Village Tweet - January 2022

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Issue No. 134


January 2022

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

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New Year, and another New Normal!   I write this in the middle of December with the first death from the Omicron strain announced yesterday and with infections rising rapidly. No one knows if Christmas will once again be cancelled.   And now, as you read this, we find ourselves in 2022 and I hope our darkest fears proved unfounded. Either way it does seem as if this dreadful pandemic is still very much with us though it does appear that the vaccination programme is working.   I hope you managed to have a good Christmas and New Year break. At the risk of repeating myself, let’s hope this new year is a better one than the one we leave behind.   Happy New Year! Grahame Cover: A Happy New Year to all our readers!

Contents COPY DATE FOR FEBRUARY ISSUE: 8th JANUARY Published by A272 Design, PO Box 371, Billingshurst, West Sussex RH14 4AS

Editorial and Advertising: Grahame Pearson: 07762 767084 Distributed by

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Printed by The Lavenham Press, Suffolk

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Crossword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6, 9 Billingshurst Lions Club: Looking back at 2021 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Billingshurst Local History Society: Who is Big Ken? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Run Barns Green: Vernon Jennings BEM stands down . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Recipe: Buttermilk Pancakes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Billingshurst Rotary Club: Christmas toy collection for food bank baskets . . . . . .11 Freezer Meat Mastery: All you need to know about freezing meat . . . . . . . . . . . .12 St Catherine’s Hospice: Lottery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Macmillan Cancer Support: £50,000 raised in 2021 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 A Good Read: January’s selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 West Sussex Community Minibus: New year, new trips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Keeping Hens: Is it worth it? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Horsham District Council: New applications invited for Climate Fund . . . . . . . . . .21 St Catherine’s Hospice: Golf Society raises £29,000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Kids Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Royal British Legion, Billingshurst Branch: New Standard Bearer . . . . . . . . . . . .30 The Weald School: The Addams Family Musical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 John Nash: “Well I Never!” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Billingshurst Fire Station: The New Normal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 The Spaniel Diaries: The continuing adventures of Billy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 Garden View: Plants as air purifiers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Wey & Arun Canal Trust: Waterwheel at Lordings Lock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Spot the Difference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41, 43 What’s On near you . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45-47 Advertisers Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47

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New Year’s Resolution?

How about a new hobby with amazing health benefits?


f nothing else, the pandemic has made many of us reassess our existence and in doing so, we now aim ‘to live life to the full’.     The beginning of a new year always brings about the urge to embark on trying something different, taking the plunge and involving ourselves in an exciting new hobby or project. Have you ever thought about joining a choir, for example?     Many studies have been carried out over the past few years, focusing on the mental and general health benefits of singing, and the evidence is overwhelming: singing is good for you! Singing strengthens the health, broadens the mind, refines the intellect, expands the imagination, makes one happy and gives life a little added zest.     So here’s the science: singing boosts the immune system by causing the body to generate immunoglobin, a protein considered a first line of defence against respiratory infections. It also increases the production of hydrocortisone, an anti-stress hormone. Singing releases endorphins into your system and makes you feel uplifted and energised. Singing gives the lungs a workout, making us breathe more deeply than many other forms of more strenuous exercise. We take in more oxygen and in turn, our aerobic capacity is improved and we can experience a release of


muscle tension.     So… what are you waiting for? Readers of Village Tweet have a friendly, lively and well-established choir on their doorstep. Billingshurst Choral Society (BCS) has around 70 members and has a wide repertoire ranging from Handel, Bach and Beethoven, to Verdi, Vaughan Williams and Puccini. It also performs works by modern composers such as Chilcott, Goodall, Jenkins, Raminsh, Rutter and Todd.     Buzzing from the success of its first major postlockdown concert in November, under the baton of their new Music Director, Márcio da Silva, the choir is raring to begin rehearsals for Handel’s Messiah. The performance date is Saturday 9th April with professional soloists and orchestra.     This is your opportunity to follow through with your New Year’s Resolution. Take the plunge and join BCS when it begins rehearsing for this inspirational and much-loved work on Tuesday 4th January. Check out the BCS website: www.billingshurstchoralsociety. or scan this QR code for further details.     BCS wishes all readers of Village Tweet a very happy and healthy 2022.

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Religion / Legal services

What brings warmth?


ake a minute to list what comes to your mind as you answer this question. Your list might have included that warm bobble hat a friend bought you for Christmas. Perhaps those super cosy new pyjamas that you love to wear that make you feel comfy. It might be that crackling warm fire that brightens your room or a bubbly bath with a candle flickering on the tiles.     How about the warmth of friendship, family and happy memories? The first smile of a baby that gives you the deepest of glow in your heart. The warmth of a loved one’s hand holding yours. That might be the precious memory you cling to in times of loneliness.     A story of courage and thoughtfulness that you have read or heard about. Humans reaching out to others in word and deed. It could be the gift of care you yourself have received that made so

much difference to your life recently or in times past.     In this season of winter when all around can make us long for warmth what does the Bible have to show us about the deepest of warming love? The Bible shares with us the eternal truth of God who has promised an unbreakable, warm and constant love as his gift to the world. A love so strong it can warm our hearts and enable us to spread love to those around.     This January we can take on the challenge of warming our community with love in action and finding those actions and attitudes to bring warmth and peace.     “See to it that you really do love each other warmly, with all your hearts.” 1 Peter 1 verse 22 (Living Bible)

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Village Tweet Quick Crossword

Solution on page 9

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2021 – Another Successful Year for the Lions


illingshurst & District Lions Club can look back on 2021 as another successful year of providing help and support in many different ways to the communities of Billingshurst and surrounding villages.     The Come and Join the Lions campaign successfully attracted interest from several men and women wishing to be more active in the village and, to see what Lions do, have helped in the bookshop, assisted Santa as Elves and attended social events, prior to considering membership. Interested? Contact Viv Diggens, tel: (01403) 752968 or e-mail:     Billingshurst Lions have continued supporting traditional areas such as: •  Billingshurst Community Transport – Annual donation and vaccine transport. •  Billingshurst Community Partnership – Coronavirus support. •  Primary Schools for books, music and ‘Panto-online’ in lieu of theatre visits. •  Music for Royal British Legion Remembrance Day Parade with a suitably decorated Land Rover, kindly loaned and driven by Anthony Fuest. •  Christmas Food Hampers for around 60 families across the District. •  Santa and his Flying Bedstead, touring eight areas of an expanding Billingshurst, Barns Green, Loxwood, Rudgwick, Slinfold and Wisborough Green.

Other ventures supported include: •  Computer tablets for Carers Support West Sussex – Young Carers. •  Billingshurst Tennis Club – contribution to new spray paint mural. •  Petworth and Pulborough District Scouts, (embracing Billingshurst and other local villages) – contribution towards preparing a donated vehicle. •  Successfully launching Billingshurst Men’s Shed with 20 men and women now meeting every Monday morning in the Unitarian Chapel. For details to join, contact Kevin Ridgeway, tel: (01403) 780943 or e-mail: President Richard Melcio says, “It’s been a challenging year, but fortunately we continued our normal business meetings on Zoom until we could return to our usual venue at the Jubilee Fields Sports Club. We were pleased when our bookshop could reopen, not only for raising funds, but for our loyal customers. And, don’t forget our new venture with Flamingos to surprise someone for a special event, easily arranged through Roger Skillin, tel: (01403) 700122 or e-mail: My sincere thanks to everyone for supporting the Lions”. Harvey Holmes, Billingshurst & District Lions Club

Who is ‘Big Ken’ of Billingshurst?

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Recently some people have been wondering who ‘Big Ken’ can be. His name can be seen at night on one of the footbridges across the Billingshurst bypass. It has been there for many years, and is very firmly attached – the person who put it there really meant it to stay!

