Richard Holmes, Beauchamps

There were two firsts at the annual parish Christmas Fair in the Hall last Saturday morning, a proper formal opening (by David Purdie, who had presented two of his striking landscape photos, one for a lucky raffle winner, the other to be competed for by auction) and the guest appearance in full costume of part of the cast of the forthcoming Phoenix Arts Centre pantomime (including Dick Whittington himself, singing a charming duet to a current girlfriend) .

As usual, the cakes soon sold out, but other stalls seem to have done good business too, all contributing to the excellent final profit of £970 for church funds.

In addition to the main raffle, Anne Mair’s hamper, again encouraged many flutters, though neither of the holders of the first two tickets drawn was still in the hall to claim the prize.

If you are the holder of either ticket number 50 or ticket number 6, please contact Nan Hacking by Sunday evening (01424 882348), so that the award can be made.

If either of you reads this in time, (or cannot find your ticket) the hamper will be presented to the holder of the third ticket drawn on Monday.

Nan would like to thanks her hard working team of helpers, the many people who helped with donations, raffles prizes or items for sale, and everyone who went along to support this most successful event.

At 7.30pm, this evening (Friday) Udimore Choral Group, Vocality, will be taking part in a concert in Brede Church, the opening event of the Brede Christmas Festival. Several other local choral groups will also be taking part in a programme of favourite Christmas Carols and seasonal songs. In the interval mince pies and mulled wine will be served, all included in the ticket price of £3.50 (from 01424 883408, or at the door).

Tomorrow (Saturday) and on Sunday, between 11am and 4pm on both days, Brenda Hartill, will be holding an Exhibition and Open Studio at her Oast House Gallery, Pound House (opposite Church Gate). Available for sale will be small and large framed and unframed paintings and prints (50% off selected works), also hand-made cards, and her recently published DVD of her special print-making techniques.

Between 7 and 9pm this Tuesday (December 11) in the Hall a special Festive Market will be tempting us with all sorts of delicatessen goodies; a range of cheeses, bacon, ham, hand-raised pork pies, preserves, pickles, hampers, oils, some sugar-free products, home-made Christmas puddings, cakes and mince pies. Gifts, cards, door-wreaths, and fresh foliate decorations will be on sale too. The £3.50 entrance price includes a glass of mulled wine and cheesy nibbles, to help you make your choices.

In your new 2013 diaries you may like to enter the date of the Overseas Charities Group’s Midwinter Lunch Party in the Hall: Friday Jauary 25, 12.30pm. At £8.50 a two course hot lunch in good company is remarkable value, a good way to cheer up a chilly time of the year. For tickets, please ring Liz Turgoose (0424) 882657) or Judy Edwards (01424 822222)