Richard Holmes, Beauchamps

As expected, the snowdrifts created by the spectacular blizzard last Monday afternoon obliged the committee of the Udimore Wildlife Society to postpone the talk next evening by Matt Pitts, of the High Weald AONB management unit. Matt has kindly agreed to come and speak to us on Tuesday week instead (March 26), in the King’s Head, starting at 6.30pm. It’s to be hoped that most of you who were intending to come last Tuesday will be able to manage the new date. Please contact Alex Boatwright-Smith (01797 230659 or boatwrightsmith@aol.com ) as soon as possible to confirm whether you’re coming or not - there’s room for only a limited number.

By the following evening the snowdrifts along B2089 had been cleared, allowing the Parish Council meeting to go ahead, as planned. Having special responsibility for highways, our County Council representative, Cllr Carl Maynard was able to bring us up to date on the road repair situation. The clusters of potholes on B2089 to the West of the King’s Head and to the East of The Plough were now so dangerous, he said (despite some recent patching) that those two short sections were to be fully resurfaced as a matter of urgency: this work would not have to await completion of the repair work at the Rye end of the road, as had been stated previously. He acknowledged that the patching of other areas could not achieve lasting results (no sooner had a set of potholes been patched than the next lot started to appear) and admitted the urgent need for a long overdue rolling programme of fully resurfacing all roads and lanes at regular intervals, which was to be initiated, provided that the necessary funds for capital expenditure could be made available.

It was noted that some of the missing road signs were now in place. Still to be installed, however, were the two signs warning drivers of the junction with Church Lane and a new improved fingerpost indicating “Church and Hall”.

While delivering copies of the March Newsletter, some councillors had met with various unappreciative comments. After a lengthy discussion, however, it was agreed that on balance the value of newsletters in keeping parishioners in touch with the Council’s activities on their behalf justified the effort and expense of compiling and circulating them. If you have views on this matter, Cllr Bob Turgoose would be delighted to hear from you (01424 882657 or udimorepc@hotmail.co.uk ).

PCSO Richard Perchard, now again responsible for us after a brief spell elsewhere, reported on Operation Crackdown, which had been set up to provide us with a means of reporting to the police all cases of dangerous or inconsiderate driving. The scheme had met with only limited success: individual reports had either not been properly followed up or put on hold until further reports were received about the same vehicle. Procedures were to be improved. Please continue to use Operation Crackdown (01243 64 2222) remembering to include the registration number of the offending vehicle, and as many other details as possible. Please also keep Cllr Knight informed about the way your reports are handled (01424 883246).

PCSO Perchard also referred to a recent local spate of thefts of heating and diesel oil from farms and domestic storage tanks, including an attempted theft in Udimore. For detailed advice on how to reduce your risk of being targeted in this way, he suggested we have a look at the OFTEC website ( www.oftec.org ), ring their office (0845 6585 080 ) or pick up one of the leaflets he left for us in the Hall . For more reasonably priced oil supplies, he also suggested we enrol in the Northiam and Rye local group of The Oil Club ( www.oil-club.co.uk ) which can reduce its costs by making a combined delivery to several members in the same area.

The coffee morning at Stocks Oast last Friday again went very well, raising £285 for the Hall. Ann Barker would like to thank her helpers, everyone who supported the event, and Richard and Sheila Corke for their generous donation of a lamb for the raffle, which was won by Denise Pitcher.

At 7.30 pm this evening (Friday) the Udimore Gardeners will be meeting for a problem-sharing session and plant swap. All will be welcome, whether you’re an experienced gardener or a beginner, prepared to compare notes about your gardening problems, and to swap any spare seeds, seedlings or cuttings you may have. Wine and nibbles will be served.

Please note in your diaries that the Annual Parish Meeting will be held on Tuesday April 30 in the Hall, starting at 6.30 pm, an opportunity to have your say on the Parish Council’s work during the past year, over a glass of wine. There will also be a short presentation on Transition Town Rye by Sandy Rodger, who has been fully involved in this environmental project for Rye and surrounding villages from the outset.

This Sunday at 11.i5 am to celebrate Palm Sunday there will be an extra Family Service for All, starting with a procession from the Hall to St Mary’s Church. During the Good Friday service in St Mary’s, starting at noon, there will be hymns, prayers and periods of meditation. To celebrate Easter Sunday there will be a Family Eucharist, starting at 11.15am.