Fairlight news
Fairlight news

Church Matters: This Sunday, November 13, is Remembrance Sunday, when there will be a service of Holy Communion at St Peter’s at 8 am. Then, at 10.30 am, there will be the Royal British Legion Remembrance Service at St Andrew’s, with the service being led by the new Royal British Legion Chaplain, the Rev Ian Pruden.

Could there be a Flower Festival next June?: The Church is talking of the possibility of St Andrew’s staging a flower festival with perhaps a small carpet of flowers. If this is to take place the first need would be for a small organising team of four or five people. Could you, possibly, be willing to volunteer, or do you know someone who might, be they church or non-church members? There are people who would be willing to help with the floral displays; the key at this stage is this organising team. Please contact Richard or Kath Barron if you would care to help. This could be of particular interest to members of the Fairlight Floral Club, who obviously have a talent for this sort of thing.

Today at MOPPs, and next week, too: Today, Friday, November 11, the Regency Singers will be on hand and on song to provide the day’s entertainment, and lunch will be roast lamb, followed by Pavola. Next Friday, November 18, Richard Ostle of solicitors Gaby Hardwicke will be present to talk about Wills and Inheritance Tax. There’ll be a Christmas Tombola, too, and there’s bacon pudding plus trifle for lunch.

Fares fair?: £6 gets you a ticket to ride the Players’ Ghost Train, whose opening excursion was last night, but still has trips to undertake tonight and twice tomorrow, at the village hall, starting out at 7.30 pm each evening, and with a 2.30pm matinee Saturday. The cast includes many long-time Fairlight favourites, plus welcome younger newcomers Amber and Jake. The Post Office has the tickets or, if you would prefer it, you can call Carol Ardley on 814178.

The Preservation Trust AGM: There will be plenty to talk about at the forthcoming AGM, whch will start at 2.30 pm in the village hall on Saturday, November 26. With Stage III of the Cliff Preservation Scheme now due to be completed by this weekend, there will be pride and celebration in the air at the meeting. Also on the agenda are the Committee’s desired Amendments to the Charity Constitution, which amounts to some 22 items, Any matters or items you may wish to see under Any Other Business should be declared to the Secretary, Paul Draper, in writing, by Tuesday, November 22.

At the end, there will be a celebration at the completion of Stage III, and light refreshments will be served. Members who contributed to the Partnership Funding, which went directly to help meet the cost of the berm, are particularly invited to attend.

A reminder for members: On Monday next, November 14, the Wine and Social Club will be entertained by Tony Harris as King Henry VIII, in full costume.. It starts at 7.30 pm, and ends at 10 pm. Visitors are welcome on payment of £3 – all concerned should take their own drinks, glasses and food. Non-members should realise what they’re missing, try it as a guest, and then join up!

Tuesday Ladies Club: Next Tuesday, November 15 will see popular and accomplished local speaker Laton Frewin address the ladies, and any gentleman guests, as he tells of the Gunpowder Plot. Visitors are welcome at this friendly club, boys as well as girls, and all for a humble £2 each

Playgroup and Nursery: The playgroup is holding a New and Nearly New Sale in the village hall on Saturday, November 26 from 9.30 am until 12 noon. It will only cost you 50p to get in! If you have any clothes, small household items, books, toys (but, sorry, no video or audio cassettes or electrical items) that you would like to donate to help the Playgroup, then could you please drop them in to the hall on the Monday to Thursday of the week prior to the sale, between 9.30 am and 12.30 pm. Every little bit helps, and the Playgroup is more deserving of our help than many another organisation. A cuppa, a cake and a bargain or two…

Only a short while ago, the future of the group looked less than secure, as the children of the group’s then Officers had moved on to their Primary Schools. Now comes the excellent news that a new Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer have been discovered. They are: Chairman, Amy Godfrey; Secretary, Abigail Clark; Treasurer, Marilyn Clarke. Abigail can be reached on 433045. Interestingly, Chairman Amy herself attended the Playgroup when very young; not, of course, many years ago!

It is good news that the necessary admin is all under control, but it would be even better if the numbers of children in attendance were to increase somewhat! The aim of the group is to make learning fun, and this small, friendly nursery has been running for over 40 years. The staff is fully qualified, and the Playgroup earned a ‘Good’ rating for their last Ofsted review, in 2014. They have access to a large fenced garden for outdoor learning – though not at this time of the year! Children of 2 years old to rising 5 are welcome, and the playgroup operates from 9.15 am to 1 pm, Mondays to Thursdays. For more information, please call 824726 or 812434.

The Club’s Race Night: While not overwhelmed with customers, there were race-goers present in sufficient numbers to enjoy themselves at last Friday’s Race Night – and to ensure the smoothly run evening and supper were useful for the Youth Club. A welcome £240 was raised for club funds.

Updating the village Emergency Plan: The Parish Council are updating their Emergency Plan, which was first produced in 2013, and a shortened version can be found on the website. (Only the Parish Council have access to the whole document.) There is a section which includes owners of off-road and four-wheel drive vehicles, but because people have moved out of the village since the list was compiled, this section has been reduced to just four names. Is there perhaps anyone else out there who has a four-wheel drive vehicle who would be prepared to have their name added to this short list, so that in a serious need, they could help? It is to be hoped there is never a serious emergency in Fairlight, but there could be an occasion in bad weather when you might be asked to help transport people or goods in or out of the village. If you can help, please contact Cllr Jennifer Annetts so the plan update can be completed. Jennifer can be reached either at jenniferannetts@gmail.com or by calling 812476

The Parish Council: The first of the month saw last month’s Parish Council meeting firmly in this month, postponed from its true spot because of the work being done to parts of the hall flooring, a job that had been on and off over a fair period of time. With two councillors missing, plus a district councillor, the horseshoe was a little less inhabited than usual, though there were 14 brave souls in the public section. With County Cllr Carl Maynard due to be elsewhere as well as in our village, his section was taken earlier, and after a detailed question and answer segment, Keith Jellicoe raised yet again the question of encroaching vegetation – on Battery Hill, and on Fairlight Road. The C Cllr said they must be done, but that it might be more difficult if either or both sites cited were privately owned. If memory serves, I am fairly sure the top one is private, and the Battery Hill one may be. As the complaint itself, on both these sites, is raised, year in, year out, with some regularity, it is a pity that so much time has to be spent on each occasion re-inventing the wheel.

After a vast amount of paperwork for councillors to read and catch up on, Land Management included an item about getting planning permission for a small shed, six foot by four foot, on Wood Field, to be used by Parkhurst Cricket Club, who would be responsible for all costs. Though this had been agreed in principle at an earlier meeting, it now transpired that two local organisations sought to have storage on the same space.

In the Open Forum, the south, ascending, side of Battery Hill was slated by several members of the public, all of whom stated that it is necessary to drift out over the centre line to avoid the worst of the surface on the nearside, though this takes them on a possible collision course with descending traffic. (Two days prior to the meeting, a three vehicle accident had indeed occurred at this very point on the road)

In Parish Council circles, what goes round, comes round, and it appears over the last three or four meetings that an old fault has re-established itself, with the dialogues becoming more and more intimate and conversational. The seating layout encourages this, too. Hands in front of the mouth, and addressing the top table directly, with backs to the public, all demonstrate a lack of awareness that the public comes along to hear what is going on. There are several residents who will not go to meetings because of this inaudibility, though it must also be said that there are some councillors who are absolutely faultless. Microphones and an alternative layout were discussed in an earlier era, but nothing was resolved. Perhaps it is time to re-visit the question.

Reciprocity: Following their enjoyable visit to Fairlight Hall in October, the Fairlight Gardening Club reciprocated by playing host to their Head Gardener, Whitney Hedges, for their November meeting at the village hall last Monday. Whitney gave a very informative and well-illustrated talk on ‘Fuchsias’, starting with their discovery and being named after Dr. Leonhart Fuchs, and then illustrating the many varieties with the use of slides. Whitney gave plenty of advice on how to propagate, prune and protect these attractive and popular plants. Following her main talk, the speaker was happy to answer members’ questions about fuchsias and then on to a number of other general gardening matters. The Club looks forward to continuing the positive relationship enjoyed with the gardening team from Fairlight Hall.

Replanting an ancient hedgerow: The Parish Council has maintained a close interest, principally through Carole Gallaher in the replanting of a hedge removed in the gorse clearances last January. The replanting is a positive outcome of a meeting the PC and friends had with Hastings BC and Natural England at that time, and the hedge itself, which formed an old field boundary, is on a bank on the right towards the top of the access for all trail going up from the Cove.

Murray Davidson, Environment and Natural Resources Manager for Hastings Borough Council, has placed an order for 1,080 plants, which are likely to be planted in December, to be decided after liaison with the Friends of the Country Park, and it is hoped to make the planting a volunteer and community event which will be advertised extensively.

Of course, there will be a cost involved – plants don’t grow on trees, you know. Maybe the powers-that-be have access to a Hedge Fund

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