News from around the clubs - February 12

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Friday, 12th February 2010, 9:38 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 7:55 pm

Bexhill Hanoverian Study Group

AFTER our Annual General Meeting held on January 19, we return to our season of lectures at the Manor Barn.

On Tuesday February 16 we are delighted to welcome back Mr Hugh Miller.

Last year, he gave a very popular talk on the history of Pevensey Castle.

This time, Mr Miller will be talking about Pevensey Without The Castle, an illustrated tour of the historic village and taking a special look at unusual and little known aspects of Pevensey.

As usual, all are welcome to join us at Manor Barn at 7.30pm.

Is anyone interested in becoming involved in our research and helping to reply to the ever growing international interest in our group?

Our stalwart archivist and secretary Mrs Stella Child wishes to retire at the end of this year and we are hoping that there may be some volunteers to work alongside Mrs Child so that we can have a smooth transfer next January.

Also, has anyone experience of desktop publishing as we need a newsletter editor?

Unfortunately we cannot pay for assistance, but any volunteers would find involvement both fascinating and rewarding.

Please contact Mrs Child (01424 212130) or Mrs Hemingway (01424 842785).

Bexhill and District CSMA Club

THE first lunch club of the year met at the West Station Restaurant in Terminus Road on January 5.

Reports of the fare were excellent, but it seems that a group such as ours, of around 20 diners, must try to book ahead to avoid the long wait to be served, which often happens.

On the other hand it gives plenty of time for good conversation.

Our monthly evening meeting was held on January 19 at the Cooden Beach Hotel with a talk given by one of our members, Ron Gager. His subject was Trains - Real and Model. Ron also set up one of his layouts and gave us a demonstration.

Ron described how he became fascinated by trains at the age of 13 and with teenage friends ranged far and wide in the search for new locomotive sightings.

He also described how he and friends found ways of entering into every railway yard in London as part of their train spotting hobby.

Model rail enthusiasts include many celebraties such as Rod Stewart and Frank Sinatra, and in the UK there are five model rail magazines.

In Germany it is one of the main hobbies and there are 14 rail magazines. In Hamburg there is the Miniatur Wunderland where the finished layout area will be 1,800 square metres and almost 20,000 metres of track.

The statistics for lights, figures, trees, signals etc are mind-boggling. It will be completed in 2014 and will obviously be the Mecca for enthusiasts.

The art has moved on tremendously since most of us were children. Now there is computer control with cows mooing, trains hooting etc and many artists find satisfaction in designing and decorating these miniature models.

Our next monthly club night is on February 16 where, our Chairman Des Hall, will present a fun quiz. Our club night raffles for next year will raise money to support the Brownbread Street Horse Rescue.

We think this is timely in view of the large numbers of horses which have needed to be rescued recently.

The following outings have, so far, been arranged:

May 14 - Visit to the Stone Cross Windmill.

May 21 - Visit to the Brown Bread Street Horse Rescue.

July 7 - Trip from Tenterden to Bodiam on the Kent & East Sussex Railway.

The club is open to a wide range of civil and public servants and their families and we offer a warm welcome to new members.

For further information please contact our secretary, Tony Calton, on 01424 434496.

NHS Retirement Fellowship

THE next meeting of the Fellowship will take place on Monday February 15 at 2pm when we will welcome our guest speaker, Marilyn Wrench, from Hastings Information Centre. Tea and biscuits will be served and an excellent raffle with lovely prizes to be won.

Many thanks go to our very interesting speaker in January, Mr David Gardner of the RNLI, and a good sum was raised by the sale of souvenirs for the charity.

We all look forward to meeting up with old friends and colleagues again.

Anyone wishing to join the local branch of the National NHS Fellowship please contact the secretary on 222246 or 210934 for further details.

Little Common Ladies' Club

THE club resumed on January 27 after the Christmas and New Year break, during which the members held their Christmas dinner at the Cooden Beach Golf club. Fifty-eight members were present, and the meal and service was excellent.

Thank you to everyone at the golf club for making it such a splendid evening. Many thanks also to one of our members, Mrs Doreen Sims, for arranging it.

Our chairman Mrs Patricia Grayling welcomed Mr Nick Carey who had travelled down from Hertfordshire to talk to members and visitors about his experiences as a fire investigation officer.

The number of fires dealt with every year are in excess of 40,000, some of which are minor, whereas a very large number are serious resulting in fatalities.

It is these cases that the investigation officer has to deal with, together with the police and forensic scientists they have to establish how and where the fire started.

One of the cases Nick investigated was the fire on the Cutty Sark. This investigation was very long and drawn out, taking almost two years.

The evening was interesting and at times quite frightening when you realise how easily a fire can start and how quickly it can spread.

Mrs Grayling thanked Mr Carey for a very informed talk.

