Parish pump Lewes - December 5, 2014


CHRISTMAS FAIR: This year’s Christmas Fair is tomorrow, Saturday, in Barcombe Village Hall from 9.30am until midday. Come and join Father Christmas for mulled wine, sausage and bacon butties, coffee, mince pies, Christmas gifts, cards, decorations, cakes and produce, tombola, Christmas hamper and raffle-local art and crafts and much more.

BARCOMBE SINGS CHRISTMAS: Friday December 12 at 7.30pm in the village hall. Barcombe support group for St Peter and St James Hospice invites you to our annual evening of carols and Christmas music, ably led by a group of talented musicians. There will be mulled wine, mince pies, sausage rolls etc. Plus a Grand Raffle of Christmas hampers. Admission and refreshments are free but a donation to the hospice would be most welcome.

PILATES: We have spaces on our pilates sessions on Tuesday from 9.30am to 10.30am. Please ring Mary Duncan on 01273 400215 or turn up just before the session if you are interested. We were paying £35 for a course of 10. The more people we have, the less it is.

BARCOMBE WI have their Christmas meal on Tuesday, 7pm at the Royal Oak.


LIVE MUSIC is at the Kings Head Inn tomorrow, Saturday, 9.30pm to 11.30pm with rhythm and blues band BN8.

ST PETER’S CHURCH, Sunday, Holy Communion at 8am and Parish Communion at 10am with music supplied by Robinswood, a four piece Sussex based folk band who perform their own compositions as well as some traditional and Irish material; their instruments are guitar, fiddle, mandolin and bass. The service will be followed by a Pete’s Pantry Christmas special. If you would like some cards or to make a donation to Pete’s Pantry, but are unable to attend the services, call Teresa on 01825 722586. Transport can be arranged by calling Peter Martin on 01825 722680.

FREE CHURCH, Sunday, 10.30am with Derek Heyman and 6.15pm with Paul Daniels. Also on Thursdays at 7.30pm there is bible study and prayer.

SOUTH DOWNS TR Group club night is at The Horns Lodge on Tuesday from 8pm. Anyone with an interest in Triumph TR sports cars is welcome to attend. Visit

SHEFFIELD PARK has early opening, from 8am, on Wednesday. This is an excellent opportunity to experience the garden as the sun rises across the lakes. On Tuesday December 9 and Saturday December 13, from 11am, Christmas songs will be heard around the garden; as local singing group InChoir perform a selection of popular Christmas songs in the garden. There is also a Willow Walk, giving the opportunity to find festive willow structures while you walk around the garden, and/or some calorie-busting walks around the garden to work off the season’s excesses. Admission charges apply; for more information call 01825 790231.

GRANDPARENTS TODDLER Group meets on Wednesday between 9.30am and 11.30am at the Chailey Children’s Centre. The group has the use of a wonderfully equipped room and a safe outside area full of things to do. Call Susannah Griffin on 01825 724335.

FRIDAY CARD CLASSES run from 10am to 4pm and cost £12 (£10 of which goes towards St Peter’s Church funds). Refreshments and equipment are provided; just a packed lunch is needed. Spaces are available on Friday December 12. Call Teresa on 01825 722586 if you would like to join in.

CHRISTMAS FAYRE is at Chailey School on Saturday December 13 from 10.30am to 12.30pm. There will be stalls for everyone including jewellery, gifts, tombola, a money tree and refreshments with bacon butties and mince pies.

CAROL SINGING: St Peter’s Church choir will be singing on Monday December 15 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, and at the same time raise funds for Chailey Heritage Foundation, you will be most welcome.

CASH FOR COVER APPEAL: The results of the appeal have been stunning with nearly 1,300 donors which has meant the main target of £350,000 has been met in less than five weeks. Donations are still coming in, and a big thank you from the Bluebell Railway is sent to everyone who has contributed. The building drawings for which planning consent has been given include a lot more than a roof over the carriages so contributions to help this project, at, will be gratefully received.

