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Inside... Cover Stories 8 18 24 58


A Cartoon Christmas

The animated life of Ross Thomson

Lullington Church

Mumming & Tipteering

Re-en-acting an annual county tradition

The People’s Songs

Flo Whitaker delves into Christmas Carol history

A Log That’s Good Enough to Eat

Sara Whatley gets creative in the kitchen


Features 16 28 30 46 60 72

Spark and Sons

Dudley Mansions Hove is yours to rent!

Jack The Lad is Back, for More

Jack Hayes talks about his return to radio

Home Front

Christmas wishes from an urban cottage

A Festival on Foot

Sixteen days of walks across the county

Bryony’s Kitchen

Bryony Hill’s duck, goose and turkey stuffing

The Smallest Church in Sussex Lullington, Shepherd of the Downs


Winter Walks


Yule Log

Editor’s Comment This is my favourite time of the year, the run up to Christmas and all the anticipation that comes with it. Our December issue is packed with interesting articles; Ross Thomson, Christmas Carols, Mummers Plays, the smallest church in Sussex, plus much more – Merry Christmas!

18 Mummers


Don’t forget, if you miss the latest issue of Sussex Living you can read it all online! Just visit

6XXSUSSEX LIVING | December 2019

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Tel: 01825 212131




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30 On The Home Front


Blooming Times



44 48 50 52 62 66 68 70 74 80 86

Body Buzz

Blooming Times

Ivy’s role in the ecosystem

It’s a Dog’s Life

Teddy’s take on human seasonal eccentricities

Book Review Spotlight Events Christmas Quiz

Fifteen questions from around the globe

Beauty & Fashion

Get festive party ready!

Body Buzz

Sasha’s final column - festive fitness

It’s All About Charity Diary Dates Money Matters November Puzzle Solutions


81 Local Business Directory 86 Contributors List

We wish you a ! s Merry Christma And a Happy New Year


It’s A Dog’s Life


Tel: 01825 212131

Dec19 contents SLE.indd 7


Christmas Quiz


Tel: 01825 212131 @sussexliving

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Laughter is the Best Medicine Balcombe has been home to cartoonist Ross Thomson and his wife Glenda for over half a century; Ruth Lawrence paid them a visit to discover how his wit and imagination has forged an international career as illustrator, author and animator


oss was born a year before the start of World War II in Hawick; a small town in the Scottish Borders. After finishing school, he gained his Diploma in Graphics at Edinburgh College of Art. He was there in the late 1950s, not long after the college had briefly employed the then unknown Sean Connery as a life model. Connery, then known as ‘Tam’

fitted the work in among his other jobs as club doorman and milkman, unaware of his future fame. After qualifying, Ross and three of his friends decided to take the plunge and head for London in search of work. He found a job in advertising and became a junior art director. In the 1960s, London must have felt like the centre of the world and Ross recalled working on

various campaigns with well known photographers at that time. An art director who did cartooning for Punch and caricatures for the Daily Mirror noticed Ross’s amusing campaigns and suggested that he “send some stuff to Punch”. Ross, who had recently moved to another agency and was working undisturbed from his own room, acted on his advice and posted twenty cartoons to the magazine. One drawn in pen and ink with watercolour was accepted for the front cover of May 1968 [picture below]. Encouraged by his success, Ross sent in three more a month later and had two accepted. He began working with Punch and soon afterwards Reader’s Digest who used cartoons throughout their hugely popular magazine. After working for other agencies, Ross decided to take the plunge and go freelance. Soon afterwards he acted on the advice of writer and illustrator David McKee to approach his book publisher

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to enter a competition in the then Yugoslavia. Ross responded and won the competition. He later had a telegram requesting that he judge in a competition in Skopje and he accepted, relishing the chance to meet cartoonists from Italy, Russia, East Germany and Czechoslovakia.

and quickly launched into writing and illustrating books for children. He published six titles in the series ‘Dogg y Tails’ and eight in his ‘Mogg y’ series. Ross eventually produced over

London must have felt like the centre of the world twenty books for children, including illustrating a short story picture book series for young readers with his son Gavin who wrote the stories, called Twinning Tales. Ross illustrated books on rugby, cricket and horses with Leo and Jilly Cooper and became involved in BOAC’s ‘earthshrinker’ campaign and the memorable ‘come to the listening bank’ campaign for Midland Bank. Eventually, his illustrations caught the eye of animators and he ended up working on eighty animated commercials and two children’s TV pilot films. Ross clearly relished the challenge of working on such diverse projects. He mentioned how the commissions were always varied and came out of the blue. In 1973, he recalled receiving a letter asking if he wanted

Since then, Ross has won over a hundred international awards and prizes, allowing him to travel the world; all his exhibitions have been abroad, namely in Italy, Turkey, Korea, Bulgaria, France and Belgium. Cartoons are a shared visual language that appeal to any culture, and this has consistently held Ross’s fascination with the discipline. Although the appetite for cartoons is much greater on the continent, London now has The Cartoon Museum, a registered charity which was relaunched this summer to champion cartoon and comic art and highlight its value to society and culture. The Museum not only conserves Britain’s comic art heritage but supports new work by cartoonists and comic artists, as well as putting on workshops, talks and exhibitions throughout the year. The European Cartoon Centre in Kruishoutem in Belgium has a cartoon centre with a gallery and Ross has been a member of their competition jury, as he also is for competitions in Turkey, Macedonia, Italy and Israel. France has an International Centre for cartoons in Saint-Just-le-Martel which the Mayor had built for cartoons to be exhibited and which has hosted a cartoon festival for the last 38 years. I wondered how Ross finds the inspiration for his cartoons and he told me that most emerge from his doodles that he elaborates upon and evolves

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into finished works. “It’s just a case of sitting and drawing,” he said, adding that competitions usually have a theme, which helps to focus attention on a particular avenue. Ross always uses physical media and never works on a computer. He favours watercolour inks and works mainly in colour at A4 size. While he still does occasional jobs and enters competitions, he noted that outlets for cartooning have diminished in this country as news editors have cut out filler cartoons and now only commission political cartoons. Ross used to have a strip in the Saturday edition of The Times called ‘Hoff of Heybridge Heath’ about a character who was the richest man in the world. But Ross always found advertising offered far greater potential for cartooning than newspapers. Ross enjoyed working on animated cartoons and collaborated with the late Richard Williams, who won two Academy Awards as Animation Director on Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

He also worked with the late Bob Godfrey of Roobarb and Custard fame, designing characters which were then drawn by animators.

Ross always uses physical media and never works on a computer

One of Ross’s greatest passions was travelling the world as guest to various colleges and events. He recalls being invited to China with three other international cartoonists for five days and particularly relished the chance to visit Kyoto in Japan via a competition. He stayed there for a fortnight and was invited to complete a huge drawing in a department store. Ross recalls wandering round the city, gazing at

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Sussex. He and Glenda first came to Sussex when Glenda was working as a casting director on commercials for an advertising agency and a film company and they decided to take the plunge and look round estate agents in Haywards Heath. They found a small cottage in Balcombe, and have remained there ever since after doubling its size by purchasing the cottage next door and knocking through. Being only half an hour from Brighton and less than an hour from London allows them to enjoy the quieter life without having to forgo the stimulation of the city when the mood suits them. They occasionally travel up to Scotland as Ross admits he

Edinburgh still feels like his second home the wonderful temples, traditional wooden temples and shrines. The discipline is held in high esteem there and in 2006 the Kyoto International Manga Museum was opened, housing a gallery, a research zone and a place for collections. 50,000 volumes are gathered in a ‘manga wall,’ all of which can be taken down and read by the public. Although he has seen much of the world and Edinburgh still feels like his second home, Ross loves life in

sometimes misses the place where he grew up but this stunning corner of the Weald always draws them homewards. Ross’s style is unmistakeable and many people will have enjoyed his work without knowing the artist behind the cartoon. Plenty of engrossing detail fills each drawing and they work, not only as hilarious insights but also as superbly executed artworks in themselves. As Ross showed me examples of

his work, I had a sense of déjà vu and realised I had seen these cartoons, decades ago, in magazines my parent’s read, and they had remained in my memory ever since. Laughter makes people feel good and brings them together. Ross, with his fine draughtsmanship and ability to see the humour in all situations, has succeeded in making people laugh for decades. l

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EXERCISE IN ELEGANCE Dudley Mansions Hove is experiencing a new lease of life after many happy historic years of being an illustrious hotel. Lisa de Silva sampled life in the penthouse


howcasing glorious late Georgian architecture, Dudley Mansions Hove has been beautifully renovated to create a number of stylish and desirable rental apartments, bringing residents the opportunity to live in a building that has hosted everyone from the Queen, to Ian Fleming and One Direction. THE PAST Located at the bottom of Lansdowne Place adjacent to Hove Lawns and the seafront promenade, Dudley Mansions was originally built as a terrace of grand houses during the 1830s. Collectively known as Lansdowne Mansions, one of these impressive homes was named Dudley House and after a short spell as a private boarding school, the property was run as a boarding house from the mid-19th century. By 1880, Dudley Mansion Boarding House was being run by Alphonse Fortune Lamette, who expanded the business over the following decade to include the whole terrace. Guests enjoyed electric lighting in public rooms, a gracious drawing room and billiards room with full-size table. Clearly a place of conviviality, in 1885 Lamette was fined by the Inland Revenue for selling beer, wine, sherry and tobacco without the appropriate licence. The next significant owner was Benjamin Herniman who took over in 1911. Adding the grand entrance arch

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and canopy designed by FC Axtell, ‘running water, central heating and a Herniman transformed the Dudley into telephone’ in every room. a grand Edwardian seaside hotel with, From 1968, the Dudley enjoyed a ‘the best position and finest rooms in spell as part of the Trust House Forte Hove.’ Another major refurbishment hotel group who further expanded followed in the 1930s when a new the building, before it was eventually ballroom was constructed, Art Deco bought by David Glover in 2004 and OFFICERS OFdisplayed THE 1ST AND 2ND renamed BATTALIONS the GRENADIER GUARDS TAKEN PRIOR TO THEIR DEPARTURE paintings by AE Marty were Lansdowne PlaceJUST Hotel. FOR NORMANDY AFTER THE INVASION IN JUNE 1944. HER ROYAL HIGHNESS, QUEEN ELIZABETH 11, WAS AT in the hotel restaurant and there was Despite investing heavily to upgrade the THAT TIME COLONEL OF THE GRENADIER GUARDS

Third row Standing: Capt. E. M. D. Denny, The Rev. A. L. F. Cole, CF, Lt. P. G. A. Presscott, Capt. I. R. Farquhar, Lt. J. N. McEwen, Lt. A. N. Breitmeyer, Lt. R. W. Humphreys, Lt. R. P. Minnette-Lucas, Lt. A. H. H. Villiers, Lt. P. G. Rawlins, Lt. R. G. S. Gerard, Lt. Sir H. Frank, BT, The Rev. W. H. A. Berry, CF, LT. R. F. Edward Collins, Lt. W. E. Wells, REME, LT. M .G. T. Webster.

Back row: Lt. A. Tyser, Lt. J. P. Utterson-Kelso, 2/Lt. J. F. L. Denny, Lt. G. R. Merton, Lt. N. 2/Lt. A. Slob, Royal Netherlands Army, Capt & Adjt. R. Steele, Capt. H. B. S. Warren, RAM Capt. A. E. Barton, REME, Lt. the hon. S. D. Loch, Lt. K. C. Boles, Lt. R. Luft, Lt. T. O. Rug Lt. P. H. G. Anderson, RAMC.

From left to right Front Row: Capt. J. W. Neville, Capt. The Duke of Rutland, Capt. & Qr. Mr. T. W. Garnett, MBE, Lt. & Qr. Mr. F. E. J. Carver, Capt. A. G. Heywood, Capt. H. F. Stanley, Capt. F. J. C. Bowes-Lyon,

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Dudley Mansions Hove is a stunning blend of historic and contemporary design housing 40 rental apartments facilities the hotel could not compete in an overcrowded marketplace and the business went into administration in January 2013. With such a long and illustrious history, the Dudley has welcomed many famous faces over the years. In 1944, the Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) attended a lunch at the hotel with officers of the Grenadier Guards. While in 1961, Lady Churchill stayed and was joined by her husband Sir Winston for a day at the seaside. Noel Coward was a regular visitor and One Direction were guests in 2012, when they played the Brighton Centre on the Up All Night Tour. Yet, one of the most fascinating guests was Ian Fleming who stayed at the Dudley while recuperating from a heart attack in the early 1960s. It was during this stay that he wrote his only children’s book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, published posthumously in 1964.

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THE PRESENT Fast forward to the present day for the chance to make this iconic landmark your new home. In August 2014, planning permission was granted for the former hotel to be converted into a series of sleek and modern rental apartments, Dudley Mansions Hove. Since then, this famous building, located within the Brunswick Town Conservation Area, has been elegantly restored to its former glory. The exterior façade and impressive entrance arch have been renovated to retain both their historic and

design integrity, while the interior has been sympathetically refurbished to showcase many original features, including the wonderful lobby with its distinctive black and white chequered flooring, handsome staircase winding up the entire height of the building and feature skylight. Today, Dudley Mansions Hove is a stunning blend of historic and contemporary design housing 40 rental apartments, ranging from one to three bedrooms, along with two penthouse suites. Providing high-spec open plan living, residents benefit from light and spacious accommodation, intercom entry system, lift access and security cameras in public areas. Many apartments enjoy high ceilings and magnificent sea views, while some of the larger units and the penthouses

have air conditioning. The palette is pleasingly neutral in soothing tones of grey and white and each apartment boasts a fully-fitted kitchen with integrated appliances including dishwasher and fridgefreezer. Bathrooms and en suite shower rooms are fully tiled, with a sleek and minimal aesthetic and there are copious storage cupboards throughout the interior space. The accommodation has been designed to be flexible, so spare bedrooms can be used to create an office, a cosy snug or a TV room, depending on your lifestyle. For those who enjoy a view and are looking for somewhere truly spectacular to live, the two penthouses enjoy wraparound balconies and decks, accessed from both the bedroom and main living room. The views are amazing, stretching from Brighton Marina all the way to Shoreham and across the cityscape of church spires, period architecture and modern buildings. There can be few better places to relax with a morning coffee, to enjoy the ever-changing theatre of the promenade or to soak up the sun. “For the size, storage space, wonderful finish and prime location, residents will enjoy a fantastic place to live at competitive prices,” says Peter Spark of Spark and Sons, letting and management agents for Dudley Mansions Hove. “The developers have worked hard to renovate and refurbish the property to a high standard and it’s good to know that the building is being restored to its original function providing residential homes.” For such a premium residential offering, the apartments are keenly priced with one-bedroom units from £975pcm, two-bedrooms from £1,500pcm, and three-bedrooms from £1,800pcm and will appeal to young professionals and families alike. Viewing this property is highly recommended, book your appointment today.

