Church Matters: This Sunday, July 5, there is a service of Morning Worship at 10.30 am at St Andrew’s, to be led by Richard Barron, and with guest Roger Murphy, from Through Faith Missions. At 12.30 pm there’s a Benefice bring and share picnic at St Peter’s and, if you spin it out a bit, still at St Peter’s, there is Common Worship Communion at 6 pm.

But all that is on Sunday, and before that, tomorrow, Saturday, there will be an Information Morning at St Peter’s from 10 am until 12.30 pm, when you will be able to get feedback on what has already been happening and details of what is being planned over the next year and what it will involve. There are all sorts of ways in which the church is going to need your help and this could be your opportunity to offer advice that will help to shape things.

MOPPs today and next Friday: Today, Friday, July 3, there are Celia King’s chair-based exercises to help keep you supple, and make sure you’re ready to tuck in to sausage and mash, and then peaches and custard. Next Friday, July 10, you will be entertained by Pipkin Magic (he’s Phillip King – geddit?) a Kent-based magician of vast experience, and then you can settle down to your lunch, which will be liver and bacon, with cheesecake for afters.

The Tuesday Ladies Club Outing: The summer outing, which took place on the Tuesday of last week, was to Hailsham, a repeat as the previous one two years ago had proved so popular. As there were spare seats on the coach, these were taken up by non-members in the village at a cost of £9. The first stop was at the Old Loom Mill, a craft centre situated in old agricultural buildings. From the outside it is rather unprepossessing but inside – wow! – an Aladdin’s cave! There is an amazing eclectic mix – paintings, material, wool, jewellery and knick-knacks – laid out in several rooms. Some of the produce was really unusual and was snapped up at very reasonable prices to put by for Christmas presents. Even the members without ‘crafty’ inclinations found something to enjoy. Some people had tea, coffee or soup and a roll in the cafe before moving on to the second stop, the Hillier Garden Centre, where a generous cream tea had been laid on. There was a sale going on in the shoe outlet (the one that makes happy feet!) which tempted quite a few and several people bought handbags for Christmas presents at bargain prices. A major clothing outlet had a number of enthusiasts for their jewellery, which was being sold off extremely cheaply.

The garden centre itself was a powerful attraction and there was time for a good look round and to admire some wonderful displays. Several members staggered back to the coach laden with plants; Virginia Creepers seemed very popular so watch out for some good autumn colour around the village!

The next Club meeting is on Tuesday, July 23, in the village hall starting at 2.15 pm, and it will see, and hear, the always popular Andy Dinsdale talking about ‘Australian Wildlife’. An excellent afternoon is in prospect, sport, for Mr Dinsdale is a highly appreciated and accomplished speaker. Visitors are very welcome for a cost of £2, which includes a cuppa and cake or biscuit, and men are just as welcome as the ladies.

As well as the monthly meetings, members of TLC enjoy two free outings, a free summer lunch, and a free Christmas tea included in the annual subscription of £18. What a bargain! The foregoing must make you want to join!

The Players’ AGM: came and went on Saturday last, with the only change being the fact that Chairman Keith Pollard, after four years in office, and Social Secretary Marion Pollard, after even longer, stood down to stand back and ‘take a break’. Keith Miller, previously Vice-Chairman, steps up to the Chairman’s job. After the business, a goodly number of members then enjoyed a ‘radio’ playlet, ‘50 Grades of Shea’, a tribute to the Irish sound engineer of Western film fame, Rick O’Shea, with seven actors playing eleven roles, followed by a very tasty Ploughman’s Supper plus raspberry Chocolate Brownies.

RSPCA Grand Summer Fayre: It’s the Summer Fayre of the RSPCA, South East and Hastings Branch (Dogs and Cats), in the village hall tomorrow from 10 am to 1 pm. Entry is 50p, which includes a cup of tea or coffee, and the biscuits! There are stalls to browse and buy at, including the Pet Shop, Raffles, Linen Stall, China and Glass Collectables, Cakes and Savouries, the Bargain Basement and Toys and Games. And clairvoyant Jenny Croft will be there, too, unless unforeseen circumstances prevent it!

Gardening Club: Fairlight Gardening Club will be welcoming a new friend to their monthly talk

on Monday, July 6, when Peter Godwin, the Head Gardener at Fairlight Hall, comes to give a talk on ‘Roses – their maintenance and the correct pruning techniques’. Peter had made everyone so welcome when the Club visited Fairlight Hall gardens recently and he has kindly stepped in after the scheduled speaker became unavailable. The Club decided to hold the July meeting in the evening as it stays light until late and gives those who are busy in the day-time a chance to attend. The meeting will start in the village hall at 7.00 pm and free wine and soft drinks will be available.

Don’t forget that the Club’s Annual Show is coming up on Saturday, July 18. More details and a reminder will come next week, though it may be too late to get a giant marrow ready for the show if you haven’t already started!

Wednesday Night Quiz at the Cove: Next Wednesday, July 8 at 8 pm is your date for the latest Bob and Dec Quiz, all based around a 1950’s theme. It will only cost you £1 10s to enter, and the likelihood is that quite a few residents lived full lives right through the fifties. Now, if they could only remember…! Your thirty bob puts you in all the quizzes, and among the free sarnies. There’s a £25 cash prize, too. Hang on, that’s about two weeks 1950’s wages! Why not go along and prove to everyone how well the long term memory persists?

Fairfest Summer Bash: It’s only three more weeks to the Summer Bash on Sunday, July 26. The fun and games all start on Wood Field at 4 pm, while the live music, with Dorey the Wise, the Rye Ukulele experiment and the Kytes beginning at 6 pm. This event is a fun raising fund raiser and, as well as free entry, games and music, will feature a bouncy castle, tea, a bar and a BBQ.

