Viva Lewes Issue #114 March 2016


Viva Lewes

The Mind Issue

March 2016 #114




I’m alone in the office writing this, even though it’s 4.30pm, and

the place is normally fairly full at this time. Why’s that? Because

the bleeding internet has gone down. Been down all afternoon, in

fact. It’s not just us: everyone in Lewes who’s on BT, I’ve heard,

from someone who managed to contact someone who turned out

to be in the same boat. I can’t even get it on my phone.

It’s quite amazing how much consternation this has caused,

because, in effect, nobody can do anything anymore. I’m a writer,

which means that I should be able to just sit down and write, but this is pretty difficult. I

hadn’t realised how much I relied on googling whatever query came into my head. Normally,

at this point in this piece I would find out how many times the average office worker uses

Google every day, for example, and end this sentence with that fact. But it’s not a normal day.

And so I’ve been left to my own devices. I’ve made lots of tea. I’ve tidied my virtual and

actual desktops. And I’ve got to pondering how much the internet has taken over our

lives. How it’s become, in effect, an extra mental faculty, without which we’re completely

incapacitated: the digital sixth sense, if you like. This month’s theme, which is only loosely

connected to this editorial (please forgive me) is ‘The Mind’. I hope it gives you food for

thought. 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,

Carlotta Luke, Ian Seccombe, Marcus Taylor

Viva Lewes is based at Pipe Passage, 151b High Street, Lewes, BN7 1XU, 01273 488882. Accounts: 01273 480131


20-30 MAY 2016


Edmund de Waal,

Tim Berners-Lee,

Andrew Marr, Michael Morpurgo,

Nicholas Hytner, Ian McEwan,

Zaha Hadid, Jeanette Winterson

Book tickets at


the mind issue



Bits and bobs.

8-23. Matt Carr’s cover story,

Michael Richards’ Lewes, Ian

Seccombe’s valedictory point of view,

a wet dog, a ghost pub, an anchorite

and Carlotta Luke’s latest shots.


25-29. David Jarman on Radio 3,

Mark Bridge on the now defunct

Ringmer Lunatic Asylum and Chloë

King on the nostalgia industry.

In town this month.

31. Anti-grammar-pedant Oliver

Kamm mind’s his Ps and queues.

33. Radio veteran Barry Cryer at the

Con Club.

35. Sarah Walton, creator of Rufius.

37. Philip Dunn plays The Elephant

Man at the LLL.

38-39. Axel Hesslenberg celebrates

100 years of Bloomsbury at


41. ‘Bring your own Bratby’

exhibition at Jerwood.

43-45. Art & About. Dawn Stacey

and Peter Messer shows in Lewes;

John Piper at both Jerwood and

Pallant House.

47. Classical round-up. Paul Austin

Kelly on a don’t-miss-it performance

of Bach’s St John Passion, and plenty

more besides.

49-55. Diary dates. Who’s putting

what on, where, and when. Why?

Why the hell not?

57-59. Gig guide. The Koan

Brothers do a benefit gig in Seaford,

and much more.

61-69. Free time. What’s what for

the under 16s.

Food and drink.

71-79. Healthy lunch at the

Buttercup, hot cross buns from The

O Lovely Peace (detail) by Lucy Ames (see pg 43)

the mind issue


Hearth, Italian food at the Greek Girls

Supper Club, Eggs California from

the Needlemaker’s Café and Rathfinny

winemaker Jonathan Médard.

The way we work.

81-87. Rachael Edwards photographs

locals who deal in some way with the

mind, in their ‘happy space’.


89-91. Health. Rebecca gets the lowdown

from art therapist Sarah Paget,

and Iyengar yoga teacher Ali Hahlo.

93. Lewes out Loud. No need to shout,

Henty’s about.

95. Bricks & Mortar. Lewes’ only

remaining Post Office, under threat.

96-97. Lewes in History. Samuel

Medhurst, Victorian millwright.

99. Wildlife. March hares: Michael

Blencowe is bonkers about these bigeared


101. Cycling. Alex Leith is King of the

Downs… for an hour, on an e-bike.

103. Football. Lewes FC’s successful

U18 boys’ Academy… and a girls’ one

on the way.

Lewes in business.

105–121. Local business news, Lewes

Expo organiser Sonny Cutting and

hypnotherapist Lynne Russell.

Inside Left.

122. Back to the future. Isaac Reeves’

amazing juxtaposition of Eastgate, past

and present. Spooky.



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.

Don’t forget to recycle your Viva.

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: matt carr





Viva Lewes

The Mind Issue

March 2016 #114



















vivalewescoverMAR2016opt1.indd 1 16/02/2016 11:27

Matt Carr has designed a few covers for us before,

and even when we’ve given him a fairly short deadline

to come up with an idea, he’s always managed to provide

us with a range of creative designs which show

that his imagination must be running at one hundred

miles an hour. But that doesn’t stop him from being

modest. “I am a bear of little brain,” he says; “the brief

was ‘The Mind’ so I just thought of the most obvious

mind-related things I could and the phrenology

head was one of them…” Some of his other ideas this

month included a Warhol-style image of Einstein, a

magazine contemplating its own identity, a brain scan

comparing the levels of mental activity while reading

Viva compared with carrying out more mundane

activities… the list goes on.

What we loved about this one was the opportunity

to pick out a few of our favourite things about Lewes

and about this issue. The placement of certain words

makes a lot of sense – ‘gigs’ by the ears and ‘art’ right

next to the eyes – making us wonder if he actually

carried out weeks of research into the functions of

the different zones of the brain. He says that’s not the

case – mostly the words went wherever they’d fit. “Although

I did put ‘Wine’ just above the eyes because

that’s where my hangover sits when I drink too much

of it!” ‘Save the post office’ got centre place because

he says, “it’s at the centre of everyone’s thoughts at

the moment.”

When he’s not designing our covers, Matt lends his

versatile style of design to a variety of commercial

projects, from logo work to posters, books, websites,

film titles, animation, brochures and infographics. He

says “I like doing Viva Lewes covers because it’s like

being at college – it’s nice not to have a client telling

you that they want their logo bigger (the most popular

graphic designer complaint)!”

Recently he created some illustrations for the Imperial

War Museum for the Battle of Britain Anniversary

Air Shows, as well as working on the book by

Swedish YouTuber PewDiePie – “that made me feel

‘down with the kids’ as they say.” Have a look at more

of his work at RC


Photo bny Emma Chaplin

my lewes: Michael Richards

Are you local? I was born in the Cotswolds, and

after studying Physics for six years at Oxford, I

came to teach and research at the University of

Sussex in 1964. I lived in Kingston with my first

wife Sue and we brought up our two sons there.

Tell us about your second career. My marriage

broke down in the 1970s and I came to live in

Lewes and married Janet, with whom I’d helped

start New Sussex Opera. In 1988 I started a sixyear

training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and

practiced in Lewes for 20 years. Meanwhile, Janet

was running a residential care home, and that

helped fund my six-year gap.

What prompted you to take this path? I think

it was partly reflecting on the failure of my first

marriage. But also, I knew I had taken up physics

because I thought it was safer in that you knew

when you’d got it right. As I became older I was

increasingly attracted to areas where you don’t

have that security. But I feel lucky to have had two

complementary careers.

What has your work taught you about human

nature? That reflecting on our thoughts and actions

enables us to grow. Socrates put it more

harshly: “the unexamined life is not worth living”.

This doesn’t stop us making mistakes but it does

enable us to learn from them.

Lewes has a lot of counsellors and psychotherapists.

Why do you think this is? I’ll make

two guesses. The first is that Lewes attracts reflective

people who are more likely to seek help in

examining their life. A more cynical thought is

that therapists are like antique dealers: they make

work for each other.

Whom do you admire professionally? Neville

Symington writes eloquently on psychoanalysis

and religion, and as a Christian and ex-psychoanalyst,

I believe passionately that these two can

be integrated. But I don’t spend all my time in a

monk’s cell or an ivory tower. Life without music,

sport, bridge, gardening and being with friends

and family wouldn’t be worth living.

What’s changed about Lewes over the years?

I’m not against DFLs, but they have changed the

town. In the 1960s all classes were well represented

and had a voice. Now the chattering class


What do you like about Lewes? Harveys, twittens,

Lewes Patisserie, and the Southdown Club

where I play tennis every week.

What’s your favourite view? The castle from St

Michael’s churchyard.

How would you spend a perfect Sunday?

Church at St Michael’s in the morning. Lunch at

the Cock or the Jolly Sportsman with too much

wine, then recovering by a fire in the afternoon.

Watching telly in the evening. I enjoyed War and

Peace, but even after reading it twice, I still kept

forgetting who everyone is and how they’re related

to each other. Interview by Emma Chaplin










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

its and bobs

ian seccombe’s point of view

Ian Seccombe has hit the theme nail on the head once more this month. “The Mind - a photo montage

combining key elements in John Fowles’ 1965 novel The Magus,” he writes, in explanation, “telling the

story of Nicholas Urfe, a young British school teacher who takes a job teaching English on a remote

Greek island where he becomes embroiled in a psychological game in which reality and fantasy are

manipulated and Urfe struggles to maintain his sanity.” Fowles’ previous (first) novel, The Collector,

was, of course, set on the outskirts of Lewes. Sadly this is Ian’s last contribution to the mag, at least for

the while, as he concentrates on other matters. We would like to thank him enormously for five years’

service providing fantastic pictures for this slot.

town plaques #12: The odeon cinema

The Odeon Cinema was built near the eastern end of Cliffe High Street

on a site which had previously been used by Culverwells, agricultural engineers,

who moved next door. It opened at a time of rapidly growing cinema

attendances. The Odeon was huge: there were 986 seats. Just imagine

– almost 1,000 people watching the same film, in Lewes!

In common with most other cinemas of the time it boasted smartly uniformed

usherettes and commissionaires. A battered photograph of them

can be found on the Facebook page Lewes Past, as can images of the cavernous inside, the dominant

frontage, a few posters and some sad shots of its demolition.

The Odeon stood as a decaying edifice for over a decade – with the slogan ‘Shame!’ written on its façade -

until, in the spirit of the 1980s, it was developed into housing and small retail units, just when Cliffe High

Street was at its lowest commercial ebb. The shops have struggled to retain occupants. Marcus Taylor


its and bobs

lewes worthy

Sometime before 1253, a woman went into a cell in St Anne’s Church. There

was a gap which she could look through to see church services, and some

kind of hole for food and drink. But the entrance would most likely have been

sealed up once she was inside. The cell contained a pre-dug grave.

She, like other ‘anchorites’, had chosen to live a solitary life of religious devotion.

This would involve lots of silence and prayer, one Oxford reference book

notes, as well as ‘spiritual self-denial and the infliction of bodily discomfort’.

Her name isn’t known. She was mentioned in a bishop’s will from 1253, as a ‘female recluse’. This was

apparently the only evidence that she’d existed, until building work in the 1920s uncovered her cell.

The architect Walter Godfrey wrote that, removing a load of loose chalk and flints and snail shells, they

‘came upon, what we had scarce hoped to find, the remains of the anchoress herself’.

Local surgeon Sidney Spokes examined these bones, scrawling some notes on a few sheets of lined paper,

which are preserved at The Keep. Though the skeleton is far from complete, and in poor condition

– ‘the pelvis is represented by perhaps eight fragile pieces of various sizes’ – Spokes concludes that she

was probably ‘slightly built, around 5 foot 5 inches in height, perhaps aged 70 years or more’. And that,

as far as I can tell, is pretty much all that’s known about the life of the anchorite of St Anne’s.

Steve Ramsey, with thanks to Christopher Whittick


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photo of the month


Lawrence McAndrew got “extremely wet, cold

and muddy” taking this picture of his Staffordshire

Bull Terrier, Buzz, so we hope that its

appearing in this slot, and winning him £20, has

made it all seem worth it.

“I was taking Buzz on a Sunday morning walk

round the Railway Land,” he tells us. “His ball

went into the water and he chased it in. I went

in too. Sometimes you have to sacrifice a bit of

comfort to get the shot you want.”

Perhaps the ball went in the water sort of

accidentally on purpose. “I went out with the intention

of taking photos in water,” he continues,

“so I had to use something that would be able

to withstand being in those conditions. For that

reason I took my GoPro - my other cameras

would have just ended up costing me a lot of

money to replace.”

It looks like a lot of post-production work has

been done on the image, but it’s all about the

quality of the lens, and Lawrence’s skill with

his settings: we’re assuming this was done on

an extremely fast shutter speed. “All I did was

a quick touch-up on the computer – contrast,

brightness, shadows etc - afterwards.”

And how, we wonder, will Lawrence treat Buzz

with his winnings? “Unfortunately the ball sank,”

he says. “So I’ll buy him another one that floats.”

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



its and bobs

ghost pubs: #17 The Britannia Inn, 10 Keere Street

Many readers may have spotted the small, round plaque on the wall of number

10 Keere Street, proudly notifying passers-by that it was once the Britannia

Inn. The Britannia was certainly in existence as a beer shop by 1849. Due

to its substantial size it also doubled-up as a lodging house, boasting ‘a good

entrance’, two parlours, four bedrooms, and four attic rooms. John and Susannah

Pelham took over the Britannia in the mid-1860s, and on the night of

the 1871 census there were 21 people in the property; nine family members

and twelve visitors. Like many old Lewes pubs, the Britannia experienced its

fair share of violence, disorder and odd behaviour. On one occasion in 1878,

Margaret Kenny became drunk and disorderly and refused to go to bed. She

only removed her clothes once she had been taken to the police station. Refusing to get dressed, she wore

just a rug in front of the judge! The Britannia was closed down by the Licensing Committee in 1927. This

wonderful photograph by Avery shows Keere Street around 1920, with the Britannia sign standing out in

the middle of the photo. I was lucky enough to be shown round the old inn some years ago. It still retains

many of its old features, and the old twin outside toilet still exists too! Mat Homewood

lewes in numbers

The 2011 Census asks everyone aged 16 and over about their academic qualifications. Lewes has a high

proportion of people educated to degree level or above – 43% of the adult population, compared to about

30% across the South East region and 27% for England & Wales. And only 16% of the town’s adult

population have no qualifications compared to over 22% nationally.

