Keith Pollard, Brookfield, Broadway

Two services this week… and much more besides! The services for Sunday, March 3 are an All Age Service at St Andrews at 10.30 am, and, later, an Informal Communion at St Peters at the winter timing of 4 pm.

The ‘much more’ consists of the continuation of the Lenten course, which is being held in St Peter’s on Broadway on Wednesday evenings at 7.30 pm and Thursday afternoons at 2.00 pm. The study is the same at both the sessions, and all are welcome. There is no charge. Next Wednesday and Thursday Meriel Deasy will be looking at the book of Colossians, Chapter 2 ‘Freedom in Christ’; the following week Ken Holmes will be leading on Colossians, Chapter 3 verses 1-17 ‘Holy Living’; and on the 20th and 21st March Rector Richard Barron will bring the study to a conclusion with Colossians, Chapter 3 verse 18 to Chapter 4 verse 18 ‘Holy homes and final greetings’.

Roads closed… Actually, yesterday and today, towards the bottom of Broadway, and then westerly along Lower Waites Lane, where the two new build houses, which already have gas, electricity and sewage connections made, get mains water. The plane was for Lower Waites Lane to be connected yesterday, with a total blocking-off, as the water runs on the south side of this narrow passage. Today should be Broadway, but the position of the water main, on the west of the road, should mean total vehicular stoppage is NOT necessary, even if some large boards have to be used to help.

Channel Croissant… Today is the Women’s World Day of Prayer and at 2.30 pm this afternoon in St Peters, with planning for the day having been prepared by the women of France, Praying for France will be led Kay Barnett, and the refreshments that follow will be French!

A myth is as good… as it gets for the Literary Society, whose speaker next Wednesday, March 6 will be Patrick Coulcher. His subject is The Greek Islands and their mythology, which sounds extremely interesting and promising. Visitors are welcome at the village hall on payment of a small fee (£2), and the afternoon begins at 2.30 pm.

At MOPP today… in the village hall there will be a T’ai Chi session with Annie Cryer. In the past, these exercises have proved to be very beneficial to the members and well worth doing. Lunch will consist of a quiche with cheesy mash followed by a trifle, which, as usual, sounds good! Give Sheila a ring on 07774 573086 if you would like more information.

Following on from last month’s fascinating talk on Flotsam and Jetsam, Andy Dinsdale returned to the Tuesday Ladies Club to give another talk as the scheduled speaker had found it necessary to cancel. His subject this time couldn’t have been more different, as he gave a very interesting History of Juggling - and demonstrated the various techniques as he went along. Juggling was very much a family thing until the 1940’s when in America they held the first Juggling Convention and visitors were taught some basic juggling skills. A Convention was held in London in 1979 and only 11 people turned up, but now between 2000 and 3000 attend each year. Some of the ladies present, (and a little granddaughter!) had a go at plate spinning during the tea break and they were good – watch out Andy! After tea, Andy told the gathering how to build an earth oven, as had been built by his friend Jai. Jai is about to embark on a trip round the world on a unicycle, and his progress can be followed on owow.org.uk!

He’s started, so he’ll Finnish… An early warning of the talk coming up on March 19, when the Club will welcome back Mr. G. Albon, whose subject will be “The Land that Inspired Sibelius”. Visitors are very welcome (at £2 each) and the meeting will be in the village hall starting at 2.15 pm.

Order, order… Rector Richard Barron and Fairlight Outings’ Christine Jones have agreed that they will organise a trip to the Houses of Parliament sometime in June, with Christine doing the travel bit and Richard the ‘Houses’ detail. While the actual date and the details of cost are not yet known, the organisers would obviously appreciate getting an idea of the likely numbers involved. If the trip appeals to you, please register your interest, which is without being a firm commitment until the details are finalised, then you will have the first opportunity to book. The coach will go direct to the Houses of Parliament, and return between 5 and 6 pm. Your contacts are either Christine Jones on 813538 or email petechrisjones@btinternet.com, or the Rector, Rev Richard Barron on 812799 or email him at rector@fairlightandpett.com

Hospice Question Time… the recent multi-venue event was a success at the Cove in the village, where £118 was raised for the Hospice. The winning team in Fairlight were the ‘Drowned Rats’, with the ‘Four Players’ and the ‘Goat People’ coming joint second. Names escape me, but they will know who they are and be proud of their efforts, even if they do sound like obscure pop groups!

