Viva Lewes Issue #147 December 2018





This month we’ve been thinking myth and folklore – i.e. stories. Stories

bound up with magic and tradition – as personified by Olivia Bullock’s fab

Nutcracker of a cover.

People need stories. We know children do – and any who stumble on Myth

Atlas are in for a treat, promises Bags of Books’ Anna. But adults, too – Umi

Sinha from The Guesthouse Storytellers is convincing. Even naming things can,

of course, be a kind of shorthand storytelling. Take the sixty-strong Brighton choir

who’ll swell the Con Club this month: the Jam Tarts, they’re called. Oddly brilliant.

Stories can help keep us sane – even as they’re filled with magic. They offer an alternative

to the rational, every-day paradigm. So, Mt Caburn can be construed as a clod of earth

hurled by the Devil. Or Tchaikovsky’s family home at Christmas transformed – thanks

to magician Drosselmeyer – into a winter battleground.

Marc Chagall was, of course, a master of magical storytelling. Or what about American

city boy turned folk-music maestro, Bruce Molsky (who’ll perform this month at the

Elephant and Castle): what did those old-time, mountain songs say to him?

Meanwhile, of course, here comes Christmas. A magical time, at least for the littluns.

Might the adults be soothed, too – by a festive pizza from the Bus Club, or a bottle of

wine hand-picked by Harveys? We hope our guide to local gifts also HELPS. And,

when it all gets too much, why not slip out onto a chill night? Catch a glimpse of those

flitting, urban foxes.



EDITOR: Charlotte Gann

SUB-EDITOR: David Jarman

ART DIRECTOR: Katie Moorman

ADVERTISING: Sarah Hunnisett, Amanda Meynell



CONTRIBUTORS: Jacky Adams, Michael Blencowe, Sarah Boughton, Mark Bridge, Emma Carlow, Peter Chrisp,

Lulah Ellender, Daniel Etherington, Mark Greco, Anita Hall, John Henty, Mat Homewood, Robin Houghton,

Jo Jackson, Chloë King, Eleanor Knight, Dexter Lee, Alex Leith, Lizzie Lower, Carlotta Luke, Nione Meakin,

John O’Donoghue, Galia Pike, Rachel Playforth and Marcus Taylor

PUBLISHER: Becky Ramsden

Viva Lewes is based at Lewes House, 32 High St, Lewes, BN7 2LX, all enquiries 01273 488882



Bits and bobs.

8-29 Magic cover art by Olivia Bullock;

Gabriel Josipovici on a writing life in

Lewes; Bonfire Photo of the month;

Chalk Circle micro-fiction; Charity box,

the Cleft Lip and Palate Association;

Magic Circle to Peace Garden; book

reviews; pets, bikes and Doortrait;

Josephine Watson spreads the word while

cycling from Lewes to New Zealand;

plus, Carlotta Luke photographs Seven

Sisters’ Spices.


31-35 Chloë King glides with the white

stork; John Henty finally sees The

Snowman; and David Jarman mourns the

reading of poetry.


On this month.

36-49 Stories Through a Glass Plate –

Lewes and the suffragettes; myth in the

making via the Treason Show; winter

tales by The Guesthouse Storytellers;

The Nutcracker streams into the

Depot; Film ’18; treat yourself to The

Jam Tarts; or visiting fiddle legend,

Bruce Molsky.

Illustration by Robin Shaw from The Snowman by Michael Morpurgo

Popsicle Bear by Lisa Jones


Listings and free time.

51-75 This month’s Gig of the

month, The Vapors, plus gig guide;

Christmas special classical roundup.

Diary dates, including the Christmas

Post, Glyndebourne backstage tours;

Peter Pan panto; Boogie Wonderland,

and many others. Free time including

Santa on the Bluebell Railway, Merry

Mayhem puppets; climbing Mt Caburn;

Myth Atlas; and Christmas

at Blackberry Park Farm.




77-89 Forty years of The Snowman; The

Quick and the Dead at the Jerwood, how

artists see one another; art and about from

Charlotte Snook, Peter and the Wolf, Artists

& Makers, plus; further afield, Burning the

Clocks, Artists Open Houses; and never

forgetting Quentin Blake. Also, Chagall,

Piper and Sutherland at Martyrs’.


91-97 Something wild at the Jolly

Sportsman; Sussex Sausage and Sage pizza,

courtesy of Bus Club recipe; test your palate

at Harveys wine tasting; and Chloë King

updates food news.

The way we work.

99-103 Local choir leaders let photographer

Rachael Edwards in on the music, plus each

shares their favourite Christmas carol.




104-132 Linklater’s Helen Meade shows

us why the space is so special; the mythical

bricks that are Lewes’s mathematical tiles;

Sussex folklore – why we can’t be too

careful; debunking health myths; Jonte

Smith, star of Lewes FC; why foxes aren’t

really wily; our local Christmas gifts guide,

and Late Night Shopping; plus, Alex Leith

goes business news walkabout.

Inside left.

146 Meet the Newhaven Seaplane Station

ladies’ football team, 1917.


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

advertising/copy deadline. Please send details of planned events

to, and for any advertising queries:, or call 01273 488882.

Remember to recycle your Viva.

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

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

or alterations. The views expressed by columnists do not necessarily

represent the view of Viva Magazines.

Love me or recycle me. Illustration by Chloë King



This month’s glorious cover

is the work of artist Olivia

Bullock. It was a lovely surprise

– when I went along

to visit, and Olivia unveiled

her plan – that she too had

arrived at thoughts of The

Nutcracker (seeing as we’ve

also interviewed dancer

Gary Avis, this issue, who’s

performing in the ballet –

see pg 43).

So, “Why The Nutcracker?”

“I’ve got an old Nutcracker”,

Olivia says. “Every year

out he comes. I’ve always

been fascinated by him –

and have been to the ballet

quite a few times with my

mum. I love the way this

thing can be transformed

into a human and fall in

love. There’s something

sinister as well as magical

about him.”

Olivia agrees she’s drawn to

that sinister edge that’s vital

to fairytale. “I’ve always

loved stories, myths, tales.

Strange things. These are

recurrent themes in my

work. I like the idiosyncratic,

and the traditional

– masks, costumes, animal

personas and so on. There’s

a reason for everything,

every detail: though we

may no longer know those

reasons. Still, they communicate.”

Olivia divides

her time, working

from her

Star Brewery

studio. Mostly,

she spends it

on commercial

commissions – with

clients like Random

House and Burberry.

“I recently did a huge

collage for Bombay


she says. “The

gin producer

was relaunching

its brand



at an event in Shoreditch.

It was fun producing a 4 by

4 metre piece.” But she also

produces her own work.

She originally studied at

Kingston University, before

working for some years at St

Martin’s. “After I had children,

I couldn’t face the commute.”

Since then, she’s freelanced

from Lewes, and says she loves

coming into the studio: “it’s

very quiet here. Peaceful.”

She had a solo exhibition

locally a couple of years ago

called Superscience. “I’m aiming

for another one next year,

hopefully”, she says. “Have a

few ideas but can’t quite say

what its theme will be yet. I do

choose one theme, and explore

it. Music, for instance. Did you

know, there’s one polyphonic

scale that was banned as being

deemed too demonic? The way

certain notes can affect you.

Why? How? That’s the kind of

story that draws me in.”

She paints every element in

her work – the faces, hands

etc – then, usually, collages

them together. “I paint all

the detailed parts as well as

the looser washes; every element

is my own work. It’s the

juxtaposition of textures I find

effective”, she says.

“I always use gouache paint

because it dries quickly

leaving a powdery texture to

its surface. It’s often those

things – the way paint spills,

and bleeds, for instance – that

can add a real layer to the

work. The stuff that’s less

conscious. And yes, there’s

often a dark edge. But it’s the

combination – some of which

happens by chance – that most

interests me. How I balance

the idea I start out with, with

what occurs during the actual

process.” Charlotte Gann

See more of Olivia’s work on

Instagram at @olivia.bullock


Unit 3, Phoenix Works, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2PE

01273 486177



at Middle Farm

Aromatic English-grown Christmas

trees, locally-made hedgerow

wreaths. Original gift ideas and

delightful decorations.

Middle Farm, Firle, Lewes, East Sussex BN8 6LJ

Christmas order line 01323 811411

Photo by Katie Moorman


How long have you lived here, and what

originally brought you to the town? I’ve

been living here for over fifty years, in the same

house. I came as a young lecturer in English

to the then newly-formed University of Sussex

in the days when one got a job for life at 22.

Because my early years were so unsettled, I

think, once I had found a job and place I liked I

didn’t want to move ever again.

Your parents were Jewish, and you were

born during the Second World War. How

concerned are you about the world today?

I was born in Nice in 1940. Not a good time

and place for Jews. By a mixture of luck and

my mother’s resourcefulness we survived. So of

course I’m hugely concerned. Far more than I

want to be, since I’m not naturally a political

animal. But it seems as if in the past decade

both politicians and the general public have

begun to forget the horrors and the lessons of

the first half of the twentieth century, and views

and attitudes we thought had been stamped out

for good appear instead to have been merely

biding their time. Everywhere one looks, from

Trump to Brexit to Putin to Egypt to Turkey,

Saudi Arabia, China and Brazil, the unthinkable

is happening. It’s desperately depressing.

You’ve written twenty novels, ten books

of non-fiction and numerous stage and

radio plays, and you review regularly for

the Times Literary Supplement. What is it

about writing that matters so much to you?

I have always written and I hope to go on

writing till I die. I can’t conceive of life

otherwise. To have spent the morning writing

makes the rest of the day a gift to be relished;

when I don’t or can’t the whole day seems grey.

Your latest novel, The Cemetery in

Barnes, which has been shortlisted for the

prestigious Goldsmiths Prize, struck me as a

tightly-woven web: the same scenes, slightly

altered, recurring – just as they might in life,

or mind, or memory? I’m glad you felt that. I

had written a story back in 1981, called ‘Steps’,

very compressed, which gave me a good feeling

– the sense of really having got somewhere.

But when it was published in a collection what

people said to me about it made me realise they

hadn’t really ‘got it’. So over the years I played

around with ways of expanding it, opening it up.

A few years ago, after the publication of my last

novel, Hotel Andromeda, I thought the time had

come to get down to it. The Cemetery in Barnes

is the result.

What do you enjoy most, today, about living

in Lewes? I now live partly in Lewes and partly

in London and I love them both. I love walking

on the Downs and about the town. I know just

enough people to make it seem familiar and

friendly but not too many to make working

here impossible.

Interview by Charlotte Gann


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Harry Norman and his fiancée Jodie came over

to Lewes for Bonfire, and Harry snapped this

brilliant shot of the War Memorial. Seemed especially

apposite this November, which of course

marked the Centenary of the Armistice…

Harry told us a little more about the circumstances:

“Living in Seaford and working in Brighton

has its challenges, namely the trains! The 5th of

November, of course, makes this worse. But as

it’s my birthday on the 4th, this year we decided

to carry the celebrations over to the Monday,

finishing work early that day, and heading into

Lewes for fireworks and drinks. Commercial

Square friends offered us dinner, and invited us

to stay overnight – result.

We headed out about 19.30 towards the War

Memorial. Some years ago, I worked in an office

above the street just there. Of course, we enjoyed

the best possible views of the procession from

our windows.

I managed to capture this shot – of the poppy

explosion, with some awesome fire light breaking

through the smoke – on my phone.

We went on to see the Commercial fireworks

display and witnessed the midnight prayers at

Commercial Square, which was a first for me.

Quite a spectacle, from the outside – especially

the Archbishop figure shouting things! Remember

remember the 5th of November…”

Please send your pictures, taken in and around

Lewes, to, or tweet

@VivaLewes. We’ll choose one, which wins the

photographer £20, to be picked up from our office

after publication. Unless previously arranged, we

reserve the right to use all pictures in future issues

of Viva magazines or online.


When times are difficult, don’t face them alone.

let us take the lead

•Probate Trust and Wills •

•Divorce and separation (we can offer fixed fees) •

•Children issues •

Call us on 0800 84 94 101

3 Bell Lane, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1JU



Chalk Circle is a group of local writers who

decided to try something different. This month

they’ve launched into publishing, producing their

own first slim title: an anthology of ‘flash’ or

micro-fictions complete with illustrations.

Strata – Slices through the Human Landscape is a

collection of twelve stories, illustrated by local

artist, Tashi Reeve, and with a cover image

(pictured) by eminent, Ditchling-based, V&A

Illustrator of 2018, John Vernon Lord – who

produced this original piece in response to one of

the small stories. “We’re interested in beautiful

imagery, whether created in words or visually”,

Editor Danielle Sensier tells me. “And we’re all, I

think, compelled to write. We’ve been writing for

some years, and collaborating in a writing group,

meeting monthly as well as inviting authors like

Catherine Smith and Jon Walter to workshop

with us. About a year

ago we decided it

might be interesting

to create this other


Thus, the group turned

publisher. “This is our

first publication,” says Danielle; “we’re hoping

it won’t be our last.” They agreed on a word

limit of 350 words per story – “an interesting

discipline”, she laughs. “Some are magic realism,

some everyday: all of them drill down into the

human, internal experience. It’s that, I think, that

unites them.” And, “yes”, she says, “it’s been fun.

‘Let’s do it and learn’, we said to ourselves. So

that’s what we’ve done!” Charlotte Gann

Strata – Slices through the Human Landscape, £5,

from local bookshops, including Skylark.


© Snowman Enterprises Limited 2018 THE SNOWMAN Snowman Enterprises Limited


The Snowman


Appeal 2018 for

Chestnut Tree House

Chestnut Tree House – your

local children’s hospice – is a

special place where families

spend their days making

precious memories that will

last a lifetime.

It costs £35.70 to pay for one

hour’s nursing care for a

life-limited child.

Chestnut Tree House

Dover Lane,


West Sussex,

BN18 9PX


01903 871800

Chief Executive: Hugh Lowson

Please make a gift this Christmas,

because, just like The SnowmanTM,

your gift will bring care, joy and

wonder to children at your local

children’s hospice. Thank you.

To donate online visit:

Registered charity No 256789



The Cleft Lip and

Palate Association

(CLAPA) is a

national charity

working to improve

the lives of people

with a cleft lip and/

or palate and their

families. One in 700

babies is born with

a cleft, which can be

surgically repaired

but may have a range of different long-term

impacts. CLAPA provides information, practical

support, a community and a voice to people

of all ages affected by cleft. We spoke to Anna

Martindale, Information and Communications

Manager, and Cherry le Roy, who’s Regional

Coordinator for South East England.

What kind of support does CLAPA provide?

Anna: A huge range of different things, but

one of our main areas of work is fostering local

connections. It’s important for people to know

they are not alone. Even though cleft is the

most common facial abnormality, one in 700 is

still equivalent to only one child in an average

secondary school, so you may never meet

another person with a cleft. Our local groups

allow children and families to connect with

each other, share experiences, and do normal

things outside the clinical environment. We

also have trained peer supporters in each local

area who can provide one to one support on

the phone or face to face.

What kind of activities happen in Lewes and

elsewhere in Sussex?

Cherry: We hope to support families affected

by cleft to run their own events and groups.

In the past we had one such group in Sussex

who organised Christmas parties, farm trips

and social occasions, but unfortunately this

disbanded. We’ve

since changed our

format for these

groups and have

removed a lot of

the bureaucracy

and formality

so they can be

more flexible.

Last summer we

organised a family

day at Blackberry

Farm, and this year a residential weekend for

eight to sixteen year olds at Hindleap Warren.

These were great fun and, as one attendee put

it, “Everyone’s so supportive; they don’t care

about your differences because they have them

too.” Although we lack local volunteers at the

moment, there was a lot of popular demand for a

Christmas get together so we’re hosting a party

at Monkey Bizness in Lewes on 16th December.

How can people help or get involved?

Anna: We’re a small charity and, like many,

have seen a drop in funding, so it’s a boring

request but we always need donations. Raising

awareness is really important, so it’s great when

people can do things like making us a charity of

the month at school or work.

Cherry: If you want to raise awareness by

giving a talk or presentation, we can supply

you with leaflets, presentations, balloons and

banners and can go through with you the best

way to engage with your audience. And we’d

love to hear from people with fundraising ideas

from bake sales and coffee mornings to school

assemblies. Locally, if any families affected by

cleft would like to help organise activities for

people to get together, I would be happy to talk

to them about what’s involved and how we can

work together. Interview by Rachel Playforth

Photo by CLAPA volunteer




Progress towards delivering the plan to renovate and extend the area

by the Maltings car-park – traditionally known as the Magic Circle

– has gathered pace. Initiated by Friends of Lewes, who have been

working towards this for several years, the project now also has financial

support from Lewes District and Town Councils and the

National Park Authority. Archaeological investigations have been undertaken,

a plum tree has been removed – to open up the site – and a

time schedule agreed – for completion by June next year, to coincide

with the centenary of the peace Treaty of Versailles at the end of the

First World War. Watch this space… Marcus Taylor, Friends of Lewes


The population of any area changes through those being born, dying, moving in or moving out. In

Lewes District, for every 1,000 people in 2016, 60 moved into the district and 51 moved out, while 9

were born and 11 died. This totals 13% of the population being replaced in one year.

In Lewes Town, only births and deaths are available. They show 148 births and 137 deaths for 2016.

Lewes Town has more births than deaths, whereas Lewes District, which extends to Ditchling, Newick,

Seaford and Peacehaven, has more deaths than births. Sarah Boughton


In my article on the Castle Inn, back in January, I mentioned

Jonathan May and the Barleycorn beer shop. That establishment

was at 56 Cliffe High Street. In September 1856 the

property was advertised to rent. It was described as premises

‘in which the business of an Eating House, retailing ale, &c.,

has successfully been carried on for some years…’ By the

1860s it was known as the Cliffe Tavern. George Page took

over in 1884, and ran the pub for ten years. On Saturday 23rd

June 1894 he was taken ill while at the bar, and died three

days later, aged 41. The moving obituary in the Sussex Express

highlights how well-known and respected many of the town’s

landlords were. George was the last of the long-term landlords at the Cliffe Tavern.

In 1902, landlord George Edwards was fined for serving two drunken men. One was ‘leaning on the counter,

swerving to and fro’, and the other ‘was apparently asleep’. Another two landlords came and went over

the next five years, and in 1907 the Cliffe Tavern was forced to close. The old pub is now part of Bill’s.

I have now covered almost all the old Lewes pubs that have closed since the 1880s, plus a few others on the

way. Although there are always more to write about, the 50th Ghost Pub, and the end of the year, seems an

apt place to draw this series to a close. Mat Homewood



Home sweet home…

We really understand

how daunting it can be

when you first decide

that you might want

to put your house on

the market. Whether it

be a downsize, larger

family home, moving to

a new area or moving

to find the right school

for children, it can be

a stressful as well as an

exciting time.

