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CHURCH MATTERS: There will be a service of Morning Praise at St Andrew’s at 10.30am this Sunday, led by Valerie Hornsby. Then, at 6.30pm and retaining its later time unlike other evening services at St Peter’s during the winter, it will be Sunday Live, with the Rev Richard Barron.

Don’t forget that, before those two Sunday items, tomorrow, Saturday, it’s the Christmas Fair in support of Christian Aid, from 10am to 12.30pm in the village hall.

Malcolm Cleaver, who organised the recent walk from Fairlight to Rye Harbour in aid of Children in Need, following the BBC Countryfile initiative, reports that the four participants garnered a total of £560 for the charity, with just over half this amount coming from their supporters at St Andrew’s.

PCC Treasurer John Relfe notes that, a few years ago, they held a Gift Day at St Andrew’s Tide, which provided an opportunity for parishioners and others to give a donation to the church for the general running of the parish. This was most successful and so it is intended to repeat the exercise this year, with St Andrew’s Day being November 30. The actual cost of running the parish of Fairlight is over £1,000 a week, against the current weekly income of £800. Mr Relfe will be talking a little more about this next Sunday, November 22, but in the coming week everybody on the Electoral Roll, as well as other supporters of St Andrew’s, will receive a letter from him.

MOPPs: Today, Friday, Felicity Bullock, one of MOPP’s own, presents a talk entitled The Landscapes, Flora and Fauna of Israel, complete with a slide show. There’s tombola today, too. The lunch is roast lamb followed by cheesecake. Next Friday, November 27, the ever-popular Keith Osbourne will be along with his Music for Health. Lunch will be sausage, egg and chips, with bread and butter pudding for afters. Perhaps Keith could do a little Music for Health after the lunch, too?

THE VICAR OF DIBLEY: A hit! A very palpable hit! The Players’ November production last week achieved that enviable box office rarity, a complete sell-out. The affection so many people still have for all things Dibley was self-evident, and the programme duly acknowledged that David Shortman had suggested the group select this play. Of course, like most am dram groups, the Players can boast several competent actors, but here they were obliged to provide a large number of gifted impressionists, each capable of reproducing a well known and remembered character. Libby Annetts was in first rate form as Vicar Geraldine, almost ever-present and always spot-on, in a very well judged and commanding piece of acting. She was not alone. Charlotte Eastes as the somewhat ‘simps’ Alice, epitomised by her ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter’ scene, was similarly impressive. Bez Cuss, as the coarse and possibly dirty Owen and Peter Spencer as the ‘No, no, no…Yes’ Jim were both very sharply observed and extremely memorable. Tom Miller’s gangly, loose limbed Hugo was similarly smartly and engagingly captured, as was Roland Garrad as the pedantic Parish clerk, Frank Pickle. Anne Edwards, making a welcome return after nine years away, caught all the stomach churning eccentricities of Leticia Cropley. Steve Hill made a good job of David Horton, aghast at the woman vicar, but ultimately won over until a touching, single word finale.

Keith Miller had put all these characters on Fairlight’s minuscule stage, comprising Dibley village hall, the vicarage and the vestry (sadly only used twice), and then a massive transformation into St Barnabus’ church, replete with Keith Jellicoe’s imposing church organ, where our Village Choir added to the fun with a conductor who was definitely not Gareth Malone. Charlotte Miller made abrief but telling contribution as a Woman, invited to ‘speak now, or for ever hold your piece’. There were also five speaking and two non-speaking youngsters, which could bode well for the future. Lighting by John Veness nicely demarcated the three acting areas, and Andrew Mier’s sound was, well, sound. Many plaudits must go to Trevor Lewing, who constructed the excellent and evocative settings, supervised and executed their building, and then stage managed the whole piece.

What next, then? Ben Hur, or possibly Titanic? Anything appears feasible.

PS. Collection buckets at each performance garnered almost £340 for Comic Relief during the run.

THEY’RE OFF, WELL NEARLY: The Activate and Fairfest Race Night is on Saturday week, November 28, in the village hall at 7.30pm. Tickets are now on sale at the Post Office, or they can be reserved from Jennifer on 812476 or Wendy on 812297. Tickets, which include a ploughman’s supper, are £5, though those under 16 only pay £3.50. There will be a bar and a raffle, and you’ll need a few bob to put on the horses.

THE FLORAL CLUB: The club’s Christmas Demonstration is coming up next Thursday, November 26. The demonstrator will be Sue Tausig, giving her mix for a Christmas Cocktail. This is a rather special meeting, and the entrance fee is £8, which includes seasonal nibbles and drink. Highlights include the usual raffle of the flower arrangements, a general raffle and sales table. Doors open at 2pm for a 2.30pm start, and you’ll have noticed that this is 15 minutes later than usual.