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The Billingshurst Local History Society would be very pleased to hear any theories or facts you have about this mysterious character. You can get in touch through the contact page:, or come along in person to one of our meetings on the second Thursday of the month, 7.30pm at the Community Centre. Our meetings are always advertised in Village Tweet’s What’s On pages.     The next meeting is on 13th January and includes a film on the Restoration of the Blue Idol. Non-members are welcome to attend (£5). Gillian Knight, BLHS Secretary

Photo: Petworth & Pulborough District Scouts’ new donated vehicle, showing the Lions logo in recognition of their contribution towards painting, a tow bar and MOT. Available for use by all Scout and Guide Groups in the area including Billingshurst

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Village Tweet Quick Crossword Solution Puzzle on page 6 Across: 1, HEAP. 3, BARBICAN. 9, LEAD INS. 10, RATIO. 11, BULLDOG CLIPS. 13, NATURE. 15, TROWEL. 17, POTATO BLIGHT. 20, ABORT. 21, BARCODE. 22, FINANCES. 23, ALPS. Down: 1, HELL BENT. 2, AVAIL. 4, ASSIGN. 5, BURGLAR ALARM. 6, CATS PAW. 7, NOOK. 8, KINDERGATREN. 12, GLITTERS. 14, TOO SOON. 16, DOUBLE. 18, GHOUL. 19, CALF.


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Run / Aircraft noise / Air Ambulance

Vernon Jennings BEM stands down

fter 22 years, Vernon Jennings BEM has announced that he is standing down as Chairman and Race Director of Run Barns Green.     Vernon has been involved with the event since it began back in October 1982. In 1998 he took over as Chairman of the organising committee and as Race Director. In 2015 Vernon was awarded the British Empire Medal for his work with the Barns Green Half Marathon and in the community, an award that was both very well deserved and hugely popular with all who know Vernon and have worked with him.     Vernon has been instrumental in the growth and development of Run Barns Green over the past two decades. Part of that growth included the establishment of a 10k race to run in conjunction with the half marathon.     Nigel Currie took over as Chairman and Race Director for the 2021 event and will now continue in this role. He commented, “Vernon is a very hard act to follow. His unique style of leadership has enabled Run Barns Green to continue to thrive. He is hugely popular and has that great ability to get people to do things”.     Vernon Jennings commented, “It has been a total

pleasure to look after Run Barns Green for the past 22 years. The event is a tribute to the village and the many hundreds of volunteers who have made it possible. The members of the committees that I have chaired over the years have done some great work to enable the event to take place each year despite ever increasing pressures and I am particularly proud of the extraordinary amount of money that we have raised for various charities. I would also just like to take this opportunity to thank my wife Annie and our three sons for their tremendous support both to me and the event. I genuinely couldn’t have done it without them.”     At the official Run Barns Green postrace function at the end of October, Vernon was officially given the title Life President, Run Barns Green.     Next year’s 40th anniversary event will take place on Sunday 25th September and early bird race entries are already open with more news of the new kids race to be announced in the new year on the website: Nigel Currie, Chairman, Run Barns Green Committee Photo: Vernon Jennings BEM



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Buttermilk Pancakes


A tasty breakfast treat

1. Sift the flour, sugar, and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl. 2. Beat the egg lightly into the buttermilk and vegetable oil in a large jug. 3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat to a smooth creamy batter. Leave to stand for at least 30 minutes 4. Brush a non-stick frying pan with oil and place over a medium heat. Pour enough batter to make 10cm round pancakes. Cook for 1½ - 2 minutes per side. Set aside on a warmed plate covered with a linen cloth until all pancakes are cooked. What if you don’t have buttermilk? Creamy, tangy buttermilk lends a beautiful flavour to this recipe but it’s not an ingredient many of us have lying around. But don’t worry, it’s incredibly easy to make… Mix 240ml whole milk with 1 tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for five minutes until it’s thickened and curdled slightly. Use it one-for-one in recipes requiring buttermilk. So, for this recipe use 360ml milk with 1½ tbsp vinegar or lemon juice.

Rotary Christmas presents for children


or two cold weeks the Rotary Club of Billingshurst had a stand outside of Sainsbury’s in the village collecting new or excellent condition children’s toys. The purpose of this collection of toys was to put a toy in the Horsham food banks basket for a children’s present for Christmas.     The good people of Billingshurst and the surrounding villages donated an amazing 1200 toys.     Stuart Pullen, Rotarian, and his wife (pictured) did the bulk of the work assisted by other Rotarians which was great bearing in mind the average age of the Rotary Club’s members is 81 years old! Terry Russell, Secretary, Billingshurst Rotary Club

Preparation time: 25 minutes plus standing time. Cooking time: 15-20 minutes


175g Plain flour ¾ tbsp caster sugar ½ tsp salt 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 1 egg 375ml buttermilk 3tbsp vegetable oil Serving suggestions Whipping cream Bananas, Blueberries, or raspberries Maple syrup and smoked bacon



VINTAGE SALE & MARKET Every Saturday 10am to 2pm FREE ENTRY & PARKING Stallholders welcome (indoor tables £5, also storage units to let, £25 pw) Antiques • Hornby Trains Furniture • Bric-a-Brac • Jewellery Garden Ornaments • Crafts etc ANSELLS, KIRDFORD ROAD, WISBOROUGH GREEN, RH14 0DD Book/details: (01403) 700633                   or 07798 941940


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Food and drink

Freezer Meat Mastery How to freeze meat


ike many people I cleared out my freezer in the run up to Christmas to make room for all the festive goodies. And like many people (please tell me it’s not just me) I ended up looking at freezer bags or boxes dated several months previously wondering, “Is this still safe to use?”     It’s convenient to fill up our freezers with frozen meals and ingredients, since freezing food is the best way to guarantee freshness, but how long can we freeze meat before it goes off?     Well, the good news is that if your freezer is set to -18°C (which is the recommended safe freezer temperature) then frozen meat is actually safe to eat pretty much indefinitely, because this temperature prevents the growth of microorganisms and inactivates any microbes (such as bacteria, yeasts, and moulds). But ‘safe to eat’ definitely does not equate to ‘good to eat’. Meat that’s been in the freezer for a long time will begin to degrade and suffer from freezer burn.     It’s safe to freeze meat in its original packaging but if you plan to keep it in your freezer for longer than two months it’s best to overwrap the packaging with airtight heavy-duty packaging such as foil, cling film, freezer paper, or a freezer bag. Poultry. Whole chickens and turkeys can last in the freezer for twelve months and still taste good. Chicken pieces should be consumed within nine months, and giblets for just three months. TO







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Beef, Veal and Lamb. Steaks should be consumed within eight months. Chops, which are on the bone deteriorate faster and should be eaten within six months. Pork. Uncooked pork is similar to beef. Chops will last four to six months in the freezer. Sausages will last about four months and bacon will be fine for about six months. Fish & Seafood. Fish and seafood has a much shorter freezer life. Generally, two to three months is recommended for fish, three months for raw prawns and four months for cooked prawns (which have been bought frozen). Mince. I was quite surprised by the fact that the quality of mince deteriorates pretty rapidly in the freezer and shouldn’t really be kept beyond four months. Cooked and Leftover Meat. Cooked meat doesn’t maintain its quality in the freezer for as long as raw meat does. Poultry and fish dishes will keep for four to six months. Beef, veal, lamb and pork dishes should only be kept for twothree months. Things you might not know you can freeze safely… Eggs! Break the eggs into silicone muffin cups and they will stay fresh for up to four months, though you can keep them for twelve months. Nuts. If you love nuts it’s cheaper to buy them in bigger bags but because of their high fat content they can go rancid. So, freeze them in small portions and they will last for six months.     Happy Freezering! Tracey Anderson

