Viva Lewes Issue #151 April 2019















England’s Independent School of the Year

The Sunday Times





Lewes Mayor Janet Baah wants to inspire a new generation. She wants to

see them spread their wings. To this end, she’s invited one hundred girls from

the town’s schools to meet and speak, while she and other VIPs sit and listen. And

promise to follow through with action.

Our issue celebrates all sorts of ‘Things with Wings’. Cover artist Alexander Johnson

explains his ‘Hinge-wing’ cover, as one of many evocative leaps made while painting

for the WW2 Deanland Airfield project. Matt Birch traces the trajectory of the

skylark – and explains why he named his indie bookshop after the iconic bird.

Jerry Rulf tracks the elusive ivory-billed woodpecker. Daniel Etherington cycles

the Egrets Way. Michael Blencowe shares the life-in-a-few-days of a hoverfly. Air

Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex describe their extraordinary, life-saving work. Jacky

Adams enjoys a family outing to Shoreham Airport. And, in ‘The way we work’, local

keepers introduce us to their feathered – or leathered? Are bats ‘leathered’? – friends.

As for things with not-quite wings… James Tasker shows us round his wonderful

windmill – a thing with ‘sweeps’ (Sussex for ‘sails’). Eleanor Knight visits shed-owners

of the Nevill – who flee or fly to work in these ‘unobtrusive outposts of industry’, these

‘huts of happiness’ on the lip of the Downs. Gus Watcham dons her red riding hood for

the older heroine. David Jarman looks back over decades of book selling and lending.

And the Small Robot Company redesigns farming – by way of AI robots: things of the

(now-near) future.



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 Chaplin,

Daniel Etherington, Mark Greco, Anita Hall, John Henty, Alex Hood, Robin Houghton, Jo Jackson, Alexander Johnson,

Chloë King, Eleanor Knight, Dexter Lee, Alex Leith, Lizzie Lower, Carlotta Luke, Anna Morgan and Galia Pike

PUBLISHER: Becky Ramsden

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




Bits and bobs.

8-25 Alexander Johnson on Deanland; Matt

Birch on Skylark and his Lewes; Photo

of the month from down by the river;

Doortrait; Oh, Otis; Egrets Way makes

progress; The Rooks in numbers; Charity

box on Air Ambulance; The Catalyst Club

surprises; Spread the word to Barbados

and the US; Carlotta Luke revisits Alistair

Fleming; Craig gets lovesick.


27-31 Chloë King burns the pizza; John

Henty encounters Hitch in an airport; and

David Jarman’s back pages.

On this month.

33-51 My Fair Lady takes off at Lewes

Opera; Gus Watcham brings Redder to

town; Linda Grant looks to the future

at Lewes Literary Society; Ben Scott-

Robinson of the Small Robot Co speaks

at the Headstrong Club; the Wakehurst

Millennium Seedbank wows Lizzie

Lower; Ian Ruskin embodies Tom Paine;

Glengarry Glen Ross on stressful selling;

Nik Turner has Hawkwind in his sails;

Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne lands in the

Saturday Folk Club; Dexter Lee shares

some gems.




52-57 Art focus on In Colour – Sickert

to Riley, at Charleston. Art and about

brings you Tom Benjamin’s Shore Lines,

Janice Thurston at Chalk Gallery, and

the winner of The Royal Opera House

Design Challenge, among others.

Listings and free time.

59-75 Diary dates, from Comedy at the

Con Club with Mike Gunn, to Rock of

Ages at the new Congress in Eastbourne,

to Sussex Nature Reserves with Michael

Blencowe, and much, much more; Gig

of the month is The Undercover Hippy,

plus gig guide; Classical round-up stars

George X. Fu, plus others; Free time

listings, including Flowers and Fleece,

and Digging for Treasure; Bags of Books

book review On the Origin of Species;

Shoes on now, for Shoreham Airport; and

the Mayor sets out to support the women

of tomorrow.

Portrait of a Girl, 1912 by Mark Gertler. © Tate, London 2019




77-83 Joe Fuller relaxes at the Brewers;

Hot Cross Bun & Butter Pudding (yum)

recipe from Landport Community Café;

Anita Hall explores the Vegan Menu at

Castle Chinese; and Lewes Nibbler gives

a lowdown on local eggs.


Photo by Benjamin Youd

The way we work.

84-87 Photographer Benjamin Youd

meets bird (and bat) carers and their

winged companions.




88-99 James Tasker shows us round

Ashcombe Windmill; Eleanor Knight

visits Sheds of the Nev; what is Applied

Kinesiology? Anita Hall finds out; Michael

Blencowe and the hoverfly; Lewes FC

on the Plumpton College Academy; and

Business news from Alex Leith.

Photo by Chloë King

Inside left.

114 George Ade, Landlord of the Pelham,

1899: his fowl and family.


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. Viva retains copyright for any

artwork we create.

Love me or recycle me. Illustration by Chloë King




Visit our Open Mornings

for the Nursery, Pre-Prep and Prep School

Fri 26 and Sat 27 April 2019

9.30am to noon


Photo by John Brockliss

Alexander Johnson, who painted this month’s 1942 and 1944, was made of concrete. “In the

cover for us, “treads”, he says, “a fine line old pub in Golden Cross the officers sat in the

between abstract and figurative art. There’s no pub’s traditional snug bar; while a huge church

right or wrong interpretation of an abstract hall-type extension was built on the back to

piece, but this cover image was inspired by a house all the men.”

Victorian-styled hinge – on the locked door of a Deanland, which is exhibiting from this month

hangar at Deanland Airfield – which evoked for at Farleys Farmhouse and Gallery – alongside

me the old balsa wood planes I used to make as an exhibition of Lee Miller’s colour photographs

a kid. I painted a small series of these, and called – was a project Alexander worked on in parallel

them ‘Hinge-wings’. I used rolled-on oil paint to with photographer John Brockliss. Alexander

create the chalky background effect”.

visited the site of the WW2 airfield where, he

Alexander trained originally as a printmaker – says, “all the original buildings had gone. I spent

and, for his Deanland project, he’s used print time soaking up the atmosphere, looking for

rollers a lot. “They create this patchy effect; existing shapes and motifs that would have been

which looks like concrete.” And everything, he the same in the war years – the arch of a hangar,

tells me, built to accommodate the thousands of and so on.”

troops who passed through the airfield between Why shapes, I ask?



Deanland Hangar

Turning Circle

“Shapes are geometric. I like them. I refine the

shapes from my initial sketches until they are

simplified and turn into something more fluid.

Then I add my own bright punky colours that

bring them up to date and grab the eye. I’m not

trying to create a nostalgic sepia-tinted world; I

want to get people talking.”

Alexander’s father was a spitfire pilot – “he didn’t

talk about his experiences, but towards the end

of his life I grilled him, and he did answer my

questions, if always in a practical, factual way. He

had encyclopaedic recall of the plane’s control

panel, for instance.”

The paintings, prints and etchings that resulted

from the project are complemented well by John

Brockliss’s black-and-white photos documenting

the artist at work. In one picture, I notice,

Alexander is wearing a ‘Song of Norway’ T

shirt. “Like David Bowie, in his Where Are We

Now? video?” Yes, he smiles. “It wasn’t long after

Bowie died and I was listening a lot to Blackstar.

It made me want to be brave in my art, as Bowie

always was.

“As an artist, you have to do your work and step

away. Not worry too much how others interpret

it. I always think of Derek Jarman. When

someone questioned whether he might make his

intentions in his film-making clearer, he replied

‘Well, I’m not spoonfeeding babies’.”

Charlotte Gann

The Deanland Project is on at Farleys House and

Gallery 7 April-2 June.

Matter, a weekend group exhibition featuring

Alexander’s work, is at Glynde Place from 12-14






21 st & 22 nd April 2019







Tel. 01273 890383

Photo by Charlotte Gann


What first brought you to Lewes, and when?

I arrived with my wife Sara and our one-year-old,

Jasmine, in 2000. We are now five in all, living in

Malling. I didn’t know the town but, on a walk

from Glynde with friends not long before, we

approached via the lovely view from Chapel Hill,

in the gloaming, and were hooked.

Why ‘Skylark’? – the shop, and why the

name? The shop originated as a collaboration

between artists and makers in 2006. Later I took

it on as a solo project, to include a carefully

chosen book range. I try to have a little from

all genres. Beyond that there’s definitely some

weighting towards small presses and nature

writing, memoir, the arts, reportage. I figured the

town might like a slightly quirky, curated indie

bookshop where you could also buy wildflower

seeds, llama finger puppets from Peru and

fairtrade glassware from Bolivia. That was the

idea anyway; it’s just evolved...

The name? I wanted a local nature connection,

and chose the iconic bird so associated with our

chalk landscape. There’s that first properly warm

day of spring, when on a ridge you can watch a

skylark ascend step-wise into the blue, singing

its heart out not unlike a more mellifluous oldschool

modem, until it becomes momentarily

invisible, before descending at speed to the

ground: now that’s a show!

You also now host small art exhibitions?

Accompanied by music from a record player?

I’ve really enjoyed connecting talented local

artists and writers with customers. Downstairs in

the Needlemakers now, we have increased wall

space for limited edition prints, drawings and

multi-media pieces of work. A fair few woodcuts

of The Downs have found their way to new

homes in the likes of Canada and Australia. The

record player is just a bit of fun, though side one

of Chopin’s Nocturnes sticks at one point, always

when the back room is too full to go and fix it!

I know you’re also involved in a band? I play

keyboard in a couple of bands formed in the

marvellous Starfish Studios: Ibex leans more to

early 80s New Wave; and The Manatees towards

folk-rock elements. You can pretty accurately

guess our ages from that.

What is it you like about Lewes? I think Lewes

is great at community groups. Being a small

town, one collective so often seems to open the

door to another. Connections daisy chain: Sara

revived the Lewes Amnesty group, where I met

Adrian; then, in playing chess with him in The

Lewes Arms Club, I met Duncan, who got me

into Southover Bonfire Soc, where, torchmaking,

I met Susan and Chris, who then came and saw

our band play...

Our tidal river is pretty special. One of my

favourite Lewes memories is of an upstream

night-kayak-and-camp a few years back with

mate Rick and his very relaxed, swimming collie.

High summer. Ghostly swans and moonlit reeds,

a fire for cooking, and an early morning swim.

Interview by Charlotte Gann


Hugh Bonneville

Liz White


By William Nicholson

Hugh Bonneville plays writer C.S. Lewis in this multi award-winning play

about his life-changing relationship with Joy Gresham, played by Liz White.




26 April – 25 May




Rebecca King sent in this lovely photo of the bench down by the Ouse just outside Lewes, towards

Offham. We loved the colours, and composition.

‘The photo was taken at the end of January’, she told us. ‘It was when we had the beautiful haw

frost. As soon as I looked out my window and saw it, I knew I must go out with my camera. The

light was a soft blue-grey and the textures from the frost were so interesting.

‘I went for a walk along the river bank, by the Pells to Hamsey (I didn’t go that far, it was too cold).

Whenever I’m out taking photographs of landscapes or in nature, I always make sure that I turn

around along the way to see what photographs I could be leaving behind. I did the same this time:

when I saw the bench, I thought it told a story.’

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.




Jo Jackson, from the blog The Lewes

Home, snaps a front door in Lewes – this

month she spotted one bang on theme,

with a bird-shaped knocker – and asks the



on you

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If you could give your door a

characteristic what would it be

and why?

Sturdy and elegant. Although it is a bit

wonky – like the rest of the house! Full of

character and a real tardis, which is why

we love it.



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Otis, 1, could be a mix of anything but is suspected

to be a combination of Beagle, Labrador and Masterchef


Otis was transported from Romania when he was five

months old. Gentle, fun-loving and intimidated by bins,

Otis is from a litter of six. Two (Ruby and Raleigh) have

been homed in England, and two are still looking (Jack

and Poppy). Sadly, one pup died.

In an interview, Otis explains “I’m pretty sure everyone

loves me”, attributing his popularity to his smooth coat,

superb nuzzling skills and positive mental attitude.

Loves: edible underwear, pearlescent eyeshadow, peeing

in the shower, Kent.

Dislikes: soap carving, gingham, Nicolae Ceausescu,

chihuahuas, Chiswick.

Did you know: Homeless dogs are rife in Romania due to Ceausescu’s regime of forced industrialisation.

Throughout the 1980s, families were forced from the country into cities and had to abandon

their pets. Unchecked, the dogs reproduced rapidly and now are a familiar sight in urban areas.


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For details and events visit

Organica – Simple, natural

and a little creative.

A NEW haven upstairs at Riverside of

wonderful organic and fair-trade gifts from a

host of local artists and makers from vegan

wax candles, organic soaps to stunning

unique plants and pots.

With an emphasis on the planet there is a

focus on reducing plastic waste while keeping

it simple with brown, recyclable paper bags

and bouquets wrapped in brown paper.

Organica will be offering fresh cut flowers/

bouquets weekly and flowers to order, all

supplied by local English flower farms. Keep

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make macramé plant hangers, terrariums and

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Mon - Sat: 9:00am to 5:00pm

Sun: 11:00am to 3:00pm @organicaplants

Find us upstairs at Riverside Lewes

Cliffe High Street, Lewes, BN7 2RE



Jerry Rulf is a comedy writer

and musician who’s one of

three speakers at this month’s

Lewes Catalyst Club. Usually

the talks are kept somewhat

under wraps – that’s part of

the joy of the format – but

we couldn’t resist speaking

to Jerry. His last talk was on

moths, and his chosen topic

for this fifteen minutes is also,

very much, a thing with wings.

Or… is it? Jerry – who’s also

a keen twitcher – is talking to

me on his mobile phone in the

rain, from Ashdown Forest,

where he’s failing to spot a

great grey shrike. He explains

how his subject, the ivorybilled

woodpecker, was “last

officially sighted in 1944”.

The American bird, native to

Florida and Mississippi, was

listed as extinct, then recategorised

as ‘critically-endangered’

because, it was thought, there

could still be some out there,

in the wild.

Thus the question was left

– until 2005, when David Luneau,

filming while kayaking

through Arkansas swampland,

noticed…was it? Could it


Hear Jerry, and two other impassioned

individuals – Matthew

Homewood, and Lorraine Bowen

– speak on subjects of obsession at

Lewes Catalyst Club.

Dr David Bramwell, who organises

Catalyst, also asked for a shout

out for Lewes speakers: anyone

resident in the town who’d like

to share a passion – the quirkier

the better? Please get in touch.

Charlotte Gann

Lewes Arms, 10th April,

7.30pm. Tickets £7.


Lewes Football Club – known as ‘the Rooks’ – was founded in 1885

and is based at the Dripping Pan. In 2010, in the light of financial

difficulties, 6 supporters transferred the club from private to community

ownership and it now has 1,600 owners or shareholders.

‘The Rooks’ are one of more than 30 community-owned football

clubs in the UK, and are currently the 1st and only club side in the

world to have equal playing budgets for women and men.

The capacity of the ground is 3,000 people, around 35 matches are played per season and about 200

players use the pitch. With only 1 employee, the club is dependent on 85 volunteers who help on

match days with turnstiles, fundraising and hospitality, as well as various maintenance tasks between

matches. Sarah Boughton




Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex maintains

three helicopters to send out to emergencies

across four counties. On average, it responds to

six call-outs a day. It costs the charity more than

£11 million a year to continue this extraordinary

life-saving service. I talked to Head of Marketing

Denise Hooton about how they manage it.

You got called out to 2,000 cases last year

across the four counties. Any idea how many

call-outs to East Sussex? We responded to

2,465 cases in total in 2018; of these, 302 were in

East Sussex. Each call out costs us £3,700.

Why would an air ambulance go rather than

a normal one? Our own despatchers work in

tandem with the normal NHS 999 responders,

sifting through the calls for traumas that require

immediate on-site care. Each air ambulance carries

a doctor, trained to at least consultant level,

and a paramedic. It’s effectively about bringing a

hospital to a patient who has suffered life-threatening

trauma, be that in a traffic accident, or from

a cardiac arrest. We carry blood, and can administer

a transfusion there and then, on the scene,

or an anaesthetic. It’s not so much about patients

in remote spots, nor about transporting patients

by helicopter to hospital; much more it’s about

getting advanced medical care to a patient who

may not survive a longer wait or being moved.

Often, then, once stabilised, they’ll be transported

by normal ambulance to hospital.

Where is your HQ? How many people work

for you? How many volunteers? Our charity

headquarters are at Rochester Airport; our

helicopters are housed at Redhill. We have two

AW169s, and one MD-explorer, which acts mainly

as a spare. About 30 people are on the staff;

and we have 200 hand-picked and well-trained

volunteers, who are an integral part of what we

do. The doctors are NHS staff on rotation: they’ll

typically spend six to twelve months with us.

You want to send volunteer speakers to

community groups? Any community groups

who’d like one of our volunteers to come and

guest-speak are very welcome to get in touch. It’s

all about getting the message out, and educating

people that we’re a charity. Air Ambulance

Kent Surrey Sussex is 30 years old this year; still,

people are often amazed to learn about us. We

have one talk booked in Hove in April; we’d love

to hear from any groups in Lewes who’d be interested.

Also, if anyone wants to help fundraise,

we have a whole Community Fundraising Team

geared up and ready to look after you every step

of the way. It really is extraordinary, the work our

crews do in the field – often, quite literally. Our

helicopters land as close as they can to the site,

then the team up and run. This year, to make that

point, a team of our doctors and paramedics are

running the Brighton Marathon carrying their

15kg packs – we hope this will raise some positive

awareness. Charlotte Gann




Melanie Davies took this

marvellous shot on a trip to


She told us ‘My trip was to

visit my daughter, who’s living

there. Her job in London ended,

she left all her possessions

(and her cat) in my hallway, and

used her redundancy pay to go

to the West Indies and meet

her second cousins. She never

used the return ticket!

‘So, I now have a wonderful

excuse for regular holidays in

the sun. This was my second

trip. We drove up to the

northernmost tip of the island,

to the Animal Flower Cave on

Northpoint, which is where this

statue of ‘Miss Lucy’ stands.’

Meanwhile, Peter Vince

emailed us this picture (right).

‘With a great klaxon blaring

and warning bells jangling, the

huge AMTRAK train from

New York to Miami stops at

Kissimmee in Florida to find

Wendy Vince of Horsted

Keynes spreading the word

with her Viva – again!’

For which, thank you,


Keep taking us with you and

keep spreading the word. Send

your photos and a few words

about you and your trip to


The Ouse Valley Cycle Network

(OVCN) community group was

formed in 2011, combining the

interests of various residents’

associations, action groups

and parishes to create sustainable

walking and cycling paths.

Working with partners like the

South Downs National Park and Sustrans, a route

was identified to connect Lewes, Newhaven and

the villages between.

Such networks offer “not just a nice way of getting

into the countryside”, in the words of deputy

chair Wendy Brewer, but also health, environmental

and economic benefits.

The OVCN ran a competition for a name and

the result was The Egrets Way. The little egret

has been breeding in Britain since 1996, and

these elegant white things with wings are among

the wildlife you may well see.

Since the Kingston to Lewes section

opened in 2013, the network

has expanded, bit by bit, as funding

becomes available. They need

£1.5 to £2 million more to finish,

notably the sections south out of

Lewes through the Railway Land

and Rise Farm.

In terms of access rights, chair Neville Harrison

says, “Those ducks are all lined up.” The OVCN

works closely with landowners to guarantee considerate

use of the countryside. “The landscape

impact is incredibly important to us,” he says.

The goal is to finish the network by 2020. And

then what? “More promoting the national park,”

says Neville. “And maintaining the paths,” says

Wendy. Daniel Etherington



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Carlotta has been documenting the

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development process. The bespoke kitchen

showroom is now open. So, we thought this

an apt moment to share a brief selection of

Carlotta’s ‘before’ (Nov 2017), ‘during’ (Jan

2018 and Oct 2018) and ‘after’ shots of the site

in development. The last two photos are from

March this year.

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Chloë King

On things undone?

I don’t know why I left the

burnt pizza on the worktop.

Initially, it was hot, then

it cooled down and still I

left it there. I thought it

looked quite compelling

after a while. Blackened,

ever-so-slightly curled,

memorialised. Then I

worried that it could be read

as some kind of message to leave it like that.

But what was it saying?

Maybe it was saying, “I know you left the pizza

in the oven, how incompetent.”

Maybe it was saying, “look, what a waste!”

Maybe it was saying, “see how useless I am at

putting things away.”

Now, this little conversation I had with myself

seems significant because I’ve been thinking a

lot lately about the impact of not doing things.

For instance, I’m typing this out on my new

phone which is so powerful it even has Word

installed on it – and a Leica camera, brag brag

– but I’ve just discovered that the semi-colon is

not included on the basic keyboard. I wonder

what effect this omission will have on writing

standards? (Perhaps none at all, because others

using the software either don’t care about

semi-colons, or care enough to work out how to

get one to appear. Maybe the semi-colon will

become the new umlaut?)

Anyhow, I digress. I’ve come to think that it’s

the things that we don’t do in life that cause

us the biggest problems. At least, when you do

something, there is effort attached, and with

effort comes learning. And even when you do

something wrong, there is the opportunity to

make right, apologise, move on. When you do

nothing, you just commit to bobbing along.

I’ve been bobbing along

for some time now, and

let me tell you, it leaves

far too much space for

overthinking, and Googling,

and otherwise scrolling. In

turn, this behaviour just

encourages comparison,

which, as a good friend

shared on Facebook recently,

is “the deathknell of joy”.

This month, I’ve mostly been caring for

my poorly baby daughter. She has had a

particularly fierce and frightening chest

infection. Caring for someone closely is a fine

example of what the mind does when the body

is forced to stop. The action you are taking

feels more like inaction. Time slows and the

immediate vicinity becomes your world. All is


I’m there, watching her like a hawk, checking

temperatures, administering Calpol and

worrying. Worrying that I might miss a vital

sign, an important dose. In the middle of the

night it peaks. I scroll endlessly through the

NHS Choices website, being simultaneously

present and absent at my daughter’s bedside.

The problem is, I really want to DO

something. I want to fix the problem, but, with

illness, options are so frustratingly limited.

What you must do, unhappily, is admit that you

know less than you would like to about what is

happening. And you must keep watching, keep

monitoring, so that if anything gets scarier

you can take the right small action to help get

things back on course.

Thankfully, now, we’re over the worst. And I’m

more resolved not to put off all those things I

might yet do.

Illustration by Chloë King



Lewes Out Loud

Plenty more Henty

Regular readers of this

page will know that

life for me in Lewes is

happily enhanced on a

daily basis by the casual

meetings I enjoy with

fellow citizens. I call

them brief encounters

and they occur all

over the town – in the

precinct, on the High

Street and, until the end

of last year, at the Sunday car boot opposite

Waitrose. More about that later.

This month though, I am recalling a meeting

almost sixty years ago which was indeed brief,

but for me quite momentous. The scene – San

Francisco airport, the date 5 July 1960. I was

on my way back to England after six months

experiencing local radio on the West Coast.

My friend and I were in a large transit lounge

awaiting our overnight flight to London. I

wrote in my diary: ‘Imagine my amazement

when I noticed a very familiar, portly figure

walking slowly across the wide expanse of

floor, with a small white dog under each arm.

It couldn’t be. Surely not. Yet indeed it was

the film director, Alfred Hitchcock, making a

public appearance just as though he was acting

in one of his distinctive movies.’

Mr Hitchcock was not bound for London I

subsequently discovered; he had just attended

the premiere of his thriller Psycho in Los

Angeles. The dogs were Sealyham terriers – a

Welsh breed very popular in Hollywood during

the ’20s and ’30s. Strangely named Geoffrey

and Stanley, they even made an appearance

with their famous owner in his next movie

The Birds in 1963 – a film in keeping with this

month’s winged theme.

In San Francisco,

unfortunately, they

provided the great man

with a perfect excuse

for not signing an

autograph for me. He

politely pointed out that

a dog under each arm

made writing rather


The Birds, Hitchcock’s

first film with Universal Studios, was filmed

in Northern California and, years later, on

a return visit to the West Coast as a family,

we visited Bodega Bay and saw many of the

locations used for the Daphne Du Maurierinspired


The birds themselves – gulls, ravens and crows

– were trained for use in some of the scenes

while mechanical birds and animations were

employed for others. Scary stuff.

Rather more so than our colourful trio

pictured above. I call them Wilson, Keppel

and Betty and they were made by Arthur and

bought from his wife, Janet, at the Tuesday

market in the Town Hall recently. A local

couple who are regulars at the Dripping Pan,

Arthur is handy with the needles and Janet

provides the faces.

Finally, as I write this piece, there is still no

sign of a return for the Sunday car boot locally

but, according to rumours – and where would

Lewes be without them – by the time you read

this, things will be up and running again.

I hope so because I know for a fact that it

provided a social meeting place for many older

residents… and some bargains to boot!

John Henty









David Jarman

My back pages

On 25th March I called time on my bookshop

in Pipe Passage. I opened there in January

1991, first as a private lending library, then as a

library and secondhand bookshop. Recruiting

officers for the library turned out to be Arthur

Scott, for the literary elite of Lewes, and

Major Bruce Shand for the country gentry.

Jane Aiken Hodge, Barry O’Connell, Daniel

Waley, Julian Fane and Colin Brent were

among my greatest supporters. For about ten

years my co-tenant was the legendary lighting

designer, Paul Pyant. He was followed by Viva

Lewes. Eventually, in exchange for doing their

proof reading, Viva staff sold books for me

when I wasn’t there (increasingly the case).

Sarah Hunnisett was particularly effective in

this regard, rather better than myself, I

sometimes thought.

In the 1990s, Peter Carter, another

secondhand bookseller, also shared

the premises. I still cherish the entry

in his one and only catalogue (winter

1995) describing the condition of a first

edition of Elizabeth David’s French

Provincial Cooking. It came with ‘some

staining’, ‘a torn dustwrapper’, a

cover that was ‘suffering liquid

contact’. Pages 258, 259,

262-3, 266-7 and 270-1 were

unaccountably missing. But

‘still, a lovely working copy’.

Doubtless a snip at £23. Books are

sometimes, in extremis, described as

being in a ‘distressed’ condition. This

particular book sounded positively

suicidal. Peter was a thoroughly

charming man but ‘eccentric’ hardly

covered it.

The first bookshop I worked

in seems now to be part of a completely

different world. This was Thornton’s, an

old-established shop in Broad Street, Oxford.

It was 1975, and I was eighteen. I suppose

most people would have characterised it as

‘Dickensian’. It certainly came with a cast of

vividly Dickensian characters. There was Mr

Wild, the main Antiquarian Book buyer. An

otherwise impeccably courteous man, he hated

paperbacks and had been known to throw

them across the shop. As a member of The

Sealed Knots, Mr Turner spent his spare time

re-enacting battles of the English Civil War.

Mr Rowell had been there for over forty years.

He dealt exclusively with books published by

the Oxford University Press. Natalie Canby

was a middle-aged American lady, much

given to quoting Jane Austen. She was

sweet, but there was always a faint air

of mystery about her. Robert Coulson

spent his days writing furiously in

ledgers. What he was writing, I never got

to know. The packing department was

staffed by Joe Lock, a retired postman,

and Frank Bekielewski, an elderly Pole

of surpassing sweetness of disposition

who seemed to subsist on a diet of cold

‘camp’ coffee and doughnuts. I was

living away from home for the first time

(unless you count boarding school)

and Mrs Hazell, the cashier took it

upon herself to mother me, but in the

nicest possible way.

The shop’s methods of trading were

equally of another time. Just one example

– anyone could walk into the shop, open an

account without showing any identification

and walk out with hundreds of pounds of

books. And yet it worked. Happy days!

Illustration by Charlotte Gann


Valuation Day

Fine Art, Jewellery & Books

1 May 2019, 11am to 3pm


Charleston House

West Firle

Lewes, BN8 6LL


01273 220000


Cinderella, in rags

Sold for £17,500

Prices shown include buyer’s premium. Details can be found at


My Fair Lady

Standing the test of time

Unperturbed by my intrusion, the Lewes

Operatic Musical Theatre Society leap into a

My Fair Lady rehearsal. The actors’ ability to

instantly get into character is impressive. We

are in their early rehearsal space in Market

Tower – the group will later move to St Mary’s

Centre for some rehearsals in a bigger venue,

and will then create a pop-up theatre in the

Town Hall for the performances. “We have

tiered seating, proper curtains and everything,

it’s quite amazing.”

Director David Foster is immersed in the

local am-dram world: having directed three

of New Sussex Opera’s recent productions,

he is also set to direct Romeo and Juliet for the

Eastbourne Dramatic Society in the summer.

As we discuss the history and different versions

of My Fair Lady, David’s enthusiasm for the

show is palpable, and he credits the “very

catchy tunes that have remained with us” as

one of the reasons it is still widely performed.

There is a cheerful atmosphere as performers

file in on the evening, surrounded by props

and ephemera from LOMTS’ history, and a

cd player and piano for accompaniment. The

scenes I see rehearsed are sharply written

and good fun, with one involving Georgina

Thorburn’s Eliza asking the assorted wellto-do,

“how do you do?”. The cast enjoy

the grandiose, clipped RP of the scene, and

Thorburn in particular gets a hoot out of

the owl-like extended “dooo”. Thorburn is

from familial Eliza stock: her grandmother

was apparently the first ever Eliza to have

performed in New Zealand.

LOMTS are hopeful that the popularity of the

work will ensure a strong audience turnout,

meaning that the live ten-piece orchestra might

have to be hidden from view, to allow for extra

seating. David has performed with the society

before, so he was not surprised by the range

of talent he witnessed throughout the audition

process. “For example, we had twelve potential

Elizas, and a lot of them could have easily done

the role... but we had to narrow it down to just


I am shown an ingenious set design model,

with a moving screen to allow for quick

transitions in a fast-paced performance. “In

the original version it was on a revolving stage:

we’ve had to come up with a scenery flat that

rotates so we can change scenes quite quickly.

What I was trying to avoid was the tabs

[curtains] closing, and then having to wait for

another scene”.

LOMTS are hoping that the “good family

show” will appeal to all ages, particularly with

a Saturday matinee that might suit younger

and older audience members. “They’re going

to get the familiar story and all of the popular

tunes, and there’s lively dances, brilliant acting.

And it’s funny. It’s got its pathos as well as its

humour: it’s a good all-round musical, which is

why it’s stood the test of time.”

Joe Fuller

Lewes Town Hall, 2nd to 6th April,, 01273 480127

Photos by Josh Gray


27 High Street


East Sussex





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What became of Little Red Riding Hood?

“It’s a series of poems

about Red Riding Hood

at whatever age I am

when I perform it,”

says Gus Watcham of

her one-woman play,

Redder. “This year

she’s 66. She’s looking

back at her past. She’s

looking for love. She’s

trying to understand her

childhood. It unravels

some fairytale myths and sort of rewrites them.”