By age group, over half of those aged 35-64 have a degree and few have no qualifications. In the elderly

age group aged 65+, 35% have a degree, which is twice the national average. By contrast, 39% of this age

group have no qualifications at all. Sarah Boughton

book review: miro’s magic animals

In Miró’s Magic Animals Antony Penrose, the son of Roland Penrose

and Lee Miller, tells the story of the life and work of the Catalan artist

Joan Miró, from his own childhood perspective. He brings the reader

through some of Miró’s earlier paintings, his visit to Farley Farm and a

trip to London Zoo, where they get to meet a great hornbill, a giant python

and Congo the painting chimpanzee. Other children have chipped

in with their own paintings and drawings inspired by the artist. The

book is a lovely introduction to Miró’s work for younger readers, with a

mixture of his paintings, photographs taken by the author’s mother and

an inquisitive, child-like narrative with some fuN typefaces thrown in.

It’s one of those kids’ books that adults will enjoy reading too – and you

might even learn a couple of things. RC Available at Waterstones



Go wild at Wakehurst this spring!

Do you long to be immersed in nature? Your

senses alive whilst you breathe in fresh air and

rekindle both visual and audible feasts – all whilst

satisfying every member of your family and their

differing tastes? Wakehurst is offering a wild

and varied programme of activities from Easter

half-term fun in March based on Pine Cones,

to a Wild Wood weekend of adventure over the

May bank holiday.

In April, when the wild primroses give way to

carpets of bluebells, there are ‘walks to celebrate

spring’. These take place on the 24th and 29th

April 2016, when there are guided walks of

various durations from 45 minutes to two hours,

and they’re free of charge.

Badger Watching evenings for adults and

children start on Tuesday evenings from 12th

April – 6th September and cost £12 for adults

and £6 for children (to book, please call 01444

894067), whilst the more specialist and combined

Adult Education Kingfisher and Badger

Watching evenings are taking place on 16th and

19th May from 5.50-9.30pm and cost £30, to

include a light snack. To reserve a place please

call 01444 894310.

After a highly successful inaugural event,

Wakehurst is once again hosting its popular

Wild Wood weekend to coincide with the May

bank holiday, Saturday 28th - Monday 30th May

2016 – and this time there are even more wild

woodland activities and relaxing pursuits for all

ages to enjoy!

Pearcelands Wood, part of Wakehurst’s 465-acre

estate, which was opened up to the general public

for the first time last year, will come alive again

with exciting sounds of things being made,

explored and enjoyed. There will be arts and

culture in the form of music and immersive plays

in the woodland amphitheatre, and sculptural

installations amongst the trees, creative

traditional skills, contemporary crafts and forest

activities from den-building and cooking damper

bread over the camp fire to more serious survival

bush craft skills; high energy activities such as

tree climbing and the brand new Treetrunk

Trek; relaxation in the woodland yurt; and

family united fun – helping to create our giant

nature wall, exploring unexpected pockets of

woodland wonder together, observing and taking

part in some of the wood-making workshops,

browsing a range of innovative woodland

products and gifts and relaxing together for a

picnic or wood-side barbecue.

All the above is included in the cost of a

Wakehurst admission ticket so visitors can also

explore other areas of the woodland, botanic

gardens and lakes.

Ed Ikin, Head of Horticulture and Landscape

said, “I’m very much looking forward to my first

Wild Wood this year. At a time when woodland

spaces such as these are in decline, Wild Wood

celebrates why this great British habitat is

important and needs to thrive whilst at the same

time providing entertainment for all of the


From 31st May – 3rd June 2016 Wakehurst also

hosts their ‘May Half Term Adventure’ with

activities focusing on ‘Home Sweet Home’.

Between 10.30am-3.30pm daily, children can find

out about some of nature’s wonderful builders

and make their own mini bug hotel to give a

home to wildlife. Cost £3 per participant.

Don’t miss out on the wonder!

For further information about Wild Wood

and other events at Wakehurst, please visit



robinson house studio

This month Carlotta decided to travel down the

C7 and document the ins and outs of a threatened

workshop in Newhaven. Robinson House Studio

is the base for cabinet-making, furniture-making

and woodwork courses, run by the acclaimed

cabinet maker Marc Fish. Marc rents out bench

spaces to people starting out their business, so

they don’t have to incur the huge costs otherwise

involved. He rents the space from the LDC, who

are planning to build houses on the site – one of

the boatbuilders just across the road has already

sold up to property developers.


its and bobs

book review:

the battle of lewes

Finally an account

of the

Battle of Lewes

that makes clear

what happened

and why, in one

handy read.

The book, with

a splendid cover

design by Andy

Gammon, has

been written by

David Carpenter and Christopher Whittick of

Sussex Past, largely calling upon a paper written

by the former in 1987, and using all the

available evidence that has subsequently come

to light. From the clues from various royal

and Priory records, medieval chronicles, and

archaeological finds, these historical sleuths

have pieced together where the main battle

must have taken place, namely between the

current day prison and the city walls around

Westgate, as well as other details of the movements

of the two armies before the battle, and

the number of men involved. The account is

in effect a layman-friendly monograph culled

from the Sussex Archaeological Society’s literature

published on the 750th anniversary of

the battle, and it makes it clear that the Battle

of Lewes, while constituting an important

landmark in English history, was by no means

a decisive victory for Simon De Montfort. In

fact it can be read that The Mise of Lewes

the compromise between the King and the rebellious

barons made after the battle – sowed

the seeds of De Montfort’s demise, at the Battle

of Evesham, just over a year later. £4.95

available from Barbican House Museum


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David Jarman

Radio days... and nights

It has long been

the practice in our

household for my

wife and I to eat very

late at night. When

the children were

growing up, they

were fed early in the

evening. Only when

they were in bed and

sedated did we embark

upon our meal.

Now they are adults,

we continue to eat

late. One advantage

is that when I do the

washing up (No, of

course I don’t have a

dishwasher. Just one more thing to go wrong, as

my father always said) Radio 3’s Through the Night

is already on. Long pieces of classical music, brief

informative introductions, no parroting of irritating

phrases like ‘charged at your usual message

rate’ and ‘BBC New Generation Artist’- Radio 3

as it used to be for most of the day.

I do listen to Radio 3 during the day. Not Sean

Rafferty’s In Tune. That would be going too

far. But Essential Classics from 9am, though

God knows that’s enough of an ordeal. First the

moronic ‘Five reasons to love’ slot. Come 9.30

and it’s the ‘Brainteaser’, even more annoying

when Sarah Walker is presenting the show as she

always feels it necessary to refer to the setters of

the quiz as ‘our brainteaser boffins’. A certain

Herbie Goldberg always used to be the first to

call in with the right answer. But he seems to have

disappeared. Perhaps he’s been done away with by

less nifty listeners. I think I’ve noticed that Robin

Milner-Gulland only fires off the answer when

the brainteaser is less insultingly easy than usual.

I always relish Mr Milner-Gulland’s corrections

of the presenters on

all things Russian

- advising, for example

on how Night

on a Bare Mountain

should more accurately

be translated

into English. Sarah

Walker also suffers

from the modern

tendency of not

undermining the

self-esteem of any

brainteaser contestant

who contacts

the show, however

idiotic they are. So

if someone suggests

‘Josephine Baker’ as the answer, and is told by

Sarah that “that’s not quite right”, the correct

solution will almost certainly turn out to be

Hildegard of Bingen.

And then the habitual clichés. Listeners relating

how they were so moved on hearing a particular

piece of music in the car that the tears streamed

down their cheeks and, blinded, they had to pull

over to avoid an accident. JS Bach’s music having

affinities with Mathematics. The slow development

of a monumental Bruckner symphony

being like the building of a cathedral in sound.

The separate instruments of, say, a piano trio,

responding to each other as though they were

having a conversation. A particular rendition of

the Eroica being so vital that it’s as though the

ink had still not dried on Beethoven’s manuscript

paper. Rob Cowan telling us that a particular

recording was the first record he ever bought. It

seems to me that he has done this so many times

on the airwaves that, if true, he must have used

his pocket money to buy up half the record shop.

And so on and so on…











Chloë King

Carry on reminiscing

I’m staring at a nicotiney

photograph of

one of my friends aged

six, wondering why my

timeline is full of photos

from the eighties. Then

I notice it’s #WayBack-

Week. says

this is “is sort of like


big brother”, and it sort

of makes sense.

It’s an uncomfortable

moment when you grasp

that all the time you

thought you were being

mildly original, you were just participating in a

meme. And while #WayBackWeek isn’t the catalyst

for my realisation, it conveniently reinforces

much that I am reading about in Owen Hatherley’s

new book The Ministry of Nostalgia.

I bought the book after I read an article by

Hatherley in the Guardian about the ubiquitous

Keep Calm and Carry On poster. It was news to

me that, although designed by the Ministry of

Information in 1939, the poster was not displayed

publicly until 2008. “Few images of the last decade

are quite so riddled with ideology,” says Hatherley,

“and few ‘historical’ documents are quite so

spectacularly false.”

Judging from contemporary criticism of the other

posters in what was intended as a trio, Hatherley

says we can be fairly sure Keep Calm and Carry

On would have infuriated wartime audiences.

Today, however, the poster takes on an opposite

interpretation: “a nostalgia for the state of being

repressed – solid, stoic, public spirited, as opposed

to the depoliticised, hysterical and privatised reality

of Britain over the last 30 years.”

Now I’ve read about ‘austerity chic’, I’m noticing

it everywhere: in online discussions about hipster

chocolatiers, and more

worryingly, on my very

own blog!

I confess now: for my

first Viva Brighton column,

I shared a photo of

me dressed up as a 1950s

housewife and I argued

to bring back food

rationing. In my defence,

it is almost a genuine

vintage photograph, as

it was taken for an art

school project in 2003.

The column was an extension

of my obsession

with my grandma’s cooking I have been harbouring

since 2012 (if not earlier, if my student film

about fish pie is also to be considered). A cookbook

I inherited from my grandma, a heavily stained

journal with Ration Recipes on the cover, has provided

me with endless amusement, and is inspiring

continuing attempts to gather a meaningful collection

of ‘Heirloom Recipes’ from family, friends,

and strangers on the internet.

As someone with two degrees in colouring in, I

am normally well tuned to the language of signs,

and while I’m not immune to the temptation of

nice branding, I’m not usually fooled by it. Except

by this, it seems. This cosy world of nostalgia,

that led the latest Turner Prize winners to create

a children’s playground in ode to Brutalism, and

ironic Ladybird books to become the ‘stockingfiller

hit of 2015’.

“Austerity nostalgia,” says Hatherley, signifies

“the literal destruction of the thing it claims to

love”. The statement comes as a blow, as I’m now

convinced of its sinister message, but just as I’m

about to set fire to my notes, I make tea. On my

mug is printed something consolatory: ‘Dinnae

Fash Yersel and Keep Yer Heid’.

Illustration by Chloë King



Photo by Mark Bridge

East of Earwig

Mark Bridge searches for reality in Ringmer

When I was a child, I liked to read comics. They

helped make me the person I am today. I learned

dog-training from Dennis the Menace and

Gnasher, I learned social interaction from the

Bash Street Kids and I learned feminism from

Pansy Potter, the Strongman’s Daughter. But it

was The Numskulls that made me question the

very fabric of reality. In this cartoon strip, six

tiny people lived inside a man’s head, controlling

his thoughts and his body. It’s a concept that

was refined by Pixar for last year’s animated film

Inside Out, which featured five colourful emotions

inside the brain of an 11-year-old girl.

Whilst The Numskulls were never going to

win points for biological accuracy, they certainly

scored highly when it came to surrealism.

Brainy - the leader, naturally - worked in a room

with a teleprinter and a suggestion box. In the

mouth, Alf and Fred (whose names sounded as

old-fashioned to me as ‘teleprinter’ does today)

would break up food with pickaxes. There was a

Numskull behind the eyes, one for the ears and

another for the nose. Fortunately, everything else

seemed to take care of itself. As I grew older, I

swapped my comics for science-fiction, where I

discovered more simulated reality in the stories of

Ray Bradbury and Philip K Dick, and in assorted

films, from Tron to The Thirteenth Floor.

All this helps explain why I’ll happily argue that

time isn’t necessarily linear (which means I’ll

never miss a deadline again) and colours only exist

inside your brain (no more mismatched socks).

You may disagree with me, of course. But it’s unlikely

you’d suggest sending me to the Ringmer

Asylum. Back in the mid-19th century, that could

have been a very real threat.

In 1829, a couple of years after the Royal Horse

Artillery had vacated its Ringmer barracks, the

buildings were turned into what was described as

a ‘lunatic asylum’. It was privately owned, charging

its patients the equivalent of 75p per week.

Records show that 20 patients were there in

1830, with eleven being restrained during the day

and six at night. (I’d like to think the night-time

restraint was nothing more than a particularly

heavy duvet, similar to the 16.5 tog behemoth

that Mrs B uses to keep me subdued in the

winter.) Over the next 25 years, the Commissioners

in Lunacy reported that conditions improved

and then declined. Eventually, in 1855, Ringmer

Asylum closed when the proprietor died. Today,

the cries of patients have been replaced by barking,

as some of those former barracks buildings

are now kennels for the Southdown & Eridge

Hunt. Mind you, I reckon I could probably stop

the barking quite easily. If those hounds ever

gneed extra training, I have gnumerous tips from

a gnotable source.



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IN town this month

Oliver Kamm

Ain’t no grammar pedant

Your book Accidence Will

Happen takes on grammar

pedants, or ‘sticklers’, who

adhere to outdated and


grammatical ‘rules’. Are you

attacking them with the

zeal of the converted? I am a

reformed stickler but my attack

on the grammar pedants isn’t (I

hope) due to zeal. It’s down to

the fact they peddle ideas about

‘correct grammar’ that are

factually wrong.

Can you explain to our

readers, in a nutshell, the

difference between ‘prescriptive’

grammar theory and

‘descriptive’ grammar theory? Prescriptivists

argue about how people ought to use the

language. Descriptivists assess the way people

actually do this.

Why did 18th-century grammarians want to

impose the rules of Latin grammar on the

English language? They believed that Latin was

a pure form of language and that English was

somehow inferior. This was a total misconception

but they tried to force English grammar into the

mould of Latin.

Could your getting repeatedly irritated by

grammar pedants be regarded as a form of

(grammar) pedantry in itself? No. It’s a matter

of looking at linguistic evidence, which pedants

rarely do.

Why did the Microsoft Word grammar-check

underline the word ‘your’ in my last question?

Was it being a grammar pedant? Yes, it

was, and it was in error. My advice is to switch off

the grammar-check.

You propose that terms which are often

used in Standard English speech and writing

should be considered correct, yet you don’t

endorse the use of the word

‘actress’, which is very commonly

used. Can you explain

this decision? It’s purely a

stylistic preference. Modern

mores rule out a word like ‘authoress’

on the grounds that it’s

dismissive and demeaning. I’d

extend this to ‘actress’ too.

