Great Dixter: A reminder to local garden enthusiasts is that Fergus Garrett, Head Gardener at Great Dixter will be giving his talk on ‘Designing with Plants’ tomorrow (Saturday) as part of the Garden Society’s Winter Lectures. The cost is £5 and the venue is the New Hall beginning at 2.30pm.

Service of Christian unity: This annual service will be held together with friends from St Thomas’ Church and the Methodists on Sunday January 24th at 3pm in the Wesley Chapel. Leading the celebration will be Revd Ian Pruden with the Rector Robin Whitehead delivering the sermon and of course everybody is welcome. The Octave or Week of Prayer is always an enjoyable occasion and there will be tea and refreshments to follow.

A matter of lines: In his talk last Friday evening at the Literary Society the poet Jonty Driver demonstrated how line breaks in a poem shape meaning. He began with an exercise in which part of a verse was put into prose and the audience had to decide where the line breaks should be in order to reshape the poem in terms of sense, syntax, sound and rhythm. A lively interaction of ideas came from the audience and was followed by a review of nine different poems of which everybody had copies to read and highlight. The focus was on the arrangement of words and punctuation to heighten curiosity and uncover hidden dramas. The poems which contributed well to this activity were The Will by John Donne, In Paris with You by James Fenton and Biography by Ian Hamilton which went as follows: ‘Who turned the page? When I went out Last night his Life was left wide-open. Half-way through, in lamplight on my desk: the Middle Years. Now look at him. Who turned the page?’ This verse consisted of five lines but could have been more and was intentionally positioned at the bottom of the page to tempt the reader to turn over.

Winchelsea Beach

‘Water, water everywhere: but never a drop to drink’ said the Ancient Mariner in the celebrated poem (written in 1797) and it seems he might have been forecasting the flooding at Winchelsea Beach with its resultant sewage overflow. An inconvenience to the locals the frequent rainfall has once again brought flooding to the area behind the Community Hall which encompasses the Caravan Park and tracts of farmland. Recent action taken by Southern Water has involved fencing off a walkway to enable water to be pumped into a nearby drain and the pumping lorry is now a regular occurrence whenever there is a wet season. Despite ongoing requests for the drainage ditches to be cleared which would alleviate some of the problem little has been done, possibly because it would mean added expenditure and so the flooding persists. The community is currently awaiting a follow-up meeting chaired by MP Amber Rudd which was proposed for early this year, to review the action taken since the last meeting and the outcome of this should be interesting.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at

2) Like our Facebook page at

3) Follow us on Twitter @RyeObs

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Rye and Battle Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.