Cross in Hand, Horam, Blackboys & Five Ashes

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH: Update on last weekend’s Operation Blitz activity. Last Friday, officers started their shift in Polegate and were called to assist with a search for a nine year old who went missing from McDonald’s. During their search, all the play parks in Polegate and Willingdon were patrolled with no issues. The team then patrolled Hailsham churchyard and the High Street. Lots of teenagers were about, all of whom were perfectly polite. Officers then visited the Youth Café and liaised with staff who didn’t have any issues to report, but appreciated the engagement.

Crowborough was also patrolled later in the evening. Officers visited the skate park at Goldsmith’s and train station at Jarvis Brook. Beacon Community College did call to report some youths on the school grounds, but they had all dispersed when officers took a walk through. In Uckfield, they focused most of their attention around McDonald’s and Tesco. They received a call reporting youths in Tesco’s car park causing a disturbance to staff and customers. Most of them ran off when they arrived, but officers managed to identify them and they will be dealt with by the local policing team who are reviewing CCTV around the area.

DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE: Police are urging motorists to stay onside as the latest drink and drug-driving campaign coincides with the 2018 World Cup. The Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit will tackle the issue throughout the football tournament, which runs from June 14 to July 15.

The goal is to ensure motorists know the score when it comes to driving under the influence, or face the penalty. Officers are also advising drinkers to allow extra time if they plan to drive the next morning, as they could still be over the limit. Chief Inspector Warren Franklin, of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: ‘With the World Cup just around the corner, the number of football fans drinking in pubs and bars or at home will naturally increase, and that’s fine. What’s not fine is driving when you’re over the limit. It doesn’t matter if it’s only a short drive home or you’ve only had a couple, we’ve heard every excuse in the book, but ultimately there is no acceptable excuse to drive while under the influence of drink or drugs. You may not realise it, but these substances can seriously impair your ability to drive, placing yourself and other road users at significant risk. By all means enjoy yourself and take in the atmosphere of the World Cup, but don’t let it compromise the safety of you or anyone else on the roads.’ Officers respond to reports of drink and drug-drivers as part of routine policing all year round, however there will be increased patrols and static stop checks dedicated to tackling offenders throughout the summer campaign. Anyone caught will be dealt with robustly. In the summer 2017 campaign, a total of 150 motorists were arrested in Sussex on suspicion of drink and drug-driving offences. If you’re prepared to drive under the influence of drink or drugs, prepare to face the consequences. These could include the following: A minimum 12 month ban; an unlimited fine; a possible prison sentence; a criminal record, which could affect your current and future employment; an increase in your car insurance; trouble travelling to countries such as the USA. People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug-driving, or visit the Operation Crackdown website. You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online. If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, call 999.

CROSS IN HAND: Isenhurst Junction. No reported accidents last week. On April 28 John Plant, Chairman of the Cross in Hand Amenities Society, wrote a very comprehensive and detailed report to MRH Retail Services the owners/operators of Isenhurst Service Station regarding the road layout and the safety to users of the service station. On June 12 he had to remind MRH that he was still awaiting an acknowledgement and a response to his letter. John has received a short reply stating his letter has now been passed over from Customer Service to the MRH Property Department. Is this what they call passing the buck? Well done John and in the meantime the price of road fuel still rises.

HEATHFIELD ABOUT TOWN: Shop Local. I do know this is an old chestnut. Currently it does seem all is doom and gloom on our high streets. Major retailers are closing their stores, thousands of jobs are being lost, landlords are losing their patience with the big boys and not too conciliatory to local traders. So now is the time to ‘shop local’. Yes, prices may be a little higher but when you factor in the cost of getting to your destination, parking charges and general wear and tear, Heathfield, Hailsham, Uckfield and Crowborough have a very good selection of super shops. What we must also not forget are our very good local producers. It was good to see Cade Street Nursery exhibiting at the South of England show. Please come and support our local Farmers’ Markets. Let’s face it, these small producers are the backbone of British retailing. For example, in town we have a shoe shop, ironmonger, florists, butcher, baker, greengrocer, all purpose store, fashion shops, accessories shop, hairdressers, antiques and curios galore, dance studio, restaurants, takeaways, deli, major food retailers near the High Street and Station Road, the list goes on. Come on Wealden. Let’s be pro-active and produce car rear window stickers urging people to shop locally.

