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Our Biggest Print Run Yet - Now over 12,250 copies
Lives Less Ordinary I hate to name-drop, but then again, no I don’t... I was fortunate enough to meet Sir Tom Stoppard, the writer who is perhaps best known for his work on Shakespeare in Love. He was talking to Christ’s Hospital pupils in October. Ever since we put a feature together on the school last year, Toby has been invited back on many occasions to photograph various events. I tag along occasionally. Anyway, what was intended to be a proper interview with Sir Tom became an informal chat about journalism. He had begun his career as a reporter on a local paper in Bristol and he was keen to know more about AAH. It was interesting to hear his views. In a roundabout way, Sir Tom explained that he has no plan when writing a new play, but that ideas develop and constantly evolve. “The next challenge is the next line,” he said. This was hugely reassuring for me, as I don’t have a clue what we’ll be doing one day to the next... Nonetheless, we’ve somehow managed to cobble together another edition. We’ve interviewed some fascinating people this month, all doing what they love to do - something we should all aspire to. What’s the point otherwise? We met David Hellyer, who has created
Ben Morris (All AAH Editorial & Advertising) and Toby Phillips (All AAH Photography)
puppets used to entertain children all over the world (page 16), chef Scott Hallsworth who has changed our perception of Japanese cuisine (page 34), and Jonathan Lucas who has devoted his life to the pursuit of creating the perfect deer (page 48). I hope you enjoy reading about these remarkable people as much as Toby and I enjoyed putting the articles together.
This month, we’ve learnt that 50 points makes an ugly antler, that Su Pollard really does talk like that, that Hendrix’s old guitars are worth more than Clapton’s and that finding the right fleece fabric for a Kermit puppet is extremely difficult. If any of that sounds remotely intriguing, do read on...
Cover Story In the end, it was the autumnal colours in the picture of Jonathan Lucas at the Warnham Park Estate that settled it. The red colours of the Museum were perfect and were even enhanced by Jonathan’s rather bright orange trousers! It was not the intention to use this a cover shot, as the original image was actually a landscape shape and showed much more of the museum, decorated with deer antlers. We had really only decided to visit the museum as the bad weather was
limiting what we could do in the park itself. Jonathan is pictured leaning against an 1897 Fire Engine, which once made it all the way to Shipley in response to a fire at Knepp Castle. Toby did have to position himself so that the antlers didn’t appear to be coming out of the side of Jonathan’s head! There were alternative options. Toby really liked the image of David Hellyer’s puppet, Pierre -even placing the puppet’s hat over the AAH logo before I rejected the idea.
If you would like to discuss Advertising in AAH, please contact Ben on 01403 878026. Eighth Page £50; Quarter page: £100; Half Page: £175; Full Page £300
CONTENTS 6 News Round-Up What’s making headlines, including a Michelin star for Restaurant Tristan
10 My Story So Far Mary Villiers flew a variety of places including Spitfires during WWII
14 Ones to Watch Tim Fifield relies on amusing and tragic characters in his one man show
16 Puppets The Horsham family who make puppets for children’s shows
20 Guitar Man The graduate looking to carve a career as a guitar maker
26 Table Tennis After the Olympics, table tennis threatens to make a comeback!
AAH Editor: Ben Morris email@example.com 01403 878026 / 01903 892899 Advertising: Kelly Morris firstname.lastname@example.org 01403 878026 / 01903 892899 Photography: Toby Phillips tobyphillipsphotography.co.uk email@example.com 07968 795625 Contributors Jeremy Knight (Historic images and text for article on Horsham’s Window Displays Additional thanks to...
34 Meal Review Wabi is still in good shape despite the opening of a new London restaurant
43 Group Discussion The volunteers providing news headlines for the visually impaired
48 Warnham Park How Warnham is world-famous for its herd of Red Deer
56 Artist Artistic husband and wife Keith and Debra Menear show their work
62 Shop Windows Horsham traders have held window display competitions for years
66 How Interesting The night that The Rolling Stones played in Horsham town
This month we welcome Cara Cocoracchio (Holbrook) Eddie Robinson (Southwater) and Reece Elvin (Silnfold) to our delivery team. New delivery rounds include Merryfield Drive in Horsham Jonathan Lucas of Warnham Park, Loti Dutton of Lori White PR, Ian Ford (Horsham Table Tennis Club), Ben’s Mum and Dad for Proof Reading (please blame them for any grammatical errors)
Grandma (Wisborough Green) AAH is available to pick up for free in stands at Sakakini (Carfax ), Artisan Patisserie (Market Square) and Horsham Museum.
Door-to-Door Delivery team The Paterson family, Geoff Valentine, Andrew Price, Trish Fuller, Sarah Guile, Amy Rogers, Laura Harding and Cara Cocoracchio (all Horsham rounds), Anna Laker and Alex Besson (Billingshurst), Jamie Towes, Shaun Bacon and Eddie Robinson (Southwater), Jack Barnett (Monks Gate/Mannings Heath), Karen Parnell (Warnham), Will Smith (Ashington), Roger Clark (Partridge Green and Cowfold), Reece Elvin (Slinfold), Ben Morris (Tower Hill, Rookwood, Dial Post, Crabtree), Toby Phillips (Town Centre), Herbie Whitmore (West Grinstead), Ben’s
Website Run by Mi-Store of Brighton. Read all of our editions at www.aahorsham.co.uk AAH Magazine is an independent publication owned by B. Morris and is based in Ashington Copies of past editions of AAH (except July/ September 2011 and January 2012 - sold out) are available for £3 each (this includes postage). Please send a cheque (payable to AA Publishing Ltd) of £3 for each copy to: AA Publishing Ltd, 2 Viney Close, Ashington, West Sussex, RH20 3PT.
Riverford Organic Farms going for
A fresh approach When people picture a vegetable box, it is normal to expect kohl rabi, kale, Jerusalem artichoke, purple sprouting broccoli, Romanesco cauliflower and perhaps some Mexican tomatillo. Well, it is if you happen to be a customer of Riverford... Riverford organic farms’ box scheme began when Guy Watson started delivering vegetables to friends in Devon. The farms now deliver around 40,000 boxes a week to homes from regional farms. Vanessa Bamford runs the local Riverford franchise, using a team of friendly drivers to deliver fresh organic fruit, vegetable and meat boxes to customers around Horsham and Dorking. “I was a Riverford customer for eight years,” said Vanessa. “I was changing my order on the website one day and I saw there were franchise opportunities. I was impressed by the set-up and I was the right person for them too, so I came on board earlier this year. “There are five Riverford-owned organic farms, and some are suited to different crops. There is a place in East Anglia where the carrots mature faster due to the microclimate they have. “We also work with a number of co-operatives so we have long term relationships with farms across the UK and overseas such as banana farmers in the Dominican Republic and pineapple farmers in Togo.” There is a huge range of boxes, from a £7.95 squash box to a large vegetable box for £18.85, and delivery is free. You can even make up your own vegetable box if you prefer. But from a customer’s perspective, Riverford appeals because the produce is fresh and high in quality. Vanessa said: “We grow for flavour and not for yield so everything tastes really good. The
‘We grow for flavour and not for yield so everything tastes good’ big complaint I’ve heard from people is that the produce they receive from supermarket deliveries is stuff that the shop wants to get rid of – it is not very fresh. “Our produce all comes direct from the farm and there is less than two days from it being picked to it arriving on your doorstep. “People are so much more interested in their food these days and they want to know where it is coming from and there is more awareness of the benefits of organic food. “Riverford also takes great pride in giving farmers a fair deal, both in this country and -
through our Fairtrade association – in Africa and the Caribbean. Riverford has an ethical approach to farming and supply.” The other benefit is that the range at Riverford is seasonal and so you’re constantly being surprised by what is in the box. Vanessa said: “If you’re used to shopping at the supermarket you will tend to stick to carrots, broccoli and onions and have them the whole year round. But at the moment we have the Romanesco cauliflower coming in and it’s lovely because we haven’t had them for a while. We had tomatillo, which is a green tomato from Mexico, and persimmons too. It makes cooking lots of fun!” You can currently take advantage of a special offer – new customers booking a regular order will receive a free copy of the award-winning Riverford cook book, worth £16.99. QUOTE AAH12 with your first order
www.riverford.co.uk Contact Vanessa on 01903 892116 firstname.lastname@example.org
12 1: Horsham Artists Open Studios host a Christmas Sale in The Park Barn on 24th – 25th November at 10am–5pm. Visitors can meet local artists and makers showcasing their work, including paintings, sculpture, ceramics, wood turning, jewellery and cards. Visit www.horshamopenstudios.co.uk 2: Restaurant Tristan in East Street, Horsham, has won a Michelin star award. The award comes five years after owner and head chef Tristan Mason was singled out as a Rising Star in the industry by The Observer’s renowned food critic Jay Rayner. The AAH review of can be read at www.aahorsham.co.uk 3: The Horsham Matters Community Charity Centre in Guildford Road, Horsham, is now open for business again. The centre - which sells a huge range of furniture, household goods, electrical items, toys, books, games and more - has been divided into two units to accommodate a Co-Op store. The income Horsham Matters generates goes into delivering services for the local community. The store is open Tuesday to Saturday from
9.30am to 4pm. 4: A Remembrance Sunday service will be held at the War Memorial in the Carfax on Sunday, 11th November. The service will begin at 10:50am led by the Reverend Canon Guy Bridgewater, Vicar of Horsham. The two minutes silence, in memory of the fallen, will take place before the laying of wreaths. 5: An Osprey has been spotted on several occasions at Warnham Nature Reserve in recent weeks. It is the same bird that has been spotted since August around the River Adur. One person reported seeing the Osprey take a fish from the Adur before eating it in a tree near Lancing College. The osprey has also been spotted at Woods Mill in Henfield. 6: Two of the contestants from ‘The Great British Bake Off’ have joined Horsham Market. Cathryn Dresser and Sarah-Jane Willis both live in Sussex and made it through to the latter stages of the competition. Their new business is named 'Carry on Baking' and will be at the Local Produce Market in Horsham
every Saturday. For full details visit www.horshammarkets.co.uk 7: A new group comprising of local musicians has been formed to promote original bands. A website has been created at www.horsham-rocks.co.uk with band profiles and an extensive gig guide, and a regular music showcase will be held at The Anchor Hotel in Market Square, Horsham. The first Horsham Rocks live music night is held on Thursday, 6th December, featuring Half Hour Hotel and The Gypsy Switch. 8: The 30th Barns Green Half Marathon, on Sunday, 30th September, was won by Ethiopian athlete, Yared Hogos. Over 1,500 runners took part in ideal running conditions through the scenic course with Hogos winning in a time of 1 hour 6 minutes 53 seconds. Hogos finished just under five minutes ahead of the second placed athlete, last year’s winner, James Baker from Chichester Runners. Third place went to local runner Andrew Robinson from Horsham Joggers. The women’s race was won by Sarah Kingston of
AAH News Round-up 4
14 Fittleworth Flyers in a time of 1 hour 25 minutes and 4 seconds. 9: The Crown Inn at Dial Post introduces a new menu on 5th November, as well as a new look to the front of house. To celebrate this, owners Penny and James are offering customers 20% off food on Monday to Thursday throughout November (pre-bookings only). For more details call 01403 710902. 10: Farlington School PTA Christmas Fair is held on Saturday, 17th November at 11am 3pm. There will be over 80 stalls selling jewellery, arts and crafts, clothing, beauty products, cards and toys. Children can enjoy Santa’s Grotto and face painting. Tickets £1. Meanwhile, Ashington’s Fabulous Festive Market will be held on Wednesday, 21st November at 3-8pm at The Scout Hall, Church Lane, Ashington. Father Christmas will make an appearance, and visitors can buy fresh produce, handcrafted gifts, cards, delicious cakes, sweets, breads and savouries. A barbeque will be held at 5pm.
11: A local computer expert is encouraging people over 50 to embrace the internet. Ivor Tarrant has been trained and appointed by Silver Training to provide one-to-one computer tuition service directly to people in their own homes. Ivor teaches all the popular topics such as computer basics, Emailing and internet shopping. He can even show you how to make free video calls to friends and family all over the world. For details call 0800 862 0666 or visit www.silvertraining.co.uk 12: Mary Crabb will be showing a collection of woven objects designed and made using basketry and textile techniques at Horsham Museum until 1st December. Although she continues to use traditional weaving methods, with some adaptations, she now uses a range of materials, from willow to wire. As part of the exhibition, Mary hopes to run some talks and workshops relating to her work on display. www.horshammuseum.org 13: The Greets Inn in Warnham has launched a new Sussex Game Menu available until 24th November. You can try dishes such as Rabbit
Rarebit with Sussex ale, Three Bird Stew and Roasted Venison Sausage sourced from Warnham Deer Park. There’s also wine from local vineyards. www.thegreetsinn.co.uk 14: Set4Success is holding a Gala Dinner at South Lodge Hotel on Monday, 26th November to raise funds for talented young people in the area. The evening will include a three course dinner, inter-table sports quiz and an auction of sporting memorabilia. Awards will be given to Hannah Patchett (water polo), Charlie Piper (rugby), Kathryn Small (trampolining), Haylee Miller (basketball), Matthew Duffin (ballroom dancing), Jacob Dean (baseball), and Meilitsa-Bo AbramFoster (artistic gymnastics). Tickets are £35 per person from Alison Saxby at Spofforths on 01403 253282 or email@example.com 15: The Horsham Symphony Orchestra opens its concert season at the Capitol on 17th November with performances of Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes, Gordon Jacob’s Trombone Concerto, and Edward Elgar’s orchestral masterpiece, Symphony No.1.
