NEWSLETTER No. 51, February 2020

Edited by Adrian Peasgood



In this issue:


Forthcoming events

Recent programme


Booking form








Friday 6 March

Alexandra Loske

Curator’s tour, ‘A prince’s treasure’

Royal Pavilion, Brighton, 10.15 am



‘A prince’s treasure’ is a spectacular loan of over 120 unique works of art from the Royal Collection which have been returned from Buckingham Palace to the Pavilion, their former home in Brighton, while the Palace is being refurbished.  Many of the works have not been on public display for over 170 years.  The items were originally commissioned by the Prince Regent for his beloved Royal Pavilion.  You can see more detail about the exhibition on the website: .


As well as introducing the exhibition Alexandra will tell the story of how the loan came about and of the complex logistics of organising the transfer from London and Windsor of so many priceless objects.


We will meet at 10.15 outside the main entrance to the Royal Pavilion to allow time for buying/collecting tickets.  The tour will start about 10.30 with a brief introduction by Alexandra to the story of the exhibition.  There will then be an hour or so on the tour looking at the objects before we conclude with coffee/early lunch in the Royal Pavilion tea room, with Alexandra joining us.


The only charge will be for admission to the Royal Pavilion (RP).  The standard price is £15 but Brighton & Hove residents pay only £7.50 (bring proof of residence).  Booking online in advance is usually 10% cheaper.  RP members and patrons get free entry.  Please book your ticket yourself direct with the RP.


Places are limited, so please reserve in advance by contacting me via email ( or landline 01273 822684, or text/mobile 07742 528945.


Steve Pavey




Tuesday 31 March

Jan Nawrocki

‘How surgeons think’

Fulton Building, University campus, 2.00–5.00 pm


Jan Nawrocki works as a consultant urological surgeon at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.  He has also held the posts of Director of Medical Education, Associate Dean and, more recently, President of the European Board of Urology, on whose executive he still sits.  After research on the treatment of prostate disease and many years as a practising surgeon, he has recently directed his attention to the way the attitudes of surgeons influence medical practice and education.   In 2019, he was awarded a doctorate in English and Humanities from the University of London for his thesis An exploration of the negative dispositions that influence the judgement of doctors: pride, vanity, and practice.


His illustrated talk will consider the everyday work of practising surgeons.   Specialist skills and knowledge grounded in science are central for any doctor, but judgement is of prime importance.   His account of some of the many factors that influence this judgement will be of interest both to those who have already been surgical patients and those who may face surgery in the future.


We’ll assemble between 2.00 and 2.30 in the foyer of the Fulton Building.  Mr Nawrocki’s  talk in Fulton A from 2.30 to 3.15 will be followed by questions and discussion in which the audience can join.  At 4.00 we’ll adjourn to the adjacent Eat Central, where tea and refreshments may be bought and paid for individually, and informal discussion can continue.


There is no formal fee but to help us plan the afternoon, please indicate your intention to come.   Guests are welcome.  Send an email as soon as possible, and not later than Monday 23 March, to or return by post the booking form at the end of the Newsletter to David Smith, 12 Mount Harry Road, Lewes BN7 1NY (Tel 01273 472564).  It is suggested that during tea we collect donations of £5 per head to be given directly to the Sussex Fund.


David Smith



The following events are subject to confirmation


Early summer

‘Hard-hat’ tour of Corn Exchange towards the end of the restoration works



Shoreham Harbour






Thursday 12 December

Christmas party

The traditional Christmas lunch party was as usual held jointly with Uspas, attracting 43 Suss-Ex members and guests, and about 100 Uspas members.  More seating was available prior to the buffet than last year, which was widely appreciated.  Speakers included the Vice-Chancellor.





If you received this Newsletter in hard copy, please consider letting us have an email address to use instead.  If that is not possible, please confirm you still wish to receive the Newsletter in hard copy.


Write to Charles M. Goldie, Department of Mathematics, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9QH,

 or phone 01273 555025 or 07876 565395,

or email










László Heltay, 5 January 1930–17 December 2019



It would be difficult to over-estimate the influence of László Heltay, who died in Budapest on 17 December 2019, three weeks short of his 90th birthday, upon the performance of choral music all over the world.  The clarity and agility which he demanded from his choirs perhaps reached its apogee with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chorus which he founded in 1975 when Sir Neville Marriner sought a group whose singing style would match to perfection the style of his already well-established orchestra.  The solid purity of style was only then beginning in the choral world with the likes of the Monteverdi Choir, and marked a new sound far removed from the clipped Anglican cathedral and voluminous Choral Society traditions.  László was the pathfinder of this movement, setting the new musical standard from the start with Collegium Musicum Oxoniense (CMO) which he founded in 1960 and inspiring generations of conductors, choral leaders and singers who revered him for his musicianship, charisma and relentless perfectionism.


Generations of Sussex music students and music lovers were lucky that from 1968 until the mid 1980s he was Director of Music at the Gardner Arts Centre (now the Attenborough Centre), where he conducted the first ever concert at the GAC in December 1969, and trained the University Choir and Orchestra.  In 1967 he created the Brighton Festival Chorus (BFC) which, then as now, rehearsed on campus and in 1995 the University conferred on him an Hon DMus.  A pupil of Kodály at the Franz Liszt Academy, he supported the anti-Communist uprising in 1956 while a producer at the Hungarian Radio from where he fled to England.   A place was found for him to pursue his musical talents at Merton College, Oxford, where he remained as Director of Music establishing the CMO (later re-named Schola Cantorum of Oxford) and the Kodály Choir.  In l964 he went to New Zealand for two years to conduct the NZBC orchestra and NZ opera company.  At Sussex University he collaborated often with John Birch, the University Organist, which led to a professional lifetime of working together with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), repeatedly paired with the BFC for concerts and recordings of choral works, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and later the Royal Choral Society.  He held prestigious positions with the Hamburg and Stuttgart Radio Choirs and from 1997 the Spanish TV and Radio Choir in Madrid.  His recordings with all these groups are legion.


