Don’t forget: Brightling Harvest Festival
Sunday 30th September
at St Thomas A Becket Church
Come and sing all the traditional harvest hymns
Donations of Non-perishable food items for Family Social Work are welcome
Our new tree warden, Mr Doug Edworthy, has written what I hope will be the first of a number of articles about our trees, woodlands and forests.
His first article – the PoW tree in Dallington Forest– highlights a fascinating piece of local history with some intriguing unanswered questions and opportunities for further research and perhaps tapping into local knowledge.
An opportunity to learn more about the beautiful area where we live, while keeping fit at the same time.
Explore one of the UK’s most beautiful medieval landscapes at the first ever High Weald Walking Festival, running from 15 to 23 September 2018 and completely free of charge.
The new event will showcase the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty like never before. Experienced and knowledgeable guides will lead a host of inspiring walks suitable for all ages and abilities, with themed routes covering local history, art, literature, wildlife and geology.
Visit www.highwealdwalks.org now to learn more and choose from more than 30 different routes. There are walks starting from Robertsbridge, Burwash, and Burwash Weald, as well as further afield.
The High Weald Walking Festival is a collaboration between a number of local branches of The Ramblers and the High Weald AONB Partnership.
The U6412 (also known as Brickyard Lane) will be closed between Oxleys Green and approximately the Browns Oak Farm entrance, from Monday 10th to Friday 14th September 2018. I assume that there will be access for residents (eg Brickyard Cottage) from one end or the other. This is to allow BT to install fibre-optic cable for broadband.
The roadworks at The Street, Rectory Hill, and Brightling Road, with temporary traffic lights, which were scheduled for 30th July to 10th August 2018, were a bit of a damp squib. I didn’t see any roadworks, though I might have blinked and missed them. I suppose they were precautionary: just in case BT needed to dig up the road or do something dramatic involving a pole. They don’t seem to have been rescheduled, so one has to assume that BT managed to lay their cables without disrupting the road. I think the Brickyard Lane closure is a bit more likely to actually happen, as this is a very narrow road, and it is advertised as a total closure, not just temporary traffic lights.
The mobile library service ceased in May 2018.
However, East Sussex offer a “home library” service for those who are disabled, frail or are caring for someone who cannot be left. This is a free service, operated by volunteers, that delivers books to your home, on a regular basis, at a time convenient to you.
It is worth mentioning again the excellent e-library service, especially for magazines (in 5 minutes time, and without going anywhere, and for no money, you could be reading the latest edition of your favourite magazine, be it The Economist, Homes and Gardens or even Viz – there is a large range). There is now a new app, making this work even better on smartphones and tablets. Just search the appstore for rbdigital.
Full details of all these services can be accessed via the libraries page on this site.
From “Farmwatch”, dated 12 August 2018
A land owner from Penhurst reported that over the last few weeks that they’ve heard gun shots close to the boundary of their land.
Poachers are suspected as another local farmer recently had a calf shot.
A suspicious vehicle was spotted recently and police have its details.
I am very pleased to say that Brightling now has a Tree Warden: Mr Doug Edworthy. Doug is already the Tree Warden for Dallington Parish and is happy to take on the role for Brightling as well. The main things that a Tree Warden does are:
I should add that the role of Tree Warden is a recognized role and many parishes have them. However the Tree Warden does not have any formal authority or powers, and is not going to march onto anyone’s land and start telling them what to do with their trees.
Doug led the woodland walk that took place on Saturday 7th July, and everyone who was lucky enough to come on that walk was impressed not only by Doug’s enthusiasm and love of the trees, but also his self-evident expert knowledge. I am hopeful that we will be able to add information about Brightling’s trees to this web site, and also see some articles in the Messenger Magazine.
Doug can be contacted on the email address email@example.com
Notes from the Flower Show 21st July 2018
Once again Brightlingers made the Flower Show happen. Everyone said it would all fall into place on the day, and it did! David and I had big shoes to fill following in Victoria’s and Vanessa’s footsteps but with the support and generosity of all involved we managed to end the day with sighs of relief and smiles on our faces.
We had a bit of a wobble when one of the judges called to say she was unwell and couldn’t be with us but Helena Grissell quickly stepped in and disaster was averted.
All the signs were good when the sun shone and from 8.30 a steady stream of people arrived carrying their flowers, vegetable, cakes, crafts and photographs. The variety of exhibits in the marquee looked a picture, just how you would imagine a traditional English flower show to be in the most beautiful of settings.