Our next meeting is on February 24, a social evening when members are invited to bring a friend.

All visitors will be welcome. We meet at the Little Common Community Centre at 7.45pm.

Bexhill and Battle Labour Party

OUR next meeting will be our AGM scheduled for Friday February 19 at 12.30pm at 10 Magdalen Road Bexhill.

After a busy year for our group we have campaigned on both local and national issues we are of course working to support our PPC James Royston in the forthcoming General Election.

Locally we have worked alongside the Friends of St Jude's Women's Refuge,

the local Guide Dogs for the Blind and on national issues such as pensions and health care.

We have also supported the problems of rape against women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo '“ horrendous attacks on women which result in multiple permanent scars and disfigurements.

We have also been long-term supporters of Fairtrade and the forthcoming Fairtrade Fortnight shows what progress has been made as Bexhill achieved Fairtrade status.

We will continue to be involved in the local work done by the Fairtrade Committee including Fairtrade Fortnight from February 22 to March 7 and the laterFfairtrade fashion show at Bexhill College on March 19 at 7.30pm.

We shall we tasting some Fairtrade items and doing our Fairtrade swap for the cause.

New members are always welcome '“ we're a small perfectly formed and lively group talking politics and having some fun.

For more information contact the secretary, Philipa, on 01424 220337.

Highwoods Preservation Society

WHAT'S about in February - spring will have been held up by the recent bout of cold weather.However it will not belong before signs of spring appear. One of the first is the hazel catkins (lambs' tails) coming into flower.

These are the male flowers; the female flowers, which form the nuts, are minute being only about 6/8 mm across and bright red. Some trees carry only male catkins while others have both male and female flowers; there are no female-only trees.The female flowers will usually bloom about a fortnight after the male ones have opened. This is because the hazel is wind-pollinated and the female flowers want to ensure that there is a good supply of male pollen in the air before they open.

Many trees have catkins and perhaps the most beautiful are the catkins on the alder. The best area for these trees is by the large bridge over the stream. The alder catkins are large and later on take on a crimson hue.

Many birds are now thinking of nesting. If the mild weather continues blackbirds and thrushes may be sitting on eggs before the end of the month. There is a general increase in bird song as the days lengthen and birds start to proclaim their territories.Not all birds sing to denote their territory - the great spotted and lesser spotted Woodpeckers drum.They do this by choosing a dead branch and banging their beak on it rapidly (about 20 times per second).The great spotted produces a deep and short drum whereas the lesser spotted's drumming is usually longer and higher pitched, result of it being a smaller bird and choosing thinner branches

Great spotted woodpeckers have increased in numbers in recent years, and they are now frequent visitors to gardens, especially where fat is put out. Even if the month has been cold the woods should resound to the drumming of woodpeckers well before the end of February. Our largest woodpecker the green rarely drums.All three woodpeckers are resident in the woods.

South East Embroiders' Guild

THE next meeting is on Saturday February 20 at St Peter's Community Centre. We are begining the year with a talk from Janet Lawrence on textiles and embroideries from Peru. Janet will be showng us some of her collection. I will also be taking names of those who wish to come to our next workshop on Saturday March 6, the subject is Textured Landscapes with Christine Cooper,which is using machines or handsewing. I will have available lists of things to bring and will also need a 5 deposit.Visitors are welcome to attend meetings or workshops. Contact me, Diana Godbolt, for details on 01424 772785.

Hastings and Rother Decorative and Fine Arts Society

ON Monday February 15 our lecture is entitled Reviled To Revered: Monet In Paris And London, by Lizzie Darbyshire.

The name Claude Monet is known to every member of NADFAS, but how well do you really know his work?

Do you know, for example, which were his first views of Paris or why he came to paint The Thames at Westminster when he did?

Did you know he painted some 12 views of the Gare St Lazare and exhibited seven of them at the third Impressionist exhibition in 1877?

Whilst for us in the 21st century Monet's London series of the 1900s evokes a nostalgic view of the City bathed in light or consumed by fog, do you know what brought him back to London and why and how he set about creating more than 90 London canvasses?

He had a lifelong and well-known love affair with the Seine and the sea, but through his rarer paintings of Paris and London we can explore his artistic growth from reviled Impressionist to revered French artist in a stimulating new way.

Lizzie studied for a Masters Degree at the Courtauld Institute of Art.

She has a wide experience as a freelance lecturer in History of Art, working with fine art societies, at art galleries and museums throughout the country and abroad.

We meet at the Arthur Easton Centre in the grounds of St Michael's Hospice,Upper Maze Hill, St Leonards-on-Sea on the third Monday in every month (except July and August) at 2.30pm.

