WI: A reminder to WI members to bring your bulb orders to the meeting on the 7th June and your entries for the Fun, Flower and Produce Show when we hope for some keen competition. We have new judges to replace the late Joan and Malcolm Moss and we hope to give them plenty of entries to judge. We also have Steve Hall talking about the current major problem of plastic pollution of our seas and beaches and maybe telling us how we can help to alleviate this disastrous poisoning of our environment.

Catsfield Quire: In the 18th & 19th centuries St. Laurence Church had a Quire, a group of singers and other villagers who played perhaps fiddles, a cello, a flute, a clarionet maybe even a bassoon. The musicians having played for a dance on the Saturday night would turn up on Sunday together with the singers to lead the service up in a gallery at the west end of the church. Who played what or who sang is not known but what they sang and played is, thanks largely to one man, Canon Kenneth H MacDermott. In the late 19th century when he was curate of Hurstpierpoint he began his research into this music prompted by an old manuscript book he was given. He wrote to over 200 church choirmasters seeking information about church bands and their music. With the resultant information he was able publish a book entitled ’The Old Church Gallery Minstrels’.

Amongst the documents he received were 9 books from Catsfield, some from Miss Louisa Blackman (grand-daughter of a Robert Blackman) and some from a Mr T C Poulter, whose great-grandfather, a Mr Crouch, was a musician in the band. They, of course, were all hand written and most quite tricky to decipher, they contained 175 different items of music. Almost 25 years ago some of this robust music, with strong tunes and words, was published in a book entitled ’The Singing Seat’ (another name for the west gallery).

So to celebrate Sussex Day, Sussex Harmony, a West Gallery Quire, is returning to Catsfield to perform a selection of these pieces interwoven with readings and snippets of history from the period. The concert is on 16th June in the Village Hall starting at 7.30p.m. It will be free to come in BUT there is a retiring collection. Refreshments will be available and participation in singing some of the pieces will be encouraged.

St Laurence Church: We’re now into June and its only three weeks until the next and biggest fund-raising event of the year for the parish church of St Laurence. On the weekend of 23rd and 24th June there will be a two-day Flower Festival with displays by village organisations and many other talented flower arrangers. This is always well worth more than one visit, as well as the displays in the church, there will be plant and cake stalls and other items for sale, plus lunches and teas served throughout the two days so do try and keep that weekend free. Today for inspiration, a coachload of parishioners have gone to Chichester to visit the flower festival in the cathedral there.

Sport: Perhaps due to it being the start of half term, the cricketers were unable to field a team to play Sedlescome last week, so the match was cancelled. We know that two of our players had tickets for the Sunday Test Match at Lords, so their day didn’t last very long. If we hadn’t cancelled our match, they might have been able to come back in time to play, or perhaps some of the England team could have joined in for some much needed match practice? We hope to play Southbourne away this Sunday on the beautiful St Cyprians pitch in the Meads.

Meanwhile, if you want to watch some village sport, there are always our stoolballers who have a very full programme of matches. On the 12th the mixed team play Crowhurst at home and on 14th the ladies play Pett also at home, starting at 6.30pm these matches are fun to play in and watch. Take the family, sit in the evening sun while the children play safely around you.

Reminder: to WI members to bring your bulb orders to the meeting on the 7th and with new judges for our fun, flower and produce show, we hope for some keen competition. We also have Steve Hall talking about plastic pollution of our seas and beaches.