Three major events are coming up at The Blackboys Inn, at Blackboys, near Uckfield, this summer … a steam engine rally, classic car rally and three-day beer festival.
Steam engine rally – Saturday, June 9
The steam engine rally is being held at the pub for the first time on Saturday, June 9, from noon to 4pm.
Up to 25 engines are expected and a steam organ will provide musical entertainment.
It is hoped that a new pizza oven will be ready for use at an outside bar in time for the rally.
Classic cars – Sunday, June 24
The classic car rally, now a popular annual event which raises funds for St Wilfrid’s Hospice, will be held on Sunday, June 24.
How many vehicles take part will depend, in part, on the weather but there were about 100 last year.
The pizza oven and outdoor bar will be in use and there will be a barbecue too.
Beer festival – Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 31, September 1 and 2
The beer festival takes place over the weekend of Friday, August 31, and Saturday and Sunday, September 1 and 2.
There will be live music, guest ales and a few ciders, and plenty of outside food which will vary over the weekend, such as a hog roast, barbecue and pizzas and the usual fare inside the pub.
Landlords Jay and Natalie Dunbar are hoping to make their outside bar a more prominent feature during summer weekends this year.
It will be particularly useful for people enjoying a new outside seating area.
The couple have been trying to make better use of land around the pub and an allotment created last year proved so successful that it is being doubled in size.
First time round they had courgettes, pumpkins, and butternut squashes in abundance and were able to make use of them in the pub kitchen.
Natalie said: “What could be better than for people to see the chefs harvesting produce in the morning and then be able to eat it for their lunch.”
This year the couple are looking at growing beetroot, more salad leaves, and different produce such as heritage beans and tomatoes.
Camping in the future
Another idea the couple have for the future is to have camping on the site. They first need to make sure the right facilities are in place and secure planning permission.
Natalie and Jay have been at The Blackboys Inn for five years now and still love being there.
Natalie said: “It is a lovely place to wake up in, who wouldn’t want to be here. It is hard work but very rewarding.”
The couple welcome visitors and hope people will enjoy their special events. Also worth noting is that bookings are being taken now for Father’s Day meals on Sunday, June 17.