Rodmell and Southease

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WINTER: The Weather is certainly changeable at the moment (April 28). Having worked in my greenhouse in brilliant sunshine on Tuesday April 26, I then drove through a brief snowstorm into Lewes later in the day. My plants have been put in and out of the greenhouse, which is very full at the moment. The cold snap has encouraged wood mice to come into the house and I caught a rather fat one in the humane trap today. When I walked him over the field to the area by the old dairy and let him/her go, it sat and looked up at me in a somewhat bewildered state before running off into a pile of leaves. Ants are also starting to invade the kitchen but I’ve found that they don’t like a spray that I have and seem to have now gone elsewhere. The birds are very busy gathering nesting material and really like the hair I put out on the garden, when the hairdresser has been to cut our hair.

THANK YOU: Sue Barnes and Rosemary Warton for the piece you wrote in the Parish Pump about Park Farm and Dennis and Betty McDavitt who used to farm the land. It has definitely been an ongoing battle for the family to try to keep the land and renew the lease. Personally I don’t think they’ve been treated at all well. The family have, I believe, been farming in the area for 300 years. Dennis’s daughter is my god-daughter and I’ve know the family for over 65 years at least. It’s a great shame that Kevin, her brother, is not able to take over the farm. I and my family used to love Falmer when it was a small rural village and I’ve spent many happy hours there and in Stanmer Village. I can remember when the main road was a narrow country road with flint walls alongside it and Falmer was a tranquil place. In the school holidays I used to work on the farm, helping out with hand hoeing the carrot fields on the land where the University of Sussex now stands. As it was such lovely soil Dennis’s carrots would be in the market before anyone else as it used to be a warm spot as well. I also used to love Taffy, his lovely old shire horse and it was lovely seeing them ploughing the land. Dennis and Betty also ran the greengrocers at the University of Sussex for many years.

LETTER: I entirely agree with Sue Murrell’s letter ‘I saw Oliver and loved it’. I go to all of LOS productions and they are so good. Yet again I’m going to praise the McDavitt family, as Kath (married to Colin) was a McDavitt and Kath’s mum and dad always helped out with teas, props etc and now their granddaughter Raphy is also taking part in productions, supported by her mum Sharon who is Kath’s sister. Dad Trevor also gets roped in to help so it’s really a family affair as Kath and Colin’s daughter is also in LOS.

TOUR: I was invited to a tour of Lewes Castle and Anne of Cleves House Museum with afternoon tea taken with the Mayor of Lewes, Mike Chartier, on Tuesday April 26. It was a very nice occasion organised by Debbie Matthews, marketing officer and I would like to say thank you for inviting me. Evidently 90 invitations were sent out, but only a small number of people turned up. I did wonder if the fact that there was only a website and no telephone number on the invite was part of the problem. I had to phone Anne of Cleves House to get a telephone number. I always say, please put a telephone number on all communications with the public.

PARISH ASSEMBLY: Rodmell Annual Parish Assembly was well attended and did not go on too long as some in the past have. Congratulations to John and Madelaine Harvey for being chosen as Rodmell Residents of the Year, for their dedication to the village. Also to Jude Le Patourel, Rodmell’s broadband guru, for at least having got somewhere in getting better, faster broadband in the village after a long fight. Don’t get too excited yet folks, it won’t happen immediately.

STUCK LORRY: I went to Ditchling recently to visit Jude Bovington and a huge lorry was stuck in the High Street. I wonder if the driver followed his sat-nav? I really feel sorry for a lot of the large vehicle drivers who have to navigate our narrow street and lanes.

CYCLE PATH: One of the land owners who is not happy to grant permission for an off-road cycle/foot path came to see me recently to give me his point of view. I have known him for a long time and have a lot of respect for him. It’s good to hear both sides of the story, but I don’t think I’ll get embroiled in it. I just write about things that people ask me to mention, because either they are not willing to put forward an opinion or don’t feel confident enough. One thing that did amuse me recently about cyclists, was a programme about Holland, a lovely country and one statement was that there are more cycles than people in Holland, so who rides the extra? Maybe it’s the invisible man/woman. Also it seems there are not enough places to park your bike.

DATES: Hopefully, when I get the May Parish Magazine, I’ll be able to give you dates for events in the area.

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