Viva Lewes issue #113 February 2016


Brighton & Hove

High School GDST

Reg charity

no 306983

for girls aged 3-18

early years & junior school open day

saturday 12 th march, 9:30am-12 noon

senior school open day

with year 4 & 5 masterclasses

saturday 6 th february, 9am-12 noon

rsvp 01273 280170|

please see our website for more scheduled events








When I moved back to Lewes in 2005, my mate Andy pestered me no end. “You’ve got to

play,” he kept saying. “You’ll love it.” He was referring to a regular Sunday morning game of

football on the Convent Field, jumpers for goals, everyone welcome, that he was involved in.

Eventually, I agreed. He was right, I did love it. Over ten years on, I still do. I look forward to

it all week, in fact.

“How many goals did you score?” says my girlfriend, when I get home, caked in mud.

Though, spookily, she almost invariably forgets to ask the question on the occasions that I

actually have put the ball in the imaginary net. The point is, it really doesn’t matter if I score

or not; if my team wins or not. The enjoyment of victory, or despair at defeat, has pretty

much dissipated before I’ve got my boots off. I just love playing. And I’ll tell you what: I know

my fellow football players, from the way they behave on the field, better than I know some of

the people I work with.

When was the last time you played? Not just football, but toads, or cards, or bar billiards,

or darts? Or a musical instrument, for that matter, or as a performer, on a

stage? If that’s recently, you’ll surely understand Pierre de Coubertin’s

famous Olympic maxim about winning and taking part. If not – what’s

stopping you? This month’s theme is ‘Lewes at Play’.

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,

Barry Collins, 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









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

the ‘lewes at play’ issue



Bits and bobs.

8-25. Our cover artist Malcolm

Trollope-Davis, Ashcombe Windmill

replete with a full set of sweeps, Viva

goes abroad, Norman Baker’s latest

LP, and a fair bit more, besides.


27-31. David Jarman on the perils

of autobiography, Chloë King on

the importance of playing, and Mark

Bridge on how he keeps himself


In Town this Month.

33. A pint with Lewes Literature

Society guest Mick Jackson.

35. Paul Austin Kelly meets

Glyndebourne Youth organiser Lee


36-37. Arty offerings at the Foundry

from Sussex Downs students.

39. David Jones at Pallant House.

41-43. Art and about: what’s on in

Lewes and beyond.


45. Classical round-up, with plenty of


47-51. Diary dates. Talks, films and

future events to book.

53-54. Gig guide. Applewood Road

at Lewes Little Theatre, plus this

month’s smorgasbord of musical


57-63. Freetime. What’s what for

the U16s, including the video game

Battlehand, Roller Disco at Wave

Leisure, and what flicks are on at the

All Saints.


65-73. Dinner at the recently

reopened Anchor, in Ringmer, cheese

straws and sausage rolls at Bake Out,

home-made raw chocolate, Hook &

Son unpasteurised milk, and what’s up

on the food scene.

The Way we Work.

75-81. James Boyes snaps Lewes FC’s

volunteers and asks them… is there a

significant other?


the ‘lewes at play’ issue





85-97. If you use a bit of

imagination, that is. Playwright

and teacher Philip Ayckbourn,

John Henty out loud, how to

give a massage to your loved one,

Lewes FC keeper Chris Winterton,

Michael Blencowe on toads, and

the art of bowling at the Tilting


Business directory.

99-113. Reputable Lewes

businesses at your fingertips, with

the spotlight on guitar teacher Guy

Pearce and High Street openingand-closing


Inside Left.

114. More Victorian pedal power,

this month of the three-wheeled

variety. And a magnificent beard,

to boot.


We plan each magazine six weeks ahead, with a midmonth

advertising/copy deadline.

Please send details of planned events to events@vivalewes.

com, and for any advertising queries:, or call 01273 434567.

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.

Love me or recycle me. Illustration by Chloë King

this month’s cover artist:

malcolm trollope-davis

The keen gamers

among you – or

those with children

aged seven and up

– might recognise

a few of the characters

on our cover.

It was designed by



Malcolm Trollope-Davis,

who is

launching his new game MATOTU this month.

The name stands for ‘machines are taking over

the universe’ and it’s “basically a collectable trading

card game,” he explains, “but it’s a computer

game too.”

Each of the cards, which you can buy from Si’s

Sounds, on Station Street, or Mary’s, at the

Needlemakers, have a different character with its

own Rarity Value; an RV of 20 is the hardest to

find. Each card also has two pop-out disks which

are small enough for kids to keep in their pocket so

they can swap characters and battle each other in

the playground. The real

uniqueness comes with

the MATOTU app:

here players can register

their new characters

by entering the

code underneath a

scratch panel on the

card, play games to

win more points and

top the league tables,

and explore the deep

universe of MATOTU.

And it is a very deep universe.

While most games for kids are developed

within a matter of months, providing only the essential

narrative to allow the story to make sense,

Malcolm has been working on this one for 15

years. “I’ve populated all of the planets in our solar

system with aliens, all with kind of pseudo-educational

puns attached.” The aliens on the moon,

for example, are called the ‘Lunar Ticks’ and are

“crazy spider-like creatures” with names like ‘Asamar

Chair’ and ‘Madda Ta’. Then there’s Saturn,

home of the ‘Ring Tings’, and Neptune, which

is populated by the ‘Aqua Ticks’ and houses the

biggest prison in the universe, ‘Aquatraz’. Within

the app are hundreds of intertwining background

stories, and it’s very difficult not to get drawn in.

Back to the cover: “I wanted to do an Escher-like

illustration,” Malcolm says, “but I also wanted to

get some references to Lewes in there too.” Unexpectedly,

given the graphic style of his characters,

each one has started out as a pencil sketch. He has

sketchbooks filled with hundreds of ideas and imaginings

of aliens and planets. Creeping into the

MATOTU world are historical characters like

Tom Paine, who is playing Toad in the Hole with

an “old gaffer who would have lived down by the

river”. Not forgetting, of course, Brian the Snail.

This month Malcolm and his team have hidden

the first 48 aliens in windows around town. Pick

up an entry form from Si’s Sounds or download

one from If you can find all of

them, you’ll be in with a chance of winning a MA-

TOTU drone! Comp ends on March 1st.

Rebecca Cunningham /


Photo bny Alex Leith

my lewes: Dick Grindon, Landlord, Tally Ho

Are you local? No. I’m Irish, from Wexford. But

I’ve been living in Lewes for 35 years and more

now, so I guess I can call it home.

What brought you from Ireland? I was a professional

singer, with my wife, Louise, doing country

and MOR music. One of the band members suddenly

died on his 50th birthday, and I couldn’t go

on with it any more. So I went into the pub trade.

I managed more places in London than you could

shake a stick at, then got the offer of a job in Lewes,

as the club steward of the Police HQ Social.

I guess there wasn’t much trouble in that

bar… It was a lovely job! I left it when the Tally

Ho became available, 25 years ago now. I’ve been

here ever since.

Has it changed much over the years? Oh yes.

There used to be two bars and we knocked them

into one, and there was an off licence at the back

which we converted into a dedicated darts area.

But it’s always been a local, for Landport people.

We don’t get much passing trade here.

So darts is important to the Tally Ho. Darts is

important to Lewes. It’s a community thing. And

we raise a lot for charity – our chosen ones are St

Peter and St James Hospice and the British Heart

Foundation. There are 13 teams in the Lewes

league, and there are matches every week. It gets

people out and about: you meet a lot of folk. At

the Tally Ho we have darts nights from Tuesday

to Friday, including the Superleague, which is too

good a standard for me! In fact I’m playing a lot

less than I used to… age is catching up, and my

arms aren’t what they were.

Darts is one of the few sports that you can

have a drink and play… There are some teetotal

players, but they’re few and far between! Most

players will have a couple of drinks to steady the

hand. Not too many, mind… you can’t play well

when you’re pissed.

The Tally Ho has two teams… Yes, the Tally Ho

A, and the Tally Ho B. I’d like to mention the captain

of the A team, Sam Small. He’s over 80, and

he’s still playing. He’s been playing darts in Lewes

all his life – a lot of the pubs he’s played in don’t

exist any more.

Are there any other games or sports played

here? There’s a crib team. Oh, and a Sunday

League football team. They have their sandwiches

here, and their post-match rehydration, which

usually consists of a few pints of San Miguel.

And you show the football… My idea of a perfect

Sunday afternoon is putting my feet up and

watching the football. Especially if Spurs are playing.

We’ve got four screens here, the biggest being

a 63-incher.

Recommend us a good place to eat out. You

can’t beat the Panda Garden. Failing that Shanaz,

or the Pailin. Interview by Alex Leith


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its and bobs

ian seccombe’s point of view

“Whether it’s the role of Major William W Grantham (of Balneath Manor) in promoting the sport

during the First World War, the bats made by Lloyd-Curtis of Station Road or the more recent revival

of the Glynde Butterflies, Lewes and the surrounding villages have a long and proud history of playing

stoolball,” writes Ian, as ever, bang on theme. “I’m grateful to Stoolball England, and particularly John

and Kay Price for providing the stoolballs and the scoring sheets from 1910 used in this image.”

town plaques #11:

The Dripping Pan – perhaps a future plaque?

This month we consider a feature of Lewes that perhaps merits a historic plaque in the next round.

Lewes Football Club has played at the Dripping Pan in its distinctive red and black strip since 1893, but

the Pan goes back much further. It has been calculated that the volume of earth in the Mount would be

about equal to the amount apparently excavated and both features appear on maps as early as 1745, but a

suggestion that it was created as a floodable pan by the monks of Lewes Priory to provide (rather grubby)

salt for flavouring and preserving food is challenged by later evidence that the terraces are largely made

of rubble from the priory. Colin Brent in Pre-Georgian Lewes surmises that they may have been created by

Sir Thomas Sackville. Mounts were a feature of formal Elizabethan gardens and the Dripping Pan was ‘a

likely setting for bull baiting & bowling’.

There is genuine uncertainty here: a plaque would need very careful wording. Marcus Taylor


photo of the month


“I was walking along from Tide Mills to Seaford, taking pictures of the clouds and waves,” says Rob

Read, winner of this month’s £20 prize. “Suddenly I saw a seagull, probably a herring gull, fly into

view, so I quickly zoomed in - otherwise it would have just been a speck - and clicked.”

Rob admits this is the equivalent of throwing a coin in the air and shooting at it with a pistol… but in

this case it worked. “I’d say it was a case of serendipity. I always instinctively obey the rule of thirds,

in this case the bird seemed to know the score, too. Plus it was in focus, and I caught its wings at an

elegant, photogenic angle. Sometimes I take 100 shots of the waves until one looks just right: this was

a one-shot hit.”

We love the depth the clouds lend to the picture, and the stripes of different-hued blue Rothko-ing

up the frame. “The sun was shining behind the clouds,” says Rob. “Some of the shots I took showed

amazing colours, yellows and browns and suchlike. If you saw Turner or Constable painting such

colours you’d think ‘they’re exaggerating that’.”

For those interested in the techy details, Rob took the shot, on January 11th, with his camera set on

automatic (“nothing fancy, I was just pointing at the clouds”) on his Panasonic Lumix FZ50,which is a

handy-carry cross between a Compact and a DSLR.

Please send your pictures, taken in and around Lewes, to, or tweet them to

@VivaLewes. We’ll choose our favourite for this page, which wins the photographer £20. Unless previously

arranged we reserve the right to use all pictures in future issues of Viva magazines and online.


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Tuesday 23 February

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Brighton & Hove Office

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its and bobs


and harry forward ask: what was your fave toy craze?

“Let me have a think, it

would probably have to be

Snoopy and Paddington.”

Mirja Summers

“82 years is a long way to

think back. But I do remember

a Mickey Mouse pushalong

toy made by German

prisoners of war.” Mrs. Lee

“Oh I think it would

have to be Scalextric…

I still play it.”

John Ebden

“I used to play with


David Parfitt

“The funny answer would

have to be My Little Pony,

but Lego comes as a close

second.” Jordan Hugget

“I had loads of

Sindy Dolls.”

Jane Fordham











its and bobs

spread the word

Here’s Irene McCarthy Sommerville and Mattia

Basseggio spreading the word to Venice (without ostentatiously

choosing the Rialto Bridge, say, or the

Campanile to prove it).

Half Term Activities

at Anne of Cleves & Lewes Castle

Sewing & Stories

Tues 16th Feb - Anne of Cleves House,1-4pm

Stories, spinning and sewing.

All ages welcome. Included in admission.

Digging for Treasure*

Thurs 18th Feb - Lewes Castle,10.30am -12pm

Try some digging and make some treasure to take

away. Ages 4-8. Adult to stay. Tickets £5

Archaeologist for an afternoon*

Thurs 18th Feb - Lewes Castle, 2-4pm

Have a go at being an archaeologist with hands on

activities. Ages 6-10. Adult to stay.

Tickets £6 (includes child admission to castle).

*Book at Lewes Castle or on 01273 486290

Explore our website for more details

Meanwhile Dolly and Gugs took our January edition

– or at least its front cover – to their wedding in a

hotel in Funchal in Madeira. Congrats!

But the distance prize

goes to Terry and Martin

Wallwork, who took

their copy to Blurma

(sorry, Burma); perhaps

the soft focus is intended

to sharpen the Shwedagon

Paya dome behind.

Travelling away? Don’t

forget your Viva… send

your pics to


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its and bobs

Love me or Recycle m e

You might have noticed our new recycling doodle on the contents

page, created by the very talented Chloë King. We know

that many of our readers like to keep their copies of Viva but,

for those of you who are less attached, could you please pop

it in the recycling when you’re done. Viva is printed here in

Sussex, on paper produced from PEFC sustainably managed

forests and the few returns we get we send back to be pulped

so that they can go round again. Chloë has created a series of

these lovely doodles for us so look out for them each month.

ghost pubs: #16 The Running Horse, 21 Western Road

With Lewes racecourse lying at the western edge of the town, the

Pelham Arms was the original focus for the happy throng of racegoers.

