OUR PARKS FITNESS: Free group exercise classes started last Saturday at the Western Road Recreation Ground. They will take place every Saturday morning from 9am to 10am. I went along to see what it was all about and it was so good, I will be joining in myself. It is open to everyone from 16 years plus, and the average age at this first session was between 50 and 65, although there were some either side. An even mixture of men and women, some wanting to regain their fitness generally, others recovering from injury and another who having lost his dog, missed the daily walks. The session started with gentle warm up exercises followed by a three circuit session of eight exercises. All 20 people said they enjoyed the session and would definitely come again. It was coach, Andrea’s first session too, so everyone starting their journey to increased fitness together. She said she was pleased with the numbers that had turned up and had enjoyed the friendly relaxed atmosphere. She looks forward to welcoming people of all abilities and disabilities and modifying the programme to suit. There was a lovely jolly atmosphere and I predict new friendships will be made. One person pondered what they would be doing otherwise, ‘sitting at home drinking tea.’ Another said she was looking forward to ‘recovering from laziness.’ The session ended with a very important warm down to minimise any stiffness that may follow. Organiser, Hailsham Active’s Steve Wennington commented how pleased he was will how it went and the jolly atmosphere and looks forward to talks about extending a path around the entire recreation ground so that people can enjoy walking and exercising in the park in all weathers. If you would like to come along just turn up, but it would also useful if you could register at www.ourparks.org.uk. Wear loose fitting clothing and bring some water and hope to see you there soon.

MENS BREAKFAST: If you would like to go along and hear Ralph Olesen’s account of the Wanderings of a UK Road Engineer in war torn Bosnia 1994-5 please book on (01323) 840915. It is held at Chapter 12 from 9am. Good fellowship and a full English breakfast £8.50.

FARMERS MARKET: From 9am to 12.30pm tomorrow, Saturday, the Hailsham Farmers’ Market will be at the Cattle Market Site on Market Street with fresh local spring produce. Get your kitchen garden off to a good start with locally-grown starter plants for new season broad beans, garden peas and sweet peas as well as other early season veggies, pots of bulbs and the usual herbs and hardy shrubs and herbaceous plants from the local nursery at Wallace Plants. Carol’s Confections are back with their superb range of home-baked cakes that you can buy whole or by the slice. Coopers Farm offers a range of meat from traditional Sussex breeds and Renhurst Farm has a wide selection of all types of fresh and cured meat as well as pre-prepared meals to take home. Jilly’s Cards has individually-designed greetings cards for every occasion and this month’s speciality is Easter cards for all the family. The Bee People take good care of their bees over the winter months to ensure there will be a good crop of honey for the rest of the year and have a range of honey and beeswax products and many more stalls. Park free on site; pick your goods from the range at our stalls and pack your shopping straight into your car. Support your local producers and craftspeople at Hailsham Farmers’ Market, Market Street. Traders: For information on taking a pitch please call 01892 852168 or email info@hailshamfarmersmarket.co.uk.

FILM POSTER AUCTION: The Hailsham Old Pavilion Society will be holding their annual Poster Auction tomorrow, Saturday, at the Pavilion Cinema, George Street. There will be over 170 posters to bid for, and a film memorabilia stall. An auction catalogue is available from the Cinema Box Office, or on-line at www.pavilionhailsham.co.uk. Doors open at 10am, free entry.

KNIT AND NATTER: Bring your own project or help with theirs at the Charles Hunt Centre, Vicarage Field, tomorrow, Saturday, between 10am and 2pm. There will also be refreshments, books and the charity shop will be open. Pop in and see what they are up to. All welcome.

OPEN GARDEN: Carters Corner Farm, Cowbeech Hill will be open in aid of St Wilfrid’s Hospice tomorrow, Saturday. Entry to these marvellous grounds is by donation between 11am and 4pm. There are gardens, a lake, a bluebell wood, smallholding with animals to see.

SINGALONG: Next Friday, April 20, at the Charles Hunt Centre, Vicarage Field. Go along between 1.30pm and 2.45pm. Hosted by Dementia Support East Sussex, All welcome.

WAKEHURST AND WAR: There is a talk this Tuesday by John Withal to U3A members at the Civic Community Hal, Vicarage Lane from 2pm. Visitors welcome at £2.

CATS QUIZ: Still some tables left. Please support your Hailsham Cats Protection and Adoption Centre. They are holding a quiz night at Westham village hall, Peelings Lane, Westham tomorrow, Saturday, 7pm for 7.30pm start. Tables of up to six at £6pp. Bring your own refreshments and food. Slice of cake, tea and coffee included. To reserve your table now call (013230 440101 or 410587.

FLOWER CLUB: On Wednesday there is a club workshop with Sue McLeod-Nice when she will be demonstrating a Contemporary Table Runner. The meetings are held on the third Wednesday of every month at 7.30pm in the Civic Community Hall. All welcome. Non-members £5.

PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY: Last week three members gave lectures which were thoroughly enjoyed by members. Louise Pemberton started off the evening with a talk on a cruise down the River Nile focussing mainly on Queen Hatshepsut who unusually for a woman took on full powers of a pharaoh. She oversaw ambitious building projects notably the temple complex of Karnak and her own Temple Hatshepsut. Louise took a number of her photos from a hot air balloon which not only gave a scale but gave members a complete view of the remains and the tombs built into the rocks. Sean Kean whose passion is diving and underwater photography gave a lecture on diving in South East Asia. Most pictures shown were taken around Palau in the Pacific. Members enjoyed seeing the weird and wonderful underwater life, from the colourful taken in the first 5 to 10 metres of water and the darker not so colourful deeper water shots. He showed an amazing array of fish and coral and some wrecks. Sean also explained the equipment he used and why he had to use film rather than digital. The third lecture by Ray Beckwith covered a recent trip to South Africa with entertaining commentary. Pictures were mainly taken on Game Reserves although Ray had obviously loved Cape Town. Members were treated to photos of both mammals and birds from elephants, hippopotamus, crocodiles, impala’s, lions, rhinos, zebra, rock rabbits to name a few and bird life such as weaver bird, fish eagle, buzzard, yellow billed kite and many more. A great evening enjoyed by all as each lecture was so unique and members thanked Louise, Sean and Ray for such an excellent evening.

HAILSHAM THEATRES: Their next production has been announced. Watch out for tickets which will be on sale soon. The production will be at the Summerheath Hall from Thursday September 20 to 22 as a main event in the Hailsham Festival. The production is O What a Lovely War and was reviewed in the Scotsman as ‘A Show with Ten Million Heroes’ and is a critically acclaimed first world war musical which has been revived to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1. Directed by Sam Elsby, it is a riot of music and colour, deeply moving and features some of the greatest songs from the First World War including It’s a Long Way to Tipperary, Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag, Goodbye…ee, and When They Ask Us, Keep the Home First Burning and many more. The Musical Director is Judith Brooke.

HAILSHAM FESTIVAL: The Hailsham Festival of Arts and Culture 2018 will run from September 8 to 23 at venues right across Hailsham and the surrounding villages. The festival originated over ten years ago when it consisted mainly of its highly regarded Art Trail. That trail has grown in strength and diversity ever since and continues to be a rich showcase for local artistic talent and skill. In previous years, exhibition spaces have been found across the area and the organisers are keen to make 2018’s Art Trail equally varied and vibrant. If you would like to participate in the Art Trail, either as a venue or an artist or maker, please get in touch as soon as possible. They are currently drawing up the programme of events. For details please email: info.hailsham artists@gmail.com or for full information and registration details

http://www.hailsham artistsnetwork.co.uk/hailsham-art-trail/.

TWINNING ASSOCIATION: Members of the Hailsham and District Twinning Society are taking over a number of varied handmade quilts to display at an exhibition in Gournay en Bray. The exhibition runs for over a week and usually attracts many visitors. One of the quilts has been created to include hand stitched pictures of Hailsham’s local land marks the Hailsham Pavilion, War Memorial, Hailsham Church and others. It also includes similar pictures of landmarks in Gournay en Bray. The Twinners run a Mix and Stitch group within their association and are happy to have enquiries to join these informal sessions (01323 846539). Twinners also enjoy regular cycling trips. A group of members and friends meet on the first Saturday of each month at 9am and the third Sunday at 10am. Cycling takes place on local routes, trying to keep off the main roads, and always includes a refreshment break which allows time for everyone to have a chat too.

ANZAC DAY: The Town Mayor will take part in tributes at this year’s ANZAC Day Commemoration Service, which is to be held at the Hailsham War Memorial on Sunday April 22 at 10.45am and organised by Royal British Legion Hailsham and District Branch. A Parade of ex-service and other local organisations will commence from the car park adjacent to the Charles Hunt Centre in Vicarage Field at 10.30am, proceeding north along Vicarage Lane and along the High Street towards the war memorial, where the Service will take place. This ANZAC Day service will give us all an opportunity to come together as a community and show our thanks to the servicemen and women from Australia, New Zealand and other Commonwealth countries who died for their countries. It is important that people come out and show their support. Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, originally observed by both countries on 25th April every year to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. British forces were also involved at Gallipoli with the (Mediterranean Expeditionary Force) 29th Division which landed on the same day, and Anzac Day now more broadly commemorates all those who served and died in military and peacekeeping operations for their countries. If any organisation or member of the public wish to obtain a wreath, cross, chaplet of flowers or posy to lay at this service, please contact Mike Weller (Chairman, Royal British Legion Hailsham and District Branch) on 01323 440749.

WORKSHOPS: Craft and Memory workshops are to be held at the Loom Mill on Ersham Road from May. In order to gauge interest, if it is something you would like to take part in, or to find out more, please contact Crafty Annie on 01323 488330 or craftyannieshome@gmail.com.