New-look Co-op store reopens


After two weeks of closure the people of Lindfield were keen to see the new Co-op store reopen last month.

Featuring more stock (due to deeper shelves), more fresh produce and self-service tills, the Co-operative has spent over £600,000 on the refurbished store.

Parish Councillor Val Upton was delighted to be asked to cut the ribbon marking the official opening of the popular High Street shop.

Festive fun with the Denmans Lane Dash!

 Denmans Lane Dash Poster 2018

Denmans Lane Dash Poster 2018

The Denmans Lane Dash is back again this Boxing Day. Started by Lindfield resident Ray Gower in 2015, the race sees villagers dashing from the Stand Up along Denmans Lane and back, half pints in hand! The winner is the person finishing in the top six with the most beer left in the glass!

Ray hopes to get between 50-60 competitors this year, as the annual bit of fun gains popularity each Christmas. There will be two winners as he promises to separate ladies and gents results.

Ray explains: “As ever it is mandatory to wear fancy dress or a Christmas jumper. I will also be posting up ‘official’ rules on the Facebook page in due course.”

Ray, who had a triple bypass operation this summer, is also hoping that the 2018 event will raise money for Sussex Heart Charity.

This year Lindfield artist and previous Dash competitor Leesa Le May has drawn the promotional poster for the festive event. Participants meet at The Stand Up Inn from midday on 26th December, with the race starting at 1pm.

Finding the village jungle (BBC Gardeners World magazine)


A Lindfield couple who transformed a patch of lawn into an exotic tropical retreat have scooped second prize in a prestigious national competition.

Screenshot 2018-11-23 at 13.29.05.png

Tim Richardson and Clare Wilson have spent 19 years creating their dream garden, tucked away in the heart of the village, which blew away the judges of this year’s BBC Gardeners World Magazine competition.

Diarmuid Gavin had described the garden as: ‘A tasteful and beautiful explosion of tropicana’, adding ‘the foliage contrast and use of colour is amazing’.

[Read the full story in the December 2018 issue of Lindfield Life]

Lindfield Life copy dates 2019

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 2019. 

Screenshot 2018-11-14 at 10.41.41.png

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

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

March 2019
Copy date: Tues 5th Feb
Distribution: Tues 19th Feb

April 2019
Copy date: Tues 12th Mar
Distribution: Tues 26th Mar

May 2019
Copy date: Tues 9th Apr
Distribution: Tues 23rd Apr

June 2019
Copy date: Tues 7th May
Distribution: Tues 21st May

July 2019
Copy date: Tues 11th Jun
Distribution: Tues 25th Jun

August 2019
Copy date: Tues 9th Jul
Distribution: Tues 23rd Jul

September 2019
Copy date: Tues 13th Aug
Distribution: Tues 27th Aug

October 2019
Copy date: Tues 10th Sept
Distribution: Tues 24th Sept

November 2019
Copy date: Tues 8th Oct
Distribution: Tues 22nd Oct

December 2019
Copy date: Tues 12th Nov
Distribution: Tues 26th Nov

January 2020
Copy date: Tues 10th Dec
Distribution: Fri 27th Dec

February 2020
Copy date: Tues 7th Jan 2020
Distribution: Tues 21st Jan 2020


Lindfield Bonfire Night - 5th Nov 2018


Members of Lindfield Bonfire Society will be breaking with tradition at this year’s celebrations on Monday 5th November.

For the first time ever, part of the firework display will be fired electronically.

Traditionally every firework in the spectacular display is set off by hand by highly skilled bonfire society members. This year, however, the society is trialling a new electronic method to increase the skills of the firing team and to prepare for a possible future health and safety rule which would prevent firework displays from being hand fired.

The event will also commemorate several longstanding members who have passed away this year, as well as the centenary of the WWI Armistice.

The programme cover, designed by Leesa Le May, marks 100 years of Votes for Women and the First World War armistice, and children of all ages are invited to colour in the picture and enter a competition. Entries should be dropped off at Masters & Son, Lewes Road, Lindfield before 18th November.

