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Church matters: There is a 10.30 am Morning Praise St Peter’s on Sunday. Why not take a picnic and share time with others after the service? Everyone in the village is invited, so do please go along with someone else who might otherwise not be going? Tea, coffee and juice will be provided. Later on, the action continues at St Peter’s, with the 6.30 pm service Sunday Live, popular and different. Well worth giving a try if you’ve never been!

Don’t forget that tomorrow, Saturday, May 23, the Fairlight Beacon, at the head of Peter James Lane, will be lit at 10 pm to mark the Eve of Pentecost. Get there at about 9.45 pm, wrap up well, take a torch, and see how many of the other beacons in the Chichester Diocese you can see – they’re all being lit simultaneously. Pentecost, also known as Whitsun, celebrates the birth of the church. The lighting will be preceded by a brief explanation, prayer and a trumpet blast.

The Men’s Breakfast last Saturday attracted 25 attendees, although the number was about ten higher, prior to withdrawals and apologies before the event. The much-appreciated speaker after the food was Andrew Thomas. The happy organisers remind me to remind you that the next such breakfast will be coming along on August. Watch this space, and don’t miss out next time round!

A reminder that the Benefice Rogation Day Walk will be taking place on Sunday week, May 31. You would be welcome to join this fun 45 minutes’ walk, taking in three boundary stones that you have probably never noticed before. The walk starts from St Mary and St Peter Church in Pett at 3 pm and at 4 pm there will be a short service at the Pett Village Hall Boundary Stone, to thank God for the fruit of the fields and to bless all the pets taking part. After this service, it’s a procession to the Pett Methodist Chapel for refreshments. If you are able to provide cakes or scones and so on, Meriel will be happy to collect them from Pett Church, at the start of the walk. This is an easy walk for children and adults, with a mere three stiles to climb in all. Pets are particularly welcome to join in, though hamsters could easily get exhausted, and goldfish will become bored very quickly, as they always do. You are advised to wear boots if it has been wet.

Activities at MOPPs: Today, Friday, May 22, Celia King will be along with her chair-based exercises, after which there’s a lunch of quiche and cheesy mash, followed by fruit crumble. And on Friday next, May 29, singer and entertainer Stephen Page will be performing prior to lunch, which will be fish and chips, and peach cobbler for afters. Numbers attending are currently as high as an elephant’s eye, so if you’re thinking of getting on board, you may have to join the waiting list.

Art Club Exhibition: There’s an unwritten list of several events, probably about a dozen strong, which recur each year at the village hall, and are always guaranteed a very rewarding level of attendance, and a similar reward for those attending. One such is the Art Club’s Exhibition, which sees the main hall full of multifarious pictures of every size, style, artistic materials and subject matter, each executed with highly defined technique, imagination and ability, and this year’s show was totally admirable throughout. Both halls were packed, as usual, with viewers and artwork, with several of the pictures exhibiting a red dot showing yet another had been purchased. The small hall gave the crowd of probably a hundred a good chance to get the weight off their feet, with a light cheese supper, plus a wine and juice bar, too. A raffle was run in tandem with the exhibition, and the £153 raised was donated to the funds supporting the Stage 3 Preservation project., The Art Club is grateful to Just Property for sponsoring this event, as is their custom.

Stage 3 Cliff Protection: Paul Capps, Chairman of the Fairlight Preservation Trust, thanked the Art Club and its patrons for their donation of the raffle proceeds of £153 at their Exhibition. He pointed out that with the Residents Association’s Variety Show, the Fairfest Dance, the Players’ raffle and collection donation, Partnership Funding had been gratefully received from four disparate groups of people. Although, being Fairlight, it was probable that several had attended all four events! Partnership Funding is currently a very popular concept. Those responsible for awarding grants tend to be like the Lord, and favour those who help themselves, rather than just proffering a begging bowl. From this point of view, the Stage 3 project is proceeding nicely.

Village Shop update: Progress continues on the Community Shop project, with the paddling, swan-like, mostly out of sight. An important visit to the village has taken place so that the powers that be can assess our location. A proposal is to go before the board on June 10, which could lead to an offer of funding in one of four styles. Meanwhile, that Partnership Funding is still being sought, and so far the share purchase has reached £14,000 out of the desired £30,000. The list remains open, and you can get a form from the Post Office to register your interest in buying shares, in multiples of £10. Don’t forget, if the project does not go ahead, you get all your money back, so the purchase is risk free. Get on board now!

The Residents Association AGM: At their meeting nine days ago, the smoothly completed business was completed in 12 minutes, with questions lasting a further six minutes. All the voting necessary went through en bloc, with the one significant change being the confirmation of David Lucas as Secretary and Planning Officer, instead of being ‘Acting’. Thanks and plaudits were given to Lyn Mosley, who had earlier retired as Secretary. Lyn had been in office and seen the association through several very busy years.

Before the meeting, there was a presentation by Katy Bourne, our Police and Crime Commissioner. She proved lightly humorous, but with the gravitas necessary for the more serious aspects of her job. If only she, and her fellow candidates, had enjoyed the opportunity to speak to the public prior to the November 2012 election, the turnout may well have been higher than 15%, not just here but across the nation. She made only one slip, quoting a poor statistic that there are 750,000 paedophiles on-line at any given moment (no, not just in Sussex) and was rightly taken to task for this. The fact is that one or two mavericks in post, either up north or to the east, have not enhanced the image the Commissioners would wish to project. There is to be another election later this year. This time we’ll know more about what and for whom we are voting.

