Danny Park Bonfire & Fireworks, Hurstpierpoint, 3rd Nov 2019


Hurstpierpoint’s annual Family Bonfire & Fireworks display is taking place once again at Danny Park, off New Way Lane.

This year’s event - on Sunday 3rd November 2019 - is organised by Andrew Hair from Hurstpierpoint Gymnastics Club with assistance from Oldland Mill Trust and Friends of Hassocks Infant School.

Andrew commented: “The Oldland Mill and the Gym Club, together with local schools in Albourne, Hassocks and three in Burgess Hill will benefit from your support on the night.”

The Hassocks will be running a BBQ, there’s free parking on site (ground conditions permitting) and if you take a ‘Guy’ to the Best Guy competition before 5.50pm - one child will be given free admission.

Advance tickets cost just £3 for an adult or child (£5 on the gate). A family of five advance ticket is £9 (£15 on the gate). Tickets available from Mishon Mackay or Pierpoint Pets in Hurst.

Gates open at 5.30pm, Best Guy Competition judging at 6pm and the Fireworks Display will start around 6.30pm.

See www.hurstpierpointgym.co.uk in case of inclement weather affecting parking/postponement.

5.30 pm - Gates open
6.00 pm - Best Guy Competition Judging
Approx 6.30 pm - Fireworks Display
Approx 6.50 pm - Bonfire lit with all the Guys and the Best Guy on top

Hurst Christmas Event: 7th Dec 2019

The annual village Christmas Fair will take place on 7th December between 4pm-7pm, with this year’s theme being ‘It’s a Wonderful Hurst’. It is a vital and much anticipated day for all the local traders on the High Street. Traditionally it has been the most successful day of the year in terms of sales, with many villagers doing their last minute Christmas shopping (usually with a mulled wine in hand!) while kids can have fun safely due to the road being closed.

After the success of last year, a new organising committee was put in place to build upon the event, and continue to grow it into something Hurst can be proud of. We’re a vibrant village full of amazing people, and we want the Christmas Fair to be something we look forward to all year. The committee’s vision revolves around three main questions: how do we make the Christmas Fair a great event for the people of Hurst, how do we make it a great event for the local traders and how do we ensure it is produced by the local community, for the local community, with a focus on supporting the existing local High Street traders?

To that end, the committee has been hard at work on planning and we’re excited to release more news to you over the coming months!

You can expect brilliant food on the street provided by local pubs and restaurants (including kid friendly bites), musical entertainment, Santa (of course!), and several special, secret things that we can’t talk about just yet! We promise it will be an evening you won’t want to miss. Of course, we’re always looking to find new sponsors!

If you’d like support this community event and gain exposure at the same time, please don’t hesitate to contact us hello@hurstchristmas.org - we have packages available for as low as £250 and every sponsorship or donation is hugely beneficial and very welcome.

We’d also LOVE to hear from you if you’re interested in volunteering in any way. Without people like you getting involved, village events like these don’t happen. If you’re a local charity benefiting the local community and would like to have a stall on the day, please get in touch.

We can’t wait to see you on 7th December between 4pm and 7pm! Please don’t hesitate to email us with any questions or thoughts at the address above, or through the website: www.hurstchristmas.org

Food Bank in Hurstpierpoint reopens

The Hurstpierpoint Community Food Bank has opened again at Court Bushes Community Hub in Willow Way. Vouchers can be obtained from St Lawrence School, Hurstpierpoint Preschool, Mid Sussex Healthcare (Trinity Road), The Point church, Holy Trinity church, the Methodist church and the Good News church.

“We are hugely excited that our Hurstpierpoint Community Food Bank has now re-opened in the newly refurbished, purpose built Hurst Community centre at Court Bushes,” said Food Bank coordinator Cheri McCarthy. “In these precarious economic times, unfortunately there are still many families really struggling to stay afloat and now as well as nonperishable food, we are able to provide some sanitary products.” The local charity shop has also kindly donated clothes of all kinds and sizes (including shoes and some school uniforms).

The Food Bank runs every Wednesday from 10am until 2pm and they look forward to providing help for anybody in need.

