There is a petition currently doing the rounds in Lewes regarding Southover Grange.
There are two very different issues on the petition that people are being asked to sign.
1 The Registry Service move which we are being asked to disagree with
2 The continued use of Southover Grange for community use which we are being asked to agree to.
I couldn’t sign this petition as I agree with the Registry service move.
I have been led to believe that the move is the decision of the ESCC not the District Council.
Southover Grange is beautiful, we all agree on that. However couples register their marriage/civil partnership (bring on the day when there is no difference between the two) inside the building. The wedding room is very small and bland, the entrance almost hobbit like and awful if pouring with rain, parking is difficult and extremely expensive. There is no disabled access unless the registry service is told in advance and if the weather is awful it’s not a good place to gather in your wedding finery.
The Town Hall is much better.
People also register the death of loved ones there and the birth of babies.It would be so much easier to go to the new place with no worries about parking wardens descending.
If a couple still wish to have a beautiful ceremony in a lovely environment why not simply do the legal bit and register very simply, quickly and cheaply at the new registry office. Then have the main wedding ceremony with an Independent Celebrant, Humanist or Inter faith minister. This ceremony will be totally unique. You can have it anywhere you want with as many guests as you want. In the woods, the village hall, a posh hotel and yes, even in Southover Grange.
However, I support the continued community use of the Grange. The last time I booked it, this summer, I was very surprised to see how little it is used. The main rooms are great, big kitchen, lots of fabulous atmosphere and relatively inexpensive. There is also access to our treasured Grange Gardens. So I urge everyone to think about using it for parties, family get together’s, fund raisers, baby naming, independent wedding ceremonies.
Show that our community actually use Southover Grange and treasure it , otherwise a strong case can be argued for it to be sold off. USE IT, DON’T LOSE IT.
Perhaps the petition could be made into two separate ones.