Viva Lewes Issue #128 May 2017

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My family arrived here in 1969, and my mother

assures me that I was taken to Lewes’ Odeon, on

Cliffe High Street, on a couple of occasions, though I don’t remember them. It was shut

down in 1971 and sat derelict for a decade, with ‘SHAME’ written across its façade, which

is how I do recall it. The shame was twofold. One, that such a beautiful art deco building (see pg

106) should be left empty and rotting; and two that Lewes, the prosperous County Town of East

Sussex, shouldn’t have a cinema to its name.

It wasn’t all bad. Of course Brighton has always been well served with cinemas, and in particular

the fabulous Duke of York’s. And, once the All Saints was up and running, a roll-down big

screen was purchased, with the Lewes Film Club putting in a 30-year stint and a couple of other

operations showing second-run movies. But still…

Over the years many people have talked about opening a new cinema, but nothing has come to

fruition. Finally, after over a quarter-century, a plan has come off, thanks to the generosity of

benefactor (and Chair of Trustees) Rob Senior, and the hard work of Creative Director Carmen

Slijpen and her team.

The opening of the cinema on May 27th will be, I’m pretty confident in saying, the most

exciting cultural event in Lewes since we started this magazine over ten years ago. To celebrate

the occasion we’ve commissioned a cinema-related cover from artist Rachel Clark, and made

the theme of the magazine ‘going out’. We trust your excitement about the new facility is as

great as ours. Enjoy the issue…



EDITOR: Alex Leith

SUB-EDITOR: David Jarman

STAFF WRITER / DESIGNER: Rebecca Cunningham

ART DIRECTOR: Katie Moorman

ADVERTISING: Sarah Jane Lewis, Amanda Meynell


PUBLISHER: Becky Ramsden


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

Barry Collins, Daniel Etherington, Mark Greco, Anita Hall, John Henty, Mat Homewood,

Paul Austin Kelly, Chloë King, Lizzie Lower, Carlotta Luke, Richard Madden, Steve Ramsey and Marcus Taylor

Viva Lewes is based at Pipe Passage, 151b High Street, Lewes, BN7 1XU, 01273 434567. Advertising 01273 488882



Bits and bobs.

8-22. Robert Senior’s Lewes, Cheeky

in the Chapel nights out, a very furry

hat, a reed sculpture in the Railway

Land and Viva’s adventures in New

Zealand and Thailand.



25-29. David Jarman investigates a

case of library vandalism, Chloë King

feels offal, and Mark Bridge declares


'White Mischief' by Jo Lamb

On this month.

31. Daniel Rachel on how Rock

Against Racism changed the shape

of British music… and British race

relations, too.

33. (Britain's Got) Talented singer

Richard Hadfield performs at Every

Sort of People Festival.

35. Brighton Festival brings

Monteverdi to Glyndebourne.

37. Our very own Shirley Collins,

‘the secret Queen of England’, plays


Brighton Dome.

39. Deborah Levy, at the Charleston

Festival, on the enduring literary

legacy of Virginia Woolf.

41-49. Art. Sarah Grace Harris’

cyanotypes at the Martyrs’, Eileen

Agar at Jerwood, and whatever else

is hanging on a gallery wall near you

in May.

50-55. Diary dates. What’s on where

and when including the final Lewes

Film Club offering, an Icelandic tale

of two feuding brothers.

57. Classical music round-up, with

Paul Austin Kelly.

59-61. Gig guide. The Con Club goes

from strength to strength: this month

it’s Shriekback and Wreckless Eric.

63-67. Free time. Wassup for the

U16s, what to pack at festivals, and

how a Lewes girl raised over £1000

(and counting) for charity… with

some hair clippers.





on 23rd June

Special bus service from

Lewes to Sheffield Park Station. £5pp

Visit website for times

Other Rail Ale evenings

on May 19, Jul 21, Sep 22



69-75. Ethiopian food courtesy of the

Feature Kitchen, lamb cutlets at the

building formerly known as Stanmer

House, nutritious nettle tips from

organic guru Daphne Lambert, and

what’s on the culinary horizon from

Chloë King.

The way we work.

77-81. Guy Buckland takes his camera

behind the scenes at Glyndebourne

Opera House.


82-91. It’s all about getting out this

month: Richard Madden ups another

Down, Michael Blencowe tracks

swifts, Carmen Slijpen lays out the

manifesto of the new cinema, John

Henty remembers the good old days

at the pictures, Anita Hall explores

the benefits of socialising, Pat

Hennessy explains the rise of the Con

Club, and Stefanie Fischer takes us

round the Depot.

Business news.

93. A whole load of openings this

month, including the new cinema,

Southover Grange and the Pells Pool.

Inside left.

106. The Odeon Cinema,

Lewes, back in 1935.


Photo: John Maltby, Cinema Theatre Association Archive,


We plan each magazine six weeks ahead, with a mid-month

advertising/copy deadline. Please send details of planned events

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

Remember to recycle your Viva.

Every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of our content.

Viva Lewes magazine cannot be held responsible for any omissions, errors

or alterations. The views expressed by columnists do not necessarily

represent the view of Viva Lewes.

Love me or recycle me. Illustration by Chloë King



Cliffe Bridge, Lewes

This month’s cover was designed by artist and

designer Rachel Clark. Despite being “a true

Lewesian”, growing up in Lewes and spending

much of her time here, Rachel created this image

of the almost-finished Depot Cinema from her

second home in the Netherlands. “I’m so used to

drawing on location,” she says, “I generally prefer

it because you get more of a feel for a place. But

on this occasion drawing from photos worked

well.” The Viva team visited the site in late

March to take some photographs of the building

from different angles. “I did a couple of roughs;

one was from the front of the cinema, which was

more like the architects’ visuals and for the other,

which I decided to develop into the final image, I

referenced a photograph because I preferred the


Once Rachel had chosen which sketch to

reference, she produced the image as a linocut. “I

really enjoy linocut prints. The boldness of the

medium is really eye-catching. You can linocut

anywhere - if you work small you can even print

at home. It’s nice trying out different approaches

too: different printing techniques have different

merits and you get different effects. I like

screen printing, lithography, and etching - I’ve

been doing some non-toxic etching recently

(without acid or chemicals so it’s better for the

environment) and you get exciting effects. These

correspond more with my drawings which I post

regularly on my website blog and on Instagram.”

The majority of Rachel’s work is in children’s

book design. She spent years working for

Random House in London before going

freelance. “I’ve always worked in publishing and

specialised in children’s book design. I really

enjoy collaborating with other people - with

illustrators and editors in particular. When I was


The De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill

St Nicholas Church, Amsterdam

Café in Copenhagen

working full time for publishers I’d always fit in

my own work, however since going freelance I’ve

increasingly been doing more of my own work,

including taking part in exhibitions, selling work

through my online shop and applying my prints

to stationery.”

“I’ve always loved drawing, and Amsterdam,

creatively, is a really good place to visit. It has

some amazing galleries - you’ve got the Stedelijk

and the Van Gogh Museum - and it’s really fun

and friendly. The Netherlands is a small country

so you can travel around very easily, and easily

get to neighbouring countries. Travel inspires me

and I try to sketch on location wherever I visit.

When I draw I step away from everything and

get lost in my own little world.”

Interview by Rebecca Cunningham

See more of Rachel’s work at or

on Instagram: @rachelclarkart

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Are you local? I’m from Lancashire originally,

moved to London in the 1970s. I came here with

my wife, Sarah, and three daughters around the turn

of the century. Sarah knew Lewes because her sister

had lived here, and it ticked a lot of boxes. A quaint

old town near the sea, surrounded by countryside,

with a brewery. I didn’t know about Bonfire before

we arrived but I am now a Southover monk.

It was a town with no cinema, until you invested

a lot of money in our new one… From the day

we arrived everyone talked about one. It seemed an

obvious thing to do, to put something back into the

community. I’ve also set up the Chalk Cliff Trust

which supports local causes. More people should do

these things.

What’s your day job? I’m the founder of the

global market research publisher Euromonitor


What’s your favourite pub? The Lewes Arms; a

gang of us congregate there every month, and that’s

where we take visitors. But the Brewers, at the top

of my street, is a friendly, regular pub, and when

I’ve got a lot of work to do I’ll go up there and get

through it over a couple of pints.

And your poison? Harvey’s, mainly. I got to know

[Head Brewer] Miles Jenner when we bought the

building off them. Though in the Depot we’re not

going to sell Harvey’s exclusively, we’re keen to

stock beer from the local microbreweries as well.

What’s your favourite Lewes restaurant? We go

to the Pelham Arms sometimes and ate in Aqua recently,

and that was fine. But one reason we’re opening

a restaurant at the Depot is that Lewes - for

a town full of foodies - doesn’t have a very strong

restaurant culture, and we want to help change that.

Tell us about a perfect Sunday... In the summer

it’s hard to beat a walk on the Downs and a pub

lunch, maybe followed by some Scandi noir. If it’s

raining, I could do worse than spend a day watching

films, I love silent movies.

When did you last walk up a Down? Two weeks

ago we walked part of the Seven Sisters trail. My

wife loves cycling and she was complaining that I

never went with her, so I bought an electric bike.

And now I get a lot more exercise, because I’m not

put off by all those hills. You still have to put effort

in, mind: it’s not like riding a moped.

Who’s your favourite film director? Orson

Welles, who made five or six brilliant films. I also

love Westerns; I’m a big fan of spaghetti but also

Sam Peckinpah. The Wild Bunch blew me away in

the 60s - the villains were also the heroes; I’d not

seen such bloody violence before.

Where would you live, if not in Lewes? I’d say Las

Vegas, but Sarah wouldn’t quite agree. Maybe we’ll

spend some time in Italy one day and the families

can visit. Puglia is pleasant.

Interview by Alex Leith





WDYGTH went on holiday

this month, all the way to the

Isle of Wight. The Hedleys,

from Malling, ventured

into the lemur enclosure at

Amazon World Zoo Park

when this little guy took

a liking to Daryl and his

snapback, so much so it

took ten minutes to coax

him down. No lemurs were

harmed in the making of this


Hi Soraya! What is Cheeky in the Chapel? It’s a ‘cheeky’ night

out. A club night in the atmospheric Westgate Chapel that raises

money for a great project.

How did you come to set it up? The Oyster Project is a disability

self-help charity. Radio Lewes is one of their projects, I do a weekly

show called Pass It On. It’s Lewes’ Desert Island Discs. Having gained

so much from it, I wanted to give something back, so came up with

this fundraising idea.

Where does Cheeky in the Chapel take place? We light up

the whole venue. The bar is in the chapel, the library the chill-out

room. It’s a fun night out for anyone who enjoys dancing. It’s near

home and it starts and finishes early, so for self-induced curfews, it’s ideal. You can even sneak last orders on

your way home, or actually get to bed before midnight having danced your socks off.

What can people expect? R&B, funk, soul, disco, reggae, indie, ska, pop. There’s no DJ. Great visuals that

work well with the music. Cash-only licensed bar.

What's the dress code? Anything goes. Dress up or not. It’s your night.

What gets you on the dancefloor? Curtis Mayfield, Move On Up.

When are they held? Every other month. There's a break for summer, but we're back in October.

Who goes? 30 and upwards. Emma Chaplin interviewed Soraya Cotwal

Next one is Sat 10th June, Westgate Chapel (by the bottleneck), 7-11pm, £5 in advance, £6 OTD. or

Photo by Emma Chaplin




A very reedy photo of the month this time; of

course this image was taken on the Railway

Land, Lewes’ beautifully soggy nature reserve.

It was taken by Christopher Hards, while out

for a walk with his dog on a sunny Sunday late

in March. “I thought it looked so in keeping

with the natural surroundings as it was made

of the reeds, and yet it stood like a gateway to

the island beyond,” he says. “I think it is great

that someone has gone to the effort to produce

a natural and beautiful thing from what was

essentially old discarded reeds cut down from

the year before.”

We did a little bit of research to find the background

to this little piece of land art, which

we discovered was made last year. The artist

Sally Christopher masterminded it with the

help of the Nature Corridors group of adults

with learning disabilities and the Priory Forest

School group.

This is a good place to point out that the Railway

Land Trust hosts a number of events this

month, including a Dawn Chorus bird walk

(May 7th, at 4.30 in the morning!) a workshop

teaching how to make decorations with willow

and tissue (May 7th, 2pm) and Bee Sunday

(May 14th, 2pm,

Please send your pictures, taken in and around

Lewes, to, or tweet

@VivaLewes, with comments on why and where

you took it, and your phone number. We’ll

choose our favourite for this page, which wins

the photographer £20, to be picked up from

our office after publication. Unless previously

arranged, we reserve the right to use all pictures

in future issues of Viva magazines or online.




While we count down the days to the opening of the Depot, this

month we recall Lewes’ first purpose-built cinema. It is marked

by the only historic plaque in the town to be located indoors, in

the lobby of 25-26 High Street, there being no suitable place on

the outside of this much-redeveloped site. Located in a building

that had once been a girls’ school, and boasting an unlikely timbered

frontage, the Cinema de Luxe was opened in 1912, and had

490 seats, all on one level. In the late 1920s it was equipped with

a sound system and in 1934 the rear of the roof was raised and a balcony was fitted, which increased the

seating capacity to 620. Many a Lewes senior will recall the Saturday matinees there.

The Cinema de Luxe was closed on 11th May 1963 and the building lay derelict for several years before

being demolished. It is now offices above a shop and restaurant. Marcus Taylor


Going out in or from Lewes offers many choices: pubs and restaurants, culture, seaside, hills or countryside,

by train, foot, bus or car. A recent national survey shows that 19 out of 20 people spend money on leisure

activities, including holidays. And average spend is around £200 a month. What do we like to spend this

on? Eating out (85% of those surveyed), coffee shops (73%) and drinking in pubs and bars (70%), as well

as in-home leisure (77%) and culture and entertainment (75%). This sector accounts for £117 billion in

revenue nationwide, and 7.4% of UK GDP, and is growing at nearly twice the speed of the retail sector.

