Viva Brighton Issue #52 June 2017


find out why so many

students choose

sussex downs college

year 10 taster days

eastbourne campus: 10 th & 11 th July 2017

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Issue 52. June 2017



Most things in life are nicer if you take a little time over

them. Lean back into them. Luxuriate in them.

This is the domain of print. The artfully bound book, the

hushed aisles of a bookshop, the beautifully made magazine.

While whole libraries can be contained on a single harddrive,

and information zips around without even the need

for wires, there is no substituting the tangibility of print.

It’s sensory. You can smell it in the air: the aging paper in

a library, the inky whiff of a newly minted magazine. You

can feast your eyes on the art of the cover. Linger over the

illustrated plate. Hear the promising creak of a freshly broken spine. Feel the slip of a coated

page beneath your fingers, the breeze of a turning page. It’s a quality-of-life thing.

So ‘print’ is the (slightly self-indulgent and somewhat meta) theme of this issue. And, as ever,

its content has been discussed, commissioned, researched, written, photographed, illustrated,

sub-edited, proofread, laid out, and proofread again. Any minute now we’ll be consigning it to

print. Sending it off to the printers who’ll take our pages and, in a time-honoured yet stateof-the-art

process, print, bind and check them. Make flesh our words and pictures. All 15,000

copies. Then our distribution team will get it to you. So consider this an invitation to sit back

and spend a little time with us. We’ve earned it. And you probably have too.



EDITOR: Lizzie Lower


ART DIRECTOR: Katie Moorman

WRITER/DESIGNER: Rebecca Cunningham


PUBLISHER: Becky Ramsden

ADVERTISING: Hilary Maguire, Sarah Jane Lewis



CONTRIBUTORS: Alex Leith, Amy Holtz, Andrew Darling, Ben Bailey, Cara Courage, Chloë King,

Chris Riddell, JJ Waller, Jay Collins, Joda, Joe Decie, John Helmer, Lisa Devlin, Lizzie Enfield,

Mark Greco, Martin Skelton, Michael Blencowe and Nione Meakin

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

For advertising enquiries call 01273 810 296. Other enquiries call 01273 810 259

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

Sussex Community Festival

Join us for a day of

entertainment and discovery

SUNDAY 25 JUNE 2017 – 11AM TO 4PM


Visit the beautiful University of Sussex campus for our free one-day Community Festival.

Bring your family and friends and enjoy a packed programme of entertaining events and activities.

See how scientific discoveries are made with a guided lab tour.

Learn about law courts by engaging in a mock trial.

Explore a ‘bee’s eye view’ of the world using virtual reality.

Try out a range of exciting sports, including handball and extreme Frisbee.

Enjoy live music at our Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts.

Discover the beautiful South Downs on a campus boundary walk.




Bits and bobs.

8-21. A stallroom political agitator. A royal

‘shampoo surgeon’. A stern librarian. A

disorganised cartoonist. A plate-spinning

illustrator. A meta pub sign. And a (partly)

naked peloton.


My Brighton.

22-23. Ignoring the death-of-the-book

rumours since 1981: Inge Sweetman,

from City Books.


25-29. Super Mario, Trump, and (too much)

flesh: Brits in Benidorm, by JJ Waller.




31-35. Lizzie Enfield ponders The

Enigma of William X, John Helmer

meets some indolent cats, and Amy Holtz

has her mind melted (for six minutes and

24 seconds).

On this month.

37-49. Staging Shakespeare plays

(hurriedly). Losing one’s faith (nervously).

Embracing life’s confusion (confusingly).

Being Scummy Mummies (wittily).

Illustrating children’s books (prolifically).

Celebrating DIY publishing (informally).

And Funking the Format (musically).

....5 ....



Art and design.

50-59. From passports to paintings: the

now-legit forger David Henty. Plus, a Pink

Floyd album cover artist, and a goblinlyric-inspired

oil painting.

The way we work.

61-65. From letterpress text to abstract

jumpers: the diverse world of printmaking

in Brighton.

Food and drink.

67-73. Word-of-mouth gets out of control

in North Laine. The whole coffee-culture

system is overthrown on St James’s Street.

And a greasy hangover cure is sought but

not found on Trafalgar Street.





74-97. 3D-printing body parts. Organising

a snap election. Writing to cancer

patients. Ignoring cranefly scare-stories.

Founding a radical publisher. Printing

this magazine. Running an old-document

hospital. And remembering the Argus’

glory days.

Inside left.

98. George Street in Hove, during its

brief trackless-tram experiment.







A few months back, we gave local illustrator

and book designer Olivia Waller a list of our

upcoming themes, and asked if she’d be interested

in designing a cover for any of them. One jumped

out at her: “I saw ‘print’, and that’s such a big part

of my process,” she says. “When I was at university

in Kingston I worked in the print rooms a lot,

and after I finished studying I worked there as a

print technician. I was originally going to go up

there to print the cover, but it’s deadline time for

students at the moment so it’s really busy.” Instead

she decided to create the design as a stencil print.

“The process of making the cover was drawing

out the whole image, and then working out the

layers that I wanted. Then I cut out a stencil and

used a paintbrush and a sponge to create each layer

individually. I made a few different versions to get

the textures that I wanted, and then I scanned each

layer and put them together on Photoshop, so it’s

kind of like a cross between a real-life print and

a not-real-life print...” Using a mixture of digital

and manual processes meant she could tweak the

colours of the layers to get them just right. “There

are only actually about four different layers, so

the dark greeny colour is the yellow and the blue

colour on top of each other, and the orange is a

mixture of the pink and the yellow.”

Olivia spent last year working for Penguin,

in central London, but this year she’s back in

Brighton and focusing on freelance work. “I’ve

been working for local book publishers, and I’ve

done some freelance work for Penguin, mainly

book cover designs, and some illustration as well.

Working freelance is really good fun but it’s a

case of spinning plates, having a lot of different

things happening all at the same time and trying

to give each one a bit of attention.” She’s managed

to fit in a few of her own exhibitions alongside,

including one called Sassy Ladies, a series of 40

portraits of women. “Some of them were women

from real life, and some were women in fiction

that I wanted to give a bit of a boost. So there was

one of Persephone from Greek mythology – the

story is that she accidentally eats this pomegranate

and then accidentally becomes queen of the

underworld… I wanted her to be more like, ‘I

wanted to be queen of the underworld and now I’ve

got it!’ All of the ladies had power to them, which

was the important thing.

“Another side of what I do is comic-based stuff. I

....8 ....



started a graphic novel called Hotel Limbus as part

of my degree show, and I’ve done more work on it

since. It’s a non-linear story about these characters

in a hotel over one night, and it’s told through the

answerphone messages they leave to one another

while something happens… and you’ve got to

work out what’s going on. Another project I did

was a runner-up for the Jonathan Cape/Observer/

Comica Graphic Short Story Prize 2015 - it was a

story inspired by the small towns that I grew up in,

and the way rumours in small communities can be

spread so quickly about people. It’s about a butcher

who runs into a bit of trouble around Christmas

time because he’s being pushed out by a trendy new

butcher’s over the street, and he’s a gay man but he

feels like he can’t really come out in this community,

so he’s really troubled in that sense, and it all kind of

builds up on him… it’s not a happy ending. It’s part

of a collection of stories I’m working on based on

rumours, and they’re so much fun to write because

the more you ask around, the more stories you hear.

Some, you wouldn’t believe…”

Olivia is currently working on a solo exhibition

that will be opening in Kensington Gardens this

summer. Find out more at

Interview by Rebecca Cunningham

....9 ....




What do you do at Grassroots?

Our focus is suicide prevention.

Our core belief is that suicide is

preventable and that each life lost to

suicide is a tragedy in its own right.

How do you reach out to people

in need of help? We’ve developed

an app, designed to help those

who are worried about others - what they should say,

what they shouldn’t say - as well as people in crisis.

We also provide training for individuals and other

organisations in how to spot the signs that somebody

may be at risk. When suicide does happen it has a

devastating impact on the community. People often

ask themselves, why didn’t I know? Why didn’t I ask?

Those are the questions we address with our training.

How can we be more aware of people being at

risk? Be alert. Not everyone who thinks about suicide

will tell someone, but there may be

warning signs. Be honest. Tell the

person why you’re worried about

them, and don’t be afraid to use the

word ‘suicide’. Listening is one of the

most helpful things you can do, but

try not to judge or give advice. Get

them help - there are ideas on our

website if you’re not sure. And take care of yourself.

How can people get involved? Go online and take

our ‘Tell Me’ pledge, and download the ‘Stay Alive’

app. If you see one of our graffiti boxes, share it on

Facebook and Twitter. Join our fundraiser on June

1st at the Hope and Ruin, or if you’re interested in

organising your own, get in touch – we welcome

all donations. Rebecca Cunningham interviewed Stella

Comber and Tiffany Ansari

Often, a change

of direction is

all you need…

The Link Centre is a friendly, relaxed professional learning environment,

which runs flexible part-time courses in psychotherapy and counselling.

We also run a number of regular weekend and weekday short courses,

including our popular Introduction to Transactional Analysis course,

and a variety of top-up-skills workshops.

We have limited spaces available on our

2017/18 courses. To find out more, or to

apply, please call us on 01892 652487

or email us on

Training in Counselling & Psychotherapy • Personal Counselling, Psychotherapy

& Coaching • Transactional Analysis Courses • Mindfulness Courses

kids go


See leaflets

for details

breeze up


to the Downs...

Breeze up to Devil’s Dyke,

Stanmer Park or Ditchling

Beacon by bus!

For times, fares, leaflets and

walk ideas: Visit

Phone 01273 292480

Or visit

to plan any bus or train journey



Elaine Baird joined the County Borough of Brighton library services in 1954,

at a time when librarians were stern keepers of the peace. Colleagues of Miss

Baird, as she was invariably known, remembered her as ‘tall, imposing and

commanding respect’ and that she ‘epitomised how you expected a typical

librarian to look, with her dress and bearing’. Scary, then.

More at home with books than people, she became a reference librarian in the

late 60s. An obituary in the Library Association Record noted that ‘relationships

with the Lending Library and with Brighton Museum and Royal Pavilion…

were not always smooth’ and that ‘managing staff was not her forte’. That said,

she was protective of her team. The same obituary recalled her administering

Stone’s Ginger Wine in the midst of winter and how, when spotting a ‘suspect, bomb-like package’ in the

library, she ‘hurled a Kompass directory at it, while telling her staff to duck behind the counter.’ A tactic, no

doubt, learnt in her time in the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service).

She retired from the library in the early 80s, but never quite left public service. She joined Worthing

Borough Council as a Conservative, and felt so strongly about the pot-holed streets that she opted to serve

on the highways committee. Fitting, then, that her name should grace the front of a bus. Although she’d be

furious about the state of the roads. She died in October 2008 aged 88. Lizzie Lower

With thanks to Wendy Barrett, Wendy Jackson, Alison Minns and the staff at Jubilee Library

Illustration by Joda,





From A to Be

Coaching for your Career and

Working Life

• Is it time for a career change, or a new


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• Have you been made redundant?

• Returning to work after a career


• Do you need help identifying your

skills, talents, values and strengths?

I can help you get from A to Be

What did I miss?

Paula Cox

Career Coach & Business Psychologist

Paula Cox Coaching

For a FREE conversation, contact me:

07740 121675 or

Primary colours:

Highlight colours:


PechaKucha is back on Wednesday June 28th, with the theme ‘Peeps’

- stories to see from Brighton folk. The format is simple: ten or

so presenters talk in the 20 images x 20 seconds format with

their slideshow projected on screen. It’s quickfire, it’s

informative, and it’s extremely entertaining. It also sells

out every time, so if you’re interested, get in fast – ticket

details at

It’s curated by designer/artist/educator Zara Wood,

aka Woody, and Viva’s Alex Leith. The full line up

hadn’t been announced as we went to press, but

presenters include architect Nick Lomax, ethnographer/

photographer Curtis James, artist and Skip Gallery

founder Catherine Borowski, and photographer Adam

Bronkhorst, whose work you will be extremely familiar

with if you’re a regular reader of this mag. As ever, it takes

place at the Nightingale Room over Grand Central, Surrey Street,

from 7 to 10pm. Tickets cost £5.





Brighton’s leg of the World Naked Bike Ride returns

to the city streets on Sunday the 11th. This year the

theme is ‘One World’, and it’s an opportunity, in

politically divisive times, to raise awareness of global

issues like the right to clean air, a stable climate and

safe shared road space for cyclists. And, if that weren’t

reason enough, 2017 marks the 200th anniversary of

the invention of the bicycle. Which are all things the

event organisers suggest you celebrate by taking your

clothes off and joining the ride.

Assemble at the Level from 1pm for a 1.30pm

departure. Whilst nudity is a powerful symbol of

cyclists’ vulnerability, it is not compulsory - the dress

code is ‘as bare as you dare’.

There’ll be a (ticketed) post-ride party at the Volks

Club on Madeira Drive from 6.30pm, with food, local live musicians, bike cocktails, dancing and a raffle. Dress

code: pants (minimum)!

Illustration by Jiaqi Wang

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Painting by Jay Collins


Is there a better pub sign in the city than the

three-dimensional, eight-pointed, red-andblack

affair, surrounded by iron foliage, which

announces that you’ve made your way to the

Evening Star?

It’s a clever bit of marketing. Until 1992 the

pub was a bog-standard Courage pub, albeit one

handily placed near the station with interestingly

shaped windows and a sun trap of a front yard.

They had an everyday flap-in-the-wind sign, with

the words ‘Evening Star’.

Then it became a free house, and soon had a

micro-brewery in its cellar, run by brewer Rob

Jones. The brewery was given the same name

as Jones’ popular porter – Dark Star – and their

logo was fashioned as a star, after the name of the

pub as well as the beer. Real-ale lovers have been

flocking to it ever since, even though the brewery

moved to bigger premises near Haywards Heath

in 2001 (and then on to Partridge Green). And in

2009 Dark Star – who by now owned and ran the

pub – got the new sign fashioned, by a blacksmith,

to give body to the logo, and to evermore

fuse the two institutions. How meta is that?

Surrey Street was built in the 1830s, and the

first listing I can find of the Star is from 1850. It

looks like its first landlady, a Mrs Anne Scott, was

responsible for knocking down the wall between

two terraced houses, Nos 55 and 56, to create

space for a bar and tables. Then, as now, it was off

the beaten track. 170 years’ worth of DFLs fresh

off the train have never had a clue that it’s there:

those who go to the Star go because they want to.

And the main reason is the beer. As well as three

or four of Dark Star’s own ales, there’s always a

great selection of guest ales, including lagers and

ciders, written up on their idiosyncratic blackboard,

nicknamed ‘The Wall of Ale’.

The pub was closed for three weeks in February/

March for a refit, which had punters worried that

somebody, somewhere was thinking of rebranding

it. There was no need. The floor has been

scrubbed, there’s a fab new hand-crafted mirror,

and its facade – and that hanging star – have had

a lick of glossy paint. Otherwise – thankfully - it

hasn’t changed a bit: no music, no hot food, just

beer and conversation. As I find one hot May afternoon,

when I toast the place anew, standing in

that sun-trap yard, with a frothy pint of Hophead.