We are the largest

family owned

independent Estate

Agency covering

the South East

and established in

Lewes for over 30

years. Our wealth of

experience, together

with an excellent

range of supporting

services including;

confidential sellers

and buyers, social

media, virtual reality

tours, mortgages,

conveyancing and

lettings, all provide

you with the complete

property service.

Why not pop in for an

informal chat and use

our local independent

expertise to your

benefit? The kettle is

always on and you are

welcome to a mince pie

or biscuit… you may

just find a mystery gift

under our tree!

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and

a Happy New Year! Susan, Robin, Rebecca, Julie & Jane

01273 471231 |

78-79 High St, Lewes, BN7 1XN




In these days of the ‘hostile environment’, ‘taking back control of our borders’,

and all that’s ensued, comes the latest collection of poems by John

Agard. The Coming of the Little Green Man (Bloodaxe, £9.95) explores what it’s

like to be an outsider through his title character, ‘neither hero nor anti-hero.’

The Little Green Man arrives at Heathrow, and makes his way to the centre

of London where ‘pigeons don’t seem all that fussed/ by a little tourist the

colour of asparagus.’ He meets the Press – ‘How does it feel to be an ethnic/

minority of one?’ – and goes to the pub, avoiding the George and Dragon

for the more peaceful Green Man. He also gives blood, takes in the Notting

Hill Carnival, and goes on a blind date.

Like Zbigniew Herbert’s Mr Cogito, the Little Green Man allows Agard to

comment on contemporary politics. But like Herbert, Agard employs a subtler use of language than the

savage snarls of satirists like Swift or Pope. Agard speaks in parables, his poem ‘A Debate’ perhaps the best

example of this approach: ‘A black man and a white man/ … are engaged in a debate.// What has only

one syllable/no eye, no ear, no tongue/ yet is God’s class act of creation?’ Night, says the black man; Day

says the white man. ‘Grass, says the little green man./ A sun bed for the living, a duvet for the dead.’ Poets

need a foreign eye. Especially in these troubled times. John O’Donoghue

This charming book recounts the life of dancer Silvia Ebert. Born in

1926 into an upper-middle class family, Silvia’s childhood was privileged

and happy, despite wartime restrictions and upheavals. Aged sixteen, she

decided she wanted to be a dancer, and commuted to her dance school

through doodlebug raids, eventually winning a place in the Royal Ballet.

In Not Just Another Swan (as told to Angela Wigglesworth), we get

a first-hand view of Silvia’s life dancing with Audrey Hepburn and

Margot Fonteyn, and of her annual stints at Glyndebourne where she

met her theatre-manager husband Peter Ebert, and where both she

and Peter would return each summer for the opera season. The book’s

title alludes to Silvia’s rejection of the stifling nature of classical ballet,

refusing to be ‘just another swan’, and instead seeking out work that

allowed her to express herself more freely.

Silvia lived a nomadic life following Peter around the world as he worked in various theatres,

with their eight children in tow. This is an honest and engaging account, which will appeal to

readers who enjoy personal narratives and family history. We feel for Silvia as she schleps her small

children across strange cities, or deals with her husband’s infidelity, and the physical demands of the

dancer’s world. Lulah Ellender

Available from local shops: Flints, Skylark, Sussex Stationers, Waterstones



Frieda by Annabel Abbs is a compelling story. The novel begins with a

moment that changed not only the life of its protagonist, Frieda, but

the world of English literature. In 1907 Frieda Weekley, a housewife

and mother of three young children, is visited by her sister, Nusch. The

contrast between wealthy Nusch’s exotic, bohemian circle in Germany

and Frieda’s drab life in a shabby Nottingham house triggers an unfolding

series of events that culminates in Frieda’s much-written about elopement

with DH Lawrence.

The narrative follows Frieda’s inner struggle between being a dutiful wife

in a stultifying marriage, and her fear that she ‘might die before I have

lived’. Annabel Abbs illuminates this conflict between the domestic and the

yearning for freedom in a gripping story that tracks Frieda from England

to Germany and ultimately to her time as a muse to Lawrence in Italy. We follow Frieda’s affairs with

various lovers as she strives to find fulfilment and happiness. Her sexual liberation and unwillingness to

conform to social norms was met with considerable condemnation; all the more vehement when she left

her children behind.

But the story is more nuanced than a mother abandoning her family because of the ‘wild lure of his

[Lawrence’s] poetry, his ideals, his genius’. Abbs’ book brilliantly conveys the turmoil and anguish this

choice (if indeed she felt she had any choice) caused Frieda, and recreates her complex, tumultuous inner

world with skill, empathy and a refreshing lack of judgement. Lulah Ellender

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vomiting, weight loss and

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It’s really important to stay upto-date

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Need some help with your brakes

or gears? Found a bike in your

shed that needs a little TLC to

get it running smoothly? Trying

to encourage your kids to

learn, and want to get their bikes

checked over? Visit Dr Bike!

Founded in 1991 at the Green

Wheels Day event, encouraging

the use of sustainable transport,

Dr Bike involved bike mechanics

volunteering their services in central Lewes.

Original mechanics Pete Barnes and Chris

Franks moved on in 2014, but this essential service

– quite possibly the oldest ‘Dr Bike’ in the

country – continues thanks to Mike Bray and a

team of ten or so volunteers.

Mike is a lifelong cyclist and also works as a cycle

trainer. “After becoming a cycle trainer it became

apparent that I needed to improve my mechanical

skills so I volunteered to help,” he

explains. He subsequently became

a qualified bike mechanic.

Dr Bike offers minor repairs and

servicing, and has a few spare

parts, but they don’t aim to compete

with local bike shops. Mike

says they “keep it informal”, with

the money from donations used to:

“keep our tools up to date, and pay

for our insurance, and coffee and

cake”. The volunteers also nominate a charity for

an annual donation.

They’ve been based in a variety of locations

around town, including a spell outside the Nutty

Wizard, with the Bean Cycling social enterprise

pop-up café. In June 2018 they moved to the entrance

to the Harvey’s Yard, off North Court, and

you can find them there on Saturday mornings –

“weather permitting!” Daniel Etherington




Jo Jackson, from the blog The Lewes Home,

snaps a front door in Lewes and asks the




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characteristic, what would it be?

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Here’s Josephine Watson reading her copy

of Viva in Kazakhstan; the 12th country on

her epic adventure to cycle, with boyfriend

Tristan, from Lewes to New Zealand. It’s

not every day that you set off on an 11,000-

mile bike ride, so we thought we’d better find

out what inspired the trip. ‘Originally it was

Tristan’s idea,’ writes Josephine from the road.

‘He’s really into cycling and had read a few

books about cycling the world. We both really

wanted to travel but I hate having to rely on

public transport. Travelling by bike you can

stay or leave wherever or whenever you want!

Since being on the road for four months, our

reasons for travelling by bike have changed.

You reduce your carbon footprint dramatically,

you experience the whole country rather

than just the backpacker’s ‘highlights’, and lo-

cals are way more eager to talk to you. The list goes on!’

Feeling inspired but unable to leave the sofa? Follow their

progress on Instagram [@_goingincircles_]

Keep taking us with you, no matter how far you are going,

and keep spreading the word. Send your photos and a few

words about you and your trip to


“One of England’s greatest sparkling wines.”

– O Z C L A R K E

E S T A B L I S H E D 1 9 7 4

Rodmell, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 3EX | 01273 476 427 |




Carlotta visited Chloe Edwards of Seven Sisters’

Spices and took these gorgeous photos. One pic is

of Chloe mixing preserved lemons and she gave us

her recipe: “Thinly slice 2 washed, unwaxed lemons,

removing the pips. Put them into a bowl along with

1.5tbsp of sea salt and 2tsp of chilli flakes (depending

on how hot you like things). Mix together and put

into a sterilised jar, topping with olive oil to keep

them fresh. They’re good to eat after about a day

and for up to 2 weeks.” Seven Sisters’ Spices can be

found at both Lewes Friday Food Market & Lewes

Farmers Market, and at

See more of Carlotta’s work at



Chloë King

In the home of white storks

The problem with

switching from a new

place back to a familiar

one is that, all of a sudden,

you can find yourself


I have just returned from

a trip to Portugal where

everything I saw seemed as

exciting as something I’d

never seen before. “Cod!”

“Hills!” “Autumn!”


And then I arrive home,

and nothing seems novel. I start scrabbling

around, thinking of ways to make this old carpet

a bit fluffier, a bit brighter, better fitting. I try to

do things I haven’t done much, like… rowing!

Rowing is one thing that always feels new to me,

or special, or new and special. What a pity that

we live on a river, and yet most of us have never

seen Lewes from the water.

The river offers a unique perspective: that

wonderful thing, being in between. Plus, what

view isn’t improved by being framed by a stretch

of water?

I’m so lucky to have a boat-mad uncle and access

to beautiful old wooden skiffs that were built to

hold ladies and gents in Edwardian garb. You

could argue that boats are as much chairs as they

are vehicles: they enable you to get from a to b,

and back to a, again, in comfort and style. But

the business of getting from a to b and back to a,

on a boat is different from on wheels, or legs.

Firstly, you have these huge great wooden oars

that need to be moved forwards and backwards

at an appropriate height, speed and distance

from a number of variables – including yourself,

other people, your boat

and the river.

You have to work in

co-operation with your


And you have to

almost entirely STOP

THINKING. The more

you think about the

thing you’re doing – i.e.

bringing these bloody

great wooden oars back

and forth so that you

don’t get stuck – the

more stranded you’re likely to become.

Instead, you must relax. You must let your

body find its own rhythm and when it has,

miraculously, you may find that those bloody

great wooden oars are moving in graceful

harmony with those of the next person.

When I start rowing, I’m stiff. The oars hit

my knuckles and my companions laugh at the

expression of pure anxiety and despair on my

face. In time, however, I stop staring unhappily

at the end of my sticks and start to admire the

view beyond.

The crew chats about whether or not they really

saw a stork on the riverbank the other week. Not

likely. Too exotic a bird to see in Sussex, surely,

and yet they were once native here. Storrington,

near Horsham, is known in the Domesday Book

as Estorchstone – the home of white storks.

I admire those now less-familiar hills, the

autumn, heron, buzzards, and a swan with

feathers puffed up. “A bad-tempered animal”,

says my uncle, and I can relate. I, like that

irritable old bird, need the river’s magic to calm

my over-busy head.

Illustration by Chloë King


Morris Road Garage would like to say a big thank you

and Merry Christmas to all our wonderful customers.

We close for business on Thursday 20th December 2018

and reopen on Thursday 3rd January 2019


Lewes Out Loud

Plenty more Henty

It’s ironic really that, having

spent a good part of the last

eighteen months writing,

rehearsing and appearing in

Raymond Briggs’s Sofa – my

radio play tribute to the

remarkable illustrator who

lives locally – I have never

seen The Snowman film

which was first broadcast on

Boxing Day in 1982.

The 26-minute masterpiece

by animator, Roger

Mainwood, who died

earlier this year, won a Bafta and an Academy

Award nomination. It has, of course, become

a perennial seasonal favourite, screened on

British television every Christmas with the

exception of 1984.

Where have I been all of this time I thought to

myself as I visited the exhibition of the same

name at Brighton Museum recently. Here you

can see the original illustrations for Raymond’s

much loved picture book and in one corner, a

screen was continuously showing the film to

a group of young visitors, perched on stools. I

joined them and puzzled even more over having

missed such a magical tale.

The Snowman runs until January 6 (see pg 77)

and, incidentally, my play raised over £1,700 for

local charities and received praise from the man

himself. Raymond penned ‘Congrats. on raising

so much dosh!’. It was a great pleasure and thanks

to Viva readers in both Lewes and Brighton for

their support.

Further irony this month, especially if you can

recall my lavish praise for our local cinema

in November. Friendly staff, good food

and comfortable seating, I wrote, and near

perfection for this occasional

picture goer as I settled down

for a lunchtime showing of A

Star Is Born.

That is until five minutes

into the movie. Enter woman

left, in the dark, clutching

her Smartphone and clumsily

seeking her seat – next to me.

Then she checked her screen

twice before the arrival of

another woman who was

carrying a small container of

strong smelling food which

they proceeded to share.

Despite all this, I enjoyed the film, although

I’m obliged to say that I preferred the 1976

version with Barbra Streisand and no gratuitous

swearing. Why the need for this and indeed,

why the need for reprising such film classics?

Coming soon to Le Depot, Funny Girl and a

revamped Mary Poppins in time for Christmas.

Oh dear! I’m beginning to sound like

Southover’s version of Scrooge and nothing

could be further from the truth. I’ll be

downtown for late night shopping as usual

– checking the chestnuts and sharing some

mulled wine. For Christmas I want a Yuyu hot

water bottle with Liberty cover and adjustable

strap. Over the festive period, the family and

I may be playing an American board game I

acquired in Seaford. It’s called Trump – The

Game and comes complete with 60 Trump

cards, a plastic money tray, game board and

Trump money. Honest!

There is a highly complex rule book but, in

true US Presidential style, I’ll tear that up and

we’ll get the battered Snakes and Ladders box

out as usual! Happy Christmas!


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David Jarman

Among the adverts

‘Few people read poetry any more.’ That’s

Clive James, writing in his latest poem The

River in the Sky. A bit ungracious, perhaps,

considering the sales of his many recent poetry

books. But, maybe buying poetry is the easy

part. Reading the damn stuff is the problem.

And yet, poetry readings are flourishing, and

I’m sure that’s not because people are so lazy

that they prefer to pay to have the poet read

aloud to them, rather than endure the fatigue

of turning the pages themselves. I’m told that

sales of the books of the poets reading at these

events can, often, disappoint. It’s as though the

audience, having paid for their tickets, feel that

no further financial outlay is required. Still, I’m

sure that sales don’t plumb the depths of a piece

by DJ Enright from his collection, Under the


‘The poet is to give a reading from his new

book… the dutiful publisher carries a dozen

copies of the poet’s new book to sell at the

reading… Now it is over, and the publisher

gathers up the unsold books, counting them

glumly… he trudges home, weary and puzzled

– How can thirteen copies be left over from

a dozen?’

Sometimes, I fear that poets are now only

read by other poets. And sometimes, not even

that. Here’s Enright again, in his Poem on the


‘only the elderly person / observes the request

that the seat be offered to an elderly person…

only the poet / peruses his poem among the


Inevitably, perhaps, the poem was then chosen

as an addition to Poems on the Underground.

Maybe we’re just all too busy. After all, frankly,

how many of us can spare the time to read the

whole of even a haiku in one go?

Does poetry form any part of the everyday

commerce of life anymore? I’m thinking of

Muriel Spark’s novel The Mandelbaum Gate,

recently reissued as part of her centenary

edition, with a thoughtful introduction by

Gabriel Josipovici, subject of this month’s ‘My

Lewes’. The novel begins:

‘Sometimes, instead of a letter to thank his

hostess, Freddy Hamilton would compose a

set of formal verses – rondeaux, redoubles,

villanelles, rondels or Sicilian octaves – to

express his thanks neatly.’

It’s a charming idea. In his poem Vers de Société,

Philip Larkin takes a more mordant view of the

social round. A drinks invitation has arrived.

His initial reaction? ‘In a pig’s

arse, friend.’ So his reply begins:

‘Dear Warlock-Williams, I’m

afraid –’ Then he reflects.

For various reasons (read the

bloody poem!) he finds himself:

‘whispering Dear Warlock-

Williams: Why, of course –’

And yet, these invitations are so

numerous that he could spend

‘half my evenings if I wanted /

canted over to catch the drivel

of some bitch / who’s read

nothing but Which.’

The poem was written in 1971.

In the 1990s, when the new

editor of Viva Lewes was at

the helm of Which? magazine

as managing editor, Larkin

would doubtless have chosen

a different example to typify

philistine reading.

Illustration by Charlotte Gann


Suffrage to Citizenship

Stories Through a Glass Plate

Lewes has long dined out on

its radical incomers but there

was nothing on the menu when

Beatrice Sanders, a suffragette

from Battersea, came to stay in

1913. That’s because Beatrice,

charged with conspiracy, was

here as a guest of His Majesty,

and she was on hunger strike.

With Holloway prison

overflowing, the authorities

needed to find out-of-theway

lock-ups where militant

women wouldn’t attract

adverse publicity. Lewes

seemed to fit the bill.

Despite its proximity to

Brighton, where barely a

seafront railing went naked of

a suffragette, Lewes instead

bred suffragists, mildmannered

campaigners who

believed the vote should be

won by lobbying parliament,

not lobbing things at it.

Opinion in the town on the

question of votes for women

was divided and open-air

meetings, according to the

Sussex Express at the time,

suffered ‘many sarcastic

interruptions’ (sound familiar?)

but no disorder.

But despite a lack of local,

vocal support for the cause, the

lives of many ordinary people

in Lewes were changed for

the better – eventually – with

the introduction of the 1918

Representation of the People

Act, which gave some women

the vote for the first time and

also significantly increased

male suffrage.

Thanks to the worldrenowned

Reeves Archive,

researchers have been able

to take the names of local

first-time voters and find

their portraits amongst an

incredible collection of some

150,000 glass plates. “I can’t

Beatrice Sanders taking tea, LSE Flickr site



Grace and Lancelot Vinall, Edward Reeves

believe how important and

interesting and endlessly

giving the archive is,”

says local photographic

historian Brigitte Lardinois,

who was also behind the

WW1 commemoration,

Lewes Remembers. “We are

constantly finding new ways

to tell the stories of ordinary

people affected by big

historical events.”

One such was Grace Vinall of

Wayside, South Malling. By

the time she was eligible to

vote, Grace was 49, widowed,

and had two grown-up sons.

Grace’s eldest son, Lancelot,

came home safe from serving

two years in the Royal

Garrison Artillery and cast

his ballot for the first time

alongside his mother in

December 1918.

But we can’t leave poor

Beatrice Sanders holed up

without further mention.

Beatrice’s visit did attract

attention. Women from near

and far gathered outside the

prison and sang suffragette

songs and ‘rousing national

airs.’ Fearing for her survival,

the authorities released

Beatrice into the care of

one of a handful of local

sympathisers – Greta Allen

– who took her to a nursing

home in Priory Crescent

where she was presented

with a bouquet. A few days

later, a frail but unrepentant

Beatrice was conveyed by taxi

to Lewes station, taken down

to the London platform in a

wheelchair by two porters who

popped her into a first-class

compartment and gently drew

the blinds.

Direct action and the ‘war to

end all wars’ may have won the

vote in the end but perhaps

there was something to be

said, too, for a kinder, gentler

politics. Eleanor Knight

From Suffrage to Citizenship;

The campaign for women’s

right to vote in Lewes is open

Saturday 15 December 2018 to

4 January 2019, Mon-Fri 9-5

pm, Lewes Town Hall as part of

Reeves’ Stories Seen Through a

Glass Plate series.



