Winchelsea

Coffee Morning: Don’t forget this morning September 25th is the annual World’s Biggest Coffee Morning in the Court Hall from 10am till noon. Plenty of good coffee is available plus cakes, a raffle, Bring n Buy and bring your friends. This is a fundraising event held all over the UK with donations in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Since the first coffee morning in 1990 the many more that followed have together raised £138 million and the help Macmillan provides includes nurses being able to offer one-to-one support, centres being kept well-resourced and families having more involvement.

Harvest Celebration: There will be a celebratory service at the Methodist Chapel tomorrow (Saturday) followed by a Harvest Lunch of fresh produce beginning at 11am and no need to book your place. Rev. Tricia Williams will be helping to ‘Plough the fields and scatter the good seed on the ground’ as she leads the service and joins with all for some hearty harvest hymns.

Church events: There will be Holy Communion services on Saturday September 26th at 9.30am and Sunday 27th at 10.30am after which a baptism will take place at 1pm. St Thomas’ School Harvest Service will be held on Thursday October 1st at 9am in the Church with parents welcome and be followed by a visit of the Cinque Ports Mayors at 1.30pm.

Westside Story: The Archaeological Society has planned a Westside Story walk on Sunday September 27th, starting at 2pm from Castle Street and the cost is £5 p.p. This is a guided walk to trace the remains of the western defences and suburbs of the medieval town of Winchelsea. The walk follows the route to the New Gate, the southernmost point of the town, taking in historical sites which include the Monday Market, St John’s Hospital and Holyrood, then back along the western slopes, through delightful open countryside which is not open to the public, towards what was once the town ditch and St Leonards Creek, past the site of the Pewis Gate, along a lost highway following the line of the town wall and concluding at the site of the abandoned village of South Iham.

Community Sing Up: The community singing group sang sea shanties at their last Sunday Sing Up session. Try that for a tongue twister. On Sunday September 27th St Thomas’ Church will be hosting the next event with Peter Hatch conducting the singing from 4.30 till 5.30pm. ‘Sing with us just for joy’ is the cheering invitation to all regardless of age or ability to just come along and there is a £2 contribution which includes light refreshments.

Harvest Barn Dance: Last year’s popular Barn Dance is proving to be the start of many and once again will be combined with the annual Harvest Supper in the New Hall on Saturday October 3rd at 6pm. The cost is £10 adults, £6 children and the two-course meal is included in the price but you will need to bring your own drinks. Tickets are now on sale at Winchelsea Farm Kitchen and with only a few days left to buy them please come along soon as there is no doubt that it will be even more fun than last year.

Bows and arrows: Mark Stretton skilled archer and master blacksmith gave an interesting talk on the English Longbow in the New Hall last Saturday afternoon. He brought along two replica medieval longbows, similar to those found on the Mary Rose the Tudor warship which sank in 1545. They were around 6ft long and about equal to the height of the user and he demonstrated how to string a bow in seconds. These were made of yew but he recommended bows made of rosewood or hickory for strength and pliability. Mark also had a range of arrows with different heads for use in hunting and battle. The arrowheads used in battle were generally made of wrought iron for piercing steel armour and if possible many arrows would have been recycled on the battle field. He then described the surgery given to the 16-year-old Prince Henry, later to become King Henry V victor of Agincourt, when he was struck by an arrow in the face in 1403 during the Battle of Shrewsbury. The Cheshire Longbow men fired their lethal weapons causing a storm of arrows to descend and one of these hit the prince leaving the bodkin arrowhead wedged in his skull. Back at the castle various doctors visited suggesting that they could remove the arrowhead with potions and other cures but they were unable to. During that time one of the finest surgeons of his day John Bradmore appeared and he performed an operation which saved the prince’s life. He made probes from the pith of an elder which he stitched in purified linen and infused with rose honey to open the wound. Then taking a piece of metal and casting it into shape through melting he produced some little tongs the width of an arrow. A screw ran through the middle of the tongs with a rounded end for a better grip and he put the tongs in the wound at an angle in the same way the arrow had entered. He then placed the screw in the centre enabling the tongs to enter the socket of the arrowhead. Bradmore explained how by moving it to and fro he gradually with the help of God was able to extract the arrowhead. When this was done many gentlemen and servants who were standing by all gave thanks to God. Following the surgery he cleansed the wound every two days with a syringe full of white wine and wads of flax soaked in a cleansing ointment of flour, barley, honey and turpentine oil and after twenty days the wound was perfectly cleansed. Bradmore also used an ointment to soothe the muscles regularly on the prince’s neck and placed a hot plaster on top for fear of spasm and he concluded his medical report with thanks to God for the treatment which saw the prince perfectly cured.

Winchelsea Beach

RX Bird Race: There is an opportunity to help raise money for Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and RSPCA Mallydams Wood by taking part in a sponsored birdwatch on Sunday September 27th in the Rye Bay area. The bird race is birdwatching in small groups to see how many species you can spot in one day while visiting the unique habitats of the RX that is ‘Rye-SusseX’ area from Hastings to Hythe. Amateur and professional bird watchers are welcome and it is open to teams of 2 to 5 participants (contact by email is rhnroffice@sussexwt.org.uk or telephone: 01797 227784 or 0300 123 0723.) At the end of the day there will be a social event at Mallydams centre with prizes awarded to winning teams plus refreshments and a raffle to raise money for two charities.

Water quality: Bathing water quality concerns the amount of bacteria existing in the sea and can vary from beach to beach and change regularly even on the same beach. Where there are high levels of bacteria it usually denotes pollution from sewage treatment works or run off from agricultural and urban areas. This year the Environment Agency has introduced some changes in the way that bathing waters are rated and after summer 2015 beaches will be classified with new standards using water samples they have collected in the bathing season from May 15th to September 30th and the three preceding years. The classifications are: ***Excellent, **Good, *Sufficient = minimum water quality, Poor = warn against bathing; with Winchelsea Beach having acceptable water quality at September 11th 2015.

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