Viva Brighton Issue #77 July 2019



Inspiring Business









Rathfinny Wine Estate, Alfriston, Sussex, BN26 5TU

01323 874 030

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#77. JULY 2019




Viva Magazines is based at:

Lewes House, 32 High St,

Lewes, BN7 2LX.

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any omissions, errors or alterations.

I can vividly remember the smell of my Grandpa’s

shed. The earthy aroma of creosote and compost,

oily rags and terracotta pots permeating the cool,

damp darkness. The deep throated thrum of a

petrol mower still transports me to a sun-bleached

seventies afternoon in his garden: Stan, in his

string vest, mowing his steeply sloping lawn. He

was very much on my mind when I visited Clive

Gravett – lawn mower historian and founder of

The Museum of Gardening – this month. Those

two would have got along famously.

In fact, there’s much that reminds me of Stan in

this issue. The folk at Brighton & Hove Organic

Gardening Group’s community allotment,

teaching frustrated would-be gardeners (like me)

the pleasure of growing your own. Rock Farm,

Brighton Permaculture Trust, and the University

of Sussex’s allotment, all teaching the satisfaction

that comes from working with the land. And

plantsman Nick Dwyer, whose horticultural

experimentation fills the borders of Kemptown’s

Secret Garden. Plus, we meet an urban beekeeper

and Brighton's arboreal activists: all sorts of

people who plough their own furrow within the

city limits.

So, let’s cut the ribbon on our ‘garden party’

issue. Whether that’s fascinators and cucumber

sandwiches, burnt sausages and picnic blankets,

or – if you're lucky – an invitation to sip rosé in

the Kemp Town Enclosures, while the setting sun

splashes the white stucco walls with an apricot

glow. Pull up a deckchair, and feel the grass grow

between your toes.

Kew’s wild

botanic garden

Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden in Sussex,

is home to over 500 acres of ornamental gardens,

woodlands and a nature reserve. Beautiful whatever

the season, there is something for everyone whether

you’re a keen gardener, adventurer or wildlife lover.

Run and managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens,

Kew, Wakehurst prides itself on being home to not

only picture-perfect gardens and an Elizabethan

Mansion, but also hundreds of acres of diverse

landscape featuring rare and wonderful plants from

around the world.

Home to the Millennium Seed Bank, step inside to

see Kew scientists at work as they strive to conserve

seeds from around the globe, with the mission to

conserve 25% of the world’s plant species by 2020.

There’s also plenty for families throughout the

gardens, with natural play spaces such as Tree Trunk

Trek in Coates Wood. Or for those wanting to get their

hands dirty, head to the Children’s Heritage Garden

for the potting shed and mud garden.

Wakehurst is open daily 10am – 6pm.

Adults £13.95, children 16 and under free.

National Trust members can enjoy free garden

entry, but car parking charges apply.

Upcoming events

Wild Wood, 27 – 28 July

Fun activities for all the family in

Wakehurst’s beautiful woodlands.

Crafts, storytelling, tree climbing,

bush craft and more!

Wakehurst Workshops, various dates

A range of workshops from creative

writing, charcoal making and willow

weaving, to badger watching, wreath

making and bat walks and talks.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream,

31 August & 1 September

Chapterhouse Theatre Company

presents Shakespeare’s best-loved

romantic comedy – A Midsummer

Night’s Dream. An evening of

unmissable summer theatre.

To find out more about Wakehurst and upcoming

events visit





EDITOR: Lizzie Lower

SUB EDITOR: David Jarman


ART DIRECTOR: Katie Moorman


ADVERTISING: Hilary Maguire,

Sarah Jane Lewis



CONTRIBUTORS: Alex Leith, Alexandra Loske, Amy Holtz, Ben Bailey, Charlotte Gann,

Chris Riddell, JJ Waller, Jacqui Bealing, Jay Collins, Joda, Joe Decie, John Helmer,

John O'Donoghue, Lizzie Enfield, Mark Greco, Natasha Coverdale, Mark Bridge,

Martin Skelton, Michael Blencowe, Nione Meakin, Paul Zara and Rose Dykins.

PUBLISHER: Becky Ramsden

Please recycle your Viva (or keep us forever).



Bits & bobs.

8-25. Natasha Coverdale and her colourful

cover; wilderness champion Paul Millmore

is on the buses; Alexandra Loske reflects

on the lunar landing, and Joe Decie has a

relaxed attitude to lawn maintenance. Plus,

we discover how Rock Farm are growing

organic veggies and sustainable lives; JJ

Waller is where the wild things are, and

we’ve got pub gardens, local books and a

mag to build your barbeque game.

My Brighton.

26-27. We meet Jocelyn Rose, sustainable



29-35. David Plummer, wildlife

photographer extraordinaire.



37-41. John Helmer gets absorbed in park

life, Lizzie Enfield rambles about roses,

and Amy Holtz is all about the bugs.

On this month.

43-53. Ben Bailey rounds up his pick of

the gigs; The story of one woman’s war

– from Londoner to Land Army – at the


Keep; Riptide Wrestling get ready for a

grudge match at the Brighthelm Centre,

and Grace Carter is proud to be in the

Pride line-up. Plus, there’s all day jazz for

all the family at the Dome; Stories from

Photo by David Plummer



Stonewall and beyond at The Marlborough;

graphic novels and medicine collide

in the world(s) of Ian Williams, and there’s

outdoor theatre about the call of the wild

at BOAT.

....6 ....



Art & design.

54-65. Painter and gallerist Kirsty Wither;

Women’s Work at Ditchling Museum of

Art + Craft; The Cass Art Studio Prize;

some of what’s on, art-wise, and a shout

out to Brighton’s award-winning portrait


The way we work.

67-73. Adam Bronkhorst finds out about

incredible plants from the folk at the

Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst.


75-79. We try The Flint Room in Hanningtons

Lane; Chard share their recipe

for honey-poached peaches; Joe gets a

top-notch picnic from Barney’s and just a

taster of this month’s food news.


50 73


80-95. Learning to live with the land with

Brighton Permaculture Trust; we visit

Kemptown’s Secret Garden; dig in at the

Brighton & Hove Organic Gardening

Group’s community allotment, and find

out about greening the cityscape with the

Plant Your Postcode campaign. Plus, we

talk mowers and more at The Museum of

Gardening; find out what’s planned for the

Valley Gardens development, and visit the

University of Sussex's budding gardeners.

The Lady Doctor by Ian Willaims

Bunch of Summer by Kirsty Wither


97. Michael Blencowe: Wildman of


Inside left.

98. A birds-eye view of Park Crescent,


....7 ....



We’ve wanted to feature Natasha Coverdale’s

work ever since her bold botanical designs lit

up our Instagram feed last year. So, when we

decided on ‘garden party’ for our July theme,

she was first on our cover artist wish list. And

we love what she’s done: suitably floral, with

her signature saturated colour palette. The

skilful incorporation of the text is a nod to her

other line of work, in visual identity and brand

development, where she’s worked with some

of Brighton (and Britain’s) finest (Cin Cin,

Pecksniff’s and Harrods to name just a few).

Her botanical designs began as a personal

project – a distraction from the day job –

which she posted on Instagram for the first

time last May. The interior designer (and

BBC2’s Great Interior Design Challenge judge)

Sophie Robinson spotted one and asked if the

print was for sale. “Yes!” replied Natasha, and

quickly got herself a good printer.

Her Instagram following has risen

considerably over the year, catching the eye

of Liberty London, and Natasha’s was one of

four designs – whittled down from a field of

500 – to be selected from the Liberty Open

Call. She and the other winners recently

travelled to Italy to see their designs printed

onto Liberty’s famous Tana Lawn Cotton

fabric. ‘Coverdale’ is available in-store and

online now.

I meet Natasha in her Poets’ Corner studio,

which is festooned with ideas for wildly

floral wallpapers, sumptuous silk scarves, and

vibrant giclée prints. I ask her to show me

how she works and she picks up her stylus and

starts drawing on her digital tablet, freestyling

a frilly petal which she copies and layers, over

and over, choosing complementary hues from

a distinctively Coverdale colour scheme.

Each design incorporates hundreds of these

elements, and the more you look, the more

you see. “I love to hide things in amongst the

flowers. I always like to give you something

to find. That’s a nod to Grinling Gibbons,

....8 ....



a famous 17th century woodcarver who

always used to carve an open peapod into

pieces for clients who were bad payers.

Now I hide Derek the iguana, not for the

same reason, but just for an extra treat.

I’d love to design a hospital waiting room,

a space where people are looking for a

distraction from whatever they are going

through.” If you look closely, you’ll see

seven creatures (pictured below, right)

crawling around our cover*.

Her designs are built up in the same way a

florist might go about creating a bouquet.

“It’s digital flower arranging” declares

Natasha as she clicks through various,

joyful colourways. “I’ve used this palette

all through my graphic design career. I

do try to escape it, but I can’t. It’s colour

therapy. Colour makes people happy”, she

says. And she’s right.

Lizzie Lower

*Spot all seven and head over to

@studiocoverdale on Instagram for a chance

to win one of Natasha’s posters.

See more of Natasha’s work at her Open

Studio on 19th (6-8pm) and 20-21st (11am-

5pm) July. Unit 3, Workhaus Studios,

18a Arthur Street, Hove, BN3 5FD.

....9 ....



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Paul Millmore was central to the campaign that saw the

South Downs designated a National Park. Born in Bradford

in 1949, Paul moved to Lewes in 1973 to become an

assistant planner with East Sussex County Council. This

move sparked a passion for the South Downs: he created the

South Downs Volunteer Ranger Service in 1981, which now

comprises 300 volunteers.

In 1990, Paul wrote the National Trail Guide to the South

Downs Way (still in print today), and he launched the South

Downs Campaign in the same year. He insisted that Lewes

should be included in the National Park designation,

hammering a large knife into a block of clay in one inquiry

meeting, and explaining that “this is what I mean by Lewes being embedded in the Downs”.

Hilary Benn (then Secretary of State for the Environment) did indeed include Lewes when the

South Downs were finally designated as a National Park, in November 2009.

Millmore was heavily involved in the community too, sitting on the executive committee of

the Friends of Lewes – a registered charity who aim to conserve the distinctive buildings and

natural environment of the town – and volunteering as a flood warden. He became an honorary

vice-president of the Southover Bonfire Society towards the end of his life, who used his large

garden for fundraising events. He died of cancer at his home in Grange Road, Lewes in 2012,

aged 62. Joe Fuller

You can read more about Paul's remarkable historic garden in this month's issue of Viva Lewes.

Illustration by Joda (@joda_art)


Here’s Evie Lewis on a trip to Edinburgh to

visit her sister Isabel, who recently decamped

from Brighton to the city. She’s delivering

our May issue, full of news from the Brighton

Festival, but I doubt Issy will be feeling left

out for long: Edinburgh’s own epic celebration

of the arts is just around the corner.

Keep taking us with you and keep spreading

the word. Send your photos and a few

words about you and your trip to hello@
















23 - 26
























Award-winning independent

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Next to Lewes station

Pinwell Road, Lewes BN7 2JS

01273 525354






All images: Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove

The Dell of Comus by Samuel Palmer



This month it will be 50 years since humans first

set foot on another world, the moon, our nearest

celestial neighbour. It was one of the greatest

human achievements to date and gave us a

chance to look back at ourselves, our marvellous

blue Earth sitting in the darkness of the universe.

Reason then for me to reflect on this event half

a century later, and to look for moon-related art

in our city’s collections. One stood out for me:

a rarely seen painting by the Romantic artist

Samuel Palmer (1805-1881), who was obsessed

with the moon from an early age. In 1824 the

painter John Linnell (whose daughter Palmer

later married) introduced him to the visionary

writer and artist William Blake, whose influence

is obvious in Palmer’s work. Palmer's sketchbook

from the same year is filled with moon images

and notes, such as ‘Sky, cool neutral twilight

colour / Moon brilliant silver […] And the whole

landscape lustrous / With the morning twilight’.

A small moonlit nocturne by Linnell is also in

our collections (below, right).

Palmer’s moons are often unnaturally huge and

seem to be bumbling along the horizon, shining




a strong silvery light on to pastoral scenes, idealised

villages, people going to church, illuminating

sceneries so idyllic they almost seem unreal.

He often depicted a full moon, and sometimes

sickle moons with earthshine visible. To Palmer

the moon was symbolic of God’s benevolent

presence, but there is also a pagan feel to many

of his works. The artist was known to enjoy

walks by moonlight, something he had in common

with many contemporary poets, writers and

painters who sought inspiration from the moon,

or used it as a key motif in their picturesque

or sublime landscapes, romantic poems or

gothic novels. It is possible that Palmer was so

interested in moonlight because he feared its disappearance

with the advent of artificial lighting.

This has indeed happened: we managed to reach

the moon in 1969, but we lost pure moonlight

along the way, certainly in urban areas.

To mark the anniversary of the Apollo 11

moon landing we are displaying Palmer’s The

Dell of Comus, a large watercolour and gouache

painting, in Brighton Museum. Painted in 1855,

it is one of many of his illustrations of works by

the 17th century poet John Milton, and one of

three of Milton’s masque Comus (first performed

in 1634), in which a young unnamed ‘Lady’

gets lost in the woods and, while waiting for

her brothers to return with food, is captured

by Comus and his debauched followers, who

attempt to seduce her and break her virtuous

spirit. Palmer illustrates a passage where the

‘Attendant Spirit’, disguised as a shepherd,

watches a wild and raucous gathering of Comus

and his crew. Comus’ party takes place during a

full moon, which illuminates the scene from the

top left corner. Look closely, and you will see an

unidentified ghostly figure standing in a vertical

ray of moonlight. Could this be the ‘Lady’ of

the masque? New photography of the work also

reveals that Palmer drew faint concentric circles

around the moon, possibly to establish the

gradation of the moonlight he so loved.

