Viva Brighton Issue #64 June 2018

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VIVA<br />

B R I G H T O N<br />

<strong>#64</strong>. JUNE <strong>2018</strong><br />


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<strong>Viva</strong> <strong>Brighton</strong> is based at:<br />

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1a Isetta Square, BN1 4GQ.<br />

For advertising enquiries call:<br />

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I’ve lived on the Sussex coast for most of my<br />

life. In my opinion there is nowhere lovelier<br />

than these briny edges, and not just our<br />

particularly pebbly and pier-spangled stretch.<br />

I love all eighty-odd miles of the Sussex coast,<br />

from the rolling dunes of Camber via the<br />

brackish waters of the Ouse estuary to the<br />

jagged rock pools off Rottingdean and the<br />

windswept Witterings beyond.<br />

My dad worked at sea and, as a family, we<br />

would scan the horizon for the boat coming<br />

in, piling down to the harbour to meet him. I<br />

could stand at the shoreline and imagine that<br />

(by some super-human means) I could swim to<br />

catch him up. Anywhere in the world. That the<br />

sea lapping the beach would eventually flow<br />

into the vast oceans, connecting me to any and<br />

every distant shore.<br />

It seems I wasn’t alone and in this, our ‘water’s<br />

edge’ issue, we’ll meet some like-minded souls.<br />

The intrepid SwimTrekkers, who boldly go<br />

where the water takes them; a Sussex student<br />

with designs on farming the sea; a couple<br />

who decided to take the plunge and move to a<br />

houseboat; a whole host of people committed<br />

to taking care of the beach (and the folks who<br />

enjoy it), and many other salty sorts besides.<br />

As <strong>Brighton</strong>ians, our lives are inextricably<br />

bound up with the water’s edge and the<br />

beautiful, bountiful oceans beyond. It’s our<br />

job to take care of them. So, come on in. The<br />

water’s lovely. Keeping it that way is entirely<br />

up to us.

VIVA<br />

B R I G H T O N<br />

THE TEAM<br />

.....................<br />

EDITOR: Lizzie Lower lizzie@vivamagazines.com<br />

DEPUTY EDITOR: Rebecca Cunningham rebecca@vivamagazines.com<br />

SUB EDITOR: Alex Leith alex@vivamagazines.com<br />

ART DIRECTOR: Katie Moorman katie@vivamagazines.com<br />

PHOTOGRAPHER AT LARGE: Adam Bronkhorst mail@adambronkhorst.com<br />

ADVERTISING: Hilary Maguire hilary@vivamagazines.com,<br />

Sarah Jane Lewis sarah-jane@vivamagazines.com<br />

ADMINISTRATION & ACCOUNTS: Kelly Hill kelly@vivamagazines.com<br />

DISTRIBUTION: David Pardue distribution@vivamagazines.com<br />

CONTRIBUTORS: Alexandra Loske, Amy Holtz, Andrew Darling, Ben Bailey,<br />

Cammie Toloui, Chloë King, Chris Riddell, Emma Chaplin, JJ Waller, Jacqui Bealing,<br />

Jay Collins, Joda, Joe Decie, John Helmer, John O’Donoghue, Lizzie Enfield, Mark Greco,<br />

Martin Skelton, Michael Blencowe, Nione Meakin and Peter James Field<br />

PUBLISHER: Becky Ramsden becky@vivamagazines.com<br />

Please recycle your <strong>Viva</strong> (or keep us forever).




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Bits & Bobs.<br />

8–27. Esther Cox is on the cover; Alexandra<br />

Loske has her eye on storms out<br />

at sea; aquatic exhibitionist Zoe Brigden<br />

is on the buses; Joe Decie is feeling the<br />

bank holiday burn; we meet the folks<br />

cleaning up between the piers; a family<br />

seafood feast with a sea view at the Bristol<br />

Bar; a brace of <strong>Brighton</strong> writing prizes<br />

and a <strong>Brighton</strong> Mermaid; we tag along to<br />

Hammamet beach via Thessaloniki, and<br />

we ponder whether to party in our pants<br />

(or not). Plus much more besides.<br />

My <strong>Brighton</strong>.<br />

28–29. Marine environment consultant<br />

Atlanta Cook, on cleaning up <strong>Brighton</strong>’s<br />

beaches and beyond.<br />

31<br />

8<br />

Photography.<br />

31–37. Andrew Unwin’s mesmeric<br />

seascapes, from the sky.<br />

Columns.<br />

39–43. Lizzie Enfield muses on the art<br />

of open water swimming; John Helmer<br />

drowns in gin, and Amy Holtz is a fish<br />

out of water.<br />

Photo by Andrew Unwin<br />

On this month.<br />

45–53. Ben Bailey rounds up his pick of<br />

the gigs; Atkinson Action Horses bring<br />

their celebrity steeds to the South of<br />

England Show; re-use guru Cat Fletcher<br />

is at Ovingdean’s Green Festival;<br />

Sofie Hagen is at <strong>Brighton</strong> Dome; it’s<br />

Dallowday for self-confessed ‘Woolfies’<br />

at Monk’s House; Simon Evans’ al<br />

fresco comedy; filthy but funny Fleabag<br />

is at The Old Market, and mr jukes play<br />

Love Supreme.<br />

....6 ....


...............................<br />

Art & design.<br />

55–63. Chloë King gets up close and<br />

sartorial with Gilbert and George;<br />

mathematical textiles at Worthing Artists<br />

Open Houses; a last bid to save Saltdean<br />

Lido’s iconic building, and just some of<br />

what’s on, art-wise, this month.<br />

The way we work.<br />

65–69. What does go on underneath the<br />

arches? Adam Bronkhorst finds out.<br />

Food.<br />

70–75. A kipper to rival Craster’s; Dough<br />

Lover’s gluten-free cookie recipe; a slapup<br />

fish supper at The Little Fish Market,<br />

and brunch at the Bandstand.<br />

84<br />

80<br />

Features.<br />

76–87. Is the future of farming afloat?<br />

One design student at the University<br />

of Sussex thinks it might be; we get<br />

the lowdown on what you need to<br />

know before you move to a houseboat;<br />

<strong>Brighton</strong>’s late-night quad-bike beach<br />

patrol; we’re all at sea with a holiday<br />

company for intrepid swimmers; Adam<br />

Bronkhorst gets inside the <strong>Brighton</strong><br />

lifeboat station, and a swimming pool on<br />

the beach?<br />

Wildlife.<br />

89. The immutable Mute Swan.<br />

Inside left.<br />

90. Ahoy there! Hove Lagoon, 60s style.<br />

Photo by Adam Bronkhorst<br />

77<br />

Photo courtesy of SwimTrek<br />

....7 ....


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This month’s cover is the work of local pattern<br />

designer and illustrator Esther Cox. “Everybody<br />

thinks I’m a printer,” she says. “I do sometimes use<br />

printmaking techniques – I might use lino printing<br />

or really basic screen printing – but by and large I<br />

work with collage. All my work is hand-made and<br />

then digitally manipulated. I’m not somebody who<br />

starts with a little thumbnail sketch – I think I tend<br />

to work quite intuitively and just allow the piece to<br />

come together.”<br />

Regular visitors to the gallery and shop Unlimited,<br />

on Church Street, will be familiar with Esther’s<br />

prints, which are typically very pattern-led. “That’s<br />

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

of a hobby on the side. Chiefly, I work as a textile<br />

designer, and the reason my work as an illustrator is<br />

so patterned is because that’s my first love: pattern.<br />

I create prints for fashion, largely for menswear<br />

and childrenswear, predominantly abstract and<br />

geometric designs. I work through an agent, who<br />

shows the prints to clients. It’s a nice way to work<br />

because it’s quite free – pattern design comes<br />

very naturally to me, and it feeds back into my<br />

illustration work.”<br />

Esther was recently set the exciting task of creating<br />

a body of work for an exhibition at Charleston<br />

Farmhouse, the former home of artists Vanessa Bell<br />

and Duncan Grant. “I was asked to give a response<br />

to the house,” she explains, “to create some work<br />

that reflects the building and all that Bloomsbury<br />

decoration that’s in it. I got free rein to go around<br />

the house and take photographs and think about<br />

....8 ....


.......................................................<br />

the space – it was really inspiring. The thing I went off with<br />

in the collages was, firstly, their use of colour, and, secondly,<br />

not so much the patterns themselves, but the lines and where<br />

they met. There were lots of interesting angles where walls<br />

were coloured, or doorframes, or doors, and that’s really what<br />

inspired the work that I’ve done – trying to get those colours<br />

and textures to work. I didn’t want to do representations of<br />

the farmhouse or feel like I was creating pastiches of Duncan<br />

Grant’s patterns.” The pieces will be on display at Charleston<br />

(see charleston.org.uk for more details).<br />

Another of Esther’s major commissions came from<br />

Transport for London, who approached her to design a<br />

series of posters. “The first two were centred around London<br />

riversides,” she says. “The only requirement was that the<br />

scene had to include the river in some way, otherwise I<br />

was given the freedom to do as I wished.” Her second two<br />

posters, published in January, promoted shopping locations<br />

Shoreditch and Southall. All four are now a part of the<br />

London Transport Museum’s poster collection.<br />

Rebecca Cunningham<br />

See more of Esther’s work at esthercoxskiosk.com<br />

....9 ....


Here’s Maria Andreou in<br />

Thessaloniki, with the 15thcentury<br />

White Tower in the<br />

background. ‘As always,’ Maria<br />

reports, ‘I had you with me.<br />

What better place to strike a pose<br />

holding my all-time favourite<br />

mag than this remarkably historic<br />

urban centre? Let’s see where I’ll<br />

take you next!’ All-time favourite<br />

mag? The promise of future<br />

adventures? We like Maria.<br />

What do you read to a baby<br />

dromedary? Woodingdean<br />

resident Annette Radford found<br />

that VB held their attention.<br />

The Arabian ‘seahorse’ looks<br />

pretty interested too. Annette<br />

took us along on her recent<br />

trip to Hammamet Beach in<br />

Tunisia, a place that she highly<br />

recommends that we visit.<br />

‘Nothing like enjoying the sea<br />

breezes relaxing by the seaside<br />

with <strong>Viva</strong>,’ says Annette. We<br />

couldn’t agree more. Keep taking<br />

us with you and keep spreading<br />

the word. Send your photos and<br />

a few words about your trip to<br />

hello@vivamagazines.com<br />



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ROUTES 12, 12A<br />

Whilst it’s strictly verboten<br />

today, there was a time when<br />

jumping off the end of the pier<br />

was positively lauded. Before<br />

the arrival of slot machines and<br />

rollercoasters, crowds would<br />

flock to see the daring exploits of<br />

aquatic entertainers and <strong>Brighton</strong><br />

girl, Zoe Brigden, was one of the<br />

few women among them. Born<br />

in 1891 to the Brigden family of<br />

Mighell Street (since demolished<br />

to make way for the development<br />

of Amex House), she was a local<br />

swimming champion before a<br />

shoulder injury cut short her<br />

professional career. Seemingly<br />

undaunted by that injury (or<br />

the threat of worse) in 1915<br />

she joined the various aquatic<br />

exhibitions that took place<br />

between the piers, performing<br />

high dives from the end of the<br />

West Pier and thrilling the<br />

crowds with her ‘wooden soldier’<br />

dive which saw her plunge head<br />

first into the sea with her arms<br />

by her side (ouch!). She retired<br />

from such aquatic exploits in<br />

1925, although she continued to<br />

offer encouragement to nervous<br />

young divers at the North Road<br />

swimming baths, and went<br />

on to open a hairdressers in<br />

Whitehawk. She lived in later life<br />

in Roedale Road with her sister<br />

Addy and subsequently moved<br />

to Seaford to live with her son,<br />

John. She died in 1983.<br />

Lizzie Lower<br />

Illustration by Joda (@joda_art)<br />

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This is often referred to as the kitchentable<br />

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You appoint a lawyer who represents<br />

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...............................<br />



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A city located directly by the sea is enriched by<br />

it but is also at its mercy, especially during great<br />

storms and other extreme weather. <strong>Brighton</strong> &<br />

Hove’s seafront has long inspired artists, and<br />

depictions of dramatic weather conditions along<br />

the water’s edge are among the most popular<br />

images of our city.<br />

Storms show their character best in water, both<br />

suspended in air in the form of bursting clouds,<br />

or in the dramatic crashing waves of the sea,<br />

something that wasn’t lost on the great painters of<br />

the Romantic era. It is no surprise then that both<br />

JMW Turner and John Constable were so keen on<br />

painting stormy seas when they visited <strong>Brighton</strong>.<br />

To them the raging sea and ominous clouds were<br />

an expression of the ‘Sublime’, the untameable,<br />

unpredictable, unfathomable aspects of nature,<br />

those that are bigger than us.<br />

When Constable stayed in <strong>Brighton</strong> in 1824 he<br />

was not impressed, complaining about the ‘din and<br />

tumult’ of the town he described as ‘a receptacle of<br />

the fashion and off-scouring of London’. He largely<br />

turned his artistic eye away from the town and<br />

preferred to look out to the sea, creating some of<br />

his now most popular works: raw, immediate, hastily<br />

sketched images of the seafront, often with ominous<br />

skies, dark rain clouds, and dotted with small human<br />

figures that give us a sense of the strong winds<br />

and the rain they are facing. Turner also often<br />

chose wild and windy seascapes when he painted<br />

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

Images courtesy of Royal Pavilion & <strong>Brighton</strong> Museums<br />



.........................................<br />

‘Brighthelmston’. Watercolour by JMW Turner, c1824<br />

<strong>Brighton</strong>. A sketch from 1796 depicts a<br />

nocturnal sky over a raging sea. Turner<br />

decided to leave the shore and paint<br />

<strong>Brighton</strong> from the vantage point of a boat<br />

tossed about in large waves near the newly<br />

built Chain Pier, the sky full of darkness<br />

and light, with a rainbow appearing over<br />

<strong>Brighton</strong>, just after heavy rainfall.<br />

But for a place like <strong>Brighton</strong>, perched<br />

precariously on the edge of Sussex, the<br />

power of the sea and skies was more<br />

than just artistic inspiration: it was a<br />

real danger. Storms often wrecked the<br />

fishermen’s houses, and swept away<br />

their livelihoods on and near the beach.<br />

Many storms have been reported over<br />

the centuries, but some were particularly<br />

destructive. In 1896 one brought<br />

down the mighty Chain Pier, an event<br />

documented by many painters and<br />

photographers. Another one, in July<br />

1850, caused the sea to come onto land,<br />

flooding large areas around Pool Valley<br />

and the Steine (pictured left).<br />

Even in the early 20th century, when in art the age of<br />

Romanticism was making way for cool and sleek Modernist<br />

styles, we still encounter images of <strong>Brighton</strong>’s seafront<br />

battered by the elements, and hunched figures reminding us<br />

how small we really are in comparison to the waves crashing<br />

onto the promenade, and the few figures in it struggling with<br />

the wind and rain. In his painting Stormy Day at <strong>Brighton</strong>,<br />

Charles Conder applied his brushstrokes as expressively as<br />

Constable did some 80 years earlier on one of his rainsoaked<br />

walks along the beach.<br />

Alexandra Loske, Curator and Art Historian<br />

‘Stormy Day at <strong>Brighton</strong>’. Oil painting by Charles Conder, 1905<br />


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Words and picture by Cammie Toloui, cammietoloui.com<br />



...............................<br />


I’ve been doing beach cleans<br />

in Seaford for years. I got into<br />

it through #2minutebeachclean, a<br />

worldwide campaign encouraging<br />

people to do a two-minute clean and<br />

post a picture of what they find on<br />

Instagram. It’s shocking what you<br />

James Pike Photography<br />

the silent disco idea came along. We<br />

brought that idea to the Council, who<br />

were really interested in supporting<br />

it, and now we do a silent disco beach<br />

clean every month.<br />

We get around 250 people at each<br />

event. Last Sunday we collected 200kg<br />

find in just two minutes. When I moved to <strong>Brighton</strong> of litter on <strong>Brighton</strong> beach within three hours. The<br />

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

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

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

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

megaphone and some litter pickers we borrowed more we do it, the more we make people aware, and<br />

