Netherfield CE Primary School: Summer Fair 16 May 2015 The PTFA is very pleased to report that our recent summer fair was a huge success, raising an amazing £2500 which will enable the school to buy equipment that they could not budget for. To achieve this it takes a few months of planning, vast numbers of emails back and forth between committee members and regular get togethers to make sure we are all doing what we were told. There is stock to buy, performers to find and book, a raffle to organise and many stall holders to enlist. We need to make sure the school and parents are fully briefed, and hold a mufti day when children are asked to bring in bottles for the Tombola and jars of sweets and toys for our ever popular Jarbola. On top of this, our Chair gave birth to a gorgeous baby boy just 3 weeks before the fair!

We had 20 or so stalls to organise and each year we try to incorporate some new attractions. This year we had ‘Nerf Gun Alley’ and ‘Cheese Rolling’ for the first time which were both a great success. Our School Choir opened the proceedings and we were also entertained throughout the afternoon by brilliant dance performances and a judo display. The stocks were also a popular attraction this year manned by brave governors and parents who had consented to being pelted with wet sponges! Our raffle is a great fundraiser with a cash first prize and others donated by generous local businesses. We hold this raffle twice a year and it is always a challenge to gather prizes so we are constantly on the hunt for new ones. With the bonus of a warm sunny afternoon, a delicious BBQ, tea and wonderful cakes everyone had a really fun afternoon and the PTFA could now put their feet up….but we have an open afternoon for the new September intake and Sports Day coming up so we had better put the kettle on!

Netherfield Church: Dates for your diary Sunday July 12, 2-5pm - Afternoon Tea at Aversden, Netherfield Hill, Battle, East Sussex, TN33 0LH. Fund raiser for Netherfield Church. All Welcome. Tickets £5 in advance, contact Emma on 01424 775283 or email Come and enjoy a full afternoon tea of finger sandwiches, scones, cream & jam and selection of cakes. There will also be a raffle and trampoline for the children (parents must supervise!)

Call my Bluff Evening: Thursday September 10, 7pm in the Church. Join us for an entertaining evening trying to work out who is telling porkies!! Audience involvement throughout and a sausage and mash supper at half time! Tickets will be on sale nearer the time priced at £7.50, but save the date! You can register your interest with Emma to reserve a place, call 01424 775283 or email

Harvest Festival: Church service at Netherfield will be at 11am on Sunday September 27 followed by Harvest Lunch in the Church. Save the date!

Autumn Fair: In Church, Saturday October 17, 10-12am. Offers of help to Emma please (usual contact details!)

St Nicholas Fair: In Church, Saturday December 5 10-12am. The infamous Polar Bear will be greeting visitors at the door and Santa will be in his grotto waiting to see all of the children. Save the date. Offers of help to Emma please (usual contact details)

If anyone has any ideas regards further fundraising activities that we could try or would be willing to host a coffee morning/supper club or help in any way we would love to hear from you.

Netherfield Breakaway Club: Review of recent activities of Netherfield Breakaway Club: with The White Hart pub, Netherfield under new management and refurbishment, the March meeting took place on Thursday 19th in the village hall. Our guest speaker was Tony Peters who gave an enlightening illustrated talk on the Rye Harbour Lifeboat. Tony, army trained, has spent his childhood around boats (his father being a voluntary Helmsman) and has been with the team at Rye for 12 years. He is now Project Manager and Lifeboat Education Officer for the station. There are 18 volunteers including shore crew and 5 women. There is a fast paging system for contacting the crew who are on standby whenever a rescue is required. The boats can hold 4 crew but can manage with 2 if necessary, maximum speed is 37 knots! There is now a tractor available to assist with launching and recovery. The RNLI was formed is 1824 and the worst disaster to occur was that of the Mary Stanford, launched from Rye in 1928 with 17 crew on board, the youngest being only 17 and when the boat capsized, not knowing that it had been recalled due to heavy seas and the signals not being seen, all crew were lost including several members of local families. A chapel has been built in their memory and a special service is held every year on the anniversary.

Tony showed us the layers of clothing worn from an inner suit, waterproof suit, helmet and lifejacket, each set personally fitted to its wearer and costing in the region of £800! As the RNLI receives no government funding we were made aware of the importance of fundraising to keep this vital service in action. Tony was thanked for his most interesting talk.

Members were notified of the outing to the Victorian Glasshouses at Hawkhurst on 21 May with the option of having lunch beforehand. There may be a change to our programme with an outing in July instead of September. Tea, coffee and biscuits were then enjoyed, the raffle was drawn.

The April meeting took place in the very comfortable newly refurbished White Hart pub, courtesy of our new host, Ron, and was very well attended. It had been decided to have a theatre trip in July to Eastbourne to see ‘The Sound of Music’ at The Congress. The cost being £32 a ticket plus £6 each for the coach. We will have a lunch at The White Hart in September instead of July. Congratulations were due to Pat and Derek Akers on the occasion of their 60th (Diamond) Wedding Anniversary in April, and a card was passed round for members to sign which will be presented to them at their celebration.

