FERNHURST Scouts joined councillors and special guests at the official opening of the village’s revamped internet hub and coffee shop last Saturday.

The new-look village hub, which was been a pillar of the community for 13 years, also hosted its annual pre-Christmas fair and the launch of this year’s Fernhurst Christmas cards designed by local artists. For the fourth year running, Scouts will deliver Christmas cards “posted” in the shop and at Fernhurst pharmacy to addresses in the village.

The reopening was marked with the cutting of a cake by district councillor Norma Graves, as she and Chichester council have actively supported the centre from its very start. The centre’s 13 years of successful activity were celebrated when parish council chairman Heather Bicknell cut into a fine carrot cake made by local baker Natacha Charlez, whose Piece of Heaven bakery based in the village, supplies us with divine cakes of all kinds.

On hand to prove Fernhurst boasts the best coffee in the area with its state-of-the-art bean to cup coffee machine, was Heather Barrie of Harrie’s Coffee, who had brought along samples of her excellent coffee as well as luxury chocolate and marshmallows.

Visitors were also sustained by delicious festive-themed nibbles provided by Louise Buchanan and Gill Kellet, of The Great Little Cookery School, a new enterprise offering friendly cookery classes in Fernhurst, suitable both for beginners, and especially school leavers moving away from home for the first time.

An early Christmas gift to Fernhurst Centre was announced by Mike Boyce, general manager of the Grange Leisure Centre, in Midhurst, who is also a trustee of Grange Community Association. He revealed a donation of £3,000 towards the cost of furniture and furnishings bought as part of the refurbishment was on its way.

Fernhurst Centre chairman Iain Brown said: “The centre has very much the same community ethos as the Grange Community Association. We are very grateful and delighted our modernised centre has been so well-received.

“Visitor numbers are increasing as word gets out about the excellent refreshments and our fresh new look.”