News from around the clubs - October 1

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Thursday, 30th September 2010, 4:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 9:27 pm

Little Common Horticultural Society

MICK Lynn came to talk to us about Gardening and Bees, saying the best way we can help the insects' dwindling population is by choosing to grow plants and shrubs of a type, and in a way, that they will appreciate.

For instance, growing shrubs with uncomplicated flowers; growing the largest number of daisy-like flowers to provide a good landing area in the smallest space; growing anything with masses of flowers, such as Ceanothus, Philadelphus, Buddliea, Hebe and single roses.

We all know we need bees for pollination, but many were unaware that these hard-working insects must fly 55,000 miles to provide us with just one pound of honey.

It seems, as a nation, we have been bee-keeping for many thousands of years but if we want to help them now we must provide nectar plants in our gardens, since the farmers have eliminated the wild flowers - which they call weeds - from the fields and hedgerows. Bees also need water, so people are asked to keep bird baths and containers topped up

Our show secretary reported that, as we all thought at the time, this year's annual show was the best for many years. Entries were up and we made sufficient profit to wipe out the debt of the last few years.

We also had a wonderful monthly show with many more members contributing, and the Reg Wells cup for the best dahlias on show was awarded to Brian Croft.

There are still some places available for the half-day outing to Hole Park on Wednesday, October 13 - please contact our outings organiser on 01424 843088. At our next meeting, on Friday, October 8, David Lang will talk about A Long, Thin Journey. Sounds interesting!

Bexhill Gardens and Allotments Society

WE had fine weather for our journey to Louth in Lincolnshire, staying for our September break at the Kenwick Park Hotel, where friendly staff and excellent food ensured we were made most welcome.

En route there were stops at Birchanger Services and Peterborough and our journey took us via Spalding and Boston. The following day we spent a couple of hours exploring Louth before lunching at the Woodthorpe Garden Centre.

The afternoon brought a lovely ride round, directed by chairman C R Lancaster's daughter, Nicky, who knows Lincolnshire well, and she showed us something of the Wolds before we visited the Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby, home to a Second World War Avro Lancaster bomber.

Friday brought an early start for a trip to Harrogate's autumn show - a wonderful event which would have taken an extra day and fresh pairs of legs to see it all.

We returned to Bexhill on Saturday, stopping en route at the Bay Tree Garden Centre and once more at Birchanger Services. A big thank you to our driver, Peter.

The Twenty Ten Club

ALTHOUGH several members were on holiday for our September meeting, there was still a good attendance for an illustrated talk by Hugh Miller about his Pevensey childhood during the war.

Many of his slides rekindled memories for a lot of us who had also beenm wartime children, including the gas masks, the Anderson and Morrison shelters and the Doodlebugs, which made everyone afraid when the engines cut.

This month also saw 41 members and guests enjoying a day trip to Windsor, with free time in the morning and a river trip to Maidenhead in the afternoon. We have a pub lunch arranged for September 30.

October 14 is our fish-and-chips lunch day and will start at 1pm, not 2pm as usual. Members are reminded that the meal should have been ordered and paid for at our last meeting.

Anyone who was unable to do so can still book if they telephone 01424 842946 no later than October 7.

We are often asked what our club does. It was formed at the start of 2010 to encourage retired men and women to meet and socialise, and there are still a few places left on our membership list.

Meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month in the Sandhurst Hall, Little Common Community Centre, from 2pm to 4pm.

As well as having speakers at most meetings, we enjoy day trips, pub lunches and have one short break later this year to see the Thursford Christmas Spectacular.

Later we hope to organise some theatre trips, and we are already thinking of a five-day holiday next year.

Sidley Friendship Club

Sidley Friendship Club held its monthly meeting on Monday September 20.

Jenny our chairperson told us through the sponsorship of the Bexhill Observer we had been awarded a highly commended plaque for our club, through the Achievers Awards. We also discussed the forthcoming AGM to be held in October with Mr Stuart Earl as a speaker.