Wood fired pizza

Mon-Thurs 1700-2200

Fri and Sat 1200-2200

Eastgate Street

Lewes BN7 2LP

(Old bus station)



Fresh mince pies

Fairtrade coffee

Mon-Sat 0830-1700

01273 470755


The Treason Show

Revisiting the biggest stories of 2018

Mark Brailsford is

uncharacteristically lost

for the right phrase.

“I know you can’t

use that word. There

might be a better word,

without swearing.”

His eyes twinkle. “It’s

a clusterfudge.” Our

conversation has turned

to Brexit, which is

certain to be a key part

of the satirical revue he’s directing this month.

“We scattergun everyone, both sides get it from

The Treason Show, but because the dominant

narrative is so incompetent, we only have to

cover what’s going on and we look like we’re

biased. And I can’t help that, because Brexit is a

disaster. Whichever way you look at it.”

Now in its 19th year, The Treason Show has

become a Brighton institution, reflecting

current affairs in a collection of comedy sketches

and songs. In recent years, the group’s annual

end-of-year show – That Was The Year That Was

– has even spread beyond the city to Lewes and


Although Mark founded the show, he’s keen

to emphasise the collaboration involved.

He reckons there have been well over 300

contributors since the original cast of four trod

the boards at Brighton’s Komedia. However,

The Treason Show might easily never have

happened at all. Back in 1999, Mark mentioned

his work on the Radio 4 Week Ending sketch

show when he met Geoffrey Perkins, then BBC

Head of Comedy. The Perkins response was

“That taught you two things: how not to write

and how not to be funny.” Mark “loved him even

more after that” and

decided to drop satire in

favour of playwriting.

Whilst arranging for

his latest play to be

performed at Komedia,

he was asked if he’d like

to set up a topical sketch

show. Despite hesitating

initially, Mark decided

on a three-month trial

in June 2000. “After

two marriages and near-bankruptcy as well, the

company motto is ‘we’re still here’.”

Indeed they are – and in the final stages of

assembling this year’s conclusive performances.

“You would think the Christmas show, which is

a ‘best bits’ show, would be easier to put together

than the regular shows. It’s not. It’s actually

harder. Because it’s a review of the year, it has

to encompass the big stories and then marry up

with our best material – and those aren’t always

the same thing.” Ultimately, Mark’s aiming for

“a distillation of the narrative”, he says. “There

are story arcs for every year. You will see a

thread of triggering moments that everybody’s

reacted to throughout 2018.” And so we return

to “the b-word”, as Mark puts it. “There will

definitely be a reaction to Brexit stuff. A mix

of people going ‘I don’t like that’ and others

cheering wildly. We want it to be a unifying,

cathartic experience. Making people laugh

together. It’s tougher to do comedy these days.”

Mark Bridge

That Was The Year That Was 2018 is at the

White Hart Hotel on Sat 22nd and at Horatio’s

on Brighton’s Palace Pier from Thurs 27th until

Mon 31st.

Photo by Tom Gallagher



Photographed: Joan Rhodes MBE (left); Michael O’Leary; Jan Blake. Photos by Steve Creffield Photography

The Guesthouse Storytellers

As told by committee member Umi Sinha

Why did you set up The Guesthouse

Storytellers? In 2006 a group of us did an

oral storytelling course with Roi Gal-Or from

the International School of Storytelling at the

University of Sussex. We enjoyed it so much we

started to meet monthly in our homes to share

stories. As people started bringing partners

and friends, it outgrew our living rooms, so

we rented a room at the Hillcrest Centre – a

community centre in Newhaven – and it just

went from there. We’ve now been going eleven

years, and are one of the most established

storytelling clubs in the country. We host top

professional storytellers three times a year, and

the rest of the time are open to anyone who’d

like to have a go. We also organise occasional

storytelling workshops.

What is it about storytelling – the live

activity – that’s so magical? Everyone

loves to hear a story. People tend to think

storytelling is for children, but when adults

come along for the first time you can see the

wonder in their faces as they rediscover the joy

of live storytelling: the active and spontaneous

communication between teller and listeners,

and the magic of creating images in your head

as you listen. Humans tell each other stories all

the time. It’s the quintessential human activity,

creating narratives to make sense of life and

pass on our wisdom. That’s why we love books

and films and TV serials – we’re always hungry

for stories.

I see there’s an element of fixed ‘bones’ and

improvisation to your evenings? What does

that add? The ‘bones’ are the structure or plot,

which gives the story its shape. Around that it’s

possible to improvise, to keep the story live,

so it doesn’t sound like a recitation. A story

evolves as you tell it and go deeper; every time

it’s different – a response to the atmosphere

and that particular audience. That’s part of the

magic: even if you hear a story several times, it’s

never exactly the same.

Do your evenings have a ‘campfire’ feel?

Our ‘club evenings’ (open to all) tend to be

more intimate and informal, while professional

evenings depend on the teller. Some are more

theatrical, some more like traditional fireside

storytellers; some funny, others serious. And

the stories also vary: creation myths, fairy tales,

tales from round the world, epic sagas, true life

stories, ghost stories – we’ve had them all.

Is the Christmas one special? It takes place at

the darkest time, when the year is turning, and

traditionally this is the time of festivals of light,

bonfires, and people gathering to hear stories

to carry them through the dark cold nights. It’s

also our thank you to our listeners and tellers,

who have supported us through the year, with

heart-warming stories, complimentary mulled

wine, mince pies and gingerbread biscuits.

Interview by Charlotte Gann

The GuestHouse Storytellers meet at the

Hillcrest Centre in Newhaven on the second

Tuesday of every month (in December, 11th). The

café serves supper and refreshments from 6.45pm

and storytelling starts at 7.30pm. Club nights £5/

£4; others £9/ £7.





Dine in the heart of a Sussex Vineyard from a

menu of seasonal, modern British cuisine









Tasting Room, Rathfinny Wine Estate, Alfriston, Sussex, BN26 5TU

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The Nutcracker

Gary Avis on playing the magician

Photo by Tristram Kenton

The Nutcracker is to be streamed live, from

the Royal Opera House, to our cinema in

Lewes. It’s obviously the Christmas ballet:

what in your own words is at the heart of

its appeal? The Royal Ballet’s production has

got everything you could possibly need to feel

festive. It takes you back to childhood and

provides a beautiful family connection between

generations. It’s quite a responsibility to lead the

storytelling, playing Drosselmeyer: for a couple

of hours I really feel that I’m holding people’s

Christmas in my hands.

What’s different or unusual – special –

about this production? It doesn’t get any

better. It just doesn’t! Tchaikovsky created the

most incredible score, and it’s so wonderfully

familiar. (First timers are often surprised to

find they recognise far more than they knew.)

Sir Peter Wright has delivered what I feel is the

ultimate and classic production: stunning sets

and costume designs; the magical clarity of the

storytelling; and, of course, the most fabulous

choreography danced by the world’s finest

company. Everyone involved has so much pride

in it, from the children in the party scene right

through to the Sugar Plum Fairy: I think the

audience can really feel that and they know it’s

special too.

Your character is the magician and toymaker

who brings the nutcracker, and the dancing

dolls, into the family Christmas. What do

you enjoy most about playing him? (How

deeply do you think about character in

ballet? How close is your job to acting?)

Oh, this is an acting role, no doubt. Of course,

I’m a still a dancer at heart and I make my

performance as physical and musical as I can.

By the end, I feel like I’ve danced right through

it; I’m totally exhausted. But Sir Peter has put

Drosselmeyer at the heart of the storytelling:

the whole magical truth rests on his shoulders.

It’s rare for an acting role to have such a

presence in a ballet and that brings enormous

pleasure, as well as pressure, to playing him.

What’s most wonderful, to you, about

Tchaikovsky’s score? There’s so much

to love, it would take all night to tell you.

But if I must pick just one part, it has to be

the transformation scene, when the family

home grows in size for the battle and then is

transformed into a fabulous winter wonderland.

As a magician, Drosselmeyer is at the heart of

this, and makes it all happen. The music allows

me to forget all the technical aspects – the ropes

and hydraulics – and the audience forgets too.

When I’m out there, it’s just me, Clara and


So, what is The Nutcracker all about? Pure

magic? The world keeps moving faster and

faster and it feels like life just becomes more

stressful and complicated. What The Nutcracker

does brilliantly is transport everyone back to

a simpler time: something we can all relate

to and share. It’s about family, the gentle loss

of innocence and the discovery of true love.

Interview by Charlotte Gann

The Nutcracker streams live to The Depot on

Monday 3rd at 7.15pm, and Sunday 9th at 2pm



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Left to right: Paddington 2, White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life

Film ’18

Dexter Lee’s cinema round-up

About this time last year, I bumped into Lewes

Depot trustee John Kenward, and as usual he

gave me his latest film recommendation. It’s

generally a slow-moving Italian documentary or

some sort of Iranian arthouse work. “Have you

seen…” he said, then paused, for effect. “Have

you seen… Paddington 2? Marvellous film. I’ve

been twice.”

As usual I took him up on it; I went with my

wife. Just us. We both laughed (a lot) and we

both cried (just a little bit). As ever, John had

hit the nail on the head. If you missed it at the

Depot you’ve a last chance to see it at Lewes

Film Club, at the All Saints (16th).

That’s the only one from the Film Club this

month, so the rest of the films listed here are

one-offs and specials at the Depot. The month

starts with Big Howard, Little Howard (1st), in

which TV comedian Howard Reed, in person,

interacts with his six-year-old on-screen

persona, as seen on TV. Then there’s a one-off

screening of Robert Zemeckis’ 2004 CGI

animation The Polar Express (2nd), in which a

cynical-of-all-things-Christmas kid takes a train

ride to the North Pole, to see Santa. And on the

15th, while we’re talking kids’ films, there will

be two screenings of CBeebies’ Christmas Show


There are three very different one-offs in the

first week of the month. First up, there’s a rare

chance to see Gone with the Wind (2nd) on a big

screen. Need I say more? Go on, then. Roguish

Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) meets manipulative

Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh). He’s no

gentleman, she’s no lady, and quite frankly,

since it’s just shy of four hours long, you’ll be

glad there’s an interval. Meanwhile this month’s

dementia friendly offering is the classic musical

White Christmas (4th). And, also set in the

festive season, there’s Carol (6th). This (Patricia

Highsmith) book-to-film choice (read it, watch

it, discuss the difference) is a 50s-based periodpiece,

starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney

Mara, about a cross-class lesbian relationship.

On the 3rd and the 9th, live from the Royal Opera

House, there’s a screening of Peter Wright’s

interpretation of Ivanov’s ballet The Nutcracker,

with its sumptuous Tchaikovsky score, featuring

young Clara, her enchanted doll, and, of course,

the Sugar Plum Fairy (see pg 43).

It’s a while since I’ve seen It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad,

Mad World, Stanley Kramer’s immensely successful,

recently restored, madcap 1963 comedy,

with an all-star cast containing some still-familiar

names, such as Spencer Tracy, Terry-Thomas,

Mickey Rooney and Phil Silvers. It’s this

month’s Comedy Genius, introduced by Phil

Nicol (16th). And finally, inevitably, Christmas

being Christmas, Michael Voigt has chosen It’s

a Wonderful Life (19th) as his December film to

watch and analyse afterwards. Programmer Carmen

tells me she’ll probably screen it a couple

more times, so check the website for news of

this and all the month’s other releases.



Jam Tarts

Sixty-strong indie choir

“If it hadn’t been for

John Peel, and my mate

Bob who used to make

me mix tapes, Jam

Tarts might be doing

harmonised versions of

Another Day in Paradise,

or Sussudio.”

I’m drinking a cup

of tea in Li Mills’

Brighton kitchen, and

she’s telling me about her musical awakening at

York University. Li is the founder and director

of Brighton’s celebrated 60-strong choir, famous

for their covers of “punk, post-punk and indie”

songs. She also does the song arranging, turning

the raw material into something… well, something

entirely different.

“I was into Phil Collins when I went to York,”

she says. “But that soon changed. I ended up

doing my finals thesis on punk rock. I wrote to

John Peel to ask him if he could help me, and he

practically wrote the thing.” She does a little ‘allpraise’

gesture in the great DJ’s memory.

She shows me the playlist for their Christmas

gigs in the Con Club and St George’s Church,

in Kemp Town, and I guess that Peel would

approve of most of the choices. “The first song

I arranged was Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen.

But then everyone started doing that, so we took

it out of our repertoire. A lot of our songs aren’t

that well known. And the ones you will know,

you might not recognise until halfway through.

I love watching people in the audience trying to

work out that the tango-based harmony they’re

hearing is Every Day I Love You Less and Less by

Kaiser Chiefs.”

‘The Tarts’, as Li calls them, have been going

since 2004, starting

as a group of

Hanover parents and

quickly growing into

something much

bigger. Here are some

quickfire facts I learn:

a third of them are

men; they dress in red,

pink and black; they

have regularly played

Union Chapel, Islington; because no-one wants

to leave and things get a bit messy beyond sixty,

there’s very rarely room for new members to

join. Li is just mad about Nick Cave, so there’ll

always be one of his numbers in there. Oh, and

they have legendary after-show parties.

She’s delighted to be returning to the Con Club,

where she has performed (supporting The Wave

Pictures) in one of the other bands she’s involved

with, a “lo-fi, multi-instrumental four-piece of

Tarts”, called Suburban Death Twitch. “The

acoustics are great there,” she says. “It’ll be a

squeeze, though”. It’s not just the sixty choir

members, you see. “For our bigger gigs we’re accompanied

by musicians: a pianist, a cellist, two

trumpeters, a percussionist, a violinist.”

All the songs in the December shows will have a

‘winter’ theme, to give the evening a festive feel.

But not corny festive, of course. “Some of the

songs might not feel particularly Christmassy,”

she concludes. “When Nick Cave wrote Fifteen

Feet of Pure White Snow, I don’t think he was

thinking about the stuff that comes out of the

sky.” Alex Leith

The Jam Tarts are playing at the Con Club, 20th

December, 7.30pm, £13 from Si’s Sounds/Union

Music and

Photo by Ollie Dolling



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For more information or to join please contact:

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Bruce Molsky

US folk legend hits Lewes

Photo by Gary Alter

What is it that first drew you to folk music?

My very first exposure to old time mountain

music was Doc Watson’s first LP, which my sister

gave me for my eleventh birthday. I was just

learning to play guitar, and pretty much locked

myself in my room until I could pluck out Doc’s

Black Mountain Rag. That led me to the fiddle

and banjo, and I was totally hooked. There was

something in old time music that just seemed to

speak directly to me: it woke me up to a whole,

other world I knew nothing about.

As a young person, too, there was a romantic

notion around it – hearing music conceived of

and played by “regular” people. It resonated, and

made me want to do it. Old time and bluegrass

music was popular on the radio in New York

City in the late 1960s – thanks to the influence

the Folk Revival was having on all pop music of

that era – and I just started listening and absorbing.

Eventually I moved south myself, to be

closer to the source of the music, the old players

and the rural southern culture. It was all very

exotic for a city boy, and exciting.

What’s the essence of ‘folk music’, for you?

When it works right, it draws people together

in the most positive and uplifting kind of way.

A good song brings the human condition right

out in the open in a way nothing else really can.

We can look at ourselves, our strengths, our

foibles, our whole lives. Even after all this time

listening and playing, I’m still moved by a lot of

what I hear, and it makes me want to keep doing

it myself.

I see from Wikipedia, folk music is related, at

root, to folklore: is this connection important

to you? And if so, how? I think that, in order

to appreciate any kind of music, there has to

be appreciation of the culture and times it grew

out of. I didn’t grow up in the southern mountains,

so it doesn’t evoke the kind of nostalgia

or cultural identity it might for someone who

did. But my own early interest in the music led

me to that culture – a culture which is unique

and beautiful, and for which I have deep respect.

Many of us who came to this music from the

outside have had the same experience: playing

and researching the music continues to be a sort

of music-based cultural education, for me.

What is it about making music, for you? It’s

all about telling a story, expressing a mood or

emotion, just cutting loose and being alive. Playing

and singing was not optional for me: from

the moment I first picked up an instrument, I

had no choice but to do it! The biggest thrill is

when my fiddling and singing (and guitar and

banjo playing) moves someone else. I live for

those moments. Interview by Charlotte Gann

Bruce Molsky is playing at the Lewes Saturday

Folk Club, on 8th December, at The Elephant and

Castle, 8pm-11pm, £8


If you have a degree you can train to teach in less than

a year. Plus, you could get a bursary of up to £28k,

or earn a salary.




Ever since learning that The Vapors are coming to Lewes in

December, I’ve had ‘Turning Japanese’ playing on a loop in my

head, but the British New Wave band from Surrey are more

than just their 1980 hit earworm. They released two cracking

albums back in the day (New Clear Days and Magnets) and after

a rather long hiatus, reformed in 2016 for their first tour in 35

years. The fans were very much still in evidence for their initial

four dates, and so they continue to play venues and festivals in

the UK and across the pond. They’ve teamed up with fellow

80s New Wavers Department S for a night of pre-Christmas

joy at the Con Club. Saturday 8, Con Club, 8pm, £15


Sex Pistols Experience. Tribute band. Con

Club, 7.30pm, £13

The Teacups. Folk (trad vocal harmony).

Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £8


English dance tunes session – bring instruments.

Folk (English trad). The Volunteer,

12pm, free


Open Mic night. Kings Head, free (also 10th

& 17th)

Alex Bondono, Nigel Thomas, Alex Eberhard,

& Terry Seabrook. Jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free


English dance tunes session – bring instruments.

Folk (English trad). John Harvey Tavern,

8pm, free


The Cajun Roosters. Creole, Cajun and

Zydeco super group. Con Club, 7.30pm, £12


Jazz Unity. Jazz night

featuring supergroup

Hexagonal and DJs.

Con Club, 7.30pm,

£10 adv.

Alligator Swing (above). Gypsy swing. The

Pelham Arms, 8.30pm, free

The Cajun Roosters


Fat Belly Jones. Ska/R&B. Con Club, 8pm, free

Yacht Paradiso. 70s, 80s and 90s floor fillers and

club classics. Lansdown, 8pm, free






Con Club



















Geoff Robb. Brighton Fringe Live Music

Award winning Spanish/Celtic guitarist. Royal

Oak, 7.30pm, £8

Bruce Molsky. Folk (US old-time fiddle &

banjo). Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £8 (see pg 49)

The Vapors and Department S. See Gig of the


Shepherds Arise. Old Sussex carols & dance

tunes. Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £8

Two Man Ting. Afro-Christmas special. Royal

Oak, 8pm, free


Cockney Rejects. Punk rock legends. Con

Club, 7.30pm, £20


Shooglenifty. Acid-croft. Con Club, 7pm, £17

Open Space Open Mic, Music, Poetry and

Performance. Elly, 7.30pm, free


Jason Yarde (sax), Simon Thorpe (bass),

Darren Beckett (drums) & Terry Seabrook

(piano). Jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free


Jim Mullen (guitar), Terry Seabrook (organ)

& Darren Beckett (drums). Jazz. Snowdrop,

8pm, free


Concertinas Anonymous practice session.

