Fairlight village voice

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One service this Sunday… at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am, there will be an All Age Service, which will be led by Dr Sheila Hornsby together with Lay Reader Ken Holmes

Open Day fund-raiser… for the Pett Level Rescue Boat, starting at 12 noon on Sunday, August 5. There’ll be a BBQ, refreshments and, oh, that very clever Leonburger Rescue Dog, which I’m told can drag from the water people in difficulties who hold his harness. There is no truth in the rumour that, if you don’t dip in your purse when he’s rescued you, he’ll drag you back out to sea. This smart animal is coming down from Essex to see us. He will not be driving himself.

Into the woods…? No, clearing out of them. Damian has a message that he has a quantity of wood available, ideal for a burner, and if anyone wants it they are ‘welcome to come and get it.’ Give him a call on 813673, to find out a) if there’s any left, and b) where to go for it!

A newish timetable… for Stagecoach, which has been operative for the past month. It appears to my admittedly untutored eye that the principal change is that the service that used to leave Hastings Station at ten to the hour, now leaves at quarter to. It might be worth your while checking before you venture out, and timetable information is available on 01424 451111. There is also an internet link - www.stagecoachbus.com/PdfUploads/Timetable_26864_344.pdf. By the time you’ve entered that lot, you’ll have missed the bus.

More bus news… Very popular in the village is the service run by Jempson’s bus, which will get you over to Peasmarsh and back for a humble £1. It runs to our village on Friday mornings, calling at Broadway at 9.27, Gorsethorn Way at 9.30 and the Cove Hotel at 9.35. The return leaves Peasmarsh at 11.30, so you’ll be home about noon or just after.

Bella’s back… The lost black and white cat has since decided to return home in the Meadow Way area relatively unscathed! Owner Linda Pinkney thanks all who responded, but we must assume the pet has now only eight lives left. Long before the Jubilee… one of the County’s Deputy Lieutenants, Marion Shepherd, urged all villages and communities to organise themselves and put on something memorable for Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee. And, indeed, most places did as they were bidden. Now the Lieutenancy would like to make an archive of all that happened in East Sussex so, if you have any pictures, souvenir flyers or brochures or just a written report the Deputy Lieutenant would be very grateful to receive these as she has been asked to assemble this record. You can email articles or pictures to her or, if you prefer, post them direct to her, Marion Shepherd DL, at Great Easterfields, Chiddingly Road, HORAM, East Sussex TN21 0JJ, while her email address is marionshep@me.com, her Mobile is 07771 622630, and her home phone is 01435 812343

The second Fairfest is fast approaching…Time to get your children to finish off their A3 competition entry paintings, and for all ages to make sure their ‘Four Seasons’ photos are as good as they can be. The Fairfest committee are ‘frequent flyers’, publishing advertising flyers that are always being kept bang up to date with the forthcoming attractions. There’s to be a Fun Dog Show, a BBQ, a bar and there’ll be Fish and Chips, too. Live Music can be heard in the marquee (and outside, too, no doubt!) until 9.30 pm. Visit the Arts and Crafts stalls and support the raffle. (I did last time and won a major prize!) Sunday, August 26 is the day, kicking off at 12 noon.

Better options within our NHS… there’s a consultation ongoing entitled Shaping Our Future - NHS Consultation. You can get to it online at www.esht.nhs.uk/shapingourfuture/ In the meantime, the proposal broadly suggests that the way stroke, general surgery and orthopaedic services in East Sussex should be concentrated in specialist units - which would involve more travelling for some patients and visitors, but better clinical outcomes. Thus we would have more travel and hassle were the three services centred at Eastbourne DGH, though Eastbourne patients and relatives would be adversely affected by unit movement to the Conquest. There is, incidentally, no plan whatsoever to close the Conquest A&E department. Consultations are being held round and about, and the nearest and next will be on Tuesday, August 7 in Rye at the Tilling Green Community Centre, Mason Road, Rye, TN31 7BE from 11.00 am to 1.30 pm. You have until September 28 to add your four-penn’orth – don’t miss your opportunity. It must surely be better for a patient to have the best possible clinical outcome, rather than ease of access for visitors. I know what I would choose!

