Cooksbridge, Offham and Hamsey

HAMSEY FESTIVAL: Tomorrow, Saturday, at the village hall, Beechwod Lane from 2pm to 8pm. Those wishing to enter competitions need to sign up at 2pm. Dog show 3pm to 4pm, £1 entry. Lots of attractions, food and drink, bar tent serving Harveys, Pimms etc, wine tasting and live music from local bands and Starfish Youth Bands. Free entry and parking. Donations welcome.

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday, St Peter’s Church, 8am Holy Communion, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall, 10.30am parish Communion followed by coffee in the hall.

PARISH COUNCIL: Hamsey Parish Council meet on Thursday in the village hall, Beechwood Lane at 7.15pm. Note the time.

OFFICIAL OPENING: Beechwood Lane pavement/footway. Tomorrow, Saturday, before the Hamsey Festival starts, members of the parish council will meet at 1.30pm in and around the little car park/pavement opposite the new traffic island on the A275 Cooksbridge Road. After a short speech by Councillor Michael Dodd, Peter Mitchell will cut the ribbon at around 1.45pm and they will then walk up to the village hall. The festival will then begin at 2pm in the hall and recreation ground.

BRADNESS GALLERY: Sunday July 19, one day course in creating an easy vegetable plot for abundant produce with Nigel Philips. Nigel is a senior lecturer at Plumpton College. Cost of course £65. To book a place go to www.bradnessgallery.com or call Mike or Emma on 01273 400606.

EAST CHILTINGTON: Hollycroft Field. Lewes District Council have arranged a public consultation to show their plans for the development of Hollycroft. This will be in East Chiltington church on Tuesday, July 21. Further details to come on EC website. Parish council met with LDC and the developers of the site on July 7. The meeting was not open to the public.

TAI CHI: This is for everyone and will be coming soon to the village hall, Beechwood Lane on Wednesday, September 9.

WIND TURBINES: Those who appreciate the beautiful countryside that we live in must have welcomed the news recently that onshore wind farm subsidies are being ended to prevent the ‘beautiful countryside of the United Kingdom’ being covered with wind turbines. A subsidy scheme that has contributed to the spread of the turbines, the Renewables Obligation (RO) will be closed in April 2016, a year earlier than planned. Energy companies will have a grace period which still means that 3000 turbines, with planning permission, will be given a grace period to benefit from the subsidies. However, Ministers indicated they expect about 2.1gw of closer to 1000 will proceed. Thank goodness that the Leader of the House has the countryside at heart and said: My idea of renewable energy does not involve covering some of the most beautiful parts of the United Kingdom and the Highlands of Scotland with wind farms.

DRUSILLAS TRIP: The annual Sunday School/Toddler Tunes trip is on Monday July 27, at the start of the summer school holidays. It is still not too late to join the group who always have a lovely time at this much loved zoo. Contact Judith on 01273 474356 who will give you all the details.

MEMORIES: When I watched the Trooping of the Colour last month I thought it was wonderful and prompted me to find all of the programmes I had saved. Although it was great to watch on television, it did not capture the moment of sitting there with Derek and watching the splendour of it all, especially the moment that the Queen arrives. There was only one year as we sat in the stands that the weather was awful, wet and cold, but it was still a great privilege to be part of such a tradition and one felt very proud to be British. As Derek loved his regiment, The Blues and Royals, we were also at Windsor Great Park in 1972 for the presentation of a New Guidon to the Blues and Royals, Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons by Her Majesty the Queen, Colonel-in-Chief. I am so pleased that I have kept all of my programmes. It was at some of these gatherings of the Blues and Royals that I met the former Camilla parker Bowles, now the duchess of Cornwall, and it was interesting as her late father, Bruce Shand, not only lived near to us but was also in the same regiment as Derek who both served in Alamein.

RURAL CRIME: In one of my recent British Farmer and Grower the South East edition under crime issues, the headline read: Crime hit’s a Quarter of Rural Businesses, saying one in four agriculture, forestry and fishing businesses impacted by rural crime lasts year, according to a recent Home Office survey. It revealed rural businesses were hit by 95,000 crimes in 2014, a third of which were thefts. Just under a quarter of reported crimes, 24 percent, was vandalism. Yet the survey also showed farming, fisher and forestry businesses saw a fall in burglaries which compared to rural businesses such as retail and food premises. It also said the figures showed crime was still too high. While the survey recorded fraud, it did not record online crime, something that is increasingly becoming a problem. The NFU welcomed the Home Office survey as it helps raise the issue of agricultural rime. Crime on farms can have a devastating impact on farm families as well as on their businesses. The concern is that not only are the levels of crime to high, but they hide under reported crimes and antisocial behaviour that NFU members say they are experiencing, but do not always feel that they can report. The NFU is working closely with the Home Office and the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN), an organisation that includes 29 police crime commissioners, to bring countryside crime down. This not only includes theft and vandalism, but also crimes against wildlife and livestock, fly tipping and fly grazing. Farmers are being urged to ensure they keep tractors, quads and farm machinery security marked and locked away. Also ensure livestock records are up to date and avoid giving out personal or financial information to people cold calling on the farm, via the internet or calling at the door.

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