Parish pump Hailsham - January 9, 2015

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ALFRISTON

THE YEAR in Alfriston is marked with regular community events and the next one is the village Pantomime. The Alfriston Players are producing May the Farce be with You which opens on January 30 at 7.30pm followed by two performances on Saturday January 31 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets, adults £5, children £3, family of four £14, available from Hicks, The Newsagents.

IN DECEMBER there were several chances to listen to and join in singing. The George hosted a visit from The Octaves, Alfriston’s own mixed singing group, who sang Christmas songs and carols and collected £150 for the Alzheimer’s Society plus a couple of new singing members. The Star hosted an evening with The Croackers, an all male group who sing barber shop songs and which also featured harmonica player Tony Mason. The village welcomed the new Rector, Daniel Merceron, who led the Church Services at St Andrew’s and there was also candlelit carols sung in the Old Chapel Centre.

ALFRISTON ARTS is now where the Alfriston Gallery used to be. Vanessa Langley, a graphic designer and illustrator, intends to keep a core of local artists and craftsmen’s work permanently available but will also keep the gallery fresh with a calendar of mini exhibitions throughout the year and welcomes submissions from local artist for consideration. Currently there is work by Helen Brown, Hettie Pittman, Tanya Gomez, Chiara Vagnarelli and Guy Stevens as well as jewellery by Chiara Bianchi and Annie Gould. The gallery is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 5pm. Visit www.alfristonarts.co.uk.

THE 300 CLUB will meet this month at The Smugglers on Tuesday at 8pm. By being a member not only does one have a chance of winning £50 but you are also contributing to the upkeep of the War Memorial Hall.

WI NEWS from Wendy Day: The year ended with a most enjoyable party with entertainment provided by local musician John Cave and his guitar. Singing humorous songs after the style of Jake Thackeray and Richard Stilgoe. He brought back memories of television programmes such as That’s Life and drew a great deal of laughter from members. The table was laden with delicious Christmas food and there was plenty of cups of tea. The next meeting will be on January 20 at 2pm at the Old Chapel Centre with a talk on Sussex Churches. Visitors welcome although a small donation would be appreciated.

THE STAR is closed for refurbishment from now until March 5.

Bodle Street Green

CHURCH SERVICES: St John’s Bodle Street: 9.30am Plough Sunday Family Service. Warbleton Parish Church: 11am Morning Worship and Holy Communion. St Giles, Dallington: 6.30pm Evensong.

BSG WI: The Institute holds its lunch at the White Horse Inn on Monday at 12.30pm.

FOLK CLUB: A reminder that the folk club meets fortnightly at the White Horse Inn on Mondays, this Monday at 8pm being the next.

PARISH COUNCIL: The council meets at 7pm on Thursday at the Dunn Village Hall, Rushlake Green.

Folkington

THE SERVICES over the festive season were very well attended and beautifully delivered. The festive refreshments exceptional. The warmth, welcome and good cheer of the season, evident. Thanks to all involved. Forthcoming services: Sunday is Plough Sunday and Alan Packard will lead Mattins at 10.30am. Sunday January 18 sees World Religion Day and The Reverend Roger Dalling will lead Mattins also at 10.30am. Refreshments are always served after each service.

Hailsham

FARMERS MARKET: Tomorrow, Saturday, from 9am to 12.30pm will see all your favourite producers and crafters ready to share their knowledge with you whilst fulfilling your needs for quality fresh local produce and unusual gifts. Look out for seasonal fruit and vegetables. The Homely Maid will be there with breads and pastries and the Yummy Things Bakery will be offering sweet pastries and homemade sweets. There will also be cards and crafts from Tina. Support the Firefighters charity and if your New Year resolution is to volunteer then chat to Richard of Cuckmere Community Buses which are all driven by volunteers. Enjoy the Market Café and the free on-site parking. This month the Friends of Hailsham Farmers Market is launched. Sign up at the information stand, get involved and enjoy newsletters, events and other benefits throughout the year. Call Jenny on 07887 910150.

