The Link Magazine

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

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

Offton & Willisham PC
Summer holidays are now long gone and all we are left with are memories, photographs and perhaps film of all that we saw and did. I hope that you have happy memories of the summer months.

One of my memories is of the green at Pakefield, next to the church, overlooking the cliffs and sea. There is a row of seats on the green, each one with a name on a plaque or etched into the wood. Family or friends have remembered the life of someone they love. At the same time they have provided a facility for others to sit and rest and enjoy the sea view. It seems like a good idea to me.

November is, of course, the month of remembrance when we remember those who have died in the two great wars of the last century, as well as in more recent conflicts. The words “We will remember them” will be said in churches, halls and open-air gatherings all over the nation at services on Remembrance Sunday and on November 11th. For those who have memories of family members or friends it will be a particularly poignant moment, but all of us need to be reminded and to be grateful for the sacrifice of young lives on our behalf.

Christians have a time to remember in the communion service. We eat bread and drink wine to bring to mind the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. As the hymn says –
“He died that we might be forgiven,
He died to make us good,
That we might go at last to heaven,
Saved by His precious blood.”

As we remember again in this month of November let us be grateful for those whom we love, whether still in this world or not, and live in the knowledge that true love never dies.
Brian Wood

Brian’s point about the benefits we can all enjoy from memorial seats is such a good one. All four of our villages have such seats in their churchyards and are havens of peace for everyone to share – villagers and visitors alike. We are grateful to those who have given them over the years.

The Annual General Meeting of the Link committee was held at Gunn’s Farm on 30th September. Mary Carter and Margaret Laflin were re-elected to the Chair and as Secretary respectively. Steve Woolhouse was elected as Treasurer. Kate Dines was welcomed onto the editorial team and it would seem to be a good opportunity to thank all our editors for the time and effort they put in on a regular basis to produce our magazine. Probably only their families realise just how much is required to bring together all the news and activities in our villages each month. Thank you all.

From the Registers:

Welcome to Amelia Grace, daughter of Jonathan and Nicola Greenfield, who was baptised in Willisham Church on 14th September 2008.
May she grow in faith

Flower and Cleaning Rota

November 2nd, 9th Frances Southgate
November 16th,23rd Christine Jarrold
November 30th, Dec 7th Christine Cooper
Cleaning Team B

November 2nd, 9th Mrs Ward
November 16th,23rd Mrs Munson
November 30th Mrs Carter
Cleaning Mr & Mrs P Rawley

November 2nd Mrs Gay Tollemache
November 9th, 16th Mrs Lois Seddon
November 23rd, 30th Mrs Carol Langford
Cleaning Mr & Mrs Perry

November 2nd Mrs T Southall
November 9th, 16th Ms J Hardman
November 23rd, 30th Mrs M Fisher

Somersham Church Notes

Please note that on 9th November, Remembrance Sunday, the service will start at 10.45 am. We are pleased that the Baptist Church will once again be joining us.

The Folk Evening was once again a very enjoyable occasion. We were entertained by Folk on the Hill, Pluck and Squeeze, Ted Sampson and friends, performing a wide repertoire of styles of folk music to a very high standard, appreciated by all in the packed church. Many thanks to all the performers, to those providing the refreshments and especially to Robin, who gave the whole church a beautiful atmosphere with his subtle lighting. The amount raised from the evening was a tremendous £497.15.

Harvest Festival gifts were once again taken to the Women’s Refuge, where they are greatly appreciated. Thank you to all who brought gifts, and especially to the school children, who came in for their Harvest service on the Monday following Harvest Festival.

If you have been into church in the last few weeks you would have noticed that seating is much more comfortable on some pews thanks to the addition of Pew cushions. Materials for these have been purchased from a donation from the family of the late Agnes Abbott, and made by Hilary Bridger. We are very grateful to Miss Abbott’s family and Hilary for her excellent sewing skills. Everyone is very impressed and we hope to be able to put them in all the pews in due course.

The Christmas Bazaar will be held on Saturday 29th November from 2 till 4 pm. There will be all the usual stalls, games and attractions. See advert elsewhere for more details.

Billy’s retirement

Before the Folk Evening concert in Somersham church there was a presentation to a very special guest, Billy, who has recently retired from being Somersham’s postman for over 30 years. To show our appreciation of his cheerful and helpful approach, Billy and his family were presented with an engraved glass paperweight, flowers and bulbs, chocolates, a money box in the style of a postbox, and a cheque for £660.

Billy has been in touch since his presentation and has asked that we let everyone know how overwhelmed and grateful he and his family were by the reception they got and the gifts they were presented with. He says a very big thank you to everyone and hopes to drop in to the Somersham area soon to see as many as he can.

St Mary’s Church, Somersham

Christmas Bazaar

Saturday 29th November
from 2 to 4 pm
Somersham Village Hall

Visit Father Christmas!

Games White elephant

Cakes Tombola Crafts


Kiddies’ Craft Corner

(10% of profit to Air Ambulance)


Somersham and District Gardening Club

Monday November 10 at 7.30pm


Presentation by
(Garden designer and landscaper)

Whether or not you are a member, you will be most welcome!
Raffles, refreshments available.
£1 VISITORS & guests


Autumn Fayre
Sat. 22nd Nov. 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Village Hall

(Doors open at 12 Midday for any Donations)
Next-to-New, Bric - A - Brac
Draw Prizes, Tombola,



Flowton News

The next Village Coffee Drop-in will be on Wednesday November 5th in the church vestry –all ages welcome.

Flowton PCC will meet at 7.30pm on Friday November 7th in the church Vestry.

The “Deanery Day” will be on Saturday November 15th in Earl Stonham Village Hall. It will be from 10.00am until 1.00pm, but if you cannot manage all three hours perhaps you would like to come and hear Bishop Nigel speak ; he should finish by 11.00am.

The Parish Meeting is on Wednesday November 12th at 7.30pm in the church vestry.