However, in 1789 the Running Horse was opened, boasting

ample stables, and situated slightly closer to the racecourse. The first

landlord was Richard Goddard, who remained there for 20 years,

before leaving to take over the newly-built Black Horse in 1809.

The Running Horse appears to have had a rather dubious reputation

around the 1840s, with landlord James Henshaw in court more than

once for assault. And in 1846 his wife Mary was accused of assaulting

a servant who ‘had been much too familiar’ with her husband.

The longest serving landlord was David Banks, who took over the

pub in 1888 and ran it until his death, 37 years later, in 1925. A very

well-respected man, he for many years also served as a footman to

the judges who visited Lewes for the summer assizes. The Running

Horse was one of three Lewes pubs selected for closure in 1927.

Although altered slightly since then, the building still stands, and

was for many years the Western Road post office. In this old photograph (kindly supplied by John Davey)

you can see the pub sign on the right. Mat Homewood

lewes in numbers

Glyndebourne’s world famous opera house is only 3 miles from Lewes. Operas have been staged there

since 1934, when a 300 seat auditorium was opened, expanding 3 times to reach 850 seats by 1977. Complete

rebuilding in the 1990s has now resulted in an auditorium seating 1,200. It has 150 full-time staff,

around 1,500 visiting artists and seasonal staff, and an annual turnover of £25,000,000. The Festival and

Tour together stage over 120 performances in the year, reaching an audience of 150,000. And its wind

turbine, built in 2012, is 67 metres high and generated 89% of the company’s electricity requirements in

its first year. Sarah Boughton


its and bobsleigh

Charity dog sled

Former Lewes resident Jon Hearn will be taking

part in Europe’s longest dog sled race to raise

money for the Bevern Trust. The Finnmarksløpet

is a 1,000km non-stop race covering some

very difficult terrain and encountering extreme

weather conditions. Jon has entered before, but

this will be his first race since going through major

spinal surgery two years ago. He says, “Having

recovered from surgery recently, this event has the

added challenges of personal achievement and endurance,

whilst raising money for a Sussex charity

I care passionately about.”

The Bevern Trust works to support young adults

with profound learning disabilities, ensuring that

they can live active and fulfilling lives in a safe,

caring environment. The Trust’s Fundraising

Manager Matthew Cornish has said: “We are delighted

that Jon is taking on this challenge in aid

of us. Not only is Jon aiming to raise vital funds,

he will also be helping us to raise our profile

across Sussex and beyond. We wish Jon the very

best of luck and we’ll be cheering him on from

Barcombe in March”.

To sponsor Jon visit




girl about town

It was back in 1916 that Ashcombe Windmill,

a six-sweep post mill, was destroyed in a

terrible storm. So it’s apt that a hundred

years later, thanks to the hard work of James

Tasker, a replica mill should have its full set

of sails again, and Carlotta Luke has been

around to photograph the structure for Viva.

The mill, which we featured in #73, will

generate enough electricity to power a house

cleverly built around its base, storing any

surplus – enough for two more houses – onto

the National Grid.




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its and bobs

music review: the reform club

‘Days pass like a clockwork train’, sings Norman

Baker, on the opening track of the latest

(second) album he has just released with his

band The Reform Club… ‘Hope dies like a

wilting flower.’ The song is called Daffodil

Cottage, and on the surface it’s about estate

agent malpractice. Though I couldn’t help

wondering if there was some sort of metaphor

going on. Baker, who has ditched the

yellow scarf in favour of a crimson smoking

jacket, is the band’s songwriter, and his songs

often lead you to wonder what meaning lies

underneath. Does ‘shopping both sides of

the street’, in Shopping, refer to being in the

Coalition? Is Give War a Chance about Tony

Blair? Just where is the ultra-Conservative

‘Teapot Lane’ meant to be? The Reform Club

sound like the last 30 years never happened, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There’s a bit of Eleanor

Rigby here, a touch of All Mod Cons there, at one stage a hint of Elvis. Our former MP hasn’t got the most

melodious of voices but it does the job; a Liberal Democrat Billy Bragg meets late-era Ray Davies, in a

small town in Sussex, perhaps. The record label, Angel Air, it’s worth noting, specialises in rereleases, but

represent artists of the calibre of Chaz Jankel and Nine Below Zero. AL

lewes worthy: charles crisp

Once, after a disputed penalty decision in a Reading

match, the eminent referee Charles Crisp was

pursued by ‘an angry mob’, according to a 1902

magazine article. He escaped ‘at swift speed’, taking

a barge across a river. ‘His pursuers followed in

another craft, still keeping up the chase.’

So Crisp got in a cab, then snuck out the other side,

having told the driver to carry on. The crowd chased

the empty coach, and ‘Mr Crisp made his way comfortably

home, chuckling at his fortunate escape’.

Another time, he calmed some hostile spectators

by offering to fight the best boxer among them,

who he duly knocked down. Crisp had been an

amateur middleweight champion, in his day.

He was also, over the years, a schoolmaster, insurance

man, army Lieutenant-colonel, and mayor of

Lewes for three years in the 1920s.

In 1929, in his mid-sixties and evidently with no

plans to retire quietly, he took Chelsea FC on a

tour of South America. At the time, football was

a ‘dangerous trade’ on the continent, he later recalled.

Before one match, the local police commissioner

had warned them not to score; they ignored

the advice, and a near-riot ensued. In Buenos

Aires, according to Chelsea’s website, the team

came ‘under attack from opposition supporters,

players and, in one instance, the referee himself.’

Crisp went on to serve as mayor of Lewes for another

eight years, dying in 1956. The Argus’ obituary

called him ‘one of the most colourful characters

in the sporting and municipal life of Sussex.’

Steve Ramsey


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David Jarman

‘It’s not polite to talk about yourself’

At the beginning of

series four of Mad Men,

advertising wunderkind

Don Draper is being

interviewed by a trade

journalist. A human

angle is needed. Don

is unforthcoming, the

journalist mildly exasperated.

“As I told you”,

Don says, “I’m from

the Midwest. We were

taught that it’s not polite

to talk about yourself.”

My parents would

have approved. In fact,

bad manners and mere boasting aside, it would

probably have baffled them why it would ever

occur to anyone to want to talk about themselves.

Perhaps it helps explain why I’ve never had much

interest in family history. Why disturb the dust on

documents attesting to generations of unobtrusive

mediocrity? But perhaps, like my sister

Averil, I should, for doubtless our parents would

have hushed up the existence of any remarkable

forebear. In Joseph Conrad’s Chance, the narrator

asks whether a man called Powell was in any way

remarkable. Marlow replies: “He was not exactly

remarkable… in a general way it’s very difficult

for one to become remarkable. People don’t take

sufficient notice of one, don’t you know.” Isn’t that

true? Few people are at all interested in anyone

else, or so it’s always seemed to me. And yet, those

posting obsessively on social media and all that

tripe work on the assumption that everyone is

intensely interested in the minutiae of their lives.

Publishers seem to agree. Literary biographies,

celebrity memoirs, anyone’s memoirs as long as

they are sufficiently depressing. It’s difficult to

imagine a current film critic, even one as distinguished

as CA (Caroline

Alice) Lejeune once was,

getting away with an

autobiography based on

Lejeune’s premise that

she ‘had led a typical

middle-class life and

been very happy.’ We’re

much closer to the world

of Max Beerbohm, as

evidenced by a spoof

life, ‘happily not void of

those sensational details

which are what we all

really care about’, that

he wrote in 1913. Luntic

Kolniyatsch, we learn, was born in 1886, ‘last of a

long line of ragpickers’. Despite acquiring, at the

age of nine, ‘that passionate alcoholism which was

to have so great an influence in the moulding of

his character and on the trend of his thought’, his

childhood did not exhibit any sign of exceptional

promise. ‘It was not before his eighteenth birthday

that he murdered his grandmother and was sent to

that asylum…’

Italo Calvino described his 1954 book L’entrata en

guerra as ‘hand-to-hand combat against autobiographical

lyricism’, saying to a reviewer that “once

you start on the road to autobiography, where do

you stop?” Where, indeed?

If you do decide to write your life, when, ideally,

should you do it? Evelyn Waugh was clear: ‘only

when one has lost all curiosity about the future has

one reached the age to write an autobiography’.

Leave it too late, and the result may be irredeemably

dull. (David Lodge, last year). And be careful

of your title. Did the French film actress, Paulette

Dubost, who died at the age of 100, ever regret

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Chloë King

All kids’ play?

An article from Scary- appears on

my news feed entitled

‘Dear Helicopter Moms,

You’re Ruining It For

Everyone Else’.

One paragraph sticks out

in what would otherwise

be a fairly reasonable rant

about over-parenting

small children. If blanket

criticism of ostensibly

well-intentioned people

can ever be reasonable,

that is.

I’m sure one reason parents are so stressed these

days is because they read lifestyle articles (cue to

stop reading). In the past, when just your immediate

community taught parenting, you could be

comfortable in the knowledge that their imperfect

advice was the only kind available.

Anyway. The Scary Mommy statement that scared

me was the following: “I take my kids to the park

for a lot of reasons, but I don’t take them there to

play with them”.

The author Elizabeth Broadbent, aka MamaPixie-

DreamMama, dislikes parents she calls “hoverers”,

who “come to the park for one reason: to play with

their kids”. She says they ruin the experience for

everyone by coaxing Junior up the stairs and down

the slide, bouncing him on the seesaw, and swinging

him on the swing.

My mind is filled with reminiscences. The pleasure

of having my three-year-old inch me around

on the roundabout; the joy of sliding down the

blue slide at Monkey Bizness, the thrill of the red

one at Spring Barn Farm. Watching my daughter’s

toes peep over the wall while pushing her on the

swing at Pells Park - returning a subconscious

memory of my own childhood probably - and her

excited screams as I chase her around the Grange.

Not to say I’m always

hands-on. I’m as guilty as

the next parent of reading

articles on my phone, but

if MamaPixieDreamMama

were observing me in the

park on the wrong day, she

wouldn’t like what she saw.

This month, for Viva

Brighton, I interviewed

Hannah Coxeter and

David Allistone of Exploring

Senses, a Community

Interest Company involved

in play-based learning.

Their ‘Toy Hacking’ workshops, among others,

encourage kids and adults to let go of inhibitions

and have fun making stuff. A happy side effect is

helping people forget what their peers think and so

build confidence in their natural interests.

One of the problems Hannah tells me they address

is our tendency to ‘formalise play’. “You

say to people, ‘go and play,’” she says, “and it’s

always like, as an adult, I’m not allowed. It’s not

considered a valid thing to do… unless you call it

recreation, which is horrible.”

“When [participants] get started they think it’s

really fun, but there’s also an inhibition.” says

Hannah. “They’re so worried about what everyone

else thinks, that’s what their focus is: trying to

look cool. But actually, people realise, when they

let go, none of that actually matters because

they’re in a process, having a laugh and creating

funny things.”

Could it be that while MamaPixieDreamMama

gives her kids “freedom from parenting”, she

leaves herself on that well-worn turf, full of adults

enjoying the recreation of poking each other in the

ribs? Perhaps it’s of greater overall benefit to take

part in kids’ play, than it is to watch grown-ups

draw conclusions.

Illustration by Chloë King


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East of Earwig

Mark Bridge is always game

Photo by Mark Bridge

Last month I walked from Ringmer to Lewes,

leaving at the same time as the 28 bus and arriving

in town several minutes ahead of it. This was,

admittedly, at the time of the Great Isolation,

when roadworks on Malling Hill had reduced

traffic flow to a crawl. Nevertheless, I felt victorious.

Only the disappointment of a light drizzle

as I walked past Waitrose prevented me from

striking a pose like Usain Bolt and shouting “I

am Bridge, master of all delays. Yield to me, you

lingering commuters”.

Some might say that’s a sign I need to get out

more. They’d say I’m living in a fantasy world,

having conversations with myself. Nonsense, I

reply. And I should know: a long, long time ago I

was virtually King of Ringmer.

Okay, I’m exaggerating slightly. Back in 2014,

which is indeed ancient in internet years, I was

unofficial mayor of the corner shop in the village.

And mayor of my local pub, too. This was thanks

to an online service called Foursquare, which

let you monitor the number of times you visited

almost any destination. The most frequent visitor

in any given time period - both fairly arbitrary

designations - was automatically named ‘mayor’

until they were ousted by someone else. If you’re

not familiar with Foursquare, I can probably

guess what you’re thinking. It’s something along

the lines of “What’s the point, Mark?”

There were, as far as I’m concerned, three

reasons for using Foursquare. You gained a completely

inappropriate sense of self-importance.

You helped other people make decisions based on

your recommendations. And then there was the

competitive part: what is sometimes called ‘gamification’,

where otherwise mundane tasks are

given a fun element. It’s a bit like walking down

the street without treading on the cracks in the

pavement, playing ‘I Spy’ on a long car journey or

treating the vacuum cleaner as your Strictly Come

Dancing companion.

After a while, the creators of Foursquare changed

the service and - as far as I was concerned -

knocked some of the enjoyment out of it. Or

perhaps I got bored. Either way, I stopped playing

that particular game. However, I still keep

myself thoroughly entertained. That’s why you’ll

occasionally see me accompanying my favourite

songs on the car radio by drumming on the steering

wheel (obviously only when the vehicle is in a

stationary queue of traffic and the handbrake has

been applied). You’ll find me studying the length

of supermarket queues and challenging myself to

find the quickest. And you’ll hear me correcting

the synthesized voice on the bus whenever it

pronounces ‘Malling’ like a non-Lewesian.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s important to keep

having fun. If I stopped, it would be a victory

for... hmm… actually, I’m not entirely sure who

my opponent is. But I know I’m beating them.