Sarah Boughton


Another long-forgotten pub, the Bee Hive was situated in the Cliffe, opposite

the Gardeners Arms. In 1841 the property was occupied by a widowed tea

dealer called Mary Heseltine. However, ten years later it was being used as

a beer shop by Harriett Vinall, and by the 1870s this was known as the Bee

Hive. Despite the Gardeners Arms, the Cliffe Tavern, the Castle Inn and the

Bear Hotel on its doorstep, the Bee Hive was able to survive. Cliffe High

Street was an incredibly busy thoroughfare at that time, and the numerous

pubs in the area reflected this. However, the Cliffe has always been prone to

flooding. In November 1875, when it continuously rained for almost two weeks, the elderly landlord of the

Bee Hive, Edward Wix, ‘narrowly escaped drowning’ as he descended into his cellar only to find himself in

deep water. Henry Newnham was the Bee Hive’s final landlord. Although he grew up in the Cliffe, Henry had

run the Market Cross Inn (now the Smugglers) at Alfriston before moving to the Bee Hive in 1896. With the

steady removal of public house licences in Lewes, the Bee Hive’s days were numbered, and in 1913 its licence

renewal was refused. It is easy to miss this beautiful old building as you walk along the Cliffe. For many years

it was Clark Brothers fruiterers, and it is now a lighting shop. Mat Homewood





The latest issue of the quarterly

Frogmore Papers, a collection

of poetry published in Lewes,

came through our door, with a

slightly sinister cover featuring

two painted crows - or maybe

rooks - who seem, in some

way, to have shattered their

way through the fourth wall.

I particularly enjoyed Rachael

McGill’s two-page bawdy satirical

vignette Dawn.

Another publication barely fitted

through our letterbox: the hardback

edition of Lewes-based

crime fiction novelist Lesley

Thompson’s latest, set in West

London during two different

time zones, 1987 and 2016. It’s

called The Dog Walker, and it’s

one of her ‘Detective’s Daughter’

series: of course it features

a grisly murder, and of course,

Thompson being Thompson,

it’s characterised by credible

protagonists communicating in

believably colourful dialogue.

Finally, the latest from the

Lewes press Life², named

Manifesto for Life. Written by

Richard Docwra, it works on

the principle that even if you are

powerless to change the way the

powers-that-be run the world, at

least you can empower yourself

by leading your life in an honourable

and community-spirited

way [].

Plenty to look forward to in this

column in the June issue. For

example, Frogmore Press’s Watermarks,

an anthology of texts

about wild swimming edited by

Tanya Shadrick, and also some

new titles from local publishers

Snake River Press, including

a reprint of Eleanor Farjeon’s

much-loved A Sussex Alphabet.

Alex Leith






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Carlotta has been the official architectural

documentary photographer for The Depot

Cinema since June 2015, and here’s a

chronological narrative of the progress that’s

been made. Clockwise from top left: The

original Depot before work started; scaffolding

goes up… note Julian Bell’s murals on the wall;

the interior is ready for panelling; the glass

entrance doors go in; the exterior knapped

flintwork is complete. By the time our next

magazine comes out, the place will be showing

films! You can see many more Depot pics on

Carlotta’s website




It seems half of Lewes is on New Zealand’s Kaiteriteri beach. Here’s Wenda

and Alan ‘Brad’ Bradley and Sarah Bayliss and Mick Hawksworth checking

up on what’s happening at home. Next time we’ll give them a copy each.

Barney Edgely took us to

the Baan Matao Mothership,

in Mae Mut, Thailand. He

originally went out there to

do some voluntary work...

but he might have decided

to stay. Can’t say we blame

him. Don’t forget to take us

with you on your travels and keep spreading the word. Send

your pics to Lizzie Lower


Going out from Lewes for a hike or bike ride,

you may well find yourself passing Glynde Place.

The current house was built in 1568 but in the

late 18th century Richard Trevor, Bishop of

Durham (died 1771), "pimped it", in the words of

Francis Brand, the 7th Viscount Hampden. This

involved reversing the house's configuration,

adding Trevor heraldic wyverns and building the

grand gate with its clock tower, replete with lead

cupola and golden orb.

The exact date of the tower clock is uncertain,

but its workings are marked with the name

of William Hooker, a Cliffe clockmaker who

repaired it in 1825. It was Hooker who had added

a minute hand to the St Thomas church clock

in 1817, but the Glynde clock remains of the

one-handed style, historically common but less

familiar now.

The clock still tells the time, the gold leaf hand

and Roman numerals clear on a dark face, providing

an easy time-check for anyone passing. Chris

Arnold, who runs the Glynde Estates, winds the

clock three times a week and says it's currently

running fast, "over a weekend about eight minutes".

Though before Christmas it was running

three minutes slow. Such eccentricities, surely, are

one of the pleasures of historic timepieces.

Daniel Etherington

Thanks to Lord Hampden and the Glynde Estate

Photo by Daniel Etherington


吀 爀 愀 渀 猀 昀 漀 爀 洀 礀 漀 甀 爀 栀 漀 洀 攀 眀 椀 琀 栀 漀 甀 爀 昀 椀 渀 攀 猀 琀 焀 甀 愀 氀 椀 琀 礀

匀 㨀 䌀 刀 䄀 䘀 吀 洀 愀 搀 攀 ⴀ 琀 漀 ⴀ 洀 攀 愀 猀 甀 爀 攀 椀 渀 琀 攀 爀 椀 漀 爀 猀 栀 甀 琀 琀 攀 爀 猀 ⸀

琀 ⸀ ㈀ 㜀 アパート アパート アパート 㠀 㐀 ㈀

攀 ⸀ 挀 漀 渀 琀 愀 挀 琀 䀀 戀 攀 氀 氀 愀 瘀 椀 猀 琀 愀 猀 栀 甀 琀 琀 攀 爀 猀 ⸀ 挀 漀 ⸀ 甀 欀

眀 ⸀ 眀 眀 眀 ⸀ 戀 攀 氀 氀 愀 瘀 椀 猀 琀 愀 猀 栀 甀 琀 琀 攀 爀 猀 ⸀ 挀 漀 ⸀ 甀 欀

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David Jarman

Peggy in the middle

In his memoir Love

is Where it Falls, a

sublimely silly title,

Simon Callow tells of

his first meeting with

the (very) theatrical

literary agent, Peggy

Ramsay. It took

place at her offices

in Goodwin’s Court,

off St Martin’s Lane.

Callow wasn’t expecting, or even necessarily

wanting, to meet Peggy Ramsay herself, but

when, having trekked up three flights of stairs,

he opened the door bearing the agency’s name,

there she was.

“Hello”, I said, “I’m –”

“I know exactly who you are dear” she said. “Tell

me”, she continued, as if resuming a conversation

rather than beginning one, “do you think

Ayckbourn will ever write a really GOOD play?”

This encounter took place in 1980, and

Ayckbourn’s Woman in Mind, which the Lewes

Little Theatre is putting on this month (13th-

20th May), opened in Scarborough in June 1985

and came to the Theatre Royal in Brighton in

August 1986. So perhaps by then, Peggy Ramsay

would have conceded that Ayckbourn had indeed

written a really good play. Or perhaps not.

Peggy Ramsay lived in Redcliffe Square, but

she also had a weekend bolthole in Brighton. A

plaque on her house at 34 Kensington Place, very

near the station, was unveiled in 2009 by Simon

Callow. Of all Ramsay’s illustrious clients, I

suppose the most famous was the playwright Joe

Orton. It’s fifty years ago this year that Orton

was killed by his partner, Kenneth Halliwell, who

committed suicide immediately after. Orton and

Halliwell are also remembered for the 1962 court

case in which they were found guilty of defacing

hundreds of Islington

Library books.

Halliwell also used

pictures removed from

the books to decorate

the walls of their Noel

Road flat. Islington has

put up another plaque

on that property.

Islington Museum

owns 43 of the library

book covers defaced by Orton and Halliwell,

and there are always a few on display. Postcards,

as well, which strikes me as all rather odd. Now

the museum has acquired a collage screen made

by Halliwell. Peggy Ramsay commissioned

Halliwell’s collage screens; this one was donated

by her estate to a charity auction in 1999. It’s

not on display at the moment, but the librarian

assured me that it would be again in the summer,

once they had got through their Spanish Civil

War exhibition.

In Love is Where it Falls, which, incidentally,

I picked up from the book rack in the waiting

room on Platform 3 at Lewes Station (I pitched

my voluntary contribution at £1 plus a handful

of loose change), Simon Callow describes Peggy

Ramsay’s voice ‘as beautiful and expressive as

any actress might hope to possess: perfectly

modulated, feathery light and caressing, then

suddenly rough and emphatic, but never when

you expected it… “I always thought”, she said

liltingly, “how touching it was that when Ken and

Joe couldn’t find anyone else to f**k, they would

f**k each other”.’

Fortunately for Brighton Library, Ramsay was

unsuccessful in luring Orton to Brighton. As his

diaries reveal, he was having nothing to do with

slum dwellings tarted up with a coat of plaster.

Quite right too!

Photo by Alex Leith



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Sunday 11th June at 12 Noon until 6.30pm

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Chloë King

More brain than brawn

When I’m invited to learn

how to cook calf brains with

a Michelin-starred chef

named Merlin Labron-

Johnson, my competitive

nature peaks. I gleefully

imagine the tales I could

tell to make vegetarians

recoil and hard blokes feel

like pansies. Then the time

arrives to do the thing, and

I feel a little churning in

my stomach that is not the

result of hunger.

Calf brains, I discover via the nutritional

database that is Wikipedia, are high in

cholesterol and a rich source of omega-3. They

are popular in France where, like delicate white

fish, they are traditionally cooked in beurre noir

and capers. This, strangely, makes sense once

you taste brain. Unlike most offal, it has a mild,

creamy taste and barely-there texture.

You don’t often come across brains in England

(and post-Brexit, I don’t expect this to change

fast). Merlin’s restaurant, Portland, serves them,

and along with nose-to-tail eating in general,

they are making a small comeback. Still, only in

smart places.

Strange really: the more upmarket you get

gastronomically, the more likely you are to be

fed gizzards. But at least you’ll be told, so you

can get all macho about it. I’m not certain what

is less appealing: the unidentifiable ground meat

in your average frankfurter or the unavoidable

whole organ of a young animal?

Still, I find my primary association with brains is

the image of Hannibal Lecter feeding Krendler

his last meal - not a helpful picture to take to

the table.

Half a calf brain serves

one, handsomely, and my

portion has been soaked

overnight in milk to

remove impurities, then

lightly poached. The

brain, looking like brain,

is dusted in flour and

plopped into a hot pan of

butter to cook. It’s at this

stage that I let go my cool,

as I grasp at the organ with

my hand, only to find it

almost mindfully trying

to escape. In it goes, browning nicely. I’ll be

dressing it with a rich jus of veal stock, capers

and lemon juice and serving the whole lot on

crunchy sourdough toast.

The brain cooks in a flash so there’s little time

to ponder. Soon, I’m faced with the finished

dish: bouncy and glistening. I tuck in, slowly,

making a point not to wolf it down, as is my

wont. I’m not certain whether this is because

I don’t want others to know that I am greedy

and uncomfortable, or because I really want to

experience these brains.

It strikes me that much of the time, people go to

great lengths to disguise what they are eating.

From those who only eat chicken in popcorn

form, to those casually blending up a storm to

Annabel Karmel or Anna Jones.

While all cooking is designed to make

ingredients more palatable, for all eaters it’s

pertinent to confront what we try to avoid when

eating - which is, so often, the source of our

food or how it’s produced. While eating these

brains, I can’t escape the fact of what they are

and what I am doing, and that in itself is an

important thing to think about.

Illustration by Chloë King



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East of Earwig

Close to the borderline

Photo montage by Mark Bridge

I'm no John Simpson, sadly. I cannot claim much

expertise on world affairs. Just as regrettably,

I'm no Rageh Omaar, the journalist who became

known as the 'scud stud' when the Iraq War

started in 2003. It's a shame because I reckon an

alliterative upbeat nickname - perhaps 'the Ringmer

reporting Romeo' - would suit me. But, as so

often happens, I'm digressing.

The last few weeks have seen an assortment of

potentially world-changing events passing into

history. The UK triggered Article 50 of the Treaty

on European Union, starting a countdown to

leaving the EU. Michael Howard suggested that

our country could go to war with Spain. And the

USA launched an attack against Syria, prompting

a critical Russian response. (At the time of writing,

nuclear conflict with North Korea is pending.)

To top it all, my editor emailed me to say that this

month's magazine would have an overall theme of

'going out'.

The more I thought about it, the more it seemed

a good idea for us Ringmerites to take this advice

literally. It was time for Ringmer to go out, to

declare independence from Lewes District, from

East Sussex and from England. We could isolate

ourselves from world events and enjoy a bucolic

existence, erecting hay-bale barricades on the

B2192 and issuing our own hand-knitted passports.

But would this be a good idea - or would we

be opening ourselves up to the risk of attack?

Yes, seriously. Our location and our natural

resources would almost certainly make us an

economic threat to those living down the hill in

Lewes. Tired of drinking café cortado and eating

sour-dough sandwiches, Lewesians might want

to raid Ringmer's allotments for fresh fruit and

vegetables. When Harvey's Best bitter became

too familiar, the Lewes warriors would be heading

for Turners Brewery. Our prized local landmarks,

such as the sewage works, would become military

targets. And we've got an undefended pond, too.

We villagers would be ready, naturally. The first

wave of attackers would be repelled by frenzied

geese from the Raystede sanctuary, where our

fighting force would have been readied with a

special sugary diet of stale doughnuts. Next, the

gin-drinkers of Ringmer would use their collection

of hedgerow-harvested sloes to pelt the incoming

army. Pity the poor soldier that inadvertently

swallowed one. And if any pecked, bruised,

dry-mouthed fighters remained, we'd switch the

Glyndebourne wind turbine into reverse and blow

them back down the road.

