Parish Pump Lewes - April 5, 2013



the sun did not shine all the time and there was still a sharp wind blowing, the village was once more alive. With the drains and the tarmac work complete (one week early) visitors replaced the high-vis jacketed workman and made the High Street buzz again. It has been a long, quiet time with repairs following floods and snow but it is hoped that April will be the start of a busy year for all our traders.

THE 300 CLUB meet this month on April 9 at Deans Place Hotel at 8pm. All are welcome to witness the monthly draw and perhaps be tempted to join and have the chance of winning £50.


OPEN DAY: The tennis club is having an Open Day on Sunday April 28 from 2pm with tea offered at 4pm. This is an opportunity for members to meet and serve in the new season as well as anyone wanting to check out the club. We will be running our popular Rusty Rackets so that newcomers to the game or just plain rusty folk can have a go and enjoy this lovely sport. All standards welcome.

POSTCARDS: There has been enough interest from those who missed my talk on Barcombe in Old Postcards to consider doing it again. As a number of people were unable to make a Friday evening I thought we would try a Sunday afternoon, with the added incentive of a cream tea. If you would like to come along and see how much or how little Barcombe has changed over the past 100 years, the date to note in your diary is: Sunday 3pm At The Conker Room, St Mary’s Church. Tickets £5 from Turner’s Electrical Stores.

SNOOKER RESULTS: Last game of this year’s league resulted in a 1-4 defeat. Harry Stewart 18 D Yarrow 55, Jack Schaufler 50 B Roberts 57, James Stewart 62 S Whitehorn 19, Simon Fox 20 G Bayrum 58, Derek Stewart 28 D Linden 48. Team finished fifth in the league.

WI meet on Tuesday at 7.30pm in the village hall. Heads and Tales. Derrick Hughes will share with us his memories of 17 years as a head teacher.

FOOTBALL: Mid Sussex Div Two: Barcombe 1 (J Turner), Sporting Devils 1.


JUMBLE SALE, in aid of Chailey and Newick Brownies, is tomorrow, Saturday, from 11am at the village hall. All the funds raised will help towards the cost of the Brownie camp in the summer. Jumble is still wanted please on the day from 9am or ring 07904124031 for local collection.

CHURCH SERVICES: St Peter’s Church services on Sunday are Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion at 8am and All Age Family Service at 10am. The Revd John Maskell will also be in church on Saturday from 8.30am to 9.30am and everyone is invited to join him in prayers. Transport can be arranged by calling Peter Martin on 01825 722680 or Teresa Wenban on 01825722586. Free Church services on Sunday are at 10.30am with Charles Earicker and at 6.15pm with Giles Woodcraft. 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 5.30pm to 7pm. 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.

WORKING PARTY: Friends of Markstakes Common continue with their working party on Monday mornings from 9.30am until 12.30pm. All are welcome to join the Friends and help with the sensitive maintenance and restoration of this valuable and individual site. Meet at the gate in the flint wall at Markstakes Lane, ready to start at 9.30am.

PARISH COUNCIL: Planning and Environs Committee of the parish council meet at the Reading Room on Tuesday at 7.30pm. Members of the public may attend and will be given an opportunity to make representations if they so wish.

SOUTH DOWNS TR Group club night is at The Five Bells on Tuesday from 8pm, anyone with an interest in Triumph TR sports cars is invited to attend this meeting. To find out more about the Group visit

AGM of Chailey and Newick Colts Football Club takes place on Wednesday at The Five Bells at 8pm.

LIVE MUSIC is at the Five Bells on Friday April 12 starting at 8pm, when Andy Millen will be on the guitar and Penny Payne will be singing.

BRIGHTON MARATHON: Charles Whitting will take on the Brighton Marathon on Sunday April 14 to raise funds for Chailey Heritage Foundation. If you would like to support him and make a donation visit

BIRD WALK to see and hear the new migrants’ arrival is on Saturday April 14 at 9.30am and will be led by Ian Woolsey, treasurer of the Commons Society. Meet at the Sports Pavilion, just off the A272, ready to start the walk at 9.30am. For more information call William Coleman on 01444 831098.

