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'Sussex Traditions' website

Vic Smith 11 Jan 17 - 08:04 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 11 Jan 17 - 07:19 PM
Vic Smith 12 Jan 17 - 07:39 AM
GUEST,ChrisJBrady 12 Jan 17 - 11:51 AM
Vic Smith 12 Jan 17 - 12:46 PM
GUEST,ChrisJBrady 12 Jan 17 - 05:01 PM
GUEST 12 Jan 17 - 05:46 PM
Will Fly 13 Jan 17 - 03:46 AM
GUEST 13 Jan 17 - 02:36 PM
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Subject: 'Sussex Traditions' website
From: Vic Smith
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 08:04 AM

The Sussex Traditions website has now been launched publicly.

The new organisation was founded in the middle of 2015 and an enormous amount of work has gone into forming a management team, creating roles and setting our aims, conditions and modus vivendi.
There have already been day workshops in junior schools and adult learning sessions and other public functions designed to raise awareness throughout the county.
The main thrust, however, has been to populate a huge database and website that will cater for all aspects of tradition in the county. As of this morning there are 5283 entries in the database but that number is increasing rapidly and as you will see if you look at the website that we have barely scraped the surface of what we hope to acheive in a task that will take years. Because of the team that were involved from the outset, it is clear that the content is heavily biased towards the huge rich legacy of traditional song and tunes, singers and musicians that have been the heritage of this county but it is hoped that this will develop and broaden through time.

Please have a look at the website. Tina and I share the task of Web Content Manager and are currently busy every day with what we consider are exciting developments. We would also be pleased to :-
* Read your comments and suggestions here.
* If you would prefer to make your comments without posting them here, please send me a Mudcat PM or an email
* Any leads for material/contacts/sources that would be of use to us would be gratefully received.
* There are various ways in which you can volunteer to help - details on the website. You don't have to live in the county to be involved.

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Subject: RE: 'Sussex Traditions' website
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 07:19 PM

Wonderful! I had no idea there were still songs collected from Johnny Doughty that I had not heard. When will they be on line Vic?

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Subject: RE: 'Sussex Traditions' website
From: Vic Smith
Date: 12 Jan 17 - 07:39 AM

These were ones that I recorded at BBC Radio Sussex. There us a batch of recordings to be loaded on the database at the end of this week and they will be amongst them.
There is also a very long interview with Johnny that will be available to listen to some time in the near future. It is the one that there is my transcription of on Musical Traditions website at

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Subject: RE: 'Sussex Traditions' website
From: GUEST,ChrisJBrady
Date: 12 Jan 17 - 11:51 AM

What a wonderful project.

As an aside we're doing genealogical research on our family and have found that some generations back we were farmers from Singleton near Chichester. Also that we owned and ran the workhouse at Petworth. In addition the miller at Barcombe Mills was one of ours. We are also a Rottingdean family.

A few years' ago I purchased the psalm and hymn book written and owned by one Thomas Saunders from Brightling Church - it dates from the late 1700s. It was in the Walter Potter collection for many years and was then disposed of during the auction at Jamaica Inn. I have donated it to Lewes Record Library. It would be great if a scan could be uploaded onto your website - for any West Gallery singing folk out there.

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Subject: RE: 'Sussex Traditions' website
From: Vic Smith
Date: 12 Jan 17 - 12:46 PM

Fantastic! Just the sort of reply that we were hoping for!

I have traced it to its new home in the East Sussex Records Office at The Keep at Falmer. The details given are -
Volume of Psalm and hymn-tunes compiled by Thomas Sanders of Brightling and Waldron
East Sussex Record Office
ESRO reference:
AMS 6749/1
The volume contains pages measuring 6¼ inches x 3¾ inches, each prepared with four staves. Most of the tunes, a mixture of psalms and hymn-tunes, are titled in a cursive hand above the stave on which they begin. There seem to be at least three hands at work, a distinguishing feature being the more formal aspect of the earlier, the use of different styles of G clef and the tendency of the later hand to continue tunes across the opening of the book. The writer of the earlier hand almost invariably left the two lower staves blank, to be filled in at a later date by the second and third users of the book.
The volume includes the tune Lewes, composed in about 1774 by John Randall (1717-1799), professor of Music at Cambridge University.
Access status:

As the beginning of a thanks, Chris, have a look at this photo of Brightling West Gallery. The head that I have unintentionally captured in the bottom is that of Shirley Collins. We took her there on a birthday as she said it was a place that she had always wanted to visit.

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Subject: RE: 'Sussex Traditions' website
From: GUEST,ChrisJBrady
Date: 12 Jan 17 - 05:01 PM

Yes - that's it. I had been after it for years.

As folks may or may not know the Walter Potter Museum of Curiosities and Taxidermy used to be in Bramber. It made an excellent objective for cycle rides from say Brighton on Sundays.

Then the Museum suddenly closed, was bouught in its entirety, and moved to the arches on the seafront at Brighton. The little book was kept in the same case from when we used to cycle out to Bramber. Apparently the Victorian display case had never been opened in a hundred years. The then owner refused to open the case for me to inspect the book. At the time I was looking for country dances from the Regency era.

Anyway shortly afterwards I emigrated to New Zealand. Meanwhile the Museum moved to Arundel, and then to Jamaica inn on Dartmoor.

Then a few years ago the owner auctioned the whole Museum collection. I put in an unlimited bid for the book, and got it for about £280. Since it hadn't been handled in over 100 years it was in remarkable condition and the ink script and music notation was as fresh as the day they were written.

Vic - you folks have my permission to upload it to your web site. The Record Office should have a photocopy of it. They may also have scanned it.

I am glad that it was moved to Falmer. Deep floods from the River Ouse at Lewes were a worry a few years ago.

As an aside I would like to see a sub-section on your website devoted to the Walter Potter Museum - I have quite a few booklets and postcards of the exhibits, these can all be scanned.

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Subject: RE: 'Sussex Traditions' website
Date: 12 Jan 17 - 05:46 PM

Links to the Walter Potter Museum:;?p=Walter+Potter+Museum

(sans cookie)

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Subject: RE: 'Sussex Traditions' website
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jan 17 - 03:46 AM

Thanks for the memories of the Walter Potter Museum, Chris. I recall seeing it at Bramber many years ago.

Is memory playing me false, or was it - or a similar collection of oddities - housed in a small shop/house in Arundel at one time? I seem to recollect a display of stuffed mice playing cricket...

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Subject: RE: 'Sussex Traditions' website
Date: 13 Jan 17 - 02:36 PM

Yes - it was at Arundel after Brighton and before Dartmoor.


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