ALL seven of the town’s Mid Sussex car parks have retained the prestigious Police Park Mark award for safety and security following an inspection by the British Parking Association on behalf of Sussex Police. The car parks have been recognised as examples of excellent parking design and will display the Park Mark sign of quality for the next 12 months.
Park Mark car parks have clear directional signage and use traffic flow techniques like one-way circulation so drivers are not confused about which way to go. Pedestrian access and exit points are clearly indicated and painted paths highlight the safest places to walk.
Park Mark car parks have lower levels of crime and reduce the fear of crime because they have measures in place to deter offenders, such as perimeter fencing, surveillance and bright lighting. They are also clean and well-kept to reassure drivers they are in a safer environment. Litter and graffiti are quickly removed, thus deterring further graffiti and criminal damage.
“It’s important that local people and visitors to the area feel safe and secure when they are parking in Mid Sussex,” said Sue Rees, Parking Services Manager for Mid Sussex District Council. “We want to ensure all our car parks create a welcoming environment for motorists and it’s great to see so many of them obtain Park Mark awards.”
The ‘Park Mark’ is part of the UK Police flagship initiative ‘Secured by Design’ that promotes crime reduction through effective design and security standards in public buildings, roadways, footpaths and car parks as well as private houses.
East Grinstead’s seven car parks are: Queensway, Kings Street, Christopher Road, Vicarage, Chequer Mead,Railway Approach and Norton House.
Posted in Council, News Tagged with: car park
A group of local mums – Lisa Maria Sproule, Clemency Scarf Beckett, Rosie Fraser, Tally Bhangu, Julia Nye and Danni Beach – who have been raising funds and collecting clothes to help refugees fleeing war-torn Syria, have now delivered them to a warehouse in Pembury.
They have also set up a new facebook page EG to the Refugees where people can keep in touch with their latest news and make further donations.
Spokesman Tally said “Since WW2, there have never been more refugees fleeing war then there are now. Much of Syria, a previously fairly westernised country, has been reduced to rubble and helping these families to stay alive has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with humanity.
“In response to the highly-worrying conditions many families have had to endure in Idomeni Greece recently, where refugees were stopped from crossing the Macedonian border, we put out an appeal to friends and also to the EG Mums Facebook group.
“And we were absolutely overwhelmed by the response we received. We knew we lived in a generous, caring town, but had no idea we would get such a response and donations are still coming in days later.”
The clothes donations are now with the Refugease warehouse in Pembury, and these will be shipped to Lesbos in the next couple of weeks. The group is also collecting clothes and food for refugees in Northern France.
“We would like to thank all the amazing local mums of the EG Mums group who helped with donations and also to our friends. Here is one of the ways of donating to help:
“Our country has always been a safe haven for those seeking succour in such times, demonstrated so well in the 30s/40s during WW2. We are trying to uphold this tradition.”
Photo: Leilana Mitchell at the collection centre in Pembury
Posted in News
Elizabeth Haffenden celebrated her 107th birthday
A “cheeky” Littlefair resident celebrates her 108th birthday today. Elizabeth Mary Edwards, nee Haffenden, was born in Chuck Hatch, and grew up in Colemans Hatch where she attended the Holy Oak Sunday School.
Elizabeth subsequently married Horace Edwards, and moved to Forest Row but Horace sadly died young leaving her to bring up their children Michael and Ann by herself. She also helped care for her mother and younger brothers.
Until the late 80s Elizabeth walked from Forest Row to Colemans Hatch to help her brother, only getting the bus back when the double journey became too much for her.
She moved into residential care at Littlefair shortly before her 100th birthday after she had a fall in which she broke both her hip and her collar bone – an accident which ended her dream of living independently until she reached what she called “the big three figures”.
Her grandson, electrician Dave Edwards, called his Nan “Britain’s youngest 108-year-old” as he prepared to visit her today, echoing what he had said on her birthday last year.
“Nan is still fiercely strong-willed, but coupled with huge cheekiness and sense of humour remains a complete joy to be around.”
