Laurie Bowman, Magpies, Oast House Field

Sunday 26 January. Churchwarden Janet Pegg on behalf of the congregation welcomed Canon Robin Whitehead when he took his first Service in All Saints Parish Church. In his Sermon the new Vicar of Icklesham described aspects of his 34 years as a priest and the satisfaction of giving vocational guidance to those joining the ministry.

Sunday 2 February 10.30 Parish Eucharist.

Wednesday 29 January The Service was held to celebrate the life of Mrs Pauline Anne Firth of The White Cottage, Cuthorne Corner, Main Road, Icklesham who passed away on Christmas Day aged 68. Pauline Cole was born in Chertsey, Surrey the second of three daughters. As a child she spent several years as a boarder in a Convent School in Hastings. She returned to Surrey and had a very full life. Pauline loved horses was an accomplished horsewoman successful in eventing and show jumping. Scott and Tina were born. Her husband was a farmer and the couple developed a business providing services for the film industry. She worked with Michael Caine on “The Italian Job” but it was her association with John Wayne which was really significant. In 1975 Wayne -”The Duke” came to England to make the film “Brannigan”.Pauline was his personal assistant and the star was terminally ill with cancer so the oxygen equipment etc was her responsibility. Sadly when Pauline was herself ill the White Cottage was loaded up with similar things. Pauline always remembered the film legend. Her Cocker Spaniel was Duke. Her motor home was The Duke and when she needed mobility scooters they were Big Duke and Little Duke.

She remarried and by 1977 Kirsty was born. To be with her husband she drove with 6 week old Kirsty across Europe and Africa to Johannesburg in the Union of South Africa. Always active and determined Pauline returned to this country and got into Marathons. She competed in New York, Boston,London, Paris, The Great North Run and the first Berlin marathon from west to east after The Wall came down. Pauline also did the “Tough Guy Marathon”, the most gruelling marathon in the world - twice round an army type assault course in winter. She did it 4 times. Eventually she took up Archery and after a knee operation ended the running Pauline began to excel. She was the best in Great Britain with the longbow and was a winner in many other types of archery. Tom Firth was also a bowman and their closeness thrived. In Guernsey they were both champions and it is the Guernsey flag with its two g0ld lions on a red background which is at half mast on The White Cottage. In her full life Pauline was also a foster mother, a swimming coach and the Residential Manager of an estate of 20-40 flats for retired people’

Tom and Pauline had been together for 7 years when they moved to The White Cottage in June 2013. On 13 September they married in Icklesham Parish Church.

Jane Anita Giddings died on 14 January aged 85. Jane Giddings was a retired Nursing Sister who lived with her friend and former colleague Smudge Smith in Oast House Field. Their garden was immaculate and Jane was a very active local bowler and also enjoyed painting. As a young student nurse during the War she served at Bomber Command and knew much tragedy when so many young men did not return. Her funeral will take place at 12.15 on Tuesday 11 February at Eastbourne Crematorium.

Sunday 2 February Live Music Queen’s Head 4-6 Tea Chest Blues are said to be acoustic.

Tuesday 25 March That dreaded Body Wax mentioned last week is in the Robin Hood starting at 7.30. It is in aid of St. Michael’s Hospice and the Sarah Lee Trust.

“Puss in Boots” this year’s Icklesham Players Panto directed by Del Smith is in the Memorial Hall on Thursday 20, Friday 21 and Saturday 22 February at 7.30 with a Saturday matinee at 3.00. Tickets Adults £6.50 & Children £4.50. Available from Icklesham Village Stores or by phoning Nicky 01424 812996.

Around dusk at this time of year look out for huge murmurations of starlings moving like a team usually above the Recreation Ground, The birds will include many who migrate from the cold of continental Europe into warmer Britain.

Quiz compilers love collective terms like murmurations. They were invented for amusement by bored aristocrats in the 18th century.Some are still amused. What about - a bellowing of bullfinches, a murder of crows, a charm of goldfinches, a parliament of owls etc