The Link Magazine

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

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Offton & Willisham PC
Dear readers,

Most of the time our lives are interspersed by various anniversaries, events and memorable dates that help colour our lives. As I write this letter, a new memorable date has just been announced, May 6th, the General Election day. Some of these dates in our lives can be painful as for example the loss of a loved one, but many of the dates can be happy occasions for others and us.

Several of these special dates are very notable moments and we enjoy the annual cycle of seeing these emerge as the years pass. Countless people enjoy their birthday anniversaries; in particular, the more significant birthday dates that somehow act as marker points along life's road. The other week Janet and I attended one of these golden moments with a lady who was celebrating her 90th birthday. Two years ago, I celebrated one of my own marker posts, my '60th'. My family and friends bought me one of those experience gifts. My experience was to go to Cambridge airfield and take the controls of a two-seater duel control helicopter. This fulfilled a dream I have had for many years and the experience of flying and hovering this helicopter was for me, out of this world, (I just cannot imagine why those army boys at Wattisham won't let me take the controls of one of their Apaches!). I'm sure many of you can recall a particular anniversary when you may have done something very different or memorable be it child or adult. These special moments can enrich our lives. They can give us something to look forward to as well as leave us with some precious memories. The other anniversary I want to mention is that Janet and I have been at Willisham now for a whole year. We have gained many friends in out first year and it's a joy and privilege to live and work amongst you all. Never mind the hard work, with God beside us to help us; we are having a ball among such lovely people!
None of us can remember our own birth, though we can easily celebrate others. One anniversary date we can celebrate is the birth of our Church of Jesus Christ. This will take place during the month of May. This occurs every year exactly 50 days after Easter at the celebration called Pentecost. This year it is on 23rd May. Pentecost is when we recall the time that the Holy Spirit rested upon the apostles and they took the message of the Good News of God out to all who would listen and so began the church that we are part of today. If you come to one of the churches, I cannot guarantee that you will get jelly and ice cream and a balloon to take home as we did when we were children when we attended a birthday celebration but I can guarantee you a warm welcome and a chance to spend some quality time with God.

(Bernard Rose, our Priest)

Altar Flowers and Cleaning Rotas
May 2nd Flower Fund
May 9th & 16th Angie Osborn
May 23rd & 30th Christine Cooper
June 6th &13th Faith Jaggard
Cleaning Team B

May 2nd & 9th Mrs Ward
May 16th & 23rd Mrs Munson
May 30th & June 6th Mrs Laflin
Cleaning Mr and Mrs J Prentice

May 2nd & 9th Mrs Aine Luxmore
May 16th & 23rd Mrs Audrey Pinson-Roxburgh
May 30th & June 6th Mrs Jean Waters
Cleaning Mrs A. Luxmore

May 2nd Mrs J Somerville
May 9th & 16th Mrs M Fisher
May 23rd & 30th Mrs E Hodson
Cleaning as above

From the Registers
Farewell to:
John Bridgewater-Rowe who was buried at Flowton Church on February 24th.

Simon Crick who died on February 20th and was buried at Somersham Church on March 9th.

Chris Newman, who died on March 16th and was buried at Somersham Church on March 26th.

May they rest in peace


Do you enjoy singing?
If so, come and join the benefice choir.
Male and female voices required for friendly choir who sing at special events and services held in our four linked churches
Regular church attendance not essential and no auditions required.

We meet about once a month for practices.
If interested, please contact:-
Mary Carter 658522
Sarah Judge 658742
or any choir member


The Benefice choir were very sad to hear of the passing of Chris Newman. Although in pain, he had sung with the choir as recently as the Christmas carol services. We will all miss him, not just his voice but also his knowledgeable input. Graham, in particular, will miss their extra practices together.
Members who were available were pleased to be asked to sing at his memorial service on March 26th. Our thoughts are with Judy and their family.

