Church Market: Now that it’s the season to put the spring back into your step do make your way to St Thomas’ Church for this month’s Church Market. Taking place tomorrow (Saturday) from 10.30am to noon there will be coffee/tea refreshments and stalls selling homemade produce, plus good company. Most of the spring flowers and cherry blossom are appearing in colourful array in the churchyard; unfortunately, the cherry tree by the north wall is diseased and will be removed but there is a plan for future tree planting in the area.
Pop Art: The Second Wednesday Society meets on Wednesday April 10th at 2.30pm in the New Hall to hear a talk by art historian Peter Scott on the Bradford-born painter and photographer David Hockney. Non-members pay £4 which includes a very appetising home-made tea following the talk. Hockney contributed to the pop art movement of the 1960s and in 2018 his ‘Portrait of an Artist’ sold for £70 million which was the most expensive work by a living artist sold at auction.
Spring Show: This year’s Spring Show by the Garden Society will be on Saturday April 13th at 2pm in the New Hall. All are invited to see the displays of plants, flowers and cookery items. Admission is free and refreshments will be available. Entry forms for the different categories will need to be completed and returned to Sally Rhodda by 5pm on Thursday 11th. The staging of the exhibits will be between 9.30 and 11am on the Saturday.
Cellar Tours: The popular guided Cellar Tours start this month and April’s dates are Saturday 13th, Saturday 20th (Open Gardens day) Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th. To book your place the phone number is 07596 182 874 and tours are £6 adult and children free. Please meet at the Town Well in Castle Street at 10.50am for an 11am start and tours take about 90 minutes. As usual you are advised to bring a torch and wear sensible shoes owing to the difficult access to some of the cellars. The tours are organised jointly by The Friends of the Ancient Monuments and Museum and Winchelsea Archaeological Society (registered charities) and this is an opportunity to discover more about the history of the town and also to visit the museum.
Songs and lutes: All were treated to an evening of superb Elizabethan renaissance music at the Winchelsea Arts season of concerts, held in St Thomas’ Church to a packed audience last week. The theme embraced ‘The Consent of Speaking Harmony’ by Dowland Works who are an ensemble of music specialists including the acclaimed soprano Dame Emma Kirkby, interested in exploring the lute song tradition. Lute players James Bramley and Sam Brown, whose dexterous finger-work on the chords, accompanied the singers in 16th century romantic songs such as ‘Go crystal tears’ by John Dowland and John Danyel’s ‘Disdain me still, that I may ever love’, as well as dramatic poetry set to music in the language of Shakespeare. Bramley played the theorbo, recognisable as a lute with an extended neck of 2.5 metres for unusual tuning, with the first two strings an octave lower than on the lute. This instrument worked well in Bramley’s solo rendition of the 17th century lutenist Alessandro Piccinini’s baroque musical composition ‘Ciaccona’. Other exciting pieces involved the ensemble singing in perfectly timed unison, each in their different voice types: sopranos – Hannah Ely and Emma Kirkby, alto – Elizabeth Unsworth Wilson, tenor – Daniel Thomson and bass - Laurence Williams; all coming together in distinct harmony with Peter McCarthy keeping the rhythm on his cello-like instrument the viola da gamba. The next Winchelsea Arts concert which is the last in the current season will be on May 18th and the performers will be talented Musicians from the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music who will be considering the physics of ‘dark matter’ in musical presentation.
Quiz Night: This Saturday April 6th the Quiz Night arranged by the Bowls Club will take place in the Community Hall, Sea Road, for a 7.30pm start. Teams of up to six players are required and the phone number to book places is 07443 939631. The cost per person is £10 which includes supper and please bring your own drinks for what will be a fun night out.
Coffee Morning: Winchelsea Bowls Club will be holding a Coffee Morning in the Community Hall next Friday April 12th from 11am to 1pm and everybody is welcome. Refreshments will be served and there will also be homemade cakes, a book stall, bric-a-brac, handcrafted jewellery and a raffle.
Fellowship Lunch: Booking is essential for these popular lunches and 01797 227168 is the number to ring to reserve your place. The Lunch which consists of a variety of home-made dishes and a donation to a local charity takes place on Friday April 26th at 12 for 12.30pm in the Community Hall.