VILLAGE FETE: Some of the proceeds from a village fete might be used to help curb the menace of speeding motorists on a local ‘rat run’ between the A272 at Piltdown and the A26 between Uckfield and Lewes. Particularly hard-hit by the problem is Station Road in Isfield, a country lane used extensively by commuters and commercial vehicle as well as local residents, significant numbers of horse-riders, and cyclists, particularly at some weekends when large groups of two-wheel peddlers take the route on organised events. Over the past dozen years Isfield Village Fete has raised thousands of pounds which have been distributed to numerous good causes. These include help in providing a First Responders defibrillator located in the porch of a village pub, donations for various projects at the village hall and the local pre-school, helping to finance a village sign and a bus shelter as well as gifts to the parish church and local clubs. Andy Brooks, chairman of the village fete committee said: ‘The speeding idea is no more than something that is being considered at the moment. To take it forward would mean consultation and the co-operation of the parish, district and county councils. It could involve signs warning of an oncoming vehicle’s speed, priority islands in the road, a 20mph speed limit, or something else. But not ‘sleeping policemen, which some authorities seem to be withdrawing.’ In recent years there have been attempts by Isfield Villagers to set up a community Speedwatch scheme, but these appear to have fallen down through lack of volunteer support locally and lukewarm support from authorities such as the governing authority backed by Sussex Police.
This year’s fete is being held on Sunday June 25 from noon, as usual in the Isfield Community Enterprise field behind The Laughing Fish pub. Activities will get under way from this weekend, however, when local residents will start to display their entries in the Scarecrow Trail through the village. This is a regular feature of the festival. A different theme is chosen each year by fete organisers – this year’s is America – for the Trail, which stretches the length of Station Road and adjoining roads. Villagers usually manage to come up with a few offbeat ideas as well as the more traditional; the name Trump comes to mind. Fete visitors are invited to walk the Trail and on fete day vote for their favourite, whose creator will win a prize. Mr Brooks said: ‘We are delighted again to hold a traditional fete which will provide fun for families and well as raise money for local good causes.’ Among the attractions will be a novelty dog show (pet owners should sign on when the fete gates open at noon), displays by mobile performing actors, a parade of award-winning racing sheep, a scurry race, ‘school sports’ games for both children and adults, a tug-of-war, with the winning team being challenged by a tractor, and the ever-popular and usually messy egg-throwing competition. Mousetown will also be making an appearance … an attraction described as a miniature village with live mice as residents. There will also be a wide variety of stalls offering delights from jewellery, various crafts and a selection of refreshments.
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