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Midnight Walkers raise £40,000! See page 17

Issue No. 123

      @VillageTweet

www.villagetweet.co.uk

February 2021

CONNECTING THE COMMUNITY AND LOCAL BUSINESS Billingshurst • Barns Green • Five Oaks • Ifold • Kirdford • Loxwood • Plaistow • Slinfold • Wisborough Green


Editorial and advertising enquiries: 07762 767084, editor@villagetweet.co.uk

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t the time of writing this (17th January) we find ourselves once again in lockdown and the NHS at full stretch, dealing with rising numbers of infections.   However, vaccinations have at last begun to take place which, together with the lockdown, should see the R number continue to reduce.   Although some businesses have been forced by law to cease trading, such as pubs, leisure centres and many shops (hence their absence in this issue), many businesses and traders are thankfully still operating as best they can, obviously with social distancing and PPE measures in place. Please support them as best you can in these hard times.   Stay safe! Grahame Cover: Great to see the Midnight Walk went ahead despite COVID-19, albeit virtually – i.e. with walks being conducted nearer to walkers’ homes rather than all together. See page 17

Contents COPY DATE FOR MARCH ISSUE: 7th FEBRUARY Published by A272 Design, PO Box 371, Billingshurst, West Sussex RH14 4AS

Editorial and Advertising: Grahame Pearson 07762 767084 editor@villagetweet.co.uk Website Design: Stephen Pearson

www.villagetweet.co.uk Printed by: The Lavenham Press, Suffolk Disclaimer: All adverts and editorial are printed in good faith. However, A272 Design cannot take any responsibility for the content of the adverts, the services provided by the advertisers or any statements given in the editorial. © No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored without the express permission of the publisher.

The paper used for Village Tweet has been responsibly sourced

Billingshurst Community Partnership: Art Club Competition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Crossword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6, 12 Loxwood Village Fete: update . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 A Good Read: Book Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Recipe: Valentine’s Day Jammy Dodgers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Choc ’n’ Chilli: perfect for Valentine’s Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 ‘Fat Tuesday’: pancake day with recipe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Hule Fitness: use a hula hoop to keep fit in lockdown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Avoid ‘Friendship Fade’: how to keep in touch despite lockdown . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 St Catherine’s Hospice: Midnight Walk report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Billingshurst Lions Club: Help in the community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 St Catherine’s Hospice: New volunteering opportunities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Yvonne Fleece: ‘Lockdown three!’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Caroline Gibbs: Ometepe update . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 The Rise of Athleisure: comfy fashion born of lockdown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Scouts: recycling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 John Nash: Do you remember? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Wey & Arun Canal Trust: Pandemic thoughts from Chairman Sally Schupke . . . .32 The Spaniel Diaries: The continuing adventures of Billy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Garden View: Heavenly Hellebores . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Kids Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Renegades Youth Group: Plucky Renegades can be a little fowl! . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Wey & Arun Canal Trust: Hedgelayers – a skilled and ancient art . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Spot the Difference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41, 43 What’s On near you . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44, 45 Billingshurst Fire Station: Uncertain times continue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Advertisers Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46


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^ƵƉƉŽƌƚ ĂŶĚ ĞŶĐŽƵƌĂŐĞ ĨĂŵŝůŝĞƐ ƚŽ ƉƵƚ ƚŚĞ children’s ďĞƐƚ ŝŶƚĞƌĞƐƚƐ ĨŝƌƐƚ͖ Đƚ ǁŝƚŚ ŚŽŶĞƐƚLJ͕ ŝŶƚĞŐƌŝƚLJ ĂŶĚ ŽďũĞĐƚŝǀŝƚLJ͖ >ŝƐƚĞŶ ƚŽ ĂŶĚ ƚƌĞĂƚ ĞǀĞƌLJŽŶĞ ǁŝƚŚ ƌĞƐƉĞĐƚ ĂŶĚ ǁŝƚŚŽƵƚ ũƵĚŐĞŵĞŶƚ͖ ,ĞůƉ ĐůŝĞŶƚƐ ƚŽ ƵŶĚĞƌƐƚĂŶĚ ĂŶĚ ŵĂŶĂŐĞ ƚŚĞ ƉŽƚĞŶƚŝĂů ůŽŶŐͲƚĞƌŵ ĨŝŶĂŶĐŝĂů ĂŶĚ ĞŵŽƚŝŽŶĂů ĐŽŶƐĞƋƵĞŶĐĞƐ ŽĨ ƚŚĞŝƌ ĚĞĐŝƐŝŽŶƐ͖ hƐĞ ŵLJ ĞdžƉĞƌŝĞŶĐĞƐ ĂŶĚ ŬŶŽǁůĞĚŐĞ ƚŽ ŐƵŝĚĞ ĐůŝĞŶƚƐ ƚŚƌŽƵŐŚ Ăůů ƚŚĞ ŽƉƚŝŽŶƐ ĂǀĂŝůĂďůĞ ƚŽ ƚŚĞŵ͖ ĂŶĚ tŽƌŬ ǁŝƚŚ ŽƚŚĞƌ ZĞƐŽůƵƚŝŽŶ ŵĞŵďĞƌƐ ƚŽ ƵƉŚŽůĚ ƚŚĞ ĐŽĚĞ͘

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“He is confident and assured, ďŽƚŚin meetings and at court.” ŚĂŵďĞƌƐΘWĂƌƚŶĞƌƐ ĚŝƌĞĐƚŽƌLJŽĨůĞĂĚŝŶŐůĂǁLJĞƌƐ

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Editorial and advertising enquiries: 07762 767084, editor@villagetweet.co.uk

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Daily Bread

he blessing of food that fuels our body and delights our taste buds is a gift so many of us can be grateful for. Sadly, that is not true for all. Remember in our country, and indeed our locality, there is the foodbank service that helps when times are hard, and food is a worry.     What would you pick as a favourite food? The taste and inviting smell that brings wellbeing. It may be that memory of food lovingly prepared and cooked for you by family or friends. Perhaps food from many years ago that somehow you can still taste! What comes to mind might be that firm family favourite that you share together at times of reunion and celebration. We look forward to such celebrations in a future season!     The Bible often talks about bread. Bread for thousands of years has been considered a staple of life and essential for people. The Bible reveals to us God who cares deeply about our human needs and knows what they are. Our heavenly provider seeks out ways to provide. We are invited to keep asking.     Jesus gave us the gift of the Lord’s Prayer, the prayer that can flow from memory for many. We are encouraged to lift before God need we have each day, “Give us today our daily bread.” Matthew 6 verse 11.

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    Why did Jesus encourage us to ask and seek God’s provision for our daily needs? In all that we have faced in pandemic times the wisdom that allows us to get through one day at a time has enabled many to resiliently keep going on. Finding what we need one day at a time. Discovering in each new day new resources within us.     Bread often features on our plates. As you cut some bread for the toaster, stand in line at the bakers (two metres apart!) for fresh loaves or even attempt to make a homemade loaf, I invite you to remember that call to God that Jesus himself urged us to use. “Give us today our daily bread.”     What that prayer means for you will be personal and match your needs. Your ‘bread’ may be the strength to cope with pain or responsibility of that day. It could be your longing to hear the phone ring, bringing the company of a friend. Perhaps it might be the courage to ask for the help of food from the foodbank. It may be the gift of peace that comforts and quiets anxieties.     Whatever your ‘daily bread’ needs are, we are promised a God who hears and responds. May you find your needs met and know within our community there is support and help available.

Art Club Competition

e have pleasure announcing winners of the January Art Club children’s competition, launched last month by Billingshurst Community Partnership and Village Tweet.     Each month there will be a prize for each of the two age groups: 5-9 years wins a £10 Amazon voucher, 10-14 years a £15 Amazon voucher.     You will remember last month’s theme was My Favourite Thing. The winner in the 5-9-year-old category is Oliver Blackman (5) for his entry, ‘Motorcross’. The winner in the 10-14-year-old category is Lily Lehan (12) for her entry, ‘Taking Photos’. Well done Oliver and Lily and thank you to all the other children who entered.

February’s theme:

Winter Fun 4

Religion / Little Tweeters!

