NEWSLETTER No. 38, November 2016



In this issue:

Christmas Party

Recent Suss-Ex Activity: a joint event with the Cambridge Society of Sussex

How Open is Open Access?

Obituaries: Tony Inglis, Brian Taylor, Low Thomson

Two Books with Suss-Ex connections

Suss-Ex: the website and the Committee

Booking form for the Christmas Party



           Christmas Party          



12.30–2.30pm, Thursday 15th December 2016


The Christmas buffet lunch for Suss-Ex Club members, their guests, and USPAS former staff will take place on Thursday 15th December, from 12.30–2.30pm.  (USPAS members will receive a separate invitation via the USPAS Office and should reply to Tracey Llewellyn.)

The party will be in the same venue as last year: The Terrace Room, 3rd floor, Bramber House.  There is a lift in the lobby of Bramber House to take you to the 3rd floor.

If you are driving to the University and would like to collect a parking notice to display in your car, so that you do not have to pay for and display a parking ticket, please collect the parking notice on your way in, from the Reception Desk in Sussex House.  You may park in any of the University car parks.

The cost to Suss-Ex Club members is £7 per person (guests are welcome) and includes a buffet lunch, wine, soft drinks and tea or coffee.  The closing date for bookings is Wednesday 30th November.

Please print and complete the booking form at the end of this Newsletter and return it with a cheque or credit/debit card details to

Jackie Fuller, 21 Pelham Square, Brighton BN1 4ET.

NB  Please do not send card details by email.


Recent Suss-Ex activity:

a joint event with the Cambridge Society of Sussex


Suss-Ex members joined the Cambridge Society of Sussex, the club for Sussex-based alumni of the University of Cambridge, for an evening event on the Sussex campus on 5th October.  After a buffet meal we heard Professor Sir Richard Jolly give a talk entitled UN ideas that changed the worldSir Richard directed the Institute of Development Studies from 1972 to 1981 and served the UN in many senior roles thereafter.

Those present enjoyed an interesting and convivial evening, with a good fit between the Suss-Ex and the CamSoc styles for a meeting of this sort.


The Suss-Ex tour of the Brighton Sewers arranged for 13th July was unfortunately rained off, a great disappointment to organiser Colin Finn and to those who booked and came.



How Open is Open Access?



Those retired academics among us who are still publishing may nonetheless not have kept up with the changes going on in the journal system.  I assumed that, as in the REF, one could not be included if one was no longer employed by the University, so the question of which mode to choose did not arise for us.  I am happy to say that I was wrong: for some purposes the university affiliation implied by an emeritus title is sufficient, and using a University e-mail address helps.  The University has made a deal with Springer, the publisher for the journal in which an article by me is appearing, which covers my situation—and maybe yours?—and means that it can be given open access without my being required to pay.

But whatever is happening now is not the same for every publisher or university, and further changes may still be made, so one should not assume that what one knows already will remain the case.  Helen Webb of the Library has kindly provided this note:

The University supports Open Access (OA) publishing, and Sussex-affiliated researchers are able to make their research OA free of charge by depositing a copy of their accepted manuscript in Sussex Research Online.  The Library also enables Sussex researchers to publish Gold Open Access at a reduced cost through a number of institutional memberships and publisher initiatives.  Find out more here:  Each publisher will have different eligibility criteria and if you are uncertain whether you would qualify for a discount please contact before committing to publish Gold OA.

Jennifer Platt




A.A.H. (Tony) Inglis

Tony Inglis, Senior Lecturer in English until his retirement in 2001, died on 22nd July 2016 aged 80.

Tony came to Sussex from a research position in Edinburgh in 1964, after Cambridge and national service in the Navy.  He was one of several lecturers in English in those pioneering days of the university who had been born and bred in Scotland: these included the late David Daiches, founding father of Sussex English, the late Patricia Thomson, Michael Jamieson and Angus Ross.  Like them, he brought clarity, intellectual breadth and a strong sense of civic engagement to teaching and writing.

Tony’s interests and his range of knowledge and expertise were extraordinary, extending to painting, music and intellectual history as well as literature.  He was as much at home in teaching the literature and culture of the English Civil War or the eighteenth-century as he was in teaching the literature and culture of the Victorian period or modernist poetry and fiction or the popular interdisciplinary course on ‘Literature, Politics and Society in the 1930s’.  His special interests included the work of Virginia Woolf, on whom he wrote a number of important essays, D. H. Lawrence (whose essay-collection Phoenix he edited for Penguin) and Walter Scott.  His substantial Penguin edition of Scott’s The Heart of Mid-Lothian (1994) and his Edinburgh University Press edition of Woodstock (2009) show to the full his rigorous scholarship, historical understanding and cultivated sensitivity as a literary critic.

