Viva Brighton Issue #43 September 2016


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Issue 43. September 2016



What would your specialist subject be on Mastermind? If I was to be

subjected to that ordeal right this minute - frogmarched into that

chair, spotlight on, scary music in my ears, millions watching on

TV - mine would undoubtedly be ‘Brighton & Hove Albion in the

Mullery era, 1976-1981’.

I’ve done a lot of reading in my time, and in nearly 25 years as a

journalist and author I’ve researched more stories than I care to

remember. But truth be told, most of the stuff I’ve read hasn’t stuck

in my head, or at least has got buried so far down that I can’t readily retrieve it, apart from the

bare bones. No; the stuff I really remember well comes from my early teenage years, when my

passion for the Albion bordered on the obsessive.

The theme of this issue is ‘learning stuff’ and my point is this: if you pique somebody’s inquisitiveness

- the way Alan Mullery’s blue-and-white army once piqued mine - then they will learn

things more thoroughly. So one mark of a good teacher is their ability to trigger their students’

curiosity, and thus make them more receptive to remembering what goes into their heads. On

the other side of the coin, show me a person whose curiosity is open to most of the things that

they see around them, and I’ll show you someone who is knowledgeable and well rounded.

My point? Here’s hoping that some of the things you read in VB43 pique your curiosity enough

for you to want to tell your mates about them down the pub (or at the next dinner party you

attend). Enjoy the issue… and let’s hope you learn some interesting stuff.



EDITOR: Alex Leith




ADVERTISING: Anya Zervudachi, Hilary Maguire,

Nick Metcalf

PUBLISHER: Lizzie Lower

CONTRIBUTORS: Alexandra Loske, Amy Holtz, Andrew Darling, Anita Hall, Ben Bailey, Chloë King, David Jarman, Di Coke,

Emma Chaplin, Holly Fitzgerald, Jay Collins, Jim Stephenson, JJ Waller, Joda, Joe Decie, John Helmer, Julia Zaltzman,

Lizzie Enfield, Martin Skelton and Nione Meakin

Viva Brighton is based at Brighton Junction, 1A Isetta Square, BN1 4GQ

For advertising enquiries call 07596 337 828. Other enquiries call 01273 810 259

Every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of our content. We cannot be held responsible for any omissions, errors or alterations.



Bits and bobs.

8-23. A pub older than the USA,

George VI’s fridge, Snowdogs, Winston

Churchill’s schooldays, and Joe Decie’s

latest strip.


25-31. Travis Hodges’ photos exploring

how people use technology to ‘selftrack’.


My Brighton.

32-33. Musician, café owner and

eccentric-hat maker Jane Bom-Bane.




35-39. Amy Holtz tries be a quiet American,

Lizzie Enfield is summoned to the

Headmaster’s office, and John Helmer

worries about the Dark Side.

On this month.

41-51. Deaf dancer and choreographer

Chisato Minamimura, a holiday-moodbusting

piece of cinéma vérité, and

‘piss-taking bastards’ the Test Tube Babies,

among many other things.

....5 ....



Art & lit.

53-63. Politically charged sci-fi and

Eimear McBride’s coming-of-age novel.

Plus a Towner exhibition looks Towards

Night, while visitors to the Jerwood get

Bitten by Picasso.

Design & shopping.

64-67. How to build public engagement

via Minecraft; and a quirky stationery



The way we work.

69-73. Headteachers reveal their favourite

mnemonics and phrases. Photos

by Adam Bronkhorst.


74-85. A blowout at English’s, Caribbean

chicken, a Hanoverian posh breakfast,

and a revolving-door pop-up.



86-91. Running a state boarding

school, taking good baby photos, and

learning in unconventional ways.

Sport, health and fitness.

93-97. Our publisher becomes a

Fitbitch, while our editor tries making

(part of) a bike frame. Plus lowdowns

on cross-Channel swimming and a

choir for recovering addicts.


Inside left.

98. How some late-60s builders dealt

with a stubborn resident.

....6 ....



....8 ....



This month we are delighted to

see the return of Janine Shute’s

pastel illustration work to our

cover page (have a look at her vintage

cotton-reel design on issue

#102 of our sister magazine Viva

Lewes). From her smallholding

just outside Lewes, she has been

developing her signature pastelon-paper

style, creating photorealistic

drawings of beautifully

ordinary objects.

Janine’s work always depicts vintage

items, from antique cutlery

to old toys, which are often picked

out from her personal collection.

“I collect all sorts of vintage furniture

and other bits and pieces,”

she says. “When I tried to think

of an object that reminded me of

school, I wanted to find something

really iconic, so I thought about

old school rulers, school chairs,

and vintage milk bottles, which

I’ve drawn before…” In the end,

the tiny pair of size 12 plimsolls

were an eBay find. “They haven’t

changed since I was at school,” says

Janine, “and I think that was the

trick to getting it just right; finding

something vintage that still related

to now.”

The retro feel and consistency

which runs through Janine’s work

is accentuated by the dark grey

pastel paper she works on. “When

I first started working with pastels

a few years ago I experimented

with different colours,” she says,

“but now I like to stick to the dark

grey because it gives everything

this vintage look. It takes a lot of layers of chalk to cover

it, so you never get a very bright white, the colours always

look slightly aged.” With each layer of drawing and

fixing, the piece develops a fuller texture. “From across

the room it looks like a photograph, but when you’re

up close, you can see all of the pencil lines and strokes.”

Janine’s work is on display in galleries across the country,

including the Fairfax Gallery in Tunbridge Wells and

Byard Art in Cambridge. This month you’ll have more

than one opportunity to see some of her pieces exhibited

nearby; a selection of her haberdashery-themed works

will be on show at Keizer Frames in Lewes as part of

Artwave until September 4th, and she’ll be taking part

in the Chiddingly Artists’ Open Studios on 24th and the

25th, and the 1st and 2nd of October.

Rebecca Cunningham

....9 ....




What’s the idea? It’s a public

art trail made up of 45 fibreglass

Snowdogs, which will be

situated across Brighton and

Hove. Last year we put out

a call for local companies to

sponsor their own Snowdog,

and in December we also put

out a call for artists to come

up with a design for a dog. We had about 250 submitted,

and from those, each sponsor chose their

favourite to have put onto their Snowdog.

What’s it for? The project will raise money for

Martlets; when the art trail is finished, the Snowdogs

will be auctioned off and all of the proceeds

will go to the charity.

Why Snowdogs? The company the Martlets Hospice

partnered with, Wild in

Art, have done similar projects

in other cities - like putting

Gromits in Bristol and elephants

in Sheffield - but the

themes of hope and loss in the

story of The Snowman and the

Snowdog seemed to tie in nicely

with the work of the hospice.

How long will the trail be in place? For nine

weeks, from September 24th to November 27th.

Where will the dogs be situated? On concrete

plinths, from Fatboy Slim’s café at Hove Lagoon

right down the seafront to the Marina, then in all

the parks and central areas of town. There’s a map

online at

Rebecca Cunningham interviewed Ruth Cobb




How it works and how it can help you.



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Not for us an idle

beach holiday;

we’ve spent the

summer on a tour

behind Cold War

enemy lines. Rebecca


snapped her VB 42

in Alexanderplatz,

Berlin. Meanwhile

Rowena Leithton took her VB to Romania, to Bucharest’s

most famous building, the Palatul Parlamentului.

It’s the second largest administrative building in the

world, and was originally designed to house the apparatus

of the communist state. Today it houses the

Romanian parliament, a conference centre and Romania’s

National Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as

(satisfyingly) the Museum of Communist Totalitarianism.

Even better, it’s located in ‘Sector 5’, a deliciously

Eastern Bloc-sounding address.

Our revolutionary

adventures continued

as we hitched a

ride with a nameless

traveller on a business

trip to Cuba.

Here we are in front

of a suitably heroic façade. Hasta la victoria siempre,

comrades! Keep spreading the word and send your

snaps to



Had Winston

Churchill not

been schooled

for two years

in Hove, the

world might

have been a

very different

place. He was

sent to board

at the Misses


Preparatory School in 1884, aged nine, having

had a miserable time at his previous institution,

St George’s, in Ascot, where punishment was

harsh, and, a sickly child, he was often ill. His

doctor, Robson Roose, suggested to his parents

that the fresh sea air of Brighton might do the

child some good. The school, on the corner of

Brunswick Street and Lansdowne Road, was run

by two unmarried sisters, Kate and Charlotte

Thompson, who adminstered a far less draconian

regime. ‘There was an element of kindness

and of sympathy’ Churchill later wrote in his

memoirs. ‘I was allowed to learn things which

interested me: French, History, and lots of Poetry

by heart, and above all Riding and Swimming.’

Roose himself lived in Brighton, and it’s

a good job: in March 1886 the young Churchill

contracted pneumonia, and might well have

died had his doctor not been able to spend a

good deal of time at his young patient’s bedside,

sleeping in the bedroom next door. Churchill

returned to Brighton on several occasions as an

adult: we like to think that when he was making

his ‘we shall fight them on the beaches’ speech,

he was thinking of the stretch of pebbles in Hove

a couple of blocks from his school. AL

Illustration by





‘A day after Viva editor Alex informed me that ‘learning stuff’ was to be September’s

theme I made this portrait of Whitehawk FC’s manager Pablo Asensio sitting on artist

Radka Liskova’s striking new work,’ writes JJ Waller, who we commission every month

to snap a theme-related photograph. ‘Job done.’






















This month Cactus Language are offering

one reader the opportunity to study a foreign

language at evening classes in Brighton. The

winner can choose from a 5 or 10-week course

(20 hours in total) in Spanish, French, German,

Italian or Portuguese, starting this October.

To enter, take a look at our wordsearch grid -

hidden in it are a number of languages. Find as

many as you can, and email a list to before 25th

September. The winner will be the entrant who

finds the most languages - in the case of a tie,

there will be a random draw between the highest

scoring entrants to decide. Terms and conditions

can be found at

Established in 1998, Cactus Language is the UK’s

leading provider of evening language courses,

offering more than 20 languages across 15

locations in the UK. Cactus also offers language

holidays abroad, private and corporate language

training, and TEFL courses worldwide.


For the July challenge we asked readers to send

us a photo of their most creative castle. Our

winning entry was this wonderful fairytale castle

in the clouds, created by five-year-old Laura

Wloszczynska. Laura wins a family day ticket to

England’s Medieval Festival at Herstmonceux

Castle on the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Di Coke is very probably the UK’s foremost ‘comper’,

having won over £250,000-worth of prizes. For winning

tips and creative competitions, check out her blog at and SuperLucky Secrets book.






Jewellery and Antiques

Tuesday 27 September

10am to 4pm


01273 220000


The Courtlands Hotel

19-27 The Drive



Bonhams specialists will be at The

Courtlands Hotel to offer free and

confidential advice on items you may be

considering selling at auction.



£6000 - 8000


A heads up to all PechaKucha

fans: the 25th edition of

the Brighton PK Night,

themed ‘All Together’,

will take place from

6.30pm on Wednesday

October 12th, in the Nightingale

Room above the Grand

Central pub on Surrey Street (next to

Brighton Station). At the risk of boring

the cognoscenti, PechaKucha is a quick-fire

talk-and-show night where presenters show the

audience 20 images on a screen, and get 20 seconds

to talk over each of those images. It’s an international

phenomenon, which started in Japan, with

talks taking place (at least) quarterly in over 900 cities.

Viva have been helping host

the event - along with main

organiser Woody - since

May 2015. We are proud

that Brighton was recently

chosen as the ‘city

spotlight’ on the PechaKucha

website, where you can also

check out previous presentations online.

We will confirm the full line-up in

this space in VB44; the presenters we select,

from different walks of life, will be talking about

the power of partnership and community. £5 tickets

are already on sale; best be quick as all our previous

shows have sold out in advance.






“I tell American customers that my

pub is older than their country,”

says Keegan, the 30-something

Scottish manager at the Victory, as

I tuck into my crab cakes and salad

at one of the little tables in front of

the rather magnificent, if in-needof-a-paint,


He’s referring to a sign on the front

of the pub, claiming it dates back

to 1766, and was rebuilt in 1824.

On the latter date it was renamed

The Victory, after Nelson’s flagship

(that day-trip destination of every

schoolkid in the country).

We used to have our offices above

Marwood Café, so the Victory was

something of a regular post-workpint

haunt, but its central location

in Duke Street means I haven’t

been a total stranger in the last year.

And, having done a bit of research,

and found out that the building is

Grade II-listed, I’m looking at it

with new eyes, and realising quite

what a characterful bit of architecture

it is.

The description of the place in the

Historic England website (where

you can find out architectural

details of listed buildings) is written

in a manner I find difficult to understand

without looking up much

of the jargon, but once I know what

a gumbrel roof is, I know what to

look for. It even lists in detail the

bar which I mentioned earlier: ‘barback

of 3 bays and 3 shelves with

turned balusters, entablature and scrolled pediment to centre; bar

front possibly of the same date’.

There’s also a description of a feature I swear I’ve never noticed before:

‘good late C19 fireplace in former saloon with bracketed Ionic

columns supporting mantelshelf and overmantel mirror flanked by

pilaster-panels with brackets over’. Nice.

The most distinctive bit of the pub is undoubtedly its façade, fashioned

by Tamplin’s Brewery in 1910, which is described in the same

text in too much detail to go into here. Next time you walk past,

take a good look at the two-tone green tiles, and the ornate window

panes. They don’t make them like that anymore.

Watneys bought out Tamplin’s in the 50s and, being the company

that produced Red Barrel bitter and Party Seven cans, they painted

over this beautiful tiling, stripping the pub of its character. Nowadays,

restored to former glory, it’s got plenty of that, inside and out:

it’s surprisingly full of nooks and crannies for its relatively small size.

Oh and the crab cakes are real tasty, too. Alex Leith

Painting by Jay Collins


Steyning Grammar School

Day and Boarding school in the UK

“The inclusive SGS Boarding community is a model for the world

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I am currently choosing objects from

the Royal Pavilion archives to include

in the exhibition Visions of the Royal

Pavilion Estate, which will open at

Brighton Museum in March 2017.

