Alfriston news
Alfriston news

A IS FOR ALFRISTON: One of our prettiest villages, so say Sussex Life who journeyed through an A-Z of Sussex finding all the things we love. This landscape around us has always inspired poets, artists and writers, views and industry on the downs may have changed dramatically since Eleanor Farjeon wrote her Sussex Alphabet and All The Way to Alfriston but the beauty, smells and sounds that inspired her can still be found and are as inspiring today as then.

I went along the running Downs, High above the patchwork plain, Fantastical as Josephs coat, With coloured squares of grass and grain, Earthen russets, duns and browns, Charlock-yellow, clover-green, Reddening wheat and silvery oat: And rivers coiling in between...When I was come to Alfriston.

SOUTHDOWNS ALPHABET: There is only room here to quote extracts of Eleanor Farjeon’s glorious journey to Alfriston but this week along with A Sussex Alphabet these beautifully illustrated poems will be re published by local publisher Snake River Press, renowned for their beautifully crafted little books of Sussex. Twenty six wonderful poems by school children and U3A chosen after a South Downs wide project have been published alongside capturing the spirit of the South Downs today. The South Downs National Park Authority and Alfriston based The Write House would be delighted if you can join us at the launch at Deans Place Hotel on March 30 between 2pm and 4pm. Books will be available to purchase. To give an idea of numbers please RSVP or if you do not have email, pop a note in my door.

ALFRISTON AND CUCKMERE CONNECT: There’s a new name in Alfriston and it’s promising to cause quite a stir (in a good way); I’m talking about Alfriston and Cuckmere Connect, the new association of local businesses. They’ve told me they have three key objectives, all of which sound rather marvellous; to promote Alfriston as a destination, to improve facilities in our village and the valley and to launch some new, exciting and potentially quite fabulous events. It was so good to hear that they’re not just about Alfriston, they really want to include other businesses in the beautiful Cuckmere valley. So if you’re a local business and would like to get involved in this exciting new venture please contact Oh, and by the way, their first event will be Alfriston in Bloom so we can all look forward to a village filled with flowers and colour over the summer months.

ALFRISTON IN BLOOM: This as we now know will become a village wide affair and will link with the annual Flower Festival in St Andrews and Lullington churches June 16 to 19. There is plenty to do before then, so if you are making marmalade or chutneys or having a clear out please remember to put a few things aside for the stalls that will spring up that weekend, there will be bric-a-brac, garden produce, books and of course my personal favourite in this village, tea and cakes. The team organising the festival are also keen to hear from anyone who may be able to help. Contact 870478.

ST ANDREWS NEEDS YOU: The first guide training session takes place Wednesday at 2pm in St Andrews, join Kevin Gordon on this fun, informative day and gain all the information, historical knowledge and confidence to be a St Andrews guide, if you are interested please contact the Rector or pop into the church.

HOOVES IN THE HIGH STREET: This history of horses in Alfriston is a new illustrated paperback, which takes a fresh look at the social history of the village. The lives and achievements of people involved in Alfriston’s equestrian scene from the early 1800s to the new millennium may come as a pleasant surprise to many. Covering matters not contained in any other history of Alfriston, it records events to enhance community pride. Available from Amazon, or direct from the publishers in Alfriston (£10). Copies acquired direct will be signed by the author and delivered. Contact: 01323 870977 or

MOTHERING SUNDAY: There are so many ways in the village to spoil your mother, an unusual gift from Emmett and White, a lovely novel from Much Ado, flowers or a picture of downland beauty from Alfriston Arts, a Vineyard beauty day at Rathfinny, a roast lunch with bubbles at The Star, an Afternoon Tea voucher for Deans Place, the list goes on and on. This village really has something for every mother. I cannot decide which direction to point my darling son in as I would love all of the above. I think my personal favourite (I do hope he is reading this) would be breakfast at The Singing Kettle, a walk over the downs with a Sussex cheese lunch purchased from the village shop, finished off with a pint of Harveys in The Smugglers and a small glass (actually not that small please) of Seven Sisters Gin in The George.

THE WEEK AHEAD: March 29, Lent Talk 4 at Alciston and Selmeston Village Hall. Herod and his family, crucifixion, Jerusalem destroyed and the church grows. Free but donations gratefully received. 7pm with a simple meal. Contact also on Wednesday in AWMH at 7.15pm will be the 300 Club draw.

COFFEE AND HEALTH: Local resident Emma Richardson is fundraising for The London Marathon in aid of The Stroke Association. Pop along to The Old Chapel Centre tomorrow (Saturday) between 10am and noon for coffee and a chat. At the same time get your blood pressure checked. All welcome.

30 DAYS HATH APRIL: And looking at the calendar it promises to be a jam packed one with a lot of music (it is Jazz appreciation month after all), crafts, workshops, food, chocolate and the usual village tomfoolery.

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