Viva Lewes
 

The Hills are Alive

One dark night in early December, walking down the deserted High Street about 9pm, the editor of Viva Lewes suddenly got the fear about the project. What if there wasn’t enough to do in and around the town to warrant a weekly webmag? What if the hills weren’t alive? He needn’t have feared. A little bit of research eased his mind. Give the surface a little scratch and you find that the town and its district is full of enterprising people arranging interesting things: from the Lewes prison inmates’ art exhibition at the Thebes Gallery to the exciting blues gig at the Snowdrop; from the Chronicles of Narnia at the All Saints, to the opening of the new wheat and gluten-free cake shop, Crumbs, in School Hill. Viva Lewes is proud to play its part in promoting what’s shaking and moving in the district. We are still at a prototype stage in the formation of our webmag: we welcome any constructive or destructive comments you might want to make (at info@vivalewes.com). Remember to navigate use the scrollbar at the bottom of the screen. And please forward our web address (www.vivalewes.com) to anyone who you think might be interested.

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Viva Lewes
12th - 18th January 2006
 

  • Art: Thebes Gallery; Chalk Gallery
  • Blues: Roger Hubbard; The Elevators
  • Cinema: Narnia
  • Folk: Roger Wilson
  • Football: Lewes FC v Yeading
  • Health: Wellbeing Fest; Ivan Tyrell; Smoking in pubs.
  • Photography: Victorian Lewes
  • Restaurant: Si, Lewes
  • Shopping: Crumbs
  • Theatre: A Woman of No Importance
  • Travel: Sardinia
  • Walking: Tide Mills; Plumpton

Contact Viva Lewes

Editorial (alex@vivalewes.com)
Marketing (nick@vivalewes.com)
Design & Technical (dave@vivalewes.com)


Three Victorian barges as seen from Cliffe Bridge.
For close up of barge boys see Barbican exhibition review, Weds 18
 
Viva Lewes
 
Thursday 12th January
1 of 1
 

Folk – Roger Wilson

Leicester-based Roger Wilson could have had a successful career as a singer, a songwriter, a guitarist, a fiddler or a folk musician. The fact that he can merge all these gifts into one gig makes him one of the most popular and respected performers on Britain’s acoustic music circuit. Wilson is also famed for doing the best rendition of Hey Joe since Jimi Hendrix bit the dust. It is a quite a big deal that he is playing at the Royal Oak. ‘On’ Magazine wrote of his album ‘Stark Naked’ ‘This is hardcore folk music with attitude, pared down to the bone, spitting out the frustration and venom that builds in everyday life, as well as acknowledging its tradition.’ “Vox’ called his work ‘state-of-the-nation reports from the frontline’.

Don’t expect a folksy singalong merchant then; expect to be mesmerised by a craftsman delivering a gritty message in a beguilingly wrapped package.

 
Where?
The Royal Oak, Station St, Lewes
When? 8pm
How much? £4
Folk at the Royal Oak:
(w) www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~tinvic/
Roger Wilson
(w) www.littlebackroom.com
 
 
Viva Lewes
 
Friday 13th January
1 of 1
 

Cinema - The Narnia Chronicles

Who would have thought a lion, a witch and a wardrobe could be so controversial? No Disney film has ever provoked such a political storm, hijacked by the moral majority in the States, reviled by the atheist left both sides of the Atlantic. Lewes’ own Polly Toynbee, writing in the Guardian, claimed ‘Narnia represents everything that is most hateful about religion’ and warned that ‘adults who wince at the worst elements of Christian belief may need a sickbag handy.’

True, CS Lewis’ tale of four children who walk through a piece of furniture into a world where mythical creatures battle out the eternal struggle between good and evil is a thinly-disguised allegory of the Christian myth, with Aslan the lion as Jesus. If you worry that that might indoctrinate you and/or your progeny, stay away. If you are thicker skinned, however, and want to delight in a well-acted, well-produced, amazingly animated live action movie, don’t miss it.

