Cindi Cogswell, 31 Highfords, Icklesham

Winchelsea’s Secret Gardens are open tomorrow (Saturday) from 1 to 5.30 pm and following an almost tropical summer there should be some picturesque scenes. The gardens to visit are King’s Leap, The Armoury, The Well House, Periteau House, Rye View and Strand House and admission is £5 at the first garden visited where a map will be provided. Refreshments will be available in the Court Hall in aid of St Thomas’ Church and at Strand House to support the National Gardens Scheme charities.

The annual Heritage Open Days which is held over four days in September is an opportunity to visit buildings of architectural and cultural interest across the nation for FREE. This weekend in Winchelsea Wesley’s Methodist Chapel, built in 1785, is open from 10am to 5pm on Saturday September 14th. Blackfriars’ Barn Cellar, the largest undercroft in the town, is also open on Saturday 14th at both 11am, and 2pm, led by FOAM. Winchelsea Archaeological Society has arranged a QR Code tour of the town on Saturday September 14th and Sunday 15th and there will be maps but a ‘smart phone’ or pad computer can enable you to follow the route. On Sunday 15th WAS is leading three tours of Blackfriars Barn Cellar at 11am, 1pm and 2pm. Please meet at the Cellar 15 minutes before each tour begins. Also on Sunday 15th, St Thomas’ Church is holding a talk by Sue Chetwood on the nine stained glass windows created by Douglas Strachan in the 1930s, starting at 3pm, with light refreshments. Another open event on Sunday 15th from 1 to 5pm is one of the oldest buildings in the town, the Court Hall & Museum which will include a photographic exhibition and will provide light refreshments. It’s great to make the most of these Heritage Open Days as they celebrate what is special and unique to communities and help people to connect with local places.

During the Heritage weekend Winchelsea Archaeological Society is holding a guided Cellar Tour on Sunday September 15th in aid of archaeology in the town. The tour starts at 2pm from Castle Street and the cost is £5 per head and the contact details to book are 01797 224446 or

There will be a visit from the Mobile Library to Castle Street on Wednesday September 18th. This will be from 1.40 to 2.10pm.

A Belgian Folk Concert featuring Folk Music from the Lowlands of Europe will be presented in St Thomas’ Church next Friday September 20th at 7pm. The performers are Steve Laird, Wim Poesen and Andre Rulens and they will be playing the organ, accordion and traditional stringed and wind instruments. Come along and be entertained! It promises to be a fascinating and varied evening with a Cash Bar available and the tickets are £5 each at the door.

Last Thursday the New Hall was used as a polling station to elect a parish councillor for the Winchelsea ward. The results of the local election are: Anna Hargreaves who came first with 133 votes and Richard Comotto in second place gaining 99 votes; with a turnout of 57.43%. Congratulations to Anna whom we are pleased to welcome as Winchelsea’s new parish councillor.

Alice Kenyon of the Garden Society has described two very successful events that took place recently in Winchelsea as follows: 1. The first ever opening of 20 Winchelsea gardens for residents in the town took place on 31st July and proved to be a huge success revealing much hidden talent and modesty. It was a joy on a beautiful afternoon to wander round our lovely town popping in to see these hidden gems and enthuse with their owners and friends. There was a collection on a voluntary basis that amounted to nearly £400 to be divided equally between Winchelsea’s Pipewell Gate appeal, Hastings food bank, and Caring altogether in Romney Marsh (CARM) We were all delighted with the results of this experiment which will hopefully be repeated showing more wonderful surprises next year.

2. The Garden Society was delighted with the number of entries in this year’s Autumn Show on 7th September. They were well up on last year and a terrific standard. It was a happy afternoon with many cups of tea consumed. They were also very pleased that so many visitors came to enjoy the sights and generously supported the raffle; hopefully some of these might become new members; they would be warmly welcomed, and don’t have to be gold medallists, just enjoy gardening. If anyone is interested please ring the membership secretary Penny Evans (01797 229234) for further details. There were many stars of the show but a special mention needs to go to Richard Suter who won the cup for the most points in the show for his amazing selection of fruit and vegetables and also to Alexander Redmond for his very imaginative entries in the children’s section. Prize Winners for the Autumn Show were: The Cleveland Challenge Bowl for vegetables and fruit - Richard Suter; The Society’s Challenge Cup for flowers – Howard Norton; The Veness Award for dahlias - John Dunk; The Society’s Challenge Cup for best exhibit in the show – Alice Kenyon; The Challenge Cup for floral art- Alice Kenyon; Armoury Challenge Cup for handicrafts – Helen Redmondy; Armoury Challenge Bowl for largest sunflower head – John Dunk; The David & Margaret Bowen Memorial Cup for the exhibitor gaining the most points in the show – Richard Suter; Winchelsea Cup for Children’s Classes – Alexander Redmond. Thank you to all who supported the Show and congratulations to the winners.

Winchelsea Beach

St Richard’s Church will be holding a communion service this Sunday September 15th. This service will begin at 9.15am for one hour.

Also on Sunday September 15th Rye Harbour Nature Reserve has organised a visit to Camber Castle to study the wildlife and history. It is a chance to go inside Camber Castle and enter the birdwatching hide at Castle Water to see some wetland birds. Please meet at Brede Lock for this 2.5 mile walk, from 10 am to 1pm and donations towards the Reserve will be gratefully received.

The Mobile Library will be in Sea Road on Wednesday September 18th. It will arrive at the usual time of 11.55am and stay until 12.30pm.

Icklesham Parish Council has approved spending £3,025 for a tree survey in order to carefully maintain the trees in the area. So far the council plans to prioritise the various trees in Winchelsea Beach. On Monday 14th October there will be an update meeting for IPC at 7.15pm in the Community Hall and local residents are welcome to attend.