21st and 22nd March 2020 at
The All Saints Centre, Lewes
SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Steve Richards, presenter
of The Week in Westminster on BBC Radio
4; Tom Watson, former Deputy Leader of
the Labour Party; Jack Straw, former Foreign
Secretary; Polly Toynbee, the star Guardian
columnist; David Walker, former Director of
Public Reporting at the Audit Commission; Ken Livingstone, former Mayor
of London; Annabel Streets and Susan Saunders, Founders of the The Age-
Well Project: Ways to a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life; Theodore Dalrymple,
conservative writer and former prison psychiatrist and doctor; Alison Weir,
the biggest-selling female historian in the UK; Simon Heffer; the nationallyrenowned
journalist, author and political commentator for the Telegraph and
Spectator; Norman Baker, former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
for Transport, then Minister of State for Crime Prevention; Lord Howell,
former Minister of State for Northern Ireland, and Secretary of State for
Energy; Lord Tugendhat, former European Commissioner and Chairman
of Abbey National; Asa Bennett, Brexit Commissioning Editor at the
Telegraph; John Hemming, former Director of the Royal Geographical Society.
Single Tickets: £12.50 for each talk. Day/Festival reductions also available.
Call the Box Office on: 0333 666 3366
I’m so pleased our cover artist, Emma West, included the blue box of flowers down on
Lewes Station in her composition. My heart always lifts at sight of that – as my train
pulls in – and I think it works beautifully as a symbol of ‘care’. In this issue there are
plenty of other similar ‘islands’.
Damian Norman, in his work as Funeral Director at Coopers, tends to our dead,
and bereaved. Andrea Januszewska, at the Phoenix Centre, and Keith Stenning at
the House of Friendship, to our older living. The good folk at Victoria Hospital, on
occasion, probably, tend to us all. Meanwhile, Priory School, as part of its work with
our young, reaches out into the community: Deputy Head Julian Ashworth explains
why, and what’s needed.
We remember Jim ‘The Fish’ Smith: no one cared more for the River Ouse. While
Trevor Weeks cares for our hurt and damaged wildlife. And Diana Uprichard is
increasingly convinced we should all learn to mend, as “part of the solution”.
Mebrak Ghebreweldi cares for communication: through Vandu Language Services,
she’s spent the last 20 years helping people communicate across languages. This year’s
Brighton Festival Guest Director Lemn Sissay also cares about words, and people’s
stories. “Art is for everyone,” he stresses.
I love Peter James Field’s review of the new Shani Rhys James exhibition at Charleston:
‘Heartbreak and tension lurk beneath the surface of polite domesticity’. Artists tend
to our other stories…
EDITOR: Charlotte Gann firstname.lastname@example.org
SUB-EDITOR: David Jarman
PRODUCTION EDITOR: Joe Fuller email@example.com
ACTING ART DIRECTOR: Rebecca Cunningham firstname.lastname@example.org
ADVERTISING: Sarah Hunnisett, Amanda Meynell email@example.com
EDITORIAL / ADMIN ASSISTANT / HAND MODEL: Kelly Mechen firstname.lastname@example.org
DISTRIBUTION: David Pardue email@example.com
CONTRIBUTORS: Stewart Allum, Michael Blencowe, Hasia Curtis, Peter James Field,
Mark Greco, Anita Hall, John Henty, Robin Houghton, Eleanor Knight, Dexter Lee, Alex Leith,
Lizzie Lower, Carlotta Luke, Nione Meakin, Galia Pike, Janet Sutherland and Emma West.
PUBLISHER: Becky Ramsden firstname.lastname@example.org
Viva Lewes is based at Lewes House, 32 High St, Lewes, BN7 2LX, all enquiries 01273 488882
EASTER SUNDAY & MONDAY
12 th & 13 th April 2020
Tickets start at just £14
7 Great Races Free
Concessions Live Music
Restaurant & Horse Hoppers
Hospitality Easter Egg
Plus Much More
Tel. 01273 890383 email@example.com
THE ‘CARE’ ISSUE
Photo by Rachael Edwards
Bits & bobs.
8-31. Cover artist Emma West on caring
for nature; funeral director Damian
Norman on the Lewes he knows; Photo of
the month cotton wool cloud; the sweetest
Iris; Trevor Weeks on rescuing wildlife;
Charity box for Red Cross; Priory School’s
Careers Programme – can you help?
Book reviews of Climate Change: A Very
Peculiar History, and the latest Frogmore
Papers; coming up in May – Lemn Sissay’s
Brighton Festival; and special offers
to Charleston Festival; Five minutes
with Phoenix Centre manager Andrea
Januszewska; win tickets to Firle Garden
Show; Carlotta Luke wants to wake up
in The Grain Store; and Craig’s hidden
33-37. David Jarman enjoys Jeeves
and Wooster; Eleanor Knight disdains
women’s magazines; and John Henty asks
take care, or Take That?
On this month.
39-51. LOS tackles the topicality of
Sweeney Todd; Fiona Sampson talks
biography at The Lewes Lit; Polly
Toynbee joins the line-up at Lewes
Speakers Festival; The Dream of
Gerontius and Lewes singers; a Family
Fun Day at the Railway Land; Dexter
Lee’s film round-up; and a new digital
festival appears in Hastings.
52-59. Shani Rhys James’ paintings at
Charleston; Art and about with Julian Le
Bas, Rue Asher, East Sussex Collage at
Fabrica, and others; and 100 First Women
Portraits at Brighton Museum.
THE ‘CARE’ ISSUE
61-71. Diary dates, including a preview of
Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense;
Gig listings, plus Gig of the month is
a jazz double bill in aid of Oyster; and
Classical round-up Pick of the month is
Lewes Concert Orchestra performing
73-76. Alex Leith loves his weekly lunch
at Pestle and Mortar; Nathalie at Irma’s
Kitchen serves up delicious Lo Mein; and
John Henty chooses the best custard at the
House of Friendship.
The way we work.
78-81. Photographer Bethany Hobbs
visits some of the good people at Victoria
Hospital, and asks them about kindness.
83-93. Mebrak Ghebreweldi of Vandu
Language Services; Diana of Dolly
Clothing on how we should all learn to
mend; LFC goalie Nathan Stroomberg;
Jim ‘The Fish’ Smith remembered;
Michael Blencowe remembers his friend
Alf and the frogs Alf loved; Alex Leith goes
Photo by Bethany Hobbs
Photo by John Henty
106. What was The Shelleys during
We plan each magazine six weeks ahead, with a mid-month
advertising/copy deadline. Please send details of planned events
to firstname.lastname@example.org, and for any advertising queries:
email@example.com, or call 01273 488882.
Remember to recycle your Viva.
Every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of our content.
Viva Lewes magazine cannot be held responsible for any omissions,
errors or alterations. The views expressed by columnists do not
necessarily represent the view of Viva Magazines.
Viva retains copyright for any artwork we create.
Love me or recycle me. Illustration by Chloë King
HEAR TALKS FROM
VANESSA WRIGHT: OWNER OF BRIGHTON’S MOST LOVED SLOW FASHION BOUTIQUE
GEMMA OGSTON: PUBLISHED PLANT BASED CHEF AND SUPPERCLUB STAR
SUSIE MACMILLAN: AWARD WINNING FARMER AND CHICKEN MOTHER
ROWAN PELLING: BROADCASTER, JOURNALIST AND EDITOR OF THE EROTIC REVIEW
Sat 25th April
The Macs Farm, Ditchling, Sussex, BN6 8GT. 2-6pm
Tickets £30 from www.sussexhive.co.uk
THIS MONTH’S COVER ARTIST
This month’s cover artist, Emma West, cares a
lot about caring. “Not just in terms of caring for
people, but for the environment too. Most of my
work focuses on nature, particularly local wildlife,
and plants. My aim is to reflect on how beautiful,
strange, yet so fragile the natural world is. And
most importantly, how vital it is.”
Emma takes a lot of her inspiration from beloved
children’s illustrators such as Raymond Briggs,
Beatrix Potter, Judith Kerr, and Tove Jansson,
as well as from the illustrations in RSPB bird
spotter guides. She enjoys watching videos of
David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg, and
has written and illustrated her own book, Mother
Nature Has A Cold, with a view to hopefully
changing some hearts and minds herself.
“I had this idea of a character – Mother Nature
– wandering across the world. She helps plants
grow; she makes sure animals are thriving. One
day she starts to feel ill and gets cold symptoms,
due to climate change: fossil fuels being burned,
trees getting cut down... It’s only through humans
acting to protect the planet that she starts
to feel better. She’s completely green at first, but
as she gets sick she starts to go grey, kind of like a
Emma graduated with a degree in illustration
from the University of Portsmouth in 2019, and
has been “plucking up the courage” to send her
book to publishers. (So any interested parties
should get in touch!) She grew up in Seaford and
took part in last year’s Artwave as part of the Onneke
Studio & Shop on the High Street, where
she used to work.
She picked up the nickname (Emma the Llama)
that she uses for her website and social media
channels while attending Lewes Old Grammar
School. “It was partly because I had really
long, ringlety hair that got a bit fuzzy and frizzy
sometimes. Me and a friend joked that it was
like a llama coat. I latched onto it and grew very
fond of it, and haven’t changed it since!”
The cover was created on Procreate for the iPad,
which includes a convincing, digital watercolour
brush that Emma’s used for the background.
“The idea was to combine people doing things
in their day-to-day life that benefit local wildlife,
with people who help others such as nurses and
I recognise the box of plants in the centre of
the illustration. Much like her Mother Nature
character, Emma seems to draw nourishment
from the natural world. “Whenever I go through
Lewes on the train, I always see someone tending
to the plants in the community gardens. It’s my
favourite bit of the station.” Joe Fuller
Emma is available for illustration commissions,
specialising in animal portraiture.
A&R. House & Home
Buying and selling property is nerve-racking for
seasoned movers and first-time buyers alike.
If house-hunting is on your agenda this spring, you need a
conveyancing team that has the legal expertise and experience
to guide you through the process and quickly deal with any
issues along the way.
We combine a very personal service with efficiency to make
buying or selling as quick and straightforward as possible.
Call us on the number below or drop in to our office at Trinity
House on School Hill in Lewes.
We look forward to working with you.
Adams & Remers LLP
Lewes: 01273 480616
London: 020 7024 3600
Personalised and supportive,
LEGAL 500 DIRECTORY
Photo by Charlotte Gann
MY LEWES: DAMIAN NORMAN
You work as Funeral Director at Cooper &
Son, in the High Street. What led you here?
I fell into the industry by complete chance. I was
a taxi driver in Brighton and I saw a small notice
in the Argus for a chauffeur bearer – someone
who drives the hearse or mourning cars, and who
carries the coffins. I applied and started working
for family firm CPJ Field, who now own Coopers
(for years this was run by funeral director Clive
Cooper). This was back in 2011 and I loved the
work. I wished I’d found the job years before.
I got more and more interested in the whole
process – from the family making that first phone
call, through to the funeral and beyond. So I
started in a training role covering a maternity
leave at Coopers, and became the Lewes office’s
Funeral Director four and a half years ago.
Were you nervous conducting your first
funeral? YES! Not helped by the fact we set out
for the crematorium in Brighton and got stuck
in horrendous traffic…
What do you like about the role? You’re
the person people are looking to for direction.
Emotions, of course, can run high and raw at
funerals. We’re here to guide people, and make
sure it all runs smoothly. It’s great meeting the
families – that sense of fulfilment that you’ve
guided a family through, in some cases, a really
painful period of their lives. Lewes is a quirky
little town, full of people from all sorts of
different backgrounds and likes and dislikes.
We never know who’s coming through the door
next, and every family brings their own unique
story. We’re also, as a company, focusing on
outreach into the community. There is more
isolation and loneliness than perhaps ever
before. So we host Never Alone coffee mornings
in Costa, for instance, and a Forget Me Not
group for people coming together from a range
of Lewes care homes.
Tell me about your Lewes. I don’t actually
live in Lewes, but I do spend my days out
and about in the town, and bump into lots of
people I’ve got to know in my role. My wife is
a Sussex girl – she grew up in Woodingdean –
though I originally came from Somerset. But
when we moved to Sussex I said ‘What about
Lewes?’ I’ve no idea why that idea popped into
my head, and it wasn’t to be – we ended up in
Saltdean – but now of course I spend most of
my days here, and am deeply involved in one
side of the life (and deaths) of the town. We
also often come over at weekends for a potter
round, and a coffee – in Carafe in Station Street,
or down at the Riverside. Funerals are evolving
all the time – today they are often much more
celebrations of a life than mourning a death. I’ve
conducted them in Lewes House, at the House
of Friendship, All Saints Centre…
What song will play at your funeral? I don’t
know – maybe something by Meat Loaf!
Interview by Charlotte Gann
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
Robin Tassie sent in this glorious, cloud-massed
photo. She wrote:
‘I took this on Monday 20th January, at around
3.30pm. I was on the RSPB land beside the
Stanley Turner rugby and cricket club.
I was out walking with my dog and the sky was
doing this crazy thing. When I turned to face
Lewes it was as if the sky had been split in two: on
one side a giant curtain of grey cloud was being
pushed aside towards Newhaven by an expanse
of clear blue. When I looked towards Kingston,
the other side of the giant curtain was a mass of
stretched cottonwool also being concertinaed by
the encroaching blue of a cold clear night.
I was transfixed and pleased that my very active
dog was happy to sit quietly and chew his ball
throughout the great sky show.’
Please send your pictures, taken in and around
Lewes, to firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet
@VivaLewes. We’ll choose one, which wins the
photographer £20, to be picked up from our office
after publication. Unless previously arranged, we
reserve the right to use all pictures in future issues
of Viva magazines or online.
MARCH OPEN DAYS
FRIDAY 6 TH & THURSDAY 19 TH
Find out more at brightongirls.gdst.net
Head of Brighton Girls
“A GDST girl is confident and fearless,
nothing will hold her back”
Tell us about your new role. I am the
new Head at Brighton Girls, one of the
founding schools of the Girls’ Day School
Where did you grow up and go to
school? Otley, West Yorkshire, so Brighton
feels familiar – I’m used to friendly people
and lovely views. Both my parents were
teachers; I went to the local state school
and then I was lucky enough to get an assisted
place at an independent school. I went
on to read English Language and Literature
at Lincoln College, Oxford.
How did your own education affect
your ethos? Being lucky enough to have an
independent education changed my life.
I really value the ethos, the freedom to
teach and learn beyond the test, the
academic stretch, the excellent care and
extra-curricular opportunities. My education
gave me confidence. I want to offer that
chance to other girls.
Tell us about Brighton Girls. We are an
all-through school in the heart of the city of
Brighton. Our innovative teaching, reimagined
classroom spaces, and keen sense of
social responsibility make this a place where
girls can learn without limits.
Do you have any notable alumnae?
Yes, many, including Suzy Menkes, Editor of
Vogue International; Karen Pickering, Olympic
swimmer; screenwriter Olivia Waring
and Lib Dem peer, Baroness Northover.
What’s your vision for the school?
I want to throw open the doors of Brighton
Girls, welcome the city in and fuse the classroom
and community. This is such an amazing,
diverse, dynamic city. It is a tech hub,
full of independent business owners, media
people, creative types, people who make
things happen. I want to harness that creative
energy and channel it into Brighton Girls.
What does Brighton offer as a learning
environment? We have a new Design
Hub that will allow girls to benefit from a
design-thinking approach to teaching that
encourages them to be active participants
in what they are learning. We are setting
up partnerships with creative businesses
in Brighton to become a truly innovative
centre of 21st century learning.
What is the GDST? The Girls’ Day
School Trust is the UK’s leading family of independent
girls’ schools. At a GDST school
academic excellence is a given but we also
develop character beyond the curriculum.
We champion girls’ education; a GDST girl
is confident and fearless, nothing will hold
Do you have a favourite place in
Brighton? Absolutely. Our new family tradition
is Friday evening fish and chips from
Wolfies of Hove.
To find out more, attend one of our Open
Days on Friday 6th and Thursday 19th March.
