Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft features in BBC Two’s Great British Railway Journeys

Ditchling took centre stage in last night’s episode of Great British Railway Journeys on BBC Two (Tuesday, May 18).

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 3:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th May 2021, 10:10 am

The village was featured in the second episode as presenter and former politician Michael Portillo travelled from Hassocks to Benenden.

On the way he stopped off at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft for a chat with museum director and CEO Steph Fuller.

He also had a look at the museum’s collection, which includes items by sculptor and letter cutter Eric Gill, as well as designer of the London Underground typeface Edward Johnston.

Michael Portillo talks to Steph Fuller, CEO and director of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft. Picture: BBC

“It was fascinating working with Michael Portillo and the BBC team,” said Steph, adding that Michael was ‘fantastically knowledgeable’ about Ditchling’s artistic community.

She said he was also enthusiastic about Eric Gill’s font design Gill Sans, which was used by the British Railways Board for its station signage, rolling stock lettering, timetables and publicity.

“We were lucky to have a beautiful day for the filming and it’s great to finally be able to see the results just as we’re about to reopen to the public again on May 20,” Steph added.

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft has been closed for the better part of the past year and reopens with a new exhibition ‘Taking a Line for a Walk: John Vernon Lord and Friends’.

This display marks 50 years of illustrator John Vernon Lord’s life and work in Ditchling, featuring previously unseen drafts of his children’s classic The Giant Jam Sandwich.

It also features illustrations for the work of Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear and James Joyce, and works by John Vernon Lord’s peers like Quentin Blake, Raymond Briggs and Helen Oxenbury.

Visitors can experience a large-scale interactive installation of The Giant Jam Sandwich, created by Lewes-based artist Emma Carlow.

The museum advises people to book in advance at www.ditchlingmuseumartcraft.org.uk.

Great British Railway Journeys is a documentary series that follows Michael Portillo as he travels the country by train.

The latest episode is available on BBC iPlayer.