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This Sunday, April 6… there’s an informal All Age Service entitled ‘Sadness to Happiness’ at 10.30 am at St Andrew’s. The service will feature Derek Heyman with Cecil the puppet, a couple who have proved popular wherever they go. Enjoy!

The next Church Consultation Evening… will be held at St Peter’s Church on Tuesday, May 7 from 7 to 9.30 pm, and all Fairlight church members are invited to attend. During the past few months Fairlight PCC members have spent some time discussing the results of the church survey and from those results they have identified priorities and goals, which includes an agreed vision for their church at the heart of the community, a strengthening of pastoral care, and a desire to see St Peter’s Church upgraded and its use increased. It’s a little while off as yet, but put that date in your diary.

Fairlight Trefoil guild… has had its first AGM, when Chairman Betty Snow gave a resume of the year’s activities. This was followed by the election of Officers, which saw a new addition to the list of officers in the election of a Vice-Chairman, Barbara Hart. The other officers were duly re-elected. After the meeting closed everyone enjoyed refreshments and several details of the programme for the coming year were discussed.

The April meeting of the Guild will take place at Merriments Gardens where members will be able to enjoy a coffee and a stroll round the gardens followed by lunch. The date for this event will be confirmed later. Why not join the ladies?

The Floral Club… has held its AGM, a successful and positive occasion with only one change, which saw Susan Ramsey elected to the committee. With the business satisfactorily completed, a fun event followed which saw the committee demonstrating arrangements with the flowers brought along by the members. As it not surprising at this happy, thriving gathering, everyone present thoroughly enjoyed the meeting and the demonstration.

Last week I was ‘looking into the Fuchsia’…but obviously ‘through a glass darkly’, as both the date of the Gardening Club’s next talk and the week in which it would occur were incorrect. The actual date is Monday next, April 7, in the village hall. As appeared last week, the speaker is to be George Puddefoot from Riverside Fuchsias in Dartford and his talk will inform the members ‘How to grow better fuchsias’, in a hands-on demonstration in the style of Richard Barron’s talk last month, which proved so attractive to the audience. Riverside is a family-run nursery which holds the National Fuchsia Collection. They have more than 1,000 varieties, so Mr Puddefoot certainly knows what he’s talking about! He will also be bringing plants for sale.

The Tuesday Ladies Club… met in March with local Blue Badge tourist guide and tour operator, Clive Richardson as a most entertaining speaker. Clive’s tours are now entering their 26th year and he had been an English and History teacher and he got into the business when he was asked to make travel arrangements for some foreign students studying English in Hastings. Later his mother drew his attention to a course for Blue Badge guides and he then started organising outings. Among several amusing stories was one visit to stately home. The coach entered through the gates with no trouble, but on leaving it could not get through the gates because of the lay of the road and in the end the gates had to be removed with a chain saw! Clive’s favourite areas are Northumberland, Exmoor and Southern Suffolk. Among those present were a couple of men and, indeed, men are always welcome at Club meetings. We were pleased to welcome a couple of men to our talk.

The April meeting is on Tuesday week, April 15, and will feature a demonstration by Fairlight’s First Responders and a quiz. Visitors welcome for only £2, which includes tea and cakes.

For the Fairlight Players’ April production… tickets are on sale. £6 each is really relatively cheap by today’s standards, and the plays are always guaranteed to give you laughs, gasps or tears (though not all at once) Holiday Snap is a sure-fire laugh inducer, which is just the thing needed to make you forget that wet winter. The Post Office has the tickets and the seating plans.

The Parish Council meeting… on the Tuesday of last week, was full of interesting items, some of which we outline here. 18 members of the public were in attendance, plus our PCSO, Sharon Eldridge. Sharon observed that poor parking, anti-social driving – at speed or without consideration for others, were the top two priorities for residents.

A consultation had been held with the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service. A relatively small diminution in the service’s grant of £1.3m has already been made, with much public interest, aggro and involvement ensuing. However, a further £7.1m is to be cut by 2018/19, and it did seem that trying to select an option that kept our village as safe as hitherto was fairly fruitless. One will have to hope that the professionals will make the best judgement they can, as preserving the status quo, in itself not ideal, is not an economically viable option.

The Council members had done some sterling work on the subject of cliff erosion, and Cost Benefit Analysis ratios were bandied about as if all present understood what they meant. Usually they are around 1:12, but ours stands at 1:16, and a closed meeting had agreed that it was felt that £150,000 could be raised by 2016, when it would be needed. Some £75,000 of this might be borrowed, over 40 years, without the need to increase the present precept, an excellent indication of financial prudence.

Speedwatch still needs volunteers to man the guns (speed guns, I’m afraid), and Linda Eades is still the Councillor to contact.

Cllr Rev Val Gibbs gave the news that Battery Hill holes should be dealt with within a fortnight, hooray, which now becomes next week.

A somewhat disturbing fact came to light under Planning, where, on grounds of cost reduction, it was reported that there would not be paper plans available in future, and furthermore there was no option to pay for them and still get them. Nor would anyone be able to view them at the Town Hall. All very undemocratic, and it means that examining a plan on one’s computer screen, which is OK for a small scale (sic) application, but makes it impossible to check the detail of developments of two or more properties.

A new date has now been agreed and fixed for the Parish Assembly, which will be on Friday, May 30, in the village hall at 6.30 pm. Some years it is better attended than others, and we’re due for a big turnout this year…

Dog fouling may seem to be less in evidence around the village, but not on Wood Field rec., a problem that is apparently down to one owner – or rather his or her dog. Though the public were not permitted to speak at this point, it’s a pity no one suggested buying a crane bag and presenting said owner with a present…

Cllr David Thatcher continues with his crusade, or possibly war of attrition, to get better broadband coverage than the slow and intermittent service currently available in parts of Fairlight.

In the public forum, there were complaints and discussions about selfish bonfire lighters – this, in the bonfire capital of England! – and an astonishing disclosure from John Pulfer that he and some of his Channel Way neighbours have been without a landline phone and the internet since January 26. Good old BT! There is now around a broadband facility that is 1,000 times faster than that which we ‘enjoy’ here. Click on a film and it’s all downloaded before your finger leaves your mouse…! Rumour has it that Broadway and all to the south-east are still on aluminium phone cabling, not copper. What price fibre optics?

There’s a chance to have a flutter… at a Lingfield Race Course Ladies Day on Friday May 9

A coach will be departing from Fairlight at 12 noon and 12.30 pm from Hastings arriving for the first race at 1 pm, departing on the return leg after last race at 5.30 pm (though that arrival time at Lingfield looks a bit optimistic to me!) The cost will be £26 per person including entry fee and coach, and if you’d like further details, give Margaret Pulfer a call on 814866.

Gnome, sweet gnome… Here’s a reminder that the B&Q store on the Rye Road in Ore will be closing on Friday, April 25. Meanwhile, there is a clearance sale of assorted hardware.

You never stop learning… coming up Harold Road from the town to avoid the three-way temporary lights at Ore Co-op, you run, seamlessly but not pothole-less into Saxon Road. Until today, as I write, I had not hole-ly appreciated that the road had been named after the last people to maintain it…

Keith Pollard, Brookfield, Broadway