About us

The Steyning & District Food and Drink Festival is being brought to you by a superb team of hard working, innovative, dedicated people! The amount of voluntary time they have given to the event is quite mind blowing, but as long as it is successful and enjoyed by many, it is all worth it. Would you like to help next year? If so, we would love to hear from you
Please email: steyningsouthdowns@gmail.com

Committee Members:-

Martin Leigh-Pollitt

Chairman of the Visitor & Tourism Group, a sub committee of the Steyning & District Community Partnership of which he is also a member of the Management Group. Martin is enthusiastically involved with the Festival Committee, making sure all our plans are within the realms of reality ! Amongst many tasks, he unfortunately lists making sure the Lamp Post banners get put up properly as part of his brief - it is a pretty complicated procedure
Reina Alston

Vice Chair of the Visitor & Tourism Group - a sub committee of the Steyning & District Community Partnership, of which she is also one of the directors. Reina looks after the admin/PR side of the Festival and is responsible for “nagging” to make sure deadlines are met ! Reina enjoys working with the local magazines and newspapers who all give us such fantastic support, making sure as many people as possible know about the Festival.
Nick Hempleman

Nick owns the Sussex Produce Company, and brings a wealth of experience - especially for his young years - to our Group. He has been heavily involved in arranging some of the events we have on offer - and making sure they happen. He is always ready with new ideas for the Festival to keep it fresh and interesting. The picture shows Nick with his wife Nina. All our committee members are so knowledgeable and we are really lucky to have them on board, together with giving up so much of their valuable time to put this Festival together.  
Derek Crush

Derek was the instigator of the Farmers Market back in 1991. Since then it has grown to be one of the best loved events in Steyning and in 2014/2015 the Steyning Farmers Market won the Sussex Food & Drink Awards Best Sussex Farmers Market. This year the Market is again listed as one of the Finalists. Derek has been in farming all his life and brings us his depth of knowledge in all things rural. He also heads up getting all the Festival fence banners erected around the district - hard work
Eddie Woodward

Eddie (on the left) is the owner of The Cobblestone Tea House, and is another of our team who gives so much time and energy to the Festival, together with his expertise. Amongst other things, his "specialist subject" is liaising with our Festival Charity to make sure our Breakfasts/Lunch/Pizza events go with a swing. Cobblestone Tea House has won the Best Food Theme Shop Window Competition twice, so every year he is always the one other competitors keep their eye on !
Les Nicholson

Les - and his wife Louise - own The Artisan Bakehouse in Ashurst. As with all our committee, Les is ultra busy running his own establishment and yet manages to give so much of his precious time/new ideas to the Festival. Being one of our Ashurst businesses, he make sure his village plays an important part within the Festival. Check out the Ashurst Tasty Walk – an event which Les sprearheaded - together with the Cooking Demonstration at the Ashurst Country Fair & Dog Show.
Kate Gover

Kate owns Kate's Cookhouse, a very successful family run catering company, specialising in homemade pies, pates & terrines. Her expertise is second to none, and when it comes to cooking up a storm at the live cooking demonstrations at the Festival Farmers Market, Kate is our lady ! She also runs cookery workshops from her home in Steyning, and is responsible for writing the Steyning Cookbook. Again, another highly valuable and enthusiastic member of our team.
Denise Butler

Denise joined our Visitor & Tourism Group last year, and volunteered to take on the task of our Secretary.  She now produces  the Minutes for our monthly meeting, which takes some doing when we all talking at a hundred miles an hour about all the projects we have in hand !  She moved to Steyning around 2 years ago, and has enthusiastically embraced the community way of life and has become involved in quite a few groups, not just the Community Partnership.   She quickly agreed to help on our Festival Committee and is taking on the responsibility of helping with the admin side of things including assistance with the Shop Window Competition and getting our printing etc. in place.
Janice Fraser

Janice is another energetic member of the Visitor & Tourism Group, who this year has taken on the massive challenge of heading up Social Media for our Food & Drink Festival. With her wealth of experience both from her days of working in the hospitality industry and her many years as Worthing’s Tourism Development & Marketing Officer, Janice brings so much to our band of hard working Committee members. Living, with her husband, in the heart of Steyning, she is never slow in volunteering her precious time to help the town and is much valued by all.
The Complete Committee

A great shot of the 2014 Committee, all together at the Mary Berry evening.