The LEWESIAN October 2021

Page 1

October 2021


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Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! It is with great pride, privilege, and pleasure that I have been invited to officially welcome all the folk of the town to The Lewesian!

One of the best things about being the Town Crier for this beautiful and historic County Town is the people. New Lewesians moving into the town; and Lewesians who have lived here for generations, professionals, couples and individuals alike - really helping to bring together the vibrant and diverse community that sets us aside from other towns. Reflecting on the late summer it was amazing seeing people from across the town adjust to ‘new normals’; the buzz and bustle of the precinct with the successful Lewes Festival in aid of Cancer Research UK, Societies talking in excited hushed tones about the ‘possibility of a Fifth’, and occasionally even the sound of rousing cheers as a sodden Dwyle splattering against a smock after a perfectly timed tip of a Swadger. The people in our community make that happen, and the introduction of

The Lewesian will be another brilliant way that will allow those people (You!) to continue to connect the community. Hoping - to connect people, build community spirit and boost well-being. Heartening - helping launch, build support and strengthen local community groups. Helping - Boosting businesses to reach local customers. To ‘The Lewesian’: The People, The Community and The Magazine! Long life and prosperity to you all! ‘God Save The Queen’ Jon Borthwick, MAHGTC Town Crier for Lewes and Peacehaven Please get in touch if you’d like me to come along and have a shout to promote your event – or Instagram: @Shoutymanjon

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Cover artist...Lyndsey Smith Our cover artist, Lyndsey Smith paints glorious watercolours and each one deserves a close look - instantly recognisable are the shops and streets of our town, peopled with smiling characters, and often their pets.

You can find your favourite pubs and cafes, the Castle, war memorial, Southover Grange and more painted with such warmth and humour that they spring to life. She also makes greetings cards, and illustrated the very local “The Railway Land Dogs Club” by Julian Warrender. More recently Lyndsey has been working with looser sketches of birds, landscapes and coastlines, which you can see on her Instagram @lyndseysmithart Lyndsey paints a Lewes scene annually for the charity SASBAH, sold by Cards for Good Causes, and is currently wondering which view to paint for next Christmas - do contact her and let her know which view she has missed! Lyndsey can work to commission to recreate your own house, family or special occasions in the places that you love.

So find her website and facebook /LyndseySmithpainting or see her work in real life at the Chalk Gallery ( in North Street, Lewes.

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Ruth’s Column October 2021 When the new magazine “The Lewesian” approached me to ask about my contributing a regular community news column I was very happy to say yes, and I am looking forward to sharing news of a wide range of community groups and clubs with you via these pages, together with invitations to take part in their activities. For this first column I am starting “where I know” with some groups I have had a long involvement with, and will be branching out more in later editions. If you belong to a local group working in our community to support others, in the arts, in education, in mental health work, or simply to enjoy one another’s company (which can easily encompass all the previous suggestions!) and would like to feature then please get in touch with me by email at or alternatively by phone on 07941151989.

At the time the Hub was set up the local primary school (Pells) was closing, meaning that Pippa’s Group Nursery which had been in a portacabin on the site for many years, would be homeless. At the same time The Dance Academy run by Wendy Baker had been given notice to leave their North Street warehouse building because of imminent (said to be at the time!) redevelopment. The Landport Youth Club were also effectively facing being homeless too, as they could not raise the money for much increased rent.

Landport Community Hub

Pippa and the hall Hub cupboards

The three groups banded together to buy the premises from the District Council Landport Community Hub was set up as together, including the former bin store a formal Charitable Incorporated Organiarea at the end of the building, now the sation, or CIO, with full charitable status, in garden of Pippa’s Group nursery. Sever2017, to run the building on Landport Road al volunteers probably need medals for formerly known as Landport Youth Centre spending hours and hours picking debris and before that for many years simply as from the ground there to make it safe. We the “Boys Club” and to provide activities have a 25 year mortgage on the property there as needed. which means that I would be 80 (hubris to To advertise to 8000 homes across Lewes call 01273 551021 or email