Coffee Morning
Saturday November 29th
10.00am-11.30am in the church
We hope you will come for coffee,
cake stall, etc.


Elizabeth and Kevin Parker are delighted to announce that the craft sale in Needham Market on Saturday 13th September 2008 raised over £1000

They are also very happy to announce that between 7 – 9 of the children from Belarus are to return for Christmas via “Private” invitations, which means the costs will be paid for by their host parents. A wonderful outcome to the visit. If you are having a declutter before Christmas please remember that toys, games, puzzles, stationery items and craft materials in good condition make ideal gifts for the children. Also in great demand are soft toys for the Minsk Children’s Cancer Hospital. Even the older teenage patients love soft toys, which are not readily available locally.

Donations can be left at Christine’s Haircare Somersham or 5 Chapel Lane Somersham or if you need items collected telephone Heather on 01473 830068.

An exciting event is to take place on Saturday 6th December at the Community Centre in Needham Market, start time 7pm. Tickets will be on sale prior to the event, which is an evening of Chocolate Bingo. This is a family event and children are welcome, ticket price will be £7.00 for adults and half price for children under 10. A meal is included in the ticket price and there will be many fun features as well as the Bingo, which, as the name implies, will have a chocolate theme. There will be a chocolate themed raffle together with Russian Craft on sale giving lots of unusual and inexpensive gift ideas for Christmas. Any donations of raffle prizes would be much appreciated, as all funds raised from this evening will go towards bringing the next group of children to the UK for a respite visit in July of 2009. Raffle prizes can be chocolate or chocolate themed, i.e. Chocolate colour, a book about chocolate, DVD etc

All enquiries about the Chocolate Bingo night or regarding the forthcoming visit of the children to Elizabeth on 01449 760343.

Offton Church News

Recent Events and Special Services

On Saturday 4 October, 21 people from the village met at the church in the evening to enjoy a rather unusual event – ‘Supper in Church’. In fact, it was a high quality 3-course dinner with wine. Our gratitude goes to Anne, Sue, Jan and Judy for their culinary skills and generosity in its preparation, and others who worked set-up table and clean up afterwards. In the setting of an ancient, candle-lit church, it was an occasion to be remembered. This was a fund raising event, and so a small raffle was included to boost the church finances, and a gain of £254 was raised.

A Deanery Healing Service was held on 12 October for the benefit of all members of the churches in our Benefice. Rev Christine Everett officiated.

Future Events and Special Services

With the shorter daylight hours and the need for central heating, we have arrived at that time of year when we can look forward to the series of winter concerts in the church that are organised by Mrs Maartje Rondeboom. There will be three concerts which will be held on 1 November, 29 November and 10 January at 7.30 pm. More details are to be found elsewhere in the Link. Tickets are available from Mrs Maartje Rondeboom (tel. 01473 658024) and Mr Nigel Coleman (tel.01473 657191). You are advised to book early as these concerts are always a sell-out.

Our annual Remembrance Day ‘Poppy’ Service will be held on Sunday 9 November at 6.30 pm. This year we are hoping to have a military speaker who has recently returned to Wattisham Station from active service in Afghanistan (this is subject to confirmation at the time of writing).

As always, details of all church services are on the inside back cover of the Link, but it is worth noting now that Christmas Services at Offton will be held as follows: –
21 December at 10.00 am - Annual Carol Service
25 December at 10.00 am - Short Christmas Service and Communion
28 December at 11.00 am – Communion Service

The church PCC hopes that as many people as possible in the parish will be able to find time to enjoy one of these services, for without the truth of the events that took place two millennia ago, there would be no Christmas holiday to enjoy. Please find a place in your Christmas for a visit to your local church.

On 3 January 2009, the 20th and last Rector’s Plate Indoor Bowling Competition will be held in Needham Market. This has been a major fund raising event for the church for the past two decades, but unfortunately good things do not always last for ever. We are therefore hoping for a great turn-out by bowlers.

Church Fact File

As noted above, on Sunday 9 November we will hold our annual Remembrance Day service. Everyone recognises the poppies that the British Legion sells to mark the day, and to raise funds for the marvellous work that the British Legion does in supporting servicemen and servicewomen, particularly in times of trouble. On that day, we will remember not only the fallen from past wars and other armed conflicts, but also all current serving personnel who are even now being sent by the politicians to fight in far flung places. When politicians fail with the political process, it seems all too easy for them to turn round and send in the military in order to satisfy foreign policy goals. Such has always been the role of the armed forces. So what has this got to do with our Church Fact File?

In Offton church on the north wall facing the main south entrance door, there is a brass plaque that lists the local parishioners that died in the Great War 1914-1918 (see picture).
Their honoured names are:
Harry Samual Crick
Herbert Dennis Downes
Herbert Easter
Arthur William Emsden
Charles John Simpson
Arthur John Steward
John Stanley Steward

Are any of their relatives still living in our locality? If so, it would be lovely if they could attend the service on 9 November to also remember their past relatives. If they do attend, we ask them to make themselves known. It would add great interest to the service.

Pew cushions
- As treasurer of Offton Church I would like to thank all those people who have given so generously to provide every pew in the church with a cushion. So now whether it is a church service, an MMM concert or a community event, a comfortable seat is there for all to enjoy.

Paul Chapman


Over the past six years MAGICAL MUSICAL MOMENTS Concerts by Candlelight in Offton Church have raised significant sums of money for worthy causes from which several local and national charities have benefited.

During that time MMM evenings became popular, not only for the excellent quality of music in candlelit surroundings but also because luxurious refreshments are always included and raffles or draws are not. Yet, overheads are as low as can be, mainly by the generosity of private and commercial sponsors. Finally yet importantly, it should be mentioned that musicians are often willing to forfeit or reduce their fee.

