Parish pump Newhaven - January 10, 2014


BARCOMBE WI meet on Tuesday at 7.30pm in the village hall. The talk will be Peace Witness in Palestine and Israel by Patricia Cocknell. Visitors welcome. Subscriptions are now due for 2014.

KEEP FIT: Want to get fit in 2014, then why not try the Legs, Bums and Tums class at the village hall on Mondays from 8pm to 9pm? It’s a fun and energetic class that will set you up for the week. Or Pilates on a Tuesday morning from 9.30am to 10.30am can improve balance, flexibility and circulation. Tai Chi on a Thursday morning, 11am to noon, is a Chinese exercise system that uses slow, smooth body movements to achieve a state of relaxation of both body and mind. There are plenty of other classes to choose from too. First taster class free and all classes at reasonable rates. Any queries 07925 857233 or see Notice Board in the hall.

DRAMA: New Drama Classes at the village hall starting on Tuesday. This is an exciting new development for Barcombe children. Infant groups 3.45pm to 4.30pm; Junior groups 4.30pm to 5.30pm. Tel: 01273 473554. Get in touch soon to secure your place.

BONFIRE SOCIETY: The AGM is at 8pm on Monday February 17, in the function room of the Royal Oak.

VILLAGE HALL: For bookings contact Angela Murphy, booking secretary, on 07925857233 email: web:


TIDE MILLS community beach clean is at 10am on Sunday January 19. Meet at the beach end of Mill Drove (off the A259). Come along, grab a bag and litter picker, and help clean up the area for visitors and the local wildlife. For further information, email Jim Skinner ( or phone 01273 517291; or contact Peter Mason ( or phone 01323 893096.

THE TOTAL for St Andrew’s Gift Day has now reached over £5,000. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

THE STORMY WEATHER has made national headlines in recent weeks and created extra work for beach cleaners. A piece of medieval pottery found on the tide line by one of us at Tide Mills last week must, however, rank as the oldest bit of rubbish collected. The grog-tempered bit of pot is over 700 years old and even appeared on Facebook (Seaford Museum). Discerning locals will know that long before the tide mill the area had a salt industry where the pot would have been useful. It’s an ill wind that blows nothing good.


ELECTRICITY: Well, what a Christmas that was. Falmer joined thousands of other people early on the morning of Christmas Eve when the electricity went off. Later that day power was restored to all but seven houses. Hours were spent hanging on the end of the telephone listening to piped music while we waited to hear the latest update. As time wore on it became apparent that we were going to be without power on Christmas Day. I had been expecting my family to come down and join us for Christmas dinner, so what on earth was I going to do with the huge turkey I had ordered, the mountain of sprouts, and the Christmas pudding? What about the village hall, perhaps I could cook the meal there? At church on Christmas morning I discovered that Rosemarie was in the same predicament with family staying and lots of provisions, she had already decided to take over the hall and thankfully didn’t object to us joining in. We pooled our resources and your intrepid Parish Pump correspondents plus families had a splendid time with roast turkey, all the trimmings, pudding, crackers etc. We were very lucky to have been able to do this, and lucky to have even had such a meal planned when some others have so little. We returned to our dark, cold houses well fed. The power cut continued for those few houses in Falmer until about 10pm on Friday, and we continued to spend many hours on the phone while the power network seemed to be less and less aware of what was going on. What a relief when we saw the lights coming on at last. Now I have to find room in my freezer for our turkey, at present frozen at the village hall.

QUEENIE: The wind and rain has been relentless over the last few weeks and one sad casualty has been Queenie the peahen. Unable to roost in her favourite tree because of the wind, it seems she fell victim to a fox. Queenie was quite a character and had already had a scare from a fox when she moved from Falmer North to Falmer South. June and Denis Plowman allowed her to use their garden as her base for the last few years and became very fond of her, just as we did when she lived on this side of the A27. Queenie first turned up back in 2008, she quickly made our garden her empire and terrorised the cats. Fond of cake, grapes and black sunflower seeds Queenie has been very well looked after in Falmer South and we are so very sorry that she is no longer with us.