It will show less familiar views and

lost buildings of the estate. One of

these ‘lost’ structures is the ice house,

which is a few feet underground, at

the south-west corner of the grounds

(near to New Road). It is clearly

visible in the ground plan published

by the architect John Nash in 1826 in

The Royal Pavilion at Brighton. It was

probably built in 1822.

In the winter, ice was brought from

nearby ponds and rivers, or even

imported from Norway or North

America. Ice houses were generally

pits or wells lined with brick or

stone, covered with a domed top.

Layers of straw on the floor and

walls provided insulation. In proper

conditions, ice could be stored all

summer, so the supply of ice cream

in the Royal Pavilion was secured,

and George could serve white wine

nicely chilled! Ice houses similar to

our one can be seen at Felbrigg Hall

in Norfolk and by York’s city wall

near Monk Bar. A much larger one

is at Petworth House in West Sussex

and can be visited.

Brighton enjoyed a roaring ice trade

in the 18th and 19th centuries

and a number of ice houses in

the area are recorded, including

one near the Castle Tavern

(now Castle Square) in North

Street, from around 1790. By

1854 there were no fewer than

nine in Brighton, with many

more ice merchants operating

later in the 19th century.

The Royal Pavilion ice house

is still there, but I wouldn’t

recommend digging for it, as

it has been partly concreted

over. It was briefly uncovered

in the 1950s during work in

the Pavilion Gardens. Its oval

layout and domed roof are clearly visible in the photograph above.

A detailed cross section of the structure, drawn in around 1830,

will be included in the exhibition next year.

Alexandra Loske, Curator at the Royal Pavilion

Ice House dug up, 1950s. © Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove

Ice House plans, 1830. © Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove





I’ve been dreading this issue ever

since I got the email from Alex,

the editor, telling me that the

theme was ‘learning stuff’. I spent

all of my pre-Magazine Brighton

life focusing on/wrestling with the

whole idea of learning, how it happens,

why it goes wrong and what

we can do about it. Aaaggghh!

What to focus on?

To make the decision more difficult,

most of our mags are about

‘learning stuff’, about knowing something new,

being able to do something better or developing a

deeper understanding about things. They are written

and produced by people who have chosen to

make a magazine around what interests them and

in which they have been immersed for ages. So

which magazine to choose? In the end, it wasn’t

too difficult. This month we have chosen to highlight


BrownBook is published in Dubai. It’s a magazine

about Arabic culture and influence around the

world. Don’t think this makes it stuffy; it’s anything

but. It is lively, provocative, open

and accepting. It’s well designed

and - this matters to more people

than I once thought - it smells

amazing. If you learn nothing else

from it, you’ll deepen your awareness

of the stunning contributions

Arabic culture has made for all of

us. As an antidote to some current

extremism, that seems hugely important

right now.

Each issue is themed. This issue’s

theme is the Baklawa, the sticky and delicious sweet

made in different ways around the world with cinnamon,

or pistachios or walnuts or orange blossom

water. By the time you have finished you’ll have

had a culinary and social tour of more places than

you could imagine. But there’s more than the main

theme in each issue. You’ll also learn about Soviet

architecture, Tunisian film-making, published authors

Juman Malouf and Hannan Al-Shaykh, and

much more.

If that isn’t learning stuff, I don’t know what is.

Martin Skelton, Magazine Brighton


No stranger to a detention ourselves, we were

delighted to find that a kindred spirit had taken a

time-out in this bathroom stall. We hope they took

the opportunity to think about what they had done.

Admittedly not technically within B&H city limits,

we snapped this whilst on our travels over the summer,

but where is it? (If we told you it’s in the home

of bear-pit karaoke, would that be cheating?)

Last month’s answer:

Northern Lights




Travis Hodges

Tracking the trackers

Photographer Travis Hodges

has long had a keen interest

in science and technology.

His major works include

portraits of the faces behind

some of the most popular

Twitter accounts, and

documentation of people

who self-track - use technology

to measure any number of elements of their

day-to-day life, from exercise to happiness. For

this month’s issue, we spoke to him about his most

recent work, with the University of Sussex…

What got you started with this? This series came

as a direct result of my project The Quantified Self,

which explores the phenomenon of self-tracking.

I met a member of staff from Sussex University

at one of the monthly ‘QS’ meet ups, and our

discussion developed into a commission from the

university. I have always had a fascination with the

sciences, the way that something goes from science

fiction to fact and on to become an ‘essential’ part

of our lives.

The portraits of the mathematicians and scientists

are accompanied by still lives of objects.

What was the thinking behind this? I wanted to

create something more than portraits for this series,

but it can be challenging to represent scientific

work in simple terms without dumbing things

down. The still-life images are a representation of

the research that each scientist undertakes, an experiment

of sorts. Some are physical objects which

are key elements of their research, others are conceptualisations

of the theories and ideas they work

with. Pairing the images adds another layer for the

viewer, along with some mystery, which hopefully

makes people want to

look more closely.

Were you surprised by

the sheer number of

experts in their field

in just one department?

It actually was

more surprising to see

how much cutting-edge

work was going on. My experience of academia has

always involved career teachers or retired practitioners

lecturing the next generation. The series

features a select group within just one department

of the university; how much other groundbreaking

work is being undertaken in the nondescript halls

of our universities? Some of the projects depicted

could lead to new understandings of our universe,

and phenomenal new technologies, which could

make the advancements of the last 50 years seem


The stories that accompany the portraits are

fascinating. You must have learnt a lot on the

shoots… I have a keen interest in all things scientific,

and really enjoyed the opportunity to learn

from each person. Having said that, the level that

they are working at is bewildering; I often found

myself just nodding along as they explained the

details of their research! One of the best aspects of

shooting portraits is the opportunity to meet people

you would be unlikely to come into contact with

otherwise, to get a glimpse into their lives and what

motivates them. To quote Einstein “Once you stop

learning, you start dying”.

Travis was interview by Jim Stephenson of The Miniclick

Photography Talks,




Mark Hindmarsh - Professor of Theoretical Physics and Director of Outreach




Computational power




Ion trap chip assembly

Winfried Hensinger - Professor of Quantum Technologies


eeze up...

to the Downs...

kids go


See leaflets

for details


Breeze up to Devil’s Dyke, Stanmer

Park or Ditchling Beacon by bus!

For times, fares, leaflets and walk ideas:


Phone 01273 292480

Or visit to plan any bus or train journey


䜀 漀 漀 搀 䌀 儀 䌀 䤀 渀 猀 瀀 攀 挀 琀 椀 漀 渀 刀 愀 琀 椀 渀 最



Seb Oliver - Professor of Astrophysics

Evolution of galaxies


Photo by Sebastian Contreras




MYbrighton: Jane Bom-Bane

Musician, café owner

Jane Bom-Bane is a musician, and the owner of

Bom-Banes café in George Street, Kemptown. As

the much-loved café celebrates its tenth birthday

this month, she talks to Viva about Saxon farmers,

conjoined twins and singing chefs.

What brought you to Brighton originally?

I’d had a yen to live here since I visited with my

Two-Tone band The Swinging Cats in the late 70s,

but circumstances seemed to get in the way. Later

on, my then partner Nick Pynn lived here, and

that, coupled with my son leaving home, made it

inevitable and easy.

How does the Bom-Banes of 2006 compare to

today’s incarnation? I’d never run an eatery before,

so the first year of Bom-Bane’s was a steep learning

curve. It wasn’t till the second year that I put the

music part of the plan into action. Now, there are

all sorts of events here - music, talks, puppetry,

films - and I perform both on my own and with the

best musicians in Brighton, including Eliza Skelton

(who’s also our chef) and Kate Daisy Grant, who

helps in the kitchen and café.

Is Brighton a good place to be a musician? For

me, running a café as well as performing, it’s very

exciting. But if you rely solely on music to make

your living, it’s difficult. Most of the great musicians

I know in Brighton also have to have another trade.

What would you change about the city if you

could? I like to see new developments alongside

the old, traditional Brighton but I’d make it easier

for small businesses like mine to thrive and keep the

corporates at arm’s length.

Where do you like to eat besides your place? Figaro’s

all-day breakfast cafe a few doors along from

us, plus Foodilic on North Street and Pavel Indian

restaurant on St James’ St.

When was the last time you swam in the sea?

Two weeks ago. I love swimming in the sea, but will

only go in if it’s calm.

Which historical Brighton figure would you

bring back and why? I would love to see if Boerthelm,

the Saxon in the 400s AD who supposedly

built his farmstead - or ‘tun’ - up on Hanover

Hill, really did exist. I’d talk to him all about how

Brighton began.

What do you think is the most overrated thing

about the city? Maybe the beach. Those stones are

a killer on bare feet.

Where is the best view in Brighton? Looking at

the Palace pier, what’s left of the old West Pier and

the white Regency houses across the sparkling sea

when I swim. These moments always remind me

how lucky I am to live here.

What is your favourite local story? It’s a sad but

fascinating story that conjoined twin dancers, Daisy

and Violet Hilton, lived above the Queen’s Arms

here on George Street. Sad because they were badly

treated but fascinating because they performed and

married, and lived until they were 60.

How do you fit into this month’s education

theme? We have a homework club on a Wednesday

at Bom-Bane’s for secondary school kids who

might be struggling. We also have people coming

in to put on short courses here from time to time

- art, photography, cryptic-crossword solving, film,

baking, and so on. And Eliza teaches singing here

sometimes. Nione Meakin


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Lizzie Enfield

Notes from North Village

“I have to go to the school,” I tell my husband, “to

pick up the offensive weapon our daughter took

with her this morning.”

He is not listening so my words have little impact.

“What time will you be back?” he asks cheerily, not

worried that our gentle, mild-mannered daughter is

in serious trouble.

The North Village is a lovely leafy area, and the

children go to a lovely leafy school. There has

never been any violence or knife crime. This is the

first incident I have heard of... and my child is the


“You understand I cannot return the offending item

to your daughter,” the head says on the phone.

I feel about eight years old. The head is probably

a few years younger than I am. But he is a figure

of authority. Thirty-something years after last being

summoned to the head’s office, I am not looking

forward to being in one again.

“Of course not,” I say. “I will come and pick it up


I don’t actually have to go to the head’s office to retrieve

the confiscated item but I still get the ‘you’re

a bad parent’ look from the school secretary who

hands it over.

It was a penknife, although, to be precise, it was really

just nail clippers in the guise of a penknife: a

penknife with only three tools - scissors that don’t

cut, nail clippers and a blade so blunt we were allowed

to take it on the airplane with us, after buying

it at the airport in Switzerland.

But the school have a strict ‘No Knife’ policy and,

to them, it’s a knife.

“I can’t think why she brought it in,” the secretary

says handing it over.

“She was cutting her nails and slipped it in her

pocket without thinking,” I say, wondering if she

will shrug and smile at the ridiculousness of it all.

She does not.

“I never went to school without a penknife,” husband

says when I fill him in, adding. “Or matches.

Are they allowed matches at school?”

I very much doubt it, but a few days later I bump

into a scientist friend who was part of the Sussex

University team which won a Nobel Prize for the

discovery of a particular carbon atom. He is carrying

a large rucksack and a couple of bin bags.

“Are you off somewhere?” I ask, querying the stuff.

“I’m doing a workshop in a school this afternoon.”

He does a lot of work aimed at making science more

accessible and interesting to youngsters.

“I’m going to show them how to make fire extinguishers,”

he pats the backpack and indicates the

rubbish. “I’m using this to make fires in the playground,

which they will then have to put out.”

“Excellent,” I say.

“Excellent,” says my husband, later, rubbing his

hands together with such delight that I wondered

if he is trying to show the kids how to make fire,

without matches…

Illustration by Joda,


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Amy Holtz

The truth is, I’m a Minnesotan

“These chillies look good,” I say

to my mother-in-law, Pauline, as

I lean into her greenhouse. My

cousin, who’s over from Minnesota

and abroad for the first time, nods.

We’re in one of those villages on

the other side of the Downs where

people get blacklisted for spending

less than four hours a day curating

their hydrangeas. There’s a

barbeque and complimenting the

chefs - my parents-in-law - seems like a good way to

get fed.

“And we’ve got cucumbers. And tom-ah-toes.” Both

look green and red respectively - healthy, as far as I

can tell. Which isn’t much.

“What?” My cousin says, wrinkling his nose and peering

at Pauline across the lawn.





I step in here. “He’s messing with you, Pauline.”

“No, I’m not. They’re ta-may-dohs.” He says.

“Absolutely not,” she replies, voice high. “It’s TOM.

T-O-M-AH-toes. And POT - P-O-T-ey-toes.”

“No, it’s ta-MAY-dohs.”

“Buddy, you’ve just expertly illustrated one of the

reasons everyone hates Americans.” I look for my beer.

“Hang on though,” I think aloud, stepping a safer

distance from projectiles and pulling up my advocacy

chair next to the Devil. “Why shouldn’t ‘tomato’ and

‘potato’ rhyme? They both end in ‘ato’. It’s just the

first part that’s different.”

The garden falls silent. I can sense her looking for,

triumphantly locating then brandishing

her trump - because we’re

not the only ones with one of those

to get rid of.

“Because that’s English. You’re in


Now, it’s easy to lose track of

how often someone says this to

me when I’ve lapsed into North

American - writing a ‘z’ somewhere,

or saying ‘pants’, or ‘trash’,

or ‘dude’ or even looking like I might enjoy and

vocally celebrate winning stuff. Being corrected is a

daily occurrence. So I know there’s really no coming

back from this. As an immigrant my keen ears register

a clank - likely the gathering of neighbourhood pitchforks

- so I signal a retreat.

My father-in-law waves his BBQ tongs at me. “When

are you going to write about me again for that thing

you write?”

“Just as soon as you do something entertaining.” I

say, rubbing my forehead, still trying to locate some

alcohol. He looks at the tongs, as if they might give

him inspiration. When they don’t, he wanders into the

kitchen to find some more props. When he emerges,

he’s got the ketchup and a gleam in his eye.

“I’ve been really trying to hide my Americanness

since I got here,” my 6’ 3’’ cousin confides. He looks

confused. I don’t blame him. All you can do is hope,

that after a considerable amount of time - say twenty

years or so - when someone discovers you’re from

‘that country’, that they’ll think you’re one of the

good ones and just feel sorry for you.

“It’s not possible, man. Just keep your mouth shut and

if you decide to open it, apologise a lot.”




John Helmer


Illustration by Joda,

“Do you like school?’”


“Do any of your friends like school?”


“Do you think the teachers like school?”


“Do you think anyone likes school?”


I’m heading into school with Poppy (13). It’s the

Summer holidays, but we’re going in to buy her a

new blazer for the coming Autumn term.

“Why do we all do these things we don’t like

doing? Perhaps I should pack in working and

home-school you.”

“Then we wouldn’t have any money.”

“We wouldn’t need blazers and stuff.”

“But we’d still need food.”

In the hall they have a ticketing system like the

one in Clarks. You take a ticket from the red dispenser

when you arrive, and wait in the dining hall

on the uncomfortable chairs until your number

flashes up on the illuminated sign. It’s one of those

institutional experiences like shopping in Argos

or signing on for benefits. We find some

seats, and I look around the hall, which is

crowded already.

“Do you know any of these kids?”

“They’re all Year Sevens,” she says

dismissively. This is bad news. It means

they’re new starters and will be buying

full battledress, including sports kit,

which means we’ll be here for ages.

I look at the number on our ticket and

then on the row of trestle tables at the

front, where uniforms are being dispensed.

“Five people serving, and another 25 tickets

to be served before ours - if they take

five minutes each to be served

that means… twenty-five divided by five—”

“Stop it!” hisses Poppy, outraged.

“It’s called estimation. It’s how some people run

entire businesses.”

“Just stop it.”

A tow-haired youth wearing a red spotted bandana

round his head waves shyly at Poppy. She smiles


“Who’s that?” I say suspiciously.

“He was in Berlin.”

“You talked to boys on that school trip?” Now I

am the outraged one. “I told you not to speak to


We have already had the talk. Don’t speak to boys.

Boys lie. I know: I was one.

Within 25 minutes, roughly as I estimated, we are

served, and shortly afterwards on the way home

for lunch. Which is when she drops her bombshell.

“I want to redecorate my room.”

Ice floes form in my bloodstream. This is how it

starts. We have seen three children through to

their majority before Poppy and they all, at some

point, go to the dark side. They come back again,

with any luck, but they do go to the dark side.

This usually manifests itself as a change of tastes -

e.g. Harry Potter out, the diaries of Kurt Cobain

in - and the repainting of fingernails and bedroom

walls in more somber tones. Scanning the list of

website domain names I have purchased over the

years, I found I could pinpoint the moment with

chilling accuracy in the case of Poppy’s older sister.

She was keen on building websites back then, and

mere months separated prettyrainbowfairyland. from

“So I suppose you’ll be painting your room black,”

I say gloomily.

She thinks for a moment. “White, I thought.”

I breathe again.




Ben Bailey rounds up the Brighton music scene


Sat 3 & Sun 4, Stanmer Park, 12pm, £103/£59

Yeah, yeah, so some old

duffer called Brian Wilson

is on the main stage. And

look, there’s a beardy guy

who reckons he was in

New Order. Even though these are the names that

justify the ticket price, there’s a lot more going on

at TTP than the heritage headliners. Look slightly

lower down the bill and you’ll find distinctive singer

songwriters like Jacko Hooper and Chris T-T

(above); garage rockers and post punks like Atlas

Wynd and Egyptian Blue; and synthpoppers like

Fickle Friends and Episodes. All homegrown, all

worth a watch. Fair play to One Inch Badge for giving

so many local bands the chance to play alongside

the big guns.


Fri 9, Rialto Theatre, 9pm, £8

DJ collective Family

Funktones have spent

15 years spreading their

love of deep funk and

heavy soul around the

city, promoting gigs,

running club nights and hosting a local radio show.

They deserve a nice birthday party - but it’s also a

fundraiser for 1BrightonFM. Alongside a 10-strong

DJ line-up, this night features the 10-piece funk

and soul group, The Impellers, themselves marking

an anniversary this year, their 10th as it happens.

Three years in the making, their latest release,

Disposable Breaks, is getting an airing in full. Veering

into jazz and afrobeat, these twelve tracks leave the

band’s vocals and horns on the sidelines in favour

of celebrating the rhythm section that makes it all

possible. Dancing isn’t optional.


Wed 28, Dome Studio Theatre, 7.30pm, £11

Though the geography is off, it shouldn’t come as a

surprise that the melting pot of Brighton music has

room for some rich Jamaican sounds. Nine-piece

dub outfit The Resonators fill that niche perfectly,

balancing downtempo beats with the uplifting and

unifying vocals of the group’s two fabulous singers,

Faye Houston and Kassia Zermon. Though this is

a rare hometown headline show for The Resonators,

coinciding with the launch of their third album,

Imaginary People, that’s not to say they can’t pull a

crowd. They supported reggae legend Jimmy Cliff

last year and haven’t slowed down since, except

perhaps in terms of tempo (they say the new album

is their heaviest and deepest yet). After a summer of

festivals, the band is off touring for a month, taking

in almost a dozen dates across the UK.


Sat 1 Oct, Brighton Racecourse, 1pm, £25


Racecourse has

recently become

a bit of a festival

hotspot, with

three big events

taking place there

in the next couple

of months. Party at the Races, however, is the only

one to incorporate the venue into the theme, promising

virtual horse riding, jockey jacket fancy dress

and a kind of betting system involving drinks tokens.

While Basement Jaxx take the headline slot, there’s

plenty of interesting local talent heading up the hill

to appear on the live-band stage, hosted by Brighton

Source. The Modern Strangers, Of Empires, Mantras

and Kudu Blue were the first names out of the

box, but there’s more to come.




Chisato Minamimura

‘Visual sound’ artist

Chisato Minamimura is a dancer and choreographer

whose deafness informs work she describes as

‘visual sound’.

When I first started working in the UK after

moving from Japan I didn’t know any other deaf

dancers. I couldn’t hear the music, but I was meticulous

in following the other dancers’ movements,

working with visual clues and anything else I could

pick up in the performance space.

I had so many ideas that I wanted to shape from

my deaf perspective that it was a natural progression

for me to move into choreography. I am

interested in sharing my deaf life, but I also want

to show that a deaf person can instigate and direct

work about sound and music, even though it might

seem like a contradiction.

I often describe my pieces as ‘visual sound’. Music

is about the hearing world, but dance has rhythm

and an attention to timing and movement in space.

I spend a lot of time sitting in the front row at

The Royal Opera House because I love seeing the

conductor working with the orchestra. I can’t hear

the music, but I find the movement that directs it

so compelling.

I was lucky to work early on with choreographer

Jonathan Burrows, who encouraged me to

make dance work through scoring visually. This is

an interesting way of communicating your intention

without needing the dancers to hear instructions

or listen to music. Those who download my

free app can see how mathematical scores inform

each piece I make, including Passages of Time, my

new work for this year’s Brighton Digital Festival.

The title of the work is taken from a quote by

composer Peter Maxwell Davies, who described

music as ‘the passage of time through sound.’ This

sits at the heart of my work, and is something I can

relate to absolutely. To me it sums up the science

and mechanics of what constitutes music.

Composer Danny Bright has scored a piece for

the work, drawn from the sounds the dancers make

when they move. Danny took samples from their

rehearsals and composed from these digitally. He is

experimenting with vibration, so the work will have

some loud and strange surprises - be warned! It’s

not solely musical, but it has interesting qualities

beyond that.

I hope my works encourage audiences, both

hearing and deaf, to experience the world differently.

Passages of Time uses digital technology as well

as dance and light to visualise sound and music. I

think deaf viewers will feel a strong connection to it,

but I don’t wish to be exclusive. I sign in the piece,

but there will also be captions for people to read.

Digital is such an interesting field, and I always

enjoy working with digital artists. It allows translation

of one sensory realm into another, and I just

love what it gives me, a whole palette with which to

create new worlds.

Interview by Nione Meakin

Chisato’s digital dance work, Passages of Time, is at

The Spire, Kemptown on September 3rd and 4th as

part of the month-long Brighton Digital Festival, see




Peter & the Test Tube Babies

Peacehaven wild kids

What makes the Peter &

the Test Tubes different

from other punk bands?

Our sense of humour I

guess. It’s the basis of pretty

much all of our songs.

We’ve always been pisstaking


What is Undercover

Festival? Undercover is a

great punk and ska festival

that used to take place in

Bisley in Surrey. This is the

first year it’s in Brighton

and the venue is great, so

I hope it’s a success. I’m

looking forward to watching

The Charred Hearts, a great

band. I enjoy festivals as a

punter as well as playing. Often I will take my

tent to a festival, decline the free hotel room and

rough it with everyone else. Much more fun.

What else are you doing this month? We’re

playing two gigs in one day on a boat going

down the Spree in Berlin. Really looking forward

to that. I’ve also been invited to Prague to the

premiere of a Slovakian film which has used some

of our music. And we’ve recently been signed

to Nuclear Blast Records, so we’re currently

rehearsing songs for a new album next year.

What was the last song you wrote? It was

called Found out My Wife’s on Tinder. Hopefully it

will be on the new album.

What was Brighton like when the band

started? Brighton was a very different place then.

It was far more exciting, and at times even dangerous,

to be a young punk rocker back in those

days. There were some amazing bands around

then, bands that inspired us to start our own. At

that time I lived in Peacehaven, but would hitch

to Brighton every Friday and spend the weekend

going to gigs. I now live

in a caravan close to the

beach in Lancing. Our

guitarist lives in Woodingdean,

our drummer

lives in Swindon and it’s

only our bassist, H, that

lives in Brighton. It’s way

too expensive now.

You used to write songs

mocking mods and

students. Which people

annoy you most these

days? Wankers who are

obsessed with Facebook. I

understand it’s a necessity

as an advertising forum

and it’s invaluable for

our band, but that’s it. I

have no desire to tell the world what I had for

breakfast, what colour my poo is or to show other

people videos of cats. Wankers, the lot of them.

What are the physical and mental effects of

being in a punk band for 40 years? Physically

my hearing has taken a bit of a hammering.

Financially I am probably a lot worse off than if

I had held down ‘a proper job’ - after all, I live

in a caravan! However, I wouldn’t swap a single

minute of it. I have been paid to travel the world

and I’ve met some fantastic people. We were

there in Berlin when the Wall came down. In fact

I actually have pieces from both sides of the wall

that I dislodged myself that day. We were the first

band to play in Croatia after the war. I ate ecstasy

ice cream when we played in the Shetlands. We

played at the skater Tony Hawk’s private party in

LA. We have been pretty much everywhere and

hopefully that’ll continue.

Ben Bailey interviewed Peter Test Tube

Peter & the Test Tube Babies play the Undercover

Festival, Friday 9th at Brighton Racecourse




The Violators

First-time director Helen Walsh

“Oh dear,” texts Helen

Walsh, in response to

the news that I’ve just

arrived back from my

honeymoon and I’d

like a Vimeo link to

her film The Violators,

before I interview

her the next morning.

“It might put a bit of

a dampener on your

holiday mood.”

No matter. I manage

to catch an hour of the film, and I’m immediately

immersed in the travails of its 15-year-old protagonist

Shelly, trying to look after her motherless kid

brother in underclass Birkenhead, a world of casual

prostitution, drug abuse, pawn shops, and relentless


“Is it a film that’s essentially about class?” I ask her,

down the phone, and I seem to have hit home, first

question in. “I’m often asked how or if my gender

has informed my directorial style. On a subconscious

level, yes, it probably has but once I’m behind

the camera, I cease to be a woman, a mother,

a feminist. Class though, is deeply embedded in the

decisions I make, as is sense of place.”

A sense of place. Birkenhead is a tough workingclass

town, dominated by its neighbouring cities,

which shares many similarities with nearby Warrington,

where Helen was brought up in ‘a house

with no books’. “I filmed within a five-mile radius,

on location, in and around the post-industrial

wastelands of Birkenhead. I rehearsed the actors

on the landscape, and the harshness of the environment

was reflected in their faces. We filmed

one scene in Liverpool, but I didn’t end up using

it. Tonally, it stuck

right out. The

change in environment

seemed to

elicit a different kind

of performance from

the actors.”

We talk about the

Dardennes brothers,

the Belgian directors

who have made

an art form of using

setting to great effect

in their human tales of young people making

their way through life as best they can in socially

deprived urban environments. Helen reveals that,

in particular, their 2002 film The Son was a major

influence on the her directorial style while making

The Violators (her first movie; Helen is also an

award-winning novelist). “The Dardennes privilege

truth over everything,” she says.

Her film was made with a small crew, and a tiny

budget, with little time to rehearse or plan set

locations: it’s all filmed in real places using natural

lighting, à la Dogme 95 (give or take the odd

snatch of background music). As a novelist who is

used to controlling her whole show, I ask her, was

it difficult working alongside a cinematographer?

“Of course I had to fight my corner and make sure

that the narrative rather than the cinematography

was the driving force of the film,” she says. “But

Tobin [Jones, her director of photography] understood

the sensibility I was striving for, which is

slightly more European in tone and outlook.” AL

The Violators, Fabrica, 7th, 7.30pm, featuring a

Q&A with Helen Walsh, as part of the Scalarama

Film Festival


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Turin Brakes

Back in the festival groove

You’re doing loads

of festivals off the

back of your new album,

Lost Property.

Isle of Wight, Glastonbury,


the People in Preston

Park… Think it’s

been ten years since

we did as many as

we’ve done this year;

I don’t know why, we

just stopped being a festival band. But then recently

we started to pop up on the UK festival

scene and we’ve loved it - we’re getting closer

and closer to stadium antics. All of a sudden we’re

playing all these bigger stages, reinventing ourselves

for the festival crowd.

A slight schedule dilemma at Glastonbury

- Turin Brakes playing at the same time as

Adele… She was a support act for us years ago,

at a little show in Camden - 2007, I think. We

hadn’t put two and two together that it was THE

Adele, so we made a joke that if it wasn’t for us,

she never would have got there. But it was completely

fine - Glastonbury is such a big festival

that we absolutely packed out the tent. Adele and

Turin Brakes can survive in the world together at

the same time.

