The Link Magazine

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

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Offton & Willisham PC

Tell me the stories of Jesus . . . .
      Bible stories illustrate what God has done for us - what He has done in history. Events in the life-story of Jesus are portrayed against the vivid backdrop of history, geography, superpowers, local vested interests and social forces. In this narrative we gain a clearer picture of who God is, we get to know his son, Jesus of Nazareth, and we find out what Jesus can do and be for us. The gospel tells us Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and was raised again on the third day.

Language used by people in the story tells us that they are people like us, for instance the disciple who says, "Don't you care?" This is St. Mark's direct-speech version of an episode on Galilee which is quite volatile weatherwise, and a worrying place to be : it doesn't take much to imagine ourselves there in terms of the ups and downs. During Lent we read of Jesus being  led into the wilderness where he was tempted, and withstood temptation : it's not difficult  to visualise ourselves wandering into a place we don't recognise, where everything gets out of proportion.

The story creates a world before our eyes in a way that draws us into face-to-face involvement. There is no once-for-all reading of a story :
different facets will affect us at different points in our lives. It's a great gift to be able to tell a story as though we are hearing it for the
first time. This we can re-create as we tell the story of  Lent, Holy Week and Easter to  those of any age who are unfamiliar with the sequence of events. From 'way back then', we can see ourselves in a new light, amidst the bigger scenario of God's purposes.

   And then we trust less and less in this world's estimate of merit,  but find ourselves going  on with God into a  well - lit  sphere of completely disproportionate grace.

        Pass it on ........
                                           with best wishes,   Linden

Somersham and District MU

The final ‘official’ event of the Somersham and District MU was lunch at the Malborough on Wednesday, 29th November. The meal was excellent and much enjoyed by members, friends – and three husbands too! We would like to thank Roger and Hazel for the lovely food and warm welcome they gave us. Although the occasion sadly marked the end of an era we were buoyed by the promise of meeting together again for Tea and Chat in the Spring when everyone will be welcome at Gunn’s Farm on Wednesday, 14th March.

Somersham Parish Council
March 2007

Forthcoming Parish Council Meetings

Wednesday 7th March 2007 Committee Room, Village Hall
Wednesday 4th April 2007 Village Hall, (Annual Parish Meeting)
Wednesday 9th May 2007 Committee Room, Village Hall (Annual Parish Council Meeting)

All meetings commence at 7.30pm.

Annual Parish Meeting
As listed above the Annual Parish Meeting takes place in the Village Hall on Wednesday 4th April commencing at 7.30pm. It is intended that the meeting will begin with a presentation on a topical subject. Full details of the speaker for the meeting will appear on the notice boards in due course.
This is your meeting and your opportunity to raise any concerns or issues you may have. Light refreshments will be available and all are welcome.

Parish Council Elections
If you ever say, “Why doesn’t the council do something about it” now is your opportunity to get involved in making real decisions affecting your local community.
As reported in earlier editions, Parish Council elections take place on 3rd May 2007. A booklet has been produced by Mid Suffolk District Council and the Suffolk Association of Local Councils which explains how to become a Parish Councillor. Copies of this booklet are available from Mid Suffolk District Council or the Parish Clerk. If you would like to stand, nomination papers will be available as above in early March and must be returned to the Returning Officer during the period 13th March – 4th April. Papers returned after the 4th of April will not be accepted. If you have any queries on the role of a councillor, please contact any of your current councillors, or the Parish Clerk.

Rural Coffee Caravan
The Rural Coffee Caravan will be returning to Somersham each month from May – October 2007. The caravan is a mobile information centre and carries information on a wide range of subjects. These visits have become very popular so whether you need help or advice, or just a social chat over a cup of coffee and homemade cakes, a warm welcome will await you.

Each year the Parish Council endeavours to make donations to local voluntary organisations and will be considering its donations for the 2006/7 year at the next meeting in March. If you are a member of a voluntary organisation in Somersham that you would like to be considered, please write to the Clerk as soon as possible, but in any event before the 7th March.

Mid Suffolk District Council Local Plan
The District Council is in the process of updating its Local Plan, along with other District and Borough Councils. The new document will be called the Local Development Framework and will include strategic objectives and planning policies within the District. It will also eventually include an indication of where significant development will take place and the policies against which planning applications will be determined. Parish Councils are involved through the consultation process and have the opportunity to comment on the document on issues relevant to their respective community. Somersham Parish Council has made the point that the sustainability of existing services in smaller villages should be protected. We are aiming to ensure that the future we build is the one that we want.

Somersham Emergency Response Plan
Due to technical difficulties it has not yet been possible to add the Emergency Response Plan to the council’s website. It is hoped this can be rectified in the near future, but in the meantime a copy is available by email from the Parish Clerk.

Janet Clarke
Clerk to the Council
Tel. No. 01473 830398 E-mail:

Flowton in Oz!
Further to our appeal in the November edition of the Link we can now confirm a definite link between our Flowton and a building of the same name near Sydney in Australia. Thanks to information supplied by John Minns from White’s Directory of 1874 and by Mark Hudson from the Records Office we learn that the du Faur family owned land and property in Flowton and obviously took the name of the village for their house in London, where Frederick du Faur was a solicitor. When his son, Eccleston du Faur, went out to Australia he used the name again for the house he built there .We have yet to discover if the family actually lived in the Hall at Flowton but it would seem quite likely as the name obviously meant a great deal to them.
We are indebted to both John and Mark for the trouble they have taken to supply this information and our correspondent in Australia is very grateful indeed. We may well hear more from her shortly because Eccleston du Faur’s daughter, Freda, was quite a lady it seems. She was the first woman to climb Mount Cook in New Zealand in 1910 (quite a feat apparently and people still die today attempting this climb). Recently Freda’s memory has been honoured with a ceremony in Manley Cemetery, Sydney where she is buried and her life is being researched with a view to a documentary being made of her achievements. If we hear more, we will keep you posted.

Wildlife in our villages
There are frequent sightings now of the Little Egret around our villages. Harry Parcell reports seeing one in the stream behind Somersham Garage and there are other sightings along the stream to Offton. In fact, one lucky man saw three flying together near Tudor Grange so it does seem likely that these birds have established themselves in our area – and we are delighted to welcome them.
Please do continue to let us know of any unusual wildlife in your village. We are all interested to hear and share news of birds or beasts or flowers.

Flowton Friends - Coffee Drop- In

On the morning of Wednesday, 7th February 15 Flowtonians and 2 dogs met for an experimental drop-in coffee hour in the vestry. After much happy chatter and good humour it was agreed to be an excellent idea for the vestry to continue to be open and available as a regular meeting place for the village. This would provide a monthly opportunity to share a coffee and catch up with news of friends and neighbours as well as to discuss matters of local interest or concern. St. Mary’s has benefited greatly over the years from the wonderful support of the village in fund raising and the church council is keen to show its appreciation by providing this facility..
After some discussion about what we should call ourselves, Diana’s suggestion of ‘Flowton Friends’ was adopted. Pat and Margaret agreed to put the kettle on at 10 am on the first Wednesday morning of each month so that folks could feel free to drop in for as little or long as they wished whilst walking the pram – or the dog – or en route to a ‘meals on wheels’ duty! – or whatever else!
See you there whenever you have time to drop-in!

Somersham Church Notes

We are having a Trivia Quiz in Somersham Village Hall on Friday March 23rd. See the separate ad for details – it is sure to be an enjoyable evening and we hope you can support it with a team. (Thank you to Offton & Willisham Village Hall committee who agreed to change the date of their planned quiz as it was the day after one at Somersham)

We are very pleased that the Co-op Singers have agreed to put on another concert in Somersham Church on Saturday 28th April at 7.30pm. More details in separate ad.

We will be holding our Summer Fete & Flower Festival over the weekend of June 16th and 17th. The fete will be on the Saturday and the Flower Festival in the church over the whole weekend, with lunches being served on both days. If you can help in any way please contact Faith Jaggard, Pat Woolhouse or Christine Jarrold.

The Church Electoral Roll has to be renewed this year, which means that everyone currently on the Roll will be asked to complete a new form. This has to be completed before our Annual General Meeting on April 23rd. If there is anyone not already on it who would like to be included on the Roll please contact Pat Woolhouse.

Just before Christmas I fell and broke my hip, ending up in hospital to have a half-hip replacement.
I would like to thank all of you who sent me cards, flowers and get-well messages. You are all very kind.
I am making good progress now and hope to be out and about once again very soon.
Thank you all.
God bless.

The answers to the Christmas quiz sheet are below. Thank you to everyone who bought one, and especially to Old Barn Stores, Christine’s hairdressers and Somersham Garage for having them on sale. 167 were sold altogether. I’ve had several compliments about it, as well as others complaining of sleepless nights and family disagreements over it!! Obviously there were some where alternative titles may be just as good (or even better!) but I’m sticking to my answers. There were three entrants with the highest score of 93/100 so it went to the tiebreaker. The one nearest the total of the numbers for the Lottery on Saturday 3rd Feb was Mr Terry Long of Ashbocking. Congratulations to him and bad luck to the other two.

