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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Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Belloc meeting in Amberley, Sussex...

The George and Dragon

The next Belloc meeting will be in Amberley, Sussex on Saturday the 23rd of February. Chris Hare will be giving a presentation on 'Belloc and Sussex', which promises to be an engaging affair. Chris is currently at the forefront of the Folk Song revival in Sussex:(http://www.southdownssociety.org.uk/news/1649.html)



There will also be a mini bus departing from Clapham in London. Seats will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis.

The talk will begin at 1.30 PM. Some people will be arriving earlier for lunch. IN FACT IF YOU INTEND TO DINE, AND HAVE CONFIRMED THIS WITH ME, YOU MUST ARRIVE AT THE PUB NO LATER THAN 12.30pm. The George and Dragon is a splendid old pub which dates back to the Middle Ages. We will have exclusive use of the function room.The nearest station is Amberley and although one could walk (ten minutes) the road is busy and so a taxi would be preferable (over the bridge in the opposite direction to the village):

Castle Cars: 01903 884444
Cathedral Cars: 01903 889688
MJ Cars: 01903 745414/01798 874321 (6 seater)

For those Bellocians who prefer more 'action' we will be walking/driving into Amberley after the talk. Amberley is an historical Sussex village which boasts many fine buildings and a splendid castle. Chris has kindly offered to give us a walking tour starting at the Castle.

After 'tea' at The Sports Man in Rackham (which has the finest 'pub view' in Sussex) the plan is to descend on the The Bridge pub next to Amberley station, at around 7.00 PM, for some folk music. The Bridge serves good food. Belloc refers to this pub in the West Sussex Drinking Song:

They sell good Beer at Haslemere
And under Guildford Hill.
At Little Cowfold, as I've been told,
A beggar may drink his fill:
There is a good brew in Amberley too,
And by the bridge also;
But the swipes they take in at Washington Inn
Is the very best Beer I know, the very best Beer I know.

With my here it goes, there it goes,
All the fun's before us;
The tipple's aboard and the night is young,
The door's ajar and the Barrel is sprung,
I am singing the best song ever was sung And it has a rousing chorus.

If I were what I never could be,
The master or the squire:
If you gave me the hundred from here to the sea,
Which is more than I desire:
Then all my crops should be barley and hops,
And should my harvest fail I'd sell every rood of mine acres, I would,
For a bellyful of good Ale, a bellyful of good Ale.

With my here etc.

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