Winchelsea

FOAM AUTUMN TALK: Author and historian Malcolm Pratt will be giving his talk on: Post War Winchelsea - Life in the Town 1946-1966 tomorrow, Saturday, at 2.30pm in the New Hall and all are most welcome. The Friends of the Ancient Monuments in Winchelsea have organised the talk which will be followed by afternoon tea and the charge on the door is £5 which includes tea, sandwiches and cake.

GMT: British Summer Time is almost over and it is time to look forward to lighter mornings and an extra hour in bed on Sunday. This is when the clocks go back one hour at 2am or before you go to bed. Over the winter the country reverts to Greenwich Mean Time to save on energy but there can be no great savings as it simply gets darker earlier.

PLANT SALE: Winchelsea Garden Society has arranged a plant sale taking place on Saturday October 31 to raise money for the Mayoress’ charity St Michael’s Hospice, for Hospice at Home. The sale will be in the Lower Court Hall from 10am to 1pm and the plan is to auction the more expensive objects. Items on sale will include plants, garden sundries such as containers, tools and gloves plus a second-hand book stall majoring on horticulture and a high class bric-a-brac stall. Friends, neighbours and crowds are invited to come along and buy in aid of the charity and coffee and tea will be available from 10am onwards.

HALLOWEEN DANCE: My apologies for writing in last week’s Village Voice that the Halloween Dance in the Community Hall was last Saturday evening. The correct date is tomorrow, Saturday, from 7.30pm till 10.30pm and tickets are currently on sale from Hugh at Suttons in Sea Road or contact 01797 224820. To get everybody on their feet the band Ricochet will be providing a good mix of live music and a fish ‘n chip supper is included in the £10 admission, with proceeds in aid of St Michael’s Hospice and Winchelsea Beach Community Association.

FLOOD WATCH: The second public meeting on flooding at Winchelsea Beach took place last Saturday morning in the Community Hall. MP Amber Rudd chaired the meeting which was once again attended by representatives from the Environment Agency, Southern Water, the Romney Marsh Drainage Board, Rother District Council and Icklesham Parish Council, along with Cllr Sally-Ann Hart and a large audience from the locality. The aim of the meeting was to discuss what action had been taken since the last meeting earlier this year, to amend the problems of flooding in the area due to heavy rainfall. As the meeting proceeded it became apparent that very little progress had been made and instead much of what had been said last time was reiterated but with less panache than before. There was general agreement over the main cause of the flooding which was considered to be the result of a high level of surface water overloading the sewage system during heavy rainfall. However the cause of the excessive amount of surface water was clearly a matter of dispute with members of the audience heatedly debating with the agencies as to why they were not being listened to. At the last meeting the issue of the drainage ditches, also referred to as dykes or sewers was raised as work that needed urgent attention and it was a case of déjà vu at the current meeting when the matter had to be raised again because no action had been taken to improve them. These ditches which had always served to keep the land well drained were now either in disuse through lack of maintenance or they had been tarmacked over during building projects. Some regarded the caravan park to be at fault in this instance as it was thought that, to make way for the park drainage ditches had been filled in and built over thus causing the flooding which the park has experienced in the last few years. It was also pointed out that since the number of residents in the area had increased it would therefore make sense to replace the present sewage pipe with a much larger pipe to deal with the additional pressure when it rained. During flooding it appears that large quantities of water seeping into the ground can leak into the sewage pipes as they are not completely sealed off and this would add to the overflow. It is a cyclical process whereby heavy rainfall lays on the ground until it is absorbed after which much of it flows into the sewage pipes and causes an overflow which leads to the water resurfacing as sewage back onto the land. The meeting concluded with an action plan which involved Southern Water obtaining more specific evidence to clarify the cause of the surface water and to support the caravan park if necessary to assist in rectifying the drainage system. 
A representative from the caravan park would also be invited to the next meeting which would convene in about twelve weeks. 
As for the dormant and overgrown ditches in the area, if a team of workers were paid to dig them out and bring them back into working order this alone would make a difference in reducing much of the flooding.

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