Fairlight

Pews News: There is an All Age service at 10.30 am at St Andrew’s this Sunday, February 1. Due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, last Sunday’s service had to be moved at short notice to St Peter’s. And this Sunday, St Peter’s will host the Holy Communion service at 4 pm, as planned. Please take note that there’s a Men’s Brunch tomorrow week, Saturday, February 7 and this will be at the more civilised time of 9.45 for a 10 am start (that’s why it’s not a Men’s Breakfast, then) There’ll be fellowship and food, with Rev Frank Rowson as Guest Speaker. Further information can be had from Tina Loney on 0790 345 5630.

MOPPs today, and yet to come: Today’s entertainment is the ‘All Aloud’ Choir, with a lunch of scampi and chips and then fruit crumble to follow. Next Friday, February 6, it’s Tai Chi with Annie Cryer, and this will be followed by sausage and mash, and Bakewell tart. Encouragingly, there are two new members to report, and the group sends best wishes to four existing members who have not been at their best recently. They also extend a warm welcome to their Kitchen Assistant Mandy who, together with Margaret, will be helping prepare the February delicious menus already mentioned.

Post Office and General Stores: Plans for the community to adopt and take over the Post Office and General Stores are gathering both pace and supporters, and your opportunity for an information update arrives tomorrow, Saturday, January 31 in the village hall from 10 am to 12 noon. Those who attended the first such event will know that the turnout was high, as was the interest. Now for a chance to ask more searching questions if you have any, and possibly to volunteer to be on the steering committee, if you are able to bring specific useful skills to bear. This is an exciting project, of potential benefit to all in the village. Try to make it to the hall – you won’t be alone!

A charity auction at the Cove: Tomorrow evening, starting at 7 pm, the Cove is running a charity auction, and all cash raised will go to the support of those with Cerebral Palsy. A worthwhile cause if ever there was one.

Garden Club: The Garden Club’s AGM and social takes place on Monday next, February 2 at 2.30 pm in the village hall. This first event of the new calendar year is, as usual, a ‘Bring and Share’ tea. You’ll be able to have a say in the running of the club and learn what is planned for 2015. Just turn up and bring a small edible offering to share. The club’s subs are now due for 2015. You can pay at the AGM or at the garden hut or a committee member will do a house collection. If you are not already a member, please call the Membership Secretary on 317137.

How the months fly by! The three month close season for the club’s trading hut comes to an end from 10 am to 12 noon on Saturday week, February 7. In case you’ve forgotten, the hut sits at the top end of Lower Waites Lane, opposite the Market Garden site. It carries a large selection of gardening needs and bird food at highly competitive prices, and there is parking space to load up your car. This useful facility is available to club members only, and will be open each Saturday from 10 am to midday until the end of October.

Flicks in the Village: Back after their January break are Flicks in the Village, the popular Pett project. Next Friday’s film is The 100 Foot Journey, which stars Helen Mirren. The film is a year old, and has gathered much feel-good praise since it opened. Refreshments are served in Pett village hall from 7 pm, and the film starts at 7.30 pm. If you need more information, you could call Chris Saint on 813047.

Bowls Club Whist Drive: The latest in the Bowls Club’s series of winter whist drives will be next Friday, February 6. You know the drill – arrive at 6.45 for a 7 pm start. And when you get home, a quick nap and breakfast, and it’ll be off to the village hall again for the club’s AGM on Saturday, February 7 at 2.30 pm.

