Parish pump Lewes - January 16, 2015

Barcombe

GARDEN CLUB: ‘The shortest day has passed, and whatever nastiness of weather we may look forward to in January and February, at least we notice that the days are getting longer. Minute by minute they lengthen out, until the moment comes when with a start of delighted surprise we realise that we can stay out of doors in a twilight lasting for another quarter of a precious hour.’ Vita Sackville-West. January is a time for looking forward. We have the Romans and the Gregorian calendar to thank for this, as they named the first month of the year after Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, doorways and transitions. Janus is usually represented as having two faces, one looking back over the past and the other facing the future. This will be appreciated by all gardeners, who by now will have well-thumbed seed catalogues in anticipation of the forthcoming gardening year, perhaps with the hindsight of what grew well last year, and what didn’t. At this time of year we are all optimists. Our first meeting is tomorrow, Saturday, at 2.30pm in the village hall, when Simon Linington will talk us through The Millenium Seed Bank at Wakehurst Place. Some of us may remember the fascinating guided tour of the Seed Bank which Simon gave us a few years ago.

BONFIRE AGM: BBS AGM will be at the Royal Oak, Barcombe, on Tuesday February 24 at 8pm. All welcome to attend. This year we will be electing a new chairperson and vice chairperson. If you are interested on taking on the role and would like to know more about what is involved, please contact Anthony Hills on ant@barcombebonfire.co.uk. BBS is a small society and provides a great traditional village Bonfire Night celebration free. The committee always welcomes new members to take part and contribute to the ongoing success of BBS at delivering a great Bonfire Night celebration for the village. Please do come along to the AGM if you would like to offer your support and time, no matter how small all help is welcome.

BARCOMBE CINEMA: Tickets are now on sale for Love Punch starring Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson, at Barcombe Village Hall on Sunday, February 1, at 7.30pm. Tickets are £6 each available from Barcombe Stores, VA Turner’s, The Royal Oak or Yvonne Alce. There will be a bar and during the intermission refreshments will be available. We will also run a raffle.

Chailey

CHURCH SERVICES: St Peter’s Church, Holy Communion at 8am and Parish Communion at 10am. Transport can be arranged by calling Peter Martin on 01825 722680. Free Church, 10.30am with Peter Markby and a Café Church at 4.30pm. The afternoon service will be a Talk with a Thought which will be followed by afternoon tea for which there is no charge.

RSPB BIG GARDEN BIRD WATCH: Go along to Sheffield Park as part of the RSPB bird watch from Monday January 19 to Sunday January 25. Bring younger visitors along to the garden, pick up a pack and see how many birds you can spot while ticking off number 44 on your 50 Things list. For more information call 01825 790231.

THE PARISH COUNCIL meet at the Reading Room on Tuesday at 7.30pm. Members of the public may attend and will be given an opportunity to make representations if they so wish.

KNIT AND NATTER: Love knitting and chatting or would like to learn to knit, then you will be most welcome at the Free Church on Tuesday at 7.30pm. Go along with your current project or if you are just learning wool, needles and tips will be available on the night. For more details call 01273 890114.

GRANDPARENTS TODDLER Group meets on Wednesday between 9.30am and 11.30am at the Chailey Children’s Centre. The group has the use of a wonderfully equipped room and a safe outside area full of things to do. This is a great chance to meet other grandparents who are caring for their grandchildren. For more information call Susannah Griffin on 01825 724335.

EXHIBITION is planned by Highways for Thursday, to show their design for the footpath which will run on Chailey Common from the New Heritage to the junction with the A275. It is hoped that the exhibition will be held at the Old Chapel Community Centre, New Heritage, but confirmation notices will be posted on the council’s notice boards and on its website.

OPEN DAY at St Peter’s Church on January 24 from 10am to 4pm with the aim of highlighting the alterations to the interior of the church, especially the new kitchen. There will be refreshments and entertainment throughout the day. It will also be an opportunity for people to learn about events planned for 2015, as well as put forward their own ideas.

NEW from Sunday January 25 the Revd John Miller-Maskell will be holding healing services at St Peters Church on the fourth Sunday of every month at 7pm.