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

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

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

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

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...............................<br />


Creative Future is a charity based in <strong>Brighton</strong> that<br />

provides training, mentoring and showcasing opportunities<br />

for under-represented writers, whose voices<br />

might otherwise remain unheard. Their fifth national<br />

competition is now open, with prizes totalling £7,500<br />

in cash and writer development opportunities.<br />

The awards are open to all writers whose stories<br />

are under-represented in mainstream publishing,<br />

including those with mental health issues, physical/<br />

learning disabilities, neurodiversity, BMER,<br />

LGBTQ+, over 65, as well as those who are<br />

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care-leavers, offenders/ex-offenders or survivors of<br />

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workshops and events.<br />

The theme of the awards this year is ‘Chemistry’.<br />

Poetry (up to 200 words)<br />

and short fiction (up to 1,000<br />

words) should be submitted<br />

by noon on Monday the 18th<br />

of <strong>June</strong>. Entry is free.<br />

The twelve winning poems and short stories will be<br />

selected by a panel of industry experts including poet<br />

Lemn Sissay (pictured), and the winners will receive<br />

a share of the cash and development prizes. Their<br />

work will appear in an anthology alongside that of<br />

the award-winning guest author Kerry Hudson, and<br />

they’ll be invited to a showcase event as part of the<br />

London Literature Festival in October.<br />

Writers can submit via the website, by post, or in<br />

person at Community Base, 113 Queens Road. Full<br />

rules can be found on the entry form. Good luck!<br />

literary.creativefuture.org.uk<br />

Photo © Hamish Brown<br />

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<br />

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 ⸀<br />

琀 ⸀ ㈀ 㜀 アパート アパート アパート 㠀 㐀 ㈀<br />

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<br />

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


...............................<br />


I’m chuffed that the <strong>Viva</strong> theme<br />

is ‘water’s edge’, partly because<br />

we have a great magazine to<br />

recommend and partly because<br />

it gives me a chance for a<br />

shout-out to two pieces of great<br />

tagline writing.<br />

First – and yes, this is a bit cheesy<br />

– to the <strong>Viva</strong> people who, last<br />

year, produced my favourite ever<br />

tote bag, with the words: Love,<br />

liberty & salt water. What could<br />

be more <strong>Brighton</strong> than that?<br />

Second, to whoever it was that<br />

got the <strong>2018</strong> <strong>Brighton</strong> Marathon t-shirt together.<br />

On my Saturday morning park run I’m frequently<br />

overtaken by t-shirts with ‘Run to the Sea, Bathe<br />

in the Glory’ written on them. Brilliant. I should<br />

have entered the marathon just to get the t-shirt.<br />

Now to the magazine for <strong>June</strong>. It’s a photography<br />

magazine, called Foam. (See, the link is there<br />

already.) It’s produced three times a year and<br />

comes from the people who run the Foam Fotografiemuseum<br />

in Amsterdam.<br />

Each issue is themed. Each<br />

presents a number of different<br />

photographic portfolios with<br />

commentary and thought<br />

pieces alongside. It’s large<br />

format and is, of course,<br />

wonderfully printed. It<br />

probably doesn’t make any<br />

money; this issue thanks<br />

paper supplier Igepa for their<br />

generous support. It’s great,<br />

and Foam deserves all the<br />

support it can get.<br />

The theme of the current<br />

issue is ‘water’. I could re-write the editorial and<br />

pretend that the analysis of the issue was mine but<br />

the editor does it as well as an editor should: ‘The<br />

portfolios offer a powerful and varied impression<br />

of the richness of photography and water. This<br />

issue raises questions and prompts further thought,<br />

but above all, it provides a great deal of visual and<br />

reading pleasure.’ On that note, it’s time to dive in.<br />

Happy reading, and happy looking, everyone.<br />

Martin Skelton, Magazine<strong>Brighton</strong><br />


It’s that time of year again. The sun has come out,<br />

the Channel has hit a balmy 13°C and it’s our duty<br />

as <strong>Brighton</strong>ians to head down to the beach and party<br />

(responsibly) in our pants. (Unless you’re going via the<br />

13th <strong>Brighton</strong> Naked Bike Ride on Sunday the 10th,<br />

in which case pants are optional.)<br />

But in which bathroom is the beach body?<br />

Last month’s answer: The Basketmakers<br />


Sussex Community Festival<br />

Join us for a day of free<br />

entertainment, fun and discovery<br />

SUNDAY 24 JUNE <strong>2018</strong>, 11AM–3PM<br />


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

We invite you to a fun-filled day of free activities and entertainment for all ages.<br />


bands and music research demos treasure trail workshops children’s activities<br />

sports tasters bouncy castle face painting fun experiments aerial circus skills<br />

storytelling food stalls World Cup football shown in our campus bar<br />




...............................<br />

“On a rare scorching summer weekend, it seems there must be half<br />

a million people between the water’s edge and the <strong>Brighton</strong> & Hove<br />

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

street cleaners with their monumental efforts in keeping the beach and<br />

promenade clean.” We’ll second that, JJ.<br />







CMYK : 0/100/0/0<br />


: 100/30/0/0<br />


CMYK : 50/0/100/0<br />












Advance Tickets (LIMITED CAPACITY - BOOK EARLY)<br />

£27.50 (SOLD OUT) / £37.50 / Kids Under 11 Free / More On The Door<br />

VIP Options Available<br />

<strong>Brighton</strong>-Pride.org<br />





Financial services in the heart of <strong>Brighton</strong>


...............................<br />


I pop into the Bristol Bar for a<br />

quick pint after work, planning<br />

to incorporate the experience<br />

into this ‘then-and-now’ writeup.<br />

Then I see the windowside<br />

tables with their fine view of the<br />

shimmering sea (we’re talking<br />

early May heatwave), and run my<br />

eyes over the great-looking menu,<br />

and I decide that I wouldn’t be<br />

doing the joint justice: it looks<br />

like the sort of place you’d want<br />

to linger over a two-course meal,<br />

with a fine bottle of wine (or two).<br />

I’ve been on the look-out for<br />

somewhere to host the in-laws, so<br />

I book a table for four, for May<br />

Day Bank Holiday.<br />

In the meantime, a bit of research.<br />

The pub takes up the eastern<br />

corner of Bristol Court, a fine<br />

Georgian building put up in<br />

1835 as the Bristol Court Hotel,<br />

then converted into flats and the<br />

separate bar exactly 100 years<br />

later. The hotel was built on land<br />

owned by Frederick William Hervey,<br />

then 1st Marquis of Bristol,<br />

part of an extensive estate he ran<br />

in the Kemptown area.<br />

It’s seen quite a lot of life, over the<br />

years. In the sixties and seventies,<br />

run by Fred and Peggy Penfold, it<br />

was something of a student haunt,<br />

because of the nearby digs in<br />

Eastern Terrace. There was a pool<br />

table, and a talking parrot on the<br />

bar. In the fifties Max Miller was<br />

a regular: the greatest stand-up<br />

comedian of his age lived over<br />

the road.<br />

It became a bit run down until<br />

taken over by Alan and Simon<br />

a few years back: they gave it a<br />

thorough refurb, and decorated<br />

the walls with nautical paraphernalia,<br />

including an impressive<br />

bare-breasted figurehead, which<br />

overlooks our table.<br />

It’s not grungy enough for me<br />

to want to spend whole evenings<br />

there, frankly (see Caroline of<br />

Brunswick, VL#63), but it goes<br />

down a treat with the in-laws,<br />

and the fare is exceptional. I have<br />

plump, succulent tiger prawns<br />

as a starter, and all four of us<br />

choose the Bouillabaisse from<br />

the specials board. The broth<br />

is rich and dark and cooked to<br />

perfection, with sea bass fillet<br />

and prawns and mussels to fish<br />

out, all nicely washed down by a<br />

couple of bottles of Pinot Grigio,<br />

chosen (as the house white) from<br />

an impressive wine list.<br />

We’re there for a couple of hours<br />

in all, punctuated by amiable<br />

chats with our hosts. The whole<br />

experience, I agree with my wife<br />

Rowena afterwards, is like going<br />

to a posh restaurant, without all<br />

the irksome servility. And how<br />

much did it cost? Haven’t got a<br />

clue: FIL paid, bless him.<br />

Alex Leith<br />

Painting by Jay Collins<br />


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...............................<br />



I told Sam that he wasn’t going to be a big brother<br />

after all. He asked why and I said his sister wasn’t<br />

ready to meet us - maybe in a few years’ time. He<br />

said okay and went back to playing with his cars. I<br />

left him with his grandparents and took Layla for<br />

a stroll on the beach to get her mind off the thing<br />

that’d happened.<br />

The sand was hot under our feet so we ran down<br />

to the shore. Out of habit, I’d brought Sam’s pail<br />

and shovel with me. The tide was out.<br />

A mile into our walk, Layla said to stop asking if<br />

she was okay.<br />

The shore ahead gleamed like it was coated<br />

by a smooth layer of crystal disks and as we<br />

approached, we saw them - hundreds of jellyfish<br />

marooned on the sand. Layla said she hated those<br />

things, had been stung by them before.<br />

I felt pity for the jellyfish, the way they lay scattered<br />

around like they’d been cracked out of their<br />

shells, sizzling sunny-side up. Layla said they were<br />

melting in the sun. In some spots, they’d been<br />

reduced to mucus splats on the sand.<br />

I got to work, scooping up jellyfish into Sam’s<br />

pail with his small shovel and then released them<br />

back into the ocean. Layla said they were probably<br />

dead. But I continued running back and forth<br />

between the shore and the ocean, seaweed hanging<br />

from my calves.<br />

I’d tired after seven jellyfish, sweating and panting<br />

under the sun. Away from the shore, I buried my<br />

face in my hands. Layla squeezed my shoulder, said<br />

she’d buy me an ice cream.<br />

Jellyfish won The <strong>Brighton</strong> Prize for flash fiction<br />

in 2017. Entries are now open for The <strong>Brighton</strong><br />

Prize <strong>2018</strong>, with a top prize of £1,000. Founded in<br />

2014 by Rattle Tales, <strong>Brighton</strong>’s interactive short<br />

story evening, the prize exists to find inventive new<br />

writing. The judges this year are Booker-longlisted<br />

novelist Alison MacLeod, literary agent at The Bent<br />

Agency Sarah Manning, and novelist and <strong>Brighton</strong><br />

Prize director, Erinna Mettler. Entries for flash<br />

fiction should be up to 350 words and short stories<br />

between 1000 and 2000 words. The closing date<br />

is the 1st July <strong>2018</strong>. For terms and conditions and<br />

details of how to enter, visit brightonprize.com.<br />

Illustration by Peter James Field<br />


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...............................<br />



