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1881: Brighton choristers' memorable visit to Cuckfield.

Mid Sussex Times - Wednesday 21 September 1881

Outing of Brighton Choristers. Lovely weather attended the visit on Thursday of about 40 choristers from the Annunciation Church, Washington-street, Brighton, who were given a trip in the country by their esteemed minister, Rev. Mr. Chapman. Coming by rail to Haywards Heath early in the morning, they marched to their headquarters at the Rose and Crown Inn, but the forenoon was principally devoted to a ramble through the town, churchyard, and park, which seemed to attract great attention. The fine old parish church was also peered into, and generally scanned with interest, and after a breather the company sat down to a capital dinner, supplied in Host Brigden’s best style.

Cuckfield High Street c1880 (colourised - courtesy of Cuckfield Museum)

—Toasts of a friendly character followed the removal of the cloth, and many were the wishes exchanged that their beloved minister would live many years amongst them in that particular centre of the Queen of Watering Places in which he was labouring.

—Those who have become intimately associated with Mr. Chapman have found him a friend in need and a friend indeed, and most of the townspeople residing eastward of Washington-street can testify to the zealous and devoted manner with which he attends the wants of his flock. The church has been considerably enlarged lately, and the number of worshippers has accordingly increased.—During the afternoon a variety of field sports for handsome prizes were participated in, after which a bountiful tea was provided at the tavern, that was much enjoyed. Altogether the day’s excursion will be long remembered by the choristers, one and all testifying, on their departure by the 7.15pm train from Haywards Heath, that within recollection they had never spent a happier time in each other’s society.



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