Alexandra Loske, Art Historian and Curator,

The Royal Pavilion and co-author of Moon: Art,

Science, Culture.

Samuel Palmer’s The Dell of Comus will go on

display in Brighton Museum in early July 2019

and Alexandra will give a gallery talk about it later

this year.

Detail from The Dell of Comus by Samuel Palmer

Moonlit Nocturne by John Linnell





If you look at early pictures of

the Connaught Inn, you can

see that when it was built, in

1880, it was right on the edge

of the city. Aldrington was still

a twinkle in some property

developer’s eye, and the area

would have had a real rural

feel, all dirt road, and cow

sheds, and allotments.

The pub, originally a hotel,

was named after Prince Arthur,

the Duke of Connaught, whose

1879 wedding to Princess

Louise Margaret of Prussia had

caught the public imagination.

Its land included a field,

which was large enough, I’ve

been informed, to host visiting

circuses: you can see pictures,

in the James Gray collection,

of a flamboyant circus caravan

parading up Hove Street.

You still get a feel of the rural

nature of the site when you

walk through the pub’s interior

into its south-facing garden, a

two-tiered affair which – rare

for a city boozer – has a lawn,

and colourful flower beds, and

an apple tree. They’ve done

it up since I last visited a few

years back, with new tables

and little wooden huts. It looks

rather like a playground, for

beer-drinking adults.

I choose to go on June 1st, billed

to be the hottest day of the

year so far, with some friends,

for a Saturday afternoon lunch,

and a few pints. Worried

about not getting a table in

the garden, I frog-march my

wife down there by 12.15, a

full hour before the others are

due to arrive. I needn’t have

worried, it turns out, there is

ample space for everyone.

And, I must say, it’s a pleasure

just sitting there, drinking

Shipyard APA, soaking up the

sun, and totting up the relative

merits of the two dishes I’m

torn between: plaice with

capers and new potatoes, from

the specials board, or pan-fried

monkfish on a bed of mash,

from the menu.

I go for the latter, for the

record, when the others arrive,

and it’s delicious. My American

friend David, true to form, chooses

a simple burger, because

he views the chef’s handling of

the basics to be a true test of

their worth. Pleased with its

big flavour, and the no-frills

nature of its accoutrements, he

gives it a big thumbs up.

I later learn they hang their

own beef, for 28 days, on

site. Which seems apt, given

the establishment’s rural

beginnings. If you’re after a

sunny, leafy pub garden for an

escape-the-city-bustle lunch

party, look no further.

Alex Leith

48 Hove Street

Illustration by Jay Collins




They know how do a garden party in Newhaven, observes JJ Waller.

"The aptly named Paradise Park is full of surprises. I didn’t even know it was

there until I spied this dinotastical view through the fence. They even have a

bronze statue of Ho Chi Minh in the local museum next door.

Newhaven never disappoints."


























Photo by Emma Trinder

Rock Farm is a sixacre

market garden,

community space

and horticultural

therapy project run

by Brighton’s One

Church on the Wiston

Estate near Steyning.

I first became involved

because local food

systems are a passion of mine, as is supporting

people’s wellbeing. I was interested in the way

you could nurture people and at the same time

produce high-quality food.

We’re part of the Green Wellbeing Alliance,

which is a collection of therapeutic green care

groups around Sussex. There’s a lot of research

being done in this field. Working on the land has

already been found to be beneficial for people

with drug addiction, for example, and there is

evidence that people with autism who struggle to

calm down or focus are often helped by being in

a natural environment.

It has definitely been a challenge to get

things right. It sounds like a good idea to invite

people out onto a growing site, but in actuality,

when it’s chucking down with rain and you’ve

got to hoe a 100m row of potatoes, that’s not

therapeutic for anyone.

The ultimate goal is for people to flourish,

and to do that they have to enjoy the work.

One thing we did was to start using polytunnels

where we have tomatoes, basil and beetroot

growing happily together. That makes for a

more pleasant environment than big rows of

tomatoes, so people feel better working there.

In terms of our volunteers it’s a big mix.

Some people just

volunteer because they

love it. Then there

are people who get

referred to us because

they have some support

needs. But there is no

boundary between

those groups. We’re always

keen to meet new

volunteers – there’s a free minibus service from

the church every Saturday, which allows people

to visit the farm and have a look at what we do.

We sell the organic fruit and veg we grow at

Florence Road Market near Fiveways and we

also sell to [Brighton ethical supermarket] Hisbe.

We grow a lot of heritage veg; purple-striped

beans that are really juicy and sweet; golden-orange

and candy-striped beets. This year we’re

doing a lot of pumpkins and squash, including

blue pumpkins, and yacon, which are related to

Jerusalem artichokes but are crisper and fresher.

We could never make enough money from

selling produce to entirely support the project,

but it means we don’t have to apply for as many

grants every year. It makes us more sustainable

and it helps spread the word about what we’re

doing here too.

This month (July) the tomatoes are just coming

into season, we’ll have bonkers amounts

of our salad with edible flowers in, some golden

beetroot – oh, and some really funky cucumbers.

They’re egg-shaped and white on the outside

and lime green inside. They taste fantastic…

As told to Nione Meakin by Ben Szobody, projects

development manager at One Church.




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Barbecues have never been

high on our list, mainly

because we aren’t great meat

eaters. This is not the smartest

reason for not being interested

because we have had great fish

and vegetables served from

barbecues. Perhaps, they’ve

just seemed a faff. The nearest

we’ve got so far is one of

those ready-to-light things

that we take to the beach and

burn sausages on while smoke

irritates the heck out of the

people in the beach huts either side of us.

But the appeal is growing – well, with me

anyway; I’m not too sure about Jean. But, like

most things, once you get interested, it all gets

complicated. Fire pit or barbecue? Gas or Electric?

Small and indiscreet or testosterone-fuelled

showy-offy thing? This isn’t going to be as easy

as I thought.

And then, hopefully to our rescue, comes Pit

magazine. Subtitled 'Food and Fire’ with an

introduction titled 'Go Forth and Grill', it’s the

magazine for Barbie lovers everywhere. The

relatively few ads are helpful

enough and guide me to the

world of special thermometers,

special firewood, and how to

make my own smoker. (What’s a

smoker? Why do we need one?)

The features, though, cover the

whole gamut of Barbie land. In

the current issue, there’s a visit

to a famous Texas barbecue place

called Tootie’s and a feature on

the barbecued lamb of Morocco.

An investigation into ‘beer-can

chicken’ (what the heck is that?)

decides that it isn’t worth it, so I don’t have that

to worry about. There’s a piece on barbecuing

rhubarb with rose petals. That sounds fantastic.

Then there’s jerk chicken, cooking a pig in a

week, a huge North London barbecue Sunday,

how to use salt and more.

I thought (and I think Jean hoped) that reading

Pit might put me off barbecues. The good/bad

news is that it has done the opposite. So now,

back to the beginning – fire pit or barbecue. I

fancy a fire pit. Happy grilling, everyone.

Martin Skelton, Magazine Brighton


Does this refer to Wolverhampton Wanderers qualifying

for next year’s Europa League, or the return of

the Eurasian Wolf to its natural habitat? We're fans

of rewilding and like to think it’s the latter. We’ve

heard tell of otters in the Ouse and dolphins sighted

off Peacehaven. What next, we wonder? Pelicans on

the pier? We can but hope…

But where’s the bathroom blackboard?

Last month’s answer: Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft




At one point, during this magical book, John Kevin and his six Ballydawn

cousins plan to bury a ‘time capsule’. Each chooses an item to stow: a photo,

a letter, a Superman comic… John Kevin chooses his favourite book: Just

William. I’d already, more than once, thought of Just William, while reading

– as well as Gerald Durrell, and James Joyce (The King From Over the Water

is, above all else, Irish). ‘Mattie and I sat on the settle by the window, daylight

at its dirty edge, smears and smuts keeping in the dark, the four of us deep in

sepia’, reads one description of an especially smoky cottage interior.

The tales capture Londoner-and-only-child John Kevin’s summers spent in

his Uncle Tommy and Auntie Lizzie’s bungalow. ‘…I fretted a little, and then

sleep came in great waves of fog, and I dreamt of letters and card tricks…’

Starting on a ferry – when John Kevin, travelling with his mother, is five – they carry us through his

whole childhood – whether hurtling down hills on bikes behind his cousin Mattie, or bouncing along

in the back of Uncle Tommy’s swaying car, or kneeling for hours in church before breakfast – ‘no

one missed Mass in Ireland’. In the tradition to which they belong, each story – chapter – has its

own narrative arc – like the one about the brief sojourn of the goat Billy, with her yellow eyes, who

favours only John Kevin – but together they accumulate into a bigger whole: a beautifully written

novel, which captures all that’s precious about a rural childhood. Charlotte Gann

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This poetry collection, published by Lewes press, The Frogmore Papers, is

a beautiful looking thing – with its handsome monotone cover and, dotted

throughout, Fergus Hare paintings. The collection, the back cover tells us,

is ‘inspired by and celebrating our relationship with the Moon.’

And celebrate it does – from George Szirtes’ opening quartet of love sonnets

– ‘with its cold moonlit floor’ – through to Andie Lewenstein’s closing

Curriculum Vitae (‘I have nothing to declare / but moon on water’). So, ‘Pale

orange egg squinting gawk’ starts Angela Arnold’s Moon Rising – beautifully

paired with a facing orange-egg moon painting – while Janet Sutherland’s

‘bone black night’ on deck, delivers ‘a lead white moon’ on water.

The book weaves together poems from more than 60 contemporary

voices, tugging on some familiar threads – passion, yearning, insignificance, satiation – as well as

memories of the 1969 moon landing, whose half-century anniversary prompted its publication.

While similarities rise in a chorus, at least as striking, and enjoyable, is the contrast between voices.

So, Neil Gower captures lovers, sated, returning to earth: ‘We retraced the ropes, slacker, / laundered

and luminous, down / to the flinty town’; while Kay Syrad describes a Norwegian ‘moon-stained’

seascape: ‘where light fillets the waves and mirrored / air is a dress…’ Beautiful.

Charlotte Gann




Photo by Lizzie Lower




MYbrighton: Jocelyn Rose

Sustainable Beekeeper

Are you local? Yes. I first came here to

study at the University of Sussex in 2002,

then I moved back here to live permanently

in 2014.

What do you do? I am a Psychotherapeutic

Counsellor and I teach Psychology. I am

also a sustainable beekeeper.

How long have you been keeping bees?

I’d been fascinated by bees since learning

about them on my degree in Biological

Sciences. Initially I was led to believe that

you needed some sort of DEFRA licence

to keep them and, to be honest, it all

sounded like too much of a hassle. Then I

met Jen from The Wayward Bee. I started

learning more about sustainable beekeeping

and began attending the Sussex Natural

Beekeepers group. I got my first swarm

in June 2011 and have been beekeeping

ever since. All my kids are so helpful. My

eleven-year-old daughter Mabel (pictured,

with Jocelyn) has been helping me since she

was four and has read quite a bit about both

conventional and sustainable beekeeping.

It’s become a family pastime.

How do sustainable and conventional

beekeeping differ? The sustainable

approach promotes increased genetic

diversity because it allows for natural

swarming behaviour, which is controlled in

the conventional method. It’s less intrusive

as I don’t open the hive for inspections

as often. You can learn a lot about what’s

going on inside by observing the colony’s

behaviour. Conventional beekeepers will

take all of the honey from the hive at the

end of the summer and feed the bees on

sugar. We only take some of the honey and

leave enough for them to eat. Taking a little

at a time throughout the season is a bit

like eating single origin chocolate: it tastes

different every time.

Is Brighton a good place to keep bees?

Yes. Urban beekeeping seems to be doing

better than the rural variety in many areas.

Intensive arable farming and invasive species

make rural beekeeping quite seasonal, as

there is a massive amount of pollen available

for a short time and then a drought for

months. This area is great for bees because

there are so many parks and gardens, and

access to wildflowers on the chalk downland.

What do you like most about living here?

Our wonderful community; I feel so blessed

to know such a warmhearted bunch of

people. I’d also like to give a shout out to

our fabulous neighbours who have been

so interested and tolerant of the bees. As a

family, we love getting out onto the Downs.

The walk from Woodingdean over to Lewes

is very special to me: it’s breathtaking.

Where would you live if you didn’t live

here? I moved to this city because I hoped

it’d be kind to us and it’s more than met my

expectations. I thank my lucky stars that we

get to live here and, right now, I can’t think

of anywhere else that I’d rather be.

Interview by Lizzie Lower

Find out more about sustainable beekeeping





You won’t find the best views of Brighton

and the Downs at the top of the i360.

You’ll find them at the

gallery next door.

Prints | Books | Cards | 52-53 Kings Road Arches | 01273 227 523



David Plummer

Wildlife photographer

From an early age, I’ve been

obsessed with wildlife. My

first memory is of playing with

three woodlice on the coffee

table of the family home in the

Medway Towns, in Kent.

They border the North Kent

marshes, and I’d be out on

my bicycle as much as I could,

taking copious notes. I kept a

wood mouse in my bedroom,

bred butterflies, and caught

great crested newts, which I

distributed to new ponds.

When I was eight, I bought a 35mm camera

and two lenses from an uncle. My career as a

wildlife photographer had begun… I’ve come

a long way since then.

When I was a late teenager, wildlife was

totally uncool, but though I went a bit ‘boink’

with beer and girls, I never lost my burning


I was a policeman for eight years, and was

sent out to the Caribbean, working to find

wanted people. Of course, in my spare time, I

continued to photograph the wildlife there.

It was soon after I came home that I

decided on wildlife photography as a

career. I was kneeling in some bluebell woods,

taking photos, and I thought ‘I’m going to do

this for a living.’

I did what it took to earn money while I

tried to get my foot in the door. Social care

work, driving jobs, cleaning toilets. Pure

dogged persistence saw me through. My

advice? Don’t give up, and don’t give in to

editors who say no.

