The Link Magazine
Linking the villages of - Somersham, Willisham, Offton and Flowton - Suffolk
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Offton & Willisham PC
A very dear colleague, with whom I was privileged to work for more than 25 years until she retired two years ago, always greeted me on the first day of every month with the words rabbit, rabbit. I never knew the relevance of this, and neither did my colleague, but it became our monthly greeting. Even now, on the first day of every month, we phone one another and say rabbit, rabbit. Why, you might ask? I really do not know why, other than it has become a tradition and brings back happy memories. As far as I am concerned, for both these reasons, it is very worthwhile continuing. I expect many of us perpetuate similar, and probably equally useless, traditions. And why not?
As was pointed out to us in the Link this time last year, November is the month for remembering. I am sure we all have many memories, some inevitably sad but, I hope many more happy ones. Remembering is good for us. No doubt the older we get the more memories we have. I remember that as a schoolboy frequently a rather reluctant schoolboy - thinking how easy a job our elderly history teacher had. To us lads he seemed so old that all he had to do was to tell us of events earlier in his life. We were sure that he was so old that the worlds history had all happened in his lifetime!
On a more serious note, memories are very precious to most of us. It can be by no co-incidence that the best known and most frequently heard extract from the excellent musical Cats is the number entitled Memories.
We all know what happened in our lives in the past. What a good thing, incidentally, we do not know what will happen to us in the future. Perhaps we look back and learn, as well as remembering the good times. Despite the great motor car manufacturer Henry Ford famously declaring History is bunk a knowledge of past events can prepare us for the future.
We all experience ups and downs. We cannot always choose our path in life, but we can generally choose whether we walk along the shady or the sunny side of that path. When times are difficult, it is worth remembering that even the darkest night is followed by the light of the next morning, and that the light at the end of the tunnel is not always the headlamp of an approaching train.
And why should we
worry unduly about the future anyway? Yes, by all means take what sensible
precautions we can, and make any sensible preparations we can, as indeed
we are exhorted to do in the Bible, but let us not forget the closing
verses of that wonderful chapter 6 of St Matthews gospel.
Gospel Readings for our Sunday Worship during much of October and November are being taken from a study series about Jesus, and about what being a Christian means in the world today. We welcome all who would like to know more about the Christian faith to join us in our regular worship. More details are available from the Rector, or your Churchwardens as detailed on the back cover of the Link.
Choir practice dates: October 15th, November 12th, and 26th all at 10.00am, in Flowton church. We would welcome new members for all voices. Contact Mary Carter on 658522 for more details.
November a month for Remembrance
At 4.30pm on Sunday
November 6th, at Offton, there will be a Service for the Bereaved.
their league programme with an enjoyable victory at Hethersett.
Heat leaders Gary
Brown and Andrew Mittell again led the way but it was the back-up that
made the difference. Joshua Brooke, Tom Pike and Lee Richardson all won
races, demonstrating how they have improved in Somersham shirts. This
trio have been on loan from Ipswich this season in order to sample a higher
division of racing, and both clubs have benefitted from the arrangement.
The standard differs so much between the divisions, it is difficult for
clubs to decide the best level for their riders. Next season we hope our
best junior riders will be up to the challenge and relish the opportunities
in the higher sphere.Our younger members got to show off their skills
in a challenge at
If you think there may be a mistake in the rota please contact your Churchwarden.
20th Sunday before Advent
27th 1st Sunday of Advent
services for December 6th 2nd Sunday of Advent
Somersham Baptist Church
Young, moral and rich,
he looked just the kind of person the Church needed. But no, after a short
conversation with Jesus he was off. The disciples were shocked; if this
chap was not good enough to be a Christian no one else stands a chance!
The shocked disciples were right; no one is good enough to be a Christian. It is impossible, but not for God. Jesus is the one person good enough, and a simple act of faith in Jesus where he becomes the leader we will follow in this life is the only way to be accepted. God treats Christians as if they are good enough because of Jesus. Then we begin to listen to his words and adopt his priorities. If you dont think you are church material think again.
Read of the encounter with the young rich man for yourself in Matthews Gospel chapter 19, verse 16ff
10.30am Sunday 13th November Remembrance Service at the Parish Church
Regular Sunday Morning
Programme (You are welcome to join us for all or part of the morning).
Children and Young
People (During term time)
With the beginning
of the new Winter League, and the full programme of fixtures now confirmed
for the forthcoming months through to the end of March 2006; the Club
are looking forward to competitive but friendly - encounters with
the villages of Elmsett, Stratford St. Mary, Harkstead, Tattingstone,
Bentley, Hadleigh, Whatfield and Burstall who complete the list. All villages
are in fairly close proximity so not too far to travel to the away matches
on those dark winter evenings. Interspersed with league duty we also have
Knock Out competitions to contend with in the Cup and Plate. Depending
on success determines how far we progress
With a break from league duty a two leg Cup match had to be played home and away against Brantham; and with good determination on the part of all bowlers we were able to hold onto a draw away, which left us with a little less pressure to record a win at home, which we duly did running out 3 1 winners. An enjoyable match ; and which now sees us having to travel afield to Brockley in the next round.
WinterLeague - September
On a final note it is fair comment to say that many of the activities within the Village rely on resident participation most certainly if Clubs like carpet bowls are to maintain a viable membership for the future. An invitation was made in the last Link - and also well advertised by the distribution of flyers - for all to come along and try carpet bowls. It was therefore most disappointing that the Club took the time and effort to hire the Village Hall and turn out on a Sunday afternoon yet no one Yes no one! - took the trouble to come along to see what carpets bowls is about.
When the Council receives,
and is invited to comment on, applications submitted to MSDC, only some
two weeks is allowed for it to reply. This necessitates extra meetings
being convened between the regular bimonthly ones. Dates have been appointed
for these meetings, which will only consider Planning Applications, and
these dates have been posted on the notice boards. Obviously meetings
will only be called if there are applications to assess.
involving NHS Primary Care Trusts
Pip Sands 01449 721173
We celebrate the
Club's 5th Birthday with Guest Speaker Michael Warren, who has been photographing
horticulture for over 35 years. His slides will guide us through the seasons,
highlighting the plants he enjoys and the locations to which they have
taken him.Do come along and join us
Somersham Primary School
We have been very busy since we last wrote for the Link.
In the space of seven
weeks we have managed:
On the 9th of this
month we are all going to be watching a production of The Christmas Carol
in the school hall. A bit early you may think, but when you realise what
else is going to be going on you will understand it being the calm before
FOSS and Somersham School would like to say a big thank you to everyone who participated in the Scarecrow weekend. It was a huge success. There were over thirty scarecrows on display and the nice part was some new ones appeared on the Sunday! A lot of time and effort went into making them and we really do appreciate that. Thank you. We were very pleased with the turnout. Many families/couples came who have no children connected with the school and there were "strangers" from out of the villages. They had heard about it on the radio and came to have a look. Just over £250 was taken. Not bad for a £1.50 map, some refreshments and a game of tombola!!
This is always a favourite for Christmas presents. Everyone welcome from new babies to grandparents.
Somersham & District Community Association
This fund raising business would try the patience of a saint. We are still getting sudden withdrawals of promises but so far, always manage to find replacements. The Playing Field Committee had a look at the sports arena next door to the Ipswich Transport Museum in Cobham Road. It looks good and is sturdily built so the suppliers, S.M.P, will hopefully install ours, as soon as the promised funding is formalised. New fencing has been purchased and will be installed as soon as the solicitors finalise the land transfer. The Parish Council has been very supportive, and is funding another bench and two litterbins for the playing field.
Despite the efforts being made the usual mindless vandalism has taken place. This time roof tiles needed replacing and the footbridge needed repair. This is repeatedly torn up and will at some not too distant date be past it. We ask ourselves whether it is really necessary. If users have the energy to tear it up then they also have the energy to walk the extra couple of hundred yards to either of the other entrances.
Part of the remit of the S&DCA is the support and encouragement of local clubs. This has recently been demonstrated by the replacement of the goal posts. These were beyond repair and have been replaced at a cost of £900. The Football Club is the biggest user of the pavilion, spending the most money in the Social Club. This gets recycled back into the Community Association. The Tennis Club are still actively seeking funding and pursuing the Planning Dept. They have a good team working on their funding which is quite separate from the S&DCA effort, although the courts will be available to everyone locally. The Speedway Club has nearly reached the end of the senior season and will not be bottom of the league this year. They will hold junior competitions with other local clubs at the end of the season.
The Churches raised the idea of a welcome social for the folk of Somersham Vale, to be held in the Village Hall. All the village associations would be invited to take part, perhaps with small displays to publicise their activities. A welcome pack is being devised listing the local amenities and will be delivered as people arrive at the Vale. The Parish Council will probably sponsor the event by paying for the hall. The CA is also willing to back the idea. It is hoped to expand this to cover all those recently moved into the Village. There are probably quite a few people who have lived here for some time who do not know all that is on offer so this will be a good opportunity to find out. The first newcomers probably will move into the Vale in November. Watch the Link, the Community News and notice board for further details.
