Viva Lewes Issue #116 May 2016

VivaMagazines

116

VIVALEWES

EDITORIAL

Of course the Celts and other Ancient Britons would have had community celebrations, but

the term ‘festival’, inevitably, has its roots in Latin: the word ‘festivus’ (of or pertaining to a

feast). This changed to ‘festivalis’ in late Latin, and ‘festival’ in Old French, and hence, via the

Normans, to the English term, originally used only as an adjective, as in ‘festival day’.

Which is still a long way from how most people think of the word today. To some, I guess

‘festival’ will convey the Harvest Festival at church: to most however, there will be images of

wellies, and tents, and al fresco music, and mud. Woodstock and Glastonbury have a lot to

answer for.

May being May we have chosen ‘Festival’ as our theme. Of course you’ll be aware of the

month-long shenanigans going on in Brighton… the (best in the year?) month also sees the

Charleston Literary Festival, the start of the Glyndebourne Festival and (think a mini-

Glastonbury, in the woods, with kids) the Elderflower Fields festival, to which half of childrearing

Lewes seems to go.

A time to let your hair down, then, and indulge yourself in culture, and food, and drink,

and art, and friends. There’s a hell of a lot on out there: we’ve cherry-picked some of our

favourites in this and our sister publication Viva Brighton. Our advice? Even if you only do

one festivally thing in May, make sure you do it in style. Get the brochures; go for it. Enjoy

the month…

THE TEAM

.....................

EDITOR: Alex Leith alex@vivamagazines.com

SUB-EDITOR: David Jarman

STAFF WRITERS: Rebecca Cunningham rebecca@vivamagazines.com, Steve Ramsey steve@vivamagazines.com

ART DIRECTOR: Katie Moorman katie@vivamagazines.com

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

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

PUBLISHER: Lizzie Lower, lizzie@vivamagazines.com

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

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

Moya Crockett, Mark Greco, Anita Hall, John Henty, Bethany Hobbs, Mat Homewood, Paul Austin Kelly,

Chloë King, Carlotta Luke, Marcus Taylor

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


THE FESTIVAL ISSUE

CONTENTS

Bits and bobs.

8-23. Steam-rolling and screenprinting

this month’s cover, by Jonny

Hannah, local playwright Jonathan

Brown’s Lewes, and Carlotta Luke’s

festival snaps.

Columns.

25-29. Mark Bridge’s festivals are

better than our festivals, but Chloë

King has written the guide.

In Town This Month.

31-39. Festivals. A glimpse at this

month’s events, including Fairport

Convention, the Charleston

Centenary celebrations, a one-man

performance of The Encounter, a

screening of The Moon and the

Sledgehammer. Plus something to

look forward to: Caro Emerald at

Love Supreme jazz festival.

41-49. Art. What to see this month

in Lewes and beyond, including

landscapes, sculpture and graffiti.

51. Classical music. Paul Austin

8

72 21

Kelly rounds up the month’s classical

performances.

52-53. Film. Wild Tales and

Marshland: two great films, plenty of

subtitles.

55-59. Diary Dates. Bulbs, books and

beer, in and around Lewes.

61-63. Gig guide. Moya Crockett tells

Thompson Hall (detail), p.45


THE FESTIVAL ISSUE

69 72

90

us who’s playing what and when, kicking

off with Californian punker John Reis.

65-69. Free-time fun and festivals for

families, including Shlomo (above).

Food and drink.

71-79. It’s pick ‘n’ mix for lunch at the

Dorset, a deliciously unhealthy festival

recipe, cancelled out by a super-healthy

detox, and we seek out a cure for the

inevitable summer hangovers.

The Way we Work.

81-86. It’s double-Carlotta this month,

as she meets the keepers of Charleston

Farmhouse.

Features.

89-95. We try… badger watching, in

Loder Valley. John Henty, out and about

and loud and proud. If the hawthorn

is blooming, it’s definitely May. Bricks

and Mortar: the newly refurbished

Attenborough Arts Centre at Sussex

University.

Lewes in business.

97-100. What’s up in the Lewes

business world, and meet manicured

tree surgeon Patrick Geall.

Inside Left.

114. Lewes Drama Society get in the

festival spirit, 1920s-style.

VIVA DEADLINES

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:

advertising@vivalewes.com, 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


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THIS MONTH’S COVER ARTIST: JONNY HANNAH

Photos by Katie Moorman

It all started with an e-mail from the folk at Brighton

Festival, who wondered if we were interested in

a printing project that featured in their 2016 programme.

When we learnt that a 90-year-old steamroller

was involved, and that artist Jonny Hannah was

happy to get his hands inky for the cause, we were

sold. So on Easter Monday we made our way to

the Amberley Museum to watch the process, as the

steamroller in question, driven by owner Chris Hale,

rolled over the inked-up linocuts of our two covers

(one for Viva Lewes, and a companion piece for Viva

Brighton) in front of a small but enthusiastic crowd of

onlookers. These included the organisers Lucy and

Nathaniel from Ditchling Museum, and the artist Pea

Crabtree, who came up with the idea in the first place.

The process generated significantly more excitement

than you’d imagine, considering the vehicle was travelling

at 2mph.

Jonny had designed the two covers - back to front,

of course - by cutting into a sheet of lino, creating

a pair of Festival-enthused figures, a masked man

and woman, with his trademark odd extras, such as

a stripy-jumpered cat, a hand with a heart in it, an

old-fashioned wireless, and a dancing snake and eel.

The most heart-stopping moment was the first ‘big

reveal’, when he rolled the paper off the lino to see if

the process – which hadn’t been tried before in this

country – had worked. Once he’d checked it was OK,

he held the sheet of paper up to the assembled crowd.

A success! Hurrah!

“I’m a commercial artist, and I can only do a few

things for free,” he says, “so I make sure they are different

and exciting projects. This one really fitted in

with my current way of working. I’ve started finding

Photoshop too controlling as a medium – there’s very

little room for happenstance – so I’m moving more

and more to traditional methods. If you can call this

traditional!”

“I only finished the lino-cutting at 7.30 this morning,”

he added, “and I haven’t used lino for three years. I

realised the whole thing could have been a bit of a

car crash. I love the magic of peeling the paper back

to see if it has worked. Screen printing seems to me

like a kind of alchemy.” Digitally enhanced alchemy,


of course: Jonny later added the finishing touches of

colour on the computer in his studio.

Interview by Alex Leith

You can see the steamroller in action on 22nd May (12-

5pm) at the Level in Brighton, and 18th

June at the Ditchling Museum in the

Ditchling Fair. Jonny will be selling the

Viva Brighton and Viva Lewes cover

images as limited edition prints

at Atelier 51, Providence Place,

Brighton, during Artists’

Open

Houses.

And ‘Cardopolis’,

a new limitededition

poetry

book by Duane

Kahlhammer, illustrated

by Jonny, will

also be available to

buy from Atelier 51.

(Left and below) other works by Jonny Hannah

9


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enquiries or to make an appointment

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PEPLOE RSA

(BRITISH, 1871-1935)

Daff odils in a Glass Bowl

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bonhams.com/hove

Prices shown include buyer’s premium. Details can be found at bonhams.com


Photo by Alex Leith

MY LEWES: JONATHAN BROWN, ACTOR AND PLAYWRIGHT

Are you local? I was born and raised over the hill

in Woodingdean. Later I was living with my wife

and first child (of two) in Devon till 2008, but as I’m

a playwright and actor, and she’s a singer-songwriter,

there seemed less of a milieu for the shadowy

sides of those art forms in the Totnes area, so we

decided to come somewhere there seemed... more.

What do you like about Lewes? So many things,

particularly outdoors. The Downs, of course. Annika

and I both like that there is a street life in

the Cliffe, and that our buskers are allowed to

perform without anybody asking them to produce

a licence.

Is Lewes a good place for kids? It is. Lots of

green spaces. We’re home educators and there’s

a good home educating community around here,

meaning we can support one another.

As a playwright, how do you rate the Lewes

theatre scene? Lewes Little Theatre is a valuable

institution. I think there is however plenty of

room for more penetrative theatre and new writing

for adults in the town.

What’s your favourite pub in Lewes? I overused

pubs in my early 20s, and gave up drinking, so I

don’t go to them anymore. My favourite tipple

nowadays is Rooibos vanilla tea.

Where do you like eating out? The Hearth do

great pizzas with vegan cheese. And The Buttercup

Café occasionally sorts us out. Planet India in

Brighton is the place for treats, like their Bhel Puri.

Where do you do your shopping? Infinity Foods

in Brighton, topped up by visits to Waitrose.

How would you spend an ideal Sunday afternoon?

In the summer, on the beach with my family.

At Ovingdean there are sandy bits even at high

tide. Or walking in Friston or Ashdown Forest.

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

A pear. Normally I have a pear, banana, date and

cocoa smoothie, but I didn’t wake up feeling very

well this morning.

What’s your favourite landmark? We’re lucky to

have a view from the window of Firle Beacon and

Mt Caburn, and the cradle between them. On a

good night Orion tops it off incredibly.

Do you think the redevelopment of the Phoenix

area will make Lewes a less creative place?

I’ll miss Zu, which has put on many of my shows. I

think my stuff was sometimes a tad dark for them,

but it never stopped them from putting me on

again. Martin and Samira built a strong community

of people around a philosophy of shared-mindedness.

Then there’s Pop-up Studios, the Foundry,

the Community Kitchen, and all the other places.

If Lewes doesn’t have a place for that sort of offthe-wall

creative energy to be expressed then woe

betide the town! Interview by Alex Leith

Jonathan’s latest play, A Good Jew, is on at the All

Saints on June 4th and 5th, and also at Exeter Hall,

in Brighton, as part of Brighton Fringe, May 6th, 7th,

20th, 21st, 27th and 28th.

11


BITS AND BOBS

CHARITY BOX #2: GIG BUDDIES

What is Gig Buddies? Gig Buddies matches

music fans with a learning disability to a volunteer

who has similar interests to go to live music

events, that they both love, together. Everyone

deserves the enjoyment of going out and meeting

new people, so why should it be any different if

you have a disability?

Do you always go to gigs with the same person?

You are matched with one person, so that

you can build a trustworthy friendship.

How long have you been volunteering? I joined

at the launch party at Komedia three years ago.

Do you have to have any special training?

When you join, there is a really great training session

about safeguarding and what to expect. Extra

training is encouraged which is specific to your gig

buddy’s needs.

How many events have you been to? You agree

to attend one event a month, that way it gives you

enough time to plan things you both like.

What is your favourite event? We’ve been to see

The Wave Pictures a few times at The Green Door

Store, which George (my gig buddy) loves. It’s a

great feeling seeing him absorbed in the music and

dancing without a care.

What events do you attend? Gigs, discos, DJ

events and festivals. The world is our oyster!

How can people help? You can become a buddy

yourself. The information on how to do this can

be found at gigbuddies.org.uk.

Bethany Hobbs was talking to Sarah Walpole


PHOTO OF THE MONTH

BIG BROTHER

The eagle-eyed among you will realise that this

photo was taken a couple of months back, before

the imaginative goggle-eyed additions to Quora’s

mural in Friars Walk had been removed by

some muddle-headed idiot. The picture was sent

in by Terry Shearing who writes “Some wag had

attached eyes to the figures on the hoarding surrounding

the Premier Inn site, which prompted

me to take the picture. Sadly, someone has since

blinded the Big Brother.” His ‘big brother’

comment, of course, refers to the CCTV camera

warning on the sign the silhouetted monk is

observing with such an air of apprehension (all

the funnier as presumably the eye-adder was

filmed in the act of adding the eye). The mural

itself came about after a competition (advertised

in Viva) asking readers to design a site-specific

image. Architect Nick Wiseman came up with

the idea of silhouetted monks, which Quora then

turned into the mural, adding a ‘Where’s Wally’

hat onto one of the figures to bring a touch of

humour to proceedings. Whether or not you

agree with the construction of a 62-bed hotel in

the centre of town, we hope you appreciate, as

we do, the imaginative way of turning a builders’

screen into a work of art, which is becoming de

rigueur this season (think Lewes Depot Cinema,

think St Peter’s Church in Brighton).

Please send your pictures, taken in and around

Lewes, to photos@vivalewes.com, or tweet them

to @VivaLewes. We’ll choose our favourite, which

wins the photographer £20. Unless previously

arranged we reserve the right to use all pictures in

future issues of Viva magazines and online.

15


BITS AND BOBS

LEWES WORTHY

Lord Briggs of Lewes, who has died at

the age of 94, was famous in so many

different fields it’s difficult to do justice

to him in a short piece like this. Playing

a central role working at Bletchley

Park with Alan Turing, writing highly

regarded and immensely popular books

on all aspects of Victorian life, his seminal

role as vice-chancellor in the early

days of Sussex University… the list is

almost endless.

Once described as having a ‘schoolboyish

grin and seemingly impish

charm’, Asa Briggs was noted for his

unstuffiness, wide-ranging interests,

and what one obituary called his ‘omnivorous party-giving’. However, he also kept up such a high work

rate that there’s a story of him reviewing a book on a Brighton-to-London train, working in London,

then reviewing another book on the return journey. ‘His colleagues joked that if a unit of intellectual

energy were ever to be invented, then it should be called the ‘Asa’; and that half an ‘Asa’ would be enough

for most mortals,’ the Times noted. Even at the age of 90, he was still producing 1,000 words a day.

With thanks to Arnold Goldman

TOWN PLAQUES #14: ABINGER PLACE

Scarcely noticeable and within a few metres of

each other, two old stones set in a low wall reveal

the history of this short street, making further

metal plaques unnecessary.

One, close to a row of garages behind the Elephant

& Castle, reads “On this spot stood the

town gallows” and the local name for the northern

side of the street – Gallows Bank – is a grisly

reminder. Those sentenced to be executed were

brought here from Lewes Prison. The last public

hanging appears to have been in 1869.

