Parish pump Lewes - February 6, 2015


BARCOMBE WI: Tuesday, 7.30pm in the village hall, comedy, songs and poetry by John Cave. Visitors and new members welcome.

BARCOMBE CINEMA: The next film The Hundred Year Journey starring Helen Mirren and Om Muri, will be shown on Friday, March 20. Doors open 7pm.


AFTERNOON TEA and info mation meeting tomorrow, Saturday, is at the village hall from 2.30pm to 5pm. It is free and organised by the horticultural society and everyone is welcome, young and old, those with skills in gardening, cookery and handicrafts and those who would like to acquire such skills. The society would very much like more people in the village to be involved and are interested in your suggestions for future activities; so that they can make their shows and social events of interest to you.

ST PETER’S CHURCH services this Sunday are Holy Communion at 8am and Parish Communion at 10am. Transport can be arranged by calling Peter Martin on 01825 722680. The recent open day was very successful; with some good, positive feedback. There was an excellent choice of soups for lunch and homemade cakes were to the usual high standard. Thanks go to everyone who helped with the food and the organisation and particularly to Nicola Lack. Thanks go also to the bell ringers for their contribution at the start, the church choir and Andy Rees (the church organist) for music during the morning and to Terry Bryant for playing his guitar through lunchtime.

FREE CHURCH this Sunday starts with breakfast at 9.30am before the service at 10.30am; where entertaining street preacher Derek Heyman will be speaking. There is also a service at 6.30pm with Giles Woodcraft.

EARLY OPENING at Sheffield Park and Garden on Wednesday at 8am; normal admission charges apply. This is an opportunity to experience and photograph the early morning wildlife, frost and mist.

INFORMATION POINT session is at the Coffee Stop, Free Church, on Friday February 13 from 10am to midday. The parish clerk will be there and assist with any questions you may have.

OPEN GARDENS: St Peter and St James Hospice’s Open Gardens this year will run from May 30 until September. The hospice is hoping that this year will be even more successful with a guaranteed 40 gardens taking part to mark its 40th anniversary. Last year there were different kinds of gardens involved, from luxurious estates, herb gardens to themed settings and trails. St Peter and St James are encouraging everyone to get involved and all types of gardens are welcome; as each year new gardens are needed to keep the programme appealing. Will you support the hospice by opening your garden? If you would like to open a garden or just want to know more please contact Carol Hughes, in fundraising, on 01444 471598 by Friday February 13.

VALENTINE RAFFLE, organised by the bonfire society, is at the Horns Lodge and tickets are available at the bar. The raffle will be drawn on Friday February 13 at 9pm.

VALENTINE RACE NIGHT, organised by the Friends of St Peter’s Church, takes place at the village hall on Saturday February 14. Tickets are available from Teresa Wenban (on 01825 722586) and cost £10 to include a meal. A bar will be available.

NATIONAL NATURE RESERVES in East Sussex will be the subject of the talk, at the Commons Society meeting, on Thursday February 19 at 7.30pm at the village hall. Malcolm Emery, the senior reserves manager at East Sussex National Nature Reserves, at Friston, will talk about managing the reserves. Refreshments will be served and visitors welcome.

QUIZ EVENING to raise funds for the restoration of Maunsell Dining Saloon No 7864 is on February 21 at 7.30pm at the Bessemer Arms, Sheffield Park Station. The Bluebell Railway Preservation Society Social Sub-Committee, in conjunction with the Maunsell No 7864 Group, will present the quiz. Tickets cost £12 to include an evening meal; tables of up to six, you can either enter a team or join a table on the night. For tickets call 01737772811 or e-mail

VITALITY BRIGHTON half marathon is on Sunday February 22, the registration fee is £30 and the minimum sponsorship target is £250. If you would like to take part in this event and raise funds for Chailey Heritage Foundation please call them on 01825 724752 as soon as possible.

