Etchingham village voice

For over 21 years Etchingham Church has been the venue for a Music Festival during the first week of July. This year will run from Saturday July 7 to Sunday July 15.

Saturday July 7 will be an evening of music and song with Elizabeth Burgess on piano, John Slack on clarinet, Matt Lowe playing cello and soprano Aoife Miskelly. Sunday July 8 the Church hosts a piano recital from gifted young pianist and graduate of the Royal academy of Music, Bing Bing Li. A welcome return of the Mitrea Piano Quartet playing as a Trio, Quartet and Quintet on Wednesday July 11, and Festival Patron, Dr. Peter Katinwill perform a piano concert on Thursday July 12, including Chopin. Schubert, Beethoven and Debussy. A Supper Concert with Cuban Jazz Salsa band ‘Heads South’ will be on Saturday july 14. The Festival is rounded off with a free concert in the afternoon on Sunday July 15, a celebration of English music to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with the Ashdown Singers.

Full details will appear here nearer the dates, and the full programme details prices and ticket information can be found on the Festival website the postal address is Etchingham Music festival, PO Box 100, Etchingham, East Sussex, TN19 7US 01580 860199

It is now over a year since the Etchingham Community Stores closed the doors for the last time, since then the Parish Council has purchased the shop premises as a village asset. Interested parties bid for the opportunity to run a new shop from the premises, the Etchingham Community Interest Company (CIC) was successful in their bid and have spent the last few months working towards creating a new shop. For the benefit of anyone new to the village, the CIC are the group responsible for transforming the old Station Masters house at the railway station into a successful Bistro, and have almost completed the work to convert the old coal yard at the station into a community area and parking for the Bistro and the soon to open shop.

The new shop is nearing completion and will open for business at 11am next Thursday, May 31. The new shop will be quite different to the previous shop, it will be both a general grocery shop and a delicatessen selling specialist cheeses and fresh products, freshly made to order sandwiches and hoemmade dishes by manager and chef, Neil Cotterill. In addition to essential basics, the shop will have Kiddy Corner pick & mix sweets, farm fresh fruit and veg, a bake off oven with croissants, baguettes and homemade sausage rolls, and an extensive deli counter. The shop will work closely with local suppliers such as the Lighthouse bakery in Bodiam, Speldhurst Sausages and Candy Stripe bakery for cakes. The shop will be open seven days a week at the following times, Monday to Wednesday 7am to 6pm, Thursday and Friday 7am to 8-30pm, Saturday 8am to 6pm and Sunday 8am to 4pm.

The village Jubilee celebrations start on Saturday June 2 when the Jubilee Picnic will be held in Queen’s Garden, 12 noon to 2pm. At this event children in the village will be presented with a Jubilee Mug by our MP, Gregory Barker, at 1pm we hope to get as many village residents as possible assembled for a Jubilee photo. At 2pm there will be a special event at the Bistro at the Station. At 7pm The Jubilee Medieval Feast will take place in the Church, this year marks the 650th anniversary of the Church, tickets are still available, £25, from the Post Office.

On Sunday June 3, from 2pm, the Etchingham Club will be showing the Royal Regatta on the big screen, with a barbecue and they will be serving special Jubilee Ales and Lager.

This year the Fete will be held on Monday June 4 as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, and will be held in the Lambing Field instead of Queen’s Garden. The theme this year is ‘Rule Britannia’, and the Fete promises to be bigger than ever.From 7pm to 11pm the entertainment continues in the Lambing Field with live music, a hog roast and bar.

The entertainment continues in the Churchon Tuesday June 5, at 3pm the Etchingham Singers with Courtney Kenny and invited soloists, will perform songs from the London shows 1952-53, followed by afternoon tea, tickets £3.

Medieval Feast, in the Church on Saturday June 2, 7pm to 11pm, a journey back to the 14th century to celebrate the 650th anniversary of Sir William de Etchingham’s Church. Entertainment will be by Serpentyne, a group who mix medieval songs and dance tunes with world rhythms, creating an exciting magical atmosphere, for more information about Serpentyne, visit their website , there are video clips on the site showing the group performing. Tickets are limited to 120, so get yours as soon as possible, the ticket application form is on the back of the information which everyone received recently, tickets are available at the Post Office.

“This Life of Grace”, by John Symons, is in the non-fiction final of the People’s Book Prize for 2011 - 2012. you can give John your support by voting. You can vote again now even if you voted for him in the first round, and can use as many email addresses as you have in the family. The prize was set-up for unknown authors and small publishers, and helps give them some welcome publicity. Voting is open from May 21 - 28, and the result will be announced on May 30. To vote go to the website

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 Cottages