7 make assumptions) when the building is really ours, and I am not the most mature Trustee; there are a couple who will need to see nearer 100 to be there at the party, unless we can speed up the process! Fundraising including knitting a lot of hats has shaved £15,000 off the original total but for now we are simply glad to be making the instalments, which are still less than the proposed rent for the Youth Club. So far we have renovated much of the building, and proudly added the final double glazed windows recently. An immense amount of painting has gone on, re-flooring, the central heating system has been sorted out and an array of solar panels added on the roof. We are about to turn our attention to the storage possibilities of the loft, and to creating a usable space on the presently very limited upper floor. All of the groups have amazing volunteers and we have been able to work really well together, with some very skilled help from Ian Campbell (who may never be able to really retire!) and local tradesmen. We have managed all this

on a very limited budget which we could stretch out thanks to all the volunteer input, along with a host of grants and donors including local people. All three of the founder groups have survived the pandemic; here is the story of one of them (more to follow). The Dance Academy The Dance Academy has moved around Lewes in search of a permanent home for many years. Wendy Baker, who runs the Dance Academy as a Community Interest Company (CIC), meaning it is not for profit, has worked hard with her army of volunteers to make the most of the space at the Hub, transforming what was a block with old showers and storage spaces at the end of the building into a dance space to use in addition to the main hall. The sprung floor in the dance space is a miracle of simple but time consuming engineering. Starting with hundreds of exactly cut and spaced pieces of tubular swimming floats, covered with two layers of cross laid hardboard and topped off with a final dance friendly floor covering it was designed and built entirely with volunteer labour, and a lot of it… Sprung dance floor

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continued on page 8....

8 ...continued from page 7

You can find the Dance Academy on Facebook at dancelewes/ It offers a wide range of classes for children and young people, and also has groups for under 5s and a new “sling strong” exercise class for mothers with babies in slings, and more than this, membership of a vast extended family. Contact Wendy on 07852390748 for more details. Lewes Foodbanks Now that pandemic grants are largely coming to an end but the effects of the pandemic on families and children across Lewes are not, funds at Lewes Foodbanks are now dwindling at a time when demands are still at a high level. Foodbanks assist people and families in crisis, where they may be entitled to benefits but they have not yet had a decision and are awaiting funds, where there has been a sudden change of circumstance such as a job loss or, sadly, bereavement, or where some unforeseen calamity has pushed them over the poverty line where they were just “making do” before. Many are working but have very low pay, although others have not managed to find work. At the moment more than 120 households are being supported by our Foodbanks. To be assisted by a Foodbank families and individuals have to be referred by

someone official, such as Adult Social Care, Children’s Services, a District Council Housing Officer, Citizen’s Advice, a local GP or various other providers with contact with the family such as a Headteacher at a school. They then need to be re-referred after a while if they continue to need help. All three Foodbanks, Landport, Malling and Fitzjohns, have a number of very kind individual donors as well as being supported through grant applications to charities and to public bodies such as the Town Council, and if you would be interested in joining in with this support to a Foodbank please get in touch with me to get the details for the one you would like to support. Ruth O’Keeffe 07941151989

Interested in contributing to The Lewesian? email Sally at


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Street Life... ‘There’s a what in Market Street?’ Grange Girl’s voice spiralled into a squeal, sending a hairline crack through my bone china cup. ‘A tattoo parlour,’ I said, putting the cup down. We were having yet another socially distanced meet-up in Grange Girl’s garden. The pandemic hadn’t impacted hugely on her – she pioneered lockdown as a lifestyle back in the 90s – but her self-inflicted house arrest meant she was out of the loop with the quickening pace of Lewes retail life.

do it better, I got a D in Art GCSE. Anyway…’ I readied myself for the big reveal, ‘I haven’t decided yet, because it’s not the only tattoo place in town!’ The expression on Grangey’s face was one I’d not seen since I almost convinced her that McDonalds was moving in next to Hixon Green. ‘You’re trying to tell me there are two tattoo parlours in Lewes.’ ‘There’s one upstairs in the Riverside.’

‘Are we in Brighton or something?’ She absentmindedly poured me more tea, not noticing it seeping out from the crack. ‘Also, why are they called parlours? The word “parlour” is refined.’

‘Chocolate shop, fishmongers, haberdashery, and… tattoos?’

It’s not often I feel modern and, as my dear Aunt Kitty used to say, ‘with it,’ but I do feel like that when I’m with Grange Girl. I launched into a brief, sharply-focused lecture which took in tattoos as an art form, and the origins and uses of the word ‘parlour’ with particular reference to pizza, beauty, massage and funeral. Furthermore, I informed her that there was even a tattoo parlour in Seaford, so get hip to the beat, daddio. For an encore, I angrily seized a napkin and sketched the tattoo I’d have if I was going to have one.

‘Now you’re just being silly.’ Her gaze drifted to my tea, which was gently dripping like ink into my saucer. ‘And you’ve broken my cup.’

