CHRISTMAS CRAFT FAIR: This Saturday, November 28, 10am to 2pm Beckley Village Centre to raise funds for Beckley Pre-School and Northiam Nursery (registered charity). This is their main fundraising event for the year and this is how they raise monies to buy equipment, toys and support the children at Beckley and Northiam. Many thanks for your continued support.

AGM: Beckley Horticultural Society AGM Monday November 30, 7.30pm Beckley Village Hall. A short bit of business and then the serious stuff … eating, drinking, and being merry and the famous Horticultural Society Quiz. Come and find out about some exciting inclusions for our 2016 programme: A practical garden demonstration of Rose pruning, planting and care to included tea and cake. A talk on Succession Planting by Fergus Garrett Head Gardener Great Dixter. A visit to the Powell - Cotton Museum, Quex House and Gardens at Birchington, which will include lunch and a tour guide for the gardens. A private evening tour for our members of Sissinghurst Castle gardens when the roses are at their best. Some changes and interesting additions to our show classes including giant vegetables, baking bread, short story writing etc. A much improved plant sale.

BETTER BECKLEY PROJECT: Since the last update in August the project has gradually moved forward. With winter now upon us it’s time to push on with the next stages of the planning and public consultation that should allow us to see significant progress and hopefully physical delivery of outcomes in 2016. Recent developments: Mary Howse has resigned from the project to focus on her many other commitments. Her place as project secretary has been taken by Mrs Phil Maynard. Phil will organise meetings, take notes, produce minutes and liaise with the Parish Council. Sarah Broadbent has joined the team to help with publicity and marketing. We need to ensure that what we are doing is well publicised via the local press, web sites and most importantly in today’s age, social media. Having received three quotes we are expecting in December to appoint a local company to undertake a topographical survey of the Jubilee and Frog fields. The survey will give us an accurate representation of the area showing all natural and manmade features with levels. Shown as three dimensional points, all features including the property, land features and physical boundary details will be presented on a scaled survey drawing. This survey is an essential prerequisite for all other elements of the project. We have secured the offer of a free of charge survey to assess the possibilities for fitting various sports facilities into the space available. This will allow us to determine whether the existing facilities such as the play area and tennis court are in the most appropriate place, what else might be accommodated in the plan and thus what options and alternatives there are for villagers to decide upon the final design. The contents of these two surveys will be included in the design brief that the project team are currently working hard on. The brief will be used for the next stage of consulting villagers, assessing costs, issuing tenders for work, and seeking funding. It comprehensively lists every element of the project that may or may not end up in the finally adopted plan and it will enable us to accurately assess the long-term maintenance costs of each element. Councillor Ian Jenkins has introduced the Project Team to Rother District Council’s officer for sports development. His brief is to increase the participation of individuals of all ages in using open spaces and sports facilities within Rother. He will be a very helpful contact for us. We have already suggested some changes to the mowing patterns of the Jubilee Field which have been implemented and are saving costs. We hope to quantify and publish the savings made. There are many sources of funding that we can apply for. Some will be specific to individual parts of the overall plan and where necessary we will apply separately for each and proceed with that element as dictated by the funding timescales.All funds raised for the Project will be held in the recently set up Beckley Fund which is a charitable institution with a goal to assist good causes within a radius of 7 miles of Beckley. This offers us all the advantages of charity status including eligibility for gift aid. Funds are earmarked within the fund specifically for the Better Beckley Project and cannot be spent on other causes whilst the project exists.Further progression of the project as described in the above points is subject to discussion and agreement of the Parish Council at its December meeting. We are producing 2016 Beckley calendar with old photos of the village from bygone ages. Proceeds will go to the project. If you haven’t already seen this you will be able to buy it at: Take the opportunity to find out more, buy the calendar or ask the team questions. We will be at the Christmas Craft Fair on Saturday November 28 between 10am and 2pm at the Village Centre. If you would like to know more or feel you have some skills that would assist with the project and want to join us contact: Phil Maynard on or telephone 260637.

WORKING PARTY: Church working Party 10am Saturday, December 5. Free mince pies at the church, well I say free, that’s not actually correct. There is no charge for the mince pies and hot drinks but we would appreciate your help first. It’s time for the annual autumnal leaf clearing working party. The magnificent trees in the churchyard drop a vast amount of leaves which we cannot manage on our own and, if not cleared, prevent the development of the grass and promote the weeds. If you can spare a couple of hours we really would appreciate your help. If you have a spring rake then please bring it with you. As I said, we will provide the hot drinks and the mince pies. We look forward to seeing you. Chris Fairman for the Church yard maintenance group.

