Dawn’s Diaries

September 1st marks the meteorological Autumn when the nights start to draw in and temperatures get little cooler; after such an incredibly hot Bank Holiday weekend perhaps that will be a welcome relief! The town’s youngsters will be heading back to school or flying the nest to start their university lives and the annual summer holidays if you were lucky enough to get them will begin to feel like a distant memory. The Autumn also marks the end of Saturday opening hours at the tourist information desk, after 14th September we will still be here to help Monday to Friday and the ever -helpful library staff will be available to assist at other times.

The Summer may be over and the programme of big community Summer events has come to an end, but there will always be much going on in and around East Grinstead. September is no different. It would be impossible to know about everything, however with this monthly round up I will highlight many of the great events coming up and give you some dates for your diaries. Hopefully there will be no excuses to miss a thing. There will also be a few pointers as to where to look for things to do and perhaps some of you will advise us at the tourist information desk, of any events that you are involved with that we should pass on and encourage people to attend.

Don’t forget that Sackville College is still open to the public Thursdays to Sundays until the middle of this month https://www.sackvillecollege.org.uk/, look through the latest Chequer Mead programme http://www.chequermead.org.uk/, take some time to visit the Morris and Co exhibition and a Traditional Craft Fair at the stunning Standen NT property https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/standen-house-and-garden , visit East Grinstead Museum and take a town tour or attend one of the many talks https://www.eastgrinsteadmuseum.org.uk/  and find out what special events are on at the Bluebell Railway https://www.bluebell-railway.com/.

Live music and comedy events pop up around East Grinstead on a regular basis, especially as the darker evenings approach, so keep your eyes open and regularly check venues you’d expect to find them; Chequer Mead Theatre, The Dorset Arms, The Ship and The Railway Tavern, but also keep checking smaller more intimate and unusual venues such as The Open Arms, The Engine Room, Hay & Straw and …The Book Shop!

And If you have anytime left here are some dates for your diaries.

East Court 250th Anniversary Exhibition on until the end of the year.

East Grinstead Town Council is proud to be the current custodian of East Court. This year an exhibition in the main hall, celebrates the 250th Anniversary of the building.

Built in 1769, the house was initially a family home set in 900 acres, including three additional farmsteads.

Over the years it became an army barracks, was squatted and finally home to East Grinstead’s Urban District Council, later to become East Grinstead Town Council.

Come along to East Court, to see how the house has changed in this free an exhibition covering the last 250 years.

Open from 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday – College Lane East Grinstead West Sussex RH19 3LT 01342 323636

This exhibition will run through to the end of the year, however opening times may change as events may make the hall inaccessible to the public. Please call to check if exhibition is open.

The exhibition is also available to view online https://www.eastgrinstead.gov.uk/tourism/leaflet-stand/east-courts-250-anniversary/

Saturday & Sunday 14th -15th September 10am to 4pm, Monday 16th 10am to 1pm

Sackville House Free Open Days

Built in 1520, originally as a hall with chambers at one end, it was later re-modelled to form a house…the house will be open to the public as part of the Heritage Open Days scheme.

For more information, call 01628 825 925 or visit: www.landmarktrust.org.uk

Sackville House

High Street, East Grinstead

Landmark Trust  01628 825 925 https://www.landmarktrust.org.uk/news-and-events/upcoming-events/sackville-house-open-day2019/

Saturday 14th September

Chequer Mead Clubs, classes and groups ‘Taster Day’

Try out various groups and classes for free. No obligation to join. Try something new.


Saturday 14th September

Concert at St Swithun’s Clarity: An Invitation to a dance. 3pm to 4pm

An Exciting clarinet quartet concert of dance music spanning 400 years…

Concert tickets available in advance from the Parish Office 01342 325026

or from Chris Russell 01342 322080

…and on the door!

Raising funds for St Swithun’s Church Restoration Trust

Sunday 15th September

Battle of Britain Day

 15th September was the decisive day of the Battle of Britain and 2019 marks the 79th anniversary. East Grinstead has great and lasting connections with the brave airman of the battle as many of them were treated for injuries sustained, mostly burns, at the Queen Victoria Hospital by pioneering plastic surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe.  On this day Sunday 15th September 2019 East Grinstead will come together to remember and commemorate the Battle, the injured airmen known as The Guinea Pig Club and and McIndoe.