This is the time of year when<br />

we start to think about summer<br />

holidays and what books<br />

to pack for the beach. They’ve<br />

become something of a genre<br />

in themselves, beach reads.<br />

They have to be page turners:<br />

light enough in terms of style<br />

to pick up and put down while<br />

we sip our cocktails at the bar;<br />

dark enough in terms of subject<br />

matter to contrast with<br />

the Club Tropicana lifestyle<br />

of sun, sea, and sangria.<br />

The <strong>Brighton</strong> Mermaid is an<br />

early contender for the kind<br />

of summer novel I mean. The<br />

fact that it starts on a beach<br />

– our very own pebbly strand – puts it in beach<br />

read territory as surely as if it had chucked a towel<br />

on the sun lounger. But is this a novel to go in the<br />

luggage or one to leave at the airport bookstand?<br />

The story starts in 1993 when two teenage friends,<br />

Nell and Jude, find a body washed up on the shore.<br />

Like them, she’s a young black woman, not much<br />

older than they are, a charm bracelet and a tattoo<br />

of a mermaid with the words ‘I am <strong>Brighton</strong>’ inked<br />

on her arm the only clues to her identity. Shortly<br />

after the girls find the body, Jude disappears.<br />

When the police draw a blank, Nell takes on<br />

the search for The <strong>Brighton</strong> Mermaid’s identity<br />

and hopes her investigation will also lead to her<br />

missing friend.<br />

This quest will take decades, and she will experience<br />

police brutality, a dodgy cop trying to fit her<br />

father up for the murder, her sister Macy’s OCD<br />

(triggered by the traumas that<br />

ensue) and a world which<br />

gradually reveals itself to be<br />

a much darker place than the<br />

one she thought it was. Those<br />

who are close to her are not<br />

what they seem, and everyone<br />

is keeping secrets, secrets<br />

that will prove dangerous to<br />

Nell, and in the end threaten<br />

her life.<br />

One of the pleasures of the<br />

novel was seeing familiar<br />

local landmarks leap out of<br />

the book’s pages. Whether it<br />

was streets I know well, such<br />

as George Street in Hove,<br />

pubs like The Cricketers, or<br />

features such as the Peace Statue, I was both in a<br />

place that was very recognisable, and a place transformed<br />

by the dark imaginings of (local resident)<br />

Dorothy Koomson.<br />

Koomson was Richard and Judied for her third<br />

novel, My Best Friend’s Girl, which was chosen as<br />

one of the Summer Reads of 2006. Twelve years<br />

later The <strong>Brighton</strong> Mermaid, with its short chapters,<br />

multiple narrators, timeframes that switch backwards<br />

and forwards from 1993 to the present, and<br />

a few places in between, has all of the classic elements<br />

of the big beach novel. It adds extras depths<br />

to the whodunnit in terms of characterisation and<br />

emotional impact, and races to a conclusion that<br />

had me turning the pages as if they were on fire.<br />

Pack it with your sun cream and dream darkly of<br />

home. John O’Donoghue<br />

Century, £12.99<br />


Photo by Adam Bronkhorst, adambronkhorst.com<br />



..........................................<br />

MYbrighton: Atlanta Cook<br />

Marine environment consultant<br />

Are you local? I was born in Tottenham but<br />

we moved to <strong>Brighton</strong> and I went to Stanford<br />

Juniors at five years old. So I was a lucky Londoner<br />

who ended up coming down here, and I’m<br />

very grateful for that. It would have been a very<br />

different experience growing up in London. I remember<br />

coming down to <strong>Brighton</strong> and standing<br />

on the West Pier in my flared zip catsuit (all the<br />

girls were wearing them).<br />

What do you do? I’ve pretty much always run my<br />

own thing. I started off as a fundraiser; the very<br />

first event I did was a Surfers Against Sewage club<br />

night at the Zap Club. That was in the early 90s<br />

when there was a massive rave culture in <strong>Brighton</strong><br />

and a lot of activism against the Criminal Justice<br />

Act (it was basically trying to stop people from<br />

gathering and having raves and parties, which<br />

just made us do it even more). We did a lot of<br />

campaigning against sewage pollution. Back then<br />

there were 80 Olympic-sized swimming poolsworth<br />

of untreated sewage going out into the sea<br />

off <strong>Brighton</strong> & Hove every day! We campaigned<br />

for years to get the treatment works built. Sewage<br />

pollution is not over yet, but the Sewage Alert<br />

Service [a live information system that tells sea<br />

users when there has been a sewage overflow] is a<br />

really important legacy of the original campaign.<br />

What are you working on at the moment?<br />

Plastic Free Coastlines is the latest campaign<br />

by Surfers Against Sewage. We’re pushing to<br />

get <strong>Brighton</strong> & Hove to be the first plastic-free<br />

city. To achieve this we have to get our local<br />

government to pass a resolution to support Plastic<br />

Free Coastlines. We then have to get 30% of all<br />

businesses, 30% of all schools, 50% of community<br />

groups and 50% of universities and colleges to<br />

sign up to reduce their use of single-use plastics.<br />

We ask everyone to make three small changes<br />

– straws, plastic cutlery, plastic cups, whatever<br />

it is – and we hope that that just starts the ball<br />

rolling. What’s really lovely about Plastic Free<br />

Coastlines is it opens Surfers Against Sewage<br />

out to everybody – not in the usual ‘please make<br />

a donation’ way, it really says ‘come and join in’.<br />

Everybody is part of the fight and I just love that.<br />

What do you like most about <strong>Brighton</strong>? The<br />

people. Not just that the people here are different,<br />

but that they feel free. They feel free to think and<br />

say and do what they want, and that freedom is so<br />

valuable and it makes the place special. I think it’s<br />

our long history of being freedom fighters that<br />

gives <strong>Brighton</strong> people a very special way about<br />

them, because they feel like there’s this honorary<br />

lineage that they should continue.<br />

What would you change about it? There needs<br />

to be more funding to help stop litter from ending<br />

up in the environment. It doesn’t matter how it’s<br />

done; it should never be at the horrendous scale<br />

that it is now. The Council has to do what it has to<br />

do with its budget, but we’re putting other things<br />

before what matters, which is our environment<br />

and our sea.<br />

Where’s your favourite place in the city? I’d<br />

have to say Rottingdean Windmill. You can see<br />

out across the whole city, and the sea view is just<br />

incredible. Closely followed by the Ovingdean<br />

rockpools.<br />

When did you last swim in the sea? I had a little<br />

paddle last Sunday at the silent disco beach clean.<br />

The theme was ‘come as your favourite animal or<br />

plant’ – there were people dressed as chilli peppers<br />

and unicorns and butterflies… it was lovely!<br />

Interview by Rebecca Cunningham<br />

atlantacook.co.uk / sas.org.uk<br />


'Fantastic place, full of beautiful magazines. I just love this shop.’<br />

the world of great indie mags is here in <strong>Brighton</strong>.<br />

22 Trafalgar Street<br />

magazinebrighton.com<br />

@magbrighton<br />



....................................<br />

Andrew Unwin<br />

Life on the edge<br />

I’d hit a creativity<br />

block with my<br />

camera and wanted<br />

to document<br />

<strong>Brighton</strong> from a<br />

new perspective.<br />

The drone has given<br />

me a new direction<br />

and renewed my<br />

excitement with<br />

photography. I was<br />

hooked straight away.<br />

I flew it over <strong>Brighton</strong><br />

Pier a few times and<br />

thought, ‘this is an amazing way of seeing things’.<br />

The different angles are so extraordinary.<br />

I love photographing the edge of the land. The<br />

coast has really interesting shapes and contrasts,<br />

like the water currents inside and outside the<br />

marina and Old Harry Rocks in Dorset. The<br />

other advantage of photographing the edge is that<br />

there are fewer people to upset. Just the seagulls.<br />

Owning a drone has also changed my<br />

perspective on holidays. Whenever I book a trip<br />

the first thing I do is go on Google Earth to scout<br />

locations to fly. I went to the Maldives last year<br />

which was amazing as they have so many small<br />

islands and seascapes. Their customs had a really<br />

good look at the drone, but they let me in with it.<br />

I’ve just come back from Budapest where drones<br />

are banned. I was gutted.<br />

There are apps that will tell you where you<br />

can and can’t fly. Obviously, we’re close to<br />

Gatwick here and you don’t want to cause chaos<br />

with flights. The other considerations are the<br />

wind and being respectful of other people: you<br />

don’t want to fly too close to a block of flats.<br />

<strong>Brighton</strong> is a pretty liberal place, so I have not<br />

had any problems here<br />

but, in the past, we’ve<br />

been less welcome in<br />

other towns. I had to<br />

politely tell them it<br />

was just a drone for<br />

photography…<br />

The differences in<br />

the price of drones<br />

relates to quality and<br />

intelligence. The lower<br />

end models are more<br />

like toys: they won’t fly<br />

very far and the camera<br />

isn’t very good. I’ve just bought a DJI Phantom<br />

4 Pro. It’s got a bigger sensor, so it creates better<br />

quality images, and it’s more intelligent, so you<br />

can map it and tell it where to fly. It will also fly<br />

in tougher conditions, which is good for <strong>Brighton</strong><br />

because of the heavy winds.<br />

I trained as a journalist but after uni I went<br />

to work on cruise ships as a photographer.<br />

It was a great way to meet people, to travel the<br />

world and to get paid whilst I was doing it. It’s<br />

where I met my girlfriend and now we’re wedding<br />

photographers. From Monday to Friday I’m head<br />

of operations for a used photography equipment<br />

retailer and, from now until October, weekends<br />

will be spent photographing at ceremonies.<br />

Having the drone for the past couple of years<br />

has really set us apart from the competition. It<br />

adds another dimension to a couple’s wedding<br />

photographs. It’s great for group shots because it<br />

saves time arranging a large amount of people in a<br />

small space. We just ask the crowd to look up!<br />

As told to Lizzie Lower<br />

andrewunwin.co.uk<br />

brightonweddingphotography.com<br />



....................................<br />

Photos © Andrew Unwin<br />



....................................<br />

Photos © Andrew Unwin<br />


#nationaltrust<br />

Waterlily Festival at Sheffield Park and<br />

Garden<br />

Join us over five weeks to celebrate the<br />

impressive display of waterlilies on the lakes.<br />

With a variety of talks, workshops and early<br />

evening openings, enjoy the garden in early<br />

summer and learn more about these fascinating<br />

plants.<br />

The Waterlily Festival runs 9 <strong>June</strong> - 15 July with<br />

Midsummer Evenings on 22 & 23 <strong>June</strong>.<br />

Call 01825 790231 for details<br />

nationaltrust.org.uk/sheffieldpark<br />

© National Trust <strong>2018</strong>. The National Trust is an independent registered charity,<br />

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


....................................<br />

Photos © Andrew Unwin<br />


Photo © Andrew Unwin

eautifully imperfect since 2009

COLUMN<br />

...........................<br />

Lizzie Enfield<br />

Notes from North Village<br />

When I was younger, I was frequently ‘rescued’<br />

from the sea by fishermen who refused to believe<br />

that anyone who had swum that far offshore had<br />

not been swept away. I was offered assistance as a<br />

child as I headed out towards France (from Hove),<br />

and then when travelling around Australia off the<br />

coast of Townsville, and on my honeymoon in a<br />

bay in Thailand.<br />

“I’m ok,” I’d tell my would-be rescuers. “I’m<br />

having a swim.”<br />

I’m much more nervous in the water these days. I<br />

head out to the buoys off <strong>Brighton</strong> beach but I like<br />

to keep sight of land and lifeguards.<br />

Nonetheless, I miss the freedom of being fearless,<br />

which is why I signed up with Hove-based<br />

SwimTrek’s open-water coaching week in Mallorca<br />

- hoping to become a bit more intrepid. My coach<br />

John obviously liked that word because he soon<br />

began using it as my nickname while barking out<br />

instructions in the Olympic-sized pool where we<br />

first trained.<br />

“Don’t cross, Intrepid,” he’d yell, referring to the<br />

way my arms moved in the water.<br />

We spent two hours each day focusing on<br />

stroke and breathing techniques, followed by<br />

humiliating video analysis. John freeze-framed in<br />

all the worst places so everyone could see your<br />

arms crossing and legs flailing. It’s a good way<br />

of making you try to correct things you’ve been<br />

doing wrong for years.<br />

I had my sights on a more adventurous trip - like<br />

to swim the Hellespont, escape from Alcatraz or<br />

navigate the fjords of Oman by front crawl - but<br />

the open water coaching was good way of dipping<br />

my toe back in the open water.<br />

After pool sessions (where I was told to ‘articulate’<br />

with my hips and avoid ‘early vertical forearms’<br />

- who knew?) we headed to the south-eastern<br />

coastline of Mallorca. From our base in the pretty<br />

resort of Colonia St Jordi, famous for its salt flats,<br />

producing the condiment favoured by Roman<br />

epicureans and latter-day Michelin-starred chefs, we<br />

swam across the bay to the sweeping sandy beach<br />

and later, from further along the coast, we headed<br />

out past lighthouse-topped headlands and around<br />

rocky islands before heading back into harbour.<br />

As we emerged from the water, we attracted<br />

curious glances from day-trippers waiting for<br />

the ferry to the Cabrera Archipelago Maritime<br />

National Park, which Pliny claimed was the<br />

birthplace of Hannibal and, during the Napoleonic<br />

Wars, was a notorious prison camp.<br />

The glances were even more askance, when, on<br />

our final day, we stood on the quay in swimming<br />

costumes, ‘vaselining up’ beside the ferry queue<br />

before we swam out to an island for a picnic lunch,<br />

later tackling another stretch back to shore. Coach<br />

John donned a t-shirt bearing the slogan ‘Ferries<br />

are for wimps’, and after a week of open-water<br />

training, I was ready to agree. Look out for me<br />

heading out between the piers this summer. I’m<br />

intrepid again!<br />

Illustration by Joda (@joda_art)<br />


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COLUMN<br />

...........................................<br />

John Helmer<br />

Afloat<br />

Illustration by Chris Riddell<br />

“I order a Gin and Tonic,” I tell Birdyman, “and<br />

look what I get—” I show him the Spanish balloon<br />

glass full of ice, garnished with strips of cucumber -<br />

“a bloody salad.”<br />

“You sound like such an old git,” he says<br />

reprovingly.<br />

Tim and I go way back, but I feel he has missed<br />

something in my tone. I don’t really have anything<br />

against the way the drink is served. In fact I love<br />

everything about it - it’s just a voice you fall into<br />

with old friends, marking the passage of time and<br />

the way the world has changed around us with a<br />

pretend sourness: these young people, with their<br />

vinyl and their beards and tats, and their craft<br />

beers… and now this lovely bowl-full of iced gin<br />

with a garnish of cucumber, Barcelona-style: what’s<br />

happened to the world?<br />

It’s a hot day, and my wife and I have stopped at<br />

The Colonnade in New Road for refreshment,<br />

taking a street-side table. New Road is a carnival:<br />

buskers, holiday-makers, hen parties and performers<br />

promoting shows sashay past - <strong>Brighton</strong> in full<br />

effect. For some the street is a catwalk, for others<br />

a shop counter. And then there are those who live<br />

here - the homeless man who wakes, blinking, on<br />

one of the benches, where he fell asleep the night<br />

before, to find the whole world coursing through<br />

his bedroom; a parliament of street drinkers<br />

debating hotly some point of misconduct. Police.<br />

Food stalls. Pop-up cocktail trailers. Friends<br />

pause for a chat, leaning over the canvas barrier<br />

that separates our table from the passing throng.<br />

Members of the extended family turn up, take one<br />

look at our G&Ts, sit down and say, “yes thanks,<br />

I’ll have one of those.” No booze however for baby<br />

Olive, a practiced entertainer who, sensing all our<br />

eyes upon her, fixes her young father with a defiant<br />

stare and drops her spoon to the floor.<br />

How we laugh.<br />

Another chum rocks up, the accordion player in my<br />

old street-band, Pookiesnackenburger. “What’s that<br />

you’re drinking?” he says incredulously.<br />

“I know.”<br />

If I sit here long enough, everybody I’ve ever met<br />

will walk past.<br />

And then a strange fantasy comes over me, that we<br />

are not sitting static here as the passers-by pass by,<br />

but that it is in fact we who are moving, in some<br />

sort of flat-bottomed canal boat, drifting slowly<br />

downstream, hailing and talking to the people on<br />

the towpath as we cruise by. It’s all getting a bit<br />

unreal. And then it gets meta.<br />

A performance novelist (new one on me) walks<br />

past and thrusts a flyer at us for his Fringe<br />

show, drawing our attention to<br />

the words on his t-shirt:<br />



END UP IN MY<br />

NOVEL.<br />

“Watch what you<br />

say,” I respond;<br />

“or you’ll<br />

end up in my<br />

column”.<br />



2-3 <strong>June</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 10.30am-5.00pm<br />

