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.”

Judy Parfitt to celebrate 150 years of Hurst school


By Mike Thatcher

Hurstpierpoint Society patron, star of Call the Midwife and village resident, Judy Parfiit was recently joined by Year 6 House Captains and other residents in planting a new tree outside St Lawrence School.

Twenty years after opening the school fete with her husband she returned to take part in this ceremony organised by the Hurstpierpoint Society to mark the 150th Anniversary of St Lawrence School. “It is a delight to continue to be involved in village matters, especially here at the school which is so central to our vibrant community, and working with Hurstpierpoint Society to create a new village heritage landmark,” Judy said.

After a short blessing by Rev Will Kemp, Judy took up the spade and completed the planting job at the junction of Cuckfield and Trinity Road. 116 trees have been planted in the village by the Society over the last ten years, including most recently, two in Chestnut Grove, one in Lynton Close, one in Weald Close and one in St Lawrence Way.

Cllr Colin Trumble, Vice Chairman of Mid Sussex District Council, said: “I am sure, along with everybody in the village, that we wish our excellent St Lawrence School a very happy 150th birthday. It will be great to see once more a tree growing next to the school, replacing the much loved horse chestnut that we lost a few years ago. This is a welcome example of the continuing success of Hurstpierpoint Society’s Tree Scheme.”

The ceremony was preceded by a robust Q&A session with Judy and the Year 6 pupils. Any fears that there would be no questions were soon dispelled as a sea of hands appeared and remained in the air all through the session. Judy gave them tips for acting, lessons for life and told them many stories from her varied career. Where mentions of Olivier, O’Toole and Hopkins were met with quiet respect, being told her favourite singers were Rag’n’Bone Man, Adele and Robbie Williams were greeted with gasps of approval.

The questions ranged from either her involvement in Call the Midwife and acting to questions starting ‘What is your favourite…?’ or to the somewhat leftfield. ‘Who is your least favourite cameraman?’. She finished with some welcome tips for those who had solo parts in the upcoming Robin Hood production, which were appreciated by her young audience.

Membership forms for The Hurstpierpoint Society can be collected from Columbines in the High Street or email: hurstsociety @gmail.com.

Shows must go on at the Players Theatre, Hurstpierpoint


Productions in the Players Theatre on the High Street will continue during the summer as it is proposed that the renovations will now take place in the autumn. It is hoped that the initial work will concentrate on new seating and heating system, making it an even more welcoming place to watch plays, productions and films.

The next production is Rope, by former Hassocks resident Patrick Hamilton, which is being presented by the Players Theatre 2nd-6th April. It’s a mysterious play, a why - rather than who – dunnit! The audience knows from the onset who is responsible for the gruesome murder. The contrasting collection of guests are assembled to enjoy a macabre supper party at the mercy of their hosts’ flawed personalities. Not a play for the kiddies!

Jo Kearns, the play’s director, explained: “Whilst I was suffering from serious illness a couple of years ago, the nurses encouraged me to plan for future events, and to place on a wish list ideas that had previously only been a figment of imagination. As I was keen to direct a play, ‘Rope’ became my directorial debut, which so far has been a challenging but highly enjoyable experience.”

Where's the nearest defibrillator in Hurstpierpoint?

Public defibs in and around Hurstpierpoint

Public defibs in and around Hurstpierpoint

Where's the nearest defibrillator in Hurstpierpoint, Sayers Common and Albourne?

At Hurst Life we’d like to encourage everyone living and working in the village to familiarise themselves with the sites of the life-saving defibrillator machines and learn how to use them.

Hurstpierpoint has four machines: One on the outside wall at the Fairfield Rec on Cuckfield Road, another is situated at the Bowls Club on South Avenue Rec, a third is inside the Medical Centre on Trinity Road and the final defib machine is mounted on the wall in the alleyway between Morley’s and Olive on the High Street.

In Sayers Common there is one on the outside wall of the Community Shop (by the door to the hall). While in Albourne there is one inside the Primary School, in the gym of Wickwoods Country Club (up Shaves Wood Lane) and one mounted on the outside wall of Albourne Village Hall, to the right of the entrance doors. Not all of these will be available 24/7 but the outside ones listed (right) should be.

