Viva Lewes Issue #153 June 2019


Viva Lewes June 2019 | No. 153




‘He walked alone along the Downs, this sad, ungainly man with beer-shot

eyes who loved a girl in Earl’s Court – carrying an old bag of borrowed

clubs and thinking of nothing but his game of golf. His face shone, his

eyes gleamed…’ *

Ah. The rejuvenating benefits of fresh air and exercise?

Sport is our theme for this month, and it’s been fun. Joe swung a club at Lewes Golf

Club. Anita Hall, a mallet, at the Cheyney Croquet Club. And I rolled up at Soulfit for

a class of Iyengar Yoga with much-lauded Ali Hahlo.

Meanwhile, Eleanor Knight, who starts her Keyboard worrier column this issue, shares

a novel suggestion for how we all might get out on those hills. While the twitten runners

have come up with an idea almost as bizarre – and made it their weekly reality.

On top of all sorts of sport, we hear from Lewes Open Door on their plans, next winter,

for a Night Shelter. Plus, the director of The Winter’s Tale on contemporary Shakespeare;

the star of The Girl on the Train on life on the road; Helen Browning-Smith who’s,

among other things, organising this month’s Gin & Fizz Festival; and the artist who’s

painting The Towner. Literally. While wooden-kayak maker Chris Tipper shows us his

magical workshop by the sea, in Newhaven. And Douglas Taylor shares a fine tribute to

his brother-in-law, legendary Penguin Art Director, John Hamilton.

* from perhaps my all-time favourite novel, Patrick Hamilton’s 1941 Hangover Square.



EDITOR: Charlotte Gann

SUB-EDITOR: David Jarman


ART DIRECTOR: Katie Moorman

ADVERTISING: Sarah Hunnisett, Amanda Meynell



CONTRIBUTORS: Michael Blencowe, Sarah Boughton, Mark Bridge, Emma Chaplin, Hasia Curtis, Fiona Dennis,

Lulah Ellender, Daniel Etherington, Anita Hall, John Henty, Robin Houghton, Eleanor Knight, Dexter Lee, Alex Leith,

Chris Lewis, Lizzie Lower, Carlotta Luke, Anna Morgan, Galia Pike, Rachael Playforth and Douglas Taylor

PUBLISHER: Becky Ramsden

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



© Peter Blake, 2019. All rights reserved

Bits and bobs.

8-27. Cover artist Chris Lewis on the

essence of good design; Helen Browning-

Smith looks out onto the town she

promotes; Photo of the month, from

Chapel Hill; Greek Ava; Lewes Open Door

Night Shelter seeks volunteers; Lewes Toad

in the Hole in numbers; Jamie’s Farm on

the benefits of responsibility and reflection;

the word is spread to California and The

Gambia; review of Louisa Thomsen Brits’

Path; U3A bike rides sound lots of fun;

Carlotta Luke photographs Magnificent

Motors; Craig wins at everything.


29-33. David Jarman on writers at the

cricket; Eleanor Knight meets doom with

a smile and a wave; and John Henty on

editing sports rather than doing it.

On this month.

35-49. Sir Anthony Seldon on why being

PM is an impossible job; meet 14-year old

cricket prodigy, Arwyn James; Same Sky

celebrates its 30th birthday; Billy Bragg



explains Americana before appearing at

Black Deer; Samantha Womack stars in

The Girl on the Train at Theatre Royal;

Lewes Skittles Tournament is at The

Grange; Lewes Little Theatre reinterprets

The Winter’s Tale; and Dexter Lee

rounds up this month’s movies; while

Chris Horlock mourns a Lost Brighton.


51-61. Penguin Art Director John


Hamilton, remembered by Douglas

Taylor; Sir Peter Blake is at Farleys;

Art and about, including Moon Gazing,

Horizonalia, Sussex Printmakers, a Secret

Art Auction, and many others; and Lothar

Götz paints the outside of The Towner.

Listings and Free time.

63-79. Diary dates, including open

gardens in Southover and Southease,

There’s no Planet B day, Raft Race,

Dalloway Day, and masses more; Classical

roundup stars Lewes Chamber Music

Festival celebrating Fauré, plus Hamsey

Festival, Glynde Place Concerts, and

others; Gig of the month is Sandra Kerr,

Photo by Ben Broad



plus ROME, Subhumans, English dance

tunes, Capella, among others; Free time

listings, including The Jungle Book,

Doctor Dolittle and Teddy Bears Picnic;

Bags of Books review of Football School

Star Players; why to try Knockhatch;

and tennis coaching for juniors at the


Food and garden.

81-86. Joe eats his fill at The Pelham

Arms; enjoy a Gin & Fizz cocktail recipe

from The Copper Top bar; Emma

Chaplin picnics; and Fiona Dennis on

summer borders.

The way we work.

88-91. Or rather, the way we skate.

Photographer Ben Broad captures


skateboarders in action at Malling

skatepark. What’s so great about

skateboarding?, he asks.


93-108. Running the twittens with

Rob Read and friends; We try…

Iyengar yoga; croquet in Ringmer;

a round of golf at Lewes Golf Club;

Patrick Gilmartin teaches front crawl

Wednesday evenings at the Pells; and

Chris Tipper shows us round his Selkie

Kayaks; Michael Blencowe on Big Daddy

the stagbeetle; Alex Leith goes businessnews



Inside left.

122. Running prevails: a vintage snap

from the 80s.


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


Spirit of the Rainbow

We are starting a movement

Awakening to Oneness

Oneness means our first loyalty is to our humanity, above any country, religion

or ideology: humanity both in the sense of all human beings and also of human

decency, kindness, compassion. Oneness means we recognise we are part of nature

and that we treat our environment with reverence and respect. Oneness works

too at a personal level as we grow into a sense of wholeness. Oneness means we

recognise that we are children of our universe however we experience it.


Come and share your ideas so together we can:

• deepen our experience of oneness

• spread our message locally and globally

• build a world based on oneness

Come to our first meeting on the 22nd June 2019

Starting at 2.30pm and ending c.3.30pm

@ Conference Room 2, Brighton Library, Jubilee St, Brighton BN1 1GE

For further information contact


Chris Lewis, who created

our lovely cover, is a graphic

designer, who works under

the brand Studio Lewis.

Until now based in Brighton,

he’s just – the week we meet

to chat – in the throes of

moving to Lewes. “We pick

up the keys on Saturday”,

he says, “so I’m in the midst

of packing boxes. Exciting


Chris has recently been

working on a project all

about the charms of Lewes

and its surrounding area.

In partnership with Helen

Browning-Smith (see page

11), he’s been leading the

rebrand of Visit Lewes. He’s

also designed our excellent

skittles cover. How did he

arrive at the finished product,

I ask?

“Well, I took your theme of

sport. I thought quite a bit

about the Lewes women’s

football team –

doing something

about numbers

on shirts, or

something. But

though there’s

so much to be

interested in

in that story,

as an image, it

wasn’t speaking

to me.”

This is often

the challenge

in design work, we agree.

So, when Chris alighted on

the idea of skittles, another

Lewes sport, he felt much

happier. “So simple – but

with an element of surprise.”

Like much good design.

Born in Wales, Chris moved

to Sussex – Rustington, near

Littlehampton – aged six.

He’s always had a fascination

with design and studied at

Bath Spa before graduating

in 2003.

From 2011, he worked for

seven years in Hove-based

We Like Today before, a year

ago, branching out alone.

Chris really enjoyed his time

there. “We Like Today is an

architectural, interior and design

agency and it was great

being part of a team that had

the opportunity to work on

all aspects of a job, not just

the print side,” he says. “I

was lucky enough to work

on great projects such as the

redevelopment of The Bell in

Ticehurst (the neon sculpture



is my own handwriting which

I still find thrilling), The

Better Half pub in Hove, The

Old Laundry at Shepherds

Bush Market and Platf9rm.”

So, what’s the essence of a

good brand design, I ask?

“A resonance with the past.

A logo should make an emotional

connection with the

person who sees it. It should

tell a story. So, with the

new Visit Lewes logo, we’ve

linked to the checks of the

old town shields – at the same

time as designing something

new, and contemporary. Or,

with Franklins Brewery, in

Ringmer, the design plays

with a little pattern that

echoes the fields of the South

Downs. I also really enjoyed

working with the zero-waste

Silo restaurant in Brighton – a

restaurant unlike any other.

I contributed some design

to the Silo book that’s being

released soon.

“For the Visit Lewes rebranding,

our whole focus has been

on the vibrancy of the town

and its environs today: all the

characters who live and work

here. The artists, the makers,

the cyclists and the shopkeepers

to name but a few. It’s

about celebrating the people

by sharing their stories… ”

Charlotte Gann


Celebrate the serenity

and elegance of the

waterlilies on our lakes

© National Trust 2019 . Registered charity, No. 205846. © National Trust Images \Nina Elliot-Newman.

The Waterlily Festival

Sheffield Park and Garden

8 June - 14 July

Free Waterfall Walks

Lino Print or Photography Workshops

Waterlilies to take home from our plant sales area

Art installations

And more...

Sheffield Park, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 3QX

Photo by Charlotte Gann


How long have you lived in Lewes? I’m Sussex

born and bred – grew up in Burgess Hill – and

have always visited Lewes. I moved here in 2006,

when my daughter Flora started school. Three

years ago we moved to this flat in the High Street.

I look out onto Victory’s face every morning – the

War Memorial is right outside my window.

You work as Tourism & Arts Manager for

Lewes District & Eastbourne Borough

Councils? Yes, I’ve been in this job since January.

I concentrate on the Lewes District. It’s easy

to promote a place I love so much myself. I’m

passionate about the town’s unique cultural

identity. I’ve always been drawn to its slight

rebelliousness, as well as its wealth of art and

culture. On top of that, we have the Downs – I

love how you can see them from wherever you

are in the town – and of course the coast nearby.

It’s also great collaborating with so many

excellent freelancers. I’ve been working with

your cover artist, Chris Lewis, recently on

rebranding Lewes tourism – bringing it up to

date – including creating a new website which

should be live by June. We hope people will

take a look, and like what they see. Chris has

been brilliant. Carlotta Luke, Nigel French

and Peter Cripps have supplied some beautiful

photography. Meanwhile, Galia Pike’s helping

me with the Gin & Fizz Festival, and Charlotte

Parsons co-ordinates Artwave. These are the two

big events we organise each year, but I’m hoping

we can develop more, in time.

The Gin & Fizz Festival is in the Grange

in June: how did it come about, and what’s

involved? This is its third year (well, third and

a half, because we also did a smaller version in

December, at Late Night Shopping). The first

summer event was in 2017. Three of us together

came up with the idea (although I wasn’t yet

in this role then). We wanted to find a way to

celebrate all the amazing local drinks producers,

and we’re thrilled with how it’s turned out. The

first festival sold out. This year, we’re expanding.

There’ll be a daytime event, with talks, music

curated by Union Music, and a vintage ice cream

van. Between 4-5pm we’ll be busy transforming

for the evening: the ice cream van will make

way for the Harvey’s mobile bar and a converted

horsebox-bar – Coppertop, from Brighton – will

serve cocktails of locally sourced drinks.

Our issue theme is Sports. What’s your

favourite way to exercise? Well, I’m definitely

a walker – who could not be, living here? I don’t

drive, so walk all over town. Climbing Chapel

Hill doesn’t present too much of a challenge. I

also like cycling. I’ll be pleased to see Egret’s

Way open fully soon. Once it’s finished, there’ll

be a direct link by bike from Lewes all the way to

Paris – which seems pretty special in these, um,

interesting times. Interview by Charlotte Gann

Tickets to Sussex Gin & Fizz in advance

from the website, Tourist Information, or

Harvey’s. 29 June, Grange, 11am-4pm; 5-10pm.;




Mike Morton sent in this brilliant black and white photo after a walk up Chapel Hill. We love it, including

the clouds and Landport Bottom in the far ground. A picture to pore over for ages.

Here’s what Mike told us:

‘My wife and I often walk around Lewes, and on this particular day we decided to walk up to the golf

club, and then across the Downs to Glyndebourne. Being a VERY keen photographer, I always carry a

camera. We kept stopping along the way up the hill to look back at the view (and catch our breath), and

this great view of the town presented itself. I love the detail in the monochrome picture, because there

are no distracting colours to attract the eye.’

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.




Ava, 2ish, adopted earlier this year from Greece.

An uncertain mix of Labrador, Spaniel and Kakoni

(a Greek breed). If she likes you she’ll ‘hug’ your leg,

and she sneezes when excited. Join the club, pal.

Ava was brought over by Desperate Greekies Greek

Dog Rescue Centre – just check out their website

for gorgeous dogs needing homes (as I’ve just been

doing, while periodically whimpering). Find them at

Back to Ava.

Loves: Mrs Hinch, blanket generalisations, Welsh


Hates: flashers, clickbait, the novels of Walter Scott

Useless dog trivia: Your dog is as intelligent as a

two-year-old toddler, but without the tantrums.

According to research carried out by online journal Frontiers in Zoology, dogs like to poo in alignment

with Earth’s magnetic field – ideally in a north-south axis. Who funds this stuff?


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The worst of the winter is well behind us, but

Lewes’s own homeless charity, Lewes Open

Door, is already making plans to offer a muchneeded

night shelter service to support homeless

people through next winter. We didn’t have one

in place this last winter, though we really hoped

to, and are determined to do so for the coming

one. Local churches have been quick to offer

the physical accommodation on a rotating basis:

now, LOD is seeking volunteers to run the night

shelter that will provide warmth, security and

hot food when it’s most needed.

The team running the night shelter project

have identified the need for two very different

kinds of volunteer. First, there’s the night shift

trio – sleeping in shifts; at least two awake at any

time – who’ll actually deliver the service, from

the welcome hot drink on arrival, to breakfast

the following morning. Then it’s the turn of the

pack-up crew to take over, shifting camp beds

and all other equipment to the next church on

the night shelter circuit.

Each team needs a leader – someone who’s good

at working with people, both other volunteers

and the guests, and has good admin skills. We’ll

offer full training, and will help night shift volunteers

obtain a DBS cert, which is a must.

LOD’s volunteers have already discovered the

work can be rewarding. One said: “Before I

started helping here I was scared of the homeless

people I saw in the streets, but now I’ve got

to know them I can see they’re just ordinary

people like me.”

To find out more, please join us at the Night

Shelter Mid-Summer Event, at Harvey’s rear

yard off Cliffe High Street. Join us for drinks,

food and live music from local indie folk duo

Edenwood. The night shelter team will be on

hand to answer all your questions. Come and

sign up to be a volunteer!

As told by David Griffiths to Charlotte Gann

Mid-Summer Event, 27th June, 6.30pm, Harvey’s

Yard. Or call David on 07806 777106, or email

Photo by Catherine Benson


Lewes’s very own sport is the pub game of Toad in the Hole. The game is believed to have been played

in Sussex for over 200 years, and is similar to Pitch Penny elsewhere in the UK, or Jeu de la Grenouille

in France. It is played with 4 brass ‘toads’ or coins, thrown onto a lead-topped table with a hole in the

middle. With a team of 4 people, each match consists of 7 games – 4 single, 2 double and 1 team game.

Each game is worth 1 point to the winner, and all games are best of 3 legs.

Lewes has a local league, involving 18 teams in 2 divisions. About ½ the teams are from Lewes pubs,

and the remainder from nearby. And the town also hosts the World Toad in the Hole Championships

each April. This year’s – the 22nd world championship – attracted 48 teams and the winners were

Rodmell Toad Club. Sarah Boughton




25 July – 17 August

Devonshire Park Theatre

Jump on board –

this riotous spy thriller is

a comedy packed

joy ride!

Stars Oliver Mellor (Coronation Street)


Congress Theatre

1 – 6 July

Dirty Dancing

Congress Theatre

15 – 20 July

Calendar Girls

Congress Theatre

6 – 10 August


Congress Theatre

13 – 17 August


Congress Theatre

23 August

Sarah Waters

The Night Watch

Devonshire Park


22 – 31 August

Beyond the Barricade

Congress Theatre

24 August

Amélie - The Musical

Devonshire Park


9 – 14 September

All this and more at Eastbourne Theatres

01323 412000 | | EBTheatres



What is Jamie’s

Farm? It’s best

explained like this:

founder Jamie Feilden

was a teacher in

Croydon. One day

he took two lambs to

his school, giving the

pupils the responsibility

of looking after

them. It had a big

positive impact on

the atmosphere in

the playground. So he decided to take a group

of his pupils to his smallholding in Wiltshire.

Here they were immersed in agricultural life

and given opportunities to reflect on challenges

back home and in school that may be affecting

their behaviour. With his mum Tish, a trained

psychotherapist, they developed the founding

principles for a five-day residential, built around

‘farming, family & therapy’. 2009 saw the launch

of Jamie’s Farm Bath, followed by Hereford in

2015, Monmouth in 2018, and now this one

in Lewes. Since we started, 6000-plus young

people have benefitted; Lewes will cater for

450-plus a year.

