Lewes Forum thread

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Lewes Forum New message

I'm from Lewes you're from London

On 17 Nov 2010 at 6:47am lewestrousers wrote:
When is this I'm from Lewes you're from London going to stop. And bonfire 'a local event for local people' and so on. I of course can trace my ancestory back to bronze age Celts who built brack mount Its all a bit David James Smith if you ask me.
Really I don't care where you are from if you help make it Lewes a better place. 40 years ago nothing ever happened here except bonfire. At least now we have the odd festival, event, gathering, something for young people, and some of this stimulated and created by people not born here.
There have been problems, and the structural development of the town has been terrible, whilst this was stimulated by people not from Lewes it has been allowed to happen because the local council has let them follow a destructive path
Lewes is changing as is the make up of its population, which is a good thing, because we need to flow with and direct the changes that are happening to make sure Lewes improves and grows in a way that beneits all.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 9:20am MC wrote:
You are right of course, but it is very easy to understand the frustration of families who have lived in Lewes for generations who find that their sons and daughters cannot afford to live in the town as house prices have become so inflated by the greater buying power that London salaries and/or cashing in on London house price increases affords the latest influx.

Unfortunately this problem is endemic in England, from Cornwall to Cheshire and it's hard to see how much can be done to remedy it failing subsidised housing for "locals" (which is not great for ones pride or feeling of self-worth).

It's also can't be easy to see a town where you knew and grew up with a large proportion of the population turn into a town populated with strangers, many being wealthier, healthier and better educated than you are.

Bonfire is very much a traditional Lewes thing and the strength of it stands Lewes apart form other towns. The societies are mostly populated with families who have lived in the town for almost ever. It is easy to see how this tradition could become the focus for DFL hating. Witness the comments about Southover Bonfire Society on this forum.

In the end, things change and often there is usually little you can do about it. Nothing is ever all good or all bad and for the sake of ones' own health the good should be recognised and celebrated. So, well done lewestrousers.

