Saturday, 8 June 2019

 Check venues, fees, dates before booking - accurate as possible, but may change, be postponed or cancelled. 
  R   SUMMER 2019   R
                               WOODVALE CREMATORIUM (CEMETERY) OPEN DAY
Woodvale Open Day Saturday 13 July

 SATURDAY 13 JULY 11am-3pm

Guided tours of the cemetery and crematorium; slide show, candles and refreshments in the South Chapel; genealogy in the Extra-Mural Chapel, reflection and candles afternoon in the North Chapel, illustrated talk on Victorian Rituals of Death and Mourning 11.30am by Sarah Tobias and rare opportunity to view the film "Dido's Lament: Victorian Rituals of Death and Mourning" in Waiting room.


Cemetery Grounds Tours
11:30 and 1:30 – Woodvale Grounds, meet at XM Chapel
Crematorium Process Talk & Tour
11:30 and 1:30 – Woodvale North Chapel
Thomas Highflyer Talk & Tour
3 times in the day -assemble at meeting point
Victorian Rituals of Death and Mourning
11.30 - Woodvale South Chapel
Dido's Lament: Victorian Rituals of Death and Mourning
A Short film featuring Woodvale, in the Waiting Room
Genealogy Demonstrations 
Extra Mural Chapel Ongoing – meet at Extra Mural Chapel
Stone Mason Demonstration – Crematorium
Ongoing – in front of crematorium

 International Summer School 
For students 18-24 years mainly from non-UK countries


2019 Session 2: 
4 weeks 22 July - 15 August   
Tutor Sarah Tobias 

Course fees £2000 includes tuition and housing.  



Adult Education classes - enrolment now open

They are taught at Brighton Metropolitan College, Pelham Street, Historic Preston Manor, Whitehawk Inn Community Centre and Woodingdean. 

Tutor for all Sarah Tobias MA

Class taking place in the Macquoid Room of Preston Manor March 2019 Photo: Sarah-Mary Geissler

1A Pelham Street, Brighton, BN1 4FA tel 01273 667704/88

Courses are taught on Pelham Street campus unless otherwise stated (e.g. Preston Manor).  
Sessions are relaxed, friendly and fun - and there is no homework.



Life in Late Georgian and Regency England 1785-1830 

A course for lovers of the arts and social history during the late Georgian and 
Regency era, which includes many innovations, developments and advances in all 
aspects of life for wealthy and poor.

We study social, domestic, cultural and working life for all classes in an age of 
elegant living, the arts and literature. The Industrial Revolution inspired exciting new ideas,  innovators, inventors, original thinkers and advances in science and 
technology.  The period was also a time of great poverty, disease, illness and vice. 

The era is associated with the extravagances of the Prince Regent (the “Regency”) 
and with Brighton and his remarkable palace at a time when the fashionable visited
 the seaside town to take the waters and be entertained. It is also when Jane Austen 
was writing her witty and informative novels. 

Final session will be a field trip to the Royal Pavilion (admission fee payable) led by 
course tutor Sarah Tobias who is also a guide.

Illustrated with books, maps and powerpoint slideshows.

10 weeks Monday 1.30-3.30pm start 16 September 2019 Pelham St campus 
Ref no: CL0029-1C (please check this no. before enrolling)


Cool Britannia: How Fashion Shaped British Culture (1750-2019)

This course examines historic inspiration that forms today’s innovative fashion and 
designers by studying the fascinating social and cultural history of Britain.

We examine how the social and cultural background of the eighteenth and nineteenth 
centuries influenced British fashion then and now; focussing on aspects of fashion 
such as the voluminous and extravagant court dresses of the eighteenth century and 
the dandy; Victorian crinoline, bustle and aestheticism; Edwardian, Art Nouveau, 
 Art Deco era, wartime recycling, swinging sixties, and subculture of mods, rockers, 
goths, skinheads and punks. 