To pay for extras, the entrance fee might to be going up to 2.

We also talked about forthcoming events for the next year. The meeting finished with a quiz and tea which was enjoyed by all.

Bexhill Royal British Legion Women's Section

Our chairman, who said the exhortation, opened our meeting on September 7, which was our Harvest Basket. All the ladies had brought either fresh, some from their own gardens, or tinned fruit and vegetables, in a basket or container to be auctioned off later in the meeting.

As we did not have a speaker this month, we started straight away with the reports from the chairman, the secretary and the treasurer.

As October is our AGM, the committee were asked if they would stand for another term. All agreed to stand if voted in. Members were asked to fill in the ballot papers on their tables.

It was decided to have a lunch, instead of a cream tea, for our outing next July, so various venues will have to be tried by the committee.

Jenny said that Joan had given up the tenancy of her flat, and was living with her son, prior to finding sheltered accommodation. Her dog, Polly, had recently died.

Iris said vandals had broken windows in her block of flats. It had been reported in the local press; fortunately her flat had not been involved.

Another Joan was unwell, and has been taken in to hospital; hopefully she will be out soon. Our best wishes were sent to her, both for a speedy recovery and for her birthday. Florrie and Joyce supplied sandwiches and cakes for our tea, to celebrate their birthdays, one that was just before and the other the next day, after our meeting. Both thanked everyone for their cards, and we thanked them for our tea.

After tea, Jenny became our auctioneer and the harvest baskets raised 30 towards the Poppy Appeal.

Our next meeting is on October 19 and is our AGM. We will also be having a bring and buy sale in aid of the poppy appeal.

New members are always welcome. Please contact either Joyce Chapman on 01424 731200 or Gillian Bull on 01424 845130.

Further to our meeting, we heard that Daphne Hall, who had been a member with us since 1999, had passed away on September 13. His funeral was on September 23 at Hastings Crematorium. Our thoughts go out to her family at this time of sorrow.

Bexhill Alliance

BEXHILL Alliance members recently attended site visits to the West Parade seafront development scheme to be briefed by Janice Windle, the project manager, on the plans and progress for the regeneration of the seafront and the Colonnade.

Starting at the Colonnade, Ms Windle explained that the present secondary wall and the boundary wall to the cafeteria will be removed and glazed opening panels across the whole radius of the Colonnade will be installed.

The intention is to create an attractive and flexible restaurant/cafe venue for further development by a leaseholder but Ms Windle was unable to comment further on the restaurant concept or the business arrangements for this.

The concept of the "kiosks" was also explained, with the council's aspiration that these should be used as retail/fast-food and similar outlets.

Members were also briefed on the arrangements for the new Bexhill Rowing Club boathouse, which they applauded, and the associated re-routing of paths and steps, all of which form part of the Colonnade works.

The site visit continued at the West Parade where Ms Windle explained the 'garden room' concept, which forms the basis of the new look.

The new seats had just been delivered but they did not impress members and comments included the words "ugly" and "characterless". There were concerns, too as to their comfort and continuing discontent regarding the fate of the memorial seats.

Members criticised the apparent refusal of East Sussex County Council to provide five dropped kerbs on the north side of the road to match the additional five dropped kerbs to be provided for disabled access to the south side as part of the Next Wave scheme.

At the time, Ms Windle advised that the design of the shelters should be known in "two or three week's time" but reminded her audience that no further consultation would be undertaken. Members were pleased to hear that they would not be made of metal but Ms Windle was unable to comment further on materials.

Members hoped that the extended delay meant that local opinions on the shelters were being belatedly addressed and members were cautiously optimistic that the final shelter design would in fact be just that '“ designed to protect residents from the elements and not to bake, soak or freeze them when inside!

