Etchingham

Colin Boylett, 2 park Farm Close

The Church was filled with village residents last Saturday evening enjoying the annual offering of festive entertainment.

The evening got underway with the Etchingham Singers performing a wide range of songs, including ‘It’s a grand night for singing’, ‘Winter Wonder Land’, ‘O Holy Night’, ‘In Dulce Jubilo’ and ‘Let it snow’, to name just a few, all excellently performed by the singers, accompanied by Courtney Kenny. Alison Vernon then read two poems, ‘The Oxen’ by Thomas Hardy and ‘Eddi’s Service’ by Rudyard Kipling.

Courtney Kenny took us up to the interval with his wonderful renditions of the Flanders and Swann songs ‘The Gnu’, ‘The Sloth’, and ‘The Warthog’.

During the interval the audience was treated to mince pies and mulled wine. After everyone was suitably refreshed we saw the return of the Etchingham Singers with four more songs before we were treated to the latest play by Phil Hinde.

This year we found Sir William de Etchingham seeking planning permission to build a new church. He seeks planning permission from Ruthless Rufus, Sheriff of Bexhill and Rother, with not much success until the intervention of Edward the Black Prince. Building progress is slow, as the contract has been awarded to Robert ye Bielder, but eventually is completed. The play would not be complete without Jill, an Echyngham Donkey, this year she met a new friend Picasso, a Spanish Donkey. Musical accompaniment during the performance was ably provided by Courtney Kenny and Alison Sprigg. The evening was rounded off with the audience joining in with Christmas Carols. Too many people involved to name everyone, but thank you to everyone who took part in the production for getting Etchingham Christmas off to a good start.

The more observant of you will have noticed that preliminary work has started on the Lambing Field site. Now that work is underway I will try and get up to the site as often as possible and get pictures of progress. I have created a set on Flickr for the pictures to go in, you will find it at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ttelyob/sets/72157638664694015/ if you take any pictures as the work progresses, if you email the pictures to me, with details of date taken, I will be happy to add them to the set.

The Etchingham Singers are a choir who sing for fun, the only qualification for joining is a love of singing. All are welcome, the choir meets on Wednesdays, 7.30pm to 9pm. For more details contact Mary Barnes on 01580 819142.

The Etchingham Branch of the Royal British Legion is under threat. Numbers have fallen so low that we may be faced with a forced closure. Many people will wonder what all the fuss is about, we will still have our poppy appeal - but it is really not that simple.

No branch means we do not have the right to have our Remembrance Sunday Service at 11am, to remember the fallen, parade the Standard and have the bugler play the Last Post.

To clarify - if the Etchingham Branch closes we cannot hold a Remembrance Sunday Service, Etchingham residents will be obliged to travel to a neighbouring village to attend a service.

Please help to keep the Etchingham Branch open, anyone can join, you do not need to have served in the forces to join. Membership is just £14.50 a year. To join you can download a membership form and direct debit mandate from the Royal British Legion website, fill it in and hand it to Shaun or Eleanor. You do not need to make a payment when you hand in the form, it will be taken by direct debit.

To dowload form from the RBL site go to www.britishlegion.org.uk/media/7916/rblmembershipform.pdf

Forms will also be available in the Shop & Deli and the Post Office.

JOIN TODAY - - KEEP THE ETCHINGHAM BRANCH OPEN

Put your old clothes to good use and raise funds for Etchingham School. There is a textile recycling container in the Bistro car park, the school get paid for every kilo of clothing collected from the container. You can put in any men’s, ladies or children’s clothing, handbags, bags, shoes, ties and belts. Do not put in any carpets or rugs, pillows and cushions, table linen, blankets, curtains, workwear or soiled and wet clothing. Put your items in a black sack or carrier bag and secure before placing in the container. Good quality clothing is sent to developing countries and low quality textiles are recycled into industrial cleaning cloths. More details of the scheme are on the village website, or go to the Rag Bag website www.rag-bag.co.uk

Community Speed Watch, we are progressing well with getting a Community Speed Watch group organised in Etchingham, and seven of our volunteers are in the process of getting trained to use the equipment. We hope to be ready to start speed checks in January. More volunteers will be most welcome , if you want to find out more about how Speed Watch works go to the village website www.etchinghamvillage.co.uk, follow the Speed Watch link on the left, or visit the Sussex Police website www.sussex.police.uk and put Speed Watch into the search box. If you are willing to be included in such a useful and necessary scheme please ring Jill Copland on 01580 819321, Colin Boylett on 01580 819532 or email etchinghamspeedwatch@gmail.com . You can now also register directly on to the system, go to www.communityspeedwatch.co.uk then the button labelled ‘System Access’ from the drop-down menu select ‘Register as Group Operator’ and follow the instructions, remember to change the group name to Etchingham, fill in your details and register. You will get a confirmation email and the Etchingham Group Admin will contact you as soon as your details appear on the system. Updates on the progress of the scheme will also be posted on Facebookwww.facebook.com/etchinghamspeedwatch and on the village website. If you are concerned about the speed of the traffic through the village, get involved today.

Are you involved with a village organisation that arranges evens throughout the year? A calendar has now been set up on the village website at this location www.etchinghamvillage.co.uk/calendar there is a link to the page near the top of the website Home Page and another at the bottom of the menu on the left of every page. Full instructions are on the page, but adding entries is very easy, any authorised person can add details, but alterations later can only be made by an admin.

To avoid the risk of unwanted spam/prank posts getting into the calendar a password is needed to complete the entry, I have sent a password to a lot of people who will want to add entries. I have probably not included everyone, so if you are a member of a group or organisation, or individual and need to add entries, contact me for the password if you have not received it.

The idea is that all entries are added to the calendar by village residents, so that I do not have to spend time adding information, and only need to edit errors and changes, hopefully all village organisations will make full use of the calendar and find it useful when planning events.

It is possible that there may be someone who wants to add an event to the calendar and not have internet access, in this case ask a friend or neighbour if they can add the details, if that is not possible contact me with the details.

There is also a page which is integrated with the “What’s on” page on the VillageNet website, you can add your events to that and they will be seen by people accessing the VillageNet website in surrounding villages, you will find a link to the page near the bottom of the menu on the left of the Etchingham website. The page is a link to the VillageNet site, and not part the Etchingham site, so you are responsible for adding your information, the admin of the Etchingham site cannot do it for you.

You can deliver information for this column to 2 Park Farm Close, telephone 01580 819532 or 07941 786244 or email colin.boylett@gmail.com .

All that remains now is for me to thank you all for your contributions through the year, and to wish you all a very Happy Christmas, and best wishes for a Happy New Year.