Parish Pump Lewes - June 14, 2013


CRIBBAGE: This old card game dates back to the 17th century and Barcombe has two teams in the local league. The Wooden Spoon was retained again this year, a glorious trophy is displayed in the Royal Oak. the Barcombe Crib Team are holding taster evenings on June 26 and July 17. All standards of players are welcome to come along. More info from Tim (400605) or Kate (400613).

NEW YOUTH CLUB: The committee has been busy with paperwork and insurance in order that we can get the club up and running. We will meet each week on a Monday evening in St Francis and will welcome members aged 11 to 16/17 years old. Fund raising can then start but contribution can be made and very much appreciated. These can be left in Barcombe Stores inside a sealed envelope addressed to Mikey Lear (treasurer). Chairman Carwyn Hughes, vice chair Lisa Colbourne (400807), secretary Tania? committee Tracey Allsobrook and Yvonne Alce.

CRICKET: ESCL Division Two Barcombe v Willingdon: Willingdon 73 all out in 24.1 overs. (Allan Trower 7-21). Barcombe 74-5 in 22.2 overs. (Paul Coppard 20no). Barcombe won by five wickets. Barcombe 30 points Willingdon 5 points. ESCL Division Eight Little Common II v Barcombe II: Barcombe 120 all out in 29.2 overs. (Eddie Thomas 29 Kane Black 28 James Broadway 22). Little Common 121-4 in 28.2 overs. (Ben Gardner 3-47). Little Common won by six wickets. Little Common 30 points Barcombe 5 points.

BOWLING: Saturday, June 8, away to Hailsham: Herbie Goodall 23 B McKale 18, John Osmond 16 G Morrison 16, Derek Stewart 4 Andy Midwinter 29, Les Line 19 J Lindley 15. Club lost 62-78.

BIKE RIDE: Come and take part in our annual fundraising family bike ride on Sunday June 23. Please note new start point: Meet 2pm, Woodyard, car park opposite Sutton Hall entrance. Five mile or eight mile route available. Any children under the age of 12 years must be accompanied by an adult. For all children over 12 years who are cycling unaccompanied, parental consent must be given on registration form. The route will be marshalled and will be through the Sutton Hall Estate so minimal road cycling. A fair proportion of the route is off road on farm tracks and is therefore not ideal for racing bikes. Please bring water bottles and helmets must be worn. In order to get an idea of numbers please fill in a registration form before the event to participate. Forms can be handed to your Scout Group, Lisa Bullen or Barcombe Stores. Cost £3 per entrant. Payment to be made on the day. Route maps provided. All proceeds from this event go to 1st Barcombe Scout Group. We will be serving tea and cake at the end of the course at the Fire Station. Any cake donations gratefully received. Last year’s bike ride was an enormous success with over 100 riders, so do come along and participate in what should be a great family fun day out. 1st Barcombe Scouts accept no liability for personal injury during the event.


CRICKET sees Chailey in a league game against Smallfield tomorrow, Saturday, starting at 1.30pm and a friendly against Ferring on Sunday starting at 2pm. Both games are at the sports ground just off the A272, supporters are most welcome and refreshments are available.

CHURCH SERVICES: St Peter’s Church, Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion at 8am and Parish Communion at 10am. Photographs taken during June depicting St Peter’s Church, inside or out, for this month’s photographic competition need to be delivered to the parish office or sent by email to by June 30. Café Church is at the village hall this Sunday, from 9.30am to 10.15am; there will be refreshments and activities for all ages. The speaker will be Derek Heyman with his puppet Cecil. At 6.15pm there will be a service with Sam Carter at the Free Church.

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.

WALK: Botanical Walk is on Saturday June 22 when Chailey Commons Society knowledgeable guide will show walkers around Plumpton Green. Meet at the station for the two hour, two mile, walk.

EDWARDIAN Weekend is at the Bluebell Railway on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June. The trains will all be themed from the period just before the First World War and will include carriages used in the filming of Downton Abbey. At Horsted Keynes there will be a chance to enjoy a summer fair. There is also a Real Ale tent and Bluebell Railway Band will be playing both days from 2pm to 4pm. For more information call 01825 720800.