I lived in London for a bit; coming to

Sussex was the best move I’ve ever made.

A new area to explore; I got

involved with the Sussex

Wildlife Trust, who really

pushed my work. I still provide

images for them totally free of

charge, out of gratitude.

I’ve been all over the world

doing jobs: Brazil, Argentina,

Rwanda, Kenya, Mexico, the

Galapagos… but I still think

the best place for wildlife

photography is East Sussex.

And my favourite animal to

photograph is the tawny owl.

The job is 15% about photography, 85%

about everything else: fieldcraft and the

logistics involved with getting up close to an

animal that doesn’t want you anywhere near

it, at the right angle, in good light. Is the job

dangerous? I’ve stalked jaguars, and I never

felt in any danger. The most dangerous animal

out there, without a shadow of doubt, is the

human being.

Nowadays, simply taking photographs isn’t

very cost effective. It’s all the stuff around

it that keeps me going, financially: teaching,

book writing, print sales, public speaking, TV


Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with

Parkinson’s. In some ways, obviously, it’s

limited me. But it’s just another hurdle,

and I’ve tried to work it to my advantage.

Three years ago, I wrote the book Seven

Years of Camera Shake, and I’ve done a lot of

motivational public speaking. The experience

has taught me mind control. I’ve never been as

mentally robust as I am now… or so happy.

As told to Alex Leith







Photos by David Plummer







Photos by David Plummer


“If women do not attain

roughly equal fame and

fortune in sports, it leads

both men and women to

think of women as

naturally inferior.”

Jane English

Lewes FC is the only football club in the world to pay

its women's team the same as its men's team.

Endorse us, support us and help us do more:



John Helmer


Illustration by Chris Riddell

Chaining my bike to railings, I spot a silent disco

across the Pavilion Gardens. A group of people

in headphones, from that dangerous age group

best described as late-youth-meets-early-middleage,

are gyrating wildly to a beat only they can

hear while singing along enthusiastically to hits

from Grease: “Summer loving had me a blast...”

With their blissed-out expressions and jerky

movements they recall the wandering bands of

religious fanatics that plagued Medieval towns,

but there is something typically Brighton about

them. The whole scene is typically Brighton

in fact: the young families at the tables of the

Café—“So it’s a Nobbly Bobbly for you, River

… and what does Storm want?”—being played

Joni Mitchell songs by a straggle-bearded busker

with an oud (we are stardust, we are golden);

the foreign students sitting on the patch of

grass opposite the Pavilion where they always

sit, which has now been replaced by astroturf

because their sitting has worn the grass away;

the hen parties, the stag packs; the well-heeled

and the well-hung, the fabulous and the


Brighton lives in the now, but also at an

intersection of many different times. Looking at

the Pavilion, you imagine the coaches trundling

down from London in Regency times. A brass

band summons up the era of Jimmy Edwards

and Gilbert Harding. And if I look across

towards the Corn Exchange I see a grassy incline

where I sat with a friend from school on my first

visit in 1974, when I was weighing up the offer

of a place from the university (there was only

one in those days).

We had already chucked pebbles in the sea,

visited both piers and done a clutch of pubs.

“I think you should come here,” he belched,


I visit the toilet and find my way partially

blocked by two men in heated conversation.

They both have that suntan—not the unseasonal

skiing tan, or the two-weeks-in-Marbella-withthe-kids-tan,

but the one that goes with the neck

tattoos and spending too much time in the open

not by your own choice. “I’m f***ing buzzing,

man,” says one. They follow me in and take a

cubicle together. Loud snorting noises ensue.

“Do you believe in ghosts?,” my friend Hugh

the poet asked me the other day.

“Only the ones I see when I walk around

Brighton,” I answered, meaning old

acquaintances from the punk days who didn’t

stop taking the drugs when the rest of us

did. Now they live on the other side of an

invisible mental border like the ones in China

Miéville’s The City & the City, which prevents

us acknowledging or even registering

one another’s presence,

our sole point of

connection a guilty


It’s always there, this

rough underside

to the smooth.

This place, with

its naked bike

rides, can look so

Edenic—until you spot

the pervs in the crowd

with their telephoto

lenses. The truth is we’re

fallen, and unreasonably

proud of it.


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Lizzie Enfield

Notes from North Village

Illustration by Joda (@joda_art)

“I beg your pardon. I never promised you a rose


I’m helping my son with his pop trivia


He and his teenage friends have joined a

pub quiz team and their seventies musical

knowledge is woefully inadequate. They can

answer questions on geography and general

knowledge but come the ‘Beat the Intro’ round

they know they will themselves be beaten.

So we’re trawling through YouTube clips,

jumping from Katrina and the Waves’ Walking

on Sunshine to Cat Stevens’ Morning has Broken

and somehow ending up before we know it with

Mikis Theodorakis’s Zorba the Greek.

I’ve spent the past week knocking on the door

of my son’s bedroom singing “Da-da! Da-da-da

da! Da-da! Da-da-da-da!” to which he makes

sarcastic “Tacos the Turk?” replies.

He’ll know the answer though, if the intro

begins “I beg your pardon. I never promised

you a rose garden…”

This is the song which would be the soundtrack

to the unveiling of my entry to the Chelsea

Flower Show, were I ever to enter.

I’m not much of a gardener. It’s a family

tradition. My dad gardened but only because

he was of the post-war generation that believed

in a small amount of self-sufficiency. He spent

hours labouring outdoors to produce misshapen

carrots which my mother complained were

“very difficult to peel” and also very expensive,

if you factored in the price of seeds, fertiliser

and the man hours that went into the

endeavour. Still, he persisted and even wrote a

book about amateur gardening, although when,

a couple of years ago, my parents moved to a

town which had an open garden competition,

he politely declined an invitation to enter. He

knew his limits. My mother’s were even more

limited. Her Irish father was in the army, and

the family moved around a lot, “destroying

gardens in a succession of rented houses” as

they went.

My mother has had nothing to do with them

since but, after dad died earlier this year, the

responsibility for their garden has fallen to her.

It’s probably one of the things she finds hardest

about the whole thing.

When I visit, we slosh Miracle-Gro around

hopefully and weed things that look as if they

might be weeds.

Last time I went over, we took some rockroses

to dad’s grave. I could almost hear him turning

in it, as we failed to loosen the roots properly

before putting them in the ground and planted

them too close together.

I started humming to myself to drown out the

slightly strange sensation.

“What are you singing?” asked Mum.

My son could have told her. Lynn Anderson.

Rose Garden. 1970.




Amy Holtz

The truth is, I’m a Minnesotan

The rain is flying sideways,

rendering waterproofs

redundant. An oncoming bus,

whose driver momentarily

falls asleep, veers to the left,

clunking into a puddle the

size and shape of France and,

an instant later, me and all the

other squinting cyclists in the

adjacent bike lane are soaked

in an endless curtain of greasy

brown water.

Summer, you are magnificent

in your glory! So, here’s

the state of affairs: Game of Thrones – so over.

Love Island – never ending. Chernobyl – good


Strawberries – big, suspicious, possibly alien.

A bit like this weird horned plant that started

growing in our garden. Its dagger-like leaves

preclude approaching within a metre, let alone

digging up. My partner and I kept asking each

other “Was it you?” every time we walk past

but no, neither of us had anything to do with

it. Most likely it’s just fallen from a plane from

Chernobyl and bedded in.

Kids – hungry and tired, starved of Vitamin

D. Hens and stags – angry. And who could

blame them? No one minds the pebbles when

they’re bathed in sunshine. Instead, there’s been

reports that some are actually taking flight in

the cyclone-grade winds, hurtling through the

air like dull comets, knocking beer bottles from

hands with the same catastrophic, chaotic force

as the waves. The seafront is a wasteland of beer

and shattered dreams.

The icing on this bleak doom cake is my new

book about plagues. It’s the size and weight of a

small Labrador and, with each

germ-sopped page, my face

cycles through the expressions

it wore throughout the

final season of GoT: horror,

incredulity... with a mild

dose of 'Seriously?!’ It’s slow

work, with all that medical

jargon and virus names

(Vinidogodogo, anyone?), and

has the same effect on me as

a warm glass of milk. I sleep

like a baby. But then, riding to

work the next day, the telltale

sweetness of windshield washer fluid on my lips,

I realise it’s just a matter of time before I’ve got a

raging case of Legionnaire’s.

So, needless to say, my small talk has been

somewhat... dark of late.

“Did you know that measles, which is making

a comeback, is so infectious that one person

alone could give it to 90% of the people who

they come into contact with? Oh, and, you

won’t believe it, but there’s been an outbreak

of Monkeypox in Nigeria.” I wait expectantly

for the onslaught of questions the woman I’m

speaking to is bound to have. “I’m pretty sure

I’ve been vaccinated though. Against measles,

that is.” I give her a wink.

“I just wanted to know where the loo was…” the

woman whispers, backing into a table heaving

with jugs of Pimms. We’re all indoors, because,

well, summer. We were lured here with the

false promise of ping pong, potato salad and

burnt veggie burgers in the glowing heat of our

favourite season. Instead, the disappointment is

a smog over the rapidly-cooling sausages. Just

like the last episode of GoT, all over again.


A family-friendly, one-day festival,

produced by Jazz re:freshed, celebrating

Jazz and Jazz-inspired music and culture.

This year’s line-up includes:

Theon Cross, Zara McFarlane,

Rosie Turton, DJs and much more.

Sat 27 Jul, 12pm – 8pm

£10* (under 16s FREE)

12-piece ensemble Icebreaker and

pedal steel guitarist BJ Cole play

music by ground-breaking composers,

including Scott Walker and JLin, as

well as Brian Eno’s classic album

Apollo, performed alongside the

original film of the Apollo expeditions.

‘Moving and sublime’

««««« The Guardian

Sun 21 Jul, 7.30pm

Brighton Dome Concert Hall


*A £2.50 per order charge applies for all phone and online bookings

*A £2.50 per order charge applies for all phone and online bookings



Ben Bailey rounds up the local music scene


Thu 4th, Hope & Ruin, 8pm, £13

In the remote and

more innocent

age of the mid-

2000s, Mean

Poppa Lean

emerged from

Brighton with a

wardrobe of colourful clothes and a deeply unhip

mix of funk and rock which went down a storm

in certain quarters. They played tons of shows

around Brighton and toured Europe, all the while

balancing slick musicianship with good-natured

humour. After seven years they hung up their vintage

threads and called it a day in 2012. Another

seven years later they’re back for more, with a

reunion tour and a comeback gig at the Hope &

Ruin. As the band’s blurb puts it, Mean Poppa

Lean are ready ‘to open the valve where funk has

been stored and pressurized, waiting for release.’


Thu 11th, Concorde 2, 7pm, £10

Another band that were first active in the decade

that nobody knows what to call, 12 Stone Toddler

made their own comeback last year with their

long-awaited third album, Idiolalia. Released on

local label Freshly Squeezed, the record proved

to be just as wildly eclectic as their previous stuff.

The band’s restless genre-wandering is both a

blessing and a curse: though their live shows

are always varied and somewhat unpredictable

it also means trying to describe their sound is

pointless. This show, billed as ‘Best Of Brighton’,

features an art display from Cassette Lord, Loud

Shirt beer samples and street food from Hash

Machine. Art pop deviants Clowwns also make a

welcome return, alongside alt rockers Bad Laws

and singer-songwriter duo The Mann & I.


Sun 14th, Brunswick, 7pm, £10

This one-off gig

sees folk hero Robb

Johnson performing

tracks from his epic

song suite Ordinary

Giants, which recounts

his father’s life story in the context of 100 years of

British history. Beginning with the Armistice in

1918, the loose narrative is shaped by songs and

poems offering a snapshot of life as it was lived,

with period pastiches and reworked standards

along the way. Robb’s songs flip from tender and

funny to forthright as he sings about the rise of

fascism, the birth of the welfare state and the ongoing

battle to save what remains of the postwar

dream. The eight-piece band assembled for this

rendition features several folky notables as well

as Robb’s own son on drums, nicely rounding off

the family lineage.


Fri 26th, Haunt, 7pm, £10

Probably one of Brighton’s longest-running

bands, local legends Tragic Roundabout have

been knocking about since the 90s at least. Starting

out as a kind of busking collective, the band

apparently got their name from an incident at an

Irish festival after refusing to play on a roundabout

on the outskirts of town (who knows what

really happened). Over the years they became a

mainstay of festivals and protests, bringing a kind

of Bonzo Dog humour to their mash-up of ska,

klezmer and gypsy music. Though the line-up

remains acoustic, with banjo, clarinet and accordion

to the fore, the band are ultimately inspired

by the punky spirit of old Brighton. Get there

early and you’ll catch the down-to-earth comic

accordion ditties of Hattie Hatstar.




Women's Land Army

Ian Everest, local and family historian

“It would have been a huge

culture shock,” Ian Everest

remarks of his mother’s

reinvention from a Tottenham

grocery shop assistant to one of

Britain’s 80,000-strong army of

wartime ‘Land Girls’. “The only

time mum had left London was

to go to Southend-on-Sea for

her holidays. Suddenly she found

herself living and working on a

farm in rural Sussex.” Everest, a

keen local and family historian,

first began to learn about his

mother’s experiences in the

Women’s Land Army in the

last few years of her life. He has since written

a talk on the history of the movement, which

he will be presenting at The Keep this month.

“You could tell reading through these notes

that it was one of the best times of her life –

life-changing, as it was for many of the women

involved. It was her enthusiasm for those years

in the Land Army that made me want to find

out more.”

The Women’s Land Army was formed in 1917

before being revived when the Second World

War broke out in 1939. “The country was only

growing about a third of the food it needed,”

says Everest. “The other two thirds were all

coming from overseas. The biggest threat of

all was to our wheat, which had been coming in

from North America but was no longer getting

through because the ships were being attacked

by German U-boats.” With much of the male

population away fighting, it was left to the

women to step up to the challenge of feeding

the country.

Everest’s mother, Grace Thompson, joined

the Land Army in March 1943

and was soon posted to Stud

Farm, just outside Newhaven.

Like many of the women,

she had not a jot of previous

agricultural experience and

quickly had to learn new skills.

“Her first job was planting

blackberry bushes to camouflage

the newly installed guns at

Newhaven Fort,” says Everest.

The emphasis in Sussex was

on growing wheat and much

of the Downs was ploughed,

sowed and harvested by women

like Grace. “One of the most

soul-destroying jobs she had was walking the

Downs by herself, all day every day, picking up

flint off the fields because it was a problem for


Farming could be dangerous work; women

often received scant training before driving

heavy tractors or using other equipment. “The

other danger was the Luftwaffe coming across

Sussex on the way to bomb London. They

often had bombs to get rid of when they were

flying back and there were lots of near-misses

for the girls out in the fields.”

But Everest says his mother took to her new

life “like a duck to water”. She met her future

husband out in the fields and after they married

in 1947, she made Sussex her home. “She kept

chickens all her life and would often rear dayold

chicks. She used to grow fruit and veg and

would help at a nursery up the road pricking

out plants. She had become a country girl.”

Nione Meakin

The Women’s Land Army in Sussex, 5.30pm,

July 24, The Keep.




Grace Carter

A breath of fresh air

Grace Carter grew up in Brighton with her

mum, listening to singers like Lauryn Hill and

Nina Simone. Now, at 23, having caused a stir

with her strikingly honest and emotive R&B,

she’s performing at Pride alongside the likes of

Jessie J, Grace Jones and Kylie.

Pride has always been a big part of my life.

Every summer me and my friends would go

along and have the best time ever. Now, after

being in that audience, going and performing is

super-exciting. It’s an amazing celebration, and

I’m very happy to be there.

I was introduced to songwriting by my

stepdad. I met him when I was 13, but I was

very unsure of him. I grew up with a single

mum and I had a lot of anger and questions

about why I was in that position. But my

stepdad was a musician and he saw that anger

in me, and the potential. He gave me a guitar

and encouraged me to write my first song about

what I was feeling at the time, which had a lot

to do with abandonment and unrequited love.

The first record is my proudest moment, I

overcame so much by going through that whole

process. I can’t wait for it to be released next

year. It’s about my childhood, relationships that

I had and ones I didn’t have, celebrating my

mum and finding out why my dad wasn’t in my

life. It’s emotional, but hopefully empowering.

I get messages everyday from young girls,

young boys, and I meet a lot of people at shows.

Older parents, as well, saying things like “my

daughter is in the same position as you and I’m

so happy that you’ve become this woman and

you’ve coped with it, I hope my daughter can

do the same”. I’m able to talk to people and

hear other people’s stories, so it’s very cool that

I’m in a place where there’s that platform.

I probably wouldn’t stop to listen to a

ballad, if I was at a festival and I was drinking,

and it was sunny and I was out with my friends.

But it’s fun to try and keep the set up. I don’t

necessarily write the most beat-heavy songs,

but the festivals that I have done have always

gone well. I guess people see it as a breath of

fresh air in a way. My songs are emotional at

points, but also epic, hopefully uplifting, and

there are some you can dance to.

You can write a song about a hard

experience, something you struggled through,

but the feeling of coming out of that is so

powerful, people do feel lifted by that. It’s the

feeling of the light at the end of the tunnel, like

it’s not always going to be this dark and there’s

a glimpse of hope.

Pride is a celebration of love, and strength.

It’s so important, we all struggle, we all go

through heartbreak, but it’s nice to know we’re

not the only ones. I hope I can uplift people

and make people feel connected. That’s the

whole point, unity.

As told to Ben Bailey

Grace Carter appears at LoveBN1Fest in

Preston Park on Sunday August 4.


National Youth

Dance Company

Botis Seva



“If this is the future of dance,

we’re in safe hands”

Evening Standard

Mon 15 July


01273 709709





& 70s









BY THE SEA (18+)






> Book at






Jack Sexsmith

Riptide Wrestling

How is Riptide doing as a new (ish)

promotion on the scene? Riptide is the best

promotion in the UK for looking after talent

and staff. They have a respect for those who

put their bodies on the line and a devoted

passion to marketing professional wrestling as

the art form it is. Visually, there is nothing like

Riptide anywhere in the world and I genuinely

believe they have the best production values

in the whole of independent wrestling.

Whether you like comedy wrestling, fast-paced

exhibitions or heartfelt emotional drama, you

will inevitably be treated to all here.

The July Point Break match will see you

fight longtime enemy, posh boy Spike

Trivet. Why do you hate him so? Spike vs I,

was the very first match in Riptide’s existence.

It has always been clear that we are two very

different people, from two very different

backgrounds, of two very different mindsets

and we were never destined to get on.

He has hired my friends as his hit men. He has

hired my idols as his hit men. He has paid off

officials to stop me from being victorious… but

he has never beaten me one-on-one.

When we first clashed in June of 2017, my

stock was sky-high and he was a developing

talent. Since then Spike has used his wealth to

conspire against me, usurping my status in the

process: he is a politician in every sense.

There was a flurry of national media

coverage in 2017 regarding you being the

‘pansexual star of UK wrestling’. How has

that affected your career? It was everything

I wanted and nothing I was prepared for. With

so many people knowing my name, pressure

intensified to not only put on better and better

Photo by Oli Sandler


shows, but also I became scrutinised for how I

would represent the LGBT community even

more intensely. The wrestling was never an

issue but sometimes the challenge of being an

allegory instead of a human weighed heavy.

I released a video on New Year’s Day

highlighting how I was not going to allow

myself to be victimised or used as a marketing

tool any more. The ‘Pansexual Phenomenon’

was a name given to me to make that sweet

pink pound. Jack Sexsmith is a person, not an

act, not a device and no longer will I allow him

to be exploited.

What made you get into wrestling? I had

an epiphany moment at university where I

decided to stop denying who I am to myself.

Being active in areas that I am passionate about

became a clear goal of mine. So I started to

explore my sexuality and began training as a

professional wrestler.

What do you enjoy most about wrestling?

Generating a visceral reaction from an

audience of people. Being able to make people

cry with sadness or joy for a performance,

literally overwhelm them with emotion. That

sensation’s hard to describe.

Interview by Joe Fuller

July 5, Brighthelm Centre, 6pm



Jazz Re:Fest

All day at Brighton Dome

What is ‘Jazz Re:Fest’? It’s an annual minifestival

that showcases what’s happening in

UK jazz, reflecting the culture and art as well

as the music. We run a weekly residency in

West London, which is where we started, and

through that we are now a record label, and we

do international shows too.

So why Brighton? We’ve always wanted to

do more stuff around the country. Last year

we thought here’s our opportunity, let’s come

out of our comfort zone. The festival had been

at the Southbank Centre for three years. It

was quite a comfortable place to be, we were

guaranteed numbers. But bringing it to a

different venue outside of London – that was a

leap we decided to make.

Who’s on the line-up this year? We have two

great musicians from our label. One’s called

Rosie Turton, she’s a great trombonist and

she’ll be playing with her band. Another one

is Sarah Tandy who’s a piano player and she’s

fantastic. Generally we try to reflect a range of

what’s going on in the scene. So we have Theon

Cross, a tuba player who plays with Sons of

Kemet, and we’ve also got Zara McFarlane.

She’s an established vocalist, doing really well

on the Brownswood label.

What kind of jazz are we talking about?

Kevin Haynes is going to be really interesting

because he’s steeped in Yoruba traditions,

but he also spends a lot of time in Cuba. So

he’ll start his set with chanting, inviting the

ancestors to come, and it’s authentic, because

he lives that life. His Afro-Cuban stuff is very

spiritual, and really powerful. So that’s a real

contrast to someone like Werkha, who does

electronic, almost club music. Then you have

Sarah Tandy who is very much part of the

new UK jazz sound. And you’ve got Camilla

George who probably has the most straightahead

style. She has her own sound, but it’s

recognisable to anybody as jazz.

How do you balance the acts? Actually, the

gender balance isn’t a thing that we often think

about in terms of trying to even it out. It just

happens that we’re in a great time where the

gender mix in UK jazz music is phenomenal,

the biggest acts aren’t all male, you know.

When you see artists like Nubya Garcia taking

the jazz world by storm you kind of feel that

other female musicians are inspired by that.

The promoters aren’t dubious about any of this

stuff now, they just want the best bands.

What is jazz these days? We started 16 years

ago and the scene has changed. It’s as eclectic

now as it was back then, but our remit at the

time was about changing the perception of

jazz as being stuck in the past. There were a

lot of preconceptions about old smoky jazz

clubs, or stuffy places where you sit down and

clap politely. It’s not an old, white crowd. It’s a

mixed crowd, of all ages and all colours. All of

these things were the battle we were fighting.

Our whole thing was that the culture, the

music, everything, is progressive.

As told to Ben Bailey by Justin McKenzie, Jazz

Re:Freshed Artistic Director

Brighton Dome, Sat 27th July, 12pm, £10




Riot Act

Stories from Stonewall

“I’ve always been

interested in representing

queer lives truthfully,”

says playwright and

performer Alexis Gregory,

“showing the ups and

downs and complications,

and creating hard-hitting,

humorous work.” But he

admits that even for him,

the process of making new

play Riot Act has been a revelation.

The project began when he was approached

by Michael-Anthony Nozzi, one of the few

remaining survivors of New York’s infamous

Stonewall riots – the violent protests of

June 1969 when police and punters clashed

during a raid on the Stonewall Inn in

Greenwich Village, Manhattan, a hub for the

city’s LGBTQ community in a time when

homosexuality was still illegal. The fight-back

was a key moment in the birth of the gay rights

movement and Nozzi wanted Gregory to tell

his story, as someone who was there. What else

could Gregory say but yes?

After meeting Michael-Anthony, Gregory

wanted to extend the story across the Atlantic

so he went to meet Lavinia Co-Op, a member

of the radical 1970s drag troupe Bloolips

and now an ‘elder stateswoman’ of London’s

contemporary drag scene. He also interviewed

Paul Burston, a journalist and author who was

a key member of London AIDS activism group

Act-Up in the late 80s and 90s, when fear and

misunderstanding about the disease was at its

peak. The result is a piece of verbatim theatre

– work constructed from the exact words

of people interviewed – that sees Gregory

channel each man to tell the story of three

extraordinary gay lives.

“Each monologue starts

at a particular, pivotal,

moment but runs right

up to the present day. We

examine family; addiction;

community; being a young

gay man versus being

an old gay man – and of

course we look at Judy

Garland and the legend

that’s tied into the Stonewall story [some have

suggested a connection between the Stonewall

riots and Garland’s death].”

The start of the show’s UK tour coincides

with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall

riots. “It felt like the right time,” says Gregory.

“Our history as queer people, especially in

the UK, is not necessarily documented and

we haven’t always had the infrastructure to

share our stories.” He felt it was important to

look at how much progress has been made in

LGBTQ rights – but also wanted to highlight

how much work still remains to be done.

“Michael’s experience as a gay man in 1969 is

not that different to my experiences in 2019.

So activism is still very important – and the

play is really about the different forms that can

take.” It comes to Brighton on the eve of Pride,

at the city’s much-loved Marlborough Theatre,

described by website Culture Trip as ‘The

jewel in the crown of Brighton’s queer and nonbinary

scene’. “I don’t think there’s anywhere

like it in the country.” says Gregory. “It’s such a

hub of radical, pioneering work that represents

our community. I just love the place.”

Nione Meakin

Riot Act, July 30 and August 1, The

Marlborough Theatre.




The Lady Doctor

by Ian Williams

I’ve never really been into graphic novels.

Don’t get me wrong – as a kid I loved comics,

The Beano and The Dandy when I was small,

then DC and Marvel, Superman acting as the

gateway to The Silver Surfer and Doctor Strange.

These all entranced me from about the ages

of 7 to 14, but I stopped getting them when

‘Literature’ took over. So when I popped into

Viva HQ to pick up The Lady Doctor by Ian

Williams I was curious. Would there be origin

stories, villains, secret identities? Or would it

be more like contemporary fiction? Would this

be a big comic or ‘Literature’?

I read it quickly, struck by the book’s visual

inventiveness. Montages of hectic sessions with

patients; visual jokes (watch out for a tattoo

in a very intimate place); small boxes and big

sweeps, as well as the usual chapters, dialogue,

settings. As I turned the pages I encountered a

tale with enough twists, turns, and complexity

to match any novel by the likes of Ian McEwan

or Zadie Smith.

The ‘Lady Doctor’ of the title is Lois

Pritchard, a partner at Llangandida Health

Centre, who also works part-time in the

local Genitourinary Medicine (GUM) clinic.

Lois is 40, single, and ‘not very good with

relationships’. When her Mum shows up and




asks her for a bit of her liver the story suddenly

takes on the kind of emotional depth that

floored me.

I wanted to know more, so I contacted the

author, who lives in Brighton, and met him in

the garden of The Trafalgar. Williams tells me

he trained as an artist as well as a GP, and wrote

a dissertation on graphic novels when he was

studying for an MA in Medical Humanities. He

came across Mom’s Cancer by Brian Fies which

led him to other graphic novels and memoirs

featuring medical narratives. “I was a GP in

North Wales at that point and didn’t know any

cartoonists” so he set up a website, ‘Graphic

Medicine’ in 2007, which took off in ways he

was never expecting. Medics who used graphic

novels in their teaching and practice and comicmakers

who created medical stories started

gravitating towards the site. “All these people

started contacting me from all over the world. A

community developed, and we decided to meet

up and hold a conference. The first took place

in Senate House London in 2010. People came

from all over the world and it was a brilliant

success.” The conference now runs annually and

this year – its tenth – it returns to Brighton.

