Piddinghoe

BLUE LINE: It seems that so many people have complained again recently about motorists turning off the C7 road and racing through the village in a bid to beat the traffic on the ‘main highway’ towards Newhaven that Sussex Police have now decided to pay special attention to us. They have erected three blue signs at separate locations up and down The Street which warn: Police Speed Check Area. This means, I am told, that police will now keep a firm eye on speedsters here over ‘a period of time’ and ‘take appropriate action’ against them. This reminds me of a time several years ago (this decade) when it was said that a police officer stood for one day in the middle of the village with a hand-held speed-tracking device and pulled over dozens of culprits who clearly transgressed the 20mph limit. Presumably they were all taken to court and fined or even banned. And it certainly seemed to do the trick, if only for a limited spell, with speeding cars noticeably absent for a time. So hooray to the fact that the boys (or mainly girls, possibly) in blue have got their microscope on us again. They might even nab one or two of the vandals and petty burglars who occasionally pass through plus a high-speed cyclist who recently almost cut a local councillor in two when rounding the bend at White Cottage and gave a mouthful of abuse in reply to the said councillor’s understandable cry of protest. Having noticed the blue signs last Friday your correspondent attempted to contact the police through the modern idiom of their internet website, only to receive an email reply to the effect that they couldn’t help with any comment or explanation on local issues as this was a national service. What a waste of space then, except that they did advise me to contact Sussex Police on telephone 101 (an initial instinct). After hanging on patiently for about 30 minutes listening to recorded messages thanking you for your patience. I finally got through to a pleasant young woman who told me the facts which are here reported, although she could not guarantee that a policeman (or woman) would actually be visible any time soon.

WAR AND PEACE: Newly-formed Piddinghoe Players are up and running and ready to serve up a great show in Piddinghoe Village Hall on Saturday November 10, just a day before Remembrance Sunday. This is delightful news so soon after recent moans that since the demise of the Royal Oak Survivors group, there is little of interest or entertainment going on in the village. Now placards are up telling us that this will be an evening of song, dance and drama from 6.30pm onwards and, considering the title and the fact that the weekend of the show marks 100 years since the end of World War I it seems obvious what the theme of the evening will be. For £8 you can obtain entry, a drink and sandwiches. Tickets are available from Sheila at Old School House but slightly concerning is that the limit of the audience can be only 30 people due to the smallness of the auditorium. All, however, is not lost if you should be squeezed out in the rush. On Remembrance Sunday itself 24 hours later Rev Mary Sitwell will lead a special service at 6.30pm in St John’s Church when, across the world, bells will be rung and beacons will be lit signifying the light of peace that emerged (temporarily, it has to be said) from the darkness of war. Our own Bell Ringers in Piddinghoe wish to take part locally and Rev Mary, thinking of the many young men from here who went to fight in the Great War, is putting together a service that will feature the bell-ringers (at the end) preceded by poetry and prose, some hymns and prayers for an enduring peace, just like last year’s service, and also a Piper playing Battle’s Over. It is a rich and extraordinary prospect considering the fabulous acoustics of St John’s and there will be room for all.

FILM NIGHT: An attendance of 30? Oh how ambitious that sounds considering recent turn-outs for our Big Screen productions. Just half that number attended the village hall for the most recent presentation Darkest Hour but, yes, there were extenuating circumstances and the projectionist hopes for better with Shirley Valentine to be screened on Friday October 26. There is a warning though for the gentlemen that this is a movie with a distinct feminist message and slightly rude, even though it was made nearly 20 years ago. Coming soon, The Greatest Showman, (Friday November 16); Bedazzled 1967 (Friday December 21). All £3 on the door (refreshments).

ON AND OFF: Was it the shortest power cut on record in Piddinghoe late Monday afternoon. Timed at 12 seconds. Why?

BUILDING REPORT: Encouragingly, some signs of activity at The Mauve Hole, adjacent to Dormer House, where big machines are humming and trundling away after a gap of several weeks. Similarly it looks busy, busy at the heavily-scaffolded Malthouse rebuild, which has clocked up more than two years in the making and no end in sight. We’ve had reminders that, many moons ago, villagers had to put up with development of three house in Cedarwell Close for much longer than that but it is not the people wanting the properties who are to blame or who are blamed. It seems reasonable to inform the builders on both sites that the admittedly-mighty Barratt Homes promise that the huge project they are pursuing at nearby Peacehaven (Lower Hoddern Farm) should see the first residents moving in by early summer 2019 despite work on it starting only last week.

PILATES: Tomorrow and most Saturday mornings with Rebecca in the village hall. The first of three one-hour sessions start at 8.15am.

INDOOR SPORTS: All equipment available free for table tennis and darts available on Wednesday nights from 7.30pm in the village hall. Board games and cards, too.

ART AND KNITTING: Jill H and the ladies with their paints and teapot 2.30pm to 4.30pm Thursday afternoons in the village hall.

YOGA: Tim’s class starts at 6.30pm on Thursday nights in village hall. Why not join?