‘I’m merely the messenger, Grangey.’ I picked up my cup. ‘There’s a third one, too. Malling Street.’

Beth Miller, 11.8.21

She bore this patiently, particularly considering my too-late realisation that the napkin was made from cloth. ‘So this is you now, is it?’ she said. ‘You’re going to strut to Market Street to have this monstrosity drawn on your arm.’ ‘I don’t know how to strut. I was thinking upper thigh, actually. And they’ll obviously Please mention theLEWESIAN when responding to adverts.

12 To get your your upcoming gig, show, event or venue listed please

October LISTINGS... Friday 1st October: The Con Club 7.30 – 11pm The Duran Duran Experience Friday 2nd & 3rd October: The Living Coast Biosphere Homeward Bound A sea themed festival of music food and culture The Con Club 7 -11.30pm The Jonah Medal Sunday 3rd October: The Depot Kiss me deadly – 16.00 Touch of Evil – 20.00 Tuesday 5th October: The All Saints 0.00am Halloween Live Show – The Life and Times of Edgar Allen Poe Join tour guide and actor Nick

Richmond, for a trip through the fevered imagination of the master of gothic horror and hear the story of his short but fascinating life. The Depot Klute – 20.15 Wednesday 6th October: Online South Downs Storytellers open mic Open to anyone who wants to tell or listen to stories – no experience necessary

Online Event 7-8.30pm Greenhavens Q&A Session – Dave Goulson, National Insect Expert Dave Goulson is a British biologist, conservationist, and Professor of Biology (Evolution, Behaviour and Environment) at the University of Sussex, specializing in the ecology and conservation of bumblebees. Thursday 7th October: The Royal Oak 7-11pm Gomez’ Ben Ottewell, and Lotte Pearl The Hilltop Sessions Friday 8th October: The Con Club 8 – 11.45pm Trojan Explosion Club Night/ Earl Gateshead

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13 Saturday 9th October: The Con Club 7 -11pm Are you Experienced? UK’s number 1 Hendrix Tribute Sunday 10th October: The Depot Chinatown – 20.00 Monday 11th October: Zoom Webinar 7.20 for 7.30 start Lewes History Group talk: Lewes in the 1790s: A Time of Change This talk will look at the actions and activities of Thomas Mantell (father of Gideon), cordwainer and non-conformist, within this context to uncover more of this enigmatic character and the development of Lewes. Friday 15th October: The Con Club 7.30-11pm Wrong Jovi (Bon Jovi Tribute band) Saturday 16th October: Newhaven Fort Brewhaven Festival of Sussex Craft Beer The Con Club 7.30-11pm The Total Stone Roses & Oaysis Community Kitchen Learn to make French Breads Lewes Hut, Newhaven 10am – 1pm Greenhavens Network Workshop – looking to the future Sunday 17th October: The Con Club 7.30-10.30pm Amnesty International Benefit The Curst Sons

Thursday 21st October: The Con Club 7.30-11pm SKINNY MILK, Young Francis Hi Fi & Mules Friday 22nd October: 7.30-11pm Manoeuvres – OMD Tribute Saturday 23rd October: The Con Club 7 – 11.30pm The Doel Brothers +Micky Hart (New date) Hillcrest Centre, Newhaven 11am-3pm Greenhavens Super Seedy Saturday Seed Swap Plus craft stalls and children’s activities Sunday 24th October: The Con Club 4pm Tapestry – An Evening in Laurel Canyon The Depot McCabe and Mrs Miller – 13.30 Wednesday 27th October: The Depot Cliff Richard, The Great 80 Tour – 17.30 27th and 28th October: Community Kitchen Cookery Leader Training

Training and mentoring for people who want to set up and run cookery clubs and related community activities.

Friday 29th October: The Con Club 7.30-11pm The Stranglers, performed by Straighten Out Saturday 30th October: The Con Club 7.30-11.30pm Haiku Salut – Lamp Show The Depot Cliff Richard, The Great 80 Tour – 12.30 Five Easy Pieces – 13.30 Community Kitchen Learn to make Italian Breads Sunday 31st October: The Con Club 7.30 – 11pm The Nightingales The Depot The Bird With The Crystal Plumage – 18.00 The Cat O’ Nine Tails – 20.30 Also on: Every Monday at St Pancras Primary School: Adults Dance Class Solo Latin In Line Latin, Ballroom and Swingwithout partners 7 – 7.30 Beginners 7.30- 8 Improvers 8 – 8.30 Advanced Every Friday and Saturday Zu Cafe Live music every Friday, and Tapas and dancing every Saturday. Until October 26th Firle Place The Regency Wardrobe – Art Exhibition Life size regency costumes made using paper and thread.

