Parish pump Lewes - April 4, 2014


WALKNG GROUP: Barcombe Walking Group’s April walk is on Sunday on Ashdown Forest. Meet at the Ashdown Forest Centre, Wych Cross, RH18 5JP at 2.30pm, for a walk, possibly led by a Ranger, to look at the very varied flora and fauna that makes the Forest such a special place. Organiser Rosalyn St Pierre.

BARCOMBE WI meet on Tuesday, 7.30pm in the village hall. Veg Out, Cookery Demonstration by Diane Page. Interesting vegetarian and vegan cookery with a chance to taste both sweet and savoury dishes. Visitors and new members welcome.


THEFTS from sheds, garages, workshops and outbuildings are taking place and over the weekend March 22 and 23 there were five reported thefts in villages around Lewes. One incident was at Sheffield Park Industrial Estate where tools and diagnostic equipment were stolen from a workshop unit between 9pm Friday March 21 and 7.30am Saturday March 22. If you believe you saw or heard anything related to this incident or have seen anything suspicious please call Sussex Police on 101 or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting serial number 322 of 22/03. Remember to lock your outdoor storage and where possible take the time property marking your outdoor items (bikes, tools, lawnmowers, garden equipment, furniture and even your garden ornaments and expensive pot plants). For advice on how to do this do speak to PCSO Steven Knowles on one of his visits to the village.

MEET PCSO Steven Knowles at the Free Church today (Friday) between 10am and 10.30am. Do go along for a chat, or for advice or with any concerns you may have. It is also a chance to enjoy free freshly brewed coffee, tea, chocolate and a choice of eats at the Coffee Stop, in the Free Church Hall, from 10am to midday. All are welcome to drop in for a drink and meet friends and make new ones.

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday, St Peter’s Church, Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion at 8am and a Family Service at 10am. After this service there will be Pete’s Pantry; a sale of homemade cakes, pies, buns, jam, marmalade, pate, chutney and seasonal gifts and the proceeds will go towards funds for improvements to the church facilities. Free Church, 10.30am with Trevor Dickerson and 6.15pm with Steve Mills. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be served after the service. Also on Wednesdays at 10am there is a prayer meeting and Thursdays at 7.30pm bible study and prayer .

CRICKET CLUB nets are at Plumpton College on Sunday from 3.30pm to 5pm. Whether you wish to play league cricket on Saturdays or friendly cricket on Sundays, on a regular or less regular basis, you will be made most welcome. For more information call Peter on 07709946880.

AGM: Parents and supporters are invited to attend the Chailey and Newick Colts FC Annual General Meeting at the Five Bells on Wednesday starting at 8pm.

BRAMBLES BAKERY, at Chailey Heritage Foundation, is a venture run by Barbara Spencer as a way of raising funds for the young people who reside at the foundation full time. The bakery will be selling a savoury selection at Ardingly Village Market every Thursday (starting April 10) from 10am to 11am. For more information contact

INFORMATION POINT session is on Friday April 11 when the parish clerk will be at the Coffee Stop at the Free Church from 10am to midday to assist with any questions you may have.

BIRD WALK to see and hear the new migrants’ arrival will be led by Ian Woolsey, treasurer of the Commons Society, on Saturday April 12. Meet at the car park at Pound Common at 9.30am. For more information call William Coleman on 01444 831098.

LONDON MARATHON is on Sunday April 13 and Ashley Goodman, whose son is in the Primary Department at Chailey Heritage School, has chosen to raise funds for Chailey Heritage Foundation. If you would like to support him please use the following link visit

CADBURY Easter Egg Trail is at Sheffield Park throughout the Easter weekend (from April 18 to 21). Children can explore Sheffield Park and Garden and complete a Cadbury Easter egg trail. Search for the knight and princess outfits and spot a dragon in the garden to claim a Cadbury chocolate Egghead prize. The cost is £2.50 per trail, with normal admission cost.

ANNUAL FETE is on Saturday April 26 from noon to 4pm; whilst the bonfire society is organising the event to celebrate St George’s Day, the majority of societies in the village are also participating. There will be children’s rides (including Tea Cup and Chair-O-Planes), inflatables, stalls which will include refreshments, bric-a-brac, plants and a tombola. Along with a licensed beer tent, arena events including a dog show, Zumba and martial arts. There will be a table top/car boot sale and you can book a pitch, costing £10, in advance by calling Clare Black on 07985112968.

THE SPRING SHOW had an exceptional standard of exhibits in the Daffodil and Narcissi classes, after such a wet winter. There was also a beautiful display of orchids and camellias along with some outstanding flower arranging. As usual the cookery and handicraft sections were well supported and it was gratifying to see a record number of entries. The Parsons Cup for the most points for flower exhibits going to Duncan Clark. The Spring Cup for the best in flower classes Diane Ellis. The Bo-Peep Cup for handicrafts and cookery to Tina Mitchell, the Society Cup for flower arranging to Maureen Durrant, the Angelica Cup for most points in the classes for children aged 7 years and under to Eddie Finch and the Rosemary Cup for most points for children aged 8 to 11 years to Edward Parker.

Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

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

OH TO BE IN ENGLAND now that April’s here. After all the weeks of rain and wind what better place could one wish to be than in our lovely countryside watching everything springing into life again. Daffodils standing proud in the gardens and primroses, violets and calendines all springing to life around the country lanes. The sound of bird song for a wake up call early in the morning and the bleating of sheep calling their tiny lambs as they gambol around the fields exploring their new world. As the song goes, What a Wonderful World.

PARISH COUNCIL: When Hamsey Parish Council met in March there were seven members of the public, PCSO Sally-Ann Reed and PCSO Steven Knowles present. One resident asked for an update on the school parking situation and asked for parking signs as used at Chailey Stores. PCSO Sally-Ann read out her report explaining the signs at Chailey Stores saying that if the PC and school agree, there might be similar signs at the school as well as No Turning signs for nearby drives. It is an offence to park across and block a driveway. She reported that the community speed watch was being set up and at least six volunteers will need training to its use. Details of speeding vehicles can then be entered as part of Operation Crackdown. PC chairman Cllr Ginn asked why volunteers could stand and check speeds when the police will not send along an officer who can issue tickets and was told that there was a lack of officers. A police presence was requested at least once a year. He also asked why he had received a letter from the police to say it was not safe for police to enforce speeds in the area if it was felt safe for volunteers. A PCSO explained that to enforce speeds, vehicles have to be pulled over and the area is not suitable. Cllr Ginn asked if they could use a camera style speed gun similar to the police van that is often parked in Cooksbridge taking photos of untaxed and unlicensed vehicles. PC vice chairman Cllr Dodd said that the PC had been trying to solve the school parking problems for years and the PCSO explained that cars causing an obstruction could be issued a ticket but this may not result in a fine and may not be effective. A resident asked about the development at Offham Farm which she felt will affect the future of the area and was dismayed that the PC had made no comment on the application. It was explained that the council could only comment if three or more councillors had considered the application and responded either at a meeting or by delegation. Neighbours should have been alerted about the plans by LDC not the parish council, but they will discuss their approach to planning at the May meeting. Councillors had mixed opinions about the new look Hamsey News and some concerns were raised that there might be an increase in the number of adverts. Editor Kevin Froude will monitor this. Cllr McBrown was proposed and seconded as a village hall trustee to represent the PC. The Neighbourhood Planning Group have spoken to LDC about the proposed development at Covers and it might be any building will count towards the 30 houses needed. Tamsyn D’Arienzo was co-opted to join the council.

NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN: There is a team, with professional help, writing the plan. Residents will need to vote on a number of policies, some will involve development. There will also be a number of projects proposed. The plan will not specify sites but will outline the criteria for development. It could also protect buildings seen as community assets, such as the school. Cllr Bates said the target for pupils at the school is 125 but only 50 are local and 70 need to travel in. It is hoped that the plan would help influence growth at the school.

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING will be held on Thursday May 8 at 7pm in the village hall.


