In our churches this Sunday… there’s Morning Praise at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am, when John Relfe will be giving a church financial update, and Rector Richard Barron will speak about God and money. Later, at 6 pm, there’s Holy Communion at St Peter’s.

There are several Sunday Walks coming along, organised by the Loaf Project, a locally based charity which aims, among other things, to bring water supplies to some of Africa’s most deprived areas. The first of this series is this Sunday, July 6 starting at St John’s Cross at 2.30 pm. You are invited to meet near the roundabout where the A21 meets the A2100 from Battle, for a walk of some four miles of tracks and meadows.

‘Following Jesus’ is a diocesan course for Christians who want to grow in faith and discipleship, consisting of 26 sessions which will usually be taking place midweek locally if possible. The cost is £51 in total, and it is planned to spread the sessions from 2014 to 2015. If there is anyone from Fairlight who would like to accompany Tina and benefit from this course this year, and would either like to know more details, or is definitely interested, please speak to Richard Barron on 812799 soon (but not on a Monday!)

Gnome, sweet gnome…The Activate Gnome is on the loose, out visiting friends in Fairlight. Please don’t be offended if you get a visit....you are very privileged! A note popped through your door will explain all. Keep your eyes open for him and his special plant pot! You may even request a visit and he will try to fit you in on his journeys around the village. You’ll know him when you see him, perched on his magnificently painted and decorated throne, clutching his shears and admiring the planting. Should he visit you, a photo with your little visitor may also be possible. (Or you could just bend down and take an ‘elfie!) If you need to contact someone about him in a hurry, follow the directions on the note through your door. To invite him to come to your house, call Wendy on 812297.

At last week’s Parish Council meeting… as had been mentioned a number of times before, it was pointed out that the existing salt and grit yellow bins in the village are distorted, and have no way of making sure the lid doesn’t fly up in the wind and admit the rain. A quick inspection will reveal that they are full of very wet salt topped with apparently supersaturated brine. It was reported that replacements, which should ideally be on concrete bases, would cost £300 each, plus a further £85 for their first fill. More research is to be undertaken to assess the best solution, with no pun intended.

The Fairfest team were given a grant of £250 to cover their insurance costs for the third festival at the end of July. The council also gave permission for car parking on Wood Field for the day of Fairfest, subject to the usual caveats about ground conditions and wet weather.

Neighbourhood planning was discussed, and it was agreed to meet the initial £175 cost of a half-day visit and recommendations.

The subject of brambles and hedges growing over pavements and highways was mentioned - a bramble or branch catching you unawares in the face is unpleasant. So, if you are landowner with a hedge or trees adjacent to a footpath or highway it would be appreciated if you would check and deal with the overhanging vegetation. Of course, you should also be aware that birds may be nesting in your hedges, and that you are not allowed to disturb them. Trim back, then, but do it carefully and thoughtfully.

The Strategy Decision on plans for the village, and district, future is due for release by July 12

The Floral Club… through their Chairman Sheila Benson and her committee certainly ‘Put on the Ritz’ last Saturday. While our village hall is many things – practical, usable and adaptable, it can seldom be called stylish and elegant, yet the pale green drapes around the walls and pristine table linen, plus an ambience enhanced by the brilliant, evocative playing of the accomplished pianist Iain Kerr in his white tux made visitors forget that the Chippendale chairs and Wilton carpet were stacking black plastic and wood blocks. 66 people sat down for their tea, served by the waitresses (who looked like the committee members, already responsible for the beautiful flower arrangements) All the hard work paid off in a most enjoyable afternoon, which was everything the organisers had hoped for and more.

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People… will benefit from a Doggy Afternoon Tea, on Sunday, July 6 from

2.30 to 5 pm with Sally Watson at Tree Toftes in Farley Way. You are invited to spend an afternoon in a beautiful woodland garden, bringing your dog and just relaxing and enjoying tea, coffee, homemade cakes and cream teas. Every dog will leave with a ‘doggy bag’, though people without dogs are very welcome too. Contact sallywatson47@hotmail.com for more details. All dogs should be kept on leads and, of course, owners are to clear up after their dog, as they always do (!)

Unstylish stiles… Anyone who uses the footpath from the top of Sea Road towards Pett Level should be aware that, just above the steps, a section of the footpath has been closed, because of more cliff erosion, and an enclosed portion, into the field, has been defined and this is accessible by a stile at each end, where the new path re-joins the original. There is a big problem in that if you have a dog with you there is no way for them to cross, so you’ll have to physically lift the animal over the stiles, which could be very difficult for the many elderly people who walk their dogs along there.

The National Trust, which actually owns this land and footpath, has been contacted to see if they will cut a portion of the bottom of the fence out by each stile in order for an animal to pass through. In places, the path is quite overgrown, and as this is also the responsibility of the NT, they have been asked to attend to this as well.