Although it was difficult to visualise the regenerated promenade given the construction work actively in progress there appeared to be an over-emphasis on under-five provision at the expense of teenagers, families with older children and older people and many members present remained unconvinced of the scheme's merit.

Nonetheless Bexhill Alliance greatly appreciated the generous time made available for the tours by Ms Windle and looks forward to the scheme's completion.

Bexhill Photographic Club

MEMBERS assembled at the Caring Community hall in Sackville Road on Thursday, September 16 - a new venue since the Albert Road meeting place became just a memory.

The hall showed plenty of care: it was clean and comfortable, with a carpet, soft-padded chairs and walls so pristine we were able to show our slides and digital images directly onto it.

New chairman Paul Dunmall welcomed everyone, including seven or eight possible new members, and a cheque was presented to St Michael's Hospice fund raiser, Julie Brett (pictured).

The money represented half the profits from the club's successful exhibition of photographs at the Bexhill Museum. During the three-day exhibition, which attracted some 300 visitors, many cast votes for their favourite image. Results were: first Vanessa Parker's Autumn View; joint second, Norman King's Dramatic Herstmonceux Castle and Vanessa Parker's Last Light, and third Paul Hutchings' Swaledale. During the evening members and potential recruits familiarised themselves with the club's three media and the criteria needed to present them.

This season we have an equal number of competitions, ie three slide, three print and three digital images. There is also the summer challenge, currently being judged by Cliff Willard, and later in the season members can compete in the John Cocker Panel.

The season includes socials, illustrated lectures, hands-on digital evenings, including hi-tech lighting for portraiture and digital techniques with the clubs software/laptop and our digital projector.

Our first illustrated talk is by John Devenport, from Ashford Photographic Society, on the subject of Monochrome Prints.

Anyone interested in joining Bexhill Photographic Club should contact Paul Dunmall on 07876 593575

Bexhill Past Rotarians

The club was privileged recently to hear John Dowling speak about Bexhill in Wartime. At the beginning of the war, Britain was unprepared almost everywhere. John described a state of confusion and inadequacy that makes us wonder, looking back, how we managed to survive. Many of his audience had memories of their own that match the events in Bexhill. True, Bexhill did have the Home Guard , but at the start these "Local Defence Volunteers", as they were called, had no weapons. Galley Hill was to be defended with pickaxe handles until eventually some units were issued with the ancient Canadian Ross rifles and five rounds of ammunition. Later they got their first Sten gun and magazine. John's father and many of his audience's parents eventually became the proper Home Guard and eagerly waited for equipment and weapons. It was clear from John's narrative that many of the civil servants in Whitehall were quite out of their depth. For example, 700 children were evacuated to Bexhill. As John observed, to an official in London and preparing for air raids, then Bexhill at the end of the season would seem to be a good idea - a pleasant place with lots of accommodation vacant after the summer holidays.

But Southern Britain was rapidly becoming a fortress to deter an enemy invasion, with landmines, other obstacles and the attendant risks to our own personnel. Documents later captured show that a German invasion had been planned since before the war. It was called Operation Sea Lion. Targets like Bexhill, Uckfield, and Lewes were set out in the plan. With German thoroughness, they had copies of Judges` postcards, survey maps, etc to enable them to identify locations and capture key targets. However. normal life did go on as far as possible: John's uncle found that an unexploded bomb in Penman Wood made a useful perch for his poaching activities! In Bexhill, air raids damaged the Town Hall,

the De La Warr Pavilion and the Gaiety cinema.

There were stories of great bravery shown by ordinary people. A coastguard and fishermen rescued the flight engineer of a B17 bomber that came home on two engines. When the V1 flying bombs came over, Typhoon fighters sometimes tipped their wings over and caused them to crash short of target. But - perhaps most important of all - the local people of Bexhill showed great individual courage and wonderful mutual collaboration.

