Parish pump Lewes - April 17, 2015

FOLK BAND: Tomorrow, Saturday, at 7.30pm Contraband folk band will be performing in concert with their usual mix of tear-jerkers, romantic waltzes, foot-stompers (bring your dancing shoes) and home grown oddities to brighten your evening. It will be cabaret style seating with tables and a bar. Tickets £8.50 (under 16 years £5) from Barcombe Stores or online at Doors 7.30pm, music 8pm. Their music swings from soulful ballads to full-on Celtic jigs and reels. Their main line-up is vocals, accordion, keyboards, two fiddles, mandolin and recorder/oboe/whistles. These kinds or portable acoustic instruments have travelled to all parts of the world and this is reflected in their repertoire which covers Breton, Eastern European, Cajun, English, Irish, French Canadian tunes, plus many of their own compositions. So come along for a great, fun, musical evening.

OPERA: On Bank Holiday Monday, May 4, at 7.30pm the New Sussex Opera will perform The Indian Queen by Purcell. This opera contains much of Purcell’s most glorious music. It was his last opera and has been neglected, probably because it was left unfinished and was in fact completed by his brother, Daniel. It is a story of two lovers divided by war. Tickets £16 available at Barcombe Stores or online at Tel: 0333 666 3366. Do try and support these exciting events at the village hall.

VILLAGE HALL AGM: The Annual General Meeting of Barcombe Village Hall will be held on Thursday at 7pm in the village hall. At the meeting reports will be given by the management committee on activities during the past year including financial accounts which the AGM will be asked to approve. The management committee (trustees) for 2015/16 will be formed by election and from appointees from user groups. All adult residents of the parish are welcome to attend and there will be an opportunity for the public to raise issues relevant to the village hall.

BOWLING: It is that time again. The green is being prepared and the pavilion will be open for the first roll up (practice session) of the season. So get your flat shoes on and come along to the bowls pavilion on Sunday afternoon from 2.30pm onwards and try your hand at bowling in a relaxed and informal way. New members very welcome from Barcombe and the surrounding villages. Further practice sessions are on Monday evenings from 6.30pm. Tel: 01273 400806 or 400548.

GARDEN CLUB: On Tuesday at 7.30pm in the village hall, Ruth Urbanowich will talk on Organic Gardening; what is it, why do it and how to do it? Refreshments available, all welcome.


BIRD SEARCH will take place tomorrow, Saturday, starting at 9.30am at Romany Ridge Common car park (TQ377207). All are welcome to join Ian Woolsey and other members of the Commons Society search for warblers, the new migrant arrivals, and other birds. For more details call William Coleman on 01444 831098.

ST GEORGE’S Coffee Morning is at the Free Church tomorrow, Saturday, from 10am until midday. Hosted by the Royal British Legion Women’s Section there will teas, coffees, homemade cakes, preserves, tombola, fancy goods, books and cards. Do call in and give your support to this great cause. To learn more call Susannah Griffin on 01825 724335.

ST PETER’S CHURCH Sunday, Holy Communion at 8am and Parish Communion at 10am. Transport can be arranged by calling Peter Martin on 01825 722680. Also everyone is welcome at the church this Sunday to enjoy delicious homemade afternoon tea from 3pm to 5pm.

FREE CHURCH Sunday service with Derek Heyman at 10.30am and Giles Woodcraft at 6.30pm. Refreshments will be served after all the services.

KNIT AND NATTER EVENING: Complete beginners and experienced knitters will be most welcome at the Free Church on Tuesday at 7.30pm. Take along your current project or if you wish to learn wool, needles and help will be available. To find out more call 01273 890114.

LUNCH CLUB open to everybody is at St Peter’s Church on Thursday from 12.30pm. The cost is £5, do go along and meet people and enjoy delicious freshly prepared home cooked food.

FREE Getting Ready for Work course at the Chailey Children’s Centre takes place on Thursdays April 23 and 30 for two hours each day. Just call 01273 336940 to book a place.

