Winchelsea Wednesdays


So, Wednesday of last week was the second Wednesday and therefore it was Second Wednesday, but also the last second Wednesday, which meant that it was the final Second Wednesday of the year…

At this point some of you are thinking “That’s nice”, some are thinking “What?” and some are thinking “Never start a sentence, let alone a paragraph with ‘So’ “. You’re probably all right.

The event was billed as: “Mulled Wine and Mince Pies, a bribe to sit through the AGM, AGM, carol singing, quiz part I, hot savouries and afternoon tea, raffle, quiz part II and results.” A happy, fun afternoon to finish off the 2022 programme of the Winchelsea Second Wednesday Society.

If it had been a Richard Curtis film, our Christmas party would have been the splendid culmination of a year’s work, the gathering of the community, in harmony and harmonising, all bathed in a glow of merriment and festive spirit. If.

A few days before, we realised that no one was on the rota to make and serve the cake and teas. And then the weather hit. The singers cancelled. When we got to the New Hall, we had no milk. We found only a handful of tea bags. No one knew how to work the oven. We had also forgotten to buy the mince pies. The temperature had dropped to freezing, literally and metaphorically. At this point, our professional egos were somewhat dented.

Putting on events had been of course, our bread and butter. Sergio had spent a large part of his life running the largest function room in Europe, the Great Room at the Grosvenor House Hotel. I’ve lost count of the number of parties and weddings I’ve organised. But somehow the old saying ‘It’ll be alright on the night’ often does ring true.

Hilary started the ball rolling by recruiting last minute bakers; thank you Penny and Judith. Jo immediately volunteered to step back into the fray and run the teas; assisted at the last minute by none other than the director of service of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, or Sergio to you and I. Rob ran out to get milk and Bill manned the tea urn, once the PG had been located. Ikea and Waitrose also played their part. Tessa, our constant, was unflappable on the raffle. Kim, as treasurer, announced a small profit for the year and the committee was unanimously re-elected.

It was far from perfect, unless you like very crunchy canapés, but the important thing is that between us all, pulling together as a community, our little group had a lovely, happy afternoon. The room was filled with warmth and good humour and hope. Every day may bring new obstacles, but also teaches you something and you discover someone else’s secret strength or skill. You’re rarely on your own if you share your troubles and improvising is not the end of the world. Bit like Christmas really; don’t over think it, surround yourself with the important people in your life and just enjoy the day.

What did I learn? During Tony’s splendid quiz, I found out that when Rod Hull fell off his roof and died, it was in Winchelsea. Who knew? Well everyone apparently, except me.

Personally, I’d like to wish you all Hilarys, Tessas, Jos and Bills in your lives and on behalf of the entire Winchelsea Second Wednesday Society, a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year. See you on the other side.

Image Credits: Natasha Robinson .

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