The Parish Council has planted 700 Snowdrop bulbs on Battery Hill, opposite the Post Office and General Stores
The Parish Council has planted 700 Snowdrop bulbs on Battery Hill, opposite the Post Office and General Stores

Keith Pollard, Brookfield, Broadway

In church this Sunday, April 28… there’s one service, which is Morning Praise at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am.

The Parish Assembly… was held in the village hall last Friday with our M.P., Amber Rudd, the leader of Rother District Council, Carl Maynard, plus District Councillors Roger Bird and Robin Patten present among the fifty plus Parish Councillors and members of the public who attended. This was as good an assembly as one could wish for, with representatives of almost all the village’s various clubs and organisations setting out their verbal stalls in turn.

Of special interest to everyone present was the announcement that the Planning Inspector had, earlier in the day, had increased the number of new houses ‘required’ in Rother from 4,800 (a figure many already felt to be excessive) to 9,600, to be built by 2028. Amber Rudd was well-briefed, supportive and incisive during this phase of the meeting, saying she had made enquiries and had an email to hand with the definitive answer. Fairly recent legislation means it is no longer in the Inspector’s power to override Rother’s Core Strategy, as she appeared to be threatening. The M.P. also referred to the National Planning Policy Framework in support of the view that the AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) was safe from development. We are situated at the eastern end of the High Weald AONB, and some 83% of the Rother District catchment falls within this designated area. Equally supportive during this discussion were the three District Councillors and Keith Jellicoe, who was speaking on behalf of EEFAG, the East Field Fairlight Action Group.

The John Lutman Community Service Award winner for 2012… was announced at last Friday’s Parish Assembly, and was revealed as Paul Capps. It is clear that the decision makers – Parish Council Chairman Andrew Mier, Vice-Chairman Alan Grant and Councillor Tony King – have made a very sound choice for the fourth year running. Paul has worked indefatigably for the Fairlight Preservation Trust, both in its early days with ‘Cove’ in its title when saving the cliff face was their prime objective, and now the Cove has been omitted to reflect the fact that the Trust will pursue whatsoever needs their attention, wherever it may fall within the parish boundary. Paul is also heavily involved with the Lower Waites Lane Improvement Scheme and has, himself, been a Parish Councillor. In declaring the winner, Andrew Mier said Paul had sometimes been a thorn in the flesh of the Council, but this is no bad thing. There’s never any chance of complacency when he’s about (not that there is anyway!)

Today at MOPPs… You can have a go at Thai Chi with Annie Crier, gently working up an appetite for a super lunch of roast pork, followed by meringue, ice-cream and fruit. At present, MOPPs has some vacancies, and anyone interested in participating in this friendly weekly get-together, with smashing food, should contact the Organiser, Sheila Thomas, on 01304 219767, or email her at sheilaspan@btinternet.com

Quiz at the Cove… It’s very easy to get out of sync. with the Cove’s Wednesday Quizzes, and their alternating Wednesday Acoustic Nights, and so I did last week. The next quiz will be on Wednesday next, May 1 at 8 pm.

The Royal British Legion’s Coffee Morning on Saturday last… was an easy, chatty pleasant affair which raised the excellent sum of £135.80. Well done, and thanks to all who attended!

The Residents’ Association Supper Dance… went off very successfully last Saturday in the village hall, with some forty plus people enjoying their supper, and having a good dance, too, to Ken Hall’s vast supply of music.

Valerie Tryon… the world-renowned concert pianist, will shortly be visiting the village (on Saturday, July 6), and tickets for her recital are available from the Post Office, or as has been mentioned for three weeks, by post from G. Wyatt, whose address is 33, Waites Lane, (not Lower Waites Lane, as I’ve kept repeating). I blame my usually reliable source, though I tend to think he’s been a little jaded and reluctant ever since the Leveson report… If you do write to Mr Wyatt, and send him a cheque for £16 per ticket (which will get you a glass of wine or a soft drink, plus a programme, too), please include an S.A.E. as well.

Activate clean up… cars, mainly, last Saturday afternoon, with one or two items for sale as well, and the efforts of those involved raised £110. A goodly result, that, and you’re now advised to watch out for a session of afternoon teas, in the village hall on May 18. You won’t escape – a more detailed reminder will be forthcoming nearer the date!