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Dementia 100 Friendly pieces

By Hannah Thompson


The Veg of Reason Why grow veg? There are many good reasons but my favourite is that there is nothing nicer than a vegetable that you have grown yourself from a seed and then freshly picked and eaten.

Self-sufficiency is not an option for most of us but we can grow a vegetable, fruit or herb in our allotment, garden or balcony and then celebrate it by preparing it carefully and eating it while savouring its freshness and delicate flavour. The taste of a freshly picked courgette or broad bean does not compare with its equivalent purchased from a supermarket or even a market stall.

What can you sow in autumn? An easy crop that is rewarding over winter is onions. You can buy onion sets which are baby onion bulbs and sow them in October. I have grown onions in a 35cm pot, you can fit in about 6 sets. This is not going to keep you in onions for long but when you harvest them make something special from them. It will be delicious. To sow them put them in the soil so their tips (the pointy end) are Allotments are wonderful places but hard just below the soil. It is worth covering them with fleece for a few weeks until they have to come by with long waiting lists. They grown roots as birds think it is a brilliant can be some distance from your home game to pull them out. Onions are generally and require a lot of work to make them productive. If you have a garden no matter easy and trouble free. Over the winter you can watch them grow, slowly at first, but how small you can still grow a surprising as the weather warms up they will start to amount of food. You can use all kinds of forge ahead and by May or June the bulbs containers. There are troughs and large pots for sale at garden centres or you can will develop and bulk up. By the end of June they will have started to die back and the recycle old buckets, washing up bowls, leaves will fold over and turn brown. This is old compost bags; the important thing is the time to lift them gently with a fork and to make sure you have drainage holes. leave them to dry out on the soil in the sun. What should you put in your container? Peat This will improve their keeping qualities but free multipurpose compost is good but it no doubt you will have already planned helps to boost the water retention qualities what tasty fate awaits them and they will not to add home-made garden compost or be around long. manure, leaf mould or John Innes No.3. Vicki Trenhaille To advertise to 8000 homes across Lewes call 01273 551021 or email

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Brewhaven On the 16th October, Visit Lewes will host Sussex’s first craft Beer Festival at Newhaven Fort. 15 local brewers, including two from Lewes (featured below) will be showcasing and selling their wares. Come 1-5 for a laid back family session, with the café and playground open, or soak up the festival atmosphere at the over 18s 6-10pm session with food, DJs and live music.

ABYSS Brewing

Tickets cost £10 (or £5 for under 18s in the afternoon session) Lewes Brewers featured include: Beak The Beak is a brewing project established by former food and drink writer Daniel Tapper. Its founding mission was to create a brewery for people who take as much pleasure in good beer as in good food, with a strong focus on playful, progressive beers that showcase seasonal ingredients. Beak is a craft brewery, taproom and streetfood canteen located in Cliffe Industrial Estate. Over the last 12 months, it has grown to become one of the UK’s highest-rated breweries, with its ales – and lagers – now enjoyed across the UK and Europe. In addition to its normal output, the brewery has recently started growing its own grain just outside the town, which will be used in conjunction with locally-grown hops and native yeast strains to create beers that reflect the local area

ABYSS is Andrew Mellor - Brewer and former head chef, compulsive foodie and proprietor of the Pelham Arms and Andy Bridge - producer and performer with a background in comedy and marketing. After meeting at art school over 27 years ago, their friendship has endured, creating memorable events utilising their complementary skills. They’ve now pulled together a local team to help set up the ABYSS Brewery Tap. Born under Lewes in the cellar of the Pelham Arms in 2016, it wasn’t long before word got out about their psychedelic brews. Serving two kegs a week just wasn’t enough, so in 2017, they burst out of the pub cellar and moved into a small industrial unit at Palehouse Common. When they heard that the old Maltings building, previously part of the South Downs Brewery, in Lewes was up for rent, they jumped at the chance to take it on, returning to Lewes to begin work creating a brilliant new space to make and serve their beers. They hope to open the taproom this September with a permanent Mexican Street Food Kitchen and regular events celebrating anything and everything that’s cool (!) in the local area. There will be regular beer tours, a new coffee roastery next door and plenty more to look forward to including the return

of the ABYSS cycling club!

