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There is less than a month until Christmas so surely that means we can start playing Christmas songs, right?

We all have our favourites, and probably know the words to most of the others, so it’s surprising to hear that some of our best loved festive tunes never actually topped the UK charts at Christmas.

So, to get you in the mood, we thought we’d round-up 5 of the best Christmas songs that never actually made it to number 1.

Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas (1994)

Even if Mariah didn’t want a lot for Christmas in 1994, a number 1 hit single probably would have been on the list. But unfortunately for her, ‘All I want for Christmas’ never made it any higher than number two in the UK chart. East 17 held top position for 5 weeks with ‘Stay Another Day’.

 

Wham! - Last Christmas (1984)

30-odd years ago, Wham! were one of the hottest and most popular bands of the decade, but in 1984 they came up against Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’. According to the official charts company, ‘Last Christmas’ is the biggest selling single of all time, never to make it to number one.

 

Wizzard - I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday (1973)

Wizzard’s ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’, was released in 1973 in a time where Christmas songs were proper Christmas songs. However, this classic not only missed out on the top stop, beaten by Slade and ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’, but Wizzard had to settle for number four that year.

 

The Pogues - Fairytale of New York (1987)

It’s not the first song that springs to mind when we think about Christmas, but The Pogues and their ‘Fairytale of New York’ is said to be one of the UK’s most popular. Despites its popularity, The Pet Shop Boys kept Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl, off top spot in 1987 with their version ‘Always On My Mind’.

 

Paul McCartney - Wonderful Christmas Time (1979)

Sir Paul McCartney, one of the biggest names in UK music, (if not world music) was simply having a wonderful Christmas time in 1979, but his catchy little tune only got to number 6 in the charts. It was in fact, Pink Floyd who held the top spot with ‘Another Brick In The Wall’.

 Miriam Fairbrother web

Earlier this month, a hairdressing student from Sussex Coast College Hastings finished third at a national hairdressing competition in Birmingham.

(2 minute read)

Miriam Fairbrother, who studied Level 2 Hairdressing at the college last year, finished third in the ‘Open to all’ Female Fashion Look – Cut and Finish category at the National Hairdressers Federation competition at the VOX Conference Centre in Birmingham.

Miriam travelled to the midlands on Sunday 19th November to compete against contestants from across the country, and had to create an inspirational style to impress a panel of eight expert judges. The style Miriam took on was a grunge look, which included two different colours and shaving some of the hair.

Miriam in action web

“I was shocked and couldn’t believe it when they announced that I had finished third,” said Miriam. “I was so proud of third place, and to compete against some of the best stylists from across the country was a brilliant experience.”

“We were given 45 minutes to create our style, before the judges walked around the floor to critique and mark our work. I was really pleased with my finished style, and the judges were really impressed too.”

Miriam, who has recently started a Level 3 Apprenticeship at Emma Hellier, in Bexhill, competed in the advanced category that featured fully-qualified and experienced stylists. She arrived at the competition expecting to compete in the student and trainee category, but soon found out that she was the only person to apply, so the organisers asked Miriam if she would like to compete in the Open to all section.

“When they asked if I would like to compete in the Open to all category, I thought that there was no chance of me winning, but as I had travelled up to Birmingham, I had nothing to lose so just go for it.

Competing against such a strong field of stylists has really given me a lot of confidence. I’m now looking forward to my career in hairdressing even more.”

Children in Need

Students and staff from Sussex Coast College Hastings raised £110 for Children in Need last Friday (17th November).

The Student President and her team set their classmates and tutors the goal of cycling and rowing a combined distance of 81.5 miles on exercise machines to raise money for the charity.

The 81.5 mile target is the distance from the college to Calais, and includes the 25 mile channel crossing.

Children in Need cycling

Student President, Lucy Head, said: “We set ourselves the target of cycling to Calais. We thought that we could cycle to Dover and row across the channel, and if each person was able to cycle one mile and donate one pound then we would easily reach our target.”

“It was hard work at times, especially on the rowing machine, but everyone did their bit so we could make it across the line.”

“We reached our distance target in less than 6 hours, and thanks to the generosity of other students and members of staff, we were able to raise a total of £110.”

BBC Children in Need has been running since 1980 and has raised over £600 million for disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.

Sophie Barber with her painting Phil

A Fine Art degree student from University Centre Hastings at Sussex Coast College has been shortlisted for the Platform Graduate Award 2017.

(3 minute read)

Sophie Barber, 21, finished her BA (Hons) Fine Art Practice degree in the summer and was selected to take part in the Platform Graduate Award.

The Platform Graduate Award, which is led by CVAN South East (Contemporary Visual Arts Network South East), is an initiative to support emerging graduates with their art practice after they finish university.

This year, 41 graduates were chosen from 16 universities in the South East to compete for the prize of £2,500 and bespoke mentoring from professional artist Jonathan Parsons.

Sophie was selected by the De La Warr Pavilion, one of five partner galleries supporting the initiative, while she was exhibiting her final year project during the college’s annual end of year degree show.

