St Laurence’s Celebration: On Sunday 19th August at 10.30am there will be a service at St Laurence Church to celebrate the church’s patronal saint. Following the service of Holy Communion will be time to chat with friends and visitors and enjoy celebratory drinks and canapes.

Catsfield Fete and Flower Show: With another hot and sunny summer’s day forecast for last Saturday, the field was a hive of activity from early morning as sideshows were erected and entries for the Flower Show came flooding in from 8.30am onwards. The gates opened at 1.30pm and a team of attendants welcomed visitors, collected entry money and directed a steady stream of cars to the parking area. The field was soon buzzing with people of all ages enjoying all the attractions, buying plants, cakes etc, playing the various games whilst listening to the foot-tapping music of ‘Geri and the Attrix’ to which everyone was singing along. A stunning display of gymnastics was given by the very talented team of ‘The Acromats’ which attracted a large crowd of spectators, before the band played a second set after the gymnasts had finished. The WI ladies as always were kept busy at the pavilion providing teas and selling a wonderful array of home-baked cakes and scones at a fraction of the cost that one would pay in a café and so much nicer too. Chairperson Wendy Goodliffe was seen from first thing in the morning until the end, working her socks off and being wherever needed, many thanks to her for another great event. The entry money taken at the gate was £446 and was an increase in last year, which bearing in mind that children go in free, is a pretty good figure! Wendy would like to thank all the volunteers (and especially her own long-suffering family) who helped and the band ‘Geri and the Attrix’ and the ‘Acromats’ display team for entertaining us with their skilful performances. A special thank you to the Kumanan family from Catsfield Village Shop for their continuing support and donation as they were inadvertently left off the list in the programme.

The marquee was visited by everyone at some time during the afternoon to view the impressive entries of flowers and vegetables, cooking, flower arranging and handicrafts and to see who had won. There was so much talent on display but personally I was most impressed by the team efforts that went into creating ‘A Model of a Windmill’ with rotating sails, cap etc made from a majority of recycled materials. The winning entry with a location model of the Moulin Rouge and with sails that turned all afternoon was outstanding, but all the entries were excellent. The Community Class winning entry by the Social Club brought a smile and kept one guessing who the wooden spoon characters were meant to represent (I was only able to identify one for certain) as they demonstrated the various activities which take place in the Village Hall on Club evenings. Overall prize winners were:

Chris Campbell Shield (most points in flowers section) Ivan Luck

Ernie Taylor Cup (most points in the vegetable section) Brian Croft

Burgess Cup (most points in the Horticultural Classes) Ivan Luck

RHS Banksian Medal (most prize money won in the Horticultural classes) Tracey Ellin

Sweet Pea Salver (best in Class 2 in memory of Mrs.E. Parsons) Brian Croft

F.J,Parsons Parsons Trophy (most points in the Handicraft Classes) Janet Woolf

Chris Parkes Photographic cup John Overall

Stobbs Cup (Most points in Cookery classes) Ann Loyd

Newtime Salver (most points in Preserves classes) Keith Bishop

Hodgkin Cup (outstanding arrangement) Helen Wood

Floral Cup (most points in flower arranging) Pauline Putland

Arning Cup (most points in Childrens’ classes) William Richardson

Castleton-Elliot Cup (most points in resident classes) Gill Ellin

Presidents Tankard (Highest points in whole show) Ivan Luck

Norah Philcox Cup and Rosette for Best in show (Catsfield C of E School paintings) Coco Isaac

Fifty pound Prize The Community Class The Catsfield Social Club

The Catsfield WI Centenary award for best WI tea Victoria Crawshaw

Flower Show organiser Victoria says

‘There were 402 entries (63 less than last year) from 89 entrants (125 last year) which are actually very similar figures to 2016

Flowers and plants were down in numbers but more baking and preserves were entered this year and there was a wonderful increase in children’s entries - 45 this year (21 last year)! It was wonderful to see ANY vegetables or flowers considering the extreme weather conditions this year. The marquee was set up with aid of a jolly band of workers and many thanks to them all and the hard-working committee members who all pitched in, despite the heat. Some great new judges were found to take over this year but Joan and Malcolm Moss, who both died in the last few months and have judged the shows for very many years, were sadly missed and remembered. The Catsfield Horticultural Society’s Spring Show will be held in the Village Hall on Saturday 13th April 2019.’

Sport: A fair number of families from both sides enjoyed sitting in the lovely surroundings of Brightling Park on Sunday watching the usual good-natured battle against the background of mewing buzzards and bleating of sheep. We were treated to three generations of the Pitman men, Tim playing for us, Josh for Brightling and his baby Frederick just sitting on the grass. Brightling batted first and reached 197 for 9 at 35 overs, Catsfield using 9 bowlers with Connor Earl playing his first match this season finishing with 2 for 19. Tea facilities are difficult with only a hose pipe, but the teas were good, although I imagine it is difficult to find volunteers. It made us realise how lucky we are with our cool, modern pavilion much appreciated by the WI when they provided refreshments for the fete on a boiling hot Saturday. Back to the cricket, we ended our innings 156 all out, losing by 41 runs. At one stage we were 26 for 5, but Owen Culip 66 and Nick Gurr 31, coupled with some tactful bowling changes by Brightling, rescued the situation and gave us all a good match. Sunday we are away to Newenden, another strong side.

Farming: Farming continues apace, perhaps the yield is not so good, but the cereals have been reasonably easy to harvest and no drying costs. Now for the beans with hopes of no heavy rain to flatten them. After that, how to get the cultivator or plough into the ground ready for autumn planting? Think of how cracked your own garden is and multiply that tenfold on our heavy clay fields. Fortunately, the groundsman has been busy harvesting and we haven’t heard too much about the state of the cricket wicket, but he will soon be turning his attention to the Playing Field, oh dear!