Church matters: This Sunday, September 20, there is to be a service of Holy Communion at 10.30 am at St Andrew’s. The guest speaker will be James Lawrence from the Church Pastoral Aid Society (CPAS). CPAS is the patron of this church and it is many years since their representative has visited. There will be a retiring offering for the Society.

A note for friends of the late Adrian Chambers, previously Treasurer of the Players and a stalwart of the then Literary Society. Adrian’s funeral will take place today, Friday, at St Andrew’s at 2 pm.

Don’t shout about it, but there is the silent prayer and meditation meeting at 2.30 pm in St Nicholas’ Church, Pett Level, on Thursday next, September 24. It will last about half an hour.

Sunday, October 4, will see the Harvest Festival at St Andrew’s, starting at 10.30 am. You are invited to take along flowers, fruit and veg, tins and packets for distribution locally.

And a very early diary note says that on Saturday, October 17 the Autumn Fair in aid of St Andrew’s, will be held in the village hall.

MOPPs last, this and next week: MOPP’s AGM last week saw Jim Saphin, already Vice-Chairman and Webmaster for the group, take over the reins of chairmanship from the previous esteemed post-holder Margaret Broadstock.

Today, Friday, September 18, the entertainment is by the ever-popular Jim Saphin, unless Sharon Sellens, replaced by Jim last month, is fit once more, in which case it may be her spot, or it could even be shared by the duo. There’s a Tombola too. Lunch is lamb casserole, with angel delight and fruit for afters. Next Friday, September 25, there will be Celia King with her chair-based exercises, as well as free toe-nail cutting, though not by Celia. The dining part of the day will give the members sausage and mash followed by fruit crumble.

Macmillan Coffee Morning: Fairlight’s very own Macmillan Coffee Morning will be here at the village hall tomorrow, Saturday, September 19 between 10.30 am and 12.30 pm. There’ll be coffee by the gallon to drink, and a vast array of savoury and sweet cakes, plus a multitude of gift bags, raffle prizes, jars of marmalades and jams, chutneys and pickles and all manner of other attractive goodies. The Art Club will be exhibiting their work, too. There is a charge of £2 to get in on Saturday, but this will see you supplied with a coffee or tea and – a cake! If you’d like extra details about any of this, please contact either Karen Draper, on 814154, or Sue Clarke, on 813006.

Fairlight Hall Plant Fair: It’s tomorrow and the day after, Saturday and Sunday, September 19 and 20, from 10 am to 4 pm each day, for the Plant Fair at Fairlight Hall, an event that has been well publicised eagerly anticipated by many green-fingered locals. Admission is free to this excellent venue.

Corfu Donkey Sanctuary: The table sale in support of some very deserving donkeys on Corfu is a week tomorrow, Saturday, September 26, in the village hall starting at 1.30 pm. Joyce Grant is organising then event with her daughter Dawn, Admission will cost you 50p, and get you a cuppa to speed you on your way round the goodies on the stalls.

Parish Council meeting next Tuesday: Among the items to be covered at next week’s meeting are updates on the bus service 101, the village CCTV, our fingerposts (roadside signposts to you and me), the old dog bins, which sound ominous for any old dogs reading this, and Southern Water and Lower Waites Lane. There is the usual Open Forum to cheer you up, or possibly depress you, at the meeting’s end.

Zumba is coming!: This dance fitness programme brings its first session to the village next Monday, September 21 from 10 to 11 am in the village hall. Ruth will be leading the proceedings, and your hour will only cost you £5. Zumba was created some 20 years ago, and it is estimated that some 15 million people participate in sessions at 200,000 locations each week. Give it a go and see what makes it so obviously attractive an occupation! You are advised to wear trainers, plus non-restrictive clothing and to take along some water.