As usual the event will begin with the judging of the fancy dress competition in the King Edward Hall at 6.30pm. There are classes (and prizes) for children up to 15 years, adults and groups.

Bonfire societies from Chailey, Burgess Hill and South Heighton, and the Burgess Hill Youth Marching Band, will be joining the torchlight procession which will leave the King Edward Hall, via Black Hill, past The Witch and stopping at Hickmans Lane to re-torch before proceeding down the High Street and on to the Common.


6.30pm – Fancy Dress Competition (KEH)

7.30pm – Torchlight Procession starts

8.15pm – Lighting of the Bonfire

8.30pm – Grand Firework Display

9pm – End of show

*All timings are approximate and subject to weather conditions.

The High Street and Black Hill will be closed for the entire evening, parking in the village will be restricted and visitors are advised to walk to the event.

Parking and a viewing area will be available for disabled visitors. Contact the society for more details. The street collection on the night will support local charities: Chestnut Tree House, Court Meadow RDA, C.L.A.P.A., Kangaroos & Orchard House.

Advice for a happy Bonfire Night:

• Don’t bring sparklers, fireworks or bangers into the village or on to the Common

• Leave your pets at home

• Drones are not allowed at the event

• Be considerate to local residents when arriving, leaving and during the event

For more information visit the bonfire society website:

Village People - Suzanne Medcalf


By Claire Cooper

We’ve all heard of love at first sight, but for native New Yorker turned Lindfield resident Suzanne Medcalf it was a name that caught her eye.

“I was on my third business trip to England when I heard that this new guy, Mark Mulligan, was joining the team,” Suzanne recalled. “I thought it sounded like a great name and I turned to my colleagues and joked ‘If he’s cute - I might marry him!’. Six years later I did!”

After a long distance relationship, with Suzanne spending time between attending conferences all over the US and at the company headquarters in Hove, she joined Mark in Sussex.

The couple moved to Lindfield a year ago after spotting a cottage in Lyoth Lane on the internet.

“I walked into the house with Mark and my best friend Peg, and I knew straight away that this was home,” said Suzanne. “It felt so right.”

And there was a further surprise in store when Suzanne and Mark set off to explore the village. “When I would visit Mark from the US we would go for country drives on the weekend. More than once we ended up driving through Lindfield and I would remark ‘can you imagine if we could live in a village like this one day’. I hadn’t realised that the house we loved was in a village we loved. It felt like it was meant to be!”

[Excerpt from full article in November 2018 issue of Lindfield Life]

Lindfield Remembrance events - 1918-2018

 Lindfield Remembers

Lindfield has a long history of commemorating the lives of those who have fought for our freedom and on this centenary year of the end of the First World War it will be no different. There will, however, be some practical changes from previous years.

The United Reformed Church has kindly agreed to host the Service of Remembrance as All Saints Church building is closed whilst substantial internal works is being carried out.

Although the pavement around the War Memorial (outside All Saints) has been opened up and temporary builders fencing moved back - space is restricted, and the High Street will not be closed to traffic.

Please note that due to instructions from Royal British Legion head office, branches are no longer able to organise parades (where there are parades, these are organised by local councils). There will therefore be no parade from the War Memorial to the URC and anyone walking from the Memorial to the church will need to remain on the pavements.

For clarity we have listed the various events and timings here...

Sunday 11th November 2018

6am – Peter Candy will be playing the bagpipes at the War Memorial as part of a national initiative

10.50am – We will be marking 100 years since the end of WWI at the War Memorial (playing the Last Post etc)

2.45pm – Laying of wreaths at the War Memorial The road will not be closed, so all wreaths will be laid within the churchyard. Supporters are welcome to go along but must be aware there is no road closure in effect.

3.30pm – Service of Remembrance at the United Reformed Church (All Saints Church currently closed)

7pm – Lighting of the Beacon of Remembrance on Lindfield Common

Commemorating the centenary of the cessation of hostilities in 1918, a beacon, sponsored by Lindfield Parish Council, will be lit on Lindfield Common, replicating a ceremony taking place at many sites across the United Kingdom. A short remembrance service will take place around the lighting.

