Tuesday, May 19, 2009

These little town blues, are melting away

Let’s move to Lewes, piped the Guardian last Saturday, and readers unlucky enough to live elsewhere replied, why not? The information was a bit selective though, so here’s a more complete picture, offered by three diverse Lewes residents.

What’s going for it?
Hoxton Mum: ‘It’s such a warm, creative place with a lively art scene, but it’s a bit edgy too, with everyone talking about the Lewes Pound and Transition Town, so radical. Truly the spirit of good old Tom, er, Paine. Some superb little shops. And the wonderfully real Bonfire of course.’
Born and Bred Boy: ‘Bonfire, before anyone from London knew about it. Harveys. Dilraj. Pells Pool, though they won’t let teenagers skinny-dip at night anymore, health and safety gone mad.’
Aging Lad: ‘Excellent clubs in Brighton.’ [Reminded of the brief:] ‘Oh yes. Well, Lewes is full to bursting with eager single mums.’

The case against
Hoxton Mum: ‘Parking scheme. Tesco’s attempts at expansion. No permanent art-house cinema/theatre. A couple of galleries have closed lately.’
Born and Bred Boy: ‘Parking scheme. DFLs. Nowhere to buy socks. Wickle-Flint-McKewski. Posh tourists knocking you into the tables outside Bills.’
Aging Lad: ‘Parking scheme. Too many lesbian mothers who don’t look like lesbians.’

Well connected
Hoxton Mum: ‘There are frequent trains to Brighton and London, but otherwise I cycle nearly everywhere. We thought we’d really need the Landrover moving to the country, but we hardly get it out of the garage. Except on weekends, and to go to Waitrose, and the Griffin at Fletching.’
Born and Bred Boy: ‘There’s nowt wrong with the number 28 bus.’
Aging Lad: ‘I’ve had to sell my passion wagon – the parking tickets cost more than the insurance.’

Hoxton Mum: ‘Since things got crunchy we can’t manage the fees at Lewes New School, but Western Road’s a viable alternative with plenty of creative and vigilant parents.’
Born and Bred Boy: ‘Pells was good enough for me and it’s good enough for my kids.’
Aging Lad: ‘Some of the fifth-year girls at Priory look older than they are.’

Hang out at…
Hoxton Mum: ‘Bills – their natural smoothies are a healthy treat for your little ones. Django is really enjoying the toddler activities at the All Saints. And the Lewes Arms is superbly authentic.’
Born and Bred Boy: ‘Down the Pan watching Crawley get a good drubbing. Then over to the Gardeners for a pint of Best.’
Aging Lad: ‘Most of the totty’s gone from the Volunteer to the Ellie.’

Where to buy
Hoxton Mum: ‘Wallands has such a wonderful community vibe.’
Born and Bred Boy: ‘Don’t! For pity’s sake, just stay where you are!’
Aging Lad: ‘They ought to get a move on with the Phoenix thing, I reckon there’ll be some cool little flats down there.’

Bargain of the week
Hoxton Mum: ‘Everywhere, compared to London.’
Born and Bred Boy: ‘Loads of my old mates have had to move to Ringmer and [whispers] Uckfield.’
Aging Lad: ‘Tesco is doing two for one on six-packs of Budwar.’

Beth Miller, 11th May 2009. Published in VivaLewes.com


  1. Funny, yet as I shed a tear, oh so true! Born & bred in Lewes, I now reside in London - do my 18 years of life in Lewes exempt me from DFL status?!

  2. Absolutely; born and bred trumps everything, so if you were to move back to Lewes now you would be considered a local. The intervening years would be as a dream...