OUR LOCAL PCSO Steve Knowles will be at Chailey Children’s Centre on Monday January 26 from 10am to 10.30am to answer your queries, offer community policing related information and advice or simply chat. Why not pop along and say hello?

JUMBLE SALE, organised by Chailey and Newick Brownies, is on Saturday January 31 at 11am at the village hall. If you have any jumble it will be much appreciated and help this group fundraise for their Brownie Holiday. For collection call 01825 723727 or please deliver jumble to the hall that morning from 9am.

POPPY APPEAL ORGANISER James Radcliffe is standing down after 15 years in this role and thanks go to him for all that he has done for the Appeal. A new organiser is sought; the role involves several weeks’ effort in the autumn and co-ordination with collectors. If you are interested in taking on this role or would like to know more call James on 01825 723215.

COMMUNITY SPEEDWATCH: Would you like to help make the roads in Chailey safer? Can you spare two or three hours every other month? More volunteers are sought to monitor traffic speeds on the A272, A275 and Mill Lane. Training will be given and there will be plenty of support from the team of volunteers. To find out more or volunteer call Lesley Dunford on 01825 723662.

Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

CHURCH SERVICES: St Peter’s Church, 8am Holy Communion, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall, 10.30am Parish Communion followed by coffee in the hall.

PROTECTING THE COUNTRYSIDE: It was good to see the recent newspaper report regarding large scale solar panel developments which have been springing up around the countryside. The Minister responsible for the environment and change is stopping subsidies for these large developments that are covering swathes of farmland. She says that our countryside and farmland is precious and needs to be protected. As from January 1 subsidies will no longer be available.

LOCK UP: There have over the Christmas period been burglaries around the area and although it is always easy to just slip out into the garden and leave the door unlocked or a window open. Don’t chance it. Lock everything including outbuildings when you leave your property.

PARISH COUNCIL: When Hamsey PC met on January 15 there was a very full agenda which included several updates: The relationship between Hamsey PC and Lewes District Planning Department; the recreation ground and Beechwood Lane footpath; discussions on the Neighbourhood Plans which during the last few weeks have caused a lot of stress and anger from some landowners; funds for Offham improvements. Cooksbridge Station Report: To consider rail and bus services. To consider any response to the ESCC cuts to bus services in the parish. Traffic Issues: Including parking and any update on school parking. Possible measures to improve the parking situation at the school. Reports from the PCSO and from ESCC. ESCC reply to the PC thanking them for their request to impose a Public Protection Order to prevent parking. Public Places Protection Orders have been designed to prohibit anti-social behaviour such as littering or dog fouling, not to improve road safety. For road safety purposes a Traffic Regulation Order would need to be implemented. A Public Places Protection Order is not a permanent measure and can be operational for a maximum of three months, whereas a Traffic Regulation Order could be temporary for any set period of time or permanent. ESCC say that they remember that parents parking issues have come up before where they had meetings a few years ago with representatives of the parish council and the school with regards to turning some of the playing fields to the rear of the school into a parking/dropping off area. Hamsey School and the surrounding residents are not alone and as you can imagine, we see such problems at practically every school across the county. We are glad to hear that your local PCSO is offering assistance, sometimes their presence can encourage appropriate parking from parents. We are somewhat restricted with what we can offer in such circumstances as the parking problems are for such short periods of the day and in circumstances where we have implemented parking restrictions in the vicinity of schools, parents continually stop on them for brief periods unless enforcement by the police is present at the time. The parents will need to park somewhere to drop off/pick up children, so we need to find a balance between allowing somewhere for them to stop whilst maintaining road safety. Where parents are blocking driveways, we can offer the resident an access protection marking. This is a white line that can be laid across the width of a dropped kerb. These come at a cost to the resident of £45 unless the resident is a blue badge holder. These lines are not legally enforceable in the same manner as double yellow lines but they often prove effective in alleviating cases of obstruction. In terms of school parking, these could be a solution to part of the problem, especially if the lines were laid at the same time that a note was sent round in a school newsletter advising drivers to avoid parking on the white markings. If parking is occurring close to junctions, double yellow lines could be considered to maintain access and visibility. The process of implementing double yellow line parking restrictions is unlike the access protection markings procedure as extensive consultations are required first. If you would like short lengths of double yellow lines to be considered around the junctions either side of the school, we will arrange for them to be added to our list of sites which are ordered in terms of priority based on crash statistics, the class of road and the duration of the problem, amongst other factors. PCSO Sally-Ann Reed had options that the PC might like to consider such as being included in the Lewes parking scheme which Barcombe village has done. This would involve double yellow lines being put in the village. This would mean NSL wardens would come to the area and issue any tickets, these would be tickets with an instant fine. She was not aware of the scheme that ESCC were referring to so would need more details. She said that she could issue tickets for obstructing the pavement, these tickets are then sent off to the central ticket office who decide what action to take. That could be just a letter or a summons to court.