 
Where?
All Saints Centre, Friars Walk, Lewes
When? Fri 13th-Jan 5:30pm & 8:30pm
Sat 14th-Jan 2:30pm & 5:30pm & 8:30pm
Sun 15th-Jan 2:30pm & 5:30pm
How much? £4.50
Lewes Cinema:
(t) 01903 523833
(w) www.lewescinema.co.uk
 
 
Viva Lewes
 
Saturday 14th January
1 of 6
 

Art - Time Well Spent Exhibition

Approximately 3% of Lewes’ population lives in one Victorian building on the Brighton Rd, and hardly ever comes into contact of any sort with the rest of the community. Every year at the Thebes Gallery, however, the more artistic inmates of Lewes Prison show their artwork in an exhibition, rather snappily entitled ‘Time Well Spent.’ Prisoners can do Open College Network courses, and many of them choose art. Fifteen to twenty of the best works are chosen every year: mainly two dimensional art, a few sculptures, some examples of creative writing. In the past the exhibition has proved popular with the public, who are invited to put their comments in a book provided.

“The exhibition helps prisoners’ sense of self awareness and increases their self respect” says Dave Harrison, the co-ordinator of the art department in the prison.

 
Where?
Thebes Gallery,
Church Twitten (behind Lewes House), Lewes
When? 10.30am-5pm (Sundays opens at noon,
closed 1.45pm-2.30pm daily and all day Monday).
Runs till Sunday 22nd.
Thebes Gallery, :
(t) 01273 484214/400

 
 
Viva Lewes
 
Saturday 14th January
2 of 6
 

Health - Wellbeing Fest

If you want to know more about qigong, intuitive vision, eurythmy, iridology or buqi, this is the fest for you. All day in the Town Hall 50 groups will be promoting their businesses, all concerned with health, be it physical, mental or spiritual. Groups include When Nothing Else Works, Spirit of Transformation, Ceramic Breasts and the School Hill Osteopath Clinic. There will also be talks: Leo Rutherford on the healing ways of the indigenous seers; Milly Hartley on how to communicate with your angels; Thomas Schorr-kon on how to connect with the Earth. For the kids, Mr. Pineapple Head will be performing ‘Thrills, Spills and Funnyaches’. In the stage area, we are promised live demos and music throughout the day, including offerings from Bright 106.4 FM, Harts Leisure Club and Boomwhacker Rhythm Delight.

There will be plenty of healthy organic food on offer, of course. Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Sussex Bowen Children’s Clinic.

 
Where?
Town Hall, Lewes
When? 10.30am-5.30pm
How much? £2.50/£2 concessions and kids under 16
Wellbeing Fest:
(t) 01273 488924
(w) www.leweswellbeingfest.co.uk
 
 
Viva Lewes
 
Saturday 14th January
3 of 6
 

Walking - Winter Walk

The County Council organises weekly group walks all around East Sussex, and this Saturday’s takes you from Bishopstone to Seaford and back, taking in downland, winter birds and the Tide Mills ruins. The 6-mile route takes you to Bishopstone village, across open downland with views of Newhaven and Seaford, down through the Ouse Estuary Nature Reserve and back along the beach to Bishopstone Station. The nature reserve covers natural marshland and reedbeds and is an excellent location for spotting winter birds. Unfortunately the great crested newts found in the reserve are currently hibernating; no matter, being nocturnal they’d be difficult to see anyway.

Tide Mills, the site for many a teenage summer party, used to be an 18th century hamlet centred round a flour mill powered by the ocean, which fell into decline at the end of the 19th century. The council provides excellent details for hundreds of walks in East Sussex (see more info).

