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About Town – Summer 2022

Published Summer 2022

Children’s Art Workshops

OVER the last year Arundel Museum have been running some very successful art workshops for children. The aim of these sessions is for the children to have fun, use their creative imagination and take home a work of art and, hopefully, have a little more knowledge of the world of art. We have introduced the children to David Hockney, Matisse and Picasso as well as, with a nod towards local history and their environment, creating their own Coat of Arms. Two examples of their work above. We offer morning and afternoon sessions for primary aged children, with some age flexibility. Our charge is £10 per session. All art materials are included along with a refreshment break. Please contact Arundel Museum for future workshop dates. See our website at or phone 01903 885866.

Arundel gets its very own gin

MAEROSE Distillery, the family run small batch Sussex distillery, has announced the launch of Arundel Gin – a premium quality, London Dry gin dedicated to the beautiful West Sussex town of Arundel. Owner and Director Ed Coppard said “We are delighted to bring Arundel Gin to the residents and visitors of Sussex this April. We set out 18 months ago to create a gin that was fitting of such a beautiful, unique and historic town and that would capture the taste of a glorious Sussex summer.

The result is Arundel Gin. We use eight botanicals to create a gin that bursts with citrus flavour, and this is thanks to the flesh of both red grapefruit and ripe oranges. By using the flesh, rather than the peel like many other gins do, we are able to create something than feels fresh, summery, and perhaps a little too easy to drink!’

MaeRose Distillery is a small, family run business owned by husband-and-wife team Ed and Kay Coppard. Both grew up in Sussex and Arundel became a special place for them as it is where Ed proposed to Kay 2012. Although at the moment Arundel Gin is only available through the website it will soon be available at plenty of the Sussex markets and festivals this summer. For more information go to

Arundel Chamber of Commerce Holds Festival Fundraiser at Arundel Castle Cricket Club 

THE Chamber continue to hold monthly morning and evening networking meetings on the first Wednesday of each month. A list of meetings dates and venues is on the Chamber’s page on the Love Arundel website. Chamber members, Visit Arundel clients and AKIN, plus potential new members are all welcome. Chair Sharon Blaikie says “The Chamber brings many benefits and keeps the business community informed and connected. These monthly events are a great opportunity to once again come together in person, share latest news, and work together for the betterment of the town. The next meeting will be a special fundraiser evening for the Arundel Festival of the Arts with live music, barbecue and dancing on Wednesday 1st June from 5.30pm at the Arundel Castle Cricket Club.”

Tickets are £20 and available from Arundel Museum or For enquiries please email Chamber members ticket price includes £5 worth of tickets for the raffle!

The Chamber are also supporting Platinum Jubilee entertainment in the town over the Bank Holiday weekend. After the success of the Tarrant Street Christmas market last year, another Spring market was held on Saturday 26th March. Both were made possible by grants from the government’s Welcome Back Fund and logistical support from Arundel Town Council. As part of the grant process, it was necessary to gather feedback from businesses; this was mostly favourable and showed an appetite for more music, and possibly extra markets, to help bring footfall into town and support dwell time Arundel Museum are investing in an interactive screen for tourism information and are inviting local businesses to have a listing (Standard £50 / Premium £80). For more information contact

We hope many local businesses will support this initiative, which will be beneficial for both the town and the Museum. The Chamber represents a broad spectrum of businesses both across sectors and also geographically in the town and is open to anyone working in Arundel including freelancers and small businesses.

They welcome new members and if your business would like to join, the reduced fee of £30 still applies. Please email: for a membership form and any further information.

Arundel Tennis Club organises 2022 Dragon Boat Races

AS part of their policy of making Arundel Tennis Club a real part of the community this year, Arundel Tennis Club is organising the Dragon Boat Race, one of the signature fun events of the Arundel Festival. Held on Saturday August 27th it will be a highlight of the Festival and the Club will be entering two teams – if you are already a member and want to join one of the teams, the forms are in the Club House.