1.Wind up fruit Clockwork Orange
2.Not yet a toddler Babe
3.Young sheep are quiet Silence of the Lambs
4.Big cat is pale red The Pink Panther
5.Red, yellow and blue Primary Colors
6.24 hours of crushed pig? Groundhog Day
7.Fighting celebs Star Wars
8.Composer’s middle name Amadeus
9.Mr Bunny has been fitted up, but by whom? Who Framed RogerRabbit?
10.Mashed? No, not true Pulp fiction
11.Left with flatulence Gone with the Wind
12.A famous WW2 general- and no half measures! Full Monty
13.Burning carriages Chariots of Fire
14.Biography of a snail? Life of Brian
15.Giant number 99? Titanic
16.Yankee follows gang and gets Richard! Moby Dick
17.Tennessee Beauty Memphis Belle
18.Dark western Midnight Cowboy
19.Man man MAN man man The Third Man
20.Murder charge Kill Bill
21.One of 14, red and round, seen twice a week Thunderball
22.White House Casablanca
23.Canis Lupus for a foxtrot? Dances with Wolves
24.Running a temperature at the weekend Saturday Night Fever
25.Arrives by umbrella Mary Poppins
26.She doesn’t believe in burning Mrs Doubtfire
27.Mr Enfield bumps into Ms Gunnell When Harry Met Sally
28.Gospel man has a chilly body part Cool Hand Luke
29.Feathers from a dark bird Black Hawk Down
30.Scottish reptile Crocodile Dundee
31.Attractive place for washing My Beautiful Launderette
32.Dot and dash E.T.
33.Paths are dangerous with this Psycho
34.Crash into Derek Rambo
35.Centre of Indian? Braveheart
36.A description of people who eat Vindaloo Some Like It Hot
37.An outstanding number Magnificent Seven
38.Pets in water storage Reservoir Dogs
39.Valuable digit Goldfinger
40.Tack on fire Blazing Saddles
41.Corporal Clinger in Mash? Mad Max
42.Greenbacks or red cents? The Color of Money
43.Acne found in regular exercise Trainspotting
44.Greeting for Asian country Good Morning Vietnam
45.Briny bourbon Seabiscuit
46.French butterfly Papillion
47.What to do if nothing on terrestrial TV Reach for the Sky
48.Matched four pairs and dispatched one Four Weddings and a Funeral
49.The cannibal’s pleased he consumed his wife we hear! Gladiator
50.Late train? It’s very quick! Midnight Express
51.Lazy medic Dr Doolittle
52.Ringing noise in the ears? The Sound of Music
53.Attractive female Pretty Woman
54.Italian Morse? The da Vinci Code
55.Going quickly, but not skating Bladerunner
56.Well polished? The Shining
57.Chilly about how old you are? Ice Age
58.Occupied making a pizza The Italian Job
59.Island in the Indian Ocean Madagascar
60.A very long walk for these creatures March of the Penguins
61.Nasty dream of tree lined road A Nightmare on Elm Street
62.Showing old wounds Scarface
63.The way to go straight? Walk the Line
64.Is Oskar going shopping? Schindler’s List
65.Chauffeur to the little flower Driving Miss Daisy
66.He needs an umbrella! Rain Man
67.Left the continent Out of Africa
68.Venison for dinner? The Deer Hunter
69.Little fish lost amongst the sharks Finding Nemo
70.Not getting round to tying the knot A Very Long Engagement
71.Did she keep her gun in the lobby? Annie Hall
72.Linking Calais and Paris The French Connection
73.Dressed in red? Designer of course! The Devil Wears Prada
74.Teaching Miss Heyworth? Educating Rita
75.Keep an eye on the neighbours from here? Room with a View
76.He has a BA The Graduate
77.Entertainment in the nightclub Cabaret
78.Linking Myanmar and Thailand Bridge on the River Kwai
79.Accommodation in the attic Room at the Top
80.ER The Queen
81.Swashbucklers from Jamaica Pirates of the Caribbean
82.Tickling the ivories The Pianist
83.Plaything’s account Toy Story
84.I hear it’s a little dear Bambi
85.Happy despite the weather Singin’ in the Rain
86. Almost bad-tempered in the woods? Forrest Gump
87.Did they attack when Noah was missing? Raiders of the Lost Ark
88.Get that violinist down! Fiddler on the Roof
89.A very short meeting Brief Encounter
90.Get the devil out of here! The Exorcist
91.She just disappeared into thin air! The Lady Vanishes
92.George’s cross with the bird The Maltese Falcon
93.Magician from down under The Wizard of Oz
94.Mandibles Jaws
95.Herb’s offspring Rosemary’s Baby
96.Bearing 37 30’ North by Northwest
97.Don’t go near the edge! Vertigo
98.Ruler of the jungle The Lion King
99.Attractive to opposites The Magnet
100.Story told over a cup of tea? Memoirs of a Geisha


Our friends from our link village from the Loire Valley in France will be visiting us in Somersham in the spring. They have fixed the date as:

17th – 20th MAY 2007

We welcome new people to join with us on our exchanges. If you are interested in hosting a family or being involved in any way with the village link then please contact one of the following:

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

Somersham & District Community Association

Date for your diaries:
The Annual General Meeting will take place on 22nd March 2007 at 7.30pm in the Pavilion on the Playing Field; a Regular Meeting will follow this.
All participating members are entitled to take part and all will be most welcome.

At this time of the year most playing fields are too wet to use and look miserably deserted. Somersham playing field bucks the trend with the all-weather arena being used a great dea.l Having a paved playing area has proved popular with the younger generation. This year lighting will be put in place as a further improvement. Naturally the older generation are back in all weathers on the football pitch for matches and training.

The Community Association is pleased to welcome two new Clubs. The Junior Football Club, with its qualified junior coach, is already using the pitch for early evening training on Wednesdays and looking forward to having their own pitch to play on in 2008. In 2007 there will be a great deal of work to be done in this area and the pitch is expected to be in use at the start of the 2008 season, it will even be floodlit! The recently formed Tennis Club should be able to use the courts this year after rigorous efforts fund raising. We expect there to be a thriving club with lots of competitive matches and special times for non-members to use the courts as well. With the long hot summers that people keep predicting this should be a real asset. Believe it or not, not everyone wants to kick a ball about, some like to hit the thing as well. They will also have a grass training area and naturally have to cool off in the Pavilion after matches! We will be laying on power so that when funds become available the courts will also be lit. The Club is to be congratulated for their efforts raising the funds for this venture. Getting the courts and the junior football pitch up and running alongside each other in what is a relatively tight corner, is going to be a masterpiece of co-ordination and co-operation.

Add these two new members to the regular users such as the Cycle Speedway, Senior Football Club, Twinning Group, Parish Council and Church and Chapel groups and it begins to look as though Somersham is at last waking up to the excellent facilities on offer. The Association also works closely with other groups in the village who may not be regular users but who can always ask for help and support. Alongside this Somersham also has a beautifully kept village hall run by a separate, but equally enthusiastic group, so there is a lot on offer to the community. Of course we rely on voluntary help whether official or not; thanks to the unsung heroes who do the litter picking and grass cutting, odd maintenance jobs and turn out to help with ground clearance ahead of the contractors. We are always ready to welcome anyone with a bit of time to spare who would like to contribute in any way.
(Mike­ Shelmerdine on 01473 831661 or

Thanks are also due to the Parish Council who has kindly agreed to organise and fund the grass cutting for the entire field for 2007. This will be a great help to the Association as it works its way through the first year with upkeep of all the new facilities.
Nicky Heming
Secretary (01473 831594)

St Mary’s Church Somersham
Trivia Quiz
Friday 23rd March
Somersham Village Hall
at 7.30pm.

Teams of up to 6, £2.50 per person
Bring own drinks, glasses and nibbles
(Tea / Coffee provided)
Book your team’s place by contacting
Christine’s Haircare, Somersham Garage or Pat Woolhouse (831080).
10% of profit will go to nominated charity

St Mary’s Church Somersham

The Co-op Singers
present an
Evening of
Light Music

on Saturday 28th April
at 7.30pm
in Somersham Church

Tickets £5
(including light refreshments)
from Christine’s Haircare,
Somersham Garage or
Pat Woolhouse (831080)

10% of profit will go to nominated charity



Somersham Football Club

The first month of 2007 has seen mixed fortunes for both teams in some challenging playing conditions.

The 1st Team

Saturday 6th January Sizewell & Aldeburgh – Div 3 (A) Won 1-0
On the wettest day for sometime a bare bones team made the trek to Sizewell. In atrocious conditions Somersham prevailed with John Tunaley scoring the only goal of the match.

Saturday 13th January Ipswich United – Div 3 (A) Lost 3-0
With a few more players available than the previous week the team were hoping to gain another win. In blustery conditions Somersham struggled to find any rhythm and finished up on the wrong end of 3 goals.

Saturday 20th January Ufford Sports – Div 3 (A) Won 3-1
A much improved performance saw Somersham take a 2 goal lead, with Stefan Nielsen scoring first and captain Terry Lawrence beating the keeper from the halfway line. Stefan added another before Ufford scored a consolation goal 10 minutes from time.

Saturday 27th January Saxmundham Sports– Div 3 (A) Lost 1-0
Saxmundham had beaten the first team 4-0 at Somersham at the beginning of the season and a difficult game was expected against the Divisions solid front runners. In a very closely contested encounter Somersham were robbed of at least a hard earned point in the closing minutes. Saxmundham converted an undisputed, but unnecessary penalty kick.

Saturday 3rd February Sizewell & Aldeburgh – Div 3 (H) Lost 2-1
The combination if a lack lustre Somersham first half display and a couple of perplexing refereeing decisions saw the home side fall behind 2-1 at half time. An improved effort in the second half was not enough to save anything from this match. Stefan Nielsen scored the Somersham goal.