You will learn how to read fashion, what your clothes say about you and examine key 

style developments and designers such as Mary Quant (current exhibition at the V&A). 
A really exciting and fascinating course that will make you think differently about style, 
clothing and what you and others wear.

Illustrated with masses of fashion illustrations and powerpoint slideshows.

10 weeks Tuesday 7-9pm start 17 September Pelham Street campus

Ref no: CL0083-1C  

THE EDWARDIANS (1900-1914) 

We study social conditions, domestic and working life for all classes in town and country;
the arts, architecture, housing, literature, culture, fashion, leisure, early cinema and life in
the home. The summer season;s giddy whirl for ladies of fashion was in sharp contrast
to pr wives and mothers trying to keep a decent home and the family fed, often in
slum conditions.

Illustrated with powerpoint slideshows, film and documentary

10 weeks Wednesday 1-3pm start 18 September 
Whitehawk Inn Community Centre, Whitehawk Road, BN2 5NS
(Buses stop outside)

Preston Manor 

Preston Drove, Brighton BN1 6SD
FREE PARKING ON DRIVE, buses and trains stop nearby

Art Deco and the ‘Moderne’  (1918-1939) 

If you would like to study in fabulous historic Preston Manor and like Art Deco this 
course is for you! After WWI a new, distinctive style emerged in the 1920's and 
'30's,  Smooth lines and geometric patterns featured on architecture, advertising, 
fashion, jewellery, furniture, glass, ceramics, lighting, metalware, technology and 

The Modern Movement or ‘moderne’ style, later known as ‘Art Deco’, was brought 
to prominence by the Paris Exposition of Decorative Art in 1925 and lasted 
approximately twenty years. It was based on classical and other styles, including 
Egyptian, Arts & Crafts, Chinoiserie, Art Nouveau, Jazz Age, Cubism, Aztec, and 
Futurism. It was a style which reflected the machine age, utilising period 
innovations, such as plastics, chrome and aluminium. Motifs were based on forms of 
nature: trees, flowers and insects. 

The smoothly distinctive ‘Modernist’ style dominated all aspects of domestic and 
cultural life and was notable for its architectural and design features. The iconic, 
elegant style was used to furnish homes in a new and exciting fashion, utilizing 
modern technology and materials, and electrical devices.

Richly illustrated with masses of images and powerpoint slidehows and includes 
tours of Preston Manor by tutor who is also a house guide.

Ref no: CL0081-1C  8 weeks Tuesday 1-3pm start 01 October Preston Manor

(Free parking outside on driveway, buses stop almost outside and trains nearby)

A History of Christmas & Winter Traditions 

If you would like to study in fabulous, historic Preston Manor and if you always wanted
to know what the meanings were behind the traditional things you do and eat at
Christmas you will find this short course highly entertaining and informative,
enhancing your own experience, as we observe the origins of Christmas customs
from early times to the twentieth century.

We look at the pagan origins of Christmas, Winter Solstice and meaning behind 
evergreens such as the fir and holly, plus traditions associated with the period. 
We follow the entertainments and customs of elaborate Tudor & Elizabethan 
Christmases, more sedate Georgian and Regency balls and suppers, and Victorian 
delights as viewed by Jane Austen, the Brontes, and other writers, in novels 
and letters, and look at some festive fare. 

The Victorians and Dickens ‘invented’ the commercial Victorian Christmas - we look 

at it in all its glory and peep at the confections, cards, decorations and origins 

of the Christmas tree, crackers and gifts. We also look at Twentieth century 

Christmas traditions, including ingenuity required during Wartime austerity. 

Illustrated with powerpoint slides, books, video and includes a tour of the Manor 

by the tutor who is also a house guide.

Ref no: CL0285-1C  5 weeks Tuesday 10.30am-12.30pm 

start 29 October. Preston Manor, BN1 6SD

(Free parking outside on driveway, buses stop almost outside and trains nearby)

The Novel as Social History: Homes of Every Sort 

Unique course comprising literature, social and cultural history, book club – and 
lively discussion!  Within the pages of the novel we discover more than a story 
by exploring 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 how life is lived in homes, dwellings and living spaces: lodging 

houses, private hotels, terraced housing, cottages, villas, flats and rooms and the 
new 1930s housing estate of R.C. Sheriff’s “Greengates”.

