The Suss-Ex Club

Newsletter 57

October 2021


For ex-University of Sussex staff: keeping in touch, keeping connected


Welcome to Issue 57 of the Suss-Ex Club Newsletter!

We hope you have all had a good summer and enjoyed the easing of Lockdown. On page 2, you can read about our two outdoor summer events – both involved eating and drinking but were well balanced by enjoyable and healthy walks.  

We have two further events lined up over autumn: a guided walk of the buildings of Lewes on 8th October (stop press: now full), and the other will be a talk by Jan Nawrocki, Consultant Urological Surgeon at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust on the topic of “How Surgeons Think”. These should provide fascinating insights into two very different topics.

For this edition, we are very pleased to feature Professor James Hirschfeld in our Spotlight section. James has been at the University since 1966 and seen many changes over the years – a very interesting person and a very interesting life.

Also, as ex-University staff, we know how important research is for all fields of activity and in particular fields, how essential the involvement of participants is for informing research. We have included just such an interesting study on page 4, with links to an online questionnaire. Enjoy!  

And finally, please send us any suggestions for events, articles, new features, and indeed photos. Please email them to us (contact details in our Newsletter footer) or post them to our FB page.

                                                                                                                                                                         Suss-Ex Club Steering Group



Newsletter Contents:

·         OUR NEXT EVENT. 2

·         Save the Date! 2

·         Spotlight on… James Hirschfeld. 2

·         Ridgeview Winery visit: don’t mind if I do. 3

·         Summer Picnic. 3

·         Sixtieth Anniversary launch and OTHER EVENTS. 3

·         The Kindness Test – take part! 4

·         Who has been publishing?. 4

·         OBITUARIES. 5




Guided Walk: the Buildings of Lewes - Friday 8th October (FULL)

Our next outdoor event, hosted by Marcus Taylor and already full, will be a guided walk of the buildings of Lewes. The walk takes about an hour and a half at a gentle pace.

It will start at 10.30am by the war memorial at the eastern end of Southover Church and ends in Cliffe, the area to the east of the river and takes in a range of building materials on the way.

Marcus Taylor, the tour host, has lived in Lewes for 53 years and retired from teaching locally 18 years ago.  He was Secretary of Friends of Lewes for nine years and has a particular interest in the materials used in the buildings of the town and how they reflect its’ long history.

Because many of the pavements in Lewes are narrow, places were limited and therefore we are currently full. In the event of cancellations, a reserve list is in operation should you wish to register your interest (contact details below) – we may also repeat the walk at a future date.

We have charged £5 pp which will be donated to the Friends of Lewes. Should the event be postponed due to poor weather we will email the membership.

Address queries to David: E:      T: 01273 472564


Save the Date!

A talk (campus seminar room and live-streaming) by Jan Nawrocki “How Surgeons Think” : 25th November 2021, 5.30 – 6.30pm.

Lockdown in 2020/21 deprived us of this fascinating talk by Jan Nawrocki, Consultant Urological Surgeon at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.  

Jan has held 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 practicing 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 entitled ‘An exploration of the negative dispositions that influence the judgement of doctors: Pride, vanity, and practice’.

His illustrated talk (which will be a hybrid talk - campus seminar room and live-streaming) will consider the everyday work of practicing 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.

Further details to follow, on Facebook and via email.


Spotlight on… James Hirschfeld

The Suss-Ex Newsletter team was very pleased to see an article about Professor James Hirschfeld featuring in the University’s “This Sussex Life” series over September.


In addition to being a long-standing member of the Suss-Ex Club, James’s career has spanned the first decade of the University’s establishment right up to the present day - in fact, it is now probably the case that he currently holds the record as the longest serving employee of the University!

James joined the Maths Department in 1966, went on to become Dean of Maths and Physics from 1988 to 1992, has received prestigious awards for his research, and now funds an annual University prize named after him.  Not only this, but he speaks fluent Italian, plays excellent golf, and Suss-Ex hopes we can persuade him to give us another expert wine-tasting session on Italian reds. 

