‘All the world’s: a stage and, all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.’ These famous lines from ‘As you like it’ may feature in tonight’s Literary Society meeting when members are invited to bring and read a favourite passage from Shakespeare. Please meet as usual at 7 for 7.30pm in the Court Hall and their will be drinks on arrival. Members might also want to toast Shakespeare whose birthday is coming soon on April 23rd (born in 1564) He also died on April 23rd in 1616 and it is now 400 years since his death.

Spring concert: Tomorrow evening, Saturday April 16th the Winchelsea Singers will be performing Haydn’s Creation for their Spring Concert. This event will begin at 7pm in St Thomas’ Church and entry cost is £10 by programme at the door, and a Bar will be available. The Creation is an oratorio written by Joseph Haydn in 1796 and is considered to be his masterpiece. It celebrates the creation of the world as depicted in the biblical book of Genesis and in Milton’s Paradise Lost. The music is made for soprano, tenor, bass soloists and chorus and the singers at the Spring Concert include Grace Constable – soprano, Gary Mariott – tenor, Michael White – bass, accompanied by Ivora Rees – piano, with music director Duncan Reid.

WAS Cellars: If you would like to explore some medieval cellars in Winchelsea and find out how and why they were built the number to book is 01797 224446. The next guided Cellar Tour arranged by the Archaeological Society is this Sunday April 17th at 2pm meeting in Castle Street. Each tour takes 90 minutes, includes a guide book and the cost is £5 per ticket.

Great Comp: The Garden Society’s first outing of the year is planned for the afternoon of Tuesday April 19th visiting Great Comp Garden near Sevenoaks. The garden website describes it as a “wonderfully quirky garden showcasing 7 acres of beautiful and rare plants surrounding a 17th century manor house. This hidden gem of a garden is home to an Italian Garden, romantic ruins, enchanting woodland walks and the Old Dairy Tearooms. The garden is the delightful creation of Roderick and Joy Cameron who moved to Great Comp in 1957. They opened the garden to the public for charity in the early 1960s.” The gardens are now run by the William Dyson, and the garden is home to his large salvia collection. These plants related to sage produce spikes of small tightly packed aromatic flowers in shades of blue, violet, red, pink and white and many will be on sale on site at Dyson’s Nurseries. You will need to travel in your own cars and if you can offer or need a lift please let Howard Norton know. If you are receiving a lift you might like to make a £4 contribution towards petrol? The journey takes just over an hour and details of how to get there are on the garden website. Also please meet in the car park at 2.30pm. If 20 or more wish to go garden entry is £7, otherwise it’s £8 but do let friends and neighbours know who might like to come along.

Queen’s Birthday: At 6pm on Thursday April 21st there will be a short non-denominational service of Thanksgiving at St Thomas’ Church to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday. A joyous service is planned to include prayers, readings, hymns and music led by the Rector Robin Whitehead. The town and primary school are invited to the celebration which continues at 6.40pm with drinks in the New Hall. After the get-together everyone will process towards the Mill to the atmospheric swirl of bagpipes played by the Scottish piper, for 7.30pm, to take part in the nationwide firing of beacons.

Open Gardens NGS: The Open Gardens season in Winchelsea starts on St George’s Day Saturday April 23rd. This is always a bright and colourful event with fine weather expected. Six gardens will be open for charity under the National Gardens Scheme and they are Alards, The Well House, Periteau House, Cleveland House, The Armoury and Cleveland Place. As usual teas will be available in the New Hall throughout the afternoon and the gardens will be open from 1 till 5.30pm. The entry cost for the group of gardens is £6 and a map is provided at the first garden visited.

Carl Jackson: An Organ Recital by Carl Jackson will take place on Saturday April 23rd at 7.30pm in St Thomas’ Church. This is the fifth of six concerts sponsored by Winchelsea Arts and held in the church during 2015-2016. Tickets are £12 or £6 under 18s and can be purchased from Winchelsea Farm Kitchen or at Carl is Director of Music at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court and has broadcast with the chapel choir on radio and television. The music he will be playing for the Recital will include Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance, Panufnik’s Kyrie cum Jublio and Locklair’s Movements from ‘Rubrics’.

Show results: The results of last Saturday’s Spring Show by the Garden Society are as follows: the Society’s cup for Flowers – John Dunk; the Society’s cup for Floral Art – Alice Kenyon; the Society’s cup for Pot Plants – Ant Parker, Gilly Tugman and John Dunk joint winners; the Society’s Challenge Bowl for Cookery – Margaret Gall; and overall winners salver for flowers, vegetables, pot plants and floral art – John Dunk. Congratulations go to all the winners for their gardening achievements! The very wet start to the day seemingly did nothing to dampen the Garden Society’s spirits on Saturday. All entries arrived in good time, many having been picked in the rain, and they made a wonderful display for the judges and later for the visitors. It was a delight to see so many as they arrived to support and shelter. Also it was very encouraging to receive entries from new members and those who had never previously shown before and it was felt that the atmosphere had been one of enthusiasm as well as fun.

Winchelsea Beach

Morning Prayer: The service this Sunday April 17th in St Richard’s Church is Morning Prayer which involves quietness and reflection to begin the day will start at 9.30am. Visitors and friends are always welcome and the Rector Robin Whitehead will be leading.

Cash Bingo: The fortnightly evening of Bingo is this Wednesday April 20th in the Community Hall when there is a chance to win a cash prize. Doors are open at 7.15pm for a prompt Eyes Down and as usual there will be a raffle and light refreshments.

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