Viva Lewes Issue 111 December 2015


DEC 2015

ISSUE No.111



Tuesday 15 December, 10am to 4pm

Brighton and Hove Offi ce

Bonhams picture specialist will be in the Brighton

and Hove offi ce to off er free and confi dential advice

on items you may be considering selling at auction.



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19 Palmeira Square

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‘Evening sunlight - Navplion’




A few years ago, in Lewes Waitrose, with a handful of items in my basket, I realised with

some glee that I could fast-track my way through to the till for customers with ‘fewer than

eight items’. Most of that glee came from the fact I’d noticed a similar sign in Tescos a few

days earlier for shoppers with ‘less than ten’. These are national chains: some committee at

head office Waitrose must have decided to be strictly grammatical, their equivalent at Tesco

to go with the vernacular flow. As a former English teacher and sub-editor (once a sub,

always a sub) I’d agree more with the Waitrose policy, but strangely, when a similar matter

arose about this month’s Viva theme, I went the other way. In order to honour the strong

tradition of jewellery-making in Lewes, and make a reference to the refulgent nature of

Yuletide, it was decided that this should be the ‘all that glisters’ issue. Or should that be ‘all

that glitters’? Should we be true to Shakespeare’s actual words in The Merchant of Venice, or

the modern interpretation most widely used today? I voted for the latter, but we never really

all agreed, so we ended up leaving it open. Let’s finish by remembering the unequivocal end

of the sentence, ‘…is not gold’, a fine reminder that the seasonal period is all about being

with friends and family and having a laugh - but only if you can, and you feel like it. That’s far

enough bah-humbug worthiness for the moment, but do remember there’s only one way to

say the word ‘more’, so be careful if you’re of a self-indulgent bent. Enjoy the issue…

The Team


EDITOR: Alex Leith

SUB-EDITOR: David Jarman

STAFF WRITERS: Rebecca Cunningham, Steve Ramsey

ART DIRECTOR: Katie Moorman

ADVERTISING: Sarah Hunnisett, Amanda Meynell

EDITORIAL/ADMIN ASSISTANT: Isabella McCarthy Sommerville

PUBLISHER: Lizzie Lower,

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

REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS: Jacky Adams, Michael Blencowe, Sarah Boughton, Mark Bridge, Emma Chaplin, Moya

Crockett, Mark Greco, John Henty, Mat Homewood, Paul Austin Kelly, Chloë King, 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.

the ‘all that glitters’ issue


Bits and bobs.

10-31. Emma Carlow’s cover art,

Chelsea Renton’s Lewes, Daisy

Ashford, Carlotta Luke’s Phoenix

industries, chappy advice on boozing,

and plenty more.


33-37. David Jarman on holidays (or

the lack of them), Chloë King on

Christmas cards and Mark Bridge on

a takeaway coffee cup (literally, as it


In Town this Month.

39-41. Lewes Speakers Winter

Festival. We meet Charles Clarke and

Melvyn Bragg.

43. Ray Brooks, the voice of Mr Benn.



45. Enchanted Lewes light up

Southover Grange.

46-47. John Napier, theatre

designer, at Towner in Eastbourne.

49. We visit Ditchling Museum.

51-53. Art and About. Tom

Homewood’s skyscapes at Flint,

Little Wonders at St Anne’s and

what’s what further afield.

55-56. ’Tis the season to let loose

with the vocal chords. Classical and

Christmas carol round-up.

57. Cinema. Life of Brian… in a

deconsecrated church.

59-65. Diary dates. What’s on,

where, when.

67-68. Gig guide. Rock, pop and

jazz dates. And gypsy swing, too.

71-77. Free time. What’s what for

the under 16s, this month with

festive antlers.


at Middle Farm

Aromatic English-grown Christmas

trees, locally-made hedgerow

wreaths. Original gift ideas and

delightful decorations.

Middle Farm, Firle, Lewes, East Sussex BN8 6LJ

Christmas order line 01323 811411

the ‘all that glisters’ issue


Food and drink.

79-87. Mulled cider at the Black

Horse, scallops and duck at the

Griffin, stuffing at Pelham House, and

the low-down on bubbly.

Shopping special.

89-101. Gifts made in Lewes, Carlotta

Luke checks out the way Farmers’

Market stallholders at work.


Late Night

Shopping Guide.

103-110. We host a mag within a mag

for you to carry round on the 3rd

December, courtesy of the Chamber

of Commerce.

All that glitters.

110-111. Lewes jewellery gift ideas.


Regular features.

113-121. Lewes Out Loud, Michael

Blencowe’s blackcap, Lewes manager

Darren Freeman, The Foundry

Gallery and Bluauto’s trade secrets.

138. Inside Left. Royal Horse Artillery

conscripts, on their way to the

Western Front, 1915.


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, and for any advertising

queries, contact, or call 01273 434567.


this month’s cover artist: Emma carlow

This month’s cover was designed by Emma Carlow,

a graphic designer and illustrator who works from a

buzzing creative space tucked away in St Anne’s Galleries.

“I’ve been a textile designer for years,” she explains,

“mainly working on children’s designs, but recently

I’ve started working on adults’ textiles.” About

a year ago, she set out to design a ‘colouring-in tablecloth’

- an idea sparked by a Clothkits one she had as

a child. “I thought a colouring-in tablecloth would be

brilliant! But it was easier to start by getting the design

printed onto paper.” The result was a huge colouringin

poster measuring 61cm by 84cm, enough to keep

big and little colourers busy for hours. “It would be

a great thing to have in the office, for when you’re

standing waiting for the photocopier.”

The poster brings back memories of school maths

books with squared paper, the grids filled with

tiny doodles and shapes. “I really like graphics for

text books and sketchbooks,” Emma says, “and the

colours – the sort of pinks and beiges.” From her

original poster, with a white background, she experimented

with different colours to give us a festive

Viva special. She uses mainly primary colours in

her work, but does like to throw in ‘the odd clash

here and there’. And for this month’s festive edition,

she’s added some Christmassy shapes too: a Father

Christmas, and a Christmas pudding.

In the New Year, Emma will be launching a line of

wallpapers called ‘Wallplayper’, all inspired by children’s

craft activities. “I always have origami paper

near me,” she says, and this helped inspire one of the

wallpaper designs. “It’s based on Tangrams, an old

Chinese game: you have

a square box with wooden

DEC 2015

shapes inside and you

ISSUE No.111

rearrange the shapes to

make up different animals

or people.”

Another design is created

using a ‘sunprint’ which

is usually done on photographic

paper, by laying

flat objects like leaves on top of the paper and leaving

it in the sun to expose. “Depending on the brightness

it can take ten minutes, or on a dull day, half an hour.”

The sheet can then be developed to leave an exact

silhouette of the object. Emma has come up with a

method of sunprinting onto fabric, by laying on a

photosensitive solution. This Cyanotype process

means that the background of the print comes out in

‘a beautiful blue’. “Because I’m quite a neat person, I

like to throw in a process that will mess things up a

bit!” Rebecca Cunningham

Visit Emma’s Etsy shop StuffbyEmmaCarlow or contact

her be e-mail at



Photo bny Alex Leith

my lewes

Chelsea Renton, Artist, Phoenix Rising activist

Are you local? I was brought up just outside

Offham. As a young adult I went to London and

off abroad, and got married and got divorced and

then I came back to this area – to Firle to be precise

- with two tiny children, ‘just for a while’.

That was 17 years ago.

What do you remember of Lewes when you

were a kid? We used to come here shopping,

and for treats. I only remember two restaurants:

La Cucina (where we used to eat squid) and the

Kwong Ming, which is now the Panda Garden.

My mum used to run a lot of 50-50 shops, with

benefits going to the homeless. And there was

Clothkits, of course.

What was living in Firle as a single mum like?

Wonderful. After a while I knew I could turn up

at any door between Beddingham and Alciston in

my pyjamas at any time of day or night and be

welcomed in for a glass of wine and a chat.

So you stayed on… At first I felt like a failure,

but I came to realise that there’s a lot to be said

for moving back to where you’re from. Because

there’s still a really wide circle of people from all

walks of life – whether it’s the person who fitted

your shoes in Clark’s when you were four or the

parents of someone you went to primary school

with – that you know. It’s like returning to a nest

and it’s rather wonderful.

And now you live in Lewes… I moved back two

years ago when all the driving to and from Priory

got too much. I’m an artist, and I got a studio in

the Phoenix Estate. That’s when I found out about

all the incredible industrious and creative stuff

that was going on in all the other warehouses. You

know when you walk through Lewes and you feel

there’s an edge to it? The Phoenix area is the engine

room of that feeling, and it all wafts up from

there. On December 10th we’ll hear whether the

South Downs National Park and the Council have

accepted Santon’s redevelopment plan, which will

put an end to it all.

What’s your gut feeling as to how the decision

will go? I think we’ve turned a foregone conclusion

into a highly contentious issue. This is the

biggest development plan in a generation and it

doesn’t deliver the sort of affordable housing and

workspaces that will enable people of all different

incomes to work and live in the town, which

means, if it gets through, the social cleansing of

Lewes will continue.

Which is your favourite bit of the estate? The

far end of the Foundry Workshop. There are

some remarkable people there who can make you

anything you want. A 50-metre fire-breathing animatronic

rabbit by Saturday? No problem…

Where would you live if not in Lewes? On the

island of Tiree in the Hebrides. My mother’s family

have had a home there for 150 years, and I’ve

spent 95% of my holidays there.

Interview by Alex Leith







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its and bobs

vox pop tamara taylor from sussex downs college asks:

What will you put on top of your christmas tree?

“For Christmas I’m getting

a green artificial tree and on

top will be an angel I made

when I was 5.” Dana Burring

“Our family doesn’t celebrate

Christmas so we get

some nice time off instead!”

Kiera McGee

“We’re getting a black

artificial tree, decorated with

sparkly skulls! On top we’ll

probably put a Wookiee!”

Bianca, Alan, & Alice Davis-Venss

“We’re getting a fresh tree -

the real deal! On top we will

put just a simple star.”

Monika Barden

“We’re getting a real

tree and I’ll put a

fairy on top!”

Silvia Wilkins

“We’re getting a white and

silver artificial tree and a

silver star will fit on the top”

Steve & Riley White


its and bobs

ian seccombe’s point of view

Ian’s latest photograph is, as ever, bang on theme, and for the second time running, comes with a salient

Shakespeare quote. “‘All that glisters is not gold’ (The Merchant of Venice, II, vii),” he writes. “At this

time of year golden bracken can look wonderful in the sunlight but in the summer it’s a real menace,

swamping other plants and choking the pathways. Lane End Common, North Chailey.”

town plaques #9: greyfriars gateway

On the curve of Friars Walk, just before All Saints church, is a gateway

that looks like it might be a back gate to the churchyard. When unlocked,

you can get in that way, but the stone arch was ‘transplanted’ in

the 19th century from the old Greyfriars a couple of hundred metres

away, a monastic site which stood where Fitzroy House and the Magistrate’s

Court car park (surely soon to be renamed…) once stood. Excavations

in the 1980s showed extensive foundations, going under the old

Uckfield railway line viaduct over Cliffe High Street. The Greyfriars,

a mission-centred, socially-concerned Franciscan order, came to Lewes

in the early thirteenth century and this was one of the last Friaries to

be closed, late in 1538. The narrow strip of land behind the archway is

manorial waste – of disputed ownership from ancient times - which is

now tended by volunteers. Marcus Taylor


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its and pubs

ghost pubs: #14 the tanners arms/brewery tap

This long-closed establishment was named after Baxter’s Tanyards,

which lay opposite the pub, and had employed many

of Malling Street’s residents. However, being situated next

to the Elmsley’s South Malling Steam Brewery, the Tanners

Arms was also known as the ‘Brewery Tap’. In 1856 it was

described as having ‘a coach house, stables, cart lodge, and

spacious yard’, with the pub itself being ‘roomy, convenient,

and well calculated for casual lodgers.’ The Tanners Arms was

one of the victims of the great Lewes pub cull of 1907. There

were eight pubs in Malling Street at that time, and three were

deemed superfluous. Alfred Burgess was the then landlord, and despite a relatively good trade, selling an

average of 98 barrels of beer each year, he was forced out of his business. Fortunately, this wonderful building

still survives. I was lucky enough to be shown round the property by its current owner, Andy Holyer.

The old snug is now his living room, and much of the bar area still exists and has been incorporated into

the modern layout. Many thanks to Andy for this photograph as well. Mat Homewood

Lewes Theatre Club in numbers

‘All that glisters’ is a quote from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. Lewes

Theatre Club was founded in 1939 and celebrated its 75th anniversary

in 2014. 546 productions have been staged since 1941, averaging

6 to 8 each year. Of these, 25 have been plays by Shakespeare and the

Merchant of Venice has been staged once, in 1969. Lewes Little Theatre

seats 154 people at its premises in Lancaster Street.

patina lanterns

Deck the halls with bells

and holly… and the windows

with Christmas lanterns.

Once again Patina is

coming to the rescue when

it comes to Lewes High

Street’s paucity of Christmas

lights: they are hiring

out Christmas lanterns to

shops and houses, with all the proceeds going to the kids’ parade

in July. Lanterns with LED lights are on sale for a three-week

period for affordable prices between £20 (for a 50cm diameter

‘Shining Star Lantern’) and £35 (for a large 8ocm ‘Christmas

Tree Lantern’). Please contact to order.

Photos by Peter Whyte Miles Jenner as Richard III by Adrian Bowd


photo of the month


This month’s photo was taken by Mat Homewood, who the eagle eyed among you will recognise as

our ‘Ghost pubs’ correspondent. “I often go for a run from Lewes to Kingston via the Jugg’s Road

track, which is a beautiful route,” he writes. “By the time I was approaching Ashcombe Mill on this

particular evening, the sun was just setting and the sky looked amazing. I should have kept going on

my training run, but just couldn’t resist getting my phone out and taking a few pics.” What particularly

struck him was that the windmill, which for three years has had just a couple of sails, had acquired

its full set of six… making it the exact replica of the original, which was built in 1828 and blown down

in a gale in 1916. “The final two sweeps had recently been added to the mill, and I really wanted to get

all six in somehow, so I ended up tramping around in the field in my running gear in the semi-darkness,

trying to find the best angle before the sun disappeared below the horizon. You can just about see

all six sweeps in the photo.” We featured the windmill in issue 73, in which its creator James Tasker

promised the remaining sails would go up eventually. It’s been a long haul, but he’s finally been true to

his word, and should be congratulated on completing a remarkable project.

Please send your pictures, taken in and around Lewes, to 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 and online.


its and bobs

lewes worthy: daisy ashford

The Young Visiters was ‘the book over

which half London is laughing, the

other half having to wait while more

copies are being printed,’ the Daily

Mail noted in spring 1919. Daisy

Ashford, then aged 38, had written it

when she was nine years old and living

in Southdown House, St Anne’s

Crescent. The Ashford family spent 15 years

here, and fostered, in the Dictionary of National

Biography’s words, ‘a cheerful and affectionate

family atmosphere in which all the children

were encouraged to write’.