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“St Catherine’s lottery – helping each other”


t Catherine’s Hospice lottery is a fantastic way for people to support their local hospice and care for their community while having a chance to win a weekly cash prize.     Since the local charity’s lottery began, members have helped raise over £14 million to provide expert care for terminally ill people and their families and friends across Sussex and Surrey. Every week the lottery contributes more than £17,000 towards St Catherine’s care.     Here Alfred and John who fundraise for St Catherine’s lottery share more about their work.     “John brought me on board with LFS, one of the agencies that works with St Catherine’s lottery, a year ago and I’ve never looked back!” explains Alfred. “These days I don’t get up to earn money, I get up to help people. I’m passionate about St Catherine’s and I really believe in the hospice’s work.”     “The feeling of using your skills for good is indescribable,” adds John. “Not many people can say they get genuine job satisfaction but I wouldn’t ever want to change my job.” On an average day, hospice lottery fundraisers knock on between 100 and 150 people’s doors but they are always respectful “We’re not about making a sale at all costs” says John. “You have to be humble,” adds Alfred. “You’re invading people’s space by knocking on their door and more people are home because of the pandemic. I don’t always get someone to sign up to the lottery, but even if I don’t, I still inform people about the hospice.” “A lot of people we speak to already know about St Catherine’s, so they don’t resent us asking for their help” says John. “But we always train our team to remember that whenever they knock on a door or speak to someone at a venue where we’re

advertising the hospice lottery, they have no idea what’s going on in that person’s life. I’ve experienced different responses from people on different days. If people are angry or frustrated with me knocking on their door I remind myself it’s not personal.” The pair say it’s important to build a rapport with the community “It’s all about leaving people with a good rapport,” explains Alfred. “I always give people reasons why it’s important they consider joining St Catherine’s lottery: such as that we’re building a new hospice and that we’ll need more nurses in the future which will mean more care. Sometimes people tell me they’ll donate online instead. I always thank them as any donation helps, but the lottery is guaranteed income for the hospice and has long-term benefits for their future, so I let people know that too.”     “I always stress the community aspect” adds John. “We’re all in it together. None of us know if our family or someone on our street might need the hospice’s help in the future.”     “That’s exactly it – it’s about all of us helping each other together” adds Alfred. “It’s likely we’ll all know someone who is terminally ill in our lifetime so supporting the hospice has a long-term benefit, not just for us but for future generations.”     “It’s amazing that hospice lottery players pay for one day of hospice care a week,” reflects John. “When I’m speaking to people about the lottery, I tell them they can be a part of that – that’s pretty special.”     To join St Catherine’s lottery and help provide hospice care for people in your community please visit: or call (01293) 447373. Laura Mitchell, St Catherine’s Hospice Photos: John (left) and Alfred, St Catherine’s lottery fundraisers

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GOVERNORS WANTED Billingshurst Primary School are looking for people to join their governing body in the role of Co-opted Governor. School Governors are volunteers who want to make a positive contribution to children’s education and the local community. They, alongside senior leaders, are responsible for agreeing the strategic direction and vision of the school, as well as monitoring the educational and financial performance of the school. The most important qualities for being a governor are a willingness to learn, sound communication skills, and commitment. You don’t need experience in education, but it’s useful to bring skills from other areas of your life, for example working with others, strategic oversight, analysing data or the ability to listen and ask probing questions. Being a school governor is a rewarding role, however, it does require a commitment to being part of a team and attending governing body meetings, school visits and training (some during school hours). Training is provided. To find out more about this exciting volunteer opportunity at Billingshurst Primary School, please email Nicola Waters, Chair of Governors:

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A Good Read

January’s selection from book reviewer Willow Coby A Deadly Education – Naomi Novik It’s no secret that Harry Potter books are read by adults as much as by children. But what if there was a series about a school of magic written especially for adults? Well, that is what Naomi Novik has done. However, it is not wizarding school as you know it.     In this first novel in the Scholomance series we meet El, a student at the Scholomance who is working through her studies, fast approaching graduation. But in this case graduation is not a celebratory event but a fight for survival. As a loner El is in danger. Lone students rarely survive graduation, and her best chance is to find an enclave that will have her. Being born to a Welsh witch she lived most of her childhood in a commune with her mother, away from other sorcerers. This has left her without the support of an enclave, unlike her fellow students such as Orion from the New York enclave. In addition, her penchant for dark magic leaves her isolated from the enclave students.     A school with no teachers or anyone in charge, the students left to fend for themselves, and building up their skills as best they can to fight the malefecaria: mana-eating monsters who feed on the students.

At Phoenix Care we are dedicated to providing person-centred and exemplary health, domestic, social and personal homecare to those in Billingshurst, Horsham, Pulborough, Storrington and the surrounding areas. If you would like to find out more about the services we offer, please contact us using the details below or visit our website.

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Novik is exceptional at transporting you away from this world and into the world she has created. A multilayered world with a language and natural law system all of its own. It takes a bit of getting used to but is totally worth it. Point Blanc: The Graphic Novel – Anthony Horowitz, Antony Johnston, Kanako and Yuzuru For many young readers the name ‘Alex Rider’ needs no introduction. Like a teenage James Bond, Alex is a spy who works for MI6. Point Blank was the second Alex Ryder novel, and this version follows the same story, but adapted into a graphic novel.     Alex is sent undercover by MI6 to Point Blanc, an exclusive school in the Swiss Alps for the rebellious teenage sons of some of the richest people in the world. Two millionaires have been killed and the only connection between them are that they both had sons attending Point Blanc. Can Alex find some connection that will lead to the motive for the killings?     Full of gadgets, chases, and thrills, the original series of books have been a huge hit with teenage readers. This graphic novel is especially suited for reluctant readers who struggle with large amounts of descriptive text, along with fans of graphic novels in general.

Judith Dandy Independent Funeral Director Dandelion Farewells warmly invites you to contact us if you have any questions about the funeral you need to arrange. We are committed to enabling families to plan a funeral that is personal, meaningful and affordable. We will support you to create a farewell that is appropriate and unique, thereby taking away much of the strain of planning such a signi昀cant event. We will be with you every step of the way. Church View, Billingshurst Road Wisborough Green, West Sussex RH14 0DY

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Community / Health and wellbeing

West Sussex Community Minibus Association (Billingshurst) Happy New Year from all at the Community Minibus! The Billingshurst Minibus schedule for January and into February is given below. Check our website at for more information about us. We recommend use of face masks and use of hand sanitiser / sanitising wipes on our minibus. We offer a friendly door to door service for anyone in the ‘RH14 9xx’ area!

January (and early February) 2022 Schedule Thursday 6th Jan Wednesday 12th Jan Thursday 13th Jan Saturday 15th Jan Tuesday 18th Jan Thursday 20th Jan Thursday 27th Jan Friday 28th Jan Tuesday 1st Feb Thursday 3rd Feb Wednesday 9th Feb Thursday 10th Feb

9.00am Horsham & Sainsbury’s 10.00am Chichester Market Day 1.15pm 1.00pm 1.30pm 9.00am Horsham & Sainsbury’s 1.15pm 1.30pm 9.30am Worthing 9.00am Horsham & Sainsbury’s 10.00am Chichester Market Day 1.15pm

Tesco’s Broadbridge Heath Barns Green Pantomime – Aladdin Camelia Botnar for afternoon tea Tesco’s Broadbridge Heath Horsham Hilliers

Tesco’s Broadbridge Heath

To book, telephone Geraldine Pike: (01403) 786147 If you’re interested in finding out more about our service, either as a passenger or a volunteer, please contact Steve O’Dowd, email: billingshurst.minibus@btinternet. com or tel: (01403) 784428. Thank you. Registered Charity No. 1173818

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Keeping hens

Keeping a few hens… Is it worth it? Billingshurst resident Clive Wigan thinks it is A bit about hens As with most other females they are born with their lifetime supply of eggs. After about 13 weeks from birth they start to drop them at the rate of about one a day until their supply runs out in about three years (no sex with cockerels needed!). You know when they are in egg-laying mode – ‘point of lay’ – when their combs are red and they crouch in a ‘submissive’ mode when you stroke their back! Why have them? •  With, say, three or four hens you get an average of two or three eggs a day for you and your friends. •  You enjoy the magic of collecting eggs that seem to come from nowhere. •  You get a wonderful supply of rich manure… ideal to enrich your compost heap. •  It gives you a good motivation to go ‘down the garden’. •  Hens are very friendly and fascinating to watch. Some even find them therapeitic. BUT looking after them can be hard work if you are the diligent sort… easier if you are not too diligent! Are they nice to each other? Often, yes, liking to stay together and sleeping huddled together.     Occasionally, no! Hen pecking is real. New introductions to the flock are often given a hard time (pecked, etc). Occasionally you are reminded that chickens are descended from T. Rex. If they see blood on a hen they can act a mob and peck the poor soul – occasionally to death. Stuff you need A hen house. Feeding and watering kit, layers’ food (be aware of possibility of rats and mice so keep food in zinc bins and be prepared to poison or trap) and possibly some anti-red mite stuff. (Red mite can be a big problem. A plastic hen house is easier to clean and red mite cannot hide in the wood grain, etc.) Some grazing ground. Hens will dig holes in your lawn, scratch out your favourite flowers, etc.     If you let them loose in the garden beware foxes may roam during the day as well as night.     The setup with least worry is a hen house set within a fox-proofed compound. If this is a small compound then they will soon wear the surfaces down to bare soil (which is OK but not as interesting for them as grass) so move the compound occasionally or create a hatched exit to fresh grazing grounds Last but not least… A wet/hot weather shelter.


