The British Pilgrimage: A busy stream of fun events is scheduled for Winchelsea this Bank Holiday weekend. Starting with the British Pilgrimage walk on Saturday August 25th, this walk goes from the Church of St Nicholas and All Saints, Icklesham at 9.15am to St. Mary’s Church Rye, passing though Winchelsea, and is open to all faiths and none. The British Pilgrimage Trust has established an ancient pilgrimage route from Southampton to Canterbury which was identified on the medieval Gough Map dated around 1360. This route passes through towns such as Havant, Chichester, Lewes, Battle, Winchelsea, Rye and Appledore and is thought to be the path taken by Henry II after Becket’s murder in Canterbury Cathedral, following their dispute over church and state.

Operetta Concert: The exciting vocal quartet Wot Larks will be performing in St Thomas’ Church tomorrow (Saturday) August 25th at 7.30pm. They are Lyn Cook soprano, Judith Douglas mezzo, Malcolm Butler tenor and accompanist, and Richard Mitchell baritone. Four versatile singers Wot Larks specialises in operetta, Gilbert and Sullivan, show songs and operatic favourites such as Nessun Dorma from Turandot and the Flower Duet from Lakme. To buy your tickets for the concert you should either contact or visit the Farm Kitchen.

Winchelsea Art: All are welcome to the Court Hall this Bank Holiday Weekend for the annual art showing of paintings by local artists. The exhibition is run by the Winchelsea Millennium Artefacts Society and the opening times on Saturday and Sunday August 25th and 26th are from 10am to 6pm and on Bank Holiday Monday August 27th from 10am to 3.45pm. Admission is free and funds raised from the works of art and grand raffle go towards supporting and maintaining the Town Sign, the Beacon and the Needlework Tapestry.

Open Day: The Pett Level Rescue Boat Open Day is this Sunday August 26th from noon until 4pm. There will be a range of stalls, a Grand Raffle, BBQ, books, and plenty of energising tea and coffee for sale. The Rescue Boat is a registered charity run by volunteers, based in a custom built boat house at Pett Level. It provides a service as an independent inshore facility with HM Coastguard and the RNLI. Everybody is welcome to come along on Sunday and support this important rescue service.

Heritage Open Days: England’s biggest free festival Heritage Open Days takes place in September from Thursday to Sunday on the 6th to the 9th and the 13th to the 16th of the month. On the weekend of September 8th and 9th Winchelsea will be hosting HOD events and these are just a few of the 5,000 held across the country. HOD is co-ordinated by the National Trust and their commitment is to protect local heritage places, with communities working together to achieve this. Last year, some unusual sites were opened, including a talk about the murky world of Sheffield’s drains and how they shaped the city. Winchelsea’s four sites are not so dark, but a new place has opened known as The Stables. This site and Blackfriars’ cellar are linked because in 1976, a vast amount of pottery sherds were discovered in the cellar which seems to have been used as the unofficial town dump. This important assemblage, which is stored in the Stables, gives an insight into the social status of the town and the range of ceramics in use from the 19th century. It is currently being sorted and recorded by volunteers from Winchelsea Archaeological Society. Free tours of Blackfriars’ cellar are offered at 11am on Saturday 8th and at 11am and 2pm on Sunday 9th. The Stables will be open from 11am to 12.30pm on Saturday 8th and 11am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 3.30pm on Sunday 9th. The Methodist Chapel, a unique building of 1785 that is virtually unchanged since John Wesley preached his sermons will be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 8th, with free entry and light refreshments served. The Court Hall will display an illuminating exhibition titled ‘Men and Women and how they have shaped Winchelsea’s Heritage’ and entry is free on both days. Tea, coffee and cakes will be served. The Museum is open both days from 12pm to 4pm with free entry on Saturday 8th only. Other principal medieval structures in the town that are worth looking at are the three Gates: Pipewell Gate, Strand Gate and New Gate and the Town Well. On the day visitors will be able to pick up a leaflet, which will include a map, showing where all the sites are located. Come along and explore all the town has to offer and look forward to an enjoyable visit. The weekend promises to be of interest, and although St Thomas’ Church is not formally involved, it will be open and everyone is most welcome. Having read the brief biography about Dr Douglas Strachan at the exhibition you may find that you look at the stained glass windows in the church in a different light.

Winchelsea Beach

Table Sale: Tomorrow (Saturday) the Bank Holiday Table Sale will be in action in the Community Hall on Sea Road from 2 to 4.30pm. There will be a wide range of items for sale that may go quickly so timing is essential, plus a good tombola. Entrance cost is 50p which includes tea and biscuits and the WBCA invites all to come in and see what’s on offer.

St Richard’s: The afternoon worship service in St Richard’s Church which currently takes place on the fourth Sunday in the month will be at 4pm on August 26th. Songs of Praise and a time of prayer are included in this 35-minute service and friends and visitors are very welcome to attend. Tea and refreshments will be served following the service.