The Players’ Poetry Group… will meet on Wednesday, June 9, in the village hall at 7.30 pm when they will be contemplating the subject of holidays. This time round, the group will have an additional challenge. Fairfest, with us on July 27, is featuring an exhibition of material in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War, and any contributions of WW1 related poetry would be welcomed. These could be put on display, or read aloud (if there are any volunteers prepared to step up and speak up!) In the first instance, take your suggested poems to next Wednesday’s meeting from which a selection can be made ready to offer to Fairfest. If you would like to pen your own poem on the subject, that would be equally welcome.

A Couple of Diamond Geezers… Derek and Betty Snow have just celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary, along with family members and friends from the four principal areas of interest in the village in which they have been vitally involved. These are the Gardening Club, of which Betty is President, the Floral Club, the Fairlight branch of the Trefoil Guild (founded by Betty) and the Methodist Church which, for Fairlight folk, is at the chapel in Pett. Many tributes and good wishes for the couple came at their special celebratory tea.

The Trefoil Guild’s June meeting… consisted of the members taking a walk round the village answering cryptic clues for which they had to be very observant as they went from house to house and road to road. They were welcomed back to their St Peter’s base with coffee and a biscuit.

Those who were unable to undertake the walk completed a sit down ‘pub crawl’ quiz.

The July meeting is to be a Strawberry Tea, taken together with 1st Hastings Guild. This will be held here in Fairlight, and is for members only.

Like Christmas, Fairfest is coming… and it will get here first, in a mere three weeks on Sunday. A mention, then, that there is to be a hula hoop contest, divided into three categories age 10 and under, 10 to 16, and over 16. Good chance to get a bit of practice in, so you’re as good now as you were in 1958 when they were invented. Many readers will have had hour-glass figures back then, and even the fellas will have had waists. The question now will be ‘do you hoop with the thing on the middle of your paunch, or above it so it can’t fall down?’ No doubt the organisers will have all the rules. The popular attraction of classic cars has an entry list 35 vehicles strong, and the hopes are that this will climb to 40 by Fairfest day.

Very shortly we shall bring the names of this year’s Fairfest King and Queen, who will be leading the Parade of Clowns and the Marching Band at 11.45 am, ready to open the proceedings formally when they reach Wood Field at 12 noon.

Fairlight Gardening Club… have their annual show in a fortnight, on Saturday, July 19. A box for your entries is now in place in the Post Office. You should place your completed paper slips there – not the actual flower, fruit and vegetable entries, of course. As an added incentive for excellence this year, the prize winners will be receiving their awards from our MP, Amber Rudd.

Bin there, done that… The new style bin collection began on Monday last, and seemed at first selfish sight an unqualified success, at least as far as the black bin collection was concerned. Some worries existed about the start of the ‘paid for’ brown bin garden waste service. (Of course, we do actually pay handsomely for the black and recycling services out of the roughly £6 a day Council Tax). The advance information about the brown bins was as poor as that for the black and green wheelies and boxes was good. Certainly some of the older people in Fairlight, accumulating garden waste as soon as their green bin was last emptied, started to refill that bin. They needed more than just a few days notice of the change-over date, and should not have been expected to transfer green waste from one suddenly defunct green bin to the brown one. Despite the ‘no garden waste from your green bin’ edict, it is hoped that some discretion and common sense will have been applied to Monday’s collection, especially as any confusion was caused by faulty and late communications from the council. However, do not hold your breath.

Another aspect of the black bin collection that needs addressing concerns Sea Road, where at least one very long term resident, of fairly advanced age and not without some personal health problems, has had no collection for three weeks. Others nearby have been collected, after wheeling their wheelies to the top of Cliff Road. Not a satisfactory solution for the elderly. Warren Road suffered a glitch last week, and at the time of writing Fyrsway, Commanders Walk, Gorsethorn Way and Meadow Way had received no brown bin collection. Bugs in the system just like these occurred at the last major change, and it is a surprise that those who knew didn’t consult with the incoming newcomer operators who didn’t. The sizes of vehicle appropriate to our village side roads must also be well known by now, though not necessarily to Kier, which probably accounts for the unacceptable Sea Road arrangements.

Anyway, on a brighter note, for the first ‘new’ collection of your green wheelie, on Monday week, July 14, if you have produced more than a bin full of newspapers, cardboard, tins, cans, aerosols and plastics, which is quite probable, you may put any excess in bags alongside the green bin. For one collection only, I guess, though in future you will be able to put small electrical items, from a toaster downwards and including mobile phones, in an old carrier bag clearly marked, next to the green bin at each recycling collection.

The saga of the village pub… rumours had it that the Cove pub was about to close, yet it stayed open. Then it shut, and the rumours said it would re-open, and it stayed shut. Finally, and thankfully, it did re-open – on Friday last. There are signs of activity and customers, all a Good Thing.

Now the cause is not particularly helped by a sandwich board in Waites Lane opposite St Peter’s Church with an arrow indicating Real Food – apparently available in St Peter’s. Soul Food, perhaps, with scampi and chips in the original Moses basket? For a really satisfying blow-out, wait until the notice says ‘Today’s special – loaves and fishes’. Or you could just go to the pub, which is what the arrow, albeit rather inefficiently, would like you to do.

Keith Pollard

Brookfield, Broadway