Cross in Hand, Horam, Blackboys & Five Ashes

ON A PERSONAL NOTE: And now, please excuse me for a little personal story. Last weekend we brought our Cyprus rescue dog home. A while ago, a kind woman who had a house in Cyprus found two starving, worm-infested pointer puppies dumped on a very busy mountain road near the island’s rescue centre. She took them into the centre and paid for their keep. We’ve had two Cyprus rescues so far....our first, Ari, died at the end of last year, aged 14. Our latest pointer, Jacques, who is still only about four, is still with us. Jacques was very depressed when his companion died, so we decided to acquire another rescue dog. The rescue centre (KAR, Kyrenia Animal Rescue) told us they had two pointer puppies looking for homes so we opted to re-house the girl and bring her back to the UK. That’s what we did last weekend - and I also accompanied her brother who was going to be adopted by the woman who saved them. So I embarked on the Turkish Airlines flight in Cyprus with two large animal containers stacked in the hold, changed planes in Istanbul and flew to Brussels with the pair. Mrs PP and our daughter in law drove to Dover, took the ferry to Calais, drove to Brussels and met me at the airport. We dropped off the male puppy to his new, delighted owner and brought Sophie (as we now call her) home to Heathfield. It’s not a cheap option, but possibly costs about the same as a pedigree puppy - and you have the joy of knowing you have given a good life to an animal whose future would have been uncertain.

Friday, 1st March 2019, 8:25 am
Updated Friday, 1st March 2019, 9:30 am

As I type this she is doing very fast circuits of the house. The pair had been looked after well but kept in a small, fenced compound so I don’t think she knew how to run. Well, she does now, and jumps the flower pots and garden chairs as well. She’d be a shoe-in for the 7.30pm at the Hove dog track. Meanwhile Jacques looks on in polite bewilderment, wondering when all this will calm down. Look out for further updates on her progress. Meanwhile Mrs PP has been catching up with Dogs Behaving Badly on the TV and reckons she now has the tips to iron out problems like enthusiastic jumping up and stealing food from the kitchen worktops! She’s also managed to chew through an electrical wire (fortunately not live).

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH: News and Appeals. Increased Police patrols in rural Wealden areas: Wealden residents, we are aware of a recent increase in commercial and rural burglaries involving suspicious vehicles and activities. Police have been made aware of numerous reports involving suspicious vehicle sightings in and around Wealden, we thank you for continuing to report suspect vehicle registrations, all of your reports help to build a map of where offences are occurring, and allows us to take action in those areas. As part of our ongoing investigations, working closely with victims, and receiving your reports; we will be increasing visible patrols in your local areas, and using a range of methods to remind offenders we are watching them. We thank you for continuing to report vehicles and suspicious activities within your communities, and encourage you to continue to do so via 101, on email at [email protected] or online at Taking just a few steps can make a big difference in keeping your homes and businesses safe from burglary.

DANGEROUS DRIVER: Jailed after stealing and crashing his dad’s car. A car thief accelerated towards police before making off at speeds of up to 95mph in a 30mph zone on New Year’s Day. Chris Hillman then crashed the stolen Ford Focus down a bank off Hartfield Road, Forest Row and escaped on foot. He was later located following enquiries at an address in Horam two days later and taken into custody, where he was arrested for multiple offences. Following his arrest, he was remanded in custody and charged. The 29-year-old, unemployed, of Tallwood Road, Horam, pleaded guilty to all five offences and was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Friday, February 8 to a total of 18 months’ imprisonment. He was also disqualified from driving for 33 months.

COMMUNITY SPEEDWATCH: Seeks volunteers to help save lives in Sussex. Is speeding an issue in your area? Can you help us prevent it? Community SpeedWatch (CSW) is seeking more volunteers in a bid to continue to address its four main aims to reduce death and injuries on the roads; to reduce the speed of vehicles to the speed limit; to increase public awareness of inappropriate speed; to improve the quality of life for local communities. CSW is a national initiative where active members of local communities join with the support of police to monitor speeds of vehicles using speed detection devices. To find out more and to sign up, visit or email [email protected] To report an incident of dangerous or antisocial driving, visit

CRIME SUMMARY: A large amount of jewellery, including sentimental items, was taken from a jewellery box after someone broke into a house in Court Lane, Uckfield on the morning of February 15. The victim only left the house for a few hours in the morning, and unfortunately returned home to find the items had been taken. Police investigations continue. (0435 of 15/02/19).

A cycle shop in Pevensey was broken into on the evening of February 17 where a number of high value cycles were stolen. Suspects have used an unknown van to load the bikes into and then drive away. Police are working closely with the victim but if anyone has any information please get in touch quoting (1152 of 17/02/19).

Around lunchtime on February 19 a suspect male was seen knocking on doors asking residents if they had any gold to sell. The male managed to gain entry to one property but was warned off by residents. Any information to assist our enquiries please call in or email quoting (0629 of 19/02/19)

Help us keep Sussex safe. If you saw or heard anything, or have any information about any incident in this message please contact us online, email us at: [email protected] or call: 101, quoting the reference number provided.

