A cheerful event took place on our road in Woodhall Close, Cuckfield, on Saturday September 5 – a cold and cloudy afternoon.
A neighbour magicked a summer social – ‘two hours on the small green – bring a little something to eat and drink, and umbrellas if wet’ said the note slipped through the letterbox.
Northerly breezes and thick cloud did not deter Rob and Maddy Hammersley from setting up bunting between young hawthorns – (which had been planted due to neighbourly efforts about three years ago) – putting up camping tables, and generally looking undeterred.
Come 4 pm, people came out of their houses, bearing interesting and delicious food, bottles and glasses, and themselves. The cold wind still blew – one neighbour asked her husband to fetch her thick Arran sweater – as she placed it over her other jumper, the clouds parted and the sun came out. Good timing indeed.
As we nibbled, and drank and talked, it was a wonderful chance to meet people we had not seen before, as well as those we were familiar with already. Several youngsters set up a picnic blanket and a crèche, and we had the most interesting task of finding out who was/did what.
Among our numbers were – a pair of bell-ringers, two geo-physicists, (remember Time Team), several musicians, one at least of considerable renown, a headmaster, various teachers including one from Chailey Heritage, a rugby player and who knows what else – there wasn’t time to find out every one’s history.
There were people who helped with different groups in the village, and people who had lived in the road since the houses were built – 40 years ago. One late arrival had been taking part in a triathlon at Petworth, and another one who didn’t make it was umpiring a cricket match at Sheffield Park. What a rich assortment.
Such a very pleasant way to pass an afternoon – with good neighbours. Thanks so much, Rob and Maddy – we look forward to the next one!
Report and picture contributed by Helena Carter.