MOTHERING SUNDAY: Last Sunday we had our Mothering Sunday Service at St Laurence and, as is traditional here at Falmer, sweet little posies of spring flowers were handed out by the children that attended. Many thanks to Beryl Brown for making the posies. Spring has come so early this year and Easter is so late that I am impressed that Beryl was able to find so many lovely daffodils in flower.

SINGING TREE: I had the pleasure of joining the Singing Tree Kindergarten children on a visit to St Laurence Church last week. The youngsters were very well behaved and held onto their places on the rainbow rope as we walked across. They were full of curiosity and we all went up to the organ loft and had a look there too. A few days later a friend of mine was saying how difficult it had been to keep people together on a walk she organised, I suggested she get a rainbow rope for the next time.

CONCERT: We have a concert at St Laurence tomorrow (Saturday). A Bunch of Daffs, a very entertaining choral group directed by Daphne Elstead, is returning to St Laurence. The music will be light and lively and, I am sure, great fun. The concert will start at the usual time of 5.30pm and last about 45 minutes, there is easy parking and drinks will be available. There is an amazing line-up of concerts awaiting us in May when we throw ourselves full tilt into the Brighton Festival.

ART STUFF: I had a delicious cup of coffee at Symposium in Friars Walk in Lewes last week and really enjoyed the exhibition there. Beautiful abstracted landscapes by Rachael Plummer. I have been hard at work gathering artists and craftspeople together for our Art and Soul exhibition at the end of the summer. I know it seems a long way away but registration had to be done by last Tuesday. I think we have an excellent line-up, check up on our Art and Soul at Falmer Facebook page to see who will be taking part. Not nearly so long to wait before our In the Beginning show at St Laurence, starting at Easter. I will be putting the names of those participating artists on our facebook page too.

BEES: Students from the Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects at the University of Sussex have been removing the hives from the field in Mill Street (a bitter blow for those of us with apple trees in the garden). The hives are going to be placed on farmland around Sussex as part of research looking at the relationship between farmland and bees. They will look at the foodplants that the bees choose and they are also looking at the foodplants of bumble bees, which are also now thought to be under threat from disease. There will be one lonely hive left in the field.


A DOLL’S HOUSE by Henrik Ibsen: The Synergy Theatre is returning to Kingston from Wednesday April 9 to Saturday April 12, for four performances of this classic drama. The performances will be held at Kingston Parish Hall each evening at 7.30pm. It is a story of a marriage in crisis and one woman’s fight to be taken seriously as a wife, a mother and ultimately as a person in her own right. Tickets at £7 each are available from Brian Simmons (474303) or the company’s box office on 01273 301444. More information on the company’s website


BRIDGE CLUB: Tuesday March 18, Duplicate Pairs: 1, Jill Higham and Alison Dempsey; 2, Peter and Irene Gannon; 3, Mike Keeping and Richard Burnett. Thursday March 20, Duplicate Pairs: 1, Ron and Margaret Buddery; 2, Nigel Osmer and Susan Louis; 3, Anne Davidson and Edith Jeffery. Tuesday March 25, Duplicate Pairs: 1, Martin Hall and Peter Gannon; 2, Mike Keeping and Richard Burnett; 3, Simon Kirkwood and Lynne Tunley. Thursday March 27, Duplicate Pairs North/South: 1, Peter Gannon and Nigel Osmer; 2, Alan Disney and Susan Louis. East/West: 1, David Sharpe and Janet Goodall; 2, Ann Wykeham and George Hearn, Francine Talbot-Limbrey and Lynne Tunley. New members and visitors welcome, contact 01273 473026.