Somersham Church Notes

Christian Aid Week 9-13th May. You should have received an envelope with the Link magazine. Please put what you can into it ready for the collectors who will be calling during that week. If by any chance you haven't got an envelope the collectors always have spares! If you miss your collector the envelope can be given to Christine Jarrold (at Christine's Haircare or Griffin Cottage), John Gibbons at 3 Park Cottages or Pat Woolhouse at The Willows Chapel Lane. Thank you.

A reminder of events later in the year for your diary:
Summer Fete Sat 10th July - more details next month.
Folk Evening in October (date to be confirmed)
Christmas Tree Festival and Bazaar 27/28th November - please contact Christine Jarrold if you or your organisation would like to get involved in helping with this.

A packed church at his memorial service was a fitting tribute to Chris Newman, who died on March 16th. Chris had many interests and was involved in many different organisations, including the benefice choir. He will be greatly missed by many, and our thoughts are with Judith and the family.


Anne Cullen of Swan Acre, Nettlestead, (01473 831202) requires an occasional driver. Payment per mile, from and back to driver's home. Helper to quote price per mile.


Thank You
The family of Simon Crick, together with his partner Jo, would like to thank all family friends and neighbours for the cards, flowers and messages of sympathy received on their recent sad loss of Simon. Special thanks to Stella and Cole for being with Simon when he was taken ill, Al for his wonderful tribute, the Rev. Rose for all his help and support, his work colleagues and the football teams and supporters for their kindness. Thanks to all who attended the funeral service and gave floral tributes, and all who so kindly gave donations in aid of the British Heart Foundation and the East Anglian Air Ambulance. The final total has not been disclosed yet but we will hope to announce it in next month's Link.
On a happier note, we can announce the safe arrival of Joanne and Simon's little boy, Lucas Samuel, born on 26th March and weighing 7lbs 9oz. Both Mum and baby are doing well.
Once again, Thank you all so much. Simon's and Jo's family.

John Rowe

Once more another dear old friend has passed on. John Rowe of Bleak Hall will be missed by all who knew him. A man who valued the simple things and ways in life, but a man who had a great talent when it came to the not so simple things. He was a first rate engineer and could turn his hand to anything you asked for. He was always ready to help and I remember him making new keys for Somersham church. He was more than happy to do so and he said it was his contribution to the church.

John liked a drink with his friends at the 'Limeburners' and was a master at drinking 'the yard of ale' - that was in the good old days! John - rest in peace, it was a pleasure to have known you. B.J.G.


Race for Life

Last Easter I was recovering from a bowel cancer operation, followed by six months of gruelling chemotherapy. I am pleased to say I now feel fit and very well but, of course, with ongoing tests. With thanks to God and my family and friends. I am pleased that I can once again enter the 'Race for Life' in June to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

If any readers of the Link would be kind enough to sponsor me I would be most grateful. Donations could be left at Christine's Hairdressers or Griffin Cottage in Somersham or sent direct to me at 37 Adelaide Road, Ipswich, IP4 5PE (tel. 423690) If you are a taxpayer please include your address so that your donation can be gift aided.

We hope that, with the help of kind friends, we can send a good donation to help save even more lives. Marion Plummer

Somersham Primary School

Somersham Primary had a wonderful end to the term before Easter with the performance of a show called 'Uncle Crumble's Mad Machine' involving all of the pupils in the school. Here at Somersham we put a great deal of emphasis on helping the children to become more confident when expressing themselves in front of others; the children regularly read and present their work to others in the class and are expected to do a presentation each half term of their homework project to their classmates. The confidence they have built doing these regular activities really shows when we do performances as the children always stand up and act, sing and dance with a cool assurance that I never fail to find amazing!

