Andrew Ratciffe, Whatlington

St Mary Magdalene Parish Church service on Sunday 9th December will be a special Carol Family service at 10.30am in the village hall. There will be a festive spirit and refreshments will follow the service so please do try and attend.Sunday 16th December will be Holy Communion starting at 8.30am again in the village hall. The special Whatlington Christmas church pageant will be Sunday 23rd December starting at 3.30 pm at the village hall with a Holy Communion at 8.30am also on the 23rd December. Enquiries to Yvonne Underhill 775440 for the Christmas pageant activities.

Saturday 8th Dec will be the Village Hall committee Christmas Fayre taking place at the Village Hall from 11am - 3pm.

Mountfield & Whatlington primary school year 5/6 pupils will be singing to the British Gympsum pensioners Christmas party on Wed 5th December and also taking part in the “Big Sing” at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on Monday 10th December between 7.30 - 9.30 pm.Tickets for the “Big Sing” can be purchased from the box office at the De La Warr or on the website. Prices are very reasonable and discounted for children and families. School Christmas lunch is Wed 12th Dec at the school. Friday 14th Dec the pupils are attending a pantomime performance at the White Rock theatre in Hastings. Mon 17th Dec is the school Nativity and the last day of a very busy term is Friday 21st Dec returning back to school on Tues 8th Jan 2013.Mon 7th Jan is a school inset day for teacher training so the school will be closed.

Thank you Hilda for sending an update regarding the Good Companions and the Whatlington Church Fire Appeal.

23 members of The Good Companions enjoyed a Christmas lunch at The Plough, Westfield. The tables were laid with crackers and festive tableware , with fresh flowers as centre pieces. The three course meal with tea/coffee afterwards was very nice and we shall certainly look to go back there in 2013. Thank you Martin & Staff.

In the next week or two I will start arranging outings for next year and will keep you all informed.

St Mary Magdalene Church Fire Appeal Fund and now theoretically reached the £35,000 mark; I say theoretically because some of the money has now been spent on surveys and the connections for the gas & water. Thank you Ted & Valerie for your kind donations, which are very much appreciated. We still have another £10,000 to raise if we are to reach our target figure. We are having a stall at the Village hall`s Christmas fayre tomorrow Saturday, in the afternoon to raise further funds. (Details will be in this edition of the Village Voice.) Please do support both ventures.”

News from the Royal Oak

Well, it’s finally December and the Christmas Party season has begun! For The Royal Oak calendar of Christmas and New Year events, please see the download on our website www.royaloak-whatlington.co.uk but brief highlights include our fancy dress Christmas Quiz on Thursday 20th December, Carols around the bar on Christmas Eve, and a jolly good knees up on New Years Eve – the fancy dress theme this year is “Black & White” – providing lots of scope for imaginative costumes!

It will be a busy day in Whatlington tomorrow (Sat 8th) as The Village Hall Committee are holding a Christmas Fair in the Village Hall from 11am. There will be lots of stalls and festive gifts to browse through – chocolates, local produce, Christmas cards and table decorations, plus the mulled wine will be flowing, and mince pies will be warming in the oven – so come along and join in with your neighbours for a bit of festive shopping!

Later on the 8th there is a Cheese and Port tasting at The Royal Oak from 9pm. Tickets are just £5 per person and this event has been a huge success on previous occasions – once you open that bottle of Port, you just have to keep going! If you would like to reserve a space, please call me on 01424 870492.

We had a lovely Irish Music Night last week, and thanks to Jo and Paul as ever for organising what remains to be the most popular night of the month. The December session will take place on the last Friday of the month as usual – 28th from 8.30pm.

The Pub Quiz is still held every Thursday from 8pm for teams of up to six, so don’t forget to keep exercising those little grey cells and come along for some fun on a Thursday.

Your Whatlington News was delivered this week, so don’t forget to read it from cover to cover to catch up with all the latest Village gossip. There are some lovely photos of village events held throughout the year, an update on the Church restoration, plus details of Festive Church Services and events at The Royal Oak. If you would like to receive a copy via email, please contact Steve on steve.messages@virgin.net.

Thank you to Steve for sending an update of the Whatlington Film Club.

“There’s a double dose of cinematic Christmas spirit unwrapped and ready to enjoy for film club members this month.

Tonight (Friday the 7th) sees the showing of Love Actually – an ensemble piece that takes the lives of various Londoners and slowly draws their stories together as they pursue, or are pursued by, love.

Occasionally more syrupy than grandma’s plum pudding, it also contains just enough bitter spices to take the edge off the sweetness.

Colin Firth’s awkward, very public proposal in broken Spanish to his cleaning lady and British Prime Minister Hugh Grant’s falling out with his US counterpart (imagine that!) are among the genuinely feelgood moments in a movie that is often too cheaply dismissed as a piece of festive schmaltz.

The film also reveals director Richard Curtis’s love affair with London – rarely has the city looked so inviting – but a different side of life in the capital is on show in the month’s second film A Christmas Carol – now being screened on a new date of Saturday December 22.

With many cinematic interpretations of the Dickens story to choose from this 1984 version, starring George C. Scott as bullish, hard-headed City trader Scrooge, is rated by many movie buffs as the very best, beating even the 1951 classic starring Donald Sim. Frank Finlay is mournful miser Marley and Angela Pleasence is the Ghost of Christmas Past. But the sinister Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come has most of the best lines.. without uttering a single word. It’s the perfect way to get ready for the festive week ahead and to put all that ‘last Saturday before Christmas’ shopping frenzy into perspective.”