Years ago, some school lessons could be fearsome things couldn’t they? My domestic Science teacher for instance, Mrs. Padfield put the fear of God in me, but now, the woman has risen in my estimation to nothing short of sainthood, because she instilled in me to do a ‘plan of work’, a sequence of order in which to prepare a meal, from laying the table, to peeling vegetables and timing meat and vegetables etc. It was because her lessons were such a reign of terror, that I now jot down in my head before folk come for a meal, one of Mrs Padfield’s hallowed ‘ plans of work’. I’ll never forget, that we did ‘bottling’, and I inadvertently washed up her pan of syrup.[I thought the woman was going to kill me] School cookery was a fraught affair. Firstly my mother complained bitterly about the cost of ingredients, and then, I remember taking cookery G.C.E, and getting on the bus with a satchel, a kilner jar of tomato soup, a complete roast dinner, and an apple crumble and custard, and crying buckets, because I dropped a jar of gravy at the bus stop [it was awful, people were slipping about and complaining]. Mrs. Padfield was Scottish, and as dour as a pan of porridge, [I don’t know why I’m telling you all this] but sometimes the most scary days of our lives can, in retrospect evoke the best memories, when under the command of someone quite tyrannical can’t they? After all, who wants someone ‘wishy washy’ telling you how to make a jam sponge!

Okay now, what has been happening in Iden?

The ‘Annual Iden Assembly, took place in the village hall on 29th May at 7pm. Michael Miller chaired the meeting , and Mary Philo, the Parish Clerk was in attendance. Michael read the Minutes of the previous assembly held on 23rd May 2013. He spoke about the well known Iden conservationist, Rene Regendanz, who died recently in 2011. Rene was a renowned character, who collected photos and memoirs of Iden, amongst them those of the Reverend John Lockington Bates, who in the 1800’s was Rector of Iden for sixty two years .The Rector rebuilt the rectory and the school, converted the blacksmith’s to workshops, and formed an Archery Society. An interesting man, who besides being a Rector, was also a stockbroker in London. The Iden Natural History Society donated a screen to the village hall recently, in memory of Rene Regandanz, whose data, and knowledge of nature will continue to be of historical Interest to Iden dwellers because of his own particular tenacity and love of our area. Without him much of the history specific to Iden may have been lost.

Michael Miller spoke of our War Memorial, which originally cost five pounds when built. It’s of special interest in this centenary year, marking the First World War. He thanked the Footpath team, who keep our footpaths safe and presentable, and spoke of the large amount money required to finance the village hall building project. Michael urged residents to continue to support the village hall.

Ray Griffin , Chairman of the village hall was asked to speak. He outlined plans to improve the village hall, and spoke of treasurer Bob Hammond’s endeavour to negotiate funding. Ray also spoke about the ‘Pop In’, and Bingo .Both are held in the village hall, and are popular and well attended. Ray also reported that village hall accounts, which for some years have been in a minus balance, are now showing a small profit.

Richard Jones was asked to speak, as chairman of I.C.E.[Iden Community Emergency Forum.] Richard explained that Iden is collecting for a defibrillator, an invaluable item of first response equipment in the event of a cardiac arrest. For a variety of reasons, due to medical causes or trauma, the heart can succumb to dysrythmias which can lead to cardiac arrest. . A defibrillator can establish normal sinus rhythm, making this piece of equipment imperative. It’s availability is increasing nationwide in all areas and walks of life. The defibrillator is easy to use, offering it’s own easy instructions, so that at the press of a button we can shock the heart into it’s required sinus rhythm, so that blood can be effectively pumped around the body, carrying vital oxygen to the tissues. Prompt use of a defibrillator can be a life saver. Richard gave two dates, 22nd July and 31st July at 7.30pm, when first aid instruction will given in the village hall. All are welcome. He reported that the recent ‘Fun Quiz’ in the village hall had greatly helped funds. There is a team of ‘Rother Responders’, trained to use and maintain a defibrillator, but ideally we should all know where our own Defibrillator will be kept, and how to use it. Iden will have an allocated first responder, and details will be made known when the defibrillator is purchased.

We were told that ‘Speedwatch’ seems to have helped in slowing traffic in Iden. Michael and Mary thanked all those volunteers who helped.

Micheal thanked Mary Philo particularly for her invaluable, and enthusiastic support. Mary does over and above the required input as Parish Clerk, and has become renowned for her ‘fervour’. Paula Riley had put together a compilation of the Iden Village Plan for our perusal on screen, while refreshments were served. There were numerous leaflets on ‘Avoiding Scams’ left out for us by Rye Police It was an interesting and varied meeting.

There will be a service of Holy Communion at Iden Parish Church on Sunday 8th June at 9.30 am.

Now, back to Mrs. Padfield, my Domestic Science teacher. She taught us [God bless her] the difference between diets for toddlers, for manual labourers and for invalids [in all honesty, it was quite pleasant for a fifteen year old schoolgirl to envisage a muscular manual labourer, leaning on a pickaxe eating one of my Cornish pasties] However, I never quite managed a beautifully starched tray cloth .The laundry bit eluded me somehow. Perhaps that’s why the Griffin family wander around Iden looking a bit ‘Ragbag’!

Have a good week. Aren’t the light evenings great?

If anyone wishes to contribute ti the village voice, please contact Gill Griffin [telephone01797-280-311.

Gill Griffin

Belfield, Main Street