Parish pump Lewes - January 17, 2014


GARDEN CLUB: Our January meeting will be tomorrow, Saturday, at 2.30pm in the village hall, when Emma Burnett will be talking about Gardening and Nutrition. Members and visitors warmly welcomed.


CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday, St Peter’s Church, 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. Sunday, Free Church services, 10.30am with Brian Lanston. A Café Church at the village hall will start at 4.30pm with Erik Cornellise as speaker and will be followed by refreshments.

PARISH COUNCIL meet at the Reading Room on Tuesday at 7.30pm. Members of the public may attend and will be given an opportunity to make representations if they so wish.

IGNITION CONCERT is on Friday January 24 at Uckfield Civic Centre from 7pm to 11pm. It is a Charity Rock Concert, in aid of Chailey Heritage Foundation. To buy tickets visit

FLOODING and Storm Damage. The parish council office is open during normal office hours only. The Parish Clerk works part time and the office is closed outside office hours, at weekends, on public holidays and for annual leave. Messages left on the parish answerphone will be answered when the clerk is next at work. The parish council does not operate an emergency service, nor does it have direct works contractors, tree surgeons or access to sand bags or road gritting. For assistance you can call Lewes District Council (sandbags) on 01273 484999, Environment Agency (floodline) on 0845 9881188, Fire and Rescue Service (advice) on 0303 9991000 and East Sussex County Council (flooding/trees on highway) on 0345 6080190.

GRANTS: Applications for money from Thompsett Charity can be made for 2014. Thomas Thompsett enabled a Trust to be set up in 1926 for grants to boys and girls in the parish of Chailey to promote their education, including social and physical training. In the past the Trust has sponsored a handwriting competition at St Peter’s Primary School. It is also pleased to help children, who live in Chailey, by subsidising school residential trips and Guide or Scout events. Only a small amount is available annually for distribution but if you would like to be considered for a small grant please apply before February 16 to The Trustees, Thompsett Charity by email or Ann Jones, Pellingford, Lewes Road, Scaynes Hill, RH17 7NG. For more information call Ann on 01444 83124.

FOOTBALL: Chailey and Newick Colts FC have five teams playing in the Sussex Sunday Youth League most Sunday mornings and the popular Junior Academy is on Saturday mornings from 9.30am to 10.30am. The Colts are always looking for new players, sponsorship and potential coaches and helpers. Training, advice, forms and help is on hand via their website at For more information please email


PANTO: Sleeping Beauty is at Chiddingly Village Hall on January 25 and 26, there are two matinees and one evening performance. The sets are amazing as always and the one half of the horse that I have seen is really good so let’s hope the other half turns up on the day. It is written by the cast and the directors, and in the best tradition, quite often made up/rewritten on the spot. The Scary Fairy won’t frighten the children, but Nanny will if he’s given half a chance. If Rent-A-Heckle, (also known as Keith Pettit), turns up for one of the performances there is bound to be much more audience participation than expected so if you’re not there you will be missing out on a real treat. Tickets from 01825 872401 or online at Prepare to be dangerously amused.

VILLAGE SHOP: The opening hours have changed and are now as follows: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 8am to 4pm, Wednesday 8am to 2pm, Saturday 9am to 12.30pm. This is for January to March. Caroline Rasmussen has joined the team as shop manager, and as always there is a warm welcome and many tempting things to buy. After a rigorous process of testing I can recommend the coffee and walnut cake, and of course all the others when I can get round to them. As for all village shops it is vital that people use it, when you can get everything from sugar to stamps, and cake to French conversation on your doorstep, then it is a lifeline. If you support the idea of a village shop then use it in practice, and it will be there when others need it too.

CONTRIBUTIONS: If you want anything about Chiddingly into the Parish Pump, contact me at and I will spread the word.

Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

N WATCH: The arrival of the January newsletter for the Lewes Town and Rural Neighbourhood Watch Association has been a subject of discussion from some coordinators in this area. In the past we were given updates on a regular basis to let us know what was happening regarding crime and what we should be aware of in our area. Unfortunately information does not seem to be passed on and considering what had taken place in November around our area, it is felt that the newsletter, although mentioning distraction thefts in Newhaven, Peacehaven, Seaford and Lewes regarding incidents in public supermarket car parks, where a group of offenders prey on elderly or lone shoppers as they load their vehicles, it gives no mention of break-ins, criminal damage or thefts of livestock in the area. It does mention N Watch signs where a survey is being conducted to find out if N Watch schemes have one for their area, the location and the state of any signs, ie clean, dirty of beyond repair. If it is in a rural location give the road number and where it is located. Send your response to Chris Burt by email at or by phone 01273 471731. If you do not have signs but would like one or more, contact Chris for advice. Information about the signs can be found on The coordinator for the Bevernbridge scheme in South Chailey, Mrs Blackmore, has obtained a grant from the Police Property Act Fund towards the cost of signs for their scheme. National N Watch Survey: If you would like to influence future directions of N Watch nationally, there is a survey you might like to complete. If you are a coordinator, the survey can be found at Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, has established a new fund to support local voluntary and community groups to tackle crime and improve community safety. The fund, worth £200,000, will support local projects that address the priorities outlined in Mrs Bourne’s Police and Crime Plan. Awards of up to £5,000 will be granted for projects that meet the criteria following consideration by the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and approval by the PCC. In exceptional circumstances the Commissioner will consider requests for funding above £5,000. Funding will be granted quarterly and the first deadline for applications is March 31.

A QUESTIONNAIRE has been delivered to residents in Hamsey Parish for the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group. The responses have to be in by February 1. As some residents have not yet received one they should contact Jenni Toomey, Clerk to Hamsey Parish Council or ring 01273 890621.

WORKSHOP: The N Plan Steering Group are holding a workshop on Saturday January 25, in the village hall from 1am to 1pm. Further details from the parish clerk as above. I have received several calls from those who have received the questionnaire to tell me how concerned they are about too much development in our wonderful area and who do not want to see our lovely countryside lose its rural heritage.

AMAZING: In spite of the dreadful weather spring bulbs are already pushing up and all through the rain there has been a little clump of those pretty Icelandic poppies that Derek’s mother planted way back in the thirties blooming much earlier than usual. The bluebell foliage is also peeping through and some outdoor hyacinths are in bud which is much earlier than usual. The bird life slacked off a bit during the mild spell that we have had, but this morning as I started to write this column when the frost was still on the ground, an abundance of small birds were all gathering around the feeders and the fat ball containers. A joy to behold.

ADVANCE NOTICE: Offham Church social, Skittles Evening at the Chalk Pit Inn on Friday February 28 at 7pm. Details from Judith on 01273 474356. Plenty of time to brush up on your skittles skills.

TODDLER TUNES Thursdays in St Peter’s Church Hall from 10am to 11.30am. Details from 01273 474356.

CAKE SALES at Hamsey School, Fridays after school (term time only).

COOKSBRIDGE CRUISERS is a running club set up by Jane Baldwin, Jane Taylor and Jane Disney. All ages are welcome. Viv Tozer, age 65 years, is very keen to encourage other ‘oldies’ to join in, and all abilities. Dogs are welcome too. There are members who have never run before who have progressed to running 5k and 10k. They meet on Tuesday morning at 9am outside 27 Chandlers Mead, Cooksbridge, term time only. They ask for £2 per session which is donated to a charity of their choice. They can accommodate all speeds even it it’s a walk/run pace to start. Contact details are: or mobile 07932 631580 or 07747 050275.


OLD NEWS STILL: Sue mentioned our Christmas without electricity but when power was eventually restored, our thanks went out to those engineers that had travelled all the way down from Dunfermline, it took them only a short while before they located the fault; our grateful thanks to them. One thing I do regret that once the family had departed to their own homes, was that I should have taken a photograph of myself and husband, sitting in our armchairs, wrapped up in padded coats with woollen collars practically over our heads, furry slippers on our feet and wearing mittens reading by the light of a torch, with candles. It makes me smile even to remember.

THE NEW YEAR has really begun, walking up the lane, as we still do every day with our 16 year old lab, we were amazed by the bird song. Were they singing to claim their territory or were they calling for a mate? Snow drops are appearing in the front garden, so spring can’t be too far away.

THE POND: The water level on the pond is really high and wild life around is keeping visitors happy, enjoying the graylings that are back, less welcome visitors are the rats that have been seen.

FUTURE EVENTS: A new concert events programme has been published: Sunday February 1, at noon, Flutes and Friends student concert in aid of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital; Saturday February 8, 6pm, A lovely programme, watch out for further details; Saturday March 1, 5.30pm, Vocal Jazz Trio. All held in St Laurence Church; watch this space for more details.