    The theme for February’s competition is Winter Fun. E-mail a good quality photo of the artwork to Village Tweet (editor@villagetweet. co.uk) with the words ‘Art Club February’ in the e-mail subject box by 7th February with the artist’s name, age, picture title and an e-mail address by which they can be contacted.     The artwork can be in any medium: paint, pastels, embroidery, collage, charcoal, pen & ink pencils (black or coloured), felt pens, etc.     The winning entries will be published in next month’s Village Tweet and the judges’ decisions will be final. Prize vouchers will be sent via e-mail after the winners are announced. Denise Campbell, Chair, Billingshurst Community Partnership Ltd


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Coffee break / Accountancy / Legal services

Village Tweet Quick Crossword

Solution on page 12

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Insurance / Out and about

Loxwood Village Fete & Fun Dog Show 2021

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he Loxwood Village Fete Committee are determined that we hold a Village Fete this year to raise funds for local good causes following the cancellation of last year’s Fete.     To give us every chance of holding this event, we will be postponing from our normal June date to Saturday 21st August. Do please note this date in your diaries.     The Fete will take on the usual format which is aimed primarily at families. We will include such events as Fun Dog Show, Children’s Races, Punch & Judy, Magic Show, Bouncy Castle, Slinfold Concert Band, The North Singers, Face Painting as well as our normal excellent selection of stalls, Tombola, Grand Draw, Licensed Bar, Barbecue, Teas and many other attractions.     We are looking to obtain support from many people in the village, especially in the areas listed below: •  Help to run a stall on the day for a couple of hours. •  Advertise in the Fete Programme •  Prizes for the Grand Draw and Tombola •  Cakes for the Cake Stall and Café •  Help with setting up the Fete We are especially looking for qualified First Aiders who can be in attendance for an hour or so on the day.     With the help of the village the Village Fete Committee are hoping to make this year’s event an even better success in every area to make up for our loss last year.     If you can help in any of the above areas, please contact Graham Moore on (01403) 751722 or Peter Winney on (01403) 752377.

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BARGAINS GALORE AT

ANSELLS

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Books / Accountancy

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A Good Read February’s selection from book reviewer Willow Coby When the Curtain Falls – Carrie Hope Fletcher Somewhere in every town or city is a special place. A place where real life is suspended, and you can forget about your problems. A place that shows us life in all its details. The ups and downs, love, death, joy and sadness. It shows us life as we wish it was and life as we hope it will never be. That place is, of course, the theatre. This novel catapults you into that world and provides a fascinating glimpse of life backstage where the audience usually never get to venture.     Part romance and part ghost story, When the Curtain Falls switches between the present day and 1952, where two young lovers try to steal moments together backstage as life begins to echo the drama being played out on stage. Tragedy strikes and one of them is destined to remain forever haunting the dressing rooms and fly floor high above the stage.     Nearly 60 years later their fateful play is revived at the same theatre. Among the cast are Olive and Oscar, also stealing moments together to keep their budding romance secret. But strange things start to happen as a previous occupant is reawakened.     Sometimes (especially right now) you need a light, easy-to-read novel for a bit of escapism. When the Curtain Falls ticks that box. It won’t win any literary awards, and sometimes the character development feels rushed, but it has a certain

level of charm. Fletcher herself has grown up in the theatre and anyone who knows her cannot help but picture her when Olive is described. But that only adds to the fun. Into the Spotlight – Carrie Hope Fletcher Yes, that’s right: Fletcher has also written our children’s novel this month. Published in September last year I was eagerly awaiting its arrival, having pre-ordered it six months earlier. Why? This story tells of the three Pebble children who live in a theatre. Not related by birth, they were adopted when they were found by Brilliant Aunt Maude – aka BAM – in her various travels around the world. If you think this sounds as if it might be the opening of another story, then you might be right. This novel is inspired by Noel Streatfield’s classic, Ballet Shoes: a story that helped to give many young readers a love of the theatre, myself included.     While playing in an old dressing room in the theatre, the Pebbles find an old diary, and in its pages they learn of the Fossil children: Pauline, Petrova, and Posy. For fans of Ballet Shoes this offers an insight into their lives after the end of the original story and you find out if they fulfilled their dreams.     But their excitement at reading the diary is soon dampened when they learn that the theatre is losing money and will have to be sold. Can the three children help to save the theatre they love so much?     Once again Fletcher brings her experiences of being a child in the West End to this story and does the legacy of the Fossils proud.

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Valentine Jammy Dodgers

A homemade treat with love

METHOD

1. Sift the flour, salt and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub it lightly into the mix, using fingertips, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. 2. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk and vanilla extract lightly together. Make a well in the centre of the flour mix. Add the egg and vanilla and work together to form a soft, smooth dough. (You can use a food processor if you have one). Place the dough in a polythene bag and place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. 3. Preheat the oven to 170°C / gas mark 3. Divide the chilled dough into two equal portions. Place one portion between two pieces of lightly floured greaseproof paper and roll each piece to approximately 4mm thickness. Remove the top sheet of paper. 4. With a large biscuit cutter, cut the dough into an even number of discs. Using a small heart cutter, cut out and remove the centre of half the biscuit discs. 5. Place the discs on the baking sheets. Bake for 15-20 minutes until just firm and barely coloured. Don’t fully bake. 6. Remove from the oven and place a teaspoonful of jam in the centre of each whole biscuit round. Spread to 1.5cm from the edge. Place the heart cut-out rounds on top. Return to the oven and cook for a further 5-6 minutes by which time the jam will have stuck the two halves together. 7. Leave the biscuits to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

Preparation time: 30 minutes plus chilling. Cooking time: 15-20 minutes. Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS

175g plain flour Pinch of salt 75g icing sugar 125g unsalted butter, diced 1 egg yolk 1 tsp vanilla extract 75g raspberry jam 75g apricot jam

Choc ’n’ Chilli! Perfect partners for Valentine’s Day

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he Aztecs valued chocolate so much their taxation was levied in cocoa beans! The hot frothy drink they made was reserved for warriors, nobility and priests and was said to confer wisdom and vitality. Emperor Montezuma – not one for moderation – drank 50 goblets a day.     Scientists have suggested that the antioxidants and flavonoids in chocolate with at least 70% cocoa improve verbal and visual memory, reaction times, balance certain hormones, help to relieve blood pressure and boost serotonin levels – our brain’s natural antidepressant. All good reasons to indulge a little, especially during lockdown when we all need a little treat.     And what could be nicer on a cold Valentine’s

Day than snuggling up with your romantic other and a cup of hot chocolate? Use high-quality cocoa powder, preferably organic and fair trade, and make a hot drink, sweetened with honey.     Then cook the object of your affections an authentic Mexican chilli dish by adding cocoa to the sauce. The nutrient capsaicin, found in chillies, is a powerful antioxidant which helps to prevent many conditions such as high cholesterol, heart and lung diseases and cataracts. It also stimulates blood circulation which boosts the immune system and it even relieves pain.     Chocolate and chillies both encourage the secretion of endorphins, natural chemicals which relax muscle tissue, and act as mood enhancers. The perfect recipe for love! Louise Addison

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Editorial and advertising enquiries: 07762 767084, editor@villagetweet.co.uk

Food and drink / Private hire

Fat Tuesday! Shrove Tuesday / pancake day is on 16th February

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grew up near Olney, in Buckinghamshire. It’s a pretty little town with lots of lovely independent shops and a strange claim to fame; it is the home of the pancake race.     On Shrove Tuesday, in a 500-year-old tradition, many of the Olney women (and the odd bloke in a dress), don aprons and head coverings, and race through the streets to the church tossing a hot pancake in a frying pan! It’s an entertaining afternoon, but how did it all come about?     Legend has it that in 1455 a woman cooking pancakes heard the shriving bell summoning her to confession. In her Christian haste she ran to the church, wearing her apron and still clutching her frying pan, complete with hot pancake, and so the tradition was born.     The reason this 15th Century woman was

cooking pancakes in the first place was due to a Christian dictate; that through the 40 days of Lent no person should eat milk, eggs, or butter.     This was a pre-fridge era, which meant that if a housewife had stocks of these foods they would go off before the fast ended on Easter Sunday, so she had to use them up. The solution was to make pancakes and they became a symbol of a final selfindulgence before the fast. Indeed Mardi Gras – as the ritual is called in France and the USA – literally translates as ‘Fat Tuesday.’     Over the years I’ve tried my pancakes with fruit, maple syrup, and a variety of savoury fillings but I keep coming back to fresh lemon juice and a sprinkling of sugar… irresistible.     Below is my recipe for perfect pancakes. Sarah Davey

Recipe for Perfect Pancakes (makes 10-12 pancakes) Ingredients 115g (4oz) plain flour Pinch salt 1 large egg 285ml (half a pint of milk) 115g (4oz) butter, melted Juice from 2 lemons, strained Caster or Demerara sugar to taste. Method To make the batter sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Beat in the egg and a little of the milk until smooth. Gradually beat in the remaining milk and add 4 tablespoons of the melted butter. Cover the

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bowl and leave to stand for one hour.     In a small non-stick frying pan heat some of the butter until sizzling, but taking care not to let it burn. Pour enough batter into the pan to coat the base evenly. Cook over a moderate heat until the pancake is light golden-brown underneath and looks dry on top. Flip over (try to do this with style!) and cook the other side until golden. Continue until all the batter is used.     You can keep the pancakes warm in the oven (Gas mark 1 / 140°C) until they are all cooked, but in our house they’re barely out the frying pan before they’re scoffed.     Serve with the lemon juice and sugar.