I come away from the pub, and think how far

dabbling in doodles has taken Dr Williams. He’s

currently working on the third ‘Doctor’ graphic

novel, and welcoming international delegates to

Brighton. I wonder if behind the mild-mannered

exterior he might actually be from the Planet

Krypton. John O’Donoghue

Graphic Medicine Quick Strips 12th July at

Phoenix Gallery 7-9pm; £3 redeemable against

the price of a book. The Lady Doctor, Myriad

Editions, £14.99


Josie Lawrence

Hyoie O’Grady Amara Okereke

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s


Music by Richard Rodgers

Book & Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

Based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs

Original choreography by Agnes de Mille

15 July – 7 September 01243 781312


Presented by arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe


Bob King Creative




Sponsored by

Conquest Bespoke Furniture

Henry Adams




One woman show in the open air

John Foster has, without doubt,

a talent for writing crime

drama. He’s crafted episodes of

classic TV cop shows including

Softly Softly, Z Cars, Juliet Bravo

and The Bill. He’s also written

a BAFTA-winning BBC

documentary about detective

fiction author Raymond

Chandler and devised the story

behind murder-mystery film

Letters from a Killer, which

starred Patrick Swayze. So

it surprises me that I briefly

stop him in his tracks when I

ask what fascinates him about

the darker side of life. “I don’t

know, really. I’m quite interested in people

who are forced to the brink, as it were. It’s

really a means to an end: it’s looking at ways in

which you can examine people’s psychology.

That’s what interests me. It’s not so much

the crimes themselves as why people commit


His new play Feral doesn’t start with a crime,

although its leading character soon finds

herself on the edges of society. “It was a true

story I came across years ago. A teenage boy

living on a council estate in Dorset travelled

to Cornwall, not knowing why he had this

strange call of the wild – and not knowing he

was from gypsy heritage, because his parents

had kept it quiet. He’d experienced these

mental storms, these pulls to nature, but was

very resistant until it took over. It’s something

I’ve wanted to write about for some time.”

In John’s play, the boy becomes 18-year-old

Simone. “I enjoy writing for female characters

more than male characters. Also there’s a move

to provide more parts

for female actors; it’s

been a male-dominated

situation for many years.

And it rings the changes

a bit: it’s a different

perspective and raises all

kinds of other issues.”

The forthcoming

production of Feral

is being performed

outdoors, as was the

original Bournemouth

show last year, although

it wasn’t penned with

any particular kind of

staging in mind. “It was

written as a one-woman show with a lot of

descriptions of the outdoors. When we came

to work on it [with director Charmaine K

Parkin], we thought it was a good idea to

perform outside.” Another way in which

the play has evolved is its music. Singer

and songwriter Hui Hue, who originally

performed the role of Simone, turned some

of her character’s words into lyrics. “I simply

wrote it as a monologue”, admits John. “She

took those lines, composed music and sang

them. The new actress, Maria Theresa

Rodriguez, has done the same and composed

one song, so now there are four or five songs

in the whole piece. It adds a lot to it.”

Finally, given his long and successful career,

I wonder if John has any plans for retirement.

He laughs. “The R-word? No, I don’t think so.

I shall be at my word processor as they lower

me into the coffin.” Mark Bridge

BOAT, 4th-5th July, £8-12




Photos by Alex Leith

Kirsty Wither

Oil painter/gallerist

On… her training

I went to school in Helensburgh, near Glasgow,

and studied painting at Gray’s School of Art,

in Aberdeen. After graduating I was lucky

enough to get a part-time job in the Gatehouse

Gallery in Glasgow, which enabled me to fund

my career as an artist, as well as learn the ropes

of how a gallery worked. I’m very grateful to

the owner, Annie Mendelow, who now lives and

works in Hove.

On… her major influences

I used to frequently visit the major galleries in

Scotland, and was very taken by the Scottish

Colourists. Also Sir Robin Philipson, who was

head of the Edinburgh School of Art, a very

vibrant figurative artist. And I’ve always loved

the work of Joan Eardley, a very painterly

painter, who used colour with such energy.

On… her style

I always work in oils, and always have. I started

off focusing on nudes, and while my work has

moved on a lot since then, there’s a continuous

thread from those paintings to the ones I do

today, which are generally landscapes and

flowers. I never have the subject matter – or

photographs or sketches – in front of me, when

I work. I subconsciously take things in on

my travels, which are channelled through my

imagination, onto the canvas. There’s not much

botanical reality about my flowers, and they are

rarely rooted by stalks or stems. I’m aiming for

colour-filled impact.

On… her modus operandi

I’m fortunate enough to have a sizeable studio

in a mews in Kemp Town, where I work every

weekday, from 10.30am to 6 or 7pm. I paint in




layers, and the image develops

over time. Painting in oil

means I can change shapes

and positions and colours

until I have created a dynamic

I am satisfied with. I work

on an image until I can go

no further, then move onto

another: I am always working

on at least five at a time. Then

I return to it – dry or wet –

with a fresh mind. Sometimes

I scratch back paint to reveal

the different colours beneath.

There’s a lot of texture to the


On… ‘Limes and Sprigs’ (pictured, below).

I swim in the sea every day, and while this

painting appears to be depicting a vase of

flowers, it is really about the effect of the water

and my memory of its colours.

On… Cameron

Contemporary Art

I started the gallery with my

husband Robin, six years ago.

We realised there weren’t many

fine art galleries in Brighton,

and wanted to fill that niche.

He can’t even draw a stick

man but he’s very creative and

knowledgeable about fine art.

On… the effect of her work

I like my work to be uplifting

and joyful. I love what one

buyer told me: “When I open

the door and see the painting,

I feel like someone’s given me a fresh bunch of

flowers. And that happens every day!” AL

Cameron Contemporary Art, 1 Victoria Grove,

Hove []

Limes and Sprigs





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

Women’s Work

Pioneering Craftswomen at Ditchling

On display at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft

are a couple of necklaces so strikingly modern

that they could be straight off the catwalk. “I

have to remind myself, when I look at them,

that they were made in the 1930s,” says Donna

Steele, curator of the Women’s Work exhibition,

at the museum until October. The necklaces are

the work of the silversmith Catherine ‘Casty’

Cobb; one of a group of women who worked

between the wars to establish themselves as

successful craftswomen. “We’re presenting a

group of women whose work we think was really

phenomenal and has stood the test of time,”

says Donna. “Not only were they interesting

as craftswomen, but they had good minds for

business too.”

Alongside Casty Cobb, the exhibition features

textiles by Enid Marx, Elizabeth Peacock, Alice

Hindson, Phyllis Barron and Dorothy Larcher,

and the pottery of Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie

and Denise Wren. “What links these women

is that they all have a connection to Ditchling.

Mostly through Ditchling’s Ethel Mairet who

revived the almost extinct crafts of handloom

weaving and natural dyeing. She was very

encouraging, and a good contact for people.”

A sort of sorority existed between these women,

most of whom had attended The Central

School of Art & Crafts, where the Ditchling

connection continued. They each had to study

five crafts, and calligraphy would have been one

of them, taught by Edward Johnston, famous for

designing the London Underground typeface.

The networks they formed at The Central






Photo by Sam Moore

would support them throughout their careers.

Whilst they worked with traditional techniques,

they developed a surprisingly bold and

modernist aesthetic. “They took on the spirit

of the original Arts & Crafts movement but

developed it for a modern audience. They had

lived through the carnage of the First World

War,” explains Donna, “and many of them had

travelled abroad working for the war effort.

When they returned it was to a traumatised

Britain, but at the same time people were

looking for new ways to create a new world.

There was a pioneering spirit, and, with the loss

of so many men, they could see a way forward

for themselves living ‘the simple life’ and

making an honest living using their hands.”

Their work was championed by female gallerists

like Muriel Rose of The Little Gallery, where

they found patrons among the wealthy and

fashionable clientele. Even Queen Mary

patronised The Little Gallery.

The advent of World War II interrupted

their success – in a time of national crisis and

austerity, priorities changed and craft was seen

as an unnecessary luxury – and many went on

to teach, and to write. Their legacy continues

through their work and their books, many of

which are regarded as important today.

In researching the exhibition, Donna discovered

dozens of talented but largely unknown

craftswomen. “I’d quite like to write a book

myself,” she concludes, “but there’s no time.

I’ve got to get on with organising the next

exhibition.” Women’s work. Never done.

Lizzie Lower

Image kindly provided by the Craft Study Centre,

University for the Creative Arts


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


“the work of an artist

should always be more

clever than the artist”


eventually all museums will be ships

6 July - 13 October

Hastings Contemporary

Rock-a-nore Road

Hastings Old Town

TN34 3DW




:eventually all museums will be ships, date unkown, oil stick on paper

© Paradis/Tal R - Copenhagen and Victoria Miro - London/Venice




In town this month...

Let’s talk about the Anthropocene is a project that

uses art to engage people in conversations

about what it means to be living in a new

geological epoch: a time where human impact

and the industrialised world has brought

about such changes as to affect all the earth’s

systems. “The concept of the Anthropocene

is useful in that it goes beyond climate and

embraces other changes like waste, the oceans

and the biosphere,” explains project organiser

Adele Gibson. “I believe that bringing the

word into more popular usage is important in

highlighting the scale of the changes that are

now happening.” The project has been four years in the making, and this month there’s the chance

to meet the eight resident artists who’ve been researching and developing new work; visit an opencall

exhibition on the theme; see a site-specific installation at ONCA barge in Brighton Marina;

hear gallery talks; see a one-man show by Chris Dobrowlski; and take part in a family-friendly art

workshop with artist and explorer Beatrice von Pressen. University of Brighton, Grand Parade 27

July-2 Aug, 10am-5pm (not open Sunday). See pg 60 or visit for details.

On a similar environmental theme, Metamorphosis, Landscapes of Change is at 35 North gallery in North

Road. Documentary photographer

John Brockliss has spent the past five

years exploring our changing planet,

photographing in dramatic locations

across seven countries. This collection

of powerful monochrome images, shot

in high definition, explores in detail the

impact on our landscape of fire and ice,

erosion and tidal changes, rapacious

mining and commercial exploitation,

and social and economic upheaval. 6-27

July (open 11am-5.30pm Weds-Sat.

Bodie Ghost Town by John Brockliss

Brighton Rocks International Film Festival is a young festival with a

big ambition: to become the UK’s main forum for indie and underground

cinema. Join them at the Rialto Theatre as they screen this year’s selection of

more than 50 short and feature films on 12 & 13 July. []



University of Brighton, Grand Parade

Sat Jul 27th - Fri Aug 2nd 2019 10am—5pm (not open Sun)

The aim of this project is to use art as a vehicle to promote conversations

about what it means to be living at the dawn of the new epoch of the

Anthropocene. We invite you to:

• Visit the gallery exhibition with over 30 artworks from high-profile and

emerging artists. Find out why we want you to help erase a new large-scale

piece of work.

• Talk to the 8 resident artists at 2pm everyday about new work in development.

• Come to the exhibition walk and talk with organiser Adele Gibson on

Saturday 27th at 2pm.

• Visit the Onca barge, Brighton Marina on Friday 1st August from 5—7pm to

see site-specific installations.

There are 2 bookable events:

Polar animal workshop with artist and

explorer Beatrice Von Pressen.

A family nature-based art workshop for

children aged 5+ with accompanying

adults. Come and have fun creating polar

food webs to take home and discover

amazing facts about animals, such as

why penguin poo is pink. No art

experience needed.

27th July: 10am—12noon

Onca barge,

Brighton Marina

£12.50 per ticket

Antarctica - Chris Dobrowolski

Chris returns to Brighton with his acclaimed

pointy-sticked performance piece.

Antarctica is an adventure story-

PowerPoint-presentation about professional

failure and navigating real life via

tales of overzealous seals, Ladybird books

and a sledge made from gold picture


1st August 7.30pm Sallis Benney Theatre,

Grand Parade.

£10 per ticket.

Gallery open late

to 7pm. Bar open.

More details at

Booking for events at Eventbrite see

Polar and Antarctica.

In town continued...



Ivan Navarro, Nowhere Man I, 2009. ©The Artist Ryan Gillett

From 12 July,


Art on London

Road celebrate

the 50th


of the moon

landing with

Lunacy: A group




works by Gary Stranger, David

Shrigley, Fergus Hare, Ryan Gillett,

HelloMarine, Euan Roberts and more.

(Until 7 September.

Out of town...

The newly independent Hastings Contemporary (formerly the

Jerwood Gallery) opens on 6 July for its inaugural exhibition.

Eventually all museums will be ships explores the work of Israeli-born,

Danish artist Tal R, whose experimental and inventive artistic

practice encompasses a wide variety of media, including painting,

video, print, furniture and textile design. Alongside, Shine out Fair

Sun features paintings by Roy Oxlade from across 50 years of his

artistic career. Oxlade, who died in 2014, was an acclaimed painter,

writer and highly influential teacher who lived and worked on the

South Coast alongside his wife, Rose Wylie RA. There will also be

a one-room display of paintings by David Bomberg (an early tutor

of Oxlade) and new works by Sir Quentin Blake.

Elsewhere, the ten-year anniversary

celebrations of the ‘new’ Towner building

continue with a summer of exhibitions,

events and screenings. Day Trip to Farley

Farm – the exhibition of new works by Sir

Peter Blake – continues at Farleys Gallery,

weekends until 4 August; and Charleston

host their Festival of the Garden – two days

of talks, tours and demos curated by Tom

Stuart-Smith – on 13&14 July.


Darling! is

an exhibition

of new work

by Brightonbased

artist and

tv personality

Dave Pop!


head chocolatier at Choccywoccydoodah). Expect

effeminate nudes, giant florals and even Kylie

Minogue: a celebration of camp, flamboyancy and all

things trashy and no good. Opening at Brush Gallery

84 Gloucester Road from 26 July and heralding the

Pride season in Brighton. The exhibition continues

until 27 August. []

Dave Pop!