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Keeping the tradition of Mumming, or Tipteering alive for all to enjoy, Peter d’Aguilar met some of the performers behind the plays



here is something disarmingly English about the long-standing tradition of the Mummers Play. Keeping alive a centuries-old custom, groups of vividly-costumed mummers visit village pubs around Christmastime, to perform to the often-unsuspecting patrons a humorous drama of death and redemption that traces its origins back to the time of the medieval mystery plays. The play’s theme revolves around a fight to the death between St George and a Turkish knight, or occasionally the legendary dragon. While there are many regional variations in the plot and characters, the classic storyline is that, after St George has slain his foe in mortal combat, a doctor with a magic potion brings the dead Turkish knight back to life. Other characters include Father Christmas, the Fool (or Little Johnny Jack) and Beelzebub (or Little Devil Doubt). This colourful folk play may well have evolved from pre-Christian fertility rites or pagan rituals that symbolise the seasonal cycle of death and rebirth, and the struggle of good against evil. The original mummers were often farm labourers in search of extra income from local landowners around

The play’s theme revolves around a fight to the death between St George and a Turkish knight, or occasionally the legendary dragon

Christmastime when work was scarce. As the word mummer may originate from mommo – the Greek for mask – it is also conceivable that some of the early players used their masks and costumes as cover for nefarious activities. The word mummer may also derive from Middle English ‘mum’ (silent), but is more likely to be associated with Early New High German ‘mummer’ (disguised person). Mummers often have close associations with the equallyquintessential English pastime of Morris Dancing. Keeping the tradition alive in Sussex are two of the county’s most eminent mumming troupes – the Sompting Mummers and the ‘World Famous’ Ashdown Mummers. Paul Carey has been a member of Ashdown Mummers for five years and, in line with the current trend towards gender fluidity, is switching roles for this year’s Yuletide performances, from the King of Egypt’s Daughter to Beelzebub – who, besides scaring the audience, has the task of collecting donations from the audience at the end of the performance. “Last year we raised several hundred pounds for local children’s charities,” says Paul. “Alongside this, the main objective is to have fun, drink beer and

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keep the mummers’ tradition alive. We are all getting older – at 62 I’m about the youngest – so we’re always on the lookout for new blood.” Adrian Norman is one of the two original members, dating back to 1973, when he and a group of school friends decided to revive the tradition. “It was originally intended as a oneoff, but we haven’t missed a year since then,” says Adrian, who now plays the Doctor, but has filled all the different roles in his time. “These days, I can recite the whole play verbatim. My ambition is to make it to our 50th set of performances in 2022.” This Christmas will see the Ashdown Mummers performing for the 46th consecutive year in pubs around the

Ashdown Forest on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd December. Details are on their website at And the ‘World Famous’ epithet? Well, that title was bestowed upon them by Lothians Morris during a tour of the Scottish Borders in 1983. Since then, they have been spotted on Turkish television when they appeared on Sky TV and featured on Have I Got News for You and two national newspapers. Sompting Mummers (or alternatively Tipteerers) also have their roots in Morris Dancing. Glynn Hugh Jones is currently captain of the group

and has been a stalwart for the past twenty years. “We work from an original script called The Steyning Play,” he explains. “While we generally stick closely to the text, we do allow ourselves the luxury of some topical ad-libbing and have recently added the explosive character of Guy Fawkes to our cast.” The Sompting Mummers are playing in Arundel on December 7th, Shoreham and Lewes on 14th, and in both Findon and Burpham on Boxing Day. They are also performing for disabled serviceman in Worthing on New Year’s Day. l

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Our Picture House Membership and Gift Cards make great gifts for the film, food and arts lover in your life. The Picture House Cinema and Restaurant High Street, Uckfield TN22 1AS Box Office 01825764909

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Songs THE PEOPLE’S From sublime sacred worship to Paganism, Popery and dissent, Christmas carols have seen it all. Flo Whitaker takes us on a bumpy ride through their history


praise; for Christmas, naturally, but t’s a December evening also for the great religious festivals of in the 1960s. My Easter and Whitsun. Other reasons grandmother and aunt for carolling would include harvest are confronting a festival, triumph in battle, mountain of commemoration of a washing-up. saint, or a royal Nanny begins to sing, marriage or birth. trilling away in the Local saints once upper register like a held great sway. demented budgie. The 7th century St Auntie’s ponderous Lewinna lived near contralto joins in Seaford. Confronted and soon we are by the devil, brave all at it – singing Lewinna not only familiar carols that refused to renounce her are so ingrained faith, she also tweaked in us that we cannot Satan’s nose! It was said remember ever learning that miracles occurred at them. Sophie, the Labrador, her shrine yawns and quietly on an almost leaves the room. daily basis and She is our fiercest Nowadays we only associate critic. “Hark the carols with Christmas but this pilgrims visited in great numbers. herald angels sing is not how they started out The location - Mrs Simpson of her shrine is stole our King!” speculative as her holler the grownremains were stolen in the ups. We children laugh 11th century and spirited – not understanding away to Flanders. the reference, but Such was her somehow knowing it’s fame, Lewinna a bit naughty and would surely disrespectful, which, have been of course, makes us commemorated giggle even more. in song, but it’s ‘Carol’ comes unlikely her carol from the old French; would have been ‘carole’, meaning to heard in church. sing and/or dance With rare exceptions, in a circle. Earlier carols were excluded variants of the word can from the liturgy. Latin was be found in Latin and Greek used for all church worship and and the first Christmas songs only biblical text was permitted. The were probably performed in 3rd or illiterate lower orders were required to 4th century Italy. Nowadays we only attend services conducted in a language associate carols with Christmas but they couldn’t understand, hence the this is not how they started out. A carol was a song of celebration and 24 SUSSEX LIVING | December 2019

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Christmas at Trading Boundaries ★ Trading Boundaries is now stocking a wonderful array of decorations and gifts, including the Mini Halo One. This stylish Bluetooth speaker offers great sound and is available in White and Black. £57 Trading Boundaries, Sheffield Green, Nr Fletching TN22 3RB 01825 790200

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Sussex Green Woodworking ★ Woodland stool making weekend. Create a beautiful piece of furniture to last a lifetime. Learn age-old woodworking techniques in our woodland workshop. Delicious lunches provided. Greenshutters, Kingston ridge, Lewes BN7 3JX 07970556006

Beacon Down Vineyard ★ Lease-a-vine from this beautiful boutique, family-owned vineyard near Heathfield, to experience vineyard life and to enjoy its wine. Tours, picnic vouchers and wine are also available. Paul and Alice Pippard Beacon Down Vineyard, Browns Lane, Cross in Hand TN210QJ 07870 851138 or 07751 829613

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are thought to be approximately 400 popular appeal of carols; good tunes, regional variations! sung in their own vernacular. You may not recognise the name of Popular songs evolved in taverns the ‘Agincourt Carol’, but the tune is and brothels, at fairs and markets probably familiar as it’s often included or around the family hearth. In an in yuletide music compilations. illiterate age, news spread by word “England! Give thanks to God for of mouth. Travelling merchants victory!” goes the stirring refrain. So, transported goods, stories, and songs. what’s a triumphant battle song of 1415 A West Country melody, (with lyrics got to do with Christmas? Nothing, but adjusted to reflect regional topicality), it has all the attributes for a successful might become a ‘traditional’ Yorkshire carol; a great story, a memorable and ballad. The well-known Sussex Carol mid-pitched tune that is comfortable probably originated in Ireland! Carols for most voices, plus a repeated weren’t confined by rigid line or chorus that church law and their everyone can join words often strayed in with. from biblical text. The Tudor Even worse, period was a golden carols could age for carols be subversive. but the Puritan Encoded in local regime considered slang or dialect, them dangerously satirical wordplay Catholic, so carols might poke fun were banned again at an unpopular – until Charles II monarch or church returned from exile, official. Carols were whereupon carolling was dangerous, so the enthusiastically re-adopted. authorities banned them, In Victorian times, mechanised but a few somehow managed printing made to slip into the pews books cheaper of respectability. and accessible to Manuscripts Hark the herald angels sing the middle classes. of early medieval ‘Christmas carols frustratingly Mrs Simpson stole our King! Carols, Old and either show the New’ had many words – or the reprints and flew music. The first off the shelves. In 1880, known manuscript that Bishop Benson of gives both is attributed Truro organised to Godrich, a a new-style Durham hermit Christmas Eve from the 12th service, featuring century. Before nine lessons retiring from the interspersed with world, Godrich carols. It was a had been a great success, with merchant seaman. local Methodist and He wrote three Baptist congregations carols, including joining in. Other one dedicated to St churches quickly took Nicholas, the Patron Saint up the idea. The first ‘Nine of Seafarers. Lessons and Carols’ from Kings Franciscan monks brought the College, Cambridge took place in 1918. joyous ‘Angelus ad Virginem’ to Whether from the ancient past or Britain. The lyric dutifully follows the modern-day pop culture, Christmas biblical account of the annunciation, songs share similar themes of thanks, so church authorities approved its use. charity and hope, but only the bestIt rushed up the charts of the 13th loved tunes survive the centuries. If St century hit parade and remains a Lewinna had a carol, it’s now lost to us. popular favourite. Travelling Mystery Plays, with their vivid re-enactments of Perhaps the chorus wasn’t sufficiently catchy? We’ll never know, but one biblical stories, were highly popular at this time. What became known as ‘The thing is certain; there will always be community sing-songs. I’ll give Coventry Carol’ came from this genre. the last words to Noddy Holder and Based on St Luke’s Gospel, ‘While Jim Lea, composers of that fine 20th Shepherds Watched’ is another rare century wassail; “Merry Christmas, carol that was officially sanctioned. It was sung across the British Isles – there Everybody”. l 26 SUSSEX LIVING | December 2019

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ADVERTISING FEATURE The new Friday breakfast show team Nick Osbourne, Jack the Lad and Lou Nash

Jack Hayes, or Jack the Lad as he’s more widely known, has recently returned to the Sussex airwaves with More Radio. We tasked Robert Veitch to learn more about the man, and see what he’s planning to bring to broadcasting



ussex is home to Jack, “I’ve lived here almost thirty years, but it’s not where I’m from. I was born in 1974, in Kingston upon Thames, with no clothes on. We lived in Molesey, southwest London, half way between Hampton Court and Walton-onThames. It sounds idyllic by the banks of the Thames, but we’d lived in four council houses by the time I was ten.” Jack’s school days were difficult; “Me and school didn’t mix. I was bullied and became an awful pupil, leaving with one GCSE. After a year at college, in 1991 I followed my parents and moved to ‘sunny’ Worthing.” Jack worked for three years at King Alfred Leisure Centre in Hove, before decamping to New Zealand for six months. On his return in 1995 he became a lifeguard on Hove beach, “It was a brilliant summer so I went

I never lie to the audience because I believe the best presenters offer more of themselves

back for more in 1996. On the 4th July my friend Christian Black and I rescued a kid from the sea in gale force winds. Swimming back to the beach I got bashed into a groyne and hurt, while the others got back to shore. I was eventually rescued by helicopter. Christian and I later received Royal Humane Society Bronze medals for bravery.” It was time for a change of scene. “I moved into the drinks industry, running two pubs in Tunbridge Wells, and pre-club bars in Brighton. I did that until 2003, when a DJ friend called Mike Panteli told me Southern FM were looking for a ‘street boy’ character on their breakfast show, and he thought I should apply.” Jack’s debut was 4th March 2004 with Danny Pike and Nicky KeigShevlin. Eventually they moved on and other presenters came and went. The

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radio changed its name to Heart. From 2013 until May this year it was Tom Evans, Nicola Hume and Jack. “I fell into radio, it was never on my radar. Programme controllers Tony Aldridge and Stuart Davies inspired and nurtured me in my early days and Ollie Wilson was a great producer to learn from. “Jack the Lad is me, it’s not an act, it’s my character underpinning it all. I never lie to the audience because I believe the best presenters offer more of themselves. The listener welcomes us into their home, their car, their office, every day – so I’m honest with them.” “After I left Heart it was scary at first, but people reached out to me. I became a brand ambassador for Rivervale Leasing in Portslade who lease vehicles to business and individuals.” “I enjoy working for LoveLocalJobs Foundation C.I.C., delivering their ‘Dare to Dream program,’ teaching kids to raise their aspirations. I go to schools, speak about my tough upbringing, then I talk about positivity, aspirational thinking and motivation using my life as an example. Even failure can be a tool for good. Jim Carrey once said ‘you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love’ so if you have a dream, reach out, go chase it.” “The reason I’m going back to radio is to offer more to More Radio. After fifteen years on my old show I was one of the longest serving breakfast-show presenters in the UK. I previously swore I would never go back. But I missed talking to real people, because they are the most interesting. This county took me in and it was always the people that kept me going. We live in a

proper part of the world.” Jack’s honest, open, cut to the chase broadcasting style, coupled with the ability to make his audience laugh and cry, has seen him build a loyal fan base and become a much loved character, as he explained, “Radio, and in particular breakfast radio is about relating to the listener and I can bring some heritage to the new breakfast show. “There’s a big hole for More Radio to step into because the airwaves have changed across the county. There’s always a place for local radio, done well with local references; everyday things listeners can identify with. I’m all about More Radio now. I’m a forward thinking bloke, I like to do things properly if I’m going to do them. I don’t do anything half hearted.

“I’m live in the studio every Friday with Nick Osbourne and Lou Nash. I’ve known Nick for years and Lou is lovely. Fridays are positive shows, the end of the week, looking forward to the weekend. I’ll be popping up during the week doing other things too. We’re looking to ‘help’ people who struggle to wake up in the morning… helping them get out of bed in the unique Jack the Lad style. I’ll be looking ‘to pull the wool over’ Nick and Lou’s eyes as well.” Jack’s return generated a huge response on social media, “It’s been hard to articulate, it’s humbling… it’s a bit of a trip, to be honest.” Keeping him grounded at home is his family. “I married Sally Ann in 2007 and we’ve got two boys, Reuben (9) and Eddie (6). The boys are Tottenham fans like me; supporting Spurs is a rollercoaster… a bit like radio. We moved to Henfield in 2012 and we love it. The people are so

I’m live in the studio every Friday with Nick Osbourne and Lou Nash friendly. It’s a proper community where people say hello to each other in the street and know each others’ names.” Unsurprisingly, Jack is a music lover; “Pearl Jam are my favourite band, I’ve got five tattoos of their lyrics and seen them live 16 times. Sometimes Sally Ann thinks I love them more than her, but I don’t; our tune is Billy Joel’s Scenes from an Italian Restaurant. I love live music, so I’m really looking forward to More Radio Live next July.” Jack became brand ambassador for Phileas Fogg’s World of Adventures in Hollingbury recently. “Man that place is mint, it’s filled with challenge based adventures like the Crystal Maze. The Star Wars and Harry Potter team built the sets, and Graham who created it is like Brighton’s Willy Wonka.” Jack’s relentless positive attitude shone throughout our conversation, as he summed up succinctly, “Life is great. I’m so far removed from where I grew up. Sussex gave me a home and selfbelief. Talking to people changed and inspired me. So let’s make the breakfast show happen. Bring it on!” l More Radio 106-108FM, DAB December 2019 | SUSSEX LIVING 29

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Open shelves keep the cosy kitchen feeling as spacious as possible

Joan and Jim Walker dreamed of downsizing to an old cottage, and were thrilled to find the perfect property within their home city

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Joan at the stable door from the basement kitchen

AT HOME WITH… THE OWNERS: Joan and Jim Walker and their cat Coco THE PROPERTY: Three-storey terraced cottage built 1805 with brick and sandstone. “The stone came from the quarry just around the corner,” says Joan, “in, yes, you have guessed it, Quarry St.” Jim and Joan’s Georgian cottage

ROOMS: Top floor: two bedrooms, one with an en suite bathroom. Ground floor: sitting room, dining room, shower room. Basement: kitchen, cellar music room/office/small laundry room. And a small outside workshop.


