The Link Magazine

Linking the villages of - Somersham, Willisham, Offton and Flowton - Suffolk

Home page In the latest edition Village News
Click here to go back to home page Prieist-in-charge
Church Services
Community Policing
Forthcoming events
Local News

Offton & Willisham PC
Church Flowers and Cleaning Rota

With many thanks to all those who will be cleaning our churches and arranging flowers for Easter Day.

March 27th and April 3rd -Mrs Christine Jarrold and all help please
Cleaning -Team C

March 27th and April 3rd -Mrs Veronica Munson and all help please
Cleaning - Dr and Mrs Goodess

March 27th - Mrs Janet Dickson
April 3rd -Mrs Alison Rumsey

March 27th and April 3rd -Mrs Fisher and all help please for flowers and cleaning

Christine and Michael would like to thank all who contributed to our beautiful bouquet of flowers, travel and garden vouchers. It was a very pleasant surprise.

We naturally miss you all on Monday evenings, be it on the doorstep at Griffin Cottage, or visiting you at your home, but we are managing to find other things to do on Monday evenings.

We would liked to have continued delivering the prescriptions had it stayed on Mondays.

Thank you for your kindness -Christine and Michael
(The Link Committee Apologise that this was missed from last month's issue.)

Dear Reader,

A travel guide to Jerusalem speaks of "a ramp of stones striated in brutal ridges to make firm the hooves of horses. Laid where the entrance thrust into the fort, the stride of cohorts had cracked and polished them. Over their roughness Christ must have carried his cross."

I remember walking in that area in 1978 as I tried to make the transition from Asia to Europe, which I found difficult after two-and-a-half years. Roman history seemed stark, after the gracefully-decorated caves of the Silk Route, examples of the glories of ancient India.

The original floor still visible, this fort was built in honour of Mark Anthony and formed a complex of massed towers and ramps.It housed cavalry, and Pilate occupied Herod's apartments. Later, in the course of rebuilding by Hadrian and others, the Via Dolorosa has cut the old fort in two.

There we can imagine the 'street of sorrows' among crowded, narrow streets, noisy so that it's difficult to make out what is going on. And there we don't really find out what the first Easter was all about if westand as spectators.

Jesus made his way without the usual comment people are asked to make outside a courtroom. Another guide to these streets says, "I shall find Him as King and Lord when I set my foot on His pathway. He will reveal Himself to me when I have the courage to walk a path of humiliation..and nevertheless continue to love."
This sounds like a bold experiment. Happy Easter!

Linden Fletcher

From the registers
Farewell to:
Bert Mee, who died at home in Brook Way, Somersham on January 6th, at the age of 86 years. His funeral was held in Somersham church on January 18th followed by interment in the grave of his late wife, Vera. Bert grew up in Ipswich and following wartime service in France, North Africa and Egypt, he worked first as a cycle mechanic and then as foreman at Fisons. Retiring with Vera to Somersham he enjoyed gardening, and was latterly cared for day-to-day by his son Jack, but also by his other son Peter and his family.

Also to:
Percy Minns who died at the age of 91 years. His funeral was at Ipswich Crematorium on January 28th, followed by interment of his ashes in Offton churchyard on February 5th, in the grave of his late wife, Dorothy. From the age of two, Percy lived in Offton at Channel Cottage, then at Bridge Cottage. A keen gardener and a member of the Royal British Legion, his active service was as driver and chauffeur in North Africa and the Middle East. A valued member of Alston's furniture delivery staff, he will be very much missed by his friends in and around Offton, also his four children, nine grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.

Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord,
and may light perpetual shine upon them

Gospel Readings for our Sunday Worship taken from the Revised Common Lectionary. It is good to be sharing the reading of Scripture with Christians - both Catholic and Protestant - across the world.

6th March Mothering Sunday Luke 2. 33-35

13th March Fifth Sunday of Lent John 11. 1-45

20th March Palm Sunday Matthew 27. 11-54

27th March Easter Day Matthew 28. 1-10

Revision of the Church Electoral Rolls takes place as follows:

Somersham between March 1st and March 15th
Flowton between March 6th and March 30th
Offton between March 14th and April 7th
Willisham between February 22nd and March 8th.

Somersham Church Notes

The Annual Parochial Church meeting is on Tuesday 12th April at 7.45 pm in the church.

There will be no service at the church on Sunday 6th March, instead we will be joining our friends at the Baptist Church for a joint worship at 11.30am. We hope as many as possible will be able to join us there.

On Easter Sunday, 27th March, there will be a short service of prayers, readings and Easter hymns at 10am. We hope that this will be popular with many; it will be a "child-friendly time" and as it will only last for about half an hour, would be suitable for those with young families.

The amount raised at the Trivia Quiz last November was £155. Once again many thanks to Helen, Dave & Harry Thorne for all the hard work involved in putting on the quiz.
There's another opportunity to take part in a Trivia Quiz this month, on Friday March 4th. See advert elsewhere in the Link for more details.

We need more support for the Open Gardens Weekend in the village over the weekend of 9th and 10th July! Would you be willing to open your garden or have a stall etc. in it, or have you got some interesting photos of the village for the "Somersham on Show" exhibition in the church? They will be copied so the owner can have them back again without the risk of any damage. We hope to have a range of stalls, games and refreshments dotted through the village, but need more people to come forward. Please let Denis Picton, Christine Jarrold or Pat Woolhouse know if you can help in any way.