THANKS to those who advertised in Chailey Cricket Club fixture book last year, namely Chailey Garage, The Horns Lodge, JB Decorating, May Cottage Tea Rooms, McColl’s South Chailey Stores, Murco Service Station, Townings Farm Shop, Worldwide Mailing Solutions and Your Safari. The fixture book for this year is being compiled and if you would like to advertise in it and so support the cricket club please call David on 01273 890777. The cost of advertising is £25 for a full page (A5) and £15 for a half page.

YOUTH GROUP: Thanks go to Gemma Kybert for all that she has done for Chailey Youth Group as their chairman and lead in everything that they have done for the past 11 years. It is with great sadness that she is stepping aside; to run the charity Oscar’s Wish Foundation in memory of her baby boy born sleeping. Thanks also go to Gemma’s mother, Tracey Gunes, who has been a dedicated member of the committee for many years. Due to the increasing cost and difficulty involved in her childcare arrangements, whilst volunteering with the group, she too is unable to carry on. It is hoped that the group can continue with lots of fresh ideas and as such this is a turning point to find a new dedicated team of people to take the group forward. If you think you might be interested in assisting the group please contact Gemma at

Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

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

MONDAY CLUB: the Monday Afternoon Club meet on February 9 at 2pm in the church hall. This month will be tea and chat, not forgetting those delicious home-made cakes. Lifts are available by contacting Judith 01273 474356 or Caroline 01273 477151.

ASH WEDNESDAY is on February 18, the beginning of Lent. It used to be my favourite day when at school as we had a special service in St Margaret’s Church, Buxted Park where we would process to the church through the avenue of trees where the birds would be singing and everything seemed to be springing into life heralding the arrival of spring. We were then given the rest of the day off when we could go home and make pancakes. Those were the days.

PARISH COUNCIL: When East Chiltington PC met recently five councillors were in attendance, Mrs J Toomey, clerk, and three members of the public. One resident complimented the council and Cllr Marina Bury in particular, for supporting residents who opposed the proposed Gradwell development. The same resident asked for an update on moving parish signs to the actual boundary. LDC will be asked to position the signs in the correct place. A resident had a speed survey carried out in Novington Lane and has ten days’ data showing average speeds. Cllr Israel, the chairman, explained that speed limits had been looked at in the past and the PC had been told the road failed to qualify for lower speeds as housing is not dense enough to be a village and the accident record is low. Road speed will be an agenda item for the March meeting. The resident also asked for an update on high speed broadband rollout. This is coming but it is piecemeal, residents can check by putting their postcode into go e-sussex to see what the situation is where they live.

PLANNING: North Hall, Novington Lane. Change of use and conversion and extension of redundant agricultural buildings to form a single residential dwelling. Pending consideration. East Chiltington Church Green car park extension. Granted. 9 Hollycroft, East Chiltington. Minor alterations to application SDNP/14/02191/FUL. Granted.

TECT: East Chiltington Trust. Two residents had contacted the PC offering to become trustees. There will be a TECT quiz on Monday April 13 in the Jolly Sportsman at 7.30pm. At the February meeting they will discuss future organisation of the allotments/tenancy agreements etc. The National Allotment Society will advise. The Zero Heroes fund has granted £850 for a new shed. Grants have been applied for from SDNP and TECT has granted £1,500. TECT is hopeful that allotments will be up and running by the summer. Two hundred trees have been planted near the railway line.

CURRENT ISSUES: Cllr Bury was concerned that a field entrance on Novington Lane did not have permission. The clerk will enquire. Cllr Bury reported road drop in three places and pot holes in Novington Lane. The clerk will contact ESCC. Rights of Way Path 43 diverted route should be opened early spring. The chairman will contact Mark Hayward, SDNPA, regarding poor state of Watershoot path. A resident had suggested that the PC should meet monthly. Council discussed the suggestion but decided there was no need at present. Cllr Harrison was to follow up any decision regarding the status of the field as a village green, through the Open Spaces Society. The clerk was asked to contact District Cllr Sarah Osborne and MP Norman Baker for support over the proposed bus service cuts and for help to bridge the gap the cuts will leave. CTLA transport has been offered but only for the same two days as the bus will run. Cllr Israel was told that LDC and SDNPA are opposed to development of the land put forward by Eton College Estates, at present. Cllrs were going to try to attend the inspectors meeting at the Amex Stadium. The annual Litter Pick will be on March 8. Meet at the Forge, 10am. June 27 was suggested as the date for the annual Village Day. The PC next meet on March 5 in the village hall, Beechwood Lane at 7pm.

