Netherfield

St John the Baptist Church: Our Autumn Fair last Saturday was our final fund-raising event for the year, unless someone has some very bright ideas! We made a grand total of £333. The wonderful selection of homemade cakes, jams and chutneys, are always very popular, as is the raffle and tombola. We would like to say thanks to everybody for all the generous donations. It is always good to raise money for our church, as we do have plans for next year. The report on the school handwriting competition will be dealt with by Emma or Richard Williams. The children’s talents in this area were on show in the church.

Remembrance Sunday 11th November - The Reverend Brian Llewellyn will be conducting the service at our church. The congregation will gather beforehand outside, beside the War Memorial and lay a wreath paying our respects to the soldiers who gave their lives in two world wars. Everyone is welcome to join us for a short while on this important day. Thanks Gillian.

Pass & Move Under 13s: The next fixture at the Netherfield Village Hall Playing Field for the Pass & Move under 13s team is Sunday 4th November Vs ASC Strikers. This is the league cup and ASC are currently top of Division 1. It will be a 10.30 KO. All are welcome.

If you’d like more information on the team please go to www.pass-move.com and you can follow our results/progress online at http://fulltimeleague.thefa.com

Netherfield Village Hall Library Service: Despite the generous donations of bookcases over the past few weeks, we are still very short of places to store the books we have been offered, by so many people. It is difficult to ask them to hold onto their gifts for the time being but we cannot display them as we would like. Unfortunately, we are awaiting a further response to our request from East Sussex County Council for usable equipment to house the books, or, alternatively, funding for a more permanent display. The children’s area, because of the volume of titles that we have on offer, is the section most affected, as a table is currently the only means of displaying these items, not, I might add, to their best advantage. However, we are getting there and it was never going to be a walk in the park to initiate and run this free community service. If you have anything we could use please contact us using the methods listed at the end of the blog.

Netherfield Village Hall Christmas Party: There are plans afoot to organise a Christmas party at the Village Hall involving music, food and drink, and all the other things you associate with a get-together of this type. If you are interested please let us know if you have any ideas you would like to suggest. That is what the community is all about. More later.

Netherfield Village Hall: With the hall beginning to look at its best for years, suggestions would be welcomed on activities you think could be accommodated within its portals. Keep-fit; tea-dances; a children’s club; a jazz club; a photographic club; a youth club; a knitting club or maybe even a cinema? The list is endless. However, we need to know what you would like to see and do and whether we can accommodate it at the Hall. Therefore, if you are looking for a new venue, need help to get it off the ground and up and running, why not come and talk to us. We don’t bite and don’t even snarl. Send us an email with a few details of your idea, including a telephone number to u4netherfield@outlook.com and we will get in touch to have a chat.

Netherfield Village Hall repairs: With a building that has been in place since the 1950s and, I have to say, somewhat neglected over the past few years, the remedial work needed to return it to its former glory is not only costly but urgent. For example, the roof is covered in wooden shingles, made of maple from Canada and these have a finite period of time before they need replacing. Unfortunately, unlike terracotta tiles, they only last a couple of decades or so. Whilst they look nice on the Hall’s roof and give it that countryside appeal, sixty or so have either disappeared in storms leaving a hole, or have broken and look unsightly. Whilst these have now been replaced, making the Hall once again waterproof, they are just one of the jobs that need urgent attention.

There is also the need to repair and re-paint the outside, which has withstood the ravages of time up to a degree but is currently a patchwork of green caused by the growth of verdigris on the white painted cement. It gives it that appearance of deprivation which we are keen to dispel. We have the paint, but, like all charities, are negotiating terms for the work to be undertaken, unless you would like to volunteer? For those that either walk your dogs, or just use the facilities for pleasure, we are getting there but it all takes time and money.

A local business kindly provided an item at their expense on this Monday past, which will help make the Hall that little bit more secure and waterproof, but, in accordance with their wishes, they prefer to remain anonymous. I respect that request but would still like to say thank you to them for stepping into the breach in our hour of need.

Claverham Monday Badminton Club: This Monday was cold and uninviting and I arrived early, due to making a call on the way which went quicker than I had anticipated. All four courts were in use, as usual, prior to the 8 o’clock watershed, so I began to read the noticeboard just inside the door at the Sports Hall. The number of activities that Claverham Sports Club is involved in is astronomical. The logistics associated with organising so many must be a nightmare. There are leagues for this and leagues for that, with teams calling themselves weird and wonderful names, obviously to get noticed. That is a bit like the players in the Badminton Club. We have a Ben, a Jai even a John and of course a Roy. Now, I hear you say, what is odd about those monikers? Well, if you knew them like I do, then you would not ask that question.

Eleven arrived and eleven played, but not all at the same time. One person, yes one person, was all we needed to make it a three-court extravaganza instead of the two ring circus that happens when we are forced to rest three of the players whilst the other games are being played. Mind you, I did get to hear about trips to Australia, the state of the world and how things are in Glocca Morra. What do you mean, where is Glocca Morra? Tommy Steele, Petula Clarke and Fred Astaire would tell you if you asked them for directions.

I must admit though the ladies were in short supply again this week. I know work patterns and other commitments cause headaches but we seem to be devoid of their numbers for a number of weeks now. Come back, all is forgiven.

More next week.

Reflections on a garden: This weather, which does not fit the late autumnal or early winter’s approach, is playing havoc with the flowering season of some of our plants. Things that should not be in flower, like the weigela, a deciduous shrub of the family Caprifoliaceae, has just come out in bloom much too early. Will this mean that its accepted blossoming time next year will be curtailed? Yes, it is adding colour to a normally sparse period between now and the spring in our plot, but it could upset the carefully nurtured profusion of colour we rely on to lift our spirits, from the Spring onwards.

I have put more leaf mold on the vegetable patch, not only to protect and prepare, but its loamy appearance and slight tinges of gold and orange from the particles of leaves still not fully disintegrated , make the soil look fantastic. Everlasting onions, when surrounded by this protective mixture, shine through like green swords emerging from a dark pond. The contrast is so striking you almost wish it would last forever.

My good lady, armed with her trusty plastic bag, went to the fennel plants and carefully removed the seeds, which were ready for popping all over the patio area and elsewhere. The seeds seem to have a resilience which allows them to thrive in the most hostile of environments. They sprout throughout the year in pea-shale, patio stones, nooks and crannies in the most inhospitable of environments and just about everywhere else. Throughout next summer I will be seeing their small fronds poking out, searching for the sun with a feather-duster-like head reaching for the light.

In this condition, they are less aniseedy and, with the root removed and blanched, almost a vegetable on their own.

More next week.......

Contact: If you have any stories or articles of interest that will give our readership a reason to buy the paper please contact me on email at u4netherfield@outlook.com. Call 01424838410 and ask for Maurice or text 07957588172