Parish pump Newhaven - January 9, 2015

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, are 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 artists 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 from 11 am to 5 pm. Visit the website at 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, a very valuable asset to village life.

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 will be very welcome although a small donation would be appreciated.

JANUARY 25 at 7.30pm there will be a Pub Quiz at the Smugglers to mark Burns Night with the questions being asked by Sylvia and a prize for the most Scottish outfit.

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

Bishopstone

ST ANDREW’S CHURCH Sung Evensong celebrating Epiphany is at 4pm on Sunday.

TIDE MILLS community beach clean is at 10am to noon on Sunday, January 18. 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.

FREE HORSE MANURE available on west (Newhaven) side of Bishopstone Road between Bishopstone Estate and Bishopstone Pond: help yourself, but please return or replace the bags.

THANK YOU to all who helped make the Carol Service memorable and for the wonderful buffet: also, to everyone who donated Christmas gifts to FSW for people who are unwell or housebound. Thanks also to Martello Kiosk on the seafront, who not only served visitors with hot drinks over the cold Christmas break, but also helped them get home when the car packed up.

Falmer

A NEW YEAR begins and we hope that 2015 will be as fulfilling for Falmer as 2014 has been. I spent Christmas with family in Derby, so I missed out on many things happening in Falmer, but I have heard that all went well, especially the children’s Christingle service on Christmas Eve, and I hope that all the parents and children enjoyed this special service.

EVEN THOUGH I was not present, I was aware of something magical happening in Falmer, somewhere in Falmer, but I am not saying where, that is part of the surprise, we espied in the niche of a wall a group of little figures, watching as people walked by, and secondly a Christmas card hanging on a tree wishing everyone who looked, a Happy Christmas and close by the tiniest origami bird perched on a branch. I also found, when visiting Sainsbury’s, a pile of long play records with the top cover showing a picture of Mario Lanza, my husband had only recently been watching Mario in the film Caruso, and I remembered my husband saying he had not realised just what a voice Mario Lanza had, nearby there was Big Issue seller, and he seemed to know about the records and said that the person had left them there for anyone who wanted them, to take, I took it home and it was very well received, another magical moment.

HOUSING: We have just been given notice in Falmer, about sites being considered in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment in the South Downs National Park, there are three designated sites being considered: 1, On the land adjacent to the University of Sussex at the northern end of Ridge Road; 2, further south, on the east side of Ridge Road adjacent to existing houses; and 3, South of Mill Street. The parish council have asked people for their comments and to pass them on to the following parish councillors: Helen Herbert, 2 Cornfields, Ridge Road or Peter Lenihan, 1 Haycroft Cottages, Ridge Road.

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 and newcomers are most welcome.

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. Enquiries to 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. For more information about the group 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 that 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 very welcome indeed, just turn up and pay at the door. Further information can be had 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 as follows: 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.

BONFIRE AGM, 7.30pm on Friday January 30 at the Charles Hunt Centre. Volunteers are required for the following committee positions: chair, vice chair, treasurer, secretary and membership secretary. All adult members are entitled to vote. Details of nominees and how to vote will follow at a later date. There are also a number of officer positions that require to be filled: safety officer, business support officer, press officer, captain of programmes, captain of torches, captain of fire site, captain of fireworks. Any volunteers for these positions please get in touch. There is no vote for officer positions. They need more members to become actively involved in the running of the society.

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.

