Ninfield and Hooe

IS THERE ANYBODY THERE?: Firstly, welcome back to the Bexhill Observer readers. Apparently, there was a very unfortunate technical error within the Newspaper offices last week, and our Village Voice column disappeared into the ether. Furthermore, Battle readers had a huge chunk cut out...ouch. All quite distressing, and especially for those people who traipsed up to Ninfield Memorial Hall on Sunday for the Indoor Boot Fair to find it had been cancelled. We had put notice of this, as a leader in the Voice last week, but of course it wasn’t printed so, many apologies, but it really wasn’t our fault. I also started last week’s column with a poignant nod to the just departed brilliance of Sir Terry Wogan; the finest broadcaster of our generation, a great and gracious communicator, and a huge loss to the airwaves. The tributes and reminiscences that have flowed from his friends and colleagues over the week have given the chance for all of us to enjoy some fabulous clips of Terry, in his many guises, doing what he did best- entertaining, bringing fun and laughter, and also comfort and support to so many people in this country and worldwide. I was very fortunate to have worked with Sir Terry on two of his TV shows; Come Dancing (yes, the late 70’s one) performing to the infamous Floral Dance in the Offbeat Section; and later, his chat show, Wogan, when I was asked to help introduce the star of Crocodile Dundee, Paul Hogan, on to the show, in true Hollywood fashion. Apparently a running gag had been set up between Terry and the Australian actor, so that if Mr Hogan’s film became a huge success, he would be treated to the ‘full works’ when he next appeared on the chat show. I, and a lovely dancer called Chelsea, were choreographed to escort the film star onto the set, lead him down some stairs onto a red carpet, with torches ablaze and trumpets flaring. The day started with rehearsal from 9am, straight into costume and make up, and then meeting Terry himself on set. He was charm personified and made us feel at home with all the elements being put together for this ‘promised’ star entrance. The only person who didn’t turn up to run it all through was the ‘Celebrity’ himself, Paul Hogan. He actually arrived just 10 minutes before we went live on air. Terrifying. The gag suddenly became a tad unfunny, as all you could see was two determinedly smiling dancers trying to drag a bemused, behatted Australian actor down some stairs while trying not to fall over their long, Hollywood gowns. Watching it back afterwards on video, I could just see us counting, trying to keep him in time with the choreography and music...Awful. Thank goodness for Terry, who carried the whole show off to perfection, and made sure Chelsea and I had a deserved glass of wine in the ‘Hostility’ suite afterwards. All of us TOGs salute you Sir, you’re a true star.

VALENTINE’S DAY: So, now we look to the weekend of love. St Valentine’s Day is upon us, and let’s hope the sun shines on all those romantic Sunday Lunches, walks along the prom, or car drives in the countryside. Have fun.

HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY: Many thanks to Rose Franks for the following information. The next meeting is this Monday at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall. Ian Everest makes a welcome return, with a talk entitled From Sussex Ox to Fordstone Major. This should be a very interesting evening, so do go along, even if you’re not a member yet. The schedules for this years’ shows are available in the Village Shop, Lower Street, so go and grab one quickly. The spring show is on March 26, entries for the Handicraft classes and the children’s items can be made well in advance, so why not get busy inside while it’s cold and wet outside.

HOOE PARISH COUNCIL: Will next meet on Monday, at 7.30pm in the village hall. All residents if Hooe are invited, and encouraged, to attend. Please go and find out what is going on, and what is planned for the future of the village, contact Sally Durman, the Clerk to the Council on 893007 or email

NINFIELD BONFIRE SOCIETY: Wednesday at 8pm, Working Men’s Club, is the next chance to find out more about the planned events put on by this brilliant, enthusiastic team. There will be confirmation of the date for the main Fireworks night, and details of the fundraisers on offer during the year. Like the Carnival Committee, the Bonfire Society always needs more help and volunteers; the two groups work together whenever possible, but extra helpers are always welcomed with open arms. Call Carol Holland on 893326 for more information.

LOCAL HISTORY GROUP: The next gathering of Ninfield Local History Group is on Thursday at 7.30pm in the Methodist Hall, Church Lane. Do put this date in your diaries and go along to hear speakers Liz Darbyshire and David Swales, who will be talking about the history of Ninfield Primary School. This promises to be really well attended evening, the entrance fee is only £1 for Members, £3 non-members, and there will be light refreshments included. Call Rod Ffoulkes on 893635 if you’d like more details.

UNDER 18S FOOTBALL: Thanks are due to Kevin Regan for details of the match played between Ninfield Utd and Tonbridge Invicta on Sunday last. Apparently the weather and the pitch both created a difficult set of circumstances, but the commitment and effort shown by the Ninfield players was extremely evident, should be commended and then paid dividends with the game ending in a strong draw at 1-1. Some good individual performances throughout and Man of the Match was Jordan, Well done to all the lads. Have a good run to the end of the season.

VILLAGE ALLOTMENTS: Spring is springing. It’s time to think about all those lovely vegetables you’ve always wanted to grow, so why not take up an allotment. They are tucked away at the end of Church Lane, and there are some that are now available. Not only could you become the next Charlie Dimmock or Percy Thrower, think of all the fresh air and exercise on offer. Call Phil Ringrose if you’re interested in finding out more.

GARDEN TALK: Another mention for Mary Borman in Crowhurst, who is arranging the event at Crowhurst Village Hall on February 19, 7.30pm. Mary would like all neighbouring Villages to come and hear renowned RHS Lecturer, Hilary Newton, speaking on The Small Greenhouse. Entrance is £4 for all visitors, and teas and coffees will be available. Please call Mary on 07870525441, or email

CHURCH SERVICE: Sunday, Combined Family service at St Oswalds, Hooe, at 10.30am.

NINFIELD METHODIST CHURCH: Sunday, Service of Worship and Praise with Deacon Jean at 10.30am.

DEFIBRILLATORS: In Ninfield, Kings Arms front entrance; Hooe, Red Lion front wall. 24/7-365 invaluable emergency first aid help. Please don’t be afraid to use these devices if you are suddenly in need; there are easy instructions within.

KEEP IN TOUCH: As always, it’s lovely to hear from people with stories and information. Please get in touch for next week’s column; deadline Monday evening, 6pm. I will hopefully have some news on the Carnival Committee meeting and its plans for the rest of the year, and also HM Queen Elizabeth’s 90th Birthday celebrations. Watch this space. Call me, Sami Guard 07970650321, 893699, or email

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