A MESSAGE: From Wealden Police. We’re out and about now in your local communities following recent commercial and rural burglaries in and around the Wealden area. We thank you for continuing to report suspect vehicle registrations; please note we do not have the means to view all Facebook crime groups that you are part of, as a result please continue to report any suspicious vehicles, or persons you see directly to us on: 101, or by emailing: [email protected], always dial 999 in an emergency/crime in action.

WEALDEN ALERTS: 10p a week council tax increase for Wealden services. As it continues to move towards self-sufficiency, Wealden District Council has approved a 2.7 percent increase in its share of the council tax. This will help it meet the challenges of the future. Wealden District Council collects the council tax on behalf of a number of public services including East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police, the Fire and Rescue Service and your local parish or town council. The total council tax a Wealden householder pays will, on average, increase by £1.47 a week from April. But the Wealden share of this increase will only be 10 pence. This July will see the start of a new joint waste collection contract, using Biffa. Increased contract costs and the ending of County Council recycling credits have added over £2 million to the cost of waste and recycling collections in Wealden. This will be funded in part through a charge of £50 a year for households who wish to continue to receive a garden waste recycling service. Possible changes in government policy on recycling collections are being monitored and the Council will respond as necessary. Here’s a break-down of next year’s annual council tax, collected on behalf of East Sussex public services. It applies to mid-scale Band D property: Annual charge for a Band D property 2019/20 East Sussex County Council £1,434.78.

HEATHFIELD ABOUT TOWN: Important Notice from the Parish Council. Twitten Closure. Closure of the Twitten runnng from Heathfield High Street to Station Approach. The Parish Council apologise for any inconvenience that may be caused as the twitten running from the High Street to Station Approach will be closed from March 4 to 14 to allow for essential tree works to be carried out at Heathfield Skatepark.

QUIZ NIGHT: In Aid of Demelza Hospice Care for Children, Saturday March 9, 7.30pm Heathfield Community Centre, Sheepsetting Lane Cross in Hand. Teams of six £7 per person to include a light supper. Bring your own drinks. Please book with Sandie or Nicky on 01435 882723.

JOCALIA/STEAMER TRADING: It is good to see premises which used to house Jocalia jewellers are being posted as Under Offer on the agent’s website. I suppose the rumour will be going around to who the future owner/tenant will be. It is also good news that the closed Steamer Trading store is being actively marketed by Lawson Commercial. After the High Street road works fiasco last year hopefully we see two proactive traders in the town.

HEATHFIELD TAVERN: It is good to see on social media the Heathfield Tavern has now opened its doors for customers. I wish them all the success in this venture.

MAYFIELD AND FIVE ASHES: New Youth Groups. Homework Club has started in London House on Tuesdays between 4pm and 6.30pm as a drop-in club for those aged 8 to 16 years to come and get advice or practice group work after school. The cost will be £1 per person per session. The Altogether Club is held on Wednesday evenings in London House between 7.30pm to 10pm for those aged 11 to 18 years. This will be an opportunity to chat, have discussions, watch films and be social. The cost will be £1 per person per session. If you would like to volunteer or know more about any of our groups please contact: Natalie Thomson: [email protected] or: 07889780531. Please remember all the volunteers are required to undertake a full DBS check.

HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY: Five Ashes Horticultural Society year starts again. 2018 ended with the AGM in October with the officers and committee elected for the coming year. December 2018 saw a sub-committee meeting to discuss necessary and possible changes to the schedule for 2019, and these were approved by a full committee meeting in early January. There now follows a very busy period when the schedule changes, new reports and layouts are prepared for the printer so that the schedules are ready to be distributed in time for the Spring Show on March 30. More news and details of distribution points for the schedule, contact Graham Playfoot on: 01825 83051

MAYFIELD HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY: Certainly one not to be missed. Tuesday, March 19, Mayfield Memorial Hall. Swift AGM and talk by gardening expert Steve Bradley. Doors open 6.45pm for new members and membership renewals, AGM 7.30pm. Free entry. Free glass of wine for new members and those renewing their membership. Cash bar. The speaker Steve Bradley is probably best known for appearing most Sunday mornings on either BBC Radio Sussex or Radio Kent answering listeners’ gardening questions. He grew up on a nursery, spent over 20 years teaching horticulture at colleges around England and is now a freelance garden writer and broadcaster. He studied horticulture at Writtle, Cannington and Pershore Colleges, achieving the RHS Master of Horticulture Diploma. He appeared in two TV series Plant Life and Garden Doctors, three official Chelsea Flower Show videos and has made multiple gardening videos. He has written (or co-written) around 50 books on a wide range of topics including pruning, pests and diseases, a revision of the famous Grafter’s Handbook and updates of some of the ever popular Expert books. Since 2002, he has been gardening correspondent for the Sun newspaper with wife Val and Peter Seabrook. Quite a CV. Please come and join the society this year, make new friends and enrich your gardening life. Everyone is welcome to our society events. Rosemary Bayliss at mayfieldhorticulturalsociety www.mhs

