Catsfield

Quiz Night: A reminder that tomorrow, Saturday 13th October the fundraisers of St Laurence Church will be holding a Quiz Night in the Village Hall at 7.30pm. The price of tickets is £5 per person and they are available now from the Village Shop or on the door. Teams can be of four or six people, so gather your friends and think up an original name to call yourselves. Liquid refreshments will be available and bring your own nibbles.

Family Service: The Family Service this month will be a week earlier than usual as the following week is half-term holiday. This Sunday 14th October the service of Holy Communion will be at 9am and will be followed by the Family Service at 10am, all are welcome.

Craft Fair: Helen and Janet will once again be holding their Craft Fair in Catsfield Village Hall on Saturday 27 October from 10.00 am until 2.30 pm. All proceeds from the Craft Fair this year will go to the National Deaf Children’s Society. There will be a vast array of crafts from local makers - an early opportunity to purchase original presents for Christmas. Refreshments will also be available. Entry is free and there is plenty of free parking.

Catsfield Remembers: On Saturday 10th November in the Village Hall at 7pm there will be an event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of WWl. This will include an Act of Commemoration, a ‘Trench-style Meal’ and a period entertainment. Tickets cost £12 each and are available now from Sandra on 0142477708. She has already sold quite a few and places are limited, so book yours soon if you’re interested.

This will be followed the next day by a special Remembrance Sunday Service, held in the evening this year at 6.15pm as part of the Nation’s Tribute entitled ‘Battle’s Over’. This will include the Last Post being played in the churchyard, the lighting of a memorial beacon at 7pm and followed by the joyful sound of the church bells ringing out for peace. The ceramic poppies currently being made will be on display too, especially those dedicated to the fallen servicemen of Catsfield. More details nearer the time.

Ceramic Poppies: A reminder to all thirty-five poppy makers that Mary will be returning to the Village Hall on Saturday 20th October at 2pm to guide us through glazing our poppies before their final firing. There are still a few poppies left for sale and two more sponsors are needed for the memorial poppies in the church, all at £5 each.

WI: At least eleven gentlemen and some lady visitors joined the members of Catsfield WI for their October meeting – no, not a sign of things to come – just a one-off invitation! Visitors were invited to listen to Penny Philcox talking about ‘A Miscellany of Local History’, a subject of interest to anyone connected to Catsfield and Penny didn’t disappoint. After an extra rousing rendition of Jerusalem, business matters were kept to a minimum before Penny told us of Catsfield in bygone days. Some things never change and she began back in the reign of Henry Vlll when references were made to the dreadful state of the roads in Sussex, potholes today are insignificant in comparison! When Elizabeth l was on the throne, Daniel De Foe complained bitterly about the Sussex roads and this could be attributed to the huge amount of tree-felling to provide oaks for building warships. Furnaces and iron works were another cause of the heavy use to which the county’s roads were put during the wars with France and Spain. Ashburnham Forge was the largest, producing canon and fire-backs and added to the heavy industry in the area, all of which left us nowadays with the many attractive sunken lanes around Catsfield. Coppicing, charcoal burning, brick making, the use of marl as a fertiliser and the manufacture of bricks and gunpowder made this an extremely busy part of the country and we heard much about the enormous dangers that went into the making of gunpowder with many terrible accidents occurring regularly.

Going even further back into history, in 1450 the rebellion led by Jack Cade against the corruption and abuse of power in government was started in Battle and ultimately led to the downfall of Henry Vl and became precursor to the War of the Roses. William Markwick, who died in the early 19th century, was a Sussex landowner and a famous naturalist and lived at Catsfield Manor, a collection of his work can be seen in Hastings Museum, beautifully illustrated by himself. We heard about unrest over wages, conditions and poverty in the early 19th century and the struggle of William Cobbett MP to get justice for the poor. The Brassey family came to Catsfield, built Normanhurst Court in 1870 and became great benefactors to the local population: they are remembered with great affection in the community to this day. This brought Penny to more recent times and the recollections of local men and women, some of whom are still alive today. It was a fascinating wander through some local history and I’m sure Penny will be invited to return to tell us more.

Her mixed audience was then invited to join in a lovely WI tea, which I’m sure was enjoyed by all before the raffle and time to go home after a most interesting afternoon.

Sport: No sports report this time as the groundsman took his wife away for a couple of days break, back next week.