Do you ever come to blows

with the sub-editor of the

Times who corrects your

weekly piece on English usage?

Is there anything in the

Times style guide you disagree

with? (Or did you write

it?) Quite recently one of my

economics columns had a split

infinitive removed by a sub-editor. I didn’t agree

but I buckled down. Generally the Times style

guide sensibly doesn’t force journalists’ prose to

accord with arbitrary edicts.

If the ‘prescriptive’ v ‘descriptive’ theories

about grammar were fighting a war, who

would be winning that war? Don’t wish to

sound evasive but it’s a false division. The prescriptivists

are wrong in thinking that there is an

objective standard of correctness independent

of the way people use the language. All scholarly

linguists – literally all of them – adopt a descriptivist


I used to think that ‘misled’ (pronounced

‘my-zuld’) was the past simple of the regular

verb ‘to misle’, meaning ‘to hoodwink’. When

were you last embarrassed after incorrect/

inappropriate use of English? Well into adulthood

I pronounced ‘picturesque’ as ‘pictureskew’.

What a dolt.

Interview by Alex Leith

Oliver will be addressing the Lewes Literary Society

on March 29th, 8pm, All Saints


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in town this month: comedy

Cryer and Golden

Classic comedy at the Con Club

“Yes, that was weird casting,” says Barry Cryer, of

his one-off appearance as Robert Maxwell, in a

1993 stage show called Maxwell: The Musical.

“We’d made an album, because I could sort of do

the voice, and then the guy said ‘you’ve got the

part’. I said: ‘What are you talking about?’ He

said ‘we’re going to do it on the stage’. Which

was a bit of a shock. And they got me a black

wig and a fat suit and we did a try-out at a place

called Imagine, off Tottenham Court Road.”

For the purposes of a quirky-but-relevant intro,

it would be lovely if this venture had marked the

beginning of his singing career, and led directly

to his long-running musical-comic collaboration

with Ronnie Golden. But, of course, Cryer started

out in the late 50s, when “all comedians would

finish with a song; that was a standard thing.” In

1958, he had a number-one hit in Finland with a

cover of The Purple People Eater. And, he reminds

me, he’s been singing on I’m Sorry I Haven’t a

Clue for years. “I’ve always sung.”

Ronnie Golden had started out as a musician, in

a band called The Fabulous Poodles, who were

apparently big in America in the late 70s. “We

had some songs that were kind of ironic and

amusing, and so it wasn’t that big a leap for me,

really [to comedy]. I have to say, I was the first

musical comedian on that circuit, in the early 80s,

you know.”

Their collaboration – which Cryer calls “rock n

roll, gospel and blues, and jokes” – started in the

early noughties, though the two of them remember

different stories about how it began. They do

agree that it was Cryer’s idea. Cryer didn’t know

at the time about Golden’s prior success with the

Poodles – “I learnt all that later”.

Golden, of course, knew about Cryer’s impressive

CV, and though they’d kind of known each other

beforehand, “I was a bit intimidated the first time

we got together to write. He’s got his history

with him. But then I thought well, so have I; I’ve

got American success and all that kind of stuff,

and I’ve got something slightly different to bring

to this kind of relationship.

“I guess you could say that my stuff comes from

a slightly darker, an edgier area,” Golden told

me. “And then I run it by Barry and if he goes for

it then we’ll work on it. You know, we’ve got a

song, Unplugged, which is kind of about voluntary

euthanasia – ‘I wanna be unplugged, I’ve had

enough’. As long as we feel that what we’re doing

isn’t cheap…”

Cryer, who I interview separately, says of that

song: “We sung it to a hospital audience once,

and they loved it.” Steve Ramsey

An Evening With Barry Cryer and Ronnie Golden,

Thurs 3 Mar, Con Club, 8pm, see March Listings


in town this month

Sarah Walton

Visionary historical novelist

Sarah Walton was a month into

writing her first draft of the

historical novel she’s just had published,

Rufius, when the slate wine

menu in a restaurant in Cornwall

dislodged itself from its settings

and landed on her head. When

she eventually came to, she didn’t

know who she was. This was back

in 2004.

She found out she was suffering

from a form of ABI (Acquired

Brain Injury); it took her years

to recover, and some of her lost

memories have yet to return.

Sarah is a freelance digital consultant;

before her accident she used

to give herself “writing days”.

The idea for Rufius came to her

while she was “procrastinating in

the Reading Room of the British

Library”. “For some reason,” she

says, “nothing to do with the story

I was working on, I wrote ‘Gnostic

Christian goddesses’ into the

library’s search engine. There was

only one manuscript that matched,

which, when it arrived, proved to be extremely


While she was pondering the meaning of the

words, written in an unorthodox manner in a

strange version of Ancient Greek, she had a vision.

“Suddenly I was in a Roman-style scriptorium,

which was very smoky”. The library of

Alexandria, no less, in the process of burning

down. “A big fat guy in a toga came running

towards me, with a scroll in his hand, urgently

trying to tell me something.”

Sarah had never before had any visions: “it was

like a waking dream; incredibly vivid,” she says.

The scene shifted back to normality, but the

portly character remained in her

mind, and she developed the idea

for a novel set around him, in 4thcentury

Roman-ruled Alexandria.

Then came the accident, and

her notes lay half-forgotten in a

drawer for four years, as Sarah

struggled to regain her senses (at

first it would take her hours to

recover from making a cup of tea;

crossing the road was dangerous

as her eyes struggled to send

signals to her brain). Four years

into recovery she met the writer

Martin Goodman, who became

something of a guru to her,

encouraging her to take a Creative

Writing PhD at Hull University,

and to complete the writing of Rufius.

She followed his advice.

In 2014 she was awarded her

doctorate, and given a publishing

deal to complete Rufius, by Barbican

Press. “I did an enormous

amount of research so I could

write accurately about life in a

different continent, 1,600 years

ago,” she says. Central to the plot is the fact that

Rufius, a high-up clerk in Alexandria Library, is a

‘cinaedus’. Romans didn’t view people as straight

or gay, but rather as passive/submissive or active/

dominant; Rufius, a degenerate and corrupt

rogue, is very much in the former camp.

I received the book the day of our interview;

a brief reading of the first ten chapters were

enough to convince me that Rufius – both the

novel and the character– is a startling creation, as

you might expect, having been nurtured in such

extraordinary circumstances. Alex Leith

Sarah is signing copies at Waterstones 4 March,



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in town this month: theatre

Elephant Man

‘Sometimes I think my head is so big because it is so full of dreams’

“I think audiences will be

surprised”, Alison Grant

tells me. She’s directing the

forthcoming production

of Bernard Pomerance’s

play The Elephant Man at

Lewes Little Theatre. “It’s

very fast paced, with wit

and humour.” The play is

a dramatised biography

of Joseph Merrick, whose

bone deformities and skin

disorder led to him joining

a Victorian ‘freak show’,

until a chance encounter

with surgeon Frederick

Treves transformed his life.

“What drew me to this play

is how people judge and

misunderstand,” explains Alison. She first joined

Lewes Theatre Club as a teenager in 1967 “to

get away from my parents on a Tuesday evening”.

Later, whilst living in America, she was responsible

for one of the first amateur productions of the

play. “Unlike the film with John Hurt, this play is

very much about what’s going on inside Merrick.

Because of his appearance, people expected him to

be an imbecile. He was, in fact, very intelligent and


The actor playing the Elephant Man – referred

to as John Merrick in the play – is Philip Dunn.

Opposite him, as Frederick Treves, is Chris Parke.

“Treves is almost the main character. His character

arc is really rather intense. Then we’ve got Emily

Lassalle, who’s playing Mrs Kendall, a high-society

actress. She relates to the wounded soul in John

Merrick… and he falls in love with her.”

Instead of using prosthetics and make-up, the Elephant

Man’s appearance is suggested through

Philip Dunn’s performance.

“A lot of the

play’s theme is about illusion

and mirroring”,

Alison tells me. “I think

John Merrick mirrored

back to people what they

liked about themselves,

or, in the case of Treves,

what they didn’t like

about themselves, which

is why he succeeded so

well in society. And that’s

what happens with an

audience: people receive

whatever the play is reflecting

back to them.”

I ask Alison if the play is

a tragedy. “It’s tragic, in

that Merrick’s inner life doesn’t match his exterior

life. And the other side of the story is the surgeon,

Mr Treves. He starts off in control, very sure of

himself, but starts to question all his values. So it’s a

little tragic for him, too.”

Behind the production is one further heartbreak

that’s not in any script. Last July, Alison’s grandson

Tyler died at the age of three, his life shortened by

a medical condition that prevented him from moving

at all. “He didn’t cry. On the outside he was

a perfect child, this little locked-in boy. But we

didn’t know what he was thinking. In an age where

we’re so image-conscious, with people having facial

surgery to look ‘more perfect’, this seemed a good

topic to be exploring. And that’s why I particularly

wanted to put the play on here, in Lewes, at this

time.” Mark Bridge

Performances Mon 21 to Sat 26 at 7.45pm, plus

Saturday matinee 2.45pm. Tickets £10 from 01273




Charleston at 100

A photographic exhibition at Pelham House

In October 1916 the artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan

Grant, and their friend David ‘Bunny’ Garnett,

moved in to Charleston Farmhouse, near Firle. The

two men were conscientious objectors, and needed

to find farm-work to avoid imprisonment: they had

been offered jobs in nearby Hecks Farm.

The three were, of course, core members of the

‘Bloomsbury set’, and for the next six decades

Charleston became the country HQ of this influential

group of Modernist artists, writers and thinkers,

including Clive Bell, John Maynard Keynes,

Virginia and Leonard Woolf, EM Forster, Lytton

Strachey and Roger Fry.

Bell and Grant turned the interior of the farmhouse

into something of a work of art in its own right,

with their own interior designs as well as an eclectic

mix of furnishings and fittings. This was opened to

the public, in non-winter months, in the 1960s: the

2016 season begins on March 23rd.

The Charleston Trust, which runs the house, is well

on its way to raising £8 million in grants and donations

to celebrate the centenary of the building be-


in town this month: art

coming a Bloomsbury household, and is using the

money to fund a massive refurbishment, building a

new gallery, as well as a new car park, and various

other facilities.

The building work won’t be completed until summer

2017; in the meantime Charleston’s curator Darren

Clarke has organised an exhibition, at Pelham House

in Lewes, featuring the work of their artist-in-residence,

the photographer Axel Hesslenberg.

Darren has given us a preview of the photos that

will be on show: the exhibition will be, in effect,

a celebration of what goes on at Charleston today.

And so images of the farmhouse interiors will sit

alongside pictures of the artworks on the walls, of

various cultural celebrities at their two literary festivals

(Grayson Perry and Tom Stoppard, above, for

example), of Charleston’s employees and volunteers

at work, and of the rebuilding process in progress.

It’s a taster, in effect, for what to expect Charleston

Farmhouse to look like next year, when all the refurbishments

are complete, and when the gallery is

up and running. A show which will be able to cast

yet more light on the design and artwork that was

created in this remarkable rural retreat, and on its

influence and influences. Alex Leith

Charleston Centenary Project - Securing a unique

inheritance. Photographs by Axel Hesslenberg. Pelham

House, March 4th to April 14th, free entry


Beautiful art, affordable prices

Destiny by featured artist Ursula Stone

A friendly

welcome awaits

you at the

Chalk Gallery

Chalk Gallery

4 North Street

Lewes, BN7 2PA

t: 01273 474477



John Bratby

A life laid bare

When the Jerwood Gallery

in Hastings chose to mount

an exhibition devoted to John

Bratby, an artist who lived in

the town for 16 years until the

day in July 1992 when he died

in the street of a heart attack

walking home from the fish

and chip shop, they decided

to do things a bit differently.

Aware that Bratby had been

both extraordinarily popular

and prolific – a 1965 exhibition

included 47 pictures of

sunflowers all painted in under

three months – the Jerwood

knew that there must be a lot of

Bratbys out there somewhere.

So last October they appealed

to the public and staged a ‘Bring your own Bratby’

day. It was a phenomenal success and there were

over 300 submissions. A publicity stunt? Well, perhaps.

But for once it seemed not only allowable but

entirely appropriate for an artist who, as Julian Hartnoll

writes in the small booklet that accompanies the

exhibition, ‘knew how to use the press. Every detail

of his life, every nuance of his career, every row he

was involved in hit the headlines’.

Everything but the kitchen sink, including the kitchen

sink (until 17th April) brings together 60 paintings,

all of course from private collections. The ‘Kitchen

Sink Group’ was a term coined by the critic David

Sylvester in an Encounter article in December 1954.

Intended satirically, Sylvester later complained that

the term was ‘hijacked by cultural journalists to

serve as a designation for a supposed movement’.

And though Bratby was one of the artists Sylvester

meant, he claimed that he had never once painted

a kitchen sink. Bathroom sinks, perhaps, but not

kitchen sinks!

The early Bratbys, typically

depicting members of his

family in simple domestic

interiors amongst the detritus

of everyday existence

– dirty milk bottles, Corn

Flakes packets – are, to my

mind, his best work. One

can’t help but think that

fame and over-production

did him no favours. But

there are pleasures along the

way. Holy Land, for example,

a 1961 still life of exotic

fruit, reminiscent of Renato

Guttuso, and Three Lambrettas

and two portraits of Jean,

a twelve-foot-long tour de

force. (Jean, by the way, was his long-suffering, first

wife. A fellow artist who, when she died in her studio

cottage at Birling Gap in August 2008, was accorded

an obituary in the Daily Telegraph under the heading:

‘Royal Academician who was not to be put off painting

by the tiresome antics of her artist husband’)

In 1967 Bratby embarked on a portrait series intended,

ostensibly, to ‘celebrate individualism at a time

when it was in jeopardy’. He cast his net wide, not

to say indiscriminately. In 1985 alone he approached

233 people. Among those on show in Hastings are

Paul McCartney, Arthur Askey and Claire Rayner.

The final room displays photographs, letters, scrapbooks,

painfully candid diaries. ‘Some elements of

this exhibition may not be suitable for children’, we

are warned. But a life laid this bare isn’t an entirely

comfortable experience for anyone. And yet, perhaps,

with Bratby you couldn’t do it any other way.