In that respect MMM is fortunate to present on 29 November 2008 Orlando Jopling; composer, conductor and cellist from London, with a programme of music and chat, which he calls Orlando's Cello Pilgrimage. During his performance of 3 Bach Suites, G Major, C Minor and Eb Major, the cellist takes the audience on a journey from the most well known to one of the more soulful suites and ending with a more flamboyant one.

What is so special, you may ask. Well, this musician does not charge for his performance on the understanding that his fee is deposited in the coffers of Offton Church and the money will be used towards the maintenance of the fabric of the building. A charitable chap indeed!

Comfortable cushioned seats at £12.50 may be ordered from
Mr Nigel Coleman on 01473-657191 or
and via


Our elevation to the rigours of Division 2 bowling - following our promotion from last years Winter League - took us on the short trip to Whatfield, a team who incidentally moved up to the higher division in the previous season.
Somersham began well with two wins from the first two games - albeit one win succeeding by a single shot, but nonetheless a good start. The second half however saw a change of fortunes for the home team who showed great determination to retrieve the situation with two wins, and also taking shots with the final result overall going to Whatfield.

Next: on Saturday 20th. September a pre-arranged social event pleasantly interrupted the early season as club members attended a mid-day meal at the Barham Sorrel Horse to celebrate our promotion to the higher league. With a good choice from the menu, the meal was thoroughly enjoyed by all, and the afternoon was aptly rounded off with some fun bowling in the Village Hall.

The next league match of the month was at home against Kesgrave who were the other team also elevated with us from Division 3 at the end of last season. At that time Kesgrave very narrowly pipped us from deservedly finishing in top spot, so - with perhaps a point to prove - this match was always going to be hard fought. All four Somersham fours were in good form - showing consistent performance which never looked liked being beaten - and ran out worthy overall winners. A resounding victory to boost confidence and an encouraging home start to the season for Somersham.

Winter League - September Results: -

Whatfield 46 - 33 6 - 4 Lost Away
Kesgrave 24 - 52 0 - 10 Win Home

Our final fixture of the month saw us slotted into an early round of the Joe Rice Cup - contested on a home and away basis - with the first leg played away at Claydon. With fairly infrequent visits to this venue Somersham always find it difficult to get to grips with the mats in the early stages of the games and again it was an evening of mixed fortunes. An excellent score by one of our fours in the first half saw shots evenly balanced after two games, but this changed in the second half when Claydon showed some more consistent bowling - although a four again pushed close for the result. This result leaves us with a shots deficit to hopefully be made up when the return home leg is played next month …. and the overall result will be duly reported in the next Link.

Joe Rice Cup
Claydon 45 - 26 3 -1 Lost Away leg
Somersham Still to be played Home leg

We are still looking to increase the number of members in the Club to participate in the Winter league …. so why not come along to the Village Hall one Tuesday evening and try carpet bowls to see if you can help consolidate the membership.

Somersham Primary School

We have just enjoyed our Harvest Festival at St. Mary's Church.The children read their harvest poems,gave a performance of A Little Red Hen and the youngest sang their own song -ACORN and of course they sang all the usual favourites with great gusto: Autumn Days, One Potato Two Potato, Paint Box, The Farmer Comes and All Things Bright and Beautiful. The children also brought harvest gifts, which are taken to the Womens' Refuge in Ipswich.

At the beginning of term the children were given the opportunity to rename their classes, so instead of them being numbered class1,2 and 3 they have named them after wildlife. Class 1 (oldest) are called Hawks, class 2 are called Ferrets and class 3 (the youngest) are called Squirrels. The boys in class 2 are particularly pleased with their new name!!

Last term we asked you to collect coupons from the Evening Star. As a result of your support we came second and received a cheque for £500.00!! We were very pleased and have purchased 5 more clarinets; we now have 6 altogether! Thank you all very much for your support! The afterschool Clarinet Club will begin again after half term, and will be open to Hawks only. We are already looking forward to their next concert!

The library refurbishment is almost at an end and the children have invited a special guest to officiate at the opening ceremony.A donation from BT will be used to purchase a new computer to scan all books in and out of the library. We are looking forward to having a fully functioning library once more!!

If you would like to visit our school please contact our School Secretary, Mrs. Maguire 01473 831251 or visit our website

From: PC David Clark
Community Beat Officer
Tel: 01473 613500

Safer Neighbourhoods

Mid Suffolk South Team
Mid Suffolk District Council Offices,
131 High Street Needham Market Suffolk IP6 8DL

Hello again ,

Crimes of Interest
5TH – 8TH – Theft of produce from allotment
5th – 8th - Theft of building equipment from building site

Theft of vegetables from allotments and small holdings is becoming more common due to the high price of food etc , if you have an allotment or live near , could I ask that you give extra attention and report any suspicious activity immediately to police .

There has been a rise of Bogus Callers again in the local area .They target the elderly in particular, and this type of crime can be very distressing for all concerned .If you have elderly relations or neighbours you might like to give them the following advice to prevent them being the next victim: Lock – Is your back door locked? Always check it is as soon as someone knocks at your door or rings your bell.

Bogus Callers often have an accomplice who may try to enter your home by the back door whilst you are distracted.

Stop – Do not open the door until you have looked through a window or used a door viewer to see who is on your doorstep. Remember, you do not have to open your door to anyone, especially someone you are not expecting or do not know. If in doubt, keep them out by keeping your door shut. Consider calling a friend or relative, if you have a warden call or community alarm press your button and call them. If the caller looks suspicious in any way or you are frightened, do not open the door and call 999.

Chain – If you feel that you need to speak to the caller, use a door-chain.
Do not open the door unless you put the chain on first so that you can see the person on your doorstep. Find out who they are and what they want. Close the door again while you do the following:

Check – Check their identity. If they say they are from a Water, Gas or Electricity company they will have photo I.D. If they cannot produce a bone fide I.D. card, send them away and close the door.

