News from around the clubs - February 19

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Bexhill Gardens and Allotments Society

THE impact of the recession on local societies was graphically illustrated at last Friday's Bexhill and District Gardens and Allotments Society annual meeting.

Treasurer Barry Goodwin told members at Bexhill Leisure Centre that interest on society assets invested in National Savings in 2009 had sunk to a tenth of the 2008 figure.

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Although he had been expecting the interest to be less, he had been so shocked by the drop that he had telephoned National Savings headquarters in Edinburgh to check if there had been a mistake.

He found that they were offering just 0.2 per cent.

The society's policy was to offer its holiday, outings and trips at the lowest possible price for the benefit of members.

But he warned that with a profit on these of just 306 last year it would take only a one per cent change in the coming year to produce a 306 loss.

The society ended the year with a deficit of 48 but still had assets of 4,206.95, the treasurer said.

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Membership of the society were stable and its finances good thanks to the work of the treasurer, chairman Dick Lancaster told members in his annual report.

Officers were re-elected en bloc.

The work of committee members Janet Pilbeam and Albert Bignell was acknowledged by their being voted in as vice-presidents of the society.

Winners of the annual allotments competition were: Large plots, 1, Mr J. Prysky; 2, Mr A. Lovell; 3, Mr A. Hall. Small plots, 1, Mrs C. Watkins; 2, Mr A. Nightingale; 3, Mr L. Ratnakake.

Waiting patiently while the business of the meeting was briskly completed and wearing her harness, her badge of office, was guide dog Ingle.

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In a fascinating and often humorous address on behalf of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Society, the Rev Helen Patten explained the important role that Ingle and her four predecessors played in her life.

Helen explained how the charity breeds puppies and selects those suitable for training.

Volunteer puppy-walkers take the animals for the first year.

Selected brood bitches and stud dogs are retained for breeding.

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Ingle remained at Helen's feet as she spoke, occasionally pricking up her ears as Helen explained how trainers teach the dogs to respond to the commands which owners will later use.

Helen, a teacher before she entered the ministry, reminded her listeners that, though thoroughly trained, Ingle and her contemporaries remained dogs.

"Like teenagers, they will push the boundaries if they can'¦"

The 100 proceeds from the evening's raffle were presented to the speaker by the chairman after the meeting heard that the cost of providing a guide dog like Ingle is more than 30,000 over the dog's life.

Bexhill Photographic Club

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ON FEBRUARY 4, we hosted an interclub competition against the very strong and well-balanced local club of Rye.

It had originally been arranged as a slide and print competition but at the request of Rye Club was altered to print and projected digital image, with 15 images in each class.

John Holmes ARPS, our judge for the evening, was from the Storrington Club. Predominately a lover of black and white and steam trains, he was faced with 6o images to judge.

The Friends Meeting House was comfortably full and awaited John's precise and beneficial critique and appraisal of the 30 PDIs.

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Bexhill's images had all previously scored 19 or 20 in previous club competitions and all scored well enough to win the PDI part of the evening thus entering the second half of the evening with a lead of eight points.

After the tea break John accredited the prints,this time awarding Rye club 14 points ahead of Bexhill, giving each club a win in different media.

Rye was accredited the winners on the night when the scores were aggregated.

Bexhill had scored six maximum 20s and Rye had scored fours. Honours were even on the night and a pleasant and friendly one it turned out to be.

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John Holmes was thanked by the Bexhill and Rye chairmen, and he responded by saying he was honoured to have seen such high class work.

Our next meeting on March 4 is Seeing the Difference by Liz and Roger Scott.

Any enquires to our chairman John Bryant 730758 or visit our website on

ATS/WRAC Association

WE held our first meeting of this year on February 4, when 19 of us attended, which was quite a good number considering the cold and rather miserable day. There were thus two months of news to catch up on and we learned about each others' Christmases. Jenny gave us news of those who were ill at home or in hospital and we were very sorry to hear that Annette Mitchell is moving away to Yorkshire, but pleased that she will be living near to her family. We'll miss her.

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We had a bring and buy sale of things that people no longer wanted and raised a small but useful sum of money to help our funds.

The competition this month was for the most attractive cup and saucer; this was won by Iris. Our meeting next month will be on March 4, when PC Jackie Streeter will be coming to give us a talk. We have met her before, and she will be very welcome. The competition will be for the prettiest tea spoon.

Bexhill Philatelic Society

OUR next meeting is on Tuesday February 23 at the Friends Meeting House in Albert Road. 7pm for 7.30pm.

We have a visiting speaker John Priestley who will entertain us with a presentation on Brazil.

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Visitors and potential new members are always welcome at our meetings. For further information please telephone 01424 731845.

Bexhill Art Society

THE Bexhill Art Society held its AGM on Saturday February 6 in St Augustine's Church Hall.

Christine Maclean, the chairperson for the past six years, retired after doing an excellent job. Leni Turner was elected the new chairperson and we wish her every success in her new role.

Following the AGM we were given a demonstration by Mike Harrison-Hope. He painted a portrait in watercolour of Don Maclean. It was an excellent likeness, something Christine can treasure and look back on.

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Valerie Milborrow was Artist of the Month, her work is of a very high standard and is much admired by the members.

Our next meeting is held at the above venue on the March 6 at 2.30pm-4,30pm. Visitors are most welcome.

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