When Daisy’s mother died, in 1917, the family

found a box of ‘childhood relics’ including stories

by Daisy and her sister Angela, biographer

RM Malcolmson writes. These ‘were read amid

gales of laughter,’ but there were no plans to

publish The Young Visiters until Daisy

gave the novel to a friend who had

flu, to cheer her up, and the friend got

Chatto and Windus interested. There

was a chance of both sisters’ books

being published, but someone at

Chatto ‘decided that it was impossible

to publish books by two middle-aged

prodigies simultaneously without the whole

world believing that they were fraudulent,’ (the

Times) and went for The Young Visiters alone.

Ashford, ‘a shy and unworldly person, was

touched but astonished by her new-found

fame,’ the DNB notes. Some of her other childhood

stories were subsequently published, but

she didn’t write as an adult, except for part of

an autobiography, which she later burned. She

died in January 1972, aged 90. SR






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its and bobs

Book Review: The One Pot Cook

Who needs a book about one-pot cookery? As former

Lewes resident Hattie Ellis says in her introduction to The

One Pot Cook (Head of Zeus, 2015), ‘Most of us start out

as one-pot cooks’. I know I did. The first thing I learnt

was leek and potato soup; still my simplest, most soulful

dish, and perfect for sharing. It seems it’s for precisely this

reason that I need Hattie’s book: to break me out of the

habit of making the same old stuff day-to-day. The One Pot

Cook is a manual for honest eaters. Hattie’s recipes are solid,

approachable and broad – with The One Pot Cook containing

150, some gathered on faraway travels and others, versions

of European classics. Also refreshing is the decision to

package it as a photography-free, hardback edition illustrated

by Emily Faccini. I’m reminded of those fabulous

no-nonsense cookbooks my mum had in the eighties, by

Jane Grigson and Rose Elliot. CK

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phoenix at work

photos by carlotta luke

This month we asked our about-town photographer

Carlotta Luke to round up a handful

of the extremely diverse activities going on in

the North Street Industrial Estate, whose fate

will be decided by the Planning Department of

the South Downs National Park on December

10th. And so we have, clockwise from top left:

Studio Hardie carpentry; Community Chef;

The Foundry Studios, The Dance Academy;

The Foundry Gallery. Let’s hope all these

businesses have a healthy future in town, one

way or another.


ooks and bobs

Book Review: Mapping the second world war

First came Mapping the First World War, a mammoth effort by Lewes-based

historian, cartographer, artist (etc etc) Peter Chasseaud, telling the story of the

1914-18 conflict using maps, culled from both the Allied and Central Power

forces. Now Peter has published a follow-up, Mapping the Second World War,

published by Collins (£30) in association with Imperial War Museums. The

book is divided into chapters delineating different fronts, from the German

invasion of Poland in 1939 to the Allied push in the Pacific in 1945. It makes

for fascinating reference material, and will be invaluable for historians of that

period. But it’s of interest to the layman, too; great browsing material for anyone

interested in that period. It hit me at an emotional as well as intellectual

level: it’s rather chilling, seeing the plans for fierce and bloody battles like Arnhem, drawn up so clinically

on paper before the event. Most chilling of all are the German maps for Operation Sealion, the proposed

invasion of England, showing proposed Nazi troop movements through Kent and East Sussex. AL

Book Review: True Tales from the Old Hill

Last year the people behind The Frogmore Papers, that quarterly poetry anthology

published in Lewes, asked writers who live in and around the town to contribute

true-life stories to a collection, True Tales from the Old Hill (£10). The

idea was inspired by a similar collection by the American novelist Paul Auster,

which resulted in his True Tales of American Life. Participants were asked to limit

their stories to 750 words, and not to worry where they were set; just as long

as they were based on fact not fiction. There are some familiar names in there,

not least a number of Viva writers past and present, including Beth Miller, who

writes a beautiful story about a game on a train, Alexandra Loske, who explores

friendship and gifts, and Steve Ramsay [sic], who wonders, in a round-about

way, about the nature of fact, and fiction. Great stuff. AL


Two prominent Lewesians - Gustav Temple and Olly Smith - have got together

and written a smart and witty users guide for booze. Gustav, being the

editor of The Chap Magazine, is an expert on the etiquette of drinking; Olly,

as wine critic for the Daily Mail, knows a thing or two about the booze itself.

The book takes you through the wherewithal of different cocktails, spirits,

wines, beers and ciders, giving hints as to what to wear when you’re drinking

them, what to stock in your drinks cabinet, and how to cure a hangover.

Every now and again there’s a chapter devoted to a ‘Legend of Libation’, a

chap (inevitably) who was particularly dedicated to booze (take a bow Kingsley

Amis, Oliver Reed etc). Oh, and there are also a series of pictures of the

two authors looking dandily sombre in various local drinking holes. The drinking man’s Bible? I wouldn’t

go that far, but a fine Christmas present for the tippler in your life. £14.99. AL


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Zest Sussex, the Lewes

based training project

for adults with learning

disabilities is under threat

from Council cuts.

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comfort and joy

Festive good causes

Spread the Christmas cheer...

During this festive season, it’s easy to get carried

away with the gifts and the decorating and the food

and the parties… so here’s a little reminder of a few

of the things we can do to spread the Christmas

spirit around the whole of our community this year.

Visit the Cards for Good Causes charity Christmas

card shop at Lewes House on School Hill to buy

cards, wrapping paper and gift tags, all of which help

to raise money for charity. The charities include local

causes like the Raystede animal sanctuary and St.

Peter and St. James Hospice. The shop will be open

from Mon – Sat, 10am-4pm until the 16th, and they

will be open for Late Night Shopping on the 3rd.

Donate a Christmas dinner. Lewes has four food

banks: Landport, Malling (operating from Kings

church), Lewes Food Bank (based at Demontfort

Estate) and Food 4 Seahaven, which are all run by

volunteers. They need extra support over the Christmas

period and welcome donations of non-perishable

foods and toiletries, from local residents as well

as businesses.

Join your local food drive. FareShare is a national

food redistribution project, taking in surplus from supermarkets

and shops and giving it to local community

organisations, like lunch clubs, children’s centres,

women’s refuges and food banks. The Sussex branch

are always looking for volunteers, particularly van

drivers. To get involved, e-mail faresharebh@gmail.

com or donate at

From the 3rd – 5th FareShare will be running the

Big Neighbourhood Food Collection with Tesco,

the Lewes Tesco being one of the stores involved.

They encourage customers to purchase an extra item

or two with their shopping which they can donate to

Fareshare on their way out. Find out how you can

help at

On the 5th and 6th The Oyster Project will be presenting

The Infant King at the Westgate Chapel. The

project is run by its members: creative people with a

range of conditions and mental health issues, including

cerebral palsy, autism, ME and other physical

and learning disabilities. There will be carol-singing

during the first half followed by their unique rendition

of the Nativity. Tickets at

Lewes Vox Choir hold their second annual Christmas

concert at the Royal Oak in Barcombe on Sunday

13th at 7pm, raising money for the Rockinghorse

charity and Save the Children. Last year they

managed to raise £700 for charity and they would

love your help to do the same again this year! For

ticket availability, e-mail

Zest Sussex is a community interest organisation

which trains young adults with learning disabilities

or autism, giving them invaluable skills in

customer service and team work, so that they can

take steps towards paid employment. Zest are under

threat of closure from council cuts. They need

your support: sign their online petition or find

out more about fundraising at

The Rotary Club of Lewes are holding their annual

fundraiser, ‘The Christmas Tree of Goodwill’

between the 8th and the 23rd. Santa and his sleigh

will be collecting door-to-door donations to provide

food vouchers to less fortunate families in the community.


If you’re sending cards to loved ones in Lewes, the

Lewes Post local delivery service will be running

again, for 20p per card. Leave your cards at one of

the addresses involved (see our Facebook page for

details) by 4pm on the 16th. RC

Photo by Rebecca Cunningham


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David Jarman

A reluctant traveller

Not long ago, I was

trying to identify the

defining characteristics,

if any, of the

book group to which

I belong. There

are nine of us; four

men, five women.

We’re not all gay or

feminists (at least,

I’m not) or widowed.

My wife says that the

unifying feature of

book groups is that

they’re all unbearably

smug, but I hope

that’s not true of us.

We don’t even all live

in Lewes, and have second homes in France. But

one thing that I did notice is that we divide almost

equally between inveterate travellers and those

who seldom venture beyond the end of the street.

I go to London often, but I definitely fall into

the second category. Some years, the only nights

I’m away are when I’m staying with my friend,

Iana, in Battersea, after a late night prom, or in

Islington, with my friends, Chris and Molly, after

going to the Almeida Theatre. This year I haven’t

even managed that, and with December upon us,

I realise I’ve not spent one night away from King

Henry’s Road.

These thoughts are prompted by my book group’s

choice for December, Anne Tyler’s novel The

Accidental Tourist. Macon is the author of a series

of guidebooks for those forced to travel abroad

on business – The Accidental Tourist in Belgium, for

example. They are updated regularly – ‘I am happy

to say that it’s possible now to buy Kentucky Fried

Chicken in Stockholm’. Published in 1985, did it, I

wonder, influence the film Withnail and I, released

the following year? I’m thinking of the scene

when Withnail,

languishing in the

depths of the English

countryside, solicits

help from a passing

farmer with the line:

“We’ve come on

holiday by accident.”

The first sentence of

The Accidental Tourist

reads: ‘They were

supposed to stay at

the beach a week,

but neither of them

had the heart for it

and they decided to

come back early.’ It

reminds me of a story

told by John Banville. He once saw a postcard

from the playwright, Brian Friel, who was holidaying

in the South of France. It read: ‘Here for two

weeks, one with good behaviour.’

Philip Larkin once told an interviewer that he

would like to go to China, but only if he could

come back the same day. Will Alsop, paying tribute

to his fellow architect, Cedric Price (his best

known buildings were the aviary at London Zoo

and a café, designed for Blackpool Zoo, but later

turned into the giraffe house!), remembered that

Price ‘took no holiday apart from an annual 24-

hour break which he organised with two friends.

All I know was that they would meet somewhere

and return 24 hours later for breakfast at the Ritz.

Then he would come back to the office, wrecked.’

Frank Auerbach, as recorded in Catherine

Lampert’s recent book on the artist, also took one

day’s holiday a year, invariably spent on Brighton

Pier. But eventually he decided that even one day’s

absence from the easel smacked of levity, and he

abandoned the practice. So, all in all, perhaps I’m

in good company.


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Chloë King

Card times

The best Christmas I can remember

was the year that Dad died. It takes

exceptional circumstances, you see,

to convince your best friends to

give up their family Christmases to

spend the holiday with an orphaned

friend instead.

It wasn’t that I didn’t miss my folks.

It was that the joy of Christmas - the

booze, the board games - gave me

pause from sadness. I discovered that

year, that Christmas has a magical

ability to punctuate grief with celebration;

in the same way I had already

learnt it could underline separation.

Now my daughter is old enough

to know salt dough from biscuit,

I expect my ‘best Christmas’ tally

to go up rapidly. At the time of

writing, however, 2007 still marks

the top spot: with its emergency

cheeseboard donated by staff at The

White Hart, and Steve’s charade of

the opening scene to Sexy Beast.

It was also the year that marked the

beginning of a new life stage. I was

newly responsible for the roast, the

tree, and the cards. Oh, the cards.

Ever since I have sent cards to my

parent’s list, members of which

will perhaps be surprised to hear

that I did so in exclusion of my

own friends. What kind of weird

psychology is this?

The first year it was fine. I had

something to say: a thank you for

the sympathy, the attendance. But

with each year that passed, sending these cards made me feel

more set apart. In some would be a few words about children –

strangers, now fully grown; perhaps there would be an invite

that couldn’t be honoured; maybe a hurried ‘how are you?’

The ritual of writing these cards started to make me feel

weighed down. I imagined my own must appear to their

recipients like spectres of friendship lost. My grief I felt more

strongly, so I stopped.

Last year, I didn’t send any. But as the cards dropped through

the letterbox with the same regularity as they do every Christmas,

my sense of relief and self-government turned to guilt. I

looked up at the strings of cards and I thought how nice it is

to be considered, even in a small way, and even by people with

whom you have little to do.

I thought of the rarity of receiving any kind of handwritten communication

now there is Facebook. I thought of the drawers of

ephemera that have helped me laugh or learn something on rainy

afternoons. I thought of Mum’s cousin’s eccentric handmade

cards that we would baffle at every year until they stopped coming,

and in a small but significant way, Christmas was never the

same again.

This is a very sentimental column, I’m afraid, but it is Christmas.

I may live to regret this announcement, but this year I’m planning

to send cards not just to my parents’ friends, but to my own

mates as well. January’s column is projected to be an overdue

rant about postal prices.

Illustration by Chloë King


Lewes Mobile Communications

Wishing all of our

customers a

Happy Christmas

& prosperous

New Year

52 High Street, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 1XE 01273 473400


East of Earwig

Mark Bridge is in his cups

Apparently coffee mega-retailer Starbucks has

declared war on Christmas. This season’s takeaway

cups are plain red, which some activists

say is an attack on Christianity. However, it’s

not the lack of festive decoration on the cups

that troubles me. It’s their arrival eight weeks

before Christmas.

Honestly, I’m not an anti-Christmas grouch.

I’m merely an anti-Christmas-in-Octoberand-November

campaigner, with a little bit of


thrown in for extra flavour. Humbug flavour,

of course.

For example, I love a bit of Nat King Cole;

I just don’t want to hear about his roasting

chestnuts when Hallowe’en pumpkins are still

on sale. I’d like my Christmas to be focussed

on innocent childhood wishes,

the annual emergence of tissuewrapped

tree decorations, frosty

mornings, sparkling tinsel and

twinkling candles, not Coca-

Cola’s illuminated truck and

ironic retro-styled jumpers. In

many ways I’m hoping for an

updated Victorian Christmas,

packed with plum

puddings and candlelit

carols but without the

cholera and workhouse

poverty. But what if this

wasn’t a dream. What if

it was the law?

Let me take you back to

Thursday 12th November,

when the village of

Ringmer went to the polls.

Don’t worry, people of

Lewes, you didn’t miss out.

Your polling cards weren’t

lost in the post. This one

was just for us. You see, we

voted in a referendum to

determine whether we wanted Lewes District

Council and the South Downs National Park

Authority to use Ringmer’s own ‘neighbourhood

plan’ when ruling on planning applications.

It was all about decentralisation: I’m

told our ‘yes’ vote means we villagers will have

more control over local development. Maybe

we’re now only a small step from a second referendum

vote that would give us full independence

from our neighbours.

And come that day, we could choose to be the

UK’s first village with legally enforceable rules

about Christmas. No longer would shops be

permitted to sell jellied fruits in September or

install their lustrous point-of-sale displays during

British Summer Time. Instead, our festive

preparation would begin 12 days before Christmas

and would end exactly 12 days

afterwards. Gifts would be restricted

to those mentioned in traditional

texts: toy drums, dolls, kiddie cars,

gold rings, partridges, that kind of

thing. Stockings, not pillowcases,

would hang from fireplaces.

And sales of cranberry sauce

would be strictly rationed.

