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August 2018
Wed 8th Wonderful Wednesdays: Weald & Downland Museum
Fri 10th - Sun 12th Chilli Fiesta: West Dean Gardens
Sat 11th Valley Gardening Club Annual Show: East Dean Village Hall: 2pm
Sun 12th Ploughman’s Lunch & Cream Tea: Singleton Village Hall: 11.30am: 811453
Tue 14th Village Walkabout, Singleton: 6.30pm: Meet at School
Tue 14th Ladies Night: Star & Garter: 7pm
Wed 15th Wonderful Wednesdays: Weald & Downland Museum
Thu 16th St Roaches Day Service: 6pm: Trundle
Sat 18th & Sun 19th Vintage & Steam: Weald & Downland Museum
Sun 19th Ploughman’s Lunch & Cream Tea: Singleton Village Hall: 11.30am: 811453
Wed 22nd Wonderful Wednesdays: Weald & Downland Museum
Wed 22nd Singleton Lunch Club: Singleton Village Hall: £6: 811453
Thu 23rd Twilight Tale Trail: Weald & Downland Museum
Sat 25th & Mon 27th Rural Life Weekend: Charcoal & Woodyard: Weald & Downland Museum
Wed 29th Wonderful Wednesdays: Weald & Downland Museum

September 2018
Fri 14th Hoy Bingo Night: Singleton Village Hall: 7pm: 811213
Wed 19th Singleton Parish Council Meeting: Singleton Village Hall
Thu 20th Singleton & East Dean WI, East Dean Village Hall, 7pm. Open Meeting. Guest Speaker Yvonne Price, Silent Witness
Sun 23rd Velo South Cycle Ride Road Closures (Lavant)
Wed 26th Singleton Lunch Club: Singleton Village Hall: £6: 811453

October 2018
Tue 2nd Valley Gardening Club Dahlia Talk: East Dean Village Hall: 7pm
Thu 18th Singleton & East Dean WI, Singleton Village Hall, 7pm. Guest Speaker Victoria Chandler, Get Ahead, Get a Hat
Wed 24th Singleton Lunch Club: Singleton Village Hall: £6: 811453
Sat 27th Recital in West Dean Church for Asbestos Charity: 7.30pm: 535246

November 2018
Thu 8th Valley Gardening Club AGM Supper: Venue to be confirmed: 7pm
Sun 11th Armistice Service: Singleton Church
Thu 15th Singleton & East Dean WI, Singleton Village Hall, 7pm. Annual Meeting
Wed 21st Singleton Parish Council Meeting: Singleton Village Hall
Wed 28th Singleton Lunch Club: Singleton Village Hall: £6: 811453

December 2018
Fri 14th Gentlemens’ Lunch: East Dean Village Hall
Thu 13th Singleton & East Dean WI, Singleton Village Hall, 7pm. Christmas Party
Wed 19th Singleton Lunch Club: Singleton Village Hall: £6: 811453

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A Poem by Francis

There were potatoes everywhere,
As far as their eyes could see.
Something was surely happening,
But just what could it be?

Celery, carrot, leek, all bemused,
By the gathering throng.
None had ever seen the like,
So what was going on?

Every type was present,
Kidney shaped, oval, round.
Rose ends pointing up of course,
Spread across the Sussex Downs.

First to arrive as you might expect,
Was of course Sharpes Express.
Narrowly beating Arran Pilot,
Who’s Goodwood landing? A mess.

In the maincrop area,
Majestic on the central field.
Strode blotchy red King Edward,
So everybody kneeled.

In attendance was Pentland Crown,
Always there at his side.
And constant companion Cara,
Blushing just a little with pride.

The Duke of York was early,
And was soon joined by Desiree.
All met up with the Jersey Royals,
And had a splendid day.

“Great Scott,” said Arran Banner,
“Pentland Javelin has just slipped.
And reduced poor old Estima,
Into a pile of chips.”

Will the peelers soon arrest him,
Will he end up in the dock?
Some said Estima deserved it,
A real chip off the old block.

Things were getting lively,
Home Guard patrolled the fields.
So many potatoes to care for,
After record breaking yields.

Yet much later in the day,
Security would become tighter.
At the wedding of the year,
When Venessa “Maris” Piper!

It was indeed a very hot day,
The only word was “toasting”.
Not allowed to say boiling,
Nor baking, nor roasting.

