It was a great pleasure to be able to use the Church for a Hundred to say thank you to Angela Hill and to swear in Lorna Challand as the new Town Clerk. Of course, the venue was a slight break with tradition, but it did seem to work very well and it was rewarding that some 70 people from the Town and beyond were able to be there for this important ceremony. It was good to have the space and for the Corporation to be able to offer general hospitality afterwards. Donald Cameron-Clarke, as senior past Mayor, set the post of Town Clerk in its historical context, john Spencer offered valedictory remarks to Angela and David Merrifield welcomed Lorna on behalf of the Corporation. Both ladies spoke well in their own defence.

The trip to Flanders, mentioned in the last issue of the magazine, culminating in the Menin Gate ceremony was an experience. The number of young people who attended and laid wreaths at the Gate was extraordinary and quite uplifting. The closeness of the two front lines on the Ypres salient was difficult to believe as was the sheer number of cemeteries. The contrast between the German and British sites was also remarkable, the one featuring an array of black stone and the other white. There was certainly sufficient time for learning and reflection and the UK Border Force let us back in after a long day. Many will have seen Jo Turner’s window display at the Court Hall, while the Remembrance Day events, both at the War Memorial and at the Beacon went so well due to joint working between Corporation, Church, Millennium Artefacts Society and the Guy Fawkes Society. Thanks are due to so many.

With Christmas coming, the Corporation is again delighted to host a window display designed by the School and to provide a venue for the FOAM Carols. At its last meeting of the year, the Corporation agreed plan for Museum enhancements over the winter and ready for the next season and to look again at what might be done differently for the Heritage Open Days next year. It agreed its updated constitution for internal use and the priority for the allocation of resources to the various properties in its charge. As mentioned last month, affordable plans for Court Hall and Town Sign renovations need to be worked up in the early part of next year. The Corporation also set planning in hand for the major events next year associated with the Speakership of the Cinque Ports, namely the Standing Joint Committee Meeting, the Cinque Port Mayors’ Association Annual Meeting and Speaker’s Day. So the winter months will not pass idly by.

John Rodley, Mayor of Winchelsea

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