South Downs Way walks guide published

THE 100-mile South Downs Way national trail just became bite-sized with the launch of a new guide breaking it into easily accessible day and weekend walks.

With 12 different walks graded from ‘moderate’ to ‘challenging’, which all start and end at bus stops or railway stations, the free guide makes it easier to take on the iconic trail in your free time.

Andy Gattiker, who manages the South Downs Way, said: “If the South Downs Way is on your bucket list, why not tackle one section each month?

“Over the course of a year you’ll get to experience the changing colours of the South Downs National Park: from vibrant spring greens to golden summer flowers and rusty autumn beech woods to brown winter stubble.

“Sometimes people think they need at least two cars to break the South Downs Way in to sections, but in reality you don’t need any. This guide proves that, with a little bit of planning, bus and train are a great option for a linear walk.”

Bus users can take advantage of the Discovery Ticket, a cost-effective way to enjoy unlimited travel across the national park and the south of England for just £16 per day for a family of five (two adults and three children) or £8.50 for an adult and £7 for a child (5-15 years old).

Pick up a copy of the guide from the South Downs Centre in Midhurst, tourist information centres, order a copy from, call 01730 814810.

Or download a copy via

Petersfield Christmas day lunch for anyone who would otherwise be alone

The PACT Christmas Day Lunch will be held at the Petersfield Community Centre, Love Lane, from 12.30-3pm.

Organisers of the lunch, which is open to anyone who may be alone on Christmas Day, say they would appreciate any local volunteer help in making sure that everyone in Petersfield is aware of this lunch.

The lunch is organised by Petersfield Area Churches Together. The chef is Maria Kyjovska, who is a member of St Laurence Church in Petersfield. Maria cooks an excellent three-course traditional Christmas lunch, which has always been enjoyed and praised by guests at previous Christmas Day lunches.

Waitrose and other local businesses generously support the lunch – there is no charge to guests.

Guests can be collected from their homes and taken to the lunch, then taken back to their homes at the end of the lunch, thanks to an army of volunteer drivers – if you would like to offer help, please get in contact.

Offers of help in table hosting, and washing up after the lunch, will also be greatly appreciated.

Contact St Peter’s Parish Office on 1730 260213 or email with offers of help.

If you, or anyone you know, would like to book a place at this event, call St Peter’s Parish Office on 01730 260213 by December 11.

Comic geniuses entertain Bedales audience for charity funds

A fundraising evening featuring comic greats John Lloyd and Harry Enfield has raised more than £7,000 for Bedales Schools’ charitable bursary arm – the John Badley Foundation.

The event, held on October 17, saw a packed-out lecture theatre of students, parents and alumni captivated by tales of the luminaries’ careers.

Comedian, actor, writer and director Harry Enfield, who rose to fame as Saturday Live’s Greek kebab-shop owner, Stavros, and iconic 80s builder Loadsamoney, told writer and producer John Lloyd, known for Not the Nine O’Clock News, Spitting Image, Blackadder and QI, that he was his hero.

The duo, who first worked together on the hit satirical TV show, Spitting Image, had some sage advice for the student body. John said: “It is absolutely vital that you do something you love. Never, ever do a job just because it is well paid – that is contemptible and you’ll hate it… The great thing about doing something you love, is that you may not be rich but you are much more likely to be happy; and paradoxically, you stand a very good chance of also being rich.”

They also stressed the importance of being persistent, always being honest and that if you wanted to launch your own career in TV, technology and the rise of YouTube has made it more viable.

One parent said: “It was a privilege to spend an hour with two comic geniuses”, and a member of the school’s alumni said that the event “taught me I still have a lot to learn about life!”

The John Badley Foundation awards 100% bursaries, covering the cost of all Bedales School fees and extras like school trips that are important to further students’ studies.

Head of Development at Bedales, Veryan Vere Hodge said: “We are thrilled that John and Harry have helped us raise over £7,000 for the John Badley Foundation, which gives young people the life-changing opportunity that a Bedales education can provide.

“The Foundation looks to support children whose family circumstances mean that an independent school education would otherwise be completely out of reach and who display the strength of character that Bedalians would admire.

“Applicants are actively encouraged who show clear talent in areas such as music, drama, dance, art, design, sport or academia, especially from pupils in their final primary school year. Through working in partnership with charitable organisations such as The Springboard Bursary Foundation and Buttle UK, the Foundation helps to provide boarding places for particularly vulnerable children.”

The John Badley Foundation is the working title for Bedales School Development Trust.


Play to be held at Chiddingfold Village Hall

The first live performance to be held in many years at Chiddingfold Village Hall, will be Launch Party, a co-production between Bucket Club and Farnham Maltings, and supported by Arts Council England.

