Winchelsea & Winchelsea Beach news
Winchelsea & Winchelsea Beach news

Mothering Sunday: This Sunday St Thomas’ Church will be bringing to the Lord in prayer all mothers in the parish and presenting them with posies of spring flowers as a token of appreciation. Noble words are used for a good wife in Proverbs 31:10-30 which says “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction……. Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” The Holy Communion service takes place at 11am and friends and families are all very welcome to come along.

Action Alliance: The Rye & District Dementia Action Alliance is holding its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday April 10th at 6.30 to 8pm in Tilling Green Community Centre, Mason Road, Rye, TN31 7BE. If you would like to attend please contact Daliea Redman (Chair) by email at: or phone 07737350896. There will be information stands, a speaker from Unicook the stove guard experts ( also refreshments and stall holders should arrive by 6pm to set up.

Spring Concert: The Winchelsea Singers are holding their Spring Concert on Saturday April 13th at 7pm in St Thomas’ Church. Tickets are £12 on the door and all are invited. A bar is available on arrival and during the interval. The music will be John Rutter’s Requiem, plus excerpts from Handel’s Messiah and the popular group of performers are Grace Constable – Soprano, Gary Marriot – Tenor, Jonathan Bruce – Cello, Duncan Reid – Music Director and Ivora Rees – Accompanist.

Cherry trees: A documentary on Collingwood Ingram was broadcast on Radio 4 recently and it was interesting to note the Winchelsea connections. The story is described in the book ‘Cherry’ Ingram: The English Saviour of Japan’s Cherry Blossoms’ by award winning Japanese writer Naoke Abe (published in English, March 2016). Cherry trees have played an important and symbolic role in Japan and there are many specimens of beautiful trees from the different climate regions. Naoke tells the story of Collingwood Ingram whose delight in the Japanese cherry blossom saved hundreds of rare varieties of this flower from extinction. In writing the book she referenced ‘Cherry’ Ingram’s diaries, his documents and numerous interviews, to explain the life of this plant hunter, gardener and ornithologist and the influence that his groundbreaking work had on societies around the world that had a culture of cherry blossom. Ingram’s first visit to Japan was in 1902 and in 1926 he gave a speech to Japanese royalty and leaders of industry to save the dying blossoms at a time of fast moving development and westernization. Fearing the extinction of many varieties of cherry blossom before the outbreak of the second world war he collected scions and seeds which he sent to his home The Grange in Beneden, Kent where the blossoms survived. Cherry blossoms also had a role in Japanese militarism where they were a symbol for glorifying kamikaze pilots. In his diaries Ingram wrote that on his trip to Japan in 1926 he was shown paintings of Japanese cherries. A large white flowered single cherry in the painting was one he had found at the Freeman’s home in Winchelsea which he named Tai Haku. Mr Funatsu, the man who showed him the painting said he had been searching in vain for this variety and that it was astonishing it should be found in a remote Sussex garden. This was Mrs Freeman’s garden at Greyfriars, Winchelsea. Her cherry tree was in decline but Ingram had taken scion wood for a graft and from this began the hundreds of thousands of Tai Haku plants which have been planted all over the world. Winchelsea’s remoteness made it a place of scandal in the 1920’s when artists like Duncan Grant and William Padgett (friend of writer and suffragette supporter Lady Strachey) arrived in the town and paid visits to Mrs Freeman. Duncan described Mrs Freeman as frivolous, a lively conversationalist and always elegantly dressed. William Padgett was attracted to Mrs Freeman who after a 10-year gap gave birth to a son and heir which delighted Mr Freeman who invited Padgett to be the godfather at the christening. When Duncan met Mrs Freeman at her second home in Wraysbury near Windsor he described her as ‘an entrancing vision hovering in the drive’. It was of course thanks to Mrs Freeman, as well as Ingram that the Tai Haku cherry now flourishes throughout the world. In St Thomas’ Churchyard the flowering cherry trees that never yield fruit produce stunning pink cherry blossom but this year they seem a little slow in blossoming, even though time appears to have speeded up and most of the spring flowers are out.

Winchelsea Beach

Mothering Sunday: There will be a service to thank all mothers for that special duty of care which they perform throughout their lives. Concerning the responsibility of children Ephesians 6:1-3 states: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and thy mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” Posies of spring flowers will be presented to the mums as a token of good will. This Holy Communion service commences at 9.30am in St Richard’s Church, Sea Road and friends, visitors and families are always welcome to attend.

WBCA AGM: On Wednesday April 3rd at 7.30pm the Annual General Meeting for the Winchelsea Beach Community Association will be held in the Community Hall. All residents are invited. During the meeting you will be able to renew your subscription or to join if you are not already a member and the cost is £1 per person or £3 for a family. Please note that only current members are allowed to vote and that membership allows you to attend the free Residents Christmas Meal. After the meeting light refreshments will be served.

Quiz Night: Next Saturday April 6th the WBCA are holding a Quiz Night for a 7.30pm start in the Community Hall on Sea Road. Teams of up to 6 players are needed and the cost is £10 per person which includes supper but bring your own drinks. There will be a prize for the winning team and a raffle will also be available. If you would like to take part the email address is and entries for the Quiz close at 6pm on Thursday April 4th.

Table Tennis: If you enjoy Table Tennis there are practice sessions for players of all abilities every Thursday evening in the Community Hall. The session is from 7.30 to 9.30pm and the number to call is 01797 226531 for places. Also note this is an ‘adults only’ opportunity to keep fit.