Bobservation No. 85: Social Samantha

Customary Cottage, Fulking, 1987, Stuart MilnerNew home
Having rented Customary Cottage for at least three years Samantha, Nick and family (and Temba!) will be leaving the village on 1st October to move into their own home in Henfield. In the short(ish) time they have been here Samantha has been a very welcome driving force in the village particularly for encouraging villagers to get together. She assures me that her involvement with Fulking will continue and I sincerely hope it will.  I am sure you will all join me in wishing them a very happy and long life in their new home.

Fulking village events
As autumn approaches I find the fascinating change of seasons makes me realise how very fortunate we are to live in such a bucolic parish. I have a real awareness of not only knowing many of the villagers but thinking of them as good friends. The Social Committee have pencilled in a couple of dates, one for the village Christmas party on Saturday 11 December and Sunday 24 July 2022 for the annual village fair and RSPCA fun dog show, all this subject to Covid restrictions at the time. Please put both dates in your diary and make a big effort to join in.

Bobservation No. 84: The Postponed Fulking Fair

Fulking FairIn spite of the weather forecast we went ahead with the fair on 8 August and although the rain came in, at times heavily, the event really got under way  by early afternoon in dry and quite pleasant conditions.
First mention must be made of the village helpers who put a tremendous effort into making it so socially successful. Villagers were involved in Flyer distribution, Sign making and placing, Parking, Traffic control, Bar, BBQ, Cakes, Childrens’ games, Stall allocation, Rubbish collection, Cash counting and banking, First aid and Supervision. I hope I haven’t omitted something! And considering that this is a very small village they all did a great job and we made a profit of £414!
Second and equally worthy of a gold medal were the stallholders who gave us their support, although financially it must have been a pretty bad day for them. We look forward to seeing them all next year.
Lastly and by no means least the RSPCA fun dog show was a great success and without it the attendance would have been much worse. I hope that Fulking and RSPCA will form a Fair partnership for many years.
Personally, my involvement makes it one of the most enjoyable days in my year. Dare I suggest Sunday 31 July 2022 as a Fair date for next year?

Bobservation No. 83: Blue Badges and Fair Timing

Merged image of Fulking fair in red and a disabled parking passBlue Badge Scheme
Since the years overtook my ability to do anything useful I have found the Blue Badge Scheme so very helpful in allowing me to park a short distance from anywhere I wish to drive to (or be driven!). However these badges only last three years and renewing on the web-site is a nightmare for anyone less intelligent than Berners-Lee. This process is made incredibly simple by the marvellous staff at West Sussex County Council (01243 777653) who can renew over the telephone in certain cases.
Fulking Fair Second Attempt
The weather scuppered the intended event on 25 July and we will have another go on 8 August . A number of intended stalls have not been able to reschedule including National Trust. We still have a big RSPCA fun dog show as the centrepiece and amongst others Shepherd & Dog bar, Rushfields pies, BBQ, Hot dogs, DeLucas Ice cream (including a doggie one), Homemade cakes, Teas & Coffees, Children’s games, live music from Tenderhooks and many other interesting stalls. We still could use some willing hands if you can spare the time.

Bobservation No. 82: Wilding Dog Show

Wilding in Gardens
I have found wilding in our garden has given a remarkable increase in the range of insects, including bees, and an amazing variety of wild flowers (there are no weeds only wild flowers!). Instead of mowing all the grassed areas in straight lines we have created mown paths through the previously mown parts. The concept is not new but has been given a large boost by the success of wilding at Knepp Castle. Our vegetable plot has benefitted from allowing wild flowers to grow at the margins of vegetable beds by increasing the bee pollination rate. Obviously all this has to be kept proportionate to the space available but it is certainly worth giving it a try.

RSPCA fun dog show at Fulking Fair 2021
The centrepiece of this year’s fair will be the RSPCA fun dog show. Depending on what Covid regulations are in force it is the intention to hold the fair on Sunday 25 July from mid-day till 5pm. The Social Committee has once again proved to be a tremendous asset in preparing, manning and generally helping to make this all possible in a very difficult year, as have the hard core of village helpers. It is at times like this that I am reminded what a fantastic village we live in.

