The Whistler – April 2012

Vanessa Redgrave
Vanessa Redgrave - Brighton Festival Guest Director 2012


The Annual General Meeting of the West Hill Community Association, at which the accounts will be adopted and the officers and committee elected, will be held on Tuesday 29 May 2012 at the West Hill Hall. Nominations for the committee must be seconded and sent with the written consent of the nominee to the Hall. The business of the meeting will be followed by our perennial favourite, the Quiz. Refreshments and bonhomie free. All welcome.

By May, the 46th annual Brighton Festival will be in full swing. Vanessa Redgrave brings her passion for acting, freedom and human rights to the festival as Guest Director. Many of her interests are explored in the wide-ranging programme across music, theatre, dance, film, literature from acting to politics, to memory and nostalgia, to homeland and story-telling, to humanitarian concerns and economic and social issues.

In 2011 Brighton Festival took the art world by surprise appointing Burmese democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi as Guest Director. A programme was built around her struggle for freedom of speech, democracy and giving a voice to the powerless. Vanessa Redgrave continues this purpose and returns to Brighton to take part in, and contribute to, the production of this ‘glorious festival’.

Frederick E Sawyer

Born at 55 Buckingham Road in the summer of 1852, Frederick Ernest Sawyer is now an almost forgotten Brighton resident; but during his life he contributed numerous articles about the history and folklore of Brighton and Sussex.

Fred was the son of George Sawyer who, according to the 1851 census, was a Timber Merchant and had a yard in Upper North Street. At the 1871 census, George was still a Timber Merchant and employed 10 men. Fred had 3 brothers, Walter, Frank, who became a Professor of Music in Leipzig, and Charles, who died in 1884 at the age of 21. Fred was educated at the Brighton Grammar School, which was then located in Buckingham Road before being moved to the Dyke Road/Old Shoreham Road site. On leaving he was articled with the firm of Brighton solicitors, Messers David Black, Freeman, and Freeman Gell, where he remained (for some time as managing clerk) until 1888, when he started a practice of his own in Ship Street.
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Remembering Wild Bill

Peter Batten remembers jazz man Wild Bill

Wild Bill who? The name Wild Bill Davison probably means nothing to most readers of The Whistler. If asked to guess they would probably suggest he might be a legendary figure from the Wild West or a friend of the Lone Ranger. Bill [1906-1989] was, in fact, a very great jazz cornet player.

I first fell in love with Bill’s style of cornet playing when I was a student in the 1950s. I was playing the trumpet in a university jazz band. Although I could not hope to achieve the fierce drive and rhythmic confidence of his playing, I did learn a lot from listening to his recordings. In 1957 he came to London and I learned even more from seeing him on stage. Later in life I heard him in person many times and eventually got to meet him.
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