Parish Pump, Lewes - January 11, 2013


TREE SHREDDING: St Peter and St James Hospice Christmas. Brian and Paul Smith will be at the car park at the Royal Oak on Sunday between 10am and noon to chip your trees in return for a donation to our local hospice. We are very grateful to them for giving up their time and hope you will make use of this service. Please give generously.

POSTCARDS of Barcombe. Step back in time with a selection of views from the 1900s to 1930s. How much has changed and how much stays the same? An illustrated talk by Ian Hilder, 7pm Friday January 25 in the village hall. Tickets £5 to include light refreshments, from Turner’s Electrical Shop.

FOOTBALL result from Saturday, January 5, Mid Sussex Div 10: Barcombe reserves 1 (D Sutton) Ridgewood 4.

SNOOKER: Monday January 7 away to Seaford Con A: James Stewart 61 Ben Steer 3, Tony Deakin 44 Gary Cooper 36, Jack Schaufler 27 Ashley Bull 76 (29), Harry Stewart 45 D King 35, Simon Fox 21 Dan Short 62. Club won 3-2 against a top team.


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 on Sunday are with Dennis Read at 10.30am and Chris Durrent at 6.15pm. Tea, coffee and biscuits after the service.

CALLING GRANDPARENTS: There is a grandparents’ and grandchildren’s group which meets on alternate Wednesday mornings from 9.30am to 11.30am at the Chailey Children’s Centre. This is an opportunity to meet up with other grandparents who are caring for young grandchildren. The centre can be found in the grounds of Chailey School and the meeting takes place in an equipped, purpose-built room with access to outside play areas when weather permits. Those who go really enjoy their mornings and the children have fun too. The January dates are Wednesday January 16 and 30. If you have any questions contact the Centre 01273 336940 or call Susannah Griffin, one of the grandparents who attends, on 01852 724335.

2012 ECOLOGICAL SURVEYS of the Lane End Common is the subject of the Commons Society meeting at the village hall on Thursday at 7.30pm. All are welcome to attend.

INFORMATION POINT session on Friday January 18 when the parish clerk will be at the Coffee Stop, Free Church, from 10am to midday to assist with any questions you may have.

LIVE MUSIC will be at the Five Bells again on Friday January 18 at 8pm. This time it will be Newick Folk who perform mainly traditional music that might be anything from show tunes to Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly and the occasional rugby song.

CIRCULAR WALK with Mid Sussex Ramblers on Saturday January 19 starting at the sports ground car park at 10am. It will be 5 miles and include Vale Farm, Pelling Bridge and the Common. For more information call the leader Diane on 01444 450493.

JUMBLE SALE at the village hall is on Saturday February 2 at 11am. Donations of jumble would be much appreciated. For jumble collection call 01825 723727 or please take jumble to the hall on the morning. This sale is to support Chailey and Newick Rainbows and Brownies to fund raise for their young Leaders Cassie and Catherine. Both have been selected to go on Girlguiding London and South East Region service trips in 2013. Cassie is going to Madagascar to work with Guiding there to educate young leaders about hand sanitation, water conservation, recycling etc to help fight the battle against poverty, lack of hygiene and education. Catherine is going to Malawi where the group with be working with the charity Book Bus, to spread the joy of books and reading and engaging in craft, games and songs with the poorest school children.

RACE NIGHT is a social/fundraising night being organised by Chailey and Newick Colts Football Club on Saturday February 16 at Newick Village Hall starting at 7pm.This is planned to be a fun, sociable evening for players, parents, friends, relatives and supporters. There are a number of ways to get involved - you can buy a ticket to attend at £1 per person which includes a free bet, sponsor a race for £20, buy (and name) a horse for £5 at odds of 3:1 and if the horse wins then you win £15 and/or buy a jockey for £3 at odds of 3:1 and if the jockey wins then you win £9. There will be eight races through the evening to have a bet on. In addition there will be a licensed bar. For more information contact Steve Allan, the Under 13 team manager, on 07710 388069 or at

cooksbridge, offham & hamsey

PANTOMIME TRIP: Judith Bastide reports as follows: As always we are going to the fabulous Plumpton Panto, Dick Turpin this year, on Wednesday January 23 at Plumpton Village Hall, 7.30pm. Please let me know as soon as possible if you would like tickets as they get snapped up very quickly. For those who would like it there will be a pub supper before the performance. Call me on 01273 474356.

