Cook Books: This evening (Friday) Sarah Giles will be giving her talk on Books for Cooks in the Lower Court Hall at 7 for 7.30pm. Literary Society members and non-members are invited to come along and refreshments will be available. Sarah, who is editor of BBC Easy Cook magazine learnt all the basic recipes at school and went on to cook as a hobby for many years, eventually becoming a finalist on Masterchef in the early years of the show.

Week of Prayer: St Thomas’ Church congregation will be joining with the Friends of the Methodist Church for the combined service which alternates each year between the two churches. The service marks the start of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and this year will be held at St Thomas’ on Sunday January 18th at 3pm. It was four years ago when St Thomas’ last hosted the service owing to a cancellation due to snow in 2013 but this year it has been fairly mild so far and a good turn out can be expected. The Reverend Ian Pruden from the Methodist ministry will be preaching at the service and there will be tea and refreshments to follow.

Behind the Scenes: On Saturday January 31st two former soloists with the classic D’Oyly Carte Opera Company will be entertaining with songs, scenes and stories of their time in this exclusive British touring company during its last decade from 1972-1982. A ‘delicious peep into another era’ is there for the taking. The show entitled: Behind the Scenes at the D’Oyly Carte, will begin at 7.30pm in the New Hall and will feature Jane Metcalfe - mezzo-soprano and Barry Clark – tenor with Nicholas Bosworth on the piano. Tickets cost £12 from or by phone on 01797 223159 and a percentage of the proceeds will go to St Michael’s Hospice.

Ten years service: The very fine article in last week’s Observer on the Winchelsea Church Market, ref: ‘Market is Community Success’ made a slight error in saying that the market started three years ago. It did in fact start ten years ago in December 2005 and has not missed a single month since it began. The proceeds are an important contribution towards the diocese which oversees the maintenance of the church, and this month’s market raised the helpful sum of £262.55 for church funds.

Icklesham Parish Council: The update on the entrance gates into Winchelsea Beach on Sea Road to enhance the village is that the IPC Clerk is presently looking at a single large gate rather than the two presented to the Council for consideration in December (2014). Whereas two gates would cost £2795.75 a single gate by contrast would be £1790 + VAT along with £30 for a speed sign possibly worded: ‘Please Drive Slowly Through the Village’. In total this would make a saving of about £617. At this stage the Clerk is awaiting confirmation to purchase the gate and speed sign which will be funded from 2252 Speed Calming Gateways.

Flood Meeting: An open public meeting with Amber Rudd MP will be held on Saturday 31st January (2015) at 11.30am at the Community Hall in Winchelsea Beach. Amber will be there to listen to residents and Councillors concerns about the flooding problems, so please make every effort to attend. Last November (2014) Southern Water wrote to Icklesham Parish Council explaining that their way forward for alleviating the problem of sewer flooding issues was the development of an Infiltration Reduction Plan (IRP document) for Winchelsea Beach. This document clarifies the strategy to manage infiltration of the sewers; includes investment in their infrastructure; plus any actions by other organisations to help the situation and takes account of an updated arrangement for dealing with future flooding issues and emergencies. The draft IRP document also includes details from recent CCTV surveys of the interesting sewer network in the Winchelsea Beach area.

Cindi Cogswell

31 Highfords, Icklesham