How have your stadium antics played out at

festival gigs? Any flash covers? We kind of

avoid covers; in fact, we were just walking around

the other day saying the big difference between

festivals today and when we first started is that so

many now are like function bands - getting major

spots on the main stage. It’s cool, but it’s creeping

into slots that used to be there for original

artists. Where the hell are festivals going to be

in ten years’ time? You’ve gotta keep being brave

and putting original

artists onstage or

it all starts turning

into ‘X Factor Karaoke

Land’. For us,

it’s about building up

energy between these

serious, melancholic

songs we do; there’s

lots of jokes and

piss-taking. Our bass

player Ed is a lunatic

onstage, expressing himself wildly. We’ve learned

to loosen up and not take ourselves too seriously.

Your and Gale’s transcendent harmonies are

the hallmark of Turin Brakes’ sound - was

this fate? Or something to do with growing

up together? We went to the same primary

school and were in a cathedral choir. All the

years we’ve spent hanging out with each other,

with the same reference points, the same understanding

- we can probably communicate more

in a single stare than other people could do in

days. It’s an unspoken thing that can only come

through chemistry. With Rob and Ed, it was pure

luck that the chemistry was there. That’s like

striking oil - incredibly rare.

What is floating your musical boat at the moment?

I’ve gone backwards, actually, rediscovering

an album by Elliott Smith called XO - which

I used to listen to years ago; I found it the other

day and haven’t stopped listening to it. The Maccabees,

Laura Marling - I love her. Strong songwriters

always float my boat - from Joni Mitchell

to Kate Bush and everyone in between.

Amy Holtz interviewed Olly Knights

Turin Brakes play Together the People in

Brighton on the 4th and Hastings Pier on the





Chris Levine

1066, lasers, and all that

Image courtesy of Wonderfruit

Laser artist Chris Levine works all over the world.

He’s collaborated with Grace Jones and Kate Moss,

created a holographic portrait of the Queen and a

birthday portrait of the Dalai Lama. Most recently,

he designed a spectacular laser show as part of a

tribute to David Bowie at the Glastonbury Festival.

We tracked down globetrotting Chris to ask him

about this, as well as the ‘immersive sight and

sound installation’ Iy Project: The Nature of Sound

and Light, which he is creating in collaboration

with Edenlab (part of the Eden Project). This will

take place on Hastings’ new pier to kick off the

Hastings Root 1066 Festival, celebrating the 950th

anniversary of the Norman Conquest.

Tell us about your part in the David Bowie

tribute, Philip Glass’s “Heroes” Symphony, at

Glastonbury. Bowie had a huge influence on me

at art school, and I had hoped to do his portrait

this year. I did a holographic design for him years

ago. He was a special being. Philip Glass was the

soundtrack to a period of my life, so it was a huge

honour to be asked to do this project. The response

was pretty phenomenal, and during some of

the silent moments there was a palpable reverence

for the starman.

Have you visited Hastings’ new pier?

Yes I have, and it was a thrill. The pier puts you

face-to-face with the raw power of the sea. When

you consider how little of the ocean has actually

been explored, it holds great mysteries.

Talk us through your planned Hastings installation.

The brief has been fairly open but in that,

trust is a huge challenge. The work we are doing

with the iy project is the antithesis of conflict,

and a celebration of the natural wonder of life on

earth. Meditation is the key, and I’ve found that

by immersing your senses in sound and light, laser

light in particular, one can attain brief moments

between thoughts, and it’s during these moments

that something recalibrates and harmonises us.

What are the pleasures and challenges of the

location? To be exposed to such natural forces of

the wind and sea will add to the natural dimension

of the work. The sound is a crucial aspect of the

work we’re doing, and depending on the weather,

the noise of the wind may well overpower some

of the more subtle layers of the soundscape. I say

soundscape and not music because it is primarily

the energy of sound at certain frequencies that

informs the work.

You’ve done some amazing collaborations.

Does who you work with make a difference to

how you feel about your work? I do get affirmation

that I’m not a cadet lost in space, but [you

know you’re] getting into something very interesting

when real talent is drawn to the work.

Emma Chaplin

Sat 10th, Hastings Pier and Promenade. Doors, 7pm,

show, 8pm. Free but booking required for pier viewing,




Chiddingly Chillerama

Corin Hardy’s home-turf horrorfest

“I was so obsessed with

Morph when I was a

little kid,” says soon-tobe

Hollywood director

Corin Hardy, sitting in

the Six Bells, in Chiddingly,

“that I wrote

to the BBC asking if I

could have him when

they’d finished with him.

I was heartbroken when

I found out he didn’t

really exist.”

Corin, who grew up in the village, and has in

recent years moved back, continued as a teenager

to be obsessed with all things stop-motion

animation, as well as fostering an unhealthy

interest in horror movies. He used to spend

long summer holidays making Super-8 slasher

flicks with his friends in the village: “we used up

a lot of tomato sauce.”

He also spent thousands of hours making his

own monsters in a shed in his garden, which set

him in good stead to do “in effect a special effects

course” at Wimbledon Art School. Thence

back to the shed to make his own half-hour

stop-motion movie, Butterfly, shot over five

years within a number of intricately built sets

and home-made puppets. In the meantime he

cut his teeth in the professional world as a pop

video director, for the likes of The Prodigy, Ed

Sheeran, and McFly.

We move to said shed, which is neatly furnished

with paraphernalia from his career, in particular

gruesome masks and models from his first fulllength

feature, the 2015 horror film The Hallow

(starring Joseph Mawle, from Game of Thrones)

as well as awards the film won, including Best

Horror at the 2016 Empire Film Awards (other

winners on the stage

that night included

Matt Damon and Sam

Mendes). The Hallow,

which Corin calls his

‘survival fairytale’, made

its premiere at the

Sundance Festival and

has been a launching

pad for what promises

to be a stellar career: he

has three other films in

the pipeline, including

as director of a $50 million Hollywood remake

of 90s classic The Crow.

None of this seems to have gone to his head:

he’s got a word for everyone in the Six Bells,

most of whom enquire about the wellbeing of

his ear: in a moment reminiscent of scenes in

The Hallow, in which the natural world turns

on a couple after they move to a cabin in the

woods, he has had an accident with the branch

of a tree. Spooky.

This month, as part of the 38th Chiddingly

Festival, Corin is helping other up-and-coming

film-makers, by setting up the Chiddingly

Chillerama, a one-night horror movie festival

taking place in the (souped up for the occasion)

Village Hall. As well as a special screening

of The Hallow (“the Chiddingly premiere”,

he jokingly calls it) he’ll show a number of

hand-picked recently made UK horror shorts.

There will also be models and props from his

film, a Q&A with Corin, and a ‘special guest’

I’m sworn to secrecy about. All in all something

of a celebration of a very home-grown talent:

Morph has a lot to answer for. Alex Leith

Chiddingly Chillerama, part of Chiddingly Festival.

22nd, 7pm, £7, @corinhardy

Photo by Boo Hunniset / Gunhill Studios




Groove Armada

Back shakin’ that ass

It’s been almost twenty

years since Groove

Armada started knocking

out hits like At

The River and I See You

Baby in the late 90s.

In that time they’ve

run clubs and festivals,

toured the world and

played on some huge

stadium stages. This

month the duo are in

Brighton for Boundary

festival, having

come full circle to return to their house roots.

We caught up with one half of the Armada, Tom

Findlay (pictured left).

What does returning to your roots mean in

practical terms of recording and performing?

Well, we’re writing more remotely these days,

sending music back and forth over the internet.

It’s just us now in the DJ booth, no more musicians,

crew and all that. So I guess you could say

life’s a bit less complicated.

You’ve spoken about moving away from big

stadium sets in favour of nightclubs and parties.

Is Boundary a good compromise between

the two? Brighton is one of our favourite places,

and the line-up for Boundary looks amazing. We

can play these kind of festival sets better than

most, so yeah this is a perfect fit.

What kind of set will you be doing? We don’t

pre-plan too much, we’ll get there and vibe it

out - we’ve got a lot of new music coming out so

expect some exclusives, two new mixes of Superstylin’

and thrills and spills aplenty.

Is there anyone else on the line-up you’re

looking forward to seeing? Seth T always,

Craig David doing his thing. It’s got a vibe.

Is the club scene dying or do we just need to

get out more? I think it’s a really challenging

time for clubbing in

the UK. The Nightlife

Matters campaign

(do check it out) says

it all really. From

my own London

perspective, clubs are

shutting left, right

and… Fabric is under

pressure again, the

fire at Studio 338 was

devastating. I think

it’s a massive part of

our cultural heritage

and we need to celebrate and cherish it more.

Do you think festivals have taken on the role

that used to be played by raves? They have, and

clubs too to some extent. The festival scene in the

UK is amazing right now, something to be really

proud of. The fact we all want to get together

all summer, jump around and dance is, I think, a

beautiful thing.

If someone asked to play at a random rave on

the Downs would you do it? Depends who’s


Twenty years on, how do you feel about those

early hits like At The River? Well it’s odd,

they feel quite removed, like maybe someone

else wrote them. I hear them sometimes out and

about, and it takes me a while to connect to them.

But I’m proud of everything we’ve done really,

apart maybe from the Chicken Madras ad.

Are you doing anything to celebrate the

band’s anniversary? We’re in the planning

phase. We’ll do something, maybe me and Andy

will just go for a romantic meal somewhere and

post it on Instagram.

Interview by Ben Bailey

Groove Armada are playing at Boundary

Brighton on Saturday 17th at Stanmer Park.


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Eimear McBride

A love letter to 90s London

Eimear McBride

won the Baileys

Women’s Prize for

Fiction in 2014 for

her debut novel, A

Girl is a Half-Formed

Thing, a tale of a

young woman’s

coming-of-age in

rural Ireland. Her

second book, The

Lesser Bohemians,

is out now. She

appears at the

Charleston Small

Wonder Festival this month.

The Lesser Bohemians is set in mid-1990s

London. For me, it feels like a love letter to

that time and place as much as a study of human

relationships. Was that your intention?

I think you’re right in calling it a love letter.

I hadn’t set out to write about that time, but I

had recently moved back to Ireland and I really

missed living in London. I started to think about

it, particularly the London I’d known when I first

arrived at 17, and I became interested in examining

that time. Everyone has their own London;

that was mine. I felt like it was a very interesting

period where lots of things were about to change.

You moved to London from Ireland in 1993,

aged 17, to study drama. The Lesser Bohemians

tells the story of an 18-year-old Irish girl

who moves to London to attend drama school

in 1994. Are you braced for the assumption

that it’s autobiographical? People made that

assumption about my first book, so I’m prepared

for it and I understand why people draw those

parallels, but it’s very much a work of fiction. But

it’s interesting that that question comes up a lot.

I think often when people feel affected by something,

they want to believe that it’s really true.

That in itself is

intriguing, because

the beauty of

fiction is its ability

to speak about

deeper truths.

There often

seems to be an

assumption that

women writers,

in particular,

must necessarily

be writing from

a place of experience.

It’s certainly

something women deal with a lot more than men;

I think [that assumption] is something a lot of

critics feel more comfortable with when it comes

to women. I think they feel unsafe when women

make great imaginative leaps - in a way that they

don’t with men - because we aren’t supposed to,

traditionally, and if we do, we’re supposed to keep

it to ourselves. I do find it annoying that it comes

up again and again. When was the last time

someone asked [Philip] Roth what exactly was

and what was not true, you know?

Both of your novels tell the stories of young

women teetering on the brink of adulthood.

What is it about that particular framework

for a character that you’re drawn to? Well, A

Girl is a Half-Formed Thing follows a person from

the womb to the age of 20. But I suppose I’m

interested in the moments when we are formed as

people; that time when we start to become what

we will be.

Interview by Moya Crockett

Eimear McBride appears in conversation at the

Charleston Small Wonder Short Story Festival at

5.30pm on Friday 30th. £12 (£10 concessions).

Charleston, Firle, BN8 6LL. For tickets see

Photo © JMA Photography




Naomi Foyle

Beyond the walls of the garden

“Just try to think about weeds

coming up through the cracks,”

says author Naomi Foyle reassuringly,

“and how those weeds can

break through the concrete.” Foyle

and I are sitting in Moe’s Café off

London Road, and the conversation

has moved from her latest

novel The Blood of the Hoopoe, the

third in her Gaia Chronicles quartet,

to the state of the world. She

is reminding me of the weeds, of

grassroots, of hope.

Foyle’s series is a combination of scientific and

fantasy fiction, set in a society restoring itself

after ecological disaster. Not only is she a successful

fiction writer but an award-winning poet

and a political activist too, vocal about human

rights. Both poetry and politics inform her novels;

Foyle’s prose is rich and elegant and the

world she builds is developed from a “desire to

create change.”

“I suppose the reason I’m attracted to science

fiction is because it presents me with the opportunity

to create a different, in some way, more

politically developed, world,” she continues. Her

work is not a simple mirroring of this world into

a fantastical setting. Her books are populated by,

and celebrate, voices often neglected in popular

narratives. These include powerful women, integral

and dynamic disabled characters, and refugees.

This is where Foyle’s world-building begins,

offering alternative figures from the start:

“I do think that if you know something is clichéd

or stereotyped then you have a responsibility as a

writer to not peddle it, so in that case, all the old

tropes need to go.”

Refusing to merely reflect

back at the reader what she

sees in the world, Foyle says

that her world-building is

founded on critiquing conventional

power structures

and “most importantly critiquing

and examining myself; I

don’t want to be someone on

the outside wagging a finger

at other people, telling people

how to live. It is a case of looking

at the facts, what we can all

do to be more aware of how we live and trying to

change it without judgment. You have to judge

the situation, not people.”

This approach to change is evident in the Gaia

chronicles. They are thought-provoking and

rousing, and Foyle encourages the reader to

wake up to the world around them in the way

her characters do. “What I wanted to do with

the books was create this beautiful little world

that nevertheless was founded on injustice, and

to have the characters gradually become aware

of it during the course of the novels. Becoming

aware of the wider picture, of people beyond the

walls of the garden.”

Inspired by “what people do at a local level and

how people get involved in international politics,”

the Gaia Chronicles are ultimately optimistic

and full of hope. Her characters affect

change as they become increasingly conscious of

the realities of their world in a manner similar to

“grassroots movements which are so integral to

any change; we’ve got to talk about and remember

the weeds.”

