Church Matters: Into the New Year with the church in Fairlight this Sunday, when there will Family Worship at 10.30 am at St Andrew’s and, after lunch, Holy Communion at St Peter’s at the ‘winter’ start time of 4 pm.

MOPPs: will be open for business, as usual, today, Friday, January 1, with Joan’s Quiz to entertain the members, plus the added attraction of a Star Prize for the raffle. Today’s lunch will be roast beef and all that goes with it, followed by Pavlova – the pud, not the dancer, which is just as well because Anna would now be 134!

The Wine and Social Club: Tonight sees the latest in the series of the new(ish) tradition from the Wine Club, which is their New Year’s Eve party in the village hall, to which all members are invited, doing their own thing in smallish groups while the music keeps playing. The important thing is, they’ll all be doing it together, at least until Auld Lang Syne, when the Sassenachs, which is Scots for English or Saxon persons of limited intelligence, fail to agree whether or not to hold hands, when to cross arms and what verse you all troop into the middle. As this will be very late in the night, by Fairlight standards, nobody will mind.

Seeing the New Year in at the Cove: It’s party time at the Cove tonight, starting at 10 pm and going on until very late. The voice of Jim Saphin will be featured (and the rest of him) and there is open mike karaoke. There’s a buffet available, and you can book your place by calling 07905 981036, or by email to dimarflo@aol.com But bearing in mind that it’s tonight, you’d better be quick about it!

Panto tickets: Don’t forget, now that Christmas is behind us, (oh, yes it is!) that tickets for the Panto Group’s show at the end of January, Beauty and the Beast, are on sale at the Post Office, so nip down soon and make your choice a) while you still can and b) before you get trampled in the last minute rush. There will be performances on Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 January, at 7.30 pm each evening, and a 2.30 pm Matinee on the Saturday. Adults tickets are £6 and children’s £3 at the Thursday and Friday evenings and the Saturday matinee, while for Saturday evening, all tickets, for every patron regardless of age, are £7. Jennifer Annetts is directing the piece, and Emily Wood is the choreographer. The tale originated in France in 1740, but it was abridged and tightened up considerably exactly 250 years ago. Though most famous in its Disneyfied version, Fairlight will be working from a script prepared by Toby Bradford and Tina Webster.

Garden Club hut: You know winter is a-coming in when the Garden Club hut closes at the start of November. Into deprivation and rain and snow and navel gazing for three months… But look on the bright side – two of those three months have passed already and if we can get through the next four weeks, the hut will be open from 10 pm to 12 noon each Saturday, once again. Then it can really snow, cutting us off from milk and papers and with only the email system telling us when things may or may not become accessible once more…

Battery Hill and Waites Lane: Surely it’s not just me, is it? The state of the surface of Battery Hill, particularly going west on the uphill track, is mind-blowingly poor. It needs detailed attention, especially from the Peter James Lane corner to the second Coastguard Lane, and it appears to the layman that there are ridges in the surface, like those left in the sand by an ebb tide, so a simple top dressing would just maintain these rumble strips in perpetuity. I’ve been on some brilliantly maintained back roads locally recently, probably used by me once a year and a tractor every other fortnight, so when can we expect some action on this fairly major route?

Quite a while ago, Waites Lane had some attention to the joins down the middle when they did the Fairlight Road through to Pett Level. It was not, of course, sufficient, and the surface is downright poor, particularly from St Peter’s up to Meadow Way, and sooner or later someone attempting to avoid a scar or a bare bit, because they know it’s there, will run in to some unfortunate coming the other way. Both stretches of road, then, constitute an accident waiting to happen, the more so when you add in double deckers, for which Fairlight Road remains unsuitable.

Diamond Geezer, Diamond Gal: A note of congratulation – and appreciation – for a couple of residents who are remarkable for the amount of work they put in to our community, and now also for attaining their Diamond Anniversary. It’s today, and they are Tony and Val King. Tony is a Parish Councillor, being spokesman for the Land Management remit, and is also Chairman of the Village Hall Committee. Val is President of both the Tuesday Ladies Club and the Floral Club, and acts as unofficial Senior Housekeeper at Parish Council meetings, providing water for all so they may speak comfortably for as long as they want! (Perhaps a little less water would be a good idea?) Val also has an amazing facility for finding ‘le mot juste’ and saying the right thing when it comes to votes of thanks, or compliments delivered during the Council’s Open Forum. In 2014, Val received the John Lutman Award for her service to the village, which was indeed most justly deserved.

Congratulations to a fine couple on your sixty years together. And no, Tony, you don’t get any time off for good behaviour…!

A Happy New Year: I’d like to wish any and every one who reads the Fairlight Voice (and if not, why not?) the Happiest, Healthiest and Wealthiest of New Years, and hope you make and keep some really sensible, attainable and useful Resolutions. All the village clubs, societies and groups will soon be up and running again for your interest and enjoyment, and in addition in 2016 you can look forward to the third biennial iteration of Fairlight’s Open Gardens during the second weekend in June. After two such events in support of our invaluable First Responders, this year’s date will be in aid of Stage III of the Cliff Preservation Scheme. Six months, then, for your lawn to stop looking like an over-irrigated paddy field, full of slurried clay and mottled with green, and time enough to get a bit of order in the borders. And after that in July there is the bright prospect of the fourth biennial presentation that is Fairfest – for which the organisers are praying that the weather will be kinder than it was last summer, when torrential rain led to the last minute postponement of the Fairfest support act, the Summer Bash. And, after a great deal of positivity regarding Stage III in the last twelve months, may we continue to hear nothing but good news in relation to the Cliff Preservation – making 2016 a truly memorable Gap Year for us all.

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