Alex Goodman, The Royal Oak

What a fabulous Village Fete we enjoyed at the weekend! A massive thank-you and congratulations on a job well done to the Village Hall Committee for organising such a great day that ran smoothly without a hitch except for one or two unexpected gusts of wind! The Village Hall Committee, which has only five members, work tirelessly throughout the year to raise money to keep the Village Hall going and the Fete is the major community event of the year. I should be able to report on the amount of money raised next week, but I heard several people say that is was the best fete yet and that bringing back the traditional stalls and children’s games and races made for a more fun and friendly atmosphere, providing an inclusive day for all the family and it was great to see so many village residents all enjoying the day together. The Hastings Twirlers provided a super spectacle in the main arena in the afternoon and even managed to persuade a few spectators to indulge in a bit of pom pom shaking! Thanks to Hugh Apthorp for providing the venue, the Vintage Car display and the tractor rides - always so popular!

The PCC had a busy day at the fete running the tea tent and selling their fantastic cakes, jams and chutneys, Valerie Bishops provides the following: “Grateful thanks to all who helped on Saturday setting up, folk that manned the stalls, producers of all the cakes and preserves - a most successful and friendly atmosphere enjoyed by all, despite the sometimes gale force conditions!”

We were very grateful to Glashin (aka Jo and Paul Dengate) for providing the live music at the fete - if you would like to hear more, they play as part of the Traditional Irish Music Night on the last Friday of every month at The Royal Oak (on the 28th this month). Jo and Paul are always happy to play at our annual events like the fete, our Royal Oak summer party and round the bar on Christmas Eve, and Mike and I are most grateful for their continuing support.

Jeffrey reminds you all that Whatlington Church has a major fund raising event coming up on Friday 28th June, 7pm at Leeford Place Hotel, Whatlington. Charles Moore the authorized biographer of Lady Thatcher will be giving a talk about his biography, with an insight into the subject and the opportunity to ask questions etc. it should be a good evening. Copies of the book, signed by Charles will also be available to purchase on the night. Tickets are £15 each, to include tea/coffee & biscuits, plus a bar will be available. The tickets may be purchased directly from The Royal Oak pub, on the A21 at Whatlington, alternatively e-mail churchwarden Jeffrey Bridges at: j.bridges815@btinternet.com to reserve for collection on the night or telephone 01424-772535/772997.

Plus, an update on the church from Jeffrey: The next church service is 08.30 Parish Communion on Sunday 23rd. The restoration work continues to progress, with the electrician having been working in the building over the past week, ahead of the screed being laid on top of the pipes for the under floor heating. The contract has now been let for the cleaning of the internal stonework, which is still blackened by the effects of the fire, this will be carried out by the same lady who restored the war memorial. The Faculty application for the next and final phase of the works has been lodged with the diocese this week, this is equivalent to planning permission from the church.

This Saturday night (22nd) is another one of Hazel’s brilliant wine tasting evenings at The Royal Oak - this time we are going “down under” and focusing on Australian wine. Tickets are just £5 each, but please call me on 01424 870492 if you’d like to come along so that I can make sure there’s enough wine!!

The next Film Club night is when the beautifully made “Life of Pi” is being shown at The Royal Oak on Friday 5th July at 8pm. For further Film Club details please contact steve.messages@virgin.net.

The next Jumble Sale in the Village Hall will be on Saturday 13th July, please drop off any jumble at the Royal Oak or contact Angie on 01424 870087 and she may be able to collect.

And finally....a reminder to everyone to be particularly careful about keeping your vehicle secure, locked and with nothing valuable on-show. A hub cap was stolen from a vehicle in the village last week, so if anyone sees anything suspicious please report it straight away.