OFSTED INSPECTION: Staff and pupils at Chailey Heritage School are celebrating after an Ofsted inspection last month rated the school ‘outstanding’. Ofsted judged ‘In each of the school’s departments, starting with the Early Years Foundation Stage and ending in the sixth form, pupils make outstanding progress’. The inspectors praised the headteacher for being ‘unceasing in his efforts to improve the school even further’ and concluded ‘Leadership and management of this school are outstanding’ and ‘governance is highly effective’. The chair of governors, Dr Elizabeth Green, said she was very proud of the inspection report: ‘This excellent result was richly deserved and reflects the consistently high standard of commitment and sheer hard work given so unselfishly by staff, governors and volunteers.’ View the full report at

HRH THE DUKE OF GLOUCESTER officially opened the new Beacon View Wellbeing Centre at St Peter and St James Hospice on Wednesday November 19. This enabled supporters to see the Wellbeing Centre in operation. The Duke was taken on a tour and was keen to meet patients, staff and volunteers. The centre is open to anyone over 18 years, who has a life limiting illness and is registered with the hospice. The activities and services are varied and designed to promote wellbeing and confidence in a safe and supportive environment. A personal programme of support will initially last ten weeks and can include health and wellbeing sessions, complementary therapies, social and activity groups and individual emotional and physical support. Call 01444 471598.

Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

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

MONDAY CLUB meets in St Peter’s Church Hall. Don’t forget it is Christmas Lunch at the earlier time of 12.30pm. Ring Judith 01273 474356 or Caroline 01273 477151.

PARISH COUNCIL: East Chiltington Parish Council November meeting. Cllr Osborne is talking to residents about the possibility of a bridleway beside the A275 from Bevernbridge Stables (which is not in East Chiltington). ESCC have visited the site of flooding in Novington Lane and are investigating what might be done to help. No update on the Hollycroft field and no results were available at that stage from the Hollycroft parking survey. Cllr Sheppard reported that cabinet would be looking at the proposed bus service cuts on December 10. He said that savings had to be made by ESCC. Although it was reported that all potholes had been repaired, Cllr Bury said there was a deep pothole in a passing bay in Novington Lane. Council suggested this be reported to ESCC online. The clerk brought the council’s attention to an email from ESCC regarding Network Rail’s request to divert a footpath, part of which crosses land owned by the clerk. As this was too late to appear on the agenda it would have to be dealt with under delegated powers by the planning and environment committee. Council considered the precept required for 2015/16. The clerk had provided the half year accounts/budget and council agreed to hold the precept required to the same amount as last year. The clerk will inform LDC.

PLANNING: North Hall, Novington Lane. Change of use and conversion and extension of redundant agricultural buildings to form a single residential dwelling. The P&E committee have visited the site and feel it was an excellent scheme and should be supported but it was pointed out it was thought likely the application might be refused by officers. Council agreed to support the application. The application for an extension to commercial kitchen to provide toilet, dry food store and client’s reception and demonstration area at Wooton Farm, Novington Lane, was granted. 9 Hollycroft, East Chiltington, minor alterations to application SDNP/14/003818/HOUS was also granted.

OTHER MATTERS: The East Chiltington Trust: Cllr Harrison declared an interest in any update on the provision of allotments. A portion of the TECT field will be allocated to the newly created allotment society and TECT will donate funds towards start up costs. Eight households currently interested in having an allotment. The apple pressing day was cancelled due to the poor harvest. TECT successfully applied for trees from the Woodland Trust and these will need planting. The lease for farming the field will be renewed for another three years. There will be another quiz in February. The clerk was asked to contact the Monday Group about a stile in Novington Lane because access to the footpath was blocked by a gate. The Springett and Campion Trust have given one grant of £1,000 to an East Chiltington student. LDC have not made a decision regarding the future of the Hollycroft field. Talks are ongoing regarding the community use of the church. ESCC is offering a grant of £3,000 to replace its current provision of verge maintenance. This would be reduced to £655 after year one. Cllr Bury has obtained quotations from contractors for the work (27km). The best is £3,440 pa. Cllr Bury proposed the PC use this contractor for the coming year and meet the shortfall of £440. Council was concerned it was not a long term solution. If PC opt out, could they opt back in after one year? What would happen if a contractor became unable to fulfil the contract and left the PC to try and deal with it. Cllr Bury alerted council under the 1980s highways act, ESCC were obliged to maintain the verges. After discussion, council decided four to one not to devolve this service from ESCC. Council considered renewing the lease on the Hollycroft playing field to September 2016. Lease has increased to £75 per year backdated to 2011. Total outstanding £75 plus £75 for the new lease. Council agreed to renew the lease but to ask the clerk to contact LDC to see if a ten year lease was available, or if the new lease could be started form the current date. The next meeting is on January 14 in the village hall, 7pm.


YOUNG TALENT: Those of us who attended the concert last Sunday morning were treated to an amazingly confident and polished performance by young violinist Ayla Sahin. Ayla is still at school and is clearly destined for a career in music. I particularly liked Le Chant de Roxanne by Szymanowski, a composer I had never heard of, what a beautiful haunting tune.

MORE MUSIC: Still to come in our regular Saturday concert series (tomorrow): The Bothy Singers. Since their inception in 2011, the Bothy Singers have enjoyed taking part in Herbie Flower’s Jazz Breakfasts at the Brighton Corn Exchange. They also performed alongside the talented jazz singer Tina May at the Ropetackle Centre, Shoreham, during one of the Lonely Hearts Piano Bar concerts, and more recently sung as part of the web radio broadcasts The Thursday Night Show. As usual admission is free with a retiring collection. The concert is at 5.30pm and lasts about 45 minutes.

CAROLS: We are also looking forward to our Advent Carol service this Sunday at 6pm. We will be hosting the University of Brighton Carol service again this year on Wednesday. This is always a lovely service with the Brighton youth strings led by Andrew Sherwood and the Brighton University choir. There are always some really interesting readings too.

PLANNING: Two planning matters have come up recently, the first is an application to build some new houses in Falmer South on the farm yard. The plan is to convert two of the farm buildings (the stables and granary) into dwellings, the second is the building of a terrace of four houses on the footprint of a previously demolished barn. You can view the plans here:

The second is that the University of Sussex is to appeal against the decision regarding their masterplan. The objections to the plans included the loss of 453 trees and that the scale and height of the plans could create a ‘dense urban environment’.

RELIEF: The installation of the new loo in St Laurence Church is almost complete. We are not sure if there is going to be a grand opening with the cutting of a ribbon, but it is certainly a milestone in the effort to upgrade the church’s resources and we are eternally grateful to Sue Mileham for her heroic work in co-ordinating everything and securing the funding for the loo.


PHOENIX ROADSHOW: Landport gets its chance to comment on alternative, community-led development plans for the Phoenix Industrial Estate. Lewes Phoenix Rising will be showcasing its not-for-profit proposal to create genuinely affordable housing, workspace and venues for culture and community enterprise. The free drop-in event will include history about the Phoenix Ironworks, a 3-D model of the proposed development and a film short. Landport Community Centre, Friday 12 December, 5pm to 9pm.


WESTGATE WI: Our November meeting is our AGM month and our chairman, Julia Blake, was duly re-elected, the other officers will be assigned at our next committee meeting at the beginning of December. After the business side of our meeting we were requested to stand in specific areas of the hall representing whereabouts in the UK we were born, the majority of our members were born and bred in Sussex, then came London, a couple in East Anglia, two more in the south west of the country, one northern England and one born abroad, Jerusalem, so, as you can see we are quite a mixed bunch regarding our birth areas. This is all to do with our 2015 Centenary Project, to find out more come along and join us, we are a very friendly group and welcome anyone who would like to visit to see what the WI is all about, you are entitled to attend three meetings before deciding whether or not you would like to become a member. We meet in St Thomas’ Church Hall, Cliffe High Street on the second Wednesday of the month, doors open at 10am for coffee and the meeting commences at 10.30am. We did have a lovely treat this month as M&Co gave us a lock-in at their store in Cliffe High Street on Wednesday November 26 and some 12 of us attended, four of which volunteered to be models. Caroline, the manager, and her staff did us proud, welcoming us with drinks and nibbles before we embarked on a wonderful couple of hours watching the models and discussing what they were wearing, how great they looked in the clothes (each model displayed two different types of outfits) and we certainly became aware that it was fine for us slightly older ladies to wear trendy clothing without looking like mutton dressed as lamb. Once the modelling was over we had the store to ourselves to browse everything in store; children’s clothing, household linens and cushions, teenage clothing as well as the ladies apparel, trying on whatever we fancied. I think nearly all of us purchased one or more items of clothing, some bought the items which they modelled and, I have to say (as I was one of the models) all the clothing was extremely comfortable to wear, especially the ‘flapper’ dress I wore. Very many thanks to Caroline and all her staff who were only too happy to help us with styling, colour, size, etc., a long day for them as they were all in the store before 8.30am and wouldn’t have left until 9pm. We are hopeful that we can do it all again in the spring. (Dee Barr).

HISTORY GROUP: Lewes History Group talk, Monday, 7pm (for 7.30pm) at the King’s Church building, Brooks Road is entitled The History of Sun Street. Following a short AGM, there will be an illustrated talk by Rosemary Page, Sue Weeks and the other members of the team who have been investigating Sun Street’s past since October 2013 as part of the Lewes Streets Story project. They will present their findings to date about the buildings and their occupants and there will also be a display of historic photographs, press reports and other research results. All welcome. Free mulled wine and mince pies. Members free, £3 for non-members.

CHRISTMAS SHOW: WishWorks Christmas Show, Merry Mayhem, will be at Christ Church, Prince Edwards Road on Sunday at 2.30pm. £5 per head or £15 per family, tickets available on the door, doors open at 2pm. We will be performing Little Red Riding Hood (with rabbits) on Saturday December 13 at Harvey’s Yard as part of the Christmas Fair in aid of Pippa’s group. Free entry. We will put on Goldifox as a puppet pantomime at Christ Church on Sunday January 4, 2.30pm. £5 per head or £15 per family, tickets available on the door, doors open at 2pm.

FOOTPATHS GROUP: Last week the group held one of their monthly strolls of about three miles walking part of the old Lewes Racecourse on to Mount Harry and returning over Offham Hill and finishing at the bottom of Highdown Road. Although the weather was dull with some slight rain, the visibility was good thus the strollers were able to enjoy the interesting landscape including a part of the South Downs, for a full view of 360 degrees. The strolls, a fairly recent innovation, are proving to be very well supported. We have two walks this week. The first one is on Sunday when we go to Coleman’s Hatch. Meet at top North Street car park for a 9.30am start. Then on Wednesday we have another stroll. This one will be a flat walk from Firle. Meet at 10.30am at top North Street car park.

SOUTHOVER CHURCH: We are now able to confirm final figures for our recent charity events. The festive Fairtrade Fayre raised over £3,000 between various Fairtrade organisations and other charities. The book sale raised £890 for education in Rwanda. 101 shoe boxes of presents (and two large boxes of hand knitted hats and gloves) were collected by Operation Christmas Child. Many thanks once again to everyone involved for their kindness and generosity. Can you also help children nearer home? Angel Tree enables dads in Lewes prison to send their children a £10 Christmas present with a personal card. Donations will be gratefully received: text/call Mary on 07803 630831 or email This Sunday our annual bereavement service and tea are at 3.30pm: we welcome anyone who has been bereaved. On Sunday December 14 at 3pm all children and parents are invited to the candlelit Children’s Society Christingle service organised by all the churches in Lewes, taking place at Southover Church. On Sunday December 21 our candlelit carol services are at 4pm and 6.30pm. Services this Sunday: 8am communion; 10am morning service, a blend of traditional and contemporary, with choir, organ and band; 11.15am informal service in the church hall; 3.30pm annual bereavement service followed by tea; 6.30pm informal service with singers and band.

IF you enjoyed the ‘Stories Seen Through a Glass Plate’ light box exhibition in Lewes High Street, call into Edward Reeves Photography, 159 High Street, tomorrow ( Saturday). They are holding a one day pre-Christmas exhibition and print sale featuring photographs from their archive. Open 11am to 5pm – there will be special prices on framed and mounted prints of Lewes, greetings cards and frames.


SOUTH MALLING SCHOOL: A wonderful VE day was celebrated by the Purple classes last Friday as the final part of their learning about World War II. Children and teachers dressed up in period costume, cooked (and ate) wartime food, built air raid shelters and practised hiding in them once the siren went! In the afternoon they invited the residents of Reed Court for a Celebration tea and dance and sang some of their wartime songs. Many thanks to Mr Wooller, Miss Straker, Rachael, Kate and the parents who all came in to help make it a day to remember. Key stage 1 children were treated to a pantomime show from the students of Sussex Downs College this week. This is always a popular event with lots of audience participation. The whole school was involved in Decoration Day on Thursday, so the school is now looking ready for the festive season and the Christmas Fair tonight (Friday) at 3.15pm to 5pm. Even the scaffolding around the school has had a festive makeover. Parents are reminded the school will be closed on Monday for an in-service training day.

SOUTH MALLING CHURCH experimented last week with a cafe style service. The church was set out with cafe tables with table cloths and flowers, and the congregation grouped round the tables with coffee and biscuits. It was an informal and friendly setting for what was a very sombre message, a reminder to the assembled that Christians believe at the end of history, we will all be judged. Christians also believe God became human in Jesus Christ at that first Christmas and allowed himself to be crucified as an almighty sacrifice to save from judgement all those who recognise what he has done for them and try to live according to the principles which are set out in the story of Christ’s life and death: Love God, love your neighbour, love yourself. No wonder the great Advent prayer is Come Lord Jesus. On Sunday the service will be Holy Communion at 9.30am.

PHOENIX INDUSTRIAL ESTATE is partly in the parish of Malling. Lewes Phoenix Rising will be showcasing its own proposal to create affordable housing, workspace and venues for culture and community enterprise. Residents are invited to a presentation on their proposal,including a history of the Phoenix Ironworks, a 3-D model of the proposed development and a film short at Malling Community Centre on Sunday, noon to 3pm.

20MPH SPEED LIMITS Malling residents have been circulated with proposals to introduce new speed limits and traffic calming measures in the Malling area. Traffic management has been a constant complaint at Residents Association Meetings. You are urged to say what you think about the proposal, whether positive or negative, and it affects those who walk as well as those who drive so don’t take it for granted your view will be represented. Write in and say what you think. The letter needs to arrive before December 19.

Mobile Library

THE LIBRARY will be visiting the following areas this week. Tuesday: Dumbrell’s Court, Ditchling 10.40am to 11.10am; The Fountain car park, Plumpton 11.30am to noon; Old School lay-by, Plumpton 12.10pm to 12.40pm; Grantham Close, Chailey 2pm to 2.30pm; Little Mead, Cooksbridge 2.45pm to 3.15pm; Delves House, Delves Close, Ringmer 3.40pm to 4pm. Thursday: Opposite the Post Office, Firle 9.30am to 10am; Weald View, Barcombe 10.30am to 11am; Mill Lane, Chailey 11.15am to 11.35pm; Markstakes Corner, Chailey 11.45am to 12.10pm; South Rough, Newick 1.15pm to 1.45pm; Oldaker, Newick 1.50pm to 2.20pm.


NEVILL BONFIRE Jumble Sale to be held in Ringmer Village Hall on December 13. Jumble will be collected around the Nevill on Friday December 12.

SUNDAY BUSES: We now have the 132 Community Transport bus running around the town, covering the three estates as well as Southover. It goes from Firle Crescent at 10.56am, then every hour until 3.26pm. Funding comes from Lewes Town Council. Their contact details are 01273 517332 or

PHOENIX ROADSHOW: Nevill has an opportunity to help shape alternative, community-led development plans for the Phoenix Industrial Estate. Lewes Phoenix Rising will be showcasing its not-for-profit proposal to create genuinely affordable housing, workspace and venues for culture and community enterprise. The free event will include history about the Phoenix Ironworks, a 3-D model of the proposed development and a short film. It’s at St Mary’s Church Hall on Monday, 5pm.

CHRIST CHURCH: On Wednesday November 26 the meeting of the Thinktank heard a vivid and wide ranging talk by Rev Chris McDermott, lead Chaplain at the University of Sussex, on Conflict Resolution in East London. He answered questions about how tensions in communities can be reduced and new beginnings made. The next Thinktank will be on January 28. Worship on Sunday at 10.30am will be led by Rev Michael Davies and evening worship at 6.30pm will be led by Bekkie Wright.