Interesting food like fatballs suspended in a cage. A perch or two. A few bushes. We tried a swing but no interest! Looking after hens Some owners treat them like a commodity and just allocate a short time in the morning to feed and collect eggs and tidy up. Others treat them like friends and allocate much more time to give them treats like spinach leaves, corn, etc, treat any red mite, clear up all the poo (the smell of poo is bad for them) and clean out the hen house, etc, and just enjoy being with the hens, often naming them or ringing them with varying coloured rings. How long do you keep them? This depends. If you want them only for the eggs then you would change them every three years or so. If you keep them after their laying life then maybe seven years on average. Health issues If you keep them for only their egg laying life and are lucky you get few health issues, usually only: •  Red mite issues. •  The rare need to clean up •  the occasional bottom if it gets caked in poo. •  On the rare occasion that a hen is attacked by others and needs to be treated and isolated, etc. The end game At the end of your hens’ egg laying years you may want to ‘swap’ them for a new younger flock.     You may want introduce new younger hens to existing older flock but this has it problems.     No-one fancies killing their own pets (very difficult if you have named them). Some owners are brave enough to do it; others let them loose for foxy to do it for them. Once we found a farm theme park that accepted them. Now we have found a hen supplier that has offered to exchange our old hens for new and they do the dastardly deed on the old for us in a professional way.     No-one seems to like eating their tough old hens. Is it worth it? If you have time and the inclination then, yes. If you are unsure then, no. Further reading Photo: Some of the hens on the Village Tweet smallholding. Says Editor Grahame: “Fancy breeds are all very well but we have found ordinary brown hens to be much friendlier and the longest layers. Cheaper too!”

Climate change / Health and wellbeing

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Horsham District Community Climate Fund reopens for new applications


ew applications for Horsham District Council’s Community Climate Fund will open from 3rd January - 11th February 2022 for projects that help to protect the environment.     All residents and businesses have a valuable role to play in tackling climate change. The Council hopes that this Fund will enable community-led groups to deliver projects that share everyone’s vision of becoming a carbon neutral District.     Projects should include a commitment to inform the wider community about the project and inspire others to take action.

So far 13 community groups from across the District have received funding for projects as diverse as installing bicycle racks, LED lighting, solar panels and air source heat pumps, to sustainable planting schemes, recycling initiatives and educational projects.     Find out more and apply for funding at Telephone: (01403) 215358 or e-mail Sarah Hogben, Horsham District Council


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Charity / About the house

St Catherine’s Golf Society raise £29,000


he St Catherine’s Hospice Golf Society are celebrating after a record-breaking year raising more than £29,000 for their local hospice.     Despite the difficulties of COVID-19, the St Catherine’s Golf Society has held six golf days at popular local courses, including Hever Castle, Woodcote Park, Cottesmore, Betchworth Park and Tandridge Golf Club. The Tandridge Golf day even saw one member who has retired to Denmark fly back to attend the event.     The six golf days attracted 603 keen golfers, many of whom attended more than one event. The society, which has been running for 21 years, raised the incredible £29,000 by mainly holding auctions which mostly took place online, raffles at events and onthe-day golf challenges plus other bits and pieces.     Felicity Parsons, Fundraiser at St Catherine’s said, “We’re overwhelmed with the incredible amount the golf society has raised for our hospice. They have always been loyal supporters of St Catherine’s, dedicated to supporting those we care for, but have exceeded their previous fundraising in a year that has been unprecedentedly hard. This incredible donation will make such a difference during a year that many of our own hospice events have had to be cancelled. We can’t thank them enough.”     Golfers Duncan Ponikwer and Dave Owen

said, “It’s been a pleasure to support St Catherine’s via the Golf Society for over 21 years now. The team at the hospice have continued to care and support people who needed it most during the pandemic and they have adapted and responded to every challenge that has been thrown their way. We’d like to thank everybody who has supported our golf events and help us raise these vital funds.     “We’re already looking forward to a full calendar of events next year and we would welcome any new golfers to join us. We’re a friendly bunch who love golfing for such a good cause.” 2022 golf society events include: ·  Hever Castle: Wednesday 20th April ·  Woodcote Park: Wednesday 22nd June ·  Cottesmore: Golf plus Anniversary Dinner Dance, Friday 8th July ·  Betchworth Park: Monday 19th September ·  Tandridge:- Wednesday 16th November To register your interest for a future golf day or to find out more please contact or to make a donation to support your local hospice please visit or call (01293) 447361. Laura Mitchell, St Catherine’s Hospice Photos: Giles Tomsett, St Catherine’s Chief Executive (centre), Duncan Ponikwer (left) and Dave Owen (right) from the St Catherine’s Golf Society

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

Happy New Year!

Councillors and staff at Billingshurst Parish Council would like to wish residents a very happy and healthy 2022 Billingshurst Christmas Fayre Well, what a wonderful day was had on Saturday 4th December! Many thanks to all who supported the Christmas Fayre including visitors, stall holders, staff, volunteers and Councillors. Also huge thanks must go to those local businesses who donated prizes for our raffle.     There was a collection bucket for Chestnut Tree House (Children’s Hospice Care) at Santa’s Grotto and we are delighted that donations totalled £98.21.     The whole day was a resounding success and we look forward to holding a similar event in December 2022.

Bird Nesting Season Did you know that wild birds are protected by law? This is particularly important during the bird nesting season which typically lasts from early spring until late July.     Hedge cutting, vegetation clearance and tree work activities can have a devastating effect on the nesting sites of wild birds. If you intend to carry out works at your property, please be mindful that birds may be nesting.     If you require further advice as to what is and isn’t permitted during this time, please

read the Wildlife & Countryside Act or contact the RSPB for advice.

Encouraging Swifts in Billingshurst Swifts migrate from Africa, south of the Sahara to Europe every year to breed arriving in May and departing in August, but sadly numbers of this dynamic and unique bird have declined by more than 57% in the UK between 1995 and 2017. The good news – You Can Help:     Billingshurst has been hosting a small, loyal colony of Swifts for many years which currently nest in St Mary’s Church tower, the village is therefore well placed to preserve and increase their numbers.     Billigreen environment group can give advice and provide locally made swift boxes at a reasonable price. Below are the main points to consider:•  Swift nest boxes should be placed at least 4.5 metres high on buildings ideally along the eaves or below an equivalent rim/overhang. •  When installing a box the south side of a building should be avoided as should any position where the bird’s flight path is Email: 01403 782555 / twitter@BillingshurstPC

Billingshurst Parish Council


impeded by trees, wires, other obstacles. Look forward to the month of May with greater anticipation. Please give it a try, it requires patience, but the results could be fantastic and you could really help this amazing bird.     For more info please contact Helen Toole via Billigreen Group Facebook page, or email

We can help Don’t forget, if your community group or organisation has any events, meetings or fetes coming up over the course of 2022, and you would like help to promote this, please email or and we will do what we can to help with advertising.