BITS AND DOGS
PETS OF LEWES
Iris, mongrel, around eight years old. Despite the grey hairs,
Iris’ chirpy demeanour means that she is often mistaken for a
younger dog. Owner, Sofi first met Iris when volunteering at a
shelter in Romania. Abandoned Iris had just finished a round
of chemotherapy and was so small and fragile that she couldn’t
mix with the bigger dogs as they would have seen her as prey.
As the winter approached, Sofi knew she couldn’t leave this tiny
pup braving the freezing Romanian weather without shelter.
So, six weeks later, Iris arrived in the UK, via a shady drop-off
under a grafitti-covered bridge, somewhere in deepest Kent.
Loves: beehives, cellophane, swirly writing
Hates: Hobson’s choice, Pavlov’s dog, sod’s law, Simon Says.
Iris is now a very confident little pup but hates having her nails
cut. This is a very common anxiety – your dog’s nails have
a nerve and blood supply and if they have ever been cut too
close (even once), they will remember the pain and be fearful,
even aggressive. Desensitising your dog to nail trimming takes
patience and cannot be rushed, but it is possible. @dogsoflewes
Photo by Sofi Fanton
my vet’s open
Susan Hart, Lewes.
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:
BITS AND BIRDS
EAST SUSSEX WILDLIFE RESCUE &
You’ve been doing rescue work for more than
30 years. What do you love about it? Nearly 40
now! I inherited a love of animals from my mum.
She died of cancer aged just 47, when I was 21.
My work with animals kept me going through
some very low and tough times after that. I think
I was drawn to helping wild creatures because
they don’t have owners to take care of them. And,
after finding several casualties myself, I realised
just how stretched and overworked the RSPCA,
local charities etc were. It was clear there was a
desperate need for extra help, and I thought it
was something I could provide, so I founded the
East Sussex WRAS. The job can be physically and
emotionally demanding and require long hours.
But being able to help a creature – knowing that
otherwise it would have died slowly and suffered
horrifically – it’s a great feeling. When you get to
see a casualty go back to the wild it’s one of the
best feelings ever.
How many rescues do you conduct an
average week? What are typical situations?
We average 80 rescues a week. During quiet
times (often autumn and winter months) it can
be as few as one or two a day, but during the
height of summer it can average 20 or even 40.
Cats are common culprits. We also get many
road casualties, window strikes, entanglements in
fishing lines and hooks. The early winter is taken
up mainly with hedgehogs too small to hibernate;
spring and summer with young birds who’ve
fallen out of nests. Winter sees many casualties
come in lethargic and debilitated as the cold
weather bites. We also frequently see oiled swans
and sea birds, and casualties shot illegally – by
catapults, blow darts, cross bows and air rifles.
Why do you run courses? Because there is
a role in wildlife rescue for members of the
public? There’s a lot of misconception around
the subject. Wild animals are not the same as
domesticated ones. You might imagine a rabbit
that sits still in your arms is calm and relaxed
as you hold and stroke it. Not so. In reality, it’s
scared stiff. We’ve known animals drop dead
from terror in people’s arms. So… we’d like to
steer people away from making some common
mistakes – including feeding milk to baby
birds and hedgehogs. We’d also like to educate
the public into what to expect when a rescue
organisation turns up – so nothing comes as
a surprise, and you’re more likely to help not
hinder. We run a couple of day courses each
month, plus a series of evening courses. But they
do book up, so think ahead. We’re also happy to
arrange specific dates for five or six people, if a
group wants to come along. Check the website
Charlotte Gann interviewed Trevor Weeks MBE,
Founder & Operations Director
Courses in Sussex
The Link Centre is a friendly, relaxed professional learning environment, running flexible
part-time weekend courses and supporting students in gaining professional accredited
qualifications at national and international level.
We also run short courses including Counselling Skills, Understanding Self & Others
(TA101), Supervision Diploma, and other CPD workshops.
Free Talk and Open Evenings – 7pm-9pm:
18th March – Cultivating Happiness
13th May – Eating Disorders
1st July – Personality Disorders
Open to all, plus the opportunity to talk to
tutors, staff and students.
Based at Plumpton College, East Sussex.
To find out more, visit www.thelinkcentre.co.uk
email us on email@example.com or call us on 01892 652487
Training in Counselling & Psychotherapy ● Counselling Skills
Transactional Analysis ● Supervision ● CPD Workshops
DIAL A RIDE
COMMUNITY GROUP HIRE
LEWES TOWN BUS SERVICES
Door to door service for shopping, visiting the Doctor or Victoria Hospital, going
to the pub or to see friends and lots more!
Who can use this service? If public transport does not meet your needs, then
community transport may be the answer! The only thing we ask is that you firstly
register as a member with CTLA. Registration is free, quick, and can be done on
the telephone or online. Once registered, you can book as many journeys as you
like, up to two weeks in advance.
CTLA is a registered charity. Membership for our whole range of transport
services, is free, including our popular Travel Club – a great way to make new
friends and enjoy a day out.
Call us on 01273 517332 (Mondays to Fridays 8.30am to 3.30pm)
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org Follow us on Facebook and @CTLewesArea
CTLA (Community Transport for the Lewes Area)
Hillcrest Centre, Hillcrest Road, Newhaven, BN9 9EA
Registered Charity Number 1110215
BITS AND BOX
THE BRITISH RED CROSS
How did the Red Cross
start? The International
Red Cross and
Red Crescent (as it was
originally called) was
founded in 1863 by
Henry Dunant, who was
a Swiss businessman and
humanitarian. During the
Battle of Solferino in Italy in 1859, he helped
care for wounded soldiers, and also helped
them to get messages home to their loved ones,
knowing they weren’t going to make it back.
His awareness of their needs caused him to
set up the Red Cross. He also campaigned for
countries to adopt an international agreement
recognising the status of medical services and
of wounded soldiers, which led to the creation
of the original Geneva Convention in 1864.
The British Red Cross started in 1870 – so it’s
our 150th anniversary this year.
What does the charity do? We have lots of
different departments, helping with independent
living, provision of mobility aids, international
tracing and messaging, asylum seekers
and refugee services, as well as crisis response
to natural disasters – it’s about far more than
providing overseas aid, although that’s often
what people associate us with.
In East Sussex we provide two main services:
Assisted Discharge Service and Home from
Hospital and Carers Crisis Response. They are
closely interlinked, with the focus on providing
support to those who have come home from
hospital and offering respite to carers.
We take referrals from people themselves, as
well as from friends, neighbours, GPs, hospitals
and social care services.
How can people help?
We’re always looking
for volunteers, and there
are lots of different ways
people can get involved.
Full training is provided,
and there are no special
skills required – it’s just
about working from the
heart and wanting to help people. We’ve all
been in a situation where we’ve come out of
hospital, or know someone who has. It’s about
helping people get through a difficult time. All
you need is the ability to listen and to be there.
Our volunteers might spend a couple of hours
with someone providing companionship, or
they might help with shopping or light housework,
prepare a snack, or help with paperwork.
Sometimes it might simply be about helping
the person to rebuild their confidence as they
adjust to being back home.
With respite care, you’re offering the carer the
chance to go out without worrying about the
person back at home; giving them the peace of
mind that the person is safe, and the opportunity
for them to do something for themselves,
even if that’s just meeting a friend for a coffee.
You see them come back a different person.
How will you be celebrating your 150th
birthday? We really want to celebrate by
reaching out to more people, making our
services better known and attracting new
volunteers. They are our mainstay and we’d be
lost without them.
Anita Hall spoke to Shila Patel, Independent Living
Services Manager for Sussex, and Sophie Challis,
Service Co-ordinator for East Sussex
Call 01273 227800 or see redcross.org.uk
BITS AND JOBS
PRIORY SCHOOL’S CAREERS PROGRAMME
Priory runs a Careers
for its students.
Why? Our aim
is to help young
people get ready
to be productive
members of society,
in jobs that are
suited to their own
We aim to do that
by offering a range
thought-provoking opportunities that enable
them to explore what could work for them,
individually, as future employment. Secondary
school is part of a continuum of personal
development: it’s not just the five years that the
young people are with us that matters, it’s how
those five years can have a positive impact on
the rest of their lives.
So, what’s involved? During each academic
year there’s a major careers event for every year
group at Priory. For example, in May all our
Year 10 students head out to a week-long Work
Experience placement. We believe it’s vital
for every young person to have experience of
the world of work before they leave secondary
education. For some students this week will
crystallise ideas about specific career paths,
which means that they return to school with a
renewed focus on their studies. Others simply
get a taste, often for the first time, of what
might be expected of them in their lives after
they leave school. In the long term that helps
everyone, businesses included.
Depot is an ‘Enterprise Advisor’: what does
that involve? We’re really pleased about this:
Depot is a flagship local organisation. They
offer us guidance
on the direction of
our careers programme,
as well as
a range of practical
our students. (The
photo shows three
Priory Y10s on
their Depot placement.)
is also helping us
reach out. It hosted
an excellent Business Breakfast for Priory in
January, attended by close to 50 local businesses
who were keen to hear what we’re looking for.
How can other local businesses, and individuals,
help? On top of our core programme,
we offer myriad one-offs that may benefit one
class, or a particular group of students, and not
necessarily be repeated annually. So do get in
touch if you run, or work in, a local business,
and can come into school to talk to a group of
students, or perhaps run a workshop, or offer
anything that will deepen those students’ understanding
of the world of work. We are of course
always looking for businesses to host our Year
10 students in May, too.
Why does this matter to the whole community?
Through our careers programme we hope
to develop and enhance our links with the local
community. Priory is the only state secondary
school in the town. It sits at the heart of Lewes –
and surely it can only be a good thing if the links
between school and community are strong.
Deputy Head Julian Ashworth talked to
If you think you can help, please email Julian on
Photo by Dino Bishop
T R E AT M E N T R O O M S
M O T H E R ’ S D A Y P A M P E R I N G
Mother’s Day is Sunday 22 nd March, so why not surprise you mum with a lovely treat?
Give her a 30-minute back massage, Dermalogica Pro 30 Facial with a
Jessica File & Paint for only £78 (upgrade to a gel paint for an extra £5)
and receive a FREE gift set worth £30!
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in the beautiful Dordogne region of France
LUXURY 5* Manor House
5 day, 6 night all inclusive residential
spring & autumn photography weeks
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26 April - 2 May
11 -17 October
small groups •all levels •set in the heart of the Perigord Noir
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For more details visit the website below or call 07582938185
Les Charmes de Carlucet
BITS AND FROGS
CLIMATE CHANGE: A VERY PECULIAR HISTORY BY DAVID ARSCOTT
The peculiar histories are nutshell
guides: this one’s on a subject we
all need to care about. The book
describes the years 2020-2030 as
‘the Doomsday Decade’: ‘These ten
years are our testing time.’ Or, as Jay
Inslee, Governor of Washington, is
quoted: ‘We are the first generation
to feel the sting of climate change,
and we are the last generation that
can do something about it.’
Penned by Chailey’s David Arscott, and published
by Brighton’s Book House, this excellently
succinct account is deftly assembled. One can
feel the author’s concern as he writes. And that’s
compelling. But the guide also bulges with figures
and facts. It’s fascinating, and terrifying.
It compassionately talks us through worst (now
likely) case scenarios – such as, the ‘perfect storm’
of unrest the government’s chief
scientist Professor John Beddington
predicts, ‘as people flee from the
worst-affected regions’ – and steps
we as individuals can adopt (if you
can’t face giving up meat, suggests
Jonathan Safran Foer, why not cut it
from your breakfast and lunch?).
There are initiatives afoot to, for
instance, refreeze the poles – and
reforest the globe: that, plus a
commitment to leaving remaining fossil fuels in
the ground, seems crucial. We have the means
(technology), but lack the will (regulations).
In August last year Iceland mourned their first
departed glacier. They mounted a plaque: ‘This
monument is to acknowledge that we know what
is happening and what needs to be done. Only
you know if we did it.’ Charlotte Gann
THE FROGMORE PAPERS 95
The Frogmore Papers is published
twice a year – in March and September.
It’s edited by Lewes-based
author, poet and publisher Jeremy
Page (ably assisted by others), and
has been going (having started in
the Frogmore tearooms in Folkestone)
The latest edition – which you
can find in Skylark – is a joy. A
lovely mix of new poems, short
reviews, short (very short) stories
and artwork (this issue’s cover by Eva Bodinet;
and art inside by Leona Akehurst). Like the
best literary magazines, the inclusions speak to
I loved Catherine Smith’s short
story about a hellbent reason
for refusing to sit down, and DA
Prince’s poem about how much
of life is not online. Or David
Romanda’s funny, short, reasonable
instruction from any writer’s
family. I like spotting echoes and
connections – both in the selection
and the ordering. So, Michael
Loveday’s terrifying spin through
FASTER! FASTER! contrasts
beautifully with David Harmer’s In Dave’s Car,
which ends surprisingly (the poem’s wide shape
alone betokening otherwise), ‘I find I have little
to say.’ Charlotte Gann
ARTS AND BOBS
Photo by Brighton Festival
Lemn Sissay MBE is Brighton Festival’s 2020
Guest Director. ‘Please be open’, he invites, in the
programme. ‘There is going to be something for
you in this festival but broaden your horizons and
try something different too.’
More than 120 events are promised as part of this
year’s programme, and they’re spread across the
region – including at Glyndebourne, and the Attenborough
Centre, plus one film, Mercy Mercy, at
the Depot. There are also more free events than
ever, and tickets for under £10. Lemn’s message
reverberates: “Art is for everyone”.
‘Welcome’, reads the programme cover, ‘to the
Imagine Nation’. Events Lemn highlighted at
the launch include The Young Americans – an
exhibition of Native American Art, curated by
Bristol-based Jo Prince; Ethiopian writers Maaza
Mengiste and Aida Edemariam; jazz legend Mulatu
Astatke; and Canadian trans storyteller Ivan
Coyote. Lemn too will discuss his own memoir,
My Name is Why, with British-Eritrean writer
Hannah Azieb Pool. And Lewes poets John Agard
and Grace Nichols are also on the programme.
Lemn spoke enthusiastically about his Adopt A
Nation initiative: you’re invited to ‘adopt’ him –
for a conversation, where “you tell me one thing
you’ve learned about family…” (see the Festival
website for how this happens).
Fittingly, the Festival and Lemn were both born
in May 1967: this year promises to be a celebration.
Tickets are on sale now. Charlotte Gann
2-24 May, brightonfestival.org
CHARLESTON FESTIVAL FOR UNDER 30s
This year’s Charleston Festival in May – with headliners Salman
Rushdie, Bernardine Evaristo, and Gloria Steinem – has a new, special
offer: 1,000 tickets at £10 each for festival goers aged under 30. Box
Office opens to Friends and Supporters on 26th February, and tickets go on general sale
from Thursday 5th March. charleston.org.uk
Photo by Brighton Festival
Photo by Penelope Fewster
Pottery classes and
workshops in Lewes
BITS AND BOBS
FIVE MINUTES WITH...
Louise teaches hand building skills and
decorating techniques suitable for
beginners and those with more experience.
The next block of adult classes
begin in April, on Saturday
mornings and one evening
(TBA) per week. Cost £180
Workshops for children aged 8
and over during the Easter
break. Monday 6th and Friday
17th April. Cost £49 per child
per 3 hour session.
Andrea Januszewska grew
up in Liverpool, and
later lived in London. For
years, she worked in Supported
Housing – with
homeless young people,
offenders, addicts and victims
of domestic violence.
She moved to Lewes in
2008 and, in 2015, became manager of the
Phoenix Centre. ‘Among other things, we
provide support and respite to adults living
with Alzheimer’s, dementia, strokes and
various other age-related challenges.’
WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY? I love
meeting friends for a great coffee or
light bite in Trading Post. Erawan is my
favourite restaurant – authentically Thai,
and bring your own beer – though the
benches are a bit harsh past two hours!
Easy Design Workshops &
‘Have-A-Go’ Garden Days at
fabulous Sussex garden venues
WHAT IS YOUR TOP FILM / BOOK?
I love films and Depot is the best addition.
My all-time fave is All about Eve:
I’m a huge Bette Davis fan. I generally
read autobiographies, and loved Clive
James’ Unreliable Memoirs.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE TV
SHOW? I’ve seen the whole of Downton
Abbey at least three times! I’m also partial
to Masterchef and The Apprentice.