ST MARY’S: The first Sunday after Epiphany. Holy Communion at 8am, Morning Service with crèche and children’s groups is at 10.30am with speaker, Lee Gatis, director of Church Society. Evening Prayer, Surprised by Jesus, the Values of the King, is at 6.30pm.

METHODIST CHURCH: Morning Service each Sunday at 10am. Term time only, parents and toddlers Mondays, 9.30am; Youth Club for eight to 14 year olds Saturdays from 4pm to 6pm. Various rooms, hall, kitchen available for hire at affordable rates. Contact either via http://e-voice.org.uk/hailshammethodist/ or email caroleshrt@gmail.com

KNITTING NIGHT: The Knitting Group will be meeting at the King’s Head on January 13 and 27 at 7.30pm. The first meeting of the New Year will take the form of individual statements of intent or wish lists of things to be attempted during the year. The new year usually encourages people to try new things, so courses will be discussed and a pooling of skills to see whether there are things that can be shared. Some will take the form of topping up or extending techniques learnt some time ago. In a group, one-to-one help is possible and moral support if more than one person is beginning something new. At the second meeting the good causes for the year will be decided, so then work on that can punctuate the rest 2015. Contact Su (07552 229473).

HISTORICAL SOCIETY: The next meeting of the Hailsham Historical and Natural History Society is on Wednesday at the Methodist Church hall at 7pm for 7.30pm start. The speaker is Hailsham born and bred man, Jon Cruse, who will be giving a talk along with pictures, entitled Hellingly Hospital and Hailsham by Rail. All welcome, non-members £2.50. The last meeting of 2014 was an absorbing evening entitled How the Lady and the Ladies Changed My Life by Mary Mustin. Mary started off saying that they were living in Northamptonshire and her husband at 60 was to retire from the Ambulance Service. Thinking that 60 was too young to stop work they needed to find something to keep themselves occupied. Seeing an advertisement for a caretaker position at Chiddingstone Castle, Kent, put their names forward with many others and went to an interview conducted by two elderly women (one of whom kept dozing off). Mary and her husband got the job. Another reason for applying was the fact they would be nearer their grandchildren who live near the Ashdown Forest. Mary spoke of how they liked living in the splendour and large rooms of their accommodation at Chiddingstone Castle. The work that was involved was varied, no two days being the same. Showing people around, organising events, checking the gardens etc. This is only a scraping of the surface of Mary’s interesting talk where the two ladies at Chiddingstone Castle changed their life.

ORGAN CLUB: On January 14 the guest is top UK organ star from Wales, Ian Griffin, with the most varied music, and something for everyone at the Charles Hunt Centre on the second Wednesday of each month. There is plentiful free parking very close to the venue, which is very comfortable and has excellent acoustics. Doors open at 7pm, shows start at 7.30pm. Non-members are welcome, just pay at the door. Iformation from Charles Clegg on 01323 762411.

STREET MEETINGS: PCSO street meetings give local residents the opportunity to meet PCSOs to talk about any concerns or issues they may be having where they live. This does not have to be simply police related. Local town and Wealden councillors will attend also. If you do not have any matters to raise, then simply come out and say hello, it is always good meeting new people. PCSOs will also be promoting police community messaging which they use to give members of the public police news and advice. The meetings in January are: Dippydoodah, High Street, Thursday 10am to 10.45pm; St Wilfrids Green, Thursday 1pm to 2.30pm; Victoria Road, Friday January 16, 2pm to 2.30pm; Cackle Street, Saturday January 17, 11.30am to noon; Ingrams Way, Saturday January 17, 2pm to 2.30pm; Milland Road (evens), Wednesday January 21, 5.30pm to 6pm

Milland Road (odds), Thursday January 22, 5.30pm to 6pm.

