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A car fire at Cocking is believed to be the 13th vehicle in a
series of arson attacks in the Midhurst area in recent weeks.
Firefighters were called to The Croft at 2.58am yesterday (Wednesday) and found the vehicle well alight.
A fire brigade spokeswoman said the blaze was of doubtful origin.
The spate of suspicious fires, mostly involving cars in Cocking and Midhurst, began early in December.
November 2004
A driver was cut free from his vehicle and taken to St. Richards hospital with serious injuries after leaving the A286 road in Cocking and colliding with the wall of a building by the Moonlight Tearooms.
A barn which was used as a double garage had to be later demolished due to damage caused and listed buildings behind the Moonlight Cottage were partly destroyed by the incident.
The accident, which happened at 5:45 am closed the A286 for nearly 4 hours.

Cocking index
Midhurst doctors and their 12,000 patients are on the move in two weeks' time - to the town's new £750,000 millennium health centre at Easebourne.
Right on target, the Riverbank Medical Centre in the grounds of Midhurst Cottage Hospital in Dodsley Lane will be fully operational by December 15.
The massive task of shifting everything from the present Lamberts Lane surgery will be undertaken during the weekend of December 11-12.
To ease the inevitable difficulties, emergency surgeries only will be held at Lamberts Lane in the period December 10-14.
Practice manager Katharine Miles said information about the move and surgery arrangements during the transition would be circulated to all patients.
see - Riverbank Medical Centre - - old Medical Centre photo & info
Bid to cure surgery parking problem
29 August 2007
Doctors at Midhurst's health centre are seeking planning permission to extend their surgery car park, in a bid to put an end to patients' scramble for spaces. Not long after the newly-built Riverbank Medical Centre, in the grounds of Midhurst Community Hospital, opened in December 1999, it was apparent that parking at prime times could become a problem.
At the time of the move from the former health centre in Lamberts Lane, it was estimated that 70 per cent of patients arrived by car. Lately the congestion has meant that people often end up parking on the A286 Dodsley Lane, at the bottom of the hospital driveway.
The application, submitted to Chichester District Council, is for 13 additional parking spaces to be created at the back of the Riverbank building. Some trees will have to be felled to make room for the new parking.
A Chichester couple walking their dogs on Heyshott common have reported the latest sighting of "a very large black cat". Police said: "..The couple report that they seen what was at first thought to be a black Labrador dog. They then realised it was much larger and had a distinctive curled tail". The couple state "The animal crossed a path in front of us and then disappeared into dense cover"
Mystery Big Cat Sighted At Heyshott
A puma-type big cat has been seen at Heyshott-the first reported sighting in the Midhurst and Petworth area for almost three years. Harry Marshall was walking his dogs at about 6.15pm on Thursday, March 17, when he spotted the prowling creature. "At first I thought it was an enormous black fox but then I realised it was too big for a fox," Mr Marshall said.
A fresh sighting has been recorded of a mystery black cat which has been lurking in the Midhurst area for the past five years.
The mystery cat was seen by a Midhurst man walking his dogs in Redford last Friday night (October 29) around 5pm. Police said the man sighted what he described as a black panther and "certainly a member of the leopard family".
The man said he was about 30 yards from the animal and got a clear look at it.
He said it was the size of a Labrador but longer and thicker limbed and had a looped tail.
A ghostly vision left a driver quaking at the wheel of his car as he drove towards the town in the dim light of dawn.
Lee Fellick (28), who lives at Tangmere, was approaching Midhurst on the A286 at 7.50am on Tuesday when he saw a figure step out into the road.
He was wearing a long waistcoat, baggy trousers, boots and a Quaker-style hat. Lee said: "I braked instinctively. He seemed to appear from an opening to a driveway. By the time I had slowed right down I was about 15ft away from him and I realised it was a transparency - I could see right through it.
He crossed the road in front of me and just dissolved into the trees.
