Cindo Cogswell, 31 Highfords, Icklesham

There will be services at St Thomas’ Church on Fridays in Lent commencing from today (Friday). These services are to reflect upon the Stations of the Cross and will be led by Canon Whitehead beginning at noon and you are very welcome to join with all.

Don’t forget that the Methodist Chapel is hosting an illustrated and musical talk by the Chairman Rev Ian Pruden tomorrow. Ian will be talking about his many visits to Lindisfarne (Holy Island) off the Northumbrian coast. Coffee and biscuits will be served at 10am in time for the talk to begin at 10.30am.

Also tomorrow March 15th the twenty five strong choir, Wall of Sound will be singing traditional Irish music and popular favourites to celebrate St Patrick’s Day (on March 17th). Everybody is welcome to St Thomas’ Church at 7pm to enjoy the music which is free and a Retiring Collection will be taken for Church funds.

A brief Annual General Meeting has been arranged by the Literary Society for next Friday March 21st meeting at 7 for 7.30pm in the Lower Court Hall. After the meeting Jonty Driver, a regular presenter at the Literary Society’s events will be sharing some of his new poetry and prose. Guests are always welcome on these occasions and are invited to make a voluntary donation on the night or to become a member is £12 for the year.

The Bowls Club Quiz will take place in the New Hall on Saturday March 22nd at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. Tables of six should be booked in advance by contacting Peter Turner (01797 224617). The entry fee is £9 per person and this includes two courses of refreshments and there is a vegetarian option which you will need to request when booking. Also wine and beer will be available.

If anyone wants a kitchen table which has become used as a garden table the number to contact is 01797 222869. The table is large and solid (about 2 metres long by 87cms wide) and could go in a greenhouse or rustic setting in the garden. It will have to be disposed of probably burnt in due course as there is no longer space for it which seems a shame if there is someone who would like it.

Most roads are in dire need of resurfacing due to the many horrendous pot holes and this has led to the problem of road closures in the area while the work is being undertaken. The A259 which is the only direct road between Icklesham and Guestling is now closed for about six weekends and various other days, from 7pm round to 6am. However the reality of this has meant the inconvenience of driving miles out of the way, the additional cost of petrol and having to rely on very poor signage. In Rye a small sign on the side of the road simply said ‘Road Ahead Closed’ but failed to mention that the closure was not for another three miles away. Even worse and it caught many people out was the route from Westfield to Three Oaks and Butcher’s Lane. The junction at the end of Butcher’s Lane leading onto the A259 was completely fenced off in both directions. It was not possible to turn left or right which was really bad planning on the part of Highways. Naturally it was frustrating to have to make a U-turn and drive back along the narrow pot-holed roads which we had just come from then take the long way round towards Rye or Fairlight. Yet this wasted journey could easily have been avoided if signs had been placed at significant points stating, ‘No access onto the A259’.

Winchelsea Beach

Carl Spencer’s Jazz Aces will be playing at Winchelsea Lodge Motel tomorrow evening (Saturday) from 8.30 to 11pm. The cost is just £6 to hear these five internationally acclaimed musicians, once part of Spencer’s Nighthawks, playing Jazz, Blues and Popular Music from the 1920’s and 30’s. During the evening delicious meals will be served from the extensive menu and for those who want overnight accommodation contact 01424 226211 for bookings.

It has been the wettest winter on record and the flood-related problems at Winchelsea Beach have continued to worsen despite work done by Southern Water. This is because Winchelsea Beach’s problems are more complex than just the sewage system. The area is flat and low-lying with many drainage ditches which means that surface water is finding its way into the sewer. Icklesham Parish Council and East Sussex County Council met with all relevant agencies again on the 13th February. The Clerk explained the distress caused to residents with floodwater and raw sewage in gardens and that some toilets were backing up. Southern Water stressed the importance of contacting them whenever there is a flood incident and clarified that they can only clean up gardens when the flood water has subsided. Rother District Council confirmed that sandbags are available through them and residents should contact them directly, or in the case of any problems, through Anna Evett, the Clerk to the Council. The issue of the tankers outside the Co-op was discussed and Southern Water has obtained an agreement from the Environment Agency to pump the flood water into the river at the back of the Community Hall which would eliminate the need for the tankers. They thanked the Winchelsea Beach Community Hall for granting permission for this. East Sussex County Council will be bidding on IPC’s behalf for additional funds to help resolve the flooding issues and will let them know whether they have been successful. The Council would also like to hear from residents who are experiencing problems on this matter by contacting the Clerk or local councillor.