Dawn’s Diaries

Visit East Grinstead

September 1st marks the meteorological Autumn when the nights start to draw in and temperatures get little cooler; Sadly, the amazing temperatures of this summer seem to be a distant memory now and Autumn appears to have arrived already with high winds and lashing rain! I’m sure all our local parks and historic garden attractions will be all the better for this change in temperature and I urge you to visit as many of them as you can. The gardeners have worked hard this year to maintain them at their best and you are bound to benefit from a little colour therapy as the leaves begin to change and herald in a new season.

The town’s youngsters will at last be heading back to school or flying the nest to start their university lives and with any luck we will be able to begin to enjoy a period of quiet reflection after the severe restrictions of the ‘lockdown’ and start to venture out and about with more confidence. I know that the businesses are doing their upmost to create safe environments to protect their visitors and staff and for our part we are all becoming used to covering our faces in indoor settings. We must all continue to do our bit.

East Grinstead really has come alive this August; With the Government’s initiative to Eat Out to help out and the local councils relaxing of the licensing restrictions on outdoor seating; European café culture really has become quite a feature. It has been great to see that residents have supported the local businesses and I hope this will continue as we move through the rest of the year as the financial incentives reduce and East Grinstead can continue to thrive.

Live music is slowly returning to the town with places like the Engine Room and the Apron Café at Chequer Mead hosting small performances and at last Scott Cinema has reopened its doors. The library has reopened for browsing, albeit for restricted hours and numbers and East Grinstead Museum is once again able to share the town’s history with visitors.

 Standen National Trust can offer house visits again (check their website for ticketing) and the Bluebell Railway is once again carrying passengers as it celebrates its 60th Birthday this year. Sadly, the trains are not steaming into East Grinstead at this time, but fingers crossed we will see that spectacular sight again soon. In the mean-time the heritage attraction is looking ahead to Christmas and taking bookings for their ever -popular Santa specials and for the first time we will see colourful lights along the track as they bring a new event to Sussex ‘Steamlights’ which is bound to become an annual feature. Tickets can be booked online, but don’t delay as they will sell out very quickly.

One very exciting town event I can share with you this September is a Spitfire fly pass as part of the 80th Anniversary commemorations of The Battle of Britain due over East Grinstead on 13th. Look for timings and further information here https://www.battle-of-britain.org.uk/events

Next month I hope to be able to share some more events as restrictions ease further, but for now, there is always a range of leaflets 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 during library opening hours and ask for inspiration. Or make contact on 01342 410121 or tourism@eastgrinstead.gov.uk

Dawn Spalding  Town Promotion Manager: East Grinstead Town Council.


Author: fiona bewers
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