Karen Ayling, The White House, Dixter Road

Firstly, a huge thank you to everyone who supported the Garden Safari on Sunday – I thought the weather was going to be against us, but we ended up with a lovely summery afternoon, and a chance to catch up with familiar faces and meet interesting people. Thank you to the hosts who can stop the frenetic weeding and tweaking now, and to the tea-team who fuelled the safari-trekkers.

The good news is that we are on target to raise enough money to hold our Bonfire Procession, and that we have got a venue and a date – November 23rd at Frewen College (Brickwall). Now we start all the interesting stuff like making torches and filling in Health and Safety forms!

Well, that’s now over so on to all the other exciting things we have planned for the summer (whether or not the sun joins in).

This is the final weekend for South East Open Studios, so do try to visit at least one local artist – there are nearly 300 to choose from, many within a short drive from each other (eg in Battle, Hawkhurst/Sandhurst, Tenterden/Appledore) not forgetting our three artists in Northiam – Christine King at the K&ESR Station, Vincent Matthews in Monk’s Way and Terence Ayling at The White House, Dixter Road. All details at

It’s the Midsummer Supper Dance on Saturday in the Village Hall. There will be a live band (Coco) for dancing, and a two course hot meal. Tickets are £15 (£5 child) available from the Post Office and Anchorage, next to the school.

The Rye & District branch of the National Trust are holding their summer picnic at Smallhythe Place from 5pm followed at 6pm by a performance in the Barn Theatre of ‘Celebrating Shakespeare’, a light hearted romp with the bard devised and directed by Peter Mould. Tickets are £12 and can be purchased at Smallhythe Place reception desk prior to the event.

The Rye and District Association of the National Trust have a walk on Tuesday centred on Icklesham, a 7½ mile circular walk. Please contact Phil Maynard on 01797 260637 or email for more details and to register your interest in this walk.

Coffee Stop opens in the Church Centre each Wednesday between 10am and 12 noon, and either PC Collins or PCSO Unicombe will visit at 11am to meet with local residents and to discuss any issues or concerns they may have.

The Village Hall Coffee Morning Market will be held next Friday 10am until midday.

Next Saturday, 29th, is a big day – with the Primary School Summer Fayre 1am to 3pm on the school filed. There will be lots of stalls, games and interesting things to do.

The Horticultural Society’s Summer Show will be held in the renovated Great Barn at Great Dixter – a fabulous setting for a village event! Those of you who have been champing at the bit since the weather let us down in Spring will be looking forward to dazzling us with your floral fireworks. Luckily, there are sections for everyone to shine as there as there are also sections for Flower Arranging, Domestic and Photography. Exhibits should be set up between 9am and 10.30am.

Full details are given in the Schedule and if would like a copy please contact Joan Davis on 01797 253458. It really is great fun taking part in one of the Shows, so I do encourage you to take along at least one entry – it costs 20p a go, and there is the prospect not only of glory but also of monetary reward! How better to feel a part of rural tradition than to take your two lettuces or a specimen rose and exhibit them at Great Dixter? Go on!

Members and visitors will be very welcome to this unique venue from 2.30pm, and the prize giving will commence at 4pm.

On Monday July 1st St Mary’s plays host to four organists who will enjoy putting our lovely organ through its paces. Everyone is very welcome to come along and enjoy this special event which starts at 7.30pm, entry free (although donations will be welcomed).

And things are gearing up for the Flower Festival 12th – 14th July with most local societies and businesses taking part. There will be a Teddy Bears’ Picnic on Friday, Music for a Summer’s Evening from Mike Hatchard on Saturday, an Art Exhibition and much more – oh yes, wonderful floral displays! All that’s needed is your company.

The Historical and Literary Society’s special Summer Lecture, features international storyteller Dave Arthur with an evening of folk tales, songs and music from Sussex and Kent at the Barn Theatre, Smallhythe Place on Friday 19th July at 7.30pm. Tickets are £13 for members, £15 for non-members, including wine and nibbles and are available from Michael Clark 01797 253428.

The Parish Council is looking for volunteers to join the Community Speed Watch groups in Northiam. Volunteers will be trained by Sussex Police in the use of a radar gun and will work in teams of three. Vehicles exceeding the speed limit will be reported to Sussex Police, who will take further action. If you are interested, please contact Cllr Julia Keep on 01797-252395 or the Parish Clerk (Sue Keighley) on 01797-253990 or email

Services (23rd): 8am Holy Communion, 10.30am Morning Praise