Viva Brighton Issue #82 December 2019

VivaMagazines


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VIVA

B R I G H T O N

EDITORIAL

#82 DEC 2019

...........................

.......................

Viva Magazines is based at:

Lewes House, 32 High St,

Lewes, BN7 2LX.

For all enquiries call:

01273 488882.

Every care has been taken to

ensure the accuracy of our content.

We cannot be held responsible for

any omissions, errors or alterations.

Made your list? Checked it twice?

Ready or not, we’re heading into the season of

good will and gathering.

We’ll stock the cupboards with festive food and

drink, and hide away piles of presents. We’ll

gather for the work Christmas party and family

get togethers. We’ll huddle in pubs with friends

we haven’t seen in ages and promise not to leave

it so long until next time. And we’ll gather for

carol concerts, pantomimes, school plays and

(bah humbug) a general election. All before the

main event.

Of course, some gatherings are more successful

than others, so we’ve gone in search of people

who do them better than most. Like choir

leader Vanessa Thomas, whose idea to start

a sing-song in a pub ten years ago has grown

into a chorus of 250 voices; Dan O’Flanagan

whose get together for dads and kids also offers

a little brotherly support; and Ben Szobody,

from Brighton’s One Church, who has an

entrepreneurial knack for fostering a more

inclusive community. And we’ve been out and

about in town, gathering a few ideas to help

keep your Christmas shopping truly local and

just a little bit better for the planet.

If the thought of all that gathering makes you

want to crawl back into bed, research at the

University of Sussex shows that getting together

is good for our health, so, it might not be long

until your doctor is prescribing a Meetup group.

(We’ve got some suggestions for those too!)

Whatever your gathering plans for the month

ahead, we hope they bring you comfort and joy.


HOLD FOR THE HOLIDAYS

British greeting card publisher and Brighton

based business Lagom Design have opened

their very first shop on Bond Street. HOLD is a

lifestyle boutique full of inspirational products

hand-picked for their quality and provenance.

Since the 1840’s the North Laine area has been

a hub of small industries and HOLD have

set up shop in a building that was once home

to a lithographic printing and ruler making

company established in 1871.

Today the shop fittings are a combination of

old and new, paying homage to the history of

the building and using the best elements of

contemporary design.

“People may think I’m mad opening a shop in

the current climate. I’ve been told I’m brave, but

I’m just following my instincts and love of good

quality design.” Kelly Hyatt, Creative Director,

Lagom Design.

HOLD is stocked with products by

contemporary and traditional makers. Anything

from artisan toiletries by the Brighton Beard

company, wooden toys from Denmark and

luggage from Japan, they even have a unique

gift wrap featuring the map of Brighton.

They also stock a selection of Lagom gift

wrap and cellophane free greeting cards of

exceptional quality. There are so many beautiful

things here; it’s a great spot to pick up stocking

fillers and gifts for Christmas.

HOLD is also planning on becoming a creative

hub for the like-minded by running art and

design-related events and workshops.

No. 14 BOND STREET BRIGHTON BN1 1RD

WWW.HOLDBRIGHTON.COM


VIVA

B R I G H T O N

THE TEAM

.....................

EDITOR: Lizzie Lower lizzie@vivamagazines.com

SUB EDITOR: David Jarman

PRODUCTION EDITOR: Joe Fuller joe@vivamagazines.com

ART DIRECTOR: Katie Moorman katie@vivamagazines.com

PHOTOGRAPHER AT LARGE: Adam Bronkhorst mail@adambronkhorst.com

ADVERTISING: Sarah Jane Lewis sarah-jane@vivamagazines.com;

Jenny Rushton jenny@vivamagazines.com

ADMINISTRATION & ACCOUNTS: Kelly Mechen kelly@vivamagazines.com

DISTRIBUTION: David Pardue distribution@vivamagazines.com

CONTRIBUTORS: Alex Leith, Alexandra Loske, Amy Holtz, Anneli Fleming-Brown,

Ben Bailey, Charlotte Gann, Chris Riddell, Eleanor Knight, Ellie Evans, JJ Waller,

Jacqui Bealing, Jay Collins, Joda, Joe Decie, John Helmer, John O’Donoghue, Lizzie Enfield,

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

PUBLISHER: Becky Ramsden becky@vivamagazines.com

Please recycle your Viva (or keep us forever).


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CONTENTS

...............................

Photo by Jim Holden

Photo by Roger Bamber

Bits & Bobs.

10-27. Anneli Fleming-Brown has been

gathering goodies for our cover; Gang

leader Ralph Reader is on the Buses and

Joe Decie collects his thoughts. Alex

Leith has a cosy pint in the Queensbury

Arms and Graham Duff remembers 15

formative gigs, whilst Alexandra Loske

swaps Brighton for Berlin, recalling life

in the divided city. Elsewhere, JJ Waller

snaps the volunteers at the Whitehawk

foodbank and Nione Meakin gets the

low-down on the Chomp lunch club.

My Brighton.

28-29. Choir leader Vanessa Thomas

loves the heart and soul of the city.

Photography.

31-37. Nigel Swallow reflects on 20

years of the Brighton & Hove Calendar.

59

31

51

Columns.

39-43. John Helmer tells the tale of a very

secret Santa, Lizzie Enfield contemplates

what constitutes a party and Amy Holtz

counts her blessings.

On this month.

45-59. Ben Bailey rounds up his pick

of the gigs; Adam Kay shares some

(painful) memories of the nightshift

before Christmas, and the ‘wheel of

death’ rolls into town for a Super Sunday

at the circus. The University of Sussex

Symphony Orchestra revisit the 1969

opening programme of The Gardner

Arts Centre (with appearances from some

all-star alumni); New Model Army are

still marching on 40 years later, and A

Little Space at TOM examines what it

is to be lonely. Also, in town this month,

John O’Connor performs A Christmas

....7 ....


CONTENTS

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Carol – Dickens’ salutary, seasonal tale

‘of redemption and community’, plus,

Chris Horlock looks back at some Sussex

Christmas traditions at The Keep.

Brighton sound and light wizards Ithaca

create an immersive winter soundscape at

Glow Wild at Wakehurst, and prepare to

make way for the seafront Santa Dash.

79

Art & design.

61-71. Street art comes to Toy Town in

Urban Miniatures; Caroline Lucas curates

the Towner Collection in Brink; and

Anthony Burrill talks print at Phoenix

Brighton. Plus, just a bit of what’s on, artwise,

this month.

The way we work.

73-77. Adam Bronkhorst photographs

some folks who are helping to create a

more sustainable Christmas.

Food.

79-83. Lizzie Lower enjoys an evening of

fine wine and boozy cocktails at L’Atelier

du Vin; Gran Stead’s share their recipe for

mulled ginger wine and Joe Fuller chows

62

down on a ‘good karma kebab’. Plus, just a

taster of the city’s food news.

Features.

85-95. Shopping local this Christmas? Our

handy gift guide will help get you started.

We meet the people behind some of our

city’s Meetups; the socially-enterprising

Ben Szobody – Projects Development

Manager at One Church, and a stayat-home

Dad who’s building a support

network for fathers. Plus, we find out why

getting together is good for us from Sussex

University’s Centre for Innovation and

Research into Wellbeing.

Photo by Lizzie Lower

William Nicholson, Judd’s Farm, 1912.

Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne

Wildlife

97. The Robin; everyone’s favourite festive

bovver bird.

Inside left.

98. Christmas day at the Goldstone, 1911.

....8 ....


16 november 2019 — 2 january 2020

at the Royal Pavilion

The palace sparkles this Christmas with

festive decorations and spectacular items

on loan from Her Majesty The Queen.

Includes drop-in family activities

on 14 & 15, 21-23 December

Free with Royal Pavilion admission, drop-in / Open Daily except 24 (from 2.30pm), 25 & 26 December / brightonmuseums.org.uk/royalpavilion

Sea differently

BRIGHTON

PHOTOGRAPHY

Prints | Books | Cards

brightonphotography.com | 52-53 Kings Road Arches | 01273 227 523


THIS MONTH’S COVER ARTIST

.......................................................

Anneli Fleming-Brown is good at doing

Christmas; something she puts down to her

Scandinavian roots. Her mother was Finnish,

her father Scottish (hence her business name,

Scofinn) and she grew up spending summers

in the family’s ancestral village, deep in the

countryside north of Helsinki. She still visits as

often as she can.

The clean lines and simple aesthetic of

Scandinavian design have strongly influenced

Anneli’s own work as an illustrator and textile

designer. Inspired by her Finnish grandmother

she studied woven textiles at Central School

of Art and then, as a post-graduate student,

Illustration at St Martins. Her designs have

featured in magazines, greetings cards and on

fabrics for the likes of Habitat and Crate and

Barrel, and, with advances in digital printing,

she’s enjoying seeing her work appear on an

increasingly varied range of products (earlier

this year she was commissioned to create

a bespoke glass kitchen splashback). For

our cover she’s gathered together all sorts

of Christmas essentials, with a nod to the

great outdoors, “of course you’ll see the logs,

pinecones and berries featured in the pic as we

Scandinavians love a bit of foraging in nature at

any time of the year!”

The Nordic influence is also evident in Anneli’s

beautiful home, where an air of understated

Scandi elegance prevails. When I visit, she is

busy chasing an order for her printed tea towels

and melamine boards, ready for her Christmas

Open House: Northern Lights at 29 Lancaster

....10....


ANNELI FLEMING-BROWN

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Road. It promises to be a very festive affair.

She has been busy making exquisite threedimensional

stars from paper-thin Birch bark

raided from her Finnish uncle’s woodland.

(Her cousin is bringing extra supplies for the

open house – along with hand-knitted socks.)

She’s also a “fiendishly obsessive” baker and

will be getting up early each day to make

fresh batches of fragrant Korvapuusti (those

delicious cardamom buns), as well as traditional

gingerbread stars, sweet and savoury biscotti

and panforte (“the most glorious thing you’ve

ever had”).

Anneli joined in with Artists’ Open Houses

for the first time last Christmas and was

slightly taken aback by the success, finding the

experience to be both exhausting and “a lovely

boost” after working alone in the studio for so

long. She’s invited the same artists and makers

to join her again this year, with a couple of new

additions. As well as her own Scofinn designs,

you’ll find ink drawings by Brian Britton;

coastal Sussex scenes by Julie Ingham; scented

candles by Maison Moth; leather bags by

DNA; slip-cast ceramic heads by Peter Slight;

wool, silk and cashmere scarves by Alexander

+ Crofts; gold and silver jewellery by Martine

Jans, plus hot water bottle-covers, handmade

soaps and – of course – her cousin’s knitted

socks.

Even if you’ve had your Christmas shopping

wrapped up since August, it will be worth a visit

if only to soak up the festive feels with a coffee

and fresh Korvapuusti. Hyvää joulua!

Lizzie Lower

Artists Open Houses, weekends until the 8th

December. scofinn.com aoh.org.uk

....11....


SANTA EXPRESS:

AT VOLK’S RAILWAY

37 Gloucester Rd,

Brighton,

BN1 4AQ

01273 692110

julianstephens.com

Santa Claus is coming to town, via Volk’s

Railway! From 7th December, Father

Christmas will be taking time out of his

busy schedule to take up a residency at the

railway’s visitor centre, every weekend up

until Christmas.

Santa’s lengthy layover in Brighton gives

families an opportunity to spend time together

in the busy festive season, to make a special

stocking, ride on the UK’s oldest electric

railway and visit Santa in his grotto.

Child’s ticket £12. Every child gets a present,

snack and craft activity. All children must

be accompanied by an adult and the ticket

includes one adult return. Gifts and craft

activities are suitable for children between

three and fourteen.

Under three’s ticket £7. Every child gets an

age-appropriate present and a ride on the

train.

Adult return on the Volk’s Railway £4.

Slots available every half hour from 10.30am-

2.30pm via volksrailway.org.uk

A hidden gem in the Open Market,

Wastenot is Brighton's original zero

waste shop selling bulk produce,

refills and homewares to help you

reduce your impact on the earth.

www.wastenot.shop

wastenot_shop


BITS AND BUSES

ON THE BUSES #56: RALPH READER ROUTE 12

Born in 1903, Ralph Reader was orphaned aged nine. He then moved

to Denton, Newhaven, to live with an uncle and joined the local

Scout Group. He ended up running the group aged only 14, after all

the scoutmasters were called into military service. His first employer

– a greengrocer’s shop in Seaford – took Ralph to Brighton to buy

supplies, which gave him the opportunity to see music hall stars at the

Hippodrome theatre.

After moving to the USA in 1920 – where he acted in and directed

off-Broadway shows – Ralph returned to England to work on West End productions. His two

passions combined in 1932, when he staged an all-Scout variety show at the Scala Theatre in London.

The Gang’s All Here featured 150 Boy Scouts performing sketches, songs and dance numbers.

The public started referring to the shows as The Gang Show. World War Two saw Ralph create RAF

Gang Show Units, who were estimated to have entertained over three million servicemen: performers

included Peter Sellers, Tony Hancock and Dick Emery.

Ralph died in 1982, aged 78. In 2011, a blue plaque was erected at his childhood home in Heighton

Road. The 2nd Denton and South Heighton Scout Group in the Seahaven Scout District is the only

group in the country to wear an additional name tape: “Ralph Reader’s Own”. Joe Fuller

Illustration by Joda (@joda_art)

39 Kensington Gardens, North Laine

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JOE DECIE

...............................

....15....


CURATOR’S CITY

...............................

Brandenburg Gate East 10th November 2019

MY WINGS OF DESIRE AND FREEDOM

ALEXANDRA LOSKE SWAPS BRIGHTON FOR BERLIN

I left Berlin 22 years ago to live in Brighton,

and last month I went back to celebrate the

30th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, a momentous,

joyous occasion that made me reflect

on what the place meant to me, and how it

influenced how and where I have lived my life

since. I return regularly, of course, and indeed

kept my flat near Kollwitzplatz in the area of

Prenzlauer Berg (then unbearably hip, now unbearably

gentrified) for a year when I first came

to the UK, just in case things didn’t work out

for me here. This time I took my British-German

family with me and celebrated with my

international crowd of friends the ultimate

peaceful revolution of 1989 in Germany, and

tried to teach my young daughter a thing or

two about what freedom means, by visiting this

vast, scarred, thriving, multi-cultural city.

The sky was leaden-grey and it was drizzly

on the 9th of November, the day of the actual

anniversary of the Wall beginning to crumble

back in 1989, and we decided to just walk

together, from West to East, and back again,

threading through a division that is hardly

visible any more. You now have to seek out

remains of what was not only the Berlin Wall,

but a symbol of the Cold War, of danger,

death, conflict and division running all the way

through post-war Europe, a concrete death trap

lined with mine fields and watchtowers. It is

hard to explain why the so-called Iron Curtain

running through Berlin was so iconic (and not

in a good way) and how it came to be. In short,

because Berlin was the capital of Germany,

it was divided up between the Allied powers

in the same way the country was divided into

the Communist East (controlled by the Soviet

Union) and the capitalist West (France, UK

and the US). This meant that the island of the

French, British and American sectors of Berlin

....16....


