HISTORY SOCIETY: Rock-a-Nore may have been named from the French Rocks to the North or more likely to refer to the Darker Rocks between the White Cliffs of Dover and Beachy Head. The darker rocks which would guide the fishermen back to their home port of Hastings. At this month’s meeting the members were entertained by Ken Brooks whose talk Rock-a-Nore - Hastings fishing community was a visual treat. Beautiful watercolours of eighteenth century Hastings and Victorian photographs were juxtaposed alongside modern views showing both continuity and change in a small fishing community. In Medieval times Hastings had a natural harbour which gave her status as one of the Cinque Ports but sadly it became blocked with silt and shingle and trade moved to Rye. Today there are still remains to be seen of later attempts to build a harbour but the sea and lack of funds destroyed the dream and ambition. But the fishermen adapted and using horse power winched their boats up the shingle creating the only beach launched fishing fleet in the country.
Hastings has much that is unique, the Boys Ashore to drag the boats up the shingle, the 25 foot tall net shops and the Winkle Club. Did you know that the Queen and Winston Churchill are members? Much of the Old Town has gone but there are still links to the past in the Ice House, the Tan House, The East Well, the Cliff Railway and the Fishermen’s Church now the Fishermen’s Museum.
Ken Brooks has published a beautifully illustrated book Hastings Then And Now. It is a record of a community.
We are back at the seaside next month when our talk is entitled Life and Times of John Whitfield Smuggler. Join us on Thursday, June 15, at 7.30pm in the Ian Price room at the Community Centre. Members are reminded that the July meeting will be the visit to Chartwell.
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 Holy Communion. http://allsaintsoldheathfield.org
ST RICHARD’S CHURCH: Sunday, 9.30am Parish Eucharist with activities for children. Service led by Canon Paul Cox - Preacher Jane Eales. Tuesday, 1.30pm St Richard’s Art and Craft Group in the church hall. Wednesday, 10am Holy Communion with Revd Geoffrey Smith.
TWINNING ASSOCIATION: Would you like to know more about the Heathfield and Waldron Twinning Association and its twin town Forges-les-Eaux in Normandy? If so, you are warmly invited to a Barbecue on Saturday June 24 at 12.30pm to learn more about us and to meet members. The barbecue will be held at Paines Corner, Swife Lane, Broad Oak at the generous invitation of Richard and Wendy Ridley. The cost will be £10 per person (payable on the day) which will include all food and drink. Please book on 01435 865965 or 812861 or email@example.com by Friday June 6.
VILLAGE DAY: It nearly didn’t happen. This year’s Cross in Hand Village Day wasn’t going ahead until local residents Denise Ambrose and Shelley Thorpe heard about the organisers’ plight, formed a group of volunteers and stepped in to literally save the (Village) Day. The event aims to unite the community with a range of fun, family events and activities as well as raising funds for local causes. This year it takes place on Saturday, August 5, from 1pm to 5pm at the Hardy Roberts Playing Fields and will include the ever-popular Fun Dog Show. There will be the customary attractions: music, dance show, magic and sports as well as new ones including a flower show, pony rides, traditional stalls, inflatable assault course and a steam engine and more. Following the success of previous years’ cake competitions, the Village Bake Off is also back for 2017. The Heathfield and Waldron Rugby Club will support the event by opening their pavilion and there’ll be a tea garden, barbecue, candy floss and ice cream to keep you going. There are a few slots available for stall-holders costing £10. For more details about this, the dog show and Village Bake Off please go to www.crossinhandvillageday.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
HDVC: The following charities have asked us to help find volunteers. For Heathfield can you help with gardening in Maynards Green; Hospital Cars for Age Concern (drive your own car, petrol paid); Scouts, Cubs, Guides, Brownies; tutoring home-school children; train as a Samaritan (course starts June). Please phone 01435 408222 or go to email@example.com if you can help with any of these.
FLOWER CLUB: Horam and Heathfield Flower Club presents national demonstrator, Jackie Arnold, with a floral demonstration entitled Gardener’s Delight on Thursday July 13 at 7.30pm in Heathfield Community Centre, Sheepsetting Lane. This is Open Evening to celebrate the club’s Emerald Anniversary. Refreshments, raffle, sales table. Visitors welcome £10. Ring 01435 408605 for enquiries. Please note that the demonstration on June 8 has been cancelled because of the General Election.
GENERAL ELECTION HUSTINGS: On Sunday evening, May 21, St Richard’s Church, Heathfield was almost full for the Hustings staged by the Benefice of Heathfield Churches. There were four prospective candidates present - Huw Merriman (Conservative), Jonathan Kent (Green), Christine Bayliss (Labour), Joel Kemp (LibDem), unfortunately Geoffrey Bastin the UKIP prospective candidate was unable to attend due to illness. Andy Woolley, Chairman of Heathfield and Waldron Parish Council was MC for the evening and directed questions throughout the evening to the candidates which was eventually closed at 8.45pm after 1.45 mins. The format was very similar to a BBC Question Time and questions ranged from what would the candidates be able to offer to the residents of Heathfield, the Heathfield Plan, through to national questions which included various subjects such as Brexit, NHS, Education and Overseas Aid. This was the fourth General Election Hustings organised by Heathfield Churches.
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