HISTORICAL SOCIETY: The speaker at the May meeting, Joanna Wilkins, of Sussex Archaeological Society, told us about Anne of Cleves House in Lewes. Beginning with the history of the Royal households across Europe, Joanna illustrated the formation and status of the English monarchy. After the death of Henry VIII's wife, Jane Seymour, he mourned her for two years. But being lost without a Queen, Henry sent artists to foreign courts to paint suitably prospective candidates. Normally such paintings would have been drawn three-quarter face-on, but due to Anne of Cleves' unattractive large nose, she was painted full face to avoid highlighting this feature. Henry married Anne, but was not happy as he found his new wife to be unattractive, and after a short while, the marriage was dissolved, and in settlement, Anne was given several properties, including Hever Castle (formerly the home of Anne Boleyn), and the Wealden hall style house in Lewes, now known as Anne of Cleves House. Built in the 15th to 16th century, Anne's house is a good example of a late medieval timber-framed building. Alterations occurred during the 17th century, but the house and gardens are laid out in the 16th century style, along with period fittings, etc. However, there is no evidence or indication that Anne ever stayed at the house. Joanna's short glimpse of the history of this house made for a very interesting evening.
BEAT THE STREET: Thousands of people are expected to take to the streets across East Sussex in the coming weeks as the entire county is transformed into a giant walking and cycling game. Running from Wednesday June 7 to Wednesday July 26, Beat the Street, a free initiative that aims to get people moving and improve their health, will be installing a number of Beat Boxes in Hailsham, from which people can earn points and win prizes by tapping special cards onto lamppost-mounted sensors. The Beat Boxes, which will be installed in Hailsham and across East Sussex, will be activated on June 7 for a seven-week period. Participants will be required to collect a card from Hailsham Library or keep an eye on their website to find out when they will be available from Freedom Leisure Centre. The cards, which they tap onto the Beat Boxes as they walk or cycle around town, earn points for themselves and their team. People can register to play and view their progress online at www. beatthestreet.me/eastsussex.
FLOWER CLUB: Competition results for May entitled Darling Buds of May are as follows: Beginners: 1, Rose Smith; 2, Diana Carter; 3, Sadie Taylor, commended Jane Ivemy. Intermediate Class: 1, Elaine Chapman. Advanced Class: 1, Mary Gibson; 2, Sarah McGinn. Senior Advanced Class: 1, Marie Haward; 2, Christine Campbell-Dykes. Ellite: 1, Doris Holt; 2, Evelyn Evenden.
WEALDEN WRITERS: The guest speaker at Wealden Writers meeting today, Friday, is Sussex Writer and Poet, Tony Ward, at Hailsham Gospel Meeting Room in Station Road, 2pm to 4pm. Following his talk, Tony will be signing copies of his book. All are warmly welcome to this free event. Wealden Writers meet on the first Friday of each month, at the same time and same venue. For more information, please contact 01323 842621.
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