COOKSBRIDGE STATION Partnership. Covers have agreed to provide a second bench for the upside platform at cost. The ticket vending machine is now working more reliably. The division of responsibilities between Network Rail and Southern is confusing and the Partnership have asked them to sort out the dangerous puddling on Platform 2, remove redundant concrete blocks from the car park, consider yellow lines at the car park entrance to replace the bollards and remove redundant signalling equipment from Platform 1. The neighbourhood planning team have been asked to log the 1850s goods shed as a parish heritage asset. The team has agreed not to seek to restrict parking currently used by commuters in the final plan. The new 2046 service from Victoria commenced on January 5. One passenger alighted from the train.

Falmer

PERMITS: Late last year, those of us who have permits for the residents’ parking scheme in Falmer received a letter telling us that, in future, the scheme would be entirely run online and there would be no need for an actual paper permit. I promptly forgot all about this and didn’t look at the letter again until just before the permit was due to run out. I duly sat myself down in front of the computer and started to register on the site and, having done that, tried to buy my permit. I am sure I must have got something wrong because when I tried to load up my two proofs of address etc there only seemed to be one box to put them in. In the end I had to resort to going in person to the parking shop to get registered and the very helpful ladies there did it for me. I was reassured to see that even they had a couple of problems with the site. Anyway I am now legal and am curious to see what a parking warden does when he or she comes round to check up on us.

MAGIC: We have had some amazing sunrises and sunsets recently with the skies streaked with pink, scarlet, pale blue and pewter grey. I was walking back through the woods at dusk recently admiring the last of the red sky before dark when I came round a corner and there was a roe deer right in front of me, he took off, startled and I carried on. A few steps on, up jumped a great big fox and shot off up into the field.

GRANT: Our neighbouring village, Stanmer, and its surrounding parkland is a well-loved place for visitors from Brighton and further afield and we have just heard that the park has been awarded an amazing £291,000 Heritage Lottery fund and Big Lottery grant. The money will be matched by Brighton Council and the South Downs National Park Authority. Major aims include the restoration of the Home Farm Complex, the restoration of the entrance and Parkland to Stanmer House and the restoration of the Walled Garden. The project will be managed jointly by the council and the South Downs National Park Authority.

EASTER: It seems absurd but we are already looking forward to Easter here in Falmer, (at least I am). Work is starting on the planning of our Easter Art Exhibition with accompanying poetry. Several artists are lined up to take part in the show and I hope that poets may be working on their writing too. Also on the Arts front we have our concert series starting again in February. More information to come on these events in future Parish Pumps.