Alex Leith






SUNDAY 11 th JUNE 12.30-6.30PM

All Saints Centre, Friars Walk, Lewes BN7 2LE

Book in advance please as spaces are limited

Bob: 01273 726401 / 07971 761816 or

Peter Gane: 01935 423002



© Royal Pavilion Brighton






This month sees the opening of Jane Austen by

the Sea, a display in the Royal Pavilion that will

explore the great novelist’s relationship with the

seaside, sea-bathing and the Prince Regent. Print

culture in every form was hugely important in

Austen’s time and, of course, to her personally.

We have therefore included first editions of her

books, early guidebooks of ‘watering places’,

ephemera from early libraries, Regency magazines

with colourful fashion plates, and hilarious

Georgian caricatures and political cartoons.

Among the exhibits is a print I particularly like

(left): an image of a man of Indian origin, dressed

in what appears to be Indian clothing, standing

against an imagined landscape. The building is

reminiscent of both the Royal Pavilion and the

images created by Thomas and William Daniell,

two artists who had spent years in India in the

1780s and 90s, and subsequently painted an

impression of India for a Western audience keen

to see pictures of the unfamiliar East.

The man in the print is Sake Deen Mahomed,

one of the best-known early entrepreneurial

Asian immigrants to Britain. He was born in

1759 in Patna, north-eastern India, joined the

Native Infantry of the East India Company,

and had a successful military career. In 1784 he

moved to Ireland, where he studied English and

fell in love with an Irish woman whom he later

married. In 1794 he published a book in English

about his travels and moved to London with his

family in 1807. There he opened a Hindoostane

Coffee House, and introduced Indian cuisine to

the English palate, before becoming a professional

‘shampooer’ in Brighton, where he opened

Mahomed’s Baths near the seafront in 1812. His

business was described in advertisements as ‘The

Indian Medicated Vapour Bath, a cure to many

diseases and giving full relief when everything

fails; particularly Rheumatic and paralytic, gout,

stiff joints, old sprains, lame legs, aches and pains

in the joints’. He eventually became ‘shampooing

surgeon’ to George IV and William IV.

The print, a lithograph by Thomas Mann Baynes

printed by Charles Joseph Hullmandel, is one

of many images of the illustrious Sake Deen

Mahomed. It is a testament to Georgian society’s

continued fascination with the East in general,

and respect for Mahomed in particular. The

dress he is wearing in this picture was a cultural

hybrid, probably invented by Mahomed himself

and worn at court, with the intention of looking

both exotic and modern, combining Eastern

and Western features. Under the thigh-length,

long-sleeved silk coat in the style of Indian court

dress, for example, he wears a pair of tailored

long breeches that are in fact a very early pair of

trousers. Astonishingly, Mahomed’s extraordinary

outfit survives in our collection, and we will

display it alongside the print in the Jane Austen

exhibition. A large portrait of Mahomed, in Western

dress, can be seen in the history galleries of

Brighton Museum.

Alexandra Loske, Curator, Royal Pavilion Archives

Jane Austen by the Sea opens at the Pavilion

on 17th June.


Fine décor and many

original features are woven

into this wonderful house.

Expansive, beautiful and

sublime, this is a home that

makes perfect sense.






Oh, Viva. We’ve liked you since

we first met. A proper, wellwritten,

beautifully illustrated

local magazine, not driven by

press releases, and free. I mean,

what’s not to like?

Your monthly themes intrigue us.

How do you choose? Whatever

they are, we always accept the

challenge of finding one of our

magazines that is properly related

to your theme.

And then you go and choose

‘print’ as this month’s theme. You want a column

about a small-circulation magazine where the

publishers and owners spend hours thinking about

the right paper on which to print and then actually

go to the printers to watch their magazine roll off

the press, making sure everything looks just right?

One magazine out of the hundreds we have on our

shelves? Come on. That’s just unfair.

Until, that is, John Coe unexpectedly came to our

shop with the first issue of a new

magazine he publishes. It’s called

Pressing Matters, and it’s good. As

the cover says, it’s all about the

passion and process behind modern

printmaking. In this issue,

you can read about printers and

print designers, about how they

do it, why they do it and where

they do it. You can look at a wideranging

series of different prints

across a range of printmaking

techniques and approaches.

So there it is. Our selection problems answered by

John’s appearance in the shop. Even if Viva hadn’t

chosen print as the theme of the month, we would

have wanted to let you know about Pressing Matters

as soon as possible. Now we’ve hopefully given

Pressing Matters a little more public awareness and,

yet again, we’ve linked the Viva theme to a magazine.

Let the presses roll.

Martin Skelton, MagazineBrighton


You don’t always get what you want and this is,

for our toilet-graffiti correspondent, a painful reminder

of what can go wrong when you air your

political views on a pub-toilet wall (or Twitter,

Facebook etc) rather than a ballot paper.

Get yourself to a polling station on the 8th.

That’s the politics over (for now).

Last month’s answer:

Presuming Ed (again)


Photo by Adam Bronkhorst,




MYbrighton: Inge Sweetman

Co-owner of City Books

Are you local? I’m not. I was born and bred in

Twickenham. But my husband, Paul, is a Brightonian.

We met many moons ago when we were

both employees of WH Smith’s, when they had

proper bookshops. Our eyes met across a training

room. We’ve worked in every branch of Smith’s

from Hastings to Portsmouth between us.

When did you set up City Books? 31 years ago.

We could see the way it was going, we were still

young, and we thought: ‘It’s now or never’. We

were living in Portsmouth and Southsea, which

we loved, but we knew that a bookshop wouldn’t

work down there. Not what we wanted to do. Paul

knew that Brighton was where we needed to look,

and there was a remainder bookshop already here,

which we bought. A lot of what we do is recommending

books to our customers and expanding

their reading. That’s part of the pleasure: ‘You

liked that, well have you tried this?’ We also love

to bring authors to speak in the city. Will Self was

the first, about 17 years ago, and since then we’ve

had the likes of Tony Benn, Vic Reeves, Vivienne

Westwood and David Attenborough.

Who are your customers? With two universities

in the town, we get a lot of students. Then

there’s the customers who come in every other day

and we’re part of their social network. They’ve

convinced their families to just give them book

tokens and can normally get from Christmas to

their birthday without spending too much of their

own money. We get to know some of them very

well, and they all love independents and are keen

to make sure that we survive. I do wish people

wouldn’t always keep talking bookshops down.

Stop talking them down or they will die. That happens

with books too. We’ve lived with the ‘death

of the book’ since I started bookselling in 1981,

and the books are still here, strong as ever.

Why do you think people still want print? Isn’t

it so lovely? To feel it. Smell it. You can mark it if

you want to (which gives me the heebeegeebees),

you can turn your pages down (which makes me

feel quite ill), you can break the spine (which I

hate). And you can snoop on a train and see what

people are reading. You can’t do that with screens.

We’ve struck up wonderful conversations with so

many people just because of what they are reading.

Is Brighton a good place to run an independent

bookshop? It is. People want something

alternative, something unusual. They don’t want

pile-it-high-and-sell-it-cheap, necessarily. They

want us to have a whole section on Africa, on

North Korea, they want the latest book on Brexit.

Stockholding bookshops do well in Brighton

because people want to be better informed.

What do you like most about the city? I love

the fact that you can walk down the road and

nobody bats an eyelid at who’s who, who’s wearing

what, who’s doing what. No one worries. Anything

goes. There isn’t really anything I don’t like, apart

from maybe the parking. I feel really proud of our

city. Even in miserable weather it’s an inspiring

place to be.

What do you do on a day off? We don’t often get

weekends off, but I love to meet friends for lunch

or tea. I love the dippy eggs upstairs at I Gigi, if

I go in the morning, and their bubble & squeak.

If I’m going for tea, Terre à Terre is really special.

And the Hidden Pantry on Blatchington Road is

wonderful for breakfast. I’m an early bird. Once it

gets dark, I just want to go to bed.

Interview by Lizzie Lower

23 Western Rd, Hove, BN3 1AF



Friday 28th JULY Saturday 29th JULY




* Family weekend pass

(2 adults/2 children aged 5-15).

Under 5s FREE








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Lewes: The Dorset / Union Music Store

Brighton: Resident Music


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28TH o


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JJ Waller

People-watching in Benidorm

Photo of JJ Waller by JJ Waller

“Yes, there is a certain

theatricality in my pictures,

and I think that harks back

to my performing days,”

says JJ Waller, who this

month shares with us a selection

from his new Benidorm

project. “A lot of my

pictures are shot square on,

as if looking at a stage set. I

find a location and wait for

something to happen, and

it usually does. It’s life. I’m

inquisitive about the world

around me. I think there’s a popular word for it

now – a flâneur – and I definitely see myself in that

category. Wandering, absorbing, watching people

moving around as if extras on a giant film set.”

There was a time when things were the other way

around, and people watched JJ. First in Covent

Garden, as a street entertainer, then later on stage,

at festivals and comedy clubs. His transition from

performer to photographer was “not planned and

not based on any particular ambition. Just a series

of swinging doors and taking steps through them.

I was performing at the time, and I was beginning

to feel stale and uninventive.” So a photography

evening class turned into an editorial-photography

degree, and a change of career. “It took a few years

before I developed a style that might have been

recognisable as a JJ Waller style.” It’s a style that

has been described as ‘beyond the postcard’ and

‘saturated with life’.

Having captured Brighton in his first two books,

his third was shot over a nine-year period further

along the coast. “My wad of train tickets was thicker

than a pack of playing cards. I’d been to Hastings

a few times and thought it was interesting,

but I soon realised that the story, for me, was in St

Leonards. It reminded me

of aspects of an eighties

Brighton, rough around

the edges with a faded

grandeur, but also a town

on the cusp of change.

It’s an amazingly eclectic

little town.” Next JJ

headed north, having won

a commission to capture

modern-day Blackpool.

“I chose a long weekend

when there was a same-sex

ballroom-dancing competition,

Blackpool Pride and an air show. I was

out for ten hours a day; the place really captured

my imagination. I loved it, and went seven times

that year.” The Blackpool book didn’t sell as well

as the others. “Blackpool’s visitors have a nostalgic

vision. I tried to present the town in a very positive

light, but you have to be honest, and I couldn’t fill

a book with just pages of donkeys and trams. I’m

very proud of the final book, though.”

Thinking about where to go next, he concluded

that it had to be Benidorm, “because it carries on

the continuity of the British on holiday. The package

holidays of the 60s changed the Brit holiday

experience forever. Benidorm seemed the logical

place to carry on my picture story.” What did he

think of it when he got there? “It’s like Blackpool

with sun. There’s a whole area called the British

Square that offers loads of picture opportunities.”

Whilst he’s made a career of watching the British

at play, the work has taken on a serious purpose

for JJ. “I think my images will offer up an insight

and significance for future generations. I would

like to think that I’m making a contribution to the

towns I photograph and their evolving histories.”

Interview by Lizzie Lower














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Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.



Lizzie Enfield

Notes from North Village

I’ve been suffering from a Smiths earworm,

triggered by crossing the railway bridge at London

Road station.

“William, it was really nothing,” starts droning inside

my head.

Not even an accurate earworm, because clearly it must

have been something, whatever it was that caused

whoever it was to paint the words on the pavement

just before you cross the bridge.

“THANKYOU, WILLIAM X” it read in large, bold

print that everyone who passed through or over the

station would see.

Whatever William did, it was clearly something, for

someone to go to such lengths. But who is William?

And what did he do that it merited indelible thanks?

“Belated thanks - to William The Conqueror?”

suggested a North Village resident who is no stranger

to pavement declamations.

“It was on the Level, before it got re-done,” he

reminisces. “Dribbled in white paint. ‘HOW


“Perhaps it was William,” I mused. “And he’s finally


After the appearance of the pavement words, another

friend, Will, started smiling an irritating, slightly

enigmatic smile and saying, softly under his breath:

“My pleasure to be of help.”

Meantime, my out-of-town nephew thought it

was “obviously written by a time-travelling knight,

thanking Elizabeth II’s eighth great-grandson,

William X, for sending him back in time to foment

anti-European sentiments and trigger Brexit. His

actions saved the island from the robot wizard

apocalypse that obliterates Europe in 2023. In 2202,

London Road Station is the court of the House of

Middleton, official residence of William X.”

But this is the North Village.

“William E Cross, Jr, PhD is a leading theorist and

researcher in the field of ethnic identity development,

specifically black identity,” said a resident who prefers

not to identify herself.

Someone else suggested another William we know.

But when I agreed it might be him, because the words

were right outside the Open House pub, which is

one of his regular watering holes, he started acting

miffed, saying I was creating the impression he’s a

hard drinker, when really I thought I was creating the

impression that he was the sort of person who did

things that merited large painted public declarations

of gratitude.

Over the days the earworm morphs. “William, it was

really something” I find myself singing, in a kind of

upbeat not-very-Morrissey-ish way.

And then the rain starts. Turns out the paint is not

quite as indelible as it looked. The thanks to William

becomes fainter until, finally, it disappears altogether.

I’m hopeful that the earworm will do the same,

but it simply morphs again – back to it being really

nothing, William.

It’s deeply irritating, as is the fact I am none the wiser

as to William’s identity or kind deed.

But here’s to hoping that by putting this story into

8pt Janson font, it might prompt someone who knows

to tell me.

William, what did you do? The North Village wants

to know…

Illustration by Joda,


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Amy Holtz

EcoHomes For Sale

The truth is, I’m a Minnesotan

Every other week, on a Thursday

evening, I spend six minutes and

twenty-four seconds carrying out

the world’s most mind-melting

task: schlepping the council’s

black recycling bins from the

little alleyway in front of our

block of flats up to the road for

the morning’s collection.

Part of me hates doing it because

it unleashes in me a special kind

of German prissiness, modelled

after that of my great-grandmother, who always

wore an apron and despite her relatively genial

demeanour, spent a lot of time saying ‘Fiddle!’

and ‘Bah!’ at people exhibiting their ineptitudes.

If there was a ‘Bah!’ in the vicinity, someone had

said or done something extremely dumb, and

the resulting shame that welled up inside was


of a sort that has yet to rival any of my adult

emotions. But part of me loves doing it because

it gives me the opportunity to tap into this

hand-me-down affectation and use it to sniff,

loudly, in embarrassment at my neighbours for

the ridiculousness of the objects they toss in the

recycling. In our aversion to throwing things

away, they end up, perversely, in these black bins.

Right now, for example, I’m hauling a box full of

magazines, Kleenex boxes, Dolmio and soy sauce

jars (glass box, I mentally note), discarded maths

homework, an empty diaper box and 6,472 halfempty

cans of Tyskie lager. On top, juxtaposed

just for my amusement, are a Boohoo and a

Boden catalogue, both sporting a moody teenager

on their front covers, but with one wearing a

vertical strip of sequins, the other in khakis and

tasteful Breton stripes. I put down the box and

start digging. There’s gotta be something to look

Mill combines the sophistication

rban living with the freedom &

ce of the English Countryside

at in here between sequins and

khaki, because I think that’s the

stage of life I’m at now. And

honestly, I snort loudly, no one

in our building is at the Boohoo

stage of life anymore. It dawns

on me that this also includes

myself; this is its own minitragedy.

But then my hand settles

on something clunky and, I

deduce with my recycling radar,

unrecyclable. “LEGOS? Bah!”

Then, a fingertip later: “Ribbons?” I shout,

incredulous. “Seriously, who the fu...oh, hi,

David.” One elderly neighbour is making his

hourly perambulation down the steps and over

the road to Sainsbury’s. I make sure he’s ok and

on his way before scrabbling further into the

creaking box.

