We've decided to get to know some of our local business partners a bit better - so in the first of a new series we speak to Kevin Newman of All-Inclusive History...

Photo of Kevin Newman

  • Please tell us about your business and what you offer to visitors coming to Brighton

All-Inclusive History is a history consultancy that advises groups, businesses and individuals about their history needs and how they can ‘engage with their heritage’. We also produce a range of written and online resources from GCSE textbooks to local books and publications on Sussex, such as 50 Gems of Sussex, Brilliant Brighton for the Argus and most recently, A-Z of Brighton and Hove.  This puts us in a strong position to also offer tours, talks and training events for visitors to Brighton.

  • What do you like most about what you do?

As the owner of AIH, I love taking guests to the city around it for the first time, sharing knowledge of the past and the hidden bits of Brighton I featured in my book, Secret Brighton.  It’s also wonderful when someone says one of my books has made them explore lesser-known parts of Brighton and Hove.

  • What inspired you to be a tour guide and to write?

I’ve also been a teacher for 20 years and really enjoyed taking school groups around Sussex and further afield so it made sense to start taking adults and family groups out too around my home town (as I still call Brighton – the word city still sounds bizarre even after 20 years!). With writing, I’ve always written since I was a nipper – comics, novels, magazines, school newsletter. The magazine I wrote with schoolmates was called ‘Zoom!’ so I’m hoping from royalties from a certain online conferencing platform any day now…….

  • What’s the best thing about your work?

It’s that I can control my workload to some extent and have a nice mix of working from home on my laptop writing and running the business, looking up at the Downs or getting out and about (lockdown permitting of course) researching lesser-known bits of Sussex and taking people around it, either on foot or in minibuses and coaches.

  • What’s your average day like, or is it never average?

I also still teach and tutor so a real mix of that and working with All-Inclusive History.  I’m also part of a new home education organisation called EdHome, based here in Sussex so we’re very busy supporting those learning from home or those who home learn anyway.  There’ll be a lot of families who won’t be sending pupils back to normal schooling once we get VC (Victory over COVID) Day I reckon, or will want part-time schooling as many have seen the benefits of mixing home education with what traditional schools provide.

  • What do you like most about Brighton and what’s the best thing you like to do in the city?

I love the city’s fantastic architecture and the population’s can-do, creative outlook. I love exploring the area north of Western Road up to Seven Dials and spending time in our historic hotels.  The Metropole, Mercure, Grand, and Brighton Harbour Hotel are all fantastic Victorian buildings and there are many others worth a look around and a cream tea or pint in. We Brightonians and Hoveites (‘Brovians’ as the Albion once tried to make popular) tend to neglect our amazing hotels and they are beautiful buildings that are open to non-residents and cheer you up immensely – they’re not just for conferences and meetings. My wife and boys and I love eating at Polpo in New Road and are looking forward to trying out the Salt Room next. My favourite pub changes every month but is probably the Morning Star in Surrey Street.

  • What would you like to be doing as an alternative career?

I’m already holding down about four – but a career in advertising has always intrigued me. At college I got our local Welsh taxi driver Dai to adopt ‘Don’t drink and drive – live and let Dai!’ and would love to get people into teaching with ‘Teachers: Who cares what you think?’ It could also have applied to Michael Gove’s approach to the profession too…..

  • What’s changed about your business during the lockdown?

Since lockdown we have also been offering remote talks via Zoom and online tutoring for residents or long-term visitors to the city. I delivered a talk on ‘Smugglers’ Sussex’ to a local history group of 30+ zoomers last night which was great fun and I really enjoy doing these now I’ve got used to the new technology. I was very proud to work with the fantastic Charlotte at VisitBrighton to help get the Big BrightONline Weekender digital event off the ground – it was good that as we couldn’t have Brighton Festival this year at least we could still show Brighton and Hove’s creativity off to the world. Let’s have more of them!

  • What next – especially post-lockdown?

All our talks and tours are now virtual – available to book using Zoom in case we get a second wave of the virus – which of course we hope won’t happen.  My latest book, A-Z of Brighton and Hove which was due to come out in April is now out in July (but can be preordered via my website, or my publishers Amberley or of course through our great local bookshops). So I’m working on a launch event for that by which time I’m hoping I can meet readers face to face! As if we’ve not eaten enough during lockdown, I’ll then be getting people hungry and thirsty with my next book on Sussex’s food and drink through the centuries – called Pond Puddings and Sussex Smokies. Most of all though, I’m looking forward to exploring every nook and cranny of my home town of Brighton again now we can exercise and drive a bit more.

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All-Inclusive History Tours
Walking Tour
All-Inclusive History Tours

Fascinating books, walks, talks, tours & events in Brighton and the surrounding areas. Engaging people of all ages and backgrounds in history and heritage.

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