In our churches this Sunday… it’s an All Age Service at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am, and there is then a service of Holy Communion at 6 pm at St Peter’s.

It’s a busy time for the church – but then, when isn’t it so? – with Wednesday, May 7 seeing the first of our Messy Church days, from 4.30 to 6 pm, in the village hall and at St Peter’s. On Thursday, May 8, the PCC meets at St Peter’s at 7.30 pm.

Saturday, May 10 is the first day of this year’s Christian Aid week, another of those top charities so deserving of our support. And, indeed, our Parish always seems to punch astonishingly above its weight, and we must see of we can do it all again this time round. The Week commences with a Coffee morning at St Peter’s from 10 am to 12 noon. There will be bric-a-brac, books, cakes, and a raffle, as well as teas or coffees. They could do with donations of paperbacks and good quality bric-a-brac, but no electrical items!. If you have items you would like to give, please contact Val Relfe on 272012 or by email to val@jrelfe.freeserve.co.uk

And there’s a service of Prayers of Blessings on Monday, May 12 from 2.15 to 3.15 pm, at which all ladies will be very welcome, as prayers are offered seeking blessings for our church, our families and friends, our community neighbours, the village and schools as well as summer visitors and anyone we’ve missed out! Yes, it’s the fifth use for St Peter’s this week!

Culture Vultures go missing… sad to report, the projected return visit to our village of the wonderful concert pianist Valerie Tryon has had to be cancelled because of some very slow ticket sales. The village seems to enjoy the better class events, but twice in a twelvemonth is maybe a bit too much. A shame, too, for Geoff Wyatt, who was promoting the evening’s entertainment, and was about to demonstrate his smooth organisational skills once again. Not only are the potential audience the losers, but so, too, is St Andrew’s, which was to benefit from any profits made. On the practical side of things, those of you who purchased tickets numbered 1 to 11 from the Post Office can claim your refund there on presentation of your ticket(s).

If it ain’t broke… well you know the rest. The Village Hall AGM on Monday saw no change to the current Officers and Committee, and many affiliated group representatives, though by no means all, were happily in attendance and in agreement with the proceedings. Financially the hall is on an even steadier keel than before, thanks to Coxswain, sorry, Treasurer Frank James. This state of affairs was partly ascribed to the £3,100 plus derived from their two annual Fairs. It was, therefore, an appropriate time to remind all present that the Summer Fair will be from 12 noon to 3 pm on Saturday, June 6 – and in my turn, I’m reminding you. And not for the last time. Do go and cross a few, or several, palms with silver, as this helps keep the rental costs down and manageable for a lot of groups.

Fairlight Gardening Club’s monthly talk… is coming up on Monday next, May 5, and it is entitled ‘The Sussex Posy’, The talk will be given by well-known local resident Bernard Cruttenden. Start time is 2.30 pm, and the place is the village hall.

Fairlight Trefoil Guild… went out to Hastings for their April meeting. They met outside the Shipwreck Museum and strolled down to the Crazy Golf Course where four of them had a mini-tournament. There was much laughter and plenty of ‘oh dears’ when the ball went round and round the hole rather than dropping into it! However, one of the Guild members did get two ‘holes in one’.

Next month five or six from Fairlight will be attending the County Review at Heathfield. Two days later, three members have been invited to the Bexhill Trefoil Birthday Party. Following this it will be the Branch’s own meeting at St. Peter’s on May 28, which will be a Beauty Demonstration.

Parish Council matters… oh, yes it does! A topic of considerable current interest is Neighbourhood Planning, and there is a 62 page booklet awaiting your attention on line (How to shape where you live) It’s produced by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, in conjunction with the National Association of Local Councils and funded by the Dept for Communities and Local Government.

Our Parish Council has yet to decide whether to go down this route, and is taking advice about it. Sedlescombe, with whom our local councillors have had an exploratory meeting, are already preparing a Neighbourhood Plan, and so, it is believed, are Rye Town Council.

At the bottom of Wood Field the skateboard ramp has been found to be in a sorry state, and has had to be partly dismantled for safety reasons. It is anticipated that the remainder will follow into oblivion. A sorry state of affairs, though possibly, like Albert and the Lion, ‘No one is really to blame’.

Discussions on the received grant applications were deferred until the next meeting so councillors could individually peruse the necessary background papers.