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IN town this month

Mick Jackson

Slowly does it

“You can’t call

yourself a novelist,”

says Mick Jackson,

supping a pint of HSB

in the Prestonville

Arms in Seven Dials,

“unless you’ve written

a novel.”

Mick, a Lancastrian

who has ended up in

Brighton, has written

four of the things.

The latest, Yuki Chan

in Brontë Country, has

just been published in

hardback by Faber.

I’ve been asking about

how he got started as

a novelist, knowing he attended the famous Creative

Writing course at UEA. Has he any advice

for would-be authors?

Talent obviously helps, of course, though he’s too

modest to dwell on that. You also need a bit of

luck and a lot of perseverance. A hell of a lot of


“In each city there are 1,000 novelists who

haven’t finished a draft. My advice is to stick at it,

and get the thing finished. Then you can rewrite

and revise it 30 times if necessary, but at least

you’ve got something to work on.”

He describes his own style as ‘glacial’. His account

of the gestation of his latest novel is a good

illustration of just how glacial. “The idea started

about 10-15 years ago when I read an article in

the Guardian about the fact that the footpath

signs in Hawarth, the village the Brontë sisters

lived in, were written in Japanese as well as English,”

he says. “And so I wanted to write a story

set in the milieu of Japanese tourists coming to

see their house, which is now a museum.”

First he wrote it as a screenplay, but that didn’t

work. Then he wrote half a novel, in the first person,

before realising

that needed scrapping,

too. “It wasn’t

till I realised the story

should be told in the

third person, in the

poorly translated

words of a 21-yearold

Japanese girl,

that I was confident

it would work. I was

able to create a level

of detachment.”

The UEA course, of

course, has spawned

the likes of Ian McEwan,

Kazuo Ishiguro

and Tracy Chevalier,

and was a fine springboard for the young Jackson.

“Just being able to dedicate a year to writing was

brilliant,” he says. “The most valuable bit was the

weekly workshop where we all submitted a chapter

of our novel or a short story, and commented

on one another’s work. So we learnt from each

others’ mistakes as well as our own.”

Of the 16 students, several found publishing

deals pretty soon after graduating. Jackson, who

set about writing a historical novel based on the

true story of an eccentric aristocrat, was one of

them. He was turned down by the agent he was

counting on taking him up, but his cause was

championed by a publisher he met, and he got

a deal with Picador. The Underground Man was

shortlisted for the 1997 Man Booker prize.

Another graduate from his class didn’t fulfil her

ambition quite so quickly: “Tasha Kavanagh

didn’t get her first novel published until 2015; it’s

just been shortlisted for the Costa Prize. That’s

20 years since the course ended: now that’s perseverance.”

Alex Leith

Mick is giving a reading at Lewes Literary Society,

All Saints Centre, Feb 23rd

Photo by Kevin Cummins


in town this month: opera

Much ado about ‘Nothing’

Glyndebourne’s latest youth opera

Conductor Lee Reynolds

is Music Director of the

Glyndebourne Youth

Orchestra and the Kantanti

Ensemble and has conducted

many recording sessions

with the LSO. Paul Austin

Kelly hooks up with him to

hear about a new opera in

which a group of teenagers

try to come to grips with

the meaning of life.

Lee, I know you

are heavily involved

in Glyndebourne’s

education programme.

Tell us about that.

Alongside the education

projects that run all

year round, every three

years Glyndebourne

stages a newly commissioned opera as part of its

education programme. Imago, in 2013, was for

community performers of all ages, and it won

the following year’s RPS Award for learning and


What’s this year’s composition? The 2016

piece is Nothing, with music by David Bruce, and

is for a chorus of 14-19 year-olds, alongside five

young professional principals. The Southbank

Sinfonia will be in the pit, mentoring young instrumentalists

from Sussex. What makes this even

more special is that Glyndebourne invests all the

same forces and values in this production as it

would for any main stage show in the festival or

the tour. It’s a wonderful opportunity for young

people to be part of something run with professional


And where do you fit in? My roles are as Assistant

Conductor and Chorus Master, working

alongside conductor Sian Edwards.

How do you and the Glyndebourne staff go

about rehearsing these

young performers? Because

of the professional

expectations, the onstage

performers, whatever their

age, are expected to arrive

at the first production call

knowing their music from

memory, so we provide

ten preparation sessions

for the young chorus in

advance of the production

calls. From then onwards,

they’re not allowed a

book in their hand during


Tell me about David

Bruce’s music. It can be

punchy and rhythmic, and

at other times shatteringly

beautiful, but always with

virtuosic orchestration and ‘a really good sing’

for the onstage performers. David’s music hits

that sweet spot of being really challenging, but

absolutely worth the effort needed to get it right.

So what stage are we currently at? Having

had our ten preparation sessions, we’ve had a

rare chance to put the orchestra and onstage cast

together very early in the process, so they had

a read-through with the chorus supplying the

music they’ve been learning. Next we go back to

piano rehearsals in the studios, and the orchestra

will rehearse separately until we put things back

together shortly before we open in late February.

Because it’s brand new, you can’t ask the performers

to go away and listen to the CD! So, finding

ways of helping them lodge the music in their

memories is a constantly evolving problem. Some

of the cast have lots of experience of new pieces,

and others are attempting the task for the first

time. Paul Austin Kelly

25th-27th Feb,



Up-and-comers at the Foundry Gallery

This month, the Art, Textiles, Graphics and Digital

Media students at Sussex Downs College will

be presenting their work in an exhibition at the

Foundry Gallery. I meet the course tutors and

some of the students six weeks before the show

opens, to find out what they’re working on.

We begin with the first year Fine Art students,

taught by Andrew Williamson, the curriculum

leader. “Each student is painting a landscape,” he

explains. They have chosen the viewpoints themselves,

from locations in and around Lewes. “We

have students from Brighton, Uckfield, Seaford

and all around Lewes, so they’ve each chosen

a landscape from a different perspective.” The

room is filled with empty canvases on my visit,

but the artists are busily working in sketchbooks,

preparing to begin their exhibition piece.

Just along the corridor are the Applied Art

& Design Double Award students, taught by

James DiBiase. I’m taken aback to see that stood

amongst the students are the life-sized human

sculptures they’re creating, working in groups of

three. Posing in different stances, the cardboard

people are made from layers of cross-section

shapes, built up to create a complete 3D form.

Each group has approached the construction

in a different way, some creating a silhouette of

the figure, and gradually building up its profile,

others starting with the feet, and working their

way up. The finished sculptures will make a particularly

striking aspect of the exhibition.

A second group of Fine Art students are working

on portraits - some painting self-portraits,

others painting friends and family - which are

very impressive. Each of them is developing their

own style and when I pop in to have a look – out

of lesson time – one student is working from a

photograph using a sort of colour-by-numbers

method and another is embroidering over an image

to create a new kind of texture.

A-Level Graphics, taught by Sabina Townshend,

will be producing a series of posters in response


in town this month

Photos by Rebeca Cunningham

to the theme of ‘habitation’, while Digital Design

students will be projecting The Odyssey as a

graphic novel in the gallery. “The Odyssey is all

around us in books, movies and print” explains

Shirley Welton, one of the course lecturers. “It’s

constantly being reinvented and brought up to

date, and that is exactly what this year’s project is

all about.”

Finally, I meet the Textiles students, taught by

Cynthia DeWolf. “My second year students

have been working on sculptures made using

old dressmaking patterns found in Lewes,” she

explains, showing me the selection of paper

lantern-like structures hanging in front of the

classroom window. The light behind them really

shows the delicate construction involved, as you

can see every crease and overlap through the

translucent paper.

They have decided to name the show ‘Assemble’

to signify the coming together of all of these different

courses into one central space and linking

to this year’s Turner Prize winners ‘Assemble’ - a

collective that creates projects within communities.

Judging by the talent and variety I’ve seen

today, this is a show not to be missed. RC

Foundry Gallery, 25th February,




Find out what’s on

at the Bloomsbury

home of art & ideas



David Jones

Vision and Memory

Evelyn Waugh once took

David Jones aside and gently

remonstrated with him

for brushing his hair down

over his forehead. “It makes

you look like a bloody artist,”

Waugh said. “But I am

a bloody artist”, Jones replied.

And indeed, the first

thing we see on entering

the David Jones exhibition

at Pallant House, Chichester

(until 21st February)

is Human Being, a 1932 oil

that has been described as

a quasi self-portrait. Why

quasi? Well, Jones was born

in 1895, survived four years

at the Western Front with

the Royal Welch Fusiliers, and yet this is a portrait

of the bloody artist as a very young man, fringe and

all. He looks about sixteen.

This exhibition, I think, assumes that David Jones is

now a relatively neglected artist and a new audience

needs to be introduced to his wonderfully various

engagement with art – painting, drawing, engraving,

book illustrations, wood carving and his beautiful,

late, painted inscriptions. Whether this is true

or not I don’t know. But it does seem to me that this

is one of those generous surveys of an artist’s oeuvre

that, unintentionally, slightly diminishes rather

than enhances the artist’s reputation. Take the

highly distinctive watercolours that he developed

from the early 1930s. Individually, they can strike

me as almost painfully beautiful in their delicacy.

But, viewed en bloc the palette seems etiolated, and

I began to empathise with the unkind contribution

to the exhibition visitors’ book which reads, in full,

‘where’s the colour?’ And everywhere he depicts

begins to feel a bit samey, whether it’s looking out

to sea in Portslade, Welsh

hills, the country around

Lourdes (a Roman Catholic

convert, he felt able to

write in 1928 of the creeping

commercialisation: ‘It’s

like finding a Woolworth

store on the summit of the

Mount of Olives’). Or Pigotts

where the Eric Gill

circus ended up (Jones had

been a prominent member

in both Ditchling and


The curators’ attempts to

present Jones as a unique

visionary artist, not unreasonably

to my mind, are

undermined by tenuous

references to other artists. I don’t believe that the

depiction of zigzagging steps and breakwaters in

Evening by the Sea (1927) owes a debt to Paul Nash’s

views of Dymchurch. The ‘V’ for ‘Vanman’ from

his illustrations for Eleanor Farjeon’s The Town

Child’s Alphabet doesn’t remind me of William Roberts’

tubular, vorticist figures. And I don’t see that

the ‘curtains flying out of the windows’ in Pigotts

Farmyard (1930) ‘add a touch of humour in the vein

of his contemporary Stanley Spencer’.

But enough carping! If I sound a little disappointed,

it’s only by the very high standards customarily set

by Pallant House. And there are exquisite things

on show here. Evelyn Waugh obviously regarded

Jones as primarily a writer rather than an artist. And

perhaps, as I begin to have reservations about his

artistic output, I agree. For I remain convinced that

Jones’ In Parenthesis (1937) is the greatest work of

imaginative literature in English to have come out

of The Great War. David Jarman

David Jones, Capel-y-ffin, watercolour and gouache, 1926-7, 55 x 37 cm © Trustees of the David Jones Estate / Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales



art & about

What’s on in Lewes

Nicola Campbell at Pelham House

A diverse range of images

depicting memorable events,

local and exotic sights, people

and animals make up the

second Open Exhibition that

continues at Pelham House

through February. The 50

or so works, in a variety of

media, were selected from

submissions from over 70

established and emerging

local artists and make for an

intriguing show. A percentage

of sales will be donated to the

Rockinghorse Appeal. 9am-

9pm daily, free entry

Julie Snowball at Chalk Gallery

St Anne’s Galleries shows

Into the Woods from 20th. A

group exhibition of paintings,

prints and drawings,

picturing trees from 15 artists.

Contributors include Tom

Benjamin, Peter Messer and

Harold Mockford, alongside

newcomers Jack Frame, Sarah

Sparkes and Christopher

Gee. Sat & Sun 10-5 until 6th


An exhibition of many previously

unseen Sussex landscape

views, selected from the

reserve collections of the Sussex

Archaeological Society, is

at Barbican House Museum

until April. It’s mostly 19thcentury

work, in watercolour

and oils, with paintings by

both professional and amateur

artists, documenting a changing

Sussex landscape.

Chalk Gallery features ceramicist

Julie Snowball for the first

three weeks of the month. Another

chance to see her ethereal

Angels and Nomadic Ladies

who proved very popular over

Christmas. She’s followed by the

multimedia painted collages of

Lucy Ames.

From Into the Woods at St Annes Galleries

Entries are invited for the 2016 East Sussex Open, bringing together the best artists and makers from

the county at Towner in July. Find details and download an application form at


Into the




20 FEB - 6 MARCH





Beautiful art, affordable prices

‘And valleys smile’, a mixed media landscape featuring music and

newsprint collage by featured artist Lucy Ames

A friendly

welcome awaits

you at the

Chalk Gallery

Chalk Gallery

4 North Street

Lewes, BN7 2PA

t: 01273 474477




Mobile. 07777 691 050

out of town: art

John Piper © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

features contemporary paintings

and photographs that record

location by Conrad Atkinson,

Jeremy Deller and Jem

Southam, amongst others.

There’s a chance to hitch a ride

to see David Jones: Vision and

Memory at Pallant House in

Chichester with the Ditching

Museum of Art + Craft on 10th.

