Alfriston news
Alfriston news

SUMMER: Summer is here apparently sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. John Ruskin. This on a Downland walk has always been my mantra however last week the heavens opened and my beautiful roses and peonies are now lax and droopy. ‘It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.’ I have not once mentioned the amount of weeding now needed to my poor husband.

ALFEST 2016: With summer comes festivals the first of which is in aid of St Andrews Church ‘The Cathedral of The Downs’. Saturday July 9, 11am to 10pm, free. You may have seen the signs. Alfest is about the best the South Downs has to offer in food, drink and music. Sponsored by three local businesses, The Star, Rathfinny and Longman Brewery it promises to be a relaxed day with fabulous foods, wines and awesome ales. There is a great line up of local bands offering folk, pop, jazz, rock and covers for you to listen to. There will be stalls showcasing the taste of the fields, hedgerows and coastline of the South Downs. Put the date in your diary for a true country fest and chill out on straw bales.

MIDSUMMER EVENT: The Alfriston and Cuckmere Valley Historical Society’s big event takes place on June 30 at 7 for 7.30pm War Memorial Hall. This year celebrates Max Miller, bringing this local character to life will be BBC Sussex Broadcaster and award winning author John Henty. Preceding the talk will be a mouth-watering summer buffet and the chance to enjoy a glass of something refreshing on the patio looking across the Cuckmere. Advance booking is essential. Tickets are on sale at Steamer Trading 01323 870055 £15pp including supper and a welcome drink. Do join for an entertaining evening of recent local history.

THIS SUNDAY: Raise funds for St Andrews. A 1988 film featuring politician Denis Healey and his wife Edna is set to raise funds for Alfriston’s St Andrew’s Church Restoration Fund at an airing on Sunday. Director Paul Bryers will be on hand to discuss making A Vote for Hitler, which was first shown in 1988. The film dramatises events during the 1938 Oxford bi-election, when a left-leaning coalition fought the Conservative candidate and the policy of appeasing Hitler. Interspersed with the fictionalised version of events are interviews with many of the people involved, filmed 50 years after the incident. On-screen interviews include both Denis and Edna, as well as Lord Longford and other politicians. The show is being organised by Much Ado Books, Alfriston’s award-winning independent bookshop. ‘We were so pleased to have this opportunity,’ said shop co-owner Cate Olson. ‘Edna and Denis were very supportive of the community, and well respected locally. So it seems appropriate to share this piece of their history, and help support our local church.’ Deans Place Hotel has generously donated use of their facilities, and will provide wine and nibbles. Doors will open at 6pm for a 6.30pm start on Sunday. Tickets cost £10, and are available a Much Ado Books and at Deans Place Hotel. Details are available on the events page of Much Ado Book’s website,, or by calling the shop on 01323 871222

LAST CHANCE: Last chance for all residents to comment today, Friday. After many years of discussions and debate ESCC presented a scheme to address traffic congestion in Alfriston High Street. Plans were on show in the Old Chapel Centre on May 13 and 14, many of you visited the exhibition and debated the options presented. Some of you have already completed the questionnaire but others may not have made your views known. Please take this opportunity to respond (including any comments which may object to the proposals). The deadline for comments is today. Spare questionnaires with an outline of the proposals can be collected from Jim Hicks. There is also an online version at your say all comments will inform what happens next. You may not like any of the proposals or be opposed to traffic lights, you may support them unreservedly. Both views are valid but it is important that all views are known so please respond.

I apologise for the lack of column last week and the brevity of this one, including any activities I may have missed. Walking, exploring and life has got in the way. Full service will be resumed next week. Please do send me any events or challenges you or your groups are organising.

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