Catsfield

Carol Singing: The informal Carol Singing evening in the Village Hall will be on Thursday 20th December from 6.30pm until 8pm and you’re welcome to drop in and out as it suits you. The singing will be led by the St Laurence Church Choir accompanied by Choirmaster Bob Andrew on the piano; mince pies and mulled wine will be served. There is no charge for this popular event but a retiring collection will be held for St Michael’s Hospice.

Christmas at St Laurence Church: Sunday 23rd December is the fourth Sunday in Advent and the morning service will be at the usual time of 9.15am. On Monday afternoon - Christmas Eve the Crib Service will be at 3pm and is always packed with excited children, parents and grandparents, so do arrive early for this delightful start to Christmas. Midnight Mass this year will be at St George’s Church Crowhurst at 11.30pm and on Christmas Day there will be a Family Communion Service at St Laurence Church at 10am. The usual 9.30am Communion Service will be held on Thursday 27th to celebrate St John the Evangelist.

Burns Night: The traditional three course Burn’s Night dinner will be held on Saturday 26th January 2019 in the Village Hall at 7pm. Tickets will go on sale from 1st January available only from Sandra on 01424 774708 and will cost £12 each to include dinner and a wee dram. Please book early to avoid disappointment.

WI: The ladies of Catsfield WI invaded the Brickwall Hotel at Sedlescombe last Thursday where we all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas lunch in the conservatory, which we had all to ourselves. The food was delicious, the service was impeccable and the company of course, was great and we all had a marvellous time. This was the last event at the end of our centenary year and was paid for by the committee from funds raised for all the year’s celebrations. A massive thank you to them all for organising so many wonderful events throughout 2018 and making it a very special year to remember.

Sport (and Sporting History): The groundsman was grounded last Saturday and missed standing in the pouring rain and sleet at Tilekiln. Obviously, he is some sort of talisman as we lost 1 - 3 to St Leonards Social. No further matches for the boys until the New Year.

Searching for something to say, John Attewell was consulted about the history of the football pitch which seems to be tied into the Brassey family and other landowners. John remembers playing at Campfield, Powdermill Lane when very young and biking to meet Bert Kemp, who himself biked from Sidley on a Saturday lunchtime to mark out the pitch and then play. Possibly the name Campfield is linked to the famous Battle.

From there, the team moved to Gurrs Field, which is now part of Broomham to the left of the Playing Field. These old field names tell us so much of village life. Mr Gurr lived around Burnt Barns and at one stage owned Gurrs Field. From there the team moved to The Old Footer Field, a real quagmire with no drainage near The Kennels. Some event caused the Parish Council to become involved in making a football pitch on our present Playing Field. For one season, football was actually played right across the cricket field and the very wicket! It was a tough job to remove most of the Victorian iron fencing and the groundsman’s father John Davey, himself an enthusiastic footballer, used the machinery from Lower Hill Farm to get the pitch flat and playable. For many years the old thatched barn was used as a pavilion for all sport on the field, no water, electricity or sanitation. There is more history to be uncovered, for instance a family called Crofton gave some of their land to the village to complete the present set- up. Special thanks to John Attewell, whose memory is extraordinary.

A very happy Christmas and a peaceful healthy New Year to all our readers: There will be no Village Voice on Friday 28th December, but Ann, the groundsman and I hope to be back with you in 2019.