Horsted Place Hotel Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary

The Horsted Place Hotel is celebrating its Pearl anniversary this year after original starting out as a picturesque home. The building was constructed in 1851, set in the countryside, and remains to this day set apart from but relatively close to the busy A26 road outside of Uckfield.

The hotel has in the past accommodated the Queen and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. If you wish to stay in either of those rooms you can ask for either the Windsor Suite or the Edinburgh Room.

Whilst the hotel goes under frequent renovations to both it’s interior and furniture it has always remained in the same style and would still be recognizable from 50 years ago.

Horsted Place was originally built for Francis Barchard who was a London businessman. His legacy lasts till today where his intials and heraldic eagles can be viewed on the staircase within the building. This historic staircase was actually exhibited at The Great Exhibition in 1851.

Their 30th anniversary will be celebrated with an afternoon tea party that will be hosted in the former orangery however if you are hoping to get a ticket you may well be out of luck as most of the tickets have already been sold.

The Heber Opera Will Return To Uckfield On May 29th

Mark your calendars and keep them clear for the Heber Opera will return to Uckfield on May 29th. The opera will bring with it an entirely new production as well as a new director, Dorothy Withers. The Heber Opera will perform The Pearl Fishers, comprised of a cast of four principals and 20 in the chorus. The opera will be hosted at the Uckfield Civic Centre at 6pm.

In case you are wondering, the performance will be in English. The new director, Dorothy Withers, was formerly a soloist with the opera and has been with them from the very started and has now been joined by her husband, Michael, as the musical director.

Their goal for the performance is to bring drama accompanied by the highest quality singing. The opera written by Georges Bizet is famous for the Sacred Temple duet named Au Fond Du Temple Saint. The story behind the opera is based on the job of pearl diving in the Far East.

If you are interested in attending, tickets are now available online at ticketsource.co.uk or via the Heber Opera official website.

Local Business Spotlight

Today, we are featuring the online business, www.thefitnessrecipes.com. This should be of interest to anyone looking to earn a living or supplement their income online.

TheFitnessRecipes is run by a local Uckfield resident with the goal of providing discount codes, also known as voucher codes, for individuals looking to purchase from online fitness related retailers such as sports nutrition supplements, equipment etc. They provide numerous ways for their visitors to save money through a sign up bonus, referral code or discount code at retailers such as MyVitamins, Gymshark, MyProtein, Maxishop, GoNutrition and more. There are also a number of articles that provide ways and tips for saving money when pursuing your fitness goals such as making your own homemade supplements.

Whilst voucher code sites are numerous the idea for the website was born out of the lack of sites targeting the fitness industry. Living a healthy lifestyle can become quite expensive with gym memberships, equipment costs and larger grocery bills. There wasn’t anyone providing tips on where you could cut corners and where you shouldn’t. Whilst there were a handful of sites providing discount codes specifically for the fitness niche they would often impose small barriers such as requiring a membership card in order to obtain the promo code. This is obviously not very practical since most people only look for a promotional code once they are already at the checkout and are ready to pay.

The website has been slowly growing to make a steady income, but you might be wondering how do these websites make money? The answer is through an affiliate program. Each time you make a purchase after clicking on a website’s affiliate link, the website will earn a commission on the amount you spent on that purchase. Don’t worry though, the cost to the consumer doesn’t change. The amount of commission the website earns varies from retailer to retailer but can be as little as 2% up to as much as 10%. For example if a consumer spends £100 after clicking on an affiliate link, the website could earn as much as £10 commission.

£10 might not sound a lot but if a website is getting 1000s of visitors a day this could very quickly mount up, it’s just a question of how do you get more visitors to your website! That’s the hard part!

Halloween Parties For Children in Uckfield

There are two halloween parties available for children on Friday night. The first one is at the Civic Centre, organised by King’s Church and the second is at Barney’s Playbarn located on Bellbrook Estate.

The event at King’s Church is free for primary school aged children. The event will take place from 6-8pm, dress code is “dress for mess not to impress”. Parents are also welcome and whilst waiting can always have a drink in the Luxfords Bar.

The event at Barney’s costs £8 per child, payable either at the centre or by phone on 01825 764575. The event starts at 5pm and will finish at 7pm.

Places To Visit in Uckfield

Bridge Farm Wood

Bridge Farm Wood is owned by the Council but will be maintained by the developer until 2007. Running alongside the old railway line, the Wood can be accessed from Bridge Farm Road.

Hempstead Meadows Local Nature Reserve

The Local Nature Reserve (LNR) was designated by ESCC in December 2002 and officially opened in July 2004 after improvements had been put in place. The reserve is an ancient wetland formed as part of the River Uck flood plain. Cattle are grazed on the LNR for approximately 6 weeks each autumn as part of the ongoing management plan for the area

Harlands Farm Pond

The Pond is one of the largest toad crossing and breeding ponds in Sussex. This very important site hosts at least 4 different species of amphibian – common toad (not now so common), common frog, smooth newts and palmate newts.

The Pond is maintained mainly by local volunteers. Adjacent to the pond valuable ancient woodland. The whole woodland is protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) and it is important to note that contravention of a TPO is a criminal offence.

Victoria Pleasure Ground

Situated at the top of Old Timbers Lane, off New Town, Victoria Pleasure Ground consists of a children’s play area, basketball courts, tennis courts, football pitch, cricket wicket and sports pavilion. The upstairs of the pavilion is used as the club house for Uckfield Town Football Club.

Nightingale Wood

The Wood is a small strip of land on the outskirts of the Harland’s estate which is also covered by a blanket TPO. A public footpath runs through the wood from Bullfinch Gardens to the Eastbourne Road with another informal ending at the electricity sub station off Mallard Drive.

Bridge Cottage

Bridge Cottage, in the middle of the Town is a fine example of a 15th Century Wealden Hall house, which probably dates from 1436. The building is currently leased to the Uckfield & District Preservation Society (UDPS) which is responsible for the majority of the fabric of the building.

What Is Best Value?

Best Value was introduced under the Local Government Act 1999 to ensure that Best Value Councils consistently worked towards continuous improvement.  Best Value Councils were deemed to be those with an expenditure of over £500,000 for a specific period of time.

Best Value introduced a framework called “the Four Cs” to help Best Value Council’s measure their continuous improvement for all of their services, and required each Best Value Council to prepare and publish an annual Best Value Performance Plan (BVPP).

The BVPP is a public document but is primarily  for Uckfield Town Council itself, in order that Members, and officers, can influence and measure improvements in the services that the Council provides.  

It provides the Town Council with an opportunity to articulate its proposals for the continuous improvement for the coming year and should include how weaknesses will be addressed, opportunities seized and better outcomes delivered for local people.

The Council is required to consult on the BVPP each year.  This is achieved by

• Inviting comments from the County and District Councils

• Sending copies to local organisations in the Town

• Providing copies at the Civic Centre and the Library

• Publishing the document on the Town Council’s website

• Posting notices around the Town as to its availability

• Issuing copies to the local press.

The Town Council has undertaken to subject each of its services to a Best Value Review on a rolling programme of reviews, revisiting each service at least every five years.  Each review uses the “Four Cs” framework and ensure that the Council:

• Consults with local residents, users, staff, and a number of other organisations.

• Investigates whether the Council can, or should compete with other service providers.

• Compares expenditure with other authorities both locally and nationally.

• Challenges why and how we provide the services.