I’ve interviewed Gus once before; that time

about her involvement with the Three Score

Dance Company, a contemporary dance troupe

for those aged 60+ which, she tells me, has

reignited her creative impetus.

“There’s nothing like a deadline, I’d always

been a great one for saying ‘I’ll do that later’.

When you get older, there is no later. I realised,

if I want to set something up, the time is now.

It’s great to start a new project in later life.

And a little bit of terror is so good for you. If

you can get through that and show your work

to somebody, it’s literally encouraging: it gives

you courage.”

Gus has been working with director Mark

C. Hewitt, video artist Abigail Norris and

performance artist Isobel Smith, and describes

Redder as an ongoing reflection on aging and

discovery. “In the piece, Red Riding Hood

suddenly finds herself on the threshold of old

age and I think this is what happens to us. We

suddenly go, ‘Oh god. I’m here. Now what do I

do?’ And in many ways nothing has changed at

all, it’s all still going on in our minds. I really

liked the idea of this little old lady marching

Photo by Lizzie Lower

along, still with her red

riding hood on.”

Gus has been holding

tea parties with older

people, sharing stories

and asking them to

reflect on how they

feel about aging, and

how they perceived old

people when they were

young. “Of course, they

all say that they feel no

different at all. And those people that they used

to think of as old? Well, they don’t seem so

different when you get there yourself.

“Redder is quite grown up and a bit rude in

places. Red Riding Hood has a problem with

body hair. Her mother, who was married

to the Wood Cutter, found her life at home

in the woods very boring and spent a lot of

time hanging out with wolves. Enough said.

Someone suggested that I might perform it in

care homes, and I thought, ‘I can’t take this

into a care home!’ But they said, ‘look, the

people going into the care system now are the

rock and roll generation. They don’t want to

hear about Andy Pandy.’

“This whole thing started when I joined Three

Score Dance. It’s been a knock-on process. I’m

braver. I’m doing things that I’ve never done

before. Things I always wished that I’d done.

‘It’s too late now’ is one of the most overused

excuses. I’ve discovered that it really isn’t. I’m

discovering stories of unstoppable older people

all of the time.” Lizzie Lower

Friday 26th, 7.45pm, All Saints Centre. Tickets

£7 in advance, £9 on the door.


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Linda Grant

Don’t say the B word

There’s a powerful word which doesn’t appear

in Linda Grant’s disturbing new novel A

Stranger City, but which informs the tone and

direction of its whole narrative.

The book, which she started writing in the

summer of 2016, is coming out in May. I

telephone her at her house in the north-east of

the city in question, London, having had the

chance to read a proof copy.

How, I wonder, has she been describing the

book to people who ask? “It’s underpinned

by a growing sense of xenophobia that I have

witnessed,” she says. “It’s about a bunch of

people moving through the present times we’re

in, finding that the ground has shifted beneath

their feet.” The book is set in “the present, and

the very near future – the next year or two.”

It starts at the funeral of a middle-aged woman.

There are no friends or relatives, just a vicar, a

film crew, some funeral directors, and the copper

who has been dealing with her case. She’s been

found, drowned, in the Thames, seven months

before, and no one knows who she is.

Grant’s modus operandi is interesting. She’s not

a great planner, she says. “I begin by writing

something and then thinking ‘where might this

take me, where could this lead, who are these

people?’ I’m a bit like the reader, really… I don’t

know what this is about, I don’t know where

this is going, and it’s the discovery of that that’s

how the novel gets written.”

‘These people’ are an ensemble of Londondwelling

characters, including a PR man who

is not all he seems, a half Iranian carpetseller,

an Irish nurse, a gay writer, an elderly

Jewish couple, and so on. We don’t know it

immediately, but their lives have all been

touched by the unknown woman, as well as

wider political events.

The funeral scene has been in her head from

1990, when, then a journalist, she witnessed

the pauper’s burial of a drowned homeless

woman, whose identity was unknown. “Then,

[in June 2016] I witnessed a fight between two

Big Issue sellers, one of whom said to the other

‘go home’.” This was her bingo moment of

inspiration for the book, and she recreates the

scene early on.

In other circumstances, Grant’s characters

might have wandered through a different

narrative, but the tense political backdrop of

the book’s gestation period has influenced

its tone. As a reader, I found it disturbingly

dystopic. “As things moved forward and became

more uncertain,” she says, “I was adding more

uncertainty to [the characters’] lives.”

I speak to Grant on March 1st, 28 days

before Britain is scheduled to leave the EU.

Does she think we’ll really see train-loads of

deportees being transported to prison ships

in the Channel? “I don’t think I’ve been more

worried in my lifetime about how things are

going politically,” she says. “We’re clearly at

the beginning of a period of great political

instability in this country”. Alex Leith

Linda Grant, Lewes Literary Society, All Saints,

2nd April, 8pm.

Photo by Charlie Hopkinson




Many of my clients have children and stepchildren.

In mediation we work through the practicalities of parenting after

parting, Parenting Plans can be agreed but will often need to be revisited

as children grow and circumstances change. Some feel that parenting

plans are most needed when children are very small and childcare

issues dominate family life but these plans are also really helpful for

agreeing arrangements as children go through the teenage years.

As children grow so does their determination to

be independent but they still need both parents.

It will often seem they are rebelling because

that’s just what teenagers do, when actually they

are trying to assert what is important to them.

Compared to when they were little they want

less of their parents time and advice. They are

more dependent on their friends, boyfriends/

girlfriends for advice and support and through

their peers they explore what relationships

mean to them.

When a divorce happens, teenagers often feel

embarrassed by the break-up and sometimes

react by idealising one parent. Whereas younger

children mostly continue to love both parents

equally teenagers tend to blame one parent

over the other for the break up. They are often

very directly critical “if my dad hadn’t done this

or that” or “if my mum could have done that”,

they would still be together. They get angry that

one parent did not try hard enough and now

everyone is unhappy. They often do this because

they need to try and control what is happening

and when they realise they can’t, they blame one

or both of their parents.

As teenagers get older they increasingly

prioritise their social life over of family life and

often resent having to visit the parent they don’t

live with. However they still need both parents.

It might be hard work, especially if it seems they

are emotionally

breaking away,

but they still

need to know

each parent

is there for

them when

they do reach

out. I always

urge clients

not to speak badly of an ex and never pressure

children to take sides, Teenage children need

as much practical and emotional support in

maintaining a relationship with ‘both’ parents

even if they seem to resent one of you.

I always remind my clients that it takes time

and it takes emotional energy but it is worth

persevering through the teenage years.

Any parent may find it hard to fathom what

their teenage child’s emotional needs are so

mistakenly offload their own emotional needs

on them in an attempt to gain closeness. Here

I remind parents that they should not expect

or allow children of any age to feel they have to

take care of either parent emotionally. It is not

their role.

This is easier said than done. Which is why I

work with Family Consultants who can help you

navigate your way through a divorce when you

have children and step children.

Please call to discuss what might be the best process for you

on 07780676212 or email

For more details about how I work visit


Ben Scott-Robinson

On AI and farming

Our fields are the shapes and sizes they are

because they’ve been designed to accommodate

tractors. So, our landscape is designed around

tractors; not the other way around. Not great

from nature’s point of view. And tractors were

designed more than 100 years ago with the

technology available then. Today, to tackle the

problem of farming, “you would not design a

tractor”, Sarra Mander, Chief Marketing Officer

of the Small Robot Company, tells me.

I find all this fascinating. “One thing I

hadn’t appreciated before”, she says, “was the

environmental damage done by tractors. I knew

about pesticides but not how tractors squash

and erode the soil, polluting our water and

constraining the hedgerows, as well, of course, as

using lots of energy.”

This is why the Small Robot Co is setting out to

revolutionise farming: to “redesign it from the

ground up.” In order to do so, they’ve designed

three prototype small AI robots to work, with

brilliant precision, with crops. “We’re looking to

maximise food production, and farmers’ profits,

while reducing its impact”, Sarra says. “Farmers

love it. Our Crowdcube campaign launched

fully-funded on day one, and two thirds of that

funding came from farmers.”

So, there isn’t resistance? “They know the ‘big

machinery’ model isn’t working. Robotics have

been talked about for a while as the future for

farming: it’s not a matter of if, but when. And

this solution even helps with the problem of

succession, which is a real challenge today.

Suddenly, taking on the family farm doesn’t

seem such a burden to a young farmer who

understands these robots won’t cost jobs;

they’ll change them – and free the farmer from

spending every day astride a tractor.”

These robots, and ‘Wilma’, the computer behind

the scenes – “which can already tell wheat from

weeds” – are today early prototypes. Twenty

farming concerns – including Waitrose and

the National Trust – are already signed up and


But what’s the downside? “People do ask

questions about Artificial Intelligence,” says

Sarra. “We’re naturally fearful, with our

Terminator 2 hats on. These aren’t concerns

about farming, but for all humanity. What is

the likely social impact? Where are we heading?

What about that human-robot interaction?”

And she draws an entertaining picture of robot

meeting dog-walker: what passes between them?

Of course, the broader issues are enormous – and

it’s these that Small Robot Co Co-Founder,

Ben Scott-Robinson, will address this month at

the Headstrong. AI can help with many of the

challenges we face, but what are the dangers?

And how do we avoid placing all the power in

the hands of an exploitative few? “How”, says

Ben, “can we use technology cleverly, to produce

a world we want to live in, rather than in an

unfettered way, to accentuate the inequalities of

now?” How, indeed? Charlotte Gann

Ben is speaking to the Headstrong Club on 26th

April, Elephant and Castle, 8pm. Tickets £3 on the

door or a few days before.



Surviving or Thriving

The state of the world’s plants, at Wakehurst

If your grandparents ever told you that bananas

don’t taste like they used to, it turns out they

were right. They might have developed a taste

for the Gros Michel variety, but plantations

were all but wiped out in the 1950s by the

fungus Fusarium. It was replaced by a resistant

cultivar, the Cavendish, that we all know

today, but all monocultures are susceptible to

disease and the Fusarium fungus has evolved

a deadly new strain to which the Cavendish

has no resistance. The race is on to find a


It is research like this that is going on at

Kew and in plant science laboratories the

world over, and the subject of a newly opened

exhibition – Surviving or Thriving – at the

Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst.

“Scientists at Kew are involved with the Crop

Wild Relatives project, which is looking for

wild relatives of vegetables, fruits and grains

that we know exist all over the world,” explains

Astrid Krumins, Interpretation Manager at

Wakehurst. “We’re looking for traits that

might have been bred out over time, like

resistance to pathogens and good water use.

Commercial crops like cotton and maize need

huge amounts of water to grow, so, if we can

selectively breed them with varieties that need

less, we can continue to grow them as the

climate changes.”

This is just one strand of the interactive

exhibition that draws on Kew’s landmark State

of the World’s Plants reports. “It’s a real mix of

news,” says Astrid. “Surviving and thriving

are relative terms and good or bad depending

on your view point. Some plants that are

thriving are things we may not want.

Invasive plants like Rhododendron

Ponticum which was introduced to

the UK in Victorian times and is now taking

over huge areas of Downland.” Other plants

we are only just beginning to understand. “We

are still finding new plants; around 2000 a year

are discovered in a scientific sense, which is

different from stumbling across a plant in your

garden or on holiday.”

If you haven’t visited the Millennium Seed

Bank before, you might be surprised to

discover that it looks more like a NASA

research facility than a greenhouse. As its

name suggests, it was built to store seeds

from all over the world – an underground

ark preserving plant genetics for future

generations – but it is also a hub of scientific

activity, conservation and propagation. Visitors

to the exhibition can watch the scientists at

work in their glass-walled laboratories whilst

learning about the kinds of research going on

inside. How plants are changing to cope with

an uncertain and more extreme climate; about

the threats they face from pests, pathogens

and illegal trafficking; about their diverse uses

from medicine to Marmite, and cutting edge

innovations in genome sequencing.

It’s a fascinating insight into the power and

potential of plants to tackle the

challenges of a rapidly changing

world, and how, of course, their

survival and ability to thrive is

inextricably linked to our own.

Lizzie Lower



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To Begin The World Again

Ian Ruskin on his Life of Thomas Paine

Your one-man play gives an

airing to Tom Paine’s life

and ideas. How did you go

about writing it? Is much

of it in his own words? I

began by reading (most) of his

writings: a long list! Then,

biographies – starting with

the first. This gave me a clear

idea of the changing attitudes

to the man over time. And I

was lucky enough to have five

leading Paine scholars review

my writings and point me in

the right direction. Yes, much is in his words. I

present them within the context of when they

were written.

It’s striking that Paine was read by so many,

and rejected by so many (only six people

at his funeral). Was he, above all, a plain

speaker – thus, a threat to all as a threat to

the status quo? Exactly! What made Paine

dangerous to the establishment was his ability

to use language that the ‘common man’ could

understand and find inspiring. He wrote in

short, simple sentences and his works, beginning

with Common Sense, broke all sales records. At

the same time, he attacked slavery, the power of

monarchy, and organised religion – particularly

through a scathing review of the Bible. No

wonder he had as many enemies as friends!

You’re interested in extraordinary people?

Nikola Tesla, Tom Paine, Harry Bridges.

What do they have in common? To my

mind, each is, in his own way, a genius. They’re

certainly among the most maligned, misused

and misunderstood men in history – a line

from the play. Their visions and aims were

Photo by Tom Dempsey

to revolutionise the systems

they lived in and bring about

a world with greater equality,

democracy and power to the

people. No wonder their

legacies have been so efficiently

suppressed and distorted.

Why is it important to you

to tell their stories? Living as

an actor in Los Angeles, and

working mainly in television,

I grew tired of playing the

intelligent bad guy in shows

such as Murder She Wrote and

MacGyver. The discovery of these men changed

my life. I had found stories that I believed in,

that meant something to me, and that took me

back to the reason that I wanted to be an actor

in the first place. Now I get to tell them across

America, in Canada, Hawaii, Australia and

England, including Lewes, where Paine spent

so many important years of his life.

Have you been to Lewes? Once before.

My last three years in England I lived in

Sharpthorne, Sussex, and in 1984 my girlfriend

and I came to Lewes for Guy Fawkes night. I

had never seen such a combination of pageantry

and rebellion, and in such a beautiful English

country town. The celebration of the fact that

he was caught (the burning at the stake) and

that he nearly pulled it off (the fireworks) –

that, at least, is my interpretation. I’m eager to

return, if not with the same pageantry, at least,

I hope, with some of the rebellion!

Interview by Charlotte Gann

All Saints Centre, 27th, 7.30pm,

Attenborough Centre, 25th, 4.30pm,



Glengarry Glen Ross

Mark ‘The Machine’ Benson

I’ve heard that the David

Mamet play Glengarry Glen

Ross – also, of course, a

Hollywood movie – contains

so many swear words, that in

the acting world it’s acquired

the nickname ‘Death of a

F*****g Salesman’.

“We counted how many

swear words were used,”

says Mark Benson, who

plays the role of Shelley

‘The Machine’ Levene, so

memorably performed by

Jack Lemmon in the movie.

“I had the most. It came to 74.”

If you don’t know who Mark is, you probably

haven’t watched much TV over the last

20 years. He played Eddie in Early Doors,

Howard in Northern Lights, and Chalky in

Waterloo Road. He hosted the game show The

Edge, starred in the 2017 Marks & Spencer

Christmas ad, and reached round ten of the

2013 edition of Strictly Come Dancing. More

recently, he’s played the private detective Frank

Hathaway in the BBC series Shakespeare &

Hathaway. He’s big, he’s scruffy, and, hailing

from Teesside, he’s irrevocably northern.

