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The Diggers Re-Enactment and Feastival at Crew Club

They say that the sun shines on the righteous – and it certainly did on Saturday May 11th for ‘The Diggers Re-Enactment’ at the Crew Club, Whitehawk. Organised by Victoria Melody, this year’s Our Place – Brighton Festival Artist in Residence in East Brighton – was a free event with and for the people of East Brighton. ‘Re-Enactment’, was a celebration of the activists and agitators who took direct action to help those most in need during and after the English Civil War. The Diggers is a project about poverty and land rights – which culminated in this “Feastival” in the heart of Whitehawk.
 
There was a lot going on throughout the day, some highlights included music from the Brighton Folk Choir who sang Diggers songs, ably assisted by comedian Mark Thomas who, after a typically ‘gritty’ set, got all of the community to join in with the singing! Kids got involved in a raft of traditional arts and crafts, cuddled ‘Chicken Mark’s’ baby ducklings and chicks – and created their own entertainment, throwing themselves over and under hay bales! Pete Heat, who is most probably the tallest magician you will ever see (though he claims that has nothing to do with magic….), wowed the crowds, young and old with his magic mastery.
 
We were treated to delicious 17th century food – alongside a bbq feast, served up by the team from the East Brighton Food Co-op whilst members from the English Civil War Society mingled, sharing facts and stories about the Diggers and 17th century history. The Whitehawk Isolators concluded the performances, blasting out cracking tunes that could be heard across the valley!
 
‘What an incredible day, my thanks goes out to all the volunteers, participants, community stalls and locals who dressed as The Diggers. This project was about the “mob” and about what we can achieve when we come together as a community. Gerrard Winstanley said that “this land was made a treasury for all”. The distribution of land and wealth is not fair (and just like the 17th century Diggers) we the mob will not sit quietly and accept that. It doesn’t matter what your background is, our voices and actions count.’  Victoria Melody, Organiser.
East Brighton Trust are proud to have helped fund this event – and were represented by Ty Goddard, Chair of EBT, and several other members of the board.
 
‘This project was commissioned by Brighton Festival and supported by East Brighton Trust. EBT’s financial contribution funded the 17th century food offer on the day and will help enable the community garden to have a future life by providing tools and compost.’ Faith Dodkins, East Brighton Trust Board Member. 
 
Thanks to all those who came and participated.