Where’s the nearest defibrillator in Cuckfield?

Public defibs in Cuckfield, Bolnore and Staplefield

Public defibs in Cuckfield, Bolnore and Staplefield

At Cuckfield Life we’d like to encourage everyone living and working in the village to familiarise themselves with the sites of the life-saving defibrillator machines in Cuckfield and Bolnore and learn how to use them.

Cuckfield resident Wendy Tracey-Roberts Macrae has been working hard to ensure that two new defibrillator units are back up and running in the village.

Fellow resident and local electrician Guy Richardson has joined Wendy in her fight for safety and has kindly offered to fit the new units for free.

One of the new units has been placed outside Mansell McTaggart Estate Agents on the High Street and will be in the safer coded cabinet. The second unit has been erected on Whitemans Green, again in a safer coded cabinet and with a built-in CCTV camera.

If you notice that the status light is red and not green that indicates a problem with the unit, so please ensure that you report it.

Wendy says that we can all do our bit to help by getting involved. “Once the units are up, it is our responsibility as a village to maintain and check them.”

Funds are still being raised at the Co-op at Whitemans Green where buckets have been placed at the tills.

Please look out for any orange donation boxes in any of the village pubs collecting money by the ISOC (Independent State of Cuckfield) for the purpose of maintaining these two units.

Wendy adds: “The units need replacement batteries and pads every 4-5 years; the pads cost around £45 and the batteries are £300. Ideally, we’d like to encourage the community as a whole to help towards the funding of these life-saving units.”

Any local clubs should aim to register their details with the South East Coast Ambulance Service to enable any 999 call handlers to tell them where their nearest unit is in the village.

A third unit is currently being planned - please watch this space for further news.

If you are interested in finding out more, Wendy is organising a training session on the units but please be aware that there are limited places available. For additional information, please email Wendy direct at wendytrmacrae@aol.com.

There is also an app recommended by the Resuscitation Council. To download the app, visit the website: www.resus.org.uk/apps/lifesaver

Could you organise Cuckfield's Poppy Appeal this year?

By Jacqueline Elmore

Long-standing Cuckfield resident and Poppy Appeal Organiser Peter Negus has been working as a volunteer supporter of the Royal British Legion (RBL) for over 20 years now. Peter first began making his collections in Copyhold Lane in the late 90s, and 12 years ago he was invited to organise the appeal throughout the village.

Peter Negus, Cuckfield

Peter Negus, Cuckfield

Not only does Peter’s involvement mean helping to raise funds for the Poppy Appeal but it also includes increasing awareness and promoting the profile of the appeal.

2018 was particularly important for the Poppy Appeal as it marked the Centenary of the Armistice that ended the First World War.

Peter explains: “I was heavily involved in liaising with the ‘Cuckfield Remembers’ committee regarding many of the commemorative events that were organised around the Armistice Centenary Day at the end of last year and was lucky enough to be part of such a memorable and historic moment in my lifetime.”

The Poppy Appeal in Cuckfield is just a small part of a nationally led campaign which last year alone raised over £50m to enable the Royal British Legion to support former members of the armed forces and their families.

Peter continues: “The public have been very supportive of the Poppy Appeal over the past few years as a result of the publicity related to the various centenaries connected with the First World War, coupled with an awareness of the part played by our military personnel recently in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Cuckfield alone we have seen our fundraising efforts increase over the years from £5,000 12 years ago to just under £11,000 this year.”

The Cuckfield arm of the RBL is quite separate from the Poppy Appeal, although Peter does work closely with the local branch and a number of its members are collectors for the Appeal.

The RBL was formed in 1921 in order to support current and former military staff and their families.

Whilst surviving servicemen from the First World War are now thin on the ground, there are participants and their families from more recent conflicts, from the Second World War to Iraq and Afghanistan, that rely on the RBL for assistance and support. Sadly, the world continues to be a dangerous place and further conflicts cannot be ruled out; meaning that support from the RBL may well be needed in the future and for many years to come.

As Poppy Appeal Organiser for Cuckfield, Peter coordinates 30 house to house collectors together with 70 other outlets - shops, pubs, schools, garages etc - around the village. However, after 12 years Peter is now looking to hand over the reins to someone new; to an individual who is willing to support this noble cause and be happy to spend a couple of months a year as Poppy Appeal Organiser right here in Cuckfield.

In addition, following the success and publicity generated by the recent ‘Cuckfield Remembers’ activities, the Cuckfield RBL is also seeking new members to join its band of dedicated volunteers.

The Cuckfield branch is principally associated with the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at Holy Trinity Church, but a revamped programme of social activities and speakers is being planned.

Whilst former serving members of the armed forces are always welcome, a military background is not necessary to become a member.

If you would like to find out how to get involved with the RBL in Cuckfield, contact details are as follows:

Poppy Appeal: Peter Negus. Tel: 01444 457740 or email: peternegus43 at btinternet.com

RBL Cuckfield Branch: Terry Buckland, Secretary. Email: b777fly at gmail.com

Laines Organic Farm in Cuckfield


By Jacqueline Elmore

When we think of the hymn We Plough the Fields and Scatter the image that we often conjure up is one of a tractor turning over the soil preparing for harvest.

Most of the terrain surrounding Laines Organic Farm right here in Cuckfield is cultivated by hand, not by machinery. Largely by Toos Jeuken, a Dutch farmer who arrived in West Sussex not long after Britain joined the European Union.

Toos explains: “We came to Cuckfield after the UK entered the EU. That’s why many Dutch farmers came to England at that time. Suddenly there was a great opportunity for farmers to grow things here.”

Right now the subject of the EU may be a contentious one but, standing in a sunny field of giant kale, Toos finds some humour amidst all of the panic: “Do you think they might send me back to Holland now that we’re leaving the European Union?”

All joking aside, Toos doesn’t appear to be overly concerned about her passport status. Instead her motivation is clear; to ensure that her crops are protected and well nurtured in time for harvest.

Toos arrived in Cuckfield in 1977 - a year after her father bought the farm with the sole aim of using it to grow vegetables.

The landscape of Laines Organic Farm has changed over four decades. “They built the Cuckfield bypass in 1989,” she explained, “and that split the farm in half. My Dad also sold the old house and some of the land so I now own 20 acres but that’s more than enough to grow the sorts of vegetables we need.”

Full article printed in the March 2019 issue of Cuckfield Life magazine