Monday, 30 November 2015

Sarah Tobias, lecturer in social and cultural history
Keep visiting this site for regular updates 
Details given as accurately as possible, but may change, be postponed or cancelled.
Saturday 1st December
A History of Christmas: Seasonal Festivities and Winter Customs *
Get in the mood for Christmas!
We study the origins, meanings and significance of many Christmas customs and traditions from early times to Twentieth Century, including Pagan, Medieval, Tudor, Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, Wartime and Interwar. We see how traditions came about, such as why sixpence is put into the pudding, reason candles are lit, why children put up a stocking, and why plum pudding is eaten. We see how customs came about such as why sixpence is put into the pudding, reason candles are lit, why children put up a stocking, and why plum pudding is eaten. We also discover who St. Nicholas was, origins of Father Christmas, Yule log, crackers…and more.
Friends Centre, New England Street, Brighton:
1 day 5 December 10am-4pm Fee £40 Ref: GABJSAST10AU3 
Tel: 01273 810210

*  Christmas at Preston Manor, Brighton *
 (End of Preston Park, Brighton-entry off Preston Drove) 
Free parking, buses stop nearby, Preston Park railway station nearby
*  Special Christmas Hidden House- behind the scenes tour  
 Discover hidden rooms and secret places not normally open to the public. 
Friday 11 December 11.30am-1pm
* The house will be decorated for Christmas *  
Adult £16 Members £13 includes tea and biscuit
Tour guides Sarah Tobias and Paula Wrightson (Preston Manor Venue Manager)
  Book: 03000 290902

*   An Edwardian Christmas at Home  * 
A magical tour throughout the festively decorated rooms: 
A delightfully nostalgic exploration of Christmas customs and 
traditions upstairs and downstairs in an Edwardian house 
followed by a glass of sherry and a mince pie served
in a Victorian kitchen dressed for the season.
Tour guides Sarah Tobias & Paula Wrightson (events manager)
Saturday 12 December 2-3.30pm
Adult £14.50 members £12.50
Book: 03000 290902
Few places left

* Father Christmas at the Manor *
19, 20, 21, 22, 23 December 10am-5pm
Meet Father Christmas in the cosy fireside setting of Lady Ellen's beautiful 
Drawing room, then explore Preston Manor top to bottom and discover how 
a Victorian family prepared for the magic of the festive season
£8 per child, Preston Manor admission fees apply. Price includes gift. Pre-booked only.
Book: 03000 290902 
Early booking strongly advised - last year's event sold out immediately - extra days this year
The house will be open to the public during these days but the Drawing Room will be unavailable while Father Christmas is in there.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

*** Book  now *** 
Spring 2016
Weekday courses
City College, Pelham Street Brighton:
Early 20c Britain:
A Changing Society 1900-1914
The short Edwardian period – an era which included old-age pensions and the changing role of women, including the first female MP and the suffragettes and their struggles for equality and the vote.
We study the years leading up to the “black pit of war” (J.B. Priestley), when life would be changed forever, by looking at social and cultural history which includes literature, art, architecture, domestic, working and family life; leisure pursuits, travel, holidays, shopping, food and dining, gardening, fashion and the great impact of cinema and film, and how life in the home was being slowly transformed by new technology. But there was still the huge class divide of wealth and poverty -from the lavish lifestyle of the upper classes with servants to wait on them, down to the abject poverty of the lowliest of the working class.
Illustrated with slides, books, extracts period texts, prints, paintings and film clips

10 weeks Monday 1.30-3.30pm start 11 January 2016
Ref COM265 Fee £115 - concessions for those on benefits £70/35
Book in person at Student Centre, Pelham Street, or Tel: 01273 667767 or

Friends Centre, New England Street, Brighton:
A New World: Brighton & Britain 1925-1945
We study effects of life in a coastal town and compare it with the rest of 
Britain during the post WWI-period and into the Second World War. 
Interwar Brighton was a town of excitement and rapid change, known 
for its racy image!  The north side of Western Road was rebuilt and 
  1920s facades of C & A and Staffords stores can still be seen. 

The effects of wartime on Brighton had a different impact and 
to that of urban Britain.
5 weeks Tuesday 10am-12pm start  12 January 
Course Ref: GABJTUST10SP   Fee £62.50  
Tel: 01273 810210