LINK WALK: Sponsorship forms are now available for the annual Link Walk on Bank Holiday Monday, May 6. This year Chailey Sports Club are joining forces with the Millennium Walk Committee and using this event to raise funds towards the new pavilion. The walk will start at 10am from the Sports Pavilion, where brochures giving directions and places of interest will be available. The route is approximately six and a half miles, though a shorter version of four and a half miles is possible. Children who complete the walk will be given a commemorative certificate. Refreshments will be available before the walk from 9.15am and afterwards, from midday, there will be a hog roast and afternoon entertainment which will include tractor rides, beat the goalie competitions and more. Sponsorship forms are available from the Horns Lodge or can be requested at All are welcome to take part and for more information about the Link Walk call John Smith on 01825 723519.

cooksbridge, offham & hamsey

I HOPE that everyone has enjoyed a lovely Easter in spite of the freezing weather.

OFFHAM FARM had their first Open Day of the year on Easter Monday and will be open until Sunday April 14.

AFTERNOON CLUB: The Monday Afternoon Club meet on April 8 in St Peter’s Church Hall at 2pm. This month will be tea and chat. Lifts available. Contact Judith on 01273 474356 or Caroline on 01273 477151.

CHURCH SERVICE: On Sunday at St Peter’s Church, Holy Communion 8am, Sunday Club in the church hall 10.15am. Parish Communion 10.30am followed by coffee in the church hall.

TODDLER TUNES meets in the church hall every Thursday at 10am.

ADVANCE NOTICE: On Sunday April 28, from 1pm to 5pm, the beautiful gardens at Offham House will be open.

DANCE CLASSES at the village hall, Mondays and Wednesdays. Details on 01273 890621.

I WAS RECENTLY asked to copy a lovely picture of Blackcap entitled A Famous Downland Landmark, which was printed in the Times newspaper dated April 27, 1938. It was the day of the inquiry held at Lewes on Downland Preservation when the Downland around the Blackcap area was described as the fairest and most famous Downs. The copy of the Times was saved all those years ago by Derek’s father. Whilst looking at it again I noticed the weather forecast for the day before which reads: Meteorological Office, April 26. Mainly fair. General inference from observations at 7pm. High pressure extends from the Atlantic to the North Sea. There will be light rain at times in the north and west of Scotland. Elsewhere weather will be fair, with average temperature and it records that in Seaford it was 54 degrees in the daytime with showers. Having come in from the garden feeling frozen over the weekend I dread to think what the temperature will be on Friday April 26, especially having seen the long range forecast this morning.

PICTURES: When I got out the file with the old Times copy I also found some lovely old postcards and photographs that I must have hoarded. Among them a wonderful sepia card of Ditchling Beacon showing a dew pond and a real Romany caravan. The Blacksmiths Arms, the Blacksmiths Arms Garage still in existence with what looks like an Austin Ruby parked near the church. An interesting card showing the old mill at Barcombe Mills. A photograph of Derek and his sister Betty in their pony and trap leaving Courthouse on the old road to Plumpton. A wonderful photograph of Derek’s father and mother in the drive with Derek’s father astride one of the Arab horses and one of the famous artists that used to stay here, Lionel Edwards, at work with his easel and paints sketching rider and horse. Another photo shows the artist sitting at his easel on Ditchling Beacon sketching the backdrop for one of the paintings. Last but not least a photograph of the children’s gymkhana organised by Iford Pony Club at the Rectory Field, Iford. It shows the judges Mr G H Leonard, Mr T Downman and Mr G Bloxsome. Dated 16/9/35. I wonder if any relatives of the judges are still around.

