The youngsters at Fairlight's Activate Youth Club made this gnome, placing him in splendour on his garden throne, earlier in the summer, and now he spends his time on days out around the village, though he 'only goes where he wants to go'. SUS-140508-101321001
The youngsters at Fairlight's Activate Youth Club made this gnome, placing him in splendour on his garden throne, earlier in the summer, and now he spends his time on days out around the village, though he 'only goes where he wants to go'. SUS-140508-101321001

Church Matters: There’s an early service of Communion at St Peter’s this Sunday at 8 am, and then Morning Praise at 10.30 am at St Andrew’s. The Rector will be interviewing, briefly, two Romanian visitors. Mercea, pronounced Mer-chay-er and a friend of David & Valerie Hornsby, was converted in later life. He has a passion for outreach in his home town of Brasov where he regularly visits the local prison. He has seen dramatic conversions there, and is active in many other Christian activities. His daughter set up his visit to Fairlight to give him a much needed break, and Juliana, his teenage granddaughter, will bravely act as his translator. There’s a Tribute of Remembrance and Commemoration on the 100th Anniversary of the Outbreak of the First World War tomorrow, Saturday, August 9 at 7 pm. Words and music to recall the start of four years of terrible war, during which time scarcely a single family escaped untouched in some way by the horror of the reality. For someone born in, say 1896, more than ten years of their adult life by the time they reached 51 would have been spent under a state of war. This reflection is at St Andrew’s. Apparently, three churchyard benches need to be replaced at St Andrew’s. Perhaps you would like to take this opportunity to donate and dedicate one in memory of someone? Please give Kath Barron a call on 812799.

Lights Out: Fairlight is hardly ablaze with light on any evening after about ten o’clock, but Monday’s Lights Out in remembrance of the start of the First World War saw the village almost as dark as in one of our frequent power cuts. And how moving was the realisation that countless individual homes were separately but collectively sitting with one flickering candle each, their occupants thinking of the terrible effect of a war that destroyed more than a generation of the country’s finest young men.

All about Winnie: The incomparable Heather Woodward will be the guest speaker at the Wine and Social Club’s meeting on Monday next, August 11 in the village hall ready for a 7.30 pm start. Her subject is Winston Churchill, and her talk is the first at the club since March. What? You’re not a member? A quick word with Secretary Jill Lewing on 812340 or Chairman Frank James on 813756 should be able to put that right.

There’ll be Coffee, Cake & Consultation: at St Peter’s on Saturday, August 30 from 10.30am to 12 noon. Apparently, it’s officially confirmed that the actual building that is St Peter’s is viable for a good few more years. So, the question is being put to parishioners for discussion, ‘What would you do with St Peter’s if you had £35,000 to spend?’ And also for consideration, ‘What further role could St Peter’s church play in Fairlight?’ You must have views and opinions to express, so please do make a diary note and get along and join in.

Ideal for old Sea Dogs?: A Dog Show is among the numerous attractions you will be able to enjoy on Sunday, August 24 at the Pett Level Rescue Boat Open Day, deservedly one of the very favourite local charities that makes a real difference in the locality. Stalls will crave your attention, while the barbie will attract your tum’s attention (it’s always those fried onions that does it, isn’t it?) There will also be a sea display, and the event will run from 12 noon until 4 pm. Another one for the calendar in the kitchen.

Art Show: There’s an Art Exhibition in aid of the Pett Level Rescue Boat tomorrow, Saturday, August 9 at the Boat House, (which is behind the Smugglers Pub). It runs from 11 am to 4 pm, and all the work on show is by local artists at affordable prices.

Make a Celtic Knot Basket: Short notice, I’m afraid, but this Sunday, August 10 at the Ore Centre from 10 am to 4 pm, you could be making yourself a shallow bowl shaped basket, useful for bread or fruit, with a Celtic knot pattern on the bottom. (That’s keltic, not seltic!). Running the show will be Julie Gurr, who has been willowweaving and making basketry things for over 15 years now, principally on the Isle of Arran, until she moved to Hastings not so long ago. Julie is certainly a wonderful asset to her new home town, and she will be teaching at the Ore Centre not only on this Sunday, but also on Sunday, September 21 when her subject will be a One Day Beginners Willow Basketry Class, from 10 am until 5 pm. All the materials you require are included in the price of each course, which has a minimum fee for those on low incomes, and a maximum for the high earners. If you’re in between, you negotiate an in between fee. Very fair! You need to book if you’d like to go to either course by either calling Julie on 0797 350 8382 or by emailing her at juliebaskets@gmail.com.

