Fairlight

Keith Pollard, Brookfield, Broadway

Clocking on for winter…? Don’t forget to put your clocks back this Saturday night/early Sunday morning. Most people do this before they go to bed, and then adjust the ones they’ve forgotten when they get up in the morning and find they can’t understand what the time really is. Technically, the clocks go back at 2 am so, if you’re up and have been doing something nice from 1 until 2 am, you can alter the clocks then and do it all again.

At St Andrew’s Church this Sunday, October 27… there’s a service of Morning Praise at 10.30 am with Ken Holmes, and with the Rev Richard Barron preaching.

Final score… on the Christian Aid coffee morning held at St Peter’s on Saturday, October 12, when the total reached £379.18. This included a £50 donation from the Traidcraft stall, which did good business. The total sum sent by the Fairlight group to Christian Aid for 2013 amounts to £5,841.55, a truly astounding response from our residents.

Trips up St Andrew’s Tower… well, one hopes not, though excursions to the summit would be acceptable. The open sessions during weekends from May to September this year raised £758.29, which represents a small increase on last year’s figure. Who gave 29p? Not everybody, surely? This is a highly useful contribution to the church funds.

Fill up a shoebox… or two as part of the St Andrew’s Shoebox Appeal, which is timed for next Sunday, November 3. if you’re not sure what to do, or who to do it for, have a quick look at www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk This really is one of those relatively simple things you can do that make a real difference to someone smaller and more poverty-stricken than you. If you’d like information over the phone, call Linda Willard on 812316.

Last Saturday’s St Andrew’s Autumn Fair… held in the village hall in aid of our principal church raised £410 to swell church funds. Great!

How would you like a real advent calendar…? Kath Barron, who is on 812799, is taking orders until Sunday, November 3, and they’ll cost you £3.99 each. The Real Advent Calendar is the only charity advent calendar with a free Christmas story booklet, and behind each window is a Fairtrade chocolate star (85g of high-quality Belgian Fairtrade milk chocolate). As well as celebrating the true meaning of Christmas, there is a charity donation of 10p to the Children’s Society from every sale.

Let there be light… Something over fifty people went up to St Andrew’s Church on Thursday last week, with more than half of them not regular members of the congregation, to see how the church tower might be illuminated. An impressive demonstration, almost discreet, seemed to impress and reassure those who attended, with low wattage LED lighting, whose softly yellowish-white glow enhanced the stone of the building. Accurate focusing on the fabric completely answered any light pollution queries. Obviously, for the demonstration, only a few lights were in place, but it was easy to see what might be. Those present completed comment papers, and the collated results will be available next week. Let there be light? Surely that’s the ultimate endorsement or casting vote!

And the next date… for a Cove Quiz Night is Wednesday, October 30. The Cove’s printed poster tell us it’s a 7 pm start, while Quiz Wiz Linda Eades, who’ll be asking the questions, says it’s 8 pm. Tell you what – get there at 7 and set yourself up for whenever it gets under way!

The Residents’ Association’s Quiz Night… last Saturday, was well attended, and the winning team was Six Pack, most probably a reference to the numbers on the team rather than the highly tuned state of their abdominals. They were Carol Ardley, Carole Gallagher, Anne Lernahan, Andrew Mier, Helen Smith (my informant wasn’t sure of the surname) and David Wright.

The Gardening Club’s monthly talk… on Monday week, November 4, at 2.30 pm in the village hall, is entitled The Life of Dormice, with Richard Thompson from RSPCA Mallydams Wood as the speaker. There should be no mention of heads in teapots, thank you very much.

As the clocks go back, no doubt in a reaction to the final opening of the Gardening Club Hut tomorrow, Saturday, October 26 from 10 am to 12 noon, we can sense winter’s nose poking round the corner. Things are going to get worse before they get better.

The Fairlight Preservation Trust… held its AGM last Sunday afternoon in the village hall. More than fifty people were in attendance – Officers, Committee, members and guests. New members were entitled to vote, while non-members were not, not quite as was erroneously reported last week. The gathered throng filled the small hall nicely, until you remember a few other facts about the village. The Trust had actually 184 members prior to this meeting. There are about 750 dwellings in Fairlight, homes to, what, some 1700 souls. The membership, and the turn-out, then, are nothing to be proud of in its level of support for an organisation that has, so far, already saved a number of homes from disappearing over the cliff.

The next point that struck me was that another trust may be needed – The Fairlight Preservation Trust Preservation Trust. Their Chairman, the redoubtable George Hensher, may well have to give up due to other, more pressing, demands on his time, while Secretary Paul Capps, equally redoubtable, would be willing to take the chair to accommodate a new secretary. But candidates for either post, or indeed the Committee, are rarer than hen’s teeth, and the Trust really needs more active involvement at this level to enable it to keep up the excellent and invaluable work they do, which affects each and every one of us. The commitment is not arduous and, if you feel tempted to join in, have a word with Paul Capps on 812107.

And talking of Paul Capps, he reports that a bag was found in the hall after the AGM, and he is looking after it. If it’s yours, call on that number a couple of lines back, and he’ll endeavour to return it to you.

And still talking of Paul Capps, at the conclusion of the AGM Parish Council Chairman Andrew Mier made the formal presentation of the John Lutman award shield to Paul in recognition of his massive contribution to the well-being of the village over many years, and not only for the Trust. The award had actually been made in April, in Paul’s absence.

Trust Technical Officer Laurie Beetham gave a very complete exposition of the output and workings of the 56 pumps, which have removed from the danger area 823,000 gallons in the past year, while the landslip drains, where the throughput cannot be measured, have removed the same quantity or more. The maintenance contract, set at £94,000 for five years, is in its final year. The next contract is quoted at £100,000 – for a single year! (Sounds like British Gas must be involved.)There was also good advice that one should make sure whether your downspouts feed to Southern Water drains or to a soakaway. Fairlight simply does not have a geological structure that is compatible with soakaways! Some little time ago now, Laurie began a series of tours of the pumping system and the cliff face, for which he now has a waiting list. The weather and tides have to be just right – for instance, in wettish conditions one may descend the cliff quicker than intended, and getting back up can be problematic. The exercise takes about two hours, and the pumps bit is physically easy, though the second half does require a degree of physical ability and mobility. If you fancy an interesting tour, email Laurie at la.beetham@btinternet.com

The Trust is examining what might be done about the Market Garden site, for which no planning application has yet been submitted, as they have been quoted an asking price for the land, though this seems prohibitive.

More questions to be answered… in the Activate Quiz & Supper, which is coming up on Friday, November 15, at 7.30 pm in the village hall. The cost will be £6 for adults, and £4 for Activate members. You’re invited to participate in teams of four to six. There’s to be a bar and a raffle, and if you’d like to be there, give Wendy a call on 812297.

Mention has been made locally of the RSPCA fund-raising event in December, which has been amended to November, the correct date. We’ll bring you details next week, in plenty of time to make your donations, and to mark up your diaries.

Setting new standards… workers have been busy making a nice job of replacing several long-time dislocated granite setts in Broadway. Very nicely done, thank you.