Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday, at St Peter’s Church, 8am Holy Communion, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall, 10.30am parish Communion followed by coffee in the hall.

REMINDER: Thursday sees the St Peter’s Church AGM in the church hall at 8pm. This year it is a very important meeting as not only are there the reports on church life during the past year and elections for members of the parochial church council, but two churchwardens are needed following the resignation of Geoff Spinks and Pamela Conlon, who will both be stepping down after 13 years and nine years of sterling service to St Peter’s Church. Both of them will of course, be continuing as greatly respected members of the congregation. The Rector says: We really need as many members of the congregation there as possible as two churchwardens need to be elected by the end of April 28 which is required by law.

HAMSEY: Sunday, May 1, is the first Hamsey Evensong of the year and on that day there will be Holy Communion in Hamsey Church at 8am and Evensong at 6pm. Amazing to think that a whole year has passed as it only seems like yesterday that I was writing about the start of the summer season at Hamsey Church.

ASCENSION DAY: Is on Thursday May 5. One of my favourite days when I was at school as following a lovely service in St Margaret’s Church which we always used to refer to as the church in Buxted Park, we were given the rest of the day off school.

AFTERNOON CLUB: the Monday Afternoon Club meet on May 9 in Offham Church Hall at 2pm. The meeting entitled Get Fit and Healthy with Patsy will be followed by a delicious tea with homemade cakes. Lifts available by calling Judith on 01273 474356 or Caroline on 01273 477151.

CHRISTIAN AID: This year Christian Aid week is May 16 to 20. Details later.

WELL DESERVED: I was so pleased to see that PCSO Andy Ash has been given a mention on the letters page of the Sussex Express and I would endorse all that Cllr Murray has to say about Andy. I first met Andy when PCSOs first came on the scene and Andy covered out area for a time. Just as we had got used to him, he was moved to Lewes and our loss was certainly their gain as he was one of the nicest people you could meet and the kindest. When my grandchildren, Megan and Ben, were very small Andy, along with his brother Alan, came to see me when they were here with me. Ben was a bit overawed to see two people in uniform and was very quiet, but Megan wanted to know more and when they were leaving asked me their names. I jokingly said Andy and Pandy and every time we went into Lewes and saw them both patrolling together two excited little voices from the back seat of the car, or if we were in the precinct would shout, ‘Look there’s Andy and Pandy’. Andy and Alan had scored a hit with the two children just the same as Andy earned the respect of our parish in the time he spent here. He will be a hard act to follow that’s for sure. Good luck for the future Andy.

PLANNING APPLICATION: Land south of Chiltington House, Chiltington Lane, East Chiltington. Creation of ponds (part retrospective). Provision of associated buildings and supervisory dwelling to service a fish farm for London Fine Foods Group. For sale of caviar. Application No LW/16/0180. All applications can be inspected at Planning Services, Southover House, Southover Road, Lewes between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday or on the website Any representatives for the above application should be sent to the director of Service Delivery at the above address or via email to by Friday May 6.

MOLLUSCS: Or snails as I call them, are still to appear around the flower and shrub beds and I have already found the tiny ones that look a bit like mother of pearl. I have just read a piece written by an amateur gardener who, like me, has given up putting poisonous pellets around to get rid of the pests. I am surprised to read that the unwanted snails need to be carried to a more suitable location of more than 100 yards distance in order to prevent them returning. It will be no good chucking them over the garden wall for someone else to deal with as a snail’s homing instinct will merely guide it back to square one in a matter of hours. I shall have to change my habits and instead of throwing them as far as I can, I will have to go into one of the fields and hope they don’t find their way back home. I have also learnt a bit more about snails as some areas of England, manly the chalk-lands of the North Downs and Chilterns, also in the Cotswolds, are home to a more exotic species than the common gastropod. Roman snails, so called because they’re believed to have arrived with the Romans two millennia ago, are rather special and not just because they are the favoured escargots of French kitchens. Their style is Mediterranean, requiring lime-rich, free-draining soil they can burrow into, preferably on a south-facing slope. Large, brown striped and active from April to September. Their protected status in the UK means they cannot be killed, injured or taken without license, even for those crucial 100 yards. I must admit I would not know one snail from another and it is amazing what one can learn from just picking up a magazine.

STILL WAITING: Although my son saw a swallow in Burwash about a fortnight ago, I am still awaiting the swallows arrival here on the farm which is always a joyous occasion. Not only does it herald the arrival of spring but it is also a wonderful sight to watch them going back to their old nesting sites and then watching them for the next few months flying around the farm and teaching their young to fly. Whist speaking to an East Chiltington resident last week, he told me that he had just heard the cuckoo. I used to hear them all the time around the farm, but sadly I have not heard any for a few years.

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