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]

Snowdrop Inn, Lindfield to get young blood

George Stockton, new manager of The Snowdrop Inn, Lindfield

George Stockton, new manager of The Snowdrop Inn, Lindfield

27 year old George Stockton is coming back home to breathe new life into a 19th century former beer house on Snowdrop Lane.

A musician at heart, George went to school at Oathall but discovered his passion for pints while working behind the bar of a Brighton hotel during his music degree. “I found that I actually really enjoyed it and very quickly realised how much I’d love to run my own place,” George commented.

He soon got into management and was running the Preston Park Tavern before setting his sights on his own business here in Lindfield.

The Snowdrop, in partnership with Hall & Woodhouse brewery, has now been completely refurbished with the addition of bay windows, wooden floors and opening up what was the ‘games room’ into an additional bright dining area. “We’re going for ‘modern country pub’ with the décor,” George explains. “All the furniture is new, plus the cellar has been overhauled as well as those all-important toilets!”

George hopes to bring his ‘young energy’ to the much loved Lindfield pub, saying the focus will very much be on quality, offering great beers, delicious food and fantastic service.

While there are still a few loose ends to sort, he expects to be opening the doors early July. Look out on Instagram for updates (@thesnowdrop_lindfield).

Yes, you can recycle takeaway coffee cups in West Sussex

WSCC Recycling Ambassador Colin McFarlin sheds some light on what can and can’t be recycled in our domestic blue bins. If you have a question for him, email: editor

Thank you for sending in your specific questions on recycling. Here are two you have asked about that I have picked out. Keep them coming ….

YES to Pringle Tubes and lids. These can be recycled. Separate the plastic top from the cardboard tube. Do not worry about the metal base as our clever machinery can separate these.

You CAN recycle Costa/Starbucks coffee cups in Blue recycling bins

You CAN recycle Costa/Starbucks coffee cups in Blue recycling bins

What about Ben & Jerry’s pots and coffee cups?

We are fortunate in West Sussex to have state of the art machinery that CAN recycle ALL of these, and the plastic lids. YES we can recycle coffee cups in your blue top recycling bin.

We can recycle everything – except the coffee! The lids are big enough not to contaminate the glass. (see last month).

Would you like me to give a talk to your local group on recycling? There is no charge for this service. Would you be interested in collecting items that can be recycled to raise funds for your favourite charity? I will be happy to guide you through this process. Look forward to hearing from you.

Lindfield Village Day - Sat 2nd June 2018

Katie Derham in the procession at 2017's Lindfield Village Day

Katie Derham in the procession at 2017's Lindfield Village Day

Lindfield’s annual Village Day is being held on Saturday 2nd June.

The day, which is a fundraiser for King Edward Hall, starts with a procession down the High Street (when the road will be closed to traffic between 12.15-1.30pm) which then enters the arena on the Common. The afternoon’s activities are formally started when the local blacksmith undertake the ‘Firing of the Anvil’ at 1.45pm. 

As well as some fun family games taking place in the arena, there will also be a fitting tribute to those fallen in WWI, carried out by members of Lindfield Bonfire Society.

With over 100 stalls on the Common, it is always a great place to bag a bargain - and a beer if you fancy it! 

For more information about the day, residents can buy a programme from High Street shops for just £1. Or see the website:

Caroline took on the Marathon Challenge

Caroline raised over £1k for preschool

Caroline raised over £1k for preschool

Lindfield resident Caroline John has recently completed the London Marathon after a rather impulsive decision! 

Caroline was inspired by a friend who, in May last year, put her name into the public ballot for entry to the London Marathon. “I just decided to do it too,” Caroline said. “I knew who I’d like to run for, if I got a place, after Tiger Cubs had been so good for my daughter Ariyana. I wanted to give something back, and supporting a small charity gives an opportunity for the money to make a huge difference.”

However, long before she had any idea whether she had a place at all, her first run didn’t go too well! “Having never been a runner, I thought I had better give it a go! I only made it down Gravelye Lane to Luxford Road before having to stop in a heap!”

Caroline persevered and later in the year joined a running club – much to her own surprise! She was genuinely enjoying running.

Although she discovered in November that she hadn’t got a place through the ballot system she ended up winning a place through the luck of the draw at Burgess Hill Runners – who had a number of places to give out to members.

She was delighted to accept the place, and spoke to preschool manager Clare Nibloe immediately to let her know she’d be raising money for Tiger Cubs.

Beetle Boy author visits Lindfield school

By Lucy Duncalfe, teacher


As part of our National Book Week celebrations, we welcomed award winning author of the Beetle Boy Trilogy, M.G. Leonard, to Lindfield Primary Academy on 1st May.