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The Forager

Hawthorn - Crataegus Monogyna AKA Whitethorn, The May, Quickthorn “When all fruit fails, welcome Haw” A common sight in hedgerow, wood and meadow, Hawthorn is perhaps most striking when it appears as a lone, windswept, figure atop the downs. These solitary trees are said to be inhabited by fairy folk and such is the association between Hawthorn and fairies, that it’s considered unwise to cut them except when in flower. Be warned!

Prior to the introduction of the Gregorian Calendar in 1752, it would have flowered late April/early May, hence its strong connection to Beltane, when its blossoming branches decorated Maypoles and garlands. Nowadays we are more likely to see blossom in mid May. It flowers in clusters of delicate white and pink blossom, which have been said to smell like the Great Plague of London. In folk tradition it’s taboo to bring it inside the house. This association with death and decay is probably because the flowers produce trimethylamine - one of the first chemicals produced in decaying animal flesh. That’s no accident. Hawthorn supports over 300 insect species (including many moths), many of whom would be attracted to the smell of carrion. It also supports native and migratory birds, voles, dormice and wood mice, who eat the budding flowers and berries. I’ve heard Blue Tits will time the hatching of their clutch with its flowering, such is the abundance of caterpillars, grubs and insects, so please be careful not to over pick - Hawthorn is a life support

behemoth! A passing nibble, and time spent getting to really know a plant will give so much more than forgotten jars of preserves gathering dust in the larder. Much of the plant is edible. Its young leaves can be used for salad, and, steeped with the flowers, make a calming and soothing tea. Its fruit can be eaten raw and used in jellies, jams, ketchups and syrups. Related to the apple (both bear a five pointed star at the base of the fruit) it has a high pectin content - useful for setting, but this can work against syrups - better to use jars to store it, lest it sets in the bottle and won’t pour! Its berries are especially nutritious, and high in antioxidants, making it beneficial to the immune system. The blossom can be especially helpful to the nervous system, and the whole plant has a reputation as heart medicine, able to regulate blood pressure and, some say, heal a weary or broken heart. Truly a tree for our times. Happy Nibbling. Tracey Winning

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Live Steam 5 inch Brighton Terrier Locomotive. Sold for £3100

Live Steam Fowler Showman’s Engine. Sold for £2900 LMS Fusee Railway Clock. Sold for £500

Marble Grand Tour souvenir models of Temples of Vespasian and Castor & Pollux. Sold for £7400

Corgi Toys 'Vroom & Dreesmann' Delivery Van. Sold for £550

Dinky Weetabix Guy Van. Sold for £2100

Omega Speedmaster, 40th Anniversary Moon Landing. Sold for £4900

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21 Lewesian Rating ★★

The Spirit of Woodstock by Something Underground Theatre Company I’ll tell you two of the things I’ve missed most during lockdown: live theatre, and music festivals. So what a joy it was to sit in the glorious sunshine at Southover Grange in Lewes and experience a performance of the former, about the latter! This show, written and performed single-handedly by incredibly talented local character actor Jonathan Brown, presents a fascinating insight into the Woodstock rock festival of 1969. The festival itself is juxtaposed with re-enactments of contemporaneous events in American culture, including the moon landing, the black rights movement, and some extremely moving Vietnam War sequences, elucidating vividly the wider context in which the festival took place. Like a far-out acid trip, the kaleidoscopic nature of this piece paints a picture of events far more vibrant and evocative than the mere sum of its parts. Jonathan plays a vast array of characters in extremely quick succession – I lost count after ten minutes but I’d guess upward of a hundred characters were represented. As expected, we meet the lead players – the rock musicians, organisers, astronauts and politicians – but also given prominent billing are the toilet cleaners, helicopter pilots, local residents both pro- and anti-Woodstock, drug peddlers, yippies and hippies. Like a mudsoaked festival, this is no easy ride, not just in terms of the demands its non-linear structure places on its audience’s cognitive faculties, but also in terms of the demands for participation made on that audience. Jonathan makes it clear from the outset that we will – all of us – be involved in the action. He does so with the air of a schoolmaster threatening corporal punishment if we dissent. He

plays us just right; he treats us mean to keep us keen. One of the clichés about Woodstock is that everyone claims to have been there (but that if you remember it, you weren’t); one of the joys of watching this play is that we all feel like we really were there, involved, getting mucky, tripping out. A warning. Like the traffic jam approaching Woodstock, this show is long. Over two and a half hours today, including interval. But like one of Jonathan’s characters ad libbed after an item of scenery blew down in the wind, it really doesn’t matter because we’re all having such a fabulous time. The Spirit of Woodstock is an exceptionally crafted and masterfully executed solo epic. Turn up, tune in, drop the fourth wall. Reviewed by JOHN HINTON, For more info & upcoming tour dates see the-spirit-of-woodstock/

