Friends of Lewes Annual Report for 2017

The Annual Report for 2017  is now available as a PDF file [1.2 mb]

Previous Newsletters and Annual Reports

Friends of Lewes Annual Report 2017 cover page





The future of police and fire & rescue services in Lewes: Friends of Lewes talk – Wednesday 21 February 2018, 7pm

Giles York and Dawn Whittaker: The future of police & fire and rescue services in Lewes

There are changes afoot with two of our emergency services: Sussex Police, and the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service now share combined headquarters in the Malling House complex, and are progressively combining their operations.

Add to this the budgetary pressures of austerity and the changing nature of the demands being placed on them, and the need for a new strategic approach to their services in Lewes is clear.

The Chief Constable, Giles York, and the Chief Fire Officer, Dawn Whittaker, will describe their plans.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how these two key public services are responding strategically to new challenges and demands.

Lewes Police, and Fire & Rescue Service

7.00pm Lecture Room, Lewes Town Hall (Fisher Street entrance)

Please note the earlier start time

Open to all – admission free to Friends of Lewes members, £3 for non-members

Wine and juice can be purchased in the interval

See the Diary page for a list of  forthcoming events organised by the Friends of Lewes.

We appreciate your feedback or suggestions regarding our events programme. Please use this form to convey your comments. You can also contact us by email if you have an enquiry.




An article on the history of railways at Lewes, by Robert Cheesman

In 2015-16 the road bridge at Lewes Railway Station was strengthened and repaired, followed by a comprehensive restoration of the listed station buildings by BAM Nuttall Ltd. They gave a talk in January 2017 to the Friends of Lewes, which was preceded by a short history of railways in the town by Robert Cheesman, Chairman of the Friends of Lewes. Afterwards it was suggested that it would be interesting to have a more detailed historical account.

Robert now presents his extended history of the railways at Lewes, beginning with the first railway from Brighton in June 1846, followed by the many developments of the railway lines and services up to today. His informative illustrations include photos of the three Lewes railway stations.

Railways at Lewes, by Robert Cheesman, January 2018


Lewes station c1905_John Hollands collection
A.H. Homewood postcard of Lewes Station c. 1905, John Hollands collection




Gundreda and her Chapel – talk on Friday 16 February 2018, 7:30pm

A Lewes Archaeological Group event

Marcus Taylor: Gundreda and her Chapel

Marcus will talk about the story of the little Belgian lady who started the Lewes Priory and how she is remembered today. The Gundreda Chapel is in St John’s Church, Southover, Lewes.

Venue: Lecture Room, Lewes Town Hall (Fisher Street entrance, lift access available)

Entrance (including tea or coffee) is LAG members: £3 (£2 concessions);
non-members: £4 (£3 concessions).

Non-members are very welcome

Free entrance for those aged 18 and under

Lewes Archaeological Group website

Gundrada stained glass, Lewes




Lewes History Group talk on Images from Lewes Past – Monday 12 February 2018, 7:00 for 7:30pm

Mick Symes and John Kay: Images from Lewes Past

Mick Symes was one of the founders, and is now the mainstay, of the very successful ‘Lewes Past’ Facebook group that enables interested people to share and exchange stories and pictures about the history of the town.

Over the few years that it has been running it has unearthed a huge archive of images, many of them known previously only to the families that created them, who are often no longer based in our area.

To avoid the worst of the problems that can be associated with social media, ‘Lewes Past’ is a membership group. Mick will talk briefly about his experiences founding and managing the group and then John will show a selection of the more remarkable images from its archive.

Corner of North Street and East Street Lewes_LMS16

All are welcome from 7.00pm for free refreshments and updates on the Group’s activities. The talk will begin promptly at 7:30pm and will finish by 9.00pm.

There is an entry fee for these meetings, payable at the door, of £1 for members, and £3 for non-members.

Venue: The King’s Church building on Brooks Road, Lewes, BN7 2BY. (Between Tesco car park and Homebase)

See the Meetings page for a list of  forthcoming monthly talks organised by the Lewes History Group.




The Friends of Lewes

The Friends of Lewes? Who are they, what do they do, and how does this concern me?

The clue’s in the name. We’re a group of volunteers with one goal in mind – to be a friend to Lewes and help keep it special. Special in its personality, special in its historic and modern buildings, special in its beautiful townscapes, streetscapes and roofscapes, special in its trees, and special in the way it develops and adapts to economic change, to climate change and to cultural change.

Special doesn’t mean preserved. It does mean conserved, respected, regarded and cared for. It means striving to ensure that development enhances rather than degrades our town’s character. It means holding local authorities to account over their decisions and policies, it means contesting plans we feel will jeopardise the town’s wellbeing, it means engaging with developers to influence their designs. It means giving awards for high quality design and building work, it means planting and maintaining trees, and it means raising awareness about the unique nature of our town.

If all this resonates with you, if you’d like to learn more about the Friends of Lewes, and perhaps consider becoming a member, explore our website.

Of course, our work takes effort and time: committee work, site visits, arranging talks, website development, membership services, responding to public consultations, planting and maintaining trees, and more. If you’re an existing member who would like to help, please get in touch. And every organisation benefits from new blood: if you’re new to us and you’d like to know how you could play a part, again do get in touch.




Welcome to the new Friends of Lewes website!

Welcome to the new Friends of Lewes website.

At first glance it may look like nothing has changed, but a closer inspection will show that the content has been improved across the site. We have reorganised and rewritten the sections which describe the work of the Friends of Lewes, to make it easier to find topics such as Heritage Open Days, the Lewes Urban Arboretum, or information about new building developments in Lewes.

Technically, the overall design is wider, and configured to work better on mobile devices.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this updating project.