What sort of farm is it? Jamie’s Lewes [situated

between Plumpton and Cooksbridge] was, until

last year, largely an arable farm, but we’ve taken

it back to grazing. It’s a fully working farm, with

150 ewes (currently lambing), four pigs, 13 piglets,

a herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle, five goats

and 30 chickens.

And you get the kids to do all the work?

They do a lot of it, under the supervision of Eddie,

the Farm Manager. There’s a daily round of

feeding, and cleaning out, and animal care. And

there are also more demanding jobs. Last week a

group of pupils arrived

on Monday at 2pm, and

within an hour, one had

delivered a lamb!

What sort of children

come to the farm?

The pupils, aged 11-16,

come for the week in

groups of twelve, along

with their teachers.

Each group of pupils

comes from the same

school. They are chosen

due to poor mental well-being and self-esteem,

or poor behaviour and engagement, which often

manifests itself as low attendance or attainment.

Our job is to make them realise that, by

completing real jobs with tangible outcomes, and

by getting involved with group and one-to-one

reflective sessions, they can develop positive patterns

to carry back into their daily lives. It works!

I guess you have to be strict… We set

boundaries. For example, they have no phones

while they are here and they are put on a virtually

no-sugar diet. They soon adapt, because we

keep them busy! Beyond the farm work there

is cooking to do, communal meal-times, a daily

walk, the reflective sessions, woodcrafts and

horticulture. There is no TV.

Can you tell how much the kids benefit? We

have follow-up visits to the schools afterwards.

Here’s a statistic we’re very proud of: 58% of

those who were at risk of exclusion when they

visited the farm were, six months later, no longer

at risk. It’s incredible to see the change in these

kids. Alex Leith interviewed Education Manager

Toby Meanwell

If you would like to be a volunteer at Jamie’s

Farm, check out




Michael Cotgrove and Sheila

Wood sent in this atmospheric

shot from California. Here’s

what they wrote:

‘California weather not quite

up to spec. so Michael took

this picture of Sheila reading

Viva Lewes in Mission Beach,

just north of San Diego. We

make the trip to the West

Coast every other year or

so, to meet up with Sheila’s

cousin, and we love the slightly

off-beat atmosphere: Mission

Beach is not your typical

seaside town.

Because of the inclement

weather there were no takers

for the switchback ride in

Belmont Park, but Sheila is

standing in front of a newly

opened café, the shopfront

stunningly decorated with a

surf-board motif. A bit more

sunshine would have helped...’

Oh dear.

Meanwhile, Abi Saunders sent

in this lovely picture of her

daughter Tia. Looks perfectly

sunny where she was.

Abi told us Tia was ‘enjoying

this month’s Viva at Kololi

Beach Resort in The Gambia.

It was her first trip to Africa,

for the Easter holiday and she

spent peaceful moments catching

up on latest news from

back home.’

Keep taking us with you and

keep spreading the word. Send

your photos and a few words

about you and your trip to




In this beautiful little book, Louisa Thomsen

Brits takes the reader on a lyrical meander

across the South Downs. Rather than written as

an observation of the landscape from a walker’s

or viewer’s perspective, Path is an incantation in

the voice of one of – or all of – the chalk paths

that slice through the hills. Subtitled A short

story about reciprocity, the book is a call to pay attention,

to be present and to be connected.

Intertwining poetic language with muted photographs

by Jim Marsden, and Linda Felcey’s textured

artworks, there is a tactility and substance

to Path that encourages us to engage all our

senses as we travel through the world. Delicious

local Sussex words smatter the prose, creating a

rhythmic, flowing journey that demands to be

read aloud to the windblown trees and trilling

skylarks: ‘…up scrambly bostal,/ over rill and

rimple,/ fists of thistle,/ rutted sod.’

Through animating

a path,

Thomsen Brits

creates a sense

of drawing

from deep time

to give a backstory

and character

to these


yet permanent

features of the

local countryside she so clearly loves. Shapeshifting

with the weather, the tread of feet, the

upturning of flint and the crumbling of chalk,

the path tells us to mark the beats and breaths

of our lives; to ‘… stand in an intimate lattice of

paths,/ laced in plenitude,/ and know that you

are not alone.’ Lulah Ellender

Cooper & Son

Funeral Directors

42 High Street, Lewes 01273 475 557

Also at Seaford, Uckfield & Heathfield

Because every life is unique



When I met John Downie, he’d just received a

letter to say he’d won a Lewes Civic Award in the

category of ‘Sport’, which fits in nicely with this

issue’s theme.

John has been organising the U3A bike rides for

five years. The rides, which usually take place on

Fridays and weekends, are mostly between 15

and 35 miles long. John says they have around 50

names on the mailing list, with about 15 regular

riders. The age range is from late fifties to early

eighties – it’s “sport for OAPs”, John jokes,

though some participants are pretty fit, and some

utilise ebikes to help with hills.

“Social cycling,” is how John defines the events.

“We chat, we talk about life, the universe and

everything.” They generally end up cycling two

abreast, then when a car comes they go single file,

rejoining alongside someone else, keeping the

conversation moving around.

The rides take in quiet back roads and paths on

the Downs, though in planning them, John says,

“The key point is where we’re going to have

lunch.” They do discuss notable features, but

mostly it’s for exercise and socialising, with John

working to “try and keep people together. My

rule is to look after the person behind you.”

Beyond the nominal annual subscription, the

rides are also “completely free”. So older readers,

why not give them a try? Daniel Etherington




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‘Sport’ comes in all sorts of forms. Carlotta

took these photos at the Magnificent Motors

Show in Eastbourne last month. Billed as ‘one

of the biggest FREE motoring spectaculars

on the south coast,’ it’s a gathering of more

than 900 vintage and classic cars, motorbikes

and buses on Eastbourne’s Western Lawns

and Wish Tower Slopes. Check out the clouds

reflected in the Jaguar steering wheel hub.

And the strange Freddie Mercury/postie






12 NOON - 10.30PM










1.30PM - 9.30PM





CMYK : 76/10/27/0







CMYK : 50/0/100/0








David Jarman

Flannelled fools

Which winner of the Nobel Prize for

Literature appeared in Wisden Cricketers’

Almanac? The answer, as all ‘trivia’

aficionados will know, is Samuel Beckett.

Representing Trinity College, Dublin against

Northamptonshire in 1926/7, he made few

runs and took no wickets, but even so…

Beckett’s cricketing hero was, I guess, Frank

Woolley, the elegant and cultured Kent and

England all-rounder. Writing from Paris

to a friend, on 7 July 1961, Samuel Beckett

reminisced, mostly fondly, about a recent visit

to England. It included a trip to the Lord’s

Test Match – ‘a beautiful day but alas poor

cricket’. It was something else that was going

to stick in Beckett’s mind – ‘Frank Woolley

was in the bar escorting blind

[Wilfred] Rhodes’.

Perhaps this vision of Woolley,

acting as Rhodes’ ‘eyes’, made

up for another visit to the cricket

that Beckett describes in a letter

to Harold Pinter, dated 22 March

1970: ‘I hope if they fix my eyes

that some day we’ll go to Lord’s

together or better still the Oval

where I once missed Frank Woolley

just out when I arrived after having

made something like 70 in half

an hour.’ Pinter was certainly a

cricket fanatic. The characters in

his play, No Man’s Land, are, by

his own admission, named after

famous cricketers. He wrote a,

mercifully short, poem about

Leonard Hutton and an article,

cloyingly nostalgic, entitled

‘Hutton and the Past’. He

sent a copy to Beckett who

wrote back on 1st August,

1973: ‘Many thanks for “Hutton and the

Past”, much relished.’

Someone Beckett might well have bumped

into at Lord’s was Philip Larkin. A friend got

Larkin tickets for the Lord’s Test every year.

Thanking Harold Pinter for sending him his

memoir of the Somerset cricketer, Arthur

Wellard, in a letter dated 5 January 1983,

Larkin wrote: ‘I love your knowing about

cricket. Kingsley [Amis] once said he was in a

box at Lord’s, and seeing someone hit a four,

called Good Shot. (He was no doubt boozed).

Round turns Pinter and says, Thick edge off a

long hop, and you call that a good shot?’

This reminds me of the one and only

occasion I took my Canadian wife to

a county cricket match. It was at

Tunbridge Wells in June 1984, and

we were joined by our great friend,

John Grover who lived close by in

Robertsbridge (source of so many

cricket bats). John was the nicest

man we ever knew. The other reason

for choosing Tunbridge Wells was the

wonderful rhododendrons gracing the

ground, which would please my wife,

even if the cricket didn’t grip. All

was well until a comprehensively

blazered buffoon exclaimed: “Well

left, Sir.” Brought up on baseball, the

idea that you could praise a player for

not hitting the ball, was a step too far for

my wife.

Back to Beckett. During the time he

spent in England in 1961 that included

the visit to Lord’s, Beckett also went

to a certain opera house. He wrote to

Barbara Bray: ‘Glyndebourne Wed.

in flannel bags for Donizetti’s Elixir.

Picnic, at entr’acte. What a people.’

Illustration by Charlotte Gann


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Eleanor Knight

Keyboard worrier

Joie de vivre is

not normally

associated with

apocalypse, but

hear me out.

I don’t know

about you but

to me nothing

says good times

like a half-naked

samba band

cavorting in the spicy wafts of falafel served

from a flatbed truck that has a retired couple

from East Dulwich glued to its rear suspension.

Whatever you think of Extinction Rebellion’s

methods, they brought cross-generational

appeal and a long overdue burst of colour and

excitement to the capital. And didn’t they have

lovely weather for it.

Which is the point of course. Extreme weather

events now far surpass the traditionally wet first

week of Wimbledon and Cliff Richard’s ironic

rendition of ‘Summer Holiday’. Millions of

species – humans included – are in peril from

far worse, and as we know, all of us going on a

summer holiday has not helped with that one

little bit.

What will it take for us to change? When the

Ashdown Forest – aka The Hundred Acre Wood

– burst into flames in April (#Winniemageddon)

we might have reflected that had we but heeded

the environmental message in the great flood

narrative of AA Milne, in which an anxious

Piglet finds himself Entirely Surrounded

by Water, we might have gone some way to

avoiding the altogether darker scenario in which

that Very Small Animal is Entirely Surrounded

by Fire.

Trying to change the world’s behaviour can

leave us feeling helpless. For every plastic water

bottle we recycle,

there are millions

more clogging

the South China

Sea off Malaysia

and Vietnam,

where we – er –

send our plastic

for recycling.

For every action

we’ve organised

by WhatsApp, there’s a dead yak floating

downstream of the lithium mines on the

Tibetan border. Indeed, lithium for phone and

car batteries is in such demand that in Argentina

the water needed for extraction jeopardises

traditional agriculture, including – oh, Lewes


But don’t despair. Here in Lewes we’re uniquely

situated to pioneer one small behavioural change

that will allow us to meet our doom with a smile

and a wave should we not succeed in holding

off fate altogether. It’s time to combine climate

rebellion with outdoor fitness. Yes, I’m talking

Semaphore, the internationally recognised

code of signals using flags you can easily make

at home. Switch off your phone and get up on

the Downs – ideally station a friend on Firle

Beacon or even out at sea. See? You’re feeling

better already. And if that doesn’t raise your

spirits, then the complete upper body work out

you will have given yourself by the time you’ve

signalled ‘The poetry of the earth is never dead,’

will really get the endorphins pumping, not to

mention an increase in core stability.

If you’re thinking you won’t have the strength

these days for a complex message, don’t worry.

Dig out that old Beatles album cover and make

like Piglet.


Illustration by Hasia Curtis


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Lewes Out Loud

Plenty more Henty

Unlike the fellow in the

pic, a rare 1905 Donald

McGill postcard from

my collection, I never

once scored a try at

rugby. Even worse, I

cheated in the school

cross-country race and

only made the third

eleven at cricket.

Incidentally, McGill

himself, at school in Blackheath, South London,

loved the oval ball game but suffered a serious

injury to his left ankle in 1891. Sadly, it failed to

heal, and after a couple of months, surgeons had

to amputate his foot and fit an artificial limb.

I only detail my poor sporting record here to

explain how surprised I was to be appointed

sports editor to BBC Radio Brighton in 1968.

It seems the manager was impressed by my

commentating skills for hospital radio and was

also seeking someone to put more emphasis on

minority sports in Sussex.

With this brief, I created an eclectic mix of

programmes covering bowls, Sunday football,

pigeon racing (honest!) and various sea-sporting

activities. We built our own studio at the

Goldstone ground for Albion coverage and a

new commentary position at the Hove ground

for county cricket.

Additionally, we advertised in The Argus for

volunteers to report on and present these

activities. My budget for a Friday evening

programme then was £12, so most recruits did

it for the experience. I had a local postman

responsible for boxing, a dental technician keen

on bowls and a prominent Brighton solicitor who

proved to be as good a cricket commentator as

the great Brian Johnston.

Desmond Lynam

developed his laid-back

style of broadcasting

with us and Peter

Brackley, who died

earlier this year,

eventually replaced

me when I moved

into more general

programming. It was

demanding work, but

we never took ourselves too seriously.

Today I still enjoy sport as a spectator, and at the

Dripping Pan I often observe reporters filing

their copy via a laptop when, in my time, it was

all done by yelling down a phone. In a recent

game against Merstham, for example, a stunning

Charlie Coppola goal, minutes into the second

half, would have warranted high praise from me.

Equally I would have commented on the music

played over the PA at half-time. Did the operatic

arias inspire Charlie, I would have suggested, in

the Rooks’ 2-1 victory?

There was a musical treat for everyone who

attended the sparkling version of My Fair Lady

by the Lewes Operatic Musical Theatre Society

recently. I was fortunate enough to see the show

when it first hit London over sixty years ago. I

had a seat in the balcony of the Theatre Royal,

Drury Lane, on 17 May, 1958. Julie Andrews,

Rex Harrison and Stanley Holloway led the

original Broadway cast, and all for five shillings!

I still have the ticket stub.

Interesting coincidence at the valued Victoria

Hospital. Previously I mentioned left-handed

Lis on reception in Orchard House. Now I’ve

encountered, equally friendly Lisa on duty in

main reception. Guess what, she’s left-handed

too! John Henty









Sir Anthony Seldon

300 years of British Prime Ministers

“Walpole didn’t have it,

Gladstone didn’t have it,

Disraeli, Lloyd George,

Churchill didn’t have it,

Thatcher didn’t, Tony Blair


On June 21st, the political

biographer Sir Anthony Seldon

is giving a talk on ‘300 years

of British Prime Ministers’ at

Lewes Town Hall. He reckons,

he says, being PM is an

impossible job to do perfectly.

“There have been 52 Prime Ministers between

Walpole and Theresa May,” he tells me, and in

his opinion, none of them has had the ‘complete

skill set’ that you need to run the country.

This set includes the need “to be able to

communicate very clearly, to be able to persuade

people, to have a physical resilience, to take the

extraordinary battering the PM has [to take],

to be physically very healthy; you need to have

a very calm and clear mind, to… be highly

intelligent, to process a lot of paperwork, you

need to be able to give a clear vision.”

He’s written political biographies of the last

five outgoing Prime Ministers. I wonder:

which one he has liked the most? “I like all

of them in different ways,” he says, “and they

all had extraordinary qualities. I mean world

class qualities.” He gives particular attention

to Gordon Brown, “who had a very powerful

intellect and a very deep compassion, but he

had the fatal flaw of not being able to control

his temper and being overly suspicious and

resentful of other people.”

Every Prime Minister, he suggests, has their

own fatal flaw. One problem with our system,

he feels, is that “the skills

that you need to get to

become Prime Minister are

very different from the skills

that you need to be Prime

Minister. And the system is

much better at identifying

people who have the skills to

get through the race rather

than people who have the

skills of leadership.”

And, like in a Shakespearian

tragedy, “it’s the flaws that

bring them down. Since 1945 every Prime

Minister has left prematurely, none of them

have left at a time of their choosing, with the

exception of Harold Wilson in 1976.”

We get onto the subject of power, and how

much rests in the hands of our PM. “The Prime

Minister’s power waxes and wanes,” he says.

Thatcher earned a massive amount of power,

then lost it. “When [Theresa May] became PM

on the 13th of July 2016 she was very powerful

indeed, and now she is very lacking in power

because she has lost so much authority.”

