Ale Tales book launch

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Our Ale Tales book launch and final event for the Ale and Hearty project was on Saturday 18th January 2014.

You can see from our gallery of images that we had a successful and well attended event with a variety of activities, workshops, talks, music, ale, wild food and question and answer session.

IMG_1814Dr Sam Carroll the project manager organised the event with enthusiasm and aplomb, and was helped in her endeavours by project administrator Cath Tajima Powell, project consultant Kirsty Pattrick, and Ale and Hearty project volunteers who have been the mainstay of this year long project.

Our Kickstarter supporters also attended to receive their copies of the Ale Tales book as a reward, along with project postcards, and a copy of the Ale Tales film.

Our many thanks go to everyone who attended this event in Lewes, who’ve supported the project along the 12 months of it’s activities, our volunteers, our project steering group, and the panel members for our plenary session on the night.

These were Miles Jenner from Harveys Brewery, David Muggleton from The Sussex Drinker magazine, John Copper of the well known Copper family singers, and the Revd Godfrey Broster of Rectory Ales.

To you all we say Cheers!



The Keep Open Day

The Keep Open Day


Date(s) – 01/02/2014
11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Location: The Keep

Open Day Poster

Come and visit us on Saturday 1 February to find out more about The Keep. Be inspired by some of the treasures in our collections.

The programme includes exciting events for adults such as tours of the new building and conservation demonstrations as well as family activities that explore some of the fun and fascinating stories in our collections.

Entry and all activities are free!

Recommended for adults

Welcome to The Keep tours
11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm
Duration: 40 mins

Numbers limited, booking recommended. Please call 01273 482349 to secure a place in advance or on the day.

This is an exciting opportunity to find out more about The Keep, its collections and the building. Tours include behind-the-scenes visits to our strongroom and Conservation studio where you can find out how to handle and look after paper documents.

Keep researching
11am, 12.30 & 2pm
Duration: 40 mins

Numbers limited, booking recommended. Please call 01273482349 to secure a place in advance or on the day.

Get started on The Keep website and accessing the collections with our archivists. Find out how to make the best of our website and collections

Treasures of The Keep Talks

12pm (20 mins) Find out more about the treasures of East Sussex Record Office

1.30pm (20 mins) Find out more about the Brighton History Centre collections

2.30pm (20 mins)  Find out more about the University of Sussex Special Collections Archive

Recommended for families and children aged 5+

Make your own family book
11am -3pm
Drop in

Learn how to make a book and use our fantastic maps, diaries and photographs as inspiration to illustrate it with the most important people, places and memories that tell the story of your family.

Be a conservator
Duration: 20 mins

Try your hand at cleaning some of our treasures and find out more about looking after them.

Keep storytelling
12.30pm, 1 & 2pm
Duration: 30 mins

Be an archive explorer and uncover some of the fascinating stories in our collections, through this interactive music and storytelling session. You will get to meet and talk to some very mysterious characters from the past.

Keep happy
Drop in

What is happiness? Get inspired by the Mass Observation Happiness Directive and tell us what happiness means to you.

Make your own Roman charm
Drop in

Come and find out what a Roman bulla is and make our own.
The Historic Environment Records officer will show you how to access local archaeological information and resources.

The Sussex Family History Group and other family History societies from across the County will be at hand to offer guidance on researching your family history.

Refreshments will not be provided but there is a refreshments area in the main reception where you are welcome to consume your own food and drink.

New book and postcards!

OSmapof Lewes including malthouses and breweries
OS map of Lewes including malthouses and breweries with kind permission of the East Sussex Record Office.

We’ve just added our new Ale Tales book and related Ale and Hearty postcards to our website for you to view for free. This is to celebrate the last month of our HLF funded Ale and Hearty project.

You can visit the link here to see and download them, as well as some of the images from our exhibition.

If you’d liketo see the exhibition for yourself, it will be having a final showing for one day only! This will be this coming Saturday 18th January at the St Thomas a Beckett Hall, Cliffe High Street, Lewes from 12-3.30pm.

We will be hosting a series of drop in creative activities, as well as the exhibition and Ale Tales film. It’s free and no need to book. Should you want further information,please email

The evening event for this is now fully booked.

Ale and Hearty drop in event this weekend. Free!