JAZZ AND TEA takes place on the green in front of St Peter’s Church on Sunday June 23 from 2pm to 4.30pm. Entry is free and everyone is invited to join in this afternoon to listen to the jazz band and St Peter’s Primary School choir and watch Scottish dancing. There will be teas, a Pimms tent, ice creams, coconut shy, raffle and bottle, bric-a-brac, cake and book stalls. If you have any bric-a-brac to donate it will be much appreciated. Please call Kim Pattie on 01825 724307 to arrange delivery or collection. This year there is also a Family Fun Dog Show (sponsored by Whites Premium Southern) of ten classes with rosettes for the winners and a best in show class.

OPEN GARDEN in aid of St Peter and St James Hospice, by the Newick and Chailey Support Group, is on Sunday June 23 from 2pm to 5pm at The Old Rectory, Church Lane, Newick. Mr and Mrs Welton kindly invite everyone to visit their redesigned garden. Tickets in advance from Glenda (01825 722607) are £5 to include a cream tea (children free) or at the gate on the day. In addition there will be a plant stall.

DEADLINE for applications for Small Grants from the parish council is fast approaching; the grants are usually in the range of £100 to £500 and applications from local groups and organisations are assessed on their merits. A grant application form and a copy of the council’s grant policy can be obtained from Vera Grainger, the parish clerk, on 01825 740409 or downloaded from the community website Once completed the application needs to be submitted by June 30.

DO YOU HAVE a child aged between 0 and 5 years? You may like to know what’s on at Chailey Children’s Centre (which is right next door to Chailey School) as there are activities for the children, along with family learning, and it’s all free. To find out about the activities visit them at or simply call in and have a look around. For more details call 01273 336940.

Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

COMPLINE today, Friday, in Hamsey Church, 8pm. If you want to join in the singing, arrive at 7pm for the rehearsal.

HAMSEY FESTIVAL is tomorrow, Saturday, from 2pm to 8pm at the village hall and recreation ground in Beechwood Lane. It all starts with a performance by the children of Hamsey CP School. At 2.30pm there is a five-a-side football competition. Organised sports will take place all afternoon to include running races, wellie throwing, tug of war, table tennis. Even your dogs get the chance to join in the fun by entering the now famous Hamsey Novelty Dog Show compered by Sally Miller. Quench your thirst with all your favourites including Harveys-on-sale, proceeds to Hamsey School PTA funds. Delicious cakes and tea on sale in the hall with Judith and her team of helpers, provided by St Peter’s Church. Food throughout the day cooked by Erica and her moveable feast (non-veggie options). If by any chance the heavens should open up during the afternoon don’t despair as you will be able to relax in Rosie Armstrong’s Moroccan tent, which sounds interesting. Following the medal ceremonies you can dance the Ceilidh in the marquee, then listen to the lively music from the Boogie Troupe. Something for everyone to take part in. It’s all free to enjoy.

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

CHAMBER MUSIC: Sunday will be the second concert in Hamsey Church performed by the Musicians of All Saints starting at 6pm. Tickets are £10, £7 concessions, children free. Details on MAS website.

ADVANCE NOTICE: Sunday June 30 annual parish picnic to celebrate St Peter’s Day after the 10.30am service on the church lawns (if wet in the church hall). Please take along a small plate of food (sausages, chicken drum sticks, quiche, strawberries etc) that can be pooled. Coffee, soft drinks and ice cream are on the house and as it will also be a celebration for Bill Hudson’s birthday he is generously providing the wine as a treat.

PARISH COUNCIL: At their AGM last month Hamsey Parish Council chairman invited Cllrs to propose a chairperson for the coming year and Cllr Harmer then proposed Cllr Ginn which was seconded and agreed by all. Cllr Ginn took the chair and proposed that Cllr Dodd continue as vice-chair. This was also seconded and agreed by all. Fly tipping behind Hamsey School: Cllr Harmer had got the details for Environmental Health and passed them to the clerk. Vegetable plots in the parish are advertised on the website. One has been taken but there is still one available. Cllr Dodd presented the Community Award to Jim Edwards for his work at the village hall and with the Monday Group. The council considered the insurance requirements for the year and asked the clerk to add all risks cover for the wind turbine, to specify the play equipment and to reduce the sum insured on the hall. Consideration was given to a request from the Monday Afternoon Club and it was agreed to give £150 towards their costs. Council considered a request from Offham Church for funding towards maintenance of the churchyard (mowing) and agreed a grant of £500. The chairman asked the clerk to request a copy of the most recent church accounts. Cllr Dodd and Michael Bell attended a meeting at County Hall to discuss funding for a footpath in Beechwood Lane. County Cllr St Pierre had not put this item on the ESCC agenda and it could not be discussed and would not now be an agenda item until March 2014. In the meantime detailed costings should be obtained from ESCC. District Cllr Edmunds sent an email asking for potential housing sites in the parish but council felt this was not applicable to Hamsey Parish as sites would be identified within the neighbourhood plan. This was the only correspondence received from the District Cllr since the annual parish meeting last year and council asked the clerk to contact LDC to express their concern at the lack of support the parish was receiving.

STATION PARTNERSHIP copied the PC a letter sent to Southern Rail requesting a better service for Cooksbridge. A questionnaire had been sent to residents in Hamsey Parish in order to get data on possible take up of services. Cllr McBrown was concerned that if more trains were to stop at Cooksbridge it could lead to more cars parking in Chandlers Mead where there is already a problem. Vehicles are now being parked on the roundabout at the end of the cul-de-sac. The chairman advised that cars parked illegally or speeding vehicles should be reported through Operation Crackdown.


NEST EGG? I was intrigued to read in the paper last week that birdsong can have an effect on the price of your house. Apparently if you have just one unusual bird within earshot it causes the value of your property to rise. I am not surprised, there is nothing more delightful than listening to birds singing, but I wonder if the hooting that Queenie, Falmer’s resident peahen, qualifies as an unusual birdsong?

TEAS TEASE: The Sunday Teas season is well under way in the village hall. I will be doing a stint this Sunday, do come along and say hello and sample some home-made cake. I can promise you banana and walnut loaf and lemon drizzle, but there will be other goodies too. I hope the weather will be nice.

WEDDING SEASON: We have had two weddings over two consecutive weekends in Falmer and there is a scattering of confetti on the path which makes me smile when I see it. Apparently it is bio-degradeable so it won’t be there for ever.

GROUND CONTROL: We have been trying to get our garden under control recently. Not an easy job, although the cold weather has meant that the weeds have not grown as much as usual. Some of our soil is rock solid and almost impossible to dig. After being flooded earlier this year and then being dry for a long time, the texture of the soil is like baked clay. We are going to need plenty of compost to dig in.

BIKERS: Is anyone else fed up with being mown down by cyclists riding their bikes over the footbridge? Three times recently, I have been almost knocked over by a cyclist coming up behind me at speed. Whether they are ignoring the cyclists dismount sign or whether it has become too worn to be seen I don’t know, I suspect they are ignoring it.

FOLK BAND: We have a splendid concert coming up next week on June 22. Duck Soup, a folk band will be playing for us at St Laurence at the usual time of 5.30pm. The band is very well thought of and received a four star review from the Guardian for their last release. I just hope I will be able to attend as I will be rushing from a private view in the Hop Gallery in Lewes.

Glynde & Beddingham

STOOLBALL: Lewes Ladies Hockey team have formed a new stoolball team to give them something to do in the summer. Their first match was played on June 5 against the fearsome Glynde Butterflies at the rec. The hockey ladies batted first and after a difficult start, amassed 102 runs. The far more experienced Butterflies raced past the total and ended with a comfortable win. Rosie Norris and Bryony Johnson led the scoring, backed up by Shirah Mustarde, whose fielding had earlier matched her surname. Stoolball practices are every Tuesday and Wednesday at 6.30pm on Glynde rec and new players are always welcome.

WELCOME PACK: It can be quite disorientating when one has just moved into a new community, so a small group of village residents got together with the aim of creating a Welcome Pack to help newcomers to settle in and find their bearings more quickly. This wonderful resource has now been delivered to all new residents in the Glynde and Beddingham area with 100 percent positive feedback. The A4 folder contains invaluable information on services and businesses in the parish as well as interesting wildlife information encouraging readers to keep their eyes and ears open as they stroll around the local countryside.

THE TREVOR ARMS: A small dwelling has appeared in the garden to accompany the chicken run. Nestled in a corner, the fetching little blue and while house seems to be attracting young visitors who have great fun running up and down the staircase and spying on their parents from the upstairs window. The Sussex Community Seed Bank met last Sunday and much useful information was shared as well as the inevitable enthusiasm that always seems to bubble up when a group of gardeners gets together. Many thanks to all who attended and don’t forget to have a look at the website www.sussexcommunityseedbank. Forthcoming events include Folk Night on Monday, when we are looking forward to another inspirational evening of exceptional local musical talent. If you play an instrument, sing or simply enjoy listening to folk music, do come along at 8pm.

GLYNDE PLACE: This magnificent and newly restored Elizabethan country house is now open to the public throughout June on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The grounds and tearoom are open from 1pm til 5pm and there are house tours at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm. This home to the VIIth Viscount and Viscountess Hampden is well worth a visit, offering a glimpse of life in a traditional English country house.

CHURCH SERVICE: This Sunday’s service will be held in Firle at 10.15am.


OPEN DAY at Marchants Hardy Plants, Mill Lane on Sunday, 11am to 5pm in aid of The Cure Parkinson’s Trust. This imaginative garden has been created by Graham Gough who will be on hand throughout the day. Save this date to visit the garden, nursery and the opportunity to stay around and enjoy home made refreshments. Entry to the garden £5 per adult. Contact 01323 811248.


CONCERT: East Sussex Communion Choir is celebrating its 25th Anniversary with a performance of Haydn’s Creation. With professional soloists Lucinda Houghton; Paul Austin Kelly; and Stephen Charlesworth, together with a professional orchestra, led by Chris Phipps and Conducted by Nicholas Houghton. The concert will be performed at Lewes Town Hall on Saturday June 29 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £12; (students and U16s £6). Available from Lewes TIC 01273 336770; and East Sussex Music Service 01273 336770. Also on the door subject to availability.

FOOTPATHS GROUP: The weather has been perfect, recently, for walking and so have the sightings of the wonderful spring flowers. The combination of the two have seen many more walkers joining us than usual but all very welcome. Our next walk is an evening walk and will start 6pm from Southover in Lewes. Contact leader on 07771 774492 for details. This walk will be a Lewes, Kingston Circular ramble. If you haven’t already had our summer walking programme, do pick one up from the Walking Shop or the Tourist Information Bureau. Or find us at

ST ANNE’S CHURCH: Summer Choral Evensong

The second of the Church’s traditional summer Choral Evensong will be at 6.30 on June 30, and is supported strongly by Churches Together in the Lewes Area. Everyone is welcome to take part. The June Evensong is strongly supported by Churches Together. Malling

SOUTH MALLING SCHOOL thanks everyone who came to the Fun Run last Friday. The sun shone on them all. The children thoroughly enjoyed running laps of the school field and at the same time raised money for the Friends of South Malling (PTA) who will eventually plough it back into the school. This week saw the start of their exciting new Bike It project with assemblies and bike maintenance sessions all aimed at promoting cycling to school. And the school has been very fortunate to be given a brand new scooter pod as well, at no cost. The school grounds are looking amazing at the moment. The grass banks on the playground have burst into bloom and the children are enjoying spotting butterflies and identifying different plants. There was also a wonderful concert on Thursday in which Key Stage 2 children entertained their parents and guests to An Evening of Music in the lovely old parish church. Year 6 are getting ready for their residential trip to Bowles Outdoor Activity Centre next week. The excitement is building.

