Andy Paige SUS-140916-103008001
Andy Paige SUS-140916-103008001

Church Matters: This Sunday there are two services in the parish, starting with a 10.30 am Parish Communion at St Andrew’s, and then Evening Prayer at 6 pm at St Peter’s.

On Sunday week, September 28, there will be the latest instalment of the increasingly popular Informal Worship, starting at 6.30 pm at St Peter’s, when the guest speaker will be Dr John Geater.

The Shoebox Appeal: Since 1990, more than 113 million boys and girls in over 130 countries have received a simple shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child. They have been organised by Samaritan’s Purse, which works with local churches and ministry partners to deliver the gifts to children, many of them in Eastern Europe who would otherwise receive precisely nothing. Within our village, of course, the base for shoebox operations is St Andrew’s, but it is not essential that you are a regular churchgoer to fill a box or two – you just need that desire to make a real difference to a very needy child. Please start to think about filling your shoeboxes ready for the appeal on Sunday, November 2, which is when all the collected boxes begin the next stage of their journey. If you haven’t got a shoebox, there are some available on the piano at the back of St Andrews’ Church. There are leaflets to explain what to put in them and to do with them, and a label to indentify whether your box is for a boy or a girl.

Sir Donald Sinden: As you will already be aware, one of the true greats of stage, screen and television, has died at the age of 90. Thanks to the ministrations of the Players’ then Chairman Aubrey Sinden, Sir Donald’s cousin, the legendary actor became probably the biggest star name ever to make a public appearance at our village hall, in ‘Afternoon Tea with Sir Donald Sinden’. It nearly didn’t happen, as he was taken ill just days before he was due to appear in September 2010. Happily, he recovered and insisted he wished to fulfil the commitment the following year, which he did to a packed hall. Remarkably, his rearranged appearance came on his 88th birthday, and he drove himself here and home afterwards, and then declined to accept his agreed fee. As for his enormous, warm on-stage presence it seemed as if he might, like Ken Dodd, go on throughout the evening. No one would have minded one jot, for his afternoon became an instantly treasured memory for all.

You missed a real treat: The Residents Association organised a visit by Papa Schnitzel’s Oompah Band on Saturday last, and all present had a wonderful, laughter-filled evening getting fully involved with the three musicians who blew or squeezed their way through three sparkling hours. Disappointments? Well, numbers attending were much lower than they should have been, and there were several well-known locals missing who one would have expected to see there. If this hilarious outfit ever plays the village again, save up your pennies and be there.

A surfeit of salt: On the road at the right-hand bend in Broadway, where the diminutive salt bin (not of the design about which the Parish Council is currently exercised) has had a clout from a turning vehicle, splitting the lid and the box corner. We shall never know who was responsible, I suppose, but it will lead to more unexpected expense. It does work, however – there has been no trace of ice on this bit of road since the salt was spilled …

Neighbourhood Plan: Earlier this week, Cllr Stephen Leadbetter chaired an open meeting at the village hall to enable residents to learn about the implications of Fairlight having a Neighbourhood Plan, and to canvas general opinion on the matter. The outcome of this meeting will be discussed at the Parish Council meeting on Tuesday next.

Parish Council: September’s Parish Council meeting is on Tuesday next, September 23 in the village hall at 7.15 pm. Apart from the round-up of views on the possibility of a Neighbourhood Plan, several of the items on the agenda cover on-going concerns, brought forward from earlier meetings. As ever, the meeting will end with the Open Forum, which gives the public their chance of a say on matters dear to their hearts.

Stumbling over the footpath enquiry: Two days of a Public Enquiry, overseen by a government official, and with East Sussex County Council proposers and three objectors, plus numerous witnesses and several members of the public, were not sufficient to resolve the footpath problem. It could take six to eight weeks yet for the definitive answer to be revealed. How on earth did we manage to win two World Wars?