Apart from being great fun, the purpose is to raise funds for both the Club and an important but little-known charity called Home Start, which supports disadvantaged parents with children under 5. If you are not a member and wish to enter either a Boat or as an individual, please contact Sue Meredith who would be delighted to hear from you. 

Other Arundel Tennis Club News 

THE new membership year started on 1st April, and with the return of better weather, there has been some excellent tennis played already both social and competitive. Colin, the club coach, is continuing his BACK2TENNIS sessions as well as adult group, team and schools coaching sessions – you can contact him on 07768 685982. Anyone interested in joining the Club, as a playing or social member, do text or call Karen Byrne 07887 652618.

Help Plant New Trees for Canada Road

IN the great storms of 1987, an entire row of trees blew down in Canada Road as dramatically shown in our picture. Now Arundel’s Tree Wardens are planning to replace them. ‘This would not only serve to replace trees lost from this site in the hurricane but would give our community something to look forward to and leave a legacy for future generations, just as previous generations have done with the trees they preserved or planted for us,’ explains Fiona Keating one of the Wardens.

‘We want to do this because street trees look good, they give us oxygen, shade, clean air, help reduce flooding and support wildlife. They also support our own mental health and wellbeing. The disastrous effects of climate change mean that never have we been more in need of trees!’ Following local interest from residents who are keen to see trees planted in this location, local Tree Warden volunteers have consulted with Canada Road residents asking if they would like to see trees replanted. They received a positive response from the majority of residents.

The aim now is to raise the money to buy the trees. Fiona explains: ‘We are aiming to raise £1,100 which will buy 5 trees. Each tree costs £200 and will be provided by West Sussex County Council.

The money raised will cover the purchase of a 5–7-year-old tree from certified stock, planting, and the first 3 years of care (including replacing any trees that fail in the first year). The money will also cover the fundraising site fees.’ Each tree location will be checked for suitability by WSCC.

The tree wardens aim to use the well-established WSCC Donate-a-Tree scheme. ‘We hope to raise the funds by July 2022 ready for the tree-planting season that runs from November 2022 to March 2023. The project aims to be community funded.

By supporting the project you will be helping us keep Arundel as a green space.’ Help raise this money now! If you would like to support this project financially, all donations (however big or small) can be made at

Update from Arundel Community Land Trust

ARUN District Council have activated the ‘e-form’ to register interest in the affordable homes on the development off Ford Road. If you know people with local connections who are interested, please encourage them to register As The Bell goes to press, the Fitzalan Estates – a property company within the Norfolk Estate – are close to formalising their Joint Venture with a specialist housebuilder, Esquire Developments. The CLT’s Registered Provider of Affordable Housing, Aster, have negotiated a price to buy the Social Rent homes for the CLT. The CLT will pay just a £1 for each unit and lease them to Aster to manage. Aster will directly market the Shared Ownership homes, with priority for people with local connections.

CLT representatives visited Esquire Developments in Kent in June and briefed them on the issues expressed by the community through the Neighbourhood Planning process and other community consultations to date. Esquire is pursuing the next stage of the planning process with Arun District Council with public consultation expected during June. Hilary Knight of the CLT says: ‘They work with an architectural practice with a specialism in ‘traditional buildings and placemaking’ which means we can expect something quite distinct and more suitable for Arundel than what standard housebuilders do. The coming months will be critical as detailed planning progresses.’

Meanwhile, the CLT board are beginning to discuss projects beyond Ford Road: thier constitution is based on a ‘Community Assets’ model which gives them powers to raise funds through Share Issues as well as bequests and they hope to contribute to the implementation of Neighbourhood Plan projects to help Arundel evolve positively in the years ahead. Members are invited to AGM on 30 June. If you are not yet a member, please consider joining. More information and contact details

Open Garden in Torton Hill

MEANWHILE Chairman of the CLT Darrell and his husband Simon are preparing to open their amazing garden in Torton Hill to visitors on two dates in the summer under the National Gardens Scheme. Their garden is a lush suburban space on the outskirts of Arundel measuring just 25ft x 200ft but as Darrell says ‘we have transformed over the last 8 years from almost entirely lawn to a tropical jungle.