Here endeth todays lesson.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 9:35am NewLewesian wrote:
I have two problems with the whole anti-DFL thing.
Firstly, Lewes was a port and county town. Therefore, it's always attracted people from other parts of the country and/or the world.
Secondly, a lot of people who were born in Lewes don't have a traditional Sussex accent - at least not the one you'll hear in more remote parts of the country. They sound like Londoners me (i'm originally from 'up north'). How come that is the case if 'DFL' is a new thing?
However, I can completely understand people getting pissed off about house prices and so on. That's not unique to Lewes - and part of the problem is the sheer expense of London.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 9:38am NewLewesian wrote:
I should add that I was reading a history of Lewes recently and came across the interesting fact that a lot of Victorian housing in the town - Pells, the stuff around Grange Road in Southover - was built to attract newcomers to Lewes who would commute to London. So there were 'DFLs' here over a hundred years ago.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 11:15am DFL wrote:
It's funny but you never hear this kind of thing in London - can you imagine someone saying in Hackney or Lambeth or Wandsworth, 'Oh, I can't stand these up-from-Lewes peasants with their yokel ways'? Small town minds have small town attitudes I suppose.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 11:22am Small Minded Mike wrote:
Obviously that's why you moved here.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 11:36am Newmania wrote:
The padadox is that we moved to Lewes because it was a place with an identity where,we felt , you could link up with other people and families.
London has a lot of people in it that do not know eachother or anything about eachother and I notice that David James Smith did not consult his multicultural predelictions when it came to deciding where to send his children to school. Typical.
MC is off the point really , all young people are having difficulty affording property anywhere and the idea that you should have the right to a house simply because you were born somewhere is clearly not sustainable.
Finally I have to say that in the face of the floods of immigrants New Labour`s insane policies encouraged to get your knickers in a twist about someone from a few miles away seems perverse .
Inward migration to England is the problem not DFLs soi disant
On 17 Nov 2010 at 11:51am 'ere be monsters wrote:
Nobody has a real problem with anyone if they are prepared to move to Lewes because they like Lewes, it's people and traditions. It's the people who come to Lewes with the intentions of changing it for the better!!! If it's not what they want, go and find somewhere that suits you better. Lewes itself has changed tremendously over the years, just let it keep doing so at it's own pace.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 1:08pm DFL wrote:
'ere by monsters, I don't see why I should like the people and traditions just because I choose to buy a house here. I moved here because I like the countryside around Lewes. And what other tradition is there apart from bonfire? It was hardly a radical town, always returning a Tory MP until outsiders like me turned it into a Liberal town (though that's backfired on us now and I'm sure it will go Tory again at the next election). The only famous radical connected with the town is Tom Paine, who was born somewhere else and left when the opportunity arose.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 1:38pm Mr Forks wrote:
Glad to see your making the effort to fit in DFL, so glad you chose our little town to move to. Your existence here has made us all wiser people. Thank you
On 17 Nov 2010 at 1:52pm DFL wrote:
Perhaps you could tell me some of the traditions I am missing out on Mr Forks.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 2:59pm Rods Tiger wrote:
@DFL - The tradition is in the way we are and how we interract with each other. Every 'traditional event' is new when it starts.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 3:23pm DFL wrote:
Rods Tiger, can you tell me what is unique to Lewes about the way you 'interract with each other'? I can't say I've noticed it's any different from the way people 'interract with each other' in London, or Paris or Berlin come to that.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 3:47pm 'ere be monsters wrote:
Fair enough then DFL if you didn't move here to be part of the town then don't grizzle about it. Bonfire is a big part of this town always has and always will. We always returned a Tory MP substantially because of the wonderful countryside you came for, with it's agricultural way of life and it's inhabitants. Lewes has it's roots as County Town of Sussex, don't start knocking it. I'm not really very impressed by the fact that Tom Paine lived here.
Rods Tiger, in the CSBS programme the cartoon running along the bottom of the pages shows a pig in bumble bee jumper. "Is that a tradition" asks one smuggler, "Will be next year" came the reply. Haha
On 17 Nov 2010 at 4:25pm jrsussex wrote:
I used to holiday in a delightful Devonshire small town. Visited 2/3 times a year and was very popular, one of a group of males that came from London, due to our spending our money in the local caravan park, the town shops and pubs etc. I happened to meet a local girl, fell in love (my first wife, holiday romance, not a good thing) and married, moved into the town, not dis-similar from Lewes, and got a job. Overnight I became that fellow from the "smoke" who has come down here and taken one of our jobs. The difference in attitude was astonishing to the extent that after just 7 months I got fed up with it and returned to London.
That was in the early 60's, clearly some Lewesians are stuck in that time warp.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 4:33pm DFL wrote:
The point I was making jrsussex. I never noticed when I was in London people complaining that people from other parts of Britain were 'outsiders' who didn't understand London's ways and shouldn't 'grizzle'. I like being in Lewes but there is a small-minded minority, many of which finds its way onto here.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 5:01pm jrsussex wrote:
Exactly, the residents of East Ham always spoke with great civility to those from West Ham:-)
On 17 Nov 2010 at 5:04pm DFL wrote:
And likewise those from South London made every effort to be civil to the unfortunates who hailed from North London.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 5:14pm MC wrote:
@ Newmania.
> the idea that you should have the right to a house simply because you were born somewhere is clearly not sustainable.

Families should be encouraged to stay together for so many reasons including general social cohesion, mental health and reducing the responsibility and weight on the state (families caring for their elders). The breakdown of the family and the increasing isolation that so many live in does society as a whole no good whatsoever.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 5:39pm Clifford wrote:
You know that the historical myth of the extended family is largely that, a myth, don't you MC?
On 17 Nov 2010 at 6:44pm NewLewesian wrote:
I don't see what the "wonderful countryside you came for, with it's agricultural way of life" has to do with voting Conservative.
The most properly rural parts of the country - the West Country, mid Wales, Herefordshire and Shropshire, the Highlands - are all Liberal strongholds.
Oh and before you ask I love bonfire and it's one of the reasons I moved here. ALongside the Downs and good pubs serving proper beer (including Harveys). I'm also really interested in Sussex folk music - the Copper Family of Rottingdean, for example - tradition being more than bonfire of course!
On 17 Nov 2010 at 6:58pm Newmania wrote:
On 17 Nov 2010 at 6:59pm MC wrote:
I don't know about your interpretation of history Clifford. I can see the from my own experience that blood is thicker than water and how strong a family support network is... and how sadly reduced it is by geographical distance (internet, social networking included).
You cannot underestimate the ties of blood, family etc...

