Last Saturday, several members of the Hilaire Belloc Society travelled down from London to The George and Dragon at Houghton to celebrate beautiful Sussex (and the man himself). We got off to a fine start when Chris Hare began the singing and eight of our number joined him to sing On Sussex Hills. Several people entertained us with a variety of songs from beyond the county boundary before we set out for a walk eastwards across the river and up towards Amberley Mount. The air was very clear, giving excellent views across the Weald. The sunshine was warm and the cloud formations uplifting as well as being reflected in the still flooded water-meadows. The primroses were out on the banks of High Twitten and the sunlight on Amberley Castle had us regretting that we hadn't taken our cameras!
All too soon, it was time to return to the pub for Chris's scheduled talk on the Sussex poems of Hilaire Belloc. Chris presented an excellent selection, beautifully explained and read, and displaying a great understanding of the the man and his works. By the time the singing got started again, most folk had left, so only five of us sang A Shepherd of The Downs and West Sussex Drinking Song before the minibus returned to Clapham, South London together with a Sussex County flag (blue with six gold martlets) presented to them by Jeff - from Clapham, West Sussex.