MSDC refuse freighter: This will be at the NEW RAWSON HALL car park on Sunday May 8 between 10am - 12 noon for a free collection of garden and household rubbish (no builders rubbish will be accepted). Please do not leave any rubbish in the absence of the freighters.

Horticultural Society/Gardening Club: are holding a coffee morning and plant sale in the Rawson Hall on Saturday May 7, 10am - 12 noon. All welcome.

Bus service alterations: There has been several alterations to the Metrobus No. 273 which runs between Brighton and Crawley and reverse. This stops on the old A23 at the end of Ryecroft Road.

New timetables are posted at the respective bus stops or can be found on the website.

Bolney WI: Our speaker this month was Harry Townsend, a former gardener and ex rugby player and now a tireless money raiser for a charity supporting those with melanoma (skin cancer). His wife died of this disease some years ago since when he has devoted his time and energies to this worthwhile charity.

The ‘big thrust’ of his campaign was to walk the length of North Island, New Zealand. Why there? Currently New Zealand has the highest incidence of melanoma. And where else could you safely walk along the hard shoulder of main roads pushing a wheelbarrow?

Harry is better known as ‘Harry the wheelbarrow man’ and said wheelbarrow is called George!

George was too large to go into the aircraft hold for the outward flight and therefore his handles were unceremoniously sawn off (that is George’s not Harry’s).

Fortunately kind volunteers soldered said handles back on once in New Zealand and the couple were able to set off on their 68 day:800 mile walk in a state befitting the task.

It says a lot for the hospitality of the natives that Harry never once had to resort to sleeping under the stars. Walking through fascinating villages and small tows, he stayed with generous islanders in very different homes but kindness and generosity were the common factors. The only offer he graciously refused was overnight in a sheep shearers’ shed with resident rats whose night-time habit was to lick the faces of the resident sleepers!

Harry’s fascinating slides showed the skills of local artists in wall paintings, beautiful decorative tiles and of course the natural beauty of North Island.

$26,000 was raised in New Zealand and In all, he has raised £600,000 for the charity with help more recently from Thompson & Morgan (the seed specialists) and Leeds United (the footballers).

Harry is a witty and entertaining speaker and he was accompanied to Bolney by two of his Kiwi friends who happened to be staying with him. All three commented on the beauty of the village, the village hall and the friendliness of the Bolney WI. The afternoon was a real success despite the lack of local guests.

Our next meeting is closed to guests because we have decisions to make on our resolutions to be sent forward to the Federation’s AGM in June, however our June meeting is one for music lovers who can hear the harp beautifully played by Sally Course and learn something of its history. June 9th at 2.30pm in the Rawson Hall. Visitors are welcome. The charge is £2.50.

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