HELLO SEPTEMBER: With summer’s best of weather and autumn’s best of cheer. Someone (I have no idea who to attribute the quote to) described August as the Sunday of Summer a very apt description in the case of Alfriston. It seemed to build to the Summer Festival a typically Alfriston weekend of relaxation, family entertainment, music, madness, laughter and of course tea (and the occasional pint of Longman). From the revue on Friday to the Boot Fair and fete on Monday it was a wonderful weekend of celebrating village life. Events like this do not just happen no matter how many years they have been running, thank you so much to the Alfriston Events Team made up of villagers, businesses and those from across the border who tirelessly gave their time, skills and energy for the months leading up to pull everything together, special mention should go to Sylvia Daw who had the earliest starts, most sleepless nights and latest finishes but kept herself and the village fed and smiling throughout despite some daunting obstacles. If the Festival has inspired you to get involved in future village events contact can be made through the village website, there are so many jobs to do. You do not have to join a committee just register that you are interested in being involved.
ROCK THE RESTORATION: Another busy villager was the Rector, not only does he have five churches to oversee but on Sunday (traditionally a pretty busy day for a vicar), he blessed the animals in the morning and rocked the Tye with the supremely talented village band Kindred Spirits in the evening. I did think at one point that there were a number of Daniel clones as he popped up everywhere. The restoration effort continues across the village and has so far raised in excess of £25,000. With events ongoing and more planned including:
PIMMS O’CLOCK: The Smugglers Inn are asking you to guess the numbers of pennies in the jar (it is a sizeable jar) £2 per guess and every penny including your £2 goes to the Restoration Appeal. The prize is a wonderful hamper of Pimms related goodies to be enjoyed at any o’clock. This pub is really ramping up its contribution to village entertainment with a number of great bands recently including, Cracking Griffins, Markham and Lodge, a completely bonkers steam punk garden party, and a fund raising for the Restoration quiz night. Coming up on September 16 are Kindred Spirit, their first time at this venue, so if you missed them on the Tye, join us there we will not be missing it.
GET CRAFTY: Much Ado Books are organising two craft workshops in their lovely barn. September 10 and 11. Rebecca Mary Jane will be showing how you can make jewellery with Liberty fabrics and floral motifs with crochet. Visit http://www.muchadobooks.com/events-workshops.php Or pop into the shop for more information or to sign up.
COMPUTING AND CAKE: On Wednesday September 14 Wealden District Council will be holding a digital skills event at Deans Place Hotel between 10am and noon. Free to all abilities and to anyone who needs help online or wants to develop their computer skills now we supposedly have superfast broadband in the village. There is no need to book just drop in. Coffee and cake provided
WI: Kevin Gordon’s entertaining tours and talks have become a lovely way to broaden your knowledge of the local area. On Tuesday September 20 at 2pm The Old Chapel Centre, he will be talking at the WI meeting about The Lost Village of Tidemills. This village close to Bishopstone was considered unfit for human habitation and was deserted in the late 1930’s. Non-members are welcome to join this meeting (a small donation would be appreciated)
HISTORY ALL AROUND: After the summer break Alfriston and Cuckmere Valley Historical Society will resume their programme. This year marks the 950th anniversary of The Battle of Hastings. Villagers will know of Alfriston’s contribution to building Battle after the event providing ale, labour and supplies. On Thursday September 29 at 7.30pm in the War Memorial Hall, Mark Perry Nash will talk about what is arguably the most famous conflict in English History. He will review the relationship between King Harold and Duke William as well as the times in which they lived. All are welcome to this event. Admission is free to members, £5 to non-members. Looking ahead and a date for the diary is Sunday October 2, 2pm to 5pm to raise funds for the historical society that Lord and Lady Healey both supported. A unique sale of books from their private library will be held at Deans Place Hotel. More information will be available here in the weeks to come.
HERITAGE ALL AROUND: The Clergy House offered free admission on Bank Holiday Monday and I took the opportunity to drag the shepherd round this compact but stunning Medieval Hall House. Despite having been born, lived and worked most of his life on these downs he had never been inside, staggering. I was forced to drag him away from the vegetable patch and herb gardens and am now wondering what he is planning to replace our sunflowers with. If you haven’t been recently it is a lovely way to while away an afternoon. On Heritage Open Day, September 10, The Clergy House will once again be free admission. See their website for more details, updates about what they are doing to the house and events https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/alfriston-clergy-house/whats-on
HERITAGE SEPTEMBER: Every September 5,000 events take place across England to celebrate our fantastic history, architecture and culture www.heritageopendays.org.uk. St Andrews, Alfriston are giving us the opportunity to look at the two volumes compiled by The Eastbourne Decorative and Fine Arts church recording group. These volumes contain 300 pages of photos and information regarding all the artefacts in St Andrews. The work to record it took the dedicated volunteers three years. They will be on display between 11am and 3pm. The bells will ring and of course there will be suitable refreshments. There will be other events on the same day nearby including at The Dovecote, West Dean. Why not make it a day of heritage exploration?
JUNK OR TREASURE: Eastbourne Auctions will value your new Boot Sale finds on Sunday September 25 between 10am and 4pm raising money for St Andrews Restoration Appeal. Valuations are 50p per item.
RIDE AND STRIDE: The five churches of the Benefice or many more of the beautiful churches we are surrounded by. Saturday September 10. Ride and Stride is a national open churches event. Get sponsored to visit as many as you can in the local area. Sponsor forms are available from Geoff Ellis 871586.
With so much going on the village is planning a September to remember.
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