EAST CHILTINGTON CHURCH: On Friday February 13 at 7.30pm, Box Table Soup Productions present Northanger Abbey. Tickets, adults £12, children/unwaged £6 which includes a complimentary drink and nibbles. Tickets available from Plumpton Village Shop, The Jolly Sportsman and on the door (subject to availability).


CANDLEMAS LUNCH: After the service on Sunday the congregation and other friends retired to the Parish Hall for a sumptuous lunch. It was a real feast and enjoyed by everyone.

THE CONCERT on Saturday February 14 at 5.30pm in St Laurence Church when the tenor Timothy Wilcox and Peter Williams on piano will be performing Schumann’s Dichterliebe and works by Faure and Vaughan Williams. This is the first of the 2015 concerts and there is a full programme taking us through to May when there are three arranged to coincide with the Brighton Festival. Watch this space for details.


HISTORY GROUP: Lewes History Group talk: The Tory MPs for Lewes, 1874-1997. Lewes prides itself on being different and, despite being a prosperous Home Counties constituency, it is over 20 years since it last elected a Conservative MP. From a descendant of a royal bastard to an influential godfather, John Kay delves into the lives of the seven Tories who held sway over the town for more than 120 years. 7pm for 7.30pm on Monday at the King’s Church building, Brooks Road. All welcome. Free refreshments. £2 members, £3 for non-members.

BRIDGE CLUB: Tuesday January 20 Duplicate Pairs: 1, Peter and Irene Gannon; 2, Meic Goodyear and Mickie Lodge; 3, Janet Catermole and Peter Waters. Thursday January 22 Duplicate Pairs: 1, Nigel Osmer and Peter Gannon; 2, Edith Jeffery and Ann Davidson; 3, Meic Goodyear and Simon Kirkwood. Tuesday January 27 Duplicate Pairs: 1, Martin Hall and Peter Gannon; 2, Simon Fishburn and Paul Allen; 3, Richard Burnett and Alison Dunbar-Dempsey. Thursday January 29 Duplicate Pairs: 1, Nigel Osmer and Peter Cattermole; 2, Janet Cattermole and Di Johnstone; 3, Edith Jeffery and Ann Davidson. Visitors welcome, phone 01273 476757.

FOOTPATHS GROUP: Our last walk was ideal for a crisp winter’s morning. We started from East Dean Village car park and took the Birling Gap road as far as the Sheep Centre where we turned off and crossed fields until we reached the Beachy Head Road. Here we climbed steadily until we reached Belle Tout lighthouse and admired the wonderful views of the Seven Sisters and beyond. After an exhilarating stretch along the top of the cliffs we descended into Birling Gap where we had a chance to see the extent of the cliff falls last winter and admire the new National Trust shop before enjoying our coffee sitting in the sun. After a stiff climb and descent of a Sister, we turned inland and soon picked up a downhill path back to the lovely village of East Dean. An ideal walk for a winter’s day with almost no mud. The next walk is on Sunday, Plumpton. Meet at top North Street car park for a 9.30am start. An undulating 5.5 mile ramble. On Wednesday, Newhaven to Seaford, a stroll, 2.5 miles. Meet at Lewes Railway station to catch the 10.28am train to Newhaven. New walkers always welcome.