Maya led an energetic assembly in which she filled the children’s imaginations with all things beetles! The children were awestruck by her passion and knowledge and enjoyed finding out about her journey to becoming a writer. Year 4 pupils became beetle experts and enjoyed creative writing workshops through which they planned stories based on their chosen beetle heroes. 

Most enjoyable was discovering the gruesome truths about beetle survival!

Maya proved an inspiration to the staff too, delivering a presentation about the importance of immersing children in the natural world and harnessing stories in all their forms from dance, theatre, screenplays and books. Many thanks go to our wonderful, supportive PTA for funding such a fabulous day!

Behind the Counter: Paul's Greengrocer, Lindfield

Paul Bignall, greengrocer in LIndfield for over 25 years

By Joe Wayte

Most of us have encountered difficult times in our lives that make us reset our focus on what is really important and our next interviewee is no different. From changing the way high street stores operate across the country, to the hardship that has influenced his business decisions, this next edition of Behind the Counter takes a bite into the life of Paul Bignall – owner of Paul’s Greengrocers.

In 2006, Shirley Temple shared some words of wisdom at the Screen Actors Guild Awards: “I have one piece of advice for those of you who want to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award: Start early!” Paul Bignall, let me tell you, started very early.

After six weeks in Spain celebrating the World Cup, Paul returned home and needed two weeks to recover! 

“My Mum got frustrated with me lazing around and made me go for an interview at Sainsbury’s,” Paul told me. “I got the job and they must have seen something in me as they offered me a management opportunity and sent me to Hastings for 12 months.”

Once he’d learnt the ropes and got to grips with all of the different operations, Paul passed with flying colours. 

He was then moved around the South East of England opening stores, setting up new displays and getting employees on their feet. It was during this time that Paul was posted as an Evening Manager in one of the shops. “Supermarkets were getting busier and busier as people started to enjoy the big retailers that sold lots of items in one place. However, staff weren’t able to keep up with re-filling the shelves before it was time to close.

We were constantly chasing our tails,” Paul explained, “and so I asked to keep a selection of staff overnight and we trialled overnight re-filling.” After a successful pilot, Sainsbury’s – along with other supermarkets – began to roll out overnight re-filling and it’s now a standard practice.

He moved to a different retail company but after a couple of years had to make the tough decision to either stay with the big retailers or leave and go and help his mother with her greengrocers business that was sadly struggling due to the increase in larger supermarkets and the early 90s recession taking affect. Paul saw the opportunity and decided to take over the business.

“It was the 80s and my Mum also worked for the same  company. When I was younger, I always swore I’d never work with my Mum, and I didn’t want to own a shop or factory,” Paul told me trying not to smile, “I opened the current shop in Lindfield and my Mum moved across to look after it and then launched another store in Hurstpierpoint.”

[Read the full story in May 2018 issue of Lindfield Life...]
Photos by Dale Reubin

Oathall Community College - Crowdfunding science and maths excellence

Oathall Community College - crowdfunding for science and maths extras

Across the country, Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) are hosting quiz nights, fairs and coffee mornings to raise money for schools. At Oathall Community College they have decided to try something different for their next fundraising project.

“We wanted to be a bit more ambitious this year,” explains Karen Crockford, current Chair of Oathall Community College PTA. “We wanted to take advantage of the opportunity that having a new Science and Maths block provides and involve the local community in our fundraising through a crowdfunding campaign.”

Oathall Community College has secured funding from West Sussex County Council to completely refurbish the Science and Mathematics block. It will see the dated 1970s building replaced with a modern, purpose-built resource housing eight maths classrooms and eight science labs including prep rooms and an IT suite.

The new space will also have many small improvements to make a big difference. Headteacher Edward Rodriguez led some members of the PTA on a tour of the site last month and explained: “Little things like the raising of the windowsill height in the labs just makes sense. Students can also walk right through the building now, which will vastly improve the flow at peak times.” 

The PTA hopes to raise £25,000 to equip the building with state of the art teaching resources. Karen said: “This is not about replacing test tubes, heat mats and calculators; it is about providing students at Oathall Community College with the latest technological advances and resources to bring science and maths alive in the classroom and inspire a love of the subjects.”


Items to be purchased include digital microscopes, interactive anatomical models, a planetarium and a linear air trap.

Mr Rodriguez, who has been key in planning the space and specifying the new science labs, explained: “We have an opportunity to make this school a real centre for excellence. This extra equipment will enable students to try new experiments and, as a result, gain greater understanding of the subject.”

Crowdfunding is an online platform for raising funds by asking a large number of people to each make a small donation. It enables not only those directly involved in a project to make a contribution, but also people in the wider community to support a worthwhile cause. 

Karen continued: “For instance, we are hoping that former pupils and their parents will want to give something back in this way.”

