There are two versions of TLC Undersea Experience for different types of events:
The HTC Vive version is a high-quality, vr installation, enabling users to move around an area approximately 3.5-4m2 to explore a virtual, chalk reef gully, similar to those in the MCZ. Users can follow their curiosity to explore, pick up rocks to see creatures underneath & see marine life all around. Scroll down for Technical Specs
The 360-film version, is suitable for schools & busy community events or festivals where there are large numbers of people. We currently have 8 headsets, each with the capacity for 8-10 users per hour, so 70-80 users per hour, depending on size of space available.
A surprise for one of our new volunteers when she discovered her grandmother’s role in the cycling rational dress movement.
“I have no sympathy, whatever with the skirt, in any shape or form, and if a woman is not prepared to ride in knickers(knickerbockers), I think she should not ride until she is.”
Home Chat magazine, June 27, 1896.
This fantastic quote is from London based 1890s cycling champion Monica Harwood. It was found by her Worthing based, grand-daughter also named Monica, who has become one of our first volunteers, and who has been digging into her family history. It appears before Monica Harwood married, she became a cycling champion, then joined Bert Howard’s troupe of lady cyclists and was Captain of the Chelsea Rational Cycling Club. She never mentioned her cycling career to her family.
It has been well documented in various blogs and books that Brighton 16 year old, Tessie Reynolds, made a record breaking cycle ride of 8 hours and 30 minutes from Brighton to London and back again in 1893. It caused a media sensation as she wore bloomers and rode a drop handlebar bicycle with a cross bar, paving the way for wider societal change. A new discovery in local newspapers by Sussex Blazing Saddles volunteer Irena, reveals more about the young Tessie’s organizational skills.
In May 1894 Tessie created Brighton’s first Ladies’ Cycling Club with 20 other women as reported in the Brighton Gazette newspaper. The following month The Worthing Gazette observed that this new club, with its proper title of Brighton and District Ladies’ Cycling Club, was growing ambitious: “Recently they had a ride to Worthing, and found the journey far too short!” Worthing Gazette 27 June 1894
Sussex Blazing Saddles is a new project by KP Projects CIC, exploring the pioneering heritage of women & cycling since the 19th century. The role of cycling in the suffrage movement and the transformation of clothing and society across Sussex & the UK as a result.
In 2023-24, we’re delving into local stories, creating story maps & cycle routes, running sewing workshops & free, outdoor performances in Worthing, Brighton & Hove, Newhaven & Bexhill.
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SBS Events for Heritage Open Days Festival Sept 2023
9 Sep – Blazing Saddlesperformances in Pavilion Promenade, Worthing as part of Spin Out Festival, presented by Worthing Theatres & Museum & Sussex Blazing Saddles. Shows at 11.30 & 1.30
10 Sep – Blazing Saddlesperformances Heritage Bandstand, Bexhill, as part of Sussex Blazing Saddles, in partnership with Bexhill Wheelers at 1pm & 3pm
16 Sep – Blazing Saddles & The Bicycle Ballet Co Taster Workshop, The Sidings Newhaven, as part of Sussex Blazing Saddles, in partnership with SCDA & the Active Travel Hub 10.30am – 12.30pm Limited tickets, more info & booking
Have a listen to SBS Creative Director, Karen Poley, talking about SBS on Radio Reverb 22.8.23. Starts about 13.25 HERE
First Archive Discoveries June 2023
SBS volunteer Irena, has uncovered The First Brighton Ladies Cycling Club set up by Tessie Reynolds in 1894. Find out more HERE
Skirts vs Knickerbockers A surprise for one of our new volunteers when she discovered her grandmother’s role in the cycling rational dress movement.… more HERE
SBS’s Volunteer Call Out is out! We’re looking for history detectives to help us uncover evidence of the impact of bicycles on women in Sussex from 1890s to 1928. This was an important time of revolution for women, when bicycles spurred the suffrage movement, transformed women’s clothing & cause media sensations. More info HERE
We’re delighted to share Sussex Blazing Saddles’ project logo, featuring Brighton’s own Tessie Reynolds who cycled a record, & taboo, breaking Brighton-London-Brighton ride in 1893.
A new project by Brighton-based KP Projects CIC explores the pioneering heritage of women and cycling since the 19th century, the role in the suffragette movement and the transformation of clothing and society across Sussex as a result.
Blazing Saddles will aim to reveal untold stories of Sussex’s women’s cycling history, such as Tessie Reynolds, the 16-year-old Brightonian who set new records in 1893 whilst wearing bloomers. Or Bexhill’s pioneering ‘bicycle boulevard’ and bike hire chalet, which opened in 1896, led by Muriel Brassey, wife of landowner Gilbert Sackville, 8th Earl De La Warr, which provided women cyclists a place to exercise their new hobby, despite disapproval.
With support from National Lottery Heritage Fund the project will run from 2022 to 2024, with activities based around four main locations— Bexhill, Newhaven, Worthing and Brighton & Hove.
The project will explore cycling history from 1890s, capturing the later voting rights for women over 21, to present day, addressing issues such as environmental sustainability and the shortage of women cycling— 50% fewer women than men cycle regularly, according to charity Sustrans, stating fears about appearance and concerns about safety.
Blazing Saddles will engage local people in this exciting heritage through participatory public events, open access workshops, bike rides and heritage cycling routes and maps, volunteer archival research sessions and training, online exhibitions and digital resources and more.
KP Projects CIC is a creative company developing national and international outdoor arts projects including cycling, sustainability, healthy living, environmental issues.
Local partners include The Keep, 1066 Cycling Festival, Cycling without Age, the BMWs (Brighton Multicultural Women’s Cycle Club) Bexhill Museum, Sussex Development & Community Association, Worthing Theatres and Museum, South East Dance, Rother Boroughs Council and Newhaven Festival.
The project will provide activities to support women getting into the saddle, from signposting learning to ride & bike repair workshops, to group bike rides stopping at sites including meeting points for suffragette rallies and places of historic relevance, giving cyclists chance to discover more about key figures past and present, and their mark on Sussex.
Costume, sewing and making workshops will also help to bring the past to life for all ages including:
Suffragette cycling sashes
The Blazing Saddles project will run from 2022-2024. More information soon.
Before the pandemic, we ran a pilot project, touring to community, visitor & arts venues, an aquarium, museum & an outdoor event. We also experimented with working in schools, engaging primary & secondary year students. An incredible 2,455 people dived underwater with us & the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with many inspired to change their behaviour to help conserve the marine environment.
Have a look at this short film to get a flavour:
An incredible 2,455 people dived underwater with us & the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with many inspired to change their behaviour to help conserve the marine environment.
499 drawings by younger users & school students were made into this amazing online mosaic. Click HERE to explore
Bite Sized Talks at Brighton Museum offering a deeper insight into the MCZ & the chalk cliffs.
Our Amazing Marine Chalk Reef – Sarah Ward, Living Seas Officer for Sussex Wildlife Trust talks about the MCZ’s unique chalk reef, watch the talk here…
Ships, Shafts & UBoats – Lara Band, Discovery Programme Officer from CITiZAN tells some of the fascinating stories behind intertidal, archaeological remains in the Beachy Head West Marine Conservation Zone, watch here…