Thanks be to TomTom: Summer entertainment comes to Fairlight, though there’s something a bit sadistic about mocking the afflicted. The first cuckoos came and went ages ago, but now we’re on to the first massive continental coach going up Broadway and, several minutes later, backing all the way out again. Why can’t some tourist authority inform all European coach drivers that Sea Road, Fairlight is well nigh impossible for them to get to, while Sea Road, St Leonards, despite the No Coaches signage, is where several such vehicles tend to congregate. In our village, I have thought of giving the drivers of such coaches some advice – ‘go to the end of Broadway, turn left into Lower Waites Lane, go right to the end and turn left onto Stream Lane.’ This single, simple act could destroy the EU on its own…

Popular Mallydams: It’s their Annual Open Day tomorrow, Saturday, August 9 from 10.30 am until 4 pm. There is a modest entry fee, but there is also free parking available. As usual, there is something for everyone - stalls, activities, games, a Teddy Bears Picnic Area, a ‘Keep it Local’ BBQ, a tea room and wildlife centre tours.

Dressing down: They were due to start top dressing Fairlight Road yesterday for the next few days. Often these jobs are a little delayed at the start, but the schedule of works states that ‘High Impact’ is expected from this job. You have been warned…

Fairfest finish: Last week’s round-up was a bit incomplete. Among the most spectacular performers during the afternoon were the Acromax team of gymnasts whose dynamic display had to be seen to be believed. Following them into the Arena were the Rye Dance Centre soloists and duets, who were a sheer delight to watch. The Committee would like to thank everyone who helped in any way to make the Festival such a huge success. There are too many groups and individuals to mention here because there were so many stars on the day. Not least the Guestwell Scouts, who not only supplied three tents but uprooted them during the late afternoon in order to provide shelter to those enjoying the music and, of course, the principal sponsors of the event, Just Property.

Separate Tables: Don’t forget that the Players will be reading ‘Separate Tables’ by Terence Rattigan on Monday, August 18 and auditioning the play on Thursday, August 21, in the village hall at 7.30 pm each evening. David Burchell is directing and all comers, be they new to the am dram scene or experienced, young or older, men and women, will be welcomed. The Players do have a good track record of introducing new members to their audiences!

Irritants…: Two short reminders have been circulated this week, the first concerning unwelcome bonfires, which people are still setting on days when they are bound to upset neighbours and the not-so-near with wind-blown smoke engulfing everybody except the fire-starter him or herself. Even worse is the fire on a windless, heavy evening when the whole output sits like a heavy blanket from which there is no escape. The second derides cold callers, forbidden within our village, a fact ignored by these unwanted visitors. If you’re planning on a bonfire (in the village that is possibly the bonfire capital of England) think about other people first. If you’re planning a cold-call operation, think again and, literally, don’t bother (us).

Panto Barbeque: The Pantomime Group’s traditional BBQ, coming, as it usually does, six months after their last production and six months before the next one, was held on Wood Field last Sunday on a beautiful sunny afternoon. The Group’s next offering, to be directed by Ben Burford, will be a first time in the village for ‘Rapunzel.’ Auditions won’t be for several months yet, but when they’re announced, why not get along and let your hair down…!

Naming names: The Activate Gnome is proving a very popular little fellow wherever he lodges in the village. At Fairfest, he was named, the winning selection being Mister Noma. Unfortunately, we hadn’t heard the winning name when he came to us early this week for a nice stay, but we found he responded enthusiastically to Gnorman the Gnome… He also responded well to a photo opportunity, which he’s pleased to learn may have made it into the Observer this week.

What’s the difference…?: Between Fairfest and a 344 bus on a Sunday? You can be sure there’s another Fairfest on the way, even if you’ve got to wait two years for it…

Keith Pollard

Brookfield, Broadway