On Wednesday 18th March over 30 family, friends, colleagues and local residents came together at the The Star Inn, Alfriston to surprise and thank a very special couple, Liz and David Philips.
Long standing resident and chairman of the Alfriston Events Team, Ray Savage, tells us here, why the many committees in the village have felt it necessary to come together to honour Liz and David in this way.
Ray said: “Liz and David came to Alfriston taking over the running of the Post Office and Village Store in 1975 and making this their home. The Village Store is the heart of a village and a vital resource for it. Under Liz and David’s enthusiastic direction it was given a new lease of life.
Quickly they became founding members of the Village Trade Association and took responsibility for producing a yearly village brochure and separate map. These helped to raise the profile of the village ensuring it remained viable in some very difficult economic times.
In 1984 they left the Village Store and bought their beautiful house ‘on top of the village’ with the most breath-taking views. They opened ’Steamer Trading’ in the old Steamer Cottages and this was the first shop of its kind, supplying a range of kitchenware with a unique style. With the help of their son Ben from this one shop has grown one of the best known cook shops in the UK.
David and Liz in spite of being involved in sourcing and opening countless shops, continued their involvement in village matters serving and supporting many committees, continuing to produce the village brochure and map.
They were regular attendees at most Parish functions including the Parish Council meetings where their valued countenance was always very welcome.
They have diligently served this village and helped to keep it 'on the map’ contributing to it being the heart and gateway to the eastern South Downs as it is today.
Their retirement from the ‘Events Team’ earlier this year marks the closing of a very long chapter of wonderful service to our village. Liz and David we thank you from the deepest place in our hearts for all your efforts. Alfriston is a better place because of you both. Wishing well for the future.”
When David and Liz arrived at The Star Inn, they were overwhelmed and surprised to see so many faces from past and present committees that have been a part of for many years. With a wonderful buffet and wine on offer, a memorable evening of chatter and speeches took place. It was during the emotional speech given by Ray Savage, that Liz and David were informed of the villages desire to plant a young Hornbeam tree in a prominent part of Alfriston, along with a plaque commemorating their dedication and support that has helped to make this beautiful medieval village, a successful and vibrant destination for visitors over the last 40 years.
Thank you Liz and David from us all.