GREETINGS: Do hope that you have had a good week for the official start of spring.

CHURCH SERVICE: The 10.30 am service this coming Sunday will be Parish Eucharist for the 3rd Sunday of Lent. And although not a service the Lunch on Friday - today from 12.30 to 2 pm will be collecting funds for Family Support Work. Next week the charity will be Hastings Samaritans. Do come along to enjoy lovely home made soup, bread and a variety of cheeses.

WEATHER: March certainly came roaring in like the proverbial lion. The flipping jet-stream has drifted south to northern Spain again, dragging cold air in from the arctic, so the winds are cold. But the sun is quite warm when it shines.

FLOWERS: There are bumble bees about, so I hope there are some flowers for them to feed from. My verbena tree is beautiful, full of pink blossom.

PANTOMIME: What a splendid show - O yes it was !! I have received this review from Fr. Hugh. I was glad to be sitting in the back row when Igora, keeper of the cauldron, leered at us with her one good eye whilst stirring her nasty potion. Dishevelled and full of menace, Judy Welsh was in keeping with the best pantomime tradition in Nicky Harris’ production of The Sleeping Beauty of Icklesham, staged at the Memorial Hall. Igora’s mistress, the Wicked Witch of Westfield,(have we had any letters of complaint from our neighbouring village?) played by Clare Murray, was intent on doing harm to Icklesham’s Iona, daughter of Baron Godwin and Baroness Gudren played by David Shortman and Fiona Osborne. Suitors came and went, unsuitable, before Iona and her parents were bewitched into a deep sleep by Igora’s dodgy potion, Stealing the show was Iona’s Nanny, David Burchell (a dead ringer for Les Dawson) who searched high and low for a fairy to counter the deadly spell. Brunhilde, played with charm and confidence by Isobel Bissenden as the good fairy couldn’t, but Wanda, the White Witch came to the rescue with her recipe book of spells. What was needed was a dashing prince to wake the sleeping beauty. A Norman Prince, Guy, came to the rescue, played with panache by Charlotte Eastes. All ended happily ever after, the wedding of the Norman Prince and a Saxon Iona bringing the show to a close. The Pantomime was peppered with popular songs, well accompanied by Ivora Rees; the many scene changes kept the audience’s attention; the script was full of local references; the sets were excellent; jokes and puns abounded; it seems that the cast enjoyed the evening as much as the audience. Congratulations to script writers Nicky Harris and Josie Body, to the players, back stage crew and technicians for putting Icklesham on the map. I would like to add my own appreciation of the children who announced the scenes and played rabbits and a fox,. What a lovely way to introduce young people to the fun of ‘am-drams ‘.

QUEEN’S HEAD: The live music on Sunday will be played by Titus, the music described as Friendly Folk. Their email address is titusfolk.com. Ian’s training is proceeding as it should, for his ‘amble around Hastings ‘ in the half Marathon. He is raising money for St. Michael’s Hospice on 22nd March. Do give him your support.

ROAD CLOSURE: The information exhibition last week showed where and when we shall have our travel restricted. It seems that during the day up to 8 pm we shall be able to get through. Keep the letter proving that you are a resident, and even at closed times, you will be escorted through. It might mean a little wait - 10 minutes or so - but we will be able to come home.

CRAFT FAIR: There will be a Spring Craft Fair in Icklesham Memorial Hall on Saturday 7th March from 10am to 2.30 pm.There will be lots of interesting items and gift ideas for Mothering Sunday. Refreshments will be available and there is plenty of free parking. Everybody is welcome.

