The last big Christmas Lights display in Meadow Lane


By Claire Cooper


Every Christmas for more than 15 years, families have flocked to a little bungalow in Meadow Lane to enjoy one of the best seasonal displays in Sussex.

From Santa and his elves and reindeers to polar bears and penguins, Dennis and Judy Batchelor’s house and garden becomes the talk of the village during the festive season, with a collection that has grown every year and raised thousands of pounds for charities.

But Christmas 2017 saw the last big showcase as the couple decided to scale down their operation and sell many of the items for charity.

“We are delighted to have raised around £800 and a few items have gone off to new homes,” said Judy. “But there’s a lot left and Dennis is already talking about putting on a smaller display next year.”

Dennis was particularly pleased to hang on to his giant singing and dancing Santa after a £120 bid fell through. “I secretly didn’t want him to go, so he’s safely packed away in the loft ready to make an appearance again next year.”

[Full story on page 14 of February 2018's Lindfield Life]

Lindfield Arts Festival bursary fund open for applications

Lindfield Arts Festival Bursary Fund announced

This year’s Lindfied Arts Festival will see a new and exciting bursary to be granted to a local resident who can demonstrate their passion and desire to start or continue an arts discipline. A panel of four local celebrity judges will determine who will receive the £1,000 grant towards the applicant’s chosen area of expertise. The bursary is open to anyone aged 7-100 who lives locally. If you are a dancer, painter, baker or artisan maker of any kind, the Festival would like to hear from you. No matter your age, occupation or previous experience, if you have a desire to start or continue your arts education you can apply for the bursary via the charity’s website.

Lynn Tulip, Festival organiser, said: “This is such an exciting initiative. The Festival is all about local arts, and this bursary is an opportunity for it to put something back into the community by supporting a resident’s artistic endeavours and development.”

In other news, the Festival programme is currently being formulated with a number of other innovative ideas added to the line-up. For the first time, there will be a food festival with artisan makers and street food sellers; the length of the High Street will be filled with a covered eating area and there will be a stage, which will play host to a wide range of performances.

Another major initiative will be a film project that captures the heart and culture of the village through the voices of its residents – all of this and more will be announced fully over the coming months. 

Dates for this year’s Festival are: 21st-23rd September. If you would like more information, would like to apply for the bursary, or would like to get involved visit or email

Denmans Lane Dash 2017 - photo round-up

Denmans Lane Dash

By Ray Gower

I was quite overwhelmed on Boxing Day by the number of people who turned up to compete and watch the third Denmans Lane Dash. I was hoping for a few more competitors this year but we doubled it. I was genuinely blown away.

I was also impressed by the entrants who made a great effort with their fancy dress. 

They got into the spirit of what the Denmans Lane Dash is and that is purely a fun event to give the local community something to do for an hour or two on Boxing Day. 

I set the Dash up to give my friends and family a laugh and to get out of the house. I then thought it would be nice to open it up to the local community. This year proved that it is something people want, based on the wonderful compliments I received. 

We were lucky with the weather again this year. The rain held off until just after the run when people had returned home.

It was a great race with more ladies taking part this year which was wonderful to see.

[See the full story on page 6, February 2018 Lindfield Life]

Amazing care at home

Immediately after Christmas is often a time when families evaluate their elderly relatives’ needs – having spent a good number of hours in their company. David Dimelow, director of Everycare Mid Sussex, explains why this is the case: “We always get an increased number of enquiries in January and it’s simply due to the family seeing small changes in their loved ones. Comments like ‘mum doesn’t make the trifle quite like she used to’ and ‘dad seemed to struggle carving the turkey this year’ have both been mentioned to me by worried children.”

David, who used to work in the IT industry, decided to make a change in career direction after experiencing some good (and not so good) care for his own parents while he was living 200 miles away. “I was adamant that only the highest quality home care services possible would do when it came to entering the home care market myself,” he commented. “Having been a worried son on the other side of the table, I knew what level of customer care I had to be able to deliver.”

David researched the domiciliary care market widely and visited a number of franchisors to make sure they shared the same ethos. “Everycare ticked all the boxes for me, with its enviable high standards.” He started the business, serving Lindfield and the whole Mid Sussex area, four years ago. David has an office team based in Burgess Hill and employs over 45 carers visiting many of the Mid Sussex villages.

