Winchelsea & Winchelsea Beach news
Winchelsea & Winchelsea Beach news

231st birthday: Every year the friends meet to celebrate the anniversary of the Wesley Chapel which is now in its 231st year. Most of the friends have been attending for at least 20 years. The celebration takes place on Sunday July 17th with everyone assembling under the ‘Wesley Tree’ at 2.30pm for hymn singing. Usually the afternoon is blessed with good weather but in the event of rain expect a hasty retreat to the Chapel. After the hymns all will adjourn to the Chapel at 3pm and the service of celebration will be led by Rev Neville Barnett. He is a retired Baptist Minister living in Bexhill and is Chaplain at the Irvine Unit at Bexhill Hospital. Everyone is invited to the celebration and there will be light refreshments to follow.

FOAM Cellars: The Friends of the Ancient Monuments and Museum have arranged guided history tours of Winchelsea’s medieval cellars for the month of July, on Saturday 16th, Sunday 17th, Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st, all at 11am. For bookings please contact 07596 182874 and the cost is £5 p.p. with proceeds in aid of FOAM. You will need to meet by the Town Well in Castle Street at 10.50am.

Under Winchelsea: Afternoon guided tours of the medieval cellars are also scheduled for July, on Saturday 16th and Sunday 31st from 2 till 3.30pm. These tours are organised by Winchelsea Archaeological Society and will include current and historical explanations about the planning and layout of the town. The cost is £5 p.p. and the phone number for bookings is 01797 224446 and proceeds will go towards archaeology in Winchelsea. As usual please meet in Castle Street 10 minutes before the tour begins.

Important Housing Meeting: Icklesham Parish Council (IPC) is holding a meeting on Friday July 22nd at 7pm in the Memorial Hall, Icklesham. All local residents should try to attend. The meeting entitled, ‘Local Needs – Housing – express your views’ is an issue which will greatly affect the surrounding community. Various sites in the village are being considered and it is possible that the field behind the bus stop (opposite Goldhurst Green) may be identified for housing development. A Housing Association has been selected to fund, design, develop and manage the build which would involve affordable renting for local people and subsequently, those on the wider housing list. Icklesham is an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and considerate planning is essential as many locations in the village would not be ideal for development. Moreover, there are already housing estates around the village and any more would put pressure on the limited facilities. Many residents were not immediately aware of this meeting as it was not advertised in Icklesham apart from a newsletter (the Icklesham Eye) enclosed within the July ‘Fixtures’ which is not delivered to every house in the village. Apart from that there was a single message on the noticeboard in Winchelsea. Ms Jane Austin (member of the Open Spaces working group) is the Councillor for Icklesham and can be contacted via IPC. Please come along to the meeting and express your views.

Councillor resigns: Although not a resident of Winchelsea Mrs Patsy Hollands (from Winchelsea Beach) was recently co-opted by Icklesham Parish Council to be the new councillor for the Winchelsea Ward. However less than two months later she resigned from the post. IPC has followed procedure and informed Rother District Council of the casual vacancy now existing in Winchelsea. The next full IPC meeting will be in the Court Hall on Monday August 8th from 6.30pm and all are welcome to attend.

Songs and sonnets: On Saturday July 30th at 7pm Lucy Ashton will perform in concert and she will be accompanied by Ivora Rees. The concert entitled, ‘All the World’s a Stage’ is a celebration of the works of William Shakespeare through songs, arias and sonnets. Lucy gained an honours degree from the Royal College of Music and is currently studying with well-known Mezzo-Soprano Louise Winter and she continues to progress in her operatic career. Local musician Ivora Rees trained at the Trinity College of Music before studying opera at the Royal College of Music. In the hands of these professionals this promises to be an enjoyable musical evening and will take place in St Thomas’ Church. The tickets are £10 each and can be purchased from Winchelsea Farm Kitchen or on the door. During the evening a Cash Bar will be available and all proceeds are in aid of church funds.

Winchelsea Beach

Special Flowers: From 9am till 12 noon there is an opportunity to look at the nature reserve’s delightful flowering plants along Rye Harbour towards Winchelsea Beach. An Observer’s book might be useful to spot such rarities as marsh helleborine and stinking hawksbeard as well as the flowers of the shingle which include sea kale and red hempnettle. Please meet at Rye Harbour car park and donations towards the guided walk would be appreciated.

Church on the Beach: St Richard’s Church will be open for Holy Communion this Sunday July 17th at 9.30am. Residents, visitors and local campers are always welcome and the Rector Robin Whitehead will be leading the service.

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.