I was intrigued recently when it was reported to me that people in the local area had heard that the school was under threat of closure. I had heard no such thing, and was interested to know where someone might have got some information that I hadn't! So, I decided to contact the Local Authority and ask them if there were any such plans, well I have to say they were as shocked as I was. Both the Area manager for schools and communities, and the Senior Education Officer for Access & Admissions contacted me separately to say categorically that there are no current plans to even consider closing the school, in fact the school's name hadn't even be raised in relation to possible closures in the future. So I think we can all rest assured that Somersham will still have its school for many years to come!
Recently our busy school council agreed a new school motto Small in size, BIG on learning. Everyone in the school is really happy with it, as we think it really sums us up. Our small size is such a strength, allowing us to know each and every child, their needs and their personality, and from that teachers are able to personalise learning and help every child to achieve their best. We are so proud of our new motto we've even had it printed onto rulers and pens which are selling at school like hotcakes along with Somersham School erasers and lanyards.
As always, we are keen to meet new people and learn new things. So if you would like to pop in and see us, or just have a tour around our school, just contact our secretary Mrs Maguire on 01473 831251 or email
Mrs Allison (Headteacher)

Somersham Gardening Club

Monday 10th May at 7.30 pm


In Somersham Village Hall
Members free
Visitors and guests welcome entrance £1-00
Refreshments available

The Rural Coffee Caravan Information Project
comes to Somersham
The Coffee Caravan
will be found at Brook Way
Wednesday 26th May, 2.00 pm -- 4.00 pm

We provide a wealth of information about local and National agencies and organisations
We offer an opportunity to chat to neighbours and friendly volunteers over a cup of tea / coffee and
homemade cakes

******** ALL WELCOME ********
Our visit is free but donations are welcome
Supported by Neighbourhood Watch Somersham

Somersham Parish Council MAY 2010
Parish Council meetings
You are very welcome to attend any meeting of the parish council which, unless stated, commence at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.
Wednesday 5th May 2010 (Annual Parish Council Meeting)
Wednesday 2nd June 2010
Wednesday 7th July 2010

Summary of Annual Parish Meeting
The meeting commenced with a very informative and professional presentation by Colonel David Turner, Station Commander of Wattisham Airfield. Colonel Turner gave an overview of the history of the Wattisham site, together with its current operations and aims and objectives for the future. The presentation was followed by a question and answer session. Colonel Turner was accompanied by Colonel Neale Moss who is succeeding Colonel Turner as Station Commander in the near future,. It was very clear from the presentation that the Station Command Team are doing much to engage with neighbouring parishes. The offer of use of their excellent sporting facilities has benefitted several local youth organisations and the Wattisham Children's Centre is soon to be improved and will be able to accommodate some local children. Wattisham personnel benefit the economy of the local area, but the officers would welcome any comments, or concerns, local residents may have on their presence here. Concerns can be forwarded by the parish council.

After this presentation, as well as an annual report from the parish council, County Councillor Truelove, District Councillor Wright, the Police, Neighbourhood Watch, the Somersham Town Land Charity and the Community Shop Steering Group reported on their activities for the preceding 12 months.

Vacancy for a Parish Councillor
Somersham Parish Council currently has a vacancy for a parish councillor. If you would like to be involved in protecting and enhancing your local community using the powers of local democracy please apply in writing to the parish clerk. If you would like to know more about the role of a parish councillor please contact any of the current parish councillors.

Traffic Calming, Main Road
The question of traffic calming through the village is ongoing, but one result is an undertaking to place a vehicle activated sign in a westbound direction near Somersham Garage. This sign will record the speed of each vehicle. The parish council will continue to press for measures at the other end of the village.

Homeshield Plus Suffolk
If you are over 60, living alone and don't receive care or regular visits from relatives and friends a FREE service could help you with Home Fire Safety
Security in the Home
Health and Wellbeing
Help with Benefits
To find our more contact the Homeshield Plus team on: 0845 603 4715, or email homeshield

Annual Meeting of the Parish Council
The next meeting of the parish council is the Annual Meeting when the Chairman and other officers are elected. The practice of a 15 minute public forum before the meeting is convened will continue. If you have any comments on agenda items or other matters of relevance you are welcome to convey them to the council during the forum.

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

PC 255 Tina Fairness and PCSO 3155 Sian Uttley
Our local Safer Neighbourhood officers

Mid Suffolk South Safer Neighbourhood Team
131 High Street, Needham Market, Suffolk, IP6 8DL.
Telephone: 01473 613500
(Please always remember to dial 999 for an emergency)
Local Crimes reported in March
Somersham - 2 crimes reported. 1 x Criminal Damage to vehicle, tyres slashed overnight of the 4th/5th March. 1 x Miscellaneous.
Offton and Flowton - No crimes reported
Willisham - 1 x Miscellaneous.

