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]

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:

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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:

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.”

St Lawrence Fair 2018, Hurstpierpoint, photo round-up

St Lawrence Fair, annual community fair in village of Hurstpierpoint

St Lawrence Fair, annual community fair in village of Hurstpierpoint

By Nicola Stenning

Phew what a scorcher! One of the hottest Fair days that most of us on the committee can remember and we think one of the best ones (again).

Just a short write up from your Fair committee this month to say thank you once again for coming out and supporting us over Fair weekend. To all of you that attended and to all of you that gave your time in getting either yourselves or your children kitted out for the fantastic procession, to those who ‘flossed’ and those who tidied!

We have literally billions (well tens) of people to specifically thank and will try to draw that list up for an article in the September edition as we don’t want to miss anyone, and we are all still a little frazzled to be honest. 

You know who you are, and we couldn’t do this without you.

Have a great summer – from your Fair committee.

St Lawrence Fair, Hurstpierpoint, Fun Run 2018 results


By Benny Coxhill, Race Director

We celebrated this year’s theme of Victory with the long course race running past Danny House where the terms of the Armistice were drawn up 100 years ago at the end of the Great War. The runners may have been thinking more about the sweltering heat as they went by. It is a tough course, going over the top of Wolstonbury Hill, and we see many of the same faces each year enjoying the challenge. This year the sheep joined in at one point, blocking the route on Danny Drive, much to the marshal’s surprise.

Running came home this year as all the race winners were Hurstpierpoint residents. The full results can be found on the Fair website but the winners are listed below.

A special mention goes to Cerys Dickinson who started the short course but caught up with and decided to stick with the long course runners. Unfortunately we didn’t record an accurate time for her but we hope to see her next year when she may be challenging for a medal.

I’d like to say a big thank you to the sponsors: 
Places for People at the Triangle for prizes including gym membership for the long race winners and family swims for the Family Prize winners.
The Jog Shop in Brighton for race equipment and prize vouchers.
Burgess Hill Runners for use of their race equipment.
Hartley’s Off-Licence for the beautifully decorated bottles for the winners and water bottles on the course and at the end.
Ashley & Thomas and the Co-op for the bananas and sweets.

The event relies on our marshals and other volunteers, many from Burgess Hill Runners, without whom this could not have gone ahead. A special thanks to the Army Cadets who turned out in force for the fun run after helping stall holders since early in the morning. Also thanks to Kevin Battel from Run Britain for performing the Race Adjudicator duties once again, as well as running the race.

Top Results

Long course men:

1st 33.10 - Tom Roberts. Setting a new course record. Tom has moved up to the long course for the first time this year, having made the short course his own by winning the cup four times. As he is only 16 his prize bottle of wine went to his mother.

2nd 34.42 - Emil Pruden. A very creditable time considering he tripped and hurt himself.

3rd 36.07 - Alexander Rawlinson

Long course women:

1st 46.37 - Laura O’Grady Serrut. Exactly 2 minutes quicker than last year. Laura’s prize Prosecco was soon displayed on Facebook after the race.

2nd 49.58 - Geraldine Tyler on her first attempt at the race.

3rd 56.52 - Emily Webster also taking part for the first time.

Short course boys:

1st 12:24 - Freddie Shalloe. For the first time, narrowly beating Imogen at the finish. Freddie’s dad was taking part in the long run. 

2nd 13:02 - George Corke. A fun run regular, just outside the medals last year.

3rd 13:34 - Charlie Laing

Short course girls:

1st 12.27 - Imogen Reed. 24 seconds faster than last year and only 3 seconds behind Freddie. This was her third attempt.

2nd 15:56 - Hannah Jemmett

3rd 16:19 - Isabelle Chan

Noel Coward play at The New Inn, Hurstpierpoint


Hurstpierpoint is delighted to be welcoming back the hugely successful and talented musical team of Sam Nixon and Alasdair Carson-Sheard. Following on from the well-received Twelfth Night, and a hugely successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, the same directorial team bring you: I’ll See You Again - the Private Lives of Noel Coward and Gertrude Lawrence.

Departing from Shakespeare, combining biopic with outdoor theatre magic they are bringing a wonderful celebration of the lives and talent of that essential, erudite British gent Noel Coward and his shining, talented and funny co-star Gertrude Lawrence.

This evening of razor sharp wit, laugh out loud comedy and some of the most beautiful melodies written for the stage will be in the garden of the New Inn from Wednesday 4th to Friday 6th July, with an additional special matinee performance on Saturday 7th July.

For more details and to buy tickets visit:

Where’s your nearest defibrillator in Hurstpierpoint?