Christian Aid envelopes will once again be included in with the May Link magazines. We feel it would be more successful to have these envelopes collected form each home in the village rather than asking for them to be left at certain drop-off points. If you feel you are able to call -just the once- on about 20 houses to collect envelopes during the week of May, please let Pat Woolhouse (831080) know. The more volunteers, the fewer each would have to collect! Thank you.

Thank you to everyone who bought a Christmas quiz sheet,

Round the World in 80 days.
Answers and result

Day Answer (and alternatives)
1 Manchester
2 Reykjavik
3 Martha's Vineyard
4 Charleston
5 Fort Lauderdale
6 Rio
7 Asuncion
8 Valparaiso
9 Brigham City
10 Juneau
11 Vladivostok
12 Seoul
13 Kyoto
14 Taipei
15 Manila
16 Port Moresby
17 Suva (allowed capital of Tonga)
18 Auckland
19 Dunedin
20 Hobart
21 Melbourne
22 Perth
23 Darwin
24 Jakarta
25 Kuala Lumpur
26 Bangkok
27 Phnom Penh
28 Saigon
29 Hanoi
30 Yangon
31 Bhopal
32 Gurkha
33 Lhasa
34 Karachi
35 Kabul
36 Tashkent
37 Archangel
38 Volgograd
39 Shiraz
40 Muscat
41 Addis Abeba
42 Nairobi
43 Zanzibar
44 Antananarivo/ Tananarive
45 Port Louis
46 Maputo
47 Port Elizabeth
48 Luanda
49 Kinshasa/ Brazzaville/Leopoldville
50 Libreville
51 Lake Chad
52 Niamey
53 Abidjan
54 Monrovia
55 Nouakchott
56 Corralejo/ Puerto del Rosario
57 Algiers
58 Carthage
59 Valetta
60 El Alamain
61 Aswan
62 Omdurman (allowed Khartoum)
63 Mecca
64 Basrah
65 Damascus (alternative claims)
66 Ankara
67 Athens
68 Knossos
69 Palermo
70 Napoli
71 Marseille
72 Barcelona
73 Porto (oporto)
74 Zurich
75 Vienna
76 Prague
77 Warsaw
78 Mohne/Gunne (or other dams)
79 Hook of Holland (or other routes)
80 Somersham

A big thank you to all those who bought copies of the quiz sheet and spent time puzzling over them. £183 was raised for church funds. We are grateful to the shop, Christine's and the garage for having the quiz sheets for sale and many individuals who sold several of them.
Many entries got most of the answers expected but possible alternatives were checked and allowed where appropriate. We were prepared to be flexible where answers were not as specific as the ones hoped for (such as Crete instead of Knossos) if this made a difference to the winner. This was not necessary in the case of the winning entry.
The winner was Peter Haughton of Battisford with 79 out of 80 correct answers. Well done! Peter receives a book token for his efforts.

Congratulations - to Marion Plummer who with a friend acted promptly after the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster to organise a Coffee Morning to raise money for the relief fund. St. Michael's church in Martlesham gave their hall for the venue and support came flooding in. A wonderful cake stall amongst others, a raffle and a volunteer who provided music and charged 50p to play requests! Two hours - £846 was realised! Well done girls - Somersham is proud of you!
(Marion and husband Brian were both born and grew up in Somersham, moving to Ipswich when they married. Both remain close to our village life and often join in our church services)



Visit from Challain-la-Potherie

Visitors from our link village are planning to visit us on the weekend of

5-8 May 2005

This is the fifth year of our link with the people of this village, which is of a similar size to our own and is situated in the Loire Valley. We do exchanges every other year - they come to us one year and we go to visit them the next. It's been really interesting to learn of each other's way of life and to get to know individuals and families well. Many lasting friendships have been formed and much goodwill flows between the two villages.

Then contact one of the following:

Gill Fordham: 831529; David Haughton: 831511;
Janet Hodge:832296; Pat Woolhouse:831080


The members of FOSS are busy arranging more fund raising events for this year with some of the old favourites coming up and some new ideas (to us anyway) in the pipe line. When you read this we will already have held a "beetle drive" for the children. They really enjoy this and hopefully we will be holding a bingo session before too long.

There is going to be a Jumble Sale in the village hall on 19th March from 10 a.m. 'til 12 noon. If you have any jumble you would like to dispose of either bring it along to the school or phone the school on 831251 and we will arrange to pick it up. Then make sure you come along on the morning for a bargain!

We have decided on a theme for this years Summer Fair - "Rock and Roll !" One idea that has already come up is a children's fancy dress parade; everyone dressing up as Elvis of course! After all he would have been 70 years old, something worth celebrating. This is going to be held on Saturday 25th June so make that a date now.

Please remember, we still need Box Tops and empty ink jet cartridges/old mobile phones. As they say "every little helps". Thank you.

Next month we shall be telling you about the latest things that you money has bought for the school.

Don't forget
Jumble Sale
Saturday 19th March
10 a.m. 'til 12 noon

Somersham Primary School

Somersham Primary School

Lots to tell you this month, so here goes.

The children in Class 2 have been going to Hadleigh Swimming pool and are doing really well but by the time you read this Class 1 will be having their turn. This is something our children have always been very good at and we can see no reason why they shouldn't be this time around. The younger children have been having dance lessons with Vicky, who. like Jack before her is a qualified instructor. They are also learning ball skills.

Class 4 have been learning about lots of different types of transport and have just had a day out in Ipswich. The trip started by going to town on the public bus, from there we went to a travel agents, onto the "green buses" for a ride up to the train station, walked down to the Fire Station, where we met the firemen (and lady) back up to the rail station for lunch and a look around and then........a train ride!........back to Stowmarket where we then had to get back to school by car. It was such an exciting day and so much happened it would take the whole of this book to tell you about but believe us when we say it was brilliant!

