COMMUNITY NEWS & REVIEWS: OBITUARIES - It is always sad to inform the community of the passing of a member of our parish, but sadly I have to pass on the very sad news of the recent deaths of two well known and much admired members of our parish. RICHARD BIGGS who for many years was a busy and popular resident of first Staplecross and then Bodiam, was a quiet, courteous and gentle man always polite and considerate of others. He was a very knowledgeable man who in turn was a farmer, an agricultural lecturer and plantsman, who was always happy to pass on his vast extent of information on a wide variety of subjects in a kind and generous manner. For many years, Richard was an active member of our local , Ewhurst, Staplecross & Bodiam Garden Society and was a well regarded member of the committee and who's knowledge and input during his time with us was of great value and always appreciated. Beloved by his wife Paddy, his children and their families, he died peacefully at home, aged 92 . The funeral service at St. Nicholas's church, Sandhurst has already taken place, but donations, to the 'Alzheimer's Society'. in Richard's memory can be made on-line at -or you may contact them via 01435~882219 for other methods -

Friday, 9th November 2018, 5:00 am

PETER KEMP who for many years was also a well known resident of Staplecross, before moving to Bexhill. Whilst living amongst us he was another popular, and well respected member of our community. Peter, together with his wife Jane were also valued members of our Garden Society and served on this committee. They were also active members of the local ramblers society. A warm reception was given to them and their party when they arrived to join in the Garden Society’s annual ‘Quiz Night’ back in January of this year and were delighted to be the popular winners on the night. This no doubt, will be another warm memory for us all to look back on.

Peter’s funeral service will be held on Monday November 12th at the Hastings Crematorium at 12.30pm and will be followed by a celebration of his life at the Powdermills Hotel, Battle. It is requested that family flowers only - but donations if desired can be made to “Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis” via Towners Funeral Directors, in Bexhill. Our love and kind thought go out to both wives and families of these true ‘gentle men’ - we are all richer for knowing both of them.

STAPLECROSS BONFIRE NIGHT CELEBRATIONS: This may now seem a while ago, but a brief review by their Publicity Officer, - John Lederer - is still welcome to read here in this column, especially as there are still a few other bonfire celebrations around our parish to attend and also the next week or so. Here, in it’s entirety, is John’s synopsis. ~~

“A cold night with a brisk wind but clear sky, stars shining brightly was the backdrop for The Ewhurst & Staplecross Bonfire Societies annual Guy Fawkes night celebrations at Staplecross on Saturday 27th October and yet again the event dubbed ‘The Best Village Bonfire’ attracted a large crowd determined to enjoy the evening.

Figures from the gate collection and other attractions point to yet another great year. This is very important to the society as monies raised go to charities and good causes. It is still only £1 to enter the bonfire field which many describe as amazing value for what was described as a magnificent firework display. The society spent more on the display this year and new more colourful fireworks were seen. A massive cheer went up at the finale, as a huge ball of colour lit the sky. The evening started with the ever-popular fancy dress competition, which, again recorded a large number of entrants and was held at the village hall. Results are shown following the end of this report. The Ewhurst & Staplecross Bonfire Society and the 20 visiting Bonfire Societies formed the torch lit procession, which, wended its way from Staplecross, to Cripps Corner and back, The procession was lit by burning torches which made the dark lanes very atmospheric. Bright red flares illuminating the trees and bushes could be seen from a long way away.

As the procession moved back up the hill to Staplecross it was joined by lots of local people who followed it on to the bonfire field. This was followed by the lighting of the Grand Bonfire and the amazing fireworks display. The event has been dubbed The Best Village Bonfire and is aimed at being a family event. The Ewhurst & Staplecross Bonfire Society would like to thank everyone who supported this event: the huge number of spectators and their generosity, all other bonfire societies who were represented and everyone who gave their time, energy and support throughout the year and on Saturday night to ensure that the evening was a roaring success. A special thanks to the ambulance and first aiders , police, firemen, and all other organizations involved. The Society is confident that it will once again be able to make worthwhile donations to the charities and local organisations, which it supports.

Donations will be presented to these organisations at the annual carol service which will be held at St Marks Church, Staplecross in December. Some members attend dressed in their society costumes, which makes the service very enjoyable. All members and non members are welcome.