Nan’s other grandchildren are Dave’s sister Julie, and his cousins Lesley and Clare, who between them have her five great grandchildren, Adam, Will, Liam, Beth and Ben.
Posted in News Tagged with: 108 year old, Elizabeth Edwards, Littlefair
Above: Starry Steve Pond living every minute when Sussex astronaut Major Tim Peake was blasted into space – do try this at home
AS these articles for East Grinstead Online come to an end I want to thank you all for having read them over the past almost two years – the feedback has been much appreciated. It has also been lovely to meet readers in person at various public observing events around the town or when you have introduced yourselves to me in the aisles of local supermarkets and other places around East Grinstead (my door is always open, as the saying goes).
In the time that I’ve been writing these articles there has been so much happening in the sky above us: from close encounters between planets (and other planets) and the Moon as conjunctions occurred, the seasonal sky as it progressed through the year, the constellations which came and went, and the times of great excitement as Mankind further explored the solar system are just a few that come to mind…
Pluto image NASA
But of all I’ve written about, for me the most awe inspiring event was New Horizon’s flyby of Pluto in July of last year. Rather than go into facts and figures I’d rather just leave you with these two images from the event.
Above is our first-ever close-up image of the dwarf planet taken just a day before the closest encounter. An amazing image of an object that for all of us had just been a bright spot of light out in the depths of the solar system until that moment. Even the mighty Hubble space telescope only showed an object with various shades of dark or darker, on it. Nobody had a clue what to expect so this image took everybody’s breath away.
Only hours after its closest encounter New Horizons travelled through Pluto’s shadow, at this point it turned to capture an image of this event. The surface might be in darkness but the image was just as spectacular as the first one we looked at. The light from the Sun was caught passing through a haze that surrounded the dwarf planet, something nobody had expected.
Pluto Backlit image NASA
New Horizons, as I write this, is continuing to send back information as it will do for the two hundred days, and still the surprises are coming in.
The New Horizons mission is proof of just what we as a species can do when we really put our mind to it and channel our efforts to good effect, especially when we read the or watch the news these days and see what is happening across the world. That’s something worth remembering next time you look upwards at the sky, above East Grinstead.
A big thank you to East Grinstead Online for publishing these articles, and for all you have contributed to the life of our town. It’s been great, and you will be missed.
If you would like to continue to be kept up to date with events occurring in the sky above East Grinstead, and astronomical news of matters further afield then you can at:
Facebook group: Above East Grinstead https://www.facebook.com/groups/630839200303198/
Or I can be contacted on email@example.com
Happy observing, and may clear skies always continue to come your way,
Posted in Astronomy, News Tagged with: farewell, Starry, Steve Pond
BAILEY, the family dog which went missing in the woods at East Court yesterday, has been found safe and well this morning, said reader Stacey Bird.
“We think she was stuck in the Ambulance station at East Court overnight. She obviously came to the car park looking for mum and found her way in there, and she is now at home, well, dry – and hungry.”
Stacey thanked everyone who had helped look for Bailey or who spread the word via social media.
Posted in Animals, News Tagged with: Bailey, East Court, found, Missing dog
A film, to be made in New Zealand and starring ‘an international cast’, is to feature the life and work of pioneering plastic surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe.
Called The Guinea Pig Club it will be directed by Roger Donaldson with a script based on extensive interviews with surviving members of ‘the world’s most exclusive Club’ – McIndoe’s former patients whose faces, and lives, were restored by the charismatic surgeon.
The movie has been eight years in the planning, but with casting currently in progress, filming is expected to start later this year.
Photo top: the statue of Sir Archibald on Remembrance Sunday last November
Posted in Entertainment and Arts, History, News Tagged with: film, Sir Archibald McIndoe, statue, The Guinea Pig Club
In the last of her regular history columns for East Grinstead Online Caroline Metcalfe finds out a little more about Sister Ann, the founding Mother Superior of St Margaret’s Convent, who is remembered in the naming of the new road at Meridian Village.
THE name for the new road to the Meridian Village estate built on land formerly owned by the Old Convent is Sister Ann Way and honours the first Mother Superior of the Sisters of the Society of St Margaret.
