Hilaire Belloc bought King's Land (in Shipley, Sussex), 5 acres and a working windmill for £1000 in 1907 and it was his home for the rest of his life. Belloc loved Sussex as few other writers have loved her: he lived there for most of his 83 years, he tramped the length and breadth of the county, slept under her hedgerows, drank in her inns, sailed her coast and her rivers and wrote several incomparable books about her. "He does not die that can bequeath Some influence to the land he knows, Or dares, persistent, interwreath Love permanent with the wild hedgerows; He does not die, but still remains Substantiate with his darling plains."

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Thursday, 31 March 2022

This year we are celebrating Sussex Day with walk & song in the village of Slindon with South Downs historian Chris Hare...


About this event: Thu, 16 June 2022 – 7:00pm – 8:30pm

What better way to spend a summer's evening than walking around a beautiful South Downs village listening to old English sea shanties and folk songs?

This year the Friends of the South Downs are celebrating Sussex Day in style, with a walk around the historic village of Slindon, in the company of South Downs historian, Chris Hare, and the ever popular Duck Pond Sailors. You will hear all about one thousand years of downland and village history and learn about the life and work of Slindon's most famous son - Hilaire Belloc. Belloc spent his boyhood in Slindon in the 1870s and 80s, but he also returned briefly to live in Slindon with his wife Elodie and their children from 1904 - 1905. His vivid essays and moving poetry will be referred to by Chris during the walk.

The Duck Pond Sailors are renowned for 'putting some welly' into their singing and they will include many songs appropriate to the time of year and the setting. They will even be singing one of their songs by a duck pond!

Get your complimentary CD

To help celebrate Sussex Day, the Friends of the South Downs will be giving a copy of the CD and booklet 'South Coast Songs and Shanties' to everyone who attends the walk (usual price £6.50). This is a one-off promotion and is available only for this event. CDs cannot be posted to those who register and don't attend.

A fundraiser for two good causes.

The money raised from this event will be shared between the Friends of the South Downs and Olly's Future, a suicide-prevention charity.

A Gallery of Slindon photographs

During the walk, Chris will be talking about all the buildings and places seen in these photographs, some of which have the strangest and most unexpected explanations. There will even be a ghost story!

Public transport

No buses run to Slindon at this time. Barnham is the nearest mainline railway station (a distance of 3.5 miles). There is a taxi rank at Barnham Station. The journey takes about ten minutes.

Book now on Eventbrite

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Online talk about Hilaire Belloc to the Steyning Society...

Chris was asked to give an online talk about Hilaire Belloc to the Steyning Society. So rather than create a Powerpoint, he thought it would be more interesting to go out on ‘location’ and film in the places that Belloc knew and loved the most. Tom Aubrey, chair of the Steyning Society was very pleased with the presentation and wrote: “Thank you Chris for a wonderfully spoken and sung talk on Hilaire Belloc; Sussex Laureate. Beautifully filmed in his Sussex haunts, you tell the story of a complex and idealistic man.” Thanks to Chris Evans for his expert filming and editing.


Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Remembering Hilaire Belloc...


Last year Chris Hare (director of the 'Belloc, Broadwod and Beyond' project) interviewed Bob Phillips, who has lived in Shipley since 1939, when he came to the village as an evacuee. Bob is well known in Shipley as a past chairman of the parish council, and for his work with the Scouts and Cubs. In the interview, Bob recalls, how he, and his older brother, Tom, interacted with Belloc and his family over the decades.

Monday, 4 January 2021

Belloc, the South Downs and Cardinal Manning...

One beautiful autumn day, Chris Hare and cameraman Chris Evans visited some beautiful spots on the South Downs associated with Hilaire Belloc and Cardinal Manning. These three short films give you a flavour of what they discovered.

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Hilaire Belloc, The Man Who Saw the Future by Chris Hare. Talk at the Shoreham Wordfest...


Local historian, Chris Hare, talks about the life and times of Hilaire Belloc, author, poet, politician and thinker. Belloc was a noted figure of his time, both for literature and his influence on political thinking. A long-time resident of Sussex, he had a deep love for the county, its people and countryside. Chris led a Community Heritage project, researching the man and his impact, which culminated in a plaque commemorating his life being installed in the village of Shipley, his long term residence. The talk took place on Sunday 25 October as part of our Local and Live festival, and features a couple of Sussex folk songs from Chris. The festival and the filmed recordings are funded by the Arts Council’s National Lottery Project Fund.

For more about the Belloc project see https://belloc-broadwood.org.uk/

Monday, 19 October 2020

Hilaire Belloc: The Man Who Saw The Future. Zoom friendly talk!


One hundred years ago Sussex writer, poet, essayist and former Member of Parliament, Hilaire Belloc, made a number of predictions about the future of this country and the world. At the time people thought him archaic in his thought, absurd in his arguments, and on the wrong side of history. Today, though, his sense of direction seems to have been uncannily accurate on many fronts. Local historian, Chris Hare will also focus on Belloc the Sussex man. He will read some of Belloc’s Sussex poems, sing some of Belloc’s songs and read extracts from Belloc’s Sussex book, The Four Men.

Event Location:

Ropetackle Arts Centre, High St, Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex. BN43 5EG

Box Office: Wordfest


Box Office: Ropetackle


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