COMMUNITY NEWS & REVIEWS: MOBILE LIBRARY SERVICE- I owe an apology to those book lovers who were ardent supporters of this service. It would appear that I have inadvertently informed you of the continued visits of the Mobile Library Service to our Parish, when this service had recently been withdrawn. I apologise most sincerely to all those who have been affected. I had not been given any information on these closure dates and therefore I continued to inform you of this service. Our nearest library outlets are at now at Battle and Hawkurst. It is such a shame to see the loss of yet another vital service in our rural areas. There may not have been multitudes of people queuing to use this facility, but it was a well used, necessary and vital link to those who were not always able to use the Main Branch Libraries. These Mobile Library Services were ALWAYS more than just about books !

KENT & EAST SUSSEX RAILWAY: The K.& E.S.R. are trying to establish the “missing rail link between Robertsbridge village and Bodiam village to eventually run the steam train all the way from Robertsbridge through to Tenterden has come to the eye of the public and a number of people have concerns about the proposal with the result that everyone has an opinion to state - ‘for or against’ - this matter . Members of the public have until 31st May to comment on the Rother Valley Railway (-Bodiam to Robertsbridge Junction ) Order. Once approved, this Statutory Instrument would create powers under the Transport & Works Act 1992, to allow the Kent & East Sussex Railway to; amongst other things, - create level crossings across the A21 and B2244 -Junction Road ( Sedlescombe to Hawkhurst Road) to fell/lop trees for operational and safety reasons and obtain Compulsory Purchase Orders to acquire land to re-instate the “missing rail link” between Robertsbridge and Bodiam. The Order application documentation may be found here; Comments on the application - for or against - may be emailed to:

EWHURST, STAPLECROSS & BODIAM GARDEN SOCIETY: Spring is always a special time of the year to most people, as it is seen to herald better times to come - including the weather - but none more so than for garden lovers. Whether you have acres to Lord (or Lady) over or a humble window box or even just a pot or two to cherish and call your own, to see those soft new green shoots bravely pushing their way through the soil one day to suddenly and magically burst into full bloom the next, always makes your heart swell with joy and brings on that ‘feel-good-factor’. Seeing the results of entering those blooms into a little local flower show and being rewarded with a 1st. -2nd -3rd. or Highly Commended is just the ‘icing on the cake’ - as the old saying goes and so the joy continues. Several such people were rather surprised when their blooms were chosen from dozens of others during the recent “Spring Flower Show” hosted by our own local Garden Society, as the previous few days weather-wise, were horrendous. I have only just received the results of this splendid show which was held a few weeks ago, and all those who took the time and trouble to enter deserve a pat on the back for their efforts. Sadly there can only be three winners for each class and they all deserve a mention. Here are the (belated) results for the E.S.B. Garden Society “Spring Show” 2018. Class 1: “Tranquility”- An exhibition of foliage & 7 spring blooms: 1st -Ann Brookes. 2nd -Pam Dance. 3rd -Carol Worwood. Class 2: - No Entries. Class 3:- Container of cut flowers-no foliage -from the exhibitors garden- 1st -Pam Underhill. 2nd -Ann Brookes. 3rd -Pam Dance. Class 4:- Specimen spray of a shrub from exhibitors garden. 1st -Ruth Close. 2nd -Pam Dance. 3rd - Mr. Peter Lynam. Class 5:- Vase of 5 Violas or Pansies -1st -Ann Brookes. 2nd -Carol Worwood. Class 6:- Vase of 5 Primroses or polyanthus. 1st- Jennie Lynam. 2nd -Pam Underhill. 3rd -Carol Worwood. Class 7: - Vase of 5 Muscari or Grape Hyacinths - 1st Jennie Lynam. 2nd -Kathleen Pettitt. 3rd - Ann Brookes. Class 8: -Vase of 3 Tulips - 1 or more varieties. 1st - Ann Brookes. 2nd - Pam Underhill. 3rd.-Carol Worwood. Class 9: - Vase of 3 single flowered Daffodils/Narcissus.- 1 or more varieties. 1st - Pam Dance. 2nd - Jennie Lynam. 3rd - Mr.Chris Stevens. Class 10: - Vase of 3 double-flowered Daffodils/Narcissus - 1 or more varieties. 1st - Anne Reed. 2nd - Pam Dance. 3rd - Mr. Chris Stevens. Class 11: - Vase of 3 multi-headed Daffodils/Narcissus. 1st - Chris Stevens. 2nd - Pam Dance. 3rd - Pam Underhill. Class 12: - Vase of 3 miniature Daffodils/Narcissus - 1 or more varieties. 1st Jennie Lynam. 2nd - Ann Brookes. 3rd - Pam Underhill. The Angela Evans Cup was awarded to Ann Brookes with Pam Dance being the very worthy runner - up. Although no prize money is awarded at this show, all the points gained here by each individual will count towards the Hughes Silver Challenge Cup; the Hurley Challenge Cup; the Norma Stringer Memorial Cup; and the Parva Cup, which will be awarded later this year. This was a superb little show with a good attendance and some fabuluous blooms which filled the hall with their fantastic scent. Many congratulations to all the winners and “Well Done” to those that entered but didn’t win - another chance to shine may be our next Horticultural treat which will be the summer “Rose Show” and this will be held at the Staplecross Village Hall TN32 5QG on Saturday June 16th. Contact the Show Secretaries~ Pam on 01580~830230 or Maggie on 01580~830041 for further details and/or schedules. We look forward to seeing you there.