CURATOR’S CITY

...............................

was eventually enclosed by a Wall that was

impenetrable for people from the Eastern bloc.

As a child I found it hard to comprehend that,

firstly, there were two Germanys and those in

the East were not allowed to travel to the West

(and if they tried they would get shot), and that

in Berlin the island surrounded by the Wall

was, ironically, the free West. Being a child

of both the East and West (my father literally

jumped the Wall in the early 1960s when it

was being built and I was born in the British

sector), I crossed the German/German border

many times in the 1970s and 80s, and have

memories of being strip-searched, our family

being separated, passports taken away, hours

spent in empty rooms waiting to be called in

and questioned by East German border guards.

In 1989 I watched – from the safety of my

West German student bedsit – the people of

East Germany fight to bring this Wall down.

I watched in disbelief, fear, and unbridled admiration.

These people were risking their lives

for freedom and liberty while I was reading

the Brontës. Astonishingly, not a single drop of

blood was shed. Naturally, I wanted to live in

Berlin after this happened, soak up the spirit,

play a small part in reuniting Germany. The

years immediately after 1989 were difficult and

exciting times. Living conditions were not great

in the East (few telephone lines, coal-heated

stoves for heating, dodgy plumbing, and winters

so cold and long that sometimes the water

in your toilet would freeze), but I made friends

for life there, and most importantly, I learnt

what freedom means. Three years after 1989 I

cycled through Berlin on bike lanes that used

to be the mine field strips next to the Wall. 30

years later I walked through the Brandenburg

Gate, once inaccessible as it stood on the line

of the Wall, with my family and friends, and it

still gives me the shivers.

Alexandra Loske, Art Historian and Curator

Alexandra Loske by the Wall, 9th November 2019

Brandenburg Gate West, 10th November 2019

....17....


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BITS AND BOGS

...............................

MAGAZINE OF THE MONTH: LIONHEART

Gather, the theme for this

final Viva of 2019, is such a

lovely word. We gather in,

gather up and gather together.

It’s a sharing, collective, unselfish

word full of possibility

and full of plenty. That may

be why we persevere with

gathering together at this

time of the year, whether in a

crowd of singers, at parties or

with our families. Too much

gathering, of course, can be,

well, too much, but that doesn’t negate it. Let’s

hope everyone has someone they can gather

with over these cold and dark months. Not

gathering is unthinkable.

We hope our shop has become a small gathering

place for people to browse, meet up and

feel comfortable in whether buying or just

browsing. Our magazines certainly help; so

many of them are about gathering good ideas

and experiences, treating them with care and

then sharing them. Lionheart, our magazine for

December, is a case in point.

The current issue is about finding balance. It’s

a small, beautifully-designed and, yes, calm

magazine. The current issue

brings together books, yoga,

writing, the Frome independent

market, the singer Hannah

Cohen, biscuit making,

reforestation, osteopathy

and much more. You almost

certainly won’t read it in one

go but it is perfect for the

moment of quiet you have set

aside for that cup of tea or

coffee (or something). Helen

Martin, who created, edits and

publishes this lovely magazine has gathered

together all these disparate elements into

something simple but special.

And, while we are talking about gathering,

the North Laine here in Brighton is a coming

together of more than 400 small, independent

stores. Some, like us, are relatively new but others

have been gathered here a long time. We’ll

be doing our own online shopping this month,

like everyone will, but we hope you’ll find time

to shop with all of us, too. That way, we can

all continue to gather together into 2020 and

beyond.

Martin Skelton, MagazineBrighton

TOILET GRAFFITO #59

Why limit yourself to good will to all men when you

can love EVERYTHING and everyone?

Tis the season, after all.

But where did we spot this big-hearted licence to love.

Last month’s answer: Stanmer Village public toilets

....19....


ADVERTORIAL

DOES YOUR

CAPITAL GAIN

HAVE A HOLD

ON YOU?

Tax planning is tricky at the best

of times. Camilla Bishop looks

at one option to consider when

radical tax reform may emerge

from political turmoil.

The Conservatives are toying with abolishing

Inheritance Tax (IHT), while Labour contemplate

introducing a tax on all gifts – two opposite ends

of the spectrum. What to do in the meantime?

You may have an estate over the IHT threshold,

yet struggle to make any lifetime gifts without

triggering Capital Gains Tax (CGT). For example,

you may have investments or property you’d like

to pass on to the next generation; to do so would

crystallise the gain and trigger tax between 10%

and 28% – but by making a gift, you have no sale

proceeds to pay the tax with! With IHT being

considerably higher – 40% of the entire value

of the asset, not just the gain – if you keep the

asset in your estate until death, you will suffer

40% IHT instead. Given the choice, I’d pay the

CGT; if I could defer it, even better.

Creating family trust

A technical answer to the conundrum is to use

CGT holdover relief combined with the creation

of a family trust. In certain circumstances, this

planning can allow you to transfer assets up to

£325,000 without triggering any CGT – the CGT

being deferred until the asset is actually sold.

Such a transfer will start the seven year clock

for IHT, and can significantly reduce your IHT

exposure overall.

This option will not necessarily be available in

years to come if the rules on IHT, gifting and

deferring CGT are reviewed; any changes to

IHT will likely have knock-on effects for the CGT

regime too.

None of us has a crystal ball, but it is worth

considering the use of CGT holdover relief while

it still exists. It is just one of the tools we can use

in the mitigation of IHT generally; if you need

specialist IHT and CGT advice, please get in

touch.

Camilla Bishop is a partner at

DMH Stallard’s Brighton office

specialising in estate planning.

You can contact her on

01273 329833.


BITS AND PUBS

...............................

PUB: THE QUEENSBURY ARMS

No article about The Queensbury Arms would

be complete without mention of the (surely

apocryphal) story behind its nickname, ‘The

Hole in the Wall’.

I already know the tale, but the pleasant barman,

who isn’t bothered with much to do on the

Monday evening I visit, tells me anyway. “There

used to be three doors at the front of the pub,

and one of them had a kind of hatch through

which they served the local fishermen, who were

too smelly to be admitted inside.”

‘The Hole’, as the locals refer to the place, is

said to be the smallest pub in Brighton, though

it got bigger when the current owners took over

the establishment twenty-one years ago, and

converted a living room into the back bar.

They also got rid of the dividing wall between

what used to be – unbelievably – two front bars,

turning it from a traditional-looking mini-boozer

into something of a theatre theme-bar.

Punters from the pub’s past remember boxing

and horse-racing paraphernalia on the walls, and

the world’s tattiest fake Christmas tree. Now, it’s

decorated with scores of original posters from

West End shows, dating back to the thirties,

and signed publicity photos of yesteryear’s stage

stars. The décor colour scheme features various

shades of velvet-red.

The establishment was briefly rebranded as The

Hole in the Wall in the eighties, before reclaiming

its original name, which is etched into the

gable of its elegant façade. The first record I can

find of the pub, tucked away along the side of

the Metropole on Queensbury Mews, is in the

1877 edition of Pages Street Guide. The other

houses in the little mews belonged to fly-carriage

proprietors and their horses, and there was

a school and a small church – currently being

converted into flats – which served Brighton’s

French community.

It must, then, have had a diverse clientele, back

in the day. The evening of my visit there’s an old

couple in the back bar – a good place for a oneon-one

– and another fellow chatting to the barman

in the front room. I order a (decent) pint of

Guinness and sit in the corner where the famous

serving hatch used to be. It’s great to be able to

find such a quiet spot so near the centre of town;

a disco ball attached to the ceiling suggests that

weekend nights might be rather wilder. And I

understand that on Saturday afternoons you

can partake in a game of ‘Camp Bingo’, which

sounds like a riot.

Alex Leith

Illustration by Jay Collins

....21....


'Fantastic place, full of beautiful magazines. I just love this shop.’

the world of great indie mags is here in Brighton.

22 Trafalgar Street

magazinebrighton.com

@magbrighton

magazinebrighton


JJ WALLER

...............................

JJ Waller captures the volunteers at the Whitehawk foodbank as they

gather and sort supplies ahead of the weekly distribution.

Visit thewhitehawk.foodbank.org.uk for more information on

how to give to, or receive help from, the foodbank.

....23....


Can you help us give someone with cancer

a bit of a boost at a difficult time?

Andrea from Worthing donates a facial

each month.

We’re on the lookout for other donations

from local businesses in Sussex. Could

you provide a hotel stay, family day out,

restaurant meal, gift vouchers, beauty

products or treatment?

We would love to hear from you.

info@elliesfriends.org

elliesfriends.org

Registered charity no. SC024414

my vet’s open

all night

Karen Oliver, Brighton

The Coastway Vets’ veterinary hospital

in central Brighton is open 24 hours a

day for emergency cases and provides

cover for most of the region’s vets every

evening, weekend and bank holiday.

For more details call:

01273 692257

coastwayvets.co.uk


BITS AND BOXES

...............................

CHARITY BOX #44: CHOMP

Chomp is a free lunch

and activity club for

families on low incomes

in Brighton and Hove.

It began in 2013 when the

minister of One Church in

Gloucester Place came up

with the idea as a solution

to feeding children who

were entitled to free school

meals and who wouldn’t have access to hot meals

in the school holidays.

We now run nine different Chomp projects

across Brighton and Hove, in locations including

Coldean, Moulsecoomb, Bevendean, Whitehawk

and Hangleton. In October half-term we

fed around 400 children and parents, and during

the summer holidays we fed on average 330

people each week for five weeks.

We try to keep the food as fresh and nutritious

as possible because it’s about serving the

sort of meals parents might struggle to provide

themselves. In the summer we made a minty pesto

sauce that we served with pasta; sometimes we

create our own pizzas; other times we’ll serve up

chicken or veg curry or sausage and mash. But it’s

not just about food, it’s also about engaging with

children and families. We want to create a sense of

community at Chomp sessions, so we encourage

everyone to sit together round a table, get

involved in craft activities and talk to each other.

Children’s centres, schools and social workers

often point people in our direction but there’s

no official referral system. There’s no need to

provide evidence of income or give details of any

benefits you might receive. We know there can

be a stigma attached to being on a low income,

but the feedback I’ve

had from families is that

they like Chomp because

they don’t feel judged.

We welcome anyone who

wants to come, and there’s

no limit on how many

times families can attend.

They can come every day

of the school holidays if

they want.

One in four children is classed as living below

the poverty line nationally and that’s not just

families on Universal Credit, it’s also those on

low incomes. So the need for what we do is

growing – sadly – along with our need for funding.

It costs about £40,000 to run our services

for a year, which pays for the food, the hire of

the venues and some of our staffing costs. But we

only have four part-time members of staff so we

rely heavily on volunteers to run each project.

We love it when people get in touch offering

to help or when local companies put together a

little team to volunteer with us.

We’re planning a big Chomp Christmas party

for families on December 23 at One Church,

Gloucester Place. With schools not breaking

up until December 20, we don’t have time to

do Chomp sessions but we’re going to offer a

Christmas meal and we’re trying to get funding

for vouchers, so parents can get presents for

their children, and donations towards Christmas

hampers for families in need. Anyone who wants

to donate can visit our JustGiving page via our

website. As told to Nione Meakin by Chomp project

lead, Vanessa O’Shea.

chompbrighton.co.uk

....25....


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BITS AND BOOKS

...............................

FOREGROUND MUSIC

BY GRAHAM DUFF

Unlike their close cousin the

novelist, a memoirist invites

readers to judge their lives as

well as their writing. Easy to

come a cropper. Just ask James

Frey.

Full disclosure. I’ve kind of

known Graham Duff ever

since I first started coming

to Brighton in the late 80s.

There were people we both

knew although I never really

got to hang out with him. By

the mid-90s he was touring in

shows with his mucker James

Poulter. The A-Z of Drugs and The A-Z of Taboo

surfed the wave of festival-going hedonism that

embraced New Lads and Brit Pop, though to

be fair they were never really part of either.

They were wilder and more left-field, had their

own thing going on, and I always found their

humour wacky, edgy, and charming. Duff went

on to write Ideal starring Johnny Vegas and was

a Death Eater in Harry Potter.

Now comes Foreground Music, A Life In Fifteen

Gigs. He starts with going to see Cliff Richard in

Blackburn in 1974, aged 10. His sister is a mad

Cliff fan, so their Mum takes them. But this is

not showbiz Cliff – this is Christian Cliff, and

Cliff ain’t doing requests. From this inauspicious

and very droll beginning we move on to Duff’s

immersion in gig-going fandom as he covers

first The Jam and various Two-Tone bands live,

then the full panoply of the Northern Tendency

in post-punk music. We get vivid reports of what

it was like to see Joy Division, Psychic TV, The

Shamen and Primal Scream. Duff evokes these

bands up close, the energy,

the passion, the sheer racket,

so that you feel like you’re

standing near the stage with

him, can feel the sticky carpet,

are as much off your head

with joy and intoxication as he

was himself.

But no one stays young forever

and this book that starts

out with youth and intensity

modulates over the course

of seeing gigs by a reformed

Velvet Underground, David

Bowie, and Wired into a

poignant reckoning with ageing and mortality.

Duff gets to meet his heroes – the passages

about Mark E. Smith are terrific – and even play

with them.

In the end, we are given a portrait of the artist

not just as fan, or obsessive, but as connoisseur,

as scholar. Duff’s knowledge of the bands he’s

into is truly encyclopaedic. And his account of

Massive Attack v Adam Curtis in Manchester

is as important a document as contemporary

accounts of Stravinky’s Rite of Spring.

Music has given much to Duff. In Foreground

Music he repays the debt. And so in the end this

is, I think, what he asks us to judge him on. Was

he right? You must decide for yourselves. But

every music fan worth their headphones will

want Foreground Music under their Christmas

tree. As much to disagree with as to take delight

in. Me? I’ll be checking out the discography.

John O’Donoghue

Foreground Music, A Life In Fifteen Gigs,

Strange Attractor, £15.99

....27....


INTERVIEW

..........................................

Photo by Adam Bronkhorst

....28....


INTERVIEW

..........................................

MYbrighton: Vanessa Thomas

Choir Leader at Soul of the City Choir

Are you local? I’m originally from the north,

but I’ve been in Brighton for 16 years. I live

in Brunswick Place and I’ve lived near George

Street, in the Poet’s Corner area and Coombe

Road before.

What do you do? I run Soul of the City Choir:

a non-auditioned choir for all ages. We sing pop,

soul and gospel music. We have an age range

from people in their early 20s, right up until

their 80s.

How many people are there in total? In my

Tuesday choir there’s 150 people and in my

Monday one there’s a hundred. In the tenth

anniversary Christmas concert we have coming

up at All Saints Church (14th Dec), they will all

sing together. It’s such a strong sound with that

many people! When you get a four part harmony

chord going PWARR, it’s incredible.

What drew you to start Soul of the City?

