Commemorative tree-planting

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A tree has been planted at Bateman’s to commemorate the now closed local National Trust branch.

Members of the Bexhill Association of National Trust Members (BANTM) visited the grounds of the nearby Batemans historic house to mark the end of the group which was launched back in 1973.

A lack of volunteers willing to take on committee roles forced the group to call it a day after decades of raising cash for local National Trust properties.

In fact, BANTM had contributed more than £123,000 towards the maintenance and development of local National Trust buildings since 1987.

The group was left with £4,653 which has now been divided equally between properties at Bateman’s, Clergy House Alfriston, Sissinghurst and Smallhythe.

And earlier this week one of BANTM’s oldest members, Phyllis Cresswell, planted an Elliston Pippin apple tree to commemorate the group’s 43 year association with Bateman’s.

BANTM spokesman Pat Keynes said: “It was a lovely sunny day and afterwards we had tea and homemade sponge cake in the restaurant with staff officers, one of whom had travelled from London to be present.

“There will be an inscription in their Book of Commemorations to mark the occasion.”