Lewes

HISTORY GROUP: Monday, 7pm (for 7.30pm) at the King’s Church building, Brooks Road. Lewes History Group talk, The Tory MPs for Lewes, 1874-1997. Lewes prides itself on being different and, despite being a prosperous Home Counties constituency, it is over 20 years since it last elected a Conservative MP. From a descendant of a royal bastard to an influential godfather, John Kay delves into the lives of the seven Tories who held sway over the town for more than 120 years. All welcome. Free refreshments. £2 members, £3 for non-members. www.leweshistory.org.uk

BRIDGE CLUB: Tuesday December 9, Tuesday Teams: 1, Meic Goodyear and Jerry Emery, Nancy Wiginton and Rosemary Land. Thursday December 11, Duplicate Pairs: 1, North/South: Simon Fishburn and Peter Catermole; 1, East/West: Tony Redshaw and Janice Bell. Tuesday December 16, Duplicate Pairs: 1, Jenifer Wilson and Peter Cattermole, Janet Catermole and Di Johnstone. Thursday December 18, Duplicate Pairs: 1, Frank Hibbert and Roy Skan; 2, Janet Catermole and Irene Gannon; 3, Margaret Buddery and Peter Waters. Visitors welcome, phone 01273 476757.

PHILATELIC SOCIETY: Lewes Philatelic Society starts the New Year with a members’ displays evening today, Friday. The meeting is open to all and non-members are welcome to attend. If you collect postage stamps then this is an ideal opportunity to come along to meet other collectors in Lewes, see their interests and find out what joining a stamp club has to offer you. Our meetings in 2015 will include talks on such varied subjects as Lewes Postcards; Nelson and Trafalgar; Aviation; Chile and Gibraltar all illustrated with displays of stamps, postcards or other postal items. All meetings are on the second Friday of the month at 7.15pm for 7.30pm in the upstairs meeting room of Christ Church, Prince Edwards Road. For further information about the meeting or membership of the society please contact the secretary, Norman Sansom, on 01273 472470.

SOUTHOVER CHURCH: We were pleased to see everyone who came to one of our Christmas services. Our new Alpha course starts on Thursday February 26 and runs 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 together, followed by a talk and then a discussion. The course is run in over 160 countries worldwide. Please contact the rector Steve Daughtery on 472018. If you have any spare warm clothing which you would like to donate to people who are homeless, we have a collection box in the church porch. 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). Everyone is welcome to look round or for quiet reflection. May we remind you that we have a parent and toddler group called Lunch Bunch which meets every Thursday in term time in Southover Church Hall in St James’ Street. This is a great chance for parents and carers with babies and toddlers (0 to three years) to enjoy a high-quality sandwich lunch and a chat with play, craft and singing. There are always experienced helping hands (all adults having enhanced CRB disclosure). Please call Helen Garratt on 438105 for more details or just come along between noon and 1.45pm. Services this Sunday: 8am communion; 10am morning service, a blend of traditional and contemporary, with choir, organ and band; 11.15am informal service with communion in the church hall; 6.30pm informal evening service, with singers and band. Please do come and join us.

PASSION PLAY: On Sunday, 2.30pm to 4pm, at Christ Church, Prince Edward’s Road: you are welcome to come and meet the cast, hear the script and be part of it.

Newhaven, Denton & South Heighton

CONGRATULATIONS to the Hampden Arms at South Heighton for winning Sussex Express Pub of the Year. It is the hub of the local community and headquarters to South Heighton Bonfire Society, a real village pub.

RACE NIGHT tomorrow (Saturday) at the Mencap headquarters, Riverside Hall, West Quay 7pm for 7.30pm. All proceeds to Newhaven, Lewes and District Mencap. Entrance £2, nibbles provided, bring your own drink. Everyone welcome.

SOUTH HEIGHTON WI meet on Monday, 2.15pm South Heighton village hall. Barbara Griggs will give a talk on Food Medicine. Non members always welcome.

GUEST HOUSE STORYTELLERS: Tuesday at the Hillcrest Centre. Professional storyteller Kate Cawkwell will tell the story of The Falcon Bride from the great Icelandic saga. Beautiful, fierce and deadly Hallgerd is not a woman to be taken lightly ripping through husbands like a falcon through its prey. But has she met her match in Gunnar, a true Viking hero? Hillcrest Café opens at 7pm, story begins at 7.30pm. Advance tickets £6, £8 on the door. To book in advance send a cheque made payable to Guest House Storytellers to Wendy Atkinson, 7 Downside, Lewes BN7 1EE or email wendy.Atkinson@btinternet.com

MADS: Meeching Amateur Dramatics next production is Alan Ayckbourn’s A Chorus of Disapproval which runs over two weekends from Thursday to Sunday, January 15 to 18, and Thursday to Sunday, January 22 to 25, at Meeching Hall. Evenings at 7.45pm and two Sunday matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets are £8 each from Meeching Estate Agents, Newhaven High Street.