But not in Glengarry Glen Ross. “The play is

set in the cut-throat world of salesmen, selling

plots of land, near Chicago,” he says, “so I’ve

learnt to do a Chicago accent… The David

Mamet script has us all speaking really fast –

like people do in real life – so it’s been really

hard to learn. It’s probably the hardest part

I’ve ever had to do on stage: but when we get it

right it’s brilliant, it just goes like a train.”

Mark is the most recognisable name in a cast

of seven, but he feels that this is very much

an ‘ensemble’ production.

“What’s nice about it,” he

says, “is that there are no

egos at work. Everyone

has their moment to shine,

so everybody’s satisfied,

everybody’s happy with what

they’ve got to do. We’re like

a little gang, going round the


Mark’s character is in trouble:

Shelley Levene used to be the

top man in the sales team, but

he’s having a run of bad luck,

his leads are lousy, and he’s

facing the sack. Meanwhile, his daughter’s ill,

and the medical bills are mounting. I wonder

how easy Mark finds it to unburden himself

of his character’s problems, once he’s finished

performing the role. Or has he been taking all

Levene’s pent-up frustrations home with him?

“That could be a problem, he says, “especially

with a heavy role, like this one. But I’ll tell you

what. When I’d just started out, I worked with

[film director] Mike Leigh. You improvised

with him, and he always had a cut-off point

where he said ‘come out of character.’ So you’d

come out of character, and then you’d talk

about that character, objectively. From then on,

I’ve been able to become myself again when I

wanted to.”

So did all the profanities not leak into Mark’s

day-to-day conversations? “Oh, that. It became

second nature, to tell you the truth. I went

home once, after rehearsals, and my wife said:

‘would you please stop swearing so much?’ It

took a while to get back to normal.” Alex Leith

Theatre Royal, April 22nd-27th,


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Nik Turner

Hawkwind saxist

Hawkwind, those ‘space rockers’ who brought

us Silver Machine, were the poster boys of

rock ‘n’ roll hedonism in the 1970s: their

bassist Lemmy didn’t fit into the band because

he didn’t like taking hallucinogenic drugs

before, during and after gigs; he preferred

amphetamines. Nik Turner, the band’s front

man, who played improv jazz on his saxophone,

was a member from 1969 until 1976, when he

was kicked out for being ‘too outrageous’. He

liked dressing up in space suits and performing

on roller skates, next to Stacia, the band’s

Amazonian dancer, naked but for body paint.

He’s playing at the Con Club this month, with

his band Space Ritual, featuring several other

ex-Hawkwinders. He remembers those years,

down the phone from his home in Wales,

with fondness, though it sounds like much of

the acute detail has gone. “I seemed to be the

front person of the band by default, I guess,

no-one wanted to be it… It was fun and I met

interesting people and went to incredible places

and had a good time and it was very interesting

really. Something a bit different.”

It was a bit different, alright. And Hawkwind

were highly influential, with their psychedelic

wall of sound, on all sorts of future

performers, from David Bowie to John Lydon.

“Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious used to come

to our gigs. They wanted to became roadies,”

he tells me.

Nik’s mad sax was like nothing else that had

been heard or seen in a rock band before. I ask

him what the other band members thought

about it. “I’m not really sure, I never talked to

them about it, and they never discussed what

I did,” he says. “They didn’t say I was a load of

rubbish or anything like that, so I just carried

on doing it.”

Others thought Nik was something of a genius.

Experimental jazz guru Sun Ra mentions him

in his autobiography. “I’m reading it at the

moment, and he describes Hawkwind as having

a saxophone player in the band, who plays like

John Coltrane. I was very flattered, actually.”

He remembers, before he joined the band,

going to Margate beach to practice the sax. “I

wanted to be John Coltrane and Charlie Parker

and Coleman Hawkins.”

Nik was involved in a number of projects after

he left Hawkwind, but never hit the same

heights, though he did manage to make some

flute recordings inside The Great Pyramid

of Giza. In 2001 he formed ‘’

featuring other former members of the band;

founder Dave Brock responded by suing him

for using the band’s name.

It sounds like there’s bad blood: Brock wouldn’t

appear in a 2007 BBC documentary about

Hawkwind, because Nik was also involved. So,

I imagine, there’s little chance of a reunion of

the original line-up. “I haven’t closed my mind

to it,” counters Nik. “I haven’t got anything

against the guy. I think he did me a favour by

giving me a spot in his band.”

Alex Leith

Nik Turner’s Space Ritual, Con Club, April 14th


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your loved ones at our post walk picnic in the park.

Entry is £15 before 31 st March and £18 thereafter

Register at or call

us on 01444 471598

Registered charity number: 1056114


Squeezebox sound

Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne’s fleet-fingered folk

Photo by Maria Alzamora

It’s not unusual for a child

musician to change their

mind and turn away from

their chosen instrument

as they enter their teenage

years. What you probably

wouldn’t expect is for the

child to swap his violin for

an accordion.

“I just loved the powerful

sound of a squeezebox in full

flight”, Cohen Braithwaite-

Kilcoyne tells me. “I loved the idea of being able

to play tunes with rich and complex accompaniments

and countermelodies, which is possible on

concertinas and melodeons – not so much on the

violin.” The timing couldn’t have been better, as

he’d just started to develop an appreciation of

English folk songs. “It’s the music that I like, the

music that I feel the strongest connection to and

the music that has had the strongest effect on

me. I love the unusual melodies, the captivating

narratives to songs and the fascinating history

that comes with every piece.”

Barely a decade has passed since Cohen fell for

the concertina, the melodeon and the traditional

music he plays on them. In that time, he’s won

Bromyard Folk Festival’s Future of Young Folk

Award, he’s studied with ‘one-man folk industry’

Pete Coe and he’s graduated from the University

of Leeds with a BA in Music. These days he’s

playing on his own and with the band Granny’s

Attic, although it’s the solo Cohen who’s coming

to Lewes this month, performing in the evening

of Saturday 13th after running a melodeon

workshop during the day.

“It’s fair to say that I have learnt a huge amount

from other players, including

John Kirkpatrick, Pete

Coe, John Spiers, Brian

Peters and Adrian Brown”,

Cohen explains. He’s also

investigated how concertinas

and melodeons were

played when they originated

around 200 years ago. One

such technique involves

vigorously moving the

instrument in a circle whilst

playing it: perhaps the Victorian equivalent

of plugging an effects pedal into an electric

guitar. “There was a time when just about every

concertina player was doing it, but now there

are only a handful of us doing it. Essentially the

movements through the air alter the sound of

the concertina; it’s all to do with the Doppler


But Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne isn’t just an

exceptionally talented player. He sings as well,

with a rich, strong voice that’s well-suited to the

traditional music he plays. “I always sang and

played around the house, but it took me a while

to be able to do it in public”, he admits. “I began

singing and playing in public when I was about

17, so about four or five years after I started

playing concertinas and melodeons.”

Yet all this would probably never have started

without those free violin lessons at primary

school. “That was my way into music. I honestly

think that if they had not been on offer, I probably

would not have ended up following this

path as a musician.” Mark Bridge

Elephant & Castle, Saturday 13th. Tickets £7

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Roman Holiday, At Eternity’s Gate and Hidden Figures

Film ’19

Dexter Lee’s cinema round-up

There are five one-off films on at the Depot

this month which would normally be given top

billing here. On the 6th, in the Saturday Night

Horror slot, there’s Carrie, that coming-of-age

chiller with Sissy Spacek and a pre-Saturday

Night Fever John Travolta. Bet you haven’t seen

that hand scene on a big screen for a while.

The dementia-friendly screening, on the 11th,

is The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland and all; programmer

Carmen Slijpen is hoping that parents

will take their children along. Kids, apparently,

love these screenings, which come with a bag of


The Mr Voigt Film Club film (17th) is the

charming Roman Holiday, that screwball comedy

starring Gregory Peck as a roguish, impecunious

journalist who takes an incognito princess

– Audrey Hepburn – out for a night on the town

in 1950s Rome.

And there are two landmark silent films on at

Easter, with a collection afterwards for Action

for Hearing Loss. On Easter Sunday (21st) it’s

Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1928 film The Passion of

Joan of Arc; the next day you can see Murnau’s

1927 masterpiece Sunrise.

The Cinema of the Mind will have a lot to chew

over in their post-screening discussion: by all

accounts, At Eternity’s Gate (1st) starring Willem

Dafoe as Vincent Van Gogh, is a work of thoughtprovoking

beauty. The book-to-film choice this

month, meanwhile, is Hidden Figures (4th), about

three black American female mathematicians,

unsung heroines in the Space Race.

There are two live or as-live stage events worth

mentioning. All About Eve (11th) stars Gillian

Anderson and Lily James in the Bette Davis and

Anne Baxter roles in the NT adaptation of the

1950 classic movie of the same name (and the

play The Wisdom of Eve) with music by PJ Harvey.

Tickets are £20 and, for those who prefer

daytime entertainment, there’s a 1pm ‘encore’

performance on the 30th.

And there’s a double bill (14th) of Ravel minioperas,

aiming to introduce the genre to young

people. The two works, directed for the 2012

Glyndebourne Festival by Laurent Pelly, are

the farce L’heure espagnole, and the morality tale

L’enfant et les sortilèges. There are two showings,

the afternoon performance for young people and

their family only, with the prices reduced to £5

for the U25s and £10 for the oldies.

The Lewes Film Club is drawing towards the

end of a fine season. April’s offerings are Unsane

(12th), the Steven Soderbergh thriller, starring

Claire Foy, that was shot on an iPhone, and The

Nile Hilton Incident (19th), a noirish drama set in

Cairo during the 2011 insurrection.

And there are a couple of interesting documentaries

in the Attenborough Centre’s Sunday

Film Club: Gabrielle Brady’s Island of the Hungry

Ghosts (7th) takes us to Christmas Island in the

Indian Ocean, where crabs migrate from the

jungle to the sea, and Australia imprisons its

unwanted asylum seekers; The Swim, meanwhile,

sees artist He Xiangyu return to his home town

on the river-border between North Korea and

China. Please check times and dates, which may

be subject to change.


Kitchen Still Life, 1948 by William Scott

© Estate of William Scott 2019. Image courtesy of Southampton Art Gallery

In Colour – Sickert to Riley

Exhibition at Charleston

In Colour – Sickert to Riley is the second exhibition

in the new Wolfson Gallery at Charleston.

Curated by the textile designer Cressida

Bell, it runs until the 26th of August. Thirty

one paintings by thirty one twentieth century

British artists, all engaging with colour in their

sometimes very different ways.

While evoking ‘a grey dusty withered evening

in London city’ in Our Mutual Friend,

Dickens conjures up a wonderful phrase –

‘the national dread of colour’. And indeed,

we often seem to have had an ambivalent

attitude to colour. Reviewing the 1910

New English Art Club exhibition, Huntley

Carter identifies and praises a small group of

‘colourists’ within the club’s ranks – Lucien

Pissarro, Harold Gilman, Robert Bevan and

Spencer Gore (the last two also feature in

Cressida Bell’s show). However, he then cautions

that ‘three fourths of the human race

are unaffected by colour, except in a hostile

form. Pure, clean colour arouses in their

honest bosoms an exasperation only equalled

by that called forth by the so-called indecent

forms of art.’

I don’t know whether Cressida Bell would



Portrait of a Girl, 1912 by Mark Gertler. © Tate, London 2019

agree. Viva readers may remember the (very

colourful) cover she did for the February

2019 issue. In the accompanying interview

with Joe Fuller, she expressed a wish that

people would try wearing more colour, ‘because

it’s so life enhancing’. So perhaps we’re

not there just yet. But it would be wrong to

see the Charleston exhibition as any part of a

colour crusade. True, there are big bold pictures

just bursting with colour by the likes of

Terry Frost and Howard Hodgkin. It would

be surprising if they weren’t featured. But I

think Cressida Bell is trying to do something

rather subtler, choosing paintings where the

arrangement of colours, the patterns, the

colour balance are paramount. This might

explain the presence in the show of artists

such as Charles Ginner, Ethel Sands and

Sickert, especially Sickert, that you would

not associate primarily with colour. And as

she said in the Viva interview: ‘I’m trying to

look for works of art where you can tell that

the artist has superimposed colours on the

painting, rather than actually seeing them.’

This would apply, for example, to Stanislawa

de Karlowska’s At Churchstanton, Somerset.

What, I suspect, is of primary importance

to Cressida Bell is that we have a totally

unmediated response to the paintings. So,

for example, no distracting captions. If you

want to know the identity of the painter, the

name of the picture, where it’s usually to be

found, you have to refer to the printed handout.

Even on that, Cressida Bell’s thoughts

on individual paintings, and there are only

a handful of these, are so tentative as to be

positively endearing. It’s all tremendously


One criticism. The walls of the gallery have

been painted in four different colours, especially

for the exhibition. Far from enhancing

the paintings, it positively distracts from

them, from the colour in the paintings. A

disastrous decision? I think so, but perhaps

it wasn’t Cressida Bell’s idea. And maybe I’m

just wrong. David Jarman

The Pond at Charleston by Vanessa Bell. Estate of Vanessa Bell

courtesy of Henrietta Garnett and The Charleston Trust

Oranges and Quinces by Robert Dukes.

Courtesy of Robert Dukes



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In town this month

Shore Lines, an exhibition of recently completed

paintings by Tom Benjamin is at St Anne’s

Galleries from the 6th April until the 5th May.

Painting in Sussex, Cornwall and Scotland, Tom

is engaged in the eternal artists’ struggle to capture

light on water. ‘The movement of the tides

and waves mean that painting directly in front

of [water] stretches all my abilities to the limit,’

writes Tom. ‘Trying to make [oil paint] stand for

light on water seems to me to be practically impossible.

Still, for some reason it doesn’t stop me

trying.’ Open weekends 10am-5pm, or by appointment. [ /]

Our congratulations to East Sussex College student

Imogen McIntosh Roffey, who won the Royal Opera

House Design Challenge for her Romeo & Juliet set design

(pictured). Imogen’s work was chosen from entries from 42

participating schools and colleges, with the judges remarking

that it was ‘beautiful in its simplicity’ and ‘showed clearly

how the set worked for the whole ballet.’ She, and winners in

the other categories, were treated to a matinee performance

at the ROH, a backstage tour and a visit to the production

department to gain an insight into how productions are

brought to the stage. Imogen’s, and other winning and highly

commended designs, will be on display in the Linbury Foyer of the ROH until the 4th of April.


Janice Thurston

Janice Thurston is the featured artist at Chalk Gallery from the

8th until the 28th of April. Born and raised in Sussex, Janet took

up painting later in life and describes her work as an ‘emotional

response to the landscape’. She works with both oil and acrylic

paints and fine art printmaking to

record the constantly changing

vista. ‘I am interested in the sublime

vastness of big spaces; the

transformations that are relentlessly

taking place as the seasons

evolve and the colours alter.’ She is followed by Nichola Campbell,

who is the featured artist at the gallery from the 29th. Everyone is

invited to join the Chalkies on Saturday 20th of April for an Easter

celebration complete with simnel cake and sparkling wine. (2-4pm)

Nichola Campbell


“Transforming Lives Through Art”






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Email: Telephone: +44 (0) 1342 313655

Open Sundays from 7th April - 27th October

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of House Tours, Workshops and Events

Online booking now available

Muddles Green, Chiddingly

East Sussex, BN8 6HW

Tel: 01825 872856

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Out of town


Farleys House, gallery and sculpture garden

– the Sussex home of Roland Penrose and Lee

Miller – opens for the season on Sunday the

7th of April, and then every Sunday until the

27th of October, with guided tours setting

off every half hour from 10.30am. In Farleys

gallery is Deanland; a collaborative project

between the artist, Alexander Johnson and

photographer, John Brockliss, who together

documented the ghostly WWII Sussex airfield

(see page 8 for more).