Always keen to encourage young musicians, especially conductors and choral singers, László was heavily involved with the Europa Cantat movement and he regularly toured European countries and further afield as Chorus Master, Guest Conductor, Masterclass leader or Jury member.  His final visit to Brighton was in 2006 to conduct BFC in the 40th Brighton Festival in the Dome but, alas, he slipped awkwardly on the stage during the dress rehearsal and broke his hip.  Outside music, his chief passions were books and languages, football and tennis, chess and dogs, and in both Spain (living for many years near Barcelona) and Hungary he worked hard to set up dog rescue centres.  His autobiography was published in Hungary in 2018, mostly the result of discussions held with the eminent Hungarian author István Elmer, with a title reflecting his combined canine and choral interests—sadly the idea of calling it “From Bach to Bark” did not translate well into Hungarian.  Although he knew precisely how to extract the most spiritual depth from the sacred music he prepared with many choirs, he was profoundly non-religious and was a great disciple of the works of Richard Dawkins.  He long ago acquired British citizenship and lived in Hampstead for many years, but moved in the 1990s first to Barcelona and then back to Budapest, living in Pest with his beloved dog Charley.


                                                                        Roger Walkinton (Euro, Choral Scholar 1977–81)


Cherry Horwill adds …


One of the annual musical highlights for musicians on campus was the pre-Christmas ‘Messiah Sing-In’ which László conducted.  Singers and players could participate – without rehearsal and for their own pleasure only—in a selection of the best-known choruses and self-selected solos from Messiah; the somewhat random nature of the orchestra being boosted by the Meeting House organ.


Roger writes: “László was heavily involved with the Europa Cantat movement”. This European choral association holds annual gatherings of young choral singers around Europe, with a triennial festival.  László took contingents from the University Choir to both the annual gatherings and the triennial festivals, with a particularly memorable festival in Leicester in 1976, performing Mahler’s Eighth Symphony (the ‘Symphony of a thousand’) with a huge multinational choir, an augmented RPO and seven professional soloists, under László’s baton.












Brian Trustrum, 1934-2019





George Brian Trustrum, always known as Brian, was one of the five founding members of academic staff in Mathematics at Sussex.  From King William’s College, Isle of Man, he won a scholarship to read mathematics at Cambridge, graduating with first-class honours at Trinity Hall in 1958, and following that with Part III of the Mathematical Tripos in 1959.  As a Manxman, Brian was not eligible for the standard research student grant that his Cambridge degrees would have won him, but industrial funding was available in applied mathematics; so he embarked on a research studentship at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge.  By aptitude, however, Brian was more of a pure mathematician, a determined problem-solver, who already by the end of his research studentship had a handful of publications, but on topics unrelated to his PhD work.

Science at Sussex, including Mathematics, started in 1962, the second year of the University’s foundation.  Brian and Kathleen, recently married, took up their posts on 1st October, along with three more senior academic staff.  Teaching, on newly invented courses, began almost immediately.  Over the ensuing decades Brian was a mainstay of the Subject Group, looking after students in exemplary fashion and taking on whatever teaching or administrative duties he was needed for.  Brian was at one point even seconded to the Operational Research Subject Group in the Engineering School, to tide them over a staffing shortage.  For one term Brian taught at the University of Ife, Nigeria, and there was a later visit for two terms’ teaching at a university in Sri Lanka.  Both trips coincided with revolutions.  Extra-mural activity was also important, with long service in voluntary roles for the Mathematical Association.  Mathematics Masterclasses, at the University on Saturday mornings for keen 12–13 year olds, depended for many years on the efforts of Brian and Kathleen.

The year 1989 saw one of the University's recurrent financial and staffing crises, this time connected to the national Research Assessment Exercise.  Brian with typical selflessness agreed to early retirement, although continuing for a number of years to teach part-time on a buy-back arrangement.  When that ended, Brian and Kathleen relocated to the Isle of Man, indeed to Port Erin where Brian grew up.  A wide range of voluntary activities continued there: the Isle of Man Mathematical Society, for instance, identifies Brian as its founder.

Brian died peacefully on 6 December 2019, a few weeks short of his 85th birthday.  He is survived by Kathleen, by their children Ann and David, and by four grandchildren.


Charles Goldie and James Hirschfeld


Thanks to Dr John Reid for the photo, taken at the MAPS Reunion in 2011.







Patron:  Sir Gordon Conway


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:

Ross Dowsett

Colin Finn

Jackie Fuller

Charles Goldie

Arnold Goldman

Steve Pavey

Adrian Peasgood

David Smith

Paul Tofts, chair

Helen Walker

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.






Talk by Mr J Nawrocki on ‘How surgeons think’   

31 March 2020 2-5 pm


Please reserve ……….places (guests welcome)







Email address





Send an email as soon as possible, and not later than Monday 23 March, to, or post this booking form to David Smith, 12 Mount Harry Road, Lewes, BN7 1NY (Tel  01273472564).