HELLO: The brief cold snap has now given way to warm damp weather giving us the taste of spring which is just around the corner. The forecasted heavy rain must be better than the heavy snows which parts of America endured last week end.

WHATLINGTON PAST: A packed barn at the Royal Oak enjoyed an interesting and informative evening looking back at the history of Whatlington Village led by local historian John Shepperd. Old photos and records gave an insight into the life of villagers in Whatlington over the centuries. We heard that Whatlington was an important settlement for 100s of years and that the yew tree which grew in the churchyard, until it was blown down in the storm of 1987, was Dendrologically examined and dated as having been growing in 1066. Evidence even suggested that Whatlington may have been the site of the Battle of Hastings itself – what a great opportunity for the village to celebrate in this year which is the 950th anniversary of the battle. Various ancient houses, the Watermill and, of course, the church were examined and it was fascinating to see how the village has grown and changed as it was effected by industrial and population changes but particularly by changes in stagecoach routes, road building and the arrival of the railway! An inspiring evening which allowed us all to both learn and share our own archives with others. Another evening looking at Whatlington in the War years is planned so watch out for details.

PARISH COUNCIL: Approximately 20 residents took part in a lively debate in the open session at the start of Thursday’s Parish Council meeting to help to name the A21 between Riccards Lane and the B2089. This has now become necessary due to a government directive. A variety of names were suggested with the most popular being Woodman’s Green. The parish council agreed that they would delay the final choice of name until the parish assembly on 19 March to allow any other residents who live on the road to contribute to the final selection of a name. Please email whatlintonpc@eade.uk.com to propose your suggestions if you are a resident on this stretch of the road. Residents were updated about the issues which some have experienced with refuse collections. Representations have been made to Rother District Council by the chair of council requesting both an improvement to collections and more effective monitoring by RDC. A brief review of the raw data from the recent parish council survey was given by the chair of the council which suggested that the village population was ageing and becoming more reliant on public transport – approximately 22% of the village responded but more analysis will take place and further feedback will be given at the parish assembly. The parish assembly and next council meeting will take place at 7 pm on Thursday 19 March at the village hall, all welcome.

Don’t forget Defibrillator training on Thursday 4 February – please register your interest at whatlintonpc@eade.uk.com as spaces are limited.

GOOD COMPANIONS: Members of The Good Companions enjoyed lunch at The Queen`s Head, Sedlescombe last week. They really enjoyed eating the delicious food whilst sitting next to the log burning fire. As the group had not met up since their Christmas Lunch towards the end of November there was much chatter and it was so nice to see everyone enjoying themselves. Thank you to those who take members that would otherwise not be able to attend.

The group meet again on Wednesday 24th February and will be having lunch at The Royal Oak in Whatlington; 12 for 12.30pm

PARISH CHURCH: The church service at Whatlington this coming Sunday, 31st January will be at 10.30 am. This is the first of what will be a series of United Benefice church services, bringing the congregations of Whatlington and Sedlescombe together. These services will take place when there is a fifth Sunday in the month and will alternate between the two churches, starting with Whatlington.

The service will be taken by our own Vicar, Kevin Mepham and we will be joined by the choir from Sedlescombe. Following the service there will be tea/coffee served in the church.

Car parking will be available at the nearby village hall and we extend a warm welcome to everyone.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.ryeandbattleobserver.co.uk/

2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RyeandBattleObserver

3) Follow us on Twitter @BattleObs

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Rye and Battle Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.