SOUTHOVER CHURCH: Tomorrow, Saturday, night at 7.30pm in the John Harvey Tavern we will be screening Inception at another of our men’s Saturday night cinema evenings; and again at 7.30pm in the JHT on February 28 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. No need to book, just come along. If you have missed out on being baptised, we are having a special baptism service on February 22 at the 6.30pm service: please contact the rector Steve Daughtery asap on 472018. Our Alpha course starts on Thursday February 26 for nine weeks: a great opportunity to explore the basics of the Christian faith and discuss the big questions of life in an informal, relaxed setting. Please contact Steve. If you have any spare warm clothing, blankets and sleeping bags for homeless people in Brighton, we have a collection box in the church porch. The church is open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and on Sunday for services. The organisers have asked us to pass on their sincere thanks for donations so far. If you need home care or know someone else in Lewes who does, you may be interested to know that the church runs its own not-for-profit home care service called Southover Community Care. Registered by the Care Quality Commission and trading since 2011, the service offers practical and friendly care, tailor-made to meet any individual needs, to help clients remain in their own home as long as possible. The manager would arrange an initial visit to discuss a client’s requirements and draw up a care plan together. Please contact 07866 301384 or for more information. Services this Sunday: 8am communion; 10am morning service, a blend of traditional and contemporary, with choir, organ and band; 11.15am informal service with communion in the church hall; 6.30pm informal evening service, with singers and band. Please join us.

LEWES PASSION PLAY 2015 Group. Calling all singers. Anyone who would like to join us as a singer in any part of the Lewes Passion Play this Easter is welcome to join us at Southover’s choir practice this evening, from 7.45pm to 8.45pm in the church. We invite all supporters to a bring and share supper tomorrow in Christ Church, Prince Edward’s Road, 7pm for 7.30pm. If anyone has a ‘party piece’ to perform please let us know. We are still recruiting for minor roles, members of the crowd, singers and instrumentalists. Family groups are particularly welcome to join in the music and drama on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. We hope to involve as many people in the local community as possible, including schools. Please email or visit our website at


SOUTH MALLING SCHOOL: Today, Friday, the children have been asked to bring in any loose change for our Coins Along the Corridor event organised by the Friends of South Malling. The coins are laid along the corridor by each class and once the length of the corridor is filled they are collected and counted. A great, fun way of fund raising. Next week every class will be preparing for their Enterprise Fair. They will be making products (which have been planned and costed over the term) and then sell them to family and friends on Friday afternoon. This helps the children develop their financial skills and understanding, as well as being a creative and exciting event. Safer Internet Day is on February 11 and the school will be spending time learning more about the important topic of staying safe online.

SOUTH MALLING CHURCH enjoyed seeing Revd Peter Markby last Sunday, a good and old friend, who reflected that the first time he had come to lead a service in the church had been in 1979. Friends had come over from Southover to hear their previous Rector give spirited demonstration of how Jesus chooses individuals as carefully as a skilled golfer chooses golf clubs, for exactly the purpose that he wants. This week is the Family Service, led by Peter Crees with Trinity’s Children, Schools and Families Minister, Neil Chisnall, talking particularly but not only to children, about what God has to say about Himself. This week will be what Jesus means when He says, ‘I am the bread of life.’ The services are both enjoyable and interesting. All are welcome.

mobile library

MOBILE LIBRARY: Friday: Opposite Lamb Inn, Ripe, 9.20am-9.45am; Berwick Village Hall 9.55am-10.25am.


LEWES BOROUGH BONFIRE: Tomorrow, Saturday, the society are holding a jumble sale at St Mary’s Supporters Club from 2pm followed in the evening at 8pm by a quiz night and raffle. The quiz is £2 per person for teams of four or less with prizes for the winning team. Everyone is welcome.

FRIENDS OF LANDPORT BOTTOM will be holding a public meeting at 7.30pm on Monday at St Mary’s Church Hall, Highdown Road. Everyone is welcome. This is a great chance to meet the Ranger, raise any issues and talk to other people who use and enjoy this beautiful open space on the north-west edge of Lewes. A contribution of 50p towards the cost of the hall would be appreciated.