Other novels and writers include "Persuasion" by Jane Austen, “Monday Morning” 

by Patrick Hamilton, “Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont” by Elizabeth Taylor and 
“Starlight” by Stella Gibbons. 
Request full reading list from tutor when you have enrolled.
You are expected to  participate in group discussion.

Ref no: CL0026-1C 5 Fortnightly Saturdays 11am-2pm Start 21 September 

Pelham St campus

 (Preston Manor)  

Upstairs, Downstairs in the Edwardian House 

If you would like to learn how houses were run and managed in an actual historic
house, fabulous Preston Manor, (end of Preston Park) decorated in Edwardian style
and with rooms on four floors, is a delightfully unique and hugely atmospheric
 setting for this one-day session.

We study the highly absorbing subject of how houses were run by hard-working
servants and learn of their various duties from housekeeper, cook, and butler
to snooty housemaids, lady’s maid, lowly scullery maid, haughty footmen and
humble hallboy. Theirs was a long day, up early and to bed late. Find out how
they felt about their duties and their lives.

The tutor is also a house guide who will lead a tour of the manor seeing how rooms
were used here and elsewhere. You visit parts of the house not normally open
to the public. A fascinating subject studied in a fascinating historic house,
especially if you enjoy TV programmes such as “Upstairs, Downstairs”
and “Downton Abbey”.

Illustrated with powerpoint slides, film and house tour.
Bring a packed lunch to eat in the servant’s room. Tea and coffee will be provided.

Ref no: CM0162-C  Saturday12 October 11am-3pm

 Preston Manor (free parking outside on driveway, buses stop almost outside and trains nearby)

Varndean College at Holy Cross Church Hall, Woodingdean
(Buses 2, 22, 22A stop outside, car park across road outside library) 

The Georgians - Life in 18th Century England

Georgian life was run on strict codes of conduct, etiquette and ritual. We will study daily life for all classes on the country estate in the town. We will view the morals, manners, fashions and foibles of the period and will look at culture, industry, arts and literature alongside a world of gambling, vice drunkenness, thieves and rascals of all classes.

This period is known for its classical architecture, industry and innovation which helped mould the period. The course also looks at manufacturing, commerce, shopping, banking and trade in sugar, tea and tobacco.

Monday 10am-12pm 6 weeks start 7 October
Fee £70 concessions £45/25 
Enrol: 01273 546604 
Enrolment also at Java Cafe, Warren Way, Woodingdean Thursday 11 September 10.30am-11.30am

"Beautiful and Useful" - Victorian Arts & Crafts 

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“Have nothing in your houses which you do not know to be useful or believe to be
beautiful.”  (William Morris 1880). He and others believed that mass production
produced inferior goods and they returned to the styles of earlier ages,
utilising natural materials that were not only beautiful but functional.

We study the very colourful style of the Arts and Crafts Movement which began in 
Britain around 1860 and comprised a group of craftsmen, artists, designers and 
architects who aimed to raise the status of the applied arts (useful, with a 
utilitarian purpose e.g. weaving or pottery) to that of the fine arts 
(aesthetically significant – architecture, painting, sculpture and some 
graphic arts.

The Movement was largely inspired and led by William Morris (1834-96), poet, artist, 

architect whose firm, Morris, Marshall, & Faulkner founded 1861, promoted 

hand-made textiles, books, wallpapers and furniture. The idea was to return 

to the use of natural materials and recollection of older styles, notably medieval, 

and to open up and brighten homes. 

Illustrated with images and powerpoint slideshows.