Music is amazing and there is nothing like the

feeling of singing together in harmony! I wanted

to open that out to people who wouldn’t usually

sing and just make it really fun. Originally we

were going to sing in a pub: rehearsal, then

pint. The social side has always been a big part

of it, but there wasn’t a pub big enough. I was

expecting 30 people, but we started with 98! We

still do go to the pub after choir, though.

Do you collaborate with any other choirs or

organisations? We love collaborating. Every

year we support a local charity: this year we’re

working with Together Co. They set it up because

they realised that no matter who you are,

at any point, anyone can feel lonely. People need

somewhere to go, and to feel connected. They

partner with other organisations, such as a group

that lines up volunteers to spend time with older

people. Other highlights include working with

local media company Tilt to create films, singing

with The Roundhouse Choir as part of Voices

Now, and with the band Reef at Concorde 2. I’m

always scouting for singing adventures.

What do you like about Brighton? The sea!

I tried to move as close to it as possible. If I

press against the window in a particular way, I

can see the sea from my window. When I’m in

bed, and it’s really raging, I can hear the waves

and I love that. I work from home, and I sit in

my window and I always know when it’s going

to be a good sunset because of the colour of the

buildings opposite.

I love that every day I see something a little bit

weird, and that anything goes. You can be whatever,

whoever, however you want to be here. I

never think about whether or not I can get away

with something. It’s Brighton, just do it.

Is there anything you’d like to change about

the place? I’d really like to change some

residents’ attitudes to live music. I think it’s a

shame that so many amazing live music venues

close because of residents complaining about the

noise. I understand that it can be an issue, but I’d

love it if our individual quirky places could be

allowed to do their thing.

Interview by Joe Fuller

soulofthecitychoir.com

....29....


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PHOTOGRAPHY

....................................

Brighton and Hove Calendar

Curator Nigel Swallow

Photo by Grace Pawsey

The first Brighton Calendar

was the 2001 edition, which

just featured my own photos.

I didn’t think of myself as a

photographer then, I was simply

aiming to become a gallery

owner who exhibited different

‘perceptions of Brighton life’.

I sold 3,300 calendars in that

first year.

I started by using an old

Minolta, then I got myself

a decent film camera off the

proceeds of selling post cards at

the West Pier market in the summer of 2000. A

Canon EOS1N. I was very excited to get pro kit.

It was always the intention for the calendar

to be a showcase for anyone who took great

photos of Brighton. The city is blessed with

a lot of talent. The likes of JJ Waller, Roger

Bamber, Simon Dack and Finn Hopson have

contributed a lot of photos over the years. Finn

ran the calendar from 2016-2018, I took up the

reins again for the 2019 edition.

Between 2003 and 2011 I ran studios in

New England House and the North Laine

Photography Gallery, above Snooper’s Paradise.

We ran photography competitions and

sponsored solo shows. We featured popular

images on one side of the gallery and different

‘perceptions of life’ in the other half. We hoped

the popular images would attract the sort of visitors

who might not usually go to an alternative

gallery, who would then be exposed to the more

experimental images. It worked.

The calendar gets posted all over the world.

We are often told how it helps keep distant

loved ones feeling connected through a mutual

love of the city.

I will be selling the calendars

from a stall in Kensington

Gardens throughout

December, with my niece and

my daughter, and they will also

be on sale from City Books in

Hove, and from Brighton Photography

Gallery in the King’s

Road Arches. And online, of

course.

2020 will be the last calendar

that I’m organising. In

October I opened up a pop-up

shop in Dukes Lane, where the public could

come and help choose the pictures from the

thousand-plus that have been published over the

years. Hundreds of people helped curate this

calendar, it’s been a very enjoyable experience.

The calendar will be reinvented. I’ve given

away the rights to the template to a new art

co-op called ArtHoc, who want to set up

city-centre artist living quarters, a gallery and

studios to run socially aware Brighton-based art

projects from. It’s time to let go, and let them do

something new with it!

My favourite picture, over all these years?

From a ‘moving on’ point of view, the ‘December’

picture in the 2020 edition, in effect the

final picture in the 20 years I’ve been involved

with the calendar. It was taken by Finn Hopson,

and it features the Pavilion with the image of

opening lotuses projected onto the domes. It’s

a symbol of regeneration, and thus pertinently

symbolic, for myself and the calendar, as we

both move on.

As told to Alex Leith

£8.99 or £15 for 2. brightoncalendar.com

....31....


PHOTOGRAPHY

....................................

Graffiti jam, photo by Nigel Swallow

The Natural Theatre Company, photo by Roger Bamber

....32....


PHOTOGRAPHY

....................................

Amex stadium, photo by JJ Waller

Pride bathers, photo by Petrusco

Following page, Punch & Judy, photo by Roger Bamber

....33....




PHOTOGRAPHY

....................................

i360, photo by Lloyd Lane

The bandstand, photo by Anni Agnise

....36....


PHOTOGRAPHY

....................................

Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon in Queen’s Park, photo by Alex Bamford

Royal Pavilion lit up by Nutkhut’s Dr Blighty, photo by Finn Hopson

....37....


COLUMN

...........................................

John Helmer

Secret Santa

The recyclable crackers

have all been pulled, the

free-range turkey (with

vegan nut roast alternative

option) carved and eaten

and the Heston Blumental

Tangerine Christmas

pudding greeted with the

usual groans and stomachclutching.

A satiated hush

descends over the table as

the cheese board appears. “I

forgot to ask you,” says the

columnist’s wife; “who did

the Thowsens this year?”

The columnist exchanges

an uneasy glance with his

younger son Harvey. The

silence deepens as, spearing

a shard of Stilton with the

cheese knife, he brings it up

to his nose. “You tell them,”

he says,

“No Dad,” says Harvey,

“you do it”.

The columnist refills

the claret in his glass,

deftly removing from the

lapel of his quilted velvet

smoking jacket a particle of

Maldon Sea Salt that might

otherwise be mistaken for

dandruff, and settles back

as if into an imaginary

wing-backed armchair.

“Well OK then…” he

murmurs, apprehension

furrowing his brow.

The Thowsens are

neighbours to the Helmers

in Fiveways, living just

around the corner. Marit

is Norwegian by birth, and

they do a proper Norwegian

Christmas; one of their

particular family rituals

being a visit on Christmas

Eve from someone Marit

always refers to as ‘a certain

red-coated gentlemen’ – as

if to utter any of his more

commonly used names

might somehow jinx

proceedings.

“It was me who did it last

year, of course,” says the

columnist, with a faraway

look. He is remembering

how little he felt up to

the task, which his first

instinct had been to refuse.

In a strange way however,

sharing a common

Scandinavian heritage

with Marit (Norwegian

Grandfather, Finnish/

Swedish Grandmother)

seemed to make it an

impossible request to turn

down. He remembers

looking in the mirror and

searching for traces of the

character: rubicund cheeks,

twinkling eyes and a big

white beard, along with

the type of physique that

would nowadays be classed

by a GP as morbidly obese.

Instead he saw only narrow

shoulders, gaunt cheeks

and an indefinable air of

disappointment.

The effort threw him back

in time to a performing past

that had called upon him

to act on camera characters

as diverse as a heavy metal

guitarist, Charles II and

Jesus Christ. Anybody

can be anybody, he recalls

thinking at the time. And

in fact his appearance was

a great success in the end.

Although Kaia Thowsen

commented afterwards

to Poppy, her classmate

at school, that Father

Christmas looked a lot

like her Dad this year. But

the toddler Andreas was

completely taken in – awed

to the point of fear – which

was really the point of the

whole thing.

Only, this year there was a

problem.

“I was booked for a

dinner in London, as you

....38....


know, and couldn’t give a

repeat performance,” says

the columnist. “So Marit

suggested Harvey.”

“And I agreed,” says Harvey,

with a visible shudder.

“What happened?” asks

Freddy, noticing the pair’s

collective unease; “did Harvey

fluff his lines and give the

game away?”

“— Or get pissed on akevitt

and try to snog Christina?”

asks Grace.

“— Or puke in the rice

pudding?” asks Poppy.

“They don’t do the rice

pudding thing…” says

Harvey, reddening with anger.

Sibling warfare rages until

The Columnist’s wife steps

in to calm things down. “I’m

sure Harvey was fine and it all

went off OK, didn’t it? John?

Tell them.”

The columnist nods once,

quickly. “Yes, the Thowsens’

visit from the red-coated

gentleman went off OK.

I got a phone call from

Marit afterwards to say

how brilliant it was. Really

couldn’t thank him enough.

Harvey was completely

convincing, she said. A

stunning transformation.

Had he used special aging

makeup? And that fat suit – it

clearly wasn’t just a cushion

shoved up his jumper like I

had done. Had he forked out

himself for a special costume;

Illustration by Chris Riddell

it was clearly much better

quality than the one she had

supplied? You really wouldn’t

have known it was Harvey at

all…”

Chastened, Harvey’s brother

and sisters eye him with new

respect.

“— And then, straight after

she rang off, I get this text

from Harvey.”

Reaching into his pocket,

the columnist takes out his

device. It springs into life,

a blue rectangle of light

lighting up his face in the

candlelit gloom. ‘“Dear Dad,

so sorry to tell you this. Sad

emoji. George fell over and

broke his arm and I had to

go to A&E with him. Please

apologise to the Thowsens

for me, don’t have the

number. Can’t make it to

do Fr Xmas for them. XX,

tearful emoji.”’

“So. Who. Was. At. The.

Thowsens?” asks Freddy.

A freak draught catches the

candle flames, bending them

to the horizontal. Cracker

litter scutters across the table

and over the edges, as if in

fright.

....39....


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COLUMN

.........................

Lizzie Enfield

Notes from North Village

‘It’s not a party, it’s a gathering’ is the familiar

mantra of teenage children, planning to invite

‘a few friends’ over, when you’re out, or away,

despite explicit instructions that they are not

to have a party because you have: just had the

house redecorated; just finished fixing all the

things that were broken the last time they had a

party; still not been forgiven by the neighbour

whose pampas grass caught fire or the one who

may or may not have called the police or the

one who found drugs in their recycling box

the next day, or the one who was kept awake

the night before they were due to have heart

surgery.

Disclaimer: not all of the above incidents

relate to my own children but they are all real

incidents and all broadly representative of the

kind of thing that happens when teenagers

decide to have a party – or gathering as they’ve

taken to euphemistically, trying-to-pullthe-wool-over-your-eyes-ily,

calling coming

togethers of significant numbers of friends.

The definition of a gathering appears to be a

meeting involving numbers which are more

than two and less than absolutely everyone

they know – in reality and virtually – which

leaves plenty of scope for fairly multitudinous

events by any name.

I know this because my daughter explained

that for a recent reasonably significant

birthday she didn’t want a ‘party’ because

she would have to invite all the friends who

know all the friends who know all the friends

that know all her friends. So, she was just

going to have a gathering and limit it to her

actual friends which seemed to mean about

70 people.

“In my book that’s a party.”

“Yes but old people think a few friends and a

few bits of food is a party.”

“That’s a dinner party,” I agreed.

“Strictly speaking, it’s a dinner gathering,”

corrected my son, less of a party person but

definitely one for a gathering.

I recently found myself with said two children

on a very tough journalistic assignment

reviewing the utterly magnificent hotel/

restaurant/entertainments venue that is the

Assembly House in Norwich.

After a weekend spent mooching around the

city and relaxing in the Georgian splendour

of its surroundings, we got to chatting about

its origins.

At the same time, we checked out the

afternoon tea, a sumptuous triple-tiered

sandwich, scone, and cake and pastry affair in

the heritage-hued crystal-chandeliered Grand

Hall. Tea at the Assembly House is a big thing

in Norwich. They do up to 1000 a day and

what with the play, wedding party and baby

shower going on elsewhere in the building, it

was buzzing.

So when I began to bore them with the

origins of the building: “It was where the

Georgian gentry used to gather for drinking

and dancing” I saw the complicit look they

gave each other as they looked around, the

number calculations going on in their heads

as they noodled towards the assembled hordes

and mouthed “a gathering…”

Illustration by Joda (@joda_art)

....41....



COLUMN

...........................

Amy Holtz

The truth is, I’m a Minnesotan

We’re plastering... well, let’s

not be silly, we’re not plastering.

But the living room and kitchen

are coated with fine, pink,

moon dust and meals come

complete with gypsum sprinkles.

Reticently I’ll admit this: we

don’t own a table. So, the carpet

has enjoyed a decadent past, full

of wine, chocolate, oatmeal (it

was early) and even a branding

by a face-down iron (it wasn’t me). Now the

heyday’s over and it’s been ripped from its

moorings, fraying and sad. I feel guilty wiping

my painted fingers on it, but it hardly matters

now, everything’s a mess.

It’s easy to wonder, what’s it all for? We’ve got

no curtains or heat at the moment, little point

vacuuming or cleaning – it’d just be a band aid

on a migraine. But why would anyone spend

their evenings hunched over on hands and

elbows on pitted concrete that hasn’t seen the

light of day since 1974 – glossing that little

strip of wood that covers the place where the

wall meets the floor? Glossing has given rise to

a series of unfortunate headbutting encounters

with a steel ladder, caused by my Pavlovian

response of whipping my skull upwards to the

ping of my phone. Then there’s the weekends

spent sanding off our fingerprints, wallowing

in the dark events of the fifteenth consecutive

episode of Casefile. I know now that DIY brings

neither the sense of satisfaction nor peace that

my grandpa always told me ‘hard work’ would

proffer.

But there’s been plenty of time to think about

the fact that we’ve got our very own place to

live. Mince pies, wine and roast

dinners (chalky, but edible).

Heavy coats, socks, waterproof

boots, family that travels round

the world to see us. Time to play

beach volleyball. Most of our

health.

My day job is helping charities

tell stories about what they do,

so that they can raise money to

continue to do it. There’s a lot

of disparaging views about charities and each

one lands on me like a bullet, because I know

so many of them spend every day thinking

about the people, the illnesses, the poverty

and isolation that the rest of us spare but a

few fleeting thoughts for – and usually only

when confronted with our fellow Brightonians

sleeping in doorways. It’s how things are. But

it’s not ok.

There’s so much work to do. Not just now

because it’s winter and the suffering is visible.

And it’s not as simple as slapping up some

paint, or tossing a few pounds in a bucket as

we trundle along to a warm pub. The work to

fix things will probably be tiring, more akin to

ladder-bashing and concrete-crawling, the less

glamourous, more tedious chore of trying and

eventually doing. But what do I know?

By the time you’re reading this (we live in hope)

with your coffee, we’ll be ready to gather at our

respective polling stations, where everything

and nothing may change; a scary time. And

yet, working with charities has turned me from

a humbug into a fledgling idealist. Things

can get better. Hardly a crusading Christmas

message, but something to work with.

....43....


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MUSIC

..........................