Please be seated… At the parish Council meeting last week, mention was made of the need, at various points through the village, for more seats so that weary walkers, or waiters, can grab a little respite. At the bus stop opposite Just Property and HairBase, for instance, a more favourable spot than the one already opposite. The point is, the Council has little money available for this sort of project, and there was speculation that someone in the village might care to sponsor a seat. Some exceptionally pleasant seats have been presented in memory of a beloved family member, a extremely effective memorial. Could this be you and your family? Please give it your consideration.

Noted at last week’s meeting… was the fact that, at its peak, there were 69 members of the public in attendance, (allocated about the same amount of space as the 12 councillors and official present.) With Standing Orders suspended, those present were introduced to EFFAG (pronounced Effigy) standing for East Field Fairlight Action Group, who wish to have as much input as they possibly can into the matter of Rother allowing building on the field behind Pett Level Road, Waited Lane and Broadway. Guidance from Cllr Carl Maynard, leader of Rother Council, advised the group to the effect that, even if the entire population of the village was vociferously anti-building, the outline decision to build would only be rescinded for planning reasons, not emotional ones. This could well be a cue for the embryo group to work out the very real difficulties there would be in building on this site, and then to play from a strong hand. While this item has largely concentrated on the public attitude to building in the village, next week’s Voice will include in some detail the Parish Council’s stance on the matter.

Later in the meeting… Cllr Roger Bird outlined the proposals for the collection of recyclable waste in future, although no mention of green waste was made. It’s never attractive when politicians become patronising, but it seems that green waste will be collected on a payment, apparently already agreed, of £26 per year. Pretty rich, this, when the Council agreed to freeze tax levels in return for a tranche of Government money, only to push through back-door increases like this. What a pity that nobody has either the courage or the honesty to tell people what is going on. Outside the hall, an acquaintance said to me that he would be getting rid of his rubbish for free. ‘Oh, yes,’ says I, ‘fly-tipping, I suppose?’ ‘No, no’, he said, ‘it’s perfectly legal. But I have got to wait for the next local council election!’

MOPPing up the cash… We aim to bring you more regular news of what’s going on at MOPP’s, the Friday lunchtime Marsham Older People’s Project, much loved by a sizeable number of older residents from within the village and beyond. Jim Saphin’s new website for the group has already been mentioned here, and it can be found at www.fairlightmopp.co.uk. The group’s AGM was held last month, and their treasurer revealed that a loss every week had led to a year end total deficit of over £2,000. Consequently, doom and gloom tales have been circulating in the village and at the Conquest that MOPP’s would be closing down. Not so, I’m assured, as the group has funders in the background to keep them afloat. Numbers attending are on the rise, too. When the August programme is finalised, I will pass on the nitty-gritty to you.

First Monday of the month… and so it’s Gardening Club time, and the talk this coming Monday, August 6, is ‘Rother Parks Department’ to be given by Brian Griffiths. His talk starts at 2.30 pm in the village hall. There’s no entry fee, tea is provided and all are welcome.

P.S. The Trading Hut, down from Fairlight Gardens towards the top of Lower Waites Lane, is still open every Saturday from 10 am till noon. They stock more useful garden items than you can imagine.

The Table Tennis Club, which meets in the village hall each Tuesday from 7.30 to 10 pm, even in the warmer weather, is now proudly showing off its third new table. (And they have a fourth for when numbers attending are really high!) They welcome new members of all standards of play, both men and women. Every Tuesday night from 7.30 pm to 10 pm. Why not drop in and give them a look? No excuses - they have bats they can lend you!

Gilbert and Sullivan revisited…? The heading on an incoming email suggested a latter day operetta character - PC Handyperson, to be precise. But no, this is an eminently sensible idea from the Parish Council, who are making a list of local handypersons who are willing to quote for small works in the village. For example, repairs to bus shelters and notice boards, hedge cutting, painting and so on. If you are interested in being invited to quote for such works, please send an email to Cllr Tony King at king.merrilees@gmail.com, or write to him at Merrilees, Gorsethorn Way, Fairlight TN35 4BQ, or give him a call on 814753. It would be handy (sic!) if you could give brief details of your experience or skills.

Keith Pollard, Brookfield, Broadway