Catsfield

Concert: There will be a Spring Concert held at St Laurence Church on Friday 27th April at 7.30pm. The prize winning St Laurence Church Choir will be performing and some local guest artists too. Tickets cost £7 each to include a light supper and are available from the Village Store or on the door.

Catsfield History Group: The exhibition about Thomas Brassey senior the Railway Builder will be on show in Catsfield Village Hall on Saturday 5th May from 11 am to 4 pm

The exhibition centres on Thomas Brassey the railway builder who commissioned the building of Normanhurst as the Brassey family home and who is buried in Catsfield churchyard. The Brassey family were great benefactors to the parish, they donated the Village Hall and gave employment to many people living in the village.

Thomas Brassey senior was a contemporary of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and George and Robert Stephenson. The exhibition gives a small insight into the world of a man of whom many people in the village have never heard.

Like the railways themselves from his humble beginnings he would go on to become perhaps the most important civil engineering contractor of the nineteenth century, laying thousands of miles of track across the globe.

No Victorian hero of comparable significance is so unsung today as Thomas Brassey

Christian Aid Plant Sale and Coffee Morning: On Saturday 19th May in Catsfield Village Hall the annual Christian Aid Plant Sale and Coffee Morning will be selling a large selection of plants for your garden, both annuals and perennials and is always well worth a visit. Be warned, arrive early, this sale has a great reputation for quality and plenty of people get there early to grab a bargain!

St George’s Day Celebrations: A mix of Catsfield and Crowhurst parishioners gathered last Sunday at St. George’s church Crowhurst to conclude their patronal festival celebrations and a combined choir beautifully sang the West Gallery anthem ‘Grant us Thy Peace’. A new church banner made by Crowhurst Stitchers was paraded and duly dedicated, as was the flag of St. George carried by three soldiers from the Royal Artillery Regiment.

Ninfield Scouts: Ninfield Scout Group (which has many members from Catsfield) has been given an allotment behind the school in Ninfield. They are proceeding well but to make the cultivation easier(and create less mud!) they would welcome any unwanted paving slabs you might have lying around. Please contact Rosemary Cooper on 892681 who can arrange their collection.

WI: The last event in the WI centenary celebrations was the dinner for WI members in the Hall last Wednesday night, when members enjoyed a glass of fizz, a two course meal with coffee, chocolates and wine. No raffle, no money changed hands, no washing up, just a chance to get together with friends for a treat after all the hard work. President Ann Davey thanked members for their support and especially the wonderful Committee, presented the three eldest members with a plant and was then surprised by Secretary Beryl Bodey presenting her with a large bouquet of extra special flowers. We all felt we had honoured those intrepid Catsfield ladies who had started the WI during the First World War and kept it going for one hundred years. Some special memories had been created for our present members.! !

The next meeting is on 3rd May, when we will be discussing a mental health resolution, just to prove we are not all about celebrations and fizz, although it is nice occasionally!! !!

Sport: Busy days for the groundsman, rolling, mowing and grumbling about the cricket wicket, rabbits, moles, wet, etc etc. Sunday we hope to play the first cricket match of the season against Little Common 2pm at home, but who knows?! !

Saturday we managed to get in another football match, although it was away at Barley Lane, Hastings high on the hill where it would be difficult to be too wet. Play started at 3.30pm as the pitch had to be used for another match before us. We played Tackleway and even without our usual goalkeeper, won 2 - 3 in a dramatic match. One of our players dislocated his shoulder, helped by our groundsman into the pavilion, who then went to get him a chair wondering how he would fare trying to keep his arm steady taking him to hospital - when the shoulder righted itself! Another of our players twisted his ankle and had to go in goal, leaving the ever-present ancient groundsman running the line. Groundsman came home in time to watch the semi-final of the FA Cup, which was also dramatic but not quite so personal. Catsfield are now third in the table with tomorrow away to Punnetts Town and one more fixture after that.

Annual Parish Assembly: Chairman John Overall opened the meeting by thanking retiring Clerk Carol Hodgson and to great delight welcoming her as a Parish Councillor, leaving one vacancy still to be filled. He introduced new Clerk Karen Crowhurst, who is also Clerk to Ringmer Council and very experienced. He mentioned they were having to come to terms with two protocols, transparency and data protection, which seemed at odds with each other. He was pleased to report that the precept had remained the same. On-going projects included road safety near the school and the main road, taking over the old BT telephone kiosk, community speed watch and putting a plaque on the oak tree by the church. The Council had provided a grant to the Hall for installation of LED lighting.

Various village organisations then reported including the WI, see above; Social Club who meet every Tuesday evening in the Hall, Stoolball teams who will soon start their seasons. Although it is becoming difficult to find enough ladies fixtures, the mixed teams are doing well. Mike Davey reported on the football and cricket teams. We heard from the PCSO, who urged us to sign up for

Rother Neighbourhood Watch. Pauline Putland reported on the History Group and their Brassey Exhibition on 5th May 11 am to 4pm.

Scott Lavocah and friends reported on the highly successful Boat Race, due again on 8th July, urging people to enter boats. They had given away £1,200 each to three charities and this year’s profits will be distributed to Air Ambulance and St Laurence Church. Keith Robertson reported on CADS and their very successful pantomime Batman, they are now looking at some good scripts for next year and will be doing some murder mysteries. He also reported on his team doing Speedwatch, where they recorded 1215 cars last year doing more than 37 mph, 1,000 of which had received letters from the Police. The scheme does work and obviously, regular use is more successful. Jane Overall reported on the Church, with some maintenance done on the roof, some repairs needed for the stone glass windows and surrounding stonework. They now have a junior choir and are supporting a junior organ scholar. A Flower Festival will be held 23th and 24th June and they thanked the Parish Council for paying to have the cemetery grass cut, urging people to go up there and enjoy the wild flowers

Poppy Davies reported on a wonderful Pre-School Ofsted report and new Head of the school Caroline Garland mentioned they need to increase technology at the school, they have had two book weeks and had visits from two authors. They had received Outstanding grading for their Ofsted-type report from Inspection of Anglican and Methodists Schools. They will soon become a Forest School and like all local schools, they are full. Ann Davey reported on the Village Hall, who have kept hiring charges the same, they await a full survey on the building. ESCC Councillor Kathryn Field reported on a rise of 6% in their precept, in order to try to keep their services running. The high cost of social care in the County being one of the causes. Rother Councillor Gary Curtis reported homelessness and housing are big problems in Rother. As we all suspected, there is not enough social housing. The evening ended with thanks being given to the Parish Council and Kathryn and Gary, followed by refreshments.