In our churches this Sunday… there’s Morning Praise at 10.30 am at St Andrew’s, and the monthly informal gathering of local Christians at St Peter’s at 6.30 pm. The informality has proven popular among many local Christians, not just those of the C of E persuasion. Why not join them this Sunday?

Fair stands the wind for Fairfest… it appears likely that a lightish breeze will attend Fairfest on Sunday, with a chance of a very gentle shower or two to take the sting out of the mid-seventies temperature (in old money). Hips will be circulating vigorously under the hula hoops, and there are so many good things on offer it will be a pity if you miss any of them. At 11.45 am the Parade with Fairlight’s own King and Queen will be leaving the Circle on its Marching Band procession to Commanders Walk and Wood Field. Try and get there for the opening ceremony but, if you can’t, make sure you are present soon after. If you start flagging, there are hot dogs, burgers and buns to top you up, and the beer tent will wet many a whistle, I’m sure. This third Fest is sure to be the best yet, but don’t take my word for it…!

This year’s Gardening Club Show… was a great success, with a higher number of entries than last year, but from a smaller number of exhibitors. The awards were presented by our MP, Amber Rudd. The major awards were as follows:- The Charles Long Trophy for the best rose - Anne Cruttenden; The Dick Ford Cup for the best flower exhibit - Richard Barron; The TWEFS Cup for the best sweet pea exhibit - Richard Barron; The Bob Liddon Trophy for the best pot plant - Liz Brooker; The Alliance and Leicester Trophy for the best exhibit in the fruit class - Sue Clarke; The Dennis Burgess Trophy for the best exhibit in the vegetable classes - John Eveleigh; The Jack Hayward Trophy for the greatest number of first prizes, excluding floral and rose classes - John Eveleigh; The Flower Arrangement Trophy – tied between Kath Barron and John Eveleigh; The Nick Carter Trophy for the highest number of points in the vegetable sections - John Eveleigh; The Brian Ardley Domestic Challenge for most points in the domestic section - Jill Howell; Certificate for men’s jam tarts - Bernard Cruttenden; Certificate for the potato challenge - Stephen Leadbetter, (with 5lb 9oz potatoes from a single seed potato!), and the 50th Anniversary cup for the most fragrant sweet pea - Richard Barron. The children’s class winner was Isla Horsman with her very special hedgehog. Aficionados will notice that several classes were won by the same recipients as last year. You have twelve months to gatecrash next year’s party, so get working on it!

Advance notice… for Fairlight Players, who have now got a play and a director for their November production. They will be performing Separate Tables, the classic, acclaimed work by Terence Rattigan, with David Burchell making his directorial debut for the group. There will be a read-through in the village hall on Monday, August 18 with the casting three days later on Thursday 21. Skipping the following Monday as it is a Bank Holiday, rehearsals will commence on Thursday, August 28 and lead on to the November run. The evening consists of two one act plays, each utilising the same two settings of a shabbily genteel hotel in Bournemouth. Though written for the two pairs of leading characters to be played by the same actors, amateur circles usually make use of two pairs of actors. There are parts for four men and nine women and last week’s note still applies – newcomers will be made very welcome. The Players’ production will be one month after the sixtieth anniversary of the play’s opening of its original West End run.

There have been a number of fresh ‘missing cat’ posters round the village. Happily, we can report that ‘Deborah has found Connie’, and the panic is over. Sadly, several such posters appear over the weeks and months and, while it is pleasant when owner and pet are reunited, it is even more pleasant to hear confirmation. If your pet goes missing and it is mentioned here, or on posters or by the FRA email scheme, please give us all an update, be it, hopefully, found or even still lost and the information can be passed on to all those members of the public who have been sharing your concern.

Last week’s Hats Extravaganza…led to £38 being collected at the display on the day which, added to an earlier sum of £55.50 for hat hire, gave a grand total of £93.50 to send along to Hearing Dogs for the Deaf. Organiser and Hat Hirer-in-Chief Margaret Pulfer says a big thank you to everyone involved.

Several more footpaths in Knowle Wood… have been opened up, particularly around the Tennis Court area. A few minor footpaths still need clearing, although they remain accessible. Sarah and her friend have done a good job, which is ongoing, at tackling the brambles, a very intensive, and at times backbreaking, task. Dave Thatcher extends sincere thanks to both!

This week Dave and Paul will have been concentrating on fallen trees, where these are manageable. All this is a big job, and any offers of help would be appreciated. Help could even include simply carrying a pair of secateurs when out walking, and snipping off any offending brambles you come across. But do please note, the Parish Council only owns part of the wood. The section just inside of the twitten in Knowle Road, and all the area over the stream are privately owned, so don’t touch anything in these areas.

About the only downside in all this is that some inconsiderate dog walkers have allowed their animals to foul the footpaths. At the very least, if they have no bag to carry the offending waste away, they could flick it to one side. There are plenty of sticks lying around to use.

A Public Inquiry concerning Knowle Wood Footpath… will be taking place on September 10 and 11 in the village hall. Some 40 local residents made statements in 2009 about the footpath which runs from Woodland Way to Warren Road, Fairlight. The statements support the contention that the footpath is a public right of way and should be added to the Definitive Map. Landowners have objected to the making of the necessary Order, so the matter falls to be decided by a government inspector at a Public Inquiry. Although Fairlight Parish Council is the applicant, the case will be presented by East Sussex County Council’s Rights of Way Officer and his legal team. If you need to contact him, email Christopher.Kingham@eastsussex.gov.uk. It will not be necessary for all the witnesses to attend, but ESCC will approach about 8 witnesses to give oral evidence. It is very much hoped that, if asked, you would agree to attend and give evidence. The Inspector will consider all written statements as well as the oral evidence, but the latter carries more weight. Incidentally, this Public Inquiry is not about the twitten from Knowle Road into Knowle Wood. As its name suggests, the Inquiry is open to the public and anyone can attend.

By the way, the footbridge over the stream in the wood has been deemed unsafe and will soon be removed, though not by the Parish Council, who do not own it. The hope is that it will soon be replaced.

The Tuesday Ladies Club… enjoyed a scintillating talk on Mrs Greville and Polesden Lacey when Heather Woodward fully lived up to her reputation as one of the very best speakers in the area. Mrs Greville was by all accounts witty, generous and a wonderful hostess. Through her husband she was introduced to royalty and entertained them all from King Edward VII down to the late Queen Mother, to whom she bequeathed her rare and very valuable jewellery to the Queen Mother. Her husband Roland died, at a very young age, of lung cancer through heavy smoking, and subsequently Mrs Greville devoted the rest of her life to her parties and her four houses (three in London plus, of course, Polesden Lacey). Mrs Greville died at the Dorchester Hotel in 1942 and in her will decreed that all her papers should be destroyed. This request was carried out by her faithful head Butler, but is a sad loss for social historians. Since her death the property has been in the hands of the National Trust and is well worth a visit to see the paintings, furnishings and lovely gardens.

A reminder of the club’s August meeting, which will be a lunch for members only, commencing in the village hall at 1 pm.

And a sad note on which to end…The Stonelynk Community Growers project (opposite the Post Office, and behind the BT phone cabinet and the new broadband cabinet) has been temporarily suspended due to lack of numbers. What a shame, and how surprising when we’re all supposed to be eating at least five a day, and getting more organic. Are countless gardens now home to thriving vegetable patches, or are we all just a little bit lazier?

Keith Pollard

Brookfield, Broadway