On Friday 2nd September, Clare Balding took time out from covering the Rio Olympics to make her next Ramblers programme. Having learnt about the Alphabets project, established by June Goodfield she asked her to join her on a Downs walk. The project celebrates our newest National Park by reprinting Eleanor Farjeon’s, A Sussex Alphabet, alongside a new South Downs Alphabet - poems written by children and students of the Third Age. Peter Bridgewater’s, Snake River Press will publish them in a box set edition, along with the poem All the Way to Alfriston.
At the start June read a letter that Eleanor wrote about her deep love of the Downs. Then guided by Debbie Greenfield, Clare walked with June, Lynne Truss and Amanda Elmes from SDNPA the six miles from Bo Peep to the village, via Rathfinny, looking for things Eleanor Farjeon would have seen in the 1920’s, and those she would not from microlights to vines! As the walk progressed June read some of the original poems such a J is for Jerry’s Pond. The pond is still there!
The high point came in front of The Star, where June recited the relevant lines from All The Way To Alfriston.
" .. and saw an ancient hostelry,
Even demons in the street
And Angels, dragons and St George
As I was come to Alfriston"
Finally everyone gathered in the hostelry and over liquid refreshments, Clare met some of our other friends, who live in Alfriston.
Clare’s Ramblers - BBC Radio 4 will be broadcast on Thursday, 13th October at 3.00 pm and repeated on Saturday 15th, at 6.00am. A second BBC radio team also accompanied the walk for a programme, Feedback. They have sent in this information.
We plan to air the piece in this week's programme which airs on Friday 9th at 4.30 pm and is repeated on Sunday 11th at 8pm. If there is any change to that transmission date we will be able to let you know on Thursday. We don't anticipate that happening as it will be a lovely preview of the new series of Ramblings. It should be around 6 minutes within the half hour programme.