DCSIMG

Village Voices - December 10, 2010

News from around the villages.

HURST GREEN

• The snow cancelled almost everything everywhere but our local Etchingham Stores remained steadfastly open, providing essential supplies to the snowed-in.

Recently, a comment was made regarding the Stores, ‘Remember the snow’ of last year . We would do well to bear this in mind - even when the sun shines!

Patronise the store as often as you can. Reverse credit is available and deliveries are offered. Home-baked bread together with a wide array of goods are on hand. Open every day including Sunday mornings. Keep it open.

• The other event not cancelled, although your correspondent thought it was and therefore missed out, was a drinks evening on Friday organised by the council. It was attended by over 20 who braved the weather. Reports are it was most enjoyable with food in plenty.

• Patrons of Orchard Farm Shop have been pleasantly surprised to see the use of imperial measures is now replacing metric as the prominent display pricing. A pat on the back from satisfied customers to our local farm shop on the A21 and it does sell the most delicious pies!

• Apologies to anyone who turned up at the church on Sunday as the service had to be cancelled as the visiting Minister was trapped in the snow. Weather permitting the service will be a usual this week at 9.30am all welcome.

• Weekly regulars: Carousel Angels meet the last Monday in the month for lunch and afternoon social gathering. Ring Mrian on 860 771 for more details.

Parish Council meets on the last Tuesday on the month 7.30pm - all welcome to attend.

Chiropody clinic, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. Jeremy Harris 01797 230251 mobile 0799991 7948

Aerobics Class: Tuesday, 8pm-9pm; Martial Arts, Wednesday (Juniors) 6pm-7pm (Seniors) 7pm-8pm; Jumping Beans, Tuesday, 1.30pm-2.30pm; Trefoil Guild, 01580 819 330; Maestro Babies (early musician learning) 01580 880 135; mobile library calls on Friday at the Village Hall, 2.25pm-3.15 pm; Jempson’s Peasmarsh bus picks up at The George on Tuesday at 1.25pm

• There is a scheme for the elderly of disabled which offers help to council tenants in home or garden. For details and conditions ring 0845871 321

• Items for this column please to 860 340 or flora@jennerations.com.

Flora Jenner, Max Gate, Burgh Hill

NETHERFIELD

• The snow cancelled almost everything everywhere but our local Etchingham Stores remained steadfastly open, providing essential supplies to the snowed-in.

Recently, a comment was made regarding the Stores, ‘Remember the snow’ of last year . We would do well to bear this in mind - even when the sun shines!

Patronise the store as often as you can. Reverse credit is available and deliveries are offered. Home-baked bread together with a wide array of goods are on hand. Open every day including Sunday mornings. Keep it open.

• The other event not cancelled, although your correspondent thought it was and therefore missed out, was a drinks evening on Friday organised by the council. It was attended by over 20 who braved the weather. Reports are it was most enjoyable with food in plenty.

• Patrons of Orchard Farm Shop have been pleasantly surprised to see the use of imperial measures is now replacing metric as the prominent display pricing. A pat on the back from satisfied customers to our local farm shop on the A21 and it does sell the most delicious pies!

• Apologies to anyone who turned up at the church on Sunday as the service had to be cancelled as the visiting Minister was trapped in the snow. Weather permitting the service will be a usual this week at 9.30am all welcome.

• Weekly regulars: Carousel Angels meet the last Monday in the month for lunch and afternoon social gathering. Ring Mrian on 860 771 for more details.

Parish Council meets on the last Tuesday on the month 7.30pm - all welcome to attend.

Chiropody clinic, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. Jeremy Harris 01797 230251 mobile 0799991 7948

Aerobics Class: Tuesday, 8pm-9pm; Martial Arts, Wednesday (Juniors) 6pm-7pm (Seniors) 7pm-8pm; Jumping Beans, Tuesday, 1.30pm-2.30pm; Trefoil Guild, 01580 819 330; Maestro Babies (early musician learning) 01580 880 135; mobile library calls on Friday at the Village Hall, 2.25pm-3.15 pm; Jempson’s Peasmarsh bus picks up at The George on Tuesday at 1.25pm

• There is a scheme for the elderly of disabled which offers help to council tenants in home or garden. For details and conditions ring 0845871 321

• Items for this column please to 860 340 or flora@jennerations.com.

Flora Jenner, Max Gate, Burgh Hill

CATSFIELD

• Last week was a week of cancellations and postponements, as the snow fell and the world got whiter and whiter.

Very beautiful if you were warm and rosy cheeked and sure footed, not so good if you had a journey to make or an event to organise.

• Our WI Christmas party was one of the casualties, due to take place last Thursday, when the snow was already a foot deep.

Fortunately we are able to postpone it to Thursday, December 16, at 2pm in the Village Hall.

We shall be more than ready for our homemade Christmas entertainment and Christmas tea, with the added excitement of presents from the Bran tub.

Let’s hope lots of members have made their homemade Christmas cards for the competition.

• Our Extend Exercises and Lunch Club were cancelled last Friday. This Friday we shall hold our last Extend Exercise class of 2010. I do hope everyone will come and have a good work out before the rigours of festive eating and drinking!

• The 55 Lunch club meets at noon for 12.30pm, as usual, fingers crossed.

• Mike Cooper sends this message to everyone who was disappointed when CADs wisely postponed the pantomime, due to take place on Thurday, Friday and Saturday. We shall have something very special to look forward to in January.

“Many apologies to our loyal supporters for the unavoidable postponement of ‘The Lost Land of Narkurs’. However we have managed with the kind co-operation of other hall users to book the hall for the following dates:

Thursday, January 20, 7.30pm; Friday January 21, 7.30pm; Saturday, January 22, 2.30pm & 7.30pm. At present we have transferred all booked tickets to the new dates.

At the time of writing we still have seats available on Thursday and the Saturday Matinée and just six for Friday.

However if you need to change, cancel or increase your booking please do not hesitate to contact Mike Cooper on 01424 892681

• This Sunday the Parish Communion is at the usual time, 9.15am at St Laurence Church.

PATRICIA SPEEDY, Longstone, Powdermill Lane

ICKLESHAM

• This evening The Icklesham Trusts Committee holds its annual general meeting in the Memorial Hall, 7.30pm. All are welcome to hear how this registered charity is progressing. There is a reception at 7pm with refreshments. The Trusts run the Hall and the Pavilion. More details from secretary Debbie McLean on 01424 812358.

• The Feel Good Live Music at the ‘Queen’s Head’ on Sunday 4pm-6pm is described as ‘Rabbit Rabbit’ performed by Crooked Style.

• Rother Views should have been delivered to all households in Icklesham. It’s a newsletter all about recycling with lots of useful information. Unfortunately some ignore it. So two vital facts about our collections. Starting the week of January 10, 2011, cardboard will be collected for the first time - anything from cereal packets to bulky appliance packaging. It has to be flat, clean and without any other packaging material such as polystyrene foam or plastic. Put the cardboard in with the garden waste in the green wheelie bin.

Over the Christmas and New Year holidays collections on the usual day. However there is one sensible change.During the weeks starting December 27 and January 3 no garden waste will be collected and on garden waste days the black wheelie bin will be collected.

For most of Icklesham this will be just after Christmas on Tuesday, December 28.

• Harvest Festival seems a long time agoand much of what was donated at our church was sent to the Seaview Project well-being centre in St. Leonards. Mike Cornish, service manager of the Project, has published a letter of thanks in The Parish Magazine. This is on behalf of everyone who uses the services and in the bleak mid winter the tinned and dried foods donated are vital in their emergency food store

• The Vicar of Icklesham, the Rev Howard Cocks, tajkes this Sunday’s Service which is a Parish Eucharist starting at 10.30am.

• The first Christmas service is on Thursday, December 16, when Icklesham Primary School has its Carol Service in the Parish Church at 1.30pm.

• On Saturday, December 18, there’s a thank you for all who supported the very popular Church Markets.You are invited to the church, 10am-noon, formulled wine, coffee and minced pies. Yvonne will play carols and let’s hope you’ll join in and sing (not compulsory though). Your support has really been appreciated. A magnificent £2839.45 was raised this year and this includes a most generous gift from an anonymous donor who agreed to match whatever was raised at the final market.

• On Sunday, December 19, at 10.30am there is Parish Eucharist The Vicar, the Rev Howard Cocks, is conducting the service. At 4pm the traditional Service of Nine Lessons and Carols takes place.

• Mrs Christine Wheeler has replaced Mrs Marion Ferryman as one of our two churchwardens. Marion had the duties for nearly 12 years and everyone is very grateful for all her devoted and outstanding service to the church and its community.

LAURIE BOWMAN

Magpies, Oast House Field

NORTHIAM

• Unfortunately we had to cancel a few meetings last week, thanks to the snow, but we are all back in harness now, starting with Frewen College which has its Christmas Service at 11am at St Mary’s Church today - all welcome.

• The dog training class runs in the Village Hall at 12.30pm today (Friday) and the badminton clubs meet in the Pretious Sports Hall at 5.30pm (Primary school-age), 6.30pm (Secondary school age) and 8pm (Adults).

• The Horticultural Society holds its annual meeting and Christmas Social in the Village Hall at 7.30pm. The business side is dispatched quite speedily, leaving plenty of time for fun. If you are interested in joining callJoan Davis (253458), or have a word at the meetings.

An exciting year is in the pipeline, with some changes to the established routine, when we will have an afternoon lecture and our very own ‘Gardeners Question Time’ with a panel of very knowledgeable people!

The Plant Sale will undergo a revamp while the Summer Show will be held in the Great Hall at Great Dixter with Dixter students on hand to assist people down the path with their entries. So, with all that to do, let’s hope the committee is in fine fettle for the year!

• Northiam Primary School invites you to its Christmas Fair tomorrow (Saturday), 11am- 2pm. There will a lots of stalls including jewellery, cards, gifts, face-painting and a chocolate tombola! On the catering front they are offering mulled wine and turkey and stuffing rolls. Sounds good.

• Enjoy festive games, late-night shopping and meeting Father Christmas at Bodiam Castle over the next two weekends, with the castle staying open to 6.30pm (last entry 6pm) to give visitors the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful castle ruins at dusk. As the winter sun sets, a romantic atmosphere descends on the castle when visitors can enjoy a peaceful stroll around the grounds and breathtaking views from the top of the towers.

After nightfall the castle is floodlit and visitors have the chance to enjoy a little Christmas shopping in the gift shop which is open until 7pm. Children will also have the opportunity to meet Father Christmas, who will be staying late in his medieval grotto. Tucked away at the heart of the castle, the unique grotto will be beautifully decorated with traditional decorations and soft sparkling lights to create a magical atmosphere for visitors.

Advance booking online at www.bodiamevents.co.uk or 01580 830196 to avoid disappointment. Cost: £7.50 per child (includes castle entry) or £3 for infants under 18 months.

• Northiam Village Hall Trust will be holding their monthly Boot Sale on Sunday from 9am to noon.

• On Monday, Yoga, Shortmat Bowls and Pilates clubs meet in the Village Hall, with Badminton Club in the Pretious Sports Hall at 5.45pm.

• On Tuesday, Toddlers meet in the Pretious Sports Hall between 9.15am and 11.15am. Women’s’ Fellowship meet in the Church Centre at 2pm for their Christmas Celebrations, including the world premiere of the new drama “How do they do That?”. New faces and visitors very welcome.

• Dance sessions run in the Pretious Sports Hall at 5.30pm (6-12years) and 6.30pm (13-18years) call Charmaine Masters 07816 417538 for more details. Line Dancing is in the Crown and Thistle Hall at 7pm, with Keep Fit in the Pretious Sports Hall at 7.45pm.

• This week’s meeting of the Historical and Literary Society takes the form of a light-hearted Christmas event entitled ‘A Romp with the Bard’ by Peter Mould and Company, accompanied by mulled wine and seasonal refreshments. This jolly evening starts at 7.30pm on Tuesday in the Village Hall, and members will be asked to contribute £1 (visitors £2) towards the cost.

• Coffee Stop opens in the Church Centre each Wednesday between 10am and noon. Over in the Village Hall, Wednesday starts with Pilates at 9am and 10am, then there will be Shortmat Bowls at 2pm and Karate Club from 7pm. Gymnastics runs in the Pretious Sports Hall from 6.15pm.

• A circular walk from Salehurst Church leaves at 10am on Wednesday led by Sunny Fathers (East Sussex County Council), costing £5. The walk around country lanes and footpaths ends at ‘Feathers Wild Bird Care’ for advice on feeding birds and species around the local area. There will be a chance to make a simple bird feeder to taiken home (included in the pice) and to stock up on quality bird feed at the shop. Pre-booking essential – 01580 880820.

• On Wednesday evening, St Mary’s Church hosts ‘The Inn Crowd’ a Christian musical (I suspect we can guess the topic!) with Rye Churches Together. The performance starts at 7pm.

• On Thursday, Northiam Primary School will be giving a performance of Oliver! in the Village Hall at 2pm and 6pm, and bringing the term to an end with a service of nine lessons and carols in St Mary’s Church at 9.30am on Friday.

All three Christmas events are open to all.

• Please note that the Produce Market will be earlier this month so you can stock up before Christmas – Friday, December 17, in the Vi9llage Hall, 9am-noon.

• Bridge players are wanted for the new Chicago Bridge Club which will start on Monday, January 10, in the Jenkins Room at Northiam Village Hall, 2-5pm. The annual subscription will be £10, and session fees will be £2 per afternoon. Refreshments will be provided. Please contact Judith O’Connor (252114) or Eve Willard (253431) to sign up, or e-mail nfbc@sky.com

n Don’t forget to stock up on reading matter for the Christmas break. Northiam Library will be closed on December 25th and January 1st, but open on Thursday, December 30. Thanks to the volunteers who man this wonderful facility in the village, and, of course, to those who use it and keep it alive.

• Services (12th): 8am Holy Communion, 10.30 Holy Communion

KAREN AYLING, The White House, Dixter Road

STAPLECROSS

• The snow was beautiful to start with but what a lot there was, resulting in cancellations of many get-togethers during the week. One of the victims was the Staplecross and Ewhurst Bonfire Society carol service last Saturday, as well as Pilates.

• Tonight (Friday) it is the Christmas Party for Ewhurst, Staplecross and Bodiam Garden Society starting at 7pm in the village hall. This is also a great fun evening with food and quizzes. Non-members are welcome to attend for a small fee. It is also “pay up time” for members to subscribe the £6 per person for next year.

• Also this evening Councillor Tony Ganly on behalf of the Ewhurst, Staplecross and Sedlescombe branch of the Conservative party will be hosting a Festive Fizz and Canapes between 8pm and 9pm at Morgay House, Junction Road, Cripps Corner. It’s £10 per person; further enquiries, or book a ticket, from patchampagne@bbmax.co.uk or telephone 01580-830764.

• The next Coffee Morning in the Church Room (behind St Mark’s) takes place tomorrow (Saturday) between 10am and noon and the organisers welcome all those who wish to drop in for refreshments and see what bargains the stalls have, as well as meeting old friends and new.

It is hoped there will be a stall for the birds, feathered variety that is, with seeds and goodies that are so necessary in our gardens to keep the birds alive during this arctic weather.

• Next Wednesday (December 15) there is the monthly meeting of the Luncheon Club at Staplecross village hall - a festive lunch.

• District councillor Tony Ganly says that after many months the waste and recycling team at Rother has reached agreement with Verdant and the County Council on the collection of cardboard.

Councillor Ganly says: “This has been a goal of the council for some time and we have managed to resolve it – at no extra cost to the taxpayer. From January 10 next year cardboard can be disposed of in the green bins for composting recycling. As the cabinet member with responsibility for waste and recycling, I am delighted that a solution has now been found.

“Ideally, I would have preferred that cardboard be taken to the bring centres at Staplecross village hall, as well as being part of the roadside collections.

“Pilot schemes, however, showed that bins were filled within 24 hours – mostly with commercial card from businesses. The pilot schemes had to be withdrawn as the proved to be unviable and caused huge problems.”

Rother District Council is also joining forces with Wealden, Eastbourne, Hastings and the County Council in a project aimed at establishing a joint contract for the collection of waste in the four areas.

Tony Leonard, Director of Services at Rother, has agreed to lead this long-term and difficult project that presents many hurdles to overcome. The aim is for a joint waste collection contract to be in place from 2013 onwards.

A second contract period could then examine ways in which further savings could be delivered, for example, by rationalising service provision.

Other items of interest: Councillor Ganly has revealed a 40-acre organic apple growing business straddling the parishes of Ewhurst and Sedlescombe, under threat of closure due to repeated vandalism and theft, has been saved.

He said: “After a great deal of work over the summer in preparing a business plan and a planning application with the help of 1066 Enterprise we were able to obtain planning permission for a caravan on site.

“This allowed the owners to maintain a constant presence on site and to put in place a plan to renovate the packing station and expand into the marketing of fresh local fruit and vegetable baskets, with the possibility of creating local employment.”

Affordable homes in Staplecross: “One of the most difficult problems facing residents of rural areas like ours is the lack of affordable homes. It is particularly difficult for our young people to find suitable accommodation here where houses prices are higher, and incomes lower, than the national average.

“If our young people cannot find somewhere to live in our villages, they will be forced to move out and our villages will die.

“It is, therefore, very encouraging that after several meetings over the summer we have been able to secure agreement in principle to purchase half a hectare of land for the construction of eight affordable homes. One of the conditions imposed on these homes would be that priority would be given to local people. There are still several hurdles to overcome, not least that of financing.

“We all know of the spending cuts necessary because of the huge deficit inherited by the Coalition Government. Investment in housing will be reduced. Nevertheless, I remain optimistic that we can succeed in this project, with the support of Ewhurst parish residents who will be invited to give their views at a public meeting early in the New Year.”

New Sports Pavilion in Ewhurst Green: “The project aimed at building a new sports pavilion on Herdman playing field is making good progress. The volunteers handling this project, after obtaining a second architect’s quotation, hope to make their report to the Ewhurst Parish Council sub-committee soon after Christmas.”

Bexhill-Hastings Link Road: “Since the publication of the Comprehensive Spending Review progress on the Link Road has been deferred. The project has been placed in a ‘development pool’ in competition with 21 others. A decision is to be made before the end of 2011.”

Refuse collections in inclement weather: “The contingency plan to pick up missed collections, where road conditions prevented the refuse/recycling vehicles from operating, is to suspend green waste collections in order to prioritise the collection of residual waste (black bin and bags). Green waste collections will be restored as soon as the backlog of missed collections is cleared.”

Many thanks to Tony Ganly for all the information he is sharing through Village Voice.

• There are Carols round the tree on the Green at Ewhurst on Friday December 17 at 6pm. This is always a joyous occasion and there will be mulled wine and mince pies on offer.

MARY REEVE, Wodens Wood, Cripps Corner

ROBERTSBRIDGE

• We must start with a big thanks to those folks from Darvell that came out last week and cleared and gritted the paths in the High Street of snow to enable people to get about and attend the Christmas Capers.

Thanks also to those who braved the weather to support the traders and this community event on such a very cold night. Despite this there was a good time had by all.

• Tomorrow (Saturday) there is an evening of Carol Singing and celebrating the Christmas season at Darvell at 6.30pm. Take your family and friends to the lovely event - you will as always be made very welcome.

• Wednesday, December 15, brings the next Tea Dance Party at Robertsbridge Club, 2pm-4.30pm. Dancing to the sounds of DJ Lumpy this month will have a Christmas theme and maybe a mince pie or two with the afternoon refreshments. This costs £3.50 - to include dancing, music, tea, cakes and the raffle and lots of chat with friends.

• On Wednesday, December 15, and Thursday, December 16, the Salehurst Halt is offering an alternative to the usual Christmas lunch and dinner with a traditional Finnish Christmas. You are invited to make up your own party or make up the numbers on either day but booking is essential as numbers are limited. Please ring 880620 for availability.

The Salehurst Halt also supported ‘Movember’ again this year with more than 20 regulars growing some fantastic looking moustaches throughout the month of November.

This event was raising funds for the Movember Prostate Cancer Charity and through sponsorship and donations on the night a brilliant sum of more than £800 was raised. Judges had the job of testing for style, suitability and kissability.

• Thursday, December 16, is the next Whist Drive at Robertsbridge Hall, starting 7pm. This is a fun evening - everyone welcome. If the weather is not good ring either 01580882204 or 01580 880457 to check if it is still on.

• Robertsbridge Hall has again been victim to vandals during the week November 22. The outside lighting sensors were broken which cost a lot of money to repair. It also makes it dangerous for people leaving the hall at night. This is a very important resource in our village so if you know who did this or have a suspicion ring 880457 or 882204 or ring the police.

• Apologies that the Saturday market had to be cancelled on December 4 but the weather was very treacherous and it was safer for everyone involved to cancel. There is to be no market in January so the date of the next one will be well into the New Year on February 5, 2011.

• A quick reminder about the Bonfire Society Christmas draw tickets, they are available from members or from the Floral Boutique.

• Only two weeks to go now until Christmas, please remember to use our village shops. We still have a variety of them from outdoor wear to hardware, pushbikes to festive foods, fragrant gifts, flowers, jewellery, calendars (village ones from Belle Flowers, Armed Buns from the George), candles and prints from originals by local artists, farm shops with Christmas goodies and hampers, butchers but no bakers or candlestick makers unless you know otherwise. But still a nice variety so please support so we don’t lose any of them.

• Robertsbridge Club, ladies darts: We played at The Royal Oak in the 1st Round 2nd Leg of the Team Knockout Cup taking a narrow 6-5 lead. We were losing 3-2 after the single games with wins for Jackie Danaher and Eileen Morgan but with Dawn Mitchell/Eileen our only doubles victors we were losing 10-9 on aggregate which meant we needed at least two of the trebles games. We started well with victory for Carol Apps/Dawn/Sam Clemens but we lost the last two to lose the match 7-4 and 12-10 on aggregate. There were high scores from Carol (2 x 100), Jackie (94 out shot), Dawn (93,92) and Eileen (90). On Mondaywe are at home to The White Hart II(Wadhurst).

DARTS : The weather prevented the Mens Pairs K.O. going ahead last week. There is no game tonight.

FOOTBALL: The weather saw all matches postponed last week. Tomorrow the 1st team are away to Hooe Sports while the 2nd team are away to Hawkhurst United II both matches 2pm. Tomorrow we are holding a Poker Night at Robertsbridge Club at 7.30pm.

Sandie Madge, Sue Paine, The Floral Boutique, 20 High Street

UDIMORE

• INEVITABLY last Wednesday night’s heavy snowfall caused the postponement of several events advertised in this column last week.

Cherry Merricks tells me that she hopes to find another date in the New Year for the young people’s disco party.

The Bromley Youth Orchestra concert in Rye church will be harder to rearrange, but the performers are very keen to come sometime in 2011 if they possibly can.

Brenda Hartill’s open studio carried on last weekend as planned, but will be repeated this weekend (Saturday and Sunday, 10am until 4pm)) for the benefit of any of you whom last weekend’s bad weather kept at home.

• This evening (Friday) all Udimore resident are invited to a special meeting at 7pm in St Mary’s Community Hall.

