Church Matters: On Sunday, October 18, there will be a service of Holy Communion at St Andrew’s at 10 30 am, led by Rev Kay Burnett and David Hornsby.

Make a mental note to turn out tomorrow, Saturday, October 17, for St Andrew’s Autumn Fair, in the village hall from 11 am to 3 pm. Admission is free, and you’ll be able to have your lunch there from12 noon onwards. There’s all sorts of stall and a tombola to spend a little cash, all of which will go to supporting the fabric of St Andrew’s, which is sorely in need of a bit of help.

MOPPs today and next week: October 16, Keith Osbourne will be along with his popular ‘Music for Health’, and then it will be lunch consisting of fish and chips with fruit pie and cream for pud. Next Friday, October 23, you will be able to cast your eyes over Bonmarché’s Autumn Collection, and also some greeting cards by Sandra. It’s a free toe-nail cutting week as well. The lunch is roast pork and then steamed sponge

The Players at play: Tickets are on sale now at the Post Office for the Players’ forthcoming production of The Vicar of Dibley, which will run at the village hall from Thursday to Saturday, October 12 to 14. There will be a 7.30 pm show each evening and a 2.30 pm matinee on Saturday as well. This rarely seen, four years old stage play is an adaptation by Ian Gower and Paul Carpenter from the first two series of the very funny TV shows, written by Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer, and performed here with permission of Tiger Aspect Productions. A strong cast is looking forward to bringing those well loved Dibley characters to life once more. There will be a bar at the three evening performances. Tickets are still only £6 each and, if you can’t get to the Post Office, you can always call the secretary, Carol Ardley on 814178. Better stake your claim as soon as you can! But take care with your booking this time, as the auditorium will be set with a centre aisle, and you should check that the two of you will not be divided by an empty space.

The Players at work: Word comes from the secretary, Carol Ardley, saying that the company would like to borrow, for their production of The Vicar of Dibley, a small hall table, no bigger than 18” x 12”, and a small coffee table. One of these two must have a drawer. Also needed is a small two seat sofa, which does not need to be too smart. Over the years, local residents have been a wonderful source of difficult-to-find furniture and obscure items, and have willingly loaned them. Here’s hoping someone can help out this time! Please give Carol a call if you’re that someone: she’s on 814178.

Bash and Bop: The Fairfest Burger Bash and Bop is only eight days away on Saturday, October 24, starting in the village hall at 6.30 pm. and there are still some tickets available for what promises to be an entertaining and active evening. It starts at an early 6.30 pm with Rye Ukulele playing while the barbeque is hot and the bar is open. A little later, the ever-popular Kytes will be playing, at 7.45 pm, with the important news behind their performance that this may be the last chance to hear them! The Post Office has the tickets, which are £8 each, with under 12’s half price and under 5’s free. This event is a precursor for next summer’s full on Fairfest, and will be a fun way to give your advance support it warrants.

Quiz fans to the fore: The Residents Association has questions to be answered at their Quiz, in the village hall tomorrow, Saturday, October 17, starting at 7.30 pm and running through until 10 pm. Alan Grant will be asking the questions, and the tickets are available at the Post Office for a mere £4 each. The organisers point out that you should take along your own food, drinks and glasses. problems for all to solve. Those tickets are, inevitably, available at the Post Office.

Fairlight Preservation Trust AGM: This Sunday sees the Preservation Trust holding its AGM in in the village hall at 2.30 pm. As we move ever closer to the Coast Protection Works, Stage III, the work of the Trust has been, and will continue to be, of vital importance, and so it would be reaffirming their work if as many residents as possible were to support this annual meeting. Non-members are welcome to attend, though they are not able to vote on any resolution.

The Marsham Conservatives’ Autumn Buffet Lunch: is now only a week away, on Saturday October 24 at the village hall, at 12 noon for 12.30 pm. Though Amber Rudd, our MP, has spoken here before, this will be her first time as a ‘Rt Hon’ and a full Cabinet Member. Tickets for the lunch, including donated wine, are £12, and are available by contacting Anne Bird on 813636.

Singing for St Michaels: The Village Choir will be in action in Pett Parish Church at 7 pm tomorrow, Saturday, October 17, with a concert in aid of St Michaels Hospice. Easy listening, then, for your Saturday evening…

Garden Club talk: The Gardening Club welcomed a new visitor, Christopher Rudd, from Patcham in Brighton, who gave a very entertaining talk at their October meeting on Winkworth Arboretum and Batemans. Christopher proved to be an extremely amusing and interesting speaker and inspired many of the members to want to visit Winkworth in particular! Winkworth Arboretum is National Trust-owned and sits two miles from Godalming in Surrey, exhibiting large collections of azalea, rhododendron, and holly on slopes leading down to landscaped garden lakes. Gertrude Jekyll explored the woods there in the early 20th century. Meanwhile, Christopher Rudd has already agreed to come back next year with another talk…

Neighbourhood Plan Update: Rother District Council has opened formal consultation on the area to be covered by the Neighbourhood Plan, which the Parish Council proposes to be the entire parish of Fairlight. The consultation runs from now until November 6. You can see the map and statement, and make comments, by logging on to www.rother.gov.uk/neighbourhoodplans

The grant application to the Government Agency dealing with Neighbourhood Planning has been successful and we have been awarded the sum of £4,452 to the end of March, subject to due diligence and contract. A further tranche may be applied for next April.

