NEW LOCAL HOUSING DEVELOPMENT OPENING CEREMONY: Residents of Ewhurst parish may be forgiven for wondering just what was going on at the newest housing development, ‘The Hop Gardens’ in Staplecross last Friday September 12th. Set in close proximity to the Staplecross Playing Field and St. Mark’s Church, this charming small housing project was made possible through close liason with Ewhurst Parish Council, Rother District Council, and Hastoe Housing Association. In 2010 E.P.C. recognised the issues facing their community regarding the shortage of social and affordable rural houses and were keen to promote such a scheme within their parish in line with their own Local Action Plan requirements. A ‘Housing Needs Survey’ identified the demand for a small scale development and due to the generosity and goodwill of local landowners Mr & Mrs. N.Hedges, a small piece of land was made available for just this use. Building works began in 2012 and after a ‘little hiccup’ was finally completed in April 2014. With banners fluttering, a tree on the grass verge awaiting planting and various people milling about in the roadway, another important project of Ewhurst Parish Council finally came to fruition. Working closely with Rother District Council and the Hastoe Housing Association this lovely little development of eight stunning, individually designed houses was at long last officially opened. All these houses are bright, airy and full of innovative ideas such as super insulation, PV panels, water saving taps & shower fitments, low energy light fittings, and rain water harvesting. No two houses are exactly alike which only adds to their individuality and charm. After the welcoming introduction by Sue Chalkley, the Chief Executive of Hastoe Housing Association, Cllr Jacqui Hyett representing Ewhurst Parish Council on behalf of Chairman Brigitte Fifield, who was unable to attend, gave a short resume on how this development came about and how important it is to our community. Councillor Joy Hughes who is the Spokesperson on Housing and Older People at Rother District Council officially cut the ‘Red Tape’ that was strung across the pathway and amidst much merriment, the tree, - an apple tree, no less, - was finally planted. The guests in small groups, were then given, eagerly awaited guided tours to three of these homes with the kind permission of the occupiers, - one who even had special permission to be absent from school just for this occasion, -and without a doubt, all visitors were amazed and delighted and some even rather envious, at just how lovely these clever designed properties are. All those associated with this development, from start to finish, however large or small a part they played, wish the occupiers of their new, super homes every happiness within them for many years to come.

Church cycle ride: Many of you may recall that our well known local resident, Alastair Neill, was recently due to repeat his annual cycle ride around the churches of the County in order to aid the funds for the Sussex Historic Churches Trust. Well, you’ll be pleased to know that Alastair managed to visit 14 churches in all, and covered 30 miles on his trusty steed. He also raised at least £300:00 for this important and very worthy cause of which 50% will go to our own church. So, Alastair, on behalf of us all, Thank You for all your time and effort, so generously given ...and very “Well Done” !.

Grand Auction: Just a quick and quiet reminder of two local events that are both taking place this weekend within the parish. Organised by two local groups, distinctly different, but which both have their own separate charitable end results in mind. First reminder is to encourage all and sundry to pop along to The White Dog Inn at Ewhurst Green, 7.30pm. this evening Friday September 26th. and make a bid for a great bargain during the Ewhurst & Staplecross Bonfire Society’s Annual “Grand Auction of Promises” There is a huge variety of lovely “promises” to choose from and great bargains can be made for all who participate.There is something to tempt all members of the family and with live music provided by ‘The Chandeliers’ it promises to be a lovely evening for everyone. For all further information please contact John at: or Louise at

Step up and dance: The second reminder is for tomorrow Saturday September 27th when a ‘Step Up & Dance Social Evening’ will be held at Staplecross Village Hall. Beginning at 6.30pm this event, on behalf of the local Line Dance groups which are run and organised by Helen Day will feature both modern and traditional routines and is sure to get your toes a’tapping and your hands a’clapping !. Tickets are £5:00 for those wishing to dance and only £3:00 for non dancers, guests and the curious. It’s not obligatory to know how to line dance, as the steps are simple and repetitive, therefore making it easy to follow and great fun to do. The music will soon have you singing along and before you know it, you’ll be up on the dance floor, singing and foot stomping along with the rest of them. Please bring along your own choice of nibbles & refreshments, but tea/coffee will be available. For tickets and all further information on this great event amongst congenial company, please contact Helen on 01797~252087 or Go on, -- give it a whirl !

HARVEST FESTIVAL: Staplecross M.C.Primary School will be holding their annual Harvest Festival service on Friday September 26th in the lovely little church of St. Mark’s in Staplecross. This is a time honoured but much loved event thoroughly enjoyed by all who attend. As usual many citizens of Staplecross -of ‘a certain age’-- will be invited to attend this festival and share with our precious schoolchildren this long standing practise and then afterwards to also enjoy sharing in the delicious afternoon tea, sandwiches and cake that will be taken in the church room. Guests and schoolchildren alike take great delight in this occasion making sure that this special little age old tradition continues whilst ensuring that the old and the young alike learn that ‘Sharing Is Caring’. --- and that’s good for us all.

ROTHER RAMBLERS: Continuing to enjoy this ‘Indian Summer’ along with the rest of us, the members of the Rother Ramblers have planned two more walks for our enjoyment this week. The first walk is an 8 mile Windmill Hill - Wartling - Hooe - circular and with beautiful scenery all around as you stroll along this could be a delightful walk for everyone who enjoys the ‘Great Outdoors’. Planned to take place on Wednesday October 1st all interested parties will be meeting up at 10.0am. in the layby outside the entrance to the Science Centre on the Wartling Road.(SatNavBN271RX) As usual your doggy pals can also come and stretch their legs alongside you and a picnic lunch is also suggested. The ‘Walk Leader’ on this occasion is Adrian and you can contact him on 01273~514336 for all further information. Walk No: 2. will take place on Sunday October 5th and this will be a slightly longer walk of a mere 10 miles as you meander throughout Wadhurst Park. Again all those interested in joining in on this walk and enjoying the glorious scenery everywhere, will meet up at 10.0am in the main car park in Wadhurst, near the Greyhound Pub (SatNavTN56AX) Dogs are again permitted to enjoy this stroll with you and a picnic lunch is also suggested. The ‘Walk Leader’ in charge of this walk is David and you can contact him on 01580~852432. for any further details.

CHURCH SERVICES: Church services for the parish of Ewhurst will commence at St. James the Great, Ewhurst Green on Sunday September 28th for a special Harvest Festival service at 9.30am which will include Holy Communion (BCP) there will be NO SERVICE at St. Giles, Bodiam today. A service will follow at St. Mark’s church, Northiam Road, Staplecross at 11.15am which will also feature Holy Communion (BCP) These special Thanksgiving services are available for everyone to come along and enjoy not just the residents of our community.The special time of these Harvest Festivals and Thanksgiving Services allows us to show our appreciation of what we all have and of how we can share it with those less fortunate. At the service held at St. James, a collection is being set up for the local food bank run by the Trussel Trust. The charity welcomes all donations but are especially grateful for Milk (UHT or powdered); sugar; cartons of fruit juice; tinned foods; soups; pasta sauces; tea bags; instant coffee; cereals; pasta; and rice. All contributions will be most gratefully received and however large or small the donations, they’ll all go to a really deserving cause. For all further details of this charity check out their website at or locally, ~ please contact John on 01580~830830.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW: about your own Club, Group, Charity or Society and whatever events they have planned and I’ll do my best to spread the word to make sure that your events, celebrations, functions or ‘do’s’ are publicised and promoted, therefore helping you make a greater success of your own ‘Big Event’ Thank You.

Anne Reed