Hailsham

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QUIZ NIGHT: This evening, Friday, at the Charles Hunt Age Concern Centre, Vicarage Road, 7pm for 7.30pm and is £5pp which includes a fish and chip supper.

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN: On Tuesday there is a talk at the Civic Community Hall, hosted by the U3A, by Gilly Halcrow entitled Whatever Happened to Christopher Robin. All welcome at 2pm for refreshments and 2.30pm start. Visitors £2. On March 28 from 2pm there is a U3A Open Day when you can come along, visit the various groups’ tables and find out what the U3A is all about and what groups there are available to join.

NEW WI: There was a meeting recently to explore the possibility of setting up a branch of the WI in central Hailsham. Local ladies were invited to attend and show their support for a new group and in the region of 60 people attended. It was deemed a resounding success and the group resolved to form a new group which would meet on the second Thursday of every month at the Charles Hunt Centre at 7.30pm. All welcome.

HEALTH WALK: Meet at the War Memorial every Thursday at 10.30am for an hour stroll around the town with other walkers. There are leaders front and back to make sure nobody is left behind and a first aider on board. Come and make new friends, regain or maintain fitness. All welcome. Enquiries to Jenny on 07740 899559.

DAFFODIL COLLECTION DAY: I will be collecting today, Friday, and tomorrow, Saturday, along with Hailsham Lions in the Tesco North Street foyer from 9am to 11am. Please come along and say hello and if you can spare a few coins please pop them in the pot. There will be other collectors throughout the day.

PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY: The third PDI Competition of the season was judged by Gary Carter CPAGB, secretary and programme secretary at Seaford Photographic Society. There were 64 entries; four in beginners, 22 in intermediate and 38 in advanced. PDI’s held back to go into the final at the end of the season were: Beginners, The Eye at night Jane Phillips. Intermediate, On silent wings, short-eared Owl by David Phillips, Castle Vianden by Steve Nixon, Approaching Storm by David Phillips, Solent early morning in January by Rob Shepherd. Advanced, African Elephants by Chris Coates, Pink by Janet Monk, Wheelspin by Eileen James, A Hole in One by Janice Payne, Spring Colours by Louise Pemberton, Shapes on a Florentine Wall by Ray Beckwith. David Mills thanked Gary for judging and for his evaluation of each picture and what a pleasure it had been to have Gary to Hailsham. David also congratulated all members who entered.

HAILSHAM HEROS AWARD: You have until 4pm Tuesday to nominate someone you know who works for the benefit of the Hailsham community or has committed an outstanding act of bravery or community service, show your appreciation and nominate them for the Hailsham Hero 2017 Award. The person will have made a significant contribution to the advancement, well-being and welfare of the people of Hailsham in a voluntary capacity, demonstrated excellent citizenship, or has committed a one-off act of heroism, selflessness or bravery. Nomination forms are available from Hailsham Town Council office, Inglenook, Market Street, or phone 01323 841702, email enquiries@hailsham-tc.gov.uk or download a form from www.hailsham-tc.gov.uk.

TOWN MEETING: Hailsham Town Council invites local residents to attend this year’s Annual Town Meeting at Hailsham Civic Community Hall, Vicarage Lane on Thursday April 20. Prior to the main residents’ meeting there will be an opportunity for you to view information stands from local groups and talk to representatives of those organisations from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. The main part of the meeting will start at 7.30pm and will be chaired by the Town Mayor and Chairman, Councillor Nigel Coltman. At the meeting, the Town Mayor will also be presenting the 2017 Hailsham Hero Award to someone who has served the Hailsham community. The recipient was chosen by a committee made up of the mayor, town councillors and members of the public, from nominations submitted by residents of Hailsham.

COMMUNITY GROUPS FORUM: This is for all community groups, associations and charities in the area. If your group is a voluntary organisation, charity, parent and teacher group or residents’ associations for example, come along and share information on developments of interest including new funding opportunities, in addition to enabling partnership working with other organisations. The next meeting is at 6.30pm on Wednesday March 8 in the Hailsham Parish Church lounge. If you are interested in attending contact Michelle Hagger at Hailsham Town Council on 01323 841702 or by email: michelle.hagger@hailsham-tc.gov.uk.

WILDLIFE PONDS: This month’s meeting of the Hailsham Historical and Natural History Society was interesting and entertaining and on The Importance of Wildlife Ponds in our Environment by Peter Birchall (aka Pete the Pond), who enthusiastically told of the vital needs for the survival of ponds, here and abroad. Ponds support the habitat of frogs, toads, mayfly, damselfly, beetle, great crested newt, leeches, pondweed etc, all part of a life-chain. Also, two-thirds of freshwater mosquito species and their larvae are supported by ponds. Ponds can be one square metre, up to two hectares (about two and a half football pitches) and hold water for four months or more, each year. Ponds could have been created by man (eg in this area, for digging clay for brick-making); or a river changing course over the years; or natural hollows in the ground, which over the years have been puddled down by feet, becoming water-tight, thus forming a pond. They can affect climate changes. The more we have, the better for the environment, and can help flooding, and pollution problems, as well as being good for the wildlife, such as foxes, badgers, deer, rabbits, and other animals, used as watering-holes. During the 20th Century, 50 percent of our ponds were lost, mainly due to housing redevelopment, and 80 percent of the remainder are in a poor state. In the 1960’s, Peter recalled going across the Beaconsfield (now football ground), on the recreation ground off Western Road, going over a stile in the corner, on the footpath to Green Bros. Football pitch and Factory Lane and on the right was the Armchair Pond, where, as a child, he netted tadpoles, put them in jam jars with string handles, took them home and watched them develop into frogs, in tanks in the garden.

The Armchair Pond would have been about where Diplocks Injections and Extreme Lifts are now, in Hailsham’s Diplocks Way Industrial Estate. Now long gone, like many more ponds, in and around the Town, having the same fate. In conclusion, Pete told us that a washing-up bowl with water, stones, and a few aquatic plants, can encourage micro-organisms to start the food chain vital for insects. In all, a very interesting evening. Moral, look after what little we have left.

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