Parish Pump Lewes - May 3, 2013


FUN RUN: 10.30am on Monday at Barcombe Recreation Ground. 10k run, 6k run/walk all off road through the beautiful Barcombe countryside. Pre booked 10k £7.50, 6k £5. Download entry forms from Sussex Races, or obtain from Barcombe News, Barcombe Stores or enter on the day. Changing, showers, refreshments available. Few limited on site parking spaces. Please park in or around the village. Further information from Tim Parsons 01273 400601 or All proceeds to humanitarian projects in the townships around Ndola, Zambia.

PARISH COUNCIL: At the car park at Barcombe Cross, parking is free for up to 72 hours, which allows for weekend use. Lewes District Council owns the car park and proposed a change to 10 hours maximum. People objected. Not one voice in Barcombe was heard in support. The parish council wrote a detailed objection dealing with each of the seven reasons given. At a public meeting in April, one protester summed up the mood: If it ain’t broke, don’t mend it. The LDC cabinet has now decided to impose a 24 hour limit. Parish Council chairman Nick Lear commented: ‘As so often, we were consulted but our view did not prevail – so much for localism in action’. The annual parish meeting will be held on Tuesday May 21 at the village hall at 7pm. Do you have views? Go along and make them known. On the agenda will be the next phase of Lewes District Council’s strategic plans and their impact on Barcombe, including allocation of sites for housing; also the question whether Barcombe should embark on a Neighbourhood Plan, as Ringmer and Newick have done. Susie Mullins from Lewes Council has kindly agreed to come along to explain and answer questions.

FOOTBALL: Mid Sussex League Div One Wednesday, April 24 away: East Court 0 Barcombe 2 (C Shoult, A Wright). Saturday, April 27 home: Sporting Elite 5 Barcombe 4 ( M Lloyd, J N and W Roberts).


CRICKET sees Chailey in a league game away against Balcombe II at 1.30pm tomorrow, Saturday, and a friendly against Selmeston and Alciston at home on Sunday at 2pm. Supporters are welcome and refreshments are available.

BLUEBELL WALK organised by Mid-Sussex Ramblers starts at St Peter’s Church tomorrow, Saturday, at 10.15am. The route will be 5.5 miles and will include Popjoy Wood, Hattons Green, South Common and the Hooke. For more information call William on 01444 831098.

CHURCH SERVICES: St Peter’s Church services on Sunday are Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion at 8am and Parish Communion at 10am. The Revd John Maskell will also be in church on Saturday from 8.30am to 9.30am and everyone is invited to join him in prayers. Transport can be arranged by calling Peter Martin on 01825 722680 or Teresa Wenban on 01825722586. Free Church services this Sunday are at 10.30am with Eric Cornelisse and 6.15pm with Jane Grist. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be served after the service. Also on Wednesdays at 10am there is a prayer meeting and on Thursdays at 7.30pm bible study and prayer.

WALK: Bank Holiday Monday sponsored link walk in aid of the new sports pavilion at North Chailey begins with refreshments at 9.15am, at the pavilion. The walk begins at 10am which will be followed by a pig roast, bar, classic tractor rides, beat the goalie, music and other entertainment at midday. Do support this event to help the programme for the future of sport in Chailey. For more details call Kate Gould on 01825 722889.

PARISH COUNCIL: The planning and environs committee of the 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.

WI meet on Tuesday at 7.45pm in the village hall. At this meeting there will be discussion on the resolution, to be put to the annual general meeting at Cardiff in June, which concerns the continuing decline of our high streets and the damaging effect this has on local communities and the way WI members can help reverse this trend. The full resolution can be found at This promises to be an interesting discussion and if the resolution is passed at the AGM it will form the basis of the campaigning and awareness raising activities of the WI in the years ahead. Prospective members and guests are most welcome; there will be a nominal charge of £2.

CIRCULAR WALK organised by Mid-Sussex Ramblers is on Wednesday starting at 7pm at the sports ground. This walk is part of Get Walking Week 2013, Britain’s biggest short walks festival which features short walks led by experienced walk leaders from ramblers’ groups. This walk will be five miles and include the Commons, Pelling Bridge and Vale Farm. For more information call Diane on 01444 450493.

