News from around the clubs - April 2

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Thursday, 1st April 2010, 4:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 8:10 pm

Bexhill Photographic Club

RECENTLY members were enthralled by the tenth John Cocker Panel Competition. This year seven panels were offered up to our esteemed professional member Eddie Sturgeon ARPS our judge for the evening. Mike Pethen submitted a panel in memory of John spelling out his name with the initials of classic cars from a Battle venue; his ten pictures included a Jaguar, Oldsmobile, Humber and a Nissan for example. The overall winner had a similar idea but Ken Plumb used a fruit and vegetable theme i.e.; Salt and Pepper, Lemon Aid and Toffee Apple all in vibrant colour and close up. Eddie commended him and the other six entrants which included Butterflies, Motor Sport, Steam Trains, Iron and Marble Statues. Eddy was pleased to have judged them for the ninth year, after a short tea break we went straight into the last open print competition the fourth of the season. Moody Morning by Vanessa Parker LRPS was the winner in the general class and also the night's best picture. It can be surfed on the internet www.bexhillphotoclub.co.uk under Latest News.

In the Portrait Class Eddie favoured the A3 sized print of The Preacher by Mike Thomas. The Record Class was won by Paul Carrington with his text book photograph of the obverse and reverse of a Victorian gold sovereign.

The Small Print Class was won by Sonia Dunmall for her beautiful portrayal of an Albino Squirrel. Well done Sonia.

John Bryant our chairman gave Eddie the vote of thanks but Eddie said that he was pleased to have seen such confident work and was privileged to have had the opportunely to give his critique during the evening. Now that digital is so much easier to print and create, photo clubs seem to have increased their membership. (certainly in Kent and Sussex). Although slides seem to be in decline digital images are increasing as these are now entered for competition by memory stick, cd or email attachment. Bexhill Club has the facility to compete at club and county level, mainly due to our equipment acquired by a Lottery Grant, including a digital projector, laptop, screen and portrait lighting. Now is the time to join us and see how much easier it is to become a competent club member.

Club details can be obtained from our chairman John Bryant 730758 or visit the website details above.

Bexhill and District Gardens and Allotments Society

DEEP beneath Whitehall under a thick protective concrete slab Winston Churchill and his war cabinet toiled to improvise defences to stem threatened Nazi invasion.

Only a few hundred yards away in a building erected by the subscriptions of the faithful the first meeting was to be held at the war's end of the organisation being founded to safeguard world peace.

In a single day, members of Bexhill and District Gardens and Allotments Society have been given an insight into two of London's most contrasting attractions.

The Cabinet War Rooms were hastily created in the basement of Government buildings as the Second World War loomed.

They were intended to provide a secure base from which the Government and Armed Services chiefs could continue vital war work despite the threatened bombing.

The network of cramped meeting rooms, offices and communications networks were opened in the nick of time. Though far from bomb-proof, the Cabinet War Rooms survived the Blitz intact.

In 1945, the War Cabinet's work over, the complex was sealed. It survives as a time-capsule which, thanks to the Imperial War Museum's work, enables visitors today to glimpse how close Britain came to disaster.

Thanks to chairman Dick Lancaster's planning, society members were able to make the short transfer up the road to Methodist Central Hall.

Here, a guided tour revealed how a guinea-a-head appeal fund among the faithful to mark the centenary of John Wesley's death in 1891 had succeeded in producing the target one million responses.

This was despite the fact that a pound and five pence was a week's wage for most people.

The fund not only built Methodist churches and chapels throughout the land but, by 1912, had built Central Hall.

The magnificently domed structure built in Viennese Baroque style can seat more than 2,000.

It is not only the focal-point for Methodism in the UK but earns its keep as a conference centre.

A plaque on an external wall commemorates Central Hall's contribution to world peace. It hosted the first meeting of the United Nations

Society of Bexhill Museums

AT the first evening lecture to be held in the Education Room of the museum local wheelwright, Dick Carey, of Hooe, gave a talk on his work, interspersed with entertaining anecdotes.

He told us that on leaving school he was apprenticed to Strange, the builders in Terminus Road, specialising in carpentry, as working with wood was his great interest. He chose to work in Bexhill, the other apprenticeship being offered in Battle, as Bexhill was an easier bike ride. Strange closed when he left - he doesn't think there was a connection, and he did general building work, but his hobby was motor bikes - cross country with sidecar. But when his sidecar rider took off for Canada he acquired a pair of driving ponies which have dominated his life ever since.

He started experimenting with building a pair of carriage wheels. Information was hard to obtain as wheelwrights no longer existed, but he discovered one of Strange's employees, then in his 80s, had originally been a wheelwright. By much questioning of him, and persisting with his forgetfulness, he gained enough information to start building a wheel, but eventually purchased a pair of wheels and springs from a governess cart and built his first carriage with a bodywork of laminated plywood.

Inspired by this success he started building wheels using the first pair as a guide. He built a four wheeled vehicle and took it to Somerset for his first attempt at cross-country. In his enthusiasm to complete the vehicle in time he omitted to fully tighten the nuts and by the end of the course whe wheels had moved back 18".

We learnt about artillery and Warner hubs, fitting spokes into them, felloes, spoke shaves, metal channelling for rubber tyres, fitting metal tyres and how he made his own measuring wheel for tyre lengths, based on the old tool used by wheelwrights, but decided a narrow metal tape measure was more practical nowadays. At the end we were shown the brass hub cap from a two-wheeled cart built by the firm of Cornelius in Belle Hill, for Hoads Mill.

