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September 2010 | No 64

Hurst Festival Art in the community

on Plumpturse Raceco

s e i d a L ay D th 9 S u n d a y 1b e r Se p t e m

Magic and mystery at the

Chanctonbury Ring All you need for the

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South Downs Living September 2010


Contents Free local community and lifestyle magazine South Downs Living is published monthly by: Roger Booth (Studio) Ltd 48 Keymer Road, Hassocks, West Sussex BN6 8AR Tel: 01273 842550 Fax: 01273 842597 Editor: Roger Booth Deputy Editor: Nicole Tata Contributors: Roger Booth, Les Campbell, Wendy Dennett, Claire Elford, Lucinda Hawkes, Nicola Hobbs, Ruth Lawrence, Roger Linn, Karen Miles, Peter Scotland, Lisa de Silva, Nicole Tata. Advertising: Tel: 01273 842550 Suzi Reeve Tanis Banham Sonya Clare Distribution: Carla Faulks, Phil Mepham Production, Design and Artwork: Lee Meads Accounts: Carla Faulks – Tel: 01273 847518 Photography: Olga Forster, Nicola Hobbs, Lee Meads, Ruth Lawrence.

12 Publisher’s Comment 12-13 Letters and comments 14-16 Art in the community: cover Hurst Festival 2010

17-24 What’s on in Mid Sussex 25 September Films 27 The Curtain Exchange


Make your home beautiful

28-30 Chanctonbury Ring: cover Magic and mystery through the ages

32-36 Gardening 37-39 Local history


cover Gideon Mantell – the bone collector

40 Turners Hill Walk 41-53 Wedding Special


cover Everything you need for a perfect wedding

Design/Artwork/Repro: Roger Booth (Studio) Ltd Tel: 01273 846834

46-47 Pure magic at Pangdean 55 Warming the hearths with

Printed by: The Magazine Printing Company PLC, Enfield, Middlesex

Grate Fires of Sussex

56-57 Burgess Hill Bonfire Night 58 A new beginning at

Cover image: © Plumpton Racecourse


September 2010 | No 64


The Snowdrop Inn in Lindfield

60-61 West Hoathly:

The Cat’s got the cream

63 58 6  4

Hurst Festival Art in the community


Sun day 19th er Sept emb

Magic and mystery at the

Chanctonbury Ring All you need for the

perfect wedding – 12 page special –



South Downs Living is a member of the Periodical Publishers Association, the FSB and West Sussex Trading Standards ‘Buy With Confidence’ scheme


S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

Book Review Mothering Heights Lisa de Silva on being a 21st century mum Welcome to Robins Nest Day Nursery

66-67 September Style 65

Contents 68 Prayer and support at

Hassocks United Reformed Church

71 Pets as Therapy 72-73 Gina Field – a force for life 74 Subscriptions 75 Light up Hassocks

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Mid Sussex community news

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89-91 Local business directory 68 72-73


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Whilst every reasonable care is taken with all materials submitted to South Downs Living Roger Booth Studio Ltd cannot accept ­responsibility for loss or ­damage to such ­materials. Opinions expressed in articles are strictly those of the authors. This ­publication is copyright and may not be reproduced in any form either in part or whole without written permission from the publishers. While every care is taken, prices and details are subject to change and the publisher can take no ­responsibility for omissions or errors. No responsibility is taken for unsolicited ­submissions or the return of submitted items.

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Publisher’s Letters and Comment comments


elcome to our biggest ever edition of South Downs Living. Thanks to all of our advertisers we are able to bring you more editorial than ever before. Please mention South Downs Living when you call or visit them.

We are always thrilled to hear what our readers think of South Downs Living, and we promise to do our best to take on board your comments and suggestions on how to make our magazine even better. Please keep sending your comments – good or bad!

Roger Booth Publisher

Tell us what you think of this issue of South Downs Living. In fact, if you feel creative, why not write a review (250 words) and email it to We will print the best of them next month. I am always surprised to find new places and people to write about in Mid Sussex. There is just so much around us that we sometimes know little about. Like Gideon Mantell discovering dinosaur bones in Cuckfield, right in the middle of Mid Sussex, in the 19th century. For the last few months I have been looking to bring you some new and younger voices. I think we have found some. Nicola Hobbs, a twenty-year-old writer from Hurstpierpoint, has submitted a couple of articles for this issue. One of them is about Holly Jefferies, also aged 20, who works in a local pub and whose voice has been enchanting regulars for months. She writes her own songs and sings sometimes at local open-mic nights. She was very reluctant to be in our magazine – “there are so many people more talented than me” – but I wanted to show, to those of you who may not be aware, that the younger generation has talent and promise. We may only be aware of them serving behind our bars and in restaurants, and we are sometimes maybe too aware of them as they express their exuberance for life in public. They are our future and deserve our attention. Thanks for reading our magazine. We have such fun producing it and hope you enjoy it. Roger Booth, South Downs Living magazine 48 Keymer Road, Hassocks, West Sussex BN6 8AR 01273 842550

Dear Roger and Ruth, I was very interested to read about Bedelands Farm Nature Reserve. At the beginning of the last war when I was a small baby, I stayed there with my mother for three months, to get away form Hove and all the uncertainties of war. William and Rachael Courage were the last people to farm that land, Rachael was at school with my mother. They had three children, Rosemary, Ben and Jonathan. We visited them and I remember helping to gather the hay with horse and cart in Big Field, and having a lot of fun down at the Mill Pond and in the woods. There was a large pond between the farmhouse and the barns and cowshed. There was an outside privy with a lilac tree growing by it. I also remember a long row of army jeeps parked near the house which we children used to play in. Gypsies camped on the land at

S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

Best wishes (Mrs) Lesley Ainslie Henfield

Dear Roger, We so much enjoyed and appreciated the article on the visit of John Kennedy to Forest Row in 1963. We knew that he was going to the church on the Sunday, so we positioned ourselves, with our small children, right on the apex of where the Hartfield road joins the A22, knowing that the car would have to slow down to take that rather difficult corner.We were near enough


the bottom of the farm drive. Some time during the 1940s the farm contracted Foot and Mouth disease and I think the cows were buried in Valebridge Common Field, an extremely traumatic time for everyone, and I think that was probably the beginning of the end.

to touch the car as it went by and had a wonderful view of the President. It is a cherished memory and our children, now in their fifties, all remember it and love to recount it to others! Thank you; it gave us all great pleasure. Kind regards, Marguerite Pointer

Dear Roger, Please pass my thanks to Ruth Lawrence for a beautifully written article about Bedelands Local Nature Reserve in the August edition of South Downs Living. A very sensitive and inspiring piece of writing that anyone reading would be moved to go and experience a visit. We are particularly fortunate to have such areas as Bedelands within easy reach of thousands of local people as well as visitors to the area. Mid Sussex is not just about the South Downs or Ashdown Forest, but also there are

many havens for wildlife and peaceful recreation that most people are unaware of. Our charity is trying to raise the awareness of local people to these wonderful areas and are working with landowners, planners, developers and others to save the best parts for future generations to enjoy before some of them are covered in tarmac or concrete.

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Regards Roy Ticehurst & Quotation Chairman of Friends of the Burgess Hill Green Circle Network

Dear Roger, For years, every time I drove between Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill, I would the see sign to ‘Bedelands Farm Nature Reserve’ and tell myself that I must go there one day. But I did nothing until I read Ruth Lawrence’s article in the August edition of South Downs Living. So, this Sunday, I made the effort and it was well worth it. It is a wonderful island of nature, wild

meadows and woodlands almost in the heart of Burgess Hill. I would urge every one of your readers to experience a day in the country without having to drive miles to get there. Congratulations on a great magazine, free to many of us. I don’t how you do it, but keep it going. Regards, Harvey Taylor Haywards Heath

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Southdown InterIorS l I m I t e d

Dear South Downs Living team, I started my kitchen, bathroom and bedroom design business three years ago and it has been growing steadily. However the one sentence I heard when I met a new client through a recommendation was ‘I have never heard of your company before’. I therefore decided to run an advertising campaign to increase our profile in the local area. I looked into all the available media and South Downs Living Magazine was the one that I was most impressed with and often saw on my clients’ coffee tables. I had also read an advertorial for a local business and decided that was the way to go for the first double page. I contacted Sonya from South Downs Living who was really helpful and organised for Roger Linn, one of their writers, to come to my showroom to interview me. He was very professional and we

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had a chat for about an hour. He made only a few notes and I was a little dubious as to what he would write. However I should not have had any doubts and when I saw the article I was absolutely delighted as it encapsulated everything I wanted in print. Further to the publishing of this I had countless positive comments, so the article did exactly what I wanted it to do and I still give it out to my new clients to give them a background to my business. I have now had three further months of advertising with leads from each. I am really pleased with the service I have received from the South Downs Living team and the success of raising my business profile in the local area. Claire Homer Company Director Hamilton Stone Design

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S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

Hurst Festival

2010 T

en years ago, Kevin Carey had the idea to bring together the people of Hurstpierpoint and the surrounding area in a celebration of arts, entertainment and leisure. He talked to local entrepreneur and corporate strategist Michel Olszewski who assembled a group of enthusiasts to share the ambition, drive and enthusiasm to bring the idea of the Festival alive. A committee was formed, a taster day was organised and the Hurst Festival was born. by Nicola Hobbs Now in its sixth year, the Hurst Festival has become a renowned and eagerly anticipated part of It all began life in Mid Sussex – so much so that locals arrange annual holidays so as not to miss out! With with one their music, sport, magic, banquets and much more, the man and Festival takes a vast amount of work to coordinate. The original committee included Margaret Carey, an idea: Bob Sampson, the amazing programme and website a dream designer, and Steve Whitehead who does a great job to unite a on publicity; they are all still there. Margaret, who community, took over the chair from Michel three years ago, works with an ambitious group of 13 people from all walks a wish for of life: teachers, magistrates, mothers and drama people to school coaches make up just a few of the team of local who dedicate their time, energy and share their entrepreneurs creativity to the Festival. From scouting for musicians talents, a and delivering programmes door-to-door across desire to the village, to maintaining a website and arranging insurance, the committee begins planning the next spread annual Festival as soon as the previous one has finished. optimism Margaret seems to live by the belief that in every community there is work to be done and in every and hope heart there is the power to do it. As a prison reformer, throughout a magistrate, church warden, Chair of the board of a village. high risk sex offenders charity, mother of two and grandmother to seven, Margaret ‘doesn’t do stress’. “Organising the Festival lifts She told me: my spirits. When you live “We don’t have in a village, you have to put problems, we only have challenges. something into to it to really feel Organising the its soul and make it your home. Festival lifts my spirits. When you The people who get involved are live in a village, those who want to share their you have to put good fortune with others.” something into to it to really feel its soul and make it your home. The people who get involved are those who want to share their good fortune with others.” The Hurst Festival is not a replica of a national arts festival; it is a home grown event, nurtured by the people who originally planted its seeds. It has matured from a small affair involving local dance groups and

Margaret Carey, Chair of Hurst Festival

child singers, to attracting the interest of artists from further afield. Performers at this year’s Festival include fusion consort group The 1607 Ensemble, Mark Chadwick, lead guitarist from The Levellers, and the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus. Remarkably, despite its growth, the Festival continues to promote the optimistic community spirit it was designed to celebrate. Margaret and the committee have admirably managed the delicate balance of engaging locals of all ages, genders and backgrounds whilst also cultivating outside interest in the celebrations. She said: “It is an event for the community, by the community. The village is full of talent and people who can do amazing things and you don’t realise it. Providing them with the opportunity to share their passions and letting other people enjoy them is very fulfilling.” And she adds, “Sometimes people get pessimistic and really the world is a rather wonderful place. We live in an area that is safe and the surroundings are spectacular so we have something to celebrate.” Margaret speaks humbly of her own work yet endlessly praises the committee team, the volunteers and the event’s sponsors. Over 60 people have offered to help the Festival run smoothly, reflecting the shared delight in seeing the community come together. Rebecca Simpson and husband Scott run The Spirit Parlour which is offering festival goers the chance to go ghost hunting. The couple remain grounded, pragmatic and unpretentious, whilst still relishing in all that is ghoulish and magical. Both have always been fanatical about the afterlife and Rebecca spent her childhood days ‘press ganging’ school friends into psychic experiments. Now a nurse, she has shared some of the most intimate moments of people’s lives. She said: “My career means that I have been very close to life and death so to start exploring ‘what comes next’ seemed a very natural step. Whether a being is on this side of life or the other, they deserve respect, understanding and fair treatment. Everyone,

South Downs Living September 2010


whether a believer or sceptic, has a story or strange unexplainable experience they want to share.” Rebecca brought controversy to the Festival last year in her role in the Vagina Monologues, and this year’s spooky events are creating a storm of equal measure. She added: “The walks are a perfect blend of local history, folklore and spookiness; we want people to take a risk and come to our paranormal talk. The Festival is very brave inviting us; the committee are a wild and fabulous bunch so I hope we will do them proud.” Pam Holmes is one of 24 artists generously opening their homes for the Festival as part of Hurstpierpoint Open Studios. Being made redundant from her computing job last year provided her with the perfect opportunity to turn her passion of stained glass art into a career. She said: “I remember seeing a beautiful mirror while on holiday in the Isle of Wight and thought ‘I can do that’. My father used to rebuild stained glass windows of churches after the war so he inspired me to transform my creative outlook on life into a career. I now work from a wooden cabin at the bottom of my garden creating wall hangings, mirrors and tea light holders out of stained glass.” The festival will give Pam a chance to exhibit the fruits of her labour, which are also available at local shops and galleries, including Vanilla, one of Hurstpierpoint’s high street boutiques. Alexa King, a team member at Vanilla, which is also the Festival’s box office, praised the work of the committee in creating such an open and inclusive event, ‘quintessential of traditional community spirit’. She said: “It is extraordinary how people rally together to keep a young, perky and active identity to the area. Margaret is a true patron of the arts.” The Hurst Festival was awarded charitable status at the beginning of the year, enabling it to support the

“We have an open community and we want a Festival that echoes that. Our philosophy is to make as many events as possible free so that they’re accessible to everyone. We want to engage all groups and make them aware that they are part of a community and surrounded by support.”

Hurst Festival 2010 18 September – 2 October Free copies of the Hurst Festival 2010 programme are available through South Downs Living distribution points. Further information can be found at If you would like to be involved in next year’s Festival, please contact

Festival Box Office: Vanilla, 40 High Street, Hurstpierpoint


S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

community in more ways than ever before. Despite now having more policies to abide by, holes to jump through and responsibility on her shoulders, Margaret’s aim for the festival remains the same: “We have an open community and we want a Festival that echoes that. Our philosophy is to make as many events as possible free so that they’re accessible to everyone. We want to engage all groups and make them aware that they are part of a community and surrounded by support.” Whether it is sculpture exhibitions and comedy nights that take your fancy, food tasting and Victorian drama which entice you, or ghost hunting and lifesize table football that grab your attention, the Hurst Festival has something for everyone. The charity aims to “advance the education of the public in the visual and performing arts,” allowing the talent of the community to drive its success. Along with the rest of the Festival committee, Margaret and Kevin are real pillars of the community. Both have dedicated their lives to charitable work. Kevin is Chair of e-inclusion charity HumanITy, sightloss charity RNIB, and Ofcom’s radio community funding panel. Margaret helped set up the restorative justice charity Inside Out Trust¸ and the Margaret Carey Foundation has been named in her honour. It is not just the success of the Festival itself that deserves to be celebrated, but the dedication and inspirational work of the people behind its triumphs. The Hurst Festival is the perfect example of how one idea can inspire a community and make a difference to everyone. ■

What’s on visit us online at email Saturday 28 August, 9.00-13.00 Hassocks Village Market. National Tyres Forecourt

Saturday 28 August, 10.00-14.00 Balcombe Village Craft, Gift and Local Produce Market. Victory Hall, Balcombe. This month’s market will be in support of the Victory Hall Charity. Lovely stalls to browse, including Free Spirit clothes and accessories, Baroque beads, Philip Bird photography, plus cakes, chutneys, sausages, cakes, veg, apple juice and plants. Table and refreshments by the Victory Hall Management Team. Free entry.

space call 01273 844314. For more information on the Rotary Club please telephone 01444 871776 or visit

Black tie event in aid of St Peter & St James Hospice. Tickets £50 to include: drinks reception, 4 course dinner, raflle, auction and live music. Email moonlightball@ for details.

Monday 30 Summer Fete. Forest View Home & Day Care for people with Alzheimer’s. Southway, Burgess Hill.

Sunday 29 – Monday 30 August Edenbridge & Oxted Agricultural Show. Ardenrun Showground, Ray Lane, nr Lingfield, Surrey RH7 6LL. Call 0906 7500 333 or visit for details.

Monday 30, 9.00 Rotary Club Mammoth Car Boot Fair. Oakmeeds College, Station Road, Burgess Hill.

Saturday 28 August, 14.15 Mid Sussex Ramblers: Ashdown Tea Shop Walk. Meet Ashdown Forest car park, east of B2026. Forest tracks to Barnsgate Manor Tea Shop. 3 mile walk with leader William. Dogs on lead . Call 01444 831098.

All proceeds will support Rotary local and international projects. Stall Price is £8 per car or £10 per car on the day. To pre-book a

Raffle, Tombola, Childrens Tombola, Hook A Duck, Second Hand Stall, Face Painting, Cake Stall and lots more. Call 01444 245749 for details.

Tuesday 31, 12.00-14.00 Fundraising Picnic, Adastra Park, Hassocks.

from Wednesday 1 September Nia Holistic Fitness Programme.

The Parish Council are hoping to put in some new play equipment in Adastra Park and are applying for a grant from Mid Sussex District Council to help with funding. To bolster the application we are hoping to raise some money from the public, with a picnic on the playground. The cost will be £3 per family which includes a raffle ticket. Bring a picnic and, if you can, a cake (homemade or

Nia is for everybody: every age, size, fitness level an personality! Come to our weekly classes at: Haywards Heath United Services Club, Wivelsfield Road. Tuesdays 14.00-15.00 Wednesdays 10.00-11.00 Friday 9.30-10.30 Saturday 10-11.00

s ol po ton m w gh ha Ne Bri ors in d H an






bought) to sell on our cake stall and enjoy games for the family. If you can’t make it and would like to donate anyway, or if you can help on the day, call Lucinda on 01273 841147.

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Saturday 28 August The Moonlight Ball. Norfolk Pavilion, Ardingly Showground.


Classes Available in:

• • • • •

Brighton Crawley Pease Pottage Burgess Hill Horsham

Tel: 01273 833101


koo ‘RokS

T h e L a s t C a rn

The original and best baby & toddler swimming company. Teaching you to teach your child to swim


• Provides water safety training • Encourages physical, social & psychological development • Enhances awareness • Improves eating and sleeping patterns • Strengthens cardio-respiratory functions • FUN & SOCIAL!


Acappella Choir & Singing Workshops With Delia Rosenboom NVPN. In Forest Row, RH18

Songs from Africa In association with The Orchards Shopping Centre Haywards Heath


Sun 12th Sept: 2.30-5pm

HeartSong Acappella Choir Begins 22nd Sept. Wedesdays 9.30-11am Further Info: 01342 825031 or African, Israeli, European songs, Gospels, Taize chants. Heart-opening harmonies. Lively rhythms. All taught by ear. All welcome. Lots of fun!

South Downs Living September 2010


What’s on visit us online at email Hassocks Infant School, Keymer Road Tuesdays 19.00-20.00 Thursday 19.30-20.30 FIRST CLASS FREE. Jo Davidson. Licensed, Certified Nia Teacher Yoga Teacher & Mind/ Body specialist. Call 07977 901383 or visit

Wednesday 1 September, 19.45 Burgess Hill Gardens & Allotments Association: Open Meeting, Cyprus Hall, Burgess Hill.

Valuation Day Silver Tuesday 7 September 10am to 4pm Our London Silver Specialist Charles Martin will be at the Hove office between 10am and 4pm to give free appraisals for our forthcoming sales.

Bonhams 19 Palmeira Square Hove, East Sussex BN3 2JN

To make an appointment or for further information please contact Lorraine Foster on 01273 220 000 or email:

Talk and demonstration by Steve Bradley: Practical Plant Propagation. Members free, Visitors £1. Contact Flo Whitaker on 01444 245509.

Saturday 4, 11.00-15.00 Cruise on the Ouse. The Anchor, Barcombe Mills near Lewes. You’d be “Quackers” to miss this! Cruise on the Ouse is a new event supporting St Peter & St James Hospice. Sponsor a duck for £1, place him (or her!) on the River Ouse with the other ducks and the first to cross the finish line wins a prize, thanks to the support from Marks & Spencer and Quench Bar & Kitchen in Burgess Hill. A great family fun day out with entertainment, face painting, food & drink, For more details or to sponsor a duck, call 01444 471598 or visit

Friday 3, 19.30 HeartSong Charity Choir Concert. Brambletye Hotel, The Square, Forest Row. A fun evening of uplifting acappella songs from around the world, beautiful harmonies and uplifting rhythms. All in aid of Heart Research UK. For enquiries call 01342 825031 or visit

Friday 3, 19.30 Rave On – A Tribute To Buddy Holly. Chequer Mead Community Arts Centre, East Grinstead.

