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The Rotary Club of
Cuckfield & Lindfield

Rotary Zone 18 (England) District 1250 (Sussex)

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Also on this page: Funds & Donations | Presidents | Charter Dinners | Paul Harris Fellows | Founder Members | President's Walks

Welcome to the Rotary Club of Cuckfield & Lindfield web pages

The Bent Arms

The Bent Arms in Lindfield High Street,
the Club's home since 1990

THE CLUB meets at 7pm for 7.30pm on Tuesday evenings at the Bent Arms, High Street, Lindfield (Telephone +44 (0) 1444 483146). Visiting Rotarians from other clubs are always welcome, but they should note that there is usually no meeting on any Tuesday which immediately follows a Bank Holiday Monday.

Usually whenever there are five Tuesdays in a month, members invite guests to attend the fifth meeting as well. Members have been holding their meetings at the Bent Arms since January 1990.

How to find us

The big banks may have deserted our villages but we still have some shops left, and not least in Lindfield High Street we have four pubs. Long may they continue. So really all any visitor has to do is find the village, just off the A272 and on the north-east edge of Haywards Heath.

The White Horse stands at the southern end of the High Street, opposite the village pond, and going northwards from there you pass the Stand Up Inn (formerly the Linden Tree) on the left and the Red Lion on the right. If you get that far, you'll have no difficulty in spotting the Bent Arms on your right a bit further along. If you find yourself outside All Saints' Church, you've gone too far.

Map of the Area

Something About Us

CUCKFIELD and LINDFIELD are two ancient mid-Sussex villages on opposite sides of the largely 19th century town of Haywards Heath. The Rotary Club of Haywards Heath was chartered in 1932 and used to meet on Fridays at lunch time.

To cater for the increasing number of businessmen living or working in the area who found it difficult or impossible to meet at midday, a new evening club was formed in 1984, and it took its name from the principal two villages nearby. On the Club banner there is an illustration of a signpost pointing in opposite directions to the villages of Cuckfield and Lindfield.


Charter Presentation

1984: District 125 Governor Bill Atkins presents Founder President John Craik with the Charter of the new club

The inaugural meeting of the Club was held in the Members' Pavilion of the Ardingly show ground on Tuesday 22 November 1983. The Charter was authorised and sealed by Officers of Rotary International on 6 March 1984 and the Charter Presentation Dinner took place at Clair Hall in Haywards Heath on Saturday 18 May 1984.

The Club started life with 30 members under the leadership of Founder President John Craik. In the early days, weekly meetings were held at Ockenden Manor in Cuckfield and then for some years at the Birch Hotel in Haywards Heath until the move to the Bent Arms in Lindfield in 1990. Currently there are 38 members, representing a wide range of business and professional vocations, and five of these are founder members.

Fund-raising & Charitable Donations

For an overview of the Club's activities raising money for good causes and its charitable disbursements, go to the Money section below.

Inner Wheel

In 1985 the wives of members formed the Inner Wheel Club of Cuckfield & Lindfield and at the start of this year the club had 38 members, who meet once a month at Lindfield Golf Club.

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Funds & Donations

The essence of Rotary is Service above Self through fellowship, to adapt our motto slightly

Accordingly neither the Rotary movement nor the Club is solely or even primarily just concerned with fund-raising or handing out substantial financial donations to charity.

That said, we do happily and gladly spend quite a lot of our time raising money in a variety of ways, and we do enjoy being able to pass the results of our efforts on to deserving causes, both locally and further afield.

So how do we raise our funds? And who are the principal beneficiaries?

For a dozen or so years, our biggest money spinner was the bank holiday sponsored race meeting at Plumpton.

Our highest take there was over £8,000 in 1994/95 and on two other occasions we made more than £7,000. Altogether we collected over £57,000 from 13 race meetings. The last event we ran at Plumpton was in 2005.

Darts presentations 2006

The Darts Marathon competition has been increasingly successful in recent years, starting in 1999 and netting more than £10,000 in several years since then. By 2016 the popular competition had raised over £140,000 for good causes.

