Pews News: This Sunday, June 17, there is Holy Communion at 10.30 am at St Andrew’s, with the crèche available and Junior Church too.

At Pett Methodist Chapel, the 10.45 am service will be led by Circuit Steward Mr John Troughton, who will be nipping over from Bexhill.

Remembering – St Andrew’s Churchyard Memorial Service: Last Sunday afternoon about 100 people came to remember their relatives and friends buried in the churchyard over the last ten years. It was an emotional hour. There was a Bible reading about planting a dead seed which rises to new life, and a poem called ‘Today’s an Anniversary’. There was a roll call and photographs on the screens of some of the people no longer with us. Music came from the choices of relatives such as ‘The Folks On The Hill’, ‘You Raise Me Up’ by Westlife, ‘Memories’ by Barbra Streisand, and more. Forget-me-not seeds were given out for people to plant as a memento of the day and candles were lit in memory. The local Salvation Army band accompanied the hymn singing and they then played outside with people chatting to folk they hadn’t seen in quite a long time, while consuming loads of tea and cake, and sitting in the warm sunshine. After the service some people went to refresh the graves of their loved ones. Others looked for the graves of ancestors, and some went to view the graves of notable people like Richard d’Oyly Carte, Earl Waldegrave, Sir Charles Menzies, the family of Cecil Rhodes, and the Sankey family who donated the Rose Garden where current burials now take place. There is a leaflet in the church with information about these numbered gravestones and a map to help you locate them. Many people commented what a wonderful service it had been and how grateful they were for the opportunity to come and remember. An occasion that should be repeated!

MOPPs today and next Friday: Today, Friday, June 15, Alan Dinsdale will be giving a talk. And today’s lunch is roast chicken, followed by trifle. Next Friday, June 22, members could be doubly lucky, as Jim Saphin will be singing, and there is bongo as well. Everyone’s a winner! Next Friday’s lunch will be sausages and then gateaux.

Last Call for this year’s Open Gardens: Reiterating what was said last week, everybody connected with MOPPs, be they members, volunteers or simply those interested in continuing success of this invaluable organisation, should remember that this weekend, on Saturday and Sunday, June 16 and 17, is the fifth Fairlight Open Gardens weekend, and that MOPPs are to be the beneficiaries this time. Admission to all eleven locations on either day, from 10.30 am until 4 pm, is by a ticket which will only set you back £5, from either the Post Office or the first garden you visit with its Open Gardens number displayed on orange balloons.

Don’t be a Clot – get your Cream Tea: And staying on the subject of MOPPs, if you’re in need of a diversion following the happy trek round the gardens this weekend, the following Sunday you’ll be able to partake of a sumptuous cream tea. Do you remember, two years ago, that summer afternoon when MOPPs held their first cream tea with entertainment? There were three full-length tables in the village hall main hall totally packed with happy customers. So, this summer, from 3 to 5 pm in the village hall on Sunday, June 24, MOPPs will be once again serving up food, drink and fun – for a fiver a head. The Post Office has the tickets, or you can call 07860 414277.

Fairlight Library to the Fore: It hasn’t taken long and, thanks to the drive and belief of a handful of like-minded souls, it all comes to fruition on Tuesday next, June 19, at 2 pm in the Post Office, from when the first tranche of books will be available for whosoever wishes to withdraw them and have a good read. On the first afternoon, tea or coffee will be provided by Graeme and Leonie for absolutely nowt, an incentive that may further tempt the Fairlight psyche. What the organisers could do with is some more volunteers to man (or woman) the operation from 2 until 4 pm each Tuesday and Thursday. Please give volunteering a thought – it will not be arduous, and you’re guaranteed to meet a nice type of person! The new facility is open eight times a month, as opposed to fortnightly under the old mobile library regime. A word with Graeme, or John Sinclair or Wendy Hatch will be appreciated should you accept the challenge!

What should be a particular source of pride for those whose personal efforts have led to such a satisfactory ‘end to the beginning’ is that this is the first Community Library in East Sussex. Fairlight to the Fore indeed!

