Piddinghoe

BUILDING UP HOPES: Lewes District Council have posted details of a private planning application to replace the ugly mess that currently festers like a bomb-site between Dormer House at the neck of Village Green and the Village Hall, smack in the centre of the village. After more than two years maybe some light and relief is finally at hand. A four-bedroom dwelling is envisaged by a mature couple whom several residents have already met and regard as likely additions to the locality. We can only hope their plans are not too grandiose, as was the case with the previous owner of the land, because the area of ground in question is not exactly a vast acreage. Obviously there will always be objectors to any plans but it would be nice if an acceptable project gets the go-ahead, even though it will clearly mean awkward disruptions while it is being built. We hear the subject is on the Parish Council’s agenda for their next meeting on Tuesday evening. More will surely be revealed then.

IMAGE: Is all important for a small community like ours. It makes you smile, really, watching that TV series about Britain’s Coastal Villages where old Marjorie from To The Manor Born (aka Penelope Keith) swans around these sprawling, paradisical places where you could fit Piddinghoe into a slightly grubby corner. At the last count we had around 96 houses and about 260 residents, give a few births, deaths and marriages, but we don’t have much to occupy them. There used to be a shop and a post office and, further back, a thriving pub but mostly it is just dwellings, aside from the village hall and the lovely church (which is attended by a precious few). We can at least aspire to peace and tranquility but it must be reported that a dear friend walked with me through The Street and remarked how drab and muddy it looked from when he remembered it before. Thank goodness the streaks of paint on the road have finally faded but the multiple-repairs to the outside of Roe Cottage seem to be dragging on forever and although it is certain Gill Simmonds’s architect nephew will eventually provide a palace fit for a queen for her behind Malthouse this also seems to be taking an age to come to full fruition. Clearly, the gradual groundswell of vehicles (too many of them commercial) is responsible for all the mud in winter and maybe for some of the potholes in the road. It is a cause for concern and I wish somebody would come up with a solution. (Correspondent’s note: I have my own ideas but they would cause rebellion)

FILM NIGHT: Is tonight (Friday) as the village hall goes slightly ‘arty’ with the presentation of Loving Vincent, a fascinating docu-movie, strung together by high technology, vivid imagination and thousands of canvas frames in the style of Vincent van Gogh whose life and mysterious death is the fulcrum of the show. Plenty of famous cinematic caricatures” like Aidan Turner (Poldark) , Helen McCrory (Peaky Blinders) and Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) appear in what, after all, is a colourful whodunnit. £3 on the door. Tea, coffee, biscuits and wine available. Paddington 2 is up next in just three weeks (April 13).

CHURCH SERVICES: St John’s has two Sunday morning services a month (second week 8am, fourth week 9.30am) courtesy of Rev Tim Mills and Rev Mary Sitwell. Keep an eye on the church and village centre noticeboards.

PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: Tuesday in the village hall. Nick Woolger chairman, Julian Petersen clerk, villagers welcome.

PILATES: Tomorrow (Saturday) in the village hall with Rebecca. Three hourly sessions from 8.15am.

INDOOR SPORTS: Wednesdays 7.30pm. Darts, table tennis, board games and cards. All equipment supplied in village hall.

ART AND KNITTING: Thursdays from 2pm to 4pm with the Ladies, tea and biscuits and, sometimes, cake.

YOGA: Tim’s much-applauded class begins at 7.30pm.