New owners at Morley's, Hurstpierpoint

Alex and Andy Kier

Alex and Andy Kier

Introducing Alex & Andy Kier of Morley’s, on the High Street. Andy has been the chef at Morley’s for the last 18 months and has now, with his wife Alex, taken over the helm. Serving up classic and globally inspired dishes, there is sure to be something for everyone!

Andy trained in the colleges of Oxford University and has spent his career cooking in Oxford, Brighton and France, picking up a few awards along the way.

Alex has also spent her career in the hospitality industry, with some time managing Carluccios, before Bill’s and then most recently at Glyndebourne near Lewes.

The couple said it had always been a dream of theirs to run their own restaurant business and when the opportunity to take over Morley’s came up, they thought it was too good to miss!

“We are really excited to be taking on this lovely restaurant and feel very lucky to have been welcomed so warmly,” Alex said. “Morley’s is part of the community and we want to be fully involved with local events.”

Morley’s serves breakfast from 9am on Saturdays and Sundays. The full menu runs 12 noon-2.30pm and 6- 9pm Tuesday to Saturday. For an extra treat on a Sunday, Andy also does a top notch roast beef!

2020 copy dates for Hurst Life magazine

November 2019
Copy date: Tues 15th October
Distribution: Tues 29th October

December 2019
Copy date: Tues 12th November
Distribution: Tues 26th November

January 2020
Copy date: 10th December 2019
Publication: 30th December 2019

Copy date: 14th January
Publication: 28th January

Copy date: 11th February
Publication: 25th February

Copy date: 17th March
Publication: 31st March

Copy date: 14th April
Publication: 28th April

Copy date: 19th May
Publication: 2nd June

Copy date: 16th June
Publication: 30th June

Copy date: 14th July
Publication: 28th July

Copy date: 18th August
Publication: 1st September

Copy date: 15th September
Publication: 29th September

Copy date: 20th October
Publication: 3rd November

Copy date: 17th November
Publication: 1st December

January 2021
Copy date: 14th December*
Publication: 29th December*

*to be confirmed


Village People: Clive Miller

Clive Miller

By Mike Thatcher

I admitted to Clive, as we spoke in his kitchen at his cottage in Albourne, that I was as guilty as anyone that the High Street had lost its fishmonger; I loved the idea that it was there but didn’t use it enough and now regret its loss. Was he worried, in the long-term, that this could also happen to the butcher?

“No, I think there is always going to be a niche for butchers and people will always enjoy meat. And just as importantly they enjoy the cooking of it; from the sirloin joint to the everyday ‘St Lawrence’ sausage. The traditional roast at the weekend is still going strong, as well as BBQs during the summer.” Naturally, he is aware of changing habits and attitudes in the food industry as a whole. “We all care so much about what we eat and, in this day and age, we want to know it is of the best quality.

What people really care about is that what they’re eating has been well reared and enjoyed a good life.” It’s all a very different picture from when he started out in the profession. Soon after leaving college he got a job at Smith’s the butchers, in the building now occupied by Marrams.

[Read the full story on page 24 of September' 2019’s Hurst Life magazine]

Hurstpierpoint History: 150 years of St Lawrence School

What is now Players Theatre, used to be the village school in Hurst.

What is now Players Theatre, used to be the village school in Hurst.

By Christopher Maidment

The act of commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Hurstpierpoint School with the planting of a replacement tree on the corner of Trinity Road and Cuckfield Road (Hurst Life, April 2019) warrants a brief reminder of the background of the school’s inception. It is worth noting that its original funding perhaps encapsulates the values of not only the Saint after whom the school is now named but also what is regarded by many as the village motto of ‘kind and charitable’.

The titanic work of documenting a more complete record of three centuries of education can be found in Ian Nelson’s book - Hurstpierpoint school ‘to be larned, not washed’. Snippets of this work are unashamedly plagiarised here, with Ian’s kind permission.

At the outset, it should also be a matter of recognition that it is in fact the 200th anniversary of the school’s original foundation at its previous location in 1819, at what is now the Players Theatre, and shown here. Following its life as a school, it became an off licence.