40 years of Scaynes Hill Flower Show


By Claire Cooper

Visitors to the 40th anniversary Scaynes Hill Flower Show took a step back in time earlier this month.

Organisers Dianne Elliott and Angela Hicks had decided to mark the historic occasion by reproducing the original 1978 schedule, which included traditional vegetables flowers, cakes and crafts.

Exhibitors rose to the challenge producing graceful gladioli, mammoth marrows and baking bread and sausage rolls alongside the traditional homemade jam.

Crochet and embroidery made a comeback, including a tablecloth that was originally entered for the show back in 1978. The traditional heaviest marrow category proved popular and was won by Phia Castillo with a 24lb whopper!

“We discovered that nobody makes wine any more but we were pleased to see plenty of bread and jam” said organiser Dianne. “It was good fun but we’ll revert to our usual schedule next year.”


Conservation Shield – Cat Newington

Flower Show Trophy – Nick Hawes

The 40th Anniversary Cup – Brenda Holdforth (a new exhibitor)

Eileen and Peter Pratt Trophy – Phia Castillo (awarded this year only for best exhibit in vegetable class)

Betty Hayter Memorial Salver – Jos Kingston

Artists Cup – Jos Kingston (awarded this year only for best artistic exhibit in Floral Art)

WI Cookery Award – Barry Rapley (a new exhibitor)

Helga Race Trophy – Bobby Whittome

Hawes Handicraft Cup – Liz Townsend (new exhibitor)


Conservation Group Cup – Mollie Hainge

Scaynes Hill Cricket Club Trophy - Mollie Hainge

Lindfield History - Great War: After the fighting ended


By Richard Bryant,
Lindfield History Project Group

Today we have grown used to receiving news as it happens 24 hours a day, whereas one hundred years ago newspapers were the almost universal means for the public to receive news.

News of the Armistice on 11th November 1918 bringing to an end the fighting took time to spread and was not widely received until the following day. People needed to read it to believe it was true. There was a joyous but muted reaction in Lindfield and across Mid Sussex, with no organised public celebratory events.

The Mid Sussex Times reported that ‘During the past week the inhabitants of Mid Sussex have been in high spirits because of the cessation of hostilities. Joyous peals have been rung upon the church bells. Cottagers have displayed from their humble homes such flags as they could get hold of, bonfires have been lighted, and rich and poor have mingled together in the Services of Thanksgiving.’

Some took high spirits further than others. Ellen Baxter, from Horsted Keynes whose husband was serving in France, was brought before Haywards Heath magistrates. She had been celebrating with friends in Lindfield, and was found drunk and incapable beside the road at Town Hill, Lindfield on 12th November.

Police enquiries failed to find out where in Lindfield she had been served her drinks. Mrs Baxter was fined five shillings.

Within weeks of the Armistice, thought was being given to a memorial for the fallen and welcome celebrations for the returning service men. Lindfield received praise from the Mid Sussex Times for being first to start planning a welcome home event. Following a well-attended meeting in the Reading Room, a committee of twenty was formed and a fund for donations opened in early January 1919; this received a generous response. The date set for the Welcome Home Day was 28th May 1919, as it had been expected most servicemen would have returned by then. However, many were still to be demobilised which continued into 1920.

Shops and houses were decorated with flags, bunting and banners in readiness for the celebrations. These started at 5pm with a Service of Thanksgiving in All Saints Church. Afterwards, the men formed up behind the Ardingly Band and to the tune ‘Sons of the Brave’ marched down the High Street accompanied by their families and watched by a large crowd. Outside King Edward Hall, the crowd cheered the men into the Hall.

Peace Day parade in Lindfield High Street

Cosy store pops up in The Stand Up, Lindfield

The Danish concept ‘Hygge’ will be arriving in Lindfield this month giving shoppers a chance to stock up on cosy autumnal themed products at a one day pop-up shop.


From rugs and scarves to candles, body lotions and even chocolates, shoppers will be spoilt for choice at the Pop Up Hygge Shop at The Stand Up on Thursday 4th October, from 9am to midday.

