Latest News

The Valley Diary team want to keep people as updated as we can during this very challenging time for the UK and beyond, globally.

West Dean Gardens to Open Again

"West Dean Gardens has announced that it will re-open to the public on Friday, June 26, 2020. Entry is by timed tickets available to book online, and pre-booking is essential. The Gardens will be open seven days a week from 10.30am to 5pm. Garden/ College Friends Only Days take place between June 22 to 25, and places need to be pre-booked with a chosen arrival time. As announced recently, West Dean Gardens is also offering free entry to NHS workers + one adult. This also needs to be pre-booked online and ID shown on arrival."

Goodwood's Revival Cancelled

"Summer is normally an exciting time at Goodwood, as we welcome hundreds of thousands of guests to our headline events. Sadly that’s not to be this year, as we have had to take the decision not to hold the Festival of Speed and Revival in 2020. Ticket holders will be given the option to roll their tickets over into 2021, or request a refund."

East Dean Flower Festival

This has sadly been cancelled. It was to be held at East Dean Village Hall on Saturday 4th &

Sunday 5th July. Next year’s will be stunning!

West Dean Gardens and International Nurses Day

To coincide with International Nurses day on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, West Dean Gardens, near Chichester in West Sussex, are extending an open invitation to NHS nurses and all their NHS colleagues to visit the award-winning gardens for free, once the gardens reopen. Alexander Barron, Chief Executive, West Dean College of Arts and Conservation commented: “In these extraordinary times, the important role that the staff of the NHS play in our lives has become more evident than ever, and this is our small gesture of thanks. As we know from recent NHS research, the outdoors is key to everyone’s wellbeing, and we hope our beautiful gardens can be a space for NHS staff to escape to and experience some tranquility, whether it be for a stroll around the stunning walled gardens or a walk up to the arboretum.”

Lavant Horticultural Show Cancelled

The event which was to be on 1st August 2020 has had to be cancelled. Linda Hughes, LHS committee.

Weald & Downland Living Museum Events Cancelled

"In light of the current situation, we are very sad to announce that we have made the difficult decision to cancel our popular, and much loved, Rare & Traditional Breeds Show (19 July) and Summer Steam Show (15 &16 August) for 2020. We will also be postponing our Summer Season of theatre and music and are currently looking at new dates to restage our Summer Season for later in the year. All courses scheduled between March and late August have also been postponed. We are looking at new dates for later in the year. For those that are booked on a course within these dates, you should have heard from the Museum, if you have not, please let us know with details of what course you had booked on and your course booking reference, and email us at"

Wests Wood Fair

As I’m sure you are aware with the current pandemic we find ourselves in, it is very difficult to plan anything. I have put off making this decision for quite a few weeks but as our wood fair dates come closer, I have to inform you that our event is going to be postponed. I am hoping, as I’m sure we all are, as time goes by things will dramatically improve. If this is the case, I would hope to reschedule our event for the late summer or early autumn. Unfortunately, as you can imagine I am unable at this time to set any dates. I hope you will still be interested in coming along to the new dates. Peter West, Wests Wood Fair.

Flowers for Mrs Harris Streamed Online

For the first time, Chichester Festival Theatre is to stream a selection of its archive productions online, beginning with the musical Flowers for Mrs Harris from 1pm on Thursday 9 April for the Easter weekend. Flowers for Mrs Harris will be available on CFT’s website at for 30 days and will be free to watch. Flowers for Mrs Harris is the story of Ada Harris, a char-lady in post-war London whose drab life of dusting and scrubbing is transformed when she glimpses a Christian Dior dress in one of her client’s wardrobes and sets her heart on going to Paris to buy one for herself. Details of future broadcasts will be announced shortly.

Ladies' Night at the Star & Garter

"We were lucky to get the March Ladies' Night at the Star and Garter at East Dean in before lock-down and it was well-attended. At the time of writing there is no official statement about what will happen in April, but let's hope for the best and be positive! In which case, we can announce that Tuesday 14th April will be Ladies' Night! Look forward to seeing you there, if possible!" Eden Davies.

