Change as well as Spring is in the air for Sidley.
This weekend sees the start of a bright new chapter with the arrival of seven large planters to add colour to the streets.
On Friday at 3pm Sidley residents are invited to meet outside the New Inn for the task of putting out the tubs which were delivered on Monday.
Jay Carroll, chairman of Heart Of Sidley, hopes to welcome new volunteers to help do the work as well as those who just want to watch. The planters are 5ft by 2ft and 2.5ft deep and when full of vibrant blooms he hopes the community will enjoy their effect on the look of the high street.
They will be placed along Ninfield Road in places such as the mini roundabout with Turkey Road, at the entrance to the free car park, on the shopping parade and next to Sidley Green.
This is one of Heart Of Sidley’s plans for the community - the group has been awarded £1 million and has now received £40,000 for projects and £46,800 for staffing and administrative costs this year. The money is ready to be drawn down for their first 12 month plan.
Jay said: “The aim is to have initial impact. A lot of people know now we have got some money and this is one of the immediate things we can do to let people know. This has been a long process but with the first amount of money coming through we are now going to start seeing the benefits.”
Two new noticeboards will go up soon - having been cleared by Rother District Council as well as the county council - and both will be central in the high street. The idea is that this will be an ideal place to make the public aware of any Sidley events going on and they will feature plenty of local information.
“Put it this way,” said Jay, “We have done two lots of leaflet drops door-to-door to everyone in Sidley and that doesn’t work. With these notice boards we can put everything that is happening in the community. It’s another way to reach people. Everywhere else has notice-boards, you see them in all the villages...why we ever lost ours I don’t know.”
Sidley In Bloom is another new community activity about to launch and is aimed at individual residents with the idea of seeing Sidley as a whole being spruced up. Anyone proud of their garden, plot, balcony or windowbox can enter by filling in the entry form available inside Carroll’s grocery shop and there are prizes in each category of £50 for winners with second place getting £25. The closing date for the competition is May 30 and judging will take place on Thursday July 23.
“Its completely free to enter. What we want is to encourage people who take pride in their garden to get involved.”
Also happening soon is the regular community street clean-up which again takes place on the last Thursday every month. The idea is to meet outside the New Inn at 6pm and everyone is welcome to come along and help, but all children under 12 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
The request is for community volunteers to bring along a brush, shovel, or cloth - and get involved. The event will be cancelled if there is wet weather. For details go to Heart Of Sidley facebook page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org