Both front and rear gardens contain a mass of palms, bananas, bamboos and all manner of spiky and large luxuriant foliage. Rules are not followed, as the delights of colour, shape and texture have driven its design with desert plants next to bog plants.

The garden has been designed thus far without any drawings or measurements- just placing things where they look best. There is a pond, a stream and a raised flint bed, and many sculptures and artworks.’

Our picture really does not do the garden justice so do go along and see for yourself. Teas will be served in aid of the Arundel Lido and the garden will be open from 1.00pm to 5.30pm on Sunday 17th July and Saturday 20th August. To pre-book- please go to: uk/view-garden/36964

Address: D&S Haus; 41 Torton Hill Road Arundel BN18 9HF


Digby Buys Kent Vineyard

BASED here in Arundel, Digby Fine English, England’s first negociant, has acquired its top Pinot vineyard, Hilden Vineyard in Kent. After a spate of major awards in 2021, this is a significant development for them to own and run the vineyard that has been supplying their top Pinot fruit since 2018.

Trevor Clough, Digby CEO and Head Blender, explains: ‘Our model of identifying top vineyards with a diversity of soil types to blend into its signature house style has worked impressively since launch. Hilden has consistently produced Digby’s top Pinots and now we’ve ensured it will have Hilden’s fruit forever. ’Hilden Vineyard was purchased from Philip Wright, who now becomes Digby’s new Chairman. He established Hilden with his wife Siggi, in 2014. 

Apart from overseeing the preparation and planting of the vineyard, together with its management when planted, Philip completed the course at Plumpton College on the principles of viticulture and also qualified as a City & Guilds sprayer. His previous career was at PricewaterhouseCoopers which included leading its corporate finance and recovery business globally after their merger.

Since retiring Philip has had a variety of non-executive positions and brings his experience in scaling and globalising successful young companies to the Digby Board, having worked extensively in multiple countries including Japan, Australia, Hungary and Germany. ‘We have always been very proud of our status as England’s first negociant’, Trevor says, ‘going against the grain in our quest to produce English sparkling of world-class quality. Now we have taken another big leap forward by acquiring our top-quality Pinot vineyard…… it is now ours forever. It’s another big investment into our long-term vision of helping to make England world-famous for fizz.’

Bell Ringers Needed at St.Nicholas

THE sound of the bells of St Nicholas ringing out on a Sunday morning is a wonderful part of the town’s atmosphere whether you are a church goer or not.

They give our community something special, but it is not easy to find and/or train new bellringers. Our picture shows the size and majesty of the bells themselves, but they are of no use without a full team of ringers. If you would like to join the team – whether as an experienced ringer or to be trained in the art, please contact Fiona Maxwell on 01903 882262 or email her on


Arundel Museum Art Exhibition Helps to Raise Money for GDWG

GATWICK Detainees Welfare Group (GDWG) held an art exhibition in Arundel Museum in the first week of May. Baron Dholakia OBE OC DL, Patron of GDWG, opened the exhibition in a Private View attended by Georgina Fitzalan-Howard, Duchess of Norfolk.

The art exhibition included work by well renowned artists Jackie Morris and Anita Klein alongside local Arundel and Sussex artists. The exhibition was part of an online auction which ran throughout May and raised over £9000. GDWG supports people who have come to the UK to seek sanctuary and who find themselves indefinitely detained. Michael Heathcote, Trustee and Treasurer of Arundel Museum said ‘at a time when refugee stories are prominent in the press and with tragedy unfolding in Ukraine, the Museum was delighted to welcome GDWG.’ The charity art auction, which closed at the end of May, can still be found on the websites or

