Valerie Bennett, Clerk to the Parish Council, writes: Last week’s Parish Assembly and council meeting were well attended. The speaker Jeffrey Bridges, one of our Churchwardens, spoke on the resurrection of our church, St Mary Magdalene. Jeffrey first explained, along with photographs, all the changes and additions made to the church over the years up to the fire in 2010. He then went on to explain all the procedures the PCC had to go through, with the help of the Architect, in order for the restoration work to be carried out. He also explained the work the various companies undertook to achieve this. Jeffrey then went on to give the Parochial Church Council’s report listing all they have done following the re-opening and rededication of the church and their planned events for the year.

The Council co-opted Simon White as their new councillor.

There followed reports from the Parish Council Chairman, our District and County Councillors and local organisations.

Among items councillors discussed at the council meeting were: concern about speeding vehicles over the bridge by the Village Hall; proposed changes to Battle Fire Station; drainage work by the Hall; Barn Dance; and speeding measures on the A21. A meeting with the Highways Agency has been arranged for this. The main item discussed was the noisy work and disruption from the work that has been and is being carried out by Network Rail. The council has contacted them several times over the past week but is now writing to ask not only for all damage in the village to be rectified but also for compensation for the village to cover all the noise and disruption we have endured for many weeks.

The Village and Emergency Plans have been deferred to May 2015 as it was felt it was not fair to commit possible new councillors to works agreed now.

The next parish council meeting will be held on Thursday 15th May at 7.30pm in the village hall.

Valerie also accompanied the primary school on a recent visit to London, and reports: I was fortunate enough to buy a ticket to go to London with our school to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. One of the school’s focuses this term is Chocolate, and they have been learning for the past few weeks where the cocoa bean comes from, how they are harvested and the whole process for becoming chocolate as we know it.

We travelled up to London by a Ramblers Coach and were dropped off at Buckingham Palace and we were pleased to see the Royal Standard flying. We were not lucky enough to get a glimpse of the Queen but we did see the Changing of the Guard. We walked through St. Jame’s Park, through Admiralty Arch, Trafalgar Square and then along the Strand to Drury Lane, stopping off on the way for lunch. During our journey to and from London we passed the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and many other buildings of interest and importance.

The show was very good and everyone enjoyed it. So the day not only covered the school focus on Chocolate but gave the children an experience of seeing a London show as well as seeing many of the sights in London. Considering all that was seen you could say that the day covered many school subjects. Once again the PTA covered the school travel costs.

The Royal Oak will be hosting the monthly Irish Folk Music session on Friday the 28th at 8.30pm. We also have a Quiz night on Thursdays and our Greek Meze night on Saturdays. A new menu is out! We aim to change our menu every couple of months, so as to keep it fresh and interesting.

Jeffrey Bridges writes: The service at Whatlington on Sunday 30th March is at the usual time of 09.30, but is a special one for Mothering Sunday, based on the All Age service, there will be flowers for the ladies and light refreshments afterwards and we look forward to welcoming people to come and celebrate this special day.

Patricia Begg, Riccard Spring