FOX: We have had a few sightings of a very large fox recently, mostly in the early morning, but last week we were very surprised to see him streak past the window at about 9.30am. He is the biggest fox I have ever seen and is obviously not the least bit afraid of being seen. I am keeping my elderly, (but still feisty) cat in as much as possible as long as this fox is about.


GIVE BLOOD: There will be a blood donor session at the Corn Exchange, High Street on Monday from 2pm to 4.30pm and from 5.30pm to 8pm.

BRIDGE CLUB: Tuesday November 26 Duplicate Pairs: 1, Rita Hartnell and Pat Elliott; 2, Martin Hall and Peter Gannon; 3, Jerry Emery and Richard Pearson. Thursday November 28 Duplicate Pairs: 1, Nigel Osmer and Peter Waters; 2, Tony Redshaw and Janice Bell; 3, Peter Cattermole and Jennifer Wilson. Tuesday December 3, 9th Ladder: 1, Mike Keeping and Richard Burnett; 2, Di Johnstone and Janet Cattermole; 3, Meic Goodyear and Ann Butterfield. Thursday December 5 Christmas Party: 1, Peter and Irene Gannon; 2, Roy Skan and Jerry Emery; 3, Peter Cattermole and Mickie Lodge.

HISTORY GROUP: Monday 7pm for 7.30pm at the Kings Church building, Brooks Road, Lewes History Group talk: Brewing in Lewes over 200 years. Oral historian, Dr Sam Carroll, will cover the new insights that the Ale and Hearty project has yielded on the social and agricultural history of brewing in Lewes, using examples of what has been collected over the project’s duration; from archives, published sources and oral history interviews. All welcome. Free refreshments. Small entry charge on the door.

PHILATELIC SOCIETY: On Friday December 13, the society members met to celebrate its Christmas party with wine, soft drinks and light refreshments. The meeting incorporated a fine display of ‘recent acquisitions’ by the majority of the members. Grace Davies displayed her very informative and recently acquired postal collection as part of her Peace theme collection, whilst Roy Ferguson presented a very impressive collection of French miniature sheets and postal antiquities. The informal event was thoroughly enjoyed by all those attending with the occasional buying and selling of various stamps. The society now has a newly printed membership leaflet which can be made available to any member of the public and especially those who would be interested in becoming a member of this growing society. Please contact the secretary on 01273 472470. Chairman David Glen gave a brief report and announcements covering the forthcoming new year events and wished all the members a joyous Christmas and even more prosperous New Year. It was also announced that the next general meeting would be held tonight, Friday, at Christ Church, Prince Edward’s Road at 7.30pm followed by the committee meeting on January 24 at the home of secretary Norman Sansom. All will be very welcome to attend the former general meeting.

FOOTPATHS GROUP: Our new year walks usually attract more walkers than usual but, unsurprisingly, only seven hardy souls joined Keith, the leader, for a walk around Stanmer on January 1. It had started to rain as we left the Ditchling Road car park at the top of Stanmer woods. We made our way through the woods amongst a myriad of paths, some quite steep and slippery, until we reached the recreation grounds at the bottom of the park. Here the full force of the rain and wind hit us and we made our way up to Stanmer village and its welcoming café. Here we enjoyed very welcoming hot drinks before deciding to take a short cut back up to our car park. Our programme of walks are always available from the Tourist Information Centre and new walkers are always welcome so, when the countryside dries up a little, do come along and join us.

ST JOHN SUB CASTRO service on Sunday will be at 11am. Everyone is invited to celebrate the Baptism of Jesus with Holy Communion or a blessing, whichever people prefer. Rev David Farey will take the service. During the Christmas period we sadly lost two of our friends, Rev Martin Sully, who was Rector of many years and came with me on occasions to enjoy Jazz at the Con Club, and is sorely missed by many. His Thanksgiving Service is tomorrow, Saturday, at 4pm at Christ Church, Tunbridge Wells. Also our dear friend Jean Bell, widow of Robert Bell, Martin’s predecessor as Rector. On Christmas Day she sadly passed on and her funeral will be at St Anne’s Church at 1pm on Monday. In Jean’s memory donations can be made to Tear Fund c/o Cooper Funeral Directors on Lewes High Street. Finally many thanks to all those who have kindly contributed extra shopping for the Food Bank’s collection. This, of course, is an ongoing need so please keep it up, tins/packets please to be left at the church.

