COMMUNITY NEWS & REVIEWS: It is with great sadness that I pass on the news of the demise of one of our residents. Linda Mann, a well known and much respected resident of Staplecross community lost her fight against that hateful disease Cancer and passed away suddenly, during the early part of last week. After doing ‘the daily School Run’, we shared many a long while, at the top of the hill,- purporting to be on our way back home,- discussing all the subjects under the sun and putting the world to rights - and sometimes - just gossiping ! Linda was a great help to many a Mum & Dad in her child-minding business and was also a source of help & information in all her activities within the parish. She was a happy and very friendly lady - always ready, willing and able to lend a hand whenever needed and her presence within the community will be sorely missed. We would like to send our sincere condolences to her husband Phillip and all her family.

ROTHER NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH: This group will be holding it’s first meeting for 2016 and this will take place at the Town Hall, Bexhill on Friday February 19th. The speaker at this event will be the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne. Tea & coffee will be served from 1.30pm, with the meeting then getting underway, in earnest starting at 2.00pm. Neighbourhood Watch isn’t about “curtain twitching”, or spying on your neighbours to see what they are up to, - it’s about neighbours looking out for each other, helping to create a caring community by merely being aware of and reporting any suspicious activity or something you feel is unusual in your area. By keeping an eye out for your neighbours, you can help police stop crimes from happening. If there is no such scheme in your area, then why not consider setting one up, as this may be the ideal time with all the help and support that’s available, to do so. To find out more please contact: Go along and find out just how you can help as there has never been a better time to join this scheme.

ROTHER RAMBLERS: Once more, those ‘out & abouters’, those stalwart members of the Rother Ramblers will be strolling in and around our lovely countryside once more, as they have again lined up two (2) more walks for us to enjoy. Walk No: 1 is arranged to take place on Sunday February 14th. and is a 10 mile circular walk around Wadhurst via Woods Green. The meeting point is the Wadhurst car park, near to the Greyhound Pub. OS EXP136. TQ640317 (SatNav TN5 6DR) at 10.00am. David will be your ‘walk leader’ for this excursion and you may contact him on 01580~852432 for all further details. As usual a picnic lunch has been suggested. Walk No: 2 is a slightly less leg mileage as it’s only (!) an 8 mile meander taking in some of the 1066 path. Entitled “a Country Walk” and based around the ancient and historical village of Icklesham, this delightful walk is planned for Wednesday February 17th.The meeting place is on the main road, opposite the playing field. OS EXP124. TQ878164. (SatNavTN36 4BN) at 10.00am. Please park in the lay-by’s on the main road, wherever possible. Bus No:100 arrives from Hastings at approximately 9.45am. Again, a picnic lunch is suggested and Janet will be your lady ‘walk leader’ for this stroll which is described as ‘ easy, with a few gentle hills’. You may contact her on 01424~420570 or mobile No: 07901~580859 for all further information.

‘FEED THE BIRDS EVENT’: A superb ‘Half-Term drop in’ event has been organised by the Sussex Community Rail Partnership to provide a few hours of fun whilst giving our wildlife a helping hand. Arranged to take place on Tuesday February 16th between 10.00am and 12.Noon, the meeting place is “Lime Kiln Cottage, in Rye Harbour, which is a short distance from the train station in the town.. This friendly, enjoyable - and secretly educational - event, will give both children and adults (of all ages !) the opportunity to get messy and have a go at making tasty treats and feeders for all our feathered friends. This may also encourage us all, especially the children, to take a closer interest in our garden birds, therefore helping to protect them and their future, at the same time as having fun. For more information on this event, please telephone 07891~556897 or contact

STAPLECROSS LUNCHEON CLUB. Back again after a week or four, this lovely little Dining Group will be meeting on Wednesday February 17th. from 12.30pm in the Village Hall, Northiam Road, Staplecross. As stated before, new members ( of 50 years young and over!) are desperately needed to help keep this very friendly and happy social group from becoming just another sad village reminder of yet another lost activity. On the menu this month, and back by popular request, will be ‘Turkey & Ham Pie, with potatoes and fresh vegetables followed by a yummy Cheesecake dessert with all the trimmings. If this is not to your taste - or dietary needs - then let the organisers know, and an alternative meal can always be provided for you.The menu’s are always very varied, delicious, plentiful, reasonable and freshly cooked and with no clearing up or washing up involved, there’s really no reason for you not to come & be a part of it. -- so no excuses. ‘Rules’ are few & far between, - you have to be ‘of a certain age’,- and promise, whenever possible to attend each month - this avoids unnecessary wastage in food, time, money and energy - so important in this day and age, when economy matters. You don’t even have to live within the parish as many of our valued diners come from outside our villages. Also, you don’t have to have lived in the community for a generation or more, before you are ‘entitled’ to join. This means that if you have recently moved into the parish, in any of our three villages, then this could be just the opportunity you need to make new contacts, colleagues and of course, new friends. So please, just give the two organisers a ring - Sally on 01580~830000 or Dennis on 01580~830816 for all further details and to make your reservation. Please come along and support us, and you’ll soon be a very welcome and much valued member of this lovely sociable dining group.

MOBILE LIBRARY SERVICE: Once more, we look forward to welcoming the little Mobile Library Service as the van, carrying all the exciting goodies on board, wends it’s way through our little countryside lanes on it’s way to our little communities. It’s first visit, on Thursday February 18th will be to Staplecross, where it will park in Cricketers Field, between 1.40pm and 2.10pm. Following on from that session, it will then meander down to Cripps Corner, - where it will use the car park of the White Hart Inn, - courtesy of the kind landlady, between 2.20pm and 2.45pm. The residents of this little hamlet can then avail themselves of this vital and much needed service. Please do make as much use of the facilities on board when the van visits your areas. The Library is about more than just books, so please come along and see for yourself and help keep this service going for the benefit of all who live in our outlying rural areas and perhaps, cannot always easily access the Main Branch facilities.

