Cross in Hand, Horam, Blackboys & Five Ashes

HEATHFIELD ABOUT TOWN: Le Marche was a huge success this year. We endured torrential rain on the Sunday but skies cleared on Monday. I wandered down myself at about 11am and everything was in full swing. The Fire Station was busy with firecrews showing youngsters around their amazing bits of kit. Also on hand were the Street Pastors, how lucky we are to have those. Kensington (corner of Tilsmore Road) turned up trumps with ice cream, cup cakes and flapjacks (Mrs PP ate a packet) being sold for charity. Most shops were open I noted, initially surprised to see Pilio closed but then finding them manning a stall selling olive oils in Station Approach. The charity shops deserve full praise, particularly as they are manned (womanned?) by volunteers who had given up their bank holiday. There was music on the High Street and a wide selection, whatever your taste, in Station Road. King’s Church laid on activities for children. Interesting to see several newcomers this year. Heathfield Bonfire Society attracted enthusiastic visitors, we hear that once all the legal formalities have been completed, Heathfield will have its own bonfire in 2019, at least then we won’t be the only town in the county without one. Our wine producers were going great guns, Hidden Spring from Horam always support these community events, and Beacon Down in our own Cross in Hand looked well worth a visit, perhaps to sample grape picking? They are holding open afternoons and a very well put together little leaflet invites us to visit on Saturdays, September 1 and 8 from 1pm to 4pm for a free tasting and stroll in the vines. More information about that when we’ve had a chance to chat to them. The French stallholders were pulling in massive queues, particularly those selling charcuterie, baguettes and croissants and it was hard to get to the front of the crowds massing around the giant iron platters serving fresh paella and a wonderful smelling Spanish chicken dish. Generally more fresh food I thought and those fabulous line-ups of tomatoes, melons and peaches that always taste so good. A giant stall selling fresh or smoked garlic and another laden with sausages, hams and cold meats. He was doing a roaring trade. Recorded French music, the sort that used to accompany Jacques Tati films, and automatically transports you to a Normandy beach in the sunshine, was played and you could buy the CDs too. Pancakes were being scoffed, as fast as they could be made. Our local groups were out in force and it was good to see our councillors enjoying the day. Leaflets were being distributed for Thorn Taxis, new to me. Will investigate that one. Le Marche is a hugely successful marketing act for the town. It attracts people from across the county and many, impressed with what they find, arrange to come back on another day. Congratulations and thanks to the stalwart organisers who even turned out in the pouring rain the day before to make preparations and who labour away unsung behind the scenes ensuring we all get a great day out.

JEWELLERS: I know technically not Heathfield but with Jocalia closing down this jeweller could offer a service that benefits our community and local groups. I enclose a copy of an email sent by the manager of George Morris Jewellers in Uckfield. You may be aware that our shop has moved from it’s previous location next to Waitrose, Uckfield, up to 140 High Street. The move took place in March and we are delighted with our new premises. The business started in 1995, with Rob Suckling the sole owner since 2005. I joined the small, dedicated team very recently from a public sector background. We thought now might be a good time to tell people about what we do here, behind the grey, black and gold shop front, and the range of products and services we offer.

We propose to offer some very informal talks to local groups about jewellery, watches, repairs, bespoke items, pre-owned, valuations etc, and wondered if you would like us to come to you?

We would also offer a free ring cleaning opportunity where we could advise on condition and repairs if necessary (this free service is also available during our opening hours). We believe we are very much part of the community and have had a presence at the Uckfield Big Day and Weald On The Field. Currently we are planning for Christmas late night shopping. If you would like us to come to your group please let me know and we can plan some dates. Likewise, if you know of any other groups that might be interested again let me know. Email addresses and contact telephone numbers would be helpful. Contact Mark Powles Manager. T. 01825 764004. Email.

MAYFIELD AND FIVE ASHES: London House Bookings. Jeanette Hore has taken over London House bookings from Jo Woodliffe who has been filling in on a temporary basis. London House is a very convenient meeting place situated in the middle of the High Street with disabled access at the rear of the building. There are two good-sized rooms, a kitchen and toilet facilities so if you are thinking of holding a coffee morning, a lunch, an afternoon tea party or an evening gathering, whether it’s for the villagers or it’s a private event, do consider London House. Charges are a very reasonable £7.50 per hour or part thereof which includes lighting, heating and Wi Fi. Contact Jeanette via email: or mobile 077 483 70717.

MAYFIELD CARNIVAL: A date for your diary Mayfield Carnival September 15. Barrier Marshalls are required for the above event. Please join other Mayfield Villagers by helping to volunteer and keep the Mayfield Carnival running as without your help it will not happen. Your support, if only for an hour on the night would be a great help, be it on a barrier or collecting money for charity, helping at the bar to raise funds or even helping to clean up the morning afterwards. Email.