School Fete: Tomorrow, Saturday 16th June will be a busy day in the village. First there is the School Fete opening at 12 noon until 3pm, adults 50p entry with children going free. Lots of great events, plenty to eat and probably to drink, all whilst supporting our local PTA and ultimately the children. There will also be lots of wonderful raffle prizes including the first prize of £100. Be there, join in, have a flutter, you might win.
Sussex Harmony: In the evening tomorrow, to celebrate Sussex Day, Sussex Harmony, a West Gallery Quire, is returning to Catsfield to perform a selection of pieces interwoven with readings and snippets of history from the period. The concert will be 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.
Family Morning Service: This Sunday 17th June the service of Holy Communion will be at the earlier time of 9am and will be followed at 10am by the Family Morning Service, after which coffee, tea and biscuits will be served.
St Laurence Flower Festival: June 23rd sees the start of the next and biggest fund-raising event of the year for the parish church of St Laurence. Next Saturday and Sunday 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 the weekend free. Parish Communion will be at 9.15am on Sunday 24th as usual and there will be a Flower Festival Evensong at 5pm.
Catsfield’s Got Talent: This promises to be an evening with a difference hosted by the Catsfield Horticultural Society on Saturday 30th June at 7pm in the Village Hall. Contestants of all ages are welcome to enter with any form of entertainment - instrumental music, dance, song, poetry, jokes, magic tricks, gymnastics, juggling, the list is endless. A microphone, amplifier and keyboard will be available and a piano accompanist can be arranged if required. Tickets and entry forms are available from the Village Store, it’s free to enter but kindly return the completed forms as soon as possible please. There will be a first prize of £50 and the chance to perform at the evening event at the Summer Fete. Tickets cost £5 each and free for children, this will include the first drink and there will be a licensed bar, refreshments and a raffle.
WI: The June meeting of the Catsfield WI was sparsely attended and, with our pianist also away, the rendition of Jerusalem this month was not quite up to its usual standard! The Secretary read the minutes of the previous meeting and the President said that congratulatory and thank you cards and letters were still being received following the recent centenary celebrations. There are many forthcoming village events for which WI volunteers are needed to help with teas, make cakes etc. This meeting included the ‘Fun Flower and Produce Show’ and whilst the judges were deciding the winners we listened to our speaker Steve Hall, telling to us about ‘Plastics in our Seas and Oceans’. Steve had talked to us before about the origin and history of cartoons, but on this occasion he addressed us on a far more serious and worrying subject. Steve is a firm supporter of the Marine Conservation Society which was founded in 1983 after a young girl died after swallowing raw sewage whilst swimming in the sea. This initiated the introduction of ‘Clean Beaches’ and the flag system that was awarded to those beaches that conformed to a standard, which made a considerable improvement in the state of the sea around our shores. In 2008 the Marine Conservation Act designated the sea at Beachy Head West a protected area for the preservation of sea horses which can be found there and it is currently proposed to do the same at Beachy Head East. This would draw a triangle from Beachy Head, out to the Sovereign Light and back in to St Leonards but is naturally opposed by the Hastings fishermen. One of my favourite ‘starters’ in a restaurant is whitebait which in my ignorance, I had assumed was a small species of fish but apparently that is wrong. They are baby fish of various kinds and by eating them, we are preventing them from growing into adults of different species – so no more whitebait for me!
On to the plastic problem which is HUGE, apparently there are six different kinds of plastic that we recycle varying from hard to soft, bendy etc and if not thoroughly sorted and if the different types get mixed, it ruins the recycling process and renders it useless. This obviously costs much in time and money. To demonstrate how sea creatures come to eat plastic, Steve explained that turtles eat jellyfish and he threw an ordinary supermarket plastic bag used for loose vegetables in the air. Of course as it came down it filled with air (or water if in the sea) and it closely resembled a jellyfish. Micro-beads that come from scrubs, some toothpastes, many cleaning products get washed into the sea and together with fine fibres that come from our clothing, they are ingested by plankton and other organisms and killed, thus reducing greatly the food of many larger creatures such as whales. ‘Biodegradable’ on bags only means can be broken down into smaller bits of plastic and we should look out for ‘compostable’ on the labels. Supermarket chains need to be urged to do something about packaging etc and that will take a huge amount of public opinion, so get writing your protest letters if we hope to change anything and combat this enormous problem.
An excellent tea was served and it was time to wander round looking at the exhibits and see who had won in the various classes. The next meeting will be on 5th July at 2.30pm when the speaker will be Sarah Page talking about ‘Sussex Trugs – The Basket of the Weald’ and members are invited to bring their own trugs so that she can tell us if they are genuine Sussex Trugs.
‘Bikability’: A lovely sight the other day was seeing Mike and Rosemary Cooper with twelve young schoolchildren suitably clothed in helmets and other cycling gear, progressing very carefully along Market Road in Battle. Mike and Rosemary run ‘Bikability’ which trains young children in the skills and joy of safe cycling. They go all round the local schools and love doing it - however, three lots of 12 children in one day might have been rather taxing if you consider all the chatter that went with it!
Sport: There was quite a bit of chatter of the male kind led by the groundsman at the cricket on Sunday when we hosted Jevington to a sun-drenched village cricket match. They are a very nice team and we enjoyed a close fought game, which our Captain Derek Fuller won for us with a four scored at the end of the match. Jevington batted first and finished at tea with 199 for 6, the wickets shared between our five bowlers, Tom Bristow-Diamond getting 2 for 67 in a long bowling spell. P Crittenden with 33, Owen Cullip 37 and Dom Carey 23 were our top scorers and although we were treated to some hard hitting by Martin Gurr, he was skilfully bowled out before we had the chance to witness more. All played in a friendly spirit, together with two visits from a stray dog, who had to be rescued by their owners staying in the village on holiday and who had no idea where the Playing Field was. The dog also enjoyed his time with us, although was rather disappointed not to be enthusiastically welcomed by the groundsman.