MEETING: Lotus Cortina Club meet at the Five Bells on Thursday. More details are available on 0182572 2259.

BABY TIME parent and toddler drop in sessions are at the Chailey Children’s Centre every Friday from 10.30am to midday. This is a fun session with activities for you and your child aged under 18 months. It is also open to expectant mums. For more information call 01273 336940.

A JUMBLE SALE is being held by the Chailey Women’s British Legion at the end of May; if you have jumble please contact Susannah Griffin on 01825 724335 as they have plenty of storage and would be happy to collect it or for you to deliver it to them.

cooksbridge, offham & hamsey

THIEVES are doing the rounds again and are targeting gardens. Some time last week a bronze colour statue of a naked lady kneeling with her hands cupped was stolen from a property in Beechwood Lane, which was of great sentimental value. At the same time ornamental geese were stolen from the same property. On Sunday I received a call telling me that another garden ornament had been stolen from a property in Hamsey, leaving the owner very distressed. If you have photographed your cherished garden ornaments give a copy to the police who can put it online in the hope that it can be traced eventually. If anyone has spotted anything suspicious in either area where the thefts have taken place, please call Sussex Police on 101.

CHURCH SERVICES: A reminder that Sunday is the first of the Hamsey Summer Service. Holy Communion 8am, Evensong 6pm, Rogation Service. St Peter’s Church, Sunday Club 10.15am in the church hall, Parish Communion 10.30am followed by coffee in the hall.

MONDAY AFTERNOON CLUB meet on May 13 in St Peter’s Church Hall at 2pm. Michael Bird will be talking about bees. Lifts are available by ringing Judith on 01273 474356 or Caroline 01273 477151.

THE PARISH COUNCIL meet again on Thursday May 16 in the village hall, Beechwood Lane, at 7.30pm.

ASCENSION DAY is on Thursday. When I was a child we always had to attend a special service at St Margaret’s Church in Buxted. I used to love processing down through the avenue of trees to the church where we would wait for the arrival of Mrs Ionidies, the owner of Buxted Park, who was one of the school governors. She would arrive in her chauffeur driven car dressed all in black with her face veiled. Following the death of her husband she was always dressed in black which as small children we found rather creepy. Following the church service we were then given the day off. I don’t think that Ascension Day is marked as a special date these days.

GONE but not forgotten. I was saddened to read a couple of weeks ago that Bill Howe had died at the great age of 102. Although I never met him he spoke to me on several occasions after reading in my column about Blackcap which was dear to his heart. He told me that he knew Derek’s parents very well as back then he was the land agent for the Shiffner Estate. He sent me the following article that he had written for the Sussex County Magazine in 1939 which was headed The Replanting of Blackcap By B W Howe: It will doubtless be of interest to many readers especially those who love the Downs, to know that Blackcap has been replanted. Blackcap the property of the Captain Sir Henry Shiffner, Bart., of Coombe Place, near Lewes, is a landmark on the summit of the Downs about three miles to the north-west of Lewes, and many are the legends which surround it. Some say that it was originally planted as a guide for smugglers, but, as to this, history does not relate any definite facts. Of recent years it has become very thin and the trees have shown increasing signs of decay. At Sir Henry Shiffner’s request I took steps to preserve the clump from eventual disappearance. Investigation showed that Blackcap comprised 144 trees, of which 85 were beech and the remainder a mixture of sycamore, ash and Corsican pine. The trees looked very unhealthy, and owing to the number of dying branches they had ceased to carry sufficient foliage and were deteriorating from year to year. The soil in which they grew averages 18 to 20 inches in depth, which is considerable for this part of the Downs. The presence of black mould would suggest that the soil was brought there for replanting in years gone by. It is not accounted for by the decay of leaves because the strong winds on the top blow these right away and so there is no accumulation of humus to benefit the soil. I decided to underplant with beech and to make a surround of Austrian pine to provide shelter, Austrian pine being chosen in preference to Corsican pine owing to its greater adaptability to transplanting and to growth on an exposed site on a poor, thin soil. The plants were obtained from a high-lying nursery on the chalk in Hampshire, in order that they should be hardy, also because they were raised on a soil similar to that of our Downs. Before planting I removed all the dead trees by pulling them out with a tractor and steel hawser. Holes were dug for each plant and the hard chalk at the bottom shattered with a crowbar to provide both root drainage and moisture in a drought. The planting was carried out in February of this year, 50 beech and 36 Austrian pines being put in. In order to guard against rabbit damage it was deemed essential to erect a fence, and I hope that visitors will use their understanding and be sympathetic to its rather unsightly appearance and that the addition of some barbed wire will act as a deterrent to those who wish to inside the trees. Chailey Rural Council replanted Blackcap in 1953 to commemorate the Coronation of the Queen. I gathered from the conversations that I had with Bill that Derek’s father helped out with the tractor and steel hawser and donated some of the plants. I feel that it would be fitting if a small plaque could be erected in memory of Bill as a thank you for all that he did to make sure that Blackcap would continue as a landmark for us all to enjoy.


