Ale Tales – support our Kickstarter project

Ale_v3_webAle Tales!

Support our new Kickstarter crowd funding project – Ale and Hearty – A social and agricultural history of Brewing in Lewes, East Sussex. A heritage photo book celebrating a tale of ale!

You can support the project to come to fruition for as little as £10, and receive lots of booty for this, whilst helping us to realise our aim of creating a beautiful colour book about the heritage of ale and brewing in East Sussex.

You have 25 days left to help us achieve this goal!

The book

“Wine is but single broth, ale is meat, drink, and a cloth.” – 16th century English proverb.

To design and print 300-500 copies of this bright A5 30-40 page book with vintage colour images, chronicling and detailing the lost brewing history of Lewes, East Sussex, a county town which once hosted nine breweries and is now home only to one – Harveys Brewery, a respected Sussex brewery.

It will contain extracts from oral histories we have recorded with local brewers, hop pickers, draymen, and historians to bring this heritage to life and show personal memories of the changing face of microbrewing and ale production in the Lewes area.

It will also showcase 19th century photographic images recently unearthed of hop picking in Sussex from the East Sussex County Council Libraries Service – Hastings reference library, which have now been digitised from the original glass plates.

As well as collating and contextualising existing material, it will bring together new images, text and memories to really vitalise this history. We will also be adding a section aimed at educational support for local schools related to the industrial and agricultural wealth of the area.

There are significant benefits of a hard copy book for this project – It will encourage accessibility for all to explore and learn about this fascinatingly rich heritage. This book will be the first of its kind to bring together such images with personal testimony in this format – unique heritage captured. It should be noted too that this book will become an important addition to local libraries, archives, schools.

This forms part of a wider project from arts and heritage organisation Strike a Light, which started in January 2013 and lasts for 12 months.

What is the wider Ale and Hearty project about?

The Ale and Hearty project focuses on the history of brewing in Lewes and its related industrial and agricultural links from the 18th Century to the present day, a period of some 200 years. It focuses on the community of Lewes; working life in relation to Breweries, agricultural workers and rural life and trades. It also links in with abstinence and religious culture locally at the time, as well as a clear relation between trades and society through social clubs.

Ale and Hearty in Viva Lewes

1266981_536104526459966_601765052_o This month’s Lewes based magazine Viva Lewes celebrates all things ale in conjunction with our Ale and Hearty project based on the brewing heritage of the town.

The Viva Lewes cover (designed by Neil Gower) this October 2013 celebrates this history with a beer mat shaped cover and lots of articles about ale and its link with the area. It includes photos of brewers and memories of a temperance hotel in the town.

The Ale and Hearty exhibition chronicling memories, oral histories, images and testimonies which was recently created by Project Coordinator Sam Carroll, has just finished at the Lewes Town Hall, but will be back for the final celebration event on Saturday 18th January 2014 for visitors to enjoy.

To find out more you can visit the Ale and Hearty pages on this website here, or email to learn about the next three months of events and activities.

Strike a Light’s new addition!

1381798_10151954067919553_1680896467_nStrike a Light has a new person on board this month in the form of Atticus Crawford.

Although he’s only 14 days old and weighs 8 lbs, he’s very involved in the day to day running of the organisation through a series of yells, cries and gurgles, making his feelings about our activities very clear indeed!

We hope you’ll get to meet him at a Strike a Light event or activity soon.