LEWES DISTRICT

Messages from a Sussex village

 LLL Productions / Tom Paine Printing Press / University of Sussex CCE
A project focused on the village of Plumpton, located in the South Downs between Lewes and Ditchling.

Plumpton is a quietly busy parish within the South Downs National Park between Lewes and Ditchling comprising the small village of Plumpton and the larger village of Plumpton Green to the north. It is well-known for its racecourse and agricultural college and train station on the main line from London to Eastbourne.

What did people living and working there have to say about the village life and their place in it? What makes the village special? What of its hidden histories?

LLL Productions talked to a range of village residents, including those involved with the  Plumpton Ancient & Modern  ‘hidden histories’ project, to create a set of ‘messages’ that capture  something of the particular qualities of Plumpton. These messages have been typographically set by artist Peter Chasseaud of the Tom Paine Printing Press as handmade posters that were displayed in on the platform of Plumpton Station and at The Half Moon pub as well as contributing to the village’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June 2012.

Some of the Plumpton residents received training from experts at the University of Sussex Centre for Continuing Education in conducting oral history interviews and material from these interviews provided an extra layer of reminiscence-based content for the project.

The techniques used in the making the posters were much the same as the skills used by the artists and craftspeople that worked in nearby Ditchling in the early 20th century, amongst them artist Eric Gill, printer Hilary Pepler and calligrapher Edward Johnston (designer of the typographical style for the London Underground).

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