Fifty years ago this year, four residents of Cuckfield sat around a kitchen table in South Street and came up with an idea of forming the Cuckfield Society.
They placed an advert in the Mid Sussex Times calling for a public meeting on January 19 and the society was born.
Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, the current committtee members have recalled their first chairman, Robin Fox, the actor, theatrical agent and father of famous theatrical sons James, Robert and Edward, who continued in the position until his death in 1971.
The first president was Ernest Kleinwort, grandfather of current patron, Sir Richard Kleinwort and villagers and “those with an interest” were invited to join for 2s6d.
Over the years, the society has been involved in many issues of village life from considerations of a by-pass, saving Beech Farm from the threat of a waste treatment site, and looking at the relocation of the primary school and Cuckfield Hospital. It has organised talks, walks, talent shows and Village Shows, set up the village website cuckfield.org and been involved in the Neighbourhood Plan.
Now, the society is planning the return of the popular bi-annual Summer Show, which is described as a “showcase of the best (and worst!) amateur theatrical talent Cuckfield has to offer”.
In recognition of the society’s landmark anniversary, the theme of this year’s show is ‘Cuckfield Carries On’, which charts world events through the ages as seen from a Cuckfield prospective.
The show takes place on Friday and Saturday July 5 and 6 at the Queen’s Hall with supper and a Pimm’s party included on the Saturday.
To mark the anniversary the society wants to raise more than £10,000 to provide ‘an exciting new piece of play equipment’ for the recreation ground.
The main fundraising event will be a Grand Summer Soiree and Auction at Holy Trinity Church tomorrow (Friday) and the committee hopes that as many people as possible will attend to help celebrate and support our fundraising.
Tickets are just £15 and are available (along with Summer Show tickets) from Wealden Stores, Flaneur and Window Scene.
For further inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org.