He takes pains to praise May for reaching such

an exalted position without having enjoyed the

privilege of a private education, but doesn’t go

much further. As a parting shot (he’s pushed for

time) I throw in a last question which, I promise,

requires a one-word answer. What percentage

chance has May – surely soon the subject of

his next political biography – of still being PM

when he comes to Lewes? There follows a long

silence as he computes the answer. “98%” he

says. Alex Leith

21st June, Town Hall, 7pm. Free, public talk

organised by Lewes U3A


Welcome to our

spirit of independence

Reaching the summit of Ditchling Beacon,

the highest point of East Sussex, is no

mean feat. Ali and Eli are just two of the

many enthusiastic cyclists who take on

the challenge regularly.

Visit our brand new tourism website for the Lewes District —


Girl Power

Arwyn James, fast bowler

“I was… surprised,” says Arwyn James, Lewes

Priory CC’s secret weapon, on her reaction to

getting her first wicket for the club’s first team.

This month is the Cricket World Cup, and we

decided to mark it by interviewing a remarkable

local star. So I’m sitting in the Stanley Turner

clubhouse, with Arwyn and Jay James, Priory

groundsman and proud dad.

“It was the last day of the 2017 season, and

Arwyn, despite being a 13-year-old girl – was

picked to play.” he adds. All the other players, it

must be said, in both teams, were adult men.

“I was given the ball to bowl the first over,” says

Arwyn. “You should have seen their opening

batsman’s face when he realised he was up

against a little girl,” continues Jay. “And you

should have seen it when she clean-bowled him,

first ball.”

“All his team mates were laughing,” she

remembers. But not for long… soon it would be

their turn to face her.

It became a familiar routine last season when

Arwyn became a fixture in the second XI, for

whom she won the ‘Outstanding Player of

the Year’ award. And no wonder: her bowling

stats were outstanding, with a collection of

five wicket hauls, including an incredible

season-best of five wickets for four runs against

Tunbridge Wells side Crowhurst Park.

Arwyn discovered cricket four years ago when

she joined in a scratch game on the Convent

Field, and loved the experience. She joined

the Lewes Priory under 10s, and progressed

through the age groups, until she was deemed

good enough to play with the adult teams, and

help out with the coaching.

Now 14, she is about to make her debut for the

Sussex CC Under 15 team. “It’s long been my

ambition to play for my county, and hopefully

my country, too,” she says. “It’ll mean a lot of

training and work, but it’s where I want to be.”

She’s no slouch with a bat – last season she

posted scores of twenty-odd not out on the

two occasions she was called upon – but it’s

her consistent pace bowling which sets her

apart. “I have reached a top speed of around

60mph,” she says. I ask her, but she won’t reveal

the secret of her ‘killer ball’, a surprise action

which flummoxes the best of batsmen. “Let’s

keep it a secret,” she says. Alex Leith

Photo by Jay James


Lewes Priory CC are recruiting players of all ages, and are particularly keen for

young girl players to play in their many age groups, from Under 9s upwards. Initial

games are ‘soft’ ball, and there are drop-in sessions every Friday evening at

5.45pm (weather permitting). On Sunday 9th June, as part of a celebration of the

World Cup, teams are coming to the Stanley Turner from all round the county to

perform in a ‘soft’ ball tournament: there will be stalls and bouncy castles, and

everyone is welcome for a family day out.



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Same Sky

Community art activism

John Varah, Artistic Director at community arts

charity Same Sky, is happy to be unknown (in

part at least). “One of our biggest successes is

the fact that no one knows who we are. No one

really knows we do Burning the Clocks [and

Brighton’s annual Children’s Parade] because

it’s supposed to feel like something that’s always

happened... Everyone thinks they own it, and

that’s great. But that’s become the problem

when we try to raise money.”

The funding challenges facing community arts

charities will be one of the topics discussed at

Pure Enchantment: A Same Sky 30th Anniversary

Symposium, being held at ACCA. The event is

open to everyone with an interest in community

arts, with the morning focusing on talks and

discussion, and the second half focusing on

practical matters such as workshops for making

lanterns or applying for funding.

Confirmed speakers include Lucy Bear, a

Maths teacher in Crawley who set up LPK

Learning (who deliver innovative learning

opportunities across Sussex), Tom Andrews

from People United (who look at how

participatory arts can promote kindness),

and Daniel Bernstein, Executive Director of

outside arts company Emergency Exit Arts.

John tells me that one of the biggest changes

over the last 30 years is the “consistent

reductions in funding”. Jonathan Swain,

Same Sky Associate Artist, sees some hope

in changing attitudes however. “There’s

an encouragement for participatory arts.

They [councils] actively want it, because

they can see its value. Partly from a health

perspective, partly because there’s a dwindling

in communities and they’re wondering why.”

Alistair Hill, Director of Public Health at

Brighton & Hove City Council, will discuss his

2018 annual report, ‘The Art of Good Health’.

There is a need for “doers”, as Jonathan

describes them, to encourage creativity and

participation in communities. “We call them

community activists”, says John. “They can be

of any political persuasion, but they’re doing

stuff in their community, they’re running a

football club, they’re engaged, they want things

to happen. We did some work with Tide of

Light in Lancing: it was a couple of mums with

kids setting it up because they thought Brighton

had all these things and they didn’t. Our role is

always to support people like that.”

The symposium also offers what Jonathan

terms an “indulgence” once the daytime event

ends, with food, drink, fire and music. John

compares the symposium to training courses

that Same Sky have run, with artists who

wanted to work in communities meeting people

in those communities who weren’t confident

about the art side of things. “That combination

of working together meant that they all enjoyed

learning from each other”.

Jonathan sees that as a neat summary of what

they are aiming at in the symposium: “It’s

creating a space for magic. It gives John an

opportunity to say this is what we’ve done,

you’re here together in this symposium, perhaps

we can go forwards and make something from

that. It’s as hippy as that.” Joe Fuller

ACCA, 21st, 10am-4pm, £10

Photo by David Bracey




and venues:


Burning Sky &

Collective Art


Gun Brewery



A weekend of events

including a town wide

tap takeover by some

amazing independent


Find out more at












Sarah Hughes


Buxton &

Great Oakley


Crafty Brewing

from Surrey Hills

Untitled-2 1 14/05/2019 16:05







ADULTS: £8.00 in advance

£10.00 on the gate

CHILDREN 5 to 16: £3.00

Under 5s: FREE

GATES OPEN - 3:00pm


FINISH - 10:00pm

Jumping Jacks

Crimson Six

Lewes, Glynde &

Beddingham Brass

Firework finale

Licenced bar with

guest ciders

Cake/ Side stalls

Veggie/Vegan food

BBQ food





Elephant & Castle • Tourist Information • Harvey’s Brewery Shop • Richards Butchers


Billy Bragg


It’s hard to think of a performer who is as quintessentially

English as Billy Bragg, that singer of

Jerusalem, and vociferous purveyor of ‘progressive

patriotism’. So what, I ask him down the

phone, is he doing performing at the Black Deer

Americana and Country Music Festival?

“Americana is country music for Smiths fans,”

he quips. “It’s what we used to call singersongwriting.

But singer-songwriters in cowboy

boots, and shirts with pearl-snap buttons. I fit

in because I made an album of Woody Guthrie

songs, with [American band] Wilco, who had a

role in founding the thing. I qualify

as an in-law, if you like.”

He even changed his accent, for the part. “With

the Woody Guthrie songs I found it was impossible

to sing his songs in my accent, so I kind of

leaned over a little bit more to that mid-Atlantic

twang and I’ve found since then that I go in and

out of it depending on what song it is and what

the nature of it is.

“Americana isn’t something that is geo-specific,”

he adds. “You can be an Americana artist anywhere

if you were influenced by the Roots music

of America. Think about the first Beatles album:

what would that have sounded like if they’d only

played English music and only worn English

clothes? It would have been pretty boring,

wouldn’t it? Everyone knew they were inspired

by the music of black America.”

Like Woody Guthrie, Bragg has been labelled a

‘protest singer’, a term he’s not entirely comfortable

with, as he finds it ‘pigeon-holing’. “I’d

rather you put me down as a dissenter,” he says.

“In fact I would argue that dissent is the tradition

that defines the English.”

Tom Paine comes up in the conversation. Bragg

cites the 18th-century English activist in the

pamphlet he’s recently written for Faber &

Faber, The Three Dimensions of Freedom, describing

him as ‘the greatest revolutionary England

ever produced’. “I wish he’d been born 150 years

before so he could have written his pamphlet

and given it to the New Model Army at Naseby:

then we may have had a republic that lasted,” he

says. Instead, of course, he helped the United

States of America to become one.

Bragg’s sets have always been punctuated by

political diatribes, and he’s going to make no

exception to this practice, he says, at the Black

Deer Festival. He’ll not decide on his set until

the day of the performance. “When I arrive at a

festival I have a long walk around the site. I try

and suss out the audience… are they soaking

wet, are they pissed off, are they chilled out?

Then I decide how I pitch the set to them.”

So will he ‘countrify’ himself up, I wonder, to

fit in with the likes of Kris Kristofferson and

Hayseed Dixie, also on the line-up? “I won’t be

wearing cowboy boots,” he says, “but I will undoubtedly

have a shirt with pearl-snap buttons

on it.” Alex Leith

Eridge Park, 21-23 June,

Photo by Jacob Blickenstaff



The Girl on the Train

Samantha Womack talks about life on tour

This month, ex-EastEnders

star Samantha Womack

comes to Brighton in The

Girl on the Train, a play

based on the best-selling

novel by Paula Hawkins.

She’s been playing the role

of Rachel Watson in this

touring production since it

opened in January.

The main thing about

Rachel is that she’s

broken by circumstances.

She’s very devil-maycare

and rebellious but

there’s something quite

vulnerable about her.

Some performances I’ll start with a slightly

more accessible Rachel, or I can be very surly

and aggressive – and the play will unfold with

that starting point. That keeps my attention

completely riveted to the dialogue as if it was

fresh for the first time. Anthony Banks, the

director, has been very clever: he’s cast actors

who are actually quite malleable. We all bend

and adapt to our spaces. We’re not militant

in keeping everything too set in stone, which

would be very boring for me.

The concept is ‘thriller’ but it’s a

psychological drama as well. Anthony wanted

the set to feel like pieces of the jigsaw puzzle

that Rachel is trying to manage in her head,

because she has these large holes in her

memory. So bits of it glide on and glide off.

The sets themselves are quite barren: they have

an almost a book-like quality.

I love the freedom of a stage. It’s working

with a story chronologically,

as well. With a soap, you’ll be

filming six to eight episodes

in a day, so in the morning

you’ll be doing stuff where

you’ve lost a baby and in the

afternoon you’ll be doing stuff

where you’re still pregnant. It

can be that crude. Whereas

with a play, the minute you

set foot on that stage, it’s a

rollercoaster ride and you

don’t get off until the end.

There’s a lot of

competition, so I try really

hard not to get typecast. I

understood very early on that

I had to diversify if I wanted to survive, but it

kept me interested creatively as well. I’m the

breadwinner, I’m a mum and acting is really

hard to get employed in now.

I can drive through the night on Saturday

night and wake up at home on Sunday. It’s

tough; at weekends I just want to collapse into

a little ball. But I’m very lucky, I have a very

supportive husband who’s also an actor, the kids

are great too, we all pull together.

For me, Brighton is synonymous with my

father. He was a very eccentric, sweet musician.

Every time I turned up in Brighton, he’d come

and meet me on the pier with his cowboy hat

and his guitar and his Dalmatian dog. And

he’s not with us now. So I have these poignant

memories. As told to Mark Bridge

The Girl on the Train is at the Theatre Royal

Brighton from Monday 17th until Saturday 22nd





A sporting event

Illustration by Chris Lewis

The Lewes Skittles Tournament has been

running in the Grange every June since the

1960s. Peter Boyse, the teams-organiser at

the Rotary, which has overseen the event

since the 1980s, told me he himself first

took part in 1968. “The lanes have got a bit

bumpier since then,” he says. “There’s been a

bit of subsidence!”

Peter describes the five-day nine-skittles

tournament – which takes place in the

far corner of the gardens, beside the

Winterbourne – as “a fun, competitive event

in aid of charity”. This year he’s expecting

about 120 teams (six people per team) to take

part, and to raise £6,000-£7,000.

Each team pays a £30 entry fee. There are

also buckets on the gate, to which anyone can

contribute – and participants and spectators

do, “generously”, Peter says. There’s a bar,

run by Commercial Square Bonfire Society,

and a burger store, by Waterloo. “They keep

the proceeds for their own fundraising, but

also give a cut to us”, he says.

“It’s a sporting event,” he laughs, “as in goodnatured.

There’s an element of luck, because

of the undulation of the ground. But

there must be skill involved too,

because we often see the same

teams come through.”

Anyone can enter – new teams

appear every year – and local

businesses also contribute by

advertising on the (now sixteen)

lane and back boards.

If you’re interested in any

aspect, Peter says, do email:

Charlotte Gann

17-21 June, 7pm. lewes-rotary.




Exit, pursued by an implied bear

A new look at a Shakespeare classic

In Elizabethan England, you might have

expected a play called The Winter’s Tale to

be some kind of upbeat urban myth; fantasy

folklore with a moral core. Shakespeare,

subversive as ever, delivered the unexpected.

“Basically, it’s two stories. That’s one of the

reasons it’s been criticised over the years”,

Chris Weber Brown tells me. He’s directing

the play at Lewes Little Theatre, where the

curtain rises at the end of this month. “There’s

all sorts of drama and tyranny and horrible

stuff in the first half.” Leontes, the King of

Sicilia, thinks his pregnant wife has been

having an affair with his old friend, Polixenes.

Despite a total lack of evidence, Leontes orders

the friend to be poisoned, puts his wife on

trial for treason and abandons his new-born

daughter. “The audience have to sit through

this doom and gloom... we need to lighten up in

the second half”, says Chris.

Shakespeare obliges by ensuring the baby

daughter is adopted by an elderly shepherd and

his clownish son, changing the mood instantly

from dark tragedy to upbeat comedy. “We are

going to have a sort-of rustic dance, I have a

movement coach, and there’s going to be music

and some singing.” Ultimately, the two stories

are reconciled, as are the king and his daughter.

“It all kind-of ends happily. But it isn’t really a

happy ending in my view.”

Why does Chris think this 400-year-old play

and its magical world is still relevant today?

“I could see echoes of Leontes’s tyranny and

power with present-day dictators who will

hold on to power at any cost – any cost to the

people and the country.” In fact, he’s updated

the setting to 2019 and is working without

a conventional set. “I just love the idea of

having a completely open stage where you

can move and you’re not constricted in any

way. It’s the first time I’ve done it. Very often

with Shakespeare, they have a raised dais at

the rear of the stage – but I don’t want that.

It’ll all be done by lighting.” This includes

the famous stage direction ‘Exit, pursued by

a bear’. “A very dark shadow will move across

the back”, says Chris. “We will not be having

the bear because that would become rather

like pantomime.” There’ll be quite a few other

edits, reducing the play’s running time to

around two hours, with the entire production

being a very collaborative project. “If you get a

really good group of people, good in the sense

they’ll work together, that means so much. The

director is not there to dictate. He’s there to try

and draw out performances from the actors.”

The result, he hopes, will be well-suited to

contemporary audiences. “It’s about the text

and the feelings and the characterisations. Not

the dressing-up box!” Mark Bridge

The Winter’s Tale runs from 29th June until 6th

July at Lewes Little Theatre.


S u s s e x O p e n G a r d e n s

H o l f o r d M a n o r

N o r t h C h a i l e y

1 s t & 2 n d J u n e

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Shepherd’s hut for sale locally

Quality shepherd’s hut built

to a high standard

Spare room, playroom,

office, garden room

Show hut and stock available

07932521042 / 01273 649202

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F o r m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n :

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Opening 6 September

at the former Turkish baths

As a social enterprise (not for profit), we

welcome the community to our Centre

through a specialist programme of classes,

therapies, treatments and events:

• 2 studios offering yoga, dance, art, theatre...

• 2 treatment rooms–wide range of therapies

• Infra-red sauna and floatation pool

• Vegan/vegetarian cafe and gallery space

All spaces are available for hire, we are also

looking for qualified and experienced

teachers, therapists and facilitators


There’s No Business Like Show Business, Moon, Freaks

Film ’19

Dexter Lee’s cinema round-up

It was the first horror film to win an Oscar (or

two to be exact), it’s Mark Kermode’s favourite

movie, and it’s one of the highest-grossing Hollywood

franchises of all time, but I wouldn’t

necessarily recommend you watch The Exorcist

(June 1st). It’s the stuff of nightmares: that

head-spinning scene, in particular, will never

leave you.