SOUTHOVER CHURCH: Collections during March went to the charity Send a Cow for their work in East Africa. Could you eat and drink on just £1 a day? Barbara Marsden is doing just that in aid of this charity. She would love others to join her in raising support. All sponsorship gratefully received: call Barbara on 01273 814675. Over the past three years Marcus Taylor’s Southover Preserves have raised hundreds of pounds from the sale of jams, marmalade and chutneys to support the work of two of our church members with orphans in Ukraine. A recent stall raised another £125 and a coffee morning raised £80 towards building work at Jill Barham Secondary School in Cyangugu, Rwanda. Diary dates: Tomorrow at 7.30pm the Brighton Orpheus Choir is singing Verdi’s dramatic Requiem, an opera in ecclesiastical robes, in All Saints Church, Hove. Tickets available on the door: £15, concessions £12, students £6, under 17s free. On Palm Sunday, April 13, at 6.30pm the combined choirs of Southover and Ringmer will sing the well known oratorio The Crucifixion by Sir John Stainer in Ringmer Church. Free admission. On April 19, four short Old Testament Mystery Plays will be performed by the Lewes Passion Play group in Harvey’s Yard at 11am, noon and 1pm. Free entry. Services this Sunday: 8am communion; 10am morning service: a blend of traditional and contemporary with choir, organ and band; 11.15am informal service (church hall); 3.30pm traditional sung evening prayer with hymns, choir and organ; 6.30pm informal service with singers and band.


SOUTH MALLING SCHOOL: Last week you heard governors from partner schools who will shortly join Priory School in a cooperative Trust, met for the first time, for training on data interpretation. South Malling Governors present reported it had been a really useful occasion, not only because of the training but also for the opportunity to get to know other Governors and to share experiences from recent Ofsted inspections and discuss good practice. The school celebrated Easter this week with a service at South Malling Church on Tuesday, led by their acting Vicar, Revd Jeremy Bamber. Each class performed poems/prayers and readings relating to the Easter story, interspersed with Easter songs. On Thursday evening, the choir treated their parents and friends to a wonderful performance of the songs they had sung at their visit to the O2 Centre in January. Once again, the Friends of South Malling (PTA) held an Easter Cake Challenge, to raise funds for the school. There was a large array of cakes to choose from and the lucky winners of the challenge each received an Easter Cake for themselves. Term 4 finishes today (Friday). School begins again on Tuesday April 22.

SOUTH MALLING CHURCH enjoyed celebrating Mothering Sunday last week with Revd Helen Garratt, who spoke about the importance of mothers in passing on the wisdom of the past to new generations. Now that April has begun, church members, with those from St John sub Castro and Southover, are preparing for Holy Week and Easter and also for their annual meetings, when they will be asked to vote about taking the first step in deciding whether to come together as a single parish with three buildings, including the iconic St John sub Castro building, which is also used significantly as a concert venue as well as a church. A positive vote will give the go-ahead for moving on to the next stage of the proposal. The Malling congregation was told that their voting slips and meeting papers will be available in church on Sunday April 13. This Sunday’s service is Holy Communion at 9.30am with Revd Jeremy Bamber.

Mobile Library

THE LIBRARY will be visiting the following areas this week. Tuesday: Berwick village hall noon to 12.30pm; opposite Lamb Inn, Ripe 2pm to 2.25pm; Laughton village school 2.45pm to 3.30pm.


IN LAST WEEK’S Sussex Express on the back page was a report relating to Terry Powell and the Civic Award who used to live in North Way some years ago. Maybe some of you will remember the Powells. I had a hiccup with my computer on Monday and my very good friend who looks after my ‘what am I going to do without’ computer, looked at it and said your screen is not plugged in. How that happened I do not have a clue.

CHRIST CHURCH: On March 26 a well attended meeting of the Thinktank heard Richard Vogler, Professor of Comparative Criminal Law and Criminal Justice at the University of Sussex, describe his recent work on the long established relationship between the City of London and organised crime and on why Government has little inclination to curtail it. People were shocked by some of the information presented but Professor Vogler pointed to hopeful signs that public opinion was in favour of a more just world. Today, Friday, is our last tots before the Easter break but we do have Messy Church to look forward to next Friday between 10.30am and 1pm. This free event is open to all ages although children must be accompanied by an adult. Craft activities, worship and lunch. No need to book just turn up. Worship on Sunday at 10.30am will be led by Dr Tony Law with Sunday Club for children meeting during the service. At 6.30pm our evening worship will be led by Rev Rose Westwood from Seaford.

