Bobservation No. 96: Continuation

Bluebells at Furzefield
Farewell to Fulking
As I write this I feel as though I am in another world! After thirty years of quite demanding work being custodians at Furzefield of a unique three acres of oak and hazel woodland and a glorious spread of bluebells in spring, we have moved to a delightful bungalow in Henfield. Moving was not the big wrench  we expected, just very hard work. Rich, Sarah and Archie will be our very dedicated successors.
A tremendous and very moving farewell was our great good fortune; held in the village hall attended by so many village friends who I dare not name for fear of leaving someone out! Sufficient to say, I was never able to encourage a Social Committee meeting of that size!  The leaving gift was quite amazingly generous and we were both very humbled by it. Many, many thanks to all of you. I fear my few words of thanks at the time turned into something of a hopeless drivel rather like recent question times in the House of Commons.
If only to achieve my century it has been suggested that I might continue with Bobservation a little while longer, which pleasure I hope you will grant me.

Fulking Fair 2022
Perhaps not quite as exciting as it can be because of the extreme heat and the need for new input. The future will be very well driven by Sally and her team with lots of new ideas. Please give her all the support she will need. Fulking Fair deserves to be protected, it has become a great local event.

Bobservation No. 95: BobsOvation

Farewell
Well finally you are going to get rid of me! Except I would love to score a century of Bobservations and perhaps we can find a way so I can do that. Pam & I will be moving house to Henfield on 12 August. Fulking has been the centre of our world for 30 years now. Furzefield has given us many happy hours, gardening , conservation and entertaining and our successors Rich, Sarah, Archie and Barnsley will be ideal custodians of the bluebells, badgers and everything else, and I know very good additions to the Fulking social scene. It is this scene that I am going to miss a lot. Over the years Fulking has provided a social life and hobby that it would have been very hard to find anywhere else in the world. I have so many happy memories of wonderful people and great times particularly, I suppose, the Call my Bluff quizzes and of course the annual Fulking Fair (see below!).

Fulking Fair
Well! we had the 2022 Fulking Fair and got perfect summer weather and the RSPCA fun dog show found some shade under the trees. Due to exceptional teamwork we managed to have a truly wonderful afternoon. I think we all learnt a little about each other and I am sure next year we can make some improvements but that happens every time! I just hope you will let me be involved in some way even though I will no longer be a resident of this wonderful (secular!) parish.

Bobservation No. 94: Mick Gaule RIP


What a very touching send off for Mick when we toasted his last journey from the balcony of the Shepherd & Dog. He was one of the very last oldies who had lived in Fulking most or all of their lives. Such a lovely gentleman and I think would like to be remembered as a great ferreter!.

Fulking Fair
With only three weeks to go until Fulking Fair 2022 I thought it might be of interest if I gave you an idea of how many villagers are involved in specific contributions of their time. I set out below in no particular order, those who are helping, with apologies to anyone who I have left out: Geoff & Jenny Shepherd & Dog bar, Tina music, Clive BBQ, Rosemary & Mick Tombola, Linda Terry Danny & Adrian parking, Sally First aid BBQ  Art Advertising Flyer Samantha Pitch set-up and allocation, Tricia Teas & Cakes and First aid, Carol Treasurer, Myriam & Bea Henna Tattoo painting, Angela Children’s games, Stuart & Nick Traffic Control, Jen Donation Box, Chris Art, Karen Social Media advertising, Laurence Simon & family Traffic  and Fair advertising signs, Jenny & Julian Electricity, George & Sarah Use of field, AND in addition to our homegrown BBQ and entertainment we will have the RSPCA fun dog show and food from Rushfields’ Pies, Safari Pizzas, Indulgent Ice Cream, Rob Padley’s Coffee & On the Hoof  Moroccan Kebabs. Stalls will be displays by the National Trust, the Woodland Trust, Sussex Wildlife Trust, Central Sussex Beekeepers, Sustainable Henfield 2030.  There will be many stalls along the Street and in the North Town Field with games and products for sale but please remember TEAS & CAKES in the village hall, The best ever BOTTLE TOMBOLA in the field, Shepherd & Dog bar and Clive Miller’s BBQ. All donations and any surplus from the Fair are in aid of the Village Hall.

Bobservation No. 93: Sheena Trist RIP

Sheena Trist is no longer with us. What an inadequate comment for a very good friend who had the distinction of having been a Parish Councillor, Chair of the Parish Council and Parish Clerk at various times. Villagers of her ilk seem to be fewer and fewer these days. Our thoughts go out to Michael and Hollie. We will miss her.

The funeral arrangements for Sheena are: 2 pm on Friday 10th June at St Andrew’s, Edburton, and afterwards at Tottington Manor. All would be most welcome.

