Round The Green In Newick
by Ruth Lawrence
An attractive village with a strong community feel, Newick offers a rich history in beautiful surroundings. Ruth Lawrence gives us a breakdown of this vibrant neighbourhood.
Nestling in the Low Weald of East Sussex, Newick has grown around the generous village green, which has seen the village evolve over its thousand year history.
Although the village predates the Domesday Book, it was not recorded in it possibly because then, the village lay deep in the dense Ashdown Forest. A toll cottage stands at the eastern edge of The Green and the old toll road is now the A272. Newick used to boast a glove factory which was famous for high quality ladies gloves and more recently, the mild climate and soil quality made the village a centre for soft fruit growing, producing blackcurrants and the famous ‘Newick Leveller’ dessert gooseberries.
Although the fruit gardens were replaced by housing, there is a weekly opportunity to buy homemade preserves, vegetables, baked goods and eggs at the Newick Country Market, which has been held in the village hall for an hour each Friday since 1974. Handicrafts and ready prepared meat, vegetarian dishes and soups are all on sale; the word is to turn up early as everything sells out fast!
There is an eclectic mix of over 30 clubs operating in the village, ranging from amateur dramatics, dancing and quilting to an allotment society and quiz teams. Sport lovers will find playing fields and a large modern sports pavilion with facilities and clubs for badminton, bowls, cricket, football, rugby, tennis and stoolball. Newick Village Hall has been serving the community for 85 years and boasts a large main hall with seating for 240, a licensed bar, large stage, kitchen and digital PA. The Community Centre is centrally located and offers disabled access/facilities and a modern kitchen and, like the Village Hall, is available for hire. It also hosts it’s own festival, the Newick Festival will be held over the weekend of 23rd and 24th June, with a Food Fair on The Green and a Fun Day at King George Recreation Ground.
Most of Newick’s older houses are built of locally made characteristic Sussex ‘stocks’ bricks and they add to the village’s visual appeal. Local interest books can be purchased from the Parish Council and the village website has many wonderful monochrome postcards of local streets, houses and people of great interest to historians and residents.
Although Newick is home to only 2,500 residents, the village is served by numerous businesses and community organisations and children are particularly well catered for with schools, toddler groups, scouts, brownies and guides. Commuters will find direct train services to London, Gatwick and the South Coast from Haywards Heath and in addition there are stations at nearby Lewes and Uckfield.
People who choose to live in Newick tend to stay for a long time; a search revealed that residents love the close community feel and the sense of safety and cohesiveness that life in this attractive village offers.