Alex Goodman, The Royal Oak

A busy couple of weeks coming up for us here at the pub. The Thursday quiz is always popular at the pub, so if you have a team of up to six people do call 01424 870492 to book a table, we quiz every Thursday from 8pm.

Friday 27th is the next Irish Music night at The Royal Oak - this is a unique evening of traditional Irish tunes played in a jamming style session by local musicians. It’s always a busy night, so please call and book a table if you’d like to eat, or just turn up for a drink around the bar to have a listen.

The Village Hall will be holding another Jumble Sale in October, so if you have anything you would like to donate, please drop off at the pub. The Village Hall Committee are looking for more volunteers to help organise events like the Village Fete, Christmas Fayre and jumble sales and generally keep up the maintenance of the Village Hall. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Angie on 01424 870087.

Please see below an important piece of news from Valerie Bennett with regard to our local school:

The consultation on possible closure of our village school, Mountfield & Whatlington is taking place 13th September to 25th October with a public meeting, which everyone can attend, being held in the school at 6.00- 7.30pm on the 24th September.

Sadly, in my opinion, one of the contributors to this situation was County not allowing the governing body to appoint, in early 2012, a head teacher from the 16 applicants who applied over two advertisement’s for the post.

For those of us who know the school well we believe it is extremely short sighted to suggest closing the school, especially when you take the recent government announcement that there is a shortage of junior school places also that 450 new dwellings are proposed to be built in the surrounding area to the school. The school has dedicated teaching and admin staff. The building and interior have been refurbished, from the entrance, through the office, corridor, classes and hall, in fact the whole school is inviting and pleasant to be in. The school is lucky to have large grass and dry play areas, a rarity which many other junior schools do not have. There is no trying to park in the road as the school has a large car park, perfect for dropping and collecting children and for parents to socialize.

Although the number attending has dropped this was to be expected when county told parents they were consulting on closing the school. Naturally worried parents felt they had no option, in the interest of their children, but to start to look elsewhere but if the school remains open, comes out of Special Measures, which taking into account recent Ofsted reports is likely in the near future the school could once again become viable.

As county do not have a statutory duty, for this consultation, to publish the details in the local paper, the address if you would like to write is – Primary School Consultation (Mountfield and Whatlington) FREEPOST BR157, East Sussex County Council, County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes, BN7 1SF. email–school.consultations@eastsussex.gov.uk

Here is the church news from Jeffrey:

Work with the restoration of the Parish church is coming forward now, the diocese Faculty to allow the work associated with the final phase of the work has now been granted, so the PCC can proceed to order the new Pews, chairs, organ and needlework, all the be under the direction of our architect.

In the meantime a raft of work has either been carried out, is being carried out, or is expected very soon, this includes the following. Tiles salvaged after the fire have been re-laid in the Sanctuary, the Altar rail is back and nicely repainted. The gallery floor is laid and varnished and looks very good, especially now that the new lighting is up and working to illuminate it. The lighting is all LED and dimmable, so very discrete and flexible. New oak doors are now in place for the corridor to the West door and for the serving hatch from the kitchen.

It is difficult to predict when the building will be fully back in use, however, we hope that services may be able to return to the church by mid to late October, with the re-opening proper following once everything is in place. For example the organ may take four weeks to be delivered, whilst the pews have an eight week lead time and the needlework longer still.

A date for the diary is the Whatlington Harvest Festival, which is on 6th October this year, with a service of Evensong at 6pm, followed by a traditional Harvest Supper, all in the Village Hall, the Supper will have a charge of £5 per head, £1 for children and all are welcome.

The usual service pattern continues to be Parish Communion at 08.30 each Sunday, excepting the second of each month when we have the All Age worship at 10.30am.

If you have any news you would like to submit to this column, please email info@royaloak-whatlington.co.uk.