Access onto Council land The Parish Council has recently decided to try to regularise by way of a licence, for the benefit of council and residents, the issue of private gates from private gardens onto council land, such as recreation grounds. This has been prompted by a recent request to install such a gate which was licensed accordingly. Many such gates have been in existence for many years. Any resident with a gate onto Parish Council land is invited to contact the Council, with a view to obtaining such a licence, at zero cost.

Billingshurst in Bloom Look out for details of how to enter our Billingshurst in Bloom local competition in the next few months.     Full details and entry forms will be advertised in upcoming editions of Village Tweet publication.     The judges commented that whilst travelling around to judge entries in previous years, 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, please do encourage them to enter this year.

Billingshurst Bowling Club – Quiz Night The Billingshurst Bowling Club will be holding their annual Quiz Night at St. Gabriel’s Church Hall on Saturday 26th March, 7.00pm for a 7.15pm start. To find out more or to book a table contact (01403) 784599.

An opportunity to HAVE YOUR SAY say on Traffic Calming measures In response to requests from residents asking for action to reduce and slow traffic in the East Street and High Street areas (following the completion of the Spine Road) the Parish Council appointed consultants to look at what could be done.     They have now reported and come up with a package of works that should help deter through traffic and rat-running, slow traffic, encourage walking and cycling, and simultaneously make the High Street a more enjoyable and safer place to visit.     Whilst the Parish is promoting this scheme, it will be up to WSCC as highway authority to consider and take forward, funds permitting. However, support from the community for such submissions is essential. The proposals, which are only concepts and will need further detailed study, can be viewed online at from 17th January 2022. Please take a moment to complete the online survey telling us whether you are broadly in favour (or not!) and have any additional comments.     In addition, the proposals will be on display at the Billingshurst Centre on Wednesday 2nd February 2022 from 2pm to 7pm, when Parish Councillors and Officers will be on hand to try to answer any questions. Consultation closes Monday 28th February 2022.

Upcoming Council meetings All meetings are held at the Billingshurst Community & Conference Centre (normally commencing at 7.30pm), and agendas are always posted on the Parish Council’s website Upcoming Meetings (January) 5th: Full Council & Trustees 6th: Planning & Environment Committee 26th: Billingshurst Centre and F&GP Committees

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Charity / About the house

The Gold and Blue Standard of Royal British Legion, Billingshurst


f you were at our Remembrance Parade and Ceremony last October, you will have seen someone different carrying the Royal British Legion Standard.     Andy Johnson is our newly elected Billingshurst Branch Standard Bearer. He has taken over from Rob Nicholl, now our Branch Chair.     You will see Andy in attendance at our acts of Remembrance and other events, securely looking after, maintaining and caring for the Branch Standard in between time.     The Standard’s colours are blue and gold, with the Union Flag in the upper left corner. The blue colour indicates loyalty and fidelity, while the gold signifies service, ‘As Gold Is Tried By Fire’, reminding us of all those who gave their lives for our country.     In warfare, the Standard Bearer was a visual locator for a military unit, allowing the troops to rally and maintain unit cohesion, and for a single commander to easily position his troops by only

positioning his standard-bearer, this was typically with the aid of musical cues or loud verbal commands.     However in present day, for the Legion it is a ceremonial position and the Standard is a constant reminder of the Legion’s motto, ‘Service not Self’.     Thanks to the Billingshurst community, our Poppy Appeal fundraising in November has collected nearly £9,000. We will let you know the exact amount in next month’s Village Tweet and also give details of how you can volunteer and play an important part as a Poppy Appeal collector.     For further information about the work of the Royal British Legion Branch, please contact: Rob Nicholl, Branch Chair, e-mail: Graeme McAlpine, Press Officer Photo: Rob Nicholl, Branch Chair (left) with Andy Johnson

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M.W. Wingate

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Little Tweeters! / About the house

The Addams Family Musical at The Weald School


fter a two-year break, The Weald School Drama Department returned in December with a truly fantastic end-of-year production.     A stage show based on Charles Addams’ characters from the cartoons rather than the television and film characters, this was a musical comedy to remember!     The story tells the tale of Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, grown up and with a shocking secret that only Gomez knows: she has fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family! Now, Gomez Addams must do something he has never done before: keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything

A vibrant and nurturing co-educational setting from Nursery to GCSE To book a tour of the school, please visit our website or contact us on 01483 277313 Duke of Kent School, Peaslake Road, Ewhurst, Surrey, GU6 7NS @dukeofkentschool 39467 Duke of Kent Advert A4 portrait senior v2.indd 1



Duke of Kent School 09/11/2021 13:36

changes for the whole family on a fateful night of hosting a dinner for Wednesday’s ‘normal’ boyfriend and his parents.     The students were thrilled to be able to return to the stage and there were some wonderful acting performances together with some super singing, dancing and truly comedic moments.     The school’s Drama teachers and Show Directors, Mrs Elmer and Miss Newington brought it all together for four amazing performances. The final night was a sellout and culminated in a well-deserved standing ovation. Alison Brown Photos, top: Disclosure game, left: Wednesday and ancestors, right: Gomez and Mal

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“Well I Never!” 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.


ell my friends… Christmas is a memory, New Year celebrations are over, and the long, grey month of January stretches out before us. Not the greatest vision to look forward to is it?     To make the first few days a touch brighter I thought I would introduce a couple of past events that may just raise your interest for a few moments.     Winter nights are fully primed to just the right consistency for strange events to happen that are difficult to explain. Long, cold, dark hours, when we hide away behind locked doors, cuddle down under the sheets and blankets and yearn for the sun’s warmth on our faces once more. It all lends to the mystery of these couple of stories I think you might find interesting.     I say stories but they were fully reported at the time. So… Story 1. It was a cold and snow covered night on the 8th/ 9th February in 1855. It had snowed through a great part of the night and people in the villages and towns around the counties of Devon and Dorset awoke to view the heavy fall. They also awoke to something else. For a distance that varies (according to various records) from 40 to 100 miles, there was a line of hoof prints in the snow. They extended from Exmouth up to Topsham, across the Exe estuary to Dawlish and Teignmouth. Other areas also reported these hoof prints around the counties.     The prints ran in a line with nothing impeding their way. Over walls, over roofs, across courtyards and over meadows.     They were reported as resembling a donkey’s hoof in some ares and a cloven hoof in others, and measuring four inches long and three inches across.     Superstition labeled them to be ‘The Devils Footprints’.     How true were they? Who knows? It was a darn clever spoof if it was a group of Victorian students at work, that’s for sure, especially the bit about going over roof tops!     But the Illustrated London News that reported it in 1855 was confident enough to print a diagram of the tracks found.     As you can see, a very detailed diagram!


Story 2. This happened in the south of England around Oxfordshire on the 3rd November 1888.     Around eight o’clock that night thousands of sheep all over the county went ballistic. They broke out of fields and barns; burst out of hurdled paddocks and fled in panic.     In the morning they were found crowded in field corners, many still panting in terror, some many miles from their home farms.     The panic had spread through flocks covering over 200 square miles!     The Times reported the event and said that even a thousand men could not have induced such panic in those sheep.     What had happened?     There had been a storm, with plenty of lightning and thunder. Did this cause them to mass panic?     I have my own theory…     If you’ve read my scribbles before you know my opinion of sheep.     I love lambs, they are the most adorable of God’s creatures but adult sheep… no way! They permanently look for ways to commit suicide while steadily driving their owners to a breakdown.     I don’t think it needed a thousand men. I believe just one would be enough!     So, I think that fateful evening was probably the fault of some poor farm worker slowly weaving his way back home from the village pub after a hard day’s work on the farm. Poor chap stumbles and falls into the ditch alongside a field of dozing ewes. He shrieks out as he hits the ice-cold water at the bottom of the ditch – it is November after all!     On the other side of the hedge the shriek awakens a dozing ewe. She, by natural instinct, is instantly convinced she’s about to be attacked, disembowelled and eaten.     So she panics.     The rest of the flock are only too willing to join in the fun and join her in the stampede for the horizon. As virtually every farm in those days would have had a few sheep somewhere on its fields, the panic soon escalated to county proportions.     Eureka… common sense… it’s the answer.     Well, that’s my thoughts anyway.     No good? Well, what’s your suggestion then? In the meantime, while your thinking…     Happy New Year folks! John Nash