The White Horse Inn





The LocaL’s LocaL 18

S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

Founder member of ‘Rockin’ On Heavens Door’ Marc Robinson brings you a tribute to Buddy Holly, with support cast the Fortt Brothers as the Everly Brothers and Barry Steele as Roy Orbison. Tickets £15.00 (concessions £13.50) from the box office: 01342 302000.

Friday 3, 19.45 Hurstpierpoint Flower Club. Village Centre, Trinity Road. Mrs Debbie Damm of Hastings: Nature’s Montage. Members £5.00. Temporary Membership £6.00 Call Geraldine Davey on 01273 845534.

Saturday 4, 10.00-15.30 Heber Opera Craft Fair. King Edward Hall, Lindfield. Craft stalls offering jewellery, textiles, lino prints, rush seating and much more, organised by Heber Opera who will also be running a cake stall and tombola to raise funds. Refreshments, home made cakes and sandwiches. Admission £1 (50p concessions). Call 01273 495220 for information if you are a stallholder.

Saturday 4, 13.00-16.30 Albourne Village Show. Village Hall and Green. The Albourne Village Show has now become a popular, regular event in the Village. Two grand marquees will be the focus of the show with 100 classes of flowers, fruit, veg, preserves, cakes, crafts and much more. There will be teas in the Village Hall, a barbecue, and a beer tent featuring local ales. Several local organisations will be having stalls on the day and this year there will be a games tent primarily for children Aso, there will be a craft tent housing several different types of craft stalls for you to see and buy and don’t forget the ever popular auction of produce at the end of the show. New for this year will be a stall selling apple products including ice lollies made with pure juice, jellies, chutneys, toffee apples and cakes. For more information visit www. or phone 01273 834827 / 01273 833978.

Join us for a

Saturday 4, 14.00-16.00 Burgess Hill Green Circle Network: Discover Hammonds Ridge. Come along and discover Hammonds Ridge, its history, wildlife and its views. Guided walk led by Heather Warne. Meet at the entrance gate opposite Tesco roundabout Burgess Hill, off Jayne Murray Way, at 1.50pm. Children welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. Bring a drink and binoculars if you have any. Sorry, no dogs. Donations Welcome. Organised by The Friends of Burgess Hill Green Circle Network. Contact Mary Smith on 01444 242667 or visit

Saturday 4, 14.00-16.15 Burgess Hill Gardens & Allotments Association: Autumn Flower Show. Cyprus Hall, Burgess Hill. Refreshments, homemade cakes, jams, chutneys, plants and produce. Everything home made and home grown! Admission: 50p. For details contact Flo Whitaker on 01444 245509.

Saturday 4, 14.30 Hassocks Horticultural Society: Autumn Show. Adastra Hall, Hassocks. Flowers, Floral art, Vegetables and Fruit, Cookery, Preserves, Handicrafts, Photography and Painting. Children’s Open Section showing four different classes. In addition there will be plants for sale, a raffle, and refreshments available. Admission is 50p. All welcome. Contact 01273 844544.

Saturday 4, 10.00-17.00 Model Railway Exhibition. Haywards Heath United Reformed Church, South Road, Haywards Heath. Adults £3, Concessions £2. Trade support, refreshments, Proceeds in aid of Church funds.

Sunday 5, 10.30-15.30 Book Fair. Adastra Hall, Hassocks. Second hand, antiquarian, collectable and out of print books offered by dealers from across Sussex, Kent and Surrey. Admission 50p (free with our advert on page 91). Refreshments available. For more information phone 01273 233274 or visit

Sunday 5, 11.00-16.00 Barnsgate Manor: Wedding Fayre. Herons Ghyll, nr Uckfield TN22 4DB. For details call 01825 713366 or email

Ladies Day full of Fun,

Fizz and Fashion!

Plumpton Racecourse, Sunday 19th September 2010,

hosted by Heart FM’s Lynsey Bartlett Gates open 11.30am, First race 2.00pm

• Ladies Shopping Village • Live Stage Music with Kelli-Leigh • 7 action packed races • Magician Sunday 5, 11.00 Charity Fun Dog Show. Wick Farm, Blackstone Lane, Blackstone BN5 9TA. Charity Fun Dog Show in aid of The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust. Classes for all, rosettes to 6th place, trophy to best in show. Agility demonstration. Dog Grooming Demonstration. Trade stands. BBQ, Refreshments. Bring your unwanted dog and horse equipment for the animals in The Gambia. Free parking. Enquiries 01444 819086.

Sunday 5, 14.00-17.00 Family Fun Day. Knowles Tooth Children’s Centre, Langton Lane, Hurstpierpoint. Relaxing afternoon for the whole family. Stalls, bouncy castle, dance display from Lets Dance, activities, BBQ, beer tent, fun dog show and much more. Adult entry £2, children and parking free. For more information call 01273 832363 or visit www.familysupportwork.

Sunday 5, 14.00-17.30 Newtimber Place – garden open for charity. Newtimber Place, Newtimber, West Sussex BN6 9BU Garden open as part of the NGS garden scheme. Gardens and woods full of roses, herbaceous border and lawns. Moat flanked by water plants. Mature trees. Wild garden, ducks, chickens and fish. Refreshments. Admission £4, children free. For details see

Tuesday 7, 19.30 Henfield Garden Club. Henfield Hall, Henfield. Talk by Lesley Chamberlain ‘Great Plants for Problem Places’. All welcome.

• “High Society” Stilt Walker

• Childrens Funfair & Face Painter • Pimms Tents • Hog Roast • Free Parking • Celebrity Judge • Free entry for under 18’s

Best Dressed Lady

1st Prize

14 night Caribbean Holiday. Almond resorts, the premier all inclusive resorts of the Caribbean on Barbados and St Lucia, are giving away a 14 night holiday to the amazing Almond Beach in Barbados. Flights from London Gatwick and airport transfers from Barbados airport included. 2nd Prize An overnight stay in the Carousel Pent House Suite at the spiritually seductive Myhotel in Brighton, including continental buffet breakfast.


3rd Prize

A Hair & Beauty Pamper Package from award winning Stanford Spa.

Best Dressed Man Competition

Win a fantastic prize: suit, shirt, tie and cufflinks from Gresham Blake.

Best Dressed Child Competition

Your chance to win a fashion makeover and photo shoot.

Plumpton Racecourse reverts to one enclosure for Ladies Day so your admission ticket will get you access to all public areas. Book online before Monday 13th September for the special Advance One Enclosure price of only £10, or on the day the price is £15.

For further information telephone:

01273 890383

Book online: South Downs Living September 2010


What’s on visit us online at email Tuesday 7, 20.30 White Hart Henfield Quiz. Quiz In aid of Henfield Area Response Team (HART). Teams up to six. Cash prize for winners. Entry £2 a head. Call 01273 492006 to reserve a table.

Wednesday 8, 13.00 Tiger Arts Lunchtime Concerts. All Saints Church, High Street, Lindfield. Pierre-Eric Monnin (Baritone) & Celia Vince (Piano) with a programme of French and English song. Light lunches served in the Tiger Lounge from 12.15pm Admission free. Collection to help cover expenses.

Wednesday 8, 14.00 Jewellery Classes at Giraffe Gems. Ote Hall Farm, Janes Lane, Burgess Hill. Spiral bracelet or necklace. Call 01444 248475 for more information.

Thursday 9, 10.30-12.30 Jewellery Classes at Giraffe Gems. Ote Hall Farm, Janes Lane, Burgess Hill. Flower garden, an attractive necklace using felt flowers, beads and ribbon. You make your own felt flowers. Call 01444 248475.

Thursday 9, 10.00-15.00 Watercolour Workshop. Pauline Thaw Centre, Dale Avenue, Hassocks. One-day monthly watercolour workshop.There is a different subject each session, including landscapes, flowers, still life, birds etc. with demonstrations and complementary notes relevant to the subject of the day. Sheila Southwell is an encouraging and friendly tutor and beginners are welcome. For details, contact Sheila on 01273 841106.

Thursday 9 Cosmetic Surgery Open Evening. McIndoe Surgical Centre, Holtye Road, East Grinstead RH19 3EB. A great way to gain pre-surgery advice and support from our consultant surgeons and hospital staff. Relaxed and informal evening with a short presentation followed by questions and answers. Spaces are limited, to reserve yours contact 0800 917 4922 or complete the event form on the events section of our website


S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

Friday 10, 9.30-13.00 Cuckfield Crafts and Market. Queens Hall, Cuckfield.

Saturday 11, 10.30 Hurstpierpoint Singers: Choral Workshop. Hassocks URC, Keymer Rd, Hassocks.

from Bowleys Funeral Service, Hassocks, Orion News, Hassocks or by telephoning 07843 289220. All proceeds to help local charities.

Sunday 12, 14.30-16.30 East Grinstead Society: Guided Walk through historic East Grinstead.

Raising funds For Demelza House. Treatments available at £20 for 1hr and £10 for 1/2hr. For further details call 01435 812997 or visit

We like singing because it’s great fun! Singing is good for your heart, for asthma and reduces stress (so this is the year!). We shall sing music from The Beatles, a Negro Spiritual and the Hallelujah Chorus etc – familiar music, and no experience is required. Stephen Hope will conduct. Music will be provided. There will also be coffee and tea, but bring your own lunch. At 4.30pm there will be a mini concert to perform what we have learnt. So come and have a sociable, fun day with us. Tickets £10, available from Janton News in Hurst, Pavilion Electrics in Hassocks and on the door. For more information phone Ingolf Katza on 01273 833727 or visit

Saturday 11, from noon Haywards Heath Town Day. Victoria Park, Haywards Heath.

Saturday 11, 14.00 Lindfield Horticultural Society: Autumn Show. King Edward Hall, Lindfield.

For more informtion contact Beverley on 01444 440274.

Friday 10, 19.00 & 21.00 Ghost Walk Lindfield. Join paranormal investigators Spirit Parlour for a spooky stroll around one of Mid Sussex’s most haunted villages. £5.00 advance booking only. Contact Clair Hall box office on 01444 455440.

Saturday 11 Wellbeing & Massage Days. Horam Natural Therapy Centre, High St, Horam, East Sussex TN21 0EL

Its back, bigger and better than ever for 2010. An action packed day of fun and family entertainment. Attractions will include rides, miniature railway, climbing wall, trampolines, tennis competitions, a skate jam, market and local community stalls and exciting demonstrations and competitions in the main arena. This year the event will also include a large Eco Zone offering many eco friendly products, entertainment and ideas. The search for new local singing talent will continue on the main stage with the finals of the towns very own karaoke competition along with many other stage acts. From 6pm the stage will come alive with the battle of the bands organised by ‘RokSkool’ and entertainment provided by the fantastic local talents of ‘The Last Carnival’. The whole event will conclude with a grand finale of fireworks set to classical music at 8pm.

Saturday 11, 10.00-12.00 Paws and Claws Autumn Fair, Adastra Hall, Hassocks. All the usual stalls and refreshments.

Saturday 11, 10.30-12.30 Jewellery Classes at Giraffe Gems. Ote Hall Farm, Janes Lane, Burgess Hill. Chain and bead necklace. Call 01444 248475 for more details.

Autumn Show of Flowers and Produce. This is the Show to see Dahlias and Chrysanthemums in all their glory plus the best of the summer’s vegetables. There are also fruit, flower arranging, cookery, handicrafts and children’s classes. The afternoon can be rounded off with tea and homemade cakes – and perhaps a purchase from the plant stall. Admission 50p, children free. Enquiries to Show Secretary on 01444 483236.

Saturday 11, 14.00-16.30 5th Cuckfield Village Show. Cuckfield Park. Horticultural Show with classes for vegetables, fruit, flowers, art and photography, food and drink, floral arts, crafts and juniors. The Mid Sussex Brass Band will be playing and there will be steam engine rides for the children. Tea tent, produce stall and auction of produce. Come along for a traditional village day out. Admission: adults £1, children free.

Saturday 11, 19.30 Fab & Groovy 60s Night. Adastra Hall, Hassocks. The Rotary Club of the Sussex Vale would like to transport you back to the fabulous 60s with live music by The Fabulous 6Ts. Licensed Bar. Tickets £15 to include buffet. Come and dance the night away. 60s dress optional. Tickets

Led by Elke Wagstaff. Meet at St Swithun’s Church. For more information, contact the Programme Secretary on 01444 482576 or visit www.

Sunday 12, 14.00-17.00 Stonehealed Farm - garden open for charity. Streat, East Sussex. 1 1/2 acres surrounded by fields with views to the South Downs. Terrace with seasonal pots, hidden front garden, shaded pond with serpentine bridge, kitchen garden, new lime walk, oak tree deck. Early-flowering shrubs, bulbs and emerging perennial foliage in May. Dramatic late summer colour and grasses in September. For details visit

Wednesday 15, 10.30-12.30 Jewellery Classes at Giraffe Gems. Ote Hall Farm, Janes Lane, Burgess Hill. Beginners’ Class. For details call 01444 248475.

Wednesday 15, 19.00 Mid Sussex Ramblers: Circular Balcombe Walk. Met at car park off B2110, 300 metres from junction with B2036, just north of Balcombe. 2.4 mile walk via Cowdray Forest – Burnt Place – Denches Copse. Leader Peter. Optional drink/dinner at the Jolly Tanners, Staplefield after the walk. Please book directly with the pub.

Wednesday 15, 20.00 Hassocks Horticultural Society. Adastra Hall, Hassocks. Guest speaker David Blackmur, Head of Horticulture at Plumpton College, will be giving an illustrated talk on the subject of growing vegetables. Following our summer break we hope to see lots of you there. Admission £1.00 members, £1.50 non members. Contact Sylvia Hancock on 01273 844544.

Thursday 16, 14.00-16.00 Jewellery Classes at Giraffe Gems. Ote Hall Farm, Janes Lane, Burgess Hill. Wave Bracelets. For details call 01444 248475.

What’s on

now in i ts


Bentley Weald

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visit us online at email Friday 17, 9.00-17.00 French Market. Church Walk, Burgess Hill. A variety of goods including bread and patisserie, pancakes, cheese, provencal soaps, leather hand bags, olives, saucisson and paté, confectionery, toys, basketwork.

reproducing the classic songs of one of the (if not THE) greatest rock bands of all time - Led Zeppelin. A soundalike band (rather than a lookalike band) who more than do justice to the music. These guys are awesome! Tickets £12.50 / £11.50 available from the Martlets Hall: 01444 242888.

Saturday 18 September– Saturday, 2 October Hurst Festival. See pages 14-16 for details.

The leading woodland, wood-use and woodcraft event in the south east

A fantastic family summer day of fun • From forest to final delivery • Wood sculpture & woodland crafts • Buildings, furniture & flooring • Demonstrations & activities • Over 130 Exhibitors Admission includes: Bentley wildfowl attractions, wildfowl reserve, adventure playground, miniature steam railway, historic house, gardens & classic car collections.

Friday 17th, Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th September 2010 9.30am – 5.00pm

Friday 17, 9.45-12.30 St Leonards Mayfield School: Open Morning. The Old Palace, Mayfield, East Sussex TN20 6PH. On Open Mornings, the Headmistress speaks with parents about life at Mayfield; the Head Girl and two of the younger pupils impart a glimpse into their own experiences of the School; and students lead guided tours of the buildings and grounds. Lunch provides visitors with an opportunity to meet with parents whose daughters are already at Mayfield, and speak to senior staff and subject teachers about the academic, extra-curricular, pastoral and spiritual life of the school. Call 01435 874600.

Bentley Wildfowl & Motor Museum Tel: 01825 840573/841451 Halland, Near Lewes, East Sussex BN8 5AF Email: Saturday 18 – Sunday 19, 10.00-16.00 The Royal Oak Country Park, Wineham BN5 9AY Viewing Weekend at this exclusive development. Contact Teresa or Simon At Tingdene Investments Limited on 01933 230137 or visit

Vintage cars and buses. If you wish to exhibit, call Darren Oomen on 01342 321303.

Saturday 18, 14.30 Mid Sussex Ramblers: Hurstpierpoint Festival Walk. Meet Trinity Road Car Park.

‘Despatches from the Home Front’ – a talk on the war diaries of Joan Strange, 1939-1945, by Chris McCooey. The East Grinstead Society maintains an annual schedule of events, supports particular projects and awards prizes to schoolchildren. All are to stimulate awareness of quality of life in the town and our distinctive heritage and culture.

5 1/2 mile walk across gently undulating fields via Hurstpierpoint College, Ruckford Mill, Danworth Farm, Cobbs Mill, and back via Langton Lane to Trinity Road car park. Leader Ann. Approx duration of walk 2 1/2 hrs. Call 01273 843850.

Four musicians dedicated to

Meat for the connoisseur

Saturday 18, 10.00-16.00 Martells Transport Day. Queens Road, East Grinstead, RH19 1BA.

Friday 17, 19.30 East Grinstead Society. Main Hall, East Court, East Grinstead.

Friday 17 Whole Lotta Led. Martlets Hall, Civic Way, Burgess Hill.

Townings Farm Shop

Saturday 18, 19.30 Green Room Theatre: Where there’s Will, there’s a Play. The Barn Theatre, 25 Bluehouse Lane, Oxted, Surrey RH8 0AA This is a play very much in the style of Shakespeare in Love, and deals with his time at the opening of

Beef, Pork, Lamb, Hogget and Mutton

All reared by us in the heart of Sussex. Using only traditional and rare breeds renowned for their superior flavour. OPen: Mon, Tues, Wed, Sat, 9 – 5 Thurs, Fri 9 – 6.30 Tel: 01444 471352

Townings Farm, Plumpton Road, Chailey, Lewes Bn8 4eJ South Downs Living September 2010


What’s on Fully Licenced | Wi-Fi Available | Ample Parking to Sunday & OPEN DAILY Monday Bank Holidays 9am to 6pm


Daily Lunch Specials, other favourites, Sandwiches, and Snacks also available


Opposite The Green in NUTLEY, East Sussex TN22 3LJ Tel:01825 713322

Home select flooring service call

K.r. Braine & sons carpets specialists in carpet, vinyl, laminate and carpet cleaning For a Free quotation/advice in the comFort oF your own home

Tel: 01444 882580 Mob: 07764 235072 • Family run business • Home visits by mobile showroom Over 30 years experience

what’s on

Clair Hall, Martlets Hall & Uckfield Civic Centre. Haywards Heath Comedy Club

Thursday 23rd September 8.00pm Clair Hall: £8.50 / £9.50 A fantastic night out with cabaret seating and licensed bar. Bringing you the hottest acts from the UK comedy circuit: this month we have Jimmy McGhie, John Gordillo and Andi Osho.

Classic Clapton

Thursday 30th September 7.30pm Clair Hall: £14.50/ £13.50 The world’s number one Eric Clapton tribute band.

Judie Tzuke

Friday 8th October 8.00pm Martlets Hall: £20.00 An evening with Judie Tzuke, one of Britain’s most successful songwriters.

An Evening with Henry Blofeld

Friday 8th October 8.00pm Uckfield Civic Centre: £16.00 A commentator on Radio 4’s Test Match Special, ‘Blowers’ is a national institution. Now fans can meet the man behind the voice. Clair Hall Haywards Heath Martlets Hall Burgess Hill Uckfield Civic Centre

01444 455440 01444 242888 01444 242888

Save time and book on-line


S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

visit us online at email the Globe Theatre, the actors, the audience and, of course, his love interests. The Elizabethan period was full of plots and intrigues, and Queen Elizabeth I the most complex character of all! Music was popular at court and so it is here. Joining our company will be some young Heathfield Drama club members, who are also members of the National Youth Theatre. Shakespeare may be ‘Greek to you, it may make you ‘knit your brows’ and you may find it ‘without rhyme or reason’. If you do, well ‘tut, tut’. ‘But me no buts,’ you are already quoting him. Shakespeare is fun! Tickets £10. Bookings can be made by phone on 01342 870526 or online at

Saturday 18, 19.30 The Bluebell Singers present: September Serenade. Chequer Mead Arts Centre, East Grinstead. See page 85 for details.

Saturday 18, 19.30 A Musical Treat for a Late Summer’s Evening. St Mary’s Church, Balcombe. An evening of classical treats and well-known favourites from more recent years performed by the talented Tyburn String Quartet, from the Royal Academy of Music. Also taking part will be Charlotte Marshall, whose repertoire ranges from singing principal roles in musical shows and G&S operettas, to Mozart’s Mass in C Minor. Accompanying her at the piano and giving a short organ recital will be David Moore FRCO, Assistant Director of Music at Hampstead Parish Church. Tickets £10 - please call 01444 811370.

Sunday 19 Ladies Day. Plumpton Racecourse, Plumpton, East Sussex. Best Dressed Competitions, Children’s funfair. Tickets £10. For details go to www.