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Tree of the Month Japanese Pagoda Tree... Tucked away at the end of Grange Gardens, the furthest point away from the building, is a beautiful tree with the horrendous botanical name of Styphnolobium japonicum. The common name of Japanese pagoda tree is more flattering and evocative. The tree, which is a native of China and not Japan, was first introduced into England in 1753. At Kew gardens in London there is a wonderful example of the species’ longevity, it was planted that year by the famous nursery man James Gordon and is now classified as one of Kew’s ‘Old Lions’.

perhaps, flower annually. Sadly, the tree as a species is not planted widely, perhaps the name might be off putting to some, but four young specimens are to be planted this autumn in the Wallands area of Lewes as part of the Friends of Lewes, Tree Committee’s annual planting programme.

Styphnolobium japonicum is relatively fast growing and becomes a significant tree reaching some 25 metres in ideal conditions. It is usually upright and spreading with a broadly rounded crown at maturity which produces light shade not dissimilar to that produced by Ash. It is one of the most beautiful representatives of the pea and bean family (Leguminosae).

As with all tree species there are elements of folk law associated with Styphnolobium. It is infamous in Chinese culture where folklore demons are said to have been drawn to it. Even more sinister is the story that the last Minh Emperor, Changzhen, hung himself from a Pagoda tree after peasants stormed the Forbidden City in 1644. It is also claimed When the tree is in full flower it is spectac- that well water into which autumn leaves ular, with the entire canopy covered with fall becomes a laxative, and it is said that creamy white flowers, creating a glazed, al- turners of the fresh green wood could be most haunting effect. These flowers do not immediately affected by colic. fade on the tree but drop off quite fresh, The Grange Gardens tree has the potencreating a mirror image between ground tial to store over 2700kg of carbon as it and canopy. The effect is quite stunning. continues to grow towards maturity and Styphnolobium does not flower until it has reached thirty to forty years of age with blossoms developing in September and in cold wet summers they do not develop at all. I have seen the tree in Grange Gardens in full flower and it was a joy. As the tree ages and some of the forecasted impacts of climate change become reality it will,

currently stores approximately 610kg. It currently sequesters 20kg of carbon each year and absorbs 0.32kg of pollutants annually. These benefits will increase as the still relatively young tree continues to develop and grow. Keith Sacre

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My Lewes...Martin Thomas from Zu It’s going to be alright.

I met Martin at the Phoenix Project Design Festival- we went and lounged with a dog that wasn’t ours on a cowhide covered beanbag, surrounded by clarinet music and conversation, and I thought how lucky Human Nature were to have him there, bringing his energy and magic to the event. Martin is the founder of Zu Studios, right in the heart of the Phoenix estate, and, more recently Zu café at the bus station. He is also an artist, creating bespoke woodwork. He says: “I was living in Brighton, putting on parties on the beach in Newhaven, initially to celebrate the life of my partner Lourdes. Everything has a lifespan, and our time was 5 years together, it was amazing. And the experience of that, the grief and the pain has affected me, it’s easy to look LIGHTING



back and trace everything back to that point, when you experience that level of loss and realise life is short and you should be making the most of it. Friends told me about the Phoenix estate and I got space in number 22. I was there about 6 months. Charles Style, who was the developer then said “Lewes Prison want to rent that space, but I’ve got another you can use” and it was the old Ironworks building. I knew something amazing and interesting was going to happen there.


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parties – Jimmy Page’s Fridge Freezer is still in the bar. Lewes is full of characters and it was a blessing having Zu. We had 8 years. My workshop now is in the bus station, it leaks quite a lot and there are birds roosting inside, but in the summer I love it there, the sense of space. Zu café has been like walking a tightrope, it started not long before lockdown. We kept it going with the takeaway and, inside, small events supporting mental health. Now we are trying to encourage people to come out regularly – Friday night is live music, Saturday night tapas and D.J.s until 1am. We want people to know they can always come to Zu and there will be fun, friendly people, music and dancing.

