Cooksbridge, Offham and Hamsey

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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.

AFTERNOON CLUB: The Monday Afternoon Club meet on Monday in the church hall at 2pm. Keep Fit and Healthy with Patsy. If you require a lift please ring Judith 01273 474356 or Caroline 01273 477151.

TALK: Tom Walker’s talk, A Wanderer in Doubt, is in Ditchling Village Hall on Friday September 18 from 7pm to 9pm. Tickets available from Ditchling Post Office or from Tom Walker email tom@tommwalker.co.uk. Tickets cost £7 with proceeds going to the Monday Club.

PARISH COUNCIL: East Chiltington Parish Council met on September 3 in the village hall. The council welcomed Maria Caulfield MP and any questions form the public. There were 22 agenda items. Planning application SDNP/1502985/HOUS 2 Keepers Cottages, Novington Lane, East Chiltington. Single storey rear extension and associated refurbishment works. Granted by LDC. The SDNP East Sussex Parish Council workshop is on Tuesday September 22 at Southease Youth Hostel meeting room. Two EC Cllrs to attend. Correspondence received since the last PC meeting were ESCC details of Hollycroft resurface work. Heritage Trust survey on K6 phone boxes. Neighbourhood Watch wanting volunteers to mentor older people against fraud. Self build group looking for land in East Chiltington. Volunteers wanted for Healthwatch East Sussex, new Trustees needed for Applause rural touring. Correspondence from residents: Resident request that the PC complain about length of time taken to determine village green status. Enquiry following draft minutes. Resident requesting a Village Action Plan be produced. Resident wants details of who administers the Hollycroft Field web section. Action Group request for copy of letter of complaint over village green application. A large agenda to get through, especially with the Hollycroft proposed development taking up a lot of time and correspondence.

RABBITS: Which seem to munch everything but the kitchen sink around here. I was quite relieved when for a few days I did not see any munching away in the garden. I then spotted the reason why and was fascinated to watch it’s antics as it ran around in circles jumping in the air and wriggling around ready to pounce. I now have a stoat in the garden who has obviously been feeding on the rabbits, but also trying to catch wood pigeons as I watched as it scuttled up a branch on one of the trees where a pigeon was perched. Fortunately the pigeon spotted it and escaped those sharp little teeth. At least it shows that they are still in existence and not in decline like hedgehogs.

RIDE AND STRIDE: This is tomorrow, Saturday. Sussex Historic Churches Trust annual event all over Sussex where participants visit as many churches as possible either by bike or on foot between 9am and 5pm. Half of the sponsorship money goes to the Sussex Historic Churches Trust and half to St Peter’s Church, Offham. During the day the church pop up café will be running as well where you can enjoy home made cakes and scones and delicious cream tea. Proceeds to Offham Church Repair Fund.

COFFEE MORNING: On Saturday September 19, in St Peter’s Church Hall from 10.30am to noon. In aid of Macmillan Nurses.

CONGRATULATIONS: First to Chris and Betty Apps on celebrating their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. Chris was a long standing former churchwarden at Offham Church. Secondly congratulations to Roland and Brenda Gough who recently celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary. Roland has been the treasurer for many years of both churches.

OFFHAM CHURCH: those passing the church in Offham will notice scaffolding going up on the church on Monday for repairs to guttering, roof and tower.

OART: I mentioned that I had not finished reading my newsletter and realise it will soon be time for the autumn edition. As so many people have told me they like to read my reports about Oart, especially Jim’s Diary, I have now nearly finished catching up on the summer newsletter and read the last interesting report from Jim. On July 4 he joined Sam St Pierre and Neil Pringle at the Oart stand at the Lewes Societies Fair held in the Town Hall. Here he met the new MP for Lewes and was able to tell her about the work of Oart. He also visited the upper Ouse as it comes out of Tulley Rough near to Ashfold Crossroads. He observed a number of stagnant pools with the various ghylls completely dry. There was a very low flow coming out of Ardingly reservoir to the Ouse via Shell Brook. At the Ouse viaduct near Balcombe Jim observed a pitiful trickle, barely enough to float a matchbox. He says we know the south east is a wager stressed area and can’t help feeling our rivers are being stripped of their lifeblood as large scale development continues with no consideration for where the resources will be coming from. Having looked after the Ouse for 45 years it sickens him to see fish die (like the recent mortalities at Barcombe Mills) as a result of low water levels, probably at least in part to do with current levels of abstraction. To him this is the same as the continuous litter problem at Barcombe Mills which was obvious again following a beautiful day on July 11 when yet again the car park was left full of rubbish. Having read the last piece about all the litter problems and Jim’s 45 years of caring and looking after the Ouse, it makes me more sure that he deserves a medal. Why do people have to leave their trash for other people to clear up? I watched someone coming through the bridleway recently which made my blood boil. I saw them just throw an empty can down near the bottom of the bridleway gate and then threw an empty cigarette packet down near my gate.

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