How did the Ditchling Horticultural Society begin and who grew the heaviest gooseberries?

 Who kept a pig in the High Street and where was Harris’ fair?

To answer these questions and more, follow our trail around the village celebrating the bicentary of the Horticultural Society.

The trail runs from July to September. 

Alternatively, click on one of the links above to see a small selection of what you might discover about two centuries of growing and showing in the village.

We are excited to announce the return of our drop-in sessions 2.00 - 5.00 pm every second Wednesday of the month at the White Horse in West Street.

Please contact us to let us know you are coming and what your interest is!

 As historians, we feel it is important to capture the experiences of the last two years.  Please join us in recording your reflections of life in lockdown and its aftermath, no matter how long or short, to the Lockdown Archive.

Fond memories of Ditchling Resident, Dame Vera Lynn, 1917 - 2020

Crowning the Fair Queen, 1960

'Ban the Lorries' Protest March, 1973

The Fair Proclamation, 1982

Crowning the Fair Queen, 2000

In the Sussex village of Ditchling we are mourning the loss of our long time resident, Vera Lynn.  She was part of the village from the days when she would push, Virginia, her daughter in her pram to do some shopping in the High Street.  She opened many a village fair and enjoyed sitting in the village barn gardens having tea with everyone else.  Many a time she would be seen walking to the village shops with her husband, holding a wicker basket to collect a loaf of bread. They would stay to have a coffee in one of the coffee shops where she would be greeted as Mrs Lewis which she preferred to Vera Lynn when she was in Ditchling.  Even though we have seen little of her in recent years it was always good to know she was here and we would notice the BBC equipment outside her house when there were wartime anniversaries.  She will long remain a source of pride that she lived in our village for so many years.  More ...  Should you wish to add a memory to our tribute page, please contact us.