The Bent Arms' lucky charm

The Bent Arms’ Howard Collins and Charlie Fairhead

The Bent Arms’ Howard Collins and Charlie Fairhead

Ireland has given the world many things – Guinness, Primark, the invention of colour photography, the world’s first armoured tank and even the cure for leprosy. While the country might not have a culinary reputation to rival the French or the Italians, it is certainly well-known for good food and, specifically, good bread, just like our next interviewee and manager of The Bent Arms, Howard Collins.

By Joe Wayte

After a string of failed attempts to make a profit out of The Bent Arms in the late 90s and early 2000s, Howard Collins stepped up to the plate in 2003 and has successfully managed the establishment ever since.

In the beginning the business had few customers but lots of potential. “I stood outside, looked through the window and saw the Rotary Club meeting,” Howard remembered. “I thought to myself – if nothing else, at least I’ve got 20-30 people coming to eat every week and decided to give it my best shot.”

[Full article printed in the October 2019 issue of Lindfield Life]

Local florist takes root in Denmans Lane, Lindfleld


Christine Bulman, founder and owner of Blooming Awesome, has joined forces with Lindfield interiors store Kell & Collins on Denmans Lane to offer customers flowers and floristry services, complementing the decorative products available in-store.

After 21 years in the banking industry, local resident Christine revisited her long held passion for floristry and started her business in 2013, servicing weddings, other special events and corporate contracts. Bringing her flowers to a wider audience has always been her ambition: “I love working on big events but have always wanted a high street presence with day to day interaction with customers. Being part of the team at Kell & Collins has fulfilled that dream. It’s great fun being part of the Lindfield high street community.”

Working with local growers to obtain seasonal blooms, Christine offers handtied bouquets and single sprays. She also offers regular workshops. Flowers are available four days a week in the shop.

Mathilda Rose: Behind the Counter in Lindfield


Behind the Counter is a series of articles we started back in 2017 to take a look at the inner workings of Lindfield’s most-loved shops, and get to know the people who run them. In this latest edition we meet Nicola O’Rourke – the mastermind behind #thewindowat62 and the worldwide renowned bridal shop, Mathilda Rose.

By Joe Wayte

Born and bred in Lindfield, Nicola’s parents owned land near Lyoth Lane. She was educated locally both at Great Walstead School and Ardingly College before moving to London to study Textile Design. “I started at Chelsea College of Art and Design to complete my foundational year,” Nicola explained, “before getting a prestigious place on a degree course at Central Saint Martins School of Art.”

If you want to be well-known in any form of art, Central Saint Martins is the place to be with courses that are incredibly sought after and incredibly competitive to get in to. “There were only eight of us on my course,”

Nicola added, “and as part of the selection process my group of applicants had to create a runway look for a model using only a deck chair, and within a very short amount of time!” Included in the eight studying with Nicola was Alice Temperely, now MBE and once described by American Vogue as ‘the designer making the biggest waves in British fashion’.

After attaining her degree, Nicola started work in the commercial world by accepting a place on the Marks and Spencer graduate scheme. She gained experience across a variety of departments and then settled as a Buyer – a role she stayed in for over ten years. She spent another six years as a Buyer for many well-known retailers before realising her dream of owning her own bridal store. “In those days, if something went wrong in a factory that was supplying your fabric you were expected to get on the next plane to go and fix it,” Nicola said with an air of exhaustion. “At that time most of my suppliers were in China and balancing being a mum while frequently flying to China became too much.”

[Full article printed in the September 2019 issue of Lindfield Life magazine]

Anne's Ugandan Adventure


By Claire Cooper

When Lindfield resident and former scout leader Anne Pieckielon travelled to Uganda to teach business skills at a refugee camp she expected the experience to be life changing.

But what struck her most was the warm welcome she received, the kindness of the people she met and the strong sense of community.

“Since coming home I’ve been reflecting on who is the richer - those that work together as a community who have nothing or us in the western world,” said Anne.

“Africa continues to surprise me and everyone we met made us feel safe and special. I have laughed but also cried at some of the stories I have encountered and I’ve vowed never to take electricity and the internet for granted too!”