Ref no: CM0161-1C  Saturday 9 November 11am-3pm Pelham St campus 

A Sussex Christmas: 

Customs, Myths and Legends of Winter in the Festive Season 

If you are interested in the the fascinating customs, traditions, myths and legends 
surrounding Christmas and winter you will be able to learn lots of interesting 
and entertaining information from this one-day session; taught in a relaxed 
and friendly atmosphere.

We study the origins, meanings and significance of fascinating winter and Christmas
customs from Pagan to mid-twentieth century; learn how traditions evolved,
discover who Saint Nicholas was, the godforms that became Father Christmas
 and Santa Claus, and discover some of the myths and legends surrounding
Christmas in Sussex from Winchelsea to Rye. We discover lots of interesting
and entertaining information including reminiscences of a family Christmas
in a tiny cottage in Rottingdean.

Illustrated with powerpoint slidesows, books and documentary.
Ref no: CM0349-1C  Saturday 30 November 11am-3pm Pelham St campus 

(Preston Manor) 

(free parking outside on driveway, buses stop almost outside and trains nearby)

*  A Victorian Christmas Merriment  *

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If you would like to study in fabulous historic Preston Manor and get in the mood for 
Christmas this course is definitely for you! Be prepared to marvel at the glorious 
commercial Christmas of the Victorians, learn about the games, gifts and greenery
and listen to readings as you sit around the fireside. 

Join us for a feast of fun and merriment as we study customs from pagan times,
showing the origins of familiar Victorian traditions, such as Father Christmas,
who evolved from various spirits and gods, plus origins of the Christmas stocking,
tree, decorations, crackers, cards, gifts and games. We learn how Charles Dickens
and “A Christmas Carol” along with the Victorians invented the commercial
Christmas we know today and who wrote such poetic gems as
“Hang up the Baby’s Stocking”.

Illustrated with powerpoint slides and the chance to tour the Manor led by the
tutor who is also a house guide.
Bring a packed lunch to eat in the servant’s room. Tea and coffee will be provided.

Ref no: CL0082-1C  Saturday 07 December 11am-3pm

 Preston Manor (free parking outside on driveway, buses stop almost outside and trains nearby)

Image result for a victorian christmas merriment


Spring 2020

Arts Culture and Society in Regency England (1790-1830) 

10 weeks Monday 1.30-3.30pm start 13 January 2020  

Ref no: CL0059-1C Pelham Street campus

Cool Britannia: How Fashion Shaped British Culture (1750-2019) 

8 weeks Tuesday 10.30am-12.30pm start 21 January 2020 

Ref no: CL0276-1C  (Preston Manor) 

The Edwardians (1900-1914) 

8 weeks Tuesday 1-3pm start 21 January 2020 

Ref no: CM0400-1C   (Preston Manor) 

The Novel as Social History:  Life and Living 

Unique course comprising literature, social and cultural history, book club – and
 lively  discussion!  Within the pages of the novel we discover more than a story - 
enthralling  ‘other’ information about people, relationships, class and place.
We study the social and cultural history of the novel by exploring 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’S writers include Elizabeth Gaskell, Wilkie Collins,  Mary Webb, 
Leonard Merrick and Barbara Pym. Full reading list from tutor and you are 
expected to participate in group discussion.

 5 Fortnightly Saturdays 11am-2pm 
Start 25 January 2020 
Ref no: CL0030-1C  Pelham St campus

"The Whiplash Curve" Art Nouveau (1890-1910) 

Image result for art nouveau dancer

 1 day SATURDAY 14 March 2020  11am-3pm

Ref no: CM0163-1C  Pelham St campus


Summer 2020
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The World of Iconic Art Deco - Interwar Modernism 1918-1939 

5  weeks Tuesday 7-9pm start 21 April 2020

Ref no: CL0068-1C  Pelham Street campus

Summer Reading: Books, books and more books! 

1 day Saturday 10am-4pm 25 April 

Ref no: CL0067-1C  Pelham Street campus

Introducing the Victorians 

An introduction into the world of the remarkable and influential Victorian period 
which spanned 64 years and saw many changes and advances, opening up spheres 
of communication, travel and consumerism, especially after the 
Great Exhibition of 1851. 