Folk & misc. Elephant & Castle, 8pm, free


John Otway & his big band. Con Club,

7.30pm, £15

Concept of thought. Hip-hop. Lansdown,

8pm, free


Jam Tarts Indie Choir. 60-piece indie choir’s

festive treat. Con Club, 7.30pm, £13 (see pg 47)


Lewes Loves Disco. Daft punk, disco and

dance. Con Club, 8:00pm, free


The Kondoms. High energy punk. Con Club,

8.00pm, free

Lewes Saturday Folk Club Christmas Party.

Carols, candles, fire, mince pies. Elephant &

Castle, 8pm, £4


The Con Club All-stars. A Sundays in the Bar

special with the Con Club All-Stars, and Christmas

Draw. Con Club, 3.30pm, free


Diane & Steve Nevill. Folk (new & old).

Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £6

Concept of thought


NYE party including special guests. Members,

their guests and friends only. Con Club,

4.30pm till late, free


The Esterházy Chamber Choir present

Carols by


St Anne’s Church, High Street, Lewes

Saturday 22nd December, 6pm

Free Admission

The perfect antidote for the Christmas Rush





Carols, Candlelight &

Music for Christmas

with The Lewes Singers

Director & Chamber Organ

Nicholas Houghton

Baroque String Quartet

led by Julia Bishop

Tickets £12, under 19s free

available from Lewes TIC: tel 01273 483448

or on the door (subject to availability)

Sunday 23rd December 6pm

St Michael's Church, High Street, Lewes

Christmas Festival

Toby Sims: Bass

Sue Gregg: Flute

Schola of St Pancras Church


Peter Copley

Saint Saëns


Seasonal Music

Friday 14th December 7:30pm

Lewes Town Hall, Fisher Street entrance

Info, tickets and prices visit:


on you

Counselling, Psychotherapy

and Psychological services

in central Lewes

01273 921355

About | Listen:


Classical round-up





East Sussex Community Choir: A Christmas Cracker

Lewes’s biggest choir takes to the stage of the Town Hall in what has

become an annual tradition. This year’s Christmas Cracker features

local star Sir John Tomlinson (pictured), Wallands School Choir,

world-famous trumpeter Crispian Steele-Perkins in The Trumpet shall

Sound from Messiah, and carols for choir and audience. The children

from Wallands, directed by Briony Lambert, join in a performance

of Christus natus est by Cecilia McDowall and will also sing their own

numbers. The concert is a fundraiser for Dementia UK and it’s hoped

to raise at least £2,000. Conducted by Nicholas Houghton who’s celebrating his 10th season as Director.

It promises to be a bit of a gala night. Lewes Town Hall £15, under 18s £5, from Lewes Tourist

Information Centre.

Photo by Robert Workman

SUNDAY 2, 2.45PM

Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra. Ben

Gernon conducts The Brighton Phil playing

Beethoven’s Symphony No.7 and two pieces by

Mozart, the Symphony No.35 (Haffner) and his

Violin Concerto No.5 (Turkish) written when Mozart

was just 19. Brighton Dome £12.50-£39.50,

50% student/U18 discount Ticket Office 01273



Pro Musica Chamber Choir. Christmas

Concert to include Vivaldi Gloria, Gorecki Totus

Tuus, Biebl Angelus Domini, Lauridsen O Magnum

Mysterium plus carols. St Andrew’s Church, Alfriston

£12, under 14s free. On the door or reserve by


WEDS 5, 7.30PM

Pestalozzi Carol Concert. Annual fundraiser

for the Pestalozzi International Village Trust, this

year featuring Lewes soprano Lucinda Houghton.

St Michael’s £10 in advance (tel 01273 475172) or

£12 on the door


Singing Salon. A Christmas Parlour – a traditional

Victorian Christmas evening of festive

tales, sing-along carols and spiced rum cocktails

in George IV’s magnificent Music Room. Royal

Pavilion, Brighton £35, £31.50 for members, suitable

for ages 12+


East Sussex Bach Choir. Christmas concert,

including the first part of Handel’s Messiah with

The Baroque Collective and Britten’s A Ceremony

of Carols with Helen Arnold (harp). John Hancorn

directs. Trinity St John sub Castro Tickets £15

(under 16s free) from Lewes Tourist Information

Centre or phone 07759 878562.


Glyndebourne Chorus & Tour Orchestra.

Christmas Concert – sizzling operatic highlights,

followed by festive favourites and carols for all.

Conducted by Nicholas Jenkins. £10-£57


Coffee Concert: Philip Higham. An opportunity

to hear acclaimed cellist Philip Higham

playing Bach Cello Suites No.s 1, 3 and 5 as well

as Gabrielli Ricercar No.s 7 and 5. Attenborough

Centre for the Creative Arts £18.50, concessions





Classical round-up (cont)


New Sussex Singers. Sing Noel – a Christmas

concert featuring the New Sussex Singers and

children from Wallands Primary School. St

Anne’s £12 on the door, £10 in advance, Under 16s



Corelli Ensemble. Bach Brandenburg Concerto

no.3 in G major, Handel Ombra mai fu from

Xerxes, Corelli Concerto Grosso opus 6 no. 8 and

Marcello Oboe Concerto in D minor featuring soloist

Owen Dennis.Seaford Baptist Church, Belgrave

Road, Seaford £10 in advance, £12 on the door.

Children free


Paddock Singers. A Box Of Delights! – femalevoice

choir Paddock Singers present an enticing

and festive mix of choral arrangements, audience

carols and Christmas readings. Directed by Ruth

Kerr. St Michael’s £8 for over 14s (free for 14 and

under) from or

reserve them at


Lewes Festival of Song. O Magnum Mysterium

– a Christmas fundraiser for a new piano for

the festival featuring seasonal music and carols.

The Baroque Collective Singers are conducted

by John Hancorn with guest cellist Sebastian

Comberti and Artistic Director and pianist Nancy

Cooley. St. Anne’s £15, under 16s £7.50 from or on the door

FRIDAY 14, 7.30PM

Lewes Concert Orchestra. Christmas Festival

Concert, with special guests including the Schola

Cantorum of St. Pancras Church. Music by

Mozart, Sussex composer Peter Copley, Cecile

Chaminade, Saint-Saens, and seasonal items.

Conducted by Ian McCrae. Lewes Town Hall

£10 in advance or £12 on the door. Under 18

and students £5


Esterhazy Chamber Choir. Christmas Carol

Concert. St Anne’s Free entry esterhazychoir@


The Lewes Singers. A Spotless Rose –- a rare

chance to hear The Lewes Singers who are

joined by a baroque string quartet led by Julia

Bishop (pictured). Music for (almost) Christmas

Eve includes Vivaldi’s Magnificat and plenty of

carols. Nicholas Houghton directs and plays

chamber organ. St Michael’s £12, under 19s free,

from Lewes Tourist Information Centre tel 01273


MONDAY 31, 2.45PM

Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra. New Year’s

Eve Viennese Gala Concert conducted by Richard

Balcombe and featuring soprano soloist Ilona

Domnich. A programme of favourite waltzes,

marches and polkas from the Strauss family and

their contemporaries. Brighton Dome £12.50-

£39.50, 50% student/U18 discount Ticket Office

01273 709709

Robin Houghton








Symphony No.35

(Haffner )


Violin Concerto No.5



Symphony No.7

Discounted parking

at NCP Church Street

just £6 between 1-6pm


Tickets from £12.50-£39.50

50% student/U18 discount

Brighton Dome Ticket Office

(01273) 709709







Tickets from


50% student/U18


Brighton Dome

Ticket Office

(01273) 709709

Discounted parking

at NCP Church

Street just £6

between 1-6pm



LBNP VivaLewes 66x94_6.qxp 08/03/2018 20:26 Page 1

Louis Browne


Specialist notarial services

in Central Lewes

01273 487744




Book in a one to one bespoke meeting at

our central Lewes office for a two hour *

practical training session covering all

aspects of social media, overview of your

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* One-hour session and two follow-up

telephone appointments post meeting

07971 608271 |

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Member of the Society of Trust

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“ We would like to wish all our clients and contacts a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ”

Chrismas Ogden Solicitors Limited, Howard Cottage, Broomans Lane, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2LT.

Web Telephone 01273 474159

Fax 01273 477 693 Email

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm

DECEMBER listings


Great Expectations. Lewes Little Theatre

perform the Dickens classic, adapted by Nick

Ormerod and Declan Donnellan, directed

by Shaun Hughes. Lewes Little Theatre, see

Genital Mutilation). Music from The Sussex

Pistols. Tickets to include light supper, bar and

raffle. All Saints, 7.30pm, £25. Contact



Glyndebourne backstage tours. 90-minute

guided tours of the theatre, backstage dressing

rooms and more. See


Ernest Doe Christmas shopping event. Free

refreshments, prize draw and 15% discount

across the store. Ernest Doe, Broyle House,

Ringmer, 8am-4pm.

Raystede Christmas Fair. Festive Music,

Santa’s grotto, food & drink and meet the donkeys.

Raystede, 10am-4pm, see


Lewes Farmers Market. Local produce and

delicious gifts for Christmas. Cliffe Precinct,

9am-1pm (also on 15th).

St Thomas à Becket Cliffe Christmas Fair.

Refreshments, homemade cakes and jams,

tombola, raffle and gifts. Money raised will go

towards the St Thomas’ weather vane renovation

appeal. Cliffe Hall, 10am-12.30pm, free.

Santa Run. 2km festive fun

run in aid of The Bevern Trust.

Starting and finishing in Harvey’s

Yard, 11am, see

Barn Dance. Raising funds for FoCK (building

schools in Africa, protecting local wildlife

and environment and preventing Female

Christmas with

the Kiplings. A

celebration of all

things Kipling with

a glass of mulled

wine and a mince pie.

Look through their

family archives: photographs,


manuscripts and a

wealth of illustrated letters from three generations.

The Keep, 2pm, £10 (booking essential),


School of Rock. Eastbourne College’s latest

musical production. Eastbourne College Theatre,

7pm, £9.

Lighting up Lewes festival of light. Talk by

festival director Graham Festenstein. Priory

School, 7.30pm, £4 (£2 for members).

Headstrong Club talk and discussion. Andrew

Simpson on the gentrification of Lewes.

Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £3.


Pressed for presents?

Stuck for stockings?

Don’t miss the 4th



Friday 14th December 6-8pm Preview & Drinks

Saturday 15th December 10-5pm

Fitzroy House, 10 High St, Lewes

Free entry

Featuring a wide selection of hand

crafted gifts and goodies

perfect for presents

LWB is a not for profit CIC bringing together independent business women

from all over Lewes District

Community Interest Company No. 10314864

Sunday 13th


Wedding Fair

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne

11.00am - 3.00pm

Huge wedding show with incredible exhibitors!

Competitions offers on the day • Local venues exhibiting

Live Music • Free Entry • Luxury Goodie Bags • Drinks on arrival

Please register for your FREE tickets via

Tel: 01424 310580 @empiricaleventsweddingshows @empiricalevents



DEC listings (cont)


Late Night Shopping. See page 123.


Cliffe Christmas Fair. Santa’s grotto, crafts,

raffles, bar, tombola and more. Lewes Town

Hall, 10am-4pm, free.

Make your own

Christmas tree

decorations. Family

craft sessions

suitable for eight

years and above

(children must

be accompanied).

Make up to three decorations per session. Louise

will glaze and fire the finished pieces, add

ribbon and send them to you in the post. Blue

Door Studio, 10am-4.30pm, £10 for half hour

session plus £2 per item for glazing, firing and

P+P. Contact

The Bump. Funk, Soul, Reggae and Disco DJs

playing dancefloor fillers. All proceeds to Starfish

Youth Music. Over 18s event. All Saints,

7pm-11pm, £7/£8.

Gin and Jazz party. An evening

of jazz, dancing and cocktails with

local swing band The Swing Ninjas.

Charleston, 7pm, £35-£40.


Dovecote Garden Advent Market. Christmas

trees, indoor market with Christmas food,

gifts & art, Merino wool

specialists and tea & cake.

Dovecote Garden, Westdean,

free, contact info@

Sun 9 Dec, 4pm



What would you

like to do today?

From seated exercises to free health walks,

school holiday clubs to swimming lessons,

find out more online or speak to our team.

Seaford • Lewes • Newhaven • Peacehaven

Acting for All

Valerie runs courses for acting and presentation skills

in Lewes and London. 25 years professional

experience in acting and teaching.

‘Explore and learn acting techniques,

and above all have fun’


FOR 9 WEEKS AT WESTGATE CHAPEL, LEWES £90 for 9 week course 07931 481844

DEC listings (cont)


From Suffrage to

Citizenship in Lewes.

Lewes History Group

talk. Following a

short AGM, Dr Diana

Wilkins will talk about

the campaign for voting

rights for women in

Lewes using images

from the Reeves Archive.

7pm for 7.30pm, £3 (free for members).


Life Drawing Christmas Special. Drop-in

session (bring own materials). Lewes Arms,

7.30pm, £5.

Michelham Priory

House & Gardens


Christmas at the Priory

Christmas through the ages for all ages.

A Tudor Christmas, 1 st & 2 nd December

Celebrate with traditional food, dancing, music & craft.

A Christmas Carol, 8 th & 9 th December

Meet Scrooge, Mrs Cratchit, the Christmas ghosts & other


An Evacuee’s Christmas,

15 th & 16 th December

Enjoy some hearty fare, music & activities WWII style.

Upper Dicker, Nr Hailsham,

BN27 3QS. Tel: 01323 844 224

The Arts Society Uckfield, Lewes and

Newick Christmas Lecture. ‘From Forest

Fir to Festive Feature’ an illustrated history of

the Christmas Tree by Claire Walsh. Uckfield

Civic Centre, 2.30pm, £7 (free to members).


Comedy at the Con.

Simon Evans and Jeff

Innocent with MCs

Dave Mounfield and

Neil Masters. Con

Club, 7.30pm, £8-£12.





Barn Dance!!!

Services include

Modern and Traditional Haircuts

Beard Grooming and Shaping

Luxury Wet Shaves

We welcome our clients to kick back and

relax, we have the beers stocked in the

fridge and plenty of friendly banter make

Hair for Men your choice for all your

grooming needs!

Take advantage of our opening offer - £5 off

any service (Usual Adult Hair Cut Price £17)

Get the promo by scanning the QR code.

Open Monday to Saturday

with late night opening to

7pm every weekday and

until 8pm on Thursdays

Book an appointment

01273 911808 or just walk

in whatever works for you.

Saturday 1 December

7.30-11pm All Saints, Lewes BN7 2LE

Raising funds for FoCK (building schools in

Africa, protecting local wildlife and environment

and preventing Female Genital Mutilation)

£25 per ticket to include a light supper, bar and raffle


07816 063385

registered charity number 1179597

DEC listings (cont)


Lewes Women in Business Pop-Up Christmas

Emporium preview and drinks. Fitzroy

House, 6pm, free.



and meteor


Chance to view

the Geminid


Shower, run by

The Seven Sisters & East Sussex Astronomical

Societies. There will be a special talk, a soup

dinner and bar on the evening. Raystede, 8pm,


Lewes FC Quiz night. 4 people per team

maximum. Must book in advance (contact

The Dripping Pan, 7.45pm,

£2.50 per person (optional £10 meal-deal).


Peter Pan. Christmas pantomime following

the adventures of Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and

friends in Neverland. Attenborough Centre, for

times and prices see


Lewes Women in Business

Pop-Up Christmas Emporium.

Christmas fair with

handmade gifts from local

businesses including jewellery,

ceramics, children’s clothes, photography,

homeware, with food and mini-massages.

Fitzroy House, 10am-5pm, free.

Boogie Wonderland. Pre-Christmas soul

and funk night with proceeds going towards

fundraising for a local lady with aggressive

Multiple Sclerosis, to go overseas for stem cell

treatment. All Saints, 7.30pm, £10.

“A really inviting space that

we love spending time in...”

Following last years sell out run, it’s back!


“Savagely funny-fantastically silly” THE GUARDIAN




White Hart Hotel

Sell out


’11 ‘12’13’14


55 High St, Lewes. BN7 1 XE

Review of the year





TICKETS 16.50 & 13.50 CONCS

(NYE 22.50)

BOX OFFICE 01273 709709


saturday 22 December


£15.00 (Early bird) £16.00 / £17.50

book online :

Because every life is unique

In association with

…we are here to help you make your

farewell as personal and individual as possible,

and to support you in every way we can.

Inc. Cooper & Son

42 High Street, Lewes

01273 475 557

Also at: Uckfield • Seaford • Cross in Hand

DEC listings (cont)


Lewes Friday Market festive special. Hot

mulled beverages and gingerbread treats, carol

singing, lucky dip and fresh local produce.

Market Tower, 9.30am-1.30pm, free.


This is operating

again this year,

covering Lewes and

Kingston and costing

25p per card. Drop

post in to one of the

collection points, all

over Lewes and in Kingston. Cards must

be put in the local post by 4pm Wednesday

12th December.




Lewes Labour’s Christmas party. Line-up

includes SkaToons, George Egg Anarchist

Cook (!) and spoken word from Rosy Carrick.

St Mary’s Social Centre, 7pm, £6.

Patience. Opera Anywhere’s performance of

the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera. Lewes

Little Theatre, 6pm, £12-£20.

John Agard: ‘Pushkin’s Half Hour’. A whimsical

homage to Pushkin’s famous verse novel,

Eugene Onegin, in which John Agard plays all

the parts. With live music for accordion, ukulele

and voice. White Hart, 7.30pm, £8/£10.



They say time speeds up as you get older and I tend to

agree – I don’t know where November went!

2nd December marks the start of Advent once again.

I like this time of year as the streets of Lewes look so

beautifully lit up.

The traditional advent calendar provides a useful way

of illustrating some of the difficult issues parents experience this time of year.

It illustrates that when counting down to something there is inevitably a level

of expectation. Expectations, when not met, can lead to disappointment and

resentment. Planning is an essential component to managing expectations.

Christmas and any festive or religious celebration can be a challenging

time for all parents not just separated ones. Most of us find the demands of

December put pressure on our time and our emotional health. When parents

are separated, these stresses and strains are often increased.

The help of a mediator can help manage the

practicalities. Parents who create a robust but

flexible parenting plan can really help establish

the ground rules for successful holiday

parenting. As Brené Brown writes,

‘Being clear is kind. Being unclear is unkind.’

Please call to discuss how mediation might help

you in the separation/divorce process.

