use this photograph, edwardreeves.com

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