Or perhaps the citizens

of this newly liberated

Ringmer wouldn’t be

too bothered about how

anyone celebrated the

season as long as they

were having fun. Actually,

despite the occasional

grumble, that’s definitely

the choice I’d make. Goodwill

to all. Fireworks, fairy

lights, feasting… whatever

you choose. Mine’s a skinny

gingerbread latte with cream

and extra sprinkles. But

not before 13th December,



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in town this month: speakers’ festival

Charles Clarke

On Jeremy Corbyn and other Labour leaders

‘Corbyn is a ludicrous

vessel for the hopes of the

disaffected,’ Charles Clarke

recently claimed. This is the

outspoken Clarke, who, as

a Labour MP, was happy to

criticise Gordon Brown’s

leadership, publically and

strongly and repeatedly.

But when I spoke to the former

Home Secretary, he was

Clarke the cautious, reserved

intellectual, co-editor of the

book British Labour Leaders.

In it, he argues that ‘leadership

is a tough role, and we

think the leaders deserve the

respect of being assessed by

authors who have sympathy

for their many dilemmas’. He

still criticised Jeremy Corbyn

in our interview. Just not so strongly.

What kind of psychological toll does the

pressure of leadership, doing such a complex

job under such high public scrutiny, have on

people? Well, it’s very substantial. You just have

to look at the grey hairs on all leaders to see that

that is a reality. You need stamina, particularly

in the current climate of 24/7 accountability. I

think it’s very difficult for leaders to maintain

a sense of balance, and that’s one of the tests of

successful leadership. It is a serious problem.

Why do people still want to become party

leader? Because, fundamentally, they came into

politics because they wanted to change the way

society was operating in some respect, and they

understand that the party leader is the place

that gives you the best possibility of doing that.

Though there are a lot of people who go into

politics who don’t want to become party leader

because of the pressures.

Surely people wouldn’t

put themselves through

all that unless they

also had an element of

personal ambition? To

an extent. You asked the

question the right way

- you have to have some

element of personal ambition,

there’s no question, if

you’re going to run for the

leadership of the party. I

don’t think that’s necessarily

a bad thing, though it

can be if taken to extremes.

How about the question

of dealing with difficult

issues at the risk of one’s

own career? It’s very difficult.

If you’re a politician

who is worried about your

reputation, and therefore decide to duck challenges

which exist, then I certainly don’t think

you deserve to be a political leader.

The book talks about the two key aspects

of leadership: conscience and cunning.

Isn’t Jeremy Corbyn a great example of a

conscience politician, with a kind of moral

disdain for the other side of leadership -

cunning? Not in my view. He likes to maintain

that he is a politician of principle, unlike others.

And I simply don’t accept that description of

others, as being politicians without conviction.

I think it’s very rare, actually, to find politicians

without principle. And, also, in his own case, I

don’t think he’s demonstrated that particularly,

in his own approach on a whole string of policy

positions over 30 years. Steve Ramsey

Clarke will discuss British Labour Leaders at the

White Hart, in the Speakers Festival on the 4th



in town this month: SPEAKERS FESTIVAL

Melvyn Bragg

The peasants are revolting

What’s Melvyn

Bragg interested in,

apart from everything?

His Thursday

morning Radio 4

series In Our Time

has recently covered

the 1571 Battle

of Lepanto, the P

vs NP problem in

maths, Simone de

Beauvoir, perpetual

motion... Sure, he’s a

polymath. But what’s

he really keen on?

Well, I’d seen his reverential documentary about

William Tyndale - the 16th-century martyr

whose efforts to translate the Bible into English,

so normal people could read it, threatened the

power of the church. And I’d been reading

Bragg’s new novel, about the 1381 Peasants’

Revolt. And I had a theory. Well, a guess.

Aren’t you particularly interested in how

power gradually shifted from kings and

aristocrats towards normal people? Yes, I think

that’s absolutely true. It’s one of the great strands

of English history, from the barons onwards.

The barons took some power from the king, who

snatched it back again, of course, and then the

gentry took power from the barons and formed

parliament. It’s had to be fought for, every step of

the way. People do not like to give away power.

That’s one of the rules of life. Whether it’s power

over the Bible – [the church] wanted to keep it

in Latin, because it was their preserve. Or power

over law, or taxation, or armaments. They do not

want to give away power; it’s had to be pulled

away from them.

I’m intrigued by the title of your book, Now

is the Time. The rebels in 1381 had plenty

to complain about, but was there also an

element of opportunism – the king was just a

boy, and this was

a good moment

to make their

grievances felt?

No. ‘Now is the

Time’ comes from

one of [leading

rebel] John Ball’s

sermons. Between

the years 1300 and

1400 the population

of this country

halved, because

of the Black

Death, something

they could not explain. John Ball, being a Christian,

and most people, thought this was punishment

for the wickedness of the way the country

was behaving, and the wickedness he saw in the

king’s councillors. They always thought the king

was sacred and on their side, and they went to

rescue him from his councillors.

Was doubting the king too big a step at the

time, even for these revolutionaries? They

couldn’t do it. You live inside the circumference

of knowledge that you inherit. It’s very difficult

for you to dispute the power of physics, isn’t it?

The big bang came about because of physics.

Not much you or I can do about that. Now, these

things happened in the 14th century because of

the power of God, and cleverer people than both

of us lived inside that system and did amazing

things, but God had anointed this boy when he

was 10 years old; he was a sacred king.

How much does this period of British history

resemble Game of Thrones? It is pretty savage.

In its savagery, yes, when it gets going. But I

think for Game of Thrones you’ve got to go back

to the seventh, eighth centuries, really. SR

Melvyn Bragg discusses Now is the Time for Lewes

Winter Speakers Festival, Fri 4th Dec, White Hart,



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in town this month: talk

Ray Brooks

The voice of Mr Benn

How did you come

to be the voice of

Mr Benn? I was

asked to by Dave

McKee (author/illustrator

of the books

and TV series).

He’d never done

animation before.

Festive Road is based

on Festing Road in

Putney. Dave lived at

number 54 and put

Mr Benn in number

52. You can see Dave

sitting in the window

‘next door’, drawing.

He lives in Paris

now, but we stay in

touch. He’d like to digitalise the series, but it’s

very costly.

You were in The Knack…and How to Get

It in 1965, which won the Palme D’Or at

Cannes. The 60s were an exciting time. The

Knack was directed by Dick Lester, who went

on to direct A Hard Day’s Night afterwards. The

Beatles were often on set with us, playing cards.

Lovely lads. But it was terrible working with

Michael Crawford. He was always pushing to

win scenes. One morning he fell into Ruislip

Lido accidentally, pulled behind a boat. He was

pretending he’s never water-skied, but he’d obviously


What can the audience expect from your

show at Lewes Little Theatre? I’m calling it

Me and My Shadow because Mr Benn is my shadow.

He chases me all the time. There will be clips

from my films and TV series. I’ll talk about being

in EastEnders and some of the famous people

I’ve worked with, such as Maggie Smith, Alec

Guinness and Felicity Kendal. I’ll mention what

it was like working on TV shows like Z Cars.

What are you most proud of? Being in On the

Razzle, adapted by

Stoppard at the

National Theatre.

You don’t make

any money working

there, but it’s

incredible. The

atmosphere is like

being at Anfield.

Many may remember

you from

playing opposite

‘Pauline’ as Joe

Macer in East-

Enders in 2005,

before you were

killed off. So many

young actors in

the show got upset

when they read their scripts and found out they’d

been written out. My son suggested I keep a diary

when I was in it, but when the producer found

out, she said, “if you publish anything about the

show, we’ll sue”. There was a sealed box on every

floor where you put your script when you were

finished. But soaps are like bloody great ocean

liners. You’ve got to keep going forward.

You were born in Brighton and live there

some of the time. What do you like about

it? Watching the cricket, going to the dogs and

the races. I used to have a season ticket for the

Albion. Four guineas for the South Stand.

What do you watch on telly? I’ve been watching

Cuffs (police drama set in Brighton). The

trouble is, everyone in the police is involved in

dubious sexual relations or something similar.

And they show Brighton as always sunny, which

it’s not.

What would you most like in your stocking

this Christmas? A nightshirt.

Emma Chaplin

An Evening with Ray Brooks, Sat 12, Lewes Little

Theatre, 7.30pm, £10, tickets 01273 474826










Rathfinny Wine Estate, Alfriston, East Sussex BN26 5TU /

in town this month: christmas MAGIC

Enchanted Lewes

Southover Grange’s nocturnal makeover

Robin Morley is hoping to introduce a new annual

Lewes tradition. He’s one of the directors

of Enchanted Places, a company that can trace

its roots back to the outdoor arts events he produced

at Zap Productions as part of Brighton’s

renowned Zap Club. Together with a partnership

of other creative people, Robin is turning Grange

Gardens into an ‘enchanted park’ this month. But

what exactly does that mean?

“Southover Grange Gardens is one of the jewels

of Lewes - and we plan to make it really sparkle”,

he tells me. Ross Ashton, fresh from transforming

Durham Cathedral as part of the city’s Lumiere

Festival last month, will produce a projected

artwork that’ll animate the façade of Southover

Grange. Sussex-based filmmaker Nick Driftwood

is creating two new video works. The park’s trees

and sculptures will be illuminated as well… but

there’s much more to the show than beautiful

visuals, as Robin explains. “For example, we’re

presenting ‘calling birds’, which is a digital mask

that you put your face in. There’ll be three or

four of them. You say your wish for the season

and the bird mimics your voice.”

Wishes are the overall theme for this first Lewes

event, Robin says, encouraging people to reflect

on the previous 12 months and their aspirations

for the future. Robin’s own wishes are very much

focussed on his audience. “As always, the challenge

for a producer is to make it really exciting

and to have those ‘wow’ moments. That what

we’re working hard to do.”

Although this will be the first year that Lewes has

had an Enchanted Park, the concept has already

proven successful elsewhere. The Enchanted

Parks show that Robin developed and produced

in Gateshead is currently celebrating its tenth

anniversary, selling all 22,000 tickets in just 24

hours. It seems the biggest local challenge for

Robin is spreading the word without giving away

all his secrets. “We plan for this to be an annual

event every December”, he says. “The first year is

always the hardest, we know that. We expect the

first week to build modestly, and then the second

week to capture people’s imaginations. You have

to see it to understand it.”

Visitor numbers will be monitored carefully to

ensure everyone can enjoy their visit, with people

allowed to enter the park in 15-minute time-slots.

It’s rather like an alternative to a Christmas pantomime,

Robin tells me, suitable for families, for

couples and for groups of friends. “If you went to

the Theatre Royal in Brighton to see a show at

Christmas, you’d sit in a seat and watch the magic

unfold on the stage in front of you. If you come

to Enchanted Park Lewes, you’re on the stage, in

the show. You’re immersed in it.”

Mark Bridge

Tickets from; open from

4.30pm Wed 2–Sun 6 and Wed 9–Sun 13.


John Napier

Set designer par excellence

John Napier is working on the show of his

life. That’s not to say it’s the most epic in

scale of his theatrical designs, or likely to be

seen by the largest audience, or awarded (another)

Tony or Olivier. It is literally the show

of his life. Stages; Beyond the Fourth Wall, on at

Towner in Eastbourne until 31st January, will

include costume designs and 3D pieces based

on his five decades in theatre design, as well

as the sculpture that he’s created in parallel

to his career.

I visit John at his studio in Polegate – a huge

industrial unit where he’s drawing together

and meticulously staging this careful edit

of his life. Not an easy task, as he’s been

responsible for some of the most memorable

stage sets and costumes in theatre; among

them the horses in Equus, the barricades in

Les Misérables, the helicopter in Miss Saigon,

the outsized junkyard in Cats, and the high

velocity wheelie world of Starlight Express.

The space is full of fascinating objects;

drawings, models, costumes. Objects in every

scale, some recognizable and narrative, like

the exquisite horse head-dresses from Equus,

others purely abstract and sculptural, like his

huge bronze castings. I begin to understand

why – when I ask if he describes himself as

an artist or a theatre designer – he answers


Photo by Peter Prior


out of town this month: art

Photo by Julian Napier

John began his career in the 1960s. Profoundly

dyslexic, he found an outlet for his

imagination in art and, at the insistence of his

art teacher Mr Burchall, went on to study fine

art at Hornsey College of Art and theatre design

at the Central School of Arts and Crafts,

under Ralph Koltai. He took his love of sculpture

into the theatre realizing that ‘scenery

did not have to be painted backcloths, instead,

abstract objects that filled the space’ and went

on to create sets and costumes for some of the

West End and Broadway’s longest running

shows as well as for the Royal Shakespeare

Company, Glyndebourne, and the New

York Metropolitan Opera. He also designed

for Disney, created and co-directed the

spectacular Siegfried & Roy Show in Las Vegas,

and worked on Steven Spielberg’s film Hook.

Awards, accolades and fellowships followed.

All the while, John has been recording his

productions through fine art, making sculptural

objects and paintings; some he tells me

based on plays, others texts but always with

an interest in the human condition. Model

boxes of theatre designs are used to give the

company and players an understanding of

the environment they will be working in, and

John has created similar objects for Stages,

encapsulating his creative process. The show

promises to be a fascinating insight into the

marriage of imagination and technical ability,

of art and theatre. A multi-dimensional scrapbook

of an imagineer. Lizzie Lower

Towner, Devonshire Park Road, Eastbourne, 29

Nov - 31 Jan 2016. £5/£3.50 concession/under

18s free.



Ditchling Museum

The Animals of David Jones

‘We thought that

the place in England

that had the

greatest vitality of

thought and action

in craftsmanship

was probably

the small village

of Ditchling’. That

was the view of

the Japanese potter

Shoji Hamada,

and The Ditchling

Museum of Art

and Craft, recently described in the Observer as the

‘loveliest small gallery we have’, is the monument

to that vitality. The museum reopened, after a £2.3

million renovation, just over a couple of years ago,

in September 2013. But it was 30 years ago that two

sisters, Hilary and Joanna Bourne, opened the original

Ditchling Museum in the low-lying building in

the north-west corner of St Margaret’s church yard

that had served as the village school since 1838. To

mark that 30th anniversary, there’s a small display

of artefacts associated with the sisters, and another,

looking to the future, of recent acquisitions, many

of them gifts.

When the museum reopened I feared that this showcase

for the ‘nationally important collection of works

by the artists and craftsmen who lived and worked in

the village’ was to be devoted too exclusively to those

‘artists and craftsmen’ associated with the Guild of St

Joseph and St Dominic, Eric Gill and David Jones

being the best known of them. This would have sidelined

other marvellous Ditchling artists like John

Vernon Lord, Charles Knight and Frank Brangwyn.

I need not have worried. Three of John Vernon

Lord’s many illustrations of Aesop’s Fables are apparently

the first works by the artists to enter Ditching’s

permanent collection.

And next to a

1930s watercolour

of the Smithy at

Pyecombe there’s

a notice that reads:

‘We hope to do

an exhibition of

Charles Knight in

the coming years

so would love to

know of more

works in private


Running concurrently with the major David Jones

exhibition at Pallant House in Chichester, which I

will review next month, Ditchling has a small show

entitled The Animals of David Jones (until 6th March).

He seems to have had a great affinity with animals.

