Parish pump Lewes - March 28, 2014


KALEIDOSCOPE have places available in their Tuesday Drama group at Barcombe Village Hall for the summer term. The classes are for 6 to 11 year olds. Next term the group will be working towards an end of term performance at Barcombe Village Hall. For further details, or to make a booking call 01273 473 554 or go to


CONCERT at St Peter’s Church by students from Chailey School, along with students from Plumpton Primary School, is on Saturday at 6.30pm. The concert is in coordination with The Friends of St Peter’s Church to raise funds for the Church Restoration Fund. Admission is free with a retiring collection for the Fund.

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday, St Peter’s Church, Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion at 8am and Parish Communion at 10am. Lilies for Easter are being ordered and you are invited to donate a lily in memory of a departed loved one. Lilies are £2.50 each. Please arrange for your donation to be given, with the name of the person in whose memory it is dedicated, to one of the churchwardens; Peter Martin (01825 722680) or Teresa Wenban (01825722586). Free Church services this Sunday are at 10.30am with John Goodway and at 6.15pm. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be served after the service.

PLOUGHING MATCH is on Sunday, starting at 10am, at the Hook Estate, South Chailey. It is organised by the South Eastern Vintage Agricultural Club and everyone is welcome to go along and watch the ploughing and see vintage tractors and horticultural machinery. For more details phone Jo Parnaby on 01444 831142.

CRICKET CLUB nets are at Plumpton College on Sunday from 5.30pm to 7pm. Whether you wish to play league cricket on Saturdays or friendly cricket on Sundays, on a regular or less regular basis, you will be made most welcome. For more information call Peter on 07709946880.

PARISH COUNCIL meets at the Reading Room, Chailey Green, on Tuesday at 7.30pm. Members of the public may attend and will be able to make representations.

WOMEN’S INSTITUTE meet on Tuesday at 7.45pm in the village hall. There will be talk on Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare; where they rescue, re-home and provide sanctuary for more than 1,500 animals each year. Prospective members and guests are always welcome at meetings, for a nominal charge of £2. For more information call Margaret Smith on 01825 723519.

GRANDPARENTS Toddler Group meets fortnightly on a Wednesday between 9.30am and 11.30am at the Chailey Children’s Centre, in the grounds of the secondary school. The next meetings are on April 2 and 16. There is a lot for grandchildren to do and it is also a great chance to chat to other grandparents who are caring for their grandchildren. For more information do call Susannah Griffin on 01825 724335.

THINKING OF DONATING to Sport Relief ? If so you can donate at and it will be an amazing boost to four young Futures adults with complex disabilities who decided their own physicality should not stand in the way of helping others. To raise money for Sport Relief Zak, Helen, Becky and Dani will complete a collaborative marathon distance of 26.2 miles on a specially adapted cardiovascular machine at the accessible gym at Futures Life Skills Centre, at Chailey Heritage Foundation. It’s a mammoth feat and they will be doing it over a period of weeks. They are working hard to help others and are extremely grateful to anyone willing to offer support.

TWO NEW Parish Councillors have been co-opted - Cllr Katherine Matthews and Cllr Stephen Avery. Both Councillors have lived in Chailey for many years and are involved with community activities; and bring relevant knowledge and expertise to the council. Cllr Avery has recently retired from working in London, bringing legal and engineering expertise, and Cllr Matthews has knowledge of local planning processes.

Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

DON’T FORGET Anita and tom Walker’s Jumble Sale in the village hall, Beechwood Lane tomorrow, Saturday, at 2pm. If you have last minute items to be collected call them on 01273 472595 or email

MOTHERING SUNDAY (March 30) at St Peter’s Church, Holy Communion 8am, Family Service to mark Mothers Day at 10.30am. during the service children (also adults) will be able to give posies of flowers to their mothers. This is always a very special service and all are most welcome. Coffee to follow in the church hall, and Mothers Day cake made by Ursula Hare from Cooksbridge.

LENTEN COURSE: The first of the Lenten discussions is on Monday in Offham Rectory at 8pm. The topic for study this year is St Matthew’s gospel which is the Gospel for church readings this year.

CHURCH AGM: St Peter’s Church annual meeting is on Monday April 7 at 8pm in the church hall. This is the important meeting when elections take place for church wardens, deanery synod representatives, sidespeople and parochial church council members. Yearly reports are also given.