Eventually, the tide turned. Under camouflage the weapons and equipment for the Second Front were being prepared. Bexhill said goodbye to its brave Canadian Soldiers. Some went on the Dieppe raid. Others stormed the Normandy beaches and with great loss of life took the attack to the enemy.

Wellington said at Waterloo "It was a damned close run thing". The Allied invasion of Europe that led on to the Victory in Europe was a much more extensive and complex victory than Waterloo; but on many occasions it, too, was "a damned close run thing".

Bexhill Horticultural Society

FIFTY-TWO members of Bexhill Horticultural Society enjoyed the last outing of the season with a visit organised by Stuart Wood to Eastwell Manor, near Ashford, enjoying its beautiful grounds as well as supporting a Macmillan Nurses' coffee morning and raffle while there.

Set in the heart of Kent, the venue offered breathtaking views of the Garden of England, formal gardens, a tranquil maid's garden and an Italian gazebo among its many attractions.

We elected to return via Tenterden, a more scenic route than the coast road through Rye. and all too soon we reached Bexhill and it was time to say goodbye to our friends and thank Stuart for the hard work he puts into planning our trips, which we all appreciate.

The winter talks season opens tomorrow, Saturday, October 2 at St Martha's Church Hall, Little Common, when we welcome John Buckingham telling us about A Wildlife Photographer's Year. Tickets for Nick Hamilton's visit will be on sale and we look forward to meeting you there.

ATS/WRAC Association

POLICE Constable Roy Warren (known as "Bunny" to his friends) joined us at our September meeting. On this occasion his role had changed from guest speaker to that of host for a questions and answers session which kept us all wide awake, alert and involved.

When we ran out of questions he gave us advice on how to deal with "cold callers". We are all getting more and more of these unwelcome intrusions, both at the door and on the telephone.

PC Warren's strongest advice was not to allow them into your home if they turn up on your doorstep, and if they telephone, to quickly end the call, politely but firmly.

Our next meeting is on Thursday, October 7, and will also be our annual general meeting. Please note that, for the competition, the item Menu Cards, as shown on the 2010 programme, has been withdrawn, and we are asked to bring harvest festival baskets and/or goods as in previous years.

These will be judged by the members in the usual way and then auctioned off to the highest bidders.

Bexhill and Hastings United Nations Association

A BEXHILL fisheries expert, a Playden fruit farmer and two Hastings local produce enthusiasts addressed the branch's public meeting held on Saturday, September 18 to discuss Britain's food supply.

Angus Radford, of the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), spoke about fish as a sustainable resource, but warned that the last 50 years had depleted fish stocks more than in the previous 1,000 years. After the Second World War, stocks had been enormous.

The MMO enforces European Union fishing policy. Mr Radlett said consumers could help by eating local fish when it's in season.

Fruit growing Rother district councillor Nick Ramus's family business grew apples - Coxs, Bramleys and, for juicing, Jon O'Gold. Mr Ramus said the business used new computer-controlled French equipment in stores which preserved fruit by controlling the atmosphere.

He said Ramus fruit was on the wholesale market throughout the UK, and added that Bexhill mayor Councillor Jimmy Carroll had promised to buy it this year.

Rachel Holtom, who started Transition Town Hastings and its publication, Where to buy Locally Grown Food in Hastings and St Leonards, is now the owner of a huge garden in the town. She said the organisation would hold a shared meal at Hastings Friends' Meeting House on Sunday, October 10 at 7pm.

Allotment leader Carol Ridge stressed that Britain is only 60 per cent self-sufficient in food, and imported a lot of energy and animal feed. Food security is a global problem, but Britain needs its own government food plan. Consumers should become co-producers, and not rely so much on imports.

After the meeting, an example of locally-grown produce - Sussex Forge apples from panel chairman Edward Echlin's garden - was served with a ploughman's lunch. This rare variety, fine for cooking, eating and cider-making, is not available commercially.

Bexhill Hanoverian Study Group

OUR August meeting featured programme planning, followed by a talk by John Dowling on Bexhill in Wartime, and attracted our largest audience ever.

