Parish pump Uckfield - April 24, 2015

Bodle Street Green

FILM CLUB: The film showing tonight is Pride, directed by Matthew Warchus, and is set during the NUM miners’ strike in 1984. Doors open at 7pm for coffee and cake and the film starts at 7.30pm. Guests are welcome at the door, at £6 per head.

G & S EVENING: Tomorrow evening there is a showing, in the village hall, of The Pirates of Penzance performed by Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House in August 2006. To book tickets, which include a two-course meal, contact Bryan on 01323 833554 or Geoff on 833343.

CHURCH SERVICES: St John’s Bodle Street: 6.30pm Sung Evensong. Warbleton Parish Church: 11am Holy Communion and children’s Sunday Club. St Giles, Dallington: 9.30am Common Worship with Holy Communion.

PARISH COUNCIL: There were only ten candidates for the 11 spaces on the parish council, so there will not be an election this time. It was reported at the Annual Parish Meeting that £15,536 of the £20,000 needed for the extension to the village hall at Bodle Street had been raised, and attention drawn to the G & S evening, see above. For the rest of the meeting please see the Warbleton section.


MUSIC: Tonight, Friday, is music night at the Pavilion in Burwash Common. Local singers and musicians will be there to entertain you. These talented people enjoy giving you an evening of song and music among friendly atmosphere. The licensed bar will be open and you are all welcome to go along.

WEDDING DRESS: St Bartholomew’s Church are holding a Wedding Dress exhibition of beautiful wedding dresses from down the ages. Wedding dresses have been loaned from family archives and are in an array of sizes and colours. The event starts tonight, Friday, with a gala evening from 7pm to 9pm to include a reception of canapés and drinks. Tickets are £10 each from Ros Cloke 01435 884312. Tomorrow, Saturday, the show is from 10am to 4pm. Entrance is by donation. Supervised children’s activities and refreshments will be available.

BATEMAN’S: Tomorrow, Saturday, morning there are two special walks being taken at Bateman’s. The first is a Dawn Walk from 5am to 7am. The magic of the Sussex sunrise helped by the beauty of the Bateman’s estate is a wonderful way to start the day. Add a delicious breakfast and you are set for the day. It costs £15 to join the walk, to book a place please call 01435 882302. Later in the morning a bluebell and wildflower walk will take place at 10am. Explore the estate with the wardens and discover the magic of spring. Follow the paths and fields that Rudyard Kipling took. Again you need to book a place for this so call the above number. Please wear suitable footwear.

PRIZE BINGO: Tomorrow, Saturday, afternoon Burwash Short Mat Bowls Club are hosting a prize bingo session to raise funds for the village hall new windows fund. The doors open at 2pm and eyes down at 2.30pm. This is a fun event that the whole family can enjoy. Twenty four chances to win prizes in the main game, a money game flyer with special prizes for the children. A raffle and refreshments with home made cakes. Entry is free with a book of 12 games for £1. For more details please call Mary Taylor on 01435 882107.

PARTY: A party on the green is planned for Sunday to celebrate St George’s Day. You are all invited to g o along and join in the fun. Take along your own picnic, a barbecue will be available to cook your own bangers. Share your food with others and make a real party of it. There will be games for the children to play including a Maypole for dancing. What fun that was last year, thanks to Rhiannon Rees. You will need to take along your own seating and drinks.

LUNCH: The Burwash Branch of Age UK will have their lunch club meeting on Monday at the Bear Motel from noon. This is open to all members of the public over 55 years. If you would like to join them, please call Jean Plummer on 01435 883483 to book a place. Tell her if you need assistance to get there and she may be able to arrange transport. The cost of the delicious two course meal is £8.

AGM: Burwash Short Mat Bowls Club will be holding their AGM and awards on Monday evening at the village hall from 8pm. The members will meet as usual for Monday roll up at 6.30pm and then settle down to business at 8pm. The club will hear from the chairman, treasurer and captain of the club on how the year has passed. All offices will be up for re-election and the president will give out the trophies to the winners of the cup matches played. The members will then break for the summer.

