Church matters: There are two services in the parish this Sunday, the first of which is a service of Family Worship at St Andrew’s, stating at 10.30 am. The second service is Informal Communion at St Peter’s, at the winter early evening time of 4 pm. The nights are drawing out nicely for services at this time of day!
And here’s a very early notice – of a forthcoming evening trip to Canterbury Cathedral for our very own ‘Songs of Praise’. This will be on Friday, May 5, so do keep your eyes peeled for times and costs etc. either here or in church, so you don’t miss out on booking when the time is right.
MOPPs today and next Friday: Today, Friday, February 3, the Friends Unlimited Choir will be along to entertain the members. Also available today will be Nicola’s toe nail cutting, and a star prize for the raffle. Lunch will be fish and chips, with a delicious pud of Black Forest gateau with cream for afters. Next Friday, February 10, there’s to be a talk by Ian (Spike) Millington on the ‘Lighter Side of Policing’ – Hello, hello, hello! Next Friday’s lunch will consist of cottage pie followed by trifle.
While for a long time it has been a monthly treat to read Robert’s latest epistle, with Robert’s retirement those days are gone, and Robert’s missives are no longer par for the course. New Co-ordinator Carolyn Smyth – plainly a ‘y’s lady – has just stepped in and come out with her first newsletter, in which she mentions the fact that she has lived in Hastings since 2015, has three grown-up children and one grandchild and, prior to becoming a mum, was a professional violinist. A particularly salient point from her letter asks that, from now on, you are asked, please, to contact Carolyn direct instead of Robert if you are unable to attend. Her phone number is 07786 835181. If she can’t answer, please just leave a message and she’ll ring you back. It’s important each week for catering that they know who is and isn’t going to turn up!
Gardening Club: And Monday next is the Club’s AGM, at 2.30 pm in the village hall. The formal stuff is quickly dispensed with, to be followed by a social gathering which members bring and share. Many will take the opportunity of renewing their membership. Only a month now until the popular Garden Club hut re-opens for the new season.
The Royal British Legion: Don’t forget that the RBL local committee under the chairmanship of John Pulfer, meets on the first Tuesday of each month, and that’s Tuesday 7, next week. Meet at the Fairlight Lodge hotel at 11.445 am for 12 noon. John, on 814866, has more details if you would like them.
Speakers Corner: In January, the group featured the talk that was scheduled for October 26 last year, but was cancelled as the hall was closed. Despite personal difficulties, Ken Brooks gallantly replaced the booked speaker who has just had a heart operation. Ken’s talk was a history of the area of Hastings known as the America Ground, amply illustrated with old maps, paintings and drawings. The America Ground was inhabited by the itinerant workers who were employed to work on the various building projects and the harbour which had silted up. This was a very rough area and the annual Rock Fair held there was notorious. Somebody got hold of an American flag, as the to them the revolution meant freedom, they declared themselves independent. Eventually it was decided that as the land had originally been under the sea then it must be Crown land and it still is. In 1835 they had to leave the Ground and so they dismantled their houses and rebuilt them in St. Leonards. Ken finished his fascinating talk with pictures of then and now and the sad history of the Albert memorial.
The next Speakers Corner meeting will be on February 8 and again feature local history, this time in the capable hands of Edward Preston, whose talk is entitled ‘From Priory to Priory Meadow’. The talk starts in the village hall at 2.30 pm and visitors are very welcome for a mere £2.
Déjà vue perhaps?: There’s a Variety Night on the horizon, and it’ll be taking place on Saturday, February 25, in the village hall at 7.30 pm. On offer will be the talents of Jenny Annetts, Fishy, Hall and Blokes, Keith Jellicoe, Keith Miller, Panto Group, Jim Saphin, Bill Sapsford and the Village Voices. The tickets are £6 each, and include light refreshment. All profits will be going to support village organisations. There’s to be a bar, which will be open from 7 pm, with the curtain going up at 7.30 pm. The acts listed here, alphabetically, were correct at the time of going to press, but may be subject to change later on. If you need any more info, please have a word with Bob Scattergood, or email him at email@example.com It has to be said that the last such event, with a line up similar to this one given above was a packed sell-out of people laughing until they cried. So, what are you waiting for?
Hedging their bets: You may recall that, in reports back to the Parish Council before Christmas, Murray Davidson, Hastings BC Environmental boss, had agreed to plant a new native mixed species hedge on an area of the Firehills from which scrub had previously been removed.
The Borough Council has now announced that the Friends of Hastings Country Park will be having their first task morning of 2017 in February. This task will be led by Park Ranger Nick Hennessy and whoever turns up will be planting the hedge on the Fire Hills. This very worthwhile project is also fun, and the results can be enjoyed for years to come. All are welcome to join in – many hands, and all that! No previous experience is needed; tools and training will be supplied as well as refreshments. Participants are advised to wear old clothes and stout shoes.
The date and time for this event are Sunday, February 12, from 9 am to 1 pm, meeting up at the Visitor Centre.
Hastings will be advertising this more widely nearer the time. They will be fencing the new hedge after the event in order to protect it until it is established. Once established, they will remove the fence, which may take some time. That’s the hedge establishment, not the subsequent fence removal!
SGN writing: Southern Gas Networks have the hardly catchy slogan Your gas, Our network. For the branch that deals with Broadway, the slogan has become Your road, Our mess-up. Several locals have reported smelling gas where Broadway joins Waites Lane, and over a fortnight ago SGN opened up a man-hole, creating an inconvenient temporary roundabout right on the corner. For long periods, there has been no-one present attempting a trace and repair. My wife and I went shopping one day last week, and remarked on there being no work going on. But in Waites Lane we met an SGN van with driver coming to work. He was followed by another SGN van also with driver. Cost efficient? Finally, with little or nothing done, they worked in the road late last Friday evening whne Broadway was packed for the Panto. We were under the control of the dreaded three-way temporary lights on Friday, hugely busy for the panto again. This week, a newly dug hole has appeared. The leak is still there (where?), and gas is in the BT conduit. Why not revert to time-honoured means of disclosure? Anyone got a match?
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