RATHFINNY: Mark and Sarah Driver invited friends and supporters to a planting party last week. After a week of warm sunny weather, Saturday was bright but a cold wind was blowing and up on the slopes it was back to winter temperatures. But the party was anything but cold. About three hundred turned up to plant a vine each bearing the name of the planter. Rathfinny featured on the BBC News during the week when the planting seemed to be done automatically, however on Saturday it was more hands-on and there will be a lot of family photos to prove that ‘we were there’ at the beginning of this very exciting project. Over the next seven years the plan is to plant a further 350 acres of vines and by 2020 the expectations is for the estate to produce 1,200 tonnes of grapes with nearly a million bottles of Sussex sparkling wine per annum making Rathfinny one of Europe’s largest vineyards and wine producers. Rathfinny will also become a major employer in the area providing full time skilled employment to over 30 people and seasonal work for a further 200 during late summer harvest and winter pruning. An exciting time for our area.
WI NEWS: At the last meeting of the Alfriston WI Neil Sadler spoke about his work when he was a policeman. His encounters with villains, con-men, celebrities and the Brighton bombing were told with spirit and humour. An entertaining afternoon was brought to a close with tea and a short business meeting.
CRICKET CLUB Coffee Morning tomorrow, Saturday, at the War memorial Hall from 10am to noon. Cakes, books, bric-a-brac and other stalls. A fund raising event to improve the club’s facilities and to buy a ride-on roller to improve the wicket.
THE 300 CLUB will meet at Deans Place Hotel on April 10 at 8pm to see who next will be £50 richer.
HISTORICAL SOCIETY: The Alfriston and Cuckmere Valley Historical Society will be holding their AGM on April 12 in the War Memorial Hall. As usual the formal business will be dealt with as quickly as possible before welcoming the evening’s speaker who this month is Cherry Gillingham. Cherry Gillingham’s illustrated talk is entitled John Constable in Brighton. All are welcome, members free; non-members £5. This meeting marks the eighth year of the society and many members come from Seaford and further afield. It is always good to see visitors who pay £5 on the door and new members are very welcome for a modest annual subscription of £8 per person, or £12 for a couple.
THE RURAL LIVING Roadshow, to be hosted by the Alfriston WI will form the open part of the next meeting on April 17 at 2.30pm at the War Memorial Hall. The Roadshow will provide information and advice about enjoying later life with an opportunity to find out about local services. There will be a chance to meet representatives from health, pensions, rural and independent living agencies, etc. This event is planned as an informal, friendly afternoon with tea and cake and everyone is welcome.
WORLD BOOK NIGHT begins in Alfriston with an informal book-swap. Hosted by publishers Scott Pack and author Robert Hudson the Book Swap will feature guest authors Lizzie Enfield and Patrick Easter. Everyone is invited to submit wide-ranging questions and to bring along a book to swap with another member of the audience. ‘People really enjoy this - it is relaxed, informal and lots of fun’ said Cate Olson. ‘Plus it is a great way to learn about books you don’t know’. The doors will open at 2pm for a 2.30pm start on April 22 at the Old Chapel Centre.
THE COACH HOUSE Gallery, High Street, has a new exhibition of South Down National Park located artists featuring textiles, paintings, workshop, photography and sculptures.
WALK: The Family Support Network Easter Walk will start at 9.30am to 10am on Monday, meeting at the Memorial Hall, near St Andrew’s Church, Alfriston. For further information on this event, please contact Nina Clyde 01273 425699.
POSTCARDS and stamps are wanted to help fund the vital work of Mission Aviation Fellowship. Boxes are ready for your stamp and/or postcard donations at the back of St Andrew’s Church.
OUTLAWS and tax dodgers beware: The village is now home to the High Sheriff of East Sussex, David Allam. The job dates back 1,000 years to Saxon times and is now largely ceremonial. At Easter, in 1058, the bones of St Lewinna were stolen from St Andrew’s church to found the Abbey of Berges. Balger, the Flemish monk responsible for this, admitted that he left some behind, but their whereabouts are still unknown.
SUMMER has suddenly arrived with Easter and a hose-pipe ban looming. The hibernating tortoiseshells, red admirals and peacocks in our garage have all awakened and flown. A grey squirrel has already worked out how to get into Janet Wright’s squirrel-proof bird feeder on the Green. The animal suspends itself by its hind legs, puts its head and forelegs into the protective cage, and then squeezes inside, dropping out afterwards. A pair of kestrels are nesting at the top of an elm tree at the bottom of our garden on Bishopstone Road. The tree is a 300-year-old survivor of an old Pelham screen and being a hybrid, has fared better than the local English elms.
