VE Day: Today May 8th is VE Day and this is the anniversary of Victory in Europe Day which marks 70 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe. Across the country at 11am there will be a 2 minutes silence to commemorate the occasion. In Winchelsea at 9pm there will be a procession which will depart from the New Hall and make its way across the field to the Beacon. Escorting the procession will be a bagpiper, two Rye Sea Cadets and David Merrifield a veteran of WW2. At 9.20pm the National Tribute will be read out at the Beacon by Rev Canon Robin Whitehead. This will then be followed by a few words from the Mayor John Spencer and the National Anthem will be sung. At 9.32pm precisely the Mayor will light the Beacon. During this time over 100 beacons will be lit throughout the land but the Queen is lighting the first Beacon at 9.30pm. Everybody is very welcome to join in the town’s celebration for National VE Day.

Last Post: A wreath will be laid and the Last Post will sound by the War Memorial at sunset, 8.30pm, this Saturday May 9th. This is to mark the centenary of the death of Private Robert Griffin of The Royal Sussex Regiment 1st Division. Robert Griffin (1894-1915) was the son of James and Fanny Griffin of 3 North Street, Winchelsea. He was killed in action in France, aged 21 and was buried in Rue Des Barceaux Military Cemetery. The event is organised by Winchelsea Bonfire Boyes as part of the town’s Great War commemoration and all are very welcome to attend.

Winchelsea Conservation: This is a reminder for the Conservation Society that the Annual General Meeting takes place tomorrow (Saturday) at 10am in the Court Hall. All members should attend and the agenda will include electing officers for the Society.

St Thomas’ Church services: A Eucharist service will take place this Saturday morning at 9.30am and will be followed at 2pm by the wedding of Michael Plummer and Sarah Buss. On Sunday morning at 10.30am there will be a Sung Eucharist and everybody is welcome. Each of these services will be led by the Rector Canon Whitehead.

Christian Aid Coffee Morning: Christian Aid Week begins on Sunday 10th to Saturday May 16th and involves giving out and collecting envelopes with donations in aid of the poor. This year the charity will focus on its current work in Ethiopia. Responding to the Commandment to love your neighbour as yourself Christian Aid acknowledges that this means all our global neighbours. In emergency situations and long-term development Christian Aid sees its role as seeking to tackle the multifarious causes and symptoms of poverty across the globe. Next Saturday May 16th the Methodist Chapel is holding a Christian Aid Coffee Morning with a small Bring ‘N Buy stall from 10am till noon and all are invited to come along and join with the Friends.

Annual Meeting: Icklesham Parish Council is having its Annual Meeting and first meeting of the new Council on Monday May 11th at the New Hall, commencing at 7.15 pm. Following yesterday’s General Election councillors and interested members of the public may well have much to discuss and consider for future planning in the Parish.

Gilbert and Sullivan: On Wednesday May 13th at 2.30pm the Second Wednesday Society will be holding its monthly meeting as usual in the New Hall and the theme is Gilbert and Sullivan. The talk consists of an educational entertainment by Bernard Lockett on Victorian social and political satire. Bernard Lockett is a G & S enthusiast and since 2003 he has been a Trustee of the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival. He has also presented G & S on Radio 2 ‘Arts Show’ and BBC TV1 ‘Andrew Marr’. After the meeting a very appetising homemade tea will be available and the total cost for members is £1 and non-members £4.

Holroyd and Drabble: When the Literary Society meets next Friday May 15th it will be in St Thomas’ Primary School at 7 for 7.30pm. Rather than using the smaller capacity of the Court Hall the venue on this occasion is the school hall thus to accommodate a larger audience for the talk given by husband and wife: Dame Margaret Drabble and Sir Michael Holroyd. The theme of the talk is Facts and Fictions which denotes an interesting unity between the two popular novelists and their work. Margaret Drabble’s many books include The Peppered Moth and Jerusalem the Golden and amongst Michael Holroyd’s long list of novels are The Whispering Gallery and A Strange Eventful History: The Dramatic Lives of Ellen Terry, Henry Irving and their Remarkable Families. Light refreshments will be at hand before the talk and visitors are always welcome and are invited to make a voluntary donation.

Tea Concert: Advance notice is for next Saturday May 16th when the first Tea Concert of the year will be held in St Thomas’ Church at 3pm. These concerts were very popular last year and run throughout the summer. At this forthcoming concert Anne Marshall will play the piano and Niall O’Riordan the flute and their programme will include Bach, Debussy and some Irish music. Entry is always free with donations gratefully accepted and there will be a tea and cake sale afterwards so do put this date in your diary.

Annual Charity Walk: If you are ready for an invigorating Springtime walk around the meadows and wetlands surrounding Camber Castle and the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve you are invited to sign up for the Charity Walk on Sunday May 24th. This is the 17th Annual Walk & Treasure Hunt arranged by the Rotary Club of Rye and Winchelsea and the walk starts at Phillips and Stubbs office in Rye from 9-10am. You can take part as an individual or team and there is a choice of three distances from 4 miles to 10 miles plus you can stop off for drinks near the castle. For entry and sponsor forms these are available by registering at or by phone (07530 772000). If you are not walking for charity, a donation of £7 per head will be requested. The main beneficiaries are Rye Winchelsea and District Memorial Hospital and St Michael’s Hospice but if you nominate your own charity half of the funds you raise will go to that good cause. After the walk all walkers will receive a Completion Certificate and trophies will be awarded to the team or individual walkers with most sponsorship. So with only 2 weeks to go now is the time to start fitness training.

Winchelsea Beach

Sing Up Sunday: The first of these new community ventures was held at St Richard’s Church last Sunday and was a great success. Twenty people came along and benefitted from Peter Hatch’s musical direction. It was an informal gathering and enjoyable time of freeing the tensions of life by singing together. The next Sing Up Sunday is this Sunday May 10th at 4.30 to 5.30pm, again at St Richard’s and the plan is to continue every second and fourth Sunday, using both churches. You are very welcome to come and join the group and for just £1 there will be cakes and drinks to follow the singing.

Fellowship Lunch: As booking is essential and the Community Association needs to know numbers in advance please contact 01797 227168 if you would like to attend the next Fellowship Lunch. These popular lunches consist of a very wholesome three course meal, as well as a speaker giving a talk and an opportunity to donate to a local charity. It will take place on Friday May 29th as usual in the Community Hall at 12 for 12.30pm.