Editor's Letter - October
Village life has taken quite a battering in recent years, what with post office closures, poor transport services and ever-increasing house prices, but there are many villages right across Sussex that are fighting back...
Village life has taken quite a battering in recent years, what with post office closures, poor transport services and ever-increasing house prices, but there are many villages right across Sussex that are fighting back. Two which stand out are this year's winners of the Village of the Year Competition, Fernhurst in West Sussex and Rotherfield in the East. Fernhurst, just north of Midhurst (also featured on page 132) is a great example of a village with lots happening. There are literally dozens of clubs and societies ranging from toddler groups to the Pints of View pub debating club. While Rotherfield, one of the oldest settlements in the High Weald, has a brand new village hall and Millennium Green, all paid for from funds raised by the village. They'll both go on to challenge for the national prize and we wish them luck.Organisers of the competition, Action in Rural Sussex, began life in 1931. The charity is one of those unsung organisations that does so much for residents across the county. It was set up to respond to the needs of rural communities (it seems challenges for rural communities are nothing new). In the early days the group managed a diverse range of issues, from help with village halls, publication of a health handbook, establishing a drama league, launching an aftercare service for tuberculosis sufferers and even running an anti-litter campaign. Today, work on village halls continues to be a key focus, but the charity's agenda also includes distributing valuable grants for rural projects and developing innovative schemes for young people and of course celebrating their work through the Village of the Year Competition - something Sussex Life is proud to support. See pictures of the winning villages and comments from the judges on page 97.We'd love to hear your thoughts on this and anything else in the magazine.