Church matters: For this Sunday, April 2, the Fifth Sunday in Lent, there is Family Worship at
10.30 am at St Andrew’s. Then, at the British Summer Time time of 6 pm, there will be an Informal Communion service at St Peter’s.
MOPPs today and next Friday: Today, Friday, March 31, it’s exercise time with Keith Osbourne and his music. Also there today will be Nicola’s Age UK toenail cutting service, and there is also a star prize for the raffle. Lunch today consists of roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, followed by fruit meringue with Chantilly cream. Next Friday, April 7, Celia King will be along with some exercises, and then you can enjoy your reward of cottage pie followed by trifle.
The best laid plans: were set before more than fifty village residents on Tuesday at the meeting of the Parish Council Planning Committee, the main attraction being a discussion on the new Application for GemSelect to erect 16 dwellings on the Market Garden site. The Committee Chairman, Cllr Stephen Leadbetter, observed that the site had been on Rother’s radar for its building potential for some 11 years, and that the chance of there being no building on the site at all was remote. The new plans were better than those previously introduced to the village, which had no spare room in the highly cramped plan, but some nonsense was obvious, such as wheelie bin parks remote from the property they served, and tucked behind car parking areas, similarly remote. Visions of residents trekking blind with rubbish and recycling in howling wind and pouring rain towards someone’s brand new 4x4 would not inspire confidence that this was a well thought through, smart, 21st century place to live. Southern Water seem somewhat indeterminate about whether or not the sewage system could take the extra effluent – it seems to depend on whether the question is asked on an even or odd date, and whether the sun is shining or not… The Parish Council will have considered their own reply at their meeting on the Tuesday of this week but, in the meantime, villagers were recommended to contact Rother Planners to emphasise what they would like to see on the site – not lists of negative aspects. You have but few days remaining to make your comments. A fair proportion of those present expressed their views, many of them pithily subjective but with all melding into an overall dislike and disapproval for what was likely to be coming. When one thinks of recent single property builds in the village, how long each has taken and how many site worker’s vehicles clutter up the roads, and multiplying these by 16 in a tight corner, the very least we should require and expect must be that all workers’ and supply vehicles must be within the site perimeter at all times, and some means of policing this should be catered for.
The Tuesday Ladies Club: The members, along with a couple of fellows, enjoyed a very informative illustrated talk about the evolution of horses by Tony Smith from the Brownbread Horse charity at Ashburnham. Some 60 million years ago the first horses were no bigger than a domestic cat, with three toes – one of which still exists at the back of horses’ legs – but evolution soon made them bigger and stronger with the ability to stand and run as soon as they are born. In 2500 BC chariots came into use but there were no saddles or stirrups until around 650 AD when they were invented by the clever chinese. Tony takes part in many battle re-enactments, particularly those at Battle Abbey, and he finished his talk by showing the audience various bits and horseshoes plus knitted fake chain mail armour. Visitors are very welcome at the Brownbread charity home. The club’s next meeting will be on April 18 at the village hall and will be featuring Alison Vernon on her Highland Schooldays – the happiest days of her life. The meeting starts at 2.15 pm and, as usual, visitors will be very welcome for a mere £2 admission.
Speakers Corner: The last of the current series of winter talks at Speakers Corner featured the excellent Laton Frewen. Laton’s talk was about eight National Trust properties in the South East – all within striking distance of Fairlight. The properties featured were Batemans, circa 1634, the home of Rudyard Kipling; Bodiam, 1385, saved from developers by Mad Jack Fuller; Chartwell, rebuilt by Winston Churchill; Ightham Mote, 1360, saved by an American; Knole, gloriously saved because the Roundhead army could not find it!; Scotney Castle, 1378, and the more recent opening of the house; Sissinghurst, 1490, saved by Vita Sackville West and finally the one where Laton is most closely involved, Smallhythe Place, late 15th or early 16th century, saved by Ellen Terry. Laton’s talk featured unknown stories of events at these properties, mostly quite nasty but common for those times.
The Speakers Corner AGM and members’ tea will be held on April 12 in the village hall at 2.30 pm. After a well-earned break, a new series of talks will begin in October.
The Floral Club: It was with great regret that, at its 36th Annual General Meeting on Thursday, March 23, Fairlight Floral Club made the decision to close. The club has enjoyed a long and happy presence in the village, with many of its members having been with the club for 20 years or more. There have been very many memorable occasions during this time, with floral demonstrations that have shown the various changes in style and technique that have developed over the years, the several wonderful flower festivals in either the church or the village hall, and the very successful ‘Tea at the Ritz’ fund-raising event not so long ago, as well as so much more.
On a happier and very positive note, several members will be taking part in the forthcoming flower festival at St. Andrew’s from June 30 to July 2 and, with the members having formed so many long-standing friendships with each other, they will be continuing as an informal group, meeting occasionally to catch up over lunch or trips to open gardens and so on.
Players tickets: The tickets for Cranford, a play by Martyn Coleman, based on the works of Elizabeth Gaskell and directed by Judy Welsh, will go on sale at the Post Office this week. The ticket price remains unchanged at £6. There will be a licensed bar at each of the evening performances, which are at 7.30 pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday April 27, 28 and 29. There is also a 2.30 pm matinee on the Saturday. For those who live out of the village, Secretary Carol Ardley can take bookings over the phone, on 814178, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sad days: With sadness, we regret having to report the passing of two of our village stalwarts, Norman Dengate and Verona Wyatt. Further details will appear later.
Hysted to Pineridge: The south side of the road between these two properties receives more than its fair share of mentions, usually because the appalling surface in the gutter is threatening to encroach right across the Hastings-bound carriageway. Trying to avoid it places a driver in danger of a head-on collision, which can seem to be the lesser of two evils. The curate’s egg that is the Fairlight Road is partly disgusting and partly immaculate. The immaculate bits are those that have kerbstones fitted. Why not, instead of returning to this recalcitrant strip every other month or so with a refill, fit a kerbstone ‘one brick at a time’ and eventually effect a permanent cure?
Canem – cave!: And not just the dog, but his dominus (owner) as well. If you’re trekking up the slope from Fairlight Gardens to Waites Lane/Shepherds Way, beware of large German cars which sweep up the hill and turn left into what is little more than an alley-way without any indication or, more importantly, any slackening of speed. Unless they possess some magic gizmo to enable them to see round corners, they are soon going to take out some dogs and owners on their final walkies.
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