RADIO 4 QUESTION TIME: came to Hurst Village centre on Friday last week, and I was lucky to be present. It goes out 50 weeks a year and is the longest running political debate programme, which will celebrate 70 years in 2018. In the words of Margaret Carey, Chair of the Festival it was ‘the most amazing thing” to happen to Hurst. After originally making a request to be considered 8 years ago, suddenly 5 weeks before she had received a phone call saying they could come on 5 May. The Festival is in September, but as she said “the Festival is family and they rallied round’ to get it all organised. Doors opened at 6.30 pm and a steady stream of Hurst residents arrived and posted their questions in the box, that the editorial team would sift through and choose. Half an hour before it started a packed hall buzzing with expectant chatter, were explained how it would work, and the 10 people whose questions had been picked were called out to the front seats, to be ready when asked to voice them. The panel entered with Johnathan Dimbleby, whom we had been told had in fact spent much of his childhood in West Sussex. They were Stuart Andrew, Vice Chairman of the Conservative Association, Sarah Olney one of the newest members of Parliament until it was dissolved, Emily Thornberry, Shadow Foreign Secretary and finally Nigel Farage, UKIP MEP and former leader. After a warm up question to check sound levels apart from any thing else, we heard the Radio 4 news then we were on air. Questions ranged from judging the performance of their parties in recent local elections, negotiating Brexit and how the panel viewed Prince Philip’s contribution to the monarchy and the country. Finally they were all asked if they would miss him, and the audience were also asked to answer by a show of hands after we were off air. An interesting experience, and well done to the Festival committee for putting Hurst on the national political debate map.
MONTHLY PARISH SURGERY: this month is on Saturday 13 May from 10am to 12 noon, with two Parish Councillors. The first one was very successful and productive with several people turning up and discussing various topics. Would you like to have a chat about any issue or idea that interests you regarding the village? This is an informal time in the Conference Room at the Village Centre. All Parish Council and Committee meetings are open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend, but you may not be able to do so, and this is why these sessions are being trialled.
SPRING PLANT SALE: on Sunday 14 May at the allotments, from 10 am to 12 noon.
HURST, HASSOCKS & DITCHLING U3A: Friday 19 May Adastra Hall at 2pm in Hassocks, Andy Thomas will be expounding on A Conspiracy History of the World. Non members welcome.
COFFEE MORNING: at Holy Trinity Church on Saturday 20 May, 10am to 12 noon. A talk by members of the Hurstpierpoint Village Festival to give a taster of what will be happening this year. So a sneak preview available with a coffee and cake! Plus all the usual stalls of cards, gifts, bric a brac and raffle.This will be the last one for the summer season.
WEST GALLERY CONCERTS: this month on Saturday 20 May are very proud to welcome the celebrated international tenor, Neil Jenkins with his pianist Gary Branch who will present ‘John Beard – Handel’s Tenor’, devised by Neil Jenkins. Neil, internationally known tenor, conductor and music editor, was a Chorister at Westminster Abbey, and a Choral Scholar at King’s College Cambridge. He has carved out a unique career, being equally at home as an Operatic, Oratorio and Recital singer; he combines this with an increasingly important role as a musicologist. To reserve tickets: email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 01273 835113, sign the list in the church, or turn up and pay on the door, though this concert is likely to be very popular so best to book in advance. £5 per head. Licensed bar.These concerts are timed for the early evening, starting at 6pm with a break half way for a glass of wine and chat, and finishing at 7.30pm.
40th BIRTHDAY OPEN DAY: for Paws & Claws animal rescue charity on Saturday 20 May from 2pm to 4pm, free admission. Starting in a small way in 1977 a group of friends began to rescue cats in the Haywards Heath area, until Gay Brook Kennels at Goddards Green made some space available for the expanding work and finally after 28 years a property was bought at Sayers Common for a purpose built Rescue Centre, which includes the Pavilion, a permanent home for the elderly or difficult to rehome. raising. This year marks the 40th anniversary of Paws & Claws working in Mid Sussex, which will be celebrated at an Open Day at the Rescue Centre, Coombe Down, Sayers Common, BN6 9HZ. A great afternoon’s outing is in store, to see the cats but also with plenty of stalls to browse; plants, gifts, bric a brac, books, DVDs, toys, jigsaws, animal items, tombolas, and big raffle. Enjoy tea and homemade cake listening to the live music of the Raye du Val Jazz Duo. Good weather expected but the website can be checked, www.pawsandclaws-ars.org.uk.
DIARY DATE: In the continuing series of Holy Trinity Stories the next Saturday morning talk will be on 27 May. John Norris will be explain about the Durer stained glass windows but note that in a change to the schedule he will be joined by Ian Nelson who will cover the Borrer family and their memorials.
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