Fairlight

Pews News: This Sunday, April 22, is St George’s Day, and there will be a 10.30 am service of Morning Praise at St Andrew’s. The junior church and the crèche area are both available.

And over at Pett Methodist Chapel, the Drina Hampson/David Hanson rotation reaches its conclusion as the latter leads today’s 10.45 am service. Plain sailing from now on!

MOPPs today and next Friday: Today, Friday, April 20, the entertainment will be by Chloe Kenny-Dent, who is a belly dancer. Lunch today will be a mild chicken and vegetable curry, and there’ll be panna cotta to follow. Last week’s note that Sandra Stunt would be present, demonstrating greetings cards, this week said that putting Sandra on the same bill as Sharon was a mistake was itself a mistake. There was just too much information about the greetings cards! Sandra was here with Sharon last week – I wonder if she had a card that said ‘sorry for the almighty bodge up last week’?

MOPPs are updating the presentation of their newsletters on their website, and until this is complete future entertainment and menu details are not available.

Fairlight Players: God willing, the Players’ latest production opened lest night. And earlier in the week it was evident that Fairlight directorial debutante Charlie Miller had secured excellent performances from her cast of six in what is a puzzling mystery. Alice Tigwell, as Emma, the daughter who has returned after an absence of several years, is serene until chinks in her amnesia allow her to declaim strange foreign phrases, or to move violently. Steve Hill is the late Victorian paterfamilias Max Cranwell, is nicely judged in the role, as is his wife Laura, played by Kerry Gentleman. Kerry, who played the title role in the Panto group’s Snow Queen in January, is unlucky to find her Players debut is similarly underwritten. Vicky Veness is highly engaging as Penny, the maid, well matched by Tom Miller’s Hardy the handyman in playful co-operation. Peter Spencer makes a telling showing as Livargo, who has elements of menace behind a somewhat sinister façade. Mystery hangs over the proceedings like a sea-mist, and the tension increases as the denouement approaches, and there will be few who will have worked it out beforehand. The well-used setting incorporates two doors, a double French window and a flight of stairs. The technical aspects of the production are well managed, as are wardrobe, props – and the in-house portraiture by Carol Ardley. Some tickets, at £6, are probably still available from the Post Office for tonight or the two performances tomorrow. It’s well worth a look!

The Players’ Poetry Group will be meeting next Wednesday, April 25, in the village hall at 7.30 pm, when the subject for the evening will be ‘Journeys’.

The John Lutman Award: Please consider carefully which local resident you consider has done the most in the service of our community, and then make your nomination so that they can be assessed by the judging panel for the John Lutman Award. There are forms for your nomination at the Post Office, or you can contact direct either Cllr Andrew Mier, Chairman of the Parish Council and Chairman of the panel, or Parish Clerk Pauline Collins. The award carries a charitable donation of £150 which goes to the charity of the winner’s choice, and there have been eight most worthy winners in the nine years since the Award’s inauguration. The closing date for nominations is Tuesday, May 1, to enable the judges to judge comparatively all the proposals. The Award will be presented at the Parish Assembly on Friday, May 18, which starts at 6 pm.

Parish Council: The Council meets on Tuesday next, April 24 at 7 pm in the village hall. The agenda is shorter than last month’s, though even that amount of business was fairly swiftly conducted. Tuesday will see the first of the experimental use of public comment on agenda items under Item 3 as well as an Open Forum at the end of the meeting. The forum is not on the agenda, as it will not happen until after the meeting is closed! There are items under all the usual councillor responsibilities, and a very interesting item concerning ESCC Libraries Strategic Commissioning Strategy, a highfalutin way for County to say where can we go for volunteers to rescue our library system after we’ve closed much of it down.

The Market Garden site: The details of the conditions behind the GemSelect Market Garden planning application have been pointed out by Cllr Stephen Leadbetter in a village email, and there are 27 of them. Several are common sense, like the necessity of repairing what will become the site feeder road when the job starts, and several more are mundane, though the esoteric are all there, too. The question on everyone’s lips (Ha! Ha!) must be ‘Quis custodiet custodes’, or ‘Who will watch the watchers?’ Well, it’s no good thinking Rother planners have enough personnel to police every small fraction of the building operation, and so the answer is probably the noble residents of the village. Don’t say you weren’t warned, and keep your eyes peeled.

The Residents Association AGM: This meeting will be held in the village hall on Wednesday, May 9 at 7.30 pm. On the re-election rotation laid down in the rules, the Association has two officer and five committee posts available for election, the office positions being Vice Chairman and Treasurer. Anyone wishing and willing to take up any of these positions should have a sponsor and seconder. If you are interested in taking up a post, please contact the Chairman, Trevor Lewing, or any other committee member, for a nomination form.

After the meeting, guest speaker Michael Plumbe will talk about ‘The little bits of Hastings you see but never notice’.

Road repairs: And that, possibly, is that. What a pity such a large road maintenance company could have turned up and left their broom back at the depot. There’s bits and bobs of tarmac in grass verges, on pavements and, most particularly, on the first few yards of Broadway, that could all have done with a good sweep.

The top road remains both dangerous and untouched. It is so bad that it almost makes you forget the wooded section of Battery Hill coming up towards the church. This is an appalling, unloved (and highly uneven) stretch of unpleasantness. What do they want? Village coffee mornings and quiz nights to subsidise the repairs?