Winchelsea & Winchelsea Beach news
Winchelsea & Winchelsea Beach news

Gripping thrillers: This evening (Friday) writer Guy Fraser-Sampson will be giving his talk on ‘British Crime Fiction’ at the Literary Society’s meeting in the Lower Court Hall at 7 for 7.30pm. He will be referencing his intriguing Hampstead Murders books which are: Death in Profile, described as a ‘gripping thriller with a classic crime twist’; Miss Christie Regrets which opens on a dramatic scene and has a modern twist to this classic crime and his third in the series, A Whiff of Cyanide.

Spectacular Gardens: Six spring gardens will be open in the town this Saturday April 22nd in aid of the National Gardens Scheme charities. Starting at 1 till 5.30pm the gardens to visit are Cleveland House, Cleveland Place, Periteau House, The Well House, The Armoury and Rye View. The total cost per person is £6 and during the tour all are welcome to stop for refreshments at the New Hall.

Mobile Library: On Wednesday April 26th the Mobile Library will be in Castle Street from 11 till 11.30am. This is an opportunity to obtain new books, audio items and local information.

Spring Concert: The Winchelsea Singers are holding their annual Spring Concert on Saturday April 29th at 7pm in St Thomas’ Church. Tickets are £10 each at the door and there will be a Bar available during the interval. The programme is varied and dramatic featuring Karl Jenkins’ – ‘The Armed Man’; Verdi’s uplifting Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves; Mozart’s Laudate Dominium and popular spirituals including Ol’ Man River. Soloists are Grace Constable – soprano and Michael White – bass, with Ivora Rees – accompanist and the Music Director is Duncan Reid.

Mayor making: On Easter Monday Cynthia Feast was sworn in as the Mayor of Winchelsea for 2017-18 with her husband as her consort. Last year she was John Spencer’s Deputy Mayor and is now the first lady mayor in the 700 years of mayor making in the town although not the first woman to hold office on the corporation. There were two others recently, one of whom became a deputy mayor and the other was a freeman and jurat. Cynthia’s deputy is John Rodley who is also a jurat and one of the churchwardens. During the ceremony the out-going mayor John Spencer gave an interesting speech on his eventful year which included accidentally dropping his camera into the water at the bottom of the town well while taking photos. In addition, during a garden party held by the Lord Warden of the Cinque Port, Admiral the Lord Boyce, John suggested to him that the Greenwich Maritime Museum should to do more to promote the Cinque Ports. Although not a definite agreement the reply from his lordship was positive on this issue. John was also credited for his involvement in getting the Marsh Link train to stop at Winchelsea and both he and Annie his wife and Mayoress were thanked for their work in support of local charities. The new members on the corporation are David Merrifield appointed to jurat and Carol Scoines as freeman. Before retirement Carol worked for the government as a Crown Agent and for a few years was based in Zimbabwe. She is now a resident and active participant in the town. Other officers of Winchelsea Corporation are: Angel Hill who continues as Town Clerk; Jack Brown Sea Cadet for Winchelsea and Lord Wardens Cadet for the year; Neil Clephane Cameron who is Chamberlain and Eric Streeton Sgt-at-Mace. Dignitaries who attended the ceremony include the High Sheriff Maureen Chowen, Deputy Lieutenant Phyllida de Salis, the Mayor of Rye and Deputy Mayor of Hastings, and members of Rother District Council. After the ceremony everybody gathered at the New Hall to relax and enjoy the delicious variety of refreshments.

Winchelsea Beach

Mobile Library: There will be a visit from the Mobile Library to Sea Road on Wednesday April 26th for exchange of books, reference materials and audio books. This fortnightly service is open to all from 11.40am until 12.15pm.

A celebration: The funeral celebration of David Fawcett’s life took place last Thursday afternoon in St Thomas’ Church and was conducted by Rev. Steve Clark. Beginning with Charles Wesley’s reassuring hymn, ‘Oh for a thousand tongues to sing My great redeemers praise’ there were inspiring words, poems and Bible readings given by David’s children, grandchildren and beloved wife Rachel. A Yorkshire man David enjoyed travelling and eventually settled in Winchelsea Beach where he became involved in the life of St Richard’s Church. As a young man he completed his National Service in Germany then at the age of 25 moved to Argentina with his first wife to work in the mission field. During his ten years as a missionary he had three children and very little money. Using his DIY skills, he virtually rebuilt the shack that was to be their home and this included plumbing, laying drainage pipes and digging a hole for the cesspit. He was also careful not to throw anything away that might be useable and after a few years of accumulation became in many ways a hoarder. Transport across the Andes to the various chapels where he preached was mainly done on horseback and David enjoyed this free cowboy existence. However, he later acquired a battered car which enabled faster travel across the narrow mountain passes. On one family outing while negotiating the sharp bends around the steep slopes the brakes failed. He continued to steer and focus on the road but believed that divine intervention had kept the car from plummeting to its death. When the family returned to the UK David bought himself a motorcycle which he enjoyed using for long distance travel despite weather conditions. About a year ago at the age of 79 he cycled across France to where his son and family were holidaying just to make a brief visit before returning home. David was a loyal Christian with an adventurous spirit and will be greatly missed by his family and friends. After the service a collection was taken in aid of St Michael’s Hospice and light refreshments were provided at the Community Hall.

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