Kingston

KINGSTON WI: Meetings in 2015 will start with tea or wine, biscuits and a social time followed by the speaker and WI business, however, tonight our speaker was unwell and so we discussed the seven resolutions shortlisted this year. The first stated that ‘as we mark 100 years of the WI, we deplore the unacceptable level of gender discrimination that still exists’. It noted the under representation of women in public life and the considerable difference between men and women’s pay, despite equal pay being discussed 71 years ago in 1943. The second resolution urged the government to start a national broadleaf tree planting programme to replace vital woodlands lost in the past. Only 13 per cent of the UK is woodland while in the EU as a whole it’s 37 per cent. Broadleaf makes up 49 per cent of the UK’s woods and conifers dominate Forestry Commission land. The third resolution discussed the urgent need to widen public access to defibrillators to increase survival rates following a cardiac arrest. About 60,000 cardiac arrests occur yearly out of hospital with survival rates from two per cent to 12 per cent. Allowing the public to defibrillate promptly in busy areas, like stations and shopping centres, can increase survival rates by 75 per cent. The fourth resolution called on the government to remove the distinction between nursing care by NHS and personal care of the elderly and vulnerable via local councils. Bed blocking is often caused by local authorities unable to find a care solution on discharge for those not under NHS care, this would be eased. There is also the problem that many vulnerable people get no social care from councils and charges for non NHS care. WI members are being asked in the sixth resolution to cut back on their own food waste. Also targeted are food producers, retailers and public and private organisations. In 2012 seven million tonnes of food was wasted with 4.2 million tonnes being avoidable. In the last resolution the government and the public are urged to maintain momentum to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Around 140 million females worldwide are affected with 1,279 women receiving NHS treatment. It has been a serious offence for 30 years with no prosecutions until this year. Later voting indicated the resolution on FGM was the most popular. Tap dancing restarted yesterday, Thursday, with an open lesson on January 29. Pilates every Tuesday 2pm to 3pm, both at parish hall. Book group January 22 at Barbara Cunningham’s. Craft group every Friday 2pm to 4pm at the Pavilion.

Laughton

BOOT SALE: Indoor Boot Sale, Laughton Parish Hall Sunday January 25. Doors open 10.30am, £5 a table. Refreshments available. For information or to book a table please ring 01323 811385. Also boot sales will be held on February 22 and March 29.

Lewes

FOOTPATHS GROUP: There were 18 walkers who started from the Stanmer Village car park for the start of last Sunday’s six mile walk on a bright, sunny morning. This is more than anyone could have hoped for after the dramatic deluges interspersed with the grey winter gloom of the preceding days. Seeing blue skies and sunshine was a real treat and it was mild too for mid January, though we knew that we were in for some strong winds as we gained height. This was definitely a walk of two halves, up to Ditchling Beacon; then a gradual descent back to Stanmer. The first half of the walk took us out of the village on a gently ascending path up towards the intersection with the South Downs Way. We stopped from time to time to take in the wonderful views, a great excuse too to take a breather from our uphill exertions. We paused for our short refreshment break at the intersection with the South Downs Way, where an outcrop of hawthorns and gorse bushes provided shelter from the prevailing winds. We then continued for a short stretch on the South Downs Way, past Ditchling Beacon and the trig point indicating the highest point, and with wonderful views to our right of the village of Ditchling and the surrounding Weald and towards the Ashdown Forest. We then turned off onto our return route, on an open track with magnificent views towards Falmer, Brighton and the sea. The latter part of the walk was mainly through woodland, finally emerging above the elegant Georgian building that is Stanmer House. Everyone agreed it had been a lovely walk, all the moreso because of the unexpected bonus of fine weather. And despite all the rain of recent weeks, we encountered only a few seriously muddy patches, which we managed to circumvent in most cases. The walk was led by Vivien. The next walk is on Sunday January 25, East Dean Circular. A hilly 5.5 mile walk. Meet at top North Street car park at 9.30am for a prompt start.

COFFEE MORNING: South Street Bonfire Society are holding a coffee morning tomorrow, Saturday, at Cliffe Church Hall 10am till noon. Admission free. Cakes, tombola, tea/coffee and much more.