The exposed features of this 1800s cottage offer the perfect partnership for its quintessentially English cottage décor: an enchanting selection of floral and bird wallpapers and off-white paint shades are the perfect foil for the stone walls, wide wooden floorboards and solid timber beams. “We love the roughness of the original features,” says owner Joan Walker, “and have tried to celebrate their history rather than overly restore them; we didn’t want anything in the cottage to look too pristine or out of place. But I do love pretty cottage style, it’s very cosy and welcoming, and our home definitely suits it.”

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At Christmas, this charming cottage comes even more alive with festive garlands, traditional decorations and the twinkle of candlelight. “We even dress our cat Coco with a jolly red bow for the season,” smiles Joan. “She loves sitting by the window or on the wall outside greeting visitors and passers by. We all love the warm traditional feeling of the cottage at Christmas.” This house definitely has the feel of a long-loved forever home, but in fact Joan and her husband Jim bought it just four years ago. In 2013, with their children all grown up, and off having families of their own, the retired couple felt it was the perfect time to downsize from their spacious semi and follow their dream of living in a period cottage full of character. When they found this Georgian terrace in a small village, they were relieved that they wouldn’t



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Underneath layers of old ceiling paper they found the whitewashed horsehair plastered ceilings


Joan and Jim were keen to retain the original textures of the stone walls and timber beams

The original stove is a real feature that Joan fills with pinecones, and it still works

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have to leave the city they loved to get the home they wanted. “We were visiting the Saturday farmers’ market in the village and noticed the ‘For Sale’ sign outside this place. We phoned the agent immediately to arrange a viewing and made an offer within two hours. It was the first house we’d looked at but we knew it was the one for us, it just had the right feel; yes, it needed updating, but Jim used to be a professional decorator and is still a dab hand at DIY so the work needed didn’t put us off.”

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Coco the cat with her festive bow

We even dress our cat Coco with a jolly red bow for the season

The Walkers moved in a month before Christmas but wasted no time getting to work enhancing the spirit of the original building. “The first few weeks were a bit chaotic,” admits Joan, “but we still managed to put a Christmas tree and a few decorations up. “Structurally the cottage was sound,” she continues, “but we had damp in the front cellar; we didn’t want to tank it, though, and lose the beautiful effect of the sandstone.” Instead, Jim found a waterproofing paint that works with the damp in the walls and forms a complete seal. He also built an open porch outside the basement kitchen leading to the courtyard garden. “I love sitting out there with my morning cuppa after a long walk round the village,” says Joan.

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The couple then decorated throughout, leaving as much as possible of the two centuries’ worth of knocks and scrapes to the walls and woodwork; and underneath layers of old ceiling paper they found the white-washed horse-hair plastered ceilings which with a little bit of work they saved. “We just love the old textured finish,” says Joan. “We also removed all the carpets,” she continues, “and were thrilled to find the original wide-boarded floors, which we stripped and varnished. The old bare wood is really nice to walk on and has a beautiful patina.” Amazingly, despite the fact Joan and Jim moved from a much larger property, almost everything fitted into their new cottage. “Although two of our wardrobes had to be completely taken apart and rebuilt once we’d negotiated them up the narrow stairs,” admits Joan. “But everything we couldn’t find homes for we gave to a local charity shop. “It was definitely worth downsizing, though,” she says, “as we absolutely love living here. Our cottage might not be huge, and Jim – who’s over six feet tall – might have to stoop to get into the little kitchen, but we don’t mind, we’ve got our dream home. And as we always have our Christmas Day meal in one of the many lovely restaurants in the village, we don’t have to worry about squeezing all the family in here!” l


Joan is a big tea drinker so has plenty of cups, teapots and milk jugs

Photos: Robert Sanderson/Narratives Styling & Writing: Naomi Jones/Narratives

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Eternal Ivy Overlooked by many – and wrongly reviled by others, ivy plays a vital role in the natural landscape and makes a terrific garden plant, writes Flo Whitaker


nly a few evergreen plants are indigenous to the British Isles. Common ivy (Hedera helix) is one of them. Ivy has a curious, two-stage growing process. Young growth makes dense, non-flowering mats of foliage. On maturity, it becomes arboreal, (tree like) and starts climbing; producing distinctively rounded leaves, pollen-rich yellow flowers in late autumn, followed by charcoal/black berries throughout winter. These high-energy foods provides sustenance for wildlife at times when other food sources are scarce. Contrary to popular belief, ivy does not ‘strangle’ trees, but its sheer weight and wind resistance can inadvertently damage trees and structures. An occasional and judicious cutback of ivy growth will keep things in check. Like those other Yuletide sentinels; fir, holly and mistletoe, ivy held great significance for our ancestors. Its ability to thrive in winter won it noble attributes of strength, stoicism and eternal life. Pagan Green Man images often depict him wreathed in an ivy crown. At a modernday wedding, ivy still retains a presence; in a floral display, or in motif form, embroidered onto a veil or iced onto a cake. Those twining stems that

Contrary to popular belief, ivy does not ‘strangle’ trees have long represented fidelity and ‘ties that bind’ are still quietly weaving their ancient magic. No winter garden is complete without ivy and there are many varieties to choose from. ‘Gold Heart’ has striking dark leaves with buttery yellow centre markings that positively glow under gloomy skies. ‘Sulphur

Heart’ is super-vigorous and superhardy, (down to -15°C, or more). It will quickly climb a wall or establish itself as ground cover in challenging places where other plants fail. The huge leaves can reach 20 cms in length and are richly marbled with prominent creamy/ white veins. It requires regular cutting back to keep it under control, but is a sensational plant for a winter garden and makes a stunning focal point when grown over an arch. Small-leaved ivies are invaluable for winter-themed patio pots and hanging baskets as they grow slowly during cold conditions and will not swamp dainty gems such as violas and cyclamen. Hedera ‘Ducks Foot’ is well-named. Its soft sage green leaves have rounded edges that resemble the webbed shape of a ducks foot, whereas ‘Sagittifolia’ has dense, arrow-shaped foliage in deepest holly green and is particularly useful for topiary work. If you’re an anxious topiary newbie, a small ivy plant and a simple pre-formed wire topiary frame is a good way to start. Plant the ivy, then set the frame over the top. As the ivy grows up through the frame, simply snip the stems to maintain the desired shape. You don’t need fancy pruning shears. A robust pair of kitchen scissors will do the job and, if you make an error – never mind. Immortal ivy will soon outgrow a bad haircut. l

44 SUSSEX LIVING | December 2019

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The Festival of


Christmas may be approaching, and life might get busier and more stressful than usual, which is a good reason to indulge, relax and unwind by joining the festival of winter walks says Deborah Hyde


he demands of modern, everyday life can come into sharper focus during the festive season when staying on top of all the preparations, meeting work deadlines before the holidays, and pressures to party and be sociable can increase feelings of stress or isolation. Happily, the chance to get some ‘me time’ or downtime – to get outdoors and get some exercise in picturesque green spaces – and to meet new people is being offered by Sussex Ramblers, as part of the Festival Of Winter Walks. The festival will run from 20th December to 5th January and invites everyone, whether or not they’ve walked before, to join, free of charge, hundreds of group walks right across the UK. There are nine Ramblers walking groups covering East and West Sussex. All year round, most groups offer two walks per week of varying difficulty and duration, led by trained walk leaders. During the Festival of Winter Walks, the walking groups will be offering a full programme. Details of walks near you can be found on the main Ramblers website at or by following the links to the individual group websites from l

TO GIVE A FLAVOUR OF SOME OF THE WALKS YOU’LL BE ABLE TO JOIN ACROSS SUSSEX… On Saturday 21st December Mid Sussex Ramblers offer a circular five mile morning walk from Barcombe setting off at 9.30am. On Christmas Eve the High Weald Ramblers will enjoy a leisurely five mile morning walk from Eridge, setting off at 9.30am. On Boxing Day, Beachy Head Ramblers will blow away any festive excesses with an invigorating eight mile walk along Eastbourne’s coast, starting at 11am. Meanwhile, on Sunday 29th December, the Beachy Head group will test out new ‘Christmas present’ walking gear with an eleven mile walk starting on the Tye at 10am. Also on Sunday 29th December Rother Ramblers will host a ‘figure of eight’ walk, with mulled wine, starting from Cade Street, Heathfield at 10am and 1pm (bring your own mince pies!). To welcome 2020, the Arun-Adur Ramblers will walk on Wednesday 1st January from East Preston, along Priest’s Path to Ferring, meeting at 10am and taking in Goring Gap and the seafront, with a picnic to finish (dogs welcome). And as the Festival Of Winter Walks draws to a close, on Sunday 4th January the Brighton & Hove Ramblers will host a scenic walk up to the South Downs Way via Norton, Firle Beacon and Bopeep. There will also be a free guide to winter walking, downloadable from the Ramblers’ central website once the Festival launches on 20th December. Sussex Ramblers chairman Roger Abel says, “Whether or not you’ve walked before, we’re offering the chance to enjoy Sussex’s wonderful winter landscape in good company; to relax, unwind, and make new friends.”

46 SUSSEX LIVING | December 2019

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It’s a Dog’s Life With the ‘joy’ of the giving and receiving of seasonal gifts fast approaching, Teddy shares his thoughts on human yuletide eccentricities, through his human portal, Helen Stockton


ow I’m a dog so I don’t really do shopping; I deploy staff. However, in the run up to Christmas, this shopping activity seems to take on a particular significance. It’s only my second Christmas with ‘Them Indoors’, but I’m already recognising the signs of the impending festivities. ‘Her Indoors’ makes lists and mutters under her breath, whilst ‘Him Indoors’ hides in the study, briefly appearing to moan in anticipation of the January credit card bill, and to sign gift tags with the correct moniker for the intended recipient. Occasionally he gets this wrong and signs ‘Dad’ when it should be ‘Uncle’ and gets told off. He should just use a paw-print like me, then he’d be okay. A dog’s role in all of this is to watch out for signs of a bag from the pet shop to ensure canine needs have been met, chew any lists, wrapping paper or ribbon left carelessly lying around and to take firmly to their bed if it looks like things are getting a bit stressful. A good tactic!

‘Her Indoors’ present buying is reduced these days as the Juniors are grown-up and various family members have agreed not to buy for each other to avoid waste. However, in that peculiar way people have of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, ‘Her Indoors’ has decided to complicate matters by reducing her dependence on the home-delivered parcels, and try instead to make gifts or shop locally.

Her Indoors ordered our Christmas meat from the village butcher

Making gifts is always a bit of a worry in case she branches out into knitting. As if it isn’t bad enough that shops sell dog Christmas jumpers, and one totally irresponsible national retailer is actually selling matching ones for owners and dogs, there are also some selling knitting patterns especially for canines. I’m watching her carefully but so far so good although I’m not relaxing my guard. I have to say that shopping locally, seems like a good idea. Last year ‘Her Indoors’ ordered our Christmas meat from the village butcher and she took me with her to collect it. True, I had to wait outside with ‘Him Indoors,’ as for some unfathomable reason, dogs are not allowed in, but I did have the joy of following the bag all the way home. And I have to say I was particularly satisfied to discover what breed of dog our local butcher owns; you’ve guessed it, a miniature sausage dog. If ‘Her Indoors’ wants help with any of the other shopping, I’m happy to oblige. I’m sure I’d be good at choosing presents. I reckon everyone would like a squeaky ball and some treats, and if not, I’m happy to deal with any returns rather than all that business with queuing and receipts. I’m a generous dog, what can I tell you. So if all else fails, take a canine approach to Christmas. Dispatch others to shop, avoid festive jumpers, enjoy your food and tear open your presents with glee. It works for me every time! l

48 SUSSEX LIVING | December 2019

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Elizabeth Kay offers Sussex Living readers her thoughts on recent reads that have caught her attention. She gives her views on a selection of books from different genres which may capture your interest LONGBOURN

by Jo Baker (Black Swan)


by Rory Stewart (Picador) I’d never noticed Rory Stewart until he entered the Conservative Party leadership contest, so I decided to read his book. It is beautifully written, about his walk across 2002 post-Taliban Afghanistan, which was part of an epic journey on foot through Asia. Stewart is a considerable character, who seems unfazed by everything from land mines to the delicacies of Afghan hierarchies and the polite forms of address. He

He does speak Persian, which is essential when you’re travelling with just your backpack, a large stick and a toothless dog paints a vivid picture of the landscape and the people which can be surprisingly poetic. He does speak Persian, which is essential when you’re travelling with just your backpack, a large stick and a toothless dog acquired along the way. Stewart has to contend with illness, deep snow, being shot at and never being quite sure where he will spend the night or whether he will get anything to eat. It’s a heroic tale of hardship, grim determination and a realistic view of the politics of the region and the fact that outsiders don’t understand the culture enough to have the faintest idea of how to solve anything. Educational, thoughtprovoking and also enjoyable, this is a terrific read by an excellent writer. 50 SUSSEX LIVING | December 2019

Anyone who has read Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, will find this novel about the day-today lives of the servants in the house fascinating. It’s a good read anyway, portraying the daily grind of working class folk in the Regency period, and painting a detailed picture of their concerns – chilblains, bedpans, endless washing. The historical accuracy with regard to detail is impressive. Taking a well-known work and inserting the bits in between the familiar action isn’t a new device – I was reminded of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, in the way that there the main characters in Hamlet appear fleetingly and disappear again. The Bennett girls barely notice the maid who gets up before dawn to light the fires, and they go about their daily concerns completely oblivious. Longbourn isn’t just an accompaniment to Austen’s book, though, there’s a good love story within, and the characters are well-drawn and believable. It’s well written, and the author doesn’t attempt to emulate Austen’s style, which is all to the good. The conversations that are overheard by the staff will ring bells for those who know all about Lady Catherine de Burgh and Darcy, and it’s good fun looking at it all from a different perspective.


by Aline Alexander Newman and Gary Weitzman (National Geographic Kids) What a terrific little book. It’s nicely laid out, and will appeal to the eight plus agegroup with lots of colourful photographs. It deals with a variety of aspects, from a brief look at dog ancestry, different breeds, and famous dogs in fiction to understanding dog behaviour. There’s lying belly-up and the play bow, but there’s also warning signs such as ears erect and teeth bared. From the visual to the audible – how to translate howling, whimpering and panting, among other things. Troublesome issues; jumping up on people, eating grass, chewing the woodwork. There’s a quiz, and a list of further resources. There have been some criticisms about some of the information being outdated, but on the whole reviews

It’s nicely laid out, and will appeal to the eight plus age-group are very good indeed, and it would make an excellent present for any child in a family that has just acquired a dog. It makes a very good point that all dogs are different, and encourages caution with unfamiliar animals. The premise, though, is that the better you understand canine behaviour, the safer you’ll be and the more you can enjoy doggy company. It’s amusing, informative and inexpensive, and was produced by the National Geographic.