Tasking Meetings
Come along and meet members of the local policing team and help us decide out priorities for the up coming months - or just come along for a chat.

13/5/10 - The Parish Rooms, Stowmarket Road, Gt. Blakenham 6.30pm

10/06/10 - Norton Village Hall, Norton Road, Norton 6.30pm

08/07/10 - Somersham Village Hall, Main Road, Somersham, IP6 3ND, 6.30pm

Reducing Anti-Social Behaviour

Suffolk Constabulary, in conjunction with various partners, is working hard to stamp out unruly, anti-social behaviour, which can cause misery to many residents.
Anti-social Behaviour is defined as 'behaviour by a person which causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more other persons not of the same household as the perpetrator'.

The definition describes the consequences of the behaviour as opposed to the behaviour itself, which can be quite wide ranging and includes: verbal abuse, vandalism, noise nuisance, writing graffiti and smoking or drinking alcohol while under age.

There is a wide range of measures available that can help make a difference, including: The Youth Nuisance Register, Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, Anti-Social Behaviour Orders and the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003.If you have any information relating to anti-social behaviour which you would like to pass on to the police, call 01473 613500.

If you need immediate assistance always dial 999. You should dial 999 when life is threatened or people are injured, or if there is a crime in progress or an immediate police response is necessary.
SNT Website & Email Address Please check out our website at: - for information on your Safer Neighbourhood Team and upcoming events we will be attending.
Email -

PCSO 3155 Sian Uttley

Somersham & district Community shop project

Following the closure of the village shop and post office the Parish Council initiated a proposal to look at the possibility of setting up a community shop. A public meeting was called in March 2008 to ask if local residents would like a community shop to be opened in Somersham. Eighty people came to that meeting and it was agreed to go ahead with this project. At that meeting a number of people agreed to volunteer in various capacities and 12 agreed to form a Steering Group to carry the project forward.

After that public meeting the Steering group looked at various locations for the shop, including the village hall, but it was the Community Association, following consultation with the Charities Commission, who generously allowed the proposed shop to be situated in a corner of the playing field, next to the car park.

Over the past year the Steering Group has met regularly every two weeks, with members carrying out specific tasks meeting more often than that. Funding workshops have been attended, presentations given to funders, a stall was held on the Playing Field on a Sports Day, the Business Plan has been updated. Reports on progress have been given at every monthly Parish Council Meeting, and articles have regularly been placed in the LINK newsletter to keep residents aware of the progress. Legal aspects of the project are being carried out with the help of ProHelp who offer their services free of charge and meetings with the architect have been carried out regularly.

The Steering Group have worked closely and consulted with the Planning Department of MSDC at every step of the way. A major set-back occurred, however, when it was found that the chosen site was now on a newly designated flood plain following Government national guidelines after widespread flooding in 2007. This site has never been flooded in living memory and the architect contacted the Environment Agency. After taking levels and a lot of work over several weeks with the Agency, they agreed that a flood risk here was less than one in a thousand years, and permission was given that this site could be used for a shop, provided there were higher and stronger foundations with engineering bricks.

Several companies were invited to submit quotations for the building of a shop, but it is hoped to use local businesses as far as possible, and a Suffolk company, who have been involved in several community projects in the county is one of those now being considered.

Of course, all this takes money and obtaining funding has been a very large part of work undertaken over the past year. Our estimated cost of the project is £100,000 and this is our funding target. Each funder requires precise details of the project, with each funder requiring different details - a huge amount of work. We have been most fortunate to have obtained funding support so far from:

County Councillor, Julia Truelove's Locality Budget - £5,000
Mid-Suffolk District Council - £20,000
Suffolk Regeneration Fund - £20,000
COMMA - Aggregates - £8,000
Suffolk Re-Use and Recycling Fund - £5,000
Somersham Parish Council has earmarked £2,000 for the project as has Somersham Land Charity Trust - £100.
Obtaining funding is still very much an ongoing process and work is currently being carried out to apply to the Big Lottery Fund and also to Awards for All.