Jacky Misson

The work of Alexander


also features in

an exhibition of


artwork in the

Coach House at

Glynde Place.

Curated by artistin-residence

Jacky Misson, the show includes work

in a wide variety of media by local artists

Jenny Arran, Sarah Colbourne, Bob

Dixon, Linda Felcey, Chiara Bianchi,

Lucy Newman, Isobel Smith, Guy

Stevens, Emily Warren and Jacky herself.

The Glynde blacksmith, Thomas

Gontar, will also be opening his forge.

Opening night Friday 12th of April,

6-9pm (everyone welcome), Saturday 13th

and Sunday 14th 10.30-6pm.

There’s a last chance to see the extraordinary

maps of Max Gill at Ditching

Museum of Art + Craft. The exhibition of

work by the well-known illustrator, letterer,

map-maker, architect and decorative artist

closes on the 28th of April.

Draw Me In – Towner’s

annual schools’ exhibition

– opens on Friday the 6th

of April. Open to all local

children and young people

aged from 0 to 21, the call

for works launched last

October and the entrants

have been busily making in

artist-led workshops at schools, in the community

and at the gallery. The fruits of their creative

labours, in a multitude of sizes and formats, will

be on display until the 2nd of June.

The vibrant

exhibition of

paintings, In

Colour – from

Sickert to Riley

is open at the

new Wolfson

Gallery at Charleston (see pg 52). Alongside,

in the South and Spotlight Galleries, is Land;

a selection of paintings, drawings and sketchbooks

by Philip Hughes whose pared back,

almost cartographic landscapes trace the Downs

between the Cuckmere and Ouse Valleys, and

West Penwith in the extreme west of Cornwall.

South Downs Way above Firle

by Philip Hughes







The Comedy

About a

Bank Robbery

16 – 20 April

From the

Creators of

The Play That

Goes Wrong

Rock Of Ages

8 – 13 April

Jasper Carrott’s

Stand Up & Rock

10 – 11 May

Dinosaur World Live

26 – 28 April


The Musical

14 – 18 May

Green Day’s

American Idiot

21 – 25 May

Little Miss Sunshine

8 – 12 October

Visit the website for much, much more!

Box Office 01323 412000 | |





“ Unmissable”

Lyn Gardner

3, 4 & 7 MAY 8PM

5 & 6 MAY 4PM

PREMIUM £18/£14

STANDARD £16/£12

01273 678 822

University of Sussex, Gardner Centre Road, Brighton BN1 9RA

HHHHH The Guardian

HHHH The Stage

HHHH Time Out

HHHHH What’s On Stage

APRIL listings


Lewes Literary Society talk with author and

journalist Linda Grant. All Saints, 8pm, £10,

see page 37.


My Fair Lady. Lewes Operatic Musical Theatre

Society presents the story of cockney flower

girl Eliza Doolittle and her journey to society

lady. Lewes Town Hall, times and prices vary,

see and page 33.



Comedy at the

Con. With Mike

Gunn, John

Fothergill (left),

Fiona Ridgewell and

Michael Eldridge.

7.30pm, £8-£12.

The Birth of Lewes Theatre Club. A dramatised

rehearsed reading. The remarkable story

of how one of the world’s leading economists

was instrumental in the birth of Lewes Little

Theatre in the years leading up to and during

WWII. Lewes Little Theatre foyer, 2pm, £5.


Historical Fiction: What Comes First – Research

or Imagination? Lewes History Group

talk with Beverley Elphick. King’s Church

building, 7.30pm, £3/£1 for members.


Rock of Ages. Musical featuring over 25 classic

rock anthems. Congress Theatre, Eastbourne,

times and prices vary, see eastbournetheatres.


Sussex Nature Reserves. Talk with Michael

Blencowe, Learning and Engagement Officer

at the Sussex Wildlife Trust (and Viva’s very

own nature columnist) looking back over a

century of wildlife conservation in Sussex. The

Keep, 5.30pm, £5.

Chris Thorpe: Status. Award-winning play by

Chris Thorpe and Rachel Chavkin. Attenborough

Centre, 8pm, £12/£10.


The Art Society, Uckfield, Lewes and Newick

present ‘250 years of the Royal Academy’

a lecture by Rosalind Whyte. The Civic Centre

Uckfield, 2.30pm, £7 (free for members).

Lewes Catalyst Club. Exploring the passions

of everyday folk with three talks. Lewes Arms,

7.30pm, £7. See page 17.


Tales from the Riverbank: Past Life in the

River Ouse Valley. A Friends of Anne of

Cleves’ House talk by Ian Everest. Anne of

Cleves, 7.30pm, £8 (£5 members), contact

Film: Unsane (15). Claire Foy stars in psychological

thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh,

shot entirely on an iPhone. All Saints, 8pm,




OF FOOD, DRINK & live music


with top chefs


hove lawns

4, 5, 6 may



APR listings (cont.)

Est. 1758

Come and play cricket at


Players Wanted


Record Store Day at Union Music. A number

of special RSD releases will be on sale, as

well as instore live performances throughout

the day from Lucy Kitt (acoustic singer), Jerry

Leger & The Situation (Canadian folk/rock/

roots trio) and more to be announced. Union

Music, doors open 8am see unionmusicstore.





Linton Kwesi Johnson: Writing Reggae.

Linton Kwesi Johnson charts the history of

poetics in reggae alongside the evolution his

own career as a poet and musician. Illustrated

throughout with tracks selected by LKJ. All

Saints, 7.45pm, £12/£15.


Lewes Pilot Gig Club bless their new boat

and unveil its name. Outside John Harvey

Tavern, 3pm, all welcome.

Film: The Nile Hilton Incident (15). Cairo

crime drama. All Saints, 8pm, £5/£2.50.


The Garden Show

at Firle Place. Specialist

growers, arts

and crafts designers,

home and garden

furniture, fashion and

country food, as well

as face painting, jugglers, puppet shows and

other activities. Firle Place, 10am-5pm, £3-£8.


Support the little stars of Sussex


Saturday 15 June

Open to everyone aged 10 and over

NEW FOR 2019

A sponsored 10 mile walk filled with colour, light, magic and wonder.

Raising money for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice.

Sign up now at:

APR listings (cont.)


Lewes FC Quiz Night. General quiz, four

people per team max, must book in advance

– The Dripping Pan,

7.45pm, £2.50 each (optional £10 meal deal).

Arts & Crafts Market in the Old Georgian

Riding School. Part of the Garden Show at

Firle. Firle Place, 10am-5pm, £3-£8.


Guerilla Poetry. Spoken word

open mic. Lansdown, 7pm, free.


Lewes Death Café. Conversations around

death and dying. The Dorset, 1pm, free.


Fantastical one

woman show, in

which poet Gus

Watcham turns

Little Red Riding

Hood upside

down to create a

darkly humorous

psychodrama. All

Saints, 7.45pm,

£7/£9. See page


Headstrong Club talk and discussion. Ben

Scott-Robinson on robot farming. Elephant &

Castle, 8pm, £3. See page 39.


Through Windows. Three-hour drawing and

painting workshop with Nick Bush (plus lunch

and refreshments) in aid of Freedom from Torture.

All abilities welcome. Keeper’s Cottage,

Alciston, 10am-2pm or 2pm-5pm, £50, contact



Day. A screening

of The True

Cost, a documentary


fast fashion’s devastating impact on people and

planet, with a Q&A workshop to discuss what

we can do. Followed by a clothes swap. Depot,

10.15am (film & Q&A) and 2pm (clothes

swap), £9 for film & talk, £6 for clothes swap.

Photo by Tom Dempsey

Pop-up Orchestra. A creative ensemble for

adult instrumentalists of any standard – no

reading required. Westgate Chapel, 3pm-5pm,

£20pp, see for more info.


Paine’s To

Begin the

World Over

Again. Actor

Ian Ruskin’s


play brings Thomas Paine home to Lewes. All

Saints, 7.30pm, £12 (£8 for under 25s), tickets

available from Union Music and Tourist Information

Centre. (Show also on at Attenborough

Centre on Thursday 25th, £5.) See page 43.


Dig It Q & A. With Joe Talbot and the Dig It

team from BBC Radio Sussex. South Downs

Nurseries & Garden Centre, Hassocks, 9am-

12pm, email promotions@tatesgardencentres.


Brighton Festival 2019

Guest Director is Malian

musician and songwriter

Rokia Traoré.

Book now for her three

live performances.

Né So

Sat 4 May

Dream Mandé:

Bamanan Djourou

Sat 18 May

Dream Mandé: Djata

Tue 21 May


the half moon


Traditional country pub in a 19th-century

coach house just outside Lewes.

Friday Night Jazz

Every 3rd Friday of the month

19th April – Classic Jazz Duo (sax &

guitar), Denis Primett and Peter Mahoey

Ditchling Road, Plumpton, BN7 3AF

01273 890253




Billy Rowen (AKA The Undercover Hippy) is ‘On a

mission to make people think, laugh and dance simultaneously’.

It’s not easy to sum up his musical style in a

few words, but I think Tom Robinson (BBC6Music) has

managed it pretty well. ‘Beautifully produced agitprop

reggae flavoured rap… like the love-child of Steel

Pulse, Kate Tempest and The Sleaford Mods.’ Hailing

from a drum & bass background, in 2007 Billy put

down the decks, picked up his guitar and started song

writing. His lyrics are clever, witty, political, provocative

and full of soul, which he delivers with bags of energy

and the finesse and mastery of an experienced MC.

Con Club, Sunday 7th, 7.30pm, £12


Lawrence Jones. Jazz sax & flute. Snowdrop,

8pm, free


English dance tunes session – bring instruments.

Folk (English trad). John Harvey

Tavern, 8pm, free


English dance tunes session – bring instruments.

Folk (English trad). The Volunteer,

12pm, free

Jam Night. All welcome, free drink for all

participants. Lansdown, 7.30pm, free

The Undercover Hippy. See Gig of the



Piranhas 4 + Unorfadox. Ska/Punk. Con

Club, 9pm, £TBA


Charlotte Glasson. Jazz sax & multi-instrumental.

Snowdrop, 8pm, free


Sam Walker. Multi-instrumental songwriter

and performer. Lansdown, 7.30pm, free

Steve Ignorant’s Slice of Life (acoustic) +

The Cravats (punk). Con Club, 7.30pm, £14

Jack & Leon Hogsden. Folk (English trad).

Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £6


Concertinas Anonymous practice session.

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


Bad Boy Boogie. AC/DC tribute. Con Club,

9pm, £TBA




A creative workshop for

adult instrumentalists

of any standard.

No reading required!

Saturday 27th April, 3-5pm

Westgate Chapel, Lewes


For more info, go to

or contact Lisa at

or 07980 650609

Because every life is unique

…we are here to help you make your

farewell as personal and individual as possible,

and to support you in every way we can.

Inc. Cooper & Son

42 High Street, Lewes

01273 475 557

Also at: Uckfield • Seaford • Cross in Hand


Chrysta Bell


The Leaky Buckets. Charity gigs in aid of Chestnut

Tree House. Cash bar & handmade pizzas.

Iford Hall, 7.30pm, free


Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne. Folk (English

trad). Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £7, see page 49

Chelsea. Punk. Con Club, 9pm, £TBA


Nik Turner’s Space Ritual. Con Club, 7.30pm,

£16.50, see page 47


Chrysta Bell. Dream pop. Con Club, 7.30pm, £18

Benn Clatworthy with the John Donaldson

Trio. Jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free


Johnny Dowd. Alt country. Con Club, 7.30pm,



John Fairhurst. Blues/rock. Con Club, 9pm,



Denis Primett and Peter Mahoey. Background

jazz. The Half Moon, Plumpton, 7pm, free


Songs for Spring. Folk – open night. Elephant &

Castle, 8pm, £4


Sun Ra Arkestra. Legendary jazz troupe return to

Lewes. Con Club, 8pm, £25.50


Geoff Simkins. Jazz alto sax. Snowdrop, 8pm, free


Joey Landreth & Band. Roots-rock guitar &

vocals. Con Club, 7.30pm, £15

English tunes practice session for any instrument.

Folk (English trad). Elephant & Castle,

8pm, free


Slaughter & The Dogs. Punk rock. Con Club,

7.30pm, £18


The Doctors. Prog/Folk rock. Con Club, 9pm,



Matt Quinn & Owen Woods. Folk (trad) – CD

launch. Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £7

Loose Caboose. Northern soul DJs. Con Club,

9pm, £TBA


Sara Oschlag. Jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free

Johnny Dowd. Photo by Kat Dalton



Irelands Lane, Lewes BN7 1QX


Mass at 8pm


Children’s Stations of the Cross at 10am

Stations of the Cross (Via Crucis) at 12 noon

Celebration of the Passion of the Lord at 3pm


Office of Readings and Morning Prayer at 8.30am


The Easter Vigil (8.30pm on Holy Saturday)

Mass at 9am, 10.30am, 12.30pm (Latin)

Surrexit Dominus vere, Alleluia.

The Lord has truly risen, Alleluia.


east sussex


c h o i r





The Baroque Collective

Director - John Hancorn

Sat 13th April 2019

Town Hall, Lewes 7.30pm

Tickets from LTIC or Ring 07759 878562

or Online


Saturday 7pm, 11 May

Mozart • Webern • Brahms


Classical round-up


George X. Fu

The St Anne’s lunchtime recitals are underway for 2019 and

this month features a piano recital by rising American star

George X. Fu. On the programme are popular works by Mozart

and Chopin, and the magnificent Iberia (Book 1) by 20th century

Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz. Debussy pronounced Iberia

to be ‘perhaps on the highest place among the more brilliant

pieces for the king of instruments’. As a piano soloist with

orchestras across the US, Europe and South America, George

X. Fu has been praised for his virtuosity; St Anne’s recital series

organiser David Ollosson confirms that he’s ‘staggeringly good.’ Hear him play for free – although

you’ll no doubt want to give something as you leave.

St Anne’s Church. Free, with a retiring collection. Refreshments available before and after performance.




Photo by Patrick Allen


Nature through Song. Debra Skeen (soprano)

and Peter Hanson (accompanist) present a

fundraising recital for the St. Peter’s Restoration

Fund. St. Peter’s Church, Firle. £10 (includes refreshments)

from Firle Post Office or on the door


East Sussex Bach Choir. JS Bach’s mighty St

John Passion. Nick Pritchard sings the Evangelist,

with the Baroque Collective players; John Hancorn

conducts. Lewes Town Hall. £20, £15, under

16s free, Lewes TIC or


Launch of Music & Word, a new music programme

at Charleston with acclaimed pianist

Melvyn Tan. The Hay Barn, Charleston. £35,

Friends £30.


St Michael’s Recitals. Star Baroque violinist

Julia Bishop is joined by Nick Houghton, playing

both church and chamber organs. Includes works

by Biber, Bach and Buxtehude. St Michael’s, free

with collection.


Pro Musica. Colin Moore conducts the choir

in Mozart’s Requiem, accompanied by The Florentine

Ensemble. St Andrew’s Church, Alfriston.

£12, under 12s free. On the door, or from members

of the choir.


Seaford Music Society. Family Concert: Hey

Diddle Diddle! Music, stories and dance. Nonmember

tickets available. St Leonard’s Church,

Seaford. £8/£5, accompanied children free.


New Sussex Singers. Grief and Thanks. Music for

Good Friday by Bach, Tavener and Vaughan Williams.