The team is able to provide a variety of assistance to its service users. This includes doing housework, preparing meals, companionship, help with showering and bathing, waking night and sleeping night services, welfare checks and prompting medication.

One principal that is strongly held to is that Everycare makes sure that service users receiving regular care know the carers involved. “We know the vulnerable folk we work with don’t like a string of different people rriving at different times,” David said.

Everycare Mid Sussex can also offer more temporary care packages. This includes cover when regular carers are away on holiday, or for rehabilitation when returning from hospital.

“Folks coming out of hospital will need to regain their confidence in all manner of normal tasks. We work with the family and NHS to define their care plan and then help them to get back on track.”

The care services at Everycare aren’t menu-based but, rather, outcome-based. David continues: “We ask ‘What does success look like?’ in order to develop a truly personal solution. When a service user is back on their feet and no longer has need for our help, we consider that to be a very positive result.”

For some families, the ability to relinquish caring duties on a temporary basis can be enormously helpful.

“We know that many carers just need a break, and often don’t enjoy their own holidays if they are worried about loved ones for whom they usually care. Our carers can be briefed to act just as you would have done, so you can relax!”

Another important facility that Everycare Mid Sussex is pleased to be able to offer is Live in Care. As it sounds, this level of service places a carer to live with them 24/7. This service is ideal for folk who have been recommended to consider a move to a Care Home but who desperately don’t want to leave their home, for whatever reason. This means the service users stay in familiar surroundings and locality, and the cost can be a lot cheaper than a weekly care home bill too.

If you are concerned about someone you love and their ability to cope, or indeed if you fancy working in the care industry, why not call Everycare Mid Sussex on 01444 244770 today. You’ll speak to Emma, Jenny or Katie in the first instance, who will then organise a free assessment meeting in the person’s home. You can also see for more information about the range of services.

A different kind of wedding cake


The Lindfield bridal wear shop Mathilda Rose already has a reputation both locally and online for its window displays (#thewindowat62), but last month its centrepiece took on a new novelty factor.

The life-size bride in the window was made entirely from cake! As the rumours travelled round the village, residents gazed through the glass in amazement. The cake was created by Michelle Sugar Art and was cut at a special party in December.

Nicola Clarke commented: “My main aim is to create a display that Lindfield can enjoy and be proud to have - hopefully we achieved this!”

Other credits for the window display were Flowerbug Designs for the floristry while Danni Beach Photography captured it all for social media.

Lindfield school football champions

Lindfield Primary Academy school football team

By James Smyth

Lindfield Primary Academy’s Year 6 girls football team has been crowned Mid Sussex champions for the first time, after success at the Mid Sussex Final at St Paul’s College.

After coming through the Haywards Heath qualifier in October with a 100% record and with plenty of training sessions under their belts, the girls were in high spirits as the tournament began. They started the competition with an impressive 2-0 victory over St Mary’s, with goals from Mary McDonagh and Maria Forrest. However, they went into their second match with Southway knowing that only a win would take them through to the final.

This match was a tighter affair, with Lindfield defending particularly well. Another goal from McDonagh and a neat finish from striker Charlotte White gave Lindfield another 2-0 win and a place in the final. 

This was yet another close match, against Windmills, but an early long range effort from Ruby Stedman calmed the Lindfield nerves and this was followed by a great effort from Mae Robinson just before half-time. 

Lindfield held on with some great defending in the second half to claim their place in the County Final later this month.

How we made our Kipper Christmas Card

Kipper Christmas Card 2017

We always like to send our customers and raving fans a little card to say how much we appreciate their support throughout the year. Christmas is a fantastic time to say this.

And so, we start to think about what our card will look like in October. 

This is how we did it...

Wrapping paper by Willis & Co, Cuckfield. Ribbon by Waitrose. Decorated Christmas Tree supplied by Harvester in Haywards Heath. Print by Swan Press. Chief present-wrapper: Emily Billson. Chocolate-eater: David Tingley. 

Happy Christmas one and all...