Of course, all this conflict could be avoided with

negotiations and some friendly cross-border

arrangements. Instead of a battle, we should celebrate

our heritage by having a traditional grumble

and then hosting a celebratory street party that

would match the joy of VE-Day. Come on, Lewes

– you can provide the beer and the organic salad.

And we'll promise not to invade.

Mark Bridge


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Daniel Rachel

Author, Walls Come Tumbling Down

“It hasn’t seemed to have crossed

into public knowledge,” says

Daniel Rachel, “which is amazing

seeing as what a massive

effect it ended up having.”

He’s talking about a string of

“appalling racist comments”

which Eric Clapton made during

a gig he was performing in

Birmingham, in August 1976.

The aftermath of Clapton’s outburst

is the starting point of Rachel’s

painstakingly researched

book Walls Come Tumbling Down,

subtitled ‘The Music and Politics

of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone

and Red Wedge’.

Photographer Red Saunders reacted by publishing

an open letter, signed by various associates,

reflecting their disgust. “The crucial line,” says

Daniel, “was ‘We want to organise a rank-andfile

movement against the racist poison in rock

music’”. Those interested were urged to write in

to an address headed ‘Rock Against Racism’. A

movement was born.

RAR’s remit was to organise gigs with “black

and white bands on the same stage, performing

separately, then jamming together at the end of

the evening”. They also launched a magazine,

Temporary Hoarding, which espoused “[progressive]

political views stretching beyond the issue

of racism”.

The late seventies was a bleak period for young

Britons to be growing up in. “Margaret Thatcher

won leadership of the Conservative Party, then

the election, and the country started suffering

from the brutal savagery of her government’s

policies.” The National Front was on the rise. As

a release from all the political and racial tension,

“the first generation of black kids growing up as

British subjects and disenfranchised

white kids started looking

to reggae and punk music.”

These two musical styles came

together at RAR gigs with

pairings such as Hersham punks

Sham 69 and Southall reggae

band Misty in Roots.

“Over a sixteen-year period

politics were to the fore in a

way that had never happened

before in pop music,” continues

Rachel. Influenced by RAR, in

1978 Jerry Dammers formed the

Specials, a punk-influenced ska

band with both black and white

members, and the 2 Tone label, an umbrella for

other likeminded bands. In 1985 protest singer

Billy Bragg started up Red Wedge, joining with

Paul Weller and Jimmy Somerville to play gigs

in aid of the Labour Party. In 1986 Dammers

formed Artists Against Apartheid, in solidarity

with black South Africans.

Walls Come Tumbling Down, taking its title from

Paul Weller’s Style Council anthem, takes us

through this period through the eyes of over 100

interviewees Rachel has tracked down - anyone

who was anyone in the movement - including

Red Saunders, Neil Kinnock, Billy Bragg and

Jerry Dammers. At 560 pages it’s a hefty read,

but it’s beautifully structured, as a vivid picture

emerges of how Rock Against Racism not only

helped shape the politics of a generation; it also

influenced the sound of the music they were

listening to. Nice one, Eric. Alex Leith

Daniel Rachel speaks at the Phoenix Centre,

Lewes, 8pm, Mon 8th (Labour Party open meeting,

free) and Waterstones, Brighton, 7.30pm, Wed 10th

(with June Miles-Kingston and Juliet de Valera, a

Brighton Festival/City Reads event, £5.90)



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We provide a huge range of fun, interesting and engaging activities, from Tai

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Come along and pay us a visit; have lunch, join a class or simply experience

what we have to offer, using our free taster sessions. For more information,

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Every Sort of People festival

Bill topper Richard Hadfield

You won Britain’s Got Talent

in 2014! I was contacted

via YouTube and asked to

be part of a boy band called

Collabro. We sang in a pub

together, it went really well,

and we decided to take the

next step. We entered Britain’s

Got Talent, and won it.

What had you been doing

for a living? Busking and


How did you find the judges

of BGT? It was unreal. It was

like seeing waxworks at Madame

Tussauds when we went

on stage and looked out at Simon

Cowell, Amanda Holden,

David Walliams and Alesha

Dixon. There was a lot of

pressure. We were berated for only being together

a month. But then they heard us sing and loved us.

We won, and got the big cheque and the chance

to perform at the Royal Variety Show, where we

met Wills and Kate, Ed Sheeran and Bette Midler.

We went on to do a UK sell-out tour, then got a

record contract with Simon Cowell.

But after that you fell out with the rest of the

band? There was tension and pressure. We’d been

chucked in the deep end, and I stopped enjoying

it. So I jumped ship and went solo. It was a weight

off my shoulders, quite literally, because I stopped

comfort eating, went to the gym and lost four stone.

What’s your singing background? I really

enjoyed musical theatre at school (Hurstpierpoint

College), and had a part in Les Misérables. I grew

to love swing and jazz and had singing lessons.

My teacher Derek Austin played piano for Frank


Who do you admire? Chet

Baker, Burt Bacharach,

Sinatra of course.

The Festival is at the

Dripping Pan. Are you a

football fan? Honestly, I’m

more of a rugby boy. I’ve

spent a lot of time at Lewes

Rugby Club. But growing up

in Brighton, I’m pleased the

Albion are doing really well.

Are you still local? I live

in London now but I love

coming down to East Sussex.

That breath of fresh air

you get as you cross into

the county. Lewes is a stunning

town. My brother got

married at the castle, and I

busked on Cliffe Bridge sometimes.

What led you to perform at the (accessible)

Every Sort of People festival? I’ve got a connection

with Culture Shift, the organisers. They put

on great events, and when they asked me to perform

at this, I thought it sounded incredible. I’ll

be bringing along my four-piece band and singing

pop songs with a jazz setting. Emma Chaplin

Richard is performing alongside Lewes legends

including Arthur Brown, Tongue and Groove, Lola

Hepper Britten and Super 8, as well as emerging

bands from Starfish Music and 69X, Fresh Tracks

DJs. Plus community organisations such as Stay Up

Late and Diversity Lewes, food, bars and more festival

fun for everyone. Sat 13th, noon-8pm. Tickets

£10/6 online or from The Laurels. Children under

7 free. Lewes FC, the Dripping Pan, Mountfield Rd.



I Fagiolini

Monteverdi’s lesser-known vespers

There’s a book from 1950

called ‘Monteverdi: Creator

of Modern Music’. What’s

the basis for that claim? Do

you agree? Well, it's a great

title for a book... The more

you look at the music of his

time, the more you realise he

was one of many. Historically,

the reason we still perform

his music is that it's just better

than his contemporaries,

rather than the fact that it's

more modern. His first opera

wasn't the first opera, but it

was the best. His advanced

harmony wasn’t as advanced as Gesualdo, but his

more sparing use was perhaps more telling and

less affected.

I’ve seen Monteverdi described as ‘a kind of

figurehead of the avant-garde’ of the time.

How challenging was his music to 17thcentury

ears, and how did people react to it?

In that it was very successful and it was absolutely

tonal, I'd say it wasn't challenging in the way that

atonal music was in the 1920s, for example. He

didn't invent new textures as such, and everything

that he did write was beautifully laid out, so that it

sounded sweet to the ear. He was a fabulous craftsman.

There was a well-documented incident with

a theorist challenging some of his madrigals - but

the challenge was about Monteverdi's technique

and whether it followed old-school rules, rather

than the quality of his music. Elsewhere, he was

held by other musicians in the highest possible

regard, as far as it ever gets discussed.

It must have been quite exciting to have been

Monteverdi in the later part of his career; it

was the early days of modern

opera, a format which apparently

suited his talents. And

it sounds like he was famous

and successful enough to

just focus on that, if he’d

wanted. So why did he carry

on making church music?

He probably didn't see it that

way, still trying to get money

out of his erstwhile employers,

the Gonzagas [the ruling family

in Mantua]. And remember

that the first commercial opera

house didn't open until 1637, six

years before he died. He carried

on with church music because he was a priest, and

his official position was as maestro at St Mark’s

[in Venice], the most prestigious musical position

in Europe. However, we can't really say when he

composed most of the pieces in the concert we're

performing: only that they were published in 1641.

Some may date back as far as the 1590s.

Apparently his 1610 vespers are often performed,

and these later ones aren’t. Why? The

1610 vespers were published in a volume with

little motets between the psalms, and thus make

a nicely balanced ready-made modern concert.

With this later volume, there are choices to be

made - the director has to do a bit more work! It's

habit, though. The 1610 has been performed and

recorded for decades now. Perhaps this recording

will shift the balance.

Steve Ramsey interviewed Robert Hollingworth

Robert directs I Fagiolini. Their new CD, on Decca,

is Monteverdi: The Other Vespers. They’ll perform

a concert with the same title at Glyndebourne on

Sun 7th. See

Photo by Keith Saunders


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Shirley Collins

‘The secret Queen of England’

Shirley Collins’ face is a picture of wry scepticism

when I ask her what she thinks of the musical

genre ‘nu-folk’. “I mean, it’s all there in the spelling,

isn’t it?” she says. “For me real folk music is all

about songs handed down through the generations.

You can’t just write a song, and then call it

a folk song. It’s rather like building a Mock Tudor

House and calling it medieval.”

Shirley is currently riding the crest of a remarkable

revival. Her first album for 38 years, Lodestar, has

been given a host of five-star reviews, as have the

concerts she’s been doing to promote it, in venues

such as the Barbican, and The Sage. A documentary

about her life – The Ballad of Shirley Collins – is

in post-production. She’s busy writing her memoirs

for publication. And she’s looking forward

to something of a homecoming gig at the Dome,

which is being billed as one of the highlights of

Brighton Festival.

I say ‘something’ of a homecoming because while

Shirley spent a lot of her adult life in Brighton,

she’s lived in Lewes for the last 14 years: she loves

the place, and “will never live anywhere else.”

We’re sitting in her cottage on New Road, where

Lodestar was recorded. “I wasn’t confident about

my voice,” she says. “I didn’t want to record in

front of some young producer in a recording studio

in London. I wanted a more familiar setting.”

One problem about making a comeback is that

everyone who interviews asks her why she stopped

being successful in the first place. I’m no exception,

so she has to go through the tale of how her

second husband, Ashley Hutchings, left her, and

how she was so distraught she lost her singing

voice. “Nothing would come out, or sometimes

just a croak. I’m cross with myself, looking back,”

she says. “I shouldn’t have been heart-broken. I

should have been angry.”

Left with two children to bring up she had no option

but to retire from singing and work at a series

of jobs to make ends meet. She was not entirely

forgotten, though. “David Tibet, from Current

93, urged me to sing again. At first I refused, then

I refused again, then I agreed but failed to turn

up, and finally I did it.” Her 2014 reunion gig, at

the Union Chapel in London, was the start of the


In the hour we spend together Shirley tells me a

million things: about her time in America in the

late 50s collecting songs; about the humiliation she

felt when she lost her voice, about how she found

her house in Lewes and fell in love with the town.

Finally I take her picture in the back garden and

as I leave she thanks me for my time. “My time?

You’re the one the BBC are calling ‘The secret

Queen of England,” I say, and she looks bashfully

proud of herself, which is a lovely look.

Alex Leith

Shirley Collins, The Dome (Brighton Festival), Sun

14th May, 7.30pm

Photo by Alex Leith


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Deborah Levy on Virginia Woolf

Your Charleston

Festival talk Hauntings

is about the influence

of Virginia Woolf’s

To The Lighthouse

on your Booker Prize

shortlisted novel Hot

Milk. What do you find

most inspiring about

Woolf’s writing? Woolf

is one of our greatest

writers, and in some

ways, the most daring,

skilled and bold - especially

her time-travelling, shape-shifting novel,

Orlando. To the Lighthouse is a book that requires

all our attention and it rewards the reader in aces.

It is her most autobiographical book, in which

she collides, in a master stroke of formal innovation,

the devastation she felt at the death of her

mother, with the devastation of World War 1.

Your autobiographical essay Things I Don’t

Want to Know was commissioned as a response

to Orwell’s Why I Write, but it also

reflects Woolf's A Room of One’s Own. How

so? The book reflects on the life of a female writer,

and so of course, the mighty Virginia Woolf

walked with me as I wrote it, alongside Orwell.

They both paused to smoke a roll-up on this

walk - they were keen smokers of tobacco. Woolf

did not have a formal education, Orwell went to

Eton and later worked unhappily as a colonial

servant of the British Empire, but they were

equally sharp observers of the dominant issues of

their time. In A Room of One’s Own, Woolf advised

women not to 'write in a rage' because 'She will

write foolishly when she should write wisely. She

will write of herself when she should write of

her characters. She is at war with her lot.' Woolf

is suggesting that to

write in anger is to risk

losing complexity and

nuance. That’s a hard

call because sometimes,

it’s when we’re angry,

that we hear ourselves

for the first time. I don’t

comment on this, except

to note that the narrator

of Things I Don’t Want to

Know, is in a rage and at

war with her lot.

You are currently

travelling, and your writing often deals with

themes of exile and displacement. Is it creatively

important to conjure feelings of being

cast away? It is creatively important to be cast

away from rigid ideas about who we are and what

we’re supposed to be like. So my books often

explore shifting cultural and sexual identities.

My story collection, Black Vodka, is a road trip

through Europe - the stories are set in Prague,

Rome, London, Vienna, Barcelona. My new

book, The Cost of Living, is set in South America

and Britain.

What are you most looking forward to coming

home to this summer? As my books get

translated into other languages, it does involve

me in quite a lot of travel. When I return home

I look forward to family, friends, tea, cheddar

cheese, brown bread, the plants on my balcony,

my bicycle and the budding of spring.

As told to Chloë King

Levy speaks twice at the Charleston Festival: Heralding

the Hogarth Press, 19th May, 12pm; Hauntings,

20th May, 11.30am. Things

I Don’t Want To Know and Hot Milk are published

by Hamish Hamilton

Photo by Sheila Burnett


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Eileen Agar

Bride of the Sea

In Eileen Agar’s


A Look at My

Life, a chapterheading

asks: ‘Am

I a Surrealist?’ It

was a question

that had been

causing her mild


for over half a

century, since examples of her work had appeared

in the International Surrealism Exhibition which

opened at the New Burlington Galleries in June

1936. Agar commented: ‘one day I was an artist

exploring highly personal combinations of form

and content, and the next I was calmly informed

I was a Surrealist.’ Perhaps Agar was one of the

artists Conroy Maddox had in mind when he

refused to take part in the exhibition, ‘because

many of the British artists weren’t Surrealists at

all.’ Eileen Agar resisted all labels, and, though

subject to obvious influences, her work remained

firmly sui generis. The art critic Andrew

Lambirth, who co-authored Agar’s autobiography,

described her as ‘a painter of playful seriousness’.

That sounds about right. Certainly, her relaxed

attitude to both her life (‘I’ve enjoyed life, and

it shows through’) and her numerous loves (‘I

just sleep with them if I want to. I don’t do it

otherwise’) suggest that the Surrealist issue didn’t

cause her many sleepless nights.

Bride of the Sea is a one-room show devoted to

Eileen Agar that runs at the Jerwood Gallery in

Hastings until 4th June. The exhibition is one

of the gallery’s ‘In Focus’ series, in which a work

from the Jerwood collection (in this case, the

1969 Pigeon Post) is displayed alongside loans

from public and private institutions. So, for example,

her portrait

of Dylan Thomas

from the Tate is


by photographs

from the Tate’s

Agar archive. The

inspired selection

of work has a

twofold purpose.

Firstly, thematic

links are explored. So Bride of the Sea (1979) is

complemented by Butterfly Bride (1936). The

Jerwood’s proximity to the sea is referenced by

Fisherman (No. 100 in the 1958 London Group

Show, priced at £60). I suppose the photographs

of Eileen Agar feeding the pigeons in St Mark’s

Square, Venice that are in the Tate archive would

have provided a rather too obvious connection

with the keystone painting Pigeon Post. Secondly,

there are excellent examples of Agar’s work at

all the crucial stages of her artistic development:

the revival inspired by her discovery of Tenerife

in the early 1950s after the years of depressed

wartime inactivity (‘on the whole the war did

not inspire me, and I longed to get it over and

done with’), the stylistic reinvention of the 1960s

(‘In 1965 I found inspiration in a new medium –

acrylics. I have never gone back to oil since.’)

Eileen Agar published her autobiography when

she was eighty eight, but her story is certainly not

an example of that comforting delusion: ‘you’re

never too old’. The picture that gives the exhibition

its title: Bride of the Sea, was painted in the

year Agar reached her eightieth birthday on December

1st, 1979. She wrote: ‘Ridiculous! I feel

more like fifty and I had no desire to celebrate

the event. There were many more important

things to do.’ David Jarman

Pigeon Post, 1969 © The Estate of Eileen Agar, The Bridgeman Art Library



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Focus on:

This is Cosy

by Sarah Grace Harris

Cyanotype, using found objects,

paper and tea, 50x30cm, £180

Who’s lost these things, and who’s found them?

All sorts of people have ‘lost’ them. I’ve either

found them in charity shops, or friends and family

have given them to me after finding them in the

backs of drawers. I found the children’s gloves in

an antiques centre. Everyone who knows me knows

I’m happy to be given doilies.

What do you do with the objects to get this

effect? These are cyanotypes. It’s a photographic

process whereby you coat paper in a particular

mix of chemicals, allow it to dry, place objects

over it and when exposed to the sun it will create a

blue-tinged negative image of the object. It’s how

blueprints are made. I then soak the print in tea to

vary the colour. I use different types of paper, also

‘found’ in all sorts of places.

It’s been sunny recently! I’ve been very busy. I

keep a close eye on my weather app, because the

paper takes a couple of days to dry, and I want to be

ready for when the sun is out.

I’ve read in your artist’s statement that this

work is influenced by two different groups of

women from the past… Yes, the Gee’s Bend community

was a group of black women in Alabama in

the 1920s who used to make patchwork quilts and

suchlike out of offcuts of denim - the only material

that was available. And also the Northern Japanese

art of ‘Boro’, which is mending and patching garments

to make them last through generations; the

women who did this were only allowed to wear

blue, black or grey as vibrant colours were reserved

for the rich, so the garments were different shades

of blue. Both cases involved collaborative efforts

between women, which really struck a chord.

So this is a collage? Yes. Each item is cut out and

pinned onto a board using an entomology pin, so

the paper can curl and move within its box.

Have any other artists influenced you? The

starting point of this whole process was an exhibition

I saw in the V&A a few years ago called

Camera-less Photography. Two artists in particular

were of influence, Adam Fuss and Susan Derges.

Which work of art would you take with you to

your desert island? Alexander Calder’s beautiful

mobile called Snow Flurry.

Interview by Alex Leith

Martyrs' Gallery, 5th-28th May


2 nd - 4 th June

10:30am - 5pm daily

Firle Place

A27, Nr Lewes BN8 6LP

Fine Art ~ Antiques ~ Decorative Accessories

30 Stands in the 18th Century Riding School

Furniture, Ceramics, Jewellery, Glass, Silver, Bronzes, Paintings

Gardenalia & Statuary

on the Lawns

Detail from ‘Berwick, Alciston & Firle’

by Frank Wootton, courtesy of E. Stacy-Marks Ltd

Vi £1 va

discount on


TV Experts Mark Stacey, Henry Nicholls & Ben Cooper (Appraisals from 2pm, £3 each for charity)

Free Flow Tours of the House daily, Noon - 4.30pm, £5 with a Fair Catalogue (normally £9.)

Details & Complimentary E-Tickets via

Fair entry £3:50 includes Catalogue Enq: 07774 850044



Experience the extraordinary atmosphere of the Sussex home of the Surrealists

Lee Miller and Roland Penrose whose friends and guests included Picasso,

Leonora Carrington, Man Ray and Miró. We open to visitors on Sundays offering

50 minute guided tours, exhibitions in our gallery and a sculpture garden to explore.

Farleys House & Gallery

Muddles Green, Chiddingly

East Sussex, BN8 6HW

Tel: 01825 872 856

Open to visitors every Sunday from April - October


Farleys Gallery Admission Free

Exibition from Lee Miller’s New York Studio

10.00 am - 3.30 pm



In town this month

'Looking for Gold' by Jo Lamb

Prolific painter and designer Jo

Lamb describes her painting

process as ‘a continual duel with

oneself. I will go back to a subject

and almost “chew it”.’ St Anne’s

Galleries is exhibiting Another

Day in Paradise, a solo exhibition

of her recent work, from the

13th. The canvases in the show

are as bright, bold and brave as

ever but, she remarks, ‘my work

is not about lovely fluffy stuff; it

might be more interesting than

that’. Until the 28th.

Originally a printmaker, Rachel Brooks Read has recently

gravitated towards representational painting and drawing,

creating works, in acrylic and inks, of figures, flowers

and interiors: subjects that she describes as possessing

‘an inner life and lending themselves to symbolism and

interpretation’. She’s the featured artist at Chalk Gallery

until the 13th, followed (from the 14th) by the abstract

expressions of Ursula Stone. []

'A Small Procession' by Teresa Winchester

Italian Interior by Rachel Brooks Read

The exhibition of paintings

by Susie Monnington and

photographs by Carlotta Luke

continues at Pelham House

until the 23rd, then, from the

24th there’s a new show of prints

from Teresa Winchester,

who is inspired by stories and

storytelling, alongside the floral

and landscape paintings of Jane

Wateridge. Continues until the

4th of July.

Lost And Found, an exhibition

of cyanotypes by Sarah Grace

Harris, is at Martyrs’ Gallery

from the 5th until the 28th.

What’s a cyanotype? See pg 43.




29 April - 9 July 2017 @TownerGallery

Towner Art Gallery

College Road, Eastbourne

BN21 4JJ, 01323 434670

Image: Becky Beasley, Sedum Joy (Double Grave) 2002/2017


Out of Town


Jewellery and Antiques

Tuesday 23 May

10am to 4pm

Bonhams specialists will be at The Courtlands

Hotel to offer free and confidential advice on

items you may be considering selling at auction.



Tim Squire-Sanders

01273 220000

Ever wonder who made the huge cormorant

sculpture in Newhaven Harbour? Or the

giant pineapple gates at the bottom of

Brighton’s West Street? It was local sculptor

Christian Funnell, and his latest project

is about to be installed at Splash Point in

Seaford. The Shoal is a 36-metre installation

that will extend along the jetty with seven

giant metal mackerel benches swimming

towards the sea. Partially funded by local

people (you can sponsor an inlaid fish

engraved with your own message) everyone’s

invited to the launch party at 12.30pm on the

1st of May. Then take a load off as you relax

on a mackerel whilst enjoying the spectacular

views of the chalk cliffs and Seaford Bay.


You can see more of Funnell’s work at his

South Heighton home, The Old Forge,

which has an Open House on two weekends,

April 29th-May 1st and May 6th/7th, from

11am-6pm. Go along and see his work and

that of 14 other artists and makers whilst

enjoying a cream tea in the wild spring

garden. []


The Courtlands Hotel,

19-27 The Drive, Hove



Estimate: £2,000 - 3,000

plus buyer’s premium and other fees *

* For details of the charges payable in addition to the final hammer price

please visit


28th May 2017 - 28th September 2017

(Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) 2-4.30pm

The delightful Tearoom and Terrace are open to non-visitors

without charge on the above dates from 12.30pm - 4.30pm

Please visit our website for more information and to

find out details about Weddings, Private Functions,

Clay Pigeon Shooting, Firle Church & Village

Firle, Nr Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 6LP

01273 858567 |

E V E N T S 2 0 1 7

The Garden Show at Firle Place

Fri 21 st , Sat 22 nd & Sun 23 rd April

Firle Place Antiques Fair

Fri 2 nd , Sat 3 rd & Sun 4 th June

Firle Vintage Fair

Sat 12 th & Sun 13 th August

Firle Place International Horse

Trials & Country Fair

Sat 19 th & Sun 20 th August

Bonfire Societies Championships

Saturday 26 th August 2017


Further afield

It won’t have escaped your notice that there’s more than one huge arts festival

going on in Brighton. Aside from the large array of visual arts to enjoy as part

of the Brighton Festival and Fringe, there’s also the Artists' Open Houses

festival too. Over 1,200 artists exhibiting in upwards of 180 venues on 14

trails over four weekends. Do the maths. Brighton’s about to get very busy. We

suggest you pick up a copy of Viva Brighton to help you navigate the month.

Heads by Samantha Staf at Artists Open Houses Festival

'For Joy' by Jessica Zoob

If it’s serenity you seek, visit the open studio of Jessica Zoob

at Banff Farm, near Ringmer, on the 6th & 7th and the 20th

& 21st (or other times by appointment) and rest your eyes on

her abstract dreamscapes. []

More peace awaits you at Borde Hill’s historic gardens,

where the annual Garden Sculpture Exhibition launches on the

12th. Figurative and abstract sculptures by artists working in

bronze, resin, stone, metalwork and ceramics are set amongst

the plants. All works are for sale. []

In six rooms at Towner Gallery, St

Leonard’s-based Becky Beasley has created

installations inspired by the work of another

local artist, Eric Ravilious. OUS explores

her ongoing interest in the qualities of space,

flatness, light, abstraction and nature in his

work, as well as his creative friendships. Until

the 9th of July. []

Speaking of escape, The Baron Gilvan (aka

Chris Gilvan-Cartwright) will be in residence at

the suitably quixotic Rottingdean Windmill at

weekends throughout the month. Setting up his

studio to create ‘magnificent paintings, drawings

and animations investigating psychological

dream worlds through automatism and intuition’,

Snowball Down A Mountain is an invitation to

enter the world of his imagination. If you’re brave

enough. Saturdays & Sundays 1-4.30pm.

The Baron Gilvan

Keith Tyson’s Turn Back Now and Eileen

Agar’s Bride of the Sea (see pg 41) continue at

Jerwood Gallery but both end on the 4th of

June. Best go quick.


The Outside Art Now by Becky Beasley,


MAY listings

Photo by Mary Motley


Lewes Garland

Day. Children’s

garland competition

in the Gun

Garden (9.45am).

Procession and

dancing from The

Knots of May and

Long Man Morris

Men starting at

10.30am in the

Gun Garden and proceeding to various locations

in town.


Film: Collateral Beauty (12A). All Saints,

5.45pm (5th) and 8pm (6th), from £5.


Film: The Birth of a Nation (15). All Saints,

8pm (5th) and 5.30pm (7th), from £5.



Gardening. More impact, less effort. Lewes and

District Garden Society talk with Alison Marsden.

St Thomas à Becket Church Hall, 7.30pm, £3.


Comedy at the Con. Leo

Kearse, John Meagher, Steve

Gribbin. Con Club, 7.30,


Hats off for Summer.

Clothing, hats and flowers.

15% off all purchases, plus

music and fizz. Darcey

Boutique, Cliffe High Street,

9.30am-5.30pm, free.

Film: Live by Night (15). All Saints, 5.15pm (6th)

and 8pm (7th), from £5.


Baldwins Travel

Cruise Fair. Meet

reps from cruise

lines and operators,

and speak to consultants.


House, 11am-3pm,



WW1: Lother’s Lambs and the Boar’s Head.

Dr Chris Kempshall will examine the events of

30/6/1916 and explain how men from East Sussex

gave their lives in an attempt to ensure success for

the first day of the Battle of the Somme. King’s

Church building, 7pm for 7.30pm, £2/£3.


Volume Control. Daniel

Rachel, author of 'Walls Come

Tumbling Down' opens a

Lewes Labour discussion on

whether music still has the

power to change politics for

the better (see pg 31). Phoenix

Centre, 7.30pm, free.

Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites. Talk on Ruskin’s

support of the brotherhood. Uckfield Civic Centre,

2.15pm, £7 (members free).


Sussex Modernism. Talk with curator and lecturer

Dr Hope Wolf exploring the lives and works of

modernist artists, writers and communities that

came to Sussex in the early and mid-twentieth

century. The Keep, 5.30pm, £3.


Film: Dark Horse (PG). All Saints, 8pm, £5.


Woman in Mind. Lewes Theatre Group’s

performances of the Alan Ayckbourn play. See


Every Sort of People festival. Inclusive community

festival featuring live music, DJs, art, food, fun

activities and more. The Dripping Pan, 1pm-8pm,

£6/£10 (under 7’s free). See pg 33.

First swim at the Pells. First dip after the winter

closure. Pells Pool, 12pm, see

Happy Hour. Jonathan Brown’s darkly comic oneman

show. All Saints, 7.30pm, £8-£10,






The South of England Show is celebrating

its 50th anniversary this year and it’s

going to be the best Show ever!

Thrilling new main ring entertainment · parades &

displays of prize-winning livestock · showjumping

& equestrian events · street entertainment · live

music stage · food & drink · acres of shopping ·

fairground… and much more!

Visit for full details on this unmissable

countryside day out for the whole family.

Adults £21; Seniors/Students £19; Under 16’s FREE *

South of England Showground, Ardingly RH17 6TL


*when accompanied by a paying adult









By Alan Ayckbourn

Directed by Tony Bannister

Saturday 13 May - Saturday 20 May 7:45pm

excluding Sunday. Matinee Saturday 20 May


£12/Members £8

Box Office: 01273 474826


Friday 5th 5.45pm & Saturday 6th 8pm

Retreating from life after a tragedy, a man questions the

universe by writing to Love, Time and Death.


Friday 5th 8pm & Sunday 7th 5.30pm

US historical drama, based on the true story of Nat Turner,

who led the 1831 Southampton County Slave Rebellion.


Saturday 6th 3pm

A cooler-than-ever Bruce Wayne must deal with the usual

suspects as they plan to rule Gotham City, while discovering

that he has accidentally adopted a teenage orphan.

LIVE BY NIGHT 15 129mins

Saturday 6th 5.15pm & Sunday 7th 8pm

Ben Affleck writes, produces, and stars in this adaptation of

Dennis Lehane's sprawling crime novel centering on the

prodigal son of a prominent police chief, and his gradual

descent into the criminal underworld.

SING U 108mins

Saturday 20th 3pm

Receiving two Oscar Nominations in 2017 including Best

Animated Feature Film. With an all-star cast Sing follows a

community of animals taking part in a singing contest.




AlAN AyckBOurN

DIrecteD By

tONy BANNIster

LA LA LAND 12A 128mins

Saturday 20th 5.15pm & Sunday 21st 7.45pm

Dominating the 2017 award season with multiple awards

won including Best Actress, Best Director & Best Original

Music at the Oscars, BAFTA’s & Golden Globes. La La Land

is a musical comedy about the relationship between a jazz

musician and an aspiring playwright.


Saturday 20th 8pm & Sunday 21st 5pm

Winner of Best Actor - Oscar, BAFTA & Golden Globes

2017 and Best Screenplay - Academy Award & BAFTA. After

the death of his older brother Joe, Lee reluctantly returns

to Manchester-by-the-Sea to care for his nephew and is

forced to deal with his past. Bonded by the man who held

their family together, Lee and Patrick struggle to adjust to a

world without him.

Info & advance tickets from the All Saints Centre

Office, the Town Hall, High Street, or

All Saints Centre, Friars Walk, Lewes, BN7 2LE

01273 486391

MAY listings (cont)

Charity Book Fair. Raising funds for Paws and

Claws animal rescue. Town Hall, 10am-4pm, 50p.


Bee Sunday. Celebrating all things bee-related,

and examining how we can help them thrive.

Linklater Pavilion, 2pm-5pm, free.

‘A performance

of unwavering

and revelatory


êêêêê Guardian

Food Rocks. Street food and artisan produce,

pop-up bars and music. Cliffe High Street, free.

Kathryn Rudge song recital. Schubert, Tosti and

Elgar. Glynde Place, 4pm, £30 (under 16s £15).


Charleston Festival. For details of events see See page 39.


A Headstrong Club discussion: Rethinking

Transport. Stephen Joseph (executive director

of Campaign for Better Transport) will speak on

getting a better transport system that works for

everyone. Elephant and Castle, 8pm-10pm, £3.





Sun 14 May, 7.30pm

Brighton Dome

01273 709709




Southease Open Gardens Fair

3 & 4 J U N E 2 0 1 7 , 1 2 . 3 0 - 5 P M

Come and see the delights of 5 charming Village Country Gardens centred

around the Ancient Church and Village Green. See beautiful flora and fauna,

great variety with favourite and unusual plants - the Giant Elephant Garlic, the

Corylus Avellana Contorta to different Clematii and Roses, Trees and Shrubs.

• Entry £6 per person (U11s free) • Free Car Parking

• Seaford Silver Band and other musical entertainment

• Food for lunch, homemade cakes, refreshments

• Variety of garden craft stalls including plant/ flower sales

• Children's Sunprinting Workshop (£5) to book ring 01273 514174

All proceeds go to the Church Fabric repair and general funds. Our Church is a 1000 years old and

this year we are going to be able to re-roof to ensure the Church remains open for all to enjoy.

For more information and booking workshops, visit



@ The Con Club













Friendly cats and kittens

seek loving homes

Lewes, Seaford & District

Cats Protection

(BN6-10 & BN25-26)

Call 01273 515605

For neutering services for your own

For neutering services for your own

cat, call 01273 813111

MAY listings (cont)

Crossing Borders. Early, Baroque and

Modern Music from the Pastores Ensemble.

Anne of Cleves’ House, 7.30pm, £5. Contact



La Traviata. Tom Cairns’ 2014 staging of Verdi’s

opera. Glyndebourne, times and prices vary, see


Lewes Death Café. Conversations on death and

dying. The Ram Inn, Firle, 7pm-9pm, optional



The Lost Theatres of Brighton. A talk by author

and local historian Christopher Horlock. The

Keep, 2.30pm, £3.

Film: La La Land (12A). All Saints, 5.15pm (20th)

and 7.45pm (21st), from £5.

Film: Manchester by the Sea (15). All Saints,

8pm (20th) and 5pm (21st), from £5.


Hipermestra. The UK’s first production of the

rarely seen opera by the influential baroque composer

Francesco Cavalli. Glyndebourne, times and

prices vary, see


May Fayre. Traditional fair with games, local

crafts, music and talks. Food available and Harvey’s

beer. Priory Park, 10.30am-4pm, £2.50.

Official Pells opening. With newly returned paddling

pool. See

India Revisited. Lewes Think Tank talk with Revd

Dr Andrew Wingate, a former teacher in India.

Christ Church, 7.30pm-9pm, free.


Walk in event. Regulation 14: Public Consultation

on the Draft Lewes Neighbourhood Plan. See


Travels in Central America: Birds, Lakes and

Mayan Ruins. Illustrated talk with Lewes Footpaths

Group. Cliffe Church Hall, 7.30pm, free

with welcome donations.

Film: Rams (15). All Saints, 8pm, £5.


What to grow on chalky soil. Session at Lewes

Community Allotment. 2pm-4pm, contact Sarah to

book a place




BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists


Rudge (mezzo-soprano)



Baillieu (piano)

Schubert Tosti Elgar

Quilter Coates Murray

Novello Britten Bridge

24 June - Beatrice Rana (piano)

29 July -Eivind Holtsmark Ringstad (viola)

4pm, 14 May 2017

Tickets & info:

May Concert


Overture Cosi fan tutte


Concierto d’Aranjuez

(Soloist Paul Gregory)


Symphony No. 7

Friday 19th May 7:30pm

Lewes Town Hall, Fisher Street entrance

Info, tickets and prices visit:

Because every life is unique

…we are here to help you make your

farewell as personal and individual as possible,

and to support you in every way we can.

Inc. Cooper & Son

42 High Street, Lewes

01273 475 557

Also at: Uckfield • Seaford • Cross in Hand


Classical round-up

Overtures, oboes and oratorios

Music in May begins with a recital by

violinist Ellie Blackshaw and pianist

Yoko Ono. Blackshaw has performed

regularly with New Music Brighton

and has been a big promoter of Sussex

composers. Japan-born Yoko Ono

has performed round the world. Sun

7, 3pm, St Michael’s, free

The Lewes Concert Orchestra will offer Rodrigo’s

Concierto d’Aranjuez played by guitarist Paul Gregory.

The concert will open with Mozart’s Overture to Cosí

Fan Tutte and finish with Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7. Fri

19, 7.30pm, Town Hall, £10-12

19th Century chamber music is on the bill for the

Laplace String Trio who will present works by

Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert, Brahms and Richard

Strauss. Guest singers will be Sue Mileham, Jane

Money, Tim Wilcox and Andrew Robinson. Sat 20,

5.30pm, St Laurence Church, Falmer, free

The Corelli Ensemble’s music director

Maeve Jenkinson will provide the solo

part in Bach’s Violin Concerto in A minor,

and oboist Owen Dennis will play

Finzi’s Interlude for Oboe and Strings.

Other works include Handel's Concerto

Grosso Op. 6 No. 12 and Mendelssohn’s Sinfonia 10

in B minor. Sun 21, 4pm, St Pancras Church, £10-12,

under 18s free

There is a unique opportunity this month to sing

Michael Tippett’s moving oratorio, A Child of Our

Time. It will be presented as a day-long choral

workshop by conductors John Hancorn and Nicholas

Houghton, and pianist Nancy Cooley. The day will

end with an informal performance of selections from

the piece. Sat 27, 10am to 5pm, Sussex Downs College,

£20, PAK

live music

Chris difford &

glenn Tilbrook

from squeeze

Los pacaminos

featuring Paul young

nine below zero

kathryn Williams

noble jacks

the mountain

firework company



night market

with over 200


16-17-18 June

groombridge place

fashion tent &


healing meadow






entertainment &



street food

An innovative, eclectic & unique festival that

brings together the latest trends in shopping, gastronomy &

lifestyle alongside a sensational array of musical talent

curated by Chris Difford from squeeze & union music store



After 25 years of studio confinement, postpunk

art-pop icons Shriekback are returning

to the stage, much to the delight of their

long-standing fan base. The new(ish) line

up now boasts eight members, still including

originals Barry Andrews (ex XTC) Carl

Marsh (ex Gang of Four) and Martyn Barker,

and they are kicking off their foray back in to

live gigging with a warm-up at the Con Club

in May. The band have received requests to

play live again for years, and after an incredibly

successful Kickstarter campaign, they are

ready to take their diverse catalogue and electric on-stage chemistry back on the road. There are currently

four live dates lined up for the UK with plans to follow them with gigs in Europe and America. So, remarkably,

it’s first stop Con Club, and next up the Shepherds Bush Empire on 3rd June…


Jack Stephenson piano trio. Jazz. The Snowdrop,

8pm, free


English dance tunes session - bring instruments.

Folk. John Harvey Tavern, 8pm, free


Andy Panayi. Jazz flautist/sax player. The Snowdrop,

8pm, free



The Hot Club of Belleville. Vintage Hot

Swing. Pelham Arms, 8.30pm, free


Bring Back the Wolf. Folk. Con Club, 8pm, free

Scuffle/The Sticks/ Sweet Williams. Proceeds

to Starfish Youth Music. Elephant and Castle,

8pm, £3/£5


Rosie Hodgson & Rowan Piggott. Folk.

Elephant and Castle, 8pm, £6


English dance tunes session. Folk. The Lamb,

12pm, free

Hunter Muskett. Acoustic/electric harmonies.

Elephant and Castle, 8pm, £7 advance from

Union Music/£8 on the door

Carter Sampson. Country. Con Club, 7.30pm,



Geoff Rob CD Launch. Celtic/Spanish guitar

from the talented Lewes-based strummer.

Glynde Church, 7.30pm, £8

The Long Haul. Country/Americana. Con

Club, 9pm, free




Slim Chance. Folk rockers from Ronnie Lane's

old band. Con Club, 7.30pm, £15

The Market Street Band. Blues/Jazz covers.

Snowdrop, 9pm, free


Mark Morriss (of The Bluetones). Westgate

Chapel, 7pm, £15

Lynne Heraud & Pat Turner. Folk. Elephant &

Castle, 8pm, £7

MAY 22

Jazz Quinto. Latin jazz with Terry Seabrook.

The Snowdrop, 8pm, free


Lewes Favourites tunes practice session. Folk.

Elephant & Castle, 8pm, free

Mandy Murray & friends. Irish Folk. Elephant

and Castle, 8pm, £6

Maxïmo Park. Geordie indie rockers. De La

Warr, 7pm, £20

Skarlettos. Ska covers. King's Head, 9pm, free


Splash Point Jazz Club. Neal Richardson trio.

Westgate, 4pm, £10 (kids free)

Open Space Open Mic. Music, poetry and

performance. Elly, 7.30pm, free


Art Theman. Jazz saxophonist. The Snowdrop,

8pm, free


Wreckless Eric. Veteran punk rocker, back from

the States. Con Club, 8pm, price tba


Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman. Folk

duo. Con Club, 7.30pm, £12


Light Zeppelin. Acoustic covers. All Saints,

8pm, £8


Shriekback. See Gig of the Month


Sam Walker. Multi-talented multi-instrumental

indie. The Lansdown, 7.30pm, free

The Bevis Frond. Psychedelic Rock. Con Club,

7.30pm, £14 adv

A Boy Named Sue. Trad Folk. King's Head,

9pm, free


Schooglenifty. Celtic Fusion. Con Club,

7.30pm, £16/£18

Jump Session. Swing/Jive DJ set. The Lamb,

4pm-8pm, free


Terry Seabrook Trio. Piano-led jazz threesome.

