RAILWAY ENTHUSIASTS AWAKE: No I do not refer to the single supporter of Network Rail, but to model railway devotees and there are many of those. Tomorrow (Saturday) there will be another model railway show in the village hall running from 10.30am until 4pm. There will be some interesting, working layouts on display, together with many other enthusiasts just yearning to swap ideas and knowledge. There will probably also be stalls offering equipment for sale. A fascinating display for the whole family. Refreshments will be provided by the Tennis Club.

LIKE TENNIS?: There will be a men’s doubles tournament at the Tennis Club on Sunday at the Tennis Club from 9.45am until 4pm. Pairs from all over the county will be competing.

HARVEST FESTIVAL: There will be a celebration at East Chiltington church on Sunday at 10.30am. All welcome to take part in this thanksgiving that is so important to our local farming community, as well as the consumers.

NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN: Last week’s drop in session to disclose the Steering Group’s recommendations for the allocation of sites for development attracted around 154 visitors which is near enough 10 per cent of the population. The other 90 percent were trying to find the location of the Apathy Society meeting. The plan will now be completed and sent to Lewes District Council after which it will be considered by an inspector. Following that there will be a full public consultation prior to a referendum and hopefully adoption of the plan, which will then give the village a positive influence over how the enforced development will be distributed. over Some will welcome it, but a few are bound to hate it The Steering Group’s recommendations are based on a very thorough and objective approach in an attempt to get the best for the village as a whole. Hours and hours of work have been undertaken by volunteers who really do care.

RUSH TO WAITROSE: During September one of the community projects at Waitrose, Lewes is Plumpton Youthspace, our successful village facility for the youthof Plumpton and East Chiltington. So hurry on down and grab as many of those green tokens as you can to pop into the Plumpton Youthspace box. Our youngsters deserve it! This is not a commercial for Waitrose, but if you shop there you have a chance to support this local cause. John Moore, a stalwart in getting this project off the ground, has now retired from office, but not involvement, because of other pressures on his time. Luckily Susan Whittaker has stepped into the breach and has taken over the duties of secretary/co-ordinator to assist others in the small but dedicated team. Youthspace was kick-started and is still overseen by Plumpton Village Action Plan until such time as it can become totally independent.

LEVEL CROSSING: The Listed Building application to replace the level crossing gates with barriers will be heard at the meeting of Lewes District Council planning committee on September 30 at 5pm at County Hall in Lewes. Planning officers recommend approval. The Parish Council will be making representations. Our District Councillor will be unable to attend the meeting and our County Councillor, also District Councillor, is a member of the planning committee so must adopt a neutral stance. That is not particularly helpful for the village, but we can only give it our best shot and hope that David may triumph over Goliath. Plumpton, through the Parish Council, has endeavoured to compromise in the situation but the only changes made by Network Rail have been made to fit in with its own inflexible strategy.

ANTI SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR: There are still some incidents in the village, although they are not currently at a high level. However, I am assured that the police are literally still on the case and officers are vigilant and well aware of potential sources.

PLUMPTON SOCCER THRIVES: Youth football in the village is on an upward spiral and our local club now has over 100 members. This has got to be great for the future of sport, but not just football, in the village. If our young people are active in sport now it should mean that senior sport will get back to its former enthusiasm and glory in the future. There are some devoted and hardworking adults out there making this all happen and the kids are loving it.

WORKING WITH CHEETAHS: As many will know, Carole Nicholson is out in Africa as a volunteer involved in the conservation of Cheetahs. She is keeping a diary and taking some fab pics during her work, which is quite demanding for a volunteer. This includes rising at 4am and preparing dinner for over 20 cheetahs. I only hope that she does not present the same menu for Paul when she returns as I do not think he will be impressed with a diet of meat from ‘retired’ horses and donkeys, coated with substances usually found in offal that forms part of the natural wildcat diet. These are not flippant or uncaring comments. Creatures of the wild do feed off each other and the animals used as food have reached the end of their natural lives but contribute to the sustainability of wildlife in the future and the killing is humane rather than brutal. We have a duty to play a part in that conservation, otherwise everything in life will be reduced to intensive farming, motorways and technology that dictates our lives.

AT PEACE: Following her tragic demise, Sue Bromwich was laid to rest last week in what has been described as a touching Quaker ceremony in Lewes that was attended by many locals. I am sure that it is the wish of all that she has, indeed, now found peace. This may be through the afterlife or total closure, I do not know the conclusion, but RIP must be the message.

POPULATION EXPLOSION: I try not to become personally involved in my writings in this column. However, for those not involved in that farce called Facebook where everything personal is laid bare for the world to see, I am proud to announce that I am due to be a Grandpa (aka Grumps) twice more. Matthew’s wife Becky is due to give birth on New Year’s Eve and Helena is due to produce a second daughter towards the end of February. Little wonder that I look older by the day. That’ll bring the tally of grandchildren to five – expensive but lovely.

PLUMPTON COLLAGE: It has been announced that, following Des Lambert’s retirement, a new principal in the shape of Jeremy Kerswell has been appointed. He has a hard act to follow, but we all wish him every success. Naturally, we also wish Des many happy years of grazing.

DOMESTIC ABUSE: This week I attended a meeting at which the police and a charity representative spoke on this serious and all too common crime. There is a fear that amongst rural communities there is a very low rate of reporting of incidents and this needs to cease. We are not just talking about violence or sexual assault but other forms of abuse that involve coercion, blackmail and degradation in various forms. Hopefully there will be more efforts to combat the issue but, from what I saw, the lead will be taken by charitable and other volunteer groups.

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