Parish Pump Lewes - December 13, 2013


CAROLS AND SONGS: Barcombe Sings Christmas, 7.30pm today, Friday, in the village hall. An evening of your favourite Christmas carols and songs accompanied by local musicians. Come along with all your family and friends, join in, or just relax and enjoy the ambience of Christmas sounds. This event now includes items by the young people of Universal Dance and the close harmonies of The Singing Salon. Free admission, mulled wine, Christmas snacks, raffle. All donations to St Peter and St James Hospice. Further details from David Lloyd: 01273 400520.

WI: Today, Friday, 3pm in St Mary’s, Lewes group WI annual carol service.

CHRISTMAS in the Parlour, Barcombe Village Hall, Sunday December 22 at 8pm. Auction in aid of ‘Riding for the Disabled and Dementia UK. Tickets £12 from the village shop to include mulled wine and mince pies (£10 concessions).

FRACKING MEETING: A thoughtful and serious meeting of Barcombe residents took place in the village hall last Sunday addressed by Professor Rafi Kaplinski and chaired by Councillor Rosalind St Pierre. It considered the potential benefits and pitfalls of fracking for gas in Sussex. At the start, a show of hands indicated about one third of the 45 attending were broadly in favour of fracking, one third against, and one third undecided. By the end, opinion had shifted substantially. Two people were in favour of fracking outside Sussex, one person was in favour of local fracking, 30 were against fracking in Sussex, with 12 undecided. The theoretical advantages of allowing fracking in Sussex include more and cheaper energy (gas). Disadvantages could include contamination of ground water, earthquakes, and an increase in heavy lorries to and from each site.


POPPY DAY grand total was £4,756.14, an all-time record for November. Besides Debbie Freeland’s sponsored walk, St Peter’s School must be congratulated for raising a magnificent £254.45 and the PCC for their Remembrance Day Service collection of £320. James Radcliffe will complete 15 years’ service as Poppy Appeal Officer for Chailey next year, which will be his last. The Poppy Appeal is widely supported as the results show and a local successor is sought. If you are interested in taking on this role please call James on 01825 723215.

CALENDAR: Bluebell Railway Calendar 2014 is available on line at and costs £6.99. The photographs were taken by Chris Suitters, with the exception of the front cover which was taken by Russell Pearce. The photo collection shows how far the Railway has come since its inception in 1959.

SANTA RUN open to all abilities with a 3k or 6k route is at the Sports Ground, North Chailey, just off the A272 tomorrow, Saturday, starting at 10.30am to raise funds for the Firefighters Charity. Entry is £15 or £20 on the day, £30 including a Santa outfit and medal. Email Verna on for further details.

CHRISTMAS FAIR at Chailey School tomorrow, Saturday, from 11am to 1pm. Admission is free and there will be a fabulous raffle, stalls for everyone and refreshments.

SERVICES: St Peter’s Church services on Sunday are Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion at 8am and Children’s Christingle at 10am. I am pleased to report Pete’s Pantry raised a superb £183.33 earlier this month and thanks go to all contributors and purchasers. Free Church services on Sunday are a family service at 10.30am and an evening service at 6.15pm. Men’s Breakfast is on Saturday December 21 at 8.30am for 9am. There is no charge but for catering purposes call 01444 471600 to let them know you will be attending.

CAROL SINGING: St Peter’s Church choir will be singing once again for Chailey Heritage on Monday from 5.30pm, in the tunnel leading to the platforms, at Haywards Heath Station. If you would like to join them, and sing along with all the well-known carols, you will be most welcome. For details speak to Ann Jones on 01444 831244.

MEET PCSO Steven Knowles on Tuesday from 10am to 10.30am at Mill Brooks. This is an opportunity to meet our PCSO and discuss any concerns you may have regarding local issues.

THE PARISH COUNCIL meet at the Reading Room on Tuesday at 7.30pm. Members of the public may attend.

INFORMATION POINT session is on Friday December 20 when the parish clerk will be at the Coffee Stop, Free Church to assist with any questions you may have. This will be a special Christmas Coffee Stop and will be at 4pm (instead of 10am).

CONCERT: Ignition Concert is on Saturday January 4 at Uckfield Civic Centre from 7pm to 11pm. This Charity Rock Concert is in aid of Chailey Heritage Foundation and tickets cost £7.50. To buy tickets visit

PRIMARY SCHOOL: Will your child be starting in reception in September 2014, if so the application closing date is Wednesday January 15. St Peter’s Primary School ( would like to invite prospective parents to call them on 01825 722939 to arrange a personal viewing of the school with the headteacher.

Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday at St Peter’s Holy Communion 8am, Sunday Club 10.15am in church hall, Parish Communion 10.30am followed by coffee in the hall. Carols in Hamsey Church 3pm on Sunday. Don’t forget to take a candle and wrap up warm. Nine Lessons and Carols in St Peter’s on Sunday December 22 at 6.30pm.

CHRISTMAS FAIR: Hamsey School Fundraisers Christmas Fair today, Friday in the village hall from 3.15pm to 6pm. Information from the school on 01273 400370.

CAROLS, mince pies and Christmas sing along in the village hall on Tuesday at 7pm.

HAMSEY SCHOOL Christmas Play in the village hall on Wednesday at 2.15pm and 6pm.

PROUD PARENTS: I was delighted to receive a Christmas card which contained a letter and two lovely photographs from Geraldine Yates, former resident of Hamsey. Many will remember Geraldine and David and their musically gifted daughter Susannah. The tiny baby I saw just after she was born is now a very pretty 21 year old who graduated in July 2013 at the City University, London with a Bachelor of Music (Hons) RAM. One of the photos showed Susannah in her graduation robes and proudly clutching her prized possession and the other was Susannah and her father beaming with pride alongside her. Susannah is currently working at Warner Brothers in London. Mum and dad are looking forward to hearing about her work when she goes home for Christmas. I am sure that those who remember Susannah and her beautiful piano playing when she lived in Hamsey will join me in congratulating her on her well earned achievement.

CHRISTMAS CARDS professionally made, showing the Jubilee Window in St Peter’s Church (50p each), and church diaries (£2.50 each) are available from Judith Bastide at Offham Rectory 01273 474356.

COMMUNION AT HOME: If you are housebound or unwell and would like to receive Christmas Communion at home please contact the Rector on 01273 474356.

FLOWERS: St Peter’s Church will be decorated for the Christmas season on Saturday December 21 from 10am. Gifts of flowers and greenery will be greatly appreciated as will lots of willing pairs of hands to help with the decorating.

NATIVITY: The nativity play performed by children from St Peter’s Sunday School and Toddler Tunes will take place during the 10.30am service on Sunday December 22 (in place of a sermon).

MANY THANKS to Chris Glover and her team of helpers for organising such an enjoyable and successful St Peter’s Christmas Fair on November 23 in Lewes. Proceeds so far are very close to £1,000.

WONDERFUL SIGHT: Recently at around 6.30am whilst sitting in the kitchen eating breakfast I looked up towards Blackcap which was bathed in early morning light where all the trees and those on the scarp were the most glorious shades of red and gold, as the early morning light was also rising over Mount Harry and with a red sky above it was a fantastic sight. It would have been a wonderful sight for any artist or clever photographer.

OART (Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust) has a new chairman, Dr Hew Prendergast, who was elected in October. He takes over from Robin Akers. There is an appeal for more members and volunteers to ensure the continuing viability of the Trust. The core activities such as chemical testing and biological monitoring of the rivers are funded entirely by members’ subscriptions and donations. Volunteers are needed to help with the various activities, particularly in the River Adur area. Even if you could only do one or two days a year it would be of great value to the Trust. If you think yo can help please contact,, Jim Smith 01825 750366 or You can find out more on their website. The MORPH project received its second award of 2013 to go alongside the Institute of Civil Engineers Commendation which the Trust received earlier in the year. This time the project came out as the overall winner of the Wild Trout Trust Conservation Awards – Professional category against stiff competition. The project has been running since December 2011. I have been a member for a number of years mainly because of Derek’s love of fish and water. Like me he got tremendous enjoyment from reading the newsletter, especially Jim’s Diary describing his everyday walks along the riverbanks. Long may the Trust continue with such important work.