The above results saw Somersham get what they deserved in each one, aside from the game against Saxmundham. A couple of poor, lazy performances saw defeats by Ipswich United and Sizewell & Aldeburgh and two positive, switched on performances saw defeats of Sizewell and Ufford. Let’s hope the lesson has been learnt!!

The Reserves

Saturday 6th January Waterside – Div 4 (H) Lost 5-2
On an extremely slippery Somersham pitch the reserves battled hard to the end, but Waterside capitalised on some Somersham mistakes to take the game 5-2. Somersham goals scored by Brendan Keegan and Allan Chester.

Saturday 13th January East Bergholt United ‘A’– Div 4 (A) WON 2-1
I knew it would happen in January. A fine battling performance from Somersham with goals from Martin Booth and Tom Warren saw 3 points added to the reserves account at last. Congratulations to all concerned.

Saturday 20th January Henley Athletic – Div 4 (H) Lost 2-0
After breaking their duck the team were hopeful of gaining more points but it just wasn’t to be.

Saturday 27th January Ipswich Exiles Reserves – Div 4 (H) Lost 4-2
A good Exiles side took the points in this fixture in what was yet another well fought performance from Somersham. Martin Booth and Tom Warren scored the goals again but more errors at the back saw the points escape.

Saturday 3rd February No Game

In what is proving to be the most challenging of seasons for the reserves there was at last a ray of light in the form of the winning of the first match of the season. Credit to the management and players for not losing belief that it would happen and congratulations on the win. Unfortunately the other results were all negative, but with the knowledge that they can win games I expect a view more to be registered before May.

As I mentioned in the last notes, the club have organised a race night for 31st March at the village hall. Full details will be on display around the village and within The Link. Once again I urge you to please come and join in with what is always a great night. Anybody wishing to sponsor a race is more than welcome to and can contact myself, Ray Smith, Dill Sillett or any member of the club for further details of this. Likewise, further details of the night are available from the same sources.
See YOU there!

See you on Saturday!!! DON’T FORGET ANYTHING!!
Al Chester

Thank you very much to those who very generously donated clothing, toys, money etc. for the children from the Ukraine who have been staying in the area. You can be assured that they were thrilled with everything that had been given, and will be able to take the things home with them after their stay to make their lives a little more comfortable and fun.

Thank you!



Due to a clash of dates with Somersham Church we have rearranged our

from Saturday 24th March 2007
Friday 20th April 2007 at 7.30 p.m.

It is being held in the Village Hall
Bring your own food and drink. Tea and coffee provided.
Tables of 6 or less. £2.50 per person

For tickets or to book a table please contact 658547 or 657431


Somersham Baptist Church

March 25th is the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade. One of the key figures was William Wilberforce, MP for Hull and Parliamentary leader of the campaign for the abolition of the slave trade. This was a campaign that took 46 years of Williams’s life, his first interest being roused in 1787. On Sunday October 28th he wrote ‘God Almighty has placed before me two great objects; the suppression of the slave trade and the reformation of manners’. Within two years he was able to make a compelling speech of 3 1/2 hrs duration from a single sheet of paper with key headings on them. So effective was his speech that Melvyn Bragg included it in his 12 books that changed the world. Following the abolition of the trade in 1807, William continued to campaign for the abolition of slavery from the British Empire. He died in 1833 shortly after an act was passed in parliament to abolish slavery in the Empire.

William took on this mighty work as a result of a ‘religious conversion’. As a boy at his Uncle’s house he came under the influence of Evangelical Christians John Newton and George Whitfield, but when his mother and Grandfather heard of it they took him home to Hull, in case he became a Methodist!
William’s life then took a very different course, theatre, balls, dinners and card parties. He had enough wealth to not need work, and spent his time idle or pursuing pleasure. This was the first slavery he encountered, it was whilst on holiday with teacher from Hull grammar school that his life was changed, and he found freedom in Jesus.

Being a Christian affects the whole of life, it’s not just a Sunday hobby. William’s Christianity proved the motivation for his political life; he championed the welfare of animals and the suppression of vice.

William’s work is not complete, though illegal, there are Eastern European women bonded into domestic labour or prostitution, children trafficked between West African countries, and men forced to work as slaves on Brazilian agricultural estates. We still need a Christianity that will set people free from slavery of sin and champion the cause of the oppressed.

Sources, 12 Books that Changed the World, Melvyn Bragg, ITV. William Wilberforce and the Abolition of Slavery; Peter Kinley.

On Sunday March 4th we are joined by the Parish Church and will worship together at 11.30am

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

Other Meetings
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.
Meetings for Ladies;
Women’s Fellowship Friday 9th March 2.30pm, speaker is Mrs Kettle. Contact Mark if you need transport.
Friends and Neighbours 7.45pm 19th March.

