Parish pump Lewes - January 10, 2014


BARCOMBE WI meet on Tuesday at 7.30pm in the village hall. The talk will be Peace Witness in Palestine and Israel by Patricia Cocknell. Visitors welcome. Subscriptions are now due for 2014.

KEEP FIT: Want to get fit in 2014 then why not try the Legs, Bums and Tums class at the village hall on Mondays from 8pm to 9pm? It’s a fun and energetic class that will set you up for the week. Or Pilates on a Tuesday morning from 9.30am to 10.30am can improve balance, flexibility and circulation. Tai Chi on a Thursday morning, 11am to noon, is a Chinese exercise system that uses slow, smooth body movements to achieve a state of relaxation of both body and mind. There are plenty of other classes to choose from too. First taster class free and all classes at reasonable rates. Any queries 07925 857233 or see Notice Board in the hall.

DRAMA: New Drama Classes at the village hall starting on Tuesday. This is an exciting new development for Barcombe children. Infant groups 3.45pm to 4.30pm; Junior groups 4.30pm to 5.30pm. Tel: 01273 473554. Get in touch soon to secure your place.

BONFIRE SOCIETY: The AGM is at 8pm on Monday February 17, in the function room of the Royal Oak.

VILLAGE HALL: For bookings contact Angela Murphy, booking secretary, on 07925857233 email: web:


WALK: Chailey Common circular walk, with Mid Sussex Ramblers, is tomorrow, Saturday, starting at 10am at the Sports Ground car park. It will be a distance of four miles, which is likely to be muddy in places, and include Red House Common, Warr’s Farm, Lane End Common and Cox’s Farm. For more details call 01444 483860.

CHURCH SERVICES: St Peter’s Church services on Sunday are Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion at 8am and Parish Communion at 10am. Transport can be arranged by calling Peter Martin on 01825 722680 or Teresa Wenban on 01825722586. Free Church services this Sunday are at 10.30am with Cavan Wood, to include communion, and at 6.15pm with Nick McQuaker. On Wednesdays at 10am there is a prayer meeting and Thursdays at 7.30pm bible study and prayer.

SOUTH DOWNS TR Group meet at the Horns Lodge on Tuesday from 8pm. Anyone with an interest in Triumph TR sports cars will be made most welcome.

FREE SERVICE: East Sussex Hearing Resource Centre and Adult Social Care mobile unit for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people will be visiting the Five Bells car park, Chailey Green on Thursday from 10.30am to 12.30pm. The bus is accessible to wheelchair users and representatives will be available to provide individual information and advice on all aspects of hearing loss. Further information on 01323 722505 (voice/text/fax) email

COMMONS SOCIETY meets at the village hall on Thursday at 7.30pm when the results from surveys of Memorial Common during 2013 will be explained. Do go along to see what has been seen on Memorial Common during the year. For further information visit their website or call William Coleman on 01444 831098.

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

VACANCY: Competence Standards Manager is a volunteer vacancy at the Bluebell Railway that carries no remuneration or specific hours of duty. The successful applicant will have a good knowledge of modern training and competence assessment systems and be committed to developing a strong culture of compliance to ensure the requirements of the Railway’s Safety Management System are met. More details are available on the Railway’s website and and if you believe you have the right qualifications and would like to discuss the opportunity informally in the first instance please contact

OAPCARE WEBSITE was launched last month by a Chailey resident, Kim Cowan. The new website called was launched as Kim found that information is out there to assist those caring for an elderly friend or relative but not all in one place. The website includes information, a forum and a blog for family, friends, neighbours or other carers who find themselves in need of information and/or support. It is an opportunity to engage with other carers, swap advice, share experiences and support others. Do visit and the forum or blog as you may be able to answer questions if you have already overcome the challenges others are facing. For more details email

Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday at 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 Monday in St Peter’s Church Hall at 2pm. This month will be tea and chat. Lifts are available from Judith 01273 474356 or Caroline 01273 477151.

