Pews News: This Sunday, November 11, there will be no service at St Andrew's, as the focus on Armistice Day will be the 10.30 am Area British Legion Remembrance Service at Pett War Memorial. Methodist Minister the Rev Ian Pruden, who is also British Legion Chaplain, will be officiating along with Rev Richard Barron.
MOPPs today and next Friday: Today, Friday, November 9, there will be flower arranging with Sylvia plus a session of tombola. Lunch today consists of roast pork plus all the bits, followed by apple crumble. Next Friday, November 16, Ken Brooks will be along to tell of the ‘History of the Old Town’. The lunch that follows will be fish with herb crumb topping, chocolate bread and butter pudding for afters.
The Fairlight Centenary Celebration at St Andrew’s: ‘Voices of Victory’, the village’s Centenary Celebration of the end of World War One, takes place in St Andrew’s church this evening, starting at 7 pm. This is to be an evening of music, entertainment and remembering those who served and suffered. All are invited to attend.
At the Post Office: The Players’ production of The Vicar of Dibley part Two, has had two of its five show run already, and any remaining tickets are about as rare as hen’s teeth. Whatever there is can be found in the care of Graeme and Leonie at the Post Office. The perforances remaining are tonight at 7.30 pm, and tomorrow, Saturday, at 2.30 and 7.30 pm. They’ll only cost you £7 each – if you can get any!
Speakers Corner: The Group’s late October meeting was another sad day for lovers of good speakers. Last year it was Graham Albon who announced his retirement, and now the estimable Laton Frewen. Laton’s last talk for the Speakers Corner dwelt on the magical Galapagos Islands, which owe their existence to earthquakes and volcanoes. Laton had pictures of the volcanic activity which took place during his visit. The Spaniards gave the islands their name which means Island of the Tortoises and they became a hotbed for piracy (including Sir Francis Drake) and the looting of gold. Eventually Charles Darwin spent five weeks on the islands as part of his journey round the world and his findings became, of course, the basis for his Origin of the Species. Laton finished his talk with stunning pictures of the exotic wildlife. Alan Sutton presented Laton and his wife with a card and gifts to thank them for their talks over the years.
The next Speakers Corner, on Wednesday 14, will feature David Allen whose subject will be the Weird and Wonderful World of the Law. A laugh a minute is likely, or even more frequently… The meeting starts at 2.30 and visitors are very welcome for a humble £2 admission. In fact, for a mere £10 you can join and enjoy the whole season of interesting and varied talks.
Rother local plan – Consultation: Last week we promised to tell you how to get in touch with Rother DC with your pithy comments about their just released Local Plan. In Fairlight, we are featured to the extent of a proposed 30 properties on East Field. If you wish to make comments about material planning concepts in the plan, please go to fairlight.org.uk, and then to Parish Council, and down to Planning Committee Documents.
Building on East Field?: The fact that an application for outline planning for 150 properties on East Field has been publicised this week almost in tandem with Rother’s plan is coincidental, as the application is fully outwith Rother’s plan, and will be considered as a separate entity. It may well be that you would like to contribute to the deliberations on this scheme, which seems to have caught some by surprise, despite being heavily promoted at an open event earlier in the year. The application is no monument to brevity, being the Planning equivalent of War and Peace. Seldom has as large a pile of horse feathers been seen in one place. You may recall that early summer village hall presentation, which clearly showed that this impossible site has nothing whatever to do with Fairlight – the disconnect is total. Were I to become acquainted with a new resident just across from my back garden, it would take a walk of almost a mile to go and see him. The London spin stars believe the new development would become fully integrated into Fairlight in 15 years. With Guestling surgery having an immediate hiccup over premises, which they appear to be resolving, what use is the provisional new surgery with several in-patient beds. When does anyone think this is going to come on line? Rumour repeats that Rother cannot afford to adopt the roads on the proposed estate, or is this fake news? And 300 new people, topping the area up to about 2,000, would warrant a new 4000 sq ft supermarket? The claim is that this would have a catchment of 8,000 people, although most of them would have to pass Aldi, the Co-Op and Tesco in Ore and drive three miles along one of the most neglected roads in the south of England to get here. Believe me, we drive it because we have to. The only people that like coming here for pleasure are those on the outing of the Society of Masochist Motorists. Of course, this is only an outline application. Old hands would anticipate that the granting of such an application could easily lead to the Bid Bad Wolves playing fast and loose with the actuality that follows.
Please follow the links on the village website, as quoted above, and consider carefully the advice of Cllr Stephen Leadbetter, Chairman of our Planning Committee. The Parish Council will be publicising the matter and deciding how best to consult residents shortly. They have appointed an experienced Planning Consultant to assist them in the presentation of their considered observations to Rother most effectively.
Pews News – from Dibley!: There are 2,500 affiliated Amateur Drama Groups in the UK, and probably as many again who are independent. Almost all will have a number of gifted and talented performers, and the Fairlight Players are no exception. Where they are markedly different here can be seen in this week’s run of the Vicar of Dibley, part two, where in addition to their acting skills, the five men and three women all show their particularly smart prowess as impressionists, each playing a well-known actor playing an even better known character. Libby Annetts makes light work of Geraldine, with particularly fine comedic timing behind her gentle charm. She is well matched by Charlotte Eastes, who catches the vague dimness of Alice perfectly. As they proved two years ago, Bez Cuss as Owen and Peter Spencer as Jim, have both nailed their character perfectly. The Horton father and son, David and Hugo, are excellently defined by Steve Hill and Tom Miller. Frank gives Roland Garrad a repeat chance to shine, which he does with a special turn of his own. Ann Edwards, playing Mrs Cropley, is the only member of the cast who finds herself in an underwritten role.
Trevor Lewing’s tripartite set neatly encompasses village hall, vicarage and vestry, and all are effectively lit by Del Smith. Andrew Mier sounds right with a micro-detailed effects plot. Vince Bruce manages the stage, but not yesterday when it was Ken Hatch’s turn. Jenny Turner delivers a good props plot, while Sandi Mauzer costumes look good as she and Danny Collins act as dressers. On the book, Vicky Veness is not heard immoderately. Carol Ardley’s painted soldiers have their fun moment in the limelight. The nativity scene, very close to reality, also includes three diminutive visiting angels – Zoe Clarey, Chloe Miller and Jessamy Read. Overall, Keith Miller pulls the directorial strings of cast and crew to get a laugh-filled evening under way
Fairlight Open Gardens: Kerry Gentleman, the lead organiser of this summer’s Open Gardens event, has emailed all those who have been part and parcel hitherto, as everyone who is part of the gardens administration is conscious of the fact that the biennial event happens within a few short weeks of Fairfest, being another highly popular biennial occasion. The possible idea is to have another Gardens event next summer, and then every other year, so that Gardens and Fairfest alternate. This would probably allow those committed to both happenings to retain their sanity. If you haven’t opened up in the past, and a consensus agrees there should be an opening in 2019, watch out for details of how you can participate, as there could well be some natural wastage among previous exhibitors, and anyway a mix of the familiar and the unseen is a good selling point.