Last week a public exhibition was set up to look at plans for restoring the Pipewell Gate which was part of the town’s defence wall and has survived since 1330. A number of proposals included in the exhibition were, closing the gate to traffic and making it ‘more accessible’ to visitors; paving the roadway under the gate; fencing off the gateway and grass verge and putting up an interpretation board. The Public Meeting to which everyone is invited is tomorrow (Saturday) at 10am in the New Hall. At the meeting details of the condition of the Gate and funding initiatives will be presented for discussion so do come along and give your views.

The Summer Gala Concert is tomorrow at 7.30pm in St Thomas’ Church when Opera South East will perform a mixed programme of extracts from selected operas. You are welcome to picnic in the churchyard from 6pm and tickets are £10 each at the door or from Hastings Information Centre.

This Sunday July 13th the Methodist Chapel is celebrating its 229th birthday as it has done for many years under the Wesley Tree opposite the New Inn. The tree continues to stand tall despite its somewhat dejected appearance after a much-needed pruning makeover against disease. Beginning with hymn singing at 2.30pm the celebration service will continue at 3pm in the historic Chapel dating from 1785. Rev Peter Timms O.B.E. who is a minister in the Methodist circuit will be conducting the service which will be followed by light refreshments and there is space for all.

Winchelsea Archaeological Society (WAS) is a running a guided Cellar Tour on Sunday July 13th at 2pm. Please meet in Castle Street and the cost is £5 p.p. with a guide book and you will need to wear sensible shoes for going up and down steps. Contact or 224446 as you will need to book ahead.

On Monday July 14th at 7.15pm, Icklesham Parish Council will be holding its monthly council meeting. This will be in the village hall at Rye Harbour and parish residents are welcome to come along with questions at the beginning of the meeting.

Garden Talks which is a series of summer talks by the Garden Society will next be looking at ‘The challenge of a small courtyard garden’ at 1 Barrack Square. This will be on Thursday July 17th and starting as usual at 3pm.

Next Saturday July 19th WAS has organised a talk by Dr Gillian Draper of the British Association for Local History. For all history enthusiasts the talk is entitled, ‘To be a (Medieval) Pilgrim’ and takes place in St Thomas’ Church at 3pm.

The Patronal Festival service last Sunday in St Thomas’ Church which was attended by the Mayor Stephen Turner and Corporation was a time of celebration for the patron St Thomas a Becket. In commemoration of St Thomas the martyr, members of the church had kindly contributed towards the cost of an icon of St Thomas which was created by icon writer Amanda de Pulford. During the service Canon Robin Whitehead was pleased to bless the icon. This significant work of art though newly painted closely resembles the 19th century paintings on wood panels in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. Since 2006 Amanda who lives in Thanet has trained in all aspects of iconography. She runs icon writing courses and has a website. Fr Paul Martin the guest preacher continued the theme of church martyrdom in his sermon. Before and after Thomas a Becket there has been a succession of Christian martyrs dating from the Acts of the Apostles to those listed in Foxes book of Martyrs and notably throughout the world, well into the present day. After excelling the night before at the church concert ‘For the Fallen’, the Pegasus Choir sang just as gloriously the next morning at the Patronal Festival and were greatly thanked for giving their time and energy freely towards both events. At the end of the service a retiring collection was made to help finance external stonework renovation and repairs to the roof of the church.

Your favourite hymns can now be recorded in a little book at the back of St Thomas’ Church with a view to having them sung at some of the services. The most popular of which may well influence choice of hymns. You can also note down those that you don’t much like. When you write them down please make sure you record the hymn number, colour of hymn book and if possible the first line.

Winchelsea Beach

The morning communion service will be at its usual time of 9.15am in St Richard’s Church on Sunday July 13th. Canon Whitehead will be leading the service and residents and holiday visitors are welcome to come along.

Rye Harbour’s Special Flowers involves a two mile walk around the nature reserve to observe more closely some rarities like Marsh Helleborine, Least Lettuce, Stinking Hawksbeard and Sea Heath as well as the special flowers of the shingle. You do not have to book and donations would be appreciated. The place to meet for this fascinating walk is Rye Harbour car park for 10.30am to 12.30pm on Monday July 14th.

For all those many Rock n’ Rollers a Rock n’ Roll Party is being held next Saturday July 19th in the Community Hall. The cost is £10 p.p. which includes a fish and chip supper and the party starts at 7.30 till 10.30pm with the band ‘Something Else’ getting you up to dance throughout the evening. You will need to bring your own drinks and glasses (both sun and drinking) and the dress theme is ‘Summer Holiday’. This is a fund raising event and proceeds will go towards the Winchelsea Beach Community Association and St Michael’s Hospice.

Cindi Cogswell

31 Highfords, Icklesham