How we made our Kipper Christmas card this year

Kipper Christmas Card 2017

We always like to send our customers and raving fans a little card to say how much we appreciate their support throughout the year. Christmas is a fantastic time to say this.

And so, we start to think about what our card will look like in October. 

This is how we did it...

Wrapping paper by Willis & Co, Cuckfield. Ribbon by Waitrose. Decorated Christmas Tree supplied by Harvester in Haywards Heath. Print by Swan Press. Chief present-wrapper: Emily Billson. Chocolate-eater: David Tingley. 

Happy Christmas one and all...

David Saitch scoops the cup


By Mike Thatcher

Here’s a tip for you: if you want to travel incognito do not carry a huge silver cup around with you. This is what David Saitch learned after being awarded the prestigious Roebuck Cup at the Film Society of the Year Awards at Sheffield last month. ‘Go on my son, champion’ shouted one taxi driver out of his window. Others honked their horns. Conversations were struck on up the train home and even on a London escalator at the sight of this huge trophy.

The evening before, we were in our seats at the Sheffield Showrooms having been awarded a distinction for marketing earlier in the ceremony. I was very pleased and David looked pleased, although underneath I could tell he was chuntering about what more he had to do to win the darn thing.

“The Roebuck Cup is awarded to those remarkable individuals…” continued Deborah Parker, the chief exec of Cinema for All. My mind was wandering and David was texting Manon, asking what more he had to win the darn marketing award. “…names have been engraved upon the Roebuck Cup since 1979 - men and women who have given that extra something to the film society sector…”

At least we get our photo taken with Danny Leigh and Derek Malcolm for our marketing award, I thought. 


It then occurred to me that I was wearing the same dark top I had been at the last two awards. Oh well, no one will notice.

“…known to many for his attendance at this event, year after year, his continual support of groups all over the country…” Well, it’s a man this year, I mused. “… he has been running his own group for many years, bringing great cinema to his community in West Sussex”.

In true sitcom fashion David and I exchanged a glance.

“…several years ago he set up the UK Film Societies Facebook page to bring you all together…”.

“Oh flip”, said David, (I may have misheard), as he realised he would have to go on stage and say something. The tributes continued as he gathered his thoughts: Katie Brandwood of Stanley’s Film Club said: “We are indebted to David for enabling us to get back on our feet after losing access to our equipment, along with our long-term venue. In response to a plea for help on the UK Film Societies group in May, David arranged for the spare projector at his own film society, the Hurst Village Cinema, to be given to us on extended loan, going out of his way to handover the projector in a matter of hours.”

David strode to the stage and modestly accepted the award. “All I did was create a Facebook page, it took 20 minutes.”


[Full story in December 2017 Hurst Life magazine]

Peter Pan flies into Hurstpierpoint

Hurst Players Pantomime

It’s Pantomime time again! Oh - yes it is!

This year’s show is a traditional panto based on J.M. Barrie’s story of Peter Pan – lots of Pirates, Indians, Lost Boys, Mermaids and a fairy called Tinkerbell. This hilarious version, written by Tracy Rogers, will be a joy for all the family, with a lot of jokes and some great songs. Local singer Sam Nixon will once more be taking on the role of Principal Boy, this time as a thigh-slapping Peter Pan.

There will be evening shows at 7.30pm on 28th & 29th December 2017 and January 5th, with matinées at 1pm on 30th & 31st December, 1st, 6th and 7th January and at 5pm on 30th December, 1st and 6th January.

Tickets from £10 adult, £6 Child (under 12), £28 Family (2 adult + 2 children). Available online at or from Clifford Dann on Hurstpierpoint High Street.

Remembrance Parade 2017 in Hurstpierpoint

Remembrance Day poppy, Royal British Legion

By Trevor Evans, RBL Parade Marshal

This year’s Remembrance Parade will take place on Sunday 12th November 2017. The parade will form up at 10.35am at South Avenue. Those gathered will then march through the High Street to the War Memorial.

If wet, the parade will meet at the Army Cadets Drill Hall which is situated behind the (currently closed) Co-op on the High Street.

Sussex Police have advised us that they are no longer able to provide assistance for the road closure and traffic control – and that we have to find our own marshals. I would ask those motorists and passengers travelling through the High Street at that time to accept a short delay to their journey whilst the parade takes place.