CAN YOU HELP?: With the recent changes in our local bus services, many in our village who rely on buses are finding it difficult to attend the Northiam surgery without a long wait (up to two hours) for a bus after their appointment. We would like to set up a voluntary driver service to ease this problem and are looking for two types of volunteer: two to three people who could accept phone calls from those needing a lift and act as a co-ordinator and a number of drivers who could spare a little time to provide the lifts on an informal rota basis. If you are interested in helping, please contact Mike Rowe on 01797 260806 or alternatively email

BECKLEY FARMERS MARKET: Saturday 12 December 10am to noon Beckley village Hall. Vegebox with fresh fruit and veg, wonderful Lighthouse Bakery breads, meats include Sussex Wild Foods, Emily’s home produced Lamb, Fi’s Pork, Zara’s Salad Dressings, Amanda’s Cakes, Lindy’s Sweets and David’s chocolates. In the car park Rex will be back with his French Cheeses.

Crafts will include Roger’s walking sticks, David’s wooden toys, Sandra’s blankets and homeware, Hilary’s textiles, Marianne’s baskets and Penny with her plants amongst others.Refreshments will be provided by the lovely ladies of the WI as usual.

Come and support local producers, meet your friends and do some Christmas shopping. Should you wish to get in touch with the organiser Paul Lewis 01797 260286 Dates 2016 January 9, February 13, March 12, April 9, May 4, June 11, July 9, August 13, September 10, October 8, November 12, December 10.

Contact your District Councillors: So that residents are aware they can contact our District Councillor Ian Jenkins or Martin Mooney via e mail. This will help the parish by giving you more immediate responses to questions or concerns. or

VILLAGE CENTRE HIRE: Beckley Village Hall is available to hire either of the two halls or committee room. Why not hold your friends and family celebrations here. Prices start from as little as £11 per hour. For further information and to book email or call 01797260846.

CLUBS AND SOCIETIES: Beckley’s clubs, society’s, classes and groups held in the village hall. Why not join one today. Regular monthly Beckley Parish Council Meetings held in the Village Centre’s. Every 2nd Wednesday in the month (December 9 at 7.30pm). Visit the website for Beckley Trefoil Guild 2pm to 4pm on the third Monday of the month. Beckley computer club 07904 837751. Beckley Park Cricket Club 01580 830245. Busy Bees (Baby and toddlers Group) every Wednesday £2.50 per family 9.15am to 11.15am free tea, coffee for parents. Free snacks for the children. Pilates every Monday 6pm to 8pm Wednesdays 1.30pm to 2.30pm Sarah Lush 07769651899. Taekwondo every Wednesdays 4.30pm to 6pm contact Petra Darvill 01233 330128. Beckley Trefoil Guild meets Third Monday of the month in the Small Hall at 7.30pm. Brownies Thursday 6.30pm. Table Tennis every Thursday 9.30am to 11.30am old and new members welcome Carol Cobby 01797 252382. Yoga every Friday 9.30am to 11am contact Evelyn Lamb 260569. Friends of Beckley Church Coffee Morning first Tuesday 10.30am to 12.30pm. WI second Monday 7.30pm contact Ann Jones 260527. Beckley Lunch Club second 12.30pm bookings Tony Bryant 260518. Beckley History Society contact Danny Rushbrooke on 253521 7.30pm Dennis Ward 260313. Beckley Horticultural Society 01797 260232. Beckley players 01797 230572. Beckley bowls club 01797 252129. Beckley Rangers club chairman Phil Brain on 01797 260513 or secretary Peter Sands on 01424 882579.

BECKLEY PARISH CHURCH: Holy Communion 8am, Mattins or Eucharist 10am (second and fourth).

BECKLEY GOSPEL CHURCH: Every Wednesday Bible study 7pm.

DEFIBRILLATORS: Public access defibrillators (PADs): Can be found in public spaces: Northiam Spar shop, Peasmarsh and Iden village halls, Rye sports centre plus many more local to Beckley. Thanks to Beckley Parish Council, Beckley has now got one located on the wall by the main doors at Beckley village hall. Its briefcase-sized box on the wall contains a PAD. It’s there for anyone to use on someone in cardiac arrest. They are simple and safe. The machine gives clear spoken instructions. Once in position, the defibrillator detects the heart’s rhythm. It won’t deliver a shock unless one is needed.

Every second counts. After a cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and defibrillation reduces someone’s chance of survival by 10 per cent.

More information on how it works: Visit Rother Responders fantastic website

CONTACT ME: If you want me to put something is this column, please email it’s here from you, whether it’s an upcoming event, information on a society this is your column. Please email

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