Pews News: This Sunday, December 21, there will be a Communion Service with Carols at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am. On Christmas Eve, which is next Wednesday, in case you had forgotten, also at St Andrew’s, there is the traditional Christmas Eve Communion at 11.15 pm. On Christmas morning, there is Informal Worship at 10.30 am, and there will be optional Communion after this service. Children and families are welcome. After Christmas, on Sunday, December 28, there is to be a Benefice Holy Communion service at St Mary’s and St Peter’s, Pett from 1.30 am to 12 noon. On this day there will a special celebration of the 150 years since the dedication of St Mary & St Peter’s Church. Included during the service will be a presentation on the history of Pett Church. Eagle eyes will have spotted that December 28 is the fourth Sunday of the month, but don’t get your hopes up for a Sunday Live experience at 6.30 pm at St Peter’s. December is the only month of the year when this popular event is not scheduled.

Party time: The Wine and Social Club’s annual Christmas bash went off extremely well last Saturday. The buffet was excellent and there were songs at the keyboard throughout the evening from Mike Rose. With lots of people at lots of tables, the area of the dance floor was shrunk to a tiny cabaret-club size. Nobody minded! Though seasonal ailments accounted for a few who had been expected and didn’t make it, there were nevertheless 80 plus members who thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Rapunzel: Tickets are on sale at the Post Office for the Panto Group’s latest offering, Rapunzel, which will be running at the village hall on Thursday 22, Friday 23 and Saturday 24 January at 7.30 pm each evening and including a matinee at 2.30 pm on the Saturday. Ticket prices are £6 for adults and £3 for children for the first three performances, while all seats are £6 on Saturday evening. One or two shows are usually a sell-out, and quite often the entire run sees no spaces spare at all, so you are advised to book as soon as you can, before you miss the chance for the performance of your choice. Rapunzel, based by the brothers Grimm on a two hundred years old story, which first saw the light of day a further hundred years earlier. You know the one – where the Prince says ‘Rapunzel, let down your hair’ so that he can climb up to where she is imprisoned in a tower.

What do you think of Kier so far? Rubbish!: Many may be relatively satisfied with the rubbish, recycling, glass and garden collections around the village. But this satisfaction is far from universal, as various reports testify, with a number of collections missed. One hopes that Kier’s operatives have not been trained in any of the more notoriously militant London Boroughs, where a lid half an inch from being closed, or with a bit of detritus protruding over the side is offered as a reason for rejection because of the inevitable, and laughable, elf and safety rule. The other sometime London practice that appears to be catching on here, and there, is the refusal to collect because the bin is not quite as near the edge of the front boundary of the property as it could be. Why they cannot see that the property owner does not wish to place his or her bins out in the teeth of a howling gale, where they can be hazardously blown away, or plain tipped over to deposit their load, which the bin owner, or rather lessee, will have to pick up. Kier claim their employees are not permitted to come on to private property, but this apparently does not apply when the operatives cross a couple of front gardens to get to the next bin. It would be pleasant if they could remember that several of their customers are either elderly or frail or medically unfit, or even all three. They seem unaware that these people cannot always follow every petty instruction to the letter, and that a little consideration and helpfulness would cost them nothing but a little time, and yet do their image immense good.

Potholes: Edging work has been done on the top of Fairlight Road, and very nice it is, too. Battery Hill may have been a step too far in this instance, and some killer holes in Martineau Lane have escaped notice altogether. One in particular, just north of the entrance to Fairlight Hall, could do with immediate attention before gangs of us have to go out with dogs to seek missing persons. It may be that the hole in question is marginally too small to be called a full-blown pothole. Please tell that to my tyre supplier.

Community Shop: An early note about the next public happening in the quest for our Post Office and general stores to become a community-run asset. The Planning Group will be in the village hall from 10 am to 12 noon on Saturday, January 31, and that’s all I’ll say for now, as detail will be forgotten in the hectic days ahead. Reminders will follow in the fullness of time and the New Year.

In selfless pursuit of the truth: This column has noted the Community Speedwatch activity on Battery Hill, with some sketchy idea about what happens if you are caught. I thought it would be interesting to read exactly what the police say, and so I obtained a sample of a typical Operation Crackdown letter. OK, I tell a lie. I was caught bang to rights, cruising down the A259 into Ore, when three hi-viz jacketed individuals clocked me by the carwash and recorded that I was doing 37 mph. The ensuing letter, pretty much velvet glove but with glimpses of the iron fist within, reasonably points out that this offence typically carries a £100 fixed penalty, and three points on my licence. The letter goes on to remind me of the fatalities and serious injuries on the roads of Sussex. The report collected on my driving will be held on Sussex Police records for twelve months, and if my vehicle comes to their notice again, there will be ‘further investigations’. This letter is about as effective a speed reducer as driving with the hand brake on. As I might have said to a blond policeman, it’s a fair cop. You might wish to remember that there is a website, www.operationcrackdown.org, which anyone can use should they spot dangerous or anti-social driving. Like the two occasions in the last week when both my dogs and I were nearly demolished by inconsiderate and selfish driving in the heart of the village.

Happy Christmas: A final note to wish both, or just possibly that should be ‘all’, the readers of Fairlight Village Voice a very Happy Christmas. Not for us the mealy-mouthed Happy Holiday Season – let’s take a brief pause to consider what Christmas is and what it should mean to us all. (Just read that opening paragraph again!) If we don’t remember, I fear we shall all be up the Amazon without a paddle, or, indeed, a password, a Kindle or a Prime Account.

Keith Pollard

Brookfield, Broadway