Hailsham

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U3A: Circuit training, discussion, art, or opera. There are so many interest groups at the U3A there is bound to be something to interest you. If you are interested in joining the annual membership fee is £12 and gives the right to attend monthly meetings, held on the 4th Tuesday of the month in Hailsham Civic Hall at 2pm. You will also receive the regular newsletter and the National U3A magazine, and have access to any of the Interest Groups listed. Forthcoming Speakers: February 28; Whatever Happened to Christopher Robin? with Gilly Halcrow. March 28 Open Day, no speaker. April 25 meeting is at the Parish Church with a talk on the Houses of Parliament by Kevin Gordon. If you would like to join contact Cilla 301975 or Gillian 441373.

PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY: Last week the lecture was Hints and Tips to get the most from your printer, a lecture by Dominic Gurney, from Epson UK. Dominic explained camera and computer colour settings, calibration, and how to make the most of colour and black and white photography. He encouraged members to ask questions and members certainly gained a great deal of knowledge and many problems were solved with discussion. An evening of great benefit to all photographers and many members would be going home to work at the aspects that Dominic had gone through.

ORGAN CLUB: The next Organ Club event is on Wednesday at the Charles Hunt Centre. Doors open at 7pm for 7.30pm for an evening of music and mirth from Tony Stace. Visitors welcome.

COMMUNITY GROUPS FORUM: Change of date. The next meeting is at 6.30pm on Tuesday February 7 at the Hailsham Parish Church lounge. A meeting is also scheduled for Wednesday March 8. If you are interested in attending contact Michelle Hagger at Hailsham Town Council on 01323 841702 or by email: michelle.hagger@hailsham-tc.gov.uk. If you are you a local community group or charity and wish to benefit from sharing experiences and ideas with other local groups, the Hailsham Community Forum is looking to expand its membership. It is open to all community groups, associations and charities in the area, to help build a better communication network and create a louder voice between them and other voluntary and statutory groups. The forum meets monthly and currently consists of around 30 community organisations.

DEMELZA: Dates for your diary. Support Demelza hospice for children. Plans are already in place for several fundraising events in 2017, including the Heffle Cuckoo Fair (April 22), the Prom in the Park, Hailsham (June 9) and an Open Garden in Cowbeech (July 21). Lots more fun things will fill in the gaps, and they hope to bring back the Electric Beatles again to the Hailsham Festival in September, so watch out for more news. Anyone interested in volunteering for Demelza in Hailsham should contact Pam (01323 844020) or Sue (01323 840797).

PUBLIC CONSULTATION: The Town Council’s Neighbourhood Plan drop-in consultation, which takes place at the Hailsham East Centre in Vega Close on Thursday, will explain more about the neighbourhood planning process, including recent achievements, and explore how the town council and local residents can take it forward successfully. Doors open at 6.45pm and the event will run until 9.30pm (last entry 9pm). There will be various maps and display boards outlining the neighbourhood planning team’s objectives and activities, an interactive polling station to help determine the key priorities regarding future development, including housing and design, environment, retail and business. Team members will be on hand throughout the evening to answer questions residents may have about the way forward with the plan and there will be a Kids’ Station which will include prizes. Light refreshments will also be available.

HISTORICAL AND NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY: The next meeting is entitled The Importance of Wildlife Ponds in our Environment by Pete the Pond, Peter Birchall on Wednesday in the Methodist Church Hall, High Street at 7pm for a 7.30pm. An interesting insight into the natural habitat and flora of ponds and the necessaries of these for other types of wildlife. All welcome. Visitors £2.50. Annual membership subscription is £14. Info on 01323 440359.

January was another full house when historical member, Paul Endersby, gave a talk with pictures, of rope making and then of the railway on part of the Cuckoo Line. Paul began with the rope making industry, which was started by Thomas Burfield in 1807 with stringwalks (where rope was made), just off the High Street, behind and near to the Crown Hotel, now the Corn Exchange, but still the Crown to locals. As time marched on, Thomas Burfield had a purpose-built factory in South Road for the combined manufacture of rope, nets, sail-cloths, etc. The chimney that exhausted the smoke from the boilers powering the steam engine ,which drove the works tools and machinery, stills stands as a memorable landmark. George Green came to Hailsham and worked for Thomas Burfield. Then, in about 1830, he left Burfields and started his own rope making business, just off Summerheath Road, which flourished. The growth of the town expanded at this time, and more houses were built to accommodate the workers. In later years, the two firms combined, then becoming Hawkins and Tipson, and then Marlow Ropes, which still trades on the original old Burfield factory site. At the height of its success, the rope industry employed a large percentage of the working population of Hailsham. If you didn’t work there, you knew someone who did.

Next up was old photographs of Hailsham Station, and the many old locomotives that used the rails. These pictures brought back memories to us old timers of the Town, showing the south and north bound platforms, and the South and North signal boxes, and very much more now long gone. Many thanks to Paul. If only we still had a railway. No strikes in the old day.

BONFIRE SOCIETY: The next meeting is on Monday at 8pm in the Hailsham Memorial Institute, Western Road. If you are interested in joining the Society and taking part in the many social events with other societies throughout the year and Hailsham’s own bonfire celebration evening which is this year on Saturday October 21 then go along and meet other members and find out what it is all about.

HOPS: Edinburgh Woollen Mills present a fashion show at The Pavilion on Tuesday February 21 at 7.15pm for 7.30pm start. Entrance is £5 to include refreshments. Clothes to be sold at 20 percent discount, plus £5 for everyone attending to spend in EWM stores.

HAILSHAM LIONS: The Hailsham Lions charity bookshop in Market Street opposite the Hailsham cattle market site has reviewed its opening hours and will now be open from Tuesday to Saturday between 10am and 2pm. There are hundreds of quality books, all beautifully displayed and organised in alphabetical order by author. Book donations are always welcome. Do go along, visit and browse there is an enormous selection to choose from in all genres and age suitable ranges.

NEW WI OPENING: There is an open evening if you are interested in starting a new WI in the centre of Hailsham. Go along on Thursday at 7.30pm to the Charles Hunt Centre and find out what it is all about.

TABLE TOP SALE: Book your table now at the Charles Hunt Centre for just £5 on Saturday February 18 between 9.30am and noon. Book on 844398.

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