Tag Archives: Seven Dials

Keep our beaches clean

The Deans Beach and Environment Volunteers organise Saltdean beach clean this April. Nadia Abbas reports

Everyone loves the beach. Whether you’re an all-weather swimmer, someone who likes the promenade or maybe just an occasional visitor, everyone loves the beach.

In the summer our beaches are a bustling haven of activity with surfers, swimmers, and families filling up the seafront. But many of these people are unaware of the amount of rubbish that is left on the beaches. This waste is damaging to marine wildlife and human life, as plastic waste trickles into the food chain over time. One way to tackle this growing problem is to organise beach clean events, which is what The Deans Beach and Environment Volunteers group are doing.

The Deans Beach and Environment Volunteers are a group of volunteers. They raise awareness about ocean litter, and they remove rubbish that has been left on Brighton’s beaches. This organisation has been active for over ten years. They have organised a beach clean event on the 2nd of April 2023 at Saltdean beach. It starts at 11am and ends at 12:30pm. This event is open to the public and people will be provided with equipment, such as gloves and litter pickers. People can also bring their own equipment. 

Rona Hunnisett, Deans Beach and Environment volunteer, said: “We regularly have more than one hundred people turning up and helping, which is amazing.” Once the litter has been collected, this organisation sorts through it and recycles as much as possible. “We weigh it because we then send the information, we’ve got back to the Environment Agency to say to them, this is the type of stuff we are seeing.”

Some of the waste that is found on the beaches is not recyclable, such as crisp packets and different plastics. These will remain on the beach for many years, and they will be ground down into microplastics. These microplastics end up in the food chain, as they are eaten by the fish and humans will eat the fish. “The oldest thing I’ve seen was a crisp packet which we dated back to 1984, I remember it from when I was a kid. They don’t break down,” said Rona. Other items that this group finds on the beaches includes clothing, fishing boat trays, glass cans, and food wrappers. “Last month we found the most enormous plastic tank, it took three of us to lift it off the beach.”

This volunteer group works with the Marine Conservation Society, who highlight the work of different beach cleaning groups. This group are also participating in the Great British Spring Clean campaign. This is the nation’s biggest environmental campaign, by independent charity Keep Britain Tidy. “We have committed to ten huge bags of rubbish that we are going to take away.”

To find out more, visit


“Do you like scary movies?” Time to Scream…

Every horror fan recognises this line as one of the most iconic moments of 90s cinema when spoken by Ghostface in Wes Craven’s 1996 film Scream.

I’m a massive fan of this franchise and grew up watching the films any opportunity I could. Halloween? Scream marathon. New year? Scream marathon. Procrastinating work? Scream marathon. And with the reboot of the series with 2022’s reboot Scream and the highly anticipated Scream VI, I have yet another film to add to the list.

In anticipation of the newest instalment to the franchise, Scream VI releasing worldwide on March 10th, ODEON Brighton is hosting a one-night-only double feature of 2022’s Scream followed by Scream VI two whole days before the international premiere on Wednesday, March 8th at 6pm.

If you are a fan of 90s slasher films, metacommentary horror, murder mystery films, or just some good ol’ fashioned blood and gore this four hour double feature is an absolute must-see.

Tickets are available now via ODEON’s online booking platform.

By Tallulah Gray

Brighton Festival – What Not To Miss – Tallulah Gray’s Choice

To be able to stop what you’re doing, just fora moment, and let yourself be transported into another world is a little luxury we can all enjoy”. Nabihah Iqbal, Guest Director

Brighton Festival has officially launched and it’s jam packed with shows you won’t want to miss. From interactive art exhibits to dance, to multicultural, mixed media music performances the almost 80 page brochure has a lot to offer. This is our list of absolute must-see shows.

Galatea as adapted by Emma Frankland is described by Iqbal as the “centerpiece of the festival” in many ways. A modern adaptation of the classic John Lyly text from which many famous Shakespearean plays were adapted, Galatea centers around two young trans people finding love whilst escaping oppression.