For more information log on to

Fancy Dress Results: Girls Under 7 - 1st Isla Morgan 2nd Willow Ashby, 3rd Milly Mitchell, Boys Under 7 - 1st Grayson Mathews 2nd Dylan Brown, 3rd Riley Hermitage. Girls 7 – 15Yrs - 1st Olivia Mathews 2nd Maddison Hermitage, 3rd Rita Dover. Boys 7 – 15 Yrs -1st Sam Brind, 2nd Ned Eastwood, 3rd Noah Leggett-Jones. Best Pairs Under 15 -1st Grayson Mathews, Ede Mathews, 2nd Maddison Hermitage, Riley Hermitage, 3rd Ella Solloman,Sam Brind. Ladies Over 15 - 1st Clare Head, 2nd Gill Boorman, 3rd Dianne Ashby. Gentlemen 15 + - 1st Allan Brown, 2nd Billy Dover. Best Pair In Fancy Dress – 1st Marion Brown, Mandy Ruston, 2nd Gill Boorman, Allan Brown. The Brown Trophy - Forge Lane Kids. The H.W Moyer Trophy & Replica - Billy Dover. The Joe Stonely Shield – Fancy Dress Under 15 - Molly Leggett-Jones. Best Visiting Society – Hawkhurst Bonfire Society

STAPLECROSS M.C.PRIMARY SCHOOL: School news, just recently received will be of particular interest and welcomed by any prospective parents. This fantastic little local school are organising two ‘Open Mornings’ for prospective parents on Tuesday 20th November ‘18 and Thursday 6th December ‘18 between 9.30-11.45am. No need to make a formal appointment, parents can just come along and will be shown around the school. Two eagerly awaited ‘Diary Dates’ have also been published. Our School Nativity performance times are Thursday 13th December ‘18 at 2pm and again on Friday 14th December at 6pm. Both performances are in the Village Hall and all are welcome from the village.

STAPLECROSS SOCIAL CLUB: Just a little reminder of some of the delightful events that will be taking place in this great social club, right in the heart of Staplecross village, Friday Night is Bingo Night, which continues to be a popular and fun evening - and that the FIRST SATURDAY in the month belongs to the Darts Competition - which is also doing well and enjoyed by all who take part- especially the winners !. A Special Event in being held on Saturday November 10th from 8,00pm ‘til late and this will be in the form of a “1940’s War-time Fancy Dress” - plus excellent buffet. An early notice that a little later in the month - on Saturday November 24th a ‘Race Night’ will be held and this will start at 8.00pm. The club’s hosts - in the form of Dawn & Bill would like to extend a big ‘THANK YOU’ to all the people who made their children’s ‘Halloween Party’ a great success, please keep a look out for upcoming notices as the Social Club are planning to repeat this in the form of a Christmas Party for the children - dates and further information to follow in due course. To many, this may be just a village social club, but it is so much more than a place to pop in & have a drink amongst friends. Many events are being planned and arranged all the time and everyone is always very welcome, so do please pop along and support your local amenity and have fun ! For more information on these and other events planned for our enjoyment, please contact Dawn or Bill on 01588~830763 (evenings only) or via their email: [email protected]

ROTHER RAMBLERS: As always, we have two more walks arranged for our enjoyment and these two are of very different contents. Walk No:1 is planned for Sunday November 11th and is an 8.5 circular mile - ‘Armistice 100 Walk’. The meeting point is Haysden Country Park. OS EXP147/148. TQ570458. (satnav TN11 9BB) at the usual time of 10.00am. The walk notes state ‘This is a walk to commemorate the end of World War One, with particular reference to the fallen and those left behind, that have been discovered in churchyards we have passed through during the past four years. A picnic lunch is suggested, to be taken and enjoyed at Penshurst Church, the original site of the “There, But Not There” installation. Rita and Lionel are to be your ‘walk leaders; on this occasion and you may contact them on 01424~752452 for all further information. Walk No:2 is arranged for Wednesday November 14th and will be a slightly longer stroll of 10 circular miles from Iden to include ‘fields, rivers, canal & lakes’ - sounds delightful !. The meeting point for this walk is Iden Church. OS EXP125. TQ915237. (satnav TN31 7XD) again at 10.00am. The walk notes state that ‘ this is a relatively flat walk, with one short, steep climb, with views. Dogs are welcome, but must sometimes be kept on a lead, and again, a picnic lunch is suggested. Wil will be your ‘walk leader’ for this outing and you may contact him on 01797~260417 or mobile:07801~189747 for more details.

