D-DAY MEMORIAL SERVICE: On Sunday June 5 (as always the nearest Sunday to June 6, D-Day 1944) for the 16th year since the memorial was built a service was held in the grounds of the Plough Inn, Plumpton, to commemorate all those who served on D-Day and especially the three Polish Spitfire squadrons 302,308 and 317, which flew from our local WW2 airfield. The runways are still recognisable on parts of Heath Farm and Bower Farm which was 131 fighter wing HQ. Sadly I was unable to attend this service but am pleased to have received this report: ‘Thanks must go the contingent of sixteen Royal British Legion Standard bearers from all over Sussex who formed up around the memorial in extremely warm weather conditions. We were also honoured by the presence of two wonderful Polish Veterans Association standards from 309 group Southampton and 11 group London. Many thanks to our Rector Godfrey Broster for reading the prayers before which several wreaths were laid by the British Legion, Polish Scouts and others paying their respects. This was followed by the Last Post played by trumpeter Heidi Watkins ending with a minutes silence and the Reveille. The Polish Club of History Enthusiasts, White Eagle, from Brighton, put on an interesting display of Polish WW2 military hardware in original uniforms. Another group, Project 307 came up from Exeter. The afternoon was very well attended by the Polish community who gave a wonderful rendition of the Polish National Anthem accompanied by violinist Piotre England, including several very elderly Polish veterans some who had fought the Nazis in the Warsaw Uprising. However, apart from a small number of local people it was noticeable that the majority of Plumpton residents were absent, most notably nobody from Plumpton Parish Council, which is a great shame as we have so much history to share with our younger folk. Special thanks must go to Nicole and Mick from the Plough Inn, and Craig Wells who together weeded, repointed loose paving, and repainted the memorial making it look very smart which brought many comments of appreciation. Many thanks for all those who could attend’.
PARISH CELEBRATION: Of Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday takes place on Sunday and starts with a Civic Service at 11am at All Saints Church. This will be followed by a Birthday Concert, performed by The Sussex Police Choir, at 2.30pm in the church and tickets priced at £10 are available from the village shop. After the concert there will be free cream teas, for all in the parish, which have been kindly sponsored by the parish council. It is hoped for fine weather so that the teas can be enjoyed in the Rectory grounds as well as the church.
WALK: With the Footpath Society is on Sunday from Lewes over Malling Nature Reserve to Ringmer; with an optional lunch at Green Man. Return to Lewes via Lower Stoneham. Meet at the Phoenix car park, by Harvey’s brewery, ready to start walking at 10.30am. For more details call the walk leaders Clive and Sandy Washer on 01273 477336 or 07961936989.
PLUMPTON ROMAN VILLA: The Sussex School of Archaeology have comprehensive five-day Excavation Training Courses that start each Monday from June 20 and a range of Saturday Excavation Techniques for Beginners taster days until Saturday July 30. Volunteering opportunities are also available from £5 a day with a maximum charge of £50 for the season. For more details call 01323 811785 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sussexarchaeology.org.
FLOWER CLUB: The club meets on Wednesday at 7.30pm, in the village hall and the demonstrator will be Elfleda Dew with her demonstration titled Spectrum. There is always a raffle giving you the chance of winning one of the arrangements created by the demonstrator. Visitors and prospective members (£2.50 admission) are always welcome.
OPEN GARDENS: In aid of St Peter and St James Hospice takes place on Sunday June 26 from 2pm to 6pm. This year the support group are delighted that twelve gardens, within reasonable walking distance of the village hall, will be open. Tickets will be available on the day from the village hall and participating gardens will be open in East View Fields, Station Road, West Gate and The Riddens; just look for the yellow and green balloons. Afternoon teas and plant sales will now be at Bryndon, Station Road. Entrance costs £5 for all the gardens or £1 for an individual garden, with entrance for children under 14 years free. For more information call Gill on 01273 891218 or Terry on 01273 891256.
JUMBLE SALE: In aid of Honeybees Preschool takes place at the village hall on Saturday June 25. Please take jumble donations to the hall from 9am to midday and do go along at 2pm, there are sure to be lots of bargains. Along with jumble there will be a tombola, refreshments, good as new items, bric-a-brac, books, toys, clothes and linen.
JULY WALKS: With the Footpath Society start with a walk on Saturday July 2 from Old Heathfield Church, roadside parking (Map Ref: 598 203) at 10am. It will be approximately 5 miles and include, undulating terrain, St Dunstan’s Wood, Callers Corner, Warbleton, Vines Cross, Nettlesworth Wood and Heathfield House. For more details call the walk leaders John Pretty on 01825 763923.
RUDE MECHANICALS: This year the Rude Mechanical Theatre Company will be bringing a comedy thriller full of fun, laughter and intrigue to Plumpton on Thursday July 7. And this year also brings a return of the birds who so wowed audiences a few years back. 2016 is the year in which 16 of the characters in Macbyrd are birds including Inspector Seed, the detective pigeon. The play, set in 1940, has two linked stories one human which explore the changes to a small Sussex village threatened with invasion and the impact this has on the people and its social life - the WI, the cricket club, the theatre group. The other takes place in the skies above the village with a power struggle amongst the birds after the swan (a symbol of a certain kind of traditional Englishness and social structure) is murdered by the upstart raven Macbyrd. Pete Talbot, the writer and director, says of Macbyrd that there are echoes of a certain Shakespeare play. Macbyrd is told by the ‘gypsy magpies’ that his time has come and that ‘sleek birds, black against the sky’ will rule. In fact change to the village is because a momentous event is about to happen. ‘Ooman prejudice puts the death of the swan down to gypsies. Amongst the birds it’s the foreigner a rare Indian bush lark which has been swept in by storms. In this cauldron of change the play explores the values and heroism of living an ‘ordinary’ life in the community. The comedy is part the absurdity of the birds’ world and part a comedy of manners; in the ways of country folk, a bit of Foyle’s War, a slice of The Archers and a healthy dollop of The Rudes too. Weather permitting all will be revealed on the Village Green (and if wet in village hall). As usual, you can make a real evening of it by bringing a picnic (doors open at 6pm for picnickers) with Macbyrd starting at 7.30pm. Bring low chairs or blankets to sit on. Tickets are available directly from The Rudes at www.therudemechanicaltheatre.co.uk or 01323 501260 or locally from Kathy Baker at Kathy@HerPlace.co.uk or 01273 890508. Tickets cost adults (18yrs plus) £15, seniors (60yrs plus and retired) £14, students (18yrs plus in FT education) £12, children £8, families (two adults and two children) £38. Join them for what promises to be a truly splendid summer evening of fun and entertainment.
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