Etchingham village voice

Etchingham went into full Diamond Jubilee mode last weekend.

Events started on the Saturday afternoon when Queen’s Garden was packed with village people enjoying a Jubilee Picnic, two features were the village Jubilee photograph and the distribution of Jubilee Mugs to eligible children in the village. Just after 1pm everyone gathered into a large group ready for the village group photograph. Sid moved a Teleloader into position and I was raised up with the camera to get a better view of the assembled crowd and a few photos of the group were taken, after I was instructed to join the group while someone else went up and took a picture with me in it, the next task was the distribution of mugs.

Our local MP, Greg Barker gave a Jubilee Mug to all the children who had patiently waited for their turn, I am sure Greg’s face must have become fixed in a permanent smile by the time he had posed for a picture with every one of the recipients of a mug.

Then came the evening when many people in Medieval dress were seen walking down the High Street to the Church for a Medieval Feast as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and to mark the 650th anniversary of the founding of Etchingham Church. Guests were treated to glasses of mead and entertainment from Minstrels and a Jester while they waited for the banquet to begin, when they were treated to a fine meal that included a Hog Roast provided by Jarvis Butchers. The Church was splendidly decorated in armorial style, the Church creating a perfect backdrop for such an event.

Sunday was a little quieter in the village, a lot of village residents went to the Etchingham Club where they were able to watch the Thames Pageant on the big screen, while no doubt having the odd drink or two.

On Monday the biggest event of the weekend was the Diamond Jubilee Fete in the Lambing Field, followed in the evening with live music, a bar and Hog roast put on by the Etchingham club. Despite the threat of rain, the Lambing field was packed with people throughout the afternoon with everyone enjoying the the many stalls and activities, the Tea Tent and Bar doing a brisk trade all afternoon. The weather brightened up for the evening when many village residents again gathered in the field for the evening entertainment. A lot of people put in a lot of effort to prepare for all of these events, many thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make all the events a great success.

During the afternoon of Tuesday June 5 Etchingham Church was once again filled to capacity for the last village event to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and to mark the 650th anniversary of the founding of Etchingham Church. The Etchingham Singers, conducted by Mary Barnes, were joined by soloists Elizabeth Desbruslais, Peter Everall and Tom Tapsfield, accompanied by Courtney Kenny on the piano and performed an excellent programme of songs from the Shows that were playing in London during 1952/53.

Elizabeth Desbruslais is currently studying at the Guildhall School as a Masters student under professor Theresa Goble, having recently graduated with a First Class Honours degree.

Peter Everall is studying Voice at Trinity College of Music with John Wakefield.

Tom Tapsfield has lived in Burwash all his life and enjoys performing with many local musical theatre societies. Courtney Kenny is a native of the West of Ireland, and long time Etchingham resident. he studied at the Royal College of Music in London. All his career has been involved with theatre music of one kind or another. He is a successful concert pianist, having spent ten years with a Piano Trio, and performed with the Radio Eireann Symphony Orchestra, the Kent State Sinfonia and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, his other love is cabaret, and he has had an international career performing recitals of Songs at the Piano.

After a very enjoyable performance, the audience were treated to afternoon tea.

I am sure the event organisers will have reports of their events available for this column next week. As many of you will be aware I took a lot of photos over the weekend, these have all been uploaded to my pages at Flickr, you will find them at this location the pictures are in sets on the right of the page, click on the set to open the thumbnails then you can either click on individual thumbnails to view or click on the Slideshow link.

I have also set up a Flickr group for all Etchingham Jubilee events photos, which anyone can add their pictures to if you are a Flickr member you can join the group and add your pictures, or if you prefer you can email the pictures to me and I will add them for you, you will of course be credited as the photographer. Just a reminder, anyone can view the pictures on Flickr, you do not need to sign up to Flickr, you only need to join if you want to add pictures.

For over 21 years Etchingham Church has been the venue for a Music Festival during the first week of July. This year will run from Saturday July 7 to Sunday July 15.

Saturday July 7 will be an evening of music and song with Elizabeth Burgess on piano, John Slack on clarinet, Matt Lowe playing cello and soprano Aoife Miskelly. Sunday July 8 the Church hosts a piano recital from gifted young pianist and graduate of the Royal academy of Music, Bing Bing Li. A welcome return of the Mitrea Piano Quartet playing as a Trio, Quartet and Quintet on Wednesday July 11, and Festival Patron, Dr. Peter Katinwill perform a piano concert on Thursday July 12, including Chopin. Schubert, Beethoven and Debussy. A Supper Concert with Cuban Jazz Salsa band ‘Heads South’ will be on Saturday july 14. The Festival is rounded off with a free concert in the afternoon on Sunday July 15, a celebration of English music to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with the Ashdown Singers.

Full details will appear here nearer the dates, and the full programme details prices and ticket information can be found on the Festival website the postal address is Etchingham Music festival, PO Box 100, Etchingham, East Sussex, TN19 7US 01580 860199

The South East Open Studios even takes place from June 1 to June 17, Ella Clarke will have her studio open on eight days, Thursday June 7 to Sunday June 10 and Thursday June 14 to Sunday June 17, 10am to 5pm on all days.

Ella produces detailed pencil drawings, prints and gift cards. Birds, flowers, butterflies, local scenes, boats and owls. Ella is the only artist open in the Etchingham/Hurst Green area this year, there are several artists opening their studios in Ticehurst, Burwash, Robertsbridge and other surrounding villages, full details can be found on the web site

Get information for this column to me as soon as possible, if you have a diary of events planned for the year let me have the dates and I will put in a list of village events for the year so that people can put the dates in their diaries. There are several ways to get your info to me, but email is preferred because there is less chance of errors during copying. I need information by 10pm on Monday to be sure it will be in time for inclusion, I can sometimes add extra items on Tuesday morning, but this cannot be guaranteed. Just a little reminder, I get plenty of information about events that are taking place, but I get very little follow up information, after your event try and remember to send me brief account of how successful your event was, it can be as simple as a thank you to those that attended and how much money was raised etc. You can deliver to 2 Park Farm Close, telephone 01580 819532 or 07941 786244 or email

Colin Boylett, 2 Park Farm Cottages