DIARY DATE: The Rector reports that the Bishop of Chichester is now into his second year as our bishop and he is involved in getting to know his churches and clergy. No mean feat as there are more than 300 churches in the diocese. Over an 18 month period he is visiting every one and he is coming to this parish on the afternoon of May 12. Please put this date in your diary. It is very important for us to meet him and very important that he sees as many of us as possible.

TALK: On Monday April 14 the East Sussex Fire Service will be giving a talk to the Monday Afternoon Club entitled How Safe is Your Home, in the church hall at 2pm.

LAMBS: All of the lambs are out now but I find it incredible that in spite of having NFU signs up asking walkers to keep their dogs on leads and under control when passing through livestock, some people take no notice whatsoever. Even before they get to the bridleway they loose their dogs off and even let them run into my drive and leave their calling cards which I then have to clear up. Can they not read the signs or have they no intentions of following the warnings about livestock worrying. We have sheep on either side of the bridleway with tiny lambs and I am appalled at the behaviour of some people.

TURBINE BLIGHT: For those who have ever visited or seen lovely paintings of Roseberry Topping, one of northern England’s most distinctive hills, the thought of a planned wind farm overshadowing such a beautiful landscape does not bear thinking about. It is good to see that the National Trust has joined the campaign against such a development. The turbines would be within 5km (three miles) of the hill, with an overall height of 132m (433ft) and would have a detrimental impact on this lovely area. The hill is visible for miles around, the hill is a very popular destination for many people especially those who love walking in the area. The proposed turbines would be the largest in the area and dominate the landscape. Nothing seems to be sacred any more. You can voice your concerns on It would seem we are not the only ones who have to try our best to protect our lovely countryside.

SURPRISE: When sorting out more books and packages left from Derek’s parents recently I came across a package and in amongst the various magazines was a copy of Holly Leaves the Christmas Number of Illustrated sporting and Dramatic News, dated 1927, price two shillings. I decided it would make good bedtime reading which it certainly did. As I was nearing the end, taking up a whole page in colour is a copy of a painting of my late mother-in-law entitled On The South Downs, Mrs H V Musgrave Clark on her grey Arab. It was from the painting by Lucy Kemp Welch, exhibited in the Royal Academy. Feeling very emotional after finding that I made sure I had not missed any other treasure in the pile of magazines, and lo and behold I came across some pages of Country Life dated May 9, 1952 and again on the front is a full length picture of Mrs Musgrave Clark which says she is the wife of Mr H V Musgrave Clark, a prominent breeder of Arabian horses of Courthouse Farm, Offham Lewes. I don’t think even Derek knew about these pictures. I shall have to be very careful not to throw what looks like rubbish away before checking.


LADIES GROUP: Both the February and March meetings had to be postponed for a week later than usual due to the Albion home matches; getting to Falmer on match nights is very difficult for members if they live outside the village, so events for these months have to be moveable subjects. This month a games evening was arranged, and although few members were able to attend, it turned out to be a fun evening. Overhearing one group I thought they were arguing, but no, they were playing a game answering questions without saying Yes or No, they were all far too good at it such as ‘I told you that once before I do not like that.’ Other games were played such as dominoes, crib, Uno and an Indian card game taught to us by Bakula. On April 8 Peter Hill will be coming to give an illustrated talk entitled Roam Around Rome.

2014 PR MOMENT Golden Hedgehog Awards: The daughter of Melanie and Tim Cutress, Libby, was nominated for one of these awards with her colleague and on behalf of her employers attended this award ceremony. Libby didn’t win but it must have been an exciting evening. Well done Libby.

ALL THE FIELDS around us on the east of the village have been ploughed. It has been fascinating to watch the very modern machinery moving up and down the fields. With a long arm at the side of the tractor a single furrow was drawn on one side whilst ploughing and on the turn around the furrow would be followed whilst marking again on the other side. It’s very hard not to admire this immense area of land now ready for what? I wish I knew, have they already sowed a crop? It is now a wait and watch game.


MOTHERING SUNDAY: As this is a special day for all mums, Kingston Church willhold a special Family Service for Mothering Sunday at 9.45am. All very welcome, including in particular families with their Mothers. (Normal Family Services on the first day of each month will continue as usual on Sunday April 6).


