NEWSLETTER No. 11, February 2009





Suss-Ex is very grateful to Susan Ashton in the Development and Alumni Relations Office for looking after the campus end of our activities in recent months.  She will be handing us back to Gillian Blake shortly, on the latter’s return from maternity leave.  Meanwhile Celia Alexander will continue to be our contact on site.


We are also grateful to Willie Lamont and David Betts, who are stepping down from the Steering Group which co-ordinates Suss-Ex activities, for their work on behalf of Suss-Ex.  The Steering Group would welcome replacements – please see the note at the end of this Newsletter.



   24 March: 

‘Waiting for Godot’  


Bookings have been made for the party which will be attending this on Tuesday 24 March, and it is too late to add any more bookings via Suss-Ex.  If, however, anyone has booked independently for that night and would like to join the group for dinner, please let Jennifer Platt ( know as soon as possible.



   2 April:    

Going to the dogs


               Thanks to Trevor Beeforth for proposing and researching this outing

               and providing the following notes


Let your hair down, forget all about Ibsen and, just for a change, enjoy a relaxing evening at the Brighton and Hove Dog-racing Stadium on Thursday 2 April.


Those of you who have already experienced dog-racing will need no further asking, but for the uninitiated, some basic facts :


Admission to the Stadium costs £4, including the essential race-card, and the evening centres around a meal in the comfortable, warm, inside, terraced restaurant, overlooking the track through enormous panoramic windows, giving excellent visibility from all tables.  The set meal, with some choices, costs £10, and an à-la-carte menu is also available.  As usual, you get what you pay for.  Extensive bar facilities are available, but drinks can be conveniently ordered from the tables.  Tables seat 4-6 people (please advise if you are making up your own sub-party).

The track is floodlit, and races are every twenty minutes or so, with six dogs in each. The evening starts at 7 p.m. and usually finishes around 10:30 p.m.  There is every opportunity to bet if you wish, but no pressure is applied, and you could pass the whole evening without indulging.  The minimum stake is £1, and bets range from the simple first-past-the-post, to more complicated arrangements for punters wishing to pay for their summer holidays.  It is all very professionally organised with staff calling at every table before and after each race, bringing your winnings, etc, so that you do not have to leave the table at all, or even pause unduly in the eating process. 

The Stadium is on Nevill Road, Hove, next to the Co-op, about a half-mile north of the Old Shoreham Road, Kwik-Fit junction.  There are good car-parking facilities, and the 5B bus from Brighton stops very near.


Despite the fact that all tables are ‘excellently’ positioned, inevitably some are ‘even more excellently’ positioned, making early reservation desirable.  So, if you would like to join the party, please inform Jennifer Platt (home tel. 555025, email  - no letters, please) as soon as possible, saying how many tickets you would like and giving your contact details.  Cheques for £14 (stadium admission, and meal) will then be collected in advance when the reservation has been made.





   26 April:  

‘In the steps of the stars’ 


Geoffrey Mead (CCE) will be leading a Brighton City Centre walk entitled ‘In the steps of the stars’ on Sunday 26 April starting at 4 p.m.   This will recall aspects of Brighton’s theatrical history, concentrating on the venues where it was made, some surviving, some long since replaced by other buildings.  The walk will commence from the Brighton Museum entrance and will take two hours.  The charge per person is £3.

There is a minimum viable attendance, and a maximum practicable one!  Please book early to be sure that the walk takes place - and that you are on it!  To book, please send the particulars below, with a cheque for £3 per person attending, to Nancy Holmes, 108 Kipling Avenue, Woodingdean, Brighton BN2 6UE.





I would like  …  places for the walk on 26 April, and enclose cheque, payable to the University of Sussex, for £ ….  (i.e. £3 per place)


Name: …………………………………………..


Address: ………………………………………..






Phone: ………………………………………….










Once again there is the sad news of the deaths of some colleagues to report, and also details of some published obituaries additional to those which have appeared in the Bulletin.

Recent deaths, with obituaries found, include:

Barbara Burton [Sub-librarian, late 60s & early 70s], d. 5 January 2009

Andrew Crozier  (Guardian, 21 July 2008)

Phil [J. P.] Elliott  (Guardian, 21 January 2009)

George Rehin

John Simmonds  (Sussex Express 22 January 2009)

Gilford Ward

Michael Ward [IDS]  (Guardian  13 November 2008)

Alan Weir

Any further contributions would be welcomed for future Newsletters.  For a list of all staff obituaries known to date see


George Rehin was a lecturer in Sociology, probably best known across campus for his long commitment to AUT activism, where for many years he played a key role.


