GARDEN DELIGHTS: The extensive gardens at the Old Mill House, Plumpton Lane will be open to the public on Sunday between2 and 6pm and there will be tours of the working water mill. Products from the mill will be on sale, plus plants and tombola. Tickets, to include afternoon tea cost just £7.50 (under 16s £2.50) and should be purchased in advance by ringing 01273 891725 or 890070 or or Proceeds go to St Peter and St James Hospice. A lovely afternoon out and all in aid of a worthy, local cause. The weather looks set to be good, too.

WALKIES TIME: Tomorrow (Saturday) The Footpath Society has arranged to meet at Street Lane car park, opposite Ardingly Inn at 2.30pm in readiness to step out on a four mile hike along fields, paths, woodland, the grounds of Ardingly College and the eastern shore of Ardingly reservoir. If you need to know more simply ring 01444 245031. Non-members are always welcome to join in.

FINAL REMINDER: The Scout Barbecue scheduled to be held today has, unfortunately, been cancelled. The reason is unknown, but this used to be such a popular community event that its demise must be a tragedy for village life.

ANYONE FOR TENNIS: Plumpton Tennis Club is to hold an open day on Sunday between 11am and 4pm. A chance to see the new club facilities and to enjoy free tennis, coaching and racquets. Refreshments will be available so volley on down. We have a thriving local club that always welcomes new members of all abilities. Enjoy the game is the simple message.

JUMBLE ALERT: The WI will be staging a jumble sale in the village hall on Saturday, July 11 from 2pm. Book the date and get into training. Only the fittest get the best bargains.

ALL CHANGE: The recently appointed Chief Executive at Plumpton Racecourse quite quickly resigned for what were described as personal reasons. All is not lost as Kate Hills has been appointed in her place. Kate is no stranger to Plumpton as she worked at the course previously in her career. The racecourse is an important part of the village life and economy, so let’s hope it continues to flourish.

LEVEL CROSSING NEWS: Network Rail, as part of its ‘consultation’ process, is to hold a drop-in session in the village hall on Monday, July 13 between 7.30pm and 9pm when locals are invited to hold table discussions with Network Rail representatives from its project teams, who will be available to answer questions and talk through the proposals and rationale behind the decisions made to replace our historic gates with automatic barriers. Members of the Parish Council will also be there as observers and to listen to the comments and views of residents. On a strictly personal note it seems as though Network Rail treats its plans as a fait accompli and that it will impose them come what may. No planning application has been made but £ks have been spent on preparatory works and a date has been set for completion. Does that sound like democracy at work? Safety has been stated as being the prime concern. Funny that, as from what I can gather it is in relation to level crossings that Network Rail has its worst safety record, yet we have had no problems in Plumpton in that regard hitherto. On top of that Plumpton’s station, level crossing, signal box and gatehouse complex may be the last complete, remaining example of the Victorian railway era left in Sussex and there will certainly not be many more elsewhere in the country. But no, let’s make a few signalmen redundant, save money and pretend it’s all in the interests of safety. Cynic? Me? Perish the thought.

FLOWER CLUB TREAT: Members and friends of the Flower Club are reminded that on July 15 the treat will be the Summer Dinner at The Highlands, Uckfield. So, if you have not yet booked and want to enjoy this very sociable activity, now is the time to leap into action. A call tom 01273 890612 could get you booked in.

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