Other good fund raisers have included race nights (most years until 2004) and book fairs (until 2002). Our Christmas street collections have also raised tidy sums over the years.


And when we've got the money, what have we done with it?

Almost every year since 1995 the Club's principal beneficiary has been the St Peter and St James Home and Hospice at Wivelsfield Green. Other local charities regularly supported have included in particular Age Concern Haywards Heath , Court Meadow School Cuckfield and Headway Hurstwood Park Newick. And international charitable causes have been given help too, including the Rotary Foundation, Rotary's own international charity.

Presentation To St Peter's 1995
above: a presentation to St Peter & St James in 1994

Kids Out has been an annual fixture on the Club's Community Service programme for many years.

Brian Hay at Chessington

The money here is really irrelevant. It's the pleasure the disabled or disadvantaged children get on what's for them a special day in the year. Not to mention the fun Rotarians have in the process. This must be one of the most satisfying projects going.

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Presidents of the Club

1984 John Craik¹ 1985 Bernard Jarvis 1986 Barry Wademan¹ 1987 Tom Upfill-Brown 1988 Clifford Bedson² 1989 John Gratwick 1990 Alan Forbes¹ 1991 Keith Buckle 1992 Norman England 1993 James Robb¹ 1994 Malcolm Wykes 1995 Wally Corbett² 1996 Brian Hay 1997 David Brann 1998 Derek Hopkins¹ 1999 John Davey 2000 Ken Walker¹ 2001 Cameron Sharp¹ 2002 Trevor Clapp 2003 David Wilson (Horsted Keynes) 2004 Ivan Grundon 2005 Paul Harris¹ 2006 Alex Mackenzie 2007 Richard Hands 2008 Roger Sawyers 2009 Chris Bosker 2010 Mike Kirk 2011 Geoff Dew 2012 Alan Bray² 2013 Barry Reed 2014 David Wilson (Cuckfield) 2015 George Ruse 2016 Jaime Wallden
(¹No longer a Club member; ²decd.)

Charter Anniversary Dinners

1984 Clair Hall Haywards Heath 1985 1986 1987 1988 Birch Hotel Haywards Heath 1989 Haywards Heath GC 1990 1991 Norfolk Pavilion Ardingly 1992 Haywards Heath GC 1993 Dudley Hotel Hove 1994 1995 Barnsgate Manor 1996 Europa Gatwick Hotel Crawley 1997 Ravenswood Country Club 1998 White Hart Hotel Lewes 1999 Singing Hills GC 2000 White Hart Hotel Lewes 2001 Wickwoods Country Club Albourne 2002 White Hart Hotel Lewes 2003 2004 2005 2006 Ravenswood Country Club 2007 RAC Woodcote Park Epsom 2008 Pangdean Farm Pyecombe 2009 2010 Queen's Hall Cuckfield 2011 The Oak Barn Burgess Hill 2012 Highley Manor Balcombe 2013 Hickstead Hotel 2014 Hickstead Hotel 2015 Hickstead Hotel 2017 Lindfield GC


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Paul Harris

District Governor presents the Fellowship

2000: District Governor Neil MacMahon presents the Club's first Paul Harris Fellowship award to Malcolm Wykes

Paul Harris Fellowships awarded to non-Rotarians
2004  Jo Hedges, Head Teacher
of Court Meadow School, Cuckfield
2015 Michael Harper, Alan Dearden (former members)
2016 John Craik (founder President)
Past President Malcolm Wykes

2000 Malcolm Wykes

Past President John Davey

2004 John Davey

Past President David Wilson

2006 David Wilson

Past President Trevor Clapp

2006 Trevor Clapp

Derek Hopkins

2008 Derek Hopkins

Barry Reed

2008 Barry Reed

Chris Kinnear

2010 Chris Kinnear

Alan Hancock

2010 Alan Hancock

Geoff Dew

2015 Geoff Dew

Founder Members (still in membership):

Geoffrey Dew, Bernard Jarvis
Alan Robinson
David Wilson (Cuckfield)
David Wilson (Horsted Keynes)

 Alec Landauer

2017 Alec Landauer


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Founder Members (still in membership):