IVY LEAGUE: You may have read in the newspapers last week that ivy was a vital food source for bees, but you may not have realised that this research was done at the University of Sussex and the nectar-collecting bees were going about their business in our own village. They would certainly find a generous amount of ivy to feed off in my garden. Is it my imagination or is ivy much more prolific than it used to be? Almost every tree you look at in the countryside is wound round with ivy, making the trees an eye catching shape in the winter months when the tree’s own leaves have gone. Getting back to the bees, ivy nectar is apparently very rich in sugar and easily found in late summer and early autumn when other flowers are over.

WASH AND BRUSH UP: By the time you read this, Falmer village should be looking very spick and span, as a working party of villagers will have been collecting rubbish and generally smartening the place up.

SPECIAL SERVICE: A group of students were given a private viewing of the He is Risen art exhibition last Tuesday. Rev Colin Lawlor arranged the visit and accompanied the students and one of the artists was on hand to try and answer questions. The exhibition has been getting a lot of visitors and a lot of interest and positive comments. Tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday will be your last chance to catch the show and there will be a short contemplative service at 5pm on Sunday. The service has been devised with the specific artworks and poetry in mind and promises to be something rather special.

MAY FESTIVAL: We are in a unique position here in Falmer being so close to both Brighton and Lewes. My allegiance lies with Lewes as we used to live there, but others in the village favour Brighton. The closeness means that we can join in with major events in both places. This month the Brighton Festival takes place and we are joining in the Festival Fringe with one of the three concerts that we have this month. Clara Ross: Brighton’s best kept secret? is our concert at St Laurence Church on May 11. Clara Ross is a little known Brighton composer (1858-1954) who studied at the RCM and formed a mandolin and guitar band in London; quite something for a woman in those days. Paul Sparks on the mandolin and the vocal group The Carmen Rollers are the performers. The concert has the usual start time of 5.30pm and is free with a retiring collection. We then have another two concerts lined up during May. Details of these concerts are on our page at


FOOTPATHS GROUP: Twenty four members of our group recently stayed in Wallingford for the weekend, a historic town situated on the Thames between Oxford and Reading. On the Friday we walked along the Thames and had a short and chaotic game of Pooh Sticks at the site of the World Poohsticks Championship. As well as the river walks, we also enjoyed walks which took us through picturesque hamlets, woods carpeted with wild flowers and iron age forts all with Didcot power station in the distance. We finished the weekend with a visit to Basildon Park owned by the National Trust. It was a delightful weekend led by Hilda and Graham. Meanwhile, back in Lewes, Wolfgang led a walk around Burwash. It was a joy to walk on the warmest Sunday so far this year. We started the walk from the road with a very steep valley and hill and eventually we took the footpath which dropped down to the River Dudwell, offering magnificent views on the way. We followed the Dudwell valley and after reaching a lane we had an encounter with a Labrador dog which followed us for a long way. We became very concerned as we got closer to the main road. Luckily some people in a garden offered to take custody of the dog and return it to where they thought it might belong. It was with relief that we crossed the road safely and ended the walk at the Wheel Inn pub. The next walk is on Bank Holiday Monday. A mainly flat walk at Isfield. Meet at top North Street car park for a 9.30am start. On Wednesday, May 15, Cliffe Church Hall at 7.30pm, How Green was my Greenland, an illustrated talk by Graham Albon. Visitors welcome.