Whitehawk Inn Community Centre, Whitehawk, Brighton:
Georgians 1714-1830
We study morals, manners, fashion and foibles of the period; contrasting
culture, industry, the Enlightenment and literature, with a world of 
gambling, vice, drunkenness, thieves and rascals - of all classes!
Illustrated with slides, film, images and texts.
10 weeks Wednesday 1-3pm start 13 January 2016
Fee £75 (£10 MTB/VOL) £30 EB PC
Enrol: 01273 682222 
Enrolment opens 30th November 2015 - early booking advised
Fortnightly Saturdays
City College, Pelham Street Brighton:
The Novel as Social History 5: 1950s and 1960s 
Unique course comprising literature, social and cultural history and book club
 Within the pages of the novel we discover more than just a story. We study the social and cultural history of the novel by exploring the background information we are absorbing unwittingly and which is not the main theme, but which gives us a deeper and clearer understanding of period and general minutiae of everyday life. Within every piece of fiction is a wealth of information on culture and social life which can lead us  into a deeper understanding of a subject, time or place, period in history, genre, working conditions, habits, style or social trend that we might pursue further, or deepen our  knowledge and intensify our interest.
THIS TERM we look at novels from the 1950s and 1960s including “A Far Cry From Kensington” by Muriel Spark (1988-set 1950s), “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning” by Alan Sillitoe (1958) and “A Kind of Loving” by Stan Barstow (1960).
Reading list available from tutor and you are expected to join in group discussion.

5 sessions every other Saturday 11am-1pm start 16 January 2016
Ref COM174 Fee £60 - concessions for those on benefits £42/21
Enrol in person at Student Centre, Pelham Street or Tel: 01273 667767 or

Friends Centre, New England Street, Brighton:
Culture and Society in the Interwar years 1918-1940
Four classroom sessions and one field trip to Grade One listed Modernist 
1935 De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea.
We study inter-war culture and social life during an exciting period of innovation and new ideas in the arts, literature, paintings, architecture, cinema and fashion, as well as developments in technology and electrical goods.  Smooth Modernist and iconic Art Deco dominated everything and there was a wealth of modern literature and film including Patrick Hamilton’s “The West Pier “set in Brighton.
5 weeks Tuesday 10am-12pm start 23 February 2016 
Course Ref: GABJTUST10SP2 Fee £62.50  
Tel: 01273 810210

Weekday evening course
Friends Centre, New England Street, Brighton:
Dancing on the Beach: Brighton and Britain between the Wars 1920s & 1930s
“Live for today” - we study how life changed in a seaside town and the rest of Britain after WWI. There was decline but cultural life took on a new aspect reflected in architecture, design, fashion, music, literature and distinctive style of Art Deco, plus Shoreham's fun-loving 1920s “Bungalow Town” and the cinema industry. Although there was much poverty 'thirties Brighton saw a new prosperity for residents and increase in day trippers, but also notorious razor gangs and racy image.
5 weeks Tuesday 6.30-8.30pm start 23 February 2016 
Course Ref: GABJTUST630SP  Fee £62.50  
Tel: 01273 810210

Friends Centre, New England Street, Brighton:
Art Deco, Modernism and the Interwar Years 1918-1939
The iconic and distinctive style that emerged, 1920s/30s. It reflected decadent, post-WWI society. The smooth ‘Modernist’ style, based on classical and other influences, including the Egyptian; dominated all aspects of domestic and cultural life and was notable for its architecture and design. It utilized modern technology, materials, and electrical devices. It was also reflected in cinema and elegant fashion. We look at the period, social & cultural life and changes in work and living for all classes.
1 day 19 March 10am-4pm
Course Ref: GABJSAST10SP  Fee £40  
Tel: 01273 810210
Summer 2016
Weekday courses
City College, Pelham Street Brighton:
Keep the Home Fires Burning: Homefront in Wartime 1914-1918
We study domestic, working and social life on the homefront during 
World War One and the impact it had during this period and its life-
changing effects post-war.  When men went to war women went to work. 
They took on what had been seen as hard and heavy work in factories, on farms, driving buses, even working as cinema projectionists. When the men returned 
from war the women returned to the home – which they had not really left. Their stories are fascinating. Women, such as Ruby, the welder, were not allowed to carry on with jobs for which they were highly trained. And, what about life on the home-front? Women displayed their ingenuity and inventiveness.  Nurses writing home from overseas or who were stationed in Britain give us a touching insight into the lives of men and women during this period.
Illustrated with slides, books, period texts, and film clips including documentary.
5 weeks 1.30-3.30pm start 11 April 2016
Ref COM091 Fee £60 - concessions for those on benefits £42/21
Tel: 01273 667767

Friends Centre, New England Street, Brighton:
Summer in the City
2 classroom sessions and 3 field trips
We study the fascinating history of Brighton and Hove in two classroom sessions and three field trips, getting to know our unique city. Your tutor will guide you to further places of interest so that you can stroll around and familiarise yourself during summer, discovering lots of hidden gems and understanding how Brighton  evolved from a small Georgian fishing town to the vibrant seaside resort of today.
5 weeks Tuesday 10am-12pm start 19 April 2016 
Course Ref: GABJTUST10SU  Fee £62.50  
Tel: 01273 810210

