CHURCH MATTERS: The first Fairlight service this Sunday is Morning Praise at 10.30am at St Andrew’s, with Derek Heyman as special guest. Later, in Sunday Live! at St Peter’s at 6.30pm, Derek will demonstrate and explain the variety of garments worn by the Chief Priest, with each one having its own significance and meaning. You can read all about it in Exodus, chapter 28, then come and join in at St Peter’s. Bring and share food afterwards.
There’s to be a Celebration of Light at St Andrew’s a week tomorrow, Saturday, October 31 from 5.30pm to 7.30pm. There’ll be games, crafts, songs, hot food, and parents and children of all ages will be welcome. If you’d like to book for your family call Valerie on 814428 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to download at 20 Mbps and play a brilliant new free computer game for children from Scripture Union, just take along your laptop or tablet.
The Church is very grateful to all those who worked so hard, either on their stalls, or making and selling cakes, coffees and cuppas, and those who came and made their purchases last Saturday at the Autumn Fair. A sum in excess of £600 was raised to help maintain the fabric of St Andrew’s.
MOPP’S: Today at MOPPs you can have a look at Bonmarché’s Autumn Collection, and also see some greeting cards prepared by Sandra. There’s the free toe-nail cutting available this week, too. The lunch will consist of roast pork followed by steamed sponge. Next Friday, October 30, it’ll be time to celebrate MOPP’s 7th Birthday Party (Hooray!) and Halloween Celebrations (Eek!) with Carol George, with the added attraction of free hearing-aid maintenance. Lunch sounds tempting with gammon and parsley sauce, and then some Bakewell tart.
FAIRFEST BURGER BASH: The Burger Bash and Bop will be here tomorrow, Saturday, in the village hall from 6.30pm until 10pm, and it promises to be a really worthwhile event with food, music and a bar, and yet there are still some tickets unsold. This function is the replacement for the summer fixture that was so cruelly washed out and postponed a few months ago, and is thus acting as a fund-raiser ready for next year’s fourth major Fairfest Festival, coming on July 31. Every bit of cash taken tomorrow will be enhancing your afternoon and evening spectacle, and the fun, next year. The barbeque will be hot and the bar open right from the start, which is the time that Rye Ukulele, already popular in the village, will be performing. At 7.45pm, the Kytes, another highly regarded outfit, will be playing. Mysteriously, advance publicity says this may be your last chance to hear this excellent group, so you mustn’t miss them. Those tickets that are unsold are at the Post Office, at £8 for adults, half price for those 12 years and under, and free for those under five. If you can’t get to the Post Office, please give Jennifer Annetts a ring on 812476, and she’ll make sure your tickets are reserved.
TICKETS, PLEASE: Tickets for the Players’ November production of The Vicar of Dibley, which will run at the village hall from Thursday to Saturday November 12 to 14, are going like the proverbial hot-cakes. The play will run at 7.30pm evening with a 2.30pm matinee on the Saturday as well. There will be a bar at each of the evening performances. The cast includes most of the best known Fairlight favourite actors, playing all those telly favourites in a sparklingly funny play (and not forgetting the Geraldine and Alice tête-à-têtes in the vestry!) Tickets are £6 each from the Post Office or call secretary Carol Ardley on 814178 if you’d rather do it by phone.
PARISH COUNCIL: October’s meeting is next Tuesday in the village hall at 7.15pm. It should be well attended by local residents as a representative of Stagecoach will be joining the meeting and will address the recent problems faced by their service on route 101. The bus company was surely tempting fate when it designated our service 101, a number already saddled with the horrific crash of the airship R101, and a room made infamous by George Orwell through Winston Smith in ‘1984’, (though this is leavened by the trivial but amusing TV show of the same name.) This will not, however, be an open ended discussion, as there is also a full agenda to be dealt with, including a consideration of the amount of funds to be made available by the Parish Council towards the Cliff Stage III project and the maximum amount, including the repayment term, to be taken by way of loan from the Public Works Loan Board. Additionally, there is to be an update on the updating of our CCTV facility, and an assessment of the status of the replacement of the salt/grit bins. (The bin in Lower Waites Lane, near the Broadway junction, is at last dry, even if rock hard, following the drilling of a drain hole, which has dispensed a supersaturated salt solution across the road). There is also scheduled an Electoral Review, whatever that may be. Highways and Transport, Planning and Land Management all get their usual coverage.