Ben Bailey rounds up the local music scene

THE CRAVATS

Sat 7th, Green Door Store, 7.30pm, £12

Since they reformed

in 2009 the current

version of The Cravats

has lasted twice

as long as their original

incarnation in

the late 70s. This line-up of the ‘sax-riddled dada

punk combo’ also doubled the band’s recorded

output with their 2017 album Dustbin of Sound,

and they have another LP coming in the spring.

Though their inventive and oddball sound had

a niche appeal in those early days, it also proved

influential while attracting fans like Marc Riley

and Steve Albini. Next year they’re heading off

on a tour of Europe, supporting Steve Ignorant

of Crass. Support here comes from Interrobang,

featuring another alumnus of that era, Dunstan

Bruce from Chumbawamba.

PSYCHEDELIC SUNDAE

Sun 8th, Green Door Store, 3pm, £8/6

Welcome weary traveller, dost thou seek the merry

flutings beyond the emerald gates? Suffice to

say, this all-dayer promises a proper winter wigout

for fans of psychedelic folk and far-out space

rock. Oh Mama have been gathering pace around

Brighton and Lewes lately with their faithful

take on 60s psychedelia, a sound they describe as

‘clattering groovic tangles’. There’s also sax and

loop-pedal experiments from R Dyer, 60s garage

rock from Morphers and psych-tinged folk from

rising duo Greenness. Moondrive71 and PPZN

offer alternate routes through some funky space

jams, while Hill bring a seemingly earnest blend

of jazz-fusion and old-style prog, complete with

capes, erratic flute solos and songs about space

pixies crash-landing on comets.

PENELOPE ISLES

Wed 11th, Chalk, 7pm, £8.50

Penelope Isles are

rounding off the year with

this special homecoming

show, and what a year

it’s been. Their debut

album was released on Bella Union in March,

they played three times over the Great Escape

weekend and then spent the rest of the summer

touring Europe. Another month of UK gigging

now comes to a close with a final date at Brighton’s

newest venue. Brother and sister songwriting

duo Jack and Lily Wolter have honed a style

that seems to resonate with many, evoking the

appeal of bands like Arcade Fire, Grandaddy and

Deerhunter without being derivative. It’s got

a dreamy, reverb-glossed indie vibe that’s both

nostalgic and upbeat.

THE LOVELY BROTHERS

Fri 20th, Prince Albert, 8pm, £8

Cult musical satirists The

Lovely Brothers are a rare

sight these days. Once regulars

of Brighton Fringe,

these masked musicians

now tend to only emerge in winter for a special

appearance at their annual festive shindig. This is

the third instalment of what they call ‘The Xmas

Austerity Downer’, a kind of political cabaret

which in previous years has featured Tory poets,

communist pop bands and pound-shop food

competitions. For all their anarchic stage antics,

The Lovely Brothers actually weld tight keyboard-led

songwriting with hilarious lyrics that

seem to take great delight in picking at the scabs

of pop culture. If you’re still not sure what all this

amounts to, there’s only one way to find out.

....45....


Photos by Petter Hellman

CIRCUS

.........................

Super Sunday

Rollercoaster colourful

If you prefer the louder, Big Top side of contemporary

circus – rather than quieter, contemporary

dance-influenced affairs – then Super Sunday

could be for you. The show has “a feeling of the

gates of the amusement park being opened, and

there’s all these toys you can play around with”,

according to Race Horse Company co-founder

and acrobat, Rauli Dahlberg. These ‘toys’ are in

fact large machines that the acrobats perform

on, in, and explode out of.

“It’s an acrobatic show, with six circus artists on

stage. We have a huge machine called the wheel

of death, and a trebuchet, which is kind of like a

human slingshot. Then we have a teeterboard,

which is a wooden plank, with two guys jumping,

facing each other and flying up to seven or eight

metres. Then there’s a human cannon. It’s a kind

of big rollercoaster colourful show with a lot of

energy. And a lot of action.”

Wheel of death? Rauli casually uses the term in

our conversation, and it turns out that it’s an official

title for the machine (pictured). The wheel

of death sees two acrobats in spinning wheels,

“like hamsters”, in which they can do flips and

“go really high”. The wheels can go as high as

ten metres in fact, “which is why it’s called the

wheel of death. We have a few safety mats underneath

but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll

hit those. It needs nerves of steel.”

It’s not all massive machines however: one act

in the show sees Rauli doing flips on a yoga

ball, for example. He tells me that their double

trampoline act is one of the highlights, which

sees acrobats trampolining with an array of

....46....


colourful balls, replicating the look of a tumultuous

children’s ball pit.

Reviews have praised the show’s humour, which

comes from the way in which the acrobats

respond to the strange, flamboyant goings-on

onstage. “We don’t speak during the show. It’s

mostly body comical: kind of how the body

reacts to a situation. We have a few characters

for example, such as a teddy bear coming onto

the stage. The situations are completely weird.

It’s really playful, [with] a lot of different tricks,

machines and objects being thrown around the

stage.”

Super Sunday arrives at Brighton Dome after a

well-received run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

this summer, having premiered in Stockholm in

2014 as a collaborative effort without a named

director. The six acrobats discuss what worked

well – and what didn’t – in previous performances,

to develop and hone the choreography.

“If somebody gets a crazy idea that they want

to add – or they want to take away something

from the show – then we do it. It’s constantly

changing.” Joe Fuller

Brighton Dome, 17-27 Dec

Photo by David Levene

....47....


TUESDAY 31 DECEMBER 2019 2.45PM

CONDUCTOR STEPHEN BELL

SOPRANO AILISH TYNAN

NEW YEAR’S

EVE VIENNESE

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TICKETS £14.

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BRIGHTON DOME TICKET OFFICE

0127

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£6 at NCP

Church Street

between 1 & 6pm

19.11 | Komedia

Lankum

22.11| Unitarian Church

Erland Cooper

26.11 | Komedia

BC Camplight

10.12 | Komedia

Dawn Landes

30.01.20 I The Prince Albert

Peaness

17–18.Jan 2020 I Lewes

Lewes Psych

Festival

05.02.20 I Komedia

Isobel Campbell

7.02.20 | Rose Hill

Grimm Grimm

10.02.20 | The Old Market

Anna Meredith

20.02.20 | The Hope and Ruin

PINS

26.02.2020 | Komedia

Benjamin

Francis Leftwich

ST GEORGE’S CHURCH EVENTS

23.11 | St George’s Church

Kilimanjaro Live presents

Rhiannon

Giddens

w Francesco Turrisi

29.11 | St George’s Church

Live Nation presents

REN

13.02.20 |St George’s Church

DHP present

Sam Lee

Tickets for shows are available from your local record shop,

seetickets.com or the venue where possible.

meltingvinyl.co.uk


UoS Symphony Orchestra

An intergenerational celebration

The University of Sussex Symphony Orchestra

are recreating their programme from 1969 – when

they performed as part of the opening season of

the Gardner Arts Centre – in a special show at

ACCA this month. The genesis for the concert

came from ACCA’s creative director Laura

McDermott conducting research in The Keep

archives relating to the history of the Gardner Arts

Centre. Laura unearthed the original programme

for the first USSO concert in December 1969 and

was thrilled to discover that the programme notes

were written by UoS alumnus Ian McEwan, who

will read aloud the words he wrote for the original

concert as part of the 2019 show.

I ask USSO’s leader, third year philosophy student

and violinist Jakob Masiak, about the history

of the orchestra. “Back in the 60s it was primarily

meant to be an outfit for the students who studied

music. Nowadays we’re an interdisciplinary

and international society. Which is incredibly

exciting every year… no matter what department

you’re from, no matter what country, it’s very

very fun.”

The three pieces in the programme are Brahms’

Academic Festival Overture, Beethoven’s Piano

Concerto No. 3 and Stravinsky’s Symphony in C.

Pianist and UoS graduate Shin Suzuma will also

be returning for the show. He’ll perform the Beethoven

piece on a Steinway grand piano, donated

to the university by fellow alumnus Tony Banks

(keyboardist from Genesis). “You normally get

at most two rehearsals with any soloist. Which

can be quite intimidating for the orchestra, and

maybe the pianist themselves. In this case we will

have three proper rehearsals with Shin.”

Jakob tells me that the USSO always tries to invite

as many friends, family members and former

orchestra members to performances as possible.

This time though, ACCA staff have assisted the

USSO in publicising the event and the Development

and Alumni Relations office at University

of Sussex have contacted alumni ahead of this

concert, to help make it a special occasion.

The interdisciplinary nature of the USSO gives

students a chance to meet all sorts of people from

across the university they might not otherwise

have met. “Some people have wildly different

schedules in their day to day lives. Some friends

only see each other once a week: at the rehearsal.

Having the opportunity of going to Falmer Bar

afterwards is quite helpful.

“We also put on dedicated social days: we’ve had

laser tag, ice skating, and we were planning on

having some beach time next term, that sort of

thing. Our Sunday rehearsals are more social.

It’s still productive of course, but we have a huge

break in the middle to eat cookies.” Joe Fuller

7th Dec, 7.30pm, attenboroughcentre.com

....49....


MUSIC

.........................

New Model Army

Forty years of bad attitude

As New Model Army march into Brighton this

month, frontman Justin Sullivan (pictured centre)

explains how his band’s new record is really

a plea for humility.

When you’re young everything goes by in a

blaze of adrenaline, but I enjoy touring more

than ever now. As you get older I think you value

it more perhaps. The other thing is, there was a

real vibe about the gigs in Europe. What I’ve felt

over the last five years is that, with everything

that’s happening in the world, and the way

modern culture is, people are kind of isolated.

These gatherings, whether they be gigs, festivals

or political demos or whatever, people need

them more.

In 2016 we released Winter which was a bit

of a zeitgeist album. It was just before the referendum

and before Trump, but we kind of felt

what was coming. We’re now living in a world

where everybody is screaming at everybody all

the time about everything. For the new record

From Here I just wanted to take a step back.

The thing that annoys me most about Brexit is

how ludicrously parochial it is when put against

what’s actually happening on the earth. There’s

no ‘us and them’ on this album, it’s just us.

We made a decision to go and record on an

island off Norway. All we had to do was take

a step outside the studio, and there was the

snow, and the rocks and the sea. The songs were

mostly written back in Bradford, but there was

definitely a desire to look at the big picture...

that people are just ridiculous really. The last

words on the album are: “So let’s all go home

now, look ourselves in the mirror, throw our

heads back and laugh”. So it’s a plea for a sense

of humility. And I think that also comes with age

you know, I’m 63 now, and there is that maxim:

the more you know the more you realise that

you know nothing. I’m in that kind of place.

Whatever people want from you, don’t give it

to them! That was one of the guiding principles

of the band, maybe because we all came out of

punk rock and stuff. There were a lot of people

who came out of that era, and they all went

in different directions musically: The Cure,

Depeche Mode, Killing Joke, Sisters of Mercy.

Everybody started with the attitude that we’re

going to do what the f**k we want, creatively.

Punk rock wasn’t a form of music, it was a

cultural revolution. And all the bands had this

idea that it’s not a career, it’s a f**king calling.

It’s about spirit. And I think that has sustained

us. We’ve all got bad attitude, basically! Which

is kind of commercial suicide, but here we are

40 years later. So we must have done something

right. As told to Ben Bailey

Concorde 2, Thu 12 Dec, 7.30pm

....50....


COMEDY

.........................

Adam Kay

A Christmas love letter to the NHS

Ah, Christmas: mistletoe,

wine. Crackers, Quality

Street, Wham. A double

shift in hospital, removing

something unwanted from

the stomach of an engorged

Christmas reveler.

While the former is what

we’re all looking forward

to, the latter is the lot of

someone who’s missed six

Christmases in a row. It’s

the darkly droll world of

Twas the Nightshift Before

Christmas; the latest behind-the-paper-curtain

offering from Adam Kay, erstwhile junior doctor

and current comedian and TV writer.

Comedy and medicine might seem to be strange

bedfellows, but for readers of This is Going to

Hurt, diarised in the downtime between Adam’s

stand-up performances, they proved to be a

natural fit. “There was so much misinformation in

2016, when junior doctors came under fire from

the government – that doctors were greedy, lazy,

wanting more money,” explains Adam. “But there

was nothing from their side, because they were

in hospital 100 hours a week. I wanted to amplify

their voices. So, I read my diaries on stage at Edinburgh,

telling people about life on the wards.”

The rest, you could say, is our collective history

– as Adam describes, “My books are, at their

heart, love letters to the NHS – and as a country

we’re united in this love. But it’s in a time of

slight peril and there are some important things

that need to be said.” These messages of hope

are a beacon throughout This is Going to Hurt.

But, its success hints at other, less lofty pleasures:

“Humans love hearing about all the ways we can

impair ourselves, don’t we?”

“It’s not unexpected that we’re

interested in how we get fixed

when our bodies stop working.

Then there’s the ‘superheroes’

who go above and beyond to

look after us. Television too is

all about crime, medicine and

sex; we’re obsessed. I adore

shows like Scrubs and Getting

On with Jo Brand.”

It’s little wonder then that This is

Going to Hurt has been tapped for

the watershed, with Kay at the

helm. There is no news yet about

who will play the doctor himself (“Someone much

more handsome than me,” Adam muses), but the

show will no doubt incorporate some of the book’s

thought-provoking, sometimes hilarious, vignettes.

In the meantime, those eager for a dose of comedy

remedy can grab a copy of Twas the Nightshift before

Christmas – and come along to the stage show. Just

as guffaw-inducing as its predecessor, it shines a

light on our inability to withstand the excesses of

the season – with painful consequences.

Thinking of one graphic incident involving Sharon

fruits that features in the book, I have to ask:

Why are we so prone to weird maladies around

Christmas?

Adam’s laugh is a tuneful carol. “I don’t know...

maybe it’s because the mulled wine is flowing.

People have more time on their hands. And they

think, ‘I’ll just let my hair down a bit.’”

Amy Holtz

Adam presents two shows of Christmas stories on

Friday, 13 December, 5.30pm and 8pm, Brighton

Dome. Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas is

available from all good bookshops. Tickets for

the live show at adamkay.co.uk (book included in

ticket price).

....51....


Chrismas

`e Big Christmas Singalong!

Wed 4 Dec

Christmas Concert

Sun 8 Dec

Tales Around the Tree

Wed 18–Fri 20 Dec

Backstage Tour at Christmas

Sat 21 Dec

`e Snowman & Paddington

Bear’s First Concert (pictured)

Sun 15 Dec

Super Sunday

17–27 Dec

`e Wizard of Oz

Sat 28–Sun 29 Dec

brightondome.org

01273 709709

© Snowman Enterprises Limited The Snowman


THEATRE

.........................

A Little Space

A constantly evolving

examination of loneliness

Photo by Chris Payne

Rich Rusk, associate director of renowned

physical theatre company Gecko, on their new

co-production with Mind The Gap, England’s

largest learning disability theatre company.

A Little Space began with the idea of loneliness

– a universal concept. We were interested

not only in the negative aspects but the positive.

Some people will see the show as being about

the fear of being alone, about sadness, or anxiety.

Others will see it as a celebration of the joy of

having your own space.