In addition, there will also be an informal gathering on Saturday 11th November 2017 at the War Memorial at 11am – all our welcome.

Hurstpierpoint Family Bonfire & Fireworks at Danny Park

Hurstpierpoint Bonfire and Fireworks - Sun 5th November 2017

Hurstpierpoint Bonfire and Fireworks - Sun 5th November 2017

Sunday 5th November 2017

The 22nd Hurstpierpoint Family Bonfire & Fireworks evening will be celebrated with a ‘bigger than ever’ display of fireworks by our regular firework maestros on Sunday 5th November 2017.


Families are again welcome to share the event to be held in Danny Park, off New Way Lane, Hurstpierpoint.  The event is organised by Hurstpierpoint Gymnastics Club with assistance from Oldland Mill Trust and the Burgess Hill & District Lions.

The Oldland Mill Trust, the Gym Club, together with local schools in Albourne, Hassocks & three in Burgess Hill, will all benefit from your support.

The Hassocks will be running their ever popular BBQ.

Take a 'Guy' to the Best Guy Competition before 5.50pm and one child will be given free admission. Advance tickets prices are the best value - still unchanged at 2003 prices!

Children Under 3 or with a Guy are free (one Guy gives admittance to one child). Children or adults £5 on the gate, or only £3 in advance. Families including up to two adults and three children £15, but only £9 in advance. Tickets will be available in Hurstpierpoint from Pierpoint Pets or Mishon Mackay and in Hassocks from Marchants or QD Stationery.

For safety reasons there are no private fireworks or sparklers etc. permitted on site.  Free parking on site (ground conditions permitting). In the event of bad weather check for the up-to-date news on parking or postponement.

Timings are as follows:
5.30pm Gates open
6pm Best Guy Competition Judging
6.30pm Fireworks Display
6.50pm Bonfire lit with all the Guys and the Best Guy on top 

Hurst Life copy dates 2018

Hurst Life is the community magazine for Hurstpierpoint in West Sussex, and its printed every month and distributed to all the homes in Hurst, Sayers Common and Albourne via a team of professional delivery agents. 

In order to help you plan sending in content or advertisement artwork to us, we have listed below all the key dates that you need to know for 2018. 


January 2018
Copy date: Tues 12th Dec 2017
Distribution: Weds 27th Dec 2017

February 2018
Copy date: Tues 16th Jan
Distribution: Tues 30th Jan

March 2018
Copy date: Tues 13th Feb
Disribution: Tues 27th Feb

April 2018
Copy date: Tues 20th Mar
Distribution: Tues 3rd Apr

May 2018
Copy date: Tues 17th April
Distribution: Tues 1st May

June 2018
Copy date: Tues 15th May
Distribution: Tues 29th May

July 2018
Copy date: Tues 19th June
Distribution: Tues 3rd July

August 2018
Copy date: Tues 17th July
Distribution: Tues 31st July

September 2018
Copy date: Tues 21st Aug
Distribution: Tues 4th Sept

October 2018
Copy date: Tues 18th Sept
Distribution: Tues 2nd Oct

November 2018
Copy date: Tues 16th Oct
Distribution: Tues 23rd Oct

December 2018
Copy date: Tues 20th Nov
Distribution: Tues 4th December

January 2019
Copy date: Fri 14th Dec 2018
Distribution: Weds 2nd Jan 2019

February 2019
Copy date: Tues 15th Jan 2019
Distribution: Tues 29th Jan 2019


Hurst Village Cinema

By Mike Thatcher (Hurst Village Cinema)


At last, a new season upon us and with projector wiped and speakers tuned we present three very different films for October:

Wednesday 11th October 2017 8pm Lady Macbeth

We open with Lady Macbeth, based on a Russian novella, not Shakespeare. Katherine is trapped in an arranged marriage in the North East at the turn of the last century, essentially kept prisoner by her vile father-in-law and dysfunctional son. Bored beyond belief she takes action, but flaunting convention cannot go unpunished. This dark and powerful psychological drama is both riveting and chilling and boasts a standout performance from Florence Pugh.