St Lawrence Fair Fun Run - 6th July 2019


By Mike Thatcher

St Lawrence Fair Fun Run in Hurstpierpoint

Although the St Lawrence Fair seems a long way off, preparation is already underway, and perhaps none more so than for anyone who is thinking of entering the Fun Run this year. It has become an integral part of Fair Day and I met with race organiser Benny Coxhill along with two of last year’s winners Laura O’Grady Serrut and Freddie Shalloe.

First conceived by Andrew Priddell, it used to be a much longer route, up to ten miles and going up Wolstonbury twice. Benny then got involved: “I used to see it go past my house in Bedlam Street and think I would like to do that, so I started training but that was the year they stopped running it! A group of us revived it about 20 years ago.”

Benny took over the running of the event from Ian Bush ten years ago. “We usually get about 100 people in total, 60 or 70 for the long course and 20 or 30 for the short course, but it would be nice to have a few more.

We have had all sorts of runners over the years. Some serious runners; people have come from Scotland and even the Netherlands, so you get all sorts of people.”

The long course goes over the top of Wolstonbury Hill and is just over five miles long. The shorter course cuts towards Danny House and over the fields and is close to a mile and half long. There’s a short stretch of road on New Way Lane, and the race organisers are grateful to Danny House as they need permission to run on the drive. It can be a moment to frighten or inspire the runners according to Benny: “You can see the great hill behind the house and think I’ve got to go up there!”

As much as anything, the race couldn’t be run without volunteers. Benny is particularly grateful for one group’s help: “The Army Cadets are really good. They are from Hurst but also recruit from other branches. They are great, and they do whatever is asked of them.”

If helping out at a water station appeals to you then please let Benny know. It’s a great job for dog walkers who don’t mind waiting somewhere on the route for an hour. As Laura said: “It gets really hot during the race, so we are really grateful for the water stations and volunteers.”

Race Day is Saturday 6th July this year. If you can help in any way email: stlawrencefair.funrun at gmail.com.

Parish Council news - March 2019


By Stephen Hand

As many will have seen, the new Village Gateways have been installed at the entry to the two villages of Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common and in general have been positively received. Most people have commented that they do give a stronger sense of place, which was our intention in putting them in place.

Although New Year’s Day will be some weeks past when this page is published, I would like to thank everyone who made the effort to join the ‘Hurst Meadows Guided Walkabouts’ on that day. Some eighty people in total took part in the two walks and, from the lively discussions that took place, thoroughly enjoyed the guided tours of the three meadows which make up the fifty acres that now belong in perpetuity to the community. My thanks to Cllr. Claire Majsai and Advisory Board member Helen Brangwyn for organising the event, which will be repeated at Easter when the new orchard has been planted.

At its recent January meeting the Parish Council approved its budget for the year 2019-2020. In looking to next year we have taken account of our proposed management of the new Court Bushes Community Hub which will open in the spring. The new community building will be a flexible space that can be used in different ways by local community groups. A large hall area will be available for social functions or as a venue for activities like exercise classes and it is hoped that a nursery provider will use the space to provide local childcare. While MSDC has made most of the investment in refurbishing the building, it is proposed that the Parish Council will be responsible for the day to day financial operation of the Hub. MSDC will consider our management proposal in March, but meanwhile we believe that it is right for us to make provision to fund the early days of this hugely worthwhile project. In order to make sure we can do this while continuing to balance our budget, we have increased our Band D council tax by 5% which equates to an additional £3.42 per household per year. This budget and the financial results for the year 2018-2019 will be presented as usual at the Annual Parish Meeting in May.

Finally, in May there are local elections, including the chance to elect a new Parish Council. Anyone wishing to stand for election should contact the MSDC election office for further details. The deadline for candidates to submit nomination forms is 3rd April 2019.

Hurst College students sit on 'top of the bench'!


A team of students from Years 9, 10 and 11 at Hurst College won the Top of the Bench chemistry competition held in Lewes.