The shop project has been registered as a Community Interest Company. This means that any profits in the future will be ploughed back into the community so that other organisations can also benefit from the shop. It also means that local residents can put money into the project by buying £5 non-profit making shares, so far 20 people have contributed in this way, and many more are welcome, so should anyone wish to contribute to the community by buying shares or making a donation this would be gratefully received.
Plans have now been submitted to Mid-Suffolk District Council and we hope to have a positive outcome from this and be able to commence building in the near future.
A village shop will provide a heart to our community. We look forward to a very successful shop in our village, which will be used by local people and those from the wider community.
The Steering Group would very much like to thank the Parish Council, the Community Association, County Councillor Julia Truelove, Somersham Land Charity Trust, Suffolk County Council, Mid-Suffolk District Council, Suffolk ACRE, National ACRE, Ian Toye of ViRSA, Stephen Bullard of Mid-Suffolk Accountancy for his professional services given without charge, and the local community for their great support and encouragement, without them it would not have been possible to go forward with this project.

Steering Group members alphabetically: Graham Amiss, Richard Browne, Steve Bullard, Terry Fordham, Gavin Hodge, Janet Hodge, Anne Macfadyen, Barbara Tottle, Geoff Tottle.

Chernobyl Children Life Line
Registered charity 1014274


at 5 Chapel Lane Somersham
on Saturday and Sunday 5th and 6th June
10am until 4pm

If you have anything you would like to donate to this event including plants and cakes, they can be left at the above address
or be collected by contacting
Heather on 01473 830068 or
Angela on 01473 831422

We would also like to borrow a gazebo or banqueting tent for the weekend
Thank you to everyone for the support you have given to this event


The Lions Club of Stowmarket and District present
The 8th Annual Sponsored Rhythm of Life Walk
On Sunday 13th June 2010

The Rhythm of Life walk will be held on the "Aggregates Trail" which travels through the Gipping Valley from Needham Lakes to Barham Picnic area and returns along the same route. It is approximately 14 Km long and should take around three hours and a half hours not allowing for any sightseeing stops alongside the River Gipping. Refreshments will be provided near Baylam Lock. Shuttle transport will be available at the Barham Picnic site for anyone wishing to shorten the walk to 7Km. There is a picnic area at Needham Lakes should anyone want to use it at the end of the walk.

Registered sponsorship forms will be entered into a draw. The winner will receive a £150 voucher for Ince's Outdoor Shop, Ipswich Street, Stowmarket, kindly donated by the owner, John Kingsley. Anyone wishing to participate in this event please email or telephone 07875 647589 and leave your name and address so that an entry form can be posted to you. An entry form and more details can be found on

Proceeds from the walk will go to Papworth Hospital and Lions Charities so please take part in this walk and call on your sponsors to donate to these good causes.

Age Concern Suffolk - Here to help.

With help centres, shops and services throughout the county, Age Concern Suffolk offers a local service for older people and those that care for them. We provide information, benefits advice and a range of support services

We are a local, independent charity whose aim is to enable older people and their family carers to manage the challenges that may come with ageing while retaining choice in, and control over, their own lives. We are pleased to have received support from Somersham Parish Council and write to tell local people more about our local services - perhaps we can help you or someone you know?

Enquiries to Age Concern Suffolk often start at one of our three main help centres -your local centre is Ipswich, details as below .After making their initial enquiry, people go on to find out about the variety of services we can offer. These include Benefits Advice Workers, an Independent Advocacy Service and staff who can home visit to give information and talk over any problems or worries older people have about staying independent in the future.

In addition we run a number of day centres and services around the county and have a popular home help service which can help with housework, laundry, shopping and much more. We also have carefully selected volunteers who provide friendship to isolated older people all over Suffolk through our Telephone Befriending Service. In the Ipswich we also offer home visits from Befrienders.