The idea behind #popuplindfield is to support local businesses and raise funds for charities. The event will be hosted by Andi Frost (owner of The Stand Up) who will be selling Usbourne children’s books, and Lindfield resident Anna Ashley, from Tropic Skincare.

Refreshments (baked and bought by the local stall holders) will be available, with donations going to the Princess Royal Hospital Special Care Baby Unit.

The event follows the success of a Pop-Up Summer Shop in May which raised £100 for the Baby Unit.

Other businesses taking part are: South with Karen Chesson, Florie with Sophie, Tracy’s Little Gift Shop, A Trifle Arty, Concrete & Paper with Emma Sowden-Mabbott, Little Hippo with Emma, Swedish Wooden Horse with Cecilia Poulsen, Anna Swan Candles, Norma Leppard, Rowdy and Fancy’s Chocolate and Little People Photography.

Lindfield Dramatic Club aims to thrill

By Rex Cooper


Fans of TV detective shows will recognise the name of Brian Clemens as the man who created The Avengers and who wrote classic series including Dangerman, The Professionals, The Persuaders and Bergerac…

His plays are less well known but no less exciting, and it is his Spain-based thriller Inside Job that Lindfield Dramatic Club brings to the King Edward Hall for their autumn production this month.

Inside Job is a three-hander set in an isolated villa about a mile from Marbella, full of plots, counter plots, bluffs and double bluffs. None of the three characters is what he or she seems on the surface and Clemens cleverly and intricately weaves a web of deceit, deception and dissimulation to the end.

Director Rex Cooper explained: “For the past decade or so we have largely relied on comedy – broad, satire, farce and, last year with Oscar Wilde, trivial – to attract and entertain our audiences. This play will take the smiles off their faces and have them chewing their fingernails.”

Inside Job can be seen at the King Edward Hall, Lindfield, on Thursday 25th October, Friday 26th and Saturday 27th, starting at 8pm. Tickets, priced £10, are available from Tufnells Home, 59 High Street, Lindfield, from 1st October.

Compton House Nursing Home is 'outstanding'


Residents and staff at Compton House Christian Nursing Home are over the moon after being recognised as one of the best in the country.

The home, in Compton Road, has been given an ‘Outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission – putting it among the top 2% in the country.

“We are absolutely delighted,” said manager Paula Craen. “We are always striving to improve our service and the quality of life for our residents, so it’s wonderful that our work has been recognised in this way.” 

The rating followed a rigorous, unannounced inspection back in May. “Two inspectors visited and spent the whole day observing life at Compton House and talking to residents, relatives and staff, before interviewing myself and my deputy Susan Jones,” said Paula. “When they left we were hopeful, but we also knew how difficult it is to get outstanding, so we were delighted to receive the notification from CQC confirming our Outstanding rating several weeks later.”

All care homes are inspected every two years and inspectors follow a strict criteria.

Compton House has been rated overall Outstanding and to achieve that is exceptional. “You have to prove that what you do has an impact on the lives of the people living here,” Paula explained. “The inspectors spent a lot of time talking to residents and staff and observing the interaction between them. Even when they were reading reports and documents, the inspectors sat in communal areas.”

Inspectors commented that residents had an ‘exceptional quality of life’ and that ‘staff went the extra mile to ensure that people’s needs, wishes and aspirations were at the forefront of everything they did’.

New benches on Lindfield Common

When Lindfield grandmother Carol Rieley asked councillors for a new bench on the Common she didn’t expect her request to be granted several times over!

But to Carol’s delight, visitors to the Common now have a great choice of places to sit and relax.

Carole explained how she met with Will Blunden and some of the parish and district councillors last April. “I asked whether it was possible to have a bench outside the children’s playground as, although there were seats within the play area, there were none outside for Grannies like me to sit with the dog and rest up whilst the youngsters had fun on the swings,” she said.

“Last month, there was not just the one I had suggested but all the extra seats all the way along the boundary of the Common!

“I want to say a huge thank you to both the parish and district councils. The seats are being well utilised and one rather elderly lady commented: ‘I can walk all the way round the Common as there are plenty of places to rest now.’”