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COLUMN<br />

...........................<br />

Amy Holtz<br />

The truth is, I’m a Minnesotan<br />

My partner came in the<br />

other day after a ride on<br />

the Undercliff, with some<br />

unfortunate news. “You<br />

know those <strong>Brighton</strong><br />

bikes? People have been<br />

chucking them over the<br />

side of the seawall!”<br />

This is truly incredible<br />

– because those<br />

things weigh a ton.<br />

But also sad. Because<br />

like <strong>Brighton</strong>ians,<br />

Minnesotans grow up<br />

worshipping the water.<br />

My landlocked state is checkered with lakes,<br />

sloughs, ponds, rivers, sprinkled across the<br />

landscape like windflung seed.<br />

And with this proximity comes, for the<br />

most part, a loving respect. But not before<br />

encountering the many dangers of the lake –<br />

chiggers (usually a Minnesotan’s first – but not<br />

last – encounter with flesh-munching parasites),<br />

wasps, tangles of slimy weeds, speedboats<br />

towing double waterskiers after too many<br />

Leinenkugel’s. There was always looming lore<br />

about Northerns, a hideous fish that signals it’s<br />

stalking by flashing its ghost-white belly – like<br />

a Nordic Nessie. It’s got teeth like ice picks and<br />

one summer, a huge one was said to have bitten<br />

off the big toe of that Larsen girl when she was<br />

dangling her feet in the water off the Dahlberg’s<br />

dock. Poor girl’s straight line was a bit to the<br />

left after that.<br />

Us Minnesota kids were often told we would<br />

turn into fish if we didn’t get out RIGHT<br />

NOW and get in the G-Damn car, which<br />

probably wasn’t far off the truth considering<br />

we’d just gulped gallons of lake water, delirious<br />

with sunstroke and loopy<br />

from too many Italian ices.<br />

But I never gave much<br />

thought to what was<br />

below the surface until<br />

my first year at camp. The<br />

counsellors would let you<br />

take canoes out into Long<br />

Lake – just so long as they<br />

could see you. We paddled<br />

out with our little arms<br />

past the point where you<br />

could ‘touch’ and there<br />

we encountered what<br />

they called ‘the forest’.<br />

Bloated, bone-coloured tree branches reached<br />

up all around, waving just under the water.<br />

The sheer size of the trunks made it impossible<br />

to tell whether they were fifty feet down, or<br />

inches from the surface. You could jump in,<br />

but you had to aim for a place wide of them,<br />

into the black murk. And if your foot grazed a<br />

stray limb, we’d all squeal like trapped piglets.<br />

There’s nothing spookier than seeing something<br />

that was once alive and towering trapped<br />

underwater, forever doomed to be just out of<br />

reach of the sun.<br />

So that’s why, when it comes to the sea, that<br />

tremendous, fantastic monster, I’m still finding<br />

my flippers. I’ve ventured in, once, twice. But<br />

each time I find myself imagining those handlike<br />

tree branches, or, as happens in a recurring<br />

dream of mine, the evil eels from The Little<br />

Mermaid, Flotsam and Jetsam, tugging my heels<br />

down into oblivion. Most days, I’m happy to sit<br />

on the pebbles, eating chips, conferring with<br />

the other pebble dwellers when someone does<br />

something stupid – like go in. “Nutters,” we say,<br />

in unison, shaking our heads at one another.<br />





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MUSIC<br />

..........................<br />

Ben Bailey rounds up the local music scene<br />


Sat 2 & Sun 3, Komedia, 7.15pm & 8pm, £10<br />

Now entering his<br />

second decade as a<br />

‘chap hop’ performer,<br />

Mr B seems to be in no<br />

hurry to appease those<br />

who thought his act<br />

would be a flash-in-the-pan novelty. He returns this<br />

month with two dates at the Komedia and a new<br />

batch of ditties about hot topics such as chivalry,<br />

pipe-smoking and fortified wine. Those who aren’t<br />

au fait with the sound of received pronunciation<br />

rhyming, may or may not be surprised to learn<br />

that our city has produced not one, but two, chap<br />

hop artistes. After the gentlemanly conclusion of<br />

his lyrical feud with fellow <strong>Brighton</strong>ian Professor<br />

Elemental, Mr B moved on to lay the rap battle<br />

gauntlet at the feet of none other than Kanye West<br />

(where it remained, sadly).<br />


Wed 6, Green Door Store, 7.30pm, £5<br />

They might claim their music is sent to us through<br />

‘a primitive portal from a ruined future world’, but<br />

the enjoyably silly conceit of their social media<br />

announcements doesn’t quite prepare you for the<br />

earnest anger of Commands’ on-point political<br />

rap. Backed by live musicians blending hip-hop,<br />

punk and big beat, the band’s two MCs work their<br />

dynamic joint vocals into a groove that’s both<br />

compelling and melodic. The heavier sections may<br />

remind some of 90s rap rockers Senser, but the<br />

subject matter is decidedly of the minute – big data,<br />

media bias, the coming dark age, etc. Dystopian<br />

messengers they may be, but Commands also know<br />

what a dancefloor is for.<br />

THE DSM-IV<br />

Thu 7, Prince Albert, 8pm, £5<br />

Though some members of The Eighties Matchbox<br />

B-Line Disaster have resurfaced in various guises<br />

since the band finally burned out five years ago, this<br />

is the first we’ve heard of former frontman Guy<br />

McKnight in quite a while. Anyone who remembers<br />

the ferocious rock‘n’roll of his heydey will probably<br />

be intrigued enough to give this a go, even if there’s<br />

little indication online of what’s in store. Either the<br />

band decided to shroud themselves in secrecy or<br />

they haven’t got round to making any recordings yet.<br />

All we know is that McKnight is now often found<br />

sporting a triple combo of mullet, tash and tanktop.<br />

Seemingly named after a psychiatry manual, The<br />

DSM-IV have already supported British Sea Power<br />

on tour, but this is their first show in <strong>Brighton</strong>.<br />


Sat 9, Quadrant, 6pm, £3<br />

It might seem like an<br />

incongruous band name<br />

given that I Feel Fine’s<br />

music is heavily tinged by<br />

emo, but maybe they’re<br />

just being coy. In any case, the <strong>Brighton</strong> four-piece<br />

have enough light and shade in their songs to resist<br />

the genre pigeonhole. The group’s gang vocals soar<br />

over what are otherwise largely instrumental tracks; a<br />

loose style with tight arrangements. In terms of influences,<br />

The Hotelier rub shoulders with Sonic Youth,<br />

post-hardcore with a touch of shoegaze. This show<br />

is the launch for I Feel Fine’s debut EP, Long Distance<br />

Celebration, recorded by Lewis Johns (Funeral for a<br />

Friend, Gnarwolves). To mark the occasion they’ve<br />

invited some mates along for the party: Lightcliffe,<br />

H_ngm_n, Chalk Hands and Sven.<br />



....................................<br />

Photos courtesy of Atkinson Action Horses<br />

Atkinson Action Horses<br />

At the South of England Show<br />

We speak to Mark Atkinson of Atkinson Action<br />

Horses, whose live show will be the main arena<br />

highlight of the South of England Show.<br />

You’re horse master for a lot of TV shows,<br />

such as Poldark, Peaky Blinders and Victoria.<br />

What’s a horse master? Someone who’s in charge<br />

of all the horses on set, making sure everyone is<br />

safe. I assess the abilities of the actors and decide<br />

what they are capable of, and which of our horses<br />

would be most appropriate for them and the scene.<br />

We can train actors to ride, and we also have stunt<br />

doubles. The hero horses have their own identical<br />

stunt doubles, sometimes two. Seamus our Irish<br />

draught hero horse for Poldark (‘Darkie’ in the<br />

show) is very famous. We get journalists coming to<br />

Cornwall to spend the day with him. Both leads,<br />

Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson, are very<br />

able riders. Victoria is filmed near where we’re<br />

based in East Yorkshire which is great for us.<br />

What do you enjoy most about your job? I<br />

enjoy teaching the actors, and the challenge of<br />

delivering on set what the director wants. When<br />

the production stretches over a few months, there’s<br />

such a good atmosphere.<br />

What is most challenging? Teaching the horses to<br />

stand still. Filming involves a lot of waiting around.<br />

What makes for a good action horse? Patience,<br />

bravery, charisma and personality. We’ve got some<br />

beautiful horses, and some common-bred ones.<br />

They all have their place.<br />



....................................<br />

Where do your riders come from? All over<br />

the place. Most start as ground crew and can ride<br />

already. We teach them gymnastics, but occasionally<br />

we’ve recruited gymnasts and taught them to ride.<br />

They’ve all got to be incredibly fit.<br />

How did you get into this line of work? My dad<br />

was a farmer, and I carried on the business when<br />

he retired. My hobby was show jumping, and 28<br />

years ago, my wife Jill suggested we diversify into<br />

more horse-orientated work. We started offering<br />

livery services, opened a riding school, then began<br />

doing re-enactment and Sealed Knot work, went<br />

onto jousting with English Heritage, and it’s<br />

snowballed since then. It’s a family business. Jill<br />

does the logistics. My son Ben trains the horses<br />

and choreographs the live shows. He’s just come<br />

back from training horses for a Bollywood film.<br />

His wife Katherine is heavily involved, and our<br />

daughter Lucy works with us part of the time too.<br />

What can people expect from the live show?<br />

Thirty minutes of extremely exciting, entertaining<br />

live action by our team of eight male and female<br />

riders, and our fantastic horses. Expect trick riding,<br />

airs above the ground and liberty, which is when<br />

the horse has no tack.<br />

Which horses are you bringing? A mixture, including<br />

Spanish stallions, famous for their skills in<br />

Spanish High School, and some of our film horses,<br />

all of whom have a huge following on Instagram.<br />

Emma Chaplin<br />

Atkinson Action Horses will be performing two live<br />

shows per day at the South of England Show 7-9th<br />

<strong>June</strong>, 9am-6.30pm, Ardingly. Under 16s enter for<br />

free and free parking. Visit seas.org.uk<br />



.............................<br />

Ovingdean Green Festival<br />

Cat Fletcher, ‘re-use officer’<br />

Freegle founder, recycling<br />

champion and Council<br />

‘re-use officer’ Cat Fletcher<br />

is one of the speakers at<br />

Ovingdean Green Festival<br />

on <strong>June</strong> 23rd.<br />

We’re at crisis point<br />

when it comes to plastic<br />

usage. While I’m glad the<br />

government is taking action<br />

with the proposed consultation<br />

on banning straws<br />

and coffee stirrers, they’re<br />

giving themselves 25 years<br />

to implement it! We need action now. Twenty-five<br />

years is way too long.<br />

It’s not just up to the government; there’s also<br />

a lot that manufacturers and retailers could do.<br />

We could all do more. Locally, we could do a lot<br />

better with events. <strong>Brighton</strong> hosts so many and they<br />

have a significant environmental cost. The guidelines<br />

the Council issues to organisers could be much<br />

more ferocious. I’d like them to ban polystyrene,<br />

for example. If all food outlets were banned from<br />

using that you’ve instantly eliminated one major<br />

environmental problem.<br />

I’m not an advocate for that <strong>Brighton</strong> thing of<br />

leaving things you don’t want out on the street.<br />

My entire house is filled with things I’ve found so<br />

I get why people like it. But it’s fly-tipping. People<br />

assume if they put things out and they’re not there<br />

later that someone has taken them. In fact it’s<br />

probably been collected by the Council, which has a<br />

statutory obligation to remove – but not recycle or<br />

reuse – anything left on the street. It goes straight<br />

to the incinerator and it costs a fortune to deal with<br />

– we spend £150m a year<br />

nationally on fly-tipping.<br />

I’d rather people use a<br />

recycling service. I’m one<br />

of the co-founders of the<br />

Freegle website, which was<br />

one of the earliest services<br />

to connect people giving<br />

away things they didn’t need<br />

to people who wanted them.<br />

Now there are a million and<br />

one ways to give things away<br />

for free, so there’s absolutely<br />

no excuse for leaving it<br />

outside for the Council to deal with.<br />

I try to do my bit; I have a slightly quirky, unsalaried<br />

role as the Council’s ‘Re-use Officer’. They call<br />

on me whenever they need to declutter. I did Kings<br />

House in Hove recently. It was the biggest office<br />

block in the city and clearing it was an 18-month<br />

job. We sorted 280 rooms; 170 tonnes of stuff.<br />

There were a lot of wheelie chairs. Before me, they<br />

would have called in a removal company that would<br />

have taken everything straight to landfill.<br />

It’s brilliant that so many cafés and restaurants<br />

in <strong>Brighton</strong> & Hove are banning plastic straws<br />

and one-use coffee cups: there are around 110<br />

cafés locally who’ve joined the #BYOCC – Bring<br />

Your Own Coffee Cup – movement and lots of<br />

places offering discounts for customers who bring<br />

in reusable cups. That’s great. It’s also really encouraging<br />

to see villages like Ovingdean pledging to go<br />

plastic free. I hope we can build on this momentum<br />

to work towards a plastic-free future.<br />

As told to Nione Meakin<br />

ovingdean.co.uk/get-involved<br />


COMEDY<br />

.............................<br />

Simon Evans<br />

Potted Previews in the park<br />

Tell us about the<br />

‘Potted Previews’<br />

you’re doing at<br />

<strong>Brighton</strong> Open Air<br />

Theatre... People<br />

will be doing short<br />

versions of the<br />

shows that they’ll be<br />

taking to Edinburgh.<br />

Last time we had<br />

Angela Barnes and<br />

Mark Steel. I tend to<br />

go for people with<br />

some sort of <strong>Brighton</strong> connection.<br />

Is it odd performing comedy in the open air?<br />

Yes, it is. When you first do it you do feel a bit exposed,<br />

and you feel less inclined to be as transgressive<br />

as you might be in a dark room after a couple<br />

of drinks. But things warm up quite quickly, and<br />

that is my job of course, as MC, to overcome that. I<br />

make the acts realise that it is a regular gig and they<br />

can be just as rude to audience members, and lead<br />

them down darker passages, even if it’s a nice sunny<br />

day in the middle of <strong>June</strong> and there’s a dog falling<br />

asleep in the front row.<br />

Will you be doing some new stuff as well? I’ve<br />

been touring my show Genius this spring and I’ve<br />

been tweaking and trying to develop it so that it’s<br />

almost like a rolling project. I don’t know if that’s<br />

slightly ridiculous, or even a cop out. It feels to me<br />

like it’s evolving. The theme is the catastrophic<br />

decline of intelligence in public life. It’s a kind of<br />

grumpy old man howl of despair...<br />

Are you comfortable with the role of the<br />

grumpy old man? I am not sure that’s how I’m<br />

seen. I do toy with it a bit, but I also like to claim<br />

the intellectual high<br />

ground too. There is<br />

undeniably a lot of<br />

crap in the modern<br />

world and it is a<br />

permanent job just<br />

clearing your gutters<br />

of that. And that is<br />

GOM territory I<br />

guess, but I hope I<br />

do occasionally offer<br />

a more elevated view<br />

than simply the verbal<br />

equivalent of rubbing a sore back!<br />

Are people really getting dumber? It seems to<br />

me that there is an emerging appetite for chewy<br />

conversations, and it’s interesting and encouraging<br />

that so many people want that. I think it is part of<br />

what I’ve been saying in the show: that we’re not<br />

as stupid as we’re treated as being. But also I do<br />

wonder whether comedians are reneging on their<br />

responsibility to take risks, speak their minds, say<br />

the unsayable... There is a slightly suffocating consensus<br />

in comedy right now and it is risky to contradict<br />

that if you want to get on Mock the Week. It’s<br />

dangerous for comedy to let itself get into that state.<br />

Do you feel you’re able to break through that<br />

consensus? I hope so, yes – more teasingly than<br />

iconoclastically though! It’s fun being the one on<br />

The News Quiz who throws the gears into reverse<br />

sometimes, but I hope I don’t get too ahead of<br />

myself. It’s always about expressing bafflement and<br />

exasperation rather than offering actual solutions!<br />

Interview by Ben Bailey<br />

Simon Evans presents ‘Potted Previews’ at BOAT on<br />

the 10th and 17th of <strong>June</strong>, 1pm, £10/8<br />


Photo by Jonny Birch<br />


....................................<br />

Fleabag<br />

Tickle tickle slap<br />

It’s hard to imagine anyone but Phoebe Waller-<br />

Bridge in the role of posh, frank, porn-addicted<br />

Fleabag, the eponymous anti-heroine of the<br />

Edinburgh Fringe hit later adapted as a brilliant,<br />

BAFTA-winning BBC 3 TV series. “We’ve started<br />

to say that it’s like being the new Bond,” laughs<br />

Maddie Rice, who takes up the gauntlet as Fleabag<br />

returns to the stage. “James Bond is the same character<br />

every time but each actor plays him slightly<br />

differently. I’m thrilled to be Fleabag mark two.”<br />

Rice first saw Waller-Bridge’s monologue during<br />

its phenomenally successful Edinburgh run, where<br />

it became a word-of-mouth must-see and its writer<br />

and performer the toast of the Fringe. “As soon<br />

as I saw it, I was desperate to play the part,” she<br />

explains. “I’d been out of drama school for three or<br />

four years and all the parts I’d played felt the same<br />

– polite, male-gaze, 2D. Fleabag felt really exciting<br />

because she’s a complex, flawed character who<br />

doesn’t conform to any of the stereotypes of how a<br />

‘lady’ should act.”<br />

That’s something of an understatement: this is a<br />

character who gets her sexual kicks watching Barack<br />

Obama speeches, surprises her sometime-boyfriend<br />

by pretending to be a burglar, charges customers £8<br />

for a sandwich in the failing café she runs and steals<br />

from her stepmother. She deals with grief by… not<br />

dealing with it, preferring to lose herself in increasingly<br />

bleak sex and shocking jokes.<br />

“Even in the darkest, saddest moments there’s<br />

humour because that’s Fleabag’s way of coping,”<br />

explains Rice. “That and sex. She mistakes her<br />

relationship with sex as something powerful and<br />

protective. But you realise as the show goes on<br />

that it’s actually a crutch and not necessarily very<br />

healthy. She has all these empty experiences and<br />

avoids connecting to people because she’s too<br />

frightened.”<br />

Rice thinks of the piece as both comedy and<br />

tragedy: “Phoebe calls it ‘tickle tickle slap’. She’ll<br />

entice you in with humour and then slap you round<br />

the face. I love that about her writing. She makes<br />

you think something is going to be sad and then it’s<br />

funny or you think it’s a joke and it’s heart-breaking.<br />

There’s never a moment where it isn’t enjoyable to<br />