EWHURST, STAPLECROSS & BODIAM GARDEN SOCIETY: Another great speaker is lined up for the members and their guests to enjoy when they attend the next meeting of the E.S. & B. Garden Society. The speaker is very well known in gardening circles with a host of ‘talk titles’ to his name. Mr. Russell Bowes, who on this occasion will be talking to us about “Chocolate - Food of the Gods” which is sure to please those with a love of chocolate and a sweet tooth amongst us. This event is booked to take place on Thursday November 15th

in Staplecross Village Hall (TN32 5QG) beginning at 7.30pm. Everyone is always very welcome at all of our meetings, so please come along and enjoy the evening.

WALKING NETBALL: This relatively ‘new’ sport is becoming increasingly popular to one and all. It is suitable to all over the age of 16, both gender and all abilities and a missive has been sent asking if I would ‘publicise’ this activity in this column, inviting you to ‘give it a go’. This activity costs just £3:00 per person, per session and takes place every Sunday from 10 - to 11am at the Summerfields Sports Centre, Bohemia Road, Hastings. This is a super way to get back into playing after taking a break, or perhaps you’d like to try something new, socialise and get active. Whether it is about rediscovering sporting abilities you forgot you had or about getting active again, these sessions cater for all abilities with the emphasis on having fun. So, - get fit, - have fun and make new friends through “Walking Netball”. Please ask at the Reception Desk or contact Summerfields Active Communities Officer - Martin - on 01424~457691 or mobile: 07523~514878 for all further information.

THE GREAT WAR COMMEMORATIONS: This information has been passed to me to include and invite as many people as possible, especially if there are any relatives or connections to those brave men, both young and not-so-young from our parish community who gave their lives during this time known as ‘The Great War.’ Here is the missive, - in it’s entirety, please read it, remember it and come along and show your thanks and respect to those who by giving their lives - allowed us to have one. --- “On the 11th November at 11.a.m. there will be the normal annual Armistice Day Remembrance Service, held at the Staplecross War Memorial. This commemorates all persons who suffered in all conflicts, whilst in the service of our country. In the evening, from approximately 6.15pm. we are all invited to gather together to share in a special ‘Commemoration Service which will be held at this War Memorial, in memory of victims - especially the 21 parishioners who gave their lives - of the Great War 1914-1918 which ended exactly 100 years ago. Following the Act of Remembrance, the Reading of the Roll of Honour and the lowering of the Union flag, the congregation, accompanied by 21 lit torches which will each signify a life lost, will proceed to the Village Beacon, a short way down Northiam Road. A bugle will call ‘Last Post’ and the Beacon will be lit to signify a ‘Light of Hope. A descendent of a soldier from the Great War, will then light the Beacon. This Beacon lighting is to be part of a national scheme of 1000 beacons being lit at 7.00pm on this night, throughout the United Kingdom. A short Service of Remembrance and Reconciliation will follow at St. Mark’s church, adjacent to the Beacon, which will be led by Canon Christopher. From here, please pop into the Cross Inn for Tea, Coffee & Soup to round off a thought-provoking, emotive and respectful ceremony to honour those who gave their lives on our behalf. Please do come along and take part in this special service.

CHURCH SERVICES: Church services for the parish of Ewhurst will commence at St. James the Great church, Ewhurst Green at the EARLIER TIME of 8.00 am. for Holy Communion. A Remembrance Service will follow at 9.30am. There will also be a Remembrance Service held at St. Giles church, Bodiam at the EARLIER TIME of 10.50am. There will be NO SERVICE during the morning at St. Mark’s church, Staplecross but a special Remembrance Service - “Steps towards Reconciliation: a service to mark the end of the centenary commemoration of the First World War will take place here at approximately 7.15pm following the ‘Torchlit Procession’ from the Staplecross War Memorial and the lighting of the Staplecross Beacon adjacent to the church.

ANY NEWS FOR THIS COLUMN - PLEASE CONTACT ME: Although news of ‘events and happenings’ taking place throughout our community is rather sparse at present, this does not reflect on our life in general within our parish, With the schoolchildren now firmly entrenched back at schools and colleges for the last half of term - life may seem rather quiet at present. But fear not are being planned for our enjoyment I’m sure and very soon this column will be buzzing with news of them all.! So if you have an event planned in the foreseeable future - whatever the nature of the event - indoor or out, large or small and you’d like some extra free coverage of it, - courtesy of the Observer Newspaper then please get in touch.- it’s of interest to you --- then it’s of interest to us. It’s NEVER TOO EARLY to send in any of the information and details regarding the event you are planning and scarily, - Christmas IS just around the corner !- so please do contact me as I’d love to hear from you and to help ‘spread the word’ on your behalf......Thank You