Over the past couple of years, the Parish Council has arranged for repair or refurbishment of 4 out of our 8 signposts (fingerposts).
We decided to do “worst first”, so the remaining 4, although they look a bit sad, are actually in need of not much more than a lick of paint.
At its meeting on 14 March 2016, the Parish Council resolved to do up the all these last 4 during the current financial year. These are the 3 around the observatory, plus the one at the top of Rectory Hill.
By April 2017, therefore, we should have a full set of smart-looking signposts in the village.
It felt like quite a small number of people when we set off from the village hall on the evening of 21st April 2016, but the numbers seemed to grow with every step down Long Reach, and by the time we got to the Triangle at the Mount for the short but deeply moving tree-planting ceremony, there was a fair old crowd.
As is usual with this sort of occasion, the heavy lifting had already been done beforehand (and to a very high standard), so all that remained for the chairman of the parish council to do was to shift a symbolic sod with his trowel (“out of the way, you symbolic sod”) and make a short but deeply moving speech (in fact the speech was even shorter than planned, as he had an Ed Milliband moment and left out a large chunk of what he had intended to say – but it was remarked afterwards that many people felt that this omission improved the speech still further).
The assembled multitude then spontaneously burst into a short but deeply moving rendition of God Save the Queen, after which everyone decamped for the real attraction of the evening: the lighting of the beacon at the Needle.
It was quite an evening: the sheer strangeness of the needle seen close up (like the mysterious monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey), together with the paganistic lighting of the huge bonfire (reminiscent, perhaps, of the final scenes of The Wicker Man), with senses enhanced by the generous hospitality of the landowners, combined to create quite a weird, although thoroughly enjoyable, experience.
The forestry commission have written to inform us that they will be carrying out timber harvesting work in these woods over the spring/summer of 2016. The work will be much the same as has been done in the past with stands of trees thinned for their timber and to manage and improve the structure of the woods.
This is all part of normal woodland management and we don’t think that there should be any concerns about this.
On 21st April, on the way up to the Needle for the beacon lighting, we will be stopping off briefly at the Triangle on the Mount for the symbolic planting of the oak tree that we decided to plant there to commemorate the Queen’s 90th birthday. We won’t be planting the whole tree there and then but just using the village gold-plated trowel to move a symbolic bit of earth. The exact ceremony has yet to be devised: perhaps we will sing a verse of the National Anthem.
As this looks like being quite a full class, if you have not already done so, please could you let me know if you would like to book a place this for Saturday’s class, starts 9.30am @ Brightling Village Hall. Sorry but space is quite limited and if you all come, we won’t fit in!