COMMUNITY NEWS & REVIEWS: ~ “Welcome Back” ~ May I begin by wishing you all a very “Happy New Year”, - this message may be a bit belated but being this is the first Village Voice column for our parish for 2016, I wanted to ensure it was not missed out altogether. So however you enjoyed Christmas & the Festive Season, - now, sadly I’m sure, fast becoming another memory, I wish you all, as this new year slowly unfolds, much love, luck and laughter - with a large helping of ‘Good Health’, thrown in !.

THE NEW YEAR: makes many of us think of new beginnings, - either in the form of those “New Year Resolutions”, - be they silly or serious, or whether it’s in the form of considering joining new clubs, groups, or societies, or devoting some time to our favourite charity or special good cause, or perhaps even thinking of taking up a new hobby or sport, or a new activity. Whatever we may decide to do -- or not do -- this could be the perfect time to think about it. - the shortest day of the year has already come & gone and to maybe help and encourage us even further, - though at present, it seems hard to believe, - it won’t be long until Spring arrives, along with nicer weather & longer days !. We are very lucky within our parish, as with these ideas in mind, there are a goodly number of clubs, societies, sports activities, social groups, and charities in which to ponder on. Please check out the local notice boards,- or,- the Parish News and of course, this column for more information. All of these clubs, groups and societies welcome new members, so why not consider widening your horizons, add a new skill, make a few more friends and think about joining one of these available.

ST. MICHAEL’S HOSPICE: This amazing and very worthwhile charity is looking for people to open their gardens this year -2016- as part of their ‘Open Gardens’ season, later on in the year. If you feel that you would like to take part in this event, then please contact Sally Beresford, who is the Community Fundraiser on 01424~456369 or contact fundraising This charity provides an amazing service and this may be a lovely way to help raise always much needed funds for them. You don’t need to have immense acres styled by Capability Brown to show off, or a landscaped plot to rival Hampton Court Palace, just a lovely garden, loved by you - which in turn will be loved by others. Please give them a call and register your interest in this scheme.

ROTHER RAMBLERS: Once more those intrepid travellers of our beautiful pathways, the members of the Rother Ramblers, the very popular walking group, will be out enjoying themselves in the free fresh air, as they have two (2) more walks lined up for our enjoyment this week. Walk No: 1 is a 6.5 mile stroll of ‘Northiam South Circular’ and is planned for Sunday January 10th. The meeting place is the Northiam car park. OS EXP 125. TQ828245. (SatNav TN31 6NQ) at 10.00am. A brief picnic stop is suggested and being that it’s close by and of a small foot ‘mileage’, this may be just the stroll for you to try out. Julia & Con are the ‘walk leaders’ for this outing and you may contact them on 01424~ 437928 or mobile numbers 07743~940638 or 07834~698107 for more details. Walk No:2 is a slightly longer stroll, but not less interesting. This walk is an 8.5 mile ‘circular meander from Broad Oak, Heathfield’. Arranged to take place on Wednesday January 13th the meeting place will be the Broad Oak CP School, Scotsford Road, Broad Oak. OS EXP 136. TQ607226. (SatNav TN21 8UD) A picnic lunch is again suggested and the ‘walk leader’ for this outing will be Martin and you may contact him on 01424~752793 for all further information.

STAPLECROSS & EWHURST GREEN WOMEN’S INSTITUTE: Those cheery and friendly ladies of our parish W.I. will be making their way once more to St. Mark’s church room, Northiam Road, Staplecross for their first meeting of the new year. Taking place on Tuesday January 12th and beginning at 2.30pm. they will be eager to meet and greet old friends and catch up on news and notices within this very friendly social group. This meeting is entitled “Time for Talk”, and with no speaker booked, this is a splendid opportunity to do just that, whilst enjoying that unbeatable accolade, - a W.I. afternoon tea !. Women of all ages, will always be warmly welcomed and with a wonderful wide and varied ‘Programme of Events’ to suit all interests and to enjoy, why not make this a date to put on your own calendar ?. Please contact Ann on 01580 ~ 831944 for all further details of what these ladies and possibly you, can look forward to.