In the swim: 15 year old Andy Paige, a Fairlight resident, is one of three swimmers from Hastings Seagull Swimming Club who have just completed the South East Regional Open Water Swimming Championships Series 2014, collecting an impressive set of medals and awards along the way. The series consisted of a 3km lake swim at Chichester, and 5 challenging sea swims (Brighton Pier to Pier 1km, Sussex Open 5km, Eastbourne 2km, Dover 2km and Southsea Pier to Pier 2km). The swims are conducted under FINA Open water rules, which do not allow wetsuits or skin suits to be worn, so the swimmers have to brave the elements and deal with cold water, sea winds, tides and currents, all wearing their normal pool racing costumes. Points are awarded for individual placings, and are added up at the end of the series, when awards are given to the swimmers with the highest amount of points in their age category. A minimum of 2 qualifying events must be completed in order to be eligible for these awards. Andy, in his first season of open water, swam in four of the qualifying swims, achieving two firsts and two second places in the junior championship, collecting a total of 34 points, which gave him first place and made him the Swimming Association’s South East Region Open Water Junior Champion. He also achieved 2nd place in the Open age group, and narrowly missed becoming Open Champion by a single point. Andy has now returned to the pool to compete in this year’s short and long course competitions, but he will return to open water next year where he intends to go for the men’s Open Championship.

Trefoil meeting: For September, on Wednesday 24, Judy will present ‘Thinking of You’ all about making greeting cards. The ladies meet at St Peter’s Church from 10 am to 12 noon. Give Betty Snow a call if you’d like more details. She’s on 812694.

Flour Arranging: There is no demonstration planned for this month’s Floral Club meeting on Thursday next, September 25, and Chairman Sheila Benson says it will be an occasion for a social chat over tea and cake (which is where the flour arranging comes in!) Possibly there will be a quiz as well, a popular feature the members have enjoyed in the past.

Let your hair down: and go along to the Panto Group auditions for their ‘Rapunzel’, which will take to their boards for the first time next January. The audition date is Friday, September 26, in the village hall at 7 pm.

Cream and sugar …?: In your Macmillan Coffee Morning coffee next Saturday week; that’s September 27. It’ll all be happening in the village hall from 10 am to 12.30 pm, and this is another of those charities that are so deserving of everyone’s support. After all, when you are in need, you’ll find Macmillan giving that support right back to you.

At MOPPs today and next week: Today, September 19, singer Sharon will be entertaining the members, and Sarah Owen, Labour Parliamentary candidate for Hastings will be paying the club a visit. Lunch will consist of sausage and mash, followed by gateau. Next Friday, September 26 will see (and hear) Regency Singers entertaining, with a lunch of turkey and ham pie, with angel delight and fruit for afters. Last Friday was the Club’s AGM, coming just a couple of weeks before they celebrate their sixth birthday in the first week of October. Councillors from Rother District Council and Fairlight Parish Council, with representatives of Fairlight Residents Association and other local organisations attended the meeting and heard how the charity continues to prosper. MOPP provides a place to meet, a hearty home-cooked meal and entertainment every Friday at Fairlight Village Hall. Residents from Pett, Pett Level, Guestling, Three Oaks and other local villages are always welcome and the charity plans to expand its activities during 2015. There are currently vacancies for new members from Fairlight and beyond, and anyone who joins can be assured of a warm welcome into the MOPPs ‘family’. For further information please see www.fairlightmopp.co.uk, or simply call Co-ordinator Robert Pasterfield on 07860 414277

Post early for - ever …: A minute notice on the Lower Waites Lane post box informs all with good eyesight that, from last Monday, the collection from this box will be ‘not earlier than 9 am Monday to Friday, and 7 am on Saturday’. This means today’s collection is, to all intents, tomorrow. The post box also tells you where a later collection can be caught – which they say is down in Hastings. However, the pillar box at the Post Office says nothing about losing the 4.30 pm daily collection. Is this an oversight, or will it still be dealt with at the usual time? Who knows? Does anybody care?

Keith Pollard

Brookfield, Broadway