...which brings me to Newmania, immigration and how Enoch Powell got it wrong.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 7:00pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
As a DFS (Down from Surrey, very nearly London) who arrived 19 years ago, I was never aware of this attitude until relatively recently, but I moved here because I loved the town and all its ways.
I never wanted to change anything, and still dont. I nearly cried when we lost the cattle market, because Lewes lost something once it was no longer a market town - it didn't have quite the same feeling of being integrated with its rural surroundings afterwards.
I don't mind not having an M&S, McDonalds or Aldis and would happily do without a Tesco. I'm saddened that we now only have one butcher in the High Street and only one greengrocer, I miss the bookshops, McIlroys, the baker in Fisher Street, and think we really could manage with only one of Winkle/Flint/Adamcewski et al and only one expoensive dress shop. Prior to the increase in wealthy incomers, Lewes would not have been able to support all those shops and we might still have some sensible ones.
The problem with people's kids having to move away to buy homes is that it ultimately leads to the break up of communities, and that would be a very sad thing.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 7:02pm MC wrote:
No, that *is* a very sad thing. Now.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 7:10pm Johnno wrote:
DFL, You pobably didn't notice Londoners moaning about 'outsiders' coming in and moaning about things because the 'outsiders' probably didn't come in and moan about local events.
I'm sure if people from Lewes moved to London they wouldn't park their car on the route of the Lord Mayors Show because they don't see why they should have to move it (or complain about the fireworks afterwards). They wouldn't move in next to a London pub and then complain about the noise coming from it. They wouldn't moan that the Nottinghill carnival goes on for three days. I'm sure if anyone from Lewes moved up to London they would join in and get involved with all these different events.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 7:13pm Clifford wrote:
Well, I agree with you Annette and - on this point - MC. (The 'interpretation' about the extended family isn't mine though MC. It's a long established one.)
On 17 Nov 2010 at 7:23pm DFL wrote:
Yes, but the thing about Londoners Johnno is that their lives don't revolve around one event in the year. I doubt if most Londoners have any interest at all in the Notting Hill Carnival or the Lord Mayor's Show.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 7:36pm NewLewesian wrote:
Can I just point out that there are plenty of people "down from London" who think bonfire is fantastic - long may it continue.
Oh, and the 'radical history' of Lewes is far more than Tom Paine. Read about the history of nonconformism here if you have the inclination to. It's far from being a typical county town, whatever some people might think.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 8:00pm Johnno wrote:
But that wasn't the point you were making DFL. You said people in London don't hear outsiders moaning about local events or ways of life. That's probably because they don't. But the people of Lewes do hear outsiders moaning about things that go on in Lewes.
I'm sure there are some people in London though whose lives revolve around certain hobbies or events that same as some people who live in Lewes do.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 8:36pm Newmania wrote:
I am not sure South London is really London. Its more a housing estate or two adjacent to the Great City, but then I don't think that anyone who thinks the Liberal Party are radical can be trusted anyway. Years of tracking New Labour like a needy dog and now dragged into reform only by the Conservative Party.Impressive.
This DFL does not speak for me although I am literally down from London. London has become an atomised crime ridden night mare in which no-one knows or cares about anyone else. This is what they want the whole of the country to be .An unconnected random jumble of economic units powerless homeless with thin meaningless lives copied from whatever ephemera they want you to buy. People with nothing .
Tradition is not just bonfire it is the thousands of ties that make a geographical area into a home and enrich life. Its the difference between being able to play the piano and able to defecate on it. It is memory and allegiance, the first things any totalitarian state tries to abolish.
If the nail sticks up , bang it down
On 17 Nov 2010 at 8:43pm Clifford wrote:
Newmania - As you write 'An unconnected random jumble of economic units powerless homeless with thin meaningless lives copied from whatever ephemera they want you to buy' I assume the 'they' you mention are the capitalists. I therefore have to agree with you on the damage capitalism has wrought. And all in the name of profit.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 9:05pm MC wrote:
@Newmania So very, very well put...... apart from getting capitalism and consumerism confused with the labour and liberal parties..
On 17 Nov 2010 at 9:17pm Matt Kent wrote:
Who was the last person to be born in Lewes, considering that the nearest maternity departments are in Brighton, Haywards Heath and Eastbourne? A very small minority will literally be from Lewes if they are delivered at home within the District. Does anyone know how many people who live in Lewes are actually from Lewes?
On 17 Nov 2010 at 9:34pm Saffy wrote:
My last two children were born at my home in Lewes. I've been told that that makes them Rooks. I quite often want to ask those that bitterly complain of newcomers to Lewes where they were born, as I suspect that my children (by their standards) are more Lewesian at only 2 and 3 years old than they themselves are.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 9:39pm MC wrote:
You are so close. We have country of people becoming units... increasingly less educated, mass/morass, fed adverts and status/worth determined by the goods we own and show. This benefits the corporations (Apple are supreme example of marketing/style/want versus utility/need). It is the nightmare reality produced by capitalism and the overriding value attached to money.... and the getting of it (in reality a laughable commodity which has no intrinsic worth and only has a value because we think it does...dangerous or what?).