Since running an article back in February this year, we have had a number of people come forward to update our listings of the most local installations of these mobile defibrillators. We committed to print this information from time to time in order to help us all know and learn where to go, for that moment when we might just need to know.

We’d like to encourage everyone living and working in the village to familiarise themselves with the sites of the lifesaving 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 in 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.

All of the machines are portable and contain full instructions, but why not give yourself a head start with an online tutorial?

St Lawrence Fair 2018 - Save the Date

By Neil Constantine, co-chair

The first thing we want to make sure that you all know is that this year the Fair will be on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th June – a week earlier than normal. This is because our friends at Harris Fair have an event clash which happens every five years or so.

The St Lawrence Fair will be on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th June 2018

In our last article we explained that we were basing our theme on World War I and the role that Hurstpierpoint took in the peace declaration.

Following lots of discussion the theme is VICTORY. We hope this gives our fabulous traders and procession floats a nice wide scope for decorations and costumes.

And so on to the procession. Our procession organiser remains Phil Willoughby, who will, once again, be at the forefront of our fantastic procession. 

If you would like to apply to take part in the procession, please email him on: phil@

You will recall we helped Father Christmas travel around the village in December, and it was great to see everyone out to support him. A big thank you to Gareth and Crispin from Burgess Hill Round Table for their support. We raised over £400 towards the 2018 Fair. We’re sorry if you missed him, but the great news is that this year he has asked us to help him out again and this time he wants to see even more of you so has asked if we can tow his sleigh around on three nights and cover even more of our streets. Look out for more info later in the year.

Bridget Hamilton, an ex-committee member, is launching herself into something new as you may have read in Hurst Life – Cycling without Age Hurst and Hassocks. Always wanting to support our friends and local causes, we are pleased to announce that we are donating £400 to this cause to help get this amazing project off the ground locally. This takes this year’s charity donations to £2,500. We wish everyone well in this new endeavour.

Excitingly, we welcome some new committee members too – Sophie Rees has joined us to focus on Social Media and Marketing. Sarah Burnell and Becky Orpin have also joined us to take over the running of the children’s events, so look out for news of these activities in future issues of this magazine. 

Information can also be found on our Twitter and Facebook profiles.

Lastly, we are in the process of drawing up our sponsorship and advertising packages, so, local businesses, if you are interested in hearing about them please email us on stlawrencefair at, and for any other queries please also use this email address. Any potential stall holders can email stlawrencefair.stalls 

We look forward to seeing you all at this year’s events.

Hurstpierpoint crowdfunding for trishaw bikes

Cycling without Age Trishaw in Hurst

A Hurstpierpoint initiative has recently been featured on ITV's Meridian local news. 

Cycling without Age is scheme which has come over the water from Denmark, and is now spreading worldwide. 

Hurst resident and campaigner Bridget Hamilton is trying to raise the £7,000 necessary to buy a bike for the local area. 

The crowdfunding campaign page can be see here

High Street gets new retro shop - RetroSpective


Hurstpierpoint High Street will be the home to a new retail outlet later this month when RetroSpective opens at number 89 – in the former Jam Pot shop.

The business is the brainchild of Lindsay Thompson and Tony Walsh who have had a stall in My Vintage, Hassocks for the last four years. Now the pair are going it alone, and are inviting like-minded potential stallholders to get in touch. “If you know someone who has a penchant for antiques and vintage items, or local high quality arts and crafts, then we’d love to talk to them,” Lindsay commented.

The shop will stock various types of products including upcycled furniture and accessories for every room in the house. But there will also be other items such as organic lavender products and pre-loved clothing for sale too.

Lindsay, who grew up in nearby Hassocks, says that Hurst is the perfect place to set up in business. “Hurstpierpoint is a lovely, historic and growing village (and one I very much enjoyed in my misspent youth!). We believe that the residents are keen to support their local high street, and we are keen to be part of that community and ensuring that it continues to thrive.”

At the time of going to print, the shop is currently undergoing a refit and it looks likely that RetroSpective will open its doors during February. Its hours will be 9.30am-5.30pm Monday to Saturday and Sunday’s 10am-4pm.

For more information call Lindsay on 07789 397284.

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!

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

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.

South Avenue's marathon running team


Three Hurstpierpoint residents have all completed marathons this year, and they’ve helped each other along the way.

Fiona Bates, Gary Cole and Sarah Elsmore all live on South Avenue and became each other’s support network earlier this year when it became apparent they were working towards the same goal.

The full story is on page 19 of June's Hurst Life magazine. But you can support each of them with the following donation pages: