Udimore village voice

Some 20 members of Udimore Wildlife Group visited the Wetland Trust’s reserve in the Pannel Valley last Wednesday, May 30, accepting an invitation extended to us by Ian Newton when he came to speak to us about the Trust.

After some good birdwatching in the two hides overlooking the min pool, we moved on to the ringing station, where Ian explained the methods used by bird ringers and the much improved understanding of bird migration which has resulted. Tea and cakes rounded off a most interesting visit.

In celebration of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, Nadia Florence-Marshall and her expert team of flower arrangers had spent two days decorating St Mary’s Church with an amazing floral display. At the same time Harold Moores and Brenda Hartill had assembled an exhibition of the photos, albums and other memorabilia which had been offered on loan for the purpose. It presented a fascinating picture of Udimore during the last sixty years, with some glimpses of even more distant times. During the four days it was open to the public, this wonderful embellishment of the church attracted numerous admiring visitors, many of them with their own stories to tell of Udimore in days gone by.

Udimore celebrations continued with a large open-air Saturday lunch party for over 80 of us at the King’s Head, which went on well into the afternoon, with hardly a drop of rain to disturb us. Jamie, Julia and Martin and their helpers laid on an excellent meal for us all. The assembled company in front of the pub made a truly festive scene.

That evening the well-timed Parsonage Farm five mile Rockabilly Race drew a large crowd to support the runners and continue the Jubilee celebrations, incidentally also raising over £900 for church funds. With stronger competition than ever this year, Revd John Lee again did very well to come in at number 12. The convivial party went on till a late hour.

On Sunday afternoon St Mary’s Community Hall provided necessary cover for the village photograph, and (with an extra marquee) for the extended cream tea party and children’s games and sports which followed it. The Jubilee Committee (ably chaired by Bob Turgoose) did a great job arranging it all, and the transformation of the Hall in time for the celebration supper that evening. This was a splendid, animated and colourful occasion, some 80 of us sitting down to another excellent meal provided by the King’s Head team, with vocal entertainment by Stephen Dunnett, a mammoth raffle and the loyal toast proposed by Anne Mair.

On bank holiday Tuesday some hundred horseriders and numerous walkers and dogs gathered at Parsonage Farm, to take part in the best-supported Tillingham Valley safari so far, making the most of a beautiful sunny morning. This highly successful event raised over £1,500 for Hall funds.

Brenda Hartill’s Oast House Gallery and Studio will be open to the public, as part of South East Open Studios, both this weekend and next weekend. The times are: tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday, 11am till 5pm, and the same times next Friday, Saturday and Sunday (June 15-17). There will be a printing demonstration from 1pm onwards this Sunday. Brenda’s gallery and studio are at Pound House, opposite Church Gate. Many of you will be familiar with her inspirational work in various media, paintings, prints, collages and collagraphs, both figurative and abstract: this is a treat not to miss!

Brenda has asked me to say that someone has left in her house an electrical item (a very large torch?) in a black case. Would the owner please contact her (01424 882942).

This Sunday Linda and Stuart Harland are opening their garden at Knellstone House for the National Gardens Scheme from 2 till 5.30pm. In a magnificently scenic position, their garden offers a formal pool courtyard, a parterre for cut flowers and produce, a hydrangea bank, a wildlife pond, a small wood, and many other features. There will be a well-stocked plant stall, and teas served by the Friends of St Mary’s (noted for their cakes). Plenty of level parking nearby. Looking forward to seeing lots of you there!

On Monday (June 11) the Ferry Road Rye Patients’ Participation Group are holding a tea party from 2 till 4pm at their Health Centre, to raise funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care. All welcome.

Finally, a reminder that Messy Church is at 4pm on Tuesday (June 12) in the Hall, one week later than usual (because of the public holiday). The theme this time is Noah’s Ark.

Richard Holmes, Beauchamps