St John the Baptist Church: Remembrance Sunday 11th November - The Reverend Brian Llewellyn will be conducting the service at our church at 11.00 o'clock. The congregation will first gather outside at 10.45, beside the War Memorial and lay a wreath paying our respects to the soldiers who gave their lives in two world wars. Everyone is welcome to join us for a short while on this important day. Thanks Gillian.

Friday, 9th November 2018, 6:00 am

Netherfield Breakaway Club: The October meeting took place on Thursday 18th with an excellent attendance of members and guests. Our guest speaker was Sian Trevellion, her subject being ‘The Life and Times of Catherine Cookson’. A most enlightening presentation, with slides and a wealth of information of great interest to all present. We learnt that Catherine Cookson had spent much of her life in Hastings and the properties she owned are easily located and one has an identifiable plaque. Born in 1906 in the north-east, illegitimate, poor and catholic and starting her life seriously disadvantaged, Catherine was brought up by her grandmother.

There was a family secret here and Catherine did not know who her mother was. She was sent begging, collecting coal and to work in service - aged 12. At 13 she had a mental breakdown and went to a House of Healing in Hastings. She spent some years in Harton Workhouse, South Shields and moved on to Clacton-on-Sea as assistant laundress. Unfortunately her history moved with her and a friend told others of her background, who were most unpleasant and this resulted in Catherine leaving the laundry and moving to St Albans and Lichfield. She had wanted to be a nurse, specialising in physiotherapy and anatomy and was extremely talented, well-read and teaching herself French, the violin, drawing, painting, tennis, fencing, riding and writing! She became famous for her paintings but had also started writing novels using characters based on members of her family. In 1930 she moved to Hastings and lived in various places and in 1954 to St Helen’s Park Road where she bought more land and had a pool built in 1965 for daily swimming. She had met Tom Cookson, one of her many lodgers, and married him in 1940. Sadly their first child was stillborn and there followed three miscarriages. Having joined the Hastings Writers’ Circle Catherine met Major Charles Bush an agent and, after reading the first three chapters of ‘Kate Hannigan’ - thought to have been based on Catherine’s mother - she was given a £70 advance and her writing career took off. Catherine and Tom moved back to the north-east in 1976. 123 million books were sold by the end of 1998 and many posthumously. Catherine died, aged 92, nursed to the end by Tom, who died 17 days later. Her many achievements were appearing on ‘Woman’s Hour’, a serial for radio, TV serial, up to 80 books on the top 100 library list, an MA, OBE, and a DBE and a Best Writer Award. There were some films too! Catherine was an astute business woman and took out endowments, making money out of them. She left a Trust of £23,000,000 which was self-generated and is still very active. A Ward in the local hospital is named after her. An amazing lady who still inspires many readers and writers and left a legacy for so many.

Our November meeting will take place on Thursday 15th and the speaker will be Alan Marchant with the fascinating subject of ‘Gunpowder, Treason & Plot’! Our final social event of 2018 will be the annual Christmas lunch at The Brickwall Hotel, Sedlescombe on Thursday 13th December. Juliette Vane.

Pass & Move Under 13s: Our next home game is on Sunday 11th November Vs Uckfield Grasshoppers, 10.00KO. If you’d like more information on the team please go to and you can follow our results/progress online at

Netherfield Village Hall Library Service: Don’t forget the library is open from 2-4 pm Every Wednesday at the Village Hall.

Netherfield Village Hall Christmas Party: I had thought that everybody would have had some terrific ideas for our Christmas bash at the Village Hall. We need help to provide games and activities that people want to play or be involved in. If you are interested please let us know if you have any ideas you would like to suggest. That is what the community is all about. More later.

Netherfield Village Hall: I know it is that time of year when we are think what are we doing at Christmas. The shops are full of Christmas cheer and we are being bombarded with advertisements through the door, in the papers we buy and on-line. With the hall beginning to look at its best for years, suggestions would be welcomed on activities you think could be accommodated within its portals. Keep-fit; a children’s club; a jazz club; a photographic club; a youth club; tea-dances; a knitting club or maybe even a cinema? The list is endless. However, we need to know what you would like to see and do and whether we can accommodate it at the Hall. Therefore, if you are looking for a new venue, need help to get it off the ground and up and running, why not come and talk to us. We don’t bite and don’t even snarl. Send us an email with a few details of your idea, including a telephone number to [email protected] and we will get in touch to have a chat.

