Winchelsea

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Cellar tour: The guided Cellar Tour starts at 2pm in Castle Street and costs £5 each which includes a guidebook to the cellars. Under Winchelsea there are over 50 medieval vaulted cellars and the tour will explain why and how they were built. The number to contact for bookings is 01797 224446 and proceeds will go towards archaeology in Winchelsea.

Famous 5: One entertaining Christmas gift I enjoyed was an Enid Blyton for grown-up’s spoof of those Famous Five heroes Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy the dog, written by Bruno Vincent. The book is entitled ‘Five go on a Strategy Away Day’ and is one of a series of books of similar prankish adventures. It went as follows: The four work in Finance Acquisitions and are on an away day team building exercise led by a disaffected character called Mike. He explained that, ‘this is a Togetherness Exercise where we build trust, positive thinking, language skills, empathy, cooperation and concentration.’ He then gave Dick and Anne some red balloons to blow up and placed sheets of paper on the floor seemingly at random. Julian as team leader put on the blindfold while Mike handed a balloon to each of the others and requested them to stand behind Julian in a conga line. Under Julian’s blind leadership they had to go through a minefield without setting foot on a mine and causing their extermination. Mike explained, ‘what I need you to do is direct Julian between the mines to the safe zone.’

‘Easy peasy’, said Dick.

Although as Mike added, ‘you have to use your linguistic skills very carefully… you’re not allowed to use words like “left”, “right”, “forward” or “stop”. More importantly you’re not allowed to say anything negative. Every instruction has to be encouraging or couched in positive terms.’ He continued, ‘you see it’s what we call a metaphor for life’.

‘Yes we know what a metaphor is, thank you,’ said Julian.

After some frantic moments Dick saw a flaw in the rules of the game and suggested an ideation exercise which involved imagining the far wall where the safe zone is, to be north and the sides of the room east and west. He tells Julian to step towards north-west but Mike suddenly shouts ‘boom’ and scares everyone. Dick should have said north-east. Exasperated but trying to be calm Julian told Dick not to worry as it could happen to anyone. At last they set off in the right direction with Mike intimating, ‘two lives left’ as the game reached its conclusion. If there is a moral, it is that the Famous 5 showed how team work can help unite or tear apart depending on the circumstances. Their aim for thinking positive appeared to win in the end and so is a good start to the New Year.

Winchelsea Beach

St Richard’s: There will not be a service at St Richards on Sunday January 1st being New Year’s day. Instead everybody is very welcome to join the Holy Communion service led by the Rector Robin Whitehead at 11am in St Thomas’ Church.

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