All this activity going on, yet there were very few people at the Meeting. Fund raising, maintenance, litter picking, grass cutting, even digging in the new litterbins is all done by a few, a very few, volunteers. One of these days they will all get fed up with it and the amenities will simply be lost. No organisation can last if there is no enthusiasm for it. Everyone wants something done about it or something to do or somewhere to go. Well Somersham is doing its best to provide amenities so please, do just a little in return.
The S&DCA needs a secretary. This entails taking the notes of meetings and notifying members of the dates. Can we have a volunteer please? Meetings take place on the 2nd Thursday of alternate months; the next one will be on 10th November.
Somershams Remembrance Service on Sunday 13th November is at 10.30am, and we look forward to our friends from the Baptist Church joining us.
Remember to put the dates on your calendar for the two fundraising events in December on December 3rd its the Christmas Bazaar, with all the usual attractions, and on December 9th its a special Folk Evening, featuring local bands. See adverts elsewhere in the Link for more details.
Looking ahead to the New Year, theres another Trivia Quiz on Friday January 20th in the Village Hall, so start getting your team of 6 together!
When we last wrote, we were about to meet up with Gill and Terry Fordham and family. Well this we did in Sillans-la-Cascade in south-eastern Provence. The area proved stunningly beautiful, with lakes, forests, high green hills and waterfalls-one of which is close to their holiday home.
During our time there, we visited the wonderfully turquoise Lac de Sainte-Croix for a swim and then drove on further to view the spectacular panorama of the Grand Canon du Verdon, a magnificent mountain gorge.
Whilst in the region,
a boat trip was enjoyed by all to Ile De Porguerolles, one of a
little group of islands in the Mediterranean off the mainland at Hyeres.
It proved an amazing place to swim and snorkel.
The highlight for me however, had to be the visit to the Ceret Museum of Modern Art. (Eddie said he didnt need any highlights as he had enough white streaks already!) Seriously though, here a special exhibition was showing the work of Matisse and Derain, carried out during a period they spent in the pretty village of Collioure. Amongst other art also exhibited, were works by Picasso.
By the 12th of September, we were on the road again, crossing the border into Spain. The weather during the weeks camping in Prats-de-Mollo had proved to be very miserable with much heavy rain. Although this was apparently quite unseasonal, we decided to head for the sun sooner rather than later. It was always our plan to take a detour along the east coast of Spain, and then visit some friends who were moving to the Valencia/Alicante Province.
Working our way down
the coast, we camped at Empuriabrava, a modern marina, and then Blanes,
both in Catalunya. Whilst these sites were a little bit touristy, they
did however, have beautiful beaches and interesting towns and villages
to search out around them. Visits included a wonderful day at the Parc
Natural dels Aiguamolls de lEmporda, a bird reserve, where we were
lucky enough to see White Storks nesting high in trees, as well as Flamenco
(sorry thats the dance!) Flamingo, Egret and the beautifully coloured
Bee-eaters. Additionally, we enjoyed a day at Empurias, a Greek and Roman
We are planning to visit our link village on the weekend of the first spring Bank Holiday 28 April 1st May 2006
This is the sixth
year of our link with the people of this village, which is of a similar
size to our own and is situated in the Loire Valley. We do exchanges every
other year they come to us one year and we go to visit them the
next. Its been really interesting to learn of each others
way of life and to get to know individuals and families well. Many lasting
friendships have been formed and much goodwill flows between the two villages.
Cost for the weekend is expected to be £75 per person
Gill Fordham: 831529;
David Haughton: 831511;
Somersham Parish Council
Wednesday 2nd November
2005 at 7.30pm in the Pavilion
Offton Church News
SHCT Cycle Ride David and Helen Thorne, Thomas King with his mum Jenny all cycled for Offton Church on a very wet day in September. Well done and many thanks to you all, not forgetting the people who sat in the church to welcome visiting cyclists and Alison Rumsey our parish organizer. Thank you.
Whist Drive The Annual Whist Drive took place on 24th September. There were ten tables of happy and enthusiastic players enjoying the friendly atmosphere, keen play, good raffle and finishing the evening with coffee and biscuits. The sum of £180.00 was raised for Offton Church Fabric Fund. Our thanks again to John Minns and we hope that he will do it again next year.
Churchyard Our thanks to all who have kept the churchyard looking so good over the summer months. Lance and Julie Spurling on the big beast and John Minns and Chris Morphew on the lesser beasts. It is much appreciated by all who pass by and those who come to tend the graves.
