Fairlight news
Fairlight news

Church Matters: There are two services in the Parish this Sunday, the first being Morning Praise St Andrew’s at 10.30 am. This will feature a presentation by the Gideons Bible Society, a tribute to

the late Geoff Hornsby, who was a keen supporter of the Gideons. Then, at 6.30 pm at St Peter’s, it will be Sunday Live! This is a very informal 75 minute service followed by food and fellowship. The service is open to all, and a contribution to the food or drink would be helpful. Featured this Sunday will be 2 Kings Chapter 5 – ‘God’s Mathematics’, which will reveal a curious insight.

The view from on high…: St Andrew’s church tower will be open for the whole summer season (!) from 2 until 5 pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays. There are 110 steps to the top, but the rewards are considerable. It’s free to go up, but a donation to church funds once you’re down again would be appreciated.

Today, and next week, at MOPPs: Today, Friday, July 22, has a visit by the popular and regular guest Keith Osbourne with his ‘Music for Health’. And after that, lunch will be roast turkey with all the trimmings, with tiramisu for afters. Next Friday, July 29, the entertainment will be by the

Penshurst Singers, and lunch will consist of fish and chips followed by bread and butter pudding and custard.

Gardening Club Annual Summer Show: At last the sun shone as the Gardening Club held their Annual Summer Show, though it had been notably absent during the crucial months when potential exhibits could have done with the help. There was much to enjoy on display, and the judges were very impressed with the number, at over 200, and quality of the exhibits. It was encouraging that for the second year running, there were first time entrants who won several prizes.

This year’s show was a particular triumph for Bernard and Anne Cruttenden, with Bernard collecting trophies for the most fragrant sweet pea, the best exhibit in the vegetable classes, the most first prizes in all classes, the highest number of points in the vegetable section, the best overall exhibit and, last but not least, the best pizza (albeit he was the only entrant!). Anne added to the household silverware by winning the best pot plant and the best flower arrangement. Congratulations also go to Colin and Gary who won the trophy for the best rose and the best flower exhibit with their outstanding Chandos Beauty hybrid tea rose. The final trophy winners were Kath Barron who took home the best sweet pea exhibit and most points in the domestic section and Sue Clarke who won the best fruit exhibit. Certificates for first, second and third were awarded to all winners, a long list of most worthy efforts. All the visitors were very complimentary about the show and the friendly atmosphere – and this was reflected by their generosity during the auction which brought the proceedings to a conclusion.

Parish Council: It’s the Parish Council’s July meeting on Tuesday next, July 26, at 7.15 pm in the village hall. Many of the items on offer are to be expected, though there will be some detail about the borrowing for Stage III of the Cliff Project, and the Council will share their observations and comments about Gemselect’s Market Garden plans, as well as agreeing the Council’s next step.

An update on the Woodland Way twitten will also be forthcoming. The Open Forum is always worth waiting, a veritable curate’s egg that can range from the sublime to the, well, less than sublime.

The Floral Club: The club is away for its July meeting on Thursday next, which consists of a visit to Charlotte Molesworth’s Topiary Garden near Biddenden. Club Chairman Sheila Benson has further details if members need them. She’s on 01797 223 927.

Battery Hill: Something many residents feel quite strongly about is the way the bright summer sun creates such a beautiful effect with the dappled brilliance coming through the greenery on to the road surface – and how plunging into this twilit world from either end makes you almost blind to other traffic. Please use your dipped headlights when you climb or descend Battery Hill. The life this saves may be your own. There are some car marques which cannot be expected to comply with this simple request, their vehicles overflowing with highly polished arrogance and a fine-tuned sense of entitlement. So you’ll have to take extra care on their behalf.

The Hill itself, especially on the southern, ascending lane has a surface that is bone-shakingly appalling. As it seems that no one from Highways has ever noticed how bad it is, we will probably have to put up with it for a few more years yet. Unless it causes a fatality, God forbid.