N WATCH: The January Newsletter for Lewes Town and Rural Neighbourhood Watch Association arrived just before Christmas. Although it seems to have been a relatively quiet period around the parish, it is reported that Lewes District has recently been affected by a number of distraction thefts which have occurred in public places such as supermarkets and High Street cash points. A few examples are where suspects drop an article of gold jewellery or money in front of an unsuspecting victim. The suspect points this out and when the victim bends down to pick it up they then have their pocket picked. Another ploy is to position themselves near to cash points so that they can observe where bank users keep their wallets and bankcards. Another suspect then observes the pin code used. The victim is followed, distracted and pick pocketed. The other trick is to distract the user at the cash point and before they have a chance to retrieve their money the suspect snatches it from the machine. And then there is the phone thieves who approach victims in cafes and ask for directions in broken English then distract the victim and steal the mobile phone from the table. The advice from the police is to keep all wallets and purses in secure locations on your person and be careful of any such scams occurring in front of you. Cover the keypad when using any ATM, securing all purses and wallets when leaving the vicinity. Report any suspicious activity to police as early as possible on 101 or if you witness a crime in progress call 999. Your local Community Support Officers will be able to provide you with purse bells, which are a distraction theft deterrent. For further crime prevention advice, you can look at the police website at Reading the above I have been in supermarkets and seen women leaving their handbags on the shopping trolley and moving away to pick an item from the shelf. On one occasion I warned the lady what might happen only to find her in front of me at the checkout in tears because her purse had been snatched.

FUEL THEFTS are still taking place right across Lewes District with an increasing number of reports being made to the police. The incidents usually occur after dark and where business premises are concerned, over the weekend when the business is closed. There have also been thefts from private property and fuel from vehicles. The police do rely in part on the eyes and ears of the community and ask us all to continue to be vigilant and if you do see persons in the area of fuel storage, acting suspiciously around a home or vehicle, in darkness or late at night, please let them know.

AMAZING: My lovely yellow winter jasmine has been amazing and still looks beautiful in spite of all the rain. Because of the bad weather last year a lot of pruning got neglected and shrubs have grown rapidly. The first snowdrops have appeared and the first batch of daffodils are already in bud.

BIRDS: At the last count I now have 15 hen pheasants which sometimes increase to 20 and usually three cock birds. One of the hens sits on the window sill outside the kitchen to attract my attention for food and last week two visitors were amazed to see this bird looking at them through the window and not a bit concerned when they took photos of her on their phones. Although I keep reading reports about the decline in some birds there has not been a decline in the breeding season here, in fact there seems to have been an increase. A friend asked me if I was starting a game farm when all the pheasants came running down the lawn when they heard my voice. I do love to see them, but they do play havoc with my pots with bulbs in by digging in the compost.


IT WAS a very beautiful day on January 1 and everyone seemed to be out walking and enjoying the sunshine, unfortunately it didn’t last long. At least we haven’t had a return to the torrential rain we had just before Christmas. The village pond has been overflowing for the first time in many years and the water was draining off the downs and the playing fields so fast that we were in danger of flooding. The veg plot looked like a small lake and huge puddles were forming on the lawn. We ended up spending two days digging channels to carry the water away from the house and into the road where it flowed harmlessly away.

LAST SUNDAY: Coming away from church last Sunday we were treated to the fine sight of a number of horses and riders looking very smart with their black jackets. There were no hounds to be seen or heard. Later on I was walking near Mary Farm when I saw riders in the fields and heard dogs. I charged over to get a better look, scattering pheasants and skylarks in the process. The hunt was returning, but they did not have foxhounds with them but bloodhounds. They were the Coakham Bloodhounds who follow a trail laid by a man or woman and discover their quarry purely by scent. You may have seen an item on the BBC’s Countryfile about the sport. Both dogs and humans looked as though they had enjoyed themselves.

