Netherfield news
Netherfield news

Claverham Monday Badminton Club: The sports hall at Claverham seemed relatively empty and bare yesterday without the usual noise generated by the early players of this wonderful game. Just two were seeking to pitch their skills against each other. However, it did not take long for the hall to be ringing with chat and competition as the usual suspects arrived to start their evening’s entertainment. The grand total stopped at eleven, one short of having three courts in full swing but this did not detract from people’s enjoyment. Mind you, I kept hearing cries of “my game’s off this week” and “”I haven’t won a match yet” from various sources, including me, and I put that down to the weather, as we do for anything that is not going quite right in this country.

Battle Brewery, Netherfield Hill: As I drove along this part of the Battle highway system the other morning, I noticed a white board outside the entrance to Netherfield Hill Farm. The black writing on this sea of white, indicated an “open day” at the brewery at the weekend. Thoughts of amber nectar, hoppy bitters and the chance to experience close contact with the brewing process made me determined to “pop” along and see what was on offer.

It was cold and windy, but the warm glow of what was to come drove my wife and I to park the car, walk the hill and view the beginnings of this burgeoning enterprise. The rural setting added to the charm as it is part of a working farm. My wife, who is an avid pig fancier, no jokes here please, asked to see the little pink wonders at the end of our tour and was duly granted an audience. However, having been given our sample of pulled “Conquest” we made our way to the area designated as the “Brewmaster’s Domain”.

Boiling pots of chopped cereals, placed strategically along one pristine wall, ready to be imbued with the essence of the local or specialist hops, which give these brews their distinctive colour, taste and smell, so beloved of the inhabitants of this green and pleasant land, were bubbling away merrily. The Brewmaster’s rhetoric filled our heads with details of a subject he is passionate about. Racks of newly filled bottles of beer surrounding the “guests” added to the thoughts that we were on the verge of greatness here. All the bottles had been individually capped, making the term “craft” just that little bit more special. They do have a website and will deliver I believe. Oh, the beer was fantastic.

Netherfield Mobile Library: On Tuesday 7 March the Mobile Library will be parking once again outside the Netherfield Village Stores and Coffee Shop between 13.00 and 13.20. I have to apologise to all the regular visitors of this bastion of local village life for not keeping you informed of its visits. No excuses I just forgot. Not having visited the library and picking up the latest edition of something modern I have just finished reading a 1984, first edition, signed copy , yes really, of Stars and Bars by William Boyd. Not impressed so have now picked another book out of the pile at home entitled “Love and Ella Rafferty” by John Paddy Carstairs, an original from 1947. Much more to my taste.

Reflections on a garden: Twigs have been strewn across the drive and the grass by the winds and storms we have experienced over the last week. This weather is not helpful in trying to keep the garden in some semblance of order during the winter months. It blows detritus here there and everywhere and endangers the proper growth of the young shoots which are emerging at this time of year.. Crocus and primrose, cowslip and daffodil. Such joy, I will leave it at that this week.

More next week........

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