What if a caller states it's an emergency?
Even if they say there is an emergency DO NOT LET THEM IN.
One of the common ruses used by bogus callers is to say that they are from one of the utility companies or “Boards” as they used to be known.
If a caller claims they are from the “Water Board”, “Gas Board” or “Electric Board” DO NOT LET THEM IN!  Those “Boards” do not exist anymore.
No utility company or council employee has any right of entry to your home without a warrant from a court. If there is any real emergency involving water, electricity or gas they will not knock on your door unless accompanied by police officer.

If you have any information or would like any advice on police matters PCSO 3155 Sian Uttley or myself would be more than happy to discuss this with you Our contact telephone number is 01284 774100
Our e mail addresses are or
Please remember that there are occasions when we are on rest days for 4 days so if your call is of an urgent nature please ask to speak to any officer on duty.


A note for your diary


will be holding a


on Saturday 31st January 2009 at 7.30 p.m.

in the Village Hall

Tables of 6 or less.
£2.50 per person

Bring your own food and drink. Tea and coffee provided.

To book a table please contact 658547 or 657431

An allotment for Willisham and Offton

If there were allotments available, would you be interested?
The issue will be discussed at a forthcoming meeting of the Parish Council if there is a good response.
Please contact Jessica Tappenden: 01473 658063


Thank you

Having just completed our sponsored walk in aid of Wood Green Animal Shelters, Bryan and Cassie would like to thank all those who sponsored us.  We managed to raise a total of £107 for this very good cause. Thanks again.
Bryan and Cas. 

Somersham & District Community Association

2008 must go down as the year in which the S&DCA finally accomplished their aims and “finished off” the playing field. When the idea of buying the field for community use was first mooted and the first tentative fund-raising efforts began no one could have foreseen how long it would take and just how much hard work would be involved. Like all community projects it has involved many different people over the years and to all of them we should say a very big thank you. The recent work involving the Arena and the new sports pitch are now complete. The Tennis Club has worked equally hard, organising the courts. The Parish Council has been most supportive as have MSDC. On top of the thanks to all concerned should go congratulations to the S&DCA fund organising team who balanced the books, exactly matching plans to funding. Well done everyone concerned. Now all we have to do is to keep the ball rolling to make sure that running costs are met so that this great facility will be there for a long time to come.

One of the last items to be sorted out was the storage containers. These have been painted to blend in with the surroundings, although they looked a bit odd for a while with one side left in P&O’s colours because the paint did not go as far as expected. The anti-vandal paint strip round the top of the containers is also in place. Be warned! Many thanks must go to Kester Hawkins for this paint job as well as that on the woodwork of the Pavilion. Work on the sports pitch has been greatly helped by Max Caston and Stuart Diaper whose generous use of their time and machinery have kept down costs, Richard putting in the last bit of work by re-seeding the bald patch left by the stone pile near the new pitch. The stone pickers may be needed for a few months to come as the surface settles down this winter. The only “person” not to have helped much is Mother Nature. The weather has been so erratic that in some places the new grass is not growing as well as in others so soil tests are being taken in an effort to sort this out.


Back in September Suffolk Coastal Petanque League asked if there is enough interest in Somersham to start a team, perhaps using the car park. Interested people phone or email Terry Fordham on Ipswich 831529, email Tennis has taken off in Somersham, why not petanque?

Nicky Heming, Secretary

Suffolk Acre
is a free web based matching service for anyone living, travelling or working in Suffolk who is looking to share their journey as a passenger or driver. Potential benefits include:
? Saves money
? Reduces the number of cars on the road
? Provides solution to transport problems in rural areas
? Gives employees and employers more transport options
? Reduces the need for a private car
? Reduces parking costs
? Reduces travelling alone and returning to the car alone
particularly in the dark.
For further information go to

Kickstart is a moped loan scheme that assists people living in Suffolk who have difficulty accessing training and employment due to either lack of personal or public transport. The scheme is open to those aged 16 to retirement and there are two options on offer to suit individual circumstances
If you are interested, please contact us for an application on Tel: 01473 242500
Or e-mail:
Or alternatively go to and print off an
application form.

Somersham Parish Council

Forthcoming Parish Council Meetings
Wednesday 5th November 2008
Wednesday 3rd December 2008
All meetings commence at 7.30pm in the Village Hall and the press and public are welcome to attend.

Affordable Housing
After a lengthy discussion at its October meeting, the parish council resolved to approach Orwell Housing Association as a partner in progressing the development of an affordable housing scheme in the village. The next stage of the process is to identify a suitable site within the parish. If you have any questions or opinions on this aspect of the scheme please contact Terry Fordham on 831529 who is the lead parish councillor for this project.

Telephone Kiosk in Main Road
The BT ‘Adopt a Kiosk’ scheme was mentioned briefly in the previous edition. It would appear that BT wish to remove the kiosk and the only way in which it can be retained is for the parish council to apply under this scheme. The ‘Adopt a Kiosk’ scheme would only retain the kiosk itself - without any phone equipment inside. The parish council therefore considered the second option under the scheme which is to ‘sponsor’ the kiosk. Under this option the parish council contributes towards the cost of the maintenance of the kiosk as a working payphone (card). The parish council was of the opinion that the telephone was necessary, if only for emergency use, due to the poor mobile reception in the village and the close proximity to the playing field and therefore had no alternative but to apply to ‘sponsor’ the phone at a cost of £500 per year. The parish council will review this arrangement each year.

Budget 2009/10
At the next meeting councillors will begin their deliberations on the budget and precept for 2009/2010. More details will be provided as discussions progress, but the council would be pleased to receive any suggestions or requests from residents on any facilities or items they would like the council to consider.

Funding Opportunity – The Suffolk Foundation
There is a new funding opportunity available now for local groups that have been set up prior to the 31st December 2006 and have an annual income of under £20,000 per year. Groups do not need to be a registered charity but they do need to be working towards alleviating disadvantage.