Untitled (Blue Ship series) © Paradis/Tal R

© Peter Blake, 2019. All rights reserved



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Brilliant Brightonians

Congratulations to Charlie Schaffer and

Emma Hopkins, two talented, young,

Brighton-based artists, both recognised in the

prestigious BP Portrait Awards last month.

27 year-old Charlie, who graduated from

Brighton University with a BA in Fine Art

in 2014, was awarded first prize in the BP

Portrait Award 2019 for his painting, Imara

in her Winter Coat. Selected from over 2500

submissions, the oil portrait – of a close

friend wrapped in her faux-fur jacket – was

praised by the judges for the way in which the

textures of fur, hair and skin ‘are revealed by

prolonged looking’, producing an image ‘that

is traditional, but clearly contemporary’.

Prolonged looking is a signature of Charlie’s

work, who believes that conversation between

Imara in her Winter Coat © Charlie Schaffer

Sophie and Carla by Emma Hopkins, 2019 © Emma Hopkins

artist and sitter makes for a successful portrait.

For the winning painting, Imara sat three

times a week over a period of four months.

Charlie wins £35000 in prize money and

a further commission, worth £7000, to be

decided by the National Portrait Gallery.

Brighton-born Emma Hopkins received the

Young Artist Award for her striking portrait

of her friend Sophie and Sophie’s dog, Carla.

Emma, who we featured in September 2017,

graduated from the University of the Arts

London and then spent some time working

for a prosthetic limb company, informing her

in-depth understanding of the human body.

“When you look at skin, you can see through

to the veins underneath, see the different

colours,” she told us. “Now, when I paint skin,

I paint about six layers of oils on top of each

other. It is a ‘Frankenstein’ process of building

up the body.”

Both paintings will be on show at the

National Portrait Gallery until 20 October.




Jessie Yates and Sophie Hulf

Cass Art & Phoenix Studio Award-winning

artists from the University of Brighton

I’m worried, as I’m led up the stairs to Jessie

Yates (pictured left) and Sophie Hulf’s

studio, in Phoenix Brighton Studios, by

executive director Sarah Davies, what sort

of state the place will be in.

Just over a year ago Sarah approached Mark

Cass, Founder and CEO of Cass Art, the

UK’s leading art supplies retailer, to see if

his organisation would fund a new initiative

whereby two arts graduates, fresh from the

School of Art at University of Brighton, were

given a studio for a year, free of charge. Each

year the School of Art would invite final

year students to apply, then the applications

would be reviewed by a panel of judges from

the three partners of the prize; Cass Art,

Phoenix Brighton and the School of Art.

“I could fill the studio spaces a hundred

times over,” she says, “so it’s a brilliant deal

for the young artists, who otherwise would

probably have just had to go home after

graduating,” she says, knocking on the door

of the studio in question. “Mark loved the


The door is opened, and I needn’t have

worried. I’d thought the two chosen artists

might have spent ages clearing up, but

happily the place is the kind of creative

jumble I’d hoped for, with works in progress

and boxes of materials filling every available

space. A real artists’ studio, in other words.

“It’s been a brilliant year, so far,” says

Jessie, sitting at a table behind a sewing

machine, in front of a wall artfully filled

with colourful abstract images painted onto

multiform pieces of sewn-together textile.




“I’m really grateful for this opportunity,

which has seen my work move on so far.”

“It’s had such an impact on my work, too”

says Sophie, sitting at a table strewn with

stylised sketches of body parts, a life-sized

sketch of a dismembered torso, decorated

with grey sunflowers, looming to the side.

“I’d say that I’ve moved on from being an

illustrator to being an artist, in the space

of a year.”

We chat for half an hour or so, sipping tea.

They both work evenings in pubs, they say,

which gives them the opportunity to work

nearly full-time in the studio. They didn’t

know each other before, but have become

very close, giving one another plenty of

feedback. And they’ve come to feel part of

the community at the Phoenix, where over

100 artists work in 80 studios. “There’s

always something going on here,” says

Jessie, “…and there are plenty of friendly

faces offering help and advice,” adds

Sophie, who has an exhibition of her work

in the Window Gallery downstairs, from

31st July to 25th August.

Both are busy preparing for a ‘Spotlight’

talk about their practice, in front of an

audience of sixty or so, around the time we

go to press; both are planning to find a new

studio when their time at Phoenix finishes,

in September (Jessie back home in London,

Sophie in Brighton).

Most of all, they are both very grateful

to the University of Brighton, Phoenix

Brighton and Cass Art for the opportunity

they have had to spread their artistic

wings. “Life after university can be quite

intimidating, because you lose your support

system,” says Jessie. “This experience has

launched us into our careers.”

Alex Leith

Sophie Hulf

Jessie Yates



AUG 30th - SEPT 1st 2019, CUCKMERE HAVEN

























Artists and non artists are invited to make

work about Newhaven. This can be an

individual or collaborative project and it

is free to enter.

tickets and info

All information and guidelines are at

Newhaven Museum and Newhaven Town

Council, Newhaven and Lewes Tourist

Information Centre, Lewes House, Lewes.

Further info at

The exhibition will be in the centre of

Newhaven at the Ship Hotel during

Newhaven Festival and Lewes District

Council Artwave.

Lazy summer


made at


Stunning summer borders flower in a profusion of

dazzling colour and beauty in midsummer. Visit the

Gallery too for an exhibition by artist Mariusz

Kaldowski with watercolours of classic views from the


© National Trust 2019 . Registered charity, No. 205846. © National Trust Images \Lisa Davies.

These are the places that make us.


This month Adam Bronkhorst has been photographing people at the

Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst: a growing collection of seeds from around

the world, aiming to provide a safety net for species at risk of extinction.

He asked them: Which plant do you think is the most remarkable and why? | 07879 401333

Ellie Wilding, Technical Officer on the Crop Wild Relatives Project

‘Musa acuminata is the wild cousin of the bananas we eat today.

Wild bananas have a wealth of genetic variation that can help cultivated

bananas be more resistant to disease outbreaks.’


Dr Charlotte Seal, Research Leader in Comparative Seed Biology

‘The annual seablite (Suaeda maritima) grows in salt marshes.

Its plants tolerate salt and flooding, and their seeds can germinate in salty

water twice as concentrated as sea water!’


Keith Manger, Health & Safety and Estates Liaison

‘The stone plant (Aizoaecae), the seeds can withstand temperatures in excess of

130C; they also have beautiful flowers.’


Nicola Mills, Seed Processing Manager

‘The Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera). There is one growing from a 2000 year old seed.

Referred to in the Bible and Quran as useful for numerous medicinal remedies and

increasing fertility! Dates have been a staple food for millennia.’


John Adams, Laboratory Manager (Seed Biology)

‘The English Oak (Quercus robur). It is long lived, supports many hundreds of

other species of wildlife, and has been used in everything from ship building to barn

construction. For centuries it has been a national symbol of strength and

survival as well as having many mythological connections.’


Dr Rosemary Newton. Career Development Fellow

in the Conservation Science Department.

Lithops, or living stone plants, are remarkable in both their beauty and camouflage.

These attractive southern African underground succulents avoid grazing animals by

resembling pebbles and moisture loss is minimised through burial.

enjoy a


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Master_VivaLewes_July2019.indd 1 14/06/2019 16:02:46




9-11 AUGUST 2019

Live Latin music and dancing | Vintage funfair | Cookery demos from top chefs | Chilli displays and plant sales

Gardening talks and demos | Outdoor cinema | Over 140 shopping stalls | Family friendly camping | Fireworks


West Dean Gardens, Chichester, West Sussex PO18 0RX



The Flint House

An old faithful in a new street

In keeping with all the Gingerman

restaurants, the food at their latest – The

Flint House – is both delicious and inventive.

But what’s most novel, at least for now, is their

address. They are one of the first occupants of

the newly-developed Hanningtons Lane – a

smart little snicket that has appeared behind

the once-great department store at the bottom

of North Street. If you haven’t seen it yet (and

you could easily miss it), it’s quite a thing:

around a dozen new shops and eateries, with

fancy apartments above, arranged along a

smart little lane. It’s strangely exhilarating, if

slightly bewildering, to walk through a narrow

gap in North Street and find yourself in a new

part of town.

When we visit on a Friday lunchtime, The

Flint House is already drawing a crowd.

Upstairs the bar serves classy-looking

cocktails, wines by the glass and Sussex fizz,

with the Ridgeview Terrace offering the

perfect vantage point to watch people in that

slightly bewildered state below. Only bar

snacks are served up here, so we head back

downstairs for the full menu. There are long

counters to eat at – both overlooking the

kitchen and in the window – and marbletopped

tables by the door. There are no

reservations, so I recommend you get there

early to pick your favourite spot.

We order from the varied menu of small plates.

The slow roast lamb belly (£9.50) is tightly

rolled, thinly sliced and clearly cooked by

someone who knows what they’re doing. The

caramelised meat falls apart under the fork,

and is perfectly partnered by ‘green sauce’:

a piquant blend of mint, capers, cornichons,

mustard and parsley.

Vegetables are always a highpoint at

Gingerman restaurants, and the Flint House

is true to form. The confit potato (£4) is soft

on the inside, crispy golden on the outside and

served with a silky and subtle aioli; the salt

baked beetroot with Jerusalem artichoke and

puy lentils (£7) is as earthy as it sounds, lifted

with a ‘green goddess’ sauce; but, for me, the

roast cauliflower (£8.50) tops the lot. Roasted

to nutty perfection and sitting on a bed of

creamy miso sauce. The dish is full of deep

umami flavours, laced with astringent apple

and pomegranate. We order poached apricots

with fig leaf ice cream (£8) to follow. I prefer

my apricots a little softer, but the crumbled

honeycomb lends sweetness and the fig leaf

ice cream adds good intrigue, being more

scented than flavoured. A sophisticated end to a

sophisticated lunch.

I wonder how long it will be until this new lane

feels like part of the landscape. Having one of

the city’s most established restaurant groups

in residence will surely help with the process.

Come for lunch, stay for a drink, and watch the

people pass by while you – and they – try to

figure out how they’ve fitted it all in.

Lizzie Lower

13 Hanningtons Lane,







Burnt honey peaches

with buttermilk sherbet

and hazelnut granola

A delicious summer pudding from the team behind Chard Café &

Restaurant, Ciarán Thomas and sisters Mae and Benny Sullivan.

Mae: Benny originally started Chard, on

her own, as a Brighton pop-up in 2017. My

partner Ciarán and I moved over from Dublin

in January 2018 with a view to joining her and

setting up our own restaurant within a year.

We met Alex and Zoe of Igigi when we hosted

their Christmas party. The closure of the Igigi

café coincided with our search for a permanent

home and we were delighted when they invited

us to move in and share this beautiful building

with them.

We started works in September and opened mid-

November 2018. The three of us do absolutely

everything, so it’s been crazy times, converting

the basement into a kitchen, and preparing the

ground floor and upstairs spaces, so we can offer

brunch, lunch and dinner. The dinner menu

changes monthly; the brunch menu changes

weekly and the lunch menu is different every day.

Benny is the chef, and she describes her food

as ‘modern British with a relaxed tone, and

touches of nostalgia’. We pride ourselves on

only using locally sourced, seasonal produce.

Don’t be fooled by the name, Chard isn’t

entirely a vegetarian restaurant. My favourite is

the onglet steak!

Benny: This pudding is one I developed for

the June menu, but will be great all summer.

It’s easy to make, and each element can work

on its own.

The first step towards making the sorbet is

making syrup by melting 220g of sugar in

80 ml of water, in a saucepan. Once this has

cooled, add 700 ml of buttermilk, and the zest

and juice of a lemon. Then churn in an icecream

machine (or find out how to do this by

hand, on the internet).

The granola is a classic recipe. Heat 100g of

Brighton Honey in a pan, mix in 50g of butter,

and add a splash of apple juice. Mix 200g of

rolled jumbo oats with a teaspoon each of

ground cinnamon and ground ginger, and stir

in the butter mix. Spread thinly onto a baking

tray, and bake for 30-40 mins at 150 degrees,

until dry and golden brown. Then mix in a

handful of toasted, chopped hazelnuts.

Cut a peach in half, and stone it. Heat two

tablespoons of Brighton Honey in a pan, and

carefully place the peach halves face down,

cooking for a couple of minutes until the honey

starts to bubble. Take care when cooking;

although delicious, burning honey is nobody’s

friend. Remove from the heat, and finish for five

minutes in the oven, at 150 degrees, turning the

peach halves so they are honey-side up.

That’s it! Serve individually or as a sharing

pudding – it could even work as brunch! But

if all that preparation sounds like too much

effort, you know where we are…

As told to Alex Leith

31a Western Road, Hove


A-news bouche

The Community Kitchen

are hosting a Mexican

Masterclass on the 4th, 6pm-

9pm, where you can create

Mexican Prawn Cocktails

and authentic tortillas. Funds

raised from the class will

support a future ‘Cooking on

a Budget’ course for people on

low incomes and benefits. And

the Summer Vegan Beer and

Cider Festival returns to the

Cowley Club, featuring live

music, local ales, incredible

food and




Brighton Racecourse is

hosting two boozy events in

one day on Sat 27th: The

Great British Gin Festival

from 12pm till 4pm and then

Rum & Reggae Festival from

7pm-11pm. In gin, you can

expect samples, talks, cocktail

demos and more, whereas

the rum evening features rare

and special craft rums from

the West Indies, Cuba, South

America and the United

States, as well

as live reggae

acts and


Jamaican food.

The inaugural outdoor

Brighton International Feast

will take place in Norfolk

Square Garden on Sat 27th,

1pm to 4pm. Free, and open

to all, the idea is to bring your

own favourite dish to share, as

arranged by Ambigo and the

Norfolk Square Garden Project.

