Viva Brighton Issue #64 June 2018

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#64. JUNE 2018




Viva Brighton is based at:

Brighton Junction,

1a Isetta Square, BN1 4GQ.

For advertising enquiries call:

01273 810 296.

Other enquiries call:

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any omissions, errors or alterations.

I’ve lived on the Sussex coast for most of my

life. In my opinion there is nowhere lovelier

than these briny edges, and not just our

particularly pebbly and pier-spangled stretch.

I love all eighty-odd miles of the Sussex coast,

from the rolling dunes of Camber via the

brackish waters of the Ouse estuary to the

jagged rock pools off Rottingdean and the

windswept Witterings beyond.

My dad worked at sea and, as a family, we

would scan the horizon for the boat coming

in, piling down to the harbour to meet him. I

could stand at the shoreline and imagine that

(by some super-human means) I could swim to

catch him up. Anywhere in the world. That the

sea lapping the beach would eventually flow

into the vast oceans, connecting me to any and

every distant shore.

It seems I wasn’t alone and in this, our ‘water’s

edge’ issue, we’ll meet some like-minded souls.

The intrepid SwimTrekkers, who boldly go

where the water takes them; a Sussex student

with designs on farming the sea; a couple

who decided to take the plunge and move to a

houseboat; a whole host of people committed

to taking care of the beach (and the folks who

enjoy it), and many other salty sorts besides.

As Brightonians, our lives are inextricably

bound up with the water’s edge and the

beautiful, bountiful oceans beyond. It’s our

job to take care of them. So, come on in. The

water’s lovely. Keeping it that way is entirely

up to us.





EDITOR: Lizzie Lower lizzie@vivamagazines.com

DEPUTY EDITOR: Rebecca Cunningham rebecca@vivamagazines.com

SUB EDITOR: Alex Leith alex@vivamagazines.com

ART DIRECTOR: Katie Moorman katie@vivamagazines.com

PHOTOGRAPHER AT LARGE: Adam Bronkhorst mail@adambronkhorst.com

ADVERTISING: Hilary Maguire hilary@vivamagazines.com,

Sarah Jane Lewis sarah-jane@vivamagazines.com

ADMINISTRATION & ACCOUNTS: Kelly Hill kelly@vivamagazines.com

DISTRIBUTION: David Pardue distribution@vivamagazines.com

CONTRIBUTORS: Alexandra Loske, Amy Holtz, Andrew Darling, Ben Bailey,

Cammie Toloui, Chloë King, Chris Riddell, Emma Chaplin, JJ Waller, Jacqui Bealing,

Jay Collins, Joda, Joe Decie, John Helmer, John O’Donoghue, Lizzie Enfield, Mark Greco,

Martin Skelton, Michael Blencowe, Nione Meakin and Peter James Field

PUBLISHER: Becky Ramsden becky@vivamagazines.com

Please recycle your Viva (or keep us forever).




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Bits & Bobs.

8–27. Esther Cox is on the cover; Alexandra

Loske has her eye on storms out

at sea; aquatic exhibitionist Zoe Brigden

is on the buses; Joe Decie is feeling the

bank holiday burn; we meet the folks

cleaning up between the piers; a family

seafood feast with a sea view at the Bristol

Bar; a brace of Brighton writing prizes

and a Brighton Mermaid; we tag along to

Hammamet beach via Thessaloniki, and

we ponder whether to party in our pants

(or not). Plus much more besides.

My Brighton.

28–29. Marine environment consultant

Atlanta Cook, on cleaning up Brighton’s

beaches and beyond.




31–37. Andrew Unwin’s mesmeric

seascapes, from the sky.


39–43. Lizzie Enfield muses on the art

of open water swimming; John Helmer

drowns in gin, and Amy Holtz is a fish

out of water.

Photo by Andrew Unwin

On this month.

45–53. Ben Bailey rounds up his pick of

the gigs; Atkinson Action Horses bring

their celebrity steeds to the South of

England Show; re-use guru Cat Fletcher

is at Ovingdean’s Green Festival;

Sofie Hagen is at Brighton Dome; it’s

Dallowday for self-confessed ‘Woolfies’

at Monk’s House; Simon Evans’ al

fresco comedy; filthy but funny Fleabag

is at The Old Market, and mr jukes play

Love Supreme.

....6 ....



Art & design.

55–63. Chloë King gets up close and

sartorial with Gilbert and George;

mathematical textiles at Worthing Artists

Open Houses; a last bid to save Saltdean

Lido’s iconic building, and just some of

what’s on, art-wise, this month.

The way we work.

65–69. What does go on underneath the

arches? Adam Bronkhorst finds out.


70–75. A kipper to rival Craster’s; Dough

Lover’s gluten-free cookie recipe; a slapup

fish supper at The Little Fish Market,

and brunch at the Bandstand.




76–87. Is the future of farming afloat?

One design student at the University

of Sussex thinks it might be; we get

the lowdown on what you need to

know before you move to a houseboat;

Brighton’s late-night quad-bike beach

patrol; we’re all at sea with a holiday

company for intrepid swimmers; Adam

Bronkhorst gets inside the Brighton

lifeboat station, and a swimming pool on

the beach?


89. The immutable Mute Swan.

Inside left.

90. Ahoy there! Hove Lagoon, 60s style.

Photo by Adam Bronkhorst


Photo courtesy of SwimTrek

....7 ....



This month’s cover is the work of local pattern

designer and illustrator Esther Cox. “Everybody

thinks I’m a printer,” she says. “I do sometimes use

printmaking techniques – I might use lino printing

or really basic screen printing – but by and large I

work with collage. All my work is hand-made and

then digitally manipulated. I’m not somebody who

starts with a little thumbnail sketch – I think I tend

to work quite intuitively and just allow the piece to

come together.”

Regular visitors to the gallery and shop Unlimited,

on Church Street, will be familiar with Esther’s

prints, which are typically very pattern-led. “That’s

probably the least of what I do,” she says, “it’s more

of a hobby on the side. Chiefly, I work as a textile

designer, and the reason my work as an illustrator is

so patterned is because that’s my first love: pattern.

I create prints for fashion, largely for menswear

and childrenswear, predominantly abstract and

geometric designs. I work through an agent, who

shows the prints to clients. It’s a nice way to work

because it’s quite free – pattern design comes

very naturally to me, and it feeds back into my

illustration work.”

Esther was recently set the exciting task of creating

a body of work for an exhibition at Charleston

Farmhouse, the former home of artists Vanessa Bell

and Duncan Grant. “I was asked to give a response

to the house,” she explains, “to create some work

that reflects the building and all that Bloomsbury

decoration that’s in it. I got free rein to go around

the house and take photographs and think about

....8 ....



the space – it was really inspiring. The thing I went off with

in the collages was, firstly, their use of colour, and, secondly,

not so much the patterns themselves, but the lines and where

they met. There were lots of interesting angles where walls

were coloured, or doorframes, or doors, and that’s really what

inspired the work that I’ve done – trying to get those colours

and textures to work. I didn’t want to do representations of

the farmhouse or feel like I was creating pastiches of Duncan

Grant’s patterns.” The pieces will be on display at Charleston

(see charleston.org.uk for more details).

Another of Esther’s major commissions came from

Transport for London, who approached her to design a

series of posters. “The first two were centred around London

riversides,” she says. “The only requirement was that the

scene had to include the river in some way, otherwise I

was given the freedom to do as I wished.” Her second two

posters, published in January, promoted shopping locations

Shoreditch and Southall. All four are now a part of the

London Transport Museum’s poster collection.

Rebecca Cunningham

See more of Esther’s work at esthercoxskiosk.com

....9 ....


Here’s Maria Andreou in

Thessaloniki, with the 15thcentury

White Tower in the

background. ‘As always,’ Maria

reports, ‘I had you with me.

What better place to strike a pose

holding my all-time favourite

mag than this remarkably historic

urban centre? Let’s see where I’ll

take you next!’ All-time favourite

mag? The promise of future

adventures? We like Maria.

What do you read to a baby

dromedary? Woodingdean

resident Annette Radford found

that VB held their attention.

The Arabian ‘seahorse’ looks

pretty interested too. Annette

took us along on her recent

trip to Hammamet Beach in

Tunisia, a place that she highly

recommends that we visit.

‘Nothing like enjoying the sea

breezes relaxing by the seaside

with Viva,’ says Annette. We

couldn’t agree more. Keep taking

us with you and keep spreading

the word. Send your photos and

a few words about your trip to






ROUTES 12, 12A

Whilst it’s strictly verboten

today, there was a time when

jumping off the end of the pier

was positively lauded. Before

the arrival of slot machines and

rollercoasters, crowds would

flock to see the daring exploits of

aquatic entertainers and Brighton

girl, Zoe Brigden, was one of the

few women among them. Born

in 1891 to the Brigden family of

Mighell Street (since demolished

to make way for the development

of Amex House), she was a local

swimming champion before a

shoulder injury cut short her

professional career. Seemingly

undaunted by that injury (or

the threat of worse) in 1915

she joined the various aquatic

exhibitions that took place

between the piers, performing

high dives from the end of the

West Pier and thrilling the

crowds with her ‘wooden soldier’

dive which saw her plunge head

first into the sea with her arms

by her side (ouch!). She retired

from such aquatic exploits in

1925, although she continued to

offer encouragement to nervous

young divers at the North Road

swimming baths, and went

on to open a hairdressers in

Whitehawk. She lived in later life

in Roedale Road with her sister

Addy and subsequently moved

to Seaford to live with her son,

John. She died in 1983.

Lizzie Lower

Illustration by Joda (@joda_art)

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A city located directly by the sea is enriched by

it but is also at its mercy, especially during great

storms and other extreme weather. Brighton &

Hove’s seafront has long inspired artists, and

depictions of dramatic weather conditions along

the water’s edge are among the most popular

images of our city.

Storms show their character best in water, both

suspended in air in the form of bursting clouds,

or in the dramatic crashing waves of the sea,

something that wasn’t lost on the great painters of

the Romantic era. It is no surprise then that both

JMW Turner and John Constable were so keen on

painting stormy seas when they visited Brighton.

To them the raging sea and ominous clouds were

an expression of the ‘Sublime’, the untameable,

unpredictable, unfathomable aspects of nature,

those that are bigger than us.

When Constable stayed in Brighton in 1824 he

was not impressed, complaining about the ‘din and

tumult’ of the town he described as ‘a receptacle of

the fashion and off-scouring of London’. He largely

turned his artistic eye away from the town and

preferred to look out to the sea, creating some of

his now most popular works: raw, immediate, hastily

sketched images of the seafront, often with ominous

skies, dark rain clouds, and dotted with small human

figures that give us a sense of the strong winds

and the rain they are facing. Turner also often

chose wild and windy seascapes when he painted

‘Pool Valley, During the Storm at Brighton, July 17th 1850’. Lithograph by Day & Sons after F Ford, published 1850

Images courtesy of Royal Pavilion & Brighton Museums




‘Brighthelmston’. Watercolour by JMW Turner, c1824

Brighton. A sketch from 1796 depicts a

nocturnal sky over a raging sea. Turner

decided to leave the shore and paint

Brighton from the vantage point of a boat

tossed about in large waves near the newly

built Chain Pier, the sky full of darkness

and light, with a rainbow appearing over

Brighton, just after heavy rainfall.

But for a place like Brighton, perched

precariously on the edge of Sussex, the

power of the sea and skies was more

than just artistic inspiration: it was a

real danger. Storms often wrecked the

fishermen’s houses, and swept away

their livelihoods on and near the beach.

Many storms have been reported over

the centuries, but some were particularly

destructive. In 1896 one brought

down the mighty Chain Pier, an event

documented by many painters and

photographers. Another one, in July

1850, caused the sea to come onto land,

flooding large areas around Pool Valley

and the Steine (pictured left).

Even in the early 20th century, when in art the age of

Romanticism was making way for cool and sleek Modernist

styles, we still encounter images of Brighton’s seafront

battered by the elements, and hunched figures reminding us

how small we really are in comparison to the waves crashing

onto the promenade, and the few figures in it struggling with

the wind and rain. In his painting Stormy Day at Brighton,

Charles Conder applied his brushstrokes as expressively as

Constable did some 80 years earlier on one of his rainsoaked

walks along the beach.

Alexandra Loske, Curator and Art Historian

‘Stormy Day at Brighton’. Oil painting by Charles Conder, 1905


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Words and picture by Cammie Toloui, cammietoloui.com





I’ve been doing beach cleans

in Seaford for years. I got into

it through #2minutebeachclean, a

worldwide campaign encouraging

people to do a two-minute clean and

post a picture of what they find on

Instagram. It’s shocking what you

James Pike Photography

the silent disco idea came along. We

brought that idea to the Council, who

were really interested in supporting

it, and now we do a silent disco beach

clean every month.