It was 2007, I thought “I might as well live here” and moved over. Then, within a year or two, with the need to pay some big electricity bills, I put some events on. The events started to take over – I was in contact with musicians, speakers or workshop facilitators from around the world. At the beginning it was like “you might get a year if you’re lucky” but it just kept ticking over and we kept adding layers. Charles went bankrupt, then Santon stepped in and there was a 5 or 6 year period where we felt pretty safe, but there’s always uncertainty. I’m looking at Zu now and it’s a crumbling old building but I am proud of what we built there. Many people, some of who I haven’t even met, have been touched by that community, and that’s lovely. I’m glad we did that. It’s like another world in there now, plants growing through, beautiful decay, and there are little references to the

It’s a madness to get rid of the bus station, at the very least they will have to find a new home for the buses so we will have some time, maybe a year, but I am not attached to it, there’s always a way, there’s an inevitability to it, as there is to dying and the birth of the new, we’re evolving. We have got to trust the journey and it’s going to be a happy ending. I always put at the end of newsletters “For those who wonder, wonders appear”- it is about dreaming the world we want.” It was the end of our interview. A man came over carrying a small oak tree “Do you want to sponsor this one, Martin? Getting them in is fine, but it’s all the care you have to do afterwards.” and I thought “with Martin, it’s going to be alright”. See Martin’s art on: For more information on Zu café:

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26 interview with Paul Leonard, the local businessman behind NESTY Homes...

Solving your Property Problems... Paul – can you tell us about NESTY HOMES? NESTY Homes is an East Sussex based family business here to solve people’s property problems. We help sellers, buyers, landlords and investors who need more support and better solutions than they’re currently being offered right now. We help people sell their place when it’s not selling for the price they want. We do what’s called an assisted sale where we refurbish the property at no cost to the owner then we sell it for them. We ensure they get the sale price they want, handle all the refurbishing, decoration and management of the sale. We also help renters who want to buy but don’t have the deposit yet or mortgage approval; buy with our rent-to-buy programme. This works for both the seller and the renter as it’s guaranteed payment/income for both sides of the agreement. Can you give an example of an assisted sale? Of course – ‘Glendaruel’ was a 2-bed terraced house that was not selling at the price the owner wanted. It needed lots of attention though the owner didn’t have the time or money to complete the work. We agreed with the owner a sell price they were happy with and we completely refurbished the place. It sold within 12 days for over the asking price and even broke the record sell price for that size of property in the area! The house also received a record number of viewings and received 5 offers above asking price. It was a great result for everyone involved – allowing the owner a hassle-free way to move on. The agent was super-happy as the standard was above the norm for a refurbished place.



and price they wanted, with no hassle. The agency loved it as they’d seen the transformation, sold quickly - and higher than it would have been so got higher commission. The buyer got a lovely home to move into. What’s in it for NESTY? We get to do the thing we love – refurbishing – without the long-winded and additional costings of a purchase. We take on the risk that the property will achieve, a value that will encompass our costs plus profit – if it doesn’t, we miss out – not the owner, not the agent. How can someone find out more? Call, message or email us for a free, no obligation, no hard sell – happy to chat 01273 809503/07388 033621

Who benefitted from the Assisted Sale? Everyone! The owner got the quick sale To advertise to 8000 homes across Lewes call 01273 551021 or email


Children’s Page ortman Amelie P all to see wants you n Suki, te it her new k of energy ll who is fu as hief and h and misc ery v y il m fa made her eir pet rats happy. Th keen! are not so

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Jack Henry, age 10, dre w this wonderful pictur e of Paul McCartney. He say s: “I like drawing famou s people, and my youn ger brother, and I love the Beatles. I’ve been dra wing portraits since I was 4”

Halloween Crossword Puzzle

s Why doe ty p m Hu Dumpty mn? love autu he Because fall. t a had a gre

Answers on page 29

We would love to see your pets, pictures and projects, hear bonfire jokes and see your costumes for our November issue. Please send them in to Please mention theLEWESIAN when responding to adverts.



MYTHS & LEGENDS Brighton Early Music Festival returns this autumn with both live and online events. Live concerts include elegant French baroque from Canzona; BREMF Live! showcase of emerging talent; and rousing medieval cantigas with Joglaresa. BREMF@home brings highlights from 2021’s live events – from Italian madrigals to romantic masterworks – to your living room.

For more information and tickets see or call 01273 833746




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Where in Lewes... Camera Obscura brings you snapshots of the hidden corners of Lewes, secret details, curiosities and forgotten pathways. New things and very old things, extraordinary and mundane, treasures that have lain unseen for years or marks passed by a hundred times a day without ever being truly seen. Do you know where in Lewes this photo was taken?