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Fire station / Vets

Billingshurst Fire Station: The New Normal


hese last two years have been some of the strangest times most of us have lived through. Eagerly awaiting Boris to give us some good news, only being able to hug our relatives through a screen. Our children running out each Thursday not quite understanding who these heros are they’re clapping for and banging their pots and pans.     Rest assured though, even with the new Omicron variant, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service are still here to provide the same quality of prevention work and emergency response while keeping you safe. From bleeping smoke alarms and school safety visits to our day-to-day fire calls and even assisting our ambulance colleagues. We have the most up-to-date personal protective equipment to keep the residents of Billingshurst safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.     Behind the scenes, crews are thoroughly

cleaning the station and the appliance after every call, socially distancing and wearing masks where social distancing is not possible. At incidents where coronavirus is suspected crews have headto-toe Tyvec suits to deliver the same standard of response and care.     Look out for elderly or vulnerable neighbours. We are here in the village night and day ready to respond and do our upmost to help with the right precautions in place to keep you safe. If you do have any concerns or would like to request a FREE Home Fire Safety visit please call 0345 8729719.     All of the crew hope you had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. All the very best for 2022! Twitter: @Station49Fire Facebook: Billingshurst Fire Station Tim Wakeford, Billingshurst Fire Station Photos: Fire engine – aka ‘appliance’ is rigorously cleaned after each callout, as is every last piece of equipment

Staying safe at this time of year Winter is a great time of year, full of excitement, bright cold days and looking forward to the spring ahead, but it can also be hazardous for our pets.     I want to help you to avoid an emergency trip to the vets this winter with a few top safety tips: •  Store antifreeze products safely and securely – antifreeze contains an ingredient that if ingested can cause kidney failure, cats are particularly at risk. •  Wash your pet’s paws after they’ve walked on rock salt – if your pet licks their paws after walking on rock salt this can lead to tummy upset and lethargy. •  Keep chocolate, grapes and other dried fruit away from your pet and out of their eyesight – these are toxic to dogs and even a small quantity can cause serious illness. If your pet does eat any of these phone your vet straight away! You’ll need to tell the vet what they’ve eaten and how much, when your pet was exposed to it and if they have been unwell. Sophie Hall B.V.Sc., M.R.C.V.S.


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Pets / Fencing

The Spaniel Diaries


hat a month it’s been! I have been a very busy little spaniel indeed. We have been out and about taking advantage of the lovely weather we have had until now. Mum has been especially pleased with the fact that November was so dry we had no mud! The grass munching machines have been clean and dry and have not yet turned their field into a resemblance of a tank training ground! Mum is also pretty pleased that it means less housework too as we don’t end up redecorating the hallway with mud… I do enjoy wagging my tail and pebbledashing the walls, mum should really stop moaning and sell the results to an art gallery – after all, it’s unique and would give Banksy a run for his money.     We also had the thing called Christmas. It was pawsome, me and Mav got lots of tasty yummy treats, Mav got lots of tennis balls. He’s totally welcome to those, I am far to regal to chase such things but with Mav being an idiot they keep him entertained and out of my hair. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas too!     Speaking of hair, Mum has booked us in with the groomer – I am wholly unimpressed, I go to great lengths growing a thick winter coat and I love to leave white hairs lying around everywhere I have been – again watch out Banksy this is valuable art – and she goes and gets her groomer friend to give me a haircut and bath and make me smell like a girl! Mav puts up with it and doesn’t complain but then he is like a big girl himself! I shall make sure to find a really big dirty muddy puddle to take a dip in once this grooming session is over – Eau du ditchwater is my

favourite fragrance.     We actually had a bit of the cold white flaky stuff since I last added to my diary. Mum actually loves the stuff and took us out for a play. Mav was goggle-eyed – he’s never seen snow before, Mum rolled some into a ball and threw it. Now, I have fallen for this in the past so I just ignored it, Mav, however, shot off after it and couldn’t understand how it fell to bits in his mouth! He rooted around for ages looking for another one!     We had to go and see the vet man too to have our boosters, not something I enjoy at all but mum says it will help keep us healthy and seeing as she had a booster too – not at the vet’s I hasten to add, but at the people doctor – I thought I would put my brave pants on and not whimper and hide my face like I did last time! Mav was brave too and we also got a special sweetie which I was suspicious of but it stops us getting the little black itchy things on us so I thought I had better eat it. The vet also complimented us on how slim and fit we were (unlike mum but don’t tell her I said that!).     Mum has found some really fun games for us to do inside while the weather is so vile; I absolutely love it and I have to say I’m much better at it than Mav! She hides treats around the house and it’s my job to go and sniff them out. This game makes me feel really happy and tires my brain out so I can have a nice snooze afterwards! Mav gets really excited and charges about like a bulldozer, I don’t know why he has to do everything at 100mph, probably trying to impress mum, but I know that I’m secretly her favourite! Jeannette Douglas

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Garden Tweet! / Pest control

Plants as air purifiers


friend recently asked me whether there are any plants which might help with the humidity and mould problem in the bathroom and back bedroom of her Victorian house. It’s a problem that actually affects many British households. Many of our homes are old, and in our damp climate humidity can rise pretty quickly in the winter when all the windows are closed, and the radiators are on. With increased humidity comes the increased risk of mould and associated respiratory problems.     Obviously, we can install a dehumidifier or an extractor fan, but nature also provides her own dehumidifiers and air purifiers in the form of certain house plants.     The best houseplants for mould-prone areas are those which are efficient at absorbing moisture through their leaves. Not all plants are equally efficient at this task so I’ve selected four of the best. Each offers a different aesthetic so there should be one that’s perfect for you.     English ivy is a native plant and it’s a low-cost option. It removes airborne mould, but also other toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene. It grows best in bright, indirect sunlight so is perfect for north-facing rooms. You need to keep it out of reach of toddlers and pets because the leaves are toxic.     Peace Lilies (pictured) remind me of the film Hot Fuzz. Sergeant Angel, played by Sean Pegg loved his Peace Lily, and he had good reason. Not only are they elegant plants with stunning white flowers, but research conducted by NASA found the Peace Lily to be one of the top indoor plants for air purification. This tropical plant breaks down and

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neutralizes benzene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide.     One of the advantages of a Peace Lily is that it tells you when it’s thirsty by drooping and that it’s getting too much light by turning yellow. They love high humidity areas with indirect sunlight like most bathrooms and are great at preventing mould. Like English ivy the leaves and flowers are toxic.     Palms add a tropical touch to a room and will efficiently reduce humidity. There are many varieties and some of the best are the lady palm, dwarf palm and reed palm. Indirect light is best and keep the surface of the soil moist but not wet.     The Snake Plant is a wonderfully architectural succulent. Its evergreen sword-shaped leaves grow upright, and almost resemble artificial foliage. It’s great at air purification and is one of the few plants that can convert carbon dioxide into oxygen at night. This quality makes it particularly good for use in a bedroom as it can help regulate healthy airflow. Snake plants can absorb cancercausing pollutants, including CO2, benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene and act as an effective defence against airborne allergies.     Plants can’t solve a full-on damp problem and they won’t replace a built-in humidifier or extractor fan. But plants are a great way to improve the quality of the air in your home and they look beautiful too.     Happy indoor gardening! Rachel Leverton

