The Fairlight Open Gardens Event: is all happening this weekend! It could be a warm and peaceful Saturday, with the same on Sunday though perhaps with a small shower or two. There are no fewer than 17 gardens awaiting your pleasure, and your chance of a little good-natured nosiness that will enable you to think ‘I wouldn’t have planted that there’ until, suddenly, you are captivated by that unique viewing angle, that unusual planting combination, that unexpected treat. Of course, it is quite possible that the village will be awash with visitors and there will be more than the usual number of cars moving around and parked.

The roads with Open Gardens on them are Warren Road, Battery Hill, Waites Lane, Broadway, Lower Waites Lane, Sea Road, Rockmead Road, Bramble Way, Shepherds Way and Channel Way, and all of these will be readily recognisable because they will have green balloons on the road name.

All the Open Gardens will be marked with a number corresponding to those on the map in the ticket and all will be displaying orange balloons. For those wondering about access to the gardens, it is worth pointing out that almost half (numbers 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14 and 15) are accessible – but do take care!

There will also be marshals (in hi-viz jackets! Wow!) plus arrows and posters to help those not familiar with the village find their way around.

In celebrating the hard work of all those who are opening their gardens in aid of the Fairlight Preservation Trust, this weekend is a real chance to showcase a substantial portion of the village.

Tickets, which are only £5, are on sale at the Post Office or from the open gardens themselves on the Saturday and Sunday.

The Queen’s Birthday Celebration Street Party: immediately follows the Open Gardens on Saturday, running at the village hall from 4.30 to 7 pm, and all are invited to bring a plate of food to share, and a chair to sit on! It’s free, and looks like being a re-run of the successful event held for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, which was both enjoyable and memorable. Wear something red, white and blue, and look out for the fancy dress competition!

Church Matters: There are three services in the Parish this Sunday, with St Peter’s hosting the first at 8 am, which is BCP Communion. Then comes Morning Praise at 10.30 am at St Andrew’s, and t finally there is the popular Sunday Live! at 6 pm at St Peter’s. This will feature guest speaker Andrew Thomas

A note from Val Relfe at the Church thanks all the village residents who supported the recent house to house collection for Christian Aid. All together 17 church collectors visited 30 roads in the village and garnered a grand sum of £1,135.76. When Gift Aid is added, this gives the total a boost of £108, meaning the St Andrew’s Church Christian Aid group has totalled £1,243.76.

Incidentally, Val believes she may have inadvertently ‘posted’ her Christian Aid ID and her driving licence through someone’s door during her progress round Broadway. If it was at your house, please let someone know at St Peter’s when you are passing…

At MOPPs: Today, Friday, June 10, the entertainment is provided by regular visitor Keith Osbourne with his ‘Music for Health’. There’s a toe-nail cutting service, too. Lunch is sausage casserole followed by banoffee pie. The entertainment for next Friday eludes me at present, but it will be all right on the lunchtime and, anyway, you could always avail yourself of an eye test by Sean from Eye Concern. Next Friday’s lunch will be roast chicken, with peaches and custard for pud.

And just round the corner is a MOPPs Cream Tea, in the village hall at 3 pm on Sunday, June 26. Tickets are £5 from the Post Office, and you will be excellently entertained by the vocal talents of group chairman Jim Saphin, plus Sharon Sellens and Carol George. The last ‘tea’ was very well received, so don’t miss out on this one!

Tuesday Ladies Club: Following two light hearted but very informative meetings, the Club’s meeting on June 21 will be hearing about the scandal of baby farming in the 19th Century. This talk will be given by Lady Teviot, commencing at 2.15 pm. As usual, visitors are welcome at £2, and this includes tea and cake!

The May meeting featured a Bernard Cruttenden, a Fairlight man of note who is, as far as can be ascertained, the one and only fellow who knows how to create a ‘Sussex Posy’. These posies originated in May Day celebrations and feature special wild flowers being wound around to create the posy. Large and strong hands are needed for this and the end result is a flat posy which looks like a decorated dinner plate. It is to be hoped that another Sussex man will come forward to learn this rare and quite beautiful craft.

