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Society delighted to announce that South of England Autumn Show & Game Fair WILL go ahead for 2020

Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th October 2020
9am – 5pm
South of England Showground, Ardingly, West Sussex

Following the cancellation of Spring Live! and The South of England Show, The South of England Agricultural Society is delighted to announce that the Autumn Show & Game Fair 2020 has been given the green light and will go ahead as planned.

Deemed a ‘Good to Go’ venue by Visit England, and adhering to strict new Covid-19 regulations, this year’s show will take place at The South of England Showground in Ardingly on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th October, between 9am and 5pm each day.

Although government guidelines mean that some hands-on activities will have to be restricted this year, the 2020 Autumn Show & Game Fair will still be a visual feast for visitors with a superb programme of demonstrations and displays that celebrate the British countryside. It will feature the ever-popular shopping opportunities from local and independent producers, with everything from homemade fudge to dog training equipment on offer.

Firm favourites will be returning, and the world-famous Jonathan Marshall’s horseback displays will still take place in the showground’s main ring, alongside gundog training and falconry demonstrations.

Animals lovers can meet and learn about farmyard favourites in the Animal Barn, admire the wagging tails of the rare breed gundogs, and be mesmerised by the capabilities of ferrets and birds of prey with various demonstrations.

Foodies will be in their element with stalls from local and independent producers. Plus, there will be a plethora of mouth-watering food stalls to choose from when it comes to eating at the event.

While the Pumpkin Trail around the showground and Ridley’s funfair are sure to be a hit with the children, the Brighton Kite Flyers’ will impress everyone with their huge kites and synchronised displays.

South of England Agricultural Society Autumn Show 2016.
Molly Stockley. Photograph by Natural PR

Unique vintage agricultural machinery, Scammell and traction engines will also be on display to recreate and educate about a bygone era. The clay shooting competition will still be available for adults and juniors and experts will be on hand to demonstrate their skills in fly fishing and hedge laying.

Corrie Ince, new Show Director at The South of England Agricultural Society, commented:

“We are absolutely thrilled that the Autumn Show and Game Fair will go ahead this year. While we had to take the difficult but right decision to cancel the spring and summer shows, we know that the South of England Showground is a huge outdoor space and, as such, is perfect place for socially distanced events. Since July we have already hosted a successful International Antiques and Collectors Fair, and Drive-in Comedy and Movie nights. There will be hand washing and sanitising stations and a social distancing policy throughout the entire show and showground, with face coverings required in the inside areas.

“While the event is most definitely designed to offer a wonderful day out in the family calendar, there’s also another important reason the Society host these shows each year – The South of England Agricultural Society is in fact a charity and any profits from the Autumn Show will help towards their work in showcasing the countryside to the public and supporting people across the South with an interest or involvement in agriculture and other related land-based industries. They inspire schoolchildren to learn about the land and where their food comes from, offer travel bursaries for people working in the farming sector and help with funding towards agricultural research – so, when you buy a ticket for the Autumn Show & Game Fair, you will also be doing your bit to help.”

For the protection of everyone at the event, tickets to the Autumn Show and Game Fair 2020 will be limited and should be booked at www.seas.org.uk before arrival to ensure entry, and to avoid queues. Tickets cost £11.70 for adults, £9.90 for senior citizens/students (inclusive of 10% online discount until midnight 02.10.20) – under 16s go free. Dogs are welcome although they will not be admitted to indoor areas.

This month’s guest editor is Jess Robson, the Founder of Run Talk Run.

With many struggling at this time of year, Run Talk Run is a global running community facilitating weekly support groups, who meet for a 5km jog and chat. Their aim is to make mental health support and running more accessible and less intimidating.

Here, Jess explains more about the benefits of running for your mental health.



“It wouldn’t surprise any of you if I told you that physical activity is one of the most commonly recommended natural remedies for stress, anxiety and depression.

But what is it about running, in particular, that improves our mental health?
When you break it down, it becomes really clear to see the intrinsic link between healing from mental illness and running.