BOOK: I also came across a little book entitled Rural Rides volume one by William Cobett. There is a lovely piece about Lewes as follows: Lewes is in a valley of the South Downs. There is a great extent of rich meadows above and below Lewes. The town itself is a model of solidity and neatness. The buildings all substantial to the very outskirts, the pavements good and complete; the shops nice and clean, the people well dressed; and, though last not least, the girls remarkably pretty, as, indeed, they are in most parts of Sussex; round faces, features small, little hands and wrists, plump arms and bright eyes. The Sussex men, too, are remarkable for their good looks. A Mr Baxter, a stationer at Lewes showed me a farmers account book, which is a very complete thing of the kind. The inns are good at Lewes, the people civil and not servile, and the charges really (considering the taxes) far below what one could reasonably expect. Dated January 10, 1822.

JUMBLE SALE: Anita Walker reports that the recent jumble sale at the village hall raised just over £800 for hall funds. She thanks everyone who donated items, cooked cakes, helped sort and sell etc which made it so successful. Although it was a freezing cold day it was a very happy occasion.


EASTER: The Easter services at Falmer reached their high point for me on Easter Saturday in the evening, when we had our Easter Fires ceremony. We gathered at the church in near darkness and then made our way outside where the service began. A fire was lit and after lighting our candles from the fire we processed back into church, the light from our candles flickering on the walls and lighting up the artwork hung there. The church lights came on while we sang the Gloria and we had readings from the Old Testament before having the first Eucharist of Easter. It was a moving and special occasion. The service was followed by a bring and share party which was great fun and people had brought some delicious food. On the following day Sunday’s service was followed by an Easter egg hunt for the children.

EXHIBITION: Easter Saturday was also the unveiling of our Easter exhibition He is Risen which got a very positive response. The exhibition looks very good and the walls are filled with a variety of artwork and poetry. Do try to get out to Falmer to see it before it finishes at the beginning of May. Apart from the art it will be a good opportunity to see the church which is, unfortunately, seldom open except for services.

ACCIDENTS WILL HAPPEN: I spent some of last week driving about the country picking up artwork from the contributing artists. I went up to north London on Monday and brought back a fascinating contemporary print by Henningham Family Press. It arrived in Falmer safely. I spent part of Thursday collecting a very large painting from East Hoathly and that arrived in Falmer undamaged, however when I transported some work from one side of the village to the other, I found that the glass in one of the artworks had cracked.

BIRDS: In spite of the bitter cold I have noticed goldfinches and long-tailed tits collecting building materials for their nests and the ducks on Falmer pond are searching out sites. One goldfinch was carefully dismantling my washing line and pulling threads out of it the other day. I think Queenie the peahen will probably wait until later in April before she builds her nest.

MUSIC: We have some very interesting concerts coming up in April and May. April’s concert, on Saturday April 13, is called Introducing the Clarinet Family and features Helen Parsons (clarinet) and Nicola Grunberg (piano) playing music from 17th to 20th century on instruments ranging from the period basset horn to the modern-day clarinet. This will also be an opportunity to see the exhibition in the church and meet some of the artists as well as the musicians. We have no less than three concerts lined up for May – more details soon.


HISTORY GROUP: On Monday at 7.30pm at the King’s Church building, Brooks Road a talk by John Davey on The Lost Industries of Lewes, rescheduled from March. Mention of Lewes these days does not conjure up images of an industrial town but, during the years that preceded and followed the Industrial Revolution, Lewes might genuinely have been described as a hive of industry. In this talk to the Lewes History Group, John Davey will trace the 19th century growth and the 20th century decline of the manufacturing industries that provided employment for most of the menfolk of Lewes for 100 years. All welcome. Small entry charge on the door.

FOOTPATHS GROUP: The bitterly cold easterly wind must have been the reason why none of the walkers who met at North Street car park wanted to do the planned long walk to Berwick railway station. The shorter walk to Glynde was turned into a shorter walk round the Downs above Malling, exploring areas not often walked by the group. After a couple of stiff climbs and enduring the icy blast straight from the Urals, all but one of the eight walkers retired to The Dorset, some for Sunday lunch, others simply to warm up and recover before the walk home. This was an enjoyable and bracing walk led by Hilda and Graham. The next walk is on Sunday at Firle. Meet at top North Street car park for a 9.30am start.

