Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

CHURCH SERVICE: Sunday, St Peter’s Church, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall. Family Communion will be followed by the Parish Picnic in the church grounds at noon. Please take a contribution to food and drinks.

HAMSEY CHURCH: A report delivered to me as follows: A Beautiful event was staged in Hamsey Church on Saturday June 9. On a fine summer’s evening professional and amateur musicians and readers gathered to commemorate, in music, poetry and prose, the involvement of Hamsey Parish in the First World War. The moving performance was witnessed by a rapt and appreciative audience, who also enjoyed an exhibition of WW1 memorabilia in the interval. All the proceeds will go to the Hamsey Church Restoration Fund. The Friends of Hamsey Church have already saved the Horsham slate roof and have plans for further work.

There were a lot of people involved in the above and the following was the cast list (in order of first appearance). Nick Betteridge, Nick Lear, Alice Renton, Francis Annette, Caroline Featherstone, Rachel Wilson, Thor Wilson, Jo Hughes and Tim Renton. Musicians Elizabeth Baldey (violin), Joe Ward (piano). Singers Andrew Robinson (baritone), Rachael Brown (soprano), Hamsey Harmony led by Julie Nye, Rob Foss, Jim Redwood, Tom Costick, Cynthia Orwell, Andrew Stewart-Roberts, Margot Redwood, Lynda Ridge, Jenny Money, Diane Costall, Stella Frost, Gilly Gordon, Mary Mason, Sharon Plumb, Ellen Hockridge and Drixi Benjamin. Director Rebecca Meitlis. Musicians Elizabeth Baldey violinist studied at the Royal College of Music under Tessa Robbins. She freelances in London and abroad with leading chamber and symphony orchestras, in addition to giving solo recitals. Joe Ward pianist, piano teacher and accompanist, is based in Brighton. He is a regular concert performer, as soloist and in collaboration with singers and instrumentalists, including frequent lunchtime concerts at Brighton Unitarian Church. He is musical director for a performing group, Aint Misbehavin’ and also plays for a local choir, Ovingdean Singers. Rachael Brown soprano, in training with Pippa Dames-Longworth Andrew Robinson baritone, in training with Pippa Dames-Longworth, Julie Nye Community Musician and Music Educator. Created and leads Hamsey Harmoney. Hamsey Harmony is a group of local people who meet monthly to sing in a spirit of fun and friendship. It all began with a singing workshop held in 2016 to raise money for the restoration of Hamsey Church. Director Rebecca Meitlis, with experience of directing opera at the Brighton festival, Scottish Opera and English National Opera, her hard work made this event possible. She has earned the respect and gratitude of the whole company. Acknowledgements. With special thanks to Stella Beddoe, Susan Briggs, Pippa Dames-Longworth, Marion Hughes, Ellen Hunnisett, Chelsea Renton, Terry Squires, David Tyler and to Colemen Loos for their generosity. Source Material: Lest We Forget, the Gallant Men of Hamsey – a tribute to the men on Hamsey Parish War Memorial by Susan Rowland, published in 1995. In producing the book, letters and photographs were obtained from descendants of the soldiers along with material held by the Public Record Office and the Imperial War Museum. Newspaper extract are from the Sussex Express 1914-18. Extracts from Voices From the Great War, Peter Vansittart, 2003 and From Small Lochs to Great Lakes: The Remarkable Story of a First World War Soldier and Crofter, Donald MacDonald 2016. extract from Renton family diaries. Committee for this event. Jo Hughes, Alice Renton, Lynda Ridge and Sue Rowland with support from the Friends of Hamsey Events Committee, chaired by Caroline Featherstone. Poster design by Marion Hughes.

THE FRIENDS OF HAMSEY CHURCH: The beautiful and historic Grade 1 listed St Peter’s Church, Hamsey is suffering from the effects of 1000 years of worship and weather. The Friends of Hamsey Church was set up in 2016 to ensure its upkeep for the future. The roof, in particular was badly in need of attention and following successful fundraising, the roof works have now been completed. Fundraising and grant applications continue to help secure the future maintenance of this very special landmark. If you are interested in supporting this project financially, or with your time, and would like more information, join the Friends of Hamsey Church, Facebook group or contact

MALLARD DUCKLINGS: I have had several calls to ask me about the ducklings following my piece about the magpies snatching two of them. By some kind of miracle there are still four who are giving me great pleasure as they have grown so much during the last week and are now coming with their mother to the patio pond every morning, which means I can hopefully protect them more from predators. I had another surprise too, as I know when the magpies and other birds start making a lot of noise and fly up into the trees, trouble is afoot. Sure enough there they were, two fox cubs underneath the bird feeders eating what was left of the bird food. Am now hoping that the ducklings are big enough to sense the danger and stay on the pond when the foxes pay a visit.

HEAVY BREAKFAST: I thought it so funny when I read the following. Eggs and soldiers (or battalions). It goes on to say that Waitrose is now stocking ostrich eggs from Lincolnshire. The size of bowling balls at about 8in tall, they take 50 minutes to boil and have to be cracked open with a hammer.

CLEAN STREETS: So much has been written lately about fly-tipping and I have just read that in 2016/17 local authorities dealt with more than a million fly-tipping incidents, two thirds of which involved household waste, which was up eight percent on the previous year. Food for thought.

IVY: Which grows in profusion around the farm, is by no means enjoyed by everyone as it gets in all kinds of places and according to some, needs to be disposed of. But, I have just read a letter from someone who has nothing but praise for it and states that it is not a parasite in that it doesn’t live off its host, it’s a climber, although admittedly a vigorous one, and it doesn’t kill trees as many people think. This is a myth. Ivy is extremely important to wildlife, providing much-needed winter shelter and is a late food source for bees, butterflies and moths, among others. Many birds nest in mature ivy and as well as being a fantastic absorber of pollution, it is a lifeline in winter for berry-eating birds, including the struggling song thrush. The writer says let’s celebrate ivy I can vouch for what the writer says as I have seen some amazing butterflies recently and now that we are getting the warmer weather, I can hear a constant buzzing as I pass some of it. One day when I was looking to see what was going in and out of it, I was startled when a lovely blackbird flew out at me as it had nested there. I then had the pleasure of watching the four young ones learning to fly.