Tony was a much-admired colleague, generous in the support and valuable scholarly assistance he gave to the work of others, respected for his dedication to his students and to the life of the English Subject Group, as it was called then.  He was always willing to devote time, critical acumen and creative energy to unglamorous but important activities such as syllabus revision.  Like many of his generation, he had responded positively to the influence of F. R. Leavis on English studies when he was at Cambridge, but he moved on from there, keeping abreast of developments in the discipline and making sure the university library did the same.  His engagements as teacher and scholar-critic with theories of reading and interpretation were valued additions to the distinctive style of teaching and research associated with Sussex English from the 1980s onwards.  His wife Bet and his daughter Kitty have also contributed enormously to the intellectual life of the university.  Bet Inglis was a distinguished member of the university library from 1968 to 2000, and Kitty Inglis has been Librarian at Sussex since 2008.

A long-standing and active member of the University of Sussex branch of the Association of University Teachers, Tony’s experience, advice and support were greatly appreciated by colleagues in the School of English and American Studies and in the university as a whole.

Tony was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy Body dementia in 2009, which he bore with dignity.  He is survived by Bet, his three daughters and three grandsons.

Peter Boxall, Alistair Davies, Norman Vance


An edited and shortened version of the above obituary, plus a photograph, appeared in the University’s online Staff Bulletin of 28th October 2016.


Brian Taylor: 18th March 1950–1st September 2016


Insert: March 2019


The following material, from here to the line “End of Insert”, was inserted into the online archived version of this Newsletter in March 2019.  The Newsletter is otherwise as published and circulated in November 2016.


In January 2019 a complaint was received by Suss-Ex from a group of academics and clinicians, whose research in recent years has included the understanding of child sexual abuse, about the obituary below of Brian Taylor.  The group make the following points.


1. In the 1970s and 1980s Taylor was the Research Director of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), which lobbied for the decriminalisation of paedophilia.  In PIE Taylor used the pseudonym ‘Humphrey Barton’ and in that capacity, amongst other things, he edited the PIE newsletter.


2. When Taylor edited the book Perspectives on Paedophilia (Taylor, 1981) he did not reveal his activity in PIE or reveal the PIE membership of other contributors to the volume.  Two of these, child-care expert the late Peter Righton and disgraced psychiatrist Morris Fraser, were convicted of sexual offences against children.  Fraser’s offences were known at the time of the publication of Taylor’s edited collection, but no disclosure was made.  Peter Righton was the focus of Labour MP Tom Watson’s parliamentary question that triggered the ongoing judicial inquiry into historical cases of child abuse in England and Wales.


3. Passages in Taylor's book (Taylor, 1982) on English nature writer Richard Jefferies were, as stated by Taylor’s publisher in a public apology, copied without attribution from a work (Keith, 1965) by a Canadian author, the late W. J. Keith.  A statement to that effect is contained in the British Library copy of Taylor’s book.  Andrew Rossabi, President of the Richard Jefferies Society, writes in the Society’s 1992 Birthday Lecture “Brian Taylor’s book on Jefferies is unfortunately marred by its extensive plagiarism of W. J. Keith’s critical study, but it does contain some original and valid points”.


Keith, W. J. (1965).  Richard Jefferies: a Critical Study (University of Toronto, Department of English, Studies and Texts no. 13).  Toronto: University of Toronto Press.


Taylor, Brian (ed.) (1981).  Perspectives on Paedophilia.  London: Batsford Academic and Educational.


Taylor, Brian (1982).  Richard Jefferies (Twayne’s English Authors Series).  Boston: Twayne Publishers.


End of Insert



Brian Taylor came to Sussex as Lecturer in Sociology in 1977 after a year at the Department of Sociology in Queens University, Belfast, and remained at Sussex until 2001.  He died in France on 1st September after a long battle with successive aneurisms.  A member of the Sociology Subject Group and of the School of Cultural and Community Studies (CCS), he epitomised Sussex when it was in the forefront of driving interdisciplinary teaching and research, for his work easily straddled the social sciences and humanities and could never be confined within either category.

Brian was brought up in a Salvation Army background in Aberdeen and his personal and academic backgrounds are clearly linked.  In 1971 he was awarded a BSc (Sociology) degree, and he went on to obtain an MA in Sociology (Essex, 1974) and a DPhil from Aberdeen.  His thesis topic was Sociological Factors in Patterns of Religious Conversion and in their Investigation (1976).