The coach will leave at 9.30am,

enjoy a private talk about

Jones, and have ample time

to view the other exhibitions

before returning at around

3pm. For details email friends@

Charleston have announced

their creative workshops for

2016. Find out what’s on a

Further afield

Just down the road

Speaking of documenting the

landscape, Recording Britain

comes to Towner from 6th

and stays until May. A major

exhibition of 50 works depicting

a rich diversity of buildings in

England and Wales in the late

1930s and early 1940s, and

selected from the 1500 that

captured the changing landscape

of Britain during WW2. The

ambitious scheme, intended

to boost national morale by

celebrating its natural beauty

and architectural heritage, was

established by Sir Kenneth

Clark at the outbreak of war

in 1939 and is now held by

the V&A. Featured artists

include John Piper, Kenneth

Rowntree and Barbara Jones,

and emerging artists of the

time. Clark - more interested

in paintings that gave a sense

of the continuity of the English

town or village rather than

of buildings of outstanding

architectural merit - considered

Recording Britain to be an

extension of the Official War

Art scheme. The show also

That good-looking

octogenarian, the De La Warr

Pavilion, has installations from

experimental film maker Steve

Farrer (above) and the first UK

solo exhibition by Brazilian

artist Tonico Lemos Auad. At

Jerwood Gallery, Everything

but the Kitchen Sink,

including the Kitchen Sink

- the John Bratby exhibition

‘crowd sourced’ from private

owners – has opened its doors.

Unmissable. More about that in

next month’s magazine.










@ The Con Club

















Classical Round-up

Double Handel



Mussorgsky / Ravel



Sunday 28th February 4:30pm

St John sub Castro

Info, tickets and prices visit:



Booking fees apply online




“After the song finished there is a

brief pause, as everyone picks their

jaws off the floor, before a barrage of





Saturday 13th Feb, 7.30


Lancaster Street, Lewes BN7 2PX

£12 advance (£14 door)

Plus Resident (Brighton) and Music’s Not Dead (Bexhill)

Photo by Christina Haldane

The bleak days of February’s

rain and damp

chill can be ameliorated

somewhat by good live

music, and we have some

promising prospects for

that right here in Lewes

and environs.

Soprano Yvonne Patrick (pictured) is a consummately

versatile singer and an established professional.

She shares the stage with counter-tenor

Robert Chavner and pianist John Bruzon in a

recital of Handel and Purcell duets and arias. Sat

20, 5:30pm, St Laurence Church, Falmer, free with

retiring collection

One of Handel’s finest early works will get a welcome

reading by the estimable Baroque Collective.

The Dixit Dominus, completed in 1707, is a setting

of Psalm 110 and features five solo singers, a chorus,

strings and continuo. The conductor is John

Hancorn, orchestral leader is Alison Bury, and

featured soprano soloist will be Catrin Woodruff.

Also on the programme will be Bach’s lovely motet

Singet dem Herrn and Handel’s Trio Sonata Op. 9,

No. 5. Sun 21, 6:30pm, St. Michael’s, £15,-10, under

16 free, Lewes Tourist Information

The Nicholas Yonge Society will present cellist

Jessie Ann Richardson and pianist Simon Callaghan.

Their programme consists of works by

Beethoven, Bruch, Rachmaninov and Joseph

Phibbs. Jessie studied at the Purcell School and the

Royal Academy and has recorded for Hyperion and

Linn Records. Fri 26, 7:45pm, Sussex Downs College,

£15, Lewes Travel or

Fine cellists abound this month as the Corelli

Ensemble welcomes back Ella Rundle for a concert

entitled, The Romantic Cello. On the bill is Tchaikovsky’s

Serenade for Strings as well as his Andante

Cantabile, followed by Sarasate’s virtuosic Zigeunerweisen.

Sun 28, 4pm, St Pancras, £10 in advance,, £12 on door, children free

Last month I unfortunately misnamed Musician of

All Saints conductor Andrew Sherwood ‘Sherman’.

Apologies! Paul Austin Kelly


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3 Bell Lane, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1JU


mon 1

Talk. Politics for an Age of Global Insecurity.

Martin Shaw, acclaimed writer on international

relations, opens a discussion on the kind of

politics Jeremy Corbyn should pursue for an age

of global insecurity. A Labour Party event, but

open to all. Phoenix Centre, Malling St, 7.30pm,


Wed 3

Talk. Capability Brown 300 years on. Nigel

Philips, local garden designer and lecturer at

Plumpton College, on the renowned 18th-century

garden designer Capability Brown whose

300th anniversary is being celebrated in 2016.

Cliffe Church Hall, 7.45pm, £3. 01273 474110

Lewes Astronomers Talk. A Cosmic Miscellany

of Talks, by James Fradgley. Town Hall,

7.30pm, £3/members free.


Thu 4

Talk. From Children’s Home to Soldiers’

Hospital: Chailey Heritage Foundation in

the First World War. An opportunity to also

learn what the charity, featured in Viva Lewes

#112, does today. Chailey Heritage Foundation,

North Chailey, 6pm, free.

Comedy at the Con!

Jeff Stevenson, Simon

King and Luke Toulson

take to the stage, with

MC David ‘Lewes’ own’

Mounfield. Con Club,

8pm, £7.50-£11. Tickets

from Union Music, or 07582408418

Film. Theeb. (15) A beautiful insight into

WW1-era Bedouin culture and the stunning

vistas of Jordan. All Saints, 8pm, £5.50.

Sat 6

Seedy Saturday.

Seed swap, children’s

activities, community

growing projects, café.

Talks including Saving

our Bumble Bees by Prof

Dave Goulson, Pruning

Soft Fruit by Tom Maynard, Caring for Roses by

Kevin Martin and Tool Sharpening with Peter

May. Town Hall, 10am-3pm, £1, kids free.

Farmers’ Market. Fresh, local produce and

lots of interesting stalls. Also on Sat 20. Cliffe

Precinct, 9am-1pm.

Barn Dance. With the Black Cat Ceilidh Band.

Bar and snacks. All Saints, 7pm, £8 advance from

Union Music, 7 East Street or 01273 472621.

£10 on door. All profits to Starfish Youth Music


Mon 8

Talk. A Sussex Farm in the 1950s. Ian Everest

demonstrates just how tough 50s life was on a

South Downs farm. Includes original cine film.

King’s Church Building, 7.30pm, £3/£2.

Fri 5

Food Market. Food and produce from local suppliers.

Market Tower, weekly, 9.30am-1.30pm



podiatry in lewes

Call on 01273 805272

The Silvery

natural silver jewellery

For feet that need care

Phone 01273 805272


FEBlistings (cont)

Film. Sadko. Russian film by Aleksandr Ptushko.

Arriving home to find his native land under

the yoke of corrupt merchants, an adventurer

sets sail in search of a mythical bird of happiness.

Prize winner at the 1953 Venice Film Festival.

Church End, Southover, 7.30pm

Thu 11

Photo by Martin Sinnock

Tue 9

Talk. Life Chances for Children: the Importance

of Early Intervention. Baroness Doreen

E Massey looks at the influence of parents and

family, health, environment and early years

education in fostering intellectual, social and

emotional development. Town Hall, 2.30pm,


Film. Marvellous.

(15) The story

of Neil Baldwin,

a gentle soul

and a registered

circus clown who,

managed to fulfil

the most unlikely

ambitions including

playing for his beloved Stoke City. All Saints,

8pm, £5.50.

Wed 10

Talk. The Language of Clothes: Visual Codes

and Messages, by Mary Alexander. Uckfield

Civic Centre, 2.30pm.

Storytelling & Music. Join storyteller Andreas

Kornevall and guitarist Geoff Robb on an odyssey

around the mythology of ancient Greece - a

story of love, loss and longing. BYOB. Buttercup

Café, 7.30pm, £20 inc dinner. mythandstories@ or 07595494216

Talk. The History of Tide Mills. Kevin Gordon

shares pictures and first-hand stories about

this thriving community with its mill, children’s

hospital and racing stables and why and how

they all vanished during WW2. Priory School,

7.30pm, £5/£2

Fri 12

Talk. Colonising Mars, by Adam Stevens. Followed

by discussion. Elly, 8pm, £3. annabinger@

Fri 12 & Sat 13

Film. 45 Years. (15) British relationship drama

about a secret which is uncovered the week leading

up to a couple’s 45th wedding anniversary.

Starring an evergreen Charlotte Rampling, Tom

Courtenay (in excellent form) and the Norfolk

countryside. All Saints, Fri 6pm, Sat 5.30pm,


Fri 12 & Sun 14

Film. Suffragette. (12) Drama set in 1912 and

1913, following the lives of the women involved

in the suffragette movement. Valentines offer:

complimentary hot drink and biscuit with every

ticket purchased. All Saints, Fri 8pm, Sun 5pm,


Talk. The History of Brighton Aquarium. Archivist

Andrew Bennett and local historian Paul

Jordan bring the much-loved building to life

with architectural plans, letters from prospective

performers, contracts with stallholders and 19th

Century guide books. The Keep, Falmer, 2pm,

£7.50. 01273 482349,


You are invited to Pelham House Lewes to see

A new play by Duncan Hopper, the third in his Proud Women trilogy.

The rediscovery in 1870 of the ancient Greek city of Troy.

Love, Betrayal, Intrigue and Treasure

A Magichour

Theatre production

in aid of the

Martlets Hospice

Author Producer: Duncan Hopper. Director: Mike Wells. Musical Director: David Barnett.

STARRING: SARAH WILLIAMS AS HELEN. The Company: Nik Balfe, Cyril Blake, Samantha Brennan and Nick Roughton as Schliemann.


All proceeds

FRI 26 Evening Performance £16 starts at 7.45 pm

go to the


FEB SAT 27 Saturday Matinee Performance £12 starts at 2.30 pm

For pre-theatre dinner see information below.


At the Pelham House Hotel Theatre, St. Andrews Lane, Lewes

BOX OFFICE open from 4th January 2016: 01273 964200

or email:

A pre-theatre dinner can be booked between 5.30 & 6.45 pm prior to the evening performances at £20. To book phone: 01273 488600

For special offer accommodation overnight visit:

FEBlistings (cont)

Sat 13 & Sun 14

Film. Legend. (18) The

story of the rise and fall

of London’s most notorious

gangsters, Reggie and

Ronnie Kray. Tom Hardy,

versatile as ever, plays both

twins. Valentines offer: complimentary hot

drink and biscuit with every ticket purchased.

All Saints, Sat 7.30pm, Sun 7.15pm, £5-£6.50.

Mon 15

Film. David Jones: Inspirations and Consolidation.

Covering the years from the end

of WWII until Jones’ death in 1974. Followed

by discussion between Derek Shiel and Ewan

Clayton. Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft,

7pm, £10/£8, includes glass of wine. friends@

Wed 17

Talk. A Quirky Look at Lewes, by Kevin

Gordon. Town Hall, 7.45pm, £3/members free.

Fri 19

Talk. Excavation of a Medieval Manorial

complex in Ovingdean, by John Skelton. Town

Hall, 7.30pm, U18s free, £4/£3.

Film. West. (15) Cold War drama. Nelly flees

East Germany with her young son Alexei only

to find herself caught in a frustrating limbo. All

Saints, 8pm, £5.50.

Sat 20

Talk. Working in Public. Lewes sculptor Will

Nash discusses how he creates artworks in the

public realm. Paddock Art Studios, 3pm. 01273


Tue 23

Death Café. Conversation about dying, death

and the cycle of life. Drinks and snacks available

from bar. Trevor Arms, Glynde, 7-9pm, free.


Thu 25, Fri 26 & Sat 27

Theatre. Helen’s Shadow.

Story of the rediscovery

of Troy in 1870, by the

pioneering archaeologist

Heinrich Schliemann. All

this is juxtaposed with the

story of Helen of Troy; a

tale of intrigue, betrayal

and treasure. Profits go

to Martlets Hospice. Pelham House, £16

(evening), £12 (afternoon), Thu, Fri 7.45pm,

Sat 2.30pm & 7.45pm. 01273 964200 or email

Fri 26 & Sun 28

Film. Macbeth. (15) 2015 adaptation of the

Scottish Play starring Michael Fassbender and

Marion Cotillard. Marks the 400th Anniversary

of Shakespeare’s death. All Saints, Fri 5.30pm,

Sun 7.30pm, £5-£6.50.

Film. The Walk. (PG) US drama telling the

story of the French high-wire artiste who

walked the gap between the World Trade Centre

Twin Towers in New York. All Saints, Fri

8pm, Sun 5pm, £5-£6.50.

look out for...

The 2016 Charleston Festival takes place

from 20th-30th May and the programme

launches on 9th Feb. Friends can book tickets

from 15th with access for everyone from


Brighton Festival programme launches on 17th

Feb. Bookings from 26th.


gig guide

gig of the month

An exciting new development this month: live

music is coming to the Little Theatre. The first

band to tread the boards is folk trio Applewood

Road. Singer-songwriters Emily Barker, Amber

Rubarth and Amy Speace met in a café in East

Nashville in September 2014, and had put the

finishing touches to their first song by the next

morning. Barker has previously performed a

sold-out show in Lewes with her other band

The Red Clay Halo; as Applewood Road, their

close harmonies and subtle guitars recall the

songs of Kate and Anna McGarrigle. Check

out their gossamer-fine cover of REM’s Losing

My Religion on YouTube – perfect for a cold

winter’s night. Lewes Little Theatre, Feb 13,

7.30pm, £12 from Union Music Store

february listings


Mark Bassey and Simon Savage. Jazz. Snowdrop,

8pm, free


English dance tunes session. Traditional

English folk. Bring instruments. John Harvey,

8pm, free


Harry’s Tricks. Vintage hot swing. Pelham Arms,

8.30pm, free


BOHO. Beatnik. Con Club, 8pm, free


Sunny Mountain Serenaders. Cajun. Con Club,

8pm, £10

Bob Kenward. Folk. Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £6

The Reform Club featuring Norman Baker.