SOUTH MALLING CHURCH: Last week’s Family Service was as well-attended and enjoyable as usual. Members of the congregation are pleased to find that visitors, including visiting speakers and leaders from Southover Church, are full of praise at the combination of sheer fun with good teaching and thoughtful worship there is in this service. The focus was living water, and we learned, for example, that there are hundreds of millions of H2O molecules in about half an inch of water which can nourish us in body mind and soul. This coming week there will be a communion service at 9.30am on Sunday. For the fourth year now, a church team will be entering the Skittles Tournament at Southover Gardens and on Saturday June 22, between 2pm and 4pm, there will be a Fete and Garden Party in the gardens of Glebe Cottage, which can be found down the path by the church notice board from Malling to the Pells. This will include wildlife tours of Malling Churchyard led by a member of the Sussex Wildlife Trust. Everyone is welcome.

RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION: Remember that on Wednesday there will be a meeting of the newly constituted Malling Residents Association at the Community Centre at 7pm.

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.


BOWLING: At last the bowling club have let me have a copy of the fixtures for the summer months. They have a busy time ahead. Let’s hope the lovely weather will continue and they will enjoy all the following matches: Tomorrow, Saturday, Village Open Bowls Competition 2.30pm; Sunday, Handcross round 2 Tom Francis away 10am; Sunday, Vic Drive and Eastbourne Ladies are playing at home 2.30pm; Monday, Sussex VP’s Coast v Country 2pm; Tuesday, Mid Sussex West Hoathly away 6pm; Tuesday, John Spriggs Adastra at home 6pm; Wednesday, The Crouch Seaford away 2pm; Thursday, County Men-Sussex v Middlesex home 2pm.

CRICKET FIXTURES: First XI are playing Ringmer at home, second XI are away to Forest Row, third XI will be travelling to Robertsbridge; fourth XI will be playing at Temple Grove ground against Tunbridge Wells Borderers III. All the league games will commence at 1.30pm. On Sunday they will be playing at home against Palmers Cricket Club 2pm start.

SUNDAY SERVICES at St Mary’s will be Holy Communion at 8am followed by Informal Worship 10.30am.

SUNSHINE: What a difference the sun makes to everyone, this week people are smiling again..


WILDLIFE EVENTS: Today, Friday, sees two Sussex Wildlife Trust events, part of the Wildlife Churchyard project. Firstly from 1.30pm till 3.30pm, meet at St John the Baptist, Southover High Street, then via St Michael’s and St John sub Castro to St Michael’s South Malling. Secondly from 8.30pm till late, Moth and Bat Night at St John Sub Castro Churchyard. Start the evening inside the church with a short talk about moths and bats and afterwards we’ll head out into the churchyard to listen for the bats. We’ll run a moth trap too to see what species of moths are flying around St Johns. Please bring a torch and warm clothing.

TABLE TOP SALE tomorrow, Saturday, at Cliffe Church Hall, from 9.30am to 1pm. Cakes, jams, cards, jewellery and more, with refreshments all morning. All welcome, admission free.

CONCERTS: On Sunday at 4pm a Kantanti Ensemble Concert: Dido and Aeneas in St John Sub Castro Church. On Saturday June 22 at 7.30pm, Esterhazy Chamber Choir Concert, again in the church.


ROADS MAINTENANCE: The road maintenance in Plumpton should now be complete. It was described by ESCC as patching and that just about sums it up. Sections of the road have been patched up, but several people have already commented that a number of places that should have received attention have been missed out and I can vouch for that. One vehicle that I know of was refused access to reach home from the north end that then involved a diversion covering quite a few miles, allegedly because the entire width of the road directly ahead was affected. A subsequent trip along that stretch of road revealed that not even half the width had been affected at any point and again I can vouch for that. The works were scheduled to finish on Wednesday, but by Monday night it was obvious that they would not last beyond Tuesday. Why then was it necessary for Lewes District Council to cancel the recycling collection that was scheduled for Thursday, citing the roadworks as the reason? We will have to wait until the winter to see how quickly it all disintegrates again. Be warned that South Road is due to be closed yet again between Hundred Acre Lane and St Helena Lane for four days from July 8. Just think how all these unnecessary road closures are adding to the carbon footprint and negating efforts to go green and reduce it.