Sunday 19, 11.00-16.00 Country Crafts Day. Oldland Mill, Mill Lane, Keymer.

a celebrity-judged dog show and boutique music festival.. It will be loads of fun for all the family – and your dogs. For details visit www. or www.thepet. net/pupaid

Monday 20, 19.45 East Grinstead Natural History Society. Small Parish Hall, De La Warr Road, East Grinstead. Lecture: ‘Birds of South East England’ by wildlife photographer Brian Gallop. Non-members welcome £2.50 adults, 50p children to include refreshments.

Monday 20, 19.45 Hassocks WI. Adastra Hall, Hassocks. Wine and Cheese Tasting Evening. All welcome. For details call Naomi on 01273 841488.

Tuesday 21, 14.00-16.00 Jewellery Classes at Giraffe Gems. Ote Hall Farm, Janes Lane, Burgess Hill. Polymer Clay. Call 01444 248475.

Tuesday 21, 20.30 Quiz. White Hart, High Street, Henfield BN5 9HP. Entry £2 a head. In aid of HART Teams up to six. Cash prize for winners. Call 01273 492006 to reserve a table.

Wednesday 22, 14.00-16.00 Jewellery Classes at Giraffe Gems. Ote Hall Farm, Janes Lane, Burgess Hill. Flat spiral class. Call 01444 248475.

Wednesday 22, 19.45 HKD Transition AGM. The Green Room, Adastra Hall, Hassocks.

See page 87 for details.

Hassocks, Keymer and Ditchling Transitition Group is holding its first AGM. All welcome. For more details visit

Sunday 19 PupAid. Stanmer House, Brighton.

Wednesday 22, 20:00 Sussex Bonsai Group. Village Hall, Wivelsfield Green.

Pup Aid is’s Puppy Farm Awareness Day event for 2010 –

Demo by Peter Warren on Shohin Bonsai. Every month: Bring and Buy

What’s on visit us online at email Table – Tree of The Month. For information contact Barry McMenamin on 01444 243533,

Wednesday 22, 20.00 Balcombe History Society. Victory Hall, Stockcroft Road, Balcombe. Illutrated talk by Christopher Rudd: Lewes, ancient County Town of East Sussex. Tickets at the door are £1 for members, £3 for visitors. Refreshments provided. Everyone welcome.

Thursday 23 – Saturday 25 The Full Monty. Chequer Mead Theatre, East Grinstead. Presented by the East Grinstead Operatic Society, this bright and brassy musical, set in Buffalo, New York, follows a group of unemployed steel-workers who try to make a few bucks by becoming male strippers! In the process they find renewed self-esteem, the importance of friendship and the ability to have fun. Presented by the award-winning EGOS company, you are guaranteed a night out to remember! Not suitable for young children!! Thursday 23rd to Saturday 25th September at 7.30pm plus Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. Tickets: £12.50 (concessions £11). Call the box office on 01342 302000.

Saturday 25 – Sunday 26, 10.00-14.30 Sussex Wildlife Trust. Truleigh Hill Youth Hostel, West Sussex. A Weekend with a View: Sussex Wildlife Trust and the Youth Hostel Association have teamed up to offer family adventure weekends away exploring the South Downs and the breathtaking countryside of Sussex. Stay up at Truleigh Hill on the South Downs Way near Shoreham-bySea. Begin your adventure with a walk down the scarp slope of the Downs into the woodland at Tottington Woods (suitable for children aged 8 and above) Find out about the fascinating human and natural history of the area and discover the wonderful flora and fauna of the South Downs. Following an overnight stay at the Youth Hostel, enjoy a day of family activities at Woods Mill nature reserve, Henfield. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Sorry no dogs. No disabled access at youth Hostel. Includes accommodation and breakfast, lunch and evening meal. Adults £47, children (under 17) £39. Booking essential, please ring 01273 497561.

Saturday 25, Burgess Hill Bonfire Night. See page 56-57 for details.

Thursday 23, 9.30-16.00 Autumn Gift Fair. Knepp Castle, Shipley, West Sussex. An Aladdin’s cave of over 70 stalls, from toys to clothes, from local produce to shoes and bags. Stuarts - fabulous foods once again provide visitors with a wonderful lunch. Free parking and disabled facilities. Please no dogs as wildlife such as ginger pigs and deer run freely in the castle grounds. Admission £5 including coffee and cupcake. Preview Night: Wednesday 22 September, 6.30pm-9pm. Tickets £15, Cheese Supper £6. We are raising money for St Catherine’s Hospice which covers a vast area of Sussex with hospice work and care in the community.

Saturday 25, 14.00-16.00 Table Top Sale. The Haven Centre, Crawley Down

Tuesday 28, 14.30 Mid Sussex in Film. The Queens Hall, Cuckfield.

Entrance: 30 pence per adult. Refreshments availble. Please come and see us. To book a table please phone 01342 716791.

Talk by Alan Readman: Mid Sussex in film - Images from the Archive.

Saturday 25, 14.15 Hurstpierpoint Horticultural Society: Autumn Show. Hurst Village Centre. Autumn bonanza of fruit, flowers and vegetables. Also cookery and handicraft and special classes for children. Grand Auction of donated exhibits at 4pm. Homemade cake and tea available all afternoon. Classes are open to all free of charge. For more information and entry form pick up a schedule from Gibsons, the greengrocers, in the High Street, tel. 01273 833729.

Saturday 25, 14.30 Mid Sussex Ramblers: Second Hurst Festival Walk. Meet Trinity Road car park. 5 1/2 mile walk across fields and up onto the South Downs via Bedlam Street, Randolph’s Farm, Foxhole Cottages, Wolstonbury Hill, Danny and Tott Farm and back to Trinity Road car park. Leader Bernard. Approx duration of walk 2hrs 45 mins . Contact 01273 844840.

Wednesday 29 Ansty Garden Club. Ansty Village Hall. Roger Gorringe from Crowborough: Talk on The Value of Bees. Contact Gail Burrell on 01444 482055.

Thursday 30, 19.30 Classic Clapton. Clair Hall, Perrymount Road, Haywards Heath. The world’s number one Eric Clapton tribute band Classic Clapton returns to Clair Hall as part of their 25th Anniversary Tour. With guitar/vocalist Mike Hall, the band possesses a front man who not only looks like Eric, he sings and plays guitar like him too! They perform all of the hits including ‘Wonderful tonight’ and ‘Tears in Heaven’, expertly mastered throughout their 25-year tribute history. Tickets £14.00 from the box office: 01444 455440.

Sunday 26 Fun Run for St Peter & St James Hospice. North Chailey. See page 88 for details.

Monday 27, 20.00 Mid Sussex Camera Club. The Mid Sussex (South) CVS, 38 Church Road, Burgess Hill. Rosie Armes FRPS: The Three ‘E’s. All interested in photography (18 or over) are welcome to attend. See or contact the Club General Secretary on 01444 870416.

Saturday 25, 8.00 Eight 2 Eight. Hassocks URC, 23 Keymer Road, Hassocks. See page 68 for details.

Saturday 25, 9.00-13.00 Hassocks Village Market. National Tyres Forecourt.

Friday 24, 9.00-12.15 Lindfield Crafts and Market. King Edward Hall, Lindfield.

Saturday 25, 10.00-12.30 Wivelsfield Green Food Fair. Village Hall.

Contact Beverley on 01444 440274.

Food Fair supporting St Peter & St James Hospice. All welcome.

Mid Sussex Camera Club is actively seeking new members, so whatever your experience is within photography we want to hear from you! For more information on becoming a new member please contact Bryan Roberts on 01444 870416.

Friday 1 October, 9.30-13.00 Cuckfield Crafts and Market. The Queens Hall, Cuckfield. Contact Beverley on 01444 440274.

Friday 1 October, 19:45 Hurstpierpoint Flower Club. Hurstpierpoint Village Centre, Trinity Road. Mr Bob Tunks of Haywards Heath: Serendipity. Cub Exhibition ‘Whizz Bang’ not to exceed 24 ins. We can guarantee a warm welcome at all our events and meetings. Members £5.00, Temporary Membership £6.00. Contact Geraldine Davey on 01273 845534 or Sandra Burford on 01273 834168. South Downs Living September 2010


What’s on visit us online at email Saturday 2 October, 8.30-14.00 Ploughing Match and Family Event. Inholmes Farm, Albourne.

entry on day), art, refreshments and bar. Run by Hurstpierpoint and District Agricultural Association. Tickets on gate. For details please contact 07966 184170.

Funfair, horse ploughing, tractor rides, vintage tractors, farm animals, rifle shooting, terrier racing, novelty dog show (open to public

Saturday 2 October, 11.00 Lancing College Open Morning. Lancing College, Lancing BN15 0RW.

Me, Baby and Toddler Show Saturday 9th October 10am-4pm

• Free Parking • Goodie Bag • Cafe Area • Over 70 Exhibitors • Children’s Entertainment • Toilet and baby changing facilities • Children go free (Adults £2.50) • Lots of prizes to be won Pre-book go to Email: Tel: 01342 328988 / 07760 759267 Jubilee Community Centre, Charlwoods Rd, East Grinstead RH19 2HL Partners & Sponsors

Marbel Ltd.

Show will be opened by the mayor of East Grinstead

You are warmly invited to join us for our open morning. For further information please contact our Admissions Officer on 01273 465805 or visit

Saturday 2 October, 14.30 Mid Sussex Ramblers: Hurst Festival Walk. Meet Hurstpierpoint Trinity Road car park. Circular 4 mile walk to the south east. Gentle walk across the fields via the Millennium Path - Tott Farm - Coldharbour Farm - Hautboys and Danny and back to Trinity Road car park. Leader Phil. Approx duration of walk 2hrs. Contact 01273 835931.

Saturday 2 October, 20.00 Tropical Party. The Queens Hall, Cuckfield. Hula the night away and help raise money for Children with Leukaemia. Fantastic Auction Prizes: 2 Flight to Europe; Tour of 5 Live TV studio & meet the stars; 4 x full hospitality tickets to Arsenal;

2 x Brighton & Hove tickets incl meal & seating with directors; England rugby shirt signed by Mark Cueto, Year’s supply of Ben & Jerrys ice cream. Bids taken in advance or on the night for auction prizes – email your bid to For tickets and auction bids contact Emma on 01444 450793. Tickets available at Cuckfield Candy Store and Reeves Pantry in Cuckfield (next to the Co-Op).

Sunday 3 October, 10.00 Youth & Family Service. Christ Church, Sayers Common. Please come and join us to celebrate Harvest. Worship led by our young people. Family friendly Service. Soft play area for Mums and young children. Light refreshments after the Service. Find out more about our Sunday School (contact Michelle on 01273 835817), Youth Club (contact Fr David on 01273 832129), Junior Choir (contact Lynn on 01273 834448).

Jubilee Community Centre Partners & Sponsors Charlwoods Rd, East Grinstead Marbel Ltd. RH19 2HL Show will be opened by the mayor of East Grinstead


S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

Films in september STAR CINEMA Adastra Hall, Keymer Road, Hassocks It’s Complicated Friday 10 September, 19.30 (Cert 15), 120 mins

Starring Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, the film follows events after the reunion of a divorced couple at their son’s graduation. Tickets only available on the door at £4 (£3.50 concessions). Doors open at 19.00. Refreshments and raffle. Contact Sherrian Guest on 01273 842081.

Southern Cinema Clair Hall, Perrymount Road, Haywards Heath RH16 3DN The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Wednesday 15 September, 19.45

The Kitchen Specialists that you can trust

The Concert

(French with subtitles)

Wednesday 15 September, 16.45 Thursday 16 September, 19.45

Tickets: £5.00 / £4.00 Clair Hall Box Office: 01444 455440

PLUMPTON RACECOURSE Plumpton, East Sussex, BN7 3AL Drive In Movie: Mamma Mia! Saturday 18 September, 20.15 A mother. A daughter. Three possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget. Enjoy Mamma Mia!, the ultimate feel-good movie in the unique atmosphere of a drive-in movie on Europe’s biggest outdoor screen. Gates open 6.30pm. Bring your own picnic or enjoy food and drink from our movie vendors. Best dressed prizes and a funfair to entertain all! Advance booking recommended. £25 per car (max. 5 persons per car) or £30 per car on the day, subject to availability. Contact Plumpton Racecourse on 01273 890383.

The Kitchen People 61 The High Street, Lindfield West Sussex RH16 2HN

Tel: 01444 484 868 Email: South Downs Living September 2010



14 Sussex Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 4EA Tel: 01444 416892


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S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

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Make your home with new beautiful curtains Imagine walking into an emporium of beautiful colours, textures and fabrics, where sumptuous window dressings hang from every wall, spanning every shade of the colour spectrum. Welcome to The Curtain Exchange in Cuckfield.


et, if you thought that The Curtain Exchange dealt solely in second hand curtains, you might be surprised to learn that 80% of their business now comes from sales of new and bespoke curtains. “Yes, the name is something of a misnomer,” says Barbara Rudd who has run the Cuckfield branch of this franchised business for the past 20 years, recently assisted by her husband John. “The Curtain Exchange was initially set up during the 1980s when the fashion was for very elaborate swags and tails,” Barbara explains to me. “Owing to the costs involved, it made sense for people to recycle their curtains. But trends change.” Contemporary curtains tend to be much simpler in style and more neutral in colour, which means that they are changed less frequently. So the company refocused its business and now new curtains are its main trade. In fact, The Curtain Exchange is the only place where you can buy luxury designer curtains off the peg. It is also one of the few places where clients can actually see fully finished curtains hanging up and then take them home for a test run. “Rather than relying on swatches of material, we want to give people a real feel for how a fabric will look as curtains. To make sure they’ll work for our clients, we let them take curtains home for 24 hours,” Barbara tells me. This personal service lies at the heart of everything Barbara does. With 20 years of experience, she is wonderfully placed to advise clients on using the right colours, textures and fabrics to create the look they want to achieve. Her range of designer fabrics includes well known names such as Colefax & Fowler, Jane Churchill, Malabar, Designers Guild and Osborne & Little. Once a client has decided on a fabric and a style, Barbara is with them every step of the way, from organising the fixtures and fitting through to the hanging. And it’s not just curtains either – The Curtain Exchange also offers Roman blinds, roller blinds, tracks and poles, re-upholstery and shutters. Prices are kept highly competitive through the centralised buying power of the branch network. This means that The Curtain Exchange will often deal directly with the mill when buying fabric, passing any savings back to the client.

“This is one of the few places where clients can actually see fully finished curtains hanging up and then take them home for a test run.” Barbara has dressed thousands of windows in her time – everything from one-up-anddowns to castles, for everyone from politicians to actors. She stocks a wide range of styles to accommodate most tastes, ranging from classic by Lisa de Silva to contemporary, sheer opulence to minimalism. Whether you’re looking for bespoke, ready made or nearly new window The Curtain Exchange dressings, The Curtain 45 High Street, Cuckfield Exchange has luxury West Sussex RH17 5JU designer products that Tel. 01444 417000 will indulge your home for years to come. ■

South Downs Living September 2010


Chanctonbury Ring: Magic and mystery through the ages


by Ruth Lawrence


lear views across miles of country would have given warning of hostile approach and would have presented a formidable challenge. Pottery found on the summit suggests that a hillfort was built here in the early Iron Age about 2,500 years ago. The outer ring is ovoid, about 550ft by 400ft and had two entrances to the south west and east. Walking the circumference of the fort, the surrounding land falls away gently to the east and west, although Chanctonbury Hill, directly west, is the higher point at 780 feet. To the north and south, steep slopes are topped by tumuli, scattered along the ridge. A burial mound was discovered below the Ring, containing a woman who died in her early thirties along with a Wessex style bronze dagger. Much of the human activity at the summit was only discovered after trees were planted there in the 18th century. A young man called Charles Goring who owned the Wiston Estate, including Chanctonbury Hill, planted the beech trees in

S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

1760. He lived long enough to see them grow tall and, in 1828, wrote a poem which referred to his earlier wish to see the summit capped by trees: How oft around thy Ring, sweet Hill, A Boy, I used to play, And form my plans to plant thy top On some auspicious day. Goring and his workers had to haul water up the hill to establish the saplings and he must have watched them flourish, year by year, from Wiston House to the north east. When he first planted the trees, locals were upset by his plan but opposition softened and, with time, the beeches became a famous landmark. In the Great Storm of 1987, most of the largest trees were blown down, leaving the crown sparse, although in summer, leaves filled the gaps left empty. Although the trees have been replanted, it will take another generation for Chanctonbury to regain its full crown.

Chanctonbury Ring is recognisable from a long distance; a distinctive cap of trees crowns the summit and the steep north slope is clothed in green. With sea stretching across the horizon and undulating downland spread beneath on all sides, it is obvious why the Ring has been host to millennia of human activity.

The land was subjected to a takeover bid in 1786 when a friend of the Goring family, Roger Clough, cut turf boundaries and ‘trod in’ the area as a traditional way of claiming land, allegedly from a right dating from the reign of Charles I. After many polite but defiant letters between the men, Goring retained his land and the Ring remained in his care. The Ring has been host to successive occupants since its Iron Age inhabitation; the Roman buildings are particularly interesting. Lying just a few inches beneath the surface, a central temple is similar to one at Lancing Ring and was probably used between the 1st and 4th centuries AD. Coins have been found within the Ring from the time of Nero (54-68AD) and Gratian (375-383AD) and although many have been taken by treasure hunters, a bronze brooch called a fibula was discovered there. The temple walls were made of flint and brick held together by mortar and the floor is formed

from rammed chalk. Pieces of mosaic called tesserae have been found near the inner wall along with large quantities of roof tile. Outside the entrance was a piece of hard trodden ground which suggested a guard pacing back and forth. Standing on the summit, there is no visible trace of the temple or earlier earthworks and the cultures that flourished and died through history. Their everyday lives are hinted at; a small building was discovered with its inner walls clay covered and containing wood ash, indicating a large oven. A rubbish pit was found to the north of this building; it seems that landfill didn’t begin with our own culture. A Neolithic flint axe, arrowhead and scrapers have also been found and a small amount of Bronze Age pottery. Animal “The South Downs Way passes by and human bones were discovered the Ring as it winds across the ridges along with an and there are two car parks within a unusual piece of short walk to the summit. Panoramic granite, which originated in views reward the ascent and a stroll Cornwall. These round the circumference takes in a layers of previous existence were sweep of coast and country.” uncovered in a dig in the late 1970s and, to the west of the main temple, a layer of oyster shells were unearthed, suggesting ritual use. Similar deposits have been found at other temples in Hampshire. Further excavations after the Great Storm revealed a second temple floored with mosaic. Pig bones, including teeth and jaw fragments, were found, indicating sacrificial offerings; similar bones have been recorded at a Romano-British temple on Hayling Island. Continued on page 30 >

South Downs Living September 2010


< Continued from page 29

“In the 1950s the Ring was described by famous Sussex witch Doreen Valiente as the meeting place of an ancient coven who worshipped an unidentified earth mother and a sky father.”

In the Seventies, there are several accounts of UFOs being seen from the Ring: in 1972, three people saw a large glowing object brush the tree tops and move away, revealing what looked like windows on top of the ‘craft’. In 1979, a similar object was seen and five years earlier a brilliant white circular object was seen heading northwest at great speed. In the same decade, rumour had it that the area was used for witchcraft after an altar was discovered in the form of a star made from flints surrounding pieces of wax encrusted parchment. When I descended the steep north slope, there were numerous deposits of fresh wax on the grass, so perhaps there is some truth in these stories. In the 1950s, the Ring was described by famous Sussex witch Doreen Valiente as the meeting place of an ancient coven who worshipped an unidentified earth mother and a sky father. Hauntings have been linked to the site; in the 1930s Dr Phillip Gosse of Steyning wrote in his book Go to the Country that “even on bright summer days there is an uncanny sense of some unseen presence which seems to follow you about. If you enter the dark wood you are conscious of Something behind you.”


ton ry Ring R bu oad


Chanctonbury Ring




Walking through towering woodland on my ascent I felt little of his “unseen presence”, although the knarled exposed tree roots gave the place a magical quality, twisted shapes and looming branches reaching down across the path. In 1966 the Southern Paranormal Investigation Group decided to camp within the Ring. After midnight, the wailing voice of a woman was heard from a form that moved outside the Ring. All went quiet until 2am when a church organ was heard and feelings of physical pressure were felt by people within the group. There are reports of other physical ailments including sudden paralysis in the limbs of a group of people and a levitating force which picked up a person and dropped him, injuring his back. Despite such tales, the Ring remains a popular place for walkers. The views are superb, stretching across the Weald to the North Downs, the sea a long blue ribbon, Brighton just visible behind gentle hills descending to the coast. Delicate downland wildflowers hug the slopes between short grass. I noticed numerous harebells, the same chalky blue as one of our native butterflies, and tiny bursts of bright yellow and pale lilac flowers grew between exposed chalk. The South Downs Way passes by the Ring as it winds across the ridges and there are two car parks within a short walk to the summit. Panoramic views reward the ascent and a stroll round the circumference takes in a sweep of coast and country. Visible to the north is Rock Common Quarry, which last year avoided being turned into the largest landfill site in the south east. The Ring, being highly visible, was topped by a beacon in 1588, along with other high points along the length of the Downs, to warn off the Spanish Armada, who were eventually defeated in the Channel. It would have been known then by its earlier name Chankbury which prevailed until late into the 18th century and many local village names bear Saxon influence. Buncton, Washington, Ashington and Storrington all stem from the Saxon word ‘tun’ meaning a farmstead. The area is rich with history: as well as layers of human influence on the Ring itself, there is a diverse mixture of Norman, Roman and Saxon construction in the surrounding villages. Whether you are interested in local history , archaeology, ancient culture or you simply enjoy a fine view, Chanctonbury Ring makes for rewarding exploration. Charles Goring picked the perfect location for his crown of trees. His grave lies in Wiston Churchyard, within sight of his beloved Ring. Before his death at the age of 85 he wrote: …. Could I live to see thy top In all its’ beauty dress’d

Steyning Bramber

That time’s arrived; I’ve had my wish And lived to eighty-five; I’ll thank my God who gave such grace As long as ere I live. ■



S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

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South Downs Living September 2010


Onions Ahoy!