LADIES GROUP: The Falmer Ladies’ Group will also be publishing soon their new programme of speakers and entertainment, again watch this space.


WELCOME: Peter and Penny would like to welcome Mike Johnson in to helping us write the Parish Pump for Firle. Over the last year it has been sparce and we hope to rectify it this year with the help of Mike. For those who do not know the name he lives in the bungalows by the Estate Office and is also the bookings secretary for the now re-opened hall. So if anyone would like us to add things to this column do please contact us. To get the ball rolling the hall has a couple of things going on in February.

VILLAGE HALL: Just in case you have not realised the hall is now back open for business and if you wish to book it Mike is the person to contact - 07730748200. We now have a small room for meetings that would seat up to 15 people and of course our main hall is now larger. The cooking facilities have also been upgraded. So there is a lot of potential for many things to happen in the hall.

TALK on Crop Circles (raising funds for St Peters Church). There will be a talk on the very emotive subject of Crop Circles on Wednesday February 5 at 7.30pm in the newly refurbished Firle Village Hall. The talk is given by Andy Thomas, who is a very well known expert on this subject and has written several books. If you would like tickets please either buy them from Firle Stores or at the door on the night, tickets are £7.50 and include a ploughman’s supper. Places are limited. Contact Rosy Norris if you need more details (07784 707016). All proceeds for the Firle Church Tower Fund.

FIRLE FACTOR a fun night of entertainment from and for the kids of Firle Primary School, will take place from 5pm to 7.30pm on Thursday February 13 in the village hall. It is a fund raising event on behalf of Friends of Firle and therefore all proceeds will be channelled back into the school. All ages are welcome to take part and acts will include singing, poetry, dancing, playing musical instruments, telling jokes, short plays and anything else sure to entertain the crowd. Parents and children from the school and members of the local community are welcome to watch and participate too. If you wish to enter, we will ask a contribution of £1 per performer. Tickets for the event will be £2.50 per adult and £1.50 per child. Ticket price includes lovely food and drinks donated by the parents of Firle School children. So a tasty night of fun is certainly in store. For more info email Bryony -

Glynde & Beddingham

READING ROOM: Don’t forget that you can hire the Reading Room for private parties, meetings and functions. It’s a great sized space with a well-appointed kitchen, tables, chairs and convenient parking. Rates are £6 per hour for locals and £10 per hour for non-locals. Please contact Annette on 858078.

DISABLED ACCESS: Plans are afoot to install a much needed disabled access on the south side of the railway station (Eastbourne direction). Jane Stevens from the parish council and the Estate have been meeting with Southern Rail to draw up plans for lighting, a handrail and a ramp leading from the quarry end of the bridge down onto the platform. Glynde is the last station in the South East without this facility and the villagers are almost unanimously overjoyed that the elderly, disabled and those with small children and buggies can finally gain access to the platform more easily.

IT’S A BOY: Many congratulations to Mel Collard and William Small on the safe arrival of Alfie James on December 7. Alfie just couldn’t wait till Christmas and was born a month early in the Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton, weighing in at just under 6lbs.

IMPORTANT information for keen Caburn walkers. Annual Mercury has been spotted on the lower fields of Mount Caburn, which have been recently ploughed for turnip crops with the authorisation of Natural England. Unfortunately the ploughing has disturbed the formerly dormant seed of Annual Mercury which is known to be poisonous to human beings who have inadvertently made soup from it, and is suspected to be harmful to sheep and lambs. The website warns that the seeds are normally dormant causing no harm to humans or livestock but once the ground is disturbed, the plant grows and the toxins are activated. When the stems are broken, the sap can cause an allergic skin reaction and if consumed can cause liver damage. Please take extra care when enjoying your January walk over this wonderful part of the South Downs.