Source(s):West Sussex Observer, 20 October 1999;
The Ghost of a Bear - Verdley Wood
........television crew from Australia on the search for the legendary ghost of the last bear to be killed in England said to haunt Verdley Woods just south of Fernhurst met at the ruins of Verdley Castle to make a programme on animal ghosts. here
A motorcyclist and his wife from Surrey died yesterday evening in a crash on the A286 between Midhurst and Fernhurst.
The couple were travelling north on the first machine in a group of bikers when it was in collision with a BMW car on bends at Henley Hill.
The man was trapped under the car.
The couples daughter, who was further back in the group, came across the accident shortly after it happened at 6.12pm.
A doctor certified both motorcyclists dead at the scene.
Police halted a football match at Midhurst between teams of refugees after fighting broke out on the bus on which they were travelling.
The match, billed as a friendly, was to have been held yesterday August 17 - at Midhurst Grammar Schools River Site playing field. Police were called when the bus arrived at the field.
The trip for African and Kosova refugees was organised by West Sussex Social Services.
A Selsey man who punched and kicked a disabled man "like a rag doll" in front of his family has been jailed.
Mark Berry, 30, broke into Mr Adam Geddes' home in Holmbush, Midhurst on February 11, and hit the man with a plank before kicking him and trying to break his arm.
Chichester Crown court heard that Berry, of Manor Road, Selsey, had been drinking after a funeral before he attacked the man.
Mr Jonathan Davies, prosecuting, said it was a sustained and unprovoked attack on Mr Geddes who was a thalidomide sufferer with shortened arms and who had a curvature of the spine.
Berry pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Geddes and causing him actual bodily harm. He was jailed for three and a half years, but half the prison sentence was suspended by Recorder Ian Wilson.
Mr Richard Cherrill, mitigating, said Berry had been drinking in a pub after going to the funeral of a friend's mother.
His dog had gone missing and Mr Geddes had phoned him that morning and said he knew where the dog was.
"He went to Mr Geddes to find out about his dog. He used the plank to get into the premises. His recollection of events is hazy.
Jailing Berry, Recorder Wilson told him: This was a particularly vicious and unpleasant assault on a man you knew to be crippled and unable to defend himself.
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A landlord accused of letting people use drugs in his pub has been cleared.
Judge Eric Wrintmore directed a jury at Chichester Crown Court to find Paul Stevens, 55, not guilty.
Mr Stevens had pleaded not guilty to five charges of allowing the Crown pub in Edinburgh Square, Midhurst, to be used for the smoking of cannabis resin between April and October 1997.
He also denied one charge of allowing premises to be used for the sale of a class B drug on December 3 1997.
After three days of prosecution evidence, the trial ended when defence barrister Mr Stephen Shay successfully argued there was no evidence that Mr Stevens knew people were smoking and selling cannabis in the Crown.
An injured woman was airlifted to hospital, 23 schoolchildren and a further 3 adults were ferried by ambulance for check-ups, and a cottage was left structurally damaged after a major road crash involving a school bus and two cars at Petworth this morning (February 9).
The crash happened in icy conditions on the A283 London Road north of the town, at 8.48am.
The bus, carrying pupils aged between 10 and 13 to the Herbert Shiner School, Petworth, left the road and crashed into the side of a cottage, causing structural damage and rupturing a tank containing 250 litres of heating oil.
Firemen using hydraulic cutting equipment freed a woman motorist from her car. She was airlifted to hospital by the Sussex police helicopter.
Police think it happened when the woman driving a Ford Escort skidded on ice and was in collision with the 60-seater single-decker bus. Maryanne Goodall, 33, of High Street, Petworth, had to be cut from the wreckage. She is now also stable in hospital.
The bus careered off the road and smashed into Michael Fitch's Peugeot, which was parked in his drive, before smashing into his neighbour's cottage.
Mr Fitch, added: "I think the fact that the bus hit my car first helped to reduce the impact when it hit the house." He said the road was a notorious blackspot and added: "We have only been here a short while but we are amazed how dangerous it is."