Much preparatory work has been carried out with our consultants, and over the next few weeks there will be consultations with residents to establish priorities for the plan.

If you have any queries please contact Stephen Leadbetter, Chairman of Fairlight Parish Council Planning committee. Stephen can be reached at stephen.leadbetter@hotmail.co.uk

Apart from the fairly formal items above, it is worth mentioning the enormous amount of work put into this project on our behalf by Stephen, often when he might have felt better. We owe him a large debt of gratitude.

Trees on the Circle: Many residents will have noticed, or even witnessed, the work in progress, as Sue and Karen from the Gardening Club, ably assisted by Andrew Meir and his garden shredder, tackled the holm oaks on the Circle with loppers, secateurs and a saw. Even Cllr Dave Thatcher, who has been valiantly leading the volunteers husbanding the PC area of Knowle Wood, couldn’t resist stopping by and lending an expert hand! The oaks have been pruned back to a more manageable size and now the pine tree can be seen in all its glory! While welcoming and admiring the outcome, I personally think it looks like expert pollarding – not that I’m biased!

In a couple of weeks time, the Club will be cutting out the flowerbeds on the Circle and there will be some spare turves if anyone is interested, please give Sue, on 813006, or Karen, on 814154, a call. They have received a number of donations of plants for the beds but if you have anything you think may be suitable, they would appreciate it if you could contact them on the above numbers.

The Ramble for Children in Need: Excluding the massive donations collected each year by supermarkets, banks and other major organisations, Children in Need operates on the premise that many a mickle makes a muckle. But the ramble from our village hall to Rye Harbour, organised by Malcolm Cleaver last Saturday certainly raised a lot more than a mickle! Four hardy souls undertook the walk, cruising at two miles an hour on a pleasant morning, but with a headwind to contend with. Planning meant that two cars went to Rye earlier, with one being parked up so they didn’t have to walk all the way back. The final figure has not been calculated yet, but the total already tops an admirable £500. Perhaps some will add to this, feeling slightly guilty that they hadn’t taken part! Well done the ramblers!

Tuesday Ladies Club: Next Tuesday, October 20, the Ladies Club will welcome Mr Hoad with his talk on ‘The Land of the Midnight Sun’. As usual, the afternoon commences at 2.15 pm in the village hall, and visitors – the gents as well as the ladies – are welcome at a cost of £2. Refreshments are provided, too.

The Floral Club: The Floral Club’s October meeting is on Thursday next, October 22, when Grahame King will be the visiting demonstrator. His presentation is entitled ‘The turn of the tide’, and the fun starts at 2.15 pm in the village hall. The usual extras, like flower arranging accessories, a raffle and refreshments, will all be available. Visitors are welcome at the club’s meetings, too.

Rec or wreck?: Cllr Dave Thatcher has passed a note round the village email system with some pertinent comments on the perennial problem of dog mess on Wood Field, which is not so much a recreation ground as an obstacle course. Were it not for the regular collection trips around the ground by Tony and Val King, much of the area would be impassable. The trouble is that the selfish, inconsiderate retards who gladly leave the stuff where it drops are unlikely to read this or emails, if they can read at all. There are three disposal points on Wood Field, two of them brand new replacements, so it’s not an arduous task getting rid of a full black bag. Signs round the village state that there are fines for not clearing dog waste. In Broadway, it’ll cost you £100, while elsewhere, the new signs say it’s £1,000. Has anyone ever been fined, one wonders? If spotted and charged, it shouldn’t be difficult to make it stick!

Wine tasting at the Wine and Social club: Not unexpectedly, Trevor Lewing gave a very good presentation at Monday’s Wine Tasting evening, in a pleasant and enjoyable social occasion. Numbers could have been higher, but we’re into the realm of ‘there’s a lot of it about’, with several regulars missing on health grounds. The club always has a balanced and entertaining mix of events on its programme, and non-members might consider joining in the fun. A word with Membership Secretary Christine Jones is advised. She’s on 813538.

Do you remember Heckerty?: Heckerty is a 409 year old witch with a green face, and a black and white cat called Zanzibar. She has been helping youngsters from ages two to nine learn to read, and making them laugh as she’s doing it, for a number of years, and she was created by Icklesham resident, and great friend of Fairlight, Ann Rachlin, along with her late husband Ezra. Now Heckerty is coming bang up to date (she must be more than 409 by now!) in the person of Jan Ziff, one of Ann’s two daughters, who has flown over from Arizona for a Heckerty book launch and the launch of iPad and tablet apps with Heckerty fully animated. The latest book, Heckerty Spells, is being launched in time for Halloween at the Rye Book Shop in the High Street tomorrow, Saturday, October 17 at 11 am and, if you miss that, at Waterstones in Tenterden at 3 pm. Jan, a talented and gifted storyteller just like her mother, will do a reading and book-signing, and there will be a Heckerty story and gifts and fun for everyone. Kids and parents are all welcome. Do please make a note that these two events are tomorrow, only the info just missed last week’s deadline.

Golden days: Of course, Golden Weddings are not uncommon these days, although it has to be said that the one my wife and I achieved in September was absolutely unique in our house, and we’d just like to thank all those who sent cards, flowers, a cake, plants, chocolates, some bottles (well, the contents were more appreciated), and countless good wishes on social media. I like to give my wife flowers regularly, and have made a vow to give her some more in another fifty years.

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