Ceramic Poppies for the Centenary of WWI: This year is the hundredth anniversary of the end of WWI in November and it is planned to hold a workshop run by Burwash Potter, Mary Clarke (website in Catsfield Village Hall to make ceramic poppies, exactly like the ones that made such a spectacular show at the Tower of London. This will involve two two-hour sessions three weeks apart. At the first, on Saturday 15th September from 2pm – 4pm, Mary will demonstrate how to make the poppies and then everyone will make their own (hopefully plus several spares) which Mary will take away and fire. She will bring them back five weeks later on Saturday 20th October 2pm – 4pm for another session at which they’ll be painted and then fired again. They will be collected from her in time for the Remembrance Celebrations and returned to Catsfield to be distributed.

The two sessions with Mary (to include materials, tuition, refreshments and one of the poppies that you make to keep) will cost £17. It is possible to make at least three, (maybe four) in the time allowed and extras can be bought for an additional £5 each for you to keep or donate for sale to raise money for ‘Help for Heroes’ or the Royal British Legion after all expenses have been deducted. It is hoped to get 29 sponsors from the Catsfield community to buy a named poppy for each of the twenty-nine fallen from the village in both World Wars for Remembrance Sunday on 11th November in the church and to keep for the future. If anyone would like to contribute to this, would they please let me know. These sessions will be most interesting, informal and great fun - I’ve been told that the poppies are easy to make - with a lovely end product that you can be proud of. (The Tower of London poppies were sold for £25 each and these should be identical). Places will be limited to thirty people - men are invited too - but you need to book and pay in advance please by calling Jill Woods on 01424 316309 or by emailing

WI: Twenty-four stalwart ladies of the Catsfield WI gathered for a garden party at the home of our secretary Beryl and her husband David last Thursday, despite the appalling weather forecast for the afternoon. A large tent had been erected in the garden and was filled with tables and chairs but the rain had already started as we arrived. It was a most enjoyable afternoon with a tricky quiz, a raffle, lots of happy conversation and a delicious tea, made and served by the committee despite the heavens having opened by this time! The deluge was so heavy that voices had to be raised above the noise of the rain beating on the roof of the tent and it didn’t take too long before it began to cause leaks. Still we laughed and enjoyed our tea, some with umbrellas up inside the tent and others protected by hooded raincoats and we decided that only the British could see the funny side, carry on as usual and continue to have a great time under such circumstances! Thanks to the Beryl, David and the committee for all their hard work, which was greatly appreciated and thanks too, to the rest of us hardy souls for turning up and laughing through it all.

The next meeting will be in the Village Hall on Thursday 6th September at 2.30pm when it will take the form of another ‘At Home’ meeting. At last year’s ‘At Home’ several members talked about their earlier lives, their work and careers. This proved very popular and gave us insight to the many various and sometimes unexpected lives led by our friends. This will provide the opportunity for others who haven’t yet spoken to tell about their past.

St Laurence Celebrations: On Sunday 19th August the Catsfield Parish Church celebrated its patron saint of St Laurence. We were very happy to see so many friends from St George’s Church in Crowhurst who joined us for the service and also the return from holiday of Bob, our organist and choirmaster who accompanied the choir on the piano in a beautiful rendition of the hymn ‘Fairest Lord Jesus’. Father Michael talked about St Laurence who was first among the seven deacons of Rome. When he was commanded to hand over the treasures of the Church, he gave away all the riches to deserving causes and brought the poor, the sick and the homeless as being the true treasures of God. For this he was put to death by roasting on a gridiron in August 258 AD, which has since become a symbol of St Laurence. The cosmic phenomenon of the Perseids, the shooting stars that can be seen in the night sky in mid-August around the time of his death have been named the ‘Tears of St Laurence’. He was described as being a very popular, kind and likeable person with a good sense of humour and has since been named the patron saint of laundries, cooks, libraries and wine makers amongst other things. The service was followed by the serving of drinks and delicious home-made canopes, which included both savoury and sweet star-shaped biscuits to represent the ‘Tears of St Laurence’ and the opportunity to chat with friends and neighbours.

Blue Grass Evenings: Blue Grass Plus are presenting ‘G-runs and Roses’ a great Czech Bluegrass band at Catsfield Village Hall on August 31st, doors open 7.30pm and show is from 8pm-11pm. Tickets cost £10 pp. On September 22nd the ‘Whitetop Mountain Girls’ will perform at same place and time tickets are £12pp. Supported by ‘Alive and Kicking’, contact Ray or Sheila on 01424 893390 or 07956266534

Floor Polisher: The Catsfield Village Hall Committee have a heavy-duty floor polisher for sale with all attachments and in good working order but surplus to requirements. It may be useful to some other village hall or someone with a large floor area to maintain. £50. Call Vanessa on 07972360135

Sport: The penultimate cricket match of the season was held in a strong wind, grey skies and spectators huddled in jackets. The inadequate amount of recent rain had made the grass a little greener, but did nothing to soften the ground. However, Parkhurst batted first and reached a total of 101, with Tom Bristow-Diamond’s bowling figures of 3 for 18, Andy Williams 3 for 4, Charlie Francis 2 for 41 and A Jay 1 for 18. After a good tea by Jackie Gurr, we reached 102 with only 2 wickets gone, by 6pm. Sam Collins was 52 not out and David Pratt thoroughly enjoying his innings finished at 17 not out. Somebody called “extras” was also a high scorer, with 12 no balls. What was the groundsman doing? Talking to a French couple, who were on holiday and having been to Hambledon the home of cricket, were driving round trying to find a real match to watch. They loved our old tin numbers, which have been used since the groundsman’s father-in-law played and were amazed to see the stoolball wickets. Meanwhile, we were all rather sad to think there is only the match against Netherfield on Sunday and then our happy group of players and families will probably not meet again until the AGM in the New Year.

Farming: Farming continues, the rape has to be in by 31st August, but the struggle to break up the ground is proving a trial. The wheat and beans can go in later, but we do need more rain; after all, if the rape doesn’t grow what will the pigeons eat?