Lots of skins were peeling,
Other skins were quite red.
Some went off home early,
And got earthed-up in bed.

Poor Epicure suffered the most,
He never heeded the risk.
Sweating very heavily,
And now a ready salted crisp.

Wilja never turned up,
A couch potato was she.
Watching the horror “MASH”,
At home on the tv.

Fresh potatoes arrived by the ton,
Whilst the earlies got quite tired.
But all were very relaxed,
As there were “no jackets required”.

It was a Golden Wonder event,
For all, a great fun day.
But it made the neighbours cross,
A bit noisy for Sunday.

Hanging around looking confused,
A runner bean asked the crowd.
“What on earth is going on,
I hope it won’t get too loud”?

Up strode one of the Royals
Proclaiming, “you are such a dud!
This is ‘THE’ annual event old bean,
Why it’s Goodwood’s Festival of Spud!

A Poem by Francis

I was told a load of rubbish today,
And I’m sure none of it’s true.
But I’d like a second opinion,
Which is why I’m telling you.

It’s about a famous scientist,
But what they are forgetting.
Is that this man is my hero,
Which is why it is so upsetting.

They tried to tell me Einstein,
Had a rather infamous brother.
But it really is impossible,
That they had the same mother.

Whilst Albert was no looker,
His so called sibling was a sight.
He’d scare the daylights from you,
If you met him one dark night.

Gruesome wasn’t the word for it,
And boy was he a size.
Come Halloween every year,
He always won first prize.

He stood out in a crowd alright,
With that bolt right through his neck.
The biggest head you’ve ever seen,
And size 25 boots by heck.

They asked for my opinion,
But I just had to decline.
I just can’t believe that Albert,
Had a brother, Frank Einstein.

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Sara Hutton-Potts
(Reference to
Flight Lieutenant Arthur Frederick William Ollett was my father. Bill, as he was fondly known in the family, was born in 1920 in Calstock, Devon to entrepreneurial parents, Fred and Mary Ollett, who ran hotels, theatres and concert halls. Fred Ollett was described as ‘one of the townsmen who helped put Paignton on the map’, for among three BBC broadcast concerts held from his Adlephi Gardens Hotel, one was relayed throughout the ‘Empire’.

Fred Ollett was locally educated at King Edward’s school Witley and after the first war became the chief country accountant to the Duchy of Cornwall. Sadly Fred died at the young age of 44 of pneumonia which resulted in Bill, my father being sent off to RAF Halton, Buckinghamshire at the tender age of 15 to become an Engineering apprentice. From here a long distance romance between my parents grew and flourished, they had met on the school bus from Paignton to Totnes. Sometimes three letters a day were exchanged, initially as school friends and then gradually the romance blossomed resulting in their war time marriage in Paignton, Devon in 1941.

I still have a vast collection of my parent’s correspondence. Charmingly romantic and personally delightful anecdotes of my parents’ early relationship, a rare insight, as we so often are totally unaware of our parents and their lives before we were born!

At the end of his Engineering apprenticeship and the outbreak of war, Bill was quickly promoted and sent to a variety of RAF bases including Hendon, Hatfield, Nether Avon, Gosport and even Thorney Island. From then on he became Flight Engineer on the De Havilland Flamingo pictured in last month’s copy of The Valley Diary.

This brings me to some of the records in his Flight Log Book of ‘Winnie and Cabinet’ - ‘Winnie and Co.’ and other infamous figures of WW2 such as Lord Trenchard and Anthony Eden, detailing skirmishes over Alderney escaping enemy aircraft, ‘skimming the waves’ - no mean feat in a De Havilland Flamingo - and another near miss with ‘Winnie’ on board having to crash land in a ploughed field! How the course of history could have been altered if the passengers had not survived!

After the war my parents moved to Buckinghamshire and my father worked at PERME Westcott and worked mainly on liquid fuelled rocket engines, including Blue Streak. He was posted to the rocket test site at Woomera, Australia in 1959, returning to PERME Westcott in 1963 when he then took a keen interest in apprentice training.

He went on to become a Director at Westcott and jointly at another MOD base at Waltham Abbey. On his retirement in 1980 he was personally thanked by the Permanent Under-Secretary for State for his valued work in the Ministry of Defence and his appreciation of the many years of service he gave to the MOD.

