Last day of term: St Thomas’ Primary School breaks up today (Friday) for a week’s relaxing holiday, with Halloween to enjoy towards the end of the week on October 31st. The children return to school on Monday November 3rd which is the start of the busy term leading to Christmas.

Talk by Mr Malcolm Pratt: Former Town Clerk for Winchelsea and history writer Malcolm Pratt will be speaking on ‘Winchelsea’s Poor – their lives through their letters’. This will be held tomorrow (Saturday) in the Methodist Chapel at 10am when light refreshments will be served ready to begin at 10.30am. Malcolm has spoken on several occasions at the Chapel and his visits are always interesting and entertaining so do come along.

Return to GMT: At 2am on Sunday November 26th don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour and in the morning you can look forward to an extended lie in. This marks the move to autumn and winter and the return to Greenwich Mean Time for the next six months.

Craft Group: The New Hall Society Craft Group meets in the New Hall on Thursday October 30th from 2 to 4pm. A range of items are in the process of being made in readiness for the Christmas Fair which takes place on Saturday November 29th from 10am to 1pm in the New Hall. If you would like to join the group please contact 01797 223220 or come along next Thursday.

Halloween New Inn: A Halloween Party will be held at the New Inn on German Street next Friday October 31st from 8 till 11pm. The dress code is fancy dress and there will be a £100 cash prize for the best costume. Halloween-themed drinks and food will be available and everybody is welcome plus free entry.

Marriage of Figaro: A coach trip has been organised by John and Barbara Gil-Rodriquez to go to the Rose Theatre in Kingston for a performance of The Marriage of Figaro. This will be on Saturday November 1st and if you are interested please contact John on 07775 712264. The Opera Company is Anglo-French and operates mainly in France. Its main aim is to engage young singers and orchestral musicians to give them an opportunity to play a role and add that to their CV and this is done through the charity arm of the company. Previous singers for example have been the two Bevan sisters now singing at the ENO and Gareth Malone the popular choir leader in TV programmes.

Requiem: On Sunday November 2nd at the 6.30pm evening service in Westminster Abbey. The Revd Chris Chivers is reading with a cello accompaniment all the poems in the sequence by Jonty Driver entitled: Requiem. Brian O’Kane will be playing the first cello suite by J.S. Bach. Requiem was first published by the Belgrave Press in 1997. Also included will be selected poems from 1960 to 2004 in ‘So Far’ published by John Catt Ltd and Snailpress 2005. The poems are to be printed in order of service. If you are interested in going to London for the service please contact Howard Norton, Chairman of the Literary Society, who will put you in touch with others who would also like to go.

Garden Society trip: On Thursday November 6th there is another opportunity to visit the popular Wisley RHS Garden in Woking, Surrey. The Royal Horticultural Society is a UK charity established to share the best in gardening and it maintains the belief that gardeners help to make the world a better place. Tickets are £10 p.p. and can be bought from Winchelsea Farm Kitchen. On the day the group will be leaving the bus stop by the sign at 9am and will be back in Winchelsea by 6pm.

Warning: After choir practice last Monday someone had a fall in the Churchyard of St Thomas’. The paths are very slippery from the recent rain and falling leaves and soon the winter frosts will be here. It is even more difficult after dark and these hazards cannot be entirely removed so you are advised to walk carefully, take extra care and if possible carry a torch.

Archives talk: Winchelsea Conservation Society was pleased to welcome local author and historian Malcolm Pratt to the New Hall last Saturday morning. Malcolm’s talk was on the Winchelsea Archives; their importance, survival and conservation. Wearing a pair of white gloves purpose-made to handle ancient documents, Malcolm cautiously turned the pages of a 16th century hand-written records book, complete with a drawing of Queen Elizabeth (1st) on one of its pages. The book was on loan from the East Sussex Records Office and was under the watchful eye of a member of the Records Office who sat in the meeting and had equal charge of the book and other documents that Malcolm had on display. Such is the care taken over these priceless archives which are now housed in the Keep at Falmer since November 2013 when they were moved from the Maltings in Lewes after the medieval building was declared unfit for purpose. Malcolm was involved in the move and there were around fifty thousand boxes containing these archives which he helped pack and once in their new state-of-the-art home advised on how they should be arranged. Having free public access the Keep is considered a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for conservation, in providing an unmatched record of the region’s history dating back over 900 years, with finds also from pre-history.

Halloween Dance: Winchelsea Beach committee has organised a Halloween Dance for Saturday October 25th at 7.30 till 10.30pm in the Community Hall with live band The Kytes. The cost is £10 which includes a fish and chip supper and please bring your own drink and glasses. Tickets are on sale from Hugh at Suttons in Sea Road or Jill on 01797 224820. All are very welcome but tickets must be obtained beforehand as the committee does not sell tickets on the door.

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve: Two interesting activities have been organised for this week at the Nature Reserve. The first is a Castle Water Wildlife Walk which is a circular walk to observe wildlife in the fields and ditches around Camber Castle and then visit the bird hide at Castle Water. Approximately a 2.5 mile walk and you will need to meet at Brede Lock at 1pm to be finished by 4pm. The second event is ‘Starry, Starry Night’ on Thursday October 30th at 7pm at Rye Harbour Village Hall. This is a ‘tour of the universe’, an indoor presentation followed by a star gazing walk outside to study the wonders of the night skies using astronomical telescopes and expertise from Astronomia, part of Viewpoint Optics. The two events are open to all, there is no booking necessary and donations would be appreciated.

Cindi Cogswell

31 Highfords, Ickelsham