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Books Wanted

Antiquarian & secondhand books purchased on all subjects including academic, sporting, military, literature, scientific, natural history, travel, polar regions and maps, documents, ephemera etc.

BOOKBINDERS OF LEWES IS A LOCAL HAND BINDERY specialising in bespoke individual bindings, presentation books, boxes, folders, limited editions and restorations. Using both contemporary and traditional techniques, we create beautiful handmade books to your requirements in a range of materials. NOW RUNNING BOOKBINDING CLASSES

Sexton’s, booksellers since 1910.

Tel: 01323 870991

Tel: 01273 486718 Star Brewery Workshops, Castle Ditch Lane, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 1YJ

Genuine Bygone Radios HUGE SELECTION OF 1930’s/40’s/50’s Radios, Grams, Record Players, Gramophones all in working order Also • Vintage (valve) radios bought

• Restorations • Repairs

H. Lawson 49 Duke Road Sea St Leonards on

Open: Saturdays 10am - 3pm or phone (anytime) m: 07981 864771 t: 01424 892931

Distributed monthly all over the Sussex area, including to doctors, dentists, railway stations and high streets near you. Discounts available when advertising in both magazines Sussex Living East


16,000 Copies distributed

Sussex Living West




Looking for advertising with staying power?

BARNETT’S of WADHURST Independent Bookseller

YOU CAN’T BEAT A BOOK The Gift That Lasts Forever! The Perfect Christmas Gift for all Ages...

Books for everyone including an extensive stock of children’s books, both classics and new releases. Refurbished dedicated children’s area

Copies distributed

• Classical music CDs and music scores • Book Tokens • Children’s loyalty cards • Greeting Cards • Out-of-print books obtained • Regular author talks. We’re friendly, knowledgeable and efficient Open: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Wed 9am-1pm

Proprietor: Richard Hardy-Smith

Gordon House, High Street Wadhurst, East Sussex TN5 6AA

To get your business noticed call 01825 212131 or email

Order today, collect your book tomorrow.

01892 783566 Dogs and prams welcome

December 2019 | SUSSEX LIVING 51


SPOTLIGHT EVENTS Christmas Magic at Drusillas Park Weekend of 7th & 8th then daily from Saturday 14th to Monday 23rd December Lose yourself in a world of magic and enchantment this Christmas at Drusillas

Various dates throughout Dec

Park. Experience the magic first-hand as Santa Claus returns to his cosy Christmas Cottage once again, so bring your little elves to meet the big man himself. Continue the festive fun with Drusillas’ giant 24-foot Christmas Tree and a visit to the Husky Cave. Come and sip your mulled wine, tuck into a yummy mince pie and let Drusillas fill you with Christmas cheer! Located just off the A27 in Alfriston, Drusillas Park is open daily from 10am

Throughout Dec

Christmas Workshop at Sussex Country Gardener

Winter time at Bateman’s

A Christmas Tree for the Birds Thursday 12th December, 11am to 12 noon Come and decorate a Potted Christmas Tree for the birds this Christmas. Decorating a tree with edible ornaments is a great way to share the holiday spirit with the birds. £25 pp. Booking essential. Table Centrepiece Workshop Friday 20th December, 10am to 12 noon This course will show you how to make a

There’ll be magic at Bateman’s this festive season as the rooms are decorated in rich, opulent colours inspired by Kipling’s travels and his Just So Stories. Even though it’s wintertime, there’s still plenty to see in the garden and the surrounding estate, with the ‘Just So’ garden trail for children or one of the estate walks to tread in Kipling’s footsteps. The house will be open until 6pm during the Twilight open evenings where you can enjoy the atmosphere of the decorated house at twilight or find Christmas inspiration in the Oast House shop and the Mulberry tea-room. For more information visit the website or call 01435 882302.

fantastic centerpiece for your Christmas Table. This will include a hurricane vase and candle, surrounded by stunning foliage which will include red or white roses! £40 pp with Christmas nibbles and refreshments included. Booking essential: 01892 852828 Beechglade Farm, Mark Cross, Crowborough TN6 3PJ

Thur 12 Dec & Fri 20 Dec

Nellie’s Arctic Adventure at Sheffield Park and Garden Daily until Sunday 5th January, (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) This December why not set out on a pioneering outdoor adventure to the Arctic with the remarkable Nellie Soames, a former owner of Sheffield Park, who in 1893 left London bound for the Arctic inspired by ‘youth and a love of adventure.’ Re-purposed plastic milk containers have been used to create the trail centerpieces which is perfectly in keeping with Sheffield Park’s commitment to sustainability and their efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle. Kids will love his cute polar bear and his transformation of our garden refreshment stand, known as The Shant, into an ice-cave shimmering in the aurora lights. Free but normal garden admission applies. No advanced booking required.

52 SUSSEX LIVING | December 2019

Daily until Sun 5 Jan

Rockinghorse Children’s Charity – Santa Dash Brighton Saturday 14th December Santa Dash Brighton is back! Join Rockinghorse children’s charity for the ultimate feel-good festive 5k run along the seafront. Sign-up and take advantage of the special £10 entry fee, or a team of five people can enter for just £40. Your

Sat 14 Dec

Glow Wild at Wakehurst

Fri 6 Dec to Sun 5 Jan

Throughout Dec

Dick Whittington at The Hawth, Crawley

Thursdays to Sundays until Sunday 22nd December A spellbinding winter lantern trail where the trees, ponds and landscapes are brought to life with hundreds of glowing lanterns, fire torches, projections and soundscapes. The trail also features the UK’s tallest living Christmas tree decorated with 1,800 lights. As well as an array of beautiful new installations, the trail features a bespoke soundscape inspired by Wakehurst’s nocturnal world. Children will also enjoy unleashing their creativity by making their very own festive

dormouse lantern to take home and hang on the Christmas tree. Ticket prices: Adult: £15, Child (Ages 4-16): £9.

Thurs to Sun until Sun 22 Dec

The Magic of Christmas at Wilderness Wood Weekends throughout December (except 21st & 22nd) Find a beautiful fresh locally grown tree, watch craft demonstrations, find a unique gift and see the cookhouse BBQ in action.

The trees have arrived at Wilderness Wood, ready for you to come along and select the perfect one for you! Weekends The shop and café are open through Dec every day too (9am to dusk), until 23rd December, where you can treat yourself to fantastic cakes and beautiful decorations to put on your tree. Festive Friday evenings (see website for details) get a free pizza from the wood-burning oven for every pre-cut tree bought. Wilderness Wood, Hadlow Down, TN22 4HJ 01825 830509

© Beth Mercer photography

Friday 6th December to Sunday 5th January Don’t miss The Hawth’s hilarious fun-packed family pantomime, Dick Whittington starring Charlie Brooks (EastEnders, I’m A Celebrity winner), Gemma Hunt (CBeebies’ Swashbuckle), David Ribi (CH5’s Milkshake), with Crawley favourites, the fabulous Michael J Batchelor and Richard Franks. The purrrfect pantomime adventure, with spectacular sets and costumes, amazing special effects and a genuinely funny script. Tickets are selling fast, so book early to avoid disappointment! Box Office 01293 553636 online at

Festive openings

entry fee includes a Santa Suit and a finishers medal. Support Rockinghorse by raising £50 in sponsorship towards this year’s Christmas Appeal. All funds raised will support sick children in Sussex. Call Rockinghorse on 01273 330044 or email

Experience the Magic of Scotney Castle this Christmas Open every day over the festive season (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), 10am to 4pm It’s the perfect time of year to start making plans to celebrate the festive season. At Scotney Castle, we’d like to invite you into the decorated house or to take a walk around the garden and wider estate. With activities for children, carol singing, Christmas lunches and plenty of inspiring gifts in the shop for those perfect presents, why not put a date in the diary to visit? 01892 893820

December 2019 | SUSSEX LIVING 53

Who in your family would love a ride in a supercar?

Friday, 24 and Saturday, 25 July 2020 Goodwood Motor Circuit, Chichester PO18 0PX

Book now for 20% discount.* The Children’s Trust Supercar Event 2020 Give the supercar fanatic in your family the perfect gift this Christmas with an adrenaline-fuelled ride around the world-famous Goodwood Motor Circuit in some of the world’s most incredible cars. Book tickets at:

*Booking fees apply. Applies to entrance tickets only. Tickets must be booked by 31/12/19. T&Cs apply. Charity registration no: 288018. TCT_662 11/19.

@NymansNT | 01444 405250 |


Credit: Quentin Blake: A P Watt at United Agents on behalf of Quentin Blake.






Nellie’s Arctic Adventure Christmas Trail Sheffield Park & Garden



December 2019 | SUSSEX LIVING 55

Winter Walks at Hever Castle & Gardens Fri 27 Dec to Wed 1 Jan

Friday 27th December to Wednesday 1st January Wrap up warm and blow away the cobwebs with a winter walk at Hever Castle & Gardens. The historic castle is open daily for those looking to recharge their batteries after the hustle and bustle of Christmas. Visitors pay for garden only entry and get castle entry free, making it a great value day out for all the family. Take a stroll in the gardens where the warm red bark of the redwood trees glow against the winter sky and winter berries glisten in the frost. Hever’s yew topiary looks fantastic with a covering of snow or frost and the majestic hellebores nod gracefully in the winter sun. The winter garden will be in full bloom with intoxicating scents of Daphne and Viburnum filling the air while the fiery reds, oranges and yellows of brightly coloured dogwood stems lift the spirits. For further information please visit or call Hever Castle on 01732 865224

Christmas at Nymans

Weekends in Dec & Mon 23

Christmas is coming to Nymans… and it’s frog shaped! Leap into a fantasy world this festive season with an exhibition and programme of events and activities celebrating Quentin Blake’s extraordinary artwork. Visit the house to see it decorated ready for Christmas, have a go at festive crafts and a family trail, join a storytelling session in the gallery, and enjoy school holiday boredom busters. Dogs are welcome every afternoon, so all the family can join in with the fun. The café serves a delicious range of festive bakes from gingerbread muffins to mince pie bakewell and froggy gingerbread. In the shop you’ll find Quentin Blake inspired merchandise, potted Christmas trees, festive decorations, wreaths and unusual or locally crafted gifts for all the family.

Winter walks in the fresh air, the magic of Father Christmas, festive lunches and hassle-free Christmas shopping await you at Bodiam Castle this December. Father Christmas is taking time out of his busy schedule to visit Bodiam Castle. He’s taken up residence in the quintessential, medieval towers of the castle, which will make for a truly authentic experience and a world away from the commercial bustle of Christmas. Weekends from 30 November – 22 December & 23 December. To book online visit or call 0344 249 1895

Various dates in Dec

© National Trust Images/Hazel Ediss

Father Christmas at Bodiam Castle

New Year’s Eve Party at Trading Boundaries New Year’s Eve

Trading Boundaries is hosting a fabulous New Year’s Eve party. Along with a great atmosphere in the candlelit venue, enjoy a fabulous three-course dinner followed by a cheese board, live music from the amazing City Funk Orchestra, and fizz at midnight while watching the London countdown on the big screen. Party on, until 1am. With the finest Soul singers in the UK including Noel McCalla who has earned the acclaim as “One of Britain’s Best Soul Singers”

by Blues & Soul Magazine, and Mary Pearce who has sung with Prince, Michael Jackson and Calvin Harris, City Funk Orchestra deliver the most exciting and authentic Funk and Soul. Sing and dance along to favourites from Chaka Khan, Sister Sledge, Earth Wind & Fire and many more! Information and tickets: 01825 790200 Trading Boundaries, Sheffield Green, Nr Fletching TN22 3RB

56 SUSSEX LIVING | December 2019





Bringing hospice care to local families this Christmas

nd – 2 22 December

Bell ringers

Burgess Hill Shopping Centre Marketplace

‘Tis the season to be jolly... And generous! While out shopping to treat loved ones, spread a little festive cheer in your community too. At The Giving Tree, you can buy gifts to help those staying at St Peter & St James Hospice this Christmas, leave a message for someone special, or simply come along and chat. Together, let’s raise £16,000 to cover care costs this Christmas and bring hope, dignity and precious memories to families living with terminal illness. For more information about how your money will help, please visit

Celebrity guests

Choir performances

In support of

Registered charity number: 1056114

SPSJ_Christmas Giving Tree_v3.indd 1

14/11/2019 11:02


and fold in vigorously to lighten the mixture. Then fold in the rest in batches carefully to avoid losing the air. Line a Swiss roll tin if you have one, or a large shallow baking tray with baking parchment, and pour the mixture in, making sure to spread it to the sides. Bake for 20 mins then cool before turning out onto another piece of baking parchment, dusted with icing sugar to help prevent sticking. For the icing, melt the chocolate in a bain-marie or the microwave and leave it to cool while you blitz the butter and icing sugar to a smooth paste. Add the cooled chocolate and vanilla extract and blitz again for a smooth icing. Spread a thin layer of the icing onto the cake, then whip the cream and spread on top and add as many cherries as you see fit. Then gently roll from the longest side, if you have one, making sure to get a nice tight roll all the way. Don’t worry if the ends are a bit raggedy as you will chop these off to create the branch. Using a sharp knife cut off each end at a gentle angle and position to form a branch off the main log. Spread over the rest of the icing and using a fork create a wood effect, remembering to swirl in some knots. Sieve over icing sugar and add some festive holly or pinecones, or even a robin!