What's On in Lindfield - December 2017

2nd December - Christmas Market – 11am-3pm
Millennium Village Centre, Scaynes Hill - Scaynes Hill WI annual market. Wide variety of stalls and WI refreshments. Free entry, free parking.

2nd December - Handel’s Messiah – 7.30pm
All Saints Church, Lindfield – dramatic performance by The Merry Opera Company for Tiger Arts (Tickets £17.50

3rd December - Handel’s Messiah – 2pm
All Saints Church, Lindfield

5th December - Lindfield Festival Night – 6-9pm
Lindfield High Street closed from 5.30pm. Stalls, music, shopping and Santa’s grotto in Lindfield United Reformed Church. 

7th December - Lindfield Country Market – 10-11am
King Edward Hall, Lindfield - (Sheila Hobbs 01444 483396)

8th-10th Cuckfield Christmas Tree Festival – from 11.30am
Holy Trinity Church, Cuckfield – Over 75 decorated trees adorn the church. Entry for charity.

9th December - Haywards Heath Concert Band – 1.30-4pm
King Edward Hall, Lindfield. A charity event and afternoon of music including gift and craft stalls, and refreshments. Also featuring Haywards Heath Singers. (Alison Gilbert 07977 499280 or bandmaster

13th December - The Arts Society Mid Sussex – 10.45 am
Clair Hall – ‘We Three Kings: music, art poetry and legends inspired by the Magi’ lecture by Peter Medhurst. (Non-members welcome: £7 on the door)

13th December - Lunchtime Concert – 1pm
All Saints Church, Lindfield - Dr Rachel Smith (Flute) & Paul Gregory (Classical Guitar) playing work by Debussy, Bach and Spanish and Latin American music. (Admission free)

14th December -  Lindfield Country Market – 10-11am
King Edward Hall

16th December - Adur Concert Band Christmas Concert – 7.30pm
King Edward Hall, Lindfield. (Tickets may be purchased from Tufnells Home, Lindfield or Jo Stevens 01444 235311)

21st December - Lindfield Country Market – 10-11am
King Edward Hall, Lindfield

The Farmers Pub, Scaynes Hill, revived in 2017

The Farmers Pub reopens in Scaynes Hill

Father and son team Michael and Jack Willis have recently opened the doors of The Farmers in Scaynes Hill. The pub has seen numerous attempts at running it over the last ten years, but this duo say they are here to stay.

“We fought hard to sign a 20 year lease with the owners,” Michael commented. “We will make a success of the pub, but we know that takes time. So we are committed to invest in the business over the long-term.”

The pair have already made a success of their first pub together, The Barley Mow in Selmeston, which is approaching its third anniversary.

“We first noticed this pub about a year ago as we drove past it,” explained Jack, “but it had a tenant at the time. Then, when it became available, we looked round it as soon as we could – the building, and its past, has a lot of similarities to The Barley Mow.”

The building has been completely refurbished in a ‘country pub’ style, complete with muted tones on the walls and plenty of taxidermy adorning the walls. Not to mention the large kids’ play area they have installed in the garden. “We want this to be a real family pub,” Jack says, “so we know the outside space will be a real draw for locals.”

They hand delivered letters to all homes in Scaynes Hill inviting them to a preview night of Prosecco and canapes – which was attended by over 400 people! “We were delighted with the response from our neighbours in the village,” Michael said. “We look forward to proving we can be the pub they’ve wanted for years.” 

The Farmers is open every day from midday and will serve a full traditional pub menu with plenty of seasonal specials.

Baggy Pantry business moves to Lindfield

Lois Simpson - Baggy Pantry

By Claire Cooper

A chef who started her culinary career behind a cheese stall in London’s Borough Market is hoping that Lindfield will offer her the recipe for success!

Over the past few weeks Lois Simpson has been transforming premises in Denmans Lane, formerly home of World Coffees, into her artisan kitchen - the Baggy Pantry.

The business, which Lois has been running from her home in Ardingly, supplies home-baked cakes to independent businesses, along with unique celebration and wedding cakes to order and events catering.