Friday 27th October 2017 8pm Free Fire

A rare combination in a film; a gripping thriller which is also very funny. It’s the early 70s and a group of IRA operatives meet a South African gunrunner in a Boston warehouse planning to take a cache of M16 rifles back to Ireland. The deal goes spectacularly wrong, and Brighton filmmaker Ben Wheatley treats us to one of the most epic shootouts in recent memory. Everyone has a gun but no one is in control. The story of double-crossing is as old as the hills but Free Fire tells it in a refreshing new way whilst parodying the insanity of gun violence. A good old fashioned hoot!

Sunday 29th October 2017 8pm Hidden Figures

Three unsung heroes of the 1960s space race are given their moment in the sun here. Their story is particularly inspiring because they were African American women who, as well as calculating the angles of re-entry, had to jump through hoops at NASA when racial segregation was still a fact of life. Every day, Math’s whizz Katherine G Johnson must cross the grounds at Langley Research centre to use the ‘colored ladies room’, in a literal running gag, although it not inherently a laughing matter. This film presses all the right buttons for a blast of enlightening, upbeat entertainment.

Chatt Estates opens on Hurstpierpoint High Street

Chatt Estates, Hurst office

Chatt Estates, Hurst office

Keen eyed residents will have noticed that there’s a new estate agent on the High Street at number 133. 

Chatt Estates was founded by Peter Chatt and Alex Santry when they opened its first office in Ditchling in 2015. Having been born and bred in the area, Peter explained that opening in Hurstpierpoint last month was an ‘obvious step’ for the thriving agency. 

“Our team is hungry, proactive and efficient, and has a combined 15 years of local property knowledge. Do drop in and say hello. You’ll feel like you’ve know us forever,” Peter commented.

Another new shop - seamstress now open too


A Hurstpierpoint resident opened a new shop in the village last month.

Maria Fox is a bridal seamstress and she’s taken the shop at 108 High Street for her business that specialises in bridalwear, bridesmaids, prom dresses and occasion wear – but she also offers general alterations too.

Maria, who has been sewing for 15 years, comments: “I pride myself on being meticulous! I know it has to be just right. All dresses leave my shop fitting perfectly and my brides happy.” 

The shop is open between 9am and 3pm during the week and by appointment on Saturdays. If you’d like to know more pop in and say Hi, or find Maria Fox Bridal Seamstress on Facebook.

St Lawrence Fair AGM - 12th October 2017


The St Lawrence Fair committee will hold this year’s post-Fair Annual General Meeting, which will be held on Thursday 12th October at 8pm in the New Inn.

Co-chair Gary Thomas said: “We will meet, as usual, in the back room of the pub and look forward to welcoming the village to come and join us for our annual debrief!”

The Fair was as popular as ever in July. You can watch videos which capture the day below:

Hurstpierpoint High Street - September update

Hurstpierpoint's shopping High Street

Sunday 17th September –
Super Sunday High Street Party


There will be a Street Party atmosphere as part of the opening of the Hurst Festival. The High Street will be closed to traffic between 12 noon and 6pm. 

Please do come along and support the event for an afternoon of family fun!

All the shops are planning special events for the day – come and find out more.

There’s also a classic car rally, live music, face painting, stilt walkers roaming the street, morris dancers, a tombola, snow dogs, reptiles on the rec, fly fishing classes, art demos and the chance to try your hand at archery! 

Traders will be putting on something special for children too. The Kids Shop Window competition will be in full swing. Just collect an entry form from Mishon Mackay or Ashley & Thomas and go exploring on the High Street!

As well as the usual fantastic array of shops, the High Street will be adorned with a number of independent stalls too. If you would like to take a stall for the day, please contact Gill Blackburn on 07748 630 316.

hurstpierpoint Co-op reopening update

The Co-op is scheduled to reopen at the end of November. However, this is pending approval of additional planning consent, for which the deadline was the end of August.

On a brighter note, the temporary store on the green is now taking credit cards! And Wendy from the Hurstpierpoint Community Shop confirms that the charity shop will be returning to the High Street as soon as possible after the Co-op’s move back.

Hurst Festival 2017 is nearly upon us

By Charlotte Snook


The 14th Hurst Festival runs from Saturday 16th September until Sunday 1st October and has over 80 events for people to choose from including music, theatre, comedy, film, dance, literature and art. We have just one request for people this year – and that’s to TRY SOMETHING NEW!