 
Where?
9.15am start
When? Bishopstone Station
How much? Free
 
 
Viva Lewes
 
Saturday 14th January
4 of 6
 

Football – Lewes F.C v Yeading

The Rooks, 7th in the Conference South after last week’s creditable draw at Farnborough, need to beat Yeading this afternoon in order to maintain a challenge for the play-off places to the Conference proper. The form book says they will: ‘the Ding’ arrive at the Dripping Pan on the back of three straight defeats that have seen them drop to 17th in the table. You might remember Yeading, managed by the splendidly named Johnson Hippolyte, running Newcastle United close in the FA Cup last season in front of millions of Match of the Day viewers. Based in the Middlesex splurge around Heathrow airport, they have risen up the leagues recently, and should stay up this season, their first in the Conference South.

Lewes won 3-0 at the Warren earlier in the season, and would be more than happy to repeat that result. Just don’t expect it to look easy. At the Pan this season, it never does. Viva Lewes prediction: 3-1

 
Where?
The Dripping Pan, Mountfield Rd, Lewes
When? 3pm
How much? £9 adults, £6 juniors, £2 kids
Lewes FC:
(w) www.lewesfc.com



 
 
Viva Lewes
 
Saturday 14th January
5 of 6
 

Blues - Roger Hubbard

Expect Dylan’s Love Minus Zero, expect Skip Jones’ Cyprus Grove, expect Muddy Waters’ Pencil Won’t Write no More: expect to be taken back to the Depression-era US of A. Even in the songs he writes himself Sussex-born Roger Hubbard don’t meet hot mamas, and ain’t ever earned enough dollars to take home. From 1970, when he released Brighton Belle Blues, Hubbard has been one of this country’s foremost blues musicians and he’s been rolling um easy in the darkest smokiest bars in the UK ever since, singing quality cover versions of old favourites and a few of his homespun tunes, plucking out chilling riffs on his 1930’s steel-bodied slide guitar.

Hoist that flag, then, and beat that drum. Drift down to an intimate night at the Lansdown, in good company. Hubbard is a cult hero, ‘a monument to the full flowing of white blues scholarship’ according to Rolling Stone magazine. Whatever that means.

 
Where?
Lansdown Arms, Station St, Lewes
When? 8pm
How much? Free
Lansdown Arms:
(t) 01273 480623
(w) www.thelansdownarms.com


 
 
Viva Lewes
 
Saturday 14th January
6 of 6
 

Blues - The Elevators

The Snowdrop’s 2006 gig season starts off with a cracking band – the Elevators, billed by Ricochet Music as ‘without a shadow of doubt one of Britain’s finest Blues bands’ – and that’s quite an accolade coming from them. The defining trait of this Brighton four-piece is that they have not one, but two accomplished blues guitarists, Phil Greaves and John Whippy, who swap rhythm and lead seamlessly, playing idiosyncratic interpretations of old 60’s classics from BB King to early Fleetwood Mac. The Elevators have put out a couple of LP’s, but are primarily known as a gigging band: they regularly blow allcomers offstage at Blues festivals with their frenzied take-no-prisoners style. Their intensely played meshes of electric blues should make for an unforgettable night in the confined space of the Snowdrop.

‘Classic electric blues for connoisseurs’ spout Blues and Stuff; even if you don’t know a Les Paul from a Telecaster, the Elevators are likely to knock your socks off.

Where?
The Snowdrop Inn, 144 South St, Lewes
When? 9pm
How much? Free
 
The Elavators
(w) www.elevatorsweb.com
The Snowdrop
(t) 01273 477242
 
 
Viva Lewes
 
Sunday 15th January
1 of 2
 

Walking - Footpath Group Plumpton-Streat circular

The Footpaths Group are a jolly bunch who walk together every other week on Sundays and sometimes Wednesdays. They welcome all-comers to join them on their well-planned hikes. Today’s six-mile, three-hour walk starts at the road junction by the Half Moon pub near Plumpton, climbs steeply up Streat Hill past Middleton Manor, and continues flat along the summit through the ancient village of Streat, past the racecourse and East Chiltington church, then back past Novington Manor down to the Half Moon. From the top of the hills there are spectacular views across to the North Downs. The walk also takes you past a tree plantation shaped like the letter ‘V’ planted to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

Most walkers take a thermos (or occasionally hip) flask to refresh them during a scheduled rest: further refreshment possibilities are available at the end of the walk as the group will be eating lunch at the Half Moon. The less energetic amongst you can simply join them there at one.