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Health and wellbeing / Drum tuition

Hula Fitness

The perfect lockdown exercise

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uring the first lockdown I rather enjoyed the enforced laziness. I am a gym member, but I don’t really love it. After a while though I noticed that while I didn’t miss weights and running on the treadmill, I did miss the classes, and the rush of endorphins that followed. Then one day while idly flicking through YouTube videos I came across a ‘hulafitness’ workout…     It looked fun. I grabbed one of my teenage daughter’s neon hula hoops and had a go. Much harder than it looked but I enjoyed it. The next afternoon I had another go and my daughter joined in. We laughed a lot (which was a bonus as anyone who has a teenage daughter will acknowledge) and afterwards we investigated hula-fitness a bit more.     Hula hooping is inexpensive, and you can do it practically anywhere, which is kind of the point when in lockdown. All you need to get started is a hoop and room to move.     Standard hula hoops are cheap as chips but after a few sessions we invested in weighted ones. Even they didn’t break the bank. Ours cost about £15 each but even the more expensive ones were only £40. With the shops closed, don’t despair… there are plenty to choose from on Amazon.     It is important to find the right-sized hoop. Larger hoops are a little easier as a beginner because you spin more slowly. If using a weighted hoop, begin with a lighter one (around 0.5-1Kg) and increase the weight as you get more proficient. Correct form is more important

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than weight, and I did have a little accident where I pulled a muscle in my back for a few days because in my enthusiasm the first hoop I bought was too heavy.     There are a few online tutorials that talk you through how to hula hoop with proper form. With hula hooping, you teach your body how to move the right way with the hoop while working your cardiovascular system. Shorter workouts are better at the start. We started with two tenminute sessions a day and worked up from there. Basic form and posture. •  Feet should be a little more than shoulderwidth apart, with one foot slightly in front of the other. •  Your back should be straight, and your core engaged to protect your back. •  Hold each side of the hoop around your waist, resting against your back. With the hoop against your back, start spinning the hoop in whichever direction you find easier. As the hoop starts to spin, move your waist in a circular motion to keep the hoop moving. Push your hips slightly forward as the hoop moves across your stomach and push back when the hoop moves across your back. KEEP THE CORE MUSCLES ENGAGED – TUMMY TIGHT. If the hoop drops just pick it up and get going again.     Finally, if you have a back injury or chronic back pain, check with your doctor or physical therapist before trying hula hooping to make sure it’s safe for you. Tracey Anderson


Health and wellbeing / Funerals

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Health and wellbeing

How to avoid Friendship Fade Maintaining friendships in lockdown is tough

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quarter of people in Great Britain have no-one they can call a 'best friend' and nearly one-in-eight admit to having no friends at all. As the pandemic continues and interactions with friends become more virtual, even those who have never previously had to worry about friendships are noticing friendship fade.     We like to think that our friendships are based on shared interests and personality traits, but mostly they are based on proximity, consistency, and communication.     We’re all feeling jaded and lacking in energy right now. It’s no surprise we’re struggling to summon the motivation to interact with others. Friendships falter during sustained periods of radio silence and at the moment we lack the new and shared experiences, the grievances and personal victories that previously we would have dissected at length over a bottle of wine.     In addition, we all have vastly different pandemic experiences. Some of us are working from quiet, well-ordered homes; others are jobless, struggling financially, or trying to arrange near impossible childcare for children who may be quarantining due to school outbreaks. Some may even have lost family members. These differences put a strain on the closest friendships, and it can feel as though we’re drifting apart. However, with a bit of effort we can reconnect.     Many friendships are based around a hobby. Craft sessions and book clubs moved easily online, but sport and music groups are more difficult to transfer – choirs don’t really work

online, and you certainly can’t play badminton remotely. It’s good to try to get together socially though. Try an online quiz or watch a film together. You already have one interest in common so there will probably be other connections, and repeated interactions prime us to be friends with one another.     It can feel risky to reach out, but scientists have proven that people who initiate interactions are less likely to be lonely over time, and they’re more likely to be satisfied in their relationships. Many people assume that if their friend doesn’t initiate then they’re not interested, but everybody’s afraid of rejection. We tend to underestimate how much someone we have interacted with likes us, especially if we’re self-critical. It’s called ‘The liking gap’. Also, we tend to think that we have to be cool, fascinating, or smart, but if you treat others well and make them feel valued, they are more likely to want to be friends.     If someone doesn’t respond, don’t be despondent; they might suffer with social anxiety, or be overwhelmed with work, or struggling with other problems in their lives. Think of reaching out like exercising a muscle; the more you do it the more likely you’ll make and maintain friendships.     Put video chats in your diary, in the same way you would schedule a dinner date. Face time is the closest thing we have to real life face-to-face connections right now. It’s not perfect but it will help keep friendships strong. Louise Addison

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Charity / Health and wellbeing

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Midnight Walkers on target to raise £40,000 for St Catherine’s hospice

n December, 250 Midnight Walkers took to local streets to raise vital funds for St Catherine’s Hospice.     Walkers joined together online for a special Facebook Live pre-walk celebration before walking their own 2-, 7-, 13- or 20-mile Midnight Walks. People were treated to musical entertainment, video messages from hospice staff and patients, and a virtual warm up and countdown before heading out.     Many people donned fancy dress as they pounded the pavements and together, walkers are on target to raise £40,000 for the local hospice.     As they returned from their walks, Midnight Walkers were greeted with thank you and congratulations videos online. They also enjoyed a well-deserved hot chocolate which had been sent out in their fundraising packs in advance.     Michaela Clements, Events Fundraising Manager at St Catherine’s Hospice said, “Our Midnight Walkers have made an incredible difference and we can’t thank

them enough. Their dedication to supporting the people we care for and our hospice was humbling. We loved seeing pictures of people as they walked and cheering them on from a safe distance. Even though the evening was different, it was a fantastic way to end a tough year positively!     Coronavirus has hit our fundraising hard. Last year we had a predicted drop in income of around £1.5 million. We’re incredibly grateful to our Midnight Walkers and everyone who supports us. Without this support we wouldn’t be able to provide expert end of life care when it’s needed most.”     To find out how you can support St Catherine’s visit: www.stch.org.uk/support-us/do-your-ownfundraising or to make a donation visit: www.stch.org.uk/donate or call (01293) 447361. Laura Mitchell, St Catherine’s Hospice Photos: some of the 250 virtual (i.e. walking in their own location rather than all together) Midnight Walkers. Also see cover

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Charity / Health & wellbeing / Recruitment *

Help in the Community

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hroughout the world Lions Clubs give support and assistance in their own local communities. This is a service which Billingshurst & District Lions have aimed to provide for more than 46 years.     An illustration of the type of help and support provided in recent times include: •  10 Primary Schools, for music, books and outdoor projects. •  Play groups and pre-schools for special equipment. •  Wakoo Centre for Children’s Sensory Equipment •  Billingshurst Community Transport – Minibus and coronavirus support •  B E A T for new Defibrillators •  Billingshurst Scouts and Guides •  Life enhancing expeditions for young people visiting Uganda and Nepal •  Weald School Green Power Car Project •  Local lunch clubs and Christmas hampers •  Jigsaw Trust for new outdoor facilities •  Friends of Chichester Hospital – Hearing Loop System •  Billingshurst Surgery – contribution towards essential medical equipment •  Mary How Trust for a new ECG monitor (photo, left). But, possibly the most popular service Billingshurst Lions provide is their charity bookshop (when we are allowed to open that is!)… Photo: Viv Diggens, Lion President, presenting the ECG monitor to Lynda Voles of the Mary How Trust

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It’s 18 years since we opened our doors raising money for many a good cause. The Lions Bookshop in Jengers Mead is a haven for virtually any literary need. Paperbacks, hardbacks, fact and fiction, thrillers, romance, crime and detection. Autobiographies of the rich and famous, travel books for the more adventurous. There are books on history, art, poetry and classics, cookery and gardening – including all the basics. Books on cars, bikes, planes, boats and trains, wartime escapades from historical campaigns. Books for schools, dictionaries and thesauri, local interest, maps, guides and DIY. Shelves of books for children to delight all ages, colourful stories as they turn the pages. There’s spooky science fiction, if that’s your genre, humour, maybe with a double entendre! There’s more, so please come along, take time to browse, find something enjoyable to wile away the hours. But – it’s our loyal customers we need to thank so that we can put funds in the bank. Donated books allow us to open our doors for you to buy and us to support many a cause. Literally, to “Balance the Books”. Thank you.     Santa says, “Thank you” to those who welcomed him and his Flying Bedstead and for your generous contributions. Bookshop reopening: www.e-clubhouse.org/sites/billingshurst Harvey Holmes

