Udimore village voice

Some twenty parishioners attended the Annual Parish Assembly and Annual Council Meeting in St Mary’s Community Hall last Wednesday evening, May 16. Stuart Harland had been invited by the Council to outline progress to date with the scheme to establish a new venue for public performances in Rye, on the site of the former public library and part of the former further education centre.

The site, he said, was not big enough to accommodate a stage and the necessary backstage rooms, but it did lend itself to development as a 120 seat cinema. Negotiations for its purchase had now reached an advanced stage, the necessary funding now being in place. Fletcher in Rye CIC, the company initiating the project, had been holding discussions with possible funding sources for the completion of the rest of the project and now needed to decide what route to take to achieve this.

Cllr Turgoose summarized the Council’s activities during the year, as already reported in this column. Among the most recent matters of concern was the deplorably dilapidated state of the two signposts, at the upper ends of Dumbwoman’s and Float lanes, which had been the subject of a report to the Highways Department by an email in March, no reply to which had been received to date. (In the next meeting councillors accepted Cllr Dean’s proposal that the Department should be urged to consider imposing statutory vehicle width and weight restrictions on both these lanes, except for access, and a 20mph speed limit on Church Lane).

Our Police Community Support Officer, Richard Perchard, assured the meeting that enforcement of the 40mph speed limit in the village remained a firm police priority. Last year’s campaign had succeeded in getting the message across to most older bikers: younger bikers were now to be brought into line, by tougher measures if necessary. An important reminder for all of us: the “Crackdown” number, to report any incidents of excessively fast or dangerous driving, is 01243 642222.

This is usually a good opportunity for parishioners to ask our district and county councillors questions about matters of public concern, but unfortunately neither of them was able to be present. Cllr Johnson was away from home, and Cllr Maynard had an unexpected last-minute emergency (he has asked me to include his mobile number, 07500 224869, in case anyone needs to get in touch with him).

After a short interval for refreshments, parish councillors proceeded with the election of chairman and vice-chairman of the Council for the coming year: Cllrs Turgoose and Dean were duly re-elected to continue in these two roles respectively, as in the year just ended. Particular responsibilities were then allocated to individuals, as follows:- Cllr Turgoose: newsletter, RALC/SALC, and risk assessor; Cllr Dean: emergency plan; Cllr Knight: traffic management and police liaison; Cllr Leahy: local action plan and footpaths/bridleways/stiles; Cllr Wheeler: Udimore website (with the parish clerk, who will also ensure issue of welcome packs to newcomers who don’t have access to the internet); Stella Knight: tree warden.

Despite fears of rain, last Saturday turned out to be the perfect day for the Friends’ of St Mary’s spring barbecue by the village pond. A steady stream of customers kept Frank Langrish busy grilling burgers and bangers, Doug and Ann Turner serving drinks at the bar, and Gill Rothery selling tombola tickets. By a lucky chance, a former resident had chosen that morning to revisit Udimore with his family for the first time for some 65 years: he was pleased to find the village still in good heart. This was a jolly occasion, much enjoyed by everyone who came. I hope to be able to report next week how much was raised for the Friends’ church maintenance fund.

A quick reminder of the events planned for the Royal Diamond Jubilee weekend, which we shall be on the verge of celebrating this time next week.

Saturday (June 2) starts with a street party at the King’s Head from noon onwards, lunch at 2pm (tickets in advance from the pub) and continues with the Parsonage Farm 5-mile Rockabilly Race, at 6pm (licensed bar, with nibbles and a barbecue).

On Sunday (June 3) at 2.30pm everyone is to assemble at the Hall for the village photo (to be taken at 2.45pm sharp), 3pm children’s games and tea party, 6.30pm celebration supper (tickets will be probably sold out by now, but it’s worth trying Nadia or Glenda for returns).

If anyone else has photos showing Udimore in 1952 or earlier and would be prepared to lend them for display in the church over the Jubilee weekend, please ring either Nadia Florence-Marshall (01424 882948) or Bob Turgoose (01424 882657). Stewards will be on duty during the time the church is open (for visitors to admire the special display of floral decorations), so the safety of anything kindly lent for the exhibition can be guaranteed.

Richard Holmes, Beauchamps