The sisterhood was founded in 1854 by the Rev John Mason Neale who was Warden of Sackville College from 1846-66. Sister Ann Gream was the daughter of the Rector of Rotherfield, already used to parish and nursing work, and in her forties when Mason Neale approached her.
Some of the first Sisters lived in rooms at Sackville College and nursed sick residents there, but Sister Ann’s father was elderly and needed nursing, so Mason Neale rented a house in Rotherfield for the Sisters, allowingSister Ann to nurse her father and be the Mother Superior of the small community. The house was called St Margaret’s.
The Sisters led a life of prayer but also had some nursing training so that they could go out into the community and assist the sick, especially the sick who were very poor – there was no State health service in the 1850s.
John Mason Neale himself suffered from ‘serious lung trouble’, which was probably tuberculosis, and at that time incurable. Yet when he felt well, he had great energy and regularly walked to Rotherfield and back, some 14 miles each way, to see the Sisters.
Sometimes he went by horse and cart, and once the horse fell, trapping Neale, who was lucky not to be killed, in the reins.
In 1856, Ann Gream’s father died and Neale rented the first of several houses in Church Lane for the Sisters, putting them right next door to Sackville College. Neale wrote of an idea to turn the house at Rotherfield into a ‘cottage hospital’ – I do not know if this ever happened but the comment shows his continuing concern for the sick and the poor left behind.
The setting up of the new sisterhood coincided with Florence Nightingale’s work at Scutari during the Crimean War, and Neale wrote in search of nursing recruits to Mrs Sydney Herbert who sometimes sent him suitable candidates to become Sisters.
The work was very tough – one Sister wrote that where she was staying, the family’s pig had better accommodation than she did – but despite the harsh conditions the nuns did a huge amount of good,setting up a soup kitchen in East Grinstead for the poor, and running a school and an orphanage.
Work on the Convent buildings began in John Mason Neale’s lifetime and he saw the foundation stone laid before his death in 1866, aged only 48, probably of tuberculosis.
Designed by Neale’s friend, the architect G E Street, the Old Convent buildings are considered some of his finest work, and since the departure of the nuns have been divided into private houses.
The work of the Society of St Margaret lives on – in Chiswick, Colombo, Sri Lanka and in Duxbury, USA. And there are autonomous, independent communities of the Society of St Margaret at St Saviour’s Priory, Hackney and The Priory of Our Lady in Walsingham.
So next time you go past Sister Ann Way remember the first Mother Superior of the Society of St Margaret – and all the good women who worked with her for the good of East Grinstead.
Photo top right Bonx Trigwell
Posted in History, News Tagged with: Meridian Village, St Ann Way
POLICE are helping protect those most vulnerable to telephone scams by issuing 100 call blockers. The True Call devices work by automatically ensuring that only trusted callers already known to the user can get through.
Unrecognised callers are asked for their identity before they are put through to the recipient, meaning that unknown or ‘cold’ callers can be refused. With the owner’s permission, data from the devices can also be used to assist with investigations of fraud.
Recipients of the devices will be selected based on their level of vulnerability as part of the Force’s Operation Signature initiative, aimed at preventing scams and fraud and supporting vulnerable victims. Devices are also available to purchase for residents wishing to block unwanted callers.
PC Bernadette Lawrie from Operation Signature said: “We are delighted that we will be able to help some of our most vulnerable residents by installing these devices. Every day I see examples of just how damaging telephone fraud can be, both emotionally and financially, and this is one of a number of measures that can help prevent this type of crime.”
Since Operation Signature was launched in 2014, it has been found that scam fraudsters persistently target victims identified as vulnerable. Telephone fraud is the most prolific method and across Sussex, between August and October 2015, telephone scam fraud represented 56.7% of all reports under Operation Signature.
The Force is working closely with partner agencies Trading Standards, Adult Social Care, Neighbourhood Watch and the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner’s Elders Commission to ensure the most vulnerable victims are identified and protected.
For more information about call blockers visit www.truecall.co.uk or call 0800 0336 339.
