Christmas Supper

We will be holding our annual supper jointly with the Museum on Friday, 15th December. Drinks will be served from 7.00pm and supper will be served at 7:45pm.  Catering will be provided by SuperDoux of Brighton.  At the end of the meal, we will be entertained by a performance of magic by David Croucher.  Tickets cost £27 each, to include refreshments, and are available at Steyning Bookshop and the Museum.  As usual, guests will be welcome.  Please book early to avoid disappointment.   Please also buy your tickets before 8th December because we have to confirm numbers to the caterer then, which means that tickets will become scare after this.

Talk on Friday, 19th January 2024

Our next talk will be on Friday, 19th January 2024, when Geoff Mead will be giving a talk about Daniel Defoe.  Geoff is one of our regular speakers and will therefore be known to many of our members.  He is a lecturer at  the University of Sussex.   As usual, the talk will start at 7.30 pm, with wine and other liquid refreshments being served from 7pm.  Guests are welcome [£5 each, which is payable on the evening at the door].

Membership Survey

The Committee is conducting a survey to find out members’ views about what the Society does, whether this could be improved and what else the Society could do.  The survey questionnaire is being sent to members by email.  Members are asked to complete the questionnaire and to return it by email to the membership secretary before the end of 2023.


Brian Lavery has kindly offered to organise three trips during the forthcoming year.

The first will be a short trip to Brighton to see Embassy Court which was built in 1935, when it was a controversial Modernist building.  It is on the seafront and has fabulous views.  At various times Max Miller, Terence Rattigan and Keith Waterhouse lived there.  This trip will take place on 21st November and will be repeated in January 2024.  It will be hosted by Maddie Blackburn and Paul Dennison, Steyning residents who are members of the Society and who also have a flat in the Court.

The second is to Brighton & Hove Reform Synagogue which is home to a remarkable stained glass window which is a memorial to the Holocaust and was designed by John Petts (1914 – 1991).  It has been compared to Picasso’s Guernica.  You can find out more about this window in the Architects’ Journal, using the link Campaigners call for listing to save 1960s synagogue from demolition (  It was hoped that the trip would take place this autumn on the Synagogue’s open day but the Synagogue has reluctantly decided to cancel this because of recent events in Israel.  We will let you know as soon as we have been able to fix a date.

We do not envisage hiring a coach for either of these trips so members will have to bring their own cars or make their own travelling arrangements.  We will, however, have to make a small charge to cover admission charges and/or gratuities.

The third will be a coach trip to Chatham Historic Dockyard sometime next spring.  Brian was the curator there some years ago and will be sharing his knowledge with us.  This will be a whole day trip (seven or eight hours).

Anyone interested in joining any of these trips or wanting to find out more about them should contact Brian, by email address on or by text on 07702 160464

The Local Heritage List

The Local Heritage  List has now been adopted by Steyning Parish Council and by Horsham District Council.  A limited number of copies of the list is being printed and will soon be available at £10 each.  They can be bought at the Society’s meetings or copies can be ordered by contacting the Society on

Recent Steyning Society Grant awarded to Steyning Air Cadets

The Steyning Society regularly awards Grants to local organizations which benefit the town in some way. One of our most recent Grants was awarded to the local Air Cadets; this was to fund a new display screen in the main hall to assist training and development of the cadets. On July 20th this year, our Treasurer, Adrian Gobat, went along to the Cadet Centre to present a cheque for£300. At the presentation he told the cadets a little about the Steyning Society and explained that one of our very important tasks is to support local organizations which enhance the town of Steyning and that the Society felt that the opportunities offered to young people by the Air Cadets have great value.

On Tuesday, June 27th, the Steyning Society organized a fund-raising event to help finance the grants we regularly offer local organizations. We plan to organize one such event each year. “Treasures from your home” was arranged in conjunction with local auctioneer and art expert Rupert Toovey and we are enormously grateful for his guidance and support. On the evening he excelled: hugely knowledgeable about a wide range of antiques, very interesting to listen to and he made us laugh – always a good thing!

In all, over seventy five people came along bringing with them a large number of varied treasures from their homes. All with a good story attached. Rupert talked about each item and sometimes asked the owner to tell the story. The top right photo above shows the silver salver belonging to the great-great grandfather of our treasurer who was the first Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem in 1846. The playing cards were hand-painted by the Bishop’s son, Samuel Benoni.

After an interval during which food and wine was served, we moved on to a short auction. Local individuals and businesses gave items for this; these included a lovely water colour painting of Steyning High Street by Dennis Lascelles, dinner and theatre  tickets for two to see the Sound of Music at Chichester, signed copies of Julia Donaldson’s books, a professional family photo shoot  by Focus Photography. Shoreham, and afternoon tea at the Grand.

The evening was great fun, much enjoyed by all who attended, AND raised £1,500 to help fund future Steyning Society Grants. The next time the Committee will consider applications for one of our grants will be in November. Do encourage any local organizations which improve the amenities in our town to apply.


For  the latest newsletter, please click: November 2023