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JUST TO REMIND YOU ALL: This is going to be the last edition of Ewhurst Parish contribution to the Village Voice section for this year. The year is drawing ever faster to a close and it seems we all still have lot’s to do, with last minute shopping, wrapping, posting, as well as the overseeing of the huge food mountain that we always appear to ‘must have for Christmas’. Many of us have the days planned out with lot’s to see and enjoy before 2015 finally bows out amidst much noise, merriment and the inevitable “New Year Resolutions” when we all celebrate the beginning of another year. So enjoy this wonderful Festive Season in the way it pleases you, whether buried under mountains of wrapping paper and the hustle & bustle of noise and mayhem, whether among family or friends or just quietly at home with peace and tranquillity - however you choose to spend this Christmas time, may the beauty and true spirit of Christmas be with you every step along the way.

COMMUNITY NEWS & REVIEWS: A report has been passed to me in order that I may advise you of the outcome of the Ewhurst & Staplecross Bonfire Society’s annual Carol Concert which was held last Friday (6th) at St. Mark’s church, Staplecross. More than 60 members and supporters attended this popular social event, meeting at the War Memorial in Staplecross, before making their way to the church. Guiding them along their way were the dazzling sight and scent of the many burning torches, just like those used in their magical Torchlight Procession on the way to their Bonfire Night Celebrations a few weeks back, which of course only added to the atmosphere. The church was packed with those who wanted to come along and share this special charitable event. Following the service, cheques totalling £2500:00 were presented to many local charities and good causes, - heroically supported by a further cheque for £400:00, raised by a popular member, Brian Scowen from his sponsored bike ride earlier on in the year. This additional money will also go to St. Michael’s Hospice and will be added to the £1000:00 cheque donated by E.S.B.S. It is hoped that this money (1400:00) will pay for the re-decoration of three bedrooms in the existing building. The remainder of monetary donations were awarded to the following charities; - £25:00 to Ewhurst Parish Magazine.~ £25:00 was donated to the Firefighter’s Charity and will be sent to Brede Fire Station.~ £50:00 was donated to Ewhurst F.C. which was requested to be added to the school M.U.G.A. fund, as the football club was not running this season, and the MUGA unit was now up & running for all to use.~ £100:00 was donated to the Sussex Air Ambulance.~ £100:00 was donated to the Netherfield Young Farmers group.~ £200:00 was added to the funds of both Robertsbridge School and Staplecross MCP School.~£200:00 was donated each to the following charities;- Sara Lee Trust; ~ Alzheimers Association; - Demelza House and the M.S. Society. It is an admirable fact, and proudly so, that a small village bonfire society can donate such a large amount is testament to all the hard work, dedication and caring support of members throughout the year. The addition of Mulled Wine, Mince Pies and sandwiches also helped to keep the evening supporters in good cheer, if not fine voice. Thanks must also to extended to everyone involved with the Bonfire Society and the members of the public who attended their recent Bonfire Night for their support and generosity, without whom, these donations to their chosen charities and local good causes would not be possible. New members are always made welcome and if you’d like to become part of this worthwhile group, then why not pop along to one of their society meetings. These are normally held on the first Monday of each month. 7.30pm at the Cross Inn, Staplecross. You may also like to keep an eye on the local notice boards displayed in each village, or the Village Voice and in the Battle Observer for notices of our Programme for 2016 which will include all forthcoming events and society meetings. You may also log onto: WWW.ESBS.ORG.UK or facebook.com/esbs for all further information.

NEW VILLAGE SIGNS: You must all now be aware that the parish now has a full compliment of new ‘village signs’. Following on from the new sign, recently erected in Ewhurst Green, the last two signs were erected on November 27th. to the delight of all the witnesses and bye-standers. These new signs, depicting local life and history, both past and present, replaced the old ones which sadly did not stand the test of time and are now in their new places, adjacent to the bus stops/shelters in both Staplecross and Cripps Corner. These delightful new signs will be an added attraction to the parish community as a whole for many a long year to come.

