News from around the clubs - July 2

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The Twenty-Ten Club

At our June meeting the speaker, Mr Eddie McCall, told us about the clinic which he and other members of the Senlac Rotary Club set up in a very remote part of Kenya, where they became known as The Yellow Men because of the bright yellow T-shirts they all wore. Their journey to the site was quite hazardous and although some vehicles were used, there was quite a lot of walking involved. Mr McCall was very enthusiastic despite all the problems they encountered in clearing the land, making their own bricks and teaching the local people the tricks of the trade. He was grateful to the members who had donated books, pencils, crayons, etc, as well as knitted garments for the children of a nursery that had also been set up nearby. The gifts are handed out to the children when the Rotarians make their regular visits to see how things are progressing. Our next meeting on July 8 will be for the strawberries and cream tea which must have been booked in advance. The speaker will be someone from the RAC, who will give us advice on Happy Motoring.

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Bexhill Probus Club

THE club's June speaker was Jonathan Midgley, a partner in the local firm of solicitors Gaby Hardwicke. He talked on the topic Discretionary Will Trusts and Lasting Powers of Attorney and began by inviting members to interrupt him at any time with a question, or if clarification on a point was needed. Being in the main retirees, this subject was dear to many of us and interupt we did. Jonathan had cleverly prepared his talk loosely based on a few sub-headings and gave his presentation around questions we asked. His answers were always clear and gave both the advantages and disadvantages of taking certain actions and he gave us a very informative and interesting 90 minutes.

While the subject title might have sounded rather dull, the subject matter was never that. In the end our chairman had to call a halt to proceedings due to time. Thank you, Jonathan. Our July meeting is a celebration lunch - it's our 25th anniversary - at the Cooden Beach Golf Club on July 29.

Bexhill Oddfellows

A PLETHORA of pictures illustrating aspects of Bexhill's history, from plant-eating dinosaurs to the property owning De La Warrs, featured in a talk given to Bexhill Oddfellows on Saturday, June 26. It was presented by Julian Porter, curator of Bexhill Museum, at the town's Albatross Club and featured fact upon fact of local interest. For instance, Mr Porter spoke about King Offa of Mercia, who invaded Bexhill in the 8th century; the Bexhill stone - the lid of a 9th or 10th century holy relic box; the use of Bexhill Manor as a bishop's palace; Sir Thomas Sackville, the first Earl of Dorset, and Turner's painting of Martello Towers at Bexhill. Also mentioned was Bexhill's former role as a hilltop farming village; the creation of thatched barracks for George III's 5,000 German soldiers; the 1828 battle of Sidley Green; the town's first rail link in 1846; its 1906 tram service; the opening of Bexhill Museum in 1914 and creation of the De La Warr Pavilion in 1935. Many more events were covered during Mr Porter's talk and as a token of appreciation, the Oddfellows donated 100 to the Society of Bexhill Museums. The next Bexhill Oddfellows' talk will be held on Saturday, September 25, when a speaker from the De La Warr Pavilion will shed light on its controversial crusade to interest the public in modern art. Further information about the Oddfellows is available from local secretary Allan Bula on 01424 210410.

Democracy Movement

ON Thursday, June 17, the South East Sussex Branch of the Democracy Movement held its thirty-fourth public meeting at St Mark's Church Hall, Little Common. The two speakers were Sir Teddy Taylor, ex Conservative MP for Southend, and Michael Shrimpton, a constitutional lawyer. Sir Teddy Taylor spoke first and voiced his regret that in the recent General Election, none of the three main political parties were prepared to speak about Europe. He referred to polls which indicated overwhelming support for referenda on the Lisbon Treaty amongst the peoples of Europe and reminded his audience that of the two countries actually granted referenda on the European Constitution, both voted against it, only for the results to be ignored. The speaker went on to point out a clause in the treaty which offers a way out of the EU given the political will for withdrawal and stressed that by leaving, the country would make a saving of about 1million per hour. He concluded that there should be no let up in efforts to leave this deeply flawed organisation. Michael Shrimpton treated the well attended meeting to a highly entertaining speech in which he covered a whole range of topics from the crusades to the Gulf oil spill. He claimed there is no need for any EU workers in this country and the true cost of EU membership is 175billion. He concluded by stating that under the Vienna Convention, the UK is not in fact bound by the Treaty of Rome and thus could withdraw from the EU after giving 12 months notice. There followed questions from the audience to both speakers and the meeting ended at 9.30pm. For further information on the Democracy Movement, please telephone 01424 848964.

