Your May Diary

There's so much going on in Sussex!


1 May Sheffield Park and GardenOpen Garden for NGS10.30am-6pm. Beautiful at all times of the year, but noted for its spring and autumn colours and National Collection of Ghent azaleas. Free event, normal admission charges apply.Sheffield Park and Garden, West Sussex: 01825 790231

25 May Canine Partners Bluebell Walk10.30am. Join Canine Partners staff, supporters and faithful four legged friends for a picturesque walk through the West Sussex countryside, setting off from Canine Partners National Training Centre, in Heyshott, and should take about sixty minutes, although there is also a shorter walk option available.All funds raised from this walk will help the charity to train more assistance dogs to transform the lives of people with disabilities, including wounded servicemen and women in conjunction with Help for Heroes.For further information contact Libby Rome on 01730 716 013 or email

17 May The New Horizons AppealGarden and Local Produce Fair 201210.30am-3.30pm. One of the prettiest gardening events to take place annually in Sussex where all the money raised goes to the St Catherine’s Hospice Appeal.As a volunteer group, New Horizons Appeal aims to provide visitors with an exquisite array of plants, gardening accessories and local producers of consumables, set on the lawns of Summers Place in Billingshurst. Admission: �3.50. For more information tel: 01293 447367.

20 MayBrownbread Horse Rescue Open Day10.30am-4pm. Attractions include classic cars, pony rides, children’s corner, arena displays, a pedigree and novelty dog show, stage performers, BBQ and loads of rescued horses, ponies and donkeys waiting for a stroke or carrot. Free parking off road. Entry �3 per person, children U10 free. For more information tel: 01424 892381 or 07711 924472. Brownbread Horse Rescue Centre, Brown Bread Street, Ashburnham, Battle.

26 MayPink RibbonwalkBreast Cancer Care is calling on you to take an Olympic stride to support people living with breast cancer by taking part in a ten or 20 mile Pink Ribbonwalk in association with woman&home magazine at Petworth House, West Sussex in May.Bring family, friends and colleagues and you will enjoy a village fete style celebration when you cross the finish line, including a medal, BBQ, massage and entertainment!It costs just �30 to register to take part but walkers are required to raise a minimum of �175 worth of sponsorship to help fund Breast Cancer Care’s vital support services. To register, tel: 0870 145 0101 or visit

OUT AND ABOUT6-7 MaySpring Garden and Leisure ShowThis year’s event at the South of England Centre in Ardingly will be bursting with spring colour and featuring a wide range of displays, activities and advice for experienced and novice gardeners alike.The show includes the highly entertaining Mini Sheep Show, creatures great and small and everything from dogs and alpacas to fur and feather. For more information visit

12 MaySouthover Bonfire Society4th Annual Feast of St Pancras May Fayre11am-4pm. Families can enjoy a fun-packed day in the historic grounds of Lewes Priory: handling a beautiful bird of prey, trying their hands at archery, setting off a Tudor canon, stocks, rolling a swede and enjoying a feast of culinary delights from venison and boar to wild garlic soup and lots more. Entry programmes �2.50 per adult and children U12 go free.

19 and 20 MayFloral Fringe Fair at Bignor Park10am-5pm. A plant, contemporary craft and local food fair at Bignor Park near Petworth, including wildlife stalls, vintage garden collectables, jewellery, ceramics and more. Eleven acres to explore. Delicious home cooking in The Stable Tea Rooms. Entrance �6, U14 free. Garden entrance included. For more information visit

26 MayHeathfield and District Agricultural Show8am-5pm. Featuring the Mega Minis and Sheep Show along with Adam’s Axemen plus cattle, sheep, pig and horse shows, vintage tractor and working steam, farmers’ market, Made in Sussex craft tent, Country Ways, and open to all Terrier Racing. Tickets: Adults �13.50; Children �5; Family �32; OAPs �11.50. For advance tickets: 01435 864587 or

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3 May-25 NovemberFashion and the FlagTo celebrate the Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympics, Brighton Museum &  Art Gallery is putting on a special display in the Fashion and Style gallery entitled Fashion and the Flag, which will feature fashions that use the Union Jack as a fabric or design inspiration.On display will be outfits from the best of British designers including, Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Jasper Conran, John Rocha and Doctor Martens.