Do call on 07780676212 or email

For more details about how I work visit

I am an accredited family mediator and a nationally recognised expert family

law solicitor specialising in mediation and collaborative practice. Contact me

and we can arrange to meet in Lewes at Westgate Chapel, 92a High Street.




Glow Wild Wakehurst. After-dark walk

through the beautiful grounds as the history,

landscape and gardens are brought to life

with glowing lights and hand-crafted lanterns.

Booking essential. £14 for adults, £8 for

children (free for under 4s). Family tickets







present a

festive puppet

show for

children age

two to eight and their families. After the show

there will be a disco and prize raffle, and a café

serving mulled wine and Christmassy cakes.

All proceeds will go to charity. Christchurch,

Prince Edward’s Road, 3pm, £5.


Victorian Christmas. Based on the story ‘A

Christmas Carol’, enjoy the house decorated for

Christmas through the ages. There will be carol

singing, bell ringing, drama sessions, dressing

up, children’s Crafts and Father Christmas.

Michelham Priory, see


Santa Specials. A Christmas visit to the

Bluebell Railway. Santa and his elves will be on

board with a present and chocolate treat for

children, and at Horsted Keynes station you

will find a Victorian Fairground, a Christmas

Pantry on platform 3 serving hot & cold drinks

and festive snacks, Santa in his parlour, a special

‘Elf House’ and Santa’s Reindeer on Platform 5.



Tudor Christmas. Explore what Christmas

was like as a Tudor with dancing, singing, food

demonstrations, crafts and more. Michelham

Priory, 10.30am-5pm,


Film: Paddington 2

(PG). The continued

adventures of

Paddington Bear. All

Saints, 8pm, £5/£2.50.

Family craft & carols. King’s Church, 10am-

11.30am, free,

CBeebies Christmas Show. Join Justin and

friends for the CBeebies big Christmas event

for all the family. This the first time the annual

CBeebies Christmas Show comes to the big

screen. Depot, 11am & 2pm, £10/£8.




WWII Christmas (An Evacuee’s Christmas).

Take part in a wartime classroom lesson and try

your hand at writing a message in Morse code,

participate in a Home Guard Drill or make a

super-special paper aeroplane and take part in

the flying competition. There will be a talk each

day on the Home Guard or women in WWII.

The Victory Vs will sing on Sunday 16th 2-3pm,

and there’ll be a children’s trail and crafts.

Michelham Priory, 11am-4pm,

enjoy the Victorian fairground, and listen to a

special Christmas story.


Lewes Labour’s Children’s Christmas Party.

Line-up features a puppet show from Jo Neary

(pictured), a reading from children’s author

Siobhan Curham and craft making. St Mary’s

Social Centre, 1pm, free (RSVP via Eventbrite)


A Horsted Christmas. A Bluebell Railway

event travelling from Sheffield Park or East

Grinstead stations with on-board picnic and

mulled wine or hot chocolate upon arrival at

Horsted Keynes. Meet Santa and his reindeer,

Sussex Students

are looking now





• FREE, easy advertising service

• Set your own rents

• Friendly students from around the world

• Full-board, half-board, self-catering…

on your terms!

Interested? Contact us today

E T 01273 678220





Discover maps and monsters, heroes and gods, fantastical beasts and

ancient tricksters from all over the world in Myth Atlas, a brand new

look at twelve magical, mythological worlds. This large hardback is a

wonderful introduction to myths and legends for children of approximately


Myth Atlas includes characters and stories from every continent, illuminating

beliefs in North America, India, Polynesia, Japan, Scandinavia and more. The author has

done a great job of expanding on the better known myths from cultures such as ancient Greece and

Rome, as well as recognising that while some of the mythologies included in the book are ancient

and historic, many still form the basis of religious and spiritual beliefs today.

Every culture had its own ideas about how the world – including natural geography, humans and

animals – was created, and these ideas are the basis for the ‘maps’ in the book. From the serpent

Jormungand – who, in Norse mythology, was so big he coiled around the earth – to the many and

mysterious Japanese Kami – the sacred forces that exist in everything – to the Five Suns of the Aztecs

and the origins of the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland, the magnificent tales that people have told one

another for millennia help to explain human existence and the world around us. Anna, Bags of Books

Myth Atlas is 25% off as one of Bags of Books’ Books of the Month this month. Find it in store or at

䐀 漀 氀 瀀 栀 椀 渀 猀 伀 瀀 琀 漀 洀 攀 琀 爀 椀 猀 琀 猀 Ⰰ 䐀 漀 氀 瀀 栀 椀 渀 䠀 漀 甀 猀 攀 Ⰰ アパートアパート 䴀 甀 猀 琀 攀 爀 䜀 爀 攀 攀 渀 Ⰰ 䠀 愀 礀 眀 愀 爀 搀 猀 䠀 攀 愀 琀 栀 Ⰰ 刀 䠀 㘀 㐀 䄀 䰀

㐀 㐀 㐀 㐀 㔀 㐀 㠀 㠀 簀 眀 眀 眀 ⸀ 搀 漀 氀 瀀 栀 椀 渀 猀 漀 瀀 琀 漀 洀 攀 琀 爀 椀 猀 琀 猀 ⸀ 挀 漀 ⸀ 甀 欀

伀 瀀 攀 渀 椀 渀 最 琀 椀 洀 攀 猀 㨀 䴀 漀 渀 ⴀ 䘀 爀 椀 ⠀ 攀 砀 挀 ⸀ 圀 攀 搀 ⤀ 㤀 ⸀ ⴀ 㜀 ⸀アパート 圀 攀 搀 ☀ 匀 愀 琀 㤀 ⸀ ⴀアパート⸀


Rock got no reason,

rock got no rhyme…..

You better get me to school on time!

Eastbourne College presents, their annual Christmas musical

production in College Theatre and invites you to pick up a guitar and dive

into Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit West End musical, School of Rock.

Based on the hit movie,

and faithful to the

contemporary humour

and vivacious musical

score in the current West

End production, School

of Rock follows Dewey

Finn, a failed, wannabe

rock star who poses as

a substitute teacher at a

prestigious prep school

to earn some extra cash. There, he

turns a class of straight A pupils into a

guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mindblowing,

studded-leather wearing rock

band. But can he get them to the Battle

of the Bands, without their parents and

the school’s headmistress finding out?

Join us to see these prep school pupils

ditch their ties and get into the spirit of

rock and roll. The audience can expect

an explosive concoction of sequins,

energetic dance numbers and classic

rock. They will encounter a fantastic

set and will be immersed in the

extraordinary musical

and acting talents of

the pupils, as they play

their instruments live on


Claudine Sinnett,

Director of Drama at

Eastbourne College and

Dan Jordan, Director

of Music have worked

closely with the cast and

technical team to create a truly vibrant

production to kick start the academic

year with a touch of rock and roll.

The Drama Department here at the

College produce 7 productions across

the academic year, including recent

inclusion into the Edinburgh Fringe

Festival, where a group of talented

upper sixth pupils took Tennessee

William’s The Glass Menagerie, are

about to perform in the Shakespeare

School’s Festival, and they readily invite

professional theatre companies in to

enrich the learning of the pupils.

Wednesday 5 - Saturday 8 December 7.30pm

Thursday 6 December, 2.30pm

College Theatre. Tickets £9



Our family loves history, in particular the quirkier aspects of our

past. Fortunately, living in East Sussex we are surrounded by a land

steeped in myths and legends.

One story that intrigued our boys relates to Mount Caburn. According to legend, the Caburn is one

of the clods of earth thrown by the Devil when he was digging Devil’s Dyke.

Inspired by this dastardly tale, we decided to explore further. Beginning with a five-minute train

trip from Lewes to Glynde, we walked into Glynde and took the footpath almost opposite the Post

Office which led up towards Mount Caburn.

Our steady uphill walk was flanked by grazing sheep and hay bales. At the brow, we followed the

path up to the highest point of Mount Caburn, the site of an Iron Age hill fort.

At the top we munched on Jaffa Cakes as we surveyed the spectacular views across the countryside

and talked about the Devil story and what it might have been like to live here in days gone by.

Energy revived we continued across hill and vale before descending into Lewes, emerging past the

Golf course towards Cliffe High Street.

The total trip took about 90 minutes and has made us determined to find out more about our past

via a monthly, history-inspired family walk! Surprisingly, all three boys have agreed to this idea and

we’re hoping this will keep us all active over the coming, winter months. Jacky Adams

Open Morning

Wednesday 13th February

from 08:30 - 12:00

Alternatively, book in for a Private Tour


The Early Years provision is outstanding

and is a strength of the school.

The curriculum is outstanding,

particularly in the breadth and depth of

subjects which are studied throughout

the school.

Pupils enjoy coming to school and

grow into articulate, confident young

people, who say that they feel safe,

secure and happy.

Inspection 2018

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

Tel: 01342 822275 - Registered Charity Number 307006





Christmas is a time for

treats, and family, of course.

And Blackberry Park Farm

is one of the local farm

parks offering some tailored

festive fun. Maybe it can be

a treat for the parents too?

Knowing everyone will be

happily and energetically occupied

for a whole long day.

We asked Events and Social

Media Co-Ordinator, Elissa

Murrin, to fill us in on some

of the detail.

Christmas at Blackberry Park Farm looks

great. So, it’s Saturdays and Sundays up till

Christmas? Yep, our Christmas event runs for

two weekends. On Sunday 16th and Sunday

23rd, bring the kids along to a very special

Christmas ‘Sing-a-long’ around the Christmas

tree at 2pm. This, led by Rosie Chapman, is

guaranteed to get even those adult feet tapping.

How big is the farm? It’s set in 18 acres of

beautiful Sussex countryside in the village of

Whitesmith near Lewes.

What’s the Father Christmas boot hunt all

about? How does it work? The naughty elves

here at Blackberry Farm Park have hidden

Father Christmas’s boots…! That’s the story.

The hunt takes visitors around the farm in a

search for hidden letters – clues to spell out a

word that will provide the answer. Solve the

anagram correctly, and you’ll win a prize.

What are the other activities on offer? As

well as the Father Christmas Boot Hunt, we

also have Christmas crafts, face-painting and

story time with Mrs Claus. And we’ll be running

all our usual activities –

animal handling, tractor rides,

pony rides, barrel bug. Everyone’s

also welcome to take

full advantage of our newly

expanded play area. Come

along and give it a whirl.

Is there stuff to do for

a whole day out? Plus,

refreshments? The farm

park’s open from 10am to 4pm

each of those days, and there’s

plenty to do to fill the whole

time, if you want it. Our Garden

Barn café will be selling light refreshments

and snacks – including mulled wine and mince

pies. Oh, and don’t miss out on a delicious

Blackberry Park Farm hot chocolate!

What age group(s)? We think our Christmas

event is suitable for kids of all ages! It’s designed

to be a lovely way to kick off the festive

season with friends and family…

Will Santa be in residence? Unfortunately,

Santa can’t be with us for the whole weekend

as he’s so busy prepping for Christmas

– organising presies, packing up the sleigh,

bringing those elves into tow, etc. However, he

will pop in during both Christmas sing-a-longs

– along with Minnie the Donkey (pictured) – if

anyone wants a selfie with them.

What does Minnie the Donkey have to

say about it all? She’s very excited to see all

the children again this year and is more than

happy to pose for photos... Charlotte Gann

Blackberry Park Farm Christmas events run on

15/16th and 22nd/23rd, 10am-4pm. £10 per adult

or child; £36 family of four; £9 over 60s


Merry Christmas!


Proudly supporting independent eyewear

Barracloughs the Opticians Lewes are proud to incorporate


52 Cliffe High Street . Lewes . 01273 471893 .

- Nail Cutting

- Corn & Callus removal

- In-growing Toenails

- Verrucae

- Fungal Nail advice

- Diabetic Foot

- Rheumatology

- Wound care

- Nail Surgery

- Biomechanics


The Snowman

Forty years of magic

Brighton Museum is celebrating the 40th

Anniversary of The Snowman with an exhibition

of Raymond Briggs’ original drawings on

show until January 6th (John Henty enjoyed

visiting this too – see pg 33). We caught up

with animator and illustrator Robin Shaw,

who’s worked a lot with the character – from

the Irn-Bru ad, to The Snowman and the Snow

Dog film (Robin was Assistant Director), and

this autumn, a new book written by Michael

Morpurgo, illustrated by Robin, and published

by Puffin.

Robin, as a self-proclaimed ‘World’s Biggest

Raymond Briggs Fan’, what appealed

to you about The Snowman as a boy? I

could see how it was drawn. Ladybird used

to do these fairytale books that had beautiful

paintings but, as a kid, they were so out of

my range of understanding. With Raymond’s

work, I could see every single stroke of the

pencil – and they were like the coloured pencils

that we had at school and I had at home.

What’s the most important lesson he’s

taught you? Raymond really knows how

to capture an emotion in his

drawings, in a very simple way.

When he draws a character

who’s feeling quite sad, he

often draws them from

the back because that’s a

simpler way of conveying

their emotion. That’s

something I’ve done a lot.

Has The Snowman become

easier to draw?

It has become more refined. It

hasn’t become easier. It’s a timeconsuming

and specific style of work. When

I’m doing Snowman things, I try not to draw

like I would naturally draw. I try to draw like

Raymond, and I show him my drawings before

I show them to anyone else.

What’s he like to work with? Brilliant,

because he understands the things we’re doing

to turn illustration into animation. He’s very

respectful, and appreciative. I think he knows

how much I love his work and how faithful

I try to remain. At the same time, he always

finds some little detail that could be improved!

In the Brighton Museum show, I learnt

that the original animators added personal

touches – like naming the little boy James.

Have you? No. Raymond’s upbringing and

mine were quite similar. The layout of Raymond’s

childhood house is very like my own,

so there were lots of details I was really able

to get into. But when it comes to renaming

things, or bringing things in that are mine, I

don’t do that, because it’s Raymond’s.

How do you deal with the theme of loss

that’s so pertinent in the original? It’s really

difficult because it’s not just about

losing a person or a thing; it’s about

that nostalgia that you can feel,

even when you’re a child, when

you have a really good time and

then it’s over, and there’s a

sense of loss. It’s about trying

to capture that, rather

than solely raw grief.

Interview by Chloë King

The Snowman runs till

6th January, Brighton


© Snowman Enterprises Ltd 2017


Maggi Hambling, Self-portrait, 2017 © the artist

Sebastian Horsley, Maggi Hambling, 2011 © the artist

The Quick and the Dead

When Maggi met Sarah

“I’ll just switch Maggi on for


I’m being shown round the

Jerwood exhibition The Quick

and the Dead, by its co-curator

Victoria Howarth.

It might, more prosaically, have

been named ‘When Maggi

Met Sarah’, as it was a chance

meeting between portrait artist

Maggi Hambling and Young

British Artist Sarah Lucas that

sparked the friendship that

underscores the show.

The introduction was made by

Soho dandy Sebastian Horsley,

at the Colony Rooms on Dean

Street, in October 2005. Both

women were celebrating their

birthdays at the private afterhours

club. It must have been

quite a night.

What Victoria is switching

on is the sculpture Magi (sic,

2012), of Hambling, by Lucas.

The description of the materials

used will help you picture

it: ‘coat hanger, lightbulbs,

steel wire, electric cable, toilet

bowl’. Victoria suggests that

the bulbs represent Hambling’s

eyes; in his catalogue notes

James Cahill suggests they are

her breasts. Whatever the case,

it’s very Sarah Lucas, an artist

whose remit has always been

to shock, more than charm, to

elicit a response.

Hambling’s touchée is more

lifelike. The oils Portrait of the

Artist Sarah Lucas and Sarah

Lucas II (both 2013) flank

the sculpture. The first – all

trademark colourful swirls and

unfinished business – captures

an intense look of vulnerability

in the face of the younger

artist. The second places her

framed portrait alongside a pile

of props typical of her oeuvre:

a fried egg; stuffed breasts;

fruit; wine glasses.

The fourth work you see, in

the first of four rooms, is a

frame containing two works by

Sebastian Horsley, including

a photo of his hand with a



Maggi Hambling No.2, Suffolk 2018, © Juergen Teller, All rights Reserved

nail through it. It’s a stylised

screen grab from a film made

by Lucas when he was nailed

to a cross in the Philippines

in 2000.

Lucas makes a sculpture of

Hambling; Hambling paints

Lucas; Lucas films Horsley.

The Quick and the Dead is an

exhibition about how artistfriends

see one another, and

how they see themselves. Two

other members of what became

something of a gang are represented

in the show: Lucas’

partner Julian Simmons, and

German photographer Juergen

Teller. Simmons contributes

two framed eyes, staring out

from the middle of two sets of

concentric circles; Teller offers

a huge (1.5 x 2 metre) portrait

of Hambling, and another of

himself, standing naked by his

father’s graveside, swigging

beer and smoking a fag.

It’s Teller’s image of Hambling

that forms the centrepiece of

the exhibition, a rare vision

of the artist at work, half her

face hidden by the back of

the canvas she is working on,

her mascara-framed left eye

challenging the viewer. On

the opposite wall are charcoal

drawings of Teller she was

working on when the photo

was taken.

It’s all very meta, then, but

there’s much more to it than

playful self-reference. The

death of Horsley – from a drug

overdose in 2010 – looms over

the show, and a whole room

is dedicated to Hambling’s

poignant from-memory portraits

of him, painted while she

was in mourning.

Alex Leith

The Quick and the Dead is on

at Jerwood Gallery, Hastings,

till 6th Jan

Sarah Lucas, In the words of Sexton Ming Just remember when you smile There’s a skull in there, 2018




A pottery experience voucher

for a Bowl and Spoon making

afternoon in Lewes.

Saturdays: 5th & 12th January 2.30 – 5.30pm

Cost £42 to include materials and firing

10AM - 4PM



In town this month

The Queen of Sheba by Charlotte Snook

Charlotte Snook creates small oil paintings which are rich with colour,

composition and light. She’s fascinated by Art History and human

nature, and takes Breughel, Poussin, Claude and 17th century Flemish

art as a starting point for her paintings

which can be as edgy as they are

exquisite. Sarah O’Kane presents a

solo exhibition of her work in Studio

Paintings and Other Stories at Fisher St

Frames (now located in West Street, in

the downstairs of The Needlemakers)

from the 1st-9th.

Study for In Arcadia, after Poussin

by Charlotte Snook

Peter Cole makes

collectible, plastic toy

figures (you’ll have

seen his miniature

Bonfire boys around

the town) and

Susanne Wolf makes

exquisite beaded jewellery,

working by hand,

to string and weave coloured ropes, and crafting

pendants from found objects. See their latest

work in Peter and the Wolf at 30 Friar’s Walk on

the 1st and 2nd (11am-4pm). And local artist

Linda Felcey, who creates extraordinary paintings

and dry point prints from her shepherd’s

hut studio in Glynde, exhibits her work at A.S.

Apothecary from the 30th of November.