Parish Events
I understand that only one member of the public attended the Annual Parish Meeting and can only hope that this might be due to Covid hangover. If it was just apathy I beg you all to get involved in this wonderful village. I have a gut feeling that some villagers have no intention of getting involved in any activities. So be it. The reasons really are not important, but it would be good if the Social Committee gets more active input from Parish Councillors and that villagers make a greater effort to attend and indeed support the Parish Council. It used to be so much better and can be again with a positive approach on both sides.

Fulking Fair
This is going to be a REALLY successful year for Fulking Fair in the North Town Field on Sunday 24 July from 12 until 5pm incorporating the RSPCA fun dog show, live music, Shepherd & Dog bar, Clive Miller’s BBQ, Rushfield’s Pies, Safari pizzas, Indulgent Ice Cream, Teas &Cakes in the Village Hall, Children’s games, Tombola and all manner of stalls. Do please put this in your diary it will be THE village event of 2022.

Bobservation No. 92: Migrants and Volunteering


Migrants
It seems to me to be quite ridiculous to make ‘illegal’ entry to the United Kingdom penalised without first attempting to find out what skills the migrant might have. Our nation is plagued by shortages of labour in many fields and workers with skills in the building trade, hospitality sector and agriculture for example could well be found within the ranks of such migrants. They may need training to enable them to fit in with our ways of working and talking but I would think human beings who put themselves to such risks as crossing the Channel in a rubber dinghy show a great sense of determination and courage. Eventually they could become useful tax paying citizens.

Fulking Fair
We seem to be getting along very well with the organisation of the fair on Sunday 24 July but still need  helpers. Please give me a shout on 271 or bob.pamrowland@btinternet.com if you have perhaps half a day to give. You will be playing a big part in making the fair possible.

Bobservation No. 89: Changes in Henfield


Changes in Henfield
Over the last 30 years the changes in Henfield have been remarkable. Some of these are; The Health Centre which has become Henfield Haven and moved from Hewitts to its present location, the petrol station was tiny, the Tea Gardens were a very good Indian Restaurant, Setyres was a used car lot, the RPS food & wineshop was a Winerack, there was a Building Society and four different bank branches one of which is now the Vet, none of the housing estate to the north west of the Health centre existed, two pubs have gone, the video shop is a thing of the past, the Chinese no longer sells fish & chips, both the gentleman’s outfitters and the electrical retailers have closed, the fishmonger has gone, the forge and blacksmith has moved from the high street, the art shop was a cook shop, car parks were free, the solicitors above what was Lloyds bank moved to Hassocks and the large building is still empty. I just thought it might bring back memories, hopefully pleasant!

Fulking Fair 2022
This year’s fair may well need to be supported very well if we are to raise funds relating to the village hall, details of which will be forthcoming from the Chair of the Parish Council, Mark Hind. There will need to be as many villagers taking part as possible helping to make it successful. We need helpers to do all sorts of jobs most of which are not at all onerous and generally very good fun. Please get in touch with me tel 271 or email bob.pamrowland@btinternet.com and we can discuss what you might like to do.

Fulking Social Committee
I have now officiaIly handed over the Chair of the Social Committee to Sally Brownie who, in the short time she has been in Fulking, has shown an enthusiastic attitude that will well suit her for the post. She will provide much needed new ideas for the development of the social side of the village but will need your support.

Bobservation No. 88: Handing on the Social Baton

Bob Rowland at Furzefield
A Happy and healthy New Year to all of you

At last old age has caught up with me and I am handing over the Chair of the Social Committee to Sally Brownie who will be terrific in the job. In nearly 28 years of involvement many memories come to mind: at the fair, the beagle cocking his leg on the lady drummer, the marquee blown down by the wind, the bar and band in another marquee while the rain poured down, Toon Ghose flying over as a salute, wellie throwing, the bubbles, the Argus award, Nigel jamming it with Aiden’s band, pony rides, gladiators, the owls, the bats, wonderful stallholders, alpacas on show, mud and rain, hot summer days, model steam engine, tasty food, Punch & Judy and puppets, tug of war, dog shows, dancers in the street,’ Sold as Seen’ and all the other musicians, £1000+ take on the gate in 2014. And other events such as ‘Fulking’s got talent’, Graham’s Carol Services at St Andrews, Call my Bluff and wine quizzes, the Caribbean evening, Barn Dancing, the Morrismen, historical lectures, Easter egg hunting, rounders, plays in the village hall and North Town Field, carol singing, Tricia’s yoga, the lady covered in chocolate at the Bremers, Dave & Em at the S&D and even more. All of this adds up to the marvellous time I have had living in Fulking. Do help Sally look after the amazing thing that has been created by such a small village.

Christmas party in the North Town Field
Thanks to Sally and Samantha for organising the very successful mulled wine and edibles in the North Town Field on the early evening of 11 December. An anonymous villager who had a direct contact with Father Christmas managed to get that very busy gentleman to attend to the amazement of some of the children and possibly adults as well!

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.