The surgeon Richard Weekes, who lived at Matts (now Norfolk House) in the High Street, recorded the event in his diary notes of 1818: ‘In the autumn of this year we bought by public subscriptions to the Methodist Chapel [Player’s Theatre] at Hurst for the sum of £460 and it has cost £600 to fit it up for a school for boys and girls’. This was very much in line with the national movement to expand elementary education to provide education for all children.

[see full article in September 2019’s issue of Hurst Life magazine]

Hurst Festival 2019: Super Sunday

Screenshot 2019-09-04 at 10.33.34.png

By Kate Cowan

Our Super Sunday returns on 15th September 2019 between 12.30 and 5pm. Super Sunday is a perfect family day. Spend time with loved ones wandering through your village, enjoying the entertainment and chatting with friends and family.

Taking over Hurstpierpoint High Street, Super Sunday will include the parade with Burgess Hill Marching Band and Treasured Transport, delicious food, funfair rides, face-painting, free bow-making and art workshops, a swing band with dance lessons, walkabouts, live music, a craft tent, the fabulous reptiles, local traders and a brilliant inflatable endurance zone!

Our bars stock local wines and beers, plus our services, venues and suppliers are all local, making our footprint small and sustainable. It really will be an incredible, fun-packed day, so cross out 15th September on your calendar and we’ll see you there!

The opening weekend of Hurst Festival is packed full of entertainment in addition to Super Sunday! There are exhibitions aplenty with stunning work on display at Holy Trinity Church, including carving, calligraphy, felting, sculpture, painting, jewellery and ceramics as well as weaving on an inkle!

Hurst Studios are open the 14th and 15th with Hurst College running a shuttle bus between Mossy Mile and College Lane via St Georges between 12noon and 2pm. There are 15 locations to visit!

The Torch Centre is open for a Cream Tea on 14th between 3 and 5pm. Hurstpierpoint Horticultural Society Autumn Show will have displays of chrysanthemums, dahlias, fruit and photography in the Village Centre. There’s Capture the Flag with Hurstpierpoint’s ‘C’ Company Army Cadets teaching evasion and capture techniques on Wolstonbury. Martin O’Donnell leads our Raised Garden Beds workshop, which will be held in Court Bushes Community Hub. The raised beds will remain after the workshop for the community, and we are looking for budding local gardeners to help look after these all year round in return for the produce!

Mid Sussex Ramblers are offering a free walk around our beautiful countryside on Sunday 15th. There is an exhibition in the Village Centre Foyer of 150 years of St Lawrence School, including current work from pupils and many past photographs and historical records. And there’s a Cream Tea Dance in the Village Centre from 2-4.30pm!

Saturday night Cajun Fais Do-Do is brought to you by Rough Chowder. An evening of music and dancing, with a traditional Cajun waltz or two-step and foot stomping Swamp Blues and Zydeco. There is also a beginners Cajun Dance Workshop led by instructors before the music starts for those who want to learn the steps!

Heber Opera presents the Passion of the Opera in Holy Trinity church on Saturday 14th. Love, lust and retribution are the cornerstones of most operatic plots and are the focus of their performance for us, taking excepts from La Bohem and Macbeth amongst others.

On Sunday night the brilliant John Crampton will be in Sayers Common Village Hall for blues and bluegrass on steel slide guitar, banjo, harmonica and vocals. When a single artist sitting on a small chair can get hundreds of screaming blues fans up on their feet then he is pretty damn good!

And that’s just the first weekend! There are two more weeks of brilliant events and entertainment: The Glass Menagerie by Hurst Players, Klio Blonz on flute and Rebecca Hepplewhite on cello, a talk on the Loiyangalani Trust, comedy nights, Midsummer Mystery: Murder Most Sweet! to cherry pick only a few choice pieces.

Go to www.hurstfestival.org now, browse the whole festival and get booking before it’s too late!

St Lawrence Fair 2019 - What a weekend in Hurst...


By the St Lawrence Fair Committee

Wow what a weekend! We really hope that you enjoyed the Fair and other events this year. Despite being low on numbers as a committee this year, we had lots of people who came over to the park on both Friday and Saturday and lent us a hand – special mention to Stephen Hills and the Army Cadets who worked tirelessly, others are too numerous to thank here but suffice to say we couldn’t do it without those who just pop over and say ‘What do you need me to do?’