SOUTHOVER CHURCH: Our next Alpha course runs on Thursdays from February 26 for ten weeks: a great opportunity to explore the basics of the Christian faith and discuss the big questions of life in an informal, relaxed setting. We start with a meal, followed by a talk and then a discussion. Please contact the rector Steve Daughtery on 472018. May we remind you that we run the Southover Counselling Service, a professional service available to everyone irrespective of belief or ability to pay the full cost. The cost is £40 per session (£45 for couples); however, sponsorship is available for anyone unable to meet the full cost. All counsellors are qualified and are also committed Christians. To make an appointment or find out more please telephone 07852 221449; or visit the website www.southovercounselling.org.uk. If you have any spare warm clothing (new or used) which you would like to donate to homeless people in Brighton, we have a collection box in the church porch. Blankets and sleeping bags would also be appreciated. The church is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, as well as on Sunday for services (and for our many other activities throughout the week). Services this Sunday: 8am communion; 10am morning service with communion, a blend of traditional and contemporary, with choir, organ and band; 11.15am informal service in the church hall; 6.30pm informal evening service with communion, with singers and band. Our community choir, Lewes Sings Gospel, will also be singing at this week’s 6.30pm service. Please do come and join us.

LEWES PASSION PLAY 2015 Group has been chosen by Waitrose as one of the charities it supports during January. We would be very pleased if you put your green tokens in the relevant box at the store this month. We are still recruiting for minor roles, members of the crowd, singers and instrumentalists. Family groups are particularly welcome to join in the music and drama on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. For more information or to register your interest please email towardslewes2015@gmail.com or visit our website at www.lewespassionplay.org.uk.

THE WEEK OF PRAYER for Christian Unity begins on Sunday. Many local churches will be lighting a candle at their Sunday services. There will also be a United Service to mark the week at Christ Church at 6.30pm on Sunday. On Wednesday there is an opportunity to experience Quaker silent worship for half an hour at the Friends Meeting House on Friars Walk at 12.30pm. All are welcome to both services.

Malling

SOUTH MALLING SCHOOL: This week the children have been thinking about what sort of jobs they would like to do and what qualifications they might need, as part of their learning for BE (Business and Enterprise) week. To help with the project they have had several visitors and parents in school, talking about and explaining their jobs. This has been very interesting and inspirational and has helped to give the children lots of information and ideas. On Friday they are having Dress up Day when the children come to school dressed in role as the job they would like to do. It’s always interesting to see the great variety of jobs represented. The school would like to thank their Lollipop Lady for keeping them all safe this week. Even in the dreadful weather, Trish makes sure that the children cross the road safely and that cars don’t stop on the yellow or zig-zag lines, so accidents are avoided. Thank you Trish. On Friday January 23 at 9am parents of infants are invited to come and watch a maths lesson in their child’s class so they can find out more about how the school teaches maths.

SOUTH MALLING CHURCH: This week, members enjoyed Mother Goose at St Mary’s Social Centre on Thursday, and hosted a joint prayer meeting for the three Trinity Churches (with Southover and St John Sub Castro) on Wednesday. As the point of no return in their commitment to coming together as a single parish draws nearer, the three churches find themselves strengthened by praying through the issues together making sure that God is in charge. An important part of the Trinity project is the safeguarding and reordering of St John sub Castro, which involves a significant commitment of time and money and will benefit the community as well as the three congregations. Particular attention is being paid to ensuring that its excellent acoustic will be maintained so that the church can continue to host the range of concerts that currently take place in the building. The service at South Malling on Sunday is Holy Communion, which begins at 9.30am. All are welcome.

mobile library

MOBILE LIBRARY: Today, Friday: Opposite Lamb Inn, Ripe, 9.20am-9.45am; Berwick Village Hall 9.55am-10.25am.

Nevill

CHRIST CHURCH: Today, Friday, our Tots group is meeting between 9.30am and 11.30am. It was lovely to see some new children and carers last week as well as our regular attendees. Worship on Sunday at 10.30am will be led by David Coleman and at 6.30pm the Churches Together service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will be held at Christ Church with Holy Communion. The preacher will be Rev Steve Smith from Eastgate Baptist Church. Our craft groups will be meeting on Wednesday from 9.30am to 11am or 7.30pm to 9pm and anyone is welcome to join these groups.

NEVILL RESIDENTS: A meeting will be held on Monday at Highdown Road starting 8pm. Local issues to be discussed include - parking problems, planting on the Gallops, Lewes Neighbourhood Plan, bus services, St Mary’s Social Centre and the revival of the much-loved Nevill Garden Trail this summer. The meeting is for everyone. Come along and have your say.

