Winchelsea

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Cindi Cogswell, 31 Highfords, Icklesham

The Paperback Book Fair takes place tomorrow (Saturday) from 10.30 am to 4 pm at St Thomas’s Church in support of church funds. Books will be arranged in order of subject and you will find over 1500 quality second hand paperbacks at prices you can afford. Do come along and you may find that book you have always wanted which is no longer on the shelves. After the Fair any books left over are to be sent to the charity Oxfam.

While the Book Fair is in progress the monthly Church Market will take place as usual from 10.30 am to noon. Home-grown, home-made produce plus refreshments will be on sale with proceeds going towards church funds. After choosing a good book there are places to sit with your coffee or tea and let Iain Kerr entertain on the piano.

A Walk has been arranged this month by The Rye and District Association of the National Trust for Tuesday 9th April. Starting at 10.30 am from Rolvenden Church and walking for 5 miles to the Ewe and Lamb on Rolvenden Lane, the walk will continue for a further 2.5 miles after lunch. Please contact Phil Maynard on 01797 260637 or email phil@phil.maynard.co.uk for more details and to register your interest in this walk.

Don’t forget that tickets (£22 p.p) are on sale from the Post Office for the visit to Lullingstone Castle and Church, plus guided tour of Tom Hart-Dyke’s World Garden. For this event please meet members of the Garden Society at the bus stop by the town sign on Thursday 11th April at 9am.

The Second Wednesday Society is meeting for a talk on Wednesday 10th April at 2.30 pm in the New Hall. Put aside your cold weather blues and let Graham Albon transport us to The Azores, the Garden Islands of the Atlantic. Following this talk there will be homemade tea and the total cost is £1 members and £4 non-members.

Malcolm Pratt’s new book Winchelsea Poor Law Records 1790-1841 is being published as Volume 94 of the Sussex Record Society’s annual series. The book is a collection of letters, court records and parish documents which reveal much about the lives of Winchelsea’s poor of the period and of those whose responsibility it was to care for them. There is an introduction which provides an insight into the sources for the documents and comments on life in Winchelsea in those days. On Saturday 13th April from 2.15 pm the official launch will be held in the New Hall. The Chairman of the Society’s Council will introduce the event at about 3 pm followed by a talk by Malcolm about individuals who feature in the book and about the Winchelsea of those days. After the talk tea and biscuits will be available. All are welcome to the launch and Malcolm would appreciate the support of a good local turnout and there is no obligation to buy a copy of the book.

Winchelsea Conservation Society is holding its Annual General Meeting on Saturday 27th April at 10 am in the Lower Court Hall. There are a good number of topics and changes to the Constitution to be discussed and Chairman John Spencer, on behalf of the Society would like as many members as possible to attend. After the meeting refreshments will be served.

Easter Monday was a day of bright sunshine though it is said that the cold weather is not over yet. Despite such forecasts the town has an air of spring with the trees coming into blossom and daffodils and hyacinths displayed on the verges. There was also a seasonal change of Mayor on Easter Monday and as usual the ceremony was held in the Upper Court Hall, attended by the Mayors of the Cinque Ports and townsfolk. After 28 years Malcolm Pratt retired earlier this year and his role as Town Clerk is now taken by Jurat Melvyn Pett. Melvyn began his new assignment with an interesting talk on Winchelsea’s contribution to the industrial revolution which was a lace making enterprise in the 18th century. This business venture was initiated by an MP/banker called Nesbit who aimed to compete with the high quality French cambric lace of the time and make his fortune. He proceeded by bringing Huguenots from France with lace making skills to Winchelsea to produce the same quality lace in Britain. Although the end result was good connoisseurs could tell that the Winchelsea lace was no match for the French lace, partly because of the type of flax used. All the while French lace continued to be smuggled into the country. Even importing French flax did not produce the same quality lace and as quickly as it started the industry came to an end. Had it succeeded would Winchelsea have been better for it than the way the character of the town has since developed? Melvin left us to consider this thought. The mayoring ceremony continued with Stephen Turner who in a change from convention had already revealed that he was to be the new Mayor for 2013-14, gratefully accepting the robes and chain of office from outgoing Mayor Roger Neaves. Stephen grew up in Winchelsea and his family were the builders Turner Brothers. His career was in banking then a few years ago he ran a popular tea room business in Winchelsea and still plays for the Cricket Club. His uncle Douglas H. Turner was the Mayor of Winchelsea from 1982-83. Another break from tradition involved Revd David Page who was both the first member of clergy since the 19th century and the first Mayor’s Chaplain to be elected a Freeman. Stephen chose Jurat John Spencer (Chairman of the Conservation Society and cricket enthusiast) as his Deputy Mayor and he was pleased to accept the position. Afterwards the ceremony concluded with a social gathering and refreshments in the New Hall.

Winchelsea Beach

The 3 pm Evening Prayer service, held monthly at St Richard’s Church takes place this Sunday 7th April and you are invited to attend.

Winchelsea Beach Residents Association is holding its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 9th April at 7.30 pm in the Community Hall. Residents are all very welcome to come along and whether or not you are interested in joining the committee your support would be much appreciated.

An evening of Bingo will be held in the Community Hall as usual at 7 for 7.30 pm. Light refreshments available and come along if you are able to.

There will be a St Richard’s Fellowship Lunch on Friday 26th April in the Community hall as usual at 12 for 12.30 pm. Booking is essential and if you would like to attend please give sufficient notice and the number to contact is 01797 227168.