SHEEP: My husband remarked to me the other day that there were sheep on the playing field near the Sussex University Pavilion and an anguished looking groundsman trying to round them up. That must have been a sight. I went to have a look today and could see where they had escaped, the fence had been repaired so no more clashes between university and sheep.

FLINT WALL: I am pleased to see that the flint wall on the corner of Mill Street and Ridge Road has been rebuilt. The Flintman has made a fine job of it and the result looks very good.

WE ARE looking forward to the licensing of Colin Lawlor as priest-in-charge of the parish of Stanmer with Falmer. This will take place on January 19 and afterwards all the work that Colin does for us (and has been doing for some time) will be official.


MARKET: Laughton Village Market in the village hall tomorrow, Saturday, 10am to noon. This will be our first market for 2013, weather permitting. All the usual stalls plus a raffle in aid of the village hall. Refreshments including tea, coffee and bacon rolls.


FOOTPATHS GROUP: On Boxing Day, in a welcome window of dry weather, 12 of us led by Hilda and Graham, took a gentle amble round Malling Hill and The Combe. After an easy walk up Mill Road we climbed up Malling Hill at the old quarries, enjoying the wide views north over The Weald. At the top we followed the top of the ridge round The Combe, eventually finding our way to the monument to the Protestant Martyrs above Cuilfail. From the bottom of Chapel Hill we walked through to the river and across the football fields to the old railway line. We spotted some twitchers on the look-out for some waxwings, pretty little birds that had flown over to this country from Scandinavia in search of food. Apparently they come over here in large numbers when the rowan berry crops fail in their native countries and they can be seen near supermarket car parks because many are now planted with rowan and hawthorn bushes (British Garden Birds website). After walking along the old railway to the river overlooking Hamsey church, the party repaired to the leaders’ house for mulled wine and mince pies.

BRIDGE CLUB: Tuesday December 18 Duplicate pairs: 1, Peter and Irene Gannon, Richard Burnett and Martin Hall; 3, Janet Cattermole and Di Johnstone. Thursday December 20, Xmas with Students: 1, Nigel Osmer and Lynne Tunley, Peter Waters and Frank Hibbert; 2, Meic Goodyear and Francine Talbot Limbrey, Roy Skan and Susan Louis; 3, Anne Davison and Edith Jeffery, Paul Allen and Adela Thomas. Lewes Bridge Club meets Tuesday evenings and Thursday afternoons. Contact number 01273 473026.

COFFEE MORNING tomorrow, Saturday, at the Royal British Legion Club, Morris Road (Cliffe), 10am to noon. Cakes, preserves, tombola and more. Proceeds to South Street Bonfire Society.

HISTORY GROUP: Our next meeting, will be at 7.30pm on Monday when Bob Cairns will speak on Lewes Through Time. Bob’s talk will be based on his recently published book of the same title. He will demonstrate how the Lewes streetscape has evolved in the last century, contrasting postcard views from 100 years ago with modern views taken from the same perspective. There are almost 200 photographs in the book, including many I am pretty confident you will not have seen before. As usual the venue is the King’s Church Building, Brooks Road, and all will be welcome. We will be offering coffee and biscuits before the talk.

FOOTCARE SERVICE: The House of Friendship, on School Hill, is offering a new Footcare Service from Tuesday. This will be run by Age UK, and is initially a toenail cutting service. We hope to offer a full podiatry/chiropody treatment soon. For more details please call in at reception, Monday to Friday 9.30am to 1.30pm, or telephone 01273 476469.


SOUTH MALLING SCHOOL welcomed the children back on Monday for start of 2013. This promises to be another exciting year at the school with developments to their outdoor learning spaces and virtual learning environments firmly on the agenda. The whole school set out on a new Learning Journey this week: The Apprentice. The learning is focussed on maths, design technology and financial capability and it will end with an Enterprise Fair in which the children sell their products to parents (and then calculate their profits etc). Learning kicks off with Be Week in which children explore what they might want to be when they grow up, and learn about the different skills needed for various jobs. Parents and carers have been welcomed into school to talk about their jobs and today (Friday) the children will dress up for the job they have chosen to explore as though they are already at work, and will share their aspirations with everyone at the whole school assembly. The final meeting for prospective parents (with children entering school in September 2013) was held on Tuesday. Parents are reminded they need to send their application forms to County Hall by January 14. And finally, most exciting of all, on coming Monday the school choir is going to the O2 Stadium in London to be part of an 8,000 voice choir. It should be an awe-inspiring event.