‘I believe in quality’ Sir Tom Stoppard visits Christ’s Hospital School I can only recall the visit of one writer during my school years, and that was when Val Biro, the creator of the ‘Gumdrop’ children’s books, visited Chesworth (now Kingslea) School. I can still remember his explanation for starting Gumdrop’s engine (Gumdrop was based on a 1926 Austin vehicle.) No doubt the advice given by Sir Tom Stoppard in the theatre at Christ’s Hospital in October will have an impact on the lives of the school’s senior pupils. The playwright, known for works including ‘Arcadia’ and ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead’ as well as for co-writing screenplays for Brazil and Shakespeare in Love, was interviewed by English teacher Doctor Ross Stuart before students asked questions. You might have considered the comparison between Val Biro and Tom Stoppard a little unbalanced, but it is not a comparison that the acclaimed playwright would be at all offended by. Sir Tom was keen to explain to the pupils that there should only be one point of concern when judging various art forms. “I believe in quality”, he said. “I believe in things being good, not quite good enough,
middling or lousy. But it’s got absolutely nothing to do with categories. To write a brilliant farce is an achievement, perhaps a more difficult achievement, than to write a beautiful drama in rhyming couplets. “To be an outstanding circus performer – an acrobat or a juggler – is equally an achievement. Being an artist is something that transcends categories; it is about being very good.” Sir Tom, who has won an Academy Award (for Shakespeare in Love) and four Tony Awards, provided a fascinating insight into his own writing methods and influences, but stressed the importance of allowing ideas to develop organically. He said: “What I like about writing for stage and film is that there is something hard edged about it. The next problem is the next line at any given moment. “I don’t operate out of a set of principles. I don’t have a programme for the ideal play. Some of the time, if you are lucky, the story is telling you the way it wants to go. When that happens it’s a great feeling. “I don’t consider myself to be a provocative writer. I’m very enamoured by what the English language is capable of doing and I
would have to say that that is my main interest.” But it’s reassuring to know that - even for the greats - sometimes the story does not tell the playwright where it wants to go… “I’m writing a piece for radio at the moment,” he said. “I went away in the middle of July for a month to really kick this thing into gear and after this month in the country I was on page seven. “Then I had to return to my life in London but managed to escape for another ten days. After working really hard on it once again I was on...page seven. I’m now on page nine! “I used to think that you had to know about a play before writing it, but now I think the opposite. Your chances improve if you actually know nothing about it!” Sir Tom Stoppard’s 1993 play ‘Arcadia’, acclaimed by many critics as a masterpiece, is currently on the curriculum at Christ’s Hospital, where his granddaughter attends. After a question and answer session, during which many pupils were keen to uncover mysteries of the script, Holly Porteous, second monitor, presented a text to Sir Tom by Old Blue, George Peele.
‘Some aircrafts were terrible to fly but the
Spitfire was a lady’ I was born in Kannur in southern India in 1919. My father was out there for many years in Bombay as he was a broker in the tea trade. I have a lot of memories of my early years in India.
Mary Villiers of Horsham - A Former A.T.A Pilot
We came to the UK when my father was on leave and I moved here permanently with my mother when I was about eight-years-old. My father would return from India every year. It took a fortnight for him to sail from India and he would be here for a while and then head back. My father was very fond of Indian people. There were very few in this country at that time and they would sometimes visit us whilst on leave and we would put them up in our home. I remember my father had a very smart car called an Arrol-Johnston. You put your luggage on the side of the car and it would trundle along at about 30mph. Not many people had motor cars at that time but there were numerous times that we were stuck on the side of the road with a puncture! I went to Howell’s Boarding School in Wales when I was 11 which I thoroughly enjoyed. Some people wouldn’t agree with me but I think the happiest days of my life were spent there. Having moved around so much up until that time I think it was the continuity that I liked. I did secretarial training after school and went straight to work for NatWest in Liverpool. I was there for about a year when World War II broke out. Like everyone, I wanted to join the war effort so joined FANY (The First Aid Nursing Yeomanry) which was an allfemale unit linked to the army. It was mostly driving duties and I enjoyed it very much but then I had a chance to fly. One of my relations was in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATA) and he said I should give flying a go. I said ‘I don’t know how to fly!’ but he said that the ATA would teach me. Men were involved but there were many women in the ATA.
Of the 659 pilots in the ATA, 169 of us were female. Sixteen of the women died. I learnt to fly the Miles Majister, a little single engine plane, which was very nice and the training was very good. They were very short of pilots so they wanted us all to reach the required standard. In
truth it wasn’t that difficult. I had to fly many different aircraft– I think 20 in all. I couldn’t fly any of them properly we just had to take off, be careful, and land of course! When I first went up solo in a plane I was
My Story So Far terrified. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get it down, or that I would crash it, or if I couldn’t fly maybe I would have to go and work in a factory. But I was determined to make a success of it! Our job was to ferry planes around the country. I went to Yorkshire to begin with and I flew mostly Swordfish planes up to Scotland, which wasn’t always nice as it was so cold flying them. I didn’t really enjoy it, but I managed to pull a few strings and moved to a different ferry pool in Leicestershire which was far more pleasant as there were more women there. My log book is in a museum, but I have a copy of it so people believe me when I say that I used to fly! I flew the Barracuda, Hurricane, Firefly, Harvard, the Lockheed Hudson and of course Spitfires. We were ferrying planes from factories to the squadron and by the end we were ferrying old Wellington bombers to be broken up. Like most people, I do have my favourite. The Spitfire was a lady! Some aircraft were pretty terrible to fly – the Barracuda was a dreadful thing and the Swordfish was not at all popular. It was much better to have a Spitfire as they were cosy. I had married Dennis Wilson in 1939. He joined the Territorial Army like most people - everyone was so patriotic in those days. He was called up for service and was made an officer and sent to South Africa. He then went up to the North of Africa
Mary and Dennis marry in 1939
My Story So Far and was killed. He is buried with a nice tombstone out there but Iâ€™ve never been out to see it. I didnâ€™t hear about his death until two weeks after it happened. I received a yellow envelope from the army and that was it. People say â€˜Iâ€™m sorryâ€™ but the war goes on. It was happening all the time. Flying a Spitfire was one of the best moments of my life. Right: Mary pictured in 1942, whilst in the ATA Above: Local company Fact Not Fiction Films have produced Spitfire Sisters, based on the women in the ATA. Mary has recently been given a copy.
The war wasnâ€™t enjoyable for me as a whole though. It left me a bit shattered. I had an easy childhood and was well looked after, so to then get married to someone and lose him was shattering. I went numb really. I went to Sri Lanka after the war as I had always wanted to go there and I knew a lot of people there. Everybody wanted to get out of England at that time. I travelled between here and Sri Lanka for several years and I got to know the country a bit. I met my second husband, Sandy, on my way out to Sri Lanka. We lived in London for a few years. Sandy left the Navy and got a job in the city but I didnâ€™t like the city too much. Iâ€™m a country person really. So we moved to Warnham and we stayed there for about 30 years. I have only flown once since the war. I went up in a light aircraft when I was 75 for the first time in 40 years. It was fun but it was a bit like driving a Mini after youâ€™ve driven a Rolls Royce! But I do think that flying is one of the best things you can learn to do. When Sandy died about 15 years ago there was no point staying there in a big house so I moved into a smaller place in Horsham.
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The ATA was based in Maidenhead. I went there relatively recently as there was a display at an ATA Heritage Centre called â€˜Grandma Flew Spitfiresâ€™ and it tells the story of the women pilots of the ATA during the Second World War. The work of the ATA was not recognised at all at the time. Itâ€™s a bit late for recognition now as most of the people have died of course. But Iâ€™m delighted that the ATA is still operating and that they have put together such a good exhibition.
Split Personality One to Watch: Tim Fifield enthralls with his one man show During the day, Tim Fifield runs a web design business in Horsham. But he has an alter-ego – ten in fact – and they all appear in his one-man show ‘Not What I Expected’ which has been acclaimed by audiences. Tim (and some of the other voices in his head) talk to AAH...
If you’re doing monologue-based contemporary humour then you can forget about sitting behind a computer and writing a script. You’re using words differently when you write.
I auditioned for the National Youth Theatre but I didn’t get in. I think it was probably because I was crap. I was very inexperienced and shy as a young man but despite that failure I was always very interested in theatre and did quite a bit of theatre in school and later in amateur productions.
The way I devise the characters is that I play with language. So I would come up with an east-ender for example and start talkin’ ‘bout it and I would invent a life for him by endlessly talking around the character. You find their voice and then you find a story within that. It’s one of the most amazing things as you don’t know what you’re going to say next.
Work took over and I got married and had children and I only really returned to theatre when I was in my thirties. I’m 49 now. I was spoilt in so far as that I got the opportunity to work with very good people in Crawley, putting on quality productions by the likes of Shakespeare and Tennessee Williams.
I got the idea that I would like to write and direct plays so I started writing comedy dramas. They were often set up as comedies but would have dark resolutions. I wrote a musical called Deadline, which was quite successful, and over the last ten or so years I‘ve been concentrating on writing plays. This compulsion to do a one-man show came up and I started developing characters, ideas and monologues to fuel the show. In ‘Not What I Expected’ I play ten characters – nine humans and one disappointed dog called Vernon. It’s all about people’s lives and how they can set off in one direction, only to swerve off into different areas. I have an 86-year-old called Reg, who has lived a fairly blameless life although there are indications that he has had interesting dalliances along the way. He has been told by his doctor that he only has six months to live. He doesn’t feel he has done everything that he wanted to do – he feels unfulfilled. So when his new carer Madonna turns up and she is a drinking, drug-taking, sexobsessed young person, he thinks ‘I’d like a bit of that action.’ She invites him to a lockin at a pub where he meets lots of interesting
James is a bitter divorcee who is trying to come to terms with the fact that he has split from his wife, the terms of loss of contact with his children and the disappointment of being in that position. Then you’ve got Bertram, a gay, failed actor who is dumped, very harshly, by his longterm partner Colin in Pizza Express, and has to rebuild his life. You learn that one character, Maureen Bateman, is widowed as her husband had a heart attack whilst watching Casualty (I’ve been watching that show for 23 years and I couldn’t think of one thing to do’). It’s not meant to be a joke but it is funny. Essentially, people laugh at detail rather than scripted words. They laugh at familiarity. So the trick is to create characters that resonate for people. in the first half of the show I introduce each character, and in the second half you see them again, but the stories begin to start connecting and characters crop up in each other’s monologues. That creates a fizzing dynamic in the drama which allows me to develop the characters.
I’ve picked out elements of people I know and have met. A lot of the scenarios are based on things I’ve experienced. Chevron, the 14-year-old glued to his X-Box, is based on a teenager I know very well. I stood outside his door and listened to him playing his computer games. ‘You logged in mate? You logged in? Cover me! Cover me! Hang on, I’ve just killed myself.’ All of the stories are resolved. I love being mischievous. I don’t like nice, tidy rom-com endings as that is not life, so at the end a lot of the stories seem sad. Some are happy, but some are not. I was tempted to create a show that would get people into a state of hilarity and then drop them off a cliff at the end. It’s surprisingly strange being on stage. It’s an outer-body experience. I absolutely love it. I’m nervous in that I don’t want to panic and not know what to do but it’s never happened. Obviously you are nervous and the adrenaline is pumping as you go on, but there is something quite surreal about walking out on stage in front of an audience – it’s a beautiful collision of time and circumstance. There’s nothing you can do once you’ve taken those steps. I’ve done eleven performances of ‘Not What I Expected’ with profits donated to SCOPE. I was in Horley for six nights, in Crawley for three and at the Capitol for two nights. The plan is to take the show to the Brighton Fringe.
‘Some things are more important than big
furry purple monsters!’
David Hellyer’s videos have been watched over a million times on YouTube. He hasn’t had his finger bitten by his baby brother, invented a Korean dance craze or, as far as we know, performed a duet with Justin Bieber. Instead, his popularity is down to his puppets. David’s full time job is as a Youth Leader at Kingdom Faith Church, but in his spare time he runs Hellyer’s Puppet Workshop, creating puppets similar to those on Sesame Street or The Muppets – in a small studio at his parents’ Horsham home.
