Heathfield, Punnetts Town, Broad Oak

HISTORY SOCIETY: The Cinque (sink) Ports are a British institution dating back to Medieval times. They were a confederation of Channel ports in the south east of the country chosen to provide ships and men for the king’s service in return for trade and taxation privileges. That this commitment still survives was last seen at its best when ships from the ports played an important role in rescuing thousands of men from the beaches of Dunkirk. HMS Winchelsea made four journeys rescuing 4736 men. The original five ports were Sandwich, Dover, Hythe, New Romney and Hastings to which were later added the ancient towns of Rye and Winchelsea and it was the latter which was the subject of an interesting and informative talk by Malcolm Pratt, one time Town Clerk of Winchelsea and now local historian and ambassador for his town. It is now a quiet country town but Malcolm demonstrated how you don’t have to look far tofind the signs that this was once an important port and trading centre. Although much of Winchelsea’s 700 year history lies buried a great deal still stands as proof of an illustrious past. Most of the town walls have disappeared but the three gates, Strand Gate, Pipewell Gate and New Gate, still remain. Like all ancient towns there are ancient traditions still celebrated each year. Malcolm showed us that there is much to see in Winchelsea in her ancient houses and churches. The Court Hall, St Thomas’s Church and St Giles Church, Greyfriars Chapel and Wesley’s Tree are all there for the visitor to enjoy. What could be better on a lovely autumn day than to walk around one of Sussex’s beautiful old towns?

Our next meeting will be the last before our Christmas break. It will be held on Thursday, November 15 at 7.30pm as usual in the Community Centre. Joe Mendell’s talk is entitled Bob Newhart Rides Again. See you there.

AGE CONCERN: Age Concern Heathfield and District urgently requires people to join our friendly team of volunteers providing help with our transport services in a variety of roles. We have vacancies for the following: Administrator for our well respected Medical Car Service which offers transport to the elderly members of our community to attend medical appointments. This voluntary role involves talking to clients on the phone, liaising with our team of volunteer drivers and logging information on an electronic diary system. Medical Car Drivers, car owners who are happy to offer transport to elderly people to enable them to attend medical appointments, all expenses are reimbursed. Minibus Drivers and Escorts, drivers who are under 75 years of age and have a D1 category on their licence who would like to assist by driving one of our fully accessible minibuses taking passengers on outings and regular runs to lunch clubs, shopping or the local day centre, or Escorts who are happy to assist with passenger safety, escorting passengers on and off of the bus, fastening seat belts and operating the tail lift, full training will be given.

If you can spare a few hours a week, month or just on an ad hoc basis, we would love to hear from you. Please phone 01435 863656 for further information. Please note a DBS check will be required for all our voluntary roles.

REMEMBRANCE DAY: Service on Sunday November 11 at 10am, All Saints’ Church with Royal British Legion followed by wreath laying at the Heathfield War Memorial, Cade Street, Old Heathfield at 11am.

HERE DEAD WE LIE: A new book written by Nicola Walker, entitled Here Dead We Lie, which tells the stories of all 101 men from Heathfield, Broad Oak, Cade Street and Punnetts Town who died in World War One and whose names are recorded on the Cade Street War Memorial. The stories are moving, poignant and fascinating in equal measure, and bring back to life the memories of those men, and the sacrifice that they made. As part of Heathfield’s programme to celebrate and remember the outcome of World War One, 1914-1918 a creative programme of stories, poetry, music and video will presented at 4pm on Sunday at All Saints’ Church, Old Heathfield, based on and around the book written by Nicola Walker. The church will be decorated with silhouette images, a flag pole with the reveille and sunset being played by a single bugler all being overseen by the dramatic Litch-gate display which sets the scene for opportunities to remember 100 years following the cessation of war on the 11.11.1918. The programme concludes with the muffled sound of the church bells being rung. Entrance is free, with a collection being taken (following expenses) for the Royal British Legion.

PRESENTATION: Sunday November 25 at St Richard’s Church, Heathfield at 10.30am Prof Jean Hartley and Prof John Bennington, Trustees of the The Friends of Ibba Girls’ School, Sudan will give a presentation about the school instead of the usual sermon at the 10.30am.

QUIZ NIGHT: On November 17, 7.30pm at Heathfield Community Centre in aid of Heathfield District Guides, Brownies and Rainbows. Teams of six, £5 per person. No food so please bring you own drinks and nibbles. Spot prizes. To book phone Audrey on 01435 868673 or Email fmilton@btinternet .com.

CHRISTMAS MARKET: Heffle Cuckoo Christmas Market in aid of Demelza Hospice Care for Children. Tomorrow, Saturday, 10am to 3pm at Punnetts town Village Hall. Good parking. Refreshments available. Lots of interesting stalls and gifts. All in aid of Demelza Hospice care for Children. Please support this great charity. For more information phone Nicky 01435 882723.