Sophie, who is a painter, likes to work on large canvases and draws inspiration from her encounters with art history and everyday life.

“My passion for painting developed during my degree,” said Sophie. “I like to work with oil paint on large, un-stretched canvas. I paint intuitively, exploring figurative language, without really planning what I’m going to paint. I go to the canvas and explore images from my mind or things that I have absorbed from the everyday.”

Sophie exhibited her work at the De La Warr Pavillion in an exhibition between 16th September and 5th November which included graduates from University of Brighton and fellow Sussex Coast College student Amy Wilson.

After the exhibition, Sophie was then chosen by the De Le Warr to go through to the final stage of the competition. Sophie travelled to the Gas Works in London, where she had to present her work and rationale to a panel of six judges, five from each of the partner galleries and a guest judge, Rosalind Nashashibi, who is a Turner Prize 2017 nominated artist.

“I have recently started renting my own studio space in Hastings, where I have been able to continue my painting. Taking part in Platform has been a wonderful experience and I have learnt a lot from having the chance to exhibit at such an important gallery as the De La Warr Pavilion.”

Sophie will find out if she has won the award when Rosalind Nashashibi will present the award on 9th December at the host gallery, Modern Art Oxford.

Julie from British Airways with Cabin Crew web

Cabin Crew students at Sussex Coast College Hastings were treated to an insightful and inspiring talk from the Senior Cabin Service Manager at British Airways earlier this week.

(2 minute read)

On Tuesday (14th November), Julie Brooksbank visited the college to speak about her career in the skies, which has spanned 24 years. Julie spoke about the various destinations she regularly flies to and described some of the procedures on board the different types of aircraft that British Airways operate. She also covered the managerial elements of her position and what requirements there are to be able to progress within a career flying the world.

The students got an overview of working life and what is included in being part of ‘B.A. Beach Fleet’ and benefitted from an exciting insight into the huge variety of A-list celebrities and royalty that Julie has served during her extensive career.

Julie, who is based at London Gatwick Airport, gave a valuable insight into flying both long and short haul routes and what a ‘Day in the life of…’ comprises, including the recent changes to short haul routes whereby food and drink items are no longer provided free of charge, a dramatic change for the longstanding airline.

Julie also gave valuable hints and tips for making an impact at recruitment assessment days that lead to a career in Cabin Crew, as well as some of the challenges that can be experienced on board and how best to tackle these situations.

Students said that the visit was inspiring and encouraging in pursuing a dream career. Josephine Carter commented that it was very informative and an excellent opportunity to learn from someone with so much experience. Paige Rouse simply stated: “Julie was amazing!”

Cabin Crew Lecturer, Adam Holt, said: “Julie’s experience and vast collection of stories was hugely interesting for the students to hear first-hand what a career in the sky entails. Guest speaker visits are invaluable in supporting what is studied in the classroom and provide a realistic overview of the job to help prepare students for employment. Julie’s passion for her job was hugely inspiring with many students now declaring that they intend to fly for British Airways!”

The next destination for the ‘Crew Roster’ is the Emirates Aviation Experience at the end of the month.

Cabin Crew, doors to automatic, cross check and report.

 Arianna Petroli

Each week, students from all over the world visit the college to study and explore Hastings and the South East.

We thought we’d catch up with Arianna Petroli, who was studying with us for 8 weeks, to hear all about her time in Hastings.

“Ciao, I’m Arianna, and I’m 16 years old and I live in Milan.

I have been here for 8 weeks to improve my English and to get a taste of what college is like in the UK.

Sussex Coast College Hastings is really impressive. The building is very nice and big, with modern facilities including a gym and coffee shop.

Hastings is also very beautiful. It is quite different to Milan. In Milan there are lots of really expensive fashion stores, and it is also really busy, as you would expect from a large city. But I really liked how nice Hastings was. It is right next to the sea and seems quite peaceful. I was also really interested in the history of the town, particularly Hastings Castle and the Battle of Hastings.

My lessons at college were really interesting and enjoyable. College in the UK is quite different to school in Italy. I am almost 17 years old, but I’m in my 4th year at school, whereas, in the UK I would be starting college. That means I am used to bigger class sizes and also having to study more than 3 subjects. Students here choose 3 A-Level subjects, but in Italy I am studying 11 subjects.

I really enjoy learning English, so that was my main reason for coming to Hastings. My tutors were really good at helping me improve my grammar and help me to expand my vocabulary. Everybody spoke to me in English which really helped me to be more confident and speak more English myself.

During my free time I was able to visit nearby Brighton and London for day trips to see the sights and do some shopping. I also explored Hastings, used the college gym and took my host family’s dogs for a walk along the seafront.

I would recommend coming here to study English to anyone. I’ve had a great time, and it has been very worthwhile because I have improved my English. I was a little nervous before I came, because I was travelling by myself, but I was also really excited. The college helped me to settle in quickly and made it very enjoyable.

I’m now heading back to Italy to continue with my studies, but I won’t forget my time at Sussex Coast College.”

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