Quiz Night Results

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Friday’s Quiz Night 2014 was our best yet. 30 teams – ranging from hardened quiz enthusiasts to kind-hearted but baffled-looking Link supporters – battled it out over 10 rounds, plus a fiendish picture round aimed at those who watch too much TV. Serious quizzers were hoping to unseat the reigning champions, the redoubtable Runners and Non-runners, and it looked as though these were going to lose the crown: but they just squeezed one point ahead of arch-rivals Grinling Gibbons and Searchers on the very last round.

Michael Foster auctioned several interesting lots in his inimitable style, raising £355; the raffle raised £292; and the special Kiley’s Karpets raffle another £160. Kiley’s team had a bet on with their mates from Easylet, with the loser putting another £100 into the Link’s funds… Easylet have sworn to get their revenge next year.  All in all, the evening raised over £1600. A HUGE thank-you to everyone who helped to make the evening such a success.  It helps us edge a bit nearer towards our goal of £15,000 just to get a secure wall built around the health centre.

Eyes down...

Eyes down…

Runners & Non-Runners win - just!

Runners & Non-Runners win – just!

Jeremy & Richard at work

Jeremy & Richard at work

Orange Quiz Sheet: the answers and the winners!

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

This year’s orange quiz sheet raised over £600. Thanks to everyone who sold them for us, and of course to everyone who bought one. We sold a dozen via the Internet, and received 7 sets of answers that way. The Quizmaster tells me that the winners are:

Hilary Coote (Hastings) and Pam Robbins (Battle) with perfect scores of 70, and runners up Derek Greenup (Pett) and Mrs A Buchan (Hastings). We’ll divvy up the prize-money between them.

Here are the answers, with explanations.

  1. I’ve heard Victoria’s lasted 64 years. (4)   rain  (reign!)
  2. How popular things go down:  a ….. (5)      storm
  3. Diamonds (3)     ice
  4. Greetings, bad weather! (4)    hail
  5. Confederate general met in the street. (5)      sleet  (Lee inside st for street)
  6. You find it in the mountains – no wonder! (5)  snow (hidden answer)
  7. Rent-a-party: it’s a blast! (7)       tornado (torn + a + do)
  8. May be first down in a bank. (9)    snowdrift (anag)
  9. Sounds like a quick thrashing. (9)        hurricane

10. I am nuts about such a freak phenomenon. (7)     tsunami (anag)

11. Presents party spectacle in front of the Queen. (6)  shower (show + ER – a shower is also a presents party)

12. A meteorologist’s gut feeling, perhaps (4)       wind

13. Sounds as if the quartet is fly-fishing. (8)         forecast (four + cast)

14. Such extreme weather might toss about Trans World Airlines. (8)     heatwave (TWA inside heave)

15. We might see Oxford University Press drown in such weather. (8)    downpour      (anag. O.U.P + drown)

16. This is how low Queen Mary sank (7)       draught (though we  thought some people’s  ‘settled’ was quite good)

17. Useful in the winter to OAPs, and in summer to hang-gliders. (8)   thermals

18.  A blow to Kathleen Ferrier (9)        southerly

19. Used by swimmers in qualifying races? Can be nasty (10)   heatstroke

20. Roosevelt (not Teddy) goes round toilet for a serious wetting (5)     flood (loo inside FD)

21. A quick snack for David Jason? Extremely  (9)       frostbite (David Jason starred in ‘A Touch of Frost’ on TV)

22. The darkness you’d find in Hades (5)  shade

23. 451, according to Bradbury (10)     Fahrenheit (Fahrenheit 451 – book title)

24. Haggle about our Mum’s effects, initially (9)   barometer (barter around O,M,E – initial letters)

25. The sort of weather to make elks cry (8, 3)   mackerel sky (anag.)

26. Depression as expressed by cows (3)    low

27. Freddie, say, expands in the heat (7)      mercury (Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen)

28. This may, in a way, conceal tiny rotary outflow of air (11)      anticyclone (anag.)

29. Harsh ground conditions may well stop farmer cultivating (10)      permafrost (anag.)

30. Yet this current goes nowhere near the Arabian coast (4,6)    Gulf Stream

31. The child from South America that causes big climatic changes (2,4)  El Nino (El Niño) or La Nina (La Niña)

32. O unmusical bum!  – without a strange cloud in the sky (12)     cumulonimbus (anag.)

33. A lost polar bear might be this (or a London policeman caught short) (3, 6)    met office (met off ice  /or/ met officer without final –r)