FLOWER CLUB: There will be a meeting in the village hall at 7.30pm on Wednesday. The demonstration will be by Robert Turks and non-members will be welcome as always.

PERMISSION GRANTED: Plans for a new sports pavilion at the playing field have now been approved. Watch out for a major fundraising appeal to make the dream come true.

GARDEN SUCCESS: The gardens at the Old Mill House were recently opened to the public to raise funds for St Peter and St James Hospice. I am told that 285 people popped in and a total of £2,704 was raised for the charity. Not a bad effort and result in my book. Last Sunday a number of smaller gardens in the village were opened up for the same good cause and from my own observations the footfall must have been quite high.

CARE CLUB: The latest report shows that members enjoyed an afternoon trip to Kingston Garden Centre and a number of them came away with a good selection of plants between them in anticipation of a late spring eventually arriving. On a warmer day a group enjoyed a day at Wisley and admired the spring bulbs and blossom on display there. The next outing is for a local pub lunch at an unknown venue. The regular Sunday lunches in the village hall continue to be very popular when committee members provide a varied menu and ensure that nothing is wasted. Two members of the team have recently been lost and the plea is out for replacement volunteers to join this working group. A few hours around Sunday lunchtime just once a month is what is involved and menus are planned well in advance. Anyone interested can gain more information by ringing 01273 890048. This is an opportunity not just to do some voluntary work but to meet more people, make new friends and generally socialise.

DAY OUT: Members of Chailey Commons Society will be enjoying a coach outing to Rye Harbour tomorrow (Saturday) and Saturday next week they will be off on a botanical walk around Plumpton under the capable direction of Dr Jacqui Hutson. Meet at the station at 10.30am to join in and all will be welcome.


COFFEE MORNING: John and Jenny Payne are holding a coffee morning at their home Sunrise, Laughton Road tomorrow, Saturday, from 10am to noon. There will be the usual stalls, raffle, bring and buy and plants. Proceeds will go to the Bible Society.

BRIDGE CLUB: The result of the duplicate pairs played on June 5 was: 1, Pam Brook and John Weston; 2, Alan Grindley and Barrie Smith; 3, Sandra Dudley-Williams and Joan Evett. The club next meets on Wednesday at 7.30pm in the village hall. Club contact 01273 814220.

PARISH COUNCIL: There is a casual vacancy for a parish councillor to be filled by co-option at the council’s meeting on Thursday, July 11. Further details on how to apply are available from the clerk to the council or, in his absence, from the chairman Cllr John Kay. Phone 01273 813242 or e-mail Applications to be received by Friday June 21.

FOOTBALL CLUB: Most of the initial work on the playing surface has now been completed, well done to those concerned. The ground just needs some rain at night and sun in the day to get the turf to take and the grass to grow. There are still lots of jobs to be done around the ground before the new season starts, the teams will be back training at the beginning of July and the club is always happy to welcome new faces to their lengthening list of volunteers. On the social side, Hailsham Theatres are presenting A Cabaret of Two Halves at the Caburn Pavilion on Friday June 21 and Saturday June 22. This event is suitable for all the family and features singing, dancing (the local Ringmer dance group are taking part), comedy sketches and a live band. Tickets are priced at £8 for adults and £6 for concessions and can be bought online at or from the club bar during opening times. Tickets may be available on the night but it is advisable to pre-book as seat numbers are limited. Other events planned for the summer are an Eggheads style team quiz with multi-choice answers to the 10 question topics which will take place on Saturday, July 13 and on August 17 there is planned a 70s/80s music night, period dress optional and hopefully a barbecue as well.