Baritone Peter Edge, conductor Sebastian

Charlesworth, accompanist Howard Beech.

St Mary’s, Newick. £12.

SUNDAY 28, 4.30PM

Musicians of All Saints. A special Tea Concert

showcasing students from London Music Colleges.

St Michael’s Church. £12/£9 concessions,

under 18s free. Robin Houghton




Performers Club. Five-day intensive

performing course with experienced West End

and opera professionals. Held in a country

house in Glynde, 10am-4pm, £200, see



Bertram Bunny’s Easter Adventure. Fun

and nature-filled family activities, with egg

hunt, crazy golf and egg & spoon races. Borde

Hill Garden, 10am-5pm, £6.35-£9.50 (free to



Horrible Science at

Wakehurst. Based on the

best-selling books by Nick

Arnold, including wicked

weeds trail, horrid science

lab and gruesome plant


Look Think Make. Drop-in family-friendly

creative activities for all ages. Children must

be accompanied by an adult. De La Warr,

2pm-4pm, £1.


Morning Explorer: Herbs & Spices. Includes

a story, special tactile objects to feel and scents

to inhale, plus garden games and audiodescribed

tours. A special time for families with

additional needs; the castle opens between 10

& 11am exclusively for them. Lewes Castle,

10am-11am, regular admission applies.

Flowers and Fleece. Drop-in for stories

and springtime activities. All ages welcome.

Anne of Cleves, 1pm-4pm, price included in



Digging for Treasure.

Have a go at being an

archaeologist, with digging,

handling of artefacts, drawing

and making treasure to take

home. A holiday workshop for children aged

four to eight. Lewes Castle, 10.30am-12pm or

2pm-3.30pm, £5 per child.


Flint Day: Stone Age to Iron Age. Drop in

to see flint knapping demonstrations by expert

Grant Williams, as well as handling flint

artefacts in the gallery and some prehistoric

tools and weapons (ages 7+). Lewes Castle,

10.30am-3pm, price included in admission.


Spring Greens. Hands-on activities based

around springtime. Embroider a flower or

make a herb bag, have a go at still life painting

and drawing inspired by the garden. Anne of

Cleves, 1pm-4pm, price included in admission.


How to Attack

a Castle.

Find out how

castles were

attacked in the

Middle Ages.

Make model


(catapults) and castles to take home. Lewes

Castle, 10.30am-12pm or 2pm-3.30pm,

£5 per child.


Lewes Science, Technology, Engineering,

and Mathematics (STEM) Fair. Aimed at

families to celebrate local science, technology,

engineering and Mathematics (STEM) activities

in Sussex. Lewes Town Hall, 12pm-3pm, free.


Dinosaur World Live. Interactive show for all

the family. Congress Theatre, 11am & 2pm, £14.


Plumpton Racecourse Easter Eggstravaganza.

Seven races, fun fair, face painting, live

music, food & drink, and plenty more free


Experience Horrible Science activities this Easter holiday

6 – 22 April

For details visit

Horrible Science® is a registered trademark of Scholastic Ltd. And is used under authorization. All rights reserved.

Based on the bestselling books written by Nick Arnold and illustrated by Tony De Saulles. Illustration copyright

©Tony de Saulles. Licensed by Scholastic Children’s books through Rocket Licensing Ltd.





This month has brought us the first ever picture-book retelling

of Charles Darwin’s On The Origin of Species, in a beautiful

book that brings Darwin’s theories alive for young readers.

Molecular biologist and illustrator Sabina Radeva sets out

to explain the basic concepts of Charles Darwin’s theory of

evolution by means of natural selection to children of about six

years and upwards. She also outlines how evolutionary theory

has advanced since Darwin’s time, detailing how our modern

knowledge of genetics expands and confirms Darwin’s work,

and explains some common misconceptions about his theory.

This is a book you can read straight through like a story, or

spend hours poring over like an encyclopaedia – or both! The

artwork is truly lovely, keeping the same style for both pictures

and diagrams which makes it beautifully coherent. Scattered

throughout are illustrated quotes of Darwin’s original words, reminding young readers that this is

not just a story, but that Charles Darwin was a real person who wrote a really important book.

Anna, Bags of Books

Find On The Origin of Species by Sabina Radeva with 20% off at Bags of Books throughout April.

Experienced Nanny available

to provide regular, holiday or

last minute child care &

babysitting services

throughout the Lewes area.

Tel: 01273 478497

Lewes Castle

& Anne of Cleves House

Storytelling, Dressing Up, Mask

-Making, Hands-on Crafts, Clay

Modelling, Spinning & more!

Anne of Cleves House

Flowers & Fleece -9 th April

Spring Greens -16 th April

Drop in.

Included in Admission.

Lewes Castle*

Digging for Treaure -11 th April

Stone Age to Iron Age -13 th April

How to Attack a Castle -18 th April

Tickets £5 a child, Adult to accompany.

For Bookings:

01273 486290

For Events:



All of my boys have had a fascination with

planes: often when they were very young,

they’d gaze skywards and point whenever a

jumbo jet passed overhead, a look of sheer

delight on their faces. The younger two (ages 6

and 11) still retain that fascination and so they

were very excited to learn that this month’s

assignment involved us visiting Brighton City

Airport at Shoreham.

Founded in 1910, this is apparently the oldest

airport in the UK and, thanks in part to its Art

Deco appearance, has even featured in various

films and TV series such as Agatha Christie’s

Poirot. Nowadays the airport is used primarily

by privately-owned light aeroplanes and flying

schools. It even offers sightseeing and pleasure

trips for the more adventurous visitor. The

boys and I, however, stayed firmly on the


Located inside the main terminal building of

the airport lies the rather nice Hummingbird

Restaurant. The restaurant is open for

breakfast, lunch, dinners and coffee and cake

and you can sit at one of its tables and view

the airstrip. Apparently, it’s a popular venue for

locals who like to come and enjoy a meal whilst

taking in the view through the huge windows.

The boys, however, decided that they wanted

to sit at a table outside on the viewing deck

to be even closer to the airport in action.

The planes looked tiny compared to the

ones we are accustomed to at commercial

airports such as Gatwick. But we were up

close: both boys were fascinated to see these

small aeroplanes refuelling and running their

engines and even more excited, of course, to

watch them taking off.

Because the planes were so near, we could see

the expressions on the pilots’ faces, as they

patiently waited for their turn on the runway –

some even giving us a friendly wave. Both boys

watched in awe as pilots steered their planes

towards the runway and then rose into the air,

soaring high above as they headed off.

After twenty minutes or so we went inside to

the café where we ordered hot chocolate and

cake. From there, we could still see what was

going on outside. I imagine lots of people

come here just because it’s an unusual and

pleasant spot for breakfast or lunch – and the

Art Deco building is classic 1930s.

We didn’t stay that long at Shoreham Airport –

it’s the type of excursion that will kill a couple

of hours, and get you and the kids out of the

house; not really a day trip. But it is novel and

special to be able to see the planes refuel and

take off. I think toddlers might love it.

Jacky Adams

Early Years Open Mornings

The Early Years provision is ‘outstanding’ and is a strength of 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

Saturday 11th May 2019

Please register online. Alternatively book in for a Private Tour by email:

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

Tel: 01342 822275 - Registered Charity Number 307006



Cover art by Alej Ez




Mayor Janet Baah has

made it her mission to

bring about change.

She is, she tells me,

“passionate about

young people”, and it’s

this that has led her

to invite one hundred

local girls to the Town

Hall for a day. She

wants to hear what they

have to say.

Under the banner

‘Girls for Change:

Rights, Dignity,

Hope’, Janet has invited girls from secondary

and primary schools across the town to come

together on 25th April to articulate their hopes

and aspirations for life ten years from now.

And she means to follow through: checking

again with these girls in 2028, on the 100th

anniversary of women getting the vote, to see

how things have crystallised.

There’s more. Also on the guest list for the 25th

are politicians, cross-party, from the Houses of

Lords and Commons. For once, though, they’ll

not be there to speak as experts; they’ll be there

to listen. And to commit to making concrete

changes in the light of what they learn. “The

adults will be stepping back”, says Janet Baah.

“It’s the girls who will be doing the talking.

One hundred years ago, a group of women put

their lives on the line for us”, says Janet, who

passionately wishes for the girls of today to

remember this, and understand its relevance to

their own lives, here and now. And it is inspiring.

What a huge difference one young person can

make, we reflect together; just take Swedish

climate activist

Greta Thunberg, for


“There will always

be limitations”,

says Janet. “But I

don’t want these

girls to think they

can’t achieve things

because they’re

female. It’s about

creating awareness

and understanding.

And it’s not just about

the one date. I will

keep prodding; and I will revisit these young

women in ten years’ time. I knew what I wanted

to do when I arrived in office at the Town Hall; I

didn’t know how to do it. Now, as I near the end

of my tenure, here is my answer.”

Has she enjoyed her year as Mayor, I ask? “It’s

been fantastic. Everyone I’ve encountered has

welcomed and helped me”, she says. “And I’ve

been invited far afield to speak, often on young

people’s issues. This weekend, for instance, I was

speaking in Norbury on knife crime. Now the

time is drawing to a close, I just want to seize

every opportunity to help enable change.”

Here, Janet tells me, is her “mantra”: “It’s not

about the chain; it’s about change.” And I get

this. Every word she speaks confirms it.

At the event, there’ll also be an unveiling of a

Women’s Rights Banner, designed and made

by Heather Downie for the Reeves Suffragette

exhibition. This will hang in the Corn Exchange,

along with Human Rights information panels,

and the Reeves exhibition will also be on show

during the day. Charlotte Gann

Photo by Charlotte Gann



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

01323 870 022



The Brewers Arms

A welcoming local

The Brewers Arms feels

cosy and convivial on a

Monday night. There is

a strategic meeting of

some sort in one corner,

a family in another, and

a pair of friends catching

up at the bar. I’m happy

to discover a pool table

in the backroom, as well

as board games and a

small poster detailing a baby picture competition,

wherein people try to “guess the identities

of staff and customers from pictures when they

were younger”. It certainly feels like a communal

pub, as reflected in a local crowd familiar

enough to recognise one another as bairns.

There is a wide range of rotating guest ales

on tap, although Harvey’s Best is a permanent

fixture. I opt for Beavertown’s Gamma Ray

American Pale Ale, a refreshing pint on the

fizzier side of the pale ale spectrum. We started

with the garlic bread with cheese, featuring a

generous amount of cheddar on crunchy bread

(£3.70). My guest chose a beef burger (beef

supplied by Richards’ Butchers), and we both

enjoyed being able to select emmental cheese

on top of a toasted brioche bun, rather than

having a choice foisted upon you (4oz £4.50,

8oz £6.20). Other options include cheddar, brie,

stilton and chilli cheese, and the burger comes

packed with Romaine lettuce, beef tomato,

gherkins and red onion.

I chose the breaded whole-tail scampi, with

chunky chips and homemade tartare sauce

(£10). The scampi tasted fresh and flavourful,

melting in the mouth. The tartare sauce was a

sharp and aromatic complement

to the fish, and

the substantial, chunky

chips were nice and

crispy on the outside.

After some generous portions,

we needed a break

before our desserts: I

took the opportunity to

sample more ales. I was

chuffed to settle on a

hearty and hoppy new discovery: Side Pocket

For A Toad, a 3.6% Best. If it had been a Friday

night booze up on the cards rather than a food

review, I might have been tempted to try their

Snail’s Bank Rhubarb cider, or the more appealing

dry Biddenden cider at an eyewatering

8% ABV.

My friend was made up with the strawberry jam

sponge pudding with custard (£4), happy that

it felt pleasantly warming, “as a pudding should

be”. I was similarly pleased with my chocolate

fudge cake with vanilla ice cream (£4), my

favourite part of the meal: the filling was satisfyingly

thick, gooey and chocolatey.

The staff were very helpful, approachable, and

informative throughout, regularly checking in

that everything was ok, happy to offer extra

sauces and to make substitutions.

The Brewers Arms does a good job of combining

a friendly and traditional local pub with a

wide-ranging menu. It’s good value too: I was

struck by the range of food options available,

from £3.50 sandwiches to £10 chicken parmigiana

or bacon and onion suet pudding mains.

Joe Fuller

91 High St,

Photo by Joe Fuller


Photo by Chloë King


Hot Cross Bun &

Butter Pudding

Emily Clarke at Landport Community Café

Landport Community Café grew out of the

#241forFoodBanks campaign I launched to

encourage supermarket shoppers to donate food

that often gets wasted. I was looking for ways

to bring the community together and through

my work with the food banks I saw a need for

somewhere affordable to go out and eat.

It’s not about charity, it’s about making sure

that anyone and everyone can go out on a

Friday and have the night off from cooking.

Food waste was more of a driver for the project

than anything else. There is so much of it

everywhere. I recently got involved with the

Aldi Neighbourly Scheme, so now I collect

surplus food from them on Tuesdays.

This week I picked up loads of hot cross buns,

hence this pudding, which is a really tasty

way to use up stale bread. I make mine with

homemade vanilla custard with orange flower

water and then I tuck in nuggets of almond

paste. It’s the ultimate comfort food: sweet and

stodgy, warming and filling.

The other day, I was given about 80 mangoes.

They were in packets where one was ready to

eat and the other wasn’t. The home-ripening

ones weren’t even ripe and still they were about

to be chucked in the bin. My freezer is full of

delicious mango sorbet now, which will be on

the menu next week.

The café is pay by donation, so we have a

discrete tin that people pay into as they leave.

We have a lot of older people who live alone,

and we get loads of young families. It’s noisy and

informal, with big long tables so everyone sits


What’s really nice is to see people who have

lived on the same street for years but didn’t

know each other, sit together and chat. Loads of

friends have been made. We wanted it to be for

everybody and it has worked out like that.

We’re celebrating our second birthday on

26th April. We’ll have musicians performing

so people can stay on after their meal. I think

people’s perception of the café has changed.

When we started, people thought it was a soup

kitchen, but now people understand us better.

Everyone who comes here says, we’re eating

this delicious food, it’s shocking to think it

might just as easily be in the bin.

Ingredients: 300ml double cream, 600ml milk,

4 eggs, 100g golden caster sugar, 1tsp orange

flower water, 1 vanilla pod or ½ tsp vanilla

essence, 8 hot cross buns, 40g soft butter, 100g

homemade almond paste or shop-bought

marzipan, 3tbsp chunky marmalade

Method: Heat oven to 170c/150c fan. Warm

the cream, milk and vanilla in a pan over a

gentle heat until just steaming. Whisk the

eggs, sugar and orange flower water together

in a bowl, then gradually add the warm cream

mixture to make a custard.

Halve the buns and spread with butter. Put

them in a large ovenproof dish, push little blobs

of marzipan in between the buns and brush the

tops with marmalade.

Pour the custard over the buns and let them

soak it up well. Bake for about 45 mins, letting

the pudding cool a while before serving.

As told to Chloë King


Wishing everyone

a Happy Easter!


Du Jardin


Castle Chinese

Going vegan

According to the Vegan Society, there are now over 542,000 vegans in the

UK. What’s more, this vanguard has buying power, with sales of vegan

food increasing by 1,500 per cent in the last year.

It’s not just the supermarkets that are expanding their free-from selections

either; it’s also become a whole lot easier to eat out for those of us following

a plant-based diet. One of the latest restaurants in Lewes to introduce

a vegan menu is Castle Chinese, whose offering boasts 10 appetisers, two

different soups and 11 mains, as well as a selection of rice and noodles.