Something Glowing and Alive

continues at Martyrs Gallery

until the 16th, featuring works

by Marc Chagall, John Piper

and Graham Sutherland

– all luminaries of twentiethcentury

art. There are prints,

lithographs and original drawings for sale, with

profits donated to the St Michael’s Organ Appeal.

See pg 88 for more.

The Seasons Autumn by Marc Chagall

Susanne Wolf

It’s that time of year and there are plenty of

opportunities for some creative Christmas

shopping. If you are quick, you’ll catch the

2018 Artists & Makers Fair at the Town

Hall on the 1st. This hugely popular event

brings together dozens of local artists and

makers who set out their stalls with fantastic

ideas for Christmas, with 15% of takings

donated to Friends of Western Road school.

Popsicle Bear by Lisa Jones


Something for




Marc Chagall, David and Absalom

10 November to 16 December, 12–5pm (Thu–Sun)

Explore a host of remarkable work

from top local artists, including:

Sophie Wake, Rachel Glittenberg,

Carolyn Trant, Shirley Trevena,

Paul Newland, Sarah Shaw, Tom

Benjamin, Mike Cooper & Carolyn


St Anne’s Galleries

Christmas Show

3 Nov - 23 Dec

Weekends or by appointment

111 High Street, Lewes





Reliable and tidy

Call Helen: 07963 489 820

01273 640 772


In town (cont)

Lewes-based artist Kelly Hall is opening a Christmas

pop-up gallery & gift shop at 2 Fisher Street

for one weekend only. Her ‘modern vintage’

designs, including many Sussex scenes, are available

as prints, cards, bone china mugs, tea towels,

hand-finished cushions and calendars. Open

10am-8pm on the 6th for late night shopping, and

10am-4pm on the 7th and 8th.

Rachel Glittenberg

St Anne’s Galleries

Christmas Show continues

at the top of the town,

with a focus on smaller

paintings, prints, sketches

and ceramics by more

than twenty artists. The

show includes works by

Tom Benjamin, Rachel

Glittenberg, Nick Bodimeade, Carolyn Trant,

Sophie Wake, Jane Hansford and Julian Sutherland-Beatson.

Open every weekend until the 23rd.

A Winter’s Tale continues at Chalk Gallery

and you’re warmly invited to join

the artists’ collective for some seasonal

cheer at their end of year party on Saturday

the 1st, from 2-4pm. The gallery

is open daily until Sunday the 23rd,

when it closes for its annual

refurbishment, reopening

for the Hidden

Treasures Sale

on the 7th of January.

Emerge by Claudia Wiegand



In town (cont)

From the 1st, Keizer Frames’ end of year show includes

work by local artist Liza Mackintosh, the Bristol-based

screenprint-maker Simon Tozer and – showing in Lewes

for the first time – artist Emmie Van Bliervliet. Also at the

gallery are the latest creations by Laina Watts, the artist behind

the (alternative) Lewes Map. Check out her Brexit and

Lewes Map tea towels, perfect for Christmas Day washing

up, and a locally inspired advent calendar (with eccentric, ominous and somewhat dark things behind

the doors. We couldn’t resist peeking…)

Emmie Van Bliervliet

Out of town

The Artists Open Houses

festival returns for its

Christmas edition on the

1st & 2nd and 8th & 9th

of December, with hundreds

of artists and makers

across Brighton, Hove and

Ditchling opening their

homes and studio spaces to the public. []

Scoffin at Northern Lights

Don’t miss Brighton’s annual Burning the Clocks

celebration to mark the winter’s solstice on Friday the

21st. The lantern-lit parade sets off at 6.30pm, making

its way through North Street, Ship Street and East

Street before arriving at the beach for a bonfire and

fireworks. It’s free to attend but, if you can afford to

make a donation, visit,

where your pledge could secure you a

magical limited edition print by Graham Carter (left).

Max Gill: Wonderground Man is at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft.

The younger brother of the more famous Eric, Max Gill was a wellknown

illustrator, letterer, map-maker, architect and decorative artist.

His strikingly vibrant and often humorous

maps and posters chart the rise of new

technologies such as electricity, flight and

radio communication. His best-known

piece, the large 1914 Wonderground Map,

was hung at every London Underground

station. Continues until April 2019.

Wonderground Map of London Town

(Section), Max Gill (1914)

GPO Post Office Wireless Stations,

Max Gill (1937), private collection


J M Furniture Ltd


Bespoke custom made furniture and kitchens.

We welcome commissions of all sizes and budgets.

01273 472924 |

We don’t stop for Christmas, or New Year,

if you need us you can still call 24 hours a day


Further afield

Rage Fluids at Hannah Perry GUSH © Hannah Perry and Tim Bowditch

Towner Art Gallery present GUSH, a candid

and personal exploration of mental and emotional

health in our hyper-networked society

by British artist Hannah Perry. Central to the

exhibition is an immersive 360° film, experienced

through a Virtual Reality headset whilst

the viewer is seated on a foam bed sculpture.

Other works include a large-scale, pulsating

audio sculpture, where sound frequencies create

distorted patterns on its mirrored surface. Continues

until the 27th of January. Also continuing

at Towner, The Everyday and Extraordinary explores artists’ use of the found object, with works drawn

from the Arts Council Collection, and there’s an exhibition of new and recent works by Simon Ling,

best known for his vibrant, unsettling oil paintings of the dilapidated urban landscape that surrounds

his East London studio.

Also in Eastbourne, Emma Mason

Gallery will be showing the work of

ceramicist Katrin Moye alongside

their limited edition prints. Katrin

began working with clay whilst studying

for her Art Foundation at Hastings

College in 1986. This month she’ll

be showing wheel-thrown and handbuilt

pieces, intricately decorated with

coloured slips and underglazes, in the

town where she grew up.


Quentin Blake has been letting his imagination

run riot at the Jerwood in Hastings. In The

World of Hats, the much-loved artist and illustrator

explores the decorative possibilities of various

headgear. “It seemed to me that about forty works,

of varying sizes, would be more than enough to

fill the space… By the time I persuaded myself to

stop, I discovered I had a collection of well over a

hundred drawings.” Some of those drawings are

for sale, with proceeds divided between the gallery

and the Hastings Storytelling Festival. Also at

Jerwood, The Quick & the Dead: Hambling – Horsley

– Lucas – Simmons

– Teller; an

exhibition of five


artists with intersecting


(see pg 78), and

Barbara Walker:

Vanishing Point,

which confronts

the issues of race

and representation

in art from the Old

Masters through to

the present day. All

until the 6th Jan.

Quentin Blake, The World of Hats, mixed media, 2018, © the artist


David and his Harp by Marc Chagall

Job Praying by Marc Chagall

Something Glowing and Alive

Chagall, Piper and Sutherland, in Lewes

So how did it come to pass that works by

Marc Chagall, John Piper and Graham

Sutherland are being exhibited at Lewes

Martyrs’ Gallery at Christmas?

It all started, strangely enough, with

the 126-year-old organ in St Michael’s

Church, on the High Street, in urgent

need of repair.

Over to Alex Grey, who runs the gallery.

“My son is an organ scholar at Priory,

and he was kindly invited to practise at

St Michael’s. When I heard about the

church’s appeal for funds to save the

organ, I thought I’d put on an exhibition

to help. But I wanted something that

was connected, in some way. Something


“It came to me when I visited Chichester

Cathedral, last year, which has a huge

artistic tradition. Not least the Chagall

stained-glass window, commissioned by

Walter Hussey, and unveiled in 1969.

And Graham Sutherland’s Noli me tangere

altarpiece, and John Piper’s tapestry

framing the main altar. These weren’t

all well-liked in their time – far from it,

many thought them garish and horrid

– but they were cutting edge, and not

everybody hated them. Somebody wrote

to Dean Hussey that it was lovely to see

‘something glowing and alive’.”

“I’ve always been a big fan of Chagall,”

she continues, “especially the storytelling,

folk-tale aspect of his paintings.



The Tree of Jesse, Notre Dame, Paris by Marc Chagall

Abraham and Sarah by Marc Chagall

And I have loved John Piper’s work since

I saw an exhibition of it at the Tate when I

was a child.”

She was aware that the Mascalls Gallery

in Kent had prepared a Chagall exhibition

which was never shown, as the gallery

suddenly closed down in 2016. “And I knew

that the Goldmark Gallery, in Rutland,

had a huge collection including works

by Chagall, Piper and Sutherland, so I

approached them to see if they wanted to go

into partnership for this show.”

They did. “We haggled a bit, and prepared

a collection. Which is what you can see

around you.”

We’re talking in Martyrs’ Gallery exhibition

room, and there is an extremely colourful

array of beautiful works leaning up against

the walls, ready for hanging. Alex gives me a

guided tour.

Chagall’s work shines out, of course,

particularly the tell-a-tale prints of his

Bible Suite illustrations of 1956, featuring the

likes of Job, Solomon and Abraham, all done

in his inimitable style. I love the two signed

1981 Piper prints from his Seasons series

– especially the fiery-faced Autumn – and

a Graham Sutherland exhibition poster, an

original lithograph from 1972, catches my eye.

And so much more, which you can see until

the 16th, with all the exhibits on sale. “The

fact that they are mostly limited edition

prints (there are two original sketches by

Sutherland, and a number of the works

are signed) means that they are reasonably

affordable,” she says.

So St Michael’s Church should get a

welcome financial boost for Christmas.

“The gallery cut that Martyrs’ would

normally earn is all going to the fund.”

Alex Leith

Something Glowing and Alive, Works by

Chagall, Piper and Sutherland, till 16th

December, 12-5pm Thurs-Sun.



55 Western Road, Lewes

Traditional, cosy, local pub. Large and

varied selection of real ales and ciders.

Lovely open fire and a delicious wine list,

currently offering a free glass of wine with

every main meal.


All our food is made on site including

bread and ice cream with an emphasis on

Locally sourced seasonal ingredients

Traditional sunday roast, with vegetarian

& vegan options.

Kids eat free with an adult main.


Monday 12-2.30 Tuesday-Friday 12-2.30/5.30-8.30 Saturday 12-8.30 Sunday 12-5



Tuesdays & Wednesdays

Buy any Pizza and get a free drink (selected drinks)

Friday Fizz

Bottle of Prosecco for £15.00


Gin Tasting Evenings: Spend the evening with a host, and sample 10

different gins with some food laid out, minimum 6 people, contact the

lamb for details.


facebook and instagram thelamboflewes


The Jolly Sportsman

Adventure in flavour

The Jolly Sportsman in East

Chiltington has a reputation

that precedes it. The reality I

found reassuringly cosy. My

impression was of a series of

interlocking pockets of space,

with hatches into each other

– though that may have been

coloured by the fact we were

seated in the snuggest, with

walls painted deep red and

dark green. We snuck away

there the evening after Bonfire,

sat in a nook-like space for

three smallish tables, and felt well looked after,

from the toast and onion ‘amuse-bouche’ on.

We both loved the bread that arrived to accompany

our starters – very salty, against a backdrop

of plain, melting dough. Beautifully judged.

Husband Pete said his fennel panna cotta starter

(£7.45) was “very creamy”, and “beautifully

light”. “The whole dish is light and airy. Very

unusual, very healthy-tasting – in a good way.” I

sampled a forkful, and understood instantly: it

had a fresh palate-cleansing quality.

Meanwhile, my butter mash starter (£8.75)

was positively intoxicating. Such exotic (to me)

flavours: poached egg merging with the rich

mushroomy flavour and texture of truffle, all

coated in ‘Madeira gravy’. The mash itself was

flecked with something that tasted to me almost

chocolatey? I was handed a spoon by the waiter

to consume all this, and the whole experience

was, to my palate, utterly novel.

Pete ordered sea bream (£16.95) for his main.

Again, he commented on the dish’s “fascinating

textures” – he thought the sauce tasted of

saffron (though it’s listed as ‘chive’), and said

the fish itself was “exquisitely cooked” – tumbling

off his fork. Then he alighted

on a “surprise of seaweed. This

plate”, he said, “seems served

directly from the sea!” He especially

loved the “butter beans?

Chickpeas?” (‘coco beans’, as it

turns out – we enjoyed playing

guess the elements), and commented

on the “lovely combination,

all in all”.

My ‘12 Hour master stock

organic Sussex pork’ (£17.85)

was worth its weight in

adjectives – it was incredibly

rich, and meltingly tender. The accompanying

vegetables – ‘tenderstem, pak choi’ – were beautifully

fresh and flavoursome in contrast: glades

of green inside a shaded forest!

All this, plus a mound of sticky rice so sticky

I, for a while, mistook it for mash (though of

course all was detailed on the menu), and two

sticks of excellent crackling served in a cross to

top the plateful.

We were full after that. So, just one pudding between

us. ‘Banana caramel pancake’ (£7.50). Like

banana fritters – a favourite from my childhood

– with delicious crunchy lumps of honeycomb?

Caramel? Again, perfectly judged, like the rock

salt on the bread: arriving in the mouth just at

the right intervals. And the textures of banana,

pancake, crunch, sauce and icecream – all, perfectly

and proportionately matched.

I’ll come clean: we’re plain food folk as a rule

– not least, as emerging from years of cooking

family meals from staples. This visit, then, was a

rare adventure for our taste buds.

Charlotte Gann

Chapel Lane, East Chiltington.



Photo by Katie Moorman


Sussex Sausage and Sage pizza

A festive twist from Jo Spiro of Bus Club

Bus Club is a family business. We cut our teeth

at my husband’s pizza bar in Norwich, while

our son Zach was training as a pizzaolo for

The Hearth. We took over in September 2017.

We just loved this iconic building, and felt it

was exactly right for the kind of easy, relaxed

feel we’re about. The chairs and tables, and

wine served in glass tumblers, also reflect this.

The majority of our ingredients are either

local – we get our meat from Frank Richards

at the top of the town – or imported from

Italy. We have deliveries of fresh vegetables

daily; and sell Caroline’s ice cream and

Harveys and Lazy Lizard beers.

Everything is freshly baked on site (including

gluten-free options), and we keep things

simple. Vegan cheese can be added to any

pizza. We have two red wines, and two whites,

at any given time – £18 a bottle – which we

change by season. For a tenner you can eat a

Margherita with a half of Harveys.

This is what a pizza bar is all about. We’re not

trying to compete directly with the chains on

‘special offers’. We offer quality with simplicity:

allowing two to three days to prove our dough,

and using Caputo – Neapolitan flour – and

Strianese Neapolitan tomatoes.

We have a bakehouse downstairs: you can buy

bread that’s 100 per cent made in Lewes (no

other sourdough in Lewes has a zero mileage

tag) – plus, bread sticks, pizza slices, pastries,

Fairtrade coffee and other hot drinks. Our

mince pies carry the ‘Made in Lewes’ with local

apples tag. They’re delicious.

We decided on a Christmas twist on one of

our popular pizzas for our recipe (don’t be put

off by potato and pizza: it really works).

Makes 1 pizza

One fresh dough ball – 240gr (you can buy

them from us for £1)

1 sausage – we use Frank Richard’s simple pork

(remove skin and pinch lumps of sausage into

rough balls). Veggie option without is also good.

100gr Mozzarella

1 potato – thinly sliced

½ onion – thinly sliced

3 or 4 sage leaves

Grated parmesan

Fry the sage leaves in some butter till crunchy.

Remove from the pan, add some olive oil and

cook the slices of potato, adding the onion

after a few minutes.

Remove the potato and onion when the potato

is just about soft (it will cook more on the

pizza) and fry the sausage till cooked through.

Dust your surface with semolina and roll

out your dough to approx. 12”. Dot some

mozzarella on the base and then add the

potato, onion and sausage. Crush the sage

leaves and sprinkle on top. Bake in a really hot

oven for 8 minutes or so – turning the pizza a

couple of times.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle a bit of

freshly grated parmesan on top.

As told to Charlotte Gann

Bus Club is open every evening except Sundays,

and all day Friday and Saturday.

Bus Club Bakehouse is open Mon-Sat 8.30-

5.00. The Old Bus Station, Eastgate Street.



Bespoke Wedding

and Event Caterers

tel: 01273 694111

Join us on Friday 21 December

for a special festive market!







Festive wine tasting

At Harveys

Harveys is hosting a Festive Wine Tasting this month. We caught up

with Wine Manager Andrew Harris to ask what to expect?

Is this event open to all? Yes. Our tastings can prove popular – but

there’ll always be other chances if you miss out this time.

Is it a mix of white and red wines? How are they chosen? Yes, it’s

a mix of wines, and from a range of origin countries. The wines will

be ‘shown’ alongside some delicious nibbles to reflect the flavours of

the season – and each vintage carefully selected to complement those. So, some Sauvignon Blanc or

Sparkling white with salmon, and Chardonnay or Pinot Noir with turkey…

There’s a whole mythology around wine tasting, no? Tasting wine is very individual as we all

have unique palates. At our sessions, we teach the basic practices. A fine wine’s flavour really does

change, and develop, as you swirl it around your mouth, and into both cheeks. The single, most

important thing is to learn what flavours you enjoy, and then find wines that match these.

What makes for a great wine? Complexity and flavour. Wines that deliver these are harder and

more expensive to produce than rougher products – so they do cost more. However, a really great

wine experience of course depends on more than the liquid in the bottle: it’s also a matter of pleasant

ambience and excellent company! Interview by Charlotte Gann

8th December, 1pm at Harvey’s Brewery Shop. £10. Book at




Treat yourself,

friends and family

to better health with the

Tina's Kitchen

Recipe Collection

Quick and easy

Nutritious and delicious recipes

from the Tina's Kitchen menu

Available now from

Tina's Kitchen

90 High Street

Lewes BN7 1XN

or by emailing

Nutritious & Delicious Lunches


Take away or eat in


The Pelham arms

hIGh sT. leWes





Christmas parties

for up to 40 guests

Please email

to book your party

and to receive a copy of

this years festive menu


£38 PP




Golden string prawns

Satay chicken on skewers

Honey black pepper ribs

Salt chilli squid

Crispy seaweed


Crispy aromatic duck


Crispy shredded chilli beef

Kapitan chicken

King prawns with asparagus

Pork with cashew nuts

in yellow bean sauce

Special fried rice




Your choice of tea/coffee



Tel: 01273 473235

162 High Street, Lewes, BN7 1XU

Opening Hours:

Mon/Wed/Thu: 12-10.30pm

Fri/Sat: 12pm-11pm

Sun: 12pm-10pm

Tues: closed

Home delivery service available from 5pm


Edible updates

Christmas! Where to begin? Late Night

Shopping on 6th Dec seems fitting – see our

Guide from pg 123 for the lowdown.