Quiz at the Cove: It’s time for the latest round of Bob and Dec’s Quiz Nights at the Cove. It starts at 8 pm on Wednesday next, May 27. Of course, you’re welcome to arrive before 8 to make sure your little grey cells are sufficiently lubricated for the ensuing fray. Your £1.50 entrance fee puts you in three quizzes, gets you free sarnies and, possibly, a glimpse of the cash accumulator prize, which stands at £50. An ideal occasion for a fun and easy night out. The Cove, on 812110, or Bob Scattergood, on 812128, can answer any questions you may have – unless you want to know what they will be asking on the night!

Floral Club: The Club’s May meeting will be a social and creative afternoon, and it starts at 2.15 pm on Thursday next, May 28 in the village hall. There’s to be tea and cake, and a chance to find out just how creative you can really be. New members will be made very welcome, too.

Trefoil: Our village branch of the Trefoil Guild is on hold at the moment while they rebuild numbers. Attendances have tended to be on the low side if ever some of the members were unable to attend through illness or other engagements, and it makes eminent sense to work for a stronger base, numerically, for the future. If you are interested in joining the Guild, have a word with Betty Snow on 812694. You do not have to be an ex-Guide to join in!

Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat Association: For a long time a popular charity for local residents to support, the Pett Level Rescue Boat has a new, long word in its title, but it’s still the life saver we know and love. And this Sunday, May 24 sees them at the New Beach Club for a Charity Day, commencing at 12 noon. You’ll be able to meet the crew, and patronise the arts and crafts stalls and games, participate in the raffle, feed at the barbeque and, from 3 pm, enjoy the live music of the Martin Blackman Band. For the day, the New Beach Club will be open to non-members. If you need more details, call the club on 812080.

Don’t forget that the Association is fund-raising in earnest in order to replace their main rescue boat, so all the help you are able to give will be greatly appreciated.

Gardening Club outing: The Club’s next meeting is on a week next Monday, on June 1, and will give those attending exclusive access to the gardens at Fairlight Hall. You should be in the Hall car park before 2.30 pm to pay your fiver and to be met and taken round by Hall Head Gardener Peter Godwin. He will also be available after the tour to answer questions and to take comments while the partcipants are enjoying their afternoon tea and cakes. For each club member’s £5, they will get the tour and the refreshments! If you’d like to be part of this pleasant experience, please contact Paul or Karen on 814154, though demand makes it now strictly members only.

Village Assembly: This will be happening on Tuesday next, May 26 in the village hall, commencing at 6 pm. A chance to meet your Parish and District Councillors, each of which includes a newcomer to their ranks, and to learn the up-to-the-minute progress on Stage 3 of the Cliff Preservation scheme, the future of the Post Office and General Stores, Knowle Wood and the Warren Estate. There will be much more besides, including the name of the latest recipient of the John Lutman Award.

And now for something completely different: That’s the Rye Ukulele Festival, being organised by the Rye Ukulele Experiment, which is on this Sunday, May 24 at the Cinque Ports Arms in Cinque Ports Street, Rye. It all starts at 12.30 pm, a fun festival of ukulele sounds featuring bands from Kent and East Sussex performing throughout the afternoon, culminating in a Big Busk towards 5pm. Those who enjoyed the Village Variety Show earlier in the year will already have seen, and heard, the Rye Ukulele Experiment, an enthusiastic group which counts among its numbers one Ken Hall of Fairlight fame. Need I say more? Just go along and give Ken, and the others, your deserved support!

Village Hall Summer Fair: This year the Fair is on Saturday, June 6, running from 12 noon until 3 pm. There will be numerous stalls, as usual, and plenty of games of chance, where the prizes on offer are highly desirable. Lunches are on offer, too, as are cakes, buns, tea and coffee. Make a diary note now, if you haven’t already, as anyone who is anyone in Fairlight is bound to be in attendance.

Brightening up our village: The Fairlight Gardening Club have been discussing ways of brightening up our village by placing pots of plants and flowers at bus stops and by creating new (and long lasting!) flower beds on the Circle. They have approached the Parish Council who have been encouraging and are consulting with them and the Highways Department to bring these plans to fruition. The club feels very enthusiastic about this project and are optimistic about being given the go ahead. They would certainly welcome feedback from the village and any positive comments should help the cause! The hope is that pots will be planted up and in situ in the near future but the work on the Circle is more involved and will take place in late summer. Any offers of help, any plants you may wish to donate, and any comments you may have would be welcome. Please contact either Sue Clarke, on 813006, or Karen Draper, on 814154, for further information.

Road up date: There is still no change to the state of battery Hill, or the first half of Waites Lane or, indeed, the gutters at the side of Martineau Lane If roads were to anthropomorphise into human form, the first two stretches would be in intensive care, and on life support. It’s not a question of a pot hole or two. The surface, or perhaps scarface, has gone going up Battery Hill. Holes in Waites Lane show not only the concrete from the 1920’s, but a hint of the magma beneath, threatening to erupt soon. I wouldn’t be surprised if the sides of Martineau Lane are not hiding the odd Smart car or two, forced over, down and out by oncoming heavy goods vehicles, for which this road is ‘unsuitable’.