Cindi Cogswell, 31 Highfords, Icklesham

Anybody visiting Winchelsea will certainly notice this year’s outstanding Advent Windows now on display around the town. During the run-up to Christmas these decorative windows will be lit up at 4 until 10pm every afternoon until Tuesday 24 December and each day a new Advent Window will be unveiled. Each window will illustrate a different Christmas theme, for example, ‘Driving home for Christmas’ and ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ and all 24 windows will be on show and most will remain on display until Thursday 31 December, New Year’s Eve. You can collect your free leaflet from the Post Office, the Farm Kitchen, the Little Shop or New Inn and this gives details of the themes displayed, the sequence of opening and a map showing the locations of windows. When walking around the town you may find it useful to carry a torch and please remember to supervise children to keep on the foot paths as there is traffic still passing through the town.

At 3.15pm today (Friday) St Thomas’ Primary School is holding its Christmas Fair and families and residents are as usual invited along. The school hall and three of the classrooms will be transformed into a busy market fair with traditional stalls that include the tombola, raffle and ‘guess the weight of the cake’. Please join the queue to see Father Christmas. He is to be found complete with white beard and red suit in his grotto which caretaker Brad creates anew every year.

As the first Saturday in the month there will be a Church Market tomorrow at 10.30am to 12pm. Look forward to some good coffee and seasonal fayre with stalls selling home produce, plus high quality books to add to your Christmas shopping basket. Iain Kerr is now fully recovered and back to entertaining on the piano while you enjoy a good chat. All proceeds from the Market are in aid of church funds and the helpful sum of £317.49 was raised at last month’s Church Market.

Winchelsea Millennium Artefacts Society will be holding their Annual General Meeting on Saturday December 7th at 10am in the Lower Court Hall. Members will need to attend or contact Trevor Aisher to find out more.

The Marshlink rail service stops at Winchelsea Station everyday except Sunday but a move has begun to get a usable Sunday service too. If you would like to join

the volunteers supporting this action for a Sunday service, meet at Winchelsea Station platform on Sunday December 7th at 1.45 to 2pm for a meeting to show your support. THWART will be there and the Marshlink Action Group from Rye, also Three Oaks and Rail Future from Bexhill and the BBC may be coming.

The presentation of ‘Say it with Music’ arranged by Ann Rachlin and featuring the life and songs of Irving Berlin is this Sunday December 8th. Described as a ‘must see event’ it will begin at 6.30pm in St Thomas’ Church and tickets can be bought at £10 p.p. from Winchelsea Post Office.

A Strand Hill Consultation has been arranged by the local National Trust for Monday December 9th. This will begin at 6 until 8pm in the Lower Court Hall. Local residents are invited to discuss the removal of a small selection of the trees on Strand Hill in order to restore the historic view over the marsh. If you would like to send in any questions or comments before the event the address is: or 01304 207326 and they would be pleased to hear your views on the matter.

Icklesham Parish Council will be holding a full council meeting on Monday December 9th at 7.15pm in the New Hall. Agenda issues in progress include the replacing of the bus shelters on The Strand and opposite the Ship Inn.

The Second Wednesday Society will be meeting on Wednesday December 11th in the New Hall at 2.30pm. This month’s talk entitled: ‘Bottoms Up!’ is by Andy McConnell glassware expert from the Antiques Roadshow. Andy is also known for his books on the subject, one of which is ‘The Decanter, An Illustrated History of Glass from 1650’ and he has the shop/exhibition complex in Rye called Glass Etc. Following the talk there will be a home-made Christmas tea and this is £1 for members and £4 non-members for both talk and tea. Before the talk, at 2pm the Society is holding its Annual General Meeting and members can look forward to a glass of mulled wine.

To begin the season of Carol Singing in Winchelsea a Christmas Celebration of Words and Music has been arranged for 10.30am on Saturday December 14th in Winchelsea Methodist Chapel. Leading the service will be the Worship Leaders from the Hastings, Bexhill & Rye Methodist Circuit of Churches who will warmly welcome your presence. Seasonal refreshments will follow with a collection in aid of ‘Surviving Christmas’.

Winchelsea Singers are holding their Carol Concert on Saturday evening December 14th at 7pm in St Thomas’ Church. The conductor is Duncan Reid, pianist is Ivora Rees and Iain Kerr will be playing the organ. Entry is £10 p.p. by programme at the door, with proceeds in aid of St Michael’s Hospice.

If you would like to take part in this year’s Carols Round the Town for Shelter please sign up on the list at the back of the Church. The dates of the event are Tuesday 17th and Thursday 19th December from 6 till 8pm, meeting in the Church Porch. Adults accompanied by children are welcome and you will need to wrap up well.

Winchelsea Beach

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is holding a Festive Beach Clean on Saturday December 7th at 10am. It is nothing less than a pre-Christmas clean-up of rubbish washed up along the beach by the autumn’s storms and an opportunity to see many wintering birds. Your efforts will be rewarded with hot soup at Lime Kiln Cottage afterwards. So bring work gloves if you have them and meet at Rye Harbour car park at 10am to be finished by about 1pm.

Icklesham Parish Council is meeting at 7.15 pm on Monday December 9th in the New Hall Winchelsea for a full council meeting. Agenda issues concerning Winchelsea Beach include the disabled ramp at Harbour Field which is waiting to be repaired and the fencing at Dogs Hill, the quotes of which will be reviewed in next year’s budget. Local residents are welcome to attend the meeting.

On Wednesday December 11th the Community Association Christmas Meal for the over 60’s will be held in the Community Hall at 3.30 for 4pm. It is free to all who have paid their subs this year but if you want to come and haven’t paid please leave £1 per person to Judy at the Post Office.

The next Fellowship Lunch, usually at the end of the month, has been arranged for Friday December 13th, to avoid clashing with Christmas. It is at the usual time of 12 for 12.30pm in the Community Hall and the number to contact is 01797 227168 for bookings.

The annual Children’s Party, arranged by Winchelsea Beach Community Association, is free to all children who live on the Beach. If you want to bring a friend or relative the cost is £3 per person. Next Saturday December 14th is the day of the fun party, starting at 4.30 till 6.30pm in the Community Hall.

Winchelsea Beach Community Association is having a Carol Concert with the Rye Methodist Choir on Monday December 16th. All are invited to this Carol Concert beginning at 7.15 for 7.30pm in the Community Hall. During the event sausage rolls, mince pies and cake will be served and there will also be a retiring collection for Rye, Winchelsea and District Memorial Hospital.