We get around 250 people at each

event. Last Sunday we collected 200kg

find in just two minutes. When I moved to Brighton of litter on Brighton beach within three hours. The

and saw the state of the beach, especially in summer, it most common things we find are beer cans, plastic

made me sad and I wanted to do something about it. cups from the bars, straws – it’s all coming from

We had our first Pier 2 Pier Beach Clean last vendors on the seafront or in town. It’s not a problem

March. It started off with just a couple of us and a that’s going away any time soon, but I think that the

megaphone and some litter pickers we borrowed more we do it, the more we make people aware, and

from a group in Rottingdean. We had about 50 eventually the less litter there will be.

people show up and we cleaned from the Palace Pier As told to Rebecca Cunningham by Amy Gibson

to the West Pier. Since then we’ve added the fun The June beach clean will be in support of World

HIST stuff: beach AND clean ENG bingo, MA VIVA music, APR fancy 18 dress, R 2.qxp_Layout and then 1 Oceans 16/04/2018 Day – see 14:43 fb.com/Pier2PierBeachClean

Page 1


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Creative Future is a charity based in Brighton that

provides training, mentoring and showcasing opportunities

for under-represented writers, whose voices

might otherwise remain unheard. Their fifth national

competition is now open, with prizes totalling £7,500

in cash and writer development opportunities.

The awards are open to all writers whose stories

are under-represented in mainstream publishing,

including those with mental health issues, physical/

learning disabilities, neurodiversity, BMER,

LGBTQ+, over 65, as well as those who are

homeless or in temporary accommodation, carers,

care-leavers, offenders/ex-offenders or survivors of

abuse. Since 2007, Creative Future have worked with

more than 5,000 artists in these groups through their

workshops and events.

The theme of the awards this year is ‘Chemistry’.

Poetry (up to 200 words)

and short fiction (up to 1,000

words) should be submitted

by noon on Monday the 18th

of June. Entry is free.

The twelve winning poems and short stories will be

selected by a panel of industry experts including poet

Lemn Sissay (pictured), and the winners will receive

a share of the cash and development prizes. Their

work will appear in an anthology alongside that of

the award-winning guest author Kerry Hudson, and

they’ll be invited to a showcase event as part of the

London Literature Festival in October.

Writers can submit via the website, by post, or in

person at Community Base, 113 Queens Road. Full

rules can be found on the entry form. Good luck!


Photo © Hamish Brown

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

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

琀 ⸀ ㈀ 㜀 アパート アパート アパート 㠀 㐀 ㈀

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

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




I’m chuffed that the Viva theme

is ‘water’s edge’, partly because

we have a great magazine to

recommend and partly because

it gives me a chance for a

shout-out to two pieces of great

tagline writing.

First – and yes, this is a bit cheesy

– to the Viva people who, last

year, produced my favourite ever

tote bag, with the words: Love,

liberty & salt water. What could

be more Brighton than that?

Second, to whoever it was that

got the 2018 Brighton Marathon t-shirt together.

On my Saturday morning park run I’m frequently

overtaken by t-shirts with ‘Run to the Sea, Bathe

in the Glory’ written on them. Brilliant. I should

have entered the marathon just to get the t-shirt.

Now to the magazine for June. It’s a photography

magazine, called Foam. (See, the link is there

already.) It’s produced three times a year and

comes from the people who run the Foam Fotografiemuseum

in Amsterdam.

Each issue is themed. Each

presents a number of different

photographic portfolios with

commentary and thought

pieces alongside. It’s large

format and is, of course,

wonderfully printed. It

probably doesn’t make any

money; this issue thanks

paper supplier Igepa for their

generous support. It’s great,

and Foam deserves all the

support it can get.

The theme of the current

issue is ‘water’. I could re-write the editorial and

pretend that the analysis of the issue was mine but

the editor does it as well as an editor should: ‘The

portfolios offer a powerful and varied impression

of the richness of photography and water. This

issue raises questions and prompts further thought,

but above all, it provides a great deal of visual and

reading pleasure.’ On that note, it’s time to dive in.

Happy reading, and happy looking, everyone.

Martin Skelton, MagazineBrighton


It’s that time of year again. The sun has come out,

the Channel has hit a balmy 13°C and it’s our duty

as Brightonians to head down to the beach and party

(responsibly) in our pants. (Unless you’re going via the

13th Brighton Naked Bike Ride on Sunday the 10th,

in which case pants are optional.)

But in which bathroom is the beach body?

Last month’s answer: The Basketmakers


Sussex Community Festival

Join us for a day of free

entertainment, fun and discovery

SUNDAY 24 JUNE 2018, 11AM–3PM


Our beautiful campus is nestled in the South Downs countryside right next to Falmer Station.

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storytelling food stalls World Cup football shown in our campus bar





“On a rare scorching summer weekend, it seems there must be half

a million people between the water’s edge and the Brighton & Hove

promenade,” says JJ Waller. “So, hats off to the dedicated team of

street cleaners with their monumental efforts in keeping the beach and

promenade clean.” We’ll second that, JJ.







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I pop into the Bristol Bar for a

quick pint after work, planning

to incorporate the experience

into this ‘then-and-now’ writeup.

Then I see the windowside

tables with their fine view of the

shimmering sea (we’re talking

early May heatwave), and run my

eyes over the great-looking menu,

and I decide that I wouldn’t be

doing the joint justice: it looks

like the sort of place you’d want

to linger over a two-course meal,

with a fine bottle of wine (or two).

I’ve been on the look-out for

somewhere to host the in-laws, so

I book a table for four, for May

Day Bank Holiday.

In the meantime, a bit of research.

The pub takes up the eastern

corner of Bristol Court, a fine

Georgian building put up in

1835 as the Bristol Court Hotel,

then converted into flats and the

separate bar exactly 100 years

later. The hotel was built on land

owned by Frederick William Hervey,

then 1st Marquis of Bristol,

part of an extensive estate he ran

in the Kemptown area.

It’s seen quite a lot of life, over the

years. In the sixties and seventies,

run by Fred and Peggy Penfold, it

was something of a student haunt,

because of the nearby digs in

Eastern Terrace. There was a pool

table, and a talking parrot on the

bar. In the fifties Max Miller was

a regular: the greatest stand-up

comedian of his age lived over

the road.

It became a bit run down until

taken over by Alan and Simon

a few years back: they gave it a

thorough refurb, and decorated

the walls with nautical paraphernalia,

including an impressive

bare-breasted figurehead, which

overlooks our table.

It’s not grungy enough for me

to want to spend whole evenings

there, frankly (see Caroline of

Brunswick, VL#63), but it goes

down a treat with the in-laws,

and the fare is exceptional. I have

plump, succulent tiger prawns

as a starter, and all four of us

choose the Bouillabaisse from

the specials board. The broth

is rich and dark and cooked to

perfection, with sea bass fillet

and prawns and mussels to fish

out, all nicely washed down by a

couple of bottles of Pinot Grigio,

chosen (as the house white) from

an impressive wine list.

We’re there for a couple of hours

in all, punctuated by amiable

chats with our hosts. The whole

experience, I agree with my wife

Rowena afterwards, is like going

to a posh restaurant, without all

the irksome servility. And how

much did it cost? Haven’t got a

clue: FIL paid, bless him.

Alex Leith

Painting by Jay Collins


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I told Sam that he wasn’t going to be a big brother

after all. He asked why and I said his sister wasn’t

ready to meet us - maybe in a few years’ time. He

said okay and went back to playing with his cars. I

left him with his grandparents and took Layla for

a stroll on the beach to get her mind off the thing

that’d happened.

The sand was hot under our feet so we ran down

to the shore. Out of habit, I’d brought Sam’s pail

and shovel with me. The tide was out.

A mile into our walk, Layla said to stop asking if

she was okay.

The shore ahead gleamed like it was coated

by a smooth layer of crystal disks and as we

approached, we saw them - hundreds of jellyfish

marooned on the sand. Layla said she hated those

things, had been stung by them before.

I felt pity for the jellyfish, the way they lay scattered

around like they’d been cracked out of their

shells, sizzling sunny-side up. Layla said they were

melting in the sun. In some spots, they’d been

reduced to mucus splats on the sand.

I got to work, scooping up jellyfish into Sam’s

pail with his small shovel and then released them

back into the ocean. Layla said they were probably

dead. But I continued running back and forth

between the shore and the ocean, seaweed hanging

from my calves.

I’d tired after seven jellyfish, sweating and panting

under the sun. Away from the shore, I buried my

face in my hands. Layla squeezed my shoulder, said

she’d buy me an ice cream.

Jellyfish won The Brighton Prize for flash fiction

in 2017. Entries are now open for The Brighton

Prize 2018, with a top prize of £1,000. Founded in

2014 by Rattle Tales, Brighton’s interactive short

story evening, the prize exists to find inventive new

writing. The judges this year are Booker-longlisted

novelist Alison MacLeod, literary agent at The Bent

Agency Sarah Manning, and novelist and Brighton

Prize director, Erinna Mettler. Entries for flash

fiction should be up to 350 words and short stories

between 1000 and 2000 words. The closing date

is the 1st July 2018. For terms and conditions and

details of how to enter, visit brightonprize.com.

Illustration by Peter James Field






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This is the time of year when

we start to think about summer

holidays and what books

to pack for the beach. They’ve

become something of a genre

in themselves, beach reads.

They have to be page turners:

light enough in terms of style

to pick up and put down while

we sip our cocktails at the bar;

dark enough in terms of subject

matter to contrast with

the Club Tropicana lifestyle

of sun, sea, and sangria.

The Brighton Mermaid is an

early contender for the kind

of summer novel I mean. The

fact that it starts on a beach

– our very own pebbly strand – puts it in beach

read territory as surely as if it had chucked a towel

on the sun lounger. But is this a novel to go in the

luggage or one to leave at the airport bookstand?

The story starts in 1993 when two teenage friends,

Nell and Jude, find a body washed up on the shore.

Like them, she’s a young black woman, not much

older than they are, a charm bracelet and a tattoo

of a mermaid with the words ‘I am Brighton’ inked

on her arm the only clues to her identity. Shortly

after the girls find the body, Jude disappears.

When the police draw a blank, Nell takes on

the search for The Brighton Mermaid’s identity

and hopes her investigation will also lead to her

missing friend.

This quest will take decades, and she will experience

police brutality, a dodgy cop trying to fit her

father up for the murder, her sister Macy’s OCD

(triggered by the traumas that

ensue) and a world which

gradually reveals itself to be

a much darker place than the

one she thought it was. Those

who are close to her are not

what they seem, and everyone

is keeping secrets, secrets

that will prove dangerous to

Nell, and in the end threaten

her life.

One of the pleasures of the

novel was seeing familiar

local landmarks leap out of

the book’s pages. Whether it

was streets I know well, such

as George Street in Hove,

pubs like The Cricketers, or

features such as the Peace Statue, I was both in a

place that was very recognisable, and a place transformed

by the dark imaginings of (local resident)

Dorothy Koomson.

Koomson was Richard and Judied for her third

novel, My Best Friend’s Girl, which was chosen as

one of the Summer Reads of 2006. Twelve years

later The Brighton Mermaid, with its short chapters,

multiple narrators, timeframes that switch backwards

and forwards from 1993 to the present, and

a few places in between, has all of the classic elements

of the big beach novel. It adds extras depths

to the whodunnit in terms of characterisation and

emotional impact, and races to a conclusion that

had me turning the pages as if they were on fire.

Pack it with your sun cream and dream darkly of

home. John O’Donoghue

Century, £12.99


Photo by Adam Bronkhorst, adambronkhorst.com




MYbrighton: Atlanta Cook

Marine environment consultant

Are you local? I was born in Tottenham but

we moved to Brighton and I went to Stanford

Juniors at five years old. So I was a lucky Londoner

who ended up coming down here, and I’m

very grateful for that. It would have been a very

different experience growing up in London. I remember

coming down to Brighton and standing

on the West Pier in my flared zip catsuit (all the

girls were wearing them).

What do you do? I’ve pretty much always run my

own thing. I started off as a fundraiser; the very

first event I did was a Surfers Against Sewage club

night at the Zap Club. That was in the early 90s

when there was a massive rave culture in Brighton

and a lot of activism against the Criminal Justice

Act (it was basically trying to stop people from

gathering and having raves and parties, which

just made us do it even more). We did a lot of

campaigning against sewage pollution. Back then

there were 80 Olympic-sized swimming poolsworth

of untreated sewage going out into the sea

off Brighton & Hove every day! We campaigned

for years to get the treatment works built. Sewage

pollution is not over yet, but the Sewage Alert

Service [a live information system that tells sea

users when there has been a sewage overflow] is a

really important legacy of the original campaign.

What are you working on at the moment?

Plastic Free Coastlines is the latest campaign

by Surfers Against Sewage. We’re pushing to

get Brighton & Hove to be the first plastic-free

city. To achieve this we have to get our local

government to pass a resolution to support Plastic

Free Coastlines. We then have to get 30% of all

businesses, 30% of all schools, 50% of community

groups and 50% of universities and colleges to

sign up to reduce their use of single-use plastics.

We ask everyone to make three small changes

– straws, plastic cutlery, plastic cups, whatever

it is – and we hope that that just starts the ball

rolling. What’s really lovely about Plastic Free

Coastlines is it opens Surfers Against Sewage

out to everybody – not in the usual ‘please make

a donation’ way, it really says ‘come and join in’.

Everybody is part of the fight and I just love that.