Nest Cleverdon, meeting the artist in 1942, even said

‘He looked like the Mole in Wind in the Willows;

that was the first thing I thought of’. Writing of his

early commitment to art, Jones said: ‘Animals were

what I usually drew, and the dancing bear, a drawing

from the window in 1902 of one of those brown

bears that used to be brought around the streets and

roads by keepers seeking to earn a pittance, is still, I

think, my favourite drawing’. Inscribed ‘David Jones,

aged 7, 1903’ it starts the Ditchling show and is indeed

one of the best things he ever did in this line.

Elsewhere we find elephants, stags, lambs and lions.

There are examples of the many drawings of the animals

at London Zoo that he did between 1928 and

1932. And, on a more sober note, drawings arising

out of his time as a soldier in The Great War, especially

Rats Shot During the Pulling Down of an Old

Dugout in Ploegsteert Wood.

David Jarman

Image: David Jones, Elephant 1928 (National Museum of Wales)





Art in small sizes, for under the tree

28 NOV - 20 DEC 2015




Beautiful art, affordable prices

Robin Redbreast, a lino print by Katie Whitbread

We invite you to join

us on December 5th,

12-3pm, for our

“Look Into Chalk”

special Christmas event.

Chalk Gallery

4 North Street

Lewes, BN7 2PA

t: 01273 474477


in town this month: ART

art & about

In town this month

Following his London Show, Tom

Homewood exhibits new works in

Part 2 at Flint (47 High Street) from

5th December. So adept at capturing

the local landscape, Tom has recently

thrown his gaze skyward, so expect

delicately painted skies above deeply

atmospheric fields and shorelines.

Tom Homewood

Bec Garland

Simon Tozer

Elsewhere our local galleries and

artists are turning their attention to

Christmas, decking their halls with

art, unique gifts and decorations.

The Christmas Show continues

at Keizer Frames throughout the

month and Chalk Gallery’s window

will exhibit a whole host of their

artists from the 14th. Join them

at noon on 5th for mulled wine,

Norfolk punch and truffles. At

the Town Hall there’s Christmas

Creative on Late Night Shopping

(3rd Dec, 5-8.30), followed by

Artists & Makers on Saturday

5th (10-5). Lewes Women in

Business hold their first Christmas

Emporium at Pelham House on

13th (11-5), Baubles and Bells continues at Hop Gallery

and St Anne’s Galleries has Little Wonders, art in small

sizes for under the tree. Both until 20th.

Janine Shute

Linsey Smith

Final call for works for Pelham House’s second Open Art Exhibition. Submissions invited from artists in

Lewes and the surrounding area. Close date Monday 14 Dec (noon)


The Tom Paine Press

& Gallery

wishes you a

Very Merry Christmas


Happy New Year

in its new

(here reduced) fount of

John Baskerville


four line pica

(48 point) italic

out of town: art

Just down the road...

The festive theme

continues in

Brighton where

47 artists and

makers, working

in a huge variety

of media, open

their studios in

New England

House from

10th to 12th.

Expect art, gifts

and an opportunity to nose around this high-rise

hive of creativity (free entry, 12-8pm). There’s

Christmas Artists Open Houses on 5th-6th

and 12th-13th. We’ll be heading to 25 Stanley

Road, home of Viva Brighton favourites Lost &

Foundry lights and much more besides (

uk, top right). Burning the Clocks on 21st will

see paper and willow lanterns process through

the city to a blaze of glory on Brighton Beach,

marking the year’s end.

Theatre designer John Napier’s Stages; Beyond

the Fourth Wall (pg 46) continues at Towner.

Hear John in conversation with David Dimbleby

on 12th. Also in Eastbourne, the Little Chelsea

Gallery in Hyde Road presents Beautiful

Moments from 5th-20th. An exhibition by four

photographers - Michael Thorn, Lee Roberts,

PWP images and Tim Bosworth – exploring the

human figure though beautiful and evocative

images ( Eastbourne

artists join in the festive fun with Christmas

Open Houses on 5th-6th (eastbourneartists. One the Square, in the heart of Forest

Row, has work by more than 30 artisans, makers

and crafts people from the region as well as an

exhibition of Polish poster art (above). Visit their

festive open evening on 4th December from 6.30


Further afield...

At Pallant House, opportunities to see works

by David Jones, David Remfry and Edmund

de Waal continue. From the 1st to the 13th

winning works from the 2015 National Open

Art Competition; the UK and Ireland’s

premiere open show for young and emerging

visual artists, are on display.

At the Jerwood the excellent touring exhibition

of works from Kettle’s Yard is still on, alongside

work by artists who have either been shortlisted

for, or have won the prestigious Jerwood

Painting Prize which ran from 1994 to 2003.

Finally, Viva wishes the De la Warr Pavilion

(below, in 1935) a very happy 80th birthday!

As well as an invitation to their free birthday

celebrations on 12th, see In the Realm of

Others and the monumental Cy Twombly

paintings, Quattro

Stagioni. Each

of these seasonal


by one of the great

US painters of the

latter half of the

20th century, stand

three metres high.






12th December 7pm

St John Sub Castro Church, Lewes

Featuring the Eusebius Quartet

music by Beethoven, Haydn and Debussy

Charity No 1151928

TICKETS: £14 || FREE for U26

01273 479865 and at Lewes Travel

in town this month: classical

Classical Round-up

Bach, Beethoven and Barry Mills

Few other classical pieces

present the case for Christmas

so beautifully or deeply as

Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. First

performed in its entirety in

1734, it is one of JS Bach’s later

works. Its six parts were originally

intended to be performed

on each of the church calendar

feast days of Christmas, but

now it is usually offered as a

single concert work. Its story

begins with the birth of Jesus

and ends with the adoration of

the Magi.

Under the baton of John

Hancorn, the outstanding East

Sussex Bach Choir and the Baroque

Collective will perform

the work with four solo singers.

No matter your religious orientation,

come and let JS Bach

work his magic on your spirit.

Sat 5, 7:30pm, St John sub

Castro, £20 & £15 (under 16s

free), 07759 878562

Violinist Maeve Jenkinson

and pianist Rachel Fryer will

be playing a recital of works

by Schubert, Mozart and

Beethoven. Maeve studied at

the Royal College of Music, is

Musical Director of the Corelli

Ensemble here in Lewes, and

also plays regularly with the

London Philharmonic. Rachel

Fryer is Concert Director for

Music and Wine at St. Luke’s,

a Brighton concert series and

is a champion of contemporary

classical music, having

premiered works by Barry Mills

and Samuel Becker.

Sun 6, 3pm, St Michael’s

Church, retiring collection

A bit further afield, Pro Musica

will serve up Respighi’s Praise

to the Nativity, a contemporary

setting of O Magnum Mysterium

by American composer Morten

Lauridsen and then some

selections from Handel’s Messiah.

There will also be some

congregational carol singing.

Sun 13, 6pm, St Andrew’s

Church, Alfriston, £12 (under

14s free)

Lewes Chamber Music

Festival’s Christmas offering

this year will feature the newly

formed Eusebius Quartet,

a group made up of LCMF

players, including violinist

and festival founder Beatrice

Phillips, cellist Hannah Sloane,

violist Hannah Strijbos and

violinist Venetia Jollands. The

programme is Haydn Op.20,

Beethoven Op.95 and Debussy.

Sat 12, 7pm, St John sub

Castro, £14 (under 26s free),

01273 479865

Loyal fans of the Paddock Singers

will welcome another smart

selection of holiday goodies,

from the very traditional to

the more contemporary, but

always with a touch of class,

interspersed with singalong

carols for the congregation.

Ruth Kerr conducts and Carol

Kelly plays piano. If you’re in

luck, you’ll get a piano duet of

something fun.

Sun 13, 6pm, St Michael’s

Church, £8 (under 14s free)

Lewes Concert Orchestra will

be joined by the Schola Cantorum

choir for a Christmas

concert. The programme will

include some pieces by Sussexbased

composers as well as

Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien

and Vaughan-Williams’s Fantasia

on Christmas Carols.

Sun 18, 7:30pm, Town Hall,

£12 & £10,

Paul Austin Kelly


classical christmas

Christmas Carols

’Tis the season to be merry

The annual Pestalozzi Carol Concert is always

an enjoyable, not to mention worthy event. Roger

Durston will conduct the Pestalozzi Choir, Nick

Milner-Gulland will accompany on organ and

Glyndebourne principals Anne Mason and Geoff

Moses will be guest soloists. Wed 9, 7:30pm, St

Michael’s Church, £10, 01273 475172

Brighton Festival Chorus will have the Brighton

Philharmonic, the Brighton Festival Youth

Choir and a couple of solo singers with them for

their Christmas event. Prepare for traditional

carols aplenty. Sat 12, 6pm, Brighton Dome,

£12.50, £15, £20, £25, 01273 709709

There will be plenty of traditional holiday cheer

with the Baroque Collective Singers, as well as

a performance of Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit.

With John Hancorn conducting, Nicholas

Houghton on the organ and featuring the Wallands

Primary School Choir, directed by Briony

Lambert. Sat 12, 6:30pm, St Michael’s Church,

£10 (under 16s free)

The Ashdown Singers will host a charity carol

concert in aid of Homelink with mince pies

and tea afterwards. Sun 13, 3pm, St Pancras

Church, free

Carols and other Christmas

music will be sung by

candlelight with the Esterhazy

Chamber Choir. And

your minced pies can be accompanied

by mulled wine.

Sat 19, 6pm, St John sub

Castro, free

In the Bleak Mid-

Winter 2015 will

spotlight local artists

and performers in

music, readings

and carols in aid

of Amnesty International.

Sun 20,

7:30pm, St John

sub Castro, £12, £6


Illustration by Julain Gower

Christmas Festival

With Schola Cantorum

Friday 18th December 7:30pm

Info, tickets and prices visit:


Film round-up

Monty Python’s Life of Brian

Monty Python’s Life of Brian has become so much

part of our cultural furniture it’s hard to remember

what an uproar there was when it was first released.

The film, as 99% of people reading this will know,

is about Brian Cohen, born in the next stable to

Jesus Christ, and mistaken for the Messiah by the

Three Wise Men. Despite protestations of his

lack of Messianic credentials, he amasses a huge

following, and is eventually crucified under orders

from Pontius Pilate. Being an optimist, he manages

to find the positive in his final situation, which he

sings about as the credits roll.

After the film was released the Python cast received

death threats, 39 local authorities banned it from

cinemas in their jurisdiction, and cinemas that did

show it were picketed by religious groups, claiming

the makers weren’t comic geniuses, they were very

naughty boys.

The Film Club have chosen it as their nearest-to-

Christmas offering (Fri 18th, 8pm) and it looks

like a fine decision. One imagines, moreover, that

no objectors will be outside the All Saints heckling

punters on their way in.

The LFC’s other choice is the Australian drama 52

Tuesdays (Fri 4th, 8pm) about a teenage girl coming

to terms with her mother’s decision to change

genders over a calendar year while experiencing her

own sexual awakening; the girl lives with her father

and only sees her mother on Tuesday afternoons,

hence the title. There are elements of neo-realism

and Dogme 95 in its production values: non-professional

actors were cast, and given their 52 script

sections one week at a time. DL



Until Sat 5

Theatre. The Circle, by Somerset Maugham.

Period drawing room comedy about love, marriage

and duty. Lewes Little Theatre, 7.45pm

(2.45pm matinee 5th), £10/£8.

Tue 1

Market. Bric-a-brac, jewellery, books, toys,

fresh produce, clothes and more. Town Hall,


Wed 2

Talk. The Greatest Invention: Let’s Talk

about Tax. With John Christensen of the Tax

Justice Network, plus questions and discussion.

Elly, 8pm, £3.

Wed 2-Sun 13

Enchanted Park: A Christmas Wish. A magical,

festive tale, brought to life as an after-dark

trail featuring art, projections, lighting and

digital media. Grange Gardens, 4.30-8pm. More

details and tickets on page 45 and at

Performance Poetry. Unfurling: poems of life,

love and faith by Ian Adams. Elly, 7.45pm, £5/£4.

Late Night Shopping. Highlights include

Santa’s Grotto in Lewes House, music, food

and drink in Harveys Yard, Craft Market in the

Market Tower, and a Christmas Market in the

Town Hall. High Street will be closed to traffic

between 6-8.30pm. See pg 101 for more details.

Fri 4

Food Market. Food and produce from local suppliers.

Market Tower, weekly, 9.30am-1.30pm.

Film. 52 Tuesdays. (12) Australian drama

about a teenager (pictured above) dealing with

her mother’s decision to change her gender. All

Saints, 8pm, £5.50.

Fri 4-Sun 6

Thu 3

RISE Living Library. Hiding in Plain Sight.

Volunteer Living Books will be available to be

‘borrowed’ by members of the public for open

conversation about their lives and experiences of

domestic abuse. Library, 2-5pm, free. madelaine.

Lewes Winter Speakers Festival. Array of

speakers including Vince Cable, Melvyn Bragg

(see page 41), Peter Temple-Morris, Iain

Overton, Charles Clarke (see page 39), Virginia

Nicholson, John Pearson, John Julius Norwich,

Norman Baker and many more. Events taking

place at All Saints and The White Hart. Full line

up and ticket details at


DEClistings (cont)

Sat 5

Farmers’ Market. Fresh local produce and lots

of interesting stalls. Cliffe Precinct, 9am-1pm.

Craft Market. Local artists and makers selling

their wares. Market Tower, 10am-4pm, free


Phoenix March. Celebrate the under-threat

creativity and enterprise of the Phoenix Estate.

Meet on Phoenix Place, 10am, or join throughout

the centre of town.

Dr Bike. Weekly bike repair workshop. Trade

prices charged for parts. Nutty Wizard, 9.30am-

12.30pm, free.

Artists & Makers Fair. Handcrafted jewellery,

furniture, ceramics, textiles, food and clothing.

Festive gifts and treats. Lewes Town Hall, 10am-


Christmas Brocante. Antique market, bric-abrac,

festive gifts. Organised by Artemis Arts,

with money raised providing creative workshops

for the community. Foundry Gallery, 9am-2pm.

Seaford Christmas Magic. Market stalls, family

activities, arts and crafts, lantern parade and

the switch on of the Christmas lights. Activities

and events throughout venues in Seaford town,

10am-7pm. Full details at

Tue 8

Market. Bric-a-brac, jewellery, books, toys,

fresh produce, clothes and more. Town Hall,


Talk. Nature and the English Romantics.

Terry Hodgson explores the varying attitudes to

the natural world in the poetry and prose of the

nineteenth century from Blake to Hardy. Town

Hall, 2.30pm.

Talk. The Battle Abbey Archive. Christopher

Whittick will describe the chequered life of the

Battle Abbey papers, now in the Huntington

Library in San Marino, California, and how they

relate to The Keep’s own Battle Abbey archive.

The Keep, Falmer, 5.30pm, free. eventbrite. or 01273 843249

Talk. Waywardness, Writing, Sussex and

the South. Writers Iain Sinclair, Lee Rourke,

Suzanne Joinson and painter/writer Julian Bell

discuss the inspiration they draw from the South

of England, and Sussex in particular; its landscapes,

towns, characters and history. All Saints,

7.45pm, £10/£8.


ook now

for new year’s eve

with live music from hazey jane

*from our own organic farm at jevington. 1.5 miles from the pub

four courses and a glass

of prosecco for £49.95

reservations only

open until late

milton street, bn265rl

tel: 01323 870840

DEClistings (cont)

Fri 11

Get Festive. Organise some festive fun, and

show your support for Chestnut Tree House.