The bus crashed into a cottage rented by Julie Wheeler and her husband Andrew. Mrs Wheeler, 31, was returning home after taking her children to Petworth Primary School when she saw the bus embedded in her home.
More reports on Bus Crash
Wednesday 24 January 2007
Schools close due to snow
Snow has caused the closure of two Petworth schools.
The Herbert Shiner and the Primary school were affected, mainly due to problems that staff had in getting to work, West Sussex County Council said. Its fleet of 33 gritters went out between 7pm and 8pm on Tuesday and again in the early hours of yesterday, but there were several accidents.
One motorist bringing his wife to work in Midhurst at 5am complained that the A286 south of the town had not been gritted. Graham White lost control of his vehicle at Cocking Hill and ended up in a hedge.
part source - January 25 2007 issue of the Observer
Wednesday 21 July 2006
School closes due to heat
Northchapel Primary School put out an urgent request for parents to collect their children as temperatures in the school soared over 32C.
Staff telephoned families just before Midday, and broadcast an appeal over local radio, there was a rapid response by parents.
By 2pm most of the pupils had been collected leaving only a handful cooling in the swimming pool.
Swift action saves 4yr old boy
Swift action by staff saved a four-year-old boy who almost drowned in a school swimming pool. The incident happened during a swimming lesson at the Northchapel School pool last Friday.
An emergency call was made to the ambulance service at 11.43am reporting that the child was unconscious after going under the water. But by the time a Midhurst paramedic crew arrived, he had recovered consciousness after mouth-to-mouth resuscitation by a member of staff at the scene.He was taken to St Richard's Hospital, Chichester.
A spokeswoman for West Sussex education authority said six adults were supervising the lesson, two of whom were in the water with the children.
Source(s): Midhurst & Petworth Observer 15 September 2005
Biker dies in hit-and-run
11th Mar 2002
A motorcyclist has been killed in a hit-and-run accident on the A272 in West Sussex.
The 25-year-old victim came off his Triumph machine at Stedham, near Midhurst, around 9pm. He was then struck by a vehicle described by witnesses as a four-wheel drive type.
It left the scene without stopping.
Police are appealing for witnesses to contact their traffic base at Chichester on 0845 6070999.
Source(s): The Argus published Tuesday 12th Mar 2002.
see below
Hit and run death appeal
5th Mar 2003
The family of a motorcyclist killed in a hit and run accident in West Sussex are appealing for information as the first anniversary of his death approaches.
Christopher Clarke from Banbury was killed after falling from his Triumph motorcycle on 11 March 2002.
Sussex Police said while the 26-year-old was lying in the road he was driven over by a vehicle that failed to stop and drove off towards Midhurst. Mr Clarke was travelling on the A272 at Stedham, near Midhurst when the accident happened at about 9pm.
Source(s): BBC -
.................................... related
Monday, May 12, 2008
Bones found in Midhurst pub garden
former Silver Horseshoe Pub. North Street, Midhurst
A police guard was placed at the entrance of the premises which is being converted to a Pizza Expres after bones were discovered buried in the garden.
An archaeological specialist and scenes of crime officers were called as work was halted.
Chichester police later made a statement that the discovery was identified as animal bones and work on the site could recommence.
Panorama 'creator' passes away
7th Feb 2004
dennisbardens The first ever editor of Panorama Dennis Bardens, has passed away at the age of 92 after a long battle with cancer.
The journalist and author, died on Saturday, February 7, at St Charles' Hospital in London.
Dennis was born in Midhurst, July 19, 1911 and had a journalistic career which spanned more than 80 years. His first job in the profession was at the age of 15 as a trainee, he was still writing articles into his 92nd year.
Before coming up with the idea for Panorama, Dennis had already had a distinguished career as a journalist. He worked as a Fleet Street journalist for the Sunday Express and Daily Mirror, in the emergency planning department during World War II and was responsible for editing 100 editions of the popular 'Focus' magazine programme on BBC radio.