All events are held at the Baptist Chapel, Chapel Lane, Somersham IP84 QE, and Transport is always available.
Contacts: Mark Newcombe (Pastor) 01473 831940. Mobile 07930 543583.
Edwin Mayhew 01473 658100


At the first FOSS meeting of the year, the committee had an interesting evening discussing our forthcoming events and possible ideas for future fundraising. One idea that was discussed was the possibility of FOSS members trying to help and coordinate a committee of dedicated people to try and put on a traditional pantomime early in 2008. Obviously we understand that there would be a tremendous amount of work involved in such a project and that our committee could not do all the work for this on their own. Not only would we be looking for actors, actresses and singers, but also people to help with the directing, writing, costume making, scenery making, musicians etc. etc. A few of us had seen some magnificent productions over the Christmas period and really felt that this would be a wonderful thing to do not only for the village of Somersham, but for the surrounding villages too. Obviously we would be looking for adults/children of all ages to take part and help, and we are sure that there MUST be a secret dame somewhere in the village! IF any of you would possibly consider being involved in such a project, could you please contact Jenny King on (01473) 830623 and express an interest in helping us. Depending on the response that we receive, we will then consider whether we should arrange another meeting for these people to get some ideas together of the work involved.

We hope that all the children enjoyed their pyjama party/disco at the village hall on Friday 23rd February. Hopefully all the accompanying teddies enjoyed themselves too! In the near future we also hope to arrange a childrens fashion show, called “Kids On The Catwalk”. As soon as we have made the arrangements we will publish the details and hope that many of the children from the school will be our models for the evening.
Plans for our 1970’s fete on Saturday 30th June are progressing and we are currently arranging the different attractions and sideshows etc.

We are delighted to confirm that Frances Jacobi has kindly agreed to present another Archive Film Evening at Somersham Village Hall on Friday 27th April 2007. For those of you that attended last year, the evening will follow a similar format with approximately 90 minutes of film and an interval part way through the evening. Provided that there are no changes to the format we hope to have the following films:
“Ipswich On Film” – several clips of film by Don Chipperfield who was a professional film maker and keen cinematographer. There will be approximately twenty short films on Ipswich from 1912. Including Trolley buses in the 1930’s, Orwell Works and Nacton Works in the 1940’s, the Railway Station in the 1950’s, Ipswich Streets etc in the 1950’s and 1960’s and finally finishing with a short film on the building of the Orwell Bridge in 1981.
After refreshments and the interval, the following films will be shown:
Cambridge – “The Leading Motor Engineers” – 1932
Haughley – “Mid Suffolk Light Railway” 1952 (Known as the muddle and get nowhere!)
Brockford - “Mid Suffolk Light Railway” 2002
Thames Estuary – “Posford Divivier” – 1942/44 Roughs Fort off Felixstowe.
Suffolk – Spring Offensive – 1940. Filmed at Clopton and Kelsale and includes film about evacuees, land army girls and how farmers put every possible acre to the plough.

If you would like to come to the Archive Film Evening, tickets can be obtained from Leita Minns on (01473) 658352 and Jenny King on (01473) 830623. Admission charges will be £5.00 for Adults and £2.50 for Children and will include food. Teas, coffees and cold drinks will be available and there will also be a raffle. This event was sold out last year and you will therefore have to ensure that you have your tickets before the evening. No tickets will be sold on the door. We hope to see you all there again, not only to enjoy these wonderful films, but also to have reunions with all your friends.

The Friends Of Somersham School
Are Having An
AT 7.30 p.m.

JENNY KING (01473) 830623
AND LEITA MINNS (01473) 658352.



Magical Musical Moments by Harry Thorne
Collegium Regale had a lot to live up to after the previous MMM concerts, because the audience expected great things from the King’s College music scholars. They were not disappointed.

After a brief introduction Collegium Regale's first part of the concert included music by Byrd and Tallis, which was gloriously performed, with melodies intertwining perfectly. The singers were confident and knew their parts faultlessly. The group then moved on to something lighter, folk songs. These were delivered with the same precision as before but sounded more relaxed. During the interval, cheese and German sekt was served and people talked amongst themselves in anticipation of the next part.

The second half was all announced from the stage. It consisted of more modern items. The repertoire Collegium Regale sang ranged from a Welsh traditional tune to Billy Joel’s “And so it goes” (my particular favourite). It was a very entertaining and varied second half, which impressed all the audience.

The concert was a complete success with Collegium Regale selling many CD’s and receiving a huge amount of praise.
£500 was raised by the concert in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

A huge thank you for booking these superb singers and supplying food and drink for the ever grateful audience.


A visit to Elmsett started off our New Year, and a great start it was!. Three of our four teams notched up their first victories of the year thus enabling Somersham to record a good win over the opponents and Whew! … by just a single shot. The whole evening was rounded off with the usual supper refreshments enjoyed at the end of a Winter League match.