INDOOR BOOT SALE on Sunday from 10am in Laughton Parish Hall. £5 per table, refreshments available. More information 01323 811385. Lewes

FOOTPATHS GROUP: Buoyed up by a forecast of sun, which did not materialise, and the promise of spring flowers, which did, 16 members of the group burst out of Lewes on an exploration of the countryside south of Uckfield on Wednesday March 19. First up was a perambulation through Uckfield’s own Hempstead Nature Reserve, followed by a traverse of a play park, though only one member felt energetic enough to play on the equipment. No one was mown down while crossing the Uckfield to London railway line, before passing by mysterious Hemstead Wood. The pub at Framfield was persuaded to open for us and suitably fortified we walked along footpath Framfield 9, the site of the famous dispute between the landowner and the Ramblers Association. We also walked across the formally obstructed footpaths of Crockstead Manor Hotel, noting the recently installed steps and signposting. As a finale, we traversed the grandiose edifice and grounds of the Sussex National Golf Resort and Spa where we had a lunch break in a hut before catching the bus at Little Horsted back to Lewes. A very enjoyable walk led by Chris. Our new programme for spring and summer is now available from the Tourist Office in Lewes and the Walking Shop in the Cliffe. Also at The next walk is on Tuesday, Haywards Heath to Balcombe. Meet at Lewes railway station to catch the 9.48am train to Haywards Heath.

TALK: On Wednesday at the Lewes and District Garden Society meeting, Irene Eltringham-Willson will speak on the National Gardens Scheme (the yellow book) County Organiser, is it Heaven or Hell? at Cliffe Hall, Cliffe High Street, 7.45pm to 9pm. Visitors £3, members free. All welcome.


SOUTH MALLING SCHOOL is really happy with its Sport Relief related activities last Friday, which were a huge success. The children all looked very sporty, dressed in their different sports gear. At lunchtime children from Year 5 who have been newly trained as Sports Leaders, led a range of sports activities for everyone to enjoy. Each activity cost 10p to those taking part. And at the end of the day, the sports leaders held a bake sale. All in all, they raised £250. Well done to the sports leaders and a big thank you to Mr Beattie for organising such an enjoyable and energetic day. Governors from across the Lewes partnership schools met at South Malling this week for the first time, for some joint training on data analysis. The school hopes there will be many other opportunities for joint working once the partnership gets underway. The school also wishes Mrs Swan and the South Malling Kit Car Team all the very best of luck for their first drive of the season at Plumpton tomorrow, Saturday.

SOUTH MALLING CHURCH is preparing to celebrate Mothering Sunday this week. An all age family service is replacing the communion service which normally takes place on the fourth Sunday of the month and the Revd Helen Garratt will be preaching. As usual on Mothering Sunday, a part of the service is given over to children and others making up posies and handing them round to all the women in the congregation. Mothering Sunday is on the fourth Sunday of Lent and derives from the early church’s use of a passage from the Book of Isaiah, Rejoice Jerusalem, come together, you who love her. In biblical poetry the city of Jerusalem is called our mother and it is said that in the middle ages, people used to go to the church in which they were baptised, their mother church, on that Sunday as a mark of gratitude and respect. Now the focus has switched to our own mothers and it is good to have a chance to say thank you, specifically and in general. The service begins at 9.30am on Sunday and 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.


AMBERLEY CASTLE: My wife and I, along with my brother and his wife and my two sisters used the coupon offer which was in the Sussex Express a while ago, giving a discount Sunday three course lunch at the Castle. What a fantastic venue. The staff were very attentive, the food was superb and the castle is a jewel in the crown of eating venues. If you are looking for somewhere to go for a special occasion, I would highly recommend it.

CHRIST CHURCH: Last Sunday we welcomed a representative from Embrace the Middle East which is our chosen charity for 2014. Our fundraising this year will be to support the purchase of a car for one of their projects, our aim is £2,000. Worship on Sunday at 10.30am will be led by Alan Crook. We are now enrolling children in our Mega Makers Holiday Club which will run from Wednesday July 30 to Friday August 1 from 10am to 12.30pm. Nearly half the places have been allocated so if you want a place for your child (Reception to Year 6 only) contact us on

LEWES NEVILLE WI: We had fun at last month’s meeting making Bath Bombs with Dr Gareth Francis. It was a successful event and included a ‘smelly’ quiz. On a dry but blustery day the walking group went from Lewes to Hamsey Church and back. We next meet on April 16 when Jay Kendall will be speaking on The Wonders of Wool.