Posted in News, Police Tagged with: Phone blocker, Scams
Ref: Sir Nicholas Soames on the news that today’s edition is East Grinstead Online’s last.
“I am truly very sorry to hear that East Grinstead Online is to cease publishing. In my judgement it has performed a truly invaluable community service which will be much missed. It was part of the Social Capital of the town and there is no doubt that it reached parts that others could not.
Geraldine and Barney Durrant deserve the most enormous credit for their tremendous efforts in putting together such a splendid service.
Local knowledge of people and communities is rare and therefore really invaluable and something special is about to go out of our lives.
I salute their efforts and I thank them for all that they did.”
The Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames MP
We have received a great many supportive messages of which this, from Sir Nicholas, was just one. And we appreciate all of them, not just for their kind words, but for the thoughtfulness which prompted them. Thank you to everyone who has been in touch.
Posted in News Tagged with: Letters, Nicholas Soames
It is with great sadness that I have to announce today’s will be the last edition of East Grinstead Online.
Since our launch two years ago East Grinstead Online has been a huge success in terms of readership, support and community involvement and I am really – REALLY – appreciative of all the kindness and enthusiasm we have had for the project, which has demonstrated if nothing else, what a fine heart the town has.
But I have not had a single day off in all that time and with a new newspaper to be launched in East Grinstead shortly, I am very much hoping that my efforts will be rendered redundant – there is nothing like a bit of competition to ginger everyone’s ideas up.
We owe enormous gratitude to our readers, to everyone who has contributed stories and pictures, and to our regular columnists who have kept us informed and amused across a range of subjects for the past two years.
Thank you all – I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
Posted in News Tagged with: east grinstead online, goodbye
WEST Sussex County Council has confirmed the appointment of a new Chief Executive. In a statement issued today, WSCC chairman Pat Arculus, said: “We can confirm that, subject to the normal checks, Nathan Elvery has been offered the role of Chief Executive at West Sussex County Council.
“Mr Elvery is currently the Chief Executive Officer at the London Borough of Croydon. It is anticipated his appointment will be confirmed at the Full Council meeting on April 15.”
Posted in Council, News Tagged with: new chief executive, WSCC
THE new Gurkha takeaway in Railway Approach opens tonight in the premises formerly occupied by the Shapla takeaway.
Photo Roy Henderson.
Posted in Business, News Tagged with: Gurkha takeaway, opening, Railway Approach
STACEY Bird has asked us to put out an alert for a family dog which was lost in the woods at East Court this morning. Stacey says her parents, from Lingfield Road, were walking two family pets, Bailey and her brother Billy, which both went missing. Billy returned after three hours, but Bailey is still on the loose.
Bailey is a Welsh Terrier Lakeland Jack Russell cross. She has been neutered and has a docked tail. She is three years old, is micro chipped, has a tag with phone number and is wearing a harness, and has recently been clipped.
If you spot Bailey, please contact her owners on 07973 548908.
Posted in Animals, News Tagged with: Bailey, east Court Woods, Missing dog
EAST Grinstead’s Liz Glenister, volunteer and founder of Hypopara UK, has been named the winner of Britain’s Best Volunteer award. Liz faced stiff competition from hundreds of nominations for volunteers across Britain and reached the final alongside four other remarkable charity workers selected by award judges Judith Miller, Trustee of Small Charities Coalition, Andy Partington, the Director of Markel UK and Vicky Browning, Director of CharityComms.
Liz was named the winner following a close public vote and was presented with a cheque for £1,250 for Hypopara UK, as well as £1,000 in holiday vouchers for her own personal use.
On finding out she had won the Britain’s Best Volunteer award, Liz said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have won this award which I see as a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness about the rare condition, hypoparathyroidism, and our small but far-reaching charity, Hypopara UK.
“We are raising funds for vital stem cell research at the moment so this prize will really help. Thank you to everyone who voted, to my committee who nominated me and well done to all the finalists who all work so hard and represent such worthy causes.”
Liz, 61, founded Hypopara UK in July 2005 after her experience of living with undiagnosed brittle hypoparathyroidism following surgery for thyroid cancer in 1992.