PARISH COUNCIL: Hamsey Parish Council meet on Thursday in the village hall at 7.30pm.

PANTO: St Peter’s Church will be making their annual trip to see the popular Plumpton Pantomime on Wednesday January 22 at 7pm. More details from Judith on 01273 474356.

CELEBRATE BREAKFAST: HGCA’s Farmhouse Breakfast Week (January 26 to February 1) returns for a 15th successive year to promote the importance of eating a healthy and balanced breakfast. A new addition is the Best Breakfast Awards where eateries across the UK can enter their best breakfast dishes to win titles of best regional and national breakfasts. The campaign is a great opportunity for farmers to get involved and educate consumers about the importance of a healthy start to the day.

MAKE A PROMISE: Start the year with a promise. The NFU urge members to make a new year’s resolution that will not only benefit them, but also family, friends and farm business. The Make a Promise campaign aims to get everyone in farming thinking about the small steps they can all take to make farms a safer place to live and work. Make the promise to come home safe in 2014. Visit

CHRISTMAS VISITOR: Nothing surprises me any more about the variety of wildlife that frequent Courthouse as just before Christmas I was walking down the stairs when I spotted something moving on the carpet in the hall. I could see it was quite small and on closer inspection could see it was a newt which then moved off towards the kitchen. I then had to try and find where it had gone and the last place that I expected to find it was in the downstairs cloakroom where it had settled on the toilet pedestal mat. As I had the same experience two years ago on Christmas Eve when I also found a newt in the hall, I knew what to do as Trevor Weeks from the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service told me what to do. This time, armed with a jam jar I went to catch it but it led me on newt chase around the house. I finally caught it trying to get under the door into the dining room. Hopefully it has now hibernated in one of the outbuildings.

IRRESPONSIBLE: Having read about the terrible dog attack on Ashdown Forest where eight rheas were killed recently I had a shock just before I started to write this column on Friday January 2. I heard a lot of barking dogs and looked out to see a small pack of dogs loose in the bridleway. There were two people with them who were letting them run all over the place, although we have NFU signs up to ask dog owners to keep their animals under control when they come through the farm where there is usually livestock either side of the bridleway. There has been much publicity recently regarding sheep worrying but it does not seem to sink in to dog owners that damage can be done by dogs who are out of control. I am now waiting to catch these people as they come back from the Downs where Plumpton College also have sheep and cattle grazing.

I FELT so sad for all those who missed out on their Christmas lunch and realised how lucky most of us were in this area.


ELECTRICITY: Well, what a Christmas that was. Falmer joined thousands of other people early on the morning of Christmas Eve when the electricity went off. Later that day power was restored to all but seven houses. Hours were spent hanging on the end of the telephone listening to piped music while we waited to hear the latest update. As time wore on it became apparent that we were going to be without power on Christmas Day. I had been expecting my family to come down and join us for Christmas dinner, so what on earth was I going to do with the huge turkey I had ordered, the mountain of sprouts, and the Christmas pudding? What about the village hall, perhaps I could cook the meal there? At church on Christmas morning I discovered that Rosemarie was in the same predicament with family staying and lots of provisions, she had already decided to take over the hall and thankfully didn’t object to us joining in. We pooled our resources and your intrepid Parish Pump correspondents plus families had a splendid time with roast turkey, all the trimmings, pudding, crackers etc. We were very lucky to have been able to do this, and lucky to have even had such a meal planned when some others have so little. We returned to our dark, cold houses well fed. The power cut continued for those few houses in Falmer until about 10pm on Friday, and we continued to spend many hours on the phone while the power network seemed to be less and less aware of what was going on. What a relief when we saw the lights coming on at last. Now I have to find room in my freezer for our turkey, at present frozen at the village hall.