NEVILL SHARES: Table top sale and community café on Sunday May 11, 3pm to 5pm. Tables will be £5 each and can be booked by emailing me directly on

WALLANDS SCHOOL: Young Enterprise Month Marcus Sawyer (Yr4) will be selling a range of stationery (thank you notes, writing paper, postcards etc) to raise money for his chosen charity, The Nutty Wizard. The stationery is all designed and illustrated by Marcus and will be sold from a stall in the crush hall after school on Mondays and Fridays during March. Why not come and see what’s on offer. Chalklife Festival with Medieval Mayhem, May 3, 11am to 4pm, together with Nevill Juvenile Bonfire Society and Lewes District Council, the entire festival will be held on Landport Bottom rather than split between Wallands and the nature reserve, mainly for reasons of road safety. We need volunteers. Please contact Well done Adam, Reuben G, Will and Harvey. Wallands B football team drew one and won the other and Wallands A won both of theirs. With both teams having two matches left to play Wallands B are currently top of the league with Wallands A joint second with Southover. Well done to all involved. In netball teams A played B Tuesday at Wallands in their penultimate game. Team A won and with only one game left against Southover B are currently top of the league. Team B are joint second with Western Road. For the first time Wallands entered an indoor cricket Lewes and District league. Our first matches were drawn against Manor Park, Laughton and Barcombe who hosted. Our team of eight yr 5 and 6 had a hesitant start but played really well as a team and narrowly lost one match and convincingly won the other two, placing them joint second overall. Well done to them. South Downs area Tag Rugby finals in Eastbourne. There were eight teams in total who were placed in two pools. After winning our initial three games we made it through to the semi final and ended up fourth. Well done to all of the children. Jude Griffin and Daniel Kavanagh are part of the under 11 Lewes Hockey team who played in the Sussex County Championships on Sunday and won. Congratulations boys. East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service in Whitesmith are hosting Children’s Activity Days during the Easter holidays on April 12 and 13. For £5 children will have the opportunity to take part in some wildlife related arts and crafts and learn more about our local British wildlife. Advance booking required 01825 873003.


THE COUNTRY MARKET will be open today, Friday, in the village hall from 10am to 11am, there is a good selection of homemade goodies to tempt you. Make sure you arrive early so not to be disappointed and enjoy a coffee.

RUGBY: The Rugby match tomorrow, Saturday, is against Hellingly at Newick, kick off 3pm.

SPRING SHOW: Tomorrow, Saturday, Newick Horticultural Society will be holding their Spring Show in the village hall from 2.30pm. The perfume of the flowers greets one as you enter the hall, you will see the beautiful daffodils, hyacinths and many other spring flowers. This is an event not to be missed. You can also enjoy refreshments and catch up with all the people you have not seen for a long time.

SUNDAY SERVICES at St Mary’s Church are Holy Communion at 8am followed by Mothering Sunday Family Service at 10.30pm. If you need a lift to church please telephone in advance 722582.


WALKIES TIME: If you fancy some healthy exercise then why not join up with the Footpath Society on Sunday. There will be a circular walk of about five miles starting from the Buckle car park, Bishopstone (part of Seaford seafront) heading to Bishopstone village and on up to Norton Hill with a return via Norton, Bishopstone and the Buckle. If you need to know more simply ring 01323 895572. Then on Wednesday meet up at Arlington Reservoir car park or lay-by (TQ529 065) at 10.30am in readiness for a six mile trek taking in Berwick station, Stoney Farm, Selmeston and Ripe with a stop for lunch at the Lamb Inn and then on to Chalvington, Cobb Court and returning to the reservoir. More information available on 01273 890450. Non society members are always welcome.

ROYAL PLUMPTON: This week heralded another visit to Plumpton College by the Duchess of Cornwall to open the new wine studies centre now offering a Master’s degree in wine studies. Of course, for Camilla it was another trip back to her old home as she grew up just a short way along the road from the college, but I do think it was a bit extravagant for her to arrive in a chopper to pick up a bottle of wine. On Monday her sister-in-law Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, will be at Plumpton races to support the charity Racing Welfare in her role as its president. It will be a glittering day with the opportunity to rub shoulders with celebrities and, maybe, fleece the bookies. There will be lots on offer to make this an afternoon to remember that will, of course, include some exciting horseracing featuring top runners and riders. Another feature will be the first ever Space Hopper Grand National featuring two top racing families. Gates open at 11.30am and the serious racing will get underway at 2.20pm. Anyone attending from such faraway places as Lewes and Haywards Heath and even beyond can, of course, take advantage of the excellent train services (even better on race days) and be dropped off right at the course. Judging by the number of royal visits Plumpton has received in recent years I think it deserves the prefix Royal just as much as Tunbridge Wells, Bognor Regis and so on.