And on the 6th, a Macaron

Masterclass at Brighton

Cookery School will give you

the chance to learn how to make

salted caramel, strawberry with

mixed berries paste or lemon

macarons from

9.30am to


If you are interested in a monthly delivery

round please get in touch at



Barney’s Deli

Standing apart

Barney’s Delicatessen is overwhelming. Two of

Viva’s finest visited the shop on a precariously

sunny Saturday afternoon in early June, and we

were stunned by the cornucopia of picnic titbits

on offer.

Offers include a ‘Brighton Cheeselover’s Box’

(made to order from £15), as well as vegan

‘cheese’ and local cheese/charcuterie cones

designed for heading to the beach with. We

go for a do-it-yourself pick’n’mix approach

however, which worked very well indeed.

We were offered free cheese tasters and we were

impressed with their patience in chatting us

through the options on a busy Saturday. Kelly

leant towards the milder side of cheese, whereas I

was more interested in the charcuterie: we walked

on to the Pavilion Gardens after stocking up.

Top billing goes to Perfectly Preserved’s

plum jam with star fennel seed (£3.65 a jar), a

memorably sweet treat we both loved, and one

that could go with anything. Caring not a jot

for traditional pairings, we feverishly tried it

with anything and everything, including bread,

cheese, crispbreads, meat.

And we had plenty to get our hands on. Kelly

was particularly fond of the Irish Porter

(£2.85/100g), an unusual looking cheddar with

a brown mosaic pattern. Made with stout, the

effect was “rich, tangy and delicious”. The

Sussex Brie (£2.25/100g) was creamy and sweet,

while the Wyfe of Bath (£3.45/100g) was a

succulent and nutty semi-hard cheese, mellow

and reminiscent of gouda.

The Milano Salami (£4.80/100g) was fantastic,

heartily seasoned with white pepper, whereas

the Coppa (£7.60/100g), from the neck of the

pig, is marbled with fat and went well with

thick bread to soak up the flavour. Both come

Photo by Kelly Mechen

from the Mangalitza pig, bred locally in North

Chailey. Sussex Gourmand’s Wild Venison

Bresaola (£9 for approx. 50g) was rich, tasty,

and more generous in portion than you might

assume from the packaging. I also tried Weald

Smokery’s Smoked Mackerel Pâté: a salty, fresh

and lemony delight.

Peter’s Yard’s selection of three crispbreads

(£6.95) were fun to try in their own right: the

spelt & poppy seed variety was our favourite.

There is a wide selection of cold drinks

available too: I liked the kick of my Gran

Stead’s Still Lemonade with Root Ginger

(£1.25) whereas Kelly preferred the fizzier,

organic Lemonaid (£1.75).

For dessert, we tried the handmade orange

straws (£3.50): preserved orange peel coated in

dark Belgian chocolate, which put Jaffa Cakes

to shame. Some gingerbread from Horsham

Gingerbread Bakehouse stood apart too: an

incredibly strong, almost spicy flavour but still

fantastically buttery (£1.75).

One of the main things to note is how you

can walk in at any time, plunder a lot of lovely

food, drink, spreads and more (all ready-to-eat),

and then simply go picnic. Some costs a little

more, but some costs even less than standard

supermarket fare, and this stuff is markedly

better. Artisan, locally produced food is no

mere branding exercise at Barney’s: the staff are

clearly knowledgeable and care about their work,

and the effort shows. Delicious and surprisingly

affordable. Joe Fuller

39 Kensington Gardens,




Brighton Permaculture Trust

As nature intended

When confronted with a patch of weeds in your

garden or allotment, you most likely reach for the

fork and prise them out, roots and all. But, next

time, maybe hold fast.

“A lot of the fertility is held in those plants, and

worms, bacteria and funghi in the soil have little

niches in the ground – turning the earth over

is likely to damage them,” says Bryn Thomas,

director of Brighton Permaculture Trust. Instead,

Bryn suggests sticking a fork in to loosen the

ground without turning it over, and then piling

cardboard, newspaper or black plastic sheets on

top. “This will kill any grass shoots, which will

then create a nice soil for feeding the worms

down there,” he says. “And you can just lift it

and pull up any strands of bindweed a few times

throughout the season before you’re ready to


Permaculture is is all about co-operating with

nature, and mimicking its ingenious design. Aside

from gardening, its principles are applicable

to architecture and community planning.

The movement was started in Australia in the

1970s by environmentalists Bill Mollison and

David Holmgren. After studying forests and

ecosystems in Tasmania, they came up with a

design framework for living more harmoniously

with nature. “Natural systems are complex and

interconnected,” says Bryn. “We’re not talking

about linear metabolisms, but circular ones.

Everything in a forest gets used and re-used,

including all nutrients.”

Compare this with the end-to-end supply chain

of modern agriculture. We’re so far-removed

from mechanised global food production

processes, where the aim is to meet demand

rather than to complete a sustainable cycle.

“Instead, permaculture is about smaller-scale,

local, human-focused systems – as opposed to

flying in mange tout peas from Kenya,” says Bryn.

Established in 2000, Brighton Permaculture Trust

is a charity that’s all about inspiring, connecting

and learning so that people and planet can

flourish. Their projects include running courses




about aspects of permaculture, championing

eco-building, and working with schools and

communities to plant gardens and orchards

– they’ve planted more than 130 of the latter

across Sussex. “The orchard is the only entirely

human-created system that has its own biodiversity

action plan in the UK, because of its importance

for wildlife, and for pollinating insects in cities,”

says Bryn.

Any more top tips for making our gardens more

permacultural? “A guild is a group of plants that

work well together,” he says. “Take blackcurrant

bushes. They’re woodland plants, so if you grow

them with fruit trees and plants that mimic the

woodland setting – such as mints and aromatic

herbs – there’s a guild that grows very well


He adds: “Try growing more perennial plants – like

fruit trees – rather than annual ones. Perennial

systems are much better at cycling nutrients

and building up a permanent soil system. Once

established they probably need relatively little input,

and will keep yielding for a number of years.”

Rose Dykins

Brighton Permaculture Trust runs two-day

Introduction to Permaculture Design courses at

Stanmer Park at weekends throughout the year;















Make Your FARM Garden SHOP

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Summer bedding plants now available including

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and statues

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Brighton Road, Henfield, West Sussex BN5 9RP 01273 494582

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Photo by Lizzie Lower

Kemptown's Secret Garden

Nick Dwyer, plantsman

The garden belonged to the house behind

us – 32 Sussex Square. The houses of that row

used to have very long gardens, stretching as far

as Arundel Road. This 30 by 40 metre walled

garden is the last remaining portion and still has

the original tunnel that runs under the road to

the house.

The house was first owned in 1830 by

Laurence Peel, the brother of the then Prime

Minister. The garden was bought by the family

of Antony Dale – the founder of the Regency

Society – in the 1950s. It was the wish of his

widow, Yvonne Dale, that the garden should

be preserved for the use of the community

and, when she died, the Antony Dale Trust was

formed by Gavin Henderson CBE (the former

Artistic Director of the Brighton Festival), to

preserve it as a sculpture garden.

This is my fifth year as the gardener. It’s a

great project. I come here each Monday and

have carte blanche to do what I want. I did some

research into Regency period gardens and it

seems they were largely green, with trees and

hedges, but I’ve planted this up as more of a

cottage garden with a large lawn. It works well

for displaying sculpture.

I use my intuition for the planting scheme.

When I arrived, there were a few small rose

beds, so I extended the borders around them

and added the big stuff, like the Echium and the

Cardoons. I’ve also planted some fruit trees –

apples, quince and a medlar – against the warm


Photos by Lizzie Lower




Photo by Peter Hewetson-Brown

walls. I love tall, structural planting. I went to

art college and did a lot of abstract painting

when I was younger. In a way, the garden is an

extension of that. It’s my canvas to play with.

We have an exhibition of large kinetic water

sculptures by William Pye here until the end

of September. Installing them took just three

days with some very professional guys who

turned up and lifted the sculptures over the 20ft

wall. But the pre-install – designing the layout

and putting in the trenches for the electrics –

was months in the planning.

We will be open to the public for the

Heritage Open Days in September. At the

moment the garden is only open for special

events, but we’re raising funds to improve

our visitor facilities. The loggia serves as a

rudimentary kitchen and garden shed, but the

plan is to put in proper stairs, toilets and full

disabled access. Then we hope to open more


It’s strange gardening in a place which the

public rarely sees. I’d like us to open in April

because the garden sings in the Spring. It

suddenly comes to life with tulips, daffodils and

swathes of blue forget-me-nots. I’m the only

person who has ever seen some of the tulips.

Just me and the fox. I’m hoping we can change

that next year. As told to Lizzie Lower

Bristol Gardens, Kemptown

The Secret Garden will be open to the public for

the Heritage Open Days, weekends from 13th-

22nd September.

Instagram @secretgardenkt

Twitter @SecretGardenADT




Plant your


More trees, please

If you’ve ever lamented the loss of a tree on

your road – or wished for some greenery to

break up the urban sprawl – now is the time

to do something about it. This month sees the

launch of Plant Your Postcode, a new campaign

that encourages Brighton residents to replenish

the city’s tree count and help create a happier,

healthier environment.

Seven Dials resident Penny Hudd is leading the

campaign. She was moved to take action when

the council chopped down two diseased elms on

her street last year. “I knew the council did not

have the money to replace them, so I decided to

find out what I could do instead,” she says. “I got

talking to Hove Civic Society and discovered

they had been involved in planting around 100

new trees on that side of the city over the past

five years. But no one was doing it in Brighton.”

Plant Your Postcode, which is backed by the

Civic Society as well as the Campaign to Protect

Rural England (CPRE), encourages people to

work in groups to request that the city council

assesses a site where they would like to see a tree

replaced or planted. If the site is suitable (land

where trees have stood historically is likely to

be approved but planting new trees is subject to

certain conditions), the group can then begin

fundraising to cover the costs. “Planting in a

park or where there are soft verges costs up

to £387, but in inner-city areas planting street

trees can cost £440 or more, as kerbs and hard

surfaces have to be replaced.” Individuals can

make donations towards the cost of new trees,

and Hudd would like to see schools taking up

the cause too. The city council’s budget for this

sort of work is a fraction of what it was before

the financial crash of 2007, she says. “One can

understand that – there are other things that

take priority. But after a few years, those cuts

start to show. And trees are really important.

House prices are higher in green areas; people

drive more slowly. Trees help reduce our carbon

footprint; they provide flood mitigation; they

clean the air.”

Hudd is hopeful that the campaign will be a

success. Brighton and Hove has form when it

comes to protecting trees, as evidenced during

the 1970s when the city was praised for fending

off the spread of Dutch Elm Disease, which

would wipe out 25 million trees across the

UK. We have more than 17,000 elms dotted

around in areas including Preston Park, Carden

Hill, Shirley Drive and The Level – the largest

collection in the country. “Now many of those

trees are reaching the end of their lives so action

is needed to plant the young trees that will, in

time, replace them. It’s an important project;

we’re planting for the future.” Nione Meakin




Photos by Lizzie Lower

The Museum of Gardening

Founder Clive Gravett

What’s in the museum? I’m a lawnmower

historian, so predominantly mowers. The

lawnmower was invented in 1830, and we’ve

got models from the 1860s to the 1980s. We’ve

probably got 60 or 70 on show, with as many

or more hidden away. There’s all sorts of other

gardening kit too: spraying and watering tools,

cucumber straighteners, and a collection of

Sussex-made terracotta.

Is anything missing from the collection? A

Budding mower from the 1830s, but we don’t

think any still exist. Edwin Budding developed

the lawnmower’s cutting cylinder and also the

screw adjustment for the adjustable wrench. He

was a brilliant engineer. He was working in the

wool industry – making a crosscutting machine

to take the nap off woven fabric – when he came

up with the idea for the lawnmower. I like to

think that he saw men working with scythes,

out of the factory window, and realised that his

cylinder cutter could do the same job.

What’s the rarest piece here? We’ve got

several mowers and edgers that we believe are

the only ones of their kind. I help run The Old

Lawnmower Club – we’ve got 500 members

worldwide – and no one has seen anything like

them. The strangest piece is a hand-operated

mower from the United States. You could

control the speed on the cutting cylinder with a

hand wheel.

You’ve written a book, Two Men Went to

Mow? Yes. It’s the story of Edwin Budding

and what I’ve done in his name: my search

for the little-known inventor, a walk through

lawnmower history and its impact on sport and

society, and how I’ve created a museum and

charity in his name.

Tell me about the charity. I set up The

Budding Foundation on my 60th birthday, nine

years after I’d retired from banking. I’d been

doing horticultural workshops in schools, and

I had family members who worked for Social

Services, so I had gained an insight into young

people in need. We support kids aged from 5-18




who need some financial support to change

their lives. It could be £50 for football club

fees, money for a new wheelchair, or respite

days out. We work closely with the charity

Family Support Work, who refer people

to us. We do horticultural projects with

schools and work closely with Tates Garden

Centres to provide plants and equipment,

and we also run Santa’s Grotto here at

South Downs Nurseries in Hassocks at

Christmas. Last year we raised £23,000 for

the foundation. Tates are very supportive

with that, too. This year we’ve got a second

grotto so we need lots of elves! If you can

help, please get in touch.

I do love a project but I’d like to relax a bit

more myself at some stage. I’ve got a massive

garden myself, and there’s a lot to do.

Interview by Lizzie Lower

Find the museum at the South Downs

Heritage Centre, Hassocks. Entry is free.

Two Men Went to Mow (£14.99 +p&p) is

available from or

from the Heritage Centre. 50% of each sale

goes to support the work of the charity.



on you

Counselling, Psychotherapy

and Psychological services

in central Hove

01273 921355



Valley Gardens

Central reservation to Central Park?