We’d like to thank all of our other contributors: the kid’s entertainers, the fabulous bands (Thing of the Swamp, Soulville and Kieran Murray and Manlove), the procession entries, the stalls, the bar team (including Bedlam) and the acts in the arena. We gave out special thank you gifts to people who always go over and above for us in their own way without us normally having to ask.

They give us their time for free and, again, without them, we would be a bit stuck!

We are taking a break over the summer but look out for news of our AGM, which will be October/November time. We would love some new committee members and obviously welcome anyone who has any thoughts and ideas to come along and share them.

Goodbye for the summer from all of us.

Hurst's Young Engineers of the Year 2019


A team of Lower Sixth students from Hurst College took part in the Big Bang South East Region Science and Engineering Competition last month and won two special awards, the overall competition and the title of Young Engineers of the Year.

Bella Shepard, Matthieu Bridger, Olivia Hampshire and George Rodriguez were showcasing their Engineering Education Scheme and Gold CREST project on Improving Coagulation and Flocculation in Wastewater Treatment.

Since winning an innovation award in April they worked tirelessly on improving their experimental data and design of static mixers. They tested their revolutionary and totally organic chemical, chitosan, on actual treated sewage water, which produced impressive results to support its suggested use as a replacement for the currently used ferric chloride, which leaves a heavy metal residue. They also designed and 3D printed in array of static mixers, along with a creative modular system of incorporating the mixers into currently used sewage treatment plants.

The team were delighted to be given two special awards: the Electric Prize for Commercial Potential sponsored by Eurotherm and the Prize for Research sponsored by Photek. These were topped, however, by the team being announced overall winners of the competition and a place in the national finals.

The Great Fire of Hurstpierpoint



By Christopher Maidment

On Friday 27th January 1882 Hurstpierpoint witnessed one of the most dramatic days of its history. The building known as Holdens, now the Nationwide Building Society, and the three adjoining houses were extensively burnt down. This was Walter Fitch’s General Grocery, Drapery Store and Warehouse. The scene over the next few days was reported in the Sussex Daily News. These reports were collated by Ian Nelson and are abridged here.

At 5.15am in the morning a carpenter named Windus and Mr Waller, an ex-policeman, raised the alarm. Flames were already bursting out of the east windows of the store and warehouse and threatening to burn the North House, property of Lawrence Smith, a retired lawyer. North House is now divided into the three properties that are The Odd Corner, Chichester House and Bielside.

‘By the time the inmates of the surrounding houses and the employees at the shop could be roused, the fire had obtained such a hold as to defy the ordinary means of extinguishing.’

Besides the grocery and drapery goods in Mr Fitch’s store, there were quantities of wines and inflammable spirits in the cellar, along with oils and 8lbs of gunpowder on the first floor! Little could be done to save it, so efforts centred on saving Lawrence Smith’s house to the east, and Bank House to the west, the latter, now West End Cottage, belonged to Mr Pierce.

At the time, Hurst had no fire brigade. Brighton Police, who ran the Volunteer Fire Service, and Burgess Hill Waterworks were sent telegrams! A contingent of the Volunteer Fire Brigade caught a train to Hassocks, and horse drawn engines arrived soon after them.

[An excerpt from page 10, August 2019’s Hurst Life magazine]

Stonepound Crossroads work started

Work has started at Stonepound Crossroads in Hassocks – which will leave Hurst Road closed until the end of the school holidays.


The project, which is a condition of the planning permission for 129 homes being built by Barratt David Wilson Homes off London Road, will take place in two phases and includes upgrading ‘ageing traffic signals’, which will improve the busy junction’s capacity.

The first phase also includes works to widen Hurst Road and preparation work to facilitate a new cycle route scheme between Sayers Common and Downlands School.

During the school holidays there will be three-way traffic lights at the junction, while Hurst Road is closed at the junction. A diversion is in place for those travelling between Hurstpierpoint and Hassocks.

All businesses are clearly open as usual during this disruption. Lindsay Thompson, speaking on behalf of Hurst Traders, commented: “As local retailers we want to be upbeat about the summer. We’re working hard as a group to introduce new programmes and fun offerings while this work is going on, creating even more reasons for you to visit the High Street in Hurst, which is still very much open for business. We are so grateful for the support we receive from you all, day in and day out, without which many of us wouldn’t still be operating.

