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ROAD CLOSURE: A little advance notification from East Sussex County Council regarding a road closure due to road works within our parish. The area in question is the Whornes Wood road works on the B2089 from Cripps Corner to Broad Oak, Brede. They will be ‘Patch Repairing’ sections of this road which will improve the condition and safety of the road and therefore for all the future users of it. This work is scheduled to take place Monday, 8th December.- Tuesday, 9th December and Wednesday,10th December 2014 between the hours of 7am and 5pm on all three (3) days. A suitable diversion route will be signed via A28 Northiam Road, Goatley Farm and Staplecross Farm, in both directions. During this time Whornes Wood will be closed to through traffic from the junction of A28 Northiam Road to the junction of Staplecross Road. If you feel you may have a vehicle access problem in this particular area, please talk to a member of the staff on site who will do all they can to help you. Please park your vehicle OFF ROAD - or in another location, - or it may be towed away ! - just what you don’t want ! and check with the bus companies for any alterations to this service during this time. These road repair works, (- as with all other road works) will make it hazardous for all of the working team, especially with the low sun light and early darkening days, so please take extra care and respect the working space and safety of all concerned,- including yourself, - by slowing down and approaching with care and consideration. These road repairs are an ongoing and vital part of ESCC highway maintenance programme and the working teams will be doing their best for the benefit of us all, Any questions/queries can be made on 0345~6080~193 or via eastsussex.gov.uk/roadsandtransport

ROTHER RAMBLERS: Not ones for letting any roadworks upset their plans for enjoying the English countryside, the members of this friendly and popular group will still be strolling along our highways as there are two (2) more walks planned for our enjoyment this week. Walk No: 1 is not quite on our doorstep, but variety is a good thing and none more so than this walk as it is a 9 mile circular stroll of Rushlake Green, Horam and Warbleton, so lots to see along the way. Planned for Wednesday December 3rd the group will all be meeting on the green at Rushlake Green at 10.0am.(SatNav TN219QE) On-street parking around the green, will be the order of the day, so, as always, please respect the residents and park prettily. A picnic lunch is suggested and of course, you may take your dog to enjoy the walk also. Adrian is the ‘Walk Leader’ for this trip, so please contact him on: 01273~514336 for further details. Walk No: 2 is slightly longer, (by a mile!) and is a 10 mile Brightling to Burwash circular walk due to take place on Sunday December 7th. Those interested in joining in, should be at Brightling Church (SatNav TN325HJ) at 10.0am to meet and greet the other enthusiastic walkers. Again, on street parking is the order of the day. A pub or a picnic lunch is also suggested and ‘Man’s best friend’ is also invited to enjoy the spectacular scenery with you, along the way. The ‘Walk Leader’ on this occasion is Richard so please contact him on: 01424~892865 for all further information.

W.I. CAROL CONCERT: Every year, members of the ESFWI Rother Group look forward to their annual winter get together at their own Christmas Carol Service. Hosted in turn, by each of the six institutes, (now recently joined by Robertsbridge W.I.) this year the job falls to our own Staplecross W.I. and so if you should happen to be passing by the church of St. Mark’s, Northiam Road, Staplecross, during the afternoon of Thursday December 4th. please don’t be alarmed (or surprised) by the cacophany of sound resonating from the walls of our beautiful and much loved village church. The cause of this will be dozens of W.I. ladies coming together as part of this very popular yuletide event, to sing their own chosen Christmas Carols, most ably accompanied by our local organist and W.I. member- and if you have ever heard the W.I. singing “Jerusalem” you’ll understand how beautiful and heart-felt this occasion will be. They will also hear and enjoy a wide and varied selection of Christmas readings, some will be funny and light-hearted, some sad and poignant and some will be classic extracts taken from well known family favourites, all will be very much enjoyed. Following on from this little Carol Concert, the ladies will partake of a much deserved and well earned ‘cuppa ( and a mince pie ! ) in the little church room, next door. This warm and friendly event is just another aspect of the W.I. and over the years has become a firm favourite to all the ladies who attend. If you’d like to be a part of this amazing and very versatile organisation and you’d like to find out more of what happens when they’re not “ doing the Jam & Jerusalem thing” - just get in touch with your local branch - our President is Ann Prodinger so call her for details of what’s happening in our 2015 calender. Who know’s, --- next year, maybe you’ll be singing alongside the rest of them at the next Carol Concert.