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Charity / About the house

New volunteering opportunities at St Catherine’s Hospice

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o you want to become a volunteer in 2021? St Catherine’s is looking for motivated individuals to volunteer their help in the trading department. Below, two volunteers in our Rowfant donations warehouse have shared their own experiences of volunteering and why they encourage you to do the same.     Richard, from Crawley, started volunteering for us in 2020 after being furloughed and made redundant from his full-time job in the travel industry. Describing more about his background, he said, “I’ve worked in travel for the whole of my working life. I’ve worked for some of the best travel companies, one for 11 years and another for 18. I’ve only ever done that, it’s a fantastic industry to be in and I did love my job. I was furloughed on the 1st April (!) and I was made redundant in December.     “Volunteering has always been at the back of my mind, but like a lot of people, I always felt like I never had the time to do something. I also never fully understood how simple it was to give some time and make a difference. Being furloughed gave me a bit more perspective on what makes me feel good and I needed to find something that gave me more purpose. I struggle to sit indoors all day and just listen to my own thoughts, so not only is this volunteering role helping the hospice, it’s also helping me. I didn’t want to go out. I didn’t want to use the hour of exercise, I wasn’t even taking a walk, I was just staying indoors for the whole time. I was getting to the point where I was sitting around doing nothing, it was quite soul destroying.     “Volunteering for St Catherine’s has given me a lot, as well as me being able to give something back. It was extremely unhealthy for me staying indoors all the time, and volunteering has helped my mental state enormously. I really look forward to coming here, it gives me some structure to my week and I look forward to catching up with the other volunteers. I’ve met some great people whilst doing this who I now consider my

good friends.     “It feels really good at the end of each day to know that you’ve done something to make a difference and that you’re contributing to a local charity who needs all the help it can get. I would recommend volunteering to people of all ages, particularly those that have been furloughed, are in between jobs, or not working at all, as it keeps you active and helps your mind to stay ticking over. I only do 10 hours a week, but even if somebody only does one morning a week, it can make a huge difference. I think many people have the perception that volunteering is only for the older generation, people who are retired or have more time on their hands. But we’re living in completely different times now.     Kevin, also from Crawley, started volunteering in our warehouse two years ago after retiring from his job in the banking industry. Describing more about his experience, he said, “Like a lot of people who retire, I knew that I needed to still do something. I always knew I wanted to volunteer and two years ago I decided to join St Catherine’s. I knew all about the hospice as it’s very local to me, I saw an advertisement for volunteers at the warehouse to sort through donations and since starting I have loved every minute of it. That’s why two years on I’m still here. It’s great, I’m making a difference to my local community and my local charity, and I just love it.”     Would you like to be part of our volunteering team? Please visit www.stch.org.uk/volunteer or call the Volunteering Team on (01293) 447351 to find out more.     Due to the new lockdown restrictions our shops, including the Rowfant donation centre, have temporarily closed. Volunteers will still be processed during this time and will be able to start as soon as lockdown restrictions are lifted. Lizzie Melling, St Catherine’s Hospice Photo: Volunteers, Richard (left) and Kevin

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Little Tweeters! / About the house

Lockdown three!

Once upon a time on a small farm near Billingshurst…

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isappointed at not to be able to go to the caravan for her’s and grandad’s weekend breaks, Nanny faced grey cold days like everyone else. The other two lockdowns had been productive in terms of jobs done but with this one she was facing difficulties – she didn’t want to do anything at all except stay inside, stay warm and do nothing.     Funnily enough the chickens helped!     She had had to clear out the greenhouse for the winter, so she did. Meanwhile Anne, who was working from home, let the chickens out of the pen because their run was so miserable with no grass and lots of mud. So, while Nan Helping not hindering! was down there she noticed what the chickens were up to – and the mess they were making. There were three large compost bins near the chicken house. They held grass clippings from the last three years. And the chickens had found them.     Chickens scratch the ground with their sharp clawed feet to find worms and other insects. Unfortunately, the scratching flings the loose material in the air any which way. The loose materials being compost, leaves or twigs, the chickens do not clean up after themselves but leave them lying where they land. The whole area was covered in loose dirt and old leaves. Nanny raked it up and put it back. The next day was just as bad so she cleaned up again.     The third day she’d had enough, and some old

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fencing wire was utilised to block them off, so the chickens had no access to the bins except for the 2018 one.     Now this compost bin had a problem. James and Co had put a lot of shrub and tree branches in it. “They need twigs and stuff,” James had told Nanny. But there was too much twigs, branches and (almost) logs in it. Nevertheless, the chickens enjoyed scratching through it. And then it dawned on Nanny they were actually helping rather than hindering. They scratched the twigs free and Nanny was then able to easily separate the branches from the dirt. The big bits she New project– watch this space! put to the side and was able to excavate the middle fairly easily, shovel the mixture of lovely friable compost dirt and bits of twigs into the wheelbarrow and put it into the tyres in the park/orchard, some of which had fruit trees, but others were waiting for trees to be planted.     Later Nanny would replace the bigger bits of branches to the bottom of the 2018 bin and rename it 2021 bin and close it off from the chickens. But the chickens would not be missing out. They had limited access to the 2019 bin to keep turning it over ready for digging up in 2022.     So now, thanks to the chickens and the arrival of the materials, the project for Lockdown three can begin. Despite what happens in the world, life continues on that small farm near Billingshurst. Yvonne Fleece

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Charity / About the house

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Ometepe, Nicaragua Project update

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wanted to say a big thank you to all who have supported the Ometepe Project, The Forgotten Children of the Lakes and Volcanoes, during a very challenging year.     After I returned from Ometepe in February 2020, I thought the project would be doomed as all fundraising events were cancelled because of COVID-19 and I had a rather damning health diagnosis. However, determined to keep positive, I just kept looking for opportunities.     The first fundraising opportunity was making masks, and orders soon came in from members of the community as well as friends far and wide. I raised over £1000, which enabled us to continue supporting the schools on this poor, remote island in Nicaragua.     I continued with my art and sewing, confined to quarters by restrictions and my health and by making full use of social media, a number of items were sold. I have started getting commissions to embroider names and initials on children’s jumpers, and am currently embroidering armbands for the Billigreen group. Many donations of equipment have also been

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collected through local contacts. Kind supporters did birthday fundraising too.     The full benefit of social media came after Hurricane ETA struck Nicaragua. An immediate campaign brought in around £750 in a matter of days. This provided food and medicines to some very poor families and materials to help repair their simple homes. We have also sent further food aid so they can enjoy Christmas. A number of small repair and improvement projects have been undertaken in the schools and the sanitation project has begun to build new toilet cubicles, latrines and handwashing facilities. Of course, I will be unable to visit in January and February 2021, as I usually do.     But 2020 wasn’t all bad and we hope that in 2021 the work can continue and maybe there’ll be another event at the Unitarian Chapel again! Carolyn Gibbs Tel: 07810 565226, e-mail: gibbs125@btinternet.com Photos: Carolyn with children of Ometepe shortly before her return in February 2020. If you would like to donate please contact Carolyn

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Billingshurst Parish Council Billingshurst Community & Conference Centre Roman Way, Billingshurst, RH14 9QW

High Street â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Christmas Shop Window Competition There were some brilliantly decorated shop windows to complement the lights and Christmas tree on the Village Green. Well done to Master Fryer Billingshurst which was judged to have the best Christmas Shop Window, with R. Rhodes & Son taking 2nd place and Morgan Hair Salon taking 3rd place. Thanks to all those businesses that made the effort to make Billingshurst look and feel so Christmassy.

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Billingshurst Parish Council

@BillingshurstPC


Billingshurst Community Transport Do you have some spare time? Are you able to drive? Do you live in the parishes of Billingshurst, Shipley, Loxwood, Ifold or Plaistow? If so, the Billingshurst Community Transport Scheme urgently needs more volunteer drivers. To find out more about the scheme and see whether you can help, please contact Graeme at the Community Transport office on (01403) 787696.

Updates from the Neighbourhood Wardens Monthly reports are produced by the Billingshurst Neighbourhood Wardens Barry & Julie. These can be found along with other info about the Wardens, what they can and can’t do and their contact information by visiting the Council’s website www.billingshurst.gov.uk and clicking on the ‘Community’ tab along the top of the home page.

We can help! At the time of writing, we are looking to the future in the firm hope that we will all soon be back to some sort of normality. If your community group or organisation are thinking of planning any events, meetings or fetes over the course of 2021, and you would like help with promotion, please email our staff members on sarah@billingshurst.gov.uk or liz@billingshurst.gov.uk and we will do what we can to help with advertising.

Billingshurst in Bloom Entries Look out for details of how to enter our local Billingshurst in Bloom competition in the next few months. Full details and entry forms will be advertised in upcoming editions of Village Tweet. In previous years, the judges commented that whilst travelling around to judge entries, they noted a number of gardens which looked amazing but had not entered. Even if you don’t fancy entering yourself, if you have a neighbour whose front garden looks fabulous, do please encourage them to enter this year.

Hedge cutbacks The Parish Council has been asked to remind residents of the importance of trimming back front garden hedges which overhang pathways. This is particularly important to allow safe passage for those with prams, wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Please arrange to carry out this work whilst being mindful of the nesting season. The RSPB advises the public not to cut or prune hedges and bushes between March and August due to the likelihood of birds nesting in hedgerows.