WALLANDS SCHOOL: Many thanks for your kind donations following the Christmas celebrations this year. After deducting production costs we have been able to send cheques for £165 to both the Trevor Mann baby unit in Brighton hospital and Diabetes UK. A group of Yr6 children chose to enter the South East Individual Table Tennis competition. The boys had a lot of tough competition but held their own and enjoyed themselves. The girls had a much smaller group and enjoyed their experience. I am delighted to say Lorelei Von Leyden won, and if she chooses, she can go through to the Nationals being held in the East Midlands. Well done to all the players and good luck to them in their next team event in London later in the month. A huge thank you to everyone who helped organise the Family Sing Along Christmas Carol Evening and to everyone who sang, decorated a gingerbread man, visited Father Christmas, got involved with the numerous craft activities, made a gingerbread house, ate, drank and was merry. It was a lovely evening and the feedback has all been very positive. Not only did everyone have a great time but unless any more expenses are claimed we made £919.48.

NEVILL JUVENILE BONFIRE will be holding a jumble sale at the Ringmer Village Hall on Saturday January 24. Doors open 2pm. We will be collecting jumble in your area during the evening of Friday January 23 from 6pm and would be grateful if you could leave any jumble by your front gate for us with this leaflet attached. This will avoid disturbing you. Unfortunately we are

unable to collect any large or electrical items such as beds, fridges etc. Our next sale will be March 7. We are always looking for options to recycle leftover jumble especially books and bric-a-brac. AGM on Monday January 26 Christie Road, commencing at 7.45pm at St Mary’s Supporters Club.

THE YEAR OF THE ARTIST: Just before New Year, Gavin Thorpe, was contacted by Kat Conners, a muscle model from Florida. She was going to a party taking place in Jacksonville, Florida called Footnight™ and asked me if she could use some of my designs. The Footnight™ party had several foot and leg models who showed off different types of heels, stockings and footwear etc. Although I wasn’t there in person, many prints of my works were mounted, showcased and put on sale during the party. All of them sold.

Newick

THE COUNTRY MARKET will be open today, Friday, from 10am till 11am at the village hall. It’s a good idea to arrive early as many items sell out quickly.

SERVICES at St Mary’s Church this weekend are Holy Communion (BCP) at 8am followed by Holy Communion (CW) Morning service at 10.30am. Lifts are available if booked in advance please telephone 01444 482272. Everyone welcome.

QUIZ: Tomorrow, Saturday, Newick Twinning Association will be holding a Wine and Wisdom quiz in the village hall. Doors open at 7.30pm the quiz will commence at 8pm. Teams of eight people. Tickets £9 per head, you can reserve a table by telephoning 01825 724223. Quiz events are always very popular, so why not pop along and see how many question you can answer.

VOLUNTEERS: Headway Hurstwood Park are searching for new volunteers. Do you enjoy having a chat and would you be able to spare a few hours in the morning? They are looking for caring, friendly volunteers to welcome clients and visitors to their Newick Centre in Jackies Lane. You need no experience, but would be willing to help brighten someone’s day, by having a chat with them. If you can help, please telephone 01825 724323.

NEWICK CINEMA will be showing the film What We Did on our Holiday on Sunday January 25 in the village hall. Doors will be open from 7pm. Tickets are £6 and the film will commence at 7.30pm. Rosamund Pike, David Tennant and Billy Connolly star in this family comedy. There will be an interval for refreshments. You can book in advance by emailing newickcinema@outlook.com or telephone 01825 723392.

THE FARMERS have been very busy over the last few months cutting and trimming hedgerows, they all look neat and tidy. The birds and many other small creatures will benefit from this work in the spring and summer time. Thank you and well done.

