Family Morning Service: The service of Holy Communion this Sunday at St Laurence’s Church will start at the earlier time of 9am and will remain at this time on the third Sunday in the month from now on. This is to make it less rushed before the Family Morning Service, which follows at 10am. The Sunday School did extremely well the Sunday before last, when they held a Cake Sale and raised the amazing sum of £240 for the Nepal Earthquake Appeal.

Catsfield v Crowhurst: The Pentecost Rounders Match between the two parishes takes place on Sunday 24th May at 3pm on the Catsfield Playing Field. Players and supporters are needed, so please come along and play or support your village team. It should be an enjoyable afternoon and tea and cake will be served after the match at about 4.30pm.

CADS Murder Mystery: Tickets are on sale now in the Village Store for the CADS Murder Mystery evening on Saturday May 30th in the Village Hall at 7.30pm. These evenings are always great fun and tickets cost £9.50 each to include a light supper and there will also be a bar. The Raffle will be run by the WI. All profits from this event will go to The WI’s charity of the year, The Kent and Sussex Air Ambulance.

Derek Goldsmith: It is with great sadness that I heard last Saturday morning that Derek Goldsmith had died earlier that day, two months before his ninetieth birthday. Derek was my neighbour at Henley Down in the cottage that had first been rented by his parents many years ago, he was a familiar sight in and around the village as he rode his bike up and down the lanes, at one time carrying his dog in a shopping bag hanging from the handlebars! Derek was in the Home Guard during the war and had many tales to tell. He had always worked on local farms, looking after the animals and doing all sorts of jobs around the place and his hobby was collecting wonderful scale models of farm machinery and beautiful china models of farm animals, as well as old postcards and cigarette cards featuring animals and farming life. These he bought from collectors’ fairs in London and in other parts of the country, having ridden his bike to Battle to catch the train on a Sunday morning.

Derek loved to attend the annual Heathfield Agricultural Show and could be seen, when well into his eighties, riding his bike all the way to Heathfield, up and down the steep hills through Woods Corner and Dallington to get there and back again at the end of a long day. He had a wonderful memory and could tell many a story of past happenings in and around the area and was always able to tell you the date on which events occurred. About two years ago, Derek became quite frail and could no longer look after himself and he had to move to a rest home in Bexhill. People who knew him thought that could be the end of an independent, outdoor countryman like him, but not at all. Derek was extremely happy there and he thoroughly enjoyed the rest of his days being kept warm, well-fed and looked after, with every modern convenience to hand, luxuries he had never had before in his hard working life. He will be buried in the St Laurence Church Cemetary close to his parents and younger sister following a short service in the church on Wednesday 27th May at 2pm. It would be good if any local people who remember Derek could attend the service

WI: This month’s meeting opened as usual with a rousing rendition of ‘Jerusalem’ and the President opened the door so that the sound of the singing could be heard next door where the voting was taking place! The meeting featured the annual ‘Fun Flower and Produce Show’ and, because Hermon Cottage was being used as a Polling Station for the general election, the number of classes was restricted owing to lack of space. However, there were a good number of entries and of a very high standard. The most popular class was for a ‘Family Keepsake of a Handcrafted Item’ and some beautiful old and delicate pieces of work were submitted. The meeting was told of many forthcoming events throughout the next couple of months, when there will be an opportunity to raise more money for our charity of the year, the Air Ambulance Service. The notices were given out by Sarah (who was standing in as secretary for Beryl as she is on holiday) whilst the judges carried out their deliberations and later everyone was able to look at the entries and see if they’d won a place amongst the winners. A lovely WI tea followed and the raffle was drawn before we all went home.

Christian Aid Plant Sale: At the start of Christian Aid week, the annual Plant Sale was held in the Village Hall last Saturday. It started at 10am and by a few minutes past, boxes and bags of plants were being carried out to waiting cars. Inside the hall the stalls were doing a roaring trade and the plants were ‘flying off’ the tables – it reminded me of gardening adults behaving like children being let loose in a sweet shop (I know, because I was one of them!) There was also a Cake stall and a Raffle and the opportunity to rest with tea or coffee before re-entering the fray and buying more, forgetting temporarily that the task of planting them all still lay ahead. The sale raised £608 for Christian Aid and Libby would like to thank everyone who helped and donated plants to sell.

The VE Day Dinner: A night to remember - both seventy years ago and last Saturday in the Village Hall, when Sandra organised and hosted a wonderful evening of commemoration. Fifty-one people attended and were amazed to see the hall decorated from end to end with bunting made by Sandra, Pauline and Victoria and tables beautifully arranged and decorated with white roses and red, white and blue napkins and tea lights. Each table had a name ie- Land Girls, Home Guard, Winston Churchill, Monty etc and each had its own carefully thought out seating plan. Many people turned up in costume to the delight of all and there were many Land Girls, soldiers, Home Guard and general 1940’s outfits, which all added to the atmosphere.

Following a short reflection of the end of WWII and the National Anthem, diners enjoyed a 1940’s style dinner which included Leek and Potato or Parsnip Soup, Corned Beef Hash and vegetables and Lord Woolton’s Pie, all beautifully hot and then huge pieces of Bread Pudding and custard, with tea or coffee to follow. We were entertained by a ‘Lindy Hop’ demonstration from Graham and Heather who explained the origins of the dance and how the American GI’s brought it to the UK as the ‘Jitterbug’. Some of the ladies learned how to dance a ‘Stroll’ which looked a lot of fun and Fr Michael led us in the Hokey Cokey and the Conga, which was hilarious! Our general knowledge was put to the test by a short quiz on WWII and the ladies present from the WI were challenged to sing ‘Jerusalem’, which they did, unaccompanied and with gusto. The evening ended with a sing-a-long of wartime songs and finished with Auld Lang Syne. The event raised £538.00 for St Laurence Church Funds and also gave a lot of people a fantastic ‘home-grown’ fun evening out. Thank you Pauline, Victoria and especially Sandra, from us all.

Sports News: Our first cricket match on Sunday resulted in a win against Ashburnham, who batted first finishing their innings 114 all out. Our bowlers of Andy Williams and P Holland took 3 wickets each and Tom Bristow-Diamond and Tim Pitman 2 each. Tom Hammick took 3 catches in his inimitable style. After tea we got 115 runs for 4 wickets, Tim Pitman being our star batsman at 43 not out. It is a good start and we hope to continue the very small good run against Hastings Wanderers on Sunday, starting time 2pm.