Winchelsea & Winchelsea Beach news
Winchelsea & Winchelsea Beach news

Literary dreams: This evening (Friday) is Members Evening at the Literary Society’s meeting starting at 7 for 7.30pm in the Lower Court Hall. “To sleep, perchance to dream” from Hamlet’s famous soliloquy “To be or not to be” is the title and everybody has the opportunity of sharing their own literary choices on this theme.

Friends AGM: The Friends of Winchelsea Church will be holding their Annual General Meeting on Saturday May 20th at 10.30am in St Thomas’ Church. As usual this will be an important meeting which will include activities in support of the Church and future plans, elections to the Council and constitutional matters. All members are encouraged to attend and also to cast their votes.

Coffee Morning: A Coffee Morning in aid of Christian Aid week will take place on Saturday May 20th at 10am till noon at Winchelsea Methodist (Wesley’s Chapel) on Rectory Lane. There will also be a small Bring and Buy stall and visitors to this historic chapel will be warmly welcomed.

Attic Sale: The annual Attic Sale takes place on Saturday May 20th in the New Hall and the early bird starting time is 10.30am at £5 and then is open to all from 11am at £1 p.p. This shopping spree includes exotic plants and seeds, antiques and bric-a-brac, vintage and secondhand clothes. Additionally, home-made cakes, tea and coffee will be on sale, with all proceeds in aid of Rye, Winchelsea and District Memorial Hospital.

Winchelsea Arts: Tomorrow May 20th the String Quartet musicians from the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music (RCMJD) will be performing in St Thomas’ Church at 7.30pm. The concert will include the winning entry in the Winchelsea Arts Composition Competition, run in partnership with RCMJD and the winning entry will be a piece of music written in response to a brief about the history of the town. Tickets for the concert are £13 or £6.50 under 18s, from the Farm Kitchen or online at Included in their repertoire the String Quartet will be playing a selection of uplifting music from Haydn, Brahms, Mendelssohn and Beethoven.

Millais in Winchelsea: The artist John Everett Millais founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 along with William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. This new style consisted of bright colours, thin outlines and tiny details and amongst his works was the painting of the drowning Ophelia. Later in his fifties he adopted a different style with darker colours and produced the famous picture of his grandson ‘Bubbles’ which was used in the Pears Soap advertisements. Millais visited Winchelsea in 1852 at the age of twentythree and described the town as “the most lovely of places”. He returned in the late summer of 1854 and painted in great detail the 14th century tomb, believed to be of Gervase Alard, Admiral of the Western Fleet which is situated in St Thomas’ Church. This tomb served as a background for his famous painting L’Enfant du Regiment’ which depicts a young girl lying on the tomb covered in a grenadier’s jacket. The incident is imaginary and based on Donizetti’s opera set in the Napoleonic Wars where the heroine as a child was wounded in crossfire and given rest on a medieval tomb. On that same visit to Winchelsea, Millais began the painting of ‘The Blind Girl’ which he later described as ‘the most luminous with bright golden light’ of all his works. This painting portrays the social concerns of the day as experienced by the blind girl and her sister. Although she is unable to see the beauty of the countryside surrounding the town and the two rainbows in the distance her sister looks back and observes for her. In both of these Pre-Raphaelite pictures the figures were added later in 1855 in Perth Scotland where the artist was then living and in 1856 they were on public display in the Royal Academy. The prints of these two paintings were donated by Millais’ great grandson who is a resident of Winchelsea. They are currently exhibited alongside Alard’s tomb in the church and will be of interest to visitors discovering more about the history of the town. Also, on sale at the back of the church are the postcard versions of the pictures and the proceeds will go towards church funds.

Winchelsea Beach

Table Sale: Next Saturday May 27th there will be a Table Sale from 11am in the Community Hall. If you would like to book a table, please contact 01797 224820. Entrance cost is 50p which includes tea and biscuits and a tombola is available with good prizes.

Pub 31: There is a BBQ every Saturday and Sunday from 1pm at Pub 31 on Sea Road and if you are having a day on the beach or just want to relax do come along. Also live music is regularly in action on the last Sunday of every month from 2pm, plus a big meat raffle every Sunday and manager Steve welcomes all to join him there.

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