Church matters: On Sunday at St Andrew’s, there will be a 10.30 am Songs of Praise, to the same format as the ever-popular regular BBC programme, which has been running for 64 years. If you have something to share about what God has done in your life, and you have an appropriate song you would like to have sung, please let Richard, Kath or Patrick know. A bit late for this time perhaps, but there may well be another chance later. Then, at 6 pm, St Peter’s will be host to Common Worship Holy Communion, led by Kay Burnett.

Next week sees the latest Messy Church meeting, with this one being on Wednesday, August 5 from 10 am to 3 pm at the Fairlight Lodge Hotel. Craft activities, a bouncy castle, a water slide and much more will be there, and those attending will be able to meet Derek Hayman and his popular puppet, Cecil. The Church has been making appeals for various kinds of help, and if you would like more details about this happy event, why not give Valerie Hornsby a call on 814428?

MOPPs today and in a week’s time: Today you can be entertained by the Summer Party with Brian Howard, to be followed by a choice between Chicken Curry or Chicken Supreme, and then fruit jelly. Next Friday, and into August already, the entertainment will be by the Village Choir, along with a star prize for the raffle, and then the enjoyment of roast pork, with trifle for afters.

Fairfest Summer Splash: Oh, calamity! Last Sunday dawned, unfortunately almost exactly as the forecasters had promised, very grey, wet and thoroughly unpleasant, a seething lake of a day in the middle of a warmish, dryish kind of spell, when it would not have been sensible to attempt putting up the beer tent, or lighting the barbeque, or making any sort of preparation for fun which people were most unlikely to turn out later in the day. The undeniable fact behind the postponement that ensued (not a cancellation) is that a large number of people had already invested a lot of time and effort in readiness for a good afternoon and evening out for the many. The Fairfest organisers are grateful to everybody who had undertaken this work and lent their support, and offer their sincere thanks. Let’s all hope that the team will be able to find another suitable date, and we can all go along for a bite, a few drinks and a pleasant evening listening to some quality music!

The Tuesday Ladies Club: On the day of the Tuesday Ladies Club July meeting it was sunny and warm so those present were not too envious of Andy Dinsdale’s photographs of Australia. Andy’s talk was about the relationship between humans and Australian wildlife, which has not always been a happy one, what with the introduced Myxomatosis infection to control their burgeoning rabbit population, (which was itself deliberately introduced to the country), the extinction of the Tasmanian Tiger, and the introduction of cane toads to eat the cane beetles, but didn’t care for the taste and ate everything else instead. Andy’s photos went back 30 years when he spent four months camping and learning about the wildlife. There are 50 types of wallabies and kangaroos, a serious hazard on the roads at night, gorgeous colourful birds and best of all the Lyre Bird which mimics other birds, mobile phones, chain saws and any sound it hears. Andy also had photos of Fairlight Beach (the Australian version) which is populated by cute little penguins. The uneasy relationship between animals and people also includes dogs and dingos, and their cats (introduced in 1804) have to be kept in at night not just to protect the wildlife but because their faeces damage the soil! This was an altogether fascinating insight into that vast country.

The August meeting will be a lunch for members only. It will start at the earlier time of 12.30 pm and the entertainment will be by Bill Sapsford, another Fairlight stalwart.

Fairlight Floral Club: The July meeting was a great success, as the members enjoyed a sumptuous cream tea, made, prepared and served by the Committee, along with a couple of entertaining quizzes and a raffle.

Fairfest Beach Clean-up: Fairfest will be undertaking a useful initiative on Sunday, August 9, when they invite all comers to take a picnic and enjoy a bit of litter-picking down on the beach. This clean-up project is in support of the Preservation Trust, and will afford an opportunity to meet some of the team, finding out what that Preservation Trust team is doing to Save Our Village. Time for the event is from 12 noon until 3.30 pm, and you are advised to wear sensible shoes if you wish to take part, to sign in at the top before you go down, and to follow the marked pathway. There will be stewards on site to guide you. If you fancy having a go, please contact either Paul Capps, on 812107, or Jennifer Annetts, on 812476. They would appreciate having an idea of the numbers likely to be involved. You’ll be able to picnic on the beach, as the tide will be out. It’s free to take part, but there will be a bucket for all your loose change – and notes!

The Reverend Sweet Pea: This is an affectionate nickname for the Rector, Richard Barron, bestowed following his victorious efforts with the showing of some mightily impressive sweet peas at various annual local flower shows. We reported last week that Richard had scooped three major cups in the village, with his wife Kath also gaining a similar number of trophies, the third outstanding successes the Barrons have achieved in their three years in the village. With the Pett Flower show scheduled for Saturday last, ‘look out’, we thought. And we were right, for there Richard took home five first places, and two thirds, while Kath gained two firsts and one third.

But there was also an almost accidentally uncovered success in the General Postal Class in Mr Fothergill’s national competition held at Capel Manor College, Enfield, North London on Saturday, July 18. Mr Fothergill’s, a nationally known seedsman from near Newmarket in Suffolk, sponsored this postal Sweet Pea Competition in conjunction with Kitchen Garden Magazine. Richard’s bunch of eight sweet pea stems, sent in a 2 litre plastic bottle, scooped the £250 first prize!

Maybe the Rector should become an honorary Canon, firing off his flowery fusillades in all directions, with the possibility of eventual diversification into a salvo of salvias or a broadside of begonias. I don’t think so. Sweet Peas remain his ultimate floral speciality!

Roads looking up: A very smooth job has been done on the sunken drain near the village hall car park. Unfortunately, there is often a vehicle parked, perfectly legally, near this point, which has the effect of forcing Broadway users to descend into the more serious drain collapse directly opposite the corrected drain, which aggravates the problem. The road surface now has a large ‘BT’ painted on it, so one can assume that the problem is now multi-agency, and will take even longer to resolve.

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