Etchingham news
Etchingham news

CRICKET FIELD: There was a public meeting to discuss proposals for the Cricket Field last Saturday (February 2), in the Ahrens Hall. You will be aware that it is proposed to bring the ‘Cricket Field’, behind the houses at the north-west end of the High Street, back into use as a sports field. The development will involve considerable earthworks and extensive drainage works. The Parish Council holds some funds which were part of the proceeds from the sale of the old village hall site, but there is a shortfall of £100,000. The Parish Council is allowed to apply to the Public Works Loan Board for the required amount, spread over a repayment period of up to 50 years. At the current interest rate that is set by the Treasury the amount required equates to a repayment sum of £4,820 per annum or £11.70 per annum for a Band D householder. This is a decision for the village, not the Parish Council, survey forms were available at the meeting and have been distributed to every house in the village, 51% of the responses must be in favour for the loan application to go ahead. There is one vote for every Etchingham resident who is listed on the Electoral Register for Etchingham, each person needs to submit a separate form, one response form has been delivered to each house, further copies for other members of the household can be obtained from the Parish Office at Parsonage Croft, or can be downloaded from the village website If you require more information before making your decision there is information and some Q & A’s from the Public Meeting on the website, or you can contact the Parish Clerk Monday, Wednesday or Friday 10.30am to 2.30pm at the Parish Office 01580 819048 . All response forms must be returned to the parish office by Friday February 15.

SPEEDWATCH: The Speedwatch operators continue to run as many sessions as possible with the currently reduced number of available operators. The number of volunteer operators is currently reduced, due to some operators not able to as many sessions because of health issues or work commitments, and other operators moving away. So we could do with a few more volunteers to enable a useful number of sessions to be run each month. It is not complicated to volunteer as an operator and you do not need to commit to a lot of time, if you can only do an hour occasionally it is just as useful as being available for several hours a week. If you are interested in considering joining our volunteer team contact or phone 01580 819532 for details, or take a look at the Community Speedwatch website

PLAYGROUNDS: Etchingham Recreation Ground Trust (ERGT) is the charity responsible for Queen’s Garden and the Viper site. ERGT are working on fund raising for repair and replacement of equipment. There are a couple grant applications in progress that if successful will help build the total. You can generate funds for ERGT whenever you shop online and it does not cost you anything extra. You register at Give as you Live then whenever you shop online you sign in to the Give as you Live website first and use the link on the site to access the retailer you are purchasing from, there are over 4,000 online retailers available so your favourites are bound to be there, a small percentage of your purchase will be donated to ERGT, the amounts are quite small but if lots of people remember to use the system for every purchase it will soon add up to a useful sum of money. You will find more details of how to use Give as you Live on the ERGT fundraising page of the village website EVERY PENNY COUNTS. There is also a fundraising page online where you can make a donation if you are a tax payer please remember to fill in the Gift Aid form when you make your donation so that ERGT get an extra 25% from HMRC. If you want to make a donation but do not have the ability to do it online, you can a payment with cash or a cheque payable to Etchingham Playgrounds and deliver it to the Parish Office at Parsonage Croft, or in a sealed envelope clearly marked ‘playground appeal’ at the Post Office. The target to be raised is £25,000, at the time of writing just over £660 has been raised, with some more donations and gift aid waiting to be approved, so quite a way to go yet. If you have any fundraising ideas, and more importantly, time to help organise fundraising, email . The annual safety inspection for 2018 has just taken place and as expected it was not good news, more items may now have to be taken out of use.

CHURCH SERVICES: Church Services for February and March, all Sunday services are at 11am, this Sunday February 10, Reverend Sally Epps; .February 17, to be confirmed; February 24, Reverend Iain Morrison; March 3, Canon Patrick Sales; March 10, (Family Service) Reverend Sally Epps; March 17, Reverend Christopher Channer; March 24, Reverend Iain Morrison; March 31, (Mothering Sunday) Reverend Sally Epps.

CHURCH CONTACT: Churchwardens, Mary Barnes 01580 819142 and Geoffry Lucas 01580 819439. For Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals and Pastoral Matters contact Reverend Sally Epps 01435 882301

CHURCH OPENING: The Church is open every day for visitors from 11am to 4pm.

HURST GREEN: As you will be aware there is not currently a Village Voice correspondent for Hurst Green. If you are connected with with a Hurst Green group, or organising an event in Hurst Green, I am happy to add the details to the Etchingham column if you send the information to me. Or, even better, perhaps there is someone in Hurst Green who would like to take on the Hurst Green column, if you want to know more you can contact me or the Battle Observer.

SENDING INFORMATION: Thank you to everyone who has sent me information for this column during 2018, please keep your contributions coming in during 2019. Get information for this column to me as soon as possible. There are several ways to get your info to me, but email is preferred because there is less chance of errors during copying. I need information by 10pm on Monday to be sure it will be in time for inclusion, I can sometimes add extra items on Tuesday morning, but this cannot be guaranteed. You can deliver to 2 Park Farm Close, telephone 01580 819532 or 07484 635014 or email