The early morning sun rising over St Andrews Church, Alfriston set the beautiful scene last Thursday for Simon Jenkins from BBC Radio Sussex to report from our beautiful Village - The Eastern Gateway to the South Downs.
Using the power of social media (especially twitter), the Alfriston Events Team were able to invite and welcome Simon to the village to participate in the day four slot of the ‘village people tour’ series aired each morning last week.
Just before 7am the Old Chapel Centre opened its doors with the smell of hot coffee and chocolate biscuits to welcome members of the Events Team and local residents who had kindly agreed to brave the chilly early start.
With several live links to the studio throughout the breakfast show, Simon spoke with seven residents of the village each with a different role to play.
The events team Chairman Ray Savage began the live links by sharing, firstly; how wonderful and magical this medieval village is and secondly, how the many active community groups work together to benefit both residents and tourists.
Marion and Brian from the ‘Cuckmere Valley Transition Group’ were up next and explained how the transition group was set up to bring the villages of the Cuckmere Valley together to share experiences and skills. They spoke about the first ever Cuckmere Valley Skills Café, which takes place in the village on 21st March. The event plans to bring together different local countryside skills and crafts in one place and for visitors to be able to listen to talks, view demonstrations and purchase goods on stalls.
Local successful farmer and long term resident David Lewis pre-recorded an interview with Simon and spoke about the village emergency team that is always ready to spring into action; especially during the times when the village suffers flooding from the river Cuckmere. The most important message that David made was, whenever the flooding occurs, thanks to the emergency team members, “the village remains open for business”.
The hymn ‘Morning has Broken’ as many of you will know was written here in the village, and of course this was mentioned and a very hastily and slightly out-of tune choir was assembled. Thanks to a couple of the members from the village singing group; The Octaves being present we managed to complete the first verse and chorus reasonable well. The second verse started well but wasn’t quite so polished, and words were forgotten, thankfully Simon wonderfully and comically stepped in and completed the hymn for us!
Village wonder woman Sylvia Daw described during the morning as “The village Dynamo” was up next and spoke to Neil Pringle in the studio about the variety of exciting and successful village businesses and the number of events that take place throughout the year.
Local amateur astronomer and author Jane Green recorded a super informative piece that was shared on BBC Radio Sussex’s drive time program.
The morning’s excitement ended with taking part in the Village People’s Quiz (A quiz about the village and not the legendary pop group!). We managed to answer 4 out of the 5 questions! Finally we shared with the listeners that all the village events, community information and up to date village news is listed on the new and improved village website (www.alfriston-village.co.uk) and shared daily using our social media outlets.