Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

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

BEACON LIGHTING: I was so pleased that the weather held for the lighting of the Beacon as, being a clear night, I was able to see it from my window after it had been lit. I was not only able to remember all those that fought in the First and Second World Wars, which included my great grandfather in World War 1 and a much loved uncle in World War , and of course Derek who was in North Africa at the Battle of Alamein. I also had very happy memories of a lovely sunny afternoon in 1988 spent at Conyboro Fete, Cooksbridge when I first met the late Tony Shephard, who was a house-father at the school. Tony had commissioned the Brazier as it was the commemoration of the Battle of the Armada. The Brazier was first used when a beacon was lit at Conyboro by Maud Welfare, dressed in her beautiful Elizabeth I costume, who arrived to open the fete and light the Armada Beacon. Members of St Peter’s Church, Offham also performed a Mummers Play, St George and The Dragon. The Welfare family, along with some of the Conyboro staff, took part in the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations at Windsor. The lighting of the beacon at Conyboro took place three days ahead of the national chain of beacons which were lit on July 19. When the school closed and Tony moved on, he very kindly gave the Brazier to the parish of Hamsey and it was stored for a few years by a local resident. It as then passed to Hamsey Parish Council. I like to think Tony would have been looking down and would be delighted that his gift to the parish is being well used on special occasions. I have kept the programme as I have great memories of Tony, who I also used to meet up with at late night shopping in Lewes when I was on duty for the former Lewes and District Crime Prevention Panel. He always signed his Christmas Cards to me, as he knew I had sheep, ‘from your old Shephard Boy’, with a pencil drawing of a rather poor looking sheep. I very much miss his sense of humour and fun.

CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS: Although it is still some tie to go, I thought a message to those who like to help with decorating the church should get in touch with Caroline as early as possible. This is so that she knows how many helpers she will have on Saturday December 2 from 9.30am at St Peter’s Church, Offham. Call Caroline on 01273 477151.

POWER CUTS: A message from Sussex Neighbourhood Watch in partnership with UK Power Networks. Having had a power cut two weeks running now, last Monday and again on Saturday November 17, it was good to read the message. UK Power Networks own and run the electricity cables in most of our region and fix power cuts. They provide a free priority service for anyone who might face extra difficulty in the event of a power cut, including households with an elderly person, young children, someone less mobile or someone with a health condition. By registering with the Power Networks’ Priority Services Register you will be given a priority 24-hour phone number for communication, receive extra information and regular updates during any power cut. In the event of a longer power cut you could receive hot food, hot drinks and hot water, mobile phone charging and more. Those who rely on power to run medical equipment, such as dialysis or breathing apparatus, would also receive additional help. More information can be found online at www.ukpowernetworks cut/priority-service-register. It’s quick and free to register by completing a short questionnaire. If you have family or friends who meet the criteria, you can register on their behalf if they are happy for you to do so.

ANOTHER MESSAGE: Sussex Police Funding 2018 to 2022. Sussex Police have started the biggest intake of new police officers for over a decade. This has been made possible by the increase in police precept of an average £12 for a band D property, and the PCC releasing £17 million from reserves. It means that over the next four years, Sussex will have 200 more police officers on the front line than it does today. Although residents are pleased to hear that local policing will be strengthened by these 200 extra officers, they are already indicating that they would like even more. That is why the PCC has opened a survey on their website go gauge potential support for riasing more funding locally if the Government lifts the cap the police precept. You can make your views known on https:/

BAD WEEK FOR FARMERS: Tractors could be banned on some A roads, together with horses, pedestrians and cyclists. Highways England says motorway standard roads are ‘six times safer’.

LORRIES: A week ago we had a huge lorry try to come in here at 7.30am. Fortunately my son heard it slowing down as it got to our gates in time to stop it. The driver was not at all pleased that he was not allowed in here and proceeded to try to turn round on the B2116, but it was too difficult. He was looking for the Mount Harry development but could not get up Barleys Cottage drive to get there. At last they have now put new signs up at the bottom of Barleys driveway which will hopefully solve the problems we have been getting with vehicles since just after last Christmas. And, after another reminder to the project manager, they have stopped using our postcode at last, which was why the lorries were coming here, usually around 7am, opening our gates and driving down to the farm cottages. Hopefully peace at last.