Choose another date if you wish.

Fri 11 & Sat 12

Film. Love & Mercy. (12A) Based on the life

of musician Brian Wilson, showing two key

periods in his life, during the 1960s and 1980s.

All Saints, Fri 5.30pm, Sat 7.45pm, £5-£6.50.

Fri 11 & Sun 13

Film. Irrational Man. (12A) Woody Allen

drama about a philosophy professor who has

reached an emotional and spiritual crisis in his

life. All Saints, Fri 8pm, Sun 5pm, £5-£6.50.

international rogue organization committed to

destroying the IMF. All Saints, Sat 5pm, Sun

7pm, £5-£6.50.

Sun 13

Pop-up Christmas Emporium. One-off retail

event showcasing Lewes Women in Business

members’ products and services. Handmade

items for sale including leather goods, perfumes,

jewellery, hats, illustrated prints and ceramics.

Prize draw, sleigh photo booth, mulled wine and

refreshments available. Pelham House, 11am-

5pm, free entry.

Sat 12

80th Anniversary Party. Pop-up events, vintage

cars, Punch & Judy shows, floral displays, 1930s

cocktails and music. Staff will be dressed in

1930s costume. De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill,

10am-5pm, free.

Christmas Fair. Craft stalls, jewellery, beauty

products, handmade cards, fresh produce,

mulled wine, bric-a-brac, raffles, tombola and

more. Town Hall, 10am-2pm, 30p. cliffebonfire.


Life and Works. An Evening with Ray Brooks

(see page 43). Film and TV actor Ray Brooks,

the voice of Mr Benn, will be discussing his life

and works, with photos and a Q&A. Lewes Little

Theatre, 7.30pm, £10. 01273 474826

Sat 12 & Sun 13

Film. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation.

(12A) Ethan and team take on their most impossible

mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate, an

Street Food Festival. Artisan market, festive

street food, seasonal tipples, face-painting, street

entertainment, live swing and jazz, free toys

from Santa’s sack and more. Cliffe Precinct,

11am-4pm, free entry.

Mon 14

Talk. Lewes Street Stories. Two of the Lewes

Street Stories teams, formed this year, show

what they have discovered so far about the

development and history of the residents and

their homes. The talk will follow the AGM and

includes free mulled wine & mince pies. King’s

Church Building, 7.30pm, £3.




Cliffe Precinct

SATURDAY 9am - 1pm

7th & 21st NOVEMBER

5th & 19th DECEMBER




Artists • Perfumier • Bespoke Milliners • Chocolatier

• Silver & Goldsmiths • Local sparkling wines & spirits •

Lounge singer • Harveys Ale • Hearth mince pies


DEClistings (cont)

Wed 16

Talk. Terry Metheringham discusses the 2013

opera The Left-Hander by Rodin Shchedrin.

Based on the humorous tale by Nikolai

Leskov about competing Russian and English

craftsmen in the early 19th century. Friends

Meeting House, 7.15pm, £3.

Fri 18

Film. Life of Brian. (15) Classic Monty

Python religious satire. All Saints, 8pm, £5.50.

Sat 19

Farmers’ Market. Fresh local produce and

lots of interesting stalls. Cliffe Precinct, 9am-


Fri 25

Christmas Day Party. Christmas lunch, carol

singing and festive fun. House of Friendship,

12-3.30pm. To take part please e-mail Gretel. or phone 01273 473904











@ The Con Club


















gig guide

gig of the month

A Magical Christmas Evening with Big

World Blue and Very Special Guests. If

you put Goldfrapp’s mellowest tracks in

a blender with Massive Attack’s Teardrop,

you’d have something close to Big World

Blue. This month, Martyn Baker and

Jo Beth Young bring their lush blend of

dark folk and psychedelia to the Westgate

Chapel for an atmospheric Christmas

evening: expect music, opera arias, and

spoken word from Sussex folk/punk poet

Charles Antony. Proceeds go to the Oyster

Project, the Lewes disability charity.

Fri 11th, Westgate Chapel, 7.30pm,


december listings

tue 1

English folk dance tunes session. Bring instruments.

John Harvey Tavern, 8pm, free

Ceilidh Crew Session. Folk. Lamb, 8.30pm,


thu 3

Starfish Review. Various local bands. Lamb,

4pm, free

Zoot Zazou. Vintage hot swing. Pelham Arms,

8.30pm, free

fri 4

The Roamin’ Jasmine. New Orleans jazz.

Lamb, 8.30pm, free

Smileys Roadshow + Johnny Cash tribute act.

Motown and rock ‘n’ roll. Volunteer, 9pm, free

sat 5

Ethan Johns. In-store. Union Music Store, 3pm,

free (priority will be given to customers who have

pre-ordered the album from the Union website

or shop)

Lynne Heraud & Pat Turner. Traditional English

folk. Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £7

Mr Tea and the Minions. Cheeky gypsy party

music. Lamb, 8.30pm, free

Stone Junction. Contemporary folk. Snowdrop,

9pm, free

Sun 6

Open mic. Elephant & Castle, 7.30pm, free

English folk dance tunes session. Bring instruments.

Lamb, 8.30pm, free

mon 7

Live jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free

tue 8

Goodtimes Music open mic. All welcome.

Lamb, 8.30pm, free

wed 9

Shepherds Arise! Old Sussex carols, dance tunes

and Mummers play. St John sub Castro, 8pm,

free with collection

Old Time session. Appalachian roots. Lamb,

8.30pm, free


gig guide (cont)

fri 11

The Long Haul. Country & western swing.

Lamb, 8.30pm, free

Micky Hart and The Heartbreakers. Rock ‘n’

roll. Volunteer, 9pm, free

sat 12

The Roselleys. Americana and country. In-store.

Union Music Store, 3pm, free

John & Di Cullen & Iris Bishop. Traditional

and modern folk. Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £6

Dr Razzu. Annual Christmas reunion of the

much-loved Lewes lads. Lansdown, 8pm, free

Cousin Avi. Rock, funk and reggae. Lamb,

8.30pm, free

mon 14

Triversion. Jazz organ trio. Snowdrop, 8pm, free

tue 15

Ceilidh Crew session. Folk. Lamb, 8.30pm, free

wed 16

So Last Century Stringband. Old time. Snowdrop,

9pm, free

Phil Mill. Blues and jazz. Limetree Kitchen,

waiting for time, free

Thu 17

Sam Walker. Bluesy acoustic rock. Lansdown,

8pm, free

Kangaroo Moon. Psych-Celtic folk fusion.

Lamb, 8.30pm, free

FRI 18

Porchlight Smoker. Roots, folk and bluegrass.

Lamb, 8.30pm, free

The Umbrella Men. Electric blues. Volunteer,

9pm, free

SAT 19

Lewes Saturday Folk Club Christmas party.

Traditional carols and folk tunes. Elephant &

Castle, 8pm, £4

The Contenders. Rhythm and blues. Lamb,

8.30pm, free

SUN 20

Buffo’s Wake. Gypsy punk. Lamb, 8.30pm, free

MON 21

Live jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free

thu 24

Full House. Rock covers. Volunteer, 9pm, free

sun 27

Shepherds Arise! Old Sussex carols, dance tunes

and Mummers play. St Michael in Lewes Church,

4pm, free with collection

mon 28

Christmas Ceilidh Crew session. Folk. Lamb,

3pm, free

Live jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free

thu 31

The Dead Reds + Scott Free. Blues rock.

Lamb, 8.30pm, free

Photo of Sam Walker by Matt Elliott


‘Tis the season

to sell your home

From Boxing Day there is a huge spike in property

internet traffic. January shows a 27% increase

in enquiries over December year on year.

source Rightmove

The Forward Thinking Estate Agency 01273 487444

Lewes advert 4.qxp_Layout 1 08/09/2015 17:00 Page 1


Sing, Dance, Act Now!

Saturday classes (am & pm)

for children from 4 to 18 years

At Ringmer Community

College, BN8 5RB

Get in touch

to book a

trial or to find

out more

01273 504380

interview êêêê

Reindeer keeper

Leonie Barber at Washbrooks Farm

Photos by Rebecca Cunningham

How many reindeers do you have at Washbrooks?

We have four; Scoobie and Mary who

are both 14 and Barney and Wilma who are one

and a half. We’ve had the older two for quite a

few years - reindeers only live for 15 years on

average so they are pretty old now. Barney and

Wilma were brought over from Finland by the

farm owners.

Will they get to help Santa this Christmas?

Hopefully! He’s coming to visit us on the 5th

and 6th so if they’re in the right mood they’ll be

helping him.

What do they like to do when they’re not

getting ready for Christmas? They like to eat

a lot of grass and take naps in their shed. They

just like watching the world go by and looking at

the people walking around the farm. Except for

Barney – he likes to splash in the water trough,

that’s why the ground is always so wet!

What do reindeers eat? We feed them reindeer

pellets every day which are especially for them

– none of the other animals get to eat them.

And we buy in big sacks of reindeer moss from

Finland which they like to graze on. They love

carrots – especially around Christmas time.

Is it true that their antlers fall off? Yes, they

shed their antlers every year, usually around late

spring, and they malt their fur around the same

time. They look awful for a little while! They use

anything they can find to rub their old fur off –

fences, branches, sometimes each other – but after

about two months it’s usually all grown back.

When their antlers first come through they’re all

velvety, and each year they grow a bit bigger than

the year before.

Will you be expecting any new additions to

the reindeer family in the new year? The age

that they start having babies is over two years, so

it’s possible, but their breeding pattern is quite

unusual. We’re not planning for any babies but if

it happens, then it happens!

Can you tell us an interesting fact about

reindeers? When they walk one of the ligaments

in their back legs clicks – it sounds like they’ve

got really bad arthritis – but they make the sound

so that they don’t lose each other when they’re

walking through heavy snow.

Will they be getting any Christmas presents?

They’ll probably get lots of carrots. RC


Explore... and experience

our way of learning

Junior School Open Morning

12 January 2016 - 9:30am to 12:30pm

• small classes

• co-educational

• emphasis on individuality

• tailored learning

• 3 to 18 years

For more information please contact: The Admissions Secretary 01273 472634


What’s on

shoes on now:

Roasting chestnuts

Fri 11, Sat 12 & Sun 13

WishWorks Puppet Show. King Wenceslas

and the Three Bears. King Wenceslas travels

through the forest to find the woodcutter and

bring him Christmas cheer, with the help of his

minstrel, the three bears and the Little Good

Wolf. Mince pies and other seasonal treats on

offer. Suitable for 3-12 year olds. Linklater

Pavilion, Fri 4.30pm, Sat 11am, Sun 2.30pm, £5

each, £15 family.

Sun 13

Film. Song of the Sea. (PG) A young Irish boy

and his little sister, a girl who can turn into a

seal, go on an adventure to free the faeries and

save the spirit world. All Saints, 3pm, £5-£6.50.

Fri 18 & Sun 20

WishWorks Puppet Pantomime. Goldifox.

The story teller is interrupted by a naughty

puppet who wants to be part of the show. Enjoy

a lantern lit trail around the Heart of Reeds.

Linklater Pavilion, Fri 4.30pm, Sun 2.30pm, £5

each, £15 family.

Mon 21

Midwinter Craft Workshop. Find out about

the winter solstice and medieval midwinter

traditions. Barbican House, 11am-12noon (ages

4-7), 2-4pm (ages 8-12), £6. 01273 486290 for

more details or buy your ticket from the castle

shop. Booking essential.

A recent trip up to London saw the children

captivated by the sight of street vendors

peddling roasted chestnuts. Served in paper

bags, these sweet treats are high in carbohydrate,

low in fat and, more importantly, easy

to prepare. Inspired by Nat King Cole’s ‘The

Christmas Song’ – Chestnuts roasting on an

open fire- I thought this was one tradition we

could import back down the A23 to Lewes.

Chestnuts were much beloved by The

Romans and consequently chestnut trees are

plentiful throughout Britain. You can buy

chestnuts bagged up at local supermarkets

but if you feel like foraging for them yourself,

then use the heel of your shoe to crack

open the spikey husk revealing one or two

chestnuts inside. Chestnuts have high levels

of tannic acid so it’s best to avoid eating

them raw. Inspired by our London experience

we set to roasting our own chestnuts.

The secret is to cut a cross in the top of

the chestnut, which stops them exploding

whilst in the oven. Then simply pop the

chestnuts flat-side down on a baking tray at

200C/400F/Gas 6 and roast until the skins

open and the insides are tender- this takes

approximately 25 minutes. Serve as they are

- careful they will be hot! - and make sure

the children peel away the shell to reveal the

soft, sweet inner kernel. They may not have

been quite up to the standard of the London

street vendors, but our roast chestnuts were

eagerly scoffed up by the boys. Jacky Adams


Our present

to you








to you

Our present

to you

Join at any Wave centre in Lewes, Peacehaven, Newhaven and Seaford.

*Month to month flexible memberships require a joining fee. First direct debit must be met.

Offer available 1st - 24th December 2015. Terms & Conditions apply. 01323 493026

under 16

Christmas highlights

Wed 2-Sun 6/Wed 9 - sun 13

Enchanted Park: A Christmas Wish. A magical,

festive tale, brought to life as an after dark trail

Grange Gardens, 4.30-8pm. More details and

tickets at

Fri 4

Christmas Magic Eve Party.

Disco and party games led by

popular fairy tale characters and

a visit from Santa. Under 6s to

be accompanied by a guardian.

In aid of Teddy Treats Charity.

Downs Leisure Centre, Seaford,

6-8pm, £3. Tickets from Toy Town and Seaford

Tourist Information Centre. 01323 894870

Sat 5

Christmas Carousel. Create

glowing winter lanterns, decorate

wooden tree ornaments and

make beautiful clay stars. Sensory

play dough area. Kingston Village

Hall, 2-5pm, £8 per child,

accompanying adults and under 2s free. Incl refreshments.

In aid of Rockinghorse Charity. Book

a time slot: lorna@storycarousel or 07905057282

Seaford Christmas Magic. Market stalls, family

activities, arts and crafts, lantern parade and the

switch on of the Christmas lights. Activities and

events throughout venues in Seaford town, 10am-

7pm. Full details at

Sat 5 & Sun 6

Tudor Christmas. Find out how the Tudors celebrated

Christmas with food,

archery, crafts and traditional

entertainment. Roasted

chestnuts, mince pies, and

other seasonal favourites of the time. Michelham

Priory, 11am-4pm.

Wed 23

Christmas Party. With DJ Claire Fuller and Jennie

Castell appearing as Elsa from Frozen at 5pm.

Buffet available. The Volunteer, 3-6pm, £2.

Until Sun 20

Santa’s Grotto. Wyevale Garden Centre,

Kingston, every weekend throughout Dec, £7 per

child, adults free.

Until Thu 24

Sussex Santa Experience. Meet Santa and his

elves in Winter Wonderland. Spring Barn Farm.