VILLAGE INFORMATION POINT session is, at the Coffee Stop, Free Church on Friday April 24 from 10am to midday.

LONDON MARATHON: Ed Dykes has kindly volunteered to run in the London Marathon, on Sunday April 26, to fundraise for Chailey Heritage Foundation. The Foundation receive one London Marathon ticket every five years. Ed’s story on his JustGiving site includes ‘It is a happy place despite profound disadvantages everyone is working to improve choice, independence and quality of life. Chailey Heritage receives some government funding, but it is private donations and gifts that make the real difference and make this place truly special. Anything that you can give in support will be enormously appreciated.’ To help Ed reach his sponsorship target please donate at

WINDMILL and Rural Life Museum will be open for the first time this year on Sunday April 26 from 3pm to 5pm. The small display of military exhibits has been expanded to include research material compiled by the Commons Society which relates to our village’s military history and archaeology from the 18th century to the present time. Any further items relating to Chailey’s war-time past will be most welcome, just contact John Smith on 01825 723519.

FUNDRAISING BARN DANCE This special event has been organised by one of the parents at Chailey Heritage School to raise funds for the charity. It is being held on Saturday May 2 from 7pm in the Memorial Hall at Chailey Heritage Foundation, just off the A272. There will be live music provided by Square the Circle Folk Dance Band, dancing and a hog roast. Tickets cost £15, which includes the hog roast, and are available from GK’s Cafe at Chailey Heritage or by calling 01825 723723.

CHAILEY LINK WALK starts at 10am on Monday May 4 from the Sports Ground, North Chailey. As usual the walk will be followed by a barbeque for the participants. Children who complete the walk will receive a certificate provided by the Bonfire Society. The walk is about six and a half miles long, but a short cut is available reducing it to four miles and route brochures will be available. The route linking North and South Chailey is almost totally over footpaths; with stiles have been adapted to ensure easy access for dogs. It is varied and includes the heathland on the Commons, ancient woodland, splendid bluebells and spectacular views of the South Downs. For more details call John Smith on 01825 723519.

HUGE THANKS go to the students at Oriel High School in Horsham for raising £14,000, in a sponsored walk, which has enabled the creation of a new outdoor multi-sensory activity area at Chailey Heritage Foundation. The interactive facilities were formally opened recently and include talking sunflowers, massive suspended tubular bells, a resonance board, raised flowerbeds, a pagoda with different coloured Perspex panels on the top and sides, brightly coloured sinks with water or sand offering different textures and temperatures, a water fountain that squirts water and turns on different coloured lights and a big mirror on the wall for the young people to look into. It is an amazing transformation of a courtyard and one that the young people at the Foundation will enjoy always. ITV Meridian attended the opening of the sensory garden and if you missed their detailed report visit

Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday, St Peter’s Church, 8am Holy Communion; 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall; 10.30am parish Communion followed by coffee in the hall.

FAVOURITE BIRD: which bird will get your vote? The broadcaster and ornithologist, David Lindo opened the online avian election to run alongside the real thing. Voting opened on March 16 and closes on Election Day, May 7, not too late to register your vote on There are so many lovely birds around our countryside and it will be interesting to see which one is chosen as our national treasure.

SPEEDWATCH: There has been much written recently about the high speeds of vehicles in East Chiltington, especially in Honeypot Lane. Following concern from some residents the parish council, at their last meeting, suggested the use of a speed watch scheme and on Monday April 13 training commenced. The session was held in Willow Lodge, Mill Lane, Chailey, and anyone at all from East Chiltington who wanted to attend would be most welcome. For those that have completed the training they will be free to speed watch in their own area. For further details contact Jenny Toomey, clerk to the council, on

CONCERT in the village hall, Beechwood Lane, on Friday May 8 at 7.30pm. Adults £8, children £6. Award winning Australian singer Beck Sian (cousin of Kate Bush) and acclaimed English guitarist Jonathan Kershaw. Currently based in West Sussex and touring the UK and internationally with a unique show, which comprises a blend of haunting, beautiful ballads and Celtic fused emotive guitar.