New members and visitors (4.50 per visit) are always welcome

Further details can be obtained by telephoning the membership secretary, Glenis Malone on 01424 435629, or e-mailing, or visiting our website:

Hastings, Bexhill Organ and Keyboard Society

OUR artist for last month was the very talented Andrew Varley playing his Wersi Abacas.

This was Andrews's second visit to our society having visited us some nine years ago. His varied and imaginative choice of music was very well received by members.

The artist for our next concert on Thursday February 25 is Len Rawle playing a Yamaha HS 8.

Len is well-known for his performances at clubs and festivals throughout the country.

He is also a great enthusiast of the old Theatre and Wurlitzer organs, having played many of them.

Len is also well-known for his informative monthly articles in the Organ And Keyboard Cavalcade.

If you have an interest in playing or just listening to good music, why not join us?

We meet on the last Thursday of each month at Pebsham CP School, School Place, Hastings Road, Bexhill, at 7.30pm.

New members and visitors are always welcome. For further information please ring 01424 214152.

Royal British Legion Women's Section

OUR chairman, with the words of the exhortation, opened our meeting on February 2. She welcomed us back after our break and hoped that we had all enjoyed our Christmas and New Year.

The meeting started with the reading of the minutes, followed by the chairman's and then the treasurer's reports. Two members had been unwell during our break, but were better now.

Our meeting was called Chat and Craft.

Joyce showed us a teddy bear she made, Iris brough along a knitted baby blanket and an embroidered picture, which her son had had framed for her.

Win showed us a knee blanket she had crocheted for Rhona, and this was duly presented.

Other members had brought along knitting they had or were doing.

After everything was admired, we had our chat over tea and biscuits.

Our next meeting is on March 2 and will be a talk on Church embroidery, with slides, from Marion Cantrell.

New members are always welcome. For further details and our programme for 2010, please contact either Joyce Chapman on 01424 731200, or Gillian Bull on 01424 845130.

Bexhill and District Gardens and Allotments Society

MEMBERS of Bexhill and District Gardens and Allotments Society can look forward to a year filled with interest.

The first outing of 2010 will be in March when members will be visiting the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms in London followed by cream tea at Methodist Central Hall.

The annual holiday in April will be eight days in Torquay. Visits will include Babbacombe, Paignton, Totnes, Brixham, Ivybridge and Plymouth.

St Paul's Cathedral and the Tate Modern gallery will be the subject of a day trip in May.

In June, the destination will be the London Wetlands Centre, followed by the Royal Horticultural Society gardens at Wisley in July.

Later in the month, members will be travelling to the Kent County Show at Detling.

The society's annual flower and produce show will be held at the High School's Down Road hall on Wednesday, August 18.

A half-day trip at the end of August will take members to the gardens at Great Dixter at Northiam.

The society holds its annual meeting at Bexhill Leisure Centre this evening at 7.30pm. The guest speaker after the meeting is the Rev Helen Patten on the Guide Dogs for the Blind movement. New members are always welcome. Membership of the society is just 1.

Cooden Millennium Townswomen's Guild

OUR meeting on Wednesday was to celebrate our ninth birthday.

Chairman Mrs Kaye Murphy welcomed representatives from the Federation, our sister guilds in East Sussex and our members and guests.

We thank them for their support and interest.

The chairman asked all present to stand for a few minutes to remember Mrs Joan Hams, one of our own, who died recently. We send her family our deepest sympathy.

Next month is our AGM and members wishing to join the committee were asked to put their names forward.

Our contributions to our chosen charity this year have reached 600. The charity jar alone collected 145. We thank members for their generosity and are inviting St Michael's Hospice to collect our cheque at a future meeting.

The luncheon club is going to West Station for a meal on February 17 at 12noon.

An outing has been arranged to the RHS gardens in Wisley on April 16.

A visit to Ardingly to the County Show is booked for Thursday June 10.

In November, a three-day visit to Thurston in Norfolk to enjoy the Christmas Fair is also being planned.

The 80 guests and members enjoyed our birthday tea which was excellently organised by our catering team, andmuch appreciated by all.

Mrs Joan Jones cooked all the scones that morning and Mrs Doreen Shields made the birthday cake that was delightfully decorated. We thank them very much.

After tea our speaker was author Mr Mel Rees, who entertained us with a humorous view of his growing up as a child in one of the tougher parts of London.

He also talked about the everyday problems that relate from growing old from an amusing angle.

The audience present had a good laugh, especially when being able to associate the happenings with their own observations.

Mr Rees' contribution to the party was an enjoyable finale.

Mrs Murphy thanked everyone for making our party such fun and wished all a safe journey home.

Our next meeting is the AGM on Wednesday March 3 at 2pm at Little Common Community Centre.

We welcome members and visitors to our friendly Guild.

Rotary Club of Bexhill

AT a recent meeting of Bexhill Rotary Club, Brian Cope, who became a member in August 2009, followed in the tradition of new members giving a talk to familiarise the rest of the membership with details about their life so far.