Neighbourhood Plan Update Horsham District Council (HDC) formally issued its Decision Statement on 14th December 2020, approving the Draft Billingshurst Neighbourhood Plan with modifications for referendum. The modifications have been determined through independent assessment by an experienced

planning consultant acting as Examiner and were considered reasonable by Billingshurst Parish Council (BPC). HDC’s Decision Statement can be viewed on the Parish Council’s website.     The Coronavirus Regulations prevent a referendum taking place until 5th May 2021 at the earliest. BPC encourages HDC to undertake this as soon as possible and for parish residents then to have their say on whether or not to adopt the Plan with modifications.     Until publication of the referendum result, the Draft Neighbourhood Plan with modifications will carry ‘significant weight’ in local planning decisions, meaning HDC must materially consider the Plan and its policies in determining planning applications; and it follows applicants should give this due consideration in designing their proposals.     The Parish Council would like to take this opportunity to thank all who have contributed to and followed the progress of the Plan to this point –- everyone’s forbearance at the process that has to be followed has also been greatly appreciated.

Money! Money! Money! The Parish Council has a modest Grants Budget to help local charities, and not-for-profit groups. So, if your good cause operates in Billingshurst or provides a service to those who live in the Parish, and needs a few pounds to help with new project, please consider applying for a grant; applications can be made at any time of the year. Please visit the Council’s website noted on this page, click on Council, scroll down to Council documents where you will find more details on the Council’s Grant Policy and an application form.     In addition, the Council currently receives 15% of all CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) generated by new development in the Parish. This will increase to 25% once the Neighbourhood Plan is formally adopted. The Parish Council would be pleased to receive suggestions on how this money should be allocated. It doesn’t necessarily have to be used on Council land, as long it as it improves infrastructure that benefits the community. Please send any suggestions, even if just ideas, to the Parish Council.

Virtual Council meetings Although we have been streaming our meetings onto Facebook for some months (when technology allows!) we are aware that some residents don’t have, or don’t want, a Facebook account. We are pleased to confirm that you need fear no longer, for we are now broadcasting via YouTube, again, when technology allows. Just enter Billingshurst Parish Council YouTube into the YouTube search engine on the dates listed below. Happy watching! Upcoming Meetings (February) 4th: Planning & Environment Committee (7.30pm) 17th: Property Committee (7.30pm) 24th: Billingshurst Centre and F&GP Committee (7pm)


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Fashion / About the house

The Rise of Athleisure Wear Fashion for the COVID era

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t’s stating the obvious to say that COVID-19 has changed everything. It’s even changed the way we dress.     With so many of us working from home there has been a surge in demand for comfy clothes that don’t constrict or constrain but which still allow us to look professional on Zoom calls and in Team meetings.     Enter athleisure wear!     Athleisure wear is a combination of sports, urban, and fashion wear, but it’s more than the sum of its parts. It has grown as a trend because it blends the aesthetics from both the sports and fashion industries, with fashion offering credibility to the sports aesthetic, while the sports provides some functionality to the fashion.     Athletic brands are always looking to improve the performance of athletes. This forces them to innovate. Comfort and feel are top priority for most athletes. The goal is to create better fabric and form to improve athletic performance. But parallel to the innovation brands are also looking to get the most out of their investment and being at the front of fashion allows them to reach a wider market.     The sports clothing industry is fiercely competitive. Athletic brands have to stay ahead of the game by developing high-tech fabrics, with better performance and more comfort. The fashion industry, on the other hand, has always focused more on trends and less on comfort and functionality.

    But who doesn’t want to be comfortable in their clothes? We feel most naturally confident when our clothes are comfortable, and we know we look good. This is the beauty of athleisure wear – it isn’t just for sport; it can be worn anytime and anywhere. For this reason, it has attracted new fans during the age of COVID and homeworking. We can wear athleisure while lounging, walking the dog, hosting a meeting, or cooking supper. It’s comfortable, durable, odour-resistant, and wrinkle-free. It’s becoming so popular it’s beginning to eat into the usually stable and ubiquitous denim market: in recent surveys in the UK and the US more people now claim to prefer athleisure aesthetics over denim for their casual wear.     Beyoncé and Rihanna were among the first celebrities to bring athleisure into the mainstream. We’ve all secretly enjoyed seeing ‘behind the scenes’ glimpses into celeb lives during lockdown. COVID-19 has been a great leveller, and we feel that even though they are celebs, they’ve been on the same journey as us, not dressed in their usual sequinned designer gowns or skin-tight jeans and stilettoes but wearing laid-back and comfy athleisure wear. Dressing like our favourite influencers has never been more achievable. So, before your next Zoom call or Team meeting pull on those yoga pants and your oh-so-soft bamboo top, add a slick of lip gloss, and channel Beyonce like never before. Tracey Anderson

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Scouts / About the house

What a load of rubbish! Billingshurst scouts promote local recycling project

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he 1st Billingshurst Downlands Scouts have been working with BilliGreen and Sussex Green Living to promote recycling in Billingshurst during October.     Carrie Cort from Sussex Green Living came to speak with the Scouts about the importance of local recycling and what types of plastic can be recycled at the new collection site at the Unitarian Chapel in Lakers Meadow. The Scouts were then set the challenge to collect items like crisp packets, beauty packaging, cheese wrappers and cracker wrappers for a month.     After the month the Scouts were to take their collections into Scouts one evening and they were then going to take a walk to the collection point to recycle it all. However, due to COVID-19 and the second lockdown in November the Scouts had to move back to online meetings via Zoom, but this

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didn’t stop their project! Instead, the Scouts were asked to weigh their collection and individually taking it to the recycling collection point.     In the space of about 6-8 weeks they managed to collect over 2kg of single-use plastics. This has also enabled all the Scouts to achieve their environmental conservation badge.     The Scouts were also asked to produce a poster to promote their recycling.     Feedback received from BilliGreen: “It was great to work with the Scouts and we were delighted to look in the recycling bins and see their contributions. We hope they carry on with their single use plastic recycling.” Monica Frisby, Leader, 1st Billingshurst Scout Group Photo collage taken by Allan Brown, Downlands Scout Leader

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About the house

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Community / About the house / Pest control

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Do you remember? John Nash is a retired, well sort of retired, fruit farm manager in Kirdford who enjoys scribbling about life on the farm from the now to days gone by. I was just wondering if any of you good folk suffer from problems of that most irrational of human functions… memory.     Over the last few years, with the fact that we are lasting so much longer than our ancestors managed, we are becoming only too aware of the problems that can arise from our memories’ more erratic behaviour. Sadly, some fall into the horrors of dementia and total memory loss.     This is not the path I want to travel down here. I just want to look at the way the memory can play tricks… can tease… can aggravate... can be just plain bloody minded!     With the events of the past year, I, like I imagine many of you who are of the grey generation, have had so much more time to kill. I sit staring at that flickering box, trying to make sense of the doom and gloom that is so much part of journalism in modern times. I try to read a newspaper, but that just echoes the opinions of the newsreader on the tele… so I give up.     I flick through the pages to the crossword. Ahh! At last something that gets me thinking. I glance at the clues. Simple! They seem quite easy. Then with pen poised I set to.     Bugger! I know the answer to that. It’s… it’s on the tip of my tongue. Oh come on! Of course I know it. Damn it… it’s only got five letters.     And so it continues. Words of ten letters fly from the pen, while short, pithy little posers sit

unanswered and refuse to emerge from the fog that swirls inside my head.     But why? I’m aware that my short-term memory has deteriorated to the level that I can go upstairs to retrieve something and then stand vacant of useful thought as I stare bemused at the bedroom door. Or, I can visit the village shop and return with everything but that which I went there for in the first place. I had a list – of course I did – but, I forgot it.     We’ve all done it, haven’t we? Go on, admit it… you have!     There again I’m proud of the fact that when the bank requested that my password number should extend to seven digits I instantly recalled my gran’s Co Op number from over 60 years ago.     At school in my preEleven Plus years we had the register called by us boys shouting out our names in alphabetical order. It stuck. Now, 70 years on I can repeat every boys name in that class, all 40 of them! Their faces refuse to appear, but their names will be with me forever.     So goes the workings of this wonder called memory. It brings us silent laughter and remembered tears. Joys of past friendship and the pain of great loss. Most of all ,though, as we age, it frustrates us, taunts us and dares us to try and understand it.     Never mind. Why worry? Tomorrow we will have forgotten anyway!     Now… three down: six letters… ‘Who was the jester in Hamlet?’ Ahh! Just a minute… don’t tell me… I know this… darn it… I know him so well! John Nash

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Community / About the house

“Pandemic has shown the value of canal restoration”