This year sees the biggest ever community day, called Super Sunday, on 17th September. Hurstpierpoint High Street will be closed for a village wide street party – the first this year – with lots of free activities for the whole family. The High Street traders are working closely with Festival organisers to create a day filled with food, drink and street entertainment. Come along and join in from 12.30pm until 5pm.

Highlights of the Festival programme this year include the opening Saturday night at the Village Centre where the Rollin Clones will perform a set of hits spanning five decades of one of this country’s best ever bands (the clue is in the name!). We also have two fine classical concerts at Danny House including mezzo soprano Lucy Goddard and local piano virtuoso Rachel Fryer. A must for jazz lovers is our closing night concert on 30th September; an exclusive tribute to Thelonious Monk, created by Mark Travers.

This year also sees some fantastic theatre productions. Local boy and Edinburgh Fringe performer John Hinton brings his wacky, wonderful and hugely educational ‘The Element In The Room: A Radioactive Musical Comedy About The Death and Life of Marie Curie’ to Hurst College for one night only on Monday 18th September. Festival favourite Sam Nixon will also be performing Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Putting It Together’ for two nights on Thursday 28th and Friday 29th September. And let’s not forget Hurst Players’ production of the classic Hobson’s Choice, on during the first week of the Festival. We also welcome back the wonderful Wishworks Puppets who will perform two zany shows for the whole family on Saturday 23rd September.

Finally, for lovers of Britain’s Got Talent we have a few treats in store. David Walliams Golden Buzzer act from 2015 Lorraine Bowen is performing two exclusive shows for us – one for kids on Saturday 16th and the other for adults on Friday 22nd September. Secondly, the man who inspired last year’s winner Richard Jones’ act, Fergus Anckorn, will tell his story with the help of his biographer Peter Fyans on Saturday 23rd September.

To view all events and book tickets visit or come along to our Box Office at the Players Theatre, Hurstpierpoint High Street, open every Thursday-Saturday 9.30am-1pm until the end of the Festival.

We look forward to seeing you very soon!

Albourne Village Show 2017

Albourne Village Show 2017 - 9th September 2017

Albourne Village Show 2017 - 9th September 2017

This year sees the 10th Anniversary of the Albourne Village Show which attempts to recreate our old Village Flower Show of the 1930s. It takes place at the Village Hall and on the green. At its core is a traditional flower and vegetable show, with additional classes for children, arts and crafts, photography, beverages, fruit, eggs, honey and all manner of culinary exhibits. Last year’s show attracted nearly 1,000 visitors and nearly 350 class entries!

Additional attractions include the 10th Anniversary Raffle (with £100 first prize), apple pressing (bring your own), vintage vehicles, a fun dog show, children’s games (including live magician), birds of prey, live music (including the Patcham Silver Band), hot food from the barbecue, cream teas, a beer tent (serving real ale and wines) and many other village and countryside exhibits and stands. Oh, and we have ice-cream and candyfloss. 

Details of classes can be found here on our website ( Entries to all classes from those outside Albourne are welcome and indeed encouraged!

The event is just a 20 minute walk from Hurstpierpoint. Entry is 50p for adults. Free entry for children and free car parking.

Non-stop Shakespeare by Hurstpierpoint Players

12th-15th October 2017

By Bob Sampson

Hurstpierpoint Players are planning a repeat of the successful Non-stop Shakespeare as a fundraiser to refurbish the Players Theatre in Hurstpierpoint.

As happened in 1999, it is our intention to get all 37 plays read in this 70-hour marathon, and we are inviting our members, friends, schools, professional actors, neighbouring amateur dramatic groups, in fact anyone who is interested, to get involved.

There are also great opportunities for companies to sponsor plays or take advertising space in the souvenir programme. Email for details of what’s on offer.

The readings will go on 24 hours a day from 7.30pm on Thursday 12th October until whatever time we finish on Sunday 15th.

If you don’t want to read, please put this in your diary anyway to come along and support those that do! 

