Spooky Tales: I’ve just heard that Geoff Hutchinson’s performance on October 25 (and the support of an audience of some 50) enabled the Friends of St Mary’s to raise the excellent sum of just over £720, a considerable contribution towards our fund for the continuing improvement and maintenance of our parish church - for which the Friends are very grateful to all concerned.

Road Safety: There was a good turnout for the public meeting in St Mary’s Community Hall last Friday evening. It soon became clear that several of the various suggested ways of reducing traffic speed on B2089 within the parish boundary are not worth serious consideration at present: flashing speed indicators (very expensive, especially as to be effective an indicator at either end of the parish would need to be supplemented by other intermediate indicators), roadside “entry gates” (found locally to be ineffective after the first few months), stretches of roadside footpath, to encourage pedestrians (only short stretches would be affordable, and how would they be chosen?), rumble strips and/or chicanes (likely to be permissible only where 30 mph speed limit applies, and to warn of specific hazards), and the resumption of our village voluntary “Speed Watch” (which has to await our compliance with specific new regulations).

Discussion centred on two other remedies: 1) measures to provide drivers with constant reminders along the full length of the 40 mph zone, such as the painting (and regular repainting) of the figures 40 on the road surface each way opposite every one of the present roadside repeater signs, and 2) eastward extension of the 40 mph zone from Cock Marling as far as the Rye 30mph zone, thereby removing all possible confusion which may arise from variation in speed limits (and reducing the present risk of collisions at the junction with Dumbwoman’s Lane, combined with double white lines on either side of that junction). The results of this discussion were recorded by the Parish Clerk and are likely to be taken into account in the Parish Council’s submission to the County Council. This will probably be one of the items on the Parish Council’s agenda when councillors meet next week (more details follow below).

Remembrance Sunday: It was good to have our own service again this year (again well attended), thanks to the willingness of Fr John Lee to lead it for us. After some careful research, Colin Knight had added more details to the list of those who gave their lives in the two World Wars, which this year he read immediately before the two minutes’ silence, instead of later in the service, a valuable innovation. In his address, Fr John spoke movingly of the plight of those killed or injured in both wars, and in other wars since then.

Church Service: This Sunday morning in St Mary’s there will be Sung Family Eucharist at 11.15am, followed by refreshments in the Hall.

Overseas Group Tea Party: Between 3pm and 5pm this Sunday afternoon please make a point of coming along to the Group’s tea party in the Hall, a fun event for all ages, with puzzles and games. Entry free, with a collection for the DEC Ebola emergency fund.

Parish Council Meeting: At 6.30pm on Wednesday (November 19) our Udimore councillors are due to meet in the Hall. Besides Road Safety (please see above) several other items of local importance are likely to be on the agenda. This should also be a chance to hear our representatives on Rother District and East Sussex County councils reporting on recent developments, and to ask them questions.

Mobile Library: Do make the most of one of our last chances to use the Library before radical changes in its schedule in the New Year. Next Friday morning (November 21) it’s due at Lower Cross Cottages from 10.15 to 10.40am, and at the Hall from 10.55 to 11.15am.

St Mary’s Grand Christmas Fayre: On Saturday morning November 29 the church’s annual fundraising Christmas Fayre will take place in the Hall between 10am and noon. For sale on the stalls there will be home-made Christmas cakes and puddings, preserves, gifts, bric-a-brac, books, produce and much more. Besides tombola and raffles, there will also be children’s stalls - and a warm welcome for everyone!

Backa Quacka: Next morning (Sunday November 30) there will be a new church fundraising event, a duck race on the River Tillingham! Every duck entered will have a chance of winning its backer one of several attractive prizes. You can back a duck (or ducks) for £5 anytime at The Plough, or by ringing Robert Wheeler (01797 222009).

Richard Holmes