Snowdrop, 8pm, free

Putting on a local gig? Please send all the details to


“Kindergarten children are

extremely well supported

to acquire the skills and

capacity to develop and

learn effectively.

The contribution of the

provision to the children’s

well-being is


Ofsted (SIS)

Early Years Open Morning - 13 th May 2017

Please book online or contact us.

email: or tel: 01342 822275

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

Registered Charity Number 307006

Got a

spare room?



• FREE, easy advertising service

• Students looking for accommodation now

• Set your own rents

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Interested? Contact us today

E T 01273 678220



Theatre: Titus Andronicus. Shakespeare’s

Roman tragedy, performed al fresco, by the

Lewes Youth Theatre. Priory Ruins, 5pm and

8pm, £5/3.


Film: The Lego Batman Movie

(U). Computer-animated superhero

comedy. All Saints, 3pm, from £5.


Tales for Toddlers. Activities nurturing

creativity, communication and confidence for

children 18 months to 5 years. De La Warr,

10.15am-11am & 11.15am-12pm, £1.


Table top sale. Nearly new clothes for children.

South Malling School, 10am, £1.


We Are Family. Mini family festival with 80s

and 90s house party classics, including DJs,

soft play and games. Town Hall, 3pm-6pm, £12

(under 3s free).

Cinderella and the Fairy

Slugfather. 30-minute

storytelling show with puppets.

Christ Church, 3.30pm, £5

(£15 for family of four) contact

Sally for more info


Film: Sing (U). All-star animated movie

following animals taking part in a singing

contest. All Saints, 3pm, from £5.


The Adventures of Jason and the

Argonauts. Lewes Theatre Youth

Group’s performance of the ancient

myth, adapted by Phil Willmott.

Lewes Little Theatre, 6pm (26th),

2pm & 6pm (27th), £4/£6.


Michelham Bowmen Living History Camp

& Archery Competition. Have-a-go archery

on the South Lawn. Archery competition is

restricted to registered participants. Michelham

Priory, see

Wild Wood Weekend. Family event including

tree climbing, theatre performances, woodland

trail and various other activities. Wakehurst,

10am-5pm, price included in admission.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Stage play with

puppets adapted from Eric Carle’s book of the

same name. De La Warr, 1pm & 3pm, £10/£12.


Morning Explorer access hour. Exclusively

for families with additional needs. Lewes Castle,

10am-11am, regular admission applies.


Herbs and Scents.

Drop in and explore

the plants in the herb

garden. Make a herb

bag and some soap to

take home. Anne of

Cleves, 1pm-4pm, price

included in admission.




Another semi-abstract picture in this slot! “I took this

picture of a colour reflection at Raystede on the 5th

April 2017,” says Bailey Nelson, aged 14. “I took it

because I loved how the colours reflected in such a

strong and bright way and the little speckles dancing

around the main beams,” she continues, before getting

philosophical, as well as poetic. “I also chose it because

it was very calming and it made me realise we all see the

world in different colours.” Very true, Bailey, especially

as one of our photo judges is colour blind!

Under 16? Please send your pictures to with your name, age, and a

sentence about when, where, and why you took it.

Chestnut Tree is the

children’s hospice for

East Sussex, caring

for children with lifeshortening


and their families. We

know there are more

families in Lewes who

need our care, and

we need your help to

reach them.

Whether you choose

to do a sponsored walk,

hold a coffee morning,

host a game or quiz

night, when you put

your Hands Up! to

fundraise we’ll help you

every step of the way.

Hands Up!

to Fundraise

Registered charity number: 256789

Volunteer | Donate | Fundraise | Participate | Shop | 01323 725095

for life’s little adventures

Children’s clothes 0-10yrs

New Spring & Summer Collection

194 High Street, Lewes

East Sussex, BN7 2NS

01273 476646




Over the last few years we’ve taken our brood to several summer

festivals and reckon we’ve picked up a few tips along the way:

1. Choose family-friendly festivals like Camp Bestival or

Elderflower Fields both of which have dedicated activities for

children, a glut of food tents and music for ages 4-80.

2. Routine: Some families abandon routines the moment they

arrive but we try to stick roughly to our usual routine, meals at regular times and an awareness of bed time

even if it happens at 11pm rather than 9pm.

3. Light: Never underestimate the value of a torch. Reading at night, stumbling out to locate the toilet, telling

ghostly bedtime stories or navigating your way to your neighbour’s tent in the dark. They’re essential.

4. Safety: Ensure your children follow a few safety rules. For us, it’s never go into the tent of someone you

don’t know; if you go to the toilet in the middle of the night take an adult with you; check in with us at meal

times; and for our youngest child who is only four we get a cheap t-shirt made up with our phone number

on it. He also carries a piece of paper in his pocket with details of our tent’s location just in case the mobile

reception isn’t working.

5. Food: I have three boys so know how snacks can really make or break a festival experience. Go large with

the marshmallows, generous with the Haribos and purely indulgent with the chocolate biscuits. Soon you’ll

be everyone’s favourite festival mum. Jacky Adams



Newhaven Fort Presents


& Makers

Locally sourced Sussex suppliers

at Newhaven Fort

Sunday 4th June

Sunday 9th July

Sunday 6th August

10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Finest food, drink, art, design and craft market, supporting

emerging and established local artisans and producers.

The events will feature specially selected specialists, who

source, grow, rear, bake, make and create the products they

sell, which ensures their goods are unique, original and

designed to inspire.

For further information and market pitch enquiries

email: or call 01323 493061



We were contacted by young photographer Joe

Puxley, 15, who sent in this portrait of his friend

Emma Fossella, to help her raise money for the

Teenage Cancer Trust. Emma,

very boldly, had her head shaved

in order to publicise the cause.

She was aiming to raise at least

£950, the price of a teenager

to go on a weekend retreat:

when we went to press she had

raised 114% of that target. So

far, that is: her account is open

until the end of May, so if you

feel like contributing, feel free,


Thanks, Joe, for a great picture, and well done

Emma for raising all that cash.

Immerse yourself in Wakehurst’s

wonderful woodland festival

Woodland crafts | tree climbing | storytelling | archery

27 – 29 May

Ten minutes’ drive from Haywards Heath

For details visit

Aqua is a wonderful independent family run restaurant

serving fresh, seasonal dishes for every occasion.


2 for 1 Sparkling Bellini cocktails

All Bellinis are £7.50

Served from noon to 7pm every day.


2 Courses £10.95 or 3 Courses £12.95

Served Monday to Saturday 12-7pm


£11.95 Served all day Sunday

2 Courses £14.95 | 3 Courses £16.95

A choice of striploin of beef, slow roasted belly of pork

or chicken with homemade Yorkshire pudding, roast

potatoes, seasonal vegetables & all the trimmings.


2 Courses & a drink £6.95

* Prices subject to change

The Old Courthouse, Lewes, BN7 2FS

Tel. 01273 470 763 | |





The Feature Kitchen

Addis Ababa in your own back garden

“He said he was from

South Sudan,” says my

mum, down the phone.

“He was a very nice

chap.” And: “There’s

lots of bits. I don’t know

how you’re going to

heat it all up.”

I’m staying the weekend

at her house in

Kingston, but I’m out

and about on Saturday

evening, and she’s been left to collect and pay for

what will be Sunday’s lunch. The ‘bits’ are the

April menu from The Feature Kitchen, a new

takeaway delivery service, run by food author

Jacob Folio Todd, the ‘nice chap’.

It’s an enterprise based in Lewes; Jacob is planning

to invite a series of locally based chefs

from around the world to cook up a menu based

on their cuisine, which will be delivered on

Saturdays. Every month will feature a different

country: in April it’s Ethiopian food, devised by

Genet & Abeba, from Addis Ababa.

When I get home the fridge is packed full of

little labelled Tupperware boxes containing

exotic foodstuff. The labels say things like ‘misir

wat’, and ‘yebigir alicha’ and ‘ye-abesha gomen’.

There’s a little slip of paper with translations, in

this case ‘a rich spicy red lentil sauce flavoured

with Berbere spice mix’, ‘small pieces of lamb

stewed with onions and finished with turmeric’

and ‘braised spring greens with mild green chilli’.

In all there are eight different items, as well as

vast stretches of ‘injera’, translated as ‘Ethiopian

fermented staple, an aerated flatbread’ which is

soft and spongy and rolled into sausage shapes.

Sunday is about as hot as April days can get, so

we opt to eat in

the garden. My

mother – usually

quite adventurous

in her food

tastes – has opted

to have fish and

chips, however

nice the chap was,

so Rowena and I

are left with three

portions to get

through. The microwave comes into its own and

my wife’s eyes grow in anticipation as I bring

steaming dish after steaming dish to the table.

We’ve tried out the Ethiopian restaurant in

Baker Street in Brighton, so we know what to do.

The knife and fork is useful for cutting things

like chicken and hard-boiled egg, but the most

important utensil is the injera, which you use to

grab morsels of food from the various dishes,

to make little parcels. It’s messy, in our inexpert

hands, but it’s fun. My mother looks on for a bit

before opting to return to her book inside.

There’s a cabbagy dish that neither of us take to,

but other than that, everything is delicious. The

doro wat, cooked in a rich, (not overly) piquant

red Berbere sauce - one of the key ingredients to

cooking in this part of East Africa - is outstanding.

The whole process is educational, as well as

extremely tasty. It’s also all rather exciting. I

haven’t a clue what nationality Jacob is planning

to bring to our tables in May, but I’m eager to

find out.

Alex Leith

£12 per person, vegetarian menu also available.

07876655664 / /

Photo by Rowena Easton



Photo by Rebecca Cunningham



Medicinal chef and nutritionist Daphne Lambert

I just love the natural flow of things, of

what nature provides us. There is an abundance

of nettles in the spring and early

summer, rich in calcium, iron, potassium,

silicic acid, vitamin C & K, but you can

also preserve them they can nourish you

all year round!

May is really the last chance to pick nettles.

It’s good to be eating lots of them

if you’re someone that’s prone to having

seasonal allergies. I’d say nettle juice is

pretty amazing, but if you’ve got a family

of six with young kids, most of them

aren’t going to be drawn to a nettle juice,

even if you combine it, so part of what I

do is about how you take these ideas into

everyday life.

Nettle powder’s brilliant because you can

just hide it and people don’t know it’s in

their food, that’s what I used to do as a

strategy for little kids! You can actually

make your food far more mineral-dense by

adding some nettle powder. Over the last

50 years the minerals in our food have depleted

so much because of the way we farm

- some minerals for example have depleted

by 50-60% (according to government

figures) - so we are very deficient in minerals

in our diet now. You could put nettle

powder into anything that you bake; I’ve

put it in rye bread, and pancake mixture.

I’ve also used the powder in smoothies.

Lots of smoothie recipes will tell you to

put in some kind of vitality powder but

very few of them are grown in this country,

so I’d say make your own nettle powder

rather than using one from the other side

of the world. Nettles you could easily dry

on a sunny windowsill, just snip the top

seven leaves off the stem and lay them out

on newspaper. Always pick them before

they’re going to seed - once they’re beginning

to seed I wouldn’t use them at all.

If you make any soup with green leaves,

you’ve got to blanch the leaves rather

than actually cook them in the body of the

soup, or you’ll destroy the chlorophyll.

One of the most important reasons for

eating dark green leaves is the chlorophyll,

which is both cleansing and rejuvenating,

so you need to plunge the nettles into

boiling water for 30 seconds, strain them,

keeping that water, because that’s where

most of your minerals will be by now, and

then plunge the nettles into cold water

- that’ll set the chlorophyll. And into the

nettle water, you can put some onions and

a potato and some vegetables and a couple

of herbs and whatever else, and boil that till

it’s tender, then blend the lot together with

the nettles. Very simple, and incredibly


As told to Rebecca Cunningham

Daphne will be in conversation at the

Subud Centre on Sat 13th. Living Food,

tickets £10, via Eventbrite


The Pelham arms


A Great British pub, a warm welcome,

wonderful food & ambience




Lewes’s first


in a Pub!

Best Burgers for Miles

Simply Amazing Sunday Roasts

Great Venue for Celebrations






Bar 4pm to 11pm

Tuesday to Thursday

Bar 12 noon to 11pm

Food 12 noon to 2.30pm & 6 to 9.30pm

Friday & Saturday

Bar 12noon to Midnight

Food 12 noon to 2.30pm & 6 to 9.30pm


Bar 12 noon to 10.30pm

Food12 noon to 8pm


T 01273 476149 E



Book online @


Stanmer House

Al fresco à la carte

The header of this piece is misleading, really, because there is

no such thing as Stanmer House anymore, the place has been

rebranded Proud Country House, Stanmer Brighton. It’s been

taken over by Alex Proud, the gallerist, cabaret owner, newspaper

column writer and all-round entrepreneur.

It’s an April day that would be considered lovely in July so we decide to sample dishes from their à la carte

menu while sitting in the garden, a very beautiful spot to sit. About two thirds of the tables are full; a series

of buskers perform covers. This could be annoying, but it’s not, because they’re pretty high quality buskers.

We both start with Asian spiced seared marinated tuna (£7): I follow this with red chicken curry (£13), and

Rowena goes for lamb cutlets (£17). When they both arrive I realise I’ve made a mistake: nothing wrong

with my curry (which comes with lychees and water chestnuts, and pitta rather than rice) but the cutlets

look delicious, and come with some perfectly cooked Dauphinoise potatoes. And taste delicious, too: I get

to chew on the bones.

No offence to the musicians, but the main entertainment is watching the odd assortment of waiters going

about their business. There’s lots of pointing, and standing around, and conflabs, and it makes me wonder

why there were so many of them, and why, with that being the case, we were asked to stand in a queue at the

bar to order. No matter: next time I’ll ask for burger and fries (£12), which, it must be said, looked amazing.