At the time, volunteering to be recycling monitor

seemed conscientious, virtuous. I puffed up with

misplaced pride when I was asked to take on the

responsibility. Of course, when you’re the person

who naturally springs to mind to haul masses of

tuna tins - reeking with the intensity of a cadaver

left in the sun - or the sad, trampled heap of

cardboard shoe boxes that will never be called

upon to hold someone’s love notes or the fossils

that you found with your dad when you were

nine, it’s probably time to readdress your publicfacing


‘Oooh, yay, Vogue.’ It’s from March, 2016, but this

too, is probably the stage I’m at - at least a year

and a bit behind. Chucking it in the garden for

safekeeping, I lug the last box onto the sidewalk

(yes, sidewalk).

Job grudgingly - yet satisfyingly - done.


For sales enquiries contact:



Evening Standard

What’s on:

Blue CAmel Club 12 JUN

Shell Shock 20 - 22 JUN


The ELEPHANT MAN (1980) 15 JUN

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with me

(1992) + After-Party 16 Jun

ALIEN (1979) + ALIENS (1986) 6 JUL


(1964) 19 JUl

NEW YORk, NEW YORK (1977) 20 JUL


KES (1969) 16 AUG

The wind that shakes the barley

(2006) 17 AUG

Hove’s Independent, High Quality

Live Theatre and Venue



24 JUN


I was a teenage Christian






The Royal Pavilion

17 Jun 2017

8 Jan 2018

Brighton BN1 1EE

Free with Royal Pavilion admission

Members free

03000 290900

Open daily Apr-Sep 9.30am-5.45pm

(last admission 5pm)

Oct-Mar 10am-5.15pm

(last admission 4.30pm)

Closed 24 Dec (from 2.30pm)

25 & 26 Dec

Walking Dress, 1818

© University of Sussex

special collections



John Helmer

Neko Time

‘Bob is the store manager. He sits in a box by

the entrance and greets the visitors. All the

others look up to Bob and love his easy-going

ways. Except Mikan, who will often try to punch


I’m at a cat café in Kyoto. I’ve come to Japan

with my wife and two daughters. Number

Two Son Harvey is already here, studying at a

Japanese university, while his big brother Fred

came last month on tour with his indie band. We

justify this shameful carbon footprint as a family

by the fact that last year we went nowhere. Last

year, my wife was undergoing treatments for

breast cancer. One of the things that saw her

through that difficult time was the thought of

this trip to Kyoto, in cherry-blossom time, when

Buddhists celebrate the beauty and transience of

life. And now here we are, celebrating the beauty

and transience of life at the cat café, which for

Poppy, 13, is the high point of the holiday.

Felines sprawl around their boxes, towers and

cots with an air of indolent entitlement. Poppy

coos, they yawn; Grace puts out a hand to

stroke and they recoil. Only the proffering of

cat treats will induce them to show any interest.

Nonetheless, it seems I am alone in picking up a

clear f**k-off vibe.

So I settle into a cushion on the floor with a cup

of execrable canned coffee and scan a binder

that details in breathy, anthropomorphised style

the various moggies’ likes and dislikes, their

alliances and spats, and the precise set of social

circumstances under which Mikan will land one

on Bob. It reads like the plot of an Elizabeth

Jane Howard novel, but with the adulterous sex

left out.

The wife catches my eye across the room and

directs it towards a salaryman who has just come

in – alone. He eats his packed lunch, beaming

at the cats. The cats yawn contemptuously in

his face.

I’m stifling one or two myself. We have spent

the morning climbing Mount Inari through

glowing amber tunnels formed by thousands of

torii gates, just one stop in a packed itinerary

of shrines, temples and insane shopping

experiences that leaves very little time for

sit-downs (life is for living). Not that there

are any chairs in Japan if you were to get the

chance. Everyone sits and sleeps and eats on the

floor – and what with the constant bowing and

squatting and removal of shoes, it’s like you’ve

done a course of pilates before you’ve properly

said hello.

The freneticism of our trip reached its peak

the night before when, hopelessly lost in the

Japanese railway system, we took seven trains to

cover the 27 miles

back from Osaka.

At one point –

tired, hungry and

in bad need of

a bio-break – I

turned to my

other half and

grumbled: “this

isn’t much fun.”

“Well it’s better

than chemo,” she


Illustration by Chris Riddell


09/06 | The Old Market, Brighton

The Staves

11/06 | Komedia (Studio), Brighton

Six Organs of


28/06 | The Prince Albert, Brighton


22/07 | Victoria Park, Ashford

Create Festival 2017

The Selecter

20/09 | Revelation St. Mary’s, Ashford

This is the Kit

21/09 | The Greys, Brighton

Michael Nau

03/10 | Komedia, Brighton

Micah P. Hinson

and the Holy


12/10 | Komedia, Brighton

Jolie Holland &

Samantha Parton

12/10 | The Haunt, Brighton

The Mountain


25/10 | Quarterhouse, Folkestone

Jane Weaver

10/11 | Green Door Store, Brighton

Ulrich Schnauss

02/12 | Revelation St. Mary’s, Ashford


04/12 | Komedia, Brighton


Tickets for shows are available from your local record shop, or the venue where possible.

Jason Eyre

Painting and Decorating

07766 118289

01273 858300



Ben Bailey rounds up the local music scene


Thu 1, Prince Albert, 8pm, £6

Though they’ve long been regulars at DIY shows

and benefit gigs around the city, it’s still a shock

to learn that folk-punk stalwarts Pog are set to

release their fifteenth album this month. By our

calculations, that means there have been only two

years since the millennium in which the band

hasn’t put out a record. Slackers. Having previously

veered through indie, ska and gypsy styles,

the latest offering sees Pog adding a disco track

(about being stalked at Three Bridges, naturally)

to their repertoire. The entry price includes a CD

of the album Little Trophies and a rare chance to see

the band perform as a full seven-piece, replete with

accordion, violin and clarinet.


Sat 3, Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, 6pm, £4

Oli Spleen’s former

band, The Flesh Happening,

were banned

from several Brighton

venues for their

aberrant behaviour

(you’ll have to ask them yourselves), but his current

outfit has swapped the confrontational stance and

bare-bones garage rock for a diverse form of punk

metal, albeit with agonisingly confessional lyrics.

Straddling both glam and goth, Spleen lives up to

his name in Pink Narcissus, with songs of angst and

self-doubt leavened by a smidgen of defiant hope.

Here, the band are fundraising for Sea Shepherd

UK, a direct-action marine conservation group.

The night starts early with a guest speaker from the

charity, followed by a five-band onslaught including

Auxesis, Insides, Compulsory Primal Response and

the delightfully named Dog Sick.


Sun 11, Prince Albert, 8pm, £5

‘That’s pretty... hang on,

what did he just say?’

These might well be

your first thoughts on

hearing local songwriter

Paul Murray strike up a tune. His gentle acoustic

finger-picking lulls you into thinking the lyrics will

float by unnoticed, but if you’re paying attention

there’s something subtly wayward going on.

Songs about a desultory holiday romance and rude

relatives at a family reunion take an odd tack, but

there’re enough familiar blues/folk tropes along the

way to keep the songs happily afloat. With a simple

yet effective backing from his band, Paul Murray

will be launching his new EP tonight with support

from fellow troubadours Night House and Justin



Fri 30, Green Door Store, 7pm, £5

If you’re going to ransack the treasure trove of

mid-century Americana for inspiration, you may as

well grab the tunes while you’re sifting through the

vintage clothes and beatnik paperbacks. JJ Symons

goes straight for the earworms, leaving behind

most of the stylistic trappings that make artists like

Jake Bugg or The Raveonettes seem so painfully

contrived. Coming to Brighton via Manchester and

Melbourne, JJ Symons (who also fronts rock‘n’roll

trio Black Rooster Black Shag) has got a real knack

for investing what he calls his ‘spitfire-garagefolk-blues’

with instant melodies and sassy lyrics.

He brings a strong local bill including Fukushima

Dolphin, Lucas & King and Mike Newsham to the

Green Door Store for the launch of his fifth solo

album, his first for six years.




Alice Russell

‘We are hardwired to dance and sing’

Alice Russell is a soul

singer with a big

voice whose unique

take on the genre

has led her into

collaborations with

the likes of Quantic,

Mr Scruff and David

Byrne. We spoke to

the Brighton singer

(and mum) as she

prepares for a topbilling

appearance at

Funk the Format in Hove later this month.

Have you been to the festival before? No, but

I’ve heard great things and it’s in our manor, so it

was an easy yes when I was asked to play. I’m looking

forward to playing a hometown gig.

When did you start making music here? I

moved here in the 90s to start college, and it was

only really the years after that I met Quantic and

TM Juke and the other producers I would go on

to work with. The city has changed a lot. And so a

city should. Places morph and move on.

How do you find touring with young children?

I took my little girl with me to the States and

Europe when she was small, and it was pretty easy.

Trains, planes, automobiles. But when the little

ones start to move around it takes a lot more planning.

Also I now have a son! His first outing was

to Glastonbury this year when he was four weeks

old, as I was guesting with Quantic. Ear defenders

at the ready!

You got into music at a young age too, right?

Music was around me from day one. As I would

go to sleep I remember hearing my dad playing

the piano downstairs. He was a choirmaster and

conductor, so I got to

experience classical

concerts from a young

age, and I loved it. But

it was the radio where

I found my love of

Aretha and Stevie.

I hope both my

children enjoy music;

I think everyone does.

It’s intrinsic; we are

hardwired to dance

and sing!

Do you prefer recording or performing?

This is a tough one. I love the immediacy of live

shows, the fact you get one crack at it, and of course

the communication with the audience. Once I did a

guest spot with a French hip-hop group and there

was an audience of 50,000. The power of the crowd

hit me. It was electric, head to toe. There’s nothing

quite like it... but you also get a different energy

when a song pops out. Every now and then you

have those moments where it all comes at once, the

melody, lyrics and feel. And when you get a take

like that in the studio, it’s golden.

Have you been working on another record?

Well, I was working on new music up until the

birth of my son last June, but this year it’s been

harder for me to find the headspace to get back

into the studio. I’m halfway through an album and

the sleep-deprived fog is starting to lift, so I’m

starting to get that itch to go back. Having said

that, this hiatus is defo worth it, and I don’t want

rush for the sake of it.

Interview by Ben Bailey

Funk The Format, Hove Park, Sat 17th June.




Nick Sharratt

Drawing Tracey Beaker

Brighton-based Nick Sharratt

has illustrated hundreds

of books for children, and

works with authors including

Jacqueline Wilson and Julia


The illustrations in the picture

books you have as a child

often live with you for the rest

of your life. When I was three

or four I had a Michael Foreman

book called The General

that affected me hugely. I lost

it in a house move, but I never

forgot the bright, exciting pictures. Some 40 years

later I was given another copy, and I recognised

each page with crystal clarity.

I think the most important thing as a children’s

illustrator is that you make a connection

with your young readers. They have to believe

in your illustrations. Children seem to relate very

directly to my pictures - maybe because I draw in

a way that’s not very different from the way I drew

as a boy. Perhaps it makes them think they could

draw like that too. I’ll be doing some drawing

at Funk The Family, as well as reading from my

latest book.

In the past year I’ve achieved a longstanding

goal and written a chapter book. The Cat and

The King is out now, and I’m extremely proud of it.

Drawing is something that comes naturally to me,

but I find writing hard work, so it’s wonderful to

have broken through that barrier. It’s taken me 50-

odd years, but I’ve finally achieved paragraphs!

The book began when my editor asked me

what I liked drawing and I said: ‘cats and kings’.

When I’m making my own books

I think about characters I’d enjoy

drawing then find a story to ‘cast’

them in. I once heard another

illustrator say that doing a picture

book is like directing a film and

it’s true. You ‘direct’ your characters

around on the page; you have

to decide whether you’re going to

do a long shot or a close up.

I studied graphic design rather

than illustration at college.

There weren’t many specialised

courses around then. The course

gave me a good insight into design and typography,

which has proved very useful as an illustrator

who likes to think about how pictures integrate

with text. I do the lettering on practically all my

books and I even have my own typefonts now –

Sharratt and Sharratt Bold.

I enjoy the challenge of illustrating books for

other people. I like trying to work out how the

writers want the worlds they have created with

their words to look. Usually, by the time I’ve read

the manuscript I have a very clear idea of the

characters. As soon as I read Jacqueline Wilson’s

Tracey Beaker I knew she would have exaggerated

curly hair.

I have developed a few rituals when it comes

to drawing. I have to sharpen my pencils with a

scalpel – never a pencil sharpener. But my studio

is very untidy, so every single day seems to begin

with a hunt for the scalpel. I really ought to tidy

up. Nione Meakin

Funk The Family, Hove Park, Sun 18th June.




Richard Dawson

On angles and edges

Photo by Nigel John

“Some things have to

be blurry. The best

we can say them is in

quite a blurry manner,”

the singer-songwriter

Richard Dawson told

me, during a cheerful

but often vague phone

interview in early May.

He apologised at one

point for “rambling”;

he’d just moved house,

and joked that “I’ve

got paint fumes in my

brain. I think I might be completely high off

paint fumes”.

I don’t think that was the explanation for his

vagueness, though. It sounded more like philosophical

uncertainty: that things are often too

complicated to explain clearly and simply. He

said: “I think the big flashing word that I have

in my brain a lot of the time is ‘contradiction’. I

definitely see that things are more than one way

at once. Even objects can be in two places at once.

But we don’t experience it that way. If we did it

would be horrendous, we’d go crazy. But there’s

lots of different versions of everything, slight


“That’s even without people in the equation. Once

you start putting eyes into the equation, everybody

sees things in a different way, you know. I’m visually

impaired, so I don’t see a hard edge on any object;

everything has a blurred edge to it. So where

is the edge, really? Even if I were to feel it with my

finger, how does that correspond to what my eye’s

seeing? It’s electricity sending the signal through

the nerves, into my brain; there’s a delay there. So

how can I know? How

can you know?”

‘Right’, I said, hesitantly.


“I know it’s going to be

difficult to write this

up. What a nightmare.

How many words

have you got?” Five

hundred. “Oh, shite.

Well, be careful with

this historical angle.”

The historical angle

was what this article

was going to be about. The angle was that his new

album, Peasant, is set during the Dark Ages. He’d

been quoted, at least twice, as having said so pretty

plainly. But with me, he was more vague. “On the

surface of it, it’s old. I get that, but there’s… If it’s

in any way a historical record, or it’s not a modern

record, then I’ve failed. It has to be relevant to

now and the future. It has to fit…

“I don’t mean to be obtuse. It’s very difficult to

speak about the album because I don’t want to

spoil it in any way by giving away too much. So

I’m trying to be as clear as possible, but sometimes

the only way to be clear, or to be direct… the most

direct way is still incredibly blurred.”

Though somewhat confused about the historical

angle, I tried to reassure Dawson that I’d do my

best with it. I certainly wouldn’t be doing a big

headline saying: ‘This is Richard Dawson’s Game

of Thrones album.’ He replied, laughing: “Well, I

would deserve it if you did.”

Steve Ramsey

Peasant is released on June 2nd. Richard plays The

Old Market on Jun 25th, 8pm, £15




Shakespeare in a Day


DAFT director Nicholas

Quirke talks to Viva

about guerrilla Shakespeare

and the special

intimacy of impromptu


Directing isn’t always

my day job – but I

would love it to be;

every year, we did

Shakespeare in the Park at St Ann’s Well Gardens

with Festival Shakespeare Company. Our last

production there was in 2013; DAFT Theatre

Company grew out of that.

