Darvel Down, Netherfield: A planning decision at Rother District Council has agreed the erection of 25 new houses on an area of outstanding natural beauty adjacent to the Darvel Down estate. This was despite a majority of local residents opposing the plan.

Friday, 30th March 2018, 7:00 am

Netherfield Village Hall Bingo Night: The second bingo night took place at the Village Hall on Thursday 22 March. That may not appear to be much of a milestone but it indicates that there is a ground swell of opinion among the local residents of Netherfield to engage with attempts to utilise their facilities, that is the Village Hall, to the maximum. To engage in all the games throughout the evening costs less than a fiver and the anticipation of maybe winning on either a line or a full house gets everyone really excited. All joking apart nearly two thirds of the money taken during the evening is handed back in prizes, which seems like a pretty good deal to me. There is also a jackpot prize which increases by a fiver every session that it isn’t won. We are up to £16 already.

Claverham Monday Badminton Club: .Eleven is always a difficult number to manage when you play doubles at badminton. It can’t be divided equally between four per court so where do you go. You hope that someone else comes along to make up the numbers but that doesn’t always happen. So, do you dress up as Coco the Clown to keep three resting souls entertained for ten minutes at a time and preclude yourself from any games? Or, do you ignore the situation and let people get on with it? I know some people think I don’t need to dress up but that is not the answer. Singles is an option but that is extra hard work If you have any solutions, let me know.

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Netherfield Village Hall Jumble Sale: We are almost there. The next Jumble Sale is on 7 April at 10.00 am. The bargains are piling up almost on a daily basis with clothes, toys and so much more to delight everyone that comes along. All the money raised will go towards improving the facilities at the Hall which, unfortunately, is showing some signs of age due to the elements. However, new signage is everywhere which complies with our responsibilities. There are also splashes of paint on the walls, indicating the trials that have taken place so far, to select a new internal colour scheme. That is what your attendance and the money you spend at all the functions that are taking place, does for our community. So thank you everybody.

Netherfield Village Hall Easter Egg Hunt: On Sunday morning our intrepid volunteers were busy hiding plastic eggs around the Village Hall and the playing field. In the afternoon local children were set free to find them, guaranteeing a chocolate Easter egg of their choice would be the prize. In addition, a series of tables were put outside with paper, colours, eggs and glue so the children could make and paint. They were shown how to make little Easter baskets and paint like Picasso. Their enjoyment of these activities was evident from the laughter and screams of joy that accompanied their work. Local residents made cakes, brownies and chocolate nests so the children would not go hungry. There was also fizzy drinks, coffee and tea to keep the children and their parents fed and watered. What was great was the fact that everything was free for all those that attended The money raised over the last few months is to benefit the Netherfield Community and this is just one of the ways that will be achieved. That is why it is so important that we need your support. Donations were given by the parents as a thank you and that was very much appreciated.

Battle Neighbourhood Plan: The new call for sites has been loaded on the website and will be seen in this, the local paper, for those who may have a site that they are thinking of including in the development options for the Parish This has a proposed new closure date of 14 April 2018. Details are available on the website.

Reflections on a garden: Pulling the starter cord of the mower after the winter lay-off may not seem a strenuous pastime but it is when your efforts are not initially rewarded with a phut, phut, phut indicating the machine is slowly springing into life. What I hadn’t realised in my enthusiasm to get behind the push-bar was the lack of a tiger in the tank. Bone-dry, zilch, nada, nothing. Not even the chance of vapour to at least give the carburetor a whiff of something to work on.

I guess the scientific process of evaporation had taken place in the interim which is why my face now looks like an overripe beetroot. So, cap off the plastic petrol can, attach the long black nozzle to the exit hole and insert into the filler cap of the slumbering machine. After using a sat-nav to finally find my way through the smoke screen given out as a protest from the mower, I was able to wheel it out to the first patch of sward that was due for decapitation. Sounds like something akin to the revolution in France.

There is something immensely satisfying in seeing a line appear where once was a clump. Leaves that have intermingled with the uneven surface, altered by worm casts, blackbird dibbing and squirral burying suddenly look uniform and green after the mower has passed by on its journey of re-establishing order. Even though, weeds and unwelcome plant species have invaded your plot, once the grass is cut, the overall effect is that sanity has returned.

It is then the time to get out the utensil needed to extract the alien invaders that spring up in gravel paths, flower beds and vegetable plots. At least at this time of the year extraction is less of a trauma with the ground so wet.

It is also a time when frogs are prevalent around our pond. Not so much that we can hear them but that every stone we turn over, every bit of green we skim off the pond has either a frog or a newt buried in its mass. I am sure they are thinking this would be a good time to mate, but we don’t have a shallow spot which they can climb over each other to produce their spawn. Oh well, roll on the summer.

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