Onwards, to buy a hamper, perhaps? Gin

and Fierce from AS:AP and a Seven Sisters’

Spices homemade cracker. Glyndebourne sell

a nice range and are open for Christmas on

the 14th and 15th with free mince pies to boot


If you’re crumbling over the catering, let the

Feature Kitchen do the work with a Provençal

menu from Caroline Craig on weekends 7th

and 14th. Harvey’s Shop host a festive wine

tasting (8th Dec, 1pm; see pg 95); Community

Chef tackles Christmas baking (8th and 15th,, and Charleston are

cake decorating with the inimitable Cressida

Bell on the 10th.

Don’t forget, local farmers can be as easy to

buy from as supermarkets. Maxine at May’s

Farm Cart does

home delivery

and Middle Farm

has Kelly Bronze free

range Sussex turkeys. Boxes

of veg from Barcombe Nurseries or Ashurst

Organics can save a trip out.

For those seeking comfort, I recommend Café

12/31 at Trinity Saint John-sub-Castro, now

open Tues-Sat and the odd evening too. The

Newmarket Inn is under new management.

Bentley Wildfowl is closed until further notice

but their café owners Southdowns Pantry

are now based at Sussex Christmas Barn in

Barcombe. This lovely new location is selling

seasonal fayre while their own Christmas tree

crop reaches maturity. Well worth a stop! And

Lewes Friday Food Market is supporting

Landport Residents Association Foodbank

with a drop-off point for donations. Chloë King

Illustration by Chloë King

Wishing all our customers

a Merry Christmas and

a Happy New Year

18 Cliffe High Street, Lewes, BN7 2AH


This month, photographer Rachael Edwards visited four

local choirs. She took portraits of each choir leader at work,

and asked them: What’s your favourite Christmas carol?

John Hancorn, East Sussex Bach Choir

“In the Bleak Midwinter”


James Dawson, Esterhazy Choir

“Of The Father’s Heart Begotten”


Nicholas Houghton, East Sussex Community Choir

“Silent Night“






Under new management;

We have a new head chef and friendly staff.

Everything for your comfort because we care.

We’re on the A27 in Ashcombe

about two miles from Lewes towards Brighton

(next to the Power petrol station)

T: 01273 470021


Katie Bogaru, Lewes Vox Community Choir

“I have so many favourite carols, I like the obscure ones – Here We Come a Wassailing

is lovely but Carol Of The Bells is a more mainstream favourite.”

Helen Meade

The magical Linklater Pavilion

The Linklater is, of course, the beautiful hexagonal

building which stands near the gate into

the Railway Land in the Cliffe. Helen Meade,

Programme Coordinator, has worked there since

2015. She moved down from Yorkshire in 2011,

“and found the Railway Land within about half an

hour of arriving”, she laughs. She loves it, she tells

me, calling the Heart of Reeds, “a magical spot”.

“Basically, my job is to run The Railway Land

Wildlife Trust. We’re a charity, developing different

areas of environmental work, and have a big

volunteer programme which we’re also, always,

trying to grow.” The volunteers are great, Helen

says; all bringing different skills to this community

project. The Linklater hosts an education

programme – with schools, and special-needs

schools – but is also just now extending their remit

to offer the same kinds of learning to anyone

who’s interested.

New projects include Wellbeing in Nature. “It’s

a mental health project”, says Helen. “It runs on

Fridays from 10am to 1pm. There’s always a walk

on the nature reserve and then a nature-related

therapeutic activity back at the Linklater which

provides such a welcoming, calm space. It’s free

to attend and is a friendly group, run by my colleague


On 2nd December, at the end of National Tree

Week, they’re holding a Tree Day, which, says

Helen, “is open to everyone. We’ll have Christmassy

craft activities, a winter tree identification

walk, and dress a tree on the land.” (She tells me

about the Tree Charter – a restating of the 1217

Charter of the Forest. “Very exciting; for each

signature on the charter, a tree is planted.”)

A lot of the time the Linklater is hired out to

Detail from map © Getmapping PLC.



Photos by Charlotte Gann

different groups from the town. “Sometimes there

are serious meetings”, says Helen, “and a solemn

atmosphere. Other days, the space is buzzing with

children and laughter. Sometimes I think people

feel a bit shy – climbing the spiral staircase to find

us in the office. But the building was constructed

this way up – with the offices upstairs – to guard

against flooding. We’re also very excited to have

recently renovated downstairs.”

She takes me down to see the newly-floored

ground-floor room. It’s enormous, and with three

doors opening straight onto sunlit woodland. I

can see it would be a great, summer, children’s

party space – and the new rubber flooring would

even mean they’d bounce!

The Railway Land, of course, might never have

come about if it wasn’t for campaigners like

arborist John Chaplin. Sadly, he died this autumn,

but for many years his distinctive figure, with his

long stride and pipe, adorned the Castle Bowling

Green. Helen shows me a series of aerial photos

(“maps”) of the Linklater site, taken from the

1950s on. In the first, you can see the railway sidings,

the cement works, the workers’ allotments,

the water meadows. “It was heavily industrial,

smelly and noisy”, she says. In 1988, the campaign

to protect the site from development started. In

2005, the Heart of Reeds was constructed; in

2010 up sprang the pavilion, designed by architect

Roger Beasley, working alongside John Parry. Its

hexagonal shape is definitely part of the magic:

the rooms upstairs open into each other, half

jigsaw, half circuit.

“The Linklater is above all an environmentally

friendly structure. We have a ground-source heat

pump, and our own water well, as well as solar

panels on our ‘living’ roof”, says Helen. “We’ve

recently relaunched a ‘Friends of the Railway

Land’ scheme for anyone who wants to support

us”, she adds. “You’ll find this on our website…”

Charlotte Gann



Myth of bricks

Mathematical tiles

Many, perhaps most, Lewesians

know that some of the town’s bestknown

buildings are FAKE – or at

least not quite what they seem.

Many of the ostensibly brick

fronts of older houses are not

made of brick at all, but are

covered with a type of tile. These

tiles – called mathematical tiles –

became popular during the 18th

century and were usually used to

clad timber framed houses so that

they looked as if they were built

in brick. Although these tiles are usually the same

colour as regular red bricks, they are quite easy

to spot when you get your eye in. They’re a little

smaller than bricks, often appearing to be just

‘headers’ and, because of their slender profile,

they look different at joins and at corners. Mortar

joins are slimmer than with regular brickwork,

sometimes almost wafer-thin. Sometimes

the tiles are not red, but cream or even glazed

black, as can be seen on the striking Georgian

Bartholomew House, next to the entrance to the

castle (pictured); and several other distinctive

houses around the town centre.

These tiles appear in other places in the southeast

too, especially in Brighton, and changing

taste is the reason. As exposed timber framing

became less fashionable, mathematical tiles were

developed so that houses could be upgraded

without great structural change. Although –

because the tiles hide the underlying wooden

framing – the end result can sometimes be a

giveaway. Houses with mathematical tiles often

have strange arrangements

around doors and windows

which, lacking visible lintels,

look rather odd.

If you’re curious, and you’ve

never seen it, the Lewes episode

from the 1981 BBC TV series

Six More English Towns, presented

by Alec Clifton-Taylor, is

interesting. I recommend it as an

affectionate look at the distinctive

materials and styles of the

town’s buildings (you can find it

on YouTube.) Approximately half-way through,

the characterful presenter hilariously tries to fix

a tile – well worth seeking out!

As Clifton-Taylor attempted to show, mathematical

tiles were laid in a partly overlapping pattern.

Their lower section – the part intended to be visible

when the tiling was complete – was thicker;

the upper section would slide under the overlapping

tile above and would therefore be hidden. In

the top corner was a hole for a nail to be inserted.

The tile would then be hung on a lath of wood,

and the lower sections moulded together with

lime mortar to form a flat surface. The interlocking

visible surfaces then resembled brickwork.

Mathematical tiles had several advantages over

brick: they were cheaper and easier to fix – meaning,

less-skilled workmen could tackle them – and

they were more resistant to weathering.

Mathematical tile-spotting is an activity which

gives a fresh take on the familiar buildings of our

High Street and elsewhere in the town. I warmly

recommend it! Marcus Taylor


Lewes Town & Country

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Sneezing cats and egg shell witch boats

Beware Sussex folklore

If your cat sneezes once indoors,

get it outside quick!

Three indoor sneezes

from a cat will bring the

whole family down with

colds. After eating a boiled

egg, break a hole in the

bottom of the shell to stop

witches putting to sea in

it. A magpie seen on your

left brings bad luck, unless

you take off your hat and

bow to it.

These are just three of 195

‘startling superstitions’

collected by Mrs Charlotte

Latham, wife of the Vicar

of Fittleworth, in Some

West Sussex Superstitions Lingering in 1868.

Mrs Latham tried to find out the reasons for

people’s beliefs. When she asked why people took

their hats off to magpies, ‘they always answered

that it was a bad bird, and knew more than it

should do, and was always looking about and prying

into other people’s affairs.’

My favourite answer to such a ‘why’ question is

a note in Dylan Thomas’s Collected Poems: ‘I read

somewhere of a shepherd who, when asked why

he made, from within fairy rings, ritual observations

to the moon to protect his flocks, replied,

‘I’d be a damn fool if I didn’t!’’

Charlotte Latham argues that fairies were once

‘extremely common in Sussex’, based on placenames

including ‘Pook’ (the Sussex version of

‘Puck’ or the Irish ‘Pooka’). But belief was dying

out and it’s fitting that two of the best known fairy

stories from 19th Century Sussex are of funerals.

William Blake saw a fairy funeral in Felpham,

and Latham says she was shown a fairy’s burial

place on the mound in


In 2016, the Worthing

folklorist Chris Hare held

a survey to find out how

many of the Victorian

superstitions survived. He

discovered that Sussex

people still believed in

ghosts and omens, and they

are still greeting magpies

(asking ‘How’s your wife?’).

People no longer fear

witchcraft, though three

respondents knew about

eggshells being used as

witch boats. You can read

about the survey in Hare’s

wonderful book, The Secret Shore.

Several of Hare’s respondents were retired fishermen,

who described so many unlucky omens it’s

a wonder that they ever managed to get to sea.

For good luck, they kept holed flints in their

boats. Lucky holed stones, called hagstones, are

a big part of Brighton folklore. From the 1920s,

H.S.Toms, curator of Brighton Museum, obsessively

documented them. He found them nailed

to barn doors, hanging above beds (to prevent

nightmares), tied to lobster pots, dangling from

perambulators and car axles, and worn around the

neck and on watch chains. Toms grew so good

at spotting these stones that he once identified

a bunch, nailed to a shed, from a train ‘going at

great speed’.

I have some hagstones of my own which I found

on the beach. I’ve put them outside the back of

my house, inside a horseshoe (pointing up so the

luck doesn’t drain out). Why did I do this? I’d be

a damn fool if I didn’t! Peter Chrisp



Hit or myth?

Health myths debunked

Carrots help you see in the dark, while going out

with wet hair makes you catch cold. We’ve heard

it all before. But is it true? With a little help from

some trusty online sources, we sort the (wholegrain,

organic) wheat from the chaff…

If you go swimming on a full stomach, you’ll

get cramp and drown. Many mums used to say

this, but apparently there are no documented

cases of this ever having happened, and, when

cramps do occur during swimming, they have

nothing to do with digestion.

Drink eight glasses of water a day to stay

healthy. While it’s important to stay hydrated, the

best rule is simply to drink when you feel thirsty.

Remember, too, that all liquids count, not just

water, so eating fruit and vegetables, as well as

drinking teas, coffees and juices, all help.

You lose 90 per cent of body heat through

your head. There’s some truth in this, but you

lose heat through any part of your body that is

exposed to the elements – so there’s no point in

wearing a woolly hat if your legs or arms are bare.

‘Natural’ sweeteners are better for you than

sugar. Sorry, but sugar is sugar, and maple syrup,

molasses, honey, agave syrup and their worthy

health-store friends are no better than processed

cane sugar when it comes to your health. They

are all forms of fructose, and their biological effects

on the body are just the same.

If you swallow chewing gum, it takes years

to digest. Chewing-gum is wholly indigestible,

which means it passes through the gut in the

same way as any other indigestible matter. So, no

cause for concern.

Microwaves can give you cancer. Very few types

of radiation can cause cancer, and that produced

by microwave ovens isn’t among them. All those

microwaves will do is heat up your dinner.

Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis. The

popping sound is due to air bubbles shifting in

the fluid of the joints and is quite harmless –

although it may irritate others!

Juicing/ fasting/ having a sauna detoxes the

body. Myth, myth and myth. The only things

that detox the body are your liver, kidneys, and

intestines. You can support the process by eating

healthily and staying hydrated – but starving and/

or sweating is not required.

Spicy food causes stomach ulcers. Nope.

Stomach ulcers are caused by H. pylori bacteria,

so no need to lay off the curry.

And what of carrot eating and wet hair? Getting

cold has no effect on catching cold, as you

need a rhinovirus for that, but it turns out there is

some truth in the carrot thing. While you’d have

to eat a huge amount to experience any benefit,

carrots do contain vitamin A, which is thought to

improve vision. Mind you, if you did eat enough

you’d also discover the truth of another myth: an

excess of them really can turn your skin orange!

Anita Hall

Photo by Anita Hall



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Jonte’s journey

And Smith Must Score

Photo by James Boyes

Lewes’ Bermudan international striker Jonte

Smith’s parents came up with a novel way to incentivise

his studying at school.

“When I was a kid in Bermuda all the football we

watched was Premier League, and I desperately

wanted to play football in England,” he tells me,

in the club bar after Lewes’ 2-1 November victory

over Harlow.

“My parents finally said that we would move

there… but only if I got ‘C’ or more in at least

seven of my GCSEs.”

It worked… and it worked. Jonte got good grades,

the family moved to Croydon, and he got a place in

the Crawley U18 side.

He’s 24 now, and the journey he’s taken to get

to Lewes FC makes quite a story. After a couple

of years at Crawley, following loan periods to no

fewer than five different clubs – from Eastbourne

Borough to the Metropolitan Police – he felt like

moving on again, and he got a contract in Finland,

with PS Kemi.

“It was a multinational side managed by the old

West Ham defender Tommy Taylor,” he says. “It

was quite a culture shock. It was -25 degrees one

match. Was I wearing gloves? Of course I was… I

was wearing whatever they’d let me wear! We were

a good side: we won promotion and I scored a lot

of goals.” Another spell in Norway, with Fleckerøy,

wasn’t as successful – he found it hard to adjust to

playing on an artificial pitch.

He moved back to England, and played for a spell

with Gloucester City, in the Conference North. “But

I wanted to play a lot more locally,” he says, “and I

was tied into a contract on a flat in Crawley. A friend

was playing for Lewes at the time, and he told me

how well the club was run behind the scenes. How

good the training facilities were, and how good

a manager Darren [Freeman] was.” He secured a

January 2016 move to the Rooks, and scored two

goals on his debut, against Canvey Island.

End of story? Not quite. Despite ten goals from

Smith, Lewes were relegated, and he was headhunted

by Welling, in the National League. “I hardly

got a look in there,” he says. “I don’t see it as a bad

experience, because there’s no point in regretting

any experience you’ve learnt from, but I was happy

to come back to Lewes.” He loves it here, and is a

big fan of the ‘Equality FC’ initiative. He’s so committed

to the cause, he tells me, that in November

he turned down the chance of winning his tenth

cap for his international side, to concentrate on the

Rooks’ promotion campaign.

He took up ‘international duty’ in September,

though, scoring Bermuda’s only goal in a 3-1

CONCACAF Nations Cup defeat to Aruba. How

would Lewes fare, I wonder, against his homecountry

team? “Any Darren Freeman side will be

difficult to break down, but Bermuda would win,”

he says. “3-2, Smith hat-trick?”, I venture.

Alex Leith




A dog for life, not just for Christmas.

Illustration by Mark Greco

Christmas is almost here folks and it’ll soon be

time for that fella in the red coat to come sneaking

around. Yep, your neighbourhood fox is on

the prowl and shortly after Santa has finished

pulling presents out of his sack your local fox

will be busy trying to pull half a turkey out of

your bin bag.

Foxes have lived among us for centuries and, just

like Christmas, they’re celebrated in folklore and

myths all around the world. Whether the story

belongs to the Greeks, Japanese, Celts, Native

Americans, Disney or Roald Dahl it is always

the same – the fox is portrayed as cunning, slippery

and devious. I prefer intelligent, adaptable

and resourceful – and it’s these traits that have

helped the fox to survive in the modern world.

It was the modern world which transformed the

fox’s wild woods into endless agricultural fields,

towns, cities, tower blocks and cul-de-sacs. Traditionally,

in the face of development, Britain’s

wildlife has silently been displaced and died. But

where others fled destruction the fox, like any

shrewd opportunist, saw a brave new world of

golden opportunities where the dustbins overfloweth

and where the streets are paved with cast

away kebabs and finger-lickin’ chicken.

And for me this is the chapter in the fox’s story

that does indeed seem mythical: that in urban

Britain there are wild dogs living amongst us.

I can look out my bedroom window and see a

relative of the wolf, dingo, jackal and coyote

casually sauntering across my lawn. It’s a touch

of the Serengeti in suburban Sussex. Studies

undertaken by the University of Brighton

have estimated that there are twenty foxes per

square kilometre in the city. Of course, tradition

dictates that some people do not like foxes. As a

child I always viewed the Boxing Day hunt as the

antithesis to Christmas; a reminder that amidst

this season of goodwill there are still people who

are proud to dress up in costumes in a public

celebration of their cruelty.

It’s in the bleak midwinter that foxes are at their

most vocal. And it’s one helluva racket! The

blood-curdling, human-like scream of the vixen

sounds like something from a Hammer Horror

film. This foxy lady is only fertile for a few days

and her scream advertises her availability and

sparks bow-wows, barks and bickering from

amorous dog foxes. Her cubs will be born about

fifty-two days after mating and emerge from

their earths in April.

So this Christmas if you’ve had it with the plastic

snowmen, the fake tree and the fake sentiments

take a short walk away from it all and out into

the darkness. Listen for the sound of wild dogs

howling at the moon, the sound of survival. Let

it stir something wild in your heart.

Michael Blencowe, Senior Learning & Engagement

Officer, Sussex Wildlife Trust



Open for Christmas Shopping on 14 & 15 December 11.00am-3.00pm


Sam Stephenson

Glyndebourne, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 5UU

Every purchase supports the work of Glyndebourne


Gift Guide

We’ve been scouring Lewes’ independent

shops for some festive gift ideas.

Here’s what we found...

UNDER £5: Table candles, £4.99, Oxfam. Zinc candle

holders, £4.50 each; chocolate matchsticks, £1.50; French

soap, £3.95; wreath decorations, £1 for five – all Closet

& Botts. Cake decorations, 25p-50p; gold chocolate tree

decorations, 90p – all Poppy’s at Riverside. Bloody Mary

ketchup, £3.95, Goods. Flower hairclip, £4, Brats. Apple

moneybox, £4.75; nutmeg grater, £3.24 – both Middle Farm

Christmas Trees for Sale

P.E. Underhay and Son

A. S



Buy from the grower

Cut to order

Ultra fresh

No needle-drop here

Open every weekend in December, 10am to dusk.

