Plumpton

FESTIVE FAIR: Tomorrow (Saturday) will herald another Plumpton Festive Fair but this time under new management. The fair has been a huge success over a period of several years offering mainly local crafts, gifts, foods, drink and a whole lot more to take the strain out of Christmas shopping and all of high quality. It really is a family event presented as a great community celebration. The kids are offered entertainment to give parents and carers a chance to browse and socialise at their own pace. There will be refreshments on hand throughout to further enhance the opportunities to socialise. The High Sheriff of East Sussex will put in an appearance at 2pm. I have also been tipped off to the fact that Santa will be dropping in at about the same time to make a note of Christmas wishes and spread the good tidings of this season of goodwill. I think that Bim, who shouldn’t really, makes sure his pressie list gets into Santa’s hands. It’s a great community occasion with some great purchases of quality up for grabs and St Peter and St James Hospice will benefit totally from the proceeds. Entrance is free.

COME RACING: There will be more horseracing at Plumpton on Monday, despite Network Rail’s avowed attempt to kill the village. The gates will open at 11.30am and there are bound to be some thrilling races that will include a Cheltenham Bonus whereby the winner of the race can qualify for a £60,000 bonus if it goes on to win at the Cheltenham Festival next March. There will be a Christmas theme at the course for this meeting so be sure to attend for a great afternoon of racing.

LEVEL CROSSING: Last week Plumpton Parish Council planning committee considered two applications for Listed Building consent to replace the crossing gates with manually operated (from Three Bridges) barriers on a temporary basis and another to install the same barriers permanently. The committee voted unanimously to support the temporary application to secure the re-opening of the road to relieve the misery inflicted upon the village by Network Rail. However, by a majority of four against one it voted not to support the application to allow the barriers to remain permanently. There is a compromise solution out there that Network Rail has resolutely refused to consider although it acknowledges does exist. The gates can be replicated with lighter, modern materials and the same ‘manually but automated’ mechanism could be use, but that would not fit in with the standardisation policy and would cost more money, but I bet not half as much as Network Rail is now facing because of its current dictatorial and incompetent attitude. The road was there long before the railway, so close the railway and run a shuttle service of buses that might help make up for the loss of business that the bus companies have suffered. I have to stress that these are my personal comments, but my connection with Plumpton goes back way beyond the 30 plus years I have lived here.

SAVE THE CHEETAH: Carole and Paul Nicholson will host an African themed evening on Tuesday, December 1 in the village hall at 7.30pm that will highlight Carole’s recent visit to Namibia during which she was a volunteer in the fight to save the threatened cheetah. There will be an audio/visual presentation plus greetings cards, pictures and, wait for it, beer from Namibia and wine from South Africa on sale. From what I have heard, Carole’s trip was an eye opener and a really memorable experience. Admission will cost £5 and all proceeds will go to the Cheetah Conservation Fund. If you need to, you can find out more on 01273 891725 or carole.nicholson3@virgin.net.

PLUMPTON PARISH COUNCIL: The next meeting will be on Tuesday, December 8 at 7.45pm in the village hall. Open to the public as always.

WALKING OPPORTUNITIES: The Footpath Society welcomes non-members on its regular jaunts and there are several pending. On Wednesday, December 2 the meet will be at Wivelsfield church car park at 10.15am ready for a four and a half plus one mile jaunt that will include lunch at the Fox and Hounds. More detail on 01273 890450. Then on Sunday, December 19 the starting point will be Ashcombe, Plumpton Lane ready for a three and a half mile local trek that will be rewarded by mince pies at the finish. If you just fancy the tea you will still be welcome. Ring 01273 890598 to find out more. On Sunday, January 3 the start point will be Plumpton playing field at 2pm when the walk no 4 of Walks Around Plumpton will be followed, but will cover five miles. More details on 01825 723716.

PLUMPTON YOUTHSPACE: There will be celebrations for the young of Plumpton and East Chiltington on Friday, December 11 when there will be a Christmas themed meeting. Youngsters are invited to wear something festive if they dare and will gain the opportunity to win a £15 iTunes voucher on sign in. There will be a DJ, lucky dip and free festive food. The pool and tennis tables will be open, as will be the tuck shop. It will all take place at the sports pavilion and a great evening is sure to be had.

FLOWER CLUB: The Christmas workshop will be held in the village hall on Wednesday, December 16 starting at 6.30pm. This will be followed by a finger buffet. Non-members will be welcome just as long as they are prepared to fork out £2.50 for the finger buffet. Always a great social evening.

CHURCH SERVICES: On Christmas Eve there will be that oh, so popular family celebration of the Blessing of the Crib in All Saints’ at 4pm, followed by the First Communion of Christmas at 8pm and then Midnight Communion at 11.30pm. On Christmas Day Holy Communion will be taken in East Chiltington at 8.30am and Christmas Day Communion will be celebrated at All Saints’ at 10am.

NEW YEAR JUMBLE: On Saturday, January 2 there will be a jumble sale in the village hall staged by the Short Mat Bowls Club, starting at 2pm. Refreshments, tombola, cakes and all the usual razamataz.

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