Over the last few issues of The Whistler we have been introducing the current members of the West Hill Community Association management committee (the Trustees) to give you a flavour of who they are, what they do and maybe to inspire you to become one yourself.
In this issue we meet . . . John Stokdyk and Wendy McAngus
Like many people in the area we are DFLs – Down From London. Originally from Glasgow and San Francisco, we lived in the Big Smoke for many years and spent many of our weekends in Brighton, dreaming of escaping here for good. In the end, the lady at the B&B we used to frequent in Kemptown would recognise our voices when we rang up to book a room – we didn’t have to say who we were. Eventually we managed to move down here properly in 1999 and we’ve never looked back.
Moving to Brighton has meant that we can indulge our shared passion for live music to the full. We go to about two or three gigs a week and love having so many venues just minutes from our doorstep. John has also been known to appear on stage himself sometimes. We’re also interested in the learning about the Seven Dials area, exploring the local pubs and restaurants, and visiting artists’ open houses. We feel very lucky to live in such a vibrant, friendly neighbourhood.
When we first arrived we moved into a house in West Hill Street, then after seven years we moved away to the bright lights of St Nicholas Road for a few years. We decided to move back to West Hill Street in 2015 because we realised it ticked all the boxes for us and we’re very pleased to be back.
WHY DID YOU BECOME A TRUSTEE?
Our garden doesn’t lend itself to composting, so when we saw a plea for garden volunteers last year John offered his services as compost attendant. After spending a year poking around the garden and picking up leaves, it seemed an easy step to offer a little more help around the place. We feel very fortunate to have our own little village hall in the centre of Brighton, so we decided to volunteer as job-sharing Trustees to find out more about the Hall’s story and keep it going.
WHY / WHEN DO YOU USE THE HALL?
We discovered Jim Tarran’s Wednesday night yoga class at the Hall soon after we arrived. As well as yoga, we’ve enjoyed talks, music events and the infamous Quiz at the Hall. Having the Hall around the corner means we can explore new activities, meet neighbours we might not meet otherwise and do things that make the community stronger.
Long may it continue to thrive!