Heathfield, Punnetts Town, Broad Oak & Cross In Hand

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CROSS IN HAND WI: Our speaker at the September meeting was Mrs J Muddle who has made many visits to Madagascar, she entertained us with an insight into to the way of life there. Life is not very easy but with their local resources the women are able to produce beautiful straw handbags and hats. Mrs Muddle imports these products and gives part of her profits back to the people in that country. Our competition of a small purse was won by Anne Lawson with Helen Whiteman winning the flower of the month competition which provides funds for the ACWW. This is a world organisation helping women with special requirements for facilities and training.

Our next meeting will be in the Village Hall on October 29 at 2pm and we look forward to a talk from Mr D. Clarke on The Queen Mary’s Last Voyage. New members and visitors welcome. Please phone Joy on 01435 812819 or go to our website www.esfwi.org.uk to find out more.

ST RICHARD’S CHURCH: Sunday, 10am Parish Eucharist with activities for children. Tuesday, 2pm St Richard’s Toddler Group in the church hall. Wednesday, 10am Holy Communion.

FINE ARTS SOCIETY: Wealden Decorative and Fine Arts Society. This month’s lecture, Facing up to Goya, was chosen to link in with the Portraits by Goya exhibition now running at the National Gallery. Gail Turner, an acknowledged expert on Goya, described and illustrated his life and his work. She concentrated on his portraits showing how assiduous study of his contemporaries, a fortuitous marriage and above all court patronage ensured his success. The lecture was very much enjoyed by the members with many now determined to visit the exhibition and see the real thing.

The November meeting is about the art and artifice of Fleet Street and is entitled Shock, Horror, Probe. Do come and join us at the Community Centre on November 10 at 2.15pm.

ALL SAINTS’ CHURCH: Old Heathfield. Sunday, 8am Holy Communion (BCP), 11am Family Service. All welcome for coffee after this service. St George’s Broad Oak, 9.30am, Family Service with communion. http://allsaintsoldheathfield.org/

HISTORY SOCIETY: Ian Gledhill’s talk on Mr Volk and his Amazing Electric Railways was itself amazing and received with much enthusiasm by the members who were enthralled from start to finish. Magnus Volk was of German origin but born in Brighton and where he lived and worked all his life. From an early age he was obsessed with electricity and how it could be utilised. His was the first house to have electric light and in 1883 he was responsible for the illumination of the Brighton Pavilion. A year later he had the first electric car and devised the time ball on top of the Clock Tower which was useful to ships at sea. All these things would be achievement enough for most people but not Magnus Volk. He went on to design and build what was to become his lifetime obsession, the electric railway, opened in 1883 and which ran 300 yards along the beach from the Aquarium to the Chain Pier. It was so successful that over the next few decades it was extended to the Banjo Groyne and then even further towards Rottingdean. Its furthest station was eventually at Black Rock.

Running an electric railway along a beach presented many problems, not least of which was the effect of salt water on the wooden sleepers causing loss of electricity on most days. Undeterred, Volk raised his carriage onto 24 foot high legs. Known locally as Daddy Long Legs, it was a sight to behold and rapidly became a very successful tourist attraction. Badly damaged by a gale in 1896 and rebuilt the following year the railway continued to flourish. It was rebuilt yet again after the Second World War and continues to this day but sadly no longer on its long legs. Fascinating and well worth a visit.

Back to the seaside again next month when Brian Freeland will talk on The History of Eastbourne Theatres. We meet on Thursday, November 19, at 7.30pm in the Community Centre. Why not come along and discover more about the area in which you live?

BARN DANCE: Tomorrow, Saturday, at Broad Oak Village Hall in aid of Demelza Hospice Care for Children. For information or to book phone 01435 830504.

WHODUNIT: Following on from the success of last year’s whodunit evening, another has been organised for Saturday, October 31, at 6.30pm in All Saints. Scenes from a murder mystery will be acted out in between courses of a tasty supper; will you be able to spot the clues and work out whodunit? This year the plot has been written by Revd David and is entitled, It’s Behind You. Foul play is definitely on the menu as the Cringewell Players prepare for their Christmas pantomime. Tickets for the fun fund-raising event are £5 from Marigold (07842 843412).

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