Cross in Hand, Horam, Blackboys & Five Ashes

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH: Update on last weekend’s Operation Blitz activity. The Blitz team used dispersal powers in Uckfield last weekend, after a number of youths were acting in an anti-social manner. Two of the youths returned to the area when not permitted and were subsequently arrested. June 6, a house was broken into in Blackboys. A sit on lawnmower was taken (ref: 0497 01/06). June 4, between 3.20pm and 3.55am a house in Waldron was broken into. The victims’ wallets and some jewellery was taken (ref: 0925 04/06). Church Breaks In Sussex. There have been some burglaries targeting churches recently across Sussex. Please be vigilant and if you see any suspicious activity around churches please contact us. If you saw or heard anything, or have any information please contact police online, email police at or call 101.

FARM WATCH: Coordinator’s Update. This week’s reported loose animals on the public highways are down from 104 last week to 22 this week. This was made up of 13 cows, six sheep and three horses. Please continue to check your roadside hedges and fences on a daily basis. Help to prevent and reduce rural crime. Doors and windows. Consider fitting good quality standard locks to all external doors and windows and try to keep windows and door frames in good repair. Be mindful to check that windows and doors are locked when leaving your property. Lighting. Consider using timer switches when away from home and also installing dusk-to-dawn exterior security lighting. Always adhere to manufacturers’ instructions. Intruder alarms and CCTV. Installation of an audible, monitored intruder alarm system is a good preventative measure and CCTV covering vulnerable areas on your property. Seek comprehensive advice from a reputable security company that conforms to standards set by the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) and/or the Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB). Outbuildings. Consider fitting good quality doors and window locks and good quality locking bars and robust padlocks. Try to protect windows with metal bars or grills.

SOUTH OF ENGLAND SHOW: Years ago when I ran a business in Alfriston, we had an extremely competent and personable young barman called Tom. Visiting the South of England Show last week it was great to see Tom as the marketing and sales director of the Long Man Brewery, set up on the Downs by the Ellis family. Duncan Ellis was explaining to me how they take their green credentials very seriously, passing on spent hops to farmers, using their own barley, fertilising the soil - taking nothing from the ground except their own grain and water from an acquifer. The business is going from strength to strength and thanks to Tom’s tenacity you can now find Long Man beers in many local pubs and restaurants. Nice to see a family business which enhances the environment, rather than stripping, it doing so well. Long Man also won best overall trade stand and supported their own Live Music Programme at the Show. Favourites this year; horses (particularly the mini Grand National....some fearsome competitiveness here;) the beautifully turned out cattle, sheep and even pigs; schools taking part with verve and enthusiasm; real depth from Plumpton College in livestock and just about everything; bees; sales stands (I considered a smoker/barbecue but had to be pulled away by Mrs PP) foodstands (more variety this year) and, by crikey, axe throwing. Still at the show, it was good to see Cade Street Nursery with a stand selling excellent plants. We like to buy our bedding plants from Cade Street and we find they thrive in our poor, clay soil better than many plants from other sources. Cade Street supported the Heathfield Show too.

WEALDEN ALERTS: Beat the Street, the free walking and cycling game that encourages everyone to be more active and healthy, is back in Wealden and bigger than ever. Beat the Street - Little Ridge. Running from June 6 to July 25, Beat the Street can now be played in 12 towns and villages across Wealden as well as along the Cuckoo Trail. It has become a massive game where players of all ages can earn points and prizes for themselves and their team by exploring their area on foot or by bicycle. Some 500 journey sensors called Beat Boxes have been placed on lamp posts across the County. They record every time they are swiped with a Beat the Street card. For each swipe, competitors earn points and these points can mean prizes. ‘Beat the Street cards and local maps can be picked up at local libraries, Freedom Leisure Centres and selected pharmacies,’ said Councillor Bob Standley, Leader, Wealden District Council. ‘There are so many locations where you can take part. It’s a great opportunity for people to create their own teams with friends, family and work colleagues to compete with each other, on wheels or on foot.’