listen to but she never lets you off the hook.”<br />

While Rice is - “obviously” - very different to<br />

the character she is playing, there are elements of<br />

Fleabag that do resonate. “A lot of her experiences<br />

relate to being lonely in a big city. It’s so easy to<br />

hide in a city like London, to go unnoticed, and<br />

that’s another of Fleabag’s coping mechanisms -<br />

sauntering around believing that no one is noticing<br />

what she’s doing, and that no one cares anyway. I<br />

can relate to that feeling. I think I share some of her<br />

sexual candour too but where I’d only talk like that<br />

to my best friends, she says it to an entire room of<br />

strangers. She is a very extreme version of parts of<br />

all of us.” Nione Meakin<br />

The Old Market, <strong>June</strong> 5th–9th<br />


MUSIC<br />

....................................<br />

mr jukes<br />

Freewheelin’<br />

“I made the decision to end it,” says Jack<br />

Steadman, erstwhile front man of Bombay Bicycle<br />

Club, now the inspiration behind the much<br />

funkier mr jukes.<br />

“It was a terribly difficult decision,” he continues,<br />

down the phone from his North London home.<br />

“We’d been together since school. We’d grown<br />

up together in the band. But both musically<br />

and personally I couldn’t have done anything<br />

else. I had to listen to what my heart was saying.<br />

Otherwise we would have made a really mediocre<br />

Bombay Bicycle album.”<br />

Jack was the creative one of the group, the one<br />

whose ideas they all worked on and fashioned into<br />

guitar-rich indie-soaked pop songs. So you get the<br />

feeling the decision has been a good one for him,<br />

but not necessarily the others: their last album So<br />

Long, See You Tomorrow was UK no 1, and their<br />

previous two had made the top ten.<br />

“A lot of bands lose touch with the fact that they<br />

haven’t got anything to say, and I could feel that<br />

creeping up,” he continues. He talks about the<br />

loss of the sort of “burning desire” that fuelled the<br />

making of their first two albums.<br />

It was while on a cargo ship sailing from Shanghai<br />

to Alaska that he came up with the name for his<br />

new project. He was reading Joseph Conrad’s<br />

Typhoon. “I liked the sound of the name of the<br />

First Mate,” he says. “I thought an album by ‘Jack<br />

Steadman’ would have sounded like a folk album.”<br />

“Also having another name gives you an alter ego<br />

that affects the way you perform… as mr jukes I<br />

become very energetic; it’s a weird contrast when<br />

I go backstage afterwards and resume my normal<br />

personality, sitting in the corner being quiet.”<br />

One limitation Jack wanted to overcome in the old<br />

band was his own voice. “I was singing all the songs,<br />

and I’d listen back and wish someone else was able<br />

to take them off into a different direction.” As mr<br />

jukes he’s forged collaborations with the likes of<br />

Horace Andy, BJ the Chicago Kid, and De La Soul.<br />

“Suddenly I had the freedom to choose anyone in<br />

the world… I was like a kid in a candy shop.”<br />

The band he’s touring with are a nine-piece, with<br />

a brass section, and three other singers. “But<br />

not backing singers,” he says, “if anything I’m<br />

the backing singer”. And who goes to the gigs?<br />

“Some people like the style of music we’re doing:<br />

jazz, funk, hip-hop. Others are Bombay Bicycle<br />

fans who have heard a thread from before that’s<br />

been continued.”<br />

So could a reconciliation with his old band<br />

members ever be on the cards? “It’s healthy in some<br />

relationships to spend time apart and to come back<br />

stronger having got that ‘grass is greener’ thing out<br />

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

to wait until that burning desire is there again.”<br />

Alex Leith<br />

mr jukes play the Love Supreme Festival, Glynde<br />

Place, Fri 29th <strong>June</strong> – Sun 1st July<br />


COMEDY<br />

.............................<br />

Sofie Hagen<br />

Unashamed<br />

When did you know comedy was the career<br />

for you? I remember telling my friends a story<br />

about laughing at my grandfather’s funeral. They<br />

said I was weird and rude. I told some comedians<br />

the same story and they laughed. I felt like I had<br />

found home.<br />

How did you get into it? I worked for the<br />

Danish Refugee Council in Copenhagen and<br />

ended up working on comedy events for Save<br />

The Children. It allowed me to watch stand-up<br />

once a week. One day a comedian grabbed me<br />

and said, ‘You clearly love comedy. You should do<br />

it yourself. I put you down for a five-minute spot<br />

next Tuesday.’<br />

Your most recent show, Dead Baby Frog,<br />

focused on your stepgrandfather’s emotional<br />

abuse; why did you want to talk about that?<br />

I wanted to regain control of the narrative. My<br />

grandfather felt like it was his prerogative to paint<br />

himself as the best person, and he was willing to<br />

severely damage his family as a result of that. The<br />

only thing I could really do about it was tell my<br />

story. That way I got the last laugh.<br />

It’s not the first time you’ve tackled a difficult<br />

subject in your stand-up… I like to put into<br />

words what people feel but are not able to talk<br />

about. When you are depressed or fat or anxious,<br />

there is so much shame attached to it. You’re not<br />

meant to talk about it without being ashamed. So,<br />

when you actually aren’t ashamed it is so exciting.<br />

And funny.<br />

Is there anything you regret having shared<br />

with an audience? I went on stage to MC a<br />

show 20 hours after the worst break-up of my life.<br />

I told the audience about the break-up. All the<br />

Photo by Matt Crockett<br />

women in the audience were crying. And then I<br />

brought on the first act. It was a mess.<br />

You’re writing a book on body image. Tell<br />

us about it… I have been fat my entire life. I<br />

remember being seven years old and hearing<br />

someone tell my mother that I needed to lose<br />

weight because I was dangerously fat. I wasn’t. I<br />

was a child. The most recent incident was today,<br />

when someone told me that they would kill<br />

themselves if they looked like me. The book is<br />

about those incidents: why they happen and what<br />

we can do about it.<br />

What’s the best heckle you’ve ever received?<br />

I have never received a good heckle. It is a<br />

misunderstanding that heckling can be good.<br />

Why do people heckle comedy but not theatre<br />

or musicals? I instinctively do not like hecklers<br />

because when I see someone who feels like their<br />

voice should somehow be listened to above everyone<br />

else in a crowd, I don’t think I will like them<br />

as a person. And yes, I know that I am describing<br />

myself. But maybe that’s how I know I wouldn’t<br />

like them. Nione Meakin<br />

Sofie appears alongside David O’Doherty and Reginald<br />

D Hunter at <strong>Brighton</strong> Dome on <strong>June</strong> 17th<br />



.............................<br />

Dallowday<br />

Celebrating Virginia Woolf<br />

Virginia Woolf’s modernist novel<br />

Mrs Dalloway details a day in<br />

the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a<br />

high-society woman in post–<br />

First World War England. It<br />

follows her as she takes a walk<br />

through London to prepare<br />

for a party that she will host<br />

that evening, and begins: ‘Mrs<br />

Dalloway said she would buy the<br />

flowers herself’. We speak to Alli<br />

Pritchard, operations manager of<br />

Monk’s House in Rodmell, once<br />

Woolf’s home, about her drive<br />

to establish an annual ‘Dallowday’<br />

to celebrate Woolf, in the<br />

way that ‘Bloomsday’ celebrates<br />

James Joyce.<br />

You’re a big fan of Virginia<br />

Woolf? I really am. I’m a<br />

Woolfie. Aged 13, I saw the<br />

film of Mrs Dalloway, bought<br />

the book, then started reading<br />

everything else she’d written.<br />

Tell us about Dallowday. The<br />

aim is to celebrate and raise the profile of Virginia<br />

Woolf. Over the last couple of years, some celebrations<br />

have taken place in America and London,<br />

but there wasn’t one agreed date, or indeed name.<br />

Woolf’s novel takes place in mid-<strong>June</strong> 1923,<br />

but not on a specified date. We’ve now agreed<br />

that, henceforth, Dallowday will be on the third<br />

Wednesday of <strong>June</strong>.<br />

What will be happening at Monk’s House?<br />

We are essentially holding our own garden party.<br />

We’ll decorate the house with extra flowers and<br />

bunting with Woolf quotations. We will be offering<br />

refreshments in the garden, something we don’t<br />

normally do. We will have readings from the novel<br />

in the garden. We’ve also got Ink<br />

Spot Press printers coming, so<br />

visitors can make book marks and<br />

greetings cards with a selection<br />

of quotations. Although it can be<br />

hard to find short ones.<br />

So she wouldn’t have been on<br />

Twitter? Well, I don’t know.<br />

She and Leonard loved the latest<br />

technology. She’d definitely have<br />

a Mac.<br />

You clearly remain a fan. I do.<br />

Many people visit who know very<br />

little about Virginia or Leonard<br />

Woolf. Most people seem only<br />

to know the salacious elements<br />

of her life. They think of her<br />

as a gay icon. They know that<br />

she committed suicide and was<br />

depressive. That’s far from the<br />

whole truth and part of the joy<br />

of the job is filling in the gaps for<br />

them. She was formidable and<br />

complicated, but also incredible<br />

fun, and vivacious. Above all, she<br />

was a supreme talent whose work is thoroughly<br />

deserving of this annual celebration each <strong>June</strong>. We<br />

often hear people say that they’ve attempted but<br />

failed to finish her novels. But even if people don’t<br />

like those, her diaries demonstrate how funny and<br />

wicked she could be. I defy anyone not to love<br />

them. Interview by Emma Chaplin<br />

Dallowday, Wednesday 20th, 12.30-5pm, at Monk’s<br />

House, Rodmell. Free, but normal admission charges<br />

apply. Also at Monk’s House in <strong>June</strong>, Sunday 17th,<br />

book signing and talk with Nino Strachey, author of<br />

Rooms of their Own, which explores the homes of<br />

Virginia Woolf, her lover Vita Sackville-West, and<br />

Vita’s first cousin Eddy. nationaltrust.org.uk<br />

Photos by Lizzie Lower<br />




AND<br />


2 JUNE – 30 SEPTEMBER<br />


townereastbourne.org.uk<br />

Image: Mishka Henner, Unknown Site, Noordwijk aan Zee, South Holland, 2011.<br />

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

ART<br />

.............................<br />

Gilbert & George<br />

‘Two people, one artist’<br />

Gilbert and George are sitting in a corner of their<br />

retrospective at <strong>Brighton</strong> Museum & Art Gallery.<br />

The pair, dressed in their co-ordinating ‘responsibility<br />

suits’, are marginally too close to me and too high up.<br />

I feel like a passenger on a cruise: their conversation is<br />

buoyant, and slightly unsettling.<br />

“It wasn’t designed by us,” says George about<br />

the show, part of the ARTIST ROOMS touring<br />

collection owned by Tate and the National Galleries<br />

of Scotland.<br />

“It was not designed by us,” says Gilbert.<br />

“But we like it,” says George. “It’s impressive.”<br />

Gilbert & George are “two people, one artist”, and<br />

one of the most famous working in Britain today. This<br />

show of 15 works, of 5,000+ they claim to have made,<br />

is organised by decade from the 1970s to the 1990s. In<br />

the first room, Elgar and Grieg ooze out of an early<br />

‘video sculpture’. In the second, a sequence of large<br />

multi-panel self-portraits are a riot of colour, rolling<br />

heads and genitals. In the third room, the artists stare<br />

at me, knowing and ambivalent. On the comments<br />

board I read feedback including: “too many penises<br />

for my liking”.<br />

“She cannot afford one like that anyway,” says Gilbert.<br />

“Too many penises for what?”<br />

“The comment is a reflection on her marriage, probably,”<br />

says George. It’s true they finish each other’s<br />

sentences.<br />

I wonder if the reaction of today’s audiences to this<br />

culturally transgressive, confrontational art is different<br />

to those of the seventies? Have Gilbert & George lost<br />

the power to offend?<br />

“We never want to analyse the response to our pictures,”<br />

says Gilbert. “It’s much better that we believe<br />

it’s fine. That’s our motto: Everything is fantastic.”<br />

“It’s an amazing freedom to have the cards up and let<br />

them do it,” adds George. “In many countries they<br />

wouldn’t allow that in a museum.”<br />

One divisive aspect of Gilbert & George’s work is<br />

their unabashed Conservativism, which helps to maintain<br />

the story they are outsiders to the art establishment.<br />

“We always said in simple terms,” says George,<br />

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

If you’re an artist and you’re a Conservative you’re<br />

always the enemy in the art world, they both point<br />

out, and the art world is a problem. “All the museums<br />

are feeble,” says Gilbert. “They are so terrified of protesting<br />

against the art that they end up with abstract<br />

art that doesn’t offend anybody… It’s wallpaper, that’s<br />

what it is.”<br />

“The other ones are all stuck in the art world,” he<br />

says. “We are making art and we are stuck in making<br />

a vision.”<br />

I ask what vision is behind their matching suits.<br />

“Artists have always wanted to dress in some way that<br />

would alienate 92% of the<br />

world’s population,” replies<br />

George. “We say,<br />

if you took a suit from<br />

every decade…<br />

put them into a<br />

computer and<br />

press the average<br />

button,<br />

shhhhpp…”<br />

He strokes<br />

his lapel.<br />

“…you’ll<br />

end up with<br />

something<br />

roughly like<br />

this.” Chloë King<br />

ARTIST<br />

ROOMS Gilbert<br />

& George, until<br />

2nd Sept<br />

Photo by Chloë King<br />


ART<br />

.........................<br />

Bauhaus Braids<br />

Textile artist Marilyn Rathbone<br />

Dorset button-making meets maths<br />

What was the inspiration<br />

for ‘Self-avoiding walk’?<br />

I’m quite often asked how I<br />

think about the structure of a<br />

piece and how I decide on the<br />

colours. I thought ‘wouldn’t it<br />

be interesting to make a piece<br />

without having to make those<br />

decisions myself’. So, I googled<br />

‘avoiding decisions’, and<br />

it came up with a self-avoiding<br />

walk. I thought, ‘a self-avoiding<br />

walk… if you’re doing a<br />

self-avoiding artwork, that’s<br />

brilliant’.<br />

What is a self-avoiding<br />

walk? It’s a grid that you can<br />

move through without ever<br />

crossing your path or visiting<br />

the same point more than<br />

once. So, for this piece, you<br />

follow the black line from the<br />

start arrow until eventually,<br />

you come out. It’s a readymade<br />

mathematical diagram<br />

that I found online, but it’s<br />

black and white so then came<br />

the question, ‘what colours<br />

do I use and in what order?’<br />

I wanted to avoid those<br />

decisions too, so I used pi to<br />

lead the way. Pi uses the digits<br />

0 to 9, and I allocated each<br />

one a colour. Then it starts off<br />

3.141592... all the way around.<br />

Are you pleased with the<br />

result? I’m very pleased<br />

with it. Because it’s not even<br />

showing pi in a straight line.<br />

It’s interesting when you get<br />

runs of colours together; some<br />

bits look quite 50s. Colours I<br />

would never have thought to<br />

put together. It’s more random<br />

that I would ever have<br />


ART<br />

.........................<br />

generated myself.<br />

How did you come to<br />

combine ancient braiding<br />

techniques with maths? I<br />

suppose the fascination with<br />

the maths started when I<br />

became interested in braid<br />

making because, with the<br />

Japanese Kumihimo loom,<br />

the instructions for producing<br />

patterns are quite<br />

mathematical. Mathematical<br />

models intrigue me because I<br />

don’t quite understand them.<br />

I didn’t know there were<br />

circular numbers... when the<br />

square of a number ends in<br />

the number itself. Like 5 and<br />

its square 25. I did a drawing<br />

about it. I didn’t know that<br />

triangular numbers also<br />

form triangles, and square<br />

numbers, squares. These<br />

inspired my Bauhaus Braids,<br />

named after Kandinsky, who<br />

had synesthesia and saw<br />

shapes as colours. For him,<br />

triangles are yellow, because<br />

they are dangerous, sharp and<br />

edgy. So, I braided triangular<br />

numbers in yellow and black<br />

like hazard signs. For him<br />

blue is round and spiritual, so<br />

I braided circular numbers, in<br />

blue and white, like the sky.<br />

And squares are red, earthbound,<br />

stable and steady.<br />

What techniques do you<br />

use to make them? With<br />

the Self-avoiding walk, I used<br />

Dorset button making, which<br />

involves covering a ring in<br />

blanket stitch, and then you<br />

make spokes and weave in<br />

and out to fill the space. The<br />

inkle loom, which I used for<br />

the Bauhaus Braids, dates to<br />

medieval times. People had a<br />

utility belt from which they<br />

would hang things, and they<br />

would use the inkle loom or<br />

a lucet to make tapes to hold<br />

things in place. It was more<br />

about strength than decoration.<br />

It looks like an ancient<br />

technique, but there are inkle<br />

weavers around today.<br />

Lizzie Lower<br />

Marilyn’s work will be at Venue<br />

4 (8 New Parade, Worthing)<br />

during the Worthing Artists<br />

Open Houses Festival on the<br />

16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th & 30th<br />

of <strong>June</strong> and the 1st of July:<br />

worthingartistsopenhouses.<br />

com / axisweb.org/artist/<br />

marilynrathbone<br />

Self-avoiding walk<br />

Lucet<br />


ART<br />

....................................<br />

ART & ABOUT<br />

In town this month...<br />

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

Wright’s Constellation is now in place on the Hove Plinth, by Hove<br />

Lawns. The stainless steel and gilded orrery places Hove at the centre<br />

of the universe with objects of local significance orbiting in place of the<br />

planets. ‘The objects are aspirant, magical, infused with meaning…’<br />

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

esplanade, As Pleased as Punch in <strong>Brighton</strong>, an exhibition about the<br />

original dysfunctional family, is at the West Pier Trust from the 21st.<br />

It’s been 350 years since Punch & Judy puppets first appeared on the<br />

prom and the exhibition seeks to explore the enduring popularity of<br />

the wife-beating, reptile-goading, child-terrorising, sausage fanatic.<br />

‘Constellation’ by Jonathan Wright<br />

A little further towards <strong>Brighton</strong> Pier is<br />

<strong>Brighton</strong> and Hove Camera Club’s <strong>2018</strong><br />

seafront exhibition. Presented on stone<br />

gabions right on the beach, the 47 images<br />

by 47 different photographers reflect the<br />

diversity of interests of the club’s members.<br />

Continues until the end of September<br />

[bhcc-online.org].<br />

Alexander Johnson<br />

Born of frustration with general unfriendliness (‘the art scene can take itself too<br />