If you fancy a trip out, there are a few seats available on the Tuesday Ladies’ Club coach outing on Tuesday, June 28. This will take you to Dover, stopping first at the award-winning Museum, then there will be free time to explore Dover, and the coach will leave from the de Bradelai Wharf Outlet Centre at 3.30 pm. The Outlet Centre has been much improved recently and offers plenty of opportunity for some retail therapy. Pick-up points for the trip are at Scollays 9.45am, the Circle 10 am, Knowle Road 10.05 am and Winchelsea Beach 10.15 am. The cost for those who are not members of the TLC is £10, which includes Museum admission. If you are interested and would like further details please give Mary Stewart a call on 813031.

Pett Methodist Church: are celebrating their Church Anniversary on Sunday, June 19 with an art exhibition. This will be running on both the Saturday and Sunday, June 18 and 19, and will feature works by some of our local artists. There will be some beautiful flower arrangements to further enhance the presentation. The exhibition opens on the Saturday at 10.30 am, and lunches and teas will be available. On Sunday, opening is at 12.30 pm following the anniversary morning service with Rev Dawn Carn. Teas will be available once again. At 6 pm the celebratory weekend will finish with Songs of Praise. Do go along and support the artists - and enjoy some time at your local Methodist Church.

Fairlight Gardening Club: For their June meeting last Monday, club members enjoyed a sunny outing looking round the Friary Gardeners, situated off the Ridge. Roger Hambrook, who has been so instrumental in the development of the Friary Gardeners, has visited the Club on a number of occasions to tell them how progress was going. While many members had previously bought plants there, this visit gave them the opportunity to look round the site behind the scenes, including the recently renovated ruins of the old St Helens Church. All were very impressed by the gardens and, in particular, by the vegetable planting! After a welcome refreshment break of tea, coffee and homemade biscuits, everyone had a chance to wander round the plants for sale and many purchases were made!

Following the popular success of the inaugural evening meeting last summer, members are asked to note that their next meeting, on Monday, July 4, will be an evening talk at 7 pm with Stephen Harmer telling of the history of Sissinghurst Castle and gardens.

Fairlight Bowls Club: The Club’s Open Day is coming up on Saturday, June 25 from 11 am to 3 pm. Everyone is invited to ‘try their luck’ but be warned – you could get hooked! Have a word with Sylvia Taylor if you’d like more details. Call her on 813518.

Hastings Country Park: As if there’s not enough going on in the village this weekend, there is also something completely different on offer tomorrow from the Friends of Hastings Country Park, when Artist Catherine Farr will be running an Art Workshop for adults and children over 8. It’s at the Milking Parlour, Place Farm and will cost you a mere £2. Though it’s late in the day, call Jill Howell if you’re interested and would lime details. She’s on 815256.

The waiting’s nearly over: July will see us all enjoying the biennial fun event we all look forward to so much as Fairfest takes to the marquee, barbie and all of Wood Field once again. Details will be regaling you weekly from now on!

It’s a ‘yes’ from me: Thanks are due to all those who have supported this column so steadfastly for the last eight weeks. Principally, much of the input has come from Andrew Mier, with many of the village’s first rate communicators like Robert, Shirley, Kath and Val, Karen, Sylvia not far behind.

Never knock the NHS: It all started with a routine request for acid reflux pills. No, it doesn’t sound like acid, more like heart, they said. Several tests and scans later under Dr Walker and the Cardio team at the Conquest led me onwards to Brighton, where the brilliant Mr Amit Modi and his team of Registrars, anaesthetists, high dependency nurses, physios and pharmacists gave me a triple heart bypass, turning me into a cabbage in a matter of hours. ‘Cabbage’ here is medico jargon for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and is not necessarily a judgement on my mental capacity. While the internet may be the hypochondriac’s best friend, this operation is probably best read about for the layman when you’re safely recovering, rather than prior to the event. Some pain can be expected, of course, but it has been the lack of concentration, over a very short time span, plus a loss of general mobility and the need to avoid mental as well as physical stress that has made Voice a no-no for so long. So, my byline is totally accurate once more. Just let me have your notes about forthcoming events, milestones, results of projects - anything of interest to your fellow Fairlight residents, and we’ll see if it can run in the paper where a lot more people will read it than you probably imagine!

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