Photo Found In An Attic Inspires New WW2 Play By Rottingdean Writer

Brochure image - Monte Cassino Morning - TheatreA wartime photograph, discovered in a family attic, has inspired a new play by Rottingdean writer, Jill Hucklesby.

The photo depicts Jill’s uncle, a captain in the Royal Artillery, marrying a nurse near enemy lines in Cassino, Italy, 1944.

“The image was so poignant, it made we want to know more,” Jill explains. “My research journey took me to the Allied cemetery at Cassino, where I found my uncle’s grave. He died aged just 23, two days after his wedding. It was here that the heart of an old soldier’s story began to beat, and “Monte Cassino Morning” was born. The play is an exploration of my uncle’s romance during the Italian Campaign, set just before the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino. It features a veteran soldier, finally confronting the past and finding the only road home leads back to the battlefield.”

Nicola Haydn, Artistic Director of Otherplace Productions, was quick to invite the show to premiere at The Pit at The Basement, one of the company’s venues in Brighton. “It’s a gripping and poignant story with a fresh take on wartime subject matter,” she said.

The show stars former RSC actor, David Fielder, and West End performer Nicky Croydon-Bond and is directed by Chris Bond (writer/director of ‘Sweeney Todd’ and 100 other shows). Design is by Ellen Cairns. It opens in Brighton Fringe on May 1st and runs until May 5th (6.30 pm and 7.30 pm on the last night). Tickets are £10/£8.50 concessions. More information online at Otherplace Productions, Brighton Fringe, or in person at the Fringe ticket office, One Stop Travel, North Street, Brighton) and on

Spring Is Here With Madwax Candles

2005a-simering-granules-essential-oilsSpring is finally here and we are all looking forward to BBQ’s and long summer evenings outdoors, however most of us would rather not enjoy this space with insects. There are lots of natural ways to help keep bugs at bay for example Citronella is known all around the world as an “all natural” mosquito and tick repellent.

There are lots of ways you can use Citronella, from granules which you can either leave in an open bowl to emit its fragrance (ideal in garden rooms) or you can light a teaspoonful of them in an oil burner.

You can place Citronella tea lights in containers in your garden or you can use Citronella scented jars and pots placed on suitable surfaces to deter bees and other insects. The Bees will naturally flee from smoke, and become dazed and less aggressive if they inhale too much of it. So even an unscented candle can be a natural way to keep your table free from pesky insects.

3320-candle-scented-citronella-jar-bolsius-jarCitronella as a repellent is safe and non-toxic to humans and animals (including insects). Although it is always best to burn Citronella products outside or with good ventilation as some people can have mild allergic reactions. Citronella does not kill insects but merely helps to repel them by masking the scents they are attracted too.

Citronella can be everything you need to make your evening go with more of a swing and less of a bite!

Pop in and see our wide range of Citronella and other garden products at 57 High Street Rottingdean or visit us online at

10% off all citronella products if you say “BEES ARE GREAT” (in store only for limited period).


SAFE Rottingdean – St Aubyns Field Evergreen

A substantial development is being proposed for St Aubyns Field (you can read more about this here).

SAFE have worked with Rottingdean Parish Council who have resolved to designate the site a ‘Local Green Space’. However Brighton & Hove City Council must adopt this into their Local Development Plan to save the Field forever.

The newly formed SAFE Committee are working hard to do just that. Help us to…

  • Save St Aubyns school playing field from developers and establish a public park
  • Support the sympathetic development of the main St Aubyns school site
  • Reduce traffic levels and traffic congestion in Rottingdean
  • Reduce air pollution levels in Rottingdean (which breach EU limits)

SAFE need the support of local residents. You can help by signing the online petition and donating to the SAFE campaign. Click here to Donate.

Click here to sign the online petition!

SAFE is a non-profit community organisation.