WALLANDS SCHOOL: We have taken delivery of some round tree seats (part of our Outdoor Project) but are struggling to find the time and practical know how to assemble them. If you have a few hours to spare and could come into school one afternoon to help please let Maddy on front reception know and she will put you in touch with Julie Honess, our outdoor learning assistant. In the event of bad weather there will be an update on the school website by 7am and on local radio stations and ESCC in the event that we have to close. As we may not be able to access school it is unlikely that the telephone message will be updated. We have plenty of grit, snow shovels and a mini snow plough and will do our best to keep key pathways around the site cleared. Help is always appreciated to do this as we have a huge amount of pathways to cope with in these kind of situations. If you are available for us to call on to help please join our ‘snow patrol’ by sending your contact details in to Maddy on the front desk. Wallands Does Will has officially been launched. Every child should have taken a letter home explaining all you could want to know about our Easter extravaganza. We are eagerly awaiting our cast and crew and can’t wait to get creating with you. If you have any questions please call Jo Taylor on 078942085246. Southover School invited us to a friendly football match last Friday for our girls. This was the girls’ first opportunity to play a match and was good preparation for their tournament later on in the year. They were very excited and we took a mixture of Year 4, 5 and 6 girls who made two teams and they all really enjoyed the experience. There was some excellent game play and we won one and lost one match each.

CHRIST CHURCH: Worship on Sunday at 10.30am will be led by Rev John Gordon and will include Holy Communion. Sunday Club for children will be meeting during the service. After the service there will be a church walk. The Thinktank meeting on January 28 heard a lively and interesting talk by Professor Martin Yeomans on what determines how much we eat. He drew on his experience as head of the University of Sussex Ingestive Behaviour Group to give an account of his work that was accessible to lay people, and suggested ways in which some of the current problems of obesity in society could be overcome.


THE COUNTRY MARKET will be open today, Friday, from 10am till 11am in the village hall. There is a good selection of local vegetables n homemade cakes, savoury items preserves, eggs, plus local cheese and charcuterie, hand made greetings cards, and knitted items, animal portraits, flowers. You need to arrive early as many items sell out quickly. You can also enjoy a coffee and tea.

SERVICES on Sunday at St Mary’s Church are 8am Holy Communion (BCP) followed by Morning Prayer at 10.30am. Ash Wednesday is on February 18 and Holy Communion will take place at St Francis Church at Barcombe. Lent courses will commence on Thursday February 26 in the Barn Centre, this is a joint venture with St Francis Church Barcombe. 7pm for 7.30pm start. Everyone welcome.

THE AFTERNOON CLUB meet in the Community Centre at 2.30pm on Thursday. The speaker is Ian Reekie, talking about his recent experiences working for a charity based in the Rift Valley,Kenya, how this work is transforming lives and their communities and given Ian an insight into a very different culture. Everyone made most welcome.

MEETING: The horticultural society will be meeting on Thursday in the village hall at 8pm. The speaker will be Mark Saunders, his talk entitled Annuals but not Bedding. Mark is a very popular speaker, his lecture combines a colourful look at a wide range of beautiful flowering annuals with a practical demonstration on seed sowing techniques plus information on where to purchase seeds (no excuses this year for boring dull gardens). It is so important to have lovely colour plants in the summer, so why not pop along and gets some inspiration.

DIARY DATES: Newick WI’s next meeting will be on Thursday February 19 in the Community Centre at 7.45pm. Their speaker will be June Felstead, a member of the ALSAR Search Dogs Team. There will be a coffee morning on Saturday morning February 21 in aid of Camp Jabez at 10am in the Community Centre. Newick Cinema’s next film show will be on Sunday February 22 in the village hall from 7pm. The film will be The Hundred Foot Journey. Newick Neighbourhood Plan Referendum is on Thursday February 26. Details later.