On the 2nd of this month we are all going to Nettlestead with the Woodland Trust who have invited the school to plant trees on behalf of all the children in the villages. It will be on Lord Blakenham's land and the school will be able to go back at various intervals to see how the trees are growing. a wonderful thing for the children to be able to do and can you imagine when they have children, they will be able say "I planted that tree".

Before we break up for Easter, we have a very special treat for the children. We are having some visitors at the school. Well, actually they are going to be born there. It's called Living Eggs! The eggs arrive and within days they should start to hatch, we then have to care for the chicks until the end of term. We are sure this will be a huge hit!

More next month.

From our new Headteacher

As the new headteacher of Somersham Primary School, I was pleased to be asked to write a little about myself as way of introduction to the community.

My name is Ms. Jeanette (Jan) Hubbard, I have been qualified as a teacher since 1979, but had a break in my career from 1982 - 1987 to spend time at home with my two children, Peter and Jennie.

I have taught in a range of schools, but spent ten years teaching in St. Mary's RC Primary School in Ipswich. I led the Key Stage One department and then became acting deputy headteacher and Key Stage Two leader. This gave me a taste for management (!), which led me to spend seven very happy years at Fairfield Infant School in Felixstowe, where I was deputy Headteacher.

I had a desire to return to primary education and was delighted to be appointed Headteacher at Somersham in July 2004.

My intention is to build upon the good practice I have found here 'Somersham School is a good school' - (OFSTED) - and to enable staff and pupils to reach their full potential.

When I am not working, I am a keen folk dancer, dancing with a local morris side and enjoying ceilidhs and folk festivals. I enjoy visiting the theatre and cinema and I sing with a local choir.

I am a member of St. Mary's RC Church in Ipswich where I am a reading minister and a flautist in the folk group.

If you have children coming up to primary school age, please come and have a look around Somersham School. I'm sure you will be delighted with what you will find.

Jan Hubbard

Sam Palmer's Memorial Bench

We would like to thank everyone who has donated money towards a bench, in memory of Sam Palmer. Linda and Joe are very moved by the overwhelming support they have had, and the contributions to the memorial fund. Linda hopes this bench will be used by all who visit Sam, as it will hopefully be situated in the churchyard. The bench is in the process of being made and will hopefully be finished in two to three weeks.

Special thanks to Rebecca, Victoria and Danielle, who took the time to deliver and collect donations, also to Somersham shop where contributions are doing well.

If you wish to donate please contact Steve or Debbie Cotterell on 831530.

Hopefully next month we will be able to enlighten you on the amount raised and to where the bench can be found.
Thanks again.

Somersham & District Community Association

Playingfield Improvement Project - Update

Since our last article we have made some significant progress.

We have been granted planning permission for all our proposed improvements and this has enabled us to move forward confidently with the search for funding.

Our application for funding to Living Spaces (a scheme set up by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to help local people improve their local environment) has been successful and we have been awarded £33,000. This matches the amount already secured and so we have £66,000 of funding so far.

This will enable us to progress a first phase of the project which mainly involves replacing all the play equipment and installing new fencing around the playingfield. We have based the new play equipment on a survey of school children, which indicated that traditional activities of slide, see saw, roundabout, swings and climbing were needed. In addition we also aim to include trail type activities. We are hoping for this phase to be started in May 2005.

To realise the rest of our plans we have several funding applications being considered which total £152,517. Our plan includes buying extra land to square off the playingfield to provide a larger field sports area; a multi sports arena; meeting area; better car park and various items of equipment.

When the installation work gets under way we will need some local volunteers to help with things like cutting back hedges and trees to make way for the fencing and also planting new hedging. Please volunteer to HELP.

If you would like to know more about the project or would like to HELP please contact any of the following:
Terry Fordham - Tel 831529 Mike Shelmerdine - Tel 831661
Steve Woolhouse - Tel 831080 Richard Fordham - Tel 423792
Derek Ottaway - Tel 832562

Somersham Football Club

The 1st Team

After a longer break than the manager would have liked Somersham's first game of 2005 was on the 8th January. Southwold Town Reserves were the visitors to the playing field and both sides were striving to win a place in the Quarter Finals of the Suffolk Primary Cup. From the start of the game it was evident that Southwold had a much stronger team than last season when we were drawn against them in the same competition. On that occasion Somersham won 4-1 but it appeared that that kind of score line would not be repeated. The first half was, as expected, very tight and the score remained 0-0. The second half was much the same, but Somersham were having the better of the chances. Eventually the breakthrough came from Dave Jousiffe with one of his points winning interventions. Somersham were pleased to hear the final whistle and progress to the next round.

After this cup game Somersham welcomed local rivals Claydon to the field on 22nd January. All 3 points in this match were imperative if Somersham were to dent Claydon's title hopes. This soon developed into a classic, robust entertaining game of amateur football. The referee let plenty of challenges go for both sides and a good game, played in the right spirit, unfolded. Somersham had the better of the first half, but were unable to convert numerous good chances Close to the end Claydon finally got the goal they deserved and salvaged a point with a 1-1 result.

29th January and Somersham were at home again in the Primary Cup. This time against Tuddenham Rangers Reserves from the Cambridgeshire league in the Quarter Final. Somersham started well and were soon 1-0 up thanks to Kieran Cotterell. Tuddenham soon scored an equaliser. Somersham again took the lead in a game they were once again controlling, but failing to convert chances to finish the contest. Tuddenham scored to take the game to extra time. The first half of extra time was close, in the second half of extra time Somersham were back on the attack. Another inspired substitution by Quinny saw John Jousiffe take to the field, soon sliding an excellent pass to the wing where Adam English swivelled on the proverbial sixpence and Somersham were 3-2 up with around 10 minutes to go. Before Tuddenham could recover John Jousiffe calmly slotted in Somersham's 4th of the game. Next stop the Semi-Final - Walton Rangers from our division.

