'Welcome Back': May I begin by wishing you all a very 'Happy New Year', - this message may be rather belated but being this is the first Village Voice column for our parish for 2019 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 a dim & distant 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!

Friday, 11th January 2019, 6:00 am

THE NEW YEAR: This 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, adding a new skill, making more friends and think about joining one-or more- of what’s available.

COMMUNITY NEWS & REVIEWS: OBITUARY ~ MICK BADMAN. It is always a sad task to inform readers of the demise of a member of our community and this notice is no different. The news of the sad and unexpected passing of Mick Badman - owner of Cripps Corner Garage a few days before Christmas has shocked many people. He was a well known and greatly respected member of our community, and although he didn’t actually reside amongst us, his business of vehicle repairs. MOT’s and pre-loved car sales at the hamlet of Cripps Corner over a good number of years, had made him a well known figure in our society. His knowledge of the intricate workings of all vehicles had been the saving of many a parish resident’s mental state and with his love and enjoyment of his mini car grass track racing helped many enthusiasts to also find pleasure in this pastime. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his widow Cathy and family at this very sad time.

ROTHER RAMBLERS: Back doing just what they love best, - enjoying our lovely English countryside in all weathers and all seasons, the members of the popular walking group, The Rother Ramblers have organised two more walks for us to enjoy if we so wish. Walk No:1 is planned for Sunday January 13th and is an 8-9 mile circular wander of Robertsbridge. The meeting place is at Robertsbridge Railway Station. OS.EXP124. TQ734235. (satnav TN32 5DD) at the slightly later time of 10.20am. The walk notes state that “parking charges apply at the train station, but there is free roadside parking nearby. The train from Hastings arrives at this station at 10.14am. As usual, a picnic lunch is suggested for this walk.” Mary is to be your ‘walk leader’ for this walk and you may contact her on 01424~753730 or Mobile: 07785~861854 for more details. Walk No: 2 Is arranged for Wednesday January 16th and is an 8+ circular mile meander of Danehill and Hindleap Warren. The meeting point is at the junction of Freshfield Lane and Church Hill, Danehill. OS.EXP135 . TQ402275. (satnav TH17 7ET) at the normal time of 10.00am. Parking is available in Church Lane and a picnic lunch is again suggested. Adrian is to be your ‘walk leader’ for this outing and you may contact him on 01273~514336 or Mobile: 07729~861854 for all further information.

STAPLECROSS LUNCHEON CLUB: Following the wonderful Christmas Lunch held it seems weeks ago, the members of this little local Dining Group will be looking forward to enjoying more delicious repast from Wendy and her superb group of helpers, Held generally, every 3rd Wednesday, in the popular Village Hall, Northiam Road, Staplecross. Postcode TN32 5QG -on Wednesday January 16th at 12.30pm. - where, on the menu this month - will be that firm family favourite “Winter Warming Stew with seasonal vegetables, followed by another popular treat “Lemon Meringue Pie”. The charge for these delicious, well cooked, and varied monthly menu’s is still just £6:00 per person, which offers great value all round. If you would like to join us in this wonderful lunch then please contact either Sallie on 01580~830000 or Pauline on 01580~830570 to add your name to the table settings, or just for any further information. We’d love to welcome you to our friendly little dining group.

EWHURST, STAPLECROSS & BODIAM GARDEN SOCIETY: ANNUAL FUN QUIZ - Time to dust off those recently unused ‘little grey cells’ as this is a superb way to welcome in the New Year and to enjoy a friendly and fun filled evening among family, friends and neighbours. This year’s event will take place on Saturday January 19th at 7.00pm - for a 7,30pm prompt start - in the Staplecross Village Hall, Northiam Road, Staplecross. Postcode TN32 5QG. The cost is still a miserly £7:00 per person, - which includes a light supper with a delicious dessert. As the Village Hall doesn’t have a ‘drinks licence’ please feel free to bring along your own alcohol and glasses for your own enjoyment throughout the evening. Teams are a maximum of 4 people per table to spread the fairness and fun - but if you are a larger group (or even smaller), - don’t worry or be put off by this, as we will ‘mingle’ you with others to ensure everyone has a fun and friendly evening As well as the popular Raffle, the hilarious “Heads & Tails” competition will be arranged once again. Cost to play this crazy game which is open to all, is just £1:00 with the worthy winner collecting a bottle of Scotch !. Superb prizes will be awarded to the winning team. Please contact pam on 01580~830320 or Gill on 01580~830551 to book a table - or two - or to find out more information. As always it promises to be a great night in amongst great company, with a few friendly and light-hearted ‘cheering’ offered to rival teams along the way. Come along & join in.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES: - ADVANCE NOTICE - WINE TASTERS @ EWHURST: If like many of us within the parish, you enjoy a delectable glass of wine now & again, then why not consider joining in the monthly Wine Tasting at Ewhurst. Do you wonder what to serve with a special menu ? Would you like to discover a different taste of wine for a change ? What is best - White, Red or Rose’ ?; From another country perhaps ? Can you discern the body - the senses - and aroma of a good wine ? These answers and more, can all be found within this friendly, likeable and knowledgeable group discovering just that for themselves!. This is a super little social group of like-minded people who enjoy spending a couple of hours per month, - tasting and commenting on a selection of superb wines - plus tasty bread and a few nibbles - all wrapped up in good company, in a cosy venue - that being the Herdman Pavilion, in Ewhurst Green, (TN32 5TB) The date for the first ‘Wine Evening’ meeting of the new year will be on Friday January 25th from 7.30pm - 9.30pm. No membership is required, - just a courtesy contact to Jan (sec) to ensure there will be sufficient wine & nibbles for all to enjoy. A charge of £5:00 per person is required upon arrival. If you think that this is something that would be of interest to you, then do please contact Janis via her email: [email protected] to learn more about this very friendly and welcoming group. We are a very friendly and social group and will certainly ensure you have a warm welcome upon arrival and a glass of superb wine in your hand, very shortly after.! - Enjoy !

CHURCH SERVICES: Church services for the parish of Ewhurst, will commence at St. James the Great, Ewhurst Green on Sunday January 13th. Baptism of Christ. at 9.30am.This service will include Holy Communion. (BCP) An Epiphany Praise service at St. Mark’s church, Northiam Road, Staplecross will follow directly after at 11.15 am. This service will also include Holy Communion. There will be NO SERVICE today at St.Giles church, Bodiam. If there is any church matter on which you feel you may need further assistance, especially Baptisms, Weddings and sadly, Funerals, then do please get in touch with the Priest - in - Charge, which is of course Canon Christopher Irvine on 01580~830925. Help in some way is always at hand and always so generously given, so do please contact him.

PLEASE CONTACT ME: Sadly, Christmas is now behind us, the Shortest Day is also long gone, and if you are arranging an event in the foreseeable future, --- whatever the nature of the event and however large or small, and you’d like some extra free coverage for it, - courtesy of the Observer Newspaper - 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 any of the details and to tell us what you are planning. Many of you will be turning your thoughts to other events in the near future, as the long new and unblemished weeks of the New Year start to stretch before us. so please do contact me, as I’d love to hear from you and to help ‘spread the word’ on your behalf. ..........Thank You.