David Jarman

Jerwood, Hastings, until April 17th

Self Portrait and Kitchen Things, John Bratby (1976-78) ©The Artist’s Estate


in lewes: ART

art & about

In town this month

Dawn Stacey

Hop Gallery shows over 20 Imagined Landscapes

by Dawn Stacey, inspired by woodlands, nature and

the changing seasons on Sat 19th and Sun 20th. She’s

followed on the 26th by Val White, with Paint, Print

& Pixels; works created on an iPad and transferred to

canvas. Until 10th April. []

Ripping It Up, a show of mixed

media paintings by Lucy Ames,

continues at Chalk Gallery until

March 13th. Full of colour and energy,

with glimpses of collage to add

narrative and intrigue. Join Lucy on

5th from 2-5pm for drinks, popcorn

and candy. The atmospheric abstract

landscapes of Ursula Stone follow

on 14th March.

Lucy Ames

From 19th, Keizer

Frames hosts Unconsidered

Trifles, an exhibition

of smaller tempera

paintings by Peter Messer.

Many of them are new,

and, in his own words,

‘devoted to disjointed and

inconsequential subject

matter’. We can’t wait

to see the latest fruits of

Mr Messer’s imagination.

Until 3rd April. []

Lewes Framers show

Rod Willis’ watercolours

of Lewes, landscapes and

bonfire and Ben Eaton-

Williams’ photographs

Peter Messer (detail)

of wild, totally unspoilt

views from Skye.

The exhibition of Sussex

landscapes continues

through the month at

Barbican House Museum

[169 High Street]

and there’s a last chance

to see Into the Woods at

St Anne’s Galleries on

Sat 5th and Sun 6th.

Charleston take up residence at Pelham House from the 4th with an exhibition for their 100th year

curated by Darren Clarke (see p38) whilst the actual house, garden, shop and café near Firle reopen on 23rd.


out of town: art

Further afield

Hans Hartung, Lithograph, 1957 © Fondation Hartung-Bergman. Towner Collection

Just down the road

Join Crafternoon at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft

on 9th. A free monthly drop-in for adults wanting to skill

swap and work on their latest creative projects. 2-5pm, tea &

biscuits included. Bring your own materials and ideas.

Art from Elsewhere continues at Towner with works

by international contemporary artists, as does Recording

Britain which captures the changing landscape of WW2

Britain. The Annual Schools Exhibition arrives on 24th,

this year exploring how drawing and mark-making are the

starting point for self-expression. With Art in Mind, until

6th, shows work by an established group of local artists

and makers who all live with mental health conditions and,

finally, every first Tuesday of the month Open Ended -

Accessing Memory through Art, offers behind-the-scenes

discussions for people with memory problems or dementia

and their carers. []

London-based Brazilian artist, Tonico

Lemos Auad, makes sculptures that act

as ‘tools for processing thoughts’ and

responds to the De La Warr Pavilion’s

proximity to the sea, and the role of the

seaside resort as a place of wellbeing,

with a sculpture inspired by gardening

and its therapeutic effects.

In addition to the major Bratby

retrospective (pg 41), John Piper –

An Eye for the Modern arrives at

Jerwood on 2nd. A pioneer of British

abstract art in the 1930s, he’s best

known for his depictions of English

landscape, architecture and the bombdamaged

buildings of post-war Britain.

The show also reflects his interest in

the work of Picasso and Matisse, as

well as Braque’s coastal paintings of

Dieppe, and there’ll be a display of

Piper’s ‘foliate’ head works, based on

the traditional figure of the Green Man,

the star of Hastings’ raucous May Day

celebrations. Pallant House Gallery

in Chichester also presents John

Piper: The Fabric of Modernism

from 12th, which considers his role as

an accomplished designer of modern

textiles and tapestries.

Yang Zhenzhong, Let’s Puff, Towner Gallery


SG12 events card DL 03e DATE CHANGE_Layout 1 10/02/2012 10:20 Page 2















Stone carving


Wood turning





Stanmer House

CRAFT 19 SHOWS - 20 March

THROUGHOUT 10.00am - 5.00pm SUSSEX


adults £3.00

children free

The Sussex Guild

Shop and Gallery

The North Wing

Southover Grange

Southover Road

Stanmer House,

Stanmer Park, Brighton BN1 9QA

classical music

Classical Round-up

The three Johns

The classical music events for March present

themselves almost like a month-long menu, with a

thought-provoking but welcoming starter, a fully

fledged main, and a fine finale.

Nicholas Houghton’s organ concert starts us off

with Buxtehude’s Passacaglia, followed by Bach’s

wonderfully foreboding Toccata and Fugue in D

Minor, two works by Franck and a processional by

Mathias. Sun 6, 3pm, St Michael’s Church, free

The Lewes-based Pro Musica choir is offering

Brahms Requiem in its original German. The orchestra

will be the Florentine Ensemble, conducted

by Ray Maulkin. Soloists are Kathryn Sargent

(soprano) and David Townend (bass). Sun 20, 7pm,

St Andrews, Alfriston, £12

For something a little different - and for that male

choral bonding experience - composer Helen

Glavin will be holding a free workshop to rehearse

her Phoenix Cantata in preparation for a farewell to

the Phoenix Foundry in Lewes with the Everyman

Ensemble. Come ye male singers, one and all. Fri

11, 8pm, 143 High Street, free

The Kantanti Ensemble is back with yet another

challenging outing. Messiaen’s Les Offrandes Oubliées

(The Forgotten Offerings) is the composer’s

first major orchestral work, dating from 1930. Its

three parts - Cross, Sin and the Eucharist - form a

strong statement of religious belief by a man barely

past his teen years. Sibelius Symphony No. 7, his last

published, dating from 1924, unusually has only one

movement and is widely considered to be one of his

finest works. Conductor Lee Reynolds has made

an inspiring choice to conclude the programme

with Stravinsky’s 1945 Firebird Suite, a ballet in

ten movements. Those old prog-rock fans in the

audience will surely be in heaven in the final section

when they recognize Yes’ concert theme tune. Sun

13, 4pm, St John Sub Castro, £12-16

Chamber music fans have a ‘don’t miss’ opportunity

this month to hear the Brodsky Quartet as part of

the Nicholas Yonge Society’s subscription series.

Their programme is a scherzo by Borodin followed

by Shostakovitch’s extended, hauntingly beautiful

Quartet No. 2, and finally the Beethoven Quartet No.

8 Opus 59 No. 2. This work, dating from 1808, features

a 2nd movement in the form of an anthemic

hymn, and a 3rd movement with a familiar Russian

song, twisted here by Beethoven in a rather angry

fashion. Fri 18, 7.45pm, South Downs College, £15

Bach’s St John Passion will be presented by the East

Sussex Bach Choir and The Baroque Collective.

The four solo singers will be Andrew Griffiths

(Evangelist), Catrin Woodruff (Soprano), Alexandra

Gibson (Mezzo-soprano), James Newby (Baritone)

and Lewes’ own Sir John Tomlinson singing the

role of Christ. This earlier passion, the later being

the St Matthew, is sometimes described as the more

passionate, less polished of the two masterworks.

The concert will be conducted by John Hancorn

(pictured above with namesake Tomlinson) and The

Baroque Collective is led by Alison Bury.

Not to be missed.

Paul Austin Kelly

Sat 19, 7.30pm, St John sub Castro, £20, £15, U16 free.


EAS06P029 920 Viva Lewes Spring Season Ad AW_Layout 1 29/01/2016 11:44 Page 1

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This West End and Broadway hit is the love story

of author C.S.Lewis and poet Joy Davidman

7 – 12 March | Devonshire Park Theatre

The LasT Tango

Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone in

their last ever theatre tour

19 – 23 April | Congress Theatre


The international award winning musical

comes to Eastbourne

11 – 16 April | Congress Theatre

Other highlights: Priscilla Queen of the Desert (14 – 19 Mar), Travels with My Aunt (22 – 26 Mar),

The Ronn Lucas Show (23 Mar), The Railway Children (1 – 2 Apr), Thriller Live (4 – 9 Apr)


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MARCH listings

tue 1

Talk. Brighton and the Regency Period: a

Phase of Rapid Change and Grand Ideas.

Sue Berry explores key changes in early 19th

Century Brighton, such as the construction of

the grander housing schemes, the development

of the first seafront road, and innovations such

as the revamping of the Royal Pavilion and

the construction of the Chain Pier. The Keep,

Falmer, 5.30pm, £3. or

01273 482349.

The Group. Club for unattached men and

women aged 50+. Walks, theatre, dinners, golf,

pub evenings, holidays and more. Not a dating

agency. Meets in a pub on the first Tuesday of

every month, 8pm

Thu 3

Comedy at the Con! Barry Cryer and Ronnie

Golden take to the stage. Comedy songs and

gags galore, from the well-loved duo. Con Club,

8pm, £17-£20. Tickets from Union Music, or 07582408418

Fri 4

Women’s World Day of Prayer Service. This

international service is organised by the Christian

women of Cuba with the theme ‘Receive

children, receive me’. All welcome. St Pancras

Catholic Church, 11am, followed by ploughman’s

lunch (£3) 01273 475620

Sat 5

Vintage Home &

Lifestyle Market.

Something for everyone

with vintage

stalls, food, drink

and live music. Town

Hall, 10am-3.30pm,

£1, children free.


Wine Tasting. Southern French wines from

the Languedoc and Côtes du Rhône regions.

Pastorale Antiques, 7pm, £15.

Mon 7

Talk. The Corbyn Effect:

Six Months of Labour

- Living the Dream or

a Nightmare? Guardian

columnist Zoe Williams

joins Neal Lawson, political

commentator and Chair of

the left-wing pressure group

Compass for an evening

discussing the first six months of Jeremy Corbyn

as Labour leader. Phoenix Centre, Malling St,

7.30pm, free. Booking advised. or 07813133953

Mon 7- Sat 12

Theatre. Shadowlands.

West End and Broadway

hit about the love story of

author CS Lewis and poet

Joy Davidman. Devonshire

Park Theatre, Eastbourne.

Times and tickets

at or 01323 412000

Wed 9

Talk. Signs and Symbols: the Hidden Messages

in Paintings. Covering works of art from

the 15th to 20th century. Uckfield Civic Centre,

2.30pm, £7/members free.

Thu 10

Talk. Neptune and the Coast. National Trust’s

Coast Project Manager Emily Gillespie on

50 years of the NT campaign to acquire and

conserve land bordering the sea, and the challenges

it faces both from man and nature. Priory

School, 8.15pm, free


MARch listings (cont)

Thu 10, Sat 12, Thu 17 & Sat 19

Theatre. Ridley’s Prospects. Locally written

dark comedy about the perils of drinking.

‘Warning! If easily offended by language, lewd

behaviour and dancing moves to impress any

woman… this show is not for you.’ Percentage

of sales will go to St Peter and St James Hospice

- donations also welcome. Lansdown Arms,

7.30pm, £5. Tickets from pub or 01273 408623

Fri 11

Lewes FC Quiz Night. Teams of four maximum,

but under 13s can join as extras. Optional

meal deal - fish or pie, with chips and pint. Prizes

for winners and quiz trophy. Meal must be

booked before 7.45pm. Dripping Pan, 7.45pm,

£2 quiz, £10 meal.

Talk. The Plight of the Bumblebee. Dr. Nikki

Gammans of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust

discusses Bumblebee ecology, lifecycle, decline

and conservation. Town Hall, 7.30pm, £7/£5 on

door or £6.60/£4.40 in advance.

Fri 11 & Sat 12

Film. Brooklyn.

(12A) Romantic

drama set in the

1950s. A young

woman on a visit to

her native Ireland

from New York must

decide in which

country and with

which man she will

spend the rest of her

life. All Saints, Fri 8pm, Sat 5.30pm, £5-£6.50.

parked her van in Bennett’s London driveway

and proceeded to live there for 15 years. All

Saints, Fri 5.45pm, Sun 5pm, £5-£6.50.

Sat 12

Coffee Morning. Coffee, tea, homemade cakes

& South Street Bonfire Society merchandise.

Cliffe Church Hall, 10am-12pm, free.

Mother’s Day Workshop. Gentle movement,

pictures, words, pen and paper. Explore, wonder

and reflect on what motherhood means to you

and others. Subud Centre, 1.30-4.30pm, £30.

Sat 12 & Sun 13

Film. Spectre. (12A) While M battles political

forces to keep the secret service alive, James

Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal

the terrible truth behind Spectre. All Saints, Sat

7.45pm, Sun 7.15pm, £5-£6.50.

Fri 11 & Sun 13

Film. The Lady in the Van. (12A) Based on real

events, the film tells the story of the relationship

between Alan Bennett and Miss Shepherd,

a woman of uncertain origins who ‘temporarily’


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marCH listings (cont)

Mon 14

Talk. Moscow

Nightingale. Caroline

Clark, a Russian

translator and

writer from Lewes,

will use photos and

sound recordings

to convey aspects

of her years spent in Moscow. Friends Meeting

House, 7.15pm, £3

Wed 16

Keep Tour. Behind the scenes tours of the archives,

including the stores where documents are

housed and the conservation studio. Ten places

per tour. The Keep, Falmer, 1pm, free. Booking

essential. or 01273 482349

Talk. Life and Death on Malling Down. Assistant

County Archaeologist Greg Chuter speaks

on what the archaeology of Malling Down has

revealed about agricultural life, death and burial

in the South Downs landscape, from the Neolithic

through to WW2. King’s Church Building,

7.30pm, £3/£2.

Thu 17

Lewes Expo. Free, interactive business-tobusiness

networking event aimed at businesses

in Sussex. Exhibition stands, talks, workshops,

and Monopoly quiz. Town Hall, 10am-3pm, free.


MARCH listings (cont)

Fri 18

Talk. The Seven Sisters Archaeological Project.

Tom Dommett will discuss the National

Trust’s major project to investigate and record

the archaeology of the rapidly eroding Seven

Sisters. Followed by the Lewes Archaeological

Group AGM. Town Hall, 7.30pm, £4/£3, U18s


Talk. Contrasting Sussex Communities.

Friends of Anne of Cleves House event, with

Geoffrey Mead. Anne of Cleves House, 7.30pm,


Mon 21- Sat 26

Theatre. The Elephant Man. A play by

Bernard Pomerance following the rescue and

transformation of the severely deformed John

Merrick from the squalors of a travelling freak

show, by the young, up-and-coming surgeon,

Frederick Treves. Lewes Little Theatre, 7.45pm,

(2.45pm matinee 26th), £10/£8. 01273 474826

Fri 25

Talk. Plastic Seas. Oceanographer Russell

Arnott discusses the increased amount of plastic

waste that is accumulating in our seas, despite

international efforts. Where is this plastic coming

from? What impact does it have on marine

life? What impact does it have on us? And what

can we do about it? Elly, 8pm, £3.

get your tickets...