Bill was known for being a gentle man in every way, a man of integrity, inherent honesty, a keen sailor with a dry sense of humour. Most of what my father did is still unknown to us, I remember him being ‘debriefed’ in the garden and thinking that the men in raincoats and trilbies looked like spies! Sadly my father died in 1983 in Buckinghamshire - far too young and only enjoying a short retirement.

My mother is now 97 and living nearby in an excellent local nursing home, due to her failing health we cleared and then sold her last home in Chichester about 18 months ago, I can only presume that the treasure of my father’s log book was somehow overlooked, neither my sister nor I have ever seen it before - so it is something of an extraordinary mystery and coincidence that it was fortuitously unearthed by Tim Weeks at East Dean Fete. In many ways I am delighted, although slightly wracked with guilt that I may have ‘donated’ it unwittingly - however, the positive outcome is that A F W Ollett, my father, Bill is now going to be the subject of some considerable research and attention from the experts and archivists at Tangmere Military Aviation Museum. Much better that the log book is now in the public domain and not stuffed away in a dusty loft unappreciated. What an honour it will be to be part of the research. My heartfelt thanks go to Tim Weeks for spotting a local treasure.

If anyone possibly has any connections with my father through their own family RAF history, Halton, Westcott or Woomera, do please contact me or Trevor Clark at Tangmere (
Sara Hutton-Potts (

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We plan to restore the Singleton War Memorial and to hold a Service of Commemoration there for all Valley residents on 11th November, the Centenary of the 1918 Armistice. More details next month. We have now found this photo of the original service of dedication of the Memorial by Admiral Hornby on 29th September 1921.

We told the story of some of those commemorated on the Memorial last month. Others include two RN sailors both killed at the Battle of Jutland in May 1916, Alfred Kilhams aged 18 and Fred Parslow aged 24. Two from the Royal Sussex Regiment killed in Palestine fighting the Turks, Arthur Ticehurst and James Miles, both aged 20. And, from WW2, Arthur Lawrence a glider pilot killed in the airborne landings at Arnhem in 1944 aged 32 and another sailor, Leslie Tutt, killed when his ship hit a mine off the Isle of Wight. There are many, many more names of those from our villages who died listed on the memorials in our three churches and the war graves at East Dean and Singleton.

To pay for the restoration of the Memorial and its surrounds, we need to raise over £2,000. We need the support of Valley residents to do this – please see the Appeal leaflet inserted into this copy of The Valley Diary and give as generously as you can. Ian Farman.
2 Photos - View album

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Sampson is the newest heavy horse at The Weald and Downland Living Museum.
Born on 11th June to Olwyn, mother and offspring are doing well.
Percherons as a separately identified breed attract much interest amongst heavy horse breeders and Sampson will no doubt attract his own following.
2 Photos - View album

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Hospitality Award
Peter Kearvell
Every season the West Sussex Football League run a Hospitality Award for all the leagues reflecting how other clubs are welcomed and looked after when they visit.
I’m pleased to report that we won! We were presented with the trophy at the West Sussex Football League AGM and also received a cheque for £100.
It’s a great award to win and all the volunteers at the club that make it happen were very honoured to win for the second time in the club’s history.
Richard Brant (left) our new Secretary, being presented with trophy by West Sussex League official Eddie Adams.

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Goodwood Area Schools Sports Afternoon
On Tuesday 3rd July, we were on our way to GAS sports. The atmosphere inside the car was fizzing. Everyone was waiting for the moment of truth when their races’ starting-whistle was blown.

Every year, West Dean School takes a group of children, from yr 2 to yr 6, to GAS sports. Other schools are invited too from the Goodwood area. It used to be an extremely competitive event, but today, it is more fun and relaxed.

The races included sprints, relay races, the waiter’s race (where the competitor’s balance 3 cups on a tray), the potato race (picking up bean bags and placing them in a bucket) and the compass game (trying to get three bean bags on your chair without them being stolen).

When I was at the starting line for my waiter’s race, the sun burning in the clear sky, butterflies were doing back skips in my belly. She blew the whistle and everyone ran as fast as their legs could carry them. The stony silence was broken by the shouts of support from the crowd as the contestants went in pursuit of each other. Going to GAS was an amazing experience and has taught me to always try my best. It has prepared me for our sports day, which is coming soon! Esther, Year 5.

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