Fairfest: The two years are almost up, and Sunday week, July 31, will see the Children’s Fancy Dress Parade leaving The Cove at 11.30 am and making its way up Commanders Walk ready for the midday judging by our very own Vicar of Dibley, better known to Fairlight as Libby Annetts. Then there’s something to see, to eat and to drink for the next ten hours without let or hindrance as the enterprising afternoon unfolds its goodies. Too good to miss, so much to enjoy. Just be there!

And a late breaking item says that they really do need as much help as possible to erect the very large marquee on Wood Field on the morning of Saturday July 30. Please contact Jennifer Annetts to tell her you can help. She’s on 812476 or email her at jenniferannetts@gmail.com

Gemselect has new plans for their Market Garden site: A goodly number of village residents arrived at the village hall over the course of the five hour opening spread to have a look at the new plans for the Market Garden site, with a reduction in numbers of dwellings to a total of 16 being the most significant alteration. These 16 are made up of six terraced, and presumably affordable, six semi-detached and four detached. The last plans had flats – in a three storey block, and scarce enough room on the site roads to turn a pushbike round, let alone a rubbish lorry or a fire engine.

The use of an attenuation tank, and ‘some soakaways’, for surface water had several viewers shuddering, and the lack of much adaptation to the roads leading on to the site made a bit of a nonsense for access from the south-west corner. Comment sheets were available, and many took advantage to fill them in. If you did not, but would like to, you can get a form online from marcus-beale.co.uk, a site where you can also study the proposed build in the comfort of your own home.

Fairlight Players: Yes, it’s early, and the summer is only just getting under way, but it’s audition time for the Players forthcoming production of Arnold Ridley’s The Ghost Train, which will be taking place in the village hall at 7.30 pm on Monday next, July 25. Inspection scripts and a list of audition pieces are available for those who would like to participate. Carol Ardley has both – give her a call on 814178. This early call is made necessary by the need to re-rehearse The Vicar of Dibley prior to its visiting run at the Stables Theatre in August.

Open gardens cheque presentation: We all love our local paper, but last week’s optimistic note said there would be a picture of the Open Gardens cheque being presented to the Preservation Trust. However obliging and willing your Observer may be, they have not discovered a way of publishing photos of events that have not yet happened, and as this didn’t take place until last Sunday, it’s perfectly possible that the pic will be elsewhere in this edition… Sorry!

Hastings and Rother Classical Guitar Society: Fairlight resident Kate Lewis, a guitarist and guitar teacher, is looking to re-establish the Hastings and Rother Classical Guitar Society, a non-profit organisation designed to promote the classical guitar in the area suggested by the Society’s title, giving a forum for classical guitar players and enthusiasts to come together at a monthly meeting. The venue will be St Peters Church, Broadway, on the third Thursday of each month. This means you have actually missed the first session as it was last night, on Thursday, July 21 at 7.30 pm. Classical guitarists and enthusiasts of all ages and abilities should make a note right now, so as not to miss the second get-together; they will be most welcome. Further information can be found at www.hrcgs.wordpress.com or facebook.com/hrcgs, or ring Kate on 0750 803 5626. Kate also undertakes guitar (presumably all sorts) and ukulele tuition.

Under new management – almost: Our Post Office and General Store has been run by Ken and Pam Dixon since July 2003, although it appeared a year ago that changes would happen with Community involvement being foremost and paramount. Despite successive assessors declaring Fairlight to be ideal for such a step, somewhere along the way the government guidelines flattered to deceive, (now there’s a surprise!) and the whole enterprise fell by the wayside. With Ken and Pam keen to retire, we now learn that Mr and Mrs Gambrell will be taking over the business on Monday, August 1.

They are new to the business, and have agreed to the Post Office section becoming a ‘Local Plus’ operation, which means that they will still offer all the services that are obtainable at present, and these will now be offered all the while the shop is open (early to late, and through lunch, too!)

In addition to the four major staples – bread, milk, papers and bacon – the Post Office and General Stores has sold countless tickets for countless events in the village, an absolutely invaluable village resource, without which a number of organisations would have been struggling. We thank Ken and Pam for their input into the life of our village over the past thirteen years, and wish them a happy retirement. In turn, we welcome the Gambrells – and wish them all the best!

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