Alex Leith

Photo by Rowena Easton

倀 攀 氀 栀 愀 洀 䠀 漀 甀 猀 攀 䄀 昀 琀 攀 爀 渀 漀 漀 渀 吀 攀 愀 猀 䔀 砀 瀀 攀 爀 椀 攀 渀 挀 攀 猀

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倀 攀 氀 栀 愀 洀 䠀 漀 甀 猀 攀 刀 漀 礀 愀 氀 吀 攀 愀 昀 漀 爀 㐀 瀀 攀 漀 瀀 氀 攀 昀 漀 爀 ꌀ 㐀 㤀

䔀 渀 樀 漀 礀 愀 渀 䄀 昀 琀 攀 爀 渀 漀 漀 渀 吀 攀 愀 眀 椀 琀 栀 愀 最 氀 愀 猀 猀 漀 昀 倀 爀 漀 猀 攀 挀 挀 漀 ℀

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眀 眀 眀 ⸀ 瀀 攀 氀 栀 愀 洀 栀 漀 甀 猀 攀 ⸀ 挀 漀 洀 ⼀ 搀 椀 渀 椀 渀 最 ⼀ 愀 昀 琀 攀 爀 渀 漀 漀 渀 ⴀ 琀 攀 愀

爀 攀 挀 攀 瀀 琀 椀 漀 渀 䀀 瀀 攀 氀 栀 愀 洀 栀 漀 甀 猀 攀 ⸀ 挀 漀 洀 ㈀ 㜀 アパート 㐀 㠀 㠀 㘀

匀 琀 ⸀ 䄀 渀 搀 爀 攀 眀 猀 䰀 愀 渀 攀 Ⰰ 䰀 攀 眀 攀 猀 Ⰰ 䈀 一 㜀 唀 圀


Edible updates

Oh yes, festival season is here and Middle Farm’s own Pookhill Spring

Cider is now on sale. The first of their 2016 vintage is pressed at the

farm from organically grown Dabinett cider apples, slurp!

Lewes Food Market are welcoming back Mesto and their divine Cretan

single estate olive oil (double slurp!), and Calcot Farm, whose fine

charcuterie is made in Ashurst, near Steyning.

Also at the market: Brighton’s Pirate’s Pantry, a cool new enterprise

turning would-be food waste into tasty chutneys, preserves and cordials. Plus, a range of fruit and veg

smoothies and savouries from YouJuice, also from Brighton, promise a healthy start to the day.

Food Rocks Lewes is back on 14th May with their tempting array of street food. The Feature Kitchen

storm into month two: offering limited edition African-Carribean takeaway on weekends 5th, 12th &

19th May (see pg 69). And another takeaway service is in the offing soon, this time from Tina Deubert,

who would like to hear your thoughts - pop into Tina’s Kitchen for details of her prize draw.

The Bluebell Railway ‘Rail and Ale’ events, I can heartily recommend: a truly special attraction, plus

Harvey’s, on May 19th. Pelham House are teaming up with Breaky Bottom to offer an extra special

cream tea for two on their terrace at £24.95. To finish, two Community Chef workshops promise to jazz

up your summer cookery skills and impress your barbecue guests: gluten free ferments on 13th May and

flatbreads and fillings from around the world (25th May). Chloë King

Illustration by Chloë King







Train to become a…

Nutritionist Herbalist Acupuncturist

Homeopath Naturopath Natural Chef

Postgraduate Courses and Short Courses also available

Colleges throughout the UK, Ireland, Finland, USA

Part time and full time studies

01342 410 505

Attend a FREE

Open Evening

at CNM Brighton

or CNM London


keen as...

...from start to finish

Nutshell:spaces. Imaginative ways of making homes more

interesting, practical and different.


You might be familiar with Guy Buckland’s work from billboards, fashion glossies

or the sides of buses. One of his specialities is taking revealing portraits: we asked

him to take a day out of his busy schedule to go behind the scenes at Glyndebourne

Opera House. He asked his subjects: what is your favourite opera?

Ian Julier, Senior Librarian

Favourite opera: Wagner’s Ring Cycle – that’s four so I suppose it’s cheating! It’s

probably the greatest musical work for the stage ever written.


Catriona Shepard, Receptionist

Favourite opera: It’s an absolute no-brainer – our production of Saul was just knockout,

the most extraordinary piece of theatre.


Roger Needham, Driver

Favourite opera: Probably Saul because of the incredible set and the size

and diversity of the cast – I thought it was magnificent.

Hats off

for Summer



Darcey has joined forces with

wedding florist Darling Buds of

Sussex and milliners Lomax &

Skinner to showcase all that’s

glamorous and gorgeous about

the summer season.

On Thursday 4th May we will

be offering 15% off all Darcey

purchases, plus a free glass of

fizz. Shop for summer clothes,

hats and flowers, and enjoy live

music from Alison David.

Thursday 4th May,


11 Cliffe High Street, Lewes

01273 474 667


Kevin Martin, Head Gardener

Favourite opera: Eugene Onegin which was only the second opera I ever saw.

It has a big chorus, lots of scene changes and lovely music.


Photo by Richard Madden


#3 Plumpton Half Moon Pub Circular

It’s a beautiful day and Spring has most definitely

sprung. Blossom is exploding on the trees and wild

flowers are everywhere. My wife Sarah and I, with

Todd in the back, are bowling along the road at the

base of the Downs towards Plumpton and I'm waxing

lyrical about the dandelions in the fields.

“It’s as if Jackson Pollock had flicked egg-yolk

yellow paint all over a canvas of emerald green,” I

pronounce grandly. This in turn reminds me of a

poem by Andrew Marvell. “You know, the one about

a ‘green thought in a green shade’”. But I soon

realise I’ve lost my audience.

Sarah is more worried about Todd getting dehydrated

as he has a history of getting a gippy tummy

from questionable water sources. After parking

up, we dutifully offer him some finest Evian water

decanted into vintage tupperware but Todd is having

none of it. He wants to get on with it and can’t

understand our obsession with sticking water under

his nose. Instead, a couple of naughty doggy treats

go down much better and we are finally on our way.

But, oh dear, what now? We are only halfway up

Plumpton Bostall when I collapse in a heap, grabbing

my foot. Todd thinks this is an invitation to

cover my face in a slobbery tongue-fest and I am

soon rolling around doubled-up in pain and laughing

uncontrollably at the same time.

Despite my rufty-tufty self-image, over recent years

I have developed an embarrassing susceptibility to

gout. It’s an affliction that attracts pain and mockery

in equal measure despite my attempts to persuade

friends that alcohol consumption has nothing to do

with it. “It’s all down to the uric acid in sardines,” I

tell them. “But you never eat sardines,” they annoyingly


Removing my boot and casting a professional eye

over my foot, Sarah notes that that there is no

swelling (she’s not a Bowen therapist for nothing)

and therefore is unlikely to be gout. While I silently

pray no other walkers will suddenly appear and get

the wrong end of the stick, Sarah stretches me out

and twangs muscles up and down my leg which has

me crossing my eyes in a curious mixture of pain

and pleasure.

As if by magic, the stabbing pain in my foot is soon

gone and we complete our circuit along the top of

the Downs and back to the pub in a haze of Springinduced


“You know, Jackson Pollock was a true genius,” I try

again as we arrive back at the car. But my words are

drowned out by the sound of glugging and slurping.

This time Todd is downing his Evian water with

true gusto. Richard Madden

Map: OS Explorer: 122. Distance: 3 miles. Terrain:

Steep climb on to the Downs with easy walking at

the top. Start/End: Half Moon Pub, Plumpton. 01273

890253. Directions: Follow the Plumpton Bostall

path opposite (left) from the pub on to the Downs

and then east for a mile along the top, circling back

before reaching Black Cap.




Support your local superheroes

Illustration by Mark Greco

These are certainly uncertain times. Who knows

where this planet is heading? But at the start

of May I shall be looking to the sky for a sign

of reassurance: the return of the Lewes swifts

from Africa. Ted Hughes expressed it perfectly:

“They’ve made it again / Which means the

globe’s still working, the Creation’s / Still waking

refreshed, our summer’s / Still all to come”.

Swifts may not look like much, they’re basically

two wings and a mouth, but it’s hard to explain

their abilities without making them sound supernatural.

Swifts are all about flying. They feed,

scream and mate in the air and bathe in the rainclouds.

At night they switch off half their brain,

switch on cruise control and fall asleep amongst

the stars. If they had their way they would never

come down. But there’s one little flaw in their

plan: eggs don’t float. So, for just a few weeks

of the year, they begrudgingly swap the open

skies for a cramped nest under the eaves where

they raise their young. The problem in recent

years is that most of these little gaps have been

lost to renovations and modern architecture.

The destruction of their homes is one of the

reasons why swift numbers have fallen. They are

refugees on the wind.

A group of local volunteers, determined to

ensure this iconic bird remains a part of our

Lewes summer soundtrack, have started the

Lewes Swift Supporters. The group have already

been working with local residents keen to

provide a nest box on their home. If you could

accommodate a swift box (or boxes) please get

in touch with us and we can assess if your house

is suitable. We’ve recently worked with The

Depot and have installed some special hollow

swift nesting bricks in the cinema. You may

have caught me on Countryfile chatting to Helen

Skelton (they promised me John Craven) and

promoting Lewes as the swift-lovin’ centre of

Sussex. We’re also looking for new members to

join the group and help with surveys. And we’re

searching for some friendly builders who could

help with swift box installation.

On May 10th national swift expert Edward

Mayer will be talking about these incredible

birds in the Lecture Room at Lewes Town Hall.

The talk starts at 7.30pm. Admission is a donation

to Lewes Swift Supporters (a donation of

£5 or more will get you group membership and

a snazzy enamel badge). We’ll also be holding

‘Swift Walk and a Swift Pint’ events in July,

watching screaming swift parties before popping

in to the Lewes Arms. All details on our website:

Let’s keep the Lewes skies screaming.

Michael Blencowe, Sussex Wildlife Trust



Lewes Out Loud

Plenty more Henty

Despairing of comedy on

television and browned

off by the antics of Mrs.

Brown and ‘her’ entire

entourage, I decided

one Tuesday evening

recently to attend what

was described as a ‘comedy

night’ at All Saints

centre in Friars Walk. I

was not alone.

Comedy Beats for the 12th Man was a fund-raising

event for Lewes FC, and provided me with further

evidence that my idea to form a new society

in the town – BMWG or bearded men with

glasses – was a definite ‘goer’.

In a predominantly male audience, the beards

were there in numbers, but on this raucous occasion

the glasses concerned were full of Harvey’s

Best, which certainly helped the latter end of a

rather protracted evening.

I don’t know about you, but I’m old fashioned

enough to weary a little at being battered by barrack

room language and blokes jokily discussing

how to avoid prostate cancer.

I did win a raffle prize though. Does anyone

know (politely) what I should do with an outsize

England shirt for the year 2006? I guess it would

make a super marquee if you were planning a

party to watch European football this summer.

Comedy for me will always be the ‘Carry On’

films, the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy. Cinema

in other words, and that’s why I’m delighted

we’re about to get our own multi-screen complex

in town.

Mind you, as a very small child I had to be

removed from a Classic cinema by my parents for

screaming uncontrollably

at a comic

incident on screen. As a

schoolboy, I smoked my

first cigarette in the one

and nines and ogled at

Silvana Mangano up

to her thighs in water

during the 1949 Italian

movie Bitter Rice.

At that time, to view an

‘A’ for adult picture when on my own, it was often

a case of asking total strangers to take me in.

Common practice then, but imagine it today!

When a reporter, I witnessed police horses in

the Savoy Cinema, Broad Green, as Bill Haley’s

music caused a riot during a showing of Blackboard

Jungle and I experienced ‘smelly’ cinema

(Aromarama) in New York 1964. Then there was

the spoilsport usherette in the Regal, Purley, who

regularly flashed her torch along the back row of

the stalls with the hissed warning “I don’t want

any sticky fingers!” …and that was before the

dreaded popcorn burst onto the scene.

Brief encounters this month? Curtis in Homebase

and an unsuccessful search for an ecohalogen,

screwcap bulb. Life in Lewes can be so exciting at

times. Greetings to Andy on windows, GM Taxi

Graham and smiling Geraldine. I’d also like to

credit ‘soprano sax’ man on Cliffe Bridge for his

rendition of Dizzy Gillespie’s Night in Tunisia.

I was the only person who recognised it and

he was impressed when I told him how I’d met

Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson in

May 1958, at ‘Jazz At The Philharmonic’, Davis

Cinema, Croydon. Yes - another cinema memory!

John Henty



Call us on 01273 281481

Unit E Rich Industrial Estate, Avis Way, Newhaven, BN9 0DU


Senior Socialising

The importance of staying active

A full social life is

something many of us

take for granted, but

for thousands of older

people, isolation and

loneliness are commonplace.

And it’s not just a

social problem. According

to research published

last year in Psychology and

Ageing, staying active into

old age safeguards health,

with those who live a

more socially active life experiencing less ‘terminal

decline’ and greater ‘emotional wellbeing’ than

their more solitary counterparts.

Contact the Elderly echoes the findings in its latest

survey, which has just been published. Operating

throughout England, Scotland and Wales, the charity

organises monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties

for some 5,000 people over the age of 75. Its Impact

Report 2015-16 states that 77% of its ‘guests’ feel

happier after joining a tea party group, with 73%

feeling less lonely, and 90% reporting that they had

made new friends.

The organisation’s James Yelland comments: “We

are the only national charity dedicated to tackling

loneliness and social isolation among older people,

and for many elderly people Sunday is the most

lonely day of the week. Many shops are shut, public

transport may not be running, and it’s a day which is

traditionally spent with family or friends.”

“Relationships are the only real solution to loneliness,”

he continues, “so we take people who would

otherwise be alone, and we provide volunteer

drivers who pick them up and drive them home,

and volunteer hosts who give them afternoon tea.

The groups are small, so everyone can get to know

one another well, and the

majority of guests are in

their eighties and nineties

- although we have a few

centenarians too.”