She was inspired to do something after finding there was little information about hypoparathyroidism (a condition where a diminished concentration of parathyroid hormone causes deficiencies in calcium and phosphorus, leading to muscular spasms and kidney problems) available to those diagnosed with the condition.
After receiving a £300 start-up loan from the Hypopara Association in the US, she grew the online forum to 200 members in a short space of time and started building a team of highly regarded specialists.
Since then, Liz has produced numerous information leaflets for health organisations, set up two telephone helplines for sufferers, assisted other hypopara charities around the world (most recently in Australia) and contributed to the BTA Thyroid Cancer guidelines, all whilst raising a family and managing her own hypoparathyroidism condition.
Aisling Duffy, who nominated Liz alongside Isabel Wray da Silva, said “This charity has changed my life and I owe it all to Liz – without her all Hypoparathyroidism sufferers would still be unaware of the help and information out there.”
Photo top: Liz (right) and her nominator, Isabel. Below – Liz talks about her charity
Posted in Charity, Health, News Tagged with: best volunteer, hypopara, Liz Glenister
THE upper deck of the station car park deck has been closed by Southern for a structural inspection, following an unspecified “incident” on Monday night.
Photo Roy Henderson
Posted in News, Travel Tagged with: closed, station car park, upper deck
THE Mill View care home on Dunnings Road has published Eating as we age, a free guide packed with advice on keeping healthy and hydrated in older age.
Designed to help anyone who experiences problems with eating or drinking, as well as those caring for an older friend or relative, Eating as we age is an easy-to-follow guide which pools the expertise of Care UK’s chefs and the experiences of its care professionals.
The booklet answers the most common questions and concerns people have about the health and wellbeing of their loved ones as they get older, and offers practical tips for nutrition, hydration alongside recipe inspiration.
The guide also addresses specific issues such as how to stimulate diminishing appetites, the best ways of fortifying foods, and supporting people living with dementia to eat well and stay hydrated.
According to a survey of 1,000 people with parents over 70, which was recently carried out by Care UK, three in 10 of those in the south east have not seen their loved ones eat a full meal prepared by themselves over the last six months.
The survey also revealed 15 per cent of older people in the south east eat more convenience food than home-cooked food, while over 40 per cent of respondents in the region have noticed their mum or dad eating smaller portions than they used to. Indeed one in 10 have seen them swapping out meals in favour of a small snack.
Cindy Luscombe, home manager at Mill View, said: “With over 7,000 people living in Care UK care homes across the UK, day-in, day-out we see the importance of a balanced and nutritious diet, with old age and illness often putting a strain on the body.
“We understand how tough it can be for family carers when loved ones’ appetites diminish, and they lose interest in mealtimes; while dementia can also bring with it many challenges.
“However, the smallest of changes can lead to big improvements in the health and wellbeing of older people; and we have collated a family-friendly guide which is full of tried-and-tested tips as well as nutritious recipe ideas, which we hope will make a real difference.
“From the colour of the tablecloth and table settings, to the sights and sounds of the kitchen and dining room; from adding the occasional spoonful of cream and butter to boost the calorie content of every-day foods, to replacing salt with lime juice, the guide provides simple solutions for overcoming common problems around eating well and staying properly hydrated in all weathers.”
“To pick up your free copy of Eating as we age, pop-in to Mill View, or download the guide at www.careuk.com/eat. Our doors are always open, and our trained chefs are on hand to talk to people about how they cater for the changing needs and tastes of older people.”
Posted in Health, News Tagged with: Healthy eating guide, Mill View, old age
CONKER is a quiet baby bunny, who is not quite as bold as his brothers. He is only eight months old and friendly, although he appreciates being approached quietly, said a spokesman for the RSPCA at South Godstone.
“He is easy to handle, so could live with any age children as long as he is treated gently and given time to settle in a quiet space.
“We would like to find a friend for Conker to live with, so he would like to meet a neutered female with a similar temperament to his own. Gradual introductions will help them to become friends, without feeling overwhelmed.
