Group issues last-ditch plea

Eastbourne Association of Sussex Folk. Final meeting held at East Dean village hall. June 18th 2012 E25046N'(L to R): Mavis Clack founder member, Mick Cant treasurer, David Siggs former chairman, Alan and Pauline Carter former office holders, Pat Siggs, Mary Godden and Lynne Lorraine cttee members.

Eastbourne Association of Sussex Folk. Final meeting held at East Dean village hall. June 18th 2012 E25046N'(L to R): Mavis Clack founder member, Mick Cant treasurer, David Siggs former chairman, Alan and Pauline Carter former office holders, Pat Siggs, Mary Godden and Lynne Lorraine cttee members.

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A GROUP of proud Sussex men and women may have to close their club after 58 years because of a lack of new blood.

The Eastbourne Association of Sussex Folk was formed in 1958 and at its peak boasted more than 300 members, organising monthly meetings, trips out and an annual harvest festival.

Now though, just two years shy of its 60th anniversary, membership has dipped to 62 and, with the current committee calling it a day, the future of the group looks bleak.

David Siggs, outgoing chairman, said, “The club has been going for so long it would be a crying shame if it has to close.

“I have been chairman for eight years and we have been asking for people to join the committee for the last two years or so but without any luck.

“Myself and the current committee cannot go on forever and, if nobody comes forward, that will be the end of it.”

His wife Pat has been a similar stalwart. She organises the harvest celebrations and has helped keep the society going through the last few years.

“Sadly people have got older and there are not the new people coming through to take over,” she lamented.

“It takes a lot of work to organise things like the trips but it is a great group to be involved with.

“Every month we have meetings with a guest speaker discussing something connected to Sussex and at our jubilee celebrations we had 57 people come along. We had a great time. It will be a shame if that ends up being out last event.”

As it stands the association will not enter its 59th year although both Mr and Mrs Siggs are hopeful that by talking about the plight in the newspaper, it might stir some new people to come forward.

“You never know,” said Mrs Siggs, “someone might see this and want to get involved. When the club first started there was a president and about nine people on the committee.

“Now unless someone helps we will have to close. It would be lovely if we could at least make it to the 60th year.”

Anyone who wants to join up and get involved should call Mary Godden on 486000.