THE BIG QUIZ: This Hailsham Festival FM Fundraiser is the first of several fundraising events this year to be hosted by Hailsham FM. The aim is to increase public awareness of Hailsham FM, ahead of the planned return to the airwaves during the town’s Arts Festival in September. The Big Quiz is aimed at all the family and is on Sunday afternoon, January 25. Questions will be suitable for adults and children alike and will be held at Grovelands School Hall. Doors open at 1.45pm for 2pm start. Tickets are £4 adults. £3 U16s, £12 family (two plus two). Max six per team. Singles and couples very welcome to make up new teams and make new friends. Raffle and refreshments during the interval. Bring your own soft drinks and snacks if preferred. Due to the family nature of the afternoon, alcohol is not permitted at this event. Tickets for the Big Quiz are available from Helen Lawrence on 07812 337418.

JUNIOR CRICKET: Junior training starts Wednesdays and Thursdays this week at Hailsham Community College. Each session is priced at £2.50 per session with no annual subscription. They run training sessions for boys and girls aged five to 16 years and welcome juniors of all abilities. Sessions are run by 12 qualified ECB coaches, that will be fun and improve all juniors. The club is looking for new juniors to join and to add to the previous success achieved. Rob Wilkinson 07980146841 wilko27@hotmail.co.uk.

100 YEARS AGO: The Parish Magazine report of January 1915 by Rev F C Harvey: Since the last magazine, the Germans have yielded slightly all along the Front from Ostend to Belfort, and in Poland they have made frantic attempts to stop the Russian invasion of Silesia by trying to outflank their right wing and reach Warsaw, and later, by violent attacks on their front. These seemed to have failed and to be dying out. The second try to get Warsaw has not come off. The Austrian attack on the left flank of the Russians, through the Carpathians, has quite failed. The Russian army is still a few days march from Cracow and the invasion of Silesia has only been postponed, at very great loss of life, etc to the German-Austrian armies. To use Hilaire Belloc’s figure, the Siege is as secure as ever. None of the frantic sorties, East, West and South have succeeded; for even little Serbia is clear of Austrians; and the Serbs still hold a little corner of Bosnia. So the New Year begins.

Hellingly, Horsebridge & Dicker

CHURCH SERVICES: Hellingly: Thursday 9.30am Holy Communion (BCP), every Sunday Holy Communion (CW) at 8am and 10.45am. Fourth Sunday Family Service 10.45am. Upper Dicker: Sunday Services 9.15am.

COMMUNITY PARK: The cricket pitch, having now been laid, will be available for use by April and which will include an equipment store on the back of the pavilion and CCTV cameras on top of the new pavilion to help with the safety of all park users in this area. The park is a public open space and is for everyone, however, there are very serious parking problems in Roebuck Park and therefore could everybody please respect the residents’ concerns and not park in the streets off The Drive. There is often an opportunity to park in the Drive or the small lay-bys. In the evening and weekends by driving a little further on it is possible to park in the NHS car park by the chapel. The Hellingly Community Park Trust (HCPT) has worked hard over the years to have the Community Park land designated as a public open space, and hope it can be enjoyed by everyone. Without their hard work it is likely that much of the park would have been built on and then no-one would have had access to this lovely open space. The first plan chair Gill Hesselgrave ever saw was to build on everything except the cricket pitch, which was to be a village green.

HELLINGLY 10K: This year’s event will be on Sunday September 13 at 10.30am and will follow the same course as last year. Further information will be available nearer the time. In the meantime, thanks to the residents of Hellingly for their ongoing support and co-operation during last year’s event, which was a huge success with lots of worn out but satisfied finishers who all commented on the scenic route around the lanes of Hellingly and enjoyed being awarded a rather special medal for this anniversary race. The event has been running for 30 years and to celebrate, along with providing a medal, they were able to award a large range of prizes to first, second and third places in categories from junior to veteran and finishers over the age of 80 were winning prizes. We really do appreciate the Hellingly residents providing their support, it was great to see so many lining the streets and cheering the runners, as well as co-operating with the increased hustle and bustle on a Sunday morning, we do hope you weren’t inconvenienced.

