Open Day: The Winchelsea New Hall Committee are holding a special Open Day tomorrow Saturday March 9th from 10am to 4pm. This is to give people the chance to come along and see the recent improvements to the New Hall. At 11am the Mayor John Rodley will officially open the newly refurbished, efficiently designed kitchen. A cook’s dream it now has new flooring, cupboards, cooker, dishwasher, fridges and stainless steel work surfaces and caters for all users including professional caterers. Other recent improvements to the hall are new entrance doors, lighting which has dimmer switches for ambience, a hearing loop and elegant curtains. The committee has prepared information on activities in the hall and people are invited to view the new knockabout badminton facility during their visit. In addition, committee members are available throughout the day to answer questions and serve refreshments including cakes and biscuits.
IPC March: News from Icklesham Parish Council is that the precept for the next financial year is £111,248 which is an increase of £3197 on this year’s precept of £108,051. Elections will take place on Thursday May 2nd for Rother District Council and the Parish Council. There are changes due to take place to both the District Council and the Parish regarding the ward arrangements. At present the four wards in Icklesham Parish Council are Icklesham, Winchelsea, Winchelsea Beach and Rye Harbour, while Rye is a separate ward. The changes at District level will bring the wards down to three. First will be Icklesham continuing as a ward of its own; second is Winchelsea joining with the Rye Ward and third is Winchelsea Beach merging with Rye Harbour. As a result, there will be six different District Councillors representing the Parish which does not sound very cost effective since at present there are just two District Councillors. The changes at Parish level also seem imbalanced. Icklesham it seems will have to elect five Councillors while Winchelsea which is similar in size to Icklesham will elect just two. A major change is that Winchelsea Beach will ‘cease to exist’ as a ward because it will be merged into the new enlarged Rye Harbour Ward which will elect six Councillors. This differs from Winchelsea which will maintain its independence despite joining with the Rye ward. Some clarity from IPC would be useful concerning the rearrangement of the wards as it would seem more practicable for Rye Harbour to join with Rye since the two are nearer each other and for Winchelsea to join with Winchelsea Beach due to their close connections. As the one separate ward in the parish with its five councillors Icklesham is the designated location by the council for the affordable housing scheme on a green field site which happens to be prone to flooding. Regarding numbers of councillors for each ward Winchelsea are considered the ‘losers’ because they lose one seat on the council while Icklesham gains one. Yet this should not be simply about numbers but also whether councillors have appropriate skills and attributes to represent their wards. This year it is likely that some councillors will be standing down so if you are interested in being elected at either District or Parish level please contact the IPC clerk for more information. The next Planning Committee followed by Full Council meeting which welcomes members of the public will be on Monday March 11th at 7.15pm in the New Hall.
A Copper: The Second Wednesday Society next meets on Wednesday March 13th to hear a talk by Colin Senneck called “A different Kind of Coppering” which relates to his work as a protection officer in the Met. A protection officer’s main role is to guard people in elite positions such as the royal family and government officials and Colin will be describing some of his varied experiences. The talk begins at 2.30pm in the New Hall and non-members pay £4 which includes a delicious homemade tea.
Winchelsea Arts: Soprano Emma Kirkby who is internationally celebrated will be performing at St Thomas’ Church on Saturday March 23rd at 7.30pm. The title of the concert is ‘The Consent of Speaking Harmony’ and involves instrumentalists and singers from Dowland Works. This is a group of musicians, including Dame Emma Kirkby who together perform songs by two Elizabethan lute players and song writers who are John Dowland and John Danyel as well as their Italian contemporaries. John Dowland, born in 1563 is best known for his melancholy songs such as “I saw my Lady weepe’ and ‘Come heavy sleep” and John Danyel, born a year later in 1564 had amongst his repertoire the songs “Rosa” and “Songs to Mistress Anne Greene”. They were popular musicians of English Renaissance music in Shakespeare’s time and both died in 1626. The concert invites all to come and enjoy and tickets are £14 each, online at winchelsea-arts.org.uk or from the Farm Kitchen.
Crime Fiction: A talk by award-winning crime-writer Laura Wilson on “Murder for Fun and Profit” will take place at the Literary Society’s next meeting on Friday March 15th at 7 for 7.30pm in the Court Hall. Born and raised in London in the 1960s and later gaining a number of degrees in English Literature Laura was drawn to writing crime novels with a historical theme. She is also the Crime Fiction reviewer for the the Guardian newspaper and teaches Crime Thriller Novel Creative Writing at the City University. Her latest book is “The Other Woman” with the provocative sub title “She wants everything you’ve got”. Visitors pay £5 donation entry cost which includes a glass of wine on arrival.
St Richard’s: The Holy Communion services at St Richard’s Church on Sea Road for this month will be on the second and fifth Sundays and not the fourth. Friends and visitors are welcome and the dates are March 10th and 31st as the fifth Sunday is Mother’s Day, and each service will start at the usual time of 9.30am.
Fellowship Lunch: The St Richard’s Fellowship Lunch is held on the last Friday in the month and the coming one is on March 29th at 12 for 12.30pm in the Community Hall. It is important to book in good time as the caterers need to know numbers and the number to phone is 01797 227168. The lunches consist of a variety of home-made dishes, along with a speaker and donations are gratefully received for a local charity.