COFFEE: Ladies of the Burwash Common After 8 Club held another very successful coffee morning. People from Burwash, Heathfield and Mayfield supported the event which was held in the Pavilion at Burwash Common. Jan McCartney says the support, generosity and atmosphere were wonderful and a massive £1,035 was raised for the Air Ambulance and Admiral Nurses. Well done to all those hard working ladies for organising the event and thank you to all those who went along and supported it.


ST GEORGE’S DAY FETE, organised by Chailey Bonfire Society, takes place at Markstakes Corner tomorrow, Saturday, between noon and 4pm. There will be lots of stalls, a car boot sale, displays in the ring, children’s rides and games, tractors and tractor rides, refreshments and a bar. Also a dog show, starting at 12.30pm, entry is on the day and the cost £1 per class. For more information call Clare on 07985112968.

HOG ROAST AND LIVE MUSIC from The Fireworks, along with a bar, will be at Markstakes Corner, from 6.30pm until late tomorrow, Saturday. Tickets at £5 (entry only) are available from The Horns Lodge or via

ST PETER’S CHURCH services this Sunday are Holy Communion at 8am and Parish Communion at 10am. Transport can be arranged by calling Peter Martin on 01825 722680.

FREE CHURCH, at South Chailey, has services this Sunday with Erik Cornelisse at 10.30am and Steve Haggar, to include communion, at 6.30pm. Refreshments will be served after all the services.

LADS VS DADS: Chailey and Newick Colts Cricket Club most anticipated matches of the year take place at the Sports Ground, North Chailey, on Sunday. The warm-up will start at 11am sharp and matches will be played across the age-groups. The cafe will be open and there will be a big club photo at the end.

LONDON MARATHON: Ed Dykes is running the London Marathon on Sunday for Chailey Heritage Foundation. The Foundation receives one London Marathon ticket every five years so Ed is really hoping to make it count. So any support by way of sponsorship will be much appreciated, you can donate at

WINDMILL and Rural Life Museum will be open on Sunday from 3pm to 5pm. The mill houses a rural life museum which includes photographs giving an insight into the history of Chailey. The entry fee is £1 for adults and 50p for children aged 10 to16 years. For more information call John Smith on 01825 723519.

THE CRICKET CLUB NETS are at Plumpton College on Sunday from 6pm to 7pm. If you are looking to play some cricket, either friendly or competitive, you will be made most welcome. The club is always looking to welcome new members into the teams; please call Peter Dembrey on 07709946880 for more details.

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.

CHARITY QUIZ is at the Horns Lodge on Tuesday at 8pm. Teams of up to seven, £2 per person entry. For more information call Linda on 01273 400422.

SHEFFIELD PARK AND GARDEN: On Wednesday from 11am to 1pm and Wednesday May 6 from 2pm to 4pm there are guided bluebell walks available which cost £5 per person. Normal admission applies and more details can be found at

TOY AND RAIL Collectors Fair is on the platforms of Horsted Keynes Station, at the Bluebell Railway, on Saturday May 2 from 10am to 4pm. There will be railway artefacts, model railway equipment and many other goods to be found. Enjoy an all day visit with a train ride as well as the collectors fair; normal travel fares apply.

BARN DANCE: A Fundraising Barn Dance is being held on Saturday May 2 from 7pm in the Memorial Hall at Chailey Heritage Foundation. There will be live music provided by Square the Circle Folk Dance Band, dancing and a hog roast. This event is to raise funds for the Foundation and tickets costing £15 each, which includes a hog roast, are available from GK’s Cafe at Chailey Heritage or by calling 01825 723723.

VOLUNTEERING at the Bluebell Railway. Whether you have skills or no previous experience and can offer at least a day a month you are invited to find out more about volunteering at the Railway. To help you narrow your choice of departments you can ask for a recruitment pack on 01825 720800 or book a place on one of the “find out more” tours; the next tour is on Sunday May 3 from 10.30am until around 4.20pm.