34. Sudden wind in August (and at other times of year) (4)         gust (hidden answer)

35. They say there’s a bit of an atmosphere in a town in Middlesex (4)    haze (Hayes)

36. A shout of “Butterfingers!”  (4)      mist  (missed!)

37. A hot wind that might cause harm at Tangiers (9)       harmattan (hidden answer)

38. A storm in a tea-cup, Norman? (7)        typhoon (typhoo +N for Norman)

39. Biblical 20, from French “toboggan”  (6)            deluge

40. Oddly, SoMe OrGy might take one’s breath away (4)       smog (oddly = odd letters)

41. A cause of widespread concern – malt ice, or male tic, for example (7, 6)  climate change

42. A green and peaceful warrior (7)       rainbow

43. Such precipitation is a pet subject of hydrologists (4,3,4)     cats and dogs

44. A noise that isn’t only heard on Thursdays (7)     thunder (Thursday = day of Thor, god of thunder)

45. It’s wet & windy when National Symphony Orchestra is trapped in satellite (7) monsoon    (N.S.O inside moon)

46. It started like the Zodiac and went like the wind (6)       zephyr  (Zephyr & Zodiac both models of Ford cars)

47. What Nigella does with a lemon when baking  (7)        drizzle

48.  Nasty weather that may start and finish like a squash ball (6)   squall

49. Why does a film director worry? – about actors. (8)                                    overcast

50. E.g. sailing, rowing, kayaking…but when R becomes U, head for dry land! (10)  waterspout  (watersport, change –r- for –u-)

51.  Medic should resolve this matter of dehydration (7)       drought (Dr. + ought)

52. Work at holiness – on your head be it! (10)          hailstones (anag.)

53.  Was this Bishop of Winchester the first Michael Fish? (2.7)       St.Swithun/Swithin

54.  This producer of honey may give you wind (4)     Gale (proprietary brand of honey)

55. With which Benjamin Franklin took a shocking risk (9)  lightning

56. Fräulein Schiffer sounds in a less sunny mood (8)  cloudier (= Claudia,   pronounced in the German way)

57. With Tammy and Jinty, this appealed to girls in the 1970s/80s (5)    Misty (comic for girls)

58.  It looks pretty, but might make you boo a surreal air   (6,8)       aurora borealis (anag.)

59. Mathematician from the sub-continent? You’re surprisingly warm (6,6)    Indian summer

60. Coco, Sir? It’s hot (7)     sirocco (anag.)

Can you find these names or expressions, which all contain (or seem to contain) a reference to the weather?

61. How some people like eggs. (5,4,2)       sunny side up

62. A story in which a rat and a mole figure prominently (3,4,2,3,7) The Wind in the Willows

63. Lawrence’s 1915 novel (3,7)     The Rainbow

64. How quickly butter melts in a storm (4, 7, 9)    like greased lightning

65. Something that’s hard to find or doesn’t exist (6,4) Scotch mist

66. Like Gene Kelly (or the two Ronnies) (7,2,3,4)            Singing in the Rain (sorry – it should have been Morecambe & Wise, but everyone spotted it)

67. Statement of a successful umbrella manufacturer  (5,5,3,1,6,6)            Every cloud has a silver lining

68. Put something off in America (4,1,4,5)        take a rain check

69. Have too much on (2,6,5)        be snowed under

70. Northern Irish potter (9,7)           Hurricane Higgins

Comic Relief disappointment

Friday, December 6th, 2013

I’m afraid that we’ve just been told that our bid for Comic Relief funding has been unsuccessful. It’s true, of course, that Comic Relief gets far more requests for funding than it can satisfy. Still, the focus of our application – providing medical supplies , improving water and sanitation and funding educational outreach work to help mothers cope with malaria, cholera, dysentery etc – was presumably just the sort of thing that Comic Relief wants to encourage in sub-Saharan Africa. We’ll ask for feedback, but doubt if we’ll get any.

So, if anyone knows of any other source of funding, large or small, that might be interested in the Link’s work, PLEASE let us know on Actually, there is a way that all our supporters can help us. I’ve signed the Link up as a beneficiary of ‘Give as you Live’.  When I’m shopping on line, a lot of retailers including Amazon give a percentage of what I spend straight to the Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link, and doesn’t cost me any more than I was going to spend anyway. You go to, say that you want any money to go to the Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link, and the retailer automatically sends the Link a percentage. Shopping through Give as you Live is no different to shopping online normally, it’s just as secure and  shopping doesn’t cost a penny more. In fact, the only difference is the difference it will make to our donation total.
Many thanks


The Link on Countdown – how did Robin do?