Beacon Hub – Community Project Spring Update

The Beacon Hub Kiosk

Just over a year ago, a group of volunteers stemming from Friends of Beacon Hill met with the shared vision of acquiring the redundant pitch & putt golf course at Rottingdean as an annexe to the existing Local Nature Reserve, and to re-develop the kiosk building to create a learning space relating to local ecology and heritage for the enjoyment of Brighton & Hove residents and visitors of all ages.

Situated just 3 miles to the east of Brighton city centre, between Rottingdean & Ovingdean and within the boundary of the South Downs National Park, the land is owned by Brighton & Hove City Council. Initially, the council had sought a commercial tenant for the land and proposals were put forward for leisure activities including setting up an off-road course for Segway machines. Thankfully, and largely due to concerted objections from local people, none of these schemes were considered appropriate and the Beacon Hub group were invited to present a sustainable business proposal.

Support was sought for the project, with encouraging messages forwarded by numerous influential institutions including Rottingdean Parish Council, local schools and individuals including BBC Wildlife broadcaster, Chris Packham who states: “Brighton is one of the liveliest, most interesting & cosmopolitan cities in Europe and it is perched on the edge of one of the most important pieces of habitat that we have anywhere in Europe too. The downs are a great repository of unique life, a beautiful landscape and a treasure trove of history and culture. Developing an educational focus point for Brighton¹s populace to better enable them to engage with this fabulous and valuable part of the world is quite simply a fantastic and irresistible idea. Please support it!”

It was decided that the group should pursue their aims as a Chartable Incorporated Organisation under the title of Beacon Hub Brighton and after much research, a 62 page proposal was presented to the City Council last July, requesting that Beacon Hub Brighton CIO (recently recognised by the Charities Commission) be granted a 15 year lease, that the land should become part of the nature reserve allowing space for public amenity, and that permission be granted to re-develop the existing building. Significantly, Brighton and Lewes downs were recently awarded UNESCO Biosphere status and the project’s educational, community led ethos is in many ways complimentary to this.

In August 2014, the council’s Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee met in Hove where a delegation of the group’s trustees learned the exciting news that the committee had decided to award them the lease and were fully supportive. Since then, things have moved forward with David F Smith Surveyors and local architect Kinga Hoffman donating their work on layouts to optimise available space on the existing kiosk footprint, in order to create a classroom able to accommodate 30 children, as well as providing a lobby area with contextual displays, a small office, kitchen with external serving hatch and appropriate conveniences. Although the existing building is not listed, it was decided in consultation with the Brighton & Hove Heritage Commission that as much of the original external appearance of the building should be retained because of its context and proximity to the Rottingdean smock windmill.

Once the building plans are finalised, planning permission will be sought and quantity surveying will inform a target for fundraising through the Heritage Lottery Fund and internet crowd funding. Funding was given a head-start with a generous pledge of £25,000 from a local resident and should efforts to raise the required amount be successful and timely, that building work should begin in the autumn of 2015. Most recently, negotiations have begun with Brighton & Hove City Council regarding terms of the lease for the building and land management of the golf course area. Law Firm DMH Stallard kindly offered legal advice for this purpose. Fundraising is also proceeding with the Rottingdean Miniature Air Show to take place at Longhill School on March 14th, with all proceeds being donated to the project. Other fund raising events are also planned for the coming year – details will be publicised once confirmed.

In the meantime, the Beacon Hub Brighton volunteers hope to garner as much financial and practical support as possible from local individuals, companies and organisations. If you would like to get involved with the project by donating your time, skills or resources, please contact BHB Trustee, Jay Butler: You can get up to date news on the project and pledge support at:

BEACON HUB BRIGHTON Charitable Incorporated Organisation (Reg. Charity No. 1,159,583)
Trustees: Libby Darling, Clive Bonny, Atlanta Cook, Jay Butler & Jo Spickett

Sam’s Fight for Life and Living Appeal

samMany of you may have heard by now of the efforts by our community to raise £100,000 for possible life saving treatment for local young woman and mother of two, Sam Beaven. So far enough money has been raised to get Sam out to Mexico to start an 8 week course of treatment not available in the UK on the NHS. Sam has had 10 days treatment so far consisting of many immune boosting IVs and a vaccine made from her own blood. Relatives estimate that another £35-45,000 is needed to complete the 8 weeks of hospital treatment and the follow up treatment at home.