Of a rather gentler nature, earlier in the same

day, are four films about the octogenarian

water-sculptor William Pye, with a Q&A between

the director and the artist, among others,

afterwards. Will anyone, I wonder, attend both


Sunday afternoon has become the time to

stretch out your legs and enjoy old classics on

the big screen. On the 2nd, Depot are showing

Monty Python’s musical The Life of Brian,

which struck one religious commentator at the

time as being ‘foul, disgusting and blasphemous’,

but most viewers as being light-hearted

parody. Altogether now: ‘always look on the…’

Talking singalong, June’s dementia-friendly

movie, open to everyone, particularly those not

afraid to participate, is Irving Berlin’s 1954 musical

There’s No Business like Show Business (4th),

starring, among many others, Marilyn Monroe.

The book-to-film offering, meanwhile, is The

Last Picture Show, a gritty b&w coming-of-age

movie, directed by Peter Bogdanovic in 1971,

with Jeff Bridges and Ellen Burstyn among an

ensemble cast, and music by Hank Williams Jr.

On the same day, to celebrate the anniversary

of D-Day, there’s a showing of Spielberg’s Saving

Private Ryan, whose first scene is regarded

as one of the most uncomfortable in war movie

history, with Allied troops pinned down under

machine-gun fire.

On Friday 7th there’s the last of a trilogy of

U3A films, whose subject has been science. It’s

Duncan Jones’ Moon, a tale of an engineer who

starts losing his mind as he nears the end of a

three-year stint mining helium-3 on the dark

side of the moon.

On the 10th is the disturbing, controversial

1932 horror film Freaks, featuring among its

cast carnival sideshow performers with very

real deformities. The film is presented by

Brighton’s Doctor of Quirk, David Bramwell.

Father’s Day (16th, put it in your diaries)

is celebrated by the one-off screening of a

documentary, The Yukon Assignment, which

sees a father and son canoeing 500 miles into

the Canadian wilderness, bonding deeply on

the way. And on the 29th, the Depot’s Young

Programmers take over Screen 2 for the whole

day, with three movies on the theme of ‘obsession’.

Check the Depot website for those titles,

plus for what’s going on during their Green

Day, on the 22nd.

Perhaps the coolest show in the month’s calendar

is Ibiza – The Silent Movie (26th), Julian

Temple’s collaboration with Norman ‘Fatboy

Slim’ Cook, taking the audience on a journey

into the heart of the soulful Balearic island.

This will be shown at selected cinemas around

the country, simultaneously with a screening at

the Glastonbury Festival. No wellies required.




How to navigate the end

of a relationship

What’s going on with the weather in Lewes?

One day it is glorious sunshine, and another

it’s cold and rainy. As soon as I get my

sandals out it seems to always pour down

with rain.

As a Collaborative Family Lawyer and

Mediator, I work with couples ending

their relationship. Many will describe

their relationship as having been like our

changing weather... unpredictable and


Clients sometimes come to see me after a

particularly big row or a bad period – should

they stay or should they leave? How do they

know if the scales are tipped just too far in

wrong direction?

Remain or leave (no Brexit pun intended)?

Not an easy decision to make, with or without


Many clients see me when they really are

not sure about what to do. Often I suggest

seeking couples or individual counselling

before going down any legal route.

Even if clients are not sure they may just

need to explore what ending a relationship

would involve, what are their rights and

responsibilities? I can certainly help with that.

More importantly, the process they choose

will dictate how they move forward as a

separated couple or as separated parents.

My view is that engaging a solicitor in a

campaign of letter writing will do little to

help and may well cause harm. Consider

‘round the table’ ways of working; including

mediation or collaborative practice.

Timing is important too – sometimes people

meet me and want to get on with things

straight away whilst others need more time

and only start things off months or even years

later. As I always say, ‘here if you need me’.

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

on 07780676212 or email

For more details about how I work visit


Chris Horlock

Lost Brighton author

You’re a postcard

collector, I hear.

I collect images of

Brighton, whether

prints, maps, postcards

or photos, from the

eighteenth century to

the present day. I have

a ridiculous number of

images – over 30,000 –

which I am always busy

digitising and captioning.

A bit like the James Gray collection, held

by the Regency Society? I limit myself to

Brighton, while James’ collection includes

Hove and Portslade and suchlike. I used to take

pictures for James, who I knew for twenty years

before he died. He’d want somewhere recorded

for posterity, before it was demolished.

Brighton used to be more industrial…

There’s a whole section relating to industry

in Brighton in my new book. In 1891 the

railway works produced a locomotive engine,

from scratch, every month, employing over

2,500 people; there were still 650 people at

work there in 1952. Allen West, along the

Lewes Road, employed 3,000 workers, making

electrical switches. Cox’s pill factory, also in

Lewes Road, was a big employer until the 70s…

And this, presumably, altered the city’s

demographics? Its purpose keeps shifting.

Brighton has been a resort since the early

1700s. But once it was a royal town. It’s been

a military base, then an industrial town; now

it’s a university city, catering for young people

who are here for a limited period of time and

don’t particularly care about the long-term

infrastructure of the place.

Do you think much of the change is for

the better? It’s difficult to think of any

post-war buildings and

developments that are

of any significance.

When you think of all

the detail and nuance

that went into pre-war

buildings, and compare

them to what’s gone

up since… In the past,

buildings were made

to make you stop and

look at them. Now they

barely warrant a glance as you walk by.

What disappeared buildings, in particular,

do you lament? So many! Brighton used to

be so different. Let’s take 1960, as an example.

Just thinking about entertainment: there were

still five full-sized purpose-built theatres;

there were thirteen single-screen cinemas; The

Hippodrome was up and running; there was

the SS Brighton, a highly-popular ice rink at

the bottom of West Street, home to the famous

Brighton Tigers. And of course, Brighton still

had the West Pier.

Why were people so keen to pull things

down in the 60s? When Harold Wilson came

to power, he promised a technological revolution

on a large scale. There were high-speed trains,

oil rigs and by the end of the decade, men on the

moon. So when they put up the first high-rise

blocks in the 60s, no-one batted an eyelid. This

was the future, a brave new world.

Any post-war buildings you do like? The

Jubilee Library isn’t bad. Duke’s Lane is a good

redevelopment. And the 1970s Amex ‘wedding

cake’ soon became a landmark building. But of

course, that’s recently gone.

Interview by Alex Leith

Lost Brighton at The Keep, 26th June, 5.30pm,


Photo: Brighton Railway Works, 1912


"Never doubt that a

small group of

thoughtful, committed

citizens can change the

world; indeed, it's the

only thing that ever has."

Margaret Mead

Own it:


John Hamilton

Legendary book designer

John Hamilton, Art Director at Penguin Random

House, born in Glasgow and Lewes resident for

15 years, died suddenly in February, aged 55.

John was great company, always ready with a

story, generous and spirited, but he was also so

modest and self-effacing that few of his many

friends and acquaintances truly knew the extent

of his reputation.

Penguin CEO, Tom Weldon, remembered John

as ‘much loved and respected across the wider

industry; helping to discover talented designers,

illustrators, photographers and artists right at the

beginning of their careers.’ When John joined

Penguin in 1997, he took charge of the Penguin

Essentials series with a mandate to follow his

instinct and ignore precedent. He commissioned

graffiti artists, tattooists, fashion and record cover

designers and those on the edges of the artistic

community; he took creative risks at a time

when publishing was in peril, and his approach

caused an excitement across the industry that still

resonates today. One of those risks was to commission

an unknown street artist: Banksy recently

acknowledged this debt.

When news of John’s death broke, many authors,

including William Boyd and Will Self, wrote

about his ability to communicate with each of

them and translate their work into the visual, his

professionalism and his sense of fun. The Penguin

press release said: ‘John created timeless,

iconic covers which have become synonymous

with the texts themselves.’

He was also instrumental in bringing Jamie

Oliver to Penguin. Then, a lively young chef,

looking for a book deal, Oliver was courted by all

publishers; it was John’s enthusiasm for cooking

(he was himself a wonderful cook) and ability to

translate that into design that helped convince

Oliver to sign for Penguin. Over the next 20

years John was the Art Director for all his cookbooks.

They became close friends, travelling the

world in search of new culinary horizons.

John was talented but also hard-working. He

oversaw 500 books a year and it was hugely challenging

to come up with original concepts every

day. He looked for visual inspiration everywhere

and was always thinking and dreaming up new

ideas. In Lewes he found a life where he could

relax, recalibrate and pursue his interests quietly

with his family. He was a familiar figure round

town in his plain khaki jacket and baseball cap,

and with his dog Tess, svelte alter ego, at his side.

Much of his socialising was done about town, or

in his favourite shops – Richards, Bow Windows

– and pubs: the Lansdown, the Brewers and the

Gardeners. Often described as a maverick, John

was also a kind, courteous and thoughtful man.

He loved Bonfire. Although a committed member

of Southover, which he joined when his children

were young, he admired Cliffe’s anarchic

approach, which suited his own. He travelled

back to his hometown Glasgow whenever possible

to watch his beloved Rangers. He was proud

of his roots, his city, its politics and his family

history entwined with Clydebank. However,

despite a healthy suspicion of the English ruling

class, he was no nationalist and loved Lewes, the

town he made his home. Douglas Taylor

Photo by Mark Read



Peter Blake

Joseph Cornell’s imaginary Sussex day-trip

© Peter Blake, 2019. All rights reserved

At the age of 75, Sir Peter

Blake, ‘the godfather of

British Pop Art’ announced

that he had entered his ‘late

period’, a term usually used

by critics after painters have

died. “Artists go a bit crazy,

so I gave myself the licence

to do that,” he says.

Now he’s 90, so you might

say he’s in his ‘late, late’

period: his most recent body

of work, some of which is

being shown for the first time over the summer

at Farleys House and Gallery, sounds like he’s

getting good value from that licence.

“It’s called Joseph Cornell’s Holiday,” he tells

me, revealing that the idea came to him after

attending an exhibition about the American

‘shadow-box’ artist, Wanderlust, at the Royal

Academy, in 2015.

There were two elements of Cornell’s life that

Blake wanted to change, for the better. The

first was that “he loved the idea of travelling,

and Europe, but never ventured far from his

home on Long Island” (the artist was devoted to

his mother and had to take care of his disabled

brother). And then “he fell in love constantly

with women… but never consummated a

relationship. He died a virgin.”

So Blake is posthumously treating Cornell, in

this series of artworks, to everything he missed

while alive: “he meets lots of women all the

time, and has lots of affairs, all around Europe.”

Back in the sixties, the British surrealist Roland

Penrose, the co-founder of the Institute of

Contemporary Arts, acted as something of

a ‘mentor’ to Blake and the generation of

young artists involved in the British pop

art movement. “I went

to their [Penrose and

his photographer wife

Lee Miller’s] flat in

Kensington a number of

times,” he says, “and saw

their amazing collection

of Picassos and Dalis,

wonderful pictures. I’d say

he was a friend.”

Blake didn’t, however,

visit the couple’s Sussex

residence in Chiddingly

until recently, and it was after that visit he

decided, with the collaboration of Roland’s son

Antony Penrose, to make part of the Joseph

Cornell series site-specific to Farley Farm,

which now has an exhibition space. “A lot of the

surrealists visited Roland and Lee in Sussex,

as did Picasso, and were photographed by Lee

Miller, and what I’ve done is a kind of sub-story

imagining Cornell visiting Farley Farm, and

meeting them.”

Cornell, it so happens, already knew Lee

Miller, who also hailed from New York State,

and, among the twenty or so paintings in the

exhibition, “there’s an image of him, at Farley

Farm, holding a collage with the image that Lee

Miller took of him when he was a young man.”

Had the artist ever made it to Europe, Blake

reckons Cornell would have jumped at the

chance to make a real visit to Farley Farm.

“Lee was very beautiful,” he concludes. “I’m

absolutely convinced she was one of the many

women he fell in love with”. Alex Leith

Day Trip to Farley Farm, Sundays 9th June to

4th August. Farleys House and Gallery, Muddles

Green, Chiddingly











Over two weeks of arts &

culture in Newhaven.

Walks, talks, exhibitions

& workshops. Plus artwave

open houses.

August 17 – September 1

The eagerly awaited opening of


Two brilliant contemporary abstract artists spanning a generation.


21 Church Street



JUNE 6th to JULY 7th 2019

Every Thursday to Sunday

11.00 – 17.00




10 May - 30 Sept

An enticing

collection of

sculpture displayed

within a stunning

historic garden.

Exhibition sponsored by:


newhaven festival

illustration © Olivia Waller


17 - 28 Jun

See website for details


Registered Charity No: 246589 01444 450326 RH16 1XP



In town this month

Night Bloomer by Julian Brown

Over three weekends this month, Fitzroy House hosts Moon Gazing

– an exhibition celebrating the moon and some of its many manifestations

in art, culture and science. Curated by Sarah O’Kane to coincide

with the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing, the exhibition

features artworks by twelve contemporary artists – some specially

commissioned for the event – including Julian Bell, Peter Messer and

Charlotte Snook. A series of lunar-related events accompanies the

exhibition, including the launch of poetry anthology Pale Fire (published

by Lewes-based The Frogmore Press), moon-making workshops for

children and a talk by Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society,

and Royal Pavilion curator Alexandra Loske, who together wrote

the recently-published book Moon: Art, Science, Culture. Visit sarahokane. for more details of the events. Fitzroy House, 10 High Street,

from the 8th until the 23rd of June. (Open 10am-5pm Saturdays and Sundays.)

The Chalk Cliffs by Sue Collins



is the featured


at Chalk

Gallery until

the 9th of

June, swiftly

followed by Sue Collins, whose exhibition

opens on the 10th. Sue is based in Hassocks,

and her stylised linocuts are inspired by the

Downland views she can see from her studio

window. Sue will be at the gallery for a ‘meet

the artist’ event at 2pm on Tuesday 11th,

when she will be giving a short demonstration

of her reduction printmaking process.

Starlings on Downs by Fiona Richardson

Also in town

this month,

Sussex Printmakers

is an


of work by

five local


at Keizer

Frames. Expect

distinctive linocuts by Rachel Clark, photopolymer

and solar etchings by Kate Osborne, etchings by

Fiona Richardson and Elaine Foster-Gandey and

linocuts, woodcuts and wood engravings by the late

James T. A. Osborne (1907-1979). 1st-30th June.

St Anne’s Galleries present Horizonalia; a celebration of

the skyline in paint. This solo exhibition of oil paintings

on wood by Christopher McHugh explores the artist’s

long-running fascination with the dividing line between

earth and sky. 1st-30th June, Saturdays & Sundays 10am-

5pm, or at other times by appointment.

Cameo Horizon: Crooning by Christopher McHugh



A group exhibition

celebrating the moon

8 – 23 June

10am – 5pm Saturdays and Sundays

Fitzroy House

10 High Street

Lewes BN7 2AD

Sarah O’Kane Contemporary Fine Art

07777 691 050 |



Susan Ashworth

Susan Ashworth is holding an oil painting

workshop at Paddock Studios on Saturday

the 22nd of June from 10am-4pm. Whether

you’re an experienced painter or an absolute

beginner, Susan will guide you in the creation

of distinctive still life images. All materials are

provided. (£95, contact stories@jamiecrawford. for more information.) Also at Paddock Studios, Emma Carlow

and Chris Arran – both seasoned Viva cover artists – hold a joint exhibition

on the 29th and 30th of June (10am-5pm). Expect new works by

Chris, whose art incorporates paint, collage and digital techniques, and

lino cuts by Emma, who is exhibiting her work for the first time.

Emma Carlow

The Wallands and Priory Secret Art Auction goes

live on June 3rd. Bid online at

for paintings, prints, jewellery, pottery and

sculptures, including works by Julian Bell, Peter Messer,

Nick Bodimeade, Alexis Dove and Leigh Hodgkinson.

There’s a chance to see the artworks at a private view at

Lewes House, on Friday 21st (5-9pm) and Saturday 22nd

(9.30am-3pm) of June. The Auction closes 23rd June, so

make sure to get your bids in early.

Out of town

David Armitage

On the 6th of June,


opens its doors at

21 Church Street

in Seaford. Their

opening exhibition is

Abstract Generations

– works by David

Armitage and Aby Myers, with shows

by Karen Potter, Peter Messer, and

a collection of drawings by Stanley

Spencer to follow later in the season.

David Armitage and Aby Myers will

hold a Q&A at 3.30pm on Saturday the

22nd June and a walk and talk session

at 3.30pm on Saturday 6th July. (Gallery

opening times Thursday to Sunday,


Juliet Forrest

Inspired by Burne-Jones

– an exhibition of contemporary

stained glass

– is at the Grange Museum

and Gallery in

Rottingdean, from the

6-14 June. Featuring

work by 25 glass artists

from all over the

country (and one from

Chicago), the exhibition

is part of a two-year

programme of events

relating to Edward

Burne-Jones, one of

Rottingdean’s most

famous residents. For

a full list of exhibiting

artists, visit rottingdeanpreservationsociety.

