COMMUNITY NEWS and REVIEWS: Many of us may think that January is a rather bleak month, with not much happening around us, either in or out of the parish, but look a little deeper and just like the bulbs which are insisting on popping their heads up through the layers of leaves and suchlike, there are a number of groups and societies within our community, just waiting to welcome you as a prospective new member. These range from the popular Art Group, to the leisurely Luncheon Club, the not-so-leisurely Pilates group, and the friendly and helpful Gardening Club, there’s the fun weekly Bingo nights or the W.I. with it’s wide range of interests within it’s portals - sadly only for women though !.and several others in between. Many of the local sports clubs will be beginning their new season’s sports fixtures soon and these clubs also would welcome new members, either as players or supporters. Look on the local notice boards, displayed around all three (3) villages, look on and don’t forget to check out what’s happening at the Herdman Pavilion, Ewhurst Green on to find out what’s on offer & what’s taking place throughout our parish. If education, be it academic or active, learning or leisure, is what interests you, then there are several evening classes to join at the local education centres, - ‘the world is your oyster’, as the old adage keeps reminding us, so why not join in and enjoy it.

EWHURST, STAPLECROSS & BODIAM GARDEN SOCIETY: Just a quick and gentle reminder that Saturday January 16th - that’s TOMORROW, will see the first of their new year Programme of Events take place. This will be in the form of their very popular annual ‘Quiz Night’ and will take place at the Village Hall, Northiam Road, Staplecross. Tables are for 4 ~ 6 and are £5:00 per head, but as this includes a superb supper of a variety of home made soups with lovely crusty bread to choose from, -all very yummy, - it bodes well for an inexpensive and fantastic night out among congenial company. You are also welcome to bring your own ‘tipple’ plus glasses if you wish. You don’t have to be an Einstein or a Hawking clone to enjoy this evening as the emphasis is on fun and friendly rivalry between the teams ! To see if there are any spare tables, or if you’d like to make up an additional team, then please come along and join in what promises to be a great night out. Another enticement, perhaps, is that you don’t have to be a member of the Gardening Society as this event is open to all - and you don’t have to be ‘green-fingered’ either - so double bonus’s all round. Please contact Pam on 01580~830230 or Ruth on 01580~831918 to check on the availability, - we look forward to seeing you there !.

ROTHER RAMBLERS: Two more walks for our enjoyment this week are planned by those members of the local walking group, and the first to take place is an eight (8) mile circular stroll from Rye via Peasmarsh. This is booked for Sunday January 17th and the meeting point is Rye Railway Station. OS EXP 125. TQ918205 (SatNav TN31 7AB) at 10.0am. Parking will be in the adjacent Cattle Market car park where parking charges will apply, or it’s free on nearby streets, if you are lucky enough to find a space. The train from Bexhill, Hastings etc is due to arrive at 9.37am.- but check for engineering works beforehand. A picnic lunch is once more suggested and Mary will be your lady ‘walk leader’ for this outing and you may contact her on 01424~753730 or mobile 07785~926598 for all further details. Walk no: 2, is in a completely different direction, but no less enjoyable to discover. This is a slightly shorter stride of only 6 circular miles of Cowbeech and is arranged to take place on Thursday January 21st. The meeting point for this excursion will be ‘The Merry Harriers’ pub, Cowbeech. OS EXP 124. TQ619145. (SatNav BN27 4JG) again at 10.00am. A picnic lunch is an option, with an alternative choice of a pub lunch upon return. - just the thing to warm you up and set you to rights again - those who will partake of this option may park in the pub car park, others, sadly will have to park nearby. Jane and Peter will be your ‘walk leaders for this meander and you may contact them on 01424~ 733300 or mobile 07732~366090 for more information.

STAPLECROSS LUNCHEON CLUB: Once again, those merry members of this little dining group will be making their way to the Village Hall, Northiam Road, Staplecross on Wednesday January 20th. 12.30pm when they will avail themselves of the delicious repast to be set before them. On the menu this month, will be Lamb Shank, with all the trimmings followed by Lemon Meringue Pie and cream, finished off superbly with tea or coffee. All this for the miserly sum of £6:00 per person and with no effort or washing up on your part. How brilliant is that ?. To reserve your place at our lovely and very friendly table, please telephone Sallie on 01580~830000 or Dennis on 01580~830816 for more details. We’d love to be able to offer you a very warm welcome, so please try and come along, meet this happy group and enjoy the fabulous food on offer.

MOBILE LIBRARY SERVICE: That brilliant little Mobile Library van will be back trundling along our country lanes once more, as it continues with it’s 2016 schedule. This time the white van will be visiting Ewhurst Green on Thursday January 21st but at a NEW EARLIER TIME of arriving between 10.40am and departing at 11.10am. (this was the original time for arriving here, so please ensure you put this new earlier time on your calendar.) This will also, be the ONLY VISIT this MONTH, so please don’t miss it. There are many things of interest within the portals of this wonderful, free, Library Service vehicle, so please come along and find out for yourself.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES: This is an advance notice of a ‘Charity Raffle’- with a difference, and is being organised to raise funds for two (2) very exceptional and local worthwhile charities. The first prize is a flight in a Spitfire aircraft of WW2 fame, from nearby Headcorn Aerodrome. As these tickets are limited to only 500, this could be your best chance of ever taking to the skies for a never- to-be-forgotten-memory-making minutes when you get to experience at first hand the thrills of being and flying in, this iconic aircraft. These amazing aircraft, of which there are only a handful left in working operation conjure up emotive memories for almost everyone, whatever their age group. Tickets are £10:00 each, with ALL profits going to the 2 charities - St Michael’s Hospice and The Royal British Legion. The draw for this fantastic raffle will take place on Saturday April 16th at 9.30pm. at The Cross Inn, Staplecross. For the ‘runner-up’ there will be a tour for 4 of the “Historic Aircraft Collection, consisting of the Spitfire, Hurricane, Hawker Nimrod and the Hawker Fury, at Duxford, Cambridgeshire. Sadly there will be a few restrictions to consider, namely height & weight and naturally some health concerns, may need to be factored in, together with the minimum of 18 years age group restriction. With the correct weather conditions permitting, this fabulous flight will be taken sometime during 2016. John Lederer, is the cheerful chappie to contact to enquire of more details and of course, to purchase your ticket. You may reach him on: 01580~830744 or Mobile 07748~483823. This seems an amazing chance to do something that many only aspire to, whilst giving much needed funds and support to these two fantastic charities, so don’t forget to buy a ticket, you have to be in it to win it, - and who wouldn’t want to be in it ?

CHURCH SERVICES: Church services for the parish of Ewhurst will commence at St, James the Great, Ewhurst Green on Sunday January 17th. Epiphany 2. at 9.30am. This service will include Holy Communion. Well known, Graham Atfield, will be conducting this service in lieu of Gordon Winchester. A service which will also include Holy Communion at St. Giles church, Bodiam will follow directly after at 11.15 am. I believe that Anthea Williams may conduct this service.There will be NO SERVICE at St. Mark’s church, Staplecross today and if there is any church matter on which you feel you may need further assistance, then do please get in touch. You may contact either - The Rectory, Ewhurst Green, or by telephone on 01580~830268. Help in some form, is always at hand.

PLEASE CONTACT ME: If your Group, Club, Society or Charity is planning to hold an event in the near future, - especially if it’s an event coming up in the foreseeable future and you’d like extra coverage, then do please get in touch with me to take advantage of some free publicity. Time marches on and we must march with it or get lost underfoot, so please let us help you to promote your event. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, - posh or poor, - 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 so please contact me whenever you can...........Thank You.

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