WALLANDS SCHOOL: Thank you so much to all of you who attended and helped out at the quiz night. This was a huge success and raised £556 for the Patina fund. A really great night which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. Keep an eye out for the pop up café on Fridays in the infants playground, as it gets colder a nice hot drink is just the thing to keep you warm, we will be adding hot chocolate to our menu too and at 50p a perfect Friday treat. Flapjacks, mini rolls and lollipops too. Friends of Wallands will be hosting a Family Sing Along Christmas Carol Evening on Wednesday December 17, 5pm to 7pm at the school. We are looking for volunteers to help make this evening a great success. Would any child (Yr5 or 6) like to be an elf? Could you bake some gingerbread men, fairies or reindeer for the children to decorate? Could you volunteer to help during the evening? Do you have something you could donate to the raffle? Could you make a cake/mince pies for the café? All help will be hugely appreciated. Please just let Gemma know at Well done to Louis Gabriel Penrose (Yr4) who received a high commendation at the Seaford Youth Sports Awards evening last Saturday for his efforts and achievements in dinghy sailing. Our indoor athletics team competed in Hailsham against nine other schools in various track and field events. Our team of 18 is made up of Yr 5 and Yr 6 boys and girls who were full of enthusiasm and focus. Their obvious sportsmanship and skills were commented on by the organisers. We are delighted to tell you that Wallands finished 1st overall and will go forward to represent the South Downs area at the next stage in February. Congratulations to the team and thank you to Mr Perry, Mrs Taylor and the parents, Cross Country A group of Year 5 and 6 boys and girls competed in a one mile cross country race held at the Priory fields in Ham Lane on a lovely sunny afternoon. For some of the children it was their first experience at running such a long way. The girls finished fourth out of eight schools and the boys second out of nine. There was also an individual element with notable personal achievements and the top 15 runners in each race (there were 72 boys and 58 girls who took part), being invited to represent the South Downs area in the Partnership finals to be held in February, where they will be required to run 2.7km. Congratulations to Rose Brooker (2nd), Jacob Morris (4th), Cameron Wright (7th) and Sebastian Cooper (11th). A big thank you for all the support from parents.


THE COUNTRY MARKET will be open from 10am to 11am today, Friday, in the village hall. Why not pop along and enjoy natter and a cuppa.

CHURCH SERVICES at St Mary’s this weekend are 8am Holy Communion followed by Family Service at 10.30am.

FLARE PATH: Don’t forget the Newick Amateur Society will perform the play Flare Path this week in the village hall at 8pm, doors open 7.15pm.

COFFEE MORNING tomorrow, Saturday, in the Community Centre from 9am till noon. All the proceeds are for Headway, a local charity.

CHRISTMAS CARDS: There are only few days left for you to post in time for the final local collection on December 11 at 4pm. Please support this service by the Newick Scout Group and give a generous donation in a sealed envelope and post with your cards.


OVER 60s PARTY: If you are aged 60 or over, members of our local Scout group are waiting to greet you for a Christmas Tea Party tomorrow (Saturday) in the village hall at 2.30pm. They will wait on you at table, provide entertainment end ensure you have a great afternoon. If you need a lift ring Rod on 01273 890410 but don’t leave it to the very last minute. A great afternoon, perhaps with old friends and providing an opportunity to make some new ones. The Scout group members have been organising this event successfully for several years now and not only does it enable them to serve the community, but gives the young people an opportunity to develop their skills in socialising and service.

FIT FOR CHRISTMAS? If you wish to get in trim before the overindulgence during the Christmas festivities, then why not join the Footpath Society walk tomorrow (Saturday)? Just turn up at the southern car park at Plumpton racecourse (TQ361 154) at 10.30am ready to set off on a circular walk round Plumpton covering between four and five miles. The only alteration to the published programme is there will not be a lunch provided at the end of the walk. Ring 01273 890055.