“A BARN FULL OF CHRISTMAS”: This is Christmas shopping with a difference and I’m told ‘it does what it says on the tin!’. Situated in “Poppy’s Barn”, Poppinghole Lane, Robertsbridge, on Saturday December 12th between 10.00am and 4.00pm will be a barn full of delightful and unusual Christmas gifts etc. , not found in the normal high street shops. Here you will be able to purchase beautiful handmade Christmas gifts for those special people who no doubt will treasure them for ever. Pop along and have a meander along the stalls and admire (& hopefully, purchase) those fantastic gifts, handcrafted with love. Be prepared to take all the lavish praise for bestowing such lovely gifts. This barn is easy to find, - Off A2`1 just outside Robertsbridge, turn into Poppinghole Lane and “Poppy’s Barn” will be found on the 1st right. Just follow the posters and signs and enjoy Christmas shopping as it should be done.

ROTHER RAMBLERS: Those intrepid walkers of this merry group have lots of energy still in hand as they have no less than five (5) walks planned between now and the New Year. Perhaps one or more will appeal to you and may be just what you need to encourage you to take up a new pastime. Fresh air and fitness at our own pace could be a healthy start for us all for 2016. Walk no: 1 is a 7.5 mile circular tour of Firle village, Firle Beacon and Alciston on Sunday December 13th.The meeting point is at the village car park at Firle. OS EXP 123. TQ469074. (SatNav BN8 6NX) at 10.00am. A picnic lunch is again suggested Adrian will be your ‘walk leader for today so please contact him on 01273~514336 or mobile: 07729~861854 for more details. Walk No: 2 is an 8.5 mile Ferry Inn circular via Chapel Bank viewpoint. Planned for Wednesday December 16th those wishing to join in will meet at 10.00am at the car park opposite Ferry Inn, Oxney. OS EXP 125. TQ942288. (SatNav TN30 7JY) Again a picnic lunch is suggested and your ‘walk leader’ for this stroll will be Martin and you may contact him for further details on 01424~752793. Another delightful walk is Walk No: 3 which is a slightly longer 9 mile circular tour of Winchelsea - Icklesham. The meeting point is the layby adjacent to the public conveniences in Winchelsea on Sunday December 20th at 10.00am. OS EXP 125. TQ904171. (SatNavTN36 4EP) and again, a picnic lunch is the order of the day. Richard will be your ‘walk leader’ for this excursion and you may contact him on 01424~892865 for all further information. Following a rest for Christmas Day, on Saturday December 26th ‘walk leaders’ -Lionel & Rita have organised a “Mince pies & Mulled wine” walk with two (2) ‘mini walks’ -just to stretch your legs perhaps- in a figure of eight in and around Footland Wood.-a mere stone’s throw from our parish, and this may be just the meander needed to get us up & running again (-well walking really-) There are two little strolls of just 4.5 and 3 miles and the yummy seasonal fare will be imbibed between the walks in Footland Wood - a really love walk at any time of the year. You may contact our hosts on 01424~752452 for more information regarding this walk and the last planned in their programme and the very first for 2016 which will take place on Friday January 1st 2016. and will be (obviously) a “New Years Day” 5.5 walk and will centre around Hawkhurst. The meeting point will actually be Hawkhurst Moor OS EXP 136. TQ756296. (SatNav TN18 4NX) at 11.00am. There is roadside parking around the Moor, but remember, please park prettily and respectfully. A picnic lunch will be enjoyed ‘somewhere rural’ I’m informed. We are privileged to live in an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) and this is a beautiful part of East Sussex at any time of the year, so do try to join in on one of these walks which always allows us to see and appreciate our glorious countryside from another viewpoint. These walks of various mileages and sometimes stamina shows us vistas and scenes, -often hidden from the public eye,- of which many are quite spectacular. Do try one and tell me what you think.