CAROLS: We have had a wonderful selection of Advent Carol services at St Laurence in the run-up to Christmas this year. Last Sunday saw our Parish Advent Carol service, which I sadly missed, followed on Wednesday by the University of Brighton’s Carol service, with music from the University of Brighton Community Choir and the Brighton and Hove Youth String Ensemble. This is the first year the University carol service has been held at St Laurence, but with our proximity to the Falmer Campus and the easy parking we hope it may become a regular event. Tomorrow, Saturday, we are welcoming the choir of St George’s for our traditional Carol Concert with readings. The Carols start at 5.30pm and we’ll have mulled wine available to keep us warm.

REVOLTING: The recent ban on five Sussex University students has been lifted after outcries from various sources including MP Caroline Lucas. The students were banned for their activities during recent protests at the privatisations taking place at the University. The students were alleged to have vandalised university property and used threatening behaviour. A number of areas at the university have been privatised in recent times and protests against these are ongoing. Sussex has always had a reputation for having very politically aware and active students so the management should not be too surprised that students have reacted strongly.

CHRISTINGLE: Make a note in your diaries that our Christingle service at St Laurence will take place at 3pm on Christmas Eve. This is a lovely way to start Christmas and ideal for calming over-excited little ones. The Christmas story is told and the children are each given a Christingle (a candle and decorations in an orange) to take home.

VESTRY: I spent part of the afternoon with our church architect Brian Graham last week, discussing exactly how we want to re-order the St Laurence vestry. I can’t wait to have a good clear out and replace the worn out cupboards with new, easy to clean units and to have a sink that is actually large enough to wash your hands in. With hot water.

CHICHESTER: All the different parishes in the Chichester Diocese are prayed for at a service at the Cathedral each year. Stanmer with Falmer was prayed for last Tuesday at morning prayer and again at evensong. I am writing this before the event but if past occasions are anything to go by we will have had tea and cake at the Cloisters café and then been ushered into the choir stalls to join the sung service and enjoy the heavenly music. All preceded with a Christmas shopping expedition around Chichester.

TRAFFIC: We have noticed that a traffic survey has been taking place here this week, with yellow jacketed people at the roundabouts at the top of the sliproads from the A27. Traffic is always heavy these days, particularly heading south along the Rottingdean Road. It can take 10 minutes to get across the roundabout at the end of Mill Street and the traffic can be backed up all the way to the crossroads at Woodingdean. I hope this survey will find a resolution to the problems.


COFFEE MORNING tomorrow, Saturday, 10am-noon at Cliffe Church Hall. Cakes, preserves, tombola and more. Proceeds to South Street Bonfire Society.

FOOTPATHS GROUP: On Sunday December 1, an overcast but dry and windless morning that felt more like early November than December, 21 of us set off from the village of Rodmell. We passed Monks House, the home of Virginia Woolf, and turned into the twitten leading to the beautiful 12th century church with its square tower, pyramidal spire and flint walls. In a short while, we were gaining height to reach open downland with excellent views towards Newhaven. We soon came upon a landmark of considerable importance to the Lewes Footpaths Group (LFG), the Prime Meridian signpost (signifying 0 degrees longitude), dividing the Eastern from the Western Hemisphere. This passes just to the west of Rodmell. It is of special significance to LFG, whose members this year completed the entire 273 mile trail from Peacehaven in East Sussex to Sand le Mere in East Yorkshire. So we stopped for a group photo at the spot. Turning westwards, our route took us past Breaky Bottom, the famous vineyard nestling in the valley below. It might have been nice to stop for a quick wine-tasting but visits are by appointment only, and we did not think that the unscheduled arrival of a troop of muddy walkers would be welcomed. The highest point of our walk provided magnificent views across to Saltdean and the calm, flat sea beyond. We encountered very few other people, just a few riders in the distance, and a stricken cyclist whose cable on his gearshift had come loose, in desperate need of an implement to mend it. One of our group produced a Swiss Army knife and all was well in a few minutes and a happy cyclist was on his way. After a long, gentle descent, we arrived back at Rodmell, exhilarated by our exertions and with a feeling of satisfaction that we’d had the best of the short winter day. We were delighted to welcome on this walk three people new to our group and hope that they will join us again as members. The walk was led by Vivien. The next walk is on Sunday, A Seaford Stroll. Meet at Lewes Railway Station in good time to catch the 9.25am train to Seaford.

ST JOHN’S: On Sunday our 11am service will be Holy Communion led by Rev Dick Field and Tony Idle preaching. The following Sunday, December 22, we invite everyone young and old to our wonderful Christmas story and Carols Service. It will set the scene for an exciting and happy Christmas. Anyone wishing to top up their weekly shopping with an extra item or two for the three food banks at Malling, Landport and de Montfort, please bring them to church and they will go to people in real need. Thank you in advance for your wonderful Christmas spirit and generosity which will bring happiness to other families.


SOUTH MALLING SCHOOL: Christmas is now in full swing with lots of fun activities going on and lots of singing to be heard. This week the choir has been busy singing carols in the local area. On Saturday they entertained shoppers and the congregation at Eastgate Chapel in town, on Monday they were singing in Ringmer and on Tuesday they were at Reed Court. The school hopes that they will still have voices for their own Carol Concerts on Tuesday and Wednesday at 2.30pm. Key Stage 1 children are busy rehearsing for their nativity play (Tuesday and Wednesday at 9.30am). It promises to be a star studded performance. The school is now looking very festive following a wonderful Decoration Day. It was lovely to see so many family and friends in the classrooms, helping children make an impressive array of decorations and gifts. The children are looking forward to the Friends’ Christmas treat (a circus show) next Thursday and the excitement is already building for the annual Talent Show on the last day of term (Friday December 20). Who will be the winners this year? They look forward to welcoming the children back to school on Monday 6 January 2014.

SOUTH MALLING CHURCH: After a happy Family Service in the morning followed by a Christingle for all the town last Sunday afternoon, this week the church will be holding its annual Carol Service at 6.30pm on coming Sunday evening. As usual, they will be joined by the joyous seasonal music of Sussex Harmony and there will be mince pies and mulled wine afterwards. Everyone is welcome to this traditional Carol Service which always offers a good sing and a reminder of what Christmas is all about. Apart from the usual Christmas Services, there will also be a morning of Christmas Fun with Festive Crafts and Games for Children from 10am to noon on Saturday December 21 in the church. All are welcome.

SANTA CLAUSE: The Rotary Club of Lewes have arranged for Santa to sledge into New Malling on Monday. Watch out for him between 6pm and 8.30pm and make a Christmas donation to Rotary’s Christmas Tree of Good Will.

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.


NEVILL HISTORY: I did have a nice surprise last week as I received some information from Rosemary Muddle as follows: The social centre was formed for the benefit of the people of the Nevill and Downs Estates, and as such, most of the performers were from the locality of Nevill and yes much of the work was done by volunteers, many of whom also performed in the pantomimes each Christmas. Some of your readers may still remember my father, Jeff Flowers, who lived in Highdown Road and his future son-in-law Richard Pearce. In the early days, Stan and Molly Carter, Bill and Madge Middleton and Arthur Rays were also involved. They were all colleagues and Men from the Pru. Beryl Flowers my sister, Brenda Hobby and Tony Burchill were also performers. My father and Richard Pearce often played the village idiots in the panto, and then later it was Tony Burchill and Richard who had that honour. Tony and Richard, two lads of great talent, eventually formed their own group, The Hustlers, and performed at St Mary’s only last year. In some of the history I have been gathering a lot of it is Downs Estate and Nevill, due to the fact the Downs Estate was mostly private dwelling and the Nevill was council houses.

CHANGE IN BUS ROUTE: In January 2014 the top half of North Way will no longer have a bus. Quote from Mr R Knight, Compus Bus Company, is as follows: ‘As you are possibly aware, we operate very new buses on our East Sussex routes and, despite drivers using great caution, within a short period of time, the lower offside panels were getting damaged in North Way due to the very limited road space between parked cars and the high kerbing. In consequence of the costs of replacing damaged panels, it was reluctantly decided to approach ESCC with a view to altering the route of the128 and 129 which will start in January. I am sorry that the stop you have been using will then become defunct’ unquote. I am not sure why North Way has been singled out, as quite regularly the buses have been up kerbs in Firle Crescent, on the corner of North Way and Middle Way and of Middle Way and Nevill Crescent. Surely the council could either talk to the owners of the cars and vans parked on the corners, or paint double yellow lines which seems to have been done in other places.

CHRIST CHURCH: It was lovely to see about 150 people of all ages on Nevill Green last Sunday taking part in the Carols on the Green. The weather was perfect for the event and lots of families made the most of the play equipment whilst they were there. Worship on Sunday at 10.30am will be led by Mr Robert Hinchliffe. On Tuesday from 7pm listen out for our carol singers who will be singing around Leicester Road and Valance Road and collecting for Action for Children. Wednesday at 9.30am to 11am we have our last Little Fishes of the year. The theme is Jesus is born. This group is for pre school children.

WALLANDS SCHOOL: This week our Yr 6 children took part in a mock evacuation to St Anne’s Church in Lewes as part of their WW2 learning journey. They all looked the part as did the adults who accompanied them. They have produced some evocative writing as a result of the experience. Well done to Riley Philp who received the Most Improved Player of the Day award for the under 8s at Lewes Rugby Club on Sunday. For the first time Wallands entered two teams into the Primary Cup Sussex Schools chess competition. Up to 50 teams are taking part this year. The teams are drawn to play against others geographically in the first round and then their finishing position on the day dictates who they meet in the next round. Both of our teams have played their first matches: Wallands B played in Pulborough and after playing three games each, were placed fourth and Wallands A, after their three games which were played in Worthing, were placed second. For some of the children it was their first experience of a tournament. All of the children stated they had tried their best and had enjoyed the experience.

ROUSER PICTURE: The picture was of a harvest supper in the church hall, Highdown Road in the 50s. Some of the people identified at the Nevill History afternoon the other week were Mr Jefferys and Mr and Mrs Turnouth on the right hand side of table. In the back standing are Mr and Mrs Booth(their daughter, who I think lives in Canada, sent the picture originally). Back table in the middle with glasses, Mrs Munn, Mr Young along with the Reverend Hook we think.


THE COUNTRY MARKET in the Village Hall today, Friday, morning from 10am till 11am. This week, you can also enjoy some carol singing. Friday December 20 is the last time the market will be open for 2013, if you have ordered anything for Christmas please make sure that you to collect your purchases then.

CHRISTMAS FUN: Just to remind you of the Family Christmas Fun at The Crown Inn from 7pm today, Friday, singing carols with the Warbleton Brass Band. For the youngsters a visit from Father Christmas will take place during the evening, so why not get into the spirit of the festive season and go along and enjoy the evening.

RUGBY: Newick Rugby Club first XV will be playing at home, against Horley; the second XV are away to Eastbourne III. These matches will commence at 2.15pm, why not pop along to the Sports Pavilion and enjoy a drink with the players after the game.

SERVICES this weekend, third Sunday of Advent, at St. Mary’s are Holy Communion at 8am followed by Informal Worship at 10.30am. The Carol Service will commence at 5.30pm. If lifts are required please telephone 722582. On Tuesday December 24 at 4pm a Crib Service will take place and later that evening Midnight Holy Communion will commence at 11.30pm.

DRAW: Newick Bonfire Society’s Christmas Draw will take place on Tuesday at the Crown at 8pm. Tickets are £1 or £5 per book and are available from the butchers plus committee members or Kevin and Elizabeth Duncton. The first prize which was B&B overnight stay at Newick Park, has been withdrawn owing to the hotel closure at the end of the month. Surprise, surprise they have a better alternative for two people including a bottle of wine and an overnight B&B stay at the Cat Inn, West Hoathly. The bonfire society are very grateful for the generosity of the landlord. The Cat Inn is a 16th century pub and restaurant with an excellent reputation and it had a very good review, recently. Other prizes include a family ticket for four on the Bluebell Railway, a voucher from the Newick Butchers, hampers and lots more.


CHRISTMAS FLOWERS: The flower club will hold its Christmas Workshop on Monday in the village hall between 6.30pm and 9.30pm. The workshop will be followed by mince pies and mulled wine and non-members will be most welcome, for which the entrance fee will be just £2.10. On Tuesday members will enjoy a Christmas lunch at Mid Sussex Golf Course. The club held a very successful jumble sale recently and is grateful to everyone who supported it in a variety of ways including donations of jumble, practical help and simply attendance.

COME RACING: There will be racing again at Plumpton on Monday when it will be Christmas Raceday. Your last chance to get the bookies to contribute towards your Christmas expenditure and make your celebrations even better than normal. First race gets underway at 12.20pm.

NOVEL GIFT: Plumpton College has come up with a novel idea that could help solve your problem in selecting a Christmas or birthday gift. It is issuing gift vouchers redeemable against any of its professional development or short courses. There is a vast range to choose from including horticulture, winegrowing, animal welfare, food hygiene, welding, jewellery making and so much more. They can be for any chosen value and are valid for one year. Find out more by contacting, ringing 01273 892035 or visiting!/74. Now there’s something really different for family members or friends. Remember, these gift vouchers are not just for Christmas and make great presents for all occasions.

RACING GIFT: Here’s an original Christmas present and a great way to see in the New Year. Racegoers who book early can save money and give friends and family access to a fantastic day card of action and fun at Plumpton Racecourse’s At The Races Sussex National Raceday on Sunday, January 5. Adults can save £4 on admission tickets which are just £14 in advance if booked online at before Wednesday 1st January. Tickets include a free guide to the day’s racing, and free parking. Accompanied children under 18 are admitted free. At The Races Sussex National is one of the highlights of Plumpton’s season and has been increased in value to a whopping £25,000 for 2014 and is run over a marathon three miles five furlongs, a recognised stepping-stone for potential National runners elsewhere. A festive atmosphere is guaranteed with mulled wine and live music from popular Irish band Reel Strings. Desert Orchid’s jockey Colin Brown will be on hand to guide you through the day’s racing with features and interviews through the afternoon from the parade ring. The supporting card is also very impressive with the day’s prize money now totalling over £64,000, which is sure to attract the UK’s leading trainers and jockeys to Plumpton. These include the ATR Novices Chase over 2 miles 1 furlong, a qualifying race for Plumpton’s £60,000 Cheltenham Festival Bonus. Doors open at 11am with a tipster panel at 12.10pm and the first race underway at 12.50pm. Full details can be found online (web address above) or by calling the Racecourse Office on 01273 890383.

RUGBY LATEST: Plumpton travelled to East Grinstead at the weekend, losing 34-26. They faced a strong East Grinstead side bolstered by returning 1st team players and their second team which recently disbanded. Plumpton added four new players to their side, heavily affected by injuries from the previous week. This didn’t stop our village side putting in one of their finest performances of the season. Tries from Craig Wells and Scott Balchin, along with a further two from Man-of-the-Match Charlie Lewis, plus three conversions from Lewis Beale were not enough to beat East Grinstead. With Plumpton only one point behind with seven minutes remaining, East Grinstead broke the Plumpton line one final time to guarantee the win. Plumpton deserved more, but put in a credible performance all the same and were able to give four new players their first start of the season. This weekend Plumpton host Heathfield and Waldron, ko 2.15pm.

PANTO TIME: A reminder that if you want to attend the 2014 village panto that will be staged between January 19 and 21 and will include two matinees this time, you can book by ringing 01273 890450 or 890561. Tickets sell out quickly so strike now to secure a seat and avoid a big disappointment. The matinees are on the Sunday and following Saturday, but there is no performance on the Monday. This time it will be Sinbad the Sailor – oh, yes it will. If you are new to the village please note that Plumpton panto is a highlight of the year and people travel from miles around to see it and travel visas are not required.

CONGRATULATIONS: That dashing, young Naval Lieutenant Andy Duffy has just announced his engagement to the lovely Jess. His parents, mum in particular, are already exhausted with planning the wedding. I know the feeling as Su and I are going through the same process for our daughter Helena’s wedding fairly early in the New Year.

HALF CENTURY: Denise Banks, formerly of Winning Post fame, is already celebrating her 50th birthday, which actually isn’t scheduled until Christmas Eve. Perhaps the old dear is worried in case she doesn’t make it, or more likely simply wants to milk the occasion for all its worth.


FATHER CHRISTMAS: The Rotary Club of Lewes will be visiting Ringmer with Father Christmas and the Tree of Goodwill today (Friday). Commencing at 6pm, the sleigh will be visiting Broyle Estate, Christie Estate, Church Hill and main road finishing at The Pine Shop. Please give generously as all proceeds are distributed in the local area.

RINGMER PANTO: Empire Dance is proud to present Aladdin. It’s full of corny jokes about Ringmer and environs. There will be three performances in the village hall: today (Friday) at 7pm and tomorrow (Saturday) at 2pm and 7pm. Tickets, available from Ringmer Wine Store, are £7 and £5 for concessions.

RINGMER DEBATES: The next in the series of Ringmer Debates takes place today (Friday) at 7.30pm in the village hall. The theme for this one is My country right or wrong? Entry is free, though donations are requested for tea and coffee.