CHAILEY LINK WALK starts at 10am on Monday May 4 from the Sports Ground, North Chailey. The walk is about six and a half miles long, but a short cut is available reducing it to four miles and route brochures will be available. The route linking North and South Chailey is almost totally over footpaths; with stiles adapted to ensure easy access for dogs. It is varied and includes the heathland on the Commons, ancient woodland, splendid bluebells and spectacular views of the South Downs. The walk will be followed by a barbeque for the participants and all children completing the walk will be given a certificate. For more details call John Smith on 01825 723519.

LUNCH CLUB open to everyone is at St Peter’s Church on Thursday, May 7. Delicious, home-cooked lunches including a main course (with a vegetarian option), choice of pudding, tea or coffee, all for £5 will be available in the church from 12.30pm.Do go along for what is proving to be a most enjoyable, social event.

CONCERT is at St Peter’s Church on Saturday May 9 at 7.30pm and features the Mid Sussex Choir, together with soloists, the 4TuneSeekers Barbershop Quartet and Margaret Watson, the harpist. It promises to be an evening of musical delight and there will be refreshments during the interval. Tickets are £10 in advance or £12 on the door, with free entry for accompanied under 16s. Tickets can be obtained from Janet Barnes on 01825 721107 or

SOUTHERN AT WAR weekend takes place on Saturday and Sunday, May 9 and 10, at the Bluebell Railway. There will be displays and concert shows at all the stations. On both Saturday and Sunday there will be flypasts over Horsted Keynes Station subject to weather conditions; one day a Harvard and the other a Hurricane. For more details, contact 01825 720800.

SUPERFAST BROADBAND: BT has just enabled cabinet 3 opposite the Swan for Superfast Broadband. In some cases, download speed will go from its current 2 Mb to between 67Mb and 80Mb.This cabinet serves much of the southern part of South Chailey but Mill Lane is served by the Plumpton exchange which is not yet enabled. The link to check if a phone line can be upgraded to Superfast Fibre Broadband is at

East Hoathly

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING takes place in the village hall at 8pm on Monday. Come and hear what’s been happening in your parish during the last 12 months. Stay around after the brief formalities for a glass (or two) of wine and an informal chat with your parish councillors. All residents of East Hoathly and Halland are very welcome.

SHOW SOCIETY: The Spring Show was held on Saturday April 11. Our entries are increasing every year and for this Spring Show we had 265 entries. The judges commented on the high standard in all the classes. The hall looked wonderful with a beautiful array of daffodils and it was good to see many more children’s entries. Show results: Decorative Classes: P Duke won the Payne Cup for best decorative exhibit. This exhibit, A Musical Show, arrangement was also judged to be the best exhibit in the show overall winning the Turner Cup. Handicraft Classes: Joint first C Mills and R Mills. Horticultural Classes: J Oakley won the Horscroft Trophy for best exhibit in the narcissi/daffodil classes; J Walker won the Moore tankard for the most points in the daffodil/narcissi classes; J Walker won £20 bonus prize for the best rhubarb. Cookery Classes: Jane Tarry won the Cookery Trophy for best exhibit. Children’s Classes: Isabella Freezer won the Junior Challenge Cup. Our next events are Wednesday June 3, visit to RHS Wisley Garden; Sunday July 12, Open Gardens and viewing of garden plots; Saturday September 5, Autumn Show. Hopefully the garden plotters will be bringing lots of vegetables and flowers; Fri November 13, AGM and quiz. New members always welcome. For more information please contact Paul Richardson 01825 840082 or email info@village or visit


CHURCH SERVICES: Church of St Andrew and St Mary the Virgin, Sunday, 10am Parish Communion, 5.30pm Evening Prayer (1662).

POLICE SURGERY: PCSO Chris Cooley will be holding a police surgery in the village hall tomorrow, Saturday, 11am to noon. Please come along and find out about property marking, Neighbourhood Watch, Farm Watch, how to keep your property and outbuildings secure and how to avoid scams.