QUEENIE: The wind and rain has been relentless over the last few weeks and one sad casualty has been Queenie the peahen. Unable to roost in her favourite tree because of the wind, it seems she fell victim to a fox. Queenie was quite a character and had already had a scare from a fox when she moved from Falmer North to Falmer South. June and Denis Plowman allowed her to use their garden as her base for the last few years and became very fond of her, just as we did when she lived on this side of the A27. Queenie first turned up back in 2008, she quickly made our garden her empire and terrorised the cats. Fond of cake, grapes and black sunflower seeds Queenie has been very well looked after in Falmer South and we are so very sorry that she is no longer with us.

FOX: We have had a few sightings of a very large fox recently, mostly in the early morning, but last week we were very surprised to see him streak past the window at about 9.30am. He is the biggest fox I have ever seen and is obviously not the least bit afraid of being seen. I am keeping my elderly, (but still feisty) cat in as much as possible as long as this fox is about.


GIVE BLOOD: There will be a blood donor session at the Corn Exchange, High Street on Monday from 2pm to 4.30pm and from 5.30pm to 8pm.

BRIDGE CLUB: Tuesday November 26 Duplicate Pairs: 1, Rita Hartnell and Pat Elliott; 2, Martin Hall and Peter Gannon; 3, Jerry Emery and Richard Pearson. Thursday November 28 Duplicate Pairs: 1, Nigel Osmer and Peter Waters; 2, Tony Redshaw and Janice Bell; 3, Peter Cattermole and Jennifer Wilson. Tuesday December 3, 9th Ladder: 1, Mike Keeping and Richard Burnett; 2, Di Johnstone and Janet Cattermole; 3, Meic Goodyear and Ann Butterfield. Thursday December 5 Christmas Party: 1, Peter and Irene Gannon; 2, Roy Skan and Jerry Emery; 3, Peter Cattermole and Mickie Lodge.

HISTORY GROUP: Monday 7pm for 7.30pm at the Kings Church building, Brooks Road, Lewes History Group talk: Brewing in Lewes over 200 years. Oral historian, Dr Sam Carroll, will cover the new insights that the Ale and Hearty project has yielded on the social and agricultural history of brewing in Lewes, using examples of what has been collected over the project’s duration; from archives, published sources and oral history interviews. All welcome. Free refreshments. Small entry charge on the door.

PHILATELIC SOCIETY: On Friday December 13, the society members met to celebrate its Christmas party with wine, soft drinks and light refreshments. The meeting incorporated a fine display of ‘recent acquisitions’ by the majority of the members. Grace Davies displayed her very informative and recently acquired postal collection as part of her Peace theme collection, whilst Roy Ferguson presented a very impressive collection of French miniature sheets and postal antiquities. The informal event was thoroughly enjoyed by all those attending with the occasional buying and selling of various stamps. The society now has a newly printed membership leaflet which can be made available to any member of the public and especially those who would be interested in becoming a member of this growing society. Please contact the secretary on 01273 472470. Chairman David Glen gave a brief report and announcements covering the forthcoming new year events and wished all the members a joyous Christmas and even more prosperous New Year. It was also announced that the next general meeting would be held tonight, Friday, at Christ Church, Prince Edward’s Road at 7.30pm followed by the committee meeting on January 24 at the home of secretary Norman Sansom. All will be very welcome to attend the former general meeting.

FOOTPATHS GROUP: Our new year walks usually attract more walkers than usual but, unsurprisingly, only seven hardy souls joined Keith, the leader, for a walk around Stanmer on January 1. It had started to rain as we left the car the Ditchling Road car park at the top of Stanmer woods. We made our way through the woods amongst a myriad of paths, some quite steep and slippery, until we reached the recreation grounds at the bottom of the park. Here the full force of the rain and wind hit us and we made our way up to Stanmer village and its welcoming café. Here we enjoyed very welcoming hot drinks before deciding to take a short cut back up to our car park. Our programme of walks are always available from the Tourist Information Centre and new walkers are always welcome so, when the countryside dries up a little, do come along and join us.

