Northiam

WW1 Commemoration: As I write, on Monday, all over the world there are acts of commemoration marking the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. I am proud that our little community made its own contribution over the last two weeks, and would like to think that we all have a greater understanding of the times and the people as a result. Members of the Conservation Society, most notably Mervyn, Pete, Ruth and Julian, undertook painstaking research to make Northiam’s 34 dead real to us. Now, when we say “we will remember them” on Remembrance Sunday, it will be easier to picture Northiam’s men, as we were introduced to them, their families and their homes. Barbara Sargeant’s specially commissioned work took us on a journey as a local lad left on the train, never to return. Over the weekend, a good number of people visited the exhibition in the Village Hall (beautifully decked out by Alan Worley once more) to pore over documents and photographs, and it was good to see the excellent work produced by Northiam Primary School and Frewen College. I hope the men who gave their lives for hearth and home would have recognised the village they loved, as we came together on Saturday evening to remember them. Instead of the Silver Band, we had our own Orchestra, led by Peter Fields, who ably led us in song, and gave an excellent rendition from Beethoven’s’ 7th Symphony. 16 members of the village read passages which meant something special to them, some referring to relatives of the reader, and Geoff Poyton brought us some Music Hall voices with songs from the trenches. As we sang Land of Hope & Glory, I Vow to Thee my Country and a heartfelt God Save the Queen, we could only feel gratitude for those whose sacrifice gave us our future.

Summer Fair: On Saturday (9th), we have another occasion when the village comes together, with the Village Fair on the Playing Fields. The Boot Sale will start at 9am, and many of our local Societies are taking part in the Fair which starts at 10am. Along with all the traditional amusements, there will be Classic Cars and Motorcycles, The WI’s tea tent and a Dog Show (registration from 11am). The Footpath Group will be bringing lots of maps and walk suggestions for the local area and further afield and will be happy to talk to you about public rights of way etc. Local ladies have donated a hand-stitched quilt which will be raffled in aid of the Village Hall Trust. Petal-shaped tickets will cost £1 for a chance to win this future heirloom whose theme is Granny’s Garden. Sally and Richard Bickersteth will be holding another huge-bric-a-brac stall in aid of the projects in Malawi. Sally has just returned from Chitiwiri, where she has been working on a new irrigation project, and will be able to tell you all about it. The Historical and Literary Society will have next season’s programme available, and they are still taking bookings for a screening of The Wipers Times in Rolvenden Village Hall on Friday 29th August. The Bowls Club is accessed behind the children’s play area, and will be opening the club during the Summer Fair on Saturday, offering free taster sessions between 10am and 2pm. Anyone interested can just turn up and have a go – all you need are some flat shoes or trainers. Bowls is suitable for all ages and sexes, and can be played competitively or socially. Northiam is a small friendly club, and offers a great way to meet new people and get some gentle exercise. If you are unable to make it on 9th, you will be very welcome on Monday evenings after 5.30pm to have a go, or phone Trevor Monk (01797 252307). This is just a taster of the village societies who would love to see you and tell you more about what we have to offer.

Sport: For the next three weeks, there will be Pay & Play sessions in the Pretious Sports Hall on Friday evenings, when Sheldon Chambers (a Badminton England level 2 coach) will be running sessions: under 12s 6.30-7.30pm and adults, over 12s, 7.30-8.30pm. The cost is £2.50 a session. All very welcome. The Bowls Club is looking for new members, and anyone interested will be very welcome on Monday evenings after 5.30pm to have a go, or phone Trevor Monk (01797 252307). The Footpath Group will be having a Day on the Downs on Wednesday, when they walk the Alfriston/Firle Circular. Leave the surgery car park at 9am, and bring a picnic lunch. Share a car if you can – call Janette and Roger (366977) for details. Northiam 75 Football Club is looking for new players for next season. If you are interested (you must be over 16) please call Rob Deal 07876 741199.

Music: If anyone was inspired by hearing Northiam Chamber Orchestra on Saturday – they are looking for new members! They meet on Thursday evenings in the Village Hall. Peter Fields (07792 3291450), the conductor, would be very pleased to hear from anyone interested.

Looking Ahead: The Horticultural Society’s Autumn Show will be earlier this year – on Saturday 30th August. All the details are in the Show Schedule available through the village website, or call Tony Pomfret (253287).

Northiam Scout Group will be holding their popular Pink Piglet Day on Saturday 6th September at Scout HQ, Goddens Gill. The Cub Scouts are in need of a leader. If anyone is interested in taking on this incredibly fulfilling role, please give Jacky Broad (01797 253228) a call. We have one of the oldest Scout troops in the country, and it has given a fantastic start to a lot of our youngsters. Also on 6th September, the Bonfire Society will be holding their next Craft Fair in the Village Hall. Stalls can be booked through the website: northiambonfiresociety.co.uk

Services (10th): 8am Holy Communion, 10.30am Holy Communion

Karen Ayling

The White House, Dixter Road