It’s a hobby that has attracted worldwide interest. He has sold puppets to customers in America, sent a purple monster puppet to a Children’s Hospice in Canada, a reindeer puppet to Australia, a parrot puppet to a film maker in New York, and one of his creations is even on children’s television in Zimbabwe. It was inevitable that David would become involved in puppetry in some way. His parents Peter and Diane Hellyer are involved with Upbeat Puppets, and have performed puppet shows for over 20 years. They continue to do so, mainly at care homes, schools and churches.
Diane said: “It’s all voluntary work, and the idea is to teach people about the gospel through puppetry. It is entertaining but it carries a message. “A lot of our puppet shows are set to music. We don’t do plays or little skits very often as we use parodies of well-known songs. So we have songs such as Jailhouse Rock, which is re-written as Church House Rock. Older people who remember Elvis will like the music and will enjoy it, but it has a gospel theme to the song.” It was Peter and Diane who introduced David to puppetry at Sunday School at what is now
Pierre (left) remains David’s favourite puppet, as it was so much better than his first attempts (centre). the Christan Life Centre in Horsham. Back then it was Peter’s puppet ‘Scripture Squirrel’ that was spreading the word of Jesus. Whilst his parents still perform with puppets that they have bought, David has gone in a different direction and prefers making puppets to giving shows. David said: “When I was a kid my dad used to run the Sunday School sessions, using glove puppets to tell stories. One thing led to another and I started doing bits and pieces and eventually I began acting out scenes. “A company called One Way UK was set up and they basically provided puppets and training for people to do what my parents were doing. They are based in Reading and I went to work with them for a year after finishing school. “Through them I was able to perform around the country and also teach people how to use the puppets. I was also able to go to America a few times for puppet festivals and competitions. “But rather than it being inspiring, it was frustrating to see how much more they
Peter Hellyer is pictured with Scripture Squirrel which he used to tell stories when David attended Sunday School
could do out there as there are so many people involved in the puppet industry. It’s a big business in America. “To come back home and know that all you can do is something small with perhaps two other people was a bit of a blow. “The puppets in America were so much better. I was a bit naïve so I thought ‘it can’t be that hard to make them’ so I gave it a go. But it was that hard.” David started making his own puppets in 2005, but his early efforts were disastrous. However, he improved gradually and created Pierre, who he would take on television
when he and his wife Shelley were contestants on Bargain Hunt! Only when he was given some top tips by an industry professional did his creations jump up to the next level. “MySpace was all the rage back then, so I was going on puppet forums,” said David. “A guy started sending me tips on how to make better puppets. His name is Phil Fletcher and I discovered he is a professional puppeteer who operates Hacker the Dog on CBBC. “My puppet building went on to a much higher level just through his advice. “The puppets I make are rod-arm puppets, so they are akin to the sort of puppet you would see on The Muppet Show. The performer is always below the puppet, and you either operate the hands with your own hands or you use rods to move the arms to make gestures. “It’s not hugely difficult. You have to maintain a good height of the puppet, make sure you have eye contact and ensure it’s looking where you want it to look, and to make sure lip synchronisation is right. I used to
practice this for hours as a child!” David’s puppets are all entirely hand-made. He uses two different types of foam. There are two types of foam. Minicell Foam is dense and lightweight and provides a firm structure, and Reticulated Foam, which is a flexible, low-density foam and difficult to rip. Fake Fur is a popular material, but the thin fleece fabric used for puppets such as Kermit the Frog is Antron, which is a much sought after material. It is reportedly only available from one company in Georgia which only spins the fabric once a year! It’s not often that David gives performances with his puppets, although he does still do the occasional show through his involvement with Kingdom Faith. Instead, it is his videos on the internet that are his best advertising outlet. Despite his success so far, he is not
Peter and diane Hellyer have performed puppet shows for many years considering making puppet-making his full time job. “I have been tempted in the past,” he said. “In 2008, I did a stint with the stage production of Rainbow, as George, the pink Hippo. That was good fun. “Until the BBC moved to Salford it was tempting to audition for them. I went to the studio to watch my friends – who operate Hacker and Dodge for CBBC - work for a couple of days, and it was great but they devote their entire lives to it.
“I worked with young people at the YMCA Centre for three years and I think when you’ve worked with people who have lived on the edge and have had endured real difficulty, it changes your priorities. “There are some things in life we have to deal with that are perhaps more important than big, purple furry monsters.” For more on David’s puppetry visit www.hellyers.com and we also recommend his YouTube channel.
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Striking a Chord Carving out a career in guitar making
Guitars can be worth an incredible amount of money, depending on who created it and more importantly played it. The 1968 Fender Stratocaster played by Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock sold for $2million in 1998, whilst a Washburn 22 series Hawk owned by reggae legend Bob Marley also fetched over $1million dollars at auction. So if you happen to have a guitar owned by Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Slash or Duane Allman gathering dust in the loft, it might be worth getting it valued… Great guitarists are not created overnight, and the same can be said for guitar makers. The likes of Gibson – which creates the world-famous Les Paul, Fender – responsible for the renowned Stratocaster, and Rickenbacker – a favourite of The Beatles, have been established for decades. Perhaps one day, JKB will be revered by guitarists around the world… JKB is a new guitar making company set up by Jacob Menear in a studio at his home in Storrington. The business is in its infancy, but Jacob is already demonstrating a skill for creating inventive, experimental acoustic
and electric guitars. Jacob’s desire to build instruments only developed in recent years. He said: “I started Sixth Form wanting to be a doctor and so studied Maths and Sciences at A’ level. But during my second year I couldn’t find a science course that I wanted to do. I found a guitar making course by accident and I bought some books and read up on it. “I found it fascinating and changed my plan from there. I studied at London Metropolitan University. In the first year there was more than 30 of us but by the third year there were perhaps ten of us that were still there. “I got a First and decided to do a Masters course in guitar making to improve my skills before I headed out into the real world and started making guitars that I could sell. I saved money for a few years and invested in some equipment and a stock of materials so I was able to set up on my own quickly.” Even for somebody who has excelled during four years of study, making instruments is not easy. Each new guitar represents a new challenge, every minor alteration brings with it sound and tone complications, and the different wood varieties impact the
instrument’s performance in its own ways. “There is so much variety in the way you can do things that will affect the outcome that it is just so interesting,” said Jacob. “It’s great to experiment as no two instruments are the same due to the different materials or how you shape a particular part. “You’ve got to figure out what kind of guitar you want and the sound you are after as that will influence your materials. There are a number of tone woods that can be used. Soft woods such as cedar are good for the sound boards as they are flexible but often need to maintain stiffness. Cedar will give a darker tone to the sound while spruce will have a brighter sound. “You can also use hard woods, such as maple and mahogany and are more common for electric guitars. Gibson Les Pauls, like the one that Slash (Guns N’ Roses) uses, are far heavier as they are primarily mahogany. “The materials act differently under the same circumstances. You have rosewood which bends nicely whereas Bubinga wood bends like bulletproof glass. You have to test different materials in different ways in order to get the same result so a lot of it is trial and
JKM Guitars Jacob in his new workshop error. So you choose your materials at the beginning based on the sound that you want it to make.” Jacob starts building his guitars with the basic materials which must all be cut, shaped and manipulated over many months to create a finished product. He buys the tone woods as un-cut blocks of wood, and also buys fret wire, bridges, fingerboards and everything else needed from luthier merchandisers. The wood for the back of the guitars is also bought rough and thick but they are book-matched when they are cut from the log so they will be symmetrical. The challenge for Jacob is to create guitars with their own identity, but Jacob feels he has the ability to forge a reputation for high quality craftsmanship and sound performance. “Every guitar maker has criteria that they like to meet with their instrument. Some try and replicate vintage instruments such as a C.F Martin guitar, copying to a millimetre of how they were built. “Other makers try to be more experimental, and they will add extra strings or make them longer or shorter, create different body shapes, or invent things like harp guitars with bass strings
added. I’m in the experimental region as I don’t like copying the guitar shapes of other people. “There are lots of people specialising in making replicas of Martin guitars or Fenders and I don’t think the world needs another one. If I’m going to make an instrument I might as well make it different. “Acoustic guitars have a fairly standard
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structure that has been established for hundreds of years, and so it is through the use of materials that you manipulate the sound. But with electric guitars, although the wood you use does affect the tone and sound, it is with the pick-ups and hardware used that really puts the sound across. “You can have a bit more fun without being penalised heavily in terms of sound.
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23 ‘You choose your materials at the beginning based on the sound that you want to make’ “My style is to have a shorter length of body. Usually they are longer and cover more of the fingerboard. I haven’t really seen anything like the head shape I use and I also shape the body into the neck. “With most guitars you have 24 frets, but it is uncomfortable to play past a certain point without hitting a big square. I have tried to make it as comfortable as possible to use. “At the moment I’m making them for demonstration pieces so that when I go to shows people can come along and have a go and see if there is anything here that suits them. Guitarists will often have instruments hand-made because they will find it very difficult to get the sound that they want from a shop. “Most manufacturer guitars are very mechanical. All the tops and soundboards are cut to the same thickness. With the cheaper instruments you will have a veneer of cedar wood and the rest is made out of a much cheaper material and the sound quality of the wood on the outside is not going to be carried through the instrument.” Whilst Jacob is trying to create his own style, he does cite the work of an American guitar maker called Fred Carlson as an influence. Perhaps Jacob’s most unusual guitar adopts a similar technique used by Carlson to create an acoustic with a sound similar to that of an Indian sitar. He said: “Carlson is very experimental. His designs are far different to what anybody else is creating at the moment and I too would like to create individual instruments. “I have made a guitar based on one of his ideas. He blended sympathetic, resonating strings with an acoustic guitar. The sympathetic strings are normally found on instruments such as the sitar and also in baroque instruments.