5-27 MayBrighton Festival FringeBrighton Fringe is the third largest open access festival in the world. Last year was claimed ‘the best Brighton Fringe yet’ by many stakeholders, and 2012 is set to be even better. Get your Brighton Fringe off to a great start by taking in a showcase of events at Brighton’s biggest free street party, Fringe City, every Saturday in May. For more information tel: 01273 709709 or visit   

25 May-3 JuneCharleston Festival 2012The 23rd Charleston Festival sets the mood for this year’s celebrations, anniversaries and landmarks – Dickens’ bi-centenary; Captain Scott’s centenary; Alan Turing’s 100th; the Jubilee and the Olympics – with a bountiful list of speakers and performers, many tying in with public events and preoccupations, both national and international. For more information visit Charleston Farmhouse, Firle, Lewes.

11-13 MayLindfield Arts FestivalThe Lindfield Arts Festival will feature the world renowned Luminarium at this year’s event. Appearing for the first time in the South East of England, the Levity II Luminarium will provide a major focal point to the festival. The festival will stage a programme of performance – singing, poetry, drama – inside the installation.

Elsewhere, throughout the festival weekend, there will be a wide range of arts, performance, culinary events and crafts, reflecting the rich seam of creative talent that runs through the village. For more information visit

11 May-2 JuneA Marvellous Year for PlumsPrime Minister Anthony Eden, described by a colleague as ‘half mad baronet and half beautiful woman’, is faced with the terrible possibility of leading his country into war. His health is collapsing. His friends, colleagues and opponents, among them Hugh Gaitskell and Ian Fleming and his wife Ann, are facing crises of their own, crises of conscience and crises of the heart.

Hugh Whitemore’s sophisticated political thriller examines a flashpoint in British history that still resonates today - the Suez Crisis. Tickets: �10-�36.Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester: 01243 781312.

16-19 MayAcorn Antiques – The Musical!7.30pm. The Henfield Theatre Company will be performing Acorn Antiques – The Musical! by Victoria Wood, directed by Peter Ingledew with musical direction by Dave Burnett. This hilarious show, which parodied the 1960s soap opera Crossroads, will be an evening of light hearted comedy and laughter. Tickets: �10-�12, available from the box office at Henfield Furnishings, High Street, Henfield, tel: 01273 490080 from 30 April.


Meads Music FestivalA series of four concerts at the Birley Centre in Eastbourne, each Sunday afternoon in May starting at 3pm.6 May: a concert and operatic masterclass featuring Glyndebourne Jerwood Young Artists coached by Dame Ann Murray.13 May: a piano recital given by Lars Vogt, who will play Schumann, Brahms and Chopin.20 May: the Heath Quartet with pianist James Bailleu play Tchaikovsky String Quartet No. 3 and Dvorak Piano Quintet.27 May: vocal recital by the celebrated young tenor Allan Clayton including works by Britten, Purcell and Schubert.Tickets �18 or �60 for all four concerts. For more information and tickets tel: 01323 452255 or visit

7 MayPolyphony with BREMF Consort of VoicesSt Bartholomew’s Church, Brighton7.30 pm. The BREMF singers return under director Deborah Roberts with another programme of richly sonorous vocal music from the 16th Century. It is the first in a series of concerts that will take listeners on a tour of renaissance Europe.Performed in the round. Tickets: �12 (�10 conc) promenade: �5 on the door only. For more information and tickets visit

26 MayMusic@Ardingly Concert SeriesJulian Lloyd Webber, Emma Johnson and John Lill. Ardingly College presents a wonderful opportunity to hear these three world famous and well-loved British artists performing the great trios for clarinet, cello and piano by Beethoven and Brahms. Saturday 26 May at 7.30 pm Ardingly College Chapel. Tickets �20, Concessions �16. Contact: 01444 893271. Ardingly College, College Road, Ardingly, RH17 6SQ.

