Darvel Down & Area Residents Association: The AGM was held on Friday 21st April at the Netherfield Village Hall and was called by one local resident “somewhat of a fiasco” although this was the only comment of its kind. An AGM is, after all, about renewal, so it was ostensibly to elect the committee for the coming year and to answer questions raised at a previous meeting, as to the apparent inconsistencies with the association’s constitution and a name change. It had been noted that the current name, whilst serving the community for many years, may give the impression that it was about one area rather than the community as a whole. This could have deterred residents from other parts of Netherfield, which stretches from the bottom of Netherfield Hill, at the bridge, to Darwell Hole, from getting involved. Therefore, a vote was held which agreed, by an overwhelming majority, to change the name to Netherfield Village Residents Association.
After a long period of time in the role, the current Chairman, David Stone, decided to stand down. Warm thanks were given for his contribution to the community. At the same time, the current Secretary, John Boryer, decided he too needed to hand over the reins to some new blood to take the association forward. After a series of votes the new Chairperson is Marrissa Stepaneik, the new Vice Chairperson, Matt Mitchell and the new Secretary, Jo Lyons. The existing Treasurer, Sylvie Prye remains in post for another year. Other members re-elected comprised of Anne Everton, Sam Ward, Maurice Holmes plus a welcome newcomer Amber Mitchell, wife of the new Vice Chairperson. We wish them all the very best for the future.
In addition, whilst the Village Hall could be the centre of community activities, its use has declined, due in part, perhaps, to a lack of understanding that it should be thought as the focus of all the residents in the Netherfield catchment area. Fetes, classes and discussion groups could be held within its walls, with a kitchen to provide the necessary refreshment levels that are required for each function. The grounds also include pitches for football and cricket etc and ample changing facilities to underpin any of these and other sports that are envisaged.
Already, the new team are organising a village fete for August and to help finance this, a jumble type sale in the very near future. Help is needed for these and other plans in the pipeline. So, if you wish to get involved you can use the contact details at the end of this column and I will pass to the people involved.
Brightling Stoolball Club: Brightling Stoolball Club needs you. There is a practice game taking place at the end of April and if you would like to join in please ring Chris on 07749189984 who will be more than happy to give you all the details. So come on. Get “stooling”.
Reflections on a garden: The rhododendrons are at last displaying their annual wares in a profusion of whites and pinks as the bushes around the garden finally show what they are made of. They always seem to me to have the same sort of petal patterns as those of an orchid. Maybe there is some primordial connection between the two? We have maybe half a dozen scattered the estate (delusions of grandeur I feel in this comment) at points which have been randomly selected. Most are in shade and sit under a canopy of trees which were here when we arrived. The blossoms are not long-lasting but they do add a touch of early colour to the proceedings and fill some difficult corners.
It is also the time when the euonymus starts to put on growth. We have yellow and greens ones alternating each other in their hedge-like structure, which was part of the garden’s landscape twenty years ago when we arrived. I clip and snip to contain the spherical look of the shrubs and this always seems to leave an abundance of leaves scattered on the pea-shale paths and drive, no matter how carefully I have used the shears. As soon as I touch the new growth the leaves doing a dying swan act and throw themselves anywhere but in the bucket. Then its the devil’s own job to get them cleared away.
The euonymus, also seem to hide and be a safe haven for the young shoots of ground elder. The new, tender leaves of this very invasive plant appear from under the blooming bushes at the beginning of April and plague this particular bed, no matter how much we eat or dig up during the season. Some people ask, what the Romans did for us? Well they were the culprits who brought this over from Italy in an effort to teach us how to start eating Italian. Our beautiful green and pleasant land was free of this menace before they started their 400 year long occupation. What is annoying is that they didn’t take it back with them when they left. However, as a culinary delight it works well in salads. The shoots, when young and tender and unfurled, are a green treat in a herb salad or cooked with linguine and cream.
More next week........
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