Winchelsea/Winchelsea Beach

Cindi Cogswell

31 Highfords, Icklesham

Easter services at St Thomas’: Today, Good Friday at 12 noon Stations of the Cross; at 2pm Meditation on the Passion; on Holy Saturday April 4th at 9.30am Morning Prayer; then at 8pm Vigil and Holy Communion; on Easter Day April 5th at 6.30am the Sunrise Service on Winchelsea Beach; then in the church at 8am for Morning Worship followed at 10.30am by the Easter Holy Communion service.

Cellar Tours season: During the spring and summer months the medieval cellars of Winchelsea are open to visitors to learn more about the history of the town. These guided Cellar Tours begin in April and the Friends of the Ancient Monuments & Museum (FOAM) will run them at 11am on Saturday 4th, Sunday 5th and Thursday 9th, meeting at the Town Well on Castle Street. The tours cost £5 p.p. and can be booked by calling 01797 222629 or by email: All proceeds are used by the charity FOAM to help maintain the ancient monuments of the town. As there are steps involved please note that you are advised to wear sensible shoes and bring a torch.

First Cellar Tour: The first Archaeological Society tour of the season is on Monday April 6th at 2pm, meeting in Castle Street. The cost is £5 p.p. and includes a guidebook to the cellars. For bookings the number to contact is 01797 224446 or by email: and funds from the tours go towards supporting archaeology in Winchelsea.

Mayoring Ceremony: Every Easter Monday for the last 800 years the tradition has been to appoint a new Mayor for Winchelsea. This year it is the turn of the present Deputy Mayor John Spencer to accept the role and he will choose his Deputy from amongst the town’s jurats. The ceremony begins at 11am on April 6th with speeches and prayers led by the Mayor’s Chaplain in the Upper Court Hall. During the procedure the present Mayor Stephen Turner will remove the mayoral attire which he has worn on special occasions throughout the year and assist the new Mayor in putting on the robe and chain of office for the first time. This process will take place either in the back room or in the presence of the visiting Mayors of the Cinque Ports and members of the community. In total the ritual takes about one hour and is followed by photos outside the Court Hall. After which the Mayor and Corporation will lead the procession to the New Hall for the reception and convivial gathering.

Second Wednesday: Kevin Gordon who is an Official Guide at the Houses of Parliament will be taking the audience on a voyage through history at his talk entitled: Inside the Palace of Westminster. This will be at the Second Wednesday Society’s next meet on Wednesday April 8th at 2.30pm in the new Hall and will be followed by a home-made tea. The Palace of Westminster, or the Houses of Parliament as it is also known, has made great changes over it’s almost one thousand years of history. From being the royal residence of Edward the Confessor and subsequent monarchs it is now the home of a modern democracy. As usual the entry cost is £1 members and £4 non-members which includes the talk and tea.

Gardens open: If you have not yet visited the gardens of Alards, King’s Leap, The Well House, Periteau House, Cleveland Place, Cleveland House and Rye View or would like to visit again there is an opportunity on Thursday April 9th from 1 to 5.30pm. All these gardens will be open to visitors throughout the day and the proceeds are in aid of the National Gardens Scheme charity. The combined cost for the gardens is £5 with children free and teas will be served at St Thomas’ Church between 2 and 5pm.

Quiz Night: A Quiz Night at the School Creative Centre in New Road, Rye will begin at 7pm next Friday April 10th. It is organised by ARRCC Independent Living which is based there and if possible do come along. ARRCC are also running a Furniture Warehouse at the School Creative Centre and the charity would welcome donations of good quality furniture and electrical appliances. You can arrange for items to be collected by phoning 01797 229363. The warehouse is a not-for-profit enterprise supporting adults with physical and sensory disabilities.

Spring Show: Winchelsea Garden Society is holding its annual Spring Show on Saturday April 11th at 2pm in the New Hall and everybody is of course welcome to visit. Admission is 50p and refreshments will be available. The displays will include floral art, vegetables, pot plants, cookery and more and Entry forms should be given to Sally Rhodda by 7.30pm on Thursday April 9th. Also please contact 01797 226428 as soon as possible if you would like to make any ‘gardenish’ donations towards the raffle.

Winchelsea Beach

Book a table: Tomorrow (Saturday) at 11am is the first Table Sale of the year at the Community Hall. If you would like to book a table the number to ring is 01797 224820 and tables cost £6 each. Also you are very welcome to come along to the sale and make a few purchases.

Easter Services at St Richard’s: On Easter Day April 5th at 6.30am worship begins with the Sunrise Service on the beach at Dogs Hill with Rye Baptist Church, to be followed by a simple breakfast in the church; then at 9.15am the Easter Holy Communion service will take place.

Minibeasts: To make the most of the Easter holiday break there is a chance to find out about the weird and wonderful world of the minibeasts. A minibeasts is an invertebrate which is a creature without either a backbone or an internal skeleton. So anything from a dragonfly, spider, snail, beetle and scorpion; all of which are essential to our survival. If you can, bring the family and meet at Rye Harbour car park on Wednesday April 8th at 2.30pm to be finished by 4pm. Booking is essential at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and the charge is £3 per child. Also note that this activity is suitable for all ages and children must be accompanied by an adult.