HELLINGLY WI: The members of Hellingly WI would welcome any ladies who would like to go along for a visit to one of their meetings, and maybe join them in the future. They are a small group of friendly ladies who meet once a month in Hellingly Village Hall, on the first Tuesday of the month at 2.30pm. They enjoy speakers with a large range of interests, lunch outings to places of members’ choice, visit other WIs for group meetings and to celebrate their anniversaries. There is a garden party in the summer as well as an annual afternoon outing. One of the important parts of this organisation is the making of new friends. Hellingly WI was started in 1918, so last year they were proud to celebrate 95 years of presence in the parish. So, if you would like to help to reach the 100th birthday, don’t be shy, go and give them a try. Please contact 01323 442592.

MOTHERS’ UNION: Kate Ibotson gave a talk entitled Hot Air Balloons and All. Kate is originally from Gloucester, recently moved to Hellingly with her husband and entertained MU members with their hobby. To be able to fly a balloon Kate studied to become a balloon pilot, covering navigation, airspace usage and weights different types of balloon can carry. Having found a pilot to teach her to fly in Ross-on-Wye she learned to retrieve, keep a logbook, balloon bylaws, read air maps and even choosing a launch site regarding wind. Flyers even learn to deal with farmers as they can often land on their property and may end up damaging crops. Balloons also need an annual MOT and expensive insurance. Before Kate could fly herself, she needed to pass navigation tests and more and as she is a true enthusiast, has entered competitions, attended meets of various types of balloon, including teardrops, add-ons and special shapes that get paid to attend to attract attention but need more gas. The amount of gas needed is led by the size, shape and efficiency, teardrop being the best. Kate brought along a TV screen to show the variety to be found at meets she and her husband attended.

COFFEE MORNINGS and book exchange at Dicker Hall from 10.40am to noon on Thursday mornings. Book exchange or purchase 20p.

ART CLASS: There are tutored art sessions at Arlington Village Hall starting on Wednesday afternoons from this week, 2pm-4pm. These are in a series of eight sessions to cover various subjects and mediums including landscape, seascape, figures, watercolour sketching, using acrylics, pastels, mixed media. The fee is £45 for all eight sessions. Bring your own materials. Book your place early to ensure classes run on 01323 485153.

PARISH COUNCIL: The next meeting of Arlington PC is on Thursday at 7.30pm at Upper Dicker Village Hall. Check the website for the agenda at www.arlingtonparish.org.uk.

ANTIDOTE SOCIETY: For information on activities and groups visit www.facebook.com/theantidotesociety or follow on Twitter: @theantidotesociety.

YOGA is now at Bates Green Farmhouse, Arlington every Wednesday from 11.30am to 12.30pm. £8 for single session, less if booked in advance.

CAROLS ON THE GREEN: A big thank you to all who supported the Dicker Carols on the Green event. In particular, thanks to Bede’s for providing the Christmas tree, the treats for all and for leading the singing. Thanks also to Kim, John and Stuart for making the tree light up and the wonderful people who helped with wine and pies at the Shop. T’was a great community start to the season.

NEW CHOIR: Voices in Harmonie gave a most enjoyable Christmas concert including light hearted and seasonal pieces. This is a small, relatively new choir, which from January will be rehearsing in Dicker Village Hall. Rehearsals are on Fridays from 7.30pm to 9pm and start on 9th January. New members are welcome. There are no auditions and it is not necessary to be able to read music. Why not go along for a free trial and if you wish to join then the subscription is £25 per term (three terms per year) with at least 10 sessions each term. Danielle, the conductor, can be contacted at info@harmonieconcertband.co.uk See www.harmonieconcertband.co.uk (select Organisation tab).

Herstmonceux & Wartling

FREE CHURCH: This Sunday service is at 10.45am in Church Road. The Breakfast Club is from 10am to noon in the village hall on the first Sunday of each month.

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday, 8am Holy Communion Wartling. 9.45am, Herstmonceux.

MESSY CHURCH: Activities start again on Sunday January 18 at the Reid Hall from 3.30pm to 5.30pm. If you have not yet tried it, go along and have a go. Take the opportunity to sit with your family or friends and play games, make things, listen to a story and finish with a sit down tea. All ages are welcome and there is something for everyone. Details from Richard Steven 833124, Pat and Norman Honeysett 833925 or Pam Kendall 833079.

