Isfield & Little Horsted

NEW SHOP: The opportunity to shop locally for provisions has returned with the opening of Isfield Farm Shop, a butcher’s and village store on the site of Holly Gap Farm Shop which closed early this year. The new business, off Station Road, is owned and run by Isfield couple Sue and David Biggins. Although the shop has been attracting customers through its doors for a few days over the past week, tomorrow (Saturday) sees the grand opening, with the added attractions of free drinks, a barbecue and music between 10am and 2pm. Thereafter the shop will be open Monday to Saturday (8am to 2.30pm) except Thursdays (4pm to 8pm), when it is planned to have a pizza van on site. David Biggins said: ‘We are committed to providing fresh, locally sourced produce at reasonable prices; we also aim to support local farmers by buying as much of our stock locally as possible.’ A delivery service both to Uckfield and further afield is being offered. More details on or phone 01825 751271. Among familiar faces to customers of the former shop is Henry Bolle, in charge of the butchery department. He has been in the local butchery trade for some 30 years.

GOOD NEIGHBOURS: Two Isfield groups have come to the rescue of Barcombe Bonfire Society, who apparently faced a dismal future after losing their storage and preparation facilities. Isfield Community Enterprise (ICE), the village grouping that bought and runs the field behind The Laughing Fish pub, and Isfield and Little Horsted Bonfire Society have agreed to let the Barcombe society use the field for storage and preparation. They have agreed to let Barcombe put a storage facility on the ICE field and generally lend a hand. Barcombe have already decided to abandon plans on holding their own Bonfire Night this year, although secretary Charlie Deacon wrote in a note to the Isfield society’s chairman, Andy Brooks: ‘We are hoping this is a short-term solution, and we hope to be back on our feet in 2017 if we get the support from the village.’ It does seem that while the Barcombe group have decent funds, they could do with more people. Andy Brooks said: ‘We are delighted to be able to offer, through our membership of ICE, assistance to a local fellow-bonfire society.’ Isfield, who will be setting the village skyline alight on October 28, are also in a co-operation agreement with their mates at Hailsham. Together they will be making torches made of hessian - rather than Isfield’s previous fibre - which has been Hailsham’s preference for a while.

FILMING: If you’re watching a certain programme on television in early July you might recognise a local landmark. A BBC film crew in the area recently to make footage for an upcoming documentary based on the 1916 war propaganda film The Battle of the Somme filmed by Geoffrey Mallins and John McDowell, took a liking to Isfield Village Hall and arranged to take some indoor scenes. Village hall committee member Katherine Meakin said: ‘The crew said it was a wonderful building … which it is.’

CHEERS: A few celebratory pints were flowing at Isfield’s Laughing Fish pub when the Brighton and South Downs branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) officially pronounced the hostelry it’s Country Pub of the Year. On duty to hand over a framed certificate was Steve Pardoe, the branch’s Pub of the Year co-ordinator. The Fish won the category based on CAMRA members’ votes. Licensee Andy Brooks said: ‘We are absolutely delighted that our pub has been recognised on a free vote of CAMRA members.’ Andy and his wife Linda have been running the Fish since 2001. Another family member, son Henry, is one of the pub’s chefs. Winner of the branch’s overall Pub of the Year was the Gardener’s Arms (Lewes), with the Brewer’s Arms (also Lewes), placed second.

RED CROSS: Isfield Wednesday Club, until recently known as the Forget-Me-Not-Club, will be meeting next Wednesday afternoon in the village hall to hear a talk on the work of the Red Cross, both overseas and locally. Later that day, Isfield Dance Club will be taking over the hall for its regular meeting (8pm to 10pm).

CHURCH SERVICES: St Margaret’s, Isfield (10am): First Sunday of the month, Holy Communion; second, Matins; third, Holy Communion; fourth, Family; fifth, Holy Communion. St Michael’s, Little Horsted: First Sunday, Communion (11am); second, Holy Communion, Book of Common Prayer (8am); third, Family service, (11am); fourth and fifth, Holy Communion, Book of Common Prayer (8am).

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