To Orwell Today,

I can't pretend to have great knowledge either of Animal Farm, or of Willingdon. But I do live nearby and this morning was watching a DVD called 'Eastbourne Then and Now' by Gaia communications.

In it there was a shot of a rural lane -- Pig Lane -- which was said to run from Willingdon down to the sea.

Just found your website and thought you were bound to want to investigate! The lane looked very peaceful and I would like to walk it, but although I've tried to find it on maps here I've not had any success so far. (wondered whether it was only known to people like the elderly local being interviewed in 2004?)

Anyway, good luck and do let me know if you get anywhere?

-Jan Say

Greetings Jan,

In a previous article on ORWELL TODAY I posted a satellite image and a map of the hiking trail from Chalk Farm in Willingdon, Sussex (partial inspiration for Manor Farm in ANIMAL FARM) down to the sea at Beachy Head near Eastbourne (where Orwell went to school). See ORWELL WALKS WILLINGDON DOWNS

DownsMapGoogle DownsInterest1 DownsInterest2

Perhaps that hiking trail is the rural lane you caught a glimpse of in the DVD you watched.

Living nearby as you do, it's a godcidental opportunity for a spiritual walk with Orwell following in his footsteps from Willingdon down to the sea at Eastbourne.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

To Orwell Today,

Hi Jackie,

There are many rural lanes in this area as you know. My point in writing to you was that the particular lane is Pig Lane. Not fictional, but actual.

I guess I didn't make myself clear but never mind!


Greetings again Jan,

I wasn't implying that the rural lane you spoke of was fictional but thought it might have been the trail shown on the borough's map of the 'Butts Brow to Birling Gap Easy Access Trail' which begins near Willingdon and ends near Eastbourne.

Perhaps there's a rural lane from Chalk Farm -- named Pig Lane -- that leads to the trail that leads down to the sea. Willingdon is nowhere near the sea, located as it is on the outskirts of the Downs.

But, having never seen the film you mention -- Eastbourne Then & Now -- nor having ever personally been in that area of England -- I am just groping around putting puzzle pieces together as I find them.

If you ever do find Pig Lane it would be fun to hear where it leads.

All the best,
Jackie Jura


PS - Upon re-looking at the map, there are trails across the Downs marked "other rights of way" which could include the rural Pig Lane you're looking for. One leads from Chalk Farm and another from Willingdon and they join further down. See ORWELL WALKS WILLINGDON DOWNS

To Orwell Today,

Ok thanks Jackie -- thought you'd been there -- misunderstanding.

Never mind and God bless,

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~