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

If you saw today’s Countdown, you’ll know that it was quite an exciting match – but I was pipped at the post. It was surprising that I didn’t do a lot worse: the chap I was up against already had 4 wins under his belt. I wasted points early on – I could have got quite close on a numbers round, but didn’t bother to declare as I was sure Jonathan Liew would  get 10 points – and he messed it up. Then later I managed to make an embarrassing spelling mistake (comes of having been a French teacher for all those years: appease in English is apaise in French with one -p-.) Fortunately, getting a 9-letter word gave me a big advantage, but when it came to the crucial conundrum I hadn’t spotted where I was supposed to look for the jumbled-up letters. Silly me. Never mind, Jonathan (a really nice guy) is brilliant at the maths and pretty good at the words. I bet he makes it as an octochamp.

The important thing is that Nick Hewer asked me about Hastings Sierra Leone, so we got some useful publicity. If anyone gets to this site because I invited viewers to Google ‘Hastings Sierra Leone’, it’ll all have been worthwhile. It was good fun taking part, seeing how a studio works (you’d be amazed at how basic the set is – everything has to be manually swapped around between the word rounds and the numbers rounds), and everyone was very nice to the poor contestants. Your brain freezes under the pressure, and 30 seconds flies by, especially when you’ve got a tricky calculation to do. Talking of calculations,  I’ve been sponsored for £234 plus Gift Aid. All for the health centre project, of course. If any Link members fancy free-fall sky-diving, I’ll be happy to sponsor them.



Sussex Brass Concert a huge success

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

It was an amazing evening: a great atmosphere at St Matthew’s, and some wonderful music from Sussex Brass under the baton of Steve Hallamby. It started with both national anthems – the words to the Sierra Leonean one are very moving. Then, quite a variety of pieces – I hadn’t realised a brass band could span so many styles, from a medley of Glenn Miller numbers through the Conquest of Paradise by Vangelis to the familiar heart-warming tunes like Jerusalem and Sussex by the Sea, which the audience joined in with gusto. There were some great solos, too. If you haven’t heard Tracey on the flugelhorn, or Jonathan Chappell playing an old chair, you haven’t lived.Yvonne and her team supplied another delicious African-style supper, and all-in-all the evening raised over £1100. To cap it all, Sussex Brass had such a good time, they waived their fee and gave us a donation, and we were bowled over to be given cheques of £1000 each by our Hastings SL Association friends and by the Church of the Good Shepherd, Collier Row, which has given us tremendous support in recent years. Thanks to everyone who made the evening such a success and took us that much further along the road to putting the mothers-and-babies unit in Hastings Village back on its feet. The crystal-clear photos are all by Colin Foy – thanks, Colin.Sierra Leone music night (170)_stitchSierra Leone music night (154)Sierra Leone music night (138)Sierra Leone music night (130)Sierra Leone music night (32)Sierra Leone music night (28)Sierra Leone music night (18)

Hastings & 1066 Country Calendar for 2014

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Do you remember our beautiful calendar in 2012? We’ve produced one for 2014 with the help of the talented members of the East Sussex Arts Club. You can get it from the Hastings Information Centre, from Yvonne and Yvette, or from Link members – ring Robin on 01424 436603. They usually cost £5, but if you want one sent to you, I’m afraid it’s £6.50 which includes postage and packing. Send a cheque (made out to Hastings SL Friendship Link) to Secretary HSLFL, Oaklands, Rock Lane, Hastings, East Sussex TN35 4NY.  Don’t forget to give your name and address!    HIC calendar poster 2014(Website)

Thanks from Health Centre Manager

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Sallu Lansana, the Health Centre manager in Hastings SL, has written to confirm that the latest shipment of equipment and supplies for the health centre has been carefully distributed. He writes:

I write on behalf of the staff and volunteers of the Hastings Community Health Centre to acknowledge that we were present when the container was opened on 20/12/2012. An inventory was taken on Wednesday 23rd. (Sallu gives a full inventory.) The cartons were transferred to the Health Centre thereafter, staff meetings were held where we decided that we would distribute some of the items/materials to the other peripheral health units within the catchment area on 24/1/13.  (He lists these.) We promise these items/material will be used for their intended purpose in saving the lives of our patients. We have started using the items. We appreciate all the items sent and we hope that you will continue the kind support to this facility and the community at large. The extension is still going on and we are slowly coming to the end of the extension work. We appreciate it all. Meanwhile please extend our sincere gratitude to all our supporters, funders and well-wishers and your entire membership and the Hastings UK community for joining hands to improve health care in Hastings Sierra Leone. Once more, thank you all.