What do you like most about Brighton? The

people. Not just that the people here are different,

but that they feel free. They feel free to think and

say and do what they want, and that freedom is so

valuable and it makes the place special. I think it’s

our long history of being freedom fighters that

gives Brighton people a very special way about

them, because they feel like there’s this honorary

lineage that they should continue.

What would you change about it? There needs

to be more funding to help stop litter from ending

up in the environment. It doesn’t matter how it’s

done; it should never be at the horrendous scale

that it is now. The Council has to do what it has to

do with its budget, but we’re putting other things

before what matters, which is our environment

and our sea.

Where’s your favourite place in the city? I’d

have to say Rottingdean Windmill. You can see

out across the whole city, and the sea view is just

incredible. Closely followed by the Ovingdean


When did you last swim in the sea? I had a little

paddle last Sunday at the silent disco beach clean.

The theme was ‘come as your favourite animal or

plant’ – there were people dressed as chilli peppers

and unicorns and butterflies… it was lovely!

Interview by Rebecca Cunningham

atlantacook.co.uk / sas.org.uk


'Fantastic place, full of beautiful magazines. I just love this shop.’

the world of great indie mags is here in Brighton.

22 Trafalgar Street






Andrew Unwin

Life on the edge

I’d hit a creativity

block with my

camera and wanted

to document

Brighton from a

new perspective.

The drone has given

me a new direction

and renewed my

excitement with

photography. I was

hooked straight away.

I flew it over Brighton

Pier a few times and

thought, ‘this is an amazing way of seeing things’.

The different angles are so extraordinary.

I love photographing the edge of the land. The

coast has really interesting shapes and contrasts,

like the water currents inside and outside the

marina and Old Harry Rocks in Dorset. The

other advantage of photographing the edge is that

there are fewer people to upset. Just the seagulls.

Owning a drone has also changed my

perspective on holidays. Whenever I book a trip

the first thing I do is go on Google Earth to scout

locations to fly. I went to the Maldives last year

which was amazing as they have so many small

islands and seascapes. Their customs had a really

good look at the drone, but they let me in with it.

I’ve just come back from Budapest where drones

are banned. I was gutted.

There are apps that will tell you where you

can and can’t fly. Obviously, we’re close to

Gatwick here and you don’t want to cause chaos

with flights. The other considerations are the

wind and being respectful of other people: you

don’t want to fly too close to a block of flats.

Brighton is a pretty liberal place, so I have not

had any problems here

but, in the past, we’ve

been less welcome in

other towns. I had to

politely tell them it

was just a drone for


The differences in

the price of drones

relates to quality and

intelligence. The lower

end models are more

like toys: they won’t fly

very far and the camera

isn’t very good. I’ve just bought a DJI Phantom

4 Pro. It’s got a bigger sensor, so it creates better

quality images, and it’s more intelligent, so you

can map it and tell it where to fly. It will also fly

in tougher conditions, which is good for Brighton

because of the heavy winds.

I trained as a journalist but after uni I went

to work on cruise ships as a photographer.

It was a great way to meet people, to travel the

world and to get paid whilst I was doing it. It’s

where I met my girlfriend and now we’re wedding

photographers. From Monday to Friday I’m head

of operations for a used photography equipment

retailer and, from now until October, weekends

will be spent photographing at ceremonies.

Having the drone for the past couple of years

has really set us apart from the competition. It

adds another dimension to a couple’s wedding

photographs. It’s great for group shots because it

saves time arranging a large amount of people in a

small space. We just ask the crowd to look up!

As told to Lizzie Lower






Photos © Andrew Unwin




Photos © Andrew Unwin



Waterlily Festival at Sheffield Park and


Join us over five weeks to celebrate the

impressive display of waterlilies on the lakes.

With a variety of talks, workshops and early

evening openings, enjoy the garden in early

summer and learn more about these fascinating


The Waterlily Festival runs 9 June - 15 July with

Midsummer Evenings on 22 & 23 June.

Call 01825 790231 for details


© National Trust 2018. The National Trust is an independent registered charity,

number 205846. Photography © National Trust Images\Nina Elliot-Newman.



Photos © Andrew Unwin


Photo © Andrew Unwin

eautifully imperfect since 2009



Lizzie Enfield

Notes from North Village

When I was younger, I was frequently ‘rescued’

from the sea by fishermen who refused to believe

that anyone who had swum that far offshore had

not been swept away. I was offered assistance as a

child as I headed out towards France (from Hove),

and then when travelling around Australia off the

coast of Townsville, and on my honeymoon in a

bay in Thailand.

“I’m ok,” I’d tell my would-be rescuers. “I’m

having a swim.”

I’m much more nervous in the water these days. I

head out to the buoys off Brighton beach but I like

to keep sight of land and lifeguards.

Nonetheless, I miss the freedom of being fearless,

which is why I signed up with Hove-based

SwimTrek’s open-water coaching week in Mallorca

- hoping to become a bit more intrepid. My coach

John obviously liked that word because he soon

began using it as my nickname while barking out

instructions in the Olympic-sized pool where we

first trained.

“Don’t cross, Intrepid,” he’d yell, referring to the

way my arms moved in the water.

We spent two hours each day focusing on

stroke and breathing techniques, followed by

humiliating video analysis. John freeze-framed in

all the worst places so everyone could see your

arms crossing and legs flailing. It’s a good way

of making you try to correct things you’ve been

doing wrong for years.

I had my sights on a more adventurous trip - like

to swim the Hellespont, escape from Alcatraz or

navigate the fjords of Oman by front crawl - but

the open water coaching was good way of dipping

my toe back in the open water.

After pool sessions (where I was told to ‘articulate’

with my hips and avoid ‘early vertical forearms’

- who knew?) we headed to the south-eastern

coastline of Mallorca. From our base in the pretty

resort of Colonia St Jordi, famous for its salt flats,

producing the condiment favoured by Roman

epicureans and latter-day Michelin-starred chefs, we

swam across the bay to the sweeping sandy beach

and later, from further along the coast, we headed

out past lighthouse-topped headlands and around

rocky islands before heading back into harbour.

As we emerged from the water, we attracted

curious glances from day-trippers waiting for

the ferry to the Cabrera Archipelago Maritime

National Park, which Pliny claimed was the

birthplace of Hannibal and, during the Napoleonic

Wars, was a notorious prison camp.

The glances were even more askance, when, on

our final day, we stood on the quay in swimming

costumes, ‘vaselining up’ beside the ferry queue

before we swam out to an island for a picnic lunch,

later tackling another stretch back to shore. Coach

John donned a t-shirt bearing the slogan ‘Ferries

are for wimps’, and after a week of open-water

training, I was ready to agree. Look out for me

heading out between the piers this summer. I’m

intrepid again!

Illustration by Joda (@joda_art)


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John Helmer


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“I order a Gin and Tonic,” I tell Birdyman, “and

look what I get—” I show him the Spanish balloon

glass full of ice, garnished with strips of cucumber -

“a bloody salad.”

“You sound like such an old git,” he says


Tim and I go way back, but I feel he has missed

something in my tone. I don’t really have anything

against the way the drink is served. In fact I love

everything about it - it’s just a voice you fall into

with old friends, marking the passage of time and

the way the world has changed around us with a

pretend sourness: these young people, with their

vinyl and their beards and tats, and their craft

beers… and now this lovely bowl-full of iced gin

with a garnish of cucumber, Barcelona-style: what’s

happened to the world?

It’s a hot day, and my wife and I have stopped at

The Colonnade in New Road for refreshment,

taking a street-side table. New Road is a carnival:

buskers, holiday-makers, hen parties and performers

promoting shows sashay past - Brighton in full

effect. For some the street is a catwalk, for others

a shop counter. And then there are those who live

here - the homeless man who wakes, blinking, on

one of the benches, where he fell asleep the night

before, to find the whole world coursing through

his bedroom; a parliament of street drinkers

debating hotly some point of misconduct. Police.

Food stalls. Pop-up cocktail trailers. Friends

pause for a chat, leaning over the canvas barrier

that separates our table from the passing throng.

Members of the extended family turn up, take one

look at our G&Ts, sit down and say, “yes thanks,

I’ll have one of those.” No booze however for baby

Olive, a practiced entertainer who, sensing all our

eyes upon her, fixes her young father with a defiant

stare and drops her spoon to the floor.

How we laugh.

Another chum rocks up, the accordion player in my

old street-band, Pookiesnackenburger. “What’s that

you’re drinking?” he says incredulously.

“I know.”

If I sit here long enough, everybody I’ve ever met

will walk past.

And then a strange fantasy comes over me, that we

are not sitting static here as the passers-by pass by,

but that it is in fact we who are moving, in some

sort of flat-bottomed canal boat, drifting slowly

downstream, hailing and talking to the people on

the towpath as we cruise by. It’s all getting a bit

unreal. And then it gets meta.

A performance novelist (new one on me) walks

past and thrusts a flyer at us for his Fringe

show, drawing our attention to

the words on his t-shirt:





“Watch what you

say,” I respond;

“or you’ll

end up in my




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Amy Holtz

The truth is, I’m a Minnesotan

My partner came in the

other day after a ride on

the Undercliff, with some

unfortunate news. “You

know those Brighton

bikes? People have been

chucking them over the

side of the seawall!”

This is truly incredible

– because those

things weigh a ton.

But also sad. Because

like Brightonians,

Minnesotans grow up

worshipping the water.

My landlocked state is checkered with lakes,

sloughs, ponds, rivers, sprinkled across the

landscape like windflung seed.

And with this proximity comes, for the

most part, a loving respect. But not before

encountering the many dangers of the lake –

chiggers (usually a Minnesotan’s first – but not

last – encounter with flesh-munching parasites),

wasps, tangles of slimy weeds, speedboats

towing double waterskiers after too many

Leinenkugel’s. There was always looming lore

about Northerns, a hideous fish that signals it’s

stalking by flashing its ghost-white belly – like

a Nordic Nessie. It’s got teeth like ice picks and

one summer, a huge one was said to have bitten

off the big toe of that Larsen girl when she was

dangling her feet in the water off the Dahlberg’s

dock. Poor girl’s straight line was a bit to the

left after that.

Us Minnesota kids were often told we would

turn into fish if we didn’t get out RIGHT

NOW and get in the G-Damn car, which

probably wasn’t far off the truth considering

we’d just gulped gallons of lake water, delirious

with sunstroke and loopy

from too many Italian ices.

But I never gave much

thought to what was

below the surface until

my first year at camp. The

counsellors would let you

take canoes out into Long

Lake – just so long as they

could see you. We paddled

out with our little arms

past the point where you

could ‘touch’ and there

we encountered what

they called ‘the forest’.

Bloated, bone-coloured tree branches reached

up all around, waving just under the water.

The sheer size of the trunks made it impossible

to tell whether they were fifty feet down, or

inches from the surface. You could jump in,

but you had to aim for a place wide of them,

into the black murk. And if your foot grazed a

stray limb, we’d all squeal like trapped piglets.

There’s nothing spookier than seeing something

that was once alive and towering trapped

underwater, forever doomed to be just out of

reach of the sun.

So that’s why, when it comes to the sea, that

tremendous, fantastic monster, I’m still finding

my flippers. I’ve ventured in, once, twice. But

each time I find myself imagining those handlike

tree branches, or, as happens in a recurring

dream of mine, the evil eels from The Little

Mermaid, Flotsam and Jetsam, tugging my heels

down into oblivion. Most days, I’m happy to sit

on the pebbles, eating chips, conferring with

the other pebble dwellers when someone does

something stupid – like go in. “Nutters,” we say,

in unison, shaking our heads at one another.















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Ben Bailey rounds up the local music scene


Sat 2 & Sun 3, Komedia, 7.15pm & 8pm, £10

Now entering his

second decade as a

‘chap hop’ performer,

Mr B seems to be in no

hurry to appease those

who thought his act

would be a flash-in-the-pan novelty. He returns this

month with two dates at the Komedia and a new

batch of ditties about hot topics such as chivalry,

pipe-smoking and fortified wine. Those who aren’t

au fait with the sound of received pronunciation

rhyming, may or may not be surprised to learn

that our city has produced not one, but two, chap

hop artistes. After the gentlemanly conclusion of

his lyrical feud with fellow Brightonian Professor

Elemental, Mr B moved on to lay the rap battle

gauntlet at the feet of none other than Kanye West

(where it remained, sadly).


Wed 6, Green Door Store, 7.30pm, £5

They might claim their music is sent to us through

‘a primitive portal from a ruined future world’, but

the enjoyably silly conceit of their social media

announcements doesn’t quite prepare you for the

earnest anger of Commands’ on-point political

rap. Backed by live musicians blending hip-hop,

punk and big beat, the band’s two MCs work their

dynamic joint vocals into a groove that’s both

compelling and melodic. The heavier sections may

remind some of 90s rap rockers Senser, but the

subject matter is decidedly of the minute – big data,

media bias, the coming dark age, etc. Dystopian

messengers they may be, but Commands also know

what a dancefloor is for.