PATRICK COFFEY BIKE RIDE: We’re very proud of our parish council deputy chairman Patrick Coffey. Two weeks ago he finished Davina McCall’s Big Bike Ride in aid of Action Research. He cycled 21 miles in hot weather, coming 13th for the distance, a time he’s very happy with (not being 18 years old Patrick). He said: ‘Davina was fantastic and there was a lovely festival, party atmosphere. I was very impressed with the riders who did the longer distances but I’ll get there….maybe.’ You may have seen him riding round the lanes and he’s graduated from an electric bike to a pedal-pushing job. There’s hope for us all.

MAYFIELD AND FIVE ASHES: May Fair Thank You. Roger Stone has sent in this report: The support for this year’s May Fair was amazing given that the weather was not the best. There are so many people to thank, the schools who danced, the musicians, Morris Men, Mummers, shops, stall holders, May Queen, Green Man, Frost Queen and organising committee among many others. You can find a full list on the mayfieldmayfair.com or the Mayfair Facebook page. Thank you also to all our supporters who turned up on the day and stayed to look round and support and to 88 of you who took part in our Big Dance where we smashed our record for the number of people dancing round a Maypole.

PARISHES IN BLOOM 2018: Recently the Mayfield Business Forum and High Street retailers/businesses met to discuss ways to increase footfall into the village and thus trade for the hard-pushed shops in particular but businesses generally. It has been decided to enter the Parishes In Bloom this year which is a pilot scheme set up by Britain In Bloom to encourage parishes which either have never entered this type of competition or haven’t for some years. Judging will take place between June 15 to July 13.

PARISH COUNCIL: Think Before You Park. This is a polite reminder to people parking their vehicles inconsiderately, making access to properties difficult and some roads a challenge if emergency or service vehicles have to get past. The vast majority of people park considerately - are you one of the few who does not? When you park please ensure: You leave extra room near tight corners; do not park on double yellow lines; check there is enough space for a fire engine or ambulance to pass.

FACEBOOK POSTS: At the last Community Safety and Traffic meeting it was noted that there have been reports on the village Facebook page recently of a suspicious van and of theft from a resident’s van. The Committee would like to remind residents not to leave tools in their vans overnight and to please ensure that you report the registration numbers of any suspicious vehicle to Sussex Police. It is easy to email 101@sussex. pnn.police.uk to provide information. It may assist them with other previously reported activities by increasing their intelligence.

POTHOLES: You are no doubt aware we have seen an increase in the number of potholes forming across the County, notably since the beginning of January as a consequence of the winter weather. East Sussex Highways has provided the following update: We are experiencing a much higher level of contacts and reports from the public than usual and this has resulted in some delays in dealing with and responding to customer queries but we are working on resolving these as soon as possible. To manage this and ensure that the network is safe we have more than doubled the number of gangs working to fix potholes with many working full time over holidays and weekends and we are currently fixing potholes at around four times the normal rate. In addition to the standard method of cutting out and applying hot materials to fix potholes we are also using a different method as an interim measure to ensure we can respond in time and maintain a safe network. This method involves a product which can be used both in wet and freezing conditions and simply requires the removal of loose debris from the pothole, the product is then raked into the hole with some water added to start the setting process, it is then squared off and hand tamped to compact it to a level slightly above the level of the road surface. Normal trafficking then does the rest. This process is quick and enables more potholes to be repaired and the product is designed as a permanent material that does not necessarily need further work. However, we will be monitoring the effectiveness and the quality of the repairs and further works will be undertaken if required.

NEXT PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: Finance and General Purposes Monday, 7.30pm Parish Council Office; Rights of Ways and Trees Wednesday, 1pm Parish Council Office.

COMPUTERS FOR PUBLIC USE: With the demise of our library, the village has lost the facility of public use computers, so using money kindly donated by the Boyes & Belles Bonfire Society from last year’s carnival, a computer is about to be purchased which will be for public use. Initially, it will be sited with us in the Old Library on a Monday and Tuesday when the MAYFACS office is open, but will be looking at making it available at other times and possibly other locations. It will be a laptop and A4 printing will be available on an inkjet printer. Because only one computer is available, booking a time slot will be introduced so as not to have a wasted journey. Just email if you can access another computer (manager@mayfacs. org.uk), or contact drop in and see us or telephone us. It should be available for use from the middle of June. Telephone contacts are below in the Monthly Trips section.

