Richard Holmes


Reporting last week on the AGM of the Friends of St Mary’s Church, I included a correct list of the various schemes for the enhancement of the church which the Friends have undertaken to pay for. What was incorrect was my further statement that these could all be paid for from the funds raised in the course of last year: in fact the Friends’ financial reserves will need to be drawn on to meet most of these commitments. My apologies for misleading you.

Last Tuesday, April 30, at the Annual Parish Meeting, the Chairman of the Parish Council was able to report on another successful year, during which highway matters were among the Council’s main concerns. These and the council’s other extensive work for us all during the year have been reported regularly in this column, and in the council’s bi-monthly newsletters.

We were then treated to a most interesting account of progress so far by the Transition Rye steering group, by Mike Slavin, one of its members. In response to the 2009 Climate Change Act (which set us the extremely difficult target of an 80% reduction in our national carbon emissions by 2050) numerous local groups throughout the UK have been working out schemes for making their communities totally or partly self-sufficient. We in Rye and surrounding villages, for example, should be able to generate internally from our own resources the 81 million kilowatt hours of energy which at present we “import”, mainly from the national grid. This could be achieved by a combination of tidal, wind and solar power, and the more efficient cropping of our local woodlands, especially if at the same time we drastically reduce energy wastage (by better insulation of buildings, for example). We are also fortunate in having the means of producing much of our own food. Undertaking these changes will not be easy, but the group believes it would be wise to make a start on them now, instead of waiting till rapidly increasing energy and food prices force them on us. You can read more about this on the website www.transitionrye.org.uk - go to Transition Rye 2013 Plans.

Last Thursday a large group of Udimore Gardeners and their friends accepted the kind invitation of Alex and Jeremy Boatwright-Smith to visit their garden at Axle Tree Cottage, Peasmarsh. In beautiful sunshine we were much impressed by their dazzling display of spring flowers and flowering shrubs (especially magnolias) and the improvements they have achieved in their garden in recent years. We are very grateful to them for their hospitality, which included a lavish tea.

Bunny Hawkey’s friends will be glad to hear that earlier this week she was making a good recovery, after successful surgery for a broken hip on April 29.

Between 2 and 5pm this Sunday, May 12, the spectacular grounds of Mountfield Court will be open to the public for the National Gardens Scheme. Despite the late Spring, there should already be some colour in the 3-acre wild woodland garden. Other interest includes a small paved herb garden and a recently restored walled garden. Dogs welcome, plants and teas for sale. Admission £3.50, children free. Mountfield Court is best approached from the A21, opposite John’s Cross Inn.

At 2.30pm next Wednesday, May 15, in the Ferry Road Health Centre, Rye, there will be a talk by Larri Hayhurst, RN, on “The Advance Care Directive”, which gives advice on the procedure for making a living will. All will be welcome at this free talk on an important subject, which has been arranged by the Centre’s Patients Participation Group.