Jill Jarrett

Henley Down Cottage

Tomorrow the WI hold their annual Jumble Sale and Cake Stall in the Village Hall from 10am – 12pm, entrance 50 pence. There are plenty of quality items on sale this year and as this is always a well-attended event, be sure to get there early and make certain of grabbing a bargain. Tea and coffee will be available to refresh you before you pitch back into the fray for a second rummage! Items of jumble and cakes to sell will be gratefully received from 8.30am in the hall. The proceeds of the Jumble Sale will go to Demelza Hospice Care, which is the WI charity this year and any profit from the cake stall will help to boost WI funds.

The March meeting of the Catsfield WI was held on one of the first warm spring days of the year and members strolled happily into the Village Hall, instead of scurrying in with umbrellas, anxious to get out of the wind and rain. After the business side of the meeting, the optimistic mood of improving weather continued when our speaker Irene Eltringham-Willson from The National Gardens Scheme addressed the meeting in a talk entitled ‘All Gardens Great and Small’. Irene is the East Sussex County Organiser of the scheme and she started by giving everyone a copy of this year’s yellow book, containing all the dates and details of the gardens that will be open to the public in our area.

The National Gardens Scheme, which started in 1927 is one of the country’s major donators to various charities and raised an incredible £2.1 million pounds last year, solely by the generosity of ordinary people opening their gardens to the public for a day or two. Most of us enjoy looking at the results of other people’s labours in their gardens and picking up ideas to use in our own gardens at home. Irene talked us through a wonderful selection of pictures of gardens both large and small, which she had photographed during her work and told many amusing tales of her experiences within them. It was most inspirational to see what had been achieved, quite simply in many cases and I’m sure that many members are determined to use their copy of the yellow book and visit as many as possible in this area.

The competition at this month’s meeting was for a decorated Easter Egg and nineteen entries in total were attractively set out on the table. Our speaker kindly agreed to act as judge and after much deliberation, she awarded first prize to Nicky, second place to Sarah and Ruby’s hedgehog was third. It was interesting to see so many very different original and attractive ideas.

The Women’s World Day of Prayer last Friday was attended by twenty-one people and was an interesting and thought-provoking service. It was prepared by the Christian women of Egypt and was entitled ‘Streams in the Desert’ using this theme to draw attention to the importance of water in the lives of people living in this arid part of the world. Several members of the congregation played a part in telling about the lives of women in Egypt and the speaker Jacqueline Kemp, enlarged on the earlier reading about Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman by the well. David Wilson kindly accompanied the hymns on the organ and refreshments were served after the service.

At last we have some village sporting news, although rather disappointing. Two football games were played at Eastbourne, the firsts losing 2 - 1 against Eastbourne Rangers with Charlie Morgan scoring our only goal. The seconds lost to Grasshoppers Old Boys 3 - 1. However, the lads were rusty, but we are keeping them well oiled for tomorrow when the firsts play Hollington at home in the Hastings Junior Cup and the seconds are away to Robertsbridge. Games now start at 3pm, be there.

The 2013 cricket season was wound up on Saturday at the AGM and dinner at The Squirrel. The bowling cup was won by our exciting new signing Tony Taylor, while another youngster Martin Gurr got the batting cup. It was a pity there is no catching cup as Connor Earl would have won that. The tea ladies were thanked by Chairman Mike Davey with a bottle of wine each, which they gratefully received.

Make a note that there will be a Beetle Drive in the Village Hall a week tomorrow on Saturday 22nd March at 5.30pm, which is the next fundraising event for St Laurence’s church. Tickets can be bought at the Village Shop or at the door on the night costing £3 for adults, £1 for children (under 16years free when accompanied by a paying adult). There will be a bar and raffle, bring your own nibbles and join in for an early evening of fun!

The Catsfield Horticultural Society’s Spring Show is less than a month away on Saturday 12th April, so pick up a copy of the schedule from the Village Stores, Maureen’s or from David Wilson and start planning your entries.