Thu 7, Prince Albert, 8pm, £5

Though some members of The Eighties Matchbox

B-Line Disaster have resurfaced in various guises

since the band finally burned out five years ago, this

is the first we’ve heard of former frontman Guy

McKnight in quite a while. Anyone who remembers

the ferocious rock‘n’roll of his heydey will probably

be intrigued enough to give this a go, even if there’s

little indication online of what’s in store. Either the

band decided to shroud themselves in secrecy or

they haven’t got round to making any recordings yet.

All we know is that McKnight is now often found

sporting a triple combo of mullet, tash and tanktop.

Seemingly named after a psychiatry manual, The

DSM-IV have already supported British Sea Power

on tour, but this is their first show in Brighton.


Sat 9, Quadrant, 6pm, £3

It might seem like an

incongruous band name

given that I Feel Fine’s

music is heavily tinged by

emo, but maybe they’re

just being coy. In any case, the Brighton four-piece

have enough light and shade in their songs to resist

the genre pigeonhole. The group’s gang vocals soar

over what are otherwise largely instrumental tracks; a

loose style with tight arrangements. In terms of influences,

The Hotelier rub shoulders with Sonic Youth,

post-hardcore with a touch of shoegaze. This show

is the launch for I Feel Fine’s debut EP, Long Distance

Celebration, recorded by Lewis Johns (Funeral for a

Friend, Gnarwolves). To mark the occasion they’ve

invited some mates along for the party: Lightcliffe,

H_ngm_n, Chalk Hands and Sven.




Photos courtesy of Atkinson Action Horses

Atkinson Action Horses

At the South of England Show

We speak to Mark Atkinson of Atkinson Action

Horses, whose live show will be the main arena

highlight of the South of England Show.

You’re horse master for a lot of TV shows,

such as Poldark, Peaky Blinders and Victoria.

What’s a horse master? Someone who’s in charge

of all the horses on set, making sure everyone is

safe. I assess the abilities of the actors and decide

what they are capable of, and which of our horses

would be most appropriate for them and the scene.

We can train actors to ride, and we also have stunt

doubles. The hero horses have their own identical

stunt doubles, sometimes two. Seamus our Irish

draught hero horse for Poldark (‘Darkie’ in the

show) is very famous. We get journalists coming to

Cornwall to spend the day with him. Both leads,

Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson, are very

able riders. Victoria is filmed near where we’re

based in East Yorkshire which is great for us.

What do you enjoy most about your job? I

enjoy teaching the actors, and the challenge of

delivering on set what the director wants. When

the production stretches over a few months, there’s

such a good atmosphere.

What is most challenging? Teaching the horses to

stand still. Filming involves a lot of waiting around.

What makes for a good action horse? Patience,

bravery, charisma and personality. We’ve got some

beautiful horses, and some common-bred ones.

They all have their place.




Where do your riders come from? All over

the place. Most start as ground crew and can ride

already. We teach them gymnastics, but occasionally

we’ve recruited gymnasts and taught them to ride.

They’ve all got to be incredibly fit.

How did you get into this line of work? My dad

was a farmer, and I carried on the business when

he retired. My hobby was show jumping, and 28

years ago, my wife Jill suggested we diversify into

more horse-orientated work. We started offering

livery services, opened a riding school, then began

doing re-enactment and Sealed Knot work, went

onto jousting with English Heritage, and it’s

snowballed since then. It’s a family business. Jill

does the logistics. My son Ben trains the horses

and choreographs the live shows. He’s just come

back from training horses for a Bollywood film.

His wife Katherine is heavily involved, and our

daughter Lucy works with us part of the time too.

What can people expect from the live show?

Thirty minutes of extremely exciting, entertaining

live action by our team of eight male and female

riders, and our fantastic horses. Expect trick riding,

airs above the ground and liberty, which is when

the horse has no tack.

Which horses are you bringing? A mixture, including

Spanish stallions, famous for their skills in

Spanish High School, and some of our film horses,

all of whom have a huge following on Instagram.

Emma Chaplin

Atkinson Action Horses will be performing two live

shows per day at the South of England Show 7-9th

June, 9am-6.30pm, Ardingly. Under 16s enter for

free and free parking. Visit seas.org.uk




Ovingdean Green Festival

Cat Fletcher, ‘re-use officer’

Freegle founder, recycling

champion and Council

‘re-use officer’ Cat Fletcher

is one of the speakers at

Ovingdean Green Festival

on June 23rd.

We’re at crisis point

when it comes to plastic

usage. While I’m glad the

government is taking action

with the proposed consultation

on banning straws

and coffee stirrers, they’re

giving themselves 25 years

to implement it! We need action now. Twenty-five

years is way too long.

It’s not just up to the government; there’s also

a lot that manufacturers and retailers could do.

We could all do more. Locally, we could do a lot

better with events. Brighton hosts so many and they

have a significant environmental cost. The guidelines

the Council issues to organisers could be much

more ferocious. I’d like them to ban polystyrene,

for example. If all food outlets were banned from

using that you’ve instantly eliminated one major

environmental problem.

I’m not an advocate for that Brighton thing of

leaving things you don’t want out on the street.

My entire house is filled with things I’ve found so

I get why people like it. But it’s fly-tipping. People

assume if they put things out and they’re not there

later that someone has taken them. In fact it’s

probably been collected by the Council, which has a

statutory obligation to remove – but not recycle or

reuse – anything left on the street. It goes straight

to the incinerator and it costs a fortune to deal with

– we spend £150m a year

nationally on fly-tipping.

I’d rather people use a

recycling service. I’m one

of the co-founders of the

Freegle website, which was

one of the earliest services

to connect people giving

away things they didn’t need

to people who wanted them.

Now there are a million and

one ways to give things away

for free, so there’s absolutely

no excuse for leaving it

outside for the Council to deal with.

I try to do my bit; I have a slightly quirky, unsalaried

role as the Council’s ‘Re-use Officer’. They call

on me whenever they need to declutter. I did Kings

House in Hove recently. It was the biggest office

block in the city and clearing it was an 18-month

job. We sorted 280 rooms; 170 tonnes of stuff.

There were a lot of wheelie chairs. Before me, they

would have called in a removal company that would

have taken everything straight to landfill.

It’s brilliant that so many cafés and restaurants

in Brighton & Hove are banning plastic straws

and one-use coffee cups: there are around 110

cafés locally who’ve joined the #BYOCC – Bring

Your Own Coffee Cup – movement and lots of

places offering discounts for customers who bring

in reusable cups. That’s great. It’s also really encouraging

to see villages like Ovingdean pledging to go

plastic free. I hope we can build on this momentum

to work towards a plastic-free future.

As told to Nione Meakin





Simon Evans

Potted Previews in the park

Tell us about the

‘Potted Previews’

you’re doing at

Brighton Open Air

Theatre... People

will be doing short

versions of the

shows that they’ll be

taking to Edinburgh.

Last time we had

Angela Barnes and

Mark Steel. I tend to

go for people with

some sort of Brighton connection.

Is it odd performing comedy in the open air?

Yes, it is. When you first do it you do feel a bit exposed,

and you feel less inclined to be as transgressive

as you might be in a dark room after a couple

of drinks. But things warm up quite quickly, and

that is my job of course, as MC, to overcome that. I

make the acts realise that it is a regular gig and they

can be just as rude to audience members, and lead

them down darker passages, even if it’s a nice sunny

day in the middle of June and there’s a dog falling

asleep in the front row.

Will you be doing some new stuff as well? I’ve

been touring my show Genius this spring and I’ve

been tweaking and trying to develop it so that it’s

almost like a rolling project. I don’t know if that’s

slightly ridiculous, or even a cop out. It feels to me

like it’s evolving. The theme is the catastrophic

decline of intelligence in public life. It’s a kind of

grumpy old man howl of despair...

Are you comfortable with the role of the

grumpy old man? I am not sure that’s how I’m

seen. I do toy with it a bit, but I also like to claim

the intellectual high

ground too. There is

undeniably a lot of

crap in the modern

world and it is a

permanent job just

clearing your gutters

of that. And that is

GOM territory I

guess, but I hope I

do occasionally offer

a more elevated view

than simply the verbal

equivalent of rubbing a sore back!

Are people really getting dumber? It seems to

me that there is an emerging appetite for chewy

conversations, and it’s interesting and encouraging

that so many people want that. I think it is part of

what I’ve been saying in the show: that we’re not

as stupid as we’re treated as being. But also I do

wonder whether comedians are reneging on their

responsibility to take risks, speak their minds, say

the unsayable... There is a slightly suffocating consensus

in comedy right now and it is risky to contradict

that if you want to get on Mock the Week. It’s

dangerous for comedy to let itself get into that state.

Do you feel you’re able to break through that

consensus? I hope so, yes – more teasingly than

iconoclastically though! It’s fun being the one on

The News Quiz who throws the gears into reverse

sometimes, but I hope I don’t get too ahead of

myself. It’s always about expressing bafflement and

exasperation rather than offering actual solutions!

Interview by Ben Bailey

Simon Evans presents ‘Potted Previews’ at BOAT on

the 10th and 17th of June, 1pm, £10/8


Photo by Jonny Birch




Tickle tickle slap

It’s hard to imagine anyone but Phoebe Waller-

Bridge in the role of posh, frank, porn-addicted

Fleabag, the eponymous anti-heroine of the

Edinburgh Fringe hit later adapted as a brilliant,

BAFTA-winning BBC 3 TV series. “We’ve started

to say that it’s like being the new Bond,” laughs

Maddie Rice, who takes up the gauntlet as Fleabag

returns to the stage. “James Bond is the same character

every time but each actor plays him slightly

differently. I’m thrilled to be Fleabag mark two.”

Rice first saw Waller-Bridge’s monologue during

its phenomenally successful Edinburgh run, where

it became a word-of-mouth must-see and its writer

and performer the toast of the Fringe. “As soon

as I saw it, I was desperate to play the part,” she

explains. “I’d been out of drama school for three or

four years and all the parts I’d played felt the same

– polite, male-gaze, 2D. Fleabag felt really exciting

because she’s a complex, flawed character who

doesn’t conform to any of the stereotypes of how a

‘lady’ should act.”

That’s something of an understatement: this is a

character who gets her sexual kicks watching Barack

Obama speeches, surprises her sometime-boyfriend

by pretending to be a burglar, charges customers £8

for a sandwich in the failing café she runs and steals

from her stepmother. She deals with grief by… not

dealing with it, preferring to lose herself in increasingly

bleak sex and shocking jokes.

“Even in the darkest, saddest moments there’s

humour because that’s Fleabag’s way of coping,”

explains Rice. “That and sex. She mistakes her

relationship with sex as something powerful and

protective. But you realise as the show goes on

that it’s actually a crutch and not necessarily very

healthy. She has all these empty experiences and

avoids connecting to people because she’s too


Rice thinks of the piece as both comedy and

tragedy: “Phoebe calls it ‘tickle tickle slap’. She’ll

entice you in with humour and then slap you round

the face. I love that about her writing. She makes

you think something is going to be sad and then it’s

funny or you think it’s a joke and it’s heart-breaking.

There’s never a moment where it isn’t enjoyable to

listen to but she never lets you off the hook.”

While Rice is - “obviously” - very different to

the character she is playing, there are elements of

Fleabag that do resonate. “A lot of her experiences

relate to being lonely in a big city. It’s so easy to

hide in a city like London, to go unnoticed, and

that’s another of Fleabag’s coping mechanisms -

sauntering around believing that no one is noticing

what she’s doing, and that no one cares anyway. I

can relate to that feeling. I think I share some of her

sexual candour too but where I’d only talk like that

to my best friends, she says it to an entire room of

strangers. She is a very extreme version of parts of

all of us.” Nione Meakin

The Old Market, June 5th–9th




mr jukes


“I made the decision to end it,” says Jack

Steadman, erstwhile front man of Bombay Bicycle

Club, now the inspiration behind the much

funkier mr jukes.

“It was a terribly difficult decision,” he continues,

down the phone from his North London home.

“We’d been together since school. We’d grown

up together in the band. But both musically

and personally I couldn’t have done anything

else. I had to listen to what my heart was saying.

Otherwise we would have made a really mediocre

Bombay Bicycle album.”

Jack was the creative one of the group, the one

whose ideas they all worked on and fashioned into

guitar-rich indie-soaked pop songs. So you get the

feeling the decision has been a good one for him,

but not necessarily the others: their last album So

Long, See You Tomorrow was UK no 1, and their

previous two had made the top ten.

“A lot of bands lose touch with the fact that they

haven’t got anything to say, and I could feel that

creeping up,” he continues. He talks about the

loss of the sort of “burning desire” that fuelled the

making of their first two albums.

It was while on a cargo ship sailing from Shanghai

to Alaska that he came up with the name for his

new project. He was reading Joseph Conrad’s

Typhoon. “I liked the sound of the name of the

First Mate,” he says. “I thought an album by ‘Jack

Steadman’ would have sounded like a folk album.”

“Also having another name gives you an alter ego

that affects the way you perform… as mr jukes I

become very energetic; it’s a weird contrast when

I go backstage afterwards and resume my normal

personality, sitting in the corner being quiet.”

One limitation Jack wanted to overcome in the old

band was his own voice. “I was singing all the songs,

and I’d listen back and wish someone else was able

to take them off into a different direction.” As mr

jukes he’s forged collaborations with the likes of

Horace Andy, BJ the Chicago Kid, and De La Soul.