Newhaven, Denton & South Heighton
GOOD FRIDAY: Today Churches Together in Newhaven will be holding the annual Procession of the Cross: 11.30am the procession leaves the War Memorial; noon, Service in Sainsbury’s car park.
CONCERT: There will be an Open Air Concert tomorrow (Saturday) by Maestro Academy Players outside the town centre Post Office at noon. This is a free event and will take place weather permitting.
EASTER WEEKEND: There is family fun and games at Newhaven Fort and Paradise Park. Welcome to Nutsville will play at The Ark on Easter Sunday from 9pm and most of the pubs will be serving lunch on Easter Sunday.
KIDS’ DAY: The Ark is hosting a Kids’ Day on Easter Monday from noon to 4pm with any proceeds raised going to Denton Island Nursery. The highlight will be the fancy dress competition judged by Newhaven’s Junior Mayor. There are two classes 0 to 5 years and 6 to 11 years, and there is no theme, just turn up on the day. There will also be an Easter Egg hunt, face painting, games and other family fun.
NIPPERS is holding an Easter Playscheme from April 10 to 13 at Shakespeare Hall, 7am to 6pm, hours by arrangement. To book telephone 07796 267388 or 01273 514440. On Wednesday you can celebrate Nippers 39th birthday at a free playscheme from 10am to 3pm. Places must be booked in advance so telephone the above numbers for details.
GUEST HOUSE STORYTELLERS: The long-awaited season’s highlight Speaking to the Stars scheduled for Tuesday is sold out so it is no use turning up at the door hoping to get in. Telephone 01825 873477 to see if there are any returns.
EXERCISE CLASS for adults, Wednesday 6pm to 7.30pm Shakespeare Hall, sponsored by NCDA so the cost is 50p. This is the third week of a five-week session but anyone can go along and join in.
TASTELESS are back at the White Hart on Friday April 13 from 9pm. Free admission.
COFFEE MORNING in aid of the RNLI on Saturday April 14 at 2 Bay Vue Road, 10am to noon by kind permission of Ann and Derek Payne.
CHARITY QUIZ: The Mayor’s Charity Quiz Night is being held on Friday April 20 in Meeching Hall, 7pm for 7.30pm. £3 per person (max six per team). Contact Newhaven Town Council to enter on 01273 516100.
BARN DANCE: Further to the Jubilee Celebrations advance news last week, the Barn Dance is being hosted by the twinning association but is open to everyone whether you are a member or not. Go along and celebrate Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee in style in the marquee on the West Quay Lawns (Huggetts Green). The barn dance is from 7pm to 11pm and tickets are £5 from Meeching estate agents or on the door.
GARDEN COMPETITION: Last week I mentioned the closing date to enter the Garden of the Year competition was April 10. I now learn that this has been extended to Friday May 25 although judging will still take place on Friday June 22. Remember it is free to enter and forms are available from the information office.
OUTDOOR GYM: Have you tried the new outdoor gym yet which has been erected in the Meridian Park? There is a good variety of machines to provide exercise for all ages. It is hoped that young and old alike will take advantage of this equipment that is not only fun to use but will help to get your heart beating and keep your body in good shape.
GOOD FRIDAY SERVICES: A final reminder that there are a variety of Services on Good Friday in the churches of Peacehaven. At 10am there is Communion at Peacehaven Evangelical church. At 3pm there is the Service of the Passion at the Church of the Immaculate Conception and at 7.30pm a Service of Meditation at the Church of the Ascension.
TV CHANGE OVER: In May certain channels will be switched off as the system changes to digital. For some older folk it all seems a little confusing and many pensioners are entitled to free assistance. So, if you live near an older person it would be helpful if you could ensure they are ready for the switch over and if not give them some advice about what they need to do. It would be upsetting for anybody who suddenly loses their TV picture on the appointed day.
MORNING MARKET: The Saturday market tomorrow has been organised by Harlequin Studios from 8.30am until noon in the Main Hall, Community House. Next week the market is being arranged by the U3A. To reserve a table call them on 01273 586774.
