Tomorrow Saturday 3rd May the Ninfield Scout Group will be celebrating its 30th birthday in Ninfield Memorial Hall from 2pm – 4pm and there will be an exhibition of the history of the group from 1984 – 2014. There are several Catsfield and Crowhurst children who are proud members of this group as Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers. There will be a Barn Dance in the evening – ring Lorna on 01424 893644 for more details.

The fundraising Coffee Morning held in the Village Hall last Saturday for St Laurence’s church was most successful and raised £275. The hall looked very attractive with tables decorated with spring flowers and the raffle, cake and book stalls did a good trade. The next event to raise money for the church will be on Saturday 14th June, when there will be a Car Boot Sale held on the Catsfield Playing Field.

Last Thursday’s Parish Assembly saw a gathering of village stalwarts who loyally attend all such meetings and they were rewarded with a varied and interesting evening. Chairman of the Parish Council, John Overall opened the meeting and expressed gratitude to Peter Josling, who has left the P.Council after several years service to the community and he welcomed Rachel Tottman as his replacement.

The Chairman’s report covered the past year in the village on a wide variety of subjects, including the leasing of the Village Hall car park from Rother District Council to prevent the land being developed, the unfair proposal to build forty-seven new homes in Catsfield, when many other villages are not expected to accommodate any future development at all. He also mentioned the possible loss of a bus service through the village, the likelihood of a roundabout at the junction at Horns Corner to ease congestion and lessen the risk of accidents and the problem with potholes. The Council is aware of the parking problems in the village and particularly in Church Road. The Chairman thanked his fellow councillors, his deputy Beryl Bodey and the invaluable Clerk to the Council, Carol Hodgson.

PCSO Daryl Holter told the meeting of the low crime rate in Catsfield but reminded residents of the need to be vigilant about oil thefts, which along with the theft of Post Office public letter boxes for their re-sale value, was the main risk of crime in the rural community. It was suggested that Catsfield is in need of a Speed Group to work with the police in tackling speeding motorists driving through the village and volunteers are urgently needed.

The meeting continued with reports from E.S. County Councillor Kathryn Field and Rother District Councillor Angharad Davies and a report on the Catsfield Emergency Plan. Reports from the groups and societies of the village followed, given by representatives from each. All were most positive and it was particularly warming to hear of the successes of the thriving Under Fives Group and the Catsfield School, whose Ofsted report named the school as the most outstanding in East Sussex, Surrey and Kent. All in all, one was left feeling very proud to belong to such a thriving village community as Catsfield.

Sadly both our football teams lost their games on the 26th, the firsts narrowly at home to Wittersham 1 - 2 with Tony Luke scoring our only goal. This leaves us mid-table, which must be considered a satisfactory result after the much disrupted season. The seconds, who still have some games to play, also lost 1 - 2. A great clear out of the pavilion ready for the summer sports ensued, with old football kits being donated to a local school.

Lots of Catsfield residents were dismayed to read of the closure of The Red Lion Pub in Hooe, which for many years has been a welcoming hostelry serving consistently good food. The landlords played an energetic role in village life and it is a huge disappointment it is all over.

Monday evening’s Annual Meeting of the Parochial Church Council held in the parish church of St Laurence was well-attended. Officers of the church were duly elected/re-elected and serving members were thanked for their work during the past year. The meeting was told that there are currently seventy-nine people on the electoral roll.

The Rector told of the Easter celebrations and the record number of parishioners who came to this year’s Lent Study Groups. The recent Prayer Day and the earlier Bible Reading Day, which was given by Richard Jackson, were both extremely well-attended. He has since been named as the next Bishop of Lewes and he chose to celebrate that news by visiting and spending the day in our two parishes. It was good to hear that the Sunday School, the SSS club and the Junior Choir have a real life in this rural church and although varying in ages and numbers, they are another example of the success of young people of Catsfield. Father Michael said that it is time for greater connection with the wider village population and to make 2014 a year of growth.

Jill Jarrett

Henley Down Cottage