The photo on the left, by Charles Goldie, shows James (on the left) with Martin Dunwoody, a colleague who later left for the University of Southampton, on the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry in September 1970. James, Martin and Charles shared the driving of Charles's Renault 4 all across France, to and from the International Congress of Mathematicians in Nice.

Now a Tutorial Fellow and Senior Tutor for Maths MSc students, lecturing, and active in research, we leave the entire article for you to find out more about James and his backstory:


Would you like to recall something interesting you were involved in whilst at the University? Or perhaps you’ve gone on to do something interesting or perhaps you have achieved a life-long ambition after leaving Sussex? Or you know someone who has? We would love to know! Get in touch with the editors at:



Ridgeview Winery visit: don’t mind if I do

Twenty members of our group visited the Ridgeview Vineyard at Ditchling on Friday 23d July for a tour of the vineyard followed by a really splendid lunch under the marquee in the visitors’ centre.

The weather was amazing and we had a magical time in this beautiful vineyard, one of many now appearing in our lovely county.

Lynn, one of the Ridgeview guides, took us on a tour of some of the fields containing the vines, and she described the process of growing and caring for the vines.

The grapes are picked and are then used in producing some of the delicious Ridgeview white wines that are gaining an excellent reputation.

Sadly, because of Covid, we were unable to visit the buildings where the grape juice is fermented and the wine is bottled. However, all this was compensated for by the quality of the lunch provided, accompanied by three glasses of different Ridgeview wines.

Some of our party had anticipated the alcoholic nature of the occasion and had forgone using their cars, wisely choosing to walk from Burgess Hill station!  A memorable occasion, full of fun and good company.

Colin Finn (event organiser)                                                             To visit Ridgeview / find out more:



Summer Picnic


We had a great time at our second annual picnic on Thursday 26th August!

The weather was just right for eating outdoors, chatting, and then blackberry picking. It was great to welcome newcomers to Suss-Ex events, and sitting opposite Essex House, it was funny to hear stories about how Reception was so well run and what a great School (Education and Social Work) was to work in.

Diets were discarded when these jolly cakes were produced but we made up for it by walking to the blackberry bushes and collecting a good crop of the fruit for making… crumbles! The diet starts tomorrow...



Sixtieth Anniversary launch and OTHER EVENTS

The University is launching its 60th anniversary celebrations with a special event on Wednesday 20th October at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts. The event will include short talks from some of the University’s most inspiring academics at the forefront of sustainability research. The talks will start at 18.30 – 21:00 and will be followed by celebratory drinks and canapé reception.

To find out more and book your place, click here.

And to find out more about the establishment of the University and to post your own memories, the University has a great web page for this:

Members may also be interested in other upcoming University of Sussex events available to them. In particular, you can now register for the many online lectures in the Autumn schedule here:





The Kindness Test – take part!

As former employees of the University, we take a special interest in the research being undertaken. It’s difficult to pick out any particular field for special mention but from time to time something bubbles to the top of the national agenda and grabs our attention.

So it is with “The Kindness Test Project”, a study being led by Professor Robin Banerjee (Head of the School of Psychology) in partnership with BBC Radio 4. It is one of many research initiatives based in the interdisciplinary research network – Sussex Kindness Research and it is the biggest ever public science project on this topic!

You can help the findings by completing an on-line questionnaire - it should take about 30 minutes to complete. The results will be analysed and then announced on BBC Radio 4 in February 2022, with the findings informing subsequent research and publications in scientific journals.

In the meantime, you can listen to the launch programme that was broadcast on Tuesday 31st August as one of BBC Radio 4’s “All in the Mind” series of programmes – it is available over September:


Who has been publishing?

Following a call in the last Newsletter, we’re happy to give details of the following publications by retired members.  Such evidence of activity helps confirm the continuing importance to the University of its retired members.  Charles Goldie aims to publish further lists on an annual basis and is happy to receive contributions at any time.

