Video: Spring arrives in Heathfield with the Heffle cuckoo

Saturday dawned dark, damp and glowering - not quite the right conditions for Heathfield’s annual celebration of spring.

But by 11am when dancers, musicians and the parade lined up outside Heathfield Community College for the annual Cuckoo Fair the sun had certainly got his hat on.

Heffle Cuckoo Fair

Heffle Cuckoo Fair

As always, it managed to shine throughout the day, warming the hundreds who flocked to Cade Street.

Star attractions were scarecrows assembled for the scarecrow competition. But they were rivalled by vintage cars and tractors, eager dogs competing for ‘best in show,’ ferrets, model steam railway, Sue Ramsay-Smith’s ceramics, gypsy caravan, the eerie Pentacle Drummers, terrier racing, home baked cakes, spinning demonstration, flower club tombola, AB Stage School, Twurps, elegant ladies and gentlemen of the Summer Solstice Morris group and Cherry Clack garland dancers.

Children from All Saints and St Richard’s School sang Rudyard Kipling’s Heffle Cuckoo Fair song and there was a dramatic demonstration by the Heathfield and Waldron First Responders who overturned Vinnie Jones’ advice to pump the chest of a heart attack victim to the rhythm of ‘Staying Alive’ - they said it has to be much faster than that!

Dame Heffle arrived by coach and mounted the rostrum carrying her ‘cuckoo’ in the basket. After words of welcome from Parish Council chair Pat Clark, Dame Heffle released the bird.,....and the sun came out.

The Cuckoo Fair has been held most years since its foundation in the 14th century and raises funds for Demelza Hospice Care for Children. This year the total was more than £3,500. Chair Sandie Milton said: “We had a fantastic day and there was a real community feel.” To see the ‘cuckoo’ and events watch our video at: