CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday, 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.
LENT SESSIONS: The Rector reports that this year has been designated the Year of the Bible and he is planning to have three get-togethers to look at different aspects of it. How was the Bible put together, what do we make of Genesis in a scientific age, what were the prophets talking about? There could be some lively discussions. The first session will be on Wednesday at 10.30a at the Rectory, starting with coffee.
HIDDEN DOCUMENT: When I was dusting a copy of a framed pedigree of one of the early Arab horses, I accidentally knocked off the back of the frame and found a document tucked in the back. The document details the pedigree of one of the horses in detail and came from the Royal Stables of His Majesty, Sa’ud ibn Al Aziz, stating that the foal was born in the stables of His Majesty in Khafs Daghran, Province of Nejd. Bill Clark, as he was affectionately known, was still writing letters to his friends around the world right up until the night before he died, aged 97. For many years I used to come over and collect the letters for posting. He never left a stone unturned until he had checked out the history and pedigree of his beloved Arab horses. There are many letters and cards here from the Royal Stables in Amman, Jordan’s capital. One signature in the visitors book is of the late King Abdullah along with an invitation to Bill and Audrey Clark from the Jordanian Minister dated 1949 to a reception at the Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane on the occasion of the visit to great Britain of his Hashemite Majesty King Abdullah ibn Husein. I am very fortunate to have the fascinating books by Lady Anne Blunt, The Bedouin’s of the Euphrates dated 1879 and A Pilgrimage to Jedj dated 1881 where she travelled extensively to meet the Bedouin tribes and learn more about the Arabs and their horses. The books are so interesting that once you start reading they are difficult to put down.
OART: I have just received my winter newsletter from The Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust, which I always look forward to reading. How nice it is to see the smiling faces of the OART volunteers on the front and back covers. These are the people who do such tremendous work to keep our streams and rivers in such good order, but it must have been heartbreaking for all of them when on November 30 a massive volume of slurry entered the Plumpton Mill Stream close to its source. It did not stop there, it then moved downstream to the Bevern Stream and continued on its destructive journey down to the River Ouse, killing every fish on its way. I had seen pictures of the beautiful dead fish lying on the banks, but to see the destruction again is beyond belief as it will not only have killed the fish that were ready to spawn, but many other species of wildlife that we are used to seeing and will probably not be seen again for many years to come. Of course it has happened before over the years, but not with such devastating effect. It was with horror when I read that on January 18 slurry was again allowed to pollute the Plumpton Mill Stream. Luckily the Environment Agency was able to contain it quickly before any serious damage was done. This should never be allowed to happen again as it will be years before the sea trout and other wildlife recover. Until November the Plumpton Mill Stream, merging to form the Bevern Stream and joining the River Ouse between Barcombe and Hamsey, had been packed, as in previous years, with an important breeding stock of sea trout. One of the best in Sussex. This is why the fish and much else (eg water quality) has been monitored for so long by OART. Those responsible for this destruction should be fined and OART compensated so that it never happens again. We in the countryside appreciate the hard work that OART undertakes and don’t want to see such devastation happen again. You can show your support by becoming a member by contacting the membership secretary firstname.lastname@example.org. Or why not buy an Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust polo shirt and help raise the profile and much needed money for the river work in 2017. They come in deep navy with a very nice embroidered kingfisher logo. Different sizes priced £20 which includes postage. I will write about Jim’s Diary and his Tales of The Riverbank next week.
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