Catsfield

Film Night: The next fundraising event for St Laurence Church will take place on Friday next, 20th July at 7pm in the Village Hall. Following the great success of ‘The Sound of Music’ sing-along film showing, the next screening will be the popular ‘Mama Mia’ with all the Abba songs that everyone knows so well. Doors open at 6.45pm and tickets cost £12 each to include a buffet supper. Call Sandra on 01424 774708 to reserve your place but tickets are nearly sold out so hurry.

WI: The July meeting of Catsfield WI took place on a hot summer’s day last Thursday and Ann, our President read a moving tribute to our oldest and longest serving WI member Ruby Kiley, who sadly died recently, just days before her 98th birthday. We also heard of the death of another member Josie Smith and we stood for a minute’s silence before singing Jerusalem. The meeting was well-attended and after all the usual notices, we listened to our speaker Sarah Page from ‘The Truggery’ at Herstmonceux entitled ‘Sussex Trugs – The Basket of the Weald’. Several members had brought their own trugs for Sarah to identify their origins. She was able to tell that three or four of them were not genuine Sussex trugs and could say roughly where they had been made, but the last one was the real thing, made at her own Truggery. Sarah was very keen to discover the origins of the trug and had investigated thoroughly but told us that it was virtually impossible to be certain, although it was obvious that they have been around for a very long time. They were originally made as an agricultural tool for harvesting and measuring crops of grain, apples etc and the way they are made hasn’t changed for hundreds of years. Fame came to Herstmonceaux for trug making when a local maker, Thomas Smith took a range of trugs to the Great Exhibition in London in 1851 where they were spotted by Queen Victoria who was most impressed and promptly ordered many for all the members of her considerable family. When the order was completed it was loaded onto a hand cart and Thomas Smith walked to London to deliver it personally as he didn’t trust anyone else. ‘The Truggery’ was opened as a centre for trug making in 1899 and they are still produced there using original tools and methods. Sarah showed us the tools used and gave us an idea how the wood was cut and shaped to form the traditional and easily recognised trug that most of us own and use in our gardens. A lovely WI tea followed with the opportunity to look at the wide selection of trugs that Sarah had brought with her and ask questions.

Glynn Higgins: (written by Jan Roberts)

Glynne Higgins who has sadly passed away in Hampshire, had lived in Catsfield as a boy when his father worked in the bakehouse behind Catsfield shop. He married Beryl and they lived in Hastings to begin with, their son Phillip being their only child. In time they moved back to Catsfield to ‘Redwick’ on The Green. Glynne and his son were responsible for turning the chapel into living accommodation, both being excellent carpenters, indeed Jacks of all trades! After Beryl died Glynne’s health deteriorated and he moved to Hampshire to be with his son and daughter-in-law Hilary. His funeral will be at Hastings Crematorium. He was a true gentleman and a lovely friend.

Sport etc: (written by Ann as usual)

Our cricketers were battling the heat on Sunday playing Bexhill on the Downs, where there is very little shelter and with the grass parched and the outfield like glass, they pulled off a victory. Bexhill batted first and declared at tea with 225 for 4 with Nick Gurr bowling very effectively. Jamie Bristow-Diamond scored 102 and Tim Pitman 84 contributing to our winning score of 228. This Sunday, being World Cup Final, our home match will start early to enable the team to go wherever blokes go to watch events of this magnitude - and hopefully see England win. At the time of going to press, it is impossible to say whether we will be in the final, but it has been a marvellous tournament and a restoration of English sporting pride.

The Boat Race: Also battling the heat on Sunday were the wonderful team running the Boat Race. It seemed comfortable standing in the shade under the trees of the Playing Field or even lining the hedges, but running round the triangle in fancy dress trying to co-ordinate movement with several other people in a peculiar shaped boat, must have seemed impossible. But, of course, it wasn’t and great fun was had by everyone. Hopefully, a full account will be written later, but to all involved, led by Scott, Russell, Damien, Steve, Andrea, Gary, Carol and families, numerous marshals, stewards, volunteers, WI, pre-school and many, many more a big thank you for a splendid day. One of the worst and most successful jobs is the barbecue masterminded by the king of heat Steve Gower. Oh, who won the race? The F E Philcox Ltd boat, not powered by any of their staff we noticed, but a team of fit young chaps. Out of sentiment Ann Davey had a fiver on them in the tote but remarked that if her Dad had built it no-one could have lifted it!

Farming News: Farming is even more difficult this year in the heatwave. Although hay making has been trouble-free, the crops are getting dried out and the worry is the rape seed will fall to the ground before it can be harvested and the wheat ears dry out. While everyone wants rain, what we don’t want are heavy downpours. Sheep and cattle grazing is also becoming a worry. The groundsman is anxious about the Playing Field, the wicket and his carrots which haven’t germinated. We await with trepidation the ritual digging of the spuds.