After the previous two weeks of excitement Somersham were at home again, this time to Walsham Le Willows. Hopes were high of a similar performance to those seen recently, but against a lesser quality side. Somersham controlled the game from the start and were 2-0 up at half time through 2 excellent finishes by Kieran Cotterell. In the first few minutes of the second half Adam English and Dave Jousiffe scored. Walsham pulled one back through a truly unstoppable free kick to make the score 4-1 but Adam popped up again before the end to complete a satisfying 5-1 victory. Special mention to manager Quinny Warner for his performance in goal, aside from him getting penalised for holding the ball for more than 6 seconds, which lead to the Walsham goal. One wag expressed surprise that Quinny could hold a ball for that long and another felt that his misdemeanour stuck out like a "blind cobblers thumb"!

The Reserves

The reserves ended 2004 with a much needed 3-0 win over struggling Peasenhall United Reserves. After a very shaky start the Reserves went ahead with a strike from Tom Booth. Later in the first half, Dale Poole battled well to claim the Reserves second of the match, and a fantastic individual effort from John Ely gave the Reserves their third. Peasenhall battled well in the second half to deny the Reserves a fourth. Final score 3-0 to Somersham

2005 kicked off with an away trip to Elmswell Reserves. A very scrappy game, mainly due to the blustery weather conditions. Poor defending in the second half gifted Elmswell a two goal lead. John Ely gave the Reserves some hope late in the game, but the game ended 2-1 to Elmswell.

On the 15th of January the Reserves entertained Tacket Street BBOB Reserves. Somersham started the game well, and found themselves 2-0 up with goals coming from Stefan Nielson and myself. Tacket Street came out fighting for the second half and quickly made it 2-1. Dale Poole made it 3-1 to Somersham. Then Tacket Street grabbed another to make it 3-2. Mid-way through the second half, Steffo claimed his second goal of the match, which gave Somersham a much preferable two goal cushion. Late on, Scott Johnson put the game beyond Tacket Streets' reach, making the final score 5-2 to Somersham. A fine performance from the Reserves, who deserved to take all three points.

The 22nd of January saw the Reserves take on Albion Mills Reserves at Dumbarton Road. Somersham started the game slowly. The Reserves then picked up the pace and everyone began playing at the top of their game. Steffo 'the cat' Nielson opened the scoring mid-way through the first half. Scott Johnson then headed home to get Somersham's second. Somersham quickly got a third in the second half through yours truly, which put the game beyond Albion Mills. Steffo then added another to make it 4-0. After having a solid game up front, Scott Johnson was replaced by Alan Bentman, who quickly made it 5-0. Alan Bentman scored his second and Somersham's 6th of the match. The Albion Mills keeper pulled out some heroic saves to deny Alan and Steffo their hat-tricks. Special mention goes to Luke Emerson, who was unlucky not to get on the score sheet himself. Final score 6-0 to the Reserves. By far the best performance from the Reserves this season.

Jim O'Neill

Jim is too modest to mention it, but by all accounts his goal at Albion Mills was a cracker. Hit on the half volley on the outside of the foot from fully 26.5 yards, it was reminiscent of those I used to score!!.....honestly!

Happy Easter from us all.
See you on Saturday!!! DON'T FORGET YOUR PAINT!!!!!
Al Chester Jim O'Neill

Somersham Parish Council

Parish Council Meetings

Wednesday 2nd March 2005 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall
The Annual Parish Meeting will take place on Wednesday 6th April 2005 at 7.30pm in the Pavilion
The Annual Parish Council meeting will take place on Wednesday 4th May 2005 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall
Casual Vacancy on the Parish Council
Somersham Parish Council currently has a vacancy and invites applications from Parishioners who would like to become a co-opted member of the Council. If you would like to be involved in protecting and supporting your local community by joining the Parish Council please apply in writing to the Clerk of the Council.

New Park and Ride Service to Ipswich Hospital
Visitors to Ipswich Hospital can now benefit from a new through ticket that will take them from any of Ipswich's park and Ride services to the hospital. A new bus stop has been installed on the 'central reservation' on the Woodbridge Road and Colchester Road junction, just north of the hospital. Tickets from Bury Road and London Road cost just £2.30 for up to 5 people. Concessions for over 60s are available.

Rural Coffee Caravan Information Project
The Rural Coffee Caravan will visit Somersham on Wednesday 18th May from 10am - 12 noon. The caravan is well equipped with coffee, tea and home made cakes, along with all sorts of information about organisations and the services they offer. The caravan can provide residents with the opportunity just to socialise and get to know people, but the Project has strong links with a many agencies providing information on a whole range of concerns. Mid Suffolk Citizen's Advice Bureau, Mid Suffolk MIND and the Farm Crisis Network are in partnership with the Project. The caravan will be located on a central site in the village, the exact location in next issue. If you need advice on concerns relating to a specific issue which may need the attendance of, eg. the rural police officer, please advise the Clerk so the appropriate person can be invited by the Project.

Responsible Dog Owners
The Parish Council are to provide 3 more Dog Litter bins for the village. Fortunately most dog owners are responsible and use the bins to clean up after their pets, but there is still a minority who do not. The Parish Council appeals to those few to help keep the village clean and healthy by cleaning up after their dogs. Please do not risk the health of our residents - particularly our children.

