Fairlight

Pews’ news: Worship in the village this Sunday, November 23, will consist of Morning Praise at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am, with the Informal Service at St Peter’s, with guest speaker Martin West. Don’t forget that, notwithstanding the winter start time schedule for St Peter’s, these informal worship services start at 6.30 pm.

Fairlight Trefoil Guild: Premature posters went out for the Guild’s November meeting. It’s not that they were put up too soon, but the date they quoted, November 19 was a week early. So, rest assured, you haven’t missed the meeting, because the actual date is Wednesday next, November 26. It’ll all be happening in St Peter’s Church from 10 am to 12 noon, when you will have the opportunity to make your own greetings cards with Judy. More details are available from Chairman Betty Snow or Secretary Brenda Ridler. There’ll be tea, coffee and biscuits, and visitors are welcome for £1.50

Once more unto the breach: For intrepid Sheila Benson, Chairman of the Fairlight Floral Club, it will be a case of déjà vu at the club’s meeting next Thursday, November 27, when she steps in as demonstrator once again, following Julie Brownlee’s withdrawal on incontestable medical grounds. Sheila has already been there, done that earlier in 2014 when she gave a very much appreciated display almost at the last moment. Who said lightning doesn’t strike twice…?

A Christmas Bonanza: Tomorrow, Saturday, November 22, sees the Floral Club’s Christmas Bonanza at the village hall from 10.30 am to 4 pm, allowing plenty of time for you to browse and buy at the 30 tables-worth of offerings, have a lunch and come again for cake and a coffee, or just a nice cuppa. There will be so much of interest to tempt you, you might like to have a Tarot reading to help you make up your mind. Admission is free.

RSPCA Christmas Fayre: It’s that time of the year, for on Saturday week, November 29, we’ll have the local RSPCA’s Christmas Fayre in the village hall from 10 am to 1 pm. Many stalls will be open, including scrumptious cakes, tombola, interesting treasures, pets, toys and a bargain basement. There’s a substantial raffle as well. As far as we can foresee, clairvoyant Jenny Croft will be there, too. Entrance will cost you 50p, which includes tea or coffee plus biscuits.

All’s Fair in Fairlight: Completing the cluster of fairs and fetes, at least for the time being, the always popular Village Hall Christmas Fair will be along on Saturday, December 6 from 12 noon until 3 pm. All the usual fun-of-the-fair stalls, games, mulled wine, lunches and what-have-you will be available on what is one of the two principal fund raising events for the hall. The more you spend, enjoyably, at the fair, the less you and your group will have to pay to hire the place in the future. Everyone’s a winner!

Fairfest Barn Dance: Back by popular demand, Fairfest’s Barn Dance on Saturday week, November 29, commencing at 7.30 pm in the village hall, sees the welcome return of Flat Cat, the local Barn Dance band. Tickets, which are available from the Post Office, are £7.50 each, and they will get you in to the dance, supplied with a cheese or pate ploughman’s and access to the bar. If you can’t make it to the Post Office for your tickets, you could always call Jennifer on 812476.

The future of our Post Office and General Stores: Like buses, you wait for a long time for drop-ins to come along, and then two of them arrive together. And that’s how it was at the village hall last Saturday when the two parallel events were exceptionally well attended, with a large number of people rarely seen at such doings in addition to all the village’s ‘usual suspects’. The large hall hosted clusters at several tables, each explaining some different aspect to be dealt with if we are to proceed to taking over the Post Office and General Stores as a community project. There was an enthusiastic sense of goodwill, though some questions were asked that will need to be, and will be, addressed by the organisational team. No conclusions were reached, of course – this is very definitely a work in progress. More news can be expected in the coming weeks and months, aided by the fact that we all know much more than we did last week, as a feasibility study is undertaken, the infrastructure is refined and a business plan formulated, and funding is secured. Exciting times!

The future of the Market Garden site: With Gemselect’s planning application now live, this drop-in attracted as much attention as that for the Post Office, though the enthusiasm here was laden with opprobrium rather than goodwill. Those manning the information and discussion tables met all manner of questions, and it is probably true to say that no one spoke in favour of the plans as they stand. Badgers, Japanese knotweed and sewage disposal all attracted attention, but it was possibly transport that garnered the highest number of derogatory comments, on two fronts. Firstly the terrible major effect the actual building work would have on the village, the appalling access and parking available for building supplies and contractors’ vehicles, and then, secondly, with the project complete, parking and turning on the new estate itself. Emergency vehicles and refuse lorries would find huge difficulties on this site. The powers that be decree, apparently, that each property should have space for two vehicles – one in a garage and one in front on the drive. This is so simplistic and naïve as to be laughable. As the plan incorporates four 4-bed and seven 3-bed houses, if any of them has a visitor or two, you’d be hard put to get a push bike past them. By the time you read this, the Parish Council will have had one of its fortnightly Tuesday afternoon meetings, at which a collation and summation of opinions and comments arising from will be assessed to enable them to frame some substance to communicate to Rother. Like the Lower Waites Lane stream in the recent past, this could run and run.

Appealing success: With the centenary of the start of the Great War, and the astonishing spectacle at the Tower of London, this year’s Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal has had a special significance for all. A brief note from local Appeals Organiser John Pulfer says that the total raised round our and adjoining villages came to £4,853.54. Amazing, and wholly deserved.

Under way already: The Pantomime Group’s Rapunzel rehearsals have begun. So far, the names of the ten major principals have been revealed as cast list King, Sam Burford; Gothel, Lydia Gilbert; Rapunzel, Jenny Clark; Dame Trott, Steve Hill; Quinn, Tom Edie; Doyle, Tom Miller; Buboe, Matt Barry; Harold, Chris Goring; Queen, Penny Kenward and Fairy, Pauline Lucas. You can probably work out which ones are going to be the baddies, and will need a good booing! We’ll let you know the remainder of the cast shortly. The show runs at the end of January, and you can expect the tickets to go on sale prior to Christmas. Watch this space!

At MOPPs today: Today, Friday 21, you can soothe your weary limbs with Celia King’s chair-based exercises, and then top everything up with roast lamb, and banoffee pie for dessert. Next Friday, November 28, members can enjoy music and tombola before embarking on either chicken curry or chicken chasseur, and then follow it with trifle.

Don’t forget, if you would like to become a member of MOPPs, give their co-ordinator Robert Pasterfield a call on 07860 414277 for more details. He’ll be only too glad to tell you how to join this happy group.

The Parish Council meets: For the last time this year (as they have no December meeting, but will keep beavering away in the background) the PC meets next Tuesday, November 25 in the village hall at 7.15 pm. The agenda suggests that a number of hardy perennials are up for discussion – grit/salt bins, dog waste bins, Lower Waites Lane trees and so on. Possibly some of them may be fully harvested next week. New items, like the community interest in the Post Office and Planning Matters (yes, it does, and possibly more so now than ever before) which should touch on the Market garden site. Quite a full programme, then. Come and see your Parish Councillors at work.

Keith Pollard

Brookfield, Broadway