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Hailsham Festival Commended by Town Mayor

Community, Mayor's Press Releases

Photo of Francis Wait, Mayor Cllr Paul Holbrook and Tony Flood holding the Short Story Competition winner's cup 

Hailsham Festival, while still in taking place with its varied line-up of art exhibitions, live music and drama performances, literature competitions and more, has been commended by the Town Mayor for its “amazing wealth of artistic talent” and for inviting him to be part of this year’s festival.

The festival to date has attracted a cross-section of artists and performers from the Southeast and further afield and will continue to offer a wide variety of exhibits and performances to suit all tastes through most of September.

One particular event which the Mayor of Hailsham Cllr Paul Holbrook was delighted to attend was the Wealden Writers Short Story Competition, in which local author Tony Flood won first place with his entry ‘Learning From Henry’s Mistake’, on the theme of conservation and global warming.
Tony Flood, author of celebrity book ‘My Life With the Stars’ and crime thriller ‘Stitch Up! – Killer or Victim?’, met with Cllr Holbrook and received a cup and dining voucher prize at a book fair held at Hailsham Parish Church last weekend. Runner-up Loraine Banks, who was unable to attend the book fair, and third-placed Francis Wait will also receive prizes.

Mr Flood, who is chairman of a local writing group, Anderida Writers, paid tribute to the hard work of Hailsham Festival chairman Tony Biggin, Wealden Writers officials, and to Cllr Paul Holbrook for his support.

“The Short Story Competition is an amazing opportunity for budding writers to share their creative talent with the local community,” said Cllr Holbrook. “The quality of entries was nothing short of impressive, and I’d like to thank all those who submitted their work. Congratulations to Tony for his winning story.”

Anderida Writers is a friendly group, open to writers of all levels and ages, who meet on the second Tuesday of most months. Details are available by calling 01323 471726 or by emailing

Full details of the remaining events making up this year’s Hailsham Festival – both face-to-face and virtual – is available to view on the Hailsham Festival website.

Cllr Holbrook added: “Hailsham and the rest of East Sussex has such an amazingly rich seam of arts and culture. There is an amazing wealth of artistic talent and it’s been an honour for me to be part of this year’s festival and I invite the local community to put the remaining festival dates in their diaries.”

“Festival organisers have surpassed all expectations again this year with events, despite a reduction in the number of in-person shows and exhibitions, and continuation of virtual ones.”

“On behalf of the Town Council, I’d like to thank those community groups and individuals in the town for all the hard work and generous support given in organising this year’s festival. A vast amount of work is carried out behind the scenes by dedicated volunteers who give their support and contribute to its success.”

Enquiries relating to this media release

Terry Hall, Communications Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
Telephone: 01323 841702 | Email: