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Pews News: This Sunday, November 5, there will be Family Worship at St Andrew’s, starting at 10.30 am. And don’t forget – this Sunday is Shoebox Sunday! All the prepared boxes will be collected on this day. This year, £5 per box is needed to help with the cost of transportation and distribution. However, if you don’t feel you’d like to pack a box, please consider making a donation; this really is one of the most worthwhile charitable objectives. Later, starting at 6 pm, there is an Informal Communion service at St Peter’s.

MOPPs today and next Friday: Today, Friday, November 3, the entertainment will be by the Village Voices choir. The lunch that follows will be a jacket potato with cheese, baked beans, salad, coleslaw, and strawberry gateau to follow. Next Friday, November 10, Celia King will be entertaining the members with her chair-based exercises. There’s toenail cutting as well next week

The Gardening Club: With the planting on the circle looking particularly spick and span following last week’s ‘tidy-up’ session, this week’s main gardening club news concerns the club’s November meeting, (not December, as erroneously claimed last week!) which will be in the village hall at 2.30 pm on Monday next, November 6. Whitney Hedges, who is Head Gardener at Fairlight Hall, will be the speaker, and her subject – The Edible Garden. There will also be a seed and plant sale at this meeting. Take along whatever you have to spare, and there will be a swapping session, leading to members getting some interesting stuff they might otherwise never have thought of.

The Bowls Club’s Coffee Morning: Tomorrow, Saturday, November 4, sees the popular annual Coffee Morning run by the Bowls Club, in the village hall from 10 am to 12 noon. Everybody you know is likely to be there, and it’s well worth a visit. See you there, then?

Free Fireworks for the Family: There will be free fireworks for all the family at the Fairlight Lodge Hotel tomorrow, Saturday, November 4, starting at 6 pm, by courtesy of the Royal British Legion local branch. Children are invited to take their own home-made Guy along to be judged – he could win them a prize. There will be jacket potatoes in a box available at the bar, open throughout the event. This event is free, but donations will be more than welcome. All proceeds will go to the British Legion. Should you need more details, please call John and Margaret Pulfer on 814866. One sincerely hopes that the postponed road closure of Waites Lane, from 7 pm tomorrow evening, will not adversely affect those looking to nip up out of the village and up the hill for a butcher’s.

Sit, watch and laugh time: The Players’ set is ready for next week’s production lift-off, and tickets are moving well, so get yours soon. The play, ‘Yes, Prime Minister’, will run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday November 9, 10 and 11, at 7.30 pm each evening and with a 2.30 pm matinee on the Saturday. It has been directed by popular Fairlight actress Aisling Edie, making her directorial debut. The tickets are £6 each, and they’re at the Post Office – while stocks last!

Hit and Run: A Skoda Yeti, parked outside 11 Waites Lane, was damaged on the evening of Thursday last week, some time during the two hours after 5 pm. The culprit, coming into the village, was driving a dark blue vehicle, and a quantity of their paint has been left on the offside rear of the Skoda. Should you have any information (or possibly a conscience) please contact the Cornwells on 812092. Lately, it has been noticeable that vehicles parked legitimately on roads throughout the village are being given scant respect by men and women of all ages who are no better than boy (and girl) racers. On Monday last, a dog-walking resident signalled to a driver that their speed should be reduced. The driver simply ploughed on, while returning a friendly wave…

The triumph of Technology: Highlights of the FRA Variety Night, which took place way back in February can be seen on the following link. It’s taken a while to achieve, but they’ve got there eventually and hope they have fully captured the atmosphere of this fun event. Enjoy the video. You’ll have to type in https://youtu.be/gslHzD_wtT4