For the next month or so, could we dare ask for that one extra purchase a week?” She went on: “It’s going to be far more pleasant taking a trip to the village; less traffic and fumes, safer pavements, a better chance of parking and, dare I say, no road rage!”

Hurst Road is due to be closed until 2nd September, after which the crossroads will use four-way temporary lights until early November.

A West Sussex Highways spokesperson said: “This type of work does cause inconvenience for residents, businesses and road users, for which we apologise, but every effort will be made by the developer and its contractor to limit disruption as much as possible. For example, there will be a dedicated traffic marshall for the duration of the project to operate the temporary traffic lights between 7am and 6.30pm.”

The second phase of this work is expected to be completed by 30th January 2020.

Hurstpierpoint wine merchants new owner

Hobbs wine

Hobbs wine

Hurstpierpoint recently welcomed Hobbs of Hurstpierpoint to the High Street, an off licence in between Tina Bucknall and Retrospective. Owned by Paul and Samantha Hobbs it joins their other branch in Henfield, and they employ a total of 11 staff. Residents of the village, they have children at both St Lawrence and Downlands schools.

Paul has worked in hospitality and retail since he graduated from University and is excited about opening a branch in his home village. “We look forward to establishing ourselves on the High Street in this great village. We love the sense of community and belonging and hopefully will be here for many years to come.”

They plan a few surprises and specials for the St Lawrence Fair and advise people to keep an eye out on social media for information.

Junk Orchestra inspires Albourne children


Albourne CE School celebrated World Oceans Day with the primary school children carrying out a range of activities, including taking part in a Junk Orchestra.

“Our focus was on preventing plastic pollution, and the children made fish from plastic bottles, turning them into shoals for display, as well as fashioning instruments and sea creatures from plastic and card packaging,” said Headteacher Mrs Claxton.

The Junk Orchestra held interactive workshops, with children playing instruments made from plastic barrels and flip flops and other bits of rubbish, with the whole school, dressed in blue or as sea creatures, dancing along to the junkyard beat.

One of the school parents, Mrs French, is rowing 100 miles along the Cornish Coast to raise awareness of the need to protect our oceans.

“The children learnt lots of facts about oceans through a quiz and about the damage caused by large scale fishing and plastic pollution. The children said, as two thirds of our planet is water, we shouldn’t be called Planet Earth but Planet Ocean,” said Mrs Claxton.

“It was a fantastic day of learning, making the children aware that when they throw rubbish ‘away’ it doesn’t disappear but becomes someone else’s problem. The fun activities carried a serious and important message of conservation and the need for everyone to play their part in raising awareness and taking personal responsibility.”

Community group for dads and kids

Dad la soul at Court Bushes Community Hub

Dad la soul at Court Bushes Community Hub

A new group for dads and their kids launched last month at the recently refurbished Court Bushes Community Hub in the village, to an extremely warm welcome from 15 dads and over 25 kids, and a hardcore rap session from Brighton-based music charity, Audio Active.

The volunteer-run group called ‘Dad La Soul’ aims to eradicate the social isolation that can be experienced by dads and give them a fun, welcoming environment where they can spend time with their children. It will run on the first Saturday of the month, with each session being led by a different dad who will teach the group a new skill.

Dad La Soul offers activities including everything from film, music and zombie mask making to DJ and circus skills workshops, as well as soft play, science lessons, crafting and games.

The sessions have been funded by Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group which provides social housing in the local area and works with residents to transform their communities.

Father to a seven-year-old son, Dan Flanagan founded Dad La Soul having struggled to find groups for dads and their children in his local area. “We have been running in Worthing for the last year and a half and regularly have 70 or so dads and kids joining us. Being able to bring this over to Hurstpierpoint is fantastic. We had dads that recognised each other from the school run but have never spoken, chatting away like old friends by the end of the session.”

He continued: “Being a dad can be quite lonely at times, but men don’t like to talk about that. Through Dad La Soul, my hope is that dads, stepdads, granddads and carers can come together to have fun, make friends and learn new skills. We’re delighted to be working with Clarion Futures to bring Dad La Soul to Hurstpierpoint.”