There isn’t a linear narrative but a bunch of

ideas we put in front of audiences that they

can choose from. We see our shows as a set of

gifts we’re offering. All the audience has to do

is accept the ones relevant to them. There’s one

moment in this show where there’s a woman in

a hospital bed on stage. Each of the performers

has decided for themselves who she is but we’ve

never discussed it. We let the audience interpret

it for themselves too. Our style is very poetic,

very metaphorical, very lyrical.

The set is a room that could be any one

of a million rooms. It’s designed to be any

apartment in the world, any hotel room, any

office – so that when the audience sees it they

feel they already know where it is. But we’ve

built it on a rake that tilts off to the side of the

stage. It means there’s always a sense that things

are slightly askew. Even if something apparently

normal is happening, the set is saying ‘it’s not

that normal’.

We don’t use words although we do use our

voices. We’ve never had a script for a Gecko

show. It’s about trying to use all of the other

forms of communication we have in our bodies.

We’ve toured to around 30 different countries

and we never have to change the show for different

audiences. There’s always an understanding.

This current collaboration with Mind The

Gap is Gecko’s first ever UK co-production.

We’re pretty demanding as a company

and anyone who works with us needs to be on

board with that. But we’ve had a mutual respect

for Mind The Gap for a long time now, partly

because they share our ethos of being incredibly

ambitious. Both companies were interested in

doing a very physical show with performers who

have learning disabilities, although we don’t talk

about disability because it’s not what the show

is about.

A Gecko show is constantly evolving. The

piece we’re rehearsing now won’t be the

same as the show we bring to Brighton. But

if I had to describe it as it is now, I’d say it feels

like a strange, urban fairytale. It’s about individuals

struggling with, and enjoying, loneliness. It’s

very physical, very visual, a little bit nightmarish,

dreamy and very funny in places. But really, you

just have to see it and work out what it means to

you. Nione Meakin

The Old Market, December 3rd–5th

....53....


TALK

.........................

A Sussex Christmas

Pagan rituals, rich food, and charity

Image from the James Gray Collection

“Our Sussex forebears

took Christmas very seriously

indeed,” says local

historian Chris Horlock,

who has pored through

reams of source materials

to investigate what the

festive period was like,

round these parts, before

the development of the

20th century version we all know so well.

“It’s interesting to see what a mish-mash of different

influences there were,” he continues. “It’s worth

noting that many customs come from ancient

pagan rituals. Do you ever wonder why we have

Christmas trees and holly in our houses? I’ve found

one report from Suzanne Stacey, the mistress of

Stanten Farm in East Chiltington, who would

festoon her house with miraculous winter-surviving

evergreens ‘so that the woodland spirits might

take shelter therein and preserve themselves from

the cold.’”

It is often said that Queen Victoria’s husband

Albert was responsible for our importing the

German custom of putting a fir tree in the house.

Chris has found an account of four Christmas firs

put up by Baron Bunsen, of Herstmonceux Place

in 1843, five years before there’s any evidence of a

royal version. Lucy Hare lived nearby and wrote to

her sister: ‘I never saw a Christmas tree before, and

I enjoyed it like a child. It was far prettier than I expected…

covered with gold apples and silver pears

and every kind of pink, blue and green cornucopias

filled with bon-bons’.

The local gentry were expected to be charitable

to the poor people of the parish in the Christmas

season. This is from The Sussex Weekly Advertiser

of December 1798: ‘Last

Saturday the poor of this

borough [Lewes] experienced

a very seasonable

relief at this inclement

season, from a donation

of twenty chauldrons [26

tons] of coal, distributed

indiscriminately… by

order of John C. Pelham,

Esq.’ The Brighton Gazette of January 1830 reported:

‘The Earl of Egremont entertained the whole

of the poor (including women and children) of

the five parishes adjacent to his seat at Petworth,

on New Year’s Day. One hundred and fifty plum

puddings were made for the dinner.’

It was a time for fancy food. “The meat was fairly

simple to cook,” says Chris. “But the Christmas

pudding was a different matter. There would be a

trip into the nearest big town – Lewes or Brighton

– to buy all the ingredients, like raisins, currants,

nutmeg, almonds and candied peel. There was a

ceremony on the Sunday before Advent, known

as Stir-up Sunday, in which every member of the

family, from the father to the youngest child, would

stir the pot.”

Chris is giving a talk, at The Keep, which takes in

yule logs, mince pies, pudding charms, mistletoe,

heather wine, wassailing, and why it was said to be

lucky to be born on Christmas Day. “I have unearthed

evidence that in the 19th century Christmas

preparations would start as early as February,”

he concludes. “Just think of that next time you hear

someone moan about Christmas ads on the telly in

November.” Alex Leith

A Sussex Christmas, The Keep, 11th December,

5.30pm

....54....


THEATRE

.........................

A Christmas Carol

Dickens for today

“The more I read A Christmas Carol, the more relevant

it seems today,” says actor John O’Connor,

when we speak ahead of his Brighton performances

of Charles Dickens’ famous story. “The financial

crisis was created by bankers – by Scrooge – yet

the bill continues to be picked up by disabled people

– like Tiny Tim – who have had their benefits

taken away and are being punished for being sick

and unable to work.”

It’s a rather more impassioned response than

one might expect when asking about someone’s

motivation for making a Christmas show. But then

Dickens had similarly strong reasons for writing

the story back in 1843. As O’Connor points out,

it was a battle cry, penned in reaction to a report

the writer had read about the terrible effects of

the Industrial Revolution on children. “They were

being injured working, were homeless, were ill

from malnutrition. He was intending to write a

pamphlet, but he ended up writing A Christmas

Carol instead and it’s probably the most passionate

of all his works. It’s a story of redemption and

of community and a reminder that we all have a

responsibility to others.”

The story is also notable for being the first the

writer performed publicly, in locations including

Brighton’s Royal Pavilion. “Dickens was really the

first writer to perform his own work,” O’Connor

explains. “He’d wanted to be an actor from the age

of 20 and it was a way of marrying his desire to act

and his interest in communicating with his public.”

While his work lends itself to performance – “He

used to put mirrors up when he wrote so he could

stand and act out his characters before committing

Photo by David Bartholomew

them to paper” – there was no precedent then for

authors performing their work and no guarantee

the shows would be a success. But Dickens made

more money from the readings than from all of

his novels put together, some of which he used to

make donations to charities including Great Ormond

Street children’s hospital, which this current

production is also supporting.

It’s these apparently ‘mesmeric’ live outings that

O’Connor aims to recreate in his own performances,

taking place at the Old Courtroom this

month. “What I try to get across is the energy of

the man, and the fact that he managed this very

unusual feat of becoming the greatest reader of

our greatest writer... I want to transmit some of

that immediacy and that magic to modern audiences

so they almost feel they are there at one of

Dickens’ original performances.”

There are some limits to O’Connor’s commitment

to his character, however. He is yet to attempt the

writer’s pre-show diet, which apparently consisted

of two tablespoons of rum with cream for breakfast,

a pint of champagne for tea and a glass of

sherry with a raw egg mixed into it an hour before

he went on stage. “I keep saying I’m going to try it

but I think it will have to wait until the last night.”

Nione Meakin

The European Arts Company’s A Christmas Carol is

at The Old Courtroom from December 5th–7th

....55....


ADAM ANT

Fri 6 Dec

JOOLS HOLLAND

Sat 14 Dec

BJORN AGAIN

Fri 20 Dec

THE BOOTLEG BEATLES

Sun 22 Dec

box office 0844 847 1515 *

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the smash hit satirical review of the year

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27 - 30 DECEMBER @ 8.30pm

The Old Ship Hotel, Brighton

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BOOK ONLINE WWW.TREASONSHOW.CO.UK


COMEDY

.........................

Arthur Smith

Fearless comedian

Photo by Steve Ullathorne

Self-appointed Mayor of Balham, Grumpy Old

Man TM , much-loved writer and comedian, Arthur

Smith has unquestionably attained the status of

National Treasure. What this means in practice is

unclear, but may well have something to do with

better socks. That and an infectious faith in the

human spirit.

I caught up with Arthur after a weekend he

described as “rambling about in mud with friends.”

Has he ever rambled over this way, at all?

“I have, as it happens. I once spent the night at Virginia

Woolf’s place, and the next day I walked out

over the Downs and came across the paragliders.

I don’t suffer from altitude sickness or vertigo or

anything so I thought, right, let’s have a go at this.

So they strapped me in with this bloke and up I

went, swooping in and out of the countryside. It

was lovely.”

So a fearless comedian is going to be all right

doing a gig on election night in Tory marginal

Lewes?

“Oh blimey. Am I? Oh dear. Though to be honest,

I don’t really hear the news much. Not because I’m

hard of hearing or anything, it’s just that I’m busy

shouting F*** OFF repeatedly at the television.”

Yes, let’s spare a thought here for all the similarly

festive events overshadowed by this latest doomed

attempt to find out what the British public wants

for Christmas.

On which subject, what’s the official Arthur Smith

tried-and-tested recipe for a happy Christmas?

“Grin and bear it. No, I can’t say that. Actually,

my partner’s big on Christmas so I have to get

involved a bit, but I’m not entirely sure that

everyone really does like figgy pudding. Children

like Christmas the best, so the best thing is to be

around children, preferably between the ages of

four and 12. After that, quite frankly, I lose interest.

Oh and I’m hopeless at wrapping. I could probably

have a go at the sort without a ‘w’, but the one with

a ‘w’ I just get in a terrible mess.”

Helping Arthur get into the Christmas spirit will

be Mark Dolan, host of Channel 4’s Balls of Steel,

and Fran Kissling, ‘very clever and very funny’

according to the Bath Echo – a newspaper, not

an acoustic device. Fran promises a bit of Swiss

surrealism, and if you didn’t know that was a thing,

remember their cheese is famous for the bits that

aren’t there.

Eleanor Knight

Comedy Night Christmas show

with Arthur Smith,

Mark Dolan, Fran Kissling

and more. Con Club,

Lewes, 12th Dec, 8pm.

wegottickets.com

Arthur’s new book, 100

Things I Meant to Tell

You is out now.

....57....


CHARITY

.............................

Santa Dash

Festive fun run

I really enjoy it when our city gets noticeably

changed by the activities of its people (and

its visitors). Big events such as Pride and the

Marathon have an enormous impact – you

can’t drive around (that’s good) and it makes

lots of money for our hotels, restaurants and

shops (also good). It does make prices for

rooms rocket and try to get a train back to

London and you’ll struggle (less good). But I

love the way the city becomes a different place.

Pride is a big crazy party that demonstrates

the inclusiveness of Brighton and Hove, and

the Marathon is such a celebration of healthy

achievement for runners at every level. It’s

now one of the biggest marathons in the UK.

Smaller events such as the Children’s Parade to

kick off the Brighton Festival also change the

feel of the city.

When the streets get packed and everyone’s

having fun it’s like a carnival and it gives

an insight in to how a future city that isn’t

dominated by cars might feel.

Sometimes the events can just be small and

more low-key, events that just raise a smile (and

maybe raise some money). The Santa Dash

takes place in mid-December and turns the

seafront into a big splash of red and white for

a couple of hours. There are other Santa Dash

events around the country for various charities,

but here in Brighton it raises money for the

Rockinghorse Appeal, the official fundraising

arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s

Hospital who raise around £500,000 a year for

children’s centres and paediatric services across

Sussex.

Hundreds of people put on rather flimsy Santa

outfits and congregate by Hove Lawns (I’ve

never spotted the real Santa, but I think he

might in be there somewhere, probably towards

the back), with the run starting at the civilised

time of 10:30am on a Saturday. This year it’s on

the 14th December. The start looks amazing,

I can’t think of a similar event where everyone

is dressed identically, and to see a big bunch

of Santas taking over the promenade always

draws attention (and a smile) from passers-by.

It’s not an event for serious runners, although

there are always a few who take it seriously. It’s

mainly groups of friends who dress up and run

in a gang, from all levels of ability. It’s about

being festive and having a laugh. They all head

off west to the Lagoon, then turn around and

head back. By the time it’s over the outfits have

deteriorated and the big bunch of Santas that

start the run together are all spread out and

rather sweaty.

If you want to see a festive and fun start to

the final build up to Christmas this is your

chance, and, if you don’t want to run, just enjoy

watching then maybe send a donation.

Paul Zara

santadashbrighton.co.uk

....58....


INSTALLATION

.........................

Photo by Jim Holden

Glow Wild

Ithaca’s evocative seasonal soundscape

“I guess this is a typical project for us only in

the sense that it’s slightly unusual,” says Chris

Evans-Roberts, founder of Brighton sound and

light studio Ithaca. “Our work is all related to

sound and light but we specialise in projects that

are out of the ordinary. We love to push creative

boundaries.”

The creative studio, which operates from Middle

Street’s Werks Central, has worked for the past

few years on Christmas events at Kew. Chris

explains that they have just finished installing a

‘waterfall of light’ at the famous botanical gardens.

So when an opportunity arose to produce

a bespoke soundscape for the Glow Wild lantern

trail at Wakehurst, the 500-acre West Sussex

gardens managed by Kew, they jumped at it.

Now in its sixth year, the trail sees trees, ponds

and landscapes enhanced with glowing lanterns,

fire torches, projections and installations by more

than ten artists, including a new piece by Jony

Easterby (For The Birds; Tree and Wood) and willow

tunnels by sculptor Tom Hare. “We’ve worked

with the creative team at Wakehurst to come up

with audio to complement the trail,” explains

Chris. “We’ve collaborated with all the different

artists brought on board for the event to create a

soundscape that highlights each of the artworks

and helps build the atmosphere of a magical

winter environment out in nature. The trail has a

very organic, very natural feel – there are no generators

and no hard power on site – so we wanted

to create something to match that. ”

The company has hidden nine battery-powered

speakers in trees and bushes across the gardens,

which independently play loops of the sound of

owls hooting or animals rustling nearby. “As you

walk through, the soundtrack evolves constantly,”

Chris goes on. “In each different section the

sound transitions so you get a soundscape that

will be different for every visitor. There are no

carols or Christmas songs, it’s very much about

a wintry, natural experience, building a sense of

atmosphere without overloading people.”

There are, of course, challenges in working outside

but, Chris says, Ithaca prides itself on both

technical and creative expertise. Founded nearly

ten years ago and named after Greek writer

Constantine Cavafy’s poem about a journey more

important than its destination, the studio’s combined

experience spans everything from musical

composition to coding. “We will always explore

ideas alongside considering how to make them

happen,” says Chris.

Their skills are much in demand in the festive

season, meaning the studio’s own Christmas

planning often ends up being something of an

afterthought. “After months of working on festive

events it’s still to be seen if we’ll even get a tree

up,” he says. “But if we do, then you can guarantee

we won’t just have the standard string of Christmas

lights on it. We’ll be doing something very

special, something very Ithaca.” Nione Meakin

Glow Wild, Wakehurst, until December 22

Ithaca.studio

....59....



ART

.............................