BRIDGE CLUB: Tuesday March 19 Duplicate Pairs: 1, Janet Cattermole and Di Johnstone; 2, Mike Keeping and Richard Burnett; 3, Jill Higham and Sylvia Hall. March 26: 1, Janet Cattermole and Di Johnstone; 2, Tim Could and Mickie Lodge; 3, Irene Gannon and Rosemary Land, Peter Waters and Pat Elliott. Thursday March 21: 1, Paul Allen and Rosemary Land; 2, Frank Hibbert and Roy Skan; 3, Nigel Osmer and Adela Thomas. March 28: 1, Ron and Margaret Buddery; 2, Peter Cattermole and Jennifer Wilson; 3, Peter Gannon and Nigel Osmer. Lewes Bridge Club meets Tuesday evenings and Thursday afternoons. Contact number 01273 473026.


SOUTH MALLING SCHOOL Governors completed their work on the school’s three year plan at the full Governing Body meeting at the end of March. They have chosen the title From a Good School to a Great School, to show their confidence in the school’s children and staff. As reported last Friday, Friends (PTA) met with governors and staff at an end of term tea party, enjoying an excellent range of cake baked, aptly enough, by one of the school’s learning assistants (and Foundation Governor), Mrs Anne Baker. It must have been the cake rather than the weather that led to some preliminary talk about this coming summer’s school fete, but there is nothing like starting to plan in good time to ensure real success. We hope that everyone is enjoying a well-earned holiday. The school looks forward to seeing the children back and refreshed on Monday April 15.

SOUTH MALLING CHURCH: After a solemn and meditative Good Friday service, the congregation enjoyed a lovely Easter celebration. On Sunday, church members join with St John sub Castro for their Worship for All service at 11 am. There will be no service at South Malling Church. Next Sunday (April 14), the Vicar, Revd Al Pickering will be taking his last service at both churches. The 9.30am service at South Malling will be a Family Service with the hope that as many people as possible can come. There will be a brief presentation that morning, but at 3pm in the afternoon the church is hosting a reception to say thank you and farewell to Al and his family, with more time available for individuals to say their farewells. All are welcome, the reception will last around an hour.

BRIDGE VIEW FOOTBALL: Under 16s made an early morning trip to Worthing Dynamos and continued their good form. In the first half, View played some excellent football on a hard and bobbly pitch but only managed 1 goal from Nathan Roberts. They dominated the second half and, in their managers’ word, ‘produced a great display of how to play football.’ George Amiet-West placed a 30 yard ball in the top corner, Ben Earle thumped an 18 yard drive into the far corner, Nathan Roberts volleyed home for his second before Tom Crossman lobbed their keeper to make it 5-1. Congratulations to a team that is doing very well this season.

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.


MY BLOG: I was lucky to see the Wallands school after school clubs perform. What a lot of talented children they have. I did like the street dancing but pity there weren’t more boys performing as this is a great way of expressing oneself. Here are some more Paraprosdokians: War does not determine who is right, only who is left. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit and Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. They begin the evening news with Good Evening, then proceed to tell you why it isn’t. Buses stop in bus stations, trains stop in train stations and on my desk is a work station.

WALLANDS SCHOOL: Midsummer Night’s Dream. What a fabulous start we made last Sunday on our first workshop day. We have cast the show and hopefully everyone received their parts and a copy of the script. You can still get tickets if you ring Jo Taylor on 07842085246, adults £2.50 children £1. Do check the Midsummer Night’s Dream page on the school’s website for photos. Ellie Kearley-Whitmore fought in the Class Master Easter Judo competition on Sunday March 24. She had a few hard fights against higher grades, but eventually came out with a bronze medal; well done Ellie. The sun made an appearance on Wednesday afternoon in support of the Year 4 boys in the annual Iford and Kingston football tournament. Wallands had two teams playing, 16 enthusiastic boys. Wallands A had four games in their group achieving 21 goals and conceding none. Four wins put them straight through to the final. Wallands B started off with a loss which they rapidly turned around and in their following 4 games drew one and scored 12 goals in their three wins. They finished second in their group, a great achievement. Mrs Taylor said they narrowly missed out on meeting the A team in the final. The A team met Ringmer in the final, the first half finishing with no goals and then Wallands within seconds scored and finished with a convincing win 4-0. Mrs Taylor tells me the boys played with excellent attitude, behaviour and sportsmanship throughout. A huge thank you to all the adult support we had for the children, especially to those dads who supported our school’s rights and responsibilities policy. Well done to all of the boys.