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

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

<strong>Brighton</strong> graffiti people’ have their second show at Studio45, at the Open Market,<br />

opening on the evening of Friday the 8th. Also from the 8th, 35 North present<br />

Deanland, a new exhibition (and accompanying book)<br />

of original work by painter Alexander Johnson and<br />

photographer John Brockliss. Inspired by a remote<br />

Sussex ex-WWII airfield, and his spitfire pilot father,<br />

Alexander has created a series of emotive abstract<br />

paintings exploring the many facets of this ‘slightly<br />

haunting yet strangely beautiful location’. John’s<br />

photographs document the project from inception to completion, offering an<br />

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

North Laine, the newly opened VeeBee gallery is adding even more vibrancy to<br />

the area. Recently opened by the eponymous artist, and inspired by pop and urban<br />

art themes, the gallery offers limited edition prints, original paintings and artwork<br />

commissions [veebee.co].<br />

VEEBEE<br />


ART<br />

....................................<br />

ART & ABOUT<br />

Out of town<br />

Worthing Artists<br />

Open Houses<br />

takes place on<br />

weekends from<br />

the 16th of <strong>June</strong><br />

until the 1st of<br />

July, with over<br />

325 participating<br />

artists presenting<br />

their work in<br />

57 different<br />

venues throughout the town. Read about<br />

just one of the participants on pg 56<br />

[worthingartistsopenhouses.com]. The<br />

Adur Art Trail returns from the 2nd until<br />

the 17th with the chance to see artworks<br />

in churches, galleries, beach huts and<br />

houseboats. Accompanying talks and<br />

events include a beach-clean-to-upcyclingworkshop<br />

with Candy Medusa on the 9th.<br />

[adurartcollective.co.uk]<br />

Anna Vartiainen, WAOH Venue 11<br />

Home to one of the finest and most important<br />

collections of sixteenth and seventeenth century<br />

embroidery in the UK, Parham House &<br />

Gardens in West Sussex has a needlework<br />

exhibition from the 13th until the 24th. Pieces<br />

from Lady Emma Barnard’s private collection<br />

will be on display and there’s an embroidery<br />

masterclass with Royal School of Needlework<br />

tutor, Chrissie Juno Mann, on Monday the 18th<br />

of <strong>June</strong>. See parhaminsussex.co.uk for details.<br />

‘Dark Pool’ by Laura Knight<br />

© Estate of Laura Knight<br />

Further west, Virginia Woolf: an exhibition inspired by her writings, continues<br />

at Pallant House. Featuring 80 female artists, working from 1854 to the<br />

present day, the selected work ‘seeks to show how her perspectives on<br />

feminism and creativity have remained relevant to a community of creative<br />

women across time’.<br />

If you’re heading<br />

east, visit three<br />

award-winning<br />

galleries in one<br />

day on the Coastal Culture Trail. The Towner<br />

Gallery in Eastbourne, the De La Warr Pavilion<br />

in Bexhill and the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings<br />

are all within 17 miles of each other and an easy<br />

cycle or train ride - or an intrepid weekend’s<br />

walk! Visit coastalculturetrail.com to explore the<br />

options. There’s much to see.<br />


ART<br />

....................................<br />

At Altitude is at Towner Gallery from the 2nd. A book illustration<br />

from 1786, A Circular View from the Balloon at its greatest Elevation, is<br />

considered to be one of the first ever ‘real’ aerial views and sets the<br />

context for this exhibition, which explores ‘how our experience of<br />

landscape, space and territory has been transformed through new<br />

aerial perspectives of the world’. Once again working in partnership<br />

with the Arts Council, the exhibition brings together painting,<br />

sculpture, photography and film around the theme<br />

[townereastbourne.org.uk].<br />

Mishka Henner, Unknown Site, Noordwijk<br />

aan Zee, South Holland, 2011. Arts Council<br />

Collection, courtesy of the artist<br />

‘Assembly’ by Alison Wilding<br />

Continue on down to De La Warr<br />

Pavilion for an exhibition of new and<br />

existing works by leading UK sculptor and<br />

Royal Academician, Alison Wilding. From<br />

the 23rd, Right Here and Out There unfolds<br />

both inside and outside of the gallery, with<br />

works selected in response to the landscape<br />

and the light. In her own words, ‘The sharp<br />

lines of the building reflect the sharp lines<br />

of the sculptures, and the flatness of the<br />

horizon… the sculptures seem to hold the<br />

same weight as those ships’. The exhibition<br />

continues until the 16th of September.<br />

Newhaven Open Call is an artist-led initiative<br />

inviting local people and visitors to the area to make<br />

a new piece of art, in any medium, about Newhaven.<br />

Works should be based on a personal experience of<br />

being in the town and one piece by each artist will be<br />

exhibited at UTC Harbourside, as part of Artwave in<br />

August. Workshops for would-be but inexperienced<br />

artists will be held during July. Find more details at<br />

the Newhaven Town Council office in Fort Road,<br />

the Newhaven Museum at Paradise Park or at<br />

newhavenprojects.co.uk from the 1st of <strong>June</strong>.<br />

Annemarie O’Sullivan<br />

There are more opportunities to get making. Monk’s House in Rodmell has<br />

a programme of events that includes twilight tours, a bookbinding workshop<br />

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

monks-house]. Over at Charleston there’s an Introduction to Basketry<br />

coming up, where you can create your own ‘Sciathog’ basket with Annemarie<br />

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

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


DESIGN<br />

....................................<br />

© Conran & Partners Ltd<br />

Saltdean Lido<br />

Not safe yet…<br />

“The key thing is for people to realise that it<br />

hasn’t finished,” says Paul Zara, director at Conran<br />

& Partners and the architect in charge of the<br />

Saltdean Lido redevelopment. “It’s hardly started.<br />

People have to keep their enthusiasm going… If<br />

you don’t save it now, it’ll be gone for good.”<br />

Saltdean Lido, as you may know, is not only one<br />

of <strong>Brighton</strong> & Hove’s most significant architectural<br />

gems. Historic England recently named it<br />

one of the Seven Wonders of the British Seaside.<br />

The Grade II* listed building is championed by<br />

Saltdean Lido CIC and Saltdean Lido Trust, both<br />

of which grew out of the residents’ campaign<br />

Save Saltdean Lido. Saltdean Lido CIC won<br />

the tender to take on the lease from <strong>Brighton</strong> &<br />

Hove City Council and opened the refurbished<br />

pool to a delighted public last summer.<br />

The next phase of development relies on unlocking<br />

a £4.19 million grant from the Heritage<br />

Lottery Fund (HLF). A crowdfunding campaign is<br />

currently active on spacehive.com, and £100k plus<br />

fees must be raised by the 16th of <strong>June</strong> in order to<br />

fund the café refurbishment, and help secure the<br />

lido’s future. If we don’t help the trust reach this<br />

target, the HLF money may be lost forever.<br />

“This crowdfunder will not in itself fulfil the<br />

gap,” says Sally Horrox, Chair of Saltdean Lido<br />

Trust. “It’s a demonstration to the HLF before<br />

they make their decision, to say the community<br />

is behind it... We need to show a strong pipeline<br />

of funding so they are confident to release the<br />

monies and that we will have other funds to<br />

finish off the build.”<br />

Should the funding goals be achieved, the beautiful<br />

Art Deco building will be restored to its former<br />

glory. Added bonuses will include a café and<br />


DESIGN<br />

....................................<br />

heritage centre; a huge events space<br />

on the first floor; a health suite<br />

with sauna and massage facilities;<br />

community spaces, and possibly a<br />

library, to re-open by 2021.<br />

“The development realises the<br />

opportunity of it being a top-class<br />

venue,” says Sally. “It’s unique. You<br />

can sit out on the tea terraces or<br />

eat in a pop-up restaurant... It will<br />

become the showpiece of Saltdean<br />

again, instead of a dilapidated<br />

building.”<br />

“The building is probably in the<br />

worst state it’s ever been,” adds<br />

Paul. “I think the lesson that the<br />

city’s learning is that it’s not the<br />

Council’s fault. Everyone blames<br />

the Council for everything and it’s<br />

partly that they let the building<br />

get into this bad state, but you can<br />

see around town, with the Marine<br />

Terraces crumbling away, we live in<br />

a coastal environment.<br />

“You need to keep up investment in these important buildings.<br />

You have to preserve these community assets, otherwise you<br />

lose them. Saltdean Lido itself is exceptional. It has the chance<br />

not just to be an asset for Saltdean but also <strong>Brighton</strong>, Sussex<br />

and the country… It’s an impossible building not to love.<br />

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

looks like it’s almost hugging the pool, it’s a fantastic building.<br />

I just think it’s vital that people realise that, if they have spare<br />

money to give to it, now is the time to do it.” Chloë King<br />

Saltdean Lido is now open for the summer season. To donate,<br />

visit saltdeanlido.org or spacehive.com/saltdean-lido<br />

Photo courtesy of Saltdean Lido Trust Collection<br />

© Conran & Partners Ltd<br />



Contemporary<br />

British Painting and<br />

Sculpture<br />

We look forward to welcoming<br />

you to our gallery in Hove.<br />


Mon—Sat 10.30am—5pm<br />

Sunday/bank holidays 12pm—5pm<br />

Closed Tuesday<br />

For more details visit<br />


1 Victoria Grove, 2nd Avenue, Hove BN3 2LJ<br />

TELEPHONE 01273 727234 EMAIL info@cameroncontemporary.com<br />

CCA_HovePark_Advert_210x297_Feb<strong>2018</strong>_v2AW.indd 1 14/02/<strong>2018</strong> 14:51


This month, Adam Bronkhorst has been photographing people who work (almost) at<br />

the water’s edge, exploring five of the diverse businesses operating out of the arches.<br />

We asked them: when did you last swim in the sea?<br />

adambronkhorst.com | 07879 401333<br />

Mike Levy, Castor + Pollux<br />

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


April Williams, The Lollipop Shoppe<br />

“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<br />

“Last summer I swam in Studland Bay in Dorset with my family.<br />

Such a beautiful place with a wonderful Mediterranean vibe.”


Eva Hellqvist, Oh So Swedish<br />

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

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


Finn Hopson, <strong>Brighton</strong> Photography<br />

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

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!”

FOOD<br />

........................<br />

The Bandstand café<br />

Prom nom nom<br />

I recently discovered that there is a café underneath<br />

the Bandstand. Well, I knew that there was a café<br />

there, but I recently discovered that it was a nice café.<br />

I was walking along the seafront with a friend on an<br />

evening that it was far too cold to be walking along<br />

the seafront and, both shivering, we ducked in for<br />

some shelter (and hot chocolate).<br />

It has a very different feel when I return to try out<br />

the food – with <strong>Viva</strong> editor Lizzie and <strong>Viva</strong> dog<br />

