Church matters: It’s the Harvest Festival at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am this Sunday, with special guest Cecil the puppet, who, it seems, is invariably accompanied by Derek Hayman. Harvest Gifts for the Harvest Festival Service on October 5 can be brought to St. Andrew’s on Saturday or to the service on Sunday and these gifts will be distributed to parishioners the following day as usual. At 6 pm there’s a service of Holy Communion at St Peter’s. After the morning Harvest festival comes the Benefice Lunch with a Harvest bring-and-share lunch at St Peter’s. All friends and family will be welcome. To book your place, ring Linda Willard on 812316 as soon as you possibly can, as time is now very short. There’s a Coffee Morning, with a Traidcraft stall, on Saturday, October 11 at St Peter’s Church from 10 am to 12 noon. There’ll be cakes, books, bric-a-brac, tea or coffee and a raffle, and all proceeds will go to Christian Aid. Any donations of paperbacks or small items for the bric-a-brac stall would be welcome, though electrical goods cannot be accepted. If you have items that you’d like to have collected, please ring Val on 272012 to arrange this collection, or simply take them to St Peter’s between 3 and 4 pm on Friday, October 10.

The Macmillan Coffee Morning: last Saturday, raised £1,220, and that may not be the final figure. Principal organiser Sue Clarke thanked the multitude who worked so hard before and on the day itself, and the even larger multitude who supported the morning. The event in the village hall took slightly less than it had the previous year, but this may have been due to the fact that this year we were a little later than we had been before, and many similar events plus shop appeals preceded Fairlight’s morning.

The Parish Council Meeting: which was held ten days ago, saw the summing up of the previous week’s excellent public meeting to acquaint residents with the concept of having a Neighbourhood Plan. At that meeting, attended by some 40 souls, Cllrs. Stephen Leadbetter and Andrew Mier gave a comprehensive exposition of what such a plan could mean for us in Fairlight, all under the chairmanship of Cllr Rev Val Gibbs. One attendee voted against the idea, but the remainder were solidly in favour (though I couldn’t tell if anyone actually abstained; I don’t think so). Discussion ensued on the shared purchase of a speed gun with Icklesham and Pett, though Cllr Roger Bird pointed out that the instrument is properly called a speed indicator. For myself, judging by the selfish and arrogant way a number of drivers speed down Battery Hill, I believe we should either change its name to Brands Hatch Hill or invest in a real gun… It was pointed out that transgressors receive a letter for the first offence, and a strong letter for the second, soon escalating to a fifth offence, for which you may have your car impounded. We all await, with bated breath, the outcome of the collation of the questionnaires into bus usage. While it’s alright to be bated, it is not recommended that you hold your breath. You know how these things work, usually with smoke and mirrors… There was much discussion about the problem of trees in Lower Waites Lane, which are a clear and present danger to residents and passers-by. Little – or should that be no – attempt at any action has been undertaken by the owners. If, God forbid, there should be a tragedy as a result of foot dragging, a punitive expense for them could be the outcome.

Play your cards, right?: The Bowls Club’s series of fortnightly (approximately) Whist Drives for 2014-15 commences this evening. Get to the village hall at 6.30 to 6.45 pm for a 7 pm start. Each evening will cost you £4, and the hall always seems well filled with a large number of aficionados. Why not join them this season?

Quiz Night: The Residents Association is having a quiz night at the village hall on Saturday, October 18 at 7.30 pm. There’s to be a sandwich buffet, and you are invited to take your own drinks and glasses. Tickets, which are £6 each, are available from the Post Office or by calling Trevor Lewing on 812340. A fun evening in store, then?

The Gardening Club: meets on Monday next, October in the village hall at 2.30 pm, when the speakers will be Tanya turner and Heather Goodsell, giving the second part of their talk entitled Medieval Life and Woolcraft. Last year there were costumes for volunteers to wear, which was fun. October is the last month during which the club trading hut, in Lower Waites Lane just south of Fairlight Gardens, will be open from 10 am to 12 noon each Saturday, following which there will be a three month break until they return at the beginning of February 2015. Before the close season, the King’s seed catalogue is now available in the club hut. King’s seeds are a top quality product, discounted to clubs. Good buy, and good bye.

The Trefoil Guild meeting: Judy was due to show the members all about card making, but was prevented from doing so by health problems. Fortunately, Guild branch Secretary Brenda Ridler stepped into the breach at the last moment and the members present were very pleased with the outcome.

Floral Club: An excellent turnout, with very few members absent, and those present unusually quiet as they worked their way through the thought-provoking quiz. After a break chatting over delicious cakes came the moment of truth when their answers were revealed and compared with the correct versions. No quiet then, as the hall was laughter-filled. This afternoon really was the great time that was enjoyed by all. Normal service will be resumed next month with a demonstration of flower arranging, about which a reminder will appear nearer the date of the meeting.

At MOPPs today: Friday, October 3, there are chair-based exercises with Celia King, which should sharpen up the appetite for the lunch of either Pasta Bolognese or Cottage Pie, followed by Cheesecake. As yet, there are no details for Friday 10, so we’re all on tenterhooks for a while.

Toot, toot: A recent Channel 4 showed an initiative designed to get access to musical instruments for all the children in the country. To this end, anyone who has any instrument that they no longer require is being asked to take it to their local Oxfam shop, where they have agreed to act as collection points. It has been found that not only do the children gain musical skills, their confidence and school work improve too. So please look in your loft, garage and cupboards and see what you can dig out. It could turn a child’s life around… Linda Booth of The Retreat in Farley Way would be happy to collect any instruments and deliver them to Oxfam. You could call her on 813684.

Royal British Legion: A hardy annual request from the Legion’s local appeals organiser, John Pulfer, who still needs cover for five rounds of poppy collections. The period of greatest activity is between October 23 and November 9, and if you are able and willing to help with one of the longest standing and best known of all charity drives, please give John a call on 814866. Those who’ve done it in the past have thoroughly enjoyed it!

We’ll weather the weather: Tonight at 7 pm at the History House, Courthouse Street in Hastings Old Town, there’s a talk by David Powell, weather recorder for Hastings Borough Council, about our local weather. You can also have a good look at some weather recording instruments. But be warned - this talk was scheduled for last February, only to be postponed due to some extremely inclement weather!

Autumn Migration Watch: The Friends of Hastings Country Park are organising a walk through the Country Park Nature Reserve next Saturday, October 11, between 8 and 10 am. Meet at the Country Park Visitor Centre and join local ornithologist, Andrew Grace, on a walk to observe the movements of various migrating birds from various vantage points in this scenic area.

Open Wood at RSPCA Mallydams: Which is also next Saturday, October 11 from 11.00 am to 3.00 pm. Enjoy a wander through the Autumn leaves, and make sure you take along something to toast on the woodland fire. The RSPCA gift shop will be open. Entry will cost you £1 per head, with last entries at 2.30 pm. If you’d like to know more, contact Fiona Cannings at fiona.cannings@rspca.org.uk or call her on 0300 123 0750

Mixing wine and beer: The Wine and Social Club’s October meeting is on Monday week, October 13 at 7.30 pm, when a beer tasting evening will be presented by Mike Pinkney. Bottoms up!

Stop the Press, but not the Bus: Very last minute news before my deadline states that the Don’t Stop the Bus Campaign seems to have had some remarkable success with regard to our 344 service, which is to be retained as an hourly service on Mondays to Saturdays, one of six out of 21 routes accepted by Stagecoach as being commercially viable. No mention as yet of the Sunday service.

Keith Pollard

Brookfield, Broadway