COFFEE MORNINGS: Due to Good Friday being a Bank Holiday there is no coffee morning today. The next coffee morning will be on Thursday when the Peacehaven Players will be serving teas, coffees and cakes from the Community House refreshment kiosk between 8.30am and midday. INAA the local advice group will be behind the counter on Friday April 13.
BOOT SALE: The next boot sale at The Dell is on Sunday, arranged by the INAA advice group. As usual the gates will open for sellers to set up at 7am. Buyers will then be admitted from 8am until noon.
TOWN MEETING: There is a town meeting in the Anzac Room, Meridian Centre on Tuesday starting at 6.30pm when the chairmen of various sub committees will give a report. Following a break for refreshments there will be some special presentations including one from our local police. Any resident who has a question is asked to present it to the Town Council offices in writing so that an adequate reply may be given at the meeting.
COUNCILLORS’ SURGERY: There is a surgery on Saturday April 14 from 10am until 11am at the Community House, Meridian Centre when residents may ask the elected councillors questions relating to town matters. No appointment is necessary and discussions are on a confidential one to one basis.
BINGO NIGHT: The next bingo night is in the Community House, Meridian Centre on Friday April 13 at 7pm sharp. There are eight games for £4 plus a flyer and snowball game. All proceeds will go to the Mayor’s local charities. Remember to bring your own food and drinks.
FASHION SHOW: A reminder that the Travelling Trends fashion show sponsored by Southern Water takes place on Wednesday April 18 in the Main Hall, Meridian Centre. Doors open at 7pm and the show commences at 7.30pm. Admission is by ticket only at a cost of £6 which includes free refreshments and are available from the information office. Bargain clothes can only be bought on the night and can be paid for by cash or debit/credit card. All proceeds will go to the local abc fund charity.
CINEMA: Please note that the film this month, the much acclaimed The Artist, is being shown in the Community House, Meridian Centre from 7.30pm on Wednesday April 25. Be aware that it is not on April 22 as shown on the town council website. Tickets at £4.50 are available from the information office.
FLOWER CLUB: There is a talk by David Fitton of Paradise Park on Wednesday at the Whiteways Centre, Rottingdean about flowering shrubs and their use in flower arranging. This is the monthly meeting of the Rottingdean Flower Club and starts at 2.30pm. Visitors (£4) are very welcome at the club which is part of the National Association of Flower Arranging Societies.
Rodmell & Southease
SPRING SHOW: The spring flower show in the village hall on Saturday was a great success. There were some wonderful entries, many must have been from new residents in Rodmell, because Jane and I were going around saying ‘who’s this’, as there were many unfamiliar names. The cakes and coffee were wonderful as usual and yet again we have to thank all the hard working people who gave their time and effort with such enthusiasm to make it such a lovely occasion for all of us.
GIG: I was very pleased to get a personal invitation from John Robinson to go to his gig at the weekend. The Leaky Buckets (what a wonderful name) are Keith Eade, John Robinson, Max Mezzowave, Steve Myall and Trevor Hill. Their guest vocalist was May Robinson. Unfortunately I could not go as I was already booked to go to other musical venues. I hope I can go another time. I’m sure it was a great success.
EVENTS: It’s been one of those weeks when one wonders ‘how do I fit in all these social events’ which always seem to come at once. Sadly it was a case of driving to Portchester with my friend Dinah Staples to the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Professor Roy Holmes 1931-2012 at Portchester Crematorium on Tuesday March 27 at noon. Dinah was Roy’s secretary at The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Sussex University for some years and I actually freelanced for Roy from home, for a time, before he came and asked me to work at the university where I was very happy for 21 years. We met people we had not seen for 35 years at least, and some around 20 years. There was much to catch up on, but everyone agreed the 60’s were the time to be at Sussex. That morning I also heard that another friend had died. At my age this seems unfortunately to be a regular occurrence – such is life.
CONCERT: It was lovely to go with my cousins (I have many) to a concert at Worthing Assembly Hall where my cousin Martin Forward was conducting the Second Wind Concert Band. The other bands were Bognor Regis Concert Band and The Adur Concert Band. The music was wonderful and The Massed Bands made a super job of the music from Porgy and Bess, my favourite. There was also Phoenix, a harmony group of three glamorous ladies. If any readers were involved in this concert or knew people in it, I can tell you it was most enjoyable.