SALE: Bryan Davies, who runs a costume hire business in Lewes, is holding his first major sale of costumes and props at St Mary’s Social Centre on Saturday May 11 from 9am to 3pm. Bryan supplies various groups with a wide range of costumes, wigs and props. Enquiries to 01273 481004.

BRIDGE CLUB: Tuesday April 16, Duplicate Pairs: 1, Janet Cattermole and Di Johnstone; 2, Ann Wykeham and Susan Louis; 3, Richard Pearson and Rosemary Land. April 23: 1, Janet Cattermole and Di Johnstone; 2, Irene Gannon and Rosemary Land; 3, Paul Allen and Roy Skan. Thursday April 18: 1, Nigel Osmer and Adela Thomas; 2, Ron and Margaret Buddery; 3, Anne Davison and Edith Jeffery. April 25: 1, Peter Cattermole and Jennifer Wilson; 2, Meic Goodyear and Peter Gannon; 3, Ron and Margaret Buddery. Lewes Bridge Club meets Tuesday evenings and Thursday afternoon. Contact number 01273 473026.

AFTERNOON CONCERT at 4pm tomorrow, Saturday, at St John sub Castro Church, Abinger Place. The Danzi Wind Quintet from the Royal Academy of Music will be giving a concert. Tickets £8 or £5 for concessions, or if reserved up to 48 hours in advance (Tel: 01273 475935). All profits go to Action on Hearing Loss and St John’s church.

HOUSE OF FRIENDSHIP Coffee Morning and Sale tomorrow, Saturday, 10am to 12.30pm. Raffle coffee, cakes, cards, clothes, books and more. Come and visit our lovely house and garden in the heart of Lewes.

AN EVENING OF RUSSIAN MUSIC: The Friends of Anne of Cleves House were delighted to welcome the lovely members of the Delphinus Quartet back to Anne of Cleves House again this year for an evening of Russian music. The group of two violins, a viola and a cello grouped themselves around a standard lamp and entranced a packed audience with their playing. The intimate atmosphere was almost like having a quartet playing for you in your own home. We all felt very privileged to have heard them. We are all looking forward to the next event at Anne of Cleves House, when Diana Crook will read new bits from Mrs Henry Dudeney’s diary on Friday May 17 at 7.30pm.


SOUTH MALLING SCHOOL really enjoyed welcoming so many grandparents on Friday for the annual teas. They enjoyed looking at their grandchildren’s work and classrooms before being entertained in the hall by their children singing for them. The sports leaders from Year 5 have been awarded their certificates from Lewes FC and have now started their work. Each Tuesday, they will be leading games and activities at lunchtimes for all to enjoy. On Wednesday a group of keen dancers from the school took part in the Lewes Dance Festival at Priory School. This year the group choreographed their own work and created the dance at home and during their lunchbreaks. The Blue Butterflies class enjoyed a great day at the Herstmonceux Science Centre, learning to be scientists and astronomers. Today (Friday) the school is holding this term’s Parents’ Forum, discussing communication and how the school reports progress to parents. This is a really important event as far as the school is concerned because they recognise how important is parents’ understanding of and involvement in their children’s learning. The Head wants to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all the parents who have completed the parking survey mentioned two weeks ago. Staff will now collate the results and use them to help solve the parking problem around the school.

