Keith Pollard

Brookfield, Broadway

Church Matters: Today, at 10.30 am, there will be an evocative Good Friday service at St Andrew’s. All comers will be very welcome. And a reminder that just prior to this service, there’s the 10 am Walk of Witness from Pett Church to Pett Methodist Chapel.

Easter Day, Sunday, April 5, starts nice and early with the 6.20 am Sunrise Service, on the Firehills, along with the musicians of the Salvation Army. The service will be followed by breakfast at St Andrew’s. The forecast is for light cloud, not much wind, no rain and a cool 40oF, altogether as good as can be expected, so do join this special celebration. Later at St Andrew’s, there will be the 10.30 am Easter Celebration with Holy Communion, and the church day finishes with Holy Communion at St Peter’s at 6 pm.

Bowls club thanks: go to all who supported their recent coffee morning, which raised £650 for club funds. The final whist drive of the current series is tonight, Good Friday, in the village hall at 6.45 for 7pm start.

And when that’s done and dusted, it will be just a fortnight until Saturday, April 18 at 2.30 pm, when the green will be open, kicking off the new season.

Guaranteed to cheer you up: Tickets for the Players’ ‘The Cat and the Canary’ are on sale at the Post Office now, having been delayed by an unexpected glitch last weekend. Remarkably, they’re still only £6, and you’ll be able to see a production to make you smile while boosting your adrenaline! However, there’s nothing to alarm anyone in the famous old spoof horror classic – a chance to see the local group tackle yet another theatrical genre for the first time.

But before the play opens, much work has to be done on the setting. Normally, construction is off-stage with erection being in the village hall, but this time parts of the actual build will be taking place there on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 April. Keen DIYers would probably enjoy the experience, and if they’d care to join in, it would be helpful if they were to contact the guy organising the build, Trevor Lewing, on 812340.

The Gardening Club: You’ve read it before, but here it is again – the Gardening Club’s April meeting is on Monday next, the Bank Holiday, April 6 in the village hall at 2.30 pm, when the speaker will be the popular and entertaining Jacqui Aviolet. She’ll be talking about ‘Four Days at the Nursery – a behind-the-shed look throughout the year at a traditional nursery’. If you have not yet paid your £5 sub for the year, you could do so at the meeting by seeing Barry Prime, or pay in person at the Club hut, which is open each Saturday from 10 am to 12 noon, down past Fairlight Gardens.

The Community Shop project: is really up and running once more, and if anyone would like to help the cause by distributing flyers, please let Secretary Kath Barron know on 812799. Many of the roads in the locality will be covered by the Project Management Committee, but some extra hands would make the job much easier. Extra efforts are being made to source funding but for now, the need is to let the community know. The share purchase deadline, which was to be the end of March, has been extended to the end of May. The Flyers will be ready to go soon.

Dance to save the village!: Fairfest are organising a special dance in the village hall on Friday, May 1 from 7.30 to 11 pm. There’s a buffet, a bar and a raffle to help you survive when you’ve just got to sit one out. The band is the ever-popular Kytes (who are donating their services in aid of the excellent cause) and the tickets, which are £8.50 each, are available from the Post Office. All proceeds go towards Stage 3 of the Cliff Preservation scheme.

The Parish Council: had its March meeting last week. Among items given a good hearing was the subject of grants, which were approved as on the agenda, except for the graveyard which was held at the existing level of £1,800. Views were expressed that in future years only grants which have been applied for should be considered.

Contrary to information given to a councillor, the gullies on Battery Hill have not been cleared. Others in the village have had attention.

The Chairman had emailed Ore councillors, requesting a meeting, as it is hoped to avoid further friction concerning the proposed Visitor Centre on the Firehills.

The District Valuer had walked the ground of the Warren Estate with a representative of the owners and had raised a few questions. A report is expected soon.

The Parish Assembly will be on Tuesday, May 26 at 6.00 pm.

The May PC meeting will be (unusually) on Tuesday 19 May at 7.15 pm. This change is necessitated by legal requirements following the elections.

The Speedwatch scheme was discussed, and has its own paragraph following this one.

Cllr Jennifer Annetts is to meet a garden centre owner at the play area to discuss tree and shrub planting, though time is surely running out for spring planting.

In the Open Forum, Paul Capps gave an update on the meeting with Southern Water to discuss the Lower Waites Lane sewer and its capacity (or incapacity) to accept the sewage from the proposed Market Garden site (or indeed from existing properties). The pressure on Southern Water to explain its contradictory statements must be maintained.