Situated on B2124 between Laughton & Golden

Cross between Park Lane & Broonham Lane before

‘Quik Loo Hire’.

10% OFF







Luxury botanical skincare makes an ideal festive gift.

We have beautiful A.S.APOTHECARY gift boxes

from £18 and will be open every working day in

December including Christmas Eve.



UNDER £20: Recycled paper birdhouse, £9.99, Oxfam

The Truth Pixie by Matt Haig, £9.99, Bags of Books.

Dragon’s Breath mead, £15.96, Middle Farm. Felted fox

head, £18.99; yellow mug, £8.50 – both Wickle. Gold

and pearl mistletoe, £19.95, Kings Framers. Handknitted

mittens and snood, £15, Brats. Harvey’s Christmas pudding

(medium), £7.25, Harvey’s Shop

Panasonic Store Brighton






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processor tuned in Hollywood for a truly cinematic picture, dramatic highlights and shadows. Stunning levels of

detail and a billion breathtaking colours mastered for accuracy.

Visit us in store or online to find out more.




in store | online | mobile

* Scale: A++ to E. ** Terms apply, contact us or ask in-store for more details.

11 Imperial Arcade, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 3EA

01273 827450 | Visit:

£20 AND OVER: Preserved eucalyptus, £23 (with brass wreathmaking

hoop (small) £6), From Victoria. Sheepskin slippers,

£65, Kings Framers. Frida Kahlo cushion, £47.50, Popsicle.

Chilly’s reusable bottle, £20, The Outdoor Shop. Sussex Rose

hand wash and hand lotion, £30 (individually £15 and £18), AS

Apothecary. Hunter boot socks, £25, Ernest Doe. Blanket

made from recycled plastic bottles, £45, Revive




Thursday 6 th December. 6pm-9pm

Whether you’re just starting to think about Christmas shopping or you’re super

organised, and simply need to pick up a few finishing touches, enjoy an evening

of strolling around the town for inspiration. The High Street will be closed to

traffic from the bottleneck to the bottom of School Hill from 6 to 9.30pm and

all the Lewes pay and display car parks will be free for the evening after 5pm.

Many of the shops, and pop-ups, and galleries are offering discounts, workshops,

quizzes and delicious festive treats to get you in the Christmas spirit.

Look out for all the street entertainment as you roam. Music will fill the streets

from choirs, bands and bell ringers. There are Morris dancers, horse and cart

rides and the castle will be open to host the upmarket Gin and Fizz festival.

There’ll be street food, fairground rides and, of course,

Santa will be stopping off at Lewes House.

Lewes is going to feel at its best: a busy medieval County town on market day.

Be sure to check out the shop windows. There’s a competition this year for the

best dressed window and Mayor Janet Baah has the tricky

job of picking the winners.

For full details see

What’s on...


Take full advantage of the road closures with a horse and carriage

ride along the High Street while enjoying performances from the

Vox choir, Paddock Singers, East Sussex Bach Choir, LGB Brass,

Lewes Operatic Society, Lewes Handbell Ringers and singers from

Lewes Grammar School. The Brighton Morris dancers and the

Knots of May will be showing us how best to keep warm but for

those not feeling that energetic the roasted chestnuts and mulled

wine should do the trick.


Swing by the Gin and Fizz festival at the candlelit Gun Garden in

the Castle Grounds. A fantastic range of Sussex sparkling wine, gin

and other local produce will be on offer for you to sample, then add

to your Christmas feast. You can print your own Christmas cards

with Keith Pettit and take part in an intriguing sounding wintry art

installation from F.A.R.M. (Fine Art Rural Mission). The festival runs

from 5pm to 9pm; it’s free and open to all. For more details see

Admission to the Barbican Museum is also free on the night. There’ll

be activities in the galleries and a children’s trail around the



The Christmas Craft Fair returns to Lewes Town Hall (Fisher St.

entrance) with over 60 stalls. You’ll be sure to find that perfect gift!


Santa will be stopping off at Lewes House to hear all your

Christmas wishes, so thinking caps on, kids. For the grown-ups –

mulled wine while you wait.


You’ll find festive stalls, food retailers

and children’s fairground rides

in the precinct. Look out for the

Silver Sounds Samba Band and the

Blackpowder Morris Dancers. Fitzroy

House will also be opening its doors

for the evening.


Once again, Harvey’s Brewery will

host their traditional yard event

from 6pm-9pm where you’ll be able

to enjoy music, a hog roast & BBQ,

vintage vehicles, heavy horses and

a well-stocked bar serving the newly

released Christmas Ale.


Win great prizes while getting your

shopping done: take part in The Town

Trail (see page 129 for all the details).

This year’s charity

This year, money is being raised for The Rocking Horse

Children’s Charity which aims to improve the lives of sick

children throughout Sussex. Volunteers will be out and about

in the town all evening with collecting buckets and you’ll also

find collecting tins on shop counters.

The Rocking Horse Children’s Charity have been working

to improve the lives of sick children in Sussex for more than fifty years. They

fundraise for the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital and the Trevor Mann

Baby Unit (TMBU) at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton; as well as

the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards

Heath. Their mission is to support the health service by fundraising for

additional life-saving and cutting-edge medical equipment and to enhance

the environment in which children are treated to make it as friendly, warm and

welcoming as possible – so that children can be children regardless of what

else is going on in their lives.

Personal florist &

flower subscriptions in lewes


07816 183 123




The Town Trail...

Twelve shops are taking part this year. Each shop will have a letter. Arrange the

letters into a festive phrase below. Collect all 12 stamps, complete the anagram, fill

in your contact details, tear out this page and hand it in to any of the participating

shops. The first three entries drawn will win either a Harvey’s hamper, a £25 voucher

for Bags of Books or a Viva stocking filled with goodies from local shops. The prize

draw will take place on Friday 7th Dec. Remember to take your Viva out with you!

1 2 3 4

䰀 攀 眀 攀 猀 吀 漀 甀 爀 椀 猀 琀

䤀 渀 昀 漀 爀 洀 愀 琀 椀 漀 渀

䌀 攀 渀 琀 爀 攀

5 6 7 8


9 10 11 12

Get all 12 stamps in the baubles above

Hand this page into one of the participating shops to be entered in the prize draw

Name ..............................................................................

Email address .................................................................................................................................

Tel no .................................................................................

A Big Thank You

Goes To….

This years’ Late Night Shopping

has been organised by Lewes

Chamber of Commerce,

Lewes High Street Traders’

Association, Lewes District Council

and Viva Magazines. Thank you to

them all. Collectively they would

like to thank all the wonderful local

traders that go to such thoughtful

effort to make Late Night

Shopping a great occasion.

Thanks to Santa and his Grotto

in Lewes House, all the bands,

singers, dancers and entertainers

that help to bring the streets to life,

Mayor Janet Baah and all the Town

Trail participants.

But most of all we would like to

thank everyone who comes out to

shop and take part in the evening.

Thank you for supporting your

local High Street. We wish you a

happy, healthy and prosperous

Christmas and New Year.

'tis the season...

Packed with gifts galore, for Christmas...

there’s so much more in your local country store

click &







TEL: 01273 812707


Late Night Shopping is on Thursday 6th this

year, and the good news is that, unlike last

year, the High Street at the top of town will be

closed to traffic, as well as School Hill, to allow

us all to meander from shop to shop sussing

out what’s on sale, and who’s offering the best

minced pies and mulled wine. (Please be aware

that there will be traffic thoroughfares between

Station Street and Fisher Street and by the traffic

lights at the bottom of School Hill.)

We mentioned in this space last month to

look out for reindeer; while we’ve now been

informed the reindeer are off, we do understand

there’ll be a horse-drawn carriage in operation

on the night at the top of the town, and the

familiar Harvey’s horse-drawn dray down in the

Cliffe. We should also see some splendid shop

window displays as, for the first time, there’s an

official Best Dressed Shop Window competition,

judged by Mayor Janet Baah. Much more

on all this in our Late Night Shopping Guide

from pg 123.

And not to worry if you can’t make Late Night

Shopping: many of the shops are extending

their opening hours in the run up to Christmas.

Participating shops will also be open until 9pm

on Thursday 13th and 20th, as well as opening

on Sundays too. And there’s also selected free

parking to encourage shoppers into the town

centre on Friday 7th, 14th and 21st, in fourteen

of the pay and display car parks: see

for more.

There’s plenty of news on the Lewes hairdressing

front. Hair for Men has opened on Market

Street. We popped in on their first day, and

were interested to learn that, not only do they

open late on weekdays – allowing Lewes blokes

a post-work snip – they also offer all their

customers a beer or whisky while they’re in the

chair! It’s also worth mentioning that Cuttlefish,

aptly enough on Fisher Street, are expanding

into the two empty spaces recently vacated

next door, in effect tripling their size.

We were sad to hear about the sudden and

unexpected closure of Bentley Wildfowl and

Motor Museum, near Ringmer, ‘for the winter

and until further notice’. Another closure to

note was that of Pelham House, in mid-

November. The hotel has been taken over by

the wedding caterers Galloping Gourmet and

when it reopens in the spring, it will be used

exclusively for wedding receptions.

A couple more food-related tidbits: the space

formerly occupied by Thomas Cook, opposite

Boots, has been taken over by the sandwich

chain Subway. Just up the road, congratulations

to a much more independent concern: Robson’s,

the tea-and-cake haven that this month

celebrates 21 years in business.

And let’s end with a plug for a couple of local

concerns selling Christmas trees: Gipps Farm,

in Barcombe, who also offer decorations etc in

their ‘Sussex Christmas Barn’, and PE Underhay

and Son, between Laughton and Golden

Cross. Plus, look out for Mary’s Christmas

pop-up shop at 2 Fisher Street: for stocking

fillers, personalised gifts and more, every day

from 10th-24th. Alex Leith



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

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

To advertise in Viva Lewes please call 01273 488882 or email

• Digital TV aerial upgrades & service

• TV, DAB, and FM aerials

• Extra points

• Communal systems

• Aerial repairs

• Satellite TV installs and service

• SKY installs

• Discreet fittings e.g. listed buildings, thatch roofs, flats

• European systems serviced and installed

• Gutters cleared • CCTV installed



Free estimate • over 40 years experience • OAP discount

Open 7 days a week • Fully guaranteed • Same day service

Freephone: 0800 0323255

Tel: 01273 617114 Mob: 07920 526703

We specialise in TV wall mounting

We can beat anyone else’s price on a like for like basis

Nina Murden,

the Lewes Seamstress

E S T . 2 0 0 5

Also Professional Repairs and Alterations Service.

01273 470817 | 07717 855314

P M Services

Plumbing. Heating. Gas

Repairs and installations

Landlord Safety certificates

Friendly, local and reliable

07958 473 622 | 01273 046 039



FREE estimates on all types of

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TELEPHONE: 01273 472 836

MOBILE: 07974 752 491


Don’t get caught out,

Locked out - put this number

in your phone NOW!

• Digital Locks fitted

• One Key For All Locks.

• Cylinder Replacement.

• 24hr / 365 days a year.

• OAP Discount, No VAT.

• No Obligation Quote &

No call Out Charge!

• Lockout within 30 minutes.

• uPVC Door & Window Locks problems.

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07585 968 725

Design and Build service



Structural alterations






Bespoke garden rooms




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Quality Domestic • Heritage

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Reputable for price, reliability

and workmanship. Best roofing

materials for longevity, a legacy

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Aluminium windows, doors,

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All advice is free and

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• Approved contractor to numerous

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• Award winning projects undertaken

Trades Undertaken:

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We guarantee all our products, installation and service

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Telephone: 01273 486110 • Email:

For your FREE no obligation consultation call us now on:

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Plumbing & Heating

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Boilers/Central heating

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Free estimates & Advice

T: 01273 487 565 M. 07801 784 192




We are a building company specialising in residential

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We pride ourselves on paying attention to detail,

using bespoke materials and bringing projects

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visit the website for more info:

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O V E R 3 5 Y E A R S


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p f u l l e r. d e c o r a t i n g @ h o t m a i l . c o m

Chartered Building Surveyors

• Building Surveys • Defect Analysis

• Project Management • Dilapidaaons

• Historic Building Specialists • Party Wall

Contact us for friendly professional advice

01273 840608 |


UIS OF EWES 07778987286


Interior and exterior painting


Flooring & Tiling



All work in the house, big or small:


Assembling and fitting furniture

Curtains/ Door handles and locks/ ...






Carpenter / General Building

and Renovation works,

Based in Lewes

t. 07717 862940 e.

Jason Eyre Decorating

Professional Painters & Decorators


07796 802588

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07766 118289 | 07976418299

Jack Plane Carpenter

Nice work, fair price,

totally reliable.

01273 483339 / 07887 993396


Handyman Services for your House and Garden

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Tel: 07460 828240


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From a one off blitz to regular maintenance.

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Phone 01273 488261

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Units 1-3 Malling Industrial Estate, Brooks Road, Lewes BN7 2BY

Vehicle Servicing, Repairs and MOT Service: 01273 472691 |





Remember to get organised over the busy

Christmas period and order your medicaaon

via the POD or directly with your

doctors surgery online.

We will be closed 25th and 26th December

and the 1st January. Open as usual all other mes.


Annes Pharmacy is now offering FREE NHS

HEALTH CHECKS to eligible paaents.

Please ask for further details. These take

around 20 minutes. Please call in or book

to make an appointment.

(Closed between 1-2pm)


Coranne Campbell

Reiki Master Practitioner

Tel 07584 572226

Energy healing complementary therapy

Acupuncture, Alexander Technique, Bowen

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Ruth Wharton Viva Advert 8.18 AW.qxp_6 10/07/2018 08




BA (Hons) BSc (Hons) Ost Med DO

ND MSc Paediatric Ost






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INTRINSIC HEALTH • 01273 958403

32 Cliffe High Street, Lewes BN7 2AN

Angelica Rossi


Swedish Body Massage

& Reflexology

Gift vouchers are available to purchase at

Intrinsic Health, 32, Cliffe High Street, Lewes

To book an appointment call 07401 131153


Taking a Natural Approach

at Menopause

Offering informaaon & support for over 15 years

Appointments at The Cliffe Clinic


neck or back pain?

Lin Peters - OSTEOPATH


for the treatment of:

neck or low back pain • sports injuries • rheumatic

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tension • frozen shoulders • cranial osteopathy

pre and post natal

20 Valence Road Lewes 01273 476371

The Cliffe

Osteopathy &


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The Cliffe

Osteopathy &


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Anthea Barbary

LicAc MBAcC Dip | Hyp GQHP

Both acupuncture and hypnotherapy are a

gentle, safe, effective and natural way of

helping many conditions such as IBS, pain,

fertility issues, menopausal symptoms,

anxiety, stress, panic attacks, addictions,

insomnia, headaches and many more.

I have 21 years of experience as a

therapist, 16 of those in Lewes.

For more information, or for a 20 minute free

consultation, please contact me on:

07981 491942 /

Welcome to the team

Cameron Dowsett M.Ost


Mandy Fischer BSc (Hons) Ost, DO, PG cert (canine)

Caroline Jack BOst, PG cert (canine)

Cameron Dowset MOst


Julie Padgham-Undrell BSc (Hons) MCPP


Julia Rivas BA (Hons), MA Psychotherapy

Tom Lockyer BA (Hons), Dip Cound MBACP


Anthea Barbary LicAc MBAcC Dip I Hyp GQHP



Lynne Russell BSc FSDSHom MARH MBIH(FR)

01273 480900

23 Cliffe High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2AH

Open Monday to Friday and Saturday mornings




We can work it out

Ages 16 and up from an experienced, qualified teacher

Contact: Lucinda Houghton BA(Hons), AGSM (GSMD), FRSM

Kingston, Lewes (Ample parking)

07976 936024 |

French, Italian & English

Would you like to speak French or Italian?

In 15-20 hours you can reach conversational level.

Beginner to advanced. Groups and individuals.

Highly qualified, experienced teacher. Outstanding results.

Contact Aggie on 07974 626276 or





T: 01273 961334





Andrew M Wells Accountancy

99 Western Road Lewes BN7 1RS













Flo Tyres And Accessories

Unit 1 Malling Industrial Estate, Brooks Road, Lewes, BN7 2BY

Tel: 01273 481000 | Web: |



O N E S T O P S H O P F O R P R E M I U M , M I D R A N G E A N D B U D G E T T Y R E S

We also stock vehicle batteries, wiper

blades, bulbs and top up engine oils.


The ladies football team from the Seaplane Sheds Factory in Newhaven in 1917 (ACC 8691/1) has

been reproduced with the permission of East Sussex Record Office, copyright reserved.


This cheery-looking bunch of young women

would have been even more colourful in real

life: from the caption accompanying this

photo we understand their shirts were yellow,

and skirts navy blue. We can only imagine the

colour of their ties and hats. But who are they?

Meet the Newhaven Seaplane Station ladies’

football team, 1917.

Newhaven was an important port in WW1,

used to transport vital supplies to Boulogne.

The ships were a target for German U-Boats,

and so needed accompaniment from seaplanes

whose crews were trained to spot and sink the

submarines. From May 1917, an airbase was

set up half a mile east of Newhaven, to cater

for a dozen or so of these seaplanes. When

fully operational, the station was the workplace

for 194 staff, including 34 women.

Entertainment and exercise were vital for

morale, and Newhaven Town FC’s pitch was

requisitioned for use by service personnel,

so we assume this is where they played their

matches. The caption reads: ‘Seaplane Sheds

Factory. Ladys [sic] football team’ and goes on

to name some of the players: ‘Hilda Goudhurst;

Mabal Goudhurst; Mabal Marchant;

Rose Holobone; Marjorie Putland; Lilian Lee;

Bessy Brown. Rest not known’. It doesn’t say

who’s who. The picture came from The East

Sussex Record Office in Moulsecoomb via

Rosy Matheson from Lewes FC. Reeves are

putting on a new exhibition in the Town Hall

as part of their Through a Glass Plate project

on suffragettes (see pg 36). Lewes FC – the

only club in the world to pay women as much

as men – are contributing a display of photos

and memorabilia telling the story of women’s

football, from the 19th century to now.

Perhaps the picture will give you some ideas

on how to dress for another event being organised

by the club: spectators for the match

between Lewes FC Women and Charlton

Athletic on the 9th are encouraged to dress up

to celebrate suffrage, to mark the hundredth

anniversary of women getting the vote. In

addition, on Dec 2nd, Helen Pankhurst, the

great grand-daughter of suffragette activist

Emmeline Pankhurst, is making an appearance

at the Dripping Pan prior to the Rooks’

match against Manchester United. Alex Leith



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ONLY football club in the world

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