Christopher McHugh Horizonalia

A celebration of the skyline in paint

1 - 30 June 2019, Saturdays & Sundays 10am - 5pm or by appointment


07860 728220

Summer 2019 Towner Art Gallery


Towner curates

the collection

Phoebe Unwin


Lothar Götz

Dance Diagonal

Image: courtesy Lothar Götz

Dineo Seshee Bopape

Sedibeng, it comes with the rain @ townergallery

Devonshire Park, College Road, Eastbourne, BN21 4JJ


Out of town

Towner are celebrating their tenth anniversary in their

‘new’, Rick Mather-designed building with a busy summer

season. Exhibitions include a large-scale installation

by South African artist Dineo Seshee Bopape; an

exhibition of works from the Towner collection, curated

by the gallery’s own team; a presentation of new paintings

by London-based artist Phoebe Unwin and a major

outdoor commission by Lothar Götz (see pg 60). Join

them for a celebratory summer party marking the launch

of the exhibitions on the 15th of June (6pm-late).

Harold Mockford

Plinth Home

Charleston hold their second Designer & Maker Fair

on Saturday the 22nd of June (11am-

5pm). Thirty carefully curated

designers and makers present

a selection of ceramics,

textiles, jewellery, clothing,

prints and home wares.

If the success of their

Christmas makers’ fair

is anything to go by, you

might want to book early.

(Tickets £5 in advance, £6 on

the door.)

Lucy Ogden

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft

present Women’s Work, an exhibition

of work by a pioneering group of

women in craft, who turned their

practice into successful businesses

between the two world wars. Many

of the featured artists are relatively

unknown, and yet hugely significant

to the development of the Arts and

Crafts movement. Drawing on the

museum’s own, and other specialist

collections, the exhibition features

more than 100 pieces of textiles, ceramics

and jewellery, made by craftswomen

including Ethel Mairet,

Alice Hindson, Phyllis Baron and Dorothy Larcher, Enid Marx and Denise Wren. A series of

events accompanies the exhibition, including a weaving residency using an historic loom.

Continues until 6th October.

Image kindly provided by the Crafts Study Centre, University for the Creative Arts


Lothar Götz, in front of his installation at the MAC Belfast . Photo by Jordan Hutchins

Lothar Götz

Transforming the Towner

“I like the Bauhaus idea of Gesamtkunstwerk”

says the artist Lothar Götz when I ask him

how he describes his large, site-specific wall

paintings. “An artwork where different areas

– architecture, design, painting, colour – meet

without a clear border. I was always interested

in that crossover.”

Citing influences as diverse as the aweinspiring

painted interiors of Baroque

churches, to the pared-back modernist

aesthetic of the Bauhaus, Lothar creates

bright, geometric abstract artworks on an epic

scale. This month sees the unveiling of his

largest painting to date: the transformation

of the entire exterior of the Towner Gallery

in Eastbourne. Commissioned to celebrate

the gallery’s tenth anniversary in its current

building, the painted façade will remain in situ

until May 2020.

As we chat on Skype, Lothar holds up a sketch

for ‘Dance Diagonal’, which will, by the time

you read this, wrap the gallery’s huge walls in

converging, technicolour diagonals. His design

responds to different architectural details

on the building: the curved window alcoves,

the jutting balcony and the unpredictable

movement that will be created by the curved

gallery walls. “The exciting thing with these

wall paintings and site-specific works on this

scale is that you can plan them – and you have

to plan them quite precisely so that you know

where to start – but there is still this element of

surprise, where you don’t know exactly what it

will look like.”



Lothar is well used to creating large-scale

works – previous commissions include the

Southbank Centre in London, and Leeds Art

Gallery – but the Towner will be a first for

the artist. “What is very unusual about this

project is that I’m painting the whole of the

outside, which will turn the building itself into

a giant public art sculpture. It crosses over

from architecture or painting and becomes

part of the topography of the town. It’s not like

going into a gallery and saying, ‘there are the

paintings’. People will walk along the street,

not necessarily expecting to look at art, but

then suddenly there it is.

“It will create quite a landmark in the town

centre and that’s very special. It doesn’t happen

very often, to have an opportunity to do

something which is so visible to the public.”

The installation is set to take three weeks

and, when we speak in early May, Lothar isn’t

sure how much paint he will need for each of

the 15 colours, each needing four coats. But,

with Brewers Decorator Centres sponsoring

the commission, he is guaranteed a sufficient

supply. Nor does he know how much tape it

will take to mask the crisp diagonal lines across

such distances (one of the walls is more than 30

metres wide and 15 metres high), but he’ll be

working with an expert team from the London

Mural Company to manage the process. What

is certain is that the Towner – always a striking

building – is about to become an artwork in its

own right. And an eye-catching centrepiece for

Eastbourne’s new Devonshire Quarter.

Towner’s celebratory summer season

launches on the 15th of June. Lizzie Lower

Crash: Acrylic and Emulsion on wall, Küstlerhaus / Kunstverein Hanover, 2012photo by Raimund Zakowski

Double-Take:Acrylic and emulsion on wall, MAC Belfast, 2013, photo by Jordan Hutchins





1 st - 30 th June 2019

Open daily

An exhibition of work

by five modern

and contemporary

Sussex printmakers


Rachel Clark

linocuts and etchings

Kate Osborne

photopolymer and solar etchings

Fiona Richardson

drypoint etchings

Elaine Foster-Gandey


James T. A. Osborne (1907-1979)

linocuts, woodcuts and

wood engravings


Sat 1 st June, 4-7pm

James T. A. Osborne

15 Malling Street, Pastorale Antiques, Lewes, BN7 2RA | 01273 471647


June listings


‘There’s no Planet B’:

A day of speakers and

stalls hosted by Plastic

Free Lewes, exploring

practical ideas for living

more sustainably. Visitors

can sign up to the

Plastic Free Lewes Pledge, and at 3pm, listen

to Lewes District Councillors debate what a

‘climate emergency’ should look like at the

local level. Lewes Town Hall, 11am-4pm, free

(donations welcome).


Comedy at the Con. With

Stefano Paolini, Dave Chawner

and Mark Maier. Con Club,

7.30pm, £8-£12.


South of England Show. The best of British

countryside living, with a packed schedule of

events and activities over three days. At the

South of England Showground, Ardingly, see


Headstrong Club. Suramayi on Auroville, a

50-year-old experiment in alternative society.

Elephant and Castle, 8pm, £3.



Paul Mason speaks

at a Lewes Labour

party event about

his new book

Clear Bright

Future: A Radical

Defence of the Human Being. Followed by

book signing. Lewes Town Hall, 5pm, £5.


Waterlily Festival. Enjoy

the waterlilies on the lakes at

Sheffield Park and Garden,

through a variety of tours,

events and workshops. See


Railway Land Festival. Activities and walks for

all ages, live music, refreshments and information

stands. At 4pm there will be a Grand Postcard

Auction featuring anonymous artwork by

professionals and amateurs alike, inspired by the

‘Looking Out’ theme. Linklater, 2pm-5pm, free.

Illustrated talk by Robert Massey of the Royal

Astronomical Society and The Royal Pavilion

Brighton curator Alexandra Loske, who are coauthors

of the recently published book Moon: Art,

Science, Culture. Fitzroy House, 2.30pm, £3, contact to pre-book places.

Pale Fire launch. Anthology

of moon poems

published by Lewes-based

The Frogmore Press, with

readings by contributors.

Fitzroy House, 7.30pm,

free, pre-book

Poetry & All That Jazz magazine launch,

as part of the South Downs Poetry Festival.

Readers include Robyn Bolam, Charlotte Gann

and Stephanie Norgate, plus jazzy guitar from

Geoff Robb. John Harvey Tavern, 4.30-6pm,



‘Floreat Lewys’: Lewes History Group talk

with local author David Arscott, recalling his

research into the history of Lewes Old Grammar

School. King’s Church, 7pm for 7.30pm,



June listings (cont.)


Uckfield Lewes and Newick Arts Society.

‘Augustus John, King of Bohemia’, a lecture by

Jennifer Toynbee-Holmes. The Civic Centre,

Uckfield, 2.30pm, £7 (members free).

The Paint Club.

Relaxed painting class.

All materials provided,

no artistic experience

required. Fuego Lounge,

7pm-9pm, £20.





Needlewriters. Featuring readings from Beth

Miller, Kate Ashton and Jacq Molloy. John

Harvey Tavern, 7pm for 7.45pm, £5/£3.


Mind Body Spirit Sussex Festival. Therapies,

readings, holistic goods & produce. Lewes

Town Hall, 10am-4pm, free entry.

Voodoo Vaudeville presents: Church House

Gin House. A dark and twisted circus cabaret.

All Saints, 7.30pm, £14.


Lewes to Newhaven Raft Race. Annual free

event for all the family, raising funds for local

good causes. Contact

for more information.

The Winter’s


By William


Directed by

Chris Weber Brown


Rose celebrations. Admire the beauty of the

Rose Garden at its peak with 750 David Austin

rose plants and 100 varieties. Borde Hill Garden,


Saturday 29 June - Saturday 6 July

7:45pm excluding Sunday. Matinee

Saturday 6 July 2:45pm.

Box Office: 01273 474826


Members £8



Dalloway Day. Celebrating

the life and works

of Virginia Woolf in the

style of Clarissa Dalloway.

Monk’s House, 12.30pm-



300 Years of British Prime Ministers. Free

public lecture with leading British historian

Sir Anthony Seldon. Lewes Town Hall Lecture

Room, 7pm, free. See page 35.


South Downs Beer

& Cider Festival.

Selection of 80 different

beers on sale.

Lewes Town Hall,



Black Deer Festival. Weekend of Americana

and country music, food and activities for the

whole family. Eridge Park, Kent, See page 41.


Charleston Designer & Maker Fair.

Unique wares from designers and makers in

the South. Charleston, 11am-5pm, £5/£6.


St Peter & St James Hospice Midsummer

Stroll. Enjoy a two, seven or ten mile

sponsored walk through the parkland of

Borde Hill and beyond. Borde Hill Garden,

9am-5pm, £18 (£5 for kids).


Lost Brighton. Chris Horlock looks at some

of Brighton’s most significant losses. The

Keep,5.30pm, £5. See page 49.

Open Sundays from 7th April - 27th October

Opening 9th June

Farleys House & Gallery tickets available online

or in the gallery on arrival.

See our website for details and bookings for

Farleys Supper Club - Sunday 23rd June 2019

Join us for a special evening and enjoy Lee

Miller’s Surrealist cuisine.

Muddles Green, Chiddingly

East Sussex, BN8 6HW

Tel: 01825 872856

@ FarleysHG





Speakers include:

Jinny Blom

Rachel de Thame

Caroline Lucas

Andy Sturgeon

Derry Watkins

Cleve West

Christopher Woodward

13 & 14 JULY

TICKETS £12/£10

CHARLESTON.ORG.UK 01323 815144

Image © Penelope Fewster

June listings (cont.)

Open Gardens


Lewes Tap Takeover. Participating pubs: Black

Horse, Brewers Arms, The Patch, Elephant &

Castle, The Gardeners Arms, Royal Oak.


Sussex Gin & Fizz Festival.

Samples of local gin

and sparkling wine, local

producers, artisan food

stalls and live music. Southover

Grange Gardens,

morning and evening session,

See pages 11 and 82.

Midsummer Madness. Fundraiser for local

youth charity. Featuring Tongue & Groove,

Starfish bands, food/BBQ, bar and a surprise.

(Please note the pool closes 5pm and re-opens

at noon the next day). Pells, 7.30pm, £12/£6.


The Winter’s Tale. Shakespeare classic

directed by Chris Weber Brown. Lewes Little

Theatre, see for times and

prices. See page 45.


Pro Musica Summer Concert. Lewes-based

chamber choir will sing favourites from The

Sound of Music and Oliver! as well as John

Rutter’s folksong cycle The Sprig of Thyme. St.

Andrew’s Church, The Tye, Alfriston, 6pm, £12.


Southease Open

Gardens. Seven

gardens to explore, tea

and cakes, plant sales,

stalls on the green and

garden crafts. In aid

of Southease Church

fabric repair and general

fund. 1pm-6pm, entry by donation £6,

accompanied under 16s free.

Holford Manor Open Garden. In aid of

The Bevern Trust. Holford Manor, 11am-

4pm, £5. (plus Saturday 22 & Sunday 23)


Fletching Garden Trail. With plant stalls,

games, homemade lunches, cakes, tea and

coffee. 11am-5pm, £6 (kids free).

Southover Open

Gardens. Secret

garden trail hosted

by Southover Bonfire

Society. 2pm-

5pm (some until

6pm), £5 (kids free).

Rodmell Open Gardens. Gardens to visit,

arts, crafts and plants for sale. 2pm-5pm, £5

(under 14s free).


Glynde, Beddingham


Firle Garden

Trail. Over 20

open gardens,

tea & refreshments,


plants & produce for sale. Raising funds for

Glynde Community Swimming Pool and

Firle Primary School. 11am-4pm, £5 suggested

donation (under 16s free).


St. Anne’s Church, Lewes

Friday 5th at 7.30pm


Purcell, Dowland, Britten,

Tippett and Gurney

with counter-tenor Erik Kallo, tenor

Michael Bell, pianist Ana Manastireanu

and lutenist Augustin Cornwall-Irving

Saturday 6th at 1pm


Women’s lives glimpsed in a

kaleidoscope of song

with mezzo Lucy Schaufer, soprano

Lucy Hall and pianist Nancy Cooley

Saturday 6th at 7.30pm


Schubert, Brahms, Ravel, Strauss

and Finzi

with baritone James Newby and

pianist Ian Tindale


Sunday 7th at 1pm



Dvorák, Debussy, Barber and

English songs

with mezzo Rebecca Leggett and

pianist Ella O’Neill

Sunday 7th at 7.30pm



Britten: Les Illuminations and

Serenade for tenor, horn and strings

Holst: St Paul’s Suite

Ed Hughes: Flint

with The Corelli Ensemble,

conductor Sian Edwards,

tenor William Morgan,

soprano Alison Rose,

and horn player

Zachary Hayward

Festival Pass £65

Fri / Sat evening £15

Sun evening £20

Lunchtimes £12

Under 16s half-price


or from Lewes Tourist Information

Centre (01273 483448)

Patron: Mark Padmore | LEWES TOWN COUNCIL |



Classical round-up


Lewes Chamber Music Festival

The annual festival returns, this year celebrating in particular

Gabriel Fauré and the music of his time. Artistic Director

Beatrice Philips says: “There’s a hugely rich chamber music

repertoire from late 19th Century France – it was very difficult

to decide what to programme and what to exclude!”

Don’t miss Fauré’s mighty Piano Quintet no.1, Op. 89 on

Friday 7th at 6pm, although the whole festival promises some

memorable gigs, such as pianist Alasdair Beatson playing

Birtwistle’s fiendish Harrison’s Clocks, and a festival finale at

which the Eusebius Quartet perform Bartok’s final String Quartet, No. 6. Seventeen artists,

seven concerts, three days. Catch it if you can.

Trinity St John Sub Castro and All Saints Centre. £15-£17.




Photo of Alasdair Beatson by Kaupo Kikkas


& SUNDAY 16, 5PM

La Traviata. The NSO Orchestra and Chorus,

conducted by Ben Knowles, present Verdi’s

great romantic tragedy. These two fully staged

performances in Lewes are part of a tour taking

in Brighton, Eastbourne and East Grinstead.

Directed by Cate Couch. All Saints Centre. £22

(£11 students; accompanied child under 16 free)


St Michael’s Recitals. Anne Hodgson (Flute)

and Nick Houghton (Piano). St Michael’s, free.


Glyndebourne Festival. Massenet’s Cendrillon

(Cinderella) makes its Festival debut, and

Dvorak’s Rusalka opens on Saturday 29th.

Glyndebourne Opera House. £15-£230


The Corelli Ensemble. The Corellis’ final

concert of the season featuring Sussex Composers.

Seaford Baptist Church. £10 in advance,

£12 on the door. Children free.


& SUNDAY 16, 6PM

Hamsey Festival. Musicians of All Saints.

The first of the two concerts in Hamsey

Church features music for wind quartet,

including Peter Copley’s Die Nacht ist kommen.

The following week a string quartet from MAS

plays music by Haydn, Frank Bridge and Guy

Richardson. Hamsey Church. £12 regular, £9

concession, under 18s free on the door only.


Glynde Place Concert Series. BBC Radio

3 New Generation Artist Elisabeth Brauss

(piano) in concert. The programme includes

works by Scarlatti, Schubert and Beethoven.

Glynde Place. £30, under 16s £15.


Rachmaninov Vespers. Esterhazy Chamber

Choir conducted by Richard Dawson.

St Anne’s Church. £15 on door, £12 in advance.