SPRING SHOW: St Mary’s Gardening Club Spring Show is tomorrow, Saturday, at St Mary’s Social Centre. On show will be daffodils, other bulbs and spring flowers, some vegetables, flowers arrangements, cakes, jams, crafts and photography as well children’s classes. There will be a bottle and Easter Egg tombola, a raffle, book stall, a cake and produce stall and a plant stall. Come and see the exhibits and enjoy a cup of tea and cake. Adults’ entry is 50p and children are free.

WALLANDS SCHOOL: Medieval Mayhem on May 3 is going to launch the Battle of Lewes celebrations and will really be an event to remember. We are organising the raffle, tombola, cafe, Pimms tent, crafts and a fun medieval medicine experience, and all profits from these will go to the school. We are delighted that two school choirs and Walland’s maypole dancers will be performing, plus our very own medieval samba bands will be parading on the Downs and creating an image of The Child of Lewes on the hillside. This is a one-off opportunity which has the potential to double or triple what we would normally hope to make for the school. But we really do need all the help we can get, Please volunteer as much time as you possibly can to help make this a success. Wallands sent a team of 10 Yr5/6 boys and girls to a Quadkids competition this week. All the children had to participate in a 600m run, 75m sprint, standing long jump and a throw against 30 other children. They all gained individual points for each event which were collated to get a team result. Wallands were the clear winners going through to the finals later in the year. We have had a committed group of 10 children who have been required to play six league netball matches; Wallands B won three, drew one and lost two placing them joint third overall. Wallands A won every match. Huge congratulations to Alex(C), Lulu, Edward, Ellie and Lowena for retaining the Lewes Netball League trophy with a big thank you to Mr Perry who enjoys coaching the children and said how impressed he was with all the children.


THE COUNTRY MARKET will be open today, Friday, from 10am to 11am in the village hall. There will be a good selection of plants available ready for summer planting, plus eggs, cheese, preserves and homemade cakes and savoury items. There is also a good selection of greetings cards, paintings, animal portraits, and knitted items. Please note: During Easter week the market will be open on Thursday April 17 (Maundy Thursday) instead of Friday April 1, so if you have ordered any items make sure you collect on Thursday, otherwise you will be disappointed .

THE RUGBY CLUB have two fixtures this weekend the first XV are playing away at Horley, whilst the second XV will have their match against Haywards Heath III. According to the fixture card they only have three more games to play this season.

SERVICES at St Mary’s Church are Holy Communion at 8am, followed by Family Service at 10.30am. Lifts to church are available, please ring 722582 in advance.

THE AFTERNOON CLUB will be meeting in the Community Centre on Thursday at 2.30pm. The speaker will be Geoffrey Tyack, a leading architectural historian and lecturer. He wrote the updated Prevsner Guide to Berkshire, Country Life recently published his brilliant article on the Brighton Pavilion. This sounds like a nice way to spend your afternoon.

BRITISH LEGION: Newick British Legion are looking for new younger people, either ladies or gents, to join them, who are mindful of the sacrifices made on behalf of us all by our brave service members. Membership is £16 annually and they have monthly meetings. You would receive a very warm welcome. For further details telephone 01825 723637 or 723834.


HORTICULTURAL DELIGHT: Plumpton and District Horticultural Society will be holding its Spring Show in the village hall tomorrow (Saturday). Attractions include side-shows, tombola, teas, cake and plant stalls and, at the end, an auction of produce. There will also be a Grand National Sweepstake for those who like a wager. Doors open at 2pm, admission 50p, free for children. Exhibits may be staged this evening (Friday) from 7pm to 8.30pm or Saturday 8.30am to 9.45am. No entries accepted after 9.30am. Lots of colour, fragrance and plenty of impressive exhibits will abound in a wide variety of classes. The shows are also always a great village social gathering, too. For gardeners an abundance of tips will be there simply for the asking as HS members are always keen to share their knowledge and experience.