SOUTH MALLING CHURCH held their annual meeting last Sunday. Ian Graham and Trevor Pearce were re-elected as churchwardens and Laura Cook, Dominic Lyons and Marian Pearce were elected to the parochial church council (PCC). The new electoral roll showed that 11 new members have joined the church in the last year. Members heard that the Church’s Action Plan for last year had gone very well, and agreed a second year under the same headings: Serving the School; Serving the Community and Strengthening the Church. A proposal for South Malling and St John sub Castro to join with Southover Church was also discussed. The departure of their Vicar last month has made it possible to take some real practical steps towards checking out whether this is the right way forward. At South Malling’s request, one of the Southover staff, Revd Jeremy Bamber, will become acting Vicar of South Malling to allow time for the process of consultation to take place and to make sure that South Malling Church continues to thrive. Jeremy will be taking his first service at South Malling this Sunday, Communion at 9.30am. All are welcome.

mobile library

THE LIBRARY will be visiting the following areas this week. Tuesday: Berwick village hall noon to 12.30pm; opposite Lamb Inn, Ripe 2pm to 2.25pm; Laughton village school 2.45pm to 3.30pm.


MY BLOG: Reading the Viva Lewes this week sparked off a couple of memories. Who remembers the old shoe and boot menders which was a small hut at the bottom of Nevill Road? I think it was owned by a Polish man who then moved down to Market Street and I believe he married a Nevill girl by the name of Elaine Booth from North Way. Another memory is regarding the awful bombing in Brighton of Mrs Thatcher. I used to deliver the post to police HQ in Malling. The morning of the bombing I was met at the entrance by a very large policeman with a gun and told to get out of the van and open it up for them to search which is usually not allowed by Royal Mail standards but one got the impression it was not the time to argue.

ST MARY’S UPDATE: The Trustees of St Mary’s Social Centre are very pleased with the progress of the campaign to save St Mary’s from development. Reassurances that MP Norman Baker has obtained from the Chief Executive are very positive, and the Leader of Lewes District Council, Cllr James Page has publicly announced that there will be no redevelopment unless there is public support, but we still have a long way to go before we can ensure that no development will take place. Our 4,000 plus signature petition, which clearly states what the public view is, will be debated at the full council meeting on May 8 which is a public meeting and the Trustees would like as many people as possible to come. It starts at 2.30pm at Pelham House and we need to show the councillors that St Mary’s is an important asset to the community. Also at the meeting a motion is being put forward: This council requests that the Cabinet agree to the removal of St Mary’s from the list of potential redevelopment sites. If passed, when voted on by the full council on May 8, it will be yet another hurdle cleared in our fight to save the Centre and ensure it continues to serve the community. Hope you can make the meeting to show your support.

CHRIST CHURCH: Worship on Sunday at 10.30am will be led by David Coleman and at 6.30pm Rev Geoffrey Whitfield will be leading worship. Next Friday we have our monthly Friendship Lunch between noon and 1.15pm and a warm welcome awaits anyone who would like to come along. Our Tots group celebrated its fifth birthday last week and the tots helped to make a giant paper cake complete with paper candles, there was also some real cake available to celebrate with. On April 24, 30 people at the meeting of the Thinktank enjoyed a talk by Dr Tim Beech, a retired warden shepherd at the Natural England National Nature Reserve at Lullington Heath, on Shepherding the Downs. Nature Conservation and Food Production, and the well-informed discussion afterwards. The speaker described how the downs had been used over many centuries and the thought that was required if they are to be bequeathed for the enjoyment of future generations.

WALLANDS SCHOOL: Enya Stanford took part in a Trampolining competition last weekend. She came second overall claiming silver in the South East regional G competition and qualified to regional F. She was also part of a team of three who came first, claiming gold in the team awards, well done Enya.


CRICKET FIXTURES this weekend are: First XI are away to Uckfield Anderide from 1.30pm. On Sunday they are playing at home against St Lukes CC, this match will start at 2pm.

SUNDAY SERVICES this weekend are Holy Communion at 8am followed with a Family Service at 10.30am. Then at 5pm there will be the Rogation Service at Upper Birchlands, Fletching Common. Lifts are available to church, please book in advance. On Thursday the Ascension Service will take place at 7.30pm.

PLANT SALE: Newick Horticultural Society will be holding a plant sale tomorrow, Saturday, in the Community Centre from 9am till 11.30am. This is a great opportunity to purchase bedding plants, plus vegetable and tomato plants. You will also be able to enjoy a bacon buttie with a cup of coffee.

ON THURSDAY the Afternoon Club are visiting the primary school at 2pm. They will be discussing the future of Newick and find out how the children think Newick should be in the future. I am certain they will have some splendid ideas.