Grieg • Ravel • Ysaye

Wagner • Tchaikovsky



Saturday 7pm, 13 July


New Sussex Opera Chorus presents

Verdi’s favourite opera

Fully staged · live · sung in English

professional soloists & orchestra

All Saints Centre


Saturday June 1 7pm

Sunday June 16 5pm

Birley Centre


Sunday June 2 4pm

Chequer Mead


Saturday June 8 7pm

S George’s Kemp Town


Saturday June 15 7pm


Classical round-up (cont.)

Ruth Kerr and the Paddock Singers. Photo by Katie Vandyke


Paddock Singers. Women & Song – a celebration

of women composers and songwriters.

Music through the centuries from Hildegard

of Bingen to Carole King, including local

composer Helen Glavin. With Paul Austin

Kelly, Carol Kelly and Ruth Kerr, who also

directs. All Saints Centre. £12, to include cake

and fizz.


St Anne’s Lunchtime Concerts. The Kelleth

Trio perform Schubert’s Piano Trio in E

flat. St Anne’s Church, free.


Orff Carmina Burana. The massed forces

of East Sussex Community Choir, Brighton

Orpheus Choir, Wallands School Choir and

South Downs Youth Orchestra take on the

Orff classic. Programme includes a new commission

by Siobhan Connellan. Conducted

by Nicholas Houghton and Malcolm Warnes.

Lewes Town Hall. £15 / £10 (unwaged £5).


As Shadows Fall. Music for dusk, evening

and the night. In another collaborative

venture, the Brighton Consort and New

Sussex Singers sing together under their

Music Directors James Dixon and Sebastian

Charlesworth, in a programme of choral

music spanning six centuries from Tallis

to Whitacre.

Trinity St John-sub-Castro. £12.


Seaford Music Society presents Melvyn

Tan (piano) and Friends. International

star Melvyn Tan is joined by Ruth Rogers

on violin and cellist Sebastian Comberti.

The gala concert includes Beethoven’s Piano

Trio Number 4 in B Flat Major, Op. 11 and

Debussy’s Reflets Dans L’Eau and Mouvement,

No.s 1 and 3.

St Leonard’s Church, Seaford. £32.50,

Students in full-time education £15.

Robin Houghton




This month we’re heading to the Elephant &

Castle for another exciting Lewes Saturday

Folk Club guest. Sandra Kerr has many strings

to her bow: singer, concertina player, songwriter,

teacher… the list goes on. Perhaps best

known for her work co-writing the songs and

music for the much-loved children’s TV show

Bagpuss, Sandra was also a member of Ewan

MacColl’s Critics Group in the 70s, who met

to explore ‘how best to apply the techniques

of folk-music and drama to the folk revival’.

A fine, expressive voice and mastery of her

craft will surely make for a memorable gig. On

Sunday 23rd Sandra will also lead an all-day

workshop on concertina-playing & singing.

Saturday 22, Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £9


Morrissey Indeed. The Smiths & Morrissey tribute.

Con Club, 7.30pm, £15 advance/£20

Jerry Jordan. English Folk – unaccompanied traditional.

Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £6


English dance tunes session – bring instruments.

Folk (English Trad). The Volunteer, 12pm, free

ROME. Latin, swing & blues jam. Royal Oak, 7pm,


Jam Night. Free drink for all participants. Lansdown,

7.30pm, free

Subhumans. Punk. Con Club, 7.30pm, £14


Simon Spillett, Alex Eberhard & Nigel Thomas.

Jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free


English dance tunes session – bring instruments.

Folk (English trad). John Harvey Tavern, 8pm, free


Turning Green. Dirty grooving rock ‘n’ roll.

Lansdown, 7.30pm, free

Jacquemo. Ska & funk. Royal Oak, 8pm, free


Kit Trigg. Blues/rock. Lansdown, 7.30pm, free

Jez Lowe. Geordie Folk, guitar, mandolin, harmonica.

Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £8


ROME. Latin, swing & blues jam. Royal Oak,

7pm, free

Peter Bruntnell. Americana. Con Club, 7.30pm, £12





Raul D’Oliviera’s Quinto. Jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm,



Concertinas Anonymous practice session. Folk &

misc. Elephant & Castle, 8pm, free


Los Kamer. Energetic Balkan/Mexican gypsy swing.

Lansdown, 7.30pm, free


Don Letts DJ set. Con Club, 7.30pm, £15

Charlie Quinnell. Folk – English & Scottish unaccompanied.

Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £6


Sepia Shadows. Sunday in the bar session with a mix

of blues, jazz and R&B. Con Club, 3pm, free


Josephine Davies, Spike Wells & Nigel Thomas.

Jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free


Sandra Kerr. See Gig of the Month

Supernatural Things. Funk, soul & blues. Royal

Oak, 8pm, free


Cameron Pierre & Terry Seabrook. Jazz. Snowdrop,

8pm, free


English tunes practice session for any instrument.

Folk (English trad). Elephant & Castle, 8pm,



Capella. Folk old & new, vocal harmony. Elephant

& Castle, 8pm, £7

Loose Caboose. DJ night featuring 60s soul, northern,

R&B, Latin & jazz. Con Club, 7.30pm, £6

Love Action with Fruitful Sounds. Royal Oak,

8pm, £5


Arcelia. Sunday in the

bar session with folk/

soul harmony trio.

Con Club, 3.30pm,


The SoapGirls. Punk.

Con Club, 7.30pm,


Jez Lowe



Hotel Paradiso

Eastbourne College presents their annual Summer production in

the grounds of the college and their outdoor theatre The Dell.

This mad French bedroom frolic finds an assortment of refined

people stealing through the halls and rooms of a cheap hotel

comically intent on assignations.

In Paris in 1910, Marcelle Cot becomes

so annoyed with her neglectful

husband Henri, a pompous architect,

that she consents to a rendezvous

with her timorous neighbour, Benedict

Boniface, who has learned that

his domineering wife Angélique is

spending the night with her ailing

sister. Unfortunately the arrival of

several people they know set about a

farcical adventure around the hotel.

Claudine Sinnett, Director of Drama

at Eastbourne College and Gavin

Robertson the resident practitioner

have adapted and directed this farce

and worked closely with the cast and

technical team to create a colourful,

loud and funny production. Hotel

Paradiso blends spectacular physical

comedy, theatrical storytelling and

slapstick. Madame and the charming

staff of the quirkily ineffective Hotel

Paradiso combat their arch enemy

The Banker who is trying to repossess

their beloved home. With thrills,

gasps, laughs and drama there’s

plenty for both adults and children to


Wednesday 26 – Friday 28 June 2019, 8.15pm

Refreshments from 7.45pm, bring a blanket

College Theatre. Tickets £5

FreeTIME êêêê under 16


Teddy Bears Picnic. Local children’s hospice

charity Chestnut Tree House encourage you to

support them by holding your own picnic. For

some fun ideas see




The Jungle Book. Join Mowgli and friends

on the adventure of a lifetime. Devonshire

Park Theatre, see


Doctor Dolittle. Musical based on the

classic tale, presented by Eastbourne

Stagers. Devonshire Park Theatre, see


Film: The Secret of Kells (PG). Animated

fantasy. Towner Gallery, 10.30am, £4.



Challenge. Familyfun

day themed

‘Let’s Score!’, with

various sporting

activities to take

part in, a variety of

stalls, bouncy castle,

BBQ and licenced bar. Avis Road Recreation

Ground, Denton, Newhaven, 1pm-5pm, £1.50

to enter the challenge (collect a scorecard from

the main tent).

Michael Hall Midsummer Festival.

Exhibitions of work and crafts, Estate and

garden walks, sideshows, lunches and cream

teas. 11am-5pm, see


Isfield Village Fête. Fun for all the family

with novelty dog show, tug of war, stocks,

stalls, beer tent, local ice cream, BBQ, tea &

cake and more. In the ICE field behind the

The Laughing Fish, Isfield, 12pm, £2 (under

16 50p, under 5 free).


Raystede Summer Fair. Fun-packed

weekend with a range of activities, stalls and

entertainment. See

Ben &

Holly’s Little


From the

makers of

Peppa Pig

comes this




animation live on stage. Devonshire Park

Theatre, see


Football School Star Players

by Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton

book review

The Football School books aim to teach young readers all about the

world through football. Authors Alex Bellow and Ben Lyttleton

manage to cleverly explain all sorts of different subjects and

themes through fascinating football-related information. The

books are divided into ‘lessons’ where, for example, Business Studies

looks at footballers’ wages, why they’re paid so much, and where

the money comes from; Zoology considers famous club mascots;

Physics is all about gravity, and asking what it would be like to play

football on Mars; Drama looks at goal celebrations (the Oscar

goes to the Icelandic team of Stjarnan and it’s well worth googling

them to see why!). There are lots of diagrams, brilliant cartoon illustrations

and jokes throughout, making them perfectly ‘pitched’

for 8-12 year olds. This month sees the release of the latest book

in the series, Football School: Star Players, a collection of 50 of the

inspiring stories of some of the game’s greatest players.

Anna, Bags of Books

Find the Football School books with 20% off at Bags of Books throughout June.

Midsummer Festival

Saturday 22nd June 2019

11:00 - 17:00

Exhibitions of work and crafts from Kindergarten to A-Level

Pageant ~ Sideshows ~ Estate & Garden Walks ~ Alumni Tours

Lunches ~ Cream Teas ~ Strawberries & Ice-Cream

There will be an evening performance from Class 9 & 11

‘Les Miserables’ Theatre at 19:00 (suitable for age 14 upwards) Ticketed

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

Tel: 01342 822275 - Registered Charity Number 307006

day out

Adventures at Knockhatch

stacks of activities to choose from

My six-year-old and I enjoyed a family day out

at Knockhatch Adventure Park recently. We

pre-paid online. And were blown away by the

range of activities that were on offer.

We started our day focusing on the animals.

From supersized rabbits, to a strutting turkey;

from ducks in a pond to hand-feeding a llama,

there were a lot of animals with which we

could get up close and personal. We loved

the wallaby walk-through area, where several

female wallabies, carrying their babies in their

pouches, bounded towards us in their hunt for

some of the food that we’d bought on entry.

We also enjoyed looking at the statue-like

owls, unblinking on their perches.

After enjoying the animals, we were spoilt for

choice as to what to do next. We spent time

in one of the best adventure play castles I’ve

seen – complete with its own ‘fire breathing’

dragon. My son ran around the structure,

clambering up the stairs, negotiating walkways

and generally having fun exploring. After this

he had a quick turn on the flying fox where

we noticed some high ropes activities were

under construction – something for a future

visit with my older two – then headed off

towards the jumping pillows and the outdoor

bungee trampoline for which we had to pay a

bit extra. Another highlight was the avalanche

slide which involved racing down a slope on a

Ringo (a type of inflated tyre) – my son had at

least five or six goes on this one.

After that, we had a quick lunch – chips and

beans – at one of the many food outlets, before

hiring a rowing boat to explore the lake. We

continued with this water theme with the

Wave Runner waterslide. Children climb up

the 32-feet tower then launch themselves at

great speed down the slide; then skip across a

pool of water before finally coming to a safe


And there were lots of things we didn’t go on

due to a lack of time: Froggies, the indoors

soft play area; the splash zones for younger

children; and the Quadapillar Barrel Ride

which looked exciting. And there was the owl

display, the go-karts (age restrictions; good for

older ones, age 13+) and the mini quads (ages

4 to 12).

We left with a determination to return and

this time to bring all three children for a fun

day out with lots to see and do. Not all rides

are open on every day so it’s a good idea to

check the website before you head off and

from which you can purchase discounted

tickets. Happy adventuring! Jacky Adams

Free entry for dads on Father’s Day, 16th June



House & Gardens

Indoor & Outdoor Events &

Activities for all the Family!

Sussex Day - Wildlife Wednesday

Craft Activities - Father’s Day Picnic

Homefront Weekend

Archaeology Day

Children’s Trails

Family Games Fest

Theatre Shows

Face Painting

Classic Cars -

Pirate & Princess Day

Upper Dicker, BN27 3QS

01323 844 224

Your all




Teddy Bears


17–23 June 2019

Support your local children’s hospice during Children’s

Hospice Week by holding a Teddy Bears Picnic!

Create special memories. Moments that Matter.

For today. For tomorrow. For the Now.

For more information and fun ideas for

making your picnic one to remember, visit

Registered charity no 256789



a sport for life

When I ask Luke Milligan what’s brilliant about

tennis, he replies, “Currently, at the club here

I coach kids who are 4 years old and adults of

75 plus. It’s a sport you can play, and love, your

whole life.”

Luke Milligan is the force behind Milligan

Tennis, which offers all the junior tennis training

at the Southdown Club. He’s been doing so for

the last four or more years, but this isn’t his first

connection to the club.

Luke first played here when he was fifteen,

and moved from North London to lodge with

a family in Barcombe while he trained for the

national training squad in Brighton. Playing at

the Southdown was part of his routine, and he

always liked it. It’s felt right to return, he tells

me, “and Dave the Groundsman is still here!”

Luke played tennis seriously for about ten years

– he represented GB in the Davis Cup, and in

1996 made the third round of the Men’s Singles

at Wimbledon. Then he turned to coaching. “I

coached a lot of girls and women, especially, for

the LTA National Tennis Centre.”

Southdown is, today “very, very junior-friendly”,

Luke says. He loves being part of what he tells

me is a great community around the club. “It’s

like an oasis: a friendly, safe environment”. And

that’s certainly my impression, as we sit chatting

in the clubhouse – today, Caffé Lazzati. People

keep stopping to speak to Luke as they pass. One

– Ellie – is now training to be a coach herself,

and has returned to be part of Milligan Tennis,

after completing a scholarship to Eastbourne


So what coaching is available for young people

interested in tennis, at the Southdown? “We

train all ages” Luke tells me, “starting with Tots

Tennis drop-in, for the 3s to 5s”. Mini Tennis on

smaller courts caters for 5-8s (Red) and Orange,

8s-9s. Greens plus are on full-sized courts, for

the 10s to 18s.

The facilities are great – and a picturesque

bubble – geodesic dome – covers two courts

for six months of the year (October-March), so

the classes can run, between 4 and 7.30pm on

school nights, and on Saturday mornings, all

year round. There are also Easter and Summer

camps which are “very popular”, Luke tells me;

“sometimes, fifty to sixty kids a day.”

Summing up Junior Tennis at the club today,

he says: “There’s this recreational, fun side.

Then there are some kids taking the sport very

seriously – representing the county, and country.

But underpinning it all is this family feel – which

works really well. Ellie runs the tots groups, and

she’s brilliant at that. They all love her!”

Luke says he’d like to start a Junior Club night

soon – maybe on Friday evenings. Something

to bridge the holiday camps, and the squads. I

suspect he will… Charlotte Gann


Inspiring Business









Rathfinny Wine Estate, Alfriston, Sussex, BN26 5TU

01323 874 030

For our corporate brochure email us at


Pelham Arms

A carnivore’s delight

Photo by Joe Fuller

A table at The Pelham

Arms is a hot ticket

at the moment. Attempting

to fit in an

early booking before a

show proved difficult,

so two of Viva’s own

decided to go for a

Friday afternoon lunch

instead. You wouldn’t

have known it from

the ambiance however,

the pub was bustling

with citizens commencing their early May bank

holiday festivities early.

Sat at a nice table by a window, we are told about

the ale options on tap. I go for an Abyss Brewing

Tropical Thunder IPA (6.2%, £3.50 for a 2/3

pint), a concoction by landlord, Andrew, which

originated from the cellars of The Pelham Arms

itself. It’s smoother and more floral than many

pale ales, and goes down very easily indeed. Kelly

opts for the fair-traded Karma Gingerella (£3),

one of the “nicest ginger beers I’ve ever had”.

We take different paths on the mains. I am curious

about Pelham’s own smokehouse, so go all-in

on a barbeque platter (£18), while Kelly settles

on a spiced bean burger (£12). I missed the line

on the menu suggesting that the platter is a ‘great

one to share’ and am bowled over when the feast

arrives. The smokehouse has worked wonders on

this carnivore’s delight: the pork belly is heavily

smoked, resulting in a distinctly scrumptious,

memorable flavour. It is crisply coated, almost

to the point of being burnt, which complements

the succulent texture of the meat. The quantity

is noteworthy, coming in at approximately

quadruple the size of

a typical pork belly


The chicken leg is a

subtler counterpoint to

the pork belly – tasty in

a quieter way – whereas

the chunky Holmansbridge

Farm sausages

have a hearty flavour

and a satisfying crumbly

texture to them.

The slaw is fresh and

lemony, and the dish is topped by house pickles,

which do a good job of soaking up the flavour of

the sausages. I suggest getting some house chips

(£3.50), and sharing the platter.

The spiced bean burger has a small kick to it

– but “not too spicy” – and is certainly big and

messy, as the menu warns. Kelly explains that

this is a good thing, when compared to the dry

patties that vegetarians are often saddled with; the

chunky guacamole, cheese and chipotle mayo on

the burger – and the house chips included in the

£12 price – add to the indulgent effect.

