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English Longbow: The Chairman of the English Warbow Society Mark Stretton will be giving a talk on ‘The English Longbow’ in the New Hall tomorrow (Saturday) at 3pm. After the talk there will be a longbow demonstration in the spacious field outside the hall. Mark is an experienced archer and Master Blacksmith and is in the Guinness Book of Records for drawing a 200 lb longbow. The cost is £4 adults and free to under 16s with proceeds in support of Winchelsea Archaeological Society.

Church times: There will be a Holy Communion service at 9.30 am tomorrow morning which will be followed by the wedding of Danyel Delenio and Julie Rogers at 1pm in St Thomas’ Church. On Sunday September 20th morning worship will be as usual at 10.30am led by the Rector Robin Whitehead. Also thank you to all for supporting the Family Support Work and Rye Food Bank and contributions can be left in the box and basket at the back of the church on any Sunday or placed in the churchwardens’ pew.

Garden Society friends: An invitation to visit the stunning gardens at Glyndebourne (BN8 5UU) praised by Vita Sackville West in 1953 has just been sent to Howard Norton for members and friends. This is a charity opening on Thursday September 24th between 1.30 and 4.30pm and entry cost is £7.50 at the door. Do come along if you can.

World’s Biggest: Coming soon on Friday September 25th is the annual World’s Biggest Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Between 10am and 12 noon you will find the Court Hall transformed into a café selling delicious cakes and coffee, plus a raffle and Bring n Buy stall will be available to enjoy.

Harvest time: ‘Come ye thankful people come’ to the Harvest celebration at the Methodist Chapel next Saturday September 26th at 11am. The service will be led by Rev. Tricia Williams from the Hasting & Rye Methodist circuit and she will be welcomed with her husband David to the chapel. After the service there will be a salad lunch for all to enjoy and there is no need to book just come along.

Tom Harris: Talented young musician Tom Harris performed for Winchelsea Arts last year and is returning on Friday October 2nd to give a piano recital of works by Chopin, Ravel, Schubert, Beethoven and Liszt. Tickets are £12 adults, £6 under 16s and are on sale at Winchelsea Farm Kitchen or you can book online at: winchelseachurch.co.uk/arts. Please make a note of the concert time which is 7.30pm in St Thomas’ Church. At the age of three Tom started having piano lessons with the Head of Keyboard at Eton College then at the age of twelve he came first in all classes: bassoon, recorders, flute and piano at the Hastings Music Festival. Tom is currently studying piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Winchelsea Museum: Volunteers are needed for the museum which is open Tuesday to Sunday from May 1st to September 30th each year. A duty consists of 10.30am to 1.30pm, or 1.30pm to 4.30pm and if possible to do five sessions a season. Training is available and as a resident of the town you will get free admission into the museum. The number to contact is 01797 226642 if you would like to volunteer for next year.

Filming: St Thomas’ Church was the setting for one of the scenes on the theme of DNA in The Royals last Monday with other scenes shot in Camber. The Royals is a popular TV drama about a fictional British Royal family (with some similarities to the real thing) living in modern day London in lavish wealth and starring Joan Collins and Elizabeth Hurley as Queen Helena. It’s glitzy, dangerous and class-obsessed and somewhat out of place in sleepy Winchelsea with the film crew taking over so that access to the church was limited from 3pm and the evening choir practice had to be cancelled.

No speaker no talk: A good number turned up for the Magna Carta talk last Saturday at 3pm in the church during the Heritage weekend. While waiting for the talk to begin there were visitors bustling in and out but Professor David Carpenter who was due to give the presentation was not among them and the patient audience were growing restless. Richard (of Winchelsea Archaeology Society) assured us that he had spoken to David a week ago to confirm that he was coming and as his journey was from London the supposition was that he might be late. However the minutes turned into a quarter of an hour with no sign of the host and it was suggested that he had been held up in a traffic jam in the Blackwall Tunnel without a phone signal. History expert Jo Kirkham who was present in the audience may have heard the whispered proposal that perhaps she could be persuaded to fill in? Whether or not this was so she was at that moment heading for the door perhaps to avoid the rush. For those still waiting and with his eye on the clock Richard endeavoured to hold it all together for as long as possible. He used the time to expand on the forthcoming events organised by WAS but there was a moment when he paused mid-sentence as a grey-haired man appeared at the back of the church. In a hopeful voice Richard asked him if he was the speaker. The man who was at the tail-end of a group of visitors gave a muffled response which we took to be a ‘no’, thus deflating any last hopes. By this time thirty minutes had passed, the event was half over and even the most optimistic members of the audience were leaving. After which the last few admitted defeat and followed, making sure to collect their refunds on the way out. Thankfully this was the first time on record that a speaker had not turned up at an archaeology talk but as the saying goes: it’s all history and so we look forward to the next event.

Winchelsea Beach

Fortnightly Bingo: The Community Hall will be hosting an evening of Cash Bingo so the more money paid in by the players’ means the better the cash prizes to be won. As usual all are welcome and this event will be on Wednesday September 23rd starting at 7.15pm. Children are also invited with adults and there will be refreshments available plus a raffle.

Short Mat Bowls: Every Tuesday from 2 till 4pm Short Mat Bowls is played in the Community Hall both for pleasure and to improve skills. If you have never had a go before it is an indoor sport played by rolling a heavy ball along a flat surface to gain shots by getting their bowls closer to the jack than their rivals to outscore them. The game was rumoured to have started in the open air in South Africa but due to the British climate a simulation of the outdoor game was played on a strip of carpet in a church hall.

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