Urban Miniatures

Toying with toy town

Brighton’s gallery spaces

tend to be small but

perfectly formed. This

throws up a challenge for

exhibiting urban art –

designed to occupy entire

walls, alleyways or railway

arches.

But, one day, while

watching their kids play with toy trains, artists

and curatorial duo Paxton Glew – Emily Paxton

and Pam Glew – had a brainwave. “We put two

and two together and thought: ‘Actually, if we

did an urban miniature show, we could work

with all the people we want to, only on a small

scale,” says Glew.

For this year’s Christmas Artists Open Houses

festival, Paxton Glew have curated a diorama

with a difference in Urban Miniatures, dividing

up a Hornby train set and posting its parts to

more than 40 international artists all over the

world – from Brighton all the way to Australia.

“Some of them normally paint on high rises,”

says Glew. “So, they faced a bit of a challenge

when we were offering them tiny watchtowers,

stables or small huts. We had to source a

few tower blocks and dormitories! There’s

something beautifully nostalgic about the

Hornby train track, and contrasting it with

the street art scene is a fun duality. A lot of the

artists are incredibly colourful, so it looks like a

technicolour model village.”

Piece by piece, the alternative model city has

arrived back in Brighton, and it’s shaping

up to be a far cry from bottle green steam

engines, grey carriages and basic brick houses.

For example, Brighton-based Eelus – the

artist behind Hannington Lane’s Alice in

Wonderland mural – has added an extension

Train by Remi Rough

to a model house, in the

form of a purple fluffy

cloud producing colourful

perspex raindrops. And

anti-fast fashion artist

Dr Noki (also based

in Brighton) has filled

miniature train wagons

with textile detritus being

towed along the tracks by a pig.

“There’s quite a lot of dystopia – quite a few

buildings look like they’re from an apocalyptic

world,” says Glew. “There are a few nods to

Brexit (not too many…)”

A miniature model of a British city in today’s

confusing times has the potential to be a

little gloomy. But Urban Miniatures is quite

the opposite – it’s a prototype of a city where

urban artists were given free rein. The vibrant

undulating waves of Brighton muralist Lois

O’Hara breathe life into train carriages, while

the geometric energy of London artist Mark

McClure zigzags across a warehouse. “It is

overwhelmingly joyful,” says Glew. “The pieces

seem to have a strange sense of humour. It’s a

celebratory scene, incredibly quirky and fun.”

The utterly original exhibits of Urban Miniatures

are already being eyed up by collectors and

contemporary art fans. All the miniatures are

for sale – the going rate for trains is £200-£250.

Prints, jewellery and miniature-themed artwork

will also be sold in the space, and Paxton and

Glew will lead workshops – including Christmas

wreath-making with miniatures, and block

printing to create Japanese Furoshiki (reusable

wrapping cloth for gifts).

Rose Dykins

November 23rd-December 15th; 11 Dukes Lane

paxtonglew.com aoh.org.uk

....61....


William Nicholson, Judd’s Farm, 1912. Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne

ART

.............................

Brink

Caroline Lucas curates the Towner Collection

Caroline Lucas is a busy woman. Between

the frenetic goings-on in parliament in recent

months and preparing to defend her Brighton

Pavilion seat in this month’s snap general

election, she has found the time to curate an

exhibition at Eastbourne’s Towner Gallery.

Unsurprisingly, the resulting show is both

a celebration of the local landscape and a

campaigning platform, highlighting Caroline’s

concerns for the environment and climate

change. It runs alongside the retrospective of

David Nash, the prominent British sculptor

who works with wood, trees and landscape,

and whose exhibition title inspired Caroline’s

curatorial direction.

“It’s interesting that David’s exhibition is called

200 Seasons – it’s a retrospective of 50 years

of his work – and that got me thinking about

time,” explains Caroline. “200 seasons sounds

like an innocent enough title but – when you

project forward 200 seasons, instead of looking

back – what is our world going to look like?

Do we even know that we have 200 seasons in

which it will be possible to live safely on our

planet? Projecting 50 years forward is quite

scary in some ways.” Hence, the title of her

exhibition: Brink.

While selecting from the 5000 works in

....62....


ART

.............................

Towner’s collection, Caroline was struck

by how many of them depicted landscapes,

seascapes and the cliffs of the Sussex coastline.

“You really got the sense of edges… That

grew into this sense of being on the brink, on

the edge of something new, politically, in the

broadest sense. Whether or not we rise to the

climate challenge, whether or not Brexit gets

resolved, whether or not we have a kinder more

compassionate politics going forward. It feels

like we are metaphorically on the edge, just as

so many of the artworks I was looking at played

with the idea of different planes, different

edges.”

She has clearly relished the role of guest curator

– an opportunity that she describes as a real

privilege and having almost endless possibilities

for interpretation. “You see each artwork

differently once it’s placed next to another. The

context in which you view it, I think, changes

the meaning you pull from it.”

Many of her chosen pieces feature trees and

wilderness that speak to the Nash exhibition

next door, and visitors can expect to see “old

favourites” by Eric Ravilious, as well as lesserknown

works by Tirzah Garwood, Robert

Morris and Kier Smith. Imagery from local

environmental campaigning groups will also

feature. Placards made for an Eastbourne youth

march for climate action will hang alongside

pieces from the Towner Collection, as will a

sobering poster that projects what the town

might look like under different scenarios of

sea-level rise. “It really does bring home to

people that climate change isn’t some distant

threat that happens to people many miles away,”

concludes Caroline. “It’s something that could

be very real to us as well.” Brink promises to be

a thought-provoking exploration of a landscape

on the edge.

Lizzie Lower

14th December–20th May 2020

townereastbourne.org.uk

David Nash and Caroline Lucas at Towner. Photo by Rob Harris

Eric Ravilious, Lombardy Poplars, 1935 Leslie Moffat Ward, The Long Man of The Downs, 1943. ©The Artist’s Estate

....63....


Towner Art Gallery

David Nash 200 Seasons

29 September 2019 – 2 February 2020

Devonshire Park, Eastbourne, BN21 4JJ

www.townereastbourne.org.uk @townergallery

#200Seasons #EastbourneAlive

David Nash, Nature to Nature, 1985. © Jonty Wilde, courtesy David Nash. Tate Collection

01444 405250 | @NymansNT | @NymansNT

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nymans

Credit: Quentin Blake: A P Watt at United Agents on behalf of Quentin Blake.


ART

....................................

ART & ABOUT

In town this month...

Playground by HelloMarine

Look At This, the festival of contemporary printmaking,

continues at Phoenix Brighton until the 15th. As well as

visiting the exhibition, join Glug Brighton for an evening

of talks with Anthony Burrill, Jim the Illustrator &

Kelly Anna on the 6th (book via Eventbrite); or bring

the family along to a free print workshop on the 7th and

8th of December (11am-1pm & 2pm-4pm). (See pg 70.

phoenixbrighton.org)

The Christmas chapter of Artists Open Houses is in full flow with 60

homes and studios open at weekends until the 8th. The perfect opportunity

for some truly creative Christmas shopping (aoh.org.uk)

The annual Burning the Clocks celebration returns on the 21st to

see out the past year and welcome in the new. Follow the illuminated

procession down to the beach for a bonfire and fireworks. It’s free to attend

but, if you’d like to make a contribution, or want fireside tickets, visit

crowdfunder.co.uk/burning-the-clocks-2019.

Photo by Lizzie Lower

Clare Gangstas by Harry Venning

35 North have an exhibition by Harry Venning from the 7th until

the 21st. The Brighton-based cartoonist, comedy writer and performer

is best known for his long running Guardian cartoon strip Clare in the

Community (also a Radio 4 sitcom starring Sally Phillips) and is also the

winner of the UK Cartoon Art Trust Strip Cartoonist of the Year and

The Sony Radio Comedy Award. During the exhibition, Harry will lead

a drawing workshop, helping children and adults alike to release their

inner cartoonist. (See 35northgallery.com for more details.)

ONCA gallery host Generations a creative and

educational exhibition and environmental justice

events programme. Indigenous perspectives and

young voices are often missing from mainstream

reporting on the climate emergency, so ONCA

are working with Deru Anding (an artist from

the Bidayuh Tribe from northwest Borneo),

researchers from the University of Brighton,

Youth Strike 4 Climate Brighton and others to

redress the balance. Until 20th Dec. (onca.org.uk)

Journey Home to Give Birth by Deru Anding

....65....


THE GATES OF DELIRIUM

O F F I C I A L U K E X H I BIT ION

The largest collection of the iconic art of Roger Dean found any where in

the world. Exhibition is free to the public and open 7 days a week.

1 st November

th

December

T R A D I N G B O U N D A R I E S , E A S T S U S S E X , T N 2 2 3 R B

W W W . T R A D I N G B O U N D A R I E S . C O M


ART

....................................

Sarah Abbott at Brush Gallery

Kellie Miller Arts marks the 6th anniversary of her Market Street

gallery with Small Wonders, an exhibition of small but perfectly - formed

portraits, abstract landscapes, surrealist and fantasy paintings by artists

who usually work on a much larger scale. Continues until the 9th.

Inspired by a recent trip to Thailand and the work of

the conservationist Lek Chailert, Brush gallery hold

an exhibition to raise funds for the animal sanctuary

Elephant Nature Park, in Chiang Mai. More than 30

artists – including Sarah Abbott, Ruth Mulvie, Will

Blood and Michelle Mildenhall – have contributed

artworks, all featuring elephants and other animals

threatened by climate

change and human

activity.

Jo Wonder at Kellie Miller Arts

Out of town...

Sam Hewitt

If you’re quick, you’ll catch Tutton & Young’s

long-running Brighton Art Fair, which – due to the

ongoing refurbishments at the Corn Exchange –

relocates to Lewes Town Hall this year. Join them

on Saturday 30th of November and Sunday 1st of

December (with a preview on the evening of Friday

29th) for an exhibition by upwards of 60 local and

national artists. The trains aren’t running that

weekend, but a free bus service has been arranged for

ticket holders and B&H buses run a frequent service

to Lewes. (tuttonandyoung.co.uk)

In Lewes, Chalk Gallery is proud to present its 2020 calendar (left),

featuring work by all the Chalk artists. Proceeds from its sale will be

donated to the environmental charity Client Earth.

The gallery’s seasonal exhibition of small and

affordable artworks continues until 5pm on Monday

23rd December when the gallery closes for the

holidays, re-opening on Monday 6th January. Along the road, Martyrs’ Gallery

has teamed up with Goldmark Gallery to show a selection of exhibition posters

by some of the twentieth century’s most celebrated artists (right), including

affordably priced lithographs by Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Miró, Braque,

Hockney, Freud, Cocteau and Dufy, among others. (martyrs.gallery)

....67....


Artists

Open

Houses

XMAS

2019

23 November to

8 December

Contemporary

British Painting and

Sculpture

We look forward to welcoming

you to our gallery in Hove.

Please visit our website for

further details.

aoh.org.uk

CAMERONCONTEMPORARY.COM


ART

....................................

Out of Town (cont...)

© Roger Dean

The Gates of Delirium – an

exhibition of work by

Roger Dean – is at Trading

Boundaries in Sheffield Park

until the 8th of December. The

internationally-acclaimed artist

and designer is responsible for

some of the most iconic album

covers over the past five decades,

earning him a worldwide

following. The exhibition

features prints and original paintings from across his career, including Inland Sea II used on the latest

Yes album cover. (tradingboundaries.com / rogerdean.com)

Dance Diagonal by Lothar Götz

Towner gallery announce an open call for Towner International – a major

new biennial exhibition of contemporary art that will feature British and

International artists. Professional artists working in all media are invited to

submit works for consideration through an online Open Call process, which

will be judged by a panel of guest judges. The Brewers Prize of £10,000,

sponsored by Brewers Decorator Centres, will be awarded to one of the

exhibiting artists. The submission deadline is Friday 17 January 2020.

Disruption, Devotion and Distributism continues at Ditchling

Museum of Art + Craft: an exhibition drawn from a major

acquisition of over 400 St Dominic’s Press pamphlets and posters.

The private press published a wide range of material including

books and pamphlets for The Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic

and other artists and thinkers sharing their philosophy around

craftsmanship and life.

Image: Gently but firmly by Philip Hagreen

A panel of judges from Sussex Wildlife Trust,

including acclaimed wildlife photographer David

Plummer, selected twelve finalists from over 600

entries for the SWT online photography competition.

A public vote deemed this image – of a Vole in a

Foxglove, taken by Maxine Dodds of Rudgwick,

Horsham – the ultimate winner. All the finalists’

photographs will feature in the Sussex Wildlife Trust’s

2020 online calendar (available to download) and in an

upcoming exhibition at the Booth Museum.

Maxine Dodds

....69....


DESIGN

.........................

Anthony Burrill

Nice, hard-working graphic artist

“Perhaps some people who know that poster

don’t have the full backwstory to my career,”

says Anthony Burrill, when I ask him if he feels

a little saddled with being famous, with the

wider public, for one piece of work, created

back in 2004.

Burrill is responsible for designing and letterpressing

the print which reads ‘WORK HARD

& BE NICE TO EACH OTHER’, one of

the most plagiarised artworks of our times.

And there’s a danger, I guess, that people will

associate Work Hard… with pithy sayings on

cushion covers, or the recent ubiquity of the

motivational poster, Keep Calm and Carry On.

The ‘backstory’ is that Burrill isn’t a corny

slogans man, but a well-respected artist, with

a commitment to using traditional printing

processes, whose messages drip with a healthy

dollop of post-modern irony. He’s also an

in-demand graphic artist, whose client list

includes the likes of Apple, Google, Hermes

and the Design Museum.

“But I still believe it’s true!” he says of the

‘Work Hard’ message. “And the print’s success

has given me the independence to do whatever

I want. It’s been really liberating.”

I ask him about his influences, expecting,

as he went to art school in the eighties, for

....70....


DESIGN

.........................

Katherine Hamnett to figure. “Actually, I’m

more indebted to John Cooper Clarke,” he

tells me. “His incisive wit bowls me over.

And Kraftwerk: Germans using English in

a collage-y way.” He also cites suffragette

slogans, and 1960s Civil Rights Movement

posters. “It’s about getting the message

across, with a wink of humour and a fine art

element.”

Earlier this year his latest book, Look &

See, was published by Thames & Hudson:

it contains ‘collected ephemera and printed

material’. “I’m really into bits of found

poetry: instructions how to do things and

signs you see on the streets. I’m much more

influenced by the work of non-designers than

the work of designers. Things are much more

human, when they are slightly wrong.”

He is a self-admitted ‘font geek’. “I take

photos of street signs on holiday while the

rest of the family roll their eyes,” he says.

Most of the fonts he uses in his print work

are provided by a letter-press publisher in his

hometown, Rye. “Adams have been going for

over 150 years. They are a real institution in

Rye: they’ll print everything from restaurant

menus to orders of service in churches. And

they have a collection of different Victorian

wood type: I’ve been using them since I

moved to the area in 2004.”

