Dave Toye asked for contributions to the website, here is one from the Honorary Fat Person to the Crowned Heads of Europe.
I spotted several Maplehurst / Nuthurst residents at the Alan Kensett talk in The Copsale Village Hall, it is nice to see a good level of support for this sort of activity. Everyone appears to have enjoyed themselves. Alan certainly did when I spoke to him last Friday night in Steyning.
It takes a certain type of person to get up in front of a crowd of (mostly) strangers and recount amusing memories for nearly an hour and then start a sing-song before supper. I doubt if most of us could do it - I would certainly be game to try the singing bit, even if my "singing" leaves a lot to be desired and the subject matter would leave 2 Para blushing, but perhaps I will wait for a Gentlemen's Smoking Evening to be organised! In the meantime, however, perhaps we should christen the contributions section the "Village Pump" as a little thank-you to Alan.
This Foot and Mouth disease is a pretty bad business. All the farms in the Sedgwick area that are at risk of loss have sensibly put a blanket of straw at the entrance to their property and doused it in disinfectant. We all need to be on our guard in times like these and take all the necessary precautions that MAFF and the NFU have suggested in order to prevent the spread of infection (See Simon's link on home page. DT). One of the first suspected outbreaks of FMD occurred in Surrey, this appears to have been a false alarm and mercifully West Sussex appears to have been spared so far. There is no excuse for anyone not to do their bit- perhaps there should be a "FOOTPATH CLOSED" sign outside the gates to Sedgwick - or did someone do that a while ago?
Does anyone have a major problem with rats? I know I do and my little dogs have become quite adept at hunting the little buggers. The 2 Jack Russell's and the whippet have never been taught to kill but they know instinctively what to do. Oddly enough, the whippet is the best ratter of the bunch. If the problem is bad enough elsewhere in the area then perhaps we should consider forming a "rat destruction group". No poisons, just dogs (and maybe a .410 shot pistol or two). We could call it a hunt but that might upset people. If anyone has any ideas on this subject then I am sure the Forum will be pleased to hear about it.
The rains of winter have taken their toll on local roads. Surface water settled on Park Lane and has seeped beneath the tarmac. Freeze-thaw action has loosened the ballast chippings and the weight of cars has finally removed the aggregate. All this has achieved is to create a series of large pot-holes along the road which hold even more water and so on! I haven't found any errant speleologists yet but it is still early days. The verges are a mess but the ground is too soft to do anything about it at present. At least Burnthouse lane is mostly on a hill so the water does actually move along the road. Unfortunately it has caused subsidence in the road opposite the entry to Botnar Towers and the culvert underneath the road is in danger of becoming an open trench. Take great care if you drive down here. I am reliably informed that when it rains hard, Burnthouse Lane resembles the River Severn in full bore. It is the only road for some distance in this area and a quick topographical survey leads me to the conclusion that it forms the path of least resistance for water to travel downhill. The ditches can't cope with the volume of water and so any overflow makes it onto the road. Perhaps some enterprising soul wants to organise rafting excursions down it sometime? I'm game for it! On a slightly more serious note, if you are aware of problems with water / erosion / rafting companies etc. on the roads the Council telephone number to contact is 01903 878500 for the Southerners and 01403 223900 for the Northerners. WSCC might take a bit of time, but they will get it sorted eventually.
The countryside Alliance has decided to postpone its "Livelihood and Liberty" march due to the FMD crisis. There will not, therefore, be any bonfires in early March. The march is scheduled to go ahead in early May, at which time the beacons and bonfire locations will be announced. Watch this space for more information closer to the time.
How many chicken owners are out there? There are a few in the Park Lane area and one or two "notables" in Sedgwick Park but if anyone else has bantams or rare-breed fowl let us know.
Is this the sort of thing you are looking for Dave??? (Yes Simon, it is. The first of many I hope! Thank you Dave Toye)
Simon Mcclean 26th February 2001