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.

Evergreens


Sadly we have decided to close Evergreens due to various problems namely dwindling numbers we did try to encourage residents there are only two from the villages, finding venues due to the pandemic, losing a valuable helper. It started in approximately 1998 by Margaret and Tony Cutress to be neighbourly and encourage lonely people to get together. They gave them a tea of sandwiches and cakes. The elderly residents loved to see each other and chat.

Betty Powell and Val Baillet

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. 72: Fame & COVID

International Fame at Last!
I really never know whether any villager reads my monthly ramblings but it was a tremendous joy to be told by Becky Loveless that her colleague Hannah Clancy of Buffalo, NY, USA was a fan and indeed actually reads Bobservation each month. I have taken it upon myself to award the first International Honorary Fulking Villager to her. She was delighted to receive the honour and intends visiting Fulking when the Coronavirus eventually abates. It would be very interesting to know if any other supporters exist. Please let me know if you do. Subject to the most onerous investigations you may even qualify for a similar award!

Covid-19
This virus has pretty well put a stop to most social activities in the village. Observing distancing recommendations the ‘Whats app’ Quotation Friends and Community Skill Swap seem to have been successful. Some of us have got together 2 metres apart for a glass or two of wine simplified by the lack of rain and heatwave. In addition to these, yoga has continued in the North Town Field or via ‘Zoom’.  At present the possibility of holding a Christmas party looks remote. I have my fingers crossed for next year’s fair on Sunday 25 July. I notice the annual Henfield Fair is taking place but I cannot imagine how social distancing and wearing masks will be applied, as it happened the weather was terrible for the whole three days of the event! General opinion seems to be that another surge will happen in the autumn if not before and so I do implore all villagers not to let standards drop. Facemasks and social distancing do make a difference to the safety of our community.

Fulking Village Archives
The village archives have just received a programme of the Edburton and Fulking Garden Fete held on Wednesday June 26 1946. Lee Holden discovered it amongst some family papers, the connection being his grandmother who arranged ‘mimes and music’ by the Henfield players. The archives are currently in the care of Terry and Linda Harris who kindly look after them and are quite happy to make them available to villagers.

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.

Bobservation No.69: Medics & Covid Co-operation

Two houses on The Street

Two houses on The Street that once incorporated doctor’s surgeries

Fulking and Medics
You may not realise it but Fulking is blessed with a quite disproportionate number of medical and medical related villagers. Consultant, Surgeon, GP, Administrator, Nurse, Midwife, Paramedic, Orthodontist, Dentist, Care home worker are all here in active or retired format.  Indeed some of the retired medics have offered their services to the NHS during the present crisis. I think this a good opportunity to thank them all for entering such a caring profession. We might also thank all those who serve us in so many other ways and at the same time put their lives at risk every day.
Covid19
The restrictions placed upon us by this Coronavirus have brought villagers together more than anything I can remember. In addition it has opened up a spirit of cooperation between the Downland villages that has been most impressive. The time available caused by the ‘lock down’ has generated a new cooperative enthusiasm for gardening and the Community skill swap whatsapp site. This has brought many of us closer together through plant and seed swapping, helpful advice and a general feeling of communal togetherness that has been lacking in the relatively recent past. Let us make it a permanent feature of life in our village.

Bobservation No.68: Coronavirus

How the Community Skill Swap WhatsApp, which originated from climate change, has now turned into a very effective program combining both Fulking and (mostly!) Poynings.
Many gardening swaps of plants and seeds have been achieved and it will be very interesting to see how many new vegetable growers appear and how successful they are. If there is any demand it would be good to investigate the possibility of allotments in Fulking. They used to be on the south side of the Poynings road  exiting Fulking.
When, eventually, this virus is controlled if not conquered we will find ourselves in a very different world to the one we left behind. Economically, socially and politically our lives will have changed and it will be up to to us to make sure that these changes are for the benefit of the many and not just the few.
Locked down as we are for the immediate future and possibly for a much longer period, I find it interesting to note the effect it has had on our village society. There has been a wonderful helpfulness generated by enthusiastic local leaders.
This is much appreciated by the more vulnerable villagers.
Keep safe all of you.