Ditchling Downs WI: At the March meeting the Speaker was Simon Mott who gave a presentation with the title, What Makes a Superstar. The superstar in question turned out to be Annunzio Paolo Mantovani who was born in Venice in 1905 and moved to England in 1912. He worked with the composer Ronnie Binge and they developed the Mantovani Sound, that is the cascading strings effect. Variety magazine described Mantovani as the “biggest phenomenon of the twentieth century” and he became the first person to sell a million stereophonic records. Simon’s talk included fascinating footage of Mantovani’s lif and some recordings of his innovative music. And it turned out that Simon was in fact Mantovani’s grandson. The next meeting is on 3 April when Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne is the speaker and will be held in Ditchling Village Hall at 7.30pm.

Ditchling Film Society: On Thursday 5 April the Society is showing Manchester by Sea, a masterly and beautifully acted film about loss and grief. After the death of his older brother Joe, Lee Chandler, a brooding and irritable loner, is shocked to hear that he has been made sole guardian of Joe’s 16 year old son Patrick. Lee is now forced to deal with the painful past that separated him from his wife and the community where he was born and raised. His return to the past opens an unspeakable tragedy. Casey Affleck, playing the part of Lee Chandler proves he can convey suffering as well as any actor alive and is supported by a terrific cast. Director: Kenneth Lonergen. US. 2016. 137 mins. 15 Cert. The film is shown at 8pm in Ditchling Village Hall. Doors open at 7.30pm. Free coffee and biscuits beforehand and wine can be purchased by the glass. There is ample free parking behind the hall. Guests and temporary members are welcome for £5 payable at the door.