First Responders: Our valiant and much appreciated First Responders are holding a Coffee Morning in the village hall from 10 am to 12 noon on Saturday, October 3. We are currently blessed with two active Responders in the village, and two more worthy souls have just begun the process by which they, too, will become qualified. This process takes about six months. Meanwhile, the coffee morning will remind you what to do when someone is choking, thanks to help from Chokin’ Charlie, and also how to use a defibrillator. You don’t even have to learn how to spell it!

Oh, yes they are!: Auditions for the Panto group’s 2016 offering, Beauty and the Beast, are only a week away, coming on Friday next in the village hall at 7 pm. They are looking to get off to a quick, prompt start, usually involving the younger potential performers first, so please get there early. If you can’t make next Friday but wish to be considered, please inform director Jennifer Annetts as soon as possible on 812476, or by email to j.annetts@hotmail.co.uk

Pett Level Rescue Boat: The recent Open Day raised a little short of £2,000 for this excellent charity and, I believe, found a couple of people who would like to join the crew. Overall, their funding target of £28,000 for a new principal rescue boat has already topped £8,000. Keep supporting the Boat!

The Wine and Social Club: Ray Shayler, well known as a speaker in the village, gave the Club a fascinating and detailed account of the discovery of so much historic paperwork and so many artefacts, all found in five attic rooms at Scotney Castle, and how each item was examined and inventoried. This was easy to listen to, but next month the members will have to work harder – it’s a wine tasting session with Trevor Lewing!

Last chances to see: France on a clear day, from the top of the St Andrew’s church tower. The tower will be open each weekend until the end of the month, on Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 5 pm. You may be able to discern twinkling lights across the Channel, though these are most likely to be burning piles of tyres.

Harvest Festival Celebration: On Saturday, September 26, the Cove will be having an all-day Harvest Festival celebration event, with delights like a dog show, Morris dancers, sumo wrestling, face painting (mainly for the children!), a yard of ale (probably not for the children!) and, in fact, something for just about everybody during the whole day and evening. If you fancy a bit of late summer fun, this will be the place to be.

The Valerie Tryon recital: An early note about Valerie’s forthcoming second Fairlight recital has appeared here already. Here are more details of this exciting event. She will be playing at Fairlight Hall on Saturday, November 21 commencing at 7.00 pm. Tickets are £23, with the price including a programme, a glass of wine or a beverage or juice. Her programme will include pieces by Scarlatti, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Ravel, Gershwin and Chopin. The tickets can be obtained by post from G.Wyatt, 33,Waites Lane, Fairlight, TN35 4AX. Cheques should be made payable to Fairlight P.C.C., and please include a stamped addressed envelope. All profits will go to St Andrew’s Church Structure Fund.

Advance copies of last year’s recording, normally to be published in December, have been made available especially for the recital. On it are the Fauré Ballade, Debussy Fantaisie and Ravel’s Concerto in G with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Phones are failing, buses are bad: The update on the state of the two phone boxes that needed urgent attention tells us that both the Coastguard Lane and the Waites Lane box phones are working, and that the latter is really quite clean, certainly more so than the former. There is just one note about the buses, and this comes from a local reply, not from either of the two major politicians involved. Locally, the Stagecoach Operations Manager, Robert Hutchings, has replied to complainant Carol Ardley that ‘he had never been made aware, either through complaints or comments from members of the public, since the new service began, that there were regular delayed services throughout the day. This complaint was the first received regarding late running since the service began.’ The detailed report due back soon from Cllr Carl Maynard should make for interesting reading, particularly as further complaints have been added to Carol’s original with the bus company.

National Moth Night: Those interested in the study of moths will have been aware of the significance locally of the nights from September 10 to 12. For the rest of us, the event seems to have fluttered by, unattracted by the glaring light of publicity. My well-informed informant tells me that the equipment used by enthusiasts on the Firehills did attract a Clifden Nonpareil, Catocala fraxini, a large and exquisite moth which can reach four inches across, quite big enough to elicit an oath should you find yourself sharing a bathroom with one when you’ve just got out of the shower.

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