Friends Centre, New England Street, Brighton:
Rock Around the Clock Tower: Post-war Brighton and Britain
We study effects of post-war life in seaside Brighton and compare it with what was happening throughout Britain at this time of great change in social, cultural and working life, love and relationships; and realism in literature, theatre and film. 'Fifties saw an upturn in popularity and Brighton came back to life. The new Youth congregated at Clock Tower and coffee bars and Rock ‘n’ Roll came to to town when Bill Haley starred in the film ‘Rock Around The Clock'.
5 weeks Tuesday 6.30-8.30pm start 19 April 
Course Ref: GABJTUST630SU Fee £62.50  
Tel: 01273 810210

Friends Centre, New England Street, Brighton:
Novels and Films of the Post-war Years (1945-1970)
We study social and cultural history within the pages of novels and extracts of films post-WWII, 1940s, 50s and 60s, by viewing and discussing books and film clips which reveal the effects of WWII and other influences that changed people's perceptions and inspired them with aspirations for a better life. 
There was a wealth of literature, written in a new and modern style, and fascinating films which provide us with unwitting testimony of how people lived, worked, spent their leisure. After WWII there was a fascinating phase of filmmaking, described as "gritty realism" and often based on 'New Wave' novels which showed everyday life and ordinary people, their work, leisure and relationships.
1 day 14 May 10am-4pm 
Course Ref: GABJSAST10SU Fee £40  
Tel: 01273 810210

Friends Centre, New England Street, Brighton:
Summer Reading - literature as social history
Books for summer reading: recommendations, discussion, background social history... and three novels to read before class. If you like books, literature and social history – this is for you! Within the pages of the novel we discover more 
than just a story. Setting, portrayal of characters, clothing, habits and 
background detail tell us much about the period and its social and
 cultural history - 'unwitting testimony'. A different, unusual, exciting 
way of reading & learning in a friendly, relaxed group. 
Contact tutor for reading list. There are 3 books to read before class.
1 day 18 June 10am-4pm 
Course Ref: GABJSAST10SU2 Fee £40  
Tel: 01273 810210

International  Summer School
Sussex University 2016- International Summer School for students 18-24 years from non-uk countries
The London Look - Fashion & Style 1800-2016  
Session 1: 4 weeks 20 June-15 July
Field trips include: 
Brighton Museum Fashion Gallery, V&A Fashion Galleries, National Portrait Gallery, 
Tutors Sarah Tobias & Dr Alexandra Loske
(2016 fee £1520 for 15 credit module plus housing £156 per week)


Short, hauntingly beautiful black and white film noir, on the superstitions and rituals associated with death and mourning, filmed in Woodvale Cemetery and Preston Manor, Brighton, and at Shoreham by DeadGood films

Written and produced by Valentina Lari & Sarah Tobias
         Directed by award winning Valentina Lari  
Music specially composed by glynne Cicada              
Featuring Sarah Tobias as The Grieving Widow/Narrator/Singing voice   

Screened May 2014 Corti Quatra Edizione Sicily Short Film Festival
December 2014 Cinecity 12th Film Festival Komedia Cinema, Brighton
 22 February  2015 Latest TV (Channel 8) can be viewed online
Preston Manor, Brighton Friday 30 October Cabinet of Curiosities 
Sarah Tobias MA, BA Hons, Dip Eur Hum
 Lecturer in social, cultural and local (Brighton) history

Venue Addresses, transport and refreshments
City College
Pelham Street, Brighton BN1 4FA
Behind York Place & London Road, turn up Cheapside – Aldi supermarket on corner. Or, turn left in Trafalgar St walking down from Station.
Transport & Parking:
Lots of buses nearby.
Nearby car park, about 5 minutes walk.
Railway station few minutes walk
Refreshments and further information:
Restaurant. Tea and coffee bar on balcony of Main Building.
Coffee shops, small cafés and public houses in nearby London Road 
London Road and Trafalgar Street: many shops, some banks and supermarkets

Friends Centre
Brighton Junction, Isetta Square,35 New England Street, Brighton BN1 4GQ
Transport & Parking:
Brighton railway station nearby, buses stop in station, at end of Stroudley Road/Fleet Street and many buses in nearby London Road.
Car park behind London Road in Whitecross Street, another off New England Street.
No parking but area for disabled parking in front of main door- contact Centre first to arrange this.
Refreshments and further information:
Small cafe area

Preston Manor
Preston Drove, Brighton BN1 6SD
Situated at end of Preston Park.
Transport & Parking:
Buses and rail nearby
Free parking outside and in adjacent street.
No cafe. Refreshments provided by staff at some events where stated.
Chalet restaurant in park and public houses opposite

Whitehawk Inn Community Centre
Whitehawk Road Brighton, BN2 3NS
Transport & Parking:
Buses stop nearby and some outside venue
Metered street car parking
Café and garden area
Further information:
Shops, Co-op, public library in same road.
Few minutes walk to sea, beach and Marina or East Brighton Park

Sarah Tobias 
MA, BA Hons,Dip Eur Hum

Entertaining social/cultural/local historian.
Ask for details of talks/guided walks/visits for groups, clubs, societies.
Current list of 30+ topics
More information about me, my subjects and research: