Church Matters: There is Holy Communion at 8 am at St Peter’s this Sunday, and then, at 10.30 am, Morning Praise at St Andrew’s, with the service featuring Romanian guests Iulia and Ionna.

After noting the forthcoming event earlier, now is the time for the Worship Baton, when 60 hours of continuous worship will be taking place in different venues all over Hastings and Rother, culminating in a final act of worship at Holy Trinity, Hastings at 8.30 pm on Sunday, August 9.

Unless you received this copy of the Observer very early, it has already started – at 8 am this morning. Our Joint Benefice will be represented by a one hour service of worship at St Andrew’s tomorrow, Saturday, August 8, starting at 5 pm. A worship baton will be passed, relay fashion, from church to church, and will come to Fairlight from All Saints and St Nicholas, Icklesham and will be passed on to St Peter and St Paul’s, Parkstone Road, by Peter and Yvonne Jennings.

Some news in advance. From Wednesday, September 2, there will be a new Midweek Meeting, which will replace all home groups in Fairlight, meeting once each fortnight from 6 until 8 pm in St Peter’s Church Centre, and starting with a meal. The purpose is for teaching, prayer, fellowship, friendship and better communication. Initially, there will be a study of the book of Acts, which is about the birth and growth of the church. The Wednesday meeting dates are as follows – September 2, 16, 30, October 14, 28 and November 11, 25. Lifts can be arranged for all who would like to go along – please ask.

MOPPs today and next week: Today, Friday, August 7, the Village Choir will be on hand to entertain, and there’ll be a Star Prize for the raffle. And for lunch, roast pork will be followed by trifle. Next Friday, August 14, there’ a chance for some exercises with either Annie Cryer or Zelly Restorick, and a produce sale as well. Lunch next week is turkey and ham pie, with meringue, fruit and cream for dessert.

Pett Rescue Boat: Justly a strong favourite for support by local residents, the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat (to give it its new, formal title) will be host to an Art Exhibition tomorrow, Saturday, August 8 from 11 am to 4 pm. It’s all happening in the Boat House, behind the Smugglers Pub at Pett Level, and will feature affordable works by local artists. This is a repeat event following on from similar successful offerings in previous years. And you could win on the raffle, too. Really well worth a look!

And a timely reminder, too, that the Rescue Boat’s popular Open Day is only three weeks away, on Sunday, August 30. Starting at 12 noon, it will run until 4 pm. Put it in your diary, or a note on your fridge, and next week I hope to tell you of all the attractions to be had on the day! One item the Rescue Boat is keen to pursue is the recruitment of people new to the cause, and they would particularly like to see newcomers in their 30’s and 40’s who would like to become actively involved. Give it some thought, and ask any questions you may have on the day itself.

Parish Council meeting last week: Parish Council meetings are usually interesting enough in the ordinary, everyday course of events, but it has to be said that they gain a frisson of excitement when there is a powerful local focal point under discussion. And thus it was last Tuesday week, when an item to update and discuss and/or ratify an offer for representation on the new Hastings Visitor Centre Project Board attracted substantial numbers of members of the public with a particular interest in the subject matter. With Standing Orders temporarily suspended, all had a fair chance to speak their piece. Several people wanted a robust approach, but after a considerable discussion the proposition was mooted that the Council should accept the proffered representation placement, coupled with an invitation to Cllr Warren Davies, the appropriate Hastings Council portfolio holder, with a representative from Groundwork South, who are to manage the new centre, plus the relevant Hastings Council official, to come to the next meeting of Fairlight Council to meet local residents. In order not to presume that the trio would be available to come automatically when called, it was agreed that Fairlight would offer to arrange a meeting as necessary on whatever date suited the Hastings contingent. That the resolution was passed by four votes to three demonstrates the dichotomy of feelings among the councillors.

Stage III of the Cliff Preservation project is ready to start with the formal examination and assessment of what will be entailed. This research will cost £30,000, with £26,000 coming from the Environment Agency and £4,000 from Rother DC. The meeting was reminded that pledges made in support of the project should now be paid. There is a considerable amount outstanding, but those concerned will have been aware when it would be ‘pay up’ time.

New dog waste bins are now to hand, or perhaps paw. Cllr Rev Val Gibbs will be examining, on site with local reps, problems involving parking on the corner of Coastguard Lane and Hill Road. The play bark ‘cushion’ for the children’s playground on Wood Field has been delivered, and probably by now distributed. This is intended as a shorter term solution, with playground matting being seen as a longer, though more expensive, answer.

There were discussions and observations on bonfires, appropriate as our village has the appearance of being the bonfire capital of the South East. Contrary to urban myth, there is no byelaw about the timing or location of bonfires, though there is a very useful amount of information and advice on Rother’s website. As a very simple rule of thumb, white smoke is OK, while black smoke is illegal. Ideally, in those unselfish times gone by when the wants and needs of others were automatically considered, no one would have lit a bonfire when the wind would have blown the proceeds straight into a neighbouring house, or when they had just put out some washing. Nor would a fire have been lit on a heavy, windless day when the results would have hung over a fairly vast area. All three happen regularly now, although possibly not with malice aforethought, just selfishness.

