Netherfield news
Netherfield news

Netherfield Breakaway Club: The first meeting of the year took place on Thursday 17th January when members and guests were welcomed back to the warm and comfortable Emmanuel Centre, Battle. Our guest speaker was Melvyn Nolan, retired Headmaster of a school in Zambia. Melvyn had been Headteacher of a school in Surrey for a number of years and, after the death of his Best Man aged only 49, followed a month later by his father having a serious stroke, Melvyn decided to take early retirement at 51 to go to Africa to continue to work with children in an educational environment through a recommendation by his local church. Zambia - formerly northern Rhodesia - had become independent in 1964 and although Melvyn had no idea where it was and the fact that there was a civil war going on on either side of the country at the time(!), he and his wife Wendy duly arrived in 1995 and stayed for over 6 years. All he knew was that the explorer David Livingstone (1813-1873) had discovered Victoria Falls and that he had married Mary Moffatt of Scotland, whose father was a missionary and the first person to write scripture in the local language - the national language of Zambia now fortunately being English - it was Melvyn’s task to promote and extend a school for the local children which had been founded by three local commercial farmers 7-8 years previously. A primary school was needed for the children of the local workers and staff and 34 pupils attended. There was plenty of land available and following the visit of an Education Inspector from Durham it was recommended that a boarding school be started. The school was 30 kms away from the nearest town and many buildings were added, equipment purchased and plenty of books.

Some day pupils were 60 kms away and once up and running, weekly and termly boarders enjoyed all the facilities of this sought after high class educational establishment. The coloured slides we saw were a surprise and extremely interesting. Uniforms were introduced and there was good medical support on site. There were no mobile phones at that time, letters took three weeks to arrive and it was like being in the 1950s! Leisure time was enjoyed visiting local sights and places of interest - Zimbabwe was some four hours’ distance - and life went at a much slower pace. Melvyn had introduced his talk with a fascinating insight into the political situation in Zambia at that time and details of the Presidents and political leaders. It was also the largest producer of copper of the African countries. Returning to England in 2002 brought many changes! We enjoyed hearing of his experiences and thanked him for his talk, which was the first since his return to England, and we hope that other clubs will be interested to meet him. Refreshments were enjoyed and the raffle was drawn.Our February meeting will be on Thursday 21 when Sally Watson from Fairlight will be bringing her Hearing Dogs for the Deaf. The meeting will take place at the earlier time of 2.30 pm and we revert back to 3 pm for the March meeting. New members and guests are always welcome. Juliette Vane.

St. John the Baptist Church: There were two mistakes in my column last week. Both, I might add, actioned by my trying to meet deadlines for this publication. The first of these was in relation to the Church service which I stated was on 10th February. I had forgotten the information that had been told to me by Gillian, a well-respected member of the Church community. Therefore, I apologise for my error regarding church service times and place. The second error I will address further on in my column. Maurice.

St John the Baptist Church Future events: On Saturday April 6th the first fundraising day of the year will take place at St John’s and we are now taking table bookings. Also, due to retirements, some help with the bric-a-brac and cake stall,would be very welcome. More details later, but you can contact me now on 838825. Gillian.

Netherfield Village Hall Library Service: Three visitors to the Coffee morning at the Village Hall on Saturday last, decided not to miss the opportunity of browsing and borrowing a number of books from the Library. Our objective has always been, if the Hall is open, then so too is the Library. If we are there servicing the community at another type of function then why not improve their experience in another direction.

We would like to thank everybody who came along to the Coffee morning, for their support on such a testing day, as far as the weather was concerned. With a tombola and raffle alongside the coffee, cakes and tea, we took nearly £70 to help improve the facilities and opportunities we are able to offer at the Hall. Thank you.

Netherfield Village Hall AGM: As mentioned earlier in my blog, this is my second apology. The Annual General Meeting for the Netherfield Village Hall will take place at 6.30pm on Tuesday 26th February 2019 and not Thursday as I indicated last week, at the Village Hall. A slip of the keyboard spotted by an avid reader of my column. Well done JB.

Netherfield Village Hall Future Events: Netherfield Village Hall & Playing Fields Committee are holding a Children’s Activity Morning on Wednesday 20th February from 10am-1pm at Netherfield Village Hall, Netherfield Road, TN33 9QB. Children can enjoy junk modelling, crafts, challenges and games for only £2 per child, which includes a snack and a drink. Come and join us for some half term fun! The Committee would like to thank Holland Harper LLP who have very kindly sponsored this event

Netherfield Village Hall & Playing Fields are holding a Jumble Sale on Saturday 6th April from 10am-11.30am at Netherfield Village Hall, Netherfield Road, TN33 9QB. Clothing, bric a brac, toys, books and much more will be on sale. 50p admission for adults, children free. Come and grab a bargain!

Claverham Monday Badminton Club: Tense, febrile and restlessly excited are words that could describe the action that took place within the Claverham Sports Hall this week. I can almost feel the tension this has created amongst my readership, or should that be reader? Writing a piece every week, trying to make it match the creativity of a John Steinbeck novel or the factual intensity of an Edna Healey masterpiece of non-fiction is not an easy matter.

I am sure that everyone who reads my column knows the size and construction of the Claverham building, the extent of the car park and the majority of the protagonists who present themselves for a weekly dose of humiliation. People such as Super Sandra, Marco the Polo Ben, John Hightower and our own Roy of the roving eye (each one has a mind of its own).

There were twelve of us this week. Three less than last week but numbers which require a constant round of playing. So it is a match, drink and another match throughout the two hour session. We can legitimately call ourselves a swingers club without the connotations usually associated with this word, as smashes contained within the action, require a good one for the shuttle to fly over the net and bypass any rackets placed in their path to prevent them reaching the floor of the court.

More next week...

Reflections on a garden: Wet, wet, wet! Sounds like a good name for a pop group or has it been used before?. We have had the snow. Now comes the rain. For those of us who relish the thought of a fork in one hand and a snowdrop in the other at this time of year, the opportunities to undertake this form of relaxation, seem to be non-existent at the moment. Not only is it wet but cold as well. Our well is full to the brim, everything is sopping wet and the ground around the pond is one big muddy puddle. The fish too, seem to have taken a holiday and refuse to show themselves to either us or our local prince of darkness, the heron. He has flown off in disgust, as his version of Sashimi wont come out to present themselves for his delectation.

We have a plant in the garden which comes up at this time of year, looks like a sagging green chive, is prolific and does nothing except stay green and looks like sagging green chives. Does anyone know what it is called. It produces no flowers just stays green like sagging green chives.

I am think of coming back as a bird and frequenting our garden. My good lady will be buying beds for them next, I reckon. Fatballs, seeds and every other assortment of bird food is available for a host of our feathered friends. Containers in wire, plastic boxes with entry points in various shapes and sizes and a host of other feeders adorn the trees and pergola attached to the garage. I am now looking forward I guess, to the introduction of beds and umbrellas to keep them dry and warm in the long winter nights, which I am sure my good lady will be purchasing on her next trip to the pet shop in Battle.

It does bring in woodpeckers, starlings, fat pigeons, sparrows, tits of all shapes and sizes, greenfinches, magpies, pheasants, blackbirds, thrushes and a host of other visitors to get their daily fix. All I am charged with is keeping the cats at bay. Oh the life of a “second in command” man!

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 Call 01424838410 and ask for Maurice or text 07957588172