Working from her smart new kitchen, tucked away behind the shoe shop, Lois has fond memories of the bustling outdoor market stall where her career began. “I was only 16, but would get up at 4.30am at weekends to travel to London to work on the stall,” she said. “It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time – I was just enjoying myself. I loved the Dickensian feel of Borough Market - especially at Christmas!”

Lois is currently settling into her new premises and hopes to open to the public on Saturday mornings in the future.

“I’m very excited to be opening a business in Lindfield,” she said. “And, of course, the icing on the cake is that it’s only a couple of miles away from my home!”


Lindfield Christmas Festival Night 2017

Festival Night – Tuesday 5th December 2017


This month Lindfield High Street will once again be turned into a winter wonderland with Christmas lights and the gentle waft of mulled wine and mince pies. 

Lindfield Christmas Festival Night, organised by Lindfield Parish Council, will take place on Tuesday 5th December with the fun starting at 6pm.

As ever the High Street will be filled with food, gift and charity stalls and children’s rides. Father Christmas will arrive at Lindfield United Reformed Church at 6pm and will take up his seat in his popular grotto at the back of the church hall. Also in the church will be a number of musical performances. 

Please note that the High Street will be closed to traffic between 5.30pm and 9.30pm on that evening.

What was Lindfield Bonfire Night like in 2017?

Guy Fawkes wheeling round Lindfield by Lindfield Bonfire Society

Guy Fawkes wheeling round Lindfield by Lindfield Bonfire Society

As ever Lindfield Bonfire Society has done the village proud by producing a fantastic Procession and Firework Display in Lindfield on Saturday 4th November 2017. 

The Firework display was met with cheers and clapping by the large crowds gathered on Lindfield Common in each break between fireworks. 

Lindfield Bonfire Night: Sat 4th November 2017

Lindfield Bonfire Night 2017

This year’s Lindfield Bonfire will be held on Saturday 4th November – in keeping with the tradition of not celebrating Guy Fawkes night on Sundays.

Organised by Lindfield Bonfire Society, the event starts with a guy building competition in the afternoon. The evening celebrations begin with a fancy dress competition, followed by a torchlight procession around the village and on to the Common, the reading of the Bonfire Prayer and the lighting of the bonfire. The event ends with a firework display.

Money raised from the street collection on the night will go to local children’s charities: Chestnut Tree House, Court Meadow Riding for the Disabled, Cleft Lip & Palate Association, Kangaroos and Orchard House. 

Programme of Events
2pm – Guy Building Competition – Lindfield Common
6.30pm – Fancy Dress Competition – King Edward Hall
7.30pm – Torchlight Procession
8.15pm – Lighting of the Bonfire
8.30pm – Firework Display

The fancy dress competition is free to enter and open to all. The classes are: Children up to six years, 7-11 years, 12-15 years, adults, groups.

The Torchlight Procession leaves the King Edward Hall and heads to Black Hill, The Witch and Hickmans Lane, where the procession will stop and re-torch before proceeding down the High Street and on to the Common.

The High Street and Black Hill will be closed for the entire evening. If you live locally please walk to the event. 

Limited parking for disabled visitors is available at the top of the Common.

A few tips for a safe evening
Do not bring sparklers, fireworks or bangers into the village or on to the Common.
Dropped torches are dangerous. Do not pick them up.
Leave pets at home.
Drones are not allowed.

For more information visit:

New Pedestrian Crossing in Lindfield?

Warning Sign: New Pedestrian Crossing Point on Lindfield High Street

Warning Sign: New Pedestrian Crossing Point on Lindfield High Street

Some residents of Lindfield may have been confused to see the above signs appear around the village in the last week (October 2017) or so. Well, so were we at Lindfield Life HQ! We hadn't heard anything about this work and were surprised about that - as we like to think we know what's going on in Lindfield. 

However, we have now had the following comment from Lindfield Parish Council, which rather shows we weren't the only people in the dark on this...

