In the last edition of The Whistler, we ran an article entitled West Hill Born Secret Agent Remembered. Now, there are more details to share of the celebrations that will take place to remember Lt Jacqueline Nearne and her fellow officers.

Lt Jacqueline Nearn CdeG, MBE, Capt Michael Trotobas, Capt Edward Zeff MBE, CdeG, Capt Ronald Taylor

Lt Jacqueline Nearn CdeG, MBE, Capt Michael Trotobas, Capt Edward Zeff MBE, CdeG, Capt Ronald Taylor

The Secret WW2 Learning Network and its partners, including the University of Sussex, will be at
Brighton Dome Corn Exchange at 11am on Saturday 12 November 2016
for the official ‘grand reveal’ of four blue plaques in memory of four Brighton-born WW2 secret agents of the Special Operations Executive (SOE).

This very special commemorative day will have the theme, Carve Their Names With Pride

The programme will continue at 2pm with a unique book & film get-together for everyone who’s been inspired by WW2’s ‘secret warriors’ with talks by special guests, book signings and films plus a bookshop by CITY BOOKS and a café, until 5pm

Admission to this all-day event at Brighton Dome Corn Exchange is FREE but by invitation only – so please email your wish to attend asap to: events@secret-ww2.net

Registered attendees for the ‘grand reveal’ of the four blue plaques will be asked to register at 10.00am so as to be seated in time for the formal proceedings which will commence at 11am

Applicants will receive more information by email later.

At lunchtime on Monday 14 November, a smaller gathering will take place at West Hill Street to attach the plaque to the birth home of Jaqueline Nearne, followed by a talk in West Hill Hall straight afterwards. Dr Juliette Pattinson will make a short presentation that will first set the scene by explaining the roles of SOE’s women agents, and then zoom in on the story of Jacqueline Nearne.

Dr Chris Byrnes from the University of Sussex has stepped in at the last moment to replace Jayne Shrimpton who was to be the speaker on 11 October at the second of WHCA’s bi-annual talks. She had to cancel due to a family emergency.


Forget census era dress for tonight – come and join us for a hugely entertaining evening – £3 entry includes refreshments.


Photo by Terry Applin

Autumn Fruitfulness

WHCA is hosting several events at West Hill Hall this Autumn.

First up on Tuesday 11 October is Jayne Shrimpton’s fascinating talk, “A Moment in Time: Census-era Dress, 1811 – 1911”. Jayne opens a window onto the era and helps us to visualise daily life in the past,  drawing on prints, paintings and photographs dating from around each decennial census, 1811 – 1911.  Continue Reading »

John with Quiz team-mate, Irene

John with Quiz team-mate, Irene

West Hill Community Association has lost a very dear friend. Born in Watford on 13 February 1933, John Turner died in Brighton on 30 August 2016. Continue Reading »

Thomas Hardy

thomas-hardy-2_2825734bI am afraid my column for this issue may turn out to be a lecture. It may even degenerate into a rant. The inspiration for it came to me about three weeks ago. I had recently introduced a selection of poems for the “Poetry for Pleasure” group, which meets at the Cornerstone Community Centre. In fact my wife, Nikki, read the introduction for me, because I was temporarily unable to speak. My choices were based on the teachings of a great literary critic, the late F. R. Leavis. He was among the first to direct our attention to the outstanding quality of the poetry written by Thomas Hardy (pictured) You may be surprised to hear that he wrote hundreds of poems. In fact during his adult life he was working on a poem almost every day. Continue Reading »

Dear Editor,

I was wondering whether I could get some help please. I live in Bingley,West Yorkshire. Fifteen years ago I had a stroke and now, as a rehabilitation exercise, I am trying to trace my family history.

In 1860 a distant ancestor died at “Beresford Lodge, West Hill, Brighton” and I am trying to find out whether this property still exists. Could you or your members locate it for me perhaps?

Thank you,
Godfrey Lomas Continue Reading »

Surrey Street Chaos

I sent the following letter to the Mayor, Chair of the Environment, and Councillors Lizzie Deane and Louisa Greenbaum in the hope of getting the traffic in Surrey Street sorted out once and for all. I should very much appreciate it if you could publish it in The Whistler.

I bought a house on Surrey Street in January 2014 and moved in on the day the Brighton Station Gateway Scheme works began. During the following 12 months residents were informed in advance of works to be carried out by Tom Campbell, the project manager, who was on hand for any queries or worries we had. He was always very courteous and helpful, as were the team who carried out the work. It looked so pretty and idyllic when it was completed but it wasn’t a week before the two of the newly planted trees had been mowed over by traffic using the pavement. Continue Reading »