Fairlight

Church matters: You will have remembered anyway, but this Sunday is the fourth Sunday in Lent, and it’s Mothering Sunday. On a busy church day, there’s a Family Service with the Methodists at 9.30 am, and then Family Worship at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am. Later, there will be Holy Communion at St Peter’s at the winter time of at 4 pm.

Today, Friday, is the Women’s World Day of Prayer, which will be celebrated at St Peter’s at 2.30 pm. The service this year has been written by Christian women in Cuba. All on the distaff side will be welcome.

MOPPs: Today, Friday, March 4, there’s your chance to hear a talk entitled ‘Magistrates in the Community’, which will be given by Sally Ann Hart, who is a local magistrate. The lunch that follows will consist of roast beef, and meringue, fruit and cream for afters.

Parish Council: February’s Council meeting, last week, was enlivened early on by an excellent and interesting presentation by Sergeant Craig Townsend, from Sussex Police at Rye. He explained that there would remain a Response team, who would be ready to be deployed at short notice, and that there would be two Neighbourhood police teams, nominally based at Hastings and Rye, which could go wherever needed in Hastings and Rother. Thanks to modern communications wizardry, each officer could be aware of who was doing what and where at any time – quite a step up from the bobby on a push bike, or just his feet, so much loved by those in favour of the ‘good old days’. He also said that it had been realised that the working time of the PCSOs could be used more flexibly, and that the PCSOs were having to reapply for their jobs in the face of their changing role. Sgt Townsend had some extremely relevant warning stickers for use on front doors, inviting uninvited traders to ‘leave and not return’.

The Queen’s birthday was discussed, and it was agreed that the beacon should be lit on April 21, the actual date of Her Majesty’s 90th. It was also agreed that plans to celebrate her official birthday, which falls on the weekend of June 11 and 12, should be finalised at the next Council meeting. You wait ninety years and then have a date clash – as that weekend will also see Fairlight’s Open Gardens, though the Gardens organisers should be content in the knowledge that the Queen’s dates were chosen as they are the most propitious for likely good weather. One hopes… One possible idea is that any village celebration should commence when the gardens are shut. Next month we should hear the resolution.

The forthcoming annual Parish Assembly was discussed, and Friday, May 13 provisionally set as the date. Which does not sound too auspicious.

The survey on our Neighbourhood Plan can now be examined on the village website, and Cllr Stephen Leadbetter said that, of the 134 who attended the recent drop-in session, 65 had recorded written comments, which will now be sorted into their various parameters.

A full written note of a meeting with Hasting Borough Council and Natural England concerning clearance work on the Firehills was made available by Cllr Carole Gallagher. The state of the Country Park was said to be waterlogged, which the Parish Council believes is due to the excessive removal of vegetation. Gorse cutback had now ceased, and will be allowed to regrow. A French drain or a ditch is to be installed near Channel Way, and our Council has requested that HBC should liaise with our Preservation Trust on this. It does seem to the layman that Natural England sometimes does not know its gorse from its elbow.

Speakers Corner: The ninth meeting of the Speakers Corner season featured Richard Filmer, who opened his talk on Kent & East Sussex Trades, Crafts and Industries by telling the meeting that the most prolific surname in Kent is Wood. In explanation, he said that wood and items connected with it account historically for the main occupations in Kent and East Sussex. Sussex is the most densely wooded county in England, with Kent in second place! Kentish oak was used to build HMS Victory – using up, in all, a thousand trees. Mr Filmer explained why different wood is used for the various objects and trades, according to its durability or bendability. Wooden products were made and sent all over the country and some tools and structures have not changed for over two centuries – hurdles, for example – but they are apparently not considered hygienic now as they can’t be hosed down!. As well as wood products Kent was a major producer of gunpowder, leather, cricket balls and bats and special paper – Napoleon’s will is written on paper from Kent. All in all, this was a very interesting and well illustrated talk.

The next meeting of Speakers Corner, on Wednesday, next, March 9, will feature Tony Harris talking about (and in costume as) Henry VIII starting at 2.30 in the village hall.

Whist Drive tonight: The Bowls Club’s series of Winter Whist Drives continues at the village hall this evening at 6.45 for a 7 pm start. As there are only three more of these fortnightly sessions still to come after today, it’s time to get down to the hall and join in the fun before it’s too late.

Playgroup Rumble through the Jumble: Our Nursery and Playgroup, much admired in the village and beyond, held their principal annual fund-raising on Saturday last and, true to previous form, the queuing started on a clear, dry bright but bitterly cold morning at 8.30 am, with an hour and a half to go before opening time. By the time the event closed at 12.30 pm, 180 adults had visited the hall, plus an unspecified number of non-paying children, which means that well over 200 people made the effort to attend. Playgroup Chairman Marilyn Clarke was delighted to report that they amassed over £1,000, and would like to extend her own and her Committee’s thanks to all who both donated items and purchased, too. Her thanks also go to all those who worked so hard prior to and then on the day itself.

The Residents’ email scheme: A note has gone out on the village email scheme from scheme administrator Trevor Lewing reminding all participants that there has been a change of email address away from the AOL base to the more reliable gmail. If you have anything you wish to have promulgated in future, please communicate via fairlightres@gmail.com. Trevor will continue to keep a check on the AOL address for a while to catch any heel-draggers, but not for long!

Hearing Resource Centre in Fairlight: This popular facility has recently spelt out the times and dates of a new series of regular visits to the village, which will for an hour on the last Friday of alternate months, coinciding with MOPP’s meetings. The next such visit will be at the end of April, and this column will tell you exactly when nearer the time. Meanwhile, they will be in the village hall car park with their familiar converted bus on Monday, March 14 from 1.30 – 3.30 pm, to deal with your hearing aid needs. Time and facilities allowing, they may be able to conduct hearing tests at this session, too.

The Wine and Social Club: The club meets on Monday week, March 14, when the guest speaker will be Colin Page, talking about Nature’s Curiosity. Sounds as if this will be a fascinating evening, and members are urged not to miss it. It’s early in the club’s year and there may well be a very few vacancies for membership. Give Christine Jones a call if you are interested. She’s on 813538

Who’s got talent?: There’s a Talent Competition coming up in May – at 7 pm on Friday 20 – and it’ll be taking place in Sedlescombe village hall. Participants will be welcomed not only from the immediate locality, but also from the surrounding area. So that includes Fairlight residents, too, and fellow Voice Judy Torrance from Sedlescombe would like to see our singers, dancers, jugglers, musicians and, in fact, any and all types of entertainment joining in. Places will be limited to allow for a fair opportunity for all taking part. There is no fee to enter and in addition to £100 for the winner, there will be runners up prizes too. A professional sound system and engineer will be available. If you would like to take part, please contact Jean Dann on 882438 who can give you further details, including timings, and then book your place. Get practising – you’ve got nothing to lose!

The timing of pill taking: If you take pills, unless you’re very careful you can get a little confused at times about what to take and when. I picked up a foil blister pack and thought ‘when is this one due?’ Looking down, I was amazed to see that it said ‘NOW’. I fetched a glass of water and prepared to follow the instruction. Turning the pack round, I noticed it now read MON, right next to TUES…

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