Ruth Lawrence tries her hand at growing vegetables…


hen I moved to the country, or ‘a semi-rural neighbourhood’ in estate agent speak, I had visions of growing my own food. Inspired by Hugh Ferny Wotsit and a crate of second-hand self-sufficiency manuals, I dreamed of plucking plump tomatoes and dense scarlet radishes from a bounteous earth. I should have had my suspicions from the sheer amount of discarded literature cramming the shelves of the charity shops. Each volume should have come with a warning label shouting GARDENER BEWARE! GIVE UP NOW AND BUY THE STUFF! Deaf to my own instincts, I bought cosy packets of seed and biodegradable trays, then downloaded and printed enough information

to warrant the felling of an entire sustainably managed woodland. Be-wellied and weatherproofed, I stalked the rows of pots I’d proudly garnered from an Open House sale, lovingly talking to the growing seedlings. I diligently watched Gardeners World until the presenters’ unquenchable enthusiasm made me feel like a fraud. One of my most regrettable failings is that I am prone to place novelty before nurture. As the long dry summer rolled by, I found the daily watering became more sporadic and I shamefully began to lose interest. The books failed to tell me how to tackle my waning resolve; they simply described how to repel pests, encourage new shoots and make feasts from tasty produce. I possess neither the boundless optimism of a Jamie nor

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the comely bounty of a Nigella, and my fantasy of serving home-produced fayre to grateful friends withered on the stalk. I guiltily sloped off to the supermarket each evening as my fledgling crops were levelled by rabbits who raided the garden at dusk, presumably while I was out purchasing their shrink-wrapped equivalents. Far from becoming a green-fingered earth mother, I seemed to morph into Kali, the dark digited goddess of destruction. The final straw came when I accidentally watered a pot of spindly broccoli with some white spirit I’d been temporarily storing in a chic retro watering can! I saw it as a sign. My self-sufficiency manuals are now returned to the literary food chain on the shelves of the nearest charity shop. ■

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S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

by Ruth Lawrence

Two centuries ago, people still believed the Earth to be 6,000 years old, whipped together in a week by God, completed and ready to be inhabited by Adam and Eve. They had no other possible reality, nothing existed to provide an alternative world view.


t is hard for us to imagine how unexplained much of the natural world must have been. If we find a fossil, we can name it, classify it, click on the vast collective knowledge held within our computers and discover its origins. Then, no one knew what these beautifully patterned stones were. Held captive in cliffs and shorelines were strange shapes known as verteberries and enormous pointed teeth, thought to belong to crocodiles. There were fossil shells called ‘John Dorry’s bones’ or ‘ladies fingers.’ Superstitions existed about the meaning of fossils. Ammonites, curled like stilled serpents were known as ‘snake stones’ and believed in earlier times to hold the power to cure blindness and infertility. In some regions, they were thought to be evil people turned to snakes and entombed in stone as a divine punishment.

Continued on page 38 >


co lle ct o r

Gi d e

e t l n l : a t he M

“A different kind of rock was found in an area known as Whiteman’s Green … the quarry became a magical place where the Earth’s history could be read in layers like the pages of an extraordinary stone book.”

on e

n o

In 1811, a giant fossilised head of an unknown beast was found near Lyme Bay. It was the size of a man, the jaws filled with slicing teeth and a huge eye, big as a grapefruit. More pieces of the creature were unearthed: a snaking backbone, ribs and a long tail. As the fantastical beast emerged, it was measured at 17 feet long, entirely unknown and mysterious. There was no scientific context in which to place it; geology was in its infancy and palaeontology was non-existent. It took a decade to agree on a name for the creature – an ichthyosaurus. It was in this era of flux and uncertainty that a young shoemaker’s son called Gideon Mantell was trying to make sense of these contradictory discoveries and understand this “wreckage of former lives turned to stone”. His home town of Lewes was

South Downs Living September 2010


“Mantell was determined to place the bones in history and become the man recognised for their discovery. He had found and identified the giant land reptiles iguanodon, hylaeosaurus and pelorosaurus.” < Continued from page 37

enveloped in the folding chalk of the South Downs, which broke through the thin grass and beckoned the young explorer to dig local quarries in search of strangely shaped ammonites and sea urchins. To him, every fossil was a “medal of creation” which could “reveal the secrets they have so long enshrined.” Mantell’s family, now tradespeople, were descended from knights who had accompanied William the Conqueror from Normandy and possessed vast


S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

estates before the family fortunes had been lost in the mid 1500s. Mantell dreamed of restoring the family honour and, at the age of 17, went to London to study medicine, taking with him a bag stuffed full of his precious fossils. As he trained to become a doctor, Mantell pursued his passion in every spare moment. He believed his role was “to unravel the mysteries of the beautiful world through which he was destined to pass.” Gaining his diploma at 21, he returned to Lewes to begin a gruelling workload in a world where Cholera, Typhoid and Smallpox were still rampant. Armed with boxes of leeches, he struggled to serve 40 or 50 patients a day, often sleeping for just four hours before embarking on a geological expedition before work. He was aiming to construct a geological chart of Sussex and paid pit labourers for any interesting fossils which he sent to a naturalist, James Sowerby, who was compiling a list of fossil shells. In gratitude, Sowerby named one species after him: ammonites mantelli – the mollusc that had enchanted him as a child and fired his passion for geology. As Mantell gained confidence, he established a network of correspondences with likeminded people. He began writing to the aristocratic Etheldred Benett, a formidable woman and passionate geologist who remained defiantly single in an age where women were expected to marry rather than follow their own dreams. She sent Mantell a hamper of fossils and they

were soon eagerly comparing the strata of Sussex with Wiltshire, later to become known as the cretaceous rocks, laid down across southern England between 66 and 144 million years ago. By 1815, Mantell had identified several different strata in the chalk around Lewes and had begun to name the rocks. It was not only geology on his mind either; during a visit to a wealthy patient, he met the man’s daughter, Mary, who shared his interest in fossils. She gave him corals and other curiosities she had collected and Mantell wasted no time in proposing to her. They married in 1816 and expanded their shared passion, Mary searching for fossils while he attended to patients on his rounds. She developed her drawing skills to provide scientific illustrations of their finds and sketched fragments of specimens. Mantell had his wife’s complete support and interest and described the happiness he felt within his marriage as “greater than ever.” As Mantell began to explore further, he realised that a different kind of rock was found in an area known as Whiteman’s Green in Cuckfield, where the strata were exposed to a depth of 40 feet and horizontal bands of sandstone lay like ribbons with limestone, slate and blue clays. He found that fossils preserved here were unlike the invertebrates from the chalk hills of Lewes. Here lay larger bones and teeth, perhaps belonging to crocodiles or alligators. The fossils were so worn they were impossible to classify;

You can visit the place where Gideon and Mary Mantell discovered the fossils of six different dinosaurs at Whitemans Green, Cuckfield. A large rock marks the place of the long covered quarry where history was pulled from the earth. There is also a display of Mantell’s local finds at: Cuckfield Museum High Street, Cuckfield Haywards Heath RH17 5EL Tel. 01444 473 630

curiosity prompted him to pay the quarry owner to send him anything of interest found at the site. As he described his findings to Etheldred Benett, they discovered similarities which revealed a tantalising glimpse into an ancient landscape which stretched into an unimaginable past before the downland chalk existed. The site threw up more surprises: he began to find petrified remains of plants and leaves. The quarry became a magical place where the Earth’s history could be read in layers like the pages of an extraordinary stone book. In 1820 he unearthed part of a tree trunk and more gigantic bones. The tree was nothing like the familiar oaks or birches that surrounded him; it looked more like a tropical palm. Mantell began to discover leaves that resembled plants from the East Indies. Nothing like this had been found before; he was in unchartered territory, an explorer in an unknown land, without map or compass to guide him. As he compared the giant bones with those of the Dorset sea lizard, he realised they were very different creatures. He could glimpse the outline of a primordial creature in his imagination. As he chiselled at the bones, something utterly unknown emerged from the rock like a strange, alien sculpture. Mary discovered some teeth that seemed to belong to a giant herbivore and, one night, Mantell chiselled out a piece of thigh bone that indicated a creature larger than a house. At the time, this was unthinkable, an animal so utterly strange that it may as well have been a centaur or a dragon. Mantell was so bewitched, he determined to place the bones in history and become the man recognised for their discovery. Over three years his reputation and knowledge placed him at the forefront of his chosen passion. He became a Fellow of The Royal Society and had achieved much to regain the status of his forebears. He had found and identified the giant land reptiles, iguanodon, a 10m long plant eater, and hylaeosaurus, the first armoured dinosaur. The largest creature he identified was pelorosaurus, a 20m tall giant, named after the Greek word pelor, or monster. In 1852, a few months before his death, he was approached to oversee the creation of the first life sized replicas of dinosaurs at Penge Hill in

Sydenham. It was the recognition he had longed for, a chance to conjure up the extraordinary animals to which he had dedicated his life. Although he never lived to see their completion, their construction was a monumental undertaking, bringing to life a world of monstrous lizards, massive dinosaurs and terrifying flying reptiles. On New Years Eve 1853, 21 distinguished guests were invited to a banquet inside the belly of the iguanodon, the creature that Mantell had battled to define for nearly 30 years. The diners were surrounded by fossils he had sacrificed his medical career, health and marriage to uncover. Mary had left him 13 years before, unable to cope with the uncertain income and insecurity for their three children. The evening was a fitting tribute to a man who had helped to shift the human world view. The world was now a different place; people held a new perspective, more realistic and informed than a few decades ago. The shoemaker’s son from Lewes had redefined the history of the planet we know today. ■

South Downs Living September 2010


Turners Hill Walk This month I ventured into the north of the county with this circular walk from the hilltop village of Turners Hill.

by Les Campbell


Crawley Down Bankton The Grange

Hundred Acres Works

Home Wood Burleigh Oaks House

Butcher’s Wood

Turners Hill


Burleigh Farm

Distance: 4 miles The paths are easy to follow but care should be taken through Butcher’s Wood as the path is not well signed and the surface has deteriorated in places. Stiles: 5 Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer Map No.135. Parking: There is adequate parking in Lion Lane, Turners Hill, which runs parallel to the B2028. The lane is widest in the vicinity of the Red Lion pub. Refreshment: For those seeking refreshment, there is the Red Lion at the start and finish of the walk, the Royal Oak in Crawley Down, a café at Rowfant Sawmills and a tea room at Tulleys Farm. Please check opening times.


S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

his is an easy walk along established tracks and field paths, using a section of the Worth Way which follows the course of the former East Grinstead to Three Bridges railway which fell to the Beeching axe in the 1960s. From the Red Lion pub, walk downhill and cross the B2028 to the signed path opposite and into a drive signed to the Old Pump House. Just before the gates leading to the house, bear left through a gate and into a field. Keep to your left with rising ground on the right, and follow the well-used path ahead through two fields to a house and a tarmac road. Cross this road and follow the path ahead, shortly joining a concrete road. Cross this road diagonally, and pick up a wide path through woodland. Just before a house, turn left on a signed path and follow the obvious track downhill to cross a stream, then uphill to join a tarmac lane at the entrance to a house. Bear left, and follow this lane out to a T- junction by a East Grinst post box. Turn left and walk down Sandhill Lane to the centre of Crawley Down and the Royal Oak pub, turning left into Old Station Close and the Worth Way. This was the site of Grange Road station, one of two intermediate stations on the line, the other being Rowfant. At the end of the houses, keep left, and follow the Worth Way for approximately one mile to meet a concrete road where you should turn left. Follow this wide road uphill past Rowfant Sawmills. At the entrance to Rowfant Business Centre, bear right on a signed path which almost immediately bears left and you should follow the obvious track ahead which soon becomes a delightful sunken path between banks. At the top, join a gravel track and follow this out to Tulleys Farm with the famous maze, farm shop and associated attractions, to join the Crawley to Turners Hill road. Turn left along this road on a wide grass verge and where this finishes, carry on for a few hundred yards to a signed path on your left. Bear right through a gap in the fence and follow along the left hand side of a field, soon bearing right to enter Butcher’s Wood. The path, rather indistinct in places, meanders through this dell to emerge in a field. Follow the well-defined path ahead through two fields, eventually going right over two stiles with allotments on your right. Bear left out to Lion Lane, emerging conveniently alongside the Red Lion pub! ■



From the engagement to the honeymoon, wedding traditions have a rich and interesting history. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular customs and their cultural and historical roots. Best Man and Ushers

by Lisa de Silva

Long ago weddings were all about politics and survival. Tribes needed numbers to protect themselves from predators and in those early times, women from neighbouring tribes, were captured by the groom and his trusted friends. Once the bride was kidnapped she was considered to be the groom’s property and it was the job of the best man and ushers, to ensure the bride’s family did not snatch her back. Once the two were married, the best man would guard the newlywed’s home from any attempts to recapture her.

Carrying the Bride over the Threshold

Originally, where the marriage was by capture, the bride had to be literally dragged or carried across the threshold. Later, the custom was employed to make the bride seem hesitant about ‘giving herself’ to her husband in the bridal chamber.

Wedding Dress

When Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840, she insisted on wearing a white dress. Until that time, brides wore blue as a symbol of purity. By the turn of the century white was the colour of choice and although the depression and two world wars

South Downs Living September 2010


meant that many had to compromise on their outfits, shades of white still remain the most popular colour for matrimony.

Wedding Flowers

Before bridal bouquets, the bride carried aromatic bunches of herbs, garlic and grains to ward off evil spirits. Over time, these were replaced by flowers representing fertility and everlasting love.

Ring Finger

Wedding and engagement rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because the Romans believed that the vein in this finger went straight to the heart.

Wedding Cake

This tradition comes from the Middle Ages when weddings were held under a full moon. After the ceremony, the couple were given gifts of mead wine, brewed from fermented honey and spices, which they would drink for 30 days, or one full moon cycle. This period became known as the ‘honeymoon.’

During the Middle Ages, guests were encouraged to bake and bring their own biscuits to the wedding ceremony. These were piled up on top of each other and the taller the pile, the more prosperous the young couple would become. One visiting French chef was appalled at this messy mound and transformed it into an iced, multi-tiered wedding cake, similar to the ones enjoyed today.

Throwing Rice

Wedding Favours


Rice was considered to be a symbol of fruitfulness and the bride and groom would be showered with the grain as part of a fertility tradition.

The practice of giving five sugared almonds to wish fertility, health, wealth, happiness and longevity is an old Middle Eastern custom.

Wedding Rings

In ancient times, husbands would wrap their bride’s ankles and wrists with ropes of grass, believing that this would protect her and keep her spirit within her. Thankfully, these beliefs have evolved and now only the ring finger is bound, usually in a precious metal. If you’re planning or attending a wedding, let’s hope that some of this knowledge enriches your enjoyment and experience of the day. ■

AB Special Events Wedding Fairs Thursday 2nd September 6.00 pm- 9.30 pm

Selsfield Rd, Ardingly, West Sussex RH17 6TN Sunday 12th September 11.00 am - 3.00 pm

The Birch Hotel

Lewes Road, Haywards Heath RH17 7SF

For more info call 01444 257711 or email:

Anne and Bernadette look forward to welcoming you to their Autumn Wedding Fairs. The ever popular Birch and Olympos Fairs are joined this year by an Evening Wedding Showcase at Wakehurst Place – the beautiful 180 acre country estate and conservation area managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

Sunday 3rd October 11.00 am - 4.00 pm

The Olympos Leisure Centre

Triangle Way, Burgess Hill RH15 8WA Within its magnificent grounds is the stunning Elizabethan Mansion, which is an ideal venue for stylish wedding ceremonies and receptions. The light and airy Gallery and opulent, woodpanelled Dining Room are licensed for both Marriages and Civil Partnerships.

South Downs Living September 2010


East sussEx NatioNal

Please contact us for our latest brochure and dVd

East sussEx NatioNal HotEl Golf REsoRt aNd spa Boasting spectacular views over the south downs the East sussex National Hotel Golf Resort and spa provides the perfect setting for your special day. With 9 function suites to choose from, all with their own special appeal, catering from 10 to 250 guests, you can be sure we can provide all the ingredients for a memorable wedding. 104 bedrooms for you and your guests, a stunning spa with 9 treatment rooms to help you relax, health club and indoor pool to invigorate, as well as a civil licence to enable your marriage to take place within the resort.......... the East sussex National Hotel Golf Resort and spa is truly a magnificent venue for your fairytale wedding. Visit our website for forthcoming wedding fayres

east sussex national Golf resort & spa little horsted, uckfield, east sussex tn22 5es


S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

+44(0)1825 880088


Hair+ Beauty




For Everyone

HaywaRds HEaTH The Best Western, Birch Hotel, Lewes Road Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH17 7SF Crystal Clear Microdermabrasion (the celebrities choice!)

Introductory Offer: a course of 10 for a limited time at £450 A course of 10 will ensure optimum results. Suitable for all skin types, GM free and not tested on animals. Call Now for a free consultation! Open six days a week, including three late evenings

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Hair + Beauty For Everyone 7/8 Sheddingdean Centre, Maple Drive, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 8UA

Tel: 01444 870800

Wedding Fair

Sunday 12th September, 1am to 3pm held by A&B events The Birch Hotel offers excellent facilities for weddings and all types of celebration in a comfortable and relaxed traditional environment. We are licensed for Civil and Partnership Ceremonies for up to 60 people and can cater for parties up to 120.

Tel: 01444 451565 Web: Email: South Downs Living September 2010


■ advertising feature

Pure magic at


Included in the Domesday Book, once owned by the Prince Regent and part of the Royal Estates until 1985, Pangdean Farm has its place in history.

by Roger Linn



angdean, with its wonderful Old Barn and extensive grounds, has become one of the premier event venues in Sussex because of a wonderful combination of people, services and location. From the farm, Nicky Currie runs her event catering company Hunger Pangs, which not only provides truly delicious food for all the functions held at Pangdean but also at other venues throughout the county for occasions ranging from large corporate events to family celebrations and just about everything in between. Her philosophy, unchanged over the 20 years since Nicky started the company and much in evidence at Pangdean, is a simple one: to offer only very high quality food with excellent service. Nicky, with her partner Peter McKenzie and their family live in the large farmhouse with its elegant Georgian facade which presides over the complex of buildings that form the nucleus of Pangdean. Central to these is the magnificent, oak-framed 17th century barn. Sympathetically refurbished, its airy vastness is of jaw-dropping proportions and it provides the perfect and atmospheric venue for some truly historic parties. I’ve attended one or two and I’ve never failed to be uplifted by the sense of warmth and hospitality the barn seems to inspire.

