Flying the flag for Sussex Day

Allan Hutchings Photography'''07919 520340
Allan Hutchings Photography'''07919 520340

Thousands of people across the county are gearing up to mark the 2012 Sussex Day this weekend.

The yearly event, first launched by West Sussex County Council in 2007, encourages people to celebrate the county’s heritage and sees hundreds of food, drink and charity events take place.

It happens on June 16, the same as St Richard’s Day, to mark the life of the former bishop of Chichester nearly 800 years ago.

Every year residents, traders, schoolchildren and businesses have the opportunity to use the day to showcase everything good about the county.

Also supporting the day is recently-crowned Miss Sussex winner, Alyse Spratt.

The 23-year-old, from Lancing, will be flying the official Sussex Day flag for the celebrations.

She said: “I am very proud to have the chance to represent my county at this weekend’s celebrations.

“West Sussex has so much to offer - personally I really love the countryside.

“When I was younger I would go walking with my family across the South Downs.

“It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world.”

Alyse will be at Goodwood on Saturday in a bid to raise cash for a school which helps children with autism.

Speaking on her victory in the recent Miss Sussex contest she said: “It was the first competition I had ever entered and so I never thought I could win.

“When they called out my name it was a big surprise.”

Alyse is now going head-to-head with 64 contestants from other counties for the title of Miss England.

She said she feels confident about the national competition which is happening in Leicester on June 26.

She added: “Even if I don’t win I’ll still be proud to have represented my county because I really love Sussex.”

To find out more about Sussex Day, including any events happening across the county, go to: