Church matters: This Sunday, there is a 10.30 am service of Morning Praise at St Andrew’s, and then the increasingly popular Informal Worship at St Peter’s, starting at 6.30 pm. In between these two, you may also like to nip over to Pett Church where, at 3 pm, there is to be a concert by the Village Choir. A collection will be taken for Farm Africa.

Planning for the future?: Banfield and Pomphrey, the Hastings undertakers, will be holding an informal talk on funeral planning in the village hall on Tuesday, October 28 from 2 to 4 pm. There will be a speaker from Golden Charter, an independent funeral plan provider, talking about a pre-paid funeral plan. Tea and cakes will be available. There is no mention of getting your money back should you decide you’re not going anywhere.

Parish Council: At their meeting next Tuesday, in the village hall at 7.15 pm, several of the agenda items will be familiar to those who attend regularly, but there are a number of fresh items that catch the eye. These include Community Resilience in a report by Cllr Mrs J Annetts. This concerns an initiative proposed by the Government in 2013 and, while the whole idea appears very sensible, it is somewhat hampered by more jargon, buzz words and obscure acronyms than there are worms in a wormery.
Shop! Very much in the thoughts of residents is the idea of the community purchase of the Post Office and Village Stores. There is to be a presentation on this possibility by Heather Black, followed by a discussion of the proposal and consideration as to whether the Parish Council should support the idea or not. There is much more to come on this item, with a public meeting planned for Sunday, November 15 from 10 am to 12 noon in the village hall. Comprehensive details will appear next week.
Bus stops Under Highways and Transport Matters, there will be an update on the 344 bus service. This is particularly interesting as there has been a fresh rash of ‘Don’t Stop The Bus’ posters in the village, although it appears ‘they’ are not going to stop ours anyway. Under the Planning banner, in an item concerning the new Firehills Visitor Centre, the Council will be considering the offer they have received to attend the consultation event.

Pouring salt in the wounds: The Parish Council agenda also allows for a discussion on the possible replacement of the dog waste bins, several of which have doors which do not lock securely any more. This is potentially insanitary and malodorous, and there is no concern about possibility of theft of the contents. The replacement of our salt/grit bins has been on the agenda each month for ages now, and it appears improbable that the matter can be resolved before the contents are needed for use. Meanwhile, it is suggested that the grit bin at the end of Knowle Road should have a large glass dome placed over it as the lid is curling up nicely, reminiscent of a British Railways Refreshment Room sandwich, c.1960.

Fairlight Preservation Trust: The Fairlight Preservation Trust held its AGM in the village hall on Sunday and, not for the first time, the meeting hastily moved itself from a jam-packed small hall into what became a comfortably full large hall. Chairman Paul Capps led the exposition and discussion, questions and answers on the need for an extension of the Sea Road and Rockmead Road berms, so that the two meet and prevent the erosion currently being caused behind and between the two. A complicated formula is used, but basically it means that the community must be committed to support the project financially for it to stand a chance. An appeal has gone out for pledges, which has resulted in 76 pledges being received. A healthy sub-total was recorded so far, but the sum is only half way to the required £150,000. The Trust does not believe in publicity, partly because they do not believe that local government and agencies are swayed by it, but largely because so often the Big Boys of telly or the national press seem to get hold of the wrong end of the stick, or erroneous ‘facts’, and put an inaccurate twist on what is happening on the ground. The media would really be happier if they were told five houses will be going over the edge tomorrow. Which they are not. Regard this note, then, not as publicity, but as a chat between your leading local newspaper and all our friends in the village. The Trust’s recent newsletter hoped for pledges in the region of £500 to £1,000, which some may have found off-putting but, as the appeal also stated, all amounts, however small, would be welcome. There is little doubt that some people may have thought it a good idea but, with no deadline or closing date, have put their thoughts on the back burner. Now would be a very good time to move everything on to the front burner, and let the Trust have your pledge. The actual money will not be required until 2015. Famously, the village raised £90,000 in 20 days some years back, and when the scheme to which this applied was accepted, all donors had their money returned, with interest. That will not be happening this time, as payment will be a final good bye.

Billy gnomates: Home for the winter. That’s the Activate gnome, who has been busy visiting many various locations round the village since the height of the summer. He’ll be missed, but no doubt he’ll be back with us all once more after being replenished and replanted, grinning away when the spring sunshine starts to break through.

Very late breaking news: Fairlight Bowls club held their Open Tournament four months ago on Sunday, June 29, but news of the outcome somehow passed us by. Each year, this event raises money for a charity of the club captain’s choice, and in recent years Help for Heroes and Prostate Cancer have been the recipients. This year the event supported Myeloma U.K. On the day, twenty four teams competed. For the fourth year running, the Brickwall Hotel at Sedlescombe generously sponsored the day, for which the club was extremely grateful. Then, coming up to date, on the Wednesday of last week the club held its annual prize giving luncheon at the Brickwall Hotel, with sixty seven members thoroughly enjoying themselves. And a representative from Myeloma U.K. joined the party for lunch and received a cheque for £1,765 from club captain Allen Lawrence. The club would like to thank all who helped raise this fantastic total for a highly deserving charity.

Garden Club hut: Prepare yourselves for withdrawal symptoms, for tomorrow’s 10 am to 12 noon opening of the Gardening Club hut is your last chance to stock up at this useful location until the first Saturday in February. Better get in quick, then!

Beautifying makeover at Hairbase: No, sorry, it’s not for you, madam! It’s been for the shop itself. Situated in Fairlight’s principal commercial district – well, the Cove, Just Property and Hairbase - the hairdresser’s will be declared formally open tomorrow, Saturday, October 25. The special celebratory ribbon will be Cut, but not Blow-Dried!

BT Broadband in the village: Considering they own and maintain so much of the communications infrastructure in the land, BT seem woefully inadequate when it comes to ‘delivery’. An internet provision of 1.6Mbps when they claim ‘up to 8Mbps’, but even at that snail’s pace drops out regularly twice or three times each week, is frankly not good enough – especially when their vans are talking of fibre connections supposedly at 30Mbps. Of course, when you do get a connection, your frustration and irritation disappear, but underlying the experience is the fact that their service is not fit for purpose, and they are taking money under false pretences. Perhaps a class action would shake them into actually doing something rather than just aiming for the big bucks to be had in our major cities. Organising such an action would be hindered by the inertia of countless individuals, said he, dozing off again.

Keith Pollard

Brookfield, Broadway