Mr Dowling drew on the experiences of his father and others during the Second World War. His anecdotes ranged from the humorous to the tragic, the historical to the very personal.

Mr Dowling reminded us of the strategic importance, and therefore, the vulnerability of the South East of England in times of war. A lively question time followed.

September's talk was by John Bendit, formerly of the 95th Rifle Brigade. Mr Bendit conducted an informative visit to the Rifles Museum in Winchester.

His subject was Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Von Alten, the only German general to have commanded a British Army Division.

He did so under the Duke of Wellington and led the famous Light Division, which included the 95th Rifles. As an infantry officer he was no doubt a regular visitor to Bexhill.

Bexhill Wheelers

Hello all interested in cycling, transport and local issues.

Yes we are expanding, all good news. Having just enjoyed our Bexhill sea front promenade with a casual walk along after an enjoyable cycle ride it was great to see the new Next Wave project taking shape with paving made of granite blocks in mosaic style patterns, looking similar to Roman works of art like we see all over Europe, Bexhill entering the 21st century.

At the East Sussex Transport conference in Uckfield on Monday titled Transport for Life amongst all other issues of which community transport was foremost there was a general consensus that more should be done to provide a good cycle infrastructure in the form of off road cycle routes. Where that is not possible shared space is the next best option with restrictions and controlled. It was conceded by Lead member on Transport and the Environment for ESCC Cllr. Matthew Lock that although originally opposed to the Hastings sea front cycle lane, he admitted that it is well used and works for all users. The Local Transport Plan at county level is designed to support the Local Development Plan at borough, district, town and parish level - that's if I understand all the terminology correctly. The point being made at this conference on Monday and again at the Bexhill Town Forum is that the onus is on us the users, rate payers, public, volunteer groups to come up with the ideas and work with authorities to carry out what is required on the ground.

Rejoice. Recently myself and Ken Beckett gave a public presentation to the planning committee in favour of the Connect 2 shared space Footway/Cycleway path between Glyne Gap Cinque Ports Way, St. Leonards-on-Sea. It was probably a formality, however we felt it was important to show the volume of support that exists for an alternative to the busy A259. The application written by ESCC was a very detailed and well presented document if you want to read link. The overwhelming feeling by officers and councillors was that a shared space path would work best, similar to what we know works successfully on the Cuckoo Trail. All the usual real challenges were discussed like irresponsible and inconsiderate cyclists messing it up for the sensible and responsible. However, it was great to hear common sense prevail that the greater risk is to a cyclist on the road being in a serious accident as opposed to a pedestrian on a path. Needless to say it has now gained approval and detailed design can begin. Signage and a safety audit wil determine any restrictions that need to be put into place. User groups may be consulted on this, however it looks like it will go ahead.


Hastings and District Association of Wrens

ON September 7 we were welcomed by the chairman to our first meeting since the summer break, during which we had had our usual July luncheon, greatly enjoyed by a large number of members and friends.

The chairman told us about the committee's suggested plans for the future of our branch, inviting members' own suggestions and opinions. After discussion, it was agreed that from February 2011 we shall meet informally once a month and no longer pay branch subscriptions.

After a break for tea we all enjoyed an interesting and informative talk about Help for Heroes, a charity for the wounded in Britain's current conflicts. Most impressive was the enormous amount of help already given in such a short time.

In particular, this has included the building of a rehabilitation complex, Headley Court, to be followed by many other projects, including provision of four personnel recovery units.

At the October meeting we shall be having a talk on medieval cooking. This meeting, and the November meeting, will be at St Michael's Hall as usual, but in December we shall be having Christmas lunch at The Wheatsheaf, Little Common.

In February the first of our informal meetings will be held at the Northern Hotel, Sea Road, Bexhill, and any other ex-Wrens would be most welcome to join us there. For further details, please telephone 01424 222721 or 01424 447958.

Bexhill Oddfellows

DAVID Rhodes, joint curator of the De La Warr Pavilion, gave Bexhill Oddfellows an illustrated talk on September 25 about its current mission, handing his listeners printed statements about the Pavilion's key objectives.

It aims to be a centre for promoting high-quality modern and contemporary art, music and architecture, and to be a catalyst for the regeneration of the town and surrounding region.

Tomoko Takahashi's recent installation of artistically-arranged rubbish was visited by 85,448 people, and Antony Gormley's figures on the roof attracted 42,667 visitors.

Mr Rhodes said of the Takahashi exhibition that "people generally seemed to engage with and enjoy it".

Her Day of Patience games in the main foyer had brought people together for a usually solitary pastime. It had been a quiet protest and alternative to media hysteria over the World Cup.

Antony Gormley had visited the DLWP for the first time in January.

His 40 tons of steel figures had been loaned without charge, but installation had been costly.

Showing a photograph of the sculptor's Angel of the North, he pointed out the worn grass and shiny metal where visitors had come along to admire and touch it.

Just as the Tate Modern had regenerated its part of London, and the Angel and the Baltic Flour Mills had done the same for Gateshead, Mr Rhodes hoped the DLWP would do likewise for Bexhill, the Jerwood Gallery for Hastings and the Turner Gallery for Margate, Kent.

With artists being priced out of the East End of London, many were now heading for the coastal resorts to display their work.

Bexhill Oddfellows next meet on Saturday, November 27 when Geoff Hutchinson will give a dramatic presentation about Mad Jack Fuller.

For further information call 01424 210410.

Bexhill International Folk Dance Group

A successful open evening was held on September 16. Several new people were introduced to circle dances from Russia, Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Israel and Romania including a scarf dance from Albania, as well as couple dances from France, Scotland and Holland. They also had a chance to sit down for a Tahitian Canoe dance - though some rowing was required!

Group members would like to share their enthusiasm for music and dance from around the world with still more people so there will be another open evening, free of charge, for anyone who would like to try out something different on Thursday October 7, 7.30-9.30pm, at Little Common Methodist Church Hall, Church Hill Avenue, where there is usually space to park.

Our small but friendly group meets regularly on the first and third Thursdays of the month. All dances are taught, there is no need to bring a partner, just dress comfortably. Normally 2.50 is charged for each session which includes tea/coffee and biscuits in the interval. Newcomers are always welcome and we aim to provide an enjoyable and varied evening of music and dance. For any enquires contact Heather Edwards on 01424 222382.

Little Common Morning Townswomen's Guild

We were given a most enlightening talk at our September meeting by Mr Nigel Gethins, entitled Protecting Your Assets.

Mr Gethins, who is an estate planning advisor, made a very complex subject into an interesting and easy to understand lecture.

There were numerous questions asked afterwards, as many members had various concerns, which Mr Gethins addressed most capably.

These included Inheritance Tax, long term care, costs and wills.

Our August coffee morning at St Martha's church was a little disappointing, as the amount of people attending was much lower than in previous years.

However, many thanks to all those who came and generously helped us to raise 162 towards the fund for this year's charity which is the East Sussex Association for the Blind.

Our next meeting is on October 8 at 9.45am in the Little Common Community Centre. We warmly welcome any new members and visitors.

Hooe Open Group

THE group, open to all, had its monthly meeting on Friday, September 10, when social secretary Edna Wallis opened the meeting and welcomed new members.

All attending were presented with a mouth-watering demonstration by Barbara Beevis, south-east regional promoter for the delicious Swiss cheeses from Gruyere. The demonstration showed members how to prepare a cheese fondue and how to add a cheese flavour to snacks and dishes.

Hooe Open Group meets at the village hall on the second Friday of each month at 2.30pm, with an interesting programme arranged by the social secretary. For further information, call her on 01424 842591.