BUILDING UP HOPES: There has been much rejoicing in the village this week with the removal, at last, of the massed scaffolding from around Malthouse, one of two building sights that have long been eyesores here. This must mean that the work on the roof and the upper storey is complete and, indeed, it does look very good from the outside, inspiring memories of how lovely this property used to be. There is still clearly much to do on ground level with the back and side garden area replete with building materials in front of Gill’s cosy cabin which came with the whole deal but it is good to be able to report significant progress on his long-standing issue. By next Spring maybe it will again be a splendid sight to behold. And wait, there is also some movement after weeks of inactivity at the other ‘site’ in The Street, the big hole behind the village hill and in front of poor Fiona’s Dormer House. We reported recently that some heavy-duty trucks had ventured to the scene, laden with large equipment, and in the past couple of days we have observed that the breeze blocks of the side walls of the intended new-build are finally going up. We know this project has been bogged down in red-tape and ill-will for a long time but is it too much to hope now that it is finally moving ahead with some purpose ? It will soon be going into its third year of ‘not getting very far’ and so it is about time, to say the least. We understand the owners and builders of both Malthouse and the The Mauve Hole have been invited to write articles for The Villager magazine (our local magazine that goes to ever household and is due out next month) explaining all the difficulties and why the ‘work’ has taken so long. It seems they are receptive to the idea. It should clear the air a bit.
BOB-A-JOB: Scouting was just for boys in the original concept but a delightful young lady in the village has taken up this idea to help her raise funds to support a deprived village in Tanzania (where she is planning to do voluntary work for three months next year) and other third-world countries. Jenny, 18, is busy enough with her life-guarding job at Seahaven Leisure Centre but has also found time to hire out her services to Piddinghoe householders who might need a lift to the shops, some baby-sitting, dog-walking, gardening, painting and decorating, things like that. Once a upon a time, ‘a Bob’ was one shilling (5p) and worth quite a bit to a Boy Scout but, of course, Jenny is hoping for a little more for the tasks she carries out although any donation,she says, is most acceptable. You can call her on 07732337938 if you have any jobs to be done. People who have already sponsored her say she is a terrifically hard and dedicated worker who can turn her hand to almost anything.
REMEMBRANCE SERVICE: Reverend Mary Sitwell is gathering in various parishioners to help her with the service she will lead at St John’s Church on Sunday evening (6.30pm) November 11, Remembrance Day. There will hymns and prayers and readings appropriate to the occasion and it promises to be quite an event with tributes to those from this area who went off to two World Wars and other conflicts in the name of the mother country. A piper has been engaged to play Battle’s Over and our local squad of bell-ringers will also perform, marking 100 years since the end of First World War. There will also be the normal early morning (8am) service on this, the second Sunday in the month, and an 9.30am service in two weeks on the fourth Sunday (November 25) led by Revd Tim Mills.
WAR AND PEACE: Newly-formed Piddinghoe Players are rehearsing hard for their own Remembrance-themed evening (November 10 at 7.30pm) in the village hall, the day before the church service. There will be song and dance, the odd sketch, and some poetry and music with audience participation. As a group it will be their maiden performance but a core of them have great experience on the stage at different levels. If you haven’t got a ticket now it may well be too late because they have been going well and capacity has been pegged just 30. At £8 a head including a drink and a sandwich it could still be worthwhile, however, applying to Sheila at Old Cottage. All proceeds to The Poppy Appeal.
FILM NIGHT: Initial ideas of another Remembrance-style event via the Village Hall’s Big Screen have been discarded on the grounds that maybe there are enough already this month but it it is still possible that epics such as Oh! What a Lovely War (which we have already shown) and All Quiet on the Western Front are possible presentations in future. Next up instead, though, On Friday November 16 is The Greatest Showman a sparkling, spectacular musical-based production founded on the rise, fall and rise again of Thomas Barnum (of Barnum and Bailey fame). It stars the ubiquitous Hollywood hero Hugh Jackman with Zac Efron, Michele Williams and Rebecca Ferguson plus a host of other performers in a colourful and lively show that will appeal to all. It will be a little different to last week’s presentation of Shirley Valentine, the 1989-made down-to-earth comedy-drama which nonetheless had a profoundly uplifting effect on those of the 14-strong audience who enjoyed it along with a glass of wine and other refreshments.
PILATES: With Rebecca in the village hall tomorrow morning (Saturday). Three hourly sessions from 8.15am.
INDOOR SPORTS: Available in the village hall on Wednesday evenings from 7.30pm. Darts and table tennis equipment freely supplied. No need to book.
ART AND KNITTING: The ladies turn out with brushes and needles at 2.30pm on Thursday afternoons in the village hall. There may also be cakes.
YOGA: Tim Blair’s class in the village hall has been brought forward to 6pm on Thursdays.