PRODUCTION: The amateur dramatic society’s next production is Our Man in Havana in the village hall from May 8 till Saturday May 11. Doors open at 7.15pm bar open, curtain up at 8pm. Tickets are £9 from or telephone 01825 722985 or 722359, or purchase direct from Newick Butcher.

DIARY DATE: Sutton Hall Gardens will be open on Sunday May 12 from 1pm till 5pm, more details later.

FINGERS CROSSED that the weather for the Bank Holiday will be dry, sunny and warm. Enjoy your weekend.


WHOOPS: In my haste to write this column last week I got the name of the new parish councillor wrong. She is Sally George, not Susan. My apologies both to Sally and my reader if I still have one.

ANOTHER SLIP UP: This time it is not one of mine. Now that makes a change, I hear you say. In the Parish Magazine it states the flower club has a meeting on May 22, but there is an error in the club’s printed programme provided to the mag and the date should be May 15. Please amend your diary dates.

PARISH COUNCILS: Plumpton Parish Council will meet on Tuesday at 7.30pm in the Committee Room at the village hall. The meeting is open to the public. East Chiltington will hold its Annual Parish Meeting in Beechwood Hall, Cooksbridge on Thursday at 7pm and all residents are, of course, welcome. A standard meeting of East Chiltington Parish Council will follow at 7.30pm and this will of course be open to the public.

LOOK AHEAD: Saturday next week will herald that oh, so popular open day at Plumpton College. Not only can one see and appreciate all that goes on (well, most of it) at the college, but there is so much else for the whole family to see and do. Demonstrations, activities, animals at work and to admire, flowers, wines, machinery, it is endless. It is an outing not to be missed and, naturally, there will be no excuse to go hungry or thirsty whilst there. Coupled with this exciting event is the Flower Festival in the adjacent St Michael’s church. This festival will be the work of the floristry department at the college. The church will also be open during Sunday afternoon and there and the annual Flower Festival Evensong in the church at 6.30pm.

LADIES PREPARE: The last race meeting at Plumpton this season will be on Sunday, May 12 when it will be your day. The Ladies’ Day meeting is always a great one for all the family with lots to see and do and that naturally includes some great racing in seven races. The Best Dressed competitions will again feature and offer some fantastic prizes. There will be live music, shopping village, funfair, pony racing finals and more. So, ladies, get those glad rags out and be prepared for a great time with friends and family who are also promised a great afternoon out.

PLAY AREA: After some 20 years of intensive use the play area at the playing field is now in need of major refurbishment. Fundraising has commenced to renew the equipment and expand the overall experience. According to estimates so far received the total cost is likely to be in the region of £70,000. Naturally grants are being sought but funding from local residents will also be required. The Parish Council is helping with finance and general support, but decided not to impose a levy through Council Tax because of the intense financial pressure that some people are under during the current economic crisis. Voluntary contributions are therefore being sought and it is hoped that as many residents as possible will contribute whatever they feel that they can comfortably afford, without detriment to themselves. A leaflet has been produced that gives details of the project and contains suggestions of ways to provide practical help. Copies are available at the village shop. The future of any community relies heavily on its young population, so do please assist in any way possible to ensure that our community can thrive in the future. Happy kids are usually healthy kids and they deserve the opportunity to enjoy both health and happiness. Do play your part in keeping this facility available.


FOOTBALL CLUB: Tomorrow, Saturday, sees the final league fixture for the first team when they play host to near neighbours Hailsham Town. Kick off at The Caburn is 3pm as usual. Although the football season is coming to an end the social side of the club carries on as normal with the following events already planned. On Friday, May 10, from 8pm the very popular seven piece ska/soul/funk band Fat Belly Jones perform at The Caburn Pavilion. Admission is free to the gig and non-members are welcome to this event. The following Friday, May 17, the Ringmer Veterans Team have organised a Race Night to raise funds for injured player Ian Linstrem, who badly broke his leg in the Vets. last game of the season. Any individual or business that would like to sponsor one of the races at this event please contact Micky Turner on Finally tickets are now on sale at the club for A Cabaret of Two Halves which is presented by Hailsham Theatres on June 21 and 22. This is a fun variety show suitable for all ages with singing, dancing, comedy sketches and a live band. Tickets are priced at £8 adults and £6 concessions (U16 and OAPs) and are available from the clubhouse bar. Non-members are welcome.

