PICNIC IN THE PARK: Come along on Friday June 8 from 6pm to 9pm to Western Road Recreation Ground, in aid of Demelza Hospice Care for Children. Bring your own picnic, dance to 60s band Recycled. Free entry, donations welcomed. Further information on 01323 840797.

Friday, 1st June 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 18th June 2018, 11:51 pm

OUR PARKS FITNESS: Come along and join this free group for gentle exercise and movement which takes place every Saturday morning from 9am and 10am at Western Road Recreation Ground in Hailsham. Just turn up at the Rec on a Saturday morning or better still, if you have access to the internet, please register at www.ourparks.org.uk for numbers. All ages from 16 years plus are welcome with a focus on the over 55s. If you would like to come along just turn up. Wear loose fitting comfy clothing and bring some water.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY: The society’s next meeting will be on Wednesday, when John Blackwell will talk about The Phoenix Ironworks at Lewes. This will take place at the Charles Hunt Centre, in the Vicarage Fields Precinct starting at 7.30pm. Refreshments will be available from 7pm. All are welcome, non-member visitors’ charge is £2.50 per meeting.

CHIDDINGLY MARKET: If you enjoy fresh local produce and crafts come along on Saturday from 10am to noon for your local pies, cakes, meat, preserves, plants, jewellery, woodwork, greetings cards, knits and refreshments.

QUEEN’S SAPPHIRE JUBILEE: Come along to the Charles Hunt Centre tomorrow between 3pm and 5pm for a Royal afternoon tea. Members £6, non-members £7. For more information and to book call 01323 844398.

COMMUNITY GROUPS FORUM: If you are on the committee or represent any of our local groups, clubs, societies, charities and other organisation, come along on Monday to this group to exchange news, views, ideas, tips and talks at 6.30pm in St Mary’s church lounge. Register please with Hailsham Town Council on 01323 841702 or pop in. If it isn’t possible before the day then just come along. You will be very welcome.

HAILSHAM LIONS: Come along on Tuesday to find out more about what the Hailsham Lions do. They meet on the first Tuesday of every month in the Charles Hunt Centre, Vicarage Field at 7.30pm. For more information please call (local number) 0845 833 9828.

BEAT THE STREET: It’s back. A fun, free game that will see towns and villages across East Sussex transformed into a giant game. See how far you can walk, cycle and run in just seven weeks. Play the game from June 6 to July 25 and register to win prizes for yourself or join a team to win team leader board prizes. Every journey you make adds to your points total as well as your team and the whole of East Sussex. How far can you go? Pick up a card near you. Selected pharmacies and leisure centres will be distributing cards and libraries will be fully stocked by June 1. This initiative is being delivered in East Sussex by Intelligent Health on behalf of NHS Hastings and Rother CCG, NHS Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG and East Sussex Public Health. Find out how to play and how to enter in Hailsham at http//: beatthestreet.me/eastsussex.

TALK AND CREAM TEA: The History of the Hailsham Work House and the Fleur-de-Lys is the subject of a talk by Dave Dyer on Wednesday at 3pm at the Hub, which is a lunch group for older people. This will be at Ropemaker Centre, Ropemaker Park, South Road and will be followed by a cream tea. The cost is just £3 and if it is your first visit then it will be free. Please book on 01323 442485.

OLD TIME DANCE CLUB: I went along last week to see what everyone got up to at this popular group and was welcomed by organisers Jackie and Dave. The group has been going for many years and some of the people who came along have been coming from the outset. There are around 20 regular members who come from far afield in Seaford, Uckfield and Willingdon amongst locals. You don’t have to bring a partner and you don’t have to join in. The evening starts at 7.15pm with a break in the middle for refreshments and comprises several old time sequence dances which are set routines to a variety of music which may be a waltz, fast or slow foxtrot, saunter, quickstep, swing and many more. The Kaymar Sway was a favourite. Sometimes people broke into song if they were sitting out. There is another group, also run by Jackie and Dave on a Friday at the same venue, time which is a slight variation on the same theme. If you would like to find out more about this group which is run on alternate Wednesdays and sometimes follows a theme, please get in touch on 01323 500180. Beginners welcome and the cost for an evening which ends at 10pm is just £3.