EWHURST PARISH COUNCIL: This will be the first EPC meeting of 2016 and will take place on Thursday January 14th. at 7.30pm at St. Marks church room, Northiam Road, Staplecross.This meeting is open to the public and press alike and allows all residents of Ewhurst Parish community the perfect opportunity to come along and have your say. Along with your own Parish Councillors, there are usually representatives from both Rother District Council (Mr. Tony Ganly) and East Sussex County Council (Mrs Angharad Davies). During ‘Public Question Time’, you’ll be able to question, query, comment or complain on any or all of the things going on within our parish. We are here to listen to what you have to say and what you want ( or NOT want) to happen within this community. We are all working on your behalf, to make our parish and our community a better, safer and happier place to live, work and enjoy being in. Look for the big banner outside, - there’s usually sufficient car parking available for all, and all will be made very welcome.

EWHURST, STAPLECROSS & BODIAM GARDEN SOCIETY: This popular and very friendly horticultural society are marking the beginning of what proposes to be a busy but enjoyable new year by hosting their annual Quiz Night. Taking place on Saturday January 16th at 7.00pm. in the Village Hall, Northiam Road, Staplecross, this is always an enjoyable evening with the rivalry between the teams taking part, only of a friendly nature. This is NOT just a quiz about ‘gardening knowledge’, as the questions will cover a vast range of topics, so please don’t feel that if you’re not ‘green-fingered’ you’ll be somehow be left behind. This will certainly not be the case !. Tables will be of teams of 4, but if you’d like to come, but cannot make up a team, then please do book and we will sort out any ‘hiccups’ on the night. The cost of entering is a miserly £5:00 per person, AND this includes a delicious supper of various Home Made Soups with yummy crusty bread, and please feel free, of course, to bring your own beverages and glasses to enjoy alongside it, - To make sure you don’t miss out on this really enjoyable evening, - even if you don’t win any prizes, - please book your Team/Table,~ by contacting either Pam Dance on 01580~830320 or Ruth Close on 01580~831918. - Don’t forget to choose a ‘Team Title’ also, -- the funnier, - the better !. As previously stated, this a fun and friendly quiz event and is open to one and all, - not just the Garden Society members, so please come along and enjoy what promises to be another great evening’s entertainment.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES: STAPLECROSS LUNCHEON CLUB~ Just to remind you that the next meeting of this lovely little dining group will be Wednesday January 20th. As usual, it will be held in the Village Hall, Northiam Road, Staplecross beginning at 12.30pm. On the menu this month will be Lamb Shank with all the trimmings followed by Lemon Meringue Pie. How delicious is that ? Cost is £6:00 per person and you may book your table setting by calling Sallie on 01580~830000 or Dennis on 01580~830816. We look forward to seeing you there.

CHURCH SERVICES: Church services for the parish of Ewhurst will commence at the church of St. James the Great, Ewhurst Green on Sunday January 10th. Epiphany 1. at 9.30am. There will be NO SERVICE held today at St. Giles church, Bodiam but a service will follow directly afterwards at St. Mark’s church, Northiam Road, 11.15am. Many of you may already know that our much loved Reverend Gordon Winchester, is feeling rather poorly at present, so Dick Dengate will be conducting the church services for today, in his place. I’m sure that you will all join me in sending Gordon a special “Get Well Soon” message, filled with our love and prayers for a speedy & complete recovery.

PLEASE CONTACT ME: If your Group, Club, Society or Charity is planning to hold an event in the near future, - and you’d like extra coverage to start the ball rolling, then do please get in touch with me to take advantage of some free publicity. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, - posh or poor, - inside or out - if it’s of interest to you, --- it’s of interest to us. It’s never too early to let me know what you are planning for 2016, for what is sure to be a busy and exciting time for us all, so please contact me whenever you can..........Thank You.

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