FLETCHING SINGERS meet on Tuesday at 7.45pm.

PAINTERS’ CLUB meet on Wednesday at 1pm.

100 YEARS AGO: Sussex Express 30 April 1915. Hunting Farmers and The War. The hunting farmers of Britain and their sons have responded nobly to the country’s call To Arms declares a writer in the May number of Baily’s Magazine of Sports and Pastimes. The article also proves that over 1.500 horses owned by Masters of Hounds alone have been taken from their stables; that over 16,000 horses have been secured from the stables of hunt members; that over 3,000 leading members and subscribers to the most prominent packs of hounds have joined the colours, while some 1,500 known followers and farmers’ sons have enlisted. The death-roll has been an exceedingly heavy one. Some hunts have lost as many as a dozen subscribers. Most hunts are today mourning the loss of at least half-a-dozen members. Five Masters or ex-Masters of Hounds are recorded among the killed, and Baily’s list of prominent hunting men who have already fallen is a big one, over 100 strong, showing clearly once again how prominent a part is played by hunting men in the army and by Army men in hunting.

Framfield & Blackboys

VILLAGE MARKET tomorrow, Saturday, 10am to noon at Framfield Memorial Hall. Parking available in school car park. Come along and see the 20 different stalls of homemade cakes, jams, chutneys, plants, crafts, bric-a-brac and many more. Enjoy a cup of tea/coffee and bacon roll while catching up with friends. Look forward to seeing you. Any inquiries call Ann 01825 890182.

Heathfield, Punnetts Town, Broad Oak & Cross in Hand

ST RICHARD’S CHURCH: Sunday, 10am Parish Eucharist with activities for children; Tuesday, 2pm to 4pm Toddler Group in the church hall. Please note change of time. Wednesday, 10am Holy Communion. Sunday, 7pm in St Richard’s Church Hustings, an opportunity to meet all the candidates for the Bexhill and Battle constituency standing in the General election on May 7.

ALL SAINTS, Old Heathfield: 8am Holy Communion (BCP), 11am Family Service. All welcome for coffee after this service. St George’s Broad Oak: 9.30am Family Service with communion. St George’s Day Parade at 2.30 at All Saints, Old Heathfield.

ANNUAL MEETING: The St George’s Annual Parochial Church Meeting is on Monday, 7.30pm at All Saint’s Church.

YOUR VOTE COUNTS’ Hustings Meeting in Heathfield is being presented at St Richard’s Church, Heathfield, on Sunday at 7pm. All five of the prospective candidates for the Battle and Bexhill constituency are attending: Huw Merriman (Conservative); Michelle Thew (Labour); Geoffrey Bastin (UKIP); Jonathan Kent (Green) and Rachel Sadler (LibDem). Each candidate will be given, by the chairman Judge Peter Gower QC, the opportunity to set out their own particular statement before the meeting is opened to the public to ask questions. It is being conducted very much like an Any Questions Evening but without any set questions. The event is open to any elector to attend. The evening is being organised by All Saints’ Church, Old Heathfield and St Richard’s Church with the support of other Heathfield Churches.


FOOTPATHS GROUP: At our Spring Group Meeting last Wednesday, we were treated to a whistle stop tour of all the Sussex Wildlife reserves in East and West Sussex with Michael Blencowe. We were shown beautiful images of the flora and fauna of each site and learnt how each of these reserves had their own special ecological value. We also learnt that it was Lord Rothschild who first brought the concept of Wildlife Reserves in Britain and the history of how it all began. It was a fascinating evening. Our next walk will be on Sunday at Bolney when the bluebells should be at their best. Meet at top North Street car park at 9.30am for a prompt start. New walkers are always welcome.