The story of Brighton Open Air Theatre is

amazing. Adrian Bunting, a theatre practitioner,

always dreamed of having an open-air theatre in

Dyke Road Park. Sadly, when he was diagnosed

with pancreatic cancer he was given only a few

weeks to live. He told his close friends, ‘I want

to build a theatre; I’m going to leave you what

money I have. If you can get it built, that would

be fantastic.’ After he died, his friends set about

realising this dream. We’re doing Shakespeare in

a Day to help raise money for them.

For Shakespeare in a Day, I prefer to choose

a lesser-known work, so we discover something

about a play that we don’t know much

about. Initially, I chose Cymbeline, and last year

we did Pericles – plays that haven’t had much of

an airing. I love the idea that we don’t let the

audience know what we’re going to perform

in advance, so for them it’s also a discovery.

Obviously, I have time to prepare as I know

what we’re doing but the actors also won’t know

what the play is or their character until a day

beforehand. For the actors, it’s a real challenge

to see their character

and think ‘What can I do

with this?’.

My job is to pull it all

together on the day;

we’ll work through it so

that by the evening we

can put it on in front

of an audience. You’re

keeping yourself on

your toes all the time, keeping the immediate

creative excitement, which throws up fresh

insights. The first ‘play in a day’ was absolutely

terrifying; I suddenly thought, ‘You’ve got 16

actors here and they’re all expecting you to

stage a play!’ With Pericles there was a dance

the actors learned that day. They did a fantastic

job even when it got slightly out of kilter. But

ultimately, we want to tell an exciting, thrilling

story - and enjoy ourselves.

I love when theatre happens all around you.

Sometimes in an auditorium you’re a bit trapped

by what you can do and where you can put actors.

It feels less real – whereas the open air is so

much more liberating; the actors can be with the

audience and the audience can be involved and

feel like they’re part of it.

I get the impression that Shakespeare had a

sort of ‘guerrilla-theatre’ aspect to his work;

I don’t think he was someone who thought, ‘My

words are precious’ – he just wanted to get the

play on. As told to Amy Holtz

DAFT perform dark comedy The Plain Dealer

from 7th-11th June, and Shakespeare in a Day on

24th at Brighton Open Air Theatre.

(*Droll and Funny Theatre at Brighton Open Air





Photo by Karla Garlett

Katy Brand

Losing my religion

“Any worries I had about it, I think I definitely

squashed initially,” says Katy Brand. Aged 13, she

had converted to Christianity, joined a “very charismatic”

church, and become obsessed. For a while

“it was 90% of my life, definitely”. Brand would

do things like “preaching in shopping centres on

a Saturday morning, and doing full-school assemblies.”

She was once involved in an exorcism.

“I was just very scooped up in it all, and the activity

of it all, and I had a crush on the worship bandleader…

It was all very thrilling, and there was

always activities going on, so I felt… I think, any

doubts that I had were quite gentle doubts, and I

would voice them, and people were sympathetic

and would pray about it, and then I would sort of

convince myself they’d gone away, I think…

“[The doubts] worried me at first. Definitely when

I started to really feel - probably around 15 or 16 -

that it wasn’t a certainty that I was definitely going

to spend the rest of my life in the Church, feeling

this sure about the world, this sure about my faith

and about Jesus, there was a rising sense that this

was not going to be part of my life forever, that

the doubts were becoming stronger. I remember

feeling a bit sick, and worried. And you feel a kind

of strange identity slip, a bit, because it’s become

so much a part of your identity, being a Christian

– my nickname at school was Christian Spice, and

everyone knew that about me.

“This idea of what I would… who I would be

without it, becomes a bit frightening. So definitely

I remember feeling a bit intimidated at the

prospect of what I would do if I didn’t believe it

anymore. But I think as I grew in confidence in

myself and got older… by the time it got to the

point where my church was trying to ban Harry

Potter, I think I started to just view it as ridiculous,

and I started to have a sense of myself away from

the church. So I definitely think that helped…

“Weirdly, I don’t think I have regret about it. I

certainly don’t think I wasted my time. Because I

did a lot of stuff, I had a lot of life experiences, you

know. I sang in a band and went out and did lots of

things. It was a very sociable group, and I preached

and learned things and got the opportunity to lead

groups and stuff like that. I don’t think I could

quite say that I regret it, or that it was wasted, but

I think it was… I wish I had pointed all that energy

at something else, I think is probably what I’d say.

I wish I’d had another hobby.” Steve Ramsey

Katy Brand: I was a Teenage Christian, The

Old Market, 24th June, 8pm, £14/£12




Scummy Mummies

‘Like Women’s Hour in the pub’

When mums Ellie Gibson and

Helen Thorn launched the Scummy

Mummies podcast in 2013 it

was an instant hit, going to number

one in both Australia and the UK.

It’s now listened to in over 100

countries and is accompanied by a

book and a live stage show. Ahead

of their Brighton show, Helen (left)

– aka ‘the Aussie’ – talks to Viva.

Ellie and I met in 2013, when we

were both doing stand-up at the

same open-mic gig. We discovered

that our baby boys had been

delivered by the same midwives,

and that we only lived around the

corner from each other.

It was kind of clear from the

get-go that we were both

scummy mummies. We started meeting in the park

with our boys and used to make each other laugh by

telling funny stories about how many times we’d had

fishfingers that week, or what we had eaten off the

floor. Ellie came up with the idea of turning these

conversations into a podcast.

Being a parent comes with a lot of anxiety. When

I had my first child I was so nervous and uptight,

wanting to make sure everything was ‘organic’ and

‘educational’. With the second, the keywords became

things like ‘survival’ and ‘that’ll do’. And this was

pre-Instagram, and Facebook wasn’t huge either.

Now you have two distinct camps: the glamorous,

aspirational Insta-parents… and the rest of us.

What’s really nice is people feel that they can

share their secrets and confessions with us. As

soon as you say something like, “Oh my God, my

kid closed down the pool because they pooed in it,”

all these stories suddenly start to come out. When

we do the live show we ask everyone in the audience

to write down a Scummy Mummy confession on a

card. Over the last four years we’ve

collected thousands. We included

many of them in the book to

show that these things happen to

loads of us – they’re just not the

episodes that anyone boasts about

on social media.

My daughter was quite proud

of one of the confessions I put

in the book. She basically drank

all the apple juice on a flight

between London and Singapore

and did so much wee they had to

replace the entire chair. There

was a wonderful moment when

the tiny Singapore Airlines hostess

went down a manhole in the

plane and came out with a new

seat covered in clingfilm. Just

because of my daughter.

There’s lots of ridiculousness during the podcasts,

but we’ve also covered more serious things,

like post-natal psychosis and miscarriage. A lot of

the stuff we talk about is sad and raw and honest.

We want the podcast to feel like a glass of wine

with friends. Because, of all the things that get me

through motherhood, I think it’s those chats with

friends where you’re able to admit you’re not coping,

or you’re bored, or you’re worried you’re doing

everything wrong.

The stage show is a bit of stand-up, songs,

games, sketches, characters – and lots of middleaged

women in lycra catsuits. It’s more of a variety

show than the podcast, which is, as someone once

described it, ‘like Women’s Hour in the pub’. Our

audiences are wonderful. We had an NCT group in

recently and it was the first time they’d all been out

since their babies were born… oh, the cocktails they

drank. Nione Meakin

Scummy Mummies, Komedia, 28th June, 8pm


23 – 25 June 2017

All Saints Centre / St Michaels Church
















A projection of objection

“I’m hoping to give voice to men who didn’t

have a voice.”

So says Verity Standen, the composer behind

Refrain, an experimental a cappella male choir

performance taking place in Newhaven Fort

from June 9th to 11th.

The men in question are the 16,000 or so

conscientious objectors who chose not to bear

arms during World War One, and particularly

the ‘absolutists’ who refused to do anything that

might constitute aiding the war effort.

The Fort will be the third site where Verity’s

piece will have been put on this year. This

particular show has been put on in association

with producers Situations and Attenborough

Centre for the Creative Arts - the first outside

performance the Sussex University venue has

been involved in - and will be performed by a

group of local male singers.

I’m talking to Verity in the Green Room at the

Attenborough Centre, and she lets me into the

reason for choosing the Newhaven venue, picked

like the others due to its connection with the

conscientious objection movement. Among the

most stringent of the absolutists were a group

known as ‘The Seaford Seven’, who were interred

in a wing of a military training camp in Seaford.

“We looked around where the camp had been,”

says Verity, “it’s a lovely bit of coastline but it’s

[too] exposed.” She discovered, though, that the

internees had been put to work building the road

from Seaford to Newhaven, which opened up a

new possibility: the Fort offers a distinct connection

to local military history. “[There are] lots of

lovely little nooks and crannies; I can really play

with sound and throwing that sound around.”

Don’t expect a traditional choir standing together

on a stage. The men will be positioned in little

groups all around the fort: “[the audience] are told

to follow the song and they can sculpt their own

journey through… We’re setting up lots of little

pockets of sound-worlds.”

Don’t expect, either, any sort of traditional narrative

structure. The music – layers of wordless

composition – is Verity’s emotional response to

a good deal of research about the plight of the

conscientious objectors, and involves a lot of

improvisation. “No one performance is ever going

to sound the same as another, depending on how

that group of men is feeling,” she says.

Verity is an interesting choice to lead this piece

of work: her aversion to the strictures of formal

composition make her a very good fit to give

voice to a group of men who risked execution in

order to assert their right not to conform to expectations,

and take up arms. The composer, who

developed her practice after going to art school

rather than a musical academy, never even learnt

to read music. “I genuinely believe,” she says, “that

the musicians I have met in my life that are the

most free and willing to experiment and do interesting

things are the ones who aren’t inhibited by

strict classical structures.” Alex Leith

Newhaven Fort, 9th-11th June,




Zine scene

Sometimes incoherent, but free, speech

Most people probably know what a zine looks like,

yet they’re tricky to define. A homemade photocopied

booklet - usually, but not always. Full of

subversive underground content - sometimes. A

labour of love that never makes any money - often.

Are you reading one now? Who can say?

It would take a complicated Venn diagram to map

the various origins of zines. Another way of looking

at it would be to ask what a Victorian man of letters,

a sci-fi nerd and a punk rocker have in common.

The answer, if you ignore Steampunk Conventions,

is zines. Some date them to the birth of the

amateur-press movement in the late 19th century;

others point to the rise of science-fiction fandom in

the 30s; others again cite the comic-censorship laws

of the 50s.

Basically, wherever there’s been official printed

material, there has been an informal flipside. Zines

are almost always self-published, cheaply produced

and independent – both in terms of censorship

and the pesky hindrance of having to turn a profit.

This is what freedom of speech looks like, even if

it sometimes takes the form of a barely legible and

incoherent rant.

Of course, the major appeal of making zines is

that anyone can do it. It was this that made them

a natural part of the original punk movement, and

the riot grrrl scene of the early 90s. Back then,

everything was mail-order. Beneath the radar of the

media there existed a huge network of individuals

sharing ideas, music and art through the postal

system. Nobody can ever know how far it spread,

but it must have been huge.

Enter the internet. All the things that zines made




possible – the distribution of underground music,

the dissemination of alternative ideas and the creation

of specialist communities – suddenly exploded

with the web. For a while it looked like zines would

perish in the new climate of blogs, forums and chat

rooms. But they never went away - not really.

One of the best known such publications to come

out of Brighton was SchNEWS, a weekly activist

newsletter that was originally based in The Levellers’

Metway building. It ran for an incredible 20

years, and gained national notoriety for its witty

coverage of issues like the Criminal Justice Bill, anti-globalisation

and fracking. When it finally wound

down in 2014, the crew signed off claiming their

A4 newsletter now looked like “something Gerrard

Winstanley might have knocked out”. References to

17th-century pamphleteers aside, it was a sentiment

shared by many.

Political news now comes to us instantly, in whatever

flavour we choose. It’s the same with music.

It was not uncommon for gig reviews in zines to

be over a year out of date before readers got hold

of them. However, just as many newspapers have

opted to focus on commentary and analysis in a bid

to sidestep obsolescence, zines have also adapted by

carving a niche for themselves.

Though some still persist in the old mould, and

others enjoy being a quaint throwback, many new

zines flourish because they offer something the net

can’t do, or at least not as well. Illustrations and

comics are still best enjoyed on paper. So too, for

many, are stories. But it’s not like the move from

photocopied rag to ‘art object’ is a reluctant survival

strategy. Most people who make zines like the handmade

aesthetic, and probably take a secret pleasure

in getting messy with scissors and glue. It might

just be that, like Viva readers, they prefer something

tactile over an intangible stream of web data. In a

world that sometimes seems to be going up its own

digital orifice, maybe it’s nice to have something to

hold on to. Now that’s a topic for a good rant.

Ben Bailey

The Rose Tinted Spectacular zine fair takes place at

The Rose Hill on Sat 24th June, 2pm, £2




Hannah Berry

‘Words can be quite noisy things’

“Comics were like a dirty habit of mine,” says the

graphic novelist, Hannah Berry, of her time at

Brighton University. “The illustration course I

was on was quite loose and conceptual, and comics

didn’t really fit into that, so I did a lot of my early

work in secret, in my own time.” It was one of these

furtive endeavours that would go on to become

Berry’s 2008 debut graphic novel, a noirish murder

mystery called Britten and Brulightly. “The final

project on the course was an open project where

we could do whatever we wanted to do. I went off

and started writing this story about a detective and

a teabag that was his partner… although it’s not as

whimsical as that sounds. By the end of the project

I had the story written but nothing drawn, which

was perhaps a problem for an illustration degree. I

didn’t show it to anyone. I don’t even remember it

being marked. I carried on working on it after uni

while doing a series of fun temp jobs, before sending

it to Jonathan Cape and Vertigo. Jonathan Cape

said yes. It was so simple. I felt I crept in through

the back door of publishing.”

Berry, who had grown up obsessed by Bill Watterson’s

Calvin & Hobbes strip and the work of

Raymond Briggs, immediately found her feet in the

world of graphic novels. “There’s something about

the combination of the visual and the written that

really appeals to me. There are so many possibilities

and ways you can play with what you’re saying. The

idea is that whatever you write and draw shouldn’t

correlate exactly. There should always be a slight

distance between the two things, which creates this

extra layer of meaning. Words can be quite noisy

things, and there’s something about the silence and

stillness of graphic novels that I really like.”

Berry’s third novel, Livestock, came out last month.

A sly satire on the media, it has turned out to be

worryingly prescient. “The book is about a world

celebrity who is used to saturate the media whenever

anything politically embarrassing happens. I

started writing it in 2014 before the news became

quite so… apocalyptic. But some bits have begun to

come true. Now we actually have a reality-TV star

as the president of the United States. I think I need

to be more careful about what I draw next.”

She tries to steer away from overtly political themes

in the weekly strip she produces for the New Statesman:

“Not because I don’t want to – I’m very angry

– but because the deadline is a week or so before

it’s published, so it’s hard to do anything too timely.

What that does mean is that sometimes really awful

things will happen in the world and I’ll have produced…

a comic strip about a dog.” The strip usually

begins with Berry deciding on a character she

would like to draw that week and ‘working it out

from there.’ Inspiration also strikes while peoplewatching.