The Village Hall’s Spring Trestle Sale… is taking place tomorrow, Saturday, April 27 from 10 am to 12 noon. Apart from one occasion when the numbers of both stalls and customers were uncommon thin on the ground, this is usually an event to be enjoyed, with a fair spread of merchandise to tempt you to open your purse or wallet, and something to eat and drink while you make up your mind. Give it a try!

The Village Hall AGM… will be held on Monday next, April 29 at 7.30 pm. This meeting is open to all comers, but all clubs and associations who are affiliated to the hall are obliged to be represented at this meeting.

At the Tuesday Ladies Club this month… the speaker was the popular Wing Commander Patrick Coulcher. It was very pleasing to learn that he is preparing a couple of new talks to add to his large repertoire of fascinating presentations. His talk this month was about a really wild and beautiful part of Ireland called The Burren, to the west of the island, some 15 miles from the Atlantic and a similar distance south of Galway. It is basically limestone with rare wild flowers. Fairly recently the Irish Government had wanted to put a proper road through the area, but the local people rebelled and it has been left as just a track, thus helping to maintain its peace and beauty.

Next month’s meeting, on Tuesday, May 21, will have Frank Rowson as speaker, and he will be talking about his life as a Civil Engineer. A chance, then, to learn about an unknown side of our much loved Vicar! All are welcome at the TLC meetings and visitors only have to pay £2, which includes tea and cakes.

The Club will be having a very special meeting on June 18, when professional harpist Fiona Hosford will be playing. Wine and nibbles will be provided and the charge for admission will only be £4. They are hoping for a packed hall to hear Fiona, whose music will appeal to everyone’s taste. Clearly, another feather ready for the UK Village of Culture cap, a non-existent accolade but one for which Fairlight should surely be in contention as soon as it is inaugurated.

The Bowls Club formally opened the green last Saturday with a great response, and so the season got under way with many enjoying their first friendly game, in glorious sunshine and bitter winds. It is appropriate here to make mention of the death of club member Frank Ball, a very bubbly character who always enjoyed his games and the club’s social events. Condolences go to his wife Sathia, who can count on the support of the club members. The funeral will take place at Hastings Crematorium at 1.15 pm on May 1.

The club, renowned for its friendliness, has a full fixture card for the season ahead, plus a host of social events. They are always seeking new playing members, and if you are considering joining them please contact either Sylvia Taylor, on 813518, or Membership Secretary Ray Weston, on 717208.

The Club’s biggest Annual Event is their Open Day, with the proceeds this year going to combating Prostate Cancer. We’ll keep you fully informed in advance of what is always a cracking day.

Pett Level Rescue Boat… will be holding its AGM on Sunday, May 5 at 10.30 am at their Headquarters. They have had a marvellous year, with their new Boathouse, which they followed by going for the complete refurbishment and improvement of the old Boathouse. Their target for this phase of their work is £15,000, and a little bird (Appeals Organiser John Pulfer, actually) tells me they have reached £10,536. I hope your donation is part of that sum. If it isn’t, give John a call on 814866

Pothole of the Week… It seems whatever I mention gets done almost immediately, though, realistically, I know this is by chance, and not as any sort of result. Now the carriageway outside the former Hillcrest School has been attended to, leaving satisfying slight bumps where there were deep holes. But beware! They have taken me literally, and stopped the infill opposite the eastern gateway of the school premises. The potholes, however, continue to the east along the A259, hidden in the white hatching in the middle of the road. As cars are parked on either side of the main road on this stretch, leaving a road about as wide as Martineau Lane, it is inevitable that your off-side wheels, lulled by a patched-up sense of security, will shake you more than enough. And to think, three more buckets of stuff would have done it…

British Summer Time… it’s not quite four weeks since we put the clocks forward. Could someone, a bit earlier in the year, actually have put the calendar forward, so that March was just like February, and now April has been more like March? Look out for bluebells and showers in May to prove me right. The Parish Council has planted 700 Snowdrop bulbs on Battery Hill, opposite the Post Office and General Stores. They show early, normally in winter, and certainly before the start of spring on March 20 or 21. Given Global Freezing, they will probably delight us next year well into June!