Tickets, dates and prices at

Until Jan 4

Winter Wonderland Illuminations. Animalthemed

lightshow with music. Drusillas Park,

Alfriston, 4.30pm daily.

Until Jan 17

Ice Skating. Festive icy fun; skate to music and

enjoy the rink-side restaurant. Royal Pavilion,


MON 21

Midwinter Craft Workshop. Medieval midwinter

traditions at Barbican House.


With its excellent and imaginative

approach, the Steiner Waldorf

curriculum has gained everwidening

recognition as a creative

and compassionate alternative to

traditional avenues of education.

But just how does it feel to be a child

in the classroom, soaking up this

stimulating and rewarding teaching?

Find out for yourself...

Open Day

Thursday 28 th January 2016 - 08:30

Thursday 3 rd March 2016 - 08:30

All welcome, please register at 08:30

Tours leave at 09:00 - Closes 13:00

We look forward to meeting you.

Kidbrooke Park, Priory Road, Forest Row. East Sussex, RH18 5JA

Tel: 01342 822275 - Registered Charity Number 307006


at Lewes Castle

Midwinter Craft Workshop!

Monday 21st December

Find out about the winter solstice &

medieval Midwinter traditions.

11am to 12pm: ages 4-7, tickets £4

2pm to 4pm: ages 8-12, tickets £6

Booking is essential at Lewes Castle

or on 01273 486290

Adult to stay, does not include entry to the castle.

Explore our website for more details

under 16


young artist of the month

This month we’ve replaced the

young photographer slot with a

young artist slot to celebrate the

Friends of Lewes 2016 calendar,

produced by Lewes schoolchildren.

Out of the 13 pictures

(one for the cover!) our fave is

this one of Harveys Brewery,

by Ellie Brown, 11, of Lewes

Old Grammar. You can buy

the calendar at Le Bureau and

at Tourist Info. Keep sending

your photos in… we’ll return to

normal service (including a £10

Bags of Books voucher for the

chosen snapper) next month!


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Mulled Cider

The spice of winter life

November 17th, deadline day. There’s a half page to last-minute fill in the

food and drink section, so we decide to do something on mulled cider…

then we realise that the pubs don’t tend to do it before December. Who

can we get to make some up from scratch?

Dec, the guy who’s turned the Black Horse round so much (it’s in the

2016 Good Pub Guide) comes to mind – he’s famous for the stuff - so I

ring him up. ‘Where are you mate?’ ‘Waitrose’. ‘That’s handy’. ‘Why?’

Turns out he’s one aisle away from the spice counter. Yes, he patiently says, he will make a batch.

An hour and a half later I’m up there. Dec serves me a half pint, and tells me what’s in it: Biddenden

Bushels Kentish cider, star anise, cinnamon, vanilla pod, clementine, oranges and apples speared with

cloves, and a splash of rum. He’s made 10 pints of the stuff, and has already served two glasses to the

healthy smattering of Tuesday afternoon punters there.

Calmly taking photos of this heady brew is a tough job, as all I want to do is try it: you know how

tempting that old mulled smell is. Turns out it’s worth the wait. The sweetness of the fruit and spices

hit it off beautifully with the dryness of the cider. Needless to say, it goes down a treat. I sip, we chat, I

thank him and go.

Five minutes after I arrive in the office, a phone call. I’ve left my gloves there. Dammit, I have to go

back, with that moreish taste still in my mouth. Was that my subconscious at work? Alex Leith


Looking for somewhere magical?

Why not try the best kept secret in the

South Downs.

A beautiful 16th Century Grade II listed farmhouse and

garden on the edge of Friston Forest overlooking the

Cuckmere Haven.

We serve traditional English roast lunch every

Sunday and are open daily from 10am till 4pm serving

homemade cakes, lunch and tea or coffee.

For Christmas our Chef’s have created a 2 or 3 course

menu for only £25 or £29.

Bookings on 01323 870218 or



The Griffin Inn

Out for a duck... again

If you’ve been to the

Griffin, chances are

you’ve been in the

daytime, in the summer,

and had a drink or a meal

sitting in its two-acre

garden – nicknamed

‘The Serengeti’ – with

its beautiful view of the

North Weald. That’s my

last experience of the

place. This time it’s late

autumn, and early evening,

and we’ve booked

a table for two in the

restaurant area. Will it

be worth the 25-minute


This medieval inn has

been run by the same

family – the Pullans – since the 70s, and we

walk through the bit they’ve kept as a pub for

locals before being shown our table in the bit

that they long ago turned into a restaurant for

fine dining. There are some well-animated

drinkers at the bar in the former space, and a

smattering of well-dressed clients in the latter. I

offer Pauline - who’s driven us here – her choice

of seat, and she goes for the huge throne which

backs onto the wall, with a view over the establishment.

I thus get a good view of her, which is

fine, as she is an animated conversationalist.

“I’ll go for the scallops and the fillet steak,”

she announces, after scanning the menu for

about ten seconds. They are the most expensive

items on each side of the menu, and the tastiest

sounding, to boot. I’m tempted – what the hell

– to follow her example (note to self – if you

always end up eating with people who like the

same things as you, get your order in first) but

in the end opt for a different main choice: duck


The plump scallops

arrive on thin black

slates, accompanied

by little balls of black

pudding, sat in a base

of creamy sauce. By

the time I’ve finished

photographing mine,

Pauline has finished

hers (that was quick)

and so I enjoy eating

them ostentatiously

slowly. These ones have

been perfectly seared so

you get an umami aftertaste.

There are three

of them. I’ve chosen a

large glass of Rioja to

drink, which has gone

down beautifully. I order another.

Pauline’s steak looks amazing – the size of a

large pork pie, with chargrilled stripes on the

top – but my food envy lessens when my duck

breast arrives, on a bed of new potatoes. From

the size of its breast this was quite a duck, and

its flesh has been cooked to perfection: there’s

just enough heft to make each mouthful a

lingering treat.

We talk about mutual friends, and carbohydrates,

a common current obsession (she avoids

them whenever possible; I get her potatoes).

She also skips pudding, and so I spare her a

description of the taste sensation achieved from

my crunchy-creamy crème brûlée, which comes

with two biscotti, and a physalis (I think). This

accompanied by a grappa, always a fine way to

end a meal. The bill comes to 24p over the ton;

I pay and we head back to the car. Worth the

journey? You bet.

Alex Leith



Photo by Alex Leith


Christmas stuffing

Pelham House head chef Glenn Lester lets us into

his Christmas Day sausage-meat secret

I don’t know about your family but in mine the

stuffing is one of the real stars of the show, and

not just on the big day. But Christmas Day is

stressful enough for the cook of the house without

adding anything else to the mix, so I like to

keep my recipe simple… and make it a couple of

days in advance.

The trick to good stuffing is the same as the trick

to most of the cooking I do: good ingredients.

And the most important of these, of course, is

the sausage meat. I get mine from a quality local

butcher – in this case Redlands Farm Shop

in Horam – rather from a supermarket because

they can tell you where the pig was reared, and

what breed it was (in this case it was a free-range

local Plantation Pig). You can also tell them how

much you want it seasoned, if at all. I’m all for

shopping locally for all the usual reasons, and

we’re blessed in Sussex with so many quality


No turkey sandwich is the same without a good

bit of stuffing in there, and it’s even a treat cold

out of the fridge… so the first question is, can

you make too much? In this case I’m using two

kilos of meat, so scale down accordingly if you’re

cooking for fewer than 12!

Basically you need to mix all these ingredients up

in a big bowl: 2kg of sausage meat; 200g chopped

chestnuts; 100g breadcrumbs; 3 sprigs lemon

thyme; 2 sprigs rosemary; 2 tbs mace; the zest

of a lemon and an orange; 1 diced shallot; half

a bunch of chopped sage; 250g of chopped fruit

(dates, figs, cranberries and apricots, which have

been rehydrated overnight in port). And salt to

taste. I like to mix it all up with my bare hands:

you can use a processor but there’s the danger

of your ingredients getting chopped too fine and

your ending up with overworked meat patty, as

opposed to nice stuffing.

Then there’s the question of how to cook it. You

can either put it in the bird, or cook it separately.

The way I do this at Pelham House is to roll it

into a ballotine – a fancy French word for a big

sausage – inside a sheet of parchment paper and

a sheet of tin foil. Roll it tight, pinch the ends

together and steam it until it’s 75 degrees (if you

haven’t got a probe, it’s ready when the tip of a

knife you’ve prodded through is hot when you

touch it to your lip or chin). You can keep this

wrapped up in the fridge for two or three days

and then cut it into slices and pan fry it when

you need it.

Another method, which we’ve used for the stuffing

in the picture, is to make little 200g balls, and

pan fry them for about 4 minutes in hot oil, only

turning occasionally, till they’ve caramelised, and

have what we chefs call ‘bark’. They don’t need

to cook through, because you’re going to finish

them off in the oven, at 180-200 degrees, for 12

minutes or so.

That’s it basically: don’t be afraid to experiment

with the ingredients. This stuffing is nice with

turkey or chicken: if you’re eating game, I’d definitely

add some chicken liver into the mix. And if

you’re vegetarian, there are plenty of bread stuffing

recipes on the internet. Enjoy!




Indulge yourself in our

fine dining and renowned

tasting menus.

Drop in for freshly made

cocktails, wines and craft beer

in our new cocktail bar.

Complete the night in our

boutique double room

with ensuite.


3 Courses £30 ~ 5 Courses £35

2 1



W I T H T H I S A D V E R T *


Salmon carpaccio, pickled cucumber, wasabi and yoghurt dressing, salmon roe.

Chicken liver, white truffle and pistachio parfait, lychee, pea shoots, pancetta and brioche.

Jerusalem artichoke soup, lemon beurre noisette and hazelnuts.


Confit Holmansbridge farm turkey leg, parma ham, fondant potato, glazed carrot and jus.

Roasted cod fillet, herb crust, kedgeree and parsley sauce.

Roasted Brussels sprouts and chestnuts, cauliflower purée, butternut squash gnocchi and sage.


Apple and Calvados bread and butter pudding with Christmas pudding ice cream.

Selection of homemade ice creams and sorbets.

Selection of local and European cheeses.

Limetree Kitchen

14 Station Street, Lewes, East Sussex. BN7 2DA

Call 01273 478636 to book your table… or room.

F I N E D I N I N G • C O C K T A I L S • A C C O M M O D A T I O N


* Cheapest cocktail free when 2 cocktails are ordered


Edible Updates

Christmas: how depressing, to only have a

half-page on which to list all the food news this

December. For hampers: difficult choices to make,

as there are fine ones on offer at Laporte’s, Cheese

Please, Pleasant Stores and through Lewes

Hamper Of course, you might

also do well to make your own from products on

offer at the Food Rocks Market on 13 Dec, 11-

4pm, or the weekly Lewes Food Market – maybe

with Jane Fairman’s Beech Leaf Noyau or Cherry

Blossom liqueur? Lewes Food Market will be

open on Christmas Eve from 9-12, for collection

of pre-ordered turkeys, Christmas puddings, pies

and stollen. More choice again when it comes to

delicious handmade festive bakes. The Hearth has

brought back their Harveys mince pies and Christmas

cakes. Made to heirloom recipes and with

heirloom wheat. Happily the local allergy-friendly

Steph’s Kitchen is back in operation, to order their

non-festive treats, email stephpalmer@btinternet.

com. Pleasant Stores too, are making classic, vegan

and gluten free cakes to order, and Robin at Lewes

Community Kitchen will be baking up a storm

for Stollen Fest on 18 Dec, join for mulled wine and

nibbles, 3.30-5pm (see

Lewesiana, newly open from 8.30am, now has

an extended hot menu and Limetree Kitchen,

a new cocktail bar and b&b room. Before I wish

you Merry Christmas, it wouldn’t be right not to

mention that the Soup Kitchen at The Hearth will

be raising money for Calais on Fridays, noon-2pm,

and the Oyster Project Christmas Appeal needs

to top £1,500 this year:

Chloë King


Illustration by Chloë King

Merry Christmas

Join us for some festive sparkle and enjoy our

fantastic Christmas menus.

Seasonal and local favourites.

Open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Only closed on Christmas Day.

Real Eating Company

An independent, local restaurant

18 Cliffe High Street

Lewes BN7 2AH

01273 402650



Festive fizz

Photo by Alex Leith

Asked by Roy Plomley to choose his Desert Island

Luxury, John Betjeman plumped for a half bottle

of champagne, every morning after breakfast.

Most of us, alas, confine our indulgence in what

Tennyson, Betjeman’s fellow Poet Laureate, called,

a tad prosaically, ‘the foaming grape of Eastern

France’, to weddings, funerals and other disasters.

And, perhaps, Christmas. And this Christmas,

with the continued weakness of the Euro, prices

should have fallen.

Symposium stock 15 champagnes from eight

producers. Last Christmas I recommended their

Billecart-Salmon range in Viva Lewes (Ronald

Searle and his wife, Monica, drank a bottle of

the B-S rosé every day and lived to 91 and 85

respectively! £63, though.) This year, Symposium

owners, Henry and Robert, select Ayala (£30-£35),

Pierre Gimonnet (£32-£37) and Charles Heidsieck

(£43). By the way, Charles-Camille Heidsieck was

the original ‘Champagne Charlie’, immortalised in

George Leybourne’s music hall song. But too much

fizz helped hasten Leybourne’s early demise in

Islington, at only 42.

If you prefer to support local produce – the foaming

grape of Eastern Sussex rather than Eastern

France – I still think Breaky Bottom make the

most interesting sparkling wines. Waitrose stock

their 100% Seyval Blanc non-vintage (£24.95),

but again it’s really worth visiting Symposium for

their stock of vintage Breaky Bottom – 2007, 2008

(£29.95 each) and 2010 (£34). Harveys stock them

too. The latest to be released is the 2009 Cuvée

Gerard Hoffnung (also £34), a complex mix of

Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. DJ

A Great British

pub, a warm


wonderful food

& ambience

The Pelham arms

HigH Street • LeweS


You can download our menu from our website, send us an email to

check availability & book a table.


Thursday 3rd December. From 8.30pm. FREE.

Come and shake your pants!

We look forward to welcoming you!

Opening Hours

Tuesday to Thursday

Bar 12noon to 11pm &

Food 12noon to 2.30pm & 6 to 9.30pm

Friday & Saturday

Bar 12noon to Midnight &

Food 12noon to 2.30pm & 6 to 9.30pm


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

Get in touch!

Tel. 01273 476149


Twitter @PelhamArmsLewes

Book online @

the way we work

This month we asked Carlotta Luke to take pictures of stallholders at the Lewes Farmers’

Market, posing them the question: what is the favourite ingredient in your Christmas

dinner? The Markets in December are on the 5th and the 19th: the latter is, all but in

name, the Xmas Market in which you can get all you need for the big day. It’s also worth

noting there’s a special ‘Friday’ Market in the Market Tower on Christmas Eve.

Michael Vine, Ersham Farm

“Having spent seven months nurturing, feeding and watering turkey chicks

from four days old, it’s nice to sit down and finally enjoy them with all the trimmings.”

the way we work

Liz Bur, Ashurst Organics

“Christmas pudding with brandy butter, washed down with champagne.”

Prepare to Feast!

...Christmas orders

now being taken...

• Local


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Cakes & Pies

• Outstanding

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• Tea Room &


Discover REAL Flavour...

For a Splendid, Succulent

Local Turkey and our

Tasty, Home-Produced,

Additive-Free Beef,

Lamb & Pork, call in to

our shop today or phone

01273 478265



Less food miles = more food smiles...

On the A275 OFFHAM

near LEWES BN7 3QE


Shop Xmas Opening: 17-23 Dec 9am–4.30pm / 24 Dec 7.30am–2.00pm

25-28 Dec CLOSED / 29-31 Dec Normal hours / New Years Day CLOSED

8502-OFS_Xmas'15_Dec_VLHP*.indd 1 08/11/2015 21:51

the way we work

Grassington Farm. Richard Barton (pictured with family)

“My fave part of Christmas dinner is the people because it is

so precious to share Christmas dinner with your loved ones!”


72/73 High Street · Lewes · East Sussex BN7 1XG

Telephone: 01273 474150 · Facsimile: 01273 486591



Cooper & Son would like to

wish all its customers a very

Merry Christmas

Inc. Cooper & Son

Because every life is unique

42 High Street, Lewes | 01273 475 557

Also at: Uckfield • Seaford • Cross In Hand

the way we work

Lordington Lavender

“Marlane Rutledge (standing in for the owner): My favourite part of Christmas dinner

is the brown meat on the turkey, the white meat does not get eaten in our house!”


Opening for Late night Shopping thursday 3rd December


and Saturday 5th December 12-5pm

Star Brewery 1 Castle Ditch Lane, Lewes, BN7 1YJ

01273 471269

a b b y m o s s e r i






For the tastiest things on your Christmas list, see you down by the Riverside

Cliffe Bridge, Lewes BN7 2RE


By Cliffe Bridge, Lewes

the way we work

Owena Farm Produce

“Because of the vegetarians I cook for, I major on the roast vegetables

on Christmas Day, but the meat-eaters among us do enjoy a bit of hogget.”

Made in


There’s a huge variety of locally

produced and crafted items on sale

in and around town, perfect for that

special spot under the tree.

From top: hand-stitched leather

bucket bag by Lewesian Leathers,

available at The Silvery,

£125. Rose, geranium and pink

clay soap bar, The Good Times

Homestore, £5. Jelly mould tea

light holder, From Victoria, £15.

Rathfinny 2014 Pinot Blanc

Chardonnay, from The Gun

Room in Alfriston, £14.95. Lewes

bow tie, in vintage fabric, £32, Screen printed

tea towel by Mary Fellows, at the

Needlemakers, £9.50. The Lewes

Hamper, with stuff from Vrac Tea,

Lewes Map, Merle’s Kitchen and

Seven Sisters’ Spices, £40-£80.

The Tiny Gin Garden, £44.95,

The SilveryR

RThursday 3rd December Lewes Late Night Shopping


Come and join us for Free Mulled Wine and Mince Pies

29 Cliffe High Street, next to the church



late night


3rd December 2015. 6pm – 8.30pm

For over 30 years, Late Night Shopping has constituted the

unofficial start to Christmas in Lewes and this year is no exception,

with bell ringing, carol singing and all sorts of entertainment

planned throughout the town.

Enjoy a traffic-free, festive evening with shops, eateries and

markets open late with offers and treats to tempt you in and fill you

with festive spirit. Christmas shopping, in effect, starts here.

organised by

Thank you for your support

Each year we hope to raise as much money as possible for local good causes and this

year we’re thrilled to be raising funds for the Bevern Trust.

For over 15 years the Trust has been helping young adults with profound disabilities

live life to the full. Compassionate care is at the centre of their work and their home

at Bevern View. For people with profound disabilities just getting out of bed, eating

breakfast and getting dressed to start the day could need the help of at least two

carers. The charity aspires to a situation whereby every parent with a disabled child has

a place like Bevern View that they can trust. A place where care, family and love come

first, every day. Funds raised on the evening will help them to meet this goal and to give

people with complex needs the care and experiences that many of us take for granted.

To find out more and to get involved, please visit

What’s on


In the Town Hall, you’ll find Christmas Creative, showcasing luxury products

from Lewes makers. Exhibitors include a perfumier, a chocolatier, a bespoke

milliner, and silver and goldsmiths. Enjoy the dulcet tones of a lady lounge

singer, local sparkling wines, Harveys ale, mince pies from the Hearth,

mulled wine and the launch of the Lewes Hamper.


It’s the perfect moment to start your Christmas shopping, with the High

Street closed to traffic, and special offers and festive treats in many shops.

Tourist Information have a medieval theme with choral music, games and

storytelling. Buy distinctive Lewes gifts and get them wrapped for free!

Round the corner you’ll find stalls in the Market Tower.


Join in this year’s town trail for the chance to win some fantastic prizes.

Gather a stamp in each of the 12 shops on the trail as well as a letter to

complete the festive anagram. Prizes include three family tickets to the

Enchanted Park at Lewes Grange, a Family Hamper, a meal for two at the

Pelham Arms, a £25 Stitchery Voucher and a Viva kids’ Christmas stocking!


Santa will set up his grotto in Lewes House once again this year, offering

gifts for children whilst the adults can stop for mulled wine.


There’s loads to do this year at Harveys Brewery Yard with a Hog Roast, the

Hop Bar, Hearth pizzas & mince pies, waffles and Christmas Ale ice cream.

We’ve got vintage vehicles and Rockabilly Christmas will be playing in

between updates from Lewes’ very own Town Crier, John Borthwick. Lewes

Passion Play present The Christmas Story Unfolded in Harveys Way.


Enchanted Park, in the Grange Gardens, will be open from 4.30pm getting

your evening off to a very festive start. Booking is essential to avoid


The Town Trail

Twelve shops are taking part in this year’s town trail. Collect a stamp from each of

them as well as a letter to complete a Christmas anagram. Each shop will have an

item they wouldn’t usually sell. Find the item, jot down the first letter of its name,

then rearrange the letters to form a festive phrase. Collect all 12 stamps, complete

the anagram and tear out and hand in your form at any of the participating shops.

The first five entries drawn out of the hat will win a family ticket to Enchanted Park,

a Family Hamper, a £25 Stitchery voucher, a meal for two at the Pelham Arms or a

Viva Christmas stocking. Don’t forget to take your Viva out with you!

1. 2. 3. 4.

5. 6. 7. 8.

9. 10. 11. 12.

Fill in your anagram here:

Get all 12 stamps in the baubles above


Hand this page into one of the participating shops to be entered in the prize draw

Name ...........................................................................................................

Email address ........................................................................................... Tel no ...................................................................................

A big thank you to...

The Chamber of Commerce have organised this event for many years now and

would like to thank everyone who has volunteered their time and resources to make

this wonderful evening possible.

Thanks to Viva Lewes, the twelve shops in the town trail, the businesses that have

donated prizes, the Town and District Council for their continued support and to

everyone who helps make Santa’s grotto so special at Lewes House.

To all the shops and businesses and people out and about on the evening, we would

like to wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous Christmas and New Year.

lewes town



Citizen watches

available at our Lewes

and Eastbourne


View online:

Citizen Men’s Chrono-Time

Red Arrows Limited Edition Alarm

Chronograph Radio Controlled

Eco-Drive Watch.

Lewes- 01273 487816

Eastbourne- 01323 411039

Open for Late Night Shopping

Thursday 3rd December

All that


Lewes is the home to an inordinate

number of fine jewellers; we spent a

sparkling afternoon wandering round

them discovering Christmas gift ideas

From top: Woven fold studs by

Jessica Briggs, £79 from The Workshop.

Curio vintage robin pendant

in yellow gold vermeil, from £100,

Alexis Dove. Natural round freshwater

pearl necklace, £295 from

David Smith.

Amethyst and pearl art Edwardian

drop pendant on chain, £375 from

Marston Barrett. Silver-plated shell

pendants, £30 each from The Silvery.

Rose gold-plated hammered disc.

£70 from W.E. Clark. MenAnTol

bracelet from Julian Stephens, £145

for bracelet and one silver bead, then

£90 per bead. Stackable rings, £146

per ring, by Abby Mosseri.







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*All offers are subject to change, and availability. Panasonic Store Brighton is a trading name of R Barker Tarring. Panasonic Store Brighton acts as a credit intermediary and only offers

products from Barclays Partner Finance. Barclays Partner Finance is a trading name of Clydesdale Financial Services Limited a wholly owned subsidiary of Barclays bank plc. Clydesdale

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Lewes Out Loud

Plenty more Henty

As someone who has

provided the voice for

Father Christmas on

many occasions – I’m

told I actually sound

more like the late Denis

Healey – you can imagine

my surprise when I

spotted ‘Santa’ down the

Sunday car boot recently.

Well, it wasn’t him in

reality, it was the modest

Raymond Briggs who,

in 1973, wrote and illustrated

a wonderful book

entitled Father Christmas

which has been read and enjoyed by millions of

children all over the world ever since.

This year, for the fourth year running, the musical

version plays at the Lyric in Hammersmith until

Christmas Eve. Gavin, owner of Bags of Books in

South Street, tells me that all Raymond’s colourful

characters, including, of course, The Snowman

(1978), continue to be popular and not just at

Christmas. “They sell all year round” Gavin told

me with a smile.

Raymond, in boots and a long coat, lives near

Plumpton and admitted once that he was not a

fan of Christmas himself. He was cheery enough

though when I spoke briefly to him but I’m glad I

resisted the temptation to mention that tune and

what was on my ‘wish’ list of presents.

Last year, for example, I was disappointed when

the die-cast metal Subbuteo bottle opener failed to

appear in my pillow case. This year I’m thinking

about a Deer Deterrent (£7.99) which, when fitted

to a car, emits a sound (not audible to humans) to

warn the deer. Obviously works. When did you last

see a deer in the High Street?

Serious consideration too for a pure Outer-Hebridean

wool collar

which, according

to the advertisement,

‘gives urban

dogs just a hint of

wildness’ for £39.

Wild? I’d be furious

at that price.

Only other problem:

I don’t have

a dog and, let’s

face it, from what

I’ve seen in recent

months, anyone

who is anyone in

Lewes has a dog

and sometimes more than one. Why, even busking

has been superseded in some towns by blokes

sculpting large dogs out of sand!

As a temporary solution, I have purchased for myself

an invisible dog’s lead which allows me to go for

walks like other owners but without the associated

hassles. Unlike them, I can take my invisible pal

into the Grange Gardens, for example, and there’s

clearly no need to carry a pooper scooper.

On a more serious note – rather like my brief

encounter with Raymond, I only met Radio 4

newsreader, Peter Donaldson – who sadly died last

month – on one occasion. It was at a Rocket Radio

party in Lewes and I recognised him immediately

from his distinctive voice. A voice which I’d last

heard locally at that years’ Remembrance Day

ceremony at the War Memorial. A charming, unassuming

man, Peter valued his many associations

with our town.

Finally, a couple of genuine gift ideas. Leslie Norah

Hills’ calendar for Cancer Research UK is selling

well, I’m told, and congratulations to Bob Cairns

for his fascinating new Lewes – the Postcard Collection

book. John Henty

Photo by Andrew Henty










The only truly independent, family owned and run

Funeral Directors & Memorial Masons in Lewes & Uckfield

We probably don’t have anything you want for Christmas

but if you need us you can still call 24 hours a day

170 High Street



01273 488121 (24hrs)

125 High Street


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01825 760601 (24hrs)

feature: wildlife


Home for Christmas

Lewes is no place for a warbler in winter. As daylight,

temperature and their insect food dwindles

blackcaps, whitethroats, chiffchaffs, reed, sedge and

willow warblers all leave England. Each September

their fragile, feathered bodies fly to Spain and

sub-Saharan Africa on the promise of warmth, food

and, ultimately, life. So finding a blackcap swinging

on your birdfeeder in December will be as unlikely

as seeing Santa at a midsummer barbeque. But at

Christmas miracles can happen.

Blackcaps return to England in April. Cuckoos

and chiffchaffs, also early migrants, broadcast their

arrival with their monotonous two-note tune but

the blackcap lets loose a rich, full-throated, joyous

warble; a defiant announcement that he’s cheated

death for another winter.

This colourful song comes from a colourless bird,

yet there’s something stylish and continental about the

blackcap’s appearance. Their grey suit and black beret

pulled over dark eyes make them look like some Parisian

beatnik. You’d expect to catch one sat in a willow

smoking Gauloises and muttering about Sartre. The

female bird’s beret is a rich chestnut brown; hardly

qualifying her to use the name blackcap at all.

The laws of nature clearly state that all European

blackcaps must migrate south for the winter. But in

the sixties a small gang of nonconformist blackcaps

in Germany started a revolution. They headed

south-west instead of south, ending up in England.

Mother Nature is not kind to those who disobey her

rules and this suicide squad was surely sentenced

to a frozen death in our frosty winter. But instead

they found a new England. A land of mild winters,

ornamental berry bushes and kind people who hung

balls of fat in their gardens. They didn’t freeze and

starve. They survived.

Not only that; the following spring’s short flight

home to Germany meant they arrived ahead of their

law-abiding neighbours who were still struggling

back from their long-haul holiday. The returning

rebels were able to claim the best territories and

produce larger families. They raised more revolutionaries

who returned to England each winter. Now

a small population of blackcaps make our gardens

their winter home; exotic apparitions of summer

amongst the robins and frost. They’ll be gone again

by the time ‘our’ British blackcaps return, exhausted

and oblivious, in April.

Animal migration is amazing. Each year across

Europe millions of perilous journeys are undertaken

as birds, bats, butterflies and other wildlife

flee hostile conditions. This year we have watched

as our own species has been added to this list. The

paths of refugees and migrating birds will cross as

both are forced on dangerous journeys over the same

treacherous mountains and seas. Let’s hope they all

find someplace safe this Christmas.

Michael Blencowe, Sussex Wildlife Trust

Illustration by Mark Greco


Seasons Greetings


Mayo Wynne Baxter

Call us on 01273 477071



Darren Freeman

Lewes FC’s new manager

From the moment he walked into the interview

for the Lewes FC’s manager’s job, Darren Freeman

was under no illusion that he was facing anything

less than a monumental task. Steve Brown’s

young side had recorded just one win all season,

confidence was shot and Rooks fans couldn’t even

bear to look at the league table.

A month or so into the job, Freeman’s still (at the

time of writing) searching for that second league

win, but the squad has been overhauled, performances

have been much improved and confidence

is growing that an 8-1 thrashing of Hailsham in

the County Cup won’t be the only thing Lewes

fans have to cheer as the 2015/16 season nears its


Freeman’s tenure started with a 4-1 defeat away to

Grays, a match that Freeman describes as an “eyeopener”.

“I knew straight away there were players

who weren’t up to it,” he said. “They were good

players, but they had got complacent and they

were the wrong players for the dog fight.”

Now the squad is barely recognisable to the one

he inherited, with only two or three players retaining

their place in the side. “I put down a list of

players who I knew I could trust, who would give

110%, who would be proud to put a Lewes shirt

on.” That list included some former Dripping

Pan favourites – goalkeeper Chris Winterton,

full-back Steve Brinkhurst, on-loan midfielder

Nic Ciardini – as well as some new faces, including

the combative midfielder Lloyd Cotton, the

striker Richard Pacquette (who netted four times

against Hailsham) and the manager’s son, centreback


Freeman’s spent most of his managerial career at

the opposite end of the table, winning promotion

after promotion with Whitehawk. No manager

enjoys being mired in the relegation zone, but

Freeman talks with genuine enthusiasm about the

task of edging his side up the table. “It’s more of

a challenging role for me,” he said. “When you’re

winning week-in week-out, I know it sounds silly,

but you don’t learn an awful lot. I feel that I’m a

better manager now. We struggled [with Whitehawk]

in the Conference South. I learnt that when

things need changing, you need to change them.

We haven’t got loads and loads of matches to get

this right.”

Even though Lewes are now more than ten points

from safety, the manager remains absolutely resolute

that “we will get through it”, and insists he’s

still able to sell the club to players despite the perilous

league position. “It’s a fantastic club. I know

it sounds mad, but I’m so happy to be at Lewes

because you look at your surroundings, the pitch,

the professionalism behind the scenes and it’s just

fantastic. The players, they can see with the [3G]

training facilities, that it’s a proper club.”

“We just need to transfer that onto the pitch,” he


Interview and photo by Barry Collins

Photo by Barry Collins


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icks and mortar

Foundry Gallery


I ask Wenda if I can bring my bike into the Foundry

Gallery, and she says ‘of course’, and opens

the door, and all of a sudden I get a flashback of

the last time I was there, actually riding my bike

around inside, with all the art on the walls. That’s

the sort of gallery it is.

Art gallery is just a part of it. Wenda is Artemis

Arts’ Wenda Bradley, a former headmistress who,

together with Christine Hall, has been running

the space for nearly ten years. Artemis have put on

all sorts of shows, or rented the space in order to

raise money to put into educational art projects.

We sit with a cup of tea, and she tries to recall

some of the more colourful events. A catwalk…

experimental music… life drawing classes… film

sets… youth theatre… Arthur Brown’s helmet

catching fire.

Like most all of the Phoenix tenants, Artemis have

been given notice by developers Santon: they will

have to vacate the space by March. Wenda is sanguine

about this eviction order. “We’ve been told

that we won’t be here next year by everyone who’s

been in charge of this building since we started,”

she says. “Let’s just wait and see.”

One project Artemis arranged, five years ago,

looked in some detail into the history of the building,

and the estate around it. “When we took it

over we were aware of the fact that it had been a

very successful garage for a while. You bashed your

car in Morrisons Car Park, and you drove straight

to Market Lane Garage, and they’d fix it for you.”

But there were fittings on the wall, huge great

steel girders and great big winches on rails and

suchlike, that obviously predated the garage. “It

was only then we realised that it was part of the

Phoenix Ironworks. In fact it was the machine

shop, where a lot of component parts were made.”

The project called upon locals and former Lewes

residents to share their memories of a business –

originally called Everards, and then the Phoenix

Ironworks - which was founded as far back as 1852

and which, in its heyday between the 20s and the

50s, was easily the biggest employer in town. The

results, included spoken word testimonies and

photographs, as well as a lot of figures and data

collected, were remarkable. Now a vivid historical

record of the business will forever mark its prominent

place in the history of the town.

It’s maybe typical of the way Lewes has changed

that a space where manhole covers and cast-iron

railings were once made should end up as an arts

centre; it’s sad to think that in a few months the

place might well be razed to the ground. I get on

my bike to leave and Wenda presses the button to

raise the electrical door so I can ride out. It’s an

operation she clearly enjoys performing, and as a

parting gesture I offer: “let’s hope you’ll still be

pressing that button in a year’s time,” and she says,

with a rueful little smile, “let’s hope.” Alex Leith

Christmas Brocante Antique Market/bricabrac,

Sat 5th December, 9-2pm (sellers 8am, info

07752557335 / 07762337342)


usiness news

If you’re a woman looking to

grow your business in 2016

then Lewes Women in Business

is a networking group

for you. Launched earlier

this year by Chloe Edwards

of Seven Sisters Spices, each

month it brings independent

business women from Lewes

and the surrounding area together

to find work opportunities,

access business support

and make other connections.

Gatherings are designed to

be uplifting and inspiring and

they’ve adopted the unofficial

motto “Lewes Women

in Business – much more fun

than it sounds” accordingly.

Members come from a broad

spectrum of businesses on

every scale, reflecting the rich

seam of talent in the area;

retailers, designers, communicators,

therapists, caterers,

photographers, jewellers,

upholsterers, architects and

more. New members are

always welcome and you can

meet the existing collective

at their Pop-Up Christmas

Emporium on Sunday 13th

at Pelham House. A festive

event showcasing some of

their members’ products and

services, over 25 business

owners will be there selling

leather goods, perfumes,

jewellery, hats, illustrated

prints, ceramics and more.

You’ll also have the chance to

meet women offering bespoke

services like website or garden

design. Join them for a glass

of mulled wine and enter the

prize draw. For membership

enquiries, visit


and follow them on Twitter @

LewesWB .

Speaking of women in

business, Cornelia James,

luxury glove maker to the

Royal Family, based in Sussex

since 1947 and now in the

hands of Cornelia’s daughter

Genevieve, have launched a

diffusion range ‘Cornelia by

Cornelia James’. See their

gloves, leather accessories,

pashminas, scarves and wraps

when you’re on a Christmas

shopping trip to London at

House of Fraser on Oxford

Street, or buy online at

There’s more luxury locally

too, with a new range of

Junkers watches available at

David Smith’s jewellers and

a showcase of luxe products

from Lewes makers at the

Town Hall on Late Night

Shopping. We’re looking

forward to seeing you out and

about on the evening of the

3rd and we’d like to say a big

thank you to all the local businesses

who’ve supported the

town trail this year; Abigail’s

Drapery, Rowland Gorringe,

Harveys, Silverado,

The Stitchery, Pestle &

Mortar, Marston Barrett,

Simon David, Bags of

Books, The Outdoor Shop,

Lewes Tourist Information

Centre and Flint Owl

Bakery, and to The Pelham

Arms, Enchanted Parks and

The Stitchery who donated

prizes. If you want to brighten

your shop window, don’t forget

that the Patina Christmas

lanterns are available to hire.

Finally, a warm Viva welcome

to newcomers to town this

month. Seasalt, purveyors of

practical and stylish clothing

and homeware inspired

by their beginnings on the

Cornish coast, will be opening

their doors very soon on

School Hill. Within pasty

rolling distance a few doors

down, Boon Books open

their first retail premises with

a huge and varied selection of

discounted, remaindered and

overstock books and CDs.

trade secrets

Photo by Lizzie Lower

Ian Goldsmith

Director, Bluauto Premium Cars

We specialise in premium German umbrella

brands such as Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Mini,

together with Land Rover and Range Rover too.

We pride ourselves on stocking cars that are sourced

with an excellent pedigree and which are carefully

prepared. We’ve built up a great many contacts

and are buying cars every day, but we are very fussy

about what we take, and turn a lot away.

Myself and my partner, Guy, have originated

from a main dealer background, where we held

senior management roles. We have some 45 years’

experience in the industry between us. For me, being

one of just 14,000 employees globally, I became

a little disillusioned with focus being on ‘compliance’

and not the customer, so we decided to set up

in 2013. With my commute from Newick instead of

driving into London each day, I certainly don’t miss

the politics of a big corporation. We’ve now got a

team of seven, which we intend to grow in 2016 and

that means we can combine the customer service

ethos of a main dealership with the highly personalized

service of an independent.

We are a local business with local knowledge

and this allows us to build a relationship with

our customers. We take the time to talk to the

buyer (the person who will be driving the car) to determine

what is right for them. Once we agree that,

we advise them to choose a car based on its history

and pedigree, not colour! If we don’t have it in stock,

we will call the customer to let them know when

something suitable is coming in. We get around 30-

35 new cars arriving a month and so it doesn’t usually

take too long before we make that call. We have

one family who have purchased six cars from us in

our first two years and also have many families on

their second and third cars from us. We think that’s

a great testament to how we treat our customers.

It’s true that some used-car dealers get bad press

but we are hugely experienced and in business

for the long term. We pride ourselves on customer

service and delivering a great customer experience.

We’ve sold more than 600 cars since we’ve been

open and haven’t had a single one back. That’s down

to a combination of maturity, experience and taking

the time to get the right car for the customer.

I’m no petrolhead - I enjoy the customer service

and business side of things – but if I could have any

car for Christmas it would be a Mercedes estate. It’s

practical as well as being a great car to drive. Premium

brand cars are screwed together slightly differently

than your average motor car and when you

get in the driving seat, you can feel that they are just

a bit more robust as well as being luxurious.

As told to Lizzie Lower

London Road, Ringles Cross, Uckfield 761222



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

Directory Spotlight:

John Foulkes ADI, Driving instructor Sussex Road Academy

I teach a real mixture of new

starters, those returning to

driving and people converting

from international

driving licences. Increasingly

people are learning at all times

of life so my learners can be any

age from 17 to their mid-forties.

I’m never nervous with a

new learner driver. I’ve got dual controls but I’m

having to think one step ahead of them. It’s my job

to allow them to make mistakes in a safe environment.

That’s how they learn.

Some new drivers can learn in around a dozen

lessons and most pass their test at the first or

second attempt. Everyone has a different learning

style and so I’m constantly adapting to the individual.

I used to work for a big training company

but teaching new skills one-to-one is what I’ve

always enjoyed most.

Part of my week is spent

teaching advanced and further

driving skills, helping

people to improve their night

driving, parking skills or motorway

driving. I’m a voluntary

instructor with the Institute of

Advanced Motorists and we are

constantly seeking to improve defensive driving

skills. I’m always asking ‘what if…?’

I mainly work between Lewes and Haywards

Heath but I’ll take drivers all over Sussex as

they learn. That way they’re prepared to drive in

all sorts of circumstances and it stops the residents

of Burgess Hill, where the test centre is, getting

cheesed off with learner drivers reversing around

corners. As told to Lizzie Lower

01273 479159




PVC Windows

Timber Windows

Aluminum Windows

Doors and Conservatories

coloured glass splashbacks

Give your kitchen a touch

of colour this summer!

Call for a free, no obligation quote!

(01273) 475123


CP Viva Lewes Ad (Qtr Pg)_62 x 94mm 18/02/2011 1

Colin Poulter


Professional Plasterer

Over 25 years experience

All types of plastering work

and finishes undertaken

FREE estimates

Telephone 01273 472 836

Mobile 07974 752 491





Handyman Services for your House and Garden

Lewes based. Free quotes.

Honest, reliable, friendly service.

Reasonable rates

Tel: 07460 828240


Project1/NEWSIZE_Layout 1 18/01/2012 14:59 Page 1

AHB ad.indd 1 27/07/2015 17:4

Jack Plane Carpenter

Nice work, fair price,

totally reliable.

01273 483339 / 07887 993396

home & garden




Restoration &


come & see us at

the farmers’


to lewes and

surrounding areas

Mobile 07941 057337

Phone 01273 488261

12 Priory Street, Lewes, BN7 1HH


GGS1.001_QuarterPage_Ad_01.indd 1 12/11/10 18:24:51


landscape and garden design

01273 401581/ 07900 416679

Services include

- Garden Design & Project Monitoring

- Redesign of Existing Beds & Borders

- Plant Sourcing

Call us for a free consultation


Stella Joy Round 11.15 Viva Ad.qxp_66 12/11/2015 09:

health & Well-being

Joy of Movement

Holistic dance &

movement for health

A guided class combining simple, flowing and easy to

follow steps with mindful movement for adults of all ages,

fitness levels and experience. Feel balanced, connected

and energised as you find your own natural way of

moving in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

First taster class £5 (please book)

Lewes - Thursdays 10.30 - 11.30am

Cliffe Hall, St Thomas a Becket, Cliffe High St, Lewes BN7 2AH

5 classes for £40. New term from 7th January 2016

Call Stella on 07733 450631


Month by month vegetable growing

tuition in your own garden

Call or email me now for more information

on fruit and vegetable growing

Free initial consultation

Angela Craven

07942 898911 |

Kate Sippetts

Designer Gardener








RHS hort & BA hons

health & Well-being

OSteOpathy & Cranial OSteOpathy

Michaela Kullack & Simon Murray

Experienced, Registered Osteopaths

Like us on


River Clinic

COMpleMentary therapieS

Acupuncture, Alexander Technique, Bowen Technique,

Children’s Clinic, Counselling, Psychotherapy,

Family Therapy, Herbal Medicine, Homeopathy,

Hypnotherapy, Massage, NLP, Nutritional Therapy,

Life Coaching, Physiotherapy, Pilates, Reflexology, Shiatsu

TheRaPy RoomS avaiLabLe To RenT

open monday to Saturday

For appointments call

01273 475735

River Clinic, Wellers Yard,

Brooks Road, Lewes BN7 2BY


health & wellbeing

health & Well-being

lessons and courses

Singing Lessons

Experienced voice teacher - DBS checked - Wallands area

07960 893 898

other services

We can work it out

2 Bed High Street Flat

To Let - Lewes

Newly refurbished

Castle & Downland Views

£1100 pcm

available soon, for details call 07947 453860





T: 01273 961334





Andrew M Wells Accountancy

99 Western Road Lewes BN7 1RS

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

other services

inside left


As we’ve mentioned elsewhere in this issue, December 10th will mark the South Downs National Park

Committee’s decision as to the future of the North Street industrial estate, so we’ve chosen to mark the

occasion with this remarkable picture, taken on the site. It was shot, we believe, a century ago, in 1915, as

part of a series marked in Reeves’ records as ‘before embarkation to France’.

In that period there were troops billeted all over the region, as thousands of soldiers were waiting to be

shipped – with their horses, in this case – to the Continent. We have little concrete information as to the

identity of this unit, but they were certainly cavalrymen: even the standing men are wearing spurs on

their boots. From the shape of their cap badges, it seem likely that they were in the Royal Horse Artillery.

Almost all of the cavalry regiments in WW1 fought on the Western Front, so it was likely these men

went off to get involved in that muddy horror. Cavalry casualties were relatively low, but there were over

5,000 British cavalrymen killed in the conflict.

Nor do we have information as to how the Phoenix Ironworks, whose front gates you can see in the

background – was employed during the war: if anyone out there knows whether or not it contributed to

the war effort, we’ll certainly pass it on to Artemis Arts, who are still collecting material for the archive

they have amassed of information pertaining to the industrial past of the county town, and particularly

the Every/Phoenix Iron Works.

The building in the background, we’re informed by Artemis’ Wenda, is the main entrance to the Phoenix

Ironworks, which was turned into an industrial museum in the 30s, and burnt down in 1948. The soldiers

are posing for the picture in what is now the car park in front of Zu Studios, the façade of which would

be just out of shot on the right, opposite the structure behind the horses. Looking into those soldiers’

proud eyes, we can’t help but wonder how many of them made it back.




£21.95 and £26.95


56 Cliffe High Street, Lewes BN7 2AN

01273 476918

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