Brighton is a great place for it. You see

some fantastic sights. A while back I saw a guy stop

on the street to punch the crap out of a basil plant,

then turn away before coming back to punch it

again. How can you not want to do something with

that?” Nione Meakin

Hannah Berry appears at the International Comics

Expo at Brighton’s Hilton Metropole on 10th June


Copy of Caravaggio’s ‘The Taking of Christ’



David Henty

Forgers are artists too

David Henty had liked art long before he went

to prison, in the 90s. And he’d presumably been

interested in the technical skill involved in

forgery, as it was his role in a fake-passports scam

that he’d been imprisoned for. But his first art

lesson as an inmate was evidently important. For

the purposes of a brief article, we could call it the

Damascene moment.

He’d attended the class expecting to be able to

simply sit and read up on the subject. But he was

told to actually create something himself. So he

copied a Sickert picture from a newspaper. “I

actually sold that painting,” he recalls. “I gave it

out on a visit, and it sold for £1,000.”

Henty carried on painting copies, quickly

expanding the range of artists he could do. “I put

them out on visits, and they were selling. I was

actually making money while I was in prison.

I was in prison for forgery, and I was doing

forgeries in there.”

‘He was quickly seduced by the technicality of

copying’, as his website puts it. “I have done my

own work,” Henty tells me, “but I prefer… I

suppose I have a technical type of brain. I like

to work out how someone’s done something. It’s

almost like taking something apart and putting

it back together again. That’s what interests me -

how they got that effect, you know.”

Before Henty tries to replicate a particular artist’s

work, he likes to read up on them, watch




documentaries, see their work in galleries,

and “go and lay in the bath and read about

a certain [artist]… Then close my eyes and

envisage the painting, and work the painting

out. And it’s almost like you’re stepping into

their shoes and seeing through their eyes.

Because I’ve got a visual memory, I like to

see it.

“I can take a scene, like Picasso’s girlfriend

Dora Maar - I’ve seen lots of photos of her

in real life - and then see how he painted her.

You can take a photograph of her in your

mind, and then change it round to a Picassostyle

painting. So that’s what I’m looking to

do, in my technique.”

Henty says that he experiences “the up and

down of being an artist” – the days when

every stroke is right, and the days when it’s

a struggle to accomplish anything. Which

would be strange, if copying was a purely

mechanical process. It really isn’t, he argues.

“When I paint a Caravaggio… I have painted

them exactly, but sometimes I don’t, because

I let myself go, and I paint as he would have

done it. If he painted the same painting

twice, there’d be a variation. And sometimes

you just get so into it, you start making the

marks that he would have made, and they’re

not always exactly the same as the ones he’s

done before, you know; they might be looser,

they might be tighter. No, no, it’s a very

creative thing. To copy someone else’s work

very closely is technically very difficult, and

also creatively it’s a bit of a challenge, because

you have to understand the artist first.

So you’ve got to do a lot of research.

“But yeah, it’s funny - sometimes I walk up

and down, bang my head and I just think

‘aah, I’ve lost it, just lost it’, you know... But

I think it’s part of being an artist. And, you

know, I am an artist.” Steve Ramsey

David Henty and Billy Mumford’s joint exhibition,

A Question of Attribution, is at No Walls,

114 Church Street, from 10th-17th June

Copy of Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’

Copy of Picasso’s ‘The Seated Woman’


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In town this month...

The Art of Puppetry

They’ve painted buildings in the favelas of Brazil, the barrios

of Colombia and the neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires.

Now the well-travelled artists from Art + Believe have returned

home to paint a rooftop on Brighton seafront. The

1,000-square-meter Sky Gallery is 18 floors up, so you’re

going to have to go up the i360, wait for Google Earth to

update, or watch the film on their website, to see it.


Featuring works of

literature and bird

specimens, Stories

on the Wing: British

Birds in Literature

illustrates how

birds have inspired

stories, myths and

folklore throughout

history. It is,

of course, at the

Booth Museum,

which is also running

a series of

three related talks.

This month’s, Birds in the Victorian Imagination, is

on Thursday the 15th, at 7.30pm. Over at Hove

Museum, The Art of Puppetry: Making Magic in the

Museum is an exhibition of this most traditional of

seaside entertainments. Puppets, sets and props by

local artists Philip Sugg and Amanda Rosenstein

Davidson, and others, are on display.

Artists, whether budding or established, are invited

to set up their easels and create in Brighton’s Royal

Pavilion Garden on Friday the 30th from 10am-

5pm. Works made on the day will be shown on the

Pavilion website. There’ll also be drop-in talks, the

chance to meet the team of gardeners, and a seedand-plant

giveaway. []

The University of

Brighton opens its doors

for the annual Graduate

Show from Saturday the

3rd until Sunday the

11th. As well as visiting

the main building on

Grand Parade, don’t

forget to go round the

corner to Edward Street too, where this year’s 43

photography graduates have their work on show.

[] Festival 2017 continues at

Cameron Contemporary Art until the 11th.

One of the gallery’s biggest shows of the year, it

features paintings, prints, ceramics and jewellery

from exhibitors including Rowena Gilbert,

Claire Beattie, Luke Hannam, and David

Storey. []

Sea Cruise by David Storey Photo by Rebecca Shears

Photo by Sam Moore, Visual Air




Out of town

© Sheila Donaldson Walters, 2017

This month it’s the creative community of

Worthing that opens its doors to art lovers

(and nosey parkers). Worthing Artists’

Open Houses takes place on the 17th, 18th,

24th and 25th of June and the 1st and 2nd

of July. Hundreds of artists and makers will

show a huge variety of work in 70 venues,

with workshops, activities, refreshments,

music and spoken-word performances (see

pg 57). []

In 1964, Sheila Donaldson Walters, who was a close

friend and colleague of Roland Penrose at the Institute

of Contemporary Arts, created a series of paintings entitled

Infinite Spirals. These, and other works collected in

a new exhibition at Farleys Gallery, reflect her passion

for colour and her indomitable energy. Infinite Spirals

and Joie de Vivre opens on the 11th. Sundays only until

the 13th August. []

Michele Morrod, Venue 35

Eric Ravilious, ‘Commander looking through the periscope’ c.1941. Towner Art Gallery

To coincide with the 75th anniversary of

Eric Ravilious’ death, Towner Gallery

present a major new exhibition of his work.

Ravilious & Co: The Pattern of Friendship explores

his relationships and collaborations

with friends and affiliates including Paul and

John Nash, Enid Marx and Peggy Angus,

amongst others. Key Ravilous works hang

alongside pieces by his contemporaries. Watercolours,

woodcuts, lithographic prints,

book jackets, patterned papers, and wallpaper

and fabric designs tell a chronological

story of their overlapping and interweaving

careers. Continues until September.





Installation views: The Outside Art Now,

Tate Britain and Spring Rain, Bristol

Also at Towner, and also inspired

by Ravilious, Ous by Becky Beasley

explores her ongoing interest

in the qualities of space,

flatness, light and abstraction in

a series of installations over six

rooms. Until the 9th of July.

The inspiration reverberates further still with Enid, Peggy, Eric and Edward at the Emma

Mason Gallery in Eastbourne. Ceramicists Vicky Lindo and Bill Brookes have created

a collection of specially commissioned works inspired by Enid Marx, Peggy Angus,

Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden. Mid-century prints by artists working in the same

tradition hang alongside. Until the 24th.


Vicky Lindo and Bill Brookes

Quentin Blake at work. © Linda Kitson

In The Only Way to Travel at Jerwood

Gallery from the 14th, Gallery Director

Liz Gilmore has given Sir Quentin

Blake complete freedom to explore

themes that concern him. More than

100 works – ranging from postcardsized

pieces to huge twelve-foot murals

– will occupy the whole ground

floor, and reveal his thoughts on mental

health, the ‘squeezing of creativity’

and the refugee crisis. Serious subjects

explored in his inimitable (and far from

gloomy) style. Not so much a retrospective

of his 84 years, as an introspective.




British Painting and


We look forward to welcoming

you to our gallery in Hove.


Mon—Sat 10.30am—5pm

Sunday/bank holidays 12pm—5pm

Closed Tuesday

For more details visit


CA_VivaLewes_Advert_66x94_April2017_v1.indd 1 17/04/2017 13:51


Learn to think about

your craft in a new way

Starts September 2017

Contact Patrick Letschka


17/18 JUNE • 24/25 JUNE • 01/02 JULY

For more information visit

or find us on



Focus on:

The Goblins

of the Night

by Gary Goodman

Oil on Board



I was listening to a Roy Harper song and one

of his lines, ‘the goblins of the night’, gave me this

image of a girl, sitting on her bed, by her window.

It made me think about being there, all safely ensconced

in your world, surrounded by your things.

But what’s happening outside the window?

Animals don’t have any conscious symbolism for

me, but someone once said ‘there’s a lot of animals

in your work but no men. It’s all women and animals.

Do you think the animal represents yourself?’

I’d never actually thought about that, but maybe.

I just paint, and reflect afterwards, but obviously

whatever’s inside comes out. I’ve never drawn a male

figure in my life. It’s true that I love women, but

maybe it’s just because I can’t draw men.

About five years ago I had an exhibition at the

London Centre for Psychotherapy. The private

view was on a Saturday afternoon, and there had

been a conference all about psychopaths and killers

and stuff, and quite a few of the psychotherapists

stayed around. I did a poetry reading and there was

a painting of a woman in a forest holding hands with

a wolf. Imagine! They had a field day with that.

I try not to think about it too much. I love the

mystery that you just make something and somebody

else can have a view on it. These days, even

when you watch a football match on telly, there’s

two hours of post-match analysis. Everything has

to be analysed, thought about and dissected. Why

can’t you just experience it?

I don’t think I have an imagination. I just draw

the same thing over and over again. Like a woman

and a dog and a tree. But when I write my poetry

it’s all about experiences and my own personal

thoughts. It’s all autobiographical. What I’m saying

is that I can’t really make things up... I’ve always

believed that one of the greatest gifts we can offer

as human beings is our honesty and the truth about

how we feel. I’m not trying to shock or upset, but if

it’s relatable to anyone in the audience, that can be

a good thing. As told to Lizzie Lower

Gary Goodman will be at Venue 49 of Worthing Artists

Open House, 24 West Park Lane.




George Hardie

Pink Floyd album cover artist

I speak to Brighton University Professor George

Hardie on a Bank Holiday, distracting from

his preparations for a teaching trip to Porto,

a nerve-wracking home visit from a panel of

expert gardeners, and work on his forthcoming


The book, to be published by Unit Editions

this year, is described by designer and editor

Adrian Shaughnessy as ‘a comprehensive study

of George Hardie’s vast body of work’. It follows

on from Hardie’s 50th-anniversary retrospective

at Brighton University this spring, and ‘will

chart the connections, influences and allusions

that are embedded in Hardie’s work’.

This is no small undertaking, as George hit the

big time as a graphic artist while studying at the

Royal College of Art in the 1970s. He illustrated

the cover of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon,

as well as other iconic albums by the likes of

Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, with design

group Hipgnosis.

You might imagine that creating work to such

high-profile briefs would be hard to beat even

years later, but no. “They’re not incredibly interesting

to me,” says George, “except of course,

that’s terribly unfair because I was incredibly

grateful, and lucky, to be working for such

important clients so early.




“I don’t have problems with them,” he says,

“but I’ve always found it more fun working on

words than music.”

George’s second retrospective was entitled 50

Odd Years, and cherry-picked a large number of

works grouped by theme, subtly revealing common

patterns of influence applied to every kind

of brief: from postage stamps to ad campaigns.

His fascination for visual puns, ‘very short stories’

and collecting things (“you couldn’t be in a

better place than Brighton for that”) are motifs

that reoccur in ingenious ways.

“I do enjoy looking at everyday objects, trying

to puzzle them out,” he says. “I collect rulers,

sometimes I draw them. I collect things that I

think look like trees. It all goes back into jobs…

but if you were to ask me where they are now,

I’d say, ‘in a suitcase somewhere!’”

“One lecture I really enjoy giving is called

Reading Objects,” says George. “When you’re

faced with something you don’t understand,

try to work out why someone made it like that.

The moment you get into the handle, or where

a finger might go, you can start to invent what

it is, you can know what it is, and I love that.”

As with these objects, the more you look at

George’s work, the more you discover. This too,

of course, is by design. “If you do a picture for

a calendar then someone has to look at that, go

on enjoying it and finding things out in it for a

whole month,” he says.

This strikes me as a pleasing and subversive

thought. In the digital age, readers have simultaneously

more information to look at, and less

time to absorb it. A web page does not have

the same lifespan as a record sleeve, on which,

as George says, you might notice something a

month, even a year after purchase.

“It’s the opposite of designing road signs,” he

explains. “I like to build time into things.”

Interview by Chloë King


Saturday 9th


Open to anyone over 1.2m tall

A giant inflatable

foam - filled

obstacle course



Early bird entry

Book before 30th

June 2017

T 01273 747455

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Registered charity number 802145

w_vivaad.indd 1 11/05/2017 12:00


This month we sent Adam Bronkhorst and his camera to explore Brighton’s

diverse printing scene, asking each of the printmakers he met:

What’s your favourite colour of ink? | 07879 401333

Gary Parselle, screenprint (

“Fluorescent red.”


Sophie Darling, textile screenprint (

“My favourite currently is blue; I love working with denim at the moment and

those denimesque blues are always an inspiration.”


Helen Brown, woodcut print (

“Mine is phthalo green.”


Jane Sampson, screenprint/letterpress (



Livvi White, risograph printing (

“My favourite ink is the fluro pink!”


Food & Drink

Terre à Terre

With the sun shining high, why not enjoy a leisurely meal with fabulous cocktails

or organic wine on the terrace at Terre à Terre, the local go-to for the most creative

vegetarian food in Brighton, and always delivered with a cheeky little pun! Open all

day offering lunch and dinner options from small plates and sharing tapas to 3-course

set meals and not forgetting their magnificent afternoon tea menu, multi-tiered

savoury, sweet and traditional delights available from 3-5pm daily. 71 East Street, 01273 729051,

The Better Half

The Better Half pub has put the heart and soul back into one of the oldest public houses

in the city, just off Hove seafront. There’s a superb wine and spirits list and some great

ales and ciders on offer, as well as a hearty and wholesome menu to enjoy, making the

best of local ingredients. The Better Half is relaxed, friendly and easy-going, making all

feel welcome and comfortable when you visit.

1 Hove Place, Hove, 01273 737869,

Fin and Farm

Summer is just starting to filter through and we have fresh local asparagus and

early strawberries now. Make the most of really good produce, that is freshly

picked at local farms, in your cooking.

Fresh food is better for you. We buy picked to order - to help you keep your

carbon footprint as low as possible and remain a nearly-zero-waste company.


We specialise

in a wide variety of honeys

which have been sourced from sustainable regions

across the world.









Soon to be your favourite Indian

As I sit down to type up

this review, I receive a text

message from a friend ‘Are

you free on Friday night for

dinner at Manjus?’ Sadly, I’m

not. ‘Have you been yet?’ she

asks, ‘It’s my new favourite

place’. Mine too.

Another friend and I had

visited the Friday before,

entering through a throng

of the hungry and hopeful

milling around outside the

unassuming and fully-booked

eatery. Manjus, at the bottom

of Trafalgar Street, has only

been open a matter of weeks,

but good food news travels

fast, and I’d already been hearing murmurings

about its seriously good Gujarati (ergo vegetarian)

dishes and sweet Indian treats. It’s smart, too.

Deepest peacock-blue walls decorated with gleaming

platters and tiffin tins, stripped-wood tables,

bright Indian textiles and Bollywood crooning

make for stylish blend of subcontinental cool and

hipster hangout.

