Annual General Meeting 2017


The annual meeting was held on Thursday 3rd November 7.30 at the Whiteway Centre. The Chairman reviewed the activity of the Society over the past year, with record numbers attending the Windmill Open Days and over 7300 visitors to the Grange Gallery and Museum. The most important item, however, was approval of a new lease that the Society has negotiated with BHCC to extend our contract for the Windmill for a further 25 years. This item had received general approval at the last AGM in Oct 2016, but the Society has since then taken full legal advice and carried out a full up-to-date survey of the Windmill, before agreeing the final terms. The new contract crucially has a break clause of six months, which gives the Society much greater flexibility in the future.

You can read the draft minutes of the AGM here and download a full copy of the Annual Report here.

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RPS AGM 2017

This year’s AGM is being held as usual at the Whiteway Centre at 7.30 pm on Thursday Nov 2nd. This year we are shortening the formal meeting and adding two short talks on local history which will be of interest to members and non-members alike:

Mike Laslett: The Taylor Family of Rottingdean – from bus conductor to Mayor of Brighton

John Loveridge: How Napoleon came to be captivated by a girl from Rottingdean!

Wine and Refreshments available

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Grange Garden Success

Garden volunteersSue Backhouse, Glenda Vincent and her team of volunteers celebrate another year of success with a SILVER GILT AWARD in the S and SE In Bloom competition. This year they did better than last year, but were just a tantalising two points short of a Gold award, which would have put them in the same league as the likes of Parham House, Hever Castle, and Osbourne House! The judges were particularly complimentary about the planting and maintenance of the garden with retention of some of the unique features created by Gertrude Jekyll. Unfortunately we have no record of the original plans at the Grange but the Archive team are going to try to identify them by searching the Archives of other libraries.

The Volunteering team meet once a month on a Thursday, and if you would like to join them please email Sue Backhouse at  

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Slater’s Sussex Friday 13th October

talk posterJames Trollope will be discussing his fascination with this popular artist of the pre-war years, who lived at Seaford. He writes:

“I bought an Eric Slater colour woodcut of Seaford Head seven years ago because it’s a lovely image of my home town but could find little about the artist’s life so started my own research. One thing led to another!”

First an exhibition at Towner in Eastbourne, then a book (“Slater’s Sussex”) followed by a Brighton and Hove bus being named after him, a Slater Trail (a 2 hour walk taking in views which inspired him) and his work being appraised on the Antiques Roadshow (among other things).

The Talk, held at the Whiteway Centre, Rottingdean, 7-9pm, will be followed by refreshments and a guided tour of the exhibition


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Nicholson Studio Re-Dedication

Nicholson_Studio_046The Mayor of Brighton, Cllr Mo Moffat, opened the refurbished William and Mabel Nicholson Studio at the Whiteway Centre on Sept 23rd, in the presence of fellow Councillors, the Headmaster of St Margaret’s School, Simon Hateley, and Rafaele Appleby, Nicholson’s great-granddaughter who was exhibiting at the Grange Gallery. For a full account of the event click here.

This has been a busy two weeks for Rafaele, who also ran four workshops for St Margaret’s and Longhill Schools. She discusses her visit here and the impact of her artistic heritage in an interview with Marian Philips, which you can read in full here.

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Re-Dedication of William Nicholson Studio: September 23rd

IMG_2680Over the last few months, the Society has worked closely with the Whiteway Centre to renovate the Nicholson Studio, which was once part of the Grange Gardens, but now lies in the grounds of St Margaret’s School. It was built in 1912, and was designed by their friend, the internationally acclaimed architect, Edwin Lutyens. It has a fine north-facing window, so vital to artists for providing consistent light without direct sunlight.

Over the years, the link to William Nicholson and Lutyens was largely forgotten. Now that its origins have been rediscovered, the Rottingdean Preservation Society have renovated the exterior of the building, and, with the kind permission of the School, plan to use The Nicholson Studio for community events.

The Re-Dedication of the Nicholson Studio is to be celebrated by a Study Day on the Nicholson family of artists organised jointly with the Whiteway Centre, in which Rafaele Appleby, Nicholson’s great-granddaughter, herself an artist, will talk about the important contributions the women of the family made, including Winifred and Nancy. It will end with an official opening by the Mayor of Brighton, Cllr Mo Marsh at the Whiteway Centre on September 23rd at 3.30pm.

 Details of both these events can be obtained from the Whiteway Centre.

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Colourful Stand arouses interest at Village Fair

The RPS stand brought a little of the Grange Gallery and Museum down to their stand at this year’s annual Village Fair, thanks to hard work by the Art Gallery organiser, Anne-Sara Odor, and Mike Laslett, the Society’s Archivist. There was considerable interest in both in the artwork and the selection of items from the archive, especially the old postcards of the village. But the highlight of the stand was the ‘painting in a day’ by Rob Upward, where he invited visitors to contribute, sometimes with surprising results – the windmill is portrayed by a young girl in red, obviously her favourite colour!