While you’re volunteering for the Library…: Please also remember that help is still sought for Fairfest, who could really do with some more souls to mastermind the car parking operation on the actual day, which is Sunday, July 29. Lots of people and their vehicles are expected, but they won’t all be arriving simultaneously, and somebody has got to point them safely in the right direction. If you’d like to take your turn for an hour or two, enjoying the fresh air and summer warmth (d.v.) please do contact one of the Fairfest officers or committee. You’ll be nicely thanked!

Those Summer Fair refreshments: Mention was made last week of the refreshing enterprise of the ladies of the church at the village hall fair with their countless cuppas, coffees, cakes and the like, and it is pleasing to report that their efforts resulted in a profit of £232 out of a total of £1,300. Congratulations and thanks are repeated to the ladies, and further mention must be made of the Gardening Club, whose plants and flowers sold like, well, hot cakes!

A Royal British Legion Boot Fair: If you’ve seen as much of gardens as you would like, then this Sunday, June 17, gives the chance of an alternative, with a Car Boot Fair at the Fairlight Lodge Hotel, from 1 until 5 pm. The sellers will be organised by now, and all that remains is for the punters, er, sorry, the valued customers to turn up and purchase this and that. Do go and give it a look – and cross a few palms with silver.

Stonelynk Organics: In May, newcomers to the village Stephen and Helene spoke to the Gardening Club about their avowed intent to grow and develop a Fairlight business growing organic vegetables and, in sharing their ideas with the gardeners, they were also able to elicit the members’ views on the subject. As is the custom with the natural world, warmth, rain and the good earth have since combined to result in their produce coming on stream. Although it is not within the remit of Village Voice to advertise, it is not a secret that the new, healthy veg is following what is probably the shortest supply chain in the history of supply and demand logistics…! Find it and eat it.

The wildlife verge: St Peter’s Churchyard has a designated Wildlife Verge behind it, running along its south side. It has been joined by the L-shaped area fronting onto Waites Lane and Broadway because of the profusion of wild orchids that are proliferating there. Proper gardeners tell me that if you wanted this to happen, you’d be hard put to get it. And yet… Many people know the final lines of the poem ‘one is nearer God’s Heart in a garden / than anywhere else on earth’. Probably even more so when the garden is God’s, too.

What makes an English village?: The village church? Check. We have two. A Post Office and General Stores? Check. A cricket pitch and a cricket club? Check. Thanks, Parkhurst. A village pub? Well, no. We have a hotel in the village, but for two years our only pub has been a closed and derelict affair. Until now, when the new owner, a Fairlight resident with good form when it comes to pub ownership, as he already has an acclaimed hostelry in the Old Town, has submitted a planning application that would transform The Cove into an attractive, imaginative, vibrant entity, with letting rooms and a residential flat. At the time of writing, there are 20 on-line comments, 19 of which are positive or extremely positive (though three come from the same originator) There is one objection, which says there is not good disabled access in the plans and until this is addressed, the application should not be approved. The application makes interesting viewing and reading, and all residents are urged to follow the link provided by Cllr Stephen Leadbetter, who chairs the Parish Council’s Planning Committee, which is in his FRA email available on the village website. You will then all be able to post your comments in support of what you may believe is a most welcome piece of development. Leading the witnesses? Me?

The Players AGM: A date for the diaries of members of the Fairlight Players, that this year’s AGM will be in the village hall on Saturday, June 23, starting at 7.30 pm. After the business end of the evening, there will be a buffet and entertainment, and so they can cater for those attending, could you please let Hon Sec Carol Ardley know on 814178, or by email to carolardley@aol.com If you haven’t received the email informing you about the meeting (like me, who has heard nothing) please let Carol know about this, too. There may have been an email glitch.

If at first you don’t succeed…: The replenishment of Waites Lane was certainly better accomplished the second time than it had been the first time. But it was not until the job was completed, after all those years of bumps, dips, drains, infill and potholes, that one realised just how many small and large lumps of iron there are on this fairly short stretch of road, all clamouring to be flush with the surrounding surface, and not all succeeding, several notably and markedly missing their target. But it is the one up the hill less than 100 yards south of St Peter’s, smack bang in the middle of the road on the point of the left-hand bend, that is beyond belief. If you try to straddle it, you can’t – it’s too wide, and you’re likely to meet the descending bus head on. Surely, whatever it is was never level with road – it’s too far down. Whose job is it to put it right? And when, if ever, will they do it?