Catsfield Horticultural Society AGM (from Vanessa): The Horticultural Society will be holding its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 14th October in the Village Hall at 7.30pm, when yet again we will be discussing the Village Fete and its future and in particular, the viability of the evening dance. We would like a representative from each club or society who participated in the fete to come to the AGM to receive their share of the profits. Those who ran stalls are W.I. the Church, CADS, Pre-school, the Stoolball club, the Cricket club, the Social club. Should a representative not attend, their share will go back into the Hortic pot. Its blackmail I know, but we need people to attend the meeting so that we can keep the event going.

Jumble Sale: The latest fund-raising event for the Parish Church of St Laurence will be a Jumble Sale held in Catsfield Village Hall on Saturday 24th October from 10am – 12pm. Entrance will be 50p and refreshments will available.

Donations of jumble would be most welcome at the hall from 9am and Sandra would be grateful for any offers of help. Please call her on 01424 774708

WI: The monthly meeting of Catsfield WI was held on October 1st in the Village Hall and opened with a tribute to Linda Keeley and a minute’s silence before Jerusalem was sung. The usual business matters were kept to the minimum so that we could all sit back and enjoy the talk given by our speaker, Gary Enstone talking about ‘Rudyard Kipling – His Remarkable Life’. Gary has been the House Manager at Bateman’s for the past nine years and said that when he first moved there, his knowledge of Kipling was minimal. Well, it certainly isn’t now and he held us all enthralled as, without notes and a presentation of some interesting old photographs of the great man, he took us completely through Kipling’s life history from how his parents met, to the placing of his memorial stone in Westminster Abbey. He was named after the Kipling reservoir close to Stoke-on-Trent when he was born in India, where his father was working at the time. His stay in India ended when, aged only six, he and his younger sister were sent back to a boarding school in England, where they were kept in harsh conditions, not permitted to choose books to read, beaten often and didn’t see their parents again for another twelve years. Maybe because of his traumatic childhood, he appeared far older than his years. He was rejected by Oxford and Cambridge universities purely because of his Indian birth and despite his English parentage, so when they offered him honorary doctorates in later years, he was happy to decline. He returned to India and worked in journalism also writing very many short stories, which became extremely popular and prompted a commission from an English publishing house to write for them.

He returned to England via a world tour during which he met and later married his wife Caroline (Carrie) Balestier and after their marriage, they settled in Vermont. It was here that their first child Josephine was born followed in 1896 by a second daughter, Elsie and there Kipling wrote the Jungle Books, Barrack-Room Ballads and other important works. Later in 1896 they returned to England and first lived in Torquay, by which time he was already famous. Their son John was born in 1897 and they moved to Rottingdean before finally settling at Batemans in the early 1900’s, which was to be Kipling’s home until his death in 1936. He was devastated by the death of his beloved daughter Josephine aged six whist on a trip to America and later wrote ‘The Just So Stories’. He was a great supporter of WWl and managed to get his son John into the Irish Guards, despite his poor eye-sight and other physical weaknesses. However, when John was listed as missing in the Battle of Loos in 1915, Kipling never forgave himself, he became extremely active in The War Graves Commission and is responsible for amongst other things, the selection of many famous lines connected with and seen on War Memorials, such as ‘Their Name Liveth for Evermore’ and ‘The Glorious Dead’. Rudyard Kipling died in 1936 two days before the death of his great friend the King and because that huge event took over the news, Kipling’s funeral was an extremely minor affair, with only a handful of people present. However, Winston Churchill, George Orwell and Rider Haggard decided that more should be done to honour this great man and at the memorial service and dedication of a new larger stone in Poet’s Corner at Westminster Abbey in 1946, many thousands of people were present. Gary our speaker over-ran his allotted time but no-one wanted him to stop. His easy and natural manner made the life-story of one of everyone’s favourite writers even more fascinating with previously unheard of facts about the great man.

Linda Keeley (written by Victoria): Linda’s funeral service at St Laurence’s Church was attended by a huge number of people and Father Michael took the service. Linda was a member of Ashburnham and Catsfield WI, an Art group in Ashburnham, she loved St Laurence Church where she sang in the choir and was on the fund-raising committee with Sandra Shoobridge prior to her diagnosis of cancer three years ago. She enjoyed the Catsfield Social club, Catsfield’s Friday Craft /Knit and Natter group, Ashburnham’s chapel monthly coffee mornings and apparently worked over the years for several people in and around Ashburnham and other areas. A lovely eulogy was read by Father Michael, which had been composed by the family and Linda was laid to rest at Penhurst Church where her parents are buried, the committal was with family only attending. All her friends were invited to join the family at Ashburnham Village Hall afterwards and many attended the wake. Flowers were from the family only, but donations to Macmillan Nurses who had been wonderful to Linda and Cancer Research would be welcome. Linda leaves behind her husband Denis, her two daughters. Rachel and Ros and three grandchildren. There was a lovely photo of Linda on the service sheet and she will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Harvest Festival (from Mike Cooper): It felt rather strange being able to have a lie in on a Sunday instead of leaping up and rushing up to church for the 9.15am service. However everyone remembered it was an 11am start for a lovely Harvest Festival Service. The church looked and smelt wonderful and around 80 people came. The children brought the harvest gifts to the altar for later offering to Xtrax in Hastings. Father Michael gave an excellent talk relating the whole of the bible in a few minutes linked to pieces of fruit, however some of the puns were excruciating (a pear representing the pair of people in the Garden of Eden!). The choir sang a harvest anthem, which was well received and the service concluded with a hearty rendition of ‘Bringing in the Sheaves’. Then the lovely cold collation was set upon and the church was filled with happy adults and children eating, drinking and chatting for ages.

Friday Coffee Shop: There will be a Friday Coffee Shop held in the Parish Room at St George’s Church, Crowhurst. It will be open from 8.45am until 11.30 am and will be serving hot drinks, croissants, toast, bagels, cake etc and will have some tasty treats to buy. Frances, Val and Nonna invite you to visit for breakfast or meet your friends for coffee and a chat, they look forward to seeing you there and ask that you support this new venture

Bluegrass Plus Club: There will be a Bluegrass Music Day at Catsfield Village Hall, TN33 9DP on Saturday October 10th from 2pm - 6:30pm. There will be Picking and Workshops for Banjo, Guitar, Mandolin, Dobro & Fiddle and will culminate in a concert starting at 8pm – 11pm where there will be three bands playing. Tickets cost £12. To reserve tickets and for further information please telephone Sheila or Ray on 01424 893390 or email: sheila@bluegrass-

Sports etc: Our football team lost last week in their away fixture to Little Common 1 – 4 and we hope for better things tomorrow when we host Peasmarsh at home.

New road: Time is running out to comment on RR/2015/2260/P which includes the stopping-up of Watermill Lane and the new road. There is a Facebook site called PANBAR (People Against North Bexhill Access Road) which you can visit. The group call this “the secret road” and one cannot help but agree with them. This road proposal has been a complete surprise to most of us and is full of implications for traffic in the area.

Harvest: A special treat in the village has been the annual procession of our schoolchildren delivering their harvest gifts to village pensioners and this was followed by the sight of the whole school enjoying their charity walk. So many villages no longer have a school that sights like this are denied their residents. We need more news of the school in Village Voice, so we can take part in their success but despite repeated requests to their office, they fail to provide.

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