FASHION BARGAINS: Do not forget the fashion show in the village hall on Wednesday. There will be lots of clothes on view and an opportunity to purchase them at bargain prices. The event is being organised by the Plumpton Support Group for St Peter and St James Hospice, which is good enough reason to go along on its own, as the hospice both needs and deserves our support. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start and there will be a licensed bar and a raffle. Entry costs but £5 and tickets can be booked in advance simply by ringing 01273 891701 or 891218 or via

DANGEROUS JUNCTION: East Chiltington Parish Council is understandably concerned over recent accidents at the junction of South Road and Honeypot Lane. As a result of consultations ESCC has agreed to improve the signage.

LITTERPICK: Those tidy minded folk in East Chiltington are once again organising a litter pick in and around the village on Sunday, April 6 when folk are welcome to join in to help clear up the rubbish others have left behind to the detriment of the environment. Anyone wishing to join in should meet at the Forge, Highbridge Lane to collect the necessary equipment and then scour the local lanes for discarded rubbish. Then it will be back to the Forge to enjoy some refreshment. I gather that Border Control will relax visa restrictions for people from Plumpton or even Chailey who may wish to join in and help keep our countryside clean. Previous similar events have been highly successful and they make for a great social occasion. Congratulations to ECPC for continuing this initiative.

ANOTHER SAFARI: On April 26 Plumpton Activity Scheme, the group that provides activities for youngsters during the summer holiday break, willhold one of those great Safari Suppers to raise funds to support the venture. These events allow people to meet and enjoy a meal split between various homes for each course. You get to meet new friends and catch up with old ones whilst enjoying the suspense of not knowing where or what you will eat next. The cost is a mere £10 per person and you can book in simply by ringing 01273 890142 or 891249, but do so now as this is an event where it is not possible to book in at the last minute as meticulous advance planning is required. At the end of the evening all participants get together over coffee and compare notes. Booking deadline is April 4. If you are new to the village this will offer a great way to get to know some of your new neighbours. The limit is 25 couples.

WASTE FOOD RECYCLING: I have heard of concerns relating to the availability of biodegradable liners for the caddies Lewes District Council has provided to recycle food waste. The district council does not supply them but it is definitely not necessary to order them online. I have found them readily available in Waitrose, Wilkinsons, Asda, Robert Dyas and Lidl and I have no doubt they can be found in other major supermarkets and outlets. Splash out on a few caddy liners, they are available in plenty to buy and help preserve our environment.


FOOTBALL: Congratulations to the first team for reaching both the John O’Hara and RUR Cup semi-finals last week and also to the veterans for reaching the semis of the Fred Pretty Cup, well done to all concerned. This evening, Friday, the second team are at home to Hassocks in a reserve section premier league fixture with a 7.45pm kick off. Tomorrow, Saturday, the first team are at home to St Francis Rangers with a 3pm kick-off at The Caburn. Currently, there is no mid-week fixture but this could change so please keep an eye on the fixtures in the local press. On Sunday evening in the bar the ever popular quiz night returns. Teams of up to four, £1 per team member, multi-choice questions (so no questions you can’t answer) and hopefully a bit of fun. All are welcome and the quiz kicks of at 7.30pm for an 8pm prompt start.

COFFEE MORNING: Ringmer Bowls Club coffee morning will be held tomorrow (Saturday), 10am to 11.30 am, in the club house next to the Green. 50p entry charge includes coffee and biscuits. All the usual stalls including cakes, raffle and tombola.

NEARLY NEW SALE: Ringmer Tiddlers and Toddlers sale will be held tomorrow (Saturday) in the village hall 10.30am to noon. Children’s clothes and equipment age 0 to 5 years. Everything you need when having, raising or minding a little one. Tea and cakes also available. Entrance £1 per family.

CHURCH SERVICES: On Sunday, 8am Holy Communion, 9.45am Family Service. There will be no evening service as Sally Epps is being licensed at Burwash Parish Church at 5pm. Everyone is welcome.

VILLAGE HALL CHARITY: The AGM of the Village Hall Charity will be on Monday in the St Mary’s Room of the village hall at 7pm. All welcome.

SING AND SIGN: There will be free Sing and Sign taster sessions for babies aged 6 to 30 months (approx) at 11am and for those from birth to 6 months at noon on Wednesday in the village hall. Please phone or e-mail Jane Marshall to book a place. Tel: 01273 243786, Mob: 07958 539903, e-mail:

FLOWER CLUB: The next meeting will be on Wednesday at 2pm in the village hall with a flower arranging demonstration by Gaenor Circus entitled Ancient and Modern. Visitors are always welcome (£4 to include tea and biscuits) and also new members. The optional competition is Cheap and Cheerful featuring daffodils.