Anne travelled to Moyo in Uganda with Projects Delivering Hope (PDH.) The charity runs short-term projects which give long-term aid, including training courses and setting up Micro Finance Trust funds with partners Five Talents to small start-up businesses.

[Full article printed in September 2019 issue of Lindfield Life magazine]

Lindfield Gin Festival: 15th June 2019


By Anna MacMahon

Last June the Parent Teachers Association of Oathall Community College organised a super successful event in support of the school. In fact, it raised £6,000 which helped to purchase equipment for the new Maths and Science block; equipment which will help to inspire and create a new generation of mathematicians and scientists.

This year, we are incredibly excited for the return of this summer event, a highlight on the Lindfield social calendar! There will be 25 Sussex gins to sample, all with their own unique local flavour. We’ll see the return of the very popular main raffle prize: a wheelbarrow full of gin! Heartfelt thanks goes out to all the wonderful community shops, small businesses and other organisations that have so kindly donated contributions to the raffle prizes and supported us with other sponsorship opportunities. This year we are raising funds for new sound and lighting equipment for the school hall. We are proud to raise funds for our school and hope you will join us on this fun evening to help us reach our goal.

The Lindfield Gin Festival will take place on Saturday 15th June 2019, starting at 7pm in King Edward Hall. A ticket costs £15 (which includes your first gin token), with gin tokens being sold for £2 on the night. Book your tickets here:

New estate agency celebrates opening in Lindfield

Guy Kelsey & Toby Whittome

Guy Kelsey & Toby Whittome

The team at Lindfield’s newest High Street estate agent celebrated last month at the official launch of Jackson-Stops here in the village.

Toby Whittome and Guy Kelsey ran sales and acquisition departments at Jackson-Stops in Central London before making a decision to open a Mid Sussex branch of the national agency.

Toby explained: “Having grown up just outside Scaynes Hill, I know this area extremely well! I love now being able to work so close to home and our location on Lindfield’s amazing High Street couldn’t be better for us.”

Jackson-Stops is open six days a week at 66 High Street – the former home of SWALK.

“Our door is open for a chat – something which I am pleased to say has already started to happen,” Guy commented.

What's On at King Edward Hall, Lindfield - March 2019

2nd March - Sale of Teak Garden Furniture

9th March - A ‘Fairer World’ Brunch – 10-11.30am
Enjoy a locally sourced brunch with Fairtrade refreshments. See local produce stalls, hear from speakers on food today and packaging/waste issues (£5/£2.50 on the door - To reserve a place call Chris Lee 01444 484063 or email Fairtrade at )

12th March - Lindfield Preservation Society – 2.30pm
An illustrated talk on ‘The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’ by Ian Everest. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission was founded in 1917 and this illustrated talk will reflect on its origins and how it manages to inspire new generations to honour those who fell for their country (all welcome, entry free. Info: John Chapman 01444 484470)

13th March - Lindfield Horticultural Society – 8pm
‘Native Orchids of Sussex, Surrey and Kent’ a talk by Peter Lovett. Peter will be introducing the audience to our native Orchids, some common and some rare, and providing an opportunity to discover them in the wild (all welcome, £3

16th March - RBL Afternoon Tea – doors 2.15pm
The Royal British Legion Lindfield Branch invites you to an enjoyable afternoon of music and anecdotes by Margaret Watson - a highly experienced harpist. Afternoon Tea will follow. (Tickets £10 from Gordon & Val 01444 482866, valerie.upton at

18th March - King Edward Hall AGM – 8pm
(Rupert Ayton 01444 483716)

21st March - Stan and Ollie (PG) – doors 7.30pm
(Tickets from Tufnells, £6)

23rd March - Vintage & Antiques Fair – 10am-2pm
25 stalls offering vintage and antique items including books, maps, collectables, jewellery, silver, glass, vinyl records, vintage clothes, kitchenalia and lots more. All day cafe with hot bacon rolls and homemade cake. (£1 entry, all proceeds in aid of the Lindfield Bonfire Society)

29th March - Mini Skirts & Revelations – 7.30pm

30th March - A comedy by Margaret Graham performed by ACE Theatre Company. Sat Matinee at 3pm
(Tickets £10/£8 or from Chrissie White on 01342 893010)

Lindfield High Street Road Closure (18th Feb - 1st Mar 2019)

Where to park when shopping in Lindfield, during the works…

Lindfield businesses are STILL OPEN!

