Pews News: Here’s a run down of what will be happening at St Andrew’s in the run up to the Great Day itself. This Sunday, December 14, there’ll be Carols by Candlelight at 4 pm, and the following Sunday, December 21, there is a Communion Service with Carols, at 10.30 am. On Christmas Eve, which is next Wednesday week, there will be Christmas Eve Communion at 11.15 pm, leaving enough time to go home, say ‘Happy Christmas’, have a mince pie and be back for the Informal Worship at 10.30 am on Christmas Day in the morning. Optional Communion follows this service. Children and families are welcome. Make this year the one when you actually pay your church that visit you’ve been promising for all those years.

A great turn-out: There seemed to be even more people than usual at the very vibrant Village Hall Winter Fair last Saturday. So it is not surprising to learn that the event amassed no less than £1,650, which Hall Treasurer Frank James says in a record. The Hall’s Management Team pass their thanks on to all who manned stalls, made lunches and mulled wine, and coffees and teas – and to the countless residents and those from further afield who patronised everything that was offer so generously.

The King of the Castle?: Well, not really, because, when I was a kid, everyone else shouted ‘you’re a dirty rascal’ in reply to the King and then attempted to depose him. But King of the Village Hall is another matter entirely, for Tony King is not only the Chairman of that fine organisation, but a highly active parish councillor as well. And Tony merits an especial mention here as tomorrow, Saturday, December 13 is his 80th birthday – not that you’d ever realise it. 13 was clearly a fortunate birth date for Tony, though luckily it was a Wednesday, not a Friday! As far as Fairlight is concerned, it looks as if 80 is the new 60! Congratulations, Tony. Many happy returns – and keep up the excellent work.

You need hands …: Tonight at the village hall, it’s the Bowls Club’s final Whist Drive of 2014, 6.30 for a 7 pm start, so don’t be late. The series has, so far this season, been very popular. Get along down and join in!

Christmas party time: They’re going on everywhere every day at this time of the year. And tomorrow night it’s the one for the members of the Wine and Social Club. Those planning to go will have pre-booked, but it’s worth reminding them that they need to take plates, cutlery, glasses, drink and themselves to the village hall, where the doors open at 7 pm. Have a great night!

The Tuesday Ladies Club: For their final meeting of the year, on Tuesday next, December 16, they will be having their Christmas Tea plus Ken Hall, fully recovered from his stint standing in for Santa at the village hall Fair, will be along with a Seasonal Disco. I expect that means that all his records will be played with pine needles … Anyway, the fun starts at 2.15 pm. When the group next meets, in the New Year, they will be celebrating being five years old!

At MOPPs today: Friday, December 12, they’re having a Christmas Table Sale, (should you be looking for a Christmas Table!), and following it with lamb hot pot and then fruit and custard. Next week, on the last Friday before Christmas, it will be Brian Howard with his ‘Christmas Party’, and, surprise, surprise, a Traditional Christmas Dinner.

At MOPPs every Friday: Hey, MOPPs are still seeking someone to help out as a Kitchen Assistant. It would entail four hours work each Friday, from 9.30 am to 1.30 pm. Duties are the making of teas and coffees, vegetable preparation and then washing up. Nothing unduly arduous there, then – all the stuff that gets done at home most days of the week. Pay rate is £7 per hour. Go on, give it some serious thought and then call group co-ordinator Robert Pasterfield on 07860 414277.

Berm-ese happiness?: Headlines abound, locally, that £1.3M will be made available to complete the essential berm closure we so desperately need. The £30,000 initial survey appears assured and, as for the total, some are talking £2.4M, (allowing for a little inflation.) But the old days of ‘ask, and it shall be given to you’ are long gone, and the sort-of promise of money does not by-pass matched funding, a sensible yardstick by which commitment can be measured. Perhaps we shall be safe – but we still need to raise £150,000 to show how we value that safety.

The Road to Hell …: may be paved with good intentions. The road to Ore, Fairlight Road, has a peculiar section, just short of the picnic area, where the fairly newly top dressed bit almost meets the hill down to Ore. For about fifty yards, good intentions are about all the surface has been paved with. Would that they would put some real substance down – which they apparently may be doing quite soon. If the work is undertaken and there is any material to spare, perhaps they could take it down to Bethune Way, which runs past the entrance to Alexandra Park and up the hill. Past the Park and before you get to the pedestrian crossing, there is a stretch that is so bad that anything over 5 mph will shake your fillings out. You know who to sue … Incidentally, Google’s Street View, despite a strategically placed car, shows perfectly how appalling this bit of road is!

Keith Pollard

Brookfield, Broadway