NORMAN’S CANDLESTICKS: On Saturday evening I polished a pair of candlesticks given to my mother by her first husband Norman Donaldson. Norman was killed in El Alamein during the second world war. They had a daughter Jennifer, who only lived to be three days old. My mum eventually met my dad, a Canadian soldier, they married, and lived in Canada where my dad was killed in a mining accident three years later. My mum told me a lot about Norman, and he automatically became a part of my life through here say, as did Jennifer. After I put the candlesticks back, dust-free and shiny I watched the BBC’S beautiful service to mark the end of the First World War, and I thought of Norman dying for his country. If he had lived, I wouldn’t have had my life. A good friend of mine got me a copy of Jennifer’s birth certificate. I would have loved her because my immediate family was just my mother and myself. Most of us have been touched in some way by the sadness initiated by war, our lives, entwined with soldiers who gave their lives for us. It’s very possible to feel love for people we have never met, and yes, at the going down of the sun and in the morning, we shall remember them.
IDEN’S SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE: Sometimes we despair of the worst of humanity, but the centenary marking the end of the First World War, though sad, was an aura of goodness and respect. There is so much empathy in the world, so much dignity, so many people openly thankful for those that fought, and still fight for our country. On Sunday morning, Iden said its own thanks for those brave soldiers, sailors and airmen, particularly to Iden’s dead. It was a lovely service. Many turned up dressed in a predominance of black and red, remembrance colours. Our vicar, Teresa gave a moving sermon in the church before we all walked to the war memorial. She told stories about the inadvertent cost of war, of lives ruined by war, not necessarily on the battlefield. Michael Miller read out the names of the fallen from Iden. Ray Griffin laid a wreath from the Parish Council, Susannah Miller the WI wreath, and Alan Riley, the church wreath.
IDEN PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: The meeting held on Tuesday 6th November was well-attended. Ray Griffin chaired the meeting and announced that £200 has been donated to Iden’s ‘footpath team’ by a well- wisher. Councillor Sally Anne Hart from Rother District Council spoke. Sally- Anne, produces a comprehensive report about meetings held to improve our area and keep it safe. Operation rogue trader was held recently to try to combat cold calls and doorstep crimes. ‘ Operation Magpie’ was run recently to combat burglary and make our homes safer. A recent ‘Public Realm Strategy’ includes traffic speed reduction and traffic management, conservation of heritage assets and economic growth. The ‘Public Realm’ is spaces in public ownership that are open to all, including pavements, roads, cycle routes , and green spaces, the maintenance and subject of which affects tourism, commerce and community. Sally Anne reminded us of Rye Firework display and that the yearly increment in council tax, although not welcomed, ensures a necessary financial blanket for a myriad of expenditure. We await a new litter bin at the bus-stop opposite ‘ the Bell’. Drones have been seen over Iden recently. Any intrusive usage of drones should be reported to the police, as some recent invasion of privacy has been reported. Drones have their place but can be in breach of certain laws. The police have been made aware of indiscreet use of drones in our area. The finger-post at the junction of Reader’s Lane and Wittersham Road is being repaired. Councillor Greg Say mended the fence in the park recently and was thanked. The next meeting is on Tuesday 4th December , at 7.30pm.
IDEN’S CHRISTMAS LUNCH: If anyone would like tickets for the Iden Christmas meal, please ring Teresa [telephone 280143] The meal , on Saturday 1st December starts at 12.30pm for 1pm.
A CHRISTMAS EXTRAVAGANZA: Iden Bowls Club are holding a Christmas fair on 24th November in Iden village hall, from 11am-2pm. There will be gifts, cakes, coffee, tea and mince pies, a bran tub for the children, Christmas decorations, table centres, pine cone bags, cards, home- made sweets, tag labels, guess the weight of the cake, a tombola, and all kinds of festive surprizes Oh, and Santa, Sorry Santa I nearly forgot you!
IDEN PLAYERS WOULD WELCOME THESPIANS AND HELPERS: Anyone interested in joining Iden Players, whether on stage, or back-stage, please ring Teresa [ 01797 280143], who will gladly welcome you to join the Player’s March production. There will be a meeting in Iden village hall on 9th December, at 2.30pm to discuss rehearsals.
IDEN AND DISTRICT NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY: The next meeting on 23rd November is entitled ‘ In Winter’s Light’, by Colin Page. The meeting is in Iden village hall, at 7.30pm. Visitors pay £3.
A TENNER ON THE PAVEMENT: As Christmas approaches, I’m in a world of my own You could call out “Gill, there’s a tenner on the pavement, and I’m oblivious, covered in tinsel, with labels all over my socks saying “£2.99”, or “ buy one get one free.” I know it’s ridiculous to start so early. My son once walked a girl home near Christmas and he pretended that he didn’t live at our house. The thing is I like to savour Christmas, though I do admire people who can do all their wrapping on Christmas Eve. I have my poor husband climbing about on footstools putting up wreaths in November. It’s crazy I know. The nice thing is that we forget from year to year what we have in the way of decorations [ Do you find that?] Every year we discover old friends, things our children made at school, and tree ornaments we love. It’s interesting admiring other people’s trees too, because trees are so personal. One day I may be too old or too sad, or too incapable to get excited about Christmas, but right now could you please pass the Sellotape!
CONTACT ME: If anyone has anything to add to the Village Voice, please ring Gill Griffin [telephone 01797 280311]