Dr Barry Yates, manager of Rye Harbour nature reserve, will be there to give us advice on ways in which our individual interests, however large or small, can contribute to a wider understanding of our environment.

• On Tuesday morning December 14 there will be a fair trade stall in the hall from 10am from noon.

• Carols will be sung at 8pm in The Plough Inn on Wednesday December 15, and the service of Nine Lessons and Carols in St Mary’s Church, at 6pm on Sunday December 19.

RICHARD HOLMES, Beauchamps

PETT

• Tuesday night is Quiz Night at the Two Sawyers in Pett but Tuesday, November 30, was a little different as it was the night the landlord Jason Fleischer publicly shaved of a moustache he had grown for 30 days. Jason was participating in Movember 2010, where men grow a moustache for the whole of November and in the process raise money for The Prostate Cancer Charity. In Jason’s case he raised a total of £317 for this deserving charity.

• The snow when it arrived certainly had an impact on Pett and Pett Level and although the village coffee morning went ahead on December 1 with a good number attending despite the snow, the members of Flicks were not so lucky. Given the amount of snow that fell overnight, on Thursday morning the Flicks team took the hard decision to cancel the showing of It’s Complicated. The film will now be shown on January 6 - and so Flicks members do not lose out, there will be mulled wine and mince pies!

• Another effect of the snow was that neighbourliness came to the fore in the community. People volunteered to walk dogs when their owners could not face the treacherous roads, those with 4x4’s gave neighbours lifts to work and there were plenty of offers of shopping. It’s good to know that community spirit is alive and well in Pett and Pett Level.

• Church Services on Sunday, December 12, Toy Service - joint worship with the Methodists at St Mary & St Peter, Pett, at 9.30am.

• The mobile library will be in Pett and Pett Level on Wednesday, December 15. It will start at the church at 10.20am, moving on to Chick Hill at 11.10am and finishing at The Smuggler at 11.45am.

• Pett Level Naturalist Society will meet on Friday, December 17, in Pett Village Hall at 7.30pm.

Once in each season the Society has a lecture on history rather than natural history and the speaker on that night will be Bryan Purdy, who will be talking about ‘Hastings First Theatre’. There may also be the opportunity to buy last-minute Christmas cards from Lynn Jenkins at the RSPB sales table. Visitors are welcome at £2 each.

• On December 20 there will be the annual Carol Singing in Pett. Once again, led by John Taylor, singers will meet in St Mary and St Peter’s Church, Pett Road, at 6.45pm. Wearing their warmest clothes and carrying torches, they will leave the church at 7pm sharp and proceed to sing their way along Pett Road, Rectory Park, The Glebe and The Oakfield before enjoying refreshments at the Roundels, thanks to the kind generosity of Pat and Trevor Hindson. Villagers are asked to give generously and every penny will go to the local Surviving Christmas group to help some of those less fortunate than ourselves. Last year more than £100 was raised.

Anyone can join as it is always a good evening and with more voices the better the sound carries. Also if any youngsters wish to join in and their parents cannot collect them, the group will make sure they get home safely.

Mary Saint, Pett Road

PLAYDEN

• Beautiful though it was, the snow caused certain difficulties, particularly in the rural areas. It is at times like this the kindness of friends and neighbours is very much appreciated. Somehow adversity brings out the best in a lot of people. I for one had cause to be very grateful.

• I think that there is an old saying that when a little snow lies in the nooks and crannies, it needs some more to fetch it away. And there is some in my garden still.

• The snow brought about the closure of the school and cancellation of the Parish Council meeting. The council will next meet on January 6, 2011.

Fortunately the school Christmas Fair went jubilantly ahead before the weather did its worst, was extremely successful and raised a great deal of money for the school.

• The mobile library will be at Poppyfield on Monday from 11.30am to 11.50am.

• Playden W.I. will meet on Monday, December 13, at 2.15pm. That intrepid globetrotter, Mrs. Jane Horne will speak about ‘Travel in Ethiopia’. The competition is Something White. Snow?!

• Rye and District Camera Club will meet later on December 13, at 7.30pm, for a Christmas Social with St. Mary’s Bay.

• Would you like to be part of a group singing Carols around the Playden Church area? On Wednesday, December 22, singers will meet at the church gate at 6pm and will be collecting for Charity Surviving Christmas.

Now-a-days the television is often on in the evenings and this lovely activity sometimes goes unheard.

So if you are in the vicinity, please listen out for the carol singers. Anyone is welcome to join in.

• The Rye and District Association of the National Trust offers you a chance to hear the incomparable Geoff Hutchinson talk about ‘What is Christmas?’ This seasonal presentation promises to be a hilarious afternoon with Geoff at his best.

The cost is £6.50 including a spot of Christmas spirit with savouries, mince pies and mulled wine.

If you would like to join in, please call Ros Adkins on 01797 253 763. The venue for this occasion will be Playden W.I.Hall at 2.30pm on Friday, December 17.

• The RSPB Nature Reserve at Dungeness has a Bittern Safari tomorrow (Saturday), from 11am to 1pm.

A handful of bitterns usually spend the winter at Dungeness.

They are so well camouflaged that they are very difficult to see. The experts will know where to look, so go along to find them. Booking is essential on 01797 320 588.

• The 11am service for the 3rd Sunday in Advent will be Parish Communion.

MARION LOVELL, Abingworth, New England Lane

IDEN

• The Iden and District Natural History Society will be meeting tonight, Friday, in Iden Village Hall at 7.30pm.

Unfortunately Ian Rumley-Dawson is unable to come, and so Mr. Colin Page will show slides of The Wild Shore - the North East Coast from Norfolk to Northumberland.

• The Iden Calendar is available at Iden Stores or at Country Hare for a modest £6.

There are some wonderful photographs of Iden scenes taken by Rod Stuart, some of which have been shown on Meridian television.

All profits from the sales will go towards the restoration of Iden Church.

• Iden Stores were literally a life-line during the snowy weather and having a local shop is much appreciated.

But, it is not here just for times like that. ‘Use it or lose it’ is a phrase we have heard before, but it is so true.

• The next meeting of Iden Parish Council will be on Tuesday, December 7, in the Village Hall at 7.30pm.

• Iden Women’s Institute will hold a Christmas meeting on Tuesday, December 14, at 7.30 pm.

• Village organisations are reminded that applications for grants from this year’s Fete must be sent to Richard Curd at Blackthorn Oast in Grove Lane by December 31.

• During the coming week, Playden School will be presenting the school Nativity on Tuesday, December 14, and Thursday, December 16, both starting at 2pm. NB not consecutive days this year.

• The 9.30am service for the third Sunday in Advent will be Parish Communion.

MARION LOVELL, Abingworth, New England Lane, Playden

NINFIELD

• Much fun was had by children (and some adults) with last week’s snowfall. It is always surprising how many people you catch up with when walking about! However, due to the weather last week, a number of events were postponed:

St Mary’s Church Christmas Craft Fayre, scheduled for December 4, will now be on December 19 at St Marys Church during the afternoon prior to the Carols and Christingle Service.

The Catsfield Amateur Dramatic Society (CATS) Pantomine ‘The Lost Land of Narkurs’, has also been postponed to January 20, 21 and 22. This will still be at the Catsfield Village Hall, 7.30pm (2.30pm Saturday matinee). If you brought tickets, they will be carried over. For queries call Nora Philcox on 01424 892552.

Ninfield School’s Christmas Fair with the ice skating was unable to take place due to the snow, despite a Winter Wonderland being the theme! The ice skating will be re-arranged for the new year, a date to be confirmed. Tickets for the skating will carry over to the new date (same time slots). Should you require a refund, contact the school on 01424 892486.

• The 1st Ninfield Scout Group’s annual meeting was held at the Methodist Hall. District representatives for Senlac, along with the Leaders, parents and interested parties ensured the event was very well attended.