“Suddenly I had the freedom to choose anyone in

the world… I was like a kid in a candy shop.”

The band he’s touring with are a nine-piece, with

a brass section, and three other singers. “But

not backing singers,” he says, “if anything I’m

the backing singer”. And who goes to the gigs?

“Some people like the style of music we’re doing:

jazz, funk, hip-hop. Others are Bombay Bicycle

fans who have heard a thread from before that’s

been continued.”

So could a reconciliation with his old band

members ever be on the cards? “It’s healthy in some

relationships to spend time apart and to come back

stronger having got that ‘grass is greener’ thing out

of the way. So I’m not ruling it out… we just have

to wait until that burning desire is there again.”

Alex Leith

mr jukes play the Love Supreme Festival, Glynde

Place, Fri 29th June – Sun 1st July




Sofie Hagen


When did you know comedy was the career

for you? I remember telling my friends a story

about laughing at my grandfather’s funeral. They

said I was weird and rude. I told some comedians

the same story and they laughed. I felt like I had

found home.

How did you get into it? I worked for the

Danish Refugee Council in Copenhagen and

ended up working on comedy events for Save

The Children. It allowed me to watch stand-up

once a week. One day a comedian grabbed me

and said, ‘You clearly love comedy. You should do

it yourself. I put you down for a five-minute spot

next Tuesday.’

Your most recent show, Dead Baby Frog,

focused on your stepgrandfather’s emotional

abuse; why did you want to talk about that?

I wanted to regain control of the narrative. My

grandfather felt like it was his prerogative to paint

himself as the best person, and he was willing to

severely damage his family as a result of that. The

only thing I could really do about it was tell my

story. That way I got the last laugh.

It’s not the first time you’ve tackled a difficult

subject in your stand-up… I like to put into

words what people feel but are not able to talk

about. When you are depressed or fat or anxious,

there is so much shame attached to it. You’re not

meant to talk about it without being ashamed. So,

when you actually aren’t ashamed it is so exciting.

And funny.

Is there anything you regret having shared

with an audience? I went on stage to MC a

show 20 hours after the worst break-up of my life.

I told the audience about the break-up. All the

Photo by Matt Crockett

women in the audience were crying. And then I

brought on the first act. It was a mess.

You’re writing a book on body image. Tell

us about it… I have been fat my entire life. I

remember being seven years old and hearing

someone tell my mother that I needed to lose

weight because I was dangerously fat. I wasn’t. I

was a child. The most recent incident was today,

when someone told me that they would kill

themselves if they looked like me. The book is

about those incidents: why they happen and what

we can do about it.

What’s the best heckle you’ve ever received?

I have never received a good heckle. It is a

misunderstanding that heckling can be good.

Why do people heckle comedy but not theatre

or musicals? I instinctively do not like hecklers

because when I see someone who feels like their

voice should somehow be listened to above everyone

else in a crowd, I don’t think I will like them

as a person. And yes, I know that I am describing

myself. But maybe that’s how I know I wouldn’t

like them. Nione Meakin

Sofie appears alongside David O’Doherty and Reginald

D Hunter at Brighton Dome on June 17th





Celebrating Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf’s modernist novel

Mrs Dalloway details a day in

the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a

high-society woman in post–

First World War England. It

follows her as she takes a walk

through London to prepare

for a party that she will host

that evening, and begins: ‘Mrs

Dalloway said she would buy the

flowers herself’. We speak to Alli

Pritchard, operations manager of

Monk’s House in Rodmell, once

Woolf’s home, about her drive

to establish an annual ‘Dallowday’

to celebrate Woolf, in the

way that ‘Bloomsday’ celebrates

James Joyce.

You’re a big fan of Virginia

Woolf? I really am. I’m a

Woolfie. Aged 13, I saw the

film of Mrs Dalloway, bought

the book, then started reading

everything else she’d written.

Tell us about Dallowday. The

aim is to celebrate and raise the profile of Virginia

Woolf. Over the last couple of years, some celebrations

have taken place in America and London,

but there wasn’t one agreed date, or indeed name.

Woolf’s novel takes place in mid-June 1923,

but not on a specified date. We’ve now agreed

that, henceforth, Dallowday will be on the third

Wednesday of June.

What will be happening at Monk’s House?

We are essentially holding our own garden party.

We’ll decorate the house with extra flowers and

bunting with Woolf quotations. We will be offering

refreshments in the garden, something we don’t

normally do. We will have readings from the novel

in the garden. We’ve also got Ink

Spot Press printers coming, so

visitors can make book marks and

greetings cards with a selection

of quotations. Although it can be

hard to find short ones.

So she wouldn’t have been on

Twitter? Well, I don’t know.

She and Leonard loved the latest

technology. She’d definitely have

a Mac.

You clearly remain a fan. I do.

Many people visit who know very

little about Virginia or Leonard

Woolf. Most people seem only

to know the salacious elements

of her life. They think of her

as a gay icon. They know that

she committed suicide and was

depressive. That’s far from the

whole truth and part of the joy

of the job is filling in the gaps for

them. She was formidable and

complicated, but also incredible

fun, and vivacious. Above all, she

was a supreme talent whose work is thoroughly

deserving of this annual celebration each June. We

often hear people say that they’ve attempted but

failed to finish her novels. But even if people don’t

like those, her diaries demonstrate how funny and

wicked she could be. I defy anyone not to love

them. Interview by Emma Chaplin

Dallowday, Wednesday 20th, 12.30-5pm, at Monk’s

House, Rodmell. Free, but normal admission charges

apply. Also at Monk’s House in June, Sunday 17th,

book signing and talk with Nino Strachey, author of

Rooms of their Own, which explores the homes of

Virginia Woolf, her lover Vita Sackville-West, and

Vita’s first cousin Eddy. nationaltrust.org.uk

Photos by Lizzie Lower









Image: Mishka Henner, Unknown Site, Noordwijk aan Zee, South Holland, 2011.

Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London, Courtesy of the artist. © the artist



Gilbert & George

‘Two people, one artist’

Gilbert and George are sitting in a corner of their

retrospective at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery.

The pair, dressed in their co-ordinating ‘responsibility

suits’, are marginally too close to me and too high up.

I feel like a passenger on a cruise: their conversation is

buoyant, and slightly unsettling.

“It wasn’t designed by us,” says George about

the show, part of the ARTIST ROOMS touring

collection owned by Tate and the National Galleries

of Scotland.

“It was not designed by us,” says Gilbert.

“But we like it,” says George. “It’s impressive.”

Gilbert & George are “two people, one artist”, and

one of the most famous working in Britain today. This

show of 15 works, of 5,000+ they claim to have made,

is organised by decade from the 1970s to the 1990s. In

the first room, Elgar and Grieg ooze out of an early

‘video sculpture’. In the second, a sequence of large

multi-panel self-portraits are a riot of colour, rolling

heads and genitals. In the third room, the artists stare

at me, knowing and ambivalent. On the comments

board I read feedback including: “too many penises

for my liking”.

“She cannot afford one like that anyway,” says Gilbert.

“Too many penises for what?”

“The comment is a reflection on her marriage, probably,”

says George. It’s true they finish each other’s


I wonder if the reaction of today’s audiences to this

culturally transgressive, confrontational art is different

to those of the seventies? Have Gilbert & George lost

the power to offend?

“We never want to analyse the response to our pictures,”

says Gilbert. “It’s much better that we believe

it’s fine. That’s our motto: Everything is fantastic.”

“It’s an amazing freedom to have the cards up and let

them do it,” adds George. “In many countries they

wouldn’t allow that in a museum.”

One divisive aspect of Gilbert & George’s work is

their unabashed Conservativism, which helps to maintain

the story they are outsiders to the art establishment.

“We always said in simple terms,” says George,

“to be an artist you don’t have to be a left-wing twit.”

If you’re an artist and you’re a Conservative you’re

always the enemy in the art world, they both point

out, and the art world is a problem. “All the museums

are feeble,” says Gilbert. “They are so terrified of protesting

against the art that they end up with abstract

art that doesn’t offend anybody… It’s wallpaper, that’s

what it is.”

“The other ones are all stuck in the art world,” he

says. “We are making art and we are stuck in making

a vision.”

I ask what vision is behind their matching suits.

“Artists have always wanted to dress in some way that

would alienate 92% of the

world’s population,” replies

George. “We say,

if you took a suit from

every decade…

put them into a

computer and

press the average



He strokes

his lapel.


end up with


roughly like

this.” Chloë King


ROOMS Gilbert

& George, until

2nd Sept

Photo by Chloë King




Bauhaus Braids

Textile artist Marilyn Rathbone

Dorset button-making meets maths

What was the inspiration

for ‘Self-avoiding walk’?

I’m quite often asked how I

think about the structure of a

piece and how I decide on the

colours. I thought ‘wouldn’t it

be interesting to make a piece

without having to make those

decisions myself’. So, I googled

‘avoiding decisions’, and

it came up with a self-avoiding

walk. I thought, ‘a self-avoiding

walk… if you’re doing a

self-avoiding artwork, that’s


What is a self-avoiding

walk? It’s a grid that you can

move through without ever

crossing your path or visiting

the same point more than

once. So, for this piece, you

follow the black line from the

start arrow until eventually,

you come out. It’s a readymade

mathematical diagram

that I found online, but it’s

black and white so then came

the question, ‘what colours

do I use and in what order?’

I wanted to avoid those

decisions too, so I used pi to

lead the way. Pi uses the digits

0 to 9, and I allocated each

one a colour. Then it starts off

3.141592... all the way around.

Are you pleased with the

result? I’m very pleased

with it. Because it’s not even

showing pi in a straight line.

It’s interesting when you get

runs of colours together; some

bits look quite 50s. Colours I

would never have thought to

put together. It’s more random

that I would ever have




generated myself.

How did you come to

combine ancient braiding

techniques with maths? I

suppose the fascination with

the maths started when I

became interested in braid

making because, with the

Japanese Kumihimo loom,

the instructions for producing

patterns are quite

mathematical. Mathematical

models intrigue me because I

don’t quite understand them.

I didn’t know there were

circular numbers... when the

square of a number ends in

the number itself. Like 5 and

its square 25. I did a drawing

about it. I didn’t know that

triangular numbers also

form triangles, and square

numbers, squares. These

inspired my Bauhaus Braids,

named after Kandinsky, who

had synesthesia and saw

shapes as colours. For him,

triangles are yellow, because

they are dangerous, sharp and

edgy. So, I braided triangular

numbers in yellow and black

like hazard signs. For him

blue is round and spiritual, so

I braided circular numbers, in

blue and white, like the sky.

And squares are red, earthbound,

stable and steady.

What techniques do you

use to make them? With

the Self-avoiding walk, I used

Dorset button making, which

involves covering a ring in

blanket stitch, and then you

make spokes and weave in

and out to fill the space. The

inkle loom, which I used for

the Bauhaus Braids, dates to

medieval times. People had a

utility belt from which they

would hang things, and they

would use the inkle loom or

a lucet to make tapes to hold

things in place. It was more

about strength than decoration.

It looks like an ancient

technique, but there are inkle

weavers around today.

Lizzie Lower

Marilyn’s work will be at Venue

4 (8 New Parade, Worthing)

during the Worthing Artists

Open Houses Festival on the

16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th & 30th

of June and the 1st of July:


com / axisweb.org/artist/


Self-avoiding walk






In town this month...

There’s plenty to see on the seafront, art-wise, this month. Jonathan

Wright’s Constellation is now in place on the Hove Plinth, by Hove

Lawns. The stainless steel and gilded orrery places Hove at the centre

of the universe with objects of local significance orbiting in place of the

planets. ‘The objects are aspirant, magical, infused with meaning…’

says Jonathan, ‘a local constellation’ [hovecivic.org.uk]. On the lower

esplanade, As Pleased as Punch in Brighton, an exhibition about the

original dysfunctional family, is at the West Pier Trust from the 21st.

It’s been 350 years since Punch & Judy puppets first appeared on the

prom and the exhibition seeks to explore the enduring popularity of

the wife-beating, reptile-goading, child-terrorising, sausage fanatic.

‘Constellation’ by Jonathan Wright

A little further towards Brighton Pier is

Brighton and Hove Camera Club’s 2018

seafront exhibition. Presented on stone

gabions right on the beach, the 47 images

by 47 different photographers reflect the

diversity of interests of the club’s members.

Continues until the end of September


Alexander Johnson

Born of frustration with general unfriendliness (‘the art scene can take itself too

seriously and the graffiti scene can be a hyper-masculine ego-fest’), The Friendly

Gang are here to ‘not be like that’. This collective of eleven self-described ‘oddball

Brighton graffiti people’ have their second show at Studio45, at the Open Market,

opening on the evening of Friday the 8th. Also from the 8th, 35 North present

Deanland, a new exhibition (and accompanying book)

of original work by painter Alexander Johnson and

photographer John Brockliss. Inspired by a remote

Sussex ex-WWII airfield, and his spitfire pilot father,

Alexander has created a series of emotive abstract

paintings exploring the many facets of this ‘slightly

haunting yet strangely beautiful location’. John’s

photographs document the project from inception to completion, offering an

intimate portrait of Alexander’s artistic process. Until the 21st of July. Elsewhere in

North Laine, the newly opened VeeBee gallery is adding even more vibrancy to

the area. Recently opened by the eponymous artist, and inspired by pop and urban

art themes, the gallery offers limited edition prints, original paintings and artwork

commissions [veebee.co].






