CHURCH SERVICES: 8am Holy Communion Hellingly, 9.15 Holy Trinity, Upper Dicker, 10.45am Holy Communion Hellingly. (Fourth Sunday 10.45am Family Service Hellingly). Every Thursday 9.30 am BCP Holy Communion at Hellingly.
MOTHERS UNION: The Sussex, Kent and Surrey Air Ambulance Service was the subject for the May meeting and members welcomed Raymond Craig, an ex Royal Navy helicopter pilot whose work involved him in flying mobile hospitals into war zones and disaster areas. He was obviously a man well versed in danger and trauma but also someone with a wonderful sense of humour. Members learnt about the early days of the Air Ambulance in this area which is now celebrating twenty-five years of continuous service, 25 years during which tens of thousands of people owe their lives to the air ambulance teams. In the early days the emergency team consisted of the pilot and a paramedic and could only operate on Mondays to Fridays in daylight hours. Now with the expansion to cover three counties and two helicopters, and with extra training, they are now licensed to fly at night and seven days a week. For the past few years each team now consists of two pilots, this is to cover permitted flying hours in case of an extra emergency call after dark, a paramedic and a surgeon (usually one trained in trauma) and all aircraft are fully equipped. The majority of the pilots and medical staff are ex military which is an asset to the service. The equipment they carry on board plus their knowledge, means they can operate on a casualty at the side of the road. Other things Raymond spoke about was the man-made blood type O negative that they now carry on board, and the interesting way its development and use came about, thanks to racing ace John Surtees, Ashford hospital and a keen haematologist. The two helicopters, based at Marden airfield and Redhill respond to industrial, farm and sports injuries and at least three times a day to Road Traffic Accidents. They cover the M20, M21, M23, M25 and all roads in-between. Every time they receive a ‘shout’ in daytime it costs the charity £2,800 and more if it is called out at night. They also hold a HEMPS licence which gives them priority over all other aircraft, even at major airports. The charity has twenty-seven regulars on the rescue payroll, all others are volunteers and this is the way they prefer it. Operational costs amount to £9 million a year and their only income comes from donations and legacies from wills. John Surtees does a lot of fund raising and work for the charity and has raised and got together enough money to buy a new helicopter, an Augusta Bell, which is due to come into service in July. Please keep supporting this charity.
A NUMBER OF INMATES: If you would like to take part in a local celebration of 50 years of the Cuckoo Trail then this three mile walk over two hours on Tuesday meeting at 10am will be a good way to do it. Walkers will meet at Hellingly Station Car Park. No dogs please. The Cuckoos Rest will be open for refreshments. Other events are taking place along the trail from Saturday 13 to Friday June 19 from walks to boot fairs. It is 50 years since the last train travelled down the Cuckoo Line and it became the Cuckoo Trail for walkers, riders and cyclists. Nowadays this stretch of the line is used by over 250 thousand such visitors. Join in the Sussex Walking Festival on this anniversary in one of the most famous parts of Sussex. For more details check the websites: www.wealden.gov.uk or www.sussexwalkingfestival.org.uk.
WEDDING SHOWCASE: If you are looking for inspiration for your perfect wedding then look no further than The Blackstock Wedding Showcase Day on Sunday between 10am and 3pm. The 16th century Tudor Barn and Granary will give you lots of ideas. Blackstock Farm is on Grove Hill, Hellingly.
PARISH COUNCIL: The next meeting of Arlington PC is on Thursday at 7.30pm at Upper Dicker Village Hall. Check the website for the agenda. http://www.arlingtonparish.org.uk.
‘ALLO ‘ALLO: The Dicker Players are putting on this outrageously funny production by Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft directed by Ellie Hale at the Hailsham Pavilion between July 10 and 12. Based on the hugely successful British television series that ran for seven seasons, this uproarious stage version of the comedy relates the adventures of hapless cafe owner, Rene, in war-torn occupied France. You can see all of your favourite characters including Rene and his tone-deaf wife Edith, their waitresses Yvette and Mimi, Michelle of the Resistance, Leclerc the master of disguise, Crabtree the British agent, the British airmen, Colonel Von Strohm and Lieutenant Gruber, randy Captain Bertorelli, General Von Schmelling, Helga and the Gestapo officer Herr Flick! Tickets are £10. £9 students and seniors (Adult content) from Hailsham Pavilion box office www.pavilionhailsham.co.uk. There are four performances on Friday July 10, 7.30pm, Saturday July 11, 2.30pm and 7.30pm, Sunday July 12, 2.30pm. Visit www.dickerplayers.co.uk .
PARISH COUNCIL: The chairman’s report, presented at the Arlington Annual Parish Assembly recently stated that the PC continues to consider planning applications carefully and has made comments both for and against applications to Wealden District Council. Concerns have been raised over the number of applications where the applicant has applied for a Certificate of Lawful Development for Existing Use and has been living on the site for several years without planning permission. The PC did not support one large planning application for a solar park at Wilbees Farm. The PC has listened closely to villagers’ comments on planning applications and has taken these into account when making their response. They would encourage anyone making an application to attend the Parish Council meeting where it is due to be discussed. Residents are also encouraged either to attend the meeting or send their comments regarding applications to the Clerk prior to the meeting. Bede’s school has continued to send pre-application consultations for its proposed applications and the PC has dealt with five of their applications since April 2014. The Chair thanked the school and Dr Maloney for giving the PC the opportunity to discuss and give feedback on the applications prior to submission to Wealden DC and for being available at meetings to answer questions. Further thanks were offered to Dr Maloney and his groundsmen for the assistance they have provided at the Village Green and Recreation Ground in Upper Dicker. The next LARAC meeting is on Tuesday at 7.30pm in Arlington village hall. The parish council meets on Thursday at 7.30pm in Upper Dicker village hall.
SPEEDING: The lack of footpaths next to the rural roads for children travelling to and from school have been major issues in and around both Dicker and Arlington villages. The Parish Council continues to meet with ESCC Highways to try and get action taken to reduce the speeding and to install footpaths where they are deemed necessary. The main obstacles to this are a reduced budget at Highways and the scoring system used by Highways which doesn’t always give enough priority to schemes we would like introduced. The PC continues, on residents’ behalf, to push for improvements. The Speeding Action Group in Arlington (SAGA) presented a 355 signature petition to Councillor Nick Bennett, asking for action on speed reduction. Arlington’s rural roads currently have a speed limit of 60mph, are narrow and have three right-angle bends. Vulnerable road users include horse riders, cyclists and pedestrians who are all put at risk from speeding drivers who use the roads as a rat run between the A27 and A22. Steven Keogh states that ESCC’s Lead Member for Transport and Environment will publish a report on the petition to ESCC and SAGA on July 19. For campaign updates and offers of help, do contact Lindy Gillam, email@example.com.
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