Join Chelsea Gold-winning designer and TV
garden presenter, Juliet Sargeant to learn more
about making the most of your garden and
choosing the best plants to grow (and eat!).
Check our website for dates and to book online:
WHO IS YOUR HERO? My dad, who
died in 2010. He was Polish, and had an
amazing work ethic. He lost his arm at
work in the early 70s, but never stopped
working or helping others. He was a real
charmer and loved everyone, no matter
their background or circumstances.
BITS AND TICKETS
COMPETITION: FIRLE GARDEN SHOW
The annual Garden Show at Firle Place is back
bigger and better than ever for its 13th year, and
we’ve got some tickets to give away. As ever the
gardens will host an array of stalls selling plants,
garden goods, homeware, garden furniture, art
prints, sundries and more, as well as a range of
talks, workshops and demonstrations. Entertainment
for all the family will include a funfair,
archery, tombola and a pirate treasure hunt, and
there will be music from The Jazz Trio and South
Downs Folk Singers among others. We’re going
to pull three names from our competition draw
– each will win a pair of tickets or a family ticket
(you choose). To be entered, send us your name,
number, address and answer to the following
question: Which plant name comes from the
English word dægeseage, meaning ‘day’s eye’?
Please send answers to admin@vivamagazines.
com by Tuesday 31st March. For Ts and Cs see
vivamagazines.com./competitions Good luck!
Friday 17-Sunday 19 April, Firle Place.
OPENS SATURDAY 14 MARCH
From the blooms of
Bloomsbury to the florals
of Fi’s Yard
Charleston’s former Head Gardener,
Fi Dennis, welcomes you to her new
space in the centre of Cliffe, Lewes.
Fi has an abundance of passion,
knowledge and expertise to share
with you. Enjoy a delightful range of
the finest plants, trugs, trowels and
twine; sourced from a select range
of nurserymen and master crafters
Fi’s Yard, Cliffe, Lewes
Phone: 07512 624557
“Every time you spend money,
you’re casting a vote for the
kind of world you want.”
Lewes FC is the only football club in the world to
pay its women's team the same as its men's team.
Endorse us, support us and help us do more.
JOIN THE CLUB:
FOCUS ON: THE GRAIN STORE
Exactly two years ago, I took my first shots of
The Grain Store, a disused agricultural building
near Lewes, and documented this ambitious
project to its completion. The inside is really
beautiful, but the most extraordinary thing is its
location: it could not be more immersed in the
Downs. Tucked into a hollow, the windows look
straight across to a hill that leads up to the South
Downs Way. The Grain Store is now completed
and open. It can be let for holidays, meetings
and photoshoots. I wish I could move straight in.
THE LIFE OF GALILEO
THE REAL THING
THE PRIME OF
MISS JEAN BRODIE
THE VILLAGE BIKE
THE LONG SONG
April – December
cft.org.uk 01243 781312
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My back pages
In December 1982, a modest publication appeared
entitled, If you could only take one: a desert
island book choice by members of the University of
Sussex and others. It derived from an exhibition
held in the University Library the previous
summer. Most participants kept to their brief;
others proved more ambitious in furnishing their
desert island libraries. Stephen Medcalf selected
no fewer than eight books and still lamented that
‘I haven’t yet included any Dickens’. The last of
his choices was PG Wodehouse’s The Code of the
Woosters, and it’s this book that provides the inspiration
for the Jeeves and Wooster play at Lewes
Little Theatre this month.
Was The Code of the Woosters Stephen Medcalf’s
favourite Wodehouse? Did he consider it to be
the author’s best? I don’t know. I once asked
Charles Kerry, erstwhile Glyndebourne Chorus
Manager and Wodehouse devotee, which titles
he would single out for praise. His response was
immediate: Full Moon and Laughing Gas. PG
Wodehouse’s own favourite was The Luck of the
Bodkins, a preference revealed in his reply to a letter
from Arthur Ransome. The author of Swallows
and Amazons had written to Wodehouse telling
him that his own boat was called ‘Lottie Blossom’,
after the red headed American film star, always
accompanied by a small alligator, in The Luck of
the Bodkins. She was Ransome’s ‘favourite female
character in fiction’.
When we tackled Wodehouse in my book group
the chosen novel was Joy in the Morning. It is,
according to Robert McCrum in his biography of
Wodehouse, ‘thought by a fervent minority to be
his masterpiece’. Alternatively, anyone new to the
author might prefer to test the water with a short
story. How about Honeysuckle Cottage? It was once
described by Ludwig Wittgenstein, of all people,
as ‘one of the funniest things he had ever read’.
I suppose one obstacle to a full enjoyment of Wodehouse
might be the richly allusive nature of his
writing. He very much assumes that his readers
share a body of common knowledge derived from
an established literary tradition. Joy in the Morning,
for example, has allusions to Longfellow,
Hemingway, Tennyson, Spinoza, Thomas Moore
and Lord Peter Wimsey, to name but a few. The
Bible, especially The Psalms, features prominently
(‘weeping may endure for a night, but
joy cometh in the morning’), but it’s definitely
Shakespeare who takes centre stage. I counted
25 references in Joy in the Morning, and I’m sure
there were many others I missed. Shakespeare is
constantly quoted, accurately and appositely by
Jeeves, fearfully mangled by Wooster.
All wonderfully inventive, but my favourite
Shakespeare mangling comes not in Wodehouse,
but in Martin Chuzzlewit when Montague
Tigg turns Hamlet’s ‘Let Hercules
himself do what he may, / the cat will
mew, and dog will have his day’
into ‘Hercules may lay
about him with his club in
every possible direction,
but he can’t prevent
the cats from making a
most intolerable row on
the roofs of the houses, or
the dogs from being shot
in the hot weather if they
run about the streets
Illustration by Charlotte Gann
Mid Sussex Golf Club, Ditchling
hosts a classic golf day on Friday
15th May in aid of Lewes based
disability charity, The Bevern Trust.
Golfers are invited to sign up for
just £69 each or £260 per four-ball
and help the charity raise vital
funds to care for people with
and Psychological services
in central Lewes
Book online at
or call 01273 021241
The Bevern Trust, Bevern View, The Willows,
Barcombe BN8 5FJ.
Registered Charity no. 1103520
THE GRAIN STORE
Come and connect at
The Grain Store Lewes
A brand new meeting space for up to ten people
Business Meetings - Luxury Breaks - Photoshoots
Old Brighton Road, Lewes BN7 3JL
www.thegrainstorelewes.com | 01273 713 339
Illustration by Hasia Curtis
How much do you weigh? Why does your hair
do that? Should you wear high heels? When
shouldn’t you wear heels? Just look at the damage
you can do to yourself in a pair of heels, for
heaven’s sake! Do you clean your house with:
chemicals (bad), eco products (quite good) or
lemon juice and self-righteousness (best)? Are
you dressing for your shape? Getting your five
a day? Do you exercise? Are you exercising too
much? Not enough? Isn’t it time you took the
time/spent the money on a decent haircut/facial/
OK, I have made some of that up, but to glance
through the pages of your average women’s
magazine* is to unleash a blizzard of insecurities
and persistent self-loathings which do more
to prop up the cosmetics and dieting industries
than they ever did to shore up anyone’s amour
propre. And yet we keep coming back for more.
Ever since The Ladies’ Mercury opened its pages
in 1693, women’s magazines have been there
like a cross between a neurotic parent, a chatty
neighbour with a tendency to overshare, and
Aunt Lydia from The Testaments.
In the early days of wheatgrass juice and paint
effects I worked in a company that produced
a wide range of women’s magazines, anything
from interiors (houses, you understand) to
slimming. All over the building, women, and it
was mostly women, sat hunched over keyboards,
clattering away at the secret to good posture,
maintaining a good manicure or work/life balance.
While I was busy dispensing the secret to
sourcing linoleum, my friend Bea on the floor
below would be doing ‘The right dog for you.’
As you see, we had most areas covered. But
occasionally we would need a recommendation
for lunch, and for that we had to go down to
the second floor to our friends at the company’s
top-selling slimming title, not because we were
counting calories, but because the editorial staff
of (REDACTED) had at their disposal a most
hallowed compendium of nutritional information
known only to a favoured few. Deep in a
drawer at (REDACTED) magazine was kept a
secret directory of the portion sizes – and their
comparative prices – served at every café and
restaurant in Soho. You could see at a glance
where and whether to go for miso or muffins
and whether you’d be still full by teatime. Salad
didn’t get a look-in. I will tell you this for nothing:
if you ever want to know where to spend no
more than a fiver on a plate of fish and chips the
size of Antarctica, ask a woman who writes about
lettuce for a living.
Magazines might offer a vision of the perfect you,
if only you try hard enough, but for the very best
advice, ask your friends. They’re the experts.
*I don’t mean the London Review of Books, Private
Eye, BBC Homes & Antiques, Exchange & Mart or
Choir & Organ Magazine, though these are also
read by women.
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Visiting our funeral home you will be greeted
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Together with his team, Damian plays a very
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hosting regular coffee mornings and supporting
up and coming artists in the area by displaying
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42 High Street, Lewes | 01273 475 557
Also at Seaford, Uckfi eld & Heathfi eld www.cpjfi eld.co.uk
Lewes Out Loud
Plenty more Henty
I think we would all agree
that ‘take care’ is very good
advice, whoever you are and
whatever you’re doing. I’m
not so sure, however, about
‘Take That’. I mention this
because, in one of many travel
supplements recently, I read
that singer, Gary Barlow, has
been appointed by P & O as
musical director of ‘an intimate
late-night music bar’ on
the 5,200 passenger liner Iona
cruising from Southampton
to the Norwegian fjords in
the summer. He will also join a trip to Spain and
Intimate? With over 5,000 others on board? That
doesn’t sound very intimate to me! Now I don’t
want Gary’s Take That fans to take umbrage if
they’re reading this! The point I’m struggling to
make is that when I plan a holiday, whether it’s on
a ship or by air, I want it to be carefree and that I
believe is nigh impossible these days.
First there’s the packing. Then there’s intrusive
security at the airport, delayed flights and
crowded aircraft. A cruise? The more popular
these have become, the ships are getting bigger,
destinations more crowded and don’t forget
changing weather patterns.
The Bay of Biscay has always had a bad reputation
for seafarers. Very recently, Sylvia and I
were returning from a foreshortened visit to the
Canary Islands aboard Fred Olsen’s Braemar. For
the final four days, heading home to Southampton,
we were subjected to force 9/10 sea
conditions which Croatian captain, Jozo Glavic,
described as a ‘force majeure’.
Batten down the hatches,
Gary, is my advice as you and
your intimate music bar head
for the Lofoten Islands and
don’t forget the Kwells!
So holidays at home again in
2020? In good ol’ carefree
Lewes? Well I don’t know
about carefree but it is
certainly a caring town and I
have recent evidence of this.
At a meeting of the Riverside
Club a few weeks back, we
presented my radio play about
illustrator, Raymond Briggs, to an appreciative
audience of senior citizens.
This time it was on behalf of the Chestnut Tree
House charity, and at the end one charming lady
came up to me and politely asked where the ‘collecting
box’ was. When I said that we, the players,
received no fee for our thespian endeavours, she
insisted on handing me a monetary note which
I gratefully accepted and added to the money
already raised. Unusually for me, I didn’t get her
name but she did say that she was a Viva Lewes
reader, so let me now thank her for caring.
On a very sad note, one member of our small cast
was unable to make the afternoon performance
because, we learned, he was very ill in a Brighton
hospital. I only knew Derek Watts, theatre
director, writer and good citizen of Lewes, for
a few short years. He enjoyed his announcing
role with us and Stephen, Kevin and I valued his
professional participation, freely given. Derek
subsequently died on January 16.
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ON THIS MONTH: MUSICAL
Michelle Dennis on the Demon Barber
If your concept of a musical
is something fluffy,
cheesy and superficial,
think again. The characters
in Stephen Sondheim’s
Sweeney Todd are believable,
the plot is exhilarating, unpredictable
and moving. It’s a
meaningful, thought-provoking piece of theatre.
This is the third Sondheim musical I’ve
been involved in with LOS Musical Theatre
since joining three years ago. I’ve had roles in
Into the Woods and Follies and now I’m excited to
So you could say I’m a big fan of Sondheim,
who is a brilliant storyteller. His lyrics are clever
and incredibly insightful. I love how he draws
really credible characters: most of them are
deeply flawed, which makes them true and relatable.
For Sweeney Todd, he wrote the music and
the lyrics. It’s a masterpiece.
Sondheim based this version on a 1973
Christopher Bond play, itself an adaptation of
the famous mid-nineteenth-century pennydreadful
melodrama. It’s fascinating because it
explores the reasons behind Sweeney Todd’s
obsessive, violent behaviour. The story starts at
a point where he’s a broken man, confronting
personal tragedy. It’s fiction, and it is extreme
– especially the meat pies – but it makes you realise
what can happen when someone is badly let
down by society. Although it’s set in the 1860s it
feels very relevant.
Don’t be put off by the Tim Burton film
version, which dwells on the blood-and-guts
horror element of the story. There’s far more
to it than that. There are themes of corruption
and abuse of power that set a personal story
in a political context. And
there’s plenty of humour too,
especially from Mrs Lovett,
who is played for us, gloriously,
by Gina Cameron.
Sweeney is portrayed by
Thomas Hackett, an accomplished
a powerful stage presence. He’s being taught to
handle a wet razor by our sponsors, The Barber
Shop in the Riverside!
As we speak, we’re coming into the final
phase of rehearsals. The company of 34 actors
has been working really hard, especially on the
vocals. We’re lucky to have a talented and very
experienced professional Musical Director, Rob
Cousins making sure we do justice to what is
a beautiful score. He’ll also conduct our live
orchestra of nine musicians.
We rehearse in the Market Tower and only
gain access to the Town Hall a week before
opening night. Once we’re in we create a theatre
from scratch, so the stage, wings and lighting rig,
not to mention scenery are built almost overnight.
It’s a team effort, a great creative process.
Some of our company have been working
in operatic theatre in Lewes for many years,
since the long-gone Gilbert and Sullivan days.
The society is now called LOS Musical Theatre
to reflect a varied, modern repertoire which attracts
professional actors and younger members.
The most recent production, last October, was
Grease, which was a sell-out, and a huge success.
That has put the wind in our sails, setting a high
standard we’re determined to emulate.
As told to Alex Leith
Lewes Town Hall, March 31st-April 4th,
Photo by Tom Freeman
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ON THIS MONTH: TALK
On the human heart
When I phone to interview
Fiona Sampson ahead of
her talk at The Lewes Lit
I’m curious about what she
will choose to discuss – will
it be biography, translation,
the relationship between
the lyric in poetry and music,
portraits of limestone
country or poetry itself? She could choose any of
these and more, as she’s an award-winning poet,
writer, broadcaster and critic and has published
27 books, translated into 37 languages, and her
most recent poetry collection, her eighth, Come
Down, came out in February.
I’m very pleased to discover that she’s chosen to
talk about biography as I’ve just finished reading
In Search of Mary Shelley, which was serialised on
Radio 4, and received outstanding reviews, and
I loved it. She says she has “just signed off the
proofs for a new biography of Elizabeth Barrett
Browning which will be out in 2021”, so there’s
lots to talk about.
“Mary Shelley’s life story is an extraordinary
one”, says Fiona. She explains Mary eloped at
the age of 16 with the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley,
experienced debt, infidelity and the deaths of
three of her children – and, while still a teenager,
moving house every month or so at home and
abroad, wrote Frankenstein. What makes her so
extraordinary, says Fiona, is that she’s not only
one of a very small number of women writers
of the time, she not only invents the genre of
Science Fiction singlehanded but she invites her
audience to think about philosophical questions
through her characters. Her scientist protagonist,
Frankenstein, without thought of the
consequences, creates a
man-like creature who is
brought to life not-quite
human. The question is
raised, what makes one
human? In the novel, as
opposed to later films, the
creature is portrayed as
superhuman. He teaches
himself to talk, read and reason, thereby achieving
humanity but then commits murders. Mary
Shelley, the daughter of two philosophers, asks
us to consider if the creature has moral agency.