KINGSTON WI: At our January 2 meeting we needed to select a resolution for 2014 concerning the following: organ donation; funding centres for vulnerable women at risk of offending; female genital mutilation; providing non-acute hospital beds. One of these will be voted on at the annual meeting in June by WI delegates. The answers to the Christmas quiz were displayed and the bursary for a two night stay at Denman college was won by Jan Sumner. We then met John Henty who was to speak about Wartime Wireless. He had a poster from Picture Post showing a BBC broadcaster in army uniform; during air raids they often wore tin hats too. Programmes were broadcast not only to the UK but around the world. Families sat around the radio at 9 o’clock for the news; radio was crucial to people in the 1940s and boosted morale. He talked of a favourite serial, Paul Temple and of Paul’s wife Steve, in fact that programme has been rebroadcast on the radio recently. We listened to clips from the period which included the voice of Neville Chamberlain announcing that ‘.....this country was now at war with Germany’, (1939) still quite chilling after 74years; as well as Churchill speaking the words ‘if the British Empire .... lasts for a thousand years, men will still say, this was their finest hour’, (1940). During the blitz seven BBC staff were killed during broadcasts, later everything was transferred to Bristol. Remember these names and sayings? Colonel Chinstrap, Jack Train. Sandy Powell saying ‘Can you hear me mother?’ Elsie and Doris Waters. Children’s Hour, Larry the lamb, and Toytown. Big hearted Arthur Askey and I thank you. Jack Warner saying mind my bike. ITMA It’s that man again, Can I do you now, Sir?; 30 million people listened to ITMA. Hi Gang started 26 May 1940, ran for 52 weeks without interruption. Programmes that started in the 1940s lasted many years, if not decades, such as Desert Island Discs, started in January 1942, and still on air. Roy Hudd first appeared in Workers Playtime 1941, and other programmes and presenters that lasted for years are: Vic Oliver, Any Questions, Brains Trust, Music while you work, Henry Hall’s Guest Night, Alvar Ladell and Freddy Grisewood. What a walk down memory lane. The monthly competition, 1940s memorabilia, was won jointly by Fiona Harrison and Marlene Greenslate.


FOOTPATHS GROUP: The planned walk from Newick along the banks of the River Ouse was postponed because of all the rain that has fallen. Instead the eight hardy souls who met at the bus station agreed to take the Number 29 bus to Housedean Farm on the A27 and walk back to Lewes over the Downs, starting off along the South Downs Way. It was windy but warm and it was a pleasure to be out. In Ashcombe Bottom we enjoyed a short break out of the wind and then the rain arrived, horizontally. Then the rain turned to hail. It was less unpleasant than it might have been because the wind and rain and hail were coming from behind us. Joining the bridleway from Blackcap, we followed it back to Lewes, passing the stables on the way. The bridleway was muddy so we chose the grassy path through Landport Bottom, with its fantastic views over Lewes. When the rain began again in earnest, it was now into our faces from our right. Like the rain, in the distance, the smoke from the incinerator at Newhaven was also being blown horizontally. Arriving back at Lewes the sun came out. Hilda and Graham led the walk which was a good test of our wet weather gear.


SOUTH MALLING SCHOOL has been fully involved in Business Education Week this week. This is when the school focuses on work and careers and encourages the children to think about what they would like to be when they enter the world of work and what they might need to be successful. One of the highlights of the week involves parents, friends and carers coming in to talk to the children about their jobs; explaining what they do and what training they needed etc. This year there has been a particular focus on how parents/carers use maths and science in their work. Children and staff have heard from a range of people, including the Bike It leader, Lucy, who not only encourages safe cycling but also has a maths degree. Today (Friday) all the children have the opportunity to dress up as the job they would like to have and take part in a Business Education assembly. The school council met this week to discuss school related issues including home learning, the use of the library area and playtime activities.

SOUTH MALLING CHURCH enjoyed a particularly lively All Age family service last Sunday with Revd Steve Daughtery from Southover Church speaking about thankfulness. This service fits into a range of approaches to worship throughout the month. In most services children leave part way through for their own activities in the Children’s Club. They are fully included in the Family Service and help to create a particularly friendly and informal atmosphere. The service this Sunday is Holy Communion, starting at 9.30am. All are welcome.

Mobile Library

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


POEM: As January is a bit thin on the ground for news to put in PP, I quote this poem which talks about yesteryear. As it has eight verses I will add more in over the next few weeks:

I remember the cheese of my childhood, And the bread that we cut with a knife, When the children helped with the housework, And the men went to work not the wife.. The cheese never needed a fridge, And the bread was so crusty and hot, The children were seldom unhappy, And the wife was content with her lot.

CHRIST CHURCH: It was lovely to see so many children and their carers at our Tots Group last Friday but we still have room for more. Tots meets on a Friday between 9.30am and 11.30am. £1 per family which includes refreshments. Worship on Sunday at 10.30am will be led by Rev Michael Davies and at 6.30pm we are holding the Churches Together Evening Worship with Holy Communion for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This will be led by our Minister, Rev John Gordon and tea and biscuits will be served after the service. We look forward to seeing you at Christ Church.