PARISH MEETING: East Chiltington Annual Parish Meeting is on Thursday May 14 in the village hall, Beechwood Lane, at 7pm. This is the meeting for residents to attend and hear about the year’s activities from their parish council. This will be followed by the annual parish council meeting, no earlier than 7.30pm.

AGM: Hamsey Parish Council will be holding their AGM meeting on Thursday May 21 at 7pm in the village hall, Beechwood Lane. This will be followed by the Annual Parish Council Meeting at 7.30pm.

MORE ANGRY VOICES: I have had a lot of irate people on the phone with the latest news on the footpath situation in Beechwood Lane. I can quite understand their concerns about the milk tanker that has been going to Lower Tulleyswells Farm in the lane. The Thomas family have farmed there for generations and the tanker has been collecting the milk for many years. Apparently where the works include an island on the A275 Cooksbridge road, the tanker is unable to turn into the lane and will now have to go up to the Rainbow junction, turn around and come back down over the level crossing to gain access into Beechwood Lane. Obviously this was never taken into account when it was agreed to put a footpath in the lane. Not only is the Rainbow junction a very dangerous spot to contemplate such a move, but those that decided that they must have a path should have also taken into consideration that it is also the local farmer’s livelihood that should have been considered too.

RED KITES: Recently I read a report about 300 red kites that were flying into an area and were being fed raw red meat by residents, who are obviously not aware that it is illegal to put cooked or raw meat out for birds. It was reported during the last foot and mouth outbreak that feeding birds with uncooked and cooked meat was responsible for the disease that closed many farms for weeks.

GOOD YEAR: having seen so many blackbirds around the farm this year, I was pleased to read that 2014 was their best breeding season for 75 years, with twice as many chicks born. Having seen that I seem not to be the only one who is being visited by a wandering cat that I have found very upsetting as it is after the little birds and their nests. I had a call from a resident to tell me that she had a cat visiting her garden and wondered if it was the same one that almost lives here, but the answer was no as mine is a short haired white cat and hers is a long haired. Unfortunately she watched it as it took a robin’s nest. My moorhens are quite good at protecting their territory and will, I hope, see it off when it comes onto my patio and hangs around the bird feeders waiting to pounce.


ST LAURENCE CHURCH: Recital tomorrow, Saturday, Stefan Holmstrom baritone, will be performing with Basil Richmond piano, and Angie Wilson cello. Stefan Holmstrom has sung in many opera houses around the world and we are honoured to have him sing in Falmer. The concert begins at 5.30pm and admission is free but with a retiring collection. If you are planning to come, try to come a little early to see the wonderful Art Exhibition displayed in the church. An evening of Art and Music, I am looking forward to Saturday.

LADIES GROUP: Because of the Albion home match this week on April 14 the Ladies’ Group have had to rearrange their monthly meeting to take place on Tuesday April 21 and will be welcoming John Glover, a D Day veteran, to talk of his experiences when he parachuted into France, on that special day. The Ladies’ Group welcome non-members, and gentlemen, if they wish to attend this meeting. It will be held in the Parish Hall in Falmer and begins at 7.30pm.


CHURCH SERVICES: On Sunday there will be a service of Mattins (BCP) led by The Right Reverend Lindsay Urwin, Provost of Lancing College and Keeper of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. The service begins at 10.30am and refreshments will be served in the church after the service as usual.