He’s looking forward to the talk he’s giving

in December, at the Glug Christmas gettogether,

part of Look at This – the Phoenix

Festival of Print. He loves the chance, he tells

me, to deliver a vocal message. “I spend most

of my time in the studio, quiet and focussed.

Put a mic in my hand and I turn into someone

else: an entertainer.”

Alex Leith

Look at This, Phoenix Gallery, until

December 16th. Glug event December 6th.

....71....


Making life better and brighter, one day at a time.

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what we can do together:

01273 829 943

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We are Martlets Care, and since 2007 we’ve been providing exceptional

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Our home care packages are tailored to suit individual needs for personal

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To find out more - see our website or call us for an informal chat to

discuss your home care needs on 01273 829943.

MarletsCare.co.uk

Providing Quality Home Care in and around Brighton & Hove


THE WAY WE WORK

This month Adam Bronkhorst meets some local makers and tradespeople

doing their bit to create a more sustainable Christmas.

He asks them: 'What's your favourite Christmas tradition?'

adambronkhorst.com | 07879 401333

Susan Luxford, Timeless Toys

(seller of ethically-sourced wooden toys)

‘Decorating the tree with family. From re-discovering all the

Christmas items in the loft, to making and buying new hanging

decorations, to turning on the fairy lights!’


THE WAY WE WORK

Chloe Edwards, Seven Sisters’ Spices

(maker of plastic-free Christmas crackers)

‘Christmas stockings are my favourite tradition.The childhood joy of

waking to a full stocking at the end of the bed – I don’t get one myself

anymore but I love to make them up for my children.’


THE WAY WE WORK

Paula Clark, Cocoon&me

(maker of planet-friendly crochet baubles)

‘Music is very important in our household. A week before Christmas

my husband changes over the records in our juke box to all our

favourite Christmas tunes collected over the years!’


THE WAY WE WORK

Sophie Bresnahan, Loop Loop

(maker of plantable cards)

‘Going home to the village I grew up in and doing the ‘Christmas Walk’, from our

local pub to the neighbouring village pub and having lunch. It’s always so fun!’


THE WAY WE WORK

Emma Thistlethwaite, Thistle by Nature

(maker of wreaths)

‘Bringing the outside in. The scent of pine in your living room, holly on

the door, spruce over the fireplace and mistletoe hanging in the porch.’


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Serves: 3, Prep time: 20min, Cook time: 1hr

Allergens: nuts

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of thyme; 1 clove of garlic, minced; 2 tsp arrowroot

powder; Sea salt and pepper to taste; The peelings,

cores, tops, outer leaves and skins of the veggies & fruit

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and trimmings into a large casserole dish. Cover with

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keep the liquid.

• Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C (fan). Line 4.5inchwide

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• Add the coconut oil, onion, ¾ of the leek, garlic and

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• Add the crushed chickpeas, grated carrot, parsnip,

swede, apple and zest and stir well. Cook 3-4mins

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• Add one cup of the stock and the cranberries. Stir

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almost completely.

• Add ground almonds and flaxseed. The mixture

should be thick with no liquid remaining.

• Remove from the heat and stir through the

chopped nuts.

• Divide the mixture evenly between the ramekins so

they are well packed. Cover and bake for 20 mins.

Remove cover and bake for a further 10 minutes until

golden brown.

The gravy:

• Add coconut oil, diced carrots, onion, garlic, herbs

and reserved leek to a saucepan over medium heat.

Sweat until starting to caramelise.

• Add the remaining stock and bring to a boil. Reduce

to a simmer for 5-6 minutes.

• Add the arrowroot powder gradually, whisking

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FOOD

.............................

L’Atelier du Vin

Drinking for grown ups

Photo by Lizzie Lower

Brighton has a pub to suit just

about every occasion, but I

find the thought of hanging

over a busy bar less and less

appealing. So, I’m particularly

pleased to have discovered

L’Atelier du Vin, who offer

good drinks and excellent

(table) service in an unhurried

and decidedly grown-up

atmosphere.

I first visited their bar on St

George’s Place, that stretch

opposite Valley Gardens,

between Gloucester and Trafalgar Streets.

Behind the stripped-back shopfront is a

delightful drinking den, complete with

eclectic furniture, secret corners and an

inexhaustible drinks menu.

If the St. George’s Place bar has the

conspiratorial air of a speakeasy, then their

second premises in Seven Dials has the

congenial atmosphere of a private members’

club. One Friday evening, having invited

my friend Frances to join me for a drink, we

settle into a couple of mismatched lounge

chairs set around a delicate side table complete

with a crystal lamp. The music and lighting

are comfortably low, and the place is quietly

buzzing.

We start by flicking through the ‘Bootlegger

List’. Whatever your poison, there’s a page for

it, and we decide to start with something from

the ‘pre-prohibition’ cocktail list; a ‘Harvard’

(c.1895) – cognac, sweet vermouth, lemon

juice, grenadine syrup and Angostura bitters

(£9.50), and a ‘Journalist’ from the 1930s –

gin, sweet vermouth, Cointreau, lemon juice

and Angostura bitters (£9.50). They arrive in

delicate glasses, the kind my

grandmother had in her postprohibition

drinks cabinet,

and we sip their delicious if

slightly eyewatering contents.

If wine is more your thing,

the list offers upwards of 500

choices, with something to

suit every palate and pocket.

Flicking through the menu,

I spy everything from a £24

bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon

through to a 2006 Vérité, Le

Désir from Sonoma County,

a snip at £1070. We’ve only just finished

our cocktails and, mindful of the morning

after (and our modest funds), we ask our

server to suggest something with a relatively

low alcohol level. He points us towards a

Teroldego Rotaliano from Northern Italy

(£19/carafe), which turns out to be an excellent

recommendation.

As the name suggests, this place is all about

the drinks, but there is a small, carefullyconsidered

menu of cheese and charcuterie

and a few plats du jour to choose from. We

select a plate of five cheeses (£15) and an

Italian burrata with rosemary olive oil (£6.75),

and savour their distinctly different flavours

as we sip our wine.

Several very enjoyable hours slip by and, when

we eventually ask for the bill, it arrives with a

complimentary digestif (something herbal and

heady to fortify us against the chill outside).

We slip out into an inky black night having

enjoyed a thoroughly civilised evening.

Lizzie Lower

10 St George’s Place and 87-93 Dyke Road

latelierduvin.co.uk

....79....


RECIPE

.............................

Photo by Rowena Easton

....80....


RECIPE

.............................

Gran Stead’s ginger and

spiced mulled wine

Chris Knox lets us into the secret of a tasty Christmas tipple

This whole business started back in 1994,

when my father Len couldn’t get hold of his

favourite non-alcoholic ginger wine, which

he used to buy in a shop in Shoreham. He

loved the taste, and sorely missed it.

He learnt that the lady who used to make it

had given up due to family commitments.

He contacted her, and found out that the

Mellow Ginger she’d been making was an

old family recipe handed down from her

grandmother, Christina Stead, who lived in

the nineteenth century, in Middleton-in-

Teesdale, in County Durham.

Len and my mother Dot acquired the recipe

for the Mellow Ginger, and started making

what they called Gran Stead’s Ginger, at

home, and selling it at craft fairs, farmers’

markets, and beyond.

Today it’s my wife Rosemary and I who run

the business, from a local farm in Mile Oak.

Our products are pasteurised and natural,

without artificial additives or preservatives.

As well as the original Mellow Ginger wine

we now produce a ‘Fiery’ version which has

reduced sugar and more ginger, as well as

a Spiced Ginger Punch. To complement

the range we have added Lemonade with

Ginger, Blackcurrant with Ginger, and

a Still Lemonade. We sell it at selected

stockists all over the south of England, and

also online, along with some export.

Many of our customers are ginger devotees

who value our ginger drinks as a deeply

delicious way to enjoy the health benefits

they associate with this ancient spice. Some

report that ginger eases sore throats, has

a soothing effect on the digestion, lessens

joint pain and may even help protect against

the common cold!

All our drinks are non-alcoholic, but can

be used in conjunction with alcohol if you

fancy a gingery tipple. A classic is a whisky

mac, which is simply a tot of whisky mixed

with ginger wine, mellow or fiery to taste.

Gran Stead’s is also a good mix with rum

and orange juice, and brandy and apple

juice.

But at Christmas time, especially if you

have some guests over, we’d recommend you

trying some Gran Stead’s ginger and spiced

mulled wine, which will certainly warm you

up from the inside out.

Method: In a large saucepan add the

following ingredients: one bottle of red wine

(nothing fancy, mulling wine will do); half a

bottle of Gran Stead’s Ginger Wine (mellow

or fiery, to taste); 1 litre of cranberry juice;

8oz brown sugar; the grated peel of a lime;

1 orange, cut into thin slices, 4-5 cloves; 2

sticks of cinnamon.

Gently bring to the boil, and simmer for

about ten minutes, allowing the spices to

infuse. Serve warm… with or without a

mince pie. Cheers!

As told to Alex Leith

gransteadsginger.co.uk

....81....


FOOD

.............................

What The Pitta

Subversive kebabs

Billed as ‘good karma kebabs’, What The Pitta

is a healthier proposition for any fans of fast

food. I choose the vegan doner kebab (£7.95):

the faux meat, made of soya, is delicious. It tastes as indulgent as the real thing, but more carefully

seasoned and less greasy. The salad is fresh and plentiful, while the pitta is warmer and fluffier than

typical kebab shop fare.

Molly chooses the Mezze Box (£7.95), which can be ordered with falafel or vegan doner. She loves the

spicy chilli, couscous, olives, red cabbage, lettuce, onion, parsley and lemon, enjoying the “well thought

out, complementary flavours”. We share a portion of hot, tasty French fries (£3.50), which come with a

choice of several dips: the garlic mayo is atypically subtle and we polish it off.

All the portions are generous; in hindsight we didn’t need our side of falafel and hummus (£4) but the

large pot of hummus is irresistible: far more chickpea than tahini, and satisfyingly chunky. And in a

subversive twist on kebab shop norms, alcohol is available! We sample some East London Brewing pale

ales: crisp, cold 500ml bottles at £4.50, with no service charge, is strikingly good value. Joe Fuller

14 East St, whatthepitta.com

Join us at The Salt Room or The Coal Shed

throughout December for a festive

CHRISTMAS

FESTIVE MENUS

celebration.

GROUP DINING

& PRIVATE DINING

Enquire about availability at www.saltroom-restaurant.co.uk and www.coalshed-restaurant.co.uk


All the ingredients

for a 100% organic

Christmas

Veg, meat & all the trimmings

delivered free to your door

01953 859980

riverford.co.uk

FOOD

.............................

A-news bouche

There is a sleighload of workshops on offer

this month, including a festive cheese and wine

class with Patrick McGuigan and Bolney Wine

Estate (6th, 7pm to 9pm), a mini stollen and

truffle class (8th, 2pm to 5pm), and a festive

brunch session (14th, 10am to 12.30pm), all at

The Community Kitchen. Plus more stollen

(9th, 2pm to 6pm), yule

logs (10th, 2pm

to 6pm) and

Christmas

biscuits (2nd,

2pm to 6pm) at

Cookbookbake.

Never Alone meet-ups give you a chance

to get a warm drink, a slice of cake and the

opportunity to meet new friends at The

Bevy (3rd, 10am to 12.30pm) and the Costa

in Tesco on Church Road

(5th, 2pm to 3pm). And

congratulations to

Be Chocolat, who

are presenting an

exclusive range of vegan

chocolates at Selfridges.

After two successful years in

London, ‘immersive cocktail experience’

Alcotraz has arrived in

Brighton at 13 Kings Rd.

Inmates descend into a

secret basement, have

their mugshots taken in

orange jumpsuits, and are

then treated to illicit cocktails

from bootleggers, aka mixologists.

....83....


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From left to right: Greta and the Giants, City Books, £4.99 (rrp £6.99); Wooden trees,

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The Black and Blum food flask, £29.95, Store Next Door; Justine silk knicker, £38,

Ayten Gasson; Lace single ring, £37, Arabel Lebrusen


From left to right: Christmas tree linocut, £30, bird linocut, £25 from Jules Emporium; brush, razor and face

cloth, £33.50, Barnes and Binns; mustard linen lampshade, from £80, Lume lighting; enamel espresso mugs,

£4.99 each, Utility; Olverum dry body oil, £36, Wick; Alice Barnes oxidised silver pleated studs, £48, Brass

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From left to right: A4 portfolio in ‘Charleston Scumble’ pattern, £30, Charleston; gardening mug,

£40, Castor & Pollux; Citix60 city guides, £8.95 each, Magazine Brighton; mittens by Sally Nencini,

£32, Atelier 51; embellished silk scarf, £165, Sophie Darling; Lucie Kaas Kokeshi dolls, £35 each,

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brass monkeys


FEATURE

.............................

Meetup groups

A connection is made

Move over internet dating; the online

matchmaking service of the moment is all about

picking up platonic pals.

Meetup is a website used by 35 million users

to meet new people and learn new things –

including thousands in Brighton and Hove.

“I think it’s a good way to meet other people –

sometimes it can be difficult socialising if you

don’t like pubs, and my tours provide a social,

fun and educational way of getting out more,”

says Nick Richmond, who runs Guided Walking

Tours in Brighton and Sussex, the biggest

meetup group in Brighton, with more than

6,000 members.

Some groups are using their collective power

as a force for good, like The Social Society

Brighton, who share knowledge, skills and

time to raise funds for local charities, with

social events from beachside music pop-ups to

workshops and meals out which aim to connect

people and reduce isolation.

Members “get a sense of belonging, new friends.

Happiness increases as a result of connecting

with other like-minded individuals. They

also enjoy giving back to amazing charities in

Brighton and Hove,” explains founder Toni

Finnimore.

Making friends in a new country can be

challenging, but International Friends in

Brighton and Hove offers its 2,800 members the

chance to practise conversational skills and have

a few drinks, as well as excursions and day trips.

“We emphasise fun and friendship: people like

the tours because they tell me it’s something

they would like to do but wouldn’t have done on

their own,” explains organiser Alexa. “Being an

international group, we welcome everyone from

every culture.”

While some groups are all about having fun,

others offer “an antidote to the fast-paced,

reactive world virtually all of us are caught up

in to some degree”, says Muzammal, who runs

the Emotional Decluttering and Renewal –

Gatherings group.

“Most of the meetings have had a key theme,

like letting go of a past relationship, clarity

around meaningful work, or being a conscious

change-maker; those participating come because

that particular theme resonates with where their

life is at in that given moment,” he explains.

“Each gathering is thought through to help

members to slow down, undo knots and come

out feeling renewed and more whole.”

According to Brighton Pub Boardgamers’ Simon

Appleton, games’ universal appeal means his

group’s members include students, pensioners

and even the odd teenager with a parent in tow.

“For those who are nervous about coming along,

or a little socially anxious, playing a boardgame

is great – it gives you something in common to

talk about,” he notes.