BRIDGE CLUB: The result of the duplicate pairs played on April 24 was: 1, Liz and Tim Owen; 2, Gill and Tony Spaven; 3, Alan Grindley and Barrie Smith. The club next meets on Wednesday at 7.30pm in the village hall. Contact 01273 814220.

LADIES PAMPER EVENING at Ringmer Primary School on Friday, May 10, between 6.30pm and 10pm. Tickets are available at £5 from Middletons shop, Ringmer Wine Store or the primary school office.

QUIZ NIGHT: Do think about making up a team of six or join one of the Friends of Ringmer teams students, family and friends, all welcome for this evening being held at Ringmer Community College Sixth Form on Friday, May 10, from 7pm to 9.30pm. Tickets £3 per person, to include a fish and chip supper and soft drink, are available from the college reception.

PLANT SALE: Advance notice that this is being held at the Vicarage garden on Saturday, May 11, from 11am to 4pm. Donations of plants would be most welcome and can be brought to the Vicarage on the Friday, afternoon.

BOWLS OPEN MORNING at the Bowls Club on Saturday May 11 from 10am to noon and also an Open Evening on May 14 from 6pm onwards. Anyone interested in this very friendly game should try to go along and have a go. The results of the bowls club matches played last week were Ringmer v West Hoathly 50-71, Ringmer v Frant 80-45, Ringmer v Seaford 59-38 and Ringmer v Mayfield 87-49.

U3A GARDENING: A second gardening group has started up and will meet on the second Tuesday of each month at 2.30pm. There is room for another three or four people to join and anyone interested should speak to Theresa Keen on 813578 before the first meeting on May 14.

rodmell & southease

THE GARDENERS were all out at the weekend, and the hum of lawn mowers filled the air. Motorbikes have also been out in abundance and hundreds of them have been up and down the C7 in the past two weeks. The sun also brings out the open top cars, mainly it seems being driven by the older generation having their last fling at youth. The youngsters seem to drive more cars in bright colours, to be seen as that flash of colour that flies by us staid oldies who drive Skodas etc. I admit to being a Skoda fan of around 20 years.

PROGRAMME: On the subject of cars did you see the programme on BBC Three last week, Licence to Kill? It was a very good programme featuring a young girl named Sophie Morgan who was our neighbour some years ago. Sophie was an 18 year old who had passed her driving test six months earlier when, going too fast, she misjudged a corner on a road in Scotland and has been in a wheelchair ever since. The point she made in this superb programme was that it only took a loss of concentration for a split second or an act of thoughtlessness behind the wheel for lives to be destroyed forever. Evidently there is a successful initiative aimed at young drivers called Safe Drive Stay Alive ( that uses shock tactics to promote safety. Sophie’s programme was very powerful in showing young people how much their lives could be damaged by just one thoughtless act. This young lady has my admiration for her courage and determination to enjoy her life as much as possible and to work for the things she believes in. I think we shall hear and see more of her on TV. Well done Sophie.

OUT AND ABOUT: On Monday, Sussex Spring Sing, a day of song on May Day at the Abergavenny Arms, hosted by Elle Osborne and friends. May 8 sees Monk’s House special event, Crate a Writer’s Notebook with Anna Fewster in the village hall 10am to 5pm, lunch included. This is one of several events by Monk’s House and its garden, taking place throughout this year’s summer season. Booking essential from the shop/reception area or phone 4747860 or see May 12 sees the cricket club’s first fixture of the season against Angmering, 2.30pm start on the sports field. May 13 is the parish council AGM in the village hall at 8pm.

OUR GOAT: A recent B&B guest gave our old goat Tine a new name, Wanneta – One Eater, as he only has one tooth left now at his great age. I thought that was quite humorous. All our animals reach great ages so I must be doing something right.