Once at Sussex, his sociological writings focused mainly on aspects of deviance and religion and included an analysis of converts’ talk (Sociology, 1978), conversion and cognition as an area of study (Social Compass, 1978), and links between Anglicanism and British sociology (Sociological Review, 1994).  However, reflecting his allegiance to CCS, his primary interest was literature, especially Ulster novelists of the early twentieth century.  He wrote the definitive biography of Forrest Reid (The Green Avenue: the Life and Writings of Forrest Reid, 1980, republished 2010), and—co-edited with Paul Goldman—Retrospective Adventures: Forrest Reid: Author and Collector, (1998).  This was followed in 1995 by The Life and Writings of James Owen Hannay (George A. Birmingham).  He also wrote a biography of Richard Jefferies, the late nineteenth century English nature writer (Richard Jeffries, 1982).

Stuart Laing, a former Dean of CCS, writes:

Brian contributed in a serious and thoughtful way to the multi- and inter-disciplinary work of the School, particularly in the field of art, literature and society.  Brian brought a welcome sociological rigour to the contextual courses, but he was also a distinguished literary scholar in his own right.

For several years, Brian chaired the Examination Board in CCS with rigour, fairness and good humour.  And in the early 1980s he was also one of a small group of cross-School colleagues who put together the very first proposal for a Sussex degree in media studies, starting a trail which has led to today’s world leading department.  He was on the editorial board of Theory, Culture and Society and was joint Reviews Editor of Sociology when that journal was edited from Sussex in the 1990s.

Brian was a highly valued member of the Sociology Subject Group.  He had a background in ethnomethodology and phenomenology and brought a healthy scepticism to what sometimes appeared a precious approach to social theory.  He was a loyal and utterly reliable colleague, a reflective and critical thinker and a committed teacher.  Indeed, his teaching was renowned: CCS and Sociology students signed up to courses simply because he was the tutor and was so inspiring, and his lectures were always packed, his erudition matched only by his wry sense of humour.  A Subject Chair reports that the only declaration of love she had ever seen in a teaching evaluation form was made for one of his courses.

The apparent dryness of Brian’s research interests belied the man.  He could be enigmatic.  Intensely private, he was ‘gay’ before being gay was either acceptable or fashionable, and neither broadcast nor apologised for his sexuality.  Quite simply, his domestic life was his business.  He embraced a quirky mixture of conservatism and radicalism which was reflected in his dress sense—always correct (‘smart casual’ might have been his middle name) and in his attitudes.  Polite, and never one to be influenced by fashion, he was highly critical of what he saw as the British government’s accommodation to the IRA in Northern Ireland, and he seemed to view the often fraught personal lives of his Subject Group colleagues with puzzled concern and amused bewilderment.  He could also be vulnerable, self-deprecating and very funny, apparently seeing the world through an irony-tinted lens, laughing at ‘the thought of Karl Marx’ (a core course in sociology) and relishing the unintended humour nestling in student essays.

After Brian left Sussex in 2001 he retired, with Brian Barfield, his partner, to a hillside house overlooking Prades, in Southern France near the Spanish border.  Sussex and academia were a long way away.  E-mails told of his pleasure at feeding donkeys in a nearby field, of regular visits to music festivals and the opera, and of his latest reading.  Visitors were welcomed with classic hospitality, excellent cuisine, a guided tour of the region and the latest Taylor take on the political goings-on in France or (more likely) Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Finally, let him have the last word.  In May 2015, on hearing of the early death of a former Sussex colleague, he responded as follows:

Alas, sad news indeed.  57 is a cruel age to die.  My own father died at 58 and that misery revisits me in dreams from time to time.  Yet here am I an old age pensioner in blooming health, as of today at least.  What’s to say?  We all live until we die and there’s little point in dwelling upon it.  At my age I read few novels (if someone tells that Hilary Mantel’s ‘Wolf Hall’ is a work of Tudor history again I shall scream) but re-read old ones.  I’m re-reading the whole of Trollope at the moment, for heaven’s sake [we later established it was indeed Anthony and not Joanna].  And every year I read again the Book of Job, as a reliable guide to what it’s possibly all about.  A good example in the French news about the Nepalese earthquake, thousands of children and women dead yet ‘rescued from the ruins’ as the journalists say was a man aged 101 who was so hale and hearty he didn’t need a stretcher.  If that isn’t God’s idea of a little joke, I don’t know what is.  With which theological nicety I leave you on a cold and misty day in the Lower Pyrenees.  Pip! Pip!

A memorial service in London is being planned next spring.  Meanwhile, our sympathies go to Brian Barfield, his partner for 40 years.

RIP, Brian Taylor.  Pip! Pip!

