Hellingly and Horsebridge

CHARITY BARN DANCE: Get your tickets now for this event in aid of Citizens Advice featuring Hellingly Folk Dance Band at the Kings Head, Lower Horsebridge on Friday November 23 from 7pm to 10.30pm. Tickets are £10, U16s £5 in advance from Hailsham Citizens Advice, Western Road, The Kings Head, Lower Horsebridge or Hailsham Camera Centre, 53 High Street, Hailsham or £12 and £6 respectively on the door. Bar snacks, drinks and a raffle.

CHRISTMAS FAIR: The Eco Hub Christmas Fair is on Wednesday November 14, 3pm to 5.30pm, in conjunction with the ROTVE project, free entry. Stalls still available, please contact Fee Perks on 01424 423683, ext 22 or 07926 171393 or email fperks@fsncharity.co.uk. This will be taking place at the Eco Hub, New Road, with the emphasis on recycled or upcycled items, to support local crafters, businesses and charities, by encouraging people to shop locally for their Christmas gifts. They would love you to join them at this event and have a stall, there is no charge for registered charities. Although this is a busy time for most, they are hoping that you will take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to help us make it a success. Tables are limited due to space, so are being offered on a first come first served basis. If you are interested in taking part in the Fayre, please contact the ROVTE team on: 01424 423683 ext. 22 or email: eturner@fsncharity.co.uk.

ROEBUCK PARK: With regard to the Community Centre the Parish Council is awaiting the return of tenders and, subject to the receipt of an acceptable tender and the transfer of land, work should hopefully start before the end of the year. Please note that the new telephone number for Operation Blitz in Wealden for every weekend is 07770 700642. Please use the number to contact the team direct to report anti-social behaviour only between the hours of 6pm and midnight on Friday and Saturday. Further to the message in the Summer Edition of Hellingly Highlights regarding vacancies on the Committee I have not received any expressions of interest. The position is now critical with key positions remaining vacant, especially those of secretary and membership secretary. Donald would be grateful therefore for a positive response to this situation as it is difficult to envisage that the committee can continue in its present form for the benefit of the community. Please contact him direct to the following email address: donaldathomas@outlook.com.

HELLINGLY VINEYARD: The harvest is in and wines are fermenting at Off The Line. After probably the best ever year in England for growing grapes, it’s been a bumper harvest at Hellingly vineyard, Off The Line. Harvesting started on September 25 and finished on October 10 with the grapes being processed on site for the first time in the new purpose-built winery under the direction of wine maker and co-owner, Kristina. In total 12 tonnes of grapes were picked with quality the highest it’s ever been. All picking was done by hand mostly by professional pickers from Eastern Europe but also for the first time with the help of a team of volunteers. The group enjoyed a day picking in the sunshine in return for a free lunch and a bottle of Off The Line rosé wine to take away. A great experience for all involved. Co-owners, Kristina and Ann-Marie, managed the harvesting process from start to finish. This involved setting the picking dates to optimise the ripeness and quality of the grapes. Both also helped with the picking of the grapes, carrying the crates from the vineyard to the trailer where the crates are tractor driven by the tractor and trailer straight from the vineyard, weighed and loaded into the new winery press. Throughout harvest, a Plumpton student, Maddi Nippard from Seaford, has also been part of the Off the Line team gaining work experience both in the vineyard and the new winery. The juice from the grapes is now in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks fermenting into still rose wines. Given the amazing weather this year, the quality of the wines from the 2018 vintage is likely to be exceptionally high. Autumn in the vineyard and winery Now that the grapes are picked, the vines start to close down before becoming dormant over winter. The vines lose their leaves and the canes lignify. This is a reasonably quiet time with the bird netting being removed and the vines given a last nutritional feed to replace depleted nutrients. The next big job is winter pruning starting in December and ending early March. Autumn is a busy time in the winery as the ferments are managed and the wines worked on before bottling in the spring.

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY: On November 11, 10.30am to 11.30am at Hellingly Cemetery. Youth procession is from Hellingly School to memorial and return.