6 7



Nothing beats the festive scene of a snow-dusted chocolate yule log, complete with robin perched on top of course. Sara Whatley spent an enjoyable, if messy afternoon making one with her little girl, who ended up icing her hair! A decadent treat and a super alternative to the traditional Christmas cake


Yule Log

INGREDIENTS For the cake: 6 large eggs, separated 150g golden caster sugar 50g cocoa powder 1 tsp vanilla extract 300ml double cream 425g tin pitted black cherries in syrup Icing sugar to decorate

For the icing: 175g dark chocolate, chopped 250g icing sugar 225g soft butter 1 tbsp vanilla extract 58 SUSSEX LIVING | December 2019

METHOD Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until thick and peaking, then sprinkle 50g of the caster sugar in while still whisking and whisk until definite peaks appear. In another bowl whisk together the egg yolks and remaining sugar until you achieve a thick, pale, moussy consistency. Sieve in the coca powder, add the vanilla extract and fold together. Add a couple of dollops of the whites into the yolk mixture

1 2 3





Happy Days Café



The perfect place for a special occasion!


Cream Tea Afternoons, Family Gatherings, Weddings, Funeral Wakes, Christenings, Birthdays


Lunchtime or evenings - Licence until 11pm and alcohol licence.

12 noon to 5pm on Sundays - Please Book

Special Menu Offers

Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday evenings

Sat 14th December, 7.30pm - £28pp includes meal Tel: 01825 872883 Email:


Thu 28 Nov, Jam Night!!! Come And Join In!! Sat 7 Dec, Howlin’ Grooves Sun 8 Dec, Bustin’ The Grooves, Acoustic Sat 14 Dec, Danny Mason Sun 15 Dec 2-4pm, Ritchie Campbell, Mentalist Sun 22 Dec 3-5pm, Stuart Bligh, Acoustic Tue New Years Eve, Elite Disco Sat 4 Jan 2020, Watson Bros




Open: Mon - Thur 12-11pm, Fri-Sat 12-12pm, Sun 12-10.30pm


LIVE MUSIC MOST SATURDAYS Cross in Hand, Heathfield TN21 0SN 01435 865 449



Food served lunch and evening

Landlady Petra and her wonderful team welcome you to the Smugglers in Pevensey

- Home Cooked Food - Freehouse - New Menu including - Real Ales Lunchtime Light Bites 01323 870590

Christmas menu available throughout DeCember £24.95 for 3 courses

Book Now For ✷ ✷ Christmas Christmas Menus ✷ Now Available

Book now to avoid disappointment See website for full menu options

01323 762112 | High Street, Pevensey, BN24 5LF

Bed & Breakfast

Wedding & Functions Venue

Breakfast with Santa 8th of December 9am-11am A special treat for all those good girls and boys, come and enjoy a festive morning for all the family! Adults £10, Children £15

Bar & Restaurant

01825 841022

Christmas Party Nights Thursday to Saturday Nights in November & December 6.30pm to Midnight, 3 course meal followed by disco and DJ £29.95pp

✷ Christmas Day Lunch 1pm 25th of December

✷ Christmas Market 8th of December 11am-3pm

Enjoy a stress-free Christmas day lunch in our festive restaurant with open fire, arrive to canapes with bubbles and relax! £65.00pp

With stalls, live music, games, face painting, tasty treats, mulled wine and mince pies. It’s the best place to get the last few stocking fillers and a great afternoon out! – free entry

✷ NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY 7.30pm-2am

✷ Weekday Christmas Lunches 12-3pm Mon-Fri 2nd Dec-19th Dec Come and enjoy a festive lunch with family, friends or colleagues! 2 courses £14.95, 3 courses £18.95pp

See in the New Year at Crockstead and dance the night away! Buffet and a glass of bubbles to countdown the New Year. £25.00 a ticket

✷ Call us on 01825 841022 or email for details on our Festive events


December 2019 | SUSSEX LIVING 59



Bryony Hill is preparing for Christmas with her super recipe for Christmas stuffing. Bryony has hers with duck but says goose or turkey would also be perfect for seasonal festivities. Make it in advance, reduce the Christmas cooking workload, and celebrate a little longer! INGREDIENTS 2 banana shallots (or 6 round ones) peeled and chopped 1 celery stick, finely sliced 55g butter 1 large Bramley apple, peeled, cored and chopped 1 nectarine, skin on, cut into small chunks 1 thick slice wholemeal bread, crust on, whizzed into crumbs Finely grated zest of 1 orange (preferably organic) Handful of fresh parsley (curly or French), roughly chopped, including stalks Salt and freshly ground black pepper

w for Book no tmas Pre-Chris & as Day m t is r Ch as Day (Christm ken s ta Booking 5 Nov) 1 m o fr

METHOD Sweat the shallots and celery in the butter, in a pan, over a moderate heat for 5-6 minutes or until soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool before adding the apple, nectarines, breadcrumbs, orange zest and parsley. Season well and keep in the fridge until ready to stuff the duck. Pack into the cavity of the duck and roast in an oven (220 C (200 fan) gas mark 7 for at least 1Ÿ - 1½ hours. Note: If stuffing a goose or turkey these birds will take considerably longer to cook so make sure the juices run clear before serving. l



3 4 5

Celebrate Christmas at Stonehill Dining Room

Looking for a unique festive lunch venue? Relax with friends by the dramatic fireplace in the historic Priory restaurant.

Open 10am - 4pm daily View menus online

01435 865691 |

Stonehill Dining Room, Holy Cross Priory, Lewes Rd, Cross in Hand, Heathfield TN21 0DZ

60 SUSSEX LIVING | December 2019

Oven Ready Game Local oven ready game and wild meat Award winning Christmas Turkeys

Heathfield Auction Rooms Burwash Road, Heathfield TN21 8RA T. 01435 862132 E.

CHRISTMAS TURKEY, GAME & POULTRY AUCTIONS South Brockwells Seasonal Farm Shop Little Horsted, Uckfield TN22 5QS

01825 750466

Try our Christmas birds in blankets!

Farm shop open 9am - 5pm every Friday & Saturday, until mid - February


The only one in Uckfield!

For all the festive meat you need to eat, you’ll find Bishop’s at Christmas hard to beat

Christmas bookings

taken up until 19th December

Tel: 01825 762820 214 HIGH STREET UCKFIELD, TN22 1RE

Tuesday 17th & Thursday 19th December at 11am Wholesale prices. Easy parking Keeping tradition alive


Greek Café & Bistro Authentic Greek Food Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Artisan Greek produce including olives & oils

01435 86 33 76 WWW.PILIOBISTRO.CO.UK

Now open 7 days a week in our lovely new restaurant The Old Station, Station Approach, Heathfield TN21 OAA


Open evening 4th December 5pm-8pm

Come and enjoy a glass of mulled wine and sample some festive delights. Enter our prize drawn in shop from 15th November8 December. First prize is Christmas dinner... turkey, veg box and some local cheese. 2nd prize leg of local pork in a hamper with some veg and apple sauce. 3rd prize shop voucher £15 in a hamper.

Good luck

All carefully hand made to order by our experienced bakers here in Sussex with specially selected ingredients (organic where possible), free range eggs and gluten free options. 01323 392649 Pick up available from 27 Sunflower Lane, Polegate BN26 6FD December 2019 | SUSSEX LIVING 61












ORLD Q Good King Wenceslas may well have enjoyed looking out on the feast of Stephen, but in which European capital would you find Wenceslas Square?

2 3❆

In the pantomime Aladdin, who runs a Chinese laundry?



Tis the season to be jolly and tis also the season to spend time with one’s nearest and dearest. And when you’ve had your fill of food, family, and enforced festivities rest awhile with Robert Veitch’s wordly Christmas Quiz and transplant yourself to a land of solitude, and peace and maybe a prize to start 2020 off with a bang!


Put these nations in the chronological order that they experience Christmas, with the first being the first to witness sunrise on December 25th? Thailand – Trinidad & Tobago - Turkey – Tuvalu.


The Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree is a gift of enduring gratitude from the people of which country, for help during WWII?

In the 1991 Christmas TV special titled Miami Twice, which fictional pair of brothers from Peckham flew to America and into an unfortunate episode of mistaken identity with the mafia?



The ‘Nakatomi Plaza’ in Los Angeles featured in which 1988 ‘Christmas’ film starring Alan Rickman and Bruce Willis?

❆ 62 SUSSEX LIVING | December 2019


Norfolk Black, Bronze and Broad Breasted White are all types of what?


Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar travelled from the East, following a star to Bethlehem, but by what name are they more commonly known?

In which language would Feliz Navidad translate to Merry Christmas?


In which mythical land would you find the red shoes, a large cowardly cat, the Wicked Witch of the West, and some small folk known as Munchkins?


Where is Father Christmas rumoured to live? A) Lands End B) La Plagne C) Lap dancer land D) Lapland E) Land of our fathers


In 1962 a young Elvis Presley topped the Christmas charts with the number one single Return To Sender. If Elvis were to be returned to sender, to his birthplace in Tupelo, which US State would he be returned to?



You are most cordially invited to join us and celebrate Christmas 2019

Seven Times Winner

A Fabulous Four Course Festive Lunch or Dinner for £25 .95 or Two course festive lunch £12 .95 Now in our tenth year, Available throughout December no one does except Christmas day. Christmas better than us.

Buffalo Bill’s is the perfect root’n toot’n venue for your family or office Christmas party. Traditional festive dishes with all the trimmings or delicious Tex-Mex favourites’ Large posses catered for 2 courses - £21.95 3 courses - £26.95 A22, Eastbourne Rd, Halland 01825 840456

❆ Ridley Inns ❄

You can view all our menus on our web site.

01323 842400

✦ Characterful, family-run pubs with great food ❄ ✦

Wishing all our customers a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Enjoy a Warm Welcome, Delicious Food and Great Hospitality Ridley Inns are the Family Friendly & Family Run Local Pub Group


HEATHFIELD TAVERN Station Road, Heathfield East Sussex, TN21 8DR For reservations Tel: 01435 864847 TheHeathfieldTavern

Uckfield Road (A26), Near Ringmer East Sussex BN8 5RX For reservations Tel: 01273 812040

Eastbourne Road, Ridgewood Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 5SP For reservations Tel: 01825 762989


December 2019 | SUSSEX LIVING 63



What is the name of the lightly textured sweet bread loaf containing raisins that originated in Milan and has become popular in the UK at Christmas in recent years?


Which Oxford-educated hymn writer penned the lyric for Hark The Herald Angels Sing in 1739?

I was born in 1819 in SaxeCoburg (Bavaria) and aged 20 I married my cousin Victoria, with whom I had nine children. When she became Queen I became Prince Consort. I pushed for educational reform, an end to slavery and for the Great Exhibition of 1851. At home I undertook responsibility for decorating the Windsor Castle Christmas tree and helped popularise the notion of bringing a tree into British homes and decorating it – something done across the UK ever since. I died in 1861 and have a hall name after me, as well as a memorial in Hyde Park. Who was I?


Ta pa s!

Terms and conditions: Three winners will be picked at random by Sussex Living Ltd, from all entries with 15 correct answers. In the event that there are fewer than three entries with 15 correct answers, those with the most correct answers will be taken into account. Sussex Living’s decision will be final (your statutory rights remain unaffected). The winners will be informed by phone or email and have their names printed in our February 2020 issue.

Looking for a quality caterer for your event?

Sussex event caterer, Paella Fella Ltd, are celebrating their tenth anniversary with a limited edition tapas menu, fusing classic Spanish and British flavours.

Alongside firm favourites like prawn pil-pil, patatas bravas, padron peppers and ham or mushroom croquetas, are the new dishes; popcorn chicken, mackerel profiteroles, cauliflower wings, sticky chorizo bites and more. This is tapas with a seriously tasty twist. Available as canapes and table tapas.

To win a free, twelve month subscription to Sussex Living magazine, delivered to any UK address, please email your answers to us at including your name, address and telephone number by 31st December 2019.



Providing fresh locally-sourced food for your special day u Excel in both traditional and contemporary hospitality t u Range of delicious cuisine is broad and varied t u Friendly service and professionalism required to t make the day run smoothly.

u t

Call Katherine to discuss on 01323 440455

full tapas and Visit the website for book an event. paella menus and to

01342 777846

64 SUSSEX LIVING | December 2019

est 1986

(Hailsham BN27 1AE)

BEAUTY & FASHION over the middle and bottom section before giving it a final twist and securing it. Voilà! PARTY MAKE-UP These three looks are guaranteed showstoppers at any party – and in the case of Christmas and New Year, wear them day or night!

The finishing touches to your festive party look shouldn’t cause you worry. Here are some simple, yet fabulous, hair and make-up tricks from Amy Newson to get you out the door and in the party mood in no time

Get festive party ready I

f you’re planning your Christmas and New Year’s party looks already, look no further – here you will find all the hair and make-up inspiration you need for your upcoming festive celebrations. What will be left to do, you ask? Just pop on a dazzling dress with your favourite heels, sing some carols, eat a mince pie (or two) and dance

66 SUSSEX LIVING | December 2019

the night away to some cheesy Christmas pop tunes. HOLIDAY HAIR This doesn’t have to involve sparkly headbands and glitzy hair decorations. Hasslefree hairstyles are perfect for festive parties, get pretty and party-ready in just ten minutes with these two incredibly wonderful styles. THE TEXTURED LOW PONYTAIL Start by using a curling wand to add texture to your hair, curling your hair away from your face. Pull your hair back and tie with a band at the nape of your neck. Spray the end of your hair with hairspray to keep that textured effect in place long into the night.

THE FRENCH TWIST Pin your hair up in three sections: top, middle and bottom. Take the middle section of your hair and twist it before securing with bobby pins to hold in place. Repeat this on the bottom section and then pin it to the middle section. Finally, twist the top section of your hair, pulling it

If normal holiday colours aren’t your thing, try copper and bronze shades instead

RED LIPS WITH WINGED EYELINER Deep red lipstick and winged liner is always a winner for a festive party, it’s a timeless classic! To get the perfect wing, start off by putting a dot where you want the wing to end, then starting from the inner corner – with that eye closed – complete the line to connect to the dot. Draw a small triangle and fill it in, making sure that the line is thickest in the middle

and thinner in the inner corner and at the wing. If you want to add an extra touch to your look, top your applied red lipstick up with superfine crimson-coloured glitter. GILDED EYES Define the outside corners of your eyes with black kohl liner. With a blending brush and black eyeshadow, smudge for a smokier eye look. Use your finger to dab on some gold and glittery eyeshadow to the middle of your eyelid and to the inner corners for the ultimate finishing touch. SHIMMERY COPPER SHADOW If normal holiday colours aren’t your thing, try copper and bronze shades instead. Smudge some copper eyeshadow along the top and bottom lash lines and line your inner and lower waterlines with black waterproof liner. Finish with a glossy lip for the perfect touch. l

Gift ideas this winter at


Eat, drink and be merry yes, but ensure you incorporate some healthy alternatives alongside the usual festive excess, says Sasha Kanal



e all look forward to unwinding at Christmas, letting our hair down a little when it comes to relaxing and eating. Being a little less prescriptive in what we do – after all it’s the perfect winter break from our normally regimented lives. But Christmas can be a time where all activities go to pot and coupled with the unusually high calorie intake at this time of year, the fitness you’ve worked so hard for is lost in a matter of weeks. January is a notoriously hard time of year to kick start a diet, detox or high intensity exercise regime. Who wants to do a draconian refresh when the weather is at its coldest and spring seems a long way off? None of this is necessary if you are relatively sensible and get the right amount of movement in over December and don’t go too crazy on the mince pies. KEEP THE CHRISTMAS EXCESS AT BAY 1 The big freeze Make those warming stews and casseroles well in advance of the busy festive period and freeze, ready to take out at a moment’s notice. This way, 68 SUSSEX LIVING | December 2019

when you’re super busy, you won’t be tempted by all the rich pastry-laden fayre that’s so prolific at this time of year. A spicy pork and apricot stew, a tender chicken chasseur casserole. Delicious, they freeze well and unexpected guests will be wowed by your organisation.

