The Whistler – August 2013



The WHCA AGM was held on 28 May 2013, at which reports were received and the yearly accounts were adopted. All members of the committee stood down and were re-elected.

Jim Gowans was re-appointed as the WHCA representative on the Conservation Advisory Council and he continues to be vigilant about planning applications in the West Hill area. He needs a deputy for the few occasions when he can’t attend meetings so if you’re interested please write to The Whistler. It is illegal to display Estate Agent boards in conservation areas and Jim is keeping a watchful eye for any breaches of these regulations by estate agents.

The Wild Life Garden group continues to make the garden surrounding the Hall flourish and always welcomes new members who would like to join in for the fun of growing plants, herbs and vegetables. If you live in a flat without your own garden and have a hankering to get your fingers green, do get in touch with us at The Whistler or the Hall.

The Hall itself is also flourishing, with new regular sessions taking place as well as one-off bookings for a variety of activities. In October we welcome Stuart Deeks and friends who will play two classical music concerts for stringed instruments. See details in Events. After Kate Dyson’s marvellous Poetry Recital last autumn, this will be another chance to see the Hall in a mellow light.

Concerts at West Hill Hall

Two concerts of music in October on Fridays at 7.30 pm

£5 at the door

11 October 2013
Music for Violin, Cello and Contrabass by J.S.Bach *, Orlando Gibbons *, Francesco Zappa, and others
played by Stuart Deeks, Ben Hess and Stephen Phillips

25 October 2013
Music for Violin, Viola, Cello and Contrabass by J.S.Bach *, Orlando Gibbons *, Stanford *, Puccini * and others, including pieces for string trio
played by Stuart Deeks, Ellie Blackshaw, Ben Hess and Stephen Phillips.

* arrangements by Stephen Phillips

Enquiries to Stuart Deeks

01273 502875 or by email


Dear Whistler
I read the last edition with interest about the neighbours dismayed at the work being started at Buckingham Lodge. We live right opposite so our view will be blocked and our privacy invaded. What I would like to know is how they got permission to do this when our dear Green Council wants all windows in residential properties looking the same, otherwise it spoils the ‘conservation area’. Well, maybe they should look at the state of some of the properties in the area surrounding West Hill to see the state of some of the windows, walls etc and different painted front doors. Continue reading Letters

News you may have missed

An installation to house homeless people constructed from shipping containers with 3 to 5 storey blocks of self-contained residential units with internal shower rooms and balconies has been given planning permission.

Shipping containers
An artist’s impression of the proposed container village

Brighton Housing Trust has teamed up with developer QED to erect 36 converted containers on land on the corner of New England Road and New England Street, behind the Cobbler’s Thumb pub. The containers are from Holland where they had been used as student accommodation.
Continue reading News you may have missed

Piano in the Backroom

Peter Batten recalls the magic of …

Ragtime. Does that word mean anything to you? Have you heard Alexander’s Ragtime Band? I mean the song, not the mythical band.

That was just a joke, but my serious point is to ask “What do you know about the music called Ragtime?”. Probably very little if you were born in the last 50 years. That is a great pity because you have missed hearing some beautiful music.

Let me take you back more than 100 years. Cinema was about to begin, radio was yet to come, television was not even conceived. The chief provider of home entertainment was the piano in the parlour, played by members of the family. Sheet music was very important for these players and music publishers became very wealthy. Suddenly, in the 1890s, a new form of music became available for the parlour pianists; the publishers began to print ‘Rags’.
Continue reading Piano in the Backroom