Passing Jarvis & Sons (where a Jarvis has been working behind the counter for 50 years!) I left Etchingham and turned into into Borders Lane. It wasn’t long before I found myself in the beautiful pastoral countryside that I was to enjoy for the next six miles.
After two miles I reached Grandturzel Farm, owned by very good friends, Frank and Margo Sanderson. I stopped by to say hello and Frank walked with me across a couple of fields and pointed me in the direction of the Church spire at Burwash.
It was an easy walk across a few more fields and through a delightful dell – the first mention of a ‘dell’ in the guide notes – and up to the the graveyard of St Bartholomew’s.
There were benches here with the most stunning views over the Dudwell Valley – there ought to be people queuing up to sit on them, the view is SO magnificent.
I didn’t have time to go inside the church as I’d made a plan to meet with Robert Bathurst at Bateman’s at 10.00am and wasn’t sure my walking pace would get me there on time. I’d been inside this lovely church on past occasions so didn’t feel I was missing out.
On walking up the high street I took a selfie with Rudyard Kipling. It was so nice not to have to keep my distance! The life-size bronze, created by Burwash-based sculptor Victoria Atkinson, was installed in February 2019. It is hoped it will encourage some of the over 120,000 people who visit Bateman’s to come into the village and support local businesses. I love this verse from “Sussex” by Rudyard Kipling written in 1902:
God gives all men all earth to love,
But since man’s heart is small,
Ordains for each one spot shall prove
Beloved over all.
Each to his choice, and I rejoice
The lot has fallen to me
In a fair ground—in a fair ground—
Yea, Sussex by the sea!
Soon I was in the lane below where I could see the distinctive Jacobean chimneys of Bateman’s and arrived there at the same time as Robert!
Robert has been a Patron of FSH since 2012. He’s compéred concerts and performed plays, recitals and raised incredible amounts for our hospices.
Some of his performances have taken part at The Bell in Ticehurst, which has been hugely supportive to FSH, sponsoring events, hosting quizzes and clothes sales for us. One of Robert’s memorable performances in aid of FSH was of “A Scattering” by Christopher Reid which was hosted by another FSH Patron, Marit Rausing, at Wadhurst Park. Marit and her husband Hans, who sadly passed away last year, have been tremendous supporters of FSH since its beginning. The Lund Trust, the charitable fund of their daughter, Lisbet Rausing and her husband Peter Baldwin has made regular generous donations to FSH over many years.
As we walked and talked I discovered that Robert and his wife Victoria are great walkers and lovers of nature. We talked about the impact Covid-19 had had on hospice care and funding and as well as the impact it’s had on our own lives. Leaving Bateman’s, a 17th-century Grade I listed building and famously the home of Rudyard Kipling from 1902 until his death in 1936, we were soon on our way.
We observed some very special looking rams, some beautiful long horned cattle and a gargantuan highland bull – thankfully the other side of a fence.
– with a huge, lion-like face complete with nose ring.
He was possessively guarding the only water trough in the field and wasn’t about to yield access to a thirsty looking, slightly smaller bull.
We stood and watched for a while but I think we might have been there all day before the smaller bull quenched his thirst.
It was a delightful and interesting walk, truly enhanced by Robert’s company.
This section of the trail was sponsored by Felicity Whitehead in memory of her late husband, Michael, who was cared for by Hospice in the Weald.
Felicity, a member of FSH’s fundraising committee, has championed and actively promotes The Dalemain Marmalade Festival which raises money for palliative care worldwide.
Founded by Jane Hasell-McCosh fifteen years ago and run from her home near Penrith the festival has raised over £250,000 – do check out the website: https://www.dalemain.com/marmalade-festival/