MARCH: The month has certainly lived up to its reputation for ‘coming in like a lion’, with the recent high winds, a nasty shock to the system after last month’s balmy temperatures. Let’s hope that the other half of the weather prediction (that the month ‘goes out like a lamb’) also holds true. The trees have been shedding small sticks all over the lanes, a gift for nesting birds. But spring is definitely on its way, with cushions of primroses starring the roadside banks, brilliant displays of daffodils, the long lamb’s tails hanging from the hazel, and ‘sticky buds’ preceding the lime green fuzz of early leaves. I just love spring with all its promise and can’t help thinking how lucky we are to live here.
AIRSHIPS: For those of you interested in this area’s local history in the First World War, there’s a fascinating exhibition this month. Airships were built in the Willingdon area and it is this aspect of our history which will be on display at Trinity Church, Coppice Avenue, Willingdon, over the next three weekends. Entrance is free and the exhibition will be open tomorrow Saturday, from 11am till 4pm and Sunday from noon till 3pm; then on Saturday March 23, from 11am till 4pm; Saturday March 30 from 11am till 4pm and Sunday March 31 from noon till 3pm. John Chambers, who has provided many of the exhibits, tells me that his father Bill worked at the airfield during the First World War.
ROADWORKS: The usual annual scramble in March to spend the Highways budget before the end of the financial year is on and drivers need to be alert to sudden and unexpected road closures. Back Lane, Waldron is closed from the top of Whitehouse Lane towards Heathfield via New Pond Hill for three weeks, but when I last looked you could still drive up Back Lane. Warning signs of the closure stretch right back to Lions Green, which is confusing. The A22 is closed at Halland until the end of March at night (and controlled by lights during the day). However, the promised repairs in Firgrove Road have, I hear, been postponed until April and will be for patching only, so will not require closure. Lights for building works are operating on the Cross in Hand to Halland road (building going on at the old Blackboys garage site) but delays aren’t long.
PUB QUIZ: Advance warning that there will be a Mad March Quiz in aid of the Hospices, at the pub on April 1. Cost will be £15 per head, including a two-course supper, raffle and cash prizes. Teams will be of six people as usual and you’re advised to book in advance.
SPECIALS: String Theory will be making an appearance at The Star on Sunday March 24 from 12.30pm with their own particular brand of string-driven swing to make our spring cheery (they suggest). The following weekend we’ll be putting our clocks on an hour (can’t wait) and on Sunday March 31 it will be Mothering Sunday. There will be a special menu at the pub (ask the staff to see it this week) for you to spoil your Mother with a lovely meal that she hasn’t had to cook herself.
SERVICES: This coming Sunday will be the second in Lent and services will be held at All Saints’, at 8am for Holy Communion at which George will preside and preach and at 10am for Parish Matins when Richard Maylam will lead and Andy Delves will preach. Family Support Work (FSW) is asking us to bring items for lunch for families in need. The following week’s collection will target items for supper. Immediately after this week’s service there will be the Annual PCC meeting, everyone welcome, over coffee and cake.