Mobile Library

THE LIBRARY will be visiting the following areas this week. Today, Friday: East Dean village hall 11.10am to 12.10pm; Merrifield Court, Edinburgh Road, Seaford 1.15pm to 1.45pm; Mitchell House, Lexden Drive, Seaford 2pm to 2.20pm; Old Ben, Chyngton, Seaford 2.30pm to 2.50pm. Tuesday: Dene’s Road Alfriston 9.30am to 10.10am; Selmeston village hall 10.30am to 11am.

Newhaven, Denton & South Heighton

FILM SOCIETY: If you want a bit of sunshine in your lives during this awful weather then the Hillcrest Film Society’s first film of 2014 is the perfect choice. Tickets are on sale now for Little Miss Sunshine (15) which will be shown in the art room at the Hillcrest Centre on Saturday January 18 at 7.30pm. It features Olive, a little girl who dreams of winning the Little Miss Sunshine contest. In this sparkling comedy her dysfunctional family are determined she will reach the finals of this beauty pageant and travel across the country in their VW bus to make sure she does that. Cafe opens at 6.30pm. Tickets are £4.50 each and can be purchased from Hillcrest Centre reception Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 4pm.

SOUTH HEIGHTON WI: Former town clerk and local historian Ian Everest will be talking to members on Monday at 2.15pm in South Heighton village hall. His talk is about The Women’s Land Army Sussex Connections. Non members welcome to attend.

MERIDIAN FORUM: The annual general meeting of the Meridan Senior Citizens Forum will take place in the Anzac Room, Meridian Centre, Peacehaven on Tuesday from 10am to noon. Coffee is available from 9.45am and to assist with catering please telephone Kate Davies on 01273 516207 if you are going to attend.

GUEST HOUSE Storytellers. Tales from the Wild Woods is the theme of their meeting at the Hillcrest Centre on Tuesday. The evening comprises many European fairy and folk tales set in the ancient primal forests that once covered the whole of Europe. These forests sparked the imagination of the residents at this time and they used the beauty and rich gifts they provided combined with the darkness, the animals who lived in these forests and the spooky noises heard at night to conjure up great tales. You are invited to find a story set among lush green beech trees or snowy pines and share it with the group. To book a 10 minute slot email Anne-marie at or just come along and listen. The cafe opens at 7pm and stories begin at 7.30pm. Admission is £4/£3 on the door.

YACHT CLUB: Newhaven Yacht Club is holding a Skills Forum on Buoyage and Lights recognition on Tuesday at 7pm. For more details of the evening telephone Dave Batt on 07768 863554 or email him for more details.

MEECHING WI meet on Thursday at 9.45am in Meeching Hall, when there will be a talk on the Air Ambulance Service. New members/visitors always welcome.

MADS: Tickets are now on sale for Meeching Amateur Dramatic Society’s traditional pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk which will be performed in Meeching Hall from Tuesday to Saturday, January 21 to 25 at 7.45pm. There will be Saturday matinees on January 18 and 25 at 2.30pm. Tickets are £8 for adults and £6 for children available from Meeching estate agents, Newhaven High Street, telephone 515566.

COASTWATCH: Newhaven branch of the National Castle Hill celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. They are planning a series of events to commemorate this and they will be reported here when the programme has been confirmed. It is a registered charity manned by volunteers that relies on contributions from the public which it serves so please support them as much as possible.


WELCOME and thank you for continuing to read the Parish Pump. If your club or organisation is arranging an event do let me know. I will be pleased to give it publicity by including it in the weekly column.

HORTICULTURE: The Peacehaven Horticultural Society are holding their annual general meeting in the Anzac Room, Meridian Centre on Tuesday. Doors open at 7pm for a prompt start at 7.30pm. It is an opportunity to renew your membership and new members are always very welcome. More details from secretary Alison on 589502.