S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

The interior decor and lighting always remind me of the last act of Glyndebourne’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and, talking to Peter about this, he commented casually that it might be because there were now some 3,000 tiny light bulbs twinkling above our heads. But clearly I’m not the only one to think this way, because ‘magical’ is the word most often used by the many satisfied customers who write to express their thanks for the efforts of all involved. In an inspired fusion of ancient and modern, the Old Barn, now in its 300th year, merges seamlessly with the sumptuous new cloakroom complex. And in a particularly thoughtful touch, reflecting the very large number of wedding receptions welcomed at Pangdean, there is a mini-suite consisting of toilet facilities and a dressing room for the exclusive use of the bride and groom. It is this kind of attention to detail that sets Pangdean apart from other venues Pangdean is in a stunning location, enfolded on three sides by the South Downs and certainly the beautifully tended, walled garden and lawn offer a perfect setting for guests to enjoy their canapés and champagne. But it takes much more than just location to acquire the sort of reputation that Pangdean has earned. Managing and catering

Main picture: The Old Barn Above right: A summer wedding at Pangdean. Right: Nicky Currie

“The airy vastness of the magnificent, oak-framed 17th century barn is of jaw-dropping proportions and provides the perfect and atmospheric setting for some truly historic parties.” for complex events like large weddings, corporate days out, or a big birthday party takes a high degree of professionalism and consistency. For example, during the summer months Peter and Nicky frequently deal with weddings taking place on successive days. Each one has to be just as good as the last. Every guest at every function has to have the same happy Pangdean experience. Every client has to feel that they’re the only client. And every bride must have the best day of her life. Their commitment to putting the customer first is amply demonstrated in the approach Nicky and Peter have adopted in dealing with the provision of alcohol at Pangdean functions. Although the venue has a full liquor licence, clients are encouraged to provide their own. Not only does this offer great cost savings, but it means that they get exactly what they want and, surprisingly perhaps, there is

no corkage charge either. Nicky simply works out how many staff she needs to serve throughout the event and charges accordingly. And getting value for money is something the Pangdean team really understand. Such a complex and dynamic business can only be successful if it is run and staffed by enthusiastic, dedicated and capable people, and most of their staff have been with them for many years. The super kitchen team of Sharon Subedar, Matteo Watkins and Sammy Read, supported by several hardworking prep and pot-wash assistants, produce every dish that is served using the very best ingredients, which are locally sourced wherever possible. They make their own pastry, stock, mayonnaise, sauces and even ice-cream – and they certainly don’t use microwaves! Michael Phelan and Charlie Spratt, their genial and hugely competent Event Managers, along with the service team, contribute so much to the friendly atmosphere that is the signature of an event at Pangdean. Nicky, Peter and all their staff work extremely hard to exceed the expectations of their guests. With such amazing food and a stunning 12-months-of-the-year venue, unsurprisingly bookings for Pangdean now extend into 2012, and the 2011 diary is filling fast. Although Pangdean isn’t currently licensed to hold the legal Ceremony – something that will be incorporated in the future – many newlyweds now have their Civil Ceremony elsewhere and then come to Pangdean for a Blessing in the beautiful gardens or the small Stable, before going onto the big celebration in the Old Barn. Nicky explained that the aim was to provide all their clients with a blank and flexible canvas so that their special occasion would be unique to them. There are no specific or rigid party or menu plans at Pangdean and as part of the service all clients benefit from her vast experience of organising truly memorable events. Perhaps the whole Pangdean experience can be best summed up by Nicky and Peter’s wish to provide a comfortable and casual, but at the same time, thoroughly professional, venue where people feel totally relaxed and very well looked after, even to the point of being totally spoiled! Bridget Sayers, who runs the office, will be pleased to answer any queries you may have, on or 01273 843302. ■

Pangdean Pangdean Farm, London Road, Pyecombe, West Sussex BN45 7FJ Tel. 01273 843302

South Downs Living September 2010


The Eight Bells Bolney

For an intimate country wedding or celebration In a beautiful village location Under the gaze of St Mary Magdalene Church Seated dining capacity for 50 guests in private restaurant with no room hire fee Dedicated and friendly staff Fantastic choice of menus with fresh and elegant dishes planned around your budget Car park and beautiful outside terrace garden AA 4 StAr rAteD – Bed and Breakfast accommodation. Beautifully refurbished luxury double and twin rooms. The Eight Bells, The Street Bolney RH17 5QW

Your wedding could be truly magical at Pelham House If you’re searching for your perfect wedding venue in Sussex, look no further than Pelham House Hotel, a beautiful four-star, 16th century town house nestled in the heart of Lewes. Future brides and grooms can get a true feel for this stunning location at a wedding fair on September 26, at the same time as meeting a whole host of suppliers including florists, photographers, cake designers and musicians. What’s more, you can take advantage of the amazing offers available on 2011 weddings, with discounts of up to £1,000 up for grabs.

Tel: 01444 881396

For further information, please visit, email or call the wedding planning team on 01273 488600

Barnsgate Manor

Wedding Fayre

Sunday 5th Sept 11am - 4pm

Discover our unique all-inclusive Weddings Barnsgate Manor is one of the most popular venues in this part of Sussex for Wedding Receptions and Civil Ceremonies, in the heart of a peaceful, romantic setting providing wonderful facilities and beautiful surroundings, with spectacular views to the South Downs. Our unique all-inclusive Wedding Packages offer tremendous value and promise you a marvellous ‘Red Carpet’ experience throughout your day. There’s our Platinum Wedding for larger parties of 50-200 guests and for smaller numbers of guests our Gold Wedding is extremely popular, particularly on weekdays. Our expert Team will advise and assist you to individually tailor your day, whatever your requirements. We look forward to welcoming you soon to show you how we can make your Wedding Day even more special. Bookings are being taken for 2011/12. A few dates remain for 2010. Contact us for our brochure or see it online. Full details on Barnsgate Manor can be seen on our website, including a video clip on the Contact Us page.

See the Wedding testimonials page on our website. Barnsgate Manor, Herons Ghyll, Nr. Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 4DB. (On the A26 between Uckfield and Crowborough) Tel: 01825 713366 Fax: 01825 713543 Email: Send to press blank document.indd 1 S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010


Barnsgate Manor 9/6/10 09:32:17

The heart

that is not in love will fail the test

The name Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi stands for Love and ecstatic flight into the infinite. Rumi is one of the great spiritual masters and poetical geniuses of mankind and was the founder of the Mawlawi Sufi order, a leading mystical brotherhood of Islam. He was born in 1207 in what is now Tajikistan. The following is a collection of Rumi’s ecstatic love poems, translated by Coleman Barks and Shahram Shiva. He spoke of lover and beloved as well as Lover and Beloved. He was in touch with them being the same, and both as being one.

The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was.

There is a smile and a gentleness inside. When I learned the name

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere, they’re in each other all along.

and address of that, I went to where you sell perfume. I begged you not

From Essential Rumi, by Coleman Barks

Love is from the infinite, and will remain until eternity. The seeker of love escapes the chains of birth and death. Tomorrow, when resurrection comes, The heart that is not in love will fail the test. From Thief of Sleep, by Shahram Shiva

When I am with you, we stay up all night, When you’re not here, I can’t get to sleep. Praise God for these two insomnias! And the difference between them. From Essential Rumi, by Coleman Barks

Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy, absentminded. Someone sober will worry about things going badly. Let the lover be.

to trouble me so with longing. Come out and play! Flirt more naturally. Teach me how to kiss. On the ground a spread blanket, flame that’s caught and burning well, cumin seeds browning, I am inside all of this with my soul.

When it’s cold and raining, you are more beautiful. And the snow brings me even closer to your lips.

From Essential Rumi, by Coleman Barks

With the Beloved’s water of life, no illness remains In the Beloved’s rose garden of union, no thorn remains. They say there is a window from one heart to another How can there be a window where no wall remains?

From Essential Rumi, by Coleman Barks

The inner secret, that which was never born, you are that freshness, and I am with you now. I can’t explain the goings, or the comings. You enter suddenly, and I am nowhere again. Inside the majesty.

From Thief of Sleep, by Shahram Shiva

Dower CoTTAge

Brighton’s Premier Wedding Venue

Underhill Lane, Clayton, Hassocks, Sussex BN6 9PL Tel: 01273 843363 • E: •


stanmer house

Bed & Breakfast

A perfect location for your wedding guests. Beautiful views and guest library to relax in.

From Essential Rumi, by Coleman Barks

17th OCT 2010 11am - 4pm Free entry & goody bags

For more information call 01273 680400 working in association with Chestnut Tree House South Downs Living September 2010


All you need for

The Perfect


Laura & Stephanie would like to welcome you before your big day with some tempting wedding offers and packages. Express Manicure, Express Pedicure, Eyelash Tint, Brow Shape and Spray Tan. £60 Hollywood Eyelash Extensions. £50 PAYOT Exfoliation Minerale and Clear Skin Facial. £55 Offers valid until 30th September 2010.

Wonderful Wedding Hair & Beauty Let Strands help you to look gorgeous on your wedding day. • Specialists in bridal hair and make-up • Individual wedding packages available (Facials, Tanning, Mani/ Pedi, Hair and Make-up) • Be pampered in our stylish salon, or we can come to your home or wedding venue

Spar.kle, 165 Lower Church Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 9AA Tel: 01444 248428 Email:

Shirley & Jo Florists A mother and daughter partnership working from home, offering a personal and relaxed atmosphere for you to choose your wedding flowers: • Bouquets • Buttonholes • Church & reception • Cake & car flowers • Favours/balloons

Strands & Co. (formerly Crazy Cuts) 50 America Lane, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 3QB Tel: 01444 414002

Exclusive Beauty UK Haywards Heath Semi-permanent make-up Cosmetic solutions to enhance beauty. Dermal Fillers including Botox® and Restylane®. Lash Extensions Fabulous eyelash extensions. Gel Nail Extensions Using top quality products including LCN. Waxing All aspects of female waxing. Saint Tropez Tanning All of the above with qualified consultants.

• Gift arrangements Happy to undertake any other floral arrangements Tel: 01444 454928

Looking for the perfect pearls? Visit

in Ditchling!

From matching a fabulous necklace to your dress, creating beautiful gifts for bridesmaids and designing elegant jewellery for the mother of the bride, we can make choosing your wedding jewellery a memorable experience. Pictured here: freshwater pearl and Swarovski crystal bracelet £25. 12 Turner Dumbrell Workshops, North End, Ditchling, BN6 8GT Tel: 01273 845582

Fabulous 2010 Wedding Discounts Gift vouchers available


Contact Suzie Wood Tel: 01444 413110 ors 07808 D ow n L i v i n g 926748

South September 2010


Summer Sale Continues!

Sarah Lacey Dry Cleaning Your wedding dress is very precious to you, and deserves to be cleaned and heirloomed with care. Sarah will personally take care of your dress, discussing the best cleaning techniques with you. She and her team will also care for the Groom, Mother of the Bride and Bridesmaids garments. You can choose from boxes by The Empty Box Co, or our own Treasures Box, should you wish to preserve your dress for the future.

We have a gorgeous range of handbags and jewellery to compliment our elegant footwear, perfect for any special occasion. Join us for Ladies Day at Plumpton Racecourse on Sunday 19th September. Special offers and much more!



(reduced from £39)

Open Mon to Sat 10am - 5.30pm 126c High Street, Hurspierpoint, BN6 9PX Tel: 01273 831110

Only at 1 College Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1QN Tel: 01444 416644

Top Tier Dreams Contact us for...

• Wedding Cakes • Celebration Cakes • Christening Cakes • Sugarcraft Supplies

Marquees by Trumps Ltd is your local Wedding & Party Marquee supplier.

• Belgian and English Handmade Chocolates

With over thirty years’ experience, this family run business prides itself on the quality and detail of the equipment it supplies.

• Balloons • Party and gift ideas Tel: 01444 257711 E-mail:

Our motto is: “We’ll remember the detail so you’ll remember the day.” Call for a free, no obligation site visit, or pop on to our website and view the full video of our services. Tel: 01444 882828 |

Anne @ GOLDFINGER ENGAGEMENT, WEDDING & ETERNITY RINGS Chosen and designed by you without pressure, in the comfort of your own home. Huge savings on High St prices and interest free payment plans. No additional charges for engravings, valuation certificates, special ring shapes or hand delivery. Call Anne on 01444 244483 or email for an appointment

Plan your Wedding Day! Pop into Something Shiny Gifts & Engraving and let us help you choose your wedding favours and accessories. From cufflinks to hip flasks, trinket boxes to handbag mirrors, wedding albums to cake knives and lifters, there’s a lot to see! We can personalise them with our in-house engraving service to make them really special.

Gifts Galore for the Happy Couple Gift Vouchers available. We have FREE Customer Parking Something Shiny Gifts & Engraving, 5a Mill Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 8DN Tel: 01444 247512 S o uSouth t h D oDowns w n s L iLiving ving September September 2010


Fully qualified hairdresser and beauty therapist in West Sussex. Whatever your requirements, you will feel relaxed and confident with the service that I offer. A comprehensive price list is available to view on my website, together with a photo gallery demonstrating some of my work. So what are you waiting for? Go on and treat yourself, you know you deserve it! Contact Amy on: Mob: 07920 032353

Gelato Gemelliâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ice Cream Tricycle Hire our traditional ice cream tricycle, complete with your own personal ice cream attendant for your special day. Surprise your guests with ice creams that are hard to resist! We offer a range of scrumptious premium and home-made Sussex ice creams produced using local ingredients. The extensive menu includes raspberry, blueberry or Eton Mess fruit flavours plus the exciting new additions of Margarita cocktail and Baileys Caramel ice cream. We can serve inside or outside, depending on your venue and your needs. Contact Jane Capaldi on 01273 495628 Email: Web:

Established 1935 A wide selection of bridal fabrics, ribbons, car ribbons, paper patterns, trimmings and veiling, as well as household linen gifts. Baldwins 120 & 120a South Road Haywards Heath (opp Victoria Park) West Sussex Tel. 01444 454648

Izzys Party Shops Now in our 5th year, Izzys Party Shop has the ability and experience to supply a complete balloon service, favours and accessories. Using our extensive range of colours and prints, let us create bouquets, arches and sculptures for your wedding celebration. For more information call or come and see Roy, Jane or Heidi at our Haywards Heath Store. 5 Sussex Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 4DZ Tel. 01444 453724

BEAUTIFUL, AFFORDABLE flowers, balloons, decorations, chair covers, drapes, top table backdrops and table centres, everything you would need for your special day! Package discounts available. Full portfolio of over 5,000 photos of previous work. Free quotation and consultation service (local area). Personal, reliable service.

52 emial: Tel: 01342 892392

S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

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Jennifleur We offer a bespoke floral service for all brides: friendly, hassle-free and cost-effective. Only the best quality, fresh flowers are used for the bride who deserves the best for her wedding day. Our qualified team of florists will be happy to assist. Just call and make an appointment to discuss your arrangements over a cup of coffee and cake. Jennifleur Florist, 163 Lower Church Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 9AA Tel: 01444 257797 Fax: 01444 257797

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S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

advertising feature ■

Over the last 30 years, Grate Fires of Sussex has seen trends come and go, but what remains is their policy of treating every customer as an individual and offering a truly personal service. by Lisa de Silva

Warming the hearths of Sussex “


hen my parents-in-law started the business in the late 1970s, gas fires were something of a novelty. They had one installed in their home and took out an advert in the local paper inviting people to come and see it,” laughs Kim Bishop who, along with her husband Tony, now owns and runs Grate Fires of Sussex. 33 years later, business is still going strong at the store in Haywards Heath and it remains a family affair, with Kim and Tony’s son Ollie, Kim’s brother and sister-in-law all involved in the business. “We pride ourselves on building relationships with our clients,” Kim tells me. “Everyone has different needs when it comes to the size of fires and fireplaces and that’s why we offer a made-to-measure service on mantels, fires and accessories, such as fire baskets and fire guards. We can also colourmatch surrounds to wooden floors and furniture and we do all the installation work ourselves.” This bespoke service and high level of customer care has helped to build Grate Fires a very loyal client base. As testament to their professionalism and experience, the store has just teamed up with Laura Ashley and now supplies the home furnishing retailer’s full range of mantels, gas and electric fires. In terms of trends, Kim tells me that customers are now much more conscious of green and environmental

Kim Bishop with husband Tony (right) and George Lovett (centre)

“We offer a made-to-measure service on mantels, fires and accessories, because everyone has different needs when it comes to the size of fires and fireplaces.” issues. Advanced technology also means that fire appliances are now more energy efficient and sophisticated than ever before. Arriving in the shop, I was mesmerised by what looked like a plasma TV hanging on the wall. It was in fact a Celsi electric fireplace, mounted on wall brackets! Heralded as the future by many, it is designed to have the look and sound of a real fire, but comes with a remote control allowing you to adjust the room temperature, the look and volume of the fire and the mood lighting. “It’s a fantastic product,” says Kim. “You don’t need a chimney, just a flat wall and a power point.” Along with selling both gas and electric fires, the store also sells a wide

range of mantels in both limestone and wood and everything associated with solid fuel fires, including fire baskets, grates, coal buckets, log baskets, ash pans, companion sets and even chestnut roasters. What’s more, having been established for so long, Kim is usually in a position to source fire accessories that people may have had years ago, but can no longer find. Whether you’re a modernist or a traditionalist at heart, Grate Fires of Sussex seem to have everything you need to keep your home fires burning this winter. ■

Grate Fires of Sussex 9 Commercial Square, Haywards Heath West Sussex RH16 1DW | Tel. 01444 452626

South Downs Living September 2010


History of the Burgess Hill Bonfire Society In 1897 it was reported that “up to this time very little notice has been taken of the Gunpowder Plot Anniversary in Burgess Hill beyond the dragging of a blazing tar barrel through the streets and the annual bonfire and fireworks display at Mr Walliehs Academy at Holmsdale House.” The first Burgess Hill Bonfire Society was formed in September 1894, with the Society’s headquarters at the Burgess Hill Inn. The first organised procession in the town was attended by 170 members, nearly all in character dress and bearing torches, the scene being a most brilliant and spectacular one. A tremendous bonfire in a field near the Consitutional Club was a “scorcher”. The Burgess Hill Bonfire Society that we know today was formed in 1969 and there have been many changes since, the most obvious being the addition of Smugglers within the Society ranks. Our Smugglers march in their distinctive colours of green and black, the old Burgess Hill Football Club colours. To keep with the traditions of bonfire the reformed Society have reintroduced flaming fire carts (barrels) to the procession. Our first Pioneer costume has not changed since the society reformed in 1969. We are still proud to walk in our spectacular Aztec Indian costumes – based on an advert for the then popular Cadbury’s Aztec bar and selected by the Society when BHBS reformed in 1969.


S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

A free event for the community, Burgess Hill Bonfire Night – including the spectacular Torchlight Procession and Fireworks Display – is the culmination of 10 months’ hard work by a core of devoted volunteers. by Wendy Dennett


ell, it’s that time of year again – but then it’s always that time of year for the members of Burgess Hill Bonfire Society. Apart from a slight ‘breather’ after last year’s event, the preparations for this year’s Bonfire Night began almost immediately. Our first priority is always fundraising. We need to make sure we have enough in the kitty to give the people of Burgess Hill the splendid spectacle of a wonderful fireworks display and procession, year after year. You may have seen us in the town centre on Town Day this year, and we have many other fundraising events throughout the year. Watch out for Smugglers or Aztecs coming your way soon to sell our procession programmes which are full of information about the Society as well as a running list for what happens on the day. You’d be surprised at how much work goes on behind the scenes. An Event Management Plan has to be written, road closures have to be agreed, invitations to visiting societies have to go

“The sight of all the fabulous costumes, the fiery torches and the sound of the marching bands makes it a truly wonderful experience, either watching it pass or walking in it alongside friends and family.” out in good time, costumes have to be prepared, monthly meetings held, not to mention the Health and Safety issues that have to be looked into. All this keeps our members nicely busy! Nearer the time we start work on making the fire banners, flaming silhouettes of topical news items, (who can forget the ‘dancer’ in 2008!), or a theme pertinent to Burgess Hill (suggestions always welcome!). On the night itself, preparing the bonfire takes a large chunk of the morning. Securing a bountiful supply of pallets is one thing, but building it – well, that’s something else entirely! Suffice to say that, last year, I discovered some muscles in my arms I didn’t know I had…

Making sure the bonfire will burn in the right way – not too fast, not too slow, and without collapsing dangerously – is a skill in itself. And I’m sure it gets a little bigger every year. We are also introducing a ‘Build a Guy’ competition this year. The fireworks are set for us by a professional company, and to get such spectacular displays as we have had in the past, this takes the best part of the day to set up. The procession itself starts with a moment of Remembrance at the War Memorial, and then begins its journey through the town to eventually bring it to the bonfire site at Fairfield recreation ground. The sight of all the fabulous costumes, the fiery torches and the sound of the marching bands makes it a truly wonderful experience, either watching it pass or walking in it alongside friends and family. All the money collected en route is donated to local charities, so don’t forget to dig around the back of the sofa and empty your pockets of loose change! When the procession reaches the site, there are various awards to be decided upon, including Best Costume and Best

Visiting Society. After that the fireworks can begin and the bonfire is lit. At the end of the night, you will find some of our members patrolling the route backwards to make sure we haven’t left too much evidence of having been there. We also get invitations to attend other town and village processions in Sussex throughout the Bonfire Season. It’s a chance to represent your town, and meet and make friends. This of course includes the huge celebrations in Lewes on 5 November where every Society in Sussex walks through the town in a mammoth procession! Remember, remember... ■

Burgess Hill Bonfire Night 2010 Saturday 25 September 19.30 and 20.30 Torchlight Processions through the town centre. 21.45 Bonfire and Fireworks at Fairfield Recreation Ground. We welcome new members, so if you have a little time to spare contact our Chairman Nick Wright on 07776 250061.

South Downs Living September 2010


■ advertising feature

A new beginning

at The Snowdrop Inn

by Nicole Tata

When Sally Jarrett walked into The Snowdrop Inn just over 18 years ago, she announced to her parents: “One day I’ll be running this pub.” Now it’s her name above the door.

