Richard Holmes

Members of Udimore Wildlife Society (aka “Wild Udimore”) who gathered for a birdsong walk last Thursday evening were warned that the actual number of species they would hear would be quite small. However hearing the songs of numerous birds of even a few woodland species in the perfect setting of John and Gillie Harvey’s carefully restored old orchard and alder carr on a lovely June evening was a great pleasure. We also had a rare chance to compare two often confused species (blackcap and garden warbler) singing in close proximity: some members may be able to tell them apart in future! We are very grateful to the Harveys for inviting us to visit their beautiful private nature reserve.

St Mary’s Church can seldom have been as full as it was for Dennis Crouch’s funeral service last Friday, evidence of his great popularity and his impressively wide spread of interests. Kevin Crouch spoke eloquently of his father’s working life on Western Court farm, and his lifelong enthusiasm for sport, especially cricket. Since retirement, he had kept himself busy with handcraft of all sorts, and he and Joyce had become keen sequence and ballroom dancers. After the service we were able to exchange many reminiscences of Dennis’ full life at a tea party in the Hall.

Some 130 riders brought their horses to Parsonage Farm on Sunday for the annual Tillingham Valley Charity Walk and Ride. They enjoyed the well-designed and scenic five and ten mile courses, and the refreshments provided, as did a number of walkers with their dogs. The £2,000 raised by this popular event has helped towards the reduction of the outstanding debt on the Community Hall. Church current funds benefited by the £1,000 raised by the “Rockabilly” race event the previous week.

Tomorrow (Saturday) and on Sunday, between 11am and 5pm both days, Brenda Hartill’s studio and gallery at Pound House (opposite Church Gate) will be open to the public, as a part of the Rye and Northiam art trail. On display will be a selection of her limited edition etchings and collagraphs, and unique paintings and collages. At 2.20pm on Sunday there will be a talk about her work, followed by a print demonstration. Brenda’s exhibition continues next Saturday and Sunday, at the same times as this weekend.

As part of a Festival Weekend for the National Garden Scheme, the garden at Knellstone House will be open to the public this Sunday between 2pm and 5.30pm. Admission £5, children free. Many of you will know some of the features of this hilltop garden, with its spectacular views of the Brede Valley: they include a formal pool courtyard, a parterre for cut flowers, a hydrangea bank and a wildlife pond. There will be a wide range of plants for sale, many of them home-propagated, and scrumptious teas provided by the Friends of St Mary’s. Linda and Stuart Harland look forward to welcoming you there!

On Tuesday June 25 Brede and Udimore Luncheon Club meets at 12.30pm in Brede Village Hall. This monthly lunch party offers an excellent two-course meal and congenial company for the modest price of £6. New members are always welcome: if you would like more details, please call Anne Owen (01424 882025).

Udimore is one of the few villages which displays a permanent record of all its men who served our country in the Armed Forces during World War I. Our memorial board, for many years in the old Church Room, has now been mounted, in a weather-proof case, by the main door of the Hall. It is to be formally unveiled there at 2pm on Saturday, June 29, Armed Forces Day. The unveiling is to be preceded by a barbecue, licensed bar and WWI music. If you are a relative of any of the nearly ninety men named on this board, or know of anyone else who is, please get in touch with Gill Rothery (01424 882774), who is arranging for invitations to be sent out.