ST JOHN SUB CASTRO service on Sunday will be at 11am. Everyone is invited to celebrate the Baptism of Jesus with Holy Communion or a blessing, whichever people prefer. Rev David Farey will take the service. During the Christmas period we sadly lost two of our friends, Rev Martin Sully who was Rector of many years and came with me on occasions to enjoy Jazz at the Con Club, and is sorely missed by many. His Thanksgiving Service is tomorrow, Saturday, at 4pm at Christ Church, Tunbridge Wells. Also our dear friend Jean Bell, widow of Robert Bell, Martin’s predecessor as Rector. On Christmas Day she sadly passed on and her funeral will be at St Anne’s Church at 1pm on Monday. In Jean’s memory donations can be made to Tear Fund c/o Cooper Funeral Directors on Lewes High Street. Finally many thanks to all those who have kindly contributed extra shopping for the Food Bank’s collection. This, of course, is an ongoing need so please keep it up, tins/packets please to be left at the church.


SOUTH MALLING SCHOOL: Last term, three governors resigned, mainly because their personal workloads were growing and the role of Governor is quite demanding. These were two parent governors, Sue Govus and Mark Moody, and Julie Harris, a Community Governor. All three leavers have given a great deal to the school in their time of office. Sue and Mark have chaired sub committees, Julie has provided expertise and commitment particularly to the development of the outdoor curriculum. Each of them will be a loss to the school. Sarah Brydon and Scott O’Brian have been formally appointed as parent governors to replace them, (no election was necessary as they were unopposed following advertisements in the school newsletter). The Governing Body will appoint a new Community Governor (now called Co-opted Governor) in the next few weeks. Revd Jeremy Bamber, the assistant Vicar of South Malling Church, was appointed as chair of the finance committee at the end of last term.

SOUTH MALLING CHURCH had a busy and happy Christmas period, with congregations very largely up on last year - despite the bad weather. Like other churches, South Malling responded to the appeal for help following the hurricane disaster in the Philippines, partly with a one-off collection after a service but also by committing half of its Christmas collections. In total this amounted to £544, which is being given through Tearfund. The Christingle collection, held at South Malling this year, raised £284 for the Children’s Society which does incredibly worthwhile work on behalf of children in this country. In the first service of the new year, last Sunday, church members committed themselves to facing up to the challenge of growth and change as part of a larger group including St John sub Castro and Southover churches. A decision will be made later on in this year. The service this coming Sunday, on the topic of Thanksgiving, will be a Family Service, led by Peter Crees and the Revd Steve Daughtery at 9.30am. All are welcome.

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 TALENT: Our friends Chester and Angela Funnell celebrated their golden wedding anniversary over Christmas which, in this day and age, is no mean achievement. Many congratulations to them and hope you enjoy your big celebration on Sunday. Long may your life be happy and joyful. I have read the Priory News from our very hard working councillor Ruth O’Keeffe and had a bit of trouble getting my head around the Special Expenses story. We have to pay more council tax to pay for open spaces to be maintained, which as you get older you do not use half as much as you used to and with less income in your pocket. I think the Nevill area might have some hidden talent, which could make a Nevill’s Got Talent topic for the Parish Pump. Don’t be shy, let me know, especially if it is an unusual talent. One such person did just that just before Christmas. A young man is making his way in the world of art. Gavin Thorpe lives on the estate and some of his work is fun and quirky. You can find it online at

RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION meeting will be held on Monday at Church Hall, Highdown Road at 8pm. There will be a presentation by Chris Smith, the Travel Man, about public transport issues, such as the bus services for the elderly and for families with young children. There will also be an update on the proposals to change the Nevill Bus Route and Saving St Mary’s Social Centre. It is for all residents so come along.