Our paths converge when it comes to dessert,

with neither of us able to look past the sticky

toffee pudding with toffee sauce and Downsview

Farm vanilla ice cream (£6.50). The sponge is

gooey and not too dense, and the pudding swam

happily in a lovely, sweet and sugary toffee sauce.

Finally, I’d like to pass on my thanks to the

person or algorithm behind the music. She’s a

Mystery to Me by Roy Orbison was one highlight,

alongside one of the best pop songs ever: Up on

the Roof by The Drifters. Joe Fuller, 01273 476149



Photo by Danny Arter


Ruaridh Wightman

The Copper Top Bar

My partner, Tilly Webster and I worked in

and managed bars across France, Switzerland

and the UK and had wanted to do something

together as a project for a while. We weren’t

sure what, but we always wanted our

own venture together. At a street party in

Brighton, we saw a basic converted horse box

bar and we immediately started discussing

what we would do differently and what kind

of bar we would have (fresh cocktails and

gin it turns out). As soon as we got home,

we were so excited, we started searching for

vintage horse boxes and spent hours until

we found the perfect one. That was two

years ago, then we spent just under a year

renovating it ourselves and have been up and

running for a year now and we’re almost fully

booked for this year, which is great.

A renovated vintage Rice horse trailer, the

bar has been fitted out using local, reclaimed

wood and copper coins. It took almost a

year of us working up there each weekend,

designing, stripping it out, building the bar

and worktops, painting, salvaging reclaimed

pallet wood and creating the bar top and

light feature. All of it was done by ourselves,

or with friends and it’s an important reason

the bar looks the way it does. This meant

our idea of the finished product was able to

evolve slowly and had a lot more additions

and custom bits we wouldn’t have thought of

had someone else done it for us.

Sustainability is a huge thing for us. Tilly’s

background is in Ecology, and this informs

a strong and simple aim to minimise our

impact on the environment. My background

in events always infuriated me because of all

the wastage. We use biodegradable straws

made from paper or crushed sea shells, and all

our cups are recyclable.

There are so many cocktails we could choose,

but this one jumps out because it’s perfect for

the summer season. As a bar, we’re mainly

outside so good weather and good cocktails

is what everyone is after. At a summer event,

this seems to catch the mood and we can’t

make them fast enough. Raspberries, mint

and gin work brilliantly together and the

Prosecco just tops it off perfectly. If you like

the look of it, come down and see us at the

Gin & Fizz festival (29th June; see pg 11).

Mention Viva Lewes and we’ll make you an

extra special one! As told to Charlotte Gann


The recipe is as follows:

- Muddle fresh limes, mint and brown sugar

- Add in fresh raspberries and muddle them in too

- 2 shots of good quality local gin

- Shake with ice, then pour into glass

- Top up with fresh ice, some tonic water and a splash of Prosecco

- Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint


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Master_VivaLewes_June2019.indd 1 15/05/2019 13:06:48


Edible updates

Eating out

As someone who prefers lounging comfortably to

leaping about, I’m stretching the theme of ‘sport’ to

mean outdoor activity. We have unpredictable summer

weather, but that adds a thrill of danger to plans

for a Glyndebourne picnic, a walk under the Downs

near Firle to the magical Beanstalk Café, collecting a tray from the Grange Gardens tea hatch, or

sitting outside in the garden of Anne of Cleves House (where their café now has a loyalty card).

For picnic fare, the Friday Food Market stalls offer all kinds of bits and pieces, from bread, pitta, meats

and cheeses, to mini-pies, tarts and dumplings. A Meze Box at Kabak includes mejadra Arabic rice,

three excellent salads, humous and harissa. This Little Piggy is new, selling sausage rolls that are a lot

more exciting than the limp effort you get in supermarkets. Five mini-rolls for £3.50. I chose: American

Breakfast, Smokey Joe, Peking Pork, Spanish Senorita and Green Chilli. Delicious. They also make

large, veggie ones.

I’m a fan of Caccia & Tails on Station Street for items to pep up your picnic – focaccia, obviously,

but also cocktails. The bobbly glass Campari and soda bottle is a personal favourite.

In local food news, Aqua under the Premier Inn has shut, whilst Fuego Lounge seems to be thriving.

The third restaurant space in that row has never even been occupied. Seems a shame that such a

central, prime location is only patchily successful. @LewesNibbler

Illustration by Clare Dales

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Summer borders

Zinging Zinnias and fragrant Pinks

As the first shoots of bindweed surface and the

ground-elder starts to erupt in the border, take

comfort in those fresh young seedlings emerging

in the seed trays demanding to be potted up.

Such vigorous and optimistic growth bursting

to get on with painting the summer red… and

purple, orange! My Zinnias are of deep purple

and a pure orange, and will blaze in the borders

sending shock waves down the garden path.

When potting-on try to grip the plain seed leaf

– that is, the very first leaf – gently, and dangle

the root into the pot as you pile in the compost.

This avoids bending the delicate roots and helps

the plant to establish quickly.

Keep them under cover for a week or so, then

stand them in the cold frame for a further

couple of weeks. Plant them where you want a

real splash of colour. They will become tall and

vigorous so provide a little staking: pea sticks

will do. As long as you keep up the deadheading

their bold flowers will bloom profusely for the

rest of the summer.

It is a common misconception that Pinks are

called Pinks because they are pink. They’re not.

Well, not always. ‘Mrs Sinkins’ is pure white,

whilst ‘Susan’ is a gaudy salmon red. The name

actually refers to the act of ‘pinking’ using cotton

pinking shears, which make a zigzag cut to

prevent fraying: a pattern reflected in the jagged

edges of the fragrant petals.

Pinks have a special place at Charleston. One

of the finest pictures of the garden, showing it

at its very best, is in the Tate collection. Painted

by Duncan Grant in the 1940s, this shows a

blossom-filled garden with rich herbaceous

borders and a silvery ruff of Pinks running down

the length of the main path. Vanessa Bell wrote

in 1940, ‘It’s a hot summer evening, I have pulled

up the wallflowers regretfully and now the pinks

are making the whole place smell’.

The picture was painted in May 1944, before the

pinks were flowering, so sourcing the historically

correct variety has been a challenge. Allwoods, a

family-run nursery, based in Hassocks, have been

specialist growers of Pinks since 1910. Though

many of the old varieties have disappeared,

Allwoods Nursery still hold over 400 and their

knowledge is second to none.

I showed a painting of Pinks by Vanessa Bell to

the proprietor and she was immediately able

to identify the three varieties in the flower arrangement

including ‘Alice’, bred by Allwoods

in 1930. Today, two years later, I have finally

finished propagating enough ‘Alice’ to reinstate

this lovely border. This month, the scent can

once again be found lingering in the warm, still

air of the walled garden.

Fiona Dennis is Head Gardener at Charleston

Photo of Fiona Dennis by Maggie Tran


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Photographer Ben Broad visited four fantastic skateboarders down on

Malling skatepark. He asked each: what do you love about skateboarding?

Felix Turko

‘It makes you feel free’


Diggs English (Semi-finalist at this year’s Olympic qualifier)

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Photos by Rob Read

Twitten runners

Medieval stairmasters? Fools on the hills?

Have you spotted ‘We run

the Twittens’ on Twitter? Or

maybe you’ve even seen them

in the flesh? Of a Sunday

morning? A crooked line of

figures silhouetted on the

horizon – somewhat incredibly

running up a twitten?

I spoke to twitten runner

extraordinaire, Rob Read, to

find out all about it, and how

a ‘twitten run’ actually works.

“We’ve been doing them every

Sunday morning since November

2015”, he told me. “That’s

168 runs”, at our time of

speaking. “Anyone’s welcome.

Just join us at 9am any Sunday

– we gather at All Saints, then

head to Broomans Lane.

“Most Sundays there are half

a dozen runners – the most

we’ve had is ten (on six occasions).

We basically run up one

twitten, all gather at the top,

walk along to the next, and jog

down – until we’ve run up or

down all 12 twittens, (12½ if

you count Bull Lane, which we

do). Then we turn around and

do the whole ladder in reverse,

before coffee in Ground Coffee

at the end.”

In total, 59 different people

have taken part at one time

or another, Rob tells me. He

himself has completed more

twitten runs than anyone else

– at 111. “Since March 2018,

we’ve had 58 consecutive runs

without a break”, he says.

So how did the idea first

come about, and who had it?

“It was Duncan Rawson who

first thought of it. After he

did a similar training run with

the Lewes Athletics Club, he

suggested it to me and Ashley

Head. Since then, we’ve all

completed more than fifty

twitten runs, as have David

Stacey, James McCauley and

Tom Roper.”

Many women take part, I ask?

“Oh yes,” he laughs; “some…”

He also tells me about the time

he did the twitten run “Marathon

in a Day” – ie nine runs

in 24 hours (five on Saturday

afternoon, four on Sunday

morning). “Only one counted

as an official run, because

that has to take place at 9am

on a Sunday morning”, says

Rob, a self-confessed twitten

run-numbers nerd. “There are

strict rules which need adhering

to,” he grins.

“And we also have a twiathlon

once a year – where after the

12 twittens we swim 12 lengths

of the Pells…”

Still not tempted? Oh, go

on – you know you want to…

Charlotte Gann


Rachel Playforth has

been writing a 12-poem

sequence, Twitten. Here’s

one, she says, where she

“had the runners in mind”:


Clamour of cobble

rough river

bursting banks.

Each stone claims space

angle and push

rising proud.

Jumbled tumble

slippered in moss

polished with rain.

Stopped short

by crux of brick

we do not fall.


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Iyengar yoga

with Ali Hahlo

Have you wondered about yoga, but never

quite taken the plunge, or known where to begin?

I’m a hard nut to crack. Indeed, probably

about the least yoga-friendly soul you might

find wandering these Lewes streets, never a mat

roll under my arm. BUT I have heard nothing

but good things about Ali Hahlo and her classes

and, as my bones age, have an increasing awareness

there may be a need for new habits.

So it was that I rolled up at 9.15 one Thursday

morning at Soulfit in Western Road – in the

beautifully-renovated building where we all

used to sign on, many moons ago – to try out

a one and a half hour class. The environment

could not be more open and welcoming. Fiona,

who runs Soulfit with her husband, personal

fitness trainer Gyles, assured me absolutely

anyone is welcome to wander in and have a try

– and I really recommend doing so.

As for the class itself, it was an education. Ali is,

as folk had told me, extraordinarily warm and

welcoming. She seems to take any new arrival

– including this, blustering one – at face value.

You get the immediate sense she’s seen it all

before, and she exudes calm equilibrium.

Ali seems to know everyone’s name but, that

said, she also instantly learnt mine. The group

was made up of all sorts of ages and levels of

experience. People were friendly, without being

overfriendly; I didn’t feel self-conscious.

We started sitting on mats (provided) and

listening to Ali who told us this lesson was

going to focus on the spine. She explained how

the spine was constructed – compellingly and

instructively – and I instantly felt in the presence

of something, to me, new and useful. The

whole series of exercises – mainly rotations –

that followed made sense, in this broad context.

The early part of the class was spent sitting,

mainly cross-legged, striking positions to

straighten the spine and stretch its muscles.

I found I could (just about) manage. Then

we stood on our mats, and, using belts to

bring awareness to the zone around our hips,

followed Ali’s demonstrations, then close

instructions, to try positions that I found pretty


None of it was too much, however, though my

body let me know in detail how little attention

I customarily pay it. That said, each time we

tried a pose a second time I found it marginally

easier than the first – which was in itself

encouraging. I would like to master poses like

‘Warrior’! On Ali’s website she writes ‘The

benefits in terms of physical well being are

rapid, palpable and irrefutable.’ I’m sure that’s

true. I could tell, even from the experience of

this one class, that my confidence might grow

with familiarity.

As we were leaving, someone friendly said to

me “That was a hard class – I found it hard and

I’ve been doing yoga for years. Don’t be put


I really will try not to be… Charlotte Gann




at the Cheyney Croquet Club

It’s overcast but dry when

I reach the headquarters of

Cheyney Croquet Club at

Cheyney Field in Ringmer.

Croquet is, I have been

told, a fair-weather game, so

it’s a relief that rain hasn’t

stopped play.

A handful of people are

milling around, each holding

a rectangular-headed

mallet. The smooth square

of lawn sports six white

hoops, as well as a central

peg banded in blue, red,

black and yellow. These

stripes, I later learn, correspond

to the colours of the four balls and

the order of play.

I am met by Cheyney Croquet Club’s Christine

and Graham, who are keen to attract new

members to the club. “There are two main

kinds of croquet,” Christine explains, “association

croquet and golf croquet. Both are played

here, but mostly we play golf croquet, which is

simpler. Association croquet has been likened

to billiards on grass and is usually one on one.

It’s very strategic and requires a lot of skill.

“In golf croquet, you can play singles or doubles,

and the aim is to get the ball through the

hoop – what we call ‘running the hoop’. There

are six hoops, and you go round clockwise,

then back anticlockwise. If association croquet

is more like chess, then golf croquet is more

like draughts. It’s very accessible, as well as

being sociable and a lot of fun.”

Thought to have originated in Ireland in

the1830s, croquet took off in England in the

mid 19th century, when it

became hugely fashionable.

However, it may date back

to the middle ages, sharing

its roots with other stickand-ball

sports such as golf

and hockey, as well as the

17th-century game of ‘pall

mall’, which gave its name

to the Mall in St James’s

Park, London, where it was

played and popularised by

King Charles II.

To me, croquet retains

an air of gentility (as well

as an association with

flamingoes and hedgehogs,

courtesy of Lewis Carroll), but I soon find out

it isn’t quite as effortless as it looks.

Equipped with an unexpectedly heavy mallet,

I stand facing the first hoop, as Graham helps

me set up my shot – preparation which is

known as ‘stalking the ball’. “You don’t need to

be strong or have any special skills,” he assures

me, as I take a feeble swipe. “Anyone can pick

it up. Just swing the mallet back, and keep

your eye on the ball until you’ve hit it.”

After a few attempts, I manage to make contact

with a satisfying clunk that sends the ball at

least vaguely in the direction of the hoop.

“Most people will find they can knock the

ball around after a couple of afternoons,” says

Christine encouragingly. “And they will have

had a good time and met some nice people.”

Graham agrees. “It can be as competitive as

you want, or a relaxing bit of fun. We’d say to

anyone to come along and have a go.”Anita Hall


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Photo by Tony Hilton


Failing, with style

Whilst walking up Chapel Hill, I mull over my

preconceptions. Not being well versed in golf, I

imagine that it is expensive, elitist and exclusive.

Thankfully, a 90-minute lesson with Tony Hilton

at Lewes Golf Club dispels many of my concerns.

First of all, it’s a really fun 90 minutes, aided by

stunning views over Lewes and the Downs. On

the driving range, Tony judges my swing to see

what I’m about. I then aim to hit a ball, a strike

which thunks away sadly, about 30 feet off to

the left. He then asks me to intentionally skew

further right rather than aiming straight, so as

to get a feel for how ‘open’ or ‘closed’ striking

of the ball affects its trajectory. His tuition

is friendly and patient throughout: he offers

enthusiastic encouragement when I miss the ball

wildly. It’s immensely satisfying when I finally

hit it straight. Tony explains that you can’t really

hit a ball much better; golfers simply learn how

to hit further and more consistently.

We then head out onto the main course on a

buggy. At one point, we quietly watch a few

golfers, one of whom scuffs a shot into the side

grass. Tony likes to show people this kind of

thing, explaining that beginners often think

they’re miles off being able to become a member,

but that everyone makes mistakes: it’s all

about practising and enjoying it.

We rock up at a hole and I aim for a green,

which I repeatedly miss by some distance. Surprisingly,

Tony asks me to hit a divot, explaining

that I need more lift and that taking a chunk out

of the ground is no terrible thing. I still can’t

seem to bring myself to duff up the grass too

profoundly, due to either an obscure politeness,

or some misjudged swinging.

After trying out putting, Tony tells me about the

options for a ‘pay as you go’ approach: you can

hire clubs for £10 (booking in advance required),

play a round of golf on a weekday for £25 (the

‘green fee’ after midday), or go for a ‘twilight’

session after 4pm for only £15.

He also explains that women and men can

compete in the same tournaments, which is not

the case at all golf courses. LGC has ‘community

amateur sports club status’, meaning that it is

run by its 400 or so members. There is no one at

the top making money for themselves alone: all

fees go towards the upkeep of the course.

I truly enjoyed my time at LGC, and may well

take up the ‘Try Golf’ package at some point

over the summer, which includes three hours

of tuition, access to the practice facilities, golf

equipment loan, 36 holes on the course, and

more. It’s £120 solo, but only £90 each if you

learn with a friend. Who wants to join me?