Suroor to be presented by Iqbal herself with support from Qazi & Qazi in partnership with the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts is a “shape-shifting, experimental collaboration” that combines music influenced by heritage and society with aspects of, as Iqbal put it, “droney, doom metal”

The Sleeping Tree is an audio immersive experience coming from Invisible Flock studios that surrounds participants with the noises of the jungle that were recorded over a 3-month long stint in the great rainforests of North Sumatra. Guest Director Nabihah Iqbal is also collaborating with this exhibit to create a one-of-a-kind sound performance using extracts from the rainforest recordings and original texts to connect humans and the forest ecosystem.

The Enthusiasts is Victoria Melody’s latest passion project about the passions of others. The Enthusiasts invites onlookers into the extraordinary communities of “pigeon fanciers” and funeral directors by creating two intimate auditory experiences taking place at two secret locations across Brighton.

Kizlar is the world premiere of Ceyda Tanc Dance’s celebration of what it means to be a woman through dances interpreted from traditional male Turkish dancers and an all-female company.

Bakkhai follows a reimagining of the ancient Greek tragedy reframed in a contemporary anti-corporatization context. Performed by the incredible talents of ThirdSpace (formerly Windmill Young Actors) Bakkhai features a cast of over fifty people, aged 8-60 and is in collaboration with Ceyda Tanc Dance and Brighton People’s Theatre.

This barely scratches the surface of the 120 events that are set to take place during the course of the Festival and I’m eager to see the city transform into the hub of arts and culture it so passionately supports during this time.


Got to say, very excited – and I mean very – that A Certain Ratio are playing. I can’t begin to think how many times I’ve seen them since – I think – ’79 in Manchester and each time they’ve got better and better. Can’t wait.

Local gull and bird group face a new rescue season but need new volunteers

Local groups of dedicated bird lovers last year went beyond breaking point as they worked around the clock to help injured and orphaned birds following the closures of wildlife sites in the wake of the Avian Flu crisis. This year looks set to be different. 

The outbreak of Avian Flu that swept through East and West Sussex earlier in May last year left hundreds of adult birds dead or dying, with their healthy offspring left abandoned

Volunteers stepped into rescue reported injured or distressed birds, including pigeons that were not affected by the epidemic and were put into strict quarantine measures. Once out they were sent into rehab centres in and out of Sussex and later released, living happy healthy lives.

Justin King who runs the East Sussex Rescue Group and Nerys Deutsch the West Sussex side called The South Coast & Sussex Bird/Gull Volunteer Network (jokingly known as The Chicklet Crew) were among others called out day and night to help with rescues and rehabilitation of injured or malnourished birds.

He said “Looking back, I don’t know how anyone managed as well as they did. It was well known that volunteers were left to deal with the situation last year and it definitely left scars. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong, so myself and Nerys drew up strict measures as outlined to us by one sanctuary who specialises in gulls. Once Avian Flu had been confirmed last April, we went into overdrive to make special arrangements. Within two weeks we had on board a publicist to highlight the help we needed, brought in fosterers who worked closely with us to turn their homes into isolation areas, plus new rescuers came in to help get casualties back onto rooftop nests during baby season. Many coped extremely well, but others found it too much and left. It became massively tense and stressful. Luckily, we’ve had the winter to recover which is critical for any volunteer to avoid burnout.

“I know too well how all-consuming it was for everyone” said Justin. “To top it, misinformation and internet hysteria contributed to the stress, but that’s Facebook for you. Too many know-it-alls, not enough truth”.

Much like Covid, Avian Flu has died down, but only a little. It has spread to other waterfowl and still remains rife in many areas of the UK and beyond.

“Last year took us by surprise. But this year we are taking no chances and plans are underway to make sure everyone knows the quarantine and sanitising regulations (just in case) before handling each casualty. We now know that at least three wildlife sites in Sussex are expanding upon their isolation units, one of which was partially funded by our fundraiser which we are continuing to do. Our fundraiser and supporters kept us going and it has also allowed us to set up a fully functional aviary, which opens up for the first time in Worthing this spring. Plus we helped in a small way to finance other volunteer groups and Rehab sites up and down the UK where there is so little available in the way of help. Its been gut wrenching all round, but we just continued” said Justin.