A little nearer Trinity St John-sub-Castro

Church another stone reads “Adjoining this

spot stood the Manor Pound. The stocks were

on the opposite side of the road.” So stray animals were rounded up and impounded here, minor misdemeanours

dealt with across the road and occasionally executions were carried out. Without the plaques this

quiet residential street would give no clue to its former uses. Marcus Taylor

16


BITS AND BOBS

SPREAD THE WORD

We’ve got what Blue Peter would call a bumper bag of entries

for our ever-more popular Spread the Word column,

so many we’ll have to spread them over two issues. The first

to arrive, from Prof Paul Layzell, came from our namesake

city in the States. “Please find attached a picture of Pamela

Layzell, on Easter Sunday, holding a copy of March’s Viva in

front of a wayside sign in Lewes, Delaware, USA,” he writes.

The sign, it must be said, tells a sorry tale of the demise of the

settlement in the 17th century.

Next up came a political number from Sarah Earl, who took Viva to Gibraltar,

“where the PO is alive and flourishing.” Then she comes up with

a solution for Lewes’ PO woe: “How about putting the Post Office in a

church, which they have successfully done in West Hampstead?” Well, we

have plenty of those. Any takers out there?

We love getting your pictures: if you want to appear in this space, please

take Viva on your travels with you in the UK or abroad and send your images

to photos@vivalewes.com.

BEER FESTIVAL IN NUMBERS

The 20th CAMRA beer festival will be held

in Lewes Town Hall on June 17th and 18th.

This is actually its 21st anniversary, because

it could not be held in 1999 as insurers could

not be found while Rodin’s The Kiss was on

display in the Town Hall. 1,338 people attended

the 2015 beer festival, to sample the

86 different beers, 8 ciders, 3 perries and 1

cyder perry. 5,412 pints were consumed during

the 2 days, and around 40 volunteers

helped serve and set up. Sarah Boughton

Tickets are available from 9th May from Harveys

shop, Gardener’s Arms and Brewer’s Arms.

19


PHOTOGRAPHY

CARLOTTA LUKE

FESTIVAL VIBES

Carlotta Luke responded to our ‘Festival’

theme by trawling through the hundreds of

photos she took during that magical weekend

nearly three years ago when the Mumfords –

and a whole load of other visitors – came to

town for the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover.

She selected about 15 shots, and we in turn

narrowed those down to these five, showing

what we hope to be an overview of that

extraordinary event, featuring the main stage, a

couple of crowd shots, Edward Sharpe and the

Magic Zeros, and a random piano, enjoying its

unexpected rural break. carlottaluke.com

21


BITS AND BOBS

VOX POP: SUSSEX DOWNS STUDENTS FRAZER OSBORNE AND

SOPHIE HILLMAN ASK ‘WHAT’S YOUR FESTIVAL ESSENTIAL?’

“Suncream or wellies

depending on the weather

so you’re covered for all

bases.” Matt Marsland

“Something comfortable

to sit on.” Maureen Franks

“Babywipes, because you

need something quick

to hand when you get

filthy.” Fiona Rogers

GHOST PUBS #19: THE JOLLY ANGLERS, 22A, STATION STREET

Walking up traffic-filled Station Street, it is easy to miss the picturesque,

mock-Tudor building on your left, once a popular pub. Originally

called the Coach and Horses, it had become the Jolly Anglers by

the 1870s. Samuel Jeffery was the landlord in 1878 when James Dawson

was charged with ripping out the grate ‘because there was no fire’.

Dawson’s defence was that everyone was drunk, including the landlord,

and the prostitutes in the house too! William and Florence Hathaway

ran the Jolly Anglers for over 25 years. Florence had grown up in the

Rifleman, run by her father, and her grandfather before that. After their

marriage in 1915, she and William took over the Sussex Arms, and later

the Running Horse and the Thatched House, before settling at the

Jolly Anglers in 1930. William died in 1933, aged just 51, and Florence

continued to run the pub until its closure in December 1955. The

building you see now is a result of the plans for a new frontage in 1904.

The brickwork has since been painted white, but otherwise it is very similar to how it was 100 years ago.

This photograph shows the pub at the time William and Florence ran it. Special thanks to their grandson

David Hathaway, who has been kind enough to share it. Mat Homewood

23


OPEN AIR SHAKESPEARE IN THE SOUTH DOWNS

The Lord Chamberlain’s Men present an all-male

production of

Much Ado About Nothing

Sip wine, bring a picnic and enjoy a Sussex

summer experience at Charleston

14 June 7.30pm, 15 June 1pm & 7.30pm

CHARLESTON.ORG.UK


COLUMN

David Jarman

Brown paper packages tied up with string

The lead review in

the Times Literary

Supplement on 25th

March was written

by Geoffrey Hill.

It concerned a

new biography of

Charles Williams,

poet, novelist and

confrère of Tolkien

and CS Lewis. Hill

poked fun at the

Oxford University

Press, who published the book, for its fatuous

choice of subtitle, The Third Inkling. A few pages

further on in the paper there was an article

about the French writer, Charles Péguy. This

close proximity gave someone a happy inspiration

of reprinting the Times Literary Supplement’s

review of Geoffrey Hill’s long poem The Mystery

of the Charity of Charles Péguy. The review was

dated 27th January 1984. The reviewer was

Stephen Medcalf, late of the School of European

Studies, at the University of Sussex, and

61, New Road, Lewes. In the afterword to his

poem, Geoffrey Hill writes of Péguy’s bookshop

in the shadow of the Sorbonne, the ‘Boutique

des Cahiers’, and quotes John Middleton Murry

who affords in his autobiography ‘a glimpse…

through the windows of his little shop… of a

man with a pince-nez set awry on his nose, tying

up a parcel. That was Charles Péguy. I admired

him, and admire him still.’ Hill comments:

‘Murry’s final cadence is without reservation,

and I like him for such an expression of outright

admiration’. The final cadence of Stephen

Medcalf’s review is in a similarly positive vein: ‘I

am sure… that we are lucky to live when so good

a poem appears’.

That glimpse of Péguy ‘tying up a parcel’

brings back memories of the first book shop I

worked in. This

was Thornton’s

of Broad Street,

Oxford. Each

purchase, however

humble, had to be

wrapped in brown

paper and, if

necessary, secured

with string. This

procedure was

performed in the

packing department.

This was presided over by Frank Bekieleweski,

an elderly Pole of surpassing sweetness

of disposition who seemed to subsist on a diet

of cold Camp coffee and doughnuts, both of

which he recommended enthusiastically to me.

His colleague was Joe Lock, a retired postman

who cycled from college to college delivering

books. When he returned, he would, almost

invariably, ask me if we stocked a particular title

called ‘Work and how to dodge it’. A variant of

the pleasantry was “Ah, David. You’re working. I

love work. I could watch it all day”.

Quite by chance, Thornton’s was remembered

affectionately in the letters page of the same

Times Literary Supplement of 25th March. The

correspondent writes that the proprietor was

known as ‘Young Jack’. We, of course, knew him

as ‘young Mr Thornton’. He was in his early

seventies when he ‘interviewed’ me after I had

put my head round the door one day in April

1975 and asked if they had any vacancies. He

asked me to copy out a paragraph from that day’s

Oxford Mail. This I did. He laid it aside, without

comment. After a lengthy pause, he asked “Who

wrote Mansfield Park?” “Jane Austen,” I replied.

“Did she? Did she?” Another pause. “Well, I

suppose you had better start on Monday.”

Happy Days!

25


Saturday 14 May

to Sunday 11 September

Opening times

Until 29 May: Noon-7pm

From 30 May:10am-7pm

except Tuesdays Noon-7pm

Early morning from 30 May:

7am-9am

Adults £4

Junior & Concessions £2

/pellspoollewes

@pellspool

Pells Pool

Brook Street

Lewes

Infoline

01273 472334

www.pellspool.org.uk


COLUMN

Chloë King

Guide to festival euphemisms

Family-friendly

The true meaning of this phrase depends on your

own definition of the words ‘family’ and ‘friendly’.

If family is a label that can be applied to anyone

in a straw hat who rambles over to you clutching

a warm can of beer, and if friendliness towards

drunks in hats comes easily, congratulations: you

are at a family-friendly festival.

Long-drop

If you have visited the khazi at Glastonbury you

will know that long is not nearly long enough for a

venue that boasts such frequent use. You will also

know that long drop has a second meaning: to be

applied when the toilet you have been waiting for

is inhabited by a sleeping drunk.

Dressing up

You are an expensively paid up member of what

Harold Rosenberg called ‘the herd of independent

minds’. You will make all your sartorial decisions

by committee. The trustafarians on whose land

you will be dancing have chosen the theme Outer

Space; therefore you arrive in a heavy downpour

wearing the same glitter as your friends. The rain

soon washes off your glitter, and as one of your

friends is wearing a tiny costume woven from ribbons

of tin foil and upcycled flannels, you will feel

both over and under-dressed.

Chill out tent

You’re inside a tent and listening to Sigur Rós, so

why is it still freezing, and why are you so tense?

Glamping

You spy a field on yonder hill populated with

miniature houses not too unlike the calf pens your

vegan friends post pictures of on Facebook. You

could argue that glamping sounds worse than it is,

but it retains position here because once you have

forked out for tickets, adding the excruciating cost

of rent-a-tents will leave you potless. You spend

the weekend longing for a pen. Rumour has it they

have composting toilets.

Headliner

Headliner: a verb meaning to consume a decent

meal, plenty of water and a Dioralyte. A headliner

ensures you can wake up and attend to the kids

you mistakenly brought and/or do it all again the

following day without losing your dignity, sanity

and friends. It’s a shame they’re as rare and as hard

as Guns N’ Roses comeback tours… you say Guns

N’ Roses are doing a comeback tour?

Campfire

A campfire sustained by a single giant log is found

in one of two highly meaningful states. The

first: a nugget of lava boiling away ‘twixt a mass

of humans who intermittently fall in and burn

themselves, as in Dante. The second: a lonely yet

comforting place manned with constancy by a

solitary person who speaks few words.

The past

The only reason anyone ever goes to a festival is

because they want to feel 21. Even the 21-year-olds

want to feel 21. Considering your past at a festival

is a bit like looking into an infinity mirror: you

realise with bafflement that you do feel 21 again,

except feeling 21 isn’t making you constantly

happy, just as being 21 failed to do the first time

around. And so it goes on, all summer long…

Illustration by Chloë King

27


COLUMN

East of Earwig

Mark Bridge finds festivals on his doorstep

Photo by Mark Bridge

Writing on the subject of festivals from a Ringmer

perspective is a bit of a challenge. Well, I really

don’t want to embarrass any of you Lewesians

with the wealth of riches we have next door.

The Lewes Live music festival? I reckon that’s

almost entirely our side of the parish boundary.

Glyndebourne Festival? Definitely closer to

Ringmer than it is to Lewes. Love Supreme? Yup,

same again. And that’s before I start talking about

Ringmer’s scarecrow festival, the football festival,

the dance festival and the earwig festival. (Okay,

I made that last one up but I’m hoping for a sizeable

percentage of t-shirt sales if it ever happens.)

Curiously, we also manage to promote our events

without reverting to what’s become a ubiquitous

means of communication across Lewes. Whilst

we Ringmerites stay in touch by phone, Royal

Mail, newsletter, text message, Whatsapp, Snapchat

and semaphore, it seems the only way to get

your message across in Lewes is by printing it on

a piece of A4 paper, laminating it and fixing it to a

lamppost with cable ties or plastic ribbon. These

notices are often seen hanging in place long after

the relevant event has passed, with nothing but

acid rain and casual vandalism to help them degrade.

In the aftermath of the forthcoming robot

apocalypse, when automated microscopic vacuum

cleaners have tidied away the last remnants of

humanity and the only remaining lifeform on the

planet is a cockroach crossed with a Jack Russell

terrier, I reckon the bus stop outside Waitrose

will still be festooned with rainbow-coloured

printouts advertising a pop-up Shamanic yoga

weekend.

And then there’s the fashion. As far as I’m concerned,

wellington boots are practical – albeit

occasionally uncomfortable – footwear for especially

wet or muddy situations. You put them on

when the weather demands it… and you remove

them when they’re not needed. Wellingtons are

no more suitable for all-day wear than pyjamas

or mittens. How they’ve become some kind of

festival uniform escapes me. Yet switch on any

TV coverage of summer festivals and you’ll see

crowds of people wearing little more than beachwear

but accessorising it with rainbow-patterned

plastic boots and a crown of plastic flowers. Inexplicably,

there’s even a trend for getting married

in this sort of clothing. (Just search for ‘festival

wedding’ on your favourite tax-paying internet

search engine and you’ll see what I mean.) Personally,

I think it’s actually an excuse for scaring

elderly relatives away.

Still, enough of my ranting. Festivals are supposed

to be about celebration. I may not understand

your desire to carry a fluorescent pennant

on a five-metre bendy flagpole but I shall rejoice

in your decision regardless. Just as long as you’re

not standing in front of me. I’m the guy in the

dinner jacket, obviously.

29


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IN TOWN THIS MONTH: MUSIC

Fairport Convention

‘We never became a tribute band to ourselves’

Fairport Convention

are called

Fairport Convention

because band

founder Simon

Nicol’s parents’

Muswell Hill house,

where the band

first rehearsed, was

called Fairport. This

was back in 1967.

“We’ve been going

nearly fifty years

now,” says Nicol (far left), down the phone, “and

interviewers tend to be more interested in the

beginning of our career than anything else. Our

longevity: it’s become our USP. It’s been like that

since the late seventies.”

The band replaced their drummer after their

first gig, and in the subsequent years, as their

reputation grew, they became famous for losing

established band members, and gaining new ones,

as performers of the calibre of Sandy Denny,

Richard Thompson and Dave Swarbrick came,

shone, and left. Nicol is the only constant.

“If you think of a small business, with four or five

desks, and wonder how many people will come

and go in that business over fifty years, it doesn’t

seem that odd,” he tells me. “The positive thing

was the way we reacted to members leaving the

band. We never tried to replace like with like, so

we constantly evolved.”