CHRIST CHURCH: Today, Friday, is our school holiday Messy Church event from 10.30am to 1pm. The theme is New Life and there will be variety of craft activities based upon this. After a short act of worship we will be enjoying a lunch together. No need to pre book, just turn up but children must be accompanied by an adult. Worship on Sunday at 10.30am will be led by Mr Robert Hinchliffe and the service at 6.30pm will be led by Rev John Gordon. Next Friday we have our monthly Friendship Lunch between noon and 1.15pm and anyone is invited to come along to this.


MARKET: Newick Country Market will be open today, Friday, morning in the village hall from 10am till 11am.

THE RUGBY CLUB first XV are playing at home against Haywards Heath this weekend, kick off at 3pm.

SUNDAY SERVICES are Holy Communion at 8am followed by Family Service at 10.30am.

SPRING SHOW: The Newick Horticultural Spring Show was a great success in the new venue at Newick School, despite the dull and bitterly cold weather and the late flowering of many plants, it was well supported. The junior section entries were considerably greater. Cup winner as follows: The Caldwell Cup for flower arrangement, Julie Hewitt; The Humphrey Cup, best exhibit in show, a picture, Daniel Barber; The Robertson Challenge Cup for daffodils, Geoffrey Meadows; The Gilbert Styles Cup for picture and paintings, Graham Barber; Newick WI Cup, marmalade, lemon tart and paté, Julie Hewitt; Bill and Enid Holmes Cup for salt dough creature, junior section, Imogen Hemsley; Newick Horticultural junior cup, Geraint Quick. The next meeting will be on April 18, a talk by Mark Saunders entitled Inspirational Garden. More details later.

SPRING: I sincerely hope that by the time you read this report spring will have actually arrived.


SPRING SHOW: Plumpton and District Horticultural Society will be holding its Spring Show in the village hall tomorrow (Saturday). Apart from the fine display of flowers, vegetables, plants, cookery, crafts, wines and so on there will be tombola, refreshments, cakes, plant stall and, at the end, an auction of produce. Doors open at 2pm and admission costs but 50p although children get in free. Members of the society will be on hand to give tips, as always.

MORE ABOUT BEES: The local society about beekeeping will be holding courses on the subject in the village hall tomorrow (Saturday) and, again, on April 20. If you are interested in a taste of honey log in on or ring 01273 891125.

BLUE IS THE COLOUR: Out Of The Blue is the title of the lecture being presented by the Newick branch of NADFAS (National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies) in Plumpton village hall on Tuesday at 2.15pm. Blue is the colour of the sky, the Virgin Mary’s gown, the sea and the haze of distant mountains and it can suggest sadness and change of mood. In the description of the lecture woad, ultramine are mentioned and the significance of blue in paintings is highlighted. It sounds as if Alexendra Drysdale will be taking her audience on a fascinating and enlightening worldwide tour on the use of the colour blue in art. From the write up this is likely to be another example of why the society’s presentations are so popular. Non-members are welcome on payment of £5 at the door and that includes refreshments after the lecture with an opportunity for discussion with others present, including the lecturer.

WI: The village branch will meet on Wednesday in the village hall at 7.30pm. The speaker will be Heather Woodward and her topic Mrs Ronald Granville of Polesden Lacey. Visitors will be welcome, as always.

AM DRAM: Plumpton Players are preparing their next theatrical treat. On April 26 and 27 they will be presenting a double bill of two plays by David Tristram in the village hall. These are Brenton v Brenton, classed as an outrageous spoof of American soaps. Then there will be Last Tango in Plumpton. It is being billed as a chaotic and hilarious build-up of extraordinary home-grown drama that locals will never forget and the word ‘sex’ is included. Heaven forbid in our sleepy hollow. Tickets cost £7 and they can be booked on 01273 890952. That’s all I know folks.