Andrew Funnell, Clerk at Lindfield Parish Council, commented: “We welcome the additional benches installed by Mid Sussex District Council on Lindfield Common. The benches were installed following dialogue between representatives of both councils. The newly installed benches benefit from hardstandings and have a higher seat allowing for easier access. The Parish Council understands that S106 funds (contributions from housing developers) were utilised to help fund the project.

“In addition to the benches, work has been undertaken by MSDC on some of the footpaths on the Common. This includes the footpath at the bottom of Old School Court which has been widened. The Parish Council wishes to thank MSDC and Councillor Gary Marsh.”

Lindfield Arts Festival - 21st-23rd Sept 2018

 Lindfield Arts Festival 2018 - cellograff

It is bigger and better than ever! The 9th Lindfield Arts Festival showcases both new and upcoming local performing and fine artists whilst encouraging the community to celebrate the unique spirit of Mid Sussex’s culture. On Saturday 22nd September there will be fresh food stalls and plenty of seating in the High Street to watch, listen and meet friends and family whilst enjoying performances by local musicians, dance and drama students and a wealth of entertainment all day long.

Amongst the full programme of events there will be an amazing Art Trail, including open studios and an exhibition at Lindfield Primary Academy, a craft show and an extraordinary cake display - being filmed by Channel 4 for their Extreme Cake Makers programme. Come and watch live art on cellograff in the High Street, some meaningful drama productions addressing memory and culinary delights respectively as well as a unique display of magnificent interactive structures on the Common for families to explore.

The vibrant pink Literary Tent will host a programme for young and old – come and meet and listen to the published authors and be inspired to start writing. There will be a Strictly Lindfield Tea Dance, with Ballroom and Latin workshops to give you confidence. The two ‘must go to’ performances at the King Edward Hall on Friday and Saturday evenings are: Rockaoke (you can sing and dance along) and FoxiVox! which will lift your spirits as you relax and enjoy their jazz interpretations.

Visit the Lindfield Arts Festival information point on the High Street for last minute festival details and to collect your Scarecrow Trail marking sheet; you will also be able to buy raffle tickets and enter the Porsche spectacular silent auction. A walking tour of the village will allow you to check out the different art studios, events on the Common and the activities in the King Edward Hall and Tamasha courtyard. Returning to the High Street you can enjoy the buzz of the live performances on the main stage, the classic cars and the brilliant community orchard display by most of Lindfield’s local associations and clubs in the United Reformed Church.

There are many workshops for you and your family to join, many of which are free of charge. Places may be limited, so advance booking is recommended. 

For full programme information and reservations see

Oathall Farm wins National School Award

 Oathall School Farm win prizes for Innovation and Enterprise at national awards

Oathall School Farm win prizes for Innovation and Enterprise at national awards

The Oathall Community College farm team leaders recently attended the ‘School Farms Network Education Alliance Awards’ alongside Head of Farm, John Blackholly. 

The team is thrilled to report that the Oathall School Farm collected the national winners prize for Innovation and Enterprise. Judges were full of praise about how the farm has developed creative ways to generate income, helping to sustain the wonderful and unique resource. 

Judges were greatly impressed with how the farm is run as a commercial business but at the same time has education at its heart.

Seven student farm leaders were also nominated in another category and we are equally delighted to report they received the national runners up award for Student Leadership. A tremendous achievement and one in which we are justifiably very proud, said Mr Blackholly.

“These students have been outstanding this year, contributing so much and working so hard on behalf of the Farm. They are an absolute credit to their parents and the School Community. They fully deserve this National Award and recognition from the Schools Farm Network, very well done team.”

The School Farm Awards 2018 are designed to celebrate and recognise the achievements of school farms, their schools and students from across the country.

For 2018 there were seven award categories and out of an impressive field of submissions, 17 schools were shortlisted and invited to the ceremony to find out if they had won one of the coveted winners’ plaques.

The standard of submissions across all entries was incredibly high, and the judges were delighted to receive submissions from schools across the UK, including primary schools, secondary schools and colleges, special schools and schools with alternative provision.