Willie Lamont offers these remarks about John Simmonds:

I would like to record my gratitude for John's contribution to teacher training, and as Dean of Cultural and Community Studies from 1976 to 1981.  He arrived in Sussex in 1965.  He was a non-graduate Social Work appointment (an anomaly subsequently rectified when, to universal satisfaction, the University awarded him an honorary M.A. degree), when there was no Social Work course and no Education Area.  Those were stirring times to live in!  He came with a considerable reputation from the Tavistock and Probation Service.  His contribution to Sussex cannot be overstated.  He pioneered a form of teacher training in what came to be called the “Tutorial Schools” ( the first two: Thomas Bennett, and Hazelwick, both comprehensive schools in Crawley).  The course was based on Social Service practice: students recruited for the whole year to the same school for four days a week; teachers paid to supervise students, and together attending joint seminars with University faculty.  This was a revolutionary method of training teachers, criticised at the time, but later to be acclaimed .as a breakthrough and many of its features preserved in the current courses.  It was John's skill in winning the trust of the teachers in the schools which was the al1-important catalyst.  Observing John teach (we often looked in on each other) I marvelled at his way with a pipe (those were the days) and silence; he made his students find that they knew more than they thought they did.  He was a valued colleague and friend.





Jennifer Platt writes:

The comment in the November Newsletter about the removal of Sociology books from the Library without consultation struck a chord with Beryl Williams [Emeritus Reader in History] and Robin Milner-Gulland [Research Professor in Russian and Eastern European Studies, HUMS].  They report that they discovered by chance - from a rather self-congratulatory note in the London Library newsletter - that our library recently gave away, again without consulting or informing anyone, 472 Russian language books to the London Library.  Most were in class PG [Russian language and literature], but there were also many in other categories: History, Politics, Philosophy, Art history etc.  Supposedly they did not include 'sets', or books with extensive illustrations, but this was by no means entirely the case.  This was the only significant Russian research library on the South coast, built up over 45 years largely by the late Dr Sergei Hackel, himself formerly a librarian.  There is no undergraduate course in Russian at the moment - but there are many scholars in the University and its vicinity with Russian and East European research interests; witness our still-thriving Russian Studies seminar.





Quite a few Suss-Ex members are, while notionally retired, still active in research, for which some access to university facilities is required.  We find that the extent to which, and the manner in which, our needs are met can vary from one part of the university to another, and sometimes as a minority group we may simply be forgotten. 

The RAE is to be followed by new arrangements, but contributions to the university's research output will continue to be of value, so it seems likely that it will always be advantageous to those of us who continue to produce, and wish to maintain our relationship with the research life of the university, for our contributions to be noted.  It is proposed, therefore, to create and publish in this Newsletter each year a list of our most recent activities, which could be used to support our claims to recognition as a valuable group within the university faculty.

If, therefore, you belong to this group, please send in, with your subject group affiliation, a list of your 2008 activities, even if notification of them has already appeared in the Bulletin:

·        publications

·        conference papers given and invited talks

·        prizes and honours

·        new grants

·        research students completing

·        officerships in learned societies

This should if possible be done by e mail, and sent to as soon as convenient; we hope to publish a consolidated list in the next Newsletter.


                   STEERING GROUP VACANCIES 


As noted at the start of this Newsletter the Steering Group which co-ordinates Suss-Ex activities is hoping to recruit some new members.  What would they be getting involved with?  The Group is organised on a very informal basis, with rotation of tasks (e.g. the taking of minutes and production of the Newsletter) a general principle.  It usually meets once per term, late on a Friday afternoon – with coffee and biscuits.  Everyone suggests policy and activities, and when agreement is reached each event is normally the responsibility of one member to organise.  Different members of course have different interests and skills, which are reflected in what they take on. The Group is keen to be representative of the widest possible range of university background.

If you would like to be considered for membership of the Steering Group please let Celia Alexander (, or c/o DARO, Bramber House, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QU) have a note of your name, contact details, former role in the university, and – if it seems appropriate – the kind of input you might make.  Please do this by 20 March if possible.