 
Where?
9.45am-1pm
When? Meet at 9.15am North Street Car Park Lewes, or outside Half Moon pub, Plumpton 9.45am
How much? Free
Footpath Group:
(t) 01273 472678
 
 
Viva Lewes
 
Sunday 15th January
2 of 2
 

Play - A Woman of No Importance

Victorian society turned a blind eye to gentlemen behaving badly and its back on ‘fallen’ women, and this hypocritical attitude is the main theme of Wilde’s problematic play. In the first act we grow fond of the wickedly witty Lord Illingworth, an anti-pc middle-aged bachelor who stands out from the rest of the characters at an aristocratic get-together in the shires like a Boris Johnson column in an Independent op-ed page. In the second act we are asked to sympathise with the woman he abandoned twenty years earlier, and their son, now a hot-headed and frankly irritating young man.

This is a leap too far, which makes this a play of two halves, the first much more enjoyable than the second. It will be interesting to see how the Lewes Theatre company deal with the play’s inherent weakness: whatever happens you will inevitably smirk at Wilde’s witty truisms, though you will inevitably have heard them all before.

 
Where?
Lewes Little Theatre, Lancaster St, Lewes
When? 7.45pm (runs till 21st)
How much? £7
Lewes Little Theatre:
(t) 01273 474826



 
 
Viva Lewes
 
Monday 16th January
1 of 2
 

Art – Chalk Gallery Exhibition

Every three weeks the Chalk Gallery in North St, Lewes features exhibitions by two of its twenty-one local artists, as well as new works from the other nineteen. Until the 29th January the two featured artists will be ceramic sculptor Sarah Vosmer and water-painter Jan Mnich.

Vosmer’s creations are a hoot, simultaneously calling to mind classical sculptures and the paintings of Beryl Cook. She creates hollow full-length dresses still bulging with the out-of-shape body form of their wearers, which, despite their humour, maintain a certain dignified poise. Mnich, who has exhibited at the Royal Watercolour Society, explores Mediterranean themes in bright colours, predominantly yellows and blues. Landscapes and architecture feature prominently. Some of her work is abstract, but still brings to mind the peace and quiet of the southern European summer. Of the other work on show, Viva Lewes was particularly taken by Amy Williams’ pen-and-ink cows.

 
Where?
4, North St, Lewes
When? Open 10am-5pm daily
Chalk Gallery
(w) www.chalkgallery.org.uk
(t) 01273 474477




 
 
Viva Lewes
 
Monday 16th January
2 of 2
 

Talk – Ivan Tyrell on ‘how to lift depression’

Ivan Tyrell is the principal of Mindfields College in Chalvington, between Lewes and Hailsham, and the author of a number of populist books on emotional health. Mindfields is the only college in the country dedicated entirely to the study of psychology. Tyrell believes in a holistic approach to mental health, an approach which addresses what he calls the ‘human givens’ the emotional needs we have as human beings and the mental abilities we have genetically inherited to cope with our daily life. If our needs are not met we can get stressed and depressed, and we can misuse our mental abilities: for example by using our imagination to ruminate on negative thoughts.

Stopping such negative rumination and channelling the imagination to active problem-solving mode can be of great help to depressed people, according to Tyrell, as can understanding the importance of dreaming and using the imagination to aid relaxation. Tyrell, in the relaxed surroundings of Pelham House, will expand on these theories and propose a blueprint for recovery from depression.