This is just a snapshot of some of our services - to find out more please contact our local Help Centre or view our website
Ipswich Help Centre, 41a Upper Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1DU
Tel 01473 257039 E mail
Open 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday


19 & 20 JUNE

Discover the hidden gardens of Flowton!
Come to Flowton & tour the World!
View the Flower Festival -"Countries of the World" & local history & wild life photo exhibitions!
Plus a scarecrow competition for children!

Visit plant & other stalls & take part in various exciting activities!
Enjoy lunch, cream teas & other refreshments!

All available to following programme:
10am - 5pm Flower Festival in Church
12noon - 2pm Lunch in churchyard
12noon - 5pm Gardens open
3 - 5pm Cream teas at Flowton Hall

Admission: £4 (accompanied children free) valid for both days.
Lunch, refreshments & activities extra.

Proceeds in aid of St Mary's Church, Flowton
& East Anglia's Children's Hospices Treehouse Appeal
Contact: 01473 658335 or 658522

Come & join us in our gardens - & bring your family!

Flowton News

Many thanks to Bernie for the rich variety of services he organised for Holy week and Easter. The early service on Barking Tye on Easter Day was especially beautiful.
The children met in Flowton Church on Good Friday to help decorate the church windows-and a good job they made of it. We enjoyed hot cross buns and other refreshments to keep us hard at work!

On Easter Day children formed a large part of the congregation of over 20 which celebrated a Family Communion. At the end of this everybody had Easter eggs!

As usual a warm welcome will await all our friends at the Village Coffee Drop In on Wednesday, 5th May ,
anytime between 10-11.30 am

A Flowton Flyer should accompany this Link Newsletter-if not, please contact Mary Carter. Briefly:
" owners of gardens which are going to be open should please let Mary or Graham have a few lines about the garden;
" flower arrangers should collect any church vases that they wish to use by the middle of May;
" we need volunteers who can give an hour or two to look after the church and vestry -let Mary Carter know if you can help, PLEASE;
" Mary would also like to know who is planning a scarecrow!

All the preparations are running ahead for the Flower Festival and Gardens Open Weekend-Thank you to everybody who is planning to take a part-your help and support is vital for its success.

Christian Aid On April 17th several people from the village did a Sponsored Walk in Ipswich -the sponsorship is specifically for a water project in Burkino Faso and funds raised are quadrupled by the EU. If you would like to add money to the sponsorship please contact Diana Fawcus at Flowton Hall.


Recent Events

On 20 March, the final concert in the Magical Musical Moments (MMM) series took place. This concert in some ways reverted back to the earlier concerts that started back in 2002, being of a much lighter musical style than we had become accustomed to over the past few years. The New Burlington Quartet of string instruments entertained the audience with well known popular and show music, and the locally based Acafella Barbershop Quartet balanced the programme with fine, unaccompanied singing. However, for many in the audience, the star was our very own troubadour, Ted Sampson, who produced yet another version, his ninth, of the much loved 'Offton Song'. Over £700 was donated to the Woolverstone Wish charity. The MMM concerts will be sorely missed next winter, but we wish Maartje and Pieter Rondeboom a happy retirement from their superb organisation.
On Easter Saturday, Peta Whiting's Children's Workshop was attended by around 20 youngsters accompanied by parents. The children produced a New Life Collage, dressed an Easter Window, and made a Crucifixion Display that were on show in the church over Easter. The children did a fantastic job, and our thanks go to all those involved.
On Easter Sunday, a very full church enjoyed a lovely, short Songs of Praise service that was organised by the churchwarden, Ian Dickson. Fine singing came not only from the audience, but by Ted (guitar) and Jose (tambourine) who sang a popular spiritual hymn. Holy Week had been very full of services at each of the benefice churches, with Offton holding the Maundy Thursday service consisting of Communion and Stripping the Altar. This service was much appreciated by those who attended. Our vicar, Bernard, had a truly busy week, and we all thank him for such a tremendous effort.
Future Events

As noted last month in this space, author and broadcaster, Mr Roy Tricker, will be giving a talk and slide show titled 'In Praise of Churches' on Saturday 17 April at 7.00 pm. This event will be reported on in next month's Link.

The Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) will be held in Offton church on 19 April, and this will also be reported on in the next edition of the Link.

An Animal and Pet Blessing Service will be held on Sunday 9 May at 3.00 pm. All children and grown-ups who have appropriate pets will be very welcome. Regrettably, horses and similarly sized pets will have to remain outside the church, but all will receive a blessing.

And not long after this, we can look forward once again to our annual Fete which will be held in the church grounds on Saturday 12 June at 2.00 pm. Many of the well known village fete events will be there, and fun for all ages is assured. Once again, The Ipswich Hospital Band will entertain us. This is a 'must' for your diary.

Somersham Cycle Speedway

The remaining events of 2009 saw Steve Copping fly the flag for Somersham in the British Championships where he failed to get past the pre-qualifying round as Wednesfield.He was back in the Midlands on September 19th along with team-mate Gary Brown where they rode in the 2nd semi-final of the British Individual Grand Prix at East Park,Wolverhampton(virtually alongside Wolverhampton Speedway).Steve was only called into the event on the Monday to replace East London rider Denis Hubble but was unable to capitalise on his call-up,however Gary qualified for the final as 2nd reserve.

That was to be Steve's last action of 2009 as he suffered a recurrence of his leg problem which hospitalised him in Australia in March.Gary however was involved in the East Anglian Senior Final at Great Blakenham on October 3rd where he finished 2nd after a 3-rider run-off.before rounding off his season by deservedly winning the 13th London Old Masters at East London on October 31st.Gary was unbeaten in all 5 of his races winning heat 17 against fellow unbeaten over 40's leaders Ian Lawrence and Norman Venson in the individual to claim grid 1 in the GP Final. The trio was joined by local favourite and twice event winner Dennis Hubble (2001 &2).

This was a cracking final race of the season with Norman Venson taking the lead in a second lap positional shuffle only to be overtaken by a focussed Brown on the penultimate lap.
Unfortunately with no new members forthcoming, Somersham Cycle Speedway Club has been forced to cease current activities. With the club down to only one regularly active member there was no chance of any club based racing, let alone a team.The track will still see competitive action in 2010 as the following events,all of which will be run by the Suffolk Cycle Speedway Association,will be staged:
Jun 8 19:30 Suffolk U18/Sen/Vets GP
Jun 16 19:30 Suffolk U19 Championship
Aug 18 19:00 Suffolk U9/U11 GP
Aug 25 19:30 Suffolk U13/U15 GP
It is anticipated that the Deborah Mittell Charity Shield will be staged in 2010 but at the time of writing no date had been announced.
If you fancy a go at Cycle Speedway please get in touch and we'll give you the info you need. And if you think you can bring life back into the club and get a team together then great, we won't stand in your way. In the mean time the track is, as ever, available to the community for training purposes.


We would like to thank everyone who helped to prepare the church for Easter either by cleaning or arranging flowers. Your contribution was really appreciated. We are also grateful to Rev.Bernard Rose for providing such a rich variety of services in the benefice during Holy Week.

Church Services
There will be no Evening Prayer service at Willisham Church at 3-00 p.m. on Sunday, 9th May. At this time there will be an Animal and Pet Blessing service at Offton Church.

Christian Aid Week
A Christian Aid envelope has been delivered with this issue of the Link. We hope to collect as many of these as possible between Monday 10th and Saturday 15th May but, if we call when you are out and you would like to contribute, please return the envelope to "Foxgloves", Main Road, 13 North Acres, or to "Freshwood", Fiske Pightle, all in Willisham. Last year, villagers were very generous in their support of this excellent charity.

Open Gardens
Willisham Open Gardens and Flower Festival will be on Sunday 6th June. Nine gardens will be open and there will be floral displays in the church plus lunches, refreshments and other stalls.
Please see separate poster in this magazine.

Willisham Fete
Will be held at Crow Hall on Saturday 17th July. More details in next month's issue of The Link.

Our thanks go to Ken Southall for making our lovely new noticeboard.