RAY AND SHELDON: A full programme has been arranged for 2015 beginning on Friday January 16 at 2.15pm with Bingo plus the usual chat, stories, tea and cakes. This club for the over 60s meets on the second and fourth Friday of the month, 2pm to 4pm, in the small hall at the village hall. They have a varied selection of speakers, slide shows, quizzes, music and most of all enjoyable company. Membership is £4 annually and £2.50 per meeting. Do go along. Transport can be arranged. On January 30 the ever popular local Di Arndle will be giving a talk on the subject of Sweet Making. Further details from Anne on 01323 441244.

CHRISTMAS FAIRS: Herstmonceux village church would like to thank everyone that supported the Christmas fair. A fantastic £764 was raised. A special thank you to everyone who helped on the day and to the organisers and children who took part in the Nativity Play. Wartling Church raised a magnificent £880 towards the cost of running the church. It was a good time again, a chance to buy some nice things, play some games, meet friends and generally have a great time. Thanks go to all the people who manned stalls, helped set up, clear up after, prepare and serve good food and support in all ways. If you have any fundraising ideas or would like to be involved in any events ring any of the fund raising committee, Stella 833445, Pam 833079, Suzanne 842416 or Gill 01424 892840.

PARISH COUNCIL: The draft minutes of the October meeting state there has been correspondence from Wealden District Council informing the council it is looking at the potential for a Conservation Area at Cowbeech and further research and work will be required to ascertain whether it would meet criteria to merit designation as a Conservation Area. As part of the project to reappraise the existing Conservation Areas in the district and for the consideration of potential new areas, parish and town councils and local history societies have been asked for very initial feedback to help to inform work being undertaken by the Conservation Officers. This was to ensure local input at the earliest opportunity. This is a huge project and will take some time to complete across the district. It is anticipated that further consultation will take place later this year through an Issues and Options Page: 1323 process linked to the Local Plan and at this time there will be further opportunity for the parish council and residents to comment.

WALKING GROUP: The next walk is on Sunday meeting at 10am at Hailsham Leisure Centre for a four to five mile Downland circular. Contact Sue 848790. If in doubt about the difficulty of a walk or if the weather is poor please ring the leader before setting out. You are responsible for your own wellbeing and are advised to carry basic first aid and drinking water.

BONFIRE PANTOMIME: Cowbeech Bonfire Society proudly presents Carry On Cowbeech pantomime performances on Thursday at 7pm, Friday January 16 and Saturday January 17 at 7pm and 9pm. Show tickets with a choice of hot supper to follow are £14 for big kids and £8 for not so big (first house only). Check ticket availability at The Merrie Harriers (01323) 833108, or Mary Anne Gordon on 833749. All profits to the local good causes funds.

SCIENCE CENTRE: The events calendar is still being finalised and there is a packed programme of activities throughout the year. However, enquiries are already being made for some of the courses being run at the beginning of the year so for your information in January there are open weekends on January 17 and 18, 24 and 25 from 10am to 5pm. Last admission is at 3pm. On Saturday January 17 and Sunday January 18 there is a special offer when admission is only £5. On Saturday January 17 the Open Evening starts at 6.30pm to 11pm. For more information visit http://www.the-observatory.org or phone 01323 832731.

Ninfield & Hooe

NINFIELD ACTION GROUP: NAG’s are in the process of forming a constituted committee, to allow for the better organisation of village concerns over the current development issues. The group would also like to to link up with other village societies so they can utilise any skills on such things as wild flowers, wildlife etc. They would also like Ninfield residents to check their title deeds to ascertain any historic information that may be of use in the action against the proposed developments. Title deeds can also provide information as to the origins of house names that could give the group clues to parts of village life worth further exploration. If you are able to provide information or can offer your skills, contact them via their Facebook page: Ninfieldactiongroup.

HOOE OPEN GROUP’S next meeting is today, Friday, when the club will hold its AGM. This will see the beginning of another year and hopefully a further increase in membership. If you are interested in joining, come along on the second Friday of any month to Hooe Village Hall at 2.30pm and you will be more than welcome by this bunch of very friendly ladies. For further information contact Edna Wallis on 01424 842591.