KINGSTON WI: Before our talk, Valerie Simmonds gave a report of her visit to the FAM at Eastbourne’s Winter Gardens. Our Cat Basket, pet carrier filled with cat goodies from playthings to flea treatment to cat treats, sold very quickly. Apply by April 27 for a course on making your own bath products; and on April 29 a Kingston team will be at the East Sussex quiz at Peacehaven. Diana Crabb was chosen in a draw to attend the Centenary Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. Meet at 9.30am at the end of The Street, Kingston, for a walk starting at Woodingdean on April 20. Tap dancing is on April 23 and 30. Pilates at the Parish Hall, Tuesdays, 2pm to 3pm; Craft on Fridays, 2pm to 4pm at the Pavilion. There is to be a trip to Westminster Gardens on June 10 and Kingston Fete is on July 4. Our next meeting will discuss the 2015 resolution concerning Continuing Care in the UK and Ann Stamper is speaking about the WI Archives. Our speaker, St John Ambulance instructor Marita Edwards, first asked for a casualty, Anna Philips volunteered. If alone with a casualty, first be sure we are safe. Talk to the patient, louder if necessary, give commands also tap on the shoulder. Check for breathing; at this point another person could dial 999. We were shown how to achieve the recovery position which aids breathing. If alone this is when to call 999. We learned about choking and the methods to dislodge the object in adults and children. A recent advertising campaign has saved many people. Burns need to be left under cold running water for at least ten minutes; until the pain stops. Then cover with cling film. It may need hospital treatment if the burn is larger than the palm of your hand. Anaphylactic shock due to an allergic reaction to wasp/bee stings, medicines, even latex etc. A nose bleed needs pressure by pinching the nose below the bone, with head leaning forward. If not stopped repeat for another ten minutes. A check by your GP best for repeated bleeds. A tooth knocked out can be firmly pushed back into place, be sure to get it the right way round. As a last resort place between gum and cheek and get help. Circulatory disorders affect around 88,000 people. They could be sweaty and grey so sit on a chair or the floor; they can be given 300mg of aspirin. Call 999. It was a very interesting and informative talk making us think about dealing with an emergency. We were each given a small booklet of first aid tips.

BUS SERVICES: Sadly the new 123 bus timetable will start on Monday. New timetables are available on the 123 bus. A Saturday two-hourly service will continue but times have completely changed. It is helpful to remember that travel passes are acceptable on all normal Compass Bus services after 9.30am Monday to Friday and any time on Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays. The 130 daily bus service to Brighton will continue.


BRIDGE CLUB: Tuesday March 31, Duplicate Pairs: 1, Irene Hall and Peter Gannon; 2, Robin Parris and Peter Kennedy; 3, Nigel Osmer and Jonathan Hyde. Thursday April 2, Duplicate Pairs: 1, Peter Catermole and Mickie Lodge; 2, Liz Fry and David Sharpe; 3, Frank Hibbert and Roy Skan. Thursday March 9, Cross Imps: 1, Nigel Osmer and Peter Cattermole; 2, Janet Cattermole and Jonathan Hyde; 3, Meic Goodyear and Sheila Cripps. Visitors welcome, phone 01273 476757.

STUDY DAY: Courageous in Conflict is the title of the fifth Study Day being held from 10am on Saturday May 23 by the Sussex Military History Society. The event at Newhaven Fort has five expert speakers covering aspects of WWI to WWII (giving their time free) and includes a professional tour of the Palmerston Fort. Tickets are £15 including tea/coffee and biscuits and refreshments are available on the site. All proceeds are towards the Combat Stress Charity. To date the group’s annual Study Days have raised £3,000 for Forces charities. All details or phone 07714923925 email

SOUTHOVER CHURCH: If you are in Waitrose this month please pop your green token in the box for the Lewes Contact Centre, which helps families that have split up to maintain contact. During April our collections are going to the Judah Trust to provide education on avoiding the spread of HIV/AIDS and to care for those afflicted by this illness, particularly children. Our special link is with work in Rwanda. Members of our church go there regularly to give practical as well as financial assistance. If you would like to know more go to Don’t miss the hustings event on Thursday April 23 at King’s Church (by Homebase) at 7.30pm, organised by churches in Lewes, when general election candidates will answer questions. On Sunday May 3 at 3.30pm we will have a songs of praise service featuring favourite hymns that we can sing together, with help from our choir. To request a hymn please email Services this Sunday: 8am communion (prayer book); 10am morning service with communion, a blend of traditional and contemporary, with choir, organ and band; 11.15am informal service (church hall); 6.30pm informal evening service with singers and band. Please do come and join us.