GIANT BOOK SALE: To be held tomorrow (Saturday) in the Scout Headquarters from 10.30 until 1.30pm. There will be thousands of books and also records, DVDs, CDs, Christmas cards, The Famous Ringmer Feasts and a raffle. Entry £1 to include refreshments. All proceeds to St Peter and St James Hospice.

FOOTBALL CLUB: Tomorrow, Saturday, the first team are away to East Grinstead in a SCFL Div 1 fixture with a 3pm kick-ff at East Court. The Reserves are at home on Saturday in a Reserve Section Premier league match versus Shoreham, also with a 3pm kick-off at The Caburn. On Sunday morning the youth team are away to AFC Uckfield whilst the Veterans entertain Hartfield Vets at The Caburn, both games are due to kick-off at 11am. On the Social side, the Grand Christmas Draw takes place in the bar on Friday December 20 and the Curry Night and Race Night is on Saturday 21 and tickets are available from the bar now.

COSY CHRISTMAS Carol Evening. Lewes Vox Community Choir presents an evening of carols in The Anchor on Tuesday at 8pm. Everyone welcome. Free entry.

SUPPER CLUB: The inaugural three course supper will be held on Saturday 21 at 7.30pm in the village hall. Bring your own drinks and glasses. Barrie Smith will read a few seasonal poems. Tickets, £10 in advance from Daisy 814859, Pam 813625, Bren 813303 or The Wine Shop. Proceeds to Ringmer Village Hall Appeal.

BRIDGE CLUB: At its meeting on Wednesday December 4, the result of the duplicate pairs played was: 1, Frank Hibbert and George Montgomery; 2, Barrie Smith and Alan Grindley: 3, Roy Scan and Alan Disney. The club next meets in the St Mary’s Room of the village hall on Wednesday at 7.30pm. Contact 814220.

Rodmell & Southease

CHRISTMAS: As the Christmas period comes upon us, one is lost for choice on all the different Christmas shows, fairs and markets to visit. The Newhaven Lifeboat Society set up their Christmas stall in the foyer of our pub on Saturday morning and I hope they were given ample support. I purchased some very nice little gifts, fairly priced from the three cheerful ladies working on the stall. Well done ladies for all your time given.

ON SATURDAY afternoon Rodmell was packed with cars because the school held their Christmas Fair. It was an amazing event with many stalls, good bargains and a feeling of great jollity. It was a shame people did not think carefully about their parking, as there were a few raised voices about people being unable to get into their houses because cars had parked across their driveways or across their entrances. Rodmell has a car park in Lower Rodmell, and a few spaces in the car park behind the village hall. It seems some people just won’t walk more than a few yards .

LORNA MELIA held a Christmas reading at her flat on Friday afternoon where we all took a part in the telling of the Christmas story. Lorna goes all out to organise well and the food she provides is scrumptious.

LINDY SMART has been asked to show other WI societies her craft talents, because they read what I wrote about her in Parish Pump. The power of the press yet again.

DERBY: I have not heard how the Rodmell Derby went on Saturday. Maybe someone could give me information for next week.

CAROL SINGING will be on Tuesday, Lower Rodmell, meet at Rose Cottage at 6.30pm. On Thursday Carol Singing in Upper Rodmell, meet at Smugglers in the Paddocks at 6.30pm.

APPLES: I am still picking up wheelbarrow loads of apples and distributing them around. If you are a cider maker, a baker, keep livestock or are just a person who eats a lot of apples you are welcome to come and get some, I hate waste.

ANIMALS: Not having any animals of my own now feels strange as I’ve had livestock around me for all of my life and if it wasn’t for Lily and Marley, the two cats who visit regularly, I’d feel very lost. I sometimes still look down to the stable expecting my dear old goat Tine to appear, he is very much missed.

BOOK: I was pleasantly surprised to find my friend Susan Rowland was involved in doing the maps in Graham Mayhew’s new book The Monks of Saint Pancras. Sue and I have been friends since our days at Sussex University, and I’m pleased to see she is still doing her cartographic work for which she is very well known.

SPEEDING: Although we all know people speed along the C7 there is also a problem of people driving too fast up The Street in the village. Take your foot of the accelerator folks, there are children, animals and OAPs around.