My vegan-for-the-night friend chose the Castle Lettuce Parcel with Minced Vegetables (£7.90) as her

starter, which (amusingly) proved to be self-assembly, with a pile of lettuce leaves accompanying her veggies.

I opted for the Salt & Chilli Chips (£4.95), which were delicious and perfectly seasoned.

For the main course, my friend went for Sizzling Monk Vegetables (£9.80), while I had Mixed Vegetables

with Fried Udon Rice Noodles (£6.60), which proved pleasingly chunky with a subtle flavour.

My only misgiving was that one dish on the menu contained honey (most vegans avoid all animal-derived

products) and egg noodles were listed – but the proprietor, who was very helpful and friendly, was

already aware of the issue and assured us the menu was being revised. Anita Hall

162 High Street.

enjoy a


bottle of wine

- Choose from either -

Maison l`Aiglon Chardonnay


Chemin de Marquiere Merlot

To redeem, simply present this advert when dining

Côte Brasserie Lewes


01273 311 344 |

Valid from 01/04/19 until 30/04/19 at Côte Lewes only. One

complimentary bottle of wine when 2 or more guests dine from

our À La Carte menu. Offer can only be used once and cannot be

used in conjunction with any other offer or Set Menu.

Lewes_VivaLewes_April2019.indd 1 15/03/2019 16:32:18


Bespoke Wedding

and Event Caterers

tel: 01273 694111


Edible updates

Delighted to

be returning to

Viva Lewes for

a suitably popup


I thought I’d

talk about

ethical eggs,

because my

son has recently become vegetarian. He’s

never liked cheese, but how about eggs?

“If we know where they come from.” I’ve

only ever bought free range, but this is an

interesting challenge. I’ve cuddled and fed

Baulcombes Barn chickens. Their eggs

are organic, sold by farmer and therapist

Owena Lewis, and she doesn’t trim their

beaks. Owena sells her own meat at the

Lewes Farmers Market, runs courses on

hen husbandry and has ‘community chickens’.

Or just buy her eggs, £2 a half dozen,

at the farm gate in Hamsey, 1st and 3rd

Sunday mornings.

Every Saturday in Lewes, Barcombe Nurseries

has a stall on the precinct where they

sell Demeter ‘biodynamic’ eggs (similar to

organic) from Forest Row, £2.50. Also on

the precinct, Wednesdays and Fridays, Lewesian

barrow boys Colin, Jeff and Sam sell

Holmansbridge (Barcombe) free range,

£1.50. Mac’s Farm in Ditchling sell their

own organic eggs from £1.75. At the Friday

Food Market, 9.30-1.30pm, Market Tower,

you can also buy organic local eggs from

Cheese Please (£2.25 from Barcombe).

In other news, also at the Friday Food Market,

spice queen Chloe of Seven Sisters

Spices, is now selling homemade ready

meals. And Café de Jardin has market day

moules frites every first Saturday, as well as

a Regions of France Supperclub – next one

is on 4th May. Tweet me food news


Illustration by Clare Dales

The Pelham arms



Best Burgers

for Miles

Home of

ABYSS Brewing

Award Winning

Sunday Roasts



Great Venue for


Children and

Dog Friendly





FOOD 12 NOON TO 2.30PM & 6 TO 9.30PM



FOOD 12 NOON TO 2.30PM & 6 TO 9.30PM


BAR 12 NOON TO 10.30PM







Photographer Benjamin Youd visited four people who work with

birds – or bats! He asked each of them: What’s the most interesting

fact you’ve learnt about them?

Susie Macmillan, Farm Manager at The Mac’s Farm

‘Hens are amazing, because they lay you a little present most days! They make

perfect pets as well, as they are so friendly, and nothing tastes as great as a freshly laid egg!’


Tiger Cox, Falconer at Freedom Outdoors

‘Peregrine Falcons have a top flight speed of 242 miles per hour!’


Kim Dawson, Specialist Advisor (Downland and Reserves)

and Sussex Batgroup committee member

‘Bats are a biological indicator species. This means, where there are bats, there is also

good insect life. Insect life relies on plants: we need more plant life and greenery!’


Samantha Sword, Aviaries Care Assistant

at Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare

‘We provide the best care for our rescue birds, but ultimately

they shouldn’t be kept as pets.’


Ashcombe Windmill

A labour of love

Although I work as a structural engineer, I first

studied Mechanical Engineering, at the University

of Sussex, and have always been drawn to

things that move in the landscape, particularly if

there’s a bit of history thrown in. Steam engines

do it for some; for me it’s windmills. Ashcombe

Windmill is the distinctive white mill standing

between Lewes and Kingston. For more than a

decade, I’ve been working in my spare time on

her reconstruction.

Had I been around in the nineteenth century

I could have stood at Ashcombe Windmill and

seen around twelve other mills at work. They

almost dominated the landscape. There were

three on Juggs Road alone: Kingston Mill,

Southern Mill and Ashcombe Mill. These were

features of the landscape that did not deserve to

be lost, but little nostalgia existed for them in

the late nineteenth century. Battered by weather,

they needed constant maintenance. As soon as

there was competition from larger steam mills,

they rapidly became a financial liability.

Ashcombe may have survived longer than many

because she arrived later on the scene. Built

in 1828 by Lewes millwright Samuel Medhurst,

assisted by journeyman millwright Jesse

Pumphrey, she was a bit showy with six sweeps

instead of the usual four (which were actually

better for milling). She was built to demonstrate

the industrial rebirth of Lewes following the

Napoleonic Wars. Over time, the weight of six

sweeps made her stoop forward – she became

headsick – and would have been difficult to push

around to face the wind. Doubtless this contributed

to her collapse in the spring of 1916 during

a storm. The post on which the mill body turned

was left standing like a sentry, with scattered

millstones and timber lying on the ground. We

find small remnants to this day.

Ashcombe Mill was ideal for reconstruction.

The location had not become obscured by trees

or buildings which would obstruct the wind.

She needed to be put back to work if she was

to come back to life. Renewable energy was an

obvious choice and, in 2007, an enlightened

planning committee approved our application –

which included both electricity production and

the option to install millstones. A big day for us.

We’ve been working on the project ever since.

Medhurst also worked on Jill Mill, in Clayton,

and Cross in Hand Mill. Both these, in addition

to photos of Ashcombe – which continue to

come to light – have proved invaluable. No shots

of the interior have been found and we’ve made

no attempt to replicate it. The internal framing

is now steel: unlike the original timber construction,

this should keep the mill bolt upright.

Today, the mill is run for short periods from

time to time while the mechanical components

are being commissioned. A larger electricity

generator is currently being installed and this

summer should see the mill return to more frequent

use. We live in a troglodyte world below

the base – it’s not so bad – and invite particular

interest groups for tours of the mill.

As told by James Tasker to Charlotte Gann

Photo by Charlotte Gann


Lewes Town & Country

Residential Sales & Lettings

Land & New Homes

T 01273 487444


Property of the Month Alciston Guide Price £1,395,000

Stunning early 19th Century Sussex Barn sympathetically restored to create a most spectacular residence, ideally

positioned in a semi-rural village location. This imposing brick, flint and oak structure offers open and expansive

living space with tall vaulted ceilings and stunning views across the South Downs National Park. EPC – 20

Coachworks - Blackboys From £185,000


development of six 3 & 4 bedroom family homes from

£399,950 and four 1 bedroom apartments. Finished to the

highest standard throughout and registered for Help To Buy.

Call now for further details. EPC - TBC

Valence Road - Lewes £469,950

Beautifully refurbished period house dating back to 1890.

Open living space with engineered wood floors and a through

lounge/dining room and new kitchen. Upstairs are 2 bedrooms,

with further loft room, impressive bathroom and occasional

room ideal as office or play room. EPC - 47

Westdown Heights - Seaford £695,000


4 detached 5 bedroom houses in central Seaford within walking

distance of the beach and train station. These substantial new

homes are finished to the highest standard offering generous

gardens, garages and 10 year new homes warranty. EPC - TBC

Shortgate Lane - Laughton £1,199,950

Stunning detached contemporary conversion in a village

location. Finished with the highest attention to detail and

spanning over 2,800sq.ft. this unique home offers a feature

double height open plan living space with designer kitchen

opening onto south facing sun terrace. EPC - TBC


Photos by Eleanor Knight

Sheds on the Nev

Flights of fancy

Stride up over the ridge at Landport Bottom,

under a sky trilling with larks, and you see them.

There, under the downward sweep of the sheep

field they nestle in gardens on the fringes of the

town. Pastel-painted, green-roofed, plain timber

or tumbledown, they are unobtrusive outposts of

industry, cabins of contemplation, little huts of

happiness. The Sheds of the Nev.

Whether it’s for the scent of sun-warmed shiplap,

the furtive creak of roofing felt as it stretches to

greet the Spring, or the quiet crunch of last year’s

desiccated insect life underfoot, a shed is a special

place, a sanctuary, a place to create, to build, to

dream. A shed is a fortress for the soul.

“I don’t really have rules in my shed,” says Jonathan

Smith, who paints in his. “Cups of tea are

permissible, and gallery curators are allowed in.

But it’s definitely not a party shed, it’s a working

space. It’s somewhere I can go to travel to the

places I’m working on.” Jonathan is currently

transported to the Hebrides and the shed is full

of blue-violet seas and granite-grey island skies.

The canvases themselves are soon to be transported

to the Kellie Miller Gallery in Brighton.

A few doors along, saxophonist Lisa Guile says,

“I don’t mind about the dead woodlice and the



general scuzziness and oh, excuse the nail-bar,

that was for a children’s party a while ago. The

shed is definitely not a pretty space, it’s just

somewhere I can come and get on with things.

I can get some practice done up here in the

evenings without distraction.” What about the

cup of tea question? “Being up here means I’m

concentrating so I have to think twice. Shall I

have a cup of tea? No. Because I’d have to go

back through the garden and inside the house.

So it makes me keep going.”

The appeal of putting some fresh air between

oneself and one’s nearest and dearest – not to

mention a few feet of lawn, shrubs, or raised

beds – cannot be overestimated.

“Every woman should have a shed,” says herbalist

and storyteller Kym Murden, channelling

Virginia Woolf, whose room-of-one’s-own is the

most famous example locally. (Look, she called

it a ‘writing lodge’ but we all know. It’s a shed. )

Kym’s little cabin is actually rather posh – she’s

got heating. Dark glass bottles line the shelves,

in the corner there’s a herb press, and there’s

a neat desk and a couple of chairs. It’s a warm,

convivial space, with spring sunlight pouring

in over the Downs above. And like other little

wooden boxes, it turns out to be something of a

confessional as well. “People tell me all sorts of

things about their lives in here,” she explains. “A

shed is an elemental space. It’s made of wood and

you walk through the garden to get to it, so it

makes people relax.”

Philip Larkin once wrote that he saw life as

‘an affair of solitude diversified by company.’

Should’ve had a shed. Eleanor Knight













OFFER! £10 off your first treatment.


VIVA LEWES. Offer ends April 30th


available at The Open Door


Health Centre, CHURCH


Amber Thorne to discuss your


and book: 07375047401





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tension. Release physical and emotional stress.

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"This treatment is very different from most I have

experienced. Starting with a relaxing cycle of

lights over my eyes with the glasses, I began to

feel much lighter. I felt different parts of my

body soften and relax. Amber then followed this

with a program tailor-made just for me and my

personal health issues. From eyestrain to

asthma, back ache and a sore knee, each area

was addressed in a very thorough session. I was

left feeling very relaxed and much lighter all

round, with all the aches and pains completely


Sally P."



Body talk

We try Applied Kinesiology

In the 20-plus years I’ve

been a health writer, I’ve

tested out numerous

alternative therapies, from

aromatherapy to zero balancing.

Yet there’s one I’ve

never tried, and, although

I’ve done my research, I’m

not sure what to expect as

I arrive at the Lewes clinic

of Applied Kinesiologist

Marek Urbanowicz.

“Applied Kinesiology, or

AK, is used to evaluate how muscles function,”

Marek explains. The aim, he adds, is to identify

imbalances in the body, which might be

muscular in origin, or relate to deeper, organ

dysfunction, or even emotional issues.

Devised by chiropractor George Goodheart

in 1964, AK is often associated with diagnosing

food intolerances and allergies, but Marek

states that makes up “only about five per cent

of what we do. It’s useful to know what to

avoid, but we need to know much more than

that. The emphasis is very much on the structural

side of things, and the body’s biochemistry.

We treat the cause, not just the symptom,

and can help with all kinds of different things.”

In the spirit of ‘showing’ rather than ‘telling’,

he then asks me to stand, so he can assess my

posture. My other job is teaching yoga, so I

feel I have a reasonable working knowledge

of the body’s muscles, but I find myself in new

territory as Marek demonstrates how they

“switch on and off”. When I place my left foot

and right arm forward, I am able to resist easily

as he presses down on my forearm. However,

when he performs the same muscle test with

Photo by Denis Fraser

my other foot in front,

I can’t prevent my arm

from lowering. I’m


This, Marek says, is

because, when we walk,

the arms and legs work

in opposition, with

muscles alternately

becoming active or

passive. The same

principle enables him

to determine when

muscles aren’t functioning properly.

Next I lie down while Marek checks movement

and resistance in different sets of muscles.

Each time he finds a problem, he works on it,

pressing into the trouble spot until it releases,

then retesting the muscle. He corrects a slight

twist he detects in my pelvis, massages my right

shoulder, and rebalances my neck and lower

back – and I begin to think my yogic posture

might not be quite as good as I’d imagined.

The results of Marek’s ministrations seem

almost magical, as muscles that formerly struggled

to hold steady now stay firm, while my

rotation to the right is fuller and easier, with

my neck and shoulders twisting more freely.

Based on his findings, Marek sends me away

with the recommendation to start taking a zinc

supplement. He also suggests a couple of home

tests I can perform to see if my stomach acid

levels and thyroid function are healthy, as he

suspects these may be problem areas for me.

I leave feeling impressed by my experience of

AK – although, I have to admit, I still don’t

fully understand it… Anita Hall


Domestic Pet, Farm Animal and Equine Services

Your local



since 1865


21 Cliffe High Street

01273 473 232


01273 302 609


01273 814 590


01323 815120 |


Illustration by Mark Greco


A lot less bovver

Everyone loves bees don’t they? The recent

revelations that our bees are in decline has

prompted protests and petitions and highlighted

the important service these buzzing

pollinators provide to our planet. Without

them our crops and ecosystems would

collapse. Yet many other pollinators which

provide the same service don’t get the same

level of public support. So today I’m waving

my flag for the hoverflies.

There’s something about hoverflies which

just doesn’t make them as lovable as bees.

Perhaps it’s because most of the time people

mistake them for wasps. This isn’t totally

our fault because that’s exactly what the

hoverflies want you to think. It’s all a cunning

strategy called Batesian mimicry.

The 283 species of hoverfly in the UK come

in many shapes, colours and sizes but most

of them sport yellow and black stripes making

them easily confused with wasps, bees,

hornets, bumblebees or the Commercial

Square Bonfire Society. But unlike bees and

wasps, hoverflies are harmless. They don’t

sting and can’t bite but they have discovered

you don’t have to actually be dangerous to

deter predators – you just have to look like

something that’s dangerous.

Yet their devious mimicry isn’t the most

incredible thing about them. Their wings

are the things.

Hoverflies (like all flies) have just two wings

(half as many wings as bees and wasps).

Whereas other flies keep their wings

straight, hoverflies have the inclination to

incline their wings and an angled downward

stroke at a remarkable rate of 120 beats per

second allows them to fly to a most amazing

place: nowhere. Hoverflies have become the

motionless masters of mid-air.