3 Be a good sport Sign up to a Christmas sporting event. There are plenty of local fun runs, half marathons, triathlons and the like around in December. Signing up to one can help you retain your focus and training over this period and there’s no excuse to slack. 4 Get walking and talking The ultimate family activity. Get your boots on and get out into the countryside and away from electronic devices for a few precious hours. Amazing how surly teenagers come out of their shell on a country walk and how quickly those endorphins are raised. The lost days between Christmas and New Year are ideal for this.

2 Break it down It’s a busy time, but utilise 10 minutes here and there to do some exercise or get moving. Grab 10 minutes in your lunch break – a quick walk will do. Get a 10 minute burst of HIIT at home before dinner under your belt. It all adds up and research has shown that short sessions of activity are still effective.

5 And breathe With all the hurly burly of life around this time, don’t forget to relax, take a breather and indulge in some mindfulness, yoga or even just a long hot soak in the bath. Self-care is good for the soul and the body and means you are more likely to have the energy to exercise when you want to. Happy Christmas! l

Life Coaching

with Jane Baldwin

Season'S Greetings

A very merry and happy festive season one and all ✦


F O R A C O M P L I M E N TA R Y D I S C O V E R Y C A L L V I S I T W W W. J A N E B A L D W I N . C O . U K

Want your business on their Wedding list?


See the

Advertise in our Weddings Features

of Christmas

Uckfield, Polegate, Seaford, Eastbourne, Bexhill, Battle and St. Leonards

Call us on 01825 212131 or email


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Emergencies seen same day Dental implants available We care for anxious patients Interest free credit available Private Treatment available at affordable rates Hygienists available Disabled access and facilities available Free parking available

We are now accepting New NHS patients

“Your injection technique is superb” “Your clear explanation of the treatment and sensations helped me to understand what was going on in my mouth so I didn’t have to worry what might happen next” “Most dentists I have seen before always seem to be in such a rush, but your calm and relaxed manner soon rubbed off on me”

Some patients may be entitled to

FREE NHS TREATMENT Please call or ask for details at reception. FREE NHS TREATMENT available for under 18s Under New Management For more information or to book North Chailey Dental Care an appointment, call us now on

0800 158 8000

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01825 724 694

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North Chailey Dental Care., The Surgery, Station Rd, North Chailey, Lewes BN8 4HD

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Your Convenience - Open Saturdays and evenings The earlier the better - Quality Family Dentistry Freshen your breath - Caring, personal service Stop gums bleeding - Effective hygienist care Fear nothing - We take pleasure in supporting nervous patients Style your smile - Cosmetic dentistry can whiten, balance and restore your smile.


01342 325363

December 2019 | SUSSEX LIVING 69


IT’S ALL ABOUT CHARITY CELEBRATIONS FOR POSSABILITY PEOPLE Sussex charity Possability People is celebrating a huge National Lottery Community Fund award of almost £400,000 for a four-year programme to support disabled people into work, volunteering or training across East Sussex. The Community Employment Service supports, empowers and enables people to identify and overcome barriers they might face in getting a job, such as developing coping strategies and techniques to manage the impact of their condition in and out of work. It will also improve people’s skills, such

as digital, and building confidence in talking to employers about health conditions or impairments. Geraldine Des Moulins, Chief Executive of Possability People, says: “This is tremendously good news for Brighton, Hove and East Sussex. It’s particularly good for disenfranchised disabled people unable to see how valuable they are to society and don’t value their place in the world, especially the world of work. It’s good news for employers who might not realise the benefits disabled people can bring as employees.”

SOVEREIGN SHINES – LIGHTING UP THE HARBOUR FOR CHARITY Now celebrating its fourth year, Sovereign Shines marks the beginning of the festivities at Premier’s Eastbourne Marina (Sovereign Harbour). A magical harbour light spectacle, berth holders and local residents are being invited to make this the largest Christmas lights display, to help raise funds for the Eastbourne lifeboat. Plus, on Friday 13th December join the crowds at The Waterfront, Sovereign Harbour to celebrate the illuminations. The evening event from 16.00 – 20.00 will feature three local school choirs, Eastbourne Rock Choir, live reindeer and an array of Christmas market stalls selling local produce and beautiful gifts. For online registration visit: sovereign-shines-2019-application-form

IS YOUR LOVED ONE COPING THIS WINTER? Winter can be the hardest time of year for the older generation, with longer nights, the colder weather and loneliness all setting in. Sussex Housing & Care want to help make your winter a little bit easier by welcoming your loved one to enjoy a short stay at Ardath care home in Bexhill, Saxonwood care home in Battle or Woodlands care home in Crowborough. Our homes, all rated ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission, are warm, welcoming and friendly. We provide three freshly cooked and nutritionally balanced meals a day, and offer a variety of daily activities such as music, quizzes and exercise sessions. Would you like to find out more about how we can help? Join us for a free two course home cooked meal and meet our friendly staff and residents. Find out more and download your free lunch club voucher by going to

WILL YOU DONATE £10 OR MORE TO SPONSOR A TILE FOR THE CHASELEY TRUST SHOWER APPEAL? Please donate generously to The Chaseley Trust Shower Appeal. Our tired building is showing its age and in particular the shower rooms are displaying considerable wear and tear with complete refurbishment costs estimated at around £120,000. These improvements will provide better, more accessible and safer facilities for everyone, enhance the overall experience of living at Chaseley, improve energy

70 SUSSEX LIVING | December 2019

efficiency, and save the charity money in the future. Every donation, of any size that we receive is greatly appreciated – Thank you. To make a donation this Christmas: Securely Online at: Post a cheque to: The Chaseley Trust, South Cliff, Eastbourne BN20 7JH By Telephone: 01323 744200 Email:




top ,000 priz e




You can help provide life changing hospice care for local children, week after week.

Join our Lottery today from just £1 a week at or call us on

01903 871842

Players must be 16 years old or over. Promoter: St Barnabas Hospices (Sussex) Ltd. Managers responsible: S Smith and M Caunhye. St Barnabas Hospices (Sussex) Ltd is licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission Registered Charity No. 256789

For care homes. For Living

Your local Bupa care homes. Whether you need to find a care home now or are just starting to look into the options, we can support you and your loved one. Our teams are trained to care for our residents’ individual needs. You’re welcome to come and say hello and we will be happy to show you around. Call us for advice or to arrange a visit

0808 302 4102

Lines are open 8am to 6:30pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 12:30pm Saturday. Closed Sundays and bank holidays. Phone calls are free to 0808 numbers. We may record or monitor our calls.

Copper Beech Care Home

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December 2019 | SUSSEX LIVING 71



72 SUSSEX LIVING | December 2019


n the 1930s Dirk Bogarde lived next door in The Old Rectory,” said an enthusiastic Jane Ellis as she led me along a path of handmade bricks and into the serene churchyard of the smallest church in Sussex. “At boarding school I was sent a postcard of this church. I didn’t come here until I married in 1968 and then I realised it was the church on the postcard… which I still have. I helped with a few flower festivals to begin with, but after my children grew up and left home I got more and more involved.” Lullington was built in the 12th or 13th century and was subsequently burnt down by Cromwellian troops around the time of the Civil War. The chancel remains, creating the tiny church of today. There’s no electricity or running water, yet there’s an aura, an idyllic harmony with the landscape. The church has knapped flint walls, clear lancet windows and the white weather boarded belfry contains a single bell. Four gravestones are visible in the churchyard, although others are unmarked. The last burial was nineteen years ago. The perimeter was

Where is the intriguingly named Church of the Good Shepherd and how did it become the smallest in Sussex? We sent Robert Veitch and his magnifying glass to the outskirts of Alfriston to find out

The Shepherd

of the Downs

cleared of diseased elms in 2017 and is slowly being replanted as Jane pointed out, “New trees were donated by local residents, to create habitat and a windbreak. We have crab apple, hawthorn, holly and rowan among them, but they won’t grow tall enough to obscure the fantastic views. We planted wildflowers too. It will be managed, but mostly left to nature.” Jane continued, “We have 24 chairs inside, but can seat 30 for a service, because I bring benches from home. We had 51 for harvest festival in September, including 21 sitting outside. Advent is a lantern service, including 120 candles, so it’s incredibly atmospheric, very intimate and it gets extremely warm too.” “Our community was concerned for the survival of the church in the 80s and 90s. We had a distant link to St Sythe but nobody really

Advent is a lantern service including 120 candles – it gets extremely warm knew much about her so we needed a name and identity. The Church of the Good Shepherd was suggested locally. The suggestion had to be approved by the Lord Chancellor’s Office, but we were successful and the Bishop of Lewes made

the dedication during the millennium.” Among the Downs, once populated with Southdown Sheep it was an apt name. A look through the visitors book tells its own intriguing story. Late October, when I visited was a wet month, yet there averaged an entry a day. Comments came from as far as Japan, Australia, South Africa and the USA with the rather prophetic “a haven from a troubled world” summing things up rather well. “We just love our church,” beamed Jane. “We need to preserve it and the surrounding environment for the next generations.” l Access: By foot from Alfriston, uphill across the fields. Or park at the top of Chapel Hill and wander down the road. For further information Open: All day, every day

Is your loved one coping this winter? Here at Sussex Housing & Care we know that winter can be the hardest time of year for the older generation, with longer nights, the colder weather and loneliness all setting in. We want to help people over 65 stay healthy and safe. Book now to get one week* free respite care. Contact us now to find out more: Saxonwood care home, Battle: 01424 774336•Email: *This offer is valid when booking two weeks of respite and can be used for the third consecutive week. Applies to standard or medium dependency care. Subject to availability.

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December 2019 | SUSSEX LIVING 73



Do you have an East Sussex community event to promote? Email and ask for a Diary Dates form.

Now to Friday 20 December

Luxfords Restaurant Christmas Lunch Civic Centre, Uckfield TN22 1AE Booking essential, 2 or 3 courses £22.50. 01825 769694 Now until 22 December

Glow Wild

Wakehurst Place, Ardingly RH17 6TN The magical winter lantern trail. Now until 23 December

Christmas at Drusillas Park Drusillas Park, off A27, Alfriston BN26 5QS It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Drusillas Park! Experience the magic first-hand as Santa Claus returns to his cosy Christmas Cottage. Weekends until Sunday 22 & Monday 23 December

Winter Walks

Bodiam Castle, Robertsbridge TN32 5UA Winter walks in the fresh air, the magic of Father Christmas, festive lunches and hassle-free Christmas shopping. 0344 249 1895

Now until Sunday 29 December

Aladdin Pantomime

The White Rock Theatre, Hastings TN34 1JX A magical family pantomime with Duncan James. Now until Sunday 05 January, 10:00 – 16:00

Christmas at Nymans – Flights of Fancy: the Wondrous World of Quentin Blake

Nymans, Staplefield Rd, Handcross, Haywards Heath RH17 6EB Leap into a fantasy world with this exhibition and festive programme of activities. 01444 405250 Now until Sunday 05 January, 10:00 – 16:00

Nellie’s Arctic Adventure at Sheffield Park and Garden

Sheffield Park, Uckfield TN22 3QX This December why not set out on a pioneering outdoor adventure to the Arctic with the remarkable Nellie Soames, a former owner of Sheffield Park, who left London bound for the Arctic inspired by ‘youth and a love of adventure.’ sheffieldpark

Now until Sunday 05 January

Holy Cross Church, Belmont Road, Uckfield TN22 1BP Music, carols and mulled wine.

Bodiam Castle, Robertsbridge TN32 5UA Showcasing stunning photographs of British wildlife and nature 0344 249 1895

Friday 06 December, 10:00 - 21:00, Saturday 07 December, 10:30 - 18:00 Sunday 08 December, 11:00 - 16:00

British Wildlife Photography Awards Exhibition 2019

Thursday 05 December, 10:00 – 17:00

East Sussex Teachers Registration Open Day

The Mallings, 112 Malling Street, Lewes BN7 2RG Register with Class Cover for day to day, short/long term placements and permanent work for Teachers/TAs/ LSAs/TEFL/SEN/Nursery/Primary/ Secondary/Colleges. 01273 957908 Thursday 05 December, 17:00 – 20.30

Heathfield Late Night Shopping Enjoy small town shopping with independent shops with festive live music, carols, food, drink and hospitality. #shoplocalthischristmas Thursday 05 December, 18:30

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Holy Cross Festival of Christmas Trees

Holy Cross Church, Belmont Road, Uckfield TN22 1BP This wonderful community event displays an impressive 100+ Christmas trees, all sponsored and decorated by local schools, charities and organisations. Festive musical entertainment, seasonal refreshments, handmade gifts and activities for children. Free admission but donations are greatly appreciated. Friday 06 December, 19:30

Heathfield Silver Band’s Christmas Concert State Hall, Station Road, Heathfield TN21 8LD Fun and Christmas music, carols, mulled wine, mince pies, refreshments and a raffle. Come and join the Christmas fun - £8. 01435 817201 Friday 06, Thursday 12, Friday 13, Thursday 19, Friday 20 & Monday 23 December, from 18:00

Come and visit Santa in his Grotto at the Lavender Line!

Sunday 15th & Sunday 22nd December Santa will be in his Grotto from 10:00 - last visit 3:20pm Every child will receive a present and there will be a mince pie for the grown-ups! Everyone will also enjoy One Return Train Ride! Pre-booking is essential. To enjoy our Santa Experience please phone the Lavender Line: 07518 764445

- £5 ars 3 ye - £10 r e nd ars n u 12 ye ldre 0 by Chi dren 3 lts - £1 panied l i m Ch cco a. Adu a t be San ust ing nm visit en h w dult na


il ll ch


74 SUSSEX LIVING | December 2019


DIARY DATES Alice in a Twilight Christmas Wonderland

Saturday 07 & Sunday 08 December

Hever Castle, Hever Rd, Hever TN8 7NG Where a love of Christmas opens up a world of curiosity.