Is he responsible for his actions?
I ask Fiona what she likes about writing biography.
“I’m interested in people-watching”, she
says, “and in looking at the political context of
the time. There’s lots of reading involved for
background, both in other academic works and
in original texts, and I also enjoy the detective
work of finding evidence in archives, letters,
journals and so on and piecing it all together”.
The level of detail needed in the research is
extraordinary, she says, even down to finding out
about the weather of the time including sunspot
activity and a volcanic eruption which lowered
the average temperature by two degrees affecting
crops, livelihoods and causing torrential
rain and frosts in August. “What is ultimately
interesting though,” says Fiona, “is not to create
a version of a costume drama but to find out not
what is different about these lives from our own
but to see in them what is the same – which is
to say something important about the human
heart.” Janet Sutherland
The Lewes Lit, March 10th, 7.30pm, All Saints.
Photo by Ekaterina Voskresenskaya
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ON THIS MONTH: TALK
The cost of austerity
Polly Toynbee is one of the speakers at this
month’s Lewes Speakers Festival, which
coincides with publication this month of her
latest book, co-written with David Walker.
Called The Lost Decade: 2010-2020, and What
Lies Ahead for Britain, it shines a light on our
“I don’t think people realise quite how remarkably
terrible the last ten years have been”, she
tells me. “Certainly, no other decade in my
lifetime – I was born in 1946 – has come close.
There’s been no time like it since the Napoleonic
War – where wages and living standards
have gone backwards.
“Little by little we progress; this has been the
decade when that hasn’t happened. And it’s been
a shock. And a lot of deprivation is invisible. You
have to look to find it. We think of ‘hard times’,
and expect to see doleful dole queues. But
today there’s high employment; it’s just people
are earning very little. There are over 4m poor
children in working households…”
Polly and David published a book ten years ago,
in 2010, called The Verdict: Did Labour Change
Britain? “This”, she says, “was to record
what Labour had done – both good and
bad. We travelled the length of the country
talking to people about how their
lives had changed. Now we retraced our
steps. Mostly, what we heard was about
people running hard to stay still. Not
collapsing – but finding it hard. We
heard what Universal Credit is
doing to families. And we used our
2010 findings as a benchmark
against which to measure 2020.
Not one gain has been made.”
So why, I ask, has this decade been so bad? Why
now? “The disaster of the financial crash was
then infinitely worsened by austerity,” is her
response. “George Osborne cut back when he
needed to borrow and spend. It turned into a
vicious downward spiral. The question now is
how long will it take to get us back? There’s been
a huge rise in the numbers of children in care
– because there are fewer and fewer services to
prop up families – and £12bn cuts in benefits.”
Polly also talks of our “dangerous weariness
with democracy itself.” This she finds profoundly
worrying. “We take democracy for granted,
and underappreciate its value. We treat voting
like shopping, and throw up our hands when we
don’t get what we want. It’s juvenile. And Trump
I think has traded on this ‘anti-politics’ a lot.”
So, what are the bright spots? “Our last chapter
is devoted to examples of things that are working,
and proving transformative,” she says.
“The top-performing school in London is in
Newham, a deprived area. It still has a Sure
Start scheme, nurturing families from a baby’s
birth, until they’re 11. So, mothers, many
of whom don’t speak English, are
encouraged into the school community
on day one; the headteacher, who’s
been there 20 years, is brilliant. And
the results are stunning. It’s not
impossible, it’s not rocket science.
We know what works. It’s about
finding the will to apply it.”
Lewes Speakers Festival,
ON THIS MONTH: MUSIC
The Dream of
The more the merrier
The massed ranks of East Sussex Community
Choir (90 singers), East Sussex Bach Choir (40),
Brighton Orpheus Choir (10), and players from
the Musicians of All Saints (44), will gather
in St Bartholomew’s Church in Brighton this
month, to perform a momentous choral work:
Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius. Conductor Nick
Houghton tells me about the plot of the piece,
a heavily abridged version of a poem by John
Henry Newman, written in 1865.
“It’s a story of a man dying, Gerontius. In the
first half he’s taken towards the next world.
Part two opens and he’s in a dream, he doesn’t
know where he is. His guardian angel takes
him on a journey to meet God, and on the way
he meets… DEMONS”, (Nick emphasises the
word for dramatic effect), “who have a deep,
earthy sound, and aspire to become saints. Then
there’s this big moment where he meets God:
nothing’s said, it’s just a magnificent orchestral
climax. The angel says ‘we’re about to meet
God’ and the orchestra starts very quietly: a
lovely, huge build up, a massive chord, ending
with Gerontius being judged, and yelling to be
taken away into Purgatory.”
The programme will include the words, so the
audience will be able to follow the story, and the
“imposing, vast” environs of St Bartholomew’s
Church should help give the evening an epic
feel. “There are certain types of music that work
well in St Bart’s: the slow grandeur of Gerontius
will be fantastic in there. And we’ll be using the
organ at the back end as well, played by our
accompanist Andrew Wilson, a lawyer at the
University of Brighton by day.”
Local connections abound. Gerontius will be
sung by Lewes-based tenor Paul Austin Kelly,
while the part of the Angel will be played by
mezzo soprano Rebecca Leggett, an ex-student
of both Nick’s and ESBC conductor John Hancorn.
“She is now at Trinity College London as a
singing student; she’s got a fabulous voice and it
was so lovely to give her a chance to do this.”
Gerontius holds some significance for Nick
too: it was the “first big choral work” that he
conducted. “When I was conducting a choir in
Croydon, we did a performance in Croydon Parish
Church, on April 1st 2000, almost 20 years
ago to the day of this performance. I’d done
lots of smaller things but this one was quite the
experience.” Nick hopes that the audience in St
Bart’s will be similarly “impressed and moved.
It’s a simple story, but very emotional: I want
them to feel that they’ve gone on a journey”.
It seems that many singers yearn to go on the
journey too. “I kept meeting people who’d say
‘ooh I hear you’re doing Gerontius, I’d love to
sing it again’. I said ‘come and sing, the more the
merrier’.” Joe Fuller
St Bartholomew’s Church, Brighton, 21st, 7.30pm,
Photo by Rachael Edwards
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a letter Jo?
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For more details about how I work visit
ON THIS MONTH: FAMILY
Family fun on the Railway Land
and a repurposed signal box
Hidden away in the heart of Lewes is the 27-
acre site of the Railway Land Nature Reserve.
And it’s recently become accessible to a wider
range of people, thanks to the latest development
of the Egrets Way.
The broad, wheelchair and buggy-friendly path
will eventually run from Newhaven to Lewes,
(following the course of the River Ouse, before
detouring inland via Kingston, Swanborough
and Iford and rejoining the river at Rodmell).
The route now includes a section through the
Railway Land, the opening of which will be celebrated
with a family fun day on 22nd March.
“There will be a range of family-friendly activities
on offer,” says Helen Meade, programme
co-ordinator of the Railway Land Wildlife
Trust, which manages the nature reserve. “We
want to make people realise how much there is
to see and do here, and how accessible it now
is. One of the things we will be doing is lending
people lenses that clip to cameras on mobile
phones, and encouraging them to go out and
take photos that show things from a different
perspective: long distance, fish-eye view etc.
“The Railway Land is just a stone’s throw from
the town centre, and, for such a small nature
reserve, we have a huge mosaic of wildlife habitats,
with woodlands, reed beds, chalk streams,
ponds, ditches, wildflower meadows and water
“There is so much to see here,” agrees Helen’s
colleague, Jackie Ralph, “and now even more
people can enjoy it. The newly-concreted part
is great for wheelchairs and buggies, and we can
now offer supported walks through the nature
reserve to people who need help.”
Those keen to visit regularly, and to offer support
to the Railway Land Wildlife Trust, can
become Friends of Railway Land. One benefit
of membership, says Helen, is access to the
newly repurposed Signal Box, which has been
restored and repainted to become a wildlife hide.
A flap in its side now allows views over the water
meadows that extend down to the River Ouse,
and which are home to a host of wildlife.
“The water meadows are one of the most
biodiverse areas of the nature reserve,” explains
Helen. “People will be able to see the herons
and egrets that live there, as well as the peregrine
falcons that nest on the cliffs opposite.
We’ve built up the hedgerows around the Signal
Box to attract smaller birds too, and we’ve put
up swift and swallow boxes. We’ve also made the
loft into a bat loft – so, if you’re there at dusk,
you might see bats as well!”
“Every time you visit, you discover something
new,” adds Jackie. “You never get bored...”
Family fun afternoon, 22nd March, 2-5pm.
Photo by Anita Hall
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Ash is Purest White
Dexter Lee’s cinema round-up
RIP Michael Voigt, who did so much to teach
so many Lewesians the nuances of film making.
For many years Michael, who passed away after
a long illness, on January 28th, ran a popular
after-school film club for Lewes Priory students.
Latterly, aided by his wife Ann, he has held a
monthly screening and talk at Depot Cinema,
shedding light on what set the great directors
apart. The last in his latest Film Club screenings
takes place on March 18th, with an introduction
using Michael’s screen notes. The chosen film is
the 1941 movie The Little Foxes, by meticulous
director William Wyler. It stars Bette Davis as
a ruthless Southern cotton mill owner. Carmen
Slijpen tells me that Depot Cinema are looking
into ways to honour Michael’s association with
the cinema. He will be greatly missed.
Robert Senior’s Western season comes to a conclusion
in March: on the 1st there’s a screening of
Clint Eastwood’s multiple Oscar-winning 1992
revisionist western Unforgiven; on the 8th we have
the Coen brothers’ 2007 adaptation of Cormac
McCarthy’s novel No Country for Old Men, set in
80s Texas. This film is followed by a discussion by
the Cinema of the Mind group.
The Depot’s Japanese film season concludes
in March. On the 3rd there’s the languid 2018
coming-of-age love-triangle movie And Your Bird
Can Sing, by up-and-coming talent Shô Miyake;
on the 5th it’s the documentary debut of Naoko
Nobutumo, I Go Ga-Ga, My Dear, chronicling
the travails of her nonagenarian parents, battling
with Alzheimer’s and ill health.
On the 5th there’s the latest in the book-to-film
season, Frank Darabont’s adaptation of a 1982
Stephen King novella, The Shawshank Redemption,
starring Tim Robbins. Later that day we
have the latest offering from the Kino Club,
the 2019 American satire Greener Grass, already
a cult classic.
There are a couple of movies from the Golden
Age of Hollywood: on the 7th, The Lewes Lit are
showing the 1933 horror classic Frankenstein, with
Boris Karloff setting the cinematic mould for the
much portrayed monster; this is a prelude to the
talk on the 10th at the All Saints of Mary Shelley
biographer Fiona Sampson (see page 41). And
on the 8th, to mark International Women’s Day,
screenwriter and author Helen Jacey introduces
Michael Curtiz’ 1945 seminal noir classic Mildred
Pierce, starring Joan Crawford.
In a month that’s chock-full of interesting
one-offs it’s worth mentioning the documentary
Everybody Flies (12th), about the toxic air we
breathe in aeroplanes; Talking About Trees (preceded
by a Supper Club meal), a documentary
examining the demise of the Sudanese cinema
industry, and a red gala premiere of the locally
shot horror Carmilla, directed by Emily Harris,
who will be attending the screening, along with
cast members and crew.
Finally, Lewes Film Club continues to take us
around the world in 90 minutes at the All Saints,
with the Chinese thriller Ash is Purest White
(6th), Spike Lee’s Colorado-set Cannes Grand-
Prix-winning return to form BlacKkKlansman
(13th) and Lance Daley’s 2018 period drama, set
during the Irish Famine, Black ’47 (20th).
16th March to 5th April
Original Art in the Heart of Sussex
Open everyday 10am to 5pm
4 North Street
Lewes BN7 2PA
ON THIS MONTH: FESTIVAL
Technology meets art in Hastings
The idea for a new arts and
technology festival in Hastings,
AltPitch, sprang from
Executive Producer Anastasia
Witts – also director of
the digital communication
agency Artist Digital – wanting
“to make people think
about technology in a more
responsible way”. She recalls
a conversation with someone who monitors air
quality for environmental reasons. Rather than
delivering figures in a spreadsheet to the council,
Anastasia suggested making a public artwork.
“Make an artwork out of it, put a projection on a
big wall somewhere and show people as they pass
by what air they’re breathing in. This will penetrate
them immediately. That’s what art does.”
AltPitch’s key event is The Platform, an opportunity
for artists and businesses to meet and share
ideas (Fri 20th March in East Sussex College,
Hastings). “It’s not about sponsorship. We want to
invite businesses so we can look at their ideas and
needs. We cannot solve modern problems in their
complexity without approaching them creatively.”
There will be a selection of presentations,
discussions and hands-on workshops to choose
from by local, national and international
speakers; tickets cost £35 (including lunch) but
there are 25 free tickets available for under 25s.
Participants include Esther Fox, an international
Hastings-based artist who’s “going to debate
about what technology can offer to disabled people.
She works in VR and one of her works will
be exhibited in Hastings Library.” And there will
be a live podcast recording with Brandon Relph,
from Eastbourne. “He earned a fortune from
his bedroom when he was 15, making videos
for Minecraft. He’s 19 now,
and is investing his money
in creating a production
company. He is very good
at engaging young people.
We’re hoping that the
artists who come and make
connections through The
Platform might be our
subjects next year.”
The following weekend (27th to 29th) sees
three shows come to St Mary in the Castle,
“which all have an international dimension, as
well as some fringe events. #echochamber is a
contemporary opera exploring the relationship
between real life and social media, presented by
a Manchester-based composer and an Icelandic
opera company. There will be a live Twitter feed
which the audience can contribute to, hopefully
nothing too profane!”
Whist is a VR production: “a dance performance
which explores family relationships by a Kentbased
company, coming to Hastings directly
after touring Paris”. Beyond Belief (pictured),
meanwhile, “is more traditional theatre, which
explores life and death in the digital climate.”
Tickets are available individually, or you can buy
a Festival Ticket for all three for £30. Under 20s
can attend any show for free.
“We want to present unusual, unheard of things
in Hastings. When we present art on residents’
doorsteps, it’s not just a possibility for locals to
see a show. It’s a possibility for them to think,
‘well if this is happening in Hastings, in Sussex,
what can I do?’ Creativity and big ideas are not
just something for big cities, they are for everyone.”
Full programme and more info at altpitch.org
ON THIS MONTH: ART
Shani Rhys James
Tea on the sofa, blood on the carpet
Heartbreak and tension lurk beneath the surface
of polite domesticity in a new exhibition at
Charleston. Tea on the sofa, blood on the carpet
brings together recent works by the world renowned,
Jerwood Prize winning Welsh painter
Shani Rhys James. On these vast canvases,
scenes from the artist’s past play out again
through the distorting mirror of memory in an
expressionistic, somewhat abstracted style. Several
are blood red and convey a surreal, almost
horror movie intensity while, in others, huge
gimlet-eyed faces silently accuse us. In Rhys
James’s world, ‘domestic’ is emphatically never
shorthand for ‘pretty’ or ‘comforting’.
Rhys James was born in Australia in the 1950s
but moved to the UK in her childhood, a
dislocation that seems to have affected her
profoundly. ‘I’m trying to make sense of my
own personal mythology’, she mused in a recent
documentary. One picture, Glass of Water visits
Rhys James’s mother in bed after a stroke, her
face radiating fear and helplessness. The bed in
which she cowers, metal-framed and somewhat
cage-like, has transformed from a refuge into a
prison. It’s powerful stuff.
Alongside the intensity in this show, however,
it’s worth saying that there’s plenty of beauty on
display – albeit of a slightly wild and untethered
variety. Rhys James’s sense of colour is keenest in
a brace of flower paintings, one of which, Boy and
Bouquet, is a highlight of the show. The blooms
fill the onlooker’s field of vision with paint so
thick they seem to cast their own shadows.