Using playful storytelling, innovative live music and original songs, this new play by Bucket Club investigates family, space exploration and how we carry our home with us wherever we go.

The performers create live sound design and music by recording sound and manipulating it electronically, combining it with choral singing, to build haunting soundscapes and original songs.

Martha and Vi are twins. They grew up side by side, watching the stars –  peas in a pod. But recently they’ve drifted. While Martha has stayed in their home village, laying down roots, Vi has been across the globe training as an astronaut, preparing to launch herself into the unknown.

Before Vi blasts off, Martha has arranged a party in the village hall to send her off in style. She’s laid out snacks, hired a DJ and invited the whole village. Will it be enough to reunite the sisters before Vi heads into the stars?

You can enjoy this at Chiddingfold Village Hall, Coxcombe Lane, GU8 4QA on Saturday, November 19, at 7.30pm.  It is suitable from age 11 upwards.  Tickets are £7.50, available from The Post Office, Pockford Road, Chiddingfold, GU8 4TP, or telephone 01428 684746.  Proceeds are in aid of Chiddingfold Village Hall Improvement Fund.

Wonderful evening of Shakespeare

Theatre Review by Nick Keith

‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’ and ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ by William Shakespeare

Chichester Festival Theatre

The luxuriant language of Shakespeare can be a challenge to many modern audiences, especially when actors mumble their lines and a production is leaden-footed. However, his plays are exhilarating when they are delivered cleanly, clearly and cannily. The Royal Shakespeare Company productions of ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’ and ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ at Chichester Festival Theatre are a triumph.

First performed at the RSC in September 2014 and directed by Christopher Luscombe, here are revivals which soar and sing. This is the first time that the two comedies have been put together. ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’, an early play, was written in the mid-1590s. It is rarely performed, partly because of its deliberately dense language and often verbose wordplay (in parody of learned men) and its mocking of 16th century court manners. it is coupled with the more familiar comedy ‘Much Ado’, which the RSC has subtitled ‘Love’s Labour’s Won’.

The two plays are set immediately before and after the First World War. The wonderful Edwardian designs by Simon Higlett are based on Charlecote Park near Stratford-upon-Avon, where Shakespeare was allegedly caught poaching. This house was remodeled in Victorian times.

‘Lost’ opens with the King of Navarre (Sam Alexander) and three courtiers pledging themselves to three celibate years of learning and culture without seeing any women. The King has forgotten that he is expecting a visit from the Princess of France and her three handmaids. Of course the men throw aside their pledge to scholarship and fall in love with their four French visitors. Each man tries to keep secret his breaking of the oath but they find each other out in a brilliant scene set on the house rooftop.

So they agree to pursue their female quarries. But the Princess and her colleagues confuse their men with guile and wit. There is a dramatic twist at the end; the men don’t win their ladies but have to promise to undertake acts of contrition for a year before they are allowed to woo them again.

This is a tale of masculine bravado, folly and sexual desire meeting feminine grace, wit and good sense. Berowne, the king’s leading courtier who is said to have the longest speech in Shakespeare, is expertly played by Edward Bennett. In a flawless performance, he does not miss a trick with his sublime speech, facial expressions and gestures. The large ensemble cast works like a well-oiled machine:  the clown Costard (Nick Haverson) is brought to life so you laugh out loud; Spanish traveller Don Amato (John Hodginson) keeps you smiling with his English malapropisms; and pompous schoolmaster (Steven Pacey) and noble curate (John Arthur) amuse and bemuse with their convoluted use English. The music (more than usual in this play) has been composed by Nigel Hess and is pitch perfect.


‘Love’s Labour’s Won’

The whole cast move smoothly into new roles in ‘Much Ado’. Italian nobleman Leonato (Pacey) lives in Messina with his pretty daughter Hero (Rebecca Collingwood) and his quick-witted niece Beatrice (Lisa Dillon). They welcome home from war their friends Don Pedro (Hodgkinson), his bitter bastard brother Don John (Alexander), successful soldier Claudio (Tunji Kasim), and the clever and argumentative Benedick (Bennett). While Claudio falls in love with Hero, Benedick and Beatrice are constantly sparring.

Don John plots to undermine the wedding between Hero and Claudio, while the friends of Benedick and Beatrice scheme to bring the unlikely couple together in marriage. After misunderstandings, melodrama and a magical comic scene involving this play’s clown Constable Dogberry (Haverson), all ends happily. The finale is a rousing song and dance routine by the cast to another of Hess’s memorable numbers, played by Bob Broad and his excellent small orchestra.

The productions are bound for London’s Haymarket for a two-week run from 9 December. Meanwhile, catch them if you can at the Festival Theatre until 29 October. This is Shakespeare at its absolute best. You will love these productions, and you will definitely be amused.