LEWES GROUP WI: Barcombe Women’s Institute hosted the Spring Lewes Group WI meeting at their stunning village hall on April 14. It was a beautiful sunny evening and everyone savoured the magnificent views across the countryside as well as the delicious buffet supper provided by Barcombe members. The speaker was Gary Enstone, house manager at Batemans, the former home of Rudyard Kipling, about whom Gary revealed many fascinating snippets of information. Kipling was born in Bombay, now Mumbai, but at just six years old was sent back to England for a proper education. His young life was very harsh and difficult and despite clear academic ability, he was refused admission to both Oxford and Cambridge universities because of his birthplace. Within a few years he was said to be the third most well-known person in the world after Queen Victoria and WG Grace. Many people will already know and love much of his literary work but perhaps less well known is his involvement with the Imperial War Graves Commission and that he was a leading figure in the building and dedication of many village war memorials throughout the country. He suffered many tragic events during his life and died in 1936 just a few days before King George V, leading to his death being mainly overlooked as everyone worried about the King’s health. His ashes were buried in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey. Gary Enstone was an excellent speaker, with a wealth of knowledge about Kipling. He will be speaking at the Kingston WI meeting on June 4 in Kingston Parish Hall.

SOUTHOVER CHURCH: If you are in Waitrose this month please don’t forget to pop your green token in the box for the Lewes Contact Centre which helps divided families to stay in contact. This Sunday, after the 10am service (at a little after 11am) Marcus Taylor will once again be selling his delicious jams and chutneys in the porch. Money raised will support two of our church members who currently live in Vinnitsa, Ukraine and work with orphans over the age of 16 who don’t receive any help from the state. On Wednesday the Annual Parish Meeting will take place at 7pm, open to everyone; followed by the Church AGM open only to those on the parish electoral roll. It isn’t too late to become a member of the church: electoral roll forms are available at the back of the church. The AGM will be followed at 8pm by a meeting of the congregations of all three Trinity churches, Southover, St John sub-Castro and South Malling, to discuss the next stage in the process of us hoping to become a single parish. We are pleased to see that work has started on St John sub-Castro church as part of the Trinity project, you may have noticed the scaffolding. Stage 1 includes replacing pews with chairs; installing a new AV system; creating a stage in the chancel; and building an office and a kitchen/café bar. The congregation are temporarily meeting in the church hall, so do join them at a service if you can. We hope this phase of the project will be completed by the end of the summer. On Sunday May 3 at 3.30pm we will have a songs of praise service featuring favourite hymns, accompanied by our choir. To request a hymn please email Services this Sunday: 8am communion (prayer book); 10am morning service, a blend of traditional and contemporary, with choir, organ and band; 11.15am informal service (church hall); 6.30pm informal evening service with singers and band. Please do come and join us.

Mobile Library

MOBILE LIBRARY: Saturday: The School, Rotherfield 12.05pm-12.35pm; Opposite the school, Punnetts Town 2.05pm-2.35pm; Horebeech Lane, Horam 2.55pm-3.45pm.


THE COUNTRY MARKET will be open today, Friday, from 10am to 11am in the village hall.

SERVICES this Sunday at St Mary’s are 8.30am Holy Communion followed at 10.30am with Informal Morning Prayer. Tomorrow, Saturday, the church and churchyard working party will be meeting at 9am. If you could spare some time that morning, you will be most welcome to go along and help.

NEWICK CINEMA will be open in the village hall from 7pm on Sunday. The film, The Imitation Game, will commence at 7.30pm. Tickets £6 on the door or email

PARISH COUNCIL: On Tuesday Newick Parish Council will be holding their last meeting before the Elections on May 7. For those councillors that are standing down, thank you for all your hard work and those that are hoping to be re-elected, good luck on May 7. The meeting will commence at 7.15pm in the Sport Pavilion.

NEWICK CRICKET CLUB will be holding their first friendly Sunday match this week against Waldron at home. The match will commence at 1pm. The junior under 13 years old will commence playing Thursday. The game will be away against Rottingdean and play will start at 6pm.