JKM Guitars “You tune them to a scale, a chord or notes that you want to pick out from a song, and when you match those notes on the fingerboard they will vibrate to give more resonance. I have gone through five different versions of this instrument, each one trying to overcome a new problem! “The first one had 18 strings altogether and was really heavy at the top. So we had to make it more balanced. The sympathetic strings were also inside the guitar initially and there was a door you could open to adjust them, but that was tedious work. So I angled the neck forward so all of the strings run over the face of the soundboard. You don’t stop learning.” Jacob will be spending the next few months in his studio working solidly and hopes to build up some stock so he can tour guitar shops and craft shows with his product. He may also soon exhibit his instruments at GJ’s Guitars in Storrington. He also hopes that as an instrument the guitar becomes as popular as it did around the turn of the
century, when production reached an all-time high. New computer software may have turned people away from instruments, but it could also inspire a comeback. “I think that the whole Guitar Hero thing didn’t help,” he said. “The idea of pressing a button to generate a sound made some people put down their instruments, which were of course harder to play. But there are now new learning devices such as Rocksmith, where you can plug in your real guitar to a games system and play songs as they would be played. “So computers don’t have to signal the end!” “In terms of my instruments, I would like to get to a point where I’ve got a selection of maybe five or six types of instrument that I am able to make well with people able to view videos online and say ‘I want this but can you make it like this and with this material?’ “Then hopefully, rather than coming to me and asking for a replica guitar, they will ask for my style instead!” For more visit www.jkmguitars.com
You can read about Jacob’s artistic parents, Keith and Debra Menear, on Page56
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27 What we are offering through the college is the concept of ‘come along and play’ - Alex Morrison
It would appear that one of the more unfashionable sports is making a comeback in this country. When Boris Johnson, in a typically flamboyant pre-Olympics speech said ‘I say to the Chinese, that Ping Pong is coming home’ it was all in good humour. After all, there was nothing to suggest that any of our home-grown players were going to deny China of gold. In the end all four gold medals went to China. Nonetheless, all signs point to a revival of the game in this country. Oddly, the game has suffered a slide in popularity in the UK since it became an Olympic sport in 1988. China, Japan and South Korea have gone on to dominate the world stage, with Sweden and Germany consistently fronting the European challenge. Now the game is taking off in UK cities, primarily through an increasing number of outdoor tables. The Ping Pong Parlour, a temporary table tennis café, has been launched in London and 100 tables have been installed in the capital as part of an English Table Tennis Association (ETTA) initiative. Here in Horsham, the game is set to be boosted by the launch of a new Friday night table tennis club for all held at Collyers College. The scheme is funded by a £10,000 Sport England grant, which will pay for top
quality tables. Horsham Table Tennis Club is driving it, with strong support from other clubs including Storrington and Horsham Spinners. Alex Morrison, Chairman of HTTC, said: “The perception of Table Tennis is changing but it’s a slow process. It’s really a sport that hit a peak in the 1970s and the 1980s. I used to play in London and a lot of banks had sports clubs, so there were a lot of business teams. “Here in Horsham, we had Royal and Sun Alliance and they had their own club at Holbrook club. They tended to encourage employees to participate in sport, but a lot of that business participation has faded over time and that has meant there have been fewer facilities and opportunities. “Leagues have tended to become smaller but now we want to reverse that trend, particularly after the Olympics as there is a bit more interest in table tennis. You are seeing outdoor tables– I saw several tables on Brighton marina recently and it was very popular. “We want to be able to have something going on in Horsham which is much more informal. We want to be more like a golf club -you can play as a member or you can, if you want to, just turn up and have a go without any commitment to play again. What we are offering through the college is
the concept of ‘come along and play’. “You can turn up and the organisers will take a look at your game and put you into a team of two or three and we’ll have little informal competitions. It’ll be like a league night but without the formality. It’s an easy first step into table tennis competition.” Ian Ford, Sports Development Officer at Horsham District Council, said: “Sport England have said, whether you agree with it or not, that they have improved sport participation amongst young people at primary school age, so let’s switch the focus to retaining young people in sport. “Therefore the 14-25-year -old bracket – of which colleges are right in the middle of – is now the priority. That’s where they are throwing their funding towards. We are bringing the game to them, rather than asking them to go and find it. “There is a bit of a revival for the game. Lots of people have played it in the garage or back gardens in the past and it’s getting a bit of a second wind. We want to tap into that.” Horsham Table Tennis – like the game in this country – is showing signs of improvement. It has maintained a high level at competition and continues to focus on its junior section. The club was founded in the 1938/1939 season, as an offshoot of the Horsham Lawn Tennis Club. Over the years it has played in
Horsham Table Tennis Club Horsham Table Tennis Club meets at Greenway School various venues, including the former Black Horse Hotel on West Street, the Albion Hall, the old Y.M.C.A, The Barn in the Causeway, and in 1972 the old army hut at Broadbridge Heath. In 2003 the club started to use Greenway School alongside Broadbridge Heath Sports centre and one year later moved all of its activities to the school. Horsham was instrumental in setting up the Horsham and Crawley League, in which it is well represented. The Horsham Club has five teams in the Premier Division, and they play against four teams from Tilgate based club The Foresters, two Crawley community teams, Holy Trinity A and a separate club called Horsham Spinners, based at Forest School. Alex said: “Traditionally the league has operated on a home and away basis but about four years ago we tried to change that and move the local table tennis set-up to a new level. So now on a Thursday night at K2 in Crawley we have nine tables and all the premier teams come together and play under one roof. There are 13 teams with three players each, so we have to provide fifteen very good players each week. “Everybody plays each other, so you each play three matches and each match is the best of five games to eleven points. Outside of the premier league there are another two divisions, and we have one team in the bottom tier. They play matches on the traditional
home and away format. “But it’s great to play at K2. When you have your matches on one regular night you can plan everything else around that. You can plan your coaching schedule, and everything is more organised.” In addition to the local league, Horsham Table Tennis Club is represented in the Senior British league over four weekends of a season with teams in Division 2 and Division 4. The best cadet (under-15) and junior
(under-18) players also compete at a number of events across the country over the season. Over the years, the club has had some very good players connected to the club and were once as high as second in the premier division of the English league when the likes of Richie Venner were playing at their peak. Now, it is down to a Slovakian coach, Martin Jezisek, to develop the next generation of talent. He is supported by Sri Lankan Coach Amila Thilikarathne who has been in the top
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29 I am approaching everyone the same and trying to get them up to their maximum potential - Martin Jezisek 5 of the Sri Lankan men’s rankings. Martin said: “I’m trying to bring everyone to their maximum potential. I’m teaching them what they can do and protecting them from themselves as well. You have to be quite strict but I am always fair, supportive and encourage them. “Here in the UK, I think kids are more bubble-wrapped. Children are not brought up to fight for everything - they are used to being given things. If we are really thinking about champions, which I am always, never mind who I am teaching I always have the vision that I am looking for the one special player who will put everything into it and perhaps be a champion at some point. “I’m not elitist as I am approaching everyone the same and always trying to get them up to their
maximum potential, whatever their own personal limit may be. All I ask is that when they play they give their all.” Amongst Horsham’s promising young players are Dan Barna who won his group in the Junior Open Singles (U18s) at K2 recently, and Holly Holder who won the Cadet Girls Under-15s Band 1 event at a major tournament recently. The club has also combined well with Horsham District Council over recent years to run table tennis based projects including coaching in residential homes (Silver Pingers project), activity in the Y Centre, running school holiday camps and providing coaching for people with learning disabilities. One person to benefit is 16-year-old Stuart Cutler, who has autism. Stuart said: “I started off with the
Amila Thilikarathne coaches a young player
Coaches Martin Jezisek and Amila Thilikarathne
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Horsham Table Tennis Club Table tennis helped me with hand eye co-ordination
- Stuart Cutler Aiming High group, which was a government initiative to get more disabled young people into sports, about two years ago. “I found that table tennis helped me with hand eye co-ordination, and it’s helped me to be active which is great. Now I come along to the normal club nights to play and last month I came first in a Reaching Higher competition.” But whilst the funding is in place and Horsham has a strong local club with a good committee, what the game could really do with is a role model to transform the game, as Andy Murray has done for tennis. Ian said: “We have two or three good players. Paul Drinkhall is the British Number One and he beat the World Number 54 in the Olympics, which was a great win. But the last real role model was Desmond Douglas and he was a world class player. “But for us as a club it’s an exciting time – we have a lot on the go. We’ve got big projects that hopefully can take us up a notch.” Alex added: “Table Tennis is a sport you can play
from the ages of 8 to 80. It’s a sport for life and because it’s indoors it’s ideal for the winter so it suits the UK climate particularly well. “We have had a heavy focus on bringing on young players. It has been the ethos of the club for a long time and we hope with this initiative with Collyers we can widen the net further. “It’s an easy game to roll up and play. Whether the students like it or not, we’ll
have to wait and see - that’s part of the challenge!” There are two slots available - an early session (6-7.45pm) for juniors of all abilities and adult beginners, and a later session (89.45pm) for junior intermediates and above and adults of any level. For more details and to download a booking form visit http://horshamtabletennisclub.co.uk
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It’s Silly Season This Christmas, The Capitol in Horsham will be staging not one but two self-produced festive shows. Award-winning EastEnders actress Gillian Wright stars in Snow White, whilst a unique adaptation of Rod Campbell’s children’s classic Dear Santa returns. AAH spoke to Michael Gattrell, General Manager at The Capitol, about the busy festive period… How did you get Gillian Wright on board? I have worked with Gillian’s agent in London before. During the casting process he contacted me out of the blue and said ‘how do you fancy Gillian playing Horsham?’ I had seen her in panto two years ago in Eastbourne and met her socially through her agent. So we negotiated the fee and eventually we got her.
How does that work with EastEnders filming? It was back in February that we had our first discussion, but it was all on the premise that Gillian could take a break from the programme. If Gillian was allowed five weeks off she could do it. Some were not given the time off – Shane Richie was one of them. I had to wait until Easter for EastEnders to reach the point
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Michael Gattrell writes the Capitol pantomimes
where they could make a decision. Thankfully for us they did allow her to take the break. It was a difficult time as I could not do any casting until I knew if Gillian could make it, which was scary. When does she arrive in town? Gillian finishes filming for EastEnders on the 2nd December. She comes here a day later to begin rehearsals and we open ten days later. She has seen the script and likes the way I have written it. It’s charming, very child-friendly, and there is no smut unless she wants to put some in! She has been to see us, loves the venue and will be staying in the town during the run. Gillian knows we have a good reputation for pantomime and she will be looked after. But she’s taking on the role of a villain? Gillian really wanted to do it. She has played a Fairy before and wanted to do something different so the Wicked Queen role is ideal. Can she sing? She says she’s not a West End musical diva but she can more than put a number across. Her background is as a proper actress and she co-founded the
Pilot Theatre. The reason she has just won the Best Actress at the Inside Soap Awards is that she’s a very talented performer. In recent years you’ve tended to bring in children’s television presenters… We’ve had a run of children’s entertainers, with Justin Fletcher, Sarah-Jane Honeywell and Anna Williamson, but not too long ago we had Mark Curry and Todd Carty. We do still have a children’s entertainer with Jane Deane, who plays Dee Livery in Justin’s House on CBeebies, in this year’s cast. What other characters do we have? Michael Neilson from last year’s pantomime ‘Jack and The Beanstalk’ will be Herman the Henchman and West End singers Daisy Wood-Davis and Bradley Clarkson play Snow White and The Prince. We also have a special guest as the Lady in the Mirror… Do tell! It is Su Pollard (HiDe-Hi!). I’ve known Su as a personal friend for about 25 years. I have tried to get her to do pantomime once before, but it didn’t work out. . I asked her agent this year, and this time Su agreed! Gillian was
cock-a-hoop about it. As the Wicked Queen she is quite straight laced and that works well with this very amusing lady in the mirror. You write the script yourself? We have produced the panto inhouse for many years as I enjoy it, and it saves the council a lot of money which is important and is becoming increasingly so. It costs a lot of money to bring in a production company to stage a pantomime. It’s a new script, which I have written from scratch. Are you pleased with it? I had writer’s block for a while but when you get script approval from Gillian and Jane and the people that you work with, it’s very satisfying. It’s not as easy as you might think to know if what you’ve written is any good. It’s all about how the audience receives it and you never can tell until opening night. It has to be visual and requires good interpretation from the cast. Justin (Fletcher) always told me never to use long words – as you lose the children. The last thing I want to do is a production where the adults are laughing and the kids don’t know what they are laughing at. What will be providing the ‘wow’ factor?
The dwarfs we are using are cute, funny and quirky. We are not using actual dwarfs as they are in such demand during pantomime season and of course only a select few theatres can afford their services. So we’ve come up with a fun alternative that is fun and really engages with the audience. We can’t use anything Disney because of copyright so we have called them Chief, Dandy, Dozy, Snooty, Perky, Clumsy and Weepy! Have you chosen the songs yet? I have - we have a bit of Glee, some Madness songs, a few well-known hits from musicals and a couple of numbers from Smash, a programme on Sky. You also put on Dear Santa over Christmas… We do. A couple of years ago we engaged a production company to put on ‘A Night Before Christmas’ in the studio. But with the need to save money I thought I could find a story that I could produce myself so I scoured the internet looking for stories which could, potentially, be adapted for stage. I found Dear Santa by Rod Campbell. How did the stage adaptation come about? I emailed Rod and we met and I
Su Pollard recently recorded her lines at The Capitol
told him about my idea. Because it’s only a 16 page pop-up book we had to come up with a storyline. We exchanged ideas and came up with Dear Santa and held the world premiere here at The Capitol in 2010. This must have been a tough challenge? It’s difficult to adapt a story that is so short into a production that can hold the attention of a child. It’s a very child friendly play about 35 to 40 minutes long. I am using actors that are experienced in working with children as it is a very gentle piece. At the end of the show, all of the children speak to Santa
and he gives the children a gift. It’s a magical experience for them. I’m very grateful that Rod agreed to work with us - he is an icon of young children’s literature. Snow White is at the Capitol on 14th December 2012 to 5th January 2013. Tickets cost £17.50 (concessions £15.50; Family ticket £58, Groups 10+ £14, under 2's £2) from the Box Office on 01403 750220. Dear Santa is in the Studio at the Capitol on 12th- 24th December 2012. Tickets cost £9 (children £7.50) from the Box Office on 01403 750220. For more details visit the website at www.thecapitolhorsham.com
When Wabi opened two years ago, Horsham reacted like a town that had collectively won the lottery. The celebrated Australian chef Scott Hallsworth, who had been instrumental in turning Nobu London into one of the capitalâ€™s most stylish Japanese restaurants, was making a commitment to the town. Wabi ate up column inches as local newspaper editors were enthralled by the story of the chef who had previously cooked for Bill Clinton and David Beckham and was now leading a new million-pound project. But the goodwill, seemingly on tap initially, ran dry. The backlash began almost as soon as people saw the prices. A critic from The Guardian commented more on the drab dĂŠcor than the food, and closed the review by revealing that the jellyfish in the lavish
Does Wabi get a raw deal? Review: Wabi, East Street, Horsham
36 Lubo Kovar is now in charge of the kitchen at Wabi aquarium had all died within days. Locally, there were those willing to give Wabi a try, but whilst the quality of the food was rarely questioned, its price and whether or not it actually filled you up regularly was. Disappointing, those spouting what had seemed an embarrassingly parochial opinion that Horsham town was not ready for fine Japanese cuisine have to a degree been proved right. In the last few weeks, Scott Hallsworth has been making the transition to the second Wabi restaurant opening soon in Holborn, London. Gone too are the two experienced sous chefs, Paul Kanja and Mark Morrans. The menu has been dramatically altered, with many of the more lavish and expensive dishes such as sashimi (thin slices of fresh raw fish) pulled. It has all been done to make the Horsham restaurant a viable business, from a financial perspective. Quite simply, not enough people have been ordering the delicacies to justify their place on the menu. Scott said: “Over time, we’ve come to understand the business in Horsham a little better and know what people want to eat. Sales of sashimi and sushi (raw vinegared rice usually with a raw fish or
seafood filling) were nowhere near hot food sales and it’s more expensive to produce sushi and sashimi dishes, because of ingredients and the wages to put a sushi chef on. “We had to take a bit of expense out of the restaurant so it can wash its own face. It hasn’t been easy since day one financially, but we’re in a really good position now.