The Wardens Month September
Harvest Festival What a lot of work to get everything ready: so many people involved. Not only the usual moving and keeping the churchyard trim, but each window is suddenly a blank canvas for artistic creations. so much thought goes into the harvest arrangements, so much detail and interesting props. My own contribution was a very contented flowerpot man lying on a sack with an empty bottle of Stewart and Pattersons. Church looked lovely. Five minutes before the service starts Mary and myself, standing at the back, wonder where everyone is, but all was well, a last minute rush and the church more than half full. Really good traditional hymns sung with vigour. Talk by Tools with a Mission and edible proceeds from church given to Stowmarket Salvation Army. If we all brought a can, packet, or something fresh the Salvation Army would be very pleased. Idea for next year! Paul finished the service with a good blast on the organ and the wine and sausage rolls to follow went down well.
Animal Blessing service. I was given free rein with the readings and chose Noah and the dove, Daniel and the lions and Jesus and the dove, I also referred to the 38 images of animals in the church. Especial thanks to Pepe, Holly, Baby, Misty and Kate who all behaved impeccably; the ladybird was not so attentive and kept trying to escape and the bit of ivory I brought in perplexed Mary until I said it was in memory of all the elephants and rhino. Decided not to bring creepy crawlies and things with long legs this year because up till now Mary has been unruffled.
Family Communion. Reverend Sam Ritchie took a good service for the faithful few. I normally leave wine and water for the communion and some of each gets used but this time all the wine went and no water. We all went home licking our lips, praising the Lord and the Irish.
Supper in the Church. Friday evening. Took a lot of sorting out but I was mainly a humper of many things. Twenty three sat down to a wonderful candle lit meal, great atmosphere, great food, all local people talk, talk, talk. Halfway, all the men had to change seats, something like a partner swapping party, perhaps not, but the level of conversation hardly seemed to change. Several of us men did the washing up which made us feel noble.
PCC Meeting. Down on numbers so I was made chairman for the meeting. Got finished three quarters of an hour earlier than usual which was generally thought to be a good thing. On reading the minutes of that meeting I found to my surprise that I have been made chief organiser for next years fete and flower Festival. This made my wife laugh. For the sake the event I am hoping it is a nominal appointment only. Ian Dickson
From our Community Beat Officer
Pc 980 Keith Shields
Halloween is over so is November 5th. I hope all went well and everyone had a good time.
But the season for fireworks seems to be extending so here is a reminder that the time you can let off fireworks was restricted from last year, there are very few days when you can let off fireworks after 11 pm Nov 5th is one (until midnight) and the next is New Years Eve (until 1 am) Chinese New Year and Diwali are also 1 am limited dates. The restrictions on age and using fireworks in public places are of course in force as well. Misuse can attract an instant fixed penalty ticket.
Why do we make it so easy?
Even after 30 years I still dont know. Answers by e-mail please. Surely the most basic security measure is to lock the door and surely if you have a debit card there must be a 4 digit number you can remember with out having to write it down. PIN numbers can be changed so change it and remember it.
Flowton Wednesday 31/08 - 01/09. Arson to 3 half tonne straw bales ST/05/3118
Somersham 16/09 19/09. Damage to car at the village hall. ST/05/3316
Nettlestead and Offton Thurs 15/09- 16/09. Theft from motor vehicle. ST/05/3250 ST/05/3251. Part of series of crimes, which also occurred in Little Blakenham, overnight around 2 am.
Offton Sat 10/09 11/09. Damage to dwelling window ST/05/3179
If you know anything about any incident mentioned in these notes please contact me on 01473 613500 (Force Headquarters) if I am not on duty ask to leave a voicemail message for Pc 980 Shields. Please remember there are periods when I am rest day for 4 days. If you require urgent action do not leave message, speak to another officer.
Ipswich Aid to Romania
We are back from Romania where we spent a month working on an old people's home renovating their kitchen. Not strictly true - most of our time was wasted, waiting around for engineers, getting estimates and drawing up contracts which were never honoured, liaising with the ministry of health who oversee all work on state institutions etc. Oh well, it is now finally completed and I'm sure people at the institution are very grateful and the work will be of benefit to the kitchen staff.
Now it's on to our next project which is to provide an orphanage in Codlea with some computers. By law, the director has to kick the children out when they are 15 years old and most of them have nowhere to go. With no job prospects many of them sleep rough on the streets and turn to crime just to survive. It was suggested that if they were to be given some computers, the children could be taught to use them so that at least they would have some skills when leaving the institution. We thought it was a great idea - hence our next project!
We are starting a series of indoor car boot sales at Great Blakenham Village Hall every Sunday morning between 8am-12pm (sellers 7am) commencing Sunday 30th October. They will run from October to April 2006. Hot food and drinks will be available and tables (which have to be booked in advance) are £5. There is plenty of parking space. Enquiries to Lee or Anna-Maria on 01473-833292.
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