BESIDE THE SEASIDE, BESIDE THE SEA: Hastings is family, when it comes to close locations, and I admire it like an aunt that I might visit for a nice day out. It has the most wonderful architecture, and driving through it I imagine what it once was in it’s heyday. It’s mouldings and masonry are something to behold against the background of the sea. Since the introduction of cheap flights, more and more people holiday abroad now, but Hastings still has all the trappings of an archetypical seaside holiday, the amusements, the pier, the candy floss, the rock shops, rows of beach balls and buckets and spades, and the guest houses with their wonderful tiled entrances and architrave. Alexander Park is magnificent and seemingly endless. A new, finished pier has risen from the ashes. Hastings with its White Rock Theatre and sculptured gardens is a gutsy place, it’s Old Town quaint and intriguing. It’s fishing industry and historical past are very much in evidence, and at weekends it ‘rocks’ with gaiety and purpose. It’s beautiful houses, now mostly divided into flats must one day have been exquisite dwellings with servants and carriages. Like all seaside towns, it could do with an injection of money, and a lick of paint, but like an old penny subjected to a drop of Brasso , it wouldn’t take much to make it gleam!
A SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There will be a service of Holy Communion in Iden Parish Church this Sunday, at 9.30am. It’s family service, and coffee will be served in The Old Hall afterwards.
A HISTORY OF BENEVOLENCE: All Saints Church holds a box for provisions to be collected for people in need. There have always been those in need, and today is no exception. Christopher Spencer [vicar of St George’s Church, Deal,] wrote as a schoolboy about The Scott Chantry. In the 15th century Sir William Scott of The Mote added a chapel to the Church and buried his son there in1535. A priest was maintained to pray for the souls of the departed from the Chantry Lands. They are still so called, and are behind ‘Old House Farm’. A tablet on the wall read- The Rev. Jeremiah Smith Of Woodside, in the adjoining parish of Peasmarsh, directed by his will, dated March 25th 1815, that the sum of five pounds, being one third of the interest of £500, reduced 3 per cent, should be annually and forever be distributed on the24th day of December to such as the needy, meritorious and aged inhabitants of Iden as may not receive Parish relief, in sums severalty not exceeding three pounds, or less than one pound. He that hath pity on the poor lendeth unto the lord. Prov.xix, verse 17] Wasn’t that kind? Most of us have at one time been in relatively reduced circumstances, and how easily we forget. [I haven’t put anything in that grocery box for ages, and I must]
FUN AND GAMES ON BANK HOLIDAY: There was an afternoon of games and frivolity on Bank Holiday Monday, in aid of Iden Parish Church. Tea and cakes were served in the ‘Old Hall’, and there were games and craft for the children. The Church scaffolding is now down, and it’s tower is now secured and enhanced, but funds go on being collected for whatever building work is needed in the future. Churches are beautiful, but renowned for gobbling up money!
NOSEY NEIGHBOURS: Speaking of Hastings being a near neighbour, I feel we could borrow a cup of sugar from Winchelsea, borrow Rolvenden’s lawn mower, and feed Appledore’s cat [figuratively speaking] Villages like Iden flow into one another, and stand side by side. We like to hear each other’s news, we notice if a house in the next village is installing solar panels or a Smallbone kitchen, or if one of the children in Peasmarsh is having a party, we smile at their balloons bobbing about on the gate post. My mum used to use a quaint, neighbourly saying ‘can I have a squeeze of your blue bag’ [ said in jest if she wanted to borrow something] She explained to me that people once used ‘ Reckett’s Blue’ which was small blue bag squeezed into a wash to make it appear whiter. It was common practice before detergents came out with their optical whiteners. Women would ask to borrow a squeeze of the bag if they’d run out [it epitomised neighbourliness] There is a sort of nepotism about belonging to country communities isn’t there? Well, I’ve finished writing the Village Voice for today. I’m just popping to Rye Foreign with some plums. [I hear they’re making jam!]
CONTACT ME: If anyone has anything to add to the Village Voice, please contact Gill Griffin [telephone 01797 280311]
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