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In our churches this Sunday, August 3… there will be Songs of Praise at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am.

If you have a song to talk about or a story to share, please speak to Patrick, our organist, who is planning this service. Later, at 6 pm, there will be Holy Communion at St Peter’s.

And there’s a reminder that on Saturday week, August 9, there will be a Tribute of Remembrance and Commemoration on the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. This will be at St Andrew’s, beginning at 7 pm.

For the third time, Fairfest has come and gone… leaving almost nothing but glowing reports of the multifarious activities on offer. Probably the only downside to the whole event was the sudden serious illness suffered by one of the organisers in the final countdown to the start time, but swift attention from Andrew Mier and John Brooker plus, in short order, First Responder Dot James and then two paramedics, an ambulance and a Doctor, as I write the patient is now under observation in the Conquest and doing well.

For the Festival itself, there were far more people in attendance than at the two previous biennial iterations, a large number of whom clearly came from outside the village. Despite the event being held earlier in the summer than the first two ‘fests’ (a fact that caused me to miss the occasion as it clashed with the three days of my septennial holiday) a not very short but extremely sharp downpour threaten to put paid to the proceedings, with the water getting into the electrics of the sound equipment. As it turned out, people sheltered until the worst was past, and the festival returned to acoustic life. King of Fairlight Keith Jellicoe had opened the afternoon with Queen Linda Savarese at his side, and throughout the day MC Jim Saphin kept all well informed about what was going on. The Fun Dog Show attracted many entries, while in the arena Acromax Gymnastics Group were as proficient as they had been at earlier Fests. Rye Dance Centre and Rye Ukulele group were much appreciated newcomers to the event. The Art Club show in a marquee kindly donated by Booker and Best attracted much interest, as did the Residents Association’s village archive display. The WWI exhibition was not large, but very evocative. The Village Choir was in good form, as were Friends in Harmony. 60 classic cars made a special display, as did our First Responders, the British Legion, Pett Level Rescue Boat and Hastings Lions. Dogs, of the hot variety, plus burgers and buns, were in demand throughout, augmented by the arrival of the Fish and Chip Van during the afternoon.

This round-up will be completed next week, picking up winners of this and that (Fancy Dress and Hula Hoops, for instance), but in the meantime congratulations to Jennifer Annetts and her team, who must be totally pleased with the results of all their monumental efforts, as well as completely creamed.

During the break-down of all the bits and pieces on Monday morning, one helper lost his mobile phone. If you should happen upon it, please let Carol know on 814178.

The Parish Council… met on the Tuesday of last week and, following a month with neither Police presence nor report, it was pleasing to be able to meet PCSO Ruth Seal for the first time. An experienced PCSO, Ruth has recently transferred here (and elsewhere) but is ‘ours’ only until October. However, her updating report omitted burglary items that Councillors expected to hear about, and Ruth promised that the records would be checked for accuracy. It was suggested that Fairlight, plus Pett and Guestling, might consider sharing the purchase of an £895 speed camera between them. Regarding the salt/grit bins (which will soon be a necessity!) the price was likely to be £175 each including VAT, but with concrete bases additional for each. It was noted that former Councillor Richard Pollard had secured County agreement to purchase on our behalf two of the bins needed.

The Royal Sussex Regiment had asked for a grant towards the cost of a permanent memorial to the Regiment, and it was unanimously agreed to grant £100.

County Councillor Carl Maynard explained the thinking behind the revision of parts of the bus timetables, including our 344 route, with a more realistic approach being necessary as some routes only ran with an £11 subsidy per passenger, plainly an unsupportable level.

On the Land Management heading, the considerable improvement in the state of several footpaths in Knowle Wood was noted with appreciation, and the question of what to do about the burgeoning Leylandii trees bordering the children’s play area on Wood Field rec. Rather than cutting them back, it was agreed to obtain a quotation to cut them down, though clearly something else will be needed to fill in in their absence in future.

The Gardening Club’s monthly meeting… on Monday next, August 4, is to be an away fixture as they venture on a visit to Rotherview Nurseries in Ivyhouse Lane for a trough planting demonstration. Wendy Bates will be starting her talk and the demonstration at 2.30 pm, so those attending should ensure they are there on time. Alternatively, anyone requiring a lift, or who knows they will be giving a lift, is asked to meet at the village hall at 2 pm. If unsure, please ring Karen Draper on 814154. The visit is free, and Wendy is able to provide tea and coffee – or ice cream is available if you prefer.

Apologies all round… to the Floral Club and the Trefoil Guild. Both events slipped through the net when I thought I had a week to go before they needed a mention. The Trefoil meeting took the form of a Strawberry Tea in conjunction the Hastings Guild, when more than 20 members arrived at Kingsdown in Channel Way, armed with umbrellas to fend off the sweltering heat. A doubly fine afternoon ensued. For the Floral Club, following hard on the heels of the huge success they enjoyed when Putting On The Ritz, their programme continued when Gill Homer, one of several vibrant new demonstrators booked on this year’s programme, displayed her interpretation of Bright Ideas. Her demonstration was extremely good and was enjoyed by all, enhanced and heightened by Gill’s interaction with her audience.

And talking of Floral Displays… several in the village are already acquainted with the Guestling Flower Festival, which has been run at St. Laurence Church, Guestling for a number of years. This year’s annual three day event is coming up on August 15, 16 and 17 from 10 am to 5.30 pm each day. Put a note in your diary now for this show, with its theme ‘Another look at Ladybird Books’. As well as the floral exhibits you’ll find refreshments, including Ploughman’s Lunches, alongside bric-a-brac and book stalls, and tombola. All proceeds go to the St Laurence Church Restoration Fund.

Our Rector, Richard Barron… is shared between Pett and ourselves. It seems only right, then, that after his prize-scooping performance at our recent Gardening Club Summer Show, he should continue his prize winning streak at the Pett Flower Show last weekend. Richard gained more First Prizes, another Best in Show, and another three trophies to add to his collection. Apparently, he is becoming known as ‘the Reverend Sweet Pea’. But what if he should change his particular predilection, for he grows more than just sweet peas? Perhaps Canon Cucumber, or even the Rural Dean of Rhododendrons!

Keith Pollard

Brookfield, Broadway