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.
REMINDER: On Monday at 2pm in Offham Church Hall the Monday Afternoon Club meet where they will have a chance to make something to take home. Sylvie will be demonstrating Easy Craft Making (all fabric etc provided free), followed by tea and home-made cakes. If you require a lift please ring Judith on 01273 474356 or Caroline on 01273 477151.
INTERESTING FIND: Whilst sorting through some old paperwork recently, I came across a very old invoice dated 1948 addressed to my mother and father-in-law. It stirred up some old memories as it was from the late Griff Baldwin, who was the local shoe repairer and lived at Cosydene in Cooksbridge. They had used him for years and the invoice with receipt was for two pairs of ladies shoes soled and heeled for 12 shillings. Griff also had another talent as some years ago I went to a silent auction in Offham for a fundraising event and spotted a model galleon which nobdoy had bid for. Griff told me that he had made it during the Second World War and constructed it with bits of old wood that he had found. Complete with all its sails, flags and painted cabin windows. It is a replica of the Golden Hind with a small red metal plaque which says ‘The Golden Hind’ and written underneath, ‘Captain Sir Francis Drake’. I still have it here standing on a window sill. I was the only one that had bid for it as I felt that he had donated it for the fundraising event. The two grandchildren loved to play with it when they were small and although still intact, they did pull off a couple of the miniature flags, but they are still there. Griff and his wife were long-standing residents of Cooksbridge and also regular worshippers and choir members at Offham Church. I feel the Golden Hind belongs in Cooksbridge.
DOG WORRYING: In my last South East Farmer it made sad reading from a sheep farmer who described the problems he had with dogs on his land and said that dog worrying is on the increase. He reports that he had a few empties in a small group of ewes that he had put to a Down ram (Suffolk this year) to produce a few quality cross-bred lambs for the freezer and restaurant trade. He feels that the empty four ewes have more to do with the dog worrying incident back in November, five or six weeks after the tups came out. Even though he only had to stitch up one ewe, the remainder of the group were stressed out following the dog worrying. Sadly dog worrying is on the increase and is a problem that costs the sheep industry more than £4 million each year. It is the dogs, if they are caught, that pay the penalty, but it is the owners that are the problem. He finds it hard to understand the mentality of dog owners who allow their dogs to be in a position where they may worry livestock. On a number of occasions he has had owners of the dogs tell him, ‘they were only playing’, or ‘they wouldn’t hurt them’. He says his response to that sort of comment would generally not be printable. It bothers him that many dog owners seem to be totally incapable of considering their pets as dogs, with the dogs’ instinct to hunt, instincts which are inherited from their wolf ancestors. He applauds the efforts being made by the National Sheep Association (NSA) and other organisations to raise awareness of dog worrying, but he does wonder if it is reaching the right people. I have every sympathy with that farmer as during our lambing season I was checking after hearing dogs barking near the bridleway. I asked the person with two dogs to put them on leads as there were tiny lambs either side of the bridleway. I don’t want to describe the language that was used, but in short I was told that there was no law that said that dogs should be on a lead. How do you cope with such ignorant people?
OART: I have just received my spring newsletter in the post as I sit writing this column As I have not had time to read it thoroughly I have quickly picked out the best bits of news. The River Champion recognition award was set up by RRC to acknowledge the voluntary efforts of individuals improving rivers for both wildlife and people in their local catchment. OART’s Sam St Pierre was one of the 2017 River Champions, recognised at the UK River Prize dinner on April 4. There is a very nice picture of Sam receiving his award from Rosie Steadman and Fiona Bowles. Last November OART, in partnership with the Sompting Estate Trust, submitted an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund to undertake an ambitious project on the Treville Stream, part of the Adur catchment. This year the River Restoration Conference, Annual Network Conference, was held in Brighton. 320 delegates attended to learn more from a range of organisations on a variety of restoration topics. Five workshops and two site visits were also on offer. One of these was to view OART’s restoration work on the River Adur at Twineham. There is so much more to read, but it will have to wait until next week, including Jim’s Diary which is always a pleasure to read.
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