Lindfield Parish Council were not aware that the development had been approved. In  November 2016 the Parish Council opposed the proposed revised highways works to Lindfield High Street. We understand that the planning application to which the work relates is the Land to the East of Gravelye Lane, Lindfield, which dates back to 2013. We have been in contact With West Sussex Highways, and our West County Council Councillor, Andrew Lea. We understand that Andrew Lea, is on our behalf, making urgent enquiries regarding the works. We have reiterated that the Parish Council opposes the works. The Parish Council is concerned that the works will potentially remove parking spaces for the King Edward Hall, which is a building widely used by the local community. Additionally, we would like any proposed  traffic works within the Parish to be implemented as part of a cohesive plan following our Traffic Study. In summary, the Council wishes to see a holistic rather than piecemeal approach, having under gone full Parish consultation.

Lindfield Life copy dates 2018

Lindfield Life is a community magazine, that is printed every month and distributed to all the homes in Lindfield, Walstead and Scaynes Hill via a professional team of delivery agents. 

In order to help you plan sending in content or advertisement artwork to us, we have listed below all the key dates that you need to know for 2018. 


January 2018
Copy date: Tues 12th Dec 2017
Distribution: Weds 27th Dec 2017

February 2018
Copy date: Tues 9th Jan
Distribution: Tues 23rd Jan

March 2018
Copy date: Tues 6th Feb
Distribution: Tues 20th Feb

April 2018
Copy date: Tues 13th Mar
Distribution: Tues 27th Mar

May 2018
Copy date: Tues 10th Apr
Distirbution: Tues 24th Apr

June 2018
Copy date: Tues 8th May
Distribution: Tues 22nd May

July 2018
Copy date: Tues 12th June
Distribution: Tues 26th June

August 2018
Copy date: Tues 10th July
Distribution: Tues 24th July

September 2018
Copy date: Tues 14th Aug
Distribution: Tues 28th Aug

October 2018
Copy date: Tues 11th Sept
Distribution: Tues 25th Sept

November 2018
Copy date: Tues 9th Oct
Distribution: Tues 23rd Oct

December 2018
Copy date: Tues 13th Nov
Distribution: Tues 27th Nov

January 2019
Copy date: Tues 11th Dec
Distribution: Fri 28th Dec

February 2019
Copy date: Tues 8th Jan 2019
Distribution: Tues 22nd Jan 2019


Sussex Mineral and Fossil Show 2017


On 18th November at Clair Hall, the Sussex Mineral and Lapidary Society (SMLS) will put on probably the best one day mineral and fossil show in the country. It is filled with wonderful minerals, crystals and fossils and is perfect for a fascinating family day out or just a quick visit to see some of nature’s finest wonders. The show is put on by the members of SMLS, a local society which meets to discover more about the beautiful world of minerals, fossils and lapidary work. Chairman and local resident Nick Hawes writes more…

By Nick Hawes

The grey limestone cliffs rose above my head, tiered in benches by the quarrymen so that they could quarry safely deeper into the hillside. We were on a Sussex Mineral and Lapidary Society (SMLS) field trip to the limestone quarries of South Wales.

I scanned the cliff side and saw a small gash in one of the benches at the bottom of the quarry and went over to investigate. I could see where the latest rock blast had opened up what appeared to be a small hole in the rock and went over to investigate. It was what we call a vug – a space that has opened up in solid rock enabling crystals to form within. In this case the crystals were of calcite, usually a whitish mineral but in this case the crystals were coloured red by a covering of the mineral hematite – an iron mineral. The crystals were in clusters and were in groups up to 10cm across with crystals up to 5cm. They were perfect in every way, not a mark on them – something very important in mineral collecting. I finished cleaning out the cavity, and as I was wrapping the specimens to keep them in good condition, I saw another small hole in the wall of the bench above me and walked to investigate.

I found another small hole in the rock, but this had no crystals showing, however, you could see a bigger cavity within. With trusty sledgehammer and an array of chisels I began to open up the entrance to the cavity. As I did so, the hole within appeared to be bigger and bigger. Eventually I realised I had stumbled upon a whole cave, lined with calcite crystals up to 30cm long. It was an amazing sight. I eventually opened up an entrance big enough to crawl through and was able to retrieve beautiful crystals from the cavity floor where they had been broken off by blasting in the quarry. 

Other club members came across, encouraged by my hammering and we had a great time, all gathering as many specimens as we wanted. With rucksacks bulging with our finds, we were eternally grateful for a lift out of the quarry. Thus ended another great day’s collecting with the SMLS.