U18’S FOOTBALL: The match last Sunday against TW Ridgewaye had to be postponed due to the ground being waterlogged. The team are at home on Sunday, 10.30am on Ninfield recreation ground. They will also be at home on January 18 and 25 all at 10.30am on Sunday mornings on Ninfield Rec. They would love to see some new supporters.

LOCAL HISTORY GROUP: Ninfield Local History Group are next meeting on January 15, 7.30pm, in the Methodist Church Hall. The meeting will be David Jones giving a talk on the Bluebell Railway (my apologies, I had put February’s meeting information in last week). For further information, contact Rod Ffoulkes (Chair) ken.ffoulkes@which.net Tel: 893635.

HOOE HISTORY GROUP: Hooe History Committee members have been inundated with compliments following the very successful Society Christmas Dinner held in December in Hooe Village Hall. It was a fabulous evening enjoyed by all. With the festivities behind them, they are now looking forward to their January meeting. On Thursday they meet in the village hall at 7.30pm for their first meeting of the year and it promises to be a great evening. A representative from the Nautical Museum Trust will be talking to them about the history of local shipwrecks. Everyone is welcome at their meetings, the more the merrier. Further details about the meeting, or the society in general, from their chairman, Heather, on 01424 893422.

HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY: On Monday, January 19, Ninfield Horticultural Society’s speaker is David Powell who will be telling them how weather is recorded. Let’s hope for a fine evening so many of you can attend. They meet at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall and will have refreshments and raffle. Current and new members welcome.

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday, St Mary’s Ninfield, 9.30am Parish Eucharist, Wednesday, 10am Holy Communion. St Oswald’s Hooe, Sunday, 11.15am Parish Eucharist. Ninfield Methodist Church, Sunday, 2.30pm Covenant/Holy Communion with Rev Ian Pruden.

Warbleton & Rushlake Green

CHURCH SERVICES: Warbleton Parish Church: 11am Morning Worship and Holy Communion. We had a busy Christmas period, the busiest service being the Crib Service on Christmas Eve. This simple service for families tells the Christmas story with visual aids, including a very well behaved donkey. Thanks to the Green family for bringing Freddie along, he is a seasoned performer, and Lily who played Mary was able to ride round the church on him. A big thank you to everyone who contributed to our services, decorating the church so beautifully and helping out in so many ways. St John’s Bodle Street: 9.30am Plough Sunday Family Service. St Giles, Dallington: 6.30pm Evensong. Heathfield Chapel: Morning worship and communion led by Robin Lacey.

INSPECTOR NOT CALLING: Our planned next production in May was intended to be An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley but, at the point of ordering the scripts, it was discovered the play had been withdrawn from amateur production. As a result, the committee have been frantically looking for a suitable replacement and I’m glad to say they have found it in Fatal Encounter by Francis Durbridge, a nail-biting classic from this popular thriller writer. Auditions are this Sunday, 3pm to 5pm, and Wednesday, 8pm to 10pm, at the Dunn Village Hall, Rushlake Green. Audition pieces are to be found on the Village Players website or contact Heather (director) on 01435 830059. The cast requires eight good character parts, five male and three female. Production dates are Wednesday to Saturday, May 13 to 16. Rehearsals are usually Saturday mornings and Monday or Wednesday evenings.

HISTORY GROUP: Medieval Musical Instruments is Michael Wither’s subject at our meeting on Monday. We meet at 7.30pm for 8pm at the Dunn Village Hall; coffee is served before the meeting and our bookstall is open.

FLOWER SHOW AGM: The horticultural society AGM has come round again and will be held on Tuesday at 7.30pm. The committee are at this moment trawling through their recipe books to find yummy things to go with the wine and we have been lucky enough to secure a very interesting speaker. His name is Chris Hone and he’s a keen and knowledgeable gardener as well as beekeeper and his talk, entitled Inside the Beehive, will be fully illustrated with slides. The membership subscription remains the same (£4) and if you don’t pay by standing order you can renew your membership at the AGM.

PARISH COUNCIL: The council meets at 7pm on Thursday at the Dunn Village Hall.

