Church news this week… the Messy Church started two days ago on Wednesday, and Christian Aid week commences tomorrow with a Coffee Morning at St Peter’s from 10 am to 12 noon. You’ll find bric-a-brac, books, cakes, and a raffle, and you can have a tea or coffee. It’s a bit late, but if you have any readily re-saleable, quality books or bric-a-brac, you could just take it along to swell the pool of goodies. If you can’t make it, please put a generous amount in the little envelope that will be left for you soon, if you haven’t got it already!

The Art Club Exhibition and Wine & Cheese evening… is tomorrow, Saturday, May 10 at the village hall from 6 to 9 pm. You’ll really have to get your skates if you want to get in for £4, because tickets at this price come from the Post Office before the evening begins, while those on the door when the event opens will cost you a fiver. Still excellent value for money at £5, as you’ll get a glass of wine or a soft drink plus many nibbles involving cheese, and all that’s without taking into account the great exhibition itself, where the local talent could easily take your breath away.

Of course, it can hardly be a coincidence that the celebrated pianist Valerie Tryon’s proposed return concert, now cancelled, was to have clashed directly with the Art Club’s fixture, on its usual second Saturday in May date. Very possibly it would be the same core audience for both events, and even the versatile Fairlighters would be hard put to be two places at once.

It’s that time of the year again… when The John Lutman Community Service Award 2014 is about to be awarded. The Fairlight Parish Council established an annual award in memory and recognition of the late John Lutman’s 30 years service to the Fairlight community as a District and Parish Councillor. For the fifth time, Fairlight residents are invited to nominate individuals for this award either on forms provided at the Post Office or by e-mail to andrewmier@aol.com. The closing date for nominations is Monday, May 19.The Award will be presented at the Fairlight Parish Assembly on Friday, May 30. The term ‘Community Service’ has a wide meaning and all, with the exception of Parish Councillors, who have served Fairlight in any capacity, are eligible. The award winner will receive a cheque for £100 for a charity or organisation of their choice, and will be joining a list that comprises of Wendy Hatch, John Sinclair and the Preservation Trust, Sylvia Gutsell and Paul Capps.

The Wine and Social Club… meets on Monday next, May 12 at 7.30 pm in the village hall, when there will be a wine tasting, which is hardly surprising given the club’s title. So, while wine tasting is always on the agenda at a club meeting, this is a more serious, dedicated sipping evening.

‘150 homes to go’… a full 20% of Fairlight’s housing stock, may disappear over the cliff edge, is a statement justifiably causing some anxiety. In fact, the whole matter is of intense concern, and apolitically at that, for the names of Amber Rudd MP, Sara Owen and previous parliamentary incumbent Michael Foster have all been recognised for their involvement and interest in the matter. In the letters page today you will find a concise summation of the state of play from Parish Council Chairman Andrew Mier, which concludes with assurance that the situation will be discussed at the Parish Assembly on Friday, May 30. Diary and red ink time, then, but do not hesitate to contact any Parish Councillor or Trustee of the Fairlight Preservation Trust in the meantime if you wish.

The Residents Association… has its AGM on Wednesday next, May 14 at 7 for 7.30 pm. The evening will see, if not a sea change, at least some significant alterations in the make-up of the Officers and Committee. The group’s Chairman, Vice Chairman and Treasurer are all retiring, and are not standing for re-election to those posts. Two committee members are also up for re-election. Though other parties may be interested in putting their names forward for election, if they have not yet done so they are well beyond the 14 day notice period for nominations to be valid. Do try to attend. A glass of wine awaits you on arrival. After the business meeting, there will be an interesting talk entitled ‘Diana Freeman by Diana Patten’, including an account of Diana’s years in aviation.

This seems to have slipped under the radar… the Players’ Holiday Snap a week or so ago saw Roland Garrad chalk up his fiftieth production in Fairlight, while the redoubtable Margaret Hall, despite being well under par and recovering from surgery, delivered all the props for the production - for the 98th time. Congratulations and thanks are due to both for their commitment and loyalty.

Bats out of the belfry… The Friends of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve invite you to a talk about bats, to be given by the National Trust’s Karen Hammond on Saturday, May 17 at 10.30am.