There are currently vacant plots at the Somersham Town Land Allotments. The rent for a 5-rod plot is just £5 per year, payable in October. If you would like any further information please contact the Clerk.
Janet Clarke, Clerk to the Council
Address: 7 Drury Road, Claydon, IPSWICH, IP6 0ED
Tel. No. 01473 830398 E-mail:


Due to recent events of vandalism and misuse, the Somersham Playing Field Recycling Banks have been removed.
The District Council has taken this action due to acts of vandalism and arson where recyclable materials have been removed from the banks and thrown around the site, and the setting alight of the bottle bank and paper bank at the site, which has ruined the local community efforts to recycle and wasted the Fire Brigade's valuable time.

Recycling centres, to many, are a valued community facility, providing funding to local charitable causes and an environmentally friendly way to dispose of recyclable materials. Therefore, the District Council is actively seeking an alternative site for a recycling centre in Somersham, and welcomes proposals from the local community for a suitable location for a new facility for the village.

Once a suitable site has been agreed and the banks are sited, the Council may install covert CCTV system to monitoring the banks with an aim of discouraging anti-social behavior. If person(s) are caught on CCTV then legal action will take place.

Please contact Mid Suffolk District Council on 01449 778678, if you know of any suitable local sites, or for information regarding recycling sites.
Hannah Bridges, Recycling Support Officer

From: Robin Richardson, ( District Cllr. Barking & Somersham Ward).

Dear All;

I feel I ought to make my views on the removal of the recycling facilities clear.

I have supported fully the Parish Council's efforts to come up with suggestions for a new site, or indeed more than one new site for this facility, which will undoubtedly be needed as recycling of glass usually increases after the introduction of Twin Bins, expected in March. I have passed on some suggestions for possible new sites to the relevant department at MSDC. Whilst I agree that the reported vandalism cannot be condoned and has made the facility into more of a nuisance for some local residents, I was not aware that the removal of the recycling bank was imminent until after it had happened, and I would not support the permanent removal of recycling facilities from the village. Destructive acts like those which have lead to the removal of the banks, will ultimately result in higher Council Tax or reduced facilities for local people. As a member of the Liberal Democrat group on Mid Suffolk District Council, I will continue to press for better facilities for the residents of this area, and for even more attention to be paid to the protection of our environment and its resources, locally and globally. I would hope that everyone will support the Recycling Support Officer and her team at Mid Suffolk in her request, and that a new site or sites will be provided as soon as possible. Robin Richardson

Kerbside Recycling in your area

To make recycling easier for residents, Mid Suffolk District Council has introduced a new integrated refuse and recycling service called "TwinBin Recycling" which has been a tremendous success. This service will mean recyclable products, such as paper; card, plastics and metal cans are collected from your doorstep.

Mid February the local parishes of Offton and Willisham are being introduced to the scheme. The new TwinBin collection scheme will begin on April 4th 2005 with information being delivered beforehand to all residents.

The aim of the TwinBin Scheme is to encourage residents to throw away less and recycle more. In order to continue the success of this project we need your help. Please continue to recycle your household rubbish by using your TwinBins and your local recycling banks. For any further information contact our TwinBin- helpline on 01449 778678

Residents please note: information packs will be contained inside the green recycling bin upon delivery.

Happy Recycling


Would you be prepared to attend certain specified medical emergencies voluntarily in the Somersham and the nearby area to give life saving help until an Ambulance arrives at the scene?


Somersham Parish Council has kindly agreed to fund the start up costs of a Volunteer First Responder Scheme in Somersham working on behalf of and being called out by the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust.

You will be:
* 18 to 70 years of age,
* physically fit,
* be prepared to undergo a CRB check,
* resident in Somersham or immediate surrounding area
* have access to a motor vehicle to attend calls.

No experience is necessary as full training will be given but you must have lots of enthusiasm. Initial training will take place in Bramford over a weekend with an assessment taking place the following weekend. Other training will take place locally.
If enough people show interest in starting a scheme in Somersham and immediate area, then we will hold a meeting to explain the system more fully before we go any further.

If you meet the above criteria and feel you can manage the training requirements and want further information or to register interest then please contact:-

COLIN FRENCH, 01473 831516



From: PC Kevin Shields
Community Beat Officer
Tel: 01473 613500


Everyone seems to be trying to sell me something these days so I thought I would join in.

Last month I talked about property marking and several people have asked me where they can by Ultra Violet property markers. These are on sale at your local police station for the princely sum of £1.00.

But that's not all. Thanks to the Mid Suffolk Crime Reduction Group we also have shed alarms for £8.50 which are easily fitted to your garden shed or garage and personal alarms which require no fitting at all. Just carry one in your pocket (not in your handbag please ladies if the worst happens an attacker is not going to wait whilst you look for it). Personal alarms vary in price from £3.50 to £5.50. Finally, time switches are available for £5.50 to switch on your lights or radio to give the impression that your house is occupied whilst you are away.

These items may also be available through your local N/Watch coordinator.

That's my sales pitch over but staying on the subject of sales there have been numerous reports of 'Security' companies cold calling or ringing residents and saying they are calling on behalf of or working with Suffolk Police to check your security. We do not work with any security company and any such calls should be dealt with accordingly. If you want to improve your security deal with a well-known company or better still go by recommendation and always get more that one quote. Leaflets offering advice are available at your police station.