He started by saying that since becoming a member he has had the opportunity to listen to a few such presentations by others and was conscious that whereas, almost without exception, they had told tales of experiencing a variety of occupations and activities in various places, he could only admit to having one job in one place since the beginning of his career. He was a librarian.

During his early years he lived in Barnes, South West London and then when aged six, his family had moved to Westgate for four years where his father was a milkman.

Moving back to Croydon his father took up greengrocery and Brian, at the tender age of 10 took up making bombs out of weedkiller and sugar, keeping his neighbours on their toes with the loud bangs coming from his garden and surrounding area.

Then, three or four years later the family moved to the "Twickenham end" of Isleworth where the loudest noises were aeroplanes overhead approaching Heathrow, the Twickenham roar and the sounds overflowing from the nearby Royal Military School of Music.

Progressing through the local education system he eventually arrived at the sixth form where he was faced with the decision '“"what shall I do now" when the alternatives appeared to be to go into banking or libriarianship and (probably because after all the noises he had to tolerate in recent years he was looking for a quiet life) he chose the latter.

Successful interviews led to him joining the Ealing library service in August 1965 from which he retired in 2001 as head of service.

In between, he had worked in the Acton Reference Library, gained a diploma in librarianship, in 1974 married Yvonne who was also a librarian, gained another Diploma '“ this time in management studies, became responsible for the logistics, fleet and personnel involved in the mobile library service, was promoted through area management to head of the central management team until peaking in 1997 as head of service.

In 2001, although Yvonne was still working (as head of library service in Slough), Brian retired, took on a couple of part time jobs and did a bit of housework including the ironing. Although Yvonne has also now retired, she is doing most of the housework but Brian still does the ironing. Brian joined Langney and Ivor Rotary Club in 2002 and transferred to the Bexhill club when they moved here last year. His interests include music '“ particularly American blues and he plays the guitar.

After answering questions from his audience, Brian was thanked by President Roger and enthusiastically applauded by the membership.

Society of Bexhill Museums

A FULL house at St Augustine's Hall on 3rd February welcomed Michael Chapman of Stone Cross Mill Trust whose talk, Stone Cross and Other Sussex Windmills, was attentively followed.

Very well illustrated by photographs, Mr Chapman took his audience through descriptions of the three main types in Sussex - post, smock and tower windmills.

We were shown local examples of these and it was explained that Stone Cross was a white-rendered tower mill.

This was built in 1876 and worked until 1937, although from 1928 with only one pair of sweeps when gales blew down the other.

During the Second World War the mill played its part as an observation post, manned by Canadian troops, and due to its location on high ground was used as a navigational aid by the Admiralty and RAF and later, during the Cold War, as an echo target for radar.

In 1952 the mill was Grade II* listed and the last owner in the 1990s gave it to the Sussex Mills Group when the Stone Cross Mill Trust was formed who took it over in 1995.

With financial help of the Heritage Lottery Fund and much enthusiasm from the Trust members, work commenced to restore the windmill.

It can be imagined how much restoration work such a project required. With excellent 'before-and-after' photographs and much technical explanation, Mr Chapman showed how Stone Cross Windmill in 2010 stands proud in an excellent and working state.

Visitors are encouraged when the building is open during summer Sunday afternoons to see the results of all this hard work.

The lecture at St Augustine's on February 17 has the intriguing title Undies Galore and will be given by Ann Wise at 2.30pm, when visitors will be very welcome - entrance 3.

Bexhill and District Aircrew Association

THE meeting on Monday February 8 opened with tributes to two branch members who died in January.

Ian Fryer earned the Distinguished Flying Cross as a photographic reconnaissance pilot before pursuing an equally distinguished post-war career in shipping, ultimately holding an honorary consular post while based in Brussels during which time he was appointed a Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Couronne (Belg).

John Pearson, who joined the branch merely a few months before his death, had served as an RAF ground communications officer operating behind enemy lines with Wingate's Chindits under extremely arduous conditions in the Burmese jungle.

After the war he returned to his civilian vocation as an engineer and eventually retired to Hawkhurst, where he was a very active and highly respected member of the local community.

After the remaining branch business had been conducted, Brian Bolton gave an amusingly descriptive account of a holiday tour he and his wife Barbara had taken in the cruise ship Sinfonia.

The ship's original itinerary to sail through the Suez Canal and down the east coast of Africa was abandoned because of pirate activity in the Indian Ocean.

Instead, they embarked at Genoa to take in Valencia, Casablanca, Agadir and Dakar before crossing the line en route to Walvis Bay, Capetown amd Durban, where they finally disembarked to fly back to Heathrow.

The next meeting on Monday March 8 will feature a talk by Roger McKenna about the career of Leonard Cheshire VC.