Netherfield Breakaway Club: The October meeting on Thursday 15th took place at The White Hart, Netherfield and we welcomed back Juliet Williams with her ‘Extend’ excercise routines. These gentle but excellent strengthening, stretching and loosening exercises are chair based and very suitable for all abilities and ages, and can be done in a smaller room, depending upon how many wish to take part. We found there was sufficient room for members to ‘extend’ themselves and warm up and work all muscles from heads to toes. Accompanied by popular music and directed by Juliet we all enjoyed her varied movements and were able to use props comprising of scarves and soft balls which, with increasing speed caused much hilarious confusion and laughter from everyone. A very happy time was had by all and Juliet was given a vote of thanks. I am sure she will be invited back in the not too distant future!

Members were reminded of our annual Christmas lunch at The Brickwall Hotel, Sedlescombe – 12.30 for 1 pm on Thursday 10 December. Teas, coffees and biscuits were served and the raffle was drawn.

Our November meeting on Thursday 19th saw the welcome return of another very popular speaker - Terry Kane, a local writer, radio operator and broadcaster, who started his career in radio and moved on to work in Ealing TV studios and Lime Grove film studios. Terry gave us a very amusing insight into his interesting career which also involved being on local radio in Hastings during 1992. We had a nostalgic afternoon listening to the many and varied excerpts from numerous radio programmes Terry had recorded from BBC wartime shows through to the 1950s and clips from shows. Children’s favourites – ‘Listen with Mother’ and The Magic Roundabout brought back memories, Mrs Dale’s Diary, The Archers, Family Favourites, Educating Archie, In Town Tonight, The Goons, Journey into Space, Dixon of Dock Green and detective stories amongst many others , plus historical broadcasts – Winston Churchill – and wartime songs from Dame Vera Lynne. Terry was assisted by Adrian who produced a genuine wartime gas mask and demonstrated its use! We were sad when this talk came to and end but enjoyed the trip ‘down memory lane’ and I am sure we will be seeing Terry again. For anyone interested in Terry’s unique collection of recordings his phone no. is: 01424 437770.

We then enjoyed our refreshments, drew the raffle and looked forward to our next get-together at The Brickwall Hotel.

The Christmas lunch was once again a great success, the garden room was warm and comfortable seating over 30 members and guests. The food was as always first class and our ‘Secret Santa’ well received. Marion, our Chair was thanked for all her hard work throughout the year arranging outings and venues; Ann for all her input in obtaining all the guest speakers, organising and telephoning and drawing up the year’s programme; Rosemary for looking after the finances so well, keeping us afloat and balancing the books; Marion Davis for joining us on the committee this year and ‘volunteering’ to take the minutes at all the meetings and assisting Sheila with the raffle; Juliette for looking after the publicity and all those who provide raffle prizes and help with the raffle if required.

We look forward to another year of interesting and varied speakers, outings, lunches and to welcoming guests/new members. We meet monthly (except August) on the third Thursday, 3 pm, at the White Hart, Netherfield, where we receive a warm welcome from the staff and we wish everyone a very happy, healthy and peaceful 2016.

Our January meeting will take place on Thursday 21st. Mike Beswick, one of our very popular speakers will do a presentation on ‘Every Picture tells a Story’. This will be up to his usual excellent standard. On 18th February Madeleine Ballisat – local resident will speak about her career as a nurse – the ‘Seven Ages of a Nurse’. This will also be very interesting. Please come and join our friendly group.

St Nicholas Church Fair: St Nicholas fair was held in church on the first Saturday in December and included the ever popular Brunch with Santa. Santa was in his festive grotto and welcomed the children to come and see him and receive a gift. Letters were written detailing Christmas present requests and the bacon butties just about lasted to the end of the event! The school PTFA had a stall, there was a raffle, lucky dip and a produce stall. The giant singing polar bear was on hand to greet visitors and a very festive atmosphere prevailed. Thank you to everyone who came a long and supported the event and to everyone who helped set up and dismantle the grotto, provided and cooked the brunch, cooked for the produce stall, donated prizes for the raffle and helped on the day. An extra special thank you to Santa for joining us too! We raised £250 which is fantastic as this event is more about community spirit than fund raising, but it does help!

It was lovely to see the church full of children, parents, grandparents and other well wishers for the school carol service on 16th December. The children read beautifully, sang loudly and enjoyed their time in church immensely. It is lovely when the church and school come together especially at this time of year and Ann-Marie gave the blessing. We are very proud of our church links and are very lucky to have two very dedicated foundation governors who support our school in many ways (including our annual Christingle service at the beginning of December).

We had a packed house once again on Christmas eve at 5pm for the crib service. Lots of local families from Netherfield, Mountfield and further afield joined us for this very special of evenings. The children undertook their duties very well and all who participated had volunteered their services, which is heartening to see ( the prospect of a chocolate selection box might have helped!). It was fantastic to see several of our newly baptised children in Church for this service too. We managed without an organist (just) and even working microphones (more fund raising required!) and the church looked lovely with all the candles lit. We hope that those who came along enjoyed the service and felt that it was a fitting start to the Christmas celebrations to follow the next day. Thank you again to everyone who took part and helped in any way with this service, especially the children (and young adults), it is you that make it so special for us grown ups. Thank you also to Paul and Maureen for ensuring the church was warm and lighting all the candles.

If anyone would be interested in joining the Parochial Church Council and assist with fund raising for our beautiful church we are very open to all offers. We need more members and fresh ideas. We meet approx. 4 times per year. Please contact Emma Kersey on 01424 775283 or via email on if you can help.

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