Pop/rock. Gig partly in aid of refugees. The

Hearth, 9pm, £7

Stone Junction. Transatlantic feral folk. Snowdrop,

9pm, free


English dance tunes session. Traditional English

folk. Bring instruments. Lamb, 12pm, free

Kitchen Party. Acoustic. Con Club, 3pm, free

Market Street Band. Jazz, blues, rock and a few

hits. John Harvey Tavern, 4pm, free

Open mic. All welcome. Elephant & Castle,

7.30pm, free


Jonathan Vinten Trio. Jazz piano. Snowdrop,

8pm, free

THU 11

Gretchen Peters. Americana. 20th anniversary

UK tour. De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, £25

SAT 13

The Curst Sons. Americana in-store. Union

Music Store, 2.30pm, free

Wildwood Jack. Acoustic. Con Club, 3pm, free

Capella. Folk. Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £6

MON 15

Byron Wallen. Jazz trumpet. Snowy, 8pm, free


gig guide (cont)

THU 18

Savages. Post-punk. De La Warr Pavilion,

Bexhill, 7pm, £15.50

FRI 19

Hounds of Love. Performing the Music of Kate

Bush. Con Club, 8pm, entry £TBA

SAT 20

Austin Lucas. Americana in-store. Union Music

Store, 3pm, free

Sussex Harmony. CD launch for the West Gallery

choir. Royal Oak, 8pm, £6

MON 22

Terry Seabrook Piano Trio. Jazz. Snowdrop,

8pm, free

THU 25

Police Dog Hogan + Noble Jacks. Americana.

Con Club, 8pm, £12 advance (more OTD)

FRI 26

SlimShack. 50s/60s music with a modern twist.

Con Club, 8pm, free

SAT 27

Paul Carrack. Singer-songwriter and former

frontman of Ace, Squeeze and Mike & The Mechanics.

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, 7.30pm,


Voodoo Vegas. Rock. 8pm, Con Club, £3

(members free)

Moirai. English and continental folk. Elephant

& Castle, 8pm, £7

SUN 28

Folk in the Chapel. With music from Carolyn

Robson and Iris Bishop, Roy Nash and Brian

Skinner and Hard Pressed, in aid of the Oyster

Project. Westgate Chapel, 2.30pm, £5

MON 29

Sue Richardson. Jazz trumpeter and singer.

Snowdrop, 8pm, free

Gretchen Peters, Thurs 11th, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill


Lewes Town & Country

Residential Sales & Lettings

Land & New Homes

Property of the Month

T 01273 487444


Lewes - £1,850pcm


A selection of 2 newly built contemporary 3 bedroom homes in the centre of Lewes. Beautifully finished throughout, ample living

space arranged over three storeys comprising a bright open plan lounge/kitchen with south facing balconies, separate ground floor

integral garage with utility space, further garden room/study and modern courtyard gardens. Available unfurnished now. EPC: TBC





Lewes £565,000

Detached property in an elevated position on the outskirts of Lewes.

Well presented throughout arranged over 2 storeys with expansive

living space & contemporary kitchen/diner both opening on to the

rear garden. 4 double bedrooms, bathroom, separate shower room,

converted garage & off road parking. EPC: 72.

Laughton O.I.R.O £475,000

A unique opportunity to purchase a detached property just

outside Lewes. Sitting in approximately half an acre of land, this

2 bedroom detached house requires complete renovation but

offers the opportunity to create something rather special with

extensive gardens and ample parking. EPC: TBC





Ringmer £450,000

A detached former Chapel located in the village of Ringmer. The

accommodation features a spacious open plan lounge/diner,

downstairs shower room, a fitted kitchen & separate breakfast

room. Upstairs there are 3 bedrooms, en-suite to the master &

separate bathroom. Outside is a large lawned rear garden &

parking to the front. EPC: 58

Lewes From £199,950

A selection of 10 one bedroom apartments in a prestigious

period building ideally located on Lewes high street just a short

walk from the Station. All apartments will have new 125 year

leases and will be refurbished with new carpets. Ideal buy to

lets or first time purchases. EPC: TBC.

under 16



What’s on

Fri 5 & Sat 6

Theatre. Treasure Island. Lewes Theatre

Youth Group present Robert Louis Stevenson’s

classic. Lewes Little Theatre, Fri 7.45pm, Sat

2.45pm & 7.45pm, £8/£6. 01273 474826

Sat 13-Sun 21

Wild about Wildlife Week. Celebrate all the

great things that nature has to offer, and take

part in daily activities such as mask making,

bird-feeder building, meeting the animals and a

hedgehog trail. Also enjoy the indoor and outdoor

play areas. Spring Barn Farm, full dates,

times and prices at

Tue 16

Sewing and Stories. Drop in to explore the

Tudor building, and have a go at spinning,

weaving, embroidery and sewing. All ages

welcome. Anne of Cleves House, 1-4pm, price

included in admission.

Thu 18

Treasure Dig. Try your (dirty) hand at being

an archaeologist. Do some digging, handle

some artefacts, do a drawing and then make

your own treasure. For 4-8 year olds, and

children must be accompanied by an adult.

Lewes Castle, 10.30am-12 noon, £5. Booking

essential: 01273 486290, or Lewes Castle Gift


Sun 28

Sun 14

Film. Matilda. (PG) 20th Anniversary screening!

Based on the Roald Dahl classic, the film

tells the story of a little girl who is a genius, and

her wonderful teacher Miss Honey, versus her

terrible parents and the worst school principal

imaginable. This film is the reason kids are so

good at spelling ‘difficulty’. All Saints, 3pm, £5-


Film. Hotel Transylvania 2. (U) Animated

fantasy adventure sequel in which Dracula

takes his new grandson to a monster bootcamp.

All Saints, 3pm, £5-£6.50. filmatallsaints.


School Open Days

Mon 1, Sat 27, Burgess Hill School

Wed 3, Sussex Downs College, Eastbourne

Fri 5 & Sat 6, St Andrew’s Prep School

Sat 6, Brighton and Hove High School

Sat 6, Worth School

Sat 27, Eastbourne College


Age 11

Sports Scholar

You are warmly invited to our

Prep School Open Morning

Saturday 12 March 2016

9.30am to noon

IAPS – Boarding, flexi-boarding and day

Boys and girls 3 months to 13

To register please contact:

T 01323 734222

or online at

Bede’s Preparatory School

Duke’s Drive, Eastbourne

East Sussex BN20 7XL

St Bede’s is a Charitable Trust which exists to educate young people

under 16


shoes on now: Busting some moves

As the mother of three boys, I’m always on the

lookout for activities that use up lots of their

Tigger-like energy. And at this time of year

outdoor activities can be a bit weather-dependent

so such a search can be like looking for the Holy

Grail - which is why I am very happy to have

discovered Lewes’ very own Roller Disco. The

disco takes place every Saturday night down at the

Lewes Leisure Centre where the rather fabulous

DJ Sam Maher keeps things going by playing lots

of upbeat music, and roller skating himself when

he gets a chance.

Unfortunately our first attempt at getting into the

disco didn’t go well: despite turning up on time,

the event was sold out. Hordes of people with

jazzy skates and happy faces all headed towards

the main hall whilst our children looked forlornly

on. We had better luck for the second session

however, and eagerly entered the hall where the

disco was being held. For those of you who grew

up in the youth clubs of the 1970s or the discos

of the 1980s the scene would have been familiar.

The lighting was dark, the music was pumping

and colourful flashing lights were projected onto

the wall. We laced up our skates and then headed

off to join the other roller skaters who were confidently

zooming around the circuit.

As we tried to find our roller skating feet, I

noticed the presence of several ‘skate guards’ in

brightly coloured yellow t-shirts. These friendly

and helpful marshals are on hand should you fall

over or be skating the wrong way - you change

direction every 15 minutes or so. At this point our

family cleaved in two with my husband and oldest

child struggling to remain upright. And, after the

lad took a nasty tumble, he and his dad decided

to sit it out. Meanwhile my middle child and I

progressed from clutching the wall to roller skating

rather more proficiently. We had a great time

whizzing around whilst listening to the music

and seeing how much fun everybody else seemed

to be having too. The DJ kept things interesting

by getting the crowd to play three retro-styled

games: Stuck in the Mud, Tag and an old favourite

of mine, British Bulldog.

By the end of the evening my middle child and I

were glowing from all the exercise. Having had so

much fun, it’s likely that we will become regulars

at the Saturday night roller disco. And if you are

looking to spend active time with your children

then this might just be for you too. Jacky Adams

Fast Facts

Get there early- booking starts half an hour

before the activity.

Session times are: 4-5.30pm; 5.45-7.15pm

Snacks and drinks are available from the

vending machines right outside the door.

Cost for a family of 4 is £10.50.

Skates are available to hire.

01273 486000 /


mind, body,

heart & soul

Open Mornings: Thursday 10 March, Tuesday 19 April 2016

To see rst hand how we can help your daughter to ourish academically,

to develop her talents – wherever they lie – and discover hidden ones,

join us for an open morning or personal visit.

• New Sixth Form Centre

• Oxbridge Success

• Full & Weekly Boarding

• Creative Thinking

01435 874642

The Old Palace, Mayeld, East Sussex TN20 6PH

An independent Catholic boarding

and day school for girls aged 11 to 18




John McCormack, Creative

Director of Brighton-based

Another Place Productions, tells

Viva about being a computer

games designer and the company’s latest game

BattleHand which launched last month (and was editors’

choice in the app store…) Imagine the following in

a thick Glaswegian accent.

Our new game BattleHand is a good old fashioned

fantasy role-playing romp designed specifically

for mobile - so it’s sort of a mixture of the old

school and the new. The brief we set ourselves was

“all the fun and adventure of an epic role-playing

game session distilled into two-minute bursts”, or

something to that effect. Players battle monsters

across dungeons, forests, caves, graveyards and

swamps using archetypal heroes and an arsenal of

weaponry and magic. It’s played in the form of a

collectable card game, where each battle only takes

a minute or two, so players can dip in and out.

Ever since I saw my first arcade game back

home in Glasgow, I knew that this is what I

wanted to do. I begged my folks for a Commodore

Vic-20 when I was about nine and, when they

eventually relented, I started work immediately.

I’d write text adventures for my friends and was

obsessed with sketching game designs at every opportunity.

I kept at it in my spare time and eventually

landed a job as a Junior Artist in Brighton.

I’ve been an artist and animator in the games

industry for well over 20 years now so I’m about

as old school as it gets. I started working a couple

of Warhammer titles, worked on Theme Park

World, then became the Art Director on the Baftawinning

Fable series for Xbox. After all that, I took

the plunge and started my own thing.

If someone wants to work in this industry,

first of all, they’ve got to have a genuine love

and passion for this line of work. Without that

it’s very difficult to keep up with the pace and the

pressure. There are then plenty of courses and internships

but, whenever I hire an artist, I’m looking

not only for raw talent but also a passion shown

through prolific scribblings and mad ideas.

The best bit about my job is simply that I

get to do what I love for a living. I spend my

days dreaming up fantastic locations, monsters,

weapons, stories and bringing them to life. It’s an

incredible privilege to get to spend my working life

being creative. I don’t take it for granted.

As told to Lizzie Lower

Will (aged 12) had this to say about BattleHand:

The game has great sound quality

and graphics. You live in a city which you must

defend from Amethyst the evil witch by killing her

minions in a trading-blows-style, energy-based

fight. You might also recruit a team of fighters

from the tavern with different

strengths and weaknesses.

The character selection

is really fun but it can

be quite hard to stay

on top of things… I

would strongly recommend this to

tweenagers and rate it 9/10.

Available from Google Play or the

App Store.




MON 1 FEB 10.45AM – 12 NOON

SAT 27 FEB 9.30AM – 1.00PM

Excellence in Education Since 1906

Charity Number 307001

With its excellent and imaginative approach, the Steiner Waldorf curriculum has

gained ever-widening recognition as a creative and compassionate alternative to

traditional avenues of education.

But just how does it feel to be a child in this environment, soaking up this

stimulating and rewarding teaching?

Find out for yourself...

Open Morning

Thursday 3rd March 2016 - 08:30 - 13:00

Early Years Open Morning

Saturday 12th March 09:30 - 12:00

A Day in the Classroom

Saturday 19th March 2016 - please book

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

Tel: 01342 822275 - Registered Charity Number 307006

êêêê under 16

This is your

Open Day

young photo

of the month

Family Woods Open Day

Bring your wellies!

Saturday 19 th March 2016 | 10:30am - 1:30pm

Tractor Rides, Woods Fun and Lunch

To secure your Open Day place, please contact

The Head’s PA on 01444 483528 or visit and click on

the front page link to find out more.

Our latest U16 photo was taken by Amber Millwood,

and it’s not hard to guess where. “I took it

at Enchanted Lewes at the Grange,” she writes.

“My brother and his friend were watching a

projection of different eyes.” The show was open

for ten days before Christmas, and while some

complained about the price, the general word on

the street was about how amazing it was. Amber

wins a £10 book token, kindly donated by Bags of

Books bookshop in Cliffe.

Under 16? Please e-mail your photos to photos@, with your contact details and a

sentence or two about when, where and why you

took the picture.

The Pelham arms

HigH St • LeweS

A Great British pub, a warm welcome,

wonderful food & ambience



Join us on Thursday 4th February

to hear new songs played live from

HArry’S TrICKS new album


Drop in for freshly

made cocktails, wines

and craft beer in our

new cocktail bar.


Locally sourced and

freshly prepared by

our chefs.



Staying for a few days?

…we have a boutique

double room with




As our January sale was so popular,

we are keeping it going weekdays

throughout February, please mention

this advert when booking to qualify*


Tuesday to Thursday

Bar 12 noon to 11pm

Food 12 noon to 2.30pm & 6 to 9.30pm

Friday & Saturday

Bar 12noon to Midnight

Food 12 noon to 2.30pm & 6 to 9.30pm


Bar 12 noon to 10.30pm

Food12 noon to 8pm


T 01273 476149 E



Book online @

*T&Cs apply, see our website for details


2 Courses £10 ~ 3 Courses £15

Please note this is a typical lunch menu and is subject to change

due to availability of ingredients and seasonal produce


Jerusalem artichoke soup, lemon beurre noisette,

hazelnuts and artisan bread.

