Race for Cuckfield Mayor is hotting up

By Mike Schlup

As autumn approaches we can now look forward to one of the highlights of the Cuckfield Calendar, the Independent State of Cuckfield annual Mayor’s election. This year the election takes place at The Wheatsheaf Inn on Friday 18th October at 8pm, with the winner announced at 10pm. And of course this is always followed by the Mayor’s Procession the day after so the villagers can greet their new mayor.

Votes are cast with pennies, and the candidate with the most pennies, or votes, on election night will win. Votes are raised by candidates through a variety of fundraising events, or a candidate can simply turn up on the night and ‘buy’ the win out of their own pocket.

But, importantly, all the money raised goes back to groups and good causes in Cuckfield and surrounding communities. So who are the big players this year? Well, we have a couple of new faces who have thrown their hat in the ring.


Formerly from Bolnore, Claire Bellamy moved to Cuckfield in 2011 with her husband Fraser plus their three children. Claire runs Divas with Dusters, helping to keep houses spick and span. Claire has been a great supporter of local causes over the years, including the PTA and the recent defibrillator campaign. For her fundraising campaign she has already organised an ABBA night at The Queen’s Hall, a progressive supper, lolly sales and a casino night. Claire is keen to see funds raised go to supporting groups and activities for young people in Cuckfield. So….’Don’t have a ‘mare, vote for Claire!’

Many of you will recognise James Clark from the Rose & Crown where he is the manager. He was a regular visitor to Cuckfield in his childhood and moved here after his parents retired. It was then that he heard about ISOC and decided that he wanted to get involved to help the local community. He particularly liked the way the event and occasion brought the community together. But the main reason he is running for mayor is that he wants to light the bonfire, a privilege offered to the mayor every year by the bonfire society. A cause close to James is Dementia care, and he hopes to use some of his winning funds to support St George’s in Ditchling. Plus, it is James’ aim to ‘Make Cuckfield great again!’

Current Mayor Leanne Knapman will also be standing, just to keep the new candidates on their toes.

Mayor’s Election Night

Fri 18th October 2019, from 8pm
The Wheatsheaf

Mayor’s Procession

Sat 19th October 2019
Sets off from Warden Park school at 2.30pm, travelling up London Lane to London Road and Brainsmead, where it turns around and goes back down London Road to the High Street – where it eventually stops outside The Talbot.

For more information about the above events, email: info@cuckfieldstate.org.