Fletching

CHURCH SERVICES: Church of St Andrew and St Mary the Virgin, Sunday, 10am Parish Communion. Wednesday, 10am Holy Communion.

FLETCHING SINGERS: Rehearse on Tuesday from 7.45pm.

FORGET-ME-NOTS: Outing on Thursday.

MARTIAL ARTS: Kobudo Martial Arts meet on Thursday at 5pm.

GARDEN PARTY: Friends of Fletching Church Midsummer Garden Party at Clinton Lodge on Thursday from 6pm to 9pm. Tickets £15, available from Alex Rothery, 07780 670474. friendsof fletching@gmail.com

APRIL RAINFALL IN PILTDOWN: I recorded 83mm of rain in April, well above the monthly average of 49mm. The wettest April I have observed was in 2000 with 114mm, the driest was in 2011 with just 1 mm. the driest month in the past 20 years. The second driest month was also April with 6mm in 2007. We have had a wet Spring. With above average rainfall in March and April, the current total rainfall of 181 mm is already above the spring average of 163mm, with May still to be added.

100 YEARS AGO: Sussex Express 10th May 1918. A Chance For Lewes. The County of Sussex has always been a particularly keen supporter of the Farmers’ Fund and has again this year arranged a number of Sales to be held in the near future. A very successful one has recently taken place at Haywards Heath realising about £3,200. At this sale the celebrated British Farmers’ VC. cockerel (which has raised about £9,000) broke all records, raising £520, one hid for it being £75. The- previous best was Spalding, where the bird obtained £240. The highest bid was £32 10s. We wonder which district will now come along and beat Haywards Heath record. Lewes will soon have its chance, for the VC Cockerel is coming to the Red Cross Sale on June 3.

Regular readers of this column (are there any?) will recall the story of Tirpitz the pig from a few weeks ago. Google again comes to the rescue. From a BBC series, World War One at Home, we learn:

A feathered fundraiser raised £14,570 for the war effort after being bought at a Red Cross sale by Frank Fyson. Frank was too old for service and had no sons to send to war so he travelled the country auctioning a Bantam cockerel. The honour of ownership of the bird just for a few minutes became legendary with the bantam cock earning the name ‘the VC cockerel’. The money raised was distributed by the Red Cross and the cockerel’s owner, Frank, was awarded a silver cup for his efforts.

UK inflation Calculator estimates £14,570 in 1918 as equivalent to £778,740 in 2017.