Netherfield Celebrations: It is the Queen’s official 90th birthday very soon. To mark the occasion the residents of Netherfield have organised two events.

The first of these is one primarily for the children. It is a children’s workshop taking place on Tuesday 31st May in the Netherfield Village Hall between the hours of 11 and 3. I am sure we all remember when we were kids the fun and delight of painting. So when of the attractions at the workshop is a chance to daub and splodge wet paint over a pristine white plate I know there will be many takers. There is a £3 charge for this particular activity to cover the cost of the plate.

There will also be a chance for all the children to make crowns and decorate birthday cards. The only stipulation is that each child must be accompanied by an adult who will be there just to carry home all the things that their children have made. Well the creative and hard work has been done by the kids.

In addition, to make sure that the children’s creative juices are not stifled by having to go home for food, a first rate lunch will be provided.

Secondly, on Sunday 12 June there will be the Queen’s Birthday Party Celebration taking place on Darvel Down. I am not sure if the Queen will be in attendance but I guess anything is possible. Even if she is not there the day will feature a host of attractions to amuse, engage and showcase what can happen when Netherfield wants to party.

For those with an abundance of untapped energy there is a “tug-of-war”. That is where two teams line up holding a long length of thick rope, grimacing and growling at each other and trying to fall over backwards as they vie for supremacy. The protagonists then try and dig holes in the turf with their heels while getting rope burns on their hands. The winners are always the ones who can fight off the pain longer than anyone else.

For the children there is a “bouncy castle” and a “children’s entertainer” to keep them additionally amused and engaged with the day. All the helpers and people involved would love you to donate food to make the day really special and if you can give up some of your time to assist on the day that would be fantastic.

Polish War Memorial Service: On Saturday 28 May there will be a Service at 3 pm at the Polish War Memorial, Darwell Hill, (B2096 at Netherfield) to honour the crew of the Wellington bomber which crashed into the tree at Doctors Farm on the night of 28 May 1941. This is the 75th anniversary of the death of the young Polish air crew and to give thanks for the life of Squadron Leader Stanislaw Jozefiak, the survivor who, after 60 years, found the site of the crash and built a memorial to his comrades. Stan sadly died on 12th December 2015 and a memorial has also been built in his honour by a Polish supporter, a member of the Polish Club of History Enthusiasts – ‘White Eagle’. Father Wilson from Battle will officiate at the service and it is hoped that there will be representatives from the Polish Embassy, Battle Town Council, branches of the Royal British Legion, Polish Historic Monuments Group, Robertsbridge Air Cadets and all those who recognise the immense input by the Polish forces during WW11. The event will be followed by tea in Netherfield church. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Battle Neighbourhood Plan: On Wednesday 25 May a meeting was held by the Steering Group for the Neighbourhood Plan to discuss the findings of the survey sent to all residents in the Parish of Battle. I will be reporting further in the next edition of this paper.

Reflections on our Garden: The daisies are appearing through the green of the grass like small diamonds gracing an emerald sea. A sure sign that summer is here. Our ash has started to leaf, some time after the oak. Are those “old wive’s tales” to be believed. A splash is much more to my taste after the winter we have had.

My good lady wife’s trepidation every year, as we thin the planting from the previous season’s growth, that it will never look the same again, has been discarded as usual as nature once again over compensates for the removal of the surplus greenery. The shoots of salvia, astilbe iris and ladies-mantle once again fill the largest of our varied beds. In fact, the cry is that we did not thin enough.

It is also a time of cautiously trimming the hedges. Birds are nesting so the need to once again have straight edges and the look of precision must incorporate anti-disturbance techniques. The wild life has a right to multiply as well.

As we are (nearly this year due to slugs) totally organic I spend some of my time weeding the drive. It is covered in pea-shale and retains the seeds blown in by the wind and dropped by all manner of birdlife. Therefore, my knees take a beating for a while until they harden up and take the strain. I find it therapeutic as it allows me to contemplate the world as I remove the few weeds and grasses that invade this space.

We are having a Summer House delivered on Tuesday, so by the time you read this it will be in place. Only a cheap one mind you. It will double up as a storage depot and replaces a Wendy House that the grandchildren used to play in. It is important that a garden is a place for work rest and play.

The hostas are showing their multi-coloured and lined leaves prior to bursting out with their blooms. They bring a touch of colour to the area around the pond which is surrounded by willow. Oh how I love this time of year when everything is covered in fluffy seedlings.

More next week....

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