BRIDGE VIEW Under 16s entertained league leaders Cuckfield Cosmos United in the semi final of the Mid Sussex Youth League Cup over the holidays. They knew this would be a good test as Cuckfield have not lost a game so far this season. Bridge View started the stronger of the two sides and played their neat and tidy football whilst Cuckfield opted for the long ball approach. Both teams had chances in the first half but neither could find the finishing touch. In the second half, View started slowly and were soon one down. This was closely followed by a second, after a mistake in their defence. Then with a change of players and formation, View got a free kick which Ben Earle tucked away. They then dominated the last 20 minutes of the game but could not find an equaliser and the match ended 2-1. View will be continuing their development on Monday night at the Dripping Pan when they play a friendly against the Lewes Football Academy.

COMMUNITY CENTRE Management Committee Chair Elizabeth Alsobrook sends the following New Year message to Malling residents: As we go into 2013 we have made our own new year’s resolution, decorate the main hall. Following a generous donation from Sussex Police, that is exactly what is going to be happening during January and February. We are grateful for the support we have received from residents and volunteers over the past year and we are keen to hear from anyone who might be willing to support our on-going activities or assist with fresh ideas for fundraising. Contact details can be found on our website

PARISH CHURCH: After a busy Christmas period, the church settled down to a happy family service last Sunday, Twelfth Night. The mild winter so far has meant snowdrops are already appearing in the church yard. On Thursday, the governing bodies of the two churches in the united benefice South Malling and St John sub Castro will be meeting together to discuss future plans. On Sunday there will be a service of Holy Communion 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 2.00pm to 2.25pm; Laughton village school 2.45pm to 3.30pm.


CHRISTMAS: We had a great time with family and did not over do it. I find now I am retired I do not eat as much as I used to, which is good as I cannot burn off the calories like I used to either. If you find yourself looking for something to do on a Monday or a Friday afternoon 2pm till 3.30pm, come along to the Riverside club at the Cliffe Church Hall for an entraining time with speakers and a cup of tea. Cost £9 for the year membership plus £1.50 per afternoon. You can come three times without being a member if you are not sure about commitment but after that we do ask you to become a member.

RESIDENTS: The Neighbourhood Police Panel has been cancelled due to illness and staff shortages. The Nevill Residents’ meeting will start at 8pm. There will be a presentation by Colin Reynolds on Saving St Mary’s, with a Q&A time and a proposal to organise a local petition. Also included on the agenda will be an Update on Drainage Problems on the Nevill. Please come along and see what can be done. Our Residents’ Association does make a difference.

WALLANDS SCHOOL: Unfortunately the term was brought to a premature close when we had to shut down our main electrical input. A recent undetected lead theft combined with extreme weather conditions created a leak that permeated our main electrical cupboard, and made conditions unsafe. We are planning a family summer school type of Shakespeare production in the Easter holidays. This is in the initial planning stages, but will probably be in the first week of the holidays and involve parents and children working together to create an outdoor version of Midsummer Night’s Dream for performance in the middle weekend of the holiday period. If you think you might like to be involved please keep these dates free when booking holidays and look out for further details in the new year.

CHRIST CHURCH: We had a very busy Messy Church at the end of the school holidays with over 50 people attending. There were lots of different craft activities including making models of the three wise men and after a short act of worship everyone sat down to a lunch of soup and pasta. Today is our monthly Friendship Lunch from noon to 1.15pm. A warm welcome awaits you today. Worship on Sunday at 10.30am will be our annual Covenant Service with Holy Communion and this will be led by our minister, Rev John Gordon. Following this there will be a church walk. On Wednesday our Little Fishes group will be meeting between 9.30am and 11am and the theme will be The Garden of Eden. This is a group for children under school age and their carers. The cost is £1 for the morning and included in the cost are refreshments for both children and carers.


THE COUNTRY MARKET will re-open today, Friday, in the village hall, from 10am to 11am. Why not pop along and see what is on offer like vegetables, cooked food, cakes and many other items , and enjoy a cup of coffee/tea and a natter.