BUS ROUTE: Those of you who have received a bus questionnaire please do not forget to make sure Ruth O’Keeffe has them by the end of the week. Send to 28 Mountfield Road or pop it into the Town Hall.

NEVILL SHARES: Come to a friendly gathering on January 19, from 2pm till 4pm. Meet new people over a cup of tea and a piece of cake. More information next week.

CHRIST CHURCH: It was lovely to see about 50 people at our Messy Church event during the Christmas holidays. We are planning our next one for the Friday of half term, February 21, so book this date now. Today our Tots Group meets again for the first time after the Christmas break. We meet between 9.30am and 11.30am and the cost if £1 per family. Worship on Sunday will be led by Rev John Gordon and will be our annual Covenant Service with Holiday Communion. This will be followed by a church walk. We look forward to seeing you at Christ Church.

Newhaven, Denton & South Heighton

FILM SOCIETY: If you want a bit of sunshine in your lives during this awful weather then the Hillcrest Film Society’s first film of 2014 is the perfect choice. Tickets are on sale now for Little Miss Sunshine (15) which will be shown in the art room at the Hillcrest Centre on Saturday January 18 at 7.30pm. It features Olive, a little girl who dreams of winning the Little Miss Sunshine contest. In this sparkling comedy her dysfunctional family are determined she will reach the finals of this beauty pageant and travel across the country in their VW bus to make sure she does that. Cafe opens at 6.30pm. Tickets are £4.50 each and can be purchased from Hillcrest Centre reception Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 4pm.

SOUTH HEIGHTON WI: Former town clerk and local historian Ian Everest will be talking to members on Monday at 2.15pm in South Heighton village hall. His talk is about The Women’s Land Army Sussex Connections. Non members welcome to attend.

MERIDIAN FORUM: The annual general meeting of the Meridan Senior Citizens Forum will take place in the Anzac Room, Meridian Centre, Peacehaven on Tuesday from 10am to noon. Coffee is available from 9.45am and to assist with catering please telephone Kate Davies on 01273 516207 if you are going to attend.

GUEST HOUSE Storytellers. Tales from the Wild Woods is the theme of their meeting at the Hillcrest Centre on Tuesday. The evening comprises many European fairy and folk tales set in the ancient primal forests that once covered the whole of Europe. These forests sparked the imagination of the residents at this time and they used the beauty and rich gifts they provided combined with the darkness, the animals who lived in these forests and the spooky noises heard at night to conjure up great tales. You are invited to find a story set among lush green beech trees or snowy pines and share it with the group. To book a 10 minute slot email Anne-marie at or just come along and listen. The cafe opens at 7pm and stories begin at 7.30pm. Admission is £4/£3 on the door.

YACHT CLUB: Newhaven Yacht Club is holding a Skills Forum on Buoyage and Lights recognition on Tuesday at 7pm. For more details of the evening telephone Dave Batt on 07768 863554 or email him for more details.

MADS: Tickets are now on sale for Meeching Amateur Dramatic Society’s traditional pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk, which will be performed in Meeching Hall from Tuesday to Saturday, January 21 to 25 at 7.45pm. There will be Saturday matinees on January 18 and 25 at 2.30pm. Tickets are £8 for adults and £6 for children available from Meeching estate agents, Newhaven High Street, telephone 515566.

COASTWATCH: Newhaven branch of the National Castle Hill celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. They are planning a series of events to commemorate this and they will be reported here when the programme has been confirmed. It is a registered charity manned by volunteers that relies on contributions from the public which it serves so please support them as much as possible.


MARKET: Newick Country Market will be open again today, Friday, from 10am till 11am in the village hall, why not pop along and enjoy a coffee and a natter.

RUGBY: The first XV rugby team are playing Worthing at home and the second XV are off to play Ditchling II. Both games will commence at 2.15pm weather permitting.

POPPY APPEAL: Newick British Legion Poppy Appeal collected £2,470.82. All the money will go for the welfare of the wounded servicemen and women.