West Sussex County Council needs to carry out road works (Carriageway Resurfacing) on Lindfield High Street - starting on Monday 18th February and due to finish on Friday 1st March 2019. The works will be carried out between Backwoods Lane and Village Northern Gateway (north of Spring Lane).

In order to help Lindfield shops maintain their trade during the two week period, we have created this map to show where its possible to park - but you will have to drive all the way around (via Haywards Heath is the easiest probably) in order to get to the other side of the village. SO DO PLAN YOUR ROUTE.


Parking options will be limited (as there will not be access to Lindfield High Street by car) for the duration of the works, but the following are areas for parking in Lindfield which you may not have known about…

1 - Backwoods Lane
There are actually 3 small car parks here, all at the top of the Common

2. West View
Car park at the foot of the Common (by the Tennis Courts), accessible via Lewes Road / West View

3. Chaloner Road
Some spaces are available here, accessible via Lewes Road.

4. The Wilderness
A car park behind The Tiger (next to All Saints Church), access from Dukes Road / The Wilderness

5. Hickmans Lane
Car park at Playing Fields, walk to High Street via Hickmans Lane

6. Tollgate
Car park next to Doctors surgery, accessible via Hickmans Lane / Compton Road

Thinking on Purpose - Taking Control

NineDot Partnership workshop in Lindfield

NineDot Partnership workshop in Lindfield

By Lindsey Jones


Have you ever found yourself in a fruitless mind spiral? Replaying a scenario that makes you sad or angry? Thinking about doing something but never getting started? Perhaps these thoughts start to spin out of control, leaving you feeling frustrated, angry, paranoid or confused?

When you see it for what it is, doesn’t it feel like a complete and utter waste of time and energy?

This negative ‘hamster wheel’ style of thinking has a massive impact on how you feel and these emotions impact your physiology, behaviour and your performance. This type of thinking produces a classic stress response, a release of cortisol and adrenalin which actually shuts down the frontal cortex of the brain impacting your ability to think logically, to plan and to make rational decisions and perform well when it counts.

Let’s consider just one way of thinking on purpose, let’s change our self-talk. The problem with self-talk is that it is often negative, critical, even harsh, and we aren’t necessarily aware of what we might be saying to ourselves. The one guaranteed thing is that we are always listening and therefore we should be very careful about what we say. Many of my clients used to talk themselves down. They had a negative commentary running in their heads. This became the narrative to their lives and negatively impacted everything they tried to do. Often they didn’t succeed and this reinforced their negative chatter, which further impacted their next attempt. My clients used to say things like ‘I’m rubbish at this’, ‘this is hopeless’, ‘I’ll never get there’… and guess what – they didn’t, until they started thinking on purpose and taking control!

Top performers, whether in business, in sports or even on the stage, are able to take control of their thinking; they are able to use their ‘self-talk’ to direct their thoughts. In taking control they own their narrative and therefore own their emotional response and, ultimately, control their performance. They think on purpose, they are positive and powerful in what they say to themselves and they have their phrases and mantras ready to counter any negative thoughts which might creep in.

They use positively framed language so that they constantly focus on what they want and not what they don’t want; for example, they might say ‘make it count’ rather than ‘don’t miss’, or ‘I’m the expert’ rather than ‘the audience must know more than me’ or ‘I’m excited to retain this client’ rather than ‘I’m terrified of losing this business’. To achieve more and to outperform our ‘norm’ we will want to think differently and think on purpose. As Einstein once said: ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result’.

When we practise our pre-performance, positive, self-talk, it creates a sense of control. It puts us in the driver’s seat and it steers us to achieve our desired outcomes. Consistently thinking on purpose and achieving our goals reinforces our self-confidence and motivates us to achieve more. Think on purpose, take control, own your narrative and be your best self.

To learn more techniques join Lindsey on 24th January 2019 in Lindfield Coffee Works for a ‘Thinking On Purpose’ workshop. To book a place contact Lindsey by email on lindsey@ or call 07704 681332.

'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:

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.

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.

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!

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]

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. 

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 |