To find out more or book your place email: dan@ totrockinbeats.com.

Ever wanted to keep a pig?


Mike Thatcher met up with Hamish Raby and other members of the village who were instrumental in setting up pig groups in Hurstpierpoint.

Around eight years ago Hamish was looking for a healthy, outdoor project to get him out of the house and he struck on the idea of keeping pigs. As with both the groups I spoke to, one based in Bullfinch Lane and the other in the grounds of Danny House, when you set up a group it is very much trial and error from the outset.

“When I started,” explains Hamish, “I approached Tim and Pippa Jones in Bullfinch Lane and, being lovely people, they said of course we could use their land. An old Arc was brought in from Washbrooks, fences were put in place and Mitch Miller plumbed in the water. Even though half the fencing was scavenged, there was an initial investment required.”

When it came to buying the first ‘wieners’ it was just a case of getting on the internet and seeing what was available. The groups have had, at various times, Tamworth and Saddlebacks, Gloucester Old Spots, Large Blacks, as well as Oxford Sandy and Black, who have a much better temperament, especially when they get older. All are sourced from local, small-scale farms and are same litter traditional breeds.

Each project ideally needs a manager and it relies on every member doing his or her job. Now throughout history in every society this sort of arrangement can lead to teething problems and things are no different in Hurstpierpoint in the 21st century. “We learnt over the years,” says Hamish. “The great thing is anyone can leave if they are getting bored or annoyed with the other people. When numbers are smaller, say six families with everyone enthusiastic, it can be easier then with more, when sometimes the slack is not always taken up.”

St Lawrence Fair 2019 - Hurstpierpoint

Children’s Events for St Lawrence Fair 2019

Not long to go until the 2019 Fair - we hope to see you all there. On the page opposite you will find the events that are taking place running up to the Fair. We will give you the procession route and full schedule for Fair Saturday in next month’s issue.

Talking about the procession, last year was exceptionally hot and we have decided that we need a plan if it is as hot (or hideously wet) for the well-being of our processioners! With this in mind, if it is very hot or very wet we will turn left out of Marchants Road and come straight up Cuckfield Road to the roundabout and along the High Street, cutting out the middle of Cuckfield Road and Western Road and coming past the Church. We have to think about our lovely walkers and Marching Band - we hope you understand. We will take the decision about this on the Friday late afternoon and publicise it as much as possible. All procession participants will be contacted and told at this time and the procession will leave later as it will not take as long to get around the shortened route.

Now onto something we think is quite exciting - we will have six VIP tables (to seat 10) available for sale for our Friday Bands and BBQ. These will be £100 and have a great location for watching the music and getting to HurstBarPoint. If you would like a table please email: stlawrencefair @gmail.com. First come, first paid, first served!

Court Bushes Community Hub, Willow Way, Hurstpierpoint


The Ex-Serviceman’s Club in Hurstpierpoint has been reinvented

By David Tingley

The Ex-Serviceman’s Club has been closed for nearly two years, but there has been lots of positive work going on in the background, thanks to Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC).

The club had experienced some challenges latterly which resulted in MSDC repossessing the building off Willow Way back in December 2017.

Unfortunately, during that month a fire was started in a wheelie bin outside the centre, which took hold and spread into the eaves and roof of the building causing tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage to the empty site. This gave the Council both a problem but also an opportunity.

There had already been a series of conversations with local interested parties to try to ensure that the club building was able to be used for the good of the community. District Councillor and Hurst resident Colin Trumble chaired and hosted a meeting back in November 2017 at Haywards Heath Town Hall. The result of that was the creation of a Steering Group whose members comprised of representatives from the Parish Council, MSDC, the Club, local churches and other community groups.

Following the repossession, fire damage and assessment, MSDC agreed a plan to spend money on renovating the site with Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common Parish Council committing to take the lease for the building and grounds.

Paul Williams, Project Surveyor for MSDC, explained: “The fire damage was extensive and smoke had affected almost every aspect of the inside of the building.” Paul worked alongside the Steering Group to create a completely new plan for the space which would seek to be both flexible and practical. “Fortunately we were able to reuse some equipment and furniture from recently decommissioned Martlets Hall in Burgess Hill – which included the bar and kitchen equipment.”