The show has been carefully chosen for Charleston,
and provides an interesting dialogue with the
main collection. The neighbouring gallery offers
a small display examining the work of former
Charleston residents Duncan Grant and Vanessa
Bell, whose own complicated family dynamics
play out across colourful canvases depicting,
Left: Glass of Water (2017). Right: Boy and Bouquet (2017).
Both courtesy the artist and Connaught Brown
Oil of Ulay 2 (2018) courtesy the artist and Connaught Brown
much as in Rhys James’s work, interior scenes
with flower vases and decorative wallpaper.
Rhys James herself also makes the point that in
the main farmhouse, which is preserved as a time
capsule of the Bloomsbury group, ‘the chairs, the
bowls, the plates, the table were all aesthetically
chosen and became part of their painting.’ Her
dramas are likewise presented in domestic spaces
in which bowls and glasses, kettles and jars assume
totemic, oftentimes frightening significance.
In several pieces, for example, the artist depicts
pots of her mother’s beloved anti-wrinkle cream.
These are steeped in pathos: impotent weapons
against time’s unstoppable march. In one such
work, Oil of Ulay 2, Rhys James appears to have
scratched lines into the paint with the other end
of the brush, in a kind of impassioned counterassault
against her mother’s desire to apply balm
and make everything smooth.
These are intensely physical pictures, best
enjoyed in the flesh. They are wilfully confrontational,
deliberately provoking a certain
discomfort in the viewer, while simultaneously
offering a cathartic, even uplifting experience.
We connect to Rhys James’s passion. She returns
us to our own domestic worlds, our senses
sharpened. It’s an engaging exhibition, and a
rare chance to enjoy the work of one of Britain’s
most exciting living painters.
Peter James Field
Until 19th April, charleston.org.uk
Photo of Shani Rhys James in her studio © Graham CopeKoga
Open Sundays and Thursdays from Sunday 5th April
We are delighted to announce the new season
at Farleys House & Gallery begins on Sunday 5th
April and that in 2020 we will be open to visitors
every Sunday and Thursday 10am - 3.30pm until 29th October
Advance tours, events and workshop tickets
are available to book online now
We look forward to welcoming you to Farleys
GRAND OPENING EVENT
Thursday 9th April 6.30pm - 9.30pm
Please see website for details
Muddles Green, Chiddingly
East Sussex, BN8 6HW
Tel: 01825 872856
15 February to 31 May 2020
Devonshire Park, BN21 4JJ
Towner Members can enjoy unlimited
free access to this ticketed show.
Join for as little as £35 per year.
David Hockney, Arizona, 1964, acrylic on canvas, 60 60 ins
© David Hockney, photo: Fabrice Gibert
ART & ABOUT
In town this month
Encounters – a solo exhibition of new works by Julian Le Bas – is
at Lewes House from the 7th-15th (10am-5pm). Born in 1958,
Julian is a master of plein air painting and has been capturing the
light rolling across the Sussex Downland for decades. This exhibition
features familiar local vistas, as well as seascapes and landscapes
from the Scilly Isles and still life paintings and drawings.
Cliffs at Peacehaven Early Spring by Julian Le Bas
Dancers with Leaf (detail) by
The showcase of abstract paintings by Rue Asher continues at Chalk Gallery
until March 15th. From the 16th, the featured artist is Gabrielle Lord. A
member of the long-running Star Life Drawing Group for a number of years,
expect observational charcoal drawings and multi-layered acrylic paintings full
of interwoven patterns and surface textures. Dancers, birds and animals are all
recurring themes, as is the exploration of what makes us feel at home: people,
places and everyday objects. Continues until the 5th April. (Open seven days a
week 10am–5pm. chalkgallerylewes.co.uk)
A much-loved exhibition space re-opens in town this month. The
Star Brewery Gallery launches on 28th March with an exhibition
of work by three exceptional local artists: Andrew Fitchett, Tom
Benjamin and Peter Messer – the first time the trio have shown
together in many years. Gallery director and artist Neeta Pedersen
has plans to revitalise the gallery’s reputation as a significant regional
visual arts venue and will be staging a range of solo and group
shows by established and emerging artists. (Opening times Tues-Sat
10.30am-5pm, Sunday 12noon-4pm. starbrewerygallery.com)
0ut of town
East Sussex College Lewes have teamed up with Fabrica gallery in Brighton
to create an exhibition entitled WE ARE HERE. The work on show includes
painting, sculpture and photography all responding to the theme of climate
change and all created by students studying for the Art & Design Extended
Diploma. The exhibition is free to visit and open for two days only on
Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th March (10am-4pm).
7th - 15 March 2020
by Julian Le Bas
32 High Street
Open daily 10am - 5pm
Sarah O’Kane Contemporary Fine Art | sarahokane.co.uk
SUSSEX ARTS COLLECTIVE
COLLECTIONS 2020 ONE
Open until Thurs 19 March
Monday to Saturday
10:00am - 4:00pm
Sunday 12:00 - 3:00pm
Closed on Wednesdays
Crypt Gallery, 23 Church Street, Seaford,
BN25 1HD, www.thecryptgallery.com
ART & ABOUT
Out of town (cont.)
Kemptown Secret Garden
Alongside the fascinating collection of bones and birds, the Booth
Museum of Natural History in Brighton hosts a stunning selection of
wildlife photographs. The 12 images were shortlisted from more than
600 entries for the Sussex Wildlife Trust 2020 online calendar, and
capture local flora and fauna including roe deer, little owlets and marine
and woodland landscapes. Download a new image each month from
sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk. Entry to
the Booth Museum is free, see brightonmuseums.org.uk/booth for
opening times. Also free to visit in Brighton for two weekends this
month is Kemp Town’s wonderful Secret Garden. Usually hidden
behind high walls and locked gates, don’t miss the chance to enjoy
some tea and cake on the terrace on the 21st, 22nd, 28th and 29th
March. (11am till 5pm, secretgardenkemptown.co.uk )
Photo by Paul Boyland
Festival season has begun. AltPitch is in Hastings this month
(20th, 27th and 29th), merging the arts, technology and business
communities to help “people think about technology in
a more responsible way”, with free tickets on offer for under
20s (see page 51). Tickets are on sale for this year’s Brighton
Festival (2nd-24th May), with guest director Lemn Sissay
inviting us to join the Imagine Nation and enter a ‘cornucopia
of music, theatre, literature, art and dance’ (see page 25). As we
go to press, the full line up for the 31st Charleston Festival
(15th-25th May) is still under wraps, but we do know that literary giant Salman Rushdie, Booker
Prize-winning novelist Bernardine Evaristo and the ‘world’s most famous feminist’ Gloria Steinem
will be taking centre stage. Priority booking is underway and general ticket sales open on the 5th
March – with 1,000 £10 tickets available for festival goers aged under 30.
#echochamber at AltPitch festival
The exhibition of early works by Alan Davie and David
Hockney continues at Towner Gallery. Comprising 45
paintings, collages and drawings made between 1948 and
1965, the exhibition explores the convergence between
these two major figures of post-war British painting,
tracing their parallel paths and shared preoccupations
with passion, love, sex and poetry. Brink – an exhibition
of works from the Towner’s own collection, curated by
Caroline Lucas – continues alongside.
David Hockney, We Two Boys Together Clinging, 1961 © David Hockney
Edith Kent, First Woman to receive equal pay (1943) November 2009
Odaline de la Martinez, First Woman to conduct the BBC Proms, May 2014
Hope Powell CBE, First Woman to achieve the UEFA Pro Licence, March 2011
100 First Women Portraits
Anita Corbin’s project of a lifetime
Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
has just unveiled a new
100 pioneering women of the
21st century, from beatboxing
champions to bomb detection
experts, blast furnace managers
to boardroom CEOs.
Its creator, photographer Anita
Corbin, talks to Viva about realising
the project of a lifetime.
I’ve been a photographer all
my life, and as I approached
my 50th birthday in 2008, I
started asking myself, ‘What
was I going to leave behind?
What would be my photographic
I wanted to mark the centenary
of Women in the UK
winning the ‘right to vote’
with a celebratory collection
of 100 iconic portraits of
trailblazing women who were
first in their field. Focusing on
women from all walks of life, all
ages and races, it was my dream
assignment and I spent the next
decade travelling 100,000 miles
around the country in search of
these modern pioneers.
The idea came to me like
a bolt of lightning, but then
followed much research and
writing to First Women. It was
often a case of finding a lead,
and then charming my way
through or around the gatekeepers:
not always easy!
I knew that it was important
to include women in the
Armed Forces, and it took
several years of persistence and
patience until the MOD offered
me a list of their Firsts in 2015.
It seemed as though there was a
new understanding: if they were
going to encourage women to
join up, they needed to show
women in these roles.
Baroness Boothroyd, the
first female Speaker of the
House of Commons, wrote
back to my request straight
away – by hand. I went to
meet her at the Houses of Parliament
and she was so charismatic
– beautifully dressed
and totally in command. While
setting up her picture with
Big Ben in the background, I
had to get down on one knee.
I used it as an opportunity to
propose, rather cheekily, asking
if she would be my Patron. She
agreed immediately and has
been a constant source of support
and advice ever since.
Some of the women were
ON THIS MONTH: EXHIBITION
Elspeth Beard, First Woman (UK) to ride a motorcycle around the
world, May 2015
Kelly Gallagher, CBE. First Woman to win British Winter Paralympic
Gold, November 2016
Rt Hon. Baroness Betty Boothroyd OM PC, First Woman Speaker of the
House of Commons, April 2010
surprised when I asked to
photograph them. Kim Cotton,
the first woman to be a surrogate
mum back in 1985, said:
‘Why would you want me? I’m
just someone who had a baby.’
There were a few Firsts that
I didn’t capture, like architect
Zaha Hadid who sadly passed
away a week before our booked
session. Helen Sharman didn’t
want to be remembered as the
first female astronaut because
she was more proud of being
the first British astronaut. And
Margaret Thatcher never responded
to my request: I think
she wanted to be remembered
as a Prime Minister, not the
first female Prime Minister.
But 95 per cent of those
I approached – once I’d
contacted them – said yes
straight away. I think they
felt they had a responsibility
to show how far we as women
have come and to be role
models for the next generation.
It was never about ego; it was
much bigger than that. All the
women shared a great sense of
humour and sense of perspective;
they were confident in
their abilities without taking
themselves too seriously.
I’ve had to remortgage my
house to fund this project. I
tried to get funding but, while
corporations were interested,
none actually came up with
the money. And I didn’t want
to compromise after ten years’
work. The portraits are life size
and immersive: over a metre
high; without glass or mount,
the photograph comes right up
to the edge of the frame. I want
the viewer to feel as though the
women are walking out to meet
them and asking – in a friendly
way – ‘what are you going to be
first in?’ Nione Meakin
Anita Corbin: 100 First Women
Portraits is at Brighton Museum
& Art Gallery until June 7th,
Monique Simmonds OBE, First Woman Director of the Kew Innovation
Unit, April 2014
Baroness Patricia Scotland PC QC, First Woman Attorney General,
LOS MUSICAL THEATRE PRESENTS
THE DEMON BARBER
OF FLEET STREET
A MUSICAL THRILLER
Music and lyrics by
From an adaptation by
This amateur production is presented by arrangement with
Music Theatre International (Europe). All authorised performance
materials are also supplied by MTI Europe www.mtishows.co.uk
on Broadway by
Kindly sponsored by
The Barber Shop Lewes
in The Riverside
AT LEWES TOWN HALL
31st March - 4th April
Tuesday to Friday at 7.30pm
Saturday at 7.00pm
TICKETS FROM £12
CONCESSIONS FROM £10
Age guidance 12+
For tickets visit www.losmusicaltheatre.org.uk
For more information call 01273 480127
Comedy at the Con. With Rob Deering,
Alasdair Beckett-King and Cressida Wetton.
Con Club, 7.30pm, £9-£12.
Film: Ash is Purest White (15). Chinese
drama. All Saints, 8pm, £5/£2.50.
latest CD, featuring Cuckmere: A Portrait and
two other major works, will be available. All
Saints, 7.30pm, £10 (under 16s free).
Storytelling Walk for International
Women’s Day. A gentle circular guided walk
starting/ending at Southease Station, with
stories that celebrate women. Led by local
storyteller and qualified lowland leader Nana
Tomova. Spaces limited to 12. 10am-2pm, see
nanatomova.com/guided-walks to book.
The Railway Land Wildlife Trust Tree
Summit. Bringing together landowners and
community groups to find ways that people
can secure areas to plant and manage woodlands
and increase local tree cover. Panel
discussions will include interactive planning.
The Linklater Pavilion, 10am-4pm, see
Headstrong Club. Talk and discussion with
Mark Slater and Helen Frederick of Extinction
Rebellion on the climate emergency
and the case for non-violent direct action.
Elephant and Castle, 8pm, £3.
Mind, Body, Spirit Festival. Healing therapies,
psychic readers, sacred art, artisan crafts
and vegan food. Lewes Town Hall, 10am-
Cuckmere: A Portrait. Special screening
of Emmy award-winning film-maker Cesca
Eaton’s film, with a score by Lewes-based
composer Ed Hughes. The screening will be
followed by a Q&A with Ed Hughes, Cesca
Eaton, Tony Whitbread (President, Sussex
Wildlife Trust) and Trevor Beattie (Chief
Executive, South Downs National Park Authority)
chaired by local writer, musician and
Viva columnist Eleanor Knight. Ed Hughes’
Banged Up in Lewes: Criminal custody in
the County Town. Former County Archivist
Christopher Whittick will talk about the
history of Lewes Prison, and illuminate the
story of judicial custody in the County Town
going back centuries. King’s Church, Brooks
Road, 7pm for 7.30pm, £3/£1.
Digital photomontage – Inspiration and
Process. Lewes Camera Club Talk. St Mary’s
Supporters Club, Christie Road, 7.30pm, £5.
ON THIS MONTH
Jeeves & Wooster
The theatre was looking for a small cast play
– so I put this one forward. We all like a good
laugh and to be entertained, and I loved the TV
series back in the 80s, starring Stephen Fry and
Hugh Laurie. I was also drawn to the physical
comedy and challenge it would give both me, as
director, and the three actors.
I’m incredibly lucky to have Simon Hellier
and Alan Lade – both very established – and
Tom Messmer playing Bertie Wooster, the
youngest in the trio. The chemistry between all
three was so evident at the audition I feel I have
The play itself, written by David and Robert
Goodale, is relatively new. It’s called Perfect
Nonsense because it is: perfect in its description of
the various bonkers characters, and the utter nonsense
that pursues throughout – it’s a theatrical
delight, both to watch and for actors to perform.
We’ve had loads of fun, as a group, working
on it. I decided not to have too fixed an idea
of how each scene should play out – so early
rehearsals had a workshop feel. Yes, as director,
I needed to have an overall sense of what I
wanted to achieve, but by allowing us to try
out different approaches, it’s made for a rich
and entertaining process. Plus, we laugh a lot:
always a good thing. As told to Charlotte Gann by
Director Rebecca Warnett
21-28 March, lewestheatre.org. See also page 33.
Photo by Keith Gilbert
ARE WE ASKING
ENOUGH QUESTIONS ?
March listings (cont.)
NT Live: Cyrano de Bergerac. James
McAvoy stars in a new adaptation of Cyrano
de Bergerac, broadcast live to cinemas from
the West End. Depot, 1pm, £20.
Dementia research open event. Short talks
on dementia and the latest research, handson
demos and discussions. AMEX Community
Stadium iTalk Lounge, 2.30pm-5pm,
Specialist Collectables Valuation Event.
Antiques Roadshow style event run by Lockdales
auctioneers. Shelleys Hotel, 6pm-8pm,
free, see lockdales.com.
of talks to celebrate Jewish History Month
with Michael and Gordon Franks. The Keep,
Music and Dance in Remote Antiquity.
U3A public lecture by Dirk Campbell. Council
Chamber, Lewes Town Hall, 7pm, limited
to 75 unreserved, non-bookable seats, first
come, first served, doors open 6.30pm.
WEDNESDAY 18 – SATURDAY 21
The Habit of Art. Alan Bennett comedy
about a meeting between the poet WH
Auden and the composer Benjamin Britten.
Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, see
Fiona Sampson. The award-winning poet,
writer, broadcaster and critic speaks at Lewes
Lit. All Saints, 8pm, £10 (under 25s £5), see
Harry Clayton-Wright: Sex Education.
Performance exploring how we learn about
sex and how it shapes our lives, presented in
association with The Marlborough Pub and
Theatre. Attenborough Centre for the Creative
Arts, 8pm, £10/£12.
Trelawny of the ‘Wells’. Comic play with
four acts set in the 1860s, presented by
Lewes Drama Collective. All Saints, 3.30pm,
Life Drawing. Drop-in session, bring your
own materials. Lewes Arms, 7.30pm, £5 (also
on Tuesday 31).
Jewish History in the Archives. Afternoon
WEDNESDAY 18 – SUNDAY 29
AltPitch Arts & Technology Festival. See
page 51 and altpitch.org for full programme
and more info.
Malling, Lewes: An Anglo-Saxon Estate,
Christian Centre and Medieval Parish.
Lewes Archaeological Group talk by John
Bleach. Lewes Town Hall lecture room,
7.30pm, £4/£3, free for under 25s.
Film: BlacKkKlansman (15). Oscar and
BAFTA award winner. All Saints, 8pm,
University of Sussex, Gardner Centre Road, Brighton BN1 9RA
A Perfect Night Out Awaits
7 – 11 April
The Habit of Art
18 – 21 March
Lady Chatterley’s Lover
by D.H Lawrence
31 March – 4 April
The Kite Runner
28 April – 2 May
19 – 23 May
Box Office 01323 412000 | eastbournetheatres.co.uk
March listings (cont.)
Repair Café. Take along damaged clothes,
broken electrical appliances, bicycles, china,
jewellery and more. Tea, coffee and cake available.
Landport Community Hub, BN7 2SU,
2pm-5pm, no charge made but donations are
welcome, see lewesrepaircafe.org.uk.
Carmina Ruinas. Musical drama with music
and songs about Lewes Priory, by Roland
Bryce. St Pancras Church, Kingston,
SATURDAY 21 & SUNDAY 22
Lewes Speakers Festival. A host of speakers
over the weekend including Steve Richards,
presenter of The Week in Westminster on BBC
Radio 4, Tom Watson, former Deputy Leader
of the Labour Party, Jack Straw, former Foreign
Secretary, Polly Toynbee, the star Guardian
columnist and many more. All Saints, see
speakersfestivals.com and page 43.
SATURDAY 21 – SATURDAY 28
Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense.
Play written by David and Robert Goodale,
based on the 1938 novel The Code of the
Woosters. Lewes Little Theatre, see lewestheatre.org
for times and prices. See page 63.
The Railway Land Wildlife Trust. Celebration
of the opening of the signal box as repurposed
wildlife hide and the completion of
the part of the Egrets Way that runs through
the Railway Land. Activities, info stands and
refreshments. Linklater Pavilion and Railway
Land, 2pm-5pm, free. See page 47.
Photographing the night sky using a
DSLR camera. Lewes Camera Club talk
with John Fox. St Mary’s Supporters Club,
Christie Road, 7.30pm, £5.
Death Café. Hosted conversations about
death and dying that ease fears and challenge
taboos. The Dorset, 12.30pm-2.30pm, free.
Film: Black ’47 (15). Drama set in Ireland
during the Great Famine. All Saints, 8pm,
Have a go day at Lewes Community Fire
Station. Try out some of the activities the
firefighters do on
a regular basis and
chat to the crews.
& SUNDAY 29
Experiments with Live Literature. A
weekend of panel events and performances
with the focus variously on fairy tale, mental
health and works that inhabit the space
between live literature and theatre. All Saints,
Film Quiz. Test your film knowledge against
the Depot staff, hosted by quiz master Jake
Harvey. Depot Gallery, 7.30pm, £4.
TUESDAY 31 – SAT 4 APRIL
Sweeney Todd. The Demon Barber of Fleet
Street comes to Lewes in the latest LOS
Musical Theatre production. Lewes Town
Hall, see losmusicaltheatre.org.uk for times
and prices, and page 39.
GIG OF THE MONTH:
SUSAN THE MIGHTY &
TERRY PACK’S TREES
Freelance music leader Lisa Guile has
recently started a music making strand at the
Oyster Project charity, which will see their
drama group making a film and composing
the soundtrack themselves. They hope to enter
the finished film in the Oska Bright Film
Festival in Brighton, and Lisa has arranged a
jazz double bill at Westgate to raise funds for
the Oyster Project.
She tells me about a “fantastic bit of circuitry
kit” called Makey Makey, which can turn
anything that conducts electricity – such as
a melon – into something that can control
music software. And about iPad apps which
now make music making “so accessible that
anyone can be a composer, immediately”.
Susan The Mighty – Lisa’s own duo, formed
with friend Rebecca Askew – will perform
first. “It’s very personal. Both of us, as musicians,
have been involved in a lot of projects
led by other people, but this feels like our
project. We’re writing the words, we’re writing
the music, we’re deciding how we want
to portray ourselves. It’s very pared down:
one song might be just voice, accompanied
by a clarinet, one might be saxophone, voice
and Rebecca using the double bass as a kind
of drum. We try to milk the musical possibilities
as much as we can.”
Lisa tells me that Rebecca is a “great communicator”
to audiences, with accessible
lyrics about issues that mean a lot to the duo,
and we discuss how having a vocalist can
make jazz concerts more appealing to those
wary of anything too avant-garde.
Terry Pack’s Trees, founded by the Brightonbased
composer and bassist, will then perform
after an interval. “We thought it would
work together as a nice show: Terry’s music
is new and interesting, at the same time as
being tuneful and groove-based.
“It’s an inclusive ensemble: there’s top
professionals of the area involved in the
project, including saxophonists Charlotte
Glasson and Julian Nicholas, but there’s also
some amateur musicians too. It will probably
be around eight musicians on the night:
the rhythm section will be bass, drums,
and keyboard or guitar, and then brass and
woodwind make up the rest of the band.
“The bar will be open throughout the whole
performance, it will be fine to go in and out
of the pews, very relaxed. But it’s also very
exciting: we’ve got two ensembles with all
original music, all trying to come up with
great new compositions.”
Sat 28th, Westgate Chapel, 7.30pm, £10 (£8
GIG GUIDE: MARCH
English dance tunes session – bring instruments.
Folk, English Trad. The Volunteer,
Lotte Pearl & Theo Howard. Two stars
from Starfish Academy. Lamb, 8pm, free
Nigel Price (guitar) with Terry Seabrook
Trio. Jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free
English dance tunes session – bring instruments.
Folk, English Trad. John Harvey
Tavern, 8pm, free
Samaki. Afrobeat. Con Club, 8pm, £6 (members
TJ Walker. Country. Lamb, 8pm, free
South Coast Cool. Jazz band featuring Gabriella
Romano on vocals. Lamb, 8pm, free
Tina May (singer) with Terry Seabrook
Trio. Jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free
Concertinas Anonymous practice session.
Folk & Misc. Elephant & Castle, 8pm, free
Jack Rutter (Sat 14th)
Femme Brûlée. DJ night. Lamb, 8pm, free
Mountain Firework Co. Folk/alt country.
Con Club, 8pm, £10
Narthen. Folk, English trad, four-part vocal
harmony. Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £10
Beats Workin’. DJ Set. Royal Oak, 9pm, free
The Jonah Medal. Alt. Con Club, 7.30pm, £8
Owen Ridley. Comedy and music. Lamb,
John Fairhurst. Heavy blues. Con Club,
7.30pm, £8 (members free)
Gyratory All Stars. Groove night. Lamb,
Narthen (Sat 7th)
We Are Two! The Royal Oak’s second
birthday party. Two floor take-over with Lazy
Susan and Frolic. Royal Oak, free
Jack Rutter. Folk, British trad. Elephant &
Castle, 8pm, £7
John Crampton. Foot-stomping blues &
bluegrass. Lansdown, 8pm, free
Salsadelic. Lamb, 8pm, free
Short talks on dementia and latest research. Hands-on demos and
discussions. Free for all members of the public.
Date: Tuesday 10 th March 2020
American Express Community Stadium
2:30pm – 5:00pm
Short Talks and Activities 2.30-3.30
For further information please contact: L.C.Serpell@sussex.ac.uk or
M.Bukar-Maina@sussex.ac.uk or M.S.Yeoman@brighton.ac.uk
Free parking and good transport links: http://bit.ly/get-to-AMEX
Tea, coffee and refreshments provided.
Registration: http://bit.ly/2NJDs6c or call 01273678057
Soloist: Rachel Fryer
Friday 27th March 7.30pm
TRINITY Centre St John sub Castro
Abinger Place, Lewes BN7 2QA
Info, tickets and prices visit:
GIG GUIDE: MARCH
Jazzed Up Jacks. Lamb, 8pm, free
Sam Carelse (singer) with Terry Seabrook
Trio. Jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free
ChopChop + DJ. Live rap and groove.
Lamb, 8pm, free
Love Action DJs. 80s vinyl. Con Club, 9pm,
£4 (members free)
Askew Sisters. Folk, English trad. Elephant
& Castle, 8pm, £10
Blox. Ian Dury & Blockheads tribute. Lamb,
Night House. Album launch & live set.
Lamb, 8pm, free
Starfish. Youth music. Con Club, 1pm,
Daoirì Farrell. Trad Irish songs, bouzouki.
Elephant & Castle, 8pm, £12
The Diablos. Country. Lamb, 8pm, free
Loose Caboose DJs. Northern soul. Con
Club, 7.30pm, £6
No. 1 Ladies Accordion Orchestra. Playing
tunes from around the world. St Mary’s
Social Centre, 2.30pm, £10/£8
Mike Newsham. Sundays in the Bar. Con
Club, 3.30pm, free
Live Dead ’69. Rock. Con Club, 7.30pm,
Rob Luft (guitar) with Terry Seabrook
Trio. Jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free
Chris Coull (trumpet) with Terry Seabrook
Trio. Jazz. Snowdrop, 8pm, free
Lewes Favourites English tunes practice
session. English trad. Elephant & Castle,
Jake Morrell. Country. Con Club, 7.30pm,
Afrolatinicity. Live percussion and DJ set.
Lansdown, 8pm, free
Supernatural Things. Funk, soul & blues.
Lamb, 8pm, free
Daoirì Farrell (Sat 28th)
CLASSICAL ROUND-UP: MARCH
FRIDAY 27 TH , 7.30PM
Lewes Concert Orchestra. If you listen to just about any
‘blockbuster’ film score these days you can hear the debt they
all owe to the great American composers of the 20th century.
And they’re fully represented in Lewes Concert Orchestra’s
March concert, in a programme that includes Aaron Copland’s
masterpiece Appalachian Spring and Leonard Bernstein’s Suite
of Dances from West Side Story. Topping the bill is pianist
Rachel Fryer (pictured) playing the solo in George Gershwin’s
Rhapsody in Blue. Rachel combines piano teaching and accompanying
with a career as a soloist, recently and most notably for her performances of Bach’s Goldberg
Variations. Come and enjoy some explosive and big-hearted music from across the pond.
Trinity St John Sub Castro, £10 in advance or £12 on the door. Under 18 and students £5.
Photo by Paul Fox Photographic
SUNDAY 1 ST , 2.45PM
Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra. Steven
Worbey & Kevin Farrell return to the Dome
with Rhapsody – a concert featuring their own
astonishing arrangements of classics including
Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and Addinsell’s
Warsaw Concerto. Virtuosity and high jinks.
Brighton Dome, £14.50-£42.50, 50% student/
U18 discount, 01273 709709. brightondome.org
SUNDAY 1 ST , 3PM
St Michael’s First Sunday Recitals. The new
season gets going with a recital by resident organist
Nick Houghton. St Michael’s Church, free
with retiring collection, stmichaelinlewes.org.uk
SATURDAY 7 TH , 7.45PM
Musicians of All Saints. Programme includes
first performances of works by Phil Baker and
Peta Crompton. Directed by Andrew Sherwood.
St Michael’s Church, £12 regular, £9
concession, under 18s free, mas-lewes.co.uk
SUNDAY 8 TH , 3PM
Seaford Music Society. Melvyn Tan and
Maggie Cole: two of the UK’s foremost
fortepianists playing together (four hands at one
piano) works by Mozart, Schubert and Debussy.
St Leonard’s Church Seaford, £15, under 26s
SUNDAY 15 TH & 29 TH , 4PM
Corelli Ensemble. Virtuoso Piers Adams joins
the Corelli ensemble to play the Sanmartini
Recorder Concerto in F and Ward Celtic Concerto.
Also featuring music by Telemann and Elgar. St
Pancras Church (15th), Seaford Baptist Church
(29th), £12 in advance, £14 door, children free.
FRIDAY 20 TH , 7.45PM
Nicholas Yonge Society. The acclaimed Trio
Con Brio Copenhagen return to Lewes to play
Bent Sørensen’s Phantasmagoria and works by
Beethoven and Shostakovich. Cliffe Building,
East Sussex College, Mountfield Road, £16, free
for 8-25 year-olds, available from Baldwins Travel,
on the door or at nyslewes.org.uk
SATURDAY 21 ST , 7.30PM
East Sussex Community Choir, East Sussex
Bach Choir and guests. Lewes’ two biggest
choirs plus guests from Brighton Orpheus
Choir and full orchestra present Elgar’s mighty
and moving Dream of Gerontius, with Paul
Austin Kelly as Gerontius. Conducted by Nick
Houghton. See page 45. St Bartholomew’s
Church, Brighton, £10, £15 & £20 from
the website, Lewes TIC or on the door,
SATURDAY 21 ST , 7.30PM
Piano recital. Award-winning international
concert pianist Iyad Sughayer
performs works by Mozart, Liszt, Chopin
and Khachaturian. St Andrew’s Church,
Alfriston, £12 in advance (including a
donation to the Church Restoration Fund),
SUNDAY 22 ND , 11AM
Coffee Concert. Final gig of the Coffee
Concert series features BBC New Generation
Artists Aronowitz Ensemble, playing
Schubert, Beethoven and Elgar. Attenborough
Centre for the Creative Arts, £18.50,
concessions £16, attenboroughcentre.com
THURSDAY 26 TH , 1.10PM
St Anne’s Recitals. An exciting season
opener at St Anne’s, with Ensemble Reza
featuring Louisa Lam (piano) playing Beethoven
and Piazzolla. St Anne’s Church,
free with a retiring collection.
SUNDAY 29 MARCH 2.45PM
TICKETS FROM £14.50-£42.50
(50% discount for students/under 18s)
Brighton Dome Ticket Office 01273 709709 • brightondome.org
Park for just £6 at NCP Church Street between 1 & 6pm
SATURDAY 28 TH , 7.30PM
Esterházy Chamber Choir. From Darkness
to Light. Unaccompanied choral music
spanning four centuries, from Tallis to
Rutter. Directed by Richard Stafford. St
Michael’s, £13 advance, £15 door, under 16s
SATURDAY 28 TH , 7PM
Pro Musica Chamber Choir. Handel’s
Messiah. A chance to hear Pro Musica
in Lewes: Richard Miller conducts the
seasonal favourite in a change from their
regular venue. Trinity Church Southover,
£15, under 14s free, promusica.org.uk
Enjoy a Complimentary
Bottle of Wine
- Choose from either -
Maison l`Aiglon Chardonnay or Chemin de Marquiere Merlot
To redeem, simply present this advert when dining
Côte Brasserie Lewes
82 HIGH STREET, LEWES, BN7 1XW
01273 311 344 | www.cote.co.uk/lewes
Valid until 31/03/20 at Côte Lewes only. One complimentary bottle of wine when 2 or more guests dine from our À La
Carte menu. Offer can only be used once and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or Set Menu.
Pestle & Mortar
Photo by Alex Leith
Sometimes, when you
regularly go to a restaurant,
you can’t look past a
certain item on the menu,
and for me, at the Thai
noodle bar Pestle and
Mortar, that’s Malaysian
I go there every Tuesday,
at around midday, to avoid
the lunchtime rush-hour. That means that when
I wake up on a Tuesday morning, it’s not long
before I think ‘wahay, it’s Malaysian Laksa day!’
I’m not exaggerating, it’s that good.
My favourite item on the menu used to be
another item, which I’ve written about in this
magazine before: the Bánh Mì. This consists
of spicy pork in a baguette, a legacy from the
French colonial occupation of Vietnam; I used
to eat it sitting in the All Saints graveyard, and
enjoy every bite. But not anymore. Now I find
a spot at a table in the colourful café, and sup
a bowlful of the rich broth that is Malaysian
Laksa. I order it with extra prawns, which adds a
quid to the (originally £7.95) price.
It usually takes about five minutes to prepare, so
I’ve taken to ordering a spring roll (£1) to temper
my hunger. Chopped vegetables and dark vermicelli
in a crispy batter, served with a decorated
porcelain spoon, filled with sweet chilli. I’ve taken
to keeping hold of this spoon to eat my laksa,
instead of the steel ones on offer on the table.
The broth arrives, served in a big decorated
ceramic bowl, and it’s quite a looker. The dish
is dominated by coconut milk and coloured
and flavoured with turmeric, and there are at
least ten ingredients semi-submerged within it.
These include, in reverse
order of magnitude:
shallots, spring onions,
pickled mustard rings,
Chinese cabbage, king
prawns and hunks of tofu.
It’s multi-textured, then,
and it takes a while to eat, which is a positive
thing, because every mouthful is worth savouring.
The broth itself is the star of the show, characterised
by a piquant chilli-hit with notes of galangel
and lemon grass. I like fishing out the bits of
vegetable and protein with chopsticks, which
sabotages my tendency of hoovering my food up
without properly appreciating it. I accompany
the broth with a glass of tap water, which acts as a
palate cleanser, between umami hits.
I’d like to be able to tell you about the other
soups and broths and curries available on the
crowded menu blackboard, but I’ve hardly even
noticed they’re on offer, and won’t until I’m over
this year’s lunch crush.
I normally go back to work at this point, but Ed,
the front-of-house fellow who runs the place with
his partner Honey (who heads the cooking team)
offers me a cup of Vietnamese coffee. It’s black,
as I don’t fancy condensed milk, in the Oriental
fashion, and is accompanied by a slice of homemade
pineapple and rambutan upside-down cake
(£2.50). Rambutan, it turns out, is a lychee-like
fruit, and tastes delicious within a delicate sponge.
Tuesdays just got even better.
4 Lansdown Place
Photo by Rebecca Cunningham
Spicy Creole Cajun Lo Mein
Nathalie Mulvan, Chef at Irma’s Kitchen
on a Caribbean classic
The mix of dishes we serve at Irma’s – classic
English breakfasts, and Caribbean lunches and
suppers – is an exact reflection of my heritage.
My parents came from British Guyana – as opposed
to French or Dutch. The cuisine there is a
mix of English, Chinese, Indian and Caribbean.
My mother Irma was a wonderful cook, and
taught me everything I know. That’s why the
café had to be called Irma’s Kitchen.
I was born in Islington and grew up in Croydon
– where I used to watch my mother cook, in awe.
Together with my partner Simon, we first started
Irma’s in Brighton – where we were better known
for breakfast and brunch and won awards for the
same. We opened here last June, for breakfasts,
lunch and some evenings too.
We rent the building [that distinctive one, on the
corner of South Street and Cliffe High Street]
from the council. I couldn’t believe the transformation
when I first walked through the door after
we refurbished: beautiful…
I chose this dish because it’s not on our menu yet,
but coming... (My mum, who lives in Barbados
now, is incensed we’re not already serving it!)
It’s exactly her recipe. It’s a quick, easy to make,
authentic Guyanese noodle dish, and can be made
for meat eaters (just stir fry your meat first, then
add in at the end), vegetarians and vegans.
Ingredients: (For the salsa) 2 tbsp dark soy
sauce, 1 dsrtsp light soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil
(or olive oil), 1 tsp sugar, 1 bird eye chilli – end
split, 1 clove garlic. (For the noodle mix) 4-6oz
proper noodles (do not use very thick or very soft
noodles, or spaghetti); 1 tbsp sesame oil (or olive);
3 medium spring onions, chopped (separate green
from white); 1 cup of julienne cut or chopped red
and yellow or green peppers; 1-2 cups julienne
cut or chopped vegetables, eg carrots, pak choi,
mushrooms, courgettes, wilted spinach; ¾ cup
each of frozen sweetcorn and petit pois; 2 eggs
beaten with garlic clove, pepper and pinch of
salt (pre-cook in a small pan, as you would an
omelette, then chop or cut into strips); 3 bird eye
chillies, ends split; 1 tsp Cajun powder; sprinkling
of dried parsley; salt & pepper to taste.
Method: Shake the salsa ingredients together in
a jar and set aside.
Cook the noodles following package instructions,
drain and set aside.
Heat the remaining oil over a medium heat in a
large wok or deep frying pan. Add sweetcorn and
petit pois and heat through until they start to soften.
Add the white parts of the onions, chilli and
veg. Stir fry until fork-tender (about 5 min).
Sprinkle the Cajun powder over the mix and toss
until distributed evenly.
Add the noodles, toss to combine. Add half the
salsa, excluding the chilli, and toss. Add more
sauce a little at a time if needed (until the noodles
are medium brown).
Remove the chillies, and put to one side.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add in your chopped omelette, or serve on top
with the rest of the chopped onions. Add the
cooked chillies on top. Sprinkle with parsley to
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House of Friendship
Four years ago, on these very pages, I
described a visit to the House of Friendship,
208 High Street, and how I had been told
that Chef Keith was known for making “very
On that occasion I had cream with my bread
and butter pudding, so I promised myself that
one day I would return to sample the custard.
Just before 12.30, on a cold, wet Thursday,
Sylvia and I presented ourselves at reception,
handed over £16, and moved through into
the cheery dining area where others were
This excellent social centre for our older community
was established 50 years ago this year
and it is still doing a wonderful job, living up
to its welcoming name, House of Friendship.
I immediately spotted Keith in his neat kitchen.
With help from smiling Sophie, he was busy
preparing today’s lunch of steak and mushroom
pie, red cabbage, peas and potatoes.
The pudding? Steamed jam and coconut
sponge and, Hallelujah, custard! “I’m only
here for the custard” I joked. “I make it
myself using powder whisked up with milk”
he assured me. It was delicious – not a lump
in sight – and perfectly complementing the
melt-in-the-mouth home-made sponge, plus a
decent dollop of raspberry jam.
The main course was good, but I’d have happily
settled for two portions of that pudding!
Photo by John Henty
Lewes Town & Country
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OF THE YEAR 2018
THE WAY WE WORK
This month’s photo series was shot by local portrait photographer
Bethany Hobbs, at Victoria Hospital. She asked the staff there to tell us
about an act of kindness they’ve experienced recently...
Caroline Passfield, Outpatient Receptionist
‘I was buying a coffee and didn’t have enough change, so the man behind me in the
queue gave me the 20p I was missing. It was the nicest coffee I’ve had, thanks to that!’
THE WAY WE WORK
Kati Tewkesbury, Sister on the Day Surgery Unit
‘Seeing my colleagues supporting each other through hard times,
both inside and outside of work.’
THE WAY WE WORK
Linda Beddow, Staff Nurse in the Outpatient Department
‘When the staff at Barons Down go the extra mile with caring for my mother.’
THE WAY WE WORK
Frances Ashwood, Health Care Assistant on the Intermediate Care Unit
‘Having some flowers arrive from far away, a belated gift from my daughter.’
Open for communication
When Mebrak Ghebreweldi says that the way to
care for each other is to communicate, she knows
exactly what she’s talking about.
Born one of nine, in the mountains of Eritrea,
Mebrak found herself alone one day in 1999,
pushing a pram up the hill to the county council
offices in Lewes in search of a job. “I came to
England on a scholarship,” she explains, “I studied
for a degree in business and I met my (ex-)husband.”
But things didn’t quite go as planned. “I
felt so guilty. I was supposed to finish my studies
and go back to Eritrea to make a successful life
but now I was a single parent with no work and
two little boys to look after.”
Times were hard, but having, from the age of 16,
been a Morse code operator in Eritrea’s war of
independence (the conflict ran for 30 years and
killed more than 100,000 Eritreans) Mebrak suspected
that if she could make herself understood
in a war zone, she could probably manage Lewes.
“I pushed my pram up to the reception desk and
said ‘I need a job. What jobs do you have?’ The
receptionist asked what skills I had and I said:
‘Well, I can translate.’ And her eyes lit up and
she said ‘Take a seat for a moment.’ Then she
rang her colleague and said ‘We have a translator
in reception.’ Then this woman came down –
her name was Marion Johnson – and she asked if
I was a translator and I said yes, and she rubbed
her hands and said ‘Right. You’re going to set up
a translation and interpreting agency.’ And that
During the Bosnian war, Eastbourne and Hastings
were home to many refugees, and social
services were struggling with the language barrier
as well as the great expense of hiring translators
from London. Marion and Mebrak set about
contacting everyone they knew who could speak
another language and within six months they had
30 translators and interpreters working in 16 languages.
“I had one fax machine and one telephone
and I did it all from my dining room. I tell you,”
she says, at the beginning of our interview “fighting
for the freedom of your country is hard. But
running a business on your own when you are a
single parent is harder.”
Vandu Language Services has just celebrated
its 20th birthday. With about 1,500 freelance
translators on their books, their work takes them
into pretty much every area of private, public and
commercial life you can think of. The ongoing
Syrian conflict means that Arabic translators are
especially busy, but Vandu are also working locally
in Russian, Chinese, Lithuanian, Polish, Amharic,
Tigrinya and Vietnamese.
“We are all the same species” says Mebrak. “It
doesn’t take much, we smile, we look each other
in the eye, we say hello, and then we might have a
conversation. That’s what it’s all about. We need,
all of us, to be open for communication.”
St Nicholas Lane, vlslamguages.com
Photo by Eleanor Knight
The true cost of clothes
When Diana Uprichard set up Dolly eight years
ago she had no formal business plan: just an inclination
to do something with her life-long passion
for sewing, 20 years of teaching experience
and a growing concern for the planet. What
started as a sewing group around her kitchen
table has grown into a business offering bespoke
alterations, a growing line of easy-to-follow
dress making patterns, a small clothing collection
made with surplus fabrics from the fashion
industry, a busy timetable of sewing classes and
inspiring events about sustainable clothing.
In her small but well-equipped sewing room
just off Cliffe High Street, people of all ages and
abilities are learning to make their own clothes
and to copy and restyle the ones they already
own. There are introductory classes for absolute
beginners, ongoing courses for more experienced
makers and a monthly mending morning
where you can go along and fix your well-worn
favourites under Diana’s expert guidance.
As well as teaching people how to sew, Diana
is increasingly concerned with why we should
be learning. “I used to find doing alterations
and mending a bit of a drag,” she admits. “I just
wanted to be making. But then I realised that this
is really important. This is part of the solution.
The fashion industry is the second biggest polluter
on earth. There are already more clothes
than we’ll ever need. I’m convinced that mending,
upcycling and restyling is the one of the best
ways forward.” To that end, she’s taking every
opportunity to talk about the true cost of clothes:
at after-school clubs, at school assemblies, and
by organising visible mending workshops, fabric
swaps and second-hand fashion shows.
I join Diana in her sewing room one Friday
afternoon and set about making a swish apron
in herringbone linen, using one of her own patterns.
I’m a reasonably confident if self-taught
dressmaker, so Diana gently corrects my bad
habits while passing on the sort of expert knowhow
that makes life so much easier. With us are
fellow sewing enthusiasts Diane and Eliza and
the conversation soon turns to the enjoyment
of being absorbed in a practical skill and the
satisfaction that comes with wearing the finished
article. It’s something that Diana hears a lot.
“Once people start sewing, it really changes
their relationship with their clothes. You begin
to realise what goes into making them. You’re
much more likely to hold on to the things that
you’ve made or mended. You just value them
that bit more.”
As we work away on our individual projects, a
steady stream of people stop by to ask about
repairs and alterations: a suit that needs taking
in, a pair of jeans that are too tight. The final request
of the day is from a man with several pairs
of much-loved but holey woollen socks. Can
Diana fix them? “Hmmm,” she muses. “Darning
is a real labour of love. I can do it for you, but I’d
rather teach you how.” Lizzie Lower
Dolly Clothing’s joining Depot for an event on
Sunday 26th April, 11am, as part of Fashion Revolution
Photos by jeannefee.co.uk
Lewes FC’s number one
It’s 5pm on Saturday,
February 8th, and Nathan
Stroomberg isn’t in
a good place. The Lewes
players are warming
down after putting in
an abject performance
against relegation rivals
Cheshunt which has
resulted in the Rooks’
biggest home defeat
for over a decade. The 21-year-old keeper has
separated himself from the group and is squatting
on the side-line, staring into nowhere.
Nobody’s pointing any accusing fingers at Nathan
– in fact he’s made a couple of great saves
to keep the score down – but the lad has let in
six, and he’s not happy. I wonder if he’ll have
the guts to fulfil the post-match interview we’ve
arranged. I’d probably just want to go home
and hide under the duvet, in the circumstances.
But 15 minutes later he’s sitting in front of me,
in the Rook Inn, apologising for the performance.
“The fans have paid good money, and
they deserve better than that,” he says.
But his mood soon lifts, as he tells me about his
short career so far. A local lad, from Brighton,
he’s been a Rook for five years now, but most of
that time has been spent waiting in the wings.
“I actually made my first team debut in 2015,
aged just 16,” he says. “I was on the bench for
the first game of the season, and after half an
hour Dan Hutchins got knocked out and I had
to go on. Was I nervous? I was determined not
to let a goal in. It was 2-0 when I went on and
they scored a third in the last minute.”
After that it was a
question of biding
his time, and getting
a bit of experience
out on loan to other
clubs. “I was lucky that
Ross Standen (now
co-manager) was the
assistant manager. He
was a keeper, of course,
and he knew exactly
the right time to let me get a bit of experience
elsewhere,” [at Hassocks and Saltdean].
“The goalkeeper is the most specialised position
on the pitch,” he tells me. “It’s not about
being able to run for 90 minutes, it’s about
bursts of pace and acceleration. We need special
short, sharp drills to build up our explosive fitness,
and Ross is great at training.”
Nathan got into Lewes’ first team again at the
beginning of this season, and he’s made the
position his own. “It’s been a step up, because
the opponents press a lot more at this level,
but I’m known for being good with my feet,”
he says. “It’s vital nowadays, as the game has
evolved: keepers need the ball-skills of an
A West Ham fan, Nathan’s professional role
model is Rob Green: “OK he let himself down
a bit in the  World Cup, but he’s been a
phenomenal player,” he says. His professional
target is to play at Conference level, “hopefully
for Lewes: goalkeepers don’t reach maturity till
28, 29, and can play till they’re 40. I might be
here another 20 years!”
Photo by James Boyes
P I C K U P A
V I VA B R I G H T O N
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RIP Jim ‘The Fish’ Smith
The Ouse has lost its dearest friend
With his battered trilby and
deep Sussex brogue, Jim Smith
(aka ‘Jim The Fish’) was the
archetypal river bailiff.
One of a fast vanishing breed
of countrymen, Jim, who was
head bailiff for the Ouse Angling
Preservation Society for 55
years, devoted his entire adult
life to the river and was a legend
throughout the county.
A Trustee of the Ouse & Adur Rivers Trust, he
also gave many years of service to his local parish
council and played an active role within the
Cliffe Bonfire Society.
Jim was born in Brighton, but when he was 12,
after the death of his father and his mother’s
remarriage, the family moved to Isfield, where
he remained throughout his life. He left school
at 14 to begin work as a garden boy on Lord
Rupert Nevill’s estate; when the nursery there
closed, he transferred to the East Sussex River
Board where among other things he worked on
the early Lewes Flood defences.
A keen angler since boyhood, Jim was approached
by the Preservation Society in the
1960s to take on the role of Head Bailiff. This
was a full-time post where, in addition to
managing the fishing on the River Ouse, Jim
supervised the Society’s stocked trout fishery at
nearby Barcombe Reservoir.