Perhaps the key personnel change to their

development was the arrival of Denny, as lead

singer, in place of Judy Dyble. Denny had grown

up singing old folk ballads, and the band took on

a much folkier sound (before then, they had been

thought of as a psychedelic band). I ask him if

Fairport, often accredited with the invention of

‘British folkrock’, have had more of an influence

on acoustic music, or electric music. “Definitely

acoustic,” he says. “People who were schooled in

ballad singing were

no longer afraid to

get together in bigger

groupings, and

make some noise.”

Liege and Lief, the

band’s third album

release of 1969 [!],

is perhaps their

most renowned

LP, though it only

reached number 17

in the album chart

that year. “Our popularity has never been the result

of mega sales,” he says. “We have no Rumours,

or Brothers in Arms, or Revolver. But once people

like Fairport Convention, they tend to stay liking

Fairport Convention.”

This has led to an aging audience base, though

Nicol suggests that a lot of the people at their

gigs – and particularly at their annual Cropredy

Festival in Oxfordshire in August – are second

and third generation fans: “Children have been

ruinously exposed to us as innocent toddlers.”

One reason for this is that the band has never

stopped developing, and producing new material,

despite the current line-up being static for

18 years: “we never became a tribute band to

ourselves.”

John Peel was a big supporter and friend of the

band, and we end our conversation with Nicol

wondering what Peel would have made of the

modern music scene, with “the abandonment of

albums as a physical item”, and “the structure of

celebrity and stardom in relation to competent

performance and creativity.”

“God knows what he’d have thought of today’s

new music,” Nicol sighs. “But he was a great fan

of the imagination and enthusiasm of young musicians;

he would have found some kids creating

new sounds in their garage.” Alex Leith

All Saints Centre, 22nd May, £23.50

31


OUT OF TOWN THIS MONTH: LITERATURE

Olivia Laing

The loneliness of the trans -Atlantic writer

In your latest book The

Lonely City you posit that

cities can accentuate loneliness.

Is the countryside,

conversely, good company?

I don’t think it’s that simple.

Loneliness is accentuated

by environment, and there’s

undoubtedly rural loneliness,

just as there is urban loneliness.

They have very different

qualities, but you can feel displaced

and isolated anywhere.

As a young woman you

spent a whole spring ‘living

feral’ in rural Sussex. How

formative was this experience?

Pretty deeply - it made

me very self-reliant, and

I think it has informed all

the travelling I’ve done since. I’ve always been

very independent and I’ve liked to go my own

way - living on the land alone was a particularly

extreme example!

You have written extensively about the

Downsland countryside. Does this area hold

more power over you than other, equally

beautiful areas? It strongly informed my first

book, but since then I’ve been spending much

more time in America. New York is my favourite

place, and I’ve been falling in love with LA lately,

but the Sussex countryside does still have a deep

hold on me. My heart always leaps when I see the

South Downs.

I’ve read you citing the likes of Ravilious,

Duncan Grant, Virginia Woolf as being important

to your appreciation of this area. Do

you feel you are part of a geographical art/

literature tradition that’s inspired by Sussex?

Not so much now, but spending so long in

the area definitely informed my work, and I still

feel like my writing is very influenced by Woolf.

I’m always drawn to unconventional

communities, and I

think the Bloomsbury group

were really interestingly radical

in their work, their politics

and the way they arranged

their lives. I find that kind of

experimentation and resistance

to norms very inspiring.

You have in the past labelled

your work as being ‘biogeographical’

rather than

‘psychogeographical’. What’s

the difference? Did I? I don’t

know what I meant by that

now. I’m interested in biography

and place and psychology,

and I find the separation

of those things frustrating. I

write hybrid books because

they make more instinctive sense to me.

This isn’t your first visit to the Charleston

Festival. What’s the significance of the event?

Or is it just a big jolly? I love Charleston, it’s by

far my favourite festival. It feels like it’s a place

where conversations happen, and I find it very

exciting and nourishing at the same time.

Charleston apart, what does the word ‘festival’

mean to you? Mud!

Why did you choose New York as the setting

for your latest book? Why not London? Do

you think that urban America has more appeal

to readers/movie audiences etc than urban

Britain? I was living in New York, and The Lonely

City is about that experience, and the artists I

encountered during my time in the city. I think a

London book would have been very different in

terms of both feeling and cast.

When did you last swim in the Ouse? Too long

ago. Maybe I’ll get a swim in this May. Alex Leith

Olivia appears at the Charleston Festival on Friday

21st May. charleston.org.uk

33


The Pelham arms

HigH St • LeweS

A Great British pub, a warm welcome,

wonderful food & ambience

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Come and try some of the amazing

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Tuesday to Saturday

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Food Noon to 2.30pm & 6 to 9.30pm

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Bar Noon to 10.30pm

Food Noon to 8pm

GET IN TOucH!

T 01273 476149 E manager@thepelhamarms.co.uk

@PelhamArmsLewes pelhamarmslewes

Book online @ www.thepelhamarms.co.uk

The Soldier:

From Severn to Somme

Fri 13 May

Pianist Malcolm Martineau accompanies the

celebrated baritone Christopher Maltman in

an eclectic programme charting the soldiers’

experience of the Great War

Breaking the Rules

Fri 20 May

In this mesmerising fusion of drama and

music, The Marian Consort perform

intense and glorious Renaissance works

by Carlo Gesualdo to Clare Norburn’s

dramatic monologue

Philharmonia Orchestra

Sat 28 May

A special concert marrying classical music

traditions from East and West, featuring

some of the nation’s best-loved orchestral

works including Vaughan Williams’

The Lark Ascending

brightonfestival.org

01273 709709

Supported by

brightonfestival

brightfest #BF2016


OUT OF TOWN THIS MONTH: THEATRE

Photos by Robbie Jack (left) and Sarah Ainslie (right)

The Encounter

Bringing an Amazonian adventure to Falmer

The London-based Complicite touring theatre

company launched in 1983 and gained a

reputation for producing “the most imaginative

theatre to be found anywhere”, according

to David Lister of the Independent. This month

they’re bringing an already sold-out show called

The Encounter to the recently refurbished Attenborough

Centre for the Creative Arts, which

is on the University of Sussex campus at Falmer.

Now named after the work of Lord (Richard)

Attenborough and his family, the building was

previously known as the Gardner Arts Centre.

Kirsty Housley, who’s co-directing The Encounter,

thought she’d only be involved for a few

weeks of research when she joined the production

team in 2010. “That couple of weeks turned

into a few months… and then the project kind

of continued, really,” she tells me. It’s part of the

distinctive way Complicite operates. “Each time

a project is created, a company is built around

that project. There’s a genuine ‘not knowing’

at the beginning of the process. You relinquish

an element of control, which is quite scary.”

In addition, the work they do is never seen as

finished. “You never lock something down and

say ‘that’s it, keep it exactly as it is now, repeat

what you’re doing’. So there’s always a sense of

evolution in the performance as well.”

Performing in The Encounter is Complicite

co-founder Simon McBurney, who’s known

to many as the sinister MI6 man in last year’s

Mission: Impossible film and as the often unsympathetic

Archbishop Robert in TV sitcom Rev.

The story is adapted from a book called Amazon

Beaming, which tells the adventures of photojournalist

Loren McIntyre. In 1969, McIntyre

went looking for the elusive Mayoruna tribe in

South America. Also known as the Matsés, they

were popularly referred to as ‘cat people’ because

of their facial tattoos and the whisker-like

spines they wore in their noses. He found them

– but, as he followed a group into the rainforest,

he lost track of his original route. McIntyre’s

planned three-day trip turned into weeks spent

with people who shared no common language

with him. Yet much to the photographer’s surprise,

he seemed to develop a wordless way of

communicating with the tribe’s elderly leader.

Which helps to explain why The Encounter

doesn’t tell McIntyre’s story with conventional

imagery. Simon McBurney performs it as a

one-man show, assisted by binaural headsets

that blend his performance with sound effects

to put the audience in the heart of the jungle. “A

lot of the technology had to be custom-built”,

says Kirsty Housley. “We create the feeling of

being somewhere rather than trying to visually

represent what that place looks like. You don’t

see any creepers or any green leaves. Like all

theatre, it really takes place in your imagination

rather than on the stage.”

Mark Bridge

The Encounter runs from Wednesday 11th until

Sunday 15th. brightonfestival.org

35


COMPETITION

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You and a friend could be joining the jazz, funk,

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LOVE SUPREME

Caro Emerald

‘English is the language of jazz’

How would you define your music? They are

jazz vocals, with a 40s or 50s influence, and the

nostalgic feel that that has. But it’s definitely not

old fashioned music, I want to be very clear about

that. We don’t just want to be a copy of anything.

We want to update the sound and make it something

else… it’s definitely modern music.

You’re Dutch, but you sing in English. Is that

hard? When it comes to my music, English is

my first language. In Holland, from the start,

all of the music we hear is English, so it’s pretty

normal. Plus, I’m schooled in jazz singing and

there aren’t many Dutch jazz songs. English is

the language of jazz.

Do you write any of your own songs? Yes, I do.

I’m a co-writer. We’re like a collective. There are

two producers and a Canadian songwriter, who’s

a genius, with a witty story-telling thing going

on. That’s the core of the team. My speciality is

the top lines. Sometimes the idea for a song starts

with me creating the melody, then we’ll create a

lyric on top of that.

Did Amy Winehouse pave the way for your career?

She was one of my biggest inspirations. She

created a place for jazz singers within commercial

music. I mean she played real music, and was a

real singer, and she’s unique because her lyrics are

great. Before her there was no place for jazz singers

in the charts, it was all about singing in little

jazz bars. Also vocally she was an inspiration. But

her music was way more retro than mine. Her

lyrics are very contemporary, but her music was

more old school.

What’s it like singing at a festival, rather than

in a more intimate jazz setting? An intimate

setting – let’s say of 200 people – is scary. It calls

for more intense facial expressions, because the

ones at the front can see every bead of sweat on

your forehead. Outside at a festival it’s important

to grab everyone’s attention. You can do a lot

with lighting and the choices of song – in a less

intimate setting I’d do all the big hits and miss

out the dark ballads. Keep the tempo high.

I hear you want to record the Bond theme…

It is a big ambition of mine. Ever since I started

making this sort of music, with these guys, when

we were discussing what music we should be

doing the word ‘Bond’ got repeated over and over

again – music that’s very atmospheric and filmic.

I think me doing a Bond song would be a match

made in heaven.

Who would you like to see as the next Bond?

[She hasn’t, it turns out, heard of Tom Hiddleston].

Sean Connery isn’t possible, I guess. How

about a Dutch Bond? There’s this guy called

Michiel Huisman, he’s in Game of Thrones. He’d

be great. The campaign starts here… AL

Caro is on the bill (with Grace Jones, Burt Bacharach

and a host of other top names) performing at

Love Supreme, Glynde Place, 1st-3rd July 2016

37


OUT OF TOWN THIS MONTH: FILM

The Moon and the Sledgehammer

Field of dreamers

“I was absolutely fascinated by them the moment

I got there,” says Philip Trevelyan, of the Page

family, the subject of his 1971 documentary The

Moon and the Sledgehammer, which is being given

a rare screening as part of the Brighton Festival.

Trevelyan, then a young ambitious film-maker

(he now makes artisan farm tools) was introduced

to the Pages by a friend. The family consisted of

patriarch ‘Oily’ Page and four of his grown-up

children, two men and two women, who lived together

in a field near Chiddingly in a ramshackle

house set amid a few acres of woodland.

“They were threshers by trade,” he continues,

“so they needed a lot of land for their machinery.”

They also ran a couple of steam engines,

which the two sons are constantly tinkering with

throughout the film, as if the twentieth century

has passed them by. Their father is building what

appears to be a submarine. For entertainment

they sing round an old piano. They eat rabbits

the father shoots in the woods.

The beauty of the film lies in the fact that the

family, while they appear on the surface to be

dysfunctional, also make the audience realise that

the modernisation they’ve avoided hasn’t necessarily

made ‘normal’ people’s life better.

“[Oily Page] realised that a lot of ordinary people

he saw [when he left his wood] didn’t have time

to enjoy things they once had; they didn’t have

enough time for the family. They would get on

the train to London, get a paper, go to the office,

leave the office, get another paper, and get on the

train again. The only time they’re with their family

was when they’re asleep, and it’s very sad.”

The Pages might have had more time together

than most families, but it wasn’t all harmonious.

The domineering character of the father comes

through more and more as the film progresses.

Despite the bickering he captures, Trevelyan

wasn’t aiming to portray a negative image of the

family. “I was looking for the riches within the

characters,” says Trevelyan. “For that reason I

didn’t try to make a fly-on-the-wall documentary.

I wanted the people I was filming to put forward

what they had to offer.”

What they do have to offer is a lot of home-spun

philosophy which makes you realise how far we

have moved on from the world they are so comfortable

in, which predates the oil age, let alone

the computer age. And what makes for uncomfortable

viewing is that even though you know

that their way of life is doomed, you can see that

in many ways it all makes sense. And that the

family are masters of their own universe, however

eccentric that universe might be.

It’s a beautifully made film, with no narration or

extraneous explanation to distract you from the

strange world that you become immersed in from

the moment you meet Oily Page, playing up to

the camera, reciting an old cockney rhyme, with a

shotgun in one hand, a rabbit in the other.

Alex Leith

Brighton Festival, Duke of York’s Picturehouse,

Sun 29th May, 4.30pm, followed by a Q&A with

Philip Trevelyan

39


Longleys

Studio

Barns

Open 11am–5pm

Sat 4 & Sun 5 June

Sat 11 & Sun 12 June

Refreshments

served in aid of

St Wilfred’s Hospice

Harebeating Lane

Hailsham BN27 1ER

01323 847474

longleysstudiobarns.com

vaneijkarts.com

LongleysStudioBarnsWT171.indd 1 06/04/2016 12:09

Farley Farm House & gallery

Home of the Surrealists

Experience the extraordinary atmosphere of the Sussex home of the

Surrealists Lee Miller and Roland Penrose whose friends and guests

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

Sundays offering 50 minute guided tours, inspiring exhibitions in our

gallery and a sculpture garden to explore.

www.farleyfarmhouse.co.uk

Farley Farm House

Muddles Green, Chiddingly

East Sussex, BN8 6HW

Tel: 01825 872 856

Open to visitors every Sunday from April - October 2016 from 10. 00 am - 3.30 pm


ART: FOCUS ON

Leila Godden

New Horizons 321, 30x20cm, acrylic on board

Is this a representational painting? It’s semirepresentational.

At first my seascapes were more

representational, portraying the waves as I saw

them, but what I’m trying to capture now is more

the mood of the ocean. I’m from Scarborough in

Yorkshire, and I grew up by the sea. Nowadays I

spend hours and hours on the beach at Birling Gap

looking out to sea. In my paintings I’m expressing

the feeling and emotions that I get from being near

the sea. When people look at the paintings I want

their own feelings and experiences to surface.

Why ‘New Horizons’? For me looking out towards

the sea signifies looking out to the future.

That sense of space and freedom – there’s a wealth

of possibilities out there. The paintings represent

what the future might hold.

Do you paint en plein air? No, I go back to my

studio. I’m always working on a few at the same

time. It’s all about adding marks, and adding marks,

until I realise that I can’t add any more marks. Then

I know it’s finished. If I make a mistake I can paint

over, though acrylic being acrylic I can always rub a

mistake off with a cloth.

You use a very limited palette… Blue, brown

and white. I can create a huge range of effects from

those, from punchy to delicate… a full tonal range.

Tell us about your studio… It’s in my back garden

in Halland. It’s new and I’m very proud of it. I

usually work with Heart FM on in the background.

I can’t work without my apron, which is spattered

with paint, going back years. Though I do wash it

from time to time!

Have you any major influences? I love Turner,

and the Cornwall artist Kurt Jackson, and the Lewes

artist Marco Crivello. My desert island painting?

I’d take the painting by Marco I have in my house,

called Natural History III.

Take us to your favourite gallery. That’s not

hard, we’re sitting in it now! The Chalk Gallery is

a collective of 21 artists, all of whom have a huge

amount of enthusiasm for their part in running the

business. I’d also like to mention Bankside Gallery

next to Tate Modern in London, I’m really excited

that they’ll be exhibiting some of my paintings

from 26th April to 2nd May. Alex Leith

Leila is the featured artist at Chalk from 16th May

41


IN LEWES: ART

ART & ABOUT

In town this month

Carlina Oliver (detail)

Chalk Gallery features the local Sussex

landscapes by Carlina Oliver until 15th

May, including the prize-winning Under

Blackcap and other works reflecting her

great affection for the Downs and Weald.

Enjoy a glass of wine with the artist on

Saturday, April 30th from 12.30-2.30pm.

Leila Godden’s New Horizons (pg 41) follows

from the 16th with her abstract land

and seascape paintings that evoke feelings

of time and space, stillness and movement.

Christopher McHugh brings his solo

exhibition Arcadia to St Anne’s Gallery

weekends only from the 7th to 22nd.

His colourful but imagined ‘landscape’

paintings are inspired by Tom Stoppard’s

aphorism that ‘everything is true except

the words and the pictures’. [stannesgalleries.com]

Home and Away, recent work

by Jackie Hurwood and Janet Redden is

at the Hop Gallery until Sunday 8th May,

followed on the 14th by At the Still Point

of the Turning World by Gaylord Meech.

Until 26th May. [hopgallery.com]

The spring show

continues at

Keizer Frames

[pictureframinglewes.co.uk]

and Lansdown

Gallery have dramatic

seascapes, landscapes and vibrant floral

displays inspired by the beauty of the South

Downs coast and painted by resident artist

Sarah Burges. [sarahburges.co.uk]

A Walk in the Woods continues at Pelham

House until 26th with the woodland-inspired

works of Sue Barnes alongside the atmospheric

Brighton Skies and Beyond paintings

by Caroline Marsland. With the wonderful

post-industrial expanse of the Foundry

Gallery slated for closure in July, don’t miss

Displacement, a series of events curated by

Gary Campbell and Jeannine Inglis Hall

from 27th May to 4th June. Enjoy installations,

screenings, readings, workshops and

performances with all ages invited. [displacementblog.wordpress.com]

Sarah Burges (detail)

Artists United returns, for the last time at the Foundry Gallery. The show invites work from established

and emerging artists. Email submissions to charlie@lewesfc.com with ‘Artists United’, and ‘emerging’ or

‘established’, in the subject line, by 17th June. See facebook page Artists United Lewes for details.

43


Beautiful art, affordable prices

SDC

Print &

Design

photo prints business stationery

document copying laminating

finishing poster printing flyers

banner graphics ncr binding

Did you know?

The Reprographics team at Sussex Downs College in

Lewes can now offer you a high quality print and design

service at a highly competitive price.

Services available include:

• Colour and black and white copying

• Business stationery, NCR forms

• Flyers & leaflets

• Large format printing

• Binding & laminating

• Wedding invitations, order of service etc..

We can use your own artwork or create some for you to suit

your requirements (charges may apply).

New Horizons – by featured artist Leila Godden

A friendly

welcome awaits

you at the

Chalk Gallery

Chalk Gallery

4 North Street

Lewes, BN7 2PA

t: 01273 474477

w: chalkgallerylewes.co.uk

We offer no obligation quotes, please feel free to give us a

call or email us for further information.

030 300 38550

repro.lewes@sussexdowns.ac.uk


OUT OF TOWN: ART

Just down the road

Thompson Hall

Gary Stranger at work

Sculpture exhibition at Borde HiIl

There’s art of every stripe in Brighton &

Hove this month, with the 50th Brighton

Festival in full swing from the 7th and

Brighton Fringe taking up all available

space at the edges. The 8th HOUSE

contemporary visual arts festival features

new works commissioned on the theme

of ‘home’ by Gillian Wearing, Felicity

Hammond and Thompson Hall

[housefestival.org] and, on a more domestic

scale, over 200 venues join Artists’ Open

Houses 2016, every weekend until Sunday

29th [aoh.org.uk]. With houses grouped

into one of 14 trails in and around the city,

don’t miss the new Central Trail and outof-town

venues too, including the Upper

Clayhill open studio of Jessica Zoob (see

pg 49) and the creative spaces of Ditchling.

The village will host exhibitions in studios,

galleries, pubs and cafés and you’ll find it

hard to miss the extraordinary giant letters

of typographical wizard Gary Stranger.

From 1st May Borde Hill’s 17th annual

Sculpture Exhibition transforms the

historic garden into an outdoor gallery

alive with figurative and abstract works in

bronze, resin, stone, metalwork, stained

glass and ceramics. Works by established

and emerging artists including Ana Ruiz,

Further afield

Angela Conner, Anne Gingell, Caroline

Fithen, Diana Roles, Donald Foxley,

Harriet Francis, Jeremy Moulsdale,

Karen Edwards, Kay Singla, Linden

Hamilton, Lloyd Le Blanc, Mark Reed,

Mark Stonestreet and Will Spankie are

available for sale. Until 30th September.

[bordehill.co.uk]

Now the sun’s shining, enjoy the landscape

paintings of Michael Cruikshank and

abstract works of Emma Barnett at the

rural idyll of the Bradness Gallery on

Spithurst Road, Barcombe, every Friday,

Saturday and Sunday (and Bank Holiday

Monday) and have tea and homemade cakes

in the gorgeous gardens whilst you’re at it.

[bradnessgallery.com]

Emma Barnett (detail)

45


OUT OF TOWN: ART

Further afield

We’re always up for a trip to Towner, The De La Warr Pavilion and Jerwood Gallery and,

with summer almost here, why not cycle the 20-mile Coastal Culture Trail that joins all three?

[coastalculturetrail.com] Bikes are available to hire from opposite The De La Warr Pavilion and in

Eastbourne, and you can leave them at another stop on the trail. Towner presents the first major

exhibition of new and recent work by London-based photographer, video and installation artist

Melanie Manchot. People, Places, Propositions includes the premiere of Out of Bounds (2016), a cinematic

two-part installation shot in the alpine mountains of Engelberg in Switzerland. Until 10th July.

John Piper, preliminary design for Chichester Cathedral Tapestry 1965

Heading west? Visit the grounds

and galleries of Cass Sculpture

Foundation in Goodwood, West

Sussex and contemplate A Beautiful

Disorder; the first major exhibition

of newly commissioned outdoor

sculpture by contemporary Chinese

artists to be shown in the UK. The

sixteen monumental works on show

are a reflection on China’s past, present

and future relationship with the

world at large. Works in a variety

of ambitious sculptural techniques

across a range of materials including

bronze, stone, steel and wood. Join

curatorial tours on Wednesdays,

Saturdays and Sundays.

[sculpture.org.uk]

Whilst you’re over that way, John

Piper: The Fabric of Modernism continues

at Pallant House.

[pallant.org.uk]

Melanie Manchot (detail)

If you’re Londonbound

on the 7th to

8th May, you might

think about going

via Brighton. As part

of Ditchling’s Village

of Type programme,

some of the best letterpress

artists in the

country will be ‘artists

in residence’ walking

up and down Southern

Rail carriages on the

London to Brighton

line with a printing

press trolley, offering

passengers specially

designed letterpress

prints to take away

for free (normal train

fares apply, sadly).

[ditchlingmuseumartcraft.org.uk]

47


MY SPACE

Jessica Zoob

Works in progress

How long have you worked in this space? I’ve

been in my studio for almost a year and a half now.

Before it was built I had a much smaller studio in

the same place. It’s so peaceful and the views across

the farmland are always changing.

When did you become a full-time artist? I’ve

been painting full-time since 2000. Before that I

worked in theatre, designing sets and costumes, but

I had to stop after I became a mother because I was

travelling around constantly. I always have to work

– I can’t not work – so I did some corporate design,

interiors, fashion design, all sorts of jobs. Then, as

my millennium resolution, I decided that I had to

do something which would fulfil my soul, so that’s

when I started painting.

Did it take long for you to become established?

It was actually quite quick, I started painting and

within a couple of months I’d sold my first pieces

and I had my first exhibition in London. This is the

first year that I’m opening up my studio for people

to see brand new pieces and some of my earlier

work, as well as pieces that I’m still working on. It’s

a big deal for me, showing my work while it’s still

in progress.

Why is that? Painting is a very private process.

When I work I’m in a total bubble. I think it could

be really interesting though, because if people

come back next year, they will be able to see how

the works have been transformed. The paintings

change so much because there are so many layers –

often in the final work you’ll only be able to see five

or ten percent of the original layer.

How long would you typically spend on a piece?

About two years, but it can be much longer. Because

I work in oil it can take a really long time for each

layer to dry – sometimes nine months or even longer

– that’s what all of these racks on the walls are for.

I always work in groups of paintings as the process

is so time-consuming.

How do you know when a piece is finished? I

always know. It’s as if the painting keeps talking

to me – until it’s done, and then it’s quiet. It’s like

there’s noise while I’m working on a piece, and it’s

not calm until it’s complete, and then everything is

in harmony, in balance. I know exactly when I get

that feeling.

How are you going to display your pieces in the

space? It’ll be very much as it looks today. I’ll put

some pieces on easels, but I want it to be just like

walking into a working studio rather than trying

to transform this place into a gallery. Galleries can

feel a bit intimidating sometimes. I want this to feel

more real and intimate. Rebecca Cunningham

Jessica will be opening her studio for Brighton Artists’

Open Houses on 7th and 8th May. Unit 6, Banff

Farm, BN8 5RR. jessicazoob.com

Photos by Rebecca Cunningham

49


IN TOWN THIS MONTH: MUSIC

Classical Roundup

Bach, Bax and Boo

May’s music begins with Glorious Baroque Concerti

courtesy of Lewes’ Corelli Ensemble and opening

with Bach’s gorgeous Brandenburg Concerto No. 3.

Pay attention to the rather mysterious 2nd movement

– due to the various interpretations of its odd

structure, no two performances (or recordings)

are ever alike. Also on the bill are Albinoni’s Oboe

Concerto played by Owen Dennis, Telemann’s Concerto

for Two Violas and Bach’s Violin Concerto in E.

8th May, 4pm, St Pancras Church, £10- 12,

corelliensemble.co.uk

The Lewes Concert Orchestra’s spring concert will

feature Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor played by

Kieran Carter. At just 22, Mr Carter has already

played in the Royal College of Music’s String Orchestra,

their Philharmonic Orchestra and their

Symphony Orchestra, sometimes as leader. The

programme begins with the Overture to Yeomen of

the Guard by Arthur Sullivan, and also features Bax’s

symphonic poem Tintagel

and Four Cornish Dances,

by Malcolm Arnold. 20th

May, 7:30pm, Town Hall,

£10-12, info@lewesconcertorchestra.org

Finishing off the month with royal panache, New

Sussex Opera presents Purcell’s magical semi-opera,

King Arthur. The libretto by John Dryden bases

the story on Britons and Saxons, rather than on

the legends of Camelot. And a point of interest: in

a semi-opera the main characters are usually nonsinging

actors to whom the secondary characters

sing. John Hancorn conducts the NSO Baroque

Players and Chorus in a production by Boo Wild.

Listen out for the famous ‘Frost Scene’ in the 3rd

Act as it builds to its wonderful, musical climax, ‘Tis

love that has warmed us. 28th May, 7pm, Town Hall,

£16 & £12, nso.ticketsource.co.uk Paul Austin Kelly

51


FILM

Marshland

Post-Franco thriller

Lewes Film Club’s 29th season draws to a close

at the All Saints this month with two very different

Spanish-language films.

Marshland (Friday 6th, 8pm) is a superb detective

thriller which didn’t get the attention it deserved

when it was released in this country last September.