When you are suffering from mental ill-health, one of the main obstacles is trying to bring your coping mechanisms back. The coping mechanisms that help you deal with whatever life throws at you. Running strengthens these coping mechanisms through:
• setting and attaining goals
• experiencing success and overcoming frustration
• creating and maintaining motivation

I am sure we have all heard about the effects of endorphins which are released when we exert ourselves… but it would be wrong to assume that every run we perform will leave us with the same “Runners High”. No. Often, your run will feel sluggish, it will be a mental challenge as much as a physical one and you could end up feeling worse after a run than before you started. Is this starting to sound contradictory and actually bad for your mental health? You’d be forgiven, but hear me out first.

Good Mental Health is centred (mainly) around these core strengths:
• Self-esteem/confidence
• Resiliency
• Motivation/determination

Self-Esteem & Confidence
One of the most notable aspects of running is that, as an individual sport, you must rely on yourself for results. Over time, as runs become easier and a person becomes fitter they will realise that they are fully equipped to better themselves and overcome challenges. This then transfers to other areas of their life, thus increasing their sense of capability at dealing with obstacles and stressors. Running is demanding and the rewards and frustrations of running fall only to yourself. Rising to the challenge of the demanding endeavour builds your ego and self-esteem as you realise that you are capable of doing great things… alone!

As mentioned before, not every run will be a “good run”. There will be days when the legs feel heavy, the lungs feel about 5 times smaller, you can’t get your head to focus on the task at hand… and on those days, you will complete the run thinking you ought to never run again! Resilience, consequently, is built through overcoming these bad runs and deciding to just try again. Developing the ability to visualise future success and tying up your laces just once more – that is resilience.
Ask yourself.. have you ever met a marathon-runner who lacks resilience?

Running encourages us to set both short-term and long-term goals. The longer term goals are often what motivates us to head out for a run, and the short term goal (of say, completing 5k this Thursday evening) provides us with determination to see something through. Focusing and visualising future achievements (e.g. running a race, or completing a particular distance) is so healthy. The goal is tangible and attainable and it is our determination that is strengthened to seeing us through to completion of that goal. No one can put in the training for us. Creating and attaining goals is invaluable experience to then attribute to other areas of your life – be that career, relationships, other life-long dreams and hobbies. Through achieving our running goals, we become more confident in our ability to see things through and develop our sense of self.”


The Eastbourne Run Talk Run meets every Monday evening at 6.15pm from City Gym (Furness Road, BN21 4EY) and is led by founder, Jessica, herself. The runs are free to attend and you can sign up by downloading the myCrew app or visiting runtalkrun.com

Put your nerves to the test and get ready to come face to face with g-g-g-ghosts and ghouls at Drusillas Park! Prepare yourself for a whole host of spine-tingling surprises and eerie entertainment. The award-winning zoo in East Sussex has plenty of fun events planned to keep your little horrors half term happy between Saturday 26th October and Sunday 3rd November.

Venture through the creepy cobwebbed corridors of Haunted Heights into the terror-tory of sin sisters, Hocus & Pocus, as they play hide and shriek with the unsuspecting public! Step carefully as you pass this derelict castle, which towers high above the skyline of Drusillas, because deep inside lies a ghostly secret… knock on the trap door and discover the spook-tacular surprise within…if you dare…

Or take your chances in Mungo’s Adventure Maze; missing from the ancient tomb, a Mummy has been seen wandering through the shadowy pathways of the twisted maze…

Plus, don’t miss The Gruffalo (Wednesday 30th October) or the Creepy Crawly encounters in the Discovery Centre throughout the week.

Located just off the A27 in Alfriston, Drusillas Park is open daily from 10am. For more information, please telephone 01323 874100 or visit www.drusillas.co.uk



The Sussex Family Grapevines have a great competition; for your chance of winning a free family ticket during half term week, just tell us who will be visiting Drusillas on Wednesday 30th October 2019?

Click here to enter for FREE by Friday 11th October 2019.


T&Cs: One winner selected at random from the Sussex editions of the Family Grapevine magazine will win a family ticket (2 adults & 2 children) for entry into Drusillas, for one day between Saturday 26th October and Sunday 3rd November. No cash alternative.

