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Rustington
Rustington Village Centre - geograph.org.uk - 12082.jpg
View of the main highstreet
Area 3.72 km2 (1.44 sq mi)
Population 13,883 (Civil Parish.2011)
• Density 3,732/km2 (9,670/sq mi)
OS grid reference TQ054022
• London 51 miles (82 km) NNE
Civil parish
  • Rustington
District
  • Arun
Shire county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LITTLEHAMPTON
Postcode district BN16
Dialling code 01903
Police Sussex
Fire West Sussex
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
  • Worthing West
Website Rustington Parish Council
List of places
UK
England
West Sussex
50°48′37″N 0°30′19″W / 50.81019°N 0.50521°W / 50.81019; -0.50521Coordinates: 50°48′37″N 0°30′19″W / 50.81019°N 0.50521°W / 50.81019; -0.50521
Lych Gate, Rustington Church, John White postcard, sent 1905 02
Lych Gate, Rustington Church, John White postcard, sent 1905

Rustington is a large village and civil parish in the Arun District of West Sussex. Rustington is approximately at the midpoint of the West Sussex coast and midway between the county town of Chichester and Brighton. The A259 runs along the north of Rustington, westward to Littlehampton, Bognor Regis and Chichester, and east to Worthing and Brighton. The area forms part of the Brighton and Hove built-up area.

With a population of over 14,000 in 2014, it has the size and facilities of a small town, including a shopping area with a mix of independent and chain stores. The parish of Rustington includes the neighbourhood of West Preston.

History

Rustington was in World War I home to an American air base, at the east of the High Street.

Conservation area and information centre

Rustington contains a conservation area which extends from the south end of North Lane to The Lamb in The Street. Here, where trees are protected, are the largest number of pre-1850 listed buildings in the post town, with The Street and surrounding roads containing some of the finest 17th and 18th century Sussex flint cottages in West Sussex, some of which are thatched.

There is a village information centre at the Churchill Parade car park. Rustington has its own museum, containing artworks and artefacts and a coffee shop, housed in an 18th-century thatched house recently converted for the purpose.

Sports and leisure

The local amateur football team, Rustington F.C., went through 2006 without losing a single match, earning them a mention on Sky Sports News on New Year's Eve.

Annual events

Rustington competes annually in the South-East in Bloom competition. It holds an annual carnival and fête in August. Close to Christmas Eve, Rustington has a village carol concert which is free for local residents and features local school children accompanied by the Littlehampton Concert Band.

Geography

Rustington adjoins the English Channel, and ranges between 2 metres and 7 metres above Ordnance Datum. It has three main recreation grounds and neither woodland nor fields.

In music, literature and the media

Rustington is a well-known hymn tune by Hubert Parry who lived and died in Rustington (see Notable People below).

Rustington achieved national fame in 1956 with the launch of Flanders and Swann's show At the Drop of a Hat, in which the Gnu Song contains the lines:

I had taken furnished lodgings down at Rustington-on-Sea
Whence I travelled on to...(Ashton-under-Lyne it was actually)...

Sport and leisure

Rustington has an amateur football club Rustington F.C. who play at the Recreation Ground.

Transport

Rustington shares Angmering railway station with Angmering and East Preston. Trains from this station go to Brighton and Portsmouth/Southampton, and some to London.

Bus services to Brighton and Portsmouth are provided by the 700 Coastliner.

Popular culture

In the Gnu Song, introduced in the 1950s by Michael Flanders and Donald Swann, a verse begins with the line, "I had taken furnished lodgings down at Rustington-on-Sea". This is the setting for an apparition of a gnu.

In the news

Hot cross bun

  • Paul Pegrum, of Pegrum's bakery (now Forfar's), created the world's biggest hot cross bun to publicise Rustington at Easter 2002. After four hours of cooking, the bun surpassed two out of the three existing records. A weights and measures inspector from Brighton and Hove Council found the bun had smashed the current weight record of 38 kg (84 lbs), weighing in at 42.8 kg (94 lb 6oz).It is also the widest, with a diameter of 4 ft 4in (132 cm).

Air speed records

Two world air speed records were set over Rustington sea front.

  1. Set on 7 September 1946, by Group Captain Teddy Donaldson, flying a Gloster Meteor Star. Donaldson also became the first man to exceed 1,000 km/h.
  2. Set on 7 September 1953, by Squadron Leader Neville Duke, flying Hawker Hunter WB188, at a speed of 1170.9 km/h.

To celebrate, on 7 September 1996, Neville Duke returned to Rustington to unveil a plaque, marking the event, joined by a Gloster Meteor and a Hawker Hunter, which flew over the sea front.

Twin towns

Notable people

  • Lindsay Anderson, Indian-born English feature film, theatre and documentary director, film critic, and leading light of the Free Cinema movement and the British New Wave. He wrote If.... while living in his mother's house on the village's Sea Estate.
  • J M Barrie, Scottish author and dramatist; a friend of the Llewellyn Davies family who had a house in Rustington and were the inspiration of his book Peter Pan
  • Delirious?, English Christian rock and worship band members lived in the village.
  • Huw Edwards-Jones, cabinetmaker and five-time Guild Mark recipient, was born in Rustington.
  • Agnes Garrett (who, with her cousin Rhoda Garrett opened the first interior design company in Britain to be run by women) had a house in Rustington. Agnes's sister Millicent Garrett Fawcett (suffragist leader) also lived there after she was widowed. Another sister, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (first woman to qualify as a doctor), also visited.
  • Nigel Hitchcock, saxophonist
  • Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, landscape architect, garden designer, architect and author, raised in Rustington.
  • Sir Hubert Parry, composer of hymn melodies, some becoming templates, including '"Rustington". He lived in Sea Lane (from 1880-d.1918).
  • Andrew Pearson, cricketer who played for Bedfordshire.
  • Ed Petrie, British comedian, actor and television presenter. He was born and raised in the village.
  • George Posford, English composer, most notably famed for "Good Night Vienna"
  • Graham Sutherland, English artist
  • Mitchell Symons, journalist and bestselling author. He has lived just outside the village since 1995.
  • Ben Thatcher, drummer of the popular British rock duo Royal Blood.
  • Brian White, cartoonist. He spent much of his later life in the village.
  • Leslie Arthur Wilcox R.I., R.S.M.A., marine artist. He lived in Cove Road from 1963 to 1982.
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