It’s set amongst the Guadalquivir wetlands

of Andalucia. Teenage sisters Estrella and Carmen

have disappeared from the small town of

Villafranco. Juan (played by Javier Gutiérrez)

and Pedro (Raúl Arévalo) are the detectives sent

from Madrid to investigate. It’s 1980, during La

Transición, that tense period between the death

of Franco in 1975 and the elections of 1982 that

helped establish democracy in Spain. Both Juan

and Pedro are out-of-favour, but for very different

reasons. Juan is a former member of Franco’s

special security forces, the Brigada Político-Social.

Pedro is being punished with a remote posting

for writing a letter to a newspaper criticising

a military general. When a reporter reveals more

of Juan’s murky past, Pedro has to decide whether

to allow such knowledge to compromise the

loyalty to colleagues that is essential for an effective

working relationship. To this extent his

dilemma becomes a microcosm of how Spain,

rightly or wrongly, decided to deal with its own

past. Throw in some stunning aerial photography,

an edge-of-your-seat car chase or two, and

you’re left with an utterly absorbing film which,

to my mind, never puts a foot wrong. DJ

52


FILM

Wild Tales

Revenge rollercoaster

Wild Tales (Friday 20th, 8pm, following AGM,

7.30pm) is rather less sure-footed. It’s an Argentinian

film, written and directed by Damián

Szifron. Six scenes, all unrelated except for their

common pre-occupation with revenge. The

problem with such ‘anthology’ films is, of course,

that it’s difficult to achieve consistency in either

tone or quality across the constituent parts. Wild

Tales succeeds better than most.

The Japanese film director, Hiroshi Teshigahara,

once said: ‘Humour lies somewhere in between

the boundaries of fear and laughter. I want to

portray an everyday story in which domestic

happenings and discord waver between comedy

and fear.’ I think this gets close to the prevailing

tone of black humour in Wild Tales.

And quality? Here are two diametrically opposed

views. Come the third ‘tale’ my wife

walked out. It was a case of road rage revenge

that she described as ‘simultaneously gruesome

and boring’. Not a good combination, but a

minority view, I think. By contrast Viva’s editor,

Alex Leith, told me he’d been so impressed by

the film that he’d been to see it twice. A very rare

occurrence, I gather. He singled out for praise

the closing ‘tale’. A wedding that goes spectacularly

wrong, it’s obviously intended as a tour de

force, running at more than half the length again

of any of the preceding episodes. But the actual

‘revenge’ is confused. If it’s meant to be Buñuelesque,

as I half suspect, it fails. But taken as simple,

exhilarating entertainment, superbly acted

as is the whole film, it’s a triumphant success. DJ


L E W E S L I T T L E T H E AT R E

YES, PRIME MINISTER

Friday May 6th - Saturday May 14th

at 7.45pm except Sundays

Matinee Saturday 14th at 2.45pm

By Anthony Jay and Jonathan Lynn

Directed by Derek Watts

£10/Members £8

www.lewestheatre.org Theatre Box Office: 01273 474826


MAY listings

MON 2

Plant sale. Huge variety of plants from local

suppliers. Homemade soups, bread, tea and cake

available. Southease Village Green, 12-4.30pm.

Garland Day.

Procession

through town,

followed by

dancing at The

John Harvey

Tavern by the

Knots Of May (2.15pm) and Long Man Morris

at The Dorset with guests Blackpowder Morris

(1.15pm). Events across town between 9.45am-

2.30pm.

THU 5

FRI 6

Comedy at the Con! Chris

McCausland, Francis Foster

and Roger Monkhouse take

to the stage, with MC Neil

Masters. Con Club, 8pm,

£7.50-£11. Tickets from

Union, 07582408418 or wegottickets.com

Film. Marshland. (15) Two teenage sisters

mysteriously disappear under suspicious and

brutal circumstances (see pg 52). All Saints,

8pm, £5.50. lewes-filmclub.com

FRI 6- SAT 14

Theatre. Yes, Prime

Minister. From the writers

of the original TV series

comes this sharply satirical

stage version. Lewes Little

Theatre, 7.45pm every

night except Sunday, with

Sat 14th 2.45pm matinee,

£10/£8.

FRI 6-SAT 28

Theatre. A Good Jew. Sol and Hilda are in

love, but Hilda’s father is a Nazi Official, and

Sol is a Jew. New play set in WW2 Germany

(see pg 11). Exeter Hall, Brighton. Weekends

only: for a full list of show times and tickets:

somethingunderground.co.uk

SAT 7

Farmers’ Market. Fresh, local produce and lots

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

Also on Sat 21st.

MON 9

Talk. James Lambert of Lewes: East Sussex’s

First Professional Artist.

John Farrant reveals

what Lambert can show

us of the local scene in

the later 18th-century.

King’s Church Building,

7.30pm, £3/£2. leweshistory.org.uk/meetings

Talk. Mayakovsky and

“The Dreaded Byt”. Poet

and Mayakovsky scholar Rosy Patience-Carrick

looks at the challenges of translation and

anti-Soviet hostility. Friends Meeting House,

7.15pm, £3.

Meeting. After The Floods: How can social

change stop climate change? Andrew Simms,

author of Cancel the Apocalypse: The New Path

to Prosperity, opens this discussion. Phoenix

Centre, 7.30pm, free. gill@leweslabour.org.uk

WED 11

Tour. Behind the scenes tour, including the

stores where documents are housed and the

conservation studio. The Keep, Falmer, 1pm,

free. Booking essential. thekeep.info/events or

01273 482349.

55


MAY listings (cont)

Talk. Early Illustrated Books of the Royal

Pavilion and other Royal Palaces. Talk by Dr

Alexandra Loske. The Keep, Falmer, 5.30pm,

£3. Booking essential. thekeep.info/events or

01273 482349.

WED 11 & THU 12

Country Lifestyle

Gift Fair. Fashion,

accessories, beauty

products, homeware,

vintage gifts, food

and drink. East Sussex

National Resort,

off A22, Uckfield, 10am-4pm, £4.

countrylifestylefairs.co.uk

FRI 13

Mini Writer’s Residency: Writing in Virginia

Woolf’s Garden. Enjoy some quiet time, explore

your creativity and be inspired by the garden.

Monk’s House, 10am-12noon, £10. Book a place

on 01273 474760.

Talk. Shepherds of the South Downs, with Ian

Everest. Anne of Cleves House, 7.30pm, £5.

annacrabtree1@hotmail.com

FRI 13-SUN 15

FRI 13 & SUN 15

Film. The Danish Girl.

(15) Lili and Gerda’s

marriage evolves as they

navigate Lili’s journey as

a transgender pioneer.

All Saints, Fri 13th, 8pm,

Sat 14th, 5pm, Sun 15th,

3pm, £5-£6.50.

filmatallsaints.com

Film. The Honourable Rebel. (PG) Dramadocumentary

about the eventful life of Elizabeth

Montagu, born in 1909 as the heiress to

the Beaulieu Estate. All Saints, Fri 5.45pm, Sun

5.15pm, £5-£6.50. filmatallsaints.com

SAT 14

Coffee Morning. Coffee, tea, homemade cakes

and South Street Bonfire Society merchandise.

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

southstreetbonfiresociety.co.uk

Midnight Walk: A Night to Remember. Ladies

only four or ten-mile midnight walk along

Eastbourne’s streets and seafront. Organised by

children’s hospice Chestnut Tree House. More

details at chestnut-tree-house.org.uk

SAT 14 & SUN 15

Film. The Hateful

Eight. (18) In the dead

of a Wyoming winter, a

bounty hunter and his

prisoner find shelter in

a cabin currently inhabited

by a collection

of nefarious characters.

Tarantino’s latest won Best Original Score at the

2016 Oscars and BAFTAS. All Saints, 7.30pm,

£5-£6.50. filmatallsaints.com

MON 16

Talk. Spiritual Initiation: Milestones to Enlightenment.

International teacher and author

William Meader discusses the Ageless Wisdom

tradition. Friends Meeting House, 7pm, £10/£8.

carolduncan8hl@btinternet.com

WED 18

Talk. Simon Yates from the film Touching the

Void, gives an illustrated talk on his life as a

mountaineer. Lewes Little Theatre, 7.45pm,

£12.

FRI 20

Film. Wild Tales. (12A) Hilarious, but not for

the sensitive, this film features six stories linked

by common themes of vengeance and dealing

with the pressures of modern life (see pg 53). All

Saints, 8pm, £5.50. lewes-filmclub.com

56


The

Old Brewery

Lewes

COMING SOON!

A SELECTION OF 1 & 2 BEDROOM LUXURY APARTMENTS WITH PARKING IN THE HEART OF LEWES

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PRICES FROM £275,000

FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO ARRANGE A VIEWING CALL 01273 487444 • EMAIL: DAVID@OAKLEYPROPERTY.COM

WWW.OAKLEYPROPERTY.COM


MAY listings (cont)

FRI 20-MON 30

Charleston Festival. Annual literary festival

with a great array of writers and performers.

Charleston, Firle (see pg 33). Full line up and

more details at charleston.org.uk

SAT 21

Dinner Dance. An event to celebrate HM

The Queen’s 90th birthday. Dinner, music and

cabaret. In aid of The Oyster Project, Landport

Youth Centre and St Peter and St James Hospice.

Town Hall, 7pm, £35pp. 01273 813048

SUN 22

Classic Car Show. Open to anyone who

considers their car a classic! Parade Ground,

Newhaven Fort, 10am-4pm. southernclassics.

org.uk

WED 25

AGM: Friends of Lewes Victoria Hospital.

Opportunity to learn about what is happening

at the hospital. Everyone welcome. White Hart,

7pm.

FRI 27 & SAT 28

Film. The Big Short. (15) Four men in the

world of high-finance predict the credit and

housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s, and

decide to take on the big banks for their greed

and lack of foresight. All Saints, Fri 8pm, Sat

5pm, £5-£6.50. filmatallsaints.com

FRI 27, SAT 28 & SUN 29

Beer Festival. 15 real ales and ciders, food and

live music. The Cock, Wivelsfield, free. 01444

471668

FRI 27 & SUN 29

Film. Room. (15)

A young woman

and her son

struggle to adjust

to life after being

confined to a small

room for several

years. All Saints,

Fri 5.30pm, Sun 5.45pm, £5-£6.50. filmatallsaints.com

SAT 28

Produce & Plant Sale. Quality plants and

produce from local gardeners, sold in aid of

Lewes Group in Support of Refugees and Asylum

Seekers. Market Tower, 9.30-11.30am, free.

lgsraslewes@gmail.com

Food Fair. Delicious food and drink from local

suppliers and producers. Newick Village, 11am-

3pm, free entry and free parking. newickfestival.

org/contact

SAT 28 & SUN 29

Film. Life.

(15) Drama

documenting the

brief collaboration

between

Magnum photographer

Dennis

Stock and Hollywood star James Dean that

gave rise to several iconic images of the actor.

All Saints, Sat 7.45pm, Sun 8.15pm, £5-£6.50.

filmatallsaints.com

SUN 29

Film. Star Wars: Episode 7- The Force Awakens.

(12A) Three decades after the defeat of the

Galactic Empire, a new threat arises. All Saints,

3pm, £5-£6.50. filmatallsaints.com

59


GIG GUIDE

GIG OF THE MONTH

John Reis, otherwise known as Speedo, Slasher, and Swami

John Reis, is an intriguing character. Born and raised in San

Diego, he first got tangled up in California’s punk rock scene

in the early 1980s, as a founding member of post-hardcore

band Pitchfork. Since then, he’s flitted in and out of several

bands, experimenting with styles including post-punk, math

rock and early emo, as well as setting up his own record label

and running a bar in San Diego. As Swami John Reis, he

peddles surf-inspired, punky rock ‘n’ roll, with throaty horns

thrown in for good measure. Proper drink-in-hand dancing

music. Sun 1st May, Con Club, details at lewesconclub.com

MAY LISTINGS

SUN 1

English folk dance tunes session. Bring instruments.

Lamb, 12pm, free

Macua Tomawho. Acoustic set from our twin

town Waldshut-Tiengen. Con Club, 3pm, free

Swing Time. Swing dancing. Lamb, 5pm, free

MON 2

Andy Panayi, Alex Eberhard, Nigel Thomas &

Terry Seabrook. Jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free

TUE 3

English folk dance tunes session. Bring instruments.

John Harvey, 8pm, free

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

WED 4

Seb King’s HiFi Soundsystem. Lansdown, 8pm,

free

THU 5

Vintage Hot Swing. Pelham Arms, 8.30pm, free

FRI 6

Happy Endings. Retro and modern covers. Con

Club, 8pm, free

Alice Phelps Band + Gentrifuge + Echo Trails.

Lamb, 8pm, free

SAT 7

Gill Sandell. Folk. Union Music Store in-store

set, 3pm, free

Mandy Murray. Irish traditional concertina.

Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £6

Supernatural Things. Funk/soul/blues. Lamb,

8.30pm, free

MON 9

Cale Tyson + Loud Mountains. Americana. Con

Club, 7.30pm, £10 (members £8)

Simon Robinson Trio. Jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free

TUE 10

Goodtimes Music open mic. All welcome.

Lamb, 8.30pm, free

WED 11

Old-time music session. American folk. Lamb,

8pm, free

FRI 13

Cajun Roosters. Authentic Cajun and Zydeco

music. Con Club, 7.30pm, £10

Red Haven. Contemporary folk/alt-swing. Lamb,

8.30pm, free

SAT 14

Foodstock 2016. Con Club, time and price tbc

The Big Pettos. Traditional English and American

folk. Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £6

Duncan Disorderly & the Scallywags. Fullpower

party music. Lamb, 8.30pm, free

>>>

61


MAY

MUSIC EVENINGS

@ The Con Club

1 SWAMI JOHN REIS

6 HAPPY ENDINGS

9 CALE TYSON

13 CAJUN ROOSTERS

14 FOODSTOCK 2016

Beer Festival Ads 2016.qxp_A5 28/01/2016 14:14 Page 1

15 MARTIN SIMPSON

AT THE COCK INN

North Common Road, Wivelsfield Green, East Sussex. RH17 7RH

20 BAD BOY BOOGIE

21 ELEVATORS BIG BAND

25 JOEL SAVOY JESSE LEGE CAJUN COUNTRY REVIVAL

SEE WEBSITE FOR DETAILS AND ENTRY

28TH, 29TH & 30TH MAY

LIVE MUSIC - FRIDAY and SATURDAY night

plus SATURDAY and SUNDAY afternoon.