The successes of all sections of Ninfield and their satellite Cub pack in Crowhurst were reported. Beaver Scout Leader, Sandra Creasey reported numbers are now up to a maximum 18 with an ever-growing waiting list.

Numerous badges have been awarded including nine Beavers achieving their Bronze Award - the highest level attainable in the section.

A very successful first-ever Beaver sleepover was held earlier this year at Crowhurst Village Hall and great fun was had by all. We have also taken part in St. George’s Day parade, Group Harvest Festival, Remembrance Day parade and Ninfield Carnival.

Adam Shoesmith, Cub Scout Leader, reported that currently they have 24 Cubs, 321 badges have been awarded this year of which nine were the Chief Scout Silver Award.

Several camps have taken place this year including Broadstone Warren where activities such as climbing, abseiling, potholing, water challenges, wide games, a map-reading hike and campfires were all very successful and great fun!

We have a very strong Leadership team with Jane Shoesmith and Sandra Creasey both receiving their Wood Badge accreditation and their camping permits earlier this year.

The Scout section reported numbers have increased and several camps were completed successfully with a winter camp at Gillwell planned for early next year.

Earlier this year all sections were involved in raising £1,301.39 for the disaster relief charity Shelter Box; this involved a sponsored overnight camp in various structures designed and constructed from cardboard!

A new section has been opened: an Explorer Section for 14 to 18 year olds will meet on Thursdays, 7pm-9pm at the Methodist Hall.

A presentation was made to Mr Doug Trott who is retiring from the group after 18 years of active service in many sections; the last four years being chairman of the Executive Committee. Doug was thanked by the whole group for his contributions and valuable time.

The Ninfield Scout Group is a very strong team of dedicated local Leaders. Valuable time is always given to provide a fun, active and balanced programme ensuring all vital badge-work and essential scouting skills are covered..

They have seen two Leaders complete their adult training to become fully qualified Leaders and five are currently training. They are always looking for new people to join so why not be part of the worldwide organisation. More details from Adam Shoesmith 07970 228906.

• Would you like faster broadband in our area? If the answer is yes, then you need to vote. Over the next five years BT is rolling out superfast fibre optic broadband across the UK. The Race to Infinity is a nationwide competition run by BT whereby members of the public and local businesses can vote to get their superfast fibre broadband, BT Infinity, in their exchange. The top 5 exchanges with the most registered interest as a % of the total telephone exchange size on 31st December will be added to BT’s fibre rollout plan. Exchanges need to get a minimum of 1,000 votes in order to enter the race. People will be able to register their interest via the web site. BT will also donate £5,000 of computer equipment to a local community project. A total of 1,230 votes are required for our exchange that covers Ninfield, Hooe and the surrounding villages. To register go to http://www.racetoinfinity.bt.com. As of Monday there were only 45 votes, please make your vote count!

• Battle and Villages Lions Club invite you to an evening of Christmas music and carols with the Rother Community Choir. on Friday, December 10, at Ninfield Memorial Hall, 7.30pm, concert starting 8pm. Tickets are £5 per person, including a glass of mulled wine and mince pie. To book contact Wendy Cattaway 01424 844608 / wendycatterway@hotmail.com, or Hazel Rickard 01424 843888 / hazel.rickard2@homecall.co.uk.

• The East Sussex County Council mobile library service is in the villages tomorrow (December 11), as follows: Hooe, opposite Denbigh Court, 1.50pm-2.35pm; Ninfield, Millfield (Manchester Road), 2.50pm-3.25pm.Ninfield, Downsview (Church Lane), 3.40pm-4.05pm.

• The Ninfield and Hooe branch of the Bexhill and Battle Conservative Association has a social event on December 11, at Standard Hill House, Ninfield, noon. The cost is £5 per person to include mince pies and cluhwein. If you would like to know more contact Pam Doodes on 892329 / pamdoodes@hotmail.com.

• St Marys Church, Ninfield hold their monthly winter lunch on Wednesday, December 15, in the Reading Room, Church Lane, noon- 1.30pm. There will be soup, bread, cheese, tea and coffee and a chance for a good chat. There is no charge for these lunches but a donation to charity is appreciated. Further details from Elaine on 01424 846477.

• Hooe’s Old Car Club Show has long since past but the time has come to distribute the proceeds. The Committee welcome written submissions from local groups and charities for grants of money. If you feel you have a deserving cause, please write, giving details, to: Chris Hone, Marwin Farm, Marley Lane, Battle, TN33 0RE, marking the letter ‘Hooe’s Old Car Club’. Submissions must be made by December 31. Your request will be considered at the next committee meeting.

• Local district councillor, Pam Doodes (Ninfield, Hooe and Wartling) has her own website. To find out what Pam is doing for our community, see the villages news and views and Pam’s contact details, log onto: www.pamdoodes.com.

• Church Services for Ninfield and Hooe:

St Mary’s Services (Church of England, Ninfield): Sundays - 9.30am Parish Eucharist (Family Service on 1st Sunday of the month); 1st Sunday of the month - 6pm Book of Common Prayer Communion; Wednesdays - 10am Holy Communion

St Oswald’s Services (Church of England, Hooe): Sundays - 11.15am Parish Eucharist (Family Service on 1st Sunday of the month)

Ninfield Methodist Church: December 12, Communion service led by Revd. Marion Proud; December 19, Carol Service led by Mrs Topsy Brice; December 26, No service.

• Christmas Church Services: December 19, St Mary’s (Ninfield) Carols & Christingle Service 3.30pm December 21, St Oswald’s (Hooe) Carol Service 7.30pm; December 24, St Oswald’s (Hooe) Midnight Eucharist 11.30pm; December 25, St Mary’s (Ninfield) Christmas Day Family Communion 9.30am; December 25, St Oswald’s (Hooe) Christmas Day Family Communion 11.15am

• Over the Christmas and New Year period, I would like to do a piece on clubs/societies/groups in Ninfield and Hooe. If you run one please get in touch with me detailing what your club/society/group is about, what you do, when you meet, fees (if any) and what help you may require from volunteers.I would like to cover every age group and every activity. Please take this opportunity to make your club/society/group known to the rest of the community. Send details to the email address below.

• Please remember any neighbours that would benefit from your kindness during this cold spell, you could put a smile on someones face.

• Anything you would like included in the Village Voice for Ninfield or Hooe, email the details to me: nhvillagevoice@hotmail.com.

RACHEL FEELEY, 17 Smith Close, Ninfield

BREDE

• The bad weather of the last week has naturally caused a number of cancellations to be made of the various events that were planned.

Apologies to anyone who made the effort to get here and then found it cancelled. No revised date has been made for the Holly Fair but it is hoped that the concert by Cranbrook Town Band will be held around February or March next year. There will be no Farmers’ Market on Christmas Eve.

• Trinity Church at Broad Oak Methodist Chapel will be having their Carol Service this Sunday, December 12, at 3pm. The service will be followed by seasonal refreshments and everyone is welcome. There will also be Carol Singing from 8pm on Wednesday, December 15, at The Plough, Udimore and on Monday, December 20, at The Red Lion, Brede.

• Members of Broad Oak Fire Station will be having their Carol Singing around the estates at Broad Oak, to which all are invited to take part, on Monday, December 20, leaving the fire station at 6.30pm. Afterwards you are welcome to return to the station for Mick Mercer’s special warming refreshments.

The members will again be delivering parcels in the village on Christmas Day, as they have done for several years now, and the donation for this is £1.50. All proceeds from these events go to the Firefighters’ Charity. To have a parcel delivered contact Chris Sands on 01424-882907.

• Brede Bell Ringers have erected their Christmas Tree again this year outside St. George’s and if you would like to dedicate a light in memory of a loved one or a special occasion a donation of at least £1 would be appreciated.

