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January 2019

From Mails to Males – Tony Turner

January 17 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

When the First World War ended what might be expected is that the public would start travelling on commercial airlines. However, this did not take place at first, because the railways were so efficient. The only thing that took to the air was post. Then a series of key events occurred which kick-started the airlines and passenger traffic started in earnest. This is the story of those critical years.

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February 2019

Thomas Cromwell’s Sussex Connections – Helen Poole

February 21 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Thomas Cromwell remains one of the most enigmatic figures of Tudor history. His first contact with Sussex came with the contentious dissolution of Bayham Abbey. Later in the more widespread dissolution, he was granted Michelham Priory and then Lewes Priory where he hoped to set up home in the former Prior's Lodgings but his disastrous promotion of Anne of Cleves as Henry VIII's fourth wife led to his death.

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March 2019

Bygone Sussex Sports Days – Mat Homewood

March 21 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

A light-hearted look at the history of sporting events in Sussex. Sport has been a key feature of Sussex life throughout the centuries, with cricket, football and horse racing being commonplace events, as well as the much-loved Sussex game of stool-ball. Local village sports days were also host to many lesser-known sporting activities, including jingling matches, menagerie races and piano bashing. Mat will regale us with tales of all these events, and more, in an entertaining and informative talk.

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April 2019

A Woman Living in the Shadow of the WWII; Helena Hall’s Journal from the Home Front Margaret Nicolle and Linda Grace

April 18 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

The journal of no ordinary woman, Helena Hall provides a fascinating glimpse into the local, national and international scene during the Second World War. Diaries are important because they provide a unique perspective of life at the time, without the possible distortions of hindsight, subsequent knowledge and memory. Having read Miss Hall’s journal, we considered it to be unique and fascinating and wanted to share it with others. Our talk will explain why we wanted to do this.

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May 2019

Outing to Lewes Priory led by Helen Poole

May 16 @ 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm

The Cluniac Priory of St Pancras at Lewes was one of the richest in England. Despite Cromwell's massive destruction of the Great Church, the remaining walls tell their own story of a once magnificent building, ranging from the original 11th century church to more mundane structures. Nearby is the monument to the Battle of Lewes which was the most dramatic event to take place there, but other personalities have also left their mark. If St John's Church is not in…

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June 2019

Early Sussex Railways – Kevin Gordon

June 20 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Our speaker Kevin worked on the railways as a British Transport Police officer for over 30 years and will tell the story of the early Sussex Railways and how they impacted on the county. Kevin will explain how railways were invented, and how, after the first railway between London and Brighton was opened, they spread across Sussex. This well illustrated talk includes information on why a whale establishes a Sussex Railway Station and details of the Sussex Railway Police. Kevin…

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July 2019

Temperance Tales from Sussex and Surrey – Ros Black

July 18 @ 8:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Local author Ros Black's illustrated talk about a neglected element of social history will demonstrate that the temperance movement is not a 'dry' subject but one full of engaging personalities and dramatic events, including riots along the south coast.

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August 2019

The magic of pantomime – Ian Gledhill

August 15 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Pantomime is an enduring and peculiarly British institution, yet its beginnings go back a very long way and are in fact anything but British!  Ian Gledhill was a professional actor, and looks at the origins of panto and examines many of the traditions (and superstitions) that have become attached to it over the years, interspersed with personal anecdotes from years of working and appearing in pantomime.

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September 2019

Thursday 19th September 8.00 pm – Magic Lantern Show of Old Brighton.

September 19 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Magic Lantern Show of Old Brighton. Alan and Rene  present a Victorian magic lantern show with hand-painted and animated slides from their own unique collection. Lantern shows became extremely popular in Victorian times as both public and private entertainment and were enjoyed by people of all ages. The practitioners wanted to keep their art secret and ‘magic’.  

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October 2019

Mass Observation Project; WWII and beyond – Kirsty Pattrick

October 17 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Mass Observation Projects Officer, Kirsty Pattrick, will provide an insight into the work of Mass Observation during World War II, through the voices of its many diarists and share some of their more recent findings on everyday life in Britain. The talk will cover the early work of Mass Observation including extracts from our wartime diarists, leading on to the current project and the panel of volunteers who write regularly for MOP. It will also introduce The Keep and an…

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