Mini motor cycles and powered scooters appear to have been popular as Christmas presents and better weather means that the owners want to use them more. Please be aware that they are motor vehicles and as such cannot be used on a road without all the correct equipment and documentation. They were made as toys to be used on private land, with permission of course and if used on the road or footpaths the rider will commit more offences than I can list here. That is apart of course from the very high risk of accidents to the rider or other road users

So what's been happening? Thankfully, not too much.

In Somersham a building site was entered in Church Road and power tools stolen by offenders who disabled security lights.

In Barking another building site was entered and an attempt made to enter a storage container, this time without success.

In Battisford on 10th January a Yamaha 49cc motorcycle colour white index M419UWB was stolen from Valley Road after being involved in an accident whilst awaiting recovery by the owners.

In Badley a person was spotted by police stealing cable from a building site skip and was arrested.

As you will be aware there has been a continuing series of robberies and burglaries at post offices and rural shops over the last few months. Please be aware of what is happening around you when you visit any of these premises and report anything suspicious.

If you can assist with or require further information about any incident mentioned in these notes, please contact me on 01473 613500 (Force Headquarters). If I am not on duty ask to leave a voicemail message for Pc980 Shields. Please remember there are periods when I am rest day for 4 days. If you require urgent action do not leave message, speak to another officer. My deputy should I be on leave or otherwise away for any length of time will be Pc 1242 Matt Nickson, he is contactable on the same telephone numbers as myself.
E-mail or

Thank you
PC Kevin Shields

01473 383390 Stowmarket Police Station
01473 613500 Police Headquarters

To go to the Suffolk Police web site please click here


Many thank to everybody who has offered help for June 2006 Gardens Open and Flower Festival -have you started taking photos?

The Annual Parochial Church Meeting will take place on Sunday April 17th. In the Vestry. Evening Prayer will be at 6.30pm. followed by refreshments and the meeting at 7.15pm.

Claim to Fame!

Some people do clever or brave things to achieve fame - we seem to have become famous (or notorious!) by losing a calf last month! As a consequence of Radio Suffolk kindly putting out an appeal for sightings of the recalcitrant 2 month old Aberdeen Angus calf a great many people showed interest and followed his progress until his eventual return to the fold (or rather the calf shed!) some 12 days later. We were grateful after a sighting against the fence of Wattisham airbase for the help of Ringshall Neighbourhood Watch, the police and a helicopter from the base which went up to locate him and which, by hovering in just the right spot, enabled us to close in and capture him with a rugby tackle!

During the time of his elusive wanderings around neighbouring farms and villages (Offton, Barking, Ringshall) in cold, damp and very windy weather, he found his own food and shelter. So many people have been concerned for his welfare - thank you and yes, he was remarkably fit and healthy and suffered no ill effects whatsoever - it was the rest of us who were on our knees.
Margaret Laflin, Gunn's Farm

Offton Church News

A steaming bowl of lentil and pumpkin soup with coriander, full grain loaves followed by rice pudding with water to drink. A simple Lenten Supper in Offton Church with a table for eleven set up under the Bell Tower. A magical atmosphere by candle light. We all enjoyed the meal with good company and conversation. As Mary gently reminded us our simple meal would have been a feast for so many elsewhere in the world, we thanked God in our grace together.
Thank you to Peta for the supper and Ian for the table. A collection was taken for the Christian Aid tsunami appeal.

Dates remember: - events in 2005
Mothering Sunday 6th March Joint Service with Willisham in Offton Church
Sunday 8 May Festival of Talents at St Mary's Church.

If you live in Offton and have a particular talent, contact Scott Dolling on 01473 658733. In particular he is interested to hear from anyone who would like to display home made art, crafts and other ideas.


Fete coming up
on Saturday 11th June 2005!

Our Traditional Fete
In the Church grounds
Music cakes plants and more!
Bric à brac
All the fun of the fête!

Contact Ian 658347 or Lucy 658480
with offers of help, ideas and contributions please.


Stacks of Sax is a Suffolk-based saxophone group that has been performing around the county for the past eight years. The music for the Offton concert will be drawn from their repertoire of swing and jazz numbers to create a programme of Gershwin, Miller, Brubeck, Ellington and others.

Magical Musical Moments
Concerts by Candlelight in Offton Church

For the last concert in the current series we proudly present
four saxophonists and a quartet of close harmony singers.
These eight musicians are bound to make you feel good.
Offton is the place for a distinctly different experience!

Stacks of Sax

Saturday 9 April 2005 at 20.00 hrs
Tickets £ 8, cheese and wine included
Cheques made payable to St Mary's Church Offton please

The proceeds of this charity concert go to:
* St Elizabeth Hospice
* Motor Neurone Disease Association
* Alzheimer's Society
* Fabric Fund of Offton Church
* Offton & Willisham Village Hall
For seats ring 01473-658024 or email


Children's Society

Dear Boxholders All,
A very big THANK YOU to you all. A great sum of £184.92 has been collected in 2004. This money goes towards helping children in the UK in many ways and the Society and children who receive help are very grateful indeed. I hope you will be pleased to continue your help and support through 2005. Thank you very much to you all.
Sam Copping


Mothering Sunday - 6th March
There will be no service at Willisham Church on the first Sunday in March. Instead we will be joining with Offton Church at their family Mothering Sunday service at 10.00am. We hope you will be able to attend this service and if you need a lift, please telephone 658387.

Easter Sunday - 27th March
Our service takes place at 11.00am and will include two Baptisms.

Large Print Books
We now have some bold print hymn books and Order One Holy Communion books, which have been purchased in memory of Mrs. Dorothy Crick. If you would like to make use of these at one of our services, please ask.