The PARC Charity Shop recently donated £1,000 to the appeal and cash donations can be made in the charity shop.

You can donate via the crowd funding site –

Come Spring into Summer with The Kipling Festival’s May Fundraiser

Spring Fling with logoIt’s a Ceilidh Barn Dance with local band ‘Lonewood Corner’ and caller Tony Dunn – no experience required – learn a few simple steps and enjoy the music and merrymaking. (Children over 10 also welcome)

Where: Village Public Hall, Park Rd. Rottingdean
When: Sunday, May 3rd from 2 to 5pm.

Tickets £10: or visit

Tickets are also now on sale at MadWax Candles on the High St.

2015 is the 150th anniversary of Kipling’s birth and the theme of this year’s Festival is “Kipling in India”. Be sure to pick up a brochure to get a preview of our exciting new program, which runs from June 25 to July 5.

Events include:

  • The Fever Trees, a new play about young Kipling and his sister Trix,
  • Artwork “Inspired by Kipling in India” in The Grange Gallery,
  • Workshops and readings by poets Annie Freud and Daljit Nagra,
  • Talks on colonial life in India,
  • Appearances by Geoff Hutchinson as Kipling himself,
  • Guided walks in the Gardens, Village and Downs,
  • Readings by The Rottingdean Writers Group,
  • and a brand new child-centered production of Rikki Tikki Tavi created and presented by local youngsters.

SAS Big Spring Beach Clean Rottingdean

Following on from last year’s successful BSBC which saw over 3250 volunteers remove over 35 tonnes from 135 beaches SAS are once again calling for volunteers to take part in SAS Big Spring Beach Cleans 2015 on the 27th, 28th and 29th March.

Rottingdean Beach needs your helping hands on the Sunday 29th March, join SAS and your local community for a beach clean from 11am – 1pm as part of the biggest Big Spring Beach Clean ever.

Brighton Half Marathon comes to Rottingdean – well almost!

On 22 February the 25th VITALITY Brighton Half Marathon 2015 will be coming along the coast road towards Rottingdean. You can see the route they’ll run on race day in a Go Pro course video on the race website.

The actual race begins at 9:00am but road closures will start from 8:15am.

It’s a major charity event that promises to be an exciting one, with many thousands of spectators lining the route to cheer competitors on.

Support for is always appreciated, particularly as two of our local charities are listed: The Martlets as “Deck Chair Charity Partners”, and the Blind Veterans UK as “Beach Ball Charity Partners”.

For more detailed information about the event, timings, road closures and travel arrangements, visit their website:

Rottingdean Whiteway Centre Table-Top Sale

TABLE-TOP SALE 28 Feb 2015A new venture for the Whiteway Centre, and a hint of Spring!

On Saturday 28 February 10.00am – 4.00pm we’re holding a Table-Top Sale, where you can sell goods for yourself or your favourite charity. Refreshments will also be available.

Tables cost just £10 each, with access to the Centre from 8.00am.

Call Sally Prince on 01273 302 387 to book, or for further information.

Rottingdean and Saltdean Lions Club Charity Race Night

horses-380406_1280Race Night. Saturday 7th March 2015, at the Village Hall, Rottingdean.

Tickets are only £5 each , with accompanying children FREE.

Why not name your own horse? Details of the name and owner will be printed on the race card.

All winning owners will receive a bottle of champagne! (So you don’t have to be there on the night to win!) Owning a horse costs £5.

Each race can be sponsored and named after businesses or individuals. Just £25 per race.

To sponsor a race, name a horse or purchase tickets please contact Geoff on 07767 665 895

Doors open 7.00pm ** Licenced Bar ** First race 7.30pm