Organiser Pia Honey says most of the 2000+

members of Sociable Brighton Singles are up

for a good time, and sometimes love finds a

way. “Most turn up alone to the first one, and

very quickly join in. It’s lovely to watch people

come out of themselves,” she says. “If you’re

looking for a partner, then that’s great as you

know everyone attending should be single; it’s

safer and better than online dating as you get to

watch others in a natural environment.”

Ellie Evans

....89....


MY SPACE

.............................

Ben Szobody

Projects Development Manager at One Church

One Church is so called because there were

originally two Baptist churches: this one on

Gloucester Place joined with Florence Road,

where the Sunday services continue, and together

became One Church.

That left the church with room to be flexible

and inclusive inside an historic space in the

city centre. Dave Steell, the minister who came

to Brighton around ten years ago, had a vision

to be of service to the city and wanted to reach

out to marginalised people. We didn’t have a lot

of money to get things going so we had to get

creative. We started opening up the space, taking

out the fixed pews and reusing the wood. We

were respectful but not too sentimental. People

were desperate for affordable, socially-minded

community spaces and so that’s been the focus of

this building for the last six years.

We use the space for our inhouse charity and

social projects. Those include Pro Baristas:

a project that links unemployed people with

jobs in the speciality coffee business. We train

them in all aspects of barista work and offer

longer-term mentoring and support where it’s

needed. We’ll have engaged over 350 people in

that project this year and work with most of the

quality coffee companies in Sussex. We have also

opened the building as a homeless night shelter

in the winter months and for Chomp, our

holiday lunch club for low income families (see

pg25), amongst others.

Other organisations also rent the space.

Groups like Justlife who work with people in

emergency and temporary accommodation, and

the Real Junk Food Project – who rescue surplus

food – run a Friday lunch club. It’s possibly the

biggest one of its kind in the country, serving up

to 200 hundred people each week. We also hire

the space out for weddings and events. We’ll

host 30 gigs during the three days of the Great

....90....


MY SPACE

.............................

Escape festival. It’s a diverse and busy timetable.

We also manage the weekly Florence Road

Market from here. It’s been running for seven

years now. As well as having an amazing range

of traders, we run a coffee bar staffed by our

trainee baristas and sell produce from Rock

Farm, our six-acre community garden up near

Steyning. Around 900 people will have accessed

Rock Farm this year for a volunteer day or some

sort of therapeutic opportunity.

For me, this place epitomises what a church

should be in today’s society. Not a place that

necessarily forces people into a system of religious

belief but a place that asks, ‘how can we be

of use, as open-minded and as open-handed as

possible?’ We’re very outward looking and the

people who use the building are an expression

of that.

Speaking as an American, we don’t have

spectacular buildings like this in the US. In

the UK there’s one in every second street. It

seems crazy that they are locked up most of the

week. It needs some creative thinking to ask

how these buildings can be of most use to the

city. It could be transformational.

As told to Lizzie Lower

onechurchbrighton.org

Photos by Lizzie Lower

....91....


SANTA S

TOY FACTORY

Opens 23rd November 2019

SOUTH DOWNS

NURSERIES & GARDEN CENTRE

BOOK

ONLINE

NOW

NEW animated displays for 2019!

Meet Santa and receive a gift

From £6.50 per child

Last year we raised £23k+ for The Budding Foundation

Book online at www.thebuddingfoundation.co.uk

(charity no. 1155335)

A273 Brighton Road HASSOCKS

Sussex BN6 9LY 01273 845232

www.tatesofsussex.co.uk

SANTA’S

NEW Grotto experience for 2019!

Meet Santa and receive a gift

£9.50 per child

BOOK

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Raising money for The Budding Foundation (charity no. 1155335)

Book online at www.thebuddingfoundation.co.uk

OLD BARN

NURSERIES & GARDEN CENTRE

A24 Dial Post, HORSHAM

Sussex RH13 8NR 01403 710000

www.tatesofsussex.co.uk


FAMILY

.........................

Dad La Soul

Robot-making, lego battles and drum ’n’ bass

When Dan O’Flanagan

gave up his job as a

senior analyst in order

to become a ‘stayat-home’

dad to his

young son, he didn’t

realise that one of the

biggest challenges he’d

face would be isolation.

“We’d just moved from

Brighton to Worthing

and I didn’t know many people there,” he explains.

“I’d walk to the park and see other dads standing

there on their own looking at their phones. The

mums would be chatting to each other but we

didn’t seem to know how to do it. It was embarrassing

to admit, but I was lonely.”

He decided to take matters into his own hands

and founded Dad La Soul, a monthly social group

especially for fathers to attend with their children.

“I wanted to do something that would give dads

a chance to get together, but rather than standing

in a church hall drinking weak orange squash,

why not do robot-making, rap battles, stand-up

comedy? I wanted to create a place where I could

stick on the Stone Roses, or some drum ‘n’ bass,

and have a Lego battle with my kid.”

Dad La Soul now counts some 500 members on

its Facebook page and is attended by fathers of all

varieties. “It’s not just stay-at-home dads, we have

dads that commute all week; step-dads; gay dads

going through the adoption process; blended families;

dads that don’t see their kids regularly. And it’s

not just for dads with very young children either.

Some come along with babies in slings to have a

coffee, watch old episodes of He-Man and have a

chat while others are

dads to 12 year-olds.”

After two years in

Worthing, a new

group launched

last month in Hove

co-working space

Platf9rm. “We had

over 80 dads and kids

there. It was so popular

we actually had

to shut the door. The Brighton group is already

bigger than the one I run in Worthing and, being

Brighton, it’s a little bit funkier too,” says Dan,

who’s already tapping up the talent pool of local

tech entrepreneurs in the hopes of offering virtual

reality headsets or 3D printing at future editions.

“But beneath all the fun we’re tackling some

serious issues,” he goes on. “This is a place where

dads can put their hands up and say they’re struggling

– that they’re lonely, or having a hard time at

work, or worried that they’re not seeing enough of

their kids.” Dan hopes the groups will help change

the wider conversations about fatherhood too.

“Our aim is to have these clubs in towns and cities

around the country with the idea that once we have

a national voice, we can start influencing public

policy – from increasing paternity leave to ensuring

that baby-changing facilities aren’t only in women’s

toilets.” I wonder if he feels he’s become a better

dad for his involvement in Dad La Soul? “I’m still

learning,” he says. “I’m a co-parent to a seven-yearold

and there are always new challenges. But it’s

good to have other dads to learn alongside.”

Nione Meakin

totrockinbeats.com/Dad-La-Soul

....93....


Join the 1,500 who

already own a share in

Lewes Football Club.

They want to support

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- 100% community-owned

- A non-profit Community Benefit Society

- The only football club in the world

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You can become a Lewes FC owner, too,

for as little as £40/year

www.lewesfc.com/owners

It takes less than 60 seconds to sign up.

Your help will make a difference. Join us.

#JoinTheClub


FEATURE

.............................

All together now

Why joining groups is good for your body and soul

An audience of strangers

gathers at the University

of Sussex to hear a choir.

What they don’t realise

is that they are about to

become the performers.

Within just a few minutes

professional choir director

Siggi Mwasote has them

clicking their fingers and

belting out the gospel song Let it Shine. For

everyone it’s joyous, harmonious and bonding.

The event, Singing for Wellbeing, was organised

by the university’s Centre for Innovation and

Research in Wellbeing (CIRW) to demonstrate

the positive effects of singing in a group.

It included a presentation by Dr Sarah Andersen,

a Herstmonceux GP who found that those

among her patients who joined a choir set up

by her practice experienced multiple benefits,

including improved memory, higher self-esteem

and fewer medical reasons to visit to her surgery.

Social prescribing – a move towards prescribing

specific social activities for patients in addition

to or as a replacement for drug therapy – is

now a key part of the National Health Service’s

personal care plan, and CIRW researcher Anna

Ridgewell is keen to see just how effective this is

as a way of improving well-being.

She points out that multiple studies have shown

how having strong social relationships, such as

belonging to a choir or being part of a sports

team, significantly increases your life expectancy

and is on a par healthwise with not smoking.

“I know from personal experience that singing

in a choir is very uplifting,” she says. “You can

feel the energy in the room. But choirs are

predominantly female. And it tends to be mostly

white, middle-class women who join them.”

The challenge, she says,

is ensuring there’s access

for all to these activities

without creating barriers.

“Sometimes it’s a matter of

using the right language.

For example, I heard

about a yoga class that

was organised for single

mums in a deprived area of

Brighton that didn’t have any takers until they

renamed it ‘Stretching and relaxing’.”

While family networks, religion and shared

working environments were some of the

traditional ways for communities to develop,

now it seems we need a little artificial

intervention to bring us together.

One of the organisations CIRW works with, the

Sussex Community Development Association,

created a project to give more than a thousand

socially-disadvantaged people the opportunity

to go on organised walks on the South Downs.

Anna says: “These were people who wouldn’t

have had the opportunity to get out to these

open spaces. The results showed that not

only did all those who took part feel a greater

connectedness and see their physical health

improve, but many also became volunteers.

They felt able to give something back to the

community and to sustain the project.

“We know that social isolation is bad for your

mental health and wellbeing and yet people are

living more isolated lives. Communities aren’t

forged in the same way that they once were.

Interventions like this may seem an artificial way

of starting that process, but it doesn’t need to be

any less impactful.” Jacqui Bealing

Find out more about CIRW at: sussex.ac.uk/

socialwork/cirw/, twitter.com/CIRW_Sussex

....95....


We wish you a

Merry Christmas!

vivamagazines.com


WILDLIFE

.............................

Robin

Everyone’s favourite festive psychopath

Illustration by Mark Greco

Americans have chosen to align themselves with

a mighty eagle. India have elected the elegant

peacock. But we’ve voted an antisocial, territorial

ball of anger as our national bird. So, what is it

about the Robin that us Brits find so endearing?

That famous orange-red breast, a flaming

flash of feathers in a bland back garden of

Blackbirds, Sparrows and Starlings is certainly

striking. Those disproportionately large eyes

give Robins a cute ‘face’ but are useful for a

bird which hunts for beetles and worms under

bushes in low light levels.

They’re cheeky little beggars. As we kneel,

weeding in the mud, they’ll hop along hoping

for a castaway worm. Elsewhere in Europe

Robins avoid human contact and inhabit dark

forests where they follow feeding boars as they

dig in the soil. To a robin we’re just big pigs in

gardening gloves.

Surely the greatest coup that the Robin has

pulled off is cornering the lucrative Christmas

market. Especially considering the only other

bird we associate with Christmas is beheaded

and stuffed into an oven at gas mark 4. This

Christmas connection is linked to the red

tunic plumage of Victorian postmen. Robins

were pictured carrying the post on the earliest

Christmas cards and since then have joined

Santa and snowmen as Christmas A-listers.

Attractive, friendly and festive – everyone loves

a Robin. Well everyone it seems apart from

other Robins. Robins hate other Robins. They’re

highly territorial and, once invisible boundaries

have been established, Robins will rule their

kingdom like feathered Führers. They’ll sing

their washing-line war cries from dawn to dusk

or patrol the garden noisily tick-tick-ticking

like a tiny timebomb. Female Robins are just as

tyrannical and will also sing and scuffle; unusual

amongst female birds. Robins will fight off

other birds – no matter what colour – but, when

a Robin sees red, it sees red. Robins will peck,

scratch, batter and kick any other Robin that

puts as much as a feather across the line. Behind

that red breast beats the black heart of a ruthless

killing machine. Fatalities are common.

For the past few months this front lawn turf

war has intensified, but around Christmas there

are subtle signs of a ceasefire. The song of the

Robin becomes more hopeful and in the bleak

midwinter something remarkable happens;

Robins unexpectedly and temporarily fall in

love. For a brief period courting couples can be

seen feeding alongside each other. As we enter

the New Year, this peace agreement ends and

it’s back to brutal business as usual. But these

Christmas couples are now ‘engaged’ and will reunite

to form a family in the spring. For Robins,

Christmas is a time for peace, hope and worms.

Here’s hoping you have a similar Christmas full

of peace and hope. As for the worms? I’m sure

we’ll all open a whole new can in 2020.

Michael Blencowe, Senior Learning and Engagement

Officer, Sussex Wildlife Trust

....97....


INSIDE LEFT: GOLDSTONE LANE, DECEMBER 1911

.......................................................................................

Until the late 1950s a full round of football

fixtures was played on Christmas Day, and in this

photo, taken by Thomas Wiles, we can see the

crowds flooding down Goldstone Lane after the

match between Brighton and Hove Albion and

Northampton Town, at the Goldstone Ground in

Hove, on December 25th, 1911.

There is no record of how big the attendances

were in those days, but you can see from the

crowded nature of the street that there must have

been at least a few thousand. The Albion moved

to the Goldstone in 1902, and soon built a new

stand capable of seating 1,800 fans behind the

south goal, to complement the open-air wooden

seating opposite, and the ramshackle West Stand,

which remained in place till 1958. Most of the

spectators stood on mud banks on the east side

of the ground – the ‘chicken run’ - behind picket

fences. There was a pond behind the north goal,

into which all the rainwater from the Old Shoreham

Road used to drain.

It’s interesting to see the well-dressed nature of

the crowd, with a smattering of (middle-class)

bowler hats among the flat caps favoured by

working men. Then, as now, it’s mostly grown

men in attendance, though two women are prominent,

one of whom is leading two small children

by the hand. I wonder how many are going back

to a turkey supper.

In those days Brighton were playing in the Southern

League First Division, in effect the third tier

of the footballing pyramid. They were enjoying a

good season, and eventually finished a creditable

fifth out of 20. The crowd will be happy, because

the Albion, according to the Dec 29th, 1911

edition of the Sussex Express, ‘won by two goals

to one, Goodwin and Smith scoring, the latter

from a penalty’. It was customary to play the same

opposition on Boxing Day, and the Albion players

had to travel all the way up to Northampton on

the 26th, where they suffered a 1-0 defeat.

The Albion played their football at the Goldstone

Ground until 1997 when, shamefully, it was sold

off by majority shareholder, Bill Archer. It was

demolished and an ugly retail park was built in

its place. It wasn’t until 2011/12 that the club

regained a permanent home at the splendid Amex

Stadium in Falmer. Alex Leith

With thanks to Regency Society for letting us use

this image from the James Gray Collection.

....98....


Brighton and Hove Calendar 2020 - The Final Edition.

New images plus a selection from the first 19 calendars - as chosen by the public.

Loved by locals, sent to friends around the world.

£8.99 or 2 for £15

Local Event Dates.

Six pages of

historic shots added.

16 photographers.

67 Photos.

Seasonal Sales Home

Outside Waikikamookau

11 Kensington Gardens

North Laine

BN1 4AL

Brighton Photography Gallery

West of the i360

52-53 Kings Roads Arches

BN1 2LN

Please note: we do NOT

have a stall in

Churchill Square this year.

www.brightoncalendar.com

City Books

23 Western Road

Hove

BN3 1AF


alistairflemingdesign.co.uk

01273 471269

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