There are ‘around

147’ parks and

gardens in our city

according to the

council’s Open Space,

Sport and Recreation

Study (2009). They

cover an area of 1,200

hectares (3000 acres in

old money). Sounds a

lot, but Stanmer Park

is the biggest, and

accounts for about a

third of this. I never think of it as a park, it’s more

like a bit of the countryside so it distorts things

a bit; maybe we’re a bit short of public space?

Preston Park is probably the best known, given

the events that happen there, such as the start of

the Brighton Marathon and the Pride festival.

But there’s one important park that we all know,

yet is currently a bit unloved. You could call

it our Central Park, given its location, but we

know it as Valley Gardens, the public space that

stretches from near the Palace Pier to St Peter’s

Church. Valley Gardens is also a conservation

area (designated in 1973) and is both junction

and central reservation for the three major traffic

routes into the city. It includes some of the earliest

buildings from Brighton’s Regency period.

At the moment it’s really complicated to cycle

around and not very pleasant to use if you’re

walking or driving. Congested and confusing,

with large open spaces that are an important

green lung for the city, but it’s very under-used.

The current works at Valley Gardens are a multimillion

pound council-led project, with most of

the cash coming from central government, plus

some additional funds

from various bids and

local contributions.

So what are we

getting for those

millions? Well, nearly

a hectare more public

space, with places

to plant more trees,

better cycling routes,

(not shared with

the pavement) and

better walking routes

connecting the city’s streets more directly. More

generous areas near the pier, which is very busy

at times – ever tried cycling through there? The

plan is also to make Madeira Drive one-way,

heading towards the marina. Seems like a good

idea, as it’s a slightly crazy drive at the moment.

Buses will continue to run though the area

and the cute art deco bus shelters are staying,

apparently. Cars are moved to the east side of the

Old Steine in an attempt to make the gardens

feel a bit more linked to the city centre.

At the moment the park feels like a giant traffic

island. If this scheme, being implemented by

local practice Project Centre, works it will

make the whole area a lot more pleasant to use,

whichever way you choose to pass through it.

I’d like to see maybe a couple of new buildings

there too – maybe an amazing café and perhaps

a space that Brighton University could use to

showcase their extraordinary design talent. And

why not commission some world-class public art

to welcome visitors to our city? Let’s do that in

the next phase…

Paul Zara




Photos by Jenni Cresswell




Community Allotment

The Brighton & Hove Organic Gardening Group

“Are you a gardener?,” project

coordinator Viv Caisey asks

me when I arrive at the

community allotment run by

the Brighton & Hove Organic

Gardening Group (BHOGG).

I’m not, I admit, but I’d like

to be. “It’s no problem,” she

continues. “I just don’t want to

teach you how to suck eggs.”

There’s no chance of that.

I like to think that I’d like to

have an allotment, but I’m

probably too busy to give it

the attention it would need and, anyway, there’s

a long waiting list for your own patch. So, the

BHOGG plot at the Weald Allotment site in

Hove is perfect for enthusiastic amateurs, like

me. BHOGG is a not-for-profit community

organisation run by volunteers who want to

share their passion for organic gardening. They

set up the community allotment in 2004 and

open it to various community groups during the

week, and to willing volunteers between 11am-

1pm every Sunday during the growing season.

They also offer starter plots for people who

want to do their own thing, run a monthly urban

gardening course at the Phoenix Community

Centre and arrange regular meetings and events.

It’s free to join them at the allotment for a few

trial sessions, and then you sign up for a £10

annual membership, which gives you access to

events like seedling swaps, talks and workshops.

The Weald Allotments cover a huge area next

to Hove Park Upper School, just off the Old

Shoreham Road, and the BHOGG have three

adjacent plots. On my first visit, Viv shows me

where I can find tools and

gloves, gives me a quick lesson

in identifying bindweed,

and then sets me the task of

weeding and digging over

an empty, eight-foot-by-four

veg bed. I’m soon joined by

Eva, another first timer to

the allotment, and we make a

pretty good team, chatting as

we go. By the time we stop to

look around, there are a couple

of dozen willing workers,

toiling away. The youngest

is aged around two (and surprisingly helpful),

and there are kids, and couples, and people in

their 60s, sharing the tasks written up on the

whiteboard. Together we pass an enjoyable and

productive couple of hours.

As expected, life gets in the way, and I can’t make

it back to the allotment for a couple of weeks.

But, when I do, I’m greeted by familiar faces

and new. The bed I weeded last time has been

planted up, so I get busy elsewhere, digging in

horse muck and planting up some squash and

dwarf beans, safe in the knowledge that someone

else will be along to keep them watered.

It’s surprisingly satisfying, this communal

gardening: a real case of many hands making for

light work. And, along with new friendships, I’m

rewarded with a share of the spoils (fistfuls of

organic celery, rhubarb, chard and broad beans)

and the best night’s sleep I’ve had in years.

Lizzie Lower

Find more voluntary gardening opportunities at



Use It or Lose It!

Free Support to Help You

Save the Planet

Everyone wants to do their bit to stop climate

change but it can be difficult to know where

to start. That’s why, when the Sustainable

Business Partnership CIC developed the Utilise

Plus programme, we wanted to offer various

services that help businesses to save energy

no matter where they are on their sustainability

journeys. Whether you’re keen to learn more at

one of our free events, want to identify smart

solutions for your organisation with a fullyfunded

energy audit, or want to take action

with a grant-funded energy-saving installation,

the Utilise Plus programme has something for


greenhouse gas emissions each year. What’s

more, their annual energy bills will decrease,

on average, by 27%, saving them money year

after year.

Utilise Plus will run until the end of September

2019 so make the most of this funding while

it lasts – use it or lose it! Whichever stage

your organisation is at, get in touch with the

Sustainable Business Partnership CIC and

see how the Utilise Plus programme can help

you. Saving energy is not only good for your

organisation’s cash flow but also good for the

environment – win-win! Just make sure you act

fast while this free support is still available!


Call: 01273 964239


Funded by the European Regional

Development Fund, Utilise Plus has already

supported hundreds of small and medium

sized enterprises throughout Sussex since

launching in late 2017. So far, we’ve helped

these organisations make an estimated,

combined saving of over 700 tonnes of



Sussex Roots

Seeds of knowledge

A different kind of learning takes place on a

patch of land at the University of Sussex.

Take a stroll through the neat lawns and the boxy

brick architecture of the Falmer campus, and you

may stumble across a fenced-off area (to keep out

the local rabbits) that is teeming with edible and

colourful vegetation.

This, the student-run allotment, where a wildly

spiky artichoke plant, its stems heavy with new

fruit, rubs shoulders with raised beds bursting

with potatoes, leeks, onions, garlic, chard, broad

beans and cauliflowers; where defunct metal

filing cabinets harbour soft fruit bushes; and

where an exotic kiwi fruit tree and a grape vine

are entwined in iron bedsteads.

Everywhere you look, something interesting is

growing, often from receptacles that once served

other purposes (toilets, chimney pots, old boots).

They’ll try all sorts. For two years watermelons

successfully swelled in the spacious poly tunnel.

The students’ Roots Society has been going for

six years and has some 50 members, with several

turning up every week to water, weed, sow seeds

and harvest the crops.

They’re guided by Jaci Driscoll, a horticulturalist

with a specialist knowledge in biodiversity and

permaculture (no pesticides here), who works for

the University’s estates team.

“Biodiversity is free,” she points out. “It doesn’t

hurt the planet, and it’s good to be able to

educate people about not using poison. Without

the poison you will never be pest free – our

watermelon plants got eaten this year – but you

can try to manage them.”

She does this by encouraging wildlife (not

rabbits) into the allotment. Flowering plants

attract pollinators, feeders and water baths bring

in birds who will eat whatever tasty bugs they

might find.

The students get a lot out of the allotment – and

not just a share of the home-grown organic


“I love seeing their excited faces when we’ve

created a good batch of compost,” says Jaci, “or

when a seed they have planted finally sprouts.

“This also gives them a break from their studies

and staring at a screen. I’m watching them making

friends, and sometimes having romances.”

Roots Society organiser Connor Sullivan affirms

that the allotment brings many rewards. “I’ve

just finished my Zoology BSc, and now I’m really

interested in the relationship between producing

food and wildlife. I’ve been able to learn loads

about horticulture and permaculture from Jaci.

“It’s also been nice to get away from everything

else that’s going on. I love wildlife photography

and the plot is a great place to practise.”

His fellow students have identified other benefits.

One revealed it had helped her overcome

mental health issues at the start of her course.

Another said it was where she felt most at home.

Another dug deeper still. “This is about reconnecting

ourselves to the land and nature we have

been detached from by a logic of market-driven

consumer culture that pillages the earth. This is

about opening ourselves up to an entirely different

– and rich – bank of knowledge and diverse


Food for thought, indeed. Jacqui Bealing


Immerse yourself in a weekend of

wild play and traditional woodcraft

27 – 28 July

For details visit



Let Your Garden

Grow Wild!

My Front Lawn

Plant it and they will come

Illustration by Mark Greco

Do you remember that Kevin Costner movie

Field of Dreams? Kev plays an Iowa farmer who,

after hearing strange voices, transforms his land

into a baseball pitch and summons the ghosts of

a long-dead baseball team. Ridiculous. Yet, when

I bought my first home 8 years ago and stood on

my new perfectly manicured 15ft by 20ft suburban

front lawn, all I could hear were voices in my

head telling me to destroy it.

Rumours spread of my debauched gardening

plans. My new neighbours eyed me with suspicion

– especially when they overheard that I was

planning to hire a stripper for the weekend. The

clattering of the petrol-powered turf stripper was

only drowned out by my maniacal laughter as I

razed the 300 square feet of lawn to mud. You

could hear the house prices dropping all along

the cul-de-sac. The neighbourhood watched

from behind twitching curtains as I carefully

broadcast native wildflower seeds over the bare

soil. Through the wet winter my front lawn

looked ready to host a re-enactment of The

Battle of Agincourt. And then spring came.

Meadow Buttercup, Oxeye Daisy, Cowslip,

Yellow Rattle, Lady’s Bedstraw, Crested Dogstail,

Red Clover, Ragged Robin. The ground erupted

into a riot of colour. And then the wildlife

arrived. Bees, bee-flies, beetles, burnets and

butterflies. Unusual species appeared too: Wall

Brown and Brown Hairstreak butterflies, Ghost

Moths, Wasp Spiders and a lone Common Spotted

Orchid. On summer days my mini-meadow

sang to me; a choir of buzzing bumblebees and

chirruping grasshoppers. My own nature reserve;

beautiful, wild, endlessly fascinating and filled

with life. I am genuinely bemused as I watch my

neighbours struggle with their lawnmowers each

week. Why go out of your way to kill something

when you can just sit back and let it live? I simply

swing my scythe and mow my meadow once at

the end of the summer. I imagine I look like that

shirtless bloke from Poldark (although I actually

resemble a chunky but cheerful Grim Reaper).

Wildflower meadows were once a widespread

feature of the English countryside but since

the 1930s we have tragically lost 97% of our

flower-rich fields. Many have been improved

with fertilisers, re-seeded with faster growing

grasses or ploughed for arable crops. This in turn

has caused a massive decline in many species of

wildlife that depend on them. By creating my

own humble field of dreams it feels as if I am

summoning the ghosts of the English countryside

and giving them life. And then, last month,

I turned the corner to see a deer, an actual wild

Roe Deer, lost in suburbia but stood seemingly at

home in my meadow. Ridiculous.

If you’re interested in creating your own wildflower

meadow, search ‘Sussex Wildlife Trust’

and ‘garden wildflower meadow’ online.

Michael Blencowe, Senior Learning & Engagement

Officer, Sussex Wildlife Trust




Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this

photograph is the bird’s-eye view it gives you

into the secret garden of Park Crescent (on the

right), only accessible to those lucky enough to

live in the horseshoe-shaped development, and

their guests.

This space used to be the northern part of

The Level, the marshy bit of ground between

the Lewes and London roads, before it was

partitioned in the 18th century and turned into

a cricket ground, called The Prince of Wales

Ground. One of the keenest cricketers to use it

was the Prince Regent.

In 1822 the land was bought by speculator James

Ireland, and turned into The Royal Gardens,

a multi-purpose pleasure garden, with a maze,

a grotto, an aviary and an artificial lake, as well

as a cricket pitch. This was a short-lived affair:

Ireland pulled out in 1826, and the place fell into

disrepair. All that remains is the ornate gateway

on Union Road.

In 1849 the area was bought by architect Amon

Henry Wilds who had, by 1854, completed what

has been described as his most ambitious project,

the elegant Italianate crescent that is still standing

today. If you know someone who lives in Park

Crescent, you’d do well to inveigle a visit into

one of Brighton’s most secret spots, intermittently

shaded by tall trees, featuring landscaped

pathways and lawns, with benches, treehouses

and picnic clearings.

In 1934, 44 Park Crescent was the scene of one

of Brighton’s most notorious murders, that of

Violet Kaye, bludgeoned in the head with a hammer

by her lover and housemate, Toni Mancini,

who then moved with the body – encased in a

trunk – to a new address in Kemp Street. It was

two months before police found her gruesome

and very pungent remains, and arrested Mancini.

Remarkably, he was acquitted at the forthcoming

trial at Lewes Assizes, though many years later he

admitted to having committed the crime.

This aerial shot, taken in January 1969, shows

how little this area has changed in the 50 years

since it was taken. Note the elegant curve of

Hanover Crescent, east of the gardens, and the

two imposing churches to the north, catering

for both Catholics and Anglicans: St Joseph’s on

Elm Grove, and St Martin’s on Lewes Road. The

image is from the James Gray collection: thanks,

as ever, to Kevin Wilsher, of the Regency Society,

for sourcing it.

Alex Leith


“Every time you spend

money, you’re casting a

vote for the kind of

world you want.”

Anna Lappé

Lewes FC is the only football club in the world to pay

its women's team the same as its men's team.

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