David Harrison and Pete Saunders


Low Thomson, 1936- 2016; Emeritus Senior Lecturer in Physics

Dr Alexander Low Thomson sadly died on 10th September 2016 after a long illness.

Low was born in Dundee in 1936.  He tragically lost both his parents when he was a teenager and was brought up with his two sisters by an aunt and an uncle.  He attended Dundee High school and read Natural Philosophy at the University of Dundee.  His undergraduate degree was followed by his PhD work at Duke University, North Carolina, where he was introduced to the mysterious and wonderful world of low-temperature physics by the inspiring Horst Meyer.

Low came to Sussex in 1963 as a research fellow in Douglas Brewer's research group and so became one of the founding members of Physics at Sussex.  He carried out valuable work in the mysterious world of liquid helium, investigating its strange properties when it is confined in small spaces and when it is rotated.  After high-temperature superconductors were discovered in 1986, it was a natural move for him to work in this area, where he made valuable measurements of their magnetic properties.

Low was a delightful colleague.  He was always full of enthusiasm and gave enormous support to his colleagues and post graduate students.  Every year he met up for a reunion with his earliest post-graduate students.  He loved teaching and found his forte running, for many years, the first year undergraduate practical laboratory.  Visiting US pre-med students were inspired by his introductory course on physics for medical students.

Low was at his jovial best helping to run summer schools for sixth formers and he was always to be found cooking on barbecues at the associated parties.

Above all Low was a family man.  He was a devoted husband to Alison, father to Vivienne , Jennifer and Charles and he was never happier than when he was with his grandchildren.

Colin Finn


An obituary of Low Thomson by Douglas Brewer, plus a photograph, appeared in the University’s online Staff Bulletin of 7th October 2016.


The Suss-Ex Club maintains a list of obituaries of deceased colleagues at  This is also linked from the Club homepage (see below).



Two books



The Inheritance Powder

Hilary Standing, Emerita Professor in the Institute of Development Studies and a new member of Suss-Ex, recently published her first novel The Inheritance Powder (Red Door Publishing, 2015; ISBN-13: 978-1910453148).  Set in Bangladesh, it explores aid, corruption, arsenic poisoning and the dilemmas of love.  It can be ordered through bookshops or online as print or e-book.  Further detail can be found via


Willie Lamont: History Man

Another book with major involvement of Suss-Ex members is Willie Lamont: History Man (Linda Lamont, 2016), which gained the following accolade in a ‘What are you reading’ article in Times Higher Education, 3rd March 2016, from Geoffrey Alderman, Professor of Politics and Contemporary History, University of Buckingham:

“William M. Lamont is an authority on 17th century Puritanism, but also on how teachers should teach history.  As he was prevented by illness from completing his autobiography, his wife has put together essays from his many students and colleagues.  I was delighted to be asked to contribute to this Festschrift with a difference, into which one can dip again and again for inspiration and enlightenment.”

Linda Lamont, whose e-mail is, writes “I would like to say that people can telephone me (01273 470940) or send me a cheque for £10 to cover postage in the UK to 4 East Street Lewes BN7 2LJ.  I have a few copies left but unless there is an amazing response I do not expect to get more printed.  However my excellent printers will always do a run of at least 10 copies if I should need them; one of the benefits of the electronic age!”  Meanwhile, the University Library holds a copy, in Special Collections.

Linda adds that Willie, though frail, still remembers his colleagues with affection.


Suss-Ex: the website and the Committee


The website

More information about Suss-Ex is available on its webpage at  ‘Suss-Ex Club’ in Google will get you there, as will, or you can find us in the A–Z on the University’s homepage.  The website has copies of past Newsletters.


The steering committee

Suss-Ex activities are organised by a steering committee, which currently comprises:

Sir Gordon Conway, Chair

Sue Bullock

Colin Finn

Jackie Fuller

Charles Goldie

Arnold Goldman

Steve Pavey

Adrian Peasgood

Jennifer Platt

David Smith

Paul Tofts


Ideas for the future

We are always seeking ideas for social occasions when we can meet former colleagues.  Please let us have your suggestions, or volunteer to join the committee.  We meet once a term, when practicable immediately before a Suss-Ex event.

Christmas Party: Thursday 15th December 2016


Booking Details (to be returned not later than 30th November 2016)


Your Details


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(Required for credit/debit card bookings)



Telephone ………………………………….  Email address ..……………………………………



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Payment Details


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Please charge my debit / credit / Maestro card with £………………..


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Please print and return this form with a cheque or credit/debit card details to

Jackie Fuller, 21 Pelham Square, Brighton BN1 4ET


NB Card details should not be sent by email.


In case of any query, Jackie Fuller can be reached on 01273 688538 or