Piddinghoe

BUILDING BLOCKS: There seems to have been an overdue breakthrough on one of the two building sites that are currently the eyesores of our village and, for sure, the main item of conversation between residents. At what became locally known as The Hole, an area of land at the back of the village hall but facing out onto (the main thoroughfare) The Street, there was on Monday a distinct rumble of machinery from behind the mauve (yes, mauve) fences that surround the plot. it must be assumed, that work has started again at last on building the would-be bungalow/eco dwelling that has been planned there. It is the first action on the site for weeks and a considerable relief to Mr Spence the chap who wants to come and live here in his own house. In fact, he now does. He and M/s Spence have moved into one of the raised bungalows on the exit road towards Newhaven although it is not sure whether they are just renting. The idea, however, is to be close enough to manage the building work that has now finally got going again after a huge lorry brought some heavy machinery on Wednesday last week. It took a miracle of driving for the lorry to get in and out of the village and no doubt there will be more similar problems ahead but this must mean the red-tape that has dogged this project has finally been cut or at least loosened. After more than two years as little more than a hole in the ground it is taking longer than the new Wembley Stadium to complete. Maybe the end is now in (long) sort of sight but as Mr Spence dolefully remarks: Winter is coming now. Meanwhile there are also signs of at least some activity at the other massively-scaffolded building that insults our eyeline and depresses our lives in Piddinghoe, the refurbishment of Malthouse, also on the main through-road. Again, the owners despair of slow progress and admit they are completely in the hands of the constructors. And, looking at it, there seems so much still to do.

ROAD TO RUIN: It is noticeable that somebody has a erected a home-made ‘Please drive carefully’ sign on the C7 road just before the turn-off for Piddinghoe, coming from Southease. Do drivers really have to be warned that this twisting, dilapidated narrow road is dangerous? It should be obvious. Mind you, sometimes it is a road to nowhere - with last Friday week a case in point. Due to a tragic accident near Bishopstone, nearly three miles away (sadly, a fatality was involved), the police took the decision to keep the road open with human, stop-start traffic direction, for up to nine hours. It didn’t really work. It took your correspondent 95 minutes to drive from Piddinghoe to the Blatchington area of Seaford (about 4 miles) and Denton Island Indoor Bowls Club had to cancel their fish-and-chips bingo night because nobody could get there from Seaford, Newhaven, Peacehaven, Lewes or beyond. Had drivers been advised of a diversion, admittedly a long one, during those nine hours it surely would have been a better option than keeping them festering in long queues on the A259, A27 and C7 which were all paralysed.

FILM NIGHT: The next big screen show at the village hall is on Friday October 26, stepping back in time for the 1989-classic Shirley Valentine. It has been also a book and a West End theatre play and the film is actually hilarious. With famous faces like Joanna Lumley, Bernard Hill, Alison Steadman and Tom Conte appearing in their younger days it is strongly-cast but in all honesty a one-woman master-class by Pauline Collins. Some male viewers might not like the strong feminist message it gives, having been sent long before #MeToo, by the way, but the main theme is laughter (some quite rude) £3 on the night, with non-villagers also welcome.

CHURCH SERVICE: This Sunday at St John’s led by Rev Mary Sitwell (8am) and in two weeks time with Rev Tim Miles (9.30am).

PILATES: Tomorrow (Saturday) with Rebecca in the village hall (three sessions, starting 8.15am).

INDOOR SPORTS: Each Wednesday evening from 7.30pm in village hall with all free equipment supplied for darts, table tennis etc.

ART AND KNITTING: With Jill H and her ladies from 2.30pm Thursdays in village hall.

YOGA: Tim Blair’s much-applauded class begins at 6.30pm Thursdays in the village hall.