GLYNDEBOURNE: I’m sure some readers must have gone to see Gold Run at Glyndebourne on Sunday afternoon. I was kindly invited to go with my friend and neighbour Lorna and her group. Gold Run was built around the power, passion and the Paralympic Games and was inspired by the story of the return of learning disabled athletes to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, London 2012, after they were banned following a cheating scandal in 2000. Gold Run celebrated effort, overcoming challenges and personal triumph. It was a lovely performance and at times brought a tear to my eye from the sheer enjoyment and effort made by the performers.
TV RECEPTION: I see from Falmer Parish Pump that they are having poor reception on their TV over the last couple of weeks. Sunnyside has suffered also, as have many more people that I have spoken to. We are also pointing at Heathfield and have a new Ariel which was suspect, but as I’ve heard others stating the same problem it seems to be pretty general. Let’s hope it gets better at the switch-over in May.
PALM SUNDAY: I hear there was a good group of people at church on Palm Sunday who made a procession from the village hall to the church following the Cross held aloft by Marcus.
WATER: With our water resources diminishing maybe it will bring home to people how important water is to us. If anyone has lived in a country where women and children walk five miles or more to get water from a well, as some of my friends have, they would think twice about how they waste this important commodity on mundane things.
HAPPY EASTER: There are a number of church services over this holy weekend and a concert by the Seaford Choral Society. The concert is this evening at 7pm in St Leonard’s Church and you are invited to attend or participate in The Crucifixion by John Stainer ( the run-through will be at 5pm). Admission for the audience and singers is just £3 (proceeds to the charity Homelink). For further information call 01323 492791.
FOLK CLUB: Come to the Folk Club tonight, Friday, to enjoy the great atmosphere at another Singers and Musicians Night, either as a performer or as part of the audience. The club meets at 8pm at the Royal British Legion in Claremont Road.
ME/CFS: If you suffer from this debilitating condition, you are not alone. There is a coffee morning and meeting at the Pavilion Café, Dane Road on Wednesday morning at 11am. For details see www.seaford.me.uk
STAMP CLUB: Seaford and District Stamp Club will be meeting on Wednesday evening at the Cross Way Centre from 7.15pm. The talk is Fun with Philately by Nigel Chandler MBE. All philatelists are welcome. Call 01323 890699 for details.
LECTURE: Local historian and author Diana Crook will be speaking at Seaford Museum telling us all about the fascinating and sometimes scandalous Mrs Dudeney of Lewes (her diary was banned from publication for over 40 years). The lecture begins at 7.30pm on Wednesday evening. Get there early for a seat.
COUNCIL MEETING: There is a full meeting of Seaford Town Council at 37 Church Street on Thursday at 7pm. Members of the public can ask questions at the start of the meeting. An agenda is available on-line or from the council offices.
THANK YOU: If you came on my guided tour of Seaford last week to support the Mayor’s Charity Waves. The Mayor tells me that she has raised over £2,000 in the last four weeks and this is all thanks to the energy of our mayor and the public’s generosity. Well done Linda. If you would like to come on a future tour of the town, tickets are available from the Tourist Information Centre. The next tour is on Saturday April 28. I also provide guided tours of Tide Mills and the Cemetery. (Tel: 01323 897426 for details).
SEAFORD MUSEUM: Did you know if you join Seaford Museum you can now get into both Newhaven Fort and the Eastbourne Redoubt Museum at half price? Membership is just £5 a year which makes this a bargain. Membership forms are available at the museum or the Tourist Information Centre. The museum is now open for longer hours during the summer Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday from 2.30pm to 4.40pm and also on Sunday mornings from 11am to 1pm. The archives are open to the public on the first Sunday morning of the month.
TELSCOMBE CLIFFS WI will be holding their monthly meeting at the Civic Centre from 2pm to 4pm on Wednesday. New members are always welcome. For any queries or more details please telephone Pat Grey on 01273 583778.
BANK HOLIDAY Refuse Collections: Monday as normal. Today, Friday, one day earlier on Thursday. No collections today, Friday, to Monday. Monday, your rubbish will be collected one day later, with Friday April 13 rubbish being collected on Saturday April 14. Normal collections resume on Monday April 16. If you have any queries, please contact Lewes District Council’s Waste and Recycling Department on 01273 484999.
KERBSIDE RECYCLING: Please refer to your kerbside recycling calendar that was left with your bins earlier in the year for collection dates over the bank holiday weekend. If you do not have one you can download one from the website www.lewes.gov.uk/waste/boxit.asp or you can request one by telephone customer services on 01273 484999.