BARN DANCE: Hailsham FM and Environment Hailsham are jointly promoting an event to blow away the winter blues by announcing the Spring Time Barn Dance starring the ever popular Spinning Jennies Band. The event will be staged on Saturday, March 5 at Grovelands School Hall, 7pm to 11.30pm. Tickets: £10 pp with kids going free. Available from j-bowdery@sky.com, or phoning 01323 840382 and 07904 866328. It will be an evening of dancing and fun for all ages with the Spinning Jenny Band, plus additional dance music played by Hailsham FM’s Helen Lawrence. There will be an exclusive raffle and refreshments available. This joint promotion is the first of several planned this year and all money raised will be split between the two organisations.

DEMELZA: Friends of Demelza made over £9k. Many volunteers who support Demelza Hospice Care for Children gathered at their offices in Ripe just before Christmas for coffee, mince pies and a big thank you for all their hard work. Each of three Friends groups that attended (Hailsham, Uckfield and Heathfield) presented the charity with cheques. The Friends of Demelza (Hailsham) gave them a record £2300 from their efforts through 2015. On top of that, the Hailsham group have been attributed with raising a further £7000, by way of helping to run events organised by the Community fundraiser, making a grand total of £9300 from Hailsham alone.

The group met this week to plan their fundraising for 2016, and have lots of exciting events in their diaries. Proms in the Park, at Western Road, Hailsham on June 10 will be a Celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday and looks like being a fantastic event, with Wealden Band and Hailsham FM. It will be a Friday evening, starting at 6pm with a grand picnic. The band will start at 7.00 with a grand climax, just like our own last night of the Proms at around 9.15pm (times to be confirmed). Everyone will see posters going up shortly around the town with all the details. The Friends of Demelza have market stalls, coffee mornings, quizzes and cream teas on the agenda, so keep looking out for the red and white spotted posters. Still looking for more volunteers to help them achieve even more, Pam on 844020, or Sue on 840797, will give you more details.

CATS PROTECTION: The Cats Protection League and Adoption Centre at 63 Marshfoot Lane, has new opening times. They are now closed on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, open late from 3pm to 7pm on a Thursday and 11am to 3pm on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday. However, if you need to attend outside these hours please ring 01323 440101.

RBL: The Hailsham and District Branch, Royal British Legion are to hold an Anzac Day Parade and Service on Sunday April 24. The service will be held at the Hailsham War Memorial. If any members of the public or organisations wish to lay a wreath, cross, posy, chaplet or flowers, there will be a time during the service to do this. If members of the public or organisations require a wreath, cross, posy or chaplet, please contact Mike Weller, Chairman Hailsham Branch Royal British Legion at the earliest convenience on 01323 440749.

KNITTING GROUP: Knit’Inn Nights at The King’s Head enjoyed a quiet start to the new year, but some ambitious plans were aired. Feedback on a lace knitting course was very positive and including beads to the lace produced a very attractive sample that has gone onto many future-plans list. A Fairisle knitting course is not too far ahead, and we look forward to enthusiasms being similarly ignited. The group meet on the second and last Tuesday each month at 7.30pm and welcome all portable yarn based crafts at any level of skill. Some knitting or crochet is most commonly worked during the evening, but the chance to exchange ideas and solve problems is a large part of the reason why the meetings continue, now entering the sixth year. For more information phone Su (07552 229473). The next meeting will be on Tuesday.

CAN YOU HELP?: As you may have heard, Hailsham foodbank found out just before Christmas that they need to find new warehouse space by the end of January (or thereabouts). They have approached a number of people and are still working through some leads but are now desperate for help. If you have any space you think would help please contact Julie Coates, Hailsham foodbank Manager on 07474 671350 or via the website at www.hailsham.foodbank.org.uk. The storage space needs to be of approximately 40m2 with vehicular access, preferably near Hailsham Town Centre.

ST WILFRIDS: The parishioners’ of St Wilfrid’s Catholic Church are pleased to announce the opening of their new church last month. It was a long awaited moment after many years of planning and hard work. The new modern space hosts the original altar, stations of the cross, statues and font all of which anchor Catholic tradition firmly at the root of this modern facility. Fundraising activities are underway to enable the transformation of the old church building into a community hall which will be used to serve the parish and local Hailsham community. For more information, please contact: Gareth Jones, E-mail: Gazdoo@aol.com, Tel: (07725) 368906, St Wilfrid’s Website: http://saintsgeorgeandwilfrid.co.uk/

DISCUSSION GROUP: U3A had a visit from Irenee Harris from Eastbourne about the proposals for a Debate next May on the EU Referendum. She initially wanted to gauge enthusiasm for the idea, and to sign up some prospective speakers. There will be a meeting arranged in January to discuss arrangements further, but a date has been set for the debate on Thursday May 19. Contact Pam on 01323 844020 for more information.

BONFIRE BINGO: The next Bingo session to raise funds for this year’s bonfire celebrations and firework spectacular is today, Friday, at the Charles Hunt Centre, Vicarage Field. Doors open 7pm for eyes down at 7.30pm.

BONFIRE AGM: If you are interested in what the Bonfire Society does for the rest of the year or if you would like to take part in this year’s parade then go along to their AGM on Friday January 29 at 7pm for 7.30pm start at the Charles Hunt Centre, Vicarage Field car park.

ST MARY’S: Sunday, 8am Holy Communion, 10.30am Morning Service with crèche and children’s groups. 6.30pm Holy Communion. Tuesday, Oasis 9.20am to 11am, 3.15pm to 5pm Pulse, 7.30pm to 8.45pm Youth Band, Wednesday 10am to noon Creative Craft Group, noon to 1pm Meet and Pray, 2pm to 3.30pm Crafty Companions. Thursday, 9.30am to 11.30am ABC Playgroup, 7.30pm TNT Group. Friday January 29, 9.30am to noon The Bite In joint coffee morning for Women’s World Day of Prayer in March. Weekday events are usually held in the St Mary’s church lounge.

100 YEARS AGO: In December 1915 the Rev F Clyde Harvey wrote as follows: My dear Friends This Christmas letter must be a war-like one I fear. There is a talk of Peace in the air, but what Peace can there be while the Military Absolutism of Prussia tries to be ‘over all?’ Germany and the combination are being strenuously attacked on a front of over 2,000 miles, and in addition there is the strain upon all her sea-fronts and wherever the Fleets of the Allies can reach her - that she could have lasted so long is a marvel and due to her extraordinary organisation. She is a perfect machine moulded since the days of the Great Elector 1640, afterwards by Frederick William the First and then Frederick the Great, and carried on since till all form of self-government is killed, and the State machine works out the one will of the Emperor. Against this the Democracy of the Allies is fighting. It is the first time it has had such an opponent. Can it win? Its resources are far greater than the Germanic combination? Can it organise them? Of course it can. But to do so there must be corresponding sacrifice of men, money, and what is specially dear to the Democracy, its own will.

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