There will be two elements to the day.

1.  A film festival , raising money for the Queen Victoria Hospital and The Spitfire Society.   Three films will be available to watch.

Historian Paul Beaver will recount the battle in a historical presentation.

Paul Beaver is an aviation historian, broadcaster and writer who specialises in the 1930s and 1940s. He is very much a hands-on historian with his own vintage aeroplane company, Monty’s Messenger Ltd, which owns and operates a Miles Messenger marked as Field Marshal Montgomery’s aeroplane at the time of D-Day. Amongst other types in his log book include Spitfire, Lancaster and Mustang.

For 15 years, Paul was directly linked to Jane’s including Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of Jane’s Defence Weekly. He made JDW into a household name in 1990 through his broadcasting during the Liberation of Kuwait and eventually became a freelance war correspondent for Sky News and a studio ‘expert’ for BBC News and CNN International, for whom he jointly presented the 50th Anniversary of D-Day (from Normandy) and VE-Day (from Moscow). During this time, Paul wrote more than 40 books on naval and aviation history.

During his freelance broadcasting career, Paul researched, wrote and presented a number of 30 min documentaries for Sky News, including on the background to the Bosnian (1997) and Kosovo conflicts (1999), Cold War (1999) and The Battle of Britain (2000) which included new research into the everyday life of the pilots and ground crew. His original on-camera interviews with veterans are archived with the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust.

Paul retired from the Army Reserve in 2013 with the rank of Colonel, late of the Army Air Corps. He is now Trustee of the International Bomber Command Centre and senior advisor to the Aviation Skills Partnership which works with local government to create skills academies across Britain. The first, in Norwich, will open in September 2017. He also is a committee member of the Air Power Association, a member of the Royal Air Force Historical Society and the British Commission for Military History.

Dr Emily Mayhew will be signing copies of her books. She is a military medical historian specialising in the study of severe casualty, its infliction, treatment and long-term outcomes in 20th and 21st century warfare. She is historian in residence in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College, and a Research Fellow in the Division of Surgery within the Department of Surgery and Cancer. She is the author of

The Guinea Pig Club: Archibald McIndoe, the Royal Air Force and the Reconstruction of Warriors

Timings and ticket prices can be found  www.chequermead.co.uk 

Chequer Mead, Cantelupe Road RH19 3BS

Tickets available from the Box office 01342 302000 tickets@chequermead.co.uk

2. A service of Dedication of the Sir Archibald McIndoe statue.

11.30am High Street East Grinstead. Members of the public are invited to attend the service. High St will be closed from 11am to 12pm. Models of Spitfire and Lancaster planes will surround be pplaced in the McIndoe lawn.

Order of service.

Welcome by the Town Mayor

The Town Mayor and Deputy Lieutenant will place the final model planes.

A few words about-

The Role of the RAF in the Battle of Britain:

The Guinea Pig Club: Tom Cochrane

Blessing: Father Andrew Hawken

Guinea Pig Club Anthem sung by the choir

‘We shall not forget’

The Last Post

1 minute silence

The National Anthem



Saturday 28th September 10am to 3pm

Fit for Life Showcase

Meridian Rotary Club invite you to a fit for life showcase to meet the experts. 40 Health and wellbeing stalls, live demonstrations and Health checks.

Sackville School, Lewes Road, East Grinstead.

Free entry for all.

There are many more events than can be listed here, but hopefully this will give you a bit of a taster. Look at the what’s on calendars of both www.eastgrinstead.gov.uk and www.visiteastgrinstead.com

There is always a full range of leaflets and fliers on offer at the East Grinstead Town Council’s tourist information desk in East Grinstead Library where You are always welcome to pop in and say hello to me or my colleague Roger. You can contact us on 01342 410121 or tourism@eastgrinstead.gov.uk

I will look forward to letting you know all the exciting things coming up for October in next month’s Dawn’s Diary.

Dawn Spalding

Town Promotion Manager: East Grinstead Town Council.

Author: fiona bewers
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