The new building – named Court Bushes Community Hub – now comprises of three independent spaces.

A small room with a bar and kitchen is at the back of the building. This area has one wall which is entirely bifold doors and will open out onto a decked garden area.

On the opposite side of the site is a completely self-sufficient nursery premises, fitted with its own set of toilets, a manager’s office and separate entrance from the car park. This large, bright room includes access to a generous enclosed outside space too. The Parish Council have already agreed to rent this space to a local nursery school (Kiddie Capers) from September.

Then the main space is a large and bright room, now completely open, which includes storage facilities, a dancefloor area and a hatch through to a well-planned kitchen. This area also has its own bi-fold doors, opening out to the grassy field outside.

Each of these spaces can be let independently, and all enquiries should be direct to the Parish Council office on 01273 833264 or see the recently launched website: www.hurstpierpointvillagehalls.org

Colin Trumble explained: “I am delighted that this building has been given a new lease of life. Although it doesn’t always happen, this really is a triumph of ‘design by committee’ – as so many from the community have been part of what has now been built.”

“The original Ex-Serviceman’s Club was opened over 100 years ago in Hurst,” commented MSDC Councillor Joy Dennis, “as a response from the community to help those who fought for our country. Now, in different times, it’s great to see the revitalised Court Bushes site being open and available to be used for all in Hurstpierpoint.”

To celebrate the opening of Court Bushes Community
Hub there is a Fun Day planned for Saturday 1st June
(1-3pm), which will include craft activities for kids, a soft
play area, café, bouncy castle, a DJ and Popsteps dance
classes – as well as officially cutting the ribbon! All are
invited to go along and see the revitalised building.

Open Gardens in Sayers Common


A garden in Sayers Common is opening its doors in aid of St Peter & James Hospice at the end of the month. The Old Coach House will welcome visitors for the third time in ten years on 27th & 28th April 2019.

Owner Claudine Lower is well prepared and looking forward to welcoming as many visitors as possible. “Lots of friends have all been very generous, so there will be plenty of cakes, refreshments and raffle prizes on offer.”

Claudine remembers the Donkey Derbies which took place in the 50s and which started the fundraising for what was to become St Peter & St James Hospice and is keen to support the cause.

Those who have been before will notice an addition this year; a display of bluebells and a short walk has been fashioned in the grounds. Gates open at 11am.

New Inn, Hurst, wins best wine award


Residents who took over the New Inn when it came on the market three years ago are celebrating success after beating off competition from 2,700 pubs around the UK to be named best pub for wine in national awards run by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars.

Keen to preserve their beloved local, Chris and Murray Booker gave up their jobs in teaching and finance to take over The New Inn in 2016.

The couple have put a focus on offering produce from Sussex farms and suppliers, and their exceptional range of English wines and use of local vineyards, such as Albourne Estate, helped them scoop the prestigious award.

The New Inn was judged on stringent criteria ranging from the taste, smell and temperature of its wine to the composition of its wine menu and staff knowledge and came out on top in all categories. As well as being singled out for its selection of English wines, the judges specially commended the pub for its hand-picked wine list and unusual wines, its vegan and gluten free varieties and its wine and food tasting evenings, including its popular Taste of Sussex nights.

The Bookers received their award at a glittering ceremony at The Belfry resort in Sutton Coldfield from comedian Ed Byrne. The prize was a double celebration for Chris and Murray who are also marking their 30th wedding anniversary this year.

Chris said: “We’re delighted! When we took over The New Inn our only experience of pubs was as customers, so we’ve just tried to give people what we’d like to find. We’ve learnt a lot and loved every minute of it, but it has been hard work and it’s fantastic to have this recognition. We couldn’t have done it without our staff, the support of the village’s residents and the help of local suppliers.”

Comments Lawson Mountstevens, Star Pubs & Bars managing director: “This is a remarkable achievement for newcomers to the pub trade and well deserved.

The New Inn is a treat for anyone who enjoys a great traditional village pub, superb wine and excellent food. And Chris and Murray don’t just care for their wine, they pull a good pint too.”