Plumpton

NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN: Last week’s meeting saw several potential development sites promoted by landowners, agents etc. The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group listened carefully both to those presentations and the comments made by the 100 or so local residents who attended throughout what was quite a long evening. The combination of views will assist the Steering Group formulate a policy that reflects the majority opinion within the village. Much concern was expressed by residents in respect of flooding, which is something that has been of major concern of late. Plumpton has mainly a clay subsoil and this makes drainage of surface water a great problem following spells of heavy rainfall as have been experienced during the past year. Past works to alleviate the flooding of the Bevern Stream proved very effective until the unprecedented rainfalls during the past year or so following which there has been flooding in the area on more than one occasion. New development is being forced on us and it must be hoped when it is taking place means to reduce the risks will be found. The amount of rain that falls will not be affected by new developments and will still need an escape route, but hopefully the developers will find ways to actually reduce flood risks. It should not be impossible.

SAD TIDINGS: Following a period of serious illness Andy Donovan passed away on New Year’s Day whilst still in his prime. By the time this is published the funeral will have taken place. Andy was a well-known and well liked, unassuming member of our community and he will be sadly missed. Our thoughts are with his widow, Jane, their daughter and the rest of the family at their sad loss but we trust that their warm memories of Andy will bring them comfort.

OH DEAR: The entrance to North Barnes Lane was recently widened to improve access and exit following the affordable housing development further up the lane. Unfortunately the driver of a coach recently overlooked the new layout and, presumably in an endeavour to turn around, reversed straight over the kerb and into a newly formed flower bed or grass area, making a total mess of it. Eventually a tractor had to be called out to drag the coach back out on to the road. If you are driving a coach or any other vehicle do, please, watch where you are driving.

ZERO HEROES: This was a scheme designed to encourage recycling of bottles, metal, paper and foodwaste and carried prizes in the form of grants for local projects. Plumpton scored well for its ecological efforts and has finally been rewarded with a grant of almost £4,000 to develop a woodland walk adjoining the play area at the playing field. This will provide an environmentally friendly area for the benefit of village residents which will also incorporate features for the education of the young in nature studies.

MORE ABOUT RECYCLING: Whilst on the subject of recycling, Plumpton Green was left without a kerbside collection for four weeks over the Christmas period and this is totally unacceptable. It appears that Lewes District Council did not alter its fixed cycle of collections to take account of Christmas and the New Year, just when demand for the service must be at its peak. District Councillor Sarah Osborne is taking up the cudgels to remedy the situation so that hopefully there will not be a repetition in Plumpton or elsewhere in the future. The collection of refuse was adjusted to relieve the build-up and it is the same department responsible.

ANYONE FOR A HIKE? The Footpath Society has a walk scheduled for Saturday, January 18 but the 18th is on Sunday, so I am perplexed. If interested you can check it out via 01825 722649. Whatever, the five mile circular walk will start from the car park at the Laughing Fish, Isfield (TQ451 171) at 10.15am making its way to Little Horsted and over the ESN golf course with an option for lunch at the Laughing Fish on return.

Ringmer

ST MARY’S CHURCH: St Mary’s Youth Group (Chill) meets this evening for a meal and lively debate. Led by our youth worker, this lovely group would welcome new members. Contact Julius 01273 813579. The services continue on Sunday with 8am Holy Communion and 9.45am Family Eucharist led by Rev David Perks. We are fortunate that Prof Roger Homan will be leading the Evensong at 6pm. Mothers’ Union meets on Tuesday in the Church Room 7.30pm for a Eucharist followed by AGM. If you are interested in joining this group, please contact Branch Leader Gillian Hughes on 01273 813320 or pop along on Tuesday. Posh Coffee Morning, Saturday January 24 from 10am to noon in the church room with proceeds to the Leprosy Mission, includes bring and buy and raffle.

BRIDGE CLUB: At its meeting on Wednesday January 7, the result of the duplicate pairs played was: 1, Lesley Durrant and David Warner; 2, Frank Hibbert and George Montgomery; 3, Alan Disney and Roy Skan. The club next meets in the St Mary’s room of the village hall on Wednesday at 7.30pm. Tickets are now available for a Bridge Drive (Progressive Chicago) on February 21 at 2.15pm in the village hall. Tickets £8 per person to include high tea and prizes. Raffle. All proceeds to Ringmer Village Hall Extension Fund. Contact 814220.