GRAND CHRISTMAS FAYRE: Nan Hacking has asked me to thank both her team of helpers who did so much to make the fair last Saturday such a success, and all of you who went along to join in the fun and spend your money in a good cause. Particularly noteworthy this year were Nadia’s festive decorations and Matty’s spinning demonstration (with some of her resultant knitwear for sale). It was indeed a most enjoyable occasion. Including several very generous donations, the event raised some £1,000 for church funds. Among the many raffle prize winners were Ann Haines, who won the splendid “Wick hamper”, and Sue Rowan who won the ingeniously knitted gardener doll.

Just after the fair, we heard the sad news that Eric Warne had died during the previous night. Eric had lived in Udimore for many years. Many of you will remember him as an experienced and knowledgeable gardener, whose plant stalls were a regular feature of our summer fetes and other village events.

There was good news, however, of Bob Turgoose, who has now returned home for a period of convalescence after his successful operation.

BACKA QUACKA: Next morning 150 quackers were successfully launched onto a straight stretch of the River Brede, cheered on by numerous punters. For the first hundred yards or so, all went well: the front twenty or so runners (or paddlers?) forged ahead, most of the remainder strung out behind. At this point the situation changed: a combination of strengthening wind, more vegetation and a change in the profile of this part of the bank resulted in every single quacker going aground - with the sole exception of one, which paddled on ahead, crossing the finishing line unchallenged. As there was no sign of any of the others moving on again, it was decided to award the next nine places in strict order to those who’d ended up nearest to the finish. So the result was: first Vicky Harper, second Jane Evans and third Rosemary Crouch, the remaining seven all backed by various Udimore residents. A memorable race, providing much entertainment, and raising another £570 for church funds.

BREDE CHRISTMAS TREE FESTIVAL: This afternoon (Friday) the illuminated trees will be on display in the church from 3 till 5.30pm, with a special invitation to children to bring their families along to view the trees, enjoy drinks and biscuits, shop at the Christmas Stall and have a go at the Lucky Dip. At 7pm this evening in the Brede Parish Room there will be a Festive Fun Quiz Night and Supper - for tickets @ £8 please ring Sue Orchard (01424 883322).

Tomorrow (Saturday) the Tree Festival will be open from 10am till 4pm, with fun activities for children, seasonal refreshments and Christmas stalls throughout the day.

At 3pm on Sunday the Festival will finish with the Christingle Service and a Festive Tea.

SPONSORED RUN: At 8am tomorrow (Saturday) Matt Burrows is due to start from Pevensey on his 50km (31 mile) cross-country run along the full length of the “1066 Countryside Walk”, hoping to reach Rye by about 3pm. Matt is undertaking this daunting feat in order to raise funds for the four charities supported by the Brede and Udimore Overseas Committee. It’s not too late to sponsor him now (or even after he’s completed his epic run). You just need to send him an email (m.w.burrows@ntlworld.com ) or leave a message on his phone (07939 512423).

CHURCH SERVICE: In St Mary’s this Sunday the 9.30am Sung Family Eucharist will be followed by refreshments in the Hall.

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