Holly Fitzgerald


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Bitten by Picasso

Farley Farm House goes east

In 2001 there were two related exhibitions in Edinburgh.

One, at the Scottish National Gallery of

Modern Art, was devoted to Lee Miller’s photography.

The other, at the Dean Gallery, showcased the

work of her husband, the painter and prodigious

art collector Roland Penrose. Loosely inserted in

my catalogue for the shows is a postcard of one of

Lee Miller’s photographs. Taken in 1948, it depicts

a small boy and a cat in a London garden. The cat’s

name was de Valera. The boy is Antony, Roland and

Lee’s son. The back of the card is inscribed: ‘David

- I wish you could have met the cat! Best wishes,

Antony Penrose, 21st October, 2003.’ I bought the

card at Farley Farm House, the Sussex home from

1949 of Lee Miller and Roland Penrose, and it was

inscribed at the end of a marvellous guided tour

that lasted three hours and culminated in a spread

of Sussex wines and cheeses.

Farley Farm House is now open to visitors for

50-minute guided tours, every Sunday from April

to October, but back in 2003 it was by appointment

only for private parties of 12-15. Among my group,

assembled by my friend Chris McConville, were

Joe and Pat Carrington. Joe, an old school chum

of Chris’ in Blackpool, was a Lancashire relation of

the surrealist artist Leonora Carrington. Lunching

in the Lewes Arms before setting off for Chiddingly,

I showed everyone a photo of Leonora in the Edinburgh

catalogue. “Eh, Joe,” Pat exclaimed, “she’s

the spitting image of your Auntie Mabel.” At the

Farm House Antony Penrose had taken the trouble

of unearthing some additional Leonora Carrington

material to show us.

But perhaps the highlight of a memorable day was

the sudden appearance (fortuitous? Stage-managed?

It hardly matters) of Patsy Murray, who had

arrived at the house to look after Antony in 1951

and, fifty-two years later, was still holding everything

together. She’s rather the heroine of Antony’s

latest book; The House of the Surrealists: Lee Miller,

Roland Penrose and their circle at Farley Farm House.

The dedication reads: ‘For Patsy, with love and

thanks. Without you Farleys would not have existed

and my life would have been unbearably bleak.’

Of all the distinguished artists who visited over the

years - Miró, Max Ernst, Man Ray - the most distinguished

of all was Picasso, who stayed in 1950.

He bonded with Antony immediately. Pretend bullfights

ended in Antony biting Picasso. Picasso bit

him back. A stunned silence ensued before Picasso

exclaimed: ‘Pensez. C’est le premier Anglais que

j’ai jamais mordu’ (‘That’s the first Englishman I’ve

ever bitten’). Antony Penrose has written: ‘To get

the best out of Picasso it was best to be an animal

or a small child,’ so perhaps the artist would have

appreciated my postcard.

A show at the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings (until

9th October) is entitled Bitten by Picasso. It comprises

ceramics, etchings and photographs of and by

Picasso, drawn from the extraordinary Farley Farm

House archive. It makes the Jerwood even more

than usually worth visiting. David Jarman

Picasso, Villa la Californie, Cannes, France, 1957, Lee Miller © the artist's estate




Tom Hammick

Artist & curator of 'Towards Night'

We spoke to Tom Hammick, the Sussex-based and

internationally acclaimed artist, about the upcoming

exhibition Towards Night, which marks his debut

as a curator.

As a romantic, the night is contextually more

interesting to me than the day as a backdrop

for my own work. You can use it as a device to cut

away the pith and excess. As a spotlight, blacking

out areas to focus on small spots of colour. The

show demonstrates the influence that the 19thcentury

Northern Romantic tradition in painting

has had on various artists making work now. As a

figurative painter I feel that a certain sort of metaphorical

painting has been out in the cold for quite

a while since the ascendency of the YBAs. This is

starting to change; partly as a response to the crash

in 2008/9, quiet painting is back in the ascendancy.

This show is a celebration of work that is on the

whole quite subtle and has a unifying metaphysical


The show begins with an introduction to wonderment,

using landscape as a hanger for a positive

response to the world we live in. And then

things get more dystopian and dark as the show

progresses. Landscapes become more edgy, full of

pathos and fear. A response to contemporary angst,

perhaps. There are sections later on that focus on

night journeys, as a metaphor for the end of days,

and the night city, which is as much about revelry

as a sort of post-Edward Hopper isolation. Velvet

curtains shutting the night from Patrick Caulfield,

and a couple in a passionate embrace in a beautiful

Munch woodcut from the V&A. Two people

wrapped up in each other - it’s a sexy, erotic im-

Photo of Tom Hammick by Leigh Simpson




Marc Chagall, The Poet Reclining, 1915. Photo ©Tate, London

2016. Chagall ® - ©ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016

'Waiting for Time' by Tom Hammick

age. Then there’s a room of paintings and prints

about dreams and insomnia. A famous spiral work

by Louise Bourgeois. And finally, in the last room,

there’s a poetic release in the pressure, with pictures

celebrating the moon. Samuel Palmer, Blake and

many other artists feature here.

There are close to 70 pieces in the show, but

it revolves around three or four great works,

which we’re incredibly lucky to have in Eastbourne.

The first is Caspar David Friedrich’s Winter Landscape

which, unbelievably, the National Gallery

have lent us. It’s tiny, a jewel of a painting. But it’s

got such charismatic power. On one level it’s an

extraordinary landscape, and on another, a picture

about the afterlife.

The next is The Poet Reclining by Marc Chagall.

A poet lies in a green field with hillbilly barns behind

him, fir trees and a horse and a pig. But you don’t

really know where he is. It could be that he’s in his

bedroom in Paris, but dreaming about the landscape

of his youth. It’s almost like a thought bubble. The

night opens up a language for the painter. We can

use it to talk about memory, imagination and loss.

Echo Lake by Peter Doig is a painting from a

still from Friday the Thirteenth. In it, a traffic

cop overlooks a lake, his hands on his head like a

modern day version of Munch’s The Scream. It’s a

painting about the angst and despair that we often

feel in modern life. Doig uses the landscape to reflect

on what the figure might be feeling internally.

The Towner have never had such an expensive

show, but it’s important to get these works out of

London. Nicholas Serota spoke recently at the De

La Warr about a ‘string of pearls’, from the Turner

Contemporary in Margate, to the amazing things

happening at Jerwood, The De La Warr Pavilion,

and Towner. Then there’s Pallant House, which

always punches above its weight. We’re incredibly

lucky down here.

Towner wanted to have a show curated by a

painter for a change. Like the experience of seeing

work hung in an artist’s house that makes sense

of two seemingly unrelated pictures. I’ve never curated

a show before and I’ve come to realise how

much work is involved. I’m not getting much sleep!

As told to Lizzie Lower

Towards Night: From Friedrich to Bourgeois: Sixty

Artists Explore the Nocturnal is at Towner Art Gallery

from 24th September until January 2017.



British Painting and


We look forward to welcoming

you to our gallery in Hove.


Mon—Sat 10.30am—5pm

Sunday/bank holidays 12pm—5pm

Closed Tuesday

For more details visit


A_VivaLewes_Advert_66x94_August2016_v2AW.indd 1 18/08/2016 14:46



Red Sunset Looking Towards Scotch Pines

Grant Dejonge

‘Explosions of light’

A good sunset feels like it’s all around you and

above you, and that’s quite hard to get across on

a 2D surface. What I’m trying to capture in each

of my paintings is a transient moment, that quick

explosion of light just before the sunset disappears.

Most of the sunsets I paint are from outside

my back window in Plumpton, looking out over

the South Downs. We’re really fortunate to have

such incredible light here; the flat light in one direction,

the light bouncing up off the sea, and the

rolling Downs in the middle. It’s a very changing

landscape which we sometimes take for granted -

before I moved to Plumpton I had lived in Brighton

for seven years, and I didn’t even know the Downs

were here!

My favourite place to paint is up the road at the

top of Streat Hill. I can drive up there in the car

with my easel very easily, but getting set up at the

top of the hill is like trying to put up a sail in the

wind, with everything blowing around, trying to

hold down the easel with my foot. So most of what

I paint in situ is smaller pieces; for anything bigger

than about 30x60, I work from photographs.

I usually get five or six photographs of a sunset

and work from a mixture of different images,

because I don’t like to copy things exactly. Everybody

sees things differently, so one of the challenges

of being a painter is being able to capture what it

is you see and to be able to achieve a dialogue with

your audience and convince them of your vision.

I visited the Frank Auerbach retrospective at

the Tate earlier this year. I’ve always been a huge

fan of his - he lived just down the road from where I

used to live in London and I had painted a lot of the

same buildings as him - but I was still taken aback

by his work, the way you can see his progression

and thought process. He had a way of using zigzags

to express space and dynamism, which inspired me

to start using more geometric shapes in my work.

About a year ago I exhibited my first illuminated

works, which are painted onto light-reflective

Perspex in oil paint. Each piece is set on a lightbox

with a rail of LEDs inside, which alternate between

15 different colours. Getting each piece to look

right is very much a case of trial and error because

certain pigments, like yellow, are weaker than others,

so it can be harder to achieve the colours I’m

looking for. But the way the light diffuses through

the material, creating this beautiful glow, makes it

worth persevering. As told to Rebecca Cunningham

Grant will be at Brighton Art Fair, 23rd-25th, the

Corn Exchange.


at Middle Farm

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Focus on:

Iris De La Torre

Frida Kahlo golden heart and

eyebrows brooch

Acrylic, 6cm, £16

Tell me about the brooch. The starting point

for this brooch was Frida Kahlo’s face, and in

particular her eyebrows. My work is very graphic

and stylised, and I use a lot of geometric shapes

and symmetry. I like my collections to be cohesive,

to form a graphic language, and with Frida it was

obvious to me that her long eyebrows look like the

shape of a heart.

Frida Kahlo was known for her self-portraits -

did her work influence your style? I believe that

Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits were based on her own

experiences, in particular her personal pain. I admire

her strength and passion, for being a woman

of her own beliefs, outspoken, artistic and creative.

She was way ahead of her time in a very traditional

and Catholic 1930s Mexico. All of these elements

made me want to make a brooch as a tribute to her

and to my country.

I gather you first fell in love with plastic as a

child with your lilac jelly shoes - how did this

later translate into your jewellery design? I

loved the texture, the colour, the lustre, the flexibility,

even the smell. They smell like bubble gum!

I had the opportunity at university to use Perspex

and was encouraged to find alternative materials

rather than traditional precious metals to translate

my graphic and colourful vision. When I work

with synthetic materials, it reminds me of the love

that I had for those lilac shoes.

What’s your starting point when you sit down

to begin a new design? I was trained at Central

St Martins where I discovered I am an intuitive

and instinctive designer, rather than logical. I am

highly visual, and collect lots of images and objects

from which design ideas form and are developed.

I sketch a lot of different shapes until I find the

one that resonates with me. Once I am happy with

that I develop it on the computer, before making

models to see if it works.

What about composition and colours? I am

limited by the Perspex colour palette for my jewellery

designs, however it constitutes a broad range.

For the ‘Mexico in the UK’ collection I chose

strong, rich precious-metal colours such as gold

and pearlescent.

What technical difficulties are presented when

working in plastic? I have to rely on laser-cutters

and the standard and accuracy varies quite dramatically.

The gluing when layering Perspex can

be messy so I’ve learnt how to avoid marking the

material by masking each component piece, and

that can take a long time!

Julia Zaltzman

Iris will be at MADE Brighton, the Corn Exchange,

Fri 23rd-Sun 25th.





‘Making engagement engaging’

I’m interviewing Megan Leckie and Joseph

Palmer of BlockBuilders at Hotel du Vin when

we are interrupted by a beaming redhead.

“I’m an enthusiastic listener to your conversation,”

she says. “I’m doing research to take back

to the US Dept of Education, but I’m also a

Microsoft Innovative Education Expert… You’re

doing great stuff.”

A delighted Megan and Joe are explaining to

me, and our new friend also, how they work for

developers and councils to build public engagement

with the planning process using Minecraft.

They recently won funding from Innovate UK

to build digital maps and models of cities using

open-source data. “Ideally,” says Joe, “anyone

would be able to download Brighton, for example,

and play it.”

BlockBuilders started just two years ago. When

Joe was at the University of Brighton he took

part in a project called Young Digital Citizenship,

and his housemate Megan, an avid gamer,

saw the fun and quickly got involved.

Megan and Joe led a workshop at Lewes Railway

Land, getting kids to redesign their town using

Minecraft. They took the idea to Brighton

Digital Festival, and soon Megan was giving

talks at TEDx. BlockBuilders now work at the

university-owned Place Maker Space at FIELD

on Lewes Road with Exploring Senses and Community21;

they also travel for projects further

out. Who knows, after our chance meeting, their

next stop could be Washington DC.




As further testament to the positivity Block-

Builders inspires, we’ve already seen the first

real-life actualisation of ideas brought about

through their workshops. The pond and apple

tree by the Linklater Pavilion in Lewes seem a

rather sensible outcome, given the process by

which they arrived. Joe says, however, they make

a point of getting the far-out ideas out of the

way first.

If the kids want to knock down the Post Office to

build a rollercoaster, for instance, “you can run

simulations in which the Post Office is gone, the

Fire Station is gone, and they start developing an

understanding of what it takes to build a place in

a short amount of time.”

One of their most exciting Brighton projects is

Valley Gardens - running from the Level to the

seafront. One idea is for an intergenerational

park, including a Minecraft chess set to get

young and old playing together. Another is to

reduce traffic, possibly through the implementation

of a congestion charge.

“Rather than just getting opinions out of people,

we look for visions,” says Joe. “We look for community

insight.” Although many workshops are

aimed at young people, they find this encourages

others to take part: a grandparent perhaps, or a

working parent who would otherwise have no

time to attend planning meetings. “I think engagement

for us is about enabling conversations,”

says Joe; it’s also about giving voice to those who

would not be heard.

Minecraft, it seems, is a perfect tool for removing

inhibitions. “You don’t have to be good at reading,

or writing or speaking,” says Megan,

“…because you’re playing, you’re designing,

your opinions are coming out that way instead…

By the end, the kids all want to stand and talk

for hours about what they have built.” Chloë King


A unique

learning community

for 9-16 year olds

in the heart of Brighton

Create your own curriculum

Learn what you want to learn

Become who you want to be





“It’s a good place to learn, it’s calm,

smaller than a school, more one on one.”