The line-up for Love Supreme

Jazz Festival 2016

has been announced! Taking

place from 1-3 July, the

festival will see Grace Jones,

Burt Bacharach and Lianne

La Havas taking to the stage,

to name but a few. For full line-up and tickets

go to


gig guide

gig of the month

This month, we’re heading out of town for a

gig for a good cause, as Lewes regulars The

Koan Brothers take their rock and soul tunes

to Seaford. Support comes from Charlie

Harper of the UK Subs (pictured) and ‘urban

folk’ group Anti-Dim Outfit. Proceeds will

go to refugees in Calais and Dunkirk and the

Brighton Housing Trust, which does brilliant

work combating homelessness in East Sussex.

Fri 18 March, Seaford Con Club, Crouch

Lane, Seaford, 7.30pm. £10 OTD, £8 advance.

Advance tickets available from the venue and

Seaford Tourist Information.

MArch listings

tue 1

The Wave Pictures. Acoustic. De La Warr

Pavilion, Bexhill, 7.30pm, £12-£14

English folk session. Bring instruments. John

Harvey, 8pm, free

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

Wed 2

Joan Shelley. Folk. De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill,

7.30pm, £9-£11

Thu 3

Spider Dijon. Lamb, 4pm, free

Alligator Swing. Gypsy swing. Pelham Arms,

8.30pm, free

Fri 4

The C-Ciders. Rock/pop. Lamb, 8.30pm, free

Sat 5

Rachel Reis. Sly compassionate Americana. Instore

at Union Music Store, 3pm, free

The Lost Lieutenants + The Blue Leg

Brownie Band. Satirical tunes and blues. Lansdown,

7.30pm, free

The Reform Club featuring Norman Baker.

Rock/pop. Con Club, 8pm, free

Rude Mechanicals. Folk. Elephant & Castle,

8pm, £6

George Works. Dub & Bass Reggae fusion.

Lamb, 8.30pm, free

Sun 6

English folk session. Bring instruments. Lamb,

12pm, free

Open mic. Elephant & Castle, 7.30pm, free

Mon 7

Paul Nieman and Terry Seabrook. Jazz. Snowdrop,

8pm, free

Tue 8

Goodtimes Music open mic. Bring your own

voice. Lamb, 8.30pm, free

Wed 9

Old Time Session. Appalachian roots. Lamb,

8.30pm, free

Fri 11

Smokestack Trio. Blues/jazz. Con Club, 8pm,

free >>>







May 2016






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brightfest #BF2016



@ The Con Club














gig guide (cont)

Soulhounds. Soul. Lamb, 8.30pm, free

Supernatural Things. Funk. The Hearth,

9.30pm, free

Sat 12

Lianne La Havas. Alternative R&B/soul. De La

Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, 7pm, £17.50

Coven. International Women’s Day concert with

O’Hooley & Tidow, Lady Maisery and Grace

Petrie. Con Club, 7.30pm, £14 advance (£10 Con

Club members)

Pete Coe & Alice Jones. Folk duo. Royal Oak,

8pm, £6

Rock, funk and reggae night. Wig out at the

Lamb, 8.30pm, free

Morlove and Moonbeam. Guitar and vocal duo.

The Roebuck, Laughton, 8.30pm, free

Sun 13

Duck Soup Nick Kelly. Acoustic. Con Club,

3pm, free

Mon 14

Gabriel Garrick and Terry Seabrook. Jazz.

Snowdrop, 8pm, free

Tue 15

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

Fri 18

Curst Sons. Bluegrass, blues and rockabilly. Con

Club, 8pm, free

Coco’s Lovers. Folk. Lamb, 8.30pm, free

Sat 19

Martin Harley in-store. Blues. Union Music

Store, 3pm, free

Charlotte & Spong. Folk. Royal Oak, 8pm, £6

Shauna Parker & the Saloon Bar Band. Americana.

Lamb, 8.30pm, free

Sun 20

Sing Loud for Labour: Tea-Time Cabaret.

Jazz, ukeleles, satire and choir. All Saints, 3pm,

£7.50 (kids under 12 free)

Sing Loud and Rock for Labour. Music from

the Koan Brothers, Zarbo, Nick Belcher and Jan

Ponsford. All Saints, 7pm, £10

Mon 21

Jenny Darren and Terry Seabrook. Jazz. Snowdrop,

8pm, free

Tue 22

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

Wed 23

Screaming Miss Jackson & the Slap Ya Mamma

Big Band (pictured above). Roots, skiffle and

hokum blues. Lamb, 8.30pm, free

Fri 25

The Memphis Flyers. Rockabilly. The Dorset,

8.30pm, free

Sat 26

Spring songs. Folk. Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £4

Sun 27

Folk in the Chapel. Music from Marilyn Bennett

& Iris Bishop, Stuart Coupe, and Rosie Hodgson

& Rowan Piggott. All proceeds to the Oyster

Project. Westgate Chapel, 2.30pm, £5.

Common Tongues. Lamb, 8.30pm, £TBC

Mon 28

Terry Seabrook Piano Trio. Jazz. Snowdrop,

8pm, free







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What’s on

sun 13

Film. Paper Planes. (U) An imaginative film about

a young Australian boy’s passion for flight and his

challenge to compete in the World Paper Plane

Championships in Japan. All Saints, 3pm, £5-£6.50.

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吀 漀 ǻ 渀 搀 漀 甀 琀 洀 漀 爀 攀 挀 愀 氀 氀 ㈀ 㜀 アパート 㔀 㔀 㤀 㜀 㤀 㐀 漀 爀

猀 攀 攀 漀 甀 爀 眀 攀 戀 猀 椀 琀 攀 眀 眀 眀 ⸀ 昀 甀 渀 椀 渀 愀 挀 挀 漀 渀 ⸀ 漀 爀 最 ⸀ 甀 欀

Sun 20

Geocache Easter Egg Hunt. Organised by Patina,

in association with Lewes Map, the route follows

the studios of artists working in Lewes and surrounding

villages. Get GPS co-ordinates of the

studios at the start of the hunt, and use your phones

and other web-enabled devices to find each ‘cache’

of small Easter eggs located in each studio. Children

to be accompanied. Start point: Waterstones, 1pm,

£3pp, £8 family of 4.

Fri 25

Easter Eggstravaganza. Arts, crafts, drinks, hot

cross buns, chocolate eggs and the Easter story.

King’s Church, 10-11.30am.

Edmund Cudlipp

Lower Sixth


You are warmly invited to our

Senior School Open Morning

Saturday 16 April 2016

9.30am to noon

(Entry at 13 and 16)

HMC – Day, weekly and full boarding

Boys and girls 13 to 18

To register please


T 01323 843252

or online at

Bede’s Senior School

Upper Dicker

East Sussex BN27 3QH

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


Fri 25 -Fri 1 (April)

Easter Adventure. Cone-ecting with

nature. Take part in various science activities

suitable for all the family. Cone Challenge

Trail, become a cone scientist and take part in

an Easter egg hunt. Wakehurst Place, £3 per

activity, plus admission. Full details at

Sun 27

under 16 êêêê

Chocolate Extravaganza. Afternoon tea

with a chocolatey twist and egg hunt in the

grounds. Pelham House, £19 adults, children

4-12 years half price. Book in advance at or 01273 488600

Mon 28

Easter Monday Fun Runs. Distances for all

abilities, including the 800m Toddlers’ Trot,

and adult and teenager runs. Wave Leisure

Centre, 9.15am-1pm, £1-£6. Enter online at or on the day. 01273 476478

Thu 31

Sat 26


First World

War. A chance

to learn about

Newhaven in

WW1, with

craft activities

and musical entertainment. Newhaven

Fort. For full details and more info on various

Easter activities visit

Workshop. Dinosaurs & Dragons. Make your

own fossil or dragon in clay, handle real dinosaur

bones and recreate dinosaur footprints.

For children aged 4-8, accompanied by an

adult. Lewes Castle, 10.30am-12pm, £5. Booking

essential. 01273 486290

School Open Days

Thu 3, Sat 12 & 19, Michael Hall

Sat 5, Hurst

Thu 10, Mayfield

Sat 12, Bedes, Brighton and Hove High School

and Worth

Sat 19, Great Walstead


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

under 16


This is your

Open Day

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.

shoes on now:

Scotney Castle

One grey February

weekend we

ventured over

the border into

Kent in order to

explore Scotney

Castle. One of the

National Trust’s properties, this partly medieval

castle comes with a stately house and landscaped

grounds which our three romped through relatively


The well maintained house offers a tantalising

insight into what life would have been like back

in circa 1840. My oldest two children, aged eight

and ten, were particularly struck by the exhibition

‘Arthur’s War’ which features original documents

such as diaries and letters from WW1. These

artefacts were discovered by staff in boxes in the

attic and they form a fundamental part of the

exhibition. A short walk from the house takes

you down to the remains of the castle. Whilst the

castle is modest in size, this is more than compensated

for by the existence of the moat which is an

imposing sight in such beautiful surroundings.

Furthermore this tract of water is allegedly host

to its very own ghost. According to legend, in the

early 1700s Arthur Darrell, the original owner of

Scotney, worked as a smuggler. Fearing discovery

he allegedly murdered a revenue officer whose

body was thrown into the moat, only to rise again

as a fearsome ghost. Our boys immediately wanted

to throw stones into the moat to see if they

could rouse the ghost from his stupor. Thankfully

the moat is home to several swans which means

that stone throwing - and possible ghost rousing -

is not permissible. Jacky Adams

Lamberhurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN3 8JN

For further details:


êêêê under 16

young photo of the month

Congratulations to nine-yearold

Wilf Power, winner of this

month’s U16 photo competition.

Wilf took this shot,

either opening to a very wide

aperture or using the macro

setting on his camera, from

the top of Firle Beacon. “I like

the detail of the barbed wire

against the winter landscape,”

he tells us in his accompanying

e-mail. We think it’s a

clever shot, as he’s blurring

one of the most famous views

in the county, in order to focus on something much more mundane. Perhaps there is a metaphor in there

somewhere. Wilf wins a £10 book token, kindly donated by Bags of Books Bookshop in Cliffe. Under

16? Please e-mail your photos to with a sentence about where, when and why

you took the picture.

Come and explore this Award

Winning Victorian Times attraction

This spring enjoy exhibitions on Newhaven's

involvement in First World War, Kids Activities

over Easter holidays, Classic Cars Parade and

the amazing Festival of Sound

êêêê under 16

Are you Sitting Comfortably?

Then I’ll begin

Bec & Marcy found a comfortable spot to review the new picture

book, Are You Sitting Comfortably, for 0-5 year olds by local author

illustrator, Leigh Hodgkinson.

What’s it about? It’s about finding the right place to sit and read

your book. It turns out it doesn’t really matter where you sit - as long

as you share the story.

What was the best bit? The pictures! They are absolutely beautiful.

Were you sitting comfortably? Yes we were. We were snuggled up

in bed surrounded by cuddly toys (like Sir Royston Rarrington and

Giant Ra-Ra).

How old are you Marcy? Three and a half.

How old are you Bec? 40.

Leigh will be creating an illustrated window for Bags of Books on Saturday 12th for the launch of her

book. The grand reveal, complete with cake and storytelling, will be at 3pm. All welcome!

Are You Sitting Comfortably, £11.99 Bloomsbury Children’s Books. Available from Bags of Books and other

places too. Find out more about Leigh at

From left to right: Sir Royston Rarrington, (Ra-Ra for short)

Marcy Ward, Bec Garland and Giant Ra-Ra

46 High Street


East Sussex

01273 481048

Need something special

for the Bank Holiday


Look no further..

• Over 100 Cheeses

• Artisan Jams& Chutneys

• Specially selected Wines

• Artisan Pâtés

• Freshly baked bread

• Gift hampers

• Cheese boards

Please don’t hesitate to

visit us in the shop for

expert advise and friendly


We now stock artisan handcrafted truffles in a variety

of delicious flavours:

Including: Champagne, Salted Caramel, Whisky, Framboise

Why not treat a loved one to a selection box this Easter.


Locally sourced and

freshly prepared by

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A range of boutique

wines, craft beers

and cocktails.



Complete the night

in our boutique double

room with ensuite.



Drop in for a classic

cocktail or one of

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We are open

Wednesday to Saturday

12.00 - 2.30pm & 6.00 - 9.30pm

Sundays 12.00 - 2.30pm

Limetree Kitchen

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

Call 01273 478636 to book your table…

or room.




Health goes mainstream

I don’t remember when

Seasons opened up in

Lewes; was it as long ago

as the eighties? I’d toyed

with vegetarianism, on

ethical grounds, as a lateteenager,

but this ‘health

food’ scene seemed a bit

sandal-wearing worthy, a

bit old generation hippydippy,

and I viewed the

place with some suspicion.

Nowadays I am, along with

many other people I know

around me, more enlightened.

I don’t understand

why I didn’t understand

before! Health food isn’t

about people trying to

prove their worthiness.

It’s about people trying to

be healthy. And it works. In fact they shouldn’t

call it ‘health food’ at all; they should simply

call it food, and label all that other stuff, packed

with processed carbs and sugar and suchlike,

‘unhealth food’.

Which is a long way round to coming to the

point. I decide to pay Buttercup Café a visit,

several years or so since my last, looking for a

spacious place to interview a writer, and eat a

wholesome lunch at the same time. There you

go: a ‘wholesome’ lunch, which I trust will not

be filled with additives, chemical compounds,

cholesterol-inducing fats and sundry other nasty

little buggers.

I’ve met my dining companion (Sarah Walton,

see pg 35) at noon (it’s the last Friday in January)

and we’ve been talking over an hour before we

order. The place (all French rustic inside, with

hanging plants, and pots, and interesting signs)

Photo by Rebecca Cunningham

has, in the meantime,

completely filled up with a

buzzing, mainly greytopped


There are a few relevant

candidates on the specials

blackboard (there doesn’t

seem to be a set menu,

a boon perhaps, in a

restaurant which serves

seasonal produce): I go for

‘Chickpea and olive stew’

with all sorts of veggie bits,

and a poached egg.

Sarah goes for the same

thing. I’m pleased, mostly

because it can be hard to

eat a poached egg with the

decorum usually displayed

during first-time meetings,

and at least we’re in the

same boat. “Do you want bread,” says the waiter,

and I realise that, nowadays, that can be quite an

issue. To some, grain is the devil. I’m not there

yet: “yes please.”

