Northiam

What a joyful sight in the Village Hall on Saturday, when a large number of entries in the Spring Show filled the room with colour and scent. As we have come to expect, there were some fabulous arrangements, and plenty of classes for people like me who have no artistic ability! The children from Messy Church made a beautiful tree of life, teeming with flowers and insects, and Frewen College pupils grew primroses.

The domestic tables groaned under the weight of coffee cakes, bread pudding, marmalade and chutney, and there was some impressive needlework and painting. In all, we have shown what a lot of talented people live in Northiam, and what interesting and colourful gardens they tend.

The cup winners were:

Lt Col Bagnall Perpetual Challenge Cup; Lesley Kennedy

Norman Lamford Perpetual Challenge Cup; Lesley Kennedy

Frewen Perpetual Challenge Cup; Lynne Pomfret

Society’s Perpetual Challenge Bowl; Carole Rhodes

Margaret Williams Memorial Salver; Karen Ayling

Elsie Prior Perpetual Challenge Cup; Emily Streatfeild

The next big event for the Society is the Plant Sale, which takes place in the Village Hall on Saturday 17th May, and is a great opportunity to stock your garden with quality plants at very reasonable prices, so make a note in your diary.

The badminton clubs meet on Friday evening in the Pretious Sports Hall at 5.30pm (Primary) 6.30pm (Secondary) and 8pm (Adults) in the Pretious Sports Hall. Dance Club is in the Village Hall from 7.30pm.

Northiam Village Hall Trust are holding a Book Sale in the Village Hall between 10.30am and 1pm – an ideal opportunity to stock up on a range of books. This is followed by the monthly indoor Boot Fair on Sunday, 9-11.30am. Please call Marie Edwards (25326) for information.

Great Dixter is holding a Plant Fair on Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 4pm.

Short Mat Bowls is the sport of choice in the Village Hall on Monday at 2pm, followed by the Badminton club (adult) at 5.45pm in Pretious Sports Hall, and Zumba at 8.15pm.

Northiam Tadpoles - the toddler group - meets on Tuesdays from 9.15 to 11.15am at Northiam School, new faces are always welcome.

Coffee Stop offers the chance for a chat over the cup that cheers each Wednesday in the Church Centre between 10am and midday, with Short Mat Bowls and Lace Group in the Village Hall at 2pm.

The Annual Parish Meeting will be held in the Village Hall on Tuesday 15th April, from7.30pm – a good chance to see what Northiam has to offer!

Following the loss of equine facilities at the Blue Cross Animal Rescue Centre, the Northiam area is in danger of losing a second horse charity. The DENS Project CIC (www.thedensproject.org), currently located on a small site between Northiam and Beckley, are a Not-for-Profit Community Interest Company, who aim to serve the community working in the field of Equine Assisted Personal Development (EAPD), for example with children who suffer from autism. DENS are also heavily involved with animal welfare and support, including the recent rescue of several abandoned horses and foals.

The founder of the DENS Project, who is also a qualified instructor, says, “We have quite literally outgrown our start up base. Due to the need for better facilities and resources and the restrictions on our present modest piece of land, we can go no further here. We are greatly encouraged by the tremendous support we have received locally and are keen to stay in this area and serve the community, yet are at a loss to find a suitable or affordable facility with scope, where we can be assured of longevity. We had hoped and applied to The Blue Cross Northiam, last summer, as their facilities are ideal for our community purpose, to look at any possibilities of interim share, future potential, collaboration, lease, purchase, etc on their premises in Northiam, however unfortunately this was not forthcoming.”

There was a huge outcry in Northiam when the Blue Cross announced the intended closure of their site there, especially as the land was donated by local resident Kitty Comport for animal welfare. The 38 acres, including on-site stabling, field shelters and an all-weather riding arena have stood idle throughout the winter, while an equine crisis has unfolded nationally. The DENS Project has been involved in the rescue of four locally abandoned horses this week alone. One abandoned foal had been left with an ingrowing halter that had cut nearly an inch into the animal’s head, leaving deeply infected wounds which the attending vet described as the worst he had ever seen. Fortunately this horse is now recovering at a proscribed ‘safe centre,’ ensuring its continued welfare and safety. Meanwhile, a field officer had to hold another abandoned foal in her arms while it was put to sleep, as it was too weak to survive.

A spokesperson for DENS said, “It has become very clear that the demand for our work and the benefits are vast and vital, hence our desire to source a suitable facility which has more scope for development. We work across many areas, supporting people and animals, but at present we are restricted by our venue. If we find a better site, we can open the doors for employment, training, volunteers and educational and therapy projects whilst supporting equine welfare. Ideally we need to find premises which offer the opportunity to create an educational riding centre and training facility.” If anyone thinks they can help DENS in their search for a suitable site locally, they can be contacted on 07908 413 844, or email info@thedensproject.org. If this equine welfare support, community project and potential employer is to remain in the area, they need to find a suitable location fast. Ideally they need a place with between 20 to 30 acres with outbuildings and arena and the scope to develop the project. Can anyone help?

Services (6th): 8am Holy Communion, 10.30am Holy Communion www.northiamvillage.co.uk

Karen Ayling

The White House, Dixter Road