Beat the Street can be played in Wealden at Polegate, Stone Cross, Wadhurst, Mayfield, Crowborough, Pevensey, Pevensey Bay, Horsebridge, Hailsham, Forest Row, Heathfield and Uckfield. There are also Beat the Street boxes along the path of the Cuckoo Trail from Heathfield to Horam. By registering a team on the Beat the Street website,, players can win £100s of sports and fitness vouchers. Last year, more than 42,000 people from across East Sussex walked, ran and cycled an incredible 230,000 miles in seven weeks, the distance between the Earth and the Moon. As well as an increased number of locations, the Beat the Street team will be going round with touring Beat Boxes to be used in village challenges on selected weekends. But remember: Beat the Street only runs from June 6 to July 25so it is time to get cracking. Victoria Spencer-Hughes, Consultant in Public Health, said: ‘We‘re really excited to be bringing the Beat the Street competition back to East Sussex this summer. We were blown away by the popularity of the game last year with more than 40,000 players of all ages making it the biggest Beat the Street game in the world ever. We’ve listened to people’s feedback and have expanded the game so that even more towns and villages can take part and teams can win more prizes than before.’ To find out more about Beat the Street, visit Alternatively, contact team.eastsussex@ for more information and to enter a team for this year’s competition. Beat the Street is funded by NHS Hastings and Rother CCG, NHS Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG and East Sussex Public Health. The initiative forms part of a comprehensive programme of activity to improve health through the Personal and Community Resilience workstream of East Sussex Better Together; and as part of Connecting 4 You in the west of the county.

TAKE SOME APPLAUSE: This summer catch some live performances at seven different locations across Wealden thanks to the Applause theatre initiative. Five shows will be performed outdoors and another one takes place in a pub as part of the Inn Crowd project. There are two outdoor events to celebrate Sussex Day tomorrow, Saturday. Handmade Features is performing Too Many Cooks at Crowborough’s Sussex Day event on the Chapel Green. Nearly There Yet will be performing Memory Man at the High Hurstwood Village Fete. On Sunday June 24, Froojamaflip and Fred, a garden-themed entertainment by Curious Creations, will be appearing at Isfield Village Fete. On Saturday July 7, the Rat Choc Chip ice cream vendor will be doing the rounds at Uckfield Festival, thanks to Beautiful Creatures Theatre.

Saturday August 25, sees the last of Applause’s outdoor performances with the Travelling Light Circus presenting a Playground of Illusions at the Roebuck Inn. Today, Friday, Luke Wright will be performing his one man poetry show, Down the Pub with Luke Wright at the Roebuck Inn, Laughton, as part of the Inn Crowd series of events. These seek to bring literature and spoken word performances to pubs up and down the South East. The Applause season ends at Alciston and Selmeston Village Hall on Sunday October 28, with a performance of Brilliance, a show by Farnham Maltings Touring Theatre, specially written for village halls. Wealden District Council sponsors Applause Rural Touring through its Community Grants programme.

HEATHFIELD ABOUT TOWN: Delighted to see our Parish Council deputy chairman and planning committee chief, Patrick Coffey getting ‘on his bike’ for Davina McCall’s Big Bike Ride. Patrick used to ride an electric bike but is now to be seen around the lanes riding an unpowered model - just his muscular legs for propulsion. He says he hopes, literally, to get back in the saddle for more charity bike rides, so we’ll keep you informed when he does his next one.

LITTER PICKING/STREET PASTORS: Driving through Heathfield on Sunday it was so good to see two ladies litter picking. Well done, I must say the town’s litter is diminishing fast.

On Friday it was good to see two Street Pastors outside Cross in Hand Primary school at going home time. Well done again, it is good to see the community spirit is still alive in Heathfield.

PHONE SHOP: Good Service Go Phone shop. A panic moment last Thursday Mrs PP returned home from the South of England show her iPad full of photographs from the show. Unable to download the photographs to the newsdesk the house was in turmoil. A quick visit to the wonderful lady in the Go Phone Shop in the High Street soon rectified the problem. Peace and quiet was resumed.

CROSS IN HAND: Isenhurst Junction. By the number of very large and long skid marks on the road by the entrance to the fitness centre there must have been a number of very near misses over the weekend. The boy racers are also out with their loud exhaust noise. I was waiting to exit onto the A265 at the junction with Mayfield Flat, a young boy racer exited the A265 at an excessive speed and nearly lost control of his vehicle. I would like to point out the majority of cars with loud exhausts are illegal. Report any cars with loud exhausts to the police with the registration number of the vehicle. I recall the Community Centre in Sheepsetting Lane had a problem with cars with very loud exhausts congregating in the car park of the centre. Registration numbers of the vehicles were given to the police, the report back from the police was most of the vehicles were from outside the Wealden area. I can assure you they were not playing tiddlywinks.