Over twenty well know personalities from the world of media and sport will take part in a family fun charity football tournament on Sunday 1, September in Seaford.

The 7-a-side tournament, of 11 teams, that includes players such Albion legend Kerry Mayo, TalkSport presenter Michael Kurn, TV star Rob Lamarr and Britain’s Got Talent runner up Wayne Woodward as well as separate LookALikes team, to include Mrs. Brown, Pamela Anderson, David Beckham, James Corden, Robbie Williams, Prince Harry and Marilyn Monroe will be playing for the trophy at Seaford Town FC.

The tournament is the brainchild of local builders’ merchants, Chandlers Building Supplies – known for its charitable outreach programme. In association with Celeb FC and hosted at Seaford Town FC, the event will run from 12 noon until 6 pm. Food, entertainment, competitions, music and kids’ entertainment is all on offer.

All proceeds from the day are going to four charities; Rainy Day Trust, Teenage Cancer Trust, Variety – the Children’s Charity and local Seaford WOLO charity – helping families affected by cancer.

Sue McKinney of Chandlers Building Supplies, said: “This footie charity tournament promises to be a wonderful family day out. Come and meet the famous faces and enjoy the entertainment. The charities are all very worthy of your support. Everyone is welcome and we’re all looking forward to a great day.”

Tickets available from www.ticketsource.co.uk/chandlers and on sale at the gate on the day, subject to availability. Adults £3, children £2 (under 2s free) with all the proceeds going to charity.


From the producers of the some of the world’s finest circuses comes a brand new show specially created for a exclusive UK tour.

Continental Circus Berlin will be performing in Eastbourne from the 1st to the 6th of August and in Hastings from the 8th to the 13th of August 2019.

From amazing high wire walkers to rola balancing on a motorbike, super fast Las Vegas quick change to the death defying Globe of Death; Continental Circus Berlin is an amalgamation of brilliant Circus acts, music & real youthful energy, incorporating fantastic performers from all over the world.

Housed in a climate controlled Theatre style big top is sure to impress, this magical production is brimming with an international cast of breathtaking artistes featuring an unrivalled mix of genuine circus talent from every corner of the globe.

This circus is the finest show to come to town under The Continental Circus Berlin banner and this famous name has always been your guarantee of a great show, a rare treat, great fun & with something for all ages.

Don’t miss out on this amazing show and we have a special 2 for 1 offer just for you:





EASTBOURNE: Princes Park, Royal Parade, BN22 7PY

  • Thurs 01 Aug 7pm
  • Fri 02 Aug 3pm & 7.45pm
  • Sat 03 Aug 3pm & 6pm
  • Sun 04 Aug 2pm & 5pm
  • Mon 05 Aug 3pm & 7.45pm
  • Tues 06 Aug 12 noon & 3pm

HASTINGS: Glyne Gap Field, Bexhill Road, TN40 2JS

  • Thurs 08 Aug 7pm
  • Fri 09 Aug 3pm & 7.45pm
  • Sat 10 Aug 3pm & 6pm
  • Sun 11 Aug 2pm & 5pm
  • Mon 12 Aug 3pm & 7.45pm
  • Tues 12 Aug 12 noon & 3pm

In an age where so much entertainment is unreal, made up of special effects, CGI and has a virtual reality, being pre-recorded, multi-tracked, digitally enhanced or in some other way electronically created – the sheer reality of a live show is a breath of fresh air and the feats and skills seen at Continental Circus Berlin are often so amazing that the circus-goer literally can not believe their eyes!


After a turn out of over 1,000 people last year, Happyjacks Softplay are doing it again and inviting everyone to Eastbourne Sports Park on Tuesday 30th July, for their annual Picnic in the Park event to help raise vital funds for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice.

So bring your picnic and a rug, and let your little ones have a go at some or all of the activities that will be available on the day! Try something new or a family favourite….  and help to raise lots of money for this great charity!

It’s only £1 entry per family, with the first 200 families also receiving a FREE goody bag too!

