Dawn’s Diaries

Visit East Grinstead

So here we are; another period of lockdown. It is difficult to look for the positives, but as Town Promotions Manager, that is my job! East Grinstead has been through so much in the past; A trip to our Museum (sadly closed for the time being) will furnish you with details of the rich history and colourful past. Make a point of going as soon as they are able to open their doors again. The town has survived many adverse conditions, religious intolerance, bombing raids, plans to bulldoze and modernize the High Street and it will survive Coronavirus…not because of the beautiful, much-admired and never changing Medieval architecture that brings people to visit, but because of the resilience of its community. The town motto  ‘PRATIS PRAESTO VIRENTIBUS’ – Amid green meadows I proudly stand … goes a long way to explain the fierce determination of residents to protect the town. And protect it we must. 

Please do your utmost to protect yourselves and each other by following the Governments advice; Stay at home where possible and only go out for essential reasons. You know the drill..wear your face coverings, make space and keep your hands sanitized. Shop and visit ‘local’ wherever and whenever you can. Local businesses and attractions had created environments that were as safe as possible, but most have also developed their online offering and are still able to provide you with a service. Check local before automatically opting for the obvious! You will be making a huge difference during this build up to the festive season.

Usually at this time of year we would be anticipating a coming together to honour those lost in conflicts with our Remembrance Day service and parade. This year will be different. Although there will be a brief service at the High Street War Memorial, there will be no parade, the road will only be closed for a short amount of time and the public are requested not to attend. The Town Council will be live streaming on their Facebook page @egtowncouncil and the footage will be available shortly after on www.eastgrinstead.gov.uk  Meridian FM will be putting together some appropriate programming too. 

Please honour the fallen who gave their all to protect the living by observing a 2 minutes silence at 11am from your homes, your gardens or your doorsteps and donate to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal if you are able. www.britishlegion.org.uk

The town Christmas lights and tree lights will be switched on throughout the town this month. Sadly, of course without the fantastic Big Reveal event that we have had in recent years. The light display will bring some much-needed joy and hope for a brighter new year. The traders plan to dress their windows (The small Reveal) which will still make a fun trail around the streets when you are out exercising and hopefully you will be able to pop in to each business to show them your support in the very near future.

The Bluebell Railway has had to temporarily suspend their services and Standen will close the house, but continue to check their websites for any updates.

Events in the town may have had to come to a halt again, but keep an eye on the Town events calendars www.visiteastgrinstead.com and on social media @VisitEG As soon as we can we’ll be shouting from the rooftops to let you know what is happening and where. You can always contact the tourist information on 01342 410121 or tourism@eastgrinstead.gov.uk to ask for advice. Even if the library is closed help is always available.

Now on a personal note..this will be my last Dawn’s Diaries. After 15 years I have taken the decision to leave the Town Council and vacate my post at the Tourist Information desk in the library at the end of the month.  It looks as if I will no longer be able to say goodbye in person, but It has been my pleasure to meet so many wonderful people and to promote some amazing events and attractions over all those years. I live in the town, so I will still have a vested interested in supporting local, however, now I will no longer need to don a hi vis jacket or marshal a road closure barrier! You may well find me enjoying live music or browsing the local shops or just sitting at one of our fine hostelries and as soon as we can again, I will be raising a glass to everything that makes East Grinstead great.

With all best wishes



Author: fiona bewers
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