Octoberfeast Lewes – Ale and Hearty event

Ale_v3_web Octoberfeast Lewes

We are hosting a Free Ale and Hearty talk and exhibition event as part of the 2013 Octoberfeast festival in Lewes
The talk and project displays will be hosted by the Ale and Hearty project.  Talks will be by Sussex Drinker Editor (The Quaffer) – David Muggleton, and accompanied by a preliminary rogue talk on ancient Egyptian brewing by Cath Tajima Powell.
We will also be starting with a project introduction by Dr Sam Carroll, and showing a bespoke short film about brewing in Sussex, made especially for the Ale and Hearty project.
The event takes place on Wednesday 2nd October 7.30pm
Please email aleandheartylewes@gmail.com to book your free place as places are limited.
You can update yourself about Ale and Hearty project activities here

Lost Breweries tour of Lewes

???????????????????????????????Image of Star Lane Brewery on Fisher Street – also known as Beards Brewery in Lewes circa 1890s.

Lost Breweries

A lovely article has appeared this month about the Lost Breweries walking tour the Ale and Hearty project organised in collaboration with Harveys Brewery on Sun 14th July.

It describes the breweries now gone to the town of Lewes, as well as showcasing some of the finer points of Miles Jenner (Chief Executive of Harveys) tour through photos and memories.

Here’s a sample of the article on the Roundhill Rob blog:

“He told us that at one time every town would have one or more breweries and malt houses to supply them with malted barley.  Water was often unfit to drink, beer had been boiled, and contained hops which have an antiseptic value (as well as a bittering one) so was safer.

Brewing was also seasonal, being easier to cool without possible infection in spring and autumn than in summer when many wild yeasts and bacteria would be in the air.  Brewing had originally been a domestic activity, but in towns busy entrepreneurs often saw a business opportunity.

In Lewes many brewers were from non-conformist families.  Baptists in the case of the Verralls who established a brewery opposite the Swan in the 1780s, and Quakers in the case of the Rickmans who opened the Bear Brewery beside the Ouse in Clifton in 1766.  Being a seasonal activity, owning a brewery was usually just one enterprise of several – owning and running the malt house, and perhaps farming to grow the malt and hops, were common additional enterprises…”

Monk’s Brewery, also known as Bear Brewery – image from late 1800s.

With thanks to East Sussex Record Office for allowing us permission to show these images.


Lost Breweries of Lewes

Thanks to Miles Jenner from Harveys for hosting a Lost Breweries walking tour for the Ale and Hearty project on Sunday 14th July. It was a very popular event helped by the generous free breakfast provided by Harveys so thanks to them for that.

We also raised £120 in donations towards completing the project so we’re really pleased.

We hope to have another in September so watch this space! You can contact aleandheartylewes@gmail.com to find out more

Harveys namestyle and hops

Reminiscence on the radio

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHeard a really interesting programme on Radio 4 yesterday about memory and dementia and tools which can be used to help maintain memories when old age beckons: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0367slj/Its_My_Story_Living_in_the_Memory_Room/

The programme looks at  the huge number (800,000) of dementia sufferers in the UK. Kim Normanton presents a personal programme about memory and dementia, inspired by her mother’s illness. She explores a new approach to treatment – recreating the past.

As her mother’s memory of recent events was destroyed, Kim discovered that she could only reach her by entering the past. She began sharing memories of her mother’s childhood with theatrical props: “She can’t reach where I’m living anymore, so it’s up to me to go back to happier days in the past and reach her.”

This approach to dementia is tried on a much larger scale in Hogewey Dementia Village in Holland. The village recreates the surroundings of the residents’ youth, with old-fashioned furnishings and even a supermarket selling old-fashioned sweets. Kim talks to the director about ethical issues: is it right to deceive people with this theatrical illusion?

In Britain, she finds care homes increasingly using ‘reminiscence objects’ to stimulate dementia sufferers. Kim visits a Cornwall home where Janet Brown, known locally as ‘the Memory Lady’, organizes group memory sessions using old toys and kitchen utensils plucked from a memory box. She says, “It’s a horrible disease and there’s no cure, but there are moments which we can make more pleasurable for those living with it, and their carers.”

Kim explores the latest memory science with Dr Catherine Loveday of the University of Westminster: “The biggest problem with dementia is a lack of narrative – being suspended in space without the context of memories to support you. But I’ve seen people with dementia who are very happy. When you’re reminiscing, you really are in that world and enjoying that moment.”

This is exactly why Strike a Light works in these areas, so that through our activities, we can continue to help support people with waning memories, but who can still remember the past clearly.

See more information about our bespoke reminscence activities below:

Strike a Light reminiscence flyer

Photo courtesy of WRVS Heritage Plus project 2008