COMMUNITY MEAL: As part of the Lenten preparations for Easter a community meal (Agape) will be held in All Saints’ church annexe on Sunday at 10am. It will be symbolic of the breaking of the bread and prayer. The service will be held during breakfast and all are welcome to attend. If possible please ring 01273 890362m 890547 or 890295 if you propose to join in. More details in the parish mag.

CLERK WANTED: Plumpton Parish Council is seeking a new Clerk. Job description and application forms available from the current clerk, Jean Stewart on 01272 891416 or Closing date for applications is April 17.

BATTLE OF LEWES SCOOP: On Tuesday, in the village hall, Plumpton will welcome David Carpenter, professor of medieval history at King’s College, London, who will give a talk entitled Politics. How it led to the Battle. The battle did have a profound effect on democracy in Britain that remains with us today yet so many do not realise it. Little Plumpton has landed the services of one of the leading experts in the UK on the subject, so do take advantage of the opportunity and learn about how past events within our community have a bearing on our lives today. It will cost £2 at the door to get in, but you will also get some light refreshments in return. Doors open at 7.30pm for an 8pm start. History was really made on our doorstep, find out more. This lesser known battle could be said to rank as high as the Battle of Hastings in its subsequent impact on British life.

THE PARISH COUNCIL will meet in the village hall at 7.45pm on Tuesday and the meeting is open to the public.

WI TALK: The WI meets in Plumpton village hall on Wednesday at 7.30pm when the talk will be entitled All Gardens Great and Small. Visitors are always welcome.

PLUMPTON BOWMEN UNITE: Our village has a thriving archery club that practices on the village playing fields. New members, novices or experienced archers are always welcome to join in and there are beginners’ courses and have-a-go sessions held between April and October. If you are interested and wish to find out more simply ring 07544 513044.

LIGHTHOUSEKEEPER’S CAT: The Rude Mechanical Theatre Company will offer its new version of this production on the village green (in the hall if wet) on Friday next week (April 11) at 2pm. It is suitable for children aged 3 years plus as well as those who claim to be adults so it will be great entertainment during the Easter hols. The storyline sounds great (see the Parish Mag) so why not take the family along. Tickets cost £7 per person but there are family rates. 01323 501260

LADYBIRDS BLOSSOM: This baby and toddler group has been an integral part of village life for 30 years or more and just goes from strength to strength. So much so in May it will move away from the Scout HQ and take up residence in the more modern facilities available at the village hall. In the olden days, when my two children had the privilege to attend and make contact with what in many instances were to become lifetime friends, it was known as the Mother and Toddler Group but such a title is no longer politically correct, even though dads were accepted. However, the aims, objectives and successes remain unchanged and the group provides a great meeting place for babes, parents and carers as well as providing tremendous support during those early days of childhood and parenthood that often lead on to productive community involvement and longstanding friendships. Here’s to even greater success. For further information contact Jess on 01273 890225 or email


FOOTBALL CLUB: Tomorrow, Saturday, the first team are at home to Worthing Utd in SCFL Div 1 with a 3pm kick-off at The Caburn. On Tuesday the firsts are at home again to Selsey, also a league match, with a 7.45pm kick-off and finally on Thursday the first team travel to Hanbury Park Stadium in Haywards Heath for their John O’Hara Cup semi-final versus Crowborough. The reserves are away to Littlehamton in a league fixture on Saturday. On Sunday morning the youth team play Rottingdean in a league fixture with an 11am kick-off. On Sunday afternoon the Ringmer Rovers U14 team complete their season’s fixtures with a match at the Caburn Ground which kicks-off at 2pm.

CHURCH SERVICES: The services on Sunday are: 8am Holy Communion, 9.45am Family Service. 6.30pm Sung Eucharist. Stainer’s Crucifixion: We invite you to come along to St Mary’s Church on Palm Sunday, April13, at 6.30pm when St Mary’s choir, together with members of St John, Southover, choir, will be singing Stainer’s Crucifixion. There are several hymns for the congregation to sing in this very appropriate music for Palm Sunday.