The menu is long and tempting and requires careful

consideration, so we’d bought a little time with

a pappad platter (£5) - a tray of crispy poppadum,

rice wafers and a dish of spicy puffed rice and crispy

noodles surrounded by intriguing little dishes of

assorted pickles. The tastes of tamarind, sweet

tomato and pepper, and tangy fruit chutney are so

fresh that I doubt if they’d ever seen the inside of a

jar. I washed it all down with a mango lassi (£2.50),

served thick, just sweet enough, and bejewelled

with pomegranate seeds and mint.

Main courses soon followed. Surtu Shaak (£10)

for me; a signature dish of

mixed vegetables sautéed

in a masala gravy accompanied

by delicate pilau

rice, gently spiced thikka

thepla flatbread and lemon

pickle. It was delicious, as

was the Palak Paneer (£10).

I’d never really understood

the appeal of paneer (for me

it occupies the same bland

territory as tofu) but Manjus

serve theirs in a rich and

spicy tomato gravy good

enough to change my mind.

It’s pretty standard for me

to experience food envy

towards my dining companions,

but rarely do I feel it towards the whole

restaurant. I tried to keep a mental note of all the

intriguing dishes coming out of the kitchen; the

pani puri looked puffed to perfection, the masala

dhosa alone looked worth a revisit, as did most of

the various glinting dishes that came out in waves

of shining pots and platters. All contain Gujarati

dishes that I’ve not heard of before, but am very

keen to try.

So, back at the office, I’m wondering about the

wisdom of waxing too lyrical about the place. I’m

thinking perhaps I should wait a while before

adding to the rave reviews. Give myself a little

more time to revisit and sample the menu before

the place is mobbed, when, ‘Hey Lizzie’, comes an

email from regular Viva contributor Nione. ‘Is new

restaurant Manjus, on Trafalgar Street, on your

radar? It’s my new favourite place to eat…’

Lizzie Lower

Manjus, 6 Trafalgar St, 01273 231870




Photo by Lisa Devlin,




Spring tonic lemonade

By Tom Daniell, co-founder of Old Tree Brewery

There’s quite a lot behind Old Tree. Myself

and Nick met when we were managing a

woodland and, after getting involved in local

growing projects and forest-gardening initiatives,

we decided to set up a project together.

But we realised we needed to raise some money

to do it, so we used elderflower champagne

as a fundraising tool. The elderflower invited

us to start looking at what all the other plants

could do, and everything we read in books

started to paint this idea of people using the

plants that grew where they lived to make seasonal

brews, which kept them going through

the winter, whether they were soft drinks or

vinegars or beer or cider. We all share a really

rich cultural history of using plants to drink -

that’s what interested us and inspired us to set

up a brewery.

This spring tonic lemonade comes from a

book that’s inspired a lot of our drinks, called

Sacred Herbal Healing Beers. It’s an amazing

book about the anthropology behind

fermentation, and one of the stories it tells us

is about these spring tonics and cold teas that

people used to make, which were infusions

of spring water with whichever native forest

herbs came up first in the spring. So you’d

have nettles, which have lots of minerals, and

cleavers (known as ‘sticky weed’) that give

a really good cucumber flavour. We’ve also

added some rosemary to ours because that

grows really well here, along with dandelions,

which have a long history of human use, that’s

been almost completely forgotten today.

I would say you’d want to make around

four or five litres of lemonade to make it

worth your while. We’re using lots of fresh

ingredients, so in order to stop the lemonade

from fermenting it has to be pasteurised. Start

by juicing your lemons or other citrus fruits.

You’ll need a litre and a half of juice, so start

with around 30 fruits. Cold-steep or gently

simmer your fresh herbs (around 500g) in two

litres of water. I’d recommend using a ‘sparge’

bag (or muslin bag) to do this so you don’t

have to fish them out at the end. You can also

add some zest from the fruits if you want an

extra-citrusy flavour.

Remove the sparge bag and bring the water

to a gentle simmer, then dissolve in around a

kilo and a half of sugar. Add the citrus juice

and bring the whole mixture up to 75° - that

temperature will pasteurise the organic

material without damaging the flavour of the

citrus. Bottle it straight from the pan using a

funnel, and tip the bottle upside down while

the lemonade is still hot – this will pasteurise

the lid and neck too. The lemonade will last

for months and months without needing to

be kept in the fridge. When you are ready

to enjoy, dilute one part lemonade with four

parts still or sparkling water.

As told to Rebecca Cunningham

Old Tree hold monthly film screenings and

regular forest-gardening events at FIELD

House on Lewes Road. Visit




Twin Pines

Overthrowing the coffee-culture system

I had a conversation with someone recently about the future of coffee. About how

the cups seem to have been getting smaller and smaller, and the ratios of coffee to

milk to froth more and more complex until, as if in some kind of backlash, hipster

London coffee shops started serving bowl-sized vessels full of milky coffee, which

seemed to defy all the rules of what you’re supposed to drink nowadays. So I can’t

decide if it’s more or less hipster that now, in the midst of macchiatos and cortados

and piccolos, there’s a coffee shop in Brighton that has overthrown the whole system.

At Twin Pines on St James’s Street, the menu board simply offers ‘black drinks’ (£2.50) and ‘white drinks’ (£3). I’m

unsure how to broach this situation, but the friendly guy behind the counter asks, “What do you normally drink?”

“I like… a flat white,” I say hesitantly - are flat whites still ‘in’? “I can make a nice flat white,” he smiles. Phew. I add

a chocolate-and-almond croissant to my order and sit at the back, at a table piled with indie magazines.

The coffee is, as expected, delicious, but our standards have become so high here that coffee shops can’t get away

with anything less. And it is expensive - I can’t remember the last place that I paid £3 for a flat white. But then

you’re not just paying for the coffee; you’re paying for the beautiful interior and the zen atmosphere, and for the

locally made coffee cups and small-batch coffee, and for the three different types of tap water on offer. I think it’s

worth it. Rebecca Cunningham. 11 St James’s Street

delicately aromatic

distinctively rose

mix with gin for a delicious

and unique cocktail

[ Fentimans Rose Lemonade ]





Hash House

A sprint not a marathon

It’s a sunny Sunday afternoon, the day of the Brighton Marathon. I can

remember hearing the cheers as the frontrunners came through North

Laine early this morning, but I was only distantly aware of the noise. I’m

in recovery after a big night; now it’s gone four and I’ve got that emptiness

in my stomach that only a high-salt, high-fat carb feast can cure.

An aimless wander leads me to Hash House, tucked under the station in Trafalgar Arches. The sign outside

says ‘WAFFLES HASHES SHAKES’, so I think I’ve found exactly what I’m after. I order a cheese and wild

garlic waffle with a fried egg on top (£6.50), and have a seat on one of the benches outside. Lycra-clad passersby

stroll up Trafalgar Street, with only their stuck-on paper numbers giving away the fact that they’ve run 26

miles already today. I feel a pang of inferiority. Nevermind.

My food arrives and it’s so much more than I expected. The waffle is unlike any I’ve tried before - a savoury

potato one, but soft and light and fluffy. The cheese pools in its little wells with the wilted garlic leaves on top,

and when I cut into the egg it runs all over everything. I want to savour every mouthful, but it’s all over way

too quickly.

So it turns out this isn’t the grease-fest I’d thought I wanted; it’s so much better. RC



cocktails and

tropical vibes all

topped off with a

fresh new look!

Come & enjoy

some of our old

favourites, as well

as a brand new

line-up of

delicious drinks.

Artist Residence

33 Regency Square




Viva Ad.indd 1 14/05/2017 22:23



Edible Updates

Illustration by Chloë King

Congrats to The Salt Room’s Mike White, newly crowned Brighton’s Best

Emerging Chef at the inaugural English’s of Brighton competition, which brings

together new talent and stalwarts of the city’s food scene.

More celebration for The Salt Room: their new Tower Bridge branch launches this

autumn. Plus, Stoneham Bakehouse has opened on Poet’s Corner – hooray!

Home cooks sometimes get a raw deal in this round-up, so hello to local start-up Seven Sisters Spices, whose

new Spice Club will help diversify our repertoires. [] Shape Up is a new ten-week programme

from B&H Food Partnership promoting gradual weight loss and healthier lifestyles - and it’s free!

[] The College of Naturopathic Medicine are hosting a talk on nutrition and skin health on 14th

June, and a new food and recipe-sharing group starts at Hove Methodist Church on 7th June. []

Could Brighton become the fermentation capital of the UK? Silo are working on it, by hosting

guru Sandor Katz on June 19th.

Also filed under ‘events’: the Tearfund Action ‘Renew Our World’ campaign launches on 23rd June with a free

Food Waste Feast at One Church (see Eventbrite). We also have Lerato’s Wild African Vegan Feast (11th);

Chef Sammy Smith (River Café/Chez Bruce) in residence at Cin Cin (1st- 3rd) and Tina CanTina’s first athome

supper club of 2017, inspired by acclaimed chef Skye Gyngell (16th). Chloë King




Melissa Williams

Head of Conservation at The Keep

Tell us about your job. This

is the ‘hospital’ section of the

building. All documents that

need conservation treatment

come here. I look after them

and the environment they’re

stored in. So we keep careful

control of the temperature,

humidity, light levels, mould

contamination, dust. And

people - we have a clear space

marked for tea!

Is anything not reparable?

We’ve never thrown anything

away. Things are only sent to

me that are worth keeping. Not

because of their financial value,

but because of what it means

to the next person who comes

to read it.

Tell us about your studio.

My favourite section is the

illuminated, custom-built map

wall. The huge guillotine is

from Germany. We have map

tables with wheels, lit from underneath.

All the surfaces were

chosen specifically to have no

bumps, to protect documents.

The windows are 99% UV

filtered. We’ve got a height-adjustable

tilting sink for washing

documents. A lot of things are

adjustable, because we wanted

this space to be as accessible

as possible. The blender and

microwave are because I make

my own glues and pulps. Our

favourite thing, and what we

spend a fortune on, is a transparent

film called Melinex. It

protects documents from light,

insects and fingers.

What’s the process? Everything

we do must be chemically

inert and fully reversible. The

full conservation treatment

process involves visual

examination, micro-chemical

testing and documentation.

Dirt penetrates the layers of

fibres, causing tears and holes,

so taking it out is vital. Treatment

begins with mechanical,

or ‘dry’ cleaning (using an

eraser, sponges and brushes).

We humidify the document

to flatten it. Then comes the

wet, or aqueous, treatment;

de-acidifying and stain removal.

We dry the item between blot-




ters when it’s clean, the PH is

returned to neutral and we can

repair any holes or rips. That’s

the highly-skilled side.

What are the most interesting

things you’ve handled?

Gundrada’s tooth. And I’ve

been working on a sketch

by Eric Ravilious of Edward

Bawden in his studio from 1930

that’s going up in Towner.

How did you come to do

this? My degree was in art

history at Sussex, but I wanted

something more hands-on. So

I did an MA in conservation at

Camberwell Art School. I then

volunteered at the East Sussex

Record Office, who didn’t have

a conservator, and gradually

started getting paid, until it

became a full-time position.

What do you most like about

your work? Teaching and supporting

the volunteer team.

What qualities do you need

to do it well? Attention to

detail, hand skills, patience,

perseverance and a jigsaw mentality.

If you like doing the sky

in jigsaws, you can do this.

How can people take care of

their family documents and

photos? We’ve been asked that

so many times, we’re starting

to run workshops, explaining

handling and cleaning

processes, so people can learn

to care for their home ‘archive’.

The next one is on Wednesday

the 7th of June, from 2-4pm.

Bring something you want to

conserve. Emma Chaplin

Preserving Old Documents sessions

cost £10, booking essential,

01273 482349,

Photos by Lizzie Lower


Brighton’s Doctor Led

Aesthetics & Wellbeing Clinic

Anti-wrinkle Injections

Lip Enhancement

Dermal Fillers

Chemical Peels



IV Vitamin Drips

Dr Ayanna Knight


Cosmetic Skin Care, Health & Wellbeing

01273 696295 | 07947 910380

Holistic Health Clinic, 53 Beaconsfield Rd, BN1 4QH

A. S




We are unique in the

world of skincare.

We grow, pick and distil

flowers, leaves and roots to

extract potent ingredients

for our facial creams,

serums, aromatic waters

and balms.

Our products are hand

made, free from toxins

and are 100% organic.

We warmly welcome you

to come and visit us, at our

beautiful flagship store and

browse our skincare range.


01273 253186



Training Successful Practitioners





Train to become a…



Postgraduate Courses & Short Courses also available

Part time and full time studies

ASAP Viva Ad-Mar-17-final.indd 1 09/02/2017 12:5



London, Brighton, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester,

Edinburgh, Belfast and Ireland

01342 410 505

Attend a FREE

Open Evening


Natural Chef




Woodcut printmaking

Think ink

I’m spending the day at Charleston,

on a woodcut-printmaking course

led by Brighton-based artist Helen

Brown. It’s a lovely place to be, and

a lovely day to be here; it’s chilly

outside but the sun is shining and

nine of us are huddled inside the

little studio, mugs of tea in hand,

watching Helen demonstrate the

printing process. We’re going to

be carving our own woodblocks inspired

by details of the house, so we

each take a clipboard, a pencil and

several sheets of sketching paper,

and head down the little lane to the

farmhouse for a tour.

We’re shown around by curator

Darren Clarke, who points out interesting

details and tells us stories

about the house and its residents,

while we sketch anything that

interests us. I love pattern, so I’m

drawn to the beautiful geometric

designs hand-painted by Vanessa

Bell onto the walls, woodwork and

pieces of furniture. My favourite is

the pastel, centrifugal painting of

the dining-room table, so I focus

on this one in particular. After the

tour, we’re left to wander around the garden,

sketching some more, until we’re ready to go

back into the studio.

Once we’re back inside, Helen hands out carving

tools in various shapes and styles, and encourages

us to practise the woodcutting technique before

we sketch out the design for our first woodblock.

It’s a worthwhile task - once I’ve tried out some of

the finer details I had planned for my woodblock, I

realise I need to come up with something simpler.

We’re only working on practice blocks to begin

with, but Helen suggests inking up

and making a print early on, so that

we can see how the different marks

will come out on the paper.

One of my favourite things about

the workshop, as the afternoon goes

on, is that there’s no being precious

over your work. Helen encourages

us to keep printing and experimenting

- once we’ve made a print, we

lay it out to dry on the large table

next door, and then we ink up and

print again. She teaches us different

techniques, like Chine-collé, where

the image is printed onto coloured

paper or tissue before being bonded

onto the paper, so that an extra

layer of colour can be introduced.

The only limitation is time; we’re

just here for a few hours, so we

won’t have time to wash and dry out

our woodblocks when we change

between ink colours. Instead we

have to be clever about the order

in which we print, starting with the

lightest colour and working toward

the darkest.

Each time I lay one of my prints on

the drying table, I get to see what

everyone else has been working on. It’s amazing to

see how many different prints can come out of one

woodblock design, by using different coloured inks

and papers, and layering up in different combinations.

By the end of the day I’ve carved out three

different woodblocks and have around 20 different

prints to bring home. What a lovely way to spend

a day.

