Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

CHURCH SERVICE: Sunday at St Peter’s Church, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall, 10.30am Family Communion followed by coffee in the hall.

DON’T FORGET: Thursday July 19 is the Monday Afternoon Club (and friends) trip to Chichester Festival Theatre to see Me and My Girl. Do get in touch with Judith if you would like to join them or if you would just like a day out in Chichester. Give her a call on 07889 281214. Meet at Offham Church Hall at 10.30am for coffee before joining the coach. It will then be picnics and a great show before returning, arriving in Offham about 7pm. Then off to the Blacksmiths Arms for supper after having had a wonderful day out.

DRUSILLAS: Annual young people’s trip to this favourite venue organised by Judith Bastide for the Toddler Tunes and, hopefully the children from St Peter’s Sunday School, along with members of the church choir with parents, grandparents, nannies and friends. All make for a lovely and happy day out. Meet at Drusillas at 10am and take a picnic with you. After a full day enjoying all the delights of this much loved little zoo, you return to the church hall about 3.30pm for tea (and huge thanks in advance to Ursula and Phyl for the most welcome cup of tea). Please be n touch with Judith on 07889 281214 as soon as possible if you would like to join them.

APOLOGIES: To East Chiltington Parish Council as I think that it was the wrong time that was given for their meeting at Plumpton Village Hall on July 11. It should have read 7pm and not 7.30pm.

DANGEROUS: The last three weeks have been very fraught as we have been having huge lorries arriving here some very early in the morning, usually around 7am. Not only have they been opening our main gates, some have been coming in and driving down our private road to the farm cottages and waking my son up to ask about the development, which I must add is not here. I also want to make it quite clear that this is not a public road and although it has access for bridleway users, the last straw was last week when one of the lorries backed into the hunting gate, which is on the side of our main gates, and have damaged it. Last Friday there was a gigantic lorry that was obviously looking for the development site and pulled up right over our main gates, which meant that nobody could get in or our. He then tried to reverse out onto the very busy and dangerous B2116 road, causing a lot of frustration for drivers trying to pass. I have had lots of calls asking what is going on here and I can assure them that it is nothing to do with Courthouse. It is of course close by which gives people the wrong impression when they see these huge vehicles coming in and out of here. I will repeat for those that are involved that the road is not a public road and arrangements should be made for these lorries to use their own access. Fortunately we do have CCTV and may have the vehicle on camera that has damaged the hunting gate.

CHINESE LANTERNS: It has been a much discussed subject for years now about these lanterns which are causing damage not just to animals, but also the buildings. I have mentioned the issue on numerous occasions and the NFU brought it to attention a number of years ago. It has now come to the forefront as I have just read that there are new calls for a ban after a stray Chinese lantern caused horrific injuries to a point to point racehorse. An MP, farmers and the RSPCA have issued warnings over the lanterns after the horse was set on fire and lost part of its tail. Bastante, a seven year old point-to-point racehorse, was also left with a foot-long gaping wound on its leg after it bolted through a wire fence in shock after being hit by the lantern. The horse owner said it was disgusting that the lanterns were still allowed and called for a ban. These things should be outlawed, it is as simple as that. The biggest problem is for the animals, because if these lanterns fall on grass, the lantern is wire, the grass gets made into hay. You would end up with the animals injured through eating the wire that gets into the bales of hay. These lanterns can cause fires, especially during hot weather. One MP, who lives in the Peak District, has called for a lantern festival happening near her constituency to be cancelled over fire fears. The event, which has since been called off, was to have been held at Buxton Raceway, Derby on July 28, with thousands of lit lanterns to be sent into the sky over the peak District which has already been subject of fire warnings because of the dry conditions. There will be many people who I know will support a ban on these dangerous items, that not only endanger wildlife, but also bring the risk of fires. I am all for people wanting to celebrate or remember a loved one etc, but surely there must be a much safer way of celebrating a special occasion.

THE PLANET: Plastic has been dubbed Children’s Word of the Year by Oxford University Press, showing the influence of Sir David Attenborough and others.