GREETINGS: Although the gardens are suffering a bit with the baking process, I do hope that you have been able to enjoy the sunshine. What’s the betting that it will pour with rain in August!!!

CHURCH SERVICES: The service at 10.30 am on Sunday 26th will be Morning Prayer.

SIGNIFICANT DATE: Wednesday 23rd April is the date for our Patron Saint, St. George. There is some doubt about his provenance, but that is his date. It is also the birthday of William Shakespeare who unfortunately died on the same date !

CHURCH MARKET: It was really nice to have a bright sunny morning for the Market. Lots of people came, and enjoyed the chat, light lunch and the produce for sale, not forgetting the plants. The next Market will be on 16th May when there will be LOTS of plants. I will remind you.

WEATHER: What more is there to say? But I still have not seen any of our summer migrants. And is it time for a cuckoo? If anyone could make use of a plastic compost bin? I have a spare one which is free for collection. It won’t go in my car. The hedgerows are glorious with the blackthorn blossom. Soon it will be replaced by the hawthorn, or May blossom. Have you cast clouts yet? You know, ne’er cast a clout till may be out, but is it the month or the blossom? Either way. I’ve cast as many clouts as I decently can !!

QUEEN’S HEAD: The live music for this coming Sunday will be played by Local Heroes, playing Covers. There will be a Quiz on Wednesday 29th April in aid of St. Michael’s Hospice.

THE ROBIN HOOD BOWMEN: The new targets have arrived and there were half a dozen people shooting at them when I went to see on Saturday morning. The stiff breeze was putting all the arrows to one side of the target, but no-one missed. I found it interesting that I could see the bowmen taking aim. but could not see the flight of the arrows. The next thing I saw was an arrow quivering in the target.

ROBIN HOOD BONFIRE SOCIETY: I do apologise for leaving out this report last week. The drizzly weather failed to dampen the spirits of the families who attended the Easter Egg Hunt at Icklesham on Good Friday. Much fun was had and activities included tombola, a cake raffle, guess the name of the toy bunny, balloon modelling, plus face painting to transform youngsters into a bonfire boy or girl for the day.The Easter Egg Hunt was the latest fund raising event held by the Robin Hood Bonfire Society, who raise much needed funds for local charities. In recent years, they have donated to Pett Level Rescue, The Guestwell Scout group, the Friends of Icklesham School, the Icklesham Parish Youth Club. They also hold an annual OAP Dinner with entertainment. The Easter Egg Hunt raised £460, which will go towards their aim of raising the highest annual amount of all the Sussex Bonfire Societies for the second year running. The next event will be a quiz held at the Robin Hood Inn on 21st April Teams of no more than 6 should email the society at robinhoodbonfiresociety@gmail.com with team names and numbers. The £5 entry includes fish and chips, vegetarian option available. This is actually a bit late, so my apologies. Try them anyway.

CRAFT FAIR: The May Craft Fair will take place in the Memorial Hall on Saturday 2nd May from 10 am. There will be an assortment of craft stalls to interest everyone. Why not come for coffee and cake? There will be plenty to see and lots of free parking. For enquiries regarding this and the June Craft Fair, please contact Maureen Thompson on 01424 813 028.

QUIZ REPORT: Message from Stuart. This was the last Quiz of the season. 15 teams supported the evening which raised funds for the Cricket Club - £100 and the New Pavilion - £231. The evening was well contested throughout but Pellagrini’s Army proved difficult to catch, Empty Heads second and Casualties third did chase them very hard.Thanks to all the teams which supported the evening. During it we had a game of Heads and Tails which raised £80 which was split 50/50 between Demelza House and Pett Level Rescue Boat. Thanks to Mags, Michelle and Marc for help with the setting up, the Ladies Darts Team for organising the Raffle, everybody who donated raffle prizes, Sean and Marc for helping during the evening. The Quiz Evenings have raised Icklesham Trust £327; Icklesham Church £351; Macmillan Nurses £241; Youth Club £190; Mums and Toddlers £190; Stoolball Club £150; New Pavilion £1391 + £778 from the Murder Mystery evening = £2169. Many thanks to Lodestar Cleaning & Robin Hood for sponsoring the Murder Mystery. The TOTAL raised over the Winter and Spring is £3798, a tremendous effort by all concerned. On a more negative note, The Trust is still considering spending more hard earned money on the old pavilion. The question we need to ask is, how many more £5000s are to be spent? The New Pavilion Draw, Mrs. Janet Pegg in charge had this result ; 1st £50 Mrs Rachlin; 2nd £25 Shane Cuddington; 3rd £15 Nick Warren; 4th £10 David Pritchard; 5th £5 Jeanette Read. New members are always welcome - £1 per month.

