What a wonderful Jubilee weekend we had, by sunlight, moonlight, rain and shine!
It was uplifting to see so many people streaming towards the lunchtime marquee on Sunday in such inhospitable conditions. But first we had all the fun of Saturday, with some beautiful floral arrangements shown off to advantage in the light under canvas and a lot of imaginative creations from the children, all under the auspices of Northiam Horticultural Society.
Across the field, we heard squeals of delight from a range of good old fashioned games, and the parents were kept interested with displays from the Conservation Society and exhibits from the Toy and Pedal Car Museum.
There was a phenomenal range of cakes, apparently baked by everyone in the village, and a tasty barbeque, local ice cream, Saheb’s Indian food and The Muddy Duckling bar. The sun was out, friends gathered and we all enjoyed a lazy (apart from the workers, that is) summer’s afternoon.
It was fantastic then to find everyone at the Village Hall on the dot to enjoy the dance, and enjoy it we did! Excellent music from our own Press Red got us moving and The Starrlight Beatles kept us dancing. We had a pleasurable interlude when our Dance Club gave a demonstration of Sequence Dancing, which made us all want to have a go (Friday evenings, folks!) and then Tamsin and Alisha each put BGT entrants in the shade with some spine-tingling singing.
So many people turned up to the church service that more chairs were hurriedly purloined. Singing was lead by Northiam Chamber Orchestra and we were reminded of the importance The Queen gives to her faith, ending with a rousing rendition of God Save the Queen.
After a short break to set up tables, we all piled back into the marquee, bedecked with red, white and blue flowers and Union Flags for an excellent lunch, a quiz, children’s fancy dress and more entertainment from the orchestra, leading us in Last Night of the Proms exuberance. Finally, the Grand Raffle was drawn, with over 30 valuable prizes distributed to theatrical groans and cheers.
Back again we came on Monday evening (I think very few people were missing by now!) and after a drink and a burger we set off up Dixter Road, torches aloft, to light our beacon. And what a fine specimen it was, especially when compared to some that got onto the television! Our wonderful weekend finished with an exuberant firework display which had many of us wonder if we might, just possibly, be ready to re-form the Northiam Bonfire Society.
I have made a decision not mention anyone by name, not only because I run the risk of forgetting someone, but also because my column isn’t long enough! But thank you so much to everyone who got involved in any way. One of the most used phrases in the planning was “Oh, I can do that” and everyone jolly well did what they promised. There was a very large number of people who quietly got on with a job which they had spotted needed doing, be it staunching the flow of rainwater or spiriting up a further supply of chairs, as well as those who committed themselves months ahead to planning, costing, begging, rehearsing - and sleepless nights. And of course, if no-one had turned up it would all have been in vain, but Northiam excelled itself, and I think we all feel a deeper sense of community as a result. Thank you.
Not resting on our laurels, there is plenty to do in the Village this week, with Open Studios continuing until 17th June at Northiam Station, 2 Monks Way and The White House Studio Dixter Road as well as nearly 300 other artists and makers over the South East region. Please follow the paint-tube signs.
The Muddy Duck celebrates its 1st birthday on Saturday with live music, disco and nibbles.
On Sunday, please find some time to visit an Open Garden at 6 Ghyllside Road, Northiam 11am – 4.30pm, an all seasons low maintenance shrub garden. The entrance fee of £3.50 (children under 10 free) includes refreshments, and there will be plant and gift stalls. The garden is open in aid of Canterbury Oast Trust, one of my favourite local charities, which supports people with learning disabilities. You may have come across them locally at The Coterie Tea Rooms in Rye or Woodchurch Rare Breeds Centre.
Note that Messy Church has been moved to Sunday 10th June at 4pm when we shall be continuing the Royal theme with craft, stories and song for all ages.
Willing Fingers has also moved because of the Jubilee Holiday, and will be meeting on Monday June 11th in the Church Centre. Materials will be available for making bookmarks, so bring your sewing kits. If you have your own project you are working on, you are more than welcome to bring it along.
Women’s Fellowship will be asking members to choose their fantasy speaker for the meeting on Tuesday at 2pm in the Church Centre. The Footpath Group leave the surgery car park at 2pm heading for The Black Duck at Warbleton and a 7 mile walk ending with supper in the pub.
The Blue Cross will be holding a micro-chipping day on Friday (15th) at £10 per cat or dog. Please call 0300 777150 to make a booking or make enquiries.
Services (10th ): 8am Holy Communion, 10.30am Holy Communion, 4pm Messy Church
Karen Ayling, The White House, Dixter Road