“We will know in the next month or so where we stand with Avian Flu. Should it return we hope to be prepared. If it doesn’t return to affect gulls, quarantine measures will still be needed. All it will take is one case to put an entire wildlife site into jeopardy. We won’t allow that. The feedback of last year from the sites who worked with us is that our measures were 100% effective. That’s a percentage that made the job worth it, even if it did make us unpopular with our over-zealous measures! Dialogue has opened up with some wildlife sites so we hope for a better year.”

But what we need this season are back up plans… just to be safe 

The group desperately needs more drivers and rescuers to help oversee each rescue. Those who can go out to either injured or abandoned casualties they spot online. Any offers of more outdoor spaces, ideally an aviary to house healthy quarantined young abandoned chicks until fit for release or transfer to wildlife sites in the local area. However, many elements of rescuing is not something that can be done on your own initiative. Not in the beginning. Every case is specific so working as part of an established team of knowledgeable staff is key. Teamwork is essential. If all you can do is get a towel over a casualty to put in a crate, this alone will save us a job. 

“Right now, we’re in a cost of living crisis. Even volunteers have to work, so expecting someone to go out at a moment’s notice is not going to happen. Get a casualty safe, inside and behind closed doors, then contact us. We have plenty of carriers so just ask” said Justin.

“We’re funded by the public so if all you can do is donate, anything even in the way of cat or dog food is helpful. What we don’t use we pass onto charities who may need it more. If you would like to volunteer or support the team this summer, please go here…”



Bighead Tea Drinkers – Live Review & Interview by Tallulah Gray

Ahead of their first headline show at Brighton’s iconic Green Door Store, I sat down with Bighead Tea Drinkers to get a feel for their musical journey and creative process that led them to this moment. From the minute they introduced themselves, their laid-back attitude and comfort with each other was apparent. Pint in hand, all the more eager for their performance, I sat down to ask them a few questions.

“We knew fuck all about music, but we learnt through this bandMarshall Tyce

Freddie Brindle and Marshall Tyce, lead singer and drummer respectively, formed the band when they were only 13-years-old, with a variety of members over the years, but their move to Brighton set in motion the future of the band as we know it today. On the hunt for new members, Marshall and Freddie found bassist Kian Ramsay after moving in together and eventually decided to join forces. With lead guitarist Ellie Rosehart, the story is a bit more cinematic.

“We were at an induction event at BIMM and I had submitted our song Tokyo,” said Marshall, “and Ellie came up to us after and it must have been a week or two before we started rehearsing all together.” I asked Ellie what drew her to this track, “When I first heard Tokyo, I was like this is the kind of band I want to be in… I learnt two of their songs that night and sent it to them like ‘I want to do this'”.

After solidifying their line-up with Kian and Ellie officially joining the band, they faced a new challenge: merging each of their unique musical influences to form a cohesive sound.

“It definitely does all come from different places… which I think makes it unique” Freddie Brindle

From Halsey to Primal Scream to Catfish and the Bottlemen, Bighead Tea Drinkers are tuned in to the sounds of passionate artists from a variety of musical stylings. Their earlier tracks like ‘Never Seen a Fox in The Daytime’ show a clear influence taken the punk and 80s rock sounds, while newer tracks like ‘Tokyo’ blend their influences into a more alternative pop/indie feel. With all the mixing and recording being done by the band themselves, the quality of their single releases is incredibly impressive. “We’ve got a bigger variety of avenues to go down when we’re writing songs now as well” says Freddie on their creative process, “it definitely helps”.

With Freddie at the helm of lyric writing and each band member contributing to the overall sound, writing each of their own parts and collaborating together to create a cohesive track they can all be proud of it’s no wonder these emerging talents are seeing such success.

Hours later after opening acts Q-Days and Not Sarah, Bighead Tea Drinkers take the stage launching first into their upcoming single “Where Is The Love” (to be released on March 10). Right from the first chords it’s clear that this band is something special, they’re tight on stage but still leave room for some stand out moments, particularly from guitarist Ellie Rosehart during their track “When She Goes” and phenomenal drumming from Marshall Tyce throughout.

Their set was strong and dynamic which reflects their discography well and is hopefully indicative of their future releases as well. By the time they finished there was a palpable feeling in the air, an enjoyment of an overwhelmingly fun show but also something else. We were left with the distinct and indescribable feeling of watching something incredible right as it comes into its own.