Netherfield Village Hall Halloween Night: And what a night it was. Pumpkins, music, dancing, games and food. All available to the children who braved the night and came to engage with us at the Village Hall. The music had a scary feel to it at the beginning, which was meant to get everybody in the Halloween mood, but that soon changed as the Cha-Cha Slide, Boom Chick Boom and the Macarena reverberated around the hall. There was a dance competition for the children and a doughnut eating competition, without getting any jam on their lips, for the parents. It was two hours of fun and frolics for the young at heart with music provided by our own, our very own Village Hall DJ, Musical Mo. He is available to hire with payment in Halloween pumpkins. Cheap at half the vegetables, sorry, price.

Netherfield Village Hall Bingo Night: Our regulars keep coming to enjoy the social interchange with the other players but also to wonder who will win the mounting jackpot. Each month, it goes up and the number of numbers required, in which to get the full house, gets bigger, This means that the big prize could one day be yours. Why not join us. The next night is Thursday 29th November. See you there.

Claverham Monday Badminton Club: My plea from last week worked as one of our ladies returned to get involved in the cut and thrust of extraordinary competition that is always evident on a Monday night at Claverham. Ok it may be on every other court rather than the ones associated with us, but life is not a bowl of cherries. Nine, yes nine, would be Gale Ems and Nathan Robertson’s were in attendance which included Marco, sorry Ben, I am not singling him out for praise this week, just that he likes a mention every now and again.

I have to say that it was a very intense week with some fantastic elongated rallies and a plethora of terrific shots, which would have graced any tournament. I think that the reasonably warm weather had put everybody in a good humour and the temperature in the Hall was ideal for getting the best out of people. Our system of constantly changing partnerships after every game certainly tests the ability of everyone to adjust their game according to the conditions. Sometimes it produces an all-conquering pairing when at others it can be a disaster. However, people tell me that variety is the spice of life.

More next week.

Reflections on a garden: We are still being plagued by a leak that has appeared in the waterfall tumbling down to our pond. Having searched, armed this time with a trowel, I believe I have discovered its source. As the waterfall flattens out before dropping into the main lake (delusions of grandeur I think on my part) it traverses a channel filled with large pebbles. These, after so many years are covered in verdigris and have weathered to a dark brown.

When all is ok with the world and right with the liner, a description like that would be a thing of beauty, but in the cold light of day and leaks, slimy comes to mind. Underneath those pebbles is a smattering of concrete, sitting on top of a section of butyl pond-liner. At the edges of this small, wet concourse, are stones, large and small which have been cemented in position at the time of construction. Are you still with me or have you fallen asleep? My good Lady tells me this column is better than a pill.

Having checked its entire length both visually and with the aid of my trusty trowel I think I have found the leak. It seems to be coming from underneath a flat part of the channel leading to the water. The trouble is how to repair cost effectively? Something seems to have punctured the butyl just beneath a large flat stone, which was cemented in place decades ago - well at least 16 years. I have to try and make this stuff readable. It ain’t easy you know.

I notice with my ever active eyesight, that a small but steady flow of water appears at this precise point of the construction and then spreads. With my trusty trowel and in an effort to resolve the situation I have made a thin channel which runs alongside the butyl to the edge of the pond. It does not totally eradicate the loss of water but does cut down on the amount, until a real solution can be found. This is almost like the beginning of a serial. I could keep this going for weeks.

It was also the time for leaf gathering. My good lady, armed with enormous green plastic hands, attacks the windblown piles of leaves which try to congregate in inaccessible places around the house. With a black sort of belt threaded though the green expanse, her hands are held securely in place, making them look like paddles used by plane-parking attendants on the runways at airports That is the green hands not my wife’s. However, practice makes perfect we are told and my good Lady has perfected the art of grabbing, squeezing, lifting and depositing in our wheelbarrow, which strangely enough, is a similar shade of green to the paddles, sorry, hands. I had never noticed that connection until this year. I must be getting more observant

More next week.......

Contact: If you have any stories or articles of interest that will give our readership a reason to buy the paper please contact me on email at [email protected] Call 01424838410 and ask for Maurice or text 07957588172