Caught by the River

A Caught by the River Day Out

14th June 2022

Friend of the River and event co-organiser Mathew Clayton introduces a Caught by the River Day out in Kingston near Lewes, Sussex, planned for 10th September.

Poster: Caio Wheelhouse

Less of a festival more of a work outing, the Caught by the River Day Out is a chance for all our regular readers, writers, artists and musicians to get together and hang out for the day. It is happening in Kingston, a village in Sussex a couple of miles from Lewes. We have got a few events going on in the Parish Hall and in the village pub but really the emphasis is on catching up over a pint or two. Well — that was the original intention, but looking at the programme now there is a fair bit to keep everyone busy.

Tickets are a very reasonable £20 and strictly limited (there are also a few tickets for the individual events in the Parish Hall).

Ok so what is going on…

Talks in the Parish Hall 

MC is, of course, the one and only John Andrews (it wouldn’t be a Caught by the River event without him).

1pm Lucy Cooke
Lucy is a Sunday Times best-selling author, award-winning documentary filmmaker and broadcaster with a Masters in zoology from Oxford university. Her first book The Unexpected Truth About Animals was shortlisted for the Royal Society prize and has been translated into 18 languages. She will be taking about her latest book BITCH: A Revolutionary Guide to Sex, Evolution and the Female Animal.

3pm Matthew Herbert
Matthew is a visionary artist, DJ and musician well known for taking sounds from everyday items to produce electronic music. He has collaborated with everyone from Björk to Heston Blumenthal. He will be talking about his novel The Music (‘a modernist masterpiece’ – Max Porter), that solely consists of descriptions of sounds that take place on Earth over a 24 hour period. Matthew will be discussing how humanity uses sound, not just to understand the world, but also to understand ourselves.

5pm Rupert Callender and John Higgs
The undertaker Rupert Callender spent much of his childhood in the hospice where his mother worked, and the caring, humanistic philosophy of the hospice movement is central to his work. He is now among the country’s best-known eco-friendly funeral directors. He will be talking about his memoir What Remains: Life, Death and the human art of undertaking with Brighton boy John Higgs, author of William Blake Versus the World and many other singular books.

In the evening in the Parish Hall, we will be showing Danny Hammond’s short film Downriver.

In the pub, the Juggs, we have got stuff running all day…

Will Burns’s Poetry Corner: Will, aka The Troubled Striker, aka The Big Man — a true friend of the river —will be bringing a couple of fellow poets, Martha Sprackland and Olly Todd, to perform alongside him.

The legend that is Richard Norris will talking about his forthcoming memoir Strange Things Are Happening (published by our friends at White Rabbit next year).

There will also be a reading from Justin Hopper, author of a great book about the South Downs called Old Weird Albion and more recently collaborator on a couple of fantastic projects on Ghost Box Records.

In the evening we will be handing room duties over to Danny Champ and Del from Union Music. I’m hoping that Julian Mash (who is also helping organise the day) will be dipping into his music collection too.

A day in the country wouldn’t be complete without some Morris dancing, so we also have all-female side the Knots of May making an appearance during the afternoon. Have I mentioned the Pizza Van? There is also food served in the pub but it might be worth booking a table in advance. There is a big pub garden and a village green with a playground just behind it.

The village is right at the foot of the South Downs, so there are lots of lovely walks nearby and if you want to go further afield there is Pells Pool in Lewes — the oldest freshwater outside swimming pool in the UK; a perfect cure the morning after. For those who prefer sea swimming, Tidemills between Seaford and Newhaven is the place to go — it’s about a 20 minute drive from Kingston. On the way you can also visit Monk’s House, where Virginia and Leonard Woolf lived. If you get the tides right there is also a great swimming spot by the bridge over the Ouse at Southease. Only go in here at slack tide (I think around 9am or 3pm on September 10 — but check this). By co-incidence there is also a great little art exhibition taking place in an amazing 18th century barn about two mins walk from the Parish Hall — they usually sell tea and cakes. And we might have a group walk up the hill in the early evening if people are interested.

Ok enough of me going on — come and join us. It would be lovely to see everyone again. And did I mention buy a ticket?


“All-in” tickets, priced £20, get you into everything, whilst tickets for individual Parish Hall events can be bought for £8 each. Discounted tickets are available for Kingston residents and Lunker-tier Caught by the River subscribers; check your village WhatsApp group and email inboxes respectively for the relevant code.