Out of town

Worthing Artists

Open Houses

takes place on

weekends from

the 16th of June

until the 1st of

July, with over

325 participating

artists presenting

their work in

57 different

venues throughout the town. Read about

just one of the participants on pg 56

[worthingartistsopenhouses.com]. The

Adur Art Trail returns from the 2nd until

the 17th with the chance to see artworks

in churches, galleries, beach huts and

houseboats. Accompanying talks and

events include a beach-clean-to-upcyclingworkshop

with Candy Medusa on the 9th.


Anna Vartiainen, WAOH Venue 11

Home to one of the finest and most important

collections of sixteenth and seventeenth century

embroidery in the UK, Parham House &

Gardens in West Sussex has a needlework

exhibition from the 13th until the 24th. Pieces

from Lady Emma Barnard’s private collection

will be on display and there’s an embroidery

masterclass with Royal School of Needlework

tutor, Chrissie Juno Mann, on Monday the 18th

of June. See parhaminsussex.co.uk for details.

‘Dark Pool’ by Laura Knight

© Estate of Laura Knight

Further west, Virginia Woolf: an exhibition inspired by her writings, continues

at Pallant House. Featuring 80 female artists, working from 1854 to the

present day, the selected work ‘seeks to show how her perspectives on

feminism and creativity have remained relevant to a community of creative

women across time’.

If you’re heading

east, visit three


galleries in one

day on the Coastal Culture Trail. The Towner

Gallery in Eastbourne, the De La Warr Pavilion

in Bexhill and the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings

are all within 17 miles of each other and an easy

cycle or train ride - or an intrepid weekend’s

walk! Visit coastalculturetrail.com to explore the

options. There’s much to see.




At Altitude is at Towner Gallery from the 2nd. A book illustration

from 1786, A Circular View from the Balloon at its greatest Elevation, is

considered to be one of the first ever ‘real’ aerial views and sets the

context for this exhibition, which explores ‘how our experience of

landscape, space and territory has been transformed through new

aerial perspectives of the world’. Once again working in partnership

with the Arts Council, the exhibition brings together painting,

sculpture, photography and film around the theme


Mishka Henner, Unknown Site, Noordwijk

aan Zee, South Holland, 2011. Arts Council

Collection, courtesy of the artist

‘Assembly’ by Alison Wilding

Continue on down to De La Warr

Pavilion for an exhibition of new and

existing works by leading UK sculptor and

Royal Academician, Alison Wilding. From

the 23rd, Right Here and Out There unfolds

both inside and outside of the gallery, with

works selected in response to the landscape

and the light. In her own words, ‘The sharp

lines of the building reflect the sharp lines

of the sculptures, and the flatness of the

horizon… the sculptures seem to hold the

same weight as those ships’. The exhibition

continues until the 16th of September.

Newhaven Open Call is an artist-led initiative

inviting local people and visitors to the area to make

a new piece of art, in any medium, about Newhaven.

Works should be based on a personal experience of

being in the town and one piece by each artist will be

exhibited at UTC Harbourside, as part of Artwave in

August. Workshops for would-be but inexperienced

artists will be held during July. Find more details at

the Newhaven Town Council office in Fort Road,

the Newhaven Museum at Paradise Park or at

newhavenprojects.co.uk from the 1st of June.

Annemarie O’Sullivan

There are more opportunities to get making. Monk’s House in Rodmell has

a programme of events that includes twilight tours, a bookbinding workshop

and a wood engraving weekend with Keith Pettit [nationaltrust.org.uk/

monks-house]. Over at Charleston there’s an Introduction to Basketry

coming up, where you can create your own ‘Sciathog’ basket with Annemarie

O’Sullivan. And now is the time to book places on the Young Bohemians Summer School in July, with

drawing, painting, collage, printing and sculpture courses for 8-17 year olds [charleston.org.uk].




© Conran & Partners Ltd

Saltdean Lido

Not safe yet…

“The key thing is for people to realise that it

hasn’t finished,” says Paul Zara, director at Conran

& Partners and the architect in charge of the

Saltdean Lido redevelopment. “It’s hardly started.

People have to keep their enthusiasm going… If

you don’t save it now, it’ll be gone for good.”

Saltdean Lido, as you may know, is not only one

of Brighton & Hove’s most significant architectural

gems. Historic England recently named it

one of the Seven Wonders of the British Seaside.

The Grade II* listed building is championed by

Saltdean Lido CIC and Saltdean Lido Trust, both

of which grew out of the residents’ campaign

Save Saltdean Lido. Saltdean Lido CIC won

the tender to take on the lease from Brighton &

Hove City Council and opened the refurbished

pool to a delighted public last summer.

The next phase of development relies on unlocking

a £4.19 million grant from the Heritage

Lottery Fund (HLF). A crowdfunding campaign is

currently active on spacehive.com, and £100k plus

fees must be raised by the 16th of June in order to

fund the café refurbishment, and help secure the

lido’s future. If we don’t help the trust reach this

target, the HLF money may be lost forever.

“This crowdfunder will not in itself fulfil the

gap,” says Sally Horrox, Chair of Saltdean Lido

Trust. “It’s a demonstration to the HLF before

they make their decision, to say the community

is behind it... We need to show a strong pipeline

of funding so they are confident to release the

monies and that we will have other funds to

finish off the build.”

Should the funding goals be achieved, the beautiful

Art Deco building will be restored to its former

glory. Added bonuses will include a café and




heritage centre; a huge events space

on the first floor; a health suite

with sauna and massage facilities;

community spaces, and possibly a

library, to re-open by 2021.

“The development realises the

opportunity of it being a top-class

venue,” says Sally. “It’s unique. You

can sit out on the tea terraces or

eat in a pop-up restaurant... It will

become the showpiece of Saltdean

again, instead of a dilapidated


“The building is probably in the

worst state it’s ever been,” adds

Paul. “I think the lesson that the

city’s learning is that it’s not the

Council’s fault. Everyone blames

the Council for everything and it’s

partly that they let the building

get into this bad state, but you can

see around town, with the Marine

Terraces crumbling away, we live in

a coastal environment.

“You need to keep up investment in these important buildings.

You have to preserve these community assets, otherwise you

lose them. Saltdean Lido itself is exceptional. It has the chance

not just to be an asset for Saltdean but also Brighton, Sussex

and the country… It’s an impossible building not to love.

“I love its cruise-liner look, the way its wings curl out and it

looks like it’s almost hugging the pool, it’s a fantastic building.

I just think it’s vital that people realise that, if they have spare

money to give to it, now is the time to do it.” Chloë King

Saltdean Lido is now open for the summer season. To donate,

visit saltdeanlido.org or spacehive.com/saltdean-lido

Photo courtesy of Saltdean Lido Trust Collection

© Conran & Partners Ltd




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


1 Victoria Grove, 2nd Avenue, Hove BN3 2LJ

TELEPHONE 01273 727234 EMAIL info@cameroncontemporary.com

CCA_HovePark_Advert_210x297_Feb2018_v2AW.indd 1 14/02/2018 14:51


This month, Adam Bronkhorst has been photographing people who work (almost) at

the water’s edge, exploring five of the diverse businesses operating out of the arches.

We asked them: when did you last swim in the sea?

adambronkhorst.com | 07879 401333

Mike Levy, Castor + Pollux

“Last August – but it was the Med. I’m off to inflate my paddleboard now…”


April Williams, The Lollipop Shoppe

“I last swam in the sea last summer, but I think about it all the time. I have to live near it.”


David Allistone, Exploring Senses

“Last summer I swam in Studland Bay in Dorset with my family.

Such a beautiful place with a wonderful Mediterranean vibe.”


Eva Hellqvist, Oh So Swedish

“Last year, in the beginning of October when the sea was still warm. I’m not an

all-year-round swimmer, though I often pop down over the pebbles for a paddle.”


Finn Hopson, Brighton Photography

“About three hours ago. When I got my arch, I promised myself that I would swim in the sea more often

and I try to get in there two or three times a week. It’s one of the best ways to start the working day!”



The Bandstand café

Prom nom nom

I recently discovered that there is a café underneath

the Bandstand. Well, I knew that there was a café

there, but I recently discovered that it was a nice café.

I was walking along the seafront with a friend on an

evening that it was far too cold to be walking along

the seafront and, both shivering, we ducked in for

some shelter (and hot chocolate).

It has a very different feel when I return to try out

the food – with Viva editor Lizzie and Viva dog

Gracie – on a hazy Monday morning. It’s warm

enough to sit outside, for a start, and we both turn

down hot drinks in favour of a Vanilla Iced Latte

(£2.75 each). It’s early enough for breakfast, but late

enough for lunch, so I order the Avocado & Eggs

(£8.50) while Lizzie opts for a Homemade Falafel

Wrap (£8);

Gracie settles for

a bowl of water.

The lattes come out in tall glasses with striped

paper straws and they taste good – plenty of coffee

and not too much sugar. The food follows quickly

after. Avocado and eggs are an obvious staple on any

breakfast menu, but this one is very well put together.

The sourdough toast is layered with hummus, slices

of tomato and avocado and topped with a fried egg,

accompanied by a well dressed salad. A bite of Lizzie’s

falafel wrap, toasted and drizzled with a delicious

sweet chilli dressing, makes me a little jealous.

I think this is going to become a regular spot for me,

rain or shine. Rebecca Cunningham




The Little Fish Market

Scaled-down perfection

On the way to The Little

Fish Market, I find I’m

more apprehensive than

excited. I’ve become fed up

with places where the food

is good but not remotely

sensational, where the

tablecloths, glasses and

other flummery seem more

important than the fare,

where the greeter – usually

haughty and dressed in black

– can’t even say ‘hello’ and

where the bill requires real

imagination to work out how

it had turned out to be quite

so high. Is this going to be

another of those places?

My wife Jean and I walk into the 20-seat Little

Fish Market to be greeted with a smile from Rob,

who looks after all of the service on his own. He’s

relaxed, gentle, calm and delightful. Happily, there

is no flummery in sight. The floor is red-tiled, the

walls are sage-green, and the wood tables are plain.

There is a set menu (£65 per person), that’s it. It’s

four fish courses and a dessert. Everyone is going to

be eating the same food. I love the simplicity of it.

Three amuse-bouches arrive in slow succession.

Each is just lovely to look at and better to eat.

There’s taramasalata in cucumber and basil oil

with a warm blini, cured salmon with avocado in

a sort of choux pastry cracked egg (crisp, crunchy,

moist, slightly acidic and wonderful) and halibut

surrounded by squid batter.

The set menu hasn’t even started to arrive yet and

we are won over. The theme of the evening – in

fact, the theme of the whole restaurant – has been

set already. The chef and owner, Duncan Ray, uses

the very best ingredients

he can find, and does

something quite magical

with them.

Our meal lasts three hours.

Nothing is anything other

than wonderful. We have

scallop on a sweet and

intense rosemary sauce. We

have Duart salmon, oyster,

cucumber, samphire and

caviar, the salmon cooked

to the second. We have

Aligea Halibut (Aligea is a

small island off the Hebrides

where the fish live in a loch)

with seaweed and espilette

(a capsicum cultivated in a

Basque village of 2,000 people) on top of which

is a delicate potato galette that I thought was a

cheese straw but which is cooked in ghee which

gives it the cheese flavour. It takes me but a

moment to eat and is worth the visit on its own.

Then there is wild bass with crisp English

asparagus, mussels and puréed peas. At the first

mouthful Jean’s groans of delight call to mind the

famous When Harry Met Sally diner scene. Finally,

it’s raspberries with yoghurt dressing sandwiched

between two thin wafers, on top of which is a

vanilla ice cream.

Quite simply, the city has something magical

going on in this small space. It restored my faith

in what a restaurant should be, run by a small,

passionate team who love what they are doing

and whose main aim is to give their customers an

experience to remember. We loved it.

Martin Skelton

10 Upper Market Street, Hove, 01273 722213

Photos by Xavier D Buendia Photography







Chocolate chip cookies

A recipe by Dough Lover’s Ronke Arogundade

Brunch is my favourite meal. It allows you

to be creative in a way that wouldn’t quite be

acceptable at other times – that’s what makes it

fun. I love that you can have sweet and savoury

things together with equal billing. You can eat

salty bacon with sweet pancakes. From there

you can go on to a sweet muesli or a chocolate

or a cookie. It’s acceptable to drink a coffee and

it’s acceptable to drink a cocktail. It’s a greedy

person’s paradise.

If you’re Australian or American, it’s kind of in

your DNA to go out for brunch; New Yorkers

will queue up forever to get into the right

place. But for the UK the idea is still quite

unfamiliar. When people come in and they see

a coffee machine and a counter, they assume

we’re a coffee shop, but really we’re closer to a


I’m a classically trained chef. I started off at a

restaurant called L’Escargot in Soho, in the latter

part of its heyday. It was amazing – I learnt a lot

and I was super inspired by it. I spent some time

on the pastries, some time on the larder, some

time on the sauce, so by the time I left I had a

skills base in all of those areas. I carried on in

that classic French line for a while, worked as a

private chef and then started my own high-end

catering business, the Good Eating Company.