RUGBY: Both rugby teams are playing this weekend: The first XV are away to Rye and the second XV are at home playing Lewes III, kick off 2.15pm, weather permitting.

SUNDAY SERVICES at St Mary’s are Holy Communion at 8am, followed at 10.30am with Holy Communion CW (Common Worship). If you need a lift to church telephone 01825 722582 in advance.

DIARY DATES: Ladies supper on Friday January 18 in the Barn Centre at 7pm. Tickets £5. Further details on 01825 722846. January 19, Wine and Wisdom Quiz in the village hall. Tickets £9. Teams of eight people. To book a table telephone 01825 724223. This is being organised by the Newick Twinning Association. Please try and support these events.


ST JOHN SUB CASTRO: Sunday is the first Sunday of Epiphany when we celebrate the Baptism of Christ and our Morning Service at 11am will be Holy Communion led by Rev Al Pickering. The Christingle Service held at St Anne’s Church before Christmas was well attended and raised the sum of £227.67 to Aid the Children’s Society.

BREAKFAST: Our Christmas morning breakfast for people on their own was wonderfully supported by Richards the Butchers with their gift of sausages and bacon and an anonymous £10 gift as well as a crate of milk given by milkman Neil from Haywards Heath. Thank you all very very much, also the merry band of helpers without whom it would not have happened.

TABLE TOP SALE: One for your diary, our next Table Top Sale is on Saturday January 19 at St Thomas Church hall. We are still collecting foodstuffs for our Family Support Work so it’s not too late to give perhthe tail end of your shopping.


PLACE YOUR BETS: There will be horse racing again at Plumpton on Monday with the first race getting underway at 1.20pm. In fact it is not necessary to line the pockets of the bookies to enjoy a day at the races as the sheer thrill of the racing makes the day. Our local course continues to attract top runners and riders. A modest flutter can add to the excitement of it all and there are always lots of other things going on to make sure that boredom does not stand a chance. Needless to say, if you do not take your own, food and drink will be available in plenty to sustain you.

OIL TANKS: In this month’s Parish Mag the parish council draws attention to the responsibilities of owners of oil tanks and the problems that the tanks can cause. The village relies greatly on oil to provide central heating and the storage tanks can cause considerable damage if they are not properly maintained. There have been leaks in recent times and these do damage the environment. They can also result in the owners being fined or having to pay the costs of the resultant clean ups or both. Do read the article and take it seriously for the sake of everyone and our environment.

JUMBLE NEWS: The next sale in the village will be on February 9 and will be organised by the village hall management committee. You have plenty of notice to sort out unwanted items to donate as a result of the influx of Christmas gifts and buyers can work up their appetites for the bargains that are bound to be available. Get in training now. Scrum down is at 2pm in the village hall.

CRIME PERSISTS: Recently crimes committed in Plumpton include the theft of a scooter, theft of electricity cabling and a burglary. The message is that we must always be vigilant both to prevent and solve crimes as there are still plenty of evil people about.

GARDENS WANTED: Plumpton Support Group for St Peter and St James Hospice is planning another of those popular events that sees local gardens open to the public. We are not talking about such extravagant venues as Nymans or Borde Hill but instead of real gardens, both large and small, that belong to ordinary folk but which nevertheless hold an appeal because of the tender, loving care that has gone into them and make them a delight to behold. Size really does not matter here as equal enjoyment can be gained from the charm or beauty of a tiny back garden as from a much larger spread. If you think that your garden will provide pleasure to visitors and you are prepared to open it to them during the afternoon of Sunday, June 9 then please ring 01273 891218 or 891256 to explore the possibility. A call will place you under no obligation but could lead to you giving pleasure to others and raising funds for your local hospice. What further incentive is necessary?

PLUMPTON IS SPECIAL: Our community got together for two special events during December, namely the charity balls. One was to raise funds for a new sports pavilion and play area and the other for the CLIC Sargeant appeal (to combat leukaemia in children). They were both very well supported, raised large sums of money and they brought our community together as well.