The programme is aimed at addressing the diverse needs of community organisations and therefore funding is available for a wide range of
activities: -
Examples are:
Purchase of equipment
Costs of putting on a local event or workshop
Staff costs to enable the employment of individuals
Contribution to rent, related to service delivery
Costs of attending a conference or event
Training for volunteers
Additional activities to expand an existing funded project
Activities that support community activity
Activities that meet an identified need in the county
Funding to support an organisation to achieve a quality or other standard relevant to your activities
These are only examples of what you can apply for.
Please visit our website for more Grassroots funding information and the application form and guidelines

Council vacancy
Somersham Parish Council has a vacancy for a councillor. Applications are welcome from anyone aged 18 or over who is on the electoral register. The only mandatory duty of a councillor is to attend meetings of the parish council, but it gives councillors an opportunity to become involved in community life. With the change to unitary government coming to Suffolk there will be a greater opportunity for parish councils to take on additional powers if they so wish. If you would like further information on the role of a parish councillor please contact any of the current councillors or the clerk.

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

Free Help & Support to Business from HM Revenue & Customs Advice Teams

Our specially trained Advice Team runs free of charge workshops and presentations at Bury St Edmunds, Great Yarmouth, Huntingdon, Ipswich, Kings Lynn,Norwich and Peterborough. Our services are for everyone in business, especially new businesses or new employers. Most of our workshops last about half a day and presentations last about two hours.

To book any of our free workshops presentations or to find out more information:
For info:
Phone: 01332 724410 Fax: 01332 724433
Write to: HM Revenue & Customs Advice Team
Northgate House, Agard Street,
Derby, DE1 1QP

Somersham Cycle Speedway

August started off with round 5 of the South-East Grand Prix at Eaton on the 3rd and saw the following results for Somersham riders:
UNDER 8:George Cracknell 4th in “A” final, Jake Cracknell 2nd in “B” final
UNDER 10 “B” FINAL: An all Somersham race which finished in this order: Chantelle Cracknell, Lewis Cracknell, George Sundalskliev, Louise Cracknell
SENIOR: Gary Brown 4th in “A” final
VETERANS: Peter Mittell 3rd in the final

3 days later the younger riders took to the Somersham track for the final round of the Suffolk Grand Prix for Under 9 and Under 11 riders. The Somersham scores were as follows(all from 4 rides):
UNDER 9:Joe Hodge 10,Lewis Cracknell 8,Daniel Leggett 7,George Cracknell 6 and Jake Cracknell 4
Joe competed in all 4 rounds and finished 5th overall in this age group
UNDER 11:Chantelle Cracknell 6,Herry Reece 5,Louise Cracknell 4

On the 10th the senior riders saw action for our partner club Kesgrave where they were away to Ipswich in the South-East League Division 1.The Panthers won 91-87 to move off the foot of the table. Gary top scored for Kesgrave and there was solid scoring throughout the team.

The 13th saw the juniors back in action at Somersham, this time in a junior 3 team tournament comprising the Stars, Ipswich and a Suffolk Select. It was Ipswich who won, scoring 106 points with the Suffolk Select scoring 78 and Somersham 56.Although finishing well behind the other sides it was a rarity to see a full Somersham squad with the oldest rider just 11. Everyone had some good races, Joe Hodge top scoring with 11 and Harry Reece deserving more than he scored.

The August Bank Holiday weekend meant one thing-the British Championships and there was Somersham interest as Steve & Barry Copping made the trip to Poole for the 1st time in their careers. If either of them were to have made the final on the Bank Holiday Monday they would have had to negotiate a pre-qualifying round, and then a semi-final on the Sunday(where a top 8 finish would be needed to qualify for the final).Unlike Steve, Barry left it to the very last race before he managed to negotiate the pre-qualifying stage and advance to the semi-final but the effort it took him to get there took its toll as he could only manage 5 points in the semi-final.

On the 27th it was the Suffolk Under 10 Individual Championship at Great Blakenham where 29 riders took part,7 of them in the red & yellow of Somersham. In a meeting which was won by Michael Blackwell from the host club and the top 15 finishers would advance to the East Anglian Final, Chantelle Cracknell managed to get amongst those 15 riders scoring 14 points. Other Somersham scores were Joe Hodge 13,Lewis Cracknell 13,Daniel Leggett 8,George and Jake Cracknell 7 each and George Sundalskliev 6.

August should have closed with a double header for the senior riders with matches at Somersham (against Eaton in the Norfolk & Suffolk League) & our partner club Kesgrave(against Norwich in the South-East League Division 1).However the Somersham match was called off due to the withdrawal of Eaton from the Norfolk & Suffolk League but the Kesgrave match went ahead-and although Norwich left with the league points they were made to work very hard for it by a determined Panthers side. It was the Panthers who actually took a 4 point lead after the first 2 races but they would be trailing by 10 points after heat 9(the halfway stage),their cause not being helped by Barry Copping and Chris Gooch picking up an exclusion each. The deficit was reduced to 2 points after heat 11 thanks to 3 exclusions for Norwich riders, 2 of them in that heat 11.There was a dead-heat in the following race as Dan Johnson and Norwich rider Kieran Parr could not be separated as they crossed the finishing line. This put the gap up to 3 in Norwich’s favour which was maintained in the next race before the Panthers pulled 2 points back in heat 14 to reduce the gap to 1 point with 5 races to go. The gap was maintained in the next race before Norwich took a maximum 7-3 score in heat 16 to go 5 up with 2 to go. This meant t hat the Panthers needed to get a 7-3 score and a 6-4 score in the last 2 heats to sneak the win. Dan Croft & Paul Jay combined for the 6-4 score in heat 17 but Gary Brown & Martin Berry were unable to find a way past Norwich rider Leigh Cossey in the last heat which gave a final score of Kesgrave 85.5 Norwich 88.5

That’s it for now.