FOOD AVAILABLE.

Over 15 real ales & ciders to sample!

For more info call 01444 471668 or go to www.cockinn-wivelsfield.co.uk

Drink responsibly. Don’t drink and drive.


GIG GUIDE (CONT)

SUN 15

Martin Simpson. Folk. Con Club, 7pm, £18

MON 16

Dave Quincy, Godfrey Sheppard, Malcolm

Mortimore & Terry Seabrook. Jazz. Snowdrop,

8pm, free

THU 19

Garance & the Mitochondries. Alternative folk.

Lamb, 8.30pm, free

FRI 20

Bad Boy Boogie. AC/DC tribute. Con Club,

8pm, £tba

The Dead Reds album launch. Blues rock.

Lamb, 8.30pm, free

SAT 21

Sarah McDougall. Americana. Union Music

Store, 3pm, free

The Elevators. Big band. Con Club, 8pm, £tba

Jeff Warner. Traditional American folk. Elephant

& Castle, 8pm, £7

Solana. Storming gypsy folk. Lamb, 8.30pm,

free

SUN 22

Folk in the Chapel. With acoustic music from

The Full Shanty, Derrick Hughes & Joy Lewis,

and Jack Hogsden & Tom Evans. Westgate Chapel,

2.30pm, £5

Fairport Convention. Folk. All Saints, 8.30pm, £27

MON 23

Gareth Lockrane, Paul Whitten, Milo Fell &

Terry Seabrook. Flute-driven jazz. Snowdrop Inn,

8pm, free

TUE 24

Goodtimes Music open mic. All welcome. Lamb,

8.30pm, free

WED 25

Joel Savoy, Jesse Lege & The Cajun Country

Revival. American Cajun supergroup. Con Club,

7.30pm, £10

FRI 27

AYU. Funk/soul. Lamb, 8.30pm, free

SAT 28

Come All Ye. Traditional English folk. Dorset,

8pm, £3

Lee Harvey Oswalds. Punk/new wave. Lamb,

8.30pm, free

SUN 29

Swing Time. Swing dancing. Lamb, 5pm, free

MON 30

Triversion. Jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free

TUE 31

Moulettes. (pictured) Poppy folk rock. “A cross

between Pentangle, Kate Bush & early Pink

Floyd”. Union Music Store, 8.30pm, free

63


Immerse yourself in

Wakehurst’s woodland

28 – 30 May

10am – 5pm

A weekend of wild woodland activities for all

the family including tree climbing, den building,

woodland crafts, storytelling and more.

Wakehurst is on the B2028 just south of Turners Hill

and north of Ardingly (6 miles from Haywards Heath)

www.kew.org/wildwood


UNDER 16

êêêê

FREETIME

What’s on

MON 2

Lewes Garland Day. Children’s garland competition,

Castle Gun Garden, 10am, £1 per child.

Followed by procession down the High Street

and dancing at various venues across the town.

Individual and group prizes.

FRI 6

Five-a-side Football. Fun tournament for years

5 and 6 children. Fundraiser for Moving On

Parade 2016. Dripping Pan, 4.30-7.30pm, £3 per

player, £4 adult, other kids free.

patinalewes@gmail.com

Blackpowder Morris by Roz Bassford-South

life by groups covering all eras, from Napoleonic

to World War 2. Newhaven Fort. More

details at newhavenfort.org.uk

Wild Wood. Explore magical coppices and the

folklore and legend at the heart of the woods.

Woodland activities for all the family including

tree climbing and the new Treetrunk Trek play

space. Wakehurst Place, full details at kew.org/

wakehurst

SAT 7

Nearly New Sale. Good quality children’s

clothes (age 4+), toys, books, bikes etc. Sellers

please register first. Ringmer Primary School,

10.30am-12pm, £1 per family.

rachel@willats11.plus.com

SAT 21

May Fayre. Games, including Roll the Swede,

Cross Bows, Coconut Shy, Skittles, Coin Dip,

Wet Socks and more. The Vikings, Swords of

Albion and the 1595 Martial Arts Team will

battle in the arena. Dancing from Blackpowder

Morris and music from Kalamus and Cool Hand

Ukes. Delicious food and refreshments. Priory

Ruins, 10.30am-4pm.

SAT 28-MON 30

History Festival: A Fort Full of History. Annual

living history festival. See the Fort brought to

TUE 31

Craft Afternoon. Have a go at spinning, sewing

and making prints using leaves and flowers

from the garden. Anne of Cleves House,

1-4pm, price included in admission.

BOOK NOW:

Kaleidoscope Theatre Summer Schools. More

info and book places at kaleidoscopedrama.uk

School Open Days

5 & 6 May, St Andrews Prep

14 May, Lancing College Prep

14 May, Michael Hall

20 May, Lewes New School

65


êêêê

UNDER 16

SHOES ON NOW: Festivals

Years ago if anyone mentioned the word ‘festival’ an image of mudcovered

twenty year olds at Glastonbury came to mind. Nowadays,

however, festivals have become more family friendly and manage to

combine outdoor camping, music and lots of activities to keep the

children amused. Last year we were festival virgins, unsure how our

children would cope without the presence of WiFi and how myself

and my husband would entertain them from sunup to sundown.

With much trepidation and a shed load of excitement too, we tried

our first festival at Elderflower. All of us were surprised by how

much fun we had. The key, I think, is to accept it will take you ages

to pack up all the gear you need to take with you but that once you get there time seems to be suspended.

The boys stayed up much later than usual sitting around the campfire as we all toasted marshmallows,

and strict schedules and ‘to do’ lists faded from our psyches. What we all appreciated, apart from

the fabulous music, food tents and flushing toilets, was the opportunity to spend time together as a family

without the distractions of daily life. Going to a festival allowed us to press ‘pause’ and we are keen to

repeat the experience this year. And we are certainly spoiled for choice in this part of the country with

many nearby festivals happening over the next few months; as well as this year’s Elderflower we’re looking

forward to the Joy Festival in Lewes in June and Love Supreme in Glynde in July. Jacky Adams

YOUNG PHOTO OF THE MONTH

This month’s winner

is 14-year-old Joe

Puxley, who stayed

up till the witching

hour to take this shot

in his Easter holiday.

“I visited Brighton

to take this photo of

the Pier at midnight

under the stars,” he

tells us. “I hope you

like it.” Indeed we do.

Every year the West

Pier loses another section in a storm, and it won’t be with us for long. This picture shows it at its shimmery

best, in a millpond of a low tide made even smoother, presumably, by the long exposure on which

we reckon Joe took the shot. He wins a £10 book token, kindly donated by Bags of Books in Cliffe. Under

16? Please e-mail your photos to photos@vivalewes.com with a sentence about where, when and why you

took the picture.

67


“In Kindergarten, children make excellent progress in their learning and

development in relation to their individual starting points.

They are very well prepared for the next stage in their education.

In Kindergarten the provision for the children’s personal and emotional

development is outstanding.

Kindergarten children are extremely well supported to acquire the skills

and capacity to develop and learn effectively.

Staff have high expectations of the children as well as their ability to

enthuse, engage and motivate the children.

The contribution of the provision to the children’s well-being is

outstanding.” Ofsted (SIS)

Find out for yourself...

Early Years Open Morning

Saturday 14th May 09:30 - 12:00

Or call to organise a Personal Tour

www.michaelhall.co.uk

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

Tel: 01342 822275 - Registered Charity Number 307006

䘀 甀 渀 椀 渀 䄀 挀 琀 椀 漀 渀 昀 漀 爀 䌀 栀 椀 氀 搀 爀 攀 渀

Fun in Action

圀 攀 漀 昀 昀 攀 爀 愀 戀 攀 昀 爀 椀 攀 渀 搀 椀 渀 最 猀 攀 爀 瘀 椀 挀 攀 琀 漀

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攀 砀 琀 攀 渀 搀 攀 搀 瀀 攀 爀 椀 漀 搀 ⸀

吀 爀 愀 椀 渀 椀 渀 最 椀 猀 最 椀 瘀 攀 渀 愀 渀 搀

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㈀ 㜀 アパート 㔀 㔀 㤀 㜀 㤀 㐀


êêêê

Photo by Ben Hopper

SHLOMO

AT THE ELDERFLOWER FIELDS FESTIVAL

When did you start beatboxing? I started

learning when I was eight and I first did it on

stage when I was about 18. I was obsessed with

beatboxing and the culture around it, and in 2002

I entered my first competition, King of the Jam.

It was in the park and the winner got a jar of jam

(Bonne Maman, the good stuff) and I won the jam!

I was quite chuffed. It snowballed quite quickly

from there.

You’ve said that using anything other than

your voice on stage felt like cheating. I’ve now

learnt that if it feels like cheating, it’s probably

what you should be doing. The creative restriction

of using only my voice pushed me to get really

good at making lots of different sounds, but then I

reached a point where I was using it as a safety net.

Eventually you need to break the rules and create

new restrictions for yourself.

What else do you use? I’ve just finished creating

my own machine… A traditional machine can only

do whatever the manufacturer has programmed it

to do, but with this I can programme the buttons

to do whatever I want: I can loop and manipulate

my voice in loads of different ways, I can record the

audience and use that sound like an instrument.

Are you still discovering new sounds that you

can make? Not as much as when I was younger.

For me it’s become less about finding new sounds

I can make and more about putting together a

complete piece of music. I spend less time touring

and travelling than I used to and a lot more time

composing – every day I’m writing music.

Have your performances changed as a result?

They take people on a bit more of a journey; my

family show is this purely joyous celebration of

music where kids and adults are expected to take

part, maybe come on stage, and I create this big

imaginary world. My grown-up shows go to a bit

more of a dark place with the music and stories.

Can you beatbox to any genre of music? I’m yet

to come across any style of music that doesn’t work

with beatboxing because, really, it’s just another instrument.

It’s like saying ‘is there a genre of music

that doesn’t work with piano?’ It depends how you

play it. Interview by Rebecca Cunningham

Shlomo is performing at Elderflower Fields on 27th

and at two Brighton Fringe shows on 2nd June.

shlomobeatbox.co.uk

69


FOOD

The Dorset Arms

Pick ‘n’ mix lunch

At 7.06am, aware

that I can’t really

review lunch at

the Dorset if I

go on my own,

I text my friend

Caroline, who

has over the years

become something

of a diningcompanion-inan-emergency

go-to, and who

understands she

won’t necessarily get an easy ride in the writeup.

Ten years ago I had her ‘plodding through

a pie,’ which she has never forgiven me for. A

few months ago I named and shamed her for

choosing the most expensive cut of steak in the

Limetree. At 11.01, a reply. ‘Yes please.’

I mean to ask her why she took four hours to

decide, but she arrives in such a fetching green

coat, I completely forget. I’m five minutes late,

but she’s even later, so I’ve chosen one of the

high tables next to the door, and the radiator.

It’s a filthy day outside, a brief mid-April return

to winter, so the warmth is welcome.

Caroline tells me about an interesting visit she’s

recently made to Lush, and hums and haws over

which starter to choose, as we sip fizzy water,

served with lime, ice and a bendy straw. I tell

her what ‘arancini’ means, so she opts for them.

Me too. One of the things I find it very difficult

to look past on a menu is calves’ liver, and this

is the case here; they promise to be ‘sautéed

with shallots, bacon, basil and butter’ (£13.50).

Caroline goes for a cut of chicken supreme

‘with a tomato and corn salsa’ (£11.50).

They have a ‘Pick ‘n’ Mix’ system whereby

Photo by Alex Leith

you can choose

a main, then a

choice of five potato

dishes, then

a choice of five

vegetables, which

is quite fun. I go

for mash, and

cannelloni beans.

Caroline plumps

for chips and

peas.

The arancini

(£6.25) are really

lush, nothing like any I’ve had in Sicily, but

delicious nonetheless, creamy and set off nicely

by the saffron and parmesan mixed in with the

rice, and the splodges of pesto, tapenade and

salsa rossa on the plate. So far, so good.

The mains arrive with a flourish, with the meat

on one (green) plate, and the sides in separate

dishes on a wooden board. My calves’ liver is

good, though cut slightly too thin for my liking

(the thicker bits are more tender). The crunch

of the bacon bits and the soft chewiness of the

liver, with all the flavours involved, definitely

constitute the best moment of my day so far.

The cannelloni beans, in a creamy sauce, are

about as guilty a pleasure as veg can get.

Caroline leaves her chicken skin, so I scarf that

up, too: it’s got that great grilled taste you get

from charred lines. Also, slightly oddly, she

leaves a single chip, which is a pretty good chip,

soft on the inside. We finish with a coffee and

then head into the drizzle, each to their own

Friday afternoon. At 14.29 I get a text from

Caroline. ‘Thank you for an enjoyable lunch.’

But not, as ever, an entirely free one. Alex Leith

22 Malling Street, 01273 474823

71


72

Photo by Rebecca Cunningham


FOOD

Italian-style pork and beef burger

Cheryl and Richard Groves are the team behind mobile catering company The Pig

and Jacket, specialising in ‘all things pig’, from hog roasts to pork-based street food

Pork and beef together make a really good

burger; pork is a very wet meat and beef is

quite dry, so when you put them both together

it makes the perfect texture. We buy

our meat at May’s Farm Cart in Riverside,

because it comes from a family-run farm,

who hand-rear all of their own pigs and all

of their cows are grass-fed. They used to sell

from their small farm shop. Their pork is so

tasty – that was what led us down the pork

route originally. Our plan when we started

the company was to do hog roasts for events

and wedding parties but we wanted to get the

great flavour of the meat out to the public

too, so we started thinking up our own street

food recipes. Pulled pork is really popular at

the moment, and our pork burgers out-sell

our beef burgers every time. The street food

side of the business is exciting, but it takes a

lot of prep the day before.