SOUTH MALLING SCHOOL: Last Term was a very busy term musically, and the crowning glory had to be the Blue Classes (Lemon Leopard and Jade Jaguar) performance of Bookworms Bonanza. The children sang, played instruments, acted, recited poetry and even managed some tricky costume changes. The school was really proud of the high quality of such an ambitious performance. Many thanks go to Miss O’Neill, the class teachers and Mrs Starnes for masterminding the project. Over the last couple of terms, Miss O’Neill has been working with Years 4 to 6 on the BBC Classical Music Project, Ten Pieces. We are thrilled to have some of the artwork, produced by children in the Purple classes, featured in the creative responses gallery on the BBC website. If you would like to see the art, please follow the link: Term Five will start with a flavour of France, as the school welcomes the children and teachers from their French partner school in Itteville. Over the course of the morning, children in Years 3 to 5 will take part in various activities in the hall. A French style café and a market stall are some of the activities available, designed with the aim of allowing children from both countries to apply their language skills and interact with one another. In the afternoon, the Purple classes will take on the French at tag rugby, weather permitting. Allez les violets.

SOUTH MALLING CHURCH: With lots of people on holiday, a smaller than usual congregation last Sunday enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of a friendly family service rather welcome after the high emotions and profound focus of Easter. This week’s service is Holy Communion and begins as usual at 9.30am. All are welcome.


CHRIST CHURCH: Over 60 people attended our recent Messy Church. Activities included making fridge magnets, planting peas, construction activity with marshmallows, tessalating shape, balloon powered hovercrafts, rainbow bodies and a world prayer picture. The theme was Healthy Body and Healthy Soul. There was a short act of worship before a lunch of jacket potatoes with fillings (baked beans, cheese or tuna mayonnaise), yogurts and fruit was served. Today, Friday, our Tots group will be meeting from 9.30am for the start of the summer term. Worship on Sunday at 10.30am will be led by Rev Jim Thorneycroft with Sunday Club for children. At 6.30pm Rev John Gordon will be leading worship with Holy Communion.

SAVE ST MARY’S: I wonder if Springman House, on the corner of North Street/Lancaster Street is still owned by the NHS or is it one of the so called buildings on the council list for selling? Who owns it and why has it been left to rot for all these years? Why not put it on the list instead of St Mary’s Social Centre. It is entirely disgraceful that this town could lose a well used social centre while a building like Springman House can be left to rot for more years than I care to remember.


THE COUNTRY MARKET is open today, Friday, from 10am to 11am in the village hall. There is always a good selection of home baked cakes, savoury items, fresh eggs, flowers, plants, preserves, locally produced cheeses and charcuterie, plus handmade greeting cards and knitted items. So why not pop along and see for yourself and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.

CHURCH SERVICES: St Mary’s Church, Sunday 8am Holy Communion (BCP) followed at 10.30am with Holy Communion (CW). If you require a lift to church please telephone 722582 and make an advance booking.

REMINDER: Just to remind you about Peter Bassett’s historical journey with English Organ Music at Fletching Parish Church tomorrow, Saturday, at 7.30pm.

NEWICK WI will be meeting on Thursday in the Community Centre at 7.45pm when Ian Gledhill will be the speaker. Visitors are always welcome to join these meetings.

THE WEATHER has been glorious this week, I sincerely hope you have been able to get out in your garden or go for a walk. The countryside is coming alive with colour primroses and the hedgerows are forming new green leaves plus the birds are singing beautifully. We are so fortunate to live in such a great part of the UK.


WARBLERS UNITE: Do not forget Chailey Commons Society’s outing tomorrow (Saturday) when there will be a walk on Romany Common to seek out the delights offered by our songbirds. Gather at the car park at 9.30am. All welcome.