Arundel Pop-up Sustainable Market – August

THE next date for the ever-popular Sustainable Market is Saturday August 20th 9.00am till 4.00pm at the Norfolk Centre, Mill Road. On sale will be Ethical products including Fair Trade, upcycled, vintage, organic and items enabling us to reduce our carbon footprint. There will also be a selection of Not-for-profit and charity stalls including UK Harvest, an embryo Repair Café, craft- based workshops and information about sustainability. There are fundraising opportunities for charities to run stalls or to provide the refreshments and volunteers to help on the day are also very welcome! For enquiries about the Repair Café contact Tom at For volunteering, general stall and fundraising queries please contact Pip at

A Pilgrimage through time

BE sure not to miss a fascinating Historical Exhibition which will be mounted by St. Nicholas’ Church from 11- 19 June this summer, in a marquee on the Parish garden site in front of the church. It should appeal to adults and young people alike. Apart from the Norman motte and bailey at the Castle, St. Nicholas’ Church is the oldest building in the town of Arundel. It was rebuilt in 1380. The Cathedral, dedicated to Our Lady and St. Philip Howard, was built in 1873 at about the same time as the Castle was rebuilt.

Over the last few years, the Heritage Committee of St. Nicholas’ Church has been researching and evaluating the remarkable and fascinating history that is at the very centre of our community. The research goes back to the Norman Conquest, to the reign of Richard II, when the church was rebuilt, to the enormous number of Masons’ Marks and graffiti dating back to the earliest times and to the foundation of the College of the Holy Trinity, of which the Fitzalan Chapel now remains. The Arundel Choir Book of the 1520’s, one of only three medieval choir books surviving in Britain, has been studied and copied for reference. Also, part of the history is the reign of Henry VIII who at the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1544 sold the Chapel to the 12th Earl of Arundel for 1000 marks.

Although one entire building the two parts have served different denominations for hundreds of years. The Civil War of the 1640’s saw the whole building occupied by Parliamentary forces and their horses as a result of which the Castle and the Chapel were left in a state of ruin. All this history and much more will be brought to life by the Exhibition. It is free of charge and in addition there will be children’s activities, short lunchtime talks and music in the church building, as well as a Pop-Up Cafe. It is to be hoped that the residents of Arundel and environs will be fired with enthusiasm by the history in their midst and St. Nicholas’ Church looks forward to welcoming everyone. As the Corpus Christi Festival of Flowers at Arundel Cathedral takes place during the same week, we hope that the combination of events in the two Churches will attract visitors from far afield. 

Thames Source to Sea Community Challenge

In September this year an amazing group of people will be taking on one of thirty sections that make up the entire length of the famous and scenic Thames Path – they will be walking to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy UK. The Community Challenge is the brain child of Andy Davies, a well-known Arundel resident, who has limb girdle muscular dystrophy. ‘Having always loved trekking and walking, when I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy in 2019, I thought what flat trail could I still do, to raise awareness and funds for muscular dystrophy? The Thames Path was the obvious answer. However, along came COVID-19 and muscular deterioration, and I had to think again. So, I thought “how about trying to get fellow people with muscular dystrophy, friends, family and others, out on the path?’

The Thames Path is a 184-mile footpath that follows the River Thames from its source in the Cotswolds, all the way to the Thames Barrier in southeast London. For one weekend in September, the charity is planning to gather a community of walkers, runners, cyclists and even paddleboarders to cover the whole distance.

Andy has split the Thames Path into 30 sections of between four and ten-and-a-half miles and graded each section from difficult to wheelchair accessible, so there will a suitable section for everyone. On Saturday 17th, the first 25 sections, from the source as far as Kew Bridge, will take place. Then on Sunday 18th those taking on the last five sections between Kew Bridge and the Thames Barrier will set off in a staggered start.

This will give you the option to cover all five sections – 26 miles in total – if you wish. There is also the option to take on the challenge virtually if you’d prefer. Everything you need to know is at thames-source-to-sea-community-challenge Please join Andy in raising money for this really deserving cause and have fun at the same time!