Further money will be raised via your donations for taking part in various activities at the stands, so bring a few £s per child and all those bits of loose change to have a go on all sorts of fun stalls and games. Activities in the Main Arena will be FREE to take part in. Remember all proceeds will go to Chestnut Tree House.

We caught up with Jaki Tompkins from Happyjacks Softplay who is busy planning the event “I was astonished by the turnout last year and we’re hoping that this year will be even bigger! We have so much fun organising this event every year and it’s great to see everyone having fun attending it. The fact that we’ve raised over £5,000 for Chestnut Tree House is really amazing and shows a great community spirit in Eastbourne.”

Chestnut Tree House is the children’s hospice for East and West Sussex, Brighton and Hove and South East Hampshire and cares for 300 children and young adults from 0-19 years of age with progressive life-shortening conditions.

The Picnic in the Park events have raised £5,627 over the past five years, which is enough to cover the costs of two whole days of all of Chestnut Tree House’s community services.

Keep up to date with all of the plans for the 2019 event via the dedicated Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/1273326782818203/ 

A movie, shot locally, that encourages children to get off their device and go out and have fun, hits screens this summer!

Adventure Boyz is a new family adventure film, shot in and around Eastbourne from Arlington Speedway Stadium to Herstmonceux castle and also Eastbourne College and St Andrews prep are recognisable backdrops amongst many others. Plus some of the star actors can also be seen been seen in blockbusters such as Harry Potter and Tomb Raider and act alongside many of the film’s exiting new local talent.

Adventure Boyz  has already screened at the Cannes Film Festival to fantastic reception and is set to hit the big screen in July and August, showing locally at the Hailsham Pavilion Cinema with an opening weekend on 20th July (With lead cast and director in attendance) and every Friday morning throughout the school summer holidays.

Award-winning film director Howard J. Ford revealed to Family Grapevine; “There are so many amazing and beautiful places around us, yet I see so many children walking around staring into devices, I felt as a film maker I had to do something to remind us all that the thrill and excitement of real life adventures can offer us so much more in life than the online world. Also Adventure Boyz (Which is for Girls too and the whole family) is also a fun ride in itself with Speedway action, BMX and outsmarting pesky criminals and giving bullies their comeuppance!.

Watch the trailer…








Opening weekend screenings at Hailsham Pavilion include appearance by main cast members:

Sat, 20th Jul 2019 at 2:15 pm
Sat, 20th Jul 2019 at 7:45 pm
Sun, 21st Jul 2019 at 2:15 pm

then on Fridays throughout the summer holidays…

Fri, 26th Jul 2019 at 11:00 am
Fri, 2nd Aug 2019 at 11:00 am
Fri, 9th Aug 2019 at 11:00 am
Fri, 16th Aug 2019 at 11:00 am
Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 at 11:00 am
Fri, 30th Aug 2019 at 11:00 am

For more information, visit https://hailshampavilion.co.uk/events/adventure-boyz/ 

Keen for the kids or grandkids to discover the delights of country living this spring?

A visit to the Spring Live! show in Ardingly, West Sussex, will give the whole family all the inspiration they need and, even better, children under 16 go free*!

This year’s Spring Live! – organised by the South of England Agricultural Society – will be held over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend (5th & 6th May) and promises a jam-packed programme of interactive activities to keep everyone entertained.

Whilst the family can still enjoy the traditional elements of a country show with maypole dancing, the mini-sheep show, and animal barn, this year’s event will see an exciting twist on the activities. Traditional wood spindling becomes a magical wand making workshop, knights and princesses can be wowed by medieval games and try their hand at axe throwing, animal lovers can get up close to creepy crawlies and reptiles, and wannabe drivers can test their skills on the exhilarating Segway or mini monster truck courses.

It’s not all for the kids though, parents and grandparents alike can explore the shopping area, get a few tips at the Garden Theatre, savour the delights of the artisan food hall, or simply soak in the atmosphere at the live music stage featuring an array of fantastic local talented performers.
Even better, because the South of England Showground is blessed with so many barns and indoor event spaces, there’s no need to worry about wet weather – most attractions can go ahead or be moved undercover, allowing guests to enjoy Spring Live! come rain or shine.