TOWN COUNCIL: Following last weeks Town Council AGM, the Committee Structures and Annual Accounts are now available to view online or by dropping into the Town Council offices in Market Street. The final steps towards the publication of a Neighbourhood Plan for Hailsham are coming ever closer, following the Town Council’s submission of the draft plan to the District Council, which has announced the dates of the last public consultation on the Plan documents. In accordance with Regulation 16, residents and organisations will be invited to comment on the submitted Neighbourhood Plan. The consultation period lasts six weeks and runs from Monday June 4 to Monday July 16 at 5pm. The Hailsham Neighbourhood Plan, written by a group made up of members from the community and from Hailsham Town Council, proposes a number of policies relating to what infrastructure and development is needed to sustain future housing growth in the Hailsham area, taking into consideration local environment and sustainability, design, housing type, traffic and transport, economy, services and facilities. It is the responsibility of the District Council to collect all comments and representations, which will then be submitted to an independent examiner for inspection of the Plan documents before proceeding to referendum later this year. Copies of the Plan and response forms will be available at: www.wealden.gov.uk and www.hailsham-tc.gov.uk/neighbourhood-planning/ from Monday 4th June to Monday 16th July 2018. Hard copies to view and forms to make your representations will also available at the following venues during the consultation period: Hailsham Library (Western Road); Wealden District Council offices (Vicarage Lane); Hailsham Town Council offices (Market Street). Anyone wishing to be notified of the council’s decision on the Neighbourhood Plan proposal should state this in their representation.

ROTARY CLUB: Hailsham Rotary Club was visited by a World ranked #1 sailor at their most recent weekly meeting. Nikki Boniface a member of the British Sailing Team gave a really interesting talk on the intricacies and challenges that sailing creates. She is a crew on one of the teams sailing Nacra 17 catamarans. Each one costs £35k and each crew must have 3 boats, one in Britain, one in Europe and one wherever in the world they compete. Nikki is currently sailing for a place in the Olympic squad. She showed an interesting video of how she sails and then answered questions from members. It is a dangerous sport and she has been sailing since she was 6 years old. Funding is only based on performance and so it is imperative that she continues to practice hard. She drove from Weymouth to speak to us and then drove back afterwards. We wish Nikki well and are so grateful she could get to visit us. Eastbourne Clubs may wish to join us in our fundraising efforts to help this local girl reach the Olympics

HISTORICAL SOCIETY: Gillian Halcrow gave a fascinating insight into the formation and activities of Winston Churchill’s Secret Army. This was Churchill’s baby, an Army Corps of well-chosen agents, trained to secretly carry out missions which would inflict mayhem on the activities of the enemy in many and various theatres of war throughout the world. Following the fall of France, many of these took place in that country. Such undercover work was highly dangerous, and the expected life of agents was only six weeks. Many, after capture, suffered horrendous torture, which in most cases resulted in their death. Gilly amused us with her accounts of First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY), an equally brave Corps of women who provided administration and technical support for the SOE special training schools, and wherever needed in the field. Originally formed during WW1 to provide drivers, and set up and run hospitals and troop canteens, their role was extended into many avenues, often in situations and circumstances as dangerous as experienced by the secret agents themselves. She also spoke at length in respect of one of the SOE’s most difficult missions, which was aimed at eliminating the factory in Norway which produced ‘heavy water’ (an essential ingredient needed by the Germans for experimentation in the development of an atomic bomb). The first attempt failed, but the second raid was successful, and by disrupting any speedier advancement in this process, was later acknowledged as the most important contribution towards ending the War. Towards the conclusion of an extensive catalogue of exciting stories, Gilly told us of a special high ranking SOE Officer and Agent, whom she ultimately revealed to be her own father, and of his meeting with her eventual mother, who worked alongside him during his post-war search for surviving captured agents. A highly interesting and welcome account of the importance of the SOE’s role in the War, and especially of the bravery and unselfish devotion to duty displayed by its members, all kept so secret that few members of the public have ever been fully aware of its existence, and the value of its contribution to the war effort, even after all these years.

HAILSHAM MUSEUM: The Hailsham Museum is now open for public viewing from 10am to 12.30pm every Friday and Saturday until the end of September. Admission is free, but any donation is much appreciated to assist with expenses. Artefacts from the local area, are on display, along with many photographs of the town, from days gone by. This year there are two special displays. The centenary of the end of the First World War, and 50 years since the closure of the Hailsham to Polegate railway, the Cuckoo Line.