PRODUCTION: Do not miss a good night out. Newick Amateur Dramatic Society presents Prescription For Murder, a thriller that will keep the amateur detectives among you guessing to the end, by Norman Robbins. May 6 to 9. Curtain up 8pm, bar opens 7.15pm. Raked seating with cushions. Tickets £9 from the box office on 01825 722359/ 01825 722985 for internet bookings or direct from Newick Butchers or at the door on performance nights.


CROQUET: The village Croquet Club began playing again last Sunday in bright sunshine, a real sign that summer’s on its way. There was also a glacial blast funnelling up from the sea, but the members were very British and had their tea and smoked salmon sandwiches outside. The weekly practice evenings began this week and will continue to take place on Tuesdays at 5pm on the Cattam throughout the season. Anyone interested in joining the club can contact Gill Temple at for details.

CRICKET: Last Saturday our village cricket team also commenced its season. They played Chiddingly in their opening game and this coming weekend they have two fixtures, first against Charterhouse Maniacs on Saturday, starting at 2pm at home, and on Sunday against Newick, starting at 1pm away. Tim Hough has stepped down from the presidency after several years, an active period during which the pavilion was rebuilt, and has been succeeded by Jo Butcher who is never less than entertaining with the bat (and at the Star after matches).

QUIZ: Our pub quiz night is on Monday with teams of up to six. Supper and cash prizes, it’s a great way to have a fun evening out with friends for a small cost.

PRIMAVERA: A lovely trio of violin, viola and cello from Primavera will play at All Saints’ on Sunday June 14 at 7pm in aid of the Friends of Waldron Churches. The programme sounds positively scrumptious with music by Beethoven, Françaix, Schubert and Dohnanyi. Tickets are £20 (premium seats) and £18 (partial view) available from Cards and More, High Street, Horam, or by post from Mary R Manser, Little Paygate, Horam TN21 0JE, enclosing a cheque made out to the Friends of Waldron Churches and a stamped, self-addressed envelope. This promises to be a sell-out performance so book your tickets promptly.

TRAVELLING PLAYERS: In the grand tradition of travelling players bringing their latest production to the villages of Britain, a tradition which goes back at least as far as Shakespeare, the Rude Mechanicals will be touring the Wealden area this summer and they’ll be stopping off at Waldron for one night on Thursday August 13 at 7.30pm. The Comedy of Babi Babbett is set in Islington in 1793, and is a farce which should have us all rolling in the aisles, or even on the grass. A key clue to the plot goes something like this: Rich men are very attractive. There’s nothing so romantic as the creak in the moonlight of a chequebook opening. Sounds alarmingly modern. More titillating details of the plot coming shortly. For all devotees of the Rudes, book your tickets online at Adults £13, seniors £12, students £10, children £7, families £33. Large groups of ten or more get their tickets for £11 each when booking together and for this, contact the central box office on 01323 501260. Bring picnics or book a table at the Star (01435 812495) for pre-performance supper. Bring low-backed chairs and don’t forget to dress warmly, as even in August...well, you know the rest.

WALKING FEST: There will be a Walking Festival this year in Wealden and Eastbourne from September 26 to October 4 and details are now being trailed in the distinctive shape of a cheerful cardboard boot with a map on one side and an outline of events on the other. There will be 30 free walks over nine days through some of our loveliest villages and countryside, including Waldron (naturally). Some of the walks will be themed covering history, literature, nature and even a breweries walk, so there will be something for everyone. The walks will also be suitable for all ages and abilities. A full printed programme will be available in July but for the time being pencil the dates of the event in your diaries. More details as they become available.

SERVICES: This weekend’s Sunday services will both be at St Bartholomew’s with Holy Communion at 8am and Parish Eucharist at 10am followed by coffee.

Warbleton & Rushlake Green

FATAL ENCOUNTER: Members of the Village Players can obtain their tickets in person on Saturday morning at the Dunn Village Hall from 11am to noon. They will be available to the public, via the VP website from Monday, remember to include Rushlake Green when searching for it. The play, by Francis Durbridge, is being performed from May 13 to 16. Plans are well advanced for our Victorian Christmas evening on November 28 and we will be putting on Cinderella The Pantomime from 3 to 6 February 2016.

