CHRISTMAS PLAY: Another excellent play last Saturday evening, in the village halls, well done to all the performers, singers, stage management and those working quietly unseen in the background for providing us with another enjoyable evening of entertainment. The story revolved around the building of the railway line through Etchingham in the 1850's, and the eventual saving of the Etchingham Christmas Party, and of course the play would not be complete without the appearance of Jill's famous donkey.

Friday, 21st December 2018, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:10 am
Etchingham Christmas play SUS-181218-090711001

I took a number of photos during the dress rehearsals, and several video clips during the actual performance, I have uploaded them to an album at Flickr

Three of the video clips are longer than the limits set by Flickr so I have uploaded those to Facebook instead, search Facebook for my name and you will find the videos and a few of the photos on my timeline.

All the still images were taken under stage lighting and without flash to avoid distraction, so all needed a little editing before uploading to get colours and light as good as possible, but some still have slightly strange colours because of the lighting.

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BUS TIMES: Compass Travel are making a number of changes to bus services from January 7.

Compass Travel is unable to continue to provide all of their current provision of services due to financial pressures. This has been caused by higher fuel and insurance costs, along with reduced levels of income because of declining passenger numbers. Several services have few or no changes, with the main alterations affecting the worst performing journeys.

231 Uckfield-Framfield-Blackboys-Heathfield-Broad Oak-Burwash-Etchingham; The journeys from Uckfield at 17:15 and 17:50 are withdrawn and replaced with a new journey at 17:35 to Etchingham Station. The 17:00 and 18:03 journeys from Etchingham Station are retimed to depart at 16:45 and 18:20 instead. The 18:20 journey will run only as far as Heathfield, meaning that the last bus from Heathfield Fire Station to Uckfield will be 17:10.

PLAYGROUNDS: Etchingham Recreation Ground Trust (ERGT) is the charity responsible for Queen’s Garden and the Viper site. ERGT are working on fund raising for repair and replacement of equipment, and apologise for the delay in the start of fundraising, due to the setting up of the bank account taking much longer than anticipated. There are a couple grant applications in progress that if successful will help build the total. You can generate funds for ERGT whenever you shop online and it does not cost you anything extra. You register at Give as you Live then whenever you shop online you sign in to the Give as you Live website first and use the link on the site to access the retailer you are purchasing from, there are over 4,000 online retailers available so your favourites are bound to be there, a small percentage of your purchase will be donated to ERGT, the amounts are quite small but if lots of people remember to use the system for every purchase it will soon add up to a useful sum of money. You will find more details of how to use Give as you Live on the ERGT fundraising page of the village website EVERY PENNY COUNTS. There is now also a fundraising page online where you can make a donation if you are a tax payer please remember to fill in the Gift Aid form when you make your donation so that ERGT get an extra 25% from HMRC. If you want to make a donation but do not have the ability to do it online, you can a payment with cash or a cheque payable to Etchingham Playgrounds and deliver it to the Parish Office at Parsonage Croft, or in a sealed envelope clearly marked ‘playground appeal’ at the Post Office. The target to be raised is £25,000, at the time of writing just over £500 has been raised, with approx. another £100 of donations and gift aid waiting to be approved, so quite a way to go yet, if you have any fundraising ideas, and more importantly, time to help organise fundraising, email [email protected] . The annual safety inspection has just taken place and we are awaiting the detailed report, but we are anticipating that this will not be good news, once we have the report and dealt with all the requirements and observations fundraising is likely to become even more urgent, hopefully more details will be available next week.

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CHURCH SERVICES: Church Service for December and January, all services are at 11am unless otherwise noted, this Sunday, December 23, Reverend Robin Tree; December 24, Christmas Eve, Crib Service with Reverend Sally Epps at 3pm and Midnight mass with Canon Patrick sales at 11.30pm; Christmas Day, 10am, Reverend Jean Manning; Sunday December 30, 8.30am, Reverend Sally Epps. Sunday January 6, To be announced. Sunday January 13, Reverend Sally Epps. Sunday january 20, Reverend Christopher Channer. Sunday January 27, Canon Lucy Murdoch.

CHURCH CONTACT: Churchwardens, Mary Barnes 01580 819142 and Geoffry Lucas 01580 819439. For Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals and Pastoral Matters contact Reverend Sally Epps 01435 882301 [email protected]

CHURCH OPENING: The Church is open every day for visitors from 11am to 4pm.

HURST GREEN: As you will be aware there is not currently a Village Voice correspondent for Hurst Green. If you are connected with with a Hurst Green group, or organising an event in Hurst Green, I am happy to add the details to the Etchingham column if you send the information to me. Or, even better, perhaps there is someone in Hurst Green who would like to take on the Hurst Green column, if you want to know more you can contact me or the Battle Observer.

VILLAGE WEBSITE: The village website is provided by the Parish Council to inform residents of Parish Council and village activities. The site is updated on a voluntary basis to keep running costs to a minimum, Council agendas and minutes are published on the site and archived agendas and minutes for the last five years can also be viewed.

Information on village organisations and events is added, are the details of your village organisation on the website? If you have information that you would like to see on the site let me know so that it can be added, there is a link to the contact form at the bottom of the Home Page on the site .

Content on the website is currently being edited and updated, if you, your organisation or business has information on the site please check the content and notify any changes, deletions or additions to [email protected] there is not much value in having details on the site if things like contact details etc. are out of 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 [email protected] 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 of the website page.

THANK YOU: Thank you to everyone who has sent me information for this column during the year, please keep your contributions coming in during 2019. I will not be sending any information next week, my next contribution will appear on Friday January 4, if you have information for me to add please get it to me by December 30 at the very latest. All that remains is for me to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.