Left: Dave and Sally Jarrett with chef Rafael Carrillo. Below: The dining area and bar.


ogether with her husband Dave, Sally took on the huge task of transforming what was a sad, unloved establishment into her vision of what a proper pub should be: an easy, friendly meeting place for the community. “We want The Snowdrop to be a real local pub with good old fashioned values; where everyone can relax and feel welcome.” Their dream of running a pub turned to reality when they took over the dayto-day management of a pub in Devon, helping out a friend in need. “I guess there’s only one way to find out if a publican’s life is right for you – and we loved it!” So when, closer to home, The Snowdrop became available, they didn’t waste any more time. After weeks of building work, Sally and Dave are deservedly proud of their newly refurbished pub. Spotlessly clean and immaculately presented in a friendly, country cottage style (minus the chintz, the fuss and any tankards that may have once hung from the ceiling), there’s a warm smile that greets you and everyone in your party. The new Sports Bar – complete with pub games, WiFi and Lcd TV – is a modern take on the traditional ‘public bar’. A cosy seating area around a large


S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

“We want The Snowdrop to be a real local pub with good old fashioned values; where everyone can relax and feel welcome.” open fire invites you to park yourself in squishy armchairs, and there’s a spacious restaurant area and comfy saloon bar which opens out to the patio at the front, so you can listen to birdsong in this rural part of Lindfield. The Snowdrop does a full range of classic pub food dishes – all cooked fresh to order by chef Rafael Carrillo – which I was looking forward to sampling on my recent visit there with the other half. We chose wisely, with our hearts: Chicken Wings (£4.50), grilled and marinated in chef spices – sweet, hot and fingerlickin’ good, perfect for sharing as a starter. Choosing the main course was easy – it always is for us steak girls! Eight ounces of lovely, juicy, rare ribeye arrived with mushroom, salad and chips (£9.50), and didn’t last long on my plate. Jon’s eyes lit up when he spotted his ultimate comfort food: Sussex Ham, Eggs (two!) and Chips (£6.00). Did he dip his chips into the soft egg yolk? Of course he did.

Did he polish off the whole generous plateful without much so much as a ‘had a nice day, darling?’ You betcha. With a delicious home-made Bread & Butter Pudding (£4.50) to finish – marmalade being the secret ingredient in creating this rich, all-time favourite dish – we felt truly looked after. “We’ve only been open eight weeks and the locals have flocked back. They love it now!” Sally said. If you’re looking for a warm and welcoming neighbourhood pub that does great home cooked food, and where an evening out with friends doesn’t have to break the bank, I think I’ve just found it. ■

The Snowdrop Inn Snowdrop Lane, Lindfield, West Sussex RH16 2QE Tel. 01444 440664

Sussex cover 2009 5/27/09 10:57 AM Page 2 2 Sussex cover 2009 5/27/09 10:57 AM Page 2 2


Victory Inn Open all day, 7 days a week. Food served Monday to Saturday 12-3pm 6-9pm

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The Victory Inn Warninglid Road, Staplefield, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH17 6EU


Set in the Tudor Village of Cuckfield this charming house is Set in in nine the Tudor Village of Cuckfield thisfrom charming house set acres of grounds just an hour London andis set in nine acres20ofminutes groundsfrom just Brighton. an hour from London and From20our daily lunch menu minutes from Brighton. It is within a short drive of Wakehurst, Nymans, Borde Hill It is Leonardslee within a short drive making of Wakehurst, Nymans, Borde Hill and gardens it an ideal spot for lunch, and Leonardslee afternoon gardens making it an ideal spot for lunch, or dinner. Why not visitafternoon our new tea kitchens after your lunch, tea or dinner. please mention this when booking


Traditional Sunday roasts served.


Sunday 12-9pm.

Available Available from from 10.00am 10.00am until until 10.00pm 10.00pm

ew ew p p r Nr N hi hi de deers ers UnUwnnwn OO

All All Day Day Menu Menu

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ummer has arrived at Gravetye ummer has arrived at Gravetye Manor and in the glorious garden, Manor and in the glorious garden, the flowers are out in full bloom. the flowers are out in full bloom. We are delighted to introduce our new We are delighted to introduce our new All Day Menu to run alongside our seasonal All Day Menu to run alongside our seasonal à La Carte and Tasting menus. à La Carte and Tasting menus.

“Although its splendid Sussex setting earns “Although splendid earns it the No. 1its décor crown,Sussex not to setting be neglected it 1 décormodern crown, not to be neglected is the the No. marvelous British cuisine, full is the marvelous modern British cuisine, full of fresh-from-the-kitchen-garden ingredients, of fresh-from-the-kitchen-garden ingredients, and superlative olde-world service that and superlative olde-world service that can’t do enough for you” can’t do enough for you” - Zagat Guide 2010 - Zagat Guide 2010

Soups / Salads Soups / Salads Bisque with Tarragon & Truffle Oil Rich Langoustine Rich Langoustine Bisque with Tarragon & Truffle Oil Homemade Soup of the Day, Sourdough Bread Homemade Soup of the Day, Sourdough Bread Classic Caesar Salad /with Char-grilled Free-range chicken Classic Caesar Salad /with Char-grilled Free-range chicken Tomato & Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic dressing Tomato & Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic dressing Lighter Dishes Lighter Dishes Gravetye Club Sandwich with root vegetable crisps & salad Gravetye Club Sandwich with root vegetable crisps & salad Platter of Home Smoked Salmon, traditionally garnished with Platter of Home Smoked Salmon, traditionally garnished with Horseradish Cream Horseradish Cream Gravetye “Breakfast” – Stornoway Black Pudding, Poached Egg, Gravetye “Breakfast” Stornoway Black Pudding, Poached Egg, crisp Pancetta & Sage–butter crisp Pancetta & Sage butter Fillet of Irish Beef Carpaccio, Rocket & Parmesan salad, Fillet of IrishCream Beef Carpaccio, Rocket & Parmesan salad, Horseradish & Balsamic dressing Horseradish Cream & Balsamic dressing Main Dishes Main Dishes Seared Irish Rib Eye Steak, homemade chips, grilled tomato Seared Irish Rib Eye Steak, homemade chips, grilled tomato & mushroom, rich Bordeaux and rosemary reduction & mushroom, rich Bordeaux and rosemary reduction Tempura of Soft Shell Crabs, crisp Pac Choi, Cucumber & Tempuradipping of Softsauce Shell Crabs, crisp Pac Choi, Cucumber & Sesame Sesame dipping sauce Smoked Haddock & Garden Pea Risotto with Parmesan shavings Smoked Haddock & Garden Pea Risotto with Parmesan shavings Pan Fried Calf’s Liver, creamed potatoes, crisp Pancetta & Pan Fried Calf’s Liver, Meaux Mustard sauce creamed potatoes, crisp Pancetta & Meaux Mustard sauce Roast Breast of Cornfed Chicken, Lime Pesto rice, cucumber, Roast&Breast of Cornfed chilli yoghurt sauce Chicken, Lime Pesto rice, cucumber, chilli & yoghurt sauce Desserts Desserts Rich Dark Chocolate Fondant, yoghurt sorbet & raspberries Rich Dark Chocolate Fondant, yoghurt sorbet & raspberries Selection of British & Continental Cheeses Selection of British & Continental Cheeses Seasonal Fruit Salad, vanilla ice cream Seasonal Fruit Salad, vanilla ice cream

£9.50 £9.50 £7.00 £7.00 £9.50/£13.50 £9.50/£13.50 £9.50 £9.50 £11.50 £11.50 £14.00 £14.00 £9.50 £9.50 £9.50 £9.50

£18.50 £18.50 £14.00 £14.00 £13.00 £13.00 £14.50 £14.50 £15.50 £15.50 £8.00 £8.00

Inclusive Value Added Tax and Service. Inclusive Valuefor Added Tax and or Service. Please call Reception information reservations. Please call Reception for information or reservations.

Location: 30 miles from Central London - 12 miles from Gatwick Airport station - 5 miles from East Grinstead station. Location: 30 miles from Central London - 12 miles from Gatwick Airport station - 5 miles from East Grinstead station. Gravetye Manor - Near East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 4LJ - - 01342 810 567 Gravetye Manor - Near East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 4LJ - - 01342 810 567 South Downs Living September 2010


The Cat’s got the cream When was the last time you took your boss out to lunch – with no hidden agenda? Exactly. The Cat Inn in West Hoathly surpassed all our expectations and would have been the perfect backdrop for a calculated charm offensive. by Nicole Tata


e knew The Cat Inn was special the the States here recently who said this was the best moment we walked in. Andrew Russell fish and chips they’d ever tasted. And you know and his staff – professional, attentive, how fussy New Yorkers are!” The fish was hake, amiable in just the right amount – were caught that day off Hastings, so beautifully tender intent on giving us the royal treatment. But not it needed no persuasion to fall off the fork. Roger just us, all customers, and for a rainy Wednesday decided to go for a more summery dish: Goats afternoon there were surprisingly many of them in Cheese Bruschetta and Roast Figs with Rocket and this tiny village off the beaten track. Pomegranate Dressing. A fantastic combination of You can almost sense the warm embrace of this colours, flavours and textures on the p(a)late, he historic 16th century inn. Oozing rustic charm was particularly taken by the figs. “Any chance of from every nook and cranny, you feel safe and snug some more?” he enquired cheekily. despite the generosity of space that surrounds you. Having been so totally blown away by the first No minding your head as you try to squeeze under two courses, I didn’t think I had any superlatives low ceiling beams here; at The Cat you walk tall! left to describe dessert. Wrong! How could you not The warm honeyed tones of the wooden beams, fall in love with Warm Roasted Peach with Saffron bar and mix-and-match tables and chairs come Syrup and Champagne Sorbet, perfectly executed together to create an to tantalise all six senses earthy yet thoroughly at once? And Valrhona modern ambience. Chocolate Brownie, “Provenance cooking: it’s about Roger and I sat in Chocolate Sauce and what’s in season, what’s fresh and the light and airy garden White Chocolate Ice room overlooking the Cream – delivering what’s available and as locally outside terrace. Lunch a long, slow and sourced as possible.” arrived quickly: an array deliciously torturous of easy-to-understand death by chocolate! dishes, faultlessly The heavens opened presented without pomp or circumstance. To over lunch and, after weeks of summer sunshine, start: Oak Smoked Salmon Belly with Beetroot the long awaited rain poured down onto the parched and Horseradish Relish and Rare Roast Beef with Sussex countryside. As thunder cracked outside and Truffled Rocket and Parmesan. Both starters were the warm dark chocolate sauce threatened to lull me disarmingly honest in their simplicity, with flavours into perfect oblivion, I pondered over the culinary there for all to taste: fresh, true and just delicious. miracle that had just taken place. For mains, I chose the classic Harveys Beer And then we met Max – Max Leonard, the Battered Fish & Chips which, according to Andrew, Cat’s head chef, that is – and it all made sense. gets the most compliments. “We had visitors from Imagine reading your favourite book and then meeting its author! Building his experience and reputation at high end gastropubs The Chequers in Maresfield (recently taken over by celebrity chef Marco Pierre White) and The George & Dragon at Speldhurst near Tunbridge Wells, Max is the engine that drives the Cat Inn’s kitchen. He is the cat’s meow! Full of youthful enthusiasm but with the gravitas that comes from years of experience, he is articulate and passionate about the one thing that matters to him: really, REALLY good food.


S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

Hot Smoked Salmon, Loin Belly, Beetroot and Horseradish Relish

advertising feature ■

“Full of youthful enthusiasm but with the gravitas that comes from years of experience, Max Leonard is articulate and passionate about the one thing that matters to him: really, REALLY good food.” Rye Bay Lobster Verrine with Pea, Potato and Radish

Oxtail Cottage Pie with Organic Summer Vegetables

“We use all the techniques of fine dining – proper cooking! – to make classic pub style dishes, perhaps with the odd surprise dish thrown in,” he explains. Max and his team are keen to stress that The Cat Inn is most definitely a pub, not a fancy restaurant. “It’s not so much about how pretty a plate looks but how good the quality of the ingredients is. We want to serve really great food to ordinary people who come here for a good meal out.” The philosophy underpinning everything that goes on in the Cat’s kitchen is what Max calls ‘provenance cooking’. It’s about what’s in season, what’s fresh and what’s available and as locally sourced as possible. “Our eggs come from a farm 5 minutes down the road ... all our veg are organic and from a 20 mile radius.” He uses his hands to outline “huge, furball peaches” from East Hoathly that will be ready for the table by next week.

Cherry Pannacotta with Mascerated Marchmont Cherries

Valrhona Chocolate Brownie with White Chocolate Ice Cream

Building relationships with local suppliers is key to Max’s approach of never compromising on quality. “All my fish is caught fresh off Rye; I get it direct from the day boat from a guy I’ve known for years and I know it is the best.” Then he tells me how he heard, quite by chance, of a local hobby farmer who rears rare breed pigs nearby. “I got in touch straight away and today I’ve had half a Duke of Berkshire pig delivered!” Andrew is clearly happy with the success of his thriving village inn. “We’re full! We’re doing 700 covers a week,” he smiles. He and Roger parted as best buddies, having bonded over assorted i-gadgetry. Personally, I quite liked the fact that there was no mobile signal, meaning no annoying ringtones that would have spoilt the near magical atmosphere. Back in the real world, it occurred to me that I hadn’t asked for a payrise. ■

Main photo above: Head Chef Max Leonard (centre) and his team.

The Cat Inn

Queen’s Square, West Hoathly West Sussex RH19 4PP Tel: 01342 810369

South Downs Living September 2010



White Hart Inn

Tai Kar Restaurant Beijing & Cantonese cuisine Fully air conditioned

se n a e m so w en na u l

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Live music every Friday evening Sunday Roast available from 12 to 6pm Food served Monday to Saturday 12 to 3pm and 6 to 9pm The White Hart Inn, Ardingly Road, West Hoathly, East Grinstead RH19 4RA

Tel. 01342 715217 |

evening feasT menu Eat as much as you like!

Best Eatery 2009 Bright fm Awards

Served from 5:30pm - 10:30pm

£11.95 adult £6.50 for under 10’s Sunday – Friday inclusive

OpEning HOuRS: Lunch Fri-Sat 12-2pm, Sun 12-3pm. Dinner Mon-Sun 5.30-11pm TAkE AwAy SERvicE AvAiLAbLE

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S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

Book Review with Claire Elford, Hassocks Book Club

This month the book club, generous as ever, takes its cue from the supermarket and offers you two for one! Whilst this month’s choices are both debut novels and both have an historical setting, here any similarity ends.


The Very Thought of You opens at the outbreak of World War II with the very distressed eight year old Anna Sands being evacuated to North Yorkshire. Anna is suitably overawed both by her new home, the vast Palladian mansion and estate of Ashton Park, and its frosty owners Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton. In fairness, Thomas has a lot to be frosty about: in a farcical series of tragic accidents his entire family has been wiped out (bombs, flu etc) and he is confined to a wheelchair as a result of polio. He also appears incapable of providing Elizabeth with a child...hence she isn’t very happy either. So poor Anna has a lot to contend with but adapts to her new home and becomes increasingly submerged in the lives of the Ashtons, the effects of which continue to shape her – somewhat implausibly – throughout her adult life. With the exception of Anna who is likeable enough, Allison’s remaining characters are all shallow and, quite frankly, miserable. Add to this is a poorly developed plot and one of the worst endings I personally have ever read and you have a thoroughly disappointing read.

THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett Now for the good news! The Help, set in 1962, is narrated by its three main characters: Minny and Abileen, two black maids working for the racist middle classes of Jackson, Mississippi, and Skeeter, the daughter of a prominent white cotton growing family. When Skeeter returns from university she is devastated by the disappearance of her black nanny and increasingly upset by her friends’ treatment of their maids. With her best friend Hilly starting a campaign to install separate toilets in every house in Jackson for ‘the help’, Skeeter reacts by deciding to write an exposé of the ill-treatment encountered by the maids of Jackson. However, to do this she must enlist the help of Abileen and Minnie during a time of increasing racial tension. This is a beautifully written and convincing novel. It successfully combines humour and emotion with fantastic characters whilst never losing sight of what was a disturbing period of American history.

South Downs Living September 2010


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24 hours ago I was lazing by a glittering pool under a beautiful blue, sky wondering whether to finish reading my book, listen to some music or engage in a spot of visualisation (the one where the children suddenly decide to help out around the house without any bribery involved). Today I am in a war zone, in the midst of a battlefield. The music is thumping, the heat is scorching, our commanders are wearing headsets and my fellow troops are exhausted and in pain. Children are screaming and our objectives are lost in the chaos, noise and heat of the front line. So, where am I? Well, anyone who’s ever been there will recognise that I’m doing last minute shopping for back-toschool trainers, football boots and shoes. The effects of two weeks of relaxation have been annihilated within two minutes. Alpha Mum is organised enough to order her children’s footwear online.“I simply won’t waste my time going to some ghastly town where the Cash Converters and Pound Shops are only outnumbered by the number of Tanning Salons,” she gloats. But for me the summer holidays are a time for not being organised and for letting things go. So it’s a rude awakening when Back to School is finally here and I’m scrabbling around trying to find lids for lunchboxes (where do they go?!) and then fill them with healthy, nutritious food items, which get eaten. Is this actually possible? Can anybody other than Annabel Karmel really achieve this, week in week out? Despite these frustrations, I always like to think that September is a time of new beginnings, a fresh start full of opportunities to reinvent ourselves. So, here’s to Back To School children who get out of bed when they’re asked, do their homework on time, don’t lose bits of their PE kits, eat their healthy and nutritious lunches, rise above ‘friendship issues’ and always give more than 15 minutes’ notice when they need to produce an outfit, mask, cooking ingredients, science experiment or a five generation family tree!


Tel. 01444 340 030

S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

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Welcome to the Robins Nest

When primary school teacher Anna James was first looking for childcare for her son Tom, nothing met her expectations. What could she do? by Lisa de Silva


ith the help of her mum, Jenny Hyde, who herself had 30 years’ experience of working in childcare, the duo decided to set up a nursery of their own. Pooling experience and resources, they opened the doors to Robin’s Nest Nursery in 1998. Since then the nursery has thrived and now incorporates a cosy Baby Unit alongside the main nursery, both conveniently situated within a stone’s throw of Haywards Heath station. Not surprisingly, the business is a real family affair. “Our whole philosophy is based on creating a family atmosphere,” Jenny tells me. “We know that the personal touch is the most important factor in childcare and so we aim to reflect a child’s home routines. If they nap at a certain time, or only eat specific snack items, we will work around that.” All the staff are qualified, motivated and more: they love the children and it shows. Each child has a key person who is responsible for all aspects of that child’s care, from changing nappies to working on their learning journal. “We also have key group time, when staff can spend quiet time with their key group of children and help to build confidence in those that may be shy,” Jenny explains.

“Our whole philosophy is based on creating a family atmosphere. We know that the personal touch is the most important factor in childcare and so we aim to reflect a child’s home routines.” Belinda, the cook, (and mum to one staff member) is hugely proud of the fact that Trading Standards have tested and rated her food as the highest possible quality. “It’s fantastic having Belinda,” says Jenny. “If a child says ‘I love apple crumble’, then it’s often possible for her to make it that day. She also uses the produce we’ve grown in our garden here.”

The outside space is a great asset the children really enjoy; both the baby unit and the nursery have safe and secure gardens. Children are encouraged to follow their own instincts in deciding where to play – as they would do if they were at home – and each room is dedicated to a different area of the curriculum: messy, reading, roleplaying, activity and learning, complete with IT facilities. “We have found that if you let children decide what they want to play with, they enjoy and engage with what they’re doing much better than if you’re trying to impose a strict timetable on their activities,” says Jenny. Parents are encouraged to join the family atmosphere; there are several social events throughout the year. They can also call the nursery at any time. “It’s really important to us that parents feel as comfortable as their children. We have a huge responsibility in caring for their children and it’s one we don’t take lightly.” ■

Robins Nest Day Nursery 47 Perrymount Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 3BN | Tel. 01444 413103

South Downs Living September 2010



Style &


Mosey Mosey Interiors at Ditchling now has a fabulous autumn collection and new stock arriving every week. Ideal for gifts, accessories, lampshades, furniture and just about anything you need for a beautiful home and garden – just come on in for a “mosey” around or visit 2 South Sreet, Ditchling, East Sussex BN6 8QU Tel: 0800 7569988 or 01273 846658

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The Leaping Hare • Quality beads • Semi precious stones • Crystals • Findings • Tools & threads Our highly popular polymer clay and our new “Needle and thread seed bead” classes for adults and children can be arranged to suit you. Giraffe Gems, Ote Hall Farm, Janes Lane, Burgess Hill, RH15 0SR S o248475 u t h D ow s Living Tel: 01444 |n Open: Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-5pm September 2010


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Fri 09.30 – 12.30 Sat 09.00 – 15.00 and at The Olympos Leisure Centre, Haywards Heath Phone: 01444 441520 Thurs 09.30 – 14.00

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South Downs Living September 2010


Prayer and support

– a job for life Left: Sunday worship at Hassocks URC. Above: Disabled youngsters with wheelchairs funded by Whizz-Kidz.