Willisham Walk
Saturday 8th May @ 5.30 pm

A shorter walk this year starting at Chapel Farm, Ringshall, the home of Mr & Mrs Guy Hitchcock, William and Katherine.

How to get to Chapel Farm: from Barking, take the B1078 towards Bildeston. At the car sales garage (Pumpkin Garage) turn right and go as far as the telephone box opposite the village hall. Turn right and after 150 yards take the cement road left to Chapel Farm. There's plenty of parking.

This walk mustn't be missed as there are things to be seen that will make this a very enjoyable evening.
When the walk is finished we will return to Derrick Hill as usual for refreshments.

So Remember: be early to start sharp at 5.30 pm and wear suitable clothing and footwear. You go at your own risk.
Suggested donations of £5.00 will go to Willisham Church funds.
Please book as soon as possible as we need to know numbers. Phone John Minns on 01473 658352



Sunday 6 June
10.30 am - 5.30 pm

9 Gardens
Floral Displays in Church
(Willisham Cook Books, Church Guides and Notelets for sale)

Lunches, refreshments
Stalls: cakes, plants, raffle
exhibition of old local photographs

(accompanied children free)

Programmes available from marked gardens and the church on the day or beforehand (01473 658063 for details)

(parking and toilets available)


Somersham Baptist Church

The media would have the country in the grip of election fever, but people are disappointed and sceptical when it comes to politics. In choosing government, for possibly the next 4 years, we are hard pressed to choose between the parties, all parties offer some degree of suffering following the recession. When you look at their policies no one party fits you.

The Apostle Paul reminds his Christian readers in the Greek city of Philippi that their 'citizenship is in heaven', at present we are in

The basis of this citizenship is the saving work of Jesus, accepted through faith. This means choosing a new King - Jesus, no term for his office, once for life choice, it is a kingdom of righteousness, justice and love. Suffering is also guaranteed till Kingdom is completed!

If Christians are exiles, then our vote ought to be cast for others not for ourselves. Our interests are catered for in Christ, so we should look out for the interests of others, the sick, disadvantaged, vulnerable, in this country and the world.
One of the last acts of parliament was to pass a law on Debt Relief (Developing Countries), this means that 'we never again have to see a country as poor as Liberia or Zambia sued in a UK court on the basis of a debt which dates back to the 1970s and has been bought by a vulture fund for pennies in the pound'. (Jubilee Debt Campaign website )
Thanks to some persistent MP's and cross party support, the interests of others have been served.

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 2.30pm Friday 14th May.
Friends and Neighbours: 7.45pm Monday 17th May.

Contact Mark if you need transport.
Meetings are held at the Baptist Chapel, Chapel Lane, Somersham IP8 4QE.
Pastor Mark Newcombe, 01473 831940, mobile: 07958 830103,

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.

Services in our eight linked parishes

2nd May Easter 5

Family Communion by extension 9.00am Flowton


9.30am Willisham
Eucharist 11.15am Somersham
Morning Prayer 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Barking

9th May Easter 6

Eucharist 8.00 am Flowton
Eucharist 10.00am Bricett

Family Service

10.00 am Somersham
Eucharist 11.15am Barking
Family Service 11.15 am Battisford
Animal Blessing Service 3.00pm Offton

Thursday 13th May Ascension Day

Bosmere Deanery United Service 7.30pm Flowton

16th May Easter 7

Eucharist 8.00am Somersham
Family Service 9.30am Barking
Family Service + Communion by ext Offton 10.00am Offton
Eucharist 11.15 am Battisford
Evening Prayer
6.00pm Flowton

23rd May Pentecost

Eucharist 9.30am Ringshall
Morning Worship for all ages Flowton 10.00am Flowton
Morning Prayer 10.00am Barking
Eucharist 11.00am Offton
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Barking
Evening Prayer 6.30pm Somersham

30th May Trinity Sunday

United Holy Communion 10.00am Flowton

6th June Trinity 1

Family Communion by extension 9.00am Flowton


9.30am Willisham
Eucharist 11.15am Somersham
Morning Prayer 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Barking

Page last updated: 02-May-2010    
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