That was really good for me because it meant

that I developed the ability to cross disciplines

very easily. Then at some point the nutritional

element came in, which is another passion of

mine. So I float between the classic French side,

where I want everything I make to be beautiful,

and the nutritional side, where I want all those

beautiful things to be less harmful than their

traditional equivalents.

I’ve been cooking gluten free for the last 20

years, but I would never want to go to a ‘gluten

free’ restaurant, which is why I didn’t call Dough

Lover that. What’s exciting for me is being able

to offer something for everybody. Because it’s

such a strong muscle that I’ve developed over the

years, it’s easier to make everything gluten free

rather than have the two things mixed up on one

premises. So all of our sourdough bread, all of

our cakes, muffins, every cookie, is made in our

kitchen and is gluten free.

Ingredients: 150g butter, 80g demerara sugar,

80g soft light brown sugar, 2 large eggs, 265g

brown rice flour, 1tsp vanilla extract, 200g

chopped dark chocolate, 200g chopped nuts

(optional), 1½tsp baking powder, 1tsp bicarbonate

of soda.

Method: Preheat the oven to 130°C.

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together. Add

the egg, followed by the flour and baking powder.

Fold the nuts and chocolate into the dough.

Divide the dough into roughly 18 pieces and

roll each into a ball. Space the cookies out onto

a baking tray, leaving at least 2½ inches between

each one.

Bake for approximately 35 minutes. Halfway

through baking, remove the tray from the oven

and drop it onto a work surface to knock the air

out of the cookies. Do not over bake – the middle

of the cookies should still be a little soft. Allow

them to cool completely before lifting from the

tray. As told to Rebecca Cunningham

99 Trafalgar Street / doughlover.com


A news bouche

吀 䠀 䔀 嘀 䔀 䜀 䔀 吀 䄀 刀 䤀 䄀 一 刀 䔀 匀 吀 䄀 唀 刀 䄀 一 吀

Welcome to the Community Kitchen, which

opened at Community Base in May. Run by

Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, the

space will host cookery workshops and events,

like ‘Easy Entertaining with CanTina’ on the

14th of June, where the supperclub hostess will

give tips on how to ‘elevate dishes to dinner

party status’ [bhfood.org.uk/cookeryschool].

At the end of June,

the Bison Beer boys will be

launching a new restaurant/

bar on North Road, with

food-beer-pairing enthusiasts

Humble running the kitchen.

On the 2nd and 3rd of June, the Level will be

home to Brighton Vegan Summer Festival

(£5/day or £8/weekend). On the 8th, join the

Old Tree Brewery to celebrate the launch of

their new project the Old Tree Food Forest,

with brewery tours, music and tasters at ONCA

Gallery from 7.30pm. On the 9th, family-run

pop-up Chard – normally at Café Rust – will

be holding an outdoor supper

at The Garden House

on Warleigh Road. To

book call 01273 027147.


Open for Lunch and Dinner

10 Manchester Street, Kemptown, Brighton


Finally, Refill Brighton & Hove is now up

and running. The idea is to wipe out the need

for single-use plastic bottles by creating a

network of ‘refill stations’ – bars, cafes and

other businesses – where passers by can fill up

their reusable bottles. Participating

venues have a Refill sticker

in their window and can be

found on the Refill app.

There are already over 200

businesses signed up; get the

app at refill.org.uk.




Jack & Linda Mills

Traditional Fish Smokers

“My eyes are still open, ain’t they?” says Jack Mills,

pointing at his left one to prove he’s still very much

alive, and therefore at work.

It’s 11.30am on a Monday morning, and I’ve told

him I’d been worried that, it being Monday and all,

the famous Traditional Fish Smokers café he runs on

the seafront with wife Linda might be shut.

I order a hot kipper in a warm buttered roll (£3.80),

and coffee. You can get all sorts of seafood, but

kippers make the most sense. The herring are

smoked in the little black hut opposite the entrance,

having been caught by local boats in the sea beyond.

They don’t come fresher than that…

I tell Linda, who pops both kippers and rolls in a

folding grill, that I often go to Craster, where they

claim to have invented kipper smoking. “Ours are

better,” she says, without a pause.

I perch at the silver table outside, and within a

couple of minutes she’s brought the food. “Mind out

for seagulls, they’ll have it, if you’re not careful.”

I last had a kipper roll in Northumberland about two

months ago, and she’s right, this one’s better. The

toasted roll is crunchier, and the kipper meat is softer.

Jack tells me, as I go order another, that him and

Linda have been running their little takeaway – in

the Fishing Quarter arches near the Carousel – for

21 years. Before that, since just after the war, he used

to work on the fishing boats. A man who knows his

fish, then… long may his eyes stay open. AL

Kings Road Arches













01273 623 143




Simon Murie

SwimTrek founder

So how do you go about swimming from Europe

to Asia? The swim across the Dardanelles straits in

north-western Turkey takes around an hour but,

as Simon Murie found out, getting the necessary

permissions and finding a willing boat to escort

you across takes a great deal longer. “It’s a very

hard swim to organise” he tells me, “Gallipoli

on one side, Troy on the other. The area is so

militarised.” But he did the groundwork and

made the trip and there began an even longer

journey: founding SwimTrek, the first open water

swimming adventure holiday company. He’s still

organising epic swims almost 20 years later.

“We can sort out anything to do with open water

swimming. Whether that’s swimming from island

to island, swimming down the river Thames,

or taking people across the Hellespont, where

Leander swam across to his lover Hero in Greek

Mythology… It’s about swimming in places where

there’s a reason to do it, where you wouldn’t

normally be able to go.”

From their HQ in Hove, they organise swims in

40 worldwide locations, arranging local guides

and safety boats for swims in Lithuania, Greece,

Slovenia, Oman, the Maldives, Russia… Simon

spends much of his time devising new itineraries.

“We’re increasingly developing the wilder, more

exotic destinations. Like Galapagos, Komodo and




Vietnam. The sort of places that you might get to

visit just once in your lifetime.”

As much as I like the idea of swimming in the

Galapagos, aren’t there scary things in the

water? “I wouldn’t say scary but, within the

first minute of our first swim, one of the group

shouted ‘shark!’ and we looked down and there

was a Hammerhead circling. Within ten minutes

there was another one. The whole trip was full

of species that you wouldn’t ever otherwise get

to see. A lot of the work is figuring out the safe

places to swim and the sharks are so well fed

that they’re not interested in swimmers. It’s an

amazing way to experience the environment:

from the water.”

Not all SwimTrekkers are die-hard adventurers.

Some trips are suitable for beginners and focus on

building technique and stamina (see pg 39), but

participants do need to be able to swim 2k in the

pool. To that end, Simon is one of the team behind

the Sea Lanes pool development on Brighton

Seafront (see pg 86), which he hopes will become a

national open-water swimming centre.

“Open water swimming can often be easier

than swimming in a pool. Firstly, because

of the buoyancy, you float more easily and,

psychologically, every swim is different. It’s not

boring, it’s fascinating. It’s an amazing feeling,

arriving somewhere you’ve swum to… Getting

there under your own steam. That’s a really

important part of it.”

He’s also planning trips to the Seychelles and

to the Philippines and increasingly the more

expeditionary places. “We’ve swum across the

Corryvreckan whirlpool off Jura, but I’d love to

swim in St Kilda... I love the mix of swimming in

warm and cold water, I love the contrast. We’re

going for a swim at lunchtime today if you want

to join us?”

Not today thanks, Simon. But maybe when you’re

next in the Seychelles. Lizzie Lower


Photos courtesy of SwimTrek


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own talents and interests.

Join a high supportive staff team

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thinking organisation.

Visit st-johns.co.uk/work-with-us

to find out more or contact our

Human Resources team at:






Brighton Beach Patrol

Seaside samaritans

“My cousin Kevin came

up with the idea of the

Beach Patrol in 2015;

we’re both quite passionate

about preventing

deaths from drink drowning.”

So says Louise Roberts,

as she tells me about

the origins of this family

affair with Kevin Roberts,

the Managing Director of

Resolve Security, which

patrols many of the seafront pubs and clubs.

“Resolve donated the quad bike, first-aid kit and

training. Sussex Heart Foundation kindly donated

a defibrillator. But I soon realised that it’s not just

about keeping people out of the sea when they’re

intoxicated; it’s about giving people support and a

chat with a mum figure.”

If Louise tracked me down on her quad bike and

told me going in the sea was a bad idea, I’d be putting

my clothes back on sharpish. But apparently

this isn’t always the case. What does she say to

someone who’s already in their pants?

“Typically, I’ll go down and say, ‘Hey guys, why are

you getting undressed?’” she replies with characteristic

nonchalance. “I just engage with them and,

without dictating, give them the facts about going

into the water – even if it’s a really calm sea. Many

tell me they used to be a lifeguard, that they’re a

good swimmer – which, they probably are – but not

at 3am when they’re drunk. If they ignore me, I’ll

stay till they’re safe.”

The now three-strong crew patrols the Lower

Promenade – between the Pier and the i360 –

every Friday and Saturday night from 11pm-5am,

and they’re linked into support crews from HM

Shoreham Coastguard, the RNLI and Sussex

Police. But the Beach

Patrol is often the first to

highlight any problems. At

the risk of sounding stupid,

I ask ‘why is it worse to get

in the water when you’re


“On a normal day, the sea

temperature is quite low.

Our body reacts by looking

after our vital organs and,

when drinking, our coordination

isn’t as good. There’s very little time to react

to cold water shock.”

But, Louise and her team do much more than

warn off revellers – the Beach Patrol makes a huge

difference to the most vulnerable people in our

community. “We’ve found lots of missing people

and helped with many first-aid incidents. We work

closely with the Brighton Seafront Office to prevent

fires on the beach, and just by our presence

in the area, we’ve lowered the incidence of sexual

assault crimes on the Lower Promenade, as well

as robberies.”

It’s fantastic that the team’s dedication has helped to

reduce dangerous behaviour on the beach but I’m

surprised to learn that the patrol is voluntary. Here,

the formidable coastguard and prison officer is

reflective. “We’d love funding, to get more people

trained up, another quad bike. Simon Walker and

the Laines Pub Company very generously donate

monthly. But I honestly can’t put a cost on what the

patrol covers – and the vast area. There’s no money

in the world that could give me the satisfaction you

get when you help someone in a crisis.” Amy Holtz

For more information about Brighton Beach Patrol –

or to support them – contact Louise at








Roger Cohen

Lifeboat Operations Manager

I’ve been with the RNLI for 35 years. My

godfather was on the Newhaven lifeboat

and my dad was in the Royal Navy, so it was

sort of in my blood. The opportunity came

along and I joined the Brighton crew in the

early 80s.

We’re all volunteers. They join us as a

trainee volunteer crew and then work their

way up the ladder, become a crew member,

and then possibly a helmsman. At 55, a lot of

volunteers can’t get the RNLI out of their

system, so they stay with us, becoming part

of the management group.

Currently we have 24 volunteers. They

come from all sorts of backgrounds – selfemployed

builders, ambulance paramedics,

firemen, directors of companies – very few

from maritime backgrounds. I recruit the

crew from within a ten-minute window of

legally driving here. I’ll try and maintain a

minimum cover of five people available to

attend at any time of day or night.

Most of our shouts are within three miles

of the station, but certainly in the Brighton

lifeboat we’ve been as far as Worthing Pier

and we’ve been as far as Seaford Head. When

a treble nine call comes in, from a member

of the public or a worried parent, that goes

to the coastguard. They will summate the

incident and decide who to put to it to solve

the issue. They know there’s a Brighton

lifeboat here 24/7, so they could page me

and I would decide whether to accept the

launch and call the crew. The charity can

refuse to launch in certain circumstances, for

example, if it is not a life-saving issue.

Photos by Adam Bronkhorst, adambronkhorst.com







It’s impossible to say what an average

week will look like. Last year we had 82

call outs; currently this year we’re at 21. We

had three shouts yesterday, all mechanical

breakdowns: a yacht, a powerboat and a

jet ski. We have had a run of responding

to despondent persons entering the water

[attempted suicides]. Of our 82 call outs last

year, at least 50% were responding to people

who had entered the water or were entering

the water through despondency.

The crew will be going out in the boat

tonight. They’ll be doing exercises in how

to navigate the boat, search patterns, manoverboard

drills – everything they’re going to

use when they’re out lifeboating for real, so

that when it is done for real, it’s second nature.

As told to Rebecca Cunningham

The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at

sea. They rely entirely on donations from the

public and an incredible team of volunteers

to keep their 238 lifeboat stations operational

around the coast of the UK and the Republic

of Ireland. The RNLI are recruiting at their

Sussex stations for volunteers and welcome

enquiries from people wanting to join. rnli.org

Photos by Adam Bronkhorst, adambronkhorst.com




Moving to a houseboat

The ups and downs of a floating home

What inspired the move? Nick: One day I said,

‘I’d like a boat.’ It was meant to be a throwaway

line. I’d been on canal boats and a tall ship. I’ve

always loved being on boats.