ST DUNSTAN’S CHURCH: Organ Trust. Young and Talented Recitals 2019. Every two years, the St Dunstan’s Church Organ Trust holds a series of recitals on their beautiful Walker Organ for everyone to enjoy. On March 2, Jack Gonzalez-Harding, will perform. Jack who is 15, studies at Bennet School and the Royal Academy of Music (Junior Department). He is also the Sub Organist of St Laurence Parish Church in Hawkhurst. The last recital will be held on March 30 and features two performers. Alexander Trigg will start the recital. Alexander comes from Kent although sang in King’s College Choir. He is the co-founder and Director of Music of The Tudeley Singers and organist at St Lawrence Church, Seal Chart. Lucia Švecová comes from Slovakia. She won a Scholarship to Mayfield School, where she passed her Grade 8 Organ exam with Distinction, and is now the Organ Scholar in Residence at Jesus College, Oxford. Due to her close association with St Dunstan’s Church and Mayfield School, Lucia is supported with a small bursary from the Friends of Music in Mayfield. The recitals will begin at 6pm. Tickets will be available on the door and from Burnett’s in the High Street, Mayfield. Mike Hand-Bowman, Secretary Tel: 01892 663669 or: 07710 319348

COLKINS MILL CHURCH: Colkins Mill Church started in the 19th century as a Sunday School for the families of workers on the railway line, who were camped in Colkins Mill, together with local farming families. Sunday service starts at 10am and there is a Sunday School for young people. The church has midweek fellowship groups too, meeting in homes enabling a choice of daytime and evening. It runs youth clubs open to all, Thursday evenings for school years 4 to 6 (from 6.30pm) and Fridays for years 7 to 9 (from 7pm). Finally the Causeway Celebrations are an important part of the life of the Church. This is a fun time when many people with special needs get together for singing, prayer, craft, a Bible talk and a tea. It is held on the fourth Sunday of every month at 6pm, and everyone is welcome. Contact us, please email on: [email protected]

MAYFIELD EVENING WI: Margaret Rae reports. There was good attendance at the first meeting of 2019. President Claire Montagu welcomed members and four guests who listened to an interesting talk from Julie, of the Tunbridge Wells Cook shop. The company was founded in 1997 and now has 90 shops nationwide selling a wide range of frozen food plus a home delivery service. All ingredients are responsibly sourced and subject to the highest quality control and standards. “Cook” has been in the top 100 companies to work for in the UK for the last six years and as part of its ethos provides meals for the homeless. Members then enjoyed a variety of delicious savoury and sweet products and a chance to socialise over tea and coffee. The meeting went back to business and Vice President Chrissie Robinson read out a letter of thanks from Janet Duchesne for our recent donations totalling £250 to the Children of Nkuringo charity. Janet also asked for any unwanted warm clothing such as fleeces, skirts and jumpers that could be sent out in June. Berenice Blurton highlighted details of some events to be held for the East Sussex WI Federation centenary year including a Quiz night in May, three more volunteers are needed to make up a team of six; the Federation Garden Party at Fairlight Hall (home of an East Sussex WI member) in July and a performance of Calendar Girls, The Musical at the Congress Theatre Eastbourne in August when tickets are available at a reduced price. Members were also asked to vote on which resolution they would like to see put forward at the National Federation WI meeting in June. Jenny Whittall reported on Mayfield WI’s current financial status and collected annual subscriptions. Toni Whewell was thanked for organising the raffle, Jacqueline Suckling and Jenni Roberts for refreshments and Ruth Mills for the flowers at the meeting. With a varied programme for 2019 why not come along to the next meeting? Visitors are always welcome and further information can be obtained from Secretary Berenice Blurton on 01435 872039.

COTTAGE HOSPICE UPDATE: Now Opening Autumn 2019. The Hospice has been informed by the Cottage Hospice building contractor, Westridge Construction, (a local Sussex builder) that the build is likely to be delayed by 19 weeks. In light of this delay the Hospice is now working towards opening in autumn 2019, rather than spring 2019. The building is the first of its kind and time has been taken to make sure it’s as cost effective and energy efficient as possible. This helps to future proof it. Some parts of the build, therefore, have been more complex than a more traditional building and have taken longer. There have also been delays with extra environmental surveys and problems with the Highways Agency. The management have the option to ask the builder to speed up and get things finished more quickly but this would come at a cost. As an organisation which focuses on value for money, they are not going to do this and this extra time will give us the opportunity to ensure they get everything right and in place for the Cottage Hospice to open successfully. The Hospice will take advantage of the delay to take time with the extra recruitment needed and the learning required for the Cottage Hospice workforce, both staff and volunteers. If you would like to know more about Cottage Hospice do get in touch with Holly Cowen, Head of Cottage Hospice 01892 820504.

CROSS IN HAND: Sheepsetting Lane - Ghyll Road Traffic Calming. Now the traffic calming is now up and running it does seem the new measures are working. Since returning from my dog rescue trip to Cyprus, there has been a significant traffic reduction and motorists do appear to be keeping to the speed limits.