Geoffrey Dew, Bernard Jarvis, Alan Robinson
David Wilson (Cuckfield), David Wilson (Horsted Keynes)

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President's Walks

A summer day's walk President's Walk 31 December 2000 Tramping through Nymans

The President's Walk has been a regular feature of the Club programme for members, wives and their dogs on the last Sunday of each month since 1994. (centre) Here you see the brave souls who battled with the elements on the last day of 2000 in Ashdown Forest (not forgetting John Davey, behind the camera, and several camera-shy dogs)

Tenth Anniversary Review

From The Gazette, April 2004

The first President’s Walk took place on 22 May 1994. That Sunday morning Jon Martin led a party of fourteen – members and wives – and three black dogs from the Coach & Horses at Danehill, through Buttocks Bank Wood, the Birchgrove estate, Twyford, Newnham’s plantation and Woodgate, before returning to the Coach & Horses for much appreciated refreshment.

The going for the walk was quite muddy, even for May, but otherwise the weather was kind. We made the trip in about an hour and a half, and somehow spent at least as long in the pub afterwards recovering. Our numbers by this time had increased by another three of the walkers’ wives, so altogether it was a fair turnout for a first attempt.

I suppose it was a typically casual Rotary conversation between Jon and me that had sparked off the idea of a regular but not too strenuous walk for Club members and wives (and dogs, as it turned out). Several of us were occasional walkers of one sort or another, and it was lucky that we had in Jon a more dedicated walker, and someone who already had good experience of leading walking groups in the area.

The monthly walks were planned principally as part of the programme for the forthcoming Rotary year 1994/95, but once we had it all set up, the then president Jimmy Robb – himself quite a keen walker – kindly agreed we could make a start during the last couple of months of his year. I’m not certain at that early stage that we envisaged the walks becoming so well established – and remaining a firm fixture in the Club calendar for at least the next decade.

Jon continued to lead the monthly walks for the rest of that first year, and Chris Kinnear took over for the second year. Jon, Chris and Alan Hancock shared the leading for the third year, and then Chris did another twelve-month stint himself. From the middle of 1998 about a dozen of us have led the walks more or less in turn. We are lucky in this part of the world to have such a wonderful variety of lovely countryside to explore, and although the routes for our walks are occasionally repeated over the years, it is surprising how often a leader will find new territory for us to discover.

Occasionally we have a longer walk than the normal couple of hours. On only our fourth walk in August 1994 we did extra miles over the Seven Sisters and through Friston Forest, completing the second leg back to the cars after enjoying splendid midday refreshment at the Tiger Inn at East Dean. That walk has been done again at intervals since and it’s always very enjoyable.

Sometimes we have had a couple of dozen or so on our walks; a few times it’s been but a handful, but I suppose more often than not we’ve had somewhere between ten and twenty walkers. You never can tell how many or just who will turn up. What you can rely on generally is that there will be several black dogs — probably the most consistent feature of our monthly Sunday morning forays. Their attendance record can only be described as exemplary.

One of the joys of the walks – indeed for an increasing number, the highlight – is the sustenance we enjoy in congenial surroundings afterwards. We started off quite simply, just a beer and sandwiches, but in recent times our refreshments seem to have developed a life of their own, and a number of us find it not so easy to face a Sunday evening meal after the spread we manage to get through in the pub at lunchtime. But it’s always a good excuse for a nap when we get home, another bonus.

Over the years a few local pubs have become regular favourites – the Ardingly Inn at Ardingly, the Green Man at Horsted Keynes, and more recently, our own Bent Arms in Lindfield.

Malcolm Wykes


After 22 years
the walk continues

The group marshalled for action

Another happy band of President's walkers shown here at Firle Beacon about to set off (or shilly-shally, in the words of leader for the day Karen Looker) to the top

Survivors from the first walks in 1994 and still striding out in 2016 are Chris Kinnear (disguised here as a simple French peasant) and Moira, and also lurking at the back Carole and former member Cameron Sharp

How do I look?

A last-minute check on my appearance – or enjoying the view from the summit – before setting off for well-earned refreshment at the Trevor Arms in Glyndebourne.


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