 
Where?
Pelham House, St Andrews Lane, Lewes
When? 7pm for 7.30 start
How much? £2
Mind Fields:
www.mindfields.org.uk
Pelham House
www.pelhamhouse.com
(t) 01273 488600
 
 
Viva Lewes
 
Tuesday 17th January
1 of 1
 

Food – Si Italian Restaurant

I walk into Si hoping that it will somehow transport me for an hour or two back to Italy, a place I love. I look at the cleanly painted white walls, the shiny pine floor. Luther Vandross is playing in the background. Not even the Doric columns holding up the ceiling can save me from that sinking feeling. So I am prepared to dislike my first course. And when my pleasant waitress brings along a piece of bread soaked in cheese sauce with a handful of peeled prawns and ‘a hint’ of garlic (a ‘Veneziano’) and I take a tentative bite, I write down that there is a fine line between ‘delicate’ and ‘bland’. By the time I’ve finished it I realise that ‘delicate’ is actually the apter adjective. It’s delicious. As is my second course, spaghetti arrabbiata (sic). Although its ingredients don’t agree grammatically, they go together very well on the plate. The chef isn’t shy with his chillies, that’s for sure.

They’re playing The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by the time I leave, half a slice of chocolate fudge cake later, well fed, but still hungry for Italy.

 
Where?
197 High St, Lewes
When? Mon - Sat: 10:30am - 10:45pm
Sun - 12noon - 10pm
How much? Typical main course £6.75
Si:
(t) 01273 487766
 
 
Viva Lewes
 
Wednesday 18th January
1 of 1
 

Exhibition – Local Victorian photography

In the early days of photography in the mid nineteenth to early twentieth century a handful of amateur enthusiasts – including Mssrs Reeves, Meads, Bedford and Bartlett – chronicled numerous formal events in and around Lewes, as well as countless scenes from the town’s daily life, and the Barbican museum has around 100,000 of these works in the reserve collections. The photographs are generally beautifully composed and rich in detail and tell us an enormous amount about the day-to-day life in the Lewes district in those black-and-white days. Modern technology has allowed the curators of the museum to digitalise some of the images and blow up tiny and otherwise imperceptible details. The results are fascinating: golf bags appear on charabancs; servants appear behind windows; ghostly characters too fidgety to be immortalised during the long-exposure take suddenly come to life.

The exhibition puts the detailed blow-ups next to the original glass plate or cellulose negative prints. If you’re interested in photography or social history, or just have a healthy cultural curiosity, this exhibition is for you.


 
Where?
Barbican Museum, Castle Gate Entrance,
High St, Lewes
When? 10am-5pm (Sunday 11am) Runs till April 2nd
How much? £2.25 for Lewes District Residents
Barbican Museum:
(t) 01273 486290
(w) www.sussexpast.co.uk

 
 
Viva Lewes
 
Extras
1 of 4
 

Food – Crumbs

Lewes’ growing army of wheat and gluten-free dieters can now buy a selection of take away cakes in central Lewes. Crumbs, which opened up on Saturday in the space at the bottom of School Hill where the deli used to be, offers a selection of cakes, about half of which are free of wheat and gluten. Some people are allergic to these products; others see them as being bad for your digestive system. The shop manager used to run the Board Hill Gardens in Haywards Heath. She found that people were travelling for miles to buy her wheat and gluten-free products and thus decided to start afresh in a central Lewes location. She bakes the cakes and makes the sandwiches in a kitchen under the shop.

Crumbs also sells freshly made sandwiches, espresso coffee, tea, honeys and jams, and various other products. Viva Lewes can particularly recommend the walnut crispie brownies, and the lumberjack cake, which is Crumbs’ first cake of the week, and can be sampled at the counter.