WALLANDS SCHOOL: Nine of our year 6 children chose to enter into East Sussex Schools individual Under 11 Table Tennis competition at St Leonards on Wednesday. The organiser and parents that attended said how much they enjoyed the event and how well behaved the children were and that they were a credit to the school. Ben, Paris, Seb, Jack, Molly and Isis all finished second in their group with Jem third. Nell and Lowena went through from their group and after some close games Nell finished third and Lowena came home with the runners-up trophy. Well done to Lowena and all the children who attended. James Cragg had a swimming gala at Littlehampton on Sunday January 5 and managed to get his 50m freestyle time to swim at the County Champs in March. He just missed getting his 50m breast stroke by 0.93 but came fifth out of swimmers from around the county.

NEVILL BONFIRE: The society will be holding a jumble sale at the Ringmer Village Hall on Saturday January 25. We will be collecting jumble after 6pm on Friday January 24.


THE MARKET will be open as usual today, Friday, from 10am till 11am in the village hall.

THE RUGBY CLUB, according to the fixture card, have no games this weekend.

SERVICES at St Mary’s Church this weekend are Holy Communion at 8am followed by Informal Worship at 10.30am. If you should require a lift to church, please telephone in advance 722582.

FRIENDS of Newick Health Centre, need help with taking patients to and from their appointments at the Health Centre. If you are a good driver and could spare about a couple of hours one morning a month, they would love to hear from you. There is a fuel allowance. Telephone 01825 712320.

QUIZ NIGHT: Just to remind you of the Newick Twinning Association Quiz Night tomorrow, Saturday, in the village hall. Teams of eight people. Tickets £9 per person, this includes nibbles and a supper. For further details please ring 01825 724223.

EVENTS: Would clubs and societies please let me have details of your forthcoming events. I need the information by Thursday 5pm for this to be in the local newspapers the following week.


PELLS SCHOOL: Lots of children have been receiving Reading Awards already this term. When a child reads at home 15 times they receive a bronze award, 30 times a silver award and 45 times a gold award and a book of their choice. This week a new after school bike club is starting at Pells. It will be run by Sustrans Bike It Schools Officer and will teach children and their parents bike skills, maintenance and safety, as well as going for some local bike rides from school.


GET FIT AGAIN: If you are still suffering from over-indulgence during the festive period, why not try some healthy exercise with the Footpath Society on Sunday? Meet at the free car park near Roedean School, Brighton (TQ347 032) at 11am ready to set off on a four to five mile jaunt from the marina along to Rottingdean and back, to include lunch at an agreed venue if desired. More information on 01825 722649.

SUNDAY SCHOOL: It will be open again on Sunday in All Saints’ Church annexe at 10.30am and will hold a warm welcome for all youngsters.

HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE: The Rector is planning an exciting pilgrimage to the Holy Lands from February 3 to 12, 2015. Everyone with an interest will be welcome to take part and the programme is now available from Fr Godfrey (01273 890560) or one of the churchwardens.

HE’S BEHIND YOU: Those cries will be ringing out from the village hall on Sunday and then from Wednesday until Saturday when Plumpton Pantomime Society will be presenting its version of Sinbad the Sailor. There will be matinees on Sunday and Monday this year. Tickets just fly out of the window for our pantos but if you are lucky you may still be able to pick up a few tickets by ringing 01273 890450 or 890561. If you are new to the village and haven’t seen a panto at Plumpton then you don’t know what you are missing. People from miles around brave border control to join in the fun.

BATTLE OF LEWES: Plumpton will be joining in the commemorations for this important milestone in history. Definitely in the pipeline is a rededication of Plumpton Cross, which will be clearly visible for a short time, coupled with a service at St Michael’s church that will be conducted by the Bishop of Chichester and a hog roast at Plumpton College. There is more in the pipeline, so watch this space to keep up to speed as things evolve.

WORLD WAR I: One cannot celebrate the start of a war, whatever the cause and result. However, this event is due to be marked by a publication giving details of local people who made the ultimate sacrifice in fighting for our freedom. The task is being undertaken by Jean Stewart with the backing of the Village Action Plan which is also actively supporting events connected with the battle of Lewes.


BRIDGE CLUB: At its meeting on Wednesday January 8, the result of the duplicate pairs played was: 1, Pam Brook and John Weston; 2, Alan Disney and Roy Skan: 3, Joan Evett and Sandra Dudley-Williams. The club next meets in the St Mary’s Room of the village hall on Wednesday at 7.30pm. Contact 814220.