Lottie Ashton, Thomas Manchester, Saoirse Osbourne and Oscar Jaffe performed well in the annual competition run by the Royal Society of Chemistry, to take the title from Brighton College in second and Eastbourne College in third.

Both Year 9 students, Lottie and Tom, carried out an investigation into reactivity and displacement reactions. Saoirse investigated rates of reactions that involved reacting magnesium with an acid, and Oscar carried out a titration to determine the concentration of hydrochloric acid. The team then came together at the end to compete in the multiple choice quiz.

Tree conversation in Hurstpierpoint


By David Clarke, The Hurstpierpoint Society

Throughout the world there is concern about the vast number of trees being felled, especially in the rain forests. In Hurstpierpoint we have been planting and conserving trees.

Towards the end of 2018 the Hurstpierpoint Society planted five more trees, two in Chestnut Grove, one in Lynton Close, one in Weald Close and one in St Lawrence Way.

These continue the Tree Scheme started by the Society, on the initiative of Paddy Kehoe, in 2011.

Since then 116 trees have been planted, funded by the Society with grants and support from the Parish Council, Mid Sussex District Council and West Sussex County Council. We receive requests from residents for either a new tree to improve the street environment or to replace a dying tree. The deal is that the Society will acquire the tree and arrange planting but local residents take on responsibility for watering and caring for the tree near their houses. An oak tree on Albourne Road was funded by the family of a former chairman of the Society.

The scheme has obviously been very successful. It was thought that it would end in 2017.

Four Liquidambar trees were planted on the recreation ground. This year we will plant a new oak tree outside St Lawrence School to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the school. Watch out for more details later. If you have a suggestion about further tree planting, contact committee member Stephen Baldey, email: scbaldey at hotmail.com.

Working close to home in Hurst


Hurstpierpoint welcomes a new business venture this month with the opening of Desk Village on the High Street. It has been established by Hurst residents Matt Rosine and Danny Chadburn who, between them, currently have five children at St Lawrence School. The pair have already had a lot of interest from business professionals in the village who are looking to work in a shared space, rather than working from home.

“Hurstpierpoint has an incredibly high concentration of professionals and business owners,” said Matt. “Many who work for global brands, television and record producers, for example, and we are looking to build a business community for those looking for human interaction during their working day.”

Matt has recently returned from 13 years in the USA working within professional football. Danny’s background is in web architecture and design, and he was responsible for the logo adorning the shop front.

The space will include a conference area, and the option for a permanent desk space will be available after three months as well as 24-hour access for those dealing with global time differences. Guest speakers and special events have also been planned.

For further information see: www.deskvillage.com

Hurstpierpoint Community Hub - building progress

Community Hub in Hurstpierpoint

Local residents had their first chance to see how work is progressing on the new Hurstpierpoint Community Hub in mid-December. The former Ex Serviceman’s Club at Court Bushes Recreation Ground has been empty since December 2017, and later that month a serious fire destroyed the interior of the building. Mid Sussex District Council is working with Hurstpierpoint Parish Council and local community groups to bring the building back into use as a community facility.

The new community building will be a flexible space that can be used in different ways by local community groups. A large hall area will be available for social functions like wedding receptions and birthday parties, as a space for social groups to meet or as a venue for positive activities like exercise classes. An area will be provided for community meetings to be held and it is hoped that a nursery provider will use the space to provide local childcare for nearby families.

Councillor Colin Trumble said: “Since November last year we’ve been working hard to bring this community centre back to life. We are hoping that by the middle of February it will be ready to use, with an opening probably sometime around Easter 2019.”

Christmas Day lunch offer to community

By Naomi McBain

It is an exciting time of expansion for Hurstpierpoint charity Hope, which aims to encourage and support family life and reduce stress and isolation amongst families.

Working with a growing team of volunteers, many lives are being encouraged and equipped through our term time programmes of parenting conversations, small support groups called Sparkle groups, playtime fun and support of individual families.

On Christmas Day we are linking up for a second year with another local charity, Befriended, for a Community Christmas lunch. Last year was full of laughter, fun and delicious food.