The Tuesday Ladies Club in October: The club enjoyed one of the best presentations they have ever had. Delia Taylor’s illustrated talk was about ENSA (or popularly known as ‘Every Night Something Awful’). She began with Neville Chamberlain’s famous broadcast on September 3, 1939, announcing that we were at war with Germany. On the same evening a U Boat sank the SS Athenia – the Germans denied that they were responsible, and did not admit culpability until the Nuremberg trials. The so-called phoney war led to the formation of ENSA – Entertainments National Service Association – by Basil Dean and Leslie Henson. (The latter’s grandson is Adam Henson of Countryfile fame.) From their Headquarters at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane they set about finding performers and some 50,000 hopefuls applied. The pay was good at between £4 and £10 per week. Delia had pictures of the many famous artistes and one of the first was Gracie Fields; not all the performers were top class and much to the listeners amusement, Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, James Mason and Noel Coward were booed off the stage as they had the temerity to perform Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde. Noel Coward redeemed himself by tripping up which got a good laugh and then won them over with some of his outrageous stories. In all ENSA gave over two and a half million shows during World War II and it should not be forgotten that the troops are still entertained in theatres of war with even David Beckham playing football with the squaddies.

Delia is an excellent speaker and she will be returning to the Tuesday Club next year to talk about the Roaring Twenties.

In a change of programme, on November 21 Ken Brooks will be giving a talk entitled ‘Beside the Seaside’. See the Speakers Corner note below – this will Ken’s second Fairlight visit in the month! As always visitors will be very welcome for £2 admission: the meeting starts at 2.15 pm.

Speakers Corner: The club enjoyed an expert talk from Graham Albon on the history of canals both here in the UK and in France. The man who made the network possible was the renowned Thomas Telford and his ideas were copied abroad, particularly in France, where the canals are so much wider than here. The beds of the canals were prepared by the ‘navvies’ and clay was embedded into the base to make them watertight. This is all well and good until there is a drought – and then the clay cracks. The aqueducts such as the wonderful one on the Llangollen canal were simply iron boxes. The canals are now really only used for pleasure as they were largely put out of business for freight carrying when the railways were built.

The next talk, on Wednesday, November 8 next week, at Speakers Corner will given by another popular local speaker, Ken Brooks, and his subject on this occasion will be Rameses the Great. The meeting will start at 2.30 pm and visitors are very welcome for £2 admission.

This and the previous article owe their existence to Shirley Gilbert, who has a history of being an excellent stringer going back many years. Thanks, Shirley!

The Residents Association Christmas Party: As a final celebration to mark the 70th anniversary of the Fairlight Residents Association, there is to be a Christmas Party on Saturday, December 16.

With a fully licensed bar, free food, entertainment by East Edna, and Village Voices plus a few surprises along the way, it promises to be a really great night, certainly one not to be missed, and excellent value at £8 per head. Demand is expected to be high and with ticket numbers limited, it is suggested you get yours early. They are available now at the Post Office or via bobscattergood1@gmail.com

The Parish Council in October: October’s Parish Council meeting passed without any major upsets, with an early discussion concerning the second season of judging of the Christmas lights in the village when it was deemed that it may be prudent to offer £50 first and £25 second prizes this year, each to go to the charity of the respective winner’s choice, and that there should be a rule stating that no winner may win more than twice in succession. It was later noted that The Club, which has spent most of its life as Activate, will be 20 years old in 2018, and that May 26 and 27 are planned for celebrations. Many thanks again, Wendy!

Who counsels the Councillors?: In an item which appeared under 14 - Information, although not on the agenda, the Clerk reported a recommendation, which was not mandatory, that the practice of opening the meeting to a publicly accessible Forum at the conclusion of the regular meeting should cease, and that the public should only be permitted to speak at each meeting under item 3, provided they spoke about matters about to arise on the agenda, and then only for two minutes each. Cllr Greenup relevantly observed ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, while Cllr Mier was considerably exercised by this item. Among other facets, his term as Parish Council Chairman was marked by a vigorous respect for the opinions and input of the public. It is to be expected that this matter will be further discussed at a future meeting. There was a further detail about County and District Councillors at Parish Council meetings, though the content escaped me as the audibility, excellent until then, had faded almost to nothing, and intelligibility had disappeared too. The proposed system of an item 3 for some limited public access, as opposed to our present Open Forum, is the system that presently obtains in Westfield, where our Parish Clark is also Clerk to their Council.