PARISH MAGAZINE: The June/July edition of the Parish Magazine is now available in the village shops, the Bistro and the Church.

PET SERVICE: To celebrate the Queen’s birthday and her love of animals the Church is holding a Pet Service on Sunday (June 12), 10.30am. The service will be in Queen’s Garden if it is fine, or in the Church if wet. Bring your favourite animal friend along to the service.

PLANT SALE: A plant sale with all proceeds going to ETSR today and tomorrow, June 10 & 11, 10.30 to 12.30 on each day. Selling many varieties of annuals and perennials, coffee and cakes also available. The sale is at The Barn, Burgham Farm, Sheepstreet Lane, Etchingham TN19 7AZ. For further information contact Mary Barnes 01580 819142.

A DAY AT THE SEASIDE: Put Saturday June 25 in your diary, that is the date for the Big Etchingham Day at the Seaside, which will combine all the best of the annual Fete and the Flower and Dog Show on the same day, the Fete and Dog Show in Queen’s Garden and the Flower Show in the Church. Fancy Dress parade from the Village Hall at 1pm, Church and Fete open at 1.30pm, Dog Show 1.30pm to 3pm, Evening bands from 6.30pm to close. If you are planning to enter photographs in the photo section of the Flower Show, these are the categories ‘Blue’ - ‘Ships, boats and things that float’ - ‘I saw it at the seaside’ - ‘Creatures of Etchingham (insects to homo sapiens)’, so get snapping. All the usual stalls and activities that you would expect at the Fete and the Flower Show along with some new stalls and a few surprises.

PHOTO DISPLAY: Many will know that for the last couple of years, during the annual Fete and the Flower and Dog Show I have put on a display of a large quantity of old photos, postcards and memorabilia from the area – in the Church Chancel.

This year during ‘A day at the seaside’ on June 25 I will again have a display in the Church, but this year it will be reduced in size and will not include all the books and items displayed on tables. The display will be limited to the items that can be displayed around the choir stalls, the display will still include a large number of historical photos of Etchingham and over 200 old postcards of Etchingham, Hurst Green, Burwash, Ticehurst and the surrounding area.

If you have missed the display in previous years there is still plenty to see, if you are a newcomer to Etchingham a chance to see some images of Etchingham in times gone by.

NEW BENCH: The Parish Council, assisted by a grant from Rother District Council, has commissioned a commemorative bench that will be suitably inscribed to mark the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II.

The bench will be sited appropriately in Queen’s Garden, which was established to mark the Coronation of the Queen in 1953. The bench will be officially unveiled during the afternoon on June 25 at ‘A Day at the Seaside’.

CIC AWARD: Etchingham Community Interest Company has been recognised with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for 2016, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The CIC was formed in 2010 and has been responsible for a number of community projects aimed at restoring the heart and amenities in Etchingham. These projects include opening a Bistro in the renovated station master’s house at the local station and the re-launch of the village stores as a Shop and Deli.

The four directors of the CIC, Colin Phillips (chairman), Sue Westbrook (secretary), Peter Benn and John Morris came together following the Village Action Plan published in 2007 that identified that 84% of villagers who responded to the survey wanted a village pub to re-open. While the station building was identified as the perfect location for such an enterprise the reality of turning a run-down building into the hub of the village seemed like a distant dream. The thriving Bistro@theStation won Best Station Retail Outlet 2011 at the Association of Community Rail Partnerships Awards and has now been open for six years continuing to go from strength to strength.

Two years after the Bistro opened the CIC successfully re-launched the village stores as the Etchingham Shop & Deli following consultation with the village to understand what they most wanted from a local shop. The Shop & Deli went on to win two Countryside Alliance Awards, often called the Rural Oscars, including Village Shop of the Year, South Eastern Region, 2013.

Other CIC projects include transforming a village eyesore of an old coal yard into a wild flower garden and car park for the Bistro and outside lighting for the village church.

The Etchingham CIC is one of only 193 national charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive this prestigious award this year. The number of awards given to groups in 2016 is slightly higher than last year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to tackle community challenges.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the MBE for volunteer groups and recognises outstanding work in the community. The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

The CIC will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex later this summer.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Committee Chair, former broadcast journalist Sir Martyn Lewis said, “I warmly congratulate all of the inspirational voluntary groups who have been rewarded for their community work with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The judging panel for this year’s awards were struck by the quality and breadth of all the successful groups. The thousands of volunteers who give up spare time to help others in their community and to help solve problems demonstrate the very best of democracy in action.”

Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, said, “I would like to congratulate all groups who received this year’s Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, in recognition of their fantastic achievements. The huge amount of work and commitment these organisations put into their local communities is surpassed only by the passion and motivation of the individuals who volunteer. I hope these groups continue to inspire others to get involved and make a positive impact so that we can continue to build a more compassionate society.”

Colin Phillips, Chairman of the Etchingham Community Interest Company said, “While there are officially only four directors of the CIC this award and everything we have achieved would not have been possible without dozens of other people who have given their time and expertise freely. We would also like to thank our sponsors over the last six years who include local generous individuals, the Etchingham Parish Council, Railway Heritage Trust, the former Wealden and Rother Rural Partnership (The WARR Partnership) and SEEDA (South East England Development Agency), the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, Network Rail and South Eastern. We believe the recognition of being presented with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service should enable us to carry on our work and provide greater confidence for past and future sponsors. It is a great honour to accept this award on behalf of the CIC and the village of Etchingham.”

MUSIC FESTIVAL: The Etchingham Music Festival takes place this year from July 2 to July 10. This year the concerts will include performances by Instant Sunshine, Florian Mitrea, Atea Wind Quintet, Richard Evans, opera students from the Royal College of Music, ‘Singing for Fun’ and the Etchingham Poetry Group. July 2, 7.30pm, Instant Sunshine - a comedy cabaret group well known for their radio and TV performances; July 3, 7pm, Florian Mitrea and the Atrea Wind Quartet ; July 6, 7.30pm, A tribute to concert the the Festival’s late Patron, Dr. Peter Katin. Richard Evans, one of Peter’s favourite pupils and friend , will perform a programme inspired by Peter’s own beguiling repertoire; July 9, 7.30pm, The Saturday Opera Supper evening will showcase acclaimed students from the Royal College of Music; Sunday July 10, 4pm, a free concert ‘Shakespeare through the seasons’. To mark the 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare the Festival presents an afternoon of choral music by ‘Singing for Fun’ from Crowborough and readings from Shakespeare by the Etchingham Poetry Group. Tickets for the concerts are £18, concessions £15, except for the Opera concerts for which all tickets are £22 and the free concert on the Sunday which is obviously free. All concerts are held in the Church, for more details you can visit

CHURCH INFORMATION: Details of what is happening at the Church, and service details, can be found online at

FUTURE EVENTS: Do you have events planned for later in the year? Send me the dates and basic details now, I can then give your event a mention well in advance of the date, people can note the date and I can then put the full details in nearer the date.

SENDING INFORMATION: Get information for this column to me as soon as possible. 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. You can deliver to 2 Park Farm Close, telephone 01580 819532 or 07484 635014 or email you will also find a form on the village website to send your information from there, look for the Village Voice link near the bottom of the column of links on the left-hand side.

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