You’ll need a fifty-fifty pork and beef mixture.

Chuck is the best cut to use if you want to

mince it yourself, because the fat to meat ratio

is just right, but I would go to your local

butcher and ask them to do it for you – they

can mince the two together. To make four

burgers, you’ll need 500g of mince, so 250g

of pork and 250g of beef. Add a bit of seasoning,

a quarter of a red onion – chopped as

finely as you can – about a teaspoon of fennel

seeds and a sprinkling of dried oregano.

Lightly mix it together with your hands and

divide the mixture as evenly as you can into

four patties. Everyone’s different with their

burgers – I like mine quite thin so they cook

more quickly.

Place the patties into a hot frying pan – I don’t

use any oil, there’s enough fat in the burgers

already – and sear them on each side to keep

the flavour and the fat in. Cook the burgers

to your liking – but remember there’s pork

in there too so you want to cook them fairly

well. On top of each, put a slice of mozzarella,

then lightly fry eight slices of pepperoni in

the pan and place two on each burger. Putting

a lid over the frying pan will help the cheese

to melt more quickly.

We’ve served this one with a winter slaw –

made using white cabbage, red cabbage, red

onion and carrot, all finely sliced and mixed

with seasoning, a little splash of red wine vinegar

and mayonnaise – and a handful of our

bacon rind pork scratchings. You can make

these by cutting the rind off some bacon rashers,

seasoning and putting them straight into

a hot oven. There are lots of different flavours

you can try by adding different seasonings,

but the one that’s always the most popular

for us is the traditional recipe, seasoned with

Aromat.

We always use brioche buns – you can get

some delicious ones from Flint Owl or Flour

Pot bakery in Brighton. We get ours from our

new neighbour the Mamoosh Bakery. Toast

them so that they’re nice and warm and soft,

lay a bit of salad underneath the burger, and

they’re ready to enjoy!

As told (by Cheryl) to Rebecca Cunningham

The Pig and Jacket will have a stand at the

Food Rocks event on Sunday 15th May at Cliffe

Precinct. foodrockssouth.co.uk

73


FOOD

Life’s a picnic

A kick-start to health

I’ve signed up for a Health Body Boost, a gluten-free,

dairy-free healthy eating plan provided by Susie

Perry Debice at Life’s a Picnic. The HBB includes

a cold-pressed juice, breakfast pot, superfood salad,

afternoon snack and ‘one pot wonder’ evening meal

each day, all freshly prepared and delivered to your home or office.

“The plan is whatever you want it to be,” she explains. “Some people do it as a total detox, others use it

as a way to get more fruit and vegetables into their diet. But it’s designed to fit around your work and

your social life.”

My favourite meals are the ‘boost’ salad box, containing smoky roasted chick peas, braised fennel,

roasted butternut squash and kale, topped with toasted cashews, and the warmly spiced coconut laksa

with sweet potato ‘noodles’. Some days I stick to the plan, and other days I veer off it a little... but

the biggest change I notice is that when I do, I’m not craving sweet things like I normally would, but

instead I find myself reaching for high-protein snacks.

Susie runs the HBB once a month, and at £140 for five days it doesn’t come cheap. But if, like me, you

need a bit of a kick-start to get you back on the healthy-eating wagon, it’s a convenient (and tasty) way

to get yourself motivated. The next HBB begins on the 23rd and delivery is offered in Lewes and surrounding

Sussex towns. Rebecca Cunningham

01825 724151, lifes-a-picnic.co.uk

75


SATURDAY 25 JUNE

from 11am - 8PM

&

sunday 26 JUNE

from 11aM - 5PM

STADE OPEN SPACE, OLD TOWN, HASTINGS

FREE EVENT

Kick off your summer with tasty fish, food and drink!

The whole family can enjoy the treats on offer with non-stop

live music from the best local talent, demonstrations

by chefs and fishermen and craft activities.

www.hastingsfestivals.com

Except

assist


FOOD

Edible Updates

I had the pleasure of trying Silly Moo Cider the other day - a

limited run of 1,000 bottles were made on Trenchmore Farm in

Cowfold from apples collected by Sussex growers last autumn. It

got me in the mood for eating outdoors and slurping drinks in

the sun. Lucky, then, that we have Food Rocks to look forward

to in Cliffe on 15th May, and the May Fayre in Priory Park on

21st May, with fab food guaranteed from Olly’s Fish Shack. In

the meantime I may grab myself a fresh salad from Laporte’s

new deli counter and head to the Grange.

Always exciting to see new ventures blossoming in Lewes Food Land. Notably, The Hearth and

renowned archaeobotanist John Letts are setting up a new Community Interest Company Bread For

Life. Michael and John grew a field of heritage wheat last year in order to make great bread, but also to

help preserve genetic diversity and create a Lewes landrace, or naturally adapted species. This year they

are doubling their acreage and donating a percentage of proceeds from flour sales to refugee charities.

All power to them.

In other news, Ouse Valley Foods have teamed up with Harveys to create a delicious-sounding Orange

Marmalade with Ginger and Wild Hop Beer. Bonne Bouche has a new owner taking over this month;

Bon Ami has a new coffee shop at the back; and Pizza Oven are now trading outside the Phoenix Centre

on Thursday evenings, top fodder for watching the sun set over the Ouse. Chloë King

Illustration by Chloë King

77


HEALTH

Hangover Cures

The morning after...

We’ve all experienced

it. The pounding

headache, birdcage

mouth, and churning

stomach that follow

a night of overdoing

it. But help is at

hand. While the only

real way to avoid a

hangover is to lay

off the alcohol, there

are natural remedies

than can lessen your

morning-after misery.

While experts are

divided over the cause

of the common hangover,

they all agree

that dehydration plays

a role, so topping up

fluid levels is an easy way to hasten your recovery.

Sports drinks, coconut water and non-acidic

fruit juices are all helpful, as they replenish lost

vitamins and minerals. If you have time for a postbinge

lie-in, set your alarm for 7am, then swallow

a couple of ibuprofen and as much water as you

can, before going back to sleep. When you wake

up again, you should feel a lot better.

Once you’ve made it out of bed, don’t make the

mistake of missing breakfast. While the jury is out

on the benefits of downing a full English (with

some believing fried food can help to replace

fatty acids and break down alcohol), a plain slice

of wholemeal bread is a safer option for sensitive

stomachs and is thought to buffer gastric acid,

quelling nausea. Toast and cereal are other good

choices.

If solids don’t appeal, opt for a potassium-boosting

smoothie instead, blending a banana with

almond milk and a handful of berries. You could

also brew a stomach-calming cuppa. Ginger is

renowned for combatting nausea, while peppermint

tea soothes

stomach acid, reducing

inflammation. Another

alternative is turmeric,

which acts on the

liver to speed alcohol

elimination. Try mixing

a teaspoon of the

powdered spice with a

slice of fresh ginger, a

dash of lemon juice and

a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Stir the ingredients

together in hot water,

then drink to relieve

nausea and stomach

discomfort. Or sip

hot water with honey,

lemon and ginger for a

gentle blood sugar lift.

If you can’t face food or drink, you could always

pop a pill. Milk thistle is known for its livercleansing

properties, speeding up the metabolism

of alcohol - and thus your recovery. It comes in

both tablet and tincture form for easy ingestion.

Another traditional remedy is activated charcoal.

Available as tablets or powder, it tackles gas, nausea,

acid indigestion and heartburn, and aids the

removal of toxins from the body.

The classic homeopathic hangover cure is nux

vomica, which is used to treat headaches, sensitivity

to light or smell, nausea and vomiting. Or you

could take a hands-on approach and try some DIY

acupressure. Pressing the webbing between the

thumb and forefinger firmly between the other

thumb and forefinger for a couple of minutes

helps ease a queasy stomach, while pinching the

indentations on either side of the bridge of the

nose relieves a headache.

And if you’re still feeling worse for wear, you

could always head back to bed. The best remedy

of all is sleeping it off… Anita Hall

79


THE WAY WE WORK

This month we asked Lewes photographer Carlotta Luke to take a daytrip to

Charleston Farmhouse, and capture portraits of the colourful staff who work

there. And she asked them: “what’s your favourite book?”

www.carlottaluke.com

Jo Gardiner, Retail Assistant

“A Crisis of Brilliance by David Haycock.

SO well researched yet reads like a novel.”


THE WAY WE WORK

Janet Anthony, Catering and Hospitality Manager

“The Bloomsbury Cookbook - Recipes for Life, Love and Art by Jans Ondaatje Rolls.

A book of social history through recipes, pictures and lists.”


THE WAY WE WORK

Mark Divall, Head Gardener

“The Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear, edited by Holbrook Jackson.

It completely encapsulates what it means to be English.”


DECLUTTER NOW!

With

07442 650863

decluttersussex@gmail.com

Find us on Facebook

"Less is more..."


THE WAY WE WORK

Philippa Bougeard and Emily Hill, Curatorial Interns

(Philippa) “Wise Children by Angela Carter.

It paints a picture of a long-gone theatrical West End world, which I love.”

(Emily) “Ask the Dust by John Fante.

Bandini’s electricity and way of living moment by moment.”


IMAGINATION

It’s what sets us apart from the

merely good.

It’s what makes the ultimate

difference to a construction project.

It’s what turns a great job into an

excellent one.

It’s what our clients expect.

It’s what we deliver.

If you have a building requiring

renovation, restoration or

reinvigoration, and you want the

end result to look stunning -

call Nutshell on 01903 217900

info@nutshellconstruction.com

www.nutshellconstruction.com


THE WAY WE WORK

Anthea Green, Tour Guide

“I’m currently reading Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar.

I’m totally absorbed in it and it really captures the two sisters.”


WE TRY...

Photo by Steven Robinson

Badger Watching

If you go down to the woods tonight...

Writing anything about wildlife in the same magazine

as Michael Blencowe feels, frankly, foolhardy,

but when I get an invitation to go badger watching

in the woods of the Loder Valley Nature Reserve,

part of the 465 acres that make up Wakehurst, I can’t

resist the challenge.

We meet Steven Robinson, the Head Warden, just

before 7pm on a golden April evening, opposite the

Gardener’s Arms near Ardingly, before making our

way through the bluebell woods to our destination.

Every Tuesday evening from April to September,

whatever the weather, Steven leads a group down to

a viewing hide, half submerged into a bank which is

home to a whole cast of compelling characters.

Having sprinkled some peanuts in front of the

badger’s-eye-view window, we settle in. Steven has

been watching this sett for the 25 years he’s worked

at Wakehurst and has no doubt that the badgers

have been living here a great deal longer than that;

but it’s the first evening viewing of the season and

he isn’t sure what we’ll see. As a general rule, the

badgers first appear at the hide well before nightfall

but the first character to emerge this evening, from

under a fallen tree, is a beautiful vixen. Unperturbed

by our presence, she stretches, sniffs the air, lazes on

the bank and then heads off in search of food. The

next act are the clowns - a trio of pheasants - squabbling

over the peanuts and bobbing about the bank.

They’re incredibly beautiful up close and highly

comical to watch.

As twilight descends, birdsong gives way to the

hooting of owls but there’s still no sign of a badger.

It’s true that quiet and patience are essential

prerequisites but it’s surprisingly gripping all the

same. Then suddenly - out of the gloaming - the

distinctive striped face of a badger pops up. It looks

straight at us - no doubt smelling our presence with

its incredible nose - then it turns tail and heads off

into the woods on badger business. A few minutes

later it’s back to investigate the peanut situation no

more than a metre from our viewing window. Steven

has stashed some under a pheasant-proof rock

and, as the badger tucks in, another head pops up

and a bigger brock ambles down the bank, hopping

up onto an upturned log. Both sit there for a good

long while, daintily nibbling the nuts one at a time,

looking up at every creak and rustle, until something

sends them back up the bank and off to do whatever

badgers do.

It’s difficult to leave and I’m already planning my return

for the next instalment but it’s getting too dark

to see by 9pm and so we make our way back through

the moonlit woods under a starry sky. Lizzie Lower

Every Tuesday until 6th September Adults £12/Children

£6. Start time 7pm April + September, 7.30pm

May to August. Money goes towards helping fund

habitat management work in the reserve. Booking is

essential kew.org

89


COLUMN

Lewes Out Loud

Plenty more Henty

Was it only three years

ago that the Massed

Mumfords hit town with

their ‘Gentlemen of the

Road’ mega-gig in the

Convent Field? At the

beginning of last month,

the selfsame Mumford

and Sons were scheduled

to appear in a David

Bowie tribute concert at

Radio City Music Hall

in New York. Quite a

contrast from our own

festive fun in 2013.

Festivals as such are not

really my scene. I’ve had

some good times under

canvas (no detail here John please – Ed) but in

the main I associate them with temporary toilets

and not so temporary tinnitus. Having said that

though, I would certainly welcome back another

Mumford initiative and I’m sure I’m not alone in

this. What are the chances I wonder?

My objections to festivals are not age related by

the way – even though I note in Lizzie Lower’s

review of The De La Warr Pavilion café last

month that I am the same age as the ‘iconic

modernist octogenarian’ building. It has been

renovated recently. Sadly, I have not.

However, my birthday in March was fine and

thanks to Ana of The Cultured Kitchen in the

Friday market who offered me a tub of her own

curry slaw on the day. An unusual present you’ll

agree. Other recent encounters in Lewes Out

Loud? Part-time receptionist, Faye, in the Town

Hall for a discussion on the meaning of ‘booths’,

Viva readers Christopher and Jill who suffered

the inconvenience of a bus replacement service

with me in March and

Hilda, Tisha and their rescue

dog, Seamus, for their

cheerfulness on a dreary

day in St. Nicholas Lane.