TABLE TOP SALE at Ringmer Community College and Sixth Form on Saturday June 22 to coincide with the Green Car Day taking place for Year 6 students from 12 local primary schools from 9.30am to 1.30pm. Year 6 students from each school have made an electric car which they will be racing against each other on a track at the Community College. There will also be a barbecue, cake stall and cream teas along with other side stalls. If you would like a table at this event, bookable in advance for £5, please contact Ruth Whitlock on 01273 812220 ext. 253 or e-mail

VICARAGE FETE: Advance notice that this is being held on Saturday June 29 commencing at 2pm. There will be lots of stalls including, tombola, plants, cakes and produce, toys and books and sideshows and refreshments. Donations for the stalls to the Vicarage on the morning of June 29.

BOWLS CLUB: The result of last week’s matches was: Ringmer v Uckfield 65-67, Ringmer v Maresfield 75-79, Ringmer v Haywards Heath 56-58.

Rodmell & Southease

IT IS VERY SAD to hear about the number of dogs that go over the cliffs along this coast but if a rabbit or bird attracts their attention they will go after it. Many years ago one of our beagles chased a rabbit a good half mile from the edge of the cliffs near Cuckmere and it was with horror we saw him getting nearer the cliffs whilst we were chasing him. It was only kind people capturing him for us that saved the day, and the dog. From that day onwards all my dogs have been kept on leads when they are anywhere near cliffs. Lola the terrier had a very lucky escape recently and now her owners intend to keep her on a lead near cliffs. Also we need to think of the efforts it causes the lifeboat crews and the coastguards.

BLACK PANTHER: So a black panther has been sighted yet again in the Sussex countryside. Sightings of these big cats have been going on for years and I know of quite a few people who have seen them in and around Rodmell. Quite a few years ago now, one ran out of the entrance to Springbarn Farm Park at about 11pm as we were driving home from Lewes. All I can say is that it was big and black, and bounded across the road in front of me in two or three great leaps. I was so pleased I didn’t hit it.

AUTHOR: It was nice to see the article on Amanda M Clarke and the book she has written because she was at one time a neighbour and was at the time married to Tom Morrell. She always said she would write a book, and I believe she started it whilst here in Rodmell so it’s taken her some years. Well done Amanda you’ve made your dream come true.

FAMOUS PEOPLE: It’s amazing how many famous people have lived, and in fact still live, in Rodmell or had connections with it. I can remember the singer Joe Brown spending weekends at our pub in the old days when Connie and Albert ran it and it was a real old country pub about half the size that it is now. Quite a few musicians of fame had it as their hidey hole drinking place and we had some really entertaining evenings there. Connie and Albert moved to Glynde Place in a flat, then moved on to Firle so they stayed in the area.

OPEN GARDENS: Southease Open Gardens tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday 2pm to 5.30pm. This is always a big favourite with the public who usually fill this tiny hamlet on these open days. Whilst in the area, why not walk over Southease bridge to view the new youth hostel at Itford Farm.

ON JUNE 17 I have to admit to being 70. To celebrate I am having a champagne and cake picnic with music at a riverside venue for friends and family, followed by a Jazz evening in the Abergavenny Arms, which will be open to all jazz lovers. I especially hope some of the musicians I have sung with and known from Rottingdean Jazz Club and Lewes Jazz Club will come along and have an impromptu fun evening with Piers Clarke and friends. It would be lovely to have a really good get-together and catch up on old times. A good many of my friends are reaching their four score and ten birthdays this year. One was married in secret in Jersey on her 70th and others are doing their own special thing, or are trying to keep quite about it, and pretend it isn’t happening. Each to their own.

WI: On Tuesday Rodmell and Southease WI has an interesting speaker for their meeting when Dr John Penn will give a talk on the Geology of the Ouse Valley. Visitors welcome at 8pm in the village hall.

MONKS HOUSE special events in June: On Wednesday botanical painter Vicky Maplin leads a days sketching in the garden. Friday June 21, 7.30pm to 8.30pm, summer lecture in Rodmell Village Hall, Leonard and Virginia as I Remember Them by Cecil Woolf. Booking is essential for all special events at Monks House. Phone 01273 474760 or see