Piddinghoe

PLAYGROUND: Pound-for-pound Piddinghoe must have one of the best play facilities for kids in the county. Lottery-funded, it boasts all sorts of nice swings and roundabouts, a wooden fort and a sandpit, all on soft ground, yet no children. Well, almost none in the village nowadays and most of what few there are all getting pretty big. Still, it is handy when the grandchildren are on occasional visits here and so it was a shame to find it closed for a period recently after the discovery that lots of polystyrene baubles had been tipped into it. Witnesses said it was done not by Gary Barlow but by children who opened up beanbags to dispatch little bundles of toxic waste which could cause a lot of harm if ingested. Our new Parish Council Chairman David had no option but to declare a temporary shut-down but he has worked hard at personally clearing much of the mess himself and then calling in professional contractors to complete the job, at a cost to residents, of course. It is to be hoped that the many mothers and toddlers who come from outside the village to enjoy the facility during the peak of summer, appreciate his efforts.

GRASS ROOTS: We wait now in keen anticipation of the first Piddinghoe grass-cut of the summer which is scheduled, according toe East Sussex Highways, for this Monday. Yes, the overgrown monster on the triangle at the south end exit from the village has already been hacked down into a corn-coloured flatbed by two lads with strimmers but that was under orders from the county council’s inspector who judged it a traffic hazard. A big relief to those of us who have to drive our way out of the village towards Newhaven and Seaford on a daily basis. Now we shall see what kind of proper job they do on the entire village. The Hoe is already looking a picture (including the deserted playground, of course) and it could be the rumour is true that instead of being reduced to just two cuts this year because of compulsory county savings, the normal six will all still take place thanks to the parish council’s decision to pay for it themselves out of available funds. Let’s hope so.

GILL LOVES IT: Despite the worries of many neighbours, village doyen, Gill Simmonds insists she is loving all the hustle and bustle of the building site on her front doorstep at Malthouse. She has, of course, complete independence in her own back-of-the-plot new-age bungalow and enjoys all the activity she rises to see each morning. It is, however, a huge project with that new rood going on the main building amid multiple scaffolding and one suspects she will be as glad as the rest of us when it is finally finished. The same can be said for Mr and Mrs Spence, still waiting to build their new home just behind the village hall but at least that site is now adequately boarded up away from general view.

CHURCH SERVICES: Every second and every fourth Sunday of the month, at 8am and 9.30am respectively. Full details on church porch noticeboard.

CHURCH CONCERT: In aid of the Newhaven Food Bank is today, Friday, with local musicians and singers on stage at St John’s Church from 7.30pm. Tickets £5 on the night (children free).

THE BIG TEA: Will be scoffed on Saturday June 30 from 3.30pm. Cakes, scones, cream and jam plus Harveys and Pimms. Sheila (at Old School) and Mel (Jasmine Cottage) still seek more cake-makers please.

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

INDOOR GAMES: Are on Wednesday free darts, table tennis and board games in village hall from 7.30pm. All welcome.

ART AND KNITTING: With the ladies from 2pm-ish in village hall on Thursday afternoons. There will always be paint, tea and biscuits and sometimes a cake or two.

YOGA: Is on Thursday evenings from 7.30pm with Tim in village hall.