Yours faithfully

Sallu Lansana

Officer in charge, Hastings Community Health Centre SL


Saving the lives of babies in Hastings Sierra Leone

Monday, September 17th, 2012

For the last few years, schoolchildren all over our town, with Helenswood students at the forefront, have been raising money to help mothers and babies in Hastings Sierra Leone. The infant mortality rate in SL is among the worst in the world, with babies dying from a whole range of illnesses, from anaemia and malaria to diarrhoea and dehydration.  The small health centre in the village struggles to provide maternity services for Hastings and the surrounding rural area. It has only one toilet, and not even a cold water supply. Now all that is about to change. Plans have been drawn up, permissions obtained, and Kainde Pearce has organised the villagers into an enthusiastic labour force. The foundations have been finished in record time, and the walls are going up fast. The Link is sending out funds to pay for materials as they are needed, and Sallu Lansana, the dynamic health centre manager, is confident that the extension will be ready in a few months, in spite of the fact that the centre is having to cope with the cholera epidemic that is sweeping Sierra Leone. Sallu and Mohamed Koroma (who is managing the project) express their heartfelt gratitude to all the people of Hastings & St Leonards, especially the children.

The Link urgently needs more money in order to buy and ship out equipment and medication. Please contact Robin ( if you can help with a donation or with organising a fundraising event on our behalf.  A ‘Hastings & 1066 Country’ calendar for 2014 is being printed at the moment and will be available towards the end of June. Look out for it – it’s really beautiful! Please buy some for your friends and relatives – every penny apart from the cost of production will go towards saving the lives of babies in Hastings SL!

Even youngsters are getting involved

The footings go in


Hastings East Sussex hosts the SL Olympic Team!

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Perhaps 2 years ago, Michael Foster had the brilliant idea that the members of the Sierra Leone Olympic Team might like to acclimatise themselves in Hastings UK. After long delays, it finally happened! Two fine SL athletes qualified – Ola Sesay (long jump -5th or 6th in the world) and Ibrahim Turay (200 metres) – and spent a week in Hastings, accompanied by a small team of officials and members of the press. The athletes trained at William Parker Sports College, had a packed programme of visits arranged by the Link and Hastings Borough Council, and were interviewed by BBC TV.  The Link is very grateful to the Headteacher and staff of William Parker Sports College, to the White Rock Hotel which generously provided the accommodation, and to local sponsors who made it all possible.  Here is a selection of pictures taken on the day the SL delegation was taken to the Olympic Village, followed by the delegation’s official press release.

Ibrahim training at WPSC

My heroine!

Ibrahim Turay at WPSC

Link members and SL delegates at the Olympic Village

With His Excellency Mr Edward Turay

Official Press Release: The Sierra Leone delegation has been officially welcomed in the Games Village of the London Olympics. The Team Welcome Ceremony was attended by the Sierra Leone High Commissioner to the United Kingdom H E Edward Mohamed Turay and the entire staff of the High Commission. Members of the Sierra Leone Hastings Link were also in attendance. The guests had the opportunity of visiting the Games Village and the apartment of Sierra Leone.
The ceremony itself was all about flag raising and acknowledgement of Sierra Leone’s presence in the 2012 Olympic Games. The Mayor of the Games Village commended the athletes for their hard training before the games. He assured the athletes and officials of a friendly atmosphere and called on them to compete fairly.
During the program there was an exchange of gifts in which the Chef de Mission of Sierra Leone, Unisa Deen Kargbo, presented a piece of typical home made wooden  craftsmanship inscribed, ‘Greetings from Sierra Leone’.
Sierra Leone’s two athletes, Ola Sesay the Female Long Jumper and Ibrahim Turay, the male 200M sprinter all expressed determination to lift the banner high when the competitions begin. Both athletes have had pre-games training in Hastings (East Sussex).
For details follow the Freetown Press.
Unisa Deen Kargbo