NEW PAVILION PROJECT: Since last month we have had some very positive input from the Parish Council, some negative and it is fair to suggest some confusion. Hopefully we shall learn more from our next Trust Meeting scheduled for 7th April. I would like to look back at an Open Village Meeting organised by The Icklesham Trust Committee, held in the Memorial Hall which many of you attended ( approx 100) on 14th May 2012. This information may at least clarify some of the confusion. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the future of our Pavilion. The meeting was chaired by Mrs. Corrinne Merricks, Chairman of Icklesham Trust Committee. The four proposals were 1) Maintain existing building - 100% against: 2) Extend and refurbish - 100% against: 3) demolish and rebuild - 100% in favour. 4) Maintain existing building and build a new pavilion on another area of the recreation ground. NO VOTE was taken on this proposal as it was regarded as not being viable. You can see that all of the above was very positive in favour of the New Build project. Since that date we have had excellent support from the Village, retired Sportsmen that have used the facility, and many friends and work colleagues. Our Trust Chairman has been very supportive and encouraging towards this project, not allowing any of our members to dwell on past negative experiences. Onward and forward, let’s get that pavilion has been the message. Please keep giving your very much appreciated support and let’s hope we can achieve a building which will cater for young and disabled people that we will all be very proud of, as our predecessors were in 1959. This article came from Stuart Baker.

PARISH COUNCIL: Icklesham parish Council is currently conducting a Housing Needs Survey to help the Council to assess the current and future housing demand of local residents. In particular, this survey looks at whether affordable housing provision is required in the Parish. Affordable Housing projects are usually used in villages to help young couples/families and also retired people on low incomes to stay in villages and can make a difference to the social balance in rural areas. These projects are usually taken forward through specialist housing associations and usually have no financial impact on the Parish Council finances.The responses received will help the Parish Council decide whether it needs to seek sites to take an affordable housing project forward. The survey is conducted by Action in Rural Sussex (AiRS)and the responses sent back to them in the prepaid envelope and remain confidential with only AiRS staff seeing these.The Parish Council will get a summarised report of the findings. In addition to existing residents, anyone who has moved out of the Parish due to lack of affordable housing and who would like to move back, can complete a form. If you have not received a survey form and would like to complete one, please contact Tom Warder, Rural Housing Enabler, Action in Rural Sussex, 212, High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2 NH, telephone 01273 407 302, - email tom.warder@rural Sussex.org.uk SURVEY FORMS NEED TO BE POSTED BACK BY FRIDAY 13TH MARCH 2015.

SCHOOL: Best wishes for success to the Year 2 and 3 children in the Hastings Musical Festival today. Yesterday was World Book Day when the children and staff enjoyed dressing up as their favourite book characters. The Valentine’s Disco raised £141.76 after expenses. Many thanks to all who helped especially Mrs. Mascord for her popular Pizzas. There are complaints AGAIN about parent parking sometimes across drives restricting access for residents. Please do not park near the school if there is not a safe, sensible place. There is always room further down the hill, but you need to allow extra time to walk. Residents have been advised by the police to report number plates of offending cars. The Head Teacher award goes to Eve Bolton, and the class awards to Leo, Renn, Inigo, Amaro, Tommy, Lara, Zac, Lily, Cole, Hannah, Marcie and Gracie. Well done everyone. Year 2 children will be taking part in Multi-sports at Rye Sports Centre from 10 am to 12 noon on Wednesday 11th March.

THE ROBIN HOOD INN: On Sunday 8th March there will be another of the popular Afternoon Teas. Super posh tea AND an entertainment this time. The cost is £14.95, bookings only please, on 01424 814 277. On Mothering Sunday there will be a special menu being served at 12 pm, 2.20 pm, 5 pm and 7.30 pm. It looks really tasty, and costs £13.95, children under 12 years of age £7. All the usual menu items will also be available as well as the set menu. Book now to avoid disappointment.

CONTACT: Please let me know of any reports, news items, or announcements which you would like included in the Village Voice column. This week’s is HUGELY long, so I hope you have read to here!!! phone me on 01424 815 247 or pop round.

AND FINALLY: May I wish you a good week. The sun and wind may help to dry us out a bit - the Wadhurst Clay is certainly holding the water, and making a right mess of the gas works happening in my road.

Marion Lovell

7 Oast House Field