Rother’s draft Corporate Plan is up for consultation, until the period ends on May 5. The PC decided against a formal, collective response from the council, but would encourage individuals to read it and comment.

The most disappointing item, but really all that one would expect, is the report that UK Power Networks have never replied to our parish Clerk’s letter of concern about the resilience of the electricity infrastructure in the village. The Clerk’s letter Feb 28 addressed the three most recent failures in Fairlight (or Failright, as I think they should rename it) showing a predictable self-satisfaction and arrogance in response to our comments that included mention of some residents who were left without power for six days over Christmas. The fact that the company is owned by three Hong Kong outfits is neither here nor there. The people on the ground are British, and should be able to devise a method of working that does not display gross ignorance to their customers.

At MOPPs today… Friday, May 2, there will be Cottage Pie and then fruit flan; next Friday, May 9, it’s Turkey and Ham Pie followed by fruit and custard. I’m not ure about the entertainment for either today or next week. Please make a mental note to yourself, if you are not already a member, that MOPPs has a few vacancies and make up your mind to chat things over with the group’s new co-ordinator, Robert Pasterfield, who will be delighted to let you know the advantages all ready for to benefit from in this special organisation. Robert can be reached on 07860 414277, or by email to rpasterfield@aol.com

The Art Club Exhibition and Wine & Cheese evening… is now only a week away, on Saturday, May 10 at the village hall from 6 to 9 pm. Tickets are £5 each on the door, but if you fancy saving a pound get yours in advance either from the Post Office, or by calling 813833, 854360 or 813104, (only one of those numbers – not all three). You’ll get a glass of wine or a soft drink for your money, plus a guaranteed rattling good evening’s viewing, no doubt while Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition plays in the background.

The Floral Club demonstration… was a considerable triumph for Tricia Bashford, an experienced demonstrator working inexorably towards her National qualification. Her title was the ‘F’ Factor, rather like the ‘X’ Factor with a slight impediment, and it could have been F for flowers, but certainly F for fantastic. Maybe it was F for vescence, as we used to say in school (in that alphabet that begins A for horses, B for mutton…)

Still with the Floral Club’s projected plans, there’s ‘Tea at the Ritz’ coming along on Saturday, June 28 (in the village hall!) Tea-ickets are £8 each, and Sheila Benson has them. Sheila is on 01797 223927. More details a little later.

Is Fairfest good…? You can bet on it – at their Vegas Night on Friday, May 16 at 7.30 pm in the village hall. There will be professionally run tables plus buffet and bar. Tokens, and not cash, wil be changing hands as the gaming proceeds, and you must endeavour to secure as many of those proceeds as you can. Make sure you’ve got your £7.50 ticket and you won’t get stopped by the bouncers, which could be painful. Those tickets can be obtained at the Post Office and it promises to be a fun night out, with professionally run tables. Tickets are also available from Jennifer Annetts on 812476, Margaret Pulfer on 814866, Terry Mosley on 812144 or Wendy Hatch on 812297 - or, indeed, any Fairfest Committee Member. The dress code is Evening Dress or smart casual, but leave your Stetsons and six-shooters in the cloak room for later use.

Pilates progress… Not long to wait now for the ‘taster’ session that Annie Cuthbert will be undertaking in the village hall on Saturday, May 17 from 10 to 11 am. The thing to remember is that it is our residents who are sort of ‘on trial’, as Annie already knows all about it and what she can do. It is up to us to turn out in sufficient numbers to make sure the enterprise is a success. Go on – put your backs into it!

The Players please… Though not as popular as last April’s Happy as a Sandbag, which had the advantage of attracting an audience with a healthy dose of nostalgia, last week’s Holiday Snap made a goodly number of people laugh, chuckle, giggle and generally heave their shoulders a la Ted Heath A very solid, pristine set, plus early effects, helped support some fine-tuned ensemble playing, led by the short sighted, long drinking Roland Garrad and included among the other seven players was Marion Pollard, playing mother-in-law Celia off the book, as a very late replacement for the then unwell, though now at home and greatly recovered, Carol Ardley. All did well, which bodes very well for the November production, of which more nearer the date.

Mentioning illness and recovery remind me that Christine Jones, often in our Voice for her planning and organising of the excellent Fairlight Outings, is currently on an outing of her own – in the Conquest Hospital. We hope it won’t be for long, and hope she’ll soon be back, fighting fit, in the village.

Keith Pollard

Brookfield, Broadway