Ale and Hearty- A Lewes Heritage Project
Final Event 

Ale_v3_webSaturday January 18th 2014
12pm -3.30pm Free drop-in

Thomas A Becket Church Hall, 
Cliffe High Street, Lewes

Free Exhibition, 
Craft Workshop, Raffle, Wild Inspired Food

Ale and Hearty is a social history project about brewing and related agriculture and industry around Lewes.

Family and Fun Craft Activity – make a “Sweet Dreams are Made of These” pillow with hops and scented herbs. Dried hops are a traditional sedative and slumber aid whilst rosemary and lavender promote peacefulness. Bring your own dried herbs to add too.

Sew and decorate with ribbons, embroidery and buttons. Suitable all ages.

Free but donations welcome. 

“Wild Feast”- savouries, cakes and refreshments on sale.



Ale Tales

Jeanette Eason -Hop picking in Sussex
Jeanette Eason -Hop picking in Sussex

We haven’t yet got our Ale Tales book back from the printers but we thought we’d let you see the book online in the meantime to pique your interest. We really hope you like it!

You can see it here, and it’s available in downloadable form too if you want to share it with friends:

You can also see some of the images from our Ale and Hearty exhibition which took place in the autumn, but which will be on display at our event next Saturday 18th January 2014:

Image of Jeanette Eason outside hop pickers accomodation in Sussex 1950s.


FREE – Ale and Hearty Finale Celebratory Event

Ale_v3_webFREE – Ale and Hearty Finale Celebratory Event

Saturday January 18th: 12pm – 3:30 pm (drop in) and 4:45pm – 8.30pm (booking required).

Thomas A Becket Church Hall, Cliffe High Street, Lewes.

We hope you will come and celebrate a fantastic year of project events that has included a brewery walk, an ale song workshop, reminiscence sessions, evening talks and films, exhibitions and more.

Please join us for our final event where we will launch the ‘Ale Tales’ booklet; the result of twenty oral histories that relate a recent social history of brewing in and around Lewes. There will also be family crafts workshop, a chance to view the exhibition, a film showing, a Q&A discussion, delicious food, a raffle, and of course some local ale.


Drop in Afternoon (no need to book)

12 – 3:30pm- Come along to view our exhibition and bring along the kids for our fun family craft workshop suitable for age 4-14 years.

Local caterers ‘Wild Feast’ will be providing a healthy lunch, tea and cakes at affordable prices.

Early Evening event (Booking essential)

4:45pm Enjoy the Ale and Hearty exhibition with a glass of local ale and some delicious and reasonably priced wild-food inspired savoury pastries and refreshments from ‘Wild Feast’.

5.30 The Ale and Heart film showing.

6.00 Welcome talk and thanks.

6.30 Q&A panel with Miles Jenner (Master Brewer of Harveys), David Muggleton (Editor of The Sussex Drinker), John Copper (from the renowned local folk singing Copper Family) and Rev. Godfrey Broster (Rectory Ales). A light hearted and entertaining panel discussion about ale and about all things pertaining to local brewing and drinking.

NB: Please send us your brewing and ale history questions in advance and we will choose a few to present to the panel.

7.30 Refill and raise your glasses to celebrate the ending of our year long project.

8.00 Raffle and close.

 Important: This is a FREE event, however places are limited for the evening session.

It is essential for you to RSVP so please email us with the number of tickets you require as soon as possible to ensure a place. To book your free place, please email:

 The hall is located at the end of the Cliffe High Street tucked just behind of St Thomas’ Church.

 For Thomas A Becket Church Hall location please go to the following link:

 For nearby parking please consult this map:

 All the very best,

 Ale and Hearty


Ale and Hearty – final celebration event

hop pickingCelebration times c’mon!

We’re looking forward to hosting our final celebration event for the Ale and Hearty project in Lewes, East Sussex on Saturday 18th January.

This will be a culmination of our 12 month Heritage Lottery funded project and will showcase our exhibition, postcards, book about the heritage and education around this theme, as well as a panel of speakers including Miles Jenner –  the master brewer of Harveys Brewery, the Revd Godfrey Broster – brewing chaplain at Rectory Ales, David Muggleton – Editor of the Quaffer and the noted singer and folklorist John Copper. We are lucky to have them all appearing at our event.

We will also have ale, food, activities and all manner of exciting things to  be explored.

The event is free (though donations would be gratefully received to support the work of the hosting organisation Strike a Light), however it is a bookable event, so should you wish to attend this day, then please email to book your free .

Image with kind permission of the Hastings Reference Library


Strike a Light – 2013 in review

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,400 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.