Alfriston

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LEAP YEAR: Has been a day of folklore, history and superstitions since Julius Caesar first introduced the extra day to balance the calendar over 2000 years ago. According to an old Irish legend, St Brigid struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every four years. Maybe she wanted to balance the roles of men and women in a similar way to how leap day balances the calendar.

HERITAGE CENTRE: March 9, 11am. Free historical talk and coffee morning. As the village finalises plans for St Andrews Restoration, Sussex day, Queens 90th Birthday and the Clergy House 120th anniversary, we seem to be celebrating our history everywhere, especially around The Tye. The Alfriston Heritage Centre is located upstairs at the Gun Room, this light and airy space features a permanent exhibition put together by the Alfriston and Cuckmere Valley Historical Society. Beautifully illustrated large panels chronicle the fascinating history of the Cuckmere Valley and Alfriston village. There is even a copy of the De Ward Survey map of 1618. Dr June Goodfield will bring this exhibition to life with a talk about this market town and its makers. All are welcome to this talk and free coffee morning.

ST ANDREWS RESTORATION: Why restoration? Ancient buildings need lots of love and care and St Andrews built around 1360 can safely be described as ancient. At various times bad decisions have been made regarding building materials, meaning the building cannot breathe and therefore walls are damp and plaster is falling off. In addition medieval murals have been discovered so suddenly we are talking conservation. We could ignore the problem and leave it for future generations to solve, however we are taking action now as the building is historically important to the village and the South Downs, it is known as The Cathedral of The Downs after all. You can help by telling people about the restoration, supporting the fund raising events including the launch weekend 9th April or visiting the church. Next week’s column will have the full programme for the launch weekend.

CLERGY HOUSE: Tomorrow, Saturday, the house reopens. Weekends only until March 12. The reasons to visit are numerous especially as this it is 120 years since the National Trust purchased this their first property visit their website to find out what’s on www.nationaltrust.org.uk/alfriston

ALFRISTON WI: Local author Maggie New talked about her ‘charmed life’ at this well attended February meeting. She began by opening a large box, she called her memories box and took out smaller boxes containing items precious to her, such as photos, and which she thought would be interesting, a time capsule for future generations. It got everyone thinking how in this digital age maybe they should consider a memory box to be able to touch and see the precious things. Despite many setbacks Maggie has published many books and a board game, an inspirational lady. Other items of note: The WI will be supporting the Restoration Arts, Crafts and History festival on April 9 with helpers and cakes. Members are off to a craft day in Uckfield and the Annual Council Meeting in Eastbourne.

Next Meeting 2pm March 15, Old Chapel Centre. Gillian Lloyd will be talking Wildlife begins at 50. All visitors welcome, a small donation would also be welcome.

WEDDING FAYRE: With Leap Years come marriage proposals and if you have recently proposed why not visit Deans Place Hotel on Sunday, 11am to 4pm for their Wedding Fayre. Visit their website for more information www.deansplacehotel.co.uk alternatively if you are still stuck for a mother’s day gift why not visit their website and treat that special lady to a lunch or afternoon tea voucher.

PRINTING WORKSHOP: Sunday. Calling all craft people. Much Ado are holding a printing on fabric and paper workshop. Inspired by the Print and Stamp Lab Creative Art Kit (which you will get to take home and play with). 11am to 1pm, The Barn at Much Ado. Book your place by calling in or calling them on 01323 871222 or visiting their website www.muchadobooks.com

ST PATRICKS DAY: At The Star Inn. As we have seen St Patrick may have had a bit to do with a leap year. The Star Inn will be celebrating St Patrick’s on Thursday and Friday, March 17 and 18, with live music and an endless supply of the black stuff. Contact them on 01323 870495.

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