They’ve done it again!: A heading which may have caught your attention, but is not strictly accurate. ‘They’ is the Panto Group, and ‘it’ is Rapunzel, which ran at the end of last week to very large and appreciative audiences. Wrong because, after thirty five earlier productions, Rapunzel was making her Fairlight debut in this, the thirty sixth panto. Group Chairman Ben Burford directed this colourful show, with the polished multi-scene staging of Roger Bird and the crew, some neatly arranged dances from Emily Wood, their debutant Fairlight choreographer, and a sparkling, striking costume plot master-minded by Sheila Fellows-Turnbull. John Dyer shed a lot of light on the proceedings, including the flashing and the sinister, while Peter Spencer supplied the sound, with an enormous amount of music, much of it instrumental breaks in the middle of songs, along with some less usual effects. It must be said that most of the songs were put over with considerable aplomb, despite the fact that the vocalists had no mics or foldback. Props were in the care of Margaret Hall, for the umpteenth time – this was actually her 101st show! The voice of Jo Barry, the prompt, was heard in the land, but only occasionally and infrequently. The cast certainly served the production very well. The part of Harold, the Buttons character, was excellent in Chris Goring’s hands. Full of energy, enthusiasm and with a strong rapport with his audience, his driving force ensured a sound sense of pace whenever he was on. Thomas Edie, on his Fairlight panto debut, was excellent as Quinn, a baddie who becomes the Principal Boy, confident and well sung. These two never forgot to smile! Jenny Clark, in her first major part that I recall, played the title role with a strong, likeable presence, also singing confidently through some less than easy numbers. In a bold piece of casting, talented young Lydia Gilbert played the major ‘nasty’ of the piece, the King’s evil sister Gothel, bringing domination, threats and much unpleasantness with her. Tom Miller, as Doyle, a baddie who stays a baddie, was, as ever, good value for money. He is especially good at reacting when he gets clobbered unexpectedly! Returning as dame after several years since his last such appearance was Steve Hill, who made an enjoyable job of the underwritten Dame Trott. Buboe, Gothel’s put-upon and less-than-efficient sidekick, gave Matthew Barry many good moments in by far his largest and most important role to date. Pauline Lucas made a likeable and quirky, twirly rhyming fairy, while Penny Kenward gave a good account of the Queen, necessarily useful at controlling the reigns of her husband, the King, played by Sam Burford. Lesser roles were played by Christopher Boulter-Wilson, Hannah Goddard, Scottie Hollands, Amelie Manning (surely one to watch!), Fenella Owst, Emma Upton, Katie Upton, Linda Savarese, Chloe Smith, Lynne Smith, Ollie Spencer (in a very funny cameo), Rebecca Tierney, Emily White, Esmee Wilson. The perfect panto has probably not yet been written, and this one was never likely to take that particular crown. But through the hard work, commitment and some very high energy levels of all concerned, it grabbed the audience and entertained them quite thoroughly. Roll on 2016!

The Players: Monday next sees the Fairlight Players begin rehearsals for their spoof horror play, The Cat and the Canary, which will grace the village hall stage from Thursday 23 to Saturday 25 April. Put a note on your fridge now if you fancy a scream, whether of laughter or fear - you’ll have to wait and see! New members are always welcome to go along on Mondays and Thursdays to see just how a successful production is put together and takes shape over the rehearsal period.

The Tuesday Ladies Club’s January meeting: The Tuesday Ladies Club started their fifth year with a lively meeting entitled ‘Hearing Dogs’, featuring two gorgeous dogs, Kai and Meg, which have been trained to hear for their owners. Sally Watson told those present how they are trained and matched to the lifestyle of their new owners. It costs £46,000 to train each dog and covers them for their life. Sally, together with Eileen, also told the meeting about their cochlea implants and described the absolute joy of being able to hear again. Margaret Pulfer backed up their talk with a display of her hat collection; she gives any monies she raises by hiring or the sale of hats to the Hearing Dogs charity. It was good to see several fellas at the meeting and the club hopes more will come along next month for Haydon Luke’s talk ‘Fairlight Revealed’. This will be on February 17 starting at 2.15pm in the village hall, and the cost to visitors is only £2. Haydon is acknowledged as an excellent local historian. His recently published book, ‘Fairlight – a Sussex village by the sea’, bears witness to his expertise.

The Fairlight Playgroup and Nursery jumble sale: Tomorrow, there are just four weeks to go until the Playgroup’s uncommonly popular Jumble Sale. Clothes and small household items are sought for this event, taking place on Saturday, February 28, from 10 am to 12.30 pm in the inevitable village hall. If you have donations you’d like someone to collect, just give Nicole a call on 814284 or 0778 8901 009. Don’t call if you have redundant electrical items. They are not permitted to resell such goodies.

Potholes: If you go down to Waites Lane today, be sure to go … in a Sherman tank. The almost unavoidable crater on the east side of the road now reaches down below the concrete sub-surface of the carriageway. An East Sussex Road Maintenance vehicle has been seen driving over this section of the road, and quite why they didn’t park in the hole and go off to collect a skip-full of infill is a deep, dark mystery. Rather like the pothole itself. Get your claim in now!

Kier in the Clear: Having missed the last two Broadway recycling and glass collections, Kier redeemed themselves this Monday in stoppage time, clearing the green bin and the black box in the dark at 5.39 pm. A few more minutes and we’d have been into a penalty shoot-out!

Keith Pollard

Brookfield, Broadway