Keith Pollard, Brookfield, Broadway

This Sunday in our churches… The early service, at 8 am at St Peter’s, will be Holy Communion, led by Rev Kay Burnett. Rev Richard Barron will lead the service of Morning Praise at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am

At MOPPs today… there’s sausage and mash with apple crumble and custard for sweet, and there’s entertainment by Annie Cryer, while next Friday, February 14 you can have minced beef and dumplings with a fruit flan to follow. The entertainment comes from Vice-Chairman Jim Saphin.

In a heartbeat tomorrow… Saturday, February 8 is when you’ll be able to learn about the public access defibrillator, which lives at the village hall. And that is where the Fairlight First Responders will be from 11 am to 2 pm, in a teaching and explaining mode. Do go along and give them a look and a listen, but if you’d like to know more details, you should give our first First Responder Liz Brooker a call on 813149.

Getting social… Friday, February 14, is a date that rings everyone’s bell, and that is when the stalwarts of the Fairlight Residents Association will be holding their special Valentine’s Day Social in the village hall at 7 for 7.30 pm. There’s to be music from Ken Hall, and a buffet by Sally and Mary. However, you’ll need to take your own drinks and glasses with you. Some tickets are still available as this is being written, and they’re at the Post Office at £8 each.

Not just joined-up thinking… rather, it’s interlocking! Eve and John Miles have a good selection of jigsaw puzzles of all sizes, and they are proposing a sort of lending library system that you can call to take your pick. They are able to deliver to housebound folk if required. And all this is free, although a small donation to St Michael’s Hospice would be very much appreciated. Eve and John are at Reddings, Broadway, or call on 812913.

Next Monday’s talk at the Wine and Social Club… will be about pubs and breweries in Old Hastings, given by speaker John Hodges. The talk is about old boozers, not, of course, that it is old boozers who are being addressed. If you are not a member, have a word with Christine Jones on 813538.

The Parish Council met ten days ago… for the first time since November. 11 members of the public were present and they heard the Council ratify the year’s grants to Activate Youth Club (£600) and the Village Hall (£1,000). They also ratified the decision to demolish the extremely worn out and potentially dangerous skateboard ramp, a decision passed unanimously in November. As predicted, although she was unable to be present, it was announced that Cllr Linda Eades could do with more SpeedWatch volunteers to man the speed gun. Possibly some of the residents on Battery Hill, who have probably the strongest vested interest in making the checks, would like to come forward.

The long running discussions on the lack of suitability of the village’s current salt bins were aired once more. To change the existing bins, we would need six new ones at £135 plus VAT each, a gross hardware cost of just short of £1,000. Just think – without global warming the last weeks would have consisted of snow, not rain, so be thankful (in our particular case) for small mercies. Back to the bins – though ugly, distorted and letting in water, while we’ve got them and the rain continues to be persistent, we’d be as well to remove the salt and stuff them full of blotting paper or silica gel.

There were several items under the Land Management banner, which included the comment from a member of the public that dealing with dog waste by the ‘Stick and Flick’ method was objectionable. In fact this is a natural way of disposal, and the catchphrase is the Woodland Trust’s, of quite long standing. It applies only on woodland sites; clearance of dog mess from paths and public places is mandatory in law. The Woodland Trust seems to have updated their saying from the old post-war days on caravan parks, when the opening of a new toilet block was a major cause for celebration. Prior to that, it was always ‘Bucket and Chuck It’.

Four weeks away… is the Fairlight Nursery and Playgroup annual Jumble Sale. In the village hall from 10 am to 12.30 pm on Saturday, March 8, this is the event that traditionally has them queuing for the doors to be opened, just like the West End, and the organisers’ efforts and enterprise bring in satisfying sums to help meet the group’s financial needs. But, obviously, if nobody donates anything, they won’t have much to sell. Root around in your garage, attic or spare room to find all those attractive things you have loved and cherished, but now rather grown out of. Then call either 815113 or 813100 to arrange for the items to be collected. They are not allowed to accept and resell electrical items.

Visiting the Council meeting… was a stand-in PCSO, speaking on behalf of our ‘usual’ PCSO Sharon Eldridge. One interesting point he raised was his recommendation that you contact the Police using 111. The operator will ask you questions to ascertain the severity of whatever it is you are reporting and, if necessary, instantly upgrade your call to 999. But whatever you do say, don’t claim ‘I’ve got a devil of a problem here’. This will get you transferred to 666.