The Link Magazine

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

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Offton & Willisham PC
Somersham Church Notes

Hopefully you will have received a Christian Aid envelope with this month’s Link magazine. Volunteers will then collect the envelopes during Christian Aid Week May 13th – 20th. If you are willing to collect a few envelopes please contact Pat Woolhouse. The more volunteers, the fewer houses anyone has to call on! If you miss your collector the envelope can be taken to Christine’s Haircare, Pat Woolhouse in Chapel Lane or given to any PCC member

Everyone is very sad to see the Village Shop and Post Office closed. A big thank you to Michelle and Rob for the excellent service they have given to the village community and for all their support in church fundraising.

The Trivia Quiz in March raised £180 and was very well supported. Thank you especially to Kate & Steve Dines for putting together an excellent set of questions, and to everyone who supported the event.

You may be aware that one of our Churchwardens, Denis Picton, has moved from Somersham to Boxford. He has kept on with his duties until the APCM but has now resigned. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Denis for all his hard work and especially for his fundraising efforts. He and Jane will be greatly missed and we hope they will come back to see us every so often. We wish them every happiness and good health in their new home.

We will be holding our Summer Fete & Flower Festival with Art Show 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. The art show will be at the home of Nicky Heming, Springfield Road. We are very grateful to Sally and John Caston for once again agreeing to let us use Church Meadow for the fete. If you can help in any way please contact Faith Jaggard, Pat Woolhouse or Christine Jarrold.

Fortunately most people appreciate and enjoy the facilities and it’s lovely to see them being used now the evenings are lighter. Don’t forget if you feel you can help the Association in any way please do let Mike Shelmerdine know.
(Tel- 01473 831661 or

Nicky Heming (Sec) 01473 831594

Somersham Village Hall Committee

would like to invite you
to the AGM
on 27th June 2007

in the Village Hall.


The Link editors would like to remind readers that they will not print any items that come in anonymously.




Our friends from our link village from the Loire Valley in France will be visiting us in Somersham this month. Look out for them and have a chat!

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

In aid of
St Mary’s Church Somersham
Summer Fete

on Saturday 16th June
from 12 midday to 4pm

on Church Meadow,

Free admission
Lunches served from 12-2pm

Games to test your skill and strength including:
Welly throwing Bowling for the Pig
Tombola Fishing
Rough Golf Cycle Challenge
Cakes Raffle
White Elephant Plants & Produce
Ice-creams Refreshments

Attractions for all ages!

Also visit the Flower Festival in the church and Art Show in Springfield Road
10% of profit to the Air Ambulance

The Rural Coffee Caravan Information Project

returns to Somersham

The Coffee Caravan
will be at
2.00 pm – 4.00 pm

An opportunity to chat to neighbours and friends over a cup of tea/coffee and homemade cakes

And an opportunity to gather a wealth of information about a complete range of issues and resources from many local and national agencies and organisations

***** ALL WELCOME *****

Our visit is free but donations are welcome

Email: tel: 01379 855338

Somersham & District Community Association

The March Annual General and Regular Meetings were quiet affairs. This could be for one of three reasons, (1) everything is going OK so no one had anything to worry about, (2) no one wanted to be landed with a job, or (3), no one cares anyway. Let us hope it is number one! Yet again the Chairman expressed his wish to stand down and once again no volunteer came forward. However the Project Leader for the Playing Field Improvements scheme has offered to take on some of the work that should help us through another year. All other officers and elected members agreed to stand. Just as well as there were no volunteers here either. Where has the community spirit gone? The facilities provided for such a small village are very good indeed and are well used, but if it were not for a dedicated few the whole project would collapse. Sadly it seems to be the same all over now. It would be nice to welcome some new faces and possibly new ideas at the meetings. The meetings are laid back and friendly and only held bi-monthly so it’s not that arduous.

A couple of days of fine weather in February and March gave the volunteers time to get a bit more clearance work done on the extension to the playing field, for which many thanks indeed. All the plans for this are going ahead seemingly on schedule. Until the great day when it is ready for use the Under 10s are joining a Sunday morning league enabling them to play on the senior pitch. This is really too large but will enable them to carry on playing at home in the interim. Lighting is lagging behind a bit but the materials have been purchased and await installation. The new grass-cutting contract kindly funded by the Parish Council is now in place and the first cut of the pitch under the new regime took place in March. The edges have also been cut and the previously hidden litter removed.