“We will be celebrating the work of Whizz-Kidz, raising money to provide essential mobility equipment, such as powered and manual wheelchairs, to support young disabled people to lead active and fun childhoods.”

by Peter Scotland

In an increasingly stressful and hectic world, praying is a job for life. Come and join us at Hassocks URC on Saturday 25 September for ideas and opportunities to explore this.


e’re celebrating harvest, and holding an Eight 2 Eight day: the Church will be open from 8am to 8pm when we shall be showcasing some of the work we support through the year. During the day we are offering ways to support this work through prayer, with many different suggestions about how to pray, and why we pray. There will be activities for everyone, including children, DVDs to watch, ways to meditate and times to be quiet. Eight 2 Eight will be celebrating the work of Whizz-Kidz, raising money to provide essential mobility equipment, such as powered and manual wheelchairs, to support young disabled people to lead active and fun childhoods. The charity also provides wheelchair skills training and other club activities like sport and work placements to build young people’s confidence as they enter adulthood.


S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

Whizz-Kidz has drawn attention to the fact that there are an estimated 70,000 disabled children in the UK who could benefit from the right mobility equipment for them. During 2010 we want to help some of these children as we raise money for Whizz-Kidz. Eight 2 Eight will highlight the work of the Bible Society. The Bible Society was formed in 1804. It exists because millions of people lack the Bible in a language they can understand, in a form they can use or at a price they can afford. At the same time millions still have no understanding of the Bible’s value for them and their communities. The Bible Society’s vision is to see a day when the Bible’s God-given revelation, inspiration and wisdom are shaping the lives and communities of people everywhere. During 2010 we are supporting this work as the Bible Society continues its work of translating the Bible, and making it available to people across the world.

We are committed to helping people in Gaza and the Occupied Territories through Christian Aid. Eight 2 Eight will tell you about the different ways in which we offer help and support to people in the Occupied Territories and Gaza. There will be a small display of craft work and other items from the Occupied Territories, as well as a stall selling goods from Palestine. Come and see us on Saturday 25 September – there’s a warm welcome for everyone. The Traidcraft Stall will be at the front of the Church, we shall be showing the film Silence by local film maker, Nicky Thwaites, reflecting on ways people explore silence in our local communities here in Mid Sussex. Tea and coffee will be served in Powell House next door. Our prayer and our support is a job for life. Call in during the day to see us at work. ■

Hassocks United Reformed Church 23 Keymer Road, Hassocks, West Sussex BN6 8AB Tel. 01273 834094

For details about Whizz-Kidz, visit

First-class treatment is closer than you think. A hospital with private facilities and a wealth of medical expertise is closer than you think. You’ll find all this and a caring environment, as well. To see if we can help you, give us a call or drop in and see us. You couldn’t be in better hands. Nuffield Health Haywards Heath Hospital, Burrell Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 1UD 01444456999

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by Roger Linn

Fee Lee is a farmer’s wife and a part-time veterinary nurse, so she obviously has lots of time on her hands.


Pets as Therapy

hat’s as long as you ignore the two children, seven dogs, two cats, a 79 year old tortoise called Hot Rod, two horses, a Harris hawk, Bantam chickens and the two foxhound puppies she’s looking after for the local hunt. In fact, she has so much energy we could save a fortune by plugging her into the National Grid. And now she’s just become a Pets As Therapy (PAT) Volunteer, although I should say that she and Nobby, her five year old Patterdale terrier, have become PAT Volunteers because they work very much as a team. Pets As Therapy is a wonderful charity whose members and their pets visit a very wide range of people who can benefit from the warmth and affection the animals offer unconditionally. It is a long list, but includes adults and children in hospitals, hospices, schools, nursing homes, people recovering from strokes or suffering from clinical depression – they go anywhere where there is a need

and Pets as Therapy can help. Before acceptance, the pet’s temperament is carefully assessed and the animal is tested to make sure that it has the sort of calm and friendly nature essential to the role. Pedigree doesn’t matter here; temperament is everything. Fee and Nobby passed their test with

“Nobby’s had his paws run over by a wheelchair on more than one occasion, but there’s no question that he understands his role.” flying colours and are regular visitors at Chailey Heritage where Nobby brings joy to children suffering from neurological conditions. Fee describes Nobby, with whom she has a very special bond, as “bomb proof” because of his amazingly stoical temperament. This, of course, is particularly valuable around physically challenged children

and young adults. “He’s had his paws run over by a wheelchair on more than one occasion,” says Fee, “but there’s no question in my mind that he understands his role. I have an enormous sense of pride in watching a child’s face transformed with the delight of touching Nobby’s soft black head or ears. And I’ve been very moved watching the interaction between this very special little dog and the children. Humble too,” she adds, “really, I’m just his chauffeur!” As if he knew we were talking about him, Nobby gave a huge yawn, rolled over onto his back and contemplated the ceiling. ■ Over 130,000 people a week benefit from Pets As Therapy with some 4,500 dogs and 100 cats visiting throughout the UK. If you would like to find out more about the charity, visit or telephone 01451 829641

South Downs Living September 2010


by Roger Linn

Gina Field died on 4 July 2010, some days short of her 72nd birthday. She had come to the end of an eventful life, during which she gave a great deal more than she took. Energetic, creative and with the pragmatism that comes from growing up in Yorkshire, Gina was widely respected in her profession, while her natural warmth made her what in Scotland they refer to as a ‘weel-liked woman’.

Gina Field

– a force for life


orn in Richmond, North Yorkshire, and brought up in the tiny village of Scorton, Gina had what she described, with sadness, as probably one of the last ‘totally safe and free childhoods’. It was spent in the fields, becks and woods surrounding the village, where the children played all the daylight hours without fear of any consequence, save parental wrath for coming home after dusk. Her memories of this period were intense and included seeing farm collies dig sheep out of the snow and, disgracefully, tying her four-year-old sister Anne to a tree so she could go birds’-nesting. Anne bore her no ill will and recalls growing up with a big sister whom she adored and who was an endless source of fascination. There was the ritual of getting Gina ready for a party in the Fifties when layers of coloured net underskirts had to be starched in the bath and Bill Hayley was all the rage. And later, being taken under her wing in a ‘girlie’ London flat in the Swinging Sixties. The deep bond between the two girls, some nine years apart in age, would last throughout their lives.


S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

From a convent education in Richmond, delivered according to Anne by “fierce French nuns”, Gina moved on through secretarial training to work for local companies and, having risen to the position of PA to the Head of Research at Glaxo, finally saw her opportunity to move on into the wider world. In 1963, she replied to an advertisement in The Northern Echo and, waving goodbye to the North, she donned her “fluffy pink hat to match my heaviest tweed coat” and descended on London as the new ‘straight out of the egg’ Assistant Editor at the FCI News Agency. Gina took to London and the high intensity, professional world of journalism like the natural she was. She undertook more multi-media training with the NUJ. At Westminster College and sharing a flat off Gloucester Road with three girlfriends, she accepted all the fun the capital had to offer. It was at a party during this time that she met her husband-to-be John Field. She had her sister Anne to thank, for it was she who introduced them “knowing” they were meant for each other. Gina was by now making a name for herself in the world of PR and, although she was working for a New York-based company, when John was offered a job at Sussex University Gina followed him down. In 1969 they set up married life together in a small house in Ditchling. Tiring of commuting and wanting to make her own mark in the world, it wasn’t long before Gina set up her own company, Field Communications, which operated from the spare bedroom. Her first contract client was Buxted Chicken and, in her own words “we never looked back.” The

company gradually grew and became recognised for its particular expertise in the food and drink industry. After renting offices in Haywards Heath, the next move was to the company’s current premises in a double fronted former Victorian family home in Hurstpierpoint High Street. Gina was joined by Gerri McNally and Hilary de Mussenden Leathes, now the company’s joint Managing Directors. With Gina’s ebullient and enthusiastic leadership they carved out a niche as one of the nation’s premier food and drink PR firms. Amongst many other successes, FML Public Relations, as the company is now called, was largely responsible for introducing both cranberries and soy sauce to the nation’s diet. In 2007, this small agency, tucked away in rural England, won Consumer PR Agency of the Year.

“If you got on a train with Gina, by the time you reached your destination you’d know everybody in the carriage.” “She was a wonderful teacher and leader because she believed that everybody has something to offer. And she genuinely liked meeting people from all walks and stations of life,” says Gerri. Hillary agrees and confides that “if you got on a train with Gina, by the time you reached your destination you’d know everybody in the carriage.” Her achievements within her chosen field would take up far more space than we have here. Suffice to say that she was a Freeman of the City of London, a Founder Member of the City of London Guild of Public Relations Practitioners, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, a Member of the Institute of Directors and the Craft Guild of Chefs. When she retired from the active, day-to-day management of FML seven years ago, she inevitably turned her attention and considerable energies to her

local community. Gina became a very active District Councillor and – passionate about our rural community – she was delighted to be given ‘Downland Villages’ as her fiefdom. Her voluntary work included supporting the renovation of Oldland Mill at Keymer as well as being a committed member of the campaign to restore Hassocks Station, which she always saw as the natural gateway to the South Downs National Park. The South Downs had become Gina’s home; she said that they always reminded her of the Dales of her childhood. At her 70th birthday party, still as vivacious and hospitable as ever and when she had already been diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME), she said she was “celebrating one small lifetime with the most wonderful people in the world.” I think most of them would believe that they had received the better half of the bargain. ■

South Downs Living September 2010


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It’s only three months until December, when shop windows will be decorated and the Hassocks Christmas lights will once again stand out against the darker skies. But will they? by Lucinda Hawkes


or many years, Keymer Road has been decorated with lights during December and early January. Last year, however, there was a real possibility that the village would be left without any. The Light Up Hassocks committee led by Connie Forster, which had been raising funds to install and maintain the lights each year, was disbanded during 2009 and, despite appeals, no-one came forward to take over the project. The Hassocks Community

Partnership decided that the village couldn’t lose the lights and, with the help of Roger Booth and his team, managed to book some lights at the last moment. Since then, the Hassocks WI – which has a number of special interest groups – has formed a WI Community Group which is supported by Hassocks Community Partnership. We now have to raise the funds so that we can make sure Hassocks sparkles in December. Look out for us selling raffle tickets and collecting at Hassocks Village Market on Saturday 25th September. On the morning of

Saturday 16th October we will be holding a coffee morning at the URC Church Hall. Please support these fundraisers. Also look out for our collection boxes at Roger Booth’s and other local shops during September. Any change you can spare will be welcome – ‘every little’ really does help! We look forward to showing off the new lights at a ‘Switch On’ ceremony during the evening of Thursday 25th November. If you have any questions, fundraising ideas or would like to make a donation, please contact Lucinda Hawkes on 01273 841872. ■

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■ advertising feature

by Karen Miles

Looking behind the picture postcard exterior of Hurstpierpoint College, Karen Miles wasn’t sure what she would find or whether she would like it. Her interview with Heather Beeby, Head at Hurst Prep School, left her surprised and more than a little inspired.


’d expected to pick up something – some hint of dissent, some feeling of dissatisfaction – but there was nothing. So I tried again, calculating that if I kept chatting to the parents of this fee-paying school in the heart of middle class Sussex, it wouldn’t be long before somebody had something interesting to say about it. As a parent myself, I had sounded out a dozen or so state and independent schools over the years, mingling at the school gates with mums and dads to find out strengths and weaknesses. You might know the kind of thing: mulling over the good but also the bad at the place – off-beam behaviour, sloppy teaching, soft leadership. But at Hurstpierpoint College Prep School, my questions brought a near wall of praise for the school, and particularly for its Headmistress Heather Beeby. The cunning journalist’s plan to find out about the school’s weaknesses before interviewing Beeby – now three years into her headship – wasn’t going as it should. Time and time again, parents’ faces lit up with something approaching evangelism at the mention of Heather Beeby’s name. They described a consistent picture: the warm and understanding woman, available and visible to children and parents alike, inspirational, caring and compassionate, firm and decisive, scarily efficient, working, working, working. They outlined how she moved quickly to sort out problems when they were raised: poor behaviour in the playground that was jumped upon; underperforming


S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

Abseiling from the chapel tower earlier this year: Heather Beeby raises money for the Hurst College Haiti Appeal

children reminded firmly and instantly of the way forward; scared new entrants happy to hold her hand in the foyer; alterations to the day’s menu to assuage those with the appetites of lions. For goodness’ sake, I even came across sets of parents who had moved their children from Beeby’s last school, St Christopher’s in Hove, to be reunited with her. With perseverance I gathered a smattering of less complimentary material, even if I do have to hang my head in slight desperation at some of its content: one mother’s comment that some classroom displays might be better; another’s that a few teachers’

summaries on their child’s reports could be more useful. And it would seem that perhaps the scholarship awards are not always as generous at age 11 as Hurst’s information leads parents to believe. I also unearthed a fair few complaints about problems parking at the site. But even here the grumbles were relatively muted and halfapologetic. The bun-fight for car space in the mornings follows a rapid increase in pupil numbers. But which parent in their right mind wouldn’t be happy with their child being part of a prep school where pupil numbers have risen by 25% to 250 in the last three years? And who could really complain about

“We’re preparing people for the big jobs but they also need to think about the world that we live in. Education has to be about children growing up and being forward thinking and looking beyond themselves.”

Hurstpierpoint College Headed for success

expansion when the children of Years 7 and 8 have moved into a share of the College’s newly-opened £5 million academic building development in a move designed not only to enhance the classrooms at their disposal but also to ease their transition into the Senior School in Year 9? Talking to Beeby is an interesting and inspiring experience. From here it’s possible to understand the parent fan club. She’s someone who doesn’t fit the stereotypical profile of a prep school head – a woman, a wife and mother, state-educated and with a strong sense of social justice. “I’m not interested in developing children who think that

they’re better than everyone else – that slightly nauseating public school gloss,” she points out. Her qualities were spotted by Tim Manly shortly after he was appointed Headmaster of all of Hurstpierpoint College in January 2005. Hurst’s dreamy 140-acre campus – with its views of the South Downs, impressive flint buildings dominated by the grand chapel and beautiful cricket, rugby and hockey pitches – was in need of a wake-up call. As Manly set to work – upping the ante on the school’s underperforming academic core – Beeby was happily ensconced at Brighton College’s whollyowned subsidiary and prep school, St

Christopher’s. She’d been basking in a recent accolade for ‘visionary’ leadership from the Independent Schools Inspectorate. It was only when six of her best pupils began to view Hurst that she became really aware of the school. When the job came up to lead Hurst Prep School, Beeby realised she was ready for a new challenge: “Tim Manly had such a tremendous energy and I knew I wanted to be somewhere where things would really be happening. I knew that somewhere like Hurst wouldn’t come up again in a hurry.” After switching to the Hurst camp in September 2006, Beeby moved to improve academic standards by Continued on page 78 >

South Downs Living September 2010


< Continued from page 77

imposing the system of challenge grades at the Prep School, following Manly’s lead in the Senior School. This system gives parents an email report every six weeks on their child’s progress towards target grades that are designed to challenge them on every subject. Some staff chose to move on with the changes that Beeby imposed in her new domain – as they had done in the Senior School under Manly. The rest were mentored in an unprecedented way alongside a new regime of staff training that has now been woven into the fabric of the school. Beeby is unapologetic: “When I arrived, learning was all about fun, but it’s not all about fun. I want the children here to be inspired.” The after-school activity programme was expanded with the aim of inspiring life-long interests for Hurst children. At the heart of this remains the Chapel Choir – attracting large numbers of applicants compared to table tennis, football, performance poetry, gardening, rugby, film club and swim squad, to name but a few – indicating the popularity of singing at Hurst Prep. Quite a feat in such a sporty school. Another innovation is the enrichment programme. This is a system of optional termly projects for ‘GTi’ children, aimed at stretching the minds and the independent study skills of the “gifted, talented and/or interested”, as Beeby explains. From this base, final year Prep pupils in Year 8 are also more able to handle the project-based presentation required at the Senior School for those applying for academic scholarships there. In turn, these fledgling skills will be developed to help fulfil the rigours of the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme that Hurst plans – subject to the agreement of the IB Board – to run alongside A-Levels in the Sixth Form from 2011.


SSouth o u t hDowns D ow nLiving s Living September 2010 September 2010

Meanwhile, the Common Entrance exam for entry to the Senior School has been scrapped. Is this Hurst dumbing down? Not surprisingly, Beeby argues it is not. She calls Common Entrance an “old fashioned examination” that is based heavily on factual knowledge and says it is under review by many prep school heads: “The ability of children to learn independently is not tested by Common Entrance and I would argue that this will be the most important skill we can teach our children. Children at Hurst work to the same academic levels as those who follow Common Entrance but they work more independently and creatively.” Beeby and Manly accept children with a wider span of raw academic ability than some independent schools but expectations are high for each recruit. “Our aim is for the top of the tree, for each child to do as well or better here than in any other school,” states Beeby. The belief is that Hurst must produce men and women of the future who can survive and prosper with

“She’s someone who doesn’t fit the stereotypical profile of a prep school head – a woman, a wife and mother, stateeducated and with a strong sense of social justice. ‘I’m not interested in developing children who think that they’re better than everyone else,’ she points out.” the fittest as well as interact effectively with those around them, producing their own solutions for success and happiness in an increasingly competitive and sometimes troubled world. “We’re preparing people for the big jobs but they also need to think about the world that we live in. Education has to be about children growing up and being forward thinking and looking beyond themselves,” she argues. For anyone not used to seeing the level of care, expertise and facilities at somewhere like Hurst – use the word privilege if you like – this sounds like an important lesson for these children to learn. As a result, Beeby chairs the College’s Eco-Hurst committee, a cause that she is working hard to push onto the agenda of all 900 or so pupils within Hurst’s PrePrep, Prep and Senior Schools. She wants to expand the environmental programme, including setting up a one acre farm on Hurst’s ample site that will educate pupils about food production and sustainability and will also foster problem-solving skills and business enterprise. There are moves to power one of the girls’ boarding houses in the Senior School with solar

panels and to install a ground source pump. There is more on Beeby’s mind, including the introduction of a ‘Year of Sustainability’ throughout the College and bringing in a host of other permanent environmental initiatives in co-operation with West Sussex County Council – reducing the waste produced by Hurst, for example. There’s fire in her eyes at the mention of the masses of plastic water bottles discarded by pupils every day. Beeby is keen to open the minds of the College’s pupils to the plight of the less well-off. Last year the Prep School raised nearly £14,000 for the orphans’ charity Open Arms Malawi. Much of the total was based on parents ‘lending’ £10 to their sons and daughters to put towards money-making projects where all profits were then donated to the charity. This led to the creation of hundreds of philanthropic Prep School entrepreneurs. This year immediately after the Haiti earthquake, the whole Prep School responded alongside the rest of the College to raise a significant sum to assist the aid programme. Leading, as ever, by example, Beeby bid for the ‘privilege’ of abseiling from the Chapel tower. Not an easy abseil for the experienced let alone for an absolute beginner! And Beeby is pushing for more projects to link Hurst to its locality, underlining the school’s ethos from its ownership by the Woodard Corporation. Woodard schools are charged with nurturing and enriching each child with a sense of Christian community. Lower down the years Beeby sees her job as getting her children to help others – singing in the community, for example. “We constantly need to be looking to develop children who contribute to the world where they live and who do things for other people. In the end it could be said that it is giving that makes people most happy,” she concludes. Meanwhile Beeby didn’t get her second award for leadership by losing sight of Hurst’s core business of academic pursuit. In 2007, the Independent Schools Inspectorate judged the leadership from Manly, Beeby and also Michèle Finnegan, head of Hurst PrePrep School, to be “outstanding”. “We are alert to our children and to what makes them tick. It’s about looking for the ways a child can contribute and by acknowledging that – and not just academically. We expect them to do great things and by and large they do,” states Beeby. ■

Hurstpierpoint College College Lane, Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex BN6 9JS Tel: 01273 833 636 Email:

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South Downs Living September 2010


by Nicola Hobbs

Three years ago, frittering away her days studying for an unwanted hairdressing apprenticeship, Holly Jefferies decided to follow her passion for performing. She quit her salon job, picked up her guitar and started to sing.

Mid Sussex has talent


Holly Jefferies

rriving bright and bubbly for our interview, I offer Holly a drink to help her feel at home. Tea? Coffee? Hot chocolate? Organic elderflower cordial with fresh lemon juice? “Tap water would be great, thank you”. Dressed modestly in a simple hoodie, denim skirt and chic boots, her golden-tinted hair left naturally wavy, Holly’s style is much like her persona: unfussy, carefree and down-to-earth.


S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

Now aged 20 and working in Hurstpierpoint’s pub The Poacher whilst on her summer break from studying Contemporary Devised Theatre at university, Holly is one of Mid Sussex’s unknown talents. She cringes demurely as she explains how the pub plays her album on repeat while she is working, customers complimenting her on her soothing vocals and enchanting lyrics. Having never had any formal acting or singing training,

her musical triumphs are entirely of her own making. “I like to sing but I don’t think I’m very good and I’m rubbish at performing. I don’t have the confidence,” she giggles. Despite her insecurities, Holly’s stage potential was spotted early on as a pupil at St Lawrence Primary School, Hurstpierpoint, where she made her debut performance. “I remember being chosen to be the leading lady in our school play, Smugglers’ Spirits.