STAPLECROSS SOCIAL CLUB; This great little social club - right in the heart of our community, - held it’s AGM at the end of April and as a result, now have some new people to serve on their committee. New blood & new ideas always bring a fresh start to any organisation and we look forward to seeing the results of these in due course.

STAPLECROSS BOWLS CLUB: Who would believe that a local village outdoor bowls club could be so busy !. This week the team from our own local Bowls Club have another full week ahead with no less than four (4) matches to play - luckily three of these are ‘at home’ which means we get the opportunity to go along and show them our support. Match No: 1 is to be played on Saturday May 19th and is the first of the ‘Home’ games. Their opponents hail from Rye and this match forms part of the ‘Mermaid League’ and will commence at 2.30pm. The following day - Sunday May 20th. the team will play host to another ‘Home’ game when they face Westfield. This match will be part of the ‘Rother Tournament’. This match will also begin at 2.30pm. Match No: 3 is on Wednesday May 23rd and is the ‘Away’ match for this week when the team travel to Battle. This fixture is also part of the ‘Rother Tournament and also starts at 2.30pm. Last match for the weekdays will be played on Thursday May 24th and will be the final ‘Home’ game of the week and this time the team will play against Pett.with this match being part of the ‘Mermaid League’ and like the previous games, this one also will commence at 2.30pm.For all further details on these matches and of any of the other social activities the Staplecross Bowls Club are organising, please contact them via email: or telephone Brian on:01580~830570

ROTHER RAMBLERS: Two more walks are offered up this week - both enticing - both at differing times - and both in different directions -so a good choice if you are interested. Walk No: 1 is planned for Sunday May 20th and will be an 8.5 mile circular walk from Forest Row, Weir Wood Reservoir and Ashurst Wood. The meeting point is at the Forest Row Community Centre car park. OS.EXP135. TQ426349. (satnav RH18 5DY) at the normal time of 10.00am. As usual, a picnic lunch is suggested. Your ‘walk leader for this outing is Adrian and you can contact him on 01273~514336 or Mobile: 07729~861854 for further details. Walk No: 2 and much closer to home is arranged to take place on Thursday May 24th and this will be a delightful ‘shortish’ EVENING WALk of just 6.5 miles. This is a popular walk from Sandhurst Cross to Bodiam circular and the meeting point is at Sandhurst church OS.EXP136. TQ790273. (satnav TN18 5NX) at the much later time of 6.30pm. The walk notes state thtere will be drinks and crisps at the ‘Castle Inn’ in the centre of Bodiam midway through the walk. Rita and Lionel are to be your ‘walk leaders’ for this meander and you may contact them on 01424~752452 for more information.

ROYAL WEDDING WEEK-END: If your Royal Wedding Invitation has mysteriously got lost in the post - then why not cheer yourself up with a great alternative by joining in one of the numerous events that are taking place all over the area. here are just 3 events -diverse in every way - which may delight and/or entertain you.

EVENT NO:1 - Our own little Social Club have arranged a 80’s Disco and Buffet at the club on Saturday May 19th. from 8pm ‘til late. Raid the charity shops or someone’s wardrobe and get up the gear to look the part on what promises to be a super night out. The following Saturday (May 27th) the club will be hosting the London 5 Darts Competition. Entry Fee is £3:00 - Please register before 3.00pm.Cash Prizes - Pool Competition £2:00 entry fee. Shove Halfpenny Competition is also £2:00 entry fee and these also have cash prizes to offer to the lucky winners. So come along, - join in & have a Grand Night in !.

EVENT NO:2 - BEE FESTIVAL: The High Weald Beekeeper’s Association are holding a fantastic “Bee Festival” on Saturday May 19th between 10.0am and 5.00pm. This will take place at Heathfield Community College, School Hill, Cade Street, Old Heathfield TN21 8RJ. Telephone -01435~866066. There is plenty of free parking here and entrance is only £1:00 per person. This amazing and enlightening ‘Bee Festival’ will include Live bee show. - Many trade stands. - Great range of bee-keeping equipment which will be up for auction during this event. -A variety of both hot and cold food available throughout the day. - Children’s Corner. - Mead Making.- Bees, Plants and Honey for sale. - Talk on the Health of Bees. There will also be Workshops and Courses available for all levels of skill including ~ Beginners - “Dealing with Swarming” and an Improvers Session on “Re-Queening”. This is not only a great place to meet like minded people who share an interest in Bees and who will gladly share their expertise with others, but is also a fascinating venue to visit if you may be thinking of becoming a Beekeeper yourself. Why not pop along and discover all the amazing things connected with bees !.

