Bookfest is coming to Cuckfield (2017)

By Sheila Mortimer

The speakers are booked, the programme is printed and tickets will shortly be available for the first Cuckfield Book Festival. It opens on Friday 6th October 2017 with supper at Ockenden Manor, and then over the next two days there is a packed programme of talks, discussions and workshops, plus sessions for children upstairs in the Queen’s Hall. The range of authors who have agreed to come is remarkably wide: Adrian Tinniswood talking about The Long Weekend and recounting the tumultuous and scandalous history of English country houses during the years between the two World Wars; Andrew Lownie’s biography of Guy Burgess which the Daily Mail called ‘a more compelling page-turner than any spy thriller’ and Damian Barr who wrote a memoir of his childhood, Maggie and Me, about which JoJo Moyes said: ‘it should be required reading’.

Download the Cuckfield Bookfest 2017 programme here

Download the Cuckfield Bookfest 2017 programme here

We all remember the Great Storm of 1987, and Tamsin Treverton Jones has written a compelling portrait of this extraordinary event which she will be discussing with Sue Cook, the well-known broadcaster. Elly Griffiths, famous for her crime fiction, will be talking about The Chalk Garden, the latest in her bestselling series about Dr Ruth Galloway. 

Other writers include Gavin Mortimer, Harry Mount, Anthony Seldon and Anne Sebba. Two young authors will be discussing Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë, both of them as popular as ever.

The last event on Saturday features the renowned actress Harriet Walter, who will be talking about her book Brutus and Other Heroines, which explains why Dame Harriet has decided to tackle Shakespeare’s mature male roles.

Add to the mix, a book about the Impressionist world by Catherine Hewitt, an explanation of the art of ghostwriting from Andrew Crofts, moderators such as Julian Worricker, Sue Stapely, Alan Judd and Howard Leader, and we hope you agree that the programme is full of interest.

Two local children’s authors, Sally Symes and Jill Lewis, will run events especially for children upstairs in the Queen’s Hall and there will be fascinating sessions for all young dinosaur fans, held in conjunction with Cuckfield Museum.

As with all events in Cuckfield, the success of Bookfest will rely on volunteers, so if you are interested in getting involved, please contact Sheila Chasser at

We look forward to welcoming you to lots of events. 

PS – Waitrose in Haywards Heath has agreed to make Cuckfield Bookfest part of its Community Matters in August, so do please support Bookfest in that way too.

Military history events for the Autumn - Mid Sussex Red

By Matt Taylor


Please note the public event on 15th September is no longer taking place! 

The public event will now be held on FRIDAY 20th OCTOBER at CLAIR HALL, Perrymount Road, (opposite new Waitrose), HAYWARDS HEATH. Doors open at 1000, first presentation at 1030, doors close at 1600. £2 for 18’s & over, Under 18’s FREE.

We are a volunteer community group promoting Mid Sussex Military History & Education for residents of all ages. The Mid Sussex RED Military History Event 2017 has been designed to Remember, Educate and Develop knowledge and understanding of the roles people and places in Mid Sussex performed in World Wars I & II. The will be an exhibition, a museum and presentations.

• The Somme 1916 – Remembering Mid Sussex
• The Centenary of Passchendaele 1917-2017 – ‘Mud, Blood & Devastation’
• (1940) The Battle of Britain, The Blitz and Evacuee Story
• (1942) El Alamein - 75thAnniversary – Life in Mid Sussex
• Numerous Exhibitors, Mini Museum of Genuine Artefacts
• Guest speaker presentations on WWI and WWII topics

We will deliver one public event in October. There will also be three SCHOOLS ONLY events (on separate days), for over 1,500 Mid Sussex school children to attend. 

Across the six events there will be more than 25 groups displaying artefacts, exhibiting, delivering 20-45 minute presentations relating to the topics.

Please check our website - - for details of confirmed exhibitors and presentations for each event.

The delivery of these events has been made possible due to funding received from Mid Sussex District Council and Haywards Heath Town Council.

Cuckfield Village Show to enter new home

By Emma Gosling

Cuckfield Village Show moves to Baptist Church for 2017

Cuckfield Village Show moves to Baptist Church for 2017

The Cuckfield Village Show will take place next month but in a new home. No longer at the mercy of the unpredictable September weather, the show is moving indoors to Cuckfield Baptist Church in Polestub Lane, where we hope it will be as successful as in previous years.The show is open to all ages and all abilities; it is not just for horticulturists! We want to attract participants who grow fruit and vegetables to eat; flowers to make their homes and gardens look attractive; who bake for pleasure; who enjoy flower arranging, photography, painting and handicrafts.

Entertainment will be provided by The Mid Sussex Brass Band. The schedule is available from Wealden Stores, Whiteman’s Green and Cuckfield Candy Store, High St.

Rivalry is sure to be as friendly, but intense as ever. Last year George Baty won the ‘Best in Show’ title for the third year in a row. He triumphed in a number of categories including four white potatoes, four coloured potatoes, two beefsteak tomatoes, cabbage, six shallots and best selection of home-grown vegetables. George even scooped a prize for best portrait in the art and photography category.

And the call is out for all potato and pumpkin growers. Last year there were no entries for heaviest potato or pumpkin, so the award is there for the taking!

Please note the new location (parking available) as well as the later finishing time of 5pm. Good luck to all our exhibitors. We hope you come along and enjoy the fun!

Cuckfield Village Show, organised and run by the Cuckfield Society, takes place on Saturday 9th September 2017 between 2pm -5pm. Admission is £1.50 adults and children go free.