Squid ink crusted calamari, soused samphire,

chilli and coriander sauce.


Moules marinière, rustic bread or french fries.

Salt baked celeriac and apple risotto,

pea shoots, roquefort dressing.


Homemade ice cream and sorbet - selection of the day.

Caffé Gourmand.

Tea or coffee with homemade treats on the side.

Limetree Kitchen

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

Call 01273 478636 to book your table…

or room.



The Anchor

A fireside feast in Ringmer

We head out to

eat at the recently

reopened Anchor

in Ringmer on a

dark and wintry

Tuesday evening.

I didn’t get the

memo that Ringmer

is the place to

be on a dark and

wintry Tuesday, so

I haven’t booked a

table. The pub is

packed. Not a table

to be had. So

we book one for the weekend and take a menu to

study while we have a drink at the bar.

It offers a lot of variety, ranging from crowdpleasing

classics of whitebait, scampi and homemade

burgers to foodier options including

sharing boards, game stew and Thai vegetable

curry. I’m pleased to have a few days to think

about my choice…

We head out to eat at the recently reopened Anchor

in Ringmer on a dark and wintry Saturday

evening. The place is packed but luckily I’ve

booked a table. We order a vegetarian sharing

board (£13.50) and whitebait (£5) to start.

The sharing board is piled high with tasty

morsels – artichoke hearts, stuffed vine leaves,

roasted peppers, homemade pesto and, served

with two huge chunks of focaccia, is a meal for

two in itself. The whitebait is very good: the

only suggested improvement is that it be served

on a beach in Greece. They’re washed down

with an obviously well-kept pint of Long Man

Best Bitter and a delicious white Rioja.

We watch plates of those pub classics coming

out from the kitchen. Huge glistening steaks,

fully loaded burgers (including a chickpea,

polenta, falafel

version for veggies)

and scampi

and chips…

We’ve ordered

from the more


main courses

but make a

mental note to

come back soon

to sample the

more traditional


Our mains

arrive: pan-fried sea bass on thyme and honey

couscous with a red pepper salsa (£13.50); sundried

tomato, chorizo and cream cheese chicken

ballotine with broccoli and sautéed potatoes

(£12.50); and a beetroot and goats cheese risotto

(£11). The portions are seriously generous and

make for a long and leisurely meal. Luckily,

we’ve much to discuss, not least the New Year’s

grand plans and good intentions – like sharing a

lemon tart (complete with crunchy brûlée topping)

instead of having a whole one each.

Waiting to pay the bill (under £80 for three of

us, including drinks) I think back to the last

time I came to The Anchor. It was a long, long

time ago and we sat in the front garden, listening

to the thwack of leather on willow from

the green opposite, on one of those magical

Sussex summer’s evenings. Tonight, sat in its

warm, homely, oak-beamed, fire-lit lounge on

one of those magical inky black Sussex winter’s

evenings, it feels like a very welcome return.

From the bonhomie in the bar and the blissed

out spaniel sprawled in front of the fire, it’s clear

that the locals agree. Lizzie Lower

The Green, Lewes Road, 01273 812370



Bake Out

Viennoiserie... and cheese straws

As I approach Bake Out, the new bakers which has replaced Forfars on

the south side of the Precinct, I take a great big sniff. “Aha!” I think.

“Smells like they haven’t got rid of the cheese straws.” The smell of

Forfars was one of Lewes’ great love-it-or-hate-it sensations… it would

have been a shame to lose it.

The place looks pretty different, mind. The owners have bought out

Forfars lock, stock and barrel, apparently, keeping on the big bakery

in Newhaven, and six of the outlets round Sussex. But they’ve moved

the whole affair upmarket, hiring a French patisserie baker who makes

Viennoiserie as well as fancy loaves. And they’ve spruced the joint up,

with shiny tiles, pendant lampshades and four tables at the back.

They haven’t changed all the recipes, though, and near the door, next to big tuna salad baguettes and

Marie-Rose prawn focaccia toasties there’s a heated glass cabinet full of the usual suspects – steak

slices, sausage rolls, and… cheese straws. I order the latter two items, and am happy to report that the

recipes haven’t changed: the sausages still have that sweet taste that hits the top of your palate. The

cheese straws still have that unique flaky-chewy heft.

There’s no room in me for a Danish pastry, so I opt for a salted caramel tiffin, which I take back to my

office to enjoy as a guilty breaks-all-my-January-rules treat, with tea. I’m happy to report that Bake

Out is like Forfars, only better, like the place has finally moved into the 21st century. AL

Photos by Alex Leith


The Sussex Ox

Enjoy a free bottle of wine with your

roast chicken throughout February!

(Up to the value of £20)

‘Eating experience

of the year’

Enjoy an entire, locally sourced roast chicken

brought whole to your table for you to carve. Served with all the trimmings.

Milton Street £14.50 per person. Bookings must be made by the previous Friday.

East Sussex

BN26 5RL

tel: 01323 870840



Photo by Rebecca Cunningham


Raw chocolates

Kris McGowan at The Raw Chocolate Company tells us

how to make the perfect Valentine’s treat...

‘Raw’ is defined, on a basic level, as food that has

not been subjected to heat over 47 degrees centrigrade,

because after this temperature, enzymes

and nutrients start to break down. In reality the

situation is more complex; during its natural

growing cycle, cacao can experience temperatures

of over 47 degrees, so in reality different foodstuffs

have different tolerances.

Raw chocolate is higher in protein and lower in

sugar than processed chocolate, and it’s dairy and

gluten-free. There’s been quite a lot of research

on dairy-free, dark chocolate, which shows all

sorts of great qualities: it’s great for heart health,

for endurance athletes, for regulating metabolism

and it’s actually good for controlling weight. It

also contains magnesium and potassium.

Essentially, raw chocolate has a lack of rubbish in

it. It’s very pure with no artificial additives, colouring

or flavourings and no processing aids. If

you want to detox your diet, then the best thing

you can do is look for foods that have minimal

processing and minimal ingredients. This is what

we do – make pure, clean, but heavenly-tasting

chocolate goodies.

Chocolate contains Phenylethylamine – known

as the ‘love drug’ – which releases the same chemicals

in the body as being in love. So not only is

it an aphrodisiac, it can almost replace the experience

entirely! Although I think pretty much anything

can have aphrodisiac qualities if you eat it in

the right company with enough candles.

Keeping our ingredients raw doesn’t really limit

what we can do with them, but it does mean that

we have to try harder to get the sensual experience

expected. A lot of manufacturers use processing

aids which allow them to significantly

reduce the amount of time it takes to make their

chocolate. We can’t and don’t do that. We grind

our ingredients for 24 hours and from start to

finish it takes three days to make our chocolate.

But then, things are usually better if you take your

time over them.

My mum brought me up with an interest in

healthy living and natural food. She also got interested

in the first wave of the Raw Food movement

in the 1970s and 80s. Back then it was all

fairly functional but not a lot of fun. We wanted

to move away from that and make nutritious,

healthy food that was also great-tasting and good

for the growers and for the environment.

I also truly believe that the way that you make

food and the attitude you have when you make it

is very important. You have to have great ingredients,

but you also need to make it with spirit,

passion and enjoyment. Make food with care,

compassion and love and it will taste and look

great. Try making a meal in an angry mood and

see how it tastes!

To make a simple raw chocolate, you need 90g

cacao butter, 60g cacao powder and 60g coconut

palm sugar. Gently melt all of the ingredients

in one bowl over another bowl full of steaming

water, mixing all the time. Pour the mixture

into chocolate moulds (or an ice cube tray) and

pop in the freezer to set. Experiment with adding

flavours like mint essence, ground cinnamon,

dessicated coconut or goji berries... for Valentine’s

you could add dried rose petals and rose essence.

You should be able to pick these up from a herbal

apothecary or Middle-Eastern food store.

As told to Rebecca Cunningham

The Raw Chocolate Company products can be

found at Laporte’s and Lansdown Health Foods, or



February Homemade Pie Deal

Monday 8 th to Saturday 13 th

£5 off a pie of your choice!

Food served 12-2.15pm and 6-8.30pm Monday to Friday

and 12-8.30pm on Saturday

Twitter: TCricketersArms Facebook: thecricketersarmsberwick Tel: 01323 870 469


Edible Updates

I’m supposed to know things but, ahem, the news that Harveys make

gin has eluded me since late November.

Turns out Miles Jenner is descended from Dutch distillers and the

Dutch, don’t you know, invented gin. Our famous London Dry was

made palatable through the addition of juniper after the Dutch spirit

Jenever, and it’s as a nod to Jenever, originally distilled from malt wine,

that Miles developed his recipe. Incorporating malt to create a warm,

masculine spirit with notes of nutmeg, Harveys Malt Gin is available from Harveys shop at £22.50. I’m

enjoying mine with a generous sliver of orange zest and Fever Tree tonic.

Which brings me to the news that Seville oranges are in season. Julian at Ouse Valley Foods is putting them to

best use in her fabulous marmalades, find them at the Saturday market along with her Valentine’s Day ‘food of

love’ gift pack.

Lewes also has a new juice merchant. Juices for Angels is run by chef Myriam Murray, returning to Lewes

following many years in France and Spain where she kept a large bio-dynamic veg garden in the Pyrenees.

Myriam’s 100% organic juice plans are available to ‘help detox or to boost vitality’.

And last but not least, The Greek Girls Supper Club, run by sisters Clare and Maxine at the Pelham

Arms on the third Monday of the month is raising money for refugee charities. The February edition

promises a Thai theme, is BYOB, and as Andrew is donating use of the venue, all profits go to charity. Chloë King

Illustration by Chloë King



Hook & Sons

Raw milk dairy

As soon as I find out that they sell

raw milk at the Friday Market, I

become fascinated by the subject.

The raw milk in question is sold by

the dairy farm Hook & Son, based

near Hailsham, the one which is

featured in the 2013 film The Moo

Man. ‘Raw’ means that it hasn’t

been pasteurised, and it hasn’t been

homogenised. The farm in question

is 100% organic, and so the milk is antibiotic and pesticide-free.

You have to order it in advance from Hook & Son; it’s sold on their behalf by Michael Vine of Arlington

Bluebell Farm Shop. I nip down having ordered two pints; I also buy some H&S butter and a tub

of cream from him.

I rush back to the office to try it. The butter, which I spread onto two halves of a brown roll, tastes

creamy, and very lightly salted. Yum. But I wonder… am I enjoying it more because I know it is so

fresh, and unadulterated? And does it matter?

The milk is quite delicious. Again it’s creamier than I’m used to, even though I always buy full fat. It

leaves a pleasant aftertaste. It’s filling, and seems to reach more points of my palate than other milk

does. Another hit.

But what of the health risks? Milk is pasteurised for a reason. The dangers of TB are well documented.

I check out Hook & Son’s website, which has some very reassuring facts about how the farm is supercareful

to jump through all the health standard hoops to make sure the milk is as safe as possible.

Their cows, all born within the herd, are tested annually; the farmland land is bordered by streams,

which act as barriers against badger invasion. The milk goes through stringent weekly tests, and is

passed by the Food Standards Authority.

Plus, I discover, the fact it’s not treated means, for various reasons, that it’s much better for you. It can

help lower rather than increase your cholesterol levels, for example. It can help reduce or eliminate

pathogenic bacteria in your body. It contains beneficial bacteria in terms of gut health and fighting

infection. Oh, and it lasts longer in the fridge, to boot. Alex Leith

For more information, check out their fine website at



Quality Country Furniture

for your home and garden



‘Make it yours’

Large showroom

Open 7 days a week

01273 814317

The Old Forge, Lewes Road, Ringmer BN8 5NB

the way we work

To fit in with our theme of ‘Lewes at Play’ we asked photographer James Boyes to take

portraits of some of the many dedicated Lewes FC fans who volunteer their time to do

various jobs for the club. And we asked them… is it just the Rooks you love?

Gary Blaber

Programme seller

Any other teams? “Chelsea”

the way we work

Jane Roberts

Lewes Ladies FC General Manager


the way we work

Ethel Treagle

Golden Goal ticket seller and club legend

“My other club is Manchester United”

the way we work

Peter Hiscox

Life member

“I only support Lewes

the way we work

Issi Doyle

Financial Controller (and sometimes on the turnstile)

“Brighton & Hove Albion”














With our new MAX membership you get unlimited classes,

gym and swimming in ALL OUR CENTRES. to JOIN


*MAX 12 months membership is 25% cheaper than our rolling monthly membership

SEAFORD • NEWHAVEN 01323 490011

the way we work

Jonathan Carroll (left), club shop assistant

“Sheffield United”

Barry Haffenden (right), club shop manager

“Tottenham Hotspur”

Starfish Youth Music

Steve Franklin, Co-ordinator

What goes on at Starfish? The project is a place

for kids and teenagers in Lewes to come and explore,

play and record music. It was started 16 years ago by

a group of young people at the YMCA on Westgate

Street, funded by the Youth Service. Three years

ago, when the government started its austerity

programme, lots of youth funding was cut, including

ours. Since then we’ve kept the project going by

fundraising, and hiring our rooms and equipment

out to adult bands. We’ll always need a little bit of

help – we are a CIC – but as a project we’ve done

really, really well.

Is it all about music? Young people come here

for all different reasons. Some of the kids are really

passionate and want to become musicians, but for

a lot of them it’s a safe place to come and be able to

express themselves. The main focus - the pizza base -


my space

of the project, is youth work. We look at each person

holistically and work on helping them gain life

skills, not necessarily just musical skills. You might

get somebody who’s quite loud and dominating in

a group and you can tell that they could be a good

leader, they just don’t know how to lead yet. If the

project was just about music, the youth service would

never have funded it in the beginning.