BRIDGE CLUB: At its meeting on Wednesday March 19, the result of the duplicate pairs played was: 1, Jenny Charman and Michael Slot; 2, Liz and Tom Owen; 3, Frances McGuckin and Alan Grindley. The club next meets in the St Mary’s Room of the village hall on Wednesday at 7.30pm. Contact 814220.

FUND RAISING LUNCH: The Evergreen Club are holding another of their popular Fund Raising Lunches on Thursday at 12.30pm in the village hall, £6. They invite all friends to join them for a home-cooked meal and a sociable occasion. Tickets and further information Tony Heath 812902 or Mavis Hathway 813742.

MEETING: The annual parish council meeting will be on Thursday at 7.30pm in the village hall. The guest speakers are Steve Gilbert and Nic Willett from RSPB South Downs on Futurescape: Linking our Local Landscape. Refreshments served by Ringmer WI.

SPRING SHOW: The RBL Horticultural and Home Produce Society Spring Show will be held in the village halls on Saturday April 5; the doors will be open to the public at 2pm. There will be the usual display of daffodils and tulips, the flower arrangement section and the cookery and preserves section. The handicrafts section includes painting New Beginnings, an item of needlework and photography where the two titles are Winter in Ringmer and Off the Beaten Track. To help our funds there will be two stalls at this show - plants organised by Robbie Blount and books, records and CDs organised by Bob Cairns. Please bring your contributions on the day or make arrangements for collection with Robbie on 813120 or Bob on 812784. All other information is in our show schedule, copies available in the village hall foyer or you can contact Albert Knight on 813322.

Rodmell & Southease

THE BIRDS are going mad at the moment, singing and gathering nesting material and the lambs are appearing everywhere. I just love spring and wish all the glory’s of it just lasted longer. As I have a hairdresser come to the house, she also cuts the hair of some of my neighbours, and to keep the birds happy I throw the hair onto the garden for nesting material. It goes in no time. I also put the fluff from the tumble dryer out for them so the nests should be pretty snug.

THE TALK on the Battle of Lewes Tapestry by Maggie Lanning was very interesting and informative at our WI meeting on Tuesday March 18. Many workers have been busily stitching this tapestry to commemorate the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Lewes this year. It should be finished very soon and will go on show free before settling into its permanent home.

MOTHERING SUNDAY: On Sunday our church has an 11am service. Please bring your mothers and collect a pretty posy of flowers for them. Coffee and biscuits afterwards. Clocks go forward this weekend, don’t forget.

IT’S SO NICE to keep up with the news on how the children from the village school have progressed over the years. The latest news is that Halen Aitken, as was, (she is now Mrs Sinclair) will be moving to New Zealand. Her proud mum gave me the following news: Jonathan Sinclair (Helen’s husband) has been appointed British High Commissioner to New Zealand and Governor of the Pitcairn Islands. He will take up the appointment in August 2014. He joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1996. It’s lovely to hear news of the youngsters that used to come to the Youth club, which I helped run with other villagers for years. Many who went to our little village school have done so well in life and have fond memories of the school. I was sent to a school in Brighton that I was not happy at. The various issues in the media at the moment brought back memories from 60 years ago when I was at what was called a commercial school for young ladies, where you were taught mainly shorthand and typing and your parents had great hopes of you landing a prestige job. I was a rebel who hated all this and did not do well as I wanted to go into farming or art. Several of my friends did well, one, Maureen, even working for Tiny Rowlands and the Lonrho Group. She was able to use his personal plane. Several others went abroad to work. There were several amusing episodes whilst at this school, one being an influx of handsome Chilean sailors into the town, which resulted in several quick marriages at a very young age, or girls leaving in haste. One girl ran off to the circus to be, I believe, a trapeze artist. I remember her name was Frances Whittle, and I often think of her, and wonder how she got along.

IN THOSE DAYS it was a great sin to get pregnant without being married, and I can remember us girls looking down from the top deck of a bus, into the garden of a home for unmarried mothers situated on a corner of Beaconsfield Road watching the young mums, and hoping we never got into this situation. Problem boys in those days were also taken from their parents and sent to Australia to work on out-back farms. I remember one from our area going because he was a wild child according to his parents. Such issues are now making the press, after many years of being hushed up.