A bumper number of visitors is expected at the show, and all profits will be used to help fund the Society’s charitable projects that support agricultural education and countryside learning.

Iain Nicol, CEO of the South of England Agricultural Society, said: “We are delighted to be unveiling even more entertaining activities for all the family to enjoy and look forward to welcoming many new visitors to our spectacular showground this spring.

“While the show will be all about fun and entertainment, there’s a wider purpose to our events here in Ardingly. Any profits help us continue and develop our charity work in support of people with an interest or involvement in agriculture and other related land-based industries. From inspiring school children to learn about the land, to offering travel bursaries for people working in the farming sector or helping with funding towards agricultural research – when you support Spring Live!, you will also be doing your bit to help this incredible charity.”

Tickets for Spring Live! 2019 are available from seas.org.uk and can be bought online in advance for a 10% discount. Tickets cost £12 for adults, £10 for senior citizens/students £10, and under 16s go free with a paying adult*

Woo hoo it’s a four day weekend… but it’s also the end of the school holidays, so if you need a bit of “egg-spiration” (sorry!) to get you through those final few days here’s a list of Easter activities to help!

Here’s our top picks…

1. Easter at Michelham Priory
19 April – 22 April
Come join Michelham Priory for seasonal hands-on activities, children’s trails and Easter Egg Hunt. There’s something to do what ever the weather!  Normal admission applies.








2. Sharnfold Farm Easter ‘Animal Trail & Egg Hunt’
19 April – 20 April
Bring the kids along to the Farm & Forest Trail  on Good Friday and Easter Saturday. Learn about the farm and woodland animals and join in with an activity sheet.
What’s Easter without an Egg Hunt? Also over the Easter weekend, the little ones can enjoy our fun, infamous Egg Hunt in the hay barn.
Just £5 per child. Adults are free. Don’t forget, our coffee shop and play area will be open too, so it really will be a fun-filled day out at Sharnfold Farm.

3. Easter Day at the Shack at the Cuckoo Shack Café, Polegate
22 April
Mini Easter egg hunt, forest school crafts and meet the ponies! We’ll also have mini Easter egg hunts for the little ones running at 11.30 and 12.45. Followed by meeting, brushing and learning about the ponies, and making forest school themed crafts to take home. £3 a session. Tickets available at the café from 11am.


Plus a wide range of other activities for the whole family…

Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt at Bateman’s, Burwash
19 – 22 April
Throughout the Easter school holidays we’ll be offering families the chance to join in the fun of our Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt. £3 per trail. No need to pre-book.
Delicious Cadbury chocolate treat prize per hunter. Non-chocolate alternative prize also available

Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt at Alfriston Clergy House
19 – 22 April
Our annual Easter trail for families returns, embark on a self-led trail to find all the bunnies in the garden. Booking not needed. Admission applies

Cadbury Easter Egg hunt at Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters
19 – 22 April
Immerse yourself in the wild, complete your nature diary and receive a chocolate egg. Booking not needed.  Admission applies.

Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt at Monk’s House, Lewes
19 – 22 April
Come and join in the Easter fun and earn a tasty reward! Booking not needed. Admission applies.

Easter Bunny Hunt at Wilderness Wood, Hadlow Down
19 – 22 April
Join us for Spring celebrations at the woods with Lucy’s Little Forest School’s take on the traditional Easter Bunny Hunt; hand-crafted chocolate treats provided by local chocolate maker Rowdy and Fancy’s, arts and crafts, face-painting and flowers, wood demos and a delicious lunch-time BBQ. £10 per family

Easter Woodland Hunt at Stone Cross Garden Centre, Eastbourne
19 – 21 April
Enjoy time with the family this Easter and take advantage of our Bluebell Woodland walk at the same time.

Easter Grotto at Fort Fun, Eastbourne
19 – 22 April
Hop along to our Easter Grotto which is ALL included in your admission and pass holders are free.

PupStation’s Easter Fun Day, Eastbourne
19 April
Free craft activities (booking required), plus a free draw to win an Easter Egg.

