Winchelsea Wednesdays


From “Green Blues” to green, blues…

Last month I got the “Green Blues”. In a bid to understand better, the green car revolution, I was eager to hear Richard Feast explain “Why I’ll never buy an electric car”. Richard’s talk, logical, clear and persuasive, left me with more questions than answers. What I assumed I knew, made me realise exactly how little I did actually know; a rookie error which I normally try to avoid. To quote Donald Rumsfeld, or was it Shakespeare: “The unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” Nope, right the first time, definitely Donald Rumsfeld.

It has become a strange fashion, hopefully fleeting, to decry experts. To quote another American, this time Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman: “Big mistake. Big. Huge.” Experts have not only knowledge, but experience and can therefore apply critical thinking, which is crucial to understanding and explaining a topic.

His thesis was not the principle, but the numbers. Electric car batteries contain an average of 10kg of lithium; the world has finite reserves of lithium. That battery will start to decline after seven years and currently won’t last much longer than 10. By 2030, that’s just seven years away, the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars will be banned. That means we need to be installing 100 new charging points every day to meet demand; at the moment we are at 25.

And so it went. That’s how this proud Guardian-reading, tofu-eating, member of the wokerati, to which you can add, litter collecting, recycling, waste hating, organic gardener and fair trade shopper, got the “Green Blues”.

Which brings us to this month’s Second Wednesday Society talk and Shirley Meyer’s blue, green wildflower circle. Colloquially known as ‘Tom’, this entirely pesticide free flower circle, is brother to ‘Dick’ and ‘Harriet’, who are white and yellow respectively.

‘Dick’ the white flower circle

She and Paul Youlten, an experienced Second Wednesday speaker, will talk to us about the origins of “Winchelsea Wildlife”. They will share its development from the initial swift boxes, to the churchyard wildflower project, moth trapping and bee monitoring. They will introduce their latest project, The Green Garden awards and may touch on the flower festival in May, “Celebrating Creation”, which revolves around St Thomas’, Winchelsea.

Planned to coincide with ascension, Rev Jonathan Meyer will hold a series of events and services, to celebrate, as he told me, the richness of God’s creation, while Shirley will focus on biodiversity and the flora and fauna of the churchyard. “Celebrating Creation” starts on Thursday May 18, when Bishop Will Hazlewood will take evensong and runs until Sunday May 21, when Rev Meyer will hold a pet service. Winchelsea Parish Magazine has the full calendar of events

Two that have already caught my eye are a talk by Mark Betson, the Church of England’s national public policy adviser, entitled “Life in all its Fullness” and a concert by the Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra.

There’s not much new on this earth, even the electric car. Thomas Edison invented one 111 years ago. Similarly, organic farming and chemical free land management is literally as old as the hills.

In Winchelsea we have no village green, but we have so much more. Thanks to “Winchelsea Wildlife”, at the centre of our town, is a glorious buzzing and beating heart, that’s showing the way, by taking us back to the future. These are the true and fundamental traditions and values of this green and pleasant land, apply set around a church.

“Winchelsea Wildlife” will give their talk on Wednesday, May 10 at 2:30pm in the New Hall, followed by afternoon tea.

@winchelsea_wildlife @winchelseachurchyard

‘Celebrating Creation’, St Thomas’ Flower Festival

Image Credits: Natasha Robinson , Shirley Meyer , Winchelsea Parish Magazine .

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