FOOTBALL CLUB: This week sees lots of football at The Caburn. Starting tonight, Friday, the club play host to the local Mid Sussex Championship side AFC Ringmer who meet Old Varndeans II in a league fixture. Kick off time is 7.30pm and there is no admission charge for this match. Tomorrow, Saturday, the first team are at home to Chichester in Div One of the SCFL with a 3pm kick off time at the Caburn. Then on Tuesday the first team are at home again, this time to Pagham, also in the SCFL Div One with a 7.45pm kick off time. Tomorrow, Saturday, the Reserves travel to East Preston for their reserve section premier league match and please note that kick off time at East Preston is 4.30pm. On Wednesday evening the Reserves have a home league fixture against Eastbourne United with a 7.45pm kick off at The Caburn. The Veterans hope to get their Fred Pretty Cub semi-final at Hassocks played this weekend. At the time of going to press the Mid Sussex League website shows this as an 11am Sunday morning kick off at The Beacon but last weekend’s Hassocks match day programme has the fixture down for Monday evening at 7.30pm so please check the local press or with the club before travelling.

SPRING SHOW: The RBL Horticultural and Home Produce Society Spring Show is tomorrow, Saturday in the village halls and the doors will open to the public at 2pm. There are numerous classes comprising flowers, flower arranging, cookery and handicrafts and the very popular photographic section. There are two fundraising stalls, one for produce, one for books and DVDs. The exhibits will have been judged and the show gives you the opportunity to meet friends whilst commenting on the judges’ decisions. The show closes at 4.30pm and all exhibits left behind are auctioned for show funds.

U3A GARDENING GROUP: There appears to be sufficient interest to start a second gardening group. An inaugural meeting will be held at 2.30pm on Wednesday at Penn House, Lewes Road. Those who are on the waiting list have been contacted but anyone else who may be interested is welcome to attend the meeting. Further details from Bob on 01273 812784.

BRIDGE CLUB: The result of the duplicate pairs played on March 27 was: 1, Frank Hibbert and George Montgomery; 2, Alan Grindley and Barrie Smith; 3, Jenny Charman and Michael Slot. The next meeting of the club is on Wednesday at 7.30pm in the St Mary’s Room of the village hall.

SPRING FAIR: Once again Ringmer Evening WI are holding a morning of fun for all the family at their annual Spring Fair in the village hall on Saturday April 13 from 10am to 1pm. There will be stalls and games for all ages and prizes to be won. Buy your spring wardrobe from the nearly new stall. Enjoy the homemade cakes and treat the children to a dip in the chocolate fountain. Go along and browse at the handmade crafts and bric-a-brac. Try your luck at the raffle and tombola. All this and much more, and admission is free.

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING: Advance notice that this meeting will be held in the village hall on Thursday, April 18, commencing at 7.30pm. The speaker will be Georgia Wrighton, Director of CPRE Sussex Countryside Trust, whose talk is entitled The Great Sussex Sustainable Development Debate. It is hoped that this meeting will be well attended. Refreshments will be kindly provided by Ringmer Evening WI.

RINGMER LINK: Three years ago Barbara Marsden moved to Ringmer from Burgess Hill, and was incredibly happy to find people would greet her in the shopping precinct, even if they did not know her. On finding out about the Link Scheme she was delighted to hear how brilliant volunteers were demonstrating such neighbourly community care. The scheme has been going since 1977 but unfortunately some volunteers are now finding it too difficult to continue. If you could take someone to the doctors or hospital, change a light bulb for a senior person, do some weeding, sew on a button or stay in a house for the gas man to call, while a parent goes to school to collect a child, then please telephone Barbara on 01273 814675 or e-mail her on With help this scheme can be modernised and reinvigorated so that it can continue assisting people for many years to come. Whether you are retired, working part time, between jobs or a student with some time available Barbara would love to hear from you so that this very valuable scheme can continue to function.

rodmell & southease

THE WEATHER: To the delight of all, the golden orb has appeared in the sky again, just to prove it has not forsaken us. The wind chill factor is still bitter, a bit like the politics of the moment, not particularly welcome.