News from Activate Youth Club: In the summer holiday there will be two special events happening at the clubhouse on Wood Field. First there is to be a Pottery Workshop on Tuesday, August 11, from 10.30 am to 1pm. Take a picnic to enjoy as the session ends. But don’t wear good clothes! The cost per participant is £4. And then, on Monday, August 24, from 12.30 pm until 3 pm, there will be a Tennis and Craft session. The Tennis Club has offered to help run a fun event enjoying both craft activities and tennis. For the tennis you must be aged 10 or over, but all can come and have a go at the craft and play games outside. To play on the court, wear trainers and if you have a racquet please take it with you. If it’s nice and sunny, take your swimming costume and towel, and perhaps they may get the water slide out! The cost for this activity is also £2. Though there is no need to book for these events, it would be handy to know how many to expect so please call Wendy on 812297 or email her at familyhatch1@gmail.com

The Bowls Club: Last Saturday saw the annual game of Lads v Lasses, when, for the second year running, the lasses ran out winners, this time by 99 points to 97. Well done, ladies! Before the afternoon began they played a spider (one wood from each player per go nearest the jack in the middle of the green), and the £110 proceeds this raised were added to a cheque for £1500 (which was the excellent total brought forward from their open tournament day in June) and all presented to Marcia from St Michael’s Hospice. A great afternoon of fun bowling, which was enhanced by the barbeque which followed!

Coming to the Cove: Next Wednesday, August 12, sees the latest in the series of popular quizzes organised and presented by Bob and Dec. It starts at 8 pm, and the major cash prize has built up to £35. Don’t miss the evening.

Or, indeed, Saturday 15, when Bexhill-based band the Cabinaires will be performing at the Cove. Start time and any other details will be in this column next week.

An out-of-the-ordinary Art Exhibition: Artist Michael Dutton, who resides at Argosy, 11 Rockmead Road, has given much pleasure at two Open Garden sessions over recent years, with his imaginative art comprised of stuff garnered from the seashore. Now he is having a two-day exhibition, entitled All Washed Up, at his home next weekend, August 15 and 16. It will run each day from 9 am until 6 pm.

A Day at the Races: Well, not really, but an evening, certainly, for the Wine and Social Club, on Monday next at 7.30 pm. Members can expect a fun event, if past experience is anything to go by.

Whoops! Missed it…: An apology to the Gardening Club for omitting to remind you of the Club’s meeting on Monday this week, which was a visit to Rotherview Nursery for a demonstration entitled Propagation from Cuttings. But I must have been forgiven, as Karen quickly sent an account of what went on, comfortably beating my deadline. Rotherview have had an award-winning summer, gaining Silver Gilt medals at both Chelsea and Hampton Court RHS shows. For the Club’s visit, Wendy Bates gave a very interesting demonstration of all types of cuttings, the compost needed for each and the right time of year to do the propagating. The talk inspired many questions and members came away with lots of useful tips! Refreshments were followed by a leisurely amble around the Nurseries to end a very enjoyable afternoon.

Watch out for details of the September meeting. I’m sure I shall!

Hearing better?: Well, you could be if you get along to the village hall car park on Thursday, September 3 between 1.30 and 3.30 pm, which is the time the Mobile Hearing resource bus will be here. These visits are always popular in Fairlight, and can help with hearing aids, advice and counselling, according to you hearing needs. Another diary note, then!

Here, pussy, pussy: At the end of last year here was a plethora of posters about a missing cat. The posters have long outlived their usefulness, and have been blown down, torn down, or have just faded away. Now comes the news that the missing animal may well have been found, and its chip will be tested for proof. Nice to have a happy outcome, isn’t it?

Hastings Country Park: The Friends of the Nature Reserve are organising an Exploration of East Hill a week tomorrow, that’s Saturday, August 15, from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm. If you’re going, you need to meet at the top of the East Hill Lift to enjoy a walk on the East Hill in the company of various experts from within the ranks of the Friends who will be exploring both the history and the natural history of this scenic area. There is a charge of £2, though the walk is free to Friends of HCPNR. If you’d like to know more, contact Jill Howell on 815256.

Village Hall closure: The hall was due for closure for some housework to be done on Monday and Tuesday this week. Except that it didn’t happen, as those about to carry out the work suffered a break-in and the subsequent loss of many tools and much material. Job postponed, then, but hopefully only until later this month, as a couple of clear days after that become impossible to find.

Ivy’s on the phone: The Parish Council Chairman, Andrew Mier, reported that the public phone box at the bottom of Battery Hill was out of order, filthy, and had ivy growing through it. This was in late June, and a fairly quick reply suggested it would be put right as soon as possible. A little over a week ago, he reported the same phone as being still in the same condition, and added to it the one at the top of Battery Hill, so there are now two useless and disgusting boxes in the village. As mobile reception here is patchy at best, and non-existent at worst, it could be vital to have a phone facility that worked.

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