PLUMPTON’S GOT TALENT: This has been evinced so many times year after year at a whole variety of events. A forthcoming one will be Plumptonfest 2013 at which locals are invited to entertain their neighbours by displaying their musical talents. This is now a well established part of the village calendar and will be held in the village hall on February 2. If you think you have a talent to entertain and wish to display it then there is still time to take part. Everything goes at Plumptonfest be it classical, pop, jazz or whatever. Solo. duet, group, vocal, instrumental you name it and it will feature. If you are a likely member of the audience just note the date but if you wish to take part contact or or call 01273 890139 or 07824 364720. Glastonbury eat your heart out as in Plumpton one does not have to suffer from rain or mud (the village hall even has a roof on it), it’s a whole lot cheaper and we have proper loos.

RUGGER UPDATE: Last weekend Plumpton were no match for Uckfield, despite dominating all set phases of play they went down 30-12. Tries for Plumpton came from Grant Resteriuex and Rhys Beale with older brother Lewis Beale converting. Plumpton realised they were in for a game when they saw more spectators on the touchline than for Uckfield’s 1st team game on the next pitch. Uckfield boasted a side brimming with university students looking to play a game before returning to campus. Plumpton were by far the stronger side, dominating the collision, scrums and line-out, but could not match the fitness and intensity of the new Uckfield side. Plumpton were unlucky not to have more than one push over try with their scrum at times destroying the younger pack, making significant yardage a dozen times in the game.


NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN: A draft Neighbourhood Plan to guide Ringmer’s development over the next 20 years has now been published for consultation. Community discussions last year provided the key principles that underpin the new draft, but the parish council are now seeking your views on the crucial detail. There was a strong consensus about the principles. The council now have clearer guidance from the Core Strategy about the number of new houses the district council plan for Ringmer should accommodate (220). It is the Neighbourhood Plan’s role to decide exactly what types of new development are needed and where it should go. The draft Neighbourhood Plan is now available under Ringmer to 2030 on the parish council website. Hard copies are available in Ringmer Library or at the parish council office. Watch out for the next parish council newsletter, which will include the dates of council’s planned public meetings and explain how you can express your views.

THE COUNTRY MARKET will re-open on Tuesday from 10am to 11am in the old village hall. The members look forward to seeing their regular loyal customers and would love to welcome some new ones. If you have not visited the market before do come along and see what is on offer. The market sells savoury and sweet home baked items (meals, pastries, cakes, etc) jams, preserves, local honey and free range eggs. There are local cheeses and home made greetings cards. There is also garden produce and plants in season. Also there is usually at least one craft stall and tea and coffee is available.

ART CLUB: Lewes District Art Club meets every Tuesday from 2pm to 4pm in the St Mary’s Room of the village hall. The art club has been running for 16 years, originally meeting in Lewes it now meets in Ringmer, though the members come for all over the area. The members work in a variety of styles and in a range of media. The club has organised exhibitions in Lewes, Seaford and Ringmer. The spring programme includes demonstrations and talks from visiting artists as well as sessions run by members themselves where they share their skills and ideas and provide mutual encouragement and support. The subscription is £25 for the year and the club would be pleased to welcome visitors and new members. For more details contact Angela on 01273 813097.

BRIDGE CLUB: The result of the duplicate pairs played on January 2 was: 1, Alan Grindley and David Warner; 2, Jenny Charman and Michael Slot; 3, Alan Disney and Roy Skan. The next meeting of the club is on Wednesday at 7.30pm in the St Mary’s Room of the village hall.

EVENING WI: This was formed in 1967 and celebrated its birthday on New Year’s Day. President Anne Stamper cut the birthday cake and members enjoyed a bring-and-share buffet, followed by a quiz organised by Jan Kendall and won by Linda Brown. There was also a performance, by some totally unrecognisable men of the drama Mortgage on the Cow. Elsie Bowler was presented with the Flower of the Month cup for 2012 and thanks were received from the head of Denman College for the donation sent towards a new heating system and also from Elizabeth Hughes (County Archivist) and all at East Sussex County Council Record Office for help in making calico bags for document storage. The next WI walk will be on Monday, January 21, at 10am and bookings are being taken for the next visit to Lewes Little Theatre on January 28.

