Church matters: This Sunday, March 20, is Palm Sunday, and there is to be Holy Communion at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am.

Next week is Easter week, the most important week of the Church’s year. There will Holy Communion at 7.30 pm at St Peter’s on Maundy Thursday, March 24. On Good Friday, March 25, there will a service at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am, and simultaneously a Walk of Witness from Church to Chapel in Pett. Easter Day, Sunday, March 27, sees the uplifting Sunrise Service at 6.45 am on the Firehills. Then St Peter’s is home to the 8 am Holy Communion service, with St Andrew’s following with Holy Communion at 10.30 am.

MOPPs: Today at MOPPs, the entertainment will be by Keith Osbourne, with his Music for Health. Lunch today is turkey and ham pie, with banoffee pie for pud. Next Friday’s meeting falls on Good Friday, and Carol George will be along to entertain the members. There’s an Easter Bonnet Parade, too, which may make the lads use their imaginations a bit! The Good Friday lunch will be salmon, followed by apple pie.

A point of clarification about the Hearing Resource Centre, whose well-fitted bus was at the village hall car park in the bitter cold last Monday. As already announced, they will be attending Fairlight on the last Friday of alternate months for a one hour session, during, but not part of, MOPP’s meetings. They are open to all members of the public when they’re here, and the next will be at the end of April. The Hearing help will be in the small hall, while MOPPs are in the main hall. A clearer note will appear nearer the date. Of course, if you do pop in for hearing help, you won’t be able to avoid noticing what a good time they’re all having at MOPPs…!

Pett Level Rescue Boat: Terrific news has broken from the organisation high on everybody’s list of favourites, the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat, of necessity are seeking a replacement main rescue vessel. Now we know they have secured a MoT Government grant of £21,500 towards such a purchase. The new boat will cost £30,000, and congratulations go all who have been involved in the achievement of this major ambition.

The Wine and Social Club: Last Monday’s meeting saw almost fifty members enjoying a very good talk by Colin Page, with some beautiful photos of birds, wild flowers and the like. What a pity that more did not take advantage of this excellent evening out!

Conservative Spring Buffet Lunch: It’s not ‘our’ turn this year – as Fairlight and Pett village halls usually alternate the bookings for these Spring and Autumn lunches. So Saturday, April 9 will see Pett hosting the Spring lunch with Huw Merriman, Battle’s new MP, as guest speaker. Tickets are £12 each, and yours can be reserved by a call to Jacqui Lait, who is on 814251.

An Activate activity!: Coming up at the village hall this Sunday, March 20 at 3 pm, is a Musical Afternoon and Tea, being organised in support of our highly respected Activate Youth Club. It will cost you £5 per head, payable at the door, a price that includes tea and cakes. The musical side will feature Jim Saphin, Aidan and Chris, two of the performers from Dorey the Wise, Aureservoir, a ukulele trio, and Village Voices. This latter is the new name for the already well known Village Choir and, though my colleagues may have been momentarily flattered, before you’re put off going I assure you that this is not a mass singing gathering of local news correspondents!

Fairlight Preservation Trust: An unwelcome message has arrived from the Trust Secretary, Paul Draper, announcing that, due to personal circumstances, Paul Capps has resigned both as Chairman of the Trust and as a member of the Committee. The Committee has recorded its thanks and appreciation for all of the work he has done for the Trust, and all residents are likely to echo these sentiments. Paul’s commitment, drive, knowledge, enthusiasm and sheer time input will be very hard to replace. However, when the Committee met a week ago they appointed David Shortman to the role of Acting Chairman, with Leslie Kosmin assuming the role of Acting Vice Chairman. The remainder of the Committee remains unchanged.

Floral Club: Next Thursday, March 24, is the Club’s AGM. The Officers are obviously hoping for a good turnout of the members, especially as there will be a ‘fun event’ to follow the business end of the day. It all starts at the usual time of 2.15 pm.

Panto Group AGM: We’re coming up to the fast and furious AGM season, and that for the Pantomime Group will take place in the village hall at 7.30 pm on Friday, April 1. Yes, I know, but the date is purely coincidental, and in no way reflects on the business-like proficiency of the organisation which, after all, recently delivered the excellent Beauty and the Beast.

Parish Council Meeting: Tuesday next, March 22 it’s Parish Council time again. Apart from a round-up and assessment of the grants to be awarded in the coming year, much of the business is likely to concern the updating and refining of matters previously discussed. There will be the usual Open Forum at the end to allow any resident to have his or her say on village items that they feel need an appropriate airing and discussion.

Tuesday Ladies Club: Royalty visited Speakers Corner last week in the shape of Henry VIII. The curtains on stage were drawn and everybody stood to welcome the King. Actor Tony Harris was dressed in full Henry VIII clothing (including his elaborate codpiece) and after he had left the stage regaled the assembled lower orders with the King’s version of his life and six wives, in which he was very biased! Tony had been one of three actors who portrayed Henry at Hampton Court Palace – they all had to be the same girth and height, but as one had a distinct Brummie accent this somewhat spoilt the effect. This brilliant entertainer was a real tour de force and had the audience in gales of laughter. A truly wonderful afternoon.

The penultimate meeting of the Speakers Corner season on Wednesday, March 23 will feature Michael Hoad taking those present through the Rockies to Alaska. The meeting starts at 2.30 pm at the village hall. Visitors are very welcome, with a mere £2 for admission.

An unusual event: There will be a large sale of plaster moulds on Saturday April 2, in the garden of Skyscape, Channel Way, starting at 10.30 am. They will be charging £2 for small moulds and £5 for large. In the well worn phrase – everything must go! Put the date on the fridge and go and have a look (and a buy).

Fairlight Residents Association: The £5.00 membership subscription for 2016-17, payable per household and not per head, is now due. Most existing members will have paid when the magazine distributors delivered the latest issue of Fairlight News, but if you have not yet paid, Treasurer Stephen Leadbetter is inviting you to do so now. Money can be sent to, or dropped off, at Merrydown, Fyrsway, but if you would like to pay by cheque it should be made payable to ‘Fairlight Residents Association’. Easily worth it for the four quarterly magazines, let alone all the good the Association does in the village. Time to get paying up – or even joining if you haven’t done so already. The email scheme is another invaluable village resource masterminded by the FRA.

Roads scholars: Those among you who study these things will have noticed that Southern Water appear to be winning down Battery Hill, so much so that it appears unlikely that they will take anything like forty weeks to complete the job. Or is that tempting fate? Meanwhile, Waites Lane, the top section of Battery Hill and Martineau Lane all show no change, and certainly not for the better. The infamous stretch on the south side of Fairlight Road between Hysted and Pineridge is becoming highly dangerous. Fairlight Avenue, used by so many of us to access Harold Road, is almost always a maze of countless shallow holes. Some, and only some, have been attended to, apparently by the Ancient Mariner. Fans of Samuel Taylor Coleridge will remember from their schooldays that he ‘stoppeth one of three’!

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