BRIDGE CLUB: At its meeting on Wednesday March 19, the result of the duplicate pairs played was a triple tie. Liz and Tim Owen, Frank Hibbert and George Montgomery and Valerie and Peter King. The club next meets in the St Mary’s Room of the village hall on Wednesday at 7.30pm. Contact 814220.

RBL HORTICULTURAL and Home Produce Society Spring Show is tomorrow, Saturday, in the village halls and the doors will be open to the public at 2pm. There are a number of classes comprising flowers, flower arranging, cookery and handicrafts and the very popular photographic section. The exhibits will have been judged and the show gives you the opportunity to meet friends whilst commentating on the judges’ decisions. The show closes at 4.30pm. and all exhibits left behind are auctioned for society funds.

FRACKING DEBATE: The controversial technique of hydraulic fracturing or fracking will be the subject of a public debate in the village hall on Wednesday. The government’s list of sites for which applications to explore for shale gas have been received, includes one site just west of The Broyle, which means there is a possibility that fracking for gas will come to Ringmer. Experience in Balcombe last summer suggests passions can run very high on fracking, hence the debate. The guest speaker will be Raphael Kaplinsky, professor of international development at the Open University, who will highlight the pros and cons of fracking, before the meeting opens up into a general discussion. Entry is free, though donations will be requested for tea and coffee.

QUIZ AND PUDS: We still have room for a few more teams for our Quiz and Puds night on Saturday April 12. Tickets must be bought in advance. Come and find out some interesting facts, perhaps learn something new in the varied themed rounds of this fun quiz and enjoy a pudding in the interval. Ringmer Village Hall 7.15pm start (Doors open 6.45pm). Teams of four. Tickets £6 each from: Pam Bowmaker 01273 813625 or Angela Morrison 01273 813590. Please bring your own drinks and plastic glasses.

Rodmell & Southease

THE QUIZ evening in our pub in aid of St Peter and St James Hospice and Continuing Care Centre, was a great success with over 70 people taking part. The food put on by Jan and Luci was delicious and a great evening was had by all. Our team did not do so well, but as we were only four against tables that had many more, and none of us were sports enthusiasts it was to be expected. However, it was a really enjoyable evening. Thanks to all who organised it.

BUTTERFLIES: This sunny warm weather has really brought out an assortment of beautiful butterflies. There have been more red admirals and peacocks than I have seen for years, on our flowering currants, and whilst walking along the path between County Hall and Lewes Cemetery on Saturday I noticed a really large pale yellow butterfly I did not recognise as I had such a swift glimpse of it. I shall have to find time to consult my book to try and name it.

JUMBLE SALE: The WI jumble sale on Saturday did well and there were some bargains.

WALKING: Anyone contemplating walking the South Downs Way in the summer had better be quick in booking places to stay because I am nearly full until June. The new Youth Hostel at Itford doesn’t seem to have affected the B&Bs in our area and I believe it is full most of the time.

SPRING SHOW: Rodmell Horticultural Society is holding its Spring Show tomorrow, Saturday, 2.30pm to 4.30pm in the village hall. Admission £1, raffle and teas. This is always a great little show.

THERE’S NOTHING quite so relaxing as pricking out seeds sitting in the garden on a lovely sunny day. I love the fact a tiny seed planted with love, tended with care, gives hours of pleasure to many when it blooms. I’m wondering if we will get a slug invasion, due to all the rain we’ve had over the winter. I have had slugs coming into the kitchen and leaving their silver trails on the floor. They may of course be coming in on the wood piled up in the inglenook for the wood burner. Wood brought into the house can bring in woodworm to name but one pest. As we have an old cottage it’s something we have learnt to live with and many of our old beams have signs of it from over the years, despite being treated. With the softer woods in modern houses it will soon take refuge, so think of this when you bring wood into the house or buy furniture from antique fairs. The spiders are on the move too and I’ve had to put several out. Ladybirds are invading some houses, as are flies. Do look when you open windows as they hibernate in the grooves on the frames, as I found out one day when I opened a window. Queen wasps are also looking for places to start new colonies and I’ve put several out in the past warm days. They love getting into our loft and a few years ago we had to get rid of a huge nest.