FOOTBALL CLUB: On the social front, a revised date has now been arranged for the evening of comic sketches and local talent as The Secret Cricketing Footballer’s Odd Shaped Second Ball. This will now take place on Saturday, February 9 at the Caburn Pavilion and tickets at £5 per person are available from the clubhouse or Dave Page (01273 813236 e-mail but they are limited in number so get yours now to avoid disappointment. There are also a couple of slots available for any budding X Factors or BGT’s and rehearsals are Fridays, January 11 and 18, and February 8 at the Caburn Pavilion so just go along or contact Dave.

ACOUSTIC MOODS: This is advance notice that the next, and probably the last Acoustic Moods to be organised by Loft and Barbara Longhurst, will be held in the village hall on Saturday, February 9 with all the proceeds going to Breast Cancer Care either as part of Frank Longhurst’s sponsorship for the London Marathon (if he gets an entry) or as a direct contribution. Tickets are available from Barbara Longhurst on 01273 813574 at £7.50 each which include a light snack at the main interval. As usual there will be a bar.

rodmell & southease

CHRISTMAS: Thank goodness Christmas 2012 has gone. Having Mike in the Princess Royal Hospital in all that bad weather meant awful journeys on flooded roads, plus I had to move my 93-year-old mother to a new care home a few days before Christmas. Thankfully she has settled in well at Ringmer and took the whole move very well. Mike was moved to Meadow Lodge in Lewes on Christmas Eve so not rushing to get back from Haywards Heath before it got dark so I could put the horned wonder, our goat, into his stable without stumbling around in the mud and dark was a great help. Christmas lunch was delicious at my god-daughter’s house in Wannock where I was very well looked after. Boxing Day I went down with bronchitis (a usual occurrence at this time of the year), the microwave blew up and we had power cuts which put everything on timers out, and yours truly is not an electronic wizard so radios are coming on at strange times. Then the digibox on the TV went. Oh, how I long for the days when things just had on/off switches and simple programming. My friend’s 4 year old son makes light work of computers, phones, TVs. Are they programmed in the womb to cope with coming into the outside world?

INCIDENTS: There have been all sorts of incidents around here over the holiday period. To start with one poor villager (a very good cook and entertainer) went to get food and drink from her source and literally found the cupboard (or freezers) were bare and had been stripped of everything a few days before Christmas so a desperate shopping and cooking spree had to be undertaken. Cars were flying over hedges into fields, people were getting stuck in mud in fields and needing rescue services to pull them out at Iford. The C7 was closed off because of it, which seemed a bit unnecessary as it did not happen on the road and at the beginning traffic was flowing and being controlled sensibly. I also had to get my part written for a book on Wivelsfield which is being put together by Wivelsfield History Society and the deadline was December 31.

POEM: I have just heard a poem I wrote on Rodmell is to be printed in Homeland, a new book of poetry by creative UK writers. I am excited by a new writing project that has also been put to me for 2013.

COFFEE MORNING: Rodmell School did a lovely coffee morning with entertainment for the OAPs of the village. Thank you school.

DOG PROBLEMS: There have been more dog problems in Rodmell hence residents have had the enclosed information: ‘The parish council have alerted the Animal Control Team at Lewes District Council of local concerns around dog control and dog on dog attacks in the Rodmell area. As usual in these instances, it would appear a very small minority of dog owners are not controlling their animals properly. The Animal Control Team is keen to address any local concerns, but wish to make it clear they are not targeting the majority of dog owners who keep their pets under reasonable control. Taking effective enforcement action against those few irresponsible dog owners will often involve putting the matter before a Magistrate’s Court. To do this, the district council must have recent, first hand evidence from residents who have actually witnessed dog attacks or out of control animals. If you do witness any such incidents Mrs Tucker of the Animal Control Team would be grateful if you could contact her direct as soon as possible following the incident so she can immediately investigate the matter. Mrs Tucker may be contacted on 01273 484472 or 01273 484354’

OTHER NEWS: A large limb of a tree at Deep Thatch fell onto the flint wall in The Street at 5.30pm on Boxing Day causing chaos. It’s a good job the donkeys who used to look over the wall in that bit weren’t there. They now live at Raystede.