Keith Pollard, Brookfield, Broadway

The Church in the Community… began the countdown to Christmas nine days ago with Community Carols in St Peter’s, and event which was much enjoyed, well attended and the requests flowed all evening. They sang well known Christmas carols and songs including carols from Lancashire and Yorkshire plus a few new ones, too. Jingle Bells was given a new twist, and this went down a treat. The whole evening was well supplemented by the Village Choir. Paul and Vanessa Reid kept the food and mulled wine flowing all evening and a (hic!) good time was had by all.

From now on the Church is very busy, with Carols by Candlelight at St Andrews at 6 pm on Sunday, December 22, the very popular Christingle service at 4 pm on Christmas Eve, with the 11.15 pm Midnight Communion to follow, both also at St Andrew’s. Christmas Day sees a 9 am service at St Peter’s, with St Andrew’s offering an All Age service at 10.30 am, with an informal Communion to follow for those who would like to stay on. At least give this service a look - and celebrate the birth of Jesus!

At Pett Methodist Chapel on Christmas Day, the Worship also begins at 10.30 am, in parallel with St Andrew’s, so you won’t be able to attend both. The choice is yours!

What’s an Exerciseathon…? Well, if you care to contact Activate Youth Club manager Alice Tigwell on 07969 239374 for full details, she’ll be able to tell you the times of the classes for this day of healthy exercise activities. But you’d best be quick as it’s all happening tomorrow, Saturday, December 21 from 9 am to 5 pm. The cost is £2 per class. Entry fees – plus any welcome donations – are going to Latitude Global Volunteering, specifically for the Youth Development Project in Malawi. This will get someone nicely tuned up for Christmas!

And the following week… in support of the same project, Activate are running a Treasure Hunt. All you need do, to start with, is to go to the Activate HQ on Wood Field and register, between 1 and 2 pm on Sunday, December 29. Entry will cost you £10 per car. Now that’s more like it!

Slightly advance warning… the Wine and Social Club are running their now usual New Year’s Eve Party in the village hall. Tickets are £3 for members and £4 for non-members, and you are invited to bring your own drinks, nibbles and glasses. ‘Resident’ DJ Ken Hall will be regaling the gathered throng with music from across the years, much of which is guaranteed to tickle a touch of nostalgia buds of those who can hear. Linda Savarese has the tickets, and she’s on 814009.

Tickets, please… Most of the giant power-line poles in the village, for most of the year instant notice boards, are bare of leaves - of paper. The poles must be cut from deciduous trees. However, there are several still sporting one, salmon-pink, poster. This is drawing our attention to the Panto Group’s January offering, 2014, which will be Sleeping Beauty, directed by Jennifer Annetts, with many of the usual suspects, sorry, village favourites on stage. The show will run from Thursday 23 to Saturday 25 January, at 7.30 pm nightly, and with a 2.30 pm matinee on the Saturday. Tickets are £6 for adults and £3 for children for the first three shows, while for Saturday evening all tickets are £6. Which should tell you a lot about it. The Post Office has the tickets, which in many years have completely sold out. Don’t leave it too long, then.

The notice board in the bus shelter… opposite our main shopping mall (Just Property and Hairbase!) has had its makeover. Shiny green paint, nicely cleaned glass (Polycarbonate? Plastic?) It’s just a pity an extra 50p could not be found to pay for the removal of the mould from the adjacent Community Notice heading, which could quite possibly be white plastic under all that black.

The Fairlight Residents Association… has posted notices round the village reminding those who do not belong of the advantages of membership. This runs parallel with the calendar year, and will cost you a mere £5 per household. Apart from the fact that you will receive four Fairlight News magazines in the twelvemonth, the Association does ‘what it says on the tin’, with functions, events and entertainments for the residents and general good works and the meeting of needs of Fairlight. Have a word with Lyn Mosley, their secretary, on 812144 if you would like to join the fold. If you’re already a member, the FRA could do with newcomers on their committee, and you could volunteer your help to Lyn.

Rejoice…! Tomorrow is the shortest day, and the light at the end of the tunnel is gradually going to get longer if not brighter. After uncommonly mild weather when even the persistent rain has felt quite warm, we are possibly in for a harder time in the New Year, requiring much resolve and grit, (especially on the roads.) Fear not: the Gardening Club hut’s three month shut-down is already more than halfway over, and reports say that some plants think it’s spring already. Little do they know…

Apart from those at the churches and Activate, public get-togethers are thin on the ground for the next couple of weeks, allowing us to mention a few other local items. Like the continuing absence of a white line on Fairlight Road for about two hundred yards east of the Martineau Lane junction. The new style studs are in position on this stretch, but it would be reassuring to have the added assistance of the lining. Recent heavy mists have amply proved this point. Road paint can’t cost the earth, especially as the absence must be due to an oversight after the summer’s top dressing.

At the top of Ore Village…the Hastings Academy is apparently complete. The bits nearest road users, like grass verges where there used to be tarmac entrance roads, are beginning to look as if they belong. But the condition of the A259, now almost clear of the parked staff cars which have necessarily spent all day on both sides of the main road for far too long – years, not months – is appalling for the approximately 170 yards in front of the school, sorry, Academy. (I estimate this length of road from the five seconds it takes to traverse at 70 mph.) It has been my long held belief that the powers that be would have ring-fenced a wodge of wonga ready to make this road perfect as soon as it stopped being a wheel-scrubbed turning circle for all the heaviest construction vehicles. How naïve can you be?

It just remains… for me to wish every Voice reader a Very Merry Christmas. I will not wish you a Happy New Year, or I won’t have anything to write about next week.