SERVICES at St Mary’s Church on Sunday are Holy Communion (BCP)at 8am followed at 10.30am with Holy Communion (CW).

SUPPER: There will be a supper in the Church Barn Centre for both ladies and gentlemen on Friday January 17, 7pm for 7.30pm. Tickets are £12.50 from 01825 723647 or 722846.

QUIZ: The twinning association will be holding their annual Quiz Evening on Saturday January 18 in the village hall. Doors open at 7.30pm for 8pm start. Teams of eight people. Tickets are £9 per person, this includes nibbles and a supper at the interval and of course the bar will be open. To reserve a table please telephone 724223. This is a very popular event so book your table now to avoid disappointment.

THE WEATHER: I sincerely hope by the time you read this column that the wet and windy weather has disappeared, and that we have some lovely sunny winter days.


SUNDAY SCHOOL: Our local Sunday School will meet on Sunday in All Saints’ church annexe at 10.30pm and all young people will receive a warm welcome.

POP-IN PARLOUR: This ever popular, weekly, social event will open its doors again in All Saints’ church annexe on Tuesday at 11am. Do pop in for a cuppa, maybe a snack or a bowl of soup and, most importantly, some company. A warm welcome awaits anyone who would like to take up the offer.

SINBAD IS COMING: Yes, panto time is rapidly approaching and this year’s production in Plumpton village hall is to be Sinbad the Sailor. There will be two performances on Sunday, January 19 at 2pm and 6pm and Saturday January 25 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm and evening performances only on January 22, 23 and 24 at 7.30pm. Tickets always sell out early thanks to the quality of the Plumpton Pantomime Society productions, so if you haven’t got tickets you need to get on the phone quickly. 012173 890450 or 890561 are the numbers to ring.

ALL ABOUT ARTISTS: The Newick branch of the National Association of Fine Arts Societies will be staging one of its oh, so popular lectures in Plumpton village hall on Tuesday at 2.15pm. The speaker will be Anthony Penrose and his subject Picasso, Man Ray and Max Ernst. In fact the speaker used to play pretend bullfights with the great Picasso when he visited his home in Chiddingly. The lecturer is widely experienced, has made several TV documentaries and will give a unique and personal look into the world of the surrealists. Non-members are welcome and for them the cost will be £7, to include tea and biscuits, plus the chance to chat with the speaker as well as other attendees.

THE PARISH COUNCIL will meet in the village hall on Tuesday at 7.30pm. The meeting will be open to the public.

COMMON SURVEYS: Chailey Commons Society will be meeting in Chailey village hall on Thursday at 7.30pm to disclose the results of surveys carried out on Memorial Common during 2013. All are welcome to go along. This year the society will be celebrating its 50th anniversary and will be staging an exhibition in the autumn.

BIRDWATCHING: The RSPB is running its Big Garden Birdwatch on January 26 and 27 and people are asked to spend an hour observing the birds in their gardens and report to the RSPB on the number of each species that they see during that hour. More detail can be found On behalf of Plumpton Wildlife and Habitat Group Tony Hutson has been collating copies of records from Plumpton to build a picture of local bird life. He would therefore also like to receive the result of your survey on 01273 890341 or via

CURRY AND QUIZ: The annual night of brainteasing and gastronomic delights organised by Honeybees Pre-school Group and Ladybirds Parent and Toddler Group is scheduled for Saturday, February 8 in the village hall at 7pm, so book the date and your tickets now. Apart from the fun of the quiz there will be a delicious curry and a choice of desserts, to be enjoyed in great and convivial company. There will be a licensed bar but diners must take their own crockery and cutlery. Tickets cost just £12.50 and are obtainable via or by ringing 01273 890589. Don’t worry if you cannot raise a team, as you will be paired off with others in the same position.


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, Does politics have to be a grubby business? Entry is free, though donations are requested for tea and coffee.