Next it was Shotley who were the first visitors for our opening home match of 2007. On a very cold evening it was a mixed fortunes result for Somersham with two teams winning and two losing. As Shotley finished more consistently and with the most shots, they took the two extra points to achieve the winning result and subjected Somersham to their first defeat since November of last year.

With three League games to be played in January, the third match was an away trip at Bentley. Occasionally it is difficult to get to grips with the away mats and sometimes uneven floorboards can negate the bias and cause the woods to have a mind of their own. Despite our best endeavours it was a win for the home side, and - although only by the margin of five shots: it was nonetheless another defeat for Somersham. It was no comfort that this happened to be a reverse of the result in the first half of the season when Somersham gave a good account of themselves winning by the same score at home.

We now look forward to more league matches in February, and also the inclusion of a Plate match - home and away legs - against Bramford. Bramford are a Division 1 side so it seems we will likely be up against stiff opposition. The result will be due in the next edition of the Link – so watch this space.

Winter League - January Results : -

Team Shots Points
Elmsett 39 - 40 2 - 8 Won Home
Shotley 42 - 29 6 - 4 Lost Home
Bentley 39 - 34 8 - 2 Lost Away


The Bonnywood Shoot
Following a very successful New Years
Day shoot, Willisham Church has received a cheque for £430 for church funds from the Bonnywood Shoot, and thank everyone involved for their support.

Willisham Church Cook Book
The recipes are beginning to arrive, but we still have a long way to go, so please send your favourite recipe to Frances Gilson at 9 North Acres, Willisham or by e-mail to Don’t forget the taste in on Friday the 20th April at Willisham Rectory.

Annual Church Meetings
These take place in Willisham Church on Monday the 26th March, commencing 7.00pm. These meetings are normally only attended by members of the parochial church council, and it would be lovely to welcome other members who are on the church electoral roll.

Church Roof
A surveyor from English Heritage has visited the church, to carryout a full inspection, and we await a decision on our grant application later this month.

Village Walk
John Minns is organising another Evening Walk on behalf of Willisham Church on Saturday the 12th May starting from Derrick Hill at 5.30pm sharp, returning at approximately 8.30pm for a cup of tea and light refreshments. There is a charge of £5. For more information and to book, please contact John on 01473 658352. There will be more information in next month’s Link, but those of you who have been before, know how popular this event is, so please book your place as soon as possible.

Coffee Morning
There will be a coffee morning at 9 North Acres, Willisham on Saturday the 26th May, from 10.00am

Two more dates for your diary –
Church Fete – Saturday the 14th July at Crow Hall (we will be arranging a planning meeting in April and will be very grateful for as much help as possible)
Bonfire Evening – Friday the 2nd November – once again at Crow Hall. We are very grateful to Rod Holder for supplying the venue for so many of our major fund raising events.

OFFTON Church News

There is very little church news to report this month-- a few dates to remind you of
Mothering Sunday on March 18th. There is Family Service at 10am when there will be posies for children (of all ages!) to give to their mothers
Easter Sunday service (April 8th ) will be at 6.30pm
The Annual Parochial Church Meeting is on Wednesday 18th April at 7pm in church. 
A completely new Church Electoral Roll is being compiled this year. Please contact Elaine Martin (658708) before March 19th if you wish your name to be on.
 Don't forget that if you would like any village news included in the Link you can send it to Mary Carter at Otterditch Flowton (e-mail
Remember that all items are to be with Mary by the 8th of the month

A new website for walkers in Suffolk

There’s no doubt about it, walking is good for you. It’s good for your heart, it’s good for your lungs, it’s good for the muscle and bone growth of your children and it’s good for your feeling of wellbeing! Strong scientific evidence now supports the many benefits to health of regular walking – it is recommended that we take at least 10,000 steps a day.
Studies show that walking can:
Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
Lower blood pressure
Reduce high cholesterol and improve blood lipid profile
Reduce body fat
Enhance mental well being
Increase bone density, hence helping to prevent osteoporosis
Reduce the risk of cancer of the colon
Reduce the risk of non insulin dependant diabetes
Help to control body weight
Help osteoarthritis
Help flexibility and co-ordination hence reducing the risk of falls
Walking offers a great way to help kids get the active habit. If parents express excitement about the prospect of a walk in the countryside, they are more likely to transmit this feeling to their children. It’s important to treat the walk as an exploration or adventure and to go at the child’s pace, no matter how often they want to stop and look at things; take treats to eat and plenty to drink; and head for some landmark that will appeal to them such as a castle, a playground, an ice cream van or a boating pond. If children experience walking as part of a fun activity they are more likely to want to go again.
So, how do you find out what is on offer? John Harris, a keen walker, got fed up with the lack of information on walks that were going on in the County. So, he decided that if he couldn’t find what he was looking for – he had better create it! It was a steep learning curve (not having had anything to do with websites before) but eventually came into being. gives you all the information you need for the best walking in the County:
Guided walks: Local groups who offer guided walks are listed together with links to their web-sites.
Books of walks: There are nearly fifty books of walks for the County. All the details are here.
Leaflets of walks: Over sixty leaflets are produced around the County, many of them difficult to find. Not any more! list them all.
Walking groups: Every walking group in the County is listed.
There are also links so that you can check: the weather for your walk, links to other useful sites, how to get to your walk by public transport – and more is being added all the time.
So check out the website and get walking!