We contacted the Shakespeare Centre Library looking for advice on how long we might have to allow if we were to read right through. They said: “You deserve a huge amount of money if you’re going to read through all of Shakespeare’s plays! Going on the productions done here by the RSC, and taking at least half an hour off their running time, it would take anywhere between 60 - 80 hours to go through all the plays, depending on your texts and the speed of your readers.”

The Theatre Museum was really helpful too. Word had it that they had done a complete reading of the plays in 1989. However, it turned out they had missed a few! So it was left to the Hurstpierpoint Players to take on the task in 1999. We have done it before, so now the date is set and the mammoth operation is under way once again.

The Players Theatre building was converted to a theatre in 1976 and it has been apparent for a while now that the theatre building is in need of some significant maintenance and refurbishment work. The seats for example were already 30 years old when they were installed and the heating system has become more erratic and noisy as the years have passed. The Theatre is used by Hurstpierpoint Players, Hurst Village Cinema and Centre Stage Children’s theatre as well as many other theatre and musical concerts. The intention of this refurbishment is to make the place more comfortable for the audiences and users of the theatre.

If you want to take part in this thrilling experience, or just find out more details, send an email to

Hurst College in community action

Hurst College students in action around Hurstpierpoint

Every year Hurstpierpoint College’s Senior School sends out three year groups, with staff, to do project work in the local vicinity as part of their Community Action Day initiative at the end of the summer term.

This year the college dispatched 470 pupils and 79 staff to 32 locations, to perform manual chores and maintenance work for charities and other worthy organisations. The community-oriented students, accompanied by dedicated members of staff, took up their mops, rakes, spades and trowels to participate in one of the college’s most valued annual traditions.

Projects ranged from tidying public footpaths, clearing back scrub on the South Downs and gardening in organic cooperatives to serving in elderly care centres and washing windows and minibuses. The college also sent a concert party to a care home and a gang show to a school for children with complex needs.

Locations and organisations in the immediate vicinity to benefit included the Millennium Gardens and allotments in the village, Paws and Claws Animal Rescue Service in Sayers Common and Age Concern in Hassocks.

This is one of a number of days in the year when Hurst College and its students gives something back to the local community in a more direct way.

Robin Driscoll - talks to Michele Copeland - Village People, Hurstpierpoint

By Michèle Copeland

I was looking forward to meeting Robin Driscoll, one dull Wednesday in mid-July, in the heart of the village.

He lives in what was probably an old yeoman’s cottage, which was added on to in the 1800s and again in the 1970s.

In his own words: “It was better built then, than in the 1970s, where there are still problems with the drains!” 

He lives with his wife Deborah, whom he met in 1982. They have a son Sam and a five year old grandson called Dominic. They moved to Hurstpierpoint from Brighton in 1993 when they were looking into secondary schools for Sam.

Robin was schooled at Boundstone School, Sompting, between Lancing and Worthing. At 17 he decided to study Creative Arts in Worthing, which is now Northbrook College, finding the more academic path more challenging. He then took a year’s break from the course to work with the Community Arts Workshop in Shoreham. “This setup was specifically geared to help special needs kids, as well as local children of all backgrounds to express themselves via performance arts,” Robin continues, in the comfortable, bright conservatory where we are now sitting over cups of tea.

Hoping to return to college for his second year, he was surprised to find that the Vice Principal was not so keen to allow him to do that, as it was no longer an art college as such. It was now West Sussex College of Design and no longer taught fine arts. So Robin decided to go back to The Barn to work with special needs groups for four years before starting The Cliffhanger Theatre Company in 1978. This company he started with co-workers and friends and ran for some 15 years. Notable names included Peter McCarthy, who became a successful author, Becky Stevens, who is now a kids writer for TV and an author, and Tony Hasse, who now writes for TV and performs, whom he had met at the workshop in the early 1970s.

“We toured the country doing serials, a two hour show, in successive weeks, first based in Brighton and finishing at the Edinburgh Fringe,” he explains. 

They were so successful that, after three years, they didn’t need the Arts Council grant anymore.

“During that time I was asked to play the Great Raymondo in Only Fools and Horses, which was quite stressful as one had to remember one’s lines,” he remarks!

“What you have to understand is that the Edinburgh Fringe was a kind of showcase for television and the arts at the time. We were consequently invited to perform in Europe and Australia for two years running. 

Unfortunately, to do this nowadays is too pricey, so most comedians have become stand-ups and the awards tend to go to them.