What’s your musical background? Do you want

to know my claim to fame? I was on Songs of Praise.

Twice. I sang with a church choir, but one day the

choir master pulled me aside and said, ‘you’ve got to

go upstairs’ which means ‘you’re out of the choir’. I

was devastated. After that I played in soul bands and

reggae bands and I got really interested in sound

engineering, so I got a City & Guilds qualification

and started working in a commercial studio, then at

the BRIT School. One day I saw a little ad for a part

time music worker and applied for it, and over the

last 14 years it’s become a full time job.

What will you do after the Phoenix development

takes place? We’ve already moved from the YMCA

on Westgate Street, where the project started, to

Priory School and then to here. The thought of doing

it all again is a bit daunting. We’ve got a business

model that works for this building, so it’d be pretty

pointless taking over a new building without having

the revenue to sustain it. We’re meeting with Santon

and the Council to see if there’s a way we can keep

going after the development, so hopefully with the

right kind of support we can carry on the project.

Interview by Rebecca Cunningham

Photos courtesy of Starfish


trade secrets

Philip Ayckbourn

Like father...

Photo by Mark Bridge

I’ve been writing plays ever since I was a youngster.

The family name was definitely a weight upon

my shoulders, especially going into the same line

of work as my father [Sir Alan Ayckbourn]. I went

off to catering college to try and be a chef but was

drawn back into acting and playwriting. You can’t

hide from what’s really inside you. Since I was

young, people have said “are you going to follow

in your father’s footsteps and be as successful as he

is?” I think that’s pushed me to find my own way.

For 13 years I ran a touring theatre company

that travelled around France. In a way, I felt I had

to get away from Britain to develop my craft. It was

a good place to practise without the comparisons

and the obvious associations that people would

make if I was doing it in this country.

I like to begin writing my plays with a theme

or an idea that I want to explore, then I try to

link all the elements in the play to that particular

theme. And then I tend to play with it in my mind.

The story comes out of that, really. It develops organically.

Part of the fun is allowing the story to

tell itself.

Everybody has their own story and their own

way of telling their story. A lot of people just say

“I can’t do it”, so I run playwriting courses to help

them. To begin with, we need to deal with our own

self-censoring and judgements on what we’re writing.

After that, you can look at the finer details of

shaping the play: motivations, sub-text, structure

and story. So I find ways of encouraging people to

take little steps and write without thinking about

it too much.

If you think you’ve got a play within you but

don’t know what to do about it, I suggest going to

a writing group or to someone who knows about

playwriting. Otherwise you can take a very long

way round it, hitting your head against a lot of

brick walls. That was my path. At first I didn’t know

how to shape my ideas but I was determined and

stubborn. It took me quite a while to realise that a

writing group was probably a better way to do it.

But you have to find the right people to talk to. If

you talk to the wrong person, they’ll take your idea

and change it by saying “what about this instead?”

I moved to Lewes early last year. I’d had enough

of London. I wanted to find somewhere that I

could connect to. My ideal is to set up a creative

hub, where we can learn writing, acting and other

aspects of theatre, and then put on productions.

That’s the dream, really. Mark Bridge

Philip’s ten-week playwriting course starts Mon 1st

Feb; details from or



Lewes Out Loud

Plenty more Henty

Having somewhat foolishly

revealed the year of

my birth on this page last

month, I have decided

that, for once, I will attempt

to act my real age.

You see, although I value

free bus rides into Brighton

and concessionary rates

to watch the Rooks at the

Dripping Pan, I do not

intend to overplay the ageist

card. I prefer Madonna to Dame Vera Lynn,

for example, and Nathaniel Rateliff and the

Night Sweats (Concorde 2, Brighton, March 7)

to the Ink Spots.

It was this decision then that took Sylvia and I

to the House of Friendship, 208 High Street,

on a miserable Monday morning, just after

Christmas. The lunch menu outside the listed

building had always appealed to us and the

welcome by Jenny as we entered the smart

reception area was – what else? – friendly.

We purchased two guest luncheon tickets (£7

each) from her and then I introduced myself to

Chairman Heather, who gave us a quick tour

of the building’s other impressive facilities (all

available for hire), including a large billiards

room, “Very Agatha Christie” said Heather.

Lunch at 12.30pm was enjoyed in a couple of

bright rooms through reception and served

– rather like school dinners – by Chef Keith

in his kitchen with Daphne on potatoes. The

food, though, was nothing like our school

dinners, we agreed. A warming Somerset pork

casserole with green beans, red cabbage and

Daphne’s mash was followed by a deliciously

light marmalade and whisky bread and butter

pudding with cream.

I congratulated the

modest Keith, who

lives in Burgess Hill,

and has built up

quite a reputation

for his ever-changing

range of traditional

English and

continental dishes.

“And he makes

very good custard”

added Heather, as

I prepared to venture out into the rain. I shall

return, I told her, for there is so much more to

see and do in this excellent social centre for the

older community which is open Monday to Friday.

For more details, telephone 01273 476469.

That’s the great thing, I reckon, about Lewes

in these troubled times – community - and here

are a few more people in our community I’ve

encountered recently. People like Digna who

was pushing her bicycle at the foot of Keere

Street in the inevitable rain. She hails from

Chile, has two children with Adam, and has

lived in Lewes for five years. She told me she

had been to the re-cycling centre and had come

back with more than she took. We laughed.

Shereen is always smiling, whatever the

weather, and is a burst of sunshine every

Sunday at the Lewes car boot. Ursula was there

recently with her dog, Anise (honest) which had

a working selfie type camera on its back. That’ll

make interesting viewing!

Finally, I always thought it was desperate

maiden aunts who sent socks for a present at

Christmas. In Lewes, apparently, it’s a reputable

estate agents with the cryptic message ‘Isn’t

it satisfying when you find the matching pair?’

I’m puzzled. John Henty


Because every life is unique

…we are here to help you make your

farewell as personal and individual as possible,

and to support you in every way we can.

Inc. Cooper & Son

42 High Street, Lewes

01273 475 557

Also at: Uckfield • Seaford • Cross in Hand

we try...

Tantrum Spa

Letting off steam

“He never answers his phone

or replies to emails…”

I take a deep breath… and

blow up a balloon, onto which

I write all the things that make

me cross about my esteemed

editor (EE). Then I draw him.

Then I burst the balloon with

a cocktail stick and wipe the

smile off his face. If that seems

harsh, wait to see what I’m

going to do the others!

I’m attending a Tantrum Club.

It’s a new thing and the aim

is, rather than carting suppressed rage around

with you, you let it all out.

Friends, family and colleagues might disagree

but Katie Phillips, self-love mentor and tantrum

instructor says it’s good for you.

“Ignoring emotions leaves them trapped,

making you unhappy, depressed and leading to

physical ailments such neck and shoulder tension,

acne and worse.”

Katie is leading the 90-minute tantrum class

at Ockenden Manor in Cuckfield, part of a

‘tantrum spa package’ that includes swimming,

saunas, hot tubs, treatments and just about

everything else you can think of to ease away

pent up stuff.

We begin by writing down all the things that

get to us.

“It’s about finding a channel for your emotions

in a safe, contained environment,” says Katie,

who, following the balloon exercise, encourages

us to scream, shout, stamp, punch and kick the

stresses out of our system – all to the apposite

soundtrack of Rage Against the Machine.

I dread to think what the people in the spa area

are thinking, but sod them. I’m in defiant mood

and Katie is preparing to hand

out baseball bats!

“Does anyone want goggles?”

She proffers safety glasses and

I wonder if we’re going to be

doing the full Michael Douglas

in Falling Down.

But there’s no danger of flying

convenience store masonry

here, we’re going to take our

frustrations out on a beanbag,

albeit one we personify. “Shout

at them. Swear at them. Let

them know why they are ruining

your life,” Katie urges.

She’s all honey-coloured hair and smiles but she

can be scarily persuasive.

I thwack my beanbag with abandon, assuming

kneeling position to get closer to the object of

my anger. Across the way, I catch sight of another

woman bashing away, totally demented.

It’s exhausting, but curiously cathartic. I wind

down with a swim and a soak in a hot tub before

a suitably spa-y lunch of avocado and mozzarella

on rye bread. My fellow tantrumees sip

soups and munch salads and one bites into the

braised ox cheek with a ferocity, which suggests

she has not fully exorcised all her emotions.

After lunch there are massages to be had,

flotation tanks to attend and a range of face and

body buffs on offer.

I leave feeling calm and floaty and enormously

well disposed towards EE. Until he demands

my copy and gives me a wholly unrealistic

deadline. I take a deep breath, blow up a balloon

and begin to draw his face on it….

Lizzie Enfield

A day at the Tantrum Club, which is held monthly,

costs £125 (01444 416111,



Say it with a massage

There’s the rub

Why not think outside

the usual red-ribboned

box and give your loved

one a Valentine’s massage?

All you need are

your hands, your beloved,

and a little time…

Start by setting the

scene, says massage therapist

Jacqueline Reyher.

Turn off your phone,

light some candles, and

ensure the room is warm. Have plenty of towels

to hand (perhaps on a radiator or hot water bottle),

so you can make your partner comfortable.

You will also need to prepare your oil. Jacqueline

recommends using no more than three essential

oils in a base of almond or grapeseed.

“Less is very definitely more,” she cautions, “so

if you’re using 30ml of base oil, you’ll only need

a total of six to ten drops of essential oil.”

Possible Valentine mixes might include rose,

jasmine, ylang-ylang, rosewood or sandalwood,

she suggests, while ginger is said to have aphrodisiac

properties (try Holland & Barrett or

Lansdown). Alternatively, you could use a massage

bar (available from Lush), but stick to base

oil for smaller areas.

Choose a firm surface, such as a futon or blankets

on a floor (or a bed if it has a hard mattress),

then get your partner to undress and lie

down on their front. Cover them with towels,

and place a folded towel or blanket under their

forehead, so they don’t need to turn their head.

Before you begin, agree that your partner will

say if anything feels uncomfortable. “Too light

a touch can feel irritating,” Jacqueline explains,

“so don’t be scared of using pressure. If anything

causes pain,

the person must

tell you.”

Once they are

comfortable, place

your hands on the

base of the neck

and the base of

the spine. Breathe

slowly, connecting

with your partner.

“Just wait,” says

Jacqueline. “You’re creating a space where the

other person can feel cherished, so you want to

be in tune.”

Next, roll back the towel and, using a little oil or

your bar, start to massage your partner’s back.

“Make the strokes flowing and long,” advises

Jacqueline. “Avoid the spine, and work towards

the heart, moving slowly. Even if you’ve never

massaged anyone before, follow your intuition.

Think sweeping movements, circles or gentle

kneading. There is no right or wrong.”

To finish, use ‘cat strokes’, moving more and

more lightly until you’re barely making contact,

before resting your hands in place for a

few breaths.

You can also massage the face, head, arms, legs

and front of the body. “But remember,” adds

Jacqueline, “it doesn’t matter if you don’t cover

a particular area. Massage is very intuitive, so do

what feels right for you.”

Afterwards, give your partner time to rest, and

encourage them to drink lots of water. And

then, if you’re lucky, it could be your turn.

Anita Hall

To book a massage with Jacqueline Reyher or

her partner Ray Denny call: 07932 155110.


6-9 OCTOBER 2016





Call: 01903 706354

Registered Charity Number: 256789

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Chartered Surveyors & Property Consultants

• Residential and Commercial

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Offices now in Lewes, Eastbourne & London

Contact us for friendly professional advice

01273 840 608 |


Chris Winterton

Back for keeps

Chris Winterton is, by common consent, one of

the best non-league goalkeepers in Sussex. The

former Albion pro has won consecutive titles

with Whitehawk and was a mainstay of a successful

Bognor Regis Town side last season. Yet, his

two spells at Lewes have been spent at the wrong

end of the table.

Winterton first joined Lewes in 2010/11, the season

the club dropped into the Ryman Premier

League. Now the club is battling to stay in that

division too, although the side was already bottom

of the league before Winterton rejoined in

October, becoming one of Darren Freeman’s first

signings when he took over from Steve Brown.

Winnie – as he’s known to his teammates and the

fans – says not much has changed since he left in

the summer of 2011. “The standard’s a little bit

different,” he says of the drop down a division,

but “the travelling distances aren’t as far”. Other

than that, “the club’s still got its history, still got a

good fan base. In our league position, you expect

the fans to dwindle but – as before – they’re very

loyal and they’ll keep coming. It’s a great club and

that’s never going to change.”

The 27-year-old financial adviser would obviously

prefer to be at the top of the league, rather than

the bottom, but admits there are upsides for goalkeepers

when a team is going through a rough

patch. “When you’re at the top of the league winning

every week, it’s a self-esteem booster,” he

says. “When you’re down there and you’re coming

across sides that are wanting to score goals

against you, it’s quite nice to have the ambition to

keep them out. When you have more chances in

the game, it can make you look better as a goalkeeper.

[Though] if you’re letting in three or four

every week, people think ‘hang about!’”