Ipswich appeal for Romania

Craft Fare - Sunday 18th March at great Blakenham Village hall 10am-4pm.
(Exhibitors set-up time 8am-10am.) Tables £10. Hot food and refreshments Tombola. Free entry. Lots of car parking. For enqs. or to book tables call Lee on Ipswich 833292.
If you're looking for an evening of great music then come and join us at our big band night on Saturday 31st March starting at 7.30pm. at Great Blakenham Village Hall featuring the accomplished and ever-popular 18 piece "Horn Factory".

Whether you just want to sit and sway to the music, tap your feet to the rhythm or get up and dance, this is the place for you.
If you'd like to dance but feel a bit embarrassed or self-concious, don't worry 'cos we'll be dimming the lights real low and with candles on your table you'll feel more in the mood!

With a bar, raffle and craft tables, you'll have a great time.Tickets are just £5.
If you bring some friends along, we'll even reserve you a table.
Proceeds are to help buy computers for an orphanage in Transylvania.
For enqs. or tickets call Lee on Ipswich 833292.
Lee Arthur  co-ordinator.  Ipswich Appeal For Romania.

CHURCH SERVICES in our 8 linked parishes

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

Please contact a Churchwarden if you think that there is a mistake in the listing. Thank you.


4th March 2nd Sunday of Lent

Holy Communion

9.30am Willisham (with Offton)
United Service 11.30am Somersham Baptist Church
Morning Prayer 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Barking
Holy Communion 6.30pm Flowton

11th March 3rd Sunday of Lent

Holy Communion 8.00am Flowton
Family Service 10.00 am Somersham
Holy Communion 10.00 am Great Bricett
Holy Communion 11.15am Barking
Family Service 11.15 am Battisford
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Willisham
Evening Prayer 6.30pm Offton

18th March Mothering Sunday

Holy Communion 8.00am Somersham
Family Service with posies 10.00am Offton
Family Service 10.00am Ringshall
Holy Communion 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 6.00 pm Flowton

25th March Passion Sunday

Holy Communion 9.30am Ringshall
Morning Worship 10.00am Flowton
Holy Communion 11.00am Offton
Morning Prayer 10.00am Barking
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Somersham
Evening Service with prayer for Healing 6.30pm Offton

1st April Palm Sunday

Holy Communion

9.30am Willisham (with Offton)
Morning Prayer 10.00am Great Bricett
Holy Communion 11.15am Somersham
Morning Prayer +Sunday School 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Barking
Holy Communion 6.30pm Flowton

Barking Pre-School
We carry on with the theme of shapes, numbers and colours, but we will also relate this to our senses. As the weather begins to get warmer we will be able to spend more time outside observing nature and spotting all the differences in the season which follow. We will also bring the outside in by listening to sounds and noises we might hear and recording them on tape for our activities indoors. On our nature walks we will collect objects to put in our sensory box for recognising their shape and texture in new way. With all the fantastic equipment available to us the children will have lots of wonderful ways to explore the environment with all of their senses and learn through the enjoyment of play and creativity.

The children meet every morning 9.30-12 noon during term time. The Pre-school is run by committed and enthusiastic team of qualified Early Years Practitioners, who work hard to organise a wide variety of fun and educational activities including crafts, cooking, music, story telling and construction. The group is well-equipped with many new toys and books, and has a spacious area within which to play. There is also a secure garden, behind the hall, which is used when the weather allows. Recently the children had lots of fun experiencing the stormy weather we had, taking some activities outside.

We are registered as a member if the Suffolk Early Years Development Plan and are Ofsted accredited. Some of the aspects highlighted in the last report were “The high staff to child ratios ensures that all children are included and supported by staff” and “staff support the children in developing their confidence and self-esteem as they form relationships with adults and other children in the group.”

We currently have free spaces for 3to4 year olds and children are able to stay with us until ready to join a Reception class around their 5th birthday. The continued success of Barking Pre-School relies upon sufficient numbers of children to make it viable. Please tell your friends, neighbours and family about our pre-school. If you have, or know of any pre-school age children who would like to reserve a place then please ring Veronika Pryke (our pre-school leader) on 01473 658368 or Helen Smith on 01473 833285.

The next fund-raising event will be a Race Night on March 3rd at Ringshall village Hall from 7pm. A sausage and chip supper is included in the £5 ticket. Please contact Sally on 01473 833056 for more details.

Page last updated: 25-Feb-2009    
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