‘I Ought to Be in Pictures’ at the Priory Playhouse.

ONE of the many theatre treats in store for Arundel this summer is the Arundel Players production of ‘I Ought to be in Pictures’ by Neil Simon. Simon, whose name is synonymous with Broadway comedy, wrote more than 30 plays and nearly the same number of movie screenplays, mostly film adaptations of his plays. Among them are The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the Park, The Goodbye Girl, Chapter Two and California Suite. Simon has received more combined Oscar and Tony nominations than any other writer. 

I Ought to Be in Pictures premiered on Broadway in April 1980 and was made into a film starring Walter Matthau and Ann Margret in 1985. It centres on Herbert Tucker, a Hollywood scriptwriter whose ideas have dried up. His girlfriend of two years wants more of a commitment from him and one morning, his feisty 19-year-old daughter, whom he hasn’t seen in 16 years, shows up on his doorstep, asking him to help get her into the movies. What follows is classic Simon – humour and witty repartee interspersed with moments of real tenderness.

The play opens at the Priory Playhouse on London Road on 6 June and runs until the 11th. It stars Steve Wallace, who is well known to Arundel Players’ audiences, and Veryan Jennings, who has appeared in many Drip Action productions. Making her debut with the Arundel Players is 16-year-old Eva Chapman as the delightful Libby Tucker. Sandee Lewis, who is directing, says that she chose this play because it’s “a comedy with heart”. Because of the subject matter, it holds special meaning for her. “I was one of the lucky ones. I had my father for 50 years and he was always there for me. Recently, my granddaughter lost her husband to cancer and her three beautiful young children will have to grow up without their Daddy. This breaks my heart. I believe that, whatever relationship audiences have had with their fathers, they will be able to relate to this play.” Tickets are available by ringing the Box Office on 07523 417926 or online at

Arundel Gallery Trail 2022

This year the Arundel Gallery Trail celebrates its 33rd birthday and is back in force with over 90 artists and makers taking part. 

The Trail was originally the brainchild of Ann Sutton MBE OBE along with Derek Davis, Oliver Hawkins and Renee Bodimeade, who sadly passed away this February. While the practice of inviting hundreds of strangers into your home to view artistic endeavours is now well established, what makes the Arundel Trail unique is that it largely takes place on a few streets in the centre of town and is quite walkable. It is as popular as ever and, in this day and age, when so many events ask an entry fee, it’s wonderful to be able to pick up your free map and pass away a pleasant afternoon, idly wandering around the thirty plus venues and meeting the artist alongside their work and, it goes without saying, that its other great attraction is the opportunity it affords to peep inside some of the houses and in some cases, explore the gardens. The Gallery Trail is very much a part of the town and as Arundel’s demographics change, so our trail has had to adapt to survive.

Regular venues may have been lost as properties are changing from residencies to Airbnb holiday lets and weekend retreats, but all the time new ones emerge. There are a number of new venues this year. Duff House is opening its doors for the first time, with an amazing selection of artists. These include three locals; Chris Mitton who will stun you with the precision of his marble carving; Jamie Wood, alias Minka, creating images through modern technology, demonstrating that the mouse can be just as subtle as working with a fine sable brush and, after a long absence, Amy Fathers will be knocking us out with her sculptures in paper, that just have to be seen to be believed. The Trail has also extended to Ford and Walberton for the first time, where you will find up to a dozen artists showing. New to the list of local artists on this year’s Trail are Katie Worsdell showing her bead work and Freja Hind, who has begun to mix her two different styles of illustration and painting through digital art in a series inspired by the astrological zodiac signs. The Trail runs concurrently with Arundel Festival of the Arts. You can pick up a free guide from any of the venues, the Museum in Mill Road and several of the shops in town. All venues display red and grey numbered flags to help you locate them and entry is free. Venues that will be open to the public from 20th – 29th August from 12 – 5 daily.