BINGO: The first bingo session of the New Year is on Friday January 17 in the main hall, Community House starting at 7pm sharp. Eight games for £4 plus a flyer and a snowball game. There are cash prizes to be won and free refreshments during the interval half way through the evening. There is always plenty of free parking.

MISSING: The council have reported that during the recent stormy weather a relatively new notice board close to the Bastion Steps has been lost. If anyone has seen it the council offices would like to hear from you so they may recover it.

CINEMA: The next film to be shown in the main hall Community House Meridian Centre is Philomena on Wednesday January 22. It stars Judi Dench and Steve Coogan and starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 each and are available from the information office . If you are a pensioner or unable to use public transport, CTLA are offering transport plus entry to the film for only £9.50. For further details contact the information office on 01273 585493.

MORNING MARKET: The Saturday market tomorrow has been arranged by INAA the local advice group in the Main Hall, Community House from 8.30am until midday. The next market on Saturday January 18 will be organised by the Rotary Club. To book a table contact them on 01273 516018.

COFFEE MORNINGS: The first coffee morning of January will be held by Mencap on Tuesday in the Community House foyer from 8.30am until midday. Further coffee mornings that week will be held by Peacehaven Players on Thursday followed on Friday January 17 by UKIP.

COUNCIL MEETING: There is a meeting of the Leisure and Amenities committee on Tuesday in the Anzac Room, starting at 6.30pm. Residents are welcome to attend and may ask questions during the first 15 minutes.

FORUM: The Meridian Mature Citizens Forum will hold their eighth AGM on Tuesday in the Anzac Room Meridian Centre from 10am to noon. There is coffee at 9.45am before the meeting starts. There will be a guest speaker, Alan Keys explaining about Patient Participation Groups and Elizabeth Mackie will talk about the re-organisation of the National Health Services. The talks will be followed by a question and answer session when there will be an opportunity to have your say about how you would like your surgery to operate. Following the meeting there will be tea,coffee and light refreshments. To help with the catering arrangements please contact Kate on 01273 516207 to reserve a place and to confirm you will be attending. If you are 55 years or over and not yet a member why not come along and join; it is entirely free.

MURDER MYSTERY: This very traditional style Agatha Christie murder will be enacted by professional actors on Saturday January 25, 7pm for 7.30pm in the main Hall Community House. Dress is optional but remember to bring your own food and drink. We are sure Poirot, Morse or Miss Marples could solve the mystery but the question is, could you? A similar mystery last year proved very popular. Tickets for this event at £12.50 are available now from the information office. For further information call them 01273 585493.

WRESTLING: You will be aware that due to a fire alarm in the Meridian Centre the wrestling match had to be abandoned. If you have not yet exchanged your old tickets for the new issue please contact the information office. Currently tickets for the rearranged match are being reserved for allocation to those who hold the old tickets. However from February 1 the tickets for the rearranged match will be on sale to everyone. So be aware and act now to avoid disappointment.


THE COFFEE MORNING tomorrow, Saturday, at the Community Centre, is hosted by Byways Cat Care. All welcome in the lounge from 10am.

QUIZ EVENING tomorrow, Saturday, at Willingdon Community School at 7.30pm. Teams of up to six, £4 per ticket. Please contact Helen on 506145 for your ticket. This is a fundraiser to send a Senior Section Guide to Uganda and an Explorer Scout to the World Jamboree in Japan. Please support us.

RAMBLING CLUB walks on Thursday include Leisurely Walk, Sovereign Harbour South, two to three miles flat and easy, around harbour. Coffee at end. Bus 51, 9.19am from Polegate High Street. Meet at harbour Harvester, 10.30am, no stiles with Joan S. Hills, River and White Horse, nearly five miles around Frog Firle. Between Seaford and Alfriston, three stiles with Chris, or a longer walk of nearly 10 miles, Newick, field, paths and mainlyflat. Start Chailey Common, take picnic, 10 stiles with Paul and Barbara. Or look at website or email info@polegateramblers, or telephone Carol on 484621

TRINITY DINERS next meal is on Friday January 17, at Trinity Church Hall. To book a place please telephone Jennie on 484189.

