The Suss-Ex Club

Newsletter 59

November 2022


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

Welcome to Issue 59 of the Suss-Ex Club Newsletter!

It’s been a longer gap than usual between newsletters – principally because the steering group decided to take some time out to re-appraise the types of events we hold and whether we needed to refresh the range of activities on offer. Over the last couple of years Covid obviously had its impact on what we could offer members, but since the lifting of restrictions, attendance at live events has been patchy. With this in mind, we will be launching a membership survey in early 2023 to sound you out on what you would like to get from the Suss-Ex Club. The survey will go out via the email group and be posted to our Facebook page – we will send out a reminder closer to the time. 

In the meantime, we are pleased to confirm that after a two-year interregnum, the annual Christmas party is back! Make a date in your diary for 12:30pm on Friday 16 December.  Details are on page 2.

And of course, the success of previous Christmas lunches was very much down to Tracey Llewellyn, former Pensions Manager whom many of you will have known. Tracey left the University at the end of September and on behalf of the Steering Group, we would like extend our thanks to her for her support of the Suss-Ex Club over the years. Enjoy your next adventures Tracey, and we look forward to seeing you at some events soon!

As many of you know, the University celebrated its 60th birthday this year. Professor Philip Harris (ex-Head of Mathematical and Physical Sciences) dug out some campus photos going back to those early years, which he shared with us. You can take a look at these on page 2.

And finally, we would like to welcome a new member to the Suss-Ex steering group – Professor Tony Moore. Tony was Dean of the School of Life Sciences, Pro-VC and then Deputy VC but now has time to enjoy all that retirement has to offer! See what Tony gets up to in his spare time in the Suss-Ex Club News section.

                                                                                                                                                                                 Suss-Ex Club Steering Group

Newsletter Contents:

OUR NEXT EVENT – the annual Christmas Party! 2

Celebrating sixty years in photos. 2

And the winner is… online Quiz 24 February 2022. 2

Kindness talk by Professor Robin Banerjee – 25 April 2022. 3

A wine tour around the world – 20 May 2022. 3

Not a picnic! The Depot social drop-in: 9 September 2022. 3

Victory at the Lord Nelson Inn! 3

University News. 3

Suss-Ex Club News. 4

Who has been publishing?. 4




OUR NEXT EVENT – the annual Christmas Party!

Friday 16 December, 12.30pm, Bramber House.

After a two-year gap, we are very pleased to announce the return of the annual Christmas party!

This is a joint social event with USPAS and the Suss-Ex Club, hosted by the University in Bramber House. There will a seasonal buffet, preceded by a welcome from Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Kelly Coate (PVC for Education and Students).

This is a lovely opportunity to meet old colleagues, find out what’s happening at the University, and generally catch up!

The cost is £8 per person. We anticipate a lot of interest for this seasonal event so if you (and your partner) would like to attend, you can download a booking form and further information here. The booking form and payment needs to be returned to Steve Pavey by Monday 5 December. You can indicate any dietary requirements on the booking form, in addition to requesting a parking pass.   We hope you can join us!

Celebrating sixty years in photos

The University concluded its sixtieth anniversary celebrations over September with an Alumni weekend. As well as being former employees, some of us are also former students of the University - for those of us who were around during the very early years of the University’s foundation (either as employees or students), here are some photos that Professor Phil Harris, former Head of School (Mathematical and Physical Sciences),kindly shared with the Suss-Ex Club to mark the occasion.






a)     Falmer pre-1961                                                b) Some early plans                                                 c) Architect’s vision

e)  The cover page of a publication about early Sussex edited by David Daiches in 1964








d) Asa Briggs speaking at an event




And the winner is… online Quiz 24 February 2022

Some of us shone and some of us were stumped but we all really enjoyed our first Suss-Ex Club quiz on 24 February!

There were six rounds with questions and themes relating to the University ranging from Nobel prize winners to famous singers who have performed there over the years. Some opted to tackle the online questions in a group and others as individuals, but the overall winner of the evening was…. Professor Alan Lehmann!   Well done Alan – you clearly have the Quiz gene-ius!



Kindness talk by Professor Robin Banerjee – 25 April 2022

Following the launch of the nationwide Kindness test and just after the initial findings were covered extensively via the BBC radio programme “All in the Mind” over March this year, Robin, the study lead, gave us a tour-de-force of the key findings.

Members of Suss-Ex may recall that the Kindness Test, the world’s largest public study of kindness, was a detailed online questionnaire which ran from 31 August to 4 October 2021. More than 60,000 people from across 144 different countries chose to take part and ranged in age from 18 to 99.

It was good to hear that kind acts are very common and that even seemingly small acts of kindness make a big difference to overall feelings of well-being for both the giver and recipient. A surprising “factoid” from the talk was that those with more extrovert personalities on average scored higher for being kind – this was likely linked to extroverts being more open and agreeable in their interactions generally.

We look forward to hearing more about this work which is based at the Sussex Centre for Research on Kindness.


A wine tour around the world – 20 May 2022

Our host, Professor James Hirschfeld, expertly guided us across the globe through a selection of nine fine wines – we travelled the old world to the new via France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Australia, and New Zealand.

Suss-Ex is not sure we can remember which wines were preferred – but we do know we had a very jolly evening and some of us even liked them so much we purchased the spare bottles which came from James’ well-stocked cellar. Definitely one to repeat!