Gracie – on a hazy Monday morning. It’s warm<br />

enough to sit outside, for a start, and we both turn<br />

down hot drinks in favour of a Vanilla Iced Latte<br />

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

enough for lunch, so I order the Avocado & Eggs<br />

(£8.50) while Lizzie opts for a Homemade Falafel<br />

Wrap (£8);<br />

Gracie settles for<br />

a bowl of water.<br />

The lattes come out in tall glasses with striped<br />

paper straws and they taste good – plenty of coffee<br />

and not too much sugar. The food follows quickly<br />

after. Avocado and eggs are an obvious staple on any<br />

breakfast menu, but this one is very well put together.<br />

The sourdough toast is layered with hummus, slices<br />

of tomato and avocado and topped with a fried egg,<br />

accompanied by a well dressed salad. A bite of Lizzie’s<br />

falafel wrap, toasted and drizzled with a delicious<br />

sweet chilli dressing, makes me a little jealous.<br />

I think this is going to become a regular spot for me,<br />

rain or shine. Rebecca Cunningham<br />


FOOD<br />

............................<br />

The Little Fish Market<br />

Scaled-down perfection<br />

On the way to The Little<br />

Fish Market, I find I’m<br />

more apprehensive than<br />

excited. I’ve become fed up<br />

with places where the food<br />

is good but not remotely<br />

sensational, where the<br />

tablecloths, glasses and<br />

other flummery seem more<br />

important than the fare,<br />

where the greeter – usually<br />

haughty and dressed in black<br />

– can’t even say ‘hello’ and<br />

where the bill requires real<br />

imagination to work out how<br />

it had turned out to be quite<br />

so high. Is this going to be<br />

another of those places?<br />

My wife Jean and I walk into the 20-seat Little<br />

Fish Market to be greeted with a smile from Rob,<br />

who looks after all of the service on his own. He’s<br />

relaxed, gentle, calm and delightful. Happily, there<br />

is no flummery in sight. The floor is red-tiled, the<br />

walls are sage-green, and the wood tables are plain.<br />

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

four fish courses and a dessert. Everyone is going to<br />

be eating the same food. I love the simplicity of it.<br />

Three amuse-bouches arrive in slow succession.<br />

Each is just lovely to look at and better to eat.<br />

There’s taramasalata in cucumber and basil oil<br />

with a warm blini, cured salmon with avocado in<br />

a sort of choux pastry cracked egg (crisp, crunchy,<br />

moist, slightly acidic and wonderful) and halibut<br />

surrounded by squid batter.<br />

The set menu hasn’t even started to arrive yet and<br />

we are won over. The theme of the evening – in<br />

fact, the theme of the whole restaurant – has been<br />

set already. The chef and owner, Duncan Ray, uses<br />

the very best ingredients<br />

he can find, and does<br />

something quite magical<br />

with them.<br />

Our meal lasts three hours.<br />

Nothing is anything other<br />

than wonderful. We have<br />

scallop on a sweet and<br />

intense rosemary sauce. We<br />

have Duart salmon, oyster,<br />

cucumber, samphire and<br />

caviar, the salmon cooked<br />

to the second. We have<br />

Aligea Halibut (Aligea is a<br />

small island off the Hebrides<br />

where the fish live in a loch)<br />

with seaweed and espilette<br />

(a capsicum cultivated in a<br />

Basque village of 2,000 people) on top of which<br />

is a delicate potato galette that I thought was a<br />

cheese straw but which is cooked in ghee which<br />

gives it the cheese flavour. It takes me but a<br />

moment to eat and is worth the visit on its own.<br />

Then there is wild bass with crisp English<br />

asparagus, mussels and puréed peas. At the first<br />

mouthful Jean’s groans of delight call to mind the<br />

famous When Harry Met Sally diner scene. Finally,<br />

it’s raspberries with yoghurt dressing sandwiched<br />

between two thin wafers, on top of which is a<br />

vanilla ice cream.<br />

Quite simply, the city has something magical<br />

going on in this small space. It restored my faith<br />

in what a restaurant should be, run by a small,<br />

passionate team who love what they are doing<br />

and whose main aim is to give their customers an<br />

experience to remember. We loved it.<br />

Martin Skelton<br />

10 Upper Market Street, Hove, 01273 722213<br />

Photos by Xavier D Buendia Photography<br />


RECIPE<br />

..........................................<br />


RECIPE<br />

..........................................<br />

Chocolate chip cookies<br />

A recipe by Dough Lover’s Ronke Arogundade<br />

Brunch is my favourite meal. It allows you<br />

to be creative in a way that wouldn’t quite be<br />

acceptable at other times – that’s what makes it<br />

fun. I love that you can have sweet and savoury<br />

things together with equal billing. You can eat<br />

salty bacon with sweet pancakes. From there<br />

you can go on to a sweet muesli or a chocolate<br />

or a cookie. It’s acceptable to drink a coffee and<br />

it’s acceptable to drink a cocktail. It’s a greedy<br />

person’s paradise.<br />

If you’re Australian or American, it’s kind of in<br />

your DNA to go out for brunch; New Yorkers<br />

will queue up forever to get into the right<br />

place. But for the UK the idea is still quite<br />

unfamiliar. When people come in and they see<br />

a coffee machine and a counter, they assume<br />

we’re a coffee shop, but really we’re closer to a<br />

restaurant.<br />

I’m a classically trained chef. I started off at a<br />

restaurant called L’Escargot in Soho, in the latter<br />

part of its heyday. It was amazing – I learnt a lot<br />

and I was super inspired by it. I spent some time<br />

on the pastries, some time on the larder, some<br />

time on the sauce, so by the time I left I had a<br />

skills base in all of those areas. I carried on in<br />

that classic French line for a while, worked as a<br />

private chef and then started my own high-end<br />

catering business, the Good Eating Company.<br />

That was really good for me because it meant<br />

that I developed the ability to cross disciplines<br />

very easily. Then at some point the nutritional<br />

element came in, which is another passion of<br />

mine. So I float between the classic French side,<br />

where I want everything I make to be beautiful,<br />

and the nutritional side, where I want all those<br />

beautiful things to be less harmful than their<br />

traditional equivalents.<br />

I’ve been cooking gluten free for the last 20<br />

years, but I would never want to go to a ‘gluten<br />

free’ restaurant, which is why I didn’t call Dough<br />

Lover that. What’s exciting for me is being able<br />

to offer something for everybody. Because it’s<br />

such a strong muscle that I’ve developed over the<br />

years, it’s easier to make everything gluten free<br />

rather than have the two things mixed up on one<br />

premises. So all of our sourdough bread, all of<br />

our cakes, muffins, every cookie, is made in our<br />

kitchen and is gluten free.<br />

Ingredients: 150g butter, 80g demerara sugar,<br />

80g soft light brown sugar, 2 large eggs, 265g<br />

brown rice flour, 1tsp vanilla extract, 200g<br />

chopped dark chocolate, 200g chopped nuts<br />

(optional), 1½tsp baking powder, 1tsp bicarbonate<br />

of soda.<br />

Method: Preheat the oven to 130°C.<br />

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together. Add<br />

the egg, followed by the flour and baking powder.<br />

Fold the nuts and chocolate into the dough.<br />

Divide the dough into roughly 18 pieces and<br />

roll each into a ball. Space the cookies out onto<br />

a baking tray, leaving at least 2½ inches between<br />

each one.<br />

Bake for approximately 35 minutes. Halfway<br />

through baking, remove the tray from the oven<br />

and drop it onto a work surface to knock the air<br />

out of the cookies. Do not over bake – the middle<br />

of the cookies should still be a little soft. Allow<br />

them to cool completely before lifting from the<br />

tray. As told to Rebecca Cunningham<br />

99 Trafalgar Street / doughlover.com<br />


A news bouche<br />

吀 䠀 䔀 嘀 䔀 䜀 䔀 吀 䄀 刀 䤀 䄀 一 刀 䔀 匀 吀 䄀 唀 刀 䄀 一 吀<br />

Welcome to the Community Kitchen, which<br />

opened at Community Base in May. Run by<br />

<strong>Brighton</strong> & Hove Food Partnership, the<br />

space will host cookery workshops and events,<br />

like ‘Easy Entertaining with CanTina’ on the<br />

14th of <strong>June</strong>, where the supperclub hostess will<br />

give tips on how to ‘elevate dishes to dinner<br />

party status’ [bhfood.org.uk/cookeryschool].<br />

At the end of <strong>June</strong>,<br />

the Bison Beer boys will be<br />

launching a new restaurant/<br />

bar on North Road, with<br />

food-beer-pairing enthusiasts<br />

Humble running the kitchen.<br />

On the 2nd and 3rd of <strong>June</strong>, the Level will be<br />

home to <strong>Brighton</strong> Vegan Summer Festival<br />

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

Old Tree Brewery to celebrate the launch of<br />

their new project the Old Tree Food Forest,<br />

with brewery tours, music and tasters at ONCA<br />

Gallery from 7.30pm. On the 9th, family-run<br />

pop-up Chard – normally at Café Rust – will<br />

be holding an outdoor supper<br />

at The Garden House<br />

on Warleigh Road. To<br />

book call 01273 027147.<br />


Open for Lunch and Dinner<br />

10 Manchester Street, Kemptown, <strong>Brighton</strong><br />

bluemanrestaurant.com<br />

Finally, Refill <strong>Brighton</strong> & Hove is now up<br />

and running. The idea is to wipe out the need<br />

for single-use plastic bottles by creating a<br />

network of ‘refill stations’ – bars, cafes and<br />

other businesses – where passers by can fill up<br />

their reusable bottles. Participating<br />

venues have a Refill sticker<br />

in their window and can be<br />

found on the Refill app.<br />

There are already over 200<br />

businesses signed up; get the<br />

app at refill.org.uk.<br />


FOOD<br />

............................<br />

Jack & Linda Mills<br />

Traditional Fish Smokers<br />

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

pointing at his left one to prove he’s still very much<br />

alive, and therefore at work.<br />

It’s 11.30am on a Monday morning, and I’ve told<br />

him I’d been worried that, it being Monday and all,<br />

the famous Traditional Fish Smokers café he runs on<br />

the seafront with wife Linda might be shut.<br />

I order a hot kipper in a warm buttered roll (£3.80),<br />

and coffee. You can get all sorts of seafood, but<br />

kippers make the most sense. The herring are<br />

smoked in the little black hut opposite the entrance,<br />

having been caught by local boats in the sea beyond.<br />

They don’t come fresher than that…<br />

I tell Linda, who pops both kippers and rolls in a<br />

folding grill, that I often go to Craster, where they<br />

claim to have invented kipper smoking. “Ours are<br />

better,” she says, without a pause.<br />

I perch at the silver table outside, and within a<br />

couple of minutes she’s brought the food. “Mind out<br />

for seagulls, they’ll have it, if you’re not careful.”<br />

I last had a kipper roll in Northumberland about two<br />

months ago, and she’s right, this one’s better. The<br />

toasted roll is crunchier, and the kipper meat is softer.<br />

Jack tells me, as I go order another, that him and<br />

Linda have been running their little takeaway – in<br />

the Fishing Quarter arches near the Carousel – for<br />

21 years. Before that, since just after the war, he used<br />

to work on the fishing boats. A man who knows his<br />

fish, then… long may his eyes stay open. AL<br />

Kings Road Arches<br />










ROTI (TUES-FRI, 12-5PM)<br />


99 NORTH ROAD<br />

01273 623 143<br />



...........................................<br />

Simon Murie<br />

SwimTrek founder<br />

So how do you go about swimming from Europe<br />

to Asia? The swim across the Dardanelles straits in<br />

north-western Turkey takes around an hour but,<br />

as Simon Murie found out, getting the necessary<br />

permissions and finding a willing boat to escort<br />

you across takes a great deal longer. “It’s a very<br />

hard swim to organise” he tells me, “Gallipoli<br />

on one side, Troy on the other. The area is so<br />

militarised.” But he did the groundwork and<br />

made the trip and there began an even longer<br />

journey: founding SwimTrek, the first open water<br />

swimming adventure holiday company. He’s still<br />

organising epic swims almost 20 years later.<br />

“We can sort out anything to do with open water<br />

swimming. Whether that’s swimming from island<br />

to island, swimming down the river Thames,<br />

or taking people across the Hellespont, where<br />

Leander swam across to his lover Hero in Greek<br />

Mythology… It’s about swimming in places where<br />

there’s a reason to do it, where you wouldn’t<br />

normally be able to go.”<br />

From their HQ in Hove, they organise swims in<br />

40 worldwide locations, arranging local guides<br />

and safety boats for swims in Lithuania, Greece,<br />

Slovenia, Oman, the Maldives, Russia… Simon<br />

spends much of his time devising new itineraries.<br />

“We’re increasingly developing the wilder, more<br />

exotic destinations. Like Galapagos, Komodo and<br />



...........................................<br />

Vietnam. The sort of places that you might get to<br />

visit just once in your lifetime.”<br />

As much as I like the idea of swimming in the<br />

Galapagos, aren’t there scary things in the<br />

water? “I wouldn’t say scary but, within the<br />

first minute of our first swim, one of the group<br />

shouted ‘shark!’ and we looked down and there<br />

was a Hammerhead circling. Within ten minutes<br />

there was another one. The whole trip was full<br />

of species that you wouldn’t ever otherwise get<br />

to see. A lot of the work is figuring out the safe<br />

places to swim and the sharks are so well fed<br />

that they’re not interested in swimmers. It’s an<br />

amazing way to experience the environment:<br />

from the water.”<br />

Not all SwimTrekkers are die-hard adventurers.<br />

Some trips are suitable for beginners and focus on<br />

building technique and stamina (see pg 39), but<br />

participants do need to be able to swim 2k in the<br />

pool. To that end, Simon is one of the team behind<br />

the Sea Lanes pool development on <strong>Brighton</strong><br />

Seafront (see pg 86), which he hopes will become a<br />

national open-water swimming centre.<br />

“Open water swimming can often be easier<br />

than swimming in a pool. Firstly, because<br />

of the buoyancy, you float more easily and,<br />

psychologically, every swim is different. It’s not<br />

boring, it’s fascinating. It’s an amazing feeling,<br />

arriving somewhere you’ve swum to… Getting<br />

there under your own steam. That’s a really<br />

important part of it.”<br />

He’s also planning trips to the Seychelles and<br />

to the Philippines and increasingly the more<br />

expeditionary places. “We’ve swum across the<br />

Corryvreckan whirlpool off Jura, but I’d love to<br />

swim in St Kilda... I love the mix of swimming in<br />

warm and cold water, I love the contrast. We’re<br />

going for a swim at lunchtime today if you want<br />

to join us?”<br />

Not today thanks, Simon. But maybe when you’re<br />

next in the Seychelles. Lizzie Lower<br />

swimtrek.com<br />

Photos courtesy of SwimTrek<br />


St. Johns is a school and college<br />

for young people with learning<br />

disabilities, autistic spectrum conditions<br />

and behaviours that challenge.<br />

DO YOU<br />



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Visit st-johns.co.uk/work-with-us<br />