The food is delicious. It all tastes of what it’s

meant to taste of. The tomato is tomatoey, the

potatoes have plenty of potatoey oomph, the

pearl barley has that great slippy chewiness to it.

The poached egg, which I lay on a piece of bread

(brown, wholemeal, naturally) is about as good

as poached eggs get. I rarely make them at home,

because they involve so much fuss. I manage to

get most all of the yolk inside me.

So do I feel virtuous when I leave? Worthy?

Smug? None of the above, actually. Not in this

era of health-food-hits-mainstream. I feel well

fed. Sated. Content. And… healthy.

Alex Leith

15 Malling St, 01273 477664



Photo by Rebecca Cunningham


Hot cross buns

With Good Friday falling at the end of this month, Michael Hanson from

The Hearth shares his recipe for these traditional spring-time treats

(and the trick to making your buns rise)

My grandfather was a baker and he was very successful,

so he bought a farm. His son, my dad,

became a baker and his daughter, my aunty, became

a farmer. The flour we use to make our hot

cross buns was grown locally, in Rodmell. A local

farmer planted a heritage grain mixture for me,

which is a blend of spelt, emmer, einkorn and other

ancient grain varieties. Last year we grew four

acres of the heritage blend and four acres of rye,

which provided about half the flour we needed

to make everything in our Bakehouse; this year

we’re planting 20 acres.

RECIPE (makes a baker’s dozen)

Ingredients: 250ml warm water, 500g bread flour,

one sachet dried yeast, 1tsp salt, 4tsp ground

mixed spice, 70g caster sugar, 70g diced butter

or shortening, 100g currants, 100g sultanas, 50g

mixed peel. For the crossing mix: 150g flour,

120ml water, 50g sunflower oil.

The biggest problem with making hot cross buns

is that the yeast is killed by the spices, so what you

have to do is use a very old technique, which my

grandfather used. It’s called a ‘flying ferment’: you

take half of the flour you’re going to use – so for

this recipe that’s 250g of the bread flour – but put

in all the water and all of the yeast so you get a

sloppy paste. Use warm water, at about 40-45°C.

Cover and leave it in a warm place for 15-30 minutes,

and it’ll rise up like expanding foam. It gives

the yeast a chance to get off to a flying start, so

you end up with a really vigorous, active ferment,

which hopefully will get the yeast over the finishing

line before the spice has a chance to kill it.

Then add the diced butter or shortening to the

ferment and stir in. In another bowl, combine the

remaining flour, salt, sugar and spice. Add this to

the ferment and mix it with a spoon until fully

combined. Remove the dough from the bowl and

knead it on a floured surface for about three to

five minutes, then rest it in a bowl and cover.

Weigh out the fruit and place it in a warm oven

for five minutes, then knead the dough for another

two or three minutes and cut it into ten pieces.

Then pour on the warm fruit and knead for two

to three minutes until you have a homogeneous

fruited dough mixture. Rest in a warm place for

15-30 minutes.

Divide the dough into 13 balls of about 100g

each and place on a baking tray to prove for 30-

45 minutes.

Originally, when I was a kid, we would put a little

metal cross on each one, and where the metal

covered the bun it wouldn’t go brown in the oven

so it would leave the cross on top. We’d put in

one batch with the metal crosses on top, then take

those out and put the crosses onto the next batch.

That was in the mid 1960s. Then we started using

rice paper crosses – like you get on the bottom

of macaroons. Believe me, that was a really timeconsuming


Now we use a crossing paste: mix together the

flour, water and sunflower oil with a whisk or

mixer and pipe it across the whole tray of buns.

Then immediately place them in the oven at

200°C, gas mark 7, and bake for 13-17 minutes.

Leave to cool on a wire rack.

As told to Rebecca Cunningham, 01273 470755




£14.95 for 2 courses

£15.95 for 3 courses

Includes a free glass of house wine,

glass of prosecco or a half pint of lager

Available Monday-Saturday


until Thurs March 24th

18 Cliffe High Street

Lewes BN7 2AH

T: 01273 402650



The Greek Girls Supper Club

The kindness of strangers

I arrive for The Greek Girls Supper Club, one Monday evening in

January at The Pelham Arms, and find Clare Borg, the eponymous

Greek girl, in the kitchen fashioning the yards and yards of fresh

pasta needed to make the roasted butternut squash ravioli for her 28(!)

guests. In the background her husband Alex and the Pelham Arms’

Andy busy themselves too.

Clare, looking for a way to help others whilst playing to her skill set,

figured ‘I’m Greek, I like to feed people and I was born with the ability

to cook for 20’. So TGGSC began. Held once a month, with The

Pelham Arms giving the space for free and the proceeds going to support

a different charity each time, her cookery skills seemingly know

no international boundaries. This month’s menu is Italian, and the

evening is hosted by a maître d’ and sidekick who camp up the theme.

The £30 we’ve each paid will support the work of Samara’s Aid Appeal,

whose founder is here to tell us about their work taking humanitarian

aid to displaced people in Iraq and Syria.

After a pleasant half hour spent making friends around the table,

supper is served. A delicious plate of antipasti arrives first; mixed bruschetta,

arancini and courgette fritters. Those perfect ravioli follow.

Topped with fried sage and sundried tomatoes, and as smart a plate as

would be served in the finest of eateries. The main course is red mullet

with fennel and potatoes in a caper sauce, or stuffed aubergines, and

the dessert – served after fiendishly tricky ‘Name the Famous Italians’

picture quiz - is a velvety chocolate torrone parfait with (handmade!)

tuiles. It’s an exceptional meal and much fun is had by all. ‘Tips’ go to buy more supplies. Not for the

next GGSC but for the refugees in Calais, where Clare and her (Italian-for-the-night) sister, Maxine,

are off to in a matter of days.

You’ll probably have missed February’s Thai supper by the time you read this (I certainly won’t have)

but there’ll be another in March. You might not get Greek food but I’m willing to bet you’ll get great

food, and someone else, living in very difficult circumstances, will get a square meal too. LL

BYOB, 07906849501,

Photos by Lizzie Lower



Edible Updates

The pilot of The Crunch - a new ‘interactive dialogue’ event from

the Wellcome Trust that aims to get people thinking about food, our

health and our planet - has been the food highlight of my year so far.


Over two days, I enjoyed performances of ‘verbatim theatre’ inspiring

me to think about food in its broadest sense; lively discussions; Q&As

with experts, and a group brainstorm about how to change our food systems for a brighter future.

It all inspired me to start a (feeble drumroll) Facebook group, ‘Lewes Foodies’, to hopefully continue

some of the debate. Lewes already has many progressive initiatives in the food sector: co-ops, conscientious

businesses and charitable groups. I hope Lewes Foodies will support communication and help to

create further positive collaborations: please join

It seems to be working already. Without Lewes Foodies, I wouldn’t have known that Annabella Ashby

is hosting a Waste Food meeting on 16th March, 7.30pm, at the Town Hall, Yarrow Room for anyone

interested in supporting waste food activities in Lewes.

It’s a bit of a leap, but in other news we have Mother’s Day, which is - in my own interest to say - not

throwaway. The team at Lewes Hamper have put together a perfect Mum gift, see,

and Pelham House is offering a special three-course roast on March 6th, with a present for ma thrown

in. Good news from Cheese Please also, who are now stocking artisan truffles made by a small, familyrun

chocolatier, and just in time for Easter too. Chloë King

Illustration by Chloë King

Needlemakers Café

Where eggs ain’t just eggs

Pauline and I have a bit of a disagreement as to where to have

lunch, and I have to actually collect her from the place where

she wanted to go, where she’s already sat down, to take her to

the Needlemaker’s Café, my choice.

I’m buying, of course, and we both go for the same thing off the specials board: Eggs California, which,

if you pay a quid extra (making it £8.95), you get with bacon rashers, too.

When the dishes arrive, looking splendid, Pauline points to said board, asking me if I can make out a

word she can’t read. I turn my head, read out the word, and when I turn back I realise she has speared one

of my eggs. A revenge of sorts. Her face is all innocence, but there is yolk visible on the tip of her fork. I

say nothing.

Some poached eggs would have virtually disintegrated in the circumstances, but, such is the high standard

to which this one has been prepared, the only evidence of her act of violence is a zig-zag of yellow in

the mustardy-cream of the hollandaise sauce the eggs have had poured over them.

The egg whites have the sort of robustness about them that contains most of the yolk even when you cut

it, any spillage is mopped up by the brown sourdough toast everything’s sitting on. This lot is surrounded

by leafy salad and, rather incongruously, a little pile of couscous.

We wash it down with San Pellegrino grapefruit juice, which offers a glorious tangy sweetness to affairs.

A perfect lunch? There would have been hell to pay if it had been anything else. Alex Leith

Photo by Alex Leith


Rathfinny Estate

Jonathan Médard, winemaker

As Rathfinny’s winemaker I work closely

with our viticulturist Cameron Roucher.

In short, he grows the grapes, and I turn them

into wine.

69 hectares of Rathfinny is now under vine,

predominantly producing Pinot Noir, Pinot

Meunier and Chardonnay, the three major

components of Champagne-style sparkling

wine, which is our main concern here. We

also grow some Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and


I work in the estate’s winery, largely dividing

my time between my office and my lab.

In busy periods I have an assistant; I am usually

kept company by my dog, Brix.

The lab is where the analysis of the grapes

and wine takes place. There are some nice

pieces of kit in there, including a distillator,

an ebulliometer (for measuring the alcoholic

content of the wine) a sulfilyser (for measuring

sulphur dioxide), and a titralyser (for

determining pH and acidity). It’s vital that the

grapes are in the right condition before their


The chalky soil here is identical to that

in the Champagne region in France, and

the land is suited to making the same sort of

wine. Our 2015 harvest has gone through its

first fermentation, in tanks. The 2014 batch

is in bottles ‘on its lees’ (in effect having gone

through its second fermentation). It should be

ready for 2018.

When we get to full capacity, with 130 hectares

under vine, we hope to produce around

1,000,000 bottles a year. We sold our first batch

of still white wine – something of a large-scale

experiment – last year. We were very pleased

with the quality.


my space

Photos by Alex Leith

I originally trained as a biochemist, which

comes in very handy for all the testing, but it was

a love of wine which drove me into viticulture.

I may have a lot of hi-tech machinery here in

my studio, but the most sophisticated tool at my

disposal is my palate.

It’s in the blood. I grew up in the Champagne

region of France, and my father worked in the

trade. After getting a Masters in Oenology I

trained at companies such as Moët & Chandon,

before spending ten years in California. I’m a

member of the French Guild of Champagne

Makers, and I can tell you that if maybe my

compatriots were a little cynical of the English

sparkling wine trade a few years ago, they certainly

aren’t any more!

As told to Alex Leith

Rathfinny Estate, Alfriston, 01323 871 031


Problems at work?

Trouble at t’mill?

We can help

Call Simon Dodds or Quintin Barry on 01273 480234

to book your free half hour interview.

Suite 4, Sackville House, Brooks Close, Lewes BN7 2FZ

Offices also at: Eastbourne | Peacehaven

Check us out on Twitter and Facebook

the way we work

This month we asked Rachael Edwards, a wedding, pet and equestrian

photographer, to take portraits of locals who deal in some way with

‘the mind’. We asked them to take her to their ‘happy space’.

Michael Bennett, coginitive behavioural therapist, Lewes Therapy

“My happy space? The view of Lewes and the Downs from where I work

helps me to keep things in perspective.”

the way we work

Tom Lockyer, psychotherapist, Cliffe Complimentary Health Practice

“A few minutes’ climb from my office and I am here: a place that is a part of

the town and at the same time apart from the town, allowing me the

space to relax, reflect and return reinvigorated.”

the way we work

Neil del Strother, Journey Practitioner,

“A very peaceful, big green space right in the heart of Lewes where

I can enjoy a good cup of coffee and think great thoughts...”

the way we work

Lisa Darnell, counsellor, River Clinic

“The nature reserve is a place of peaceful regeneration.”

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

the way we work

Vibha Donne, psychotherapist,

“I choose my friend’s garden because all I can see is the river, trees

and sky and it always reminds me of the luxury of living here.”


Art therapy

Sarah Paget, shamanic art therapist

Photo by Rebecca Cunningham

Art therapy, I had imagined, would be painting first,

therapy after. It turns out Sarah Paget’s practice has

a lot more to it than that.

Sarah is an Arts Psychotherapist, and has run her

practice for about ten years, having trained at the

Institute of Art in Therapy and Education in Islington.

She had graduated in Fine Art and Painting at

Central St Martin’s, and has since been on “a journey

of self-discovery through creativity.” I meet her in

her therapy room in Berwick to get a taster of what

she does.

“A lot of what we hold inside our bodies is non-verbal

- the brain thinks in pictures as well as words,”

she says, adding that our brains have a “phenomenal

capacity for self-healing” and drawing upon her own

experience of what it’s like to be on a shamanic journey

to help others do the same.

At the beginning of this journey, the person might

visualise themself in a tunnel of some sort, coming

out into an opening: “It may be a desert or a jungle,”

she explains, “and generally there’s a being there”

(people often imagine animals, or angels). “It allows

the person to see what’s getting in the way, and shows

them what they need to get out of that blockage.”

During this stage of the session, Sarah uses other

tools like sound or music to support the person

through the process. “The Shaman drum, which I

use and invite my clients to use, can give the steady

feeling of a heartbeat. It gives them that sense of

what it’s like to be held and soothed.” Her role is

to facilitate a journey to self-healing, she explains.

“When we have difficult feelings, we can feel that

we’re in a world of chaos and disintegration – I’m

here to care for someone who’s feeling like that.”

Next comes the painting. The walls and floors of

the room are covered in plastic sheeting. “It’s set up

to allow people to express themselves,” Sarah says.

“They’re given permission to actually explore their

feelings, and neither of us knows what’s going to

come up.” The person can choose a sheet to work on

and there’s a huge selection of paints. “These are deliberately

just cheap, hobby paints,” she explains, the

idea being to avoid any memories where the person’s

artwork has been judged or criticised.

Non-judgement is the key. As well as one-to-one

therapy sessions, Sarah holds weekly groups with a

focus on mindfulness. “We have thousands of negative

thoughts a day,” she says. “They do serve some

purpose; negative feelings come from back when

we used to live a very different way and we had to

feel stress and anxiety so that we didn’t get eaten by

a lion. We just need to learn how to manage those

thoughts.” She hopes that eventually there will be

no stigma attached to seeking therapy. “Life has so

many different challenges – we all need people we

can go to and say: ‘I’m not coping with this’.” RC

Sarah runs taster sessions on Thurs 10th, 17th and

Sun 20th. []


the LOWDOwN on...