“We can still do good, tasty food, and for the most part I don’t think the changes have been too detrimental. We’re still using really good beef fillet and I don’t think we’ve reduced any quality in terms of the ingredients. We just don’t buy high end tuna, for example, or we don’t buy Foie Gras like we used to as suppliers were knocking us on the head for prices down
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Review: Wabi The Tatami room can seat up to 16 people here. “We have seen that the sushi bar isn’t required as much as the drinks bar. If you are here on a Friday or Saturday night you can’t get to the bar. People would like to be here but they will go somewhere else just to get a drink. I’ve seen it happen too many times so I thought ‘what do we do about it?’ “So the downstairs sushi bar will be slightly modified so we can serve there at the weekends. “If people want drinks give them drinks, and they don’t want sushi so knock it back. We have four sushi rolls on at the moment, and yes, we do have regulars who are asking for a bit more of that and more sashimi. “We might be able to do that as our talent improves but at the moment we have to be careful how we play it as we need this business to survive. “It ties in with the whole idea of being an Izakaya - a drinking place that also serves good food. There are many of them in cities and they are more casual, more approachable, and that’s what we are trying to do here in Horsham.”
The new chef in charge at Horsham is Czech-born Lubo Kovar. Lubo has only been at Wabi for 18 months. He started off as chef-departie but impressed the senior chefs with his attitude. Lubo said: “I walked past with my girlfriend one day and saw Wabi, but didn’t know what it was. It looked quite posh from the outside, and I walked in and tried one of their Bento boxes and I fell in love. “I was so excited, as I had never known Japanese food before. The flavours were amazing. I brought my friends and family here for a meal and then I thought I would apply for the chef’s job.” Scott said: “Lubo didn’t have a super strong background but what is amazing is his attitude. He has an open mind, is a hard worker, and he can facilitate all of our needs. If we say ‘it’s going to be like this’ he is going to make sure it happens in the right way. “We were not looking for people with a Japanese background – we were looking for people to follow what we are trying to do and Lubo does that. He is solid and trustworthy. Mark and Paul are with me in
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38 Beef Fillet Tataki with Onion Ponzu and Garlic Chips
Seared Salmon Sashimi Edamame with soramame tempura and pork scratchings
London as they deserve the opportunity, but if we have a big party or a function in Horsham one of them will come down to strengthen the team. Otherwise it’s going really well. “Horsham has been a great schooling. I had the cooking skills but knew nothing about business. Going through the wringer is a good experience and I’m taking it away with me. “But for me it’s good to be back in the big city. It’s where I’m most comfortable and what I’m familiar with. It’s a huge buzz. “In London there is far more sashimi on our menu as there’s a huge demand for it in the
city. It’ll be a little more experimental and we’ll be able to afford the top end food. Cooking skill is vital but ingredients are really important and we’ll be able to do things there that we have not been able to do here in Horsham for a while.” If much of what has been said doesn’t come across as being particularly promising for the Horsham Wabi, then you can take some comfort from a few positives. From a food perspective, the quality on offer may have dropped but only from such a high level. And whilst visiting for this review, we found Wabi to be a more relaxed environment.
off your table bill with this voucher Valid at Sanmae until 31st December 2012
Sanmae serves a delicious fusion of flavours from Eastern Asia. Like all Asian families, Sanmae serves food in the middle of the table for an enjoyable dining out experience for all
We took our seats up in the 12 seat Tatami room. Tatami is a type of Japanese mat (usually made of rice straw) you sit on, having left your shoes at the door. The room is still very popular with large groups. We would certainly recommend the Tatami (or one of the three smaller booths) to enhance your dining experience as – whilst the décor of the rest of the restaurant is not bad – it isn’t particularly enthralling either. The food however, still excites, with every dish promising a talking point, every bite supplying a fresh flavour, every last crumb leaving you wanting more. It was difficult to hide the fact that we were
01403 261222 35-37 Springfield Road, Horsham
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Crispy Squid Kara-Age
‘Going through the wringer has been a great schooling for me’ putting together a food review (due to the dual-light, powerpack fuelled two camera set-up dominating the room) so we were treated to an extended version of the Deluxe Tasting menu. The usual menu costs £55 per person, and is one of the more popular options for first time diners and those wanting to share. But not all of the dishes detailed in this review are part of the Deluxe Taster menu. The first dish was Edamame (young soybeans in the pod with a salt coating) with soramame tempura (deep fried fava beans) and pork scratchings. It was a delightful Otsamuni (snack) which provided an intriguing blend of the healthy and the naughty. Next we sampled Beef Fillet Tataki with Onion Ponzu and Garlic Chips (£12.50). Tataki is a method of searing the outside of thinly sliced raw beef. It’s only going to provide one short mouthful, but the beef and citrus soy-sauce (ponzu) make for a few
sweet, scintillating seconds. The Crunchy Salmon Tacos (£6.75) carried great colour and flavour; then came the Seared Salmon Sashimi (£9.25). The layers of fish were so thin they could have been prepared with a potato peeler, and tasted divine when dipped in a Jalapeno sauce that kicked you firmly in the mouth without leaving you bruised. Scott had earlier told us that the salmon quality has actually fallen recently, as they could not justify the prices set by who he considers to be the best supplier in London. We can only assume this supplier is a Grizzly Bear, as the salmon here was excellent. Next came the Dragon Roll of Prawn Tempura (deep fried), Grilled Unagi (freshwater eel) and Wasabi Mayo topped with sliced Avocado (£8). Like eating five chocolates from a tin of Roses, only to find you’d created the ultimate sweet, the Dragon Roll was a beautiful symphony of flavours. Accompanying it was
Crunchy Soft Shell Crab Maki (£8) with Fresh Kimchee, Avocado and Tobiko (flyish fish roe). It was further proof that it is indeed a crying shame that more people have not ordered sushi style dishes in the last two years. The Pork Belly Steam Buns with Spicy Peanut Soy and Cucumber Pickle (£7) and Crispy Squid KaraAge (deep field in oil - £9.75) are two of the more popular dishes
and it’s easy to see why. In terms of appearance they have the look of western dishes, with the precision of Eastern cuisine. Also on the table was Sweet Corn Tempura with Sweet and Sour Ponzu, Onions, Coriander and Chilli (£6). It’s an interesting proposition – battered sweetcorn – but when it comes to deep fried food I remain a cod or haddock man!
Cosy atmosphere, log burning stove, real ales
Hold your office Christmas Party at The Foresters Christmas Day 4 Course Traditional Lunch for £45 One sitting 3pm; Bar open from 11.30am 1.30pm & 7.30pm -10.30pm Boxing Day Food available 12 - 5pm; Bar open late. Private room (seat 16) available for dinner parties throughout December. Exclusive use of the whole pub available Tuesday - Friday lunch times.
Pork Belly Steam Buns with Spicy Peanut Soy and Cucumber Pickle
43 St Leonards Road , Horsham , West Sussex, RH13 6EH Tel: 01403 251399 Email: email@example.com
Wabi has become renowned for its cocktails
Tea Smoked Lamb Chops
From a presentation perspective, perhaps the toast of all of the delightfully arranged dishes was the Tea Smoked Lamb Chops (£13) with Sweet and Sour Nasu and Spicy Miso Sauce. It’s a sublime offering and other than its shape, most unlike any lamb chop you’re likely to have experienced before. And let’s face it, at that price it ought to be. If there is a hearty end of the meal, we had reached that point as we sampled the moreish Chicken Tsukune (meatballs) with Yaki-Niku
sauce (a soy sauce mixed with Sake) for £8.50. Yet there was still room for dessert. We had warm chocolate Harumaki (spring rolls) with Soft Serve Ice Cream and Passionfruit (£6). We also tried the White Chocolate Brulee with Green Apple Sorbet and Sesame Mikado (£6) and Mochi (sticky rice cakes) for £5.50. We couldn’t find fault with any of it. Stretched out, entirely bloated on a thin mat made of rice, wondering if anybody had taken my shoes, it was difficult to grasp the fact that
Wabi may actually have been even better a few months ago. However, whilst Wabi may have lost their three most experienced chefs, there is a new team in place and they’re keen to make their mark. Whilst some crave the opportunity in London, others are evidently eager to grab the reins and succeed where their much-hailed predecessors have – in a business sense – not been a roaring success. On previous visits I have found the staff to be a little aloof, but on this occasion the service staff were very pleasant and informative - only too happy to talk about the food they have obviously been trained to know about. Wabi has failed to realise its dream of becoming one of the country’s top restaurants. That may happen in London – time will tell. But here in Horsham we’ve been left with a rather pleasant Izakaya – a Japanese bar serving magnificent cocktails and serving what is still, at least by small town standards, stunning food. Toby believes it is as good as any food we have eaten at an AAH review - and we’ve been to two Michelin starred restaurants. It may have taken some knocks, but Wabi still packs a punch.
Horsham town’s first Michelin star restaurant
“A Taste of Christmas” Prosecco or Mulled wine on arrival Amuse bouche FOIE GRAS trifle, confit duck leg, cranberry Cured & poached SALMON, beetroot, horseradish & oyster mayonnaise Daube of BEEF, bavette, smoked onion puree, caramelised turnip Or PHEASANT, braised thigh, chestnuts, roast pear Burnt ORANGE, spiced bread, ginger ice cream £35 per person
3 Stans Way, East Street, Horsham, RH12 1HU www.restauranttristan.co.uk | 01403 255688
Your Hearing Specialists The Horsham Hearing Centre 22 Worthing Road Horsham West Sussex RH12 1SL
01403 218700 Horsham@hearcentres.com
By Jonathan Ormerod Horsham Hearing Centre The Horsham Hearing Centre in Worthing Road (opposite the Horsham Library) continues to be at the forefront of hearing aid technology and expertise. In recent years, we have seen huge advancements with modern hearing aids offering vastly superior clarity of sound in ever-smaller and more comfortable designs. At the Horsham Hearing Centre, we offer the unique “HD” (high definition) hearing aids by SeboTek, an innovative US Company who have developed the best-sounding hearing aid on the market. These hearing aids are very small and discreet, yet offer HD sound quality. If you wear hearing aids but would like things to sound more natural, book a free trial fitting of the SeboTek HD hearing instruments - exclusively at the Horsham Hearing Centre. Mobile phone technology is also helping to drive the hearing aid industry forward at a rapid rate. The Horsham Hearing Centre is now offering the remarkable SurfLink Mobile, a new device which streams your TV, music or mobile phone straight to your hearing aids. This will mean that people with hearing difficulties can use a mobile phone – just like anyone else. It is exciting for our clients, as technology is finding way to make dealing with hearing loss easier. It is also an exciting product for anyone looking for a true “hands-free” mobile phone device. To arrange a free demonstration of SurfLink Mobile, please call us or call in to the centre. Having originally started the Horsham Hearing Centre back in 1995, I am now running it together with seven other established hearing centres across the South
of England. Our company, Hearcentres Limited operates each individual hearing centre while ensuring they retain their local, independent identities. We also have a “sister company” in Horsham, Hearing Electronics Limited, which manufactures and supplies specialist customfit earpieces for a wide range of applications. From earpieces for TV presenters at the BBC, ITV and Sky, to communication earpieces for the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula One team, we have the expertise and experience to deal with any ear-related requirement. I have always kept to my original philosophy that we are in business to help people to hear better and that it should be a longterm relationship with our customers. It is testament to this core philosophy that we see many clients who have been with us since the early days, now wearing their third or fourth pair of hearing aids, still coming in regularly for their check-up appointments.
We are now offering the only “Complete Hearing Care” service in Horsham. No other company can provide you with the service and expertise we have on offer. Our Dispensers are trained to examine your ears thoroughly with video otoscopy and we can also provide in-house clinical earcare (wax removal) if necessary. We have the largest selection of hearing aid technology to choose from and our unrivalled ongoing aftercare service ensures that you will always be happy with your hearing system. The Horsham Hearing Centre is the only hearing centre in the area to have a qualified and experienced Dispenser available every day to respond to your needs. I am also available by appointment, if you would like to see me to discuss your hearing. Why not book a complimentary initial consultation? Our impartial advice, unrivalled experience and unbeatable aftercare service will all impress you and the results could be life changing!
