THAT’S HALL FOR NOW, FOLKS: Our village hall is one of the few assets left to Piddinghoe which, over the years, has seen the disappearance of a corner shop, a post office, a pub etc. Now we really hope to retain what is left of our community facilities and it would seem the church and the village hall are fundamental to this. There are some clear-thinking people who believe the hall needs to be extended to make it more attractive to residents and thus making it more viably utilised. Other equally clear-thinking people believe, conversely, that this might be a waste of time, energy and money. Who is right? It is hard to tell but improvements might be more difficult to achieve than some believe. We are still waiting for a reply from something called Rampion about a grant application which was made by our parish council quite a while ago now. Meanwhile it appears that progress on a risk assessment for the building needs an update, with the Chairman of the Management Committee advising that the electrics could do with a safety survey and a PAT test for removable appliances. An asbestos survey might also be required, which sounds a little bit scary when you consider all the bad vibes associated with asbestos, but this is felt to be unlikely. Who decides on this ? Meanwhile it has been noted by the PPC that village hall utility costs, heating and lighting and those sort of things, presumably, are very high and need close examination, to which end a meeting between the PPC and Village Hall Committee has been proposed by the former.
ST JOHN THE REDEEMERS: While the village hall might be considered under-used, except for the occasional large event such as the Piddinghoe Players’ War and Peace last November and Tales of Old Times with Gill and Richard a few years ago, our lovely church is still standing despite and being massively improved as a building despite the dismal response that ‘Trojans’ like Mary and Isla receive for their tireless work over the last year or so. This kind couple won’t see it like that, of course, but it is heart-breaking for some that attendances for services at St John’s are still so low, except when there is something like a Carols Service or a Remembrance Service. It is not unusual still to see just three or four in the congregation for the early second Sunday of the month service (8am) or the later (9am) fourth Sunday one. Everybody knows that religion is not for the modern generation but surely everybody should recognise the superb work that has been done inside the church and in the gardens, with special thanks to Chris. Just come and have a look at the wonderful monument we have here, an 11th Century round-towered church that is so rare (although, ironically, there is another example just down the road at Southease) in Sussex. Several neighbours on Village Green have custody of church keys and will happily hand them over to residents or tourists for them to have to have an (accompanied) eyeful.
TEA AND CAKE: Our dear, industrious teenage volunteer, Jenny Cornish, is holding an attractive fund-raising event at her home, 4 Brookside, tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon from 2.30pm to 5.30pm when all are invited, all ages, to come and hear about her plans to visit Africa later this year and help relieve poverty that is rife in several countries there. She will offer tea and cake (also healthier options for those whose New Year Resolutions are still intact) and you can bring your own cake as well.
CALL TO BOOK: Every time you visit the public library in Newhaven High Street you fear it may soon go the way of other redundant versions in Sussex, unless it is used more. Workers and planners there are doing the best they can, including setting up a regular creche and toddlers club in the building, to embellish this attractive facility (which it undoubtedly is) but it is so hard to draw a crowd these days. Here in Piddinghoe we are spoiled for choice, though, with our old-fashioned Red Telephone Box library which was bought by the village from BT some years ago (I believe, for just £1) and brilliantly renovated by local resident Noel who also set it up as our very own lending library. Just pop in and pick a book (there are literally hundreds stacked up) and then when you bring it back (no great hurry) the expectation is that you will also donate one or your own. Simple as that.
FILM NIGHT: Residents have been asked (via email) what movie they would most like to see at the next Film Night at Piddinghoe Village Hall. So far there are two in the running, neither of them new releases but both, undoubtedly, an entertaining watch. They are The Bucket List starring Jack Nicholson and Wesley Snipes from the nineties and La Dolce Vita featuring Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg from the forties. Hopefully, there will be more nominations before the date of the next screening which is Friday February 1. In March the presentation has already been decided, Bohemian Rhapsody.
PILATES: Rebecca’s classes tomorrow (Saturday) morning start at 8.15am in the village hall.
ART AND KNITTING: Jill’s ladies gather in the village hall with brushes and needles at 2.30pm on Thursdays.
YOGA: Come and sign up with Tim Blair’s group from 6.30pm in the village hall on Thursday evenings.