Pleasures of Book Collecting: Howard Norton will be talking about his interest in building up a collection of books over the years at the Literary Society’s meeting this evening (Friday). The talk is held at St Thomas’ Primary School on Friars Road at 7 for 7.30pm, with light refreshments available and non-members welcome to come along.

Autumn Show tomorrow: Beginning at 2pm on Saturday the annual Autumn Show will be in full swing at the New Hall throughout the afternoon. There will be competition displays of fruit, vegetables, flowers and floral art plus a children’s section. Entry to the show is 50p and there will also be plant sales, a raffle and a chance to chat over a cup of tea.

Heritage this weekend: Visits to key buildings are free during the Heritage Open Days Scheme. In Winchelsea the Methodist Chapel, a popular historic landmark, will be open on Saturday from 10am till 5pm. When John Wesley visited Winchelsea in 1771 he arrived by foot from Rye to preach to a ‘considerable number of serious people’. On his return in 1789 the local Methodists had a preaching house built in 1785 and originally called Evans’ Chapel possibly after the neighbour who donated the piece of ground. From the pulpit Wesley preached to hearers ‘who seemed to receive the truth in the love of it’. Also on Saturday St Thomas’ Church will be open as usual and there will be free entry to the museum in the Upper Court Hall from 1.30 to 5pm where teas will be served. The WW1 Exhibition which first opened on August 4th will be open again from 1 to 5pm on Sunday in the Lower Court Hall. In addition three tours to the cellar of Blackfriars Barn which is the largest undercroft in Winchelsea will take place on Saturday 13th at 11 am and 2pm and then on Sunday 14th at 11am. These events are free so just turn up.

Ride and Stride: Saturday September 13th is also the Sussex Historic Churches Trust annual ‘Ride and Stride’ day. This is a great way to keep fit by cycling or walking as you follow a route that takes in as many churches and chapels in an area of your choice. Every church in the Deanery is on the visiting list and both St Thomas’ Church and the Methodist Chapel will be open during the day. St Richard’s Church (Winchelsea Beach) although not open will be a visiting point on the journey. Participants are also invited to sign up on a sheet provided when they have visited a particular church. For anyone who would like to take part sponsorship forms are available from Churchwarden John Rodley and money raised through sponsorship is split 50:50 between the Trust and a Church of the rider or walkers’ choice.

Rye Festival Tours: The Friends of the Ancient Monuments & Museum are running six morning tours of the 13th century cellars of Winchelsea during the Rye Arts Festival. These need to be booked via the Festival Box Office at Phillips & Stubbs in Rye (01797 224442) and cost £7.50 p.p. All tours begin at 11am in Castle Street and you will need to bring a torch and wear sensible shoes. The dates of the Cellar Tours throughout September are: Monday 15th, Wednesday 17th, Friday 19th, Sunday 21st, Wednesday 24th and Friday 26th.

Meeting and Stones: Next Saturday September 20th the Friends of Winchelsea Church are holding their Annual General Meeting at 10.30 for 11am in St Thomas’ Church. The Friends were set up in 1966 to provide charitable support for the maintenance of the church building and churchyard. After the meeting an illustrated talk entitled ‘The Stones of Winchelsea’ will be given by Mr Richard Crook who is the architect to St Thomas’ and Winchelsea Corporation. The meeting is open to all so if possible do come along.

Gas Supply: On Monday September 8th gas companies in the Ukraine said that Russia had completely cut off their supply, as a result of the conflict between the two countries. Russia also cut off gas exports to Europe by 60 % creating an energy crisis in countries such as Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, as around 80% of gas from Russia to EU countries comes through Ukraine. Consequently this has sparked fears of gas shortages and rising energy prices in the UK which relies on Russia for about 15% of its gas supplies. So with expected temperatures of up to -20 degrees this winter, keeping warm may well be a priority. Winchelsea resident Peter Grenville is already thinking ahead and has begun collecting warm clothing such as jumpers and fleeces which he plans to send to his contact in the Ukrainian capital Kiev. He will also accept any donations now (see the churchwardens) and will make a further appeal in support of transportation cost when he has an idea of the quantity involved.

PCC Meeting: A Parochial Church Council will take place next Friday September 19th at 7pm in St Richard’s Church, Winchelsea Beach. Included in the agenda will be arrangements for this year’s Harvest Festival. A Harvest Supper with food, live music and dancing is being scheduled and the diary date for this event is Saturday October 4th from 6pm in the New Hall Winchelsea. There is a list of PCC members pinned up in both St Richard’s and St Thomas’ Churches so do let them know if there are any matters you would like discussed at the meeting.

Fellowship Lunch: The next Winchelsea Beach Fellowship Lunch is as usual on the last Friday in the month which is September 26th beginning at 12 for 12.30pm in the Community Hall. Please contact 01797 227168 as booking your place is essential in making arrangements.

Cindi Cogswell

31 Highfords, Icklesham