Complimentary Initial Consultation: Call 01403 218700
It’s Good to Talk Roundabout Talking News The Roundabout Talking News is a volunteerrun registered charity which has provided a free weekly recording to the visually impaired since 1978. A team of 50 volunteers are involved in the service, providing about 150 listeners a 30 minute reading with the best of the news headlines from the West Sussex County Times, as well as the obituaries and key entertainment listings. A further half an hour is filled with a variety of informative and occasionally humorous articles, sourced by the volunteers from magazines, specialist publications and the internet. For many years, the recordings were made onto cassette tapes, but in recent times listeners have been given the news on memory sticks. The sticks are played on easy to use stereos given out free of charge. Chairman John Dean said: “We’re limited to
4,000 words as that is the maximum we can fit on to the one hour cassettes, which a few listeners still use. “When we have completely switched over to memory sticks it will be more open-ended, but still, we don’t want to drown them in news! There is very little sport as most of the listeners are not interested in it. Some are, but you can’t do bespoke recordings. We keep the articles quite short and snappy by editing them down to about 250 words per story. “The West Sussex County Times has been good to us over the years. They agreed to our request to use their articles. We have always met up on a Thursday night and did think about moving back another day when the West Sussex County Times started publishing on a Thursday rather than a Friday, but we have 50 volunteers working on this and so the Thursday routine is well established.”
There are several teams involved in the production of the Roundabout Talking News every Thursday. Firstly, a Preparation Team arrives at about 4.30pm to sort the postal wallets returned from listeners which contain either tape cassettes or memory sticks. Meanwhile, an Editing Team selects articles from the newspaper and edits them down before the Readers digitally record the news in the studio. The Magazine Team comes in shortly after 6pm to record their articles. Sound Technicians then create master copies of the recordings on cassette tape and on memory stick. The Fast Copying Team arrive the following morning and use fast copying machines to copy the recordings on to cassette tapes and memory sticks, before placing them all into the postal wallets. We spoke to some of the volunteers about the service they provide...
If you know someone who is registered blind or partially sighted and would like to know more about Roundabout Talking News, visit www.roundabouttalkingnews.co.uk or call Secretary Martyn Field on 01403 891306 or Chairman Jon Dean on 01403 266924.
Group Discussion Martyn Field “We have received some statistics from West Sussex County Council that state that there are about 2,300 people in the Horsham area that are visually impaired. I would suggest that about half of that number are long-term visually impaired. So there are potentially about 1,200 people who could benefit from what we do. So our challenge is to get the message out to more of them. That’s difficult as you have to rely on the friends and family of a visually impaired person to let them know about the service. As well as the local news headlines, we have a magazine section with light-hearted messages too. The Oldie Magazine is a good source for articles – and we also use the internet to find some articles about the visually impaired. Everyone here is a volunteer so funding is important. At the moment we are doing okay, but if it does take off and we get 1,000 new listeners, we would need a lot of new speaker systems as we give those out for free, as well as more memory sticks, and that would require funding. There’s no doubt that it’s worth doing and until the last listener goes we’ll keep going!”
Shaws has been part of the business landscape in West Sussex for over 15 years and is now firmly established as the region’s independent choice for all things glass. With their showroom in Horsham and factory site in nearby Faygate Shaws are a full service glazing firm
Conservatories Double Glazing Front Doors Back Doors Composite Doors Fascias and Soffits Replacement Hinges Cat Flaps Table Tops Shop Fronts Replacement Double Glazed Units Cut Glass Toughened Safety Glass Supply only windows Glass Balustrades for staircases Acoustic Glass
66 North Street, Horsham, RH12 1RD Tel: 01403 211133 www.shawsglass.co.uk
45 Howard Brake “About 18 months ago we switched over to memory sticks. We used cassette tapes up until then. It’s so much easier with the memory sticks and the quality is so much better. Every listener gets a stereo for free and you just put the memory stick in the top and listen. We have about 15 people who still use tapes and we’re busy transferring them all over. Some people have problems with new technology but once they realise how easy it is to use they are happy. There are 119 memory stick users now and only 15 on tape. We also have a couple of people who listen on the website. On Thursday, a small team prepares the wallets with all of the addresses attached to them and then another small team comes in on a Friday morning and transfers the finished recordings to memory sticks. We have a computer that can copy the news to eleven memory sticks at a time and it does this in less than a minute. A memory stick is then put into every wallet and they are all put in the mail bag and taken to the sorting office. Royal Mail delivers them for free and the listeners usually receive them on a Saturday morning. They send the wallets and memory sticks back to Collyers and we collect them from there.”
Barbara Lunn “I’ve been involved here from the start – 33 years I think. There was an advert in the local paper when they were setting it up. I remember going to an audition and they got enough readers and put us in teams of four. That’s been the set-up ever since and I am in a team that reads on the third Thursday of each month. I trained as an elocutionist, so I speak with clarity and I am careful at the beginning and ends of sentences. Reading the news is quite serious and we’re not supposed to inject anything that would lead people to think one way or the other. It is important to be neutral. The listeners do get to know your voice. I have met some of them at the committee meetings, which is interesting. I said to one ‘Hello, my name is Barbara’ and he said ‘yes I know, I’ve been listening to you read for years!’ I still enjoy doing it – I wouldn’t think of giving it up!”
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Group Discussion Carol Dilley “We are appealing to people who know someone with a visual impairment who might like to receive a copy of the Talking News. It does centre on the West Sussex County Times and if you don’t want to read that it’s not going to be of that much interest to you. But I am part of a team that works on the magazine which forms the second half of the service. We do half an hour’s worth of just about everything. We talk about where we’ve been on
John Dean “I came here to help from the start. There was a steering committee initially and they set the whole thing up, getting the money from Horsham Round Table. The first Roundabout Talking News was broadcast on December 15th 1978. Social services knew that there were a number of visually impaired people in the Horsham District and one of the things they couldn’t obviously get was the local newspaper, so these Talking news groups were set up all over the country. There are about 500 now and we are governed by the Talking Newspaper Federation. We fund it through donations. Some donations are from the visually impaired people who receive the news, as they are very pleased with what we give them. We also make money through street
collections and at this time of year charity Christmas cards help too. We used cassettes for many years but now of course we have memory sticks. That meant a big investment but we managed to get a grant for the memory sticks and the stereos for them. We send them out quite quickly, but it usually takes a couple of weeks for them to come back so we need about four memory sticks per person. So with 150 subscribers we need about 600 memory sticks to ensure we also have plenty in stock. It’s a very important service for our listeners. One lady I went to see said she doesn’t get to talk to many people during the week so she listens to the Talking News several times over. Over time the voices reading the news become very familiar to the listeners.”
C.A. Woolgar Painter and Decorator Established in 1979 City & Guilds Qualified Non-smoker Free estimates Friendly service
holiday, and pick out stuff from every kind of publication you can imagine. We try to keep the magazine parts quite light-hearted. This evening I’m reading an article on the type of long-life bulb that gives the best light and on my last visit I was talking about a visit to Osborne House, so it’s very diverse. I’m in Team Two and we all bring in articles and I decide the order so it’s very flexible. Other teams are far more scripted, but we’re quite spontaneous!”
Unit 15 Gerston Business Park, Greyfriars Lane, Storrington, Pulborough RH20 4HE Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.roadmarktravel.co.uk
01903 741233 ROADMARK TRAVEL 2013 COACH HOLIDAYS
Call us for your FREE BROCHURE now Our interesting itineraries feature many included excursions. Dinner, bed and breakfast as standard on most tours. Roadmark coaches have the latest safety features, comfortable reclining seats, air conditioning and WC. Some tours have a Professional Tour Manager as well as an experienced driver. A door-to-door service is included in the cost of most holidays providing
the pick-up address is within 15 miles of Horsham or Storrington. Emerald Travel Insurance is available for an additional cost if required. Roadmark Travel are members of the Confederation of Passenger Transport & the Coach Tourism Council, with customers’ payments fully safeguarded by International Passenger Protection.
WEYMOUTH Winter Warmer (5 days) SNOWDROP SPECIAL (5 days) MENTON LEMON FESTIVAL & NICE CARNIVAL (8 days) HOLME LACY HOUSE (5 days)
THE LAKE DISTRICT & YORKSHIRE DALES (7 days) VILLAGES OF THE ALSACE WINE ROUTE (7 days) BRUGES EXPRESS (2 days)
RED CARPET LONDON (2 days) BEYOND THE BRECON BEACONS (5 days) IRELAND’S WILD WEST (8 days)
THORESBY HALL (5 days) ST.MALO Minicruise (3 days) HISTORIC YORK (6 days) EASTER AT THE WALDORF (2 days)
THE ISLE OF MAN (Fully booked) CAMBRIDGE & THE SPORT OF KINGS (4 Days) CLASSIC TORBAY (8 days) CASTLES & GARDENS OF PERTHSHIRE (9 days) TREASURES OF TUSCANY (11 days)
April CORNWALL FLOWER SHOW (5 days) NEWCOMERS’ HOLIDAY (3 days) SPRING MYSTERY HOLIDAY (5 days)
May SIDMOUTH (6 days) CRICKET ST.THOMAS (5 days) GUERNSEY & JERSEY (7 days) IMPRESSIONS OF NORMANDY (5 days)
NAUTICAL DEVON (5 days) DUBROVNIK & MONTENEGRO (8 days) COLOURS OF BAVARIA (8 days)
November BRIDGWATER CARNIVAL (4 days) WARNERS BEMBRIDGE COAST (4 days) AUTUMN MYSTERY HOLIDAY (5 days) WAKE UP AT THE WALDORF (2 days)
August HATS, COATS & TIES (5 days) BELGIUM’S CANAL LIFTS (4 days) THE BLACK FOREST (7 days) MECHELEN HANSWIJK PROCESSION (4 days) THE MAJESTIC SOGNEFJORD (9 days)
December THURSFORD CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR (3 days) GRASSINGTON DICKENSIAN FESTIVAL (4 days) ADVENT IN AUSTRIA (8 days)
Survival of the Fittest The Story of Warnham Deer Park
Warnham is famous for its record-breaking Deer (Photo courtesy of Warnham Park)
Two years ago, an eleven-year-old Stag called Poseidon produced antlers with 50 points, breaking a British record that had stood for 119 years. Still, he was not a pretty animal. He would often have a crow perched on top of his antlers, and the bird would nibble away at the points, gradually rounding them off. Jonathan Lucas, owner of the 215-acre Warnham Deer Park, would regularly see Poseidon strutting gracefully across the stunning, Oakladen Deer Park with the crow chipping away at the antlers which held considerable value; Jonathan had once turned down £10,000 from a Norwegian marksman wanting to claim the trophy. “I kept seeing him just outside the house with a crow perched on top of those antlers,” said Jonathan. “The crow would look at me and just start pecking, and I would be screaming ‘leave him alone! He’s going to be a 50 pointer!’ “The number of points for the British antler
49 herds for over 100 years and there has been a great history of exchanging animals, so there is a lot of shared history between Woburn and Warnham. “If there is only one other source of Red Deer with the right pedigree then it makes sense to work with them as we avoid running the risk of a closed herd getting too inbred. Things can go wrong very suddenly.” The Lucas family has a long and illustrious history in Warnham. Warnham Court was built in 1825 and twelve years later a Deer Park was established in the surrounding grounds for a herd of fallow deer. Charles Thomas Lucas bought Warnham Court in 1865, when there were only 30 Red Deer in the park. With his son, Charles James Lucas, Charles Thomas expanded the estate, purchasing many properties including Warnham Place Farm from Sir P.F. Shelley (the son of the great poet). But in 1851, a hunt would lead to an event that would change the course of Lucas family history. A Red Deer Stag owned by Lord Leicester of Holkham Park,
record established in 1892 was the so-called Great Warnham Head. In 2011, I finally produced another 47 point antler, as well as Poseidon, who had 50 points but looked hideous. “I can see the magnificence in a large antler but it still needs symmetry too. I don’t like a forest of little tiny bumps like Poseidon. When he was in his prime with 35 points, he looked wonderful.” Breaking the record for the number of points is not the ultimate goal at Warnham Park Estate which has been world-renowned for its Red Deer for over a century. Alongside the Deer Park, Jonathan has developed a modern stud, breeding genetically superb deer for international sale. These deer are exported to improve other herds developed for the production of trophies, velvet and venison. Jonathan said: “In the world of Red Deer we are right at the very peak. I would qualify that by saying that we are at the top with one other estate and that is Woburn Abbey Deer Park in Bedfordshire. The two have been the pre-eminent