ANOTHER CHANCE: Plumpton Wildlife and Habitat Group will be staging a real early morning walk on Saturday next week (April 25) when they will set off from the track at the top of the racecourse at 6.30am for a dawn chorus walk through Ferrings Wood, but with a reward of a sausage breakfast at Ashurst Cottages at the end. If you propose to take part please ring 01273 890341 to book your brekkers. Or respond on

ELECTION NEEDED: The fear of a skeleton parish council in the wake of six councillors not seeking re-election in May has passed. Ten people have been nominated for nine places, so an election will be necessary. This will take place on May 7, the same day as the General and District Council elections. Parents, do be sure to keep your babies out of sight otherwise they may be smothered in kisses with so many candidates in so many elections prowling the streets. Seriously, it is a healthy sign that enough people are apparently interested in village matters to step forward and very re-assuring in the current situation.

BLUEBELLS AHEAD: Plumpton Support Group for St Peter and St James Hospice is organising its annual Bluebell Walk for Friday next, April 24. All are welcome to join in this popular event and to meet at Plumpton College at 6pm for a 6.30pm start (I got it wrong last week, sorry). Reg Lanaway will lead an interesting tour through Plumpton Woods but do take your wellies or other suitable footwear as there could be some mud about. Entry fee will be a mere £2 unless you wish to donate a little more to this worthy local cause. No pressure but the opportunity will be there.

DOG FOULING: The parish council has received reports of an increase in incidents of dog fouling on village pavements. Dog owners have a duty of care to other residents to clean up after their pets, particularly in the interests of hygiene. Dogs are lovely creatures and great companions to their owners, but their natural bodily functions should not pose health threats or present noxious situations to others.

GOOD LEGISLATION: We frequently complain about seemingly pointless legislation that makes life difficult and seems to have been invented purely so that some people can justify their otherwise pointless jobs. Well, I have to say that the laws making it illegal to pick wild flowers have been a rip roaring success. Currently we can traverse the countryside and enjoy an array of daffodils and primroses to brighten up our days. Soon the bluebells will appear. At the time of my childhood it was rare to see such flowers blooming in the verges and woods. As soon as a primrose poked its head up through the ground it would be snapped off. At bluebell time people would disappear into the woods and re-appear clutching armfuls of the flowers but, alas, they would all be dead the following day. Now we can all enjoy the colour and the beauty throughout the flowering season. Not only that, but primroses are spreading and in my garden I have countless self-seeded plants to make my days brighter. Well, thankfully, that’s something that Health and Safety regulations have been unable to curb, unless the jobsworths claim that they banned the picking of wild flowers because it posed a safety risk or even a health risk to those who suffer from hayfever.

NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN: Silence does not mean inactivity. The steering group is working hard to assess the sites proposed for development so that it may soon make a recommendation to the parish council on a sensible way forward to accommodate the housing development that is being imposed on the village from on high. Both the steering group and the council are fully aware that they are on a hiding to nothing as factions that are eventually in some way affected by such development will be up in arms. The council has a duty to endeavour to reach a balanced conclusion that will serve the interests and the wishes of the village as a whole.

PLUMPTON WI: We have arranged a Spring Walk on Friday May 1 departing from the Cock Inn at Wivelsfield at 10am followed by lunch on our return. Our speaker at the April meeting was Andy Thomas talking about the mysteries of Crop Circles. At the end of the evening we were still undecided if they were man made or a natural phenomenon. At our May meeting we will have a discussion on the resolution to be put forward to the National AGM at the Royal Albert Hall in June followed by a speaker. Please come along on Wednesday, May 13 at 7.30pm. (Marilyn Nye).


BOOK SALE: The Ringmer Support Group is holding a Book Sale tomorrow (Saturday) in aid of St Peter and St James Hospice at the Scout Hut from 10am until 12.30pm. Entry is £1 to include tea/coffee and biscuits and there will be a raffle. There will be plenty of book bargains, CDs and DVDs.

NEARLY NEW SALE: Ringmer Tiddlers and Toddlers Nearly New Sale will be held tomorrow (Saturday) in the village hall (10.30am to noon). Children’s clothes, toys and equipment age 0 to 5 years. Everything you need when having, raising or minding a little one. Tea and cakes also available, please come along and support our little group, thanks. Entrance £1 per family.

ST MARY’S CHURCH: Tomorrow (Saturday) at St Mary’s, 7.30pm, Meet Marius, an opportunity to meet Marius Istrata, founder of Amara House in Romania, who explains how Ringmer’s fundraising has helped disabled men in Romania. Sunday services: 8am Holy Communion and 9.45 Family Eucharist with Revd David Perks. 6.30pm Evensong with Ian Graham. The Annual Parochial Church Meeting takes place this Sunday from 11am. This is when we review the year and elect our churchwardens and members of the Parochial Church Council. Advance notice, Sunday April 26, 6.30pm. Do come and celebrate marriage at our thanksgiving service. Refreshments will be served afterwards as we share the fellowship of those recently married at St Mary’s with those who have worshipped together for many years.

BRIDGE CLUB: At its meeting on Wednesday April 8, the result of the duplicate pairs played was: 1, Alan Disney and Roy Skan; 2, Lesley Durrant and David Warner; 3, Jenny Charman and Michael Slot. The club next meets in the St Mary’s room of the village hall on Wednesday at 7.30pm.

ADULTS NEARLY NEW SALE: Come and sell your clothes and pick up a few bargains at this fun social evening on April 30. In aid of St Peter and St James’ Hospice, please start looking out items you can sell to help this cause. Contact Marisa Hayes 01273 812790 for information.

Rodmell & Southease

SERVICE: On Easter morning around 20 hardy parishioners from our church held a service on the top of Itford Hill at 7am. They met at 6.10am, parking cars at Iford farmhouse, and walking up the hill to meet the dawning of the day and held their service before walking back down to Southease Youth Hostel for bacon butties and a cuppa. I was not one of them but as I snuggled down into my bed to listen to the radio until I got up at 7am I did think of them. For the first time in years I did not make it to any of the church services at Easter, as with having two ill people to look out for and B&B guests, life is a bit demanding and you can’t do everything.

MIKE FABER: There was an interesting write-up in The Times about long time Rodmell resident Mike Faber who died peacefully on February 26 aged 85. His family plan to have a memorial service to celebrate his interesting life later in the summer with all his family present. Mike always reminded me of Father Christmas with is rosy cheeks and white hair and beard. He was so interesting to talk to and his wife Didona (Dido), who was daughter of Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, used to phone me to say how much she enjoyed my Parish Pump and we had many a lovely conversation. Dido was a renowned beauty of her time and she met Mike at Oxford. She died in 2004.

WI: On Tuesday Rodmell and Southease WI hold their monthly meeting in the village hall when speaker, John Kay, will give a talk on The Social History of the Weald. Visitors welcome at 8pm.

COFFEE MORNING: On Wednesday April 29 there will be a coffee morning in the village hall from 11am. Very popular with many villagers.

SPRING PLANT FAIR: Southease Spring Plant Fair is on Monday May 4. This is always a lovely event.

SOUTHEASE: I love reading Adrian Orchard’s write-up for Southease in our parish magazine, it’s always so amusing. Adrian is looking for people who play cribbage, maybe to get a group together. I can remember men playing cribbage in pubs. It was a very popular pastime at one time.

TREES: It was sad to read about the trees that had been stolen along the new cycle path from Ringmer to Lewes. The hours that were spent putting them in by the council workers, only to have someone pull them out. The money for this vandalism will no doubt have to be paid by us, the tax payers. Litter is another problem as someone wrote about recently, saying since the new cycle route opened, she has litter picked and filled several black bags of litter on one outing. This happened in Rodmell recently when I believe Carol Ashplant set up a littler picking campaign. Well done Carol and others.