This year we are looking again to make Christmas Day special for families and individuals who might otherwise find the day difficult, or are simply looking to spend the day with others in the community. Do help us spread the word to people you know who would like to come.

For more information on this event please contact: admin @befriended.org.

Short back and sides - new barbers in Hurstpierpoint

Jed Berry

Jed Berry

There’s a new barbers in town: JB & Co – which is run by brothers Jed and Jake Berry.

Jake, who already runs another barbers shop in Brighton, lives in Hurstpierpoint and loves the place.

He raved so much about it to his brother Jed, that he moved down from Banbury to run the business at 108 High Street!

Jed (pictured) has been a barber for seven years and explained that the pair have experienced a lot of support from residents and fellow traders already: “People just pop their head round the door and say Hi, wishing us good luck – it’s really nice.”

JB & Co is open from 9am Tuesday to Saturday with an earlier start on Saturdays and a late finish on Thursday nights

Hurst High Street Community Christmas Event

By David Tingley

High Street Community Event in Hurstpierpoint

It is with great pleasure that we at Hurst Life have been able to join with the various other businesses who have supported the Community Christmas Event on the High Street on 8th December.

According to organiser Louise Lawrence, this year’s High Street event has been a genuine community collaboration with many groups, in addition to businesses, taking steps to make it happen. She explained: “Hurst Life’s support has been incredibly helpful. Hurst Life has, with no charge, allowed us to raise the profile of the event by printing photos and updates on a monthly basis.”

Other businesses involved this year specifically include: Marcus Grimes, Castles Solicitors, The Co-op and Nationwide Building Society as well as other High Street traders.

The High Street will be closed to traffic from 2.45pm on Saturday 8th December, reopening at 7pm that evening.

Highlights of the afternoon will include over 55 stalls (all local), Santa’s Grotto from 4pm, a live nativity, live band, dance performance, trishaw rides and a camera booth. The evening will conclude with a torchlit carol singing procession at 6.30pm.

For up to date information about the event search for ‘Hurst High Street Xmas Shopping’ on Facebook.

Hurst Life copy dates 2019

Hurst Life is the community magazine for Hurstpierpoint in West Sussex, and it’s 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 2019. 

Screenshot 2018-11-14 at 10.41.41.png

July 2019
Copy date: Tues 18th Jun
Distribution: Tues 2nd Jul

August 2019
Copy date: Tues 16th Jul
Distribution: Tues 30th Jul

September 2019
Copy date: Tues 20th Aug
Distribution: Tues 3rd Sept

October 2019
Copy date: Tues 17th Sept
Distribution: Tues 1st Oct

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

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

January 2020
Copy date: Tues 10th Dec
Distribution: Fri 27th Dec

February 2020
Copy date: Tues 14th Jan 2020
Distribution: Tues 28th Jan 2020


Natural health right here in Hurstpierpoint

Juniper Herbs, developed by Ellie Ceylan

Juniper Herbs, developed by Ellie Ceylan

Juniper is the brainchild of Ellie Ceylan who graduated as a Herbalist and Naturopath in 2015. As well as bringing up her two children, she spends her spare time foraging, growing herbs and making herbal remedies, with plans to develop a range of skincare products in the near future.

“My aim for Juniper,” explains Ellie, “is to provide natural health solutions so that customers can enjoy optimal health and well-being as well as participating in their own healing process.” She also believes that by promoting herbal medicine and natural healing to the local community she can increase people’s connection to the natural world, whether this is through medicine, educational walks and talks or workshops. Evidence increasingly shows that access to the natural world can reduce stress, anxiety and depression.

Moving to Hurstpierpoint in 2011 was a big step towards living closer to nature and bringing her children up within a beautiful, rural environment. Ellie explains: “I grew up with a love of nature and feel that our relationship with it has become obscured by our busy, modern lifestyles. I wanted to re-establish that connection and inspire others to develop a greater kinship with nature.” She believes that herbal medicine provides that opportunity – not only is it a chance to heal illness but it’s also about retuning to the natural world.

[Full article published in November 2018 issue of Hurst Life magazine]