Lewes Garden of Peace Opens

The new Garden of Peace, next to the Maltings Car Park in the Castle Precincts, was formally opened by the town mayor, John Lamb, on 12th June 2019. This project, a long-running Friends of Lewes aspiration, was jointly funded by them, the Town and District Councils and the South Downs National Park Authority, together with some private donations from town residents.

Originally a part of the private garden of Castlegate House, the then owner, Frank Frankfort Moore, built a garden of peace here between 1910 and 1915.  By the 1930s the ownership had passed to the county council, who built the car park, and Frankfort Moore’s garden of peace was neglected, fell into disrepair over time, and became known as the Magic Circle. In recent years it was derelict and overgrown.

Lewes Garden of Peace
Garden of Peace, Lewes

 

 

Lewes History Group talk: History of Lewes Old Grammar School – Monday 10 June 2019, 7:00 for 7:30pm

David Arscott: Floreat Lewys – the chequered history of Lewes Old Grammar School

Back in the 1960s an eccentric headmaster of Lewes Old Grammar School took its records into the yard and burned the lot.

This inexplicable act of vandalism gave local author David Arscott a tough, but stimulating, task 50 years later when he was commissioned to write and publish the school’s 500-year history.

David will be revealing to us what he discovered, and says ‘The school’s story has been a roller-coaster ride, from the high status of its medieval origins on the original Southover site, where the diarist John Evelyn was a pupil, through a near-terminal decline in the Victorian period on its current site, to today’s thriving community of more than 500 boys and girls.’

David Arscott and Floreat Lewys

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 Design Awards 2019

The purposes of the Society’s Design Awards are to:

  • Acknowledge projects that have enhanced the local environment and make a positive design contribution to the town.
  • Encourage high standards of materials and quality of workmanship in both new buildings and the restoration and/or conversion of existing buildings.
  • Draw attention of the wider public to the good things that are being done in Lewes.
  • Encourage other people who may be thinking of undertaking projects to support high standards of design.

The 2019 presentation was held in the Lewes Town Hall Council Chamber on Friday 10 May, when the winning owners, architects and builders/craftsmen were presented with certificates by the new President of The Friends of Lewes, John Davey.

The 2019 Awards went to: Depot Cinema for exemplary design, which considered the needs of the town and its population, demonstrating attention to detail and the sympathetic modern treatment of local materials – as shown by David Smith’s flint work; and to Hill House on Juggs Road, the first passivhaus in Lewes, which sets a fine example both environmentally and in terms of design.

Friends of Lewes 2019 Design Awards winners8 other projects were recognised with Commendations: Priory Barn; Falcon Wharf; the restoration of the façade of the former Red, White and Blue public house; an extension to Yew Tree Cottage; the Alexis Dove Shop front; the brick paving in St Andrew’s Lane; the Butcher’s glass advertising sign at 40 Cliffe High Street; and the restoration of the bay and mathematical tiling of 200 High Street.

Further details about the winning entries are given on the Awards list (above). Click on the image to enlarge.

 

The Depot Cinema, Lewes
Depot Cinema, Lewes

Hill House, Jugg's Road, Lewes
Hill House extension, Juggs Road, Lewes

The Friends of Lewes Design Awards 2016

The Friends of Lewes Design Awards 2013

 

Lewes History Group talk: Edward Reeves: development of a business and technology – Monday 13 May 2019, 7:00 for 7:30pm

Tom Reeves: Edward Reeves and the Evolution of Photography – the development of a business and technology

In this talk Tom Reeves will cover the development of his family’s photographic business that goes back to the 1850s.

Plus, using a Victorian glass-plate camera, he will demonstrate how a picture was created in the late 19th century, and how it took considerable skill to produce what now appear to be quite mundane images.

To finish there will be an update on the Reeves Archiving Project.

Reeves Lewes children on Empire Day parade H4544A

Photo of Lewes children on Empire Day parade, © Edward Reeves

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.

 

Friends of Lewes plant elms at Vert Woods

In 2014, the Conservation Trust gave the Friends of Lewes Trees Committee nine elm whips, from cuttings taken from surviving trees in Hove (a whip being a small sapling about 75cm in height). After almost five years growing them on from 4” pots to 11” ones, it was clearly going to be some time before they would grow large and robust enough to be suitable for planting as street trees for Lewes.

Instead, the Trees Committee has planted them in Vert Woods Community Woodland, near Laughton. We are very grateful to VWCW for giving them a protected space on either side of what will become an avenue of Elms. Three of the trees were planted on New Year’s Day 2019, and the rest were planted in April 2019.

This adds to the growing collection of Elms at Vert Woods, many of which were planted as part of the “Bring Elms back to the South Downs” project. We hope that they will encourage the White-letter Hairstreak butterfly, which breeds on Elm species, especially on the edges of woodland rides. The numbers of these butterflies declined in the 1970s when its food source was reduced by the effects of Dutch Elm Disease.

The elm varieties planted are: Ulmus hollandica Wentworthii, Ulmus rugosa pendula, Ulmus Hollandica virens, (Kidbrook), Ulmus laevis, (White Elm), and Ulmus coritana, (Minor).

Friends of Lewes plant elms at Vert Woods

 

Girls for Change – Rights Dignity Hope – Mayor’s event, Lewes Town Hall 25 April 2019

Lewes Mayor Janet Baah is passionate about the young people of the town, which has led her to invite one hundred girls from schools and colleges across Lewes to the Town Hall for a day of brainstorming and events. The girls will articulate their hopes for the coming ten years.

These declarations will be put into ‘The Box of Hopes’ – a time capsule to be opened in 10 years’ time – which will be the anniversary of 1928 when all women in Britain got the vote.

This event is a collaboration with the Edward Reeves Archive project, who will be showing their ‘From Suffrage to Citizenship’ exhibition, about the fight for woman’s suffrage in Lewes, which was curated to commemorate the first women getting the vote in 1918.  A banner, a handmade quilt, created by local artist Heather Downie for this event, will be unveiled and put on permanent display in Lewes Town Hall.

The Friends of Lewes sponsored the framing of Heather’s banner.

The poet Grace Nichols who is resident in Lewes will read a poem, and musicians from East Sussex College will perform.

30 dignitaries have been invited, including East Sussex’s Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff, MPs, three Resident Baronesses, as well as representatives from the Police and the Chairmen of Lewes District and East Sussex County Councils.

Heather Downie quilt, banner for Women's vote
Banner by Heather Downie