Summer Blooms: Garden Society members are requested to meet at the Court Hall with their exhibits of roses, sweet peas, clematis or iris for the Summer Blooms Show on Saturday June 9th. There is no formal entry process just come along with your vase or vases of flowers and all are invited to see the displays. Coffee is served from 10.30am and exhibits need to be in place by 11 ready for the presentation of trophies at 12 noon.

Emperor and Empress: The Second Wednesday Society meets for a talk on Wednesday June 13th at 2.30pm in the New Hall. The talk is ‘Napoleon and Josephine’ – a love story by Chris Viner and all welcome to come along. This will be followed by a homemade tea and the total cost is £4 for non-members. In 1796 Emperor Napoleon married Josephine who, through the children of her first marriage is well connected to European aristocracy as a direct ancestor of the current royal houses of Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden and of the Grand Duchy of Baden (Germany)

Bowls Club: There will be a Bowls Club Coffee Morning Fundraiser at the Court Hall from 10am to 12 on Friday June 15th. Everybody welcome and proceeds are in aid of the Club. Tea, coffee, and homemade cakes will be served, plus a raffle and book stall will be available. Winchelsea Bowls Club is a long established Club which started in 1946 and plays in the Rother League. It represents the town in many competitions including the annual weekend Cinque Ports Bowls Tournament where the team were runners up to Margate in the September 2017 match.

Language of Birds: On Friday June 15th the Literary Society has its monthly gathering at 7 for 7.30pm in the Court Hall, with light refreshments on arrival. The speaker will be Charles Martin who is a distinguished ornithologist and retired Headteacher. His talk is on the intriguing subject ‘Hewholes and Chatternags – The Language and Folklore of Birds’.

Also at the Rye Bookshop on Wednesday June 13th author Genevieve Fox will be giving a talk about her autobiography ‘Milkshakes & Morphine’, at 6.30pm. Then on Saturday June 23rd local author Judith Thomson will be signing copies of her new novel ‘The Distant Hills’.

Secret Gardens NGS: Winchelsea’s Gardens will be open to visitors from 11 to 5.30pm for the National Gardens Scheme charity on Saturday June 16th. Combined admission is £6 and free for children. Coffees will be served in St Thomas’ Church from 10.30 till 1pm and teas in the New Hall from 2 till 5pm. There will also be a plant sale by Friary Gardeners which will be held in Castle Street. All are invited to come and enjoy the many different styles and hidden beauty of the 11 open gardens which are Backfields End, South Mariteau, Cleveland Place, Cleveland House, 2 Strand Plat, Lookout Cottage, Periteau House, The Well House, Magazine House, The Armoury and The Orchards. Visitors are also welcome to drop into the Wesley Chapel (opposite the New Hall) from 2 to 4.30pm and find out about its interesting history.

FUN Dating: WAS member Francis Harper who is a professional geologist gave his illustrated talk on ‘Dating Techniques applicable to archaeology’ for the Society last Sunday afternoon in the church. The small but keen audience were soon overwhelmed by the many fascinating ways of dating artefacts but two hours was not long enough to grasp all the scientific complexities. To name but a few there is F.U.N. Trio Dating which means fluorine, uranium, nitrogen tests of groundwater but this gives only an estimation of time order of relics. Stratigraphy is the study that dates sedimentary rocks based on layers. The lowest layers on the rock supposedly show how old it is while layers higher up are considered less useful. However, this is open to error as earth and rocks are often moved through natural or human endeavours. Even a rabbit burrowing through the earth can upset dating procedures but it can also be an inspiration. From this a measurement device based on rabbit burrowing was apparently constructed. The Vole clock is a means of dating strata based on assumptions of vole teeth found in them. It concerns the ambiguous notion that there were different vole species over an enormous amount of time and that they had dissimilar types of teeth that tell where and when they became extinct. Oddly it was considered ‘one of the wonders of modern science’. The study of Dendrochronology is the scientific method of dating trees by counting the rings, each ring being equal to a year. Much of this is guesswork due to the effects of the climate on tree growth, sometimes two rings are produced in one year and ring counting is often inaccurate. An example of a long-lived tree which is resilient to severe weather is the Bristlecone Pine found in America; the oldest being over 5,000 years old. A more popular form of dating is the Radiocarbon method which measures the amount of carbon in a decaying plant or animal. This is also not guaranteed due to fluctuations in temperature, water, radiation and carbon dioxide increase from erupting volcanoes. Luminescence dating concerns the length of time mineral grains were last exposed to sunlight while other chemical dating methods include amino acids, fission track and argon all of which are not entirely reliable. The most phenomenal would seem to be geomagnetic reversal where the earth’s magnetic north and south are interchanged. This may have happened a long time ago and could occur in 10,000 years’ time. If it happened now it would affect our entire computer system for about 800 years. Past reversals are said to be recorded in the rocks which could be another form of dating technique although cosmic rays are likely to distort this.

Winchelsea Beach

Vintage Vehicles: If you’ve got a VW Camper Van, a 1960’s scooter, E-type Jaguar or any other classic model drive it to Sea Road on Saturday June 9th at 3pm and enjoy a cruise along the sea front. You are invited to join the Vintage Vehicles Show at Winchelsea Sands Caravan Park and look around the vehicles and chat to other drivers. A BBQ will be at hand plus Brick and Brack stalls and light entertainment in the evening.

Quiz Night: Next Saturday June 16th is Quiz Night in the Community Hall on Sea Road with a Cash Prize for the winning team. The evening starts at 7.30pm and to book your place please email the registered charity WBCA at Teams of up to 6 people are required at £10 per person which includes a ploughman’s supplied by Winchelsea Beach Café. You will need to bring your own drink and there will also be a raffle.

IPC Potholes: At the recent Icklesham Parish meeting Councillor Glazier explained that potholes continue to be a priority and requested that they are reported. The patching up of roads and claims for vehicle damage are an ongoing issue in the area. In response to this, East Sussex County Council has now doubled the amount of gangs to 23 to tackle the increasing number of potholes across the county. Hopefully this will mean some improvement to the roads in the near future. Questions were also raised about when Butchers Lane in Three Oaks is likely to open. The road has been closed since October 2016 by Southern Water to enable sewage pipes to be laid so that the village is on the main drainage system. However, there are concerns as to how much longer this work will take before the road is reopened to traffic. Members of the public are welcome at the next IPC meeting which takes place on Monday June 11th at 6.15pm in Rye Harbour village hall.