HILLCREST FILM SOCIETY: Tickets are now on sale for The Lunchbox (PG) to be shown at the Hillcrest Centre on Saturday January 17. A mistaken delivery in Mumbai’s lunchbox delivery system connects a young housewife to an older man through notes in the lunchbox. This is a charming, old-fashioned love story and tickets are £4.50. They are available from reception at the Hillcrest Centre Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm. Hillcrest Café opens at 7pm and the film begins at 7.30pm.

QUIZ in aid of St Michael’s Church, will be held in the church rooms on Saturday January 24 at 7pm. Tickets are £5 for adults and £2.50 for children to include a ploughman’s supper and must be booked in advance by telephoning 01273 514892.

Peacehaven

WELCOME to 2015. It is good to be back. I wish you all a Happy New Year and more importantly a healthy one too.

MORNING MARKET: There will be no markets nor coffee mornings until the week commencing Monday January 19 as the Community Hall is closed until then while some improvements and decoration work is carried out.

CHRISTMAS CARDS: Unlike previous years the information office will not be collecting old Christmas and New Year cards after the holiday. They should be put into your kerbside recycling bin instead.

CHRISTMAS TREES: These can be recycled by taking them to the Piddinghoe car park off the South Coast Road by Saturday January 17. Please do not leave your trees at the Piddinghoe Sports car park.

COUNCILLORS’ SURGERY: Due to the work being carried out in the Community House this month’s surgery has been moved from its usual slot to Saturday January 24 from 10am until 11am in the Anzac Room. This is a drop-in surgery so no appointment is necessary. If you would like to speak with a councillor then just look in.

RESOLUTIONS: If your aim this year is to lose a little weight or perhaps get fitter remember the Green Gym near the War Memorial in the Meridian Park. It is of course free and continues to be well used and very popular. It is hoped to install some additional equipment during the year.

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.

HORTICULTURE: Peacehaven Horticultural Society is holding its AGM in the Anzac Room, Meridian Centre on Monday starting at 7.30pm. New members are always welcome and it will be an opportunity for all others to re-new their membership.

CINEMA: The film this month showing in the Community Hall, Meridian Centre is What We Did on our Holiday. It starts at 7.30pm on Wednesday January 28. Tickets at £5 each are available from the information office.

Ringmer

FOOTBALL CLUB: Tomorrow, Saturday, the first team are at home to Shoreham in a SCFL Div 1 fixture versus Shoreham with a 3pm kick-off at The Caburn. On Tuesday the firsts have another home league fixture versus Loxwood and kick-off time is 7.45pm. On Saturday the second team are away and travel to Pagham for their reserve section premier league match with a 3pm kick-off at Nyetimber Lane. On Monday afternoon from 2.30pm onwards the Social Club hosts the annual senior members’ post Christmas party.

ST MARY’S CHURCH: The services on Sunday will be: 8am Holy Communion, 9.45am Sung Eucharist with Laying on of Hands and 6.30pm Evensong. We will be delighted to welcome family and friends of Emily Cooper for her Baptism as part of the 9.45am service on Sunday, led by James Hollingsworth, rector of Barcombe. On Monday the Bible Study Group meets at 10.30am in the Church Room, new members to this small and friendly group are most welcome. The Men’s Club meets on Tuesday at 7.30pm in the Church Room. Geoff Bridger will be speaking about Three Ringmer Pals who joined up to fight in the First World War: visitors welcome. The choir is looking for new members, soprano, alto or bass, young and old, you are invited to pop along to choir practice 7pm every Friday or contact Nick Milner-Gulland on 01273 480189.