Michelham Priory, Upper Dicker, Hailsham BN27 3QS Enjoy some hearty fare, music and activities with Christmas through the ages. 01323 844224

Christmas at Michelham Priory

Friday 06 December, 19:30

Lewes Chamber Music Festival St John sub Castro Church, Lewes BN7 2QA Celebrating the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven. Friday 06 December, 19:30

“The Magic of Christmas” Seasonal floral demonstration by Delyth Price Memorial Hall, Bexhill Road, Ninfield TN33 9EE Members £10.00 Guests £12.00. Friday 06 to Sunday 08 December (various timings)

Festival of Christmas Trees Holy Cross Church, Belmont Road, Uckfield TN22 1BP With an impressive 100+ trees, sponsored and decorated by local organisations, schools, charities and individuals. Friday 06 December until Sunday 05 January

Dick Whittington

The Hawth Theatre, Crawley RH10 6YZ With Charlie Brooks from EastEnders and Gemma Hunt from CBeebies 01293 553636

Saturday 07 December

Lewes Santa Run in aid of The Bevern Trust Starting at Harvey’s Yard, Lewes BN7 2AN Fun run, walk or push! Saturday 07 December, 10:00 – 16:00

Christmas Fayre at Bluebell Vineyard

Bluebell Vineyard, Sliders Lane, Furners Green, Uckfield TN22 3RU Enjoy a free glass of award-winning English Sparkling wine along with 25% off all wines - free entry. 01825 791561 Saturday 07 December, 19:00

Christmas Praise

Christchurch Methodist Church, Springfield Road, Bexhill-on-Sea TN40 2BX An evening of words, music and carols with the Christchurch singers and Hooe silver band. No booking, collection for charity, free entry. Saturday 07 December, 11:00 – 14:00

Christmas Fair

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December 2019 | SUSSEX LIVING 75

DIARY DATES St Barnabas Church, Worth Road, Pound Hill, Crawley RH10 7DY Lots of stalls including books, crafts, home produce, good as new, tombolas, toys and games, etc. Father Christmas will be there! Refreshments, lunches available. Free. All welcome. 0300 111 8150

variety of stalls, if you are looking for that original gift this year. The Mid Sussex Choir will be attending and there will be sleigh rides to visit Santa for £5 with a present. Hot food and refreshments will also be available. 01825 741331

Saturday 07 December, 19:30

Penshurst Choral Society Presents: “Carols by Candlelight”

The Uckfield Singers Community Choir: Christmas Concert Uckfield Civic Centre, Uckfield TN22 1AE Seasonal music and carols. Tickets £8.00, available from Gale & Woolgar Jewellers, High Street, Uckfield. Saturday 07 & Sunday 08 December, 10:00 – 16:00

Advent Market at West Dean

Skateworld is the perfect venue for your very own exclusive and private roller disco party! We can provide music, games, food, drinks, skate hire and much more! Book your Christmas Party with us today - so what are you waiting for? Get your skates on! Roller Disco times: Friday 5pm until 9pm, Saturday 1pm until 6pm, Sunday 2pm until 6pm

Skateworld is the only purpose built roller-skating rink in Sussex for kids and adults alike. 01323 738288 / 07807 087962

The Warehouse, 16a Maple Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN23 6NY 76 SUSSEX LIVING | December 2019

Thursday 12 December, 11:00 – 12:00

Workshop: Christmas Tree for the Birds

Sunday 08 December, 10:00 - 15:00

Heathfield Late Night Shopping

National Cat Adoption Centre, Lewes Rd, Chelwood Gate RH17 7TT The National Cat Adoption Centre is holding its first Christmas Fair with a


St John the Baptist Church, Penshurst TN11 8BL An evening of carols old and new with festive readings. Adult: £10, Children under 16: £3, Family (2 adults & up to 5 children under 16) £23. Limited seats at the door, cash only. www.penshurstchoralsociety/concerts

Old Coach House, The Lane, West Dean, Seaford BN25 4AL Market with C17th barns full of artisan foods, jewellery, art and ceramics. Christmas trees, tea and homemade cakes and beer stall. Free entry, free parking, groups welcome, dogs on leads. 01323 870323

Cats Protection Christmas Fair & Grotto


Sunday 08 December, 18:30

Sussex Country Gardener Garden Centre, Mark Cross TN6 3PJ Decorate a potted Christmas tree for the birds with edible ornaments - £25 per person, booking essential. 01892 852828 Thursday 12 December, 17:00 – 20:30

Enjoy small town shopping with independent shops with festive live music and carols, food, drink and hospitality. #shoplocalthischristmas

PILATES CLASSES IN EASTBOURNE with level 3 Body Control Pilates instructor Rebecca Brotherton Learn how to move •more efficiently Improves muscle •strength and tone Restores flexibility •and joint mobility Helps to correct •poor posture Improves bone density •and joint health Improves coordination •and balance

For more details contact: 07545887560

DIARY DATES Thursday 12 December, 19:30

Heritage Eastbourne’s Town Hall Talks Eastbourne Town Hall, Grove Road BN21 4UG Join Mark Forsyth, author of A Short History of Drunkenness to discover how, where and when humankind has got merry! £10 include glass of wine. 01323 415636 Friday 13 to Sunday 15 December, Friday 13, 10:00 - 19:00, Saturday 14, 10:00 - 18:00 (Market 11:00 - 15:00) Sunday 15, 11:00 - 16:00

Christmas Tree Festival & Saturday Festive Market

St Mary’s Church, Church Rd, Newick BN8 4JZ Christmas Tree Festival and Festive Market with music and refreshments throughout, free entry. Jenny Smerdon: jennysmerdon@ Sara Fuller: Friday 13 December, 10:30 – 12:00

Christmas Jumper Coffee Morning

Herstmonceux Information Centre, 2/3 The Old Forge, Gardners Street, Herstmonceux BN27 4LG Join us for a cuppa, mince pie and cake and a chat to raise money for St Wilfrid’s Hospice. Sheila Charlton 01323 833673 Friday 13 December, 19:15 – 00:30

Grand Gala Dinner & Dance The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne BN21 4EQ

Spend a delightful evening together with a special four course menu in the festively decorated Garden Restaurant followed by dancing. From £47.00 per person (includes live band entertainment). Reservations 01323 412345 christmas-parties Friday 13 December, 16:00 – 20:00

Sovereign Shines

The Waterfront, Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne BN23 5UZ A magical harbour light spectacle. Join us to celebrate the illuminations. Evening entertainment includes local school choirs, live reindeer and Christmas stalls selling local produce. Free. Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 December

Christmas at Michelham Priory Michelham Priory, Upper Dicker, Hailsham BN27 3QS Enjoy some hearty fare, music and activities with Christmas through the ages. 01323 844224 Saturday 14 December, 09:00 – 15:00

Hailsham Christmas Markets Vicarage Field & Cattle Market Site, Hailsham BN27 1BE Food and Christmas gift stalls, live music, festive refreshments, carol singing and Santa and his sleigh.

Saturday 14 December

Rockinghorse Children’s Charity - Santa Dash Brighton

Santa Dash Brighton is back! Join Rockinghorse children’s charity for the ultimate feel-good festive 5k run along the seafront. Sign-up and take advantage of the special £10 entry fee,

includes a Santa Suit and a finisher’s medal. 01273 330044 or email Saturday 14 December, 19:30

Elvis Tribute Evening Happy Days Café, Holmes Hill BN8 6JA An up close and intimate evening of

. FF oots er... e O nd b emb meon ! % es a Dec or so stmas 50t sho ring elf ( hri os du rs C m re you this sto at al) in tre eci so sp

Charity Number 306016

December 2019 | SUSSEX LIVING 77

DIARY DATES Elvis. £28 per person includes a one course meal plus an evening of fun and entertainment! 01825 872883 Sunday 15 December, 19:45

A Festive Fanfare

Sat 14th December at Kidbrooke Mansion, Priory Rd, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JB

Lively market in a lovely country house set in beautiful grounds. Original clothing, crafts, arts, organic produce, puppet shows and musicians. Free admission & Car parking 11-4 Tel: 01342 824944 Charity no 307006


Fri 6th - Pearly Cubes Sat 7th - Snake Bite Sun 8th - Assorted Nuts lunchtime jazz

Fri 20th - Far Cry Sat 21st - Skalettos Sun 22nd - Savannah lunchtime jazz

... ... ...

Tues 10th - Folk & Blues

... ... ...

Fri 13th - The Fold Sat 14th - Dirty Shoes Sun 15th - Assorted Nuts lunchtime jazz Big Kahuna Xmas Carols in the evening

... ... ...

Xmas Eve - South Of Saturn Boxing Day - Six Bells Famous Tractor Run 11am onwards with lunchtime BBQ

... ... ...

New Years Eve - Foul Play - tickets Tues 17th - Mad Billys Engine Room only in advance from the pub

Tel: 01825 872227

Catastrophes C AT R E S C U E

We help cats and kittens in distress by taking them into our care and finding good homes for them.

Every cat deserves the chance of a good home. We do not believe in putting animals to sleep unnecessarily.

Christmas Events at Herstmonceux Castle

Herstmonceux Castle, Herstmonceux BN27 1RN If you’re looking for somewhere a little different this year for your festive gathering then why not book a lunch, afternoon tea or a party night with 3-course dinner included. Sunday 15 & Sunday 22 December, 10:00 – 15:20

Lavender Line, Isfield TN22 5XB Visit Santa in his Grotto, every child will receive a present and there will be a mince pie for the grown ups and everyone will also enjoy one return train ride: Children under 3 - £5, children 3-12 years - £10, adults £10. Pre-booking essential. 07518 764445

Fri 27th - Conspiritors Sat 28th - Dead Calm Sun 29th - Fat Belly Jones

Sunday 15 to Sunday 22 December

Santa at the Lavender Line

... ... ...

... ... ...

Saint Saviour’s, South Street, Eastbourne BN21 4UT A Christmas Polyphony Vocal Ensemble. Tickets £5.50 in advance from Bonners Music, Vocal Ensemble or Eastbourne Blind Society or £7.50 on the door. Ticket sales will aid Eastbourne Blind Society.

Monday 16 December, 10:00 – 12:00

Vitality Villages Coffee Morning Great Space, Herstmonceux Health Centre, Hailsham Road, Herstmonceux BN27 4JX Christmas Singalong with the Vitality Villages singers and local ukele group. Join us for coffee/tea, biscuits and fun quiz - free entry. Sheila Charlton 01323 833673 Tuesday 17 & Thursday 19 December, 11:00

Christmas Turkey, Game & Poultry Auctions

Heathfield Auction Rooms, Burwash Road, Heathfield TN21 8RA Wholesale prices, easy parking – keeping tradition alive. 01435 862132 Thursday 19 December, 19:30 – 21:30

Carol Concert

Hailsham Parish Church, Vicarage Road, Hailsham BN27 1BJ Hailsham Choral in ‘A Night of Carols’. Adults £12.00, Under 18s £6.00 Marion Ponting 01323 442091 Friday 20 December, 10:00 – 12:00

Table Centrepiece Workshop Sussex Country Gardener Garden Centre, Mark Cross TN6 3PJ Create a stunning centrepiece for your Christmas Day dining table - £40 per person. 01892 852828

❄ Bexhill Museum Railways announces Christmas Timetable Changes

Why not pop in and help the cats celebrate Christmas and enjoy a mince pie and coffee? Please call ahead first.

Where homes cannot be found the cats live a happy life in our sanctuary home within the Sussex countryside.

Bexhill Museum will open from Boxing Day to New Year’s Day inclusive Come and see actor Eddie Izzard’s two model railways – his childhood train set and his re-creation of Bexhill in 1940 covered in snow.

Contact: Liz Varney, Catastrophes Cat Rescue Half Moon Cottage, Bakers Lane, Dallington, Heathfield, East Sussex TN21 9JS

Tel: 01435 830212 | Mobile: 07912 113392 Please leave a message


Please remember us in your will. Your donation or legacy will help save cats’ lives. 78 SUSSEX LIVING | December 2019

Registered Charity Number: 1017304

◆ Four galleries crammed with goodies for you to see. Suitable for all the family. ◆ Dinosaurs, natural history, costume gallery, transport and World War II ◆ We also have a shop area and a Tourist Information Point

Open 11am-4pm Boxing Day to New Year’s Day The museum will close from 21 Dec to Christmas Day and again from 2 Jan to 19 Jan inclusive so we can refresh our displays

Bexhill Museum, 47 Egerton Road, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex TN39 3HL Phone: 01424 222 058 Email: Website: Registered Charity Number 1102638


Murder Mystery Christmas Dinner: It’s Christmas – Get me out of here! Civic Centre, Uckfield TN22 1AE Enjoy a three-course festive dinner while you interview the suspects and work with your fellow guests to reveal the murderer. Tickets £35.50 or book a table of 10 for £30 per person. Friday 20 to Tuesday 24 December, 12:00 – 18:00

Magical Winter Wonderland The Village, Brighton Marina BN2 Inspired by two popular Christmas films, visitors will be able to walk through a tree lined route, through the wardrobe and into a Frozen world… No booking required.

extend your Christmas celebrations. From £57.50 per person Reservations 01323 412345, mirabelle-boxing-day-and-new-yearsday-luncheons Friday 27 December to Wednesday 01 January

Winter walks at Hever Castle

Hever Castle, Hever Rd, Hever TN8 7NG Wrap up warm and blow away the cobwebs with a winter walk at Hever Castle and Gardens. The historic castle is open daily for those looking to recharge their batteries after the hustle and bustle of Christmas. Visitors pay for Garden only entry and get Castle entry free, making it a great value day out for all the family.

