Winchelsea & Winchelsea Beach news
Winchelsea & Winchelsea Beach news

Last Post: At 7.15pm today (Friday) the Last Post will sound at the War Memorial in the churchyard to mark the centenary of the deaths of Noel Patch and Norman Streeton. Noel, a Private in the Australian Infantry, was killed in action at Passchendaele on October 13th 1917, aged 46. He was the son of Henry and Elizabeth Patch of Winchelsea. Norman Streeton was born in Hastings with his next of kin from Winchelsea. A Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery Norman was killed in action at Ypres on October 13th 1917. The Last Post will sound a second time and a wreath laid at the War Memorial on Thursday October 19th at 7pm. This is to mark the centenary of the death of Henry Patch (brother of Noel) and Captain in the Flying Corps who was killed in action aged 23 on October 19th 1917. This event is organised by Winchelsea Bonfire Boyes as part of the town’s Great War commemoration and all are welcome to attend.

Film secret revealed: A television documentary to be released next year revealing how Spitfire fighters were built in secret during World War II will have a preview at the New Hall on Saturday October 14th at 3pm. Tickets are £8. The film’s co-producer, Karl Howman, recently moved to Winchelsea. This film, entitled The Secret Spitfires, explains how aircraft sub-assemblies were made in sheds, garages, warehouses and so on in the centre of Salisbury and Newbury. The finished sub-assemblies were covertly transferred to abandoned barns outside the towns, assembled into complete aircraft and flown straight to waiting fighter airfields. This enterprise has only recently come to light. The work began because the Luftwaffe regularly bombed known munitions factories across the UK. Towns with no known military presence were not targets. All those involved, many of them young women at the time, were made to sign the Official Secrets Act. These people will talk about their work for the first time in the film. The Secret Spitfires will be released in 2018 to coincide with the creation of the Royal Air Force 100 years earlier. A trailer can be seen on-line at The showing will be accompanied by a short film made in the 1920s of Winchelsea and its environs, which include the New Inn, Wesley’s Tree, Greyfriars and the town’s medieval gates. It was due to some detective work by Jurat David Merrifield that this film was tracked down to the Screen Archive South-East archives at the University of Sussex. The film show is being organised by Mayor Cynthia Feast in order to raise money for repairs to the Court Hall.

Julian of Norwich: Next Friday October 20th the Literary Society is holding its monthly meeting as usual in the Court Hall at 7 for 7.30pm with light refreshments on arrival. The speaker is Claire Foster-Gilbert and she will be speaking on the subject of ‘Who is Lady Julian of Norwich and why is she so wonderful?’ Claire is Founder Director of the Westminster Abbey Institute. Previously she studied theology at Oxford University and in 2001 published The Ethics of Medical Research on Humans. In 2003 she became a lay Canon at St Paul’s Cathedral and in 2005 co-edited a book of Rowan Williams’ dialogues on global issues entitled ‘The Worlds We Live In.’

Fashion show: All are invited to attend a travelling trends fashion show on Friday October 20th at 7 for 7.30pm in Rye Community Centre on Conduit Hill. The tickets are £5 and the phone number to contact for bookings is 01797 224164. Refreshments and a fantastic raffle will be available during the evening. This is an opportunity to try on and buy this seasons High Street fashions at greatly reduced prices. Money from the proceeds of the Fashion Show will go towards raising funds for Family Support Work (FSW) which is the charity that St Thomas’ Church regularly supports.

Smuggling in Winchelsea: An activity that made Winchelsea famous throughout history and enabled it to prosper was smuggling. The Friends of the Ancient Monuments and Museum invite all to come and here the writer and historian Malcolm Pratt give a talk on ‘Smuggling in Winchelsea and Area’ on Saturday October 21st. This will take place in the New Hall at 2.30pm and entry cost is £5. After the talk tea and a delicious variety of cakes will be served.

WAS Autumn events: A history talk will take place on Saturday October 21st at 2.30pm in St Thomas’ Church. The talk will be given by Kathleen Tyson (MA in Medieval History) and is called ‘Finding Pevenesae and Hastings Portus: The Norman navigation landing and camps of 1066’. This is taken from original research and contains further evidence for the Brede Basin at Senlac, aka ‘Sandy Loch’. Also there will be a relaunching of the new 2017 edition of Carmen de Triumpho Normannico which is the song of the Norman Conquest. Admission is free to members of Winchelsea Archaeological Society and is £5 for non-members.

Winchelsea Beach

Gatsby Dance: Tomorrow Saturday October 14th WBCA is holding a Dance on the theme of The Great Gatsby Era starting at 7.30pm in the Community Hall. All are welcome to dress in style, feather boas, tuxedos, sequins and all that jazz. The tickets include a Fish and Chip supper and can be bought from Hugh Suttons on Sea Road but are not for sale at the door.

Flooding update: At the recent Parish Council meeting IPC confirmed that the next public meeting regarding the flooding at Winchelsea Beach would be on Saturday November 4th in the Community Hall. The current situation is that Southern Water has installed a flow monitor in the village but flooding issues concerning the caravan site have yet to be resolved. Another IPC issue relevant to the village is the buildup of debris along the beach. A request was made at the meeting for action to be taken to clean it up.