27 MayKing PriamTippett’s King Priam, Brighton Festival Exclusive7pm. The Brighton Festival will mark the 50th anniversary of Tippett’s rarely performed opera with this concert performance by the Britten Sinfonia conducted by Sian Edwards. Vanessa Redgrave will read a prologue before each act. King Priam takes a private view of the events of the Trojan War, focusing on individual moments of moral choice and draws on Homer’s Iliad and other classical texts. Like Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, it was written for the reconsecration of the rebuilt Coventry Cathedral in 1962. Tickets: �10-�30.Concert Hall, The Dome, Brighton: 01273 709709.

20 May-26 AugustGlyndebourne Festival Opera 2012The 2012 Glyndebourne Festival features new productions of Le nozze di Figaro, The Cunning Little Vixen and a double bill of L’Heure Espagnole and L’Enfant et les sortil�ges. There are also revival productions of La Cenerentola, La boh�me and The Fairy Queen.The season also includes three revivals: Sir Peter Hall’s production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola, David McVicar’s production of La boh�me and Jonathan Kent’s production of The Fairy Queen.Following the success of its premiere in 2009, Julian Philips’ The Yellow Sofa will be presented as part of the Jerwood Chorus Development Scheme.Festival ticket prices from �10-�230.Glyndebourne, Lewes: 01273 813813.

6 MayAshdown Forest Llama ParkAnnual Alpaca Shearing Day10am-5pm. Alpacas have to be shorn to harvest their beautiful warm fleeces and to prevent them from overheating in the summer. The animals look very funny afterwards as the shearer avoids the ears and tops of their heads so they end up having very peculiar hairstyles! The East Grinstead Spinning Group will also be there demonstrating how the fleece is turned into yarn and then made into the luxury alpaca knitwear that is sold in the shop. Normal admission prices apply. Adults �6.50 Child/Senior �5.50.For more information visit Forest Llama Park, Wych Cross, Forest Row: 01825 712040.

5 MayBrighton Festival Children’s ParadeSame Sky10.30am. Kick-starting Brighton Festival with an open-air fiesta of colour, costume and live music, led by Vanessa Redgrave.This year’s Children’s Parade celebrates the ‘story of stories’. Same Sky is working with parents, teachers, artists, musicians, choreographers, and 5,000 young people from across the city to explore this universal impulse in a spectacular parade through the streets of Brighton, from Sydney Street to Madeira Drive.11 and 12 MayMy First Sleeping BeautyThe My First… ballets by English National Ballet in partnership with English National Ballet School bring you your first taste of the fantastical, magical, make-believe world of ballet.My First Sleeping Beauty is an enchanted world of castles and curses, forests and fairies, created especially for the whole family by choreographer Matthew Hart. Tchaikovsky’s gorgeous waltz-filled music includes the tune made famous as Once upon a Dream in Disney’s version. Tickets: �15 (child �12), Family of four �48.The Hawth, Crawley: 01293 553636. 

25 MayBats and Bangers Family EventSussex Wildlife Trust7.30-9.30pm: Venture out into the woods near Seven Sisters Country Park, Seaford with Sussex Wildlife Trust as evening falls and the night creatures begin to stir. Enjoy sausages cooked on the campfire and come for a walk through the woods at dusk when bats appear. Suitable for children aged 8 years and above. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Please bring a torch, vegetarian sausages available. Meet at the Forestry Commission car park on Litlington Road, half a mile north of Seven Sisters Country Park. Booking essential, for prices, information and booking please ring 01273 497561 or email

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