Bexhill Aircrew Association

BRANCH members joined a large, cheerful Union Jack waving audience for the RAFA President's Band concert at St Augustine's Church on Saturday June 19 in support of this year's Wings Appeal. As publicly acknowledged during the event, it had been ably organised despite very poor health by Ken Igglesden MBE who,together with his wife Elsie, has made a sustained and outstanding contribution both to Bexhill and to the Royal Air Forces Association for more than 60 years.

Our speaker on June 14 was Mrs Bee Frost who gave a fascinating insight to the Windmill at Windmill Hill restoration project. A familiar local landmark built as a post mill in 1814 and subsequently raised on brick piers to improve its access to the wind, it was powered by sails until the mid-1890s when it was converted to steam power and continued to operate until about 1913. Thereafter it remained derelict until 1993 when it was purchased in a highly decayed condition by Paul and Bee Frost who were determined to save it. With the aid of the Heritage Lottery Fund they set up a trust which would pay for completely authentic restoration, using as much of the original structure as possible, through grants, sponsorship and fund-raising activities. Since 2001 the main structure, including the millhead which was removed to Henley-on-Thames for renovation, has been restored. The next phase, restoration of the machinery, is ongoing. Located on the A271 near Hurstmonceux the project is open to the public on the first and third Sunday of each month and on Bank Holidays from Easter to October. Groups can visit by appointment. At the same meeting warm tributes were paid to Beth Underwood, who died on June 9. A winning, resilient and popular personality, she and her husband Barney were among the branch's most loyal supporters and will be sadly missed. The funeral service took place at Tunbridge Wells Crematorium on Tuesday June 29. The branch's next meeting on Monday July 12 will be addressed by Capt Carl Bagwell, Rye Harbourmaster, whose visit originally scheduled for May had been unavoidably postponed at the last moment. A visit to Jempson's Bakery Workshop has been arranged for Wednesday July 21. Details may be obtained from Geoff Brown.

Bexhill CSMA Group

AT our club night on June 15 we heard a talk about the Emmaus charity given by its local Hastings and Rother Chairman, David Cooper. Emmaus creates homes, and most importantly, work and opportunities for homeless people to rebuild their lives in supportive communities around the country. In the UK at the moment there are 19 centres, with another 12 in the pipeline. One of the latter will be in Hastings, in Whitworth Road, St Leonards, just off the A 21. There, the fund-raising shop is receiving donations of furniture and household goods on a daily basis and there are bargains to be had. They have a contact telephone number 01424 755111. It is hoped that the Hastings and Rother Centre will be up and running, with its first occupants, later this year. Initially there will be just nine rooms with a further 14 to follow. A grant of 436,000 has already been received from the Social Enterprise Fund. At the moment the nearest centre is in Brighton and Hove. We had a very enjoyable Lunch Club meeting at The Mermaid in Bexhill on June 1st. We enjoyed the ambience and the service there and will definitely return .

Dates for the diary:

July 6 - Lunch Club at The Ash Tree at Brown Bread Street.

July 7 - Joint outing to the Kent and East Sussex Light Railway together with our neighbouring Tonbridge and Tunbridge CSMA Group.

July 15 - Treasure Hunt in Lewes, beginning at the Tourist Office at 10.30am.

July 20 - At our monthly club night, retired ship's captain, Dudley Botting will talk of his seagoing experiences.

Our club members give a warm welcome to present and retired public service employees and their families. For more details about the dlub and its activities, please contact our secretary, Tony Calton, on 01424 434496.

East Sussex Bridge Club

RESULTS for the East Sussex Bridge Club week ending June 25:

Monday June 21:

N/S First - Brian Bradley and Barbara Herold

Second - Marie Barnett and Alison Wilkinson

E/W First - John Clark and Inez Richards

Second - Alan Miley and Ted Weare

Wednesday June 23:

First - Diana Hunt and Norman Waterman

Second - Josie Boryn and Richard Beauprez

Third: John Clark and Vi Boniface

Thursday June 24:

First - Pauline Kazi and Phyllis Davis

Secnod - Vera Kennedy and Alan Miley

Third - Carole Nicholas-Booth and Irene Heath

Friday June 25:

First - Patricia Phillips and Sue Hammond

Second - Vera Bishop and June Watt