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.