East Dean Gentlemen's Lunches
"The two dates this year (fingers crossed) are Friday 5th June and Friday 11th Dec for the lunches at East Dean Village Hall. Like everywhere else East Dean is in lock-down, but last Friday we had an East Dean Quiz organised by Oliver Peirson with about twenty taking part on video conferencing software and we had our usual Sunday morning (virtual) drinks down the Star and Garter by the same method, which went really well!" Max Davies.

A Video Message for the people of Sussex from Police Chief Constable Giles York

Click on the link above for a video message about priorities and local policing and NHS from the Chief Constable via the Sussex Police YouTube Channel.

ActionFraud: Coronavirus-related fraud reports increase by 400% in March

Recently the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) reported a new trend in fraud related to Coronavirus, or COVID-19. Updated figures show there have been 105 reports to Action Fraud since 1 February 2020, with total losses reaching nearly £970,000. The first report relating to Coronavirus, or COVID-19, was received on 9 February. There were 20 more reports that month. Since then, there have been 46 reports between the 1 March and 13 March, and 38 reports in just four days (14 March – 18 March). Read the article by clicking the link above.

Goodwood Farm Shop - Open for Business!
"Our Farm Shop is open for sales of meat and dairy products, especially to our most local audience. If you need any further details of the shop, you will find it on our Home Farm webpage, linked above. We
 hope that you all remain well. Best wishes to you all. Sarah Mayhead, Marketing Executive."

Goodwoof! Postponed

"Sadly, Goodwoof, which was due to take place on 24 and 25 May, has been postponed until spring 2021. We are currently exploring potential alternative dates. We would like to reassure you that all tickets will remain valid for the new date."

Festival of Speed Postponed

"Following all that’s happened in the last few weeks and the advice we have received from the UK Government, we have decided to postpone the Festival to later in the year. As soon as we have the revised date we will let you know. Most likely it will happen late summer, early autumn and, of course, tickets and hospitality bookings will remain valid for the new date. We will continue to review plans for the Goodwood Revival, in the hope that the event will go ahead as planned on September 11-13th, as well as the rescheduling of the 78th Members’ Meeting. Charles Richmond, The Duke of Richmond & Gordon".

West Dean Gardens

"When we closed the Gardens Shop and Restaurant and Gardeners Cottage last week we chose to keep the Gardens open to help support the health and well-being of the community by sharing this beautiful outdoor space. However, this is a fast-changing situation, remaining open attracted more visitors than we envisaged and we cannot consciously be in a position where we could be facilitating social interaction – even in the outdoors. To protect the health and safety of all, the right decision is now to close. It has been wonderful to see just how appreciated the Gardens are, and we look forward to welcoming you all back soon. Do connect with us on social media where you will still be able to watch spring unfold with regular updates and where, on our College channels we will be sharing creative content. 
Alexander Barron ACA FRSA, Chief Executive."

The Weald and Downland Living Museum


"Sadly, the time has come for us to close the Museum in line with the government's advice and guidance. As we all adjust to our new environment and responsibilities, please bear with us. As a charity and an independent organisation this will be a difficult time and we thank you for your continued support and understanding".

The Latest Edition


The latest edition of The Valley Diary is the April 2020 one and we're sorry to report that due to the outbreak of Coronavirus and subsequent government restrictions on movement, business and gatherings, we have not been able to circulate it in the usual way. We hope to bounce back next month with the usual circulation but please watch this space as we'll update you as soon as we know what is possible.

We have now sent a PDF copy of the April 2020 Edition to everyone on our known Contacts List and for those who are not, please do feel free to head for The Printed Edition page here on our website, navigate to April 2020, click and download a full colour copy for yourself.

If you have been able to access this, please pass it on to others who you know will be interested to see it and who usually get a copy.

If you would like to be added to our Contacts List so that you get any breaking news first, please send your request to The Editor by email.

Lastly, please let The Editor know if you have any news to share or have information relating to your event or service.

In the meantime, stay safe and we'll bring you what news we can when we have it.

© The Valley Diary 2019