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Garden Tweet! / Firewood

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Community / Firewood

The Wey & Arun Canal waterwheel


id you know there is a waterwheel on the Wey & Arun Canal – and a unique one at that?     At the southern end of the canal, on the Arun Navigation, you’ll find Lordings Lock and Orfold Aqueduct (a single structure), along with a waterwheel. (Easily found on Google Maps.) Here the canal is carried over the river by the three-arched aqueduct, while the waterwheel – powered by the river – lifts the water into the canal. It is thought to be the only one of its kind on the national waterway system.     Sadly, recent vandalism and deterioration have rendered the waterwheel unusable but thanks to a grant from a charitable trust, Wey & Arun Canal Trust volunteers have begun to restore this heritage asset.     The project, led by former mechanical engineer Brian King, has called for painstaking precision; a bespoke single stainless-steel shaft with associated end flanges had to be commissioned, manufactured to exact size and fixed in place by a specialist engineering contractor. All the peripheral steelwork had to be removed, then brushed up and rejuvenated with a special underwater paint. The stainless-steel buckets that move the water also needed rewelding, another specialist task. The chute from which water flows into the aqueduct has been replaced with a Cor-Ten steel equivalent (the


previous one made of wood having rotted through), while the current rubber seals used to prevent water loss between the buckets and the stone wall have also been removed and replaced with a unique stainless-steel lip.     Brian follows in the footsteps of restoration pioneer Winston Harwood in attempting to bring this very special structure back to life. Back in 1992 Winston and fellow volunteers discovered what appeared to be the foundations of a building. They decided to excavate (by hand) and eventually uncovered the lock and aqueduct and exposed the waterwheel chamber for the first time in 140 years. Working from only the internal dimensions of the chamber, Winston constructed a waterwheel – no mean feat with no drawings or other example.     Further improvements have been made to the wheel over the years and work will recommence in the spring (the area floods in winter making it difficult to get equipment on site). It is hoped the Wey & Arun Canal Trust will soon be able to show off this special structure in its full glory. Gill Davies, Press and Publications Assistant Photos: The waterwheel being restored, new wheel on right

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Kids of all ages / Garden Tweet!

Village Tweet Spot the Difference

Take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, 28th-30th January. See Solution Meanwhile, can you spot the 14 differences with these colourful birds? on page 43


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What’s On near you

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What’s On – January Every Mon

Knit & Natter. Billingshurst Library. 10.30am-midday. Open to anyone that likes to knit, crochet, sew and chat! Meet new friends, swap tips and ideas. No need to book. All ages and abilities welcome. Further info: drop in or call Bev at Billingshurst Library on (01403) 783145 Every Mon Horsham Matters Hub on the Move Foodbank. Billingshurst Library car park, 10-11.30am 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 Mon BOOSTfit Horsham. The Forest School, Comptons Lane, RH13 5NT. Judgement & pressure free fitness for all. Clare Lawton, tel: 07983 976 601 or e-mail: Every Mon Chair Yoga. Kelsey Hall, Ifold. 2.15-3pm. For those who want to feel the benefits of yoga, but from a chair! All welcome. £5. Kim, tel: 07780 439155 or e-mail Every Mon Seniors’ Coffee Morning. St Mary’s Room, Billingshurst. 10.30am to 12 noon. £3 a head. Transport available. Tel: (01403) 786706 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 Clubbercise with Hayley. Wisborough Green. 7.45-8.30pm. Aerobic exercise class for all fitness (except levels16 and over. Darkened room with flashing disco lights and music (90s to now). Pre-bookings first Mon) only: Latest updates: 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. Tel: Philip, 07786 070939 or email: 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: or contact Keith Carter on 01403 700502 Every Tues Billingshurst Short Mat Bowls. Billingshurst Community & Conference Centre. 2-4pm. £4 per session. Come and try a game. It’s great fun with friendly people in a small club. Further details please contact Alan Barnes, tel: (01403) 783721 Every Tues Chair Yoga. St Mary’s Room, Billingshurst. 3.45-4.30pm. For those who want to feel the benefits of yoga, but from a chair! All welcome. £5. Kim, tel: 07780 439155 or e-mail Every Tues Billingshurst Choral Society Practice. Billingshurst Community & Conference Centre. 7.30-9.45pm. New members welcome. Tel: Keith Paul on 07989 412997 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 Slinfold Concert Band rehearsal. Slinfold Village Hall from 7.30-9.30pm. Brass, woodwind and percussion players all welcome. 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. Tel: Philip, 07786 070939 or email: Every Tues Neighbourhood Warden drop-in sessions. Billingshurst Community & Conference Centre. 12-2pm Every Tues BOOSTfit Billingshurst. Billingshurst Leisure Centre, RH14 9RY. Judgement & pressure free fitness for all. Clare Lawton, tel: 07983 976 601 or e-mail: 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 Every Tues Pétanque Club. Shipley Football Ground, 10.15 for 10.30am start (*spring/summer/autumn, Friday, 6.30pm) & Fri* Coffee after. Equipment provided. All ages and abilities. Tel: Russell, 07803 259190 or email: 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: Every Weds The Millennium Bridge Club. Storrington Village Hall, 1.30-4.30pm. All abilities. Please contact: Barbara: (01903) 741365 or Every Weds Line dancing. St Gabriel’s Church Hall. Improvers 6-7.15pm, intermediates 7.15-9.30pm. Details from Maureen, tel: 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 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 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 Every Weds Yoga Flow. Billingshurst Centre. 6-7pm. Emily Apps, tel: 07976 226525 or email: Every 2nd BilliUke: Billingshurst’s Own Ukulele Jam! Billingshurst Centre, 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. 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). Meet 11am, Library car park, Billingshurst (TQ086260). Parking free with annnual permit or 75p per hour. 2¼ miles, flat, easy. 1 hour. Chris (01403) 782745. All HDC walks are guided, free and sociable. Led by trained volunteers; no need to book, just turn-up Every Thurs Wildlife walkabouts. RSPB Pulborough Brooks Nature Reserve, Wiggonholt, RH20 2EL. 10am-12 noon. £8 per person (£2.50 for RSPB members). (01798) 875851. Every Thurs Crafts and Natter group. The Chapel, Spy Lane, Loxwood, RH14 0SQ. 11am-3pm