Also in March I was sad to

hear on the Radio 4 news

of the death in Lewes of

Lord Asa Briggs at the

age of 94. As the Daily

Telegraph noted, he was a

man who had a remarkable

influence in so many

fields, but for me it was his

delight in the throw-away

ephemera of everyday

life that inspired. I was a

member of the Ephemera

Society of which he was President.

On many occasions, at the foot of Keere Street

where he lived with his wife Susan in The

Caprons, I would notice a light on in a groundfloor

window and the man himself at work,

surrounded by books and fascinating objects. On

the evening of the radio announcement, I chose

to stand outside the house quietly for a moment.

The light was on but the room was empty.

Finally, congratulations to Leslie, the chirpy lady

whose portraits of the famous and, in my case,

infamous have been seen recently, along with

her, in the Cancer Research window, opposite

Boots. Leslie, who donates all her profits to

either the Royal National Lifeboats Institution

or to Cancer Research, has been invited to attend

a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace mid-

May. Her stunning portrait of the late Ronnie

Corbett (pictured) was appreciated by a lot of his

fans in the town, including me.

John Henty

91


FEATURE: WILDLIFE

Hawthorn

Going nuts in May

Illustration by Mark Greco

You could set your calendar by it. Around the first

day of May our ancestors would step outside to

find foamy white clouds erupting across the Sussex

countryside; the hawthorn was blooming, spring

was turning to summer. The sight was so visually

stunning and so linked with the arrival of May

that hawthorn became the only British plant to be

named after the month in which it blooms. Well,

the name hawthorn is derived from the Anglo-

Saxon ‘hagathorn’ (‘haga’ meaning hedge). I’m

referring to that other name for hawthorn; May.

Unlike the impetuous blackthorn which flowers

in March before it’s even bothered to grow leaves,

the hawthorn is more dignified. It waits until it has

clothed itself in undergarments of lobed leaves before

it dons a resplendent gown of exquisite white

flowers. This stunning costume and perfect timing

meant hawthorn took centre stage at May Day celebrations

and it partied with Green Men, Morris

Dancers, Maypoles and May Queens. ‘Gathering

nuts in May’ actually refers to ‘gathering knots of

May’ to make May Day garlands and decorations.

Then, in the middle of the eighteenth century,

tragedy struck. I don’t know about you but I get

thrown into disarray twice a year when the clocks

change. My life would have gone into meltdown

in 1752 as our whole calendar changed from Julian

to Gregorian and we lost an entire 11 days. In this

new timeline hawthorn now found itself late for

the party, blooming around May 12th.

It wasn’t the first time hawthorn had been cast

aside. Superstitions dictated that bringing hawthorn

indoors led to misfortune – even death. This

could stem from the fact that hawthorn blooms

release trimethylamine which gives the flowers that

unpleasant smell of cat’s wee and attracts pollinating

insects. It’s also a chemical formed in decaying

tissue and thus reminded people of the smell of

Black Death – and nobody wanted to be reminded

of that.

Hawthorn folklore still continues. I remember at

primary school being taught ‘Ne’re cast a clout ‘til

May is out’. I translated this gibberish into the fact

that you should keep your warm clothes on until

the end of May. I’ve only just discovered that ‘May

is out’ refers to hawthorn blooming. My clouts

could have been casted weeks earlier.

But the world has changed since I was a nipper

– we’re warming up. For a temperature sensitive

plant like hawthorn the blooming times they are a-

changin’. Hawthorn is responding by flowering up

to two weeks earlier than it was three decades ago.

It has crept back to bloom around May Day and

is now more commonly seen flowering at the end

of April. So this May Day get yer clout off, get out

into the great outdoors and welcome the return of

the real May Queen.

Michael Blencowe, Sussex Wildlife Trust

Illustration by Mark Greco

sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk

93


䰀 攀 眀 攀 猀


BRICKS AND MORTAR

Attenborough Centre

Back in business

This was the decision

Sussex University

faced around eight

years ago: The

campus’ Gardner Arts

Centre, which was

respected as a venue

that would take risks

and put on innovative

arts programmes, had

lost its funding and

closed. The trust that

had been running the venue handed it back to

the University. The University had known that

it had been getting run down, but they hadn’t

realised the full extent of the problem. They

discovered that it would need £7.2m of work, if it

were to reopen again.

They could have left it lying empty, but that

would have still led to ‘a substantial cost’ in

basic maintenance. Knocking it down was never

seriously considered, and wouldn’t have got

past English Heritage, given its Grade II* listed

status. Or they could take the risk, and try to

reopen it.

Around the time of the Gardner’s closure,

Sussex got a new Vice Chancellor, Michael

Farthing. “People were saying to him, ‘Michael,

please don’t let this happen, we need a cultural

hub on campus’,” recalls Matt Knight, the Attenborough

Centre’s Operations and Resources

Manager. Luckily, Farthing is “an actor, in his

spare time, so he’s very much got a passion for

the performing arts… He was really the leader,

to get this up and running again.”

Though built slightly later than the original

campus buildings, the Centre had the same

architect, Basil Spence, who worked in collaboration

with the theatre designer Sean Kenny.

It’s like a big brick drum surrounded by turrets,

with windows in the ceilings. Knight calls it

Photo by Jim Stephenson

“brutalist but beautiful”.

Its curved walls

were a problem,

acoustically, “because

they didn’t

focus sound, they

just bounced sound

everywhere,”

Knight says. Kenny

would surely have

forewarned Spence

about this; if so, Spence must have decided that

the look of the building was more important.

The acoustics have now been improved, as part

of this wide-ranging refurbishment. The whole

process took longer than originally expected;

the delay was mostly due to listed buildingrelated

complications. But, this month, finally,

the renamed Attenborough Centre is hosting its

first public-facing performances as part of the

Brighton Festival’s 50th anniversary programme

(see pg35).

Knight accepts that it’s a risk. He already knows

that the place is “never going to make huge

amounts of money. But we’re never going to be

measured purely on financial terms.”

Instead, the goals are more to do with “contributing

to the student experience”, providing a

“cultural flagship” and “a way for the university

to reach out into the community”. While the

Gardner was focused on bringing in touring

companies, the new centre will endeavour to

accommodate students’ needs more than the

Gardner ever did.

“Students and university, community use, and

touring work. We’ll be doing those three things,

but quite what percentage of each, we’ll be working

on over the next year or two.”

Steve Ramsey

sussex.ac.uk/acca

95


TRADE SECRETS

Patrick Geall

Tree surgeon

Photo by Emma Chaplin

How long have you been a tree surgeon?

Sixteen years. I tried it after leaving school, then

got another job. I was made redundant in 1998 and

decided to retrain at Plumpton College, coming top

of the year in forestry and arboriculture in 2001.

Geall is an interesting name. Old Sussex name

I’ve been told. I was born and bred in Lewes. A

lot of skills that I now use in my work I learned in

the 1st Lewes Scouts. I first chopped a tree down

in Piddinghoe with them, they taught me knots

and how to tend ropes.

What should people look for in a tree surgeon?

Qualifications, insurance. And look at

their previous work. You can see trees and hedges

I’ve worked on all over Lewes.

What qualities do you need? A good eye for

details, thorough, organised. Very safety conscious.

Adaptable, able to work on your own and

be self-motivated.

Not afraid of heights? That doesn’t come into

it as much as you might think. It’s the eight feet

space you occupy when you’re working that really

matters.

Do you and your customers ever disagree

about what needs to be done? Sometimes,

but in the case of nesting birds, for example, we

just agree that I come back at a different time.

If there’s ever any question mark over chopping

down a tree, I call the Tree and Landscape Officer

at Lewes District Council to check.

Tell us about a typical day. I haven’t got one.

As well as trees, I do a lot of hedges and some

garden clearing. Mostly alone, but for bigger

jobs I might work with another tree surgeon or a

labourer.

What safety equipment do you use? Chainsaw

trousers, gloves, helmet, ropes, climbing

equipment. It’s highly regulated work and there’s

legislation too, relating to care of wildlife, health

and safety plus disposal of waste. Mine goes to be

composted at Isfield.

Have you ever fallen out of a tree? Yes. Most

people have at some point. I didn’t break anything.

Do you have much kit? Yes. Ladders, ropes

and harness, various axes and saws, chainsaw. I

sharpen my own tools.

What do you most enjoy about your work?

The variety. I do a lot of different things in

gardens, sometimes getting immediate results,

others are more long term projects.

What makes you stand out from other tree

surgeons? You’d have to ask my customers.

What’s your biggest bugbear? Sawdust. It gets

everywhere. It’s why I wear this jumpsuit.

What’s your favourite time of year and why?

Summer, so I can go to the beach when I’m

finished.

Tell us something we don’t know about you.

My favourite nail varnish is Rimmel. I’m currently

wearing purple, which was a present from

one of my customers. Interview by Emma Chaplin

01273 483961, 07709 066556

97


BUSINESS NEWS

Welcome to Lewes, Cordelia James. The

womenswear boutique, with established stores

in Hawkhurst and Rye, has opened on School

Hill. They stock a signature cashmere line and

clothes by Barbara Lang, Pazuki, Pret pour

Partir and more, accessories by Alex Monroe

and Ruby & Ed and lovely things for the home.

[cordeliajames.com]

Victoria Turner, the ceramicist who creates

beautiful objects in porcelain, is relocating her

Needlemakers studio and shop From Victoria.

You’ll not have to go too far to find her though,

she’s moving her ceramics and carefully curated

selection of homewares and gifts from the

downstairs shop to new premises upstairs.

Bonne Bouche, the tucked-away bijou Lewes

shop that has been keeping us in delicious

handmade chocolates for 29 years, has a new

proprietor – Gilda Frost. Welcome Gilda and

enjoy your well-earned retirement, Elizabeth.

Raise a glass and raise some cash for charity

whilst you’re at it. Harveys are holding a charity

evening on May 13th with a raffle to raise funds

for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without

Borders. Enjoy a blind wine tasting and a delicious

tapas supper before flexing your general

knowledge in the quiz. [harveys.org.uk]

Forget the airport queues this summer, you’ll be

wanting to take your holidays nearer to home.

Old Mill Park is a luxurious development of

uber-stylish modular homes (pictured) in the

Sussex countryside near Golden Cross. Built

offsite before being carefully placed to make the

most of their location, you can forget everything

you thought you knew about prefabricated

buildings… these are sleek, modern and look

like they belong at a design expo. See for yourself

at the open day on 28th May or book in for a

viewing. [boutiqueparks.co.uk]

Finally, it’s the last call

for entries for the 2016

Lewes District Business

Awards. You’ve only

got a couple of days left

before the closing date

on 4th May. Take your

pick from one of the 12

categories, visit lewesdistrictbusinessawards.

co.uk for more details

and get cracking!

Send your Lewes-and-environs business news to

hello@vivamagazines.com

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Directory Spotlight:

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100

We offer a professional

garden design service with

projects ranging from small

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rural gardens. All gardens

deserve a design.

We have undertaken rigorous

training in garden design,

and cut our teeth in some

renowned design studios whilst setting up Alitura.

We have a good understanding of spatial design,

working with complex levels, the right plant for

the right place and how to structure a border

aesthetically and for year-round interest. We love

to specify local materials that fit the vernacular

style of the buildings and source plants from local

nurseries and growers.

Garden design sounds like it’s going to be expensive

but it can be done on a budget. Discussions

usually start with a ballpark figure around

5-10% of your house value, then

we can work back from there!

We’ve worked with budgets from

£5,000 to £100,000.

Investing in a designer can

actually save money as detailed

drawings equal accurate quotes

from trusted landscapers, and

your budget can be focused on

the right area in the garden.

Working closely with clients makes for a successful

design. That way we walk away knowing

they are inspired and fully connected with their

garden and the quality of their lives has been

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Garden design is a process and to do it justice

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alitura.co.uk / 01273 401581 / 07900 416679


DIRECTORY

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

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

To advertise in Viva Lewes please call 01273 488882 or email advertising@vivalewes.com

HOME

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HOME

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

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HOME

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Jack Plane Carpenter

Nice work, fair price,

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INSIDE LEFT

BARD IN THE PARK

To fit in with our ‘Festival’ theme, we asked Tom and Tania Reeves to find us an old picture showing an

outdoor event in Lewes, and they came up with a number of options, including the Empire Day celebrations

at the Dripping Pan in 1909, a deadly serious-looking Sussex Archaeological Society open-air

talk in 1922, and a mock swordfight during the Coombe Place Fête in 1931, any of which would have

graced this space. But when we saw this photo, one of two in a series showing ‘Lewes Drama Society, As

You Like it, 1921’ we realised that we had our picture. A serious bit of research time went into finding

out more information… to little avail. It is clear that the picture was taken in front of the entrance to

the reredorter building (the 12th century extension to the monks’ dormitory) during high summer, but

beyond that… not much. The internet yielded nothing about the society or the production. A trip to the

Barbican Library ascertained that the Priory was then in private hands, and tickets could be bought for

4d from the Post Office on Southover High Street, but little else. A visit to the Keep revealed that the

Sussex Express of that year carried no report of the play taking place. John Bleach of the Priory Research

Group knew nothing about it, but promised to bring the matter up in their next bi-annual meeting.

No matter, the photographs are proof that in 1921 all of Priory Ruins was a stage, and that Arden Forest

had come to Lewes, and that this was quite a major performance, with over 30, and perhaps up to 50

actors in the cast. We chose this picture, presumably featuring the court of Frederick, because of the way

that the court fool, Touchstone, draws the eye… and because of the marvellous hats the court ladies are

wearing. Duke Frederick looks extremely dour, but maybe that’s because of the miserable state of his

throne. The lines in front of the cast suggest that the Priory was used for tennis at the time. If anyone

(including the Priory Research Group) can cast any more light on this picture we’ll post it, along with

the companion shot, in a future issue. Thanks as ever to Reeves (159 High St, 01273 473274) for searching

through their archives, and for their kind use of the copyright image.

114


Bespoke Handmade Kitchens

Designed in Sussex

Made in Sussex

For inspiration and advice, call our

designers on 01273 471269 or visit us

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