The Whistler – February 2012

Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens Bicentenary 2012 - image by David Levine


How lucky we are, in the West Hill, to have so many community-minded individuals and at the heart of the community, to have a store, Bright News, owned and run by Vinod & Meena Mashru, who organised a most successful and happy Christmas party. Held at the West Hill Hall, the evening was full of fun and good humour. Unfortunately the Carol Concert, which has been such a great success in past years, had to be cancelled due to the lack of a pianist at short notice, but we hope to hold it again this December.

The community quiz continues on the last Tuesday of the month at West Hill Hall and more participants are welcome to the quiz where the quiz master/mistress actually gives the teams clues to the answers! It’s not taken seriously, but it’s seriously good fun.

2012 is an amazing year for celebrations — the Olympics, the Cultural Olympiad, the bicentenary of Charles Dickens, Brighton Pride’s 20th anniversary, and the royal Diamond Jubilee where we can enjoy an extended holiday in June and another round of street parties. Is there anything planned for West Hill and its surrounds? Write and let us know your thoughts so we can get that community spirit working together again.

Richard Ford Memorial Fundraiser

Richard Ford
Richard Ford
We’ll have more details about the Ford-Fest in the April issue but in the meantime, save the date, 20th April, for the extravaganza being organised by Paula Ford in memory of Richard and to raise funds for the Martlets Hospice.

There will be some great raffle prizes but she is looking for more, corporate or individual ones, so if you would like to donate a prize, please get in touch with The Whistler at or leave a comment here.

Brighton Science Festival Highlights

Hammer and Tongue – Science Festival Special
Hammer & TongueHammer and Tongue is a wild monthly poetry slam – a cross between Poetry Please and the Battle of Waterloo. This Festival special features special guests and a super science-themed slam – sign up on the door to take part. Hosted by Rosy Carrick and Mike Parker.

Thursday 2 February, 7.30pm, Komedia Studio, 44-47 Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 1UN, 01273 647 100.
Tickets £5/£4, available on the door
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Lights Out 31 March 8.30pm

Earth HourWWF’s Earth Hour is a simple idea that’s quickly turned into a global phenomenon. Hundreds of millions of people turning off their lights for one hour, on the same night, all across the planet.

But it’s not to save an hour’s electricity. It’s something much bigger. WWF’s Earth Hour is about people coming together to put the focus on this brilliant world we all share – and how we need to protect it. Not just for an hour a year, but every day.

Because a healthy planet isn’t just good for polar bears or tropical tree frogs. It’s essential for us all. It’s easy to forget how much we depend on it for food, fuel, water, fresh air… And the truth is, our modern lifestyles have been taking a toll on our planet.

WWF already tackles a lot of the environmental impacts – like deforestation, endangered species, and the impacts of climate change. But Earth Hour is a chance for everyone to say they’ll do their bit.

Earth Hour is a celebration. It’s always a night to remember – whether it’s a special candlelit evening at home with friends or family, or a night out on the town, or watching the spectacular global switch-offs from landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramids of Giza, Times Square, Sydney Opera House, The Whistler office in West Hill Road.

For more information and to sign up, visit the website at:


Peter Batten muses about which books to read…

Recently, whenever I search for a book on Amazon, I am invited to purchase a ‘Kindle’. This, I am told, will give me access to hundreds of books. But how will I know which I will want to read?

This is a question which several of my English teachers of 60 years ago would have been eager to answer for me. They were very sure of the importance of ‘English’ in the school curriculum. In their view, which had been formed by their tutors at Cambridge, our culture was at a vital moment of change. For several centuries the foundation of our culture had been the study of Latin and Greek, but that foundation was crumbling. Our salvation would be the development of English studies, based on a carefully-trained reading of our literature. As their tutors had guided them, so would they teach us to “discriminate”, to separate the wheat from the chaff and benefit from reading the finest examples of our literature.
Continue reading Kindling