STAPLECROSS MCP SCHOOL- CHRISTMAS TEA and FAYRE: A reminder that our own village school will be holding their annual Christmas Tea and Fayre on Friday December 5th. Taking place in the Village Hall, in Staplecross, from 3pm, this promises to be a very festive event with lots and lots of lovely stalls filled with mounds of goodies, both Christmassy and not, in a friendly attempt to try and part your pennies from your pockets. As well as all the usual Yuletide stalls, - including the ‘can’t do without cake stall’ - there will be a super Santa’s Grotto ( a must for all the kiddies ) and other all things Christmassy !. No event, of any description, would be complete without a raffle - and this one has a £75:00 cash 1st prize.!!! So spend a little, & hopefully, win a lot ! Please come along and support your local school, Get your Christmas shopping ‘Wish Lists’ started early or even just bag a bargain - or a treat - for yourself.- Dates for your Diary - Don’t forget also that the School Nativity Play will be taking place in the same Village Hall on Thursday December 11th at 2.30pm and on the following day Friday December 12th at 6pm. This is an open invite to all the residents of the parish, as the School would like to welcome one and all to share in the re-telling of this magical and blessed story, as ‘told’ by the pupils of this wonderful little school. As with all Nativity plays, I bet there won’t be a dry eye in the house. All further details can be obtained via School Secretary 01580~830256. or email: office@staplecross.e-sussex.sch.uk or the School Facebook page (Staplecross MCP School - What’s On) and you can check on the school’s outside notice -boards in the first gate at school. - Whatever you do, - Just make sure you don’t miss it !

E.S.B.S. CAROL SERVICE: Following on from their very succesful but frantically busy last two months with the superb ‘Auction of Promises’ in September and the fantastic Torchlight Procession & Bonfire event in October, the members of the popular Ewhurst, Staplecross & Bodiam Bonfire Society will bring their Programme of Events slowly to a close with their annual Carol Service. This will take place on Saturday December 6th and will be held at St. Mark’s church, Northiam Road, Staplecross.This will be an occasion to remember, as how many people can say that they arrived at an evening Carol Service escorted by flaming torches ! Meeting firstly at 6pm at the War Memorial in Staplecross, (opposite the Cross Inn) - this charming event is always well attended with club members, supporters and the public alike, all thoroughly enjoying the friendly atmosphere. When the torches are lit, the short walk to the little church will begin as we all look forward to a traditional village Christmas Carol Concert.and what an amazing sight this little procession will be ! Following the close of the service, there will be light refreshments ( & mulled wine ) taken in the adjoining Church room, as the Bonfire Society will then administer the funds, ( raised throughout the year via numerous events ) to their chosen good causes. New members are always warmly welcomed so please contact their Publicity Officer john.lederer@mypostoffice for further details.

OUT & ABOUT: A few more local affairs that you may be interested in at this festive time of the year;--- Beckley Pre-School & Northiam Nursery’s annual charity fair will take place on Sunday 30th November 10.am until 2pm. at the Beckley Village Centre.Beckley TN316RN. Lots of crafts and gifts, raffle prizes, Christmassy things, and with a Santa’s Grotto with games and face painting for the children promises to be a great day out. Parking is free, and entry is 50p per adult. Contact events4BPNN@outlook.com for details.

THE DECEMBER ART SHOW: If, maybe you are looking for a gift that’s not just for Christmas, why not pop along to this exhibition. An exciting and varied selection of affordable art is being displayed by six artists at the Powdermills Hotel, Powdermill Lane, Battle TN330SP on Friday to Sunday 5th - 7th December between 10.am and 4pm. The work, in various styles, mediums and sizes will be for sale as well as other gifts and cards.

FESTIVAL WEEKEND-BREDE: The Bell Ringers will have their ‘Lights of Love’ Tree switched on at St. George’s church during December and into the New Year and if you would like to donate a light in memory of a loved one, you can do so throughout the festival weekend of 6th - 8th December or contact Andrew Burchett on 01424~882727. There is also a Christmas Tree Festival over this weekend if you’d like to submit a tree decorated in the theme “ Christmas round the World “ or perhaps just make a wreath to decorate the church pillars. then please contact Vicky at the Rectory on 01424~883408. On Saturday 7th December there will also be Christmas stalls and seasonal refreshments at St. Georges church between 10.am and 4pm. Watch out for the arrival of St. Nicholas at the church approx 2.15pm. There will also be a concert, again at the church at 7pm. and will include a performance by ‘Mad Jack’s Mummers and a contemporary Nativity by the students from Bexhill High, followed by carols. Tickets are £7:50 adult £3:00 primary schoolchild. to include a drink and mincepie/sausage roll. Details and tickets available from the Rectory or the Friday Country Market in Brede.

CHURCH SERVICES: Church services for the parish of Ewhurst will commence at the church of St. James the Great, Ewhurst Green on Sunday November 30th. Advent 1. with a service at 9.30am which will include Holy Communion. An Evening Service at 3.30pm will take place at St. Mark’s church, Northiam Road, Staplecross. There will be NO SERVICE at St. Giles church, Bodiam on this day. As usual, both services will be conducted by Reverend Gordon Winchester and if there are any church matters that you would like to discuss more fully with him, do please contact him either at The Rectory, Ewhurst Green, 01580~830268. or at gordon.winchester@btinternet.com

PLEASE LET ME KNOW: if there is any way I can help with whatever event or celebration your own Group, Club, Society or Charity is planning. The Festive Season is sneaking up on us and this is the perfect time to let everyone know what events you are planning, in order to allow us to publicise and promote your own event, so please do get in touch. Thank You.

Anne Reed

oldforgefogies@yahoo.co.uk