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Oscar Wilde on a summer evening!

Grange Gardens July 7-9th 2017

Synergy theatre delighted audiences during the three days that they staged “The Importance of Being Earnest” in The Grange Gardens last weekend. The weather was perfect, so that the players did not have to contend with the elements, and Oscar Wilde’s play proved an ideal choice to entertain in the delightful walled upper garden. The cast did justice to Wilde’s quick wit, and achieved much with very little in the way of staging. This is the first time that the Society has used the Grange gardens for outdoor theatre and judging by the audience response we hope to repeat this again next year.



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The Gallery has continued to be part of the Open Houses events run during the Brighton Festival, and has been very popular with more than 1000 visitors last year. This year we are holding a number of Meet The Artist evenings for our members and their guests which we hope will be popular. These are all at 6.30 at The Grange and include wine and refreshments. Come along and bring your friends!


Wed May 10th 6.30pm – Bob Webzell (photographer) on The Maasai
Wed May 17th 6.30pm – John Plater (wood-turner) on Talking to Wood
Wed May 24th 6.30pm – Mike Hatchard (artist and musician) on The Music of an Artist (with music!)

Children’s events are also planned during the month and, for your added entertainment, Los Gringos will be performing in the Grange Gardens on Sun 14th May from 1.15-4pm, something for the whole family!

We have more events during the summer, including a performance of The Importance of Being Ernest in the Grange Gardens details will be posted nearer the time.

Posted in Grange Gallery, The Grange





Artist Chris Gilvan-Cartwright aka The Baron Gilvan will be in residence at Rottingdean Windmill during the weekends of the Brighton Festival, May 2017.

The Baron will set up his studio in the windmill to create magnificent paintings, drawings and animations investigating psychological dreamworlds through automatism and intuition. These raw, unflinching works of art are portals between an inner and outer reality, exploring the dynamics of the imagination.

‘Art is born of trauma’, says Gilvan-Cartwright who’s work references his own life experiences which have caused him to question the relationship with reality and illusion. ‘I present the work through the conduit of The Baron Gilvan, an enabler to inspire the fantastical and doubtful – a vehicle to present the truth in flux.

The Windmill once converted the energy of elemental force into rotational power in order to mill grain and feed the village. Now the Rottingdean Windmill becomes a fantastical playground studio where The Baron feverishly converts line and paint into food for the soul.

Narratives involve foolish Admirals, musicians in reverie and hermits who are lost or abandoned in exquisitely rendered tangled landscapes drawn out in continuous line on large sheets of paper, canvas and cardboard. Upstairs, madcap animations play out, featuring heroic and fallen characters.

‘Snowball Down A Mountain’ is an invitation to enter the world of The Baron Gilvan’s imagination and perhaps seek your own enlightenment there.

‘The Baron is a creation that makes dingy rooms glow’   Robin Ince, comedian and broadcaster

‘The Baron is a rare bird; His work comes blazing from his heart.’ Gary Goodman, painter and poet.                                     

Exhibition Private View Friday 5th May 6-8pm

Opening times Sat & Sun 1-4.30pm

weekends of 6/7th,13/14th, 20/21st, 27/28th May 2017.

Rottingdean Windmill, Beacon Hill, Rottingdean, Nr Brighton, East Sussex.

Chris Gilvan-Cartwright aka The Baron Gilvan is a graduate from Central Saint Martins and Cracow Academy of Fine Art where he studied painting under Prof. Nowosielski. Winner of the Royal Overseas league Travel scholarship he painted in India and Nepal. On his return he was commissioned to design the BBC Proms logos for two seasons. He has exhibited widely and performed at the Towner Museum of Contemporary Art and Jerwood Gallery Hastings. His paintings are collected throughout the world.

Rottingdean Windmill (Smock Mill) was erected by Thomas Beard on Beacon Hill, Rottingdean, East Sussex in 1802 and ground corn for villagers until 1881. Currently the windmill is looked after by The Rottingdean Preservation Society who have invited The Baron to take up residence in the mill.

Exhibition Open weekends in May 6/7,13/14, 20/21, 27/28th Sat & Sun 1-4.30pm.

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News & Events

The Grange Museum and Gallery

April - October
Weekdays: 10.30am - 4.00pm (closed Wednesday)
Sunday: 2.00pm-4.00pm


Rottingdean Windmill Open Days 2017

The Mill will be open from 2.00-4.30pm this summer on:

MAY*: Sat / Sun 6th / 7th; 13th/14th**; 20th/21st; 27th/28th
JUNE: Sun 18th
JULY: Sun 2nd and 16th
AUG: Sun 6th and 20th
SEPT: Sun 17th

** Baron Gilvan exhibition
*National Mills Weekend