SMLCollege student, Chance

Self Managed Learning College

based at Brighton Youth Centre

64 Edward Street, Brighton, BN2 0JR

Registered charity No. 1110315



Photos by Rebecca Cunningham


Cool stationery

What’s tinc? It started off in 2011 as a stationery

shop, now we’ve expanded into more of a lifestyle

store. We do bags and jewellery, towels to bring

to the beach, gadgets and electronics… The first

shop opened in Bath; now there are 21, all in the

UK. We like to be near other fun, quirky shops,

like our spot here in the Lanes, where we’ve been

for three years now.

What do you do? I’m the manager. I’ve worked

here for two years and been in Brighton for four.

The shop has changed so much since I started.

Two years ago we only had the original four tinc

ranges - black, blue, green and pink - and every

colour had its own tribe. The black ones are the

Kronk tribe, greens are the Hugga tribe, blues are

the Tonkin tribe and pinks are the Mallo tribe.

The kids can log into this online world called

‘tincville’ and choose a tribe and play games. Now

we’ve expanded into purple and mixed colours.

Are you into stationery? Yeah! When I was

at school I used to collect erasers - but I never

wanted to use them, obviously, I wanted to keep

them all perfect. I loved going back to school

with everything brand new.

Do you get to try out all the new products?

Yeah, we have a kind of creative blog called

‘tincspiration’, where we all post different ideas.

They’re not always about the products - last

month we did a ‘Bake Off’ and put up pictures of

the cakes we all made - but other times the managers

or our friends think of a fun idea and write

a post on it. We have these great electric erasers,

and a friend who’s an illustrator tried pencilling

in an entire sheet of paper and drawing into it

with the eraser, so creating a rubbed-out image.

Most of us are really creative; I make jewellery

and there’s another guy who’s a graphic designer.

What would be your back-to-school essentials?

A hardtop pencil case, definitely. They have

slots for all your pens and pencils and a pocket at

the back to keep bits of paper. They’re wipeclean,

too, which is great. A lunchbox - they fit

our little snackboxes and bottles inside. And kids

love our rucksacks. We have a new range with

lights on the front, so when you walk around they

light up!

Rebecca Cunningham interviewed Carla Thorne

9 East Street,



Adam Bronkhorst went back to school this month. Five schools, in fact, to

photograph the headteachers. Fortunately he didn’t spend too much time

sitting outside any of their offices...We asked each one for their

favourite mnemonic (or saying). | 07879 401 333

Mrs Healey, St Bartholomew’s Primary

“Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain.”


Clare Eddison, Dharma Primary School

“Mine is a Maya Angelou quote: ‘My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do

so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style’.”


Mr Deighan, Varndean School

“‘Every Good Boy Deserves Favour’, to remember notes of a stave.”


Mr Bradford, Dorothy Stringer

“‘Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.’ Although that’s not quite accurate - the marriages of

Catherine of Aragon and Anne of Cleves ended in annulment, not divorce. Also Anne of Cleves and Katherine

Parr both outlived Henry. But it will do.”


Ms Willard, Elm Grove Primary

“Big Elephants Can’t Always Use Small Exits.”



The Village

Posh breakfast in Hanover

It’s 9.15am on a Tuesday morning, and I appear to be

the first customer of the day at The Village: the pleasant

blue-haired girl wearing army boots hasn’t yet put the

menus out. She hands me one, and I choose ‘Mushroom Toast’, described as ‘Portobello mushroom, spinach

and pine nuts on sourdough toast’ (£6.50). I live in Queens Park and work just off the London Road, so, if

I take something of a circuitous route, this café-bar is on my way to work, and I’m interested in whether it’s

likely to become a regular stopping-off point.

Inside, it’s Hanover through and through. An assortment of books on the shelf, rugs on the wooden floor,

sixties music playing through the speakers, and the chance - which I turn down - to ‘add Calcot Farm black

pudding’ for an extra £1.50, something I’m not hungry enough to do, sadly.

The Village was until recently a pub, the Horse and Groom, which was bought by property developers with

the idea of turning it into offices. A campaign group fought hard to stop this happening, turned it into an Asset

of Community Value, and the result is this licenced café, which opened in December.

My breakfast, washed down with a flat white, hits the spot, once I’ve added a dose of salt. I eat slowly, reading

a London Review of Books article about Jeremy Corbyn, and smiling to myself when the shuffle function puts

on I Got You, Babe twice in three songs. A great place for a slow brunch, then; next time I’ll build up more of a

hunger and try out the black pudding, too. Alex Leith

Food & Drink directory


The Better Half

The Better Half pub has put

the heart and soul back into

one of the oldest public houses

in the city, just off Hove

seafront. There’s a superb

wine and spirits list and some great ales and ciders

on offer, as well as a hearty and wholesome menu

to enjoy, making the best of local ingredients. The

Better Half is relaxed, friendly and easy-going,

making all feel welcome and comfortable when

you visit.

1 Hove Place, Hove, 01273 737869,

The Set Café

The café is situated next

to the The Set restaurant

and offers laid back

snacks and small plates

in a relaxed atmosphere.

Eating off tables made from the old West Pier and

overlooking Regency Square and the sea makes its

an ideal place to have a quick lunch or night out

with friends. Cocktails and craft beers are on hand

as well as a wine list shared with the restaurant.

33 Regency Square, 01273 855572,

Terre à Terre

Let’s hope for an Indian

Summer this September!

Don’t let back-toschool

and work get

you down - head to the

Terre à Terre terrace (a

perfect suntrap) or their

airy back room and enjoy their classic Terre à

Tapas with a carafe of organic wine! Open daily

from 12 (11am Sat/Sun) for lunch, afternoon tea

and dinner.

71 East Street, 01273 729051,


Edendum is a slice

of Italy transported

to Brighton, with

authentic flavours,

fragrances and freshly cooked recipes that will

give you a chance to discover some lesser known

Italian dishes, a selection of Italian wines and artisan

beers. Looking for a top-quality, generousyet-affordable

lunch or pre-theatre dinner?

Come try our brand new two or three-course set

menu Monday to Friday, 12-6pm.

Photo by Restaurants Brighton

69 East Street, 01273 733800,

Caxton Arms

Tucked away near the

station, the Caxton Arms

is an old-school Brighton

pub. Serving modern British pub food

seven days a week, this hidden gem has been

recently refurbished. Whether you’re visiting

for 2-4-1 wings and the quiz on Tuesdays or

a Sunday roast, you can always expect a warm

welcome at this friendly, relaxed watering


36 North Gardens, 01273 387346

The Westbourne

The Westbourne is a rarity, a

truly independent freehouse.

The bar features an everchanging

range of excellent

craft beers and cask ales

from exciting breweries, with

proper cider showcased in

the Cider Shack. There is a secluded garden,

perfect for the summer gin menu, and a serious

Sunday roast offer, all delivered by a friendly,

passionate team.

90 Portland Road, Hove,




Reassuringly expensive fish, in the Lanes

There’s a look in

Rowena’s eye that says

‘don’t even go there,’ so

I change tack.

We’re at English’s, in

the Lanes, Brighton’s

oldest seafood restaurant

(open since 1945),

and it’s the first eat-out

meal we’ve had since

our honeymoon finished

two weeks ago. I’ve just shown her that there’s a

set menu offering two courses for the very reasonable

price of £17.95 each.

“But we could always go à la carte,” I add, and that

look evaporates.

It’s 8.30pm on a warm August midweek evening,

we’re sitting at their outside terrace, and it’s

a good job we booked, because they’re turning

people away. We decide to get oysters (£12 for six;

it would be dumb not to) and we agree to share a

seafood platter starter for two (£24.95).

So far, so affordable, seeing as we’ve still got a bit

of honeymoon cash in the coffers. We start looking

at the main course. My eyes naturally go to the

cheaper end of the list. ‘They’ve got fishcakes,’ I’m

thinking, looking at the £14.95 price-tag.

“I fancy the monkfish,” she says and my eyes jump

with some alarm to the figure written after that

listing: £26.95. Something snaps in me. “I’ll go for

the Isle of Gigha halibut, samphire, clam & brown

shrimp fricassee,” I say. It’s £29.95. “That looks

nice,” she says.

Once you decide ‘what the hell’, in a place like

English’s, you can have an enormous amount of

fun. I order a bottle of Verdicchio dei Castelli di

Jesi white wine (£29.95) and, why not, we get some

bread, too (£4.25). Oh,

and French fries (£3.45).

It’s a pity the oysters

arrive at the same time

as the platter, but that

turns out to be my only

gripe. We slurp them

down (best, I find, with

a few drops of Tabasco)

and dig into the platter,

which consists of

smoked salmon, lobster croquettes, scallop ceviche,

chilli squid, grilled bread, various dips and, best of

all, a little jar of potted shrimps.

The biggest ‘wow’ moment of the evening comes

when the mains arrive. We decide to eat half and

swap. The halibut is enormous, and comes with

clams, and a surf ‘n’ turf side of spinach and samphire.

The flesh comes off the bone a treat, and

is sweet, and mild, and moist. The monkfish, of

course, is meatier, and stronger tasting, something

akin to lobster.

We’re on a roll now, and enjoying ourselves so

much that in order to prolong the pleasure, we go

for some affogato (£4.95 each) and, just to help

digest, you understand, a grappa, too (£7.95), half

of which we pour into the ice cream and coffee

mix, creating a three-pronged taste sensation.

Completely sated, we play ‘guess the bill’, knowing

that there’ll be a 12.5% ‘discretionary’ service

charge. “£120?” suggests Rowena. “More like

£150,” I venture. It turns out to be £179, as eyewatering

as the food has been mouth-watering.

“I’ll pay,” I say, knowing that, now we’re married,

it makes no difference. Beans on toast tomorrow,

then. Alex Leith / 01273 327980


Photo by Lisa Devlin,




Caribbean-style chicken

The Caxton Arms is under new management, and chefs Kevin and Jack have

been tasked with giving the pub’s menu a facelift to match. Here’s a dish to enjoy

while soaking up these last few weeks of summer sun...


4 chicken legs

1 large onion

1 scotch bonnet chilli

1 bunch of coriander

5 sprigs of thyme

2 cloves of garlic

1tbsp of cumin seed

1tbsp of coriander seed

½tbsp of fennel seed

1tbsp of ground cinnamon

1tbsp of ground allspice

70ml of soy sauce

300ml of chicken (or vegetable) stock

Preheat the oven to 190°C.

Start off by toasting the cumin seeds, coriander

seeds and fennel seeds in a pan, but be

careful not to blacken them. Then grind the

spices down to a powder - we do it by hand

using a pestle and mortar, but you can use a

small food processor if you’ve got one.

Place the peeled onion, garlic and scotch

bonnet into a food processor and blend to

a paste.

Combine the paste and the ground spices,

adding the soy sauce, cinnamon and allspice

to make the marinade.

Rub the marinade all over the chicken and

leave for two or three hours at the very least,

but ideally overnight.

Seal the chicken legs in a hot pan with some

olive oil, then pour in the leftover liquid

from the marinade and add the chicken or

vegetable stock.

Add the fresh thyme and a little of the

coriander, but remember to keep most of it

aside to use as a garnish, and bring the pan

to a gentle simmer.

Take the pan off the heat and cover it over

with tin foil. Place it in the oven for about

45 minutes.

Carefully remove the chicken legs, checking

that they are cooked through, and set them


Place the pan with the remaining liquid

back over the heat and reduce it down until

it’s at the desired sauce consistency. When

you’re ready to serve, pour the sauce over

the chicken and garnish with the remaining


Serve with lentils and yam, roasted in jerk


As told to Rebecca Cunningham.

Photo by Lisa Devlin, whose food-photography

website is

36 North Gardens,


you order

online and

Sussex we deliver

farm to your door


Veg & fruit

Meat & charcuterie

Milk, cheese & yoghurt

Juices & cordials

Raw honey

Oils & vinegar

Sussex beer & wine

Locally packed small batch spices

See detailS on our webSite:


Bomb book



I’m nine months and over fifty hours of

interviews into research on a book about

the Brighton Bomb and its aftermath. Could

anyone with any potentially-relevant memories

please contact me, Steve Ramsey - details

below. Happy to explain more about my background

and the project first.

07575 874 888



Polygon Pop-up

Magic roundabout dining

Deciding what to eat at Polygon Pop-up is tricky. I don’t mean choosing from

the menu; I mean choosing what cuisine to eat. It’s a magic roundabout of an

alfresco restaurant located, appropriately enough, on Seven Dials, and the

kitchen changes every night. This particular night it was Kitgum Kitchen (East

African meets Indian home-cooking), but if we’d gone a night later it would have been Sultan’s Delight (Middle

Eastern vegetarian streetfood) and the night after that, Troll’s Pantry (pay-what-you-feel ‘posh doners’),

with a special 64 Degrees menu the week after. See what I mean?

Needless to say, the clientele are the culinarily curious and the bar is duly stocked with carefully curated

drinks; craft cider brewed in whiskey barrels, small-batch spiced gin, beers with more than a hint of the

hedgerow about them.

The food is hot - both in temperature and piquancy - with sour and sophisticated flavours. Crispy Kenyan

potato and Zanzibar lentil fritters (£6.75) for starters, served with a spicy, fresh salsa and a homemade

tamarind sauce (like ketchup for foodies) followed by vegan Gujurati Tapas (£12.75). For omnivores there are

meatballs followed by Nihari (£13.75), an eight-hour slow-cooked beef-shin stew with bone-marrow gravy.

If that sounds tasty to you, you’ll have to track Kitgum Kitchen down via their Facebook page, as something

else will have popped up at Polygon by now. But all things that pop up must come down, and there are only a

few weeks left at Seven Dials before they pop off for the winter. Best go quick. Lizzie Lower

Search for Polygon Pop-up on Facebook or call 07544 822589

Photo by Lizzie Lower

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Edible updates


second only to

January when it

comes to healthy

eating drives.