SILVER SURFERS: The next Silver Surfers morning will take place in the library at Ringmer Community College and Sixth Form on Saturday January 25 between 10am and noon. For more information or to book a place please contact Ruth Whitlock on 01273 812220 ext 253 or e-mail rwhitlock@ringmeracademy.

COFFEE MORNING: There is a ‘posh’ coffee morning on Saturday January 25 at 10am in the Church Room in aid of The Leprosy Mission. All welcome.

CONCERT: A flute and harp concert will take place on Sunday January 26, at 2pm in St Mary’s Ringmer. Anne Hodgson and Sally Course return to St Mary’s to play a varied programme of music for flute and harp and invite the audience to join them for refreshments in the St Mary’s room after the concert. A retiring collection in aid of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital Charity. All very welcome.

THE COUNTRY MARKET is now open following the Christmas break. The market takes place every Tuesday from 10am to 11am in the old village hall and sells a wide variety of home baked goods, both sweet and savoury, as well as preserves (including local honey), free range eggs, Sussex cheeses, hand made greetings cards for all occasions and other items of craftwork. During the year, plants, fruit and vegetables will be on sale according to the season. Tea and coffee is always available.

JUMBLE SALE: There will be a Jumble Sale on Saturday January 25 in the village hall. Doors will open at 2pm. This sale will be in aid of Nevill Juvenile Bonfire Society.

Rodmell & Southease

CLOSED: I have just heard that sadly, Lewes is yet to lose another small business. Snippets the hairdressers above the Robson’s Coffee Shop on School Hill is closing on January 18 after 34 years in business. The owner, Stella Sowter, is taking well earned retirement and so, all her loyal customers, yours truly being one of them, will be saying farewell to Diane Rivero-Wain (Di) and Stella’s daughter, Maxine Hartery (Max). Stella tells me I have been with them from almost the beginning and I know several ladies from Rodmell have been going there for some years. I suppose all good things come to an end and this hard working team have gained a good reputation and made many good friends over the years. I’m sure all your clients wish you well girls.

NEW OWNERS: Winterbourne Stores is to have new owners as Jim is moving to his house in Eastbourne, after spending many years behind the counter, and delivering to various homes in the vicinity. When my mother lived at Clevedown, Jim used to deliver her weekly shop and was always very kind to her. She has fond memories of their chats. Let’s hope Jim’s cats take kindly to the move.

HENRY: It appears Henry the Turkey, much loved by the people of Southease, especially Adrian Orchard, has sadly disappeared over Christmas. It is hoped he did not appear as someone’s Christmas dinner, but that is probably too much to hope for.

MYSTERY: I sent my mother’s cousin’s husband, who lives in Ottawa, Canada details about the mystery of Sgt Pilot Arthur James Vaughan, who is buried in Southease churchyard and for years has been a mystery to the people of Southease as his aircraft was attacked by Lt Wolfgang Tonne of JG53, then, with fuel tanks punctured he managed to cross the English Channel and crashed at 13.20hrs between Chartham and Chilham. He was taken to Chartham Military Hospital where he died at 17.45hrs that evening. The date was 26 April 1941 (Saturday). His unit was 242 Squadron and his aircraft was a Hurricane MK11a. He was based at RAF Stapleford Tawney. The big mystery is why he is buried at Southease. John Mew, my mother’s cousin’s husband, who was also in the Air Force, sent me a lot of information on Sgt Vaughan which I gave to Adrian Orchard of Southease so he and his friends can do more delving.

WI: On Tuesday Rodmell and Southease WI have their first meeting of the year when Terry Penn will give a talk with the intriguing title of A Life Less Ordinary. This sounds interesting, so if you want to come along at 8pm for the talk and as a visitor you are welcome.

WOOD BURNER: I have a large wood burning stove being taken out next week to make way for a more modern version which hopefully will also be more efficient. If anyone is interested in the old one please contact me, as it seems everyone is interested in getting a wood burner these days even if it is an old one. I thought that if it sold I could donate to the Stroke Association.

TV: So many people have complained about bad TV reception since we’ve gone digi. The old system was fine, but now people are getting increasingly fed up with paying for a service that quite frankly is rubbish. I hear more and more saying why should we pay for it – is a rebellion brewing?

PANTO: At present I am still waiting for information about the Rodmell Panto.