27 Feb Dawn’s Diaries
Spring officially arrives in March, but it’s hard to believe at the moment. The whole country has been continuously battered by wind and rain seemingly for months. East Grinstead does benefit from being 400ft above sea level, high on a sandstone ridge, so we do not see the mass flooding events that other areas have suffered, however there will have been damage around and about of course and if you have been affected, hopefully you will be on the way to resolving the issues. I am in the lucky position to be able to walk to work, but my thoughts have been with everyone affected by the difficulties on the rail network. With no trains to or from East Grinstead, it must be challenging to say the least, however, the words East and Grinstead have been uttered a great deal more in the media than usual, so perhaps when things get back to normality, more visitors will arrive to see what we’re all about! The town will be ready and waiting with a warm and tidy welcome thanks to the great number of people and businesses that have signed up to do the Great British Spring Clean on March 21st. More information about this can be found on the ‘What’s happening in East Grinstead’ Facebook group. Special thanks are due to them for their commitment to improving our community.
Keeping it local will always be the theme of my diary entries and as the days become warmer (yes they will in the end!) we’ll all be looking for things to do nearby. It would be impossible to know about everything; however, I will highlight some of the great events coming up and give you some dates for your diaries. Hopefully there will be no excuses to miss a thing. There will also be a few pointers as to where to look for things to do and perhaps some of you will advise us at the tourist information desk, of any events that you are involved with that we should pass on and encourage people to attend.
I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating, we have a wealth of walking routes around the town and now is the time to get into nature and take a stroll. From the centre of town, there is easy access to two linear Country Parks; The Worth Way and The Forest Way. Both are well used, off road routes, maintained by East and West Sussex County Councils and are part of the National cycle route 21 London to Paris or Avenue Verte. Of course, there is no need to tackle the whole route, unless you want to! Every few miles you’ll find a village for a pit stop and if you can’t face the return journey by foot you can always catch a Metrobus 291 www.metrobus.co.uk/route-information/291
Mid Sussex District Council runs a series of free, guided healthy walks which can be downloaded from their website www.midsussex.gov.uk/media/4425/mid-sussex-healthy-walks-winter-2019-20.pdf
All of these and many other walking leaflets are available as hard copies from the tourist information desk in East Grinstead Library.
If visiting gardens is more your thing, the Sussex and Kent National Garden Scheme’s yellow booklets, listing the gardens open for charity in 2020, are available at the tourist desk now and Surrey’s will be arriving shortly. Many of the privately owned gardens have plant and cake sales. You can indulge safe in the knowledge you will be helping a good cause.
The great historic gardens of Sussex, Borde Hill, High Beeches, Leonardslee, Nymans, Standen and Wakehurst Place, developed during the great Victorian era of plant collecting, will be springing into life this month and are well worth a visit. Perhaps a special Mother’s Day treat? Sunday March 22nd
Look through the latest Chequer Mead Theatre programme http://www.chequermead.org.uk/ There is a varied program on offer with something for everyone.
Discover all about electricity in the Victorian times, how it was brand new and exciting and how Standen was one of the first houses to be built with electricity. Exhibition and children’s trail on until the end of March. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/standen-house-and-garden
East Grinstead is lucky to have a 3 Screen cinema Scott Cinema https://eastgrinstead.scottcinemas.co.uk/
Visit East Grinstead Museum and take a tour of the facility or attend one of the many talks, Children’s craft days and temporary exhibitions. https://www.eastgrinsteadmuseum.org.uk/
Bluebell Railway Trains will only be running at weekends through March on the https://www.bluebell-railway.com/.
Live music and comedy events pop up around East Grinstead on a regular basis so keep your eyes open and regularly check venues you’d expect to find them; Chequer Mead Theatre, The Dorset Arms, The Ship and The Railway Tavern, but also keep checking smaller more intimate and unusual venues such as The Open Arms, The Engine Room, Nizam and …The Book Shop!
The Book Shop is more than that..it would be; it’s an East Grinstead Bookshop! There’s chess available most days, book signings, town tours, live music and much more https://www.eastgrinsteadbookshop.co.uk/events
And here are a few dates for your diaries
Friday 6th March from 8pm
The Friends of East Grinstead Museum presents a talk ‘My Fathers Shop’ High Street Grocery Shop founded in 1920 https://visiteastgrinstead.com/events/my-fathers-shop-a-personal-history/
Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th March 10am to 5pm (10am to 4pm Sun)
Exhibition of Model Railways
with layouts in all gauges. Trade Stands, Refreshments, Free parking, Wheelchair access.
Tickets Adults £5 Concessions £4 15 and under Free https://visiteastgrinstead.com/events/exhibition-of-model-railways/
Wednesday 25th March 6pm to 7pm
Annual Town Meeting
East Grinstead Council invites East Grinstead residents to the Annual Town meeting. Meet your Councillors and ask any questions concerning the Town.
Meridian Hall, East Court, RH19 3LT
There is always a full range of leaflets and fliers on offer at the East Grinstead Town Council’s tourist information desk in East Grinstead Library where You are always welcome to pop in and say hello to me or my colleague Roger. You can contact us on 01342 410121 or [email protected]
I will look forward to letting you know all the exciting things coming up for April in next month’s Dawn’s Diary.
Town Promotion Manager: East Grinstead Town Council.