Sussex Mineral and Fossil Show
Clair Hall, Haywards Heath
18th November 2017, opening at 10am.

The show is, we think, the best one day mineral and fossil show in the UK - and it’s right on your doorstep!

[Full story in October 2017 issue of Lindfield Life]

Lindfield Arts Festival - 2017 photo round-up

Lindfield Arts Festival 2017

Lindfield Arts Festival 2017

By Freya Wenstrom

What a glorious weekend the Lindfield Arts Festival was! It all started on an autumnal Friday evening with the preview evening to thank the generous sponsors and Friends of the Festival. Later on, the hilarious comedy evening took place in the Bent Arms and was extremely well attended. A particular mention must go to Chelsea Hart who had the audience in absolute stitches!

The weather was definitely with us on Saturday morning with the sun shining and putting a smile on everyone’s faces. This was certainly aided by the stilt walkers and the incredible balloon creations by Brighton Circus. In addition, the beautiful dance performance by the Balcombe and Lindfield Dance School in the United Reformed Church got the morning off to a very good start! The High Street was really buzzing all day with amazing dance performances by Turning Pointe School of Dance, Popsteps and Swoove.

The Kitchen People celebrates 10 years in Lindfield

The Kitchen People

The High Street can be a tough environment for a business to survive, let alone thrive, but The Kitchen People is celebrating ten years at 61 High Street this month. You may have noticed the large balloons outside the shop. Inside the award-winning kitchen design specialists Paul, Amy, Sarah and Daniel are waiting to help you create that dream space for the most important room in your home.

The Kitchen People | 61 High Street, Lindfield | 01444 484868 |

Important play at King Edward Hall, Lindfield

By Rex Cooper

Importance of Being Earnest at King Edward Hall

Importance of Being Earnest at King Edward Hall

Lindfield Dramatic Club is turning to one of the best known and best-loved plays in the English language for its autumn production this year – Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

With a strong cast that includes new, young members alongside established performers, the club is continuing along the route that has been its forte over the past decade, but moves away from the broader comedy that has generally been on offer.

Wilde’s comedy of manners about love and marriage amongst the upper classes has been a hit with audiences and critics for more than a hundred years and LDC is returning to the play after a 19-year gap.

Director Rex Cooper said: “Pretty well every theatregoer can quote the best known funny lines from the play but it is full of humour from start to finish and audiences have to concentrate in case they miss something.

“We look forward to our regulars coming along and supporting us and, given that it is almost two decades since we last presented this classic, we can, hopefully, attract some new, younger audience members – especially as the play is now part of the UK’s National Curriculum.”

The Importance of Being Earnest can be seen at the King Edward Hall on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 26th-28th October. Tickets (£8) are available at Tufnells Home, 59 High Street, Lindfield. Tel: 01444 483483.

Lindfield Horticultural Society's 2017 Autumn Show

By Claire Cooper


The annual battle of the pumpkins will be played out in the King Edward Hall on 9th September, when rival pumpkins growers go head to head to see who can produce the biggest vegetable at Lindfield Horticultural Society’s Autumn Show.

Last year’s winning giant pumpkin, pictured, was grown by Ian Cooper on his allotment and weighed in at an impressive 56kg (123lb)!

“It was actually judged by circumference as the society doesn’t have scales big enough to weigh it,” said Ian. “After the show I cut it into quarters and weighed it piece by piece!”

Ian’s giant pumpkins have picked up the top award at Lindfield Horticultural Society’s autumn show for six out of the last seven years.

“I was beaten in 2013 by my rival, Richard Watson,” Ian recalled. “He’d been runner up the year before and had asked me my secret. Rather foolishly I ‘spilled the beans’ and the following year he beat me! 

“It was also the year I had presented the society with the Pumpkin Cup, and I didn’t get to bring it back home!” 

This year Ian has been cultivating two pumpkins and is quietly confident that one will scoop him a seventh award. “The recent weather has been absolutely perfect for pumpkin growing, so I’m certainly on track to beat my record and bring home the cup,” said Ian.

“The competition is always very good-natured, but we are all in it to win!”

[Full article in September 2017 issue of Lindfield Life]