The Great Easter Egg Treasure Trail at The Seasons, Forest Row
20 April
A fun community event open to children of all ages. Collect your Easter Egg Trail sheet from The Seasons any time from 11am. There will be twenty places to visit around the village where there will be gifts and Easter activities to enjoy. Collect a stamp on your sheet from every location, then return to the start to collect your prize.

Easter Bunny Hunt at Ridgewood Village Hall, Uckfield
20 April
Come along to our Bunny Hunt for a day of family fun. We will have Bunny Hunts where each child gets a prize. £3 each.

Easter Egg Hunt at The Gingerbread Kitchen, Gildredge Park Eastbourne
20 April
Decorate a basket at home for a chance to win a BIG EASTER EGG. Eggs will be hidden inside and outside around the café.

Egg-citing Easter Egg-vent at St Anthony’s Centre, Eastbourne
20 April
Free Easter Egg challenge, café with scrummy food, games & prizes, free crafts for the kids, pottery decoration & craft sellers. Come join the fun!

Easter Saturday Bonnet Making & Egg Hunt, The Giant’s Rest Wilmington
20 April
Decorating Easter bonnets for each child to take home with them, using a straw hat and various Spring and Easter attachments to make it fabulous. Also, getting crafty and preparing for the Easter Egg hunt by decorating baskets, where each child will be tasked to hunt out hidden eggs to claim their full-size Easter Egg!

Easter EGGspress at the Eastbourne Miniature Steam Railway
21 April
Visit the Easter Bunny and each child riding the train will receive a chocolate egg. No extra charges, normal admission prices apply.

Easter Egg Hunt at East Sussex National Golf Resort & Spa, Uckfield
21 April
Join us with the family for an Easter Extravaganza. We’ve got a great little stroll around the gardens, with hidden clues to find the eggs for the little ones. Family Afternoon Tea available to be pre-booked, with games and colouring books to keep the kids entertained.

Easter Bunny Hunt at Herstmonceux Castle, Halisham
22 April
A fun filled family event with lots of activities including decorating the egg, colouring competition and have-a-go archery and falconry displays. Meet the Easter Bunny and go on a bunny hunt around the gardens. Lots of fun for everyone!


If you’d like to submit an Easter event, please email us.

Disclaimer: All information correct at time of publication. Please note some activities maybe limited or require additional payment. Please contact the venue prior to travel to confirm all details.

For the first time in its 17-year history, the World Crazy Golf Championships is including a new junior competition category – just for children.

The World Crazy Golf Championships take place at Hastings Adventure Golf across the weekend of June 7 – 9, with the junior category, for those aged 8 to 14, played on Friday 7 June at 5.30 pm.

A novice competition category, introduced two years ago, is played over one day, Saturday 8, June, while the crazy golf professional category is played over two days, Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June.

The Championship boasts a £4,500 prize pot with each category competing for a separate prize fund. £3,000 prize fund is allocated to the professional category, with the overall winner scooping £1,000 – the largest prize fund in mini golf. A separate prize fund of £1,500 is allocated to the novice category. There are also opportunities for team entries in both the novice and professional categories. The junior category will have awards for first, second and third place.

Simon Tompkins of Hastings Adventure Golf said: “We are thrilled to introduce the junior category to this year’s championships. The three separate competitive categories; professional, novice and junior, help make the championships even more inclusive.

“The novice category was established two years to give non-professionals an event of their own. Now the addition of the junior category makes the Championships an open playing field for younger players too. So get the putters polished and start practicing!”

All competitors must beat the windmill and watermill as well as negotiate the bends, twists and ramps on the traditional seaside course at Hastings Adventure Golf – dubbed the UK’s ‘spiritual home of mini golf’.

Following last year’s fantastic efforts, there will again be prizes for ‘best dressed’ and ‘personality of the competition’ this year.

This is the seventeenth year that Hastings Adventure Golf has hosted the global championships – now firmly considered the pinnacle competition for crazy golfers around the world.

Competitors can enter via the Hastings Adventure Golf website: www.hastingsadventuregolf.com/book

All entrants are entitled to half price practice golf at the complex.