We had 99 entrants submitting around 480 items and approximately 225 adult visitors, plus children.
As ever, grateful thanks to everyone involved in providing refreshments and fun and for all the hard work and dedication both before, during and after the show. We couldn’t have done it without you – thank you.
Jean Wood, David Rodgers
PS Don’t forget the review meeting on Thursday 16 August at 7:00 pm in the Village Hall. Any comments, feedback and suggestions gratefully received.
Brightling mine is growing. The last time I wrote about this I mentioned that there was a plan to double production during 2018, and recently some parish councillors including myself paid a visit to the mine and learned a little more of these plans from Mr John Chow, the new manager. At the moment, nearly all the output from the Brightling mine goes for cement manufacture. It is transferred to the Mountfield plant along the conveyor belt, and then goes by lorry to Rugby where it is made into cement. The plasterboard factory at Mountfield gets all its raw material (gypsum) from Spain; it arrives at Mountfield by train. This rather roundabout situation arose because previously the raw material for plasterboard was desulphogypsum (DSG) – a by-product of coal-powered power stations (it is what you end up with when you use lime to clean up the flue gases). The relatively rapid and steep decline in coal means that DSG is no longer available in the necessary quantities, so the immediate solution was to import gypsum from Spain. The gyspum is there in large quantities under Brightling, but you can’t suddenly start producing it overnight: planning and investment are required. That is what is now going ahead. A total of £3m are to be invested, of which about £1m is going into the mine infrastructure and equipment. 11 or so additional jobs will be created (there is currently a vacancy for an electrical apprentice by the way).
What will be the impact on Brightling? we asked. Not an awful lot from what we were told, but there are a couple of things that people might notice. The conveyor belt (which takes all the output from the mine) will run for longer hours. It can shift 250 tonnes per hour and total output will be 1000 tonnes per day. So that is at least 4 hours per day of conveyor belt running: in practice probably more like 6 – 8 hours. The underground ventilation is being reconfigured so that one of the vertical ventilation shafts (out in the countryside) will change from being an inlet (sucking air in) to being an outlet (blowing it out). Under certain weather conditions, this might be visible.
The intention of the plan is that the Mountfield plasterboard factory should be getting about 40% of its raw material from the Brightling mine. They did not say so, but one could infer that there is scope to push this percentage higher in the future, so one might guess that there could be further expansion to come. In its heyday, in the 1970s and 1980s, the mine was producing around a million tonnes of gypsum a year, so this is certainly a possibility.
Charles Everett has obtained an update from South East Water about upgrades to our water supply. There are three improvements in the pipeline (lol), all due to start in January 2019. In Battle Road (which we call Cackle Street), 1532 metres of 100 mm bore pipe. That is the best part of a mile of new pipe, so I would guess that that would certainly take in Riverhouses up to Twelve Oaks and perhaps all the way up the hill. Somewhere in Brightling Road, 626 metres of new 100 mm bore pipe, and in “Hollingrove Road” 300 metres of new 100 mm pipe. My guess is that this is that this refers to Hollingrove Lane, ie Twelve Oaks to Hollingrove.
For those born before 1971, I should explain that 100 mm is 4 inches – that is a decent sized pipe and I would imagine that it will bring a significant improvement.
A PRV (pressure reducing valve) was installed earlier in 2018 at Twelve Oaks. Basically, this makes it possible to raise the pressure for those who were getting rather low pressure, without giving others excessive pressure. On the subject of pressure, quite a few properties in the parish do seem to suffer with excessively high water pressure. Although low pressure is a more obvious issue, over-high pressure can be a problem too. It can cause leaks and damage to plumbing. Some washing machines may have a problem. And if you do have a leak, then you lose water faster if your pressure is high – resulting in big bills if you don’t notice it straight away. A pressure of 2 bar is more than enough and I know of at least one property that has around 20 bar, which is huge.
One solution is to fit a your own PRV on your incoming supply. About 18 months ago, one couple of Brightling residents actually managed to get the water company to pay for the fitting of a PRV – because they were able to prove that the excessive pressure had damaged their plumbing, and thus hold the water company responsible. But given that the above improvements are now only 6 months or so away, it would probably be wise to wait until after then before spending any money. NB Turning your stop-cock half off does not reduce the pressure, only the flow, which is probably not what you want.