Peasmarsh village voice

Peasmarsh churchyard
Peasmarsh churchyard

The Memorial Hall Committee met last week to celebrate and announce to the village that at last Big Lottery funding has been awarded for the refurbishment of the 80-year-old hall.

Those who have been patiently watching the thermometer outside the hall will see that it has taken a tremendous leap ! Grey Metcalf, Chairman of the Committee and indefatigable driver of this project announced the £270,000 grant to a rather disappointingly small audience at the AGM on August 13 following which everyone enjoyed a celebratory drink and refreshments while looking at the pictures taken at the Jubilee Fete in June. This success is the result of a great deal of hard work on the part of Mr Metcalf and his team, supported by the Parish Council. We also have to include in the list all those who have worked in the past to try to bring about improvements to the hall, some of whom, sadly, are no longer with us. All their efforts have culminated in this triumph.Work is expected to start in October, and over the winter while the hall is unavailable the committee hopes to house its regular users in the pavilion.

The success of the BIG application carries with it smaller grants which were dependent on it from Rother District Council, from the Little Cheyne Wind Farm, and from CSEP (Community Sustainable Energy Programme). These, together with continuous local fund-raising and individual donations, bring us within sight of the target we need.

We still need to raise more money – but we are confident we shall be able to do so with the prospect of a hall fit for the 21st century.

Another Peasmarsh success this week was the Working Party in the churchyard on Sunday afternoon. A wonderful collection of volunteers turned up ranging from 2 licensed chain saw operators, strimmers, hedge-cutters and brush-cutters to those with shears and rakes and scythes and cutlasses and secateurs.

The weather was good – but not as hot as Saturday - and the transformation is there for all to see. The mountains of clippings and cuttings grew and grew. The pond suddenly appeared ! (No water, but you can’t expect everything at once). Stones and memorials appeared out of the undergrowth. From the bench outside the church door it became possible to see the Liddell memorials.

All this was a wonderful experience, and those working did so in a really happy atmosphere, making new friends, (thanks especially to those who came from Rye, Winchelsea and Beckley), enjoying the satisfaction of a great result from combined effort (and in the case of young Tom, enjoying the cakes on offer in the stable). The work is by no means finished. If you missed the event, please drop in and make your own contribution – move some rubbish, clear a grave, tidy up some hedging.“When shall we do it again ?” was the question from a lot of hot, dirty, exhausted workers. “Soon” is the answer. Possibly the first Sunday in September. Watch this space! And “thank you!” to everybody who was there.

I hope everyone has noticed that at long last - again after a lot of work by the Parish Council - we finally have our VAS. Maybe you haven’t seen it yet - particularly if you have been driving at the correct speed which I’m sure all Peasmarsh residents do - but it is there to remind drivers of our speed limit and hopefully make them slow down!

The service at Peasmarsh church this Sunday will be Holy Eucharist at 3.30pm.

Mary Hitchins, 2 The Old Hop Gardens