Rebecca Cunningham

Charleston’s programme of creative workshops run

throughout the year, visit




Photos by Rebecca Cunningham




The Family Store

Andrew Garnett, owner

What do you sell? Pins, patches,

t-shirts, comics, small-press books,

zines - and there’s a gallery space

we’ve just opened upstairs. We’re

actively trying to make it a space

that is affordable, essentially, and

accessible, because illustration is

a very broad beast and I think (in

the nicest way) we work at the bottom

end of it. I never want to sell

anything that’s super expensive up

there; I’m not interested in that side of things. If

something’s affordable I don’t think it has any less

value; a £3 zine has got as much heart and soul as a

£1,500 Pure Evil print, as far as I’m concerned.

What got you interested in illustration? I don’t

really know, I just always was. The Spiderman Annual

1984 - that’s probably what.

Are you an illustrator yourself? I work with

illustrators, but I am utterly talentless within that

realm; I can’t draw for toffee. I suppose people

like me are required because… I’m not saying that

illustrators don’t get things done, they absolutely

do, but sometimes people who can’t do that,

they’re driven in a separate way. Obviously I want

to run a business and that is key, but

it’s all done out of the love of it. At

the end of the day, I’m a massive

nerd for that sort of stuff.

How much of what you sell is

by local illustrators? Quite a bit,

but we don’t really do that thing of

pointing it out. I just think that that

almost colloquialises it, saying, ‘oh,

look at quaint little Brighton’. We

want to put local work at an equal

footing with everything else.

And you’re behind the Brighton Illustration

Fair? It’s me and three other people, but it’s kind

of my brainchild. We thought about doing it

during the Festival again this year but there’s so

much else going on that we decided to move it to

October instead. David Shrigley is going to be a

guest, and we’ve got Tuesday Bassen, and Jordy

van den Nieuwendijk, and Lucy Sherston, who’s a

Brighton illustrator. This year we’re ramping up

the involvement of the students, so there’s going to

be a dedicated space for them, too.

Interview by Rebecca Cunningham





Chris Riddell

Out-going Children’s Laureate

“It’s never real when you are

writing it. It’s not even real

when that first copy arrives. It’s

only real when you see someone

with it.” So says author, illustrator

and out-going Children’s

Laureate, Chris Riddell, of his

books. “That’s why I love going

to festivals, because I meet my

readers and they are actually holding my book.

I have conferred ownership. They have taken it

over… I’m that bloke who wrote it and illustrated

it, but it’s their book now. Because they found it

and they read it and it’s in their imagination.”

It is this passion for books - the words and especially

the pictures - that he’s been busy sharing in

his tenure as Children’s Laureate. It’s been a busy

two years, and he’s looking forward to handing

on the baton later this month. “It’s one of those

interesting things. It’s going to be joyful. I’m going

to be delighted, but at the same time it’s been fantastic,

so I’ve got to compose a face that conveys

all that. This isn’t me saying ‘phew, that’s over’, but

at the same time it’s really nice, this feeling of approaching

the finish. All I want people to say about

my time as Laureate is that I tried hard.”

I think it would be fair to say that he has. It’s been,

he tells me, “a cornucopia of different organisations,

different situations. Part of the invitation to

be Laureate is to put yourself in lots of different

situations that you wouldn’t normally be in.”

So he’s found himself illustrating on the radio,

drawing along to Lauren Laverne’s playlist and

broadcasting the images live on Periscope. He’s

illustrated six hours of back-to-back poetry performances

at the Royal Festival Hall, drawn along

to performances in the National Theatre, worked

with the Centre for Literacy and Primary Education,

and visited scores of schools and libraries.

His advocacy work will continue,

with a special focus on school libraries

- an endangered resource

that Chris feels very strongly

about. “As Laureate that’s been

a real centre of what I’ve been

doing. When I finish as Laureate

I’m going to become the new

president of the School Library

Association, as I’ve got this opportunity to carry

on in another capacity.” He’s also recently become

patron of Young City Reads. “For as long as I

can remember, City Reads have been doing great

stuff in the literary life of the city. It’s a wonderful

initiative, to place a specific book in the hands of

school children right through the city. So that everyone

is doing this great thing, which is communal

reading. You can read a book and then go and talk

about it, meet the person who wrote it, meet the

illustrator... This wonderful process of animating

the whole thing is fantastic. Then everyone comes

together at the Dome and the author and illustrator

are there. I know, as an author and illustrator,

just how brilliant that is.

“It’s humbling. I call it the inscrutability of the

eight year old - where a little person comes up

and looks at you and you’ve no idea what they’re

thinking. Probably something like ‘Goodness me,

I didn’t realise that this slightly scruffy looking

man wrote this book that

I like’, or, ‘Wow! He’s real.

He exists, he is a person’. It’s

probably a mixture of both,

but it’s a thrilling thing to

meet one’s readers. They are

not harsh critics but truthful,

unmediated. They tell you

what they think.’ LL




Printing Viva

Mark Tulley from Gemini explains

The printing officially starts

with our repro team. They’ll

process the files that you’ve

sent over, and then impose

them into the right order so

that when we back up the pages

they back up correctly. The

magazine is A5, but it’s printed

on larger sheets in 32-page sections,

with 16 pages on either

side of each sheet. Our team

check for any potential issues,

but essentially this is done by

the computer.

Once the files have been

processed, we need to

create the printing plates

[templates] for each spread. Colour images are

made up of four colours – CMYK (cyan, magenta,

yellow, black) – so for every colour spread we need

to produce four plates. We need 28 plates in total

for one issue of Viva. The process used to involve

lots of chemicals, but now the

images are burnt onto the plates

using a combination of thermal

and light exposure. It’s a very

environmentally friendly way of

printing. The aluminium plates

are recycled after use.

Viva is printed on one of our

large presses – the Heidelberg

XL press. The clever

thing about this is the colour

control; the colour is recalibrated

every 14 sheets. This

means that as the sheets are

moving through, the computer

is scanning the images to make

sure they’ve got the right

amount of colour in them. If a page is low on, say,

magenta, it automatically pours in more magenta

ink to make sure there’s colour consistency. Before

this technology existed it would have been done

by eye, with one person standing at the end of




the press, systematically pulling out sheets and

manually adjusting the ink. This press prints up

to 18,000 sheets per hour, and all the inks now are


The printed sheets are fed by hand into a

folding machine. This folds each B2 sheet into a

16-page A5 section – we’ll end up with six lots of

these per magazine. We then deliver the finished

sections to a company called Kensett’s in Hove

to be bound together. You might wonder why

we don’t do this in-house – we have a machine

here which can bind publications up to a certain

number of pages by stitching a wire through the

spine, but for a magazine of this size, the stitching

wouldn’t hold together. The sections are glued

together instead - or PUR bound - and the covers

are fitted. Finally the edges are trimmed off, leaving

the finished magazine.

We keep our presses running 24 hours a day,

five days a week, and eight hours on Saturdays –

sometimes longer if we have a big job to finish.

Gemini has been going over 40 years and we’re

doing really well, but we invest most of our profits

back into improving our equipment and upgrading

our technology. We employ about 125 local

people and we’re still busy – sometimes that’s

enough. As told to Rebecca Cunningham

Photos by Adam Bronkhorst,


See how our hospice care is helping

local children with life-shortening

conditions and their families enjoy

every little moment together at


Registered charity no. 256789



QueenSpark Books

A radical community publishing house

“I don’t know if you know Queens Park” says John

Riches, of QueenSpark Books, “but it’s got a school

in it which, believe it or not, was going to be a

casino back in the 70s.” I do know Queens Park,

and it’s the last place in Brighton that I’d think to

put a casino. Nor would I think of it as a fermenting

ground for a radical publishing house, but

that’s what it became back in 1972, when a group

of residents, opposed to that casino plan, started

a campaign newspaper called QueenSpark. One of

their number, Albert Paul, a lifetime resident of the

area, offered to write a book about his childhood to

help raise funds. Poverty - Hardship but Happiness, his

vivid account of a working-class childhood in early-

20th-century Brighton, was published in 1974, with

a second volume, Hard Work and No Consideration,

following two years later.





From ‘Brighton Transformed’ and ‘Zap, Twenty-Five Years of Innovation’


More stories were gathered and QueenSpark

Books grew into a community publishing house

documenting the lives and social histories of

working-class people and, more recently, other

under-represented minority voices in the city. “It

became a movement about working-class histories”

John tells me “because, at the time, nobody

was doing it and history was that classic top-down

stuff, and so QueenSpark Books became quite

political and joined the Federation of Worker

Writers and Community Publishers.”

The FWWCP represented a country-wide movement

of alternative community-based publishing.

Its members all grew out of campaigns and the

sort of local direct action that typified the political

and social protests of the period.

“For quite some time they published mainly

white-working-class histories, and a lot of local

people wrote their own stories,” John explains,

“talking about where they grew up, the slums, the

work situation. There were books by the fishing

groups on the seafront, the Pullman craftsmen that

worked at the station.” Many of the authors had

little or no experience of writing for publication,

and much of the material was printed verbatim

from recorded interviews. The inclusion of all the

‘ums’, ‘ers’ and conversational repetitions made

some of the early books hard to read, but preserved

the ‘authentic voice’; an important principle

of a movement that valued substance over style.

“In the early days it was maybe more big ‘P’ political,”

says John. “In the late 1970s there were these

quite dense books; socialist analyses of Brighton’s

local economy. Fascinating if you’re into that sort

of stuff, but a hard book to read if you’re not into

economics and Marxism.” Who was Harry Cowley?,

published in 1984, was an account of the local

activist and left-wing firebrand. “He was such

a fascinating local character. A very polarising

character. He used to take over empty properties,

put workers and ex-soldiers in there with their

families. He was a big local agitator. The council

hated him. A few years ago we did a small reprint

of that book, about who he was, how he rubbed

people up the wrong way and why, but that whole

accommodation thing, the arguments he made, are

exactly the same as [people are making] now. So

we need to make sure that is still heard.”

These books were published at a time when

Arts Council funding was plentiful, and staff and

publishing costs were easily met. 107 books later,

and with funding being much harder to come by,

QueenSpark endures as one of the last (if not the

last) publishers of its type. John, who joined the

organisation in 2004, puts its longevity down to its

willingness to change with the times and ‘locality’.

“Both in terms of being about local people, but

also the fact that you can’t walk down the street

without bumping into a writer. There is that history

of creativity and cultural change and interest.”

As Director of Development, his job is to keep the

organisation relevant and viable, and his plan is to

broaden that early remit of documenting ‘lesserheard

voices’. More recent projects have included

books about the Bangladeshi community and the

experiences of transgender people in the city.



From ‘Brighton, the Graphic Novel’

There is no new book in the offing this year.

Instead they are concentrating on making their

early content more accessible. “Some of it is really

sociologically important. There is a book called

Daring Hearts which was about gay and lesbian

lives during the 1950s and 60s in Brighton and,

although it was seen as quite a decadent place, it

was still completely underground. About 20 years

ago they produced this book of brilliant interviews

with people that were so sharp and that tell these

brilliant stories. There’s no point in that just being

in an archive. People need to know about it.” So

ongoing projects include digitising early books,

as well as developing the photographic archive.

They’re also gathering content for the development

of a geolocation app that will match oral and

written histories to locations on a walking trail of

the city, and working with Brighton Museum on

new and expanded displays for the local history

galleries. They’re engaging young people with

how Brighton history is told and presented. “The

feeling about the organisation is very positive.

This last year or two we’ve got a lot of young

people involved, particularly with the Brighton

graphic novels, and they’re going to be the ones

who tell the stories of the future. Given that history

can be seen as a dry thing, the fact that we can

get them engaged now, see their reaction when

they hold the book… That’s the thing about print

which you can’t beat. I’m absolutely sure that they

wouldn’t have had the same reaction looking at

their work on a Kindle.” Lizzie Lower

QueenSpark are currently seeking volunteers

to review early texts with a view to compiling

anthologies about city life. If you’d like to add your

own memories to their archive, they’re looking

for Brighton stories, photographs and memories

from around 1972 ahead of their 45th-anniversary

celebrations in October.




From me to you

Letters for cancer patients

When Alison Hitchcock

met Brian Greenley

it turned out to be

the start of a remarkable


I met Alison at a

yoga retreat in Goa.

We kept in touch

when we got home

and in June 2010 I met

Alison and another

friend from the retreat at a bar in London. We

were updating each other on our lives, so I told

them that I had been diagnosed with cancer two

days earlier.

Alison made a random promise. She told me

she was going to write to me to cheer me up. I

wasn’t holding out much hope that she’d stick

to it, but two weeks later a handwritten letter

landed on my doorstep. It was the first of over

100 letters she sent me during the two years I

had cancer treatment.

Her letters were not sympathetic or empathetic,

but an insight into her life, rather like a

diary. They were often funny. She became quite

good at observing life around her, and would

send me amusing anecdotes. I found them fascinating

and very entertaining.

When you’re dealing with cancer you long

for things to be normal again. Your daily

routine completely changes while everyone else

is getting on with their lives. What a letter does

is it reaches out to you. It connects you back to

the outside world. Alison’s letters made me think

about the life I’d had. While that made me sad,

it also made me more determined to get back to

what I was missing.

I started to show Alison’s letters to friends

when they visited, and they would all comment

on what a talent she

had for writing. I

passed on their comments,

and I think

that encouraged her to

pursue writing more

seriously. She was

accepted for an MA

creative-writing course

at Birkbeck University,

and spent the next 18

months writing stories and novels. Meanwhile, I

kept being well.

Our story was eventually turned into an hourlong

programme for Radio 4’s Listening Project.

It made us think there could be something

bigger to all this, and we decided to launch From

Me to You, to encourage others to write to friends

or family members with cancer. We run workshops

to help people get started, and we also offer a

forwarding service where people can choose to

donate a letter to a stranger with cancer.

Often people just don’t know what to do to

help when someone is ill, but I think writing a

letter is a great start. It’s very different to a text

or email. You can say things in a letter that you

might feel inhibited saying face to face. It also

gives the recipient a choice about where and

when they read it.

People come to our workshops not knowing

what to write or how, but we’ve yet to have anyone

not leave with at least two sides of writing.

Not everyone can write humorously, but most

people can write about their daily lives, and often

that’s what works best – writing about everyday

things, making a life that’s been turned upside

down feel normal again. Nione Meakin

Visit for details of the

next Brighton workshop or to get involved




3D-printed body parts

BSMS’ novel teaching tool

Back in history,

medical students were

given a box of bones

to take home with

them, to carry on with

their learning. But over

time that’s become too

expensive, and under

the Human Tissue Act

of 2004, you can’t have

specimens less than

100 years old. We don’t

have the resources to give each of our 150 medical

students a skeleton that’s over 100 years old.

Our students are taught using the very generous

gift of human cadavers, which have been

donated by amazing individuals to medical education,

so they get to practise surgical techniques

and they get to understand anatomy by literally

hands-in working, which is fantastic. They then

want to continue their learning outside of the lab,

but they don’t have access to human body parts.

Gray’s Anatomy has been the bible for years, but it’s

a two-dimensional book, and we know that using

your hands is a crucial part of learning, gaining

perception, touch and feel, learning how things

work in relation to each other. My research is in

understanding spatial abilities and how students

learn in a three-dimensional way, and I wanted

to make resources that they could take away with

them on the bus.

I had the idea that 3D printing might work, and

the engineering department at Brighton University

helped with my research. After getting legal clearance,

we took a recently deceased individual, put

them through a very-high-res CT scan, and then

took the file of the scan, worked on it, and sent the

file to the 3D printer.