Freeman – who was Winterton’s manager for

those two titles at Whitehawk – has changed almost

the entire first team squad since arriving at

Lewes, and now appears to be turning a corner

in terms of results. Winterton says the manager

won’t tolerate complacency, even among his

trusted recruits. “Ross [Standen, Freeman’s assistant]

and Darren are doing their best to try

and bring in the boys they think will do the job,”

says Winterton. “Some players aren’t adapted to

being down the bottom and having to scrap for

points. We can see that the managerial staff are

trying to sort the team out and sometimes that

gives the players a bit of a nudge to say ‘if you

don’t start performing well, there’s changes to be


One change at the club Winterton definitely

approves of is the new 3G training pitch. “For

a goalkeeper it’s perfect, because you don’t get

muddy anymore,” he says. “I remember the days

when you’d come back from training, especially

in winter with all this rain we’ve had, you’d end

up walking back from training and feeling about

five stone heavier due to all the water and the

mud.” Now he just wants some more clean sheets

to go with the clean kit. Barry Collins

Home games in February: Needham Market, Sat

6th, 3pm; Grays Athletic, Sat 20th, 3pm.

Photo by James Boyes


M a ke your hous e a home

The Lewes Seaford & District branch of Cats Protection has several cats and kittens

in our care at any one time all looking for a loving new home. We cover postcodes

BN7-10 and BN25.

Whatever your environment there will be a cat that suits you and your lifestyle.

Whether you live in a flat or a farm, maisonette or mansion...whether you’re looking

for a marvellous moggy or a beautiful breed - we’ve got the perfect feline friend

for you.

All our cats are vet checked, neutered (if old enough), microchipped, vaccinated

and come with four weeks’ free insurance (terms & conditions apply), giving

invaluable peace of mind and reassurance as you and your cat embark upon a

lifelong friendship.

For further information please contact:

T: 01273 814722


: CPLewesCats

Reg Charity 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland)

feature: wildlife


The eye of the beholder

Viva’s editor, ensconced in his corner of The

Lewes Arms, told me this month’s theme was

Lewes at Play’. I didn’t look far for inspiration.

Cursing and the clanging of brass on lead alerted

me to a couple of lads playing Toad in the Hole.

The perfect excuse for some sycophantic toadying

to an amphibian I adore; warts and all.

Toads are beautiful. Yes, I know they have lumpy,

poisonous skin. Yes, I know they have a face like

Ena Sharples. But that eye. That amazing eye.

Next time you see a toad, get right up close and

allow yourself to be hypnotized by that mesmerizing

golden-ringed eye. Fellow toad lover George

Orwell called it “about the most beautiful eye of

any living creature”.

In February that beautiful eye blinks open as toads

awaken from their winter hibernation. From under

stones, logs and leaves they emerge and start the

long walk home – back to the pond where they

were born. They proceed on this pilgrimage with

a determined, unsteady gait – like one of those old

men you see gingerly crossing the shingle on his

way to his annual New Year’s Day dip. But once

the toad hits the water he is rejuvenated and has

one thing on his mind. Croaking and brawling, a

peaceful pond is transformed into a Club 18-30

pool party as male toads squabble over females

in a writhing orgy of amorous amphibians. The

results of this Bacchanalian bonding are long polka

dot ribbons of spawn (unlike the frog’s shapeless

tapioca blobs) and by May the parent toads have

left their breeding ponds to lead a more respectable

life on dry land until their winter hibernation.

Amazingly these animals can live for over 40 years.

With their primordial appearance, annual gatherings

and rituals there is a touch of the occult about

the toad. Throughout England’s history they have

been vilified; linked to witchcraft and strange

superstitions. And, when it comes to folklore,

there’s nowt so queer as toads. Rubbing toads on

your body could cure cancer; a live toad in your

mouth could cure thrush. Precious jewels (toadstones)

were reputed to be hidden in a toad’s head.

Immortal toad-eaters were a sideshow attraction

at country fairs. Travelling toad doctors could

heal you with toad hearts and legs. The mysterious

toadmen used toad potions to cure horses (a

practice that allegedly continued until the 1930s in

some counties).

It took Kenneth Grahame’s beloved The Wind in

the Willows to finally drag the toad out of the dark

ages and put him in a tweed suit and the hearts

of the nation. Please keep an eye out for these

amazing animals around Lewes this spring as I’m

keen to hear of any toad sightings. Send details to

Michael Blencowe, illustration by Mark Greco


icks and mortar

Tilting Ground

Good woods since 1658

Photo by Rob Read

“I can’t tell you why it is. It’s the way it’s been played,

ever since… since I’ve been a member - nearly

50 years - and evermore before that,” says Lewes

Bowling Green Society president Cyril Mann. “We

can play nobody else, of course, because nobody

else plays bowls in the way that we do.”

The Society’s style is ‘closer to the form of the

game as it was played during the Tudor and Stuart

periods than anywhere in Britain’, bowls historian

Hugh Hornby writes. He considers the Tilting

Ground ‘one of [Britain’s] most important sites of

sporting heritage’.

The idea it was used for tilting, a form of jousting,

“is surely a nineteenth-century romantic fantasy”,

senior East Sussex archivist Christopher Whittick

says. But there is evidence that people were bowling

here as early as 1658. It’s been exclusively used

for the sport since 1753, apparently, when a local

pub landlord started a Society for ‘all gentlemen

who are lovers of that diversion’.

The Society is still men only, for the time being. Its

secretary, Michael Moore, says ladies’ membership

has “never really been raised, to be perfectly honest”.

He doesn’t know what would happen if someone

nominated a woman for membership. Anyway,

this can’t happen until another member retires or

dies. Numbers are strictly limited, for slightly complex

reasons which are worth explaining.

Unlike modern bowling greens, the Tilting

Ground slopes downwards towards the High

Street, and, in the words of an old record-office

document, ‘possesses innumerable slight slopes,

depressions and valleys such as are to be found in a

golf putting green’.

This makes the game more difficult, but players

can deal with it, utilising the ‘heavy bias’ of the oldfashioned

bowls – aka ‘woods’ – that the Society

uses. They’re flat on one side, and curved on the

other, so when you roll them, they bend towards

the curved side.

The Society has around 50 pairs of these bowls,

which are old and possibly irreplaceable. They’re

handmade, and thus all different from each other.

Each member is given a set – to look after, not to

own – which they have to get used to. “They do

vary, quite considerably. Some of them have a great

big arc. You get used to your own.”

And it’s this that limits their membership. The Mid

Sussex Times once referred to them as the ‘world’s

most exclusive bowls club’, but, Cyril Mann says,

“it’s exclusive inasmuch as we only have 50 sets of

woods, so we can only have 50 members. It’s not

exclusive in any other respect.”

Indeed, they even let me have a go, borrowing

someone else’s woods, one Saturday in January.

Cyril is 82 and the cold was making his eyes water

noticeably, but, of course, he beat me quite effortlessly.

Though, I’m pleased to say, he did consider

my final ball worthy of the bowls-player’s standard

compliment: ‘Good wood’.

As we walked back to the pavilion, I told him that

I now got the appeal of the uneven terrain. He

agreed: “It’s no fun if it’s flat!” Steve Ramsey

With thanks to Christopher Whittick


Lewes District Council

usiness news

There’s a fair bit of coming and going in the

town this month. Look out for a new pop-up

shop in Lewes Tourist Information Centre

opening Saturday 6th February and then on

Wednesdays from 10am-4.30pm and Saturdays

from 10am-2pm. Make it Fair, it will swap,

recycle, remake and sell preloved children’s and

adult clothes, and hold workshops remaking

fabrics into accessories with 25% of profits

going to charity. Pop in on the opening day to

find out more, and join in the fabric flower and

butterfly making workshop for a small donation.

Material Plans has opened a new tile and

stone showroom at 15 Malling Street. They’ve

worked closely with tile factories across Europe

and stock a large range of carefully selected and

beautiful tiles. You can visit them at the showroom

to discuss your tiling plans.

Wilson Wilson & Hancock have reopened

their Lewes practice after extensive refurbishment.

They’ve created space to run more clinics

and reduced the waiting times for eye examinations.

They’ve also created room for the latest

Optomap retinal screener and offer eye checks

for young and old, which they recommend annually

for children and at least every two years

for adults.

Lewes Expo, the one-day interactive B2B

event, returns to the Town Hall next month.

Get in touch with new organisers, NetXP, if

you’d like to join the growing list of exhibitors.

With a Monopoly theme to the day, they’re

especially keen to hear from letting and estate

agents who’d like to get involved.

You’ll have seen that East women’s clothing

has disappeared from School Hill and, as we go

to print, carpenters were at work. Forfars has

left its spot in Cliffe Precinct (and elsewhere)

but Bake Out have opened in their place to

meet the town’s need for cheese straws (and

posh Viennoiserie, see page 67). Bone Clothing

for Women has closed, allowing the owners to

concentrate on their menswear shop on School

Hill, and another branch which they’ve opened

on East Street in Brighton. Brigden and Bayliss

have closed their shop on Station Street and

thank their customers for three years of support

whilst further up Station Street, Lewes Travel

Agency have put up a notice saying they’ve

stopped taking on new customers.

If the recent cold snap has got you thinking

about sunnier climes, Liz King Bespoke

Travel [] is on hand to help.

An independent travel agent with 30 years’ experience,

she helps you to find a holiday within

budget, with the ATOL and ABTA protection

available from a bigger agent, and at no greater

cost to you than booking direct. She can help

with inspiration too so you just sit back and let

her make the arrangements. How civilised.

Finally, the University of Sussex are on the

lookout for Lewes landlords for 2016. They’re

offering ethical, hassle-free property letting and

management, with guaranteed rent for up to 52

weeks, with no fees or commission. Email them

at for more details.


Directory Spotlight:

Guy Pearce – Guitar teacher

I’ve been playing guitar for 27 years and studied

music performance at Reading art college. I teach

acoustic, electric and rock guitar and the associated

grades with the RGT syllabus.

I go to my students houses to teach, which is

popular with parents as they don’t have to wait

around while I give the lesson. My youngest student

is ten years old and the oldest is 64.

A student can pick up the basic chords and

scales in just a few lessons although practice is

the key to making any meaningful progress. I do

have spare guitars but I recommend that students

acquire their own so that they can practice what

they’ve learnt. Nylon-strung classical guitars are

great for complete beginners as they’re slightly

easier on the fingers and can be bought reasonably

cheaply. They can then progress to acoustic or

electric at a later date.

I love the guitar because it is an immensely

versatile instrument. There’s a huge variety of

sounds you can get out of those six strings, from

beautiful acoustic fingerpicking to soaring distorted

electric sounds.

My favourite guitar is my Fender

Stratocaster but I also love my

Gibson ES335 and I am in the

process of buying a Martin

acoustic guitar. I know some

people with huge collections

but in my opinion

guitars are meant to

be played and not just

looked at, so that’s

plenty for me to be

getting on with!

07504 173 888


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

CP Viva Lewes Ad (Qtr Pg)_62 x 94mm 18/02/2011 17:

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






roject1/NEWSIZE_Layout 1 18/01/2012 14:59 Page 1

Jack Plane Carpenter

Nice work, fair price,

totally reliable.

01273 483339 / 07887 993396


Handyman Services for your House and Garden

Lewes based. Free quotes.

Honest, reliable, friendly service.

Reasonable rates

Tel: 07460 828240





Restoration &


HB ad.indd 1 27/07/2015 17:46

come & see us at

the farmers’


to lewes and

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Phone 01273 488261

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Kate Sippetts

Designer Gardener

GGS1.001_QuarterPage_Ad_01.indd 1 12/11/10 18:24:5








RHS hort & BA hons


landscape and garden design

01273 401581/ 07900 416679

Services include

- Garden Design & Project Monitoring

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Call us for a free consultation

health & wellbeing

OSteOpathy & Cranial OSteOpathy

Michaela Kullack & Simon Murray

Experienced, Registered Osteopaths

Like us on


River Clinic

COMpleMentary therapieS

Acupuncture, Alexander Technique, Bowen Technique,

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open monday to Saturday

For appointments call

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health & Well-being

neck or back pain?

Lin Peters & Beth Hazelwood


for the treatment of:

neck or low back pain • sports injuries • rheumatic

arthritic symptoms • pulled muscles • joint pain

stiffness • sciatica - trapped nerves • slipped discs

tension • frozen shoulders • cranial osteopathy

pre and post natal

20 Valence Road Lewes 01273 476371

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

Release trauma and live in freedom

Neil del Strother

Senior Journey Practitioner (Dip Psych, MA)

To book an appointment or for further information visit or call 07746 103700

Singing Lessons

Experienced voice teacher - DBS checked - Wallands area

07960 893 898

other services

other services


We can work it out





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

inside left


Last month we showed you four earnest young fellows from a cycling club posing on bicycles for Edward

Reeves’ camera in around 1894; this time we have a rather more distinguished-looking chap and

his young companion on a tricycle, in a picture which is likely to have been taken about ten years before,

again by Mr Reeves, at the top of New Road.

Tricycles were all the rage in the 1880s; in 1884 there were over 120 different models on the market,

which makes the model the gentlemen are riding difficult to identify. We contacted the Tricycle Association,

whose historian Martin Purser decided they were most likely Quadrants, and in particular the later

front-steering version, made in 1884.

This model was deemed to be dangerous. The 1892 cycling guidebook Wheels and Wheeling described ‘its

erratic and dangerous behaviour when descending hills, unless in very careful or experienced hands’ so

we hope the chaps’ trip down New Road was a safe one.

In that period tricycles were considerably more expensive than bicycles, and thus the preserve of a more

genteel class of rider. You didn’t have to be athletic to ride them, and they became popular with women,

who didn’t have to wear special gear to be able to pedal. Queen Victoria had two models; Lord Abermarle

once stated ‘there is not a crowned head inside or out of Europe that does not have a fleet of tricycles’.

They remained popular in the UK far longer than anywhere else in the world. However their days were

numbered when the pneumatic tyre was invented, making bicycles much safer and more stable.

We couldn’t leave this page without a mention of the two lads, perhaps from the Old Grammar, who

are obviously doing the Victorian equivalent of the modern craze of ‘photo bombing’, jumping into the

picture. Little did they realise it would lead to them being brought to life again in these pages, all of 130

years later.


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