The judges enjoyed reading such a wide variety of submissions and finding out more about each unique School Farm: from school farms which use their sites to enable young people to develop their interpersonal, communication and sensory learning, to school farms which run extensive commercial activity, schools which run Open Days for the local community and finding new and innovative ways to work together.

Mr Blackholly explained: “We will continue to develop the Oathall Farm resource and look forward to submitting further entries in future years to recognise the work of other students who contribute so much to the farm’s success. Well done to everyone associated with our wonderful school farm.”

Shenstone residents celebrate 50th anniversary


On the scorching Bank Holiday Monday at the beginning of May, residents of Shenstone gathered to hold a street party celebration of the building of their houses, back in 1968. Previously on the site had been a large Edwardian house called Cotmaton, built for one of the local Leslie family, around 1902. This was demolished to make way for the cul de sac of 13 houses, with a further three being added in the 1980s and 90s.

The youngest attendee resident was three year old Katie Kremer, who along with her family, are also the newest to join this happy group of LIndfield residents. 

As the day was so hot many parasols and tents had to be put up in addition to the bunting! Barbecues were rolled out and with a table laden with salads and cakes, beers and soft drinks, the residents set about having lots of fun in the sun.

'Tour de Wight' fundraiser by Lindfield parishioners


Definitely in for the long haul, this 11-strong Tour de Wight cycle team, organised by Phil Hale of Lindfield’s All Saints Church, rode around the Isle of Wight on 30th June to raise money for the Romanian charity, Caminul Felix, which the church has been supporting for well over a decade.

Sporting their distinctive but self-funded strip, designed by professional animator and TdW rider, Olly Brown, the team covered the 67 miles with over 4,700ft of climbing on what was one of the hottest days of the year. They were accompanied by a support team in liveried vehicle driven by Alastair McDermid, to boost the charity’s profile and attract vital funding to build another home for the family ‘village’ near Oradea in western Romania.

Another team from Lindfield will be travelling there in September to build with materials entirely funded from efforts such as this. 

The fundraising page is still open at:

Elin Manahan-Thomas - the Royal Wedding singer

By Claire Cooper

 Elin Manahan-THomas

Elin Manahan-THomas

Last month’s Royal Wedding drew millions of viewers from all over the world eager to share in the historic occasion.

And when soprano Elin Manahan-Thomas heralded the arrival of the bride, sending shivers around St George’s Chapel and beyond, members of All Saints congregation had an extra special reason to be proud.

Elin, who lives just outside the village, is well known locally, attending All Saints and performing in the church with her husband Bob Davies. “We moved to Sussex because Bob sang at Glyndebourne, but just fell in love with the area,” said Elin, who is originally from Swansea.

With a glittering career which has included performing at some of the world’s most prestigious venues and festivals with leading orchestras and conductors, and with five solo albums, Elin is undoubtedly one of the leading sopranos of her generation.

But nothing could have prepared her for the text that came out of the blue in March.

“I got a text from James Vivian, the Master of Music at Windsor, asking me to call him,” Elin recalled. “I have to admit to not thinking anything of it, so when I got around to it and he said ‘Elin, are you free on the 19th May?’, the penny took a while to drop. When I did realise what he was asking, and when he explained that I was being asked to sing at the entrance of the bride, I was just so excited.

[Full article published in the July 2018 issue of Lindfield Life magazine]

Village People, Graham Russell

 Graham Russell

By Claire Cooper

Sitting by an African waterhole for several hours may not be everyone’s idea of fun, but for wildlife photographer Graham Russell there’s no better way to spend a morning.

Some of Graham’s most stunning images have been captured after patiently waiting for wildlife to take a drink or a dip in the water, blissfully unaware of the man behind the lens.

After more than 20 safaris, Graham, from Denmans Lane, has fine-tuned his photography skills by going off the beaten track and focussing on a select few animals with some fantastic and award winning results.

“When I first went on safari, I naturally wanted to see the ‘big five’ and most of my photographs were of complete animals or herds,” said Graham. “But I’ve learnt that the most striking photos are often of one small part of an animal.”

[Full story on page 10 of July's Lindfield Life magazine]