Sussex Historic Churches: Any rider or walker, who has a penchant for getting involved may like to join the Sussex Historic Churches Trust annual sponsored Ride and Stride Event in this area, on Saturday 9th. September between 9am-5pm. The idea is that you can start and finish at any church of your choice, visiting as many or few as you like within the area collecting money for a good cause. Other than by bicycle the only accepted alternative is on foot, wheelchair or horse! For the regular reader of this column the sponsor forms will be put in St Johns Church together with the village stores in Netherfield. Or if you prefer, in this age of the computer you can create sponsor forms on www.sussexhistoricchurchestrust.org.uk.
Sad news: I have to report the sudden death on August 5 of Netherfield Breakaway Club’s very popular and long standing members -Mrs Pat Akers. Our sympathies and condolences go to her husband of many years, Derek, who attended our meetings and has not been too well recently, and to the family. Pat will be very much missed, her cheerful and bubbly personality was always present. There will be a memorial service at the Emmanuel Centre, Battle, on Friday August 25 at 2.30pm.
Netherfield Village Hall & Recreation Ground: The village Hall is now open for business.
Netherfield Village Residents Association Annual Fete: On Saturday morning at 8.00 am sleepy-eyed people could be seen arriving at the Village Hall to begin the task of erecting gazebos, staking out the areas to be used for all the different activities and ferrying in the supplies to feed the multitudes expected at the fete. All we needed to make this a day of days was weather that would be kind, summery, just a very gentle breeze and dry, as a lot of the games and stalls were open to the elements. It is still the height of summer after all. So what did we get, a downpour, a gale and a lukewarm temperature which would have caused a polar bear to shiver.
One of the committee members brought along his 9m gazebo/tent/marquee (pick whichever word you are comfortable with) to house the tombola and raffle stalls, and to help shelter a few if it rained. However, it had to be tethered with guy ropes to stop it joining Easyjet on a flight to Majorca, the wind was so high at times. Oh well, you can’t win them all. At least we had the warm hearts of the volunteers who were there to give their time and energy to make this a success.
Tape was put around the cricket square in the middle of the recreation ground to facilitate the dog show. There was every shape and size of man’s best friend, parading, preening and generally looking groomed as they waited with their owners, who looked remarkably similar, for the show to begin. The bar and barbecue areas were located by the pavilion and readied for the expected onslaught, wanting a beer and burger or a wine and sausage roll. Nearby, close to the sink, the tea house and cake stall was positioned for those who wanted something warming and sweet, a bit like the writer of this column.
As it was all laid out, ready for the off, with bunting to the fore, it looked like we were in for our own “eclipse”, beating America by a couple of days as everything went dark. Unfortunately for us it was the British weather letting us know it was still about, with rain, rain and more rain. It passed very quickly though as it journeyed on its way to upset other community fairs and fetes across the country. I mean why concentrate the pain when you can get everybody in one fell swoop.
By 2 o’clock people started arriving. Stalls were opened, wellies could be seen sailing through the air and shouts of “what a goal” could be heard across the grounds as customers showed that Wayne Rooney is not the only game in town. There were some good prizes on offer too. A “pound in a bucket” got you a ticket to win half the contents, if your lucky number was drawn at the end of the afternoon. Sixty people gave it a go and Kelly, a local resident scooped £30 for her investment. “Spin the bottle” was also a hit, where you put 8 bottles on a numbered board, including bottles of wine gave each of 8 people a ticket and the spinner was activated to determine received the prize that matched their number. Every spin gave a winner but sometimes it was just some “pop”. You win some you lose some.
Children could be seen enjoying themselves wherever you looked and were visited by two cartoon characters as the day progressed. There was “Marshall” from “Paw Patrol” and “Poppy the Troll” from “Trolls”. As they walked around the grounds they were “high-fiving” with the kids and showing that Walt Disney hasn’t got the monopoly on children’s entertainment.
One of the stalwarts of the village, Ron White, who sadly is no longer with us, was also the inspiration behind the Tug of War competition that was hotly contested by all those who wanted to grab a lump of rope in their hands as an alternative to watching the box. Pulling, heaving, slipping and sweating are all parts of the experience of getting the other team’s bodies in your part of the park. The winners are now immortalised on the “Ron White Shield” and in this inaugural year they are Richie, John, Stuart and Jim. Congratulations lads.
Raffle prizes were available in abundance, donated by many people and organisations, including pubs, restaurants, shops and individuals. I apologise that space in this column does not allow me to name them all in person. However, the Residents Association would just like to give a warm vote of thanks to our sponsors for their generosity in making our fete such a success. They were Optivo for the “Bouncy Slide”, which gave the kids a real long drop to the ground, the Park Lane Group for £500, Ben Smith for his donation of £200 and The Naked Tiler for £50.
In the evening the fun continued. After the park was cleared of the stalls and games, bales of hay were positioned in front of the Village Hall as seats in order that they could be comfortable for listening to a disco and live music. Not both at the same time I hasten to add. There was the obligatory bar and barbecue for those whose thirst was not quenched through the day or who had not had their fill of beef and onions.
The disco was provided by Colin and Amy who made sure that the party went with a swing. All your regular toe-tapping favourites were played which inspired some members of the audience to put on their dancing shoes and embarrass everybody by trying to get down on it. It was all the more remarkable in that Colin is to go into hospital for an eight hour operation on Tuesday. We wish him all the best and would like thank him for his great contribution to the evening.
Finally the band. A five piece ensemble, some who have been together thirty years, and some who are fugitives from the highlands. They played rock, pop and reggae, delighting the crowd until 11 o’clock at night with their expertise on guitar, organ and drums. Could it get any better? I think not. See you next year.
Netherfield Breakaway Club: On Thursday July 20 our summer lunch was held at the Conquerors March on the Ridge, Hastings. Members and guests agreed that a very enjoyable social occasion with an excellent meal had taken place in very pleasant surroundings. There being no meeting in August, the club will resume in September on Thursday 21 at The Emmanuel Centre, Harrier Lane, Battle. Our speaker will be Ray Shayler and his subject is the treasures of Scotney Castle.
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