And then, like a piping

bag with icing, it sent

out the plastic according

to the file, and the

body was made. At the

moment we only print

out in plastic, but we’re

looking at different

textures. We’ve a range

of colours, and we can

do body parts to scale.

We’re the first medical school in the UK to do

this, and we say to all our students, you can have

a skull for ten pounds, a foot for five pounds and

so on, and if at the end of the module you want to

bring the parts back, we’ll refund you, like a library

system. But they’ve all found it so helpful that

no-one’s brought anything back, and we’ve printed

out around 700 pieces in two years. Some students

like the parts as pieces of art: anatomy and art have

always been intertwined.

Human bodies are just amazing – we’re learning

things all the time, and 3D printing can help

immensely: clinicians need to be able to deal with

variations – for example about 20% of the population

has the sternalis muscle in the chest - and if

we scan and then do a print of a cadaver with that

variation, students will become aware of it rather

than suddenly encountering it in surgery.

Some things can’t currently be printed: spinal

fluid and the blood supply for instance. 3Dprinting

technology is rapidly developing, though,

and one day we’ll have a completely lifelike print.

Probably not in my lifetime, though.

As told to Andy Darling by Dr Claire Smith, Head Of

Anatomy at Brighton and Sussex Medical School




Adam Trimingham

Argus legend

There was a time, well within living memory,

when the Argus was so ambitious and wellstaffed

that they’d even send reporters to

meetings of Peacehaven Parish Council.

They’d have journalists at every local courtroom,

to cover every case. They could do

that kind of thing; they were regularly selling

about 110,000 copies a day, Adam Trimingham

recalls. People cared enough about what

the Argus wrote that sometimes, as a court

reporter, “I would be offered bribes or threats

of violence to keep cases out [of the paper].

But we never did.”

There were two other Brighton newspapers

back then, weekly titles which sold well, but

“I think the Argus in particular was essential

reading. Everyone read the Argus. Some

people even got two editions a day... It covered

everything - every court case, all the councils.

There was always a reporter everywhere, and

the reporter would stay to the end of any

meeting. This was just accepted; the Argus was

the news.”

No local paper, surely, could ever be this

mighty nowadays; it wouldn’t get the circulation,

and it couldn’t afford the staff. Trimingham

says he doesn’t know exactly how many

journalists the Argus employs nowadays, but

“it does an amazing job really, considering

how few reporters there are.” He argues that

in some respects the paper is better than it

was decades ago, citing its design, appearance,

and number of feature articles. In terms of the

overall-industry picture, though, ‘the Sage of

Sussex’ is less bullish.

Are local newspapers in decline? I think

they have declined tremendously. And if you

look at local papers now, they’re a shadow of

what they were. Most weeklies have only got

one paid-for reporter... Whereas at one time

they’d all have had considerable staffs; the

Sussex Express at Lewes would have about 20

reporters. Now I doubt if it’s got more than

two. And if you look at them they’re rather

empty, with a lot of stuff contributed from

press releases…

What effect does all that have on civic

life? Well, it’s very difficult, because people expected

the papers, for many years, to sort of be

their eyes and ears. Sussex Council meetings,

there was a sort of guarantee that things would

be above board. The fact you had a reporter

in court meant that he or she was seeing that

justice was being done. I rather regret the fact

that that’s gone, and I don’t think it’ll ever

come back. But there’s nothing that can be

done about it.

Is it solely down to the internet? No, there

are other factors. Papers were very indulgent

when they had the power, and they didn’t

invest in putting out more editions and that

sort of thing, and getting more people in the

habit of reading newspapers. And I think the

print unions were very greedy, and managements

were very greedy; a lot of money and

time and effort was wasted. So it was suicide as

well as murder.

Was it difficult to predict the effect the

internet would have? Having seen off other

competitors, including other newspapers, radio

and television, I think the powers that be that

ran these papers thought they were pretty well

able to cope with anything. But the internet

took everyone by surprise, not just them.




In this kind of climate, for a newspaper

to be surviving, I guess it must be doing

something right, showing some initiative…

Well, the reporters all work incredibly

hard now... I still get the Argus every day, and

it still has, always, some stories which I find

interesting, and which other people do too.

Unfortunately, we’re all very old and we’re

going to die sometime, and then I think most

papers will have had it. With some exceptions.

I think there’s various small towns, like Lewes,

and Henley in Oxfordshire, and Swanage

in Dorset, that have quite a small but very

well-heeled base of residents who are very

interested in what’s going on, who are prepared

to pay for their news, and who all back

enterprises such as the Henley Standard, or

indeed like Viva in Lewes… I think in places

like that, print journalism will survive for far

longer than it will in other places.

Overall, are you optimistic or pessimistic

about the future of print media? I think permanently,

I am pessimistic, but there will be

these outposts. And you never know, because

I can remember times when the film industry

seemed to be heading for the buffers. And

radio, when television came out, wasn’t doing

very well. And even newspapers themselves

were supposed to be trodden underfoot by television,

and yet none of that really happened,

and in most cases there was a revival. So it may

be that print will go down to a certain level

and survive. I hope it does. But somehow I

doubt it.

What is about print journalism which has

held your interest for so long? You’re a

creature of your time, really. I’m a creature of

growing up in the 40s and 50s, when newspapers

were really very powerful, had their biggest

circulation… I love the feel of them, and

the smudgy ink, the ‘stop press’, where you

had the latest news; the sense of urgency there

was about them. And I still like it today. In this

house, we get three or four papers a day, and I

doubt if anyone else does in the whole street. I

have a friend who commutes to London; when

he stands in the carriage he’s nearly always the

only one who’s reading a paid-for paper. We’re

dinosaurs really, but we like it. Steve Ramsey

Photo by Steve Ramsey





Brighton and Hove at your fingertips

Mapping the city through the ages

The fifth furlong of North Laine. Dating from approx. 1792 and showing the area roughly between the station and New England Road. Ref ACC 9495

The shifting of buildings and streets in

Brighton and Hove has long been captured

in map form. As well as being a means to

find your way about the city, the maps tell a

story of its development from a scattering of

villages and homesteads to the city that we

know today.

Old maps are a form of historical evidence

that offer a distinctive perspective on the past,

and The Keep holds maps of Brighton and

Hove that go back to the first farmers and

landholders. Situated on Lewes Road towards

Falmer, The Keep is the archive centre for the

East Sussex Record Office (ESRO), the Royal

Pavilion & Museums Local History Collections

and the internationally significant University

of Sussex Special Collections. An hour

to two at its architecturally state-of-the-art

library, or on its website, and one can go back

in time - by house, street, neighbourhood and

parish - through its collection of maps and

public records dating back 900 years.

As well as conveying actual information – the

location of town halls and other infrastructure

– the design of maps is often more intuitive

than factual, capturing how we make sense of

our places and spaces and our particular psychogeographies.

How we see the map of the

city in our mind’s eye, depending on whether

we are driving, bussing, walking or cycling,

will differ greatly, as will the maps that depict

those routes. The bus-route map shows a different

city from that of the cycle routes.

The present-day maps of Brighton and

Hove tell a story of how we use the city and

consider its heritage. There are maps for

travelling around the city by foot, bike or

bus, as well as maps that place Brighton and

Hove in the larger South Downs and Sussex

coastline routes. There’s a map of arts venues

in the city. Maps of our past and present pubs,

and our heritage buildings. The MyBrightonandHove

website is a rich source of local

maps. There you’ll find a map of the twittens

(those narrow pathways between roads) that

together make for a walking tour of the city.

Also to be found there are survey maps from

the 1800s, maps of the city’s neighbourhoods

from different eras, and contemporary maps

of areas of regeneration.

Our ecological assets are also mapped; a map

has recently been published of Brighton’s

Elm Tree Collection. The marine seascape is

mapped too – head to for

harbour plans and approach charts.

As a collection, the maps of the city reveal

much about our relationship to the place,

reflecting our values and priorities. The city

is undergoing rapid change to the built environment.

What will the maps of our future

depict? Cara Courage


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Viva Brighton & Viva Lewes

Original editorial, honest reviews and in-depth interviews

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11,500 distributed to high-footfall locations and cultural destinations | 01273 810 296



Organising a snap election

Three constituencies, seven weeks…

“We didn’t get any advance

notice or any kind of tip

off,” says Michael Appleford,

the city council’s Electoral

Services Manager. “My team,

like local authorities across

the country, heard the

announcement along with

everyone else, when it was

broadcast on the morning of

Tuesday 18th April.

“I joined Brighton & Hove City Council just

five days before the election was called, and it’s

certainly made for an interesting start to a new job.

On my first day, there was no major election on

the horizon until the local elections in May 2019.

By the end of my first week, we were planning for

one of the biggest responsibilities we ever have to

face as electoral services, working to the shortest

timescale imaginable.”

At the time of writing, mid-May, “one key concern,

given the condensed timescale, is making sure

everyone who wants to be registered to vote meets

the deadline of 22nd May… Currently we have

about 200,000 registered voters in the city. We’d

expect this to rise to about 210,000 by the time of

the election. We also have about 35,000 postal voters,

and we would expect to see this rise too, given

that the election has been called at the start of the

holiday season…

“There are 127 polling stations in the city, and an

additional ten across the border in Lewes District,

included in the Brighton Kemptown constituency.

In usual circumstances, we give months of notice

to venues we use as polling stations. This time, everything

has had to happen at a much faster pace.

Sorting the polling-booth locations was a priority,

and one of the first things

we had to do.

“There’s also a huge

amount happening behind

the scenes. We’re managing

all the administrative

and legal duties driving

the election in Brighton

& Hove. This essential

paperwork and data management,

which is time

consuming and often invisible to the public, builds

the foundations supporting the rest of the election.

“Staffing is another major logistical feat. Again,

this is complicated by the election date falling at a

time when a lot of people are booked to be away

on holiday…

“In total, we have 411 staff in the polling stations,

and 233 lined up to work overnight counting the

votes… With a deadline like this one, we need

to work with staff who understand the system

and have experience of what’s expected. We need

people who can hit the ground running. Almost

everyone who’s been asked to work on the day [or]

the overnight count has [worked] with us before…

“There are also plenty of apparently small details

which can have a big impact if overlooked. For

example, we need enough pencils to go round…

“I will certainly be in need of a break [after the

result]. Along with my team, we’re using every

minute to prepare as the date races towards us.

Holidays have been cancelled and leave postponed

so we can make the most of the time available.

This is a job we take very seriously. The deadline

isn’t moving. We’re going to be ready for voting

first thing in the morning on Thursday 8th June.”

Steve Ramsey




School of the Wild is an

experimental nature school

We run classes in Brighton and Sussex that

pull you out of the city and reconnect you

with the land.

Programme of classes:


City Cycling

Skills Cycle courses for ages 14+

Learn to maintain

your bike and

develop your

cycle skills with us

Subsidised adult cycle

and maintenance courses

For more information and to book visit

For questions email

Call 01273 293536

Funded by Department for Transport’s Access Fund.

INVASION! 200 Billion GIANT Daddy Longlegs to

attack Britain due to warm, wet summer!

Illustration by Mark Greco




I read the news today, oh boy.

We all know craneflies; gangly, long-legged insects.

Mildly annoying but harmless. Sometimes they’ll

blunder into your kitchen at night as you open the

door to put the recycling out. But last autumn they

blundered straight past Trump and Brexit and into

the headlines.

There are 327 species of cranefly in Britain but

the one you’ve been chasing round the kitchen is

probably Tipula paludosa. Each autumn this cranefly

emerges in huge numbers, finds a partner, mates,

lays eggs and dies. It’s a tight schedule but paludosa

gets it done and dusted in a day. The eggs hatch into

underground larvae (‘leatherjackets’) which nibble on

grass roots. Leatherjackets thrive in damp soil, and

as last year started damp, they could potentially have

had a better-than-usual survival rate. In the spring

the metamorphosis begins, and then each autumn the

adult craneflies emerge from lawns and fields to share

the planet with us for a few days. So last autumn the

headlines should have read; ‘Something that happens

every year about to happen again’.

But for some reason last year’s cranefly emergence

spawned dozens of crazed newspaper articles. Journalists

claimed an impressive 200 billion craneflies

would be emerging. Now, I have no idea how many

craneflies emerge in an average year but 200 billion

of anything sounds like trouble. To make the whole

story more menacing our biggest cranefly Tipula

maxima (a rare species which I’ve only seen once

and is only found in wet woodlands in summer)

was chosen as the threatening face for this invasion.

Invasion? The language used painted craneflies as a

foreign force arriving on our shores. Craneflies have

been here since the ice retreated. Surely a residency

of 10,000 years qualifies them for British Citizenship?

The headlines became more confusing because

craneflies are commonly known as Daddy-Longlegs

(which I always thought would be a good name for

me if I ever decided to become a rapper). However

this colloquial name is also applied to eight-legged

harvestmen and to those spindly spiders that live in

the corner of the ceiling. By being part of the Daddy-

Longlegs franchise the cranefly was now implicated

in an infamous urban myth. Apparently Daddy-Longlegs

are the world’s most venomous creatures but

without a sting or mouthparts they have no way of

administering their poison. Whether you’re a cranefly,

harvestman or spider, it’s all complete cobblers.

Nevertheless headlines urged us to ‘brace yourselves’

as the ‘plague’ of ‘venomous’ insects was heading our

way. We reached peak panic when the Star screamed


bugs FOUR INCHES LONG coming to UK

homes.’ In the autumn I saw 14 craneflies.

This time last year many people relied on the press

to help them make a rather big decision. And we’re

about to go through it all again this June. Call me a

cynic but I’m now suspecting that, if the press aren’t

entirely honest about flies, they might be making up

some other stories too. Michael Blencowe




The photographer who took this picture was standing bang in the middle of George Street in Hove, in

order to achieve perfectly symmetrical perspective, with the Cliftonville Press Printers (then at 2 Goldstone

Villas) visible at the vanishing point. The building the printers was housed in was later demolished, and

replaced with the red-brick one, with its classical façade, that now houses Peacocks.

George Street was then, as it is now, one of Hove’s principal shopping streets, with every building selling

wares: there was a gramophone store, a Freeman Hardy Willis shoe shop, a Singer sewing machine outlet,

and countless other shops, including a butcher’s, a confectioner’s, a fishmonger’s and a funeral parlour. Hove

Volunteer Fire Brigade was based at No. 85 (on the left of this picture), the Hove Electric Empire cinema

was at 77.

It was not initially intended as such: the street was built in the 1850s, as two terraces of two-up-two-down

residences, part of the second big development in Hove – after Brunswick Town – called ‘Cliftonville’.

They were by far the smallest plots in the development, designed to house a less well-off resident than the

posher streets around them, and were often extremely crowded: in the 1861 census no fewer than 17 people

were listed as living in number 18. One by one, the ground floors were converted into shops: the last purely

residential household to hold out, number 19, finally became a baker’s in 1925.

There wasn’t much traffic in those days – though note the motorbike and sidecar on the right of the picture

– and, of course, there is no traffic during the day today. The pedestrianisation of George Street was long

mooted and highly controversial, with many shopkeepers adamant that it would damage their trade: it was

finally implemented – at first as a trial – on 19th March 1998.

Back to 1914, and we hope the photographer was minding his back: from the wires attached to the lamppost

we can see that the picture was taken in September, during the trials of the trackless trolleybuses which

took place in that month. The trials were not deemed a success, and the wires were soon taken down. AL

This picture comes courtesy of the Regency Society, who hold the James Gray Collection archive of old photos

of Brighton and environs. There is much more material on George Street at


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