Saturday 21 December to Wednesday 01 January


Royal Hippodrome Theatre, 108-112 Seaside Rd, Eastbourne BN21 3PF A musical adventure for all the family – hook your tickets now from £8! 01323 802020

Pictures of the Floating World: Ukiyo-e Woodblock Prints by Arts Society Ashdown Forest

Peter Pan Pantomime

Thursday 26 December 2019, 12:30 – 16:30

Boxing Day Luncheon

The Grand Hotel Eastbourne, King Edwards Parade, Eastbourne BN21 4EQ Relax and let the Mirabelle team look after you all in style. The finest way to

What you can expect from a holiday with L.J. Edwards • Door to door service included in the price if you live in Eastbourne, Hailsham, Hastings or Seaford. (Additional charge if not within our free pick up area— please check) • No coach interchange

• 4* Hotels, 3* as a minimum • Excursion entrances included • Personalised luggage tags • A free newspaper on the first day of travel

• Porterage • Executive modern coach with

washroom, air conditioning and reclining seats

Thursday 09 January, 14:00 – 16:00

Crowborough Community Centre, Pine Grove, Crowborough TN6 1FE Meri Archi introduces the “Floating World” of Japanese woodblock prints beginning in 16th Century, later beloved of Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. Members free – visitors £6. 01892 663388

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Sails, Rails & Wonderful Tales

Wye Valley, Herefordshire Mon 13 - Fri 17 January 2020 Half Board from £315.00 p.p

Mercure Albrighton Hall Hotel, Shrewsbury Sun 5 - Thu 9 April 2020 Half Board from £480.00 p.p

Isle of Wight Mon 10 - Fri 14 February 2020 Half Board from £299.00 p.p

Belton Woods Hotel Grantham, Lincolnshire Mon 13 - Fri 17 April 2020 Half Board from £465.00 p.p

Cracking Coastal Bar Package

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Babbacome Hotel, Torquay, Devon Mon 17 - Fri 21 February 2020 Half Board from £315.00 p.p

Holiday Inn Ipswich Road, Norwich Mon 27 April - Fri 1 May 2020 Half Board from £485.00 p.p

Nidd, Harrogate, North Yorkshire Mon 4 - Fri 8 May 2020 Half Board from £515.00 p.p

Preston Marriott Hotel Lancashire Thu 14 - Mon 18 May 2020 Half Board from £485.00 p.p Call us for more information or for a 2020 brochure. Please note, if you are already on our mailing list you will receive a 2020 brochure automatically.

December 2019 | SUSSEX LIVING 79


Promises, promises Joining in with the hot topic of the month – no not Christmas, the general election! – Robin Stevenson talks tax in politics

a single earner family earning over £80,000, will pay more than the family next door with two earners earning less individually but more between them. So, it’s the single earner family unit who will suffer the extra tax. The Conservatives are looking at cutting inheritance tax. This was welcomed by party members, but ome of the early election I doubt there would be an outright promises are beginning abolition, instead I suspect there might to come out, Labour are be a larger threshold before tax is promising High Speed paid, and then maybe a higher rate for broadband for all. Obviously, this is those estates still liable to pay the tax. going to cost money, but seemingly the Last year, £5.3 billion was collected plan is for technology companies to pay in inheritance tax, which I think is too more tax to fund the additional expense. much for any government to abolish The Conservatives haven’t been altogether without bringing something quite so specific, instead suggesting else in to replace it. I feel sure that no matter the result they will reduce the tax paid by a large Contrary to Labour who suggest taxation might not be top of the agenda, increasing the tax paid by higher part of the population by increasing the amount people can pay basic rate tax on but it won’t be far down the list earners, the Conservatives discussed the their earnings before they reach higher scrapping of the 45% tax rate. Presently, rates of tax. anyone earning over £150,000 is subject to an additional rate Other than that tax hasn’t been especially high on the tax of 45%. agenda, but perhaps that’s understandable as this election is If anything, I think it’s the LibDems who were more vocal more about any one party getting enough seats, either alone or in their party conference, previously introducing the concept of with a coalition to form a favourable majority in government thus simpler taxation. making Brexit easier to get through parliament. The suggestion of starting to abolish separate taxes and With so little tax talk in the run up to the election we must looking to bring capital gains into the income tax regime is look back to the party conferences for a clue as to the election worth more thought. I daresay we would still have the same promises we’re likely to hear in the run up to 12 December. amount of tax legislation to wade through, but to lose the 11 It’s the usual mixed, and maybe predictable, bag from the different rates of income tax and capital gains tax and shoehorn them into just three or four would make tax a lot easier for three main parties. Labour spoke about increasing the tax paid people to understand. by companies on their profits up to 26% from the current 19%. The LibDems were also looking at restricting the amount by That’s quite a large increase which I think is likely to hurt home which companies can reduce their taxable profits. Companies grown companies rather than the larger companies who might pay Corporation Tax on 19% of their profits but there are relocate to a country with lower taxes. They are also suggesting people earning over £80,000 a year several tax reliefs and adjustments that are used to reduce those taxable profits therefore lessening the amount of tax payable. pay more income tax. My problem with this is that I suspect Maybe not too unrelated is their desire to tax companies active in this country whilst being resident in a different country; the internet has made the world a much smaller place! What’s going to happen? Will any of the above actually happen no matter the election result? Who knows? There’s been empty election promises made before, but I feel sure that no matter the result taxation might not be top of the agenda, but it won’t be far down the list. l


Money Matters is written by Robin Stevenson CTA ATT TEP, Head of Taxation & Private Clients, Swindells LLP Chartered Accountants & Chartered Tax Advisers Tel: 01825 763366 As individual circumstances vary considerably from person to person, the views expressed in this article are meant only as a general guide, and any specific advice required should be sought from your own professional adviser or by contacting the writer at his place of work. No responsibility for loss resulting to any person acting as a result of any material in the above article can be accepted by the writer or Swindells LLP.

80 SUSSEX LIVING | December 2019

Dec19 SLE Classified.indd 80

27/11/2019 12:20


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„ Free of charge Vehicle collection & return service (allow 2-3 weeks booking time) „ Free of charge Local lift to your home, place of work or town centre

Is your double glazing foggy? No need to replace the whole frame: we can save you money by replacing just the glass!

„ While you wait options, Premium Lounge to work or wait, breakfast at Toby Carvery, Day Pass at Bannatynes Health Club please confirm at time of booking. „ 7am-8am Early drop off appointments available Monday – Friday „ Replacement Vehicle (allow 2-3 weeks booking time) „ Free fitting of wiper blades and most bulbs „ Fixed Price servicing and service plans available „ Tyre Price Match where possible „ MOTs „ Wheel alignment & wheel balancing „ Air conditioning servicing & repairs

Year-round fittings, repairs and maintenance • Misted windows (including Velux) • Window hinges, handles, mechanisms and trims • Replacement seals (gaskets) • Door hinges and locks • Door furniture (handles, spy holes, knockers, letterboxes etc) • Cat flaps

„ Free wash & Vac

Quote ‘Sussex Living’ for all enquiries EASTBOURNE AUDI 2 Edward Road, Willingdon Drove, Eastbourne BN23 8AS 01323 306702

OPENING HOURS Mon - Fri 7am to 6pm Sat 8.30am- 1pm Sun 10am- 4pm (Car Sales) Closed (Aftersales)

*18 years’ experience / Insured


For a free, no-obligation quotation, call Chris: 01825 731825 or 07939 018849

To find out more please call 01825 212131 or email: Dec19 SLE Classified.indd 81

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Where quality is assured

co al We ns so n er in ow va sta to ll ri es

Competitive prices, friendly installers. Local work can be viewed or check us out online at

T: 07960 249021 mobile

Sussex Ponds & Gardens


For all ponds, terraces and associated landscaping

The Street, Framfield, East Sussex TN22 5NL

01825 891122

Portfolio available Personal and efficient service

Over 18 years’ experience. Call us for a free no obligation quote on 01825 764912 or 07930 533588 Telephone: Stephan Hurst 01825 872180

Problems with Water Supply or Disposal? We have the technology and experience to solve it. “Mechanical Mole” Pipe Laying, Septic Tanks and Sewage Treatment. Stockists of Pumps, Pipes, Fittings and Drain Jetting. Workshop facilities also available for service and repair of all types of plant and machinery.


Superior Glass Ltd Uckfield’s longest established glass & window company

01825 764766 • Fascia, Soffits & Cladding • Glass cut to size. • uPVC & Aluminium Windows, • Bi-Fold, Composite and Doors & Conservatories Garage Doors • Laminated & Toughened Glass

24 Hour Emergency Glass Repairs

BEENEY & CO LTD Oakville Farm, Easons Green, Uckfield Tel: Halland (01825) 840276 W AT E R




Est 1970


Design House, Unit 1 Bell Lane, Bellbrook Industrial Estate, Uckfield TN22 1QL


A natural growth accelerator for plants and vegetables

Puckamuck is a completely natural and organically sourced well-rotted horse manure.

• • •


Shred on site so easy to handle and spread. Fully aged by us so ready to use straight away. 100% manure - no green waste, peat-free and no odour! or call Harriet 07899676166 Puckamuck is a Registered Trademark.

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You could be advertising in this space for as little as

£24 + VAT

per month for regular bookings This price also includes a free graphic design service to produce an eye catching advert to promote your business. For more info: Call 01825 212131 or email

Excavations Ponds / Impact Moleing

Foundations Landscaping Drainage Clearance

Tinkers Lane Hadlow Down

MICHAEL STILLER 01825 830438 07717 280358

RECORDS WANTED VINYL LPs AND 7” SINGLES EXCELLENT PRICES PAID We also purchase CD collections and music memorabilia (concert programmes, ticket stubs etc)

PLEASE CONTACT CHRIS: Tel: 07812 903 667 Email:

V COTTINGHAM We provide a complete service to care for all of your garden needs


* * * * * *


Peter Hanman (Tools)

Heathfield Market, Heathfield Workshop 01435 860760 • Mobile: 07966 176015

Mon-Fri 10am-5pm (closed 1-2pm lunch) • Sat 10am-1pm • Closed Wed

No-mess pipelaying by mole or steerable drill, we can bore up to 100m at a time under your garden or driveway, without digging the surface. Chain trenching for field water supplies. Troughs installed. Leaks fixed.

Trouble with a soakaway or cesspool? Install a Mantair Conversion Unit into your existing tank and discharge clean water, for half the cost and none of the upheaval of other systems. Land drains, etc. Free advice.


Contact Vince on 07702

Bought & Sold

Also architectural ironmongery, including brass, locks, hinges, knobs, and handles



Regular maintenance One off visits Hedge cutting * Pruning Mowing * Lawn Care Garden Clearance Experienced & reliable




T: 01825 872611 . . M: 07778 664466 MILL FARM . GOLDEN CROSS . HAILSHAM . EAST SUSSEX . BN27 3ST


Awning servicing, repairs, cleaning and replacement parts.

CALL NOW 0800 0742 721

To find out more please call 01825 212131 or email: Dec19 SLE Classified.indd 83

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We clean your oven... so you don’t have to.

With over 40 years of building experience

• Conversions • Extensions • New Builds • Refurbishments • Improvements

Call today to have your oven, hob, extractor or Aga professionally cleaned

Website: Email: Bolneys Units, South Road, Hailsham BN27 3NU

Paul Gilbert Tel 01323 406386 Mob tel 07935 820251

Telephone: 01323 841532


Mr Kindling Exceedingly good wood

Mr Kindling specialises in the supply of top quality kindling and logs. Perfect kindling for easy lighting and quality seasoned logs.

• Swimming Pool Installation • Repairs • Renovations • Maintenance New Liners, Heating, Filtration

01435 813136

Comprehensive Experience Fully Insured and Guaranteed A friendly professional service Satisfaction Guaranteed Telephone Neil Pearson : 01892 664004 Mobile : 07870 667932

Bespoke Hardwood and Wrought Iron

Blackboys Service Station is a family-run business established for 40 years with over 25 years Renault experience.

Gates and Railings

• Full range of automation • Specialists in sliding gates • All work is completed in house from start to finish. Spalding Enterprises Ltd Hailsham BN27 3JL T: 01323 847744 M: 0776 196 1545



NEW ADDRESS: Lancelot Unit, Squires Farm Industrial Estate, Palehouse Common,Nr Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 5RB


Advertise with

Contact 01825 212131 I 84 SUSSEX LIVING | December 2019

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20% Local TV Aerials DISCOUNT & Satellites

Over 16 years’ experience RHS qualified designer BSC hons landscaper Fully insured.

with this advert for all customers

Installation, Repair & Realignment of all types of Aerials and Sky Dishes

Design & Landscaping

Fault Finding • Phone Points • Freeview HD • Freesat • HD TV Wall Mounting • 30 Years Experience • Fully Insured

Freephone: 0800 8021791 Brighton: 01273 917736 We accept card payments too (Visa, Mastercard etc)


hard and soft landscaping - garden design - turfing - fencing / decking tree / hedge work - patios / driveways - general garden works

Please call now for a FREE quotation 01323 811834 / 07752 553939


Tel: 07779 288896


Installation & Servicing

All Property Repairs, Fencing, Gates, Hedges & Lawns, Roof Repairs

of gas and electric fires

01444 452626

5* Rated on Rated People. Fully Insured. Reliable Domestic, Landlords, Commercial - Free No Obligation Quotes Given 0800 009 6247 Are you fed up not being able to use your conservatory all year? Then iCon Roofs have the thermally efficient solution.

Is dramatically warmer in winter Is quick to install with little disruption Does not lose too much light

Is significantly cooler in summer Is effective in reducing rain noise and glare Carries an insurance backed guarantee

… and complies with current building regulations

To find out more please call 01825 212131 or email: Dec19 SLE Classified.indd 85

December 2019 | SUSSEX LIVING 85

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From p38 of the Sussex Living East November Issue

















































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Registered Address/Head Office 128 High Street, Hurstpierpoint , West Sussex BN6 9PX


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SUSSEX LIVING MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY: Sussex Living Ltd (East Sussex Edition) PO Box 287, Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 9ED Tel: 01825 212131












MANAGING EDITOR Adele Trathan ASSISTANT EDITOR Sara Whatley EDITORIAL SUPPORT Robert Veitch DESIGN AND ARTWORK Jo Grey, Stephen King, Ruth Preston ADVERTISING Adele Trathan, Chris Tindley PROOFREADER Diane Clark DISTRIBUTION Colin Trathan SOCIAL MEDIA Robert Veitch


FINANCIAL CONTROLLER Ian Kirwan CREDIT CONTROL Michelle Brett CONTRIBUTORS Amy Newson, Bryony Hill, Deborah Hyde, Elizabeth Kay, Flo Whitaker, Hanna Prince, Helen Stockton, Lisa de Silva, Narratives, Peter d’Aguilar, Robin Stevenson, Robert Veitch, Ruth Lawrence, Sara Whatley, Sasha Kanal PRINTED BY Part of The Media Sound Holdings group INCORPORATING MAGNET MAGAZINE

To be included and to promote your business call us now on 01825 212131 or email

Whilst every reasonable care is taken with all materials submitted to Sussex Living we cannot accept r­ esponsibility 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 Sussex Living 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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Sussex Living always welcomes feedback, but if you do have any complaints which cannot be resolved by us please contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation, c/o IPSO, Gate House, 1 Farringdon Street, London, EC4M 7LG, or via complaints@ipso. For further information about IPSO and its regulators visit

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Got a degree? You could train to teach in less than a year on a bursary of up to ÂŁ28k or a salary. Dec19 SLEspark_A4 Classified.indd Find your Sussex 87 Living_AW.indd 1

27/11/2019 26/02/2019 12:22 15:31

Do you need more living Space?


Wishing all Sussex Living readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Dec19 SLE Classified.indd 88

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Profile for Sussex Living

Sussex Living East December 2019  

Sussex Living East December 2019