The venue is the Milking Parlour Field Centre at Fairlight Place Farm, off Fairlight Road and, in case you are not familiar with this setting, full details will be given when you book your place. The talk will last about an hour and a half and is suitable for adults and older children. Cost is £2, or free to Friends of HCPNR. It’s possible that Karen, who is based at Bodiam Castle, may be able to bring along one or two live bats if they have woken from their hibernation! For further information and booking, please contact Jill Howell on 01424 815256 or email: howelljill1@aol.com

At Mopps, this week and next… today, Friday, May 9, it’s Turkey and Ham Pie followed by fruit and custard, with entertainment from magician Philip King, while next Friday, May 16 you’ll have Roast Chicken, and Fruit Jelly for afters, and entertainment from Keith Osborne with Music for Health. MOPPs still has a few vacancies, and you would be well advised to have a word with the group’s co-ordinator, Robert Pasterfield, either on 07860 414277, or by email to rpasterfield@aol.com

I promised to remind you again… about the village hall’s important money-raiser, their summer Fair. Considering there were news items concerning the Players’ AGM on Saturday, June 14, and the Floral Club’s Tea at the Ritz on Saturday, June 28, elementary maths should have told me there was no Saturday 6 this June. Sorry, then, but it’s back to your diaries to note the Fair on Saturday, June 7, from 12 noon to 3 pm. Leave a baked potato for my wife and me! (Each!)

Don’t let the next eight days make one weak… we’re nearly ready for Annie Cuthbert’s Pilates taster on Saturday, May 17, in the village hall from 10 to 11 am. Let’s hope for excellent support on the day, though we hope no one should require excellent support afterwards.

Fairfest will surely ne regrette rien (ne va plus!)… at their Vegas Night, with starts at 7.30 pm on Friday, May 16, in the village hall. Roulette and blackjack will be there, and there is to be a finger buffet plus a magician on hand to entertain you during the interval. There will also be a bar with wine, beer and soft drinks for sale. Tokens, with which you will be issued on entry, are what you are trying to accumulate, and whoever finishes with the most will, in fact, win a real prize. There are special arrangements ready for those who go token-broke, so they can purchase more tokens. The dress code for the evening is Evening Dress or smart casual, so mosey on down and faites vos jeux.

A Charity Walk… organised by the Rotary Club of Winchelsea and Rye, is coming up on Sunday week, May 18. This is the sixteenth time this annual event will have taken place, and you may select any one of three distances between three and ten miles, and you are free to start at any time from 9 to 10 am. the charities supported are Rye, Winchelsea and District Hospital, and St Michael’s Hospice. However, if you have a pet charity or cause of your own, then this is where half of the sponsorship money raise will go. You can register your entrance by email to ryerotary@hotmail.co.uk, or by phone to 07530 770200.

16 going on 17…? Or over, or even a bit under, and into your football? Then you and the Icklesham Casuals Football Club could be made for each other. This well-run, 75-plus years old outfit would welcome young adults who would like to play in the East Sussex Football League. If that fits you and appeals to you, give a call to David Mayne on 424986, or Bob Baker on 07974 419738. Off pitch support before, during and after games would be welcomed, too.

Pothole of the week… has got to be the one a few yards west of where I live on Broadway. About a foot by eight inches by four inches deep, it is situated so that cars can easily straddle it. However, with no lights and no footway, it is only a matter of time before some innocent pedestrian sprains or breaks an ankle. The claim for a tyre and/or suspension damage will be as naught compared with a personal injury claim. I hope it doesn’t happen, but if it does, you have them bang to rights.

A road traffic accident on the corner of Battery Hill and Waites Lane appears to have been due to a following vehicle trying to overtake right on the T-junction. Battery Hill has long been an accident waiting to happen, and we should be grateful to Cllr Roger Bird who consistently and at length argued for a speed limit on the hill. I have no idea, of course, if speed was in any way excessive in the recent clash. What is worrying, when we are warned that packets of nuts, or even cans of leek soup ‘May contain nuts’, or that hanging baskets may fail to hang, is that those responsible for road safety are reactive rather than proactive. Battery Hill, it was claimed, could have a speed limit when there had been a death. Or preferably two. Verily I say unto you – the lunatics are running the asylum.

Keith Pollard

Brookfield, Broadway