This evening (Friday) Miranda Sykes and Rex Preston are performing in St Thomas’ Church at 7 for a 7.30pm start. The tickets are £10 each from Grammar School Records Rye or contact the Bonfire Boyes on 01797 225912. Folk Roots described the musical partnership as ‘scintillating, sensitive and brilliant’ and the duo are on an extensive tour of the British Isles in support of their new CD ‘Sing a Full Song’.

Christian Aid Week will run from Sunday May 11th to Saturday May 17th and this year’s them is to focus on ‘love in action and helping heal the scars of war’. In some of the most troubled places in the world such as Afghanistan, Syria and Zimbabwe Christian Aid is supporting people caught up in conflict to get the basics; medical care, water, food and shelter. When the fighting stops Christian Aid is still there helping communities to recover by building homes and assisting people to earn a living again. If you are able to volunteer as a door to door collector during the week please contact 01797 223458 to speak to the churchwarden.

On Tuesday May 13th there is an opportunity to see some of Winchelsea’s Secret Gardens in spring blossom and flower. Six gardens will be open for visits from 10.30am till 4pm and will be in aid of St Michaels’s Hospice. The gardens are Cleveland House, Cleveland Place, Tanners Plat, 1 Strand Plat, the Well House and The Armoury and when you are ready for refreshments teas will be served at Cleveland House. Also thank you to everyone who supported the National Garden Scheme Winchelsea garden visits last Saturday afternoon. £2056 was raised from 420 visitors which will go to the NGS. The cakes and teas that were served in the New Hall raised £548.92 for church funds which was an all round good effort.

Guy Boursot will be giving a talk on ‘The Secret Wines of France’ at the Second Wednesday’s next meeting on Wednesday May 14th at 12 noon in the New Hall. This will include wine tasting with light lunch and tickets are £12 p.p. and must be bought in advance by contacting 01797 222629. Guy Boursot is a British professional wine presenter and writer who has appeared on both radio and television. His family has been involved with the production of wine for four hundred years and still has vineyards in Burgundy. Due to his wide experience two of his most requested topics are Burgundy and Champagne.

A Spring Coffee Morning complete with a small ‘Bring and Buy’ stall has been arranged by the Friends of Winchelsea Methodist Chapel for Wednesday May 14th. Everybody is very welcome to call in for a chat at the historic chapel as from 10am to 12 noon.

The Mobile Library will be making its fortnightly visit to Castle Street on Wednesday May 14th at the usual time of 1.40 to 2.10pm. As you may have heard East Sussex County Council is proposing to reduce the Mobile Library’s calls to Winchelsea to once every three weeks. If you have views on this please contact your County Councillor on 01424 814513 or

Winchelsea Young Music Makers are a mixed age group of children drawn from St Thomas’ Primary School. Last year they gave an outstanding Christmas Concert and now they are set to make a return visit to St Thomas’ Church on Thursday May 15th at 4.15pm. This time they will be performing Musical Melodies which is an exciting medley of songs from old and new musicals. Families and friends are very welcome to come along and refreshments will be available after the concert.

The Literary Society will be meeting next Friday May 16th in the Court Hall at 7 for 7.30pm. This month’s talk is by Jon Cook and concerns William Hazlitt who was one of the great 19th century literary and art critics and essayists of the English language. Non-members are invited to make a voluntary contribution on the night and light refreshments will be at hand.

The annual Country House Attic Sale is on Saturday May 17th in the New Hall. Early birds can arrive at 10.30am and the cost is £5 p.p. after which it is open to all at 11am at £1 each. There will be exotic plants and seeds, antiques and bric-a-brac, vintage and second hand clothes, as well as homemade cakes, tea and coffee. All proceeds from the sale are in aid of the Rye, Winchelsea & District Memorial Hospital.

A new National Trust Ranger started in Winchelsea a month ago. He is Andrew Dyer and he will be working with Dave Lewis until Dave retires next year. If you haven’t met him already you may well pass him in the town; he usually wears a blue polo shirt with a NT emblem near the collar. Andrew is based full-time in the town but previously he worked for the NT at Bodiam Castle.

Winchelsea Beach

Birdwatching for All is on Saturday May 10th from 10am to 12 noon at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. There is probably no better way to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day than with a two mile birdwatching walk at Rye Harbour when the breeding season is in process and you should see Sandwich, Common Terns and Black-headed Gulls on their nests. Two walks have been arranged and you can join the family/beginners group walk or the more experienced birders group walk and both walks will be accessible for wheelchairs. Please meet at Rye Harbour car park and donations towards the Reserve will be gratefully received.

The fortnightly visit to Sea Road by the Mobile Library will next be on Wednesday May 14th at the usual time of 11.55am to 12.30pm. If you have any views on East Sussex County Council’s proposal to reduce the Library visits to once every three weeks please contact your County Councillor at (tel.: 01424 814513 or 07957 377844).

The Fellowship Lunch is always the last Friday in the month but it is essential to book in advance on 01797 227168 as numbers are needed and to ensure your place. As usual in the Community Hall at 12 for 12.30pm and the date for the Lunch is Friday May 30th.

Cindi Cogswell

31 Highfords, Icklesham