Richard Holmes


Many of you who knew Bunny Hawkey will have already heard the sad news that she died during Wednesday night last week. She had been delighted to return to her room in Roselands the previous week, after an operation in the Conquest, but unfortunately she was never to make a full recovery. For some time a constant theme of her conversation whenever anyone visited her had been how happy had been the years she lived in Udimore. And indeed they were years in which she was able to make full use of her remarkably wide range of talents: as a pianist and member of the church choir, as an artist sketching Udimore landscapes and buildings (the design for the millennium church mug was hers), and as a writer of the monthly Round and About page in the parish magazine, and of The Udimore Chronicle, a comprehensive pocket history of the village, written jointly with the late Beryl Bradley and illustrated by herself. Her writing provided an outlet for her keen interest in animals and plants, an enthusiasm she also passed on to several generations of the children she taught, first at Hill House Hospital School and later at Tilling Green Infants School. She was an active member of the Udimore WI in its heyday, and in later years she retained her unfailing interest in people (even when hearing what they said became increasingly difficult). “We shall not look upon her like again”.

Bunny’s funeral will be in her beloved St Mary’s Church. I hope to publish more details in this column next week.

The annual exhibition of the Hayesland Group of Potters and Painters is currently running in the Court Hall, Winchelsea (opposite the northwest corner of the churchyard). It will be open today (Friday) from 10am till 5pm, at the same times tomorrow and Sunday, and from 10am till 4pm on Monday.

From 12.30pm onwards tomorrow (Saturday) there’s an open invitation to you all, to a social gathering at St Mary’s Community Hall (barbecue and licensed bar available) to mark the formal unveiling of the recently relocated World War I Memorial Board. The unveiling, by Major General John Moore-Bick CBE DL, will take place at 2pm and will commemorate the 92 men who went out from Udimore to serve our country between 1914 and 1918. It’s hoped that quite a number of direct or indirect descendants of these men will be there. If you have any photos or other memorabilia of the two world wars which you are prepared to lend the organizers for the afternoon, they would be very grateful for the loan. Appropriately enough, Saturday is also Armed Forces Day.

Another celebration, of a different sort, will take place in the Hall on Saturday, August 17. At 7.30pm that evening there’s to be a Royal Baby Barn Dance, to celebrate the birth of HRH Baby Wales. Music by the Flat Cat Band, tickets at £10 (children free, accompanied by adults) from Nadia (01424 882948) or Celia (01424 882250). Make sure of yours by booking soon!