Bobservation No. 81: Fair Change

Colourful hands on yellew backgroundThis changing world
Jenny reminded me the other day of some of the really involved people who are no longer in the village. At the risk of omitting someone, in no particular order, Nick, Kate, Jo, Jim & Carolyn, Tony & Doris, Nick & Jill, Sarah, Harry & Charmayne, Ian and Jill, Adrian, Anthony, Alison, Tim, Annette, Holly & Ollie, Brian, Barry, Dave & Emily. I apologise for omissions! The point I am making is that since they left it has been harder and harder to get enthusiastic supporters of village events. Whenever the Coronavirus is controlled, life as we knew it will never be the same again. I hope that the acceptance with which people were prepared to put up with things will have been replaced by a more questioning attitude and a demand for a fairer more egalitarian society. Assuming this leads to material change, particularly in the NHS, it can only be a good thing so far as most of the population are concerned. Indeed, I think it is for villagers to do everything that they can legally to assist in bringing about such change.

RSPCA fun dog show at Fulking Fair
Subject to regulations concerning the virus and, of course, the weather we are on track for a really good fair on Sunday 25 July from noon till 5pm in the North Town Field. There will be live music, hot food, a bar, childrens’ games, teas and cakes and some interesting stalls. RSPCA will be taking part for the first time with a fun dog show from 12.30pm. National Trust, Sussex Wildlife Trust and Woodland Trust will be there. We are still very short of helpers, for all manner of jobs, so if you would like to join us and help raise some funds for Fulking village needs, please get in touch. I am seriously concerned that if we do not get more offers of help the Fair will be in jeopardy.

Bobservation No. 80: Village Hall and Fair

View of Chapel with Village Hall behind during FairFulking Fair 2021
To organise the fair means starting early in the year to contact possible stallholders and food outfits before they get booked up. I find this a very absorbing hobby and am very happy to do it. I am given to understand there may be villagers who object to the fair taking place this year due to the influx of possible carriers of the Corona virus. I must assure them, and indeed everybody, that whatever the Governmental regulations, regarding the pandemic, are they will be strictly adhered to. As ever any helping hands are always welcome. If you would like to join in please contact me by phone at 271 or email to bob.pamrowland@btinternet.com.

Village Hall
The future of the village hall, which has been the centre of Fulking social events for well over a century, is apparently back on the agenda of village life. Whilst the freehold of this interesting building seems to be in the hands of the Parochial Church Committee (PCC), it has been made available to the village by means of a leasing agreement in recent years. I do appeal to the PCC to consider the effect on Fulking if this availability were to terminate, take note of the strength of feeling in the village about the hall and be generous in whatever suggestions they may make for the future of this vital social asset.

Bobservation No. 70: Fair Lament

Lament for Fulking Fair

On Sunday 26 July we were due to have the annual Fulking Fair in the North Town Field and along the Street but Coronavirus has caused the Social Committee to cancel the event.
Regrettably, any current relief from the Governmental ‘lock-down’ instructions will make no difference to this decision due to sensible distancing being impossible to maintain at a fair and dog show. Believe me I am absolutely gutted at this happening because of the great pleasure I get from being involved in the organisation of the fair and the interaction with everyone else involved.
However, let us look forward to Sunday 25 July 2021 when we can hold the Fair and dog show again and hopefully the Coronavirus will no longer dominate our lives. In the meantime, please keep yourselves safe.

2020 Fulking Fair cancelled

2020 Fulking Fair cancelled
My Committee have agreed with me that it will be quite impossible to hold the annual Fulking Fair on Sunday 26th July this year. Accordingly it is with much regret I have to tell you that the Fair is cancelled. I invite all of you to participate on Sunday 25th July 2021 when I hope these difficult times will have passed. Take good care of yourselves ..

Bob Rowland
Chairman of Fulking Social Committee