VALERIE TRYON: This is absolutely the last call for your chance to see and hear Valerie Tryon, the renowned pianist who will be presenting a concert at Fairlight Hall tomorrow, Saturday, at 7pm. The tickets are £23 each and, as it is much too late to apply for tickets by post, and then to get a return, if you’re desperate to see Valerie, contact Geoff Wyatt, 33 Waites Lane, Fairlight and he may be able to help. But don’t leave it any longer.

CHRISTMAS FAIR: The Fairlight Village Hall Christmas Fair is in a fortnight, on Saturday, December 5, in the village hall, obviously. It starts at noon and runs until 3pm and, in addition to all the usual games and stalls, there will be hot food available plus teas and coffees. This really is one of those must-go-to events in the village, so get along and cross a few palms with silver, or lead and gold paint if you’ve been churning out fake pounds in the garage. You will, of course, get caught.

PARISH COUNCIL: Our Parish Council meets next Tuesday. The agenda brings with it updates on several items that are on-going from month to month, as well as covering some less usual aspects of village life. The first of these concerns the Preliminary Draft Study Report prepared by the East Kent Engineering Partnership for Rother DC. This is the proposed solution for the cliffs problems, confirming that the option to be taken forward is to build a bund between the existing Sea Road and Rockmead Road berms, and it is hoped that the PC will agree to a statement of full support for this project. There will be a discussion on the Council’s budget for 2016-17. As austerity rears its head in more and more areas, the PC will also discuss their response to the ESCC proposed cuts which, most pertinently, includes a cut in the County Council grant to our much admired MOPPs. There will also be an update report on the new Visitor Centre. This could run as long as Downton, though with a little less grace and quality.

NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN: The Neighbourhood Planning Team has requested owners or agents to submit details of sites in Fairlight which they believe may be suitable for development. We cannot give full details here but if you want to find out more you can do so on the village website www.fairlight.org.uk under the Parish Council - Fairlight Neighbourhood Plan Consultation section.

To many, the Neighbourhood Plan is probably a good idea that will take a lot of work to complete, and will be interesting when it finally emerges into the light of day. Without involving yourself in a load of work, you can contribute as a survey of what residents would like to see from the Neighbourhood Plan is soon to be undertaken. One opportunity to take part will be at the Village Hall Christmas Fair on Saturday, December 5, where you will be able to add your two penn’orth to the mix. And as a thank-you for taking part, three lucky participants will win store vouchers for £25, £15 and £10. But follow that link advice above first to get yourself up to speed.

THE COVE PUB: Our village pub, The Cove, finds itself, deservedly, in the top 10 pubs in the nominations for the Top Pub 2015, in the competition run annually by the Observer series of papers. What an excellent achievement for this small, traditional establishment in the heart of the village, and all involved at the pub are feeling incredibly proud. Right now, votes are being cast for the top position, but the timing is unfortunate as far as this note is concerned, as all submissions have to be in by this morning. At 10 am! So all we can do is hope that you saw the entry form on page 49 of both last week’s Hastings and Rye Observers, and duly did your bit.

SPEAKERS CORNER: The first November meeting, on the Wednesday of last week, coincided with Remembrance Day, and a very appropriate talk had been arranged. The speaker was the excellent Ian Everest, who developed his interest in the First World War after starting to research his family tree. Ian had incredible pictures of the war damaged Belgian towns and he explained the complicated trench systems. He also had pictures ‘then’ and ‘now’ of the many Commonwealth battlefields and the likes of the Accrington Boys with their stunning war memorials, at Vimy Ridge, for example, and told of the horrific casualties.

The Speakers next meeting will be on Wednesday when Kevin Gordon will talk about the History of Policing the Railways. The talk will start at 2.30pm in the village hall and visitors are very welcome for a modest £2.

WINE AND SOCIAL CLUB: The club’s November meeting was on the Monday of this week, when Heather Woodward was the speaker, and Beatrix Potter her subject. Heather was, quite predictably, in sparkling form and the evening was much enjoyed by those members who were present.

The popular whist again: Just a brief reminder that the Bowls Club’s winter Whist Drives continue this evening, in the village hall at 6.45pm for a 7pm start.

BROADWAY REPAIRS: The green recycling bins in Broadway were emptied, a week late, on Friday last, along with the black bins. But, as yet, there’s no sign of BT getting to grips with the large doke opposite the village hall car park. The outrageous diversion scheme via Lower Waites Lane and several others roads to the south and west has been abandoned, so it will mean traffic lights, one assumes. But ‘when’ is another imponderable.

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