Iyengar Yoga

with Ali Hahlo

Yoga is defined in the Yoga Sutras as ‘the cessation

of fluctuations in consciousness’. More

simply put, it leads you towards a state of mental

and physical health, of stability, serenity and imperturbability

in the mind. The word ‘yoga’ comes

from ‘union’, meaning that it unifies the individual

with the universal; we are all a tiny microcosm of

the infinitely greater whole. Yoga is rooted in Indian

culture, and ancient texts and carvings show it to

be pre-Christian at least. What we know about the

foundations of yoga come from these ancient texts.

Whilst it is now practiced by millions around the

globe and taught in a number of different styles, we

all, whichever style we practise, borrow elements

from these roots.

Iyengar is probably the most globally dispersed

style of yoga. It’s a classical, precise, inclusive style,

suitable for all, regardless of age and fitness. It helps

to maintain the body in the peak of fitness as well

as developing a resilient and affirmative attitude

to life. There is tremendous emphasis on alignment,

extension of limbs and spine, opening

of joints

and reshaping


posture and chest

for smoother, deeper

breath. The body is gently and

safely challenged and the mental state is refreshed.

The style takes its name from BKS Iyengar

who died just over a year ago, aged

95. He was still teaching right into his

90s! He came to yoga as a young

man, extremely poor and

sickly during his childhood,

and was sent out

first to teach in a

small Indian town called Pune, now a vast sprawling

city. He believed that yoga should be available

to anybody, regardless of age, religion or gender, so

he devised methods to teach people who were stiff,

ill or elderly. He introduced the use of yoga props

like bricks, cushions and blankets, to enable students

who were struggling to get to as good a yogic posture

as possible, safely.

In the West we tend to focus on the visible condition.

Very few people realise that the ultimate

objective of yoga is the quietening of the mental

state, freeing the mind from stress. It can still the

vacillations of the mind, so you’re no longer preoccupied

by the world. It’s very hard to control the

mind, so in yoga we start via the body. You can’t

have a healthy mind if the body isn’t healthy; if

the spine is collapsed or the breath is jagged and

shallow. Through the physical work we transform

the shape of the chest, and gradually, by way of the

body and the breath, we begin to train the mind.

From your very first yogic posture, your nervous

system starts to throw out tensions

from the muscles and nervous system.

Because you’re




from the teacher and

you’re physically active, the

breathing deepens and the mind becomes

naturally absorbed. You can feel

that the incessant chatter has stopped,

but the body is pleasantly enlivened.

As told to Rebecca Cunningham

Ali teaches at

the SUBUD Centre,

26a Station Street.



Lewes Out Loud

Plenty more Henty

A literary friend

once described a

collection of my

cryptic poems as

‘certainly mind

over doesn’t

matter’. I think

it was meant as a

compliment. Put

it this way, I didn’t

object at the time

and even today, the five carefully chosen words

continue to resonate in my zany approach to

everyday life.

Take this photograph, for example, of which

I am unduly proud. It was grabbed, at great

risk to myself, in Malling Street on a damp

Sunday morning. As frustrated motorists know

only too well, a new Puffin crossing has been

installed there and word of it soon reached our

plump feathered friend, via Twitter, of course.

Now he’d heard of Zebra, Pelican, Panda and

even Toad crossings but to have one custom

made for himself – well, that was special and

also important because living close-by the Pells,

he occasionally needs to visit relatives on the

other side of town – a hazardous journey mostly

undertaken at night.

You can understand, therefore, how disappointed

he must have been to arrive on site only

to find the crossing ‘not in use’. I just happened

to be there to witness the moving moment and

will certainly offer the resulting rare photographs

to colleague, Michael Blencowe, and

possibly David Attenborough.

From puffins to muffins now and a lovely café

menu I found at the Town Hall market last

month (yes – I’m still collecting). From the

1920s, it detailed the bill of fare for The Arcade

Café on Worthing

seafront. A special

four course lunch

would have cost


Welsh rarebit

sixpence and a

toasted muffin – a

mere threepence.

Where can you

find muffins on

offer in cafés today? Like puffins, it seems, they

are an endangered species, which is a shame. By

the way, have you noticed how many establishments

are now adding food and drink to

accompany their normal merchandise? It won’t

be long before the North Street cop shop will

have to throw in a cuppa, or coppa, for visiting

clients. Now there’s an arresting idea.

Personally, I always enjoyed the tea and repartee

that could be found in the Runaway Café at

the railway station, so it was a bonus to discover

that owner, Jackie, has now branched out and

opened what is called PJ’s@30 on Station Street.

Kath is in charge and, whilst muffins are not on

the agenda, I liked the smart look of the place.

Finally, before it slips my mind, a Lewes-related

moment to relish. Not so long ago, I found

Hannah, a student herbalist, showing interest

in a small plant growing on the bank of our

drive in Southover. She asked if she could take a

cutting of it, and I happily agreed. Apparently,

the charming Hannah seeks out such healthgiving

herbs in urban settings as well as in the

surrounding countryside. Purple Toadflax

(linaria purpurea) grows on chalk in Southern

England and is particularly good for alleviating

stress she told me. I smiled. It works!

John Henty



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difference to a construction project.

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It’s what our clients expect.

It’s what we deliver.

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icks and mortar

Lewes Post Office

Under threat

“People are in total shock,” says Nicky Bryant.

“We live in the county town of East Sussex, and

to push our Post Office into maybe the back of

Smiths - or Waitrose has been mentioned - it’s

really not acceptable.”

The Post Office are indeed thinking about a

franchise arrangement in Lewes (ie, moving it

inside a shop) but were reluctant to give me any

interesting details or good quotes at this early

stage. Instead I was told about the ‘wide range of

detailed factors’ they had to think about, in trying

to ‘provide future sustainability for our branches,’

and that – this appeared to be their key point

- ‘we cannot look to the taxpayer to subsidise

Crown branches that lose money’.

Bryant, seemingly an accidental activist, read

about the proposal in the Argus, and hadn’t

intended to get so involved, but “these things

snowball”. She calls 65 High Street “a stunning

building”, and mentions its war-memorial plaque,

the “invaluable” skills and knowledge of its staff,

its community-and-business benefits, and intangible

things “like the smell of a post office”. “To

lose such a hub would be a real tragedy… it means

a lot to the people of the town.”

Currently Grade-II listed, the building is ‘basically

the house built by Walter Brett of Lewes in

1736,’ according to Orchard and Smith’s History of

the Post Office in Lewes. It was was a Quaker girls’

school in the early 1870s, with around six day

pupils and 25 boarders. One of them later recalled

the three teachers as being ‘utterly conscientious

and kindly’, though, it seems, they ran a ‘rather

Spartan’ regime, and addressed the students as

‘thee’ and ‘thou’.

As well as academic subjects, the same student

wrote, they occasionally had lessons in ‘deportment’

- ‘making bows and curtsies, edging

sideways between crowded seats, handing a book

gracefully, and even walking up and down stairs.’

At this point, Lewes’ post office was at 52 High

Street. The relocation, 100m down the road, happened

in 1876. It caused what Orchard and Smith

described as ‘a storm’, involving a well-signed

petition and an angry local-paper editorial:

‘The proposal is to deprive the town of a central

and convenient post office it now possesses, and

this without one reason… This great change is

made without the slightest attempt to ascertain

the feeling of the town upon the subject…. We

trust that Lewes will not be allowed to be ridden

over rough shod in this way.’

You can play your own game of similarities-anddifferences

here, though with the modern-day

situation, the Post Office are only at the lookingfor-franchise-partners

stage, and have promised

a six-week public consultation on any plan they

come up with.

Bryant isn’t greatly reassured by this, but does

feel that it’s a winnable contest, if enough Lewesians

really get involved. “It’s important that

you don’t lie down and let these things happen

without a fight.”

There will be a procession from the Post Office

to the Cliffe, on Sat 5th at 11am. Dress code: red.

Steve Ramsey


lewes in history

Samuel Medhurst

Lewes millwright

With the impressive restoration of Ashcombe

Mill recently completed, it seemed apt to acknowledge

the man widely credited for the

construction of the original mill in 1828: Lewes

millwright, Samuel Medhurst. Samuel was a

highly-respected craftsman, with a thriving

trade, but his family was blighted by premature

deaths, which ultimately contributed to the demise

of the Medhurst business.

Samuel was born in 1799 in Beddingham, where

his father was a miller. In the 1820s he set himself

up as a millwright in Lewes, and shortly afterwards

purchased premises at St Anne’s High

Street (now Western Road) with his brother

William. The two brothers worked in partnership

for a while, but it was Samuel who made

a name for himself throughout Sussex, and beyond.

Always keen to investigate and try out

new methods and ideas, he bought the rights to

Cubitt’s patent sweeps, (a method which allowed

a miller to adjust the shutters of his sweeps

without having to stop them first), converting

windmills across Sussex, as well as Union Mill,

at Cranbrook in Kent. He was also one of the

first millwrights to use iron shafts and gearing

instead of wood. As a result, Samuel worked very

closely with John Every, who started the town’s

Phoenix Ironworks in 1832, and the two men

forged a great working relationship. Samuel

fitted many of the county’s windmills with new

iron windshafts and gearing, as well as a great

number of iron wheels for watermills, including

those at Bolney, High Hurstwood, Sheffield

Park and Tickerage Mill at Framfield.

Millwrights did not simply construct and repair

windmills and watermills; they also moved

windmills. At some point, many a windmill

found itself uprooted and rebuilt further down

the road, or even in an entirely different village.

The Medhursts were responsible for moving

Lewes Town Mill from its original location

at Pipe Passage, to Spital Road. (Although the



Photo by Mat Homewood

brick round-house still remains today in Pipe

Passage). The mill was dismantled and carted

away to its new location by a trolley pulled by

bullocks; a huge task, which must have provided

a great spectacle as it was hauled up St Anne’s

High Street. A few years later, in 1853, Lewes

prison was built, which blocked the wind from

the sails, and Samuel had the job of raising the

height of the windmill.

In 1850 Samuel took over the business of Cliffe

millwright, Edward Hubbard, after Edward had

died following a fall from a windmill in Brighton.

Mill work could be a dangerous task, as seen

in a particularly nasty incident in 1842. Samuel

was called to Ashcombe Mill one February

morning after the mangled body of mill worker,

William Walker, had been found. He concluded

that while Mr Walker had been greasing the

break wheel, the mill had started unexpectedly,

and he’d been caught in the machinery.

Samuel and his wife Philadelphia had eleven

children; seven sons and four daughters. However,

six died in infancy, leaving three surviving

sons to join Samuel in the business. William

(born 1828) trained under the guidance of his father

as a young man. However, he was consumptive,

and soon gave up millwrighting. Boaz (born

1841) and Mark (born 1842) both worked in the

trade. When Boaz was fully trained, the business

became ‘Medhurst & Son’. Like Samuel, Boaz

was highly regarded as a millwright, and worked

on many mills, including Keymer and Windmill

Hill post-mills, and when Samuel retired, he

took over the business. However, Boaz died in

1878, at the age of 36, leaving his widow Harriet

and four daughters, but no sons. Mark, who

had also worked for his father, died just three

years after Boaz, aged 38 and unmarried. And

so ended the family business. It was taken over

by Alfred Shaw, and then by Bishop & Wells in

1903. However, in the 1920s the site was bought

by Lewes Motors, and turned into a garage.

Samuel and Philadelphia outlived all but one

of their eleven children. Philadelphia died in

1884, and Samuel himself died in 1887, aged 88.

Many people will have noticed the twelve castiron

graves in the north-west corner of St Anne’s

churchyard, sometimes referred to as ‘the devil’s

hurdles’. Close inspection reveals the names of

Samuel and Philadelphia, and ten of their children.

Fittingly, they were cast by Samuel’s friend

John Every, using the same lettering as he did

when he inscribed the Medhurst name on mill

ironwork. Mat Homewood


feature: wildlife

Brown Hare

March madness

Illustration by Mark Greco

I once had a girlfriend in the big city and found

myself attending swanky dinner parties around

East London. During one such soirée a guest,

desperate to impress, boasted that for next week’s

meal he would be cooking a hare. Outraged I

asked if anyone at the table had actually seen

a hare in the wild. My question was met with

blank stares. I’d like to think that I then launched

into an impassioned rant about the untamed

magnificence of the hare and society’s disconnection

with nature before heroically storming out.

In reality there was cheesecake for dessert so I

wearily sighed and carried on eating. But I knew

two things; hares don’t belong at Shoreditch dinner

parties and neither did I; I never returned. I

still maintain that if you’ve witnessed the reckless

energy of a hare cavorting in a Sussex sunrise then

the very idea of eating one is, well, madness.

While the fields are still bare March is the best

time to observe hares around Lewes. On paper a

hare could easily be dismissed as a big rabbit but

they’re different beasts altogether; it’s all in the

way they move. A hare possesses powerful hind

legs; a pair of pistons that can send them rocketing

towards the horizon at over 40 mph.

Hares are mostly nocturnal. They don’t burrow

underground, spending their days hidden in a

shallow scrape. Young hares (leverets) are born in

separate forms and attentive mother hares return

to secretly suckle them under cover of dusk.

In spring amorous male hares approach females

in the hope of finding a mate, but chatting up a

hare is a risky business. Potential sexual partners

can suddenly transform into sparring partners

when uninterested female hares rise up and strike

a blow for equality by punching the males in the

face. The frenzied ‘boxing matches’ that ensue are

such a striking spectacle that they have given us

the phrase ‘as mad as a March hare’.

Yet who are we to be questioning the hare’s mental

stability? Us level-headed humans used to believe

that sprinting hares can start fires; eating hare brains

made you sleep better and witches could transform

into hares and only be killed with silver bullets.

Hares have been closely associated with Pagan

springtime fertility rituals and the goddess Eostre,

and they still play a role in our Easter celebrations

(albeit watered down, chocolate covered

and transformed into the Easter Bunny). Their

prominence in the English countryside has

also diminished. Numbers have declined due

to changes in farming practices, especially the

removal of hedgerows.

It’s been a long, dull, wet winter. As spring returns

the Sussex countryside will be exploding in a

crazy celebration of life. Get out there, find yourself

a hare and experience the madness.

Michael Blencoe, Sussex Wildlife Trust

Illustration by Mark Greco















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The hills are a skive

I’m on a Dutch ladies’ bike, cycling up Malling

Street towards the Ringmer turn-off. It’s one of

those long climbs I’ve always hated, but this time

I’m euphoric, as I pass the line of drivers stuck

in their gridlocked cars. I clock the figure on my

speedo: 15mph, which is usually the sort of speed

I go downhill.