HISTORY GROUP: We have two walks organised in the next few weeks. The first is our annual (24th) Cowslip walk starting from the Berwick Church car park at 2pm tomorrow Saturday. The second is also flower related and is a Bluebell walk on Wednesday meeting at the Simon Turner forecourt (by kind permission) in Cowbeech at 7pm. Our next meeting is on May 11 at 7.30pm for 8pm, when Ken Brooks will relate to us the history of the America Ground at Hastings.

CHURCH SERVICES: Warbleton Parish Church: 11am Holy Communion and children’s Sunday Club. The APCM was held on Monday evening. Jennifer Gill and Jonathan Austin were re-elected as churchwardens. Vivian Bowern and David Cleverley continue as Deanery Synod representatives. Jane Atherden, Andrew Russell (treasurer), Shirley Austin, Tony Welford, Barbara Cooke, Meryl Clark and Judith Hemsley (secretary) were elected to the PCC. Caroline Thompson stood down from the PCC this year and was thanked for her service. St John’s Bodle Street: 6.30pm Sung Evensong. St Giles, Dallington: 9.30am Common Worship with Holy Communion. Heathfield Chapel: 11am and 6.30pm services led by Leslie Message of the Belgian Evangelical Mission.

BAND CONCERT: Warbleton Brass Band Spring Concert, with refreshments served, is on Sunday at 2pm in the Dunn Village Hall. There is no entry fee, just a retiring collection. A good opportunity to enjoy splendid music in a relaxed atmosphere.

HUSTINGS: The churches in Heathfield are putting on an election hustings meeting at St Richards Church, Heathfield, at 7pm on Sunday. All are welcome and at least five candidates for the Bexhill and Battle constituency will be present to answer questions from the audience.

POST OFFICE: Technical problems meant that the opening of the Post Office at The Stores was delayed by 24 hours until Saturday morning, but I am pleased to report that it is now open. The official opening by the vice Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Sara Stoner, will have taken place yesterday, and I will report on that next week.

PARISH COUNCIL: There were only ten candidates for the 11 spaces on the parish council, so there will not be an election this time. Cllrs David Turton and Peter Holland stood down this year and were thanked for all their hard work over the past four years, at the Annual Parish Meeting last week, as was Cllr Nigel McKeeman, one of our district councillors, who is also not seeking re-election. Nigel has been the driving force behind getting defibrillators installed in the villages in his ward, and elsewhere. The ones at Bodle Street and Rushlake Green are well on the way to being installed, and plans for ones at Three Cups and Punnetts Town are at the planning and fund raising stage. He thanked the ‘angels’ who have made donations to the project, and the parish council for its contribution of £1,000. Cllr Chris Wells reported that Warbleton Charity distributed 47 hampers at Christmas and gave a grant to a law student, to help with their studies. Lionel Daw has stood down from the committee and Cllr David Powell and Barry Leeves have joined it. Cllr Turton reported that the village hall bookings were up, and the committee had a new treasurer, Nick Morgan. The precept (the council’s part of the council tax) will rise by just under two per cent, to compensate for the reduction of grant from the government. Careful fiscal management has allowed the rolling restoration programme of the finger posts and the grant towards the de-fibs. Thanks were expressed to those landowners who have accepted their responsibility to cut back their roadside hedges. Those who haven’t will be more vigorously pursued by the Highways Dept of ESCC. Chris Wells was thanked for his work on this and also in getting action on the two areas subject to flooding a couple of months back. The planning committee had 32 applications to consider last year and supported 28 of them. Duties prevented anyone from Sussex Police attending but Cllr Simmonds said that Heathfield Police station would continue to be operational.

TELEPHONES: You may have noticed cabling work going on along the telephone pole routes. I gather this is to provide copper wiring, to replace the aluminium cables that are at present serving our properties. This is in preparation for the super-fast broadband, which needs the copper cabling.