A new footbridge across the channel from the road to the playing field is still awaiting permission to proceed from the Environment Agency. The site for the tennis courts has been marked out and approved. A container for extra storage is high on the wish list at present and much needed maintenance both inside and outside the Pavilion is now on the agenda. Unfortunately some users of the facilities are inflicting some maintenance costs. Vandalism resulted in the destruction of a litterbin and broken glass around the area after a party hiring and some dog owners are using the excuse that notices prohibiting dogs from the field are too small to see.

Somersham Parish Council

Forthcoming Parish Council Meetings
Date Venue

Wednesday 9th May 2007 7.30pm Committee Room, Village Hall
(Annual Parish Council Meeting)
Wednesday 6th June 2007 7.30pm Playing Field Pavilion
Wednesday 4th July 2007 7.30pm Playing Field Pavilion

Closure of Shop and Post Office
The parish council was shocked and saddened to learn of the closure of the sub-post office and shop, which was such a valuable asset in the village. The concern of the parish council has been expressed to the Post Office, with regard in particular to the effect of the closure of the sub-post office and the shop on the elderly and disadvantaged of Somersham. It is hoped a way can be found to resurrect the service in the near future and the parish council will see if there is anything it can do to help achieve this.
Everyone at Somersham Parish Council extends their sincere thanks to Rob and Michelle for all their hard work over the past three years and wishes them well for the future.

Dog Fouling
Once again complaints about dog fouling on the footpaths have been made and the parish council would remind the owners of the offending dog or dogs that not only is this a very unpleasant health hazard it is also illegal and carries a maximum fine of £1000. Dog fouling is classified as antisocial behaviour and antisocial behaviour orders have been issued to some dog owners. If you own a dog then please clean up after it and keep Somersham a clean and healthy place to live.

Annual Parish Meeting
The Annual Parish Meeting took place on the 4th April where Kelvin Laybourne, District Emergency Planning Officer for the Mid Suffolk and Babergh districts and Richard Browne, Vice Chairman of Somersham Parish Council, gave a very interesting and informative presentation on Emergency Planning. Some very useful ideas and suggestions were made at the meeting which the parish council will follow up during the next few months. In addition to the presentation, Janet Hodge, Chairman of Somersham Parish Council, gave a comprehensive report on the activities of the council during 2006/7 and the council’s financial report was made. County Councillor Julia Truelove, District Councillor Robin Richardson, Pc David Clark and Colin Burrows, the Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator also gave annual reports.
2006 was in general a successful year and the parish council was able to support community projects such as the new tennis courts, as well as update its administrative procedures and introduce a Risk Assessment policy and an Emergency Plan. The council has used its budget wisely and judiciously, keeping its finances in good order. The overspend of expenditure over income is mainly due to the contribution made to the Snoasis Public Inquiry of which 50% has already been paid. The council decided to pay this out of reserves rather than burden the precept. There is much talk about devolving more responsibility to parish councils in the future and Somersham Parish Council is very much looking forward to serving the community once again when the new term starts after the election.

Mid Suffolk District Council Community Open Day
On Saturday 7th July 2007, Mid Suffolk District Council are opening their doors from 10.00am – 4.00pm to give residents the opportunity to learn more about the work of their local district council. There will be council officers and councillors available to offer advice and answer queries as well as fun interactive activities for all to enjoy.
Activities, demonstrations and information will be focused on a ‘Cleaner, Greener, Safer, Healthier’ theme. Planned highlights include art mural activity, planning application advice, street cleaning and twin-bin demonstrations, a heritage tour of the high street and energy efficiency advice. The police and fire brigade will also be on site to give demonstrations and provide advice.

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

Gardener's Link

Somersham and District Gardening Club


Somersham & District Gardening Club

On Monday 14 May we visit … DANECROFT COTTAGE GARDEN, near Stowmarket

If you would like further details, whether or not you
are a member, please contact 01473 658063 …and
then our annual......