STAPLECROSS LUNCHEON CLUB: For the last time this year, the merry members of this small but very friendly dining social group will be making their way to the Village Hall, Northiam Road, Staplecross for a fantastic Festive Christmas lunch. This is booked for Wednesday December 16th beginning at 12.30pm. This promises to be a wonderful event with a pre-Christmas drink for all those attendees, - courtesy of Ewhurst Parish Council - to start the meeting and to help put every diner in the proper Christmas spirit !. A truly delicious full 2 course Christmas menu will follow, Roast Turkey etc.with all the trimmings, accompanied by Christmas Pudding (or a separate choice) and more!. With enchanting Christmas music playing softly in the background, various canapés, cheese & biscuits and tea or coffee, all to follow, then mingle that with lots of social chit-chat after, amongst congenial company, you’ll be forgiven for not wanting to hurry away directly afterwards!.- which is exactly what the organisers are hoping for. Please telephone Dennis on 01580~830816 or Sally on 01580~830000 if you wish to eat a different menu, or more importantly, - if you’re unable to join us on this day. This helps with avoiding food wastage, as well as time and money loss, - so important in view of today’s cut backs. If you’d like to come and join us, and you’d be most welcome, please contact one of the organisers to discuss this and find out ‘what’s entailed. We hope to see you soon and genuinely look forward to your company.

MOBILE LIBRARY SERVICE: Sadly for the last time this year, we look forward to welcoming the little Mobile Library Service as the van, carrying all the exciting goodies on board, wends it’s way through our little countryside lanes on it’s way to our little community. It’s first visit will be to Staplecross, where it will park in Cricketers Field, between 1.40pm and 2.10pm. Following on from that session, it will then arrive at Cripps Corner, - on the car park of the White Hart Inn, - courtesy of the kind landlady, where between 2.20pm and 2.45pm. the residents of this little hamlet can avail themselves of this vital and much needed service. Please do make as much use of the facilities on board when the van visits your areas. This service will resume again in 2016 when it will re-commence it’s 3 weekly visits to our communities, beginning with Staplecross & Cripps Corner on THURSDAY JANUARY 7TH. 2016 and for the residents of Ewhurst Green the date is THURSDAY JANUARY 21st. both visits will be at the usual times of last year. The Library is about more than just books, so please come along and see for yourself and help keep this service going for the benefit of all who live in our outlying rural areas and cannot avail themselves easily of the Main Branch amenities.

STAPLECROSS M.C. PRIMARY SCHOOL: As a reward to all the pupils of our lovely little village school, for all their continuing hard work, including all their efforts of the recent cake sales to help boost the school’s PTFA funds and not forgetting, of course, the sterling production of ‘The Nativity’ shown last week, and to show how much they are appreciated, the whole school is going by coach to The Assembly Halls in Tunbridge Wells, to enjoy the pantomime “Cinderella” on Wednesday December 16th. This is yet another activity organised by the PTFA. The school’s superb Christmas Party, organised for Thursday December 17th, concluding with a surprise visit from “HIM” will bring the end of term to a wonderful, exciting end. May I just remind all those with a noted interest that the new school term will commence on Wednesday January 6th, when 2016 will no doubt, bring new horizons and exciting times ahead for our precious schoolchildren.

CAROLS ON THE GREEN: Just a gentle reminder of this special community event. The date is: ~ Thursday December 17th. from 6.00pm and the venue is the green, at Ewhurst Green. This great festive event will certainly bring about that warm feeling, both inside and out - and not just because ‘mince pies and mulled wine’ will be available and offered to all to help offset what no doubt will be, a chilly winter’s night. The inside glow will hopefully, come from being a part of a congenial group of like-minded people coming together to enjoy a lovely social time, singing carols portraying the age old story of Christ’s birth and other carols just about the Christmas season. Song sheets of the carols, will be available, so there’s no excuse for not knowing the words and for not joining in the singing !. A collection will be made in aid of Ewhurst P.C.C. This is a beautiful, traditional event, not to be missed, so please come along and join in singing a Carol for Christmas, - and just for the joy of this blessed and most wonderful time of the year. All will be very welcome and all further details can be obtained from Glenys on: 01580~830491.