Please put your name and dedication in an envelope and drop it in to Andrew Burchett, Alexandra Cottage, Stubb Lane, Brede TN31 6EJ or give to any of the Bell Ringers.

There will also be an opportunity for you to make a donation at Brede Farmers Market (on the apple stall).

The proceeds this year are going to be shared between St. George’s and Help the Heroes and a list of dedications will be included in the Parish Magazine in the New Year.

• Tickets are now on sale for Brede Players’ New Year production on Friday and Saturday, January 7/8. Instead of a pantomime, their choice this time is a family fairytale entitled ‘Many Moons’. Tickets are £6 (children £3) and can be obtained from Broad Oak Bakery or by calling 01424-883548.

• The mobile library visits the village again next week and will be stopping on Tuesday, at Oakhill Drive, from 3pm to 3.30pm and at Reedswood Road from 3.40pm to 4.15pm. It will also be at the Village Hall on Thursday, from 1.25pm to 1.55pm. The library service provides a wide range of things besides reading books including audio books in cassette, cd or some are even in MP3 version, a range of music cd’s and dvd’s as well as its internet access and reference library. This is the last visit of the year by the Library with the next being on January 11th and 13th respectively.

• This week’s services at St. George’s Church are the Family Eucharist at 9.30am and Evening Prayer and Intercessions at 4pm on Sunday, December 12, with Holy Communion on Tuesday, December 14, and Saturday, December 18, at 9am and Wednesday, December 15, at 10am. Brede School Carol Concert is on Monday, December 13, at 2pm.

n Summary of this week’s activities: The Village Hall: Monday, Age Concern (10.30am), Rainbows (4.30pm), Brownies (5.30pm), Whist Drive (7.30pm); Tuesday, Painting for Pleasure (10am); Thursday, Tai-Chi (2pm); Friday, December 17: Farmers Market (10am), Short Mat Bowls (7.30pm).

Scout Hut, Stubb Lane: Monday, Beavers (5.30pm) and Cubs (6.45pm); Tuesday,Scouts (7pm).

Community Hall, Broad Oak: Wednesday, Coffee Morning (10am).

• If you have anything to be put in the column it can be sent e-mail to: may463@btinternet.com

JOHN MAY, Mill Lands

PEASMARSH

• Please don’t forget The Peasmarsh Christmas Bazaar at Peasmarsh Church of England Primary School tomorrow (Saturday).

It promises to be a morning full of fun for the whole family with a Santa’s Grotto, tombola’s, face painting, jewellery, gifts, pottery, flowers and Christmas crafts including cards, competitions, fun games, book, toys, homemade cakes and refreshments.

There will also be Carol Singing from both the WI and the Peasmarsh School Choir throughout the morning.

Doors open at 10.30am. Everyone welcome - ticket for the free prize draw on entry. I’m really looking forward to it – Christmas starts here!

Do come along and support this fun event, it’s so good when everyone in the village gets together like this to raise money and have a good time into the bargain.

• Peasmarsh School’s Christingle service takes place today (Friday) at 2.30pm in Peasmarsh Church, and the WI Carol Service is tonight in Beckley Church at 7.30pm.

• Fingers crossed we’ve had all the bad weather we’re going to for one winter, but I doubt it.

Snow certainly makes the countryside look beautiful, particularly around us here where it is beautiful to start with, but the disruption it causes we can definitely do without - roll on spring!

• Peasmarsh Flying-Start Parent & Toddler Group is held every Tuesday afternoon during term time, at the pre-school in School Lane and welcomes all children under the age of five and their families. The group starts at 1.20pm and costs £2 per family.

Mary Hitchins, 2 The Old Hop Garden, Peasmarsh

WINCHELSEA

• The Annual Carol Concert presented by the Winchelsea Singers is tomorrow (Saturday) in St Thomas’ Church at 7pm. Seasonal refreshments are available and entrance is £8 by programme at the door with proceeds in aid of St Michaels Hospice.

• Icklesham Parish Council meets in Rye Harbour on Monday, December 13,beginning 6.15pm to 6.45pm with the planning committee. The Police Priority Setting Panel by the Neighbourhood Police Team follows, 6.45pm-7.15pm after which the council meeting is 7.15pm to 9.15pm.

• ‘What is Christmas’ by Geoff Hutchinson is a hilarious seasonal presentation with Geoff at his best. This is organised by the Rye & Winchelsea National Trust Centre and will be on Friday, December 17, 2.30pm in Playden WI Hall. The cost is £6.50 per person and includes a drop of Christmas spirit with savouries, mince pies and mulled wine. If you would like to attend call Ros Adkins on 01797 253763 for bookings.

• Carols in the Court Hall by The Friends of the Ancient Monuments & Museum (FOAM) takes place on Friday, December 17, at 6.30pm for 7pm. You are invited to join in this popular, free annual Christmas event which includes complimentary wine and refreshments.

• St Thomas’ Church Candlelight Service of nine lessons and carols takes place on Sunday, December 19, 6pm. On Friday December 24 the Christmas Eve Crib service, with a donkey, begins at 4pm -families are welcome. Later that evening the Midnight Eucharist is from 11pm. Rector Howard Cocks will lead these services and the collections taken will be in aid of St Nicholas Fellowship.

• Carols Round the Town is on Monday and Tuesday, December 20/21. If you would like to join the carol singing enthusiasts remember to dress warmly, bring a torch and start by gathering in St. Thomas’ Church Porch for 6pm. Song sheets are provided and children are welcome with grown-ups.

The finishing time is about 8pm, depending on the weather and on Tuesday all will be stopping at the ‘New Inn’ so that some of the singers can relax in the warm welcome of the fortnightly quiz! The carol singing will be in aid of Shelter.

• Owing to weather conditions last Friday evening the Canterville Ghost performance at the church was postponed. It has been rescheduled for either Friday, January 7, or Wednesday, January 12, but will be confirmed by next week. • Last Saturday’s Church Market raised £229.30 for church funds. Well done to all who supported the event and the next Church Market is due to be on Sunday, January 2.

• It is quite common to have thunder and lighting with snow storms and flashes of lightning were seen in Hull amidst snow last Sunday week. There were also streaks of lightning I noticed over Winchelsea on the Saturday evening (November 27) which was followed on the Sunday by some light snowstorms.

Thundersnow appears to happen when enough rising air from warmer ground temperatures react with clouds in the much cooler atmosphere.

This would have added pressure to the jet stream (that narrow band of fast moving westerly winds, 30,000 feet above in the troposphere) which in normal times causes turbulent weather and on this occasion the recent foot-deep snow.

To get really technical gigantic jets of wind are clear manifestations of direct electric coupling between tropospheric thunderstorms and the ionosphere.

It was an unusually strong jet stream interaction that also caused the volcanic ash cloud to sweep across the UK in April, leading to so much disruption.

Cindi Cogswell, 31, High Fords, Icklesham

FAIRLIGHT

• Wipe out! Sadly just about everything had to be cancelled due to the bad weather. The Village Hall Christmas Fair, due to be held last Saturday, had to be cancelled. Unfortunately this was done after last week’s entry was submitted. The next happening for the Village Hall will be their trestle table event in the spring.

• You can still do it today. The voting for The John Lutman Community Service Award closes today (Friday). You can still cast your vote at either the Post Office or The Farm Shop or by email to clerk@fairlightparishcouncil.co.uk by the end of the day. The award will be presented on Tuesday, December 14, in the Village Hall at 7pm where there will be a social gathering. Everyone is welcome. • Oh yes they are! Rehearsals for this season’s pantomime, ‘Puss in Boots’, are well under way. Tickets go on sale this Monday at the Post Office. The show runs January 27-29. Fairlight’s pantomimes are usually a sell-out so book early.

• The Wine and Social Club has its Christmas social this Saturday at the Village Hall. Entertainment will be provided by The Kytes the very popular local group. This is a members’ only ticket event.