Source(s): BBC -
Man charged with threats to kill
18 Sep 2006
A man has been remanded in custody charged with threatening to kill his family, false imprisonment and criminal damage after an incident in Sussex. Armed police were among 40 officers who surrounded a house in Chestnut Close, Midhurst in the early hours of Monday. Three children and a woman later left the house unharmed and a man was arrested and taken to St Richard's Hospital in Chichester for treatment. The charged man was remanded to Chichester Crown Court on 3 January 2007

Source(s): BBC NEWS / SOUTHERN COUNTIES - Friday, 22 September 2006, 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK
Three arrests in drug death probe
11 Jan 2005
The men, who were detained in south Devon, north Cornwall and Midhurst, West Sussex, are being held
Source(s): Tuesday, 11 January, 2005 - BBC -

Boy impaled on metal school fence
Saturday, 5 March, 2005
A young boy became impaled on a metal fence when he tried to fetch a football from school grounds on Saturday.
Firefighters said the 12-year-old was trying to scale the 4ft fence at Midhurst Grammar School in West Sussex. His friends called the emergency services and firefighters and paramedics gave the boy first aid and stabilised him before releasing him.
He was taken to St Richards Hospital in Chichester and firefighters said the boy was lucky to escape serious injury.

Lucky escape for boy impaled on fence
A 12-year-old Easebourne boy has been dubbed 'lucky' by rescuers after escaping serious injury when he became impaled on a metal fence.
Ian Fumagall had climbed over the four-foot chainlink fence to retrieve his football from a field adjoining the pitch in Lamberts Lane, Midhurst, where he was having a kickabout on Saturday with his elder brother Robin and a friend, Daryl Wood (16).
Robin (15) used his mobile phone to call their mum, Trudy, and the emergency services when he realised Ian was unable to move, with part of the metalwork embedded in his groin.
Source(s): March 10, 2005 issue of the Midhurst & Petworth Observer
Snow shuts schools
Thursday 30th Jan 2003
Heavy snow closed five schools as teachers struggled to get to work. Hundreds of pupils could not attend classes when snowfall cut off a number of roads.
Schools included Arundel RC Primary School, Arundel, Clapham and Patching School, Clapham, Northchapel County School, Petworth, Camelsdale First School, Fernhurst, and Graffham First School, Midhurst. A West Sussex County Council spokesman said teachers, including Graffham's headteacher, could not get through the hazardous conditions at Duncton Hill, along the A283.
Other closures included the B2141, at Harting Hill, near Chichester and the A29 near Arundel.
The spokesman said: "We are sending gritting machines fitted with snow ploughs to all the sites to clear the roads. "We had 11 gritting machines out last night in the western area because we knew the snow was coming. "The snowfall on these three hills was particularly heavy."
Sudden death of Petworth rector
Friday 22 Dec 2006
Canon David Pollard
Parishioners of Petworth and its sister parish Egdean were shocked today as the news spread of the sudden death last evening of their 'larger-than-life' rector, Canon David Pollard
The priest, who over the past 12 years has become a well known and much respected figure within the communities, died at St Richard's Hospital, Chichester, during the evening of Thurs. 21 Dec.
Canon Pollard, who was aged 57, had been discovered collapsed at Petworth rectory on Monday last.
He was admitted to the intensive care unit at St Richard's hospital, Chichester. His death was caused as a result of internal haemorrhaging.
£7,000 burglary in Petworth
22 January 2007
Antiques and jewellery worth £7,000 were taken in a burglary in North Street, Petworth on January 22 while the occupier was out.
Among the most valuable of the items which were stolen were an antique French marble gold and blue enamelled mantlepiece clock, an antique deep red amber necklace in which one of the beads had been damaged while being re-strung, and an inscribed solid silver christening mug.
The house, in a busy location, was robbed during daylight hours.
Investigating officer, DC Jon Smithers of Chichester CID
Wild boar spotted near Stedham
February 2007
A wild boar has been spotted on the roadside near Stedham.
It was seen by Fred Crawford as he drove along Minsted Lane.
There have been a number of similar sightings reported throughout the area over the past 12 months.

Wild Boar in Britain
Easebourne Schoolchildren escape bus crash
17 October 2005
Seven children enroute to Easebourne Primary School escaped injury when the minibus they were travelling in was involved in a collision with a lorry.
A Police statement stated that the 17-seater bus was stationary on the A272 waiting to turn into Easebourne Street in the centre of Easebourne when the seven and a half-ton lorry crashed into the back of it, smashing the rear windows. None of the children on board was hurt in the incident.
A spokesman for West Sussex education department stated that the minibus driver was able to continue to the school and drop off the children, before returning to the scene of the accident where police were attending.
Billie Piper to marry at Easebourne
5 December 2007
Billie Piper has named the day and is planning to marry actor Laurence Fox in Easebourne parish church on New Year's Eve.
Previously married to Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans, Billie lives in Easebourne with Laurence, who is the son of renowned actor James Fox, veteran of more than 50 films and TV roles. Laurences uncle is Edward Fox, star of such greats as A Bridge Too Far and Edward and Mrs Simpson.
Billie is making a return to Dr Who in March 2008 as his companion Rose Tyler and Laurence is starring alongside Kevin Whately in the sequel to Morse.
Her former husband, Chris Evans, is also in the news this week with the announcement that he has bought the Lickfold Inn. [closed 2010]
Part Source(s): OS-Chichester Observer
The full article appears in OS-Chichester Observer newspaper. 05 December 2007

Billie Piper wedding

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