Isfield & Little Horsted

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CHURCH PARADE: Palm Sunday, March 20, has since 2000 become a bit of an Isfield tradition. Villagers of all ages follow a donkey from the Recreation Ground to St Margaret’s Church prior to the 10am service, which will be officiated by the Rev David Aston, leaving the Rec’s car park at 9.30am. On Good Friday there will be a service in the Shurley Chapel starting at noon and led by Gill Comber. The Rev Ronald Chatwin will lead the Easter Day Family Communion service at 10am. Existing commitments mean that the Rev John Wall, currently at Moulsecoomb, will not be able to take up his new duties as Rector of Uckfield, Isfield and Little Horsted until September. More good news for Isfield parishioners is that the Bishop of Lewes is giving a high priority to appointing a new Curate-in-Charge for Isfield, a post that has been vacant for more than two years.

NAME CHANGE: For a good many years a feature of alternate Wednesday afternoons at Isfield Village Hall has been meetings of the community’s Forget-Me-Not Club. The gatherings continue, but the group has decided to change its name to the Isfield Wednesday Club. Chairman Colin Stains says: ‘For some time it has been felt that our name did not really reflect our membership. We are a group of people with varying interests, a wide range of experiences and enquiring minds.’ The club, intended for over-55s, has a talk on ‘How not to run a hotel’ at next week’s meeting (2.30pm). The meetings end with a good spread of tea and cakes.

EASTER FUN: Easter Monday promises to provide a busy day for villagers and visitors alike, with a highlight being the annual Tommy Trot Beer Race, now in its 60th year. The race, which involves contestants walking from The Laughing Fish to the Mill and back while carrying a half-pint of ale, is due to start at 1.45pm. The winner is judged to be the walker with the most ale left in his or her glass at the end. Before that, there will be a children’s Easter Egg Hunt in the garden at the Fish, followed at 1.45pm by a Lemonade Race, along the lines of the Tommy Trot event but with children carrying lemonade on their trek from the pub to the telephone exchange and back. At 3.30pm the Ashdown Forest Morris Men are due to dance in front of the Fish. Proceeds from entry fees will go to charity.

CLEAN-UP: Volunteers are wanted for a clean-up at the Isfield Community Enterprise (ICE) field on Sunday March 19. Chairman Pete ‘Scan’ Scantlebury is looking for a good turn-out from 10am. He says: ‘There is litter to deal with, picking up all those crafty crisp packets which have overwintered in the undergrowth, some hedge-cutting and ditch clearance as well at stimming the boundaries and the sinking of a couple of fence posts.’ Scan reckons the work should be finished by 1pm in time for some liquid refreshment nearby.

CHEERS: Andy and Linda Brooks, who run The Laughing Fish pub in Isfield, have just celebrated their 15 years at the hostelry and been told that they have been voted Country Pub of the Year by the Brighton and South Downs branch of CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale). ‘We’re really proud of this,’ says Andy.

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