PARISH COUNCIL: From your Ward Councillors Corinne Merricks, Jane Austen, Jim Horsman and Nick Warren. The whole Parish Council is due for re-election on 7th May. There are 13 parish Councillors in total, 4 of those representing Icklesham Ward. There will only be an election if more people are nominated than the number of seats in any ward. If there is a shortfall of nominations, then the Parish Council can consider asking a local person to fill that vacancy, subject to that person being approved by a majority of elected Councillors. The first meeting of the new Council will be the Annual Meeting at Winchelsea New Hall at 7.15 pm on 11th May.

HOUSING NEEDS SURVEY: we are waiting for the full report from Action in Rural Sussex (AiRS) but we have been advised that 271 responses to the survey were received which is considered to be a good response when compared to similar surveys elsewhere. 81% of those replying were in favour of Affordable Housing Schemes for local people in the Parish and 25 households have been identified as having a need.

AiRS and Rother District Council will now work with the Parish Council to identify potential sites for small affordable housing schemes. At present no such discussions have taken place. We welcome suggestions from local people of potential sites and these can be just outside the normal planning envelope without creating a precedent for other housing in these areas. If you wish to make any suggestions then please write to the parish Clerk or contact any of your local councillors.

RYE HARBOUR CAR PARK AND TOILETS: Last year Rother District Council decided to divest itself of the responsibility of running the Rye Harbour car park and toilets. This caused concern at Rye Harbour that a commercial company would take over the site and car parking charges could cause congestion in Rye Harbour village as people try to avoid the charges. Icklesham Parish Council have been in negotiations with RDC to see if we should consider taking over the running of this site for the benefit of the whole parish and on what basis we should run the car park, i.e. keep it free and cover the cost through our share of the council tax - the Precept - or bring in a charging system for parking and/or the toilets. It has taken some time for the council to get all the figures, but we are now in a position to consider whether to proceed and this decision will probably be taken at the first full Council meeting after the Annual Meeting on 11th May. In the meantime, six residents of Winchelsea have called a Parish Meeting on 20th April at 7 pm in the Court Hall, Winchelsea, to put forward a motion calling for a referendum of the parish, as to whether the Parish Council should undertake this expenditure. All residents of the parish are welcome at this meeting and if the motion is passed then a referendum of the whole Parish (all 4 villages) will be undertaken. The results of such a referendum, if called, are not binding on the Parish Council, but clearly the Parish Council would want to rake into consideration the results of such a referendum before making its final decision.

YOUTH COUNCIL: The Parish Council has obtained a grant of £1000 to set up a Youth Council and we will be seeking young people up to the age of 17 who would like to participate in being part of this important and exciting new voice for our young people. We will be looking to hold Youth Council elections later in the year and the Youth Council will meet with the Parish Council four times a year in order to represent its views to the Parish Council. If you are interested in getting involved or know someone who is interested, please contact the Parish Clerk, or one of your local Councillors with your contact details. Your councillors are here to represent you and welcome your views on any matter. Please do talk to them or send your reviews/ requests to the Parish Clerk at ickleshampc@hotmail.co.uk or write c/o Wild Goose Cottage, Gorsethorn Way, Fairlight, East Sussex, TN 35 4 BQ.

SCHOOL NEWS: A very interesting survey of parents views about the school have been published and make good reading. There will be a Friends (PTA) meeting at school this week to discuss plans for this year’s Summer Fayre which will be held at school on Saturday 20th June. The Friends need a great deal of help to make this event work. If you couldn’t get to the meeting but would like to help, email janeandkirk@icloud.com or leave a message in the office. The Head teacher’s award goes this week to all members of the football team - Billy C, Harry K, Ruben, William, Theo N, Marion, Aaron and Ollie S-C. The class awards go to Lola, Jasmin, Siena, Amaro, Hannah, Tommy, Holly and Ruben. Well done everybody. There will be a Bank Holiday on 4th May.

CONTACT: Please let me know of any reports, announcements or news items for inclusion in the Village Voice, by phoning 01424815 247 or pop round.

AND FINALLY: Are you worn out reading all of this?! It is all important stuff, so do take note. Hope everyone has a really good week.

Marion Lovell

7 Oast House Field