#1 - The face in the wall. Where is this? Who made it? Answers by email, to Winners will have the glory of a mention in the following issue and receive a stunning, hand engraved (virtual) trophy. Extra points will be awarded for previously undiscovered details and wild flights of fancy.

Have your say... People across Lewes district are being asked their views on a proposal to increase financial support for low-income families and people in financial difficulty. A consultation was launched on Monday August 2 and will run until 5pm on Sunday, October 31, about a proposed new Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2022/23. Read full story at lewes-district-council-news

Baby Massage Class £60 for a 5 week course Baby Massage can help relieve Colic, trapped wind, helps to build your confidence and bonding with your baby. Classes in Lewes and Uckfield. Contact Anna Vinton 07786510702 IAIM certified instructor

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Index of Advertisers Auctioneers Wallis & Wallis........................................................20 Antiques Antiques and Decorative Art.........................22 Baby Development Baby College............................................................13 Baby Massage Anna Vinton..............................................................29 Beauty Services Claremont Body Contouring.........................28 Blinds Bella Vista...................................................................19 Builders St. James Ecobuild................................................15 Cabinet Makers JM Furniture Ltd.......................................................4 Care Services Home Instead..........................................................22 Children’s Clothes BRATS...............................................................................4 Chimney Sweep Andy Sweeps...................................................Cover Community Transport CTLA...............................................................................12 Damp Proofing PEM Construction.........................................Cover Dry Cleaners Goldfinch’s...................................................................10 Electrician Kingsway Electrical..............................................24 Estate Agents Oakleys...................................................Back Cover Events BrewHaven.................................................................17 Brighton Early Music Festival........................28

Funeral Directors Cooper & Sons...........................................................9 Grace.................................................................................4 Richard Green Funeral Service.....................15 Garden Lighting Garden Spark...........................................................30 Holistic Therapist Angelica Rossi............................................................3 Homeopathy Jak Measure.................................................................3 House Clearance Herriotts Clearances..............................................8 Jigsaws Hannah Thompson...............................................13 Letting Agents Ashton Burkinshaw...............................................19 Oakleys...................................................Back Cover St. James Lettings.................................................10 Painting and Decorating Little Acorn Eco......................................................24 Plasterer Pacific Plastering......................................................8 Plumbers Perameter Plumbing Ltd.................................30 Property Maintenance JDC’s Handyman and Decorating Services.......................................................................29 Property Solutions Nesty Homes...........................................................26 Roofing M.Marchants Lead Roofing.............................20 Rubbish Clearance Herriotts Clearances..............................................8 Scaffolding Lewes Scaffolding Limited................................4 Solicitors O’Sullivan Family Law..........................................31 Socialising Website

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TO ZOOM OR NOT TO ZOOM… THAT IS THE QUESTION? I’ve been contemplating lately about how we have all been through such an enormous ‘thing’. The COVID pandemic has been such a rollercoaster of misery, grief, fear, uncertainty and often even hope. Even those of us (not me!) who were able to carry this ‘lightly’ it’s still been huge. Imagine what it’s been like for those going through a break up/divorce too. They will experience all the same emotions: misery, grief, fear, uncertainty and hope along with a whole load of others. So that’s hard, that’s really hard. But luckily, they all opt for the easier, softer services I offer of mediation, hybrid mediation, collaborative practice and ‘round table meetings. Anything but court. Many of the clients I’ve worked with over the last 17 months I’ve never actually met in real life. And yet, together we have started and finished their cases. I really do feel that our relationship has not been diminished, just because it took place on Zoom. As Professor Elizabeth Stokoe says on my blog: ‘The benefits [of Zoom] you describe above are very real – no travel, the comfort of

speaking from one’s own home, and so on. I’ve got lots of examples of ‘rapport’ being built in telephone calls, where one has fewer resources for interacting than online with video. Don’t forget that, in person or online, my top tip would also be not to buy into nebulous concepts like ‘rapport’. For me, ‘rapport’ is the outcome of an encounter, something you achieve if you’ve just had a smooth, minimal-misunderstanding, minimal burden conversation. You shouldn’t aim to ‘build rapport’ and then have an interaction. Focus on what the person wants and needs, and moving them through an encounter without having to keep asking for explanations of things they don’t understand, or asking what will happen next, or returning to a part of their story that was shut down earlier. These are the things that are important in any interaction, in any modality.’ So, will we go back to meeting ‘in real life’ or will we carry on doing some things, like the services I offer – online? I can of course do both and open to either. Let’s wait and see.

Please call to discuss what might be the best process for you on 07780676212 or email For more details about how I work visit

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