If you’re feeling fit and helpful, any help you could offer for the morning of the Bash would be gratefully received, as there will be lots to do. Please contact Jennifer Annetts on 812476 if you’d like to do a bit of graft.

Bowls Club Open Tournament: Last Sunday’s Open Tournament at the Club on Wood Field, saw no fewer than 96 bowlers participating, with a highly satisfying outcome for the club’s own teams, two of which ran out as winners – Dave Radford and his Fairlight team, and runners-up – Joyce Parfitt’s Fairlight team. It was the visitors, however, who won both the ‘spider’ competition – Margaret Stannard of the Hollington team – where each participant bowls one wood at the jack, placed in the middle of the green, and the nearest gets a bottle of scotch, and the raffle star prize of dinner, bed and breakfast at Sedlescombe’s Brickwall Hotel for four people, which went to Carol Haines from the St.Leonards team, while the £150 meal voucher for the Bella Vista restaurant in St. Leonards was won by Lynn Watts of Fairlight. The Brickwall Hotel was, as previously, the much appreciated sponsor of Sunday’s event. The Club Captain selects the charity to which the Open Day proceeds are to be donated, and skipper Colin Yellop had decided that St Michael’s Hospice should be the recipients this year. They will be receiving well into four figures, with the actual sum being known when the final tally is complete.

Pett Level Rescue Boat: Last Sunday saw the formal naming of the new inshore Pett Level Rescue Boat by our MP, Energy Secretary Amber Rudd. More than 50 people were present, including present and past crews, as a bottle of champagne was opened and gently, not too much, poured over the bows. (You can hardly smash a bottle on an inflatable!) John Pettifer, in whose memory the boat was named, was a Rescue Boat original who served as crew, as well as trainer and encourager for the younger volunteers, for over 20 years. His daughter, Jo Barry, and her husband Darren and their older son Liam are all continuing his legacy in their work on and with the boat. The boat set-up at Pett Level is highly regarded and well supported by Fairlight residents, and you are urged to find the photo of the naming ceremony elsewhere in the Observer, be it this week or next.

Cliff Preservation Stage III: With all the residents enthusiastic about saving the village from cliff erosion as far as is possible, all sorts and shapes of support have already been forthcoming. The latest on the list is being organised by Activate, and is entitled ‘Explore Fairlight’. Their idea is for a fund-raising run, or walk, round our beautiful village and the adjoining Firehills, a tour of approximately five miles, which will commence at the Activate Clubhouse on Wood Field at 11 am on Sunday, July 19. There will be prizes for the best fancy dress, the fastest runner, the fastest walker, the oldest entrant and the youngest. And the slowest entrant, which may provide much competition. But he or she should take care – they must ensure they get back in time to enjoy the planned barbeque and raffle, or those earlier back will have snaffled the lot! The entrance fee is £10 for adults and £3 for under 16’s. Those aged five and under can do it free. Entry forms are available at the Post Office, and should be submitted by Monday, July 13.

Proposals like buses?: The proposals at June’s meeting of the Parish Council, on the Tuesday of last week, reminded me of buses. You wait for one for a long time, and then three come all at once! Thus it was with the long-running saga of litter bins and dog waste bins, when three instant decisions were made to proceed, toot sweet, with all the known and aged problems about replacements. Progress indeed! Among many other items discussed, was the question of a better, safer ground covering for the children’s playground on Wood Field.

Post Office news: The big funding meeting took place on June 10, but the powers deciding appear to have been a little slow in disseminating their proposed outcome. There has been talk, but no paperwork, of an offer a fair bit smaller that the committee had been led to expect, as the Fairlight potential arrangement appears to break two of the essential conditions laid down. One is that the business of the PO and general store is a new business, which it patently is not – just new, community ownership, and other cites competition, without specifying with whom. There is another outlet offering foodstuffs in the village, as we all know, but one imagines that the two businesses co-exist peacefully, and have for several years. The Post Office has the USP of being a Post Office, with no competition except limited access in Pett, and a disappearing asset in Ore. The whole concept of Power for Change is new, this year I believe, and so appeals and so on are an unknown quantity. Share monies are being retained while the next stage of fund seeking is pursued and, indeed, if you’ve only just made up your mind to support the project, it’s not too late. Sam Slaughter, at the Post Office each Monday and Tuesday, can help and advise you. Don’t forget, you can’t lose your money, which will be returned if the project does not proceed.

Pot holes again: As you go down Waites Lane, just before the corner, there is a vicious pot hole on your nearside, calculated to wreck your front left tyre. Of, course, most locals are now aware of this, and move out in anticipation of avoiding it – only to hit an earlier one on their right. And all within 20 metres, no, closer than that, 20 yards of the corner. As you return, you are tempted to glance at them to see how bad they are, only to clobber an extra hole which has now appeared on the up side of the road. Waites Lane is actually a disaster, almost up to the point where it becomes Shepherds Way. It is in as much need of resurfacing as was the first half of Broadway before they did it (and the second, final, half of Broadway still is).

Government Cuts?: No, intelligence cuts. Someone has decided that if granite setts, which kerb most of our village roads, go missing, they should be replaced by a dollop of asphalt. This may well be the cheapest option, but it leads to the in-filled gap sprawling into the road like an iced cake left out in the rain. (Yes, I know – ‘MacArthur Park’). And some exceptional heat is expected! Given that sett maintenance must be horrifically expensive, there must nevertheless be something better than this. With East Sussex County Council facing £90 million cuts over the next three years, moaning about setts is probably not their highest priority!

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