Joe Fuller



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Photo by Charlotte Gann

Swim Better

at the Pells

“It’s all about the fundamentals”, Pells Pool

Deputy Manager and Coach Patrick Gilmartin

tells me, as we sit on the paving stones at the top

of the pool in a sudden surprise of early evening

sunshine. “I mainly concentrate on teaching front

crawl. And my approach is to break the stroke

down into its basic pieces. Learn one bit well at

a time. Get each piece of the technique, and the

whole stroke will come right.”

Patrick has worked in the leisure industry for

a long time, he tells me, though this is only his

third season at the Pells. He clearly loves it. And,

every Wednesday evening, runs adult coaching

sessions for anyone interested in strengthening

their swimming – specifically front crawl.

After 25 years of teaching swimming, Patrick,

who also operates under the Life Green Events

banner, has, understandably, developed a system

of teaching. “This I call ‘Swim Better’. And the

principle is, as I’ve said, to take each part of the

stroke, and bring that up to scratch.” He happily

welcomes up to 25 or more people to each coaching

session, and you’re welcome to sign up for the

season, or drop in as and when able.

Patrick commutes each day from Brighton. He

says he used to swim here, and was thrilled when

the opportunity came to join the team. He loves

the atmosphere and community that grows over

the season. “There’s so much enjoyment”, he says,

“around this body of water”, and we both gaze

out across it – clean, twinkling, awaiting the first

plunge of the 2019 season.

“The Pells has become an institution”, he says.

Well, it always was, in its way, I argue. But no,

there has been a massive resurgence of interest in

outdoor swimming, and investment in the pool in

the last five years. Pells Pool is run as a charity –

owned by Lewes Town Council – with any money

generated poured back into its development.

Patrick himself loves arriving here quietly, first

thing in the morning, sitting with his feet dangling

in the water, taking stock, and sipping a cup

of tea, before the day starts.

So, what are his three top tips for anyone wishing

to improve their swimming, I ask him? “Get each

piece of the technique right, one,” he says. “Two,

remember, the whole stroke counts. And three,

breathing out is more important than breathing

in. Your brain tells your body not to breathe out

fully: you need to learn to override this message.”

Interesting. It all looks so inviting that late-April

evening, glinting in the dappled sunlight, and

Patrick’s enthusiasm is so obvious and infectious,

even I am tempted… Charlotte Gann

This season, the Pells is open every day until Sunday

27th October. Patrick’s class is from 7.30pm to

8.30pm every Wednesday. £8 to drop in, or pay less

by committing to a block of sessions.


Chris Tipper

Selkie Kayaks

Chris Tipper works in the most amazing

space – for the last 22 years, he’s rented

this workshop from Newhaven Port and

Properties. It’s right at the end of Fort Road,

a stone’s throw from the sea, just before Newhaven

West Beach, and beyond Newhaven

Fort. A glorious spot (“yes,” Chris agrees;

“certainly, on a fine day!”).

And what does he do here? He builds kayaks.

Selkie Kayaks is the brand Chris set up a

couple of years ago. But he’s long been a

wooden-boat builder. He grew up locally,

and has always, he says, “messed around

in boats”. He remembers Newhaven port

from childhood, and the evocative sight of

“loads of old boats rotting in the mud. That,

I think,” he says, “marked the beginnings of

this whole aesthetic for me, around boats.”

Chris studied at the International Boatbuilding

Training College in Lowestoft. He

then went on to build an ocean pedal boat

– Moksha – for a project called Expedition

360. This was the first successful circumnavigation

of the globe using only human power,

explains the ( website,

and I was thrilled to encounter the unique

boat itself, for now at rest, under cover,

outside Chris’s studio.

He also, he says, owned a sailing boat for

twenty years, which he himself restored,

rebuilding the whole top half by hand. But

today his main focus is on building kayaks.

He shows us round his workshop where

there’s a lovely range.



These are sea kayaks – longer, at 17-

19ft, and narrower than recreational

ones – based on West Greenland Inuit

hunting boats. The design, Chris tells

me, first arrived on these shores in the

1950s and 60s; from that, the sport of

sea kayaking has evolved. He shows us

one “Shrike” in “survival orange”, and a

couple of skin-on-frame models – which

he personally favours making, he says.

“They’re very close to the Inuit originals,

and also give the option of working

in recycled materials. I want to promote

the idea of skin-on-frame and wood

composite boats. It’s a really well-known

technology in the States, but still quite

new here.”

Each kayak takes Chris between two

weeks and two months to build. Varnishing

makes a really big difference

in terms of labour time and cost – the

kayak he’s holding in the photo has

seven coats, he says. Mostly these kayaks

will sell for between £1,800 and £3,800.

Today, however, Chris is exploring a

new initiative about which he’s visibly



Available in prescription

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- Nail Cutting

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- Diabetic Foot

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Photo by Paul Cox

excited. Flatpack kayaks (boat kits). We see one

in progress in the other shed. For these, Chris

has designed the kayak using computer software

– CNC, or Computer Numerical Control – and

is now assembling the various panels, which have

been returned to him from Cutting Edge CNC

in Lewes, as a flatpack. (He’s also busy writing a

‘construction manual’, in parallel.)

These he plans to sell for nearer £600 each – and

he’s hopeful they might also attract a European

as well as a domestic market.

But, when we meet, Chris is just off to Sweden

for a week – to work with a friend there, who

makes gypsy jazz guitars – a strangely complementary

art to boatbuilding. He’s also pondering

the idea of starting a sea kayak club in Newhaven

– which I think sounds brilliant. A man

on the go.

Charlotte Gann

Photo by Paul Cox


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Stag Beetles

Two falls, two submissions or a knockout

Michael Blencowe

I’ve only ever had one sporting hero. In the red

corner, standing 6ft 6 and weighing in at 365lbs,

Big Daddy kept my Gran and I glued to the TV

set on wet Saturday afternoons, as he wrestled Giant

Haystacks or Kendo Nagasaki in his sequined


In June, Stag Beetles – the big daddies of the

beetle world – are emerging from the ground and

getting ready to rumble. There’s around 3,000

different species of beetle in Sussex and an estimated

29,000 species across Europe. Just as Big

Daddy’s 64-inch chest earned him a place in the

Guinness Book of Records, the 2.5 inch long Stag

Beetle holds the coveted title of Europe’s Biggest

Beetle. And, like a 26 stone man in a spangly

leotard, the adult male Stag Beetle is equally

impressive and ludicrous. Its 3-segmented black

and maroon armoured body is crowned with a

ridiculous pair of trademark stag-like ‘antlers’.

They are actually modified mandible mouthparts

and are used to impress the antler-less females

and to grapple rival males.

Before these tiny titans step into the ring they

have to put in some long hours in training. The

beetle’s larvae spend an incredible 5-6 years

munching on a deadwood diet of buried logs and

roots, building the bulky body that will sustain

them to survive above ground. As adults they will

live for just a few weeks without feeding, relying

solely on the fuel tanks accumulated underground.

In early summer, after pupation and

transformation, they burst from the ground and

go looking for a fight. I always find it incredible

that these chunky, bulky beetles can fly, but on

warm evenings they whir through the air with the

grace and subtlety of a Chinook on aerial reconnaissance

for females. But if another male beats

them to it, that’s when things get nasty.

In my fantasies I imagine these beetle brawls

to play out on a dead tree stump. A crowd of

over-excited elderly invertebrates gather round;

the grasshoppers and crickets chirping in with

a chorus of “We shall not be moved” while the

earthworms and earwigs chant “Eas-eh! Eas-eh!”

The fighters face off, before charging and locking

antlers. With incredible strength a Stag Beetle can

lift his opponent into the air, holding him there

heroically before spectacularly body-slamming

them down onto the stump.

We’re fortunate that southeast England is a

hotspot for these Herculean heavyweights, but

sadly our Stag Beetles are on the ropes. The

loss of old trees from the countryside has had a

dramatic impact on the survival of the beetles’

underground larvae, and their numbers are

declining. So, if you see a Stag Beetle we’d really

like to hear about it. Send details and a photo to

Michael Blencowe, Senior Learning & Engagement

Officer, Sussex Wildlife Trust



You win some, you lose some. Let’s start with the

latest big closure in town, that of the Italian-style

restaurant Aqua, who painted up their windows

on May 1st, leaving a sign thanking everyone for

their custom. The Worthing branch closed down,

it seems, on the same day, leaving the company

with their four businesses in Avon and Somerset.

It all started promisingly enough in autumn

2016, but the arrival of Côte and Fuego Lounge

meant, presumably, that you can have one too

many chain eateries in town.

Lewes thrives on a good balance of chains and

indies, and we’ll always champion a new venture

by local entrepreneurs, so here’s wishing all

the best to Irma’s Kitchen, a Caribbean café

opening this month in the building that was, until

recently, The Nutty Wizard, on the corner of

Cliffe High Street and South Street. Ringmerites

Nathalie and Simon previously ran a wonderful

little café of the same name on St James’ Street,

in Brighton, which I enjoyed reviewing in Viva

Brighton #69. The place will be open all day every

day, selling traditional English breakfasts and

lunches, as well as Caribbean fare. They aim to

open in the weekend evenings after the summer.

I’ll be queuing for their jerk chicken.

Meanwhile, Martin Thomas and Samira Harris,

formerly behind that ultra-alternative, ultra-cool

venue Zu Studios, in the Phoenix Industrial

Estate, are to take over the space formerly run by

Bus Club, and The Hearth, at the Bus Station.

Upstairs, they will run a ‘good, healthy’ vegetarian

restaurant/café (no pizzas, they’ll remove

the oven) while downstairs, in the kiosk, they

will continue selling coffee and pastries, as well

as operating a creperie. “There’s a little stage,

which will enable us to put on talks, open mic acts

and maybe comedy,” says Martin. The kiosk is

scheduled to open in June, the restaurant later in

the summer.

Finally, on the food front, happy birthday to

Chaula’s: we’ve now been enjoying her Gujaratistyle

curries – originally from St Pancras Store,

but more recently from the restaurant on Eastgate

Street – for a quarter of a century.

Meanwhile a big welcome to Hamblin’s Tree

Care, run by partners Nathan and Sarah. He’s the

expert arborist, she runs the office.

By the time this mag comes out, David Smith –

as we announced a couple of months ago – will

be leaving his premises in the High Street, so

we’ll be looking with interest to see who fills that

prominent space. David is moving his operation

to the Star Gallery. Another change on the High

Street is a new location for the Lewes-based

chartered financial planning firm, Herbert Scott,

established in 1996 and now moving to 173 High

Street, until recently home to Prezzo. Good luck

to them!

And finally, congratulations to Lewes Depot,

who have won a design award from Friends of

Lewes. The other such award was given to Hill

House, featured in Viva Lewes #152. And there

were eight commendations. Alex Leith


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

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

To advertise in Viva Lewes please call 01273 488882 or email

• Digital TV aerial upgrades & service

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Interior and exterior painting


Flooring & Tiling



All work in the house, big or small:


Assembling and fitting furniture

Curtains/ Door handles and locks/ ...





We come to you!

Looking for new flooring?

HomeCall Carpets has it all...

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Ring for a Home Visit from our Mobile

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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


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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FREE estimates on all types of

plastering work and finishes.

TELEPHONE: 01273 472 836

MOBILE: 07974 752 491


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

Aluminium windows, doors,

lantern roofs and bi-folding doors.

Trading in your area for over 30 years

We guarantee all our products, installation and service

for the best doors, windows & conservatories


Unit 10, Ringmer Business Centre,

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For your FREE no obligation consultation call us now on:

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For a no obligation quote call

07917 067847


Handyman Services for your House and Garden

Lewes based. Free quotes.

Honest, reliable, friendly service.

Reasonable rates

Tel: 07460 828240



Carpenter / General Building

and Renovation works,

Based in Lewes

t. 07717 862940 e.

AHB ad.indd 1 27/07/2015 17


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Jason Eyre Decorating

Professional Painters & Decorators |

07976 418299 | 07766 118289


age 1

Jack Plane Carpenter

Nice work, fair price,

totally reliable.

01273 483339 / 07887 993396





Restoration &


Gardener Available

Beds, borders, pruning and tidying

01273 814 926

National Diploma Horticulture


Qualified & Experienced gardener

07912 606 557


Tree Care

expert arborists

Tree surgery • Hedges • Lawns

Nathan Hamblin FdSc

Experienced, professional and insured

0777 364 2640



Mobile 07941 057337

Phone 01273 488261

12 Priory Street, Lewes, BN7 1HH




Gold medal

GS1.001_QuarterPage_Ad_01.indd 1 12/11/10 Winners 18:24:51

Real gardeners for all your gardening needs.

From a one off blitz to regular maintenance.

07812 028704 | 01273 401962












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

Vehicle Servicing, Repairs and MOT Service: 01273 472691 |


Psychotherapy - children & young people

1:1 work, Parent-child therapy, Parent support, Supervision 07733 434319

Michael Reeves - UKCP registered

Integrative Child Psychotherapist - Educational Psychotherapist

Coranne Campbell

Reiki Master Practitioner

Tel 07584 572226

Energy healing complementary therapy



Coaching Hypnotherapy Healthy Weight Programmes

st / 07771 457390

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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

The Cliffe

Osteopathy &


Health Clinic

Anthea Barbary

LicAc MBAcC Dip | Hyp GQHP


Taking a Natural Approach

at Menopause

1:1 Appointments at The Cliffe Clinic

Self-Help Workshop 12th Oct in Lewes


Both acupuncture and hypnotherapy are a

gentle, safe, effective and natural way of

helping many conditions such as IBS, pain,

fertility issues, menopausal symptoms,

anxiety, stress, panic attacks, addictions,

insomnia, headaches and many more.

I have 22 years of experience as a

therapist, 17 of those in Lewes.

For more information, or for a 20 minute free

consultation, please contact me on:

07981 491942 /

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



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

Caroline Jack BOst, PG cert (canine)

Cameron Dowset MOst


Julie Padgham-Undrell BSc (Hons) MCPP


Julia Rivas BA (Hons), MA Psychotherapy

Tom Lockyer BA (Hons), Dip Cound MBACP


Anthea Barbary LicAc MBAcC Dip I Hyp GQHP



Lynne Russell BSc FSDSHom MARH MBIH(FR)

01273 480900

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

Open Monday to Friday and Saturday mornings

Acupuncture, Alexander Technique, Bowen

Technique, Children’s Clinic, Counselling,

Psychotherapy, Family Therapy,

Herbal Medicine, Massage,

Nutritional Therapy, Life Coaching,

Physiotherapy, Pilates, Shiatsu,


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Viva Lewes

We print 11,500 magazines every month

delivering 7,500 to houses in Lewes and Kingston

with 4,000 in high visibility pick ups


Healings Workshops

Reach our audience from just £25 a month.



Ages 16 and up from an experienced, qualified teacher

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

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We can work it out





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










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

We also stock vehicle batteries, wiper

blades, bulbs and top up engine oils.


Picture courtesy of Jonathan Burrell


The likely lad in the centre of the picture, in

the lead at the beginning of the annual 2.5-mile

Kingston Downland Run, 1980, is Jonathan

Burrell (wearing 267). He eventually came

second in this race, behind David Krige (246),

but went on to win it in 1985, in record time,

and in 1989.

Sadly, later that very year, Jonathan was

stricken with Myalgic Encephalomyeletis (ME)

a debilitating condition which rendered him

housebound for much of the following 15 years,

unable to muster enough energy to walk for

more than a few yards, even on a good day.

It wasn’t until 2005 that he had recovered

enough to tentatively start playing sports

again. At first he tried a little kickaround

football, then spent three seasons playing for

The Elephant and Castle Sunday League team.

But athletics was his real love, and in 2013 he

joined the Lewes Athletics Club, to take up his

running career again.

He realised that his long lay-off meant that his

body hadn’t suffered the sort of wear and tear

that had afflicted many other runners of his

age, and he soon started placing well in a variety

of races: he’s won 30 County Championship

medals over various distances, and two local

Trail Blazer races, over all-comers.

And that’s not all: in 2018, at the age of 55, he

was chosen to represent Great Britain in his age

group, and has won silver and bronze medals at

World Masters events in Malaga in Spain and

Torun (appropriately enough) in Poland, in the

8k cross-country event.

The Kingston Downland run, however, is still

close to Jonathan’s heart, and – work commitments

permitting – he is hoping to take part in

the 2019 edition of the race, on July 13th. He

won it in 2013, 2015 and 2016 (over competitors

of all ages) and would dearly love to clock a new

record time, to beat that held by David Krige

since 1990. Alex Leith



chartered financial planners

We are proud to announce that Herbert Scott will shortly be relocating

to The Left Bank, 173 High Street, Lewes. We hope to move in at the

beginning of July and are currently working on removing the pizza oven!

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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