BEWARE SCAMS: Another Plumpton resident came within a whisker of being swindled by someone who phoned and pretended to be a police officer ringing about a bank fraud. Please be aware the police never telephone about such matters to ask for personal details or request people to obey instructions to help catch criminals. The people ringing in such cases are the criminals and although they may ask you to ring your bank or police station to verify the call they are able to stay on line and steal the information you may subsequently give to what you may believe is a reliable source. If you receive a phone call or email you are not expecting you should immediately become suspicious and be very cautious. If you get a call from Windows Maintenance Department about suspicious activity in your Windows computer, then hang up immediately as it will be a scam that many have regretfully fallen for. These days there appear to be more criminals out there than honest people and nothing is seemingly being effectively done to stop it. So beware. Both the telephone and internet systems are wide open to so much abuse it has become scandalous and communications companies seem to do little to prevent it. Sussex Police have published a booklet entitled The Little Book of Big Scams. If I tell you it runs into over 40 pages that may illustrate how big the problem is. If you fall foul of a scam please do not feel embarrassed about it (you will not be alone) and be sure to report the incident to the police. The police want to fight this outbreak. We must have positive action or it will escalate even further.

ANCIENT EGYPTIAN ART: Newick and District Decorative and Fine Art Society (NADFAS) will hold another of its highly popular meetings in Plumpton village hall on Tuesday at 2.15pm. This time Lucia Gahlin will illustrate just how Egyptian art was developed through pyramids, magic rituals, mummies, pharaohs, dreams and oracies. Lucia works in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian archaeology, London, but frequently visits the country on both study and working trips. She is the author of The Egyptian World and Egypt Gods, Myths and Religion, so knows her subject. More information available on 01825 723250. Non-members welcome on payment of £7 at the door and there is always a chance to meet the speaker.

PARISH COUNCIL: Plumpton Parish Council meet on Tuesday in the committee room at the village hall at 7.45pm.

NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN: The Steering Group is currently analysing and collating the responses to the recent questionnaire circulated throughout the village. The deadline for collection was extended but even so it was not possible to collect all despite more than one attempt and some residents remarkably failed to respond and offer their views on the future of their village. The results will be published as soon as possible as part of the whole process to influence the future of our community to reflect the wishes of the majority, albeit within the confines of dictats from central government. The parish council is determined to ensure that as far as is possible the preferences of residents are complied with.

ANGLOROMAN HISTORY: Our local historical expert, David Millum, will be giving a talk about excavations at Bridge Farm, Barcombe Mills (2011-2014) that resulted in the discovery of a first to fourth century Romano British settlement. The talk will cover all aspects of the archaeological research plus some of the background, including Barcombe Villa and the Bathhouse. It will take place in Plumpton village hall on Tuesday, February 24 at 7.30pm. Admission will be free but a donation of £3 or £5 is suggested towards future excavation funds. More information on that via From June 29 to August 8 further excavations will take place at Bridge Farm and both the experienced and beginners will be welcome to join in. The admin fee will be £25 for one week or £50 for the entire six weeks. That is all the information I have at present but a visit to the website may provide more detail.

SPEEDING MOTORISTS: The more people I talk to the more fears I hear expressed concerning the dangers created by motorists who insist on blatantly exceeding the reasonable speed limit imposed in the village. Many of us have witnessed people driving at 50mph or more in a 30mph zone. The police are being urged to carry out further speed checks and volunteers are needed to assist. If you wish to help please call PCSO Steve Knowles on 07787 685708 or ring 101 ext 563018. If the phone lines cannot be answered in person, do leave a message.

CREDIT DUE: Recently a young person sustained injuries when riding a bike on a local pavement that contained gaping holes. Very quickly ESCC carried out the essential repair work. Thank you.