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o said Wey & Arun Canal Trust chairman, Sally Schupke. As we enter another lockdown, you would be forgiven for thinking the chairman would be feeling rather downbeat about the coming year. Fundraising events have had to be called off, boat trips cancelled and working parties stood down. However, Sally Schupke, who has chaired the charity restoring the 23-mile canal spanning Surrey and West Sussex for more than 10 years, is full of optimism.     She says although the pandemic has been tough on the Trust’s finances, members and supporters, it has brought into sharp focus the importance of its aim of creating a green corridor to be used for leisure.     “During the pandemic so many people have appreciated the green spaces on their doorstep. In uncertain times a walk along the canal towpaths and the nature park at Shalford in Surrey have brought us calm. Seeing the beauty of nature and being out in the open air have been a lifeline for many,” she says. “I can’t see that changing as we come out of this dark period.”     She adds that the numbers of people visiting the longest restored section at Loxwood were well above average throughout the year, along with other picturesque areas such as Lordings Lock near Wisborough Green and Hunt Nature Park in Shalford.     “We have seen everyone from families with young children to older people thankful for the easy and flat walking, kayakers, paddleboarders, cyclists and horseriders, all enjoying the special feeling that being by the canal provides and importantly getting some respite from being at home and having some necessary exercise.”     The Trust’s ambition is to bring back to life the canal that once provided a waterway route from London to the South Coast, and Sally says the goal is one that the Trust remains focused on in 2021, opening up

ed n ne Ove pring a S an? Cle help – n I ca all me C

more sections where it can. It hopes to open a circular canal walk in Birtley, near Bramley, some time this year, providing another scenic area to explore.     It hasn’t only been the public who have experienced the benefits of canal restoration, though, but those 150-plus volunteers who give up their spare time to join working parties which in normal times run almost every day of the week.     “Having to shut down working parties has been a blow,” Sally admits. “For volunteers it’s not just about the maintenance and restoration work itself – although that is important to them – but the social side of working together in a team, the camaraderie. Volunteering can be so good for your mental wellbeing, as well as physical health.     “Due to social distancing we had to limit numbers working over the summer when working parties were allowed to once again operate, and we were even turning people away who had offered to volunteer. We hope that when we get back to normal we will be able to welcome even more volunteers to our working parties.”     Sally also hopes that the public will continue to support the Trust through donations and membership to help it bounce back from the fall in revenue in 2020. “We plan to hold fundraising events when we can and operate our boat cruises from Loxwood as soon as restrictions are lifted in the spring. Tickets for our trips run with reduced capacity throughout the summer, autumn and over Christmas were in big demand and we can’t wait to welcome passengers back when we can.     “The pandemic has showed that the restored canal brings a lot of people pleasure, both on and off the water, and we want to make sure that continues.” Gill Davies Press and Publications Assistant Photo: Wey & Arun Canal Trust chairman, Sally Schupke

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About the house

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About the house

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Pets / Vets

The Spaniel Diaries

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um and dad have been under our feet a lot over Christmas and New Year. Such a pain as I keep being turfed off my favourite sleeping spots and relegated to the dog bed. Life is far more peaceful when they are in their normal work routines and only one of them is home!     Still it does have its bonuses and we had some fabulous walks on the farm with not a soul in sight. It was very muddy, though, and we had to suffer the indignity of having a hose-off and then having our coats put on and finally we have to stay out of the lounge when we get home! The cheek! Mav, though, being an idiot quite enjoys having a bath and even jumps in ready, I prefer to hide under the bed at the mention of the word “bath”!     We have also eaten like kings as Mum was given a 6kg turkey! With just her and dad this Christmas to eat it there was plenty left for us boys and unlike the humans we never get sick of it. Mind you, mum never gets sick of chocolate or some stuff called ‘Bailey’s’ which us dogs aren’t allowed near so it must be nice! I like Christmas I must say and there’s still turkey in the freezer too!     Mum has been getting a bit fed up with the dark mornings and muttering about January needing to get lost, I don’t mind as I can sneak off and find bunnies in the hedge without getting told off as she can’t really see me! I do quite like our morning walk up to visit the horses as we get a biscuit or two when the horses get their carrots. We have been kept on our leads for a bit too as the woollies are back in the top field and we mustn’t frighten them as they are carrying their precious cargo of baby woollies!     I’ve been told I’m the world’s most useless ratter! What on earth do they expect? I find the rats and push them out from under the straw in the big barn,

but what on earth else do they expect me to do with them? Eat them? YUK! No way, that’s what cats are for – now, they are lazy and useless – all I see is them lounging about on bales of hay!     The big grassmunchers came in for a haircut over the Christmas break. Mum said they had to have one so they don’t sweat and get a chill when they are ridden. I really, really hope she doesn’t get ideas about chopping my fur off, I need it to get warm. I may suggest that she cuts Mav’s fur off though, he looks ridiculous anyway so it would probably be an improvement. Just to be sure I propped myself up nice and high on a comfy hay bale to sit and watch the proceedings while out of harm’s way. I can’t say the horses were terribly impressed as once they had their coats put back on and were let into the field they had a really good roll in the mud! Mum just sighed and walked off. I looked for some handy fox poo as there’s normally some near the horse field. I thought I was in luck but mum caught wind of what I was up to and chased me off; I’ll get lucky next time and do a really good job!     I really must find a way of scuppering the schooling arena lights as mum has commandeered it in the evenings as no one really uses it. She has us retrieving boring smelly old dummies – well, to me they are – Mav, being such an idiot, absolutely relishes going after the things and bringing them back, this delights mum and she’s so happy with him. I ought to be sick in her shoes and blame him really, but no, I go off and get the dummy and get it over with quickly. Honestly, I think I preferred the rain and gales – she just lets us do our business and then heads for the sofa – which is perfectly fine by me!     Stay safe until next time! Jeannette Douglas

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Garden Tweet! / Fencing

Heavenly Hellebores

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fell in love with Hellebores a few years ago after an early spring visit to the Botanical Gardens in Cambridge where there are some beautiful displays. They provide a spring garden with elegant colour, and I admit to getting quite excited when they appear.     They are poisonous plants so are probably best avoided if you have young children. They have a somewhat magical history. A mythological physician named Melampus was said to have observed the cathartic effect of hellebore on goats who munched on the plants. Melampus allegedly then used the milk of the same goats to cure the daughters of the King of Argos of their madness. The plant was used for its purgative properties into the Middle Ages and beyond. Personally, I would recommend growing them only for their attractiveness!     The original species originated in the northern parts of Greece and Turkey, but they grow incredibly well in British gardens. Having said that, I was disappointed when my first hellebore plants didn’t thrive initially. They seemed to succumb to disease quite easily. I subsequently learned that this was black rot. Then I heard Alan Titchmarsh’s advice to carefully cut the large fingered leaves from the plant at ground level in January, taking care not to damage the buds. This somewhat brutal treatment has worked a treat and my hellebores are now flourishing.     Hellebores like well-drained soil in sun or dappled shade. My clumps are happily

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Garden View

increasing in size year-onyear. The stems shoot up to 25-30cm high between late January and February and the flowers appear at the top. Colours tend to be subtle: green-tinged white, yellow, oxblood red or dull purple but they glow in the more subdued light at this time of year. They would certainly appear washed-out in the bright sun of late spring and summer. The flowers are rich in nectar so provide food for early bees.     There are many varieties of hellebore, with single or double flowers. Just note that not all of them are easy to grow. I have struggled to get the Christmas Rose Helleborus niger to survive, let alone flower, but I’ve had much more success with the green hellebore, Helleborus viridis, the pretty pink Lenten rose Helleborus x hybridus, which selfseeds quite nicely, and also the Helleborus x hybridus Ashwood Garden hybrids, which come in a variety of colours but don’t seem to selfseed as freely, at least in my garden.     Dig in plenty of mushroom compost before planting, and mulch after you’ve cut the leaves off. Dust with a blood, bone and fishmeal mix after flowering and mulch again with well-rotted leaf mould or compost. Dig up any small selfseeded plants and use them as gifts, or to increase your own colony.     Happy gardening. Rachel Leverton

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Garden Tweet! / Logs

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Little Tweeters!


Little Tweeters! / Garden Tweet!

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Plucky Renegades can be a little fowl!

P

erhaps channelling the spirit of Christmas pheasant, the Renegades Youth Group recently enjoyed a close encounter of the bird kind.     Award-winning local farmer Clive Stickland of Burchett’s Farm, who has been a long-time supporter of the youth group, generously donated six braces of pheasants for the tweens and teens to learn how to pluck.     “One of the dads, James, is an experienced plucker, and Clive and his partner, Tina, had already taught me,” said Group Leader Gareth Miller, “so we felt confident giving the kids a go.     “They absolutely loved it – including our permanently hungry spaniel Molly –- and it never ceases to surprise me just how bloodthirsty children can be. Those heads were chopped off in record time and without the smallest wince… except from me!”     Once they had plucked the birds, they then set about gutting them and taking the breasts off the bone… which they then took home with them. “Some of the children went on to cook the pheasant they had worked on – a real farm-to-fork experience that is part of the Renegades ethos,” said Gareth.