Some more dates for your diary:
Annual Church Meetings - Tuesday 5th April

The annual meetings will be held in Willisham Church at 7.00pm
This is an opportunity for members of the Electoral Roll to come and give their support to the Parochial Church Council

Church Fete - Saturday 16th July
We hope you already have details of our fete at Crow Hall. However, to have a successful day, a great deal of help is required. We were very fortunate last year, but we can't rest on our laurels. We are, therefore, holding a fete planning meeting on Saturday the 16th April, at 9 North Acres, Willisham at 10.00am. Please do come and help to make the 2005 fete even more successful.

Village Walk - Saturday 14th May - 5.30pm start
Full details in next month's Link but as this event becomes more popular every year, you may wish to have your name added to John Minn's list now, if so, please 'phone him on 658352.

Coffee Morning - Saturday 28th May
A coffee morning, in aid of Willisham Church, will be held at
9 North Acres, Willisham, from 10.00am. Everyone welcome

Sunday 12th June - Songs of Praise - 3.00pm in Willisham Church
We will be asking you to select your favourite hymns for this service.


The Council approved the Precept for 2005/6 at £5900, an increase of 3%. This is the first increase since 2001/2.
Regarding the Electoral Review, details concerning which were placed on the notice boards, it was decided since no representations were received from parishioners, that the Parishes would best be served if no changes were sought and this would be the Council's recommendation to the District Council. If agreed it would mean that the Parish boundaries, the enjoining of the two Parishes under one Parish Council and the composition of the Council would not change.
Pip Sands Parish Clerk
Tel 01449 721173


By the time you read this the first event of the year, the Quiz and Supper Evening
will have taken place.
Thank you for your support.

Our next event is the Auction of Promises and Cheese & Wine Evening on Saturday 2nd April at 7.30p.m.
Tickets £5.00 including 2 glasses of wine.
As previously mentioned we need your PROMISES.

They can take many forms.
A few suggestions are:
Ironing, gardening, a meal out, a trip to the theatre, decorating,
curtain making, a trip round a place of interest (this could be a place of work),
a boat trip, a round of golf etc.
Please support us in this move to increase the profile of the Village Hall
and at the same time raise some much needed funds.

Finally a reminder to make a note in your diary for Saturday 9th July when we are holding a
Dance in the barn at Crow Hall, Willisham.
Dance to a mixture of music from Country and Western and Modern Pop provided by Sarah Louise, a young singer who comes highly recommended.
Tickets are £8.00.
There will be a bar and BBQ.

For further details, tickets and offers of promises contact:
Tony Webber Tel: 01473 658550 or
Janet Crickmore Tel: 01473 658547.



Next Meeting - Monday 14 March Somersham Village Hall - 7.30 pm

AGM followed by 'Gardeners' Question Time' - a chance to put your gardening queries to expert Steve Coghill, Head of Horticulture at Otley College.

Guests and New Members always welcome.


The winter break is over, cycle speedway is back, and after some deliberation, Somersham Stars will again compete in the top South East division. A tough season is in prospect but we continue to face the
challenge. Participation is the important thing and while the league racing is aimed at the Senior riders, many junior events will be run throughout the season for our younger brigade.

At the club's AGM Peter Mittell took on the role of secretary, taking over from Steve Copping who had held the post for 9 years. Gary Brown will be team manager as well as treasurer. The rider of the year award was also voted for with popular Andy Mittell winning again.

Weather permitting, the first practice session of the season will be on March 6 at 10:30, and repeated the following weekend. Fitness and technique will be under scrutiny with team places at stake. New riders
are most welcome. The provisional fixture list sees an early start to the league programme at Kesgrave on March 20, while our first home fixture is one week later, at 11:00 against Eaton.

Unfortunately I need to mention that 2005 membership fees are now due. This money goes toward competition, affiliation and insurance fees the club has to pay, while we try and cover equipment costs through sponsorship. For this season we have introduced a new tier for our younger members who are under 13. The cost for them is £5. The cost for seniors is £20, under 19s is £15 and under 16s is £10. Age groups refer to age on January 1 2005. Please note that all riders must also join the British Cycling Federation for insurance purposes.

Monies can be paid to either Peter or Gary, and they will be happy to
answer your questions about the season ahead.

you can contact us via (01473) 831474, e-mail or take a look at the
new Somersham Cycle Speedway website:


The New Year started for Somersham with a great game away against Elmsett and … as the first match to start the second half of the Winter league it was a very closely fought contest throughout the match. With the final outcome going right down to the wire it could have gone either way as the teams - at the end of the night - had completed a draw winning two games each and were separated by only 4 shots. However shots in the end were the deciding factor with the result unfortunately just going against Somersham.

The next match - as an early round in the Chairman's Plate - was against Burstall, with the benefit of a home leg for Somersham. A very good and close encounter played in competitive spirit, resulting in a creditable 4 - 4 draw, with Somersham holding a slight shots advantage (35 - 30) to take away to Burstall for the return leg.
Away it was yet another closely contested and low scoring match with Burstall just having the edge (40 - 29) on shots, therefore putting Somersham out over the 2 legs. We shall have to wait another year before trying again, and hopefully progressing further in the Plate. Nonetheless we retain our expectations for the future.

League games were few and far between this month; and the last was against Tattingstone on their mats. A very friendly atmosphere is always the norm at Tattingstone, and with signs of consistent bowling ability, a good match was enjoyed by everyone. On balance Somersham played slightly better games - and with one team taking a good win - we were able to take the overall points.

