Andrew Ratcliffe, Whatlington

St Mary Magdalene church services for Easter will be a Good Friday (29th March) service of reflection including five gospel readings and hymns at 6.00 pm in the village hall.

Easter Sunday (31st March) service will be a Holy Communion at 9.00am in the village hall.This is half an hour later than the normal 8.30 am Sunday Holy Communion.

Mountfield & Whatlington school closed for Easter on Thursday 28th March and pupils return Monday 15th April.

Thank you to Valerie Bennett for the following regarding the Annual Parish Assembly and the Parish Council meeting that took place on Thursday 21st March.

“Last week’s Annual Parish Assembly was, in spite of a very cold evening, well attended.

We were fortunate in having both the Rother District Council Chairman Councillor Joy Hughes and Rother’s Chief Executive Derek Stevens attending.

Our PCSO Chris Dewitt informed the meeting that for most of the year there was, thankfully, very little crime in our area but, during the recent snow many sheds were broken into and items stolen.

He has been dealing with parking of vehicles on the verge along the A.21 and this matter is slowly resolving itself. There have been problems with speeding but unfortunately the police could not comply with the council’s request to have a speed camera check on the A.21 as there was no suitable flat area for this. They will continue monitoring where they can. The recent damage to the telephone box will be redressed with the motorist having to pay for the damage to be rectified.

Unfortunately Sarah Tyler from the Environment Agency was unable to attend but her colleague Myles Robinson more than made up for this with his interest talk on the river Line, the history of the river, the fish in the river and the river environment. We were intrigued to discover that we have very unique brown trout who’s DNA go back thousands of years.

There followed, again, very interesting reports from our parish Chairman, County and District Councillors along with local organisations. The Rother Chairman also addressed the meeting.

At the council meeting following, councillors discussed -EDF are siting a transformer at the top end of the village and this should help with lighting problems. Parishioners should telephone EDF’s fault line should they have any problems with their supply as this will help them pin point the area concerned and the date and time of the happening.

The Highways Agency are still considering the council’s suggestion for double white lines along the proposed extended 40mph speed limit on the A.21 to Riccards Lane.

Following approaches the council are writing to County Hall asking for a local village representative to be invited onto the Mountfield and Whatlington CE School Interim Executive Board.

Councillors agreed grants to local organisations. The following grants have been given this year:- Good Companions help with costs for Speakers and hall rent £75, Village Newsletter to offset possible shortfall £65, Parochial Church Council – towards costs of glass plaque screen and costs for a sound amplification system incorporating a hearing loop - £570 and the Village Hall payment of surveyors bill and towards cost of probable repair costs - £574.85

The next meeting will be the Annual Meeting on Thursday 16th May in the village hall at 7.30pm”

News from Alex at The Royal Oak;

We’ve had a very busy week at your local village pub! We welcomed the Good Companions Group on Wednesday when 23 members enjoyed lunch in the Barn, Thursday saw a busy quiz night - big thank you to Bob for doing the quiz last week. Friday was Film Club night, when we showed the Meryl Streep film Hope Springs - feedback was that it was a really enjoyable film and an education for some?! The week ended with a very busy Sunday lunch as it was the Hastings half marathon and lots of runners popped in for some post-exercise refreshment!

Tonight (Fri 29th) is Irish Music night - what better way to start off the Bank Holiday Easter weekend? Musicians begin their “jamming style” session of traditional Irish tunes from 8.30pm, and it really is an evening of excellent music and wonderful unique atmosphere. If you would like to book a table, please call 01424 870492.

The quiz is held every Thursday from 8pm and gets very busy, but if you have a team of up to six players, do come along and see if you can beat some of the regular teams!

There may still be a few tickets left for the Rock n Roll night being held in the Village Hall on Saturday (30th). Tickets are just £10 to include a light supper, and there will be a DJ and bar. This is a community event to encourage everyone to get together and raise some funds for the upkeep of the Village Hall at the same time, so if you would like to support it, please call Angie on 01424 870087.

Thank you to Hilda Aplin for the following update on the Good Companions.

“23 members of The Good Companions attended lunch at the Royal Oak last week and it was enjoyed by all. I am saying that it was enjoyed by all; I did get some feedback, but I have made this comment, because there was so much chattering going on and the whole atmosphere was one of enjoyment. It is so nice to see everyone enjoying each other`s company.; this is what The Good Companions is all about; friendship & companionship. Our next meeting on Wednesday April 17th is an “open” meeting where we invite everyone who would like to join us for the afternoon to come.

Roger Fisher, the chairman of Whatlington Parish Council, a gentleman known to many of you, has kindly offered to give a talk called “A Single Sentence” ; the title of the talk is very intriguing in itself and I wonder if you can guess what the talk is about!

I know that this will be a very interesting talk so please do join us at Whatlington Village Hall on Wednesday 17th April beginning at 2pm. Light refreshments will follow the talk. Entrance only £1.00 which will go towards the hire of the hall. There will be a raffle.”