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. 90: Social Comment


Fulking Social Committee
It is possible that there are villagers who are either unaware of the Social Committee or of its purpose. It was formed in the late 1990s by Nick & Jill Bremer and since then has raised in excess of £20,000 by fund raising events such as the annual Fulking Fair. This has been mainly expended on support for work in the North Town Field, childrens’ play area and the village hall upkeep. Because these amenities are not owned by the District Council we have to finance their maintenance.  The Committee is an independent organisation with a constitution and all decisions are made through the Chair, currently Sally Brownie. Any decisions, financial or otherwise, made are subject to a democratic vote of the members. Whilst suggestions are always appreciated no other body has any control whatsoever over the Committee. All villagers are welcome to join subject to the approval of the existing members.

Auction of Promises
In support of fund raising the Social Committee will be holding an Auction of Promises in the village hall on Saturday 25 June. Final details are still in the hands of a select team of entrepreneurial experts . It would be great if anyone could offer a suitable Promise prize by getting in touch with Sally, Rosemary, Karen or me. The more exciting the better! One thing I can tell you; theatrical celebrity Richard Linford has very kindly agreed to be the auctioneer.

Ukraine
I am sure I am not alone in expressing my horror at the appalling and very unnecessary invasion of Ukraine. It is at times like this that we should all reflect on how fortunate we are to live in such a wonderful village.

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.

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.