DYW: Stone Cross - February 2, 2011

ON TUESDAY, February 1, Hankham School will be celebrating the 132nd anniversary of its foundation and take pride in the fact it is one of the longest-established schools within East Sussex.

The head teacher is delighted by the positive and caring attitude that is such a feature of the school - to which staff, children and parents make such an important contribution.

STONE CROSS School will be holding an Inset Day on Friday, February 18, when the school will be closed to the childfree.

AS WILL be common for all three schools in the area, the end of term (used to be known as half-term) begins on Monday, February 21, returning to school on the following Monday, February 28.

MANY will have been very observant and noticed that the cap of Stone Cross Windmill has gone (just a temporary measure).

Most of the outside of the mill is made of wood and various parts have to be inspected at least every eight to ten years and that time of inspection has come around once again.

It was already known there was wood rot damage to both the cap and the fanstage, so while there was a crane on site, it was decided by the Trust that the top of the Mill should come off as it is far safer to carry out any repairs at ground level rather that 50 feet up in the air.

Both the cap and the fanstage have been placed within the mill grounds and work has already started on the repairs.

The removal of the two remaining sweeps, the stocks (to which the sweeps are attached), the cap and the fanstage had to be planned with meticulous precision as there is very little room for a crane to work.

However, with the expertise of the crane operators, Coussens of Bexhill, everything went like clockwork and although the removal took slightly longer than anticipated, all was completed by early afternoon on the second day.

There is some wood rot to the cap and this can be repaired by the Mill’s excellent maintenance team - the same applies to the fanstage.

It is anticipated that all the necessary work will be completed by the middle/end of March, so that everything can be returned to where it should be before the Mill once again opens for the summer season.

While the top is off, it is hoped that scaffolding can be erected around the Mill, so that the whole of the Mill tower can be sand-blasted clean, after which the tower will be sealed and repainted.

There has been trouble in the past in that the old covering of the Mill (lime wash) was never removed and this has continually caused the discolouration of any fresh paint applied to the surface.

The Trust would point out that the Mill is not falling to pieces, what is happening now is a necessary precaution in the life of any mill.

ST LUKE’S PLAYERS will be presenting a double bill of one-act plays in the Parish Centre, Stone Cross, on Saturday, February 5, at both 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

The Bishop’s Candlesticks by Norman McKinnel is a dramatic (non-musical) episode taken from Les Miserables the novel by the great French poet and novelist Victor Hugo.

The action takes place in the year 1800 AD, shortly after the French Revolution.

It is set in the bishop’s cottage, where his life is threatened by a knife-wielding escaped convict.

In complete contrast the second play on the bill is called Playgoers, by Arthur Wing Pinero who was a Londoner who wrote more than 20 plays and became famous for his farces at the Royal Count Theatre in London.

Playgoers is one such farce and is set in London just before the First World War. It is an ‘upstairs-downstairs’ farce, taking its humour from the misunderstanding between the two parts of the household. A good laugh from start to finish.

Tickets may be obtained from 01323 461889 and St Luke’s Parish office 01323 767020 - adults £6 and under 16s £3.

Normally the Players only perform in the evening but this time have included a matinee in the hope that people who prefer not to go out on the cold, dark nights can still go along and have an afternoon’s entertainment.