The Second Great Elizabethan Age Draws to a Close

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, by Sir Cecil Beaton

As I write this I am aware of a deep sense of gratitude and thanksgiving amongst the people of Sussex for the life and reign of HM Queen Elizabeth II who has been our constant point of reference in a period of unprecedented change over some seventy years. We have been blessed to live in the second great Elizabethan age.

In the aftermath of the Second World War Britain’s relative success in rebuilding was expressed in the mood of conservatism prevalent in the 1950s. This was reflected in the seemingly timeless and unchanging imagery of Elizabeth II’s coronation ceremony captured in Cecil Beaton’s portrait of the Queen. For the first time the Coronation was watched on television.

The Queen’s Christian faith was a cornerstone of her life and reign. It informed her sense of calling to the role of monarch and the qualities of service, respect and duty through which she blessed us all.
Speaking about her life the Queen reflected “I know just how much I rely on my faith to guide me through the good times and the bad. Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God!”

A young Royal family at Balmoral

During her long reign she affirmed what is best in our national life and tended to those in need. Together we shared her joys and sorrows as she shared ours. Reconciliation, too, was a defining quality of her reign. Here was a monarch able to bring reconciliation to her peoples as witnessed in Northern Ireland.
Queen Elizabeth II’s long reign was also shaped by her family. A photograph from 1957 of The Queen and Prince Philip with the young Prince Charles and Princess Anne shows a family happy and at ease at Balmoral.

Her faithful life provided a hope-filled, generous example to us all defined by love, service, respect, duty and courage. She said “For Christians, as for all people of faith, reflection, meditation and prayer help us to renew ourselves in God’s love, as we strive daily to become better people.”

As the second great Elizabethan age draws to a close our hopes and the life of our nation rest with her son, HM King Charles III. As we hold him and his family in prayer we proclaim Long Live the King! God Save the King!

Toovey’s offer our sincere condolences to HM King Charles III and his family on the loss of HM Queen Elizabeth II. We will be closed on Monday 19th September as a mark of respect.

Ploughing Match and Agricultural Show

The plough match at the show

This week I am with Rowan Allan who for twenty-five years has been the Honorary Secretary of The West Grinstead & District Ploughing & Agricultural Society. Rowan shares the role with Felicity Elliott. This year the society’s plough match is being hosted by David and Lucinda Exwood, and the Christ’s Hospital Foundation, at Field Farm, Dial Post. David, assisted by his son Tom, is a tenant farmer with some 1000 hectares under his stewardship.

Rowan Allan says “David is a first generation beef, sheep and arable farmer and believes that the future of farming isn’t about managed decline and dependence on environmental payments. As Vice President of the NFU he provides an important voice and model for profitable food production to feed the nation whilst valuing nature and working towards net zero farming. The agricultural community is looking forward to being able to come together at Field Farm.”

Rowan Allan celebrating twenty-five years as Honorary Secretary of the West Grinstead & District Ploughing and Agricultural Society

The West Grinstead and District Ploughing Match and Agricultural Society seeks to re-connect town and country and educate the public.
Rowan says “The ploughing match provides a shop window for people to engage with what farming and the countryside are really about.”

It’s a great family day out with the ploughing competition, cattle and sheep shows, licenced bar, fun fair, trade stands and local produce, terrier racing, open clay shooting competitions, tug-of-war, gun dog scurry, tractor and threshing machinery and even a ferret race, there is so much to enjoy.

Since 1871 The West Grinstead and District Plough Match and Agricultural Society has been promoting best practice in the local agricultural community through its prizes and awards. Today that also includes a bursary programme which provides financial support to enable and encourage young people to take up careers in the agricultural industry.

Our landscape is one of the most important building blocks of our nation’s heritage and identity and it is wholly dependent on the life given to it by our farmers who richly deserve our thanks.

The 2022 West Grinstead and District Plough Match and Agricultural Show will be at Field Farm, Sands Lane, Dial Post, RH13 8NY on Saturday 17th September 2022. Adult tickets are just £10 on the day or £8 if you book online in advance with children under 14 free. It’s going to be a fantastic family day!

For more information contact Rowan Allan at H. J. Burt Steyning through or to book your tickets go to