EVENT NO;3 - Last but not least -- the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill are playing host to “The Biggest Royal Wedding Party on the Coast”. Taking place on the Metropole Lawns between 10.30am and 4.00pm on Saturday May 19th. There will be a Big Screen ‘Royal Wedding Coverage’ and lots of other things going on as well throughout the day - including Juvenile Rides live music, many side stalls including food & drink - all outside on the lawns. Come along and take part in a massive commemorative photo. The ITV News Channel will be broadcasting live from the lawns between 9.00am & 11.00am.The day will kick start at 9.30am on the Far Lawn when “Awesome Alfie” will be holding a Children’s Royal Wedding Party, organised by Hastings Direct. All children are invited to the party and to dress up as Princes and Princesses for the day. There will also be a Fancy Dress Competition with prizes for the winners and the Bexhill Carnival Court will also be in attendance. As this will be broadcast live, make sure you dress up and wear all your finery and of course - Wave your Union Jacks!. At 10.30am everyone will be invited to join in to create the letters “BEXHILL E II R” with your bodies for a commemorative photograph - to be taken from the air by drone - recording this momentous occasion for posterity, how the people of Bexhill came together to celebrate the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.. The photograph will require about 800 people to take part --- so make sure you don’t miss out!.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY: A Little NEWS ITEM requested by a neighbouring village has just popped into my ‘in box’ - inviting all those from within our community to come along and listen to a talk, organised by the Northiam & Broad Oak Patients Participation Group. This talk - entitled “HOLDING BACK THE YEARS” is to be given by Dr Elena Mucci on Tuesday June Northiam Village Hall at 6.30pm for 7.00pm. Dr. Mucci is a consultant for ‘Care for the Elderly’ at the Conquest Hospital, in Hastings and is known to be a fine speaker. She will cover topics such as - fall prevention and means of facilitating good health in later years. This promises to be an interesting evening on a subject of concern to us all. There are good parking facilities at the hall and the refreshments will be provided by our own Northiam W.I. ladies. Please contact John on: 01797~252217 for all further details.

CHURCH SERVICES: Church services for the parish of Ewhurst, will commence at St. James the Great, Ewhurst Green on Sunday May 20th. Pentecost. at 9.30am. This service will include Holy Communion.(CW) A service at St. Giles church, Bodiam will follow directly after at 11.15 am. This service will also include Holy Communion (BCP). There will be NO SERVICE today at St. Mark’s church, Northiam Road, Staplecross. - As always, if there is any church matter on which you feel you may need further assistance, especially Baptisms, Weddings and sadly, Funerals, then do please get in touch with the Priest - in - Charge, which is of course our new friend - Canon Christopher Irvine on 01580~830925. Help in some way is always at hand and always so generously given, so do please contact him.

CHILDREN’S CHURCH CHOIR VISIT: There is something special about hearing a child singing, - it fills you with a force of love that fills you with happiness and well-being -whether they are singing a nursery rhyme, a silly little ditty, an advert from the telly or the latest hit from the charts - even singing ‘off key’ they are easily forgiven by seeing the joy they are experiencing within themselves. Children’s voices sung in unison, is truly a joy to behold and for those folk that agree with these sentiments, will take extra pleasure in learning of an ‘Extra Special Treat’ for us in the form of a visit of a children’s choir. On Sunday June 10th - commencing at 5.00pm, a children’s choir will be singing Evensong at St. James the Great church in Ewhurst Green. This will be something of ‘ a day in the country’ for these children from All Saints church in Belvedere. Before the service, the children will partake of a special tea, taken in the Herdman Pavilion, further along the road, and organising a Treasure Hunt for them all to enjoy!. Any help with the catering will be most gratefully received, but it would be most gratifying also to see support in the form of added audience attendance at this Evensong service on this day. How lovely it would be to see good support from ALL 3 churches within our community. Please come along , support them and hear these precious children sing their hearts out for our benefit. For further details, please contact Canon Christopher on 01580-830025 or via his email:

CHURCH SERVICES: Church services for the parish of Ewhurst, will commence at St. James the Great, Ewhurst Green on Sunday May 20th. Pentecost. at 9.30am. This service will include Holy Communion.(CW) A service at St. Giles church, Bodiam will follow directly after at 11.15 am. This service will also include Holy Communion (BCP). There will be NO SERVICE today at St. Mark’s church, Northiam Road, Staplecross. - As always, if there is any church matter on which you feel you may need further assistance, especially Baptisms, Weddings and sadly, Funerals, then do please get in touch with the Priest - in - Charge, which is of course our new friend - Canon Christopher Irvine on 01580~830925. Help in some way is always at hand and always so generously given, so do please contact him.

ANY NEWS FOR THIS COLUMN - PLEASE CONTACT ME: However unreliable our weather may be, it appears that Spring in all it’s glory, is still dragging it’s heels. Life in and around our three villages is not reflected in any weather outlook, as many of our clubs, groups, societies and sports activities are planning lots of things to see, do and enjoy over the coming months. Whatever the nature of the event and however large or small, then please get in touch. FREE coverage is available, via this column, courtesy of the Observer Newspaper. It’s never too early to send in any of the details and to tell us what you are planning. If it’s of interest to you - it’s of interest to us so please do contact me, as I’d love to hear from you and help ‘spread the word’ on your behalf.............Thank You.