Winter League (January results)

Team Shots Points
Elmsett 45 - 41 6 - 4 Lost Away
Tattingstone 30 - 37 4 - 6 Won Away


An Evening of Russian Music
Rachmaninoff, Mussorgsky, Borodin

Saturday 19th March, 2005
St. Mary's Church, Hadleigh

Tickets: £9 £7 concessions
Available at The Idler
37 High Street, Hadleigh
at the door
or contact Tel:01473 824419

Have you been assessed by SOCIAL SERVICES as needing care, support or assistance?
Would you like to choose:-
* How your support is provided?
* When you get this support?
* Who provides this support?
If so, 'Direct Payments' could be just what you're looking for.
Direct Payments are cash payments made directly from local councils to individuals to pay for their support needs.

For more details contact:
Suffolk PASS on 01473 620200
or email

Somersham Baptist

The Tsunami of Boxing Day has led to many hard questions about God, again his existence is questioned, his love and his power. Loss of life on this scale demands every Christian should review their faith.

For Christians the prime response of God to peoples need was Easter, with the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, Son of God. That such a barbarous act can hold centre stage is for some too much, it betrays primitive roots that are at odds with educated modern man. I suggest that such educated ears are not listening to message of the bible. Our great danger is sin and its guilt.

Our greatest need then is forgiveness and relief from punishment. That is exactly what Easter was about, penalty for sin paid by Jesus as he bears our punishment upon the cross, and secures forgiveness.

If this is our greatest need then we are desperate indeed considering the other tragedies of human experience, including the Tsunami! Faced with this emergency God does not fail, in Jesus he takes on our sin and suffers, that we might be saved. To all who follow Jesus by faith he becomes a precious saviour, sin becomes the object of personal discipline. This faith should led to loving action for all in need, a sharing the good news of Jesus, and the support of needy.

Church News.
A Baptist Church in Chennai has adopted a fishing village on the coast and has begun supporting the community, and are planning to buy fishing boats and nets destroyed by the Tsunami. For more details contact Mark.

Growth: these last months have brought a lot of encouragement which culminated in the baptism of Steve and Lois in the Village Hall in December, and the baptism of Daniel in January at Crowfield. Baptism is a New Testament response to faith in Jesus. As our present building has no pool to baptise in, we had to borrow a pool for use in the village hall, and invade Crowfield Baptist Church in January.

Meetings for March

Mothering Sunday 6th 11.30am Combined Worship with the Parish Church at the Chapel.
Easter Sunday 25th 11.30am Worship.

Regular Sunday Morning Programme (You are welcome to join us for all or part of the meeting).

10.00-10.30 Prayer Meeting (Communion 1st Sunday)
10.45-11.15 Bible Study
11.30-12.00 Worship
12.00-12.30 Sermon

Children and Young People (During term time)

Wednesday Club 6.30-7.30pm For Primary School children.
14+ Friday's 8.00-9.30pm Year 9 upwards.

Ladies Meeting

Women's Fellowship 2.30pm Friday 11th March.
Friends and Neighbours 7.45pm Monday 21st March

Pastor Mark Newcombe 01473 831940 e-mail
Colin Low 01473 464833 or Edwin Mayhew on 01473 658100. Web site

CHURCH SERVICES in our 8 linked parishes

If you think there may be a mistake in the rota please contact your Churchwarden.

March 6th Mothering Sunday

Family Service -united service for Willisham and Offton

10.00am Offton
Morning Prayer 10.00am Great Bricett
Family Service 11.15am Battisford
United Service with Baptists 11.30am Som'ham Baptist Church
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Barking
Holy Communion 6.30pm Flowton

March 13th Fifth Sunday of Lent

Holy Communion by extension
8:00am Flowton
Family service + baptism 10.00am Somersham
Holy Communion 10.00am Bricett
Holy Communion by ext 11.15am Barking
Holy Communion 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Willisham
Evening Prayer 6.30pm Offton

March 20th Palm Sunday

Holy Communion 8.00am Somersham
Family Service with communion by ext 10.00am Offton
Family Service 10.00am Ringshall

Holy Communion

11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 6.30pm Flowton

Monday March 21st

Meditative service 7.45pm Battisford

Thursday March 24th Maundy Thursday

Holy Communion 7.30pm Bricett

Friday March 25th Good Friday

Procession of Witness 10.00am Battisford
Meditative Service 2.00pm Offton

March 27th Easter Day

Summer Time begins - please put your clocks forward one hour.

Holy Communion by extension 8.00am Flowton
Family Communion 9.30am Ringshall
Children's readings, prayers and Easter Hymns-a half-hour service with Mrs Liz Thompson 10.00am Somersham
Family Communion + Baptisms 11.00am Willisham
Holy Communion by extension 11.15am Barking

Hunters Creek Care Home,
London Road, BOSTON, Lincs. PE21 7HB

MAISIE, JANE AND GIL would like to thank every one of my relatives and friends for the care and kindness shown to me during my long stays in hospital and St Edmunds Nursing Home. Also for my very caring visitors who gave their time, particularly Anna, Marion and Brian, Nina, Gwen, Joan, Olive, Mary, Margaret, Frances, Eddy and Dorothy, Christine and Michael, my MU friends and many more for their letter, phone messages and prayers.

I shall miss you all very much but will keep in touch when I have my telephone. I shall never forget you all and will love to see any of you if you are ever up this way. It is a lovely place and of course near to my loved ones. I am happily settling in and the staff are very friendly and helpful.

A very happy, healthy and peaceful New Year to you all and your families. God Bless you. I have so many happy memories of Somersham and I love you all.
Maisie Race
(So sorry this was missed out last month)

Page last updated: 25-Feb-2009    
This site was designed and is maintained by TRC Solutions please refer any queries to the webmaster