POLEGATE DRAMA group pantomime is Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates. The pantomime will be running from January 18 to 26. Bookings taken at Archer and Partners, High Street.

GIVE BLOOD: There will be a blood donor session at the King’s Centre, Edison Road, Eastbourne on Wednesday from 2pm to 4.30pm and from 5.30pm to 8pm.

PCaSO Eastbourne Support Group. Macmillan Specialist Dietician Penny Kaye was guest speaker for the last meeting of 2013. Her talk, entitled Food, nutrition and prostate cancer, provided an opportunity to consider some of the mixed messages about food. Looking at the recommendations and evidence from the World Cancer Research Fund, Penny presented a number of food options and alternatives for reducing risk even with a diagnosis of prostate cancer. The emphasis was on healthier food choices and how this may impact on living with prostate cancer and the side effects of treatments. Questions during discussion afterwards covered topics such as calcium intake, vitamin D levels and sunlight exposure for good bone health. Dietary choices which affect Pelvic Irradiation Disease, a possible consequence of radiotherapy, were also considered. Tea and coffee followed with a Christmas raffle which raised £33.


RINGMER DEBATES: The next in the series of Ringmer Debates takes place today (Friday) at 7.30pm in the village hall. The theme for this one is, Does politics have to be a grubby business? Entry is free, though donations are requested for tea and coffee.

SOUPER SATURDAY: Join us for lunch tomorrow (Saturday) in the village hall, noon to 1.30pm. There will be a choice of at least four homemade soups. The cost will be £2.50, which includes free refills. In aid of the Village Hall Appeal.

FOOTBALL CLUB: Tomorrow (Saturday) the first team are at home to Lancing in a SCFL Div 1 fixture with a 3pm kick off at The Caburn and the second team have no fixture at the time of going to press. Please check with the club or on the website as, due to the current weather conditions, all fixtures are subject to pitch inspections etc. On Sunday the Veterans are due to play away to Nutfield in a Fred Pretty Cup fixture. On Tuesday evening the firsts are due to be at home again versus Selsey also in a SCFL Div 1 fixture with a 7.45pm kick off. On the social side, tomorrow, Saturday, evening a curry and race night takes place and all are welcome. On Monday afternoon the senior members post Christmas party takes place in the bar with things getting underway at 2.30pm.

ST MARY’S MEN’S CLUB: At Tuesday’s meeting in the Church Room, the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance will relate how they can bring aid within 15 minutes at 150 miles an hour. Not to be missed. Visitors welcome. Note: A collection for a donation will be made.

CHURCH SERVICES: The services on Sunday are as follows: 8am Holy Communion, 9.45am Sung Eucharist with the Laying on of hands for Healing, 6.30pm Evensong.

ACOUSTIC MOODS: Talented local musicians will come together again for an unforgettable evening of folk, blues, rock and pop on Saturday February 8. Tickets at £7.50 are available now from Esther or Mark on 01273 813 698. Proceeds from this event will go the MS Society.

VILLAGE HALL APPEAL: We are still making applications for grants with the intention of building in September. Some of you will have received a consultation questionnaire that was specific to your own postcode. You can return your form to the village hall or phone me with your answers or someone will call to collect them. We will be widening the scope of the delivery of these q’naires. Do please respond. Grant bodies want to see that there is support for any project they fund. If anyone would like to send us a letter of support in addition to any of the q’naires it would help our cause a lot. Please send them care of Pam Bowmaker, chair of fundraising or Tel: 813625.

Rodmell & Southease

CHRISTMAS did not turn out to be the jolly time many expected this year, as many spent it cold, wet and dark, due to the floods and power cuts across the country. I could not be more grateful to be one of the lucky ones that did not get flooded, or, unusual for us, to not have a power cut. Whilst it must have been awful for the people who had to cope with dire situations, I feel we should be grateful to all the people who gave up their Christmas to make sure all the services could get back to some normality, even though for some it took a long time. As I was curled up in my comfy chair in front of the fire, watching people stuck at airports and on the roads, it was rather nice to be home, warm and dry for Christmas, even though I was coughing and sneezing with the usual Christmas bronchial problems, brought on, no double, by spending an evening carol singing in the rain. But it was a jolly good evening of singing, eating and drinking for around 25 of us. I made it to our Carol Service but not to Southease Carols by Candlelight this year. I hear from my friend Margaret Wooll that the tiny church of St Laurence in remote old Telscombe Village was absolutely packed for their Carol Service.