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Norfolk jumped into the park for refuge from hunters and was subsequently given to his new owner. The stag was kept for hunting and was joined by three purchased hinds (female Red Deer). Over the years, when any animal was killed by The Warnham Stag Hounds (formed in 1870) they were replaced with deer from other English parks and some wild hinds from Scotland, creating a broad genetic base to the herd as the Fallow Deer were reduced. There were dramas outside of the Deer Park too. On Christmas Day in 1901, a fire broke out in the billiard room of Warnham Court. The blaze claimed, among other possessions, a painting by the Venetian artist Canaletto. When you read that one of his paintings sold for £18.6million in 2005, you can understand why Jonathan remarks that “I would quite like to have the Canaletto in my collection!” The Warnham Court Fire Brigade had been created in 1897, with a horse-drawn cart and a crew made up of estate workers. It may not been of much use during the
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fire at Warnham Court, but in 1904 the crew responded quickly to a huge fire at Knepp Castle. Their efforts were commendable but they couldn’t save Knepp’s own extensive collection of valuable Holbein paintings! The fire engine is still in the hands of the Lucas family, at the Warnham Park Estate. After the Second World War, Jonathan’s grandfather sold the Grade II listed Georgian mansion house at Warnham Court. He did though maintain the land for the Deer Park. Jonathan said: “There was a very grim economic outlook at the time that my grandfather sold it. He felt he needed to and it was the right decision at the time. “I’ve since learnt that he actually offered the whole estate to go with it, so it could have
been much worse!” As it is, Warnham Park remains one of the world’s finest deer parks in the hands of the Lucas family. Jonathan is one of four children. He has a brother in Dallas, and two sisters. One has a livery on the estate and the other lives in Wiltshire, but Jonathan is responsible for running the Estate. He said: “I’m a trained land agent, and was previously a partner at (Arundel-based property experts) Cluttons. I found that it was getting increasingly difficult to have two masters. I knew that my future was here as ultimately the reason I became a land agent was to get myself qualified to be able to come back home and take control of the
estate. “We have a full-time deer herd manager, and really everything else is done on a part-time basis. So we don’t have our own forester or property maintenance staff, as they would tie up properties. The most crucial revenue opportunity is now our bricks and mortar. “We have a portfolio of farm houses and cottages both in the village and on farms and one or two other interesting properties like the Old Warnham Mill.” The Deer Park itself supports a winter herd of about 200, comprising of 20 - 25 breeding stags, 85 - 90 breeding hinds and 90 young stock, increasing up to 280 animals each summer with calves. But it is
‘The deer will decide who is the master stag in the park’ the modern stud deer farm, built on a small 72 acre site next to the Deer Park at Bailing Hill, which has taken Warnham’s Red Deer enterprise to the next level. “The stud farm is on an old dairy farm which was too small 25 years ago to be viable, so it was closed, and it turned out to be a good move,” said Jonathan. “The motive was to establish a second, Tuberculosis accredited herd of Red Deer, with the same selected genes. This was vital in order for us to be able to continue selling live animals to New Zealand, which was a market that had opened up for us when the stud farm opened in 1986. “I went around New Zealand on my motorbike in 1980 as a young man, with a lot of photographs of the deer in my back pocket. “When I arrived in New Zealand, the government there was
opposed to imports as they felt it was a disease risk. But by the time I was finished six months later there was a great demand and therefore there was the nucleus of an idea and it was a matter of considering how it could be controlled. “They were worried about TB and Foot and Mouth Disease so they said they would only take animals from a TB-accredited source. That is why we developed the stud farm. “We now own a pure Warnham Park herd in New Zealand, which has produced a number of recordbreaking animals (Hotspur, a Stag with 50% Warnham Park blood line, grew the heaviest antlers ever recorded in 2006). “ Traditionally our major export areas are in Europe - mainly Germany, Austria and Spain. More recently I’ve sold to Latvia and
Don’t be afraid of the Mouse! The trophy room at Warnham Park
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Call us FREE on 0800 862 0666 Heracles is impressive, but ‘a wimp’ in the Deer Park (Photo courtesy of Warnham Park)
The entrance to Warnham Park
Czech Republic. A lot of our business comes from cultures where there is a tradition of hunting, and there are new opportunities, particularly in the Eastern Bloc where lands have been reclaimed.” It is through the New Zealand farm that they are able to enter the velvet market. Velvet is harvested from antlers in early growth and exported to Korea, where it is considered an health tonic. Velvet harvesting is banned in Europe but Jonathan defends the practice. “Unfortunately, in the minds of most people
in the West, velvet production is classed in the same category as rhino horns, but there are fundamental differences. The first is that it is a harvest from a living animal, with the aid of drugs, so it need not be painful or destructive. “Secondly, it is a farmed animal so it is not out in the wild or endangered. There is no moral equivalence in my view between the indefensible shooting of a rhino or elephant and harvesting for velvet. “ Over the years, the number of deer shot at Warnham has fallen too. Jonathan said:
“Trophy shooting at Warnham is really just a fringe operation. But if there is an old stag in the park with a good antler and someone is prepared to pay several thousand pounds to take away the trophy then I’m very happy, because I want the animal to be spared being beaten up in the next rut because he’s too old to defend himself properly. “We have to cull. Any enterprise in a fixed acreage producing animals will always have a surplus. You don’t wait for animals to starve and die so obviously if you’re creating - as we
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Jonathan’s grandfather hunting in New Zealand in 1912 (Photo courtesy of Warnham Park)
Warnham Park are - 150 new animals each year, then we have to lose that many too. “So which animals do you take out and how? As many as possible of the young ones are sold for breeding. Old ones are taken out of the equation, and surplus young ones are sold to the local butcher, so we get down to our winter carrying capacity. “What I’m really in the business of doing is producing young animals with great genetic potential and heredity to sell on to those wanting to improve their existing stock or, if they have a foundation herd, they are starting off with the best.” Picking the best, at least in terms of its strength as opposed to its genetic line, is not always easy. October marks the height of the rutting season, when stags fight for the right to breed with the females in the herd. Anything can happen in the park. “In the park, the deer will decide who is the master stag and I have no control over that,” said Jonathan. “On the stud farm I am totally in control. I have single sire mating, I can match calves to dams (mothers) and record their progeny, so I can get to the point where I know exactly which hinds are producing good stags and which are not. “Sometimes there are big disappoint-
Jonathan Lucas in front of the Park house
ments in the park. You can help to create – we’ll let Mother Nature take the bulk of the credit - a fabulous young animal, and this animal agrees with you, so he’ll prance around the park until he decides that he is going to take on a bigger, older stag. He’s inevitably the one that gets beaten up in the rut and you have to shoot because he has a broken leg. “It is uncanny how often it’s the very best young up-and-coming animal this happens to. But I need to get them to the point when they are competing in the park in order to put their
genetics in the herd. “That is not the case on the stud farm. I can take something fantastic out of the park when it is young and use it as a sire and then put it back into the park in middle age. You hope he will adapt. It’s quite extraordinary though how often you find that these fabulous young stags, when they are returned to the park, are absolutely useless! “They have never had to fight. They don’t hold their own as they haven’t learnt. They are too passive.
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‘This is an inheritance and I assume it will continue to be’ “I have a wonderful stag, called Heracles, the son of Hercules (one of Warnham’s greatest stags, who had an antler width of 62 inches). “He is an amazing animal but he is not holding hinds now he is in the park – he is a complete wimp! “To be master stag I think the animal requires body weight and stamina more than anything else. The master stag will change during each rut in this very competitive environment.” The incredible trophy room includes the antlers of some of the greatest deer Warnham – or any other park for that matter – has produced. But perhaps the most astonishing are two interlocking sets of horns. During a rut several years ago, a young and extremely promising stag took on an older stag. “Such was the force of the collision, Jonathan and the herd manager could not separate them. One took a trez tine (third stage antler) through the eye, and they died together.” Such experiences are why Jonathan is always nervous at rutting time. The finest Red Deer can fetch huge sums of money – in 2008, the son from a Warnham Park embryo hind sent to New Zealand, sold at auction for 80,000 New Zealand Dollars. But one day it will be somebody else’s turn to worry. Jonathan considers it to be a huge
Jonathan with the fire engine that responded to a fire at Knepp Castle in 1904
privilege to run the Deer Park and it is a privilege he intends to keep in the Lucas family. “When I talk about passion it’s because it reflects my own approach. There are generations before me who have done this, and it is an inherited passion. It’s a wonderful challenge to see if you can create an even better stag next year. “When you come through the gates you realise what a huge privilege it is, and with privilege comes responsibility.
“ One is absolutely a custodian. This is an inheritance and I assume it will continue to be. “I have three children and I have no doubt that my eldest son, Charles, will take it on. He is equally keen on the deer and almost as knowledgeable. So that is a real motive for doing things beyond the profit motive – to leave the place better than you found it. “If each generation aspires to do that then isn’t that a way of living?”
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Leonardo Turquoise is, apparently, a very trendy colour at the moment. One fashion magazine recently declared that it is now “okay to use turquoise”, to the great relief of Aston Villa football club, parakeets and tropical island beach resorts. It’s also timely for Keith and Debra Menear, as the turquoise Raku ware they produce from their home-based studio in Storrington has found many new admirers. It even attracted the attention of the organisers of the Leonardo exhibition at the National Gallery in London. Raku ware is not all that Menear Ceramics is known for. Since forming five years ago after Keith was made redundant, the husband and wife team have created terracotta pots, porcelain decoration, stoneware bowls and alpine planters. However, it’s been an unusual path into pottery for the couple, and Keith in particular. “I had done adult education courses in pottery in Welling Garden City after University,” said Debra. When we moved to Horsham in 1986 I found an evening class at Forest School. So I went there and dragged Keith along with me. “Somebody at work knew that I was interested in pottery and told me of someone who had a wheel and a kiln that they wanted to get rid of, so we picked them up and got into it that way.” But for many years it remained a hobby. Debra worked for Royal and Sun Alliance and Keith was at Novartis. Debra left work to have children and was able to spend more time doing pottery. But five years ago, when Keith was made
redundant, the Menear family had a difficult decision to make. Keith said: “We had to decide if I was to go back and do what I was doing before I’m a chemist by trade – or do we do something a bit more life changing. “We had faith, perhaps naively, that we could sell these things that we were making. Up until the point when I made a commitment to do this pretty much full-time, we had not sold anything. It was a leap of faith. But it was something that we felt we had to do. “We did a show at Lancing and started to take a stall at various craft fairs just to get a feel for where the market was. There was a lot of good feedback. We used to make just brown pots, because I used to like them, but you have to realise that people like different things. “We started off with brown bowls and realised that they were not commercial. We had a few items on the stall that we had made incidentally and people had picked up on them. That was the Raku ware, which we learnt from potter Ben Barker. “Raku is a technique where you take the pots out of the kiln when they are still red hot and you put them into sawdust, and they catch fire. It’s the interaction between the flames and smoke that gives this copper, turquoise pattern on the surface so each piece has its own unique pattern. People tapped into that and liked that.” Raku originated in Japan in the 16th Century. It is said that the fired tea bowl first came into being when the Japanese tea master Sen Rikyu asked the tile maker
‘Raku is a technique where you take the pots out of the kiln when they are still red hot’ Chojiro to make him a tea bowl for a tea ceremony. With these tea bowls, Chojiro subsequently became the first generation Raku ware master. Up until Rikyu, a tea bowl was always Karamono (Chinese things) or Kouraimono (Korean things). So Rikyu’s Raku tea bowl was the first one ever made especially for the tea ceremony. “It’s a slow method, “said Keith. “You have to pluck out each individual pot whilst they are red hot. It’s not a method that can be used to manufacture large numbers so it lost favour. Now it is being resurrected. “It’s such a dynamic way of generating interesting surfaces and lots of studio potters have adopted it.”
“We had the Raku ware on our website and the National Gallery was looking for a range of ceramics to match the colour palette for the Leonardo exhibition. So they contacted us and asked if we could take them some samples, which we did. “They selected a couple of designs and sizes they were interested in so for the duration of the exhibition we supplied items for the Gallery shop. They were selling from £25£50, which was a price range they were happy with. “It was good to get exposure as obviously there was a lot of publicity for the exhibition and all of the queues were adjacent to the shop and we were in a nice, prominent position.”