to find out more or contact our<br />

Human Resources team at:<br />



<br />



...........................................<br />

<strong>Brighton</strong> Beach Patrol<br />

Seaside samaritans<br />

“My cousin Kevin came<br />

up with the idea of the<br />

Beach Patrol in 2015;<br />

we’re both quite passionate<br />

about preventing<br />

deaths from drink drowning.”<br />

So says Louise Roberts,<br />

as she tells me about<br />

the origins of this family<br />

affair with Kevin Roberts,<br />

the Managing Director of<br />

Resolve Security, which<br />

patrols many of the seafront pubs and clubs.<br />

“Resolve donated the quad bike, first-aid kit and<br />

training. Sussex Heart Foundation kindly donated<br />

a defibrillator. But I soon realised that it’s not just<br />

about keeping people out of the sea when they’re<br />

intoxicated; it’s about giving people support and a<br />

chat with a mum figure.”<br />

If Louise tracked me down on her quad bike and<br />

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

my clothes back on sharpish. But apparently<br />

this isn’t always the case. What does she say to<br />

someone who’s already in their pants?<br />

“Typically, I’ll go down and say, ‘Hey guys, why are<br />

you getting undressed?’” she replies with characteristic<br />

nonchalance. “I just engage with them and,<br />

without dictating, give them the facts about going<br />

into the water – even if it’s a really calm sea. Many<br />

tell me they used to be a lifeguard, that they’re a<br />

good swimmer – which, they probably are – but not<br />

at 3am when they’re drunk. If they ignore me, I’ll<br />

stay till they’re safe.”<br />

The now three-strong crew patrols the Lower<br />

Promenade – between the Pier and the i360 –<br />

every Friday and Saturday night from 11pm-5am,<br />

and they’re linked into support crews from HM<br />

Shoreham Coastguard, the RNLI and Sussex<br />

Police. But the Beach<br />

Patrol is often the first to<br />

highlight any problems. At<br />

the risk of sounding stupid,<br />

I ask ‘why is it worse to get<br />

in the water when you’re<br />

drunk?’<br />

“On a normal day, the sea<br />

temperature is quite low.<br />

Our body reacts by looking<br />

after our vital organs and,<br />

when drinking, our coordination<br />

isn’t as good. There’s very little time to react<br />

to cold water shock.”<br />

But, Louise and her team do much more than<br />

warn off revellers – the Beach Patrol makes a huge<br />

difference to the most vulnerable people in our<br />

community. “We’ve found lots of missing people<br />

and helped with many first-aid incidents. We work<br />

closely with the <strong>Brighton</strong> Seafront Office to prevent<br />

fires on the beach, and just by our presence<br />

in the area, we’ve lowered the incidence of sexual<br />

assault crimes on the Lower Promenade, as well<br />

as robberies.”<br />

It’s fantastic that the team’s dedication has helped to<br />

reduce dangerous behaviour on the beach but I’m<br />

surprised to learn that the patrol is voluntary. Here,<br />

the formidable coastguard and prison officer is<br />

reflective. “We’d love funding, to get more people<br />

trained up, another quad bike. Simon Walker and<br />

the Laines Pub Company very generously donate<br />

monthly. But I honestly can’t put a cost on what the<br />

patrol covers – and the vast area. There’s no money<br />

in the world that could give me the satisfaction you<br />

get when you help someone in a crisis.” Amy Holtz<br />

For more information about <strong>Brighton</strong> Beach Patrol –<br />

or to support them – contact Louise at<br />

admin@resolvesecurity.co.uk<br />


MY SPACE<br />

...........................................<br />


MY SPACE<br />

...........................................<br />

Roger Cohen<br />

Lifeboat Operations Manager<br />

I’ve been with the RNLI for 35 years. My<br />

godfather was on the Newhaven lifeboat<br />

and my dad was in the Royal Navy, so it was<br />

sort of in my blood. The opportunity came<br />

along and I joined the <strong>Brighton</strong> crew in the<br />

early 80s.<br />

We’re all volunteers. They join us as a<br />

trainee volunteer crew and then work their<br />

way up the ladder, become a crew member,<br />

and then possibly a helmsman. At 55, a lot of<br />

volunteers can’t get the RNLI out of their<br />

system, so they stay with us, becoming part<br />

of the management group.<br />

Currently we have 24 volunteers. They<br />

come from all sorts of backgrounds – selfemployed<br />

builders, ambulance paramedics,<br />

firemen, directors of companies – very few<br />

from maritime backgrounds. I recruit the<br />

crew from within a ten-minute window of<br />

legally driving here. I’ll try and maintain a<br />

minimum cover of five people available to<br />

attend at any time of day or night.<br />

Most of our shouts are within three miles<br />

of the station, but certainly in the <strong>Brighton</strong><br />

lifeboat we’ve been as far as Worthing Pier<br />

and we’ve been as far as Seaford Head. When<br />

a treble nine call comes in, from a member<br />

of the public or a worried parent, that goes<br />

to the coastguard. They will summate the<br />

incident and decide who to put to it to solve<br />

the issue. They know there’s a <strong>Brighton</strong><br />

lifeboat here 24/7, so they could page me<br />

and I would decide whether to accept the<br />

launch and call the crew. The charity can<br />

refuse to launch in certain circumstances, for<br />

example, if it is not a life-saving issue.<br />

Photos by Adam Bronkhorst, adambronkhorst.com<br />


MY SPACE<br />

...........................................<br />


MY SPACE<br />

.......................<br />

It’s impossible to say what an average<br />

week will look like. Last year we had 82<br />

call outs; currently this year we’re at 21. We<br />

had three shouts yesterday, all mechanical<br />

breakdowns: a yacht, a powerboat and a<br />

jet ski. We have had a run of responding<br />

to despondent persons entering the water<br />

[attempted suicides]. Of our 82 call outs last<br />

year, at least 50% were responding to people<br />

who had entered the water or were entering<br />

the water through despondency.<br />

The crew will be going out in the boat<br />

tonight. They’ll be doing exercises in how<br />

to navigate the boat, search patterns, manoverboard<br />

drills – everything they’re going to<br />

use when they’re out lifeboating for real, so<br />

that when it is done for real, it’s second nature.<br />

As told to Rebecca Cunningham<br />

The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at<br />

sea. They rely entirely on donations from the<br />

public and an incredible team of volunteers<br />

to keep their 238 lifeboat stations operational<br />

around the coast of the UK and the Republic<br />

of Ireland. The RNLI are recruiting at their<br />

Sussex stations for volunteers and welcome<br />

enquiries from people wanting to join. rnli.org<br />

Photos by Adam Bronkhorst, adambronkhorst.com<br />


LOWDOWN ON...<br />

...........................................<br />

Moving to a houseboat<br />

The ups and downs of a floating home<br />

What inspired the move? Nick: One day I said,<br />

‘I’d like a boat.’ It was meant to be a throwaway<br />

line. I’d been on canal boats and a tall ship. I’ve<br />

always loved being on boats.<br />

Jackie: I had no thought about living on a boat,<br />

ever, but I came down here [to the river at Shoreham]<br />

to recover from a friend’s death and stayed<br />

on a houseboat. I absolutely loved it. There was<br />

something really magical about it. I saw this boat<br />

had a ‘For Sale’ sign, so we came to have a look.<br />

From the outside, it looks a bit shabby but we<br />

both loved it. We started the negotiations with the<br />

owners, put in an offer, and went from there. It<br />

was much more expensive than we imagined.<br />

N: We thought we would be buying the boat and<br />

renting the mooring but it wasn’t like that.<br />

J: You buy a plot of mud, basically. The houseboat<br />

is worth nothing compared to the plot. We were<br />

told we wouldn’t be able to get a mortgage and<br />

we’d have to buy outright but we so loved it that<br />

we made it work.<br />

What has been the best thing about it? N: The<br />

view and the quality of light are amazing. Having<br />

the beach so close is incredible.<br />

J: The feeling of space and creativity; that you can<br />

make something out of nothing. We got rid of the<br />

TV. The view out of the window and the footbridge<br />

at night are so beautiful. If we were going<br />

to watch TV, what was the point of living here?<br />

It’s super quiet: a bit like living in the country and<br />


LOWDOWN ON...<br />

...........................................<br />

a shipyard at the same time.<br />

And the most challenging? N: After our offer<br />

was accepted, I’d say ‘what the hell are we doing?’<br />

quite regularly, until about a month ago.<br />

J: She’s much leakier than we thought and there<br />

are conflicting views on managing that. She’s<br />

a wooden boat built in 1887, about the oldest<br />

boat down here. It’s challenging to accept that, if<br />

there’s a high tide and the bilge pumps don’t come<br />

on, we could go down. We wouldn’t drown but<br />

we’d lose the stuff on the lower deck. You have to<br />

let go of that security, it’s not like living on land.<br />

You’re reliant on the tides and the weather.<br />

Has it changed how you use your time? N:<br />

Yes. I feel slightly guilty if I sit and draw that I<br />

should be working on the boat. I’m documenting<br />

and drawing the history of the boat for our<br />

blog. She was a luxury steam yacht that went up<br />

and down the Thames and was stationed here as<br />

troop accommodation during the war. We want<br />

to document the project from a novice point of<br />

view. We’re not craftspeople but we are respecting<br />

how she was built. We’ll take away a cupboard<br />

and find a beautiful piece of wood hand-crafted by<br />

someone in the 1800s.<br />

J: We had planned to move here when we thought<br />

it would be spring but it turned out to be a blizzard<br />

and in the first week the roof blew off, which<br />

buggered up one of the bilge pumps. If something<br />

needs to be done you have to do it pretty much<br />

straight away or more things go wrong.<br />

Would you recommend it? N: We were quite<br />

naïve about it. If you are going to do it, do it, but<br />

gen up first. The vendor was friendly when we<br />

were buying but, in the end, we got about ten<br />

minutes handover to tell us how the bilge pumps<br />

worked and that we needed to loosen the ropes at<br />

very high tide. Things like that would never have<br />

occurred to us. Thankfully we have very helpful<br />

neighbours.<br />

J: It’s not all sitting on the deck drinking gin and<br />

tonic but you will have a great adventure. She’s<br />

got her quirks. We listen to every noise. It’s a bit<br />

like having a baby.<br />

N: It’s very much like a baby. It’s moist, makes a<br />

noise, it’s demanding, wakes you up in the middle<br />

of the night… You’re never bored. There is no<br />

way you’d ever be bored here.<br />

Lizzie Lower interviewed Nick Cannan and Jackie<br />

Blackwell<br />

Photos by Lizzie Lower<br />



...................................<br />

Sea Lanes<br />

A swimming pool… on the beach<br />

The idea of building an open-water swimming pool<br />

on <strong>Brighton</strong> beach rather brings to mind the phrase<br />

about coals and Newcastle. But as Joe McNulty,<br />

one of the team behind the proposal, explains, not<br />

many of us actually swim in the sea. It’s too cold; too<br />

rough; too scary. That’s where the pool comes in -<br />

to provide a training ground where swimmers of all<br />

ages can improve their confidence in open water,<br />

learn how to lifeguard or just hire a wetsuit.<br />

Open water swimming has seen a 20 per cent<br />

annual growth since it featured in the 2012 Olympic<br />

Games and, as our silver medals proved, the British<br />

have something of a knack for it. We could do<br />

better, however and especially in <strong>Brighton</strong> where<br />

few of us brave the waves often. “Coaches will take<br />

swimmers through techniques and safety and will<br />

then accompany them into the sea, with kayaks and<br />

safety boats to keep an eye on things. We’re taught<br />

from an early age that the sea is dangerous – and it<br />

is, when you don’t know what you’re doing. But if<br />

you’ve been taught about the tides and how to swim<br />

safely, if you’ve built up your confidence under<br />

professional coaches, it can be really enjoyable.”<br />

Sea Lanes <strong>Brighton</strong>, as the project is known, is a<br />

collaboration between McNulty (managing director<br />

of Copsemill properties), <strong>Brighton</strong> Sea Swimming<br />

Club, QED Sustainable Urban Developments and<br />

SwimTrek. If planning permission is granted, the<br />

group plans to trial a 25m temporary pool on the<br />

former Peter Pan’s Playground site on Madeira<br />

Drive. The heated pool will be surrounded by<br />

wooden decking, giving the appearance it has been<br />

dug into the beach. But it will be formed of bolted-together<br />

panels that allow the group to either<br />

pack it up at the end of the initial five-year lease, or<br />

to extend it to create a 50m, permanent pool.<br />

The project should give a much-needed boost<br />

to the city’s swimming pool provision – which<br />

currently only reaches 44 per cent of the government’s<br />

target. It is also set to create around 70 new<br />

jobs, both at the pool and in 10,000 square feet of<br />

adjacent commercial space, which will be offered to<br />

sports and leisure-related businesses and will fund<br />

the cost of the pool itself. Surprisingly, the Council<br />

isn’t contributing; if the pool is to become a larger,<br />

permanent fixture, the group will need to win<br />

additional funding.<br />

The announcement that it would be up and running<br />

by November was perhaps a little hasty. “But we’re<br />

looking at being on site next spring and hopefully<br />

opening next summer,” says McNulty, “The plan is<br />

to be open every day from 6am to 10pm.” As to who<br />

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

definitely going to be Andy White, our swim coach.<br />

He’s in the sea in his Speedos all year round. There’s<br />

no way anyone will be able to stop him jumping in.”<br />

Nione Meakin<br />

sealanesbrighton.co.uk<br />



...................................<br />

A harvest from the sea<br />

Offshore farming<br />

Remember Waterworld? A<br />

terrible film of the 1990s, but<br />

its premise about a future in<br />

which the polar ice-caps have<br />

melted and covered most of<br />

the land no longer seems so<br />

far-fetched.<br />

Scientists are predicting a<br />

rise in sea levels of up to two<br />

metres by the next century.<br />

Coupled with a doubling<br />

of the world’s population, it<br />

seems that we’re heading for<br />

an acute shortage of space to<br />

grow enough food.<br />

Unless, that is, Leilah<br />

Clarke’s invention of a ‘floating<br />

farm’ takes off.<br />

Using the simple principles<br />

of condensation, the University<br />

of Sussex Product Design student has created<br />

environmentally friendly sea rafts with a self-watering<br />

system for plants.<br />

Leilah, who initially began studying Engineering<br />

before switching to Product Design, said: “It was one<br />

of those ideas that evolved over time.<br />

“I moved to the coast from Brixton five years ago, and<br />

I was thinking about how you could set up a raft to<br />

live on out at sea. The first thing I thought about was<br />

how you would produce food – apart from what you<br />

could catch in the sea.”<br />

Inspired by a project in Italy called Nemo’s Garden,<br />

in which plants are grown in domes ten metres under<br />

the water, Leilah designed a doughnut-shaped fibreglass<br />

raft fitted with a clear acrylic dome.<br />

When set afloat on the sea, water vapour rises<br />

through the middle of the raft and condenses as fresh<br />

water on the inside of the dome. The water then<br />

trickles down the sides to hydrate crops growing in<br />

containers around the sides.<br />

Because of the natural desalination<br />

process, there’s no need<br />

for pumps or filtration systems.<br />

This also means that as<br />

the weather gets hotter, more<br />

water evaporates, therefore<br />

reducing the risk of the plants<br />

dehydrating.<br />

And to prevent the raft<br />

from tipping over in stormy<br />

weather and choppy seas, it’s<br />

designed in two sections – an<br />

inner and an outer ring – to<br />

give it stability.<br />

Using small prototypes,<br />

Leilah, a keen gardener, has<br />

already experimented with<br />

different crops.<br />

“At the moment chard is a<br />

good one to grow because you can harvest off it quite<br />

a lot,” she says. “Also spinach and leafy greens, things<br />

you can harvest over time. And now I’m looking at<br />

radishes because they are really quick. You could grow<br />

up to 400 radishes in a month.”<br />

Like windfarms, her floating farms could be set up<br />

out at sea on a large scale. “All the materials that I<br />

have chosen won’t bleach or leak into the sea and<br />

cause any harm,” she says. “And because it’s mostly<br />

fibreglass it’s easy to fix.”<br />

They could also be used as towing gardens for<br />

ocean-going vessels to provide freshly grown food for<br />

passengers. And, with some adaptations, set afloat on<br />

fresh water rivers and lakes.<br />

The next stage for Leilah, who graduates this summer,<br />

is to find a company to invest in the product.<br />

“I really think this could be the future for farming,”<br />

she says. “It gives new meaning to the term, seasonal<br />

crops.” Jacqui Bealing<br />



CENTRE<br />

We rescue, rehome and provide sanctuary<br />

for over 2000 animals each year.<br />

Visitors welcome!<br />



ON YOUR<br />


Your local animal charity<br />

www.raystede.org<br />

Registered charity number 237696

Illustration by Mark Greco<br />


...........................................<br />

Mute Swans<br />

Deride a white swan<br />

I’m going to come right out and say it. I don’t like<br />

swans. Never have done. Just seeing them smugly<br />

swanning around acting all hoity-toity annoys me. And<br />

last month I took a particular dislike to a pair of them.<br />

<strong>2018</strong> is the 50th anniversary of the opening of<br />

Woods Mill, Sussex Wildlife Trust’s nature reserve<br />

and headquarters near Henfield. We’ve been getting<br />

the place all ship-shape, ready to welcome visitors<br />

for celebrations throughout the summer. I turned up<br />

for work one Monday to find a pair of swans had inconsiderately<br />

started building their huge woven nest<br />

right in the middle of the main path. I thought I may<br />

try and heave the heap back into the pond but you<br />

can’t disturb nesting birds during the breeding season<br />

and I’m sure I once read that the Queen legally owns<br />

all the swans in Britain. I certainly didn’t want Liz<br />

leaping out of the undergrowth and bopping me with<br />

her sceptre so the nest was here to stay and visitors<br />

would have to take a small diversion.<br />

Perhaps it’s this royal association which give swans<br />

their snooty attitude but I would like to remind<br />

them that the reason that they were once bestowed<br />

this protection was because the Royal Family enjoyed<br />

eating them and didn’t want us common folk<br />

depriving them of their swan supper.<br />

This morning I checked on the swans and found six<br />

whopping great eggs in their obstructive haystack<br />

nest. But the parents were elsewhere, arrogantly<br />

gliding about on the pond. Had they abandoned<br />

the nest? Surely the eggs would perish in the cold?<br />

I suddenly became uncharacteristically concerned. I<br />

was half tempted to hop on the eggs myself to keep<br />

them warm until I noticed the swans a-swimming<br />

towards me, their wings half-raised behind their<br />

back (a posture called ‘busking’ which despite being<br />

the archetypal swan pose is actually an aggressive<br />

threat). Before I knew it they were upon me, hissing<br />

and raising their mighty wings. When you’re being<br />

attacked by a swan you really appreciate what formidable<br />

creatures they are. Weighing up to 13kg mute<br />

swans are one of the world’s heaviest flying birds.<br />

The story that they can break your arm with their<br />

wings is nonsense but I didn’t hang around, just<br />

in case. After giving me some evil stares Lord and<br />

Lady Muck settled back to incubating and guarding<br />

their future family.<br />

They’re still there. Sitting pretty on their throne<br />

in the middle of the path, being photographed by<br />

crowds of admiring visitors while I stand ankle deep<br />

in the mud, muttering curses under my breath and<br />

begrudgingly hammer in a fence to keep them safe.<br />

It’s obvious who rules the roost here at Woods Mill.<br />

If you want to see the swans and lots of other wildlife<br />

take a trip to Woods Mill this summer. Directions<br />

are on Sussex Wildlife Trust’s website and in the<br />

‘What’s On’ section you’ll find details of loads of free<br />

events being held on the reserve as we celebrate our<br />

half century. Michael Blencowe, Sussex Wildlife Trust<br />



.....................................................................................<br />

Pirates ahoy! It looks like the two gentlemen in the<br />

sailing dinghy are preparing to board the rowing<br />

boat containing two ladies, who are looking rather<br />

perturbed at the prospect. There’s a great dynamic to<br />

this picture, from the James Gray collection, but in his<br />

caption Gray doesn’t know much about who took it,<br />

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

Hove Lagoon is naturally a stretch of tidal marshland,<br />

formed by the overflow of the Aldrington Basin, once<br />

known locally as ‘Salt Daisy Field’. It was privately<br />

owned by a gentleman called Paget Baxter, and by all<br />

accounts a bit of an eyesore. In 1927, after much legal<br />

wrangling with Baxter, Hove Council managed to<br />

acquire the rights to convert the area into a pleasure<br />

lake, which was completed in 1930. Contemporary<br />

photographs show it was extremely popular, particularly<br />

with model yacht owners – a big craze back in<br />

the day. The Hove Lagoon Model Yacht club still<br />

hold races on Sunday mornings, at 9.30am.<br />

The Lagoon area was requisitioned by the MOD in<br />

the war; it was used by Canadian troops to practice<br />

manoeuvres in their DUKW amphibious trucks;<br />

the beach, too, was a no-go area at the time, strewn<br />

with tank-traps and zig-zagged with barbed wire<br />

as first-line defence against a feared Nazi invasion<br />

from the Continent.<br />

After the war it became a pleasure lake once more; in<br />

the harsh winter of 1947 the water froze over and locals<br />

used it as a skating rink. As you can see from this<br />

picture it became a boating lake again soon after and<br />

you can still sail dinghies there, as well as – courtesy<br />

of Lagoon Watersports – try your hand at windsurfing,<br />

wakeboarding, kayaking and stand-up paddle<br />

boarding. After a three-month closure this winter for<br />

dredging, the Lagoon was reopened on April 28th:<br />

the dredgers found countless lost items, including 200<br />

shoes, a drone and a Buzz Lightyear toy.<br />

To the far left of the picture you can see the Lagoon’s<br />

café, which has had an interesting and chequered<br />

history, not least in recent years, with two celebrity<br />

owners taking it over. First up was Heather Mills,<br />

who in 2008 converted it into VBites, a vegan eatery;<br />

Norman Cook took it over in 2013, adding burgers<br />

to the menu, and renaming it the Big Beach Café.<br />

We wonder if our 60s pirates managed to persuade<br />

the two ladies to join them for a cup of tea in the late<br />

sixties incarnation of the café, after they’d all got their<br />

feet back on dry land. Alex Leith<br />

Thanks, as ever, to the Regency Society, holder of the<br />

James Gray Collection.<br />




AT NIGHT,<br />



1 Malling Street, Lewes,<br />

East Sussex BN7 2RA<br />

01273 471 269<br />

bespoke@alistairflemingdesign.co.uk<br />


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