MONTHLY TRIPS: Letters to sign up for these monthly trips are available in various places in the village. There is space to take between 22 and 26 people each month (depending on number of wheelchairs) so there is plenty of room. You are more than welcome to join in even if you don’t currently attend any other of our activities. The cost for the transport is £5 each, and the dates and venues are as follows. All trips are on a Monday: June 25, Alfriston; July 30, Hastings; August 20, Bexhill-on-Sea. Please contact Shirley on 07908 516875 or Alex 07389 050605.

ST DUNSTAN’S CHURCH: The Summer Fête will be taking place on Saturday, June 30 from 11am until 3pm in the beautiful grounds of St Dunstan’s Church with, for the first time, Five Ashes CEP School. Please put the date in your diary and come along and join the event for a fun filled afternoon. There will be plenty of refreshments including a baarbecue, cream teas, Pimms and a bar, a Grand Raffle, bouncy castle, all sorts of children’s games and activities, music with the Mayfield Band, a bottle and teddy tombola and fantastic plant stall. The Bell Tower will be open for you to look around and the Jubilee Handbell Ringers will be performing inside St Dunstan’s. For further details or if you would like to run a stall, please contact Nicky Higgins, St Dunstan’s Parish Administrator on 01435 873484.

SUMMER FAYRE: St Thomas of Canterbury Church Summer Fayre Diary Date. St Thomas’s Summer Fayre will take place on Saturday July 7 from 10.30am to 2.30pm in the beautiful Convent garden of Mayfield School. There will be plenty for all the family, coffee, tea and lunches; strawberries and cream; Pimms, wine and soft drinks; homemade cakes and preserves; bottle stall; children’s games and toys; Tombola; books; bric-a-brac; plants; nearly new clothes. The church is delighted that music will be provided once again by the Mayfield Band. The Grand Summer Draw will take place at the close of the Fayre. Tickets for the Draw cost £1 each and there are many wonderful prizes. This year one third of the proceeds from the Fayre and Draw will be donated to MAYFACS and Mayfield Scouts and Guides. All are welcome and entry is free.

BLACKBOYS: Sad Loss. I am sure a number of Blackboys’ residents would have seen me and Mrs PP walking our two Cyprus rescue dogs daily come rain, snow or shine in both Kiln and Turnmill Woods. We love the woods and all the wonderful people who walk their animals there. I must say everyone is very friendly and very kind. Through this column I am always thanking the Woodland Trust for keeping the woods in very good order. I am sorry to report our 14-year-old Cyprus pointer was put to sleep on the evening of Monday June 11. I do know he was a great favourite with other dog walkers and very friendly with other dogs. Ari was a rescue dog from North Cyprus. In late April 2005 he turned up on the doorstep of our house in the mountains in Karmi, covered in ticks, cuts and still retaining the stitches where he had been castrated (this is the norm in North Cyprus for a street dog). If someone picked up a broom or vacuum cleaner, he was terrified. He’d clearly been beaten. A kind neighbour looked after him, along with her twelve cats and two other dogs during his quarantine period. On October 11, 2006 I flew him back to the UK….North Cyprus - Istanbul - Paris. Mrs PP drove to Paris to pick us both up. Why come to Paris and not straight to the UK? It was because the UK did not recognise the North Cyprus Pet Passport Scheme - but France, along with other EC countries, did. A new French Pet Passport document was issued in Paris and we travelled to the UK. On arrival in the UK he escaped (with his lead attached) in Friston Forest, when we picked up our English Bull Terrier Nico from friends. It was dusk when we eventually found him. In February 2007 he contracted a life threatening nasal fungus disease, aspergillosis. He needed weekly, day-long visits to brilliant vets at Faygate near Gatwick and took them all in his stride. The vets are a cutting edge practice, (treating animals in air transit including ‘exotics’ like snakes and parrots.) After four months the vet tried an experimental treatment drilling behind the eye socket. He was cured -no other vet could help him at that time.

We have had twelve wonderful years with him. We were told by the Cyprus vet he was probably about two years old when we found him. He loved his walks and visits to the beach for a swim. Mrs PP used to walk him for miles. His favourite holiday was visiting our friends in the Languedoc running in and out of the vines, the beaches in Normandy or in and out of the maize crop at Primrose Farm, Arlington. Another favourite walk was the recreation field at Waldron where he used to stalk rabbits. Eighteen months ago he was diagnosed with cancer and given six months to live. He underwent two batches of six chemotherapy treatments. Last May he was very poorly, but bounced back and lived a full life until that fateful Monday. But he managed to enjoy his favourite walk in Turnmill Wood even on that day. RIP Ari, a dog in a million.