Catsfield

Advent: Sunday 2nd December is the first Sunday in Advent and the countdown to Christmas has begun – not back in September/October as commercial outlets would have had us believe. On Sunday evening an Advent Carol Service will be held at St Laurence Church at 6pm and Father Michael will be serving drinks at the Rectory following the service.

The Advent groups will continue to meet for the next two Tuesdays at 10.30am for about an hour at Pegasus, Church Lane, Catsfield and the last one will be held at The Rectory.

Christmas Market: Last Saturday’s Christmas Market held in the Village Hall was a great event in spite of the cold and pretty persistent rain through most of the day. The hall was warm and welcoming and looked so attractive with the stalls decorated with tiled roofs and greenery and laden with a wonderful selection of seasonal gifts and goodies. It was easy to find gifts to give and plenty to choose from the large displays of delicious cakes, marmalades, pickles and preserves etc as well as from beautifully made craftwork items, decorative goods and soaps, lotions, and other scented items on the bathroom stall. Books, Tombola, lovely baskets of cyclamen, pots of hyacinths etc, a raffle and games to join in, the latter causing great joy and laughter from all age-groups, especially as the afternoon wore on and competition hotted up. The smell of coffee added to the ambience as cakes and ploughman’s lunches were served to a steady flow of customers. There was a lovely friendly and jolly atmosphere throughout the day and the marvellous result announced in church on Sunday was that the Christmas Market had raised £1,755 for church funds!

Treasure Island: Continuing the Christmas theme, the CADS pantomime Treasure Island will be playing at the Village Hall on 6th, 7th and 8th December at 7.30pm with a matinee at 2.30pm on Saturday 8th. Tickets are £8 and £4 for children from the Village Shop but are running out fast now, so hurry if you want to see this annual extravaganza which is always an hilarious experience!

Pam Gurr: Sadly Pam Gurr, who lived most of her life in the village, latterly at Park Gate Cottages, has died. She took part in most village activities and kept a watchful eye on goings-on at the Playing Field, getting in touch with the groundsman when the sheep were on the pitch, or the security light was on. A very keen stoolball player and quick bowler, she was an important part of the team and for the sake of older residents, I will list some of her contemporaries:- Norah, Angela, Ann and Penny Philcox, Jean Attewell, Lil, Joy, Phil and Jo Goodsell, Nancy Furner, Babs Roberts, Vi Eldridge, Ruby Kiley, Gwen Taylor, Seagull Stapley and many more. Pam accompanied Charlie and Dick when they were part of the Ramblers dance band, appearing at functions in the villages and local hotels. Her great sadness was when Charlie died and her son Andy. She took great pride in all her family and was always to be seen supporting her other son Martin and grandson Nick in their village cricket and football. The funeral will be held at Hastings Crematorium on 11th December at 1.15pm.

Sport: Talking briefly about village sport, our football match last week was cancelled as the opposition couldn’t get a referee. Tomorrow we play against Rock a Nore again at Tilekiln in the Robertsbridge Junior Cup, no doubt in the presence of the groundsman, recently returned from his foray into Devon. A different sort of agriculture caught his eye, small grassy fields with herds of dairy cattle and hundreds of acres of higher ground littered (!) with outdoor-reared pigs. He met one of his furthest-flung readers when he and wife called on Patricia Speedy, who seemed to know more local news than us. A few hours in her company is always stimulating and we realised how much we all miss her. We hope to see her again at Christmas when she comes back here for a visit.

Another trip for the groundsman was a day visit to London when we were amazed to see so many people on their phones. How fortuitous that mobile phones were invented, otherwise the pavements would be so full of phone boxes you wouldn’t be able to walk around.

Unfortunately, at the time of writing the Parish Council agenda is not available. There are some planning applications of interest which will no doubt be discussed next week. For further information have a look at the Rother website.

One more item linked to farming. How nice it is to see cows grazing on The Brooks field and it reminds us of the day when Peggy Philcox and her mother-in-law Nellie, who lived along Church Road, fed some grass to a rather greedy cow, who promptly swallowed Peggy’s wedding ring never to be recovered.