A VILLAGE by the canal, Hunston has a friendly community feel and although it is only a stones throw away from Chichester, it has its own character.
There’s a lot going on in the village, as people come together and put on big events, including the fireworks, music festivals and lunches.
Linda Rex, who has run the post office in the village for 14 years, said: “I think it is a nice place to live.
“Everybody is friendly, it’s not far from Chichester. You can walk into town along the canal.
“A lot of people have lived her for a long time. We have lived here 14 years but there are people who have lived here all their life.”
She said there is a lot going on in the village throughout the year, with events run by The Spotted Cow pub and the Hunston Community Club.
“There’s the fireworks which are in November organised by the club,” she said.
The fireworks held at Hunston are one of the area’s biggest events, with a bonfire, funfair and village torchlight procession. Revellers come from all over the area for the November event, which is getting bigger every year.
“The pub organise things at Christmas, and they have a music festival in August,” said Linda.
The Spotted Cow, sits at the heart of the village.
As well as running lots of events, including popular music festival Cowfest, it is also a destination for foodies from far and wide.
David Barr, who runs the Hunston Canoe Club with his wife Helen, said the pub is a ‘hub’ for the community.
“Lots of us go down there with the kids on a Friday evening. The church is a real good community thing here too.”
He said, on Christmas Eve, choristers and the band from the church go to The Spotted Cow and sing carols.
“It’s one of the best nights of the year.”
As well as the pub and church, he said residents run pantomimes and put on events which really bring people together.
The canoe club itself is a big community asset, running classes for children in the area.
Last year, the village came together when the canoe club’s hut was burgled.
Many of the club’s boats were stolen, so villagers from Hunston and surrounding villages came together, and managed to raise enough money to keep the club going and replace the boats.
“We were quite surprised but people do seriously value it when you do stuff for the kids,” said David.
The club continues to runs its classes, as well as an annual raft race which gets everyone involved.
The village shop Kirklands plays a central role in the village. David describes it as ‘information centre’ with Chrissie Leeder, who runs the shop, the ‘queen of Hunston’.
“It’s what a village shop should be,” he said.
Chrissie, who runs the shop with Steve Kirkland, said: “We have always got something going on, we’ve got football, lots of nice walks on the canal, the canoe society.”
She is also running a table top sale this Saturday in the village hall, to raise money for Hunston’s Gavin Hunnikin, who needs £75,000 for gene therapy to destroy a brain tumour.
“People are coming in with donations and things for the sale, they have been great,” she said.
She said the community had really come together and been supportive on the upcoming event.
The sale will run from 11am until 3pm, with 30 tables.
Bruce Wilkins is another well-known face in the village, and he runs The Big Lunch in the village park each summer.
“It was really a way of bringing the community together,” he said.
“There are lots of people in the village who all play a part, it is just bringing those people together.”
He said Hunston was a ‘fun’ place to live and there is always lots going on.
“The club are always trying to get people involved. The WI is really good.”
So, despite being so close to Chichester, Hunston really does have its own identity.
With so much going on, and with plenty of community hubs Hunston really is a thriving village, with lots to offer to anyone who joins, or visits, its welcoming community.