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What’s On near you

Every Thurs Drop in Baby Zone! St Mary’s Room, East Street, Billingshurst. 10.30-11.30am Thurs & Fri plus 1.30& Fri 2.30pm Thurs. Meet other parents and their babies. Every week except between Xmas & New Year. Emma: Free spaces, book at VMA Dance classes for children 2-18yrs. Jubilee Fields, Billingshurst. Classes in Ballet, Street Dance Every Fri & Contemporary. Free Trial available then £5pw pre-booked. 07879 773705 Every Fri Nationwide Building Society. Billingshurst Community Centre. Cancelled due to coronavirus Every Fri The Mother’s Fire. Nature connection group for mothers and children of all ages. 10am-12 noon at a beautiful, secure farm in Billingshurst, runs all year round. Contact for more info or to book visit: (Places must be booked in advance) 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 Dempsey School of Irish Dancing for children aged 5+. Billingshurst Community Centre. 9 & 10am. Every Sat Nicola, e-mail: Every Sat Amities Boules Club. Foresters Arms, Kirdford. New members always welcome. Sats: 10.45 for & Weds 11am start, finish 1.30pm. Weds (summer only, weather permitting): 2pm. David, tel: (01483) 278346 Every Sun The Emmanuel Fellowship meet every Sunday at ‘The Chapel’, Spy Lane, Loxwood, RH14 0SQ. 10.30am for about an hour with refreshments afterwards. 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 4 Jan Trefoil Guild Meeting. St Mary’s Room, East St, Billingshurst. 7.30-9pm. First Tuesday of the month. Open to all ex-Brownies, Guides & Guiders. Julia, tel: (01403) 784363 4 Jan Trefoil Guild Meeting. Meetings are temporarily suspended due to COVID but we hope to restart them again in 2022. Julia, tel: (01403) 784363 Laughter Yoga Club. Unitarian Hall (side door), Billingshurst, RH14 9TB. (Park Lakers Mead.) 1.35 for 4 Jan 1.45pm start till 2.45pm. £6. Boosts seratonine and nervous systems & improves wellbeing! Non-profitmaking club. All welcome. Contact Linda, tel: 07806.327917, email: 5 Jan Parish Council Full Council & Trustees meeting. Billingshurst Centre. 7.30pm Reading Friends. Billingshurst Library. Temporarily suspended due to coronavirus 6 Jan 6 Jan Parish Council Planning & Environmental Committee meeting. Billingshurst Centre. 7.30pm 8 Jan Billingshurst Dementia Café. United Reformed Church Hall, Second Saturday of every month, from 10am-12pm. Please join us for tea, coffee and cake. All are welcome Billingshurst Carers Group (for carers of people with dementia or long-term condition). Longfield Manor, 12 Jan West Street, RH14 9LX. 2.30-4pm. (Every 2nd Weds.) or 13 Jan Billingshurst WI Talk by Aaron Baeton from Billingshurst Surgery. Stanley Room, Community Centre, Roman Way. 2.30pm. Interesting speakers, hobby groups, various outings. Visitors welcome. Secretary, tel: (01403) 780810 13 Jan Billingshurst Local History Society Film: the Restoration of the Blue Idol. Billingshurst Community and Conference Centre, 7.30pm. Learn more about this important local building. Membership £20 per annum. Visitors £5 per meeting. Ms G Knight, tel: (01403) 451401, email: 13 Jan Wisborough Green WI Evening. Wisborough Green Village Hall. 8pm. Every first Thurs (except Jan: 2nd Thursday). No August meeting. Visitors welcome. Ruth Isaacs, Secretary: (01403) 785402 14 Jan Macmillan Film night. ‘West Side Story’. Billingshurst Conference & Community Centre. 7pm for 7.30pm start. Refreshments, raffle and Macmillan stall. Tickets £6.50 from or Austens Home Hardware, 48-52 High Street or Terri Ashpool, tel: (01403) 588996 or on the door Loxwood Movie Night: ‘Goodnight Mr Tom’. North Hall, RH14 0SF. 7 for 7.30 start. £5 on the door. Bar 14 Jan 14 Jan Billingshurst and District Wine and Beer Circle meeting. Circle meets 2nd Friday (except August) at St Gabriel’s Hall, East Street, 8pm. New members welcome. Contact Chris 07790 762052 or Linda 07806 327917. Email: 14, 15, 16, Barns Green Players: Pantomime: ‘Aladdin’. Village Hall. 14th & 21st eve, 16th afternoon, 15th & 21 & 22 Jan 22nd afternoon & eve. Afternoons: 2pm, evenings: 7.30pm. Tickets £14 (children £10) available from or box office (01403) 730017. See Village Tweet December, page 34 15 Jan Slinfold Village Cinema. Slinfold Village Hall. Doors 7pm. Film 7.30pm. Tickets £5 from Slinfold Village Stores or on the door. For film details see Billingshurst Lions Club Meeting. Sports Pavilion, Jubilee Fields, Billingshurst. 7.30pm. For information 17 Jan about the Club contact Viv Diggens on (01403) 752968 or call in at the Lions Bookshop, Jengers Mead 17 Jan Macmillan Film night. ‘West Side Story’. Pulborough Village Hall. 7pm for 7.30pm start. Refreshments, raffle and Macmillan stall. Tickets £6.50 from or Pulborough Village Hall or Terri Ashpool, tel: (01403) 588996 or on the door (subject to availability) 18 Jan 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 18 Jan Loxwood Jazz Club. Village Hall. With candle-lit tables and a licensed bar, it has a very intimate atmosphere with international standard jazz. Tickets £15 from Peter Winney, tel: (01403) 752377 19 Jan Billingshurst Wednesday Group Talk: Tour Guide Sarah Slater will tell us about the ghosts and history of Hampton Court castle. St Mary’s Room, Billingshurst, 10am. Hazel Barnes, tel: (01403) 780660 or email: 19 Jan for Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) 10-week course: ‘American Art & Artists’. Billingshurst 10 weeks Community & Conference Centre, Roman Way, RH14 9QW, 2-4pm. Tutor is popular Art Historian Dr Prasannajit de Silva. Fee £90 for 10 sessions (20 hours’ tuition), half-term 23rd Feb. Enrol on-line at or telephone 0300 303 3464. More info: David Daley, tel: (01798) 815601 or email: 20 Jan Barns Green & Itchingfield Women’s Institute Meeting. Barns Green Village Hall. 2.30pm followed by tea. New members welcome. Meetings 3rd Thurs of the month. For more information contact


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Annette Relph (01403) 732580 Slinfold Indoor Market. Village Hall. 10am to 2pm. Details: Pulborough Village Market. Pulborough Village Hall, Swan View, RH20 2BF. 9am-12 noon. Fresh produce, bread, delicatessen, local honey, organic condiments, plants, local crafts 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: Billingshurst Wednesday Group Talk: Johnathon Meadows from Meadows Wellbeing in the Village will talk to us about the various treatments available to support physical & emotional wellbeing. St Mary’s Room, Billingshurst, 10am. Hazel Barnes, tel: (01403) 780660 or email: Parish Council Billingshurst Centre & F&GP Committees meetings. Billingshurst Centre. 7 & 7.30pm Sing for Pleasure. Billingshurst Community Centre. 3.00-4.30pm. We are a friendly, informal group who enjoy a sing-along. If you are a lady or gentleman in the more mature age group, even if you think you can’t sing, we’d love you to join us for an enjoyable afternoon. £3, includes tea and biscuits

Village Tweet will publish details of local events in this free What’s On section. Please email brief details to together with contact or website details

ADVERTISERS INDEX January 2022 A-Team Mechanics............................43 A/c’s Direct, Accounting ....................47 AC Decor...........................................33 Accomplish Jobs, recruitment ...........15 Alba Plumbing...................................29 Alex Newson Tree Services..............41 Ansells Market...................................11 Bat and Ball pub................................13 Best Choice Roofing .........................23 Billingshurst Choral Society ................4 Billingshurst Leisure Centre ..............16 Billingshurst Parish Council ........24, 25 Billingshurst Primary School .............15 Billingshurst Service, Repair & MOT Centre ..................................42 Billingshurst Tyres .............................44 Bluecoat Sports.................................19 BOOSTfit...........................................15 CAGNE .............................................10 CJ Sewage Treatment ......................31 Creative Art Classes ...........................7 Dandelion Farewells, funerals...........17 Double A Roofing Ltd ..........................3 DW Gardens .....................................38 Duke of Kent School .........................32 Evans Electrical.................................35

Flackwoods Solicitors..........................6 Flow-serve Plumbing, Drainage, Heating..........................................31 GB Glazing Ltd..................................35 George Potbury Forestry ..................40 GJ Coles, builder ..............................23 Goring Road Carpet Centre..............27 Hamilton Cole TV & Satellite Equipment .....................................33 Holly Stone Hypnotherapy ................21 JC Plumbing......................................27 Jonathan Carter Tree Surgery ..........41 Keywood Tree Care ..........................39 Kings Head pub ................................13 KJ Cox Solicitor...................................5 KJ Lammas Plumbing & Heating ......22 KSS (Air Ambulance Charity, Kent Surrey, Sussex), Talks...................10 Lee’s Locks .......................................33 Leigh Humphries, mobile hairdresser.15 LMC Auto Services ...........................44 Mac’s Private Hire...............................9 Meadow Hall Veterinary Practice ......36 Meadows Wellbeing ..........................18 Miss Mop Domestic Cleaning ...........32 MW Wingate Painting & Decorating .31

MPS Home Improvements Ltd..........33 N Francis Electrical Ltd.....................29 NFP Forestry.....................................39 NFU Mutual Insurance ........................8 Oven Cleaning Direct........................23 Oven Rescue ....................................30 Park House Kitchens.....................OBC Peacocks Builders.............................29 Pest Man...........................................38 Petworth MOT Centre .......................42 Phoenix Care ....................................17 PJM Building & Property Maintenance..................................35 Rebecca Beauty Therapist................21 Re-Nu Kitchens.................................31 Rudgwick Cabinets and Carpentry ...23 Rudgwick Fencing.............................37 St Mary’s Church ................................5 Sussex Carpet Brokers .....................28 Sussex Laundry ................................27 Sussex Towing Brackets ...................43 Titchmarsh Services, tree surgery ....39 Village Nurseries ...............................41 WG Tyres ..........................................43 ZES Brickwork...................................27


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