Volunteers needed for Community Speedwatch: The Marsham Community Speedwatch has been active in Fairlight recently. It relies on volunteers to monitor vehicle speeds, and if a speeding vehicle is detected the police send a warning letter to the driver. Vehicles are not stopped by the volunteers. A record is kept of drivers who repeatedly offend and ultimately the police have powers to deal with offenders more formally.

The coordinator, Graham MacPherson, marshamspeedwatch@outlook.com needs more volunteers from Fairlight as only two (from a population of about 1,700!) are active. If you are worried about making yourself unpopular by catching speeding friends and neighbours, don’t worry. Speedwatch covers other local villages and volunteers can be assigned to duties away from Fairlight. Training takes only half an hour or so and Graham can do this himself.

Marsham Speedwatch now has its own “speed device”, which was paid for in part by Fairlight PC.

The Parish Council and District Councillors pressed hard for the Fairlight speed limits. Now we have them we should all be keen to see them observed.

To find out more contact Graham MacPherson or visit https://www.communityspeedwatch.co.uk/

If you would like to help please contact Graham by email to marshamspeedwatch@outlook.com

Through a glass darkly: Rother seem to have fallen foul of Eric Pickles on a number of counts. Could be painful! How fortunate we are to have a Parish Council of the highest transparency! With the election coming up there is one new candidate for membership, leaving another required to complete the team. Speak to the Chairman, Cllr Andrew Mier, on 814178 if you’d like more information, or simply wish to put your name forward. Please note that the last - absolutely last - no excuses allowed - time to deposit completed nomination papers with Rother is 4.00 pm on Thursday, April 9.

A rose by any other name: After all the successful struggles to save the 344 bus service last year, it has actually been wiped out. But it has a replacement service – the 101, which may be just as fulfilling. All happens later in April.

Speak as you find: Eastbourne’s District General Hospital comes under fire again. Can the Conquest be far behind? The DGH looked after me quite well (I’d give them seven out of ten), whereas several stays at the Conquest have always been eight or nine out of ten. On my most recent contact, I was treated professionally, patiently, given the full background and explanation, all of this coming to one of the older generation about whom the NHS cannot bother. Rubbish. They’re brilliant!

Fairlight Trefoil Guild: The Guild has had its second Annual General Meeting, when all but two members attended. The officers were duly re-elected for another year. Tea, coffee and cakes were enjoyed by all present. After the business part of the meeting there was an enjoyable impromptu quiz. The next meeting will be held in St. Peter’s on Wednesday, April 15 from 10.30 am until 12.30 pm. Why not join the Guild? Look out for posters around the village to see what is on the programme for that day. For any further information about Fairlight Trefoil Guild, please ring Chairman Betty Snow on 812694. She will be glad to answer any queries. They would like to welcome some younger members to the guild, so why not think about joining in after you have taken your children to school, nursery or playgroup?

Village shop personnel update: The update on those who are on the Management Committee are Peter Strange, Chair, Financial Appraisal and Reports, Community Membership Investment; Drew Slaughter, Community Hub Seating Area and Bulk-Buying Scheme, Local Suppliers Research and Engagement; Sam Slaughter, Shop and Post Office Manager, Reporting on Customer and Team Feedback, Sales Strategies and Performance, Operational Team Management and Performance; Anne Bird, Rental Property Management and Maintenance of two bed flat; Garden Management and overall Property Maintenance; Karen Draper, Human Resources; Roland Friday, Marketing;

Kath Barron, Secretary. Volunteer Collette Slack’s time availability enables her to develop and run the website and support the Committee where possible.

MOPPs up again: Today, Good Friday, Tim Gibson will be singing for your entertainment, and there’ll be an Easter Bonnet Parade (come on, fellas!) and a star prize for the raffle, all followed by lunch of salmon and new potatoes, and then fruit salad and cream.

Next week, on Friday, April 10, Celia King will loosen you up with some more chair-based exercises, prior to a meal of sausage, egg and chips, and bread and butter pudding. Those exercises could be useful…

Broadway potholes: The main offender has been expertly infilled. That leaves just two sunken drains and about four large spray-marked others. Meanwhile, the state of the northern end of Waites Lane is pathetic, and deteriorating daily. Not to mention Farley Way. I told you not to mention Farley Way!