Rupert Brown

Henri Tajfel: Explorer of Identity and Difference (Routledge, 2020), ISBN13: 978-1-138589810.

With Samuel Pehrson, Group Processes: Dynamics within and Between Groups, 3rd edition (Wiley-Blackwell, 2019), ISBN13: 978-1-118-71929-9.

Richard Coates

The Traditional Dialect of Sussex (Pomegranate Press, 2010)—“sold out, though the occasional copy may turn up on Amazon”.

A Place-Name History of Rottingdean and Ovingdean (English Place-Name Society [EPNS], 2010)

The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, with P. Hanks and P. McClure, 4 vols (OUP, 2016), ISBN13 9780199677764.

Your City's Place-Names: Brighton and Hove (EPNS, 2017).

Your City's Place-Names: Bristol (EPNS, 2017).

Your City's Place-Names: Cambridge (EPNS, 2019).

Naming, Identity and Tourism, ed. with L. Caiazzo and M. Azaryahu (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020), ISBN13: 978-1-5275-4286-0.

Tony Fielding

Fielding, T. and Ishikawa, Y., 2021, “COVID-19 and migration: a research note on the effects of COVID-19 on internal migration rates and patterns in Japan, ”Population, Space and Place, online June 2021.  DOI: 10.1002/psp.2499.

Fielding, T., 2021, “Migration in a post-global era”, in Kourtit, K. et al. (eds) The Economic Geography of Cross-Border Migration.  Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature, 573-581.

Robin Milner-Gulland

Patterns of Russia: History, Culture, SpacesReaktion Books, September 2021.

Editor with John Manley of The South Downs Series, books published by the Sussex Archaeological Society over the last 10 years.  “Almost everyone concerned with it has a Univ. of Sussex connexion.”  The latest, 7th, volume has just appeared: Sue Berry, Country Houses of the South Downs.

Geoffrey Sampson

Voices from Early China: The Odes Demystified (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020), ISBN13: 978-1-5275-5212-8; see

Robert Smith

Smith, R.C., "Mestel, Leon (1927-2017)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, published online 2021 January 14. (4 pages)

Smith, R.C. and Weiss, N.O., “Leon Mestel 5 August 1927 – 15 September 2017”, Biog. Mems Fell. R. Soc., published online 2021 February 03; in print as 70, 335-358, 2021.

Beryl Williams

Late Tsarist Russia 1881–1913, Routledge 2021, ISBN13: 978-036754778.




Peter Williams

Peter M. Williams, “Statistical levelling of multi-element geochemical data”, Applied Computing and Geosciences 10, June 2021, DOI: 10.1016/j.acags.2021.100060.


Do you have a publication that you would like to feature in our next Newsletter? Send details/links about your publications to Charles Goldie:




The Suss-Ex Club always wishes to note the passing away of ex members of staff, and in particular their contribution to the University and its life.  A full list of obituaries is on the Suss-Ex website.

In this edition we note with regret the recent loss of two ex-colleagues. Please let us know if there is anyone we’ve missed.

David Harrison, Sociologist and social anthropologist, died April 2021, aged 80.

 The Guardian, Fiji Times



F. G. Bailey, Anthropologist, died July 2020, aged 96.

Anthropology News, Berose International Encylopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology





Who are we?

Patron: Sir Gordon Conway

Founded in 2006 with the support of our patron, the Suss-Ex Club is for all ex-staff of the University with the purpose of keeping us connected and organising social events and activities for its members (partners welcome!).

We benefit from the support of the Alumni Office who maintain our members’ database and send out our Newsletters and Event alerts.

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

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

Rossana Dowsett

Colin Finn

Jackie Fuller

Charles Goldie

Arnold Goldman

Sara Hinchliffe

Steve Pavey

David Smith

Paul Tofts, Chair

Helen Walker










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