Brighton and

Hove Food Partnership


are on it with

SugarSmart City, a year-long campaign aiming

to raise awareness of hidden sugars in food. This

month they will take to the streets, inviting

people to take part in one-week challenges such

as ‘Swap the Pop’ [].

Other BHFP events include their Harvest Hack

with MakerClub at ONCA on Sept 24th, which

aims to get young people thinking about food

sharing and digital solutions to the problem of

food waste.

In new openings, I enjoyed trialling the new

Bella Italia at Brighton Marina: delicious chilli

bread and enormous pepper grinders. We also

have a new Belgian-inspired BeFries restaurant

on West Street, a new Las Iguanas at Brighton

Marina, and further Planet India and Fatto a

Mano branches in Hove. Giggling Squid have

a new menu with gluten-free, vegetarian options

and Boho Gelato sorbet and KOBA on Western

Road has re-opened as a bar serving Pharmacie

Coffee and cocktails. To come in October:

Smashburger on North St, a new burger concept

combining beef and ‘smashing’.

In events: Butler’s Wine Cellar Portuguese

Wine Festival at St Mary’s Church on 30th Sept

will feature Portuguese bento boxes, copious

wines and expert tasting notes [].

And the Mange Tout and Troll’s

Pantry Kebab & Cocktails event on 14th Sept

will be classier than a 2am doner. Last but not

least, congratulations to High Weald Dairy:

their delicious Brighton Blue won Gold at the

International Cheese Awards. Chloë King

Illustration by Chloë King




Eating Clever

Food for thought

Their new uniforms are

ironed and their schoolbags

packed, but what

can you do to ensure your

children’s brains are ready

for the term ahead? Well,

when it comes to brain

power, it’s all a question

of getting the right fuel

- and that means a few

simple dietary tweaks can

make all the difference.

Make your first stop the fruit and veg aisle, where

blueberries should top your shopping list. Packed

with protective compounds called anthocyanins,

they are thought to protect the brain from oxidative

damage, improving memory and reducing the risk

of dementia.

The same chemicals are also found in other red and

purple fruits and vegetables, so you could also add

beetroot, blackcurrants, redcurrants, raspberries,

strawberries and blackberries to your basket.

Avocados are another food known for their brainnourishing

properties. Rich in healthy monounsaturated

fat (the ‘good’ kind), they promote blood

flow to the brain and lower blood pressure. They

also boast high levels of Vitamin K and folate, which

help to prevent blood clots in the brain, as well as

improving memory and concentration.

Broccoli, spinach, kale and other cruciferous and

green leafy vegetables are equally good for the brain.

Like avocados, broccoli is rich in Vitamin K, and it

is also high in glucosinolates, which slow the breakdown

of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter necessary

for optimum brain function. It also contains high

levels of the memory-boosting chemical choline.

Away from the fruit and vegetable section, nuts and

seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch. Pumpkin

seeds are a particularly healthy option, containing

zinc, which is necessary

for good memory

and cognitive function.

They are also rich in

magnesium, B vitamins

and tryptophan

- all of which are great

for boosting thinking

power - as well as

containing omega-3

essential fatty acids.

Linseeds (also known

as flaxseeds) are another good source of omega-3

fats, as are oily fish, such as salmon, trout, sardines

and mackerel. Sprinkle ground seeds into smoothies

or onto soups, cereal and salads for an easy nutritional


Meanwhile, walnuts are the pick of the nuts, boasting

high levels of Vitamin E, which is associated with

a lowered risk of dementia and brain deterioration.

The vital vitamin can also be found in green leafy

vegetables, olives, eggs and wholegrains.

Wholegrain foods, such as oats, brown rice, granary

bread and wholemeal pasta, also work directly to

fuel the brain. Releasing glucose slowly and steadily

into the blood stream, they provide sustainable energy,

aiding concentration and learning. The effect

is enhanced when carbohydrate is combined with

protein, so a brain-boosting pre-school breakfast

might be porridge or wholegrain cereal with milk,

egg on wholemeal toast, or fruit with yoghurt.

Finally, to the delight of fussy eaters everywhere,

dark chocolate has been shown to enhance brain

function. Containing flavonols, it has antioxidant

and anti-inflammatory properties, improving blood

flow to the brain. Do keep it moderate though, and

choose minimally-processed chocolate with at least

70 per cent cocoa. Brain appetit!

Anita Hall




Self Managed Learning

College co-founder Ian Cunningham

What is Self Managed

Learning? In a way it does

what it says on the tin: we

help people manage their

own learning. All people and

all situations are different, so

we work with individuals to

plan what it is they want to

do with their life, and they set

their own curriculum. We’ve

run SML programmes with

organisations all over the

world, and 15 years ago we

set up the college for young

people aged 9-16, as an alternative

to schooling. Students attend from 9am to

1pm - but there’s no formal teaching and there are

no classrooms.

Are kids as young as nine ready to self-manage?

My argument is that they self-manage anyway.

When they’re sitting in the classroom, they

decide whether they’re going to listen to the

teacher or mess about. If traditional teaching always

worked, 100% of young people would get

A*s at GCSE, but the fact is, it doesn’t always

work. A teacher has around 30 children in the

classroom and they’re aiming lessons at the ‘average’

child - who doesn’t exist.

What makes a child less suited to regular

schooling? To give just one example, summerborn

children are less likely to do well at GCSE,

A-level and go to university. We know this, but

nobody seems to care. We have one boy at the college

who was born on the evening of August 31st

- if he was born just a few hours later, he would

have been the oldest student in the class. Summerborn

children are more likely to be bullied, to be

truants… but that’s just one example. Evidence

shows that learning more

quickly doesn’t mean you

have a higher ability. If you

put together a group of academically

able people all with

high IQs, they will perform

overall more poorly than a

group with mixed abilities

and interests. The danger of

the British school system is

that it’s narrowing down the

skillset of the young people

coming out of it.

What does that mean in

the long-term? Creative

subjects like music or art are being given less and

less time in school, yet the biggest growth in jobs

in places like Brighton is in the creative sector.

People who work in Artificial Intelligence are saying

that AI is going to take away a lot of the jobs

that the education system is preparing people for;

already in law firms you’ve got machines doing

jobs - like checking documents - in seconds, which

would take a human days to do. A lot of the jobs

the government’s promoting are the ones which

are going to be deleted.

How will Self Managed Learning make a difference?

Our interest is in people learning for the

rest of their life. We don’t know what the world

is going to be like in the future - eight years ago

the word ‘app’ didn’t exist in the English language,

now there are two million people worldwide

working in app development. Imposing an outdated

curriculum on young people doesn’t make

sense. I’m not saying we’re the answer, but we are

an answer.

Rebecca Cunningham




Baby Picture This

Family photographer Laura Aziz

Don’t just photograph the special moments.

One family I photographed told me, “he probably

will have a meltdown, feel free to photograph it.”

And he did, and I did. Now that he’s three years

older, the mum says it’s ‘sweet’ to look back on

because he never does that now, but when he was

that age it used to happen every day.

Take pictures of normal life. One of my favourite

photos I’ve taken recently was of my kids

sitting together watching TV after they’d had a

bath. It was so ordinary, but so them. Anything

that makes you think ‘this happens all the time’

is worth photographing; getting dressed, playing

with their favourite toys, reading books, bath time.

Those are the moments which sum up what your

life is like at that point in time.

Be in the photographs. A lot of the parents I

meet say at first that they don’t really want to be

in the pictures, but at a very young age children

don’t really exist in their own space without you.

One of the real treasures for me is looking back at

childhood photos where my mum is in the picture

instead of behind the camera.

I shoot nearly everything at home on my

iPhone. I love it - it’s so quick and easy and the

kids don’t even notice me getting it out. If you’re

using your phone to take pictures at home, there

are a few things you can do to take better photos:

Get as much light as possible. Open the curtains,

and try to gently steer the children into the

puddle of light.

Move around. People have a tendency to take

out their phone and snap something from where

they’re already standing. Walk around and try

photographing from a different position. With

kids, try to get down to their level to show a different

perspective, or try standing up on a chair,

looking down.

Don’t use your zoom - it always lowers the

quality of the image. Something I was taught as a

photography student is ‘your feet are your zoom!’

Use the editing software. Instagram and other

apps have some great tools - don’t be afraid to

use them. There are no mistakes, you can undo

anything instantly and it’s fun!

Go and do your own thing. There are ways of

taking photographs which I think look amazing,

but other people don’t. Everybody’s different -

play around with it and see what you like.

And finally, always print your photos. Every

few months I do a huge batch-print of everything

on my phone and on my camera. For me, having

that box of old family photographs to sit and look

through is such an important thing; I hope that my

kids get to do the same when they’re older.

As told to Rebecca Cunningham




State boarding school

Steyning Grammar’s Tom Leighton

What’s your role? I’m Director of Boarding and

the ‘houseparent’ responsible for the running of

Bolton House, a mixed sixth-form house for 56

students. I also oversee the daily operations of

boarding, as well as marketing and admissions.

How many students do you have boarding? A

hundred and twenty five, in three different houses

- well, four physical houses, but they’re divided

into three names. As well as Bolton House, there’s

Wykeham House, which is the boys’ house for

Years 9-12, and Bennetts House, the girls’ Year

9-12 house. The students stay in shared dorms

up until Year 11 and a few students share rooms

in Year 12, but everyone gets their own en-suite

room in Year 13.

Is there a matron? There is, but she’s not like a

traditional matron. She has a medical background

and extensive experience of working abroad

and in hospitals. The name ‘matron’ is a bit of a

nod to the past, but we try to move away from

being too institutional - we renamed the ‘sick

bay’ The Haven, and we’re ‘houseparents’ rather

than housemasters or mistresses. We also find

that those parents who have boarding experience

themselves can relate to the role of a ‘matron’,

and it gives them peace of mind that she’s available

at all times.

Did you go to boarding school? Yes, I went to

another state boarding school in the Midlands.

How does Steyning differ from that? The

students here have more available channels of

expressing their views, through our student




committees, for example, which give them tangible

ways of shaping their boarding experience.

Another thing we’re really proud of is our enrichment

programme. There’s a weekly timetable

of activities the students can choose from, but

we’re always looking to foster their passions and

facilitate their development. This year we have a

new Year 12 joining us who’s a high-level cyclist, so

we’ve converted a spare room into a cycling room

for him because we can see that he has a lot of

potential. And we run weekend excursions to keep

our boarders busy and engaged, all included in the

boarding fees.

Do boarding students get much freedom? They

have allocated homework time, and time for enrichment

activities, and set meal times, but they are

allowed to sign out in their spare time and leave

the school grounds. It’s like living at home, except

there it’s your mum telling you it’s time for dinner

or it’s time to go to bed. There’s always structure,

it’s just that the structure becomes a bit more

evident at boarding school. We find that the daily

routine of boarding life encourages our students to

become independent, resilient and well-prepared

for their future at either university or in the world

of work.

Interview by Rebecca Cunningham

Photos by Rebecca Cunningham


We’re collecting

garden waste

for just £1 a week

Our new garden

waste collection

service is

now available


For a cost of £52 a year, we’ll deliver a

large brown wheelie bin which will be

collected fortnightly and the contents

will be taken for composting.

If you generate lots of garden waste you

can request an extra bin for just £25.

If you don’t generate enough garden

waste for one bin, why not share with

your neighbour?



To find out more and sign up, visit

or call us on 01273 292929

Love our city



Schools without Walls

So Sussex’s Caroline Fleming

Schools without Walls

started with outdoor sessions

for adults and families

to encourage people to

explore out and about in

Sussex. We thought it would

be good to offer sessions to a

range of primary schools to

encourage a lot more children

into the Sussex countryside.

We wanted to come up with a format that supports

what they’re learning through the curriculum

in class, so if they’re focusing on the Iron Age or

Stone Age we can design a session that goes into

the local area and looks at settlements in a fun and

adventurous way.

In an ideal world every school would be able

to take classes outdoors and do a range of

activities, but they don’t all have access to the

countryside and not all teachers feel comfortable

with it. We were keen to minimise the worries that

teachers have of doing outdoor learning from a

risk point of view. Our different types of sessions

include ancient methods of fire lighting using flint

stones, lots of arts and crafts activities with natural

resources, and building small roundish boats called

coracles that the children can get in and sail themselves.

Not every child is an outdoors type, but

every child does get naturally curious and excited

by being outside. It’s a way of making it interesting,

building their confidence and helping them to work

together as a group.

We started with primary school ages, but in the

last year we’ve tried to do more with secondary

schools as well. We are in the midst of a

project in Brighton with 14-to-18 year olds who

are also young carers, so they might not be actively

engaged with school due to their home lives and

are struggling to get an education,

and therefore need a bit

more support to get out and

about and do these things. We

take them to nearby woods

and do open fire cooking, fire

lighting, pointing out nature,

building - it’s all about working

in teams, coming up with

strategy, putting them outside

their comfort zones, and doing things they would

never otherwise get an opportunity to do.

It’s encouraging to see how some children

who don’t keep up in class and aren’t confident

about getting engaged come into their own

when taking part in an outdoor activity. Teachers

and classmates see that child in a different light.

We often find that the academic classroom pupils

can’t easily transfer the mathematical skills they’ve

learnt to the outdoors problem solving, while the

children who struggle with maths figure it out

because it’s a physical activity.

We’ve had really positive experiences with all

the schools that we’ve worked with. At one particular

school in Eastbourne we worked with each

child individually on designing and adapting their

own playground: it’s a large junior school with

amazing outdoor space, so we worked with Year 3

children on building a greenhouse made out of recycled

plastic bottles that they now grow their own

plants and vegetables in; Year 4 children worked

with a willow artist in designing and weaving

three willow pods that serve as secluded chill-out

houses that they can use to read in; and Year 5 and

6 children built a large geodesic dome that will be

used as an outdoor classroom, and that’s a real skill!

As told to Julia Zaltzman


Brighton & Hove based football coaching establishments

RMA provides top class, elite coaching

at grassroots level to boys & girls of all

abilities aged 5-16 through a range of

different coaching methods, challenges

and activities

Choose from Development Centres,

Elite Academy, Saturday Soccer, Holiday

Courses and more

Follow us on Twitter @RMAcademy5



Fitbitch Bootcamp

Rise, shine, repeat

There is, I’ve come to

know, a group of women in

Brighton who will happily

sprint down the beach at

6am, rain and seaspray

blowing in their faces,

before turning on their

heels to sprint back up to

perform 25 press-ups on

wet tarmac. More surprisingly

still, I’ve found that I’m one of them.

