Newsagent and Tobacconist. The Sussex Daily News ran from 1870 to 1953. The magazines in the rack include Pearson's Weekly that aimed "To Interest, to Elevate and to Amuse" and Tit-Bits, a weekly magazine. During the First World War Tit-Bits ran a competition for a song that soldiers could sing at the Front. Ivor Novello won the competition with "Keep the Home Fires Burning."
How long have you been in business here and why Lewes?
We are just celebrating our first year in business as Lumen of Lewes in Cliffe High Street, having taken over what has been a lighting and interiors shop for well over 20 years. I have always loved Lewes and lived in the town some years ago when my husband was Second Brewer at Harveys. When I decided to set up a retail business, Lewes was my first choice, with its well established network of independent retailers.
What's been your favourite single moment/interaction while trading during lockdown or after having re-opened?
I think it has to be the lady who came in very soon after lockdown ended and bought one of our St Eval fragrance candles and said she had made it her mission to buy one thing from every independent shop in Lewes, to show her support for us all. I wish I had taken her name so I could thank her publicly because that really did mean so much to me – at that point in time I had no way of know if our business could remain solvent but I felt that it people like her cared that much, that there would be a positive future for us.
Of all the events and meetings that happen on the High Street which are you most looking forward to experiencing again when social restrictions are eased?
It has to be the annual bonfire season – the season as a whole, not just the night of the Fifth. There can’t be many towns in the country where you can see pirates, smugglers and highwaymen amongst others, strutting around in full costume in broad daylight and no one bats an eyelid! But that’s bonfire season! I believe that is truly unique to Lewes.
Kate at Lumen