New book sheds light on what goes on in not so sleepy Little Common

Phillip Elms Book SUS-180327-115022001
Phillip Elms Book SUS-180327-115022001

Little Common has come under the spotlight like never before.

Exactly what goes on in the not-so-sleepy village is the subject of a new book.

Journalist Philip Elms kept a daily diary for 12 months, logging everything from the serious to the trivial in the village that has been his home for more than three decades.

Roundabout A Year in the Life of Little Common contains at least one entry for every day of 2017 and more than 400 entries in all.

Former Mayor Cllr Stuart Earl said: “Future historians will devour it.”

Said Philip: “Little Common’s colourful history from coaching inns to smuggling gangs has been well documented so I decided to try something that’s never been done before by writing up village life in the 21st century.”

The former Observer Group production editor said: “It’s been a fascinating return to the basics of journalism, talking to people and telling their stories.

“I’ve interviewed dozens of people who work, socialise or volunteer here and spoken to countless others. This project has dominated my life for a year but it’s been a privilege to undertake. People have been so generous with their time and I found some of their stories profoundly moving.”

“Much of it was unplanned, which was a key part of its appeal. Yes, there are vital set pieces such as the clubs and societies that meet regularly, the summer fayre, the school fete, the Remembrance Parade and, for the first time, the StreetFest. And I catch up with Little Common’s longest serving trader.

“But equally important are the unplanned happenings such as the young woman talking about the guilt she felt following her mother’s death, the campaign to halt new house building, the fashion for pothole patching, the couple knocked off their motorbike by a hit-and-run driver at the roundabout and what comedy legend Jimmy Cricket thought about his Little Common chips.

“The successes and failures of local businesses are covered, as are some key anniversaries, such as the Queen’s visit and the Great Storm. I have also sprinkled some wry observations and a few surprises. But Little Common is not immune from life’s problems and I’ve tried to reflect these, too.”

The book includes a Year in Numbers feature, revealing how many Mothers’ Day lunches were served at the Wheatsheaf, plus a Stroll through the Centuries for the history buffs.

Roundabout is published by Rag Doll Media UK © Philip Elms 2018.

It is available at Little Common Post Office at £10.99 (discounted to £9.99 for a launch period). or email

Benefit from an ongoing discount on your Bexhill Observer by joining our voucher membership scheme. Once you’ve subscribed we’ll send you dated vouchers which can be exchanged for your paper at any news outlet. To save money on your Observer simply click here (