Tea party venues near

Lewes include Brighton,

Haywards Heath, Heathfield

and Eastbourne.

For weekday socialising,

the Lewes House

of Friendship provides

a home from home for

older members of the community, and is open

Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 1.30pm, at its

High Street premises next to Flint Owl Bakery.

Annual membership costs £10 a year (or £15 for

couples), and activities include exercise classes, computer

training, snooker and billiards, card games

and Scrabble, and lip-reading classes - although

members can just drop in for lunch, a tea or coffee,

or to sit in the secluded garden.

Another local organisation is the Deans Senior Tea

Club, which runs free groups for older people in the

Lewes area. As well as regular trips out, members

can enjoy entertainment, art and craft sessions,

quizzes, games, and other activities.

Long-term member Yvonne Robbins says: “Since

losing my husband nine years ago and moving to a

different area, I’ve found a whole new social group

through the Tea Club. The events are always fun

and well organised, and I’ve made many friends and

had lots of new experiences. It’s made a huge difference

to me, and I would definitely recommend it to

anyone.” Anita Hall

Contact the Elderly: 01273 805451; Lewes House of

Friendship: 01273 476469; Deans Senior Tea Club:

01273 307435.


Pat Hennessy

General Manager, The Con Club

A lot of people still

think that’s short for the

‘Conservative Club’. It’s

not. It’s the Constitutional

Club, which is an entirely

different thing.

I’ve been working here

for two years, after eight

years at the Horse and

Groom in Brighton. We

did a lot of music there, and we’re doing a

lot of music at the Con Club. Before that I

ran a load of pubs in North West London. I

came down south for a weekend, to clear my

head, and stayed.

You might say things are looking pretty

healthy here. As we speak we’re still recovering

from three gigs

in three nights by the Sun

Ra Arkestra, all three sold

out. They were amazing.

The Con Club has hit the

radar of some really good

promoters who realise that

it’s a little gem of a place,

like Dictionary Pudding,

Steve Foster and our very

own Union Music Store. That’s why we’ve

seen the likes of Wire, Gong, Jah Wobble,

Dr Feelgood and Sharks in recent months.

That’s why Krautrock legends Faust and

American punks The Dickies are playing

later in the year.

The venue holds 250, though we usu-

Photos by Alex Leith



ally cap it at 220. There aren’t many places

of that sort of size in Brighton, between the

Albert, which holds about a hundred, and

Concorde 2, which is about six or seven

hundred. But people also come from all the

towns round Lewes, because they can avoid all

the hassle of going into Brighton. Somebody

came all the way from Northampton to see

Sun Ra Arkestra.

There are around 350 Con Club members

and they still get money off their drinks, and

discounted tickets to gigs. But one of the first

things I did was to change the licence, meaning

that anyone can come in now, and use

it like a pub. You wouldn’t know it from the

front, but there’s a lovely garden in the back.

We’re a free house. Of course we sell Harvey’s

Best. We also sell Long Man Brewery

beer. We’ve got a kitchen, but we don’t do

food, as a rule, apart from special occasions.

It’s a very versatile space: we have comedy

nights, ukulele practice sessions, weddings…

My favourite Con Club gig moment?

When Chris Spedding [of Sharks] started

playing his guitar, it made the hairs on the

back of my neck stand up.

And yes, it’s true. Our stage did once belong

to Cliff Richard. As told to Alex Leith



The Depot Cinema

Architect, Stefanie Fischer

“It’s designed beyond the requirements of building

regulations with an eye to achieving best practice,”

says Stefanie Fischer, of Burrell Foley Fischer, responsible

for designing The Depot Cinema. Which

is architecture-speak for ‘we’ve pulled all the stops

out to make it extremely sustainable and accessible.’

I don a hard hat, hi-vis jacket and steel-toed boots

and Stefanie shows me around what is still a busy

building site, exactly six weeks before the first

screening. She answers the obvious question with

some confidence. Yes, they’re on track to be open

to the public on schedule (May 27th). The main

delay was caused by council quibbles about parking

which, she reveals, didn’t take into consideration the

sort of people who use Picturehouse-style cinemas.

She escorts me into a building that is really taking

shape, pointing out each of the three screening

rooms, the educational workshop and its ‘breakout’

space, the bar restaurant, the mini bar, the ticket

office, which bit of the outside space will be orchard

and which will be wild meadow. She shows me the

fine flint work ‘The Flint Man’ has done, and which

of the roofs will have grass on it.

You get the feeling that the architect-client relationship

has been better than normal, and that BFF

have been given support to be ambitious with their

plans. Her company is a veteran of scores of other

cinemas and arts building designs, she tells me,

citing the Picturehouse in Exeter, Norwich Cinema

City, Harbour Lights in Southampton, the Rio in

Dalston, the Ciné Lumière in London and a few

more. She says each project has been very different

from the one before it, but that this one – needing

to blend in with a lot of surrounding listed buildings

to the sensitive requirements of the South Downs

National Park - took a lot of planning time indeed.

The three screening rooms, housed in the shell

of the original Depot building, have already been

carpeted, as I look round, but are yet to have

their “very comfortable Quinette Gallay” seats

installed. The rooms are named after the colour

of their screens. The Purple Screen (140 seats) is

the highest-spec one with the Dolby Atmos sound

system; the Blue Screen (130) and the Black Screen

(30) have to settle for Dolby Surround Sound.

Workmen are tacking artwork onto the wall: digital

reproductions of figure paintings the artist Julian

Bell daubed on the Depot walls when it was his

studio. In the foyer, Stefanie tells me, will hang a

large print by Stephen Chambers, Big Country.

The first ever screening will be a private one for

Stefanie and the team involved with the construction

of the building. She doesn’t know which film

will be on (“that’s for Carmen to decide”); ideally

she would sit in a central seat at a 60-degree angle

from either side of the screen, which offers the ‘best

optical experience’. When I tell her I always sit at

the front she tells me that there will be footstools

in front of those seats. That, for me, is the icing on

quite a cake. Alex Leith



Carmen Slijpen

Creative Director, Depot Cinema

Photo by Alex Leith

The Depot Cinema will open to the public on

May 27th, with a crazily mixed weekend of films,

before we move into a normal week of programming

on Tuesday 30th.

Lewes Community Screen is the charity that

runs the Depot, an arts venue with a responsible

and sustainable outlook; we are set up to serve the

whole community with a diverse range of films. We

will also run a café-bar-restaurant, and an educational

workshop space.

We have three screens that will be in use all week,

from 2pm to beyond 10pm for the main programme,

with specialised screenings some mornings,

too. We’re aiming to show between five and

ten different films a week. The café/restaurant will

be open for breakfast, and until the cinema closes.

We will programme a mixture of mainstream

movies and arthouse movies. It’s important to

point out that Star Wars-type blockbusters cost a lot

more than other films, and usually insist on having

long runs, so in the interest of keeping a diverse

programme we will probably book such movies

after their first run.

For me the magic of the cinema comes out

when you watch a film with other people. I rarely

laugh in front of the TV on my own, for example,

laughing as part of an audience is a tremendous

feeling. We hope that many people will consider

watching films in the cinema more frequently.

The Depot is a high-spec cinema. Screen One is

equipped with a 4K projector and a Dolby Atmos

sound system, which creates the ultimate immersive

experience currently available in cinemas. More and

more films are mixed in Dolby Atmos, and I aim to

show this off as much as I can, because subtle sound

can be very evocative and stir deep emotions.

We’ve worked hard to be fully accessible, with

everything on the ground floor and central viewing

positions for wheelchair users, dementia-friendly

screenings, braille signage throughout the building,

infra-red hearing loops etc.

We will include a good deal of ‘Cinema+’ in the

programme; this means Q&A sessions with directors,

workshops connected with films, event-related

seasons, etc. I’m also interested in using cinema as

a spark for social change, working with Amnesty,

refugee groups and Transition Town Lewes, etc.

Our restaurant manager spent 25 years in New

Zealand, and he’ll introduce ‘Australasian’ cuisine

to Lewes. We’ll source seasonal, locally produced

food. 50% of all the drinks will be organic; the rest

biodynamic or locally produced. We’re hoping to

pull in cinema goers, of course, but also people

coming just to eat or drink.

The onus is on trying things out, being progressive,

daring, looking forward and not being afraid

to make mistakes. And of course, not to lose sight of

the main reason we’re here: entertainment. It’s all

very exciting.

Interview by Alex Leith



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Of course the biggest bit of business news in May

by far is the opening of our spanking new cinema

– The Depot – with its restaurant, bars and

other facilities. As we went to press we learnt the

pricings of tickets, which are generally lower than

the equivalent in Brighton cinemas. On Sunday to

Thursday tickets cost £6 in the day, and £8 after

5pm. On Friday and Saturday tickets cost £9 all

day. Students, concessions and kids' tickets cost

£4. A year’s membership will set you back £40 but

that includes four free tickets, £1 off any film you

see that year, and 10% off food and drink (though

not in conjunction with other offers).

We were also told some of the releases in the

opening weekend, the range of which gives an

indication of the breadth of programming we

can expect to see in the future. Films include

60s classics (Jean-Luc Godard’s Le Mépris, see

right) Oscar winners (La La… sorry, Moonlight)

foreign language drama (The Handmaiden, Elle,

The Salesman) documentaries (The Eagle Huntress,

Life, Animated) superhero scifi (Logan) and

kids’ films (Peppa the Pig, Beauty and the Beast).

See you there.

It’s a bit ‘after the Lord Mayor’s Show’, but

the other big opening to report on is actually a

re-opening, of Southover Grange, which sees

its first wedding, since shutting for long-term

refurbishment, on April 29th. Why are we telling

you this in Business News? The facilities will also

be available for private hire.

We were interested to note that, despite the old

Lloyds Bank building on the High Street looking

as dowdy as ever, Côte have started advertising for

staff: hopefully the presence of the French-themed

restaurant – under the same management as Bill’s

– will bring some footfall that way, because the

closure of Dome hairdressers has left even more

empty premises at the west end of the top of town.

Last chance gulch if you want to enter the Lewes

District Business Awards, which you have to do

by 5pm on May 5th. We are proud to be sponsoring

the Culture, Leisure and Tourism Award.

Finally, a few shorts. If you need to know

somewhere your friends can stay if there’s no

room on the couch, a new independent collective

has started, called Short Stay Lewes, offering

bed and breakfast accommodation in and around

town. And good luck to Kit and Kaboodle, a

Lewes-based ‘online retail emporium’ selling

high-quality gentlemen’s clothing. One of the two

gentlemen running the business is Gustav Temple,

editor of The Chap magazine, which should tell you

much of what you need to know about the style of

clothes on offer. And finally, it’s May, so it’s time

for Pells Pool to open, on May 20th. Check their

website for details of times and prices: please note

10am starts and early morning swim options.

Got any business news? Please send to

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

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

To advertise in Viva Lewes please call 01273 434567 or email

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Directory Spotlight:

Angela Wadman, The Silent Stylist

I'm not just about hair. I'm a

freelance personal stylist and

hairdresser working mainly

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Lewes. I specialise in cutting

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all occasions.

I call myself ‘The Silent

Stylist’ because I prefer to be

quiet and focused, offering

a calm and relaxed experience

for all of my clients. I only use

Aveda and certified organic hair products.

Many middle-aged women feel invisible and

disillusioned when it comes to knowing what to

purchase and wear, whatever their lifestyle.

My creative talents lie in knowing how to put

together various looks, seeking out notable

and distinctive accessories that

give a strong look to an otherwise

plain outfit, be it a beautiful scarf

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I also provide a wardrobe

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I keep an eye on seasonal trends but don't adhere

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Interview by Mark Bridge

07973 290824 /




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

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Michaela Kullack & Simon Murray

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like us on Facebook

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We are at last seeing some beautiful weather

which we hope you are getting out to enjoy.

Don't forget your sun protection the sun's

rays can be strong despite the cooler air

temperature, but make sure you also get

enough exposure to make your vitamin D -

see NHS Choices for advice on vitamin D

and sun protection.

The pollen levels are high please ask for

advice at the pharmacy for treatments that

may suit you if you are affected.

Finally thank you all for your support we are

very pleased to say we achieved 99% on our

patient satisfaction questionnaire and we have

also secured some additional funding which

means we will be able to continue to offer a

valued service to our customers.

Psychotherapy (UKCP registered)

Sam Jahara, Transactional Analyst

Individuals, Couples & Groups

Mark Vahrmeyer, Integrative Psychotherapist

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Jane Craig, HCPC reg.

Individuals, Couples & Groups

Nutritional & Functional Medicine

Tanya Borowski, IFM-certified, DipCNM, mBANT

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Appointments Monday to Friday and Saturday mornings


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Cover design by Fiona Hewitt



Imagine how excited the people of Lewes must have been in 1934, when this magnificent

Art Deco building appeared in town, offering a state-of-the-art space for 900 people at a

time to watch movies. It was a far cry from the Cinema de Luxe up the road, open since

1912, and renowned for its dinginess.

This picture was taken by John Maltby, who was commissioned by chain-founder Oscar

Deutsch to take pictures of the interior and exterior of every Odeon in the country, at

that point numbering in the thirties. The date, you can see from the sign on the façade,

is July 1935. The main film is The King of Paris. The interior picture shows an unfussy,

uncluttered space with comfortable-looking seats and funky patterns on the walls.

By 1971, when the cinema closed down, the seats – as many readers will be able to

remember – were no longer comfortable. Despite several campaigns to reopen the place,

it remained derelict until 1982, with, for many years, the word ‘SHAME’ daubed on

the façade. Then the building was demolished, and replaced with a red-brick mini-mall.

Lewes hasn’t had a purpose-built cinema since. Until now, that is.

Thanks for help finding this picture to Ruth Thompson, whose book Reel Lewes is published

on 22nd May, and will be on sale at The Depot and beyond. Alex Leith

Photo: John Maltby, Cinema Theatre Association Archive,


1 Malling Street, Lewes, BN7 2RA . 01273 471 269 .

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