 
Where?
School Hill, Lewes
When? 9am-4pm
How much? Average slice of cake 85p, sandwiches £2.40

Crumbs:
(t) 01273 477711

 
 
Viva Lewes
 
Extras
2 of 4
 

Gatwick flyaway - Sardinia

Easyjet’s prices from Gatwick to Olbia in the winter are remarkably cheap: hire a car and Sardinia is a wonderful place to explore.The island offers incredible geological diversity: it is worth driving into the mountainous interior and back fifty years in time. Its architecture reflects its patchwork history: it is particularly rich in Romanesque churches.The best places to stay are ‘agriturismo’ farm holdings where the family look after you like family and prepare you food made in the traditional way, in situ. Pecorino and ricotta cheese, pancetta, artichoke hearts, salami, home-made vino di tavola and suckling pig are typically on the winter menu.

The Sards have the reputation in Italy of being good-natured and outgoing, although they don’t suffer fools gladly. In the winter there is no tourist fatigue: it is the best time to go, when prices are low, beautiful medieval towns like Alghero and Castelsardo aren’t over-run, and you can navigate your way around the virtually traffic-free roads with ease.

 
Where?
Off the west coast of Italy
When? Fine winter destination
How much? From £20 return
EasyJet:
(w) www.easyjet.com
Agriturismo "Sa tanca noa"
(w) www.agriturismosatancanoa.com/indexen.htm
 
 
Viva Lewes
 
Extras
3 of 4
 

Lewes Arms - Smoking Restrictions

It seems that Greene King have taken on board the government’s half-baked concoction of a Health Bill when it comes to smoking in the Lewes Arms. Their instructions of where you can and cannot smoke in the pub are so convoluted that many reading the regulations from posters in the toilets assumed they were some sort of April Fool joke come early. There is a good case to be made for banning smoking in all public places, including pubs, for the sake of the health of staff and customers alike. Such measures have generally been popular even among smokers in Italy and Ireland where stringent anti-smoking laws have been passed. Many libertarians believe, on the other hand, that it is not the government’s responsibility to tell people where and when they can smoke, and suggest that staff and punters working and patronising pubs do so in the knowledge that they will be smoky.

Surely, especially in a pub with three separate bars, a more sensible compromise can be reached. And surely, on a national level, the government can come up with a less muddled plan on smoking regulations in public places.

   
 
 
 
Viva Lewes
 
Extras
4 of 4
 

Photo of the Week

There is some dispute as to who is the author of this week’s photo of the week, taken from a party on top of the Town Hall during the procession on Bonfire Night. Business partners Matt Haycocks and Jack Snell of Standard 8 on Station St. both claim responsibility as they were both snapping away during the celebrations on Matt’s Sony Cybershot digital camera. The argument will run and run. If you have a picture you would like to submit for publication, send it to info@vivalewes.com, with a contact number. No prizes, we’re afraid, just the satisfaction of spreading the fruit of your creative bent to the maximum possible audience.

 
Viva Lewes
 

That’s all for this week. Viva Lewes would like to thank the many people it has taken to get this week’s webmag out, including: Hilda Heap, Emma O’Connor, Roger Wilson, Kevin at Lewes Cinema, Jan Mnich, Helen White, Sarah Vosmer, Matt Haycocks, Jack Snell, John Kenward, Vicky Pannell, Darren Baggs and the Elevators. Contributors this week include Nick Williams, Dave Wilson, Alex Leith, Jonas Darlinstein, Jennifer Leeburn, Dexter Lee and Antonia Gabassi.

Next week’s edition will include the following events:

  • Thursday: Open Town Hall meeting about flood defences.
  • Friday: 'On the Run' Lewes All Saints Cinema Club.
  • Saturday: 'Brief Encounter' Seaford Film Society.
  • Saturday: The Curst Sons, formerly the fabulous Daddy Yum Yum at the Snowdrop.

Every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of our entries. Viva Lewes cannot be held responsible for any omissions, errors or alterations. Please let us know if you want any event or opening to be considered for publication at info@vivalewes.com or on 01273 488882.

To receive a free weekly edition of Viva Lewes in your inbox every week, please click here

The Curst Sons, formerly of Daddy Yum Yum, playing next week at the Snowdrop