OUT & ABOUT: A gentle reminder that a horticultural Lecture Evening is planned for Friday February 19th when Crowhurst & District Horticultural Society will be pleased to welcome and introduce their guest speaker for this month, the well known RHS Speaker Hilary Newman (M.Hort.) He will be giving us a comprehensive run-down on how to use the greenhouse throughout the year, making the best use of and getting greater results for, bedding, flowers & bulbs, tender shrubs, vegetables and fruit. Taking place at the Village Hall, in Crowhurst, from 7.30pm. the society would like to invite any interested residents from other villages to come along and join in what promises to be a very interesting evening. Light refreshments will be available and the costs are very reasonable at £2:00 for members and only £4:00 for non-members. To book your place in advance, please contact Mary Boorman on 01424~774102 or

RYE BAY SCALLOP WEEK: It’s shucking time again ! - Once again, the popular Rye Bay Scallop Week is back for it’s 14th appearance and is scheduled for Saturday February 20th to Sunday February 28th. This original and unusual ‘Food Festival’ is a great favourite amongst those who love this ‘dish with a difference’ and it allows them the chance to indulge themselves savouring the many dishes available throughout the week through the various venues that take part. There will be a good number of restaurants in Rye, which will be showcasing an array of different scallop dishes, allowing all you ‘foodies’ the perfect opportunity to give in to the temptations of this seafood delight. There will also be many

‘Scallop Events’ arranged during this celebratory week, including tasting events, cookery schools and demonstrations, poetry, singing & telling of ‘olde sea shanties’, live music, wildlife walks and tours of this ancient port and much, much more,- culminating in the hotly contested, manoeuvred by maniacs, “What a Load of Scallops” wheelbarrow race !. This fun filled, crazy to watch event, has the mad competitors racing along the ancient cobbled streets of this much loved Cinque Port town of Rye, in a race to be the first to get their barrows full of scallops, from the boat at the quayside to the ‘Ship Inn’ pub, - approximately 1.5 miles of ‘mud, sweat and tears’. This race starts outside Rye Bay Fish, on the bridge, promptly at 10.00am. All proceeds from this event will go to the Lifeboats (RNLI). Please contact for more details of what is on offer to tempt you into joining in this special event. Come along and visit this charming and historic town, enjoy the events and find out why so many people love this special seafood ~ go on, ....tantalise your taste buds !.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES: It’s that time of the year again when the Ewhurst Parish Allotments Association will be holding their A.G.M. It will be held in the church room of St. Mark’s church, Northiam Road, Staplecross on Tuesday February 23rd. at 7.30pm. There are still a few vacant plots for rent, at the allotment site, situated in Lordine Lane, Ewhurst. Last year, an amazing number and variety of fruit and vegetables were grown, to the delight of the growers, and those that shared in their bountiful harvest. Each of these vacant plots, complete with their own private, lockable shed and with water laid on, are part of a well cared for allotment area, which is well fenced and offers some parking. The old adage - “Nothing tastes as good as when picked from your own garden and grown by your own hand” - is certainly true in this case. If you are interested in becoming a member of this little group and enjoy ‘growing-your-own’ fruit & vegetables and would like to obtain your own plot at a reasonable rent, then please contact Jacqui on 01580~830576 or email for more information.

CONSERVATIVES - OPEN MEETING: Our local representative in Parliament, Mr. Huw Merriman, would like to invite all & sundry to an ‘Open Meeting’ on Friday March 4th between 6.00pm and 6.30pm at Sedlescombe Village Hall. Huw will speak of his first 9 months as your representative in Parliament and will be available to answer your questions on the subjects that most concern you. His colleagues from both councils, ~ Rother District Council, - Mr. Tony Ganly, and East Sussex County Council,- Mrs. Angharad Davies will also be in attendance. This promises to be an enjoyable and lively debate, so please come along and join in. All will be made very welcome.

CHURCH SERVICES: Church services for the parish of Ewhurst will commence at St. James the Great, Ewhurst Green on Sunday February 14th. Lent 1. at 9.30am This service will also include Holy Communion. Canon David Frost - (Rural Dean) - will be conducting this service. There will be NO SERVICE at St. Giles church, Bodiam today, but a service at St. Mark’s church, Northiam Road, Staplecross will take place today directly after at 11.15 a.m. Canon Frost will also conduct this service, as Reverend Gordon Winchester is still poorly. We are all very grateful to all our parish friends, for stepping in to help out at this difficult time and we hope you all know how much we appreciate your services. All enquiries regarding the matters of Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals should, for the time being, be made to the appropriate Churchwardens who are: Bodiam Parish ~ Graham Peters: Telephone no: 01580~830203 email and Ewhurst Parish ~ Jo Goodwin: Telephone no: 01580~830601. They would both be pleased to help in any way they can, so just get in touch. As our much loved Reverend, Gordon endures the process of his ongoing treatment, we ask that both he and his lovely wife Judy, continue to be remembered in your thoughts and prayers.

PLEASE CONTACT ME: If you are arranging an event in the near future, --- however large or small and you’d like some extra coverage for it, then please get in touch. If it’s of interest to you, - it’s of interest to us. It’s never too early to send in your details and to tell us what you are planning, so please do contact me, as I’d love to hear from you and to help ‘spread the word’ on your behalf.........Thank You.

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