“Conker might be small, but he will need room to grow and explore, so a large hutch and an outside run would be ideal. Conker enjoys different foods, so a variety of fruit, veg and herbs every day will help keep him entertained and healthy.”
If you can offer Conker a home, contact the South Godstone Animal Centre on the A22:
Telephone: 0300 123 0741
11.30am to 4pm every day, except Wednesday.
Posted in News Tagged with: Conker, Rabbit, rehome, RSPCA
THE tree which came down on Baldwins Hill during Storm Katie was cleared up by D R Newland Tree Care & Fencing who not only chopped it into manageable chunks to take away, but also swept up afterwards, leaving the road both clear and clean.
Photos Alastair Neville
Posted in News, Weather
A CRAWLEY police crack down on drug-related crime has seen 19 arrests made in the past two weeks. Operation Enforcer was launched on Monday, 14 March for a fortnight, during which time there were a number of extra patrols as well as warrants executed.
The arrests were all made for a variety of offences including drug possession and money laundering. Class A and B drugs with a street value of around £20,000 were seized, as well as an estimated cash haul of £90,000.
Sergeant Anthony Cheeseman, who led the operation, said: “This sends a clear message that drug usage and dealing will not be tolerated in Crawley. I am extremely pleased with the outcome of this operation and know a large part of its success comes down to our team’s positive engagements with the local community, especially with Crawley Borough Council.
“I want to assure residents that we will continue to actively target individuals and groups who choose to negatively impact our streets.”
If you have any concerns about drug-related activity email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101. Alternatively, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 ( www.crimestoppers-uk.org).
Posted in News, Police Tagged with: crack down, Crawley, drugs, police
Photo top: winners Lingfield take home the Cameron Cup at the first annual football tournament in memory of Cameron Wahid. Right: Cameron’s football shirt
THE first annual charity football tournament and family fun day in memory of Cameron Wahid raised £3,466 for Allergy UK at Lingfield Football Club on 20 March. Cameron died on a family holiday to Italy last October after suffering a severe allergic reaction to a restaurant meal which contained dairy products.
Four teams – Lingfield FC, Ashurst Wood FC, D&D Footy Focus and Blackwell Primary School – took part in the mini tournament which saw Lingfield presented with the Cameron Cup.
Over 400 people cheered on the teams and enjoyed stalls, games and food at the Family Day which many local businesses supported by pledging donations or providing equipment or services.
Sean Tuesly, Lingfield FC under 8s Manager, said: “Lingfield FC proudly hosted the first annual charity day in Cameron’s memory. Four teams took part in the mini football tournament and there was fantastic football played with great spirit and enthusiasm just as Cameron played.
“At the end of the tournament, Lingfield came out on top and the players are now looking forward to defending the Cameron Cup next year.”
Lindsey McManus, Deputy Chief Executive for Allergy UK, who attended the fundraiser, said: “It was great to see such an amazing turnout at the tournament – it really was a fun day for all and a great opportunity to for Allergy UK to be able to support Riz and the Wahid family. It’s also great to see the Cameron Cup become an annual fixture.
“We are incredibly grateful for all the funds raised for Allergy UK, and all the hard work that they have put in to raising awareness of the impact that allergy has on people’s lives”.
Cameron’s parents called the tournament “an emotional yet amazing day” which had been enjoyed by all who attended.
“The teams played with passion and everyone remembered Cameron with us. I hope having the Allergy UK stall here too helped raise awareness of allergies and how this can affect people in many areas of life.
“The support of the teams, our friends and the school PTA has been overwhelming and we have had much interest from other football clubs and businesses who have contacted us saying they would like to take part next year. I also have to thank all of our sponsors who made today happen – details can be seen on our website www.cwaafundraising.com.
“Work is now being carried out to plan more events throughout the year in Cameron’s memory to increase allergy awareness. These events will be posted on www.cwaafundraising.com and on Cameron Wahid Allergy Awareness on facebook.
D&D Footy Focus
Blackwell school at the Cameron Wahid Cup
Posted in EGo Buzz, News Tagged with: allergy, Cameron Cup, Cameron Wahid, football tournament