Last Saturday a large percentage of the village population assembled by the River Duckwell, sorry that should be Dudwell, behind the shop to witness the 2014 Etchingham Duck Race. 300 Ducks, many of them very well decorated, were assembled ready for the start of the race. A competition was held for the best decorated duck in three categories.

Best Adult Decorated Duck - Jane Owels. Best 10 to 16yrs Decorated Duck - Charlie French. Best Under 10’s Decorated Duck - Laurie Marriage.

The ducks made their way slowly down the river to the bridge at the far end of the field and eventually a worthy winner was netted at the finish line.

Duck Race Winner - Jane Owels. 2nd Place - Kaya Morris. 3rd Place - Sophie Fowler. When they purchased their ducks at the shop each entrant in the race nominated a village charity for the prize to go to.

The winner of the duck race - Jane Owels had nominated “Under 5’s” as her chosen village charity - we have not finished sorting out the money - as people are still donating - but they will recieve in the region of £600.00.

Many Thanks to all who participated - we all had a brilliant day - weather was good and enabled us to all enjoy the BBQ and Ice Cream!

Also a big thank you to Adam Jacobs of Adams Taxi’s who donated and sponsored the duck race with £100.00

We look forward to next years race - more ducks needed as we sold out of ducks this year - 300 ducks sold!

At this time of year many of us are busy in the garden with various garden machinery, this equipment can become a target for criminals and at this time of year garden sheds become a target for thieves. Recently a large number of the sheds on the Hurst Green allotments were broken into. It is thought that the offenders were disturbed, possibly by an alarm that was fitted to one of the sheds because a petrol mower had been removed from one of the sheds and abandoned on site, a strimmer was taken from another plot.

A shed alarm that is triggered when an attempt is made to enter the shed is always a good idea, a quick search on Google for ‘shed alarm’ comes up with a large number of suitable alarms many battery operated, with prices starting from about £10.

There have been a lot of incidents of heating oil thefts in the area recently, our Church being one of them, Sussex Police have a lot of advice on oil tank security on their website . If you do not have internet access and want details of shed alarms or oil tank security please contact me I have all the details available.

Community Speedwatch; You can keep up to date with the weekly activity of the Etchingham Community Speedwatch group on the Facebook page ‘Like’ the page and get news as it is added to the page.

These two short videos give you more information about how Speedwatch works; *

We are aware of some local people not being happy about receiving a letter because they have been picked up in one of the village speed checks.

If you, a friend, relative or neighbour gets a letter please do not blame the Speedwatch operators IT WAS NOT THEIR FAULT.

We currently have only six trained and active operators, we need more volunteer operators if we are to continue with the same frequency or we will have to reduce the frequency to avoid overloading the few volunteers we have.

If you, or someone you know in the village, feels inclined to get involved, please get in touch with me. Volunteers need to be trained in the use of the equipment and the safety issues involved before they can go out on Speed checks, the training is not difficult and takes just a couple of hours at Battle Police Station. Once trained, volunteer operators can take part in as many of few sessions as they want. Anyone interested in helping can get more information on the village or, updates of the group’s activities are on Facebook If you have any questions - please ask. Colin Boylett, Speedwatch Co-ordinator 01580 819532

New Etchingham PCSO, we have now been given the details of the new PCSO for Etchingham. His name is Iain Tomsett, he is currently on the local team at Herstmonceux, he has been a PCSO for 9 years with spells at Eastbourne and Wealden, he has also had a spell at Wealden on the Roads Policing Unit Casualty Reduction Team.

Iain will join us in Etchingham in the first week of June when the new intake of PCSO’s have finished their training and areas are reallocated. Iain should be a great asset to the area, Sgt. Paul Masterson will introduce him to us when he arrives in June.

A Midsummers Party at Burgham Farm, Sheepstreet Lane on Saturday June 21, 7.30pm till Midnihgt, in support of Scotty’s Little Soldiers. Live Band, International Burger Bar, Auction of Promises and Raffle. Tickets are £10 per adult, children free, available from the Etchingham Shop & Deli and the Bistro, or email Beth at Scotty’s Little Soldiers is a Charity dedicated to supporting the children of men and women killed whilst serving in the British Armed Forces.

In July the Village Summer Fete will be held in Queen’s Garden. Last year, during the Fete, I put on a display of old photographs, postcards and documents in the Church, depicting much of the village history.

I am planning a similar display this year, it will be based around my collection of old photos and postcards, if I can borrow enough suitable items from village residents I hope to also include a display of memories of the school, as this will be the last year in the current building. If you have any suitable items I can borrow, let me know as soon as possible to help me plan space. You might have photos, books, documents, press cuttings or other items from your school days, or perhaps from parents or grandparents. I also have access to a lot of items relating to Etchingham Women’s Institute, so would like to also feature that in the display, if you have anything W.I. related that I can borrow please let me know.

If you have photos or small documents I can either borrow the originals for the display or make copies so that you can have the original items back straight away. If you have books or larger items I will need to see what you have as soon as possible so that I know how much space is required and pick the items up a couple of days before the display.

I will also be doing a display during the Flower and Dog Show, it would be good to have a different theme for the display, ideas welcome, one suggestion has been a display marking the centenary of the start of World War One, this is a possibility if enough items can be found, the items could relate to the time period and not necessarily all be related to Etchingham directly.

For both displays the available space is the area around and on the Choir Stalls and the Chancel in the Church.

Get information for this column to me as soon as possible, if you have a diary of events planned for the year let me have the dates and I will put in a list of village events for the year so that people can put the dates in their diaries. There are several ways to get your info to me, but email is preferred because there is less chance of errors during copying. I need information by 10pm on Monday to be sure it will be in time for inclusion, I can sometimes add extra items on Tuesday morning, but this cannot be guaranteed. Just a little reminder, I get plenty of information about events that are taking place, but I get very little follow up information, after your event try and remember to send me brief account of how successful your event was, it can be as simple as a thank you to those that attended and how much money was raised etc. You can deliver to 2 Park Farm Close, telephone 01580 819532 or 07941 786244 or email .

Colin Boylett

2 Park Farm Close