SUPPORT GROUP: St Peter and St James Hospice Support Group Annual Meeting will be held in the St Mary’s Room at the village hall on Monday at 7.30pm. As usual there will be a report on activities during 2014, and we will discuss the programme for 2015, ideas for fundraising will be very much welcomed. A representative from the hospice will report on recent developments there and will be pleased to answer any queries we may have. This is an open meeting and we look forward to seeing you there.

THE COUNTRY MARKET will re-open on Tuesday in the village hall from 10am to 11am. The usual variety of home cooking will be on offer, pies, cakes, ready meals, homemade bread, and local cheeses. There will be sweet and savoury preserves, attractive craft items and a selection of handmade greeting cards for many occasions. Plants and produce will be available as they come into season. The market producers look forward to welcoming their regular customers and would love to see some new ones.

ROYAL VOLUNTARY SERVICE: There will be a Volunteer Recruitment Morning at Ringmer Village Hall on Tuesday from 10am to noon. The purpose is to set up a good neighbour group for the Ringmer and The Broyle area, helping older and disabled people with things like shopping, having a chat with them, odd jobs like changing the lightbulb and just checking they are OK. Please come along and find out what we do.

Rodmell & Southease

CHRISTMAS: Our Christmas was fairly quiet, with friends staying for a couple of days, then B&B guests with two dogs staying until the New Year. In the time up to Christmas I was busy with organised Christmas lunches, with different groups of friends and attending carol singing around the village, which did very well this year making over £400 for the children’s hospice. The candlelit carol service at Southease was packed as usual on Christmas Eve and our village church had a good number of people at its services. I had some lovely gifts, among them was a book on Egypt by Joyce Tyldesley which I am thoroughly looking forward to reading. As my friends and guests know I love books and have many on many subjects. In fact many of my guests say they have to come back to peruse through my books. I love the feel of a book, the smell of a book and the joy of seeing them on my book shelves is wonderful. A book in itself is a work of art from back cover to front page and I’m so glad that paper books shops are still opening around the country and our children are still buying and enjoying books.

THE LOVELY WEATHER over Christmas meant I could go walking and gardening and of course I went in to Lewes to see the hunt. It’s so lovely to see around 100 horses, all beautifully groomed and the hounds ride up through the town. I stood in the grounds of the church at the top of town, looking down the hill from a height and it was a lovely sight. I was talking to a couple from Hove and in the conversation it turned out I had gone to both junior and senior school with the lady’s mother and we had been friends in the same class. As they had only come over to see the hunt it turned out to be a series of coincidence for them and we had a lovely conversation.

PARTY: One of the events leading up to Christmas was Pat Alcorn’s birthday party at our pub. Pat would like to thank everyone for their cards, presents and their company and for making it such a wonderful evening, not forgetting Jon, Luci and their staff. I was at this party and had a great time. Thanks Pat.

NEWS from Judith Bradbury who has asked me to mention that at last planning permission for the defibrillator on the pub wall has come through. The ambulance service are doing another demonstration at Rodmell School on Monday at 3pm for the staff, parents, older children etc. Any Rodmell residents who missed the earlier demonstration and are interested are very welcome to go along. I am hoping the electrician will install the cabinet early in the New Year.

COFFEE CLUB: Meetings will be held on January 28, February 25, March 25, April 29, May 27, June 24, July 29, September 30, October 28 and November 25. All meetings are held in the village hall (unless otherwise advised) 11am to 12.30pm. Catch up with coffee and cake. All welcome, see you there. Contact Judith 470713, Sarah 483523 or Sam 487508.

Seaford

STAMP CLUB: Seaford Stamp Club have a Members Night showing stamps with the letters S, T, U, 7.15pm for 7.30pm on Wednesday at Crossway Church Hall, Steyne Road. All stamp collectors welcome. Tel: 01323 872226 www.sefordstampclub.co.uk

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, Facebook 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.