Jim was a keen writer and a staunch environmentalist,
long before the term became
fashionable. He was a founding member of the
original Sussex Ouse Conservation Society,
which preceded The Rivers Trust. Jim’s love
of the countryside was evident
through his regular features in
the Ouse & Adur Rivers Trust’s
newsletter and more recently the
Freshwater Informer magazine. In
2015 Jim appeared in a three-part
series for Meridian TV entitled
Tales of the River Man. That year
he also featured in a lengthy
interview (by Nick Davies) for
the Guardian newspaper.
Undoubtedly, Jim’s happiest memory was receiving
his Long Service Award by the Country
Landowners Association, from the Duke of
Rutland, at the CLA Game Fair in 2009. This
was awarded in recognition of Jim’s 45 years
of continuous service as a river keeper. One
of only three such medals ever to have been
awarded, it took Jim completely by surprise.
The closure of the Barcombe Reservoir fishery
in 1992, after it was taken over by South East
Water, deprived Jim of a substantial portion of
his income. Worse was to follow when, in 1997,
the Preservation Society found it could no
longer afford the services of a full-time bailiff.
It says much for Jim’s determination and devotion
to his calling that he continued to fulfil
this post on a largely voluntary basis.
In recent years, Jim’s health began to decline,
and his mobility suffered, though he still
enjoyed getting out on the bank whenever
he could, talking to the anglers and generally
keeping an eye on things. Jim passed away in
Eastbourne Hospital on 27th December 2019.
The River Ouse has lost its dearest and best
friend. Stewart Allum
Photo by Stewart Allum
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Illustration by Mark Greco
Passion in the pond
My friend Alf passed away recently. He loved
Sussex and he loved wildlife but Alf’s real passion
was amphibians: newts, frogs and toads. Alf loved
them so much his funeral service ended with
that Paul McCartney Frog Chorus song. That’s
commitment for you. I spent the rest of the
week with that annoying ‘bom-bom-bom-ayee-aye’
tune rolling round my head. I’m sure Alf
was laughing somewhere. While I was helping
Alf’s family clear his house I was honoured to be
given one of his prize possessions: a clock which
chimes each hour by playing a variety of frog
croaks. Long ago Alf’s wife, Iris had made him
take the batteries out because it was unbearable.
But there was no silencing Alf’s pond each spring.
Each year it would come alive with the sound
of a real frog chorus. Alf was proud of his pond.
Creating a garden pond, no matter what size, is
one of the best things you can do to help wildlife
in your garden. If you’re lucky in March it will
turn into a hotbed of sexual activity as Common
Frogs return to mate and lay their eggs. After
spending the winter hidden away in the garden
it’s time to go a-courting.
Approach the pond quietly with a torch and you
can observe the mating frogs. Look closely and
you may be able to identify the male frog (darker
with a bluish tinge to his throat) and the female
(white granulations on her flanks). But if you
can’t notice these features, then the males are
on top and the females are on the bottom. The
lustful male will hop on the female and grasp her
as tight as he can. He even develops special extragrip
pads on his forearms so she can’t get away
and he’ll use those powerful legs to boot off any
rival males who try to muscle in. In theory males
with the longest and loudest croaks are the most
attractive, but with females sometimes outnumbered
ten to one by males the pond party can get
loud, chaotic and confusing. Amorous male frogs
will grasp anything, a log, a fish, even another
male (males have a special croaking signal which
politely informs other males there has been a
misunderstanding). Female Common Frogs can
lay up to 4,000 eggs, although 1,000 to 2,000 is
more normal. These are fertilised by the male as
they emerge and form into those familiar clouds
of jelly spawn.
So, in tribute to Alf I decided to restore his
croaking clock to full working order. I reinstalled
the batteries and nailed it proudly on
my office wall. After two hours I turned it off.
That croaking was unbearable! I’m still sure Alf is
Michael Blencowe, Senior Learning & Engagement
Officer, Sussex Wildlife Trust
S H E F F I E L D PA R K
F L E T C H I N G
C H A I L E Y
N E W I C K
E A S T C H I LT I N G T O N
D I T C H L I N G
C O O K S B R I D G E
P L U M P T O N
FA L M E R
B A R C O M B E
L E W E S
& K I N G S T O N
R O D M E L L
R I N G M E R
G LY N D E
R AY S T E D E
F I R L E
B E RW I C K
A L F R I S T O N
W I L M I N G T O N
C O V E R A R T B Y C R E S S I D A B E L L
V I VA L E W E S
V I VA B R I G H T O N
11,500 copies printed
Delivered to homes in Lewes &
Kingston and available to pick up
in surrounding villages
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Hanover and available to pick
up in the city and beyond
C E L E B R AT I N G L O C A L L I F E S I N C E 2 0 0 5 .
Woodruff’s Yard is changing hands again,
and the latest caretaker for the much-beloved
outdoor garden shop is taking it back to its more
homespun origins, more like when it was run by
its founder Matt Woodruff. Fiona Dennis, who
has for three years been the head gardener at
Charleston – and has written some gardening columns
for Viva Lewes – will focus on what she calls
‘sustainable plants of discernment’, largely for
herbaceous borders. She will, she tells us, paint
the wooden hut pink, and rename the place ‘Fi’s
Yard’. “It’ll be English country garden stuff, with
a Bloomsbury feel, but not old-fashioned,” she
adds. There will be some cut flowers and a few
gardening sundries, too, it seems. “We shall definitely
have trugs.” Unlike the outgoing manager,
she won’t be using the shop over the alleyway,
formerly Oyster, which is up for grabs.
The long-empty space at 4, Fisher Street, owned
by the District Council, is to be turned into a
co-working hub, aimed at freelancers in the
digital and creative industries. It seems likely the
Council will form a partnership with The Werks
Group, which runs a number of such hubs in
Brighton, including Coachwerks, Printwerks and
Werkshop30. The building has been empty for
a number of years now, so extensive renovations
will need to take place before the new hub – Fisherwerks?
– is up and running.
After a brief and eventful incarnation as Martyrs
Gallery, the exhibition space in the Star Brewery
is in new hands. Sometime Viva cover artist Neeta
Pedersen has taken over, renaming it Star Brewery
Gallery, thus tipping a wink at its original
name. If the line-up for Neeta’s first exhibition
is anything to go by, we’re in for a treat: she will
display works by local heroes Peter Messer, Tom
Benjamin and Andrew Fitchett (all of whom have
also created previous Viva covers).
And then there were three. Opticians in Lewes,
that is. A couple of months ago we reported in
this space that Barracloughs were closing down
their Lewes outlet; this month it’s the national
chain Vision Express, at the top of School Hill.
Let’s hope that prime spot fills up soon. In the
meantime, we still have Spectrum, Wilson Wilson
& Hancock and Specsavers.
Further up the hill, the hairdressers Newman
and Burtenshaw have moved… but not far. Just
the other side of the Bottleneck, in fact: they’ll
now be doing business in what was most recently
The Little Natural Co, just next to the chippy.
And finally… over to the Needlemakers. We’d
like to point out that Emma, the fashion designer
who runs Along Came She, sells colourful, sustainable
clothing aimed at all ages of womankind,
and not just young mothers, as we previously
suggested in this space. Sorry, Emma! There’s
also talk of an exciting new collective project for
the big space the other side of the Needlemakers
Café, formerly From Victoria, involving a number
of Lewes makers. As ever… watch this space.
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To advertise in Viva Lewes please call 01273 488882 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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TELEPHONE: 01273 472 836
MOBILE: 07974 752 491
Aluminium windows, doors,
lantern roofs and bi-folding doors.
Trading in your area for over 30 years
We guarantee all our products, installation and service
for the best doors, windows & conservatories
CLARKS GLASS LTD
Unit 10, Ringmer Business Centre,
Chamberlaines Lane, Ringmer, BN8 5NF
For your FREE no obligation consultation call us now on:
Service and repair
Small plumbing works
the Lewes Seamstress
E S T . 2 0 0 5
Also Professional Repairs and Alterations Service.
01273 470817 | 07717 855314
T: 01273 317403 | M: 07879 573040
Handyman Services for your House and Garden
Lewes based. Free quotes.
Honest, reliable, friendly service.
Tel: 07460 828240
AHB ad.indd 1 27/07/2015 17:46
Oak and other timber: we can
make anything in wood.
From furniture to insulated garden
houses, for trade and individuals.
07534 263534 | itimber.co.uk
HOME & GARDENS
Carpenter / General Building
and Renovation works,
Based in Lewes
t. 07717 862940 e. firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Eyre Decorating
1_Layout 1 04/12/2019 Professional 11:58 Painters Page & Decorators 1
email@example.com | jasoneyredecorating.com
07976 418299 | 07766 118289
Mobile 07941 057337
Phone 01273 488261
12 Priory Street, Lewes, BN7 1HH
Jack Plane Carpentry
Affordable fitted firstname.lastname@example.org
01273 483339 / 07887 993396
Jack Plane Carpentry
Affordable fitted furniture
01273 483339 / 07887 993396
GGS1.001_QuarterPage_Ad_01.indd 1 12/11/10 18:24:51
Real gardeners for all your gardening needs.
Design, regular and one off maintenance
07812 028704 | 01273 401962
New in Lewes town centre.
Bespoke coloured frame to complement artwork, finished in
natural wax. Quick turnaround if required for exhibiting.
Please contact Richard.
Mobile: 07940 512021 | Email: email@example.com
Tree surgery • Hedges • Gardens
Nathan Hamblin FdSc (Arb)
Experienced, professional and insured
0777 364 2640
GARDENS & GARAGES
Qualified & Experienced gardener
07912 606 557
I N C O R P O R A T I N G F L O T Y R E S
MOT SERVICE AND REPAIRS
GENERAL VEHICLE MAINTENANCE
ALL MAKES AND MODELS
FULLY QUALIFIED TECHNICIANS
Units 1-3 Malling Industrial Estate, Brooks Road, Lewes BN7 2BY
Vehicle Servicing, Repairs and MOT Service: 01273 472691
www.mechanicinlewes.co.uk | firstname.lastname@example.org
Western Herbal Medicine
Menopause Support in Lewes
at The Cliffe Clinic & via Skype
I have been offering women informaaon &
support at menopause for over 18 years.
• FIND OUT WHAT IS HAPPENING
• DISCOVER WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
• OPTIONS WITH OR WITHOUT HRT
As a natural health praccconer I draw upon my
experience to create an individually tailored plan.
Book a FREE MINI CONSULTATION to see if
my approach might suit you.
BSc FSDSHom MARH MBIH(FR)
Mandy Fischer BSc (Hons) Ost, DO, PG cert (canine)
Caroline Jack BOst, PG cert (canine)
Cameron Dowset MOst
HERBAL MEDICINE & REFLEXOLOGY
Julie Padgham-Undrell BSc (Hons) MCPP
Julia Rivas BA (Hons), MA Psychotherapy UKCP
Tom Lockyer BA (Hons), Dip Cound MBACP
ACUPUNCTURE & HYPNOTHERAPY
Anthea Barbary LicAc MBAcC Dip I Hyp GQHP
HOMEOPATHY, COACHING, NLP
Lynne Russell BSc FSDSHom MARH MBIH(FR)
REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPY
Nuro Weidemann ITEC & MTI
23 Cliffe High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2AH
Open Monday to Friday and Saturday mornings
neck or back pain?
Lin Peters - OSTEOPATH
VALENCE ROAD OSTEOPATHS
for the treatment of:
neck or low back pain • sports injuries • rheumatic
arthritic symptoms • pulled muscles • joint pain
stiffness • sciatica - trapped nerves • slipped discs
tension • frozen shoulders • cranial osteopathy
pre and post natal
20 Valence Road Lewes 01273 476371
Instrinsic Health Viva Advert 12.19 AW.qxp_6 06/12/2019
BA (Hons) BSc (Hons) Ost Med DO ND MSc Paediatric Ost
Biodynamic Cranial Osteopath
BA (Hons) Dip Nat Nut CNM MBANT MNNA CNCH reg
Art Therapy • Massage
Psychotherapy & Counselling
Meditation • Reflexology
Yoga for Autism • Supervision
32 Cliffe High Street • Lewes BN7 2AN
Swedish Body Massage
Indian Head Massage
Angelica 07401 131153
LOW COST RATES AVAILABLE
Intrinsic Health, 32, Cliffe High Street, Lewes, BN7 2AN
Gift vouchers available to purchase
Acupuncture, Alexander Technique, Bowen
Technique, Children’s Clinic, Counselling,
Psychotherapy, Family Therapy,
Herbal Medicine, Massage,
Nutritional Therapy, Life Coaching,
Physiotherapy, Pilates, Shiatsu,
BA Hons Dip Phyt
Look for latest details
of Spring Workshops
& Walks by visiting
Ayurvedic Yoga Massage
Nourish the body - calm the mind - connect to the spirit
Contact Reggie at email@example.com
or call/text 07554809732
Certified by AYM Institute: www.anantamassage.com
For appointments call
SoBS Ad 1/16 Viva.qxp 15/10/2019
11:02 Page 1
WE OFFER SUPPORT TO ADULTS
BEREAVED OR AFFECTED BY SUICIDE
Phone Peter: 07902 084 397
SURVIVORS OF BEREAVEMENT BY SUICIDE
Charity Number 1098815
Doctor P. Bermingham
Retired Consultant Psychiatrist.
Assoc. Medical Psychotherapy. Formerly SAP.
Psychotherapy for the psychological core of depression.
Suicidal ideation. Relapse. Supervision of therapists.
(Closed between 1-2pm)
LESSONS & COURSES
THAI YOGA MASSAGE
INDIAN HEAD MASSAGE
Treatment room in Barcombe, Free parking
Rachael 07917 842771
LESSONS & COURSES
GCSE • Beginners • Conversation
Experienced and qualified teacher, central Lewes
Contact Sara on 07598 784579
STUDIO SPACE for hire
for photo shoots in LEWES
we supply :
black/white/grey vinyl backdrops 3m wide
professional lighting / tripod
WIFI / desk / parking
all you need is the camera
We can work it out
• BUSINESS ACCOUNTS AND TAX
• MEDIA AND THE ARTS
• CONTRACTORS AND CONSULTANTS
• FRIENDLY AND FLEXIBLE
T: 01273 961334
Andrew M Wells Accountancy
99 Western Road Lewes BN7 1RS
These chaps are the patients at St Anne’s Red
Cross Hospital, a military institution which
was based in The Shelleys during WW1, for
soldiers convalescing from injuries received at
the Western Front.
We know, thanks to a remarkable coincidence,
that the fourth soldier from the left in the back
row is one Herbert Ablett. And, that Ablett
had been wounded in the shoulder, by a bullet
which had deflected off a cigarette case in his
The picture was very possibly taken to mark an
exhibition of the handiwork of the convalescent
soldiers, held on Wednesday 6th September
1917. The public, according to The Sussex
Agricultural Times, were invited to view the
embroidery and other craftwork which the
‘Blue Boys’ (so named after the colour of their
hospital uniform) had been producing to fill
their time. The Shelleys had been requisitioned
for use as a military hospital in 1916.
The coincidence? A battered old print of the
photograph was, many years ago, inherited by
Mrs Anne Buck, Private Ablett’s granddaughter,
who vaguely knew it had been taken in
Lewes. It wasn’t until she visited the town for
the first time, after retiring to Sussex, that she
walked past what is now The Shelleys Hotel,
and recognised the building. She remembered
a ‘Reeves’ watermark on the picture, and was
surprised to see, on continuing down the High
Street, that the Edward Reeves studio was still
in existence. She went inside, to be told that she
could have more prints made from the original
glass plate negative, should she so want!
The Shelleys was a private home – dating back
to the 16th century – before its wartime incarnation.
In May 1919 the hospital was closed, and
its equipment, including 36 iron bedsteads, was
sold by auctioneers Herbert Morris & Son. The
house was converted into private flats, before
being made into a hotel in 1932. Alex Leith
Thanks, as ever, to Tom and Tania at Edward
Reeves Photography, 159 High Street, where you
can buy cards and prints of images from their
Join the 1,500 who already own a
share in Lewes Football Club.
IH. 179 english oak, patinated brass, pebble grey
T H E K I T C H E N M A K E R