PRESERVATION TRUST: Last Sunday was the Trust’s AGM, and something like 50 members of the public enjoyed an interesting afternoon’s tour of all the good works this enthusiastic committee has undertaken on our behalf in the last twelve months. The longest and most pertinent item was about the proposed new berm, which would be filling the 260m (284 yards) ‘Fairlight Gap’ between the existing Sea Road and Rockmead Road berms. Individual pledges and fund-raised support totals over £56,700 at present, and Chairman Paul Capps reminded those present that there was still time to make donations to this vital project, and that any amount, however small, would be a significant help. Committee Member Dr Ruth Kosmin presented a detailed summary of the engineers’ assessment of what the future might hold in store for the village. One option, for comparative purposes, was to do nothing, which could lead to the loss of 183 properties in 100 years, and also the loss of great swathes of land, including much of the length of Lower Waites Lane, leaving Primrose Hill and Briar Close standing but inaccessible because the road would have gone. However, 100 years with Stage III would lead to only 22 properties being lost. It is estimated that the scheme will cost £1.87m, rendering the area safe for 50 years. To set against this, it was noted that the cost of the stone for the berm is increasing in price… Our Cost/Benefit Analysis ratio is impressively high at 11.1, but there is an Optimism adjustment which reduces this ratio to a much lower, barely acceptable level. Both the report and Ruth Kosmin’s assessment of it will be made public, and those unable to retrieve them electronically will be given the opportunity of having a hard copy. Laurie Beetham, whose invaluable work includes the monitoring of the Rockmead Road pumping operation and the general state of the cliff face, gave a comprehensive overview of his areas of interest. To date, in eight years, the pumps have delivered 5,694,000 gallons of water, an average approaching 2,000 gallons a day, or some 60 reasonably full baths. There has been no further loss of land behind the compressor house, or within his monitored area. There is an apparent deadline for funding or next March or April, but the Environment Agency needs to know this December that funds are available, which makes further donations a priority.
Further items discussed included the ownership of Channel Way, difficulties with Southern Water, Japanese knotweed, and the Market Garden site, where a further planning application is anticipated very shortly. The Trust is also in touch with Hastings Borough Council over the removal of gorse from the Firehills, leading to more water running off the hills and into the village, and the new hazard caused by the burning of the gorse, when the smoke is likely to roll down into Fairlight. HBC is being very co-operative on this matter.
In answer to a question from the floor, the Chairman Paul Capps said that membership was currently some 230. This is roughly one in eight of Fairlight residents. Allowing for the fact that a higher proportion of these members probably comes from the area most under threat from the sea, everybody in the village should be sharing in the concerns, as a village that has areas slipping away will see house values shrink for all properties as the risk is perceived by potential incomers to be throughout the parish. It’s cheap to join the Trust – so sign up and take an interest now.
BUFFET LUNCH: The Marsham Conservatives’ Autumn Buffet Lunch is tomorrow, Saturday, at the village hall, at noon for 12.30 pm. The Rt Hon Amber Rudd, our Cabinet Minister MP, will be the speaker. Tickets for the lunch, including donated wine, are £12, and you could call Anne Bird on 813636 if you suddenly find you’d like to go, though I expect you’re a bit on the late side.
SPEAKERS CORNER: On Wednesday, in the village hall at 2.30pm, the guest speaker will be Chris McCooey, who will be telling of Birds, Beasts and Bacchanalia. Paying guests are welcome, although it is still early in the season and well worth becoming a member
WHIST DRIVE: The Bowls Club Whist Drive is in the village hall tonight, Friday, at 6.45pm for 7pm sharp. This is the second in the club’s winter series of popular whist drives.
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