    Not content with ruffling a few pheasant feathers, Gareth also decided to let one of the teenagers loose on his own crowning glory. “In the school holidays Noah dyes his hair a variety of vibrant colours and he always looks amazing, so I thought he could have a go on my boring brown locks. It was good fun and I loved the colour while the dye was on, but it washed out almost immediately. Next time I’m going for a permanent rainbow!” laughed Gareth.     Lockdown 3.0 has forced the Renegades back online but the scavenger hunts and challenge games are proving very popular – except with the mum who unexpectedly got a lap full of water when Gareth spoof-challenged her son to do it. “I should know by now that young boys don’t have an “I was only only joking” filter!”     The Renegades is a youth group for all local children (in roughly The Weald catchment area) aged 10-16. It costs £10 a month and can be joined by calling Gareth Miller on 07801 862550. Vanda Rumney Photo: Renegade pheasant pluckers!

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Community / Garden Tweet!

Wey & Arun Canal Trust hedgelayers keep an ancient craft alive

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n West Sussex a small band of volunteers are keeping an ancient country craft alive, and providing a valuable habitat for wildlife.     The Wey & Arun Canal Trust hedgelaying team has been running for 18 years, and at the end of November they resumed their weekly working party under COVID-safe conditions. The team usually works from October until March when birds begin nesting.     This season they are laying a hedge along the canal at Loxwood, West Sussex, continuing the one they began last year. Each team member has an individual area to complete, marked out in orange paint, keeping them socially distant from one another.     The Loxwood hedge will be laid in ‘Southern Counties’ style. According to the National Hedgelaying Society there are more than 30 different regional styles, developed to cope with the climate of an area, different farming practices and the trees and shrubs that grow there, which in West Sussex is usually native species of hawthorn, field maple, ash and oak.     The technique, unchanged for centuries, first involves removing brambles and excess growth from the

hedgerow about to be laid. The hedgelayer then cuts away (pleaches) the stem towards ground level and arches it over at an angle of 60 degrees, encouraging new shoots to grow straight upwards. The ‘pleachers’ are then weaved in and out of the hazel stakes, with a stake every 21 inches. The aim is to create a line for the eye to follow, with stakes in a row and the rolling lines of binders in between. Even the tops of the stakes are cut with care, so they are all the same height and angle.     The result is a thing of beauty bordering the canal towpath, but importantly the practise keeps a hedge healthy and longer living, and provides both food and refuge for wildlife.     The Wey & Arun Canal Trust hedgelaying team will be working on the Loxwood hedge, opposite the Canal Centre, for the rest of the season.     Postscript: all our working parties are now stood down due to the pandemic. Hopefully they will be able to finish by April when bird nesting season begins. Gill Davies, Press and Publications Assistant Photo: a volunteer and a hedge completed last year

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Village Tweet Spot the Difference

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Solution on page 43

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Part-time and full-time jobs available Your local bedding and pot plant grower is on the lookout for enthusiastic staff to come and work at our nursery So if you have an interest in horticulture and working with plants, please email or post your CV with a covering letter to John Turner john@barnsfoldnurseries.co.uk Barnsfold Nurseries Ltd, Tismans Common, Rudgwick, West Sussex, RH12 3BP (01403) 822493 www.barnsfoldnurseries.co.uk

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Motoring

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Puzzle on page 41

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What’s On near you

What’s On – February Every Mon

Table Tennis. St Mary’s Room, East St, Billingshurst, 2-4pm. An informal sociable group for all ages. Newcomers welcome, tea & biscuits included, £1 (goes to church funds). Tony, tel: (01403) 783496 Every 2nd Rotary Club. Blacksmiths Arms, Adversane. 7.30pm. Supper (£13) & talk. Visitors welcome. Social activities & 4th Mon & occasional business meetings. Stuart Pullen, Attendance Secretary, tel: (01798) 873791 or 07967 159034 Every Mon, Shipley Men’s Shed. Shipley football ground off Dragon’s Lane. Part of the international Men’s Shed Tues & Weds organisation. For men interested in woodwork or wish to spend time with like-minded, local chaps. www.HorshamShipleyCommunityProject.org. Tel: Philip, 07786 070939 or email: info@HorshamShipleyCommunityProject.org Every Mon Wisborough Green Short Mat Bowls Club. Village Hall. Mons 2.30-4.30pm, Weds 1.30-3.30pm. & Weds New members & visitors welcome. £2.50 (includes Tea/Coffee & biscuits). Trial session free for newcomers. Further information: www.wisboroughgreen.org or contact Keith Carter on 01403 700502 Every Tues Stitch & Knit. Six Bells, Billingshurst. 7-9.30pm. Welcoming & helpful, just bring your project & make new friends. No fees. Sarah, tel: 07817 699865 (leave message) Every Tues Billingshurst Short Mat Bowls. Suspended until further notice due to coronavirus Every Tues Billingshurst Choral Society rehearsal. Billingshurst Primary School, 7.30-9.45pm during term time. New members always welcome. For details see www.billingshurstchoralsociety.org Every Tues Slinfold Concert Band rehearsal. Slinfold Village Hall from 7.30-9.30pm. Brass, woodwind and percussion players all welcome. www.slinfoldconcertband.org Every Tues Billingshurst Youth Club. Women’s Hall, High St, Billingshurst, 7.30-9pm, term-time. 11-16 years. Varied activities such as indoor obstacle course, miniature football tournaments and crafts. £1 per session. Contact Ben Sheldon, Community Youth Worker, tel: 07763 302456, e-mail: ben.sheldon@horsham-matters.org.uk Every Tues Walking Football. 10-11.30am. Shipley football ground off Dragon’s Lane (Holbrook Club in mid-Winter). Followed by refreshments. Men & women welcome. www.HorshamShipleyCommunityProject.org. Tel: Philip, 07786 070939 or email: info@HorshamShipleyCommunityProject.org Every Tues Drop in Baby Zone! St Mary’s Room, East Street, Billingshurst. 1.30-3pm. Meet other parents and their babies. Every week except between Xmas & New Year. Emma: babies@stmarysbillingshurst.org Every Tues Neighbourhood Warden drop-in sessions. Billingshurst Community & Conference Centre. 12-2pm Every Tues Preschool Ballet and street dance classes. Jubilee Fields, Billingshurst. VMA Dance run fun, friendly & Thurs classes for preschool children. Free trial then £4pw pre-booked. 07879 773705 www.vmadance.co.uk Every Tues Pétanque Club. Meets at Shipley Football Ground, 10.15am for 10.30 start (*in the Spring/Summer/ & Fri* Autumn months meet Friday, 6.30pm). Coffee after. All equipment provided. All ages and abilities welcome. www.HorshamShipleyCommunityProject.org. Tel: Russell, 07803 259190 or email: info@HorshamShipleyCommunityProject.org Every Weds Horsham Accordion Band. Practises in Slinfold Chapel from 7.30-9.30pm. Varied repertoire. Band Leader Mags Fisher tel: (01403) 790717 or email: magsfisher@btinternet.com Every Weds The Millennium Bridge Club. Storrington Village Hall, 1.30-4.30pm. All abilities. Please contact: Barbara: (01903) 741365 or daisy.campling@btinternet.com Every Weds Line dancing. St Gabriel’s Church Hall 7-10 pm. All levels welcome, beginners from 7pm. Details from Maureen 07774 828282 Every Weds Billingshurst Bell Ringing practice. St Mary’s Church, Billingshurst. 7.30-9.15pm. New learners and visitors welcome, just turn up. For information email Kathy at kathyfitzp@hotmail.co.uk Every Weds The Leconfield Singers. United Reformed Church, Petworth. 8-10pm. Mixed voice non-audition community choir. Newcomers welcome. More details and term times see www.leconfieldsingers.co.uk Every Weds Billingshurst Rock Choir. Primary School. 7.30-9pm, term times. No experience required. A friendly choir singing upbeat pop, rock and Motown. Book a FREE taster session at www.rockchoir.com Every 2nd BilliUke: Billingshurst’s Own Ukulele Jam! The Six Bells, from 7.30pm. If you already have a & 4th Weds ukulele, or are thinking about getting one, please come along and join us. It’s a fun couple of hours and you also get to make new friends from the village and beyond. www.billiuke.com Every Thurs Stitch & Knit. 10am-12.30pm. We rove round local cafés & car share, lifts may be possible. Welcoming & helpful, just bring your project. No fees. Sarah, tel: 07817 699865 (leave message) Every Thurs HDC Health Walk. Billingshurst (2). All HDC walks cancelled due to coronavirus Every Thurs Wildlife walkabouts. RSPB Pulborough Brooks Nature Reserve, Wiggonholt, RH20 2EL. 10am-12 noon. Our regular gentle ramble is an ideal introduction to some of our very special wildlife. £8 per person (£2.50 for RSPB members). (01798) 875851. www.rspb.org.uk/pulboroughbrooks Every Fri VMA Dance classes for children 2-18yrs. Jubilee Fields, Billingshurst. Classes in Ballet, Street Dance & Contemporary. Free Trial available then £5pw pre-booked. 07879 773705 www.vmadance.co.uk Every Fri Nationwide Building Society. Billingshurst Community Centre. Cancelled due to coronavirus Every Sat Indoor table top sale and market. Ansell’s Yard, Kirdford Road, Wisborough Green, RH14 0DD. 10am-2pm. No entrance fee. Tables £5 (must be pre-booked). Tel: (01403) 700633 or 07798 941940 Every Sun The Emmanuel Fellowship meeting. Suspended until further notice due to coronavirus SPACE IS TIGHT IN THE WHAT’S ON PAGES. IF ANYONE HAS TRIED TO TAKE PART IN ANY OF THE REGULAR ENTRIES (ABOVE) AND FOUND THEM TO BE NO LONGER AVAILABLE PLEASE LET VILLAGE TWEET KNOW 2 Feb The Arts Society West Sussex lecture by Nicholas Reed: ‘Pissarro and his Artistic Family in London’. 2pm. As COVID-19 restrictions remain in place we are holding our talks on Zoom. A link will be sent to all members prior to the talks. Interested non-members are welcome for a fee of £5. Please contact Jackie Buckler, tel: (01903) 411086 or e-mail: westsussex@theartssociety.org. www.theartssocietywestsussex.org 3 Feb The Arts Society – South Downs Pandemic Online Zoom Talk by Andrew Prince: ‘Downton to Gatsby’. 10.30a.m. These online talks are for Members, but if you are interested in a trial lecture please contact Hilary, tel: (01403) 785302. We look forward to returning to Fittleworth Hall as soon as it is safe to do so. www.theartssocietysouthdowns.org.uk

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What’s On near you / Aircraft noise / Golf 4 Feb 4 Feb 4 Feb 7 Feb 10 Feb 11 Feb 12 Feb 13 Feb 15 Feb 16 Feb 16 Feb 17 Feb 24 Feb 24 Feb 25 Feb 27 Feb

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Parish Council Planning & Environmental Committee meeting. YouTube: ‘Billingshurst Parish Council’. 7.30pm Reading Friends. Temporarily suspended due to coronavirus Billingshurst Horticultural Society Meeting. Cancelled due to coronavirus Indoor Antiques Market & Collectors Sale. Ansell’s Yard, Kirdford Road, Wisborough Green, RH14 0DD. 10am-2pm. No entrance fee. Tables available £8 (must be pre-booked). Telephone (01403) 700633 or 07798 941940 Billingshurst Carers Group (for carers of people with dementia or long-term condition). Longfield Manor, West Street, RH14 9LX. 2.30-4pm. (Every 2nd Weds.) info@carerssupport.org.uk or www.carerssupport.org.uk Billingshurst WI Meeting. Temporarily suspended due to coronavirus Billingshurst and District Wine and Beer Circle meeting. Cancelled due to coronavirus Billingshurst United Reformed Church Dementia Café. Temporarily suspended due to coronavirus Billingshurst Lions Club Meeting. Sports Pavilion, Jubilee Fields, Billingshurst. 8pm. For information about the Club contact Alan Ridout on (01403) 871370 or call in at the Lions Bookshop, Jengers Mead St Mary’s Guild Members’ Meeting. St Mary’s Room, East Street, Billingshurst. 10.30am. We are a friendly women’s group and we welcome visitors. Beryl Peacock (01403) 782835 Loxwood Jazz & Blues Club. Cancelled due to coronavirus Parish Council Property Committee meeting. YouTube: ‘Billingshurst Parish Council’. 7.30pm Parish Council Billingshurst Centre & F&GP Committees meetings. YouTube: ‘Billingshurst Parish Council’. 7pm Quiet Garden Afternoon at The Blue Idol. Temporarily suspended due to coronavirus. See website for details: www.blueidol.org Sing for Pleasure. Cancelled due to coronavirus Pulborough Village Market. Pulborough Village Hall, Swan View, RH20 2BF. 9am-12.30pm. Fresh produce, bread, delicatessen, local honey, organic condiments, plants, local crafts, fairtrade goods and much more. Café serving a full English breakfast, tea/coffee and cakes. Free entry. Please like us on Facebook. Market Coordinator Terri Ashpool, tel: (01403) 588996, e-mail: terriashpool@uwclub.net

We have been notified of some events being cancelled due to coronavirus – these have been marked in red. For other events, where a phone number or e-mail is given you are advised to check. With Press lead times and government guidelines changing almost daily the onus is for the organisers to contact Village Tweet if your event is cancelled; we cannot make that decision for you! Village Tweet will publish details of local events in this free What’s On section. Please email brief details to editor@villagetweet.co.uk together with contact or website details

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Fire station / Advertisers Index

Billingshurst Fire Station: ‘Uncertain times continue…’

A

s the New Year began, people thought we would get back to some kind of normality. However, we find ourselves in another lockdown due to rise in numbers of coronavirus. We urge people to listen to the government’s rules and guidelines and ‘stay at home’. We understand people are getting frustrated with it, but if we stick with it together, we will get through this a lot quicker and safer.     Although we have to continue responding to fire calls, we have had to make several changes on station. Limited numbers of people, if any, on station, no station visits, no community work and only a certain number of personnel on call at one time.     I had been hoping to say in this issue that we would be able to do our Charity Car Wash in March, but as you can probably guess, we will

not be able to do this. Let’s hope we can do this in the summer.     In 2020 we managed to have a count-up of all the calls we have attended, and it was a staggering 430 fire calls. Thanks to everyone on station for the time and commitment you give to Billingshurst Fire Station.     We do have some new recruits in the pipeline, but the training courses have been delayed.      Next month, we hope to bring more positive news and hopefully some updates on where we stand moving forward as a station.  Twitter: @Station49Fire Facebook: Billingshurst Fire Station Dan Game, Billingshurst Fire Station Clearing up after attending a recent fire in Horsham, the crew are all wearing PPE masks. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

ADVERTISERS INDEX February 2021 A-Team Mechanics............................43 A/c’s Direct, Accounting ......................9 AC Decor...........................................28 Alba Plumbing...................................34 Ansells Market.....................................8 Apex Aerials ......................................33 Barnsfield Nurseries..........................41 Best Choice Roofing .........................31 Billingshurst Parish Council ........24, 25 Billingshurst Service, Repair & MOT Centre ..................................42 Bygone Gardening ............................37 CAGNE .............................................45 Chef’s Farms.....................................13 Chiro Practical...................................15 CJ Sewage Treatment ......................34 Coole Bevis Solicitors .........................3 Dandelion Farewells, funerals...........15 Danny, golf clubs...............................45 Direct LPAs .........................................6 DM Handyman ..................................27 DW Gardens .....................................37 Essex Cares Ltd, recruitment............19 Evans Electrical.................................34 Flackwoods Solicitors..........................5 Flow-serve Plumbing, Drainage,

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Heating..........................................26 GB Glazing Ltd..................................27 GJ Coles, builder ..............................28 Hamilton Cole TV & Satellite Equipment .....................................33 Heritage Decorating ..........................21 Holly Stone Hypnotherapy ................15 J&B Gutters.......................................22 JC Plumbing......................................23 J Wilson, decorating..........................23 Jim Hills Sports Warehouse..............10 Jonathan Carter Tree Surgery ..........37 Just Care...........................................16 Katherine Finn Hypnotherapy ...........17 KJ Lammas Plumbing & Heating ......20 Lee’s Locks .......................................34 LMC Auto Services ...........................47 Mac’s Private Hire.............................12 Meadow Hall Veterinary Practice ......35 Meadows Wellbeing ..........................18 Mike Lord Building ............................21 MW Wingate Painting & Decorating .26 MPS Home Improvements Ltd..........29 My Drum Lessons .............................14 N Francis Electrical Ltd.....................27 NFP Forestry.....................................37

NFU Mutual Insurance ........................7 Omni Davis Insurance.........................8 Oven Cleaning Direct........................32 Oven Rescue ....................................29 P&W Jordan Upholstery....................22 Park House Kitchens.....................OBC Pest Man...........................................31 Petworth MOT Centre .......................42 PJM Building & Property Maintenance..................................33 REM Landscapes..............................41 Re-Nu Kitchens.................................29 Revive ...............................................17 Rudgwick Fencing.............................36 Scriven Arboriculture.........................40 Sherlock Installations ........................21 St Mary’s church .................................4 Sussex Carpet Brokers .....................30 Sussex Towing Brackets ...................43 Titchmarsh Services, tree surgery ....39 Tulip Accounting..................................6 Village Homecare..............................16 Village Nurseries ...............................39 Wey & Arun Property Management ....5


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