Flood: (Report from Mike Cooper). Last Thursday morning started like most this winter, damp and mild. Then the rain increased in intensity. Next we knew a tide of muddy brown water was flowing down Church Road and gathering between the car park entrance and the end of the Drill Hall cottages, threatening to creep into the properties on both sides of the road. Some of the residents and helpful neighbours set about clearing the drains of accumulated leaves etc. whilst others guarded the ends of the road asking the cars to divert to avoid creating tsunamis as they passed. Most drivers complied willingly and drove cautiously the wrong way up Church Lane until the water subsided. A great team effort and thanks to all who helped.

Burns Night: The fundraisers for St Laurence’s Church will be celebrating Burn’s Night on Saturday week, 23rd January at 7.30pm in the Village Hall. Enjoy a three course traditional Burn’s Night Dinner and a ‘wee dram’ for only £10 per person. Book your places by telephoning Sandra Shoobridge on 01424 774708. Those of you who attended two years ago will know what an enjoyable evening this was, but at the time of writing this column at the beginning of the week, there were only seven tickets left, so you’d better call quickly if you’re hoping to come!

Sport: (From Ann Davey as usual). Sad to say no football was possible in the East Sussex Football League last weekend and tomorrow’s fixtures must also be in doubt. Fortunately, Catsfield haven’t many fixtures left to play this season, but we are supposed to be playing Herstmonceux at home. Just imagine how difficult it is going to be for the fixture secretary to re-organise all these cancelled matches. This is a very lean time for your sports correspondent, the only thing to report is that the cricket club are planning their AGM and dinner - sportsmen still have to eat!

Planning: The Parish Council will be considering the planning application for the new houses in Skinners Lane at their February meeting.

WI: The first meeting in 2016 of the Catsfield WI nearly met the same fate as in January last year, when persistent and torrential rain caused floods in Church Road close to the Village Hall and the meeting had to be cancelled. Fortunately for the residents in the area, the water subsided a little quicker this time and for WI members, the meeting was held as planned. There were apologies from many ladies but the thirty-two or so who made it to the meeting had a most enjoyable afternoon. The meeting began with all the usual business matters and also included a report by Beryl on her visit to Denman last year. The meeting was asked to vote on the resolutions for the AGM of the WI in London later in the year.

It was good to welcome an old friend from Henley Down, Dr John Feltwell who came to talk to us about ‘Bees and Butterflies’. His talk was illustrated by the most beautiful close up photographs of these fascinating insects on very many colourful wild and garden flowers, all taken with great patience by himself. John’s enthusiasm and knowledge of his bees is infectious and we were all enthralled as he told us of the amazing capabilities of these industrious insects. We learnt that there are 250 species of bees in the UK alone and also 250 different kinds of wasps, not to mention the bumble bees. He told us about their amazing navigation system and how they communicate to each other the location of special flowers, how it takes a million trips to produce one pound of honey and how the bees make a strong glue to ensure that the structure of their hive is firmly stuck together. We also heard about the threat to our bees from a mite that’s arrived here from China and can wipe out a hive if it’s not treated in time and the devastating effects of pesticides on bees and all insects and wildlife. John stressed the importance of bees and pollination to the survival of mankind. We saw beautiful pictures of our native butterflies and were told about the amazing evolution of their different colours. The three-quarters of an hour that John was talking seemed to fly by and there were many questions for him to answer at the end, indicating how interested everyone had been in his subject. Another most enjoyable WI meeting followed by a lovely tea and a raffle.

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