Back in May I signed up to a four-day-a-week,

four-week Fitbitch bootcamp, with the aim of

cultivating an exercise habit that would outlast the

camp. Founder Rachael set up the camps as ‘there

was just too much emphasis on how women looked

and not enough on how they felt,’ and it turns out

there’s very little room for vanity as you reel your

way through a Fitbitch session within minutes of

getting out of your bed. It may not be pretty but it

is surprisingly addictive.

Sessions start at 6 or 7am. I would try to explain the

full range of activities I’ve found myself doing, but

no two days were the same. There’s been boxing,

running, HIIT, jump-rope, kettle bells, battle ropes,

TRX and football, not to mention appropriating

playground equipment and railings to build

strength, agility and stamina in-between everincreasing

rounds of burpees, crunches, step-ups,

sprints, plank, sit-ups and tricep dips. You get the

picture. It’s not for sissies.

Groups are small and the intensive instruction

means there’s plenty of attention to technique and

no loitering at the back. Yoga stretching and muscle

rolling optimize recovery and take the sting out

of getting up the next

morning to do it all over

again. Many in the group

are back for their third and

fourth camps, and I too

find myself signing up for

a second Olympics-themed

two-week camp at Queens

Park in July. More fun

ensues, of the jumping,

running, lifting and gymnastic variety.

Of course all this hard works pays off in pounds and

inches lost (in my case, five and a half, and six), and

stamina and strength gained, but most significantly

- and as billed - I just feel so much better. Sure,

I can remember the queasy beginnings when I

thought I might pass out or cough up a lung, but it’s

exhilarating to have really moved so early in the day,

and to have burned a few hundred calories before

breakfast. All that early virtue makes it easier to

keep up the healthy choices throughout the day too

- especially if you follow the complementary eating

plan - and getting up at 5.30am really diminishes

the appeal of a midweek drink.

You might think I was hanging out for a lie-in, but

the opposite is true. Just a few days into the regime

I found myself missing the early morning workouts

on the days off, and in between camps. So much

so that I found myself outside the Prince Regent

swimming pool at 6.30am waiting to be let in. And I

still do. And even that feels like slacking.

Lizzie Lower

Camps start from £120, at Hove Lawns, Queens Park,

Worthing & Lewes. They also offer running courses.

07855 742195 /

Photo by Rachael Woolston




Cross-Channel swimming

'It's real hare and tortoise stuff'

Photo by Graham Carlow,

As this mag hits

the streets, Dave

Shephard and Phil

Couch could well be

swimming the English

Channel in aid

of Asthma UK. We

caught up with Dave

in his last few weeks

of training...

We’ll swim in the

week of the 26th

August, from Dover’s Heritage Coast in the direction

of Wissant, south of Calais. The route is

a rough ‘S’ shape to work with the tides, and can

be anything from 22 to 32 miles. If you don’t time

it right, you can get to within a couple of kilometres

of the French coast and have to give up, as it’s

almost impossible to land against the tide when

you’re that exhausted. It happens all the time.

It could take anywhere between nine and 17

hours depending on the sea conditions. We’re

swimming in a relay where we’ll each swim for

one hour, one dropping in behind the other as we

cross over.

We’ve been training for eight months and

have a pool speed of 2.5 mph, which should be

quick enough to get us across. That all changes

in the sea of course. It’s a struggle to settle into

a rhythm when waves keep hitting you in the

face. I’ve done much of my training with Lewes

Swimming Club and at Pells Pool, but there are

a lot more hazards in the sea. Most significantly

the cold. We’ve been sea swimming since April,

spending three hours in the water at a time. We’ll

do a ten-hour simulation swim off Seaford beach

before the crossing.

There are only a few pilots and they’re pretty

booked up. We

waited two years

for a slot. We have

to trust their judgement

on the route

and timing but

they want to get

you across. It’s their

badge of honour.

It’s quite expensive

- around £3,000

for the pilot - but

we’ve had the help of Leadership Challenges to

sort out the finances and logistics - the same team

who set up our ‘Race Across America’ trip two

years ago. Apart from that it’s fortunately quite a

minimalist sport. To keep a level playing field the

dress code is strictly speedos and goggles. But you

are allowed two rubber caps as a concession to the

cold. Everyone asks about the goose fat but we’re

actually smothered in petroleum jelly. It helps to

stop the chafing.

It is possible to hit ‘the wall’ - a point where

you can’t get your arms out of the water - and

it’s just horrible. But if you’ve trained your body

properly, it’s all about getting the right fuel. We’ll

be putting as many calories back in as we take out

- around 700 per hour - and taking it slow and

steady. It’s real hare and tortoise stuff.

We’ll also have to contend with jellyfish. Apparently

it’s like swimming whilst being jabbed

with an electric cattle prod. Then there’s the

shipping too. It’s basically a motorway for tankers

but there is a ship-free ‘central reservation’.

I’m not sure who has the right of way but I’d be

inclined to say ‘after you’. As told to Lizzie Lower

Support Dave and Phil at





Bike-frame making

Linishing lugs, and brazing joints

“I’m happy with it,”

I tell Adrian Parry, a

cool thirty-years-inthe-trade

guy who

makes bike frames for

Reilly Cycleworks.

“But will I be happy

with it?” he responds,

and walks over to

inspect my handiwork.

I’ve just hacksawed an elongated semi-circle out

of a steel tube, and filed it down so a second tube

fits snugly on top. Well, fairly snugly… you can see

some gaps, but hey.

Reilly’s, based in New England House, are famous

for making bespoke bike frames, and have also

started a frame school, where punters spend five

days making their own frames to their own specifications.

I met founder Mike Reilly, one of three

partners in the company, a couple of days before,

and he told me about this aspect of his company.

“There’s nothing quite like the feeling of riding a

bike you’ve made with your own hands,” he says.

I’m not doing the whole five-day course, I’m

just in for the morning, learning to make a joint

equivalent to one that would join the down tube to

the head tube on a road bike. It’s the first time I’ve

done any metalwork in my life, and I can see that

Adrian has realised he’s got a tough couple of hours

ahead of him from the moment I pick up the hacksaw.

He bends down, looks, and says “not happy,”

then hands me back the file. I get back to work.

For much of the next two hours, my tongue is

stuck out of my mouth, I’m concentrating so much.

Once I’ve got my filing

right, I learn to polish

the steel with emery

paper, and then do the

same to the inside of a

‘lug’, using a ‘linisher’.

The session does more

for my vocabulary than it

does for my confidence

in my practical skills:

the lug is a curvaceous socket-like steel sleeve, the

linisher a belt-sanding power-tool that would have

your skin off in a flash if handled badly. Valuing my

possession of all ten fingers, I let Adrian finish off

the tricky bits.

The trickiest bit of all, once the two tubes have

been doused in ‘flux’ (don’t ask) and joined together,

is ‘brazing’ the joint, which means melting brass

with a blow torch so it flows evenly between the

lug and the red-hot tubes. For most of this process

Adrian holds my hand in support, but I get more

confident as I learn the technique (you have to feed

a thin brass stick into the ridge between lug and

tube and wait for it to flow down) and after a while

he occasionally lets go of me. When we’ve finished,

I feel a mixture of relief and euphoria. “Nine more

of those and you’ve got a bike frame,” he says.

This course is not for me, I’ll admit it, I’m far too

cack-handed and scaredy-cat when a power tool’s

around. But I know some guys who’d jump at the

chance of starting out with a bunch of steel tubes…

and riding off on a bike. Alex Leith

Reilly Cycleworks, 01273 694143




New Note Orchestra

‘It’ll be a soundscape of the city’

In 2013, TV producer

Molly Matthieson created

the Channel 4 series

Addicts’ Symphony. It followed

ten musicians, all

in recovery from alcohol

and/or drug addictions,

as they strove to stay

sober and create a piece

of music that they then

performed at the Royal

Albert Hall with the

London Symphony Orchestra.

“The idea was, if you get a bunch of people, all in

recovery, and give them a common cause, putting on

a show, would that help their recovery?”

With the answer emphatically affirmative, rather

than keep earning the daily dollar in TV making

When Traffic Wardens Attack or somesuch, Molly,

now living in Brighton, decided to continue making

a difference.

“I wanted to take it further. I went along to the

School of Social Entrepreneurs, and did a course

and got a start-up grant. As a result, I set up the charity,

New Note Orchestra, and on the 18th of July

2015 we had our first workshop at St Luke’s Church

in Brighton.”

Molly had spoken about her idea at open meetings

arranged by various recovery groups, and 20 people

turned up for that first gathering, along with musical

director, composer and conductor Patrick Harrex.

Thus began their weekly sessions.

“We’ve all different levels of musical experience.

Some don’t read music, so they play by ear, and

some have been trained to a high standard. All the

music we do is improvised, because if you’re playing

someone else’s work then it can become about

perfection, ‘is this good

enough?’ and also we

didn’t want to be confined

to classical. It’s

our music. Someone

might come in with a

couple of chords, or

an idea they’ve had for

years, and we’ll build

from there.”

Roger, who plays guitar

in the orchestra, came

to Brighton ten years ago aged 31.

“I was very ill. I was drinking a lot, the drugs weren’t

working, and I had to have open-heart surgery four

times. Bits of my legs had to be amputated and I’ve

only one properly working lung. I carried on drinking

and using until five years ago, when I was introduced

to the recovery community. Now I volunteer

for various support groups, showing people how I

stay sober. The music is such a vital part. I’d been in

bands, but I was just a mess, the annoying git in the

corner. Since I’ve sobered up, I’ve put my energies

and obsessive personality into the music. I’ve got

eleven guitars, each one with a different name and I

would at some point like to be able to make a living

out of my music.”

New Note Orchestra pack out St Luke’s Church

every three months with their gigs, and in November

they’re collaborating with Brighton University

and Cascade Creative Recovery Choir.

“It’ll be a soundscape of the city” says Molly, “a love

letter to Brighton. We’ve come so far in such a short

time. The day before our first performance someone

said ‘Are we in tune?’ Now we’re the real genuine

article.” Andy Darling




Throwing pots

At Shoreham Pottery

‘What are the therapeutic benefits of throwing a pot?’

I type into Google as I reflect on an utterly absorbing

hour spent at Shoreham Pottery. Our September issue

being all about learning stuff, we thought we’d better

at least try to pick up a new skill, so Rebecca and I had

embarked on a private throwing lesson, taught by Alice

Maplesden. Alice co-runs the pottery with her business

partner Katy Harris, and together they’ve created an

inviting atmosphere of artistic endeavour tinged with

creative chaos.

The lesson starts with a deceptively effortless demonstration

by Alice, deftly conjuring up a shapely pot

whilst imparting easy-to-follow instructions. Very

quickly we’re each crouching over our own wheels,

arms braced, applying equal parts brute force and

dogged determination in a bid to centre our pieces of

clay, which are spinning giddily out of control. Next

we use our cupped hands to repeatedly raise and flatten

the clay until the once-unruly mess is an orderly disc

about an inch high. Thumbs pressed into the spinning

centre create a tentative dent, which widens to

transform the disc into a vessel, and we tease the walls

upwards and outwards with growing confidence. It’s

wonderfully tactile and deeply satisfying, and very soon

we both have highly respectable, if somewhat chunky,

first attempts to marvel at.

First pots set aside, we begin again. Alice instructs

us that it’s important to get our pots to the desired

height before allowing them to get too wide and - as

if to prove the point - the rim of my flamboyantly

flared bowl collapses. No matter. I start again, this

time following the fundamental rules of engagement,

squeezing the clay into a taller tower before ‘drawing

the profile with my hands’. It’s a triumph of sorts -

probably unremarkable to the untrained eye - but it

has pleasingly thin walls that might actually break if

dropped. I undercut the base and, wetting the wheel,

use a wire to slice and ‘float’ the pot to freedom. By

the fourth attempt I’m able to remember the correct

sequence and achieve an Alibaba-esque honey-pot,

whilst Rebecca pulls off a highly passable plate.

Quite unexpectedly the lesson becomes one of those

rare experiences when your brain is so utterly taken up

by something other than your daily routine that you

come out as refreshed as if you’d been on a mini-break.

The hour quickly passes with much tongue-lolling

concentration and very little chatter, just the occasional

pointer from Alice about the speed of the wheel or the

position of the hands, and a congratulatory murmur

each time a pot is placed on the plank to air dry.

So what are the therapeutic benefits of throwing a pot?

They are many and varied, and include not only the

satisfaction that comes with learning a new skill, but

having somewhere to keep your honey, too.

Lizzie Lower

Shoreham Pottery offer classes, workshops and private

tuition options for adults and children. Tarmount Studios,


Photos by Lizzie Lower




Pevsner’s Architectural Guide calls the Phoenix Building, now a warren of artists’ studios, workshop spaces

and a gallery, ‘a brutal intrusion’, built in the late sixties after the demolition of an elegant row of Georgian

houses (built in 1819) that then made up Waterloo Place. Nos 1 and 2 still exist more or less in their

original form to the right of the block: number 9 lasted several years after the demolition of its other

neighbours: and therein lies an interesting story. It was inhabited by a Miss Harriet B Silvester, when

this picture (from the James Gray collection) was taken, in February 1970. She was then aged 85, and

had lived in it for decades (the earliest record we can find dates back to 1931, when it is listed under her

mother’s name). While all her neighbours had accepted offers for their houses, she had steadfastly refused,

so the developers built ‘Wellesley House’ either side of her, and waited for her to die. Two computer

companies, Watney Mann and Datapro, set up in the two halves of the building. Harriet lived until March

1974, whereupon number 9 was demolished, and the block was completed. Wellesley House was never a

well-loved building, and in the 80s and early 90s there was much talk of the place being demolished. But

a group of artists started renting out the space in 1991, and in December 1996 the building was bought

outright by the Phoenix Group in order for it to become more or less what it is today. In 2009 artist

Rich White resurrected the memory of Miss Silvester as part of the exhibition Floor Plan in the Phoenix

Building’s North Gallery. Alex Leith Picture courtesy of the Regency Society,


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