WENDY KAILLE LEGACY: Some people are asking how the legacy left to the parish council by Wendy and available since the demise of her adoptive mother, Hope Good, will be spent. The parish council determined that the monies, amounting to some £35,000, should be utilised to provide a permanent memory to those two ladies for the benefit of the community but with an emphasis on youth who were particularly dear to their hearts. A small working group has been appointed by council to work with the executrix of the will to come up with suggestions to meet that aim. Discussions are ongoing and final conclusions will be based on proper consideration with the thought in mind that as large a section of the community as possible should benefit. It may transpire that more than one cause or project may benefit, but the final decision must not be rushed for the sake of it. If it takes a few months to decide, so be it, as long as the money is well spent. That is a sentiment that I am sure Wendy would endorse and we were mates.


ST MARY’S CHURCH Services: Today (Friday) 11am Holy Communion; Sunday 8am Holy Communion; 9.45am Sung Eucharist with Laying on of Hands for Healing; 6.30pm Evensong. The search for a new incumbent continues, interviews are to be held in March. Meanwhile our churchwardens Peter and Paul (yes really) and members of the congregation are ensuring everything runs smoothly. Our rota of visiting clergy has been completed to Easter and we are extremely grateful to all of the priests who have joined us so far.

BRIDGE CLUB: At its meeting on Wednesday January 28, the result of the duplicate pairs played was: 1, Alan Disney and Roy Skan; 2, Valerie and Peter King; 3, Lesley Durrant and David Warner. The club next meets in the St Mary’s room of the village hall on Wednesday at 7.30pm.

CHURCH BELLS: A date for your diary. The bellringers will be holding a Tea and Tours on Saturday February 28 from 3pm to 5pm in the church room. Tea will be served and tours of the tower will be possible. This will be in aid of the fund to repair the fifth bell which has developed a crack.

BRIDGE DRIVE: Ringmer Bridge Club is holding a charity bridge drive on Saturday February 21 at 2.15pm, to raise funds to complete the extension of Ringmer Village Hall. Building work is expected to start in the summer. On offer is a good afternoon’s bridge with a delicious high tea for £8 per person. There are prizes for the first and second pairs (and last, but there may be a lot of competition for this). There are some tickets still available, so please reserve your place by ringing Tim and Liz Owen on 01273 814220. Ringmer Village Hall is a registered charity, number 207885.

Rodmell & Southease

THE GARDEN: Whilst doing a few hours’ gardening recently I was amazed at how many bulbs were popping up and also at the amount of shrubs bursting into bud. I’ve also seen several Red Admiral butterflies flying around, one was in my greenhouse.

MILK: I feel very sorry for our dairy farmers at the moment. It comes to something when a small bottle of so called spring water costs £1 and in some cases is dearer than a bottle of milk. We must support our farmers and their animals else England’s green and pleasant land will change forever. As Bill Bryson, the author from USA, once said: ‘It is one of the greatest accomplishments of the British people to have had this incredibly densely populated landscape and to have used it so productively for so long and kept it so incredibly beautiful. It’s a miracle. Don’t take your farmers for granted.’ I would hate to see our green fields without healthy livestock grazing on them, it’s one of life’s small pleasures to me.

TECHNOLOGY: Yet more technology to tax our patience. I heard on the radio that the new parking system at Ditchling Beacon is putting people off parking there, which probably means they will park elsewhere and cause problems. When people set up systems to pay on your mobile phone don’t they think about elderly people who don’t always have phones, deaf people and people who are just not compos mentis to use such systems. Also on the radio, I heard people complaining about the new system of getting a ticket at Brighton Station. One young lady had missed three trains whilst waiting for her number to be called. Evidently it’s like the Deli system in supermarkets, where you get a ticket with a number on it and wait to be called to be served. Even my god-daughters who are much younger than me tell me they have problems and one says she needs her 14 year old daughter to instruct her at stations these days.

WI: Rodmell and Southese WI had a very successful evening on January 20 when Kim Mercer instructed us on making paper flowers. On February 17 the speaker will be Joan Jones, A Judge’s Tale.

SADLY I heard that Don Norman, a well-known Kingston resident, has died. I’ve known Don for over 50 years and he and his wife Maureen actually moved me to Rodmell and looked after me when I had various traumas in my life. They were always good friends even if we didn’t see each other so much in later years.