30 years ago

From the West Sussex County Times of Friday, November 19, 1982.

The future of Southwater’s proposed £500,000 country park, which at one stage seemed doomed through delays, was said to be ‘a little brighter’.

The country park is the idea of site owners Redland Brick as its way of restoring the land it used for claypits – now it no longer needs them – as required by the original planning consent.

Redland entered into an agreement with Horsham council at the beginning of the year that it would give part of the land and £330,000 towards the cost of the park to the council in return for planning permission for an industrial estate on ten acres.

At the time Redland and the council hoped the project would go ahead quickly and work on the park was due to start this autumn.

But the whole deal turned on Redland being able to find a buyer for the industrial site and that was the problem.

The delay put pressure on the council because it had been banking on a £90,000 grant from the Countryside Commission over the next two financial years.

Council planning officer Les Durrant said he was afraid the commission would withdraw the grant offer unless the hold-up was overcome. If there was no grant, he added, the council would have to rethink the whole idea.

But this week Lawson Hunt, developers of the Broadbridge Heath industrial units, announced it was negotiating with Redland for the 175,000 square feet at Southwater.

The message to the people of Horsham and Haut-Val de Sèvre at the twinning ceremony in St Maixent L’Ecole came across loud and clear – now it’s up to you.

The brief ceremony in St Maixent’s town hall, almost a year from the day the Horsham Town Twinning Association was formed, put the official seal on the informal ties and friendships built up over the last ten years.

Rugby teams from the two areas have exchanged visits since 1972, forging strong links between club members, players and their families.

But the real significance of the signing of the charts, a duplicate of the ceremony held during the Horsham Festival in July, lies with the future.

“This is but the prelude to more positive and meaningful actions based on friendship,” said the Mayor of St Maixent, M Camille Lemberton, speaking through an interpreter.

“Our two committees have paved the way to more fruitful exchanges. From now on it will be up to the representatives of associations in Saint-Maxient and the Haut-Val de Sèvre district, the representatives of sport and culture, as well as industrial and commercial, associations to make contact with their English equivalents.

Pulborough residents were counting the cost of a freak wind which left tiles ripped from roofs, glass smashed and gardens flattened.

Thousands of pounds worth of damage was done by what residents of Glebelands described as a whirlwind. “I have never seen anything like it before,” said a resident.

“There was a white mist with the wind, which I presume was rain being driven with force. One minute fences were there and the next minute they were gone.”

Another resident said: “I was in my house when I saw a car roof-rack blown past the window. Then came a shed roof and then a dustbin.”

It had happened at about 8.20am on Friday, only about ten minutes before the children from the estate would have been walking to school.