FESTIVE SUCCESS: Last Saturday’s Festive Fair was, once again, a great success. Visitors were able to browse numerous stalls offering local produce and a vast array of gifts and other goods from local producers. Entertainment was provided for the entire family and there was plenty of opportunity for community socialising. Add to that the fact the event raised £480 for Village Action Plan community projects and it was all so worthwhile. This now well established event was instigated by the Village Action Plan (VAP) several years ago as one of its community initiatives, but the time has now come for it to become independent, as have other VAP ventures. Happily it can be revealed that future Festive Fairs will be run by the Plumpton Support Group for St Peter and St James Hospice and thus all future profits will go to the hospice to provide that special care so many residents have had the benefit of in the past and, unfortunately, are bound to need in the future. The VAP is happy to hand over this venture to such a worthy, local cause and wishes it every success for years to come. Thanks are also due to Carole Nicholson and her numerous co-workers for instigating and developing this great event into part of our village calendar.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING: The parish council has been advised the development of 14 homes off North Barnes Lane, to be known as Sun Close, is nearing completion and keys are due to be handed over to the lucky new residents on December 17. The aim was to provide much needed housing at ‘affordable’ rents/prices to local residents or those with strong local connections. Information provided says 13 of the homes fit exactly into that category. One unit was not taken up by qualifying people on the shortlist and has been allocated to a family in an adjacent village. That result is superb. The development is thus providing much needed homes for local people at rates of 80 percent of market values and they will be available for local people in perpetuity. As I write, the junction of North Barnes Lane with Station Road is being improved considerably and minor, but significant improvements to the western end of the lane are also being made. I had a sneak preview of some of the homes recently and they really are great. Well planned, well-proportioned and in a spacious and welcoming environment. Every unit has a garden instead of a patch the size of a handkerchief as is so common these days. For the environmentalists the good news is solar panels have been incorporated where practicable and domestic hot water and heating will be provided without the use of oil or other fossil fuels. Instead heat pumps will produce the energy. Ground heat is not possible because the soil is heavy clay, so the air source will be utilised with the aid of a modest amount of electricity. Oh, what a lovely Christmas present for 14 local families. Another plus is I have heard much praise heaped on the building contractors for their caring attitude during the development. Yes, there has been considerable and inevitable inconvenience to some residents, but the feedback is the contractors were considerate and co-operative. As was promised from the outset, that unsightly tyre dump disappeared during the process.

YOUTH FACILITY: Following the success of the first meeting of Plumpton Youth Space there will be a Christmas party with disco next Friday (December 12). The disco is being provided by Paul, the cook at the Fountain, who also runs professional discos. The event is open to all young people aged 11 to 15 years from Plumpton and East Chiltington and is at Plumpton sports pavilion. Legislation requires all events involving young people are properly supervised and Plumpton Village Action Plan is sponsoring this initiative. An enthusiastic, qualified youth worker has been engaged to ensure activities the youngsters want can be provided with proper but not intrusive supervision and it is now envisaged meetings will be held monthly – by popular demand. A small group of devotees has got this project off the ground, but help will be essential if its future is to be secured. Parents and others must come forward as volunteers to ensure there is adequate supervision for meetings to meet legal requirements. This could require parents/guardians/friends to give up perhaps just one evening a year to ensure success. Email or ring me on 01273 890722.


ST PETER AND JAMES HOSPICE: The annual Lights of Love service will take place tomorrow (Saturday) at St Mary’s Church and not on Sunday as was incorrectly stated

last week. Many apologies.

BOWLS CLUB: Our Christmas Coffee Morning will be held tomorrow (Saturday) from

10am to 11.30am in the club house on the village green. Entry 50p includes coffee and a mince pie. All the usual stalls, a tombola, raffle, cakes etc.

ST MARY’S CHURCH: The Christingle Service takes place at 9.45am on Sunday with special collections for The Children’s Society. A special Toddlers Time at St Mary’s takes place at 1.45pm to 2.45pm on Thursday. The Carol Service takes place on Sunday December 14 at 6.30pm with a selection of carols and lessons for Advent.

BRIDGE CLUB: At its meeting on Wednesday November 26, the result of the duplicate pairs played was: 1, Liz and Tim Owen; joint 2, Jenny Charman and Alan Grindley, Lesley Durrant and David Warner. The club next meets in the St Mary’s room of the village hall on Wednesday at 7.30pm. Contact 814220.

FATHER CHRISTMAS: The Rotary Club of Lewes will be bringing Father Christmas to Ringmer with their Tree of Goodwill on Thursday covering the Springett Avenue, Sadlers and Miill Estates areas commencing at the clock tower and the following evening, Friday December 12, commencing at Broyle Lane covering the Broyle Estate, Christie and Delves Estates. Both evenings will start at 6pm.

FOOTBALL CLUB: The kids’ Christmas Party will be held in the Club on Sunday December 14 between 4pm and 7pm. This is a free event and all are welcome.

Rodmell & Southease

PANTO: I heard a rumour that Rodmell is not having a village Panto this year. I hope it isn’t true as it’s one of the village special occasions.