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1900: Celebrity writer recognised on visit to Cuckfield ...

Updated: Apr 26, 2021

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 03 July 1900

Rudyard Kipling Pays a Visit

Kings Head circa 1900

A distinguished man, in the person of the author of “The Absent-minded Beggar,” visited Cuckfield on motor car on Thursday, accompanied by two titled ladies. The party partook of tea at the King's Head Hotel, and afterwards a stroll was taken round the town, with which Mr. Kipling told Mrs. Mears he was charmed. Indeed, so pleased was he with the locality that it is his intention to pay another visit shortly.

The lych-gate interested him very much, and so did the parish church. Mr. Kipling’s identity became known through the driver of the motor-car pointing to a box in Mrs. Mear’s house, on which were the words “For your credit’s sake —Pay, pay, pay,” and remarking “ My boss wrote that!”

Rudyard Kipling circa 1890

Quite a little crowd gathered round the hotel when preparations were made to return to Rottingdean. and just before the motor started Mr. Herrington called out “Three cheers for Rudyard Kipling.”

Mr. Kipling exclaimed “Good gosh! who knows me here?” Then smiled, raised his hat and drove away, doubtless thinking what cute beggars they are in Cuckfield.


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