Beginning of Lent: Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day is this year on February 17th during the school break and recommended pancake fillings to consider include blueberry and banana with maple syrup as a variation to the traditional sugar and lemon juice. The start of Lent, Ash Wednesday, will be celebrated with the annual service at St Thomas’ Church on February 18th. This service known as, ‘the Solemn Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes’ will be led by Canon Robin Whitehead and will commence at 7pm. The charity which the Church will be supporting this year through the Lent Boxes is the Fellowship of St Nicholas. It is also one that the Church has frequently supported for many years. The FSN provides local support to families in the area affected by poverty and deprivation. Projects include the Double Decker Fun Bus which is a bus converted into a children’s playground; after school clubs, Children’s Centres, nurseries and opportunities for families to gain qualifications.

WAS events: Winchelsea Archaeological Society invites all to a talk entitled: The Stones of Winchelsea Church’ which is given by Richard Crook the Church Architect. This event will take place on Thursday February 19th at 7pm in St Thomas’ Church. After the talk the WAS Roundtable will be holding one of their informal and convivial discussions at 8pm in the side bar of the New Inn. As usual there will be a guest expert to inform the discussion and research will have been undertaken by members. The title of the discussion is, ‘The Mysteries of the Church of St Thomas’ and some of the questions to be posed go beyond the 5 Ws (where, when etc) and include: Was it ever finished? Who demolished the Nave? Who are in the tombs? Where did the black virgin come from? Is there more to this? And plenty more….Everybody is welcome to the talk and discussion, non-members pay £3 and a buffet will be at hand.

Garden Talk: Helen Yemm, TV presenter, garden writer and Telegraph columnist (Thorny Problems Page) who also wrote ‘Gardening in Pyjamas’ will be giving a talk for the Garden Society’s Winter Lecture next Saturday February 21st. The talk will begin at 2.30pm in the New Hall and will cost £4 for Garden Society Members, otherwise £5 payable at the door. Membership costs £3 a year and you will have the opportunity to join or renew at the meeting.

Sagas Talk: Next Friday February 27th the Literary Society will be having its monthly meeting as usual in the Court Hall at 7 for 7.30pm. The evening will consist of the Annual General Meeting and the talk on Sagas which is given by Richard Thomas. During his time at university Richard studied some Old Norse, the language of the Vikings and then as part of a diplomatic career spent three years in Iceland where most Old Norse literature was written. These experiences all contributed to his interest in historical accounts and legends.

Winchelsea Beach

Dance tomorrow: It is suddenly that time of the week when the Spring Fever dance is about to take place, and to purchase tickets please ring 01797 224820. The event is held tomorrow (Saturday) in the Community Hall from 7.30 to 10.30pm with the live band Ricochet. Also note that you will need to bring your own drinks, glasses and the £10 cost of the ticket includes a fish and chip supper.

Flood Action Plan: Following the public meeting on the issue of flooding, last Saturday morning, MP Amber Rudd has promptly set up a plan of action. This will involve the Environment Agency taking the lead in liaising with the other agencies and formulating a timetabled plan. The issues at stake are: that the dikes need to be cleared and maintained; that Ordnance Survey maps from 1948 are compared to current maps to see how many dikes have been filled in and lost; that sufficient drains are installed to the huge tarmacked areas; that adequate pumping stations are provided; that an end date to the use of the tankers is given; and that the Infiltration Reduction Plan is delivered soon. Also Ms Evett, Clerk to Icklesham Parish Council is to be kept informed of the progress of the Action Plan.

Cindi Cogswell

31 Highfords, Icklesham