SOUPER SATURDAY: Join us for lunch tomorrow (Saturday) in the village hall, noon to 1.30pm. There will be a choice of at least four homemade soups. The cost will be £2.50, which includes free refills. In aid of the Village Hall Appeal.

FOOTBALL CLUB: Tomorrow (Saturday) the first team are at home to Lancing in a SCFL Div 1 fixture with a 3pm kick off at The Caburn and the second team have no fixture at the time of going to press. Please check with the club or on the website as, due to the current weather conditions, all fixtures are subject to pitch inspections etc. On Sunday the Veterans are due to play away to Nutfield in a Fred Pretty Cup fixture. On Tuesday evening the firsts are due to be at home again versus Selsey also in a SCFL Div 1 fixture with a 7.45pm kick off. On the social side, tomorrow, Saturday, evening a curry and race night takes place and all are welcome. On Monday afternoon the senior members post Christmas party takes place in the bar with things getting underway at 2.30pm.

ST MARY’S MEN’S CLUB: At Tuesday’s meeting in the Church Room, the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance will relate how they can bring aid within 15 minutes at 150 miles an hour. Not to be missed. Visitors welcome. Note: A collection for a donation will be made.

CHURCH SERVICES: The services on Sunday are as follows: 8am Holy Communion, 9.45am Sung Eucharist with the Laying on of hands for Healing, 6.30pm Evensong.

ACOUSTIC MOODS: Talented local musicians will come together again for an unforgettable evening of folk, blues, rock and pop on Saturday February 8. Tickets at £7.50 are available now from Esther or Mark on 01273 813 698. Proceeds from this event will go the MS Society.

VILLAGE HALL APPEAL: We are still making applications for grants with the intention of building in September. Some of you will have received a consultation questionnaire that was specific to your own postcode. You can return your form to the village hall or phone me with your answers or someone will call to collect them. We will be widening the scope of the delivery of these q’naires. Do please respond. Grant bodies want to see that there is support for any project they fund. If anyone would like to send us a letter of support in addition to any of the q’naires it would help our cause a lot. Please send c/o Pam Bowmaker, chair of fundraising or Tel: 813625.

Rodmell & Southease

CHRISTMAS did not turn out to be the jolly time many expected this year, as many spent it cold, wet and dark, due to the floods and power cuts across the country. I could not be more grateful to be one of the lucky ones that did not get flooded, or, unusual for us, to not have a power cut. Whilst it must have been awful for the people who had to cope with dire situations, I feel we should be grateful to all the people who gave up their Christmas to make sure all the services could get back to some normality, even though for some it took a long time. As I was curled up in my comfy chair in front of the fire, watching people stuck at airports and on the roads, it was rather nice to be home, warm and dry for Christmas, even though I was coughing and sneezing with the usual Christmas bronchial problems, brought on, no double, by spending an evening carol singing in the rain. But it was a jolly good evening of singing, eating and drinking for around 25 of us. I made it to our Carol Service but not to Southease Carols by Candlelight this year. I hear from my friend Margaret Wooll that the tiny church of St Laurence in remote old Telscombe Village was absolutely packed for their Carol Service.

BIRDS: I am very worried about the lack of small birds coming into the garden this winter. I diligently put out food for them but it has not been touched and the only food that goes quickly are the kitchen scraps put on the bird table, which the jackdaws regularly come and clear, plus the seed I scatter regularly around the garden in the morning for the resident collared doves and the turtle doves which visit occasionally. We do however have our flock of sparrows plus the resident pheasants and a pair of blackbirds, but the wrens, robins and members of the tit family are ow rarely seen. The hanging bird feeders are usually well used but not this year. A friend in Kingston has also noticed this.

PANTO: I hope to have some news about the famous Rodmell Panto soon. Hint, hint.

THANK YOU: I would like to say thank you to readers for their Christmas cards, phone calls and correspondence in 2013 and I wish you all the best for 2014.