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, 31 May 2017


Tillington to Easebourne via the Midhurst Way (6 miles).

Leaving The Horse Guards Inn, Tillington GU28 9AF at 9.30, the Midhurst Way goes via the Lodsworth Larder ( cake & loo stop), the lovely Lime Tree Avenue of 70 trees, the Queen Elizabeth Oak (" old when Queen Elizabeth 1 saw it "), Cowdray Golf Club , & lunch at the award winning Cowdray Farm Shop Cafe. THIS YEAR WE MUST BOOK IN ADVANCE FOR THE LUNCH (by Tues. 13th June, please). Lunch, at this top Farm Shop Cafe, is Soup with Sandwiches for about £8 out on the patio. Most walkers stay for Lunch & then catch the 1.30 bus back to Tillington.

No booking necessary for the Walk so do come along & celebrate our heritage. Not suitable for beginners as it 6 miles! Return by bus (15 min. journey) to Tillington every hour - 12.30, 1.30, etc. Bring Bus Pass or cash.

More info. & lunch bookings to Geraldgreshamcooke@gmail.com. Gerald is a qualified HeartSmart Walk Leader. Come and celebrate Sussex Day.


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Song Shanty Workshop - Hosted by Secret Shore and the South Downs Society. Saturday the 8th April between 10.30 and 3PM...

The workshops are held between 10.30 and 1 on every second Saturday at the Beechwood Hall hotel (Wykeham Road, BN11 4JD Worthing, West Sussex) in Worthing. We will be learning shanties, and some of the stories, history and folklore around the songs. We will also be incorporating some of the songs learned during the last shanty workshops so that participants can have a chance to learn those too.

There will be a break for coffee.

The workshops are open to all, whether you have taken part in the previous ones or not.

Any queries please contact emilylonghurst@hotmail.com

This the last set of workshops in the Secret Shore HLF project!

Monday, 6 February 2017

Belloc Concert - Two Temple Place, London WC2R 3BD (22nd April at 7PM)...


to accompany the exhibition Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion 28th January until 23rd April 2017.
Tickets https://opusanglicanum.eventbrite.co.uk

Including the music of Vaughan Williams, Ivor Gurney and Edward Elgar - the stunning sound of Opus Anglicanum's unnaccompanied voices present a retelling of Hilaire Belloc's The Four Men, in which 'Grizzlebeard', 'the Poet', 'the Sailor' and 'Myself', walk across the Weald of Sussex in the October of 1902 from Robertsbridge to Harting, with lively conversation, debate and songs along the way.

BBC Radio 4's Zeb Soanes narrates the story in the words of Belloc; the five singers perform music and include a number of Belloc’s songs sung to his own tunes.

As Belloc's The West Sussex Drinking Song helpfully tells us:

"They sell good Beer at Haslemere
And under Guildford Hill..."

.£22 + booking fee. Doors open at 6:30 and seating is unreserved. This is an intervalled performance.

Hilaire Belloc described ‘The Four Men’ as ‘A Farrago’. ‘The Four Men’ - Grizzlebeard, Myself, the Poet and the Sailor - walk across the Weald of Sussex in the October of 1902 from Robertsbridge to Harting, with lively conversation, debate and songs along the way. Published in 1911, the four figures represent aspects of Belloc’s own character. The story is in turn poetic, reflective, pompous, didactic and humorous.The narrative is the context for some richly varied music:Vaughan Williams’s ‘The Vagabond’ and ‘Linden Lea’; settings of poems by Belloc from Ivor Gurney (‘A Sussex Drinking Song’, and ‘Most Holy Night’) and from Peter Warlock (‘My own country’); and music by George Butterworth and Edward Elgar. Possibly a surprise item will be ‘Deux chœurs’ of Camille Saint-Saëns, reminding us that Belloc was half French, and had done his national service in the French artillery. Also included are a number of Belloc’s idiosyncratic songs sung to his own tunes, as described in the book itself.

Monday, 16 January 2017

A South Downs Year - a new consideration of Belloc...

A new book has just been published. Jon Edgar’s Sculptor’s Journal records his time as the artist for a project to produce a sculpture to mark the National Trust's largest ever woodland re-planting in Slindon, West Sussex.

The stone was moved to eight different locations to engage with as many people as possible during the sculpting; 1350 people were involved in everything from a small chip to hours of work on the stone. Jon uses an unusual working method which involves ‘a raw exploration of the material’ with no pre-planning - a sort of improvisation in stone; in this case three tonnes of Portland stone.

He spent much time researching local history and unearthing figures such as Charlotte Turner Smith and William Hayley as part of being open to the local landscape informing the final work. The book reflects these researches and the process the stone went through. The artist added:

“Belloc was everywhere in connection with this landscape, who seemed to revisit the area at every opportunity. Printing the Journal seemed essential to revisit the historic material found, including a previously unpublished painting by Bessie Belloc in the Boston archive. It forms another permanent legacy to support the stone itself, rather than that material remaining in my own head.” 

‘A South Downs Year - Creation of the Slindon Stone: The Sculptor’s Journal’; Jon Edgar
Hesworth Press 
limited edition of 300 ISBN 978-0-9558675-2-1 £10
or order direct for £11 posted info@jonedgar.co.uk

paypal http://paypal.me/1JE