Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

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

HAMSEY: Sunday will be the last Evensong for the summer season at Hamsey Church at 6pm with Lay Reader, Chris Lear.

MONDAY CLUB: The Monday Afternoon Club meet on September 10 at 2pm in Offham Church Hall. The speaker will be Patsy on keeping fit and healthy, followed by tea and lovely home-made cakes. Lifts available by calling either Judith on 07889 281214 or Caroline on 01273 477151.

OART: I wrote about Jim’s Diary last week and should have mentioned for, those who don’t know him. Jim Smith is the OART Field Officer and Honorary Bailiff of the River Ouse. I had a visitor last week, when I was wearing my OART Polo Shirt, and I was asked all about it and told them who to contact. Just in case they did not write it all down, you can buy an OART polo shirt and help raise their profile and much needed money for their river work. They come in deep navy with a very attractive embroidered logo. The price of £20 includes postage, sizes from medium to 2Xlarge. Contact Neil Pringle at Little Knowlands, Sithurst Road, Barcombe BN8 5EF for further information.

TOO HOT: Farmers are not enjoying the heatwave, but butterflies are Numbers of the marbled white, one of the most striking species in the UK, have increased this summer to 50 percent higher than 40 years ago. I can vouch for that as I still have a lot ll on the lavender and the various buddleias that I have planted over the years.

BAD TIME: I have just read that as more people choose to drink at home, 18 pubs are going out of business every week in Britain, according to the Campaign for Real Ale. That figure is steadily rising.

ANCIENT TREES: Finally have protection from developers. After a campaign of almost two decades, the Government has amended the National Planning Police Framework, bringing protection for ancient trees and woodland from developers that’s on a par with our best built heritage; says the Woodland Trust Chief Executive. She says, ‘This is a victory for common sense.’ The new changes come into effect immediately and expects to see a shift down from the current 586 damaging applications. Currently, there are 98,362 trees recorded in the woodland Trust’s Ancient Tree Inventory, which National England recognises as the most up-to-date resource for developers and planning authorities. The Woodland Trust Chief Executive says these are the elder statesmen of our national heritage and one of our top wildlife habitat. She explains, they’re home to hundreds of species of insects, mammals, birds, fungi, mosses and lichens. They stand tall and proud in our landscape, as landmarks, legends and friends. She is delighted that this government is standing by its commitment to leave the environment in a better place than we found it. But, the Arboricultural Association are disappointed that urban trees haven’t been given the same protection, especially in the light of felling schemes such as that carried out by Sheffield City Council, which has generated huge protests. Having read all of that, which sounds too good to be true, it will also depend on the local powers that be in letting developers get away with it in many places around our lovely countryside as we are seeing for ourselves all too often.

HIDDEN TREASURES: When I was looking through the Courthouse Arabian visitors book, I found yet another pile of letters and photographs that I ha tucked away for safe keeping. It was a mammoth task sorting out all of the correspondence when Derek’s father died and Derek left it to me as at that time he was still travelling to London daily. Because he had been breeding Arab horses for well over 85 years, bill Clark as he was affectionately known, had so many friends all over the world, so there is a lot of most interesting correspondence to still read. I have the early letters from Lady Ann Blunt who he was regularly in touch with, as well as photographs with her when he visited Crabbet when she was in England. As many artists stayed or visited here all of the correspondence is fascinating to read and I was thrilled to find letters form Sir Alfred Munnings and his wife Lady Violet which I had not read before. There is one dated February 14, 1957 where he has written to Derek’s mother telling her that her letter and photographs had started him off. It must have been one of the earlier letters as he picked up on the name Courthouse near Lewes and tells her Famous name. I have passed that way wandering about Lewes Races and he says he loves the scene there. There are other letters that I have not got down to reading yet. There is also one from Lady Violet Munnings and it has now solved the mystery of a framed print of her that I found, which in the letter she tells Audrey Clark that she will get a copy from her as it is from a painting done by her husband. Another find is a Christmas card from Prince Abdul from the Jordan Embassy Ankara, 1957. I am sure that I am going to find a lot more tucked away. There are many more to read. I also found the letters from Lady Anne Blunt’s daughter, Lady Wentworth, and Lady Wentworth’s daughter, Lady Lytton. She was a great friend of the Clark’s and I met her here on many occasions. I have the last letter that she wrote to them when they had a meeting here with Cecil Covey, as Cecil had inherited the Crabbet Stud from his father Geoffrey, who had inherited it from Lady Lytton’s mother, Lady Wentworth. There are dozens of photo albums showing some of the people I have mentioned.