I was only ten at the time and it was I will still sit in theory lessons and terrifying,” she says, laughing at the doodle but university has given me the memory. Holly was determined to opportunity to express myself.” overcome her stage fright and went on to “My last project was a piece on study Drama at Downlands Community how you shouldn’t kill spiders for School in Hassocks before taking up no reason.” She giggles innocently as Performing Arts at Lewes College and, she explains how Freud would have at 17, landing a lead role in Brighton psychoanalysed her spider-inspired Theatre Group’s performance of Oliver! performance to be “something to do at Brighton’s Theatre Royal. with sex. But it’s not, it is metaphoric Recalling her school days, Holly for the way we treat someone who is suddenly appears very emotional, weaker than us,” she reassures me coyly. drifting off into memories of her not-soWith her studies a five hour drive distant struggles with education. “I grew away, Holly doesn’t get the opportunity up feeling really retarded. I got lost in to come back home to Hurstpierpoint the education system and didn’t think I as much as she would like, but she would amount to anything. I didn’t get is dutiful to the support her family on very well with the academic subjects, continue to give her. She says she got these little epiphanies that I live my life so dreaded lessons and I would end her creative genes from her mother, by. Number one: I believe everything up just sitting there and going off into Carol, a teacher, who “sings as she’s happens for a reason; number two: my own little world.” people worry too much; Clearly, Holly’s own and number three: hate is “Light hearted, dreamy and attractively unassuming, pointless – you have to care little world has done her no harm, and she Holly has outgrown the usual teenage rebellion to about someone in order to is incessant in her them.” become one of Mid Sussex’s rising stars. From her hateLight appreciation for the hearted, dreamy teachers who helped her self-taught guitar strumming and captivating voice, and attractively unassuming, through her exams. to her original lyrics, musical scripts and unique Holly has outgrown the Her emotional usual teenage drink and artwork, Holly’s one aim in life is to enjoy it.” intelligence is drug rebellion to become unmistakable in her one of Mid Sussex’s rising lyrics: eloquent and stars. From her self-taught evocative, they capture a meaning that all doing the washing up” and who she guitar strumming and captivating voice, of us can relate to. She recites a few lines says is “the most selfless person I to her original lyrics, musical scripts of her song The Great Fire of Annie: know.” Her father, Nick, and brothers, and unique artwork, Holly’s one aim in It’s only human nature to want what you can’t have, Luke and Sam, have always been life is to enjoy it. “I’m too busy being an so once you think you’ve found perfection, encouraging in her desire to sing. idiot to be serious about anything. At the it’ll stab you in the back”. After spending time in a recording moment, I’m quite happy having fun and Her voice is soulful and calming. studio and fed up with ‘cheesy story seeing where life takes me.” ■ “They sound quite dark, but everything lines’, Holly decided to utilize her I write has a hidden message. I am creativity and write her own musical. She inspired by random moments of anger, becomes wistful and reflective once again sadness and passion. I like things that as she tells me the story of a young man’s make you think,” she adds, just a little battle with love, loss and Schizophrenia. nervously. Aware the atmosphere has become With no desire to find her pathway slightly solemn, Holly chuckles and to fame through televised talent shows reveals that her real inspiration is Mark because “they’re too artificial”, Holly is Heap who plays a pompous doctor in all too aware of the uphill battle she is sketch show Green Wing. “I would love facing if she wants to get heard in such a to get into comedy; I always get the competitive industry. “There are a lot of humorous roles. I can’t take anything people out there who are better than me. seriously and just laugh at everything.” People say I’m good, but they probably “Or I’d love to be in a soap opera. It feel obliged to say that,” she says sounds a bit silly, but you would get to humbly, all the while smiling. Despite form a relationship with your character her vivacious appearance, Holly’s lack and they would be entirely your own of pretence, so uncommon in the world creation... And I’ve always wanted to be of performers, is wonderfully alluring. a river dancer… And I want to travel!” Now a pupil at Dartington College of Going off on a tangent, Holly’s Arts, Devon, her degree studies appear thoughts drift from one adventure to the to have nurtured her creativity. Relaxing next in her desire to “go everywhere and into the interview and overcoming her do everything.” Her outward excitement self-criticising belief that “there are for life and happy-go-lucky attitude so many other people worth writing is inspiring, but it hides a deep and If you want to find out where to about,” Holly shares her delight for mature outlook on life. “The strongest download Holly’s music please email the freedom university life has given thing about me is my thoughts. There her. “I am so creative it’s crazy. My is nothing specifically amazing about course incorporates all the arts – me, but I would call myself a thinker. theatre, dance, music, song writing... I allow my mind to wander and I have

South Downs Living September 2010


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Mid Sussex South Downs Living is distributed in towns and villages across Mid Sussex and nearby places reaching over 50,000 readers. We have over 100 distribution points where you can pick up your free copy. You can also read the magazine online at Thanks to the following local businesses who have agreed to have one of our swing signs: Burgess Hill: Burgess Financial Services

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disappointed, which happened to some people last year. Tickets are now available Ditchling Post Office and Parkers or by phoning Sylvia Bain on 01273 845361. No tickets will be available on the door. Make sure you get ‘Satisfaction’ by getting your ticket early – don’t risk turning ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’ by leaving it too late!


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S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

Following last year’s sellout 60s music disco in Ditchling Village Hall, we plan to repeat the event on 16 October (7.30pm) featuring, as before, DJ Andy Young and all those great bands of the 60s decade. Come and dance to the Rolling Stones, Beatles, Kinks, Supremes, Manfred Mann and all your favourites and help raise money for two wildlife charities at the same time. Tickets cost £10 (same as last year) and include light refreshments. A bar will be available. As numbers are strictly limited, it is advisable to book your tickets early to avoid being

Many disabled people and their families are not always sure where to go to find information about specialist equipment, leisure activities and other available services. West Sussex Association for Disabled People (WSAD) is a local charity which works across the county to provide a number of different services for disabled people and those who support them. It’s useful to know about their Information and Advice service, which is open 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday throughout the year. Through this, WSAD is able to point you in the right direction and provide you with the help and support you’re entitled to. They also run a second hand disability


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September Serenade The Bluebell Railway’s 50th anniversary appeal is to receive a boost from an anniversary concert at Chequer Mead Arts Centre, East Grinstead on 18th September. Proceeds from ‘September Serenade’ will go towards the line’s northern extension to East Grinstead. The evening will feature favourite choruses from Gilbert & Sullivan, opera arias, songs from the shows, solos and duets, and favourite choral works. “We will be catering for almost every musical taste, under the skilful musical direction of Richard Haslam, the director of music at Burgess Hill School for Girls,” says producer Susan Fleet from Burgess Hill who marks 40 years of staging fundraising

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concerts. Her first, back in 1970, was in the local parish church and included her two younger brothers. The evening’s compere will be the BBC’s news anchor Nicholas Owen, a keen supporter and Trustee of the Bluebell Railway. Over fifty singers are coming together for the performance, people who have all become friends with Susan over the past four decades through singing. Tickets (£12 and £10 concessions) are on sale now, and selling fast. Details from the box office on 01342 302000 and www.

Hassocks Discussion Group Hassocks Discussion Group was formed some 25 years ago to provide a forum where people could enjoy a lively discussion around a topic selected and presented by one of the group or by an invited guest. The original idea for such a group came from an association with the ‘National Adult School Organisation’, founded in 1798, whose aim was to deepen human understanding and enrich

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S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

Do you need to make or register a

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The fact is that if you do not have a valid Power of Attorney in place when you start to become incapable then a person willing to help you has to make an application to the Court to be your “Deputy”. Deputyship is slow and expensive, and a recent Radio 4 investigation described exorbitant costs, and heartbreaking delays and losses occurring both where family members and professional deputies were involved. And the court procedures involved are daunting and slow.

If you do nothing before you become incapable then you will have no real choice as to who acts for you. Your Deputy may then be someone you don’t know, whose primary motivation for doing it is to earn fees.

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A Lasting Power of Attorney is a significant and powerful document. It needs serious thought and good advice. If you instruct me, then I will spend the time with you that it needs, in your own home, and will agree a reasonable fixed fee before you commit yourself to going ahead.

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life through friendship and study. Unfortunately this organization has ceased to exist these days, although we try to maintain its ideals. The range of topics discussed at our meetings is wide ranging with no limit to the boundaries of ideas. In the past we have discussed ‘From Cat’s Whisker To DVD’, ‘Personal Finance’, ‘Freemasonry’, ‘What Is School For’, ‘Asylum’, ‘The Curies’, ’The History Of Dentures’ and ‘Divination’ to name just a few. We would like to extend our membership in anticipation that an even wider range of subjects would be presented for future discussion. We meet at the Pauline

Thaw Age Concern centre in Hassocks on the first and third Monday of each month except August from 10am to 12noon, with a short mid morning break for coffee or tea and biscuits and a general chat among ourselves. For more information please contact our chairperson Jane Richardson on 01273 842268, or just drop in to one of our meetings.

Oldland Mill The 18th July saw the sun shining and visitors to our Event Day were treated to the amazing sight of the sweeps turning for most of the day. Children enjoyed

South Downs Living September 2010


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snail racing, Pete the Magician, ‘Ivan and the Thief’ Puppet Shows and a most interesting talk by Jenny from the Sussex Bat Group. A big thank you to all those of you who supported us. As always, all monies raised will go towards the restoration and maintenance of the mill. We held a minor Open Day on 1st August. Although we did not have many visitors on this occasion, those who did turn up were very interested in the mill and we hope to increase our membership from amongst them. Work on the outside of the mill is now virtually completed but there are still major works to be completed inside the mill before it can run smoothly and produce flour. More funds are needed to complete the work and to this end our next main Event Day, with a Country Crafts theme, will be held on Sunday 19th September. This is the last event of the season – so bring the family and be part of this quintessentially English scene. Refreshments, as always, will be available. No parking at the mill but a free shuttle bus service will run from the Thatched Inn, Ockley Lane. As always, the mill volunteers are pleased to show visitors round the mill any Thursday if you care to take a stroll up Mill Lane.


S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010

Finally, a plea for help. Colin Lambert has to step down as coordinator of our Hassocks Village Market stall due to pressure of work. Is there anyone out there who would be prepared to take on that role which involves booking the stall in the monthly Village Market, helping to set up and dismantle the stall and coordinate the manning rota from among the mill’s team of volunteers? Colin is happy to continue to help and, if necessary, order supplies of goods etc. If you have some time to spare and could take on this task, please call Fred Maillardet, Oldland Mill’s chairman, on 01273 842342.

The Big Dance Off 2010 The Big Dance Off! is a fantastic charity dance competition being held on Saturday 18 December 2010 and hosted by The Triangle, Burgess Hill. This year the event is in aid of two children’s charities: Advance Centre and Early Birth Association (supporting the Trevor Mann Baby Unit at Brighton’s Royal Sussex County Hospital). REGISTER NOW! For just £30 per act you could enter this fabulous event and win the chance to be the

Champions by the end of the night and raise money for charity! The event brings the community together to celebrate dance with an opportunity for everyone to participate. Dancers of all ages, styles and abilities and teams, couples and solo dancers are all welcome. The event runs on a competition basis and the audience decides the winner! The only restriction to enter is a maximum three minute routine and you don’t have to be a member of a dance school or club to take part! You can enter up to two acts and you  are allowed to use props! For more information and registration packs, please contact

Fun Run for St Peter & St James Hospice It’s that time of year again where you can choose to walk or run the beautiful 5 ½ mile course through fields and woodland surrounding St Peter & St James Hospice, North Chailey. Now in its 7th year, on Sunday

26th September St Peter & St James Hospice are holding what could be the last ever Fun Run or Walk. Entry fees have been kept the same as last year so there is no excuse not to get those running shoes on and help us achieve our goal to raise £4,000 every day! All we ask is that you try and get sponsorship for running or walking! Entry in advance costs £5 for adults and over 12s, £2 for 12 year olds and under, and £10 for a family of 2 adults and 2 children of 12 or under. Entry on the day costs £7 for adults and over 12s, £3 for 12 year olds and under, and £25 for a family of 2 adults and 2 children of 12 or under. Start times are from 10.00am for walkers, 11.00am for runners and 11.15am for the Junior Fun Run. Team entries are welcome and there will prizes for the best fancy dress. Contact our Fundraising Department on 01444 471598 or at fundraising@stpeter-stjames. or pick up an entry form from one of the Hospice’s charity shops in Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, Lewes or Uckfield.

Local business directory To advertise in our Local business directory please call 01273 842550


Burgess excavations Hassocks

CPCS & CITB qualIfIed CITy & GuIldS

◗ driveways + drop kerbs ◗ all building work undertaken ◗ water mains

tel: 01273 846969 Mob: 07736 355088

◗ re-pointing


◗ garden ponds


For free estimates, advice and competitive prices contact David on:

From 1.5 ton to 30 ton machines

◗ all tree surgery undertaken

Timber Kit Garages

◗ specialists in sand schools and astroturf


Pest Control Mick Lewry

01444 483137

Mobile: 07816 630455


R. A. Palmer Garden Machinery Sales & Service

TORO Wheel Horse™

Collection & Delivery throughout Mid Sussex

T: 01273 832016/833008 E: E: W:

Timber Kits which are manufactured by us... ready for you to assemble Traditional Style oak framed Garages with Logstore and Wheelie Bin Stores. Further options and designs available to meet your personal requirements.

Michaelmas, London Road Sayers Common Hassocks BN6 9HX

Choose from 486 classic designs

Complete build available Free Site Survey

Tel: 01273 400411

J Lee Trees


Fully insured Free estimates

J Lee Trees Ltd offers a fully insured professional tree care service throughout Sussex

Justin Lee (AA Tech Cert) tel: 01273 831339 mob: 07947 564119 email:

Gibney’s Painters & Decorators The Complete Decorating Service

Tel: 01444 245115 Mob: 07895 470148

Est 1983

Advertise in this two-unit space for £40 per month + VAT or less Call 01273 842550


Dragonfly Saddlery & Pets Who said Wellington Boots need to be green? The excellent, handmade, Le Chameau Iris boot is designed and shaped to fit the shape of a ladies lower leg. The slightly raised heel provides greater stability and comfort when walking. Price from £64.95 Open Mon-Thurs + Sat 9am-5.30pm, Fri 9am-8pm, Sunday 10am-3pm

Freephone 0800 374878 / 01273 844606

The Goods Shed, Station Goods Yard (near Parkers Building Supplies), off Keymer Road, Hassocks, BN6 8JA

Established 1986 *

Offering a stress-free professional cleaning service tailored to each clients individual needs.

Cleaning & Ironing Service * House move and Spring cleaning * Commercial/Office cleaning * Our staff are fully insured & have completed a thorough training programme. For further information and a brochure please call;

Lisa on 01273 846823 Serving Mid Sussex since 1986

24 Hour gentle In-Home eutHanasIa

Home Visit specialists 01273 842115 0845 02 12345 Full range oF treatment

BRENDON HORSE & RIDER CENTRE Visit us for Competition and Country Clothing for all ages. New Summer Shirts and Jackets. Ariat, Caldene, Whitaker, Horseware New white & coloured Breeches/Jods Supplements & Treats for Happy Horses Shop in store or on line Pyecombe, Sussex BN45 7ED

01273 845545

South Downs Living September 2010



Nick’s Carpentry

Need a hand with your garden?

ke po ge s s Be toration nd lled S lu s a sta So en in

All aspects of gardening undertaken From lawns mown, hedges trimmed, trees pruned, planting and weeding to jungles cleared.

Pl u m sm a an un int y a de en sp rta a ec ke nc ts n e of

h s itc m K roo th Ba

Landscape gardeners

A family business with over 20 years experience Professional, reliable, hardworking and friendly service

01444 401637 or 07523 701597

Domestic Ovens CleaneD

ttic sset LO F T C O N V E R S I O N S

John Carr SeCurity CCTV Surveillance Intruder Alarms Door Entry Systems Access Control AV Cabling Commercial & Domestic in Sussex & Surrey

We also clean hobs, hoods, microwaves, ranges and agas no smell, no mess – all areas covered all burnt on carbon removed all cleaned to a pristine condition Cleaned by fully trained professionals Call today for a FREE quotation

• ponds • rockeries • hedge cutting • tree surgery • stump grinding

Tel: 01444 454443 Mob: 07703 562366

For free quotations or advice, call Matthew on

Phone Nick on

07982 453476 (Ansty)

• paths • patios • driveways • decking • fencing

LO F T C O N V E R S I O N S Attic Attic Asset Asset is is aa specialist specialist loft loft conversion conversion company that can utilise your company that can utilise your loft loft space space to to create a valuable asset to your home create a valuable asset to your home

All major credit cards taken Tel: 01825 840330 | Mob: 07811 111543 E-mail: Web: Crossways Cottage, Lewes Road, Halland, Lewes, East Sussex BN8 6PN

Dirty Ovens? 08456 030702

Homecall Carpets you!

Mobile Showrooms

we come to

✔ Carpets

✔ Vinyls

✔ Wood Laminate

✔ Carpet Cleaning


01444 236786

Reach thousands of readers – your existing and potential customers. Advertise in South Downs Living.


10% off

If If you you are are exploring exploring the the possibilities possibilities and and benefits benefits of of aa loft conversion Attic Asset are offering: loft conversion Attic Asset are offering: A A FREE FREE no no obligation obligation feasibility feasibility survey survey An opportunity to visit An opportunity to visit local local conversions conversions both both completed completed and and in in progress progress

šš šš

Please Please contact contact us us with with your your enquiry enquiry by email: by email: or or call call 01273 835131 or 07734 444799 01273 835131 or 07734 444799

in September

Established 1989

i n d i v i d u a l

Advertise our

d e s

i g n

b a t h r o o m s

s u p p l y

i n s t a l l

Local business directory

Electrical Services

for £40 per

• Test & Reporting on Existing Installations • Rewires • External Lighting • Electrical Works for Kitchen Refits • Fuseboard Replacements and Upgrades (to 17th Edition) • New Extensions and Conservatory Work

month + VAT or less Call 01273 842550

Free Quotations BATHROOMS THAT REALLY WORK 01273 831802 /

Fair, LocaL & accountabLe

Tel: 01273 843794 or 07564 119248 Fully insured and guaranteed

Reach thousands of readers – your existing and potential customers. Advertise in South Downs Living.


S o u t h D ow n s L i v i n g September 2010


D & M Chivers

Advertise in

Plumbing & Water Mains Hydraulic Boring Bathroom Installations Drainage & Groundwork Property Maintenance

this two-unit space for £40 per month + VAT or less Call

Tel. 01273 843714 Mobile. 07733 104006 Email.

01273 842550

BalcomBe Glass LTD

incorporating Burgess Hill glass co.

For all your Glass and GlazinG requirements EmErgEncy glazing sErvicE availablE: sEalEd unit manufacturErs tEstEd to En 1279 brokEn down unit rEplacEmEnt sErvicE. cut glass to tradE & rEtail frEE EstimatEs amplE parking Unit 5 Avocet Trading Estate, Victoria Gardens off Victoria Way, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 9NH


Reach thousands of readers – your existing and potential customers. Advertise in South Downs Living.

T: 01444 230986/246004 F: 01444 230987/247007

Lady artist wishes to purchase old/antique furniture suitable for furnishing large property in France, under renovation Dining table/chairs, chest of drawers/bedroom furniture and any decorative items - particularly oriental, required

Please contact Susan in confidence 01273 440578 or 07967 604264


Too busy to go to the hairdressers? Let

Hair on Wheels come to you!

01273 691453 07714 819526

Computer services




Vehicle repair

SDBS Southdown Bodyshop Why have major changes made to your vehicle when a simple repair would suffice?

No ut lo a c l arge ch


Bookfair BOOKFAIR Sunday 5th September Adastra Hall. BN6 8QH 10:30am– 3:30pm Admission 50p (Free with this ad) Refreshments Available For more information call 01273 233274 or visit Books Bought : interesting single items or collections Please phone if you have a collection to sell.

commissions undertaken in contemporary animal portraiture

Picture Framing



Studio 9, Turner Dumbrell Workshops, North End, Ditchling BN6 8GT

Tel: 01273 726190 Mob: 07986 938750 Email:

Unit 27, Mid Sussex Business Park, Ditchling Common, Ditchling, West Sussex BN6 8SE. Email: Tel. 01444 254910 / 07788 580024

Railway GaRaGe Station Goods Yard, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 9DG

• ClutChes • Brakes • Welding

• serviCing • Cam Belts • diagnostiCs

Free ColleCtion and delivery serviCe

tel: 01444 230805 / 258465

Reach thousands of readers – your existing and potential customers. Advertise in South Downs Living.

South Downs Living magazine September 2010  

South Downs Living magazine September 2010

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