Steve Copping, Assistant Secretary (
Club Secretary: Peter Mittell (01473)831474
Club website:


OFFTON AND WILLISHAM PARISH PLAN - a mesage from the Chairman, Mike Bolton
An initial meeting for parishioners was held at the village hall on Thursday 9th October. Mrs Annette Gray from Suffolk ACRE gave an interesting and detailed presentation with reasons for developing a Plan and highlighted the processes involved in its preparation.
Despite a leaflet inserted into last months LINK which went to all householders, notices on the village notice boards and notification by word of mouth there was sadly a very poor turnout from the two villages. Nevertheless all who attended agreed that a Parish Plan which would identify the needs and requirements of people in the villages was highly desirable.

In order to take the project forward we need to establish a Steering Committee that will consist of four volunteers from each village, two of the members may be Parish Councillors. This a project that will take around twelve months to complete. If YOU are interested in obtaining further details and perhaps volunteering to becone a member of the Committee please contact your Parish Councillor or telephone Mike Bolton on 01473 658304.

A Parish Plan is going to become an essential tool for rural communities to access funding, grants and other amenities due to the proposed changes that are ongoing for local government.


The Parish Council will again be resourcing the Christmas Lunch for the older residents of our villages, early in December

The Council have applied to 'adopt' the telephone box in Offton which BT have decided to disconnect. If the application is accepted it will be stripped of its equipment and then become Council property.

The next Council meeting is on November 10th
Pip Sands Parish Clerk
01449 721173

Offton & Willisham Senior Citizens Christmas Lunch

This year the lunch will be held on
Saturday 6th December

If you are 60 or over and would like to come but have not received an invitation in past years,
please phone Janet on 658547 before 14th November, or Lois on 657082 after that date.


Somersham Football Club

The first month of the season has passed already and the 1st Team have got off to a great start. The Reserves are starting to find their feet after a ridiculous first match and player availability appears to be greatly improved on last season.

The 1st Team
Saturday 6th September St Clements Hospital - Div 3 (H) Won 4-2
A sound start to the season with Kieran Cotterall starting his goal tally with a hat-trick and John Hughes scoring the other.
Saturday 13th September Coplestonians ‘A’- Div 3 (A) Won 4-1
A good result against a young Coplestonian side. The goals were scored from all over the team with Kieran Cotterall, Damon Crick, Dan English and John Hughes all getting on the scoresheet.
Saturday 20th September AFC Crowley - Div 3 (H) Drew 1-1
Crowley were known as Stowmarket Stag last season and missed out on promotion by just 2 goals, so a difficult game was expected. Somersham began slowly but held Crowley at bay for sometime before going a goal behind. The home team then rallied and new signing Dave List came of the bench to head the equalizer.
Saturday 27th September John Bull Utd - Div 3 (A) Won 2-0
Two more goals for Kieran Cotterall secured 3 more points on the road to give Somersham a very lucrative points tally for September.
Saturday 4th October Woolverstone Utd- Div 3 (H) Lost 2-1
Kieran Cotterall scored another to give him 6 goals in 5 games, a superb goal return, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to secure points. Hopefully this will prove to be just a blip.

The Reserves
Saturday 6th September East Bergholt Utd ‘A’ - Div 6 (A) Lost 7-2
A horrible start to the season by the Reserves. Bergholt fielding a stronger than normal side and the Somersham 11 never having played together before didn’t help things, but a better 2nd half gave hope. Kester Hawkins scored an excellent first goal for the club and Lewis Rivers scored the other.
Saturday 20th September Benhall St Mary Reserves - Div 6 (A) Lost 1-0
As the result suggests, this was a close game which showed much improvement in defending and the general feeling was that Somersham deserved at least a point for their efforts.
Saturday 4th October Sproughton Sports Reserves - Club Colours
Cup(A) Won 2-0

The first of 3 matches this season against the local rivals went the way of Somersham. Another blast from the past, Nick Hammond, scored the first goal and Dave List scored the second. Somersham were very comfortable against Sproughton and progressed to the next round. Al Chester.

Elmsett Pre-school Playgroup
We have been busy learning about OURSELVES through a range of activities and play. The children made their own laminated place mats to use at snack times, painted or collaged family portraits and played ‘All about Me’ feely bag games. Shoe boxes were taken home to decorate and fill with favourite things such as toys, photos, leaves and books, and we really enjoyed talking with the children about their ‘Me’ boxes when they brought them back to playgroup. We have also had fun sharing a Funnybones story, and following the children’s interest we made skeletons using craft materials, and had to put the Big skeleton back together on the feltboard.

We have also been looking at Autumn changes around us during outdoor play and walks, and collecting leaves for printing (Please can dog owners using the meadow and Buckles Wood clean up their dog’s mess and use the bin provided, as it is not very nice if the children find it!). This term we will be making firework pictures and continuing our learning about seasonal changes.

Natalie Highland, Playleader

The pre-school this year are producing a tea-towel made by the pre-school children. These will be available to buy for £3 each and all money made will go towards providing new equipment for the children. If you wish to pre-order a tea-towel then please call me on 658726, they will also be available for purchase at our Christmas shopping night.

Christmas shopping night
Once again this year the pre-school have put together a night of Christmas shopping, pampering and fun on Friday 21st November 7pm – 9pm. Tickets cost £2 each and will include a goody bag and a complimentary drink. Tickets are available through the pre-school or from Elmsett post office stores. For more information please see the posters or make contact with the pre-school.
Victoria Gregory Pre-school fundraising team

Stepping Stones
Stepping Stones is a friendly group where mums and dads can bring their babies and young children to play games do crafts and play with our fab range of toys plus tea/coffee and a friendly chat for parents. Join us on Wednesday mornings 9.15-11.00 Elmsett Methodist Church (during term).
Finally a warm welcome to Angela and Oskar plus Harrison and his mum Laura.Stepping Stones activities for November:
5th November: firework collage + rhyme time (singing)
12th November: baby gym (tents and tunnels)
19th November: teddy bears picnic biscuit decorating (bring your teddy)
26th November: making Christmas decorations + fun with ride-on cars & bikes

Our summer league campaign continued with some very mixed fortunes, we had a good 10-0 home win against Bealings, it was their first year in the league, and they found our mats difficult, but they put up a good fight. At the beginning of July we had two disastrous results, first away to Martlesham and then Felixstowe losing both matches 10-0, The next encounter was at Claydon, here we managed to win one game, in a hard fought match going down 8-2. We followed with four home matches but we were unable to fully capitalise on the home advantage, we started with the match against Tythe Barn, this was a closely fought contest, and the match ended in two games each, O/W had a superior points total and took the match 6-4.