A patriotic day out… on Sunday, April 21 at 3.00 pm. in the Royal Albert Hall, when there is a Gala for St. George, presented by Chris Hollins. Front circle tickets are £24.60 each, plus the cost of the coach and extras. The coach will leave Fairlight Circle at 10.45 am, with a pick-up in Bohemia Road opposite the Police Station at 11 am. If you’d like to go, contact Christine Jones either on 813538 or by email at petechrisjones@btinternet.com

Show business… at the Pantomime Group’s AGM last Friday, when there were 21 members present. The important change this year sees Secretary Sylvia Gladman standing down after an incredible and invaluable 13 years in the post. Sylvia was presented with an orchid and told, very truly but more usually applied to the group’s actors, that she was ‘a hard act to follow’. The new secretary will be KerriAnne Goring, who co-directed their recent Sinbad with her brother Ben, who remains the group’s Chairman. The Panto group would love to hear from ‘anybody out there’ who has aspirations to direct a panto. If that’s you, give Anne Bird a call on 813636 (I haven’t got KerriAnne’s number yet)

Help the needy… the Players’ forthcoming show, Happy As A Sandbag, needs help from anyone who could lend them any items of WWII uniforms, be they Army, Navy, Air Force, ARP, Land Girls or pilots (leather jackets, white silk evening scarves, goggles, leather flying helmets) Local residents have always come up trumps to meet Players’ appeals, and you ought to know that whatever you are able to lend would be carefully looked after and safely returned. Please call Keith Pollard on 813631 if you can help out.

Good day, my Lord… Lord Bassam of Brighton, who is Opposition Chief Whip in the House of Lords, is a man with a keen interest in many things, and he has been seeing for himself the state of our coastline. And this brought him to Pett Level on the Thursday of last week, where he met members of the Pett Level Rescue Boat Association. A proper account appears elsewhere in this paper. Meanwhile, back at the boathouse, indefatigable fund raiser John Pulfer reports that almost £8,300 has been raised towards the renovation of the old boathouse and its facilities, out of the £15,000 it will cost.

Garden Club talk… on Monday next is the Stonelynk Community Gardens, to be given by Nina. The Club’s subs are now due for the year, and they will either be collected from you at your door, or you can pay them at the Trading Hut on a Saturday morning between 10 and 12. They are £5 per household, in case you’ve forgotten – a sum you could easily save by some judicious purchases at the hut!

The Cove pub… will be resuming their formerly popular quiz nights once a month starting on Wednesday, March 20, with an 8 pm start.

Red Nose cakes tomorrow… there’s a Bake Sale in the village hall, from 10 am to 12 noon. The posters claim ‘not a soggy bottom in sight.’ This may not necessarily be true in Fairlight…

Did the earth move for you…? On Monday last, that is, when 10 very loud bangs shook the windows about quite a bit. It was, say the Police, Controlled Demolitions – but where and of what, no-one seems to know. Perhaps time will tell. How much better just one advance email to our excellent in-village info service would have been. It could have saved countless worried phone calls to the already over-busy Police.

Further, better details of the bangs have just surfaced via Trevor Lewing’s residents’ email scheme. It transpires that all the bangs emanate from Lydd Range, and Alan Keeling, Lydd’s Deputy Range Officer, said the increased noise we have experienced is partly due to atmospherics, low cloud base and wind direction. But it is also due to demolition training that they are having to do before deployment, presumably to Afghanistan. It is not part of the regular training and was booked in about six months ago. It’s was due to finish on Thursday or, at worst, today, Friday. In response to several complaints from residents, the squads have been asked to reduce the detonations to the minimum required for effective demolition but obviously they have to be powerful enough to achieve success.

Persistent potholes… the major open-cast mine hole near the Cove has still had no repair, and others of increasing interest include a repeat offender some 100 yards east of the church coming down Battery Hill, and a strange new development in the middle of the carriageway on the specially surfaced area approaching the corner with Waites Lane. Of course, they can’t win them all, even if they were trying, but going west along the Fairlight Road a hole is growing where the old carriageway joins one of the excellent newly surfaced stretches shortly before Martineau Lane. That’s just bad luck.