The raku ware has also featured in an exhibition at Horsham Museum and Art Gallery, along with alpine planters made by Debra. The Menears have also displayed at Green Tree Gallery at Borde Hill Gardens, The Forge gallery in Walberton, Oxmarket Gallery in Chichester and The Cooper Gallery in Barnsley. But since starting the business, they have both excelled in different skills and continue to diversify. “Keith is far better on the wheel than I am,” admits Debra. “Most of my work is handbuilt and Keith’s work is done on the wheel. We’ve tried to keep the work separate, so that I don’t make the same pots as he does. So I say ‘hands off terracotta pots’ as that’s
my area. So although we are a company we have our different areas of expertise. “The business was initially ceramics and plants, as I had an interest in growing plants. I always found that the ones available at the garden centres were plain and a bit dull and I thought I could make them better myself. “I didn’t want to do round terracotta pots – I wanted to do something quirky and different and more decorative. Because of the pots, we can sell at plant fairs as well as ceramic and craft fairs. “With the Raku ware we’ve been fortunate that turquoise is a big colour in home furnishing at the moment, which has helped us I think. There is an element of doing what we want to do but there is a commercial side to it as what you make needs to sell. “I’ve just started working in porcelain and the Christmas decorations are selling very well. I want to get more into porcelain and maybe get into the wedding market.” “We do a stoneware range in pastel colours as well, “adds Keith. “We sell in three colours – eggshell blue, lime green and a pink. We tried to develop a colour range of soft matt glazes that we make ourselves. Because of my background as a chemist I like to
‘I always found that the pots available at the garden centres were plain and a bit dull’
experiment with glazes. “We have some new prototypes and every year I try to develop at least one new glaze. There are always different techniques we consider. We’ve taken some of the techniques that glass blowers used in the early 1920s to create an iridescent surface on glass and applied it to ceramics. “They used to make glass vessels and fume it in an atmosphere of tin chloride at about 600 degrees. The tin chloride would evaporate
and form clouds of tin vapour and that would sit on the surface and give this ‘oil on water’ affect. It’s a known technique but we’ve used a different glaze and developed our own range. “That iridescent effect is something we’ll be exploring further. Some people really like it but others think it’s a bit too much!” After five years, it is still difficult to generate business. Debra has noticed that there are fewer people treating themselves at the moment, and many artists have a similar
story to tell. But with Keith still bringing in an additional income though consultancy work, the Menears have no regrets about going down the art route. “I think we’ve done the right thing,” said Keith. “We started the business at a bad time – just before the world’s banks imploded! But if you always wait for the right time you won’t end up doing anything.” For more details visit the website at www.menearceramics.com
Jewellery and fashion go hand-in-hand and because of that tastes are constantly changing. At the moment yellow gold is seen as being a bit ‘old hat’. Younger people are not buying it and a lot of the yellow gold jewellery we see tends to be handed down. Rather than re-design yellow gold rings, which is very expensive, many people are trying rhodium plating which involves using liquid platinum to turn your yellow gold white. It depends on how often you use the jewellery and what job you have as to how long the plating lasts before you begin to see the yellow gold again. But it is affordable and it’s a great way to see if your piece of jewellery looks better in white gold. Then you can make it more permanent if you wish. Gold is naturally a yellow colour and is then formulated into different colours, including white gold, by the addition of adding other metals in order to reach the desired colour. Gold is expressed in carats with pure gold being 24 carats. Rhodium is a brilliant white metal that is part of the platinum family. The beauty of rhodium plating is that it reconditions your ring to the condition it should be in. You may have a piece of jewellery that is five years old or 100 years old - it can always be brought back to its original form by simply cleaning, polishing and rhodium plating. It’s especially good for less expensive items as when it fades, the rhodium plating will need to be reapplied if you wish to maintain the white colour. It does depend on the quality of the gold and how quickly you experience a
! " " loss of colour. Grade 1 white gold will need less rhodium plating and sometimes does not need to be reapplied at all. Grade 3 or 4 white gold will need frequent rhodium plating as the true colour will show through quite quickly in normal wear. But it only costs £35 which includes polishing off any remaining rhodium and polishing out
all of the scratches and then reapplying a new coat. We are probably doing about 20 a week and I believe we are the only place in Horsham to do it on site. I say to people ‘you can drop the ring in, pop off and do your shopping and come in on the way back to the car!’ If you would like more information on this or any of our other services, do visit us at 45 The Carfax in Horsham or visit our website at www.sakgems.com
Windows Messaging Long before the age of computers, Horsham traders realised the importance of a colourful window display By Jeremy Knight, Horsham Museum Horsham has always been famed for its markets, which are seeing a renaissance with the Local Produce Market in particular attracting high-profile traders. But the town is also reconnecting with its past by promoting the art form that is window dressing. Contemporary businesses compete in a friendly competition called Dressed for Success, which is run by Horsham District Council to encourage businesses to decorate ground-floor front facades in a fun, festive theme. Unknown to most of the 60 or so businesses taking part though is the town’s amazing international reputation for window dressing. Horsham was made for shopping. It was laid out in about 1206 on a large, empty patch of ground that was designed to attract market stall holders. It was an immediate success. Traders decided to stay in Horsham and open shops. The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum in Chichester includes
a reconstructed medieval butchers shop from Horsham. It shows that the shop windows were open, unglazed and exposed to the elements. We know that some 400 years later, Southwater resident Bernard Lintot dressed his London bookshop and his display featured in a poem called ‘The Dunciad’ by the celebrated English poet Pope. In an era of black and white, Lintot would paste the titles of the books he sold, in red on to a wooden post in his shop, thus providing an eye-catching scene that caught the shopper’s eye. Through Georgian and Victorian times, shop windows were generally smaller. In 1911, Horsham cobbler Henry Burstow wrote: “All the shops were low pitched, very little attempt at display of goods was made in the small window, made up of small panes of glass. Some few tradesmen ‘illuminated’ at night, but only with tallow dips or rushlights. The doors were mostly divided laterally in halves. Some, the
F.G Feist Ironmongers go for the cluttered look
S. Price Printing Office on West Street (All images courtesy of Horsham Museum/ Horsham District Council)
H. Clark Fishmongers in the Carfax; London Central Meat Co in Middle Street; The fascinating C.A Phillips store in East Street
more modern, were divided vertically, a few, later, had glass in the upper portions, but as yet there was not a bit of plate glass in the town.’ This didn’t stop Horsham’s creativity. If the windows could not be used to showcase their goods to the best advantage, then extravagant displays held in halls would do the trick. In May 1885 an Empire Bazaar was held in the assembly rooms of the Kings Head in Horsham. Stall holders came up with innovative ways to promote their goods. The local paper reported that Mrs Kingsbury's Oriental stall selling Alexandrian goods was erected in an Eastern-booth.Mrs Aldridge and Mrs Lyon had a corner arranged in ‘tawny Indian fashion’ with a glittering background of spangled gold and black. Many shops in the town realised how important it was to improve their frontage. It was reported: ‘Middle-Street has just undergone considerable improvement; new offices having been erected on the site of the grocer’s shop, and a handsome new glass-plate front having been placed in the shop of Messrs. Dendy, milliners, on
whose premises it will be remembered that Mr W.D. Baker, jeweller, and Mr R Laker, Printer, formerly carried on business.” Larger windows allowed for the shop keepers to develop the art of window dressing and display during the early 20th Century. It was around this time that photography came of age and shop keepers were being pictured in front of their premises, often bedecked in mounds of products. The idea that ‘less is more’ had not reached Horsham; every inch had to be filled by something for sale, rather than act as a backdrop to give flavour, tell a story or inspire the shopper. Horsham shopkeepers though were aware of other towns becoming popular destinations for shoppers. Easy rail trade meant that Horsham was competing with Brighton, Guildford, Worthing and of course London. So in 1909 Horsham Chamber of Trade was formed and the following year Horsham Shopping Week was organised on the 4th7th May. The week long event included a Window Dressing competition where, according to
Horsham Indoor Arcade in East Street (Picture: Horsham Museum/HDC)
Horsham Window Dressing
Cramp’s jewellery store in West Street; West Street shop window displays (All images courtesy of Horsham Museum/Horsham District Council)
the promotional leaflet, traders ‘will make a grand display such as has never been seen before’. By 31st of March there were 43 competing windows, being judged by Mr. Cox of Guildford and Mr Kingham of Dorking. Thus would start over 30 years of window dressing displays and competitions, making full use of the changing technology that saw large plate glass windows becoming the norm. Either with the formation of the Chamber of Trade or soon after, the Horsham Association of Display Men was formed.
The Display Men even had day outings and social events organized according to the Chamber of Trade minuets. Unfortunately, no documents relating to the group have surfaced, though they are referred to in various reports on window dressing and promotional events. One such example was the British Empire themed Horsham Shopping Week. It seems to have been one of the most ambitious uses of display when it ran in March 1926. In 1922 the town had run a similar event, but this time the aim was to show what the British Empire could provide
the Horsham customer. The Chamber of Trade and the Urban District Council ran the week to stimulate trade, improve window displays and give better service to the public. Displays were judged on their selling force, originality, workmanship, ticket and show cards and general attractiveness. In the Things to Eat category, Humphrey & Co in West Street won, ahead of J. H. Sayers in West Street. In the Things to Wear section, Phelps & Son in the Carfax took the honours with Tanner & Chart in Middle Street in second.
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West Street in the days of Horse and Cart (Picture by Horsham Museum/Horsham District Council) In the Things to Use Category, E. T. Lane & Sons of West Street won, with Horsham Gas Company in London Road named runners-up. There were also prizes awarded by various companies such as Nestles Milk Ltd for the most attractive display of their goods, which was won by H W Timbrell of New Street. The town authorities and the Chamber of Trade continued to use window dressing to complement and promote aspects of its activities. In June 1928 it was announced that Horsham Association of Display Men were arranging a window dressing competition for Cricket Week. In April the following year they were called upon to promote the Council’s Health Week. As The Depression struck, Horsham continued to promote and market itself as a shopper’s paradise. Just as today’s ‘Retail Tsars’ are telling high streets to create additional features to attract shoppers away from the internet, Horsham Chamber of Trade tackled this with window dressing competitions, as well as a magazine for shoppers called The Signpost and later The Horsham Journal. In October 1938 the Chamber of Trade announced that agreement had been reached to introduce ‘Colour Scheme Weeks’
as well. Another innovation agreed upon was for a whole page of advertisements in the County Times with some 40 shop keepers involved. In January 1939 the Horsham Journal reported: “A new special feature of the (art) school is the window-dressing class, which affords shop assistants an excellent opportunity of studying window dressing, ticket writing and experimenting with colour schemes.” The story of Horsham shop windows after World War II is still to be researched, though a selection of photographs show how the windows changed and recently a comic print by Dr Geoffrey Sparrow has surfaced which shows one such window being dressed. Some 60 years on, Horsham is using its heritage of window displays once again to ride out a recession and in doing so attract new trade to the town. In 1932 Horsham opened a new market, but its traders were not part of the shop displays. In Horsham today, stall holders are getting in to the spirit. So whilst it may be looking at its past, Horsham is always taking the best from the old and developing something new. Extracts of this article are taken from History of Horsham Voume 3 and Volume 5 by Jeremy Knight
T O B Y P H I L L I P S P H O T O G R A P H Y. C O . U K • I N F O @ T O B Y P H I L L I P S P H O T O G R A P H Y. C O . U K • 0 1 4 0 3 2 5 8 2 1 8 / 0 7 9 6 8 7 9 5 6 2 5
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The ‘things you probably didn’t know about Horsham that are really quite interesting’ page...
The Rolling Stones in 1963, the year they first broke into the pop charts in the UK with Come On
One night in 1963, a small hall in Horsham hosted
The Rolling Stones When the Rolling Stones will be playing four gigs at the end of the year, in London and New Jersey, it is estimated they will receive about £15.5million. In 1963 – the year they first make the UK Top 40 - the group had to work a little harder for their pennies. The Rolling Stones played 308 gigs that year as they did all they could to make a breakthrough. On 27th July 1963, they were at the California Ballroom in Dunstable, and on 30th July played the British Legion Hall in Slough. Then, on the 3rd August 1963, the band came to Horsham, playing at the St Leonard’s Hall, formerly in Cambridge Road. A reported 619 people jammed into the 400 capacity hall for the gig. Peter & The Hustlers, a local band, were booked as the opening act to The Stone's, whose first single ‘Come On’ had just entered the charts. Horsham residents Geoff Farndell, Vic Sendall, Pete Toal, Gavin Daneski and Ralph Worman got a warm reception as the Hometown boys. But it was the Stones, who took to the stage
clad in pale blue shirts, dark blue leather waistcoats, black trousers and Chelsea boots, that stole the show of course. In an article which appeared in the West Sussex County Times in 2007, Geoff – who was only 16 at the time - recounted the 1963 gig. He said: "We were very taken with the Stones. They were only kids themselves. Our style changed immediately there and then. "It was a great night. We were excited and it was their first week in the charts. I remem-
ber Mick was quite nervous on the night. He wasn't bounding about the stage like he does now. "We knew they were musically very good, but I don't know if we thought 'they are going to be the biggest rock stars on the planet', because we thought we were going to be the biggest rock stars on the planet!” The Stones were said to have received a one off payment of £50 between them for their one and a half hour set. Peter and the Hustlers later became The Beat Merchants and enjoyed chart success, reaching number 41 in the UK charts with their first single Pretty Face just a month after playing alongside the Stones. They were later fortunate that their song ‘So Fine’ was used as a B-side for the Freddie and the Dreamers hit ‘You Were Made For Me’ which went to the top of the charts in the US. The Beat Merchants later toured alongside Jean Vincent, Lulu and The Honeycombs and played on BBC2 music show Beat Room in 1964, on the same night as The Beach Boys.
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