Quiz Night: The next fund-raising event for the church of St Laurence will be an ever-popular Quiz Night on Saturday October 21st at 7.30pm with a wide variety of questions set by the Wiz of the Quiz, John Overall. Tickets costing £5 each are now on sale from the Village Stores or at the door on the night. Liquid refreshments will be available and bring your own nibbles. Teams will be of four to six people, so start planning your team now!
Craft Fair: Helen and Janet will be once again holding their Craft Fair in Catsfield Village Hall on Saturday 28th October from 10am until 2.30pm. There will be a vast array of crafts from local makers presenting a wonderful opportunity to purchase some original Christmas gifts. The proceeds this year will go to the Stroke Association. Refreshments will be available, entry is free and there’s plenty of free parking.
WI: Thursday’s meeting of the Catsfield WI in the Village Hall was the last this year at the earlier summer starting time, by the time we meet in November, the clocks will have gone back and we will meet at 2pm each month until next May. In spite of her recently broken thumb, Barbara valiantly accompanied us on the piano for the singing of Jerusalem before we heard the minutes of the last meeting and news of all the forthcoming events. The Christmas party on December 7th and the lunch at Ashburnham Place on 12th. The big occasion in April 2018 will be the celebration of Catsfield WI’s 100th birthday and many special events are planned for next year – a party of course, a quiz, a special dinner for member’s, a service of thanksgiving at St Laurence church, a coffee morning and exhibition of WI memorabilia and laying a wreath at the War Memorial on Remembrance Sunday.
Our speaker, Lady Constance Crabtree arrived at 3pm, looking very elegant in a lovely cream dress with matching jacket and accessories, beautiful hair and make-up and looking a bit of a cross between HM the Queen and Theresa May! She (he) had come to talk to us about ‘Growing Old Disgracefully’ and in her pleasant, slightly aristocratic accent, she soon reduced us to laughter with her jokes and very witty remarks. Her talk was punctuated with poems, some of which were well-known and others probably written herself, such as her own version of ‘My Favourite Things’. Amidst the anecdotes and hilarious jokes, she actually gave a lot of very sound advice, telling us to ‘dress to feel good’, ‘cherish our good health’ and to make a note of our memories of the past, because one day when it’s too late, our families will wish that they knew more about our childhood and youth. She advised us to keep our minds and bodies active, comparing Maggie Thatcher, who suffered from dementia from her seventies after her busy active life came to a sudden halt when she left public office, to the Queen, who is physically and mentally as bright as a button aged 91 and keeps on the go all the time. By the time Lady Crabtree ended her talk, we were in fits of laughter and we enjoyed our tea and the raffle before heading home after a really enjoyable afternoon.
Harvest Festival: People from Catsfield and further afield gathered at the church of St Laurence last Sunday to celebrate and give thanks for another successful harvest. The church was looking lovely, decorated with flowers, foliage, hops, fresh fruit and vegetables for the occasion and many offerings of other kinds of produce were carried up to the altar during the first traditional harvest hymn of ‘We Plough the Fields and Scatter’. These will all be given to those less fortunate than ourselves later in the week. Father Michael’s sermon was about fishing, a different kind of harvest and one in which Jesus was involved through his disciples, whom he told to become ‘fishers of men’, a message passed on to us today. The choir gave an excellent performance of a harvest anthem and at the end of the service, a huge table at the back of the church was laden with an extensive selection of wonderful food for everyone to stay and enjoy, with a glass of wine or fruit juice. During lunch Rosemary and Mike, Linda and James gave a rousing rendition of ‘The Sussex Farmer’s Toast’ and once again, this country parish had celebrated another traditional ‘harvest home’.
Sport: Football. Playing Magham Down at home on Saturday, we continued an, admittedly very short, winning spell beating our old rivals 4 - 2. Mike, our very own volunteer groundsman, stood on the touchline with Milford, the volunteer groundsman for Magham Down, enjoying the game and reminiscing. Milford is 85 and still fit enough to work tirelessly for his team and the love of the game. He remembers Catsfield beating Magham Down in the 1950s in a final, played at Ninfield in front of 600 spectators. John Attewell, on leave from the RAF, scored the winning goal. There were probably a few Philcox men in the side, a Taylor or two, perhaps Mervyn Jenner, a Saxby and a Davey. Wonderful memories and especially good to know that both villages still play the game.