This evening at 7.30pm is the St Laurence Church ‘Summer Concert’ and tickets will be available on the door if you haven’t already bought yours in the Village Stores for this fund-raising event for the church. The Rother Community Choir and St Laurence Church Choir will be performing. Guest artists include Lucy Ashton who will be singing, ‘Waites and Measures’ are also performing, as well as Catsfield Junior Choir and Ella Andrew. Olly March will be playing two pieces on the violin. Light refreshments are included in the ticket price of £6.

The Catsfield Horticultural Society’s Village Fete and Flower Show will be held once again on the Playing Field at 1.30pm on Saturday 2nd August. However, without the help of volunteers to man the various stalls and contributions given towards the Bric-a-Brac, Tombola, Book, Plant, Cake and Bottle stalls, we may yet lose this village tradition in future years. So if you can offer any help at all it will be gratefully received. Schedules for the Flower Show in the marquee are available now in the Village Store. There are many varied classes to suit all ages - gardening, cookery, flower arranging, photography and handicrafts. It’s great fun competing and a lovely surprise if you win, so please have a go and support this great traditional village event.

The evening dance in the marquee will feature that wonderful group ‘Swing Street’ who were such a huge success when they played at the Catsfield celebrations for the Queen’s Jubilee. If you missed them then, be sure to get your tickets this time, you’re guaranteed a good night out! Tickets bought in advance cost £7 (rising to £8 on the night) for adults and £5 for children under 16. There will be a licensed bar.

Catsfield WI’s meeting at the Village Hall on Thursday 3rd July was well attended on a warm sunny summer’s afternoon. Vice President Sarah stood in for the secretary, who is temporarily incapacitated and read the minutes of the previous meeting. The President gave an interesting account of the 99th Annual Meeting of the NFWI, which she had recently attended in Leeds. She told us that there is to be a reduction in the annual subscription paid by members as the Federation’s finances are currently in a state of flux, owing to a large VAT refund and a general increase in income.

The NFWI is launching a campaign urging the public to sign up as organ donors and make their relatives aware of their wishes. Last year there were only 5,500 on the donor register and there are 7,000 people on the waiting list for transplants, three people die EACH DAY whilst waiting for an organ transplant. Age and health problems are no barrier to being a donor, the oldest was 85, whilst successful transplants have come from people with diabetes and brain cancer. This is National Transplant Week and you can become a Registered Organ Donor by calling 0300 123 23 23, visiting your GP surgery, when applying for a driving licence or by visiting, but be sure to tell your family of your wishes.

After details of forthcoming local events, we sat back to enjoy the talk given by Brian Freeland entitled ‘Around the World in Eighty Plays’. This turned out to be a fascinating account of Brian’s career in the theatre, sparked off when doing his National Service in the RAF and becoming hooked on theatre after seeing Pete O’Toole on stage in Bristol. His career has taken him from trainee manager working with all the big names at the London Palladium, to becoming stage manager at Butlin’s and eventually lighting manager for the Royal Shakespeare Company, which took him on tour in India and Pakistan.

His talk had us all enthralled with tales of the Taj Mahal, Kathmandu, climbing mountains by train and interspersed with a liberal scattering of anecdotes about various celebrities and their peculiar traits, both pleasant and unpleasant! He became Company Manager for the British Council who promoted British culture/language, performing Shakespeare and Shaw for the Emir of Kano, giving performances in a Gothic auditorium in Shimla and amidst street violence in Addis Ababa. The time flew by listening to Brian’s stories, he was a most interesting speaker and it was a very pleasant and entertaining afternoon.

Over half an inch of rain overnight last Saturday put Sunday’s fixture against Netherfield in doubt, but thanks to the accuracy of computerised weather predictions, we made the right decision and were able to play another home match. Unfortunately, the Netherfield team were missing a couple of key players and only managed 48 all out at tea. Jackie Gurr’s splendid teas sustained the teams for the final push and Catsfield soon got the runs, so it was back home to enjoy a sunny evening watching the remainder of the Wimbledon men’s doubles. This Sunday we play Southbourne away at their lovely ground in Eastbourne, with everyone hoping to have a good game and get home in time to watch the World Cup final.

Our local farmers managed to get the hay in before the rains came and have the satisfaction of looking at barns full of silage and hay, although we notice there is still an amount unused from last winter. Rape will be the next crop for harvesting and although all the crops look good, the prices offered by the merchants is considerably less than last year, particularly for some reason, here in the South East.

There are still a couple of seats left for the WI outing on 24th July, so if you feel like a day out in Kent, please contact President Ann Davey.

The East Sussex County Council’s Mobile Library will be making its fortnightly visit to Catsfield and will be parked in the usual place outside the Village Hall on Wednesday 16th July from 3.45pm – 4.45pm.

Jill Jarrett

Broadview, Bexhill