It’s not all sitting around in the sky though.

During their few days of life hoverflies

fight, fornicate and feed. While busy collecting

energy-giving nectar and proteinrich

pollen they inadvertently provide that

vital pollination service to our flowers and

crops. And hoverflies have earned the title

of ‘The Gardener’s Friend’ because about

40% of them have a larval stage which is

basically a tiny crawling stomach that roams

around your flowerbed eating pesky aphids.

Pollination, pest control – next thing you

know these beneficial little insects will be

mowing the front lawn for us too.

Michael Blencowe, Senior Learning & Engagement

Officer, Sussex Wildlife Trust


1,000 of your neighbours

each owns a share in

Lewes Football Club.

They want to support their local club,

because Lewes FC owners get great discounts:

- 25% off glasses at Specsavers Lewes branch

- 25% off food (not set menu) at ASK Italian Lewes

- 10% off at Intersport

and more big discounts at over 50 other

local shops, restaurants and other businesses.

You can become a Lewes FC owner, too,

for as little as £30/year:

You can save all of that in just one trip to

Specsavers (or to ASK if you’re feeling hungry)

It takes less than one minute to sign up.

Join us and feel great.



Lewes FC Academy

The future is bright…

“This Academy is absolutely

the real deal,” says

Charlie Dobres, Lewes

FC Director, sitting on

the grassy bank by the side

of the Dripping Pan pitch,

in the early spring sun.

There’s some big news,

which he’s clearly excited

about: Lewes FC have

teamed up with Plumpton

College in order to expand

their ‘Academy’ set up,

offering courses starting in September. I’m here

to find out more.

“We are offering young men and women, who

want to become professional footballers, the

chance to study for two years for their ‘A’ Levels

and BTEC,” he says, “whilst simultaneously receiving

intensive and high-level football coaching

from our team of experienced coaches.”

Seasoned Lewes FC-watchers might be thinking

‘hang on, wasn’t there an academy before?

Didn’t it all get folded up?’ “Yes and no,” says

Charlie. “We had a boys’ academy, where we

used virtual educational providers to teach

the lads, here at the Dripping Pan, while we

provided the football training. This was successful,

with the likes of Ronnie Conlon and

Harry Reed making it to the first team. But for

financial reasons, we realised that wasn’t the best

model for the students or for us, so we had to

have a rethink.

“More recently we have been running an

academy for young women, which has been far

more successful, because we teamed up with

an academic establishment, Newman College,

Brighton. Basically, they provide the education,

and pay us to do the football training. It’s a

much more sustainable

model.” So far Ava Rowbotham

has made it all

the way to the first-team

squad; there are sure to

be others behind her.

The link-up with

Newman will continue

for young women; the

courses at Plumpton

College will be on offer

for a new intake of both

sexes, though the Boys’

Academy won’t open its doors till 2020. Charlie

is negotiating with another local educational

establishment, so boys can also have a choice of

environments to study in.

“All the football training will take place at The

Rookery 3G training pitch on Ham Lane,” he

continues. “The girls will be given three training

sessions a week – like the first team players

– and a match. The coaches are of exceptionally

high quality. There’s Fran Alonso, the Lewes

FC Women’s manager, who used to coach the

likes of Wayne Rooney at Everton; there’s

Simon Parker, who used to be the manager of

the hugely successful Southampton Women’s

team; and there’s Jesus Cordon, another UEFAqualified


Lewes FC are not just in it for the sake of the

kids, of course. The best of these youngsters,

Charlie concludes, will graduate to play in the

first XI of both the men’s and women’s teams.

“We are doing what we can to nurture budding

talent, for the good of the players, and the good

of the club. This is the dawning of an exciting

new era.” Alex Leith

For more details, including of trials in April, see



Historic buildings ready for new businesses

One of the chief attractions of Lewes town centre is

its vibrant independent businesses. Shops with living

accommodation above them can be something of

a rarity, but may offer the ideal opportunity to work

from home. Properties like these allow easy access

to schools, railway & bus stations, shops, cafés and

walks on the South Downs. The need for a car is

reduced, commute times are minutes not hours.

Family time is extended, quality of life enhanced.

There are currently two unique properties of this

nature available. These Grade II listed buildings

demonstrate the individual character which make

Lewes so special. Both 1 Malling Street and 154

High Street are currently available through Rowland

Gorringe Estate Agents.

Whether you have an existing business or want to

start a new one, these locations can give you the

exposure needed to help grow your business.

Both the vendors have known the benefits of living

and working in the same building, allowing business

and family to grow side by side. Alternatively, living

accommodation can be rented out, helping to cover

the costs of the retail space.

These buildings will allow creative, design or artistic

minded people to find their market and develop

their business ideas. Both these properties offer

an opportunity to revitalise our High Street, the

future of which will increasingly depend on those

enterprises and services which can’t easily be

bought online.

If this inspires your curiosity, then please contact

Rowland Gorringe on 01273 474101.

64 High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1XG

01273 474101


Lewes’ latest clothes chain, Little House of Oasis,

opened on the High Street in March, in what was

until recently Santander (and for those of you with

long memories, Marsh the butcher). I popped in for

a freebie glass of prosecco and tub of popcorn on

opening day. It’s nice and colourful, and stretches

surprisingly far back down the hill.

And welcome to two new independent shops: first

up, Organica, a ‘haven’ upstairs at the Riverside,

offering a mix of plants and fresh-cut flowers, and

environmentally-friendly fair-trade gifts from local

artists: expect vegan wax candles and organic soaps.

It’ll smell nice up there.

And also Steam Dream, who have taken the unit

by the well downstairs at the Needlemakers. Check

out owner Can’s upcycled jewellery and other doctored

accoutrements, all of a steam-punk nature.

Talking of steam dreams (thank you), the long

running plan to turn the old Turkish Baths into a

yoga and wellbeing centre – The Unity Centre –

has finally got the green light from the Council.

Founder Sevanti has been operating from Brighton

for over 20 years: she promises to aim her service at

the whole community.

And there’s a new practitioner at the Open Door

Complementary Health Centre in Church Twitten:

Amber Thorne is offering biophoton light therapy;

there’s a Viva offer on page 92.

Of course, the new Alistair Fleming store is up and

running on Cliffe High Street (see, too, page 23);

their old premises, round the corner on Malling

Street, featuring a shop downstairs and accommodation

upstairs, is now on the market. A fine spot.

Lastly, on the retail front, don’t forget it’s Record

Store Day on Sat 13th April: Union Music Store

will be opening its doors at 8am, for those who are

sniffing out the special RSD releases on offer (see and there will be in-store

sessions throughout the day.

Good luck to everybody involved with Jamie’s

Farm, who’re opening up on a site between Plumpton

and Cooksbridge. These guys offer residential

courses to disadvantaged kids, with great results.

Congratulations to Oakley Property, who won

first place in the British Property Awards for both

their Lewes and Shoreham offices. This is their

third award in the last few months.

A new Lewes business is The Lewes PA – offering

personal assistance to anyone who needs it,

including help with shopping, cleaning, gardening,

admin… (See Facebook@thelewespa).

And, finally… we’re very proud to be one of eleven

global, national and local companies who have

become launch partners for Equality Supporters

Club, a Lewes FC-backed enterprise campaigning

for gender equality in football. Lewes, of course,

this season became the first club in the world to pay

their women the same as their men, and they don’t

want to stop there. We’re fully behind the scheme,

and are proud to be standing alongside the likes of

Harvey’s Brewery, Twitter, Knill James, Lucozade

Sport, Kappa, Engine Sport, Philcox, Finsbury,

Brighton & Hove Buses and Cederberg Capital. If

your business would like to invest in this process,

apparently there’s plenty more room…

Alex Leith


Trustworthy, reliable and friendly Lewes-based

Personal Assistant (PA) available.

I can help you with all aspects of everyday

life – whether you just need a bit of

organisational support for a hectic life, or to

stay independent in your own home.

My services include cooking, shopping,

light cleaning/gardening, pets/children,

administration, organisation, tip runs – or

anything else you may need help with.*

I have worked in the community for over 20

years and have all relevant certification and

insurance, including DBS vetting.

Short- or long-term support available, or

one-off help as required.

* I am not able to offer personal care.

For a friendly, informal chat to discuss your needs, please call

me on 07816 456560 or email me at

Find me on Facebook @thelewespa



As from 1st April, all VAT-registered

businesses and individuals

are required to Make Tax

Digital. What does this mean?

In a nutshell, VAT-registered

businesses need to keep their accounting

records in digital format,

so handwritten books will no longer be allowed.

Figures need to be submitted to HM Revenue

by digital link. The rules are quite complex and

there are exceptions, so it’s worth talking to your


Have you been advising small businesses

what to do about it? If so, what? Yes absolutely,

we’ve been helping clients pick the right

software for their business. Cloud-based systems

are really good for this but, contrary to the

adverts on TV, may not be the right choice for

everyone and some will be better

off using spreadsheets and ‘bridging

software’ that links them to


Is this move likely to increase

clients’ administrative burden? It

will increase for many in the short

term, but embracing technology that makes it

easier to keep an accurate track of your financial

position will definitely benefit most businesses.

What other areas do you advise on? We work

with a wide range of individuals, businesses and

charities, helping with everything from setting

up accounts software and running their payrolls

through to their year end accounts and advising

on sensible tax planning.

Andrew M Wells Accountancy, 99 Western Road.


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

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• European systems serviced and installed

• Gutters cleared • CCTV installed



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All work in the house, big or small:


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Tel 01273 480360 Mob 07973 483358


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Nimmo’s Windows is a family

run company based in Seaford,

covering the whole of the

South Coast and London.

Jon is a registered Equinox

roof installer and a certified

Certass installer and surveyor

and carries with him many

years of knowledge and skills.

Jon Nimmo

Qualified Equinox roof installer



We are a building company specialising in residential

extensions, refurbishments, loft conversions

and conservation work on listed buildings.

We pride ourselves on paying attention to detail,

using bespoke materials and bringing projects

in on time and on budget.

Contact us for a free quote and please

visit the website for more info:

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Plumbing & Heating

Design & Installation



Boilers/Central heating

Gas Safe Registered

Tiling / Woodwork

Free estimates & Advice

T: 01273 487 565 M. 07801 784 192




The Lewes Seamstress

t: 01273 470817 m: 07717 855314


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plastering work and finishes.

TELEPHONE: 01273 472 836

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lantern roofs and bi-folding doors.

Trading in your area for over 30 years

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Project1/NEWSIZE_Layout 1 18/01/2012 14:59 Page 1

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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We also stock vehicle batteries, wiper

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Tel: 01273 481000 | Web: |



We can work it out





T: 01273 961334





Andrew M Wells Accountancy

99 Western Road Lewes BN7 1RS

neck or back pain?

Lin Peters - OSTEOPATH

for the treatment of:

neck or low back pain • sports injuries • rheumatic

arthritic symptoms • pulled muscles • joint pain

stiffness • sciatica - trapped nerves • slipped discs

tension • frozen shoulders • cranial osteopathy

pre and post natal

20 Valence Road Lewes 01273 476371


Kym Murden

BA Hons Dip Phyt

Weaving wellness together

whatever your age.

Herb & Health Workshops


Appointments 07780 252186

drew Wells_Viva Lewes_AW.indd 1 25/06/2012 09:05


Doctor P. Bermingham

Retired Consultant Psychiatrist. Retired Jungian Psychoanalyst.

Assoc. Med. Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy for the

psychological core of depression, depressive illness and relapse.

Supervision for therapists

Coranne Campbell

Reiki Master Practitioner

Tel 07584 572226

Energy healing complementary therapy

Acupuncture, Alexander Technique, Bowen

Technique, Children’s Clinic, Counselling,

Psychotherapy, Family Therapy,

Herbal Medicine, Massage,

Nutritional Therapy, Life Coaching,

Physiotherapy, Pilates, Shiatsu,



Taking a Natural Approach

at Menopause

Offering informaaon & support for over 16 years

Appointments at The Cliffe Clinic


The Cliffe

Osteopathy &


Health Clinic

Tom Lockyer


Mother’s Day & Easter presents

We have a seleccon of beauuful soaps & bath

fizzers from Somerset Toiletries

“Know your numbers”

Have you had your FREE NHS Health Check?

• Cholesterol • Blood Pressure

• Height/weight/BMI • Diabetes

(* available to eligible paaents – contact to enquire)


Make sure you request your prescrippons in

plenty of me. We will be closed for 4 days in

April from Good Friday 19th, 20th 21st & 22nd.

We will be open as normal all other days.

(Closed between 1-2pm)


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

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



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

Ruth HEALTH Wharton Viva Advert 8.18 AW.qxp_6 03/12/2018 13



BA (Hons) BSc (Hons) Ost Med DO

ND MSc Paediatric Ost






BA (Hons) Dip Nat Nut CNM








(individual, adolescent and family)


INTRINSIC HEALTH • 01273 958403

32 Cliffe High Street, Lewes BN7 2AN

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• Friendly clinic in lewes with free parking outside | 01273 477030


Ages 16 and up from an experienced, qualified teacher

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

Kingston, Lewes (Ample parking)

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

Vehicle Servicing, Repairs and MOT Service: 01273 472691 |



Every month we ask Tom and Tania, from

Reeves, to come up with a suggested themerelated

picture from the photography studio’s

archives. This one is listed as ‘Pelham Arms

and fowl’ and dated 1899. ‘Over to you’, said


A little detective work in The Keep is enough

to work out the probable identities of the five

people posing for Benjamin Reeves’ camera.

Five? Look carefully in the doorway, and you

can make out the portly figure of a middleaged

man: this is surely George Ade, landlord

of the Pelham at that time, according to Pike’s

Directory, and 56 years old.

According to the 1891 census, George had

four children – three girls and a boy – who

would be the following ages in 1899: Nelly,

30; Mabel, 28; Bertha, 22; and Edwin, 21.

These are surely the four in the picture, all

in their Sunday best, despite the fact they are

handling fowl.

Which sister is which, is a matter of speculation.

Nelly (centre?) never married and

became a school mistress in Lewes. Mabel

(right?) married an ironmonger, and moved

out to Edenbridge. Bertha (left?) never married

either, or at least she hadn’t by 1911, when

she is listed as being single. Perhaps she was

enamoured by the photography business that

day: she became a photographer’s assistant,

working for Philip Ernest Smith, just a few

doors up from Reeves.

Edwin married, but sadly didn’t live to see his

children grow up. He was wounded in action

in 1917, and died in a military hospital, back in

England. He was buried in Lewes.

He outlived his father, however. George, it

is recorded in the Sussex Agricultural Express,

died of ‘heart disease, dropsy and Bright’s

Disease’ in March 1903.

So why, you may ask, all the chickens? In the

1901 census, George is listed as ‘publican and

victualler’, suggesting he sold more than just

beer and spirits. We reckon the Pelham did a

roaring trade in eggs.

Alex Leith

Reeves, 159 High St, 01273 473274. Visit to see

more old photos on sale as cards or prints.



chartered financial planners

Your finances

your lifestyle

your future

Plan to make it happen


What money will you need in the future? We focus on helping you achieve

the returns you require on your investible wealth.

Successful investing isn’t about trying to beat the market. It’s about

delivering the returns you need to achieve your unique lifetime ambitions.

Our evidence-based approach is designed to do just that. Why take risks

with your money when you don’t need to?

Visit our website for more information or call us to arrange a free,

no-obligation meeting on 01273 407 500.

Herbert Scott Ltd, St Anne's House, 111 High Street, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 1XY

Tel: 01273 407 500 Email: Web:

Herbert Scott Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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