Willingdon, Wannock & Jevington

THE JPK SUSSEX is having a major fundraising launch from January 14 to 17 and will be having a table in the Arndale Centre from 10am to 4pm for those four days. The theme is that if 3 million people each gave £1 then the whole JPK Centre could immediately be built. And what could you buy with a pound? Half a cup of coffee, a can of beer, a bar of soap, half a cabbage, or half a tube of toothpaste. Collecting tins will also be in Barclays Bank, Polegate, Cavendish Bakery, Cavendish Road and Grove Road, the Junction Café, Freshwater Square, 1066 One Stop Shop, Pevensey Bay, and Watsons Associates, North Street, Hailsham. Of course people can also donate online through the website justgiving page – www.thejpkproject.co.uk. JustTextGiving: JPKP01 £1 to 70070. A DVD has also been made which can be viewed on the JPK Website, Face Book and youtube and grateful thanks was expressed to Steve Bird for filming and production. The DVD was undertaken by parents of those living with a learning disability and also those wishing to live in the centre once it has been built. The DVD also includes Concentus Chorale singing There’s a Place for us from West Side Story.

WASSAIL: This is an old country custom associated with Christmas and the New Year and dates back to 1400 and was a way of passing on good wishes to family and friends. It also celebrates the year’s apple harvest and the largest tree is blessed. Last year was the first time it was held at the Wheatsheaf and it proved to be very popular. The Long Man Morris Men kick off the proceedings at 7pm tomorrow, Saturday, and will lead a torchlight procession from the Wheatsheaf behind the Thai Restaurant to the Orchard. The assembled crowds will be invited to help chase away evil spirits from the decorated apple tree by making as much noise as possible, so please bring along your pots and pans to bang. It is great fun for all the family and the Long Man Morris Men will be entertaining in the pub.

ALADDIN: Willingdon Church Players’ pantomime Aladdin will be staged in Willingdon Memorial Hall on the evenings of Wednesday to Saturday, January 28 to 31 with a matinee on the Saturday. The Saturday matinee is now sold out and tickets for the Friday and Saturday evenings are virtually all gone. There may be a few left for the Thursday evening but quite a lot still available for the Wednesday evening, the opening night. Tickets are £6 for adults and £3 for children aged 16 years and under. Please contact the pantomime secretary Lesley Etwell on 01323 504901 or 07708 05 16 63.

LUNCH CLUB: A weekly lunch club is held every Tuesday at the Trees Community Centre in Maywood Avenue. There is a lively team of cooks and helpers to welcome new diners. A few more cooks would also be very much appreciated. The lunch club is open for coffee at 11am followed by lunch at 12.30pm. The cost is £4 for a two course lunch, coffee and a chocolate mint. Lunches are home cooked and full of variety. On January 13 from 10.30am to noon a volunteer from the Hearing Resource Centre will be there to issue batteries and tube replacements for NHS hearing aids. For further information please contact Marie on 01323 521637 who will be pleased to answer any questions.

THE FRIENDLY CUPPA takes place every Thursday morning from 10.30am to noon in St Mary’s Church Hall. All are welcome.

A CONFIRMATION enquiry will take place at 10am tomorrow, Saturday, in St Mary’s Church. For further information please contact Fr Kevin on 01323 502079.

ASTRONOMY: Eastbourne Astronomical Society will be meeting at Willingdon Memorial Hall from 7.30pm to 10pm tomorrow, Saturday. It is a members’ evening with short presentations from John Kirkbride, Introducing the Universe; Keith Brackenborough, The Early History of the European Astronomical Society; and Norman Walker, Recent Results from the Astronomical Media. All are welcome.

THE 3 MMMs will be meeting at 8pm on Wednesday at St Mary’s Church Hall. It will be a bring-and-buy evening, a chance to de-clutter and get rid of unwanted Christmas presents. There will also be a beetle drive.

THANK YOU to those who have already sent their club programmes to me for 2015. If there is anyone who would like publicity for their clubs or societies or any charity events they are organising or anything else of local interest, please let me know and I will do my best to include it in my column.