All in all a fascinating evening giving us an insight into craftsmanship still existing in our area.

Twenty Ten Club

Following the disappointment of having to cancel the speakers at our two previous meetings because of the snow, we finally had our first get together on March 11 and it was good to see so many people there.

The chairman welcomed everyone and then went on to explain the plans for the future of the club and these include social events at its venue, day coach trips, visits to the theatre and pub lunches, as well as a three day break in November to see the Thursford Christmas Spectacular in Norfolk and at the moment there are a few places remaining.

After our break our two speakers, PC Jason Kemp and PCSO Rachael Scott explained their different roles in the police force, gave us advice on crime prevention and offered us leaflets giving lots of useful information.

Everyone enjoyed the talk, which was followed by several questions from the members. The raffle was drawn and the meeting ended with everyone being thanked for coming and wished a safe journey home.

Our meeting on April 8 is our fish and chips lunch so will start at 1pm, not 2pm, as usual, and we must ask that only those who have booked and paid in advance came for the meal, although anyone wishing to join us at 2pm can, of course, do so, but the meeting will end at 3pm on that day. Please bring own wine and glasses.

We meet on the second Thursday of each month at the Sandhurst Hall, Little Common Community Centre, from 2pm until 4pm. Members and visitors are always welcome. For more information about the club please ring 01424 842946 or 844060.

Little Common WI

THE March meeting was opened by Dorothy Pope with the singing of Jerusalem.

As our birthday party was on St Patrick's Day we were entertained by Louise and Bill with a singalong of everything Irish, followed by a tea party.

The birthday cake was made by Sheila Roskilly. Great fun was had by all.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday April 21 when the guest speaker will be Mrs Kathy Fordham with a talk entitled A Boiler Suit and a White Coat - life on a diversified farm in the 21st century.

For information telephone 734154.

Bexhill Widows, Widowers and Over-55s Singles Club

THE club's annual general meeting was held on February 23, before which members enjoyed a fish and chip supper.

Since then, members have been entertained by "Elvis Presley" and have enjoyed a St Patrick's Day supper of Irish stew.

The club meets each Tuesday at 7.30pm at the Royal British Legion Club, Bexhill, to help people overcome the sense of isolation that living alone can bring. Outings and holidays are arranged.

On April 13 the club marks its 21st anniversary with a buffet supper, and previous members are cordially invited to join the celebration. For further information, please call the secretary on 01424 712803 or the chairman on 07769 270276. New members are always welcome.

Bexhill and District Aircrew Association

THE guest speaker at our meeting on Monday March 8 was Roger McKenna, formerly South London regional manager for the Sue Ryder Foundation, who gave an excellent presentation on the life of Leonard Cheshire VC OM.

The most highly decorated RAF bomber pilot of the Second World War, Cheshire was renowned as an inspiring leader who often placed himself in extreme danger to carry the war to the enemy.

Attached to a UK military mission in the United States in 1945, he was the official British observer of the atomic bomb attack on Nagasaki.

After leaving the RAF he had no plans for the future but on hearing that an old acquaintance, Arthur Dykes, was terminally ill, invited Dykes to live with him at his home, Le Court in Hampshire.

Having learned basic nursing, Cheshire also became a helper at a local hospital.

News of Le Court soon spread and when Dykes died in 1948 there were over twenty seriously ill people staying there.

There was no visible means of support but somehow Cheshire managed to keep it running.

The Cheshire Homes sprang from this modest beginning and eventually became an international organization caring for the terminally ill and disabled.

In 1959 Cheshire married Sue Ryder who had served in the Special Operations Executive and was famous for her work with concentration camp survivors in Poland.

He worked tirelessly for the charity until he died in 1992 and is now remembered primarily for his humanitarian service rather than his outstandingly heroic wartime record.

After his death Sue Ryder became president of the Foundation which now has more than 200 facilities in over 50 countries.

The next meeting on Monday April 12 will feature a talk by the Rev Paul Deeming on his early days in India followed by lunch at Di Paulo's. Details may be obtained from Bill Low.

Royal British Legion Women's Section, Little Common

OUR chairman Mrs H. Turner welcomed members and guests to our Wednesday meeting.

After the exhortation we had a silent time to remember Mrs Edith Solomon the very first member of this Women's Section who sadly died recently.

Upcoming events include our popular spring fair on Saturday May 5 and later on our Christmas fairs on November 13 and December 15.

Mrs Francis Abbott will represent the Section at the national AGM in Blackpool The meeting voted on three proposals to be raised. Two were given a yes vote. Firstly that all standard bearers be provided with a smart standardised uniform throughout the country and secondly for extra winter fuel payments for the over 70s to be paid by the Government in very extreme weather.

Our speaker was Eddy McCall of the Rotary Club of Senlac. He gave a very emotive and interesting talk about an area of Kenya where the local Rotarians are building a clinic for as he described the people the "poorest of the poor".

This area is very remote and far from any centres of support. It takes 16 hours by poor roads from the capital to reach the clinic. The people of Tikeet live in mud huts where the rain comes in. Malaria is rampant as the tribe cannot afford nets to give them protection. Malnutrition is a large factor in the high rate of death in young children.

Our next meeting will be on Wednesday April 14 at 7pm and we welcome old and new members to our friendly group.