BIRDS: I am very worried about the lack of small birds coming into the garden this winter. I diligently put out food for them but it has not been touched and the only food that goes quickly are the kitchen scraps put on the bird table, which the jackdaws regularly come and clear, plus the seed I scatter regularly around the garden in the morning for the resident collared doves and the turtle doves which visit occasionally. We do however have our flock of sparrows plus the resident pheasants and a pair of blackbirds, but the wrens, robins and members of the tit family are ow rarely seen. The hanging bird feeders are usually well used but not this year. A friend in Kingston has also noticed the same problem in her garden.

PANTO: I hope to have some news about the famous Rodmell Panto soon. Hint, hint.

THANK YOU: I would like to say thank you to readers for their Christmas cards, phone calls and correspondence in 2013 and I wish you all the best for 2014.


THE NATIONAL TRUST Seaford Association (NTSA) will meet on Wednesday at Cross Way, Steyne Road at 2.30pm. The talk, by Wing Commander Patrick Coulcher, will be about William Wordsworth, Life and Poetry. New members (including non NT members) are welcome. For further information about the NTSA visit our website on

PANTO: Seaford Musical Theatre present Beauty and the Beast at the Barn Theatre, Saxon Lane on January 10 to 12 and 17 to 19. Tickets available from 01323 897426.

Willingdon, Wannock & Jevington

NATIVITY: Crowds attended the Church Street Nativity on December 20 on a very windy evening. By 6pm St Mary’s Church was packed. Curate Fr Michael Maine welcomed everyone, and with the singing of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ everyone proceeded to the tower outside. From there it was through the church grounds and on to the Thai Restaurant where the three kings were waiting and then to the gardens of Flint House which represented the shepherds’ fields. Fr Michael recounted the bible story and more carols were sung along the way. Finally the crowds reached the Wheatsheaf , where, after a lot of comings and goings from customers, the landlord Martin Hughes finally had the opportunity to direct the Holy Couple across Church Street to the barn. It was all very light hearted. A warmly wrapped baby was being cared for in the ‘stable’ as people flocked in to see him. The blue and silver star shining over the barn which Martin had erected could be seen twinkling in the sky. Mulled wine was served and a few more carols sung. Sarah and Lee Hurst were portrayed as Mary and Joseph, and their baby son was baby Jesus. Daughter Katie was a little angel. Lesley Etwell played the part of Gabriel, and the three kings were Pam and Paul Martin and Stuart Freeman. The shepherds were Sue Foster, and Geoff and Jan Grundy along with their children angels Brandon and Frankie. The main angels who accompanied the whole procession were Babs Owen and Rowena Brady but there were other angels popping up all over the place including Sophie Etwell and Charlie Bear and there was even a donkey (not a real one). Later in the evening the Long Man Morris Men came along to lead more carol singing, this time in the Wheatsheaf itself.

NEW VICAR: Although there is a large ministry team at St Mary’s Church, there hasn’t been a vicar in charge there since May 2013 when Canon Martin Onions left to become the Rector of Holy Cross Church in Uckfield. A new vicar has now been appointed for St Mary’s but it is not clear when he will be moving here. He is Rev Kevin Agnew who is at present at All Saints Church Roffey in Horsham.

THE CHRISTMAS LUNCH at Trinity Church on December 20 was attended by the chairman of the parish council Cllr John Pritchett along with Cllr Fran Pritchett and Cllr Linda Francis. Cllr Pritchett presented the minister of the church, Rev David Yule, with a cheque for £5,000 which will be put towards the refurbishment of the kitchen, with new equipment including a dish washer. A hatch will be knocked through the wall to the main hall to make it easier for serving meals and drinks. Judging by the Christmas lunch, it would be difficult to improve on the quality of the food and the expertise of the catering volunteers led by team leader Jennie Macfadyen, but a new kitchen would certainly make life easier for them.