• The Garden Club’s talk with Colin Page was postponed and he will be coming back in April when, hopefully, it will be a little warmer. Their next event is the New Year Asocial on Monday, January 3. This will be, as last year, where you asked to bring a plate of food. Entertainment will be provided.

• Don’t wait for next year for a resolution to get fit! The Table Tennis group has room for more members. They meet every Tuesday night at 8pm in the Village Hall. Bats can be provided. We are not a league club, we just have fun. The club is mixed, ladies and gents, so don’t be shy. Want to know more? Then ring 01424 814178.

• If like me you have lost recycling boxes or they have broken you can order them on 01424 787000.

n This column has been written by Carol Ardley, Mistral, Shepherds Way, Fairlight (carolardley@aol.com 01424 814178)

Keith Pollard, Brookfield, Broadway

WINCHELSEA BEACH

• The Community Association’s annual ‘Over 60’s Christmas Tea’ will take place on Wednesday, December 15, at 3.30pm for 4pm. If you would like to go please let Judy in the Post Office know or contact Sue on 01797 226618.

• The WBCA Annual Carol Concert with the Rye Methodist Choir will be held on Monday, December 20, at 7.30pm in the Community Hall. There will be mince pies, sausage rolls, Christmas cake, tea/coffee and all are welcome. After the concert there will be a collection as you leave in aid of Rye Hospital Care Centre.

• If you fancy having a go at line dancing just turn up on Monday evenings at 7.30pm to 8.30pm, as usual in the Community Hall.

Cindi Cogswell, 31, High Fords, Icklesham

UDIMORE

• INEVITABLY last Wednesday night’s heavy snowfall caused the postponement of several events advertised in this column last week.

Cherry Merricks tells me that she hopes to find another date in the new year for the young people’s disco party.

The Bromley Youth Orchestra concert in Rye Church will be harder to rearrange, but the performers are very keen to come sometime in 2011 if they possibly can. Brenda Hartill’s Open Studio carried on last weekend as planned, but will be repeated this weekend (Saturday and Sunday, December 11/12, 10am-4pm) for the benefit of any of you whom last weekend’s bad weather kept at home.

• THIS evening (Friday) all Udimore residents who are interested in any aspect of the wildlife that we see and hear around us every day (and night)are invited to a special meeting at 7pm in St Mary’s Community Hall.

Dr Barry Yates, the manager of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, will be there to give us advice on ways in which our individual interests, however large or small, can contribute to a wider understanding of our environment.

• ON Tuesday morning, December 14, there will be a Fairtrade stall in the hall from 10am till noon.

• CAROLS will be sung at 8pm in The Plough Inn on Wednesday, December 15, and in the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols in St Mary’s Church, at 6pm on Sunday, December 19.

RICHARD HOLMES, Beauchamps, Udimore

SEDLESCOMBE

• Tonight (Friday) at 7.30pm, the Parish Church invites you to Christmas with Cantabile and some talented young soloists who will celebrate The Christmas Story in song. Tickets, £8, which includes mulled wine and mince pies, are available from The Village Shop or by contacting the Rectory on 870233 and at the door.

• Unfortunately, due to the weather conditions, Sedlescombe Primary had to cancel the Christmas Fayre last weekend and sends apologies for any inconvenience. The good news is they are holding the fayre this Saturday (December 11), noon-3pm, and hope you will join them for the afternoon. There will be a magical Santa’s Grotto, £2 ,with a present for every child; lots of stalls to help you with Christmas shopping; and attractions for all the family including an amazing raffle with a most impressive range of prizes, Entrance is only 50p. Light lunches and refreshments alsovailable.

• John and Jenny, at Sedlescombe village stores, were very pleased to see you at their tasting evening at the end of November. If you weren’t able to get along that evening as it was the first of the snow days, it is still possible to order cases of wines and spirits for Christmas along with local meats, cakes, cheeses etc. Please call in for more details or visit www.sedlescombestores.co.uk. On the website you will also find stock level information - especially useful during the recent bad weather conditions.

• Anthony Ganly, local district councillor, has written to relay some interesting updates on the following local issues

100-year-old Fruit Farm saved: A 40-acre organic apple growing business straddling the parishes of Ewhurst and Sedlescombe, under threat of closure due to repeated vandalism and theft, has been saved. After a great deal of work over the summer in preparing a business plan and a planning application ,with the help of 1066 Enterprise, we obtained planning permission for a caravan on-site. This allowed the owners to maintain a constant presence and put in place a plan to renovate the packing station and expand into the marketing of fresh local fruit and vegetable baskets with the possibility of creating local employment.

The owner writes:- “We cannot thank you enough for all the support you gave us at a time when we really didn’t know what to do”.

Bexhill Hastings Link Road: Since the publication of the Comprehensive Spending Review progress on the Link Road has been deferred. The project has been placed in a ‘development pool’ in competition with 21 others. A decision is to be made before the end of 2011.

Cardboard collection: Now for something I think many have been waiting for, after many months the waste and recycling team at Rother has reached agreement with Verdant and the county council on the collection of cardboard. This has been a goal of the council for some time and they have now managed to resolve it - at no extra cost to the taxpayer.

From January 10, 2011, cardboard can be disposed of in the green bins for composting recycling. As Anthony Ganly is the cabinet member with responsibility for waste and recycling he is really delighted that a solution has been found.

Ideally, he would have preferred cardboard be taken to the bring centres at the Staplecross village hall and Sedlescombe car park as well as being part of the roadside collections. Pilot schemes, however, showed bins were filled within 24 hours - mostly with commercial card from businesses. The pilot schemes had to be withdrawn as they proved to be unviable and caused huge problems.

Well done to him for finding a solution to this problem which seems to mount daily due to all the packaging we have in our lives.

Rother D.C. is also joining forces with Wealden Eastbourne, Hastings and the County Council in a project aimed at establishing a joint contract for the collection of waste in the four areas,

Tony Leonard, Director of Services at Rother, has agreed to lead this long term, and difficult, project that presents many hurdles to overcome. The aim is for a joint waste collection contract to be in place from 2013 onwards. A second contract period could then examine ways in which further savings could be delivered, for example by rationalising service provision.

Refuse collections - inclement weather: The contingency plan to pick up missed collections, where road conditions prevented the refuse/recycling vehicles from operating, is to suspend green waste collections in order to prioritise the collection of residual waste (black bin and bags). Green waste collections will be restored as soon as the backlog of collections is cleared.

Road Gritting: For those with access to a computer county council has a website showing which roads will be gritted. This can be found using the link below:-http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/roadsandtransport/roads/maintenance/saltingandgritting/find/default.aspx

• If you have an event coming up or would like to have a small piece, outlining your club or organisation aims, activities, membership etc. contact me by email to judy@asselton.co.uk or by calling 870344.

Judy Torrance, Asselton House

ETCHINGHAM

• Church services continue every Sunday morning at 11am. All the services in December will be led by Rev Elizabeth France. The service this Sunday (December 12) is a Family Christmas Crib Service, on Christmas Day, Saturday, December 25, the service of Holy Communion and Carols is at 10.30am. On Christmas Eve everyone is welcome to Christmas Midnight Mass at Holy Trinity Church, Hurst Green. On St. Stephen’s Day, Sunday, December 26, you are invited to join the congregation at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Burwash, for Holy Communion at 8am. The service on Sunday, January 2, is at 4pm and will be the Village Epiphany Carol Service. From now on there will be a ‘child-friendly Family Service’ on the second Sunday of each month. If you have any queries regarding the church, contact churchwardens Mary Barnes 01580 819142 and Geoffry Lucas 01580 819439.

• The Parochial Church Council has decided that from December the church will open on Saturdays and Sundays, 11am to 4pm, for the benefit of visitors and parishioners. There will be some alteration to this arrangement over the Christmas and New Year period, details to be posted in the church porch and on the church website. Consideration is being given to more extensive opening in the summer.

