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HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION: The next meeting of the Hailsham Historical and Natural History Society will be on the Wednesday, with a talk entitled Ashdown Forest and Other Travels, presented by Dave Brooker. This will take place at the Methodist Church Hall, High Street, Hailsham, at 7pm (donation for tea and/or coffee) prior to 7.30pm start. Visitors welcome at £2.50. Enquiries to David Bourne 01323 440359.

NAVAL YARNS: At the April meeting of the Hailsham Historical and Natural History Society, Naval Yarns was presented by Commander Roger Paine RN. It was quite an evening. He had the audience in fits of laughter, in response to accounts of his escapades and experiences whilst serving on Royal Navy ships. Roger introduced himself saying that he had joined the Royal Navy at the age of 16 years, as a junior rating, and had retired 28 years later as a Commander, stating that all we were about to hear were true stories. A stop-off at the Falkland Islands and an invitation to dine at Government House started with the ship’s Captain, and several officers (including Roger), having a lift in an old London taxi driven by a smartly dressed chauffeur, to the house. After knocking at the door, and a long wait, the same chap (dressed as the butler) let them in. At the dinner table, the same chap (now dressed as the waiter) served the meal, only to change his outfit to chauffeur afterwards, to take them back to the ship. At Invergordon in Scotland, when Roger was on duty at the Captain’s Buffet, he needed to announce a smartly dressed woman. Unfortunately, she had a lisp, and having come up from three decks below, was out of breath. Roger got the words all wrong, much to the embarrassment of the Captain and the other guests. Another time, Roger was on the HMS. Lincoln during the cod war with Iceland. In their need to defend the stern of the ship from ramming attacks, it was suggested, by some bright spark, after a night at the pub, that old railway rails could be fixed (sticking out) at the rear of the ship when out of port. On return to port, these had to be painted to make everything look shipshape. This is a short glimpse of some of Roger’s Naval Yarns. Hopefully with not too much given away, but if you have the chance, go for this interesting and hilarious talk, which only Roger can really put over.

HAILSHAM MUSEUM: Hailsham Museum is now open on Friday and Saturday mornings from 10am to 12.30pm. The museum is located in Blackman’s Yard, Market Street behind the Kemer Kebab shop and Town Council Offices. The large cricket pitch roller, which, for many years, lived on the recreation ground at Western Road, is now on display at the Museum (so older Hailshamers can come and reminisce on their times spent on and in the old roller). Also on display are artefacts, photographs, etc of local interest, and a special display to mark the anniversary of Hailsham’s Victoria Cross recipient, Company Sergeant Major Nelson Carter, who was killed in June 1916, one hundred years ago this year. Admission is free. For more information, contact David Bourne at 01323 440359.

U3A: The University of the Third Age has some interesting events coming up. If you want to find out more about joining then call Christine 841536. A topic we would all probably like to be a little more clear on is the European Referendum. The Eastbourne and Wealden and Hailsham U3A’s are hosting The Great EU Debate - In or Out? On Thursday May 19 a Victoria Baptist Church, Eldon Road, Eastbourne followed by participation and discussion from the audience and then cast your vote. Listen to members of both U3As present both sides of the argument at 2pm (doors open 1.40pm. Entry is £2 and includes refreshments.

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS: At their business meeting last Tuesday, members of the Hailsham Lions were delighted to welcome new member Darren Booth, who will undoubtedly be a great asset to the club. Also, at the same meeting, Lion president Keith Shonfeld presented Chris Dabernig and Michael Parsons from Hailsham’s 2nd Scouts with a cheque for £319 towards their forthcoming summer camp. Michael is, by the way, also a presenter on Hailsham FM. Hailsham Lions will be joining in the local Wyvale Garden Centre’s charity weekend on May 21 and 22, where they will be serving their much-loved candy floss, alongside their ever popular book stall and tombola. Hailsham FM will be providing musical entertainment throughout.

HAILSHAM THEATRES PRESENTS: Outside Edge by Richard Harris from Thursday to Saturday, June 9 to 11, at 7.30pm with a Matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm. Licensed bar, interval refreshments and cake available. The production is at Summerheath Hall and tickets are available now from Hailsham Pavilion Box Office on 841414. Picture the scene: the neatly mowed village green, clear blue skies a cricket team in their perfectly pressed whites, tea and sandwiches waiting in the pavilion, loyal wives and girlfriends looking on. Sounds perfect? Think again. There are storm clouds gathering, and not just in the sky! Watch the hilarious sparks begin to fly as the team foolishly try to solve their various marital problems at the same time as winning the game. Richard Harris adapted the play for television as a sitcom for ITV.

BATTLE OF THE SOMME: For the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme 1916-2016, Hailsham and District Branch Royal British Legion are holding a Centenary Commemoration Service on July 10 at Hailsham War Memorial to remember those Hailsham residents who volunteered for service during WWI and gave their lives during that terrifying conflict. The Royal British Legion has advised that there are wreaths that are different from the wreath that is laid at the Remembrance Service held in November each year. There is a small Somme Wreath with carnations (approx 25cm diameter) available at £12, large Somme wreath with carnations (approx. 42.5cm diameter) available at £18.50, Somme Remembrance Cross (approx 18cm x 10cm) available at £1.50 and two enamel badges, Somme Enamel Pin (Round) and a Somme Enamel Pin (with carnations) both available at £2 each. The prices shown are suggested donations, any additional donations would be gratefully received. If any individual or organisation would like to order any of these items, please contact the Hailsham and District Branch Royal British Legion Poppy Organiser, Mike Weller on 01323 440749 soonest so that orders can be placed.

HEARING BUS: The East Sussex Hearing Resource Centre and Adult Social Care mobile unit for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people will be visiting Tesco car park, North Street from 10.30am to 3.30pm on Monday. The bus is accessible to wheelchair users and representatives will be available to provide individual information and advice on all aspects of hearing loss. For further information please contact: East Sussex Hearing Resource Centre, Tel: 01323 722505 (voice/text/fax) e-mail: info@eshrc.org.uk.

RAFA CONCERT: The RAFA have another band concert on Sunday May 15 with the Wealden Brass and the HCC Orchestra taking part. The concert will be at the Hailsham Pavilion and will commence at 3pm. Tickets £6 (adult) £3 (children under 16 years).

ORGAN CLUB: All concerts are at the Charles Hunt Centre, off Vicarage Lane. Shows start at 7.30pm. Details from Charles Clegg on 01323 762411. On Wednesday Byron Jones, the Welsh Wizard, playing your kind of music.

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