TRINITY DINERS meet at noon on the third Friday of the month at Trinity Church Hall. The next lunch date is January 17. Fruit juice is served followed by a main course, dessert, tea/coffee. The cost is £5.50. To reserve a place contact Jennie on 01323 484189 or email .

BOXING DAY SWIM: This was the 27th annual Boxing Day swim that members of Willingdon Football Club have organised and as usual it took place from the beach near the bandstand, although on this occasion the bandstand had been cordoned off ready for the much needed structural work on it to commence. But the day was sunny with no wind or rain and there was a decent sized crowd. There were 16 swimmers, mainly from the football club and from the chosen charity to benefit, Chestnut Tree House, and well-known local swimmer Peter Snashall also joined them.

NEW YEAR’S DAY was wet and blustery and the sea was very rough. It would have been madness for Graham Morris, chef at the British Queen, and his team of swimmers to attempt their sponsored swim, and so unfortunately it has now been postponed to a later date.

PANTOMIME: Willingdon Church Players’ pantomime Dick Whittington and his Cat is being performed at Willingdon Memorial Hall at 7.30pm on January 22, 23, 24 and 25 with a matinee at 2.30pm on Saturday January 25. This is the first year that tickets have been available for a Wednesday. At present tickets are available for the Wednesday and Thursday evenings, but are completely sold out for the Friday evening. There are a small number left for the two performances on the Saturday, but check availability. Tickets are £6 for adults and £3 for children aged 16 years or under. Please contact Lesley or Roger on 01323 504901.

CARGO is the name of the group which will be entertaining customers at the British Queen from 8.30pm tomorrow, Saturday.

WASSAILING has been associated with Christmas and the New Year as far back as 1400 and was a way of passing on good wishes to family and friends. A bowl of an ale based drink, seasoned with spices and honey, would be passed around. Wassailing also celebrated the year’s apple harvest and the trees were blessed. The largest apple tree was located and cider was poured into its roots and everyone would drink to the health of the tree for the coming year. Pots and pans would be banged to raise the sleeping tree spirit and also to drive away demons. Tomorrow, Saturday, the Long Man Morris Men are going to the Wheatsheaf at 7pm to re-enact this old tradition. There will be a torch lit procession from the pub and villagers are encouraged to bring along rattles and whistles and saucepans to bang. I am not quite sure if the Wheatsheaf has a particular apple tree in mind or if any alcohol will be wasted on it. At 8.30pm that evening accomplished musicians Andy and Paul, known as the Boogera Brothers, will be entertaining customers at the Wheatsheaf from 8.30pm.

THE HAPPY DAY BAND will be performing at the Wheatsheaf on Monday from 7.30pm on this special jazz night. To book a meal ring 01323 502069.

MEETING: Willingdon and Jevington Parish Council will hold a planning meeting at 7.30pm on Monday at Willingdon Community School. Meetings are open to the public. Ring 01323 489603 or 01323 489104 for information.

NEIGHBOURHOOD PANEL is a group of local residents and councillors who meet quarterly in St Mary’s Church Hall to discuss issues which affect local people, relating to crime, vandalism and unsociable behaviour. The panel then selects up to three priorities to be targeted. PC Liz Keenan and PCSO Ali Beadon attend these meetings whenever possible. The next meeting is on Tuesday. If you have any issues which you would like discussed at the meeting, please contact PCSO Ali Beadon on 101 extension 68233 or on her mobile 07787 685755.

ST MARY’S CHURCH: The Sonbeams service takes place in church at 2pm on Wednesday for babies and pre-school children and their guardians. At 7.15pm the Taize Eucharist is held and at 7.30pm the youth club for eight to 14 year olds is held in the church hall. As it’s the first day back after the holidays it is a free evening.

HISTORY: Polegate and Willingdon Local History Society will be meeting from 7pm to 9pm on Friday January 17 at St John’s Church Hall Polegate. David Jones will be giving a talk on the Bluebell Railway. Please ring Margaret on 01323 484293 or Cyndy on 01323 486208 for further information.