“We were then approached by Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones to contribute to their TV sketches on Alas Smith and Jones, a British comedy series on the BBC in the 80s, and then got the opportunity to write for Rowan Atkinson’s Mr Bean, when Richard Curtis got more involved with Comic Relief and so was less available, right up until the early part of 2000.” Asked about how it was to work in the TV world, Robin says: “I always felt that they were generous spirited and helpful.”

[this is an extract from the full article printed in Hurst Life August 2017 issue] 

Robert Harris - Village People feature

By Michèle Copeland

Which residents of Hurstpierpoint would not have heard of, or been to, the St Lawrence Fair? Yet how many of us know its history and the role that the Harris family has played over 100 years?

Harris Brothers Family Fun Fair - photo from the 80s

Though the Fair has been around for over 700 hundred years in Hurstpierpoint, it presumably started then to coincide with a cattle market trading day, which would have been very popular, first on Church Green (where the War Memorial now is) - the 1897 OS map has the area around the crossroads as ‘Market Place’. Later it moved a short distance away to the north to Lamb Platt, where London Terrace and North Terrace are now, opposite the entrance to Trinity Road. There are even entries in the school log citing occasions when the cattle spilled over into the road and prevented children going to school!

However, the link to Hurstpierpoint with the Harris brothers started in the 1860s and was made by John Harris, who had five sons and was a timber merchant with a yard in nearby Cuckfield. 

He came to the fairground business at the time of horse powered roundabouts and went on, with his sons, to be the first operator of steam roundabouts in Sussex. They first opened at Brighton Racecourse in Victorian times by supplying ‘amusements’ to fairgrounds .

[The full article is featured on the pages of the July 2017 issue of Hurst Life magazine]

Link: Harris Fun Fair website

Morley's hosts fashion show in Hurstpierpoint

Hurstpierpoint Traders organise a successful charity Fashion Show in June.

Hurstpierpoint Traders organise a successful charity Fashion Show in June.

Last month a group of High Street traders from Hurstpierpoint held a charity event raising £1,200.

The owners of Ashley and Thomas, Le Chic Fashion Exchange and Morley’s Wine Bar worked together to organise the evening of fashion and fun, which was held at Morley’s in June. Clothes were supplied courtesy of Audrey (Le Chic) and the jewellery and scarfs from Gill (Ashley & Thomas). The event was a fundraiser for local charity Dame Vera Lynn’s Children’s Charity in celebration of Dame Vera’s 100th birthday this year.

Thanks must go to: The models (Sarah, Mickey, Sara, Jane, Liz, Susannah, Miriam, Isabella, Sheila); Sharon (hair); Jamie (makeup); Dressers (Sarah & Meriel); Steve and Chris of Gogglebox (comperes for the evening); all traders who donated prizes (Cookshop, Clive MillerMuddy, JanTon, Hartley’s, Profiles of Hassocks, Le Chic Fashion Exchange, Lustig & Webb, and Louisanna florist. 

With special thanks to Toby and his team at Morley’s, and Steve at Trident Leisure for the supply of the marquee and chairs at no cost. 

What an amazing night – it just proves what can be achieved when a community pulls together.

Hurstpierpoint Open Gardens 2017

By Prue Heron

This lovely sociable afternoon will be held on Sunday, 11th June from 1-5.30pm.

The nine gardens that will be opening cover a spectrum from magnificent lawns, views to work-in progress, vegetables and, this year, one with children in mind.

Gardens opening their gates are:-

• 35c Cuckfield Road, BN6 9RW

• 13 Western Road, BN6 9SU

• 17 Western Road, BN6 9SU

• 162 Western Road, BN6 9TD

• South Lodge, South Avenue, BN6 9QB

• 15 Orchard Way, BN6 9UB

• 25 Orchard Way, BN6 9UB

• 26 Orchard Way, BN6 9UB

• 28 Orchard Way, BN6 9UB

There will be balloons at each entrance and the fee is only £6 for the whole day (free for 14s and under). There will be a hop-on, hop-off bus service running throughout starting at Trinity Road at 1pm.  Trinity Road car park is free on a Sunday. 

More information available on the website: or phone Prue Heron on 01273 835064.