S&DGC PLANT SALE!!! ......Saturday 19 May from 10-12noon at Somersham Village Hall

A wide variety of plants, pots and other garden related items for sale!


Piano pupils of Mrs Lynne Holton have been successful in passing the following Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music exams.
In the practical exams:
Aaron Beckett, Grade 8 Merit; David Wade, Grade 5 Merit; Alexander Jones, Grade 2 Distinction; Lauren Hunnibell, Grade 2 Merit and Anna Marsburg, Grade 1 Distinction.
In the theory exams:
Amanda Jones and Emily Mayhew both gained a Distinction in Grade 3; Emily Beckett Grade 2 Distinction; Henry Moore, Grade 1 Distinction and Jake Teader-Reed Grade 1 Merit.
Very well done to you all and special congratulations to Aaron on his Grade 8 (final) result at the young age of 16.


Willisham Church Cook Book
The recipes continue to arrive, but we still need more to make a successful book– so please keep them coming to 9 North Acres or via e-mail to

Saturday the 12th May
Starting 5.30pm (sharp)

The walk will be approximately 5 miles and will start from
Derrick Hill at 5.30pm, returning at about 8.30pm for a cup of tea
and light refreshments. There will be a charge of £5 – all proceeds to Willisham Church
Please note that the walk is at your own risk
Suitable footwear and clothing essential
For more information and to book
Contact John Minns on 01473 658352
(Apologies for incorrect number last month)


FROM 10.00am

Bring & Buy Raffle Plants
All proceeds to Willisham Church


Willisham Church Fete
At the recent planning meeting it was discovered that many of our regular helpers would be away on the 14th, so it was agreed Willisham Church fete should now take place on Saturday the 21st July. Help to run the various stalls is urgently required, please ‘phone 01473 658387 if you are able to help.
Christian Aid Week – 13th – 20th May

A Christian Aid envelope should have been delivered with this issue of The Link Newsletter. If you would like to contribute and your envelope is not collected personally, please return it to Jean Hardman, Foxgloves, Main Road, Willisham or Frances Gilson, 9 North Acres, Willisham.

Annual Church Meetings
At the recent meetings all the officers were re-elected to serve for another year.

Songs of Praise – Sunday the 10th June – 3.00pm
If you would like your favourite hymn to be part of the above service, please pass on your request to any member of the pcc.

With the arrival of spring, work has once again started in Willisham Churchyard. We are very grateful to everyone involved in keeping the grass cut. At the time of writing, the bench has been removed for varnishing. Once again our thanks to the gentleman concerned.

Gift Aid Scheme
The amount of tax re-claimed for the past financial year amounts to approximately £550, which is a substantial help with our finances. Thanks to everyone who has signed up for the scheme. If you would like to take part, please speak to Jean Hardman.

Barking Pre-school
(Registered Charity 1020882)

The end of term was full of creativity with the children having fun making Easter baskets and cakes and then having an impromptu party where they all took it upon themselves to dress up and dance! With the weather having seemed to have turned a corner, they have also been able to spend more time outside where they have all planted flowers. Now they will be able to help water and care for them watching as they grow and bloom.

The theme running throughout the Summer term is transport and the children will learn all about different modes of travel and hopefully be able to explore this with their families and with their parents on the organised trip we shall have later on in the term. It is an especially exciting term as we shall be celebrating our 20th year climaxing in a big Summer Party at the end of term.

With all the fantastic equipment available to us the children will have lots of wonderful ways to explore their environment with all of their senses and learn through the enjoyment of play and creativity.

The children meet every morning at 9.30 until 12 noon during term time. The Pre-school is run by a committed and enthusiastic team of qualified Early Years Practioners, 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.

We are registered as a member of 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” “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 3 to 4 year olds and children are able to stay with us until they are ready to join main stream education in the reception year around their 5th birthday, two local schools that we are affiliated to are Ringshall and Somersham Primary School.

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 is a Table Top Sale on Saturday 12th May at Barking Village Hall from 10am until 12pm. If you would like to reserve a table, then please contact Sally Aveling on 01473 833056.

Page last updated: 25-Feb-2009    
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