Anne Reed,

As the end of this year draws slowly to a close, people can be forgiven for hurtling around a variety of shops or department stores, with never ending ‘Wish Lists’ and a harrassed, hurried and haggard expression on their faces. The reason, ~quite simply, ~ is that this is the Christmas period. The worst time of the year for shopping in any form, whether it’s for food, ‘must have’ presents or simply a Christmas tree. The world and his wife will have the same objects in mind as you, and will reach that object barely minutes before you do. Spouses will stand around, (never where you want them to be) and will happily agree to whatever you suggest in order to bring this expedition to a speedy conclusion. Having said all this, would I change any of it ? No, not for one second. For not only is the Christmas period, a stressful time-consuming age with credit/debit card plastic melt down but it’s also a most magical time. School activities, ie the emotional, adorable Nativity plays, the Christmas Fayres, schoolpals parties etc. may play havoc with your own timetable, as we whizz from one event to another, dropping off here and collecting from there, be it cakes, kiddies or costumes but we’d never change it. Meeting family and friends at various social events, like carol concerts, church services, a club or work social ‘do’ or just a quick get-together for a drink or a meal,may mean less time for our own pursuits, but the pleasures of sharing this special time of the year with those we love and care about, stretch to infinity. We may moan about the problems with the shopping,the cost of it all and those endless lists, our bad backs and tired feet, but as always, we do them with a smile on our faces and end up with smiles in our hearts, ~ we’re building memories.~”It’s Christmas”, ~ Let’s enjoy it !

The year drew to a close for the busy members of the Ewhurst and Staplecross Bonfire Society on Saturday December 7th when they held a Jumble Sale and Christmas Bazaar during the afternoon. This event attracted a lot of people, anxious for gifts and bargains in all shapes and size and an enjoyable time was had by all. The funds received from this function will go into the coffers, and will go towards charitable causes in their time honoured tradition. This event was followed the same evening with their annual carol service which was held at St. Marks church, Northiam Road, at Staplecross. This was a carol service with a diference. Not many people get to be escorted to church by flaming torches ! An ever popular event,this was once again well attended with many members, supporters and the public, meeting at the War Memorial. The weather even provided the perfect setting, cold and crisp, ~ just right for when the torches were lit to guide us in our short walk to this quaint little village church. The church was packed and all who attended enjoyed a wonderful traditional Christmas Carol Service. Following the close of the service, refreshments in the form of sandwiches, mince pies and mulled wine taken in the church room, helped keep the evening supporters in good cheer as the monies raised at the annual bonfire celebrations were given out to the worthy causes as chosen by the society. This year, the Bonfire Society were able to donate £1000:00 in total which was allocated to the following causes;~

M.S. Society - £50.

Ewhurst United FC - £50.

Demelza House - £150.

Sara Lee Trust - £100.

Parish Magazine - £25.

Firefighters Charity - £25.

St. Michaels Hospice - £150.

Netherfield Young Farmers - £100.

Robertsbridge School - £150. (towards Sports Hall Equipment.)

Staplecross School - £200. (£100 of which is towards Multi-Use-Games-Area

The Ewhurst & Staplecross Bonfire Society would to thank everyone involved with the society and to all supporters and members of the public who attended the recent Bonfire Night celebrations for their support and generosity. Any person wishing to join this friendly group should come along to the Cross Inn, Staplecross, for any of the society meetings, where they will be assured of a warm welcome. Please keep an eye on the local notice boards, the Village Voice, the Battle Observer for notices of forthcoming events and meetings.

Is there anyone out there that would like to take some ‘Time Out’ for themselves? Perhaps to have a break from all that frenzy and fancies some free, fresh air, amidst good congenial company, with a bit of healthy excercise thrown in ? The Rother Ramblers are organising a beautiful 9 mile ramble around Friston Forest, which will be wonderful at this time of the year. Taking place on WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 18th. the group will be meeting at at the National Trust ‘Crowlink’ car park (charges apply). BN200AX. As with a lot of these walks, a picnic lunch is suggested and again, man’s best friend can accompany you. What could be nicer than that? For all further details of this walk, please contact Adrian on 01273~514336.

Not had your fill of Christmas Festive food yet? Well, the Staplecross Luncheon Club, who are always willing to welcome new members, are holding their own Christmas Lunch on WEDNESDAY DECEMBER the Village Hall in Staplecross. Starting at a later time of 1pm for this special meal, this will be ably and superbly cooked, as always, by their own special cook June, along with all her band of merry helpers,who serve and collect, wash and wipe, and all with smiley, friendly faces. This will be a Christmas menu, with all the trimmings -not-to-be-missed. This friendly little social club meet on the third (3rd) Wednesday of each month 12.30pm (normal time) where we meet, greet and eat a delicious 2 course lunch followed by tea/coffee and chat. Rules are simple~ sadly, you have to be 50 years or over to belong and pay a modest £5:50 per person per meal, as you ‘book in’ at the door. The monthly menu’s are wonderful, varied, excellent quality and certainly very tasty and there’s always an alternative for you if agreed before hand. For any further details, please contact Anka on 01580~830260 who would love to set a place for you.

There’s nothing like a good old sing-song to enhance the community spirit. It brings out the companionship in us all, as well as lifting our hearts and spirits. It calms our thoughts and helps us all to feel good, and none more so, than at this special time of the year. Therefore, what better way to do this than by holding an evening celebration of Christmas with “Carols on the Green” All and sundry will be meeting on FRIDAY DECEMBER 20th at 6pm at Ewhurst Green. Any and all donations will be gratefully received and will go to the P.C.C. and naturally, will be made good use of. Anyone and everyone will be made welcome and traditional mulled wine and mince pies will be available for all to enjoy. The music of Christmas is everywhere and is for the enjoyment of all. It doesn’t matter if you can sing or not, carols are for everyone ~ and everyone knows Christmas carols. So come along and be part of this wonderful and happy community spirit. Join in this lovely celebration, in an age old traditional way of telling the story of Christmas, ~ by simply singing about it.

Church services for the parish of Ewhurst will be held at St. James the Great, Ewhurst Green on SUNDAY DECEMBER 15th. Advent 3. at 9.30am. Holy Communion. There will be NO SERVICE at St. Marks church at Staplecross. The service will be conducted by Reverend Gordon Winchester who will be pleased to offer you any assistance in all church matters. Please contact him at the Rectory on 01580~830268.

A few quick and gentle reminders;

Friday.December 13th. Ewhurst, Staplecross & Bodiam Garden Society are holding their Christmas Party. 7pm in the Village Hall in Staplecross. This is an excellent social group for all those with an interest in anything and everything horticulural.Meetings generally take place on the 3rd Thursday evening of each month, with a full and varied Programme of Speakers,- events and interesting visits, there’s sure to be something of interest to you. The Membership fees are a miserly £ 7:00 per annum with discounts from many local nurseries available to members. Talks are free and guests are only charged a fee of £2:00 a visit. Pop in, say hello, enjoy the benefits, make new friends. Become a member !

Brede High Woods are holding what promises to be a fascinating Christmas Family Craft Day on Saturday 14th December from 10am to 1pm. This family event,will show you how to make festive crafts and decorations using found natural woodland objects. Come and try it and see, - you’ll never realize your potential, until you try. This is a free event, but numbers are limited. Please book your place by contacting Martin Felstead on 0845 2935734 or at

If you have an event coming up or wish to have more coverage for your group, social club or society, please contact me, outlining their organisation aims , the activities and membership and anything else you feel may be of interest. Ring me on 01580~831881 or email me at :

Please allow as much notice as possible to take advantage of the best and longer coverage and publicity. Always to your advantage.