Next we welcomed Tuddenham and Martlesham, we were keen to reverse the 10-0 defeats that we suffered when we visited both teams earlier in the season, both matches were played in a friendly but competitive spirit, O/W lost a game in each match, the final results being 8-2 to O/W. Our fourth home match of the group was against Claydon, this was a closely contested match, the opposition played strongly and adapted well to our mats, the match ending two games each with equal shots, resulting in a draw, sharing the points 5-5. We ended the month of August with two away matches, firstly at Bealings, where with a much reduced team, owing to holidays, we were lucky to win 6-4. Our final match was against Somersham, As usual a closely fought match, after some good games, the match ended two games each, but the home side had a better shots total and took the match 6-4.

We ended the summer league in sixth place.

We began the winter season at the end of September, with a match in the new Friendly League, travelling to Hitcham, the matches in this league are played under a different format, two singles, two pairs and two rinks (4s), we had an enjoyable evening, the match was played in a friendly but competitive manner, O/W won two games and drew one, so the home team won the match 3 ½ - 2 ½

Want something to do on a cold winter evening? Why not try carpet bowls? No experience needed. To find out more, drop in to the Offton and Willisham Village hall on a Wednesday or Friday evening from 7.30pm, you will be very welcome, for more information call 01473 657023.


Bonfire Evening
We look forward to seeing everybody at Crow Hall for our Bonfire Evening on Friday 7th November 2008. The event will begin at 7.00 pm and the entry will be £3.00 per adult, £1,00 per child or £7.00 for a family ticket (2 adults & 2 children). See separate poster.

Remembrance Sunday Service
We are very pleased that Nora Daniels will be leading our service at 3.00 pm on Sunday 9th November.

Church Building
The current building work is continuing and we would like to apologise for any inconvenience that this has caused. A full report of the work carried out will be given on completion.

Flower and Cleaning Rota
We would like to thank everyone who has provided flowers and cleaned Willisham Church during the past year. Vanessa Large will be drawing up our rota for 2009 and she would be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to help us to keep the church clean and welcoming. If you are interested please ring Vanessa (01473 658786) to find out more.

Toulouse: Le Trek!

After last year’s venture into foreign lands (following part of the ancient pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostella in northern Spain), we were wondering what we could do next. Eddie (Fagg), now resident in Villereal in southern France, provided the answer when he discovered another bit of the pilgrimage route in his new neck of the woods. There are many routes by which pilgrims used to make their way to Santiago. Those from north of the Pyrenees generally converge in the mountains before following the ‘Camino Frances’ through northern Spain. Within France there are 4 main routes; the one we chose starts at Le Puy-en-Velay in Haut-Loire and is known as the Via Podensis. We didn’t have the time (or the stamina!) to walk the whole route so chose a section between Figeac and Moissac which meant that most of our walking was in the Lot region, crossing into Tarn et Garronne about 30 km from the end.

We’d agreed on an autumn walk this time, largely to accommodate my main holiday plans which clashed with our usual choice of June (thanks chaps!). Thus, at around teatime on 17th September, the same party as last year (Richard Browne, James Crickmore, Terry Fordham, Peter Jay, Steve Woolhouse, Eddie & myself) met up in Figeac. For the English contingent, this had meant a 4.30am start, a flight to Toulouse and a train and short bus ride to our destination.

Besides suggesting the route, Eddie had already served us well by arranging accommodation throughout. In this, he had been helped considerably by Corrine at the local tourist office. The rest of us never met Corrine but, based on Eddie’s reports, we understand that she is a very helpful and accommodating lady. The first night was to be spent in a Gite d’Etape (a sort of self catering walkers’ hostel) in La Cassognole, the birthplace of Louis the Pious, son of Charlemagne. Although only about 4 km from Figeac, the walk there did involve a long, steep climb out of the valley and was quite a challenge near the end of a day which had started so early. I guess the beer in Figeac didn’t help either, although it was very welcome at the time.

The walk was very rural in character and many of our overnight stops were in places somewhat devoid of any kind of nightlife. As a result, the availability of suitable food quickly became a prime concern and Richard’s skills with the French language (we all had a smattering but he was the only one with the confidence to use the phone) were put to good use phoning ahead to secure suitable assurances about what we could expect when we arrived. Our concerns about food surfaced on the first day proper when we were scheduled to cover about 26km to arrive in Cajarc, a small town beside the River Lot. Our guide book had indicated a hotel/bar/restaurant at Grealou, 16km on from our start and we aimed to have lunch there. Half an hour or so before Grealou, the sky darkened and we were soon trudging along in a thunderstorm so that, by the time we reached the hotel/bar/restaurant we resembled drowned rats. Still, we’d found our lunch place and it was somewhere to rest up, wait for the storm to pass and refuel…..except we had overlooked the other words in the guide book; ‘meals by reservation only’. ‘Not to worry’, we thought, ‘we only want a snack’ but no! – this particular hotel/bar/restaurant had no food whatsoever; not even a bag of crisps or bar of chocolate. Even our request for seven coffees (seven?!) was not greeted with the delight that one might expect such a massive order to elicit. Had the reaction of Madame been audible, I’m sure it would have been “Sacre bleu”! Nevertheless, she did produce the seven coffees, we gorged ourselves on the meagre rations we were carrying and, by the time we left, she did manage a bit of a laugh and joke, no doubt won over by our Anglo Saxon charm!

