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Happy News

Happy News

It was always going to be a tall order to keep the surprise party to celebrate Bright News’ 30 years anniversary a secret. Well, thanks to a collective sense of intrigue and enjoyment, West Hill residents managed to give Vinod and Meena Mashru the surprise of their lives in December.

Their sons Vishal and Anish joined in the clandestine goings-on by coming down to Brighton for the occasion without their parents knowing, and daughter Karishma managed to steer Meena and Vinod to the Hall to what they thought was a get-together for another long-term resident. Many people gave them gifts, everyone signed two huge cards, the one shown on the front page, made by local children. In true ‘This is Your Life’ style, Colette, one of The Whistler editors, presented them with a book of Bright News related stories taken from The Whistler over the last 30 years. It was a great, happy evening and for those readers who could not make it, there are more photographs taken by Graham Brown and Geoff Bailey on the Bright News Facebook page that capture the event. Thanks to them both for the photos.

In the last edition, we published a listing of Seven Dials shops then and now, which brought back memories for many of our readers. Thanks to Bob Potter who, in response to the request to join in the nostalgia, sent us a scanned page of the 1969 Kelly’s Directory which filled in lots of gaps. We’ve updated the article with the new additions online at westhillwhistler.wordpress.com. Still on the nostalgia trail, for this edition we’ve raided more Whistler archives for tales of local life. Please raid your memories and send us your recollections of West Hill and Seven Dials.

In 2015 we welcome more new groups to West Hill Hall, who join our already eclectic set of regular users. See – Curious Creators, Sing Healthy Play Happy and A Fool’s Guide to Playing on the Sessions page.

Surprise, Surpise!

Residents awaiting the arrival of Vinod & Meena

Residents awaiting the arrival of Vinod & Meena

What a surprise!

What a surprise!

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Vinod has watched generations grow up in West Hill

Vinod has watched generations grow up in West Hill

Vinod & Meena receiving cards and ‘Bright News in The Whistler’ book from Colette

Vinod & Meena receiving cards and ‘Bright News in The Whistler’ book from Colette

The Record Album

Shops seem to open and close with alarming regularity in Brighton, especially the small independent traders, particularly record shops. Despite this, at least one name has remained throughout the economic ups and downs. The Record Album, the oldest record shop in Brighton, was established in 1948 and is still going strong today with the current proprietor, Mr George Ginn. He’s been dealing in records since the late 1950s, when he started buying records for himself and for his friends. He got the opportunity to take over the shop lease in the 1960s; he began to specialise in his main love, film and theatrical soundtracks, soon afterwards. However, Mr Ginn insists that his professional involvement in the subject and indeed, his presence in Brighton, is more or less accidental. Continue Reading »

Concluding The Whistler archive interview from 1980 with Charles Attwater, who lived in West Hill Place

I married in 1934 and our first home was a flat in 85 or 87 Buckingham Road.

By then I had finished my apprenticeship, gained experience and started my own business as a French Polisher. I had a workshop in Guildford Road. It’s not there now, it’s a block of flats. In 1941 I became Churchwarden at All Saints under Father Cockerill and was then living in Goldsmid Road. Continue Reading »

From February 14 an exciting new acting class is being held every Saturday morning in West Hill Hall. It will cover Playing in many areas (script, movement, physical, character) and include Improvised Theatre inspired by the Archetype of Fool. Telling the story of the moment, in the land where anything is possible, from the irreverent to the sacred. From the daft to the deep. From the hilarious to the hallowed. Continue Reading »

Ghosts

Have you ever seen a ghost? I never have, but there have been many times when I longed for a ghost to appear. Let me explain. Many years ago I wrote an article with this same title for a jazz magazine. Even by that time many of my favourite musicians had ‘passed on’ – to use a popular euphemism. Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington were two who left particular gaps. But these great masters were not the musicians I most regretted. Continue Reading »

Rogue Hippo

The following story is true and was written by Maurice Swaby, an erstwhile West Hill resident.  It was first published in The Whistler in 1984

The Cameroons was originally German, but after the First World War, it was mandated to Britain and France by the League of Nations. Our post was administered from Nigeria, then a British colony. In 1936 I was Commissioner of a district, large in area, called Manfe. In those still unsophisticated days, you could only get to my headquarters in two ways: either in the wet season from Lagos, capital of Nigeria, to Victoria on the Cameroon coast; thence by some 200 miles by lorry, then the last 100 miles on foot. Your luggage was head-loaded by carriers, well paid and weight limited. The Manfe district was heavily forested and unhealthy. Malaria, Yellow Fever, and sleeping sickness were endemic. There were many fauna, including gorillas in the high ground to the North. Continue Reading »

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