EWHURST, STAPLECROSS & BODIAM GARDEN SOCIETY~ CHRISTMAS PARTY: Many of us hopefully, will enjoy attending a Christmas party or 2 before, during and after that special day. This is going to be one of them. The very friendly and helpful members from this lovely little local horticultural society would like to invite you to join them on this special night - Friday December 18th from 7.00pm in the Village Hall, Northiam Road, Staplecross. This promises to be an evening spent in superb and congenial company, enjoying fun ‘entertainment’ with great yummy refreshments and a grand raffle with fantastic prizes to boot.- What could be better than that ? - Entrance for members is free, but guests sadly, must pay the miserly sum of £3:00 per person to enjoy all that’s on offer, - which is rather a lot. So book the date and come along and enjoy what promises to be a great evening amongst friends. Please contact Ruth (Secretary) on 01580~831918 for all further details of this and what else, this local garden society is planning for next year, as hopefully, this won’t be the one & only visit you’ll make to our group

CHURCH SERVICES: There are many services taking place throughout Ewhurst Parish over the next few weeks covering Christmas and the New Year and here is the programme for these services. Church services for the parish of Ewhurst will commence at St. James the Great, Ewhurst Green on Sunday December 13th. Advent 3. at 9.30am. This service will include Holy Communion (BCP) There will be NO SERVICE held today at St. Giles, Bodiam but a service will follow directly after at 11.15am. at St. Mark’s church, Northiam Road, Staplecross. This service will also include Holy Communion (BCP). Saturday December 19th will see the annual Carol Service held at St. James the Great, Ewhurst Green. This will commence at 6.00pm and all will be very welcome to come along and join in this beautiful service. Edging ever closer to Christmas Day, A service will be held at St. James the Great, Ewhurst Green on Sunday December 20th. Advent 4. at 9.30am. This service will include Holy Communion. There will be NO CHURCH SERVICES during the day at either St. Giles, Bodiam, or at St. Mark’s, Staplecross, but there WILL BE an EVENING CAROL SERVICE at St. Giles, Bodiam, commencing at 6.00pm. and again, all will be very welcome to come along and join in this special event. A Christmas Eve Communion Service will be held on Thursday December 24th. Christmas Eve. at St. Mark’s church, Northiam Road, Staplecross. This service will commence at 11.30pm. - On Christmas Day itself. Friday December 25th A service will be held at St. James the Great, Ewhurst Green at 9.30am. This service will include Holy Communion. A service at St. Giles church, Bodiam, will follow directly after at 11.15am. This service will also include Holy Communion. There will be NO SERVICE held today at St. Mark’s , Staplecross. A service will be held at St. James the Great, Ewhurst Green on Sunday December 27th. Sunday after Christmas. at 9.30am. This service will also include Holy Communion (BCP) There will be NO CHURCH SERVICES today at either St. Giles, Bodiam or St. Mark’s Staplecross. The New Year will start off with a service which will again be held at St. James the Great, Ewhurst Green on Sunday January 3rd.2016. Christmas 2. This service will commence at 9.30am. and will include Holy Communion. Again there will be NO SERVICES held today at either St. Giles, Bodiam or at St. Mark’s, Staplecross. These services will be conducted by Reverend Gordon Winchester, and we must all offer our sincere and heartfelt thanks for all the kindness and generosity he has shown to all his fellow men, throughout the past year. We are all very grateful for all his hard work. As always, if there is any church matter in which he can be of help, then please contact him, either at The Rectory, Ewhurst Green, or by telephone on 01580~830268 or via his email on gordon.winchester@btinternet.com He’ll always be pleased to help in any way he can.

PLEASE CONTACT ME: If your Group, Club, Society or Charity is planning to hold an event in the near future, - and you’d like extra coverage to start the New Year off well, then do please get in touch with me to take advantage of some free publicity. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, - posh or poor, - inside or out - if it’s of interest to you, --- it’s of interest to us. It’s never too early to let me know what you are planning for 2016, for what is sure to be an exciting time for us all, so please contact me whenever you can..........Thank You.

May I once more send you all my sincere best wishes for a Merry and Magical Christmas followed by a Very Happy & Healthy, Peaceful & Prosperous, New Year. Wishing you all Love, Luck & Laughter.

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