PRIMARY SCHOOL: Cross in Hand Primary School. It was an eventful half term for three pupils from Cross-in-Hand Primary School. Mya, Tia and Charlie have all arrived back in school after the half term sporting plaster casts. Mya fell off some monkey bars at the park, Charlie was riding a dirt bike and came a a cropper and Tia tripped over a log. Head teacher Mrs Sarah Massheder said: ‘There’s a saying from Sweden (or maybe Denmark?) which goes If you did not break a bone before the age of ten, tell your parents that you had a boring childhood, but this is taking it a bit far, I feel. Let’s hope for no more breakages this term. Well done to the girls for getting plaster that matches their summer dresses and for those who were wondering, Charlie’s plaster is blue.’ Still at the school, Mrs Simmonds has qualified as a Thrive practitioner and she now joins the other Thrive practititioner. Thrive is a system of learning and teaching where practitioners learn all about the emotional and social development of children, relevant to their age. It means they are exceptionally qualified to deal with youngsters and help them grow into mature, responsible and happy teens and adults. Well done the our members of staff achieve something in their work or personal lives, and I would like to celebrate something that has happened just this week. Mrs Simmonds ( has qualified as a Thrive practitioner. Four more of our members of staff, Miss Caddick, Mrs Thomas, Mrs Jeffery and Mrs Lawrence have recently re-qualified as paediatric first aiders. The school must have first aiders who are able to treat adults and children over five, but because Cross-in-Hand has four year olds, they need specially trained paediatric first-aiders. Well done again.

AMENITIES SOCIETY: Cross in Hand Amenities Society are cancelling Pick up Sticks on Sunday June 17 because they did not realise it was Fathers Day when the date was fixed. If you think this will cause withdrawal symptoms please come along Saturday afternoon and help with path work.

PLANNING: An application for two houses at Olive’s Farm, Back Lane has been turned down by Wealden planners. I imagine this is due to the enormous pressure brought by local residents who have opposed this scheme from the start. The council accepted there were elements in the proposal which went against their own planning regulations so have presumably gone back to the applicant for a re-think. I imagine this will go ahead in some form in the future but it will be interesting to see how it progresses. The problem seems to centre on Wealden’s lack of future housing supply but that issue is clearly exacerbated by the Ashdown Forest protection zone, making any potential development forced onto land in the Low Weald, as though that does not warrant any form of countryside protection. Poor Hailsham and Polegate, which are now inundated with developments in a mushroom formation. Lots of homes on the outskirts and pathetically little in the form of a vibrant high street with necessary services for all those people. No fault of the traders - they do their best under the most difficult of circumstances.

SINGING: Singing Fun for Everyone continues on Monday at 2pm in Cross in Hand Methodist Church at the top of Firgrove Road. The car park is on the left hand side. There will be favourite songs to sing and do bring along songs and music for the group. There will be time for refreshments and a chat afterwards. They just cover expenses.

BLACKBOYS: Great to see the line-up of giant puffing steam engines outside the Blackboys Inn on Saturday. First inkling that something might be up was spotting two of them halfway up the B2102 on their way to the pub. There were hundreds of admirers to greet them. Wonderful machines, full of the history of our county too where they provided motive power on farms before the advent of the petrol engine. And of course they were also steam rollers - we still call the modern ones steam rollers too. My only worry, the surface of the lanes around Hadlow Down (where they are stabled) and en route to wherever they are shown does look scarred by the giant, rutted wheels. Time for a rethink about the standard of surfacing used in these parts, I believe. In fact it would be nice to see a bit more resurfacing all round.

TURNMILL AND KILN WOODS: I must sing the praises, once again, of Kiln and Turnmill woods in Blackboys. Now the meadows en route to the woodland are full of wild flowers including orchids (Mrs PP knows the name of them.) They are a picture. Walking there on Sunday a volunteer (I assume) was driving a tractor mower to create new pathways through the flowering grasses so you could get to the woods without getting stung or prickled. This woodland is managed, sympathetically, by the Woodland Trust. We are so lucky to have it. Wild but accessible and a pleasure whatever the season.

HORAM: Wessons Café permanently closing Sunday, July 1, 4pm. After 30 years in the Cafe and Motorcycle trade, Steve and Loz Wesson are retiring whilst they still young enough to enjoy it. They would like to say an enormous thank you to all those who have supported them over the years; so many fantastic customers, so many friends made, so many wonderful memories. The restaurant will be missed.