Not a picnic! The Depot social drop-in: 9 September 2022

Despite the best laid plans for our blackberry pop-up picnic, and despite all the glorious summer heat over August, the weather defeated us on 9 September… however, never shying away from making a success out of a defeat, Suss-Ex swiftly changed venue to The Depot in Lewes where quite a few of us met up for a jolly afternoon get-together.

It was great to welcome new members of Suss-Ex and we enjoyed tea/coffee/cake and wine!

The sun really did shine on us in the end. 


Victory at the Lord Nelson Inn!

Following the success of our last two social drop-ins (in Hove and Lewes), we tried out the Lord Nelson Inn in Brighton on Friday 18 November for our latest social drop-in. At a 5 minute walk from Brighton Station, it was a great central location for a relaxed catch-up and drink over the afternoon. We were treated to a fantastic reserved area that was ideal for conversation. Definitely going to feature again in a future Drop-in…


University News

We probably all get news about the University through its various media channels and prick up our ears whenever it gets a mention on national news, so we generally tend to apply our ‘overload’ filter in determining what to share with you in this Newsletter. However, we thought some of the following were worthy of special mention:





Work is in full swing for developing the new West Slope – the West Slope replaces the now demolished East Slope and will be a mix of student housing and spaces for learning, socializing, and student services.

Inspired by Sussex’s original architect, Sir Basil Spence, the West Slope development will borrow colours and textures from the South Downs and complement the existing campus architecture while being thoroughly modern in its design and function.

Currently work is focussed on hidden but essential underground infrastructure work… sewers! The whole development should be completed by 2026. To find out more and see the artist’s drawings of the final vision for the West Slope, click here.


In addition to the public lectures that the University runs, the Physics & Astronomy Department also hosts a great range of lectures as part of their “Sussex Universe” outreach mission. You can see information about these lectures and other public events such as the Science Fair here:



Suss-Ex Club News


A warm welcome to Tony Moore!

Suss-Ex was very pleased to welcome our latest recruit to the Steering Group – Professor Tony Moore. Tony was at the University for 42 years, starting his career there in 1979 as a lecturer in Biochemistry. As Dean of the School of Life Sciences, Pro-VC and then Deputy VC, Tony played key roles in the establishment of the Genome and Damage Stability Centre, a leading research centre renowned in its field internationally, raising funds for the second phase of the Innovation Centre and last but not least the Medical School.

Although retired, Tony continues to pursue his research interests through the Moore Lab at the University, and his spin-out company AlternOx Scientific Ltd.

You can find out more about what Tony is doing at: which includes some excellent videos about his research.


Membership Survey

Early in 2023, we plan to launch a survey to ask you what you want from the Suss-Ex Club. This could range from types of event you would like to see, to your preferences for receiving news and updates. The survey link / form will land in your email inbox, and it will also be available on our Facebook group page.

In the meantime, if you know anyone who would like to join Suss-Ex but hasn’t yet done so, there are two ways they can join:

-          Download and complete the joining form. Return address provided on the form:

-          Request membership via the Facebook group page here:


Who has been publishing?


Do you have a publication or publications that you would like to see featured in our next Newsletter?  Send details/links 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 loss of a number of ex-colleagues.  Please let us know if there is anyone we’ve missed.

Gabriel Barton, Physicist, died October 2022.

Bulletin (This is Sussex) 28 October 2022.




James Byrne, Physicist, died 12 October 2022.

Bulletin (This is Sussex) 4 November 2022





Penny Chaloner, Chemist, died 28 October 2022, aged 66.

 Bulletin (This is Sussex) 11 November 2022







John Farrant, Planning Officer, died 2022.

Lewes History Group Bulletin 139, February 2022






A close-up of some flowers

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John Field, Media Services, died 9 April 2022, aged 89.

Bulletin (This is Sussex) 13 May 2022



Merle Lipton, Historian, died 5 October 2022, aged 85.

The Argus 13 October 2022





Margaret McGowan, Historian and Pro-VC, died 16 March 2022, aged 90.





A person and person posing for a photo

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Ann Norman, Technical Staff, Councillor and Mayor of Brighton & Hove,

died 10 June 2022, aged 83.

Brighton and Hove News 13 June 2022






Magdalena Portmann, Administrator, died 2022.

Suss-Ex Club (obituary commissioned for this Newsletter)






Dorothy Scruton, History of Art Librarian, died 29 September 2021.

Suss-Ex Club (obituary commissioned for this Newsletter)






Alan Soutter, Administrator, died 21 May 2022.




Peter Stone


Peter Stone, Librarian, died March 2022, aged 79.

Suss-Ex Club (obituary commissioned for this Newsletter)






Roger Tant, Technical Staff, died 31 December 2021, aged 75.




Julian Thorpe, Life Scientist, died 2022.




Cedric Watts, Professor of English Literature, died 12 May 2022, aged 85.




Tina Wells, Administrator, died 2022.

Bulletin (This is Sussex) 1st July 2022.



Rendel Williams, Geographer, died 2022.

Lewes History Group Bulletin 139, February 2022




Shirley Wright, Administrator, died 2021, aged 85.

Guardian 24 December 2021 online.




Who are we?

Patron: Sir Gordon Conway

Founded in 2006 with the support of our patron (and also our founding Chair), 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

Sara Hinchliffe

Tony Moore

Steve Pavey

Paul Tofts, Chair

Helen Walker

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