This short course is an introduction and overview of a long historical period which 
will be followed up in the next academic year. We discuss aspects of social and
daily life in nineteenth century England, and the effect on the working, middle
and upper classes. Particular consideration is given to the impact on women’s
lives. The Victorian era saw many changes in all aspects of daily life within the
home, at work, in the factories, mills and for the life of the influential
and wealthy.

We take a general look at life in factories and mills, problems of housing, poor
nutrition, lack of education and medical attention and the wealth of Victorian
literature. We discuss social investigation and reforms which were also tackled
in some of the novels of the period.

Illustrated with powerpoint slides.

6 weeks Monday 1.30-3.30pm start 20 April 2020 

Ref no: CL0028-1C  Pelham St campus 

Summer in the City: exploring Brighton's unique history 

Two classroom sessions and three Brighton field trips

SATURDAYS 11am-1pm start 2 May 2020

Ref no: CL0027-1C



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13-22 September Heritage Open Days - 
free events, talks, tours open houses

.The Feibusch Mural at St Wilfrid's 
(corner Elm Grove/Whippingham Road, Brighton- 
bus nos 21, 21a, 22, 23 stop outside)  
A rare opportunity to see this fabulous mural not normally open to public.

Friday 13 September 11am-1pm 
Guides Stephen Lansley & Sarah Tobias

No pre-booking required

Preston Circus Fire Station

(Many buses stop nearby in London Road. Trains from London Road Station. 
Car park behind London Road) 

Visit parts of this iconic Modernist building not normally open to the public including the now unused second floor where firemen and their families lived.

Sunday 15 September  Guided tours 11, 11.30, 12noon
Limited to 15 places per tour. Pre-booked only.

Guides include Firefighter Jane Thompson and Sarah Tobias

Brighton Open Doors: 

The very different and iconic style that emerged after WWI

A talk by Sarah Tobias at the West Pier's seafront home in the prom arches
(opposite the ruins of the pier)

Thursday 10 October 6-7pm 
 Limited seating so book early £6 wine or soft drink included. 
Book via Eventbrite - link will be included here nearer time.

Further information:

(Sarah is an ex West Pier guide)


Preston Manor Father Christmas Event this year is on a woodland and mystical theme. The Manor will dazzle in its festive glory and Father Christmas is his usual gentle being aided by his helpful elf. 

Each child will receive a toy.
Most rooms will be open and a pop-up cafe in the basement.
Early booking is strongly advised.

Sarah Tobias MA, BA Hons, Dip Eur Hum
Entertaining lecturer in social, cultural and local (Brighton, Sussex, UK) history
Contact me for talks/guided walks/visits for groups, clubs, societies.
Current list of 30+ topics
Also contact me for poetry readings and narrations.
More information about me, my subjects, research and contact: 

Courses -Venue Addresses, transport and refreshments

Brighton Metroplitan College MET (formerly 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:
College canteen. Tea and coffee bar on balcony of Main Building. Vending machine. 
Coffee shops, small cafés and public houses in nearby London Road 
London Road and Trafalgar Street: many shops, some banks and supermarkets

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

Holy Cross Church Hall, Woodingdean
Warren Road, Brighton, BN2 6ND
Transport & Parking:
Car park outside Library and Community Centre over the road, opposite church hall. Bus nos 2, 22, 22A stop nearby.
Tea-making facilities in hall. Small cafes nearby. Downs Hotel almost next door serves tea, coffee and refreshments at bar and has outside area. 
Further information:
Woodingdean public library over the road. Shops, Co-op, dry cleaners nearby      

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 
Delicatessen cafe and public houses opposite and in Preston Drove. Chalet restaurant in park.

Sussex University
Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH
Campus located in the South Downs National Park
Transport & Parking:
Buses and rail nearby into town and elsewhere
Car parks
Cafes and restaurants on campus. 
Co-op, pharmacy, books and stationery shops