THE NEW YHA South Downs had its open day on Easter Sunday. It is where formerly Itford Farm was situated and has retained many of the old and historic features. I went to see what this £3 million renovation had to offer to the many people who are now walking the beautiful South Downs Way. The hostel offers a contemporary take on country life, including new state-of-the-art facilities. I was very impressed with it. The rooms were beautifully done out, very reasonable in price. There are patios, quiet rooms and the restaurant area was very welcoming with lovely home made cakes and coffee and tea. On a summer’s evening I can see that many people from surrounding villages as well as walkers may enjoy popping into the restaurant, which I hear may be open in the evenings until 9pm. I know it will be very useful to me, as I don’t like to be out for too long as I am a carer, as well as being on hand for B&Bs and a gentle stroll with sustenance at the end is very welcoming. However, we must not forsake our pub for pastures new as it is making big efforts for the village and is a wonderful place to visit. Remember if you don’t use it you may well lose it, so give it your support. I hope to give you a list of its April events in next week’s Parish Pump.

MUSIC: On March 27, on an extremely cold evening, the Lea Graham Quartet gave us an evening of mixed music in a very cold church. In fact it was so cold the singers kept their coats on for most of the time and we all stood up at intervals to stamp our feet, shrug our shoulders and wave our arms to keep warm. Afterwards we all retreated to the warmth of our village hall for a wonderful selection of cheeses and wines, hot drinks were also welcome. Despite the cold it was a good evening and proceeds went to Hope In The Valley Riding Group. The whole price was £5 per head which I think was very reasonable and well worth the money. Many thanks go to Jenny Brown and her helpers.

WI: I forgot to mention in last week’s Parish Pump that Lindy Smart gave the WI a demonstration of decorating eggs for Easter with vegetable dyes and also on creating designs on paper using water dyes that give a marbling effect. I often wonder how this remarkable lady finds time in her busy world to seek out and do these amazing hobbies. I have to admit in younger years I loved to do artistic things, but these days as I try to de-clutter the cottages to make things easier in the future, I turn a blind eye to the temptation.

FARMERS: I’m sure we have all felt so sorry for the poor farmers, in places that have had such a deluge of snow, and have the thankless task of digging out livestock in the hope that some may be alive. After years of building up herds to lose them so tragically must be heartbreaking. Let’s hope also that farmers don’t lose sheep and lambs to dog worrying of stock this year. There have been awful cases in past years.

EVENTS: Tomorrow, Saturday, is the churchyard clear-up. Just turn up any time between 9.30am and noon with a few tools. On Sunday after the 11am service of Holy Communion it will be the Parochial Church Council AGM. Sunday April 14, Open Garden at Lane House, at the top of Mill Lane, from 10am to 3pm. This is an invitation from Sacred Earth, a day to learn about biodynamic preparation and permaculture gardening. The WI next meet on April 16 with a talk on English As She is Spoke by John Davey in the village hall at 8pm. On Friday April 19, Rodmell Parish Assembly at 7.30pm in the village hall. Saturday April 20, a quiz is being organised by members of the village hall committee.

AT EASTER I could not help thinking how much the Easter season had changed since I was a child. For a start it was the time when we went into white summer socks and thinner clothes, leaving thick socks and winter clothes behind. I had saved up my pocket money and ordered my choice of Easter eggs for my friends from our local sweet shop. On Good Friday I would go with my grandmother along to the local baker where we would pick up our pre-ordered hot cross buns, put them in a wicker trug, cover them with a pure white linen tea towel and hurry to get them home whilst warm, where they would be spread with home made butter and eaten with relish. I would be given a very elaborate Easter egg on Easter Sunday morning and a length of wide satin ribbon for my hair. We were not allowed to shop, play out or make a noise. People would dress up and perambulate along Brighton seafront or take walks out into the country. How times have changed.