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.

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.