Our guest speaker, Elizabeth Manwaring, accompanied by her husband Len, (a previous speaker on his wartime exploits) gave a fascinating talk on her experiences as a wartime evacuee who, together with her mother, sister and brother, was sent to a farm near Barnstaple, Devon in 1939 to stay with a childless couple and happily became their family for a few years. Several members of the Club had also been evacuated to different places and could relate to Elizabeth’s memories, which were accompanied by many photographs, and her books. A total change of life and scene from Croydon, going to school by horse and cart, helping ‘Auntie and Uncle’ with the animals and enjoying a much more peaceful setting. The family returned home to Croydon to find their house not as they had left it and after leaving the peace and quiet of the Devon countryside it was not easy to settle down again. Elizabeth read out some extracts of her book, which had been written after her return visit to the farm in 2013, having kept in touch with the present occupants who were very pleased to see her. Questions were asked, discussion ensued and several books were sold. Elizabeth was thanked for her very interesting talk and then refreshments were enjoyed, with the raffle being drawn.

The visit to The Walled Nursery at Hawkhurst took place on a sunny day with several club members meeting for lunch prior to the visit. The history of the nursery and Victorian glasshouses goes back to 1275, set in beautiful Kent countryside and surrounded by a high, red brick wall, the nursery covers just over 2 acres. There are 13 glasshouses in total including a peach house, melon house, cucumber house, 5 vineries and a fernery, all of which are in use today. The Muscat vine is around 150 years old and is still producing grapes! This family owned and run business produces an abundant and varied selection of bedding plants, perennials, shrubs, annuals, roses and vegetables. Designed and built in the mid 1800s by the renowned Foster & Pearson of Nottingham (who completed several commissions for Queen Victoria) the group of 13 glasshouses are widely regarded as one of the finest and most intact in Britain. In 1904 Charles Gunther, creator of the Oxo cube, bought what was then known as the Tongswood Estate – this included the house which is now St Ronan’s School and the kitchen garden, which is now The Walled Nursery. We started with a seated lecture on the history of the Estate by Emma and heard how she and her husband Monty with their two young boys decided to take on this massive project of a lifetime! The nursery is on level ground and walking is easy. There is a lovely Shepherd’s Hut, recently acquired, where teas and coffees are brewed we all enjoyed delicious cakes and many plants were purchased! There is a fascinating shop selling old refurbished tools of many varieties, many not available now. The nursery is open daily for most of the year except mid December to end of January. Emma and Monty will be pleased to welcome you on 01580 752752 or email:

The June meeting on Thursday 18th from 3 pm at The White Hart, Netherfield, will have John Hayward of the Royal British Legion giving a talk on the ‘Origins of the Poppy’. New members/guests welcome.

St. Laurence’s Church: Catsfield this year is having a special evensong to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo on June 14. How is it special? The Rector has invited Sussex Harmony to provide the music. This choir based in Lewes specialises in sacred music from the 18th & 19th Centuries and dresses accordingly. In addition some of the music it performs has been copied from manuscripts originating from St. Laurence’s and now stored by The Sussex Archaeological Society in Lewes. The music is not accompanied by an organ but by violins, cellos, double basses, oboes, clarinets, flutes, recorders, and occasionally serpents and or trombones. The choir about 25 strong is also having a workshop beforehand for anyone interested in joining in the music as a singer or musician, enthusiasm rather than accuracy is the watchword. The Workshop is in the village hall (TN33 9DP) starting at 2pm. The evensong at 6pm at the church (TN33 9BG) about ¼ mile farther up Church Road. Anyone is welcome but if they would like to participate contact Mike Cooper or ‘phone 01424 892681 or Rachel or 01273 476837 to ensure we have enough copies of music available.

Brightling Park: Walled garden music fest 2015. Saturday & Sunday July 18 & 19. For more info & tickets

Shoe Bin: This is located outside the shop, please recycle all your unwanted shoes, boots and wellies.

Netherfield Post Office – we hold Euros in stock, all other currencies can be order for the next day. Health Lottery tickets also available 50p per ticket win up to £25000, £1 per ticket win up to £100000.

The Mobile Library: will be outside the shop from 12.45 to 13.05 on Tuesday June 16.

Battle Hard of Hearing Support Group – the next meeting will be held on Monday July 6 2015, from 2pm to 3:30pm at St Martins, (ground floor lounge), Mount Street, Battle, TN33 0DR. For more information please contact East Sussex Hearing Resource Centre on 01323 722505.

Contact me: I’d love to hear from any local groups, clubs or individuals with any news on upcoming events or reports on past events they would like included in this column, Email:

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at

2) Like our Facebook page at

3) Follow us on Twitter @BattleObs

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Rye and Battle Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.