• The church now has a website with service times and contact details. It also has a photo album to which you can add your own pictures, and a message board for all your comments.

If you have photographs of past or present church events you can add them to the albums, just look for the upload link on the album, your picture will not appear on the site straight away, they will go into an offline album and be moved to an online album as soon as approved.

The site can be found at www.etchinghamchurch.co.uk Any thoughts, ideas and suggestions regarding the website are welcome, use the email link on the Home Page.

• Village Carol singing is on Wednesday (December 15), anyone wishing to join the singers should meet outside the Etchingham Community Stores at 7pm to go singing around the High Street areas of the village. For more information telephone Mary Barnes 01580 819142.

• Many thanks to all who supported the doorstep collections and the shop collections for this year’s Poppy appeal, the total raised in the village was £1,384, which includes £265 collected in the church at the Remembrance Sunday Service.

• Etchingham Social Club: You will by now be aware the social club ceased trading and closed at midnight on Saturday, November 6. There was to be a special general meeting of members and other interested parties at the Etchingham Club last Friday (December 3), but because of the weather conditions the meeting was postponed and will now bee on Friday, December 17, 8.30pm , all full members of the club are urged to attend.

COLIN BOYLETT, 2 Park Farm Cottages

WHATLINGTON

• Mountfield & Whatlington School had to cancel its Christmas Fayre and Open Day last Saturday because of the dreadful weather and because the school had been closed for two days. It has been re- arranged for tomorrow (Saturday), from 11am-1pm. There will be a lucky dip stall, facepaints, tombola, games, craft activities for children, hot rolls and soup, cakes and snacks and tea/coffee. You may also like to visit Santa’s Grotto.

Don’t miss the opportunity to look around the school also, even if you do not have a child there! It is situated on the A21 roundabout next to John’s Cross Caravans. Please do support our local school, as these events raise money for necessary equipment. If you need any more details call 01580 880587

• Today (Friday) ‘Cantabile’ will be telling the story in song of The First Christmas, directed by Molly Townson with Richard Eldridge at the piano, 7pm for 7.30pm at St John the Baptist Parish Church, Sedlescombe. Tickets from The Village Stores, The Rectory (01424-870233) and at the door - priced £8 to include wine and mince pies. Proceeds are in aid of the church.

• This is the last week I will collect food for ‘Surviving Christmas’ to put into hampers to be delivered to the vulnerable members of the community in Hastings, St Leonard’s and Bexhill area. Hampers usually contain soups, baked beans, spaghetti, tomatoes, fruit, tinned meat, tinned fish, tinned potatoes, tinned vegetables, evaporated milk, marmalade/jam, sugar, tea, coffee, long life milk, custard, mince pies, toilet rolls, toothbrush/paste, shampoo, soap, light bulbs, cake, smarties/ sweets, chocolate bar & toiletries. I will leave a box outside my front door, in the porch, weather permitting, until 15th December for those who would like to give to this local charity. My address is Lismoyne, Oakhurst Road, Battle.

• The Whatlington Pageant takes place on Sunday, December 19, starting at 3.30pm gathering in the small paddock opposite Mr & Mrs Palmer’s house on the path up to the church

The procession, which will pass the church, will first be led by Canon Alan and include children dressed up as Mary, Joseph, Three Wise Men, Shepherds &Angels. Children, if you would like to dress up as angels or shepherds contact Yvonne Underhill on 01424 775440; you will have no lines to learn and dressing up is really exciting!

Then it will be led by Mary on a donkey with Joseph beside her. All will pause while Carols are sung, accompanied by Battle Town Band, and ‘Readings’’ are read, to tell the beautiful story of Christmas, at various points, as we make our way to the Stable.

When everyone has gathered outside the stable, the doors will open to reveal the wonderful nativity scene, with baby Jesus in a crib surrounded by the shepherds, and angels, with the Three Wise Men joining the scene. Warm refreshments will be served after the last Carol.

The church would like to thank Yvonne for all the hard work she does to organise The Pageant and Dr. and Mrs Apthorp for allowing their barn to be used, and providing the warm refreshments.

Please remember all cars must be parked at the Village Hall car park, which will be signposted as will the church. Donations in aid of the Appeal Fund will be gratefully received and a container will be left on the table by the hot refreshments.

Please wear warm clothing, suitable footwear; wellies, and have a torch to hand, as although the event starts whilst it is light, it will finish in darkness.

• The Good Companions had to cancel their outing last week because of the atrocious weather. They had booked to go to The Congress Theatre, on Tuesday, to listen to the local primary schoolchildren in ‘The Great Big Christmas Sing’ and on Wednesday were due to enjoy their Christmas lunch at ‘The Wheatsheaf’ at Little Common. The Christmas Lunch will be re-booked for January 2011 but I know many were disappointed in being unable to attend ‘The Big Christmas Sing’.

Some of the group will visit The White Rock Theatre in Hastings to see Jimmy Osmond in ‘Cinderella’ on Tuesday, December 14, weather permitting of course!!

• The return of Waits & Measures to the village hall on Sunday, as they performed in ‘A Taste of Christmas’ was well received, although the ‘turn out’ was not as good as last year, but then this maybe was because of the bad weather.

The programme included the following readings; A Welsh Christmas by Dylan Thomas, read and sang so well by Roger Fisher; The Christmas Truce 1914 kindly read by Michael Hodge; Christmas in Central Africa read by Charlotte and lastly but not least ‘Eddi’s Service’ by Rudyard Kipling read by Wilma Hodge.

Between the Carols, which included Hills of the North rejoice, O come, O come, Emmanuel, In the bleak mid-winter and O come all ye faithful Waits & Measures sang various carols and a song actually written by their conductor called, I believe Jesus Dream’.

Homemade mince pies and mulled wine were enjoyed by all at the interval when Ian sold his homemade jams, chutneys etc on behalf of the Appeal Fund. Thanks to all those who contributed to this concert to make it the success it proved to be.

• I am grateful to Alex for sending me the weekly news from The Royal Oak. I know it is of interest to many villagers and also to me.

Alex writes: “At The Royal Oak, we were lucky to receive all our deliveries before the snow arrived, so had a fully stocked bar and kitchen last week.

Woodman’s Green was very pretty in the snow and there are lots of photos on our Facebook Page - search for us on Facebook or see the link on our website www.royaloak-whatlington.co.uk

• Lots of locals managed to get to us last week despite the snow and sought comfort from the cold with mulled wine in front of the fire. It was a lovely atmosphere and started to get us into the festive mood!

We have lots lined up at The Royal Oak over the Christmas period beginning with “Quizmas” - our festive quiz, on Thursday, December 23, beginning 8pm. There may well be some Christmas themed questions, plus a prize for the best decorated team and table in addition to the usual fun, spot prizes and of course - lollipops! Please call 01424 870492 to book a table.

• Christmas Eve brings carols by candlelight around the bar and log fire. Join us from 7.30pm for some mulled wine and mince pies!

The bar will open Christmas Day from 11am to 4.30pm - pop in for a sneaky pint while the turkey’s in the oven!

The Royal Oak will open and serve food on Boxing Day from midday to 2.30pm, there will be bangers and mash and cod and chips if you’ve had enough turkey for one year! Call 01424 870492 if you would like to book.

The last Irish Music session of the year is on Thursday, December 30 for an Irish ‘Not New Year’s Eve” party! Music begins at 8.30pm.

For New Year’s Eve, by popular request, The Royal Oak has a fancy dress party with a prize for the best costume and the bar will be open until 1am”.

Alex and Mike are also selling packets of Christmas cards in aid of The Appeal Fund, made from photographs of local scenes.

• No early morning rise this week; the Family Service will start at 10.30am and will once again be led by Jacqueline Kemp, followed by warm refreshments. All are most welcome.

Hilda Aplin, Lismoyne Oakhurst Road

 
 
 

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