Brave new world. Humanity as isolated economic units perfectly conditioned to want the latest product. Battery hens... the difference being that we are made for consumption, not production.
On 17 Nov 2010 at 10:49pm Brixtonbelle wrote:
Amazingly I have to agree with much of what Newmania says. And MC and ACT.
But to the subject of what makes a Lewesian ? A love of the town and a wish to be part of a strong community welcoming allcomers, who actively contribute to the life of the town, and in my own view someone who has strong opinions, may be non conformist, challenges authority and the status quo. A town is not its shops, but its people and Lewes has a great mix of intelligent, creative, compassionate and resourceful beings that make it unique. Before we moved here I was quite worried it would be like hippydippy Totnes. Thankfully, it's not !
On 18 Nov 2010 at 8:33am Mr Forks wrote:
@ Matt Kent. I was born at home in Lewes. And i'm sure other people have been over the tears. You don't need a hospital to be born in!
On 18 Nov 2010 at 8:33am Mr Forks wrote:
Er, years not tears. Freudian slip!
On 18 Nov 2010 at 10:16am Matt Kent wrote:
@ Mr Forks. I have a 2 and 3 year old, and we did consider a home birth. They were born at the Royal Sussex. Does that make them Brightonian because of the current healthcare provision in the region, or are they Lewesian because they have lived all their lives in Lewes?
Firstly, people and families want to live in Lewes because of its great quality of life, and that should be seen as a good thing, what is wrong in that? We all want whats best for ourselves and our offspring. Its only natural to give our kids a good and safe environment to grow up in and be educated in. It happens around the world, not just in our glorious town. (If London is a City out of control, then that is a failure by both the authorities and its residents. Hands up who wants to live in London? I thought not).
Secondly, some people subscribe to the age old saying 'When in Rome....' and imply that Lewes residents should be fanatical about all things Lewes. Presumably, beer, bonfires and this Forum . But not everyone is like that.
Thirdly, What do the people of Lewes want the people of Lewes to be? Personally, being friendly and neighbourly, or just saying 'hello'. And the people of Lewes do just that. Its great!
Finally, some of the best loved people within the public eye within the town are 'not from round ere', but they give back to society and continue to make this town special. Does that make them bad people? Does it really matter where we are all from?
On 18 Nov 2010 at 11:40am Newmania wrote:
Clifford - Profit is reward for risk and investment. It is a good thing subject to institutional controls on supernormal of monopolistic profits which are exploitative. This can present problems when it comes to multi Nationals but nothing like the problem a total State monopoly of provision does ( Say in education or health) .
It is not Prosperity or choice that is a bad thing as you dispiritingly suggest but a lack of cultural resources with which to choose
This is why I oppose the state imposition of multiculturalism the state `s assault on marriage and the encroachment by the state into child care community, crowding ordinary relationships. I also oppose the break-neck pace of immigration the export of powers to the EU the denigration of our story our language and our idenity as the English and much more

You visions of happy povertyy clad in international government issue dungarees smelling of cabbage soup is a horror that the Conservative Party fought to keep out of this country for the 20th century.The left were actively attempting to turn us into East Germany.
Frankly I am amazed this sort of paleozoic sixth form posturing survives although the dangerously extreme Green Party seem to be occupying anti capitalist territory with some success.
On 18 Nov 2010 at 12:15pm Dangerous Green wrote:
We can all keep making a profit from tut if we like. Where are we going to put it?
Education and health were pretty much a state monopoly throughout my earlier life - and much better for it.
In the late 80s I worked on one of the computer systems that tracked the activities of privitised cleaning companies working in the national health. Lots of reports began to emerge then of filthy theatre greens etc. Now we have superbugs.
On 18 Nov 2010 at 4:53pm Matt Kent wrote:
@ Newmania. We were talking about Lewes. Stop being sensationalist. The Green Party isn't extremist, it just isn't looking through your blue tinted capitalist Tory spectacles that are currently dismantling society as we speak.....
On 18 Nov 2010 at 7:37pm Deelite wrote:
I hope you are not implying Newmania is short sighted.

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Lewes at night 57:132
Lewes at night


Lewes is beautiful and I have been considering moving there for a while. I am now thinking of buying a place on Friars... more
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Thomas Paine