Jackie: I had no thought about living on a boat,

ever, but I came down here [to the river at Shoreham]

to recover from a friend’s death and stayed

on a houseboat. I absolutely loved it. There was

something really magical about it. I saw this boat

had a ‘For Sale’ sign, so we came to have a look.

From the outside, it looks a bit shabby but we

both loved it. We started the negotiations with the

owners, put in an offer, and went from there. It

was much more expensive than we imagined.

N: We thought we would be buying the boat and

renting the mooring but it wasn’t like that.

J: You buy a plot of mud, basically. The houseboat

is worth nothing compared to the plot. We were

told we wouldn’t be able to get a mortgage and

we’d have to buy outright but we so loved it that

we made it work.

What has been the best thing about it? N: The

view and the quality of light are amazing. Having

the beach so close is incredible.

J: The feeling of space and creativity; that you can

make something out of nothing. We got rid of the

TV. The view out of the window and the footbridge

at night are so beautiful. If we were going

to watch TV, what was the point of living here?

It’s super quiet: a bit like living in the country and




a shipyard at the same time.

And the most challenging? N: After our offer

was accepted, I’d say ‘what the hell are we doing?’

quite regularly, until about a month ago.

J: She’s much leakier than we thought and there

are conflicting views on managing that. She’s

a wooden boat built in 1887, about the oldest

boat down here. It’s challenging to accept that, if

there’s a high tide and the bilge pumps don’t come

on, we could go down. We wouldn’t drown but

we’d lose the stuff on the lower deck. You have to

let go of that security, it’s not like living on land.

You’re reliant on the tides and the weather.

Has it changed how you use your time? N:

Yes. I feel slightly guilty if I sit and draw that I

should be working on the boat. I’m documenting

and drawing the history of the boat for our

blog. She was a luxury steam yacht that went up

and down the Thames and was stationed here as

troop accommodation during the war. We want

to document the project from a novice point of

view. We’re not craftspeople but we are respecting

how she was built. We’ll take away a cupboard

and find a beautiful piece of wood hand-crafted by

someone in the 1800s.

J: We had planned to move here when we thought

it would be spring but it turned out to be a blizzard

and in the first week the roof blew off, which

buggered up one of the bilge pumps. If something

needs to be done you have to do it pretty much

straight away or more things go wrong.

Would you recommend it? N: We were quite

naïve about it. If you are going to do it, do it, but

gen up first. The vendor was friendly when we

were buying but, in the end, we got about ten

minutes handover to tell us how the bilge pumps

worked and that we needed to loosen the ropes at

very high tide. Things like that would never have

occurred to us. Thankfully we have very helpful


J: It’s not all sitting on the deck drinking gin and

tonic but you will have a great adventure. She’s

got her quirks. We listen to every noise. It’s a bit

like having a baby.

N: It’s very much like a baby. It’s moist, makes a

noise, it’s demanding, wakes you up in the middle

of the night… You’re never bored. There is no

way you’d ever be bored here.

Lizzie Lower interviewed Nick Cannan and Jackie


Photos by Lizzie Lower




Sea Lanes

A swimming pool… on the beach

The idea of building an open-water swimming pool

on Brighton beach rather brings to mind the phrase

about coals and Newcastle. But as Joe McNulty,

one of the team behind the proposal, explains, not

many of us actually swim in the sea. It’s too cold; too

rough; too scary. That’s where the pool comes in -

to provide a training ground where swimmers of all

ages can improve their confidence in open water,

learn how to lifeguard or just hire a wetsuit.

Open water swimming has seen a 20 per cent

annual growth since it featured in the 2012 Olympic

Games and, as our silver medals proved, the British

have something of a knack for it. We could do

better, however and especially in Brighton where

few of us brave the waves often. “Coaches will take

swimmers through techniques and safety and will

then accompany them into the sea, with kayaks and

safety boats to keep an eye on things. We’re taught

from an early age that the sea is dangerous – and it

is, when you don’t know what you’re doing. But if

you’ve been taught about the tides and how to swim

safely, if you’ve built up your confidence under

professional coaches, it can be really enjoyable.”

Sea Lanes Brighton, as the project is known, is a

collaboration between McNulty (managing director

of Copsemill properties), Brighton Sea Swimming

Club, QED Sustainable Urban Developments and

SwimTrek. If planning permission is granted, the

group plans to trial a 25m temporary pool on the

former Peter Pan’s Playground site on Madeira

Drive. The heated pool will be surrounded by

wooden decking, giving the appearance it has been

dug into the beach. But it will be formed of bolted-together

panels that allow the group to either

pack it up at the end of the initial five-year lease, or

to extend it to create a 50m, permanent pool.

The project should give a much-needed boost

to the city’s swimming pool provision – which

currently only reaches 44 per cent of the government’s

target. It is also set to create around 70 new

jobs, both at the pool and in 10,000 square feet of

adjacent commercial space, which will be offered to

sports and leisure-related businesses and will fund

the cost of the pool itself. Surprisingly, the Council

isn’t contributing; if the pool is to become a larger,

permanent fixture, the group will need to win

additional funding.

The announcement that it would be up and running

by November was perhaps a little hasty. “But we’re

looking at being on site next spring and hopefully

opening next summer,” says McNulty, “The plan is

to be open every day from 6am to 10pm.” As to who

will be first in the water, he doesn’t hesitate: “It’s

definitely going to be Andy White, our swim coach.

He’s in the sea in his Speedos all year round. There’s

no way anyone will be able to stop him jumping in.”

Nione Meakin





A harvest from the sea

Offshore farming

Remember Waterworld? A

terrible film of the 1990s, but

its premise about a future in

which the polar ice-caps have

melted and covered most of

the land no longer seems so


Scientists are predicting a

rise in sea levels of up to two

metres by the next century.

Coupled with a doubling

of the world’s population, it

seems that we’re heading for

an acute shortage of space to

grow enough food.

Unless, that is, Leilah

Clarke’s invention of a ‘floating

farm’ takes off.

Using the simple principles

of condensation, the University

of Sussex Product Design student has created

environmentally friendly sea rafts with a self-watering

system for plants.

Leilah, who initially began studying Engineering

before switching to Product Design, said: “It was one

of those ideas that evolved over time.

“I moved to the coast from Brixton five years ago, and

I was thinking about how you could set up a raft to

live on out at sea. The first thing I thought about was

how you would produce food – apart from what you

could catch in the sea.”

Inspired by a project in Italy called Nemo’s Garden,

in which plants are grown in domes ten metres under

the water, Leilah designed a doughnut-shaped fibreglass

raft fitted with a clear acrylic dome.

When set afloat on the sea, water vapour rises

through the middle of the raft and condenses as fresh

water on the inside of the dome. The water then

trickles down the sides to hydrate crops growing in

containers around the sides.

Because of the natural desalination

process, there’s no need

for pumps or filtration systems.

This also means that as

the weather gets hotter, more

water evaporates, therefore

reducing the risk of the plants


And to prevent the raft

from tipping over in stormy

weather and choppy seas, it’s

designed in two sections – an

inner and an outer ring – to

give it stability.

Using small prototypes,

Leilah, a keen gardener, has

already experimented with

different crops.

“At the moment chard is a

good one to grow because you can harvest off it quite

a lot,” she says. “Also spinach and leafy greens, things

you can harvest over time. And now I’m looking at

radishes because they are really quick. You could grow

up to 400 radishes in a month.”

Like windfarms, her floating farms could be set up

out at sea on a large scale. “All the materials that I

have chosen won’t bleach or leak into the sea and

cause any harm,” she says. “And because it’s mostly

fibreglass it’s easy to fix.”

They could also be used as towing gardens for

ocean-going vessels to provide freshly grown food for

passengers. And, with some adaptations, set afloat on

fresh water rivers and lakes.

The next stage for Leilah, who graduates this summer,

is to find a company to invest in the product.

“I really think this could be the future for farming,”

she says. “It gives new meaning to the term, seasonal

crops.” Jacqui Bealing




We rescue, rehome and provide sanctuary

for over 2000 animals each year.

Visitors welcome!





Your local animal charity


Registered charity number 237696

Illustration by Mark Greco



Mute Swans

Deride a white swan

I’m going to come right out and say it. I don’t like

swans. Never have done. Just seeing them smugly

swanning around acting all hoity-toity annoys me. And

last month I took a particular dislike to a pair of them.

2018 is the 50th anniversary of the opening of

Woods Mill, Sussex Wildlife Trust’s nature reserve

and headquarters near Henfield. We’ve been getting

the place all ship-shape, ready to welcome visitors

for celebrations throughout the summer. I turned up

for work one Monday to find a pair of swans had inconsiderately

started building their huge woven nest

right in the middle of the main path. I thought I may

try and heave the heap back into the pond but you

can’t disturb nesting birds during the breeding season

and I’m sure I once read that the Queen legally owns

all the swans in Britain. I certainly didn’t want Liz

leaping out of the undergrowth and bopping me with

her sceptre so the nest was here to stay and visitors

would have to take a small diversion.

Perhaps it’s this royal association which give swans

their snooty attitude but I would like to remind

them that the reason that they were once bestowed

this protection was because the Royal Family enjoyed

eating them and didn’t want us common folk

depriving them of their swan supper.

This morning I checked on the swans and found six

whopping great eggs in their obstructive haystack

nest. But the parents were elsewhere, arrogantly

gliding about on the pond. Had they abandoned

the nest? Surely the eggs would perish in the cold?

I suddenly became uncharacteristically concerned. I

was half tempted to hop on the eggs myself to keep

them warm until I noticed the swans a-swimming

towards me, their wings half-raised behind their

back (a posture called ‘busking’ which despite being

the archetypal swan pose is actually an aggressive

threat). Before I knew it they were upon me, hissing

and raising their mighty wings. When you’re being

attacked by a swan you really appreciate what formidable

creatures they are. Weighing up to 13kg mute

swans are one of the world’s heaviest flying birds.

The story that they can break your arm with their

wings is nonsense but I didn’t hang around, just

in case. After giving me some evil stares Lord and

Lady Muck settled back to incubating and guarding

their future family.

They’re still there. Sitting pretty on their throne

in the middle of the path, being photographed by

crowds of admiring visitors while I stand ankle deep

in the mud, muttering curses under my breath and

begrudgingly hammer in a fence to keep them safe.

It’s obvious who rules the roost here at Woods Mill.

If you want to see the swans and lots of other wildlife

take a trip to Woods Mill this summer. Directions

are on Sussex Wildlife Trust’s website and in the

‘What’s On’ section you’ll find details of loads of free

events being held on the reserve as we celebrate our

half century. Michael Blencowe, Sussex Wildlife Trust




Pirates ahoy! It looks like the two gentlemen in the

sailing dinghy are preparing to board the rowing

boat containing two ladies, who are looking rather

perturbed at the prospect. There’s a great dynamic to

this picture, from the James Gray collection, but in his

caption Gray doesn’t know much about who took it,

and when. His best guess is ‘some time in the late 60s’.

Hove Lagoon is naturally a stretch of tidal marshland,

formed by the overflow of the Aldrington Basin, once

known locally as ‘Salt Daisy Field’. It was privately

owned by a gentleman called Paget Baxter, and by all

accounts a bit of an eyesore. In 1927, after much legal

wrangling with Baxter, Hove Council managed to

acquire the rights to convert the area into a pleasure

lake, which was completed in 1930. Contemporary

photographs show it was extremely popular, particularly

with model yacht owners – a big craze back in

the day. The Hove Lagoon Model Yacht club still

hold races on Sunday mornings, at 9.30am.

The Lagoon area was requisitioned by the MOD in

the war; it was used by Canadian troops to practice

manoeuvres in their DUKW amphibious trucks;

the beach, too, was a no-go area at the time, strewn

with tank-traps and zig-zagged with barbed wire

as first-line defence against a feared Nazi invasion

from the Continent.

After the war it became a pleasure lake once more; in

the harsh winter of 1947 the water froze over and locals

used it as a skating rink. As you can see from this

picture it became a boating lake again soon after and

you can still sail dinghies there, as well as – courtesy

of Lagoon Watersports – try your hand at windsurfing,

wakeboarding, kayaking and stand-up paddle

boarding. After a three-month closure this winter for

dredging, the Lagoon was reopened on April 28th:

the dredgers found countless lost items, including 200

shoes, a drone and a Buzz Lightyear toy.

To the far left of the picture you can see the Lagoon’s

café, which has had an interesting and chequered

history, not least in recent years, with two celebrity

owners taking it over. First up was Heather Mills,

who in 2008 converted it into VBites, a vegan eatery;

Norman Cook took it over in 2013, adding burgers

to the menu, and renaming it the Big Beach Café.

We wonder if our 60s pirates managed to persuade

the two ladies to join them for a cup of tea in the late

sixties incarnation of the café, after they’d all got their

feet back on dry land. Alex Leith

Thanks, as ever, to the Regency Society, holder of the

James Gray Collection.







1 Malling Street, Lewes,

East Sussex BN7 2RA

01273 471 269



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