I’ve done a fair amount of hill-riding recently,

but I’m not usually so Froome-fit. You see, I’m

getting quite a lot of help. I’m on an electric bike:

the power I’m putting into the pedals is being

matched by a pint-sized Bosch motor hidden

within the frame under my saddle.

I’m borrowing the bike from Cycleshack, and I’m

accompanied by Harvey, manager of their Friars

Walk branch. I’m riding a Gazelle Orange C7+

HM; Harvey’s on a Trek Powerfly+ 7.

He’s previously given me all the details I want to

know. The bikes have a range of between 25 and

85 miles, depending on the power setting and

other factors like weight of cyclist, gradient of

ride, wind, and tyre pressure. The motors do not

assist the bikes without you pedalling. On their

highest setting, they double your effort, thus

enabling you to go twice as far using the same

amount of energy as you would on a conventional

bike… or go up hills with half as much legwork.

I’ve cycled a lot in Lewes over the years, and I’ve

come to think of the many hills as adversaries.

This time, I hope I’m going to glide up the buggers.

St John’s Hill? You’re just a little flatty.

It’s not that simple, it turns out, but after all, this

isn’t a mini moped. My bike has seven gears, and

I need to go into the lowest gear to get up the

steep bits; for example whilst climbing St Pancras

Road and into Rotten Row.

On the whole, the experience is a delight; though

I do get a shock when I realise I’m doing 27mph

coming down the one-way system towards the

Phoenix Causeway, thus technically breaking

the law.

I may not ever buy an e-bike – these models cost

£1,999 each (prices start at £1800), and one of the

reasons that I cycle everywhere is because I relish

the challenge of hills, and the exercise value they

represent. But I realise these machines are great

for a wide variety of people who might not want

to push themselves to the limits for one reason

or another, whether that’s a medical condition,

the desire to arrive at work in the morning not

covered in a sheen of sweat, or being a friend or

partner who wants to keep up with a fitter cyclist.

To finish off our ride (we’ve done 13 miles in under

an hour), I swap with Harvey, trying out the

mountain bike on an incline I’ve never attempted,

Chapel Hill. When I reach the golf course,

I realise I’m not even breathing heavily. King of

the Downs? Well, maybe, if just for an hour.

Alex Leith

Photo by Harvey Grainger








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Football Academy

A new class of players

You’ll win nothing with

kids,” said pundit Alan

Hansen, months before

Man United famously

proved him wrong.

United’s Class of ’92

– Beckham, Scholes,

Giggs, the Nevilles –

spurred huge investment

in professional

football academies, a

trend that has seeped

into the non-league

game, with Lewes FC

one of the few clubs at

Ryman League level to

run its own Academy.

And next season it will

Photo by James Boyes

have one for the girls, too.

The professional club academies hoover up hundreds

of kids, with almost all of them spat out of

the system before they’ve even got within touching

distance of the subs’ bench. At Lewes, recent

Academy graduates such as Ronnie Conlon and

Jordan Badger have amassed dozens of first-team

appearances, and under the tutelage of former pro

Jay Lovett, the club is hoping to nurture the next

generation of first-team players.

Lewes provides a second chance for many of the

players who are discarded by the big clubs, and

Lovett says it’s often a case of rebuilding the boys’

self-esteem. “Their confidence is destroyed when

they’re rejected by the pro clubs, and it’s often a

case of picking up the pieces and giving the boys

some belief back,” he says.

Not that it’s an easy ride for the young Rooks. As

well as excelling on the football field, the Academy

boys are required to knuckle down every

day in the classroom, where they will study for a

BTEC Diploma in Sport – the equivalent of A-

levels – and take

FA coaching

badges, giving

them career options

to fall back

on if they don’t

make the grade

as a player. “The

ideal Academy

student will give

100% on the pitch

and 100% in the

classroom,” says

Lovett. “You can’t

have one without

the other.”

For Lovett, who

played professionally

at Brentford and has enjoyed a long career

in the non-league game, the reward comes from

seeing the boys develop, not only as players, but

as men. “The most rewarding part is seeing the

boys progress, whether that’s into the first team

[at Lewes], into the professional game, or even as

coaches,” he says.

The club is currently inviting school leavers to

trial for next season’s Academy… and not only

boys. A partnership with Brighton & Hove’s

Newman College will see the club offer girls the

chance to study for A-levels and train on the recently

installed 3G pitch, seeing the club once

again punch above its weight in the women’s

game. Lewes Ladies play in the FA Women’s Premier

League south and compete against sides such

as Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and

Brighton & Hove Albion. Barry Collins

Anyone interested should visit

Home fixtures in March v Hendon

(5th, 3pm), VCD Athletic (12th, 3pm) and Wingate

& Finchley (26th, 3pm)


trade secrets

Sonny Cutting

Marketing Director and Lewes Expo organiser

Photo by Lizzie Lower

The 2016 Lewes Expo returns to the Town

Hall on the 17th March, and it’s a great opportunity

for small and medium-sized businesses

to connect with each other, to share

expertise and success stories. We’ve got room

for 80 exhibitors and, in addition to networking,

we’ll have talks and workshops from our speakers

Lucy Wilkes, Claire Scott, Richard Williams,

Emma Pearce, Nick Price and Sandra Banks.

They’ll be covering a wide range of subjects from

social media, coaching for business success, advice

on planning requirements and listed buildings

protection, and bridging the gap between

‘millennials’ and baby boomers.

This will be the fourth year of the Lewes

Expo but it’s the first that I’ve organised.

Claire Kirtland, who runs The Hive and who

originally set up the Expo, was looking for

someone to take over the Lewes event while I was

looking to expand NetXP – the events company

born of my first business, Sussex Pages. That’s

a business marketing and media agency which

specialises in digital, creative and social media

management, so the face-to-face events were the

perfect complement. Claire will be there on the

17th and I owe her a huge debt of gratitude for

the support she’s offered during the handover.

Whilst the Lewes Expo was established as a

very local, community event, we’re looking

to expand it to bring in commerce from the

wider Sussex area. As well as local businesses,

we’ve got exhibitors from Brighton, Eastbourne

and Uckfield and from all sorts of sectors – from

reflexologists and osteopaths to security companies,

architects and surveyors. Our Sussex Pages

database allows us to connect businesses from

across the area. It’s like a business-to-business

match-making service.

We make sure the events are fun and interactive

too so, in addition to our speakers and

workshops, each one has a theme. Our recent

Burgess Hill Expo had a poker challenge and the

Lewes Expo will have a Monopoly quiz in aid of

charity. It’s important to remember to have fun

in business. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing

then why are you doing it?

It’s a lot to organise and quite complicated

bringing everything together: co-ordinating the

logistics on the day, on top of the market research,

PR and advertising prior to the event. But if business

is about anything it’s adapting to changing

circumstances and thinking on your feet.

I’m a Sussex entrepreneur who left school

without any qualifications. I’ve put myself

through college, enjoyed a successful career

in sales and marketing with BT and now I’m

running two businesses whilst looking after my

twins at home and working in the office two days

a week. So I guess you could say that I like to do

things in twos. I did have plans for five Expos in

2016 but my wife reckons I’d be wise to stick with

two for now. She’s usually right. As told to LL

17th March, Lewes Town Hall 10-3pm, free entry

on the day. /


Lewes District Council

usiness news

The 2016

Lewes District



launch on the

3rd of March.

They’re open

to organisations

of all sizes and,

whatever the

sector, celebrate

excellence in

the business


Last year’s winners

included the very local Richard Soan

Roofing (pictured), awarded the coveted prize

for Business of the Year; the innovative Chalk

Gallery, recognised as Small Business of the

Year; everyone’s favourite station café, The

Runaway, who took the Award for Business in

the Community; and the one-of-a-kind Union

Music Store, who won Best Independent

Retailer. It’s free and simple to enter in up to

three categories. Visit the website, choose your

categories and submit your entry by 4th May.

The winners will be announced at the glittering

awards ceremony in July. []

Don’t forget that the 2016 Lewes Expo is at

the Town Hall on 17th. See our interview with

new organiser, Sonny Cutting, on page 105.

There’ll be loads of networking opportunities,

talks and chances to swap notes. We look

forward to seeing you there. []

There are, of course, networking opportunities

all year round and Lewes Chamber of

Commerce are holding a networking breakfast

at Riverside Brasserie on Thursday 10th and a

lunchtime meet up at The Pelham Arms, on the

31st. Visit the website to register.


This month we welcome the women’s clothes

shop Mint

Velvet to

School Hill and

look forward

to visiting the

recently opened

Curry Cottage

on the Offham

Road (where

The Chalkpit

pub used to be).

It’s farewell

to Punzi, the

jewellery shop

on Station Street

and Ringmer’s Pine Chest, who will be holding

a closing down sale from 5th. We wish them a

long, happy and well deserved retirement.

Finally, we wish Rowland Gorringe a very

happy birthday as they celebrate 90 years in

business this year. In 1926, when John Logie

Baird gave his first public demonstration of a

television system in London and the average

price of a house was a crazy £4,876, Rowland

Gorringe established his first office in Lewes.

They’ve since grown from strength to strength,

opening branches in Seaford, Heathfield and

Uckfield. Edward Gorringe, the current Company

Chairman paid tribute to the ‘high calibre

of staff support’ and Fraser Brooks, Managing

Director, attributed their success and longevity

to the unwavering core principles of putting

‘the needs of our clients ahead of our own’

and there being ‘no substitute for good oldfashioned

hard work’. Perhaps you were one of

their first clients and you are still living in the

same house? Maybe you still have the original

sales particulars. They’d be delighted to hear

from anyone that they have helped move home

over the past 90 years and we wish them every

continued success as they head for their (first)

century. [01273 474101]

Send any business news to



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To advertise in Viva Lewes please call 01273 488882 or email

Directory Spotlight:

Lynne Russell, Hypnotherapist

Basically when we have hypnotherapy or use

self-hypnosis it is relaxation for the body and

mind; time off modern life’s hamster wheel.

This in itself offers benefits, as stress plays havoc

with our short and long term health. It feels like

dreaming, although we’re awake and in control.

Our focus drifts inwards and we can move through

a series of different brainwave patterns, increasing

our sense of relaxation, improving memory recall,

reducing pain, anxiety and our responses to stress.

When we have hypnotherapy the aim is to access

and update our patterns of thinking and

behaving, and draw upon more of our resources

and potential – a bit like a software update! We

can work with aspects of our lives that are challenging

us: fears and phobias, confidence and self-esteem

issues, unhelpful habits and insomnia, as well

as boosting creativity and creative problem solving.

It can also help in the management of conditions

exacerbated by stress including IBS, skin problems

and migraines.

I also offer workshops to teach people how to

use self-hypnosis to support themselves. Once

you understand the overall approach and how to

work with different areas, you begin to realise that

the potential for using this wonderful resource is

vast. The next one is on 16th April.

The important difference

between this and stage

hypnosis is the therapeutic

intention. You are in

control. Hypnosis is the

state – hypnotherapy is

what you do when you are

there. As told to Lizzie Lower

Chantry Health at River

Clinic 07970 245118






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



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

come & see us at

the farmers’


to lewes and

surrounding areas





Restoration &


Mobile 07941 057337

Phone 01273 488261

12 Priory Street, Lewes, BN7 1HH


health & wellbeing

Kate Sippetts

Designer Gardener

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








RHS hort & BA hons


landscape and garden design

01273 401581/ 07900 416679

Services include

- Garden Design & Project Monitoring

- Redesign of Existing Beds & Borders

- Plant Sourcing

Call us for a free consultation

health & wellbeing

health & Well-being

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

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

OSteOpathy & Cranial OSteOpathy

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

Michaela Kullack & Simon Murray

Experienced, Registered Osteopaths

Like us on


River Clinic

COMpleMentary therapieS

Acupuncture, Alexander Technique, Bowen Technique,

Children’s Clinic, Counselling, Psychotherapy,

Family Therapy, Herbal Medicine, Homeopathy,

Hypnotherapy, Massage, NLP, Nutritional Therapy,

Life Coaching, Physiotherapy, Pilates, Reflexology, Shiatsu

TheRaPy RoomS avaiLabLe To RenT

open monday to Saturday

For appointments call

01273 475735

River Clinic, Wellers Yard,

Brooks Road, Lewes BN7 2BY


lessons and courses

lessons and courses


Creative classes in a calm & relaxed studio

taught by a professional Potter

• Small class sizes

• Beginners welcome

• Taster sessions available

Contact Peter Cuthbertson 01865 840566

Paine’s Farm Pottery ~ East Hoathly

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

back to the future

Look once. Look twice. Look again. Your eyes haven’t deceived you. This image is in fact a composite of

the work of two photographers, taken almost 50 years apart. Spooky, isn’t it?

The first photograph, in black and white, was taken in September 1966 by Edward Mitchell Reeves,

chronicling the Eastgate area before all the changes proposed when they were discussing the ‘Relief Road’.

The second set of pictures, comprising the colour bits, obviously, was the work of his grandson Isaac,

part of a project he devised last year, portraying Lewes as it’s never been seen before, past and present at

the same time.

And so the front of Chaula’s is Chaula’s, but the mock Tudor annex to its right (demolished to make

Safeway carpark) is Parsons. The little adjunct to the left is part of Bridgeman’s Stone Works. Behind

that is a building that no longer exists, having been knocked down to build the Phoenix Causeway. The

tree on the right of the image, remarkably, is the same tree.

The vehicles are interesting: the truck driving ‘the wrong way’ down Eastgate Street is presumably

connected to Bridgeman’s. Isaac had to wait for ages for the white Porsche to turn up: a more obviously

modern car would have spoilt the effect.

And we love the characters waiting for the 28, or the 29 (or maybe the 128, in those days), studiously

ignoring each other, as bus queuers habitually do. But this time their indifference to one another is for

good reason: they’re in different eras. As I said, spooky, isn’t it?

This sort of photographic technique is pretty cutting edge; it’s particularly interesting when you consider

the kinship of the two photographers involved. Isaac has taken other composite pictures incorporating

his great and great-great grandfathers’ work, too. You can see more examples of Isaac’s series at Reeves

(159 High Street, 01273 473274), who kindly let us use this image.


Bespoke Handmade Kitchens

Designed in Sussex

Made in Sussex

For inspiration and advice, call our

designers on 01273 471269 or visit us

at 1 Malling Street, Lewes BN7 2RA


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