Thus, ways of securing sufficient rations became part of the daily plans and there were no further shortages quite as serious as the ‘famine of Grealou’. On one occasion, however, we did find ourselves having to share out six baguettes between seven having cleaned out the only shop in town. Eddie’s multi-facetted knife (including ruler) and Steve W’s mathematical logic solved the problem – cut each into two unequal pieces ( 3/7 & 4/7 ) and then three people each have 2 of 3/7 and the other 4 each have 11/2 of 4/7 – it works!!
Apart from the potential difficulty with food, it was quite refreshing to find that the countryside through which we walked and the towns and villages that we visited were largely untouched by the usual excesses of the tourist industry. Whilst Cahors, the largest place on our route, has an attractive bustle, other towns, such as the historic ‘bastide’ hill town of Lauzerte, remain pretty well free of postcard and trinket shops. We spent two nights in religious establishments; one a former presbytery adjoining a church and the other a magnificent convent, resembling a chateau. And we didn’t really have any difficulty with food; on both of these occasions we were treated to some delicious home cooking and everywhere else we were able find at least one (and in Lauzerte it was just the one!) suitable café/restaurant. Cahors even provided us with the opportunity to partake of a curry, not always easy to find on the continent. This one was courtesy of Brian, en ex-pat Englishman who now runs ‘Curry Brian’.

Cahors also provided us with the opportunity to wash some clothes (again, thanks to the ever fluent and domestically resourceful Richard) so that, by the time we crossed the wonderful Ponte Valentre, Cahors’ medieval fortified bridge across the Lot, we were, for a time at least, spick and span.

Apart from the aforementioned thunderstorm, the weather for the whole trip was glorious, if a little warm for some – sunshine all the way and temperatures generally in the low 20s centigrade. In all, we walked about 100 miles in the six days. That meant, for most days, about 15 miles to be covered but the spacing of the accommodation dictated a couple of longer days at the beginning. After completing our second day of about 23 miles, we all agreed that it had been something of a struggle and that maybe we needed to acknowledge that we are not as young as we used to be! That night, in the convent, I think we were all in bed not long after 9pm!

Despite that, all agreed it was a good walk. Of the various emails exchanged since we returned, Terry’s perhaps sums it up as well as any: ‘a very enjoyable week and I'm sure I will be even more convinced once the pain goes!!’

Steve Dines, October 2008

Barking Pre-School
(Registered Charity 1020882)
The children have been enjoying learning about autumn and have been able to spend a few of the sunny day’s outdoors collecting leaves and conkers. We still have tickets available for the Christmas Shopping Extravaganza on the 6th November at 7.30pm, if you would like tickets please call Lucie Platt on 01449 743706 they are £2.50 each and include a glass of wine and a mince pie. We also have a Christmas Fair on the 13th December held at the Barking Village Hall it starts at 11am and finishes at 1pm we will have many stalls and the staff will be organizing activities for the children, so if your children don’t attend the pre-school at the moment it will be a great way to meet the staff and parents and see how much fun the children have. We also hold a raffle which has fantastic prizes donated by local companies.

Children can start pre-school from the age of 2 ½ and from the term after their third birthday, the government funds the sessions. The pre-school is open every weekday morning from 9.30 until 12 noon during term time and children can attend any number of sessions per week (space permitting). Our staff are committed, enthusiastic, well trained and work hard to organise a wide variety of fun and educational activities including crafts, cooking, music, story telling and construction. We have many toys and activities so there are bound to be something to capture each child's imagination.

If you would like a place for your child please contact us. We are more than happy to invite parents/carers along to see who we are and what we do. Contact either Veronika Pryke (our pre-school leader) on 01473 658368 or Hayley Aldous on 01473 657515.

Somersham Baptist Church

Rising attendance
Whilst I was preaching away one Sunday in September, we recorded the highest number in the congregation (36), for a regular Sunday meeting for forty years or more. This is a great encouragement in these days of declining attendance, and perhaps there is a message there for me!

14+ Got off to a poor start this term. The regulars have now moved on leaving room for younger ones again, so if you know someone who is in school Year 9 and above, at a loose end on a Friday night, they will find a warm welcome. Pool, table tennis, PS2, tuck and a short talk at the Chapel between 8-9.30pm.
A Bucket Ball competition and Unihoc are planned at Shepherd Drive Baptist Church, Ipswich on 21 November and 2 February.

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

Remembrance Sunday 9th November
Prayer Meeting at 10.00am at 1 Church Close, Somersham
United Service at St Mary’s at 10.45am

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 14 November.
Friends and Neighbours: 7.45pm Monday 17 November.

Contact Mark if you need transport.
Meetings are held at the Baptist Chapel, Chapel Lane, Somersham IP8 4QE.
Pastor Mark Newcombe, 01473 831940, mobile: 07930543583, email:


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.

2nd November 4th Sunday before Advent

Family Communion by extension 9.00am Flowton

Holy Communion

9.30am Willisham
Holy Communion 11.15am Somersham
Service for the Bereaved 3.00pm Barking

9th November Remembrance Sunday

Holy Communion by extension 8.00am Flowton
United Remembrance Service 10.45am Somersham
Remembrance Service 10.45am Ringshall
Remembrance Service 11.15am Barking
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Willisham
Remembrance Service
6.30pm Offton

16th November 2nd Sunday before Advent

Holy Communion 8.00am Somersham
Family Service + communion by extension 10.00am Offton
Family Service 10.00am Willisham
Holy Communion 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 6.00pm Flowton

23rd November Christ the King

Holy Communion 9.30am Ringshall
Family Worship 10.00am Flowton
Morning Prayer 10.00am Barking
Holy Communion 11.00am Offton
Evening Prayer 6.30pm Somersham


30th November 1st Sunday of Advent

United 8 parishes Holy Communion 10.00 am Somersham

7th December 2nd Sunday of Advent

Family Communion by extension 9.00am Flowton

Holy Communion

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

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