Catsfield news
Catsfield news

WI: The next meeting of the Catsfield WI is on Thursday 4th May in the Village Hall at 2.30pm which will take the form of the Resolution meeting. On a lighter note there will be a game or two of Bingo before the usual most enjoyable WI tea. Members are reminded that their entries for the June ‘Fun, Flower and Produce Show’ should be entered at this meeting and also think up ideas for ways in which you’d like us to celebrate our 100th anniversary next year – suggestions will be invited.

Parish Assembly: (Many thanks to Ann for this very comprehensive report)

Chairman John Overall was delighted to see a packed Village Hall for the Annual Parish Assembly last Thursday and gave his report on the Parish Council’s year. Despite running with only 5 Councillors, a lot had been achieved including progress on the ambitious scheme for traffic calming outside the school, extension of the 30 mph limit to beyond the church and holding the precept. Much work has been done in preparation for the Playing Field with plans to extend storage, a safety rail on the pavilion, a shelter and a designated parking space outside the Field. There was no news on the proposal for housing behind The White Hart. A photograph was shown of an oak tree being planted outside the Church in 1966 to replace the Catsfield Old Oak, contrasting with today’s photo and plans were in hand for a plaque to mark the significance of this tree. He thanked Clerk Carol Hodgson and members Julian Goodliffe, Martin Holgate, Chris Thomas and David Scott. Special mention was made of ESCC rep Kathryn Field and Rother rep Gary Curtis, who also gave reports. Kathryn reported on the difficulties of reduced Government funding, social care budgets and how they are making progress with higher speed broadband and improving school standards. Gary also mentioned Government cuts, Rother’s admin achievements, activities on catching fly tippers and his involvement in the speed watch campaign.

Keith Robertson, Speedwatch co-ordinator gave a detailed report on how the team work with a radar gun on three specified sites through the village. In 25 sessions they have logged 388 vehicles doing 37 mph and over, resulting in 281 warning letters being sent out. The team will shortly be using a headcam for increased accuracy.

Headmistress Sally Clarke reported on the School’s triumph at maintaining outstanding status and becoming a national support school. The children enjoy supporting three charities, take part in village and Church life, took active part in last year’s 1066 celebrations and were extremely grateful for the Catsfield Triangle Association’s donation towards the traffic calming scheme. Speaking of which Scott Lavocah reported on last year’s Boat Race and outlined plans for this year’s event on 4th June. Sports reports included Scott on Stoolball, where it seems more ladies are needed for that team, although the mixed team has lots of players. Mike Davey reported on the cricket and football teams, which are regularly reported in Village Voice.

We then heard from Ann Davey of the WI, which is planning its 100th anniversary next year, also in spring next year Pauline Putland told us the History Group will be running a special exhibition on Thomas Brassey. CADS will soon be meeting to choose a new pantomime. Poppy Davies of Pre-School said they had 18 children attending and she valued their links with the school. The Village Hall report mentioned difficulties last year with the front of the Hall and plans to update the lighting, refurbishment of the floor and their hopes for a new lighting scheme in the car park. Wendy Goodliffe, new Chairman of the Horticultural Society reported last year’s successful fete resulted in seven village participating groups receiving £250 each. A talk by a Great Dixter gardener on 11th May at 7.30pm is scheduled, with a quiz on 10th June. Father Michael Brydon reported the Church has re-launched the junior choir, they have held lots of social events to raise money for the huge amount needed just to keep the Church going. Work is planned on the roof, windows and stone work. It was an interesting meeting proving that we have a lively, well run village and to quote Chairman John’s remark “Catsfield punches above its weight”.

Annual Parochial Church Meeting: Last Monday evening was the AGM of the Parochial Church Council, which was held in the church and about twenty parishioners were present to elect and re-elect Churchwardens, members of the PCC, Sidesmen etc. Anita reported on the Electoral Role and said that we had started with eighty people but some had come off the list from moving away/dying etc but others had joined and the total is currently seventy-seven, although this s expected to reach or exceed the previous total soon. A very thorough report of the Church’s finances was presented by Treasurer James Ireson, who with the aid of a flip chart went to a lot of trouble explaining the vagaries of the Church’s income and expenses amidst much discussion. He said how the shift in population also changed the regular income of the church, which was less than it had been. He spoke of the various charities to which the church has donated in the past year.

This was followed by the Rector’s report and he expressed delight at the success of the Children’s Choir and how their enthusiastic performances help to swell the numbers at the monthly Family Services, with parents, siblings and grandparents all coming to hear them sing. He said how good it was to have so many people attend the 9am Communion Service before the Family Service and also the well-attended services over Easter. He named many of the successful social events that had been enjoyed by everyone during the past year and which helped to give the community a wider picture of the church, he said it was hoped to get the Sunday School up and running again and maybe hold a ‘A Back to Church Sunday’. There will be another Rounders match between the parishes of Catsfield and Crowhurst at the Playing Field on 17th June which draws both villages together in friendly rivalry whilst having a lot of fun and enjoying the camaraderie.

Churchwarden Mike Cooper gave a report on the Fabrics, Goods and Ornaments of the church and spoke of on-going maintenance and some considerable repairs that are needed to the roof and the east and west windows of this beautiful old Grade ll listed building. He drew attention to the new LED lighting in the chancel and thanked the crew who volunteer regularly to keep the glorious churchyard in such good condition, whilst preserving the huge number of listed wild flowers, the names of which can be seen in the porch. John Overall reported on the Deanery Synod and the new Archdeacon and Father Michael praised the recently formed Children’s Choir and their enthusiastic singing, saying it is a great hope that more children can be encouraged to sing in church and then move on into the senior choir as they get older. Vera Bates spoke of ‘Caring and Sharing’ which has been on-going in both parishes for over thirty-four years to her amazement and has quietly raised the wonderful sum of £46,511. The meeting drew to a close with a prayer.

The Catsfield Boat Race: I’m sure that you’re all aware that the second Catsfield Boat Race will take place on Sunday 4th June and entries should be submitted now. The main road will be closed from 11am until 2pm and the teams will be racing around the triangle of The Green, Church Lane and Church Road. If you missed last year’s event I’d urge you to come along and support the competitors this time, it’s extremely entertaining and the inventiveness that goes into the construction of the boats and the stamina needed to race them around is fantastic – especially as the best teams have to do it all again in the final! Following the races there will be a continuation of activities, refreshments and live music at the Playing Field between 2pm – 6pm and the whole day makes for a great family day out whilst raising money for three local charities. For entry forms and further information visit

Mobile Library: The East Sussex County Council Library will be in its usual place outside the Village Hall on Friday 12th May from 11.55am until 12.30pm.

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