1) Caribbean Night 7th July
I don't know why, but the Caribbean night seems such a long time ago. The afternoon of the "do" was pretty overcast and rain had been promised for the evening. the Met office kept their promise and at around 6.00 pm the heavens opened. We were treated to a three-hour deluge, complete with thunder and lightning. At around 7.00 pm I turned up at the Copsale Village Hall to find that the charcoal for the barbecue was soaked. Everyone was a little bit concerned that the weather might have an adverse effect on the numbers (as things turned out, the party was inundated!) Duncan England very kindly offered Andrew Churcher* and me the use of his livestock lorry as a cook-house. Once our comfort had been sorted, all that was missing was a means of igniting the sodden charcoal. Andrew Churcher went home to get a blowtorch and this inspired move kick-started the charcoal. The water in the coals was soon turned to steam and driven off by the sheer heat of the torch - this caused multiple showers of red hot sparks to land about our person. Oh! how we laughed on our way to the burns unit. Seriously, though, a big hand to Duncan and Andrew for their combined efforts in making the evening (and the charcoals) go with such a bang. A steel band was situated on the verandah; they played almost continuously for over three hours. As far as I was able to tell, they didn't repeat a single song, even if some of the tunes owed more to a Cockney Knees Up than to Bob Marleys doughnuts (the ones wi' jammin). Eventually the Steel ensemble flagged (or they had fulfilled their contractual obligation) and the disco kicked in. I left at around 12.30 a.m. with the party in full swing. This was an excellent night out and well worth the ticket price. Well done to all the organisers and those who made it such a success. Definitely one to do again soon. (We made over £600 profit for the hall. Special thanks to the committee - David, Duncan, Sally, Carol, Shelia, Andrew, John and to you Simon and Jean Griffin. DT)
*IMPORTANT PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT:
Apart from his outstanding (and long standing) services to al fresco dining, I am pleased to announce that Andrew Churcher has won the highly coveted Dave Toye Prize for the most gadgetry barbecue. If you have not yet seen this marvel of late 20th Century light engineering (Andrews barbecue, not the prize) then try and get invited to Copsale Farm for a barbecue soon. It really is a cracking unit.
2) Goodwood Festival of speed.
On the weekend of the 7th/8th July, Goodwood House held its annual Festival of Speed. This was all well and good, apart from the fact that South Lodge decided to capitalise on the event and run a airborne taxi service between Lower Beeding and Goodwood. The helicopters (I think there were 2 of them) were enormous and exceptionally noisy. They seemed to be airborne for most of the morning and afternoon throughout the weekend. On Saturday afternoon, my wife Janie telephoned South Lodge to enquire what was occurring and was given a rather bland and inane response. The noise began again in earnest at 9.00am on Sunday. Janie telephoned once more and was put straight through to the manager of the hotel. She was informed, perhaps not too surprisingly, that residents who live nearby had deluged the hotel switchboard with complaints. The manager was, apparently, a model of diplomacy and sophistication who accepted the criticism gracefully (is that enough toady-ing for a free meal there???)It was suggested to him that perhaps the helicopters should fly closer to the A272 in future, or at least vary their route. Hopefully he took this on board. If not then perhaps he would like to come to the first Annual Woldringfold Ballooning Extravaganza - to be held at the same time as Goodwood next year!!. Then again, perhaps he might appreciate a Charity Clay pigeon shoot near South Lodge at 9.00am one Sunday morning.
3) Nuthurst society "Alternative" Barn Dance"
The 14th July saw the Nuthurst society "alternative" Barn Dance take place in the Assembly Hall at Nuthurst School. I turned up and saw a few familiar faces along with quite a few people I had not met before. A "mobile" hot-plate (the size and weight of a billiard table) was being used to cook the evenings food on. A barrel of rather nice ale materialised and we spent a few enjoyable hours drinking its contents. shortly after supper a duo called Re-Generation started their set. they seem to do mainly hits from the 60's and 70's (although I detected on or two numbers from the decades either side of that). This couple had a backing tape for drums but they played some excellent music and succeeded in getting almost everyone up on the dance floor (I had a note from my mother excusing me). We left this jaunt shortly before 11 pm and it seemed to be in full swing. Once again, a superbly enjoyable night, even if there were not as many people as attended the Copsale Hall do.
I haven't managed to see one of those Geothermal Heat Pumps in action yet (I wrote about them last month) but I happened upon an altogether different website recently www.flypower.com - its a cross between genetic engineering and avionic engineering - CAUTION : NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH. The website illustrates how to turn a paper dart into a powered 'plane by the addition of a bluebottle and some super-glue. I wouldn't actually advocate trying this at home, but it is quite an amusing website, nonetheless.
5) Upcoming events at The White Horse, Maplehurst
August is a quiet month at WH, it seems. I have consulted with Simon Johnson and you should all be aware that be a selection of finest ales (any chance of a CAMRA link??) coming up in the near future. Amongst these are the following:-
A) Itchen Valley Brewery
red Sedge (4.0%)
B) Cottage Brewing Co. Somerset
Wessex Promise (4.0%)
Somerset Sizzler (4.6%)
C) J. King Brewery, Horsham
Best Bitter (3.8%)
Red River (4.8%)
D) Harveys Brewery, East Sussex
Harveys Best (4.0%)
E) Weltons Brewery, Horsham
Pride and Joy (2.8%) - makes delicious summer shandy!
F) Weymouth Brewery
3 different beers to be announced soon
G) Timothy Taylor, West Yorkshire
H) John Batchelador, Park Lane Maplehurst
Maplehurst Scrumpy (don't ask the %!!)
6) Park Lane roadworks.
At long last, WSCC have started work on the road surface along Park Lane and they are also attending to the drainage ditches at the same time. I have noticed, however, that they appear to be rather selective in deciding where they will be re-surfacing. Most of Park Lane beyond Heathtolt cottages looks to have been forgotten. I have spoken to the council (I wrote in the first Ramble that the numbers to call are 01903 878500 for the "Southerners" and "01403 223900" for the "Northerners") about this and they have told me that they will "address the matter". If you have a problem with rainwater drainage (or lack of it!) near your property and you are concerned that the council will overlook the maintenance of the road, give them a call. Try to take photos showing where the water is lying for reference. Apparently, WSCC are also responsible for preventing water ingress into our property from the highway. This means that they have to erect kerbs or granite sets outside our gates. I have only been waiting for mine for a year now.
Simon McClean 7th August 2001 last months MR's
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