For donors there are rewards on offer for their generosity including a public thank you on Facebook, your name entered onto a fabulous display of donors that will adorn the entrance wall, the possibility of having a plaque with your name on a microscope, the opportunity to attend the grand opening in September with a celebrity guest or even the chance to have a classroom named after you .

The crowdfunding campaign launches on Tuesday 22nd May and the team hopes to have raised the £25,000 by 22nd July 2018.

If you are interested in finding out more please email the PTA team at opta @, visit the Oathall Community College PTA Facebook page or visit the crowdfunding page at which went live on Tuesday 22nd May.


A fun Lindfield photo quiz

How well do you know the village of Lindfield? Try taking this quiz to identify the following close-up photos taken around the High Street in March 2018. 


















So, here are the answers...

1 - Malling Priory, High Street, Lindfield

1 - Malling Priory, High Street, Lindfield

2 - The iron gates of All Saints Church, Lindfield

2 - The iron gates of All Saints Church, Lindfield

3 - the outside light of South Downs Cellars

3 - the outside light of South Downs Cellars

4 - Humphrey's Bakery, Lindfield

4 - Humphrey's Bakery, Lindfield

5 - The sun casting a shadow on the sign of Viking Cottage, High Street.

5 - The sun casting a shadow on the sign of Viking Cottage, High Street.

6 - The front door of King Edward Hall, Lindfield

6 - The front door of King Edward Hall, Lindfield

7 - Tufnells Home shop on Lindfield High Street

7 - Tufnells Home shop on Lindfield High Street

8 - The garage of 74 High Street, Lindfield

8 - The garage of 74 High Street, Lindfield

New bench on Lindfield common for Chris


In January, a beautiful new bench was installed at the top of Lindfield Common.

The bench commemorates the life of Chris Paice, a Lindfield resident who sadly lost his life to cancer a year ago aged just 43.

Chris’s enthusiasm for life and love for Lindfield makes the bench a fitting tribute, providing a place for his family and many friends to reflect and remember him.

[Read the full story on page 19 of the April 2018 issue of Lindfield Life.]

What’s happening at All Saints Church, Lindfield?

Lindfield church closed until January 2019

By Olly Brown

All Saints Church, Lindfield, closed for building work until 2019

Shortly after Easter 2018, contractors will move in to All Saints to begin the final phase of building works to redevelop the parish church building to provide a warm, welcoming and more flexible space to meet the needs of current and future generations.

While the church is closed the congregation will be temporarily relocating their Sunday services to Lindfield Primary Academy, close to the Common. Services will take place morning and evening in the Sports Hall and everyone is very welcome. Children’s groups and youth ministry will also be on-site, and ample parking is available in the Academy grounds. The 8am Holy Communion services on the first, third and fifth Sundays will be held in the Tiger Lounge (next to All Saints). Full details are available on the church website.

The project (known as ASPIRE) has already seen the spire, roof and windows repaired, the vestries redeveloped to include an accessible toilet and the replacement of pews with modern seating. The more accessible interior has enabled the church to host a number of community events, including gospel singing workshops and The Christmas Experience for schools. 

The next phase requires the temporary closure of the church building. Work will include the replacement of the floor with new stone tiling and underfloor heating, improvements to the south porch and west entrance, upgrading the audio visual and lighting facilities and redecoration. Alongside the building works, it is planned to renew the bells and refurbish the church clock.

It is anticipated that the church will be closed until January 2019.

During the week, the Tiger building will continue to host its regular weekly activities and the church office will be open as usual throughout the building works. 

Once the work is complete, the church will be in great shape to continue worshipping God and welcoming the community of Lindfield for many years to come. Watch this space for updates!

Lindfield Arts Festival secures high profile bursary judges

Katie Derham, Lynn Tulip & Hilary Knight

Katie Derham, Nick Broomfield, Leesa Le May and Robin Belfield will decide which local resident will be the beneficiary of the Festival’s new £1,000 bursary. They will be looking for the applicant who demonstrates a desire to start or continue an arts discipline. The line up was announced at an event last month.

The bursary is open to anyone aged 7-100 and living in the village and surrounding locality. 

Lynn Tulip, Co-Project Manager of the Festival said: “We are thrilled to have such high profile judges on board to award this bursary. Their skills and experience, combined with their love of the village, will be invaluable to the scheme.”

Nick Broomfield, the award-winning documentary film director added: “This is a great idea and